For those of you who read by blog titled “Word!” (for those of you who didn’t….for shame! haha..no. It was all these random cool facts I found out about words) I have a funny story that involved a word…a ridiculously long word from that blog. Image

I was chatting with my Mom on the phone, telling her about my fairly recent start at blogging and how helpful it is reading other people’s blogs for novel writing and life inspiration and laughs.

I am the type of person that LOVES finding out random facts and stories and I MUST TELL them to people!

So in our conversation I am suddenly burst out, full of excitement, “Mom! Oh my gosh you have to guess how long the longest word in the dictionary is!” (Yes….nerdy History major/English minor alert!) My Mom gives a few low-ball guesses before I just blurt out, “Forty-five letters long!” I proceed to attempt to tell her from memory the word is:  pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis- a disease in the lungs caused by inhaling very fine irritant particles. Of course I butcher the pronunciation, the word I told her sounded more like, “Pneumo…bla..bla…bla…bla…osis.” After a few futile attempts to pronounce the word I add in, “Just trust me mom…it is a CRAZY word.” My Mom is taking nursing classes so she is very into medical terminology and is intrigued by the word. She says, “Send me a text of what the word looks like…I want to see it!”

A few days later I write the word on a slip of scrap paper from work so I can copy it via text and send it to Mom.  It doesn’t quite fit in one line on the piece of paper so I split the word. It looked like this on the note:

pneumonoultramicroscopicsi

icovolcanoconiosis

I also got my paycheck that day. Since my purse is a scary black hole that eats paper I decide the best thing to do is put my scrap piece of paper with the word pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolanoconiosis beside my paycheck in the envelope that came with the check…won’t be losing THAT in my purse (we hope). I’m brilliant I know. The work day is a full one and on the way back I don’t make it to the bank on time. No biggie. I slip the Imageenvelope with my paycheck into the night drop and drive off grateful my account is soon to be replenished.

Yesterday I got a little letter in the mail from the bank. It has my deposit receipt and… a note attached to a scrap piece of paper with a very long…yet cryptic-looking word on the said piece of paper. The note read, “We found this along with your deposit….we thought you may need it.”

I laughed.

I couldn’t believe they actually sent me my scrap piece of paper for starters. Secondly I got to thinking what they must have thought about the word. They were probably like, “Ummm….what the??” Not everyday you open a deposit envelope and find a check and a mysterious piece of paper with a jumble of 45 letters on it. I can’t help but wonder if they thought it was some kind of password…a crazy…unbreakable password….or that I was some crazy person. Haha!

Have you ever accidentally “deposited” something that wasn’t supposed to be deposited?

 

Here is a good quote I found…doesn’t have anything really to do with my

crazy long word I accidentally gave to the bank

but always a good reminder!

Image

 

 

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Book Store Find, Bethany Beach

This past weekend I got the chance to visit a place where a I got to discover a new and adorable book store.

Location: Bethany Beach, Delaware.

Driving to Bethany Beach was an experience in itself. I expected the tiny state of Delaware to be packed with houses and buildings. Instead, there were fields of wheat that looked like they belonged in Spain, a bunch of side-of-the-road fruit and vegetable stands, even homemade ice cream and cheese stores. The drive was picturesque with plenty of winding roads and rural scenery.

When I got to Bethany Beach I was amazed to see a town with quaintness and charm and yet full of that exciting boardwalk atmosphere. The main street is lined with white beach-style buildings Imagehousing food, candy stores, beach wear, surf shops, boardwalk fries and funnel cakes, and….a book store. Bethany Beach Books has been around for 20 years and it is fabulous! Painted white and red and featuring a rounded room full of windows this book store was the perfect place to pick up a novel and bring it to the beach…which was like 200 feet away. I walked inside making the door bell jingle and immediately felt happiness flow through me. Books books and more books. Aisles of books, shelves of books, rows of books. The entire store was filled with that relaxed beach vibe. The latest and most popular novels were well stocked and extremely organized. After walking around the round room with glass windows I noticed pictures on the walls. A bunch of pictures of novelists that have been to Bethany Beach Books. AWESOME! Then  I noticed a bunch of the books had been signed. Not just one or two…there were dozens of autographed novels! What a cool experience this was; I only wished one of the authors Imagewould have been there for a reading! Perhaps next time I can plan it better. Other things happening at Bethany Beach Books : There are photography contests , Where’s Waldo Search, and other fun activities.

This book store was also great because it was right in the thick of things. A coffee house was two doors down, a live music arena was a few feet away and the beach was right there. There were people everywhere ( we all seemed to bond as the World Cup game was going on! It was awesome! Everyone cheered and booed together. What a great beach town atmosphere!) but plenty of beach and plenty of places to steal away and dig into a novel.

Where are some of your favorite summer bookstores?

visiting Delaware? visit http://www.bethanybooks.com

photo credit: bethanybeachbooks

 

The young boy, Han Velsing, stood frozen in fear. The snow covered world around him suddenly filled with an unholy presence. He felt his eyes burn from the evil that permeated the air. He knew what was coming. He heard the thrust of powerful wings bat the air and then the crunch of snow when it landed. Sweat began to trickle down Han’s forehead even though it was bitterly cold. His predator stood towering in front of him. The Vampire’s skin was white as a porcelain picture. His cheeks were sucked in and hollow. He smiled wickedly, showing off his sharp teeth. Han dashed away knowing it was pointless. In seconds the vampire thrust Han brutally into the snow. Han’s trembling fingers gripped the item in his pocket. It was something his Mother always told him to carry with him for good luck. As the Vampire’s fangs lunged towards him, Han screamed and shoved the pungent “good luck” charm in the beast’s face. The Vampire screamed like a mountain lion and his body began to convulse violently. He thrashed and jerked and then was still. Han had killed the monster. Amazed, Han stared at the object that saved his life….a clove of garlic.


 

Garlic…the ancient herb

This bulb which is  bursting with flavor, is probably one of the most usedGArlic spices around the world…or at least in my kitchen. I am a garlic fanatic!It is one of those staple ingredients that is a MUST in every kitchen and for every cook. Just take one whiff of a garlic bulb and you will know that it is a strong cooking ingredient when used raw, however when you cook it the garlic sweetens.

  Garlic has been used by people all over the world for ages. Not just centuries; we’re talking THOUSANDS of years.  The exact time garlic was cultivated isn’t certain, but it was grown in Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C. Culturally, garlic has been a prized spice.

In Egypt,  “Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids 583px-037_1941_-_Great_Pyramid_at_Giza_Egypt_by_Tom_Beazley_03and were placed in Tutankhamen tomb.” -from Spice Islands Website.

In the works of Hippocrates, Pliny the Elder, the Bible, Homer and several other famous historic documents have noted garlic in their writings used as medication.

Garlic was given to the ancient Greek athletes when they were competing in the Olympics.

Garlic was believed by many cultures to increase strength and endurance.

In many countries, garlic was a staple food for soldiers.

Henry IV of France was baptized in water with cloves of garlic.

Garlic was hung on door posts and around necks to ward off evil spirits. In Europe it was believed it would ward off werewolves , demons and evil spirits, The Plague, and rabid animals (probably how the werewolf legend was born).

According to a Korean legend garlic was considered to be sacred food.

China is the largest producer of garlic…23 billion pounds are grown annually. WOW!

Garlic is full of vitamin C and research shows it is a cholesterol fighter, cancer fighter, fights infections and has anti-aging properties.

It has been referred to as “The Stinking Rose”.

Different cultures all over the world seemed to believe that garlic was good for pulmonary disorders and respiratory disorders as well as being beneficial to the cardiovascular system.

The only thing I don’t quite enjoy about garlic is the way it makes your hands and breathe REEK. There have been times when I have chopped garlic and scrubbed my hands 10 times and still the smell remains. And when it’s in my mouth? No toothpaste, no mouthwash, no liquid can seem to rid that horrid smell. During my garlic research I found that parsley is something that will kill garlic breath. I haven’t tried it but I will! One thing I have tried is swishing my mouth out with organic, unrefined coconut oil; it seems to get rid of the smell/flavor for the most part.

Garlic is really good for you and it is so easy to add this ancient ingredient to practically all of your cooking. Sprinkle garlic into your pasta, dice it and add it to vegetables, put it in your marinades (always turns out good), make homemade ranch dressing (That’s what I do! you need 1 clove of garlic, lots of dill, chives, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, a little bit of milk

This stuff is from heaven!

This stuff is from heaven!

and salt and pepper. Toss is a blender and walla! Ranch Dressing goodness!). Use in olive oil with Parmesan and Italian Spices for bread dipping oil.  Basically, garlic is what’s for dinner!

Are there any special ways you use garlic?

 

Sources:

The American Society for Nutritional Sciences, “Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic”; Wikipedia; Spice Islands; Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy.

While we don’t know the exact date garlic was first cultivated, we know it was grown in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC. Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids and were placed in King Tutankhamun’s tomb – See more at: http://www.spiceislands.com/Adjustable_Grinders/Garlic_and_Herb_Adjustable_Grinder#sthash.WcfwA8iF.dpuf
While we don’t know the exact date garlic was first cultivated, we know it was grown in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BC. Garlic bulbs were fed to the Egyptians who built the pyramids and were placed in King Tutankhamun’s tomb – See more at: http://www.spiceislands.com/Adjustable_Grinders/Garlic_and_Herb_Adjustable_Grinder#sthash.WcfwA8iF.dpuf

“How I Met Your Mother”- Father’s Day Tribute

A Dad and Mom story in honor of Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day) ….

I’ve called my father, “Daddy” my entire life and my Mother I’ve called “Mom”; the main reason I can think I did this is because Mom was “the boat shoesenforcer” of rules and Daddy was the “treat buyer and gift giver”. With no sons and six daughters my Dad is a total softy! Dads are important and I can’t even begin to describe how thankful I am for my AMAZING Dad.

My Dad has black hair with just a few stray hairs. He is 5 ft 8inch and built. I think having muscles comes easier to him than most people or something!His olive skin is lined with just a few wrinkles on his forehead and by the corners of his light brown eyes. In a nut-shell, my Dad looks like he stumbled upon the fountain of youth.

When he and my Mom met, he was a young Air Force cadet that had traveled the world. He has seriously been the coolest places..I’m so jealous!

Here is their story: 

“How I Met Your Mother”

My Mom had gone to Colorado to live with her sister and experience life away from the small Illinois town she grew up in. My Mom is a fighter with a work ethic like no other. With no job lined up she headed for the Rocky Mountains and ended up working at the movie theater on the Air Force Base. Mom has always been devoted to staying active and eating healthy. (once she went on this super organic-like dandelion and tree leaf eating organic diet. One time my grandma put a poisonous leaf in her salad as a joke…and my poor Mom ate it! I’ll share that story one of these days!) Quickly after settling in, she was running on the treadmill and lifting small weights at the gym on base.

My Dad was a wanna-be-body builder at the time. His life was filled with Protein, Protein Shakes, Vegetables, Lean Meat and an untouchable three hour allotment of “lifting” time in the gym.  He was a city-boy who grew up in a rundown apartment in the crowded city of Chicago.

When he first saw my Mom  at the theater he was transfixed on her beauty. With her elbow length nut-brown hair, long and

Don't worry...my Dad didn't look like Arnold!

Don’t worry…my Dad didn’t look like Arnold!

elegant neck and cute slightly up-turned nose-she was stunning! He wanted to ask her for her number right then and there. As he tried to come up with some kind of debonaire thing to say he headed towards her window. He stared at her blankly for a few realizing up close she was ridiculously pretty.

“Hi, how are you?” she asked smiling, her eyes twinkling with mischievousness.

My Dad opened his mouth but NOTHING came out.

She stared at him looking confused. “Sir?”

He sputtered out the movie he wanted to see and after paying fled away from her presence. He felt like kicking himself, but he was used to this feeling. That was his flaw…he could not talk to pretty girls…even if his life depended on it.
2 days later…

My Dad was at the gym…his muscles burning as he lifted the dumbbells. He threw down the weights on a spongy blue mat and mopped his forehead with his towel. The gym, like most gyms was equipped with about 400 mirrors. My Dad looked in the mirror as he took a swig from his water bottle of his now lukewarm water and suddenly he nearly fell over. Among the body builders, fat fighters and buzz cuts was a girl…not just any girl..the girl. The girl from the theater! It was like fate had brought her here. His water bottle fell from his hand sending water flying across his work out partner as it hit the floor.

Jill, his work-out partner, flung herself up and grabbed the water bottle and locked eyes with my Dad’s eyes, lethally. Jill was the only girl my Dad could seem to talk to; it was probably because all of the protein and steroids she had taken that caused her to look more like a man than a woman. “What the heck!” She demanded in her deep woman body-builder voice.

“S-sorry,” My Dad mumbled still staring at the girl from the theater.

Jill followed his gaze and then rolled her eyes. “Why don’t you just focus on the workout and stop checking out every girl you see!” she said and swiftly picked up a 30Lb dumbbell like it was made of feathers.

“That’s not just any girl…its the movie theater girl!”

Jill put down the weight and put her hand on where her hips had once been. She raised a pointy eyebrow, “Her?”

My Dad nodded.

“What are you waiting for? Go talk to her!” Jill snapped her towel playfully at my Dad.

“Ouch!” My Dad winced as the “playful” towel slap made contact with his skin.

“Wait…Pete, she looks REALLY young. Like…really young.”

My Dad studied my Mom as she prepared to do leg lifts. Something about her looked younger than he remembered…that he couldn’t deny. “She’s not wearing make-up like she was last time.” He said.

Jill shook her head forcefully. “No, No. She’s gotta be like 18; maybe 19-tops. And a 19 year old is gonna want nothing to do with a 26 year old. She’s gonna think you’re an old man!”

My Dad wasn’t gonna give up. Something in his heart seemed to whisper not to let this girl go.

He took a step towards her…then another…then another…then-he was running back to Jill, petrified.

“You really have a problem you know that! I think you need to see someone!” Jill said wiping off the condensation that had gathered near her reseeding hair line.

“Wait! You could go talk to her for me!”

Jill looked at the girl. “Are you for real?”

“Please! You owe me!” He begged her and then said, “Remember that time when the guys at Big–

Jill flung her hand in his face immediately silencing him. “Fine!” She hissed.

My Dad watched barely breathing as Jill strolled over to my Mom. All he could see was Jill and the girl laughing and then Jill pointed at him. He waved feeling totally dorky.

Jill came back over with a smug look of accomplishment plastered on her face. She waved a piece of paper in her hand. “Now no one owes anybody anything!” she said and handed my Dad the paper with the girl’s name, Patricia, and a phone number. “But,” Jill added, “She is 19 just like I guessed. Gosh I’m good. So…good luck with that!”

My Dad hardly heard her. He felt like he could fly he was so full of happiness. He smiled at “Patricia” and she flashed a smile back.

It was history.

The funny part of this story is that when my Dad took my Mom on their first date, he literally told my Mom he was only 22…three years older than her. And we didn’t find out till YEARS later ( I was 10!) that he was really was 4 years older than we all thought. We all thought he was pulling some kind of crazy joke. He looked so young…ridiculously young. He had to show us his birth certificate to prove it! My Mom was furious of course…at first but now we all think it’s hysterical that he got away with that for so long!quote-heaven


 

The cool thing about my parents is that they didn’t come from great backgrounds. They came from broken families. I’m so thankful that my Mom and Dad decided their lives didn’t have to be that way. They decided they would be different and their family would be different and filled with love. Yes, they make mistakes(my Dad lied about his age for years!) but I wouldn’t trade them for the world. If you come from a broken family or don’t have good parents…you can lead a different path. You can be an awesome Father or Mother.