Soap Operas and Romance Novels: The Feminist Debate



I found this article to be very insightful and honest. Tell her what you think!

Originally posted on I Believe in the Mystery:


Recently on Twitter I saw two things that really made me stop and take a second look.  The first was a comment that said that “Soap opera is the most feminist of genres, by nature of ongoing narrative” and the second being “Feminism and the writing of romantic novels are a contradiction in terms. ” Why did these statements make me take pause?  Simply said, I am a fan of both.

I have watched soap operas since I was a little girl who was too young to recognize the true complexities that were taking place on my television screen.  One of my first ever “ships” was between Alan-Michael Spaulding and Lucy Cooper.  I simply loved everything about them.  The contrast between their social classes, how Alan-Michael fought his feelings for Lucy, and how hard they had to strive to get their happily ever after.  I simply loved them. …

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Living in Limbo


I so long to be a published writer. That’s part of the reason I started this blog – just to put my thoughts down and share them with the collective internet. I am always writing something, usually fictional. Nothing excites me more than coming up with a character and throwing them into the most awkward, uncomfortable situation imaginable, just to see what they’ll do. They will either sink or swim depending on the flick of my fingers on the computer keys. It’s a fascinating process…

As I try to get this blog active again, I will often be sharing small poems and stories I have written. Please, please tell me what you think. Rip ‘em apart if necessary. I can take it… I think! This first little story was written in 10 minutes, making it a “Flash Fiction”. Tell me what you think of it.



A red candle – the color of spilt blood – sits in the window. There’s a new one there every evening – rain or shine. Mama lights them for my father – believing it will lead him home to us again. She says one night he will see that candle in the distance and because of its light, he will find his way back. She’s also a devout Catholic if that explains anything. And she’s still madly in love with my father, even after all these years.

As for me, I don’t remember much about my Dad. He was a photographer by trade which meant there are few pictures of him. You see, he was always on the wrong side of the camera. But Mama has shown me many of the photos he took and says his most favorite quote in the world was “Say Cheese”. Mama says you never knew when he would suddenly snap a picture of you because he liked catching people in unguarded moments. There’s even one picture of Mama nursing an infant me. Strange, but true. Her expression conveys so much in that moment and I guess that’s what he was going for. He didn’t like phony, practiced smiles that you see in other people’s birthday photos. He said he wanted to capture a moment in time, not a practiced, contrived situation.

I do remember though that he used to sing me the most haunting lullaby before bed every night. I don’t remember the words and neither does Mama, but I can still hear the melodic music haunting me even now.

Mama keeps telling me not to lose the faith that he will return, but I wonder if she ever does herself. She will deny it if you ask but one does have to wonder how she keeps it together. I was four when my dad disappeared and I’m fifteen now. You do the math. That’s a heck of a long time to wait around for a miracle. But don’t ever tell Mama to move on already because she’ll just shake her little index finger and scold you.

She lives and dies every night by the strike of the match as it meets the wick of that candle. The minute she lights it, she breathes a bit easier but sadly, I don’t think she realizes that because of all of this, we will both forever remain in limbo.

Ode to the pretty girls


A cool blog I found suggested that we share poetry we had written on our page. Here is a little ditty I wrote ages ago when I could actually fit into size 14 jeans! Tell me what you think, my friends. Thank you.


Ode to the Pretty Girls
With their eyes so blue
and their hair so blonde

Ode to the Pretty Girls
With their little heart-shaped faces
and smooth, unblemished skin

Ode to the Pretty Girls
Who wear a size 2
and who never sweat or bleed

Ode to the Pretty Girls
With their perfect boyfriends
so handsome and true

Ode to the Pretty Girls
Who make me feel so blue
they have everything I ever wanted

Ode to the Pretty Girls
Who make me feel fat
especially in my size 14 jeans

Sugar and Spice Advice #2








Ever had the (dis)pleasure of having a bug bite
or bee sting? How did you treat it? I remember
my sister getting stung by a bee years ago while
at Lake Pymatuning. I guess my sister was sweeter
than I am because we were sitting at the same table
and she was the target for the unhappy bee. I also
remember my father making a moist mud pack and
putting it directly on the bite. Wise move or old wives tale?
Let’s find out.

Remedies recommended by the “experts” include
1) Applying a cold compress to soothe inflamma-
tion and relieve irritation; (I guess cold wet mud
would fit into this category.)
2) Try calamine lotion, you know the lovely pink
stuff your mom used to smear on you. It helps
reduce the itch and pain;
3) Use a paste of baking soda, meat tenderizer, &
vinegar. (We didn’t have this with us while
spending the day at the lake. Who knew?) This
combo breaks down the venom and draws out
the burn.
4) Toothpaste. Yep, you read me right. Toothpaste
neutralizes the poison at its entry point and
acts like a mild anesthetic. (Can’t say we were
carrying that with us on our picnic  either.)
My dad’s mud compress? Seemed to work. My
sister said the pain wasn’t as bad. I guess it’s not
the best choice, but if you don’t have meat tender-
izer, vinegar, toothpaste, or calamine lotion packed
in your picnic basket, mud will work in a pinch.

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purveyors of fine handmade products.

First Look at….



One of my friend Lynn’s brilliant TV reviews. Check, check it out. There’s a reason I’ve been MIA from this blog lately. I’ve been Tarting it up – as in TV Tarting (TV Addicts Really Talk Television)! Check it out and tell us what you’re watching these days.

Originally posted on TV Tarts:

Red Band Society


You might think a show about a bunch of kids that lived in a hospital would be depressing.  You might expect to be in tears multiple times throughout the episode.  You might be prepared to hear dialogue that, although poignant, is a bit heavy handed.  You would be right.

The show begins with a voice which we soon learn to be the voice of, Charlie, otherwise known as “Coma Boy”.  He will be a narrarator for this fun-filled journey.

The show revolves around an interesting cast of characters….all of whom have depressing life stories.

Nurse Jackson runs the hospital.  There’s a heart of gold under that tough exterior, but it takes us a while to see it.  She tortures poor Brittany, who just wants to be someone’s “muffin buddy” and is almost cruel to other members of the staff.

Kara, the main recepient of Nurse Jackson’s wrath…

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Mama Says … It’s time to declutter your life!



Here is that de-cluttering system I was touting as the next best thing to sliced bread. (Speaking of bread, do you have your bread in a breadbox or in bags all over the counter?)

According to Mrs. Deniece Schofield, the organized homemaker, there are 6 basic rules of organization that apply in many circumstances (and some of these are great rules to abide by in human relationships), and not just when you are trying to tame the lion of messiness. These four are: 1) Think before you act; 2) Discard and sort; 3) Group; 4) Be motion minded; 5) Practice preventive maintenance; and 6) Use your accrued benefits (more on this one at another time).

Industrial and motion experts have estimated that workers are only 50 to 70% as efficient as they could be. Why, you wonder? Simply because they act before they think. Some people think that the time they spend planning could have already been used to get the thing they are trying to do done. If you are like this, can you think of a time(s) when you just went off and did something only to find yourself redoing it because what you did didn’t work out? I know I have. To me it is worth my time to think about what I am going to do and how to best do it. This has saved me a number of times from going back to the store for something I missed to tearing apart what was done and doing it the smart way. A person definitely does not save time (nor energy nor frustration) going about something without planning. (I can’t say I have become perfect at it, but I’ve gotten a lot better since taking the organization class and reading the Organized Homemaker’s wonderful book.)

Now here is the simple but effective way to clear up/out clutter. Determine what function each specific area of your house is going to serve. Do you really want electric saws and fishing gear decorating your bedroom? Ouch! Then work in 1 area at a time. Keep 3 boxes or dishpans in the area along with one large trash can. Our expert calls this the “four container method.”

I don’t like things being out of place once they are done being used. So as I go about straightening the house when I find something in the wrong room I immediately pick it up and return it to where it belongs. I usually try to return 2-3 items a time. Seriously, a waste of time on my part running back and forth. Well, hello Box #1! This box is meant to hold everything that belongs in another room. Sure saves time with the running back and forth. You can just take a friendly stroll replacing things directly from the basket to the area where they belong, and voila! you are done with that little chore.

Box number two is for those items that you want to give away or sell. Just be sure you get those donated items to the right destination in a minimum of time. If you have determined to sell the items, not a bad idea for a little extra cash, get to the swap meet or have that yard sale soon. What’s the point of de-cluttering if you are only going to have those items sitting around ad infinitum?

Box number three is for those things you aren’t sure what you are going to do with them. Should it stay or should it go now? Just make sure that you’re unsure box isn’t overflowing and you are keeping more things than you have gotten rid of.

Trash can – obvious. Perfect receptacle for the broken comb, last night’s candy bar wrapper, pantyhose with giant runs, etc. You get the idea.

The goal is not to just move things from one pile to another, but actually do something with the piles. And don’t forget the “year rule.” If you haven’t used it in a year or in two years maximum you most likely aren’t going to use it. Get rid of it. My instructor, Senor Acosta, was adamant about the year rule. I’ll be generous and give you a bit longer time.

I know that sentimentality makes things hard to give away. I am not saying part w/ everything. For example, several years ago a coworker who knows I am a chocoholic gave me the cutest little fondue set with a tea light to melt the chocolate, 4 dessert plates, and little tongs for Christmas. I had meant to use that a million and one times, but never did. So I donated it to our church thrift store. I haven’t seen that coworker in just about as many years so there was no point in me holding on to it. It can be done.

Trust me. You will feel so much better when you get rid of some of the excess. Your home will be neater and more comfortable to be in. You won’t be afraid to have visitors over. You will possibly make yourself some extra cash or at least bring a little joy into your life by giving your goods to someone in need. The added boon is you won’t have to polish it, clean it, dust it, etc. With all the pros involved what are you waiting for?


My partner in crime and administrator of our blog and I have come up with a tiny little column that offers quick and simple tips and advice. We decided to call it “Sugar and Spice Advice” after the name of our really fledgling handmade business. Please feel free to give us your tips as well. We do love to hear from our readers. We’d also appreciate it if you would share our blog with your friends and family. Muchisimas gracias!

Sugar and Spice Advice


water aerobic running


Water Workouts – That’s right. Get fit while cool-
ing off in the pool. Water has a natural buoyancy that
provides gentle resistance for your muscles. You can
build your strength without hurting your joints or back.
For a big girl like me that makes a lot of sense. It’s
also great for seniors, those with arthritis, pregnant
ladies, and those who don’t find running to be the
way they want to work out. And if you are still suf-
fering from the heat as we are in Cali, the pool is
ideal. So listed below are 3 exercises that target
various muscle groups.
CoreStrength – Hold on to the pool deck with your
back up against the wall and your legs elevated to
90 degrees. You’ll be in an L position. Swing your
legs slowly to one side and return to center where
you will bend your legs in and out and then swing
to the right. Do this 10 times w/o letting your chest
or lower back sag.
Shoulders – Raise your arms out to the side in a
horizontal position and then lower your arms for
10 reps. Raise them out in front of you and then
lower them for 10 reps. The resistance of the
water will not only help strengthen you but will
aid you in getting rid of those “substitute teacher
arms;” this was a phrase my daughter taught me.
The name applies to that loose, excess fat hang-
ing from the triceps area that jiggles when writ-
ing on the chalkboard.
Legs  – Hold on to the side of the pool with your
back against the deck. Bring your legs up so that
you are in the L position again. Open your legs to
a V angle and then close them for 10 reps. Good for
the hips and thighs. With your legs straight down do
scissor kicks for 10 reps. Good for you upper and
lower legs while giving the abdomen a work out, too.
(I don’t know if there is such a thing as “substitute
teacher legs”, but if there is, I’ve got them, and
want to get rid of them.
Working out in the pool seems like a cool idea
to me.

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of fine homemade items.