A Writer's Journey

July 17, 2017

2017 Reading Challenge Update

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It’s halfway through the year so I thought I would update you on how I’m doing on my goal to read more this year. On Goodreads, I set a goal of 12 books (one book for each month). How am I doing?

I’m actually on target! That’s right, I read six books through June and I just finished my seventh. If I play my cards right, I hope to have the eighth finished by the end of the month.

Maybe even the ninth.

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July 14, 2017

I Dream of Paris…

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I knew that when I got to high school, I wanted to study French. And I did, even though Spanish probably would’ve been more useful. I was one of eleven girls in my high school class who learned the language and we all got really close because our class was so small. We also learned about French culture and history, enjoying our lessons. Our one dream was to go to Disneyland Paris as a class.

However, we went to Catholic school so there definitely was no budget to send us to Paris. We had enough to go to Quebec in Canada, which was gorgeous and still gave us a chance to practice our French. And in college, I went abroad to England and don’t regret it.

There was a plan for a family vacation to France when I graduated college. We would visit Paris and my father wanted to go to Normandy, since his father landed at Utah Beach on D-Day. He also spent a month stationed at Marseilles. My grandfather didn’t speak much of his time in the war so I guess my father wanted to feel closer to that part of him. However, I graduated in 2008 just as the recession kicked in, so that trip got scrubbed. We went to Boston instead.

Yet, I still want to go to Paris. I would love to stroll down the streets of the City of Lights, take in the sights, take in the history and just be there. It would be a dream come true.

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July 10, 2017

Lessons Learned on Vacation

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I went to Walt Disney World during June. My father retired at the end of April and this was his celebration. So my parents, sister, aunt and I went down to spend a week at the Most Magical Place on Earth. At the end of that week, I learned some things about myself.

I am an adult.

No, that’s not a “I’m too old for Walt Disney World” realization. I firmly believe that you can never outgrow Disney World and that there’s plenty to do as an adult, even without a child.

It’s just a realization.

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July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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No matter what you think of our nation’s current affairs, I think we can all agree that today is a day to celebrate America. Just 24 hours of pure patriotism…a chance to just be Americans.

So Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Americans!

Personally, I love the Revolutionary era. I can’t get enough of it—and that includes going down to Colonial Williamsburg. I loved the John Adams miniseries and, of course, Liberty’s Kids. And I can quote 1776 like nobody’s business.

So, yes, I will be watching that today. I’m not sure what you’ll be watching to celebrate but I hope you enjoy your day!

Remember to be careful today. Wear plenty of sunscreen if you’re outside, stay hydrated, practice water safety, practice firework safety (if they are legal where you live. If they aren’t, please don’t shoot them off), and drink responsibility.

Now, I’m off to my pool and our 4th of July party!

April 17, 2017

A Reflection on Being 30

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My birthday was on April 1st. Yes, I’m an April Fool’s baby. It sometimes sucks (though it’s been years since I’ve gotten a gag gift) but it’s kinda awesome as well. We April Fool babies tend to flock to each other and share some kind of bond when we meet up with each other.

I can’t believe a whole year has gone by already. So, how was thirty?

Not too bad. It probably could’ve been better, but all in all, I liked it.

Let’s get the bad out of the way. Of course, my grandmother died. I still miss her every day but I know she’s in a better place. I also lost my great aunt, Jennie, another strong woman in my life.

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April 4, 2017

Long Live Outlaw Queen

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This entry started off as something completely different. It goes back to this entry where I wrote about how the writers of Once Upon a Time were bringing Robin Hood (Sean Maguire) back for a multi-episode arc. That arc began at the very end of Episode 10 (“Wish You Were Here”) when Regina (Lana Parrilla) encountered a version of Robin Hood in a realm created by a wish made by the Evil Queen, and ended two Sundays ago with Episode 14 (“Page 23”).

When Once came back after the winter hiatus (“Tougher Than the Rest”), Regina pursued Robin to find out if his life was better without her. She found out this Robin lost Marian before he could marry her and never became a thief with honor, stealing for himself rather than giving it to the poor. He admitted that he wasn’t happy and that it seemed the other version of him had a good life, even if it was cut short. Robin and Regina still had that connection, that pull, and they popped thanks to Parrilla’s and Maguire’s chemistry. Emma (Jennifer Morrison) suggested Regina take Robin back with them to Storybrooke and he agreed.

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February 20, 2017

Traveling, Traveling, Traveling…

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It’s February and I already have a lot of trips planned for 2017, it seems.

In fact, it started this past weekend with a trip up to Corning, NY to visit my cousin and her kids. Corning is a quaint little city best known for glass and other kitchenware, but it’s pretty picturesque. It’s also wine country and I’ve been meaning to go on a wine tour up there.

Maybe this summer?

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January 24, 2017

Another Farewell

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Almost two months ago, I wrote a post after the passing of my great aunt.

Now I write this post after the passing of my grandmother.

Yeah, 2017 is off to a great start, huh?

I hope you detected the sarcasm.

My grandmother passed late on Friday, January 6th. She had been battling several conditions—including breast cancer and COPD—for years. There were times in the past when we thought it was the end but she would bounce back. She was definitely a fighter.

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December 20, 2016

Christmastime is Here

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Can you feel it?

That’s right—it’s almost Christmas!

Here in the Northeast, we had a cold snap. We’ve even seen snow! However, temperatures have started to rise again, so it’s likely we won’t have a White Christmas. We most likely won’t have another scenario like last year though, when it felt more like Easter than Christmas.

Lights are going up all over the place. (Some started well before Thanksgiving around me). They are absolutely beautiful and somewhat magical. And quite elaborate too. I have to imagine it takes them almost all day to put everything up. I’d love to do something nice (though maybe not as elaborate) when I have a place of my own, but I don’t know if I’d have the patience, you know?

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November 14, 2016

Farewell to a Special Lady

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Last week was a crazy one.

And not just because of the election.

(Though the election was a crazy one. Definitely one we’ll be reading about in years to come).

Wednesday morning, my great-aunt passed away five days short of her 91st birthday.

My Aunt Jennie was a spitfire who only slowed down because her body broke down. Her mind was still sharp as a tack and her tongue just as sharp until the very end.

She was the youngest of four children and was close to her sisters, including my grandmother. Following my great-grandmother’s death, though, my great-aunt decided to go live with relatives in South Carolina. So she was close with her cousins down there as well as their families. In the past few years, she tried to go down as often as she could to be with her cousins and I know it was a relief to my Aunt Pauline to have her there following the death of Aunt Aphrodite.

Aunt Jennie married my Uncle George and had one son, James. (Called Jimmy). But she also had a large role in raising her niece and nephews, my father included. They are all like siblings and I don’t call them “aunt” and “uncle” just because it’s respectful.

Last year, I wrote in her birthday card that I want to be her when I grow up. My cousin called me a brown-noser but it was the truth. Aunt Jennie did not let age slow her down. She became an auxiliary police officer, acted in an off-off Broadway play, was a Red Apple Lady at LaGuardia Airport, and did so much more. She was more active than I am now and I’m young. She was definitely a model for the theory that age is only a number.

So goodbye, Aunt Jennie. We will miss you but take comfort that you lived a full life. I also know that you are with your husband, your parents and your siblings again. We will meet again one day and I’m sure you’ll have lots of stories to tell.

Hopefully, so will I.

Rest in Peace.

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