Daily Creates Week 2

OK! Last week went well, thanks for all of the comments. By the way, if you were wondering what movie I summarized with 140 characters, it was The Penguins of Madagascar. The girls were watching it when I was writing that one, so I used it! Well, here we go, week two, March 22-28

  • March 22: Write a story from the point of view of your favorite food (feel free to guess what it is!)

I was just minding my own business, hanging out with my friends when THEY came. I don’t know why they kidnapped me and some of my friends, but we were thrown together in a bag and, blind to our destination, we travelled for days.

After those days of travel and tossing by unknown fingers, I was put on display with a bunch of strangers. I didn’t know anyone there, I don’t even know what became of my friends. A kindly looking woman took me home with her. I thought for sure that her kind, intelligent eyes told me that she wouldn’t hurt me. I was wrong. I was placed in the dark with several of the strangers I was taken with. I don’t know how long we sat in the dark, but eventually, we were pulled out, she grabbed me first. I was bathed, which was nice, but the woman quickly, efficiently, and without mercy, pealed my skin off. She did not heed my howls of pain nor my pleading. She immediately cut me into pieces and put me into the hottest water i’d ever felt. Quickly, the others joined me in the boiling water. With all of us in agonizing pain, the woman covered the container, leaving us to scream so she couldn’t hear it.

After what felt like hours, the woman strained us from the water. Surely she could do no more, you say. No, you’re wrong. We were smashed and stirred together until there was no way of knowing where one of us ended and another began. Right now, I am upon a new surface, exhausted, no longer able to feel. I don’t know what the woman has in mind for us next, but it cannot be worse than what has already been done. Right?

  • March 23: From the nearest book, write a short story about the characters on page 42. (I wasn’t sure if this mean t to write about the characters themselves or use the names, I chose to just use the names from Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, the characters are Will, Tessa, and the Dark Sisters).

Tessa and her younger brother, Will, looked up at the building towering above them. It was so grimy that it seemed to hover away from the tidy townhouses on either side, almost as if it did not belong on the street but alone in a haunted forest where no one could see or visit it.

Will, his thumb in his mouth, reached up to hold Tessa’s hand, squeezing it in hi fear. Tessa looked down at Will’s dark head and, with a sigh, picked up their suitcase and led Will up the front walk, her grey eyes darting between the two dingy windows on either side of the huge red door.

Raising her hand, Tessa gripped the lion’s head-shaped knocker and tapped the door three times. The sounds of scurrying feet were behind the crimson door, but no one answered for a few minutes. When the door finally opened, it did so slowly, two pale faces peeked around it and black eyes looked bake at them. Suddenly, the enormous red door was slammed closed.

His tiny thumb never leaving his mouth, Will glanced up at Tessa, who knocked again. Without warning, the door was flu open, and the two faces stared back at the siblings. The Dark Sisters moved forward as one, almost slithering. Each took one of the children’s shoulder and guided the orphans into the house.

  • March 24: Share a recipe and a story about why it’s important to you.

1 lb of hamburger

1 package of onion soup mix

1 egg

4 pieces of damp day old bread

Preheat oven to 375

In a large mixing bowl hand mix (I mean literally with your hands) the hamburger, soup mix, egg, and wet bread until it is well mixed and holds together.

Place in a loaf pan and into the oven for 45 minutes.

Make a sauce, 3 tbsp of catsup and 1 tbsp of brown sugar; Mix with a fork until all of the lumps are gone and the color is a rich red. Place atop the meatloaf and return to the oven for 5 minutes

This is my grandmother’s meatloaf recipe, it took me a bit for measurements because I don’t measure. This is the meatloaf that I’ve talked about so often. It’s the first thing that I made alone, and my husband’s favorite. Let me know if you try it and how you like it.

  • March 25:The Most Famous Novel You’ve Never Heard Of- Write a summary for a novel jacket using the fourth title from a title generator while also using two of the titles as former novels by the author.

The Legend’s Dreamer

A member of Brynmor Morris’s family has been the emperor’s oracle since it was discovered that they had prophetic dreams. When sixteen year old Brynmor gains her gift, she is moved from the two room farmhouse  she lives in and her family for the opulent palace and loneliness. With a rebellion brewing, the emperor expects Brynmor to give him the information he needs in order to crush it. Brynmor, however, dreams of Colwyn, a legendary warrior who disappeared centuries earlier. Brynmor believes, in order for the empire to thrive, she has to seek out Colwyn’s reincarnation. So she sets out with the emperor’s eldest son, quiet and brooding Gerallt, and his personal guard, strong and confident Nicoline Paulissen. The journey is long and treacherous, and ordinary Brynmor finds herself on a quest for the legend she’s been dreaming about.

Lugh Grady McNaughton is the critically acclaimed author of The First Princess and the New York Times bestseller The Seventh Wizards.

  • March 26: Write a story about someone writing a story about someone writing a story.

Aiden slipped passed the guard completely unnoticed and saw what he had been hunting for for the last six months. The face that stared back at him was gaunt and tired, yet determined.

“How’s it going?” asked a voice behind her. Layla turned away from her laptop.

“Aiden is about to rescue Nathaniel.”

“It’s about time!” Jake exclaimed. “You’ve been at that quest for like two years!”

“It’s an art, Jake. I can’t just push out pages like a cog.”

Terry popped her neck as she glared at the screen. “Why did I start this?” she asked aloud.

No one answered but the cat flicking his tail on her desk stared at her with bicolored eyes. “Oh yeah. I have to feed you, tubbo.”

  • March 27: Write a creepy two sentence story.

The hotel stood, dark, dreary, before us as we approached, unwittingly stepping into the trap set for us. As the door creaks open, a scream erupts form upstairs, although none is inside.

  • March 28: Flash Fiction- Write a story with a five minute timer, beginning with an article of clothing, which the story is not about.

The tee-shirt was just that, a tee-shirt. Dane lifted it and pulled it on over his scarred back, and pushed off of the bed. He looked out of the window at the trees, which seemed more daunting everyday. He moved into the kitchen and sat at the table as his coffee suddenly appeared.

Silently thanking his invisible sailors, Dane took the firs glorious, life-giving sip of necessary sector. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been kept in the little cabin in the woods, but he started everyday exactly the same way.

That is all! Enjoy!!!! 

Doilies and Waiting

Ok, so this week, I wasn’t too terribly ambitious. I have ordered the yarn I need for my black and white sparkly lap blanket and have been waiting for it. While my classes at the University of Nebraska at Kearney have been on spring break, I thought that I could get some projects going really well. However, this didn’t happen. I made only a tie-dye doily. The picture is the doily with my unity candle as I think it requires a large candle because it is a bigger doily and it is the only one that large which I own as I have a lot of tapers, but not any big ones save my christmas candles which are put away and I’m too lazy to pull them out.

I learned a new stitch for it, but I forgot to take a photo as it was exciting to get the slip stitch correct and it looks really boring with just one row.

Any way, the rows go around and around an have a pretty up-turn to the edges, at least I think so. I couldn’t quite get the granny squares down. It’s something that I have to work on. They are supposed to be one of the easiest things to crochet, but my fat and clumsy fingers refused to allow me to perform correctly. But… I will get them, I will make a granny square. My grandmother made an entire blanket of them, all different colors. I remember one of them that is this ugly baby poo green color with a vivid and pretty blue. I never asked why she chose those colors on that particular granny square and now I wish I had. I think the yarns may have been of similar weight and therefore easier to work with together. At least that’s what I think. I don’t have that blanket, one of my aunts does, I believe. So, please don’t think I don’t have any failures and frustrations, because I totally do. I can’t do a granny square yet.

While I was frustrated because I couldn’t make a granny square, I chose an easy doily pattern because I needed a success. And I got one. One with which I am pleased. My girls like it. They play with it and wear it on their heads as a hat. When I tell them it isn’t a hat, but a doily, they say, “No, Mom, it’s a hat.” It’s pretty cute.

IMG_20150329_135106039

Cute, right!!!
Cute, right!!!

Anyway, this week I didn’t do much, but it turned out fun!

Digital Activism: You Have a Voice!

Digital Activism is an easier way of putting your opinion out there! So easy! All it takes is a status or photo change, an online donation, a signed e-petition, or an email to your congressman. Maybe because you aren’t out marching or protesting, some people call this “slactivism”, but don’t listen to that, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life! Who cares if you would rather make your voice heard quickly instead of pushing your point in person. I for one, have signed several online petitions. I’m not saying that they’re huge issues like changing laws all of the time, which I have done, but sometimes it’s easy to get passionate about something that others will think is silly, such as signing a change.org petition to bring back a television show which touches you.

Honestly, I never really thought of what I post online as any form of activism, but last week, I posted a blog about cyberbullying that I realized was, in fact, a form of activism albeit a “lazy” one. It didn’t matter that I didn’t go out and protest on the street or organize a march on Washington to make change. Those days have passed, even though marches and sit-ins made amazing changes in our social consciousness. We live in a time when the internet is an amazing tool to help others and pushing your agenda, even if it isn’t exactly well researched.

The beauty of the internet is that it is anonymous. While that allows bullies to flourish, it also allows activism to do so as well. You are able to spread news and ideas as well as inform. It is, however, easy to get lost in all of the other voices online. So, you need to stay active. Like anything, persistence is best. Keep spreading the word and people will eventually listen.

Social media is an excellent tool for activism. I have been looking at one of the nominees for the Shorty Award for teen activism. A seventeen year old named Jason Harris runs Hope (@3000lives) from his small town home. Jason tweet inspiring and relatable phrases to spread hop and help people with their struggles. He reaches out to others and raises awareness for suicide prevention. Assuring others that they are worthy, Jason tries to tell others that suicide is not an option and that life is worth living, he also gives the number for the suicide prevention hotline in order to give those he can’t help another option. During his work, he has been available to talk 24/7, saved 29 lives, and won a Jefferson Award, which celebrates public service.

I think that suicide prevention goes hand-in-hand with my anti-cyberbullying wishes because too many young people who are bullied online commit suicide. I like what Jason is doing, and his community should be very proud of him because he is using the internet to spread his beliefs and help others.

Daily Creates: Week One

In honor of my sister’s birthday, I decided to start my Daily Creates that day, and chose a great one to start it!

  • March 15th: Summarize a movie in twitter length (See if you can guess what it is, I’ll have the answer in next weeks blog!)

Four friends set out on an adventure to reunite with an old roommate until one of them is kidnapped and the remaining three must save him.

  • March 16th- Write an excuse for why you didn’t do your Daily Create assignment today.

To: Yentle’s Teacher,

Yentle was unable to produce a Daily Create today on account of her suffering from a disease… Obesity. Yes, I know this comes as a shock, but Yentle is fat. You should know that she also called in to work fat, but it was not a valid excuse according to her boss. I hope that you will take this disease more seriously, as millions of America suffer from it, and excuse her.

Thank You,

Yentle’s mom

  • March 17th- List twenty uses for a banana (keeping it G rated!)
  1.  banana pudding
  2. banana cream pie
  3. bananas foster
  4. banana and peanut butter sandwich
  5. banana nut bread
  6. banana muffins
  7. banana cupcakes
  8. banana pancakes
  9. banana split
  10. banana trifle
  11. strawberry-banana smoothie
  12. banana crepes
  13. banana boats
  14. banana pops
  15. banana and nutella tortilla snacks
  16. cottage cheese and bananas
  17. Irish Bananas (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!)
  18. banana spring rolls
  19. banana daquiri
  20. BANANA PHONE (ring ring ring ring)
  • March 18th- describe the sky in a single sentence without using any color words.

The sky, after a rainstorm, holds a sense of gloom, yet a ray of hope springs when the light hits the water moisture hanging in the air.

  • March 19th- Create an acrostic poem that includes an item of clothing you’re currently wearing.

Really

Extremely

Disorganized

Should do

Housework but

I’ll

Re-watch

The entire “Firefly” series instead (you know the only season made, and possibly the movie!)

  • March 20th- Write one line from a song that predicts how your day will go, another how it really went

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day”- The Temptations, “My Girl”

“In every life we have some trouble”- Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

  • March 21st- Write step-by step instructions explain how to become a superhero.
  1. Become “super”- This can be done by becoming fabulously wealthy, being bitten by a radioactive insect, leaving a planet about to go into a black hole, or having radioactive waste dumped on you, really, the sky’s the limit.
  2. Discover your powers- If you don’t know what you can do, how can you be expected to save anyone? This can be anything from stealing the powers of other people to glowing in the dark. The key is to figure out what you can do and use that power. *note- if you have somehow become fabulously wealthy, you will need to immediately figure out your “thing”, i.e. bats or iron.
  3. Come up with a name-You can’t be a super hero under your given name! Your friends and family may end up being hurt, also heroes have a lot of collateral damage, and you don’t want to get sued.
  4. Make a costume- Once you figure out what powers you possess, or what you want to embody, you need to make a costume. While you can use any design, color, and fabric you want, I’ve discovered that spandex is the best way to go, with bright colors.
  5. Save someone- You can’t be a super hero if you just sit around watching TV. You have to get out there and rescue someone. It’s usually a good idea to save a woman or child, they get the most press.
  6. Get a nemesis- Sure, you’ve saved some people, but you need a villain to really be a super hero. This person needs to stand in direct opposition to you, and yet the two of you should have a lot in common.
  7. Well, step seven is to enjoy your new life. Best of luck in all of your endeavors!!

Yentle Dyas: A Total Bore (According to Google)

Image courtesy of google.com

When I googled myself today, I noticed two things. I have quite a bit about me on the internet, and I am boring!

The first thing on the first page of searches is my Twitter page. I was able to use my own name (go figure!), and so it comes up quickly. One of my shares that is on the first Google page, is to my PLN, so I think that looks good to employers.

The next thing that a searcher would see is my Pintrest page, and two of my boards. One of them is my PLN board “Teaching Ideas”. The other is my Mortal Instruments board (It’s my guilty pleasure!). The next thing I saw was my Facebook page, a tag from my photography of my girls. Then, for some strange reason, my Myspace page, which I haven’t been on in over six years. Finally my seldom used Google+ page appears.

I’m surprised that my blog is not on the first page, nor is it on the second. I suppose I am most active on Twitter. I have to use it for two classes, so i am sharing something almost everyday. Next, unsurprisingly, is my Pintrest as I am always pinning something.

From what I see after googling myself, I’m so boring. I share very little of myself online. I looked at images during my search. There is only one of me. i use it for Twitter, Facebook, and Pintrest.

yep, that one!
yep, that one!

A picture of the twins from two years ago and the picture that appeared in the newspaper announcement of their birth were also there.

courtesy of gprmc.com
  courtesy of gprmc.com
courtesy of Developing Memories Photography
courtesy of Developing Memories Photography

The photo used for my paternal grandmother’s obituary is present as well because I was mentioned as one of her survivors. My maternal grandmother (the one who crocheted) had too many grandchildren to list (23 grand children and 25 great-grandchildren at the time (we’re up to 29 greats now))

The second and third Google pages are littered with little articles or just my name from the Telegraph (North Platte’s newspaper). I’ve been on the Dean’s list and the President’s list at both Midplains Community College and University of Nebraska at Kearney. A story about my ceramics class is on google as are the birth announcements of my girls and the announcement of my marriage license and wedding.

I hope that if an employer were to google me, he/she would be impressed. I don’t share much and have some accolades online. But I’m sure that any employer will see what I see. I’m boring.

It should also be noted that Google suggests the Barbra Streisand film, Yentl when someone searches for me. Yes. . .  I am named after it!

courtesy of Amazon.com
courtesy of Amazon.com

Cyberbullying and Cruelty

photo courtesy of hackbusters.com

I spent a couple of hours looking at articles about digital courtesy. This is your etiquette online (netiquette). I thought that it would be productive to discuss some of the problem children of the online community. I read the Teach Thought’s Staff’s “7 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying” and was interested in the ways that we can stop our children and students from being bullied online.

Cyberbullying is the torment and harassment of people online. The article gives us seven statistics, which it calls “surprising”. Forty-five percent of children “admit they have experience bullying online”. This is surprising. Almost half of the children surveyed (I can’t say that these children represent all of America) have been bullied online. More than forty percent say “they have become the bullies’ target”. Being a target for a bully is very distressing. I have been the target of a bully (albeit in real life) and I can say that while she was relentless at school, I was able to get away when I went home. Online, there is no relief. Seventy percent “admit they have witnessed cyberbullying”. I don’t know if any of those surveyed have ever reported what they witnessed, but I hope so. Ninety-two percent of those bullied online “are held through chatting and commenting on social media websites”. This includes Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Victims of cyberbullying are three to nine times “more likely to consider committing suicide”. This is so sad, because lately I feel like the news is full of suicide victims who were cyberbullied because the laws against it are inadequate. Two in ten “victims will inform their parents or teaches of online attacks”. I told my mother about my bully and she was able to open a channel of communication with the principal who (after I resorted to violence to stop it) eventually spoke with the girl’s mother and the bullying eventually stopped (sometimes school administrators don’t act decisively which is part of the problem). I think that communicating the problem will help it stop, so we need to be sure to look for changes in children and find out if they are being bullied in any way, not just in person.

The article gives seven ways to prevent cyberbullying.

  1. “Talk”: Be patient. Ask about the problem and open up general discussion about what cyberbullying is, if they know anyone who is or has been cyberbullied, and what to do if they know about cyberbullying.
  2. “Use the celebrity card”: Because children choose role models among celebrities, many can be used to fight cyberbullying. Many make comments against cyberbullying in social media.
  3. “Monitor online activity”: Nothing, once posted, can be lost, therefore can be saved and used for evidence. Apps for iPhone, such as Pumpic, exist to help parents monitor a child’s social media and text messages (yes including deleted ones!!), calls, and online behavior. If the child is being bullied, then the parents know and can take steps to stop it, if the child is doing the bullying, then steps can also be taken to stop it.
  4. “Engage parents and youth”: Establish committees to control and discuss online bullying. Create rules and regulations, including ways to report cyberbullying.
  5. “Build a positive climate”: Involve everyone in the fight against cyberbullying, including the bullies and victims. Give them a mutual task so they are able to “see each other from a different perspective”.
  6. Volunteer in the community”: This can be used to help “identify the victims and redirect bullies’ behavior”.
  7. “Restore self-respect”: Don’t just work on the victim, many bullies use their hostility to hide internal pain. Act thoroughly, talk to someone before acting, collect as much evidence as possible, and join with parents and teachers to figure out the best way to stop cyberbullying.

The second article I looked at “Dealing with Digital Cruelty” deals with making negative comments into positive action. Online, no one is safe. Anonymity gives some people the right to be uninhibited. Taking charge is the best answer. You are responsible for how you feel, how you interpret and react to negative comments. You can use negative comments creatively, and find a way to change your work in positive ways. You may feel attacked, but that doesn’t mean the comments don’t have merit.

The comments you want to ignore come from TROLLS!!!!

courtesy of wehuntedthemammoth.com
courtesy of wehuntedthemammoth.com

No, not those.

courtesy of chroniclesofharriet.com
courtesy of chroniclesofharriet.com

Yep. There it is.

Trolls can be defined as people who “think of their online life ‘as a kind of game with rules and norms that don’t apply to everyday living'”. They don’t care that they are harming people, or seem like idiots just because they want to try and destroy someone else’s well being or insert their opinion, no matter how ridiculous.

Try not to take harsh comments seriously. Sometimes they can be used to improve your work and sometimes they can be ignored. Take any critics, even if they appear to be destructive, and make them constructive.

courtesy of gplusexpertise.com
courtesy of gplusexpertise.com

Four Balls Later. . .

So this week I planned to start my lap blanket, and I have done so. On my two hour journey this week, I used four balls of black and white yarn. The colors together are starkly different, and oh so appealing. I bought the yarn with the intention of making my mother a scarf, but I really want to finish the blanket just to see how it turns out. The beginning of it looks really good, and I’m so pleased with the way that I’ve figured out how to continue using the same color yarn when I run out of it in the middle of a row. I actually found the solution on Pintrest! I just tied a knot in my hook chain and continued with the new yarn. Simple! Then I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to switch colors, but I used the same method, and voila! A seamless color switch! I’d say I’m starting to get the hang of this.

image image image image image I unfortunately don’t have anymore of that yarn. I got it on a trip to Lincoln and I hope that I can find more of it online! But, until then, I have to figure out something else. I was thinking, while I wait for my black and white sparkly yarn, I would start my butterfly blankets for my girls. I don’t know what colors I’d like to use. Mackenzie loves green, so that’s easy, but Maddisun doesn’t seem to have a favorite. She alternates between blue, yellow, and orange. I think that I’ll bring them with me to pick out their own colors, as they did for their scarves.

I do want to continue learning new crochet stitches, and perhaps start trying to make a hat, or maybe some socks, as I’ve found some patterns for them. I don’t know which I’m going to attempt in the coming weeks, but I want to get something accomplished. So far I’ve figured out how to make scarves. Now it’s time for me to move on to something a bit harder. How can I learn if all I do is the same thing?

I don’t want to start another big project while I await my new yarn, should I actually find more of it online, because I don’t want to abandon it for my blanket. So next week, expect a couple of small projects, perhaps a granny square or more crochet stitch practice. I’ll get back to my blanket at the next opportunity!