Living Outside the Stacks

Navigating through life away from the library



I Got PINKED!Cancer runs in my family. Specifically breast cancer. While discussing my own battles with Thyroid Cancer and “diseased breasts” with my aunt, I found out that 4 of my grandmother’s sisters died of breast cancer between the ages of 52 and 65. I had no idea.

Last year when I was pinked, I did it in honor of my mother~in~law who was recovering from her last round of treatments for breast cancer and for my aunt who was also battling the disease. This summer, my aunt, Sylvia, lost her fight but she left us with so much…

She left us with memories of her laugh, the kind and gentle way that she had of making everyone feel welcome and at home in her presence. Even when she was sick, she still got up to make dinner for the hubs and me when we came to visit (despite our many protests). She insisted that we eat and make ourselves at home. That was the kind of lady that Aunt Sylvia was, she made sure everyone else was comfortable no matter what the personal cost to her.

So this year, when I got pinked, I did it in memory of the 4 great aunts that I barely remember, my aunt who fought so bravely, my mother~in~law who is a two~time breast cancer survivor and every other woman and man who will ever battle this disease.


National Blog Posting Month, I’m Participating

National Blog Posting Month ~ NovemberA long long time ago in a country far away, there lived a little girl who dreamed of only one thing, well, she dreamed of a lot of things, but for the purposes of this post, she dreamed of only one thing, to be a writer. Not just any writer but a writer who made a difference, either through laughter or tears or spiritual tugging. That little girl wanted to change the world.

As she grew older, life took over and the strong words of conviction that the little girl so desperately wanted to share with the world were replaced with teenage grunts and, later, parental shouts of “No” and “Stop it!” The typewriter was pushed aside and the dream became a distant memory. The only time it was remembered was when someone from my past would exclaim upon discovering that I’m a wife and mom, “What?! You’re not living in some foreign country writing reports of political upheaval?” Nope, I’m living in suburban America, signing permission slips.

So here I sit, in my living room, wondering if there’s still time for me to make a difference, to reach people through my words… Is my voice still here? If it’s lost, can I recover it?

For the month of November that’s exactly what I plan to find out. I will be participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), a challenge for bloggers to post daily. Usually, there’s a theme assigned to the challenge but this month there is no theme, bloggers are asked to simply write for the sake of writing.

To participate all you have to do is:

  1. be a blogger
  2. go here to sign up
  3. grab the badge from here

Easy, right? You can also check out other bloggers who’re participating in NaBloPoMo by going here.

Some of the benefits of participating in NaBloPoMo:

  1. Writing daily sharpens your skills
  2. Increased visibility of your blog through syndication on BlogHer
  3. Daily prizes for bloggers who are listed on the blogroll:
  • Monday – BlogHer ’12 conference pass
  • Tuesday – Book from Penguin Publishing
  • Wednesday – $50 Visa gift card
  • Thursday – Book from Penguin Publishing
  • Friday – Melissa Ford’s Life From Scratch (a novel about blogging)
  • Saturday – Susan Getgood’s Professional Blogging for Dummies (a book about blogging)
  • Sunday – Eden Kennedy and Alice Bradley’s Let’s Panic About Babies!

Will you be participating in NaBloPoMo? If so, leave a comment below with a link to your blog so I can check out your posts.


Shoe Style Saturday

Shoe Style Saturday

Shoe Style SaturdayTo participate in Shoe Style Saturday, all you have to do is

  • take a picture of your shoes
  • post them to your blog
  • hit the link
  • leave a comment
  • visit other participants

So, come on and show me your femme fatale flats, those sexy stilettos and pin~up peep toes, yes, even your racy runners.

And don’t forget to grab my badge!


Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge: Red

So are you all enjoying this challenge so far? I know I am. I’m learning so much from looking at the photographs that all of you have shared (and your tips and tricks have been invaluable). I think the main thing I’ve learned is always have my camera ready, because I never know when a picture~taking opportunity might occur…

Last week, after picking up Miss 18 from school, we decided to visit the local conservation center just to see what they had… Oh my gosh, it was beautiful and crazy at the same time. There were all sorts of animals on display along with information about the indigenous peoples and how they used to live. Fortunately, I had my camera on me and I was able to take some pictures, which I posted here. These are just a couple that I took during the day that met today’s theme:
Red Berries

Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge: Red

On a second visit with my two younger daughters (you can see those pictures here), I took the following pictures of some pretty red leaves:

Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge: Red

Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge

Lastly, I took these pictures in my backyard. Again, it amazes me the treasures I find when I’m not really looking:

Shade of Autumn Photo Challenge: Red

Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge

The collage is just a collection of pictures that met the challenge. The little boy in the corner is my nephew, doesn’t he have such attitude? I took that picture of him over the summer when the kids and I were traveling from Pennsylvania to Missouri.

Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge: Red


Shades of Autumn Photo ChallengeThe Shades of Autumn Photo Challenge is hosted by Alicia atProject Alicia, Kristi at live and love…out loud and Rebecca atBumbles & Light. There’s also a flickr group and a Pinterest board for those of you who are looking for some photographic inspiration…

The themes are:

7 ~ Green
14 ~ Yellow
21 ~ Orange
28 ~ Red

4 ~ Purple
11 ~ Brown
18 ~ White
25 ~ Shades of Autumn Finale

To participate:

Share your favorite images inspired by the Autumn shade of the week each Friday. Your image must contain at least 50% of the color of the week; the autumn shade should be the main focus of your photograph. Selective coloring is discouraged.

Images can either be linked through your Shades of Autumn blog post or to a picture on Flickr (please do not just link to your blog’s homepage). You can also add your pictures to the Shades of Autumn Flickr Group.

Don’t forget to hit the linky, it’ll be open from 12:01 AM Friday to 11:59 PM Wednesday, and grab the badge.


No Cell Phones in Hospitals, Or How the Hubs Almost Killed Me

No Cell Phones

Image Courtesy of Microsoft (Edited with Picasa)

The hubs will tell anyone who asks that he prayed that God would send someone like me into his life. He will also tell them that he should have been a little more specific in his request, you know other than “Please let her be smart and pretty enough that I don’t have to close one eye to look at her.” He should have added “And let her be a mature responsible woman who doesn’t act crazy in hospitals.” Really, some of our best funniest stories have occurred in hospitals.

I think this moment is probably one of the top times when the hubs has seriously rethought his prayer request…

You know how hospitals have big ol’ honkin’ signs all over that say “No Cell Phones Past This Point”? Yeah, they’re there for a reason. So one day after undergoing surgery, I decided to “playfully” demonstrate to the hubs that the no cell phone policy was not a suggestion…

Me: lying on the bed in the recovery room, I open my eyes to see the hubs dialing numbers on his cell phone

Hubs: “Hi, just wanted to call and let you know Daenel’s out of surgery… Yeah, she’s doing fine… We’re in the recovery room…”

Me: starts flopping around on the bed like I’m having convulsions “C~c~c~cell ph~ph~phone. Hang it up! N~n~n~now!”

Hubs: Drops the phone and runs out into the hall “Doctor! Doctor! Come quick! Something’s wrong!”

Me: laughing hysterically “Dude, I’m ok. I was just messing with you.”

It’s been 10 years since my surgery and the hubs still doesn’t find this story anywhere near as amusing as I do. Therefore, I’m not allowed to tell it very often. But I figure since I’m 10 years cancer free we can all celebrate with a good laugh.

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