Creative Writing Prompt: Summer Vacations – Then and Now

Rhodia Pencils

It has been historically close to impossible for me to take a staycation without feeling like I *have* to do work but this past holiday weekend I think I did a pretty decent job of tuning out the world and just enjoying myself. I spent time puttering around the garden, reading, cooking delicious food, watching fireworks and contemplating life.

As I took several long walks around the surrounding neighborhoods, I noticed that things seemed very quiet and my assumption was that a lot of people were either on vacation or visiting with family and friends for the holiday.

This started me thinking about the types of vacations that people take. We didn’t travel much when I young girl, but I can distinctly remember two trips to the Jersey Shore- (Long before Snooki…) then in my mid to late teens, all I wanted to do was to go to Wildwood or Seaside Heights. Nowadays, I’d rather be in the woods or by a nice lake in the middle of nowhere. Nature, quiet, solitude. Ahh…

Today’s creative writing prompt centers around this:

Do you still frequent the same vacation destinations that you did when you were young?

Why or why not?

Happy Birthday America

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Wishing you you all a joyful holiday weekend.

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.  – per Wiki

Books for the Summer: What are You Reading?

Book

I’m not exactly sure what kind of book makes for a good “Summer Read” but in typical Steph Smith form, I just finished one book, Mr. Mercedes, (despite my love for Mr. King, don’t waste your time with this one) and am currently reading at least half a dozen others including, “What are you looking at?” shown above, and “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou.

What books are either in your summer beach bag, or are loaded & ready to go on your e-reader? And how did you choose them? Do you go by the bestseller lists or online reviews? Recommendations from a friend?

To Honor the Fallen

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Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is celebrated every year on the final Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died while in the military service. (Per Wiki)

Merry Christmas!

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Wishing everyone a peaceful and merry Christmas.

 

A Moment of Levity

In an attempt to help relieve some of the stress associated with the holidays, I’d like to present to you this video of an adorable dog rolling around on a pickle.

Favorite Holiday Cookies

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In the early 1970s, my Mom’s kiffle cookies were probably everyone’s favorite. A delicate filled cookie of Eastern European origin, they would disappear in mere seconds from the moment they were cool and dusted with powdered sugar. Apricot, prune (lekvar) and walnut were the traditional fillings Mom used in her kiffles and my favorite was always the walnut which had a taste similar to the nut rolls and nut tossies that she would also sometimes bake.

This blog post talks about kiffles but shows a construction method different from Mom’s. Mom would roll out a sheet of dough which she would then cut into squares. The filling was placed on the middle of the square and then two opposite corners were folded in leaving the filling exposed at two ends of the cookie. (Like this)

What are your favorite holiday cookies?

 

Christmas and Holiday Card Traditions

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In 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official White House card. Over the years, these cards would typicaly depict White House scenes as rendered by prominent American artists. The number of recipients has snowballed over the decades, from just 2,000 in 1961 to 1.4 million in 2005. (Per Wiki) The image above depicts American president Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1967 White House Christmas card.

It’s been a good number of years since I’ve sent out holiday cards and do you know what? I miss it. I don’t hardly receive them anymore either – and I’m not sure if that’s because of people not sending them, or people just not sending them to me.

Do you still mail out holiday cards? If so, what kind do you send? Traditional store bought cards, photo cards – or maybe handmade cards? If you don’t send them anymore, why not? Limited time? Cost of postage?

 

Giving the gift of Rhodia for the Holidays

Holiday Rhodia

Planning to give or receive the gift of Rhodia for the holidays this year? Smaller sized Rhodia products like the classic No.’s 8, 10, 11 (in graph or lined) & 12 (also available in the dot format) make great stocking stuffers, as do the Webnotepads, Rhodiarama Webbies, No. 12 “R” pads, side stapled pocket sized (A7) notebooks, the pocket sized Weekly Planners and last but not least, the Rhodia Unlimited pocket notebook.

Which are you hoping will be in your stocking?

What are your plans for shopping on Black Friday?

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The day following Thanksgiving is often considered to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year- will you be making any purchases on this day? Is your inbox as flooded as mine is with special holiday sales and discounts for both online retailers and brick and mortar stores? I’m unlikely to venture far from my local shopping district at least for today, though I’m sure to poke around to see what deals I might find online.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin pie

Wishing you and yours a day filled with love and gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Belated International Fountain Pen Day!

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I can’t believe I missed it! The first Friday in November is International Fountain Pen Day and I am noting my 2014 calendar as we speak. So what did you do to celebrate? Did you buy a new pen? New inks? Flush out your favorite pen and refill it with a daring new color? Please share!

Image courtesy of corporate_p on Instagram which depicts a Kaweco  filled with Private Reserve’s Burgundy Mist on a Rhodia dotPad

Orange and Black

mrmikedudek

Orange and black – how appropriate for Halloween! Do you know how these colors came to be associated with this ghoulish holiday? Me neither! Maybe it’s from orange pumpkins and black cats, fall leaves and the color of a witches hat…

Here are a few opinions on the topic:

What is the origin of Halloween colors?

Halloween Colors: Where Did They Come From?

The Origin of Pumpkin Carving and Halloween Colors

PS: What was your most favorite Halloween costume you ever wore? I always struggled with masks because of wearing glasses but a number of years ago I found a mask made of a see-through fabric and I was thrilled to finally be in full disguise! 

Image above courtesy of mrmikedudek on Instagram

Happy Labor Day America!

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Did you know that the iconic “Rosie the Riveter” image shown above, created in 1942 by Pittsburgh artist J. Howard Miller was not the most popular image of “Rosie” during World War II? The most popular Rosie image was created in 1943 by Norman Rockwell and was featured on the cover of the Memorial Day issue of The Saturday Evening Post: Continue Readering »

Happy Independence Day America!

Fireworks

Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July.

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