Libby’s Post – The only vampire I know is a nerd

Courtesy of BFS Man via Flickr

Courtesy of BFS Man via Flickr

We met at a breakfast café early Wednesday morning, and I found out he was just like me. This corduroy-wearing, thin as a rail, nerd was just like me.

Mr. Brown Eyes arranged the whole thing. He said we had to meet–we had common interests. When I first saw the guy I thought: As If!

But he cut right to the chase. He was a vampire too. A big, nerdo vampire.

Who knew something like this even existed? You would think with natural selection or evolution nerd vampires would go extinct. But there he was, sitting across from me, looking at me though those nerd glasses.

Thanks a lot, Mr. Brown Eyes. You somehow figured out my secret and instead of setting me up with the guys from The Vampire Diaries, or even staking me, you set me up with this geek.

He sort of looked like this guy. (Image courtesy of Andres Vilas via Flickr)

He sort of looked like this guy. I guess. I mean they all sort of look the same. (Image courtesy of Andres Vilas via Flickr)

So, Nerdo Vamp yammered away, while I tried to hide my face from the other breakfast eaters. I have an image to protect you know.

He smoothed his plaid button down shirt with spindly fingers. “Well, Libby, now that we are both privy to each other’s situations. I must tell you the reason for our meeting.”

I nodded.

“You see, I am a financial planner, for vampires. Now before you dismiss me, let me explain further.” He removed a gold embossed business card from his shirt pocket. “Vampires, especially those new to the lifestyle, have difficulties far beyond that of an ordinary human. We must plan for centuries of turbulence, the unknown, a life that stretches far beyond our imagination. A life that will be filled with great angst if not properly prepared for.”

I dropped the card into my purse and took a sip of tea. Could Nerdo be any more of a buzz kill?

“First tell me how you knew I was a vampire,” I said, trying not to stare at the muffin crumb dangling from his lip.

“Well yes, of course. How rude of me to dive right into my pitch without explaining more about us. My partner, the man you sold the home to, I have trained him to detect vampires. The small nuances, the subtle clues that give our kind away.” He reached for a lemon wedge, nearly knocking his water over. “Well, I’ve always been clumsy. Even vampirism couldn’t cure that.” He gave a sheepish smile and squirted lemon juice everywhere, but in his water glass. “I am especially interested in new vampires. And there has been so much activity in North Carolina, the Raleigh area.”

I popped a grape into my mouth, acting only semi-interested. “So, what was it about me that gave it away?”

“Well, Libby, you were dare I say, easy to sniff out.” He patted his lips with the napkin, finally ridding his face of the offending crumb. “Your fangs came out while you were showing the house.”

Courtesy Marek Isalski via Flickr

Courtesy Marek Isalski via Flickr

I shook my head.

“Yes, Libby, when you took the tumble in the bedroom. You might not recall since you took quite the hit to the head.”

“Oh,” I covered my mouth. “I guess I’m not as good at hiding it as I thought.”

“Don’t be alarmed. Your skill will improve with time.” He stole a look at his watch. “Well, Libby, I better be off. Please, take a look at my website and I’m on Twitter too.” He paused and let out a loud nerd laugh.

I tried not to wince.

“Who would have thought I’d be on Twitter? An old-fashioned guy like me. I was anti-wheel when it first came out.” He let out another nerd laugh. “You know, because I’m so old. Get it?”

The couple across from us whispered a few select words.

“Yeah, I get it. Very clever.”

“Yes, indeed.” He scooped up his briefcase and shook my hand. “Well, Libby it has been a pleasure meeting  you and I look forward to future conversations.”

I wiped my palm on the tablecloth and slunk back in my chair. Like I need Nerdo’s help. Evan and I have plenty of money. And I’m smart. I’ll just invest in real estate or gold or something.

My phone buzzed with a new text message. It was Mr. Brown Eyes. Ugh. He was encouraging me to check out the website. These two were worse than that couple that wanted me to save the whales with them or whatever.

Fine. I clicked the link and gave a cursory look at the page, just to say I did it. But then a picture caught my eye. I hadn’t seen him in forever. But it was him. Oh my god it was him.

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

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Time to Celebrate – The Liebster Award!

Liebster AwardGuess what, everyone. I have been nominated for the Liebster Award again!. This time momof3isnuts was nice enough to nominate me!

The award is a way to recognize up and coming bloggers and encourage people to visit new/interesting blogs. First, I must answer the following questions…

1. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?

I’m going to say super-human strength. How great would it be to open all those jars by myself? Or carry all of the groceries in with one trip!

2. Which three people, living or not, would you invite to dinner? Why?

Ellen Degeneres (because she’s funny and seems super nice), Ernest Hemingway (you know, the whole writer thing) and Damon Salvatore from the Vampire Diaries. Not the actor, the actual vampire. Because I think it would make dinner that much more interesting.

3. Climbing? or Zip Lining?

Zip lining. I think I’m too out of shape for climbing…

4. If money were no object, what would you do all day?

Probably a mix of traveling, writing and crafting. Not all in the same day, that would be a lot.

5. What has been your biggest challenge?

Pushing myself to make the most of every day and not frittering it away with inconsequential things.

6. If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to?

England in 1587. It would be great research for my novels. And I’d probably have a greater appreciation for all our modern day luxuries–a day without a latte? Yikes!

7. If you could stay a certain age forever, what age would that be?

Probably 32. A nice mix of youth and experience.

8. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Oh, I wish I could sing or play an instrument. Music is such an amazing way to express yourself.

9. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

Somehow it feels like I have no free time… but I’m sure I do, I just have to figure out where I’ve put it. I’m going to say reading or playing on Pinterest.

10. What do you find beautiful?

The changing of the seasons, my husband’s smile and the compassion most people have for others.

And now, the other blogs I nominate for the award: 

Fruit and Family

The Crafty Coup

M.C. Dulac

Alystair White

Fictitious Fishes

Since this was the second time I’ve been nominated, I did a little research and discovered the origins of the Liebster are a little foggy and the rules have changed over time, with different versions of the award floating around out there. Some have you just list random facts about yourself, some have you only nominate 5 other bloggers, etc. So, for those of you that I’ve nominated feel free to accept or decline the award, participation is optional and nominate as many bloggers as you like.

Okay, so here are the rules: 

-Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
-Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
-Nominate up to 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
-Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
-Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them

Here are my 10 questions:

1. Do you believe in ghosts?

2. Have you/would you go skydiving?

3. Have you started your Christmas shopping?

4. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

5. What is the nicest thing someone has ever said to you/or done for you?

6. Where would you travel if money and time were no issue?

7. Which animal would you be most afraid to stumble upon: grizzly bear, great white shark or anaconda?

8. Who inspires you?

9. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

10. What has been your favorite thing about writing a blog?

Thanks and have fun!

Less Wordy Wednesday – A conversation between seals

Here comes Less Wordy Wednesday! Today I’m featuring a group of critters who popped out of the water to brighten your day. See the captions below to find out what they’re really thinking or saying to each other.

We’ll start with one of my favorites–the seal. These photos were taken in La Jolla, CA and by the number of pics I’ve posted you can tell they weren’t camera shy.

fuzzy seal

Oh, great. Look over there Stella, Bob’s having trouble pulling himself onto the rocks. Am I going to have to help him … AGAIN? Jeez, I just got dry.

climbing seal

I can do this. I can. I just wish everyone would stop staring. It’s the kelp. Yeah, it’s the kelp’s fault. It’s just so slippery. Hey, is Leroy laughing?

laughing seal

Bob, buddy, you’ve gotta hit the gym. Maybe do a few push-ups or something. You’re like a limp fish over there. Even the mollusks are laughing at you.

Another character that was all too happy to pose for the camera, although we were a little fearful, is the Louisiana Alligator.

Scary gator

I’m not hungry, just bored. Lean a little further this way…

Um, this was not taken with a zoom lens. We were in a small boat out in Cajun Country and our guide reassured us that it was too cold for the gators to eat (it was February). Right after that he informed us the gator could be in our boat in seconds if he really wanted to. Very reassuring. I will say he didn’t move at all, I’m not even sure he blinked. Different from the ones we’ve seen kayaking in Georgia and the Carolinas, but that’s a whole other story.

And now, the best for last. They’re not really the prettiest creatures and they’re not really hard to come by. The experience was just so bizarre I had to include it. The carp at The Spillway in Pymatuning State Park, PA.

spillway sign

carp

I love bread. Me too! Especially when it’s devoid of all nutrients! Hey, does anyone up there have Twinkies? Ooh, yeah. Or Cheetos. Those are my favorite.

This is an actual attraction listed in my travel book. People flock here to toss bread to the carp that have found themselves hanging out in the spillway. The carp become so thick that ducks supposedly walk across their backs trying to nab a bite of bread. We did not get to witness this, but it was still somewhat entertaining.

Bread is sold along the highway and even at the local liquor store. From what I understand, a few years back the parks people became concerned with the nutritional deficiencies that could be caused by eating loaves upon loaves of Wonder Bread. They decided to install those pellet machines, where you can by a handful of pellets for a quarter. Well, I guess the people were not having this–they wanted to toss bread and bread alone.

Thanks for checking out my photos!

I’d love to hear what you have to say. Any interesting animal encounters? How about your own caption for the gator or seals? Or leave a comment with anything else that jumps to mind 🙂

A Bridal Shower Took Over My Life (and I’m still here to talk about it)

craft suppliesGlue in your hair, burns on your fingertips, and a coffee buzz so strong your crafting materials sing show tunes right before your eyes. This is what happens when you host a bridal shower … a bridal shower inspired by PINTEREST.

I mentioned in a previous post that my cousin got married. Well, I offered to host the shower (because I have a foolish desire to make tea sandwiches and have strangers peer in my medicine cabinet) and became part of the whirlwind/sinkhole/minefield that is the wedding industry. It was amazing/utterly consuming.

My planning began innocently with an Internet search for bridal shower ideas, which piqued my interest in tissue poms. And that’s when I saw it: my first Pinterest page. It was beautiful. Dotted with images of tulle poms, felt flowers, paper rosettes, pastel and vibrant colored bunting. Things that no mere mortal could have possibly created. I was hooked.

I signed up for my own Pinterest account and soon I had the entire shower mapped out in a collage of images.

Almost all my free time was committed to the shower. I enlisted the help of my reluctant mother who eyed the glue gun nervously and cut cardstock with trepidation.

Soon, strings of fabric were embedded in the couch, rhinestones became tiny, foot piercing land mines, and wayward strands of glue floated in our wine glasses.

I tried to remain organized, but the crafting supplies quickly took over the house.

There were bags upon bags from Joann Fabric and Hobby Lobby to keep track of. Accusations spewed from my mouth when I couldn’t find the scraps of tulle I knew I’d saved.

Me (pacing the room): You threw it away, didn’t you!?!

My husband (staring blankly at the computer): I didn’t touch anything. I swear.

Me (now dumping the contents of bag after bag on the floor): Then, why is it gone? You just throw things away. That’s what you do. You’re trying to sabotage me!

My husband (still staring blankly at the computer): Did you try downstairs? Or in the bedroom?

Me (splayed out in a pile of felt, ribbon, buttons and despair): Yes, of course I checked.

My husband (now pushing a pile of fabric strips to the other side of couch and flicking on the TV): Well, go buy some more.

Me (bolting upright): And admit defeat! I won’t do it. I will find those scraps of tulle if I have dig through the dumpster!

My husband (shrugging): What do you want to watch tonight?

Me (walking into the bedroom to resume my search): Uh, never mind, found it. He he. It was stuffed behind a fake plant.

Then after my last day of work (woo hoo!), I went into full strategizing/crafting mode. I assigned priorities, duties, and command posts.

There were a couple glitches, but overall I think it turned out pretty awesome. Here are some pics:

Shower overview

The chair décor was made with fabric cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch strips and then sewn with a running stitch, leaving two loops on either end–I knew how the chairs would look before I started these, so I had an idea of how I would attach them. Various size tulle poms were taped to the top of the tent using fishing wire and clear duct tape.

table

table close up

We had mismatched plates on the table that my aunt was very kind to donate. For the flower vases, I wrapped old soup cans in thin scrapbook paper and embellished some with ribbon and buttons.Then, I used scraps of the same paper as cards for the guests to write their well wishes, etc. Lastly, the napkin rings were made from yarn poms. These are essentially the same concept as the tulle balls, you just wrap the yarn around a fork instead of a larger item like cutting board or large book. Then I tied a longer piece of yarn around the center of the pom, so that I now had two long strands that I could tie around the napkins after they were rolled.

bags

boxes

felt flowers

For the serving tables, I wrapped plain white gift boxes in ribbon and mixed this with cute gift bags stuffed with tissue paper. I also scattered some Scrabble tile words around along with some felt flowers.

photo booth

This was our photo booth (and we used it for the backdrop as the bride-to-be opened presents). I made bunting and rosettes using the same pack of scrapbook paper. For props, I made flower headbands and also a cowboy hat with a veil. The cowboy hat was easy. I just found a cheap hat at a party store, got a few yards of tulle, wrapped the tulle around the hat and tied a not in the back. Other props included: flowery dishwashing gloves you can sort of see in the picture below, an apron, broom, some mixing bowls, tea pot, big sunglasses, boas, masks, pinweels, and those big nose/fake mustache glasses.

Here are a couple pics of us enjoying the party:

The girls

Doting on Lindsay

We had a few people hang out after the shower (a shower isn’t a shower without an after-party) and in case you’re wondering, this is what one of my beautiful tables looked like the next day:

day after

Of course, now that the party’s over I’ll have to focus on why I quit my job in the first place–my novel. I’ve been doing some webinars and working on this author platform thingy everyone is talking about. I mean you can’t subsist on Pinterest crafts alone.

Better Late Than Never

Hey everyone! Today I am a guest blogger on Not Pretending to Be Sane. Check out my post to see why my hubby and I are late to everything from our engagement to our fifth anniversary. Thanks 🙂

 

 

Jodi Lea's Place

A Guest Post by Jennifer Windram

My husband and I can’t be bothered with things like time and dates. We are above them, beyond them and oblivious to them.

It all began with our engagement. My husband planned to propose on an early morning hike, which of course was a surprise to me. Well, hiking in Colorado usually calls for some forethought, some planning. My soon to be fiancé took care of all the details (food, location, gear) but thought nothing of time. We slept in, lingered at breakfast. I was ready to give up the prospect of hiking–it was already past seven in the morning. But he was insistent and we went. We were too late to get good parking, the storms rolled in by the time we reached the top and the day was long gone by the time we descended. Lesson learned we told ourselves. We will…

View original post 451 more words

Libby’s Post: I will never be a vampire astronaut

Courtesy of PhotoDu.de via Flickr

Courtesy of PhotoDu.de via Flickr

My doctor’s office called yesterday. They reminded me of my upcoming gyno appointment. I wanted to ask if vampires still needed to get Pap smears, but I wasn’t sure anyone had data on that. I’ve never seen the studies.

So, I hung up the phone and got a snack.

I don’t think I can get cancer. Isn’t that one of the perks of being a vampire?? And what about my heart? I’m not sure the thing beats anymore. Would they notice?

Damn you mysterious vampire guy. You could have at least left some sort of manual or instruction sheet. Even my ThighMaster came with an instruction sheet. Where was that thing anyway?

I figured my options were:

1. Tell them I know longer have a vagina or that I moved to Transylvania. Or maybe that preventative care was so 2012 and I don’t need those purple happy pills anymore.

Via Flickr courtesy of jtriefen

Okay, maybe not Transylvania. It looks cold there. (Image via Flickr courtesy of jtriefen)

2. Go in and just see what happens. Not a big fan of this option. The last time I tried this I ended up with chestnut highlights and a perm. It nearly ruined my cheerleading career.

Yep, those were the options. Sucky. Like Chex Mix with all the rye chips and bread sticks picked out.

I decided to cancel. Duh. But now I was curious. So, I went to the grocery store to use one of those fancy blood pressure machines.

I slid my arm into the giant mechanical cuff and tried to relax. It’s not like it would malfunction or break or anything. I’m sure it was designed for pulseless things to be put in it. A large baguette, a kid’s stuffed animal. Who knows what people have stuck in there. This is the grocery store. How else would you entertain yourself while your mom was deciding between regular absorbent and super absorbent tampons?

The cuff tightened and then released. It tightened again, more determined this time, nearly pinching my arm off.

An old man dressed in way too many layers stood to the side of the machine and removed a sheet of paper from his inner coat pocket.

He kinda looked like this guy .(Courtesy art crimes via Flickr)

He kinda looked like this guy. (Courtesy art crimes via Flickr)

I nodded and gave the sweetest smile I could.

The cuff released with a sigh. Large red numbers announced that something was wrong.

I read the single number first: 28. That was my pulse. According to the machine, normal was above 60. Oops.

My gaze darted to my blood pressure: 184/60. Whoa. Zed at The Yoga Spot would not be happy.

I turned to slide out of the seat.

The old man squinted through his bifocal frames. “You should probably get to the doctor young lady. When I first got my diabetes I had blood pressure like that. Still have it sometimes. Not sure about that other number.” He shook his head. “Looks bad.”

I tossed my bag over my shoulder. “I think I have a cold. And, uh, I’m an athlete. See,” I said sprinting past him, my flip-flops smacking on the white linoleum.

When I got home I crossed a few things off my “someday” to do list:

1. Donate blood. That probably should have been crossed off already. I mean a vampire hanging out in a room full of blood bags. Not very smart.

2. Become an astronaut. Honestly, that probably wasn’t going to happen. But, I’m pretty sure they require a physical, so it’s out for sure now.

Courtesy of P_a_h via Flickr

This is what I would look like as an astronaut. (Image Courtesy of P_a_h via Flickr)

Via Flickr courtesy of Marcin Wichary

Okay, maybe more like this. See I even still have a nice handbag. (Image Via Flickr courtesy of Marcin Wichary)

3. Learn how to sew. Just because I never really wanted to do that anyway.

Later that day, Mr. Brown Eyes called. He said he knew someone I would be interested in meeting. A man with common interests. You know, someone who’s open to new things. He doesn’t think I’m a swinger, does he?

**Why not start the series from the beginning? Click here to read about Libby’s first day as a vampire**

Less Wordy Wednesday – A tribute to summer in the garden

garden

I know, I know. It is supposed to be Wordless Wednesday. But, I couldn’t help myself anymore. My fingers have this crazy urge to type, type, type. So, I’ve decided to compromise and do Less Wordy Wednesday. The pictures will still be the highlight, with a little bit of narration for good measure. So here goes:

Finally, and I mean finally, we had our first fall like day in Colorado. Trust me, I love summer like everyone else, but it was getting a little ridiculous. And since it feels like fall is fast approaching, I decided to do a “farewell to our summer garden” with some pictures of it at its peak.

Swallowtail butterfly dining on butterfly bush, while also taunting my blood thirsty cats.

Swallowtail butterfly dining on butterfly bush, while also taunting my cats.

Mixed bed of perennials and annuals.

Mixed bed of perennials and annuals.

Bibrant daylily. These plants are almost impossible to kill–trust me, we've tried.

Vibrant daylily. These plants are almost impossible to kill–trust me, we’ve tried.

Early morning mimosas on the patio. It's okay they have vitamin C and I get the orange juice with calcium, so it's like health food.

Early morning mimosas on the patio. It’s okay they have vitamin C and I get the orange juice with calcium, so it’s like health food.

One of my favorite visitors to the garden: the hummingbird moth. They are so fun to watch and also great at teasing my cats.

One of my favorite visitors to the garden: the hummingbird moth. They are so fun to watch and also great at teasing my cats.

Thanks for checking out my pics. Happy Wednesday!