7-7-7 Challenge

Seventeen.  I have seventeen draft blog posts.  Some of them are deep and need time and effort to covey what I really want to say.  Some of them need a picture.  One needs some graphs.  One needs me to give a present first.  The blog posts are stacking up and I’m feeling drowned by the bits left to finish them off.

Ta da!  One of my favorite bloggers, A Funny Thing Happened When I was Learning Myself to the rescue!   She nominated me for the 7-7-7 challenge, which I love!  Thank you!  Here are the rules:

Go to the 7th page of my work in progress. Find the 7th sentence on that page, then paste the following 7 sentences into my blog post. Finally, select 7 other writers for the challenge.  It does not have to be fiction, I am interested in reading anything you’ve got!

What?!?!  How fun is this?  Since I have two works in progress over seven pages, I’m sharing them both.  From my first, yet to be completed, nameless novel:

Ingrid gasped, “Oh no, we use nothing but organic, free range eggs in this household.”

“Joke mom” Grant said and sat down on the dove grey love seat in the living room.  Anna joined him, and set Ingrid’s cup of non-alcoholic eggnog on a silver coaster.  Anna watched Ingrid as she took a sip of Anna’s eggnog.  What on earth was going on?  Ingrid was a germaphobe and she was drinking from a cup with a smear of Anna’s lipstick on the edge.

“So, what news do you have for us?” Ingrid asked and raised her eyebrows at them.

The second 7-7-7 series comes from my completed novel, Hallejulah.

Golden, grey and silver buildings lined the street in a variety of shapes and sizes.  There were Tudors next to low rise apartment buildings next to mansions; yet the street did not look odd with all the conflicting styles.  There was a gentle breeze and he could hear the leaves rustling in the trees.  No one walked the streets.  It was quiet.

“Welcome to the residential sector,” Petra said. “Here you will find all the residents of Heaven, and each new member is assigned living quarters based on their soul characteristics.”

Now for my seven nominees.  It appears as though my nominator and I share many favorite blogs, but there are a few I enjoy that didn’t make her list.  I’m leading with my “Hanna” derivative sisters.

  1. JoHanna Massey
  2. Proofreader Hannah
  3. K E Garland
  4. Spontaneous Whimsey or Socrates Underground (It’s the same author on both blogs!  So sneaky!)
  5. Alexand Knits – She’s mostly a knitter, so maybe she’ll provide us with a picture of the seventh stitch on the seventh row of some knitted object.
  6. Duck and Cover
  7. Amie Writes – who hasn’t been writing much and I miss her!

Also, a shout out to Mom Who Runs, who nominated my nominator.  Gotta love the blogging community!

Toilet Paper Nostalgia

My daughter is in elementary school, but in less then ten years I can expect to wake up some morning and see my two gorgeous trees in front of my house decorated with toilet paper.  Some boy, or friend, or frenemy will have expressed their love, anger, or both by littering our trees.  I was reminded about this eventuality by a friend who lives in a neighborhood with older kids and was greeted by this site on Friday morning.  (She gave me permission to use her picture.)

Her image reminded me of my TPing days, which then reminded me of colored toilet paper.  When we really wanted to grab the attention of our target we’d splurge and get pink, blue, coral or green toilet paper.  Not tan or white.  They were so boring.  Wait a second….


I think this is a generational thing.  It’s been decades since I’ve seen colored toilet paper.  20 somethings have no idea what I’m talking about.  30 somethings don’t either.  40 somethings and older, you with me?  Did you have a great aunt who had powder blue toilet paper that matched her bathroom, or a grandma who liked mint green to go with her olive green decor?  Oh yes, it existed.  It was a thing, and it was so fun to TP some jock’s tree with pink toilet paper.

Google to the rescue!

I had to visit Toilet Paper World’s blog, because there is a place called Toilet Paper World and they have a blog.  (The internet is an amazing place.)  They claim that non-white toilet paper disappeared in 2004.  This means my daughter has lived her whole life in a world without colored toilet paper.  The site says that the cost of manufacturing different colors combined with fears that the dyed paper could cause irritation in unsavory places was enough to end the reign of colored toilet paper.

History’s Dumpster has a post that has some amazing images of colored toilet paper, including the Charmin versions I remember with their sweet pictures of girls on the bags.  He claims that the environment also contributed to the end of colored toilet paper, but as of 2012 demand was starting back up again.  Time to turn to Amazon to solve the question.  Can we buy colored toilet paper or not?

Okay, a six pack of black toilet paper is available from Amazon for $25.99 with prime shipping, but that’s novelty toilet paper prices.  It doesn’t count.  I’m not spending over $50 to do a mediocre job of TPing a tree.  However, there appears to be a European brand, Tento, that has a variety of toilet paper options including floral, sea breeze and fresh morning scents.  Keep scrolling past the butt-scenting options, which is also patterned with sunshine, flower and shell motifs, and you will find peach and green which they market as a “pastel revitalization!”  Tento is available on Amazon, but you’ve got to buy 32 rolls and wait 3 weeks for shipment.  Maybe in a few years when my kid is the TPer we’ll make the investment.  For $55 you could really surprise a teenager in 2025 with a peach colored tree, although it’s tempting to greet them with a scented seashell patterned tree.  Thankfully I have a few years to ponder my choices.

In gratitude, Afthead style.

Thanks to Kathy for pointing out my forehead faux pas in my gratitude post.  Let’s try gratitude again, afthead style.

Thank you for bravery.

Thank you for this lake.

Thank you for these friends.

Thank you for adventures.

Thank you for this family.

Thank you for this life.

Only one forehead in the bunch of afthead memories from our vacation at my happy place this year.

Thank you for readers and for this blog. My heart is full.

Three Random Rants

A few things have been swirling around my mind lately and I need to get them off my chest.  Three rants are below and are unrelated and unequal in magnitude.

#1: The acceptance of Caitlyn Jenner does not mean that the good ol’ USA is like Brave New World or 1984

Okay, folks, let’s chat shall we?  Regardless of how you feel about Caitlyn Jenner, her choices, or the attention the media is giving her can we try to agree on one thing?  Who she is and the choices she made has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the classic novels 1984 and Brave New World.  This Washington Post article drawing similarities to conservative’s apocalyptic views and those two books has left my friends and family sick of listening to me.  There was no freedom and no individuality in those books!  That was the point!  Yes, there were all kinds of perversity happening, but not this kind of perversity, if you consider this a perversity.  Do conservatives not know that those who don’t agree with them worry that their policies direct us into the world of Big Brother and sameness?  Pick another metaphor people!

Phew. On a non-rant note, I really appreciated Laverne Cox’s take on Caitlyn’s unveiling.  At my local bagel shop there was an employee who had manicured nails, make-up, and a husky female voice and she/he didn’t look like Caitlyn or Laverne.  I don’t know which gender she/he most identified with, but she/he was always polite, always had a smile for me, and was really a happy person.  Working at a bagel shop isn’t going to give you the means to become Caitlyn, and that’s okay, so long as people respect who you are on the inside and outside.  I hope she brings us a step closer to this kind of universal respect.

#2  Toilet stall doors that close by default are a horrible design

Okay, I hate walking into a restroom where all the doors are closed regardless of whether or not there is someone in the stall.  Who decided that was a good idea?  Walking around hunched over peering under doors or through cracks makes me feel like a hunchback voyeur.  Make the doors open by default.  Also, this format causes unnecessary lines for those unwilling to be creepy or rude.

#3  Hobbies and avocations are unexpected bridge builders

I met a new client this week who introduced herself by saying, “Oh, I know you.  The owner at the local knitting shop said to watch for you at work.”  Uh, what?  This new client liked me before I ever met her because she knew I was a knitter.  How awesome is that?

The end of random ranting.  I feel better now.

The Liebster Award

Well, as a result of a recent follower/followee relationship I have been nominated for the Liebster Award.  Thank you so much Kwoted by K E Garland!  If you haven’t read any of her stuff, check her out. She’s a great storyteller with a unique perspective.

As part of receiving this award I have a bunch of questions to answer.  It’s like blogging award homework.  So, without further ado:

1. Plastic or paper?

If I don’t remember my own bags, it’s plastic.  I’d rather sacrifice a plastic than a tree.  We have this thing that looks like a pregnant patchwork maggot that holds our plastic bags until we can recycle them.

2. Book before movie or movie before book?

I am a snob about this question.   Book before the movie, always.  I read upwards of 50 books a year and see six movies if I am lucky.  (Not including repeats of kid movies.)  If I waited for the movie I’d never read anything.  Also, I like reading the unabridged story before seeing the abridgment on the big screen.

3. Oprah or Ellen?

I’m not a big talk show person, but I have to go with Oprah.  Although, I’ve most recently seen Ellen on some HGTV design  show.  They are both strong, passionate women, but having lived in Chicago for a couple of years nudges Oprah ahead in my book.   “You get a car!  You get a car!”

4. Writing in public or writing in your home?

Writing at home, preferably in my studio with the door shut and space heater on surrounded by my fabric and yarn.

5. Married or single?

Married to a vocabulary challenged mate.  (Love you Mr. Afthead!)

6. Dog or cat?

I hate this question.  I always feel unpatriotic when I say I don’t like dogs.  Cat.  Two of them usually, but one is sick right now.  I also have a hamster, snails and pillbugs in my house (on purpose.)

7. Healthy lifestyle or who cares?

Well this is a tough one.  From a working out and physical health perspective I’d pick healthy lifestyle.  I try to run 2-3 times a week and used to do crazy things like marathons and triathlons.  I get grouchy when I don’t work out.  However, as I finish off a bag of Hot Tamales with a Diet Dr Pepper, I can state with certainty that I don’t practice a healthy lifestyle when it comes to food.

8. City or Suburbs?

City.  I’ve lived in New York and Chicago.  I want to retire in San Francisco, at least for awhile.  My theory is that people only live in the suburbs because they get lost in the maze of similarly named cul-de-sacs, ways, circles and lanes and just give up and buy a house at 123 SE Marigold Way.  Once they move in their neighbors tell them how to get to Walmart after they pay their HOA fees and join the pool.

9.  Limited choice or complete freedom?

I guess limited choice, even though it makes me squirm in my chair to write that down.  I believe that people should wear motorcycle helmets because if they fall someone else is going to have to pick their brains off the road.  I won’t ride bikes with someone not wearing a helmet because I don’t want to be the brain cleaner-upper.  I think complete freedom is great so long as you are a hermit living in a cave by yourself and your choices only impact you.  (Trust me, sometimes I really want to go live in a cave, but I would wear a helmet in case a rock slide hit me in the head and some unsuspecting future hermit found me with my grey matter leaking out.)  Brains play a big part in this belief of mine.

10.  Rainy day or snowy day?

I live in Denver, so snowy days happen frequently.  Rainy days are limited to spring, especially right-now-ish,  I love the smell of rain.  I love sleeping when it is raining.  I love the sound of rain and thunder.  I love my raincoat.  I like the word galoshes.  I gotta go with rain.

11. Writing on a device or writing by hand?

Writing on a device.  Man, if I had to write by hand no one would ever understand a word I put to paper, including me.  Terrible handwriting coupled with terrible spelling makes writing by hand a bad choice for me.  If it was 1915 instead of 2015 I’d have no dreams of being a writer.  Even I can’t read my chicken scratches.

This was fun!  Thanks again to Ms. Kwoted at https://kwoted.wordpress.com/ for the nomination.  My blog picks for this award will be coming soon, so write something awesome!