Memory Lane

Blog Anniversary Quiz Bowl #2

First . . . (drum roll, please!) . . . CONGRATULATIONS to last week's randomly-selected Quiz Bowl Winner . . . BONNY!!!  An exciting prize package will be headed your way soon, Bonny!

And now . . . on to Quiz Bowl #2!

During May, I'm celebrating my fifth anniversary of blogging!  Each Friday, I will provide a Blog Quiz. Answer the questions for a chance to win a prize!  (A random winner will be chosen every week -- PLUS a Grand Prize Winner at the end of the month.)  All answers have been provided, at some point, here on the blog.

Cedar Point May 09 017

(One of the most fun aspects of celebrating my blog-anniversary is looking through photos from 5 years ago!  Here I am . . . taking a game of skee-ball very, very seriously!  It was May 2009 -- and Tom and I were at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Ohio with Brian and our foreign exchange student, Dominik.  Bonus points if you can tell me where Dominik was from . . . and why I might be pretty good at skee-ball.)

Here are the questions for Week 2:

  1. Where was I born?  (City and state)
  2. How long have Tom and I been married?
  3. Who was my home ec teacher, and what was her motto?
  4. Name the bloggers I have met in real life.  (Hint:  There are 4.)

Just leave your answers in the comments section.  (All correct answers will be eligible for the prize drawing.  If you answer the bonus questions, your name will be entered in the week's drawing twice!)

Happy Friday!


Throwback Thursday: Wheels Turnin' Round and Round

When I first started blogging . . . back in May 2009 . . .

Erin had just finished her sophomore year in college.  She had spent time studying in London, she thought she might go to law school, and was just beginning a summer internship in a law office.  She was still studying voice and piano, and hadn't yet met Keith.  College graduation still seemed a long way off.

Erin's New Do 028

Erin . . . then

Brian was just finishing his junior year in high school.  He was sad because most of his friends were graduating and he was feeling left behind.  He was busy with hockey and a job at Little Caesars Pizza and his then-girlfriend.  The college visiting and application process was just beginning.  And, really, he'd rather not have to think about it all.

2008 prom 2

Brian . . . then

Who could've known then . . . where they'd end up five years later!  Erin . . . with a Masters degree and a full-time editorial position in Pittsburgh.  Brian . . . finished with college (hurray!) and about to start a full-time lab internship with MSU.  (AND the rock star thing.  It could happen!)


Erin and Brian . . . now

Wheels turnin' round and round!

Just for fun. . . Today's soundtrack is brought to you by Miss Erin, herself!  (Back at her final piano recital in 2007.  Her piano instructor mixed traditional piano with "fun" and chose to highlight his graduating seniors in a big way!)


Life Lessons from the Master


As most of you know, I have a really wonderful relationship with my Mom.  She's my Mom, sure . . . but we're also really great friends.  And, really, we always have been.

Scan 7

It's been fun to think about today's topic -- 10 Things My Mom Taught Me -- because, when it comes right down to it, my Mom pretty much taught me everything I know today.  Seriously.  When I reflect on who I am now - as a functional grown up - it really all boils down to things my Mom taught me!  She is, truly, the Master Mom.


10 Things My Mom Taught Me:

  1. To Read - My Mom likes to say that "Kym taught herself to read."  But that isn't true.  Sure, I went off to school, already knowing how to read.  (That part is true.)  But it's only because my Mom read to me all the time.  She took me to the library.  We made "word scrapbooks."  We read and read and read.  
  2. To Knit - My Mom used to knit a lot when I was a little girl.  I still have a little red cardigan with cables that she knit for me in elementary school, and she used to be the master of ripple afghans!  (I wish I still had one of those. . .)  She taught me the basics:  casting on, garter stitch, purl stitch.  I worked . . . s-l-o-w-l-y . . . on a garter stitch scarf.  It ultimately became a doll blanket because I sort of lost my scarf mojo.
  3. To Drive - My Dad was charged with teaching me to drive.  But that didn't work out.  At all.  (He didn't have the patience for a temperamental and rather testy teen-age daughter. . .)  So my Mom did it.  We drove for miles and miles and miles along the backroads of Wyoming (and trust me - it's all backroads in Wyoming!)  and had a lot of fun together.  
  4. To Cook - My Mom used to have me start dinner every night after she had gone back to work when I was in junior high.  I learned a lot about timing, following instructions, and . . . to make sure to "stab" the potatoes before placing them in the oven!
  5. To Love flowers - One of my most lovely early-gardening memories is sitting with my Mom as we weeded the small strip of flower garden along the side of my childhood house.  My Mom showed me how to collect dry seeds - from four-o'clocks and moss roses - and save them in envelopes.  I'm pretty sure this is why I garden today!
  6. To Reconcile my checkbook - When I was in high school and had a job, my Mom helped me open a checking account.  She taught me how to reconcile my checkbook and I have been forever grateful.
  7. To be active (and STAY active) - My Mom was active as a girl -- she danced and swam and skated and curled (!).  She is still active today -- she lap-swims and does weight-training and even Zumbas now and again.  She made sure I had opportunities for activities and sports as a child, and she's a great role model for a lifetime of keeping active and busy. 
  8. That a little bit of "silly" goes a long way - My Mom has a great sense of humor -- and we have laughed our way through nearly every thing we do.  Truly.  We can laugh at anything!
  9. To always do the right thing - My Mom is a model in decorum and good manners.  She taught me to do-what-you-say-you're-going-to-do, be on time for work, only take a sick day when you need a sick day, pay your bills on time, return messages, if you take on a leadership role then follow through with the leadership role (but run like hell from the PTA Presidency!), write thank you notes, and be kind to everyone.
  10. To love your children no matter what ... and to stay outta their shit! - My Mom is the Poster Child for Unconditional Love.  And she really has never interfered with my life.  I am so fortunate.  (And, really, so are my kids.  Because I learned at the feet of the Master.)


How about YOU?  What did you learn from your Mom?  


 Join the fun!  Read other Ten on Tuesday posts here, or sign up for weekly prompts here.  

Blog Anniversary Quiz Bowl #1

During May, I'm celebrating my fifth anniversary of blogging!  Each Friday, I will provide a Blog Quiz. Answer the questions for a chance to win a prize!  (A winner chosen every week -- PLUS a Grand Prize Winner at the end of the month.)  All answers have been provided, at some point, here on the blog.


Here are the questions for Week 1:

  1. What was the name of our family dog BEFORE Jenny?
  2. What is my most-dreaded food?
  3. What kind of car do I drive?  

Just leave your answers in the comments section.  (All correct answers will be eligible for the prize drawing.)

Happy Friday!


Throwback Thursday: The Beginning (or Getting REAL)

Five years ago . . . at the very end of May 2009 . . . I posted my very first blog post.

I was really kind of nervous about it.  I had a hard time explaining why I was even doing it.  And I didn't tell anyone about it, really.  No one I knew in real-time, that is.

Midnight Rider Fini Front

(Me.  May 2009.)

When I was finished with my chemo treatments and was beginning to process what it meant to "be a survivor" I had this incredibly strong desire to . . . become REAL again.  For me, having cancer sort of canceled out my "real life" and gave me this "other life" -- the life of a sick person.  (I had a bit of an identity crisis during chemo.  Who WAS this person who had cancer and was going through chemo?  Because . . . it sure as hell wasn't ME.)

In the months immediately following the end of treatment, I had some reflective work to do . . . to figure out who I was and how I wanted to live the rest of my life -- going forward.  One book was particularly helpful to me -- Picking Up the Pieces:  Moving Forward After Surviving Cancer.  (I still pick it up once in a while.)  Anyway, the book has some wonderful exercises and examples to help lost souls figure out . . . What now?  What next?

Somehow, out of the reading and the reflecting and a whole lot of journaling, I decided that I wanted to have a blog.  I felt a strong pull to tell my story . . . and, in the process, help me become REAL again.

I never dreamed I'd still be blogging 5 years later.  I never thought anyone else would read my blog.  Or make a comment.  Or reach out to me in any way.  (Or, heaven forbid, invite me to meet them!) 

And yet. . .

And yet. . .

Here I am.  Five years later!

Astoundingly . . . celebrating 5 years of blogging.

Please join me here throughout May -- in a month-long 5-year-blog-anniversary celebration!  On Thursdays (starting next week), I'll share a then-and-now 5 year retrospective (a little nod to Throwback Thursdays), and on Fridays, I'll give you a little blog quiz.  Answer the questions, and you'll be entered in my blog-anniversary-contest!  (One winner each week, with one Grand Prize Winner at the end of it all.)

AND . . . because I'm very near that major "comment milestone" of 10,000 comments, there will be a bonus prize for the 10,000th comment!  (This may take awhile; I'm just short of 9,500 now.)

So.  Thanks for visiting.  Thanks for commenting.  Thanks for reaching out.  

But, mostly?  Thanks for making me REAL again!


(But, wait!  There's more!)



(And, more!)

Here is the stubborn photo from yesterday . . .  of my Alabama Chanin progress!




My Closet: A Metaphor for Life, Part II

As I started clearing out my closet last month, I did some thinking about  how my closet got to be such a mass of clothes in the first place!  

I've already admitted here in the blog that I have a Thing for Fashion.  I don't mean to say that I adhere to Fashion.  (Because I don't.)  But I do follow along.  I appreciate Fashion . . . as an art form.  I  appreciate the juxtaposition of . . .





when it comes to wearable statements of art.

And, really, I always have!


(My sister and I playing paper dolls in 1967; I was in second grade so my sister must've been about 4.)

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite pastimes was playing with paper dolls. I loved collecting the cut-out sets you could buy at the dime store most of all, but I was also really happy just cutting people out of catalogs and collecting them in folders.  It was all about choosing outfits and figuring out what clothes I liked best of all.  I had the most fun dressing the paper dolls up to . . . go somewhere and do something!

It was the same, for me, with my Barbies.  I loved collecting - and even making - clothes and accessories for my them.  I liked to create ensembles and clothing combinations for their Barbie-life adventures.  (Some of my friends made me crazy -- because they never wanted to change their Barbie's clothes.  They liked Barbie-action; I liked Barbie-fashion!)

The fashion-bug stayed with me as I grew older.  When I was in junior high and high school, I learned to sew and made most of my own clothes.  I got great pleasure in choosing patterns and matching up fabrics to create unique and one-of-a-kind pieces for myself.  For awhile, I even dreamed of some sort of career in fashion.  One of my friends in high school was also an excellent seamstress.  Together, we took our high school elective classes in the home ec department -- courses in tailoring and creating your own patterns and fashion design.  It was fun (and a nice alternative to biology and algebra!), even though we both gave up on the dream of fashion design careers.


What happens when a young fashion junkie grows up and gets a walk-in closet?  


Scan 7

(This is magnet was a gift from my sister several years ago.)

As I emptied my closet, I came to the realization that . . . I'm too old for paper dolls and Barbies now, so I've collected life-size clothes . . . to dress myself up! 

And that, my friends, is how my closet became the MESS that it was.

(Stay tuned.)



Throwback Thursday: Projects Before Ravelry

Last weekend, I was getting ready to take a little nap.  I grabbed my favorite nap-afghan and as I drifted off to sleep, I starting thinking back.

Like WAAAAY back . . . to when I made that little nap-afghan!  

It was the summer of 1977.  I had just graduated from high school, and was getting myself ready to move off to college.  I crocheted up some random squares in pastel colored Red Heart Acrylic (because back in 1977, was there anything else?) and made myself an afghan for my soon-to-be dorm room.

Here's a picture of one of my rooms in college (this one is in 1979, in one of the rooms at the Tri-Delt house; I would've been a junior):

College room

And there it is!  The afghan, right on the foot of my bed.

I still have it - and use it whenever I take a nap.  (Red Heart Acrylic never wears out, does it?)  Jenny likes it, too.

Old Afghan 002

(This throwback photo was taken back in 2009, when Jenny was 2!)

It's funny.  Now, thanks to digital cameras and Ravelry, we take photos of our projects at every step of the process.  But back then?   Not so much!   It's fun to find an old photo of a much-loved, old project!





Truth . . . Stranger than Fiction


This week, Ten on Tuesday celebrates April Fools Day!

What follows . . . are ten statements about me.  Nine are true.  One is not.


  1. In second grade, my school had a mumps epidemic.  I was the only student in the school to win the Perfect Attendance award that year.
  2. My first job when I finished college was at The Coloradoan newspaper.  I took classified ads over the phone, and typed up obituaries and auction announcements.
  3. The butterfly on my left hip is not my only tattoo.
  4. I used to play softball.  (I pitched.)
  5. I was kicked out of Brownies because I didn't pay my dues.  (To be fair, I was just not clear on the concept.  I liked keeping my nickel in the Official Brownie Coin Purse on my Official Brownie Belt.  Besides . . . the troop leader's house smelled funny.)
  6. I started out in college as a French major.  
  7. I was nominated for Prom Queen when I was a senior in high school.  (I didn't win.)
  8. If I was a boy, my parents planned to name me "Todd."
  9. One of my college boyfriends played baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. (But not when I dated him.)
  10. I have three college degrees.  They are not related in any way.  (And one is not French.)

Can you find the fake?


 Join the fun!  Read other Ten on Tuesday posts here, or sign up for weekly prompts here

She Said It: Week Four


"The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day; a movement is only people moving."

--- Gloria Steinem


Gloria Steinem

Earlier this week, Gloria Steinem celebrated her 80th birthday.  How awesome is that?  (Click here to read my story about meeting Ms. Steinem.)


March is Women's History Month.  Celebrate the legacy of women's words with me here each Friday during March.

Throwback Thursday: There Were Times I Liked the Snow

There were times I liked the snow.


When I was a kid, for example, playing with my sister in the front yard.

There were times I embraced the snow.

Scan 7

When I was skiing (here at Steamboat with my college roommate, Sarah, in 1979), for example.

Heck, there were even times I wished for snow.


Just this past Christmas, for example.

But now?  Now I just want it to melt.