Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Goin' Camping

The Partner, The Boss, the dog, and I rode over to Rhode Island last night to take a gander at a 1989 27' Gulf Stream Conquest motor home we discovered on Craig's List. After The Boss jumped all over the queen sized bed in the back, after I inspected each and every crack and crevice of closet or cabinet space, and after The Partner took the behemoth for a spin, hands were shaken. Words like "title," "insurance," and "license plates" floated easily through the crisp dusk air. We pledged to return the next day to bring the big baby home.

New England is now our oyster. We already have plans for one or two weekend trips in October and all kinds of dreams for a lakeside site next summer. When I really want to get grandiose, I imagine a cross country trip that a young family will never forget.

Our Gulf Stream's got a pinky-mauve velour interior. There are two seats in the cockpit and a captain's chair behind. At loft level, foam pallets come together to form a queen sized sleeping area. A table and bench convert to a bed next to the refrigerator and across from the sink and stove. There's a shower on one side and a toilet on the other. Behind it all is a traditional queen bed surrounded by narrow but serviceable closets. I can lay back in the 80s grandeur of it all and imagine that Bon Jovi just might have traveled this way. . .

Read more here. . .

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Dazzling Uncertainty of It*

This week has been typical pre-autumnal fare in New England. A tropical day followed by a sweatshirt day followed by a knee-high rubber boots day. Now the sun shines again, and somewhere in the yellow I find the energy and strength to recap for you the meteorological schizophrenia.

On Monday it occured to me that I am far more optimistic than I give myself credit for. It was a startling realization that came on the sandaled heels of these last days of summer. The day before had been balmy. Why I assumed that trend would continue is beyond me. I'm usually a glass-half-empty type girl, and I've lived in Connecticut long enough to know that a little skepticism in regard to the weather (or most anything, really) is healthy. But there I was with The Boss, standing in our driveway, both of us donning sundresses and flip flops. . .

. . .Find the continuation to this post over at New England Mamas. It won't take you long to get there. This is New England, after all.

*Mark Twain, from a speech on the weather

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How to Avoid Blogger's Block

The results are in. Last week's informal survey has been evaluated and synopsized. With no further ado, here are the top ten ways to avoid blogger's block.

10. Recline your swivelly desk chair into the therapist's couch position.
"i get to sit and wax about things that i think about and never say in the course of a day. That might not always be meaningful to the reader, but it's a panacea for my soul." - jen

9. Move into a blogging state of mind.
"...if I think of something, I sit down and write it as soon as I can, sometimes building a "bank" of posts. Or I write down snippets of ideas. I also look online for writing prompts." - Mrs. Chicken

"I have a notebook of snippets, topics & ideas I write down as soon as I have them. If I'm stuck, I go back to that." - Lawyer Mama

8. Use your kids. Just because you've got nothing to say doesn't mean they've got nothing. "I guess on days when I really don't have anything to say, I can always report on something funny one of my kids has said." - Slouching Mom

7. Calling Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: a consistent style is good, but multiple personalities increase your odds of appealing to the masses.
"The blogs I tend to gravitate toward are the ones with the ability to write a humorous post one day, a sentimental one the next, a serious one the next, a frivolous one the next, and sometimes an angry one." - Andrea

6. Mine the resources of your grade school days. Photos. Assignments. Passed notes folded into uninspired origami.
"I love seeing photos of people from when they were young and dorky." - Fairly Odd Mother

5. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Who needs CNN.com when you've got the blogosphere?
"The news. There's always something going on in the world to write about." - Mrs. Chicky

4. A picture can inspire a thousand words. Or it can speak for itself.
"I pick a recent (or not so recent) photograph and just try to connect it with what's banging around in my head." - Toyfoto

"When I have no friggin clue what to write, I post some of favorite recent pictures with captions." - Lawyer Mama

3. Write through it. Yes, it's the kind of advice that's meaningless when you can't even bring yourself within a ten foot radius of the computer keyboard. But once you situate yourself ass-in-chair, it's probably the best suggestion out there.
"I have long dry spells and I make myself write something, anything, even if it sucks - if nothing else that seems to get the juices flowing. I write more than I publish, some days are better than others." - Binkytown

"I think it definitely comes more naturally to some than to others. Count me amongst "the others." - my minivan is faster than yours

2. Harness the power of the open road. Luckily your brain is a hands-free device.
"The posts I compose in my head while commuting are better than what I actually squeeze out most times." - Michele

1. Transference. Avoid writing about what's really going on in your life by indulging in something carefree and kitschy like, say, a top ten list of ways to avoid blogger's block.
"It works! It really works!" - Binky