Photo 365 #95: Connect

Connection in a digital world.  It’s an interesting concept, isn’t it?  All the social networks urge you to connect with others, though how deep that connection really is really varies.  For me, connection is about emotion, how those “friends” on Facebook and Twitter and Google+ and all those other places make me feel on a visceral level.  I’m happy to say that those friends most often make me feel a wonderful sense of community, that I’m part of something larger than myself.  So many of those friends help celebrate highs and sympathize with lows, and it’s hard to imagine life without them.


I almost posted this image last week…


Photo Friday: The best friends edition

Well, Friday certainly snuck up on me this week.  I’m still trying to catch up on all the blogging fun I’ve been so lucky to be a part of this week, and I completely forgot about choosing a theme for this week’s Photo Friday post.  Whoops.

As I was trying to decide what to post, I remembered that it’s my best friend Jenny’s birthday today.  After wishing her well a couple different places, I decided that friendship would be the perfect theme and, since I have a bunch of pictures of my friends and me over the years already posted, why not collect them all in one post?

So, in no particular order, below I give you a dozen pictures of my besties and me over the years, from high school, through college, and beyond.   I hope you enjoy my little picspam…



Let it never be said that internet friendships are not as real, not as meaningful, as IRL friendships.  One can lead to the other, and when tragedy strikes or blessings rain down, cyber friends are often just as despairing or ecstatic as the friends down the street.

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.


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Weekend exploits, or Double Trouble (times two!)

Good friends and good food - what more could a girl ask for on a rockin' Friday night?

Good friends and good food – what more could a girl ask for on a rockin’ Friday night?

Well, here I am, sitting at my desk on a lovely Tuesday morning, trying to recover from yet another action-packed weekend.  When I look back on the summer of 2013, I think that’s what I’ll remember – it was a summer of action.  This time, though, instead of a family camping trip, the weekend revolved around time spent with great friends (and loads of good food, naturally).

One of my oldest and dearest friends is back in town.  Well, not my town anymore, but I’ll get to that.  See, she moved cross-country to sunny California after high school, putting a serious crimp in our hangout schedule.  Last time she was back in Iowa and I actually got to see her was four years ago when her sister got married (sadly, she couldn’t make it back for my wedding a few months later – stupid circumstances).  Clearly, we needed to get together again, and that’s exactly what happened this time, as she spent her trip to our hometown crashed on my couch.  After the “excitement” I had at the beginning of July, this was just the sort of excitement I needed.

Old friends are the best!

Growing up, I was the oldest kid in my neighborhood by a couple of years.  There were only a few other families with kids around as we lived in an older neighborhood.  A couple of kids were three years younger than me, a couple were five or six years younger than me, one was nine years younger than me.  The closest kid my age – my best and oldest friend, and my maid of honor both times I was married, she is awesome – lived three and a half blocks down the street.  While that wasn’t exactly far away, the situation didn’t exactly lend itself to easy visitation, either.

After my mom passed away, my dad used some of the life insurance money to replace our sidewalk (which really wasn’t sidewalk so much anymore as it was part of the yard) and to build a garage.  One day when I was eleven, my sister and I and the aforementioned best friend were riding our bikes around the newly-poured driveway and garage foundation (the garage had not yet been built).  One of the neighbor kids wandered over and wanted to play with us.  She and my sister were pretty good friends, even though my sister is four years older.  My sister has a talent for making friends – I think she was good friends with every kid in our neighborhood at one point or another.

Anyway, we decided that we didn’t want to play with her that day.  As a rule, I never wanted to play with this particular girl as she always kind of got on my nerves.  But how many people always love all their siblings’ friends?  Anyway, since we didn’t want to play with her, we told her to go home.

This didn’t go over very well. At all.

Gearing up to get an agent!

So!  I’ve been a bit absent (as well as a bit absent-minded) lately, but here’s hoping that September will be an all-around better month, both for my blogging habits and my sanity.  My stress levels have dropped considerably since getting my revised version of The Lokana Chronicles sent off to its requester, and I’ve even had some time to read a few books.  Talk about relaxing!  It was really nice to read books not intended for children ages 5 and under for a change, though I must admit that the ending to one of them is still pestering me.  If it continues to do so, I may have to write up a separate post.  I may do so regardless. 😉

Anyway, you may or may not have noticed the Gearing Up to Get an Agent Blogfest button that appeared in my sidebar a few days ago.  Someone on Facebook was kind enough to point me in the direction of Ms. Deana Barnhart’s lovely blog and this blogfest in particular and once I’d had a look to see what it was all about, how could I say no?  Even if it’s a longshot at getting an agent, I’m sure to meet lots of lovely new people and have some fun doing so.

So!  The rules!  Of course, all good things must come with rules.  (Wow, can you tell the books I’ve been reading were set in the nineteenth century or what?)  The rules are simple.  Answer the following questions, include a brief bio, visit other blogs over the course of the week.  Simple enough, right?  Right.  And now, the questions… behind the cut!


Oh, Gretchen, how we miss you!

Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver
And the other gold.

I learned that song as a Brownie, I think, and I’ve loved it ever since.  The trouble is, though, that I’ve always had trouble making new friends.  All of my friends (except for you, lovely internet friends, and I love you all so very, very much ♥) are friends that I’ve had since childhood – my oldest friend and I go back…um…*counts on fingers*…23 years now. Holy crap, we go back 23 years?! That’s kind of a scary thought!