Blogging, Daily Prompt, Photography, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Say Your Name: Schelley

Can you spell that?

I’ve always said that my mom must have really wanted me to be a good speller considering she named me “Schelley.” Think about having to spell that name correctly in Kindergarten! I’m convinced that’s why I did turn out to be a great speller, walking dictionary that I am.

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I was recently asked by a fellow blogger, whose last name is Schell, how often did people ever spell my name correctly? Ha! I replied that not even the school I attended Kindergarten-12th grade could get it right! My BFF from high school told her daughter that if she wanted to get on my good side, to make sure she spelled my name correctly! (Which she did, by the way.)

So apparently, spelling Schelley is no easy feat. Sometimes reading it aloud isn’t either (think of Schelley being pronounced as “school.”) No, I’m not Skelly, I’m Schelley. Yes, with the c.

And that’s not the only way to spell Schelley. You can drop the c (Shelley). You can drop the e (Shelly, Schelly). You can even drop the ey and use ie (Shellie, Schellie). Or you can drop the S (Chelly, Chelley, Chellie, Chelle). No wonder the confusion!

But wait … that’s not even my real name! Huh?

Schelley is just my nickname for Michelle (that’s where the “c” comes from); neither of my parents ever called me “Michelle.” I used to joke that when I answered the phone and the other person asked for “Michelle,” I knew it was a telemarketer. If you call me “Michelle,” you don’t know me. Because I’m really Schelley.

“So, mom,” I asked a long, long time ago, “why did you name me Michelle but always call me Schelley?”

“Well,” mom replied, “I loved the name Michelle, but it was too popular when you were born, so I just called you Schelley.”

I’m so glad she did. I’m really not a Michelle, that’s just an official name on my marriage license, mortgage deed, driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, paycheck, etc., you know, all those important papers. The paper trail in the financial and legal world knows me as Michelle. But to the rest of the world, I’m really a Schelley.

With a c. And an e.

You know what’s really funny? My middle name is “Mari.” No, it’s not pronounced as Mary, as I’ve had to explain numerous times, it’s pronounced just like Marie (but without the e).

But you can just call me Schelley.

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This was today’s daily prompt. Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

You can join, too! http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/daily-prompt-name/

Creativity, Daily Prompt, Photography, Uncategorized, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Daily Prompt: All About Me: What Is It?!?

The concept is simple: to post a photograph daily for 365 days, but not just any photograph, instead, macro photographs. And not just macro photographs, but to create images of ordinary objects that no longer look familiar to you, the reader. When you look at these pictures, you think, “what is it?!?”

Merge these funky photographs with some quotes, some writing, a little poetry, sometimes a little humor, and the “What Is It?!? A 365-Day Project in Perspective” blog was born. The title just seemed to fit.

The idea was the inspiration from Noah Scalin’s book, “365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life!  Besides the premise of doing something creative for 365 days (and creating this blog as suggested), that’s about all I managed to follow from this book. But that’s me. I’ve never kept the lines inside of the box. I’m the one that colors outside the lines, makes my own pattern, and meanders down a different road. I love to explore!

But I needed something to corral my creative energy and this book was exactly the tool I needed to start my latest adventure. See, one of my problems is I like to do everything creative, that means I’ve drawn, painted, carved, tie-dyed, crocheted, sewed, ceramics, pottery, origami, jewelry, macrame, celtic art, scrapbooking, mosaics, just to name a few … see, I could probably tell you what I haven’t done, that list would be shorter! Unfortunately, I start many, many projects but rarely finish one. So I thought maybe I can start this project and actually see it to its end. So far, we’re at day number 44. I’ve got a ways to go.

My premise is you can take these ordinary objects, and by looking at them differently, whether at a different angle, upside down, sideways, and really close up, your perception changes. Take this object out of context and suddenly you don’t know what it is anymore! What looks like a zipper, a tool, or a grater is really an earring. The picture that looks like foam on a latte, cinnamon on whipped cream, an orange, foam at the beach, or the inside of a shell is actually a gemstone. The thing that looks like a gemstone? It’s really an ice cube.

So I invite you to join “What Is It?!?” A 365-Day Project in Perspective.” and peruse my daily mystery “what is it?!?” picture. Each day I post a new, wacky photograph, in addition to a “What Was That?!? Yesterday’s Picture” section, where I give you the answer for the previous day’s image. Sometimes I even post another picture to show you a different perspective of the same object.

You can play along! My hope is this blog continues to grow and becomes interactive. Because I bet your perspective will change once you look at something differently.

What Is It?!?” Take a look and tell me your perspective.

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The Daily Prompt: About Me: Explain why you chose your blog’s title and what it means to you.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/daily-prompt-all-about-me/

Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap – eBook or Printed?

I have always loved books; as a child, a book fair at school was pure heaven. The book store was even better! I was a library-card holding book worm! My books became cherished items – just as much or more so – than my toys. When I was 12, I asked for a dictionary for Christmas, and was uber delighted in this huge, mammoth book of words that Santa delivered. I still have that dictionary.

Words, words, words. My entire career has been built around words. I am a lover of the printed word. My bookshelves overflow with way too many books and not enough shelves. The books are three rows deep! And all over the place.

So when the Daily Post posed the question of whether we prefer eBooks over printed books (and to blog about it, thus, this post), my mind became a quandary. I am torn. I love both.

Honestly, I did not think I’d ever like reading on an electronic device – and resisted doing so for quite some time. And a disclaimer here: I love my technological gadgets! But I thought “there’s no way I’d ever like this over a real book.” And then my hubby gave me an electronic reader. I found it … easy to use!

And easy to buy books! Holy smokes, I can buy a book on this device and be reading in less than a minute! I don’t need storage space on my bookshelves for this book. And when I finish said book in less than three days, guess what … I can order another one! Painless ordering. Talk about instantaneous gratification, I am spellbound. I am hooked.

I don’t even want to know how many books I breezed through over the course of just last year. Most of them were on the technological gadgets – note that plural use – and found that I enjoyed it. I could purchase a book on one device and read it on multiple gadgets, even my computer!

But I felt like I was cheating.

Seriously! Because with an eBook, I can read anything, at any time, buy a book at 3:22 in the morning if I want, read that book in the dark because my iPad, iPhone, or Kindle Fire are all back lit. No need for lights or tiny book lights. I can prop up my device and read hands free!

But I’m not shopping in the local bookstore. Where I live, we have already lost Borders, a Barnes & Noble, and a Books A Million. I love book stores! I love perusing book cover designs, it’s the artwork or the wording that normally lures me. It’s kind of hard to do that on an electronic device (even if you do see a thumbnail image).

I don’t ever get a chance to put my imprint on that printed book if I’m reading it as an eBook. There’s something beautiful about a book that has been read many times, with all of its cracks in the spine, the worn edges of pages, the whiff of old book smell. It’s kind of hard to experience that on an electronic device. (I’m not holding my breath for the invention of eSniff devices!)

So I’m truly torn in claiming devotion for either the eBook or printed book. Although there are so many advantages of the eBooks (that instant dictionary feature by clicking a word is awesome, by the way), I feel disloyal to those printed relics crammed on my bookshelves.

Last week I took my 10-year old son to the book store, relishing the fact that he requested to go, and enjoyed a good meandering through the racks and racks of that printed word. Words, words, words, I can’t get enough!

I picked up the Life of Pi and quickly knew it would be accompanying me home, regardless of if there’s space or not on the overflowing bookshelves. I won’t be able to read it at night without a light, can’t look up a word just by clicking it, and I’ll have to actually turn the page. But I think I can live with that.

I can’t wait!

P.S. Please don’t tell my books but I plan on reading on my eBook devices again. 🙂

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http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/weekly-writing-challenge-mind-the-gap-2/

Photography, Uncategorized, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Super Sunday! In a Football Minute

In a Football Minute …

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I was just a mere teenager when I discovered the big difference between guys and girls (okay, I discovered just one of many big differences) – our perception of time. Time, such a simple concept, where a minute is composed of 60 seconds, an hour is composed of 60 minutes. That’s indisputable. But we opposite sexes don’t seem to function on the same clock, do we? Have you ever asked a member of that male species to do something and you hear this in return? “In a minute, honey.”

Yeah, right. In a football minute you mean. Because in your world, a minute is not necessarily 60 seconds, is it? Not in a football minute.

Because in the American game of football (not to be confused with soccer!), which is composed of four 15-minute quarters, you’d think the game would end within an hour, right? But this sport does not last anywhere near an hour, it can last for hours! Because remember, football is composed of football minutes. Sixty entire instances of football minutes, oh my gosh!, we could be here all day!

In a football minute, there is no set time of 60 seconds – no, one minute could turn into two, or five, or even 10. But that time clock seems to never tick down. After all, there are breaks, time outs, referee disputes, lots of reasons why the clock stands still. A football minute is not 60 seconds.

So that’s my theory. The men’s internal time clock operates on football minutes. I have to think about this reality anytime I ask my husband (or even my son!) to do something. “I’ll do it in a minute, in just a minute!”

Sigh. I know that nothing ever happens in a minute in their world. Yes, honey, I know you’ll get it done.

In a football minute.

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P.S. It only took me a couple of decades to finally write this piece. That’s because I was operating on football minute time! 🙂

Life, Weekly Writing Challenge, Writing

Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words

Circle of Life

We’ve all heard of the “circle of life,” if you’ve ever seen The Lion King (Disney movie), you know all about the circle of life in the animal kingdom.

But it’s the same for us human folks, too. There’s a circle of life, whether we see it or not. For me, I personally got to feel that circle.

Flashback: Forty-six years ago, my mom gave birth to me, and she was the first one to welcome me into this life. Of course, being a newborn infant, I don’t remember a single thing. But my mom did, and she certainly let me know all about the severe back pain my birth caused her. Not to mention I was about two weeks late! Trust me, I apologized since I now know what it’s like to give birth. Alas, my son made up for that two-week lateness, as he came two weeks early. The circle evens out.

Flashback: It’s December 30th, 2011, I am in the Big Bend Hospice house with my mom’s best friend, Marie, who has been at her side ever since her fall the day after Christmas. It’s just the two of us, it’s late, the family already gone home. I hear the struggled breath of my mom.

I have given her permission to leave her body. I know that’s important to her, she believes that your soul has to be given the “thumbs up” to depart the body. She’s been waiting for this, for a very long time. Way before we ever made it this far, this close to the end of the circle, she has suffered at the end of a dialysis machine. The dialysis sucks. Her arm keeps on clotting where the plastic port has been surgically installed, and each time, requires more surgery. We’ve gone through this nine times so far. Mom claims her bucket list is full, she doesn’t want to suffer anymore. This is not the way to live, she says.

And I agree.

Flashback: The phone startles me awake, it’s just 8:00 in the morning, the day after Christmas. What a great Christmas we had, my mom finally had her wish fulfilled that my family and my brother’s family would all be together on Christmas Eve. I answer the phone … it’s my mom. She has fallen in the kitchen, she thinks she had passed out. It’s a blur while I frantically get dressed and grab my son. I might need him, as I have no idea what I’m going to face.

She’s on the floor, the tile floor. I cannot move her, and I know it’s time to call 911. I’ve got to get help from medical professionals, she’s in serious dire need. The ambulance ride is traumatizing as she screams in pain the entire way.

My mom has broken two vertebrae in her back. Almost two hours into the ordeal the ER finally gives her pain relief. Finally. The admitting doctor breaks the news to us, we’re talking at least 12 weeks in bed, and that’s after major surgery.

She looks at me. “I am not having any surgery. I am done. And you are NOT taking me to dialysis.”

Mom’s the boss. She knows what she wants. I know what she wants. I am not going to let them do surgery or take her to dialysis. Time starts to speed up. Rapidly.

Will the doctors give me grief like they did to my mother when her father was dying? “You mean you’re going to let your father starve to death by taking out his feeding tubes?” My grandfather was already gone, just a body on the bed. He had made his wishes known, my mom knew what to do. But just over 15 years ago, dying with dignity wasn’t “kosher.”

I need a referral to hospice, I tell the doctor. The head nurse said she would call. “I will make the call. You know what your mom wants, she has made it clear.” Wow, no guilt trips. Instead, a hug from a stranger.

Flashback: It’s Wednesday now, two days into this ordeal. My mom is already losing her mental facilities, the poison from her kidneys is slowly killing her brain, her heart, her organs. My brother rides with her to the hospice house. At least she knows who he is.

This woman on the bed here is not acting like my mom. She is crazy! She is throwing out crazy talk! But she is funny. Or maybe we’re just too in shock to do anything but laugh. Maybe we all need a moment of levity in this terrible time of sadness.

Flashback: It’s Thursday. It’s been a long, long day. The grandkids have all been hovering in her room, it’s kind of ironic, that her hospice room is like a resort. My mom loved to travel. I told her she was still in style. Dozens of friends come and go. There are only a few moments of clarity in my mom’s world. Now it’s night. It’s late. I’ve got to get home, get a shower, get ready for tomorrow. How long do we have? “I love you mom.”

“I love you too.” The last words my mom ever said to me. And I’m pretty sure that’s what she said to me when I was born. We’re closing in on that circle.

Flashback: Friday. My mom hasn’t uttered one word. She is not going to wake up. The doctor says it’s going to be soon. Friday night. My brother has just left. I am telling Marie what my sister-in-law has said to me, that we’re going to do a better job of being a family. That’s all my mom had wanted.

As soon as I say those words, about being a family, my mom takes her last breath.

I feel my mom’s soul move through me.

My mom welcomed me into the world, and now I turn her loose, she has left this Earthly plane. The circle of life is complete.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/writing-challenge-1000-words/#more-13580