Let’s Talk: The TMI Questions Tag

Image contains: me, smiling.Okay, it’s time for a little fun. I read this tag on Amaan Khan’s blog. Here are my answers to his silly questions. This shouldn’t be too much information.

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Q1. What are you wearing? I’m dressed in blue jeans, a pink sweatshirt with a design on the front, black socks and white tennis shoes.

Q2. Have you ever been in love? Yes, and I married him. Three months later, he suffered the first of two strokes that paralyzed his left side. I cared for him at home for six years before he passed. You can learn more about this by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

Q3. Have you ever had a terrible break-up? No, but I did lose my man. Death is similar to a break-up, you know.

Q4. How much do you weigh? 132 pounds.

Q5. Do you have any piercings? Not now, but when I was in junior high school, I was crazy enough to have my ears pierced. Although it was done professionally in a jewelry store, my ears became infected, so I had to let them close over.

Q6. Do you have any tattoos? No, and I never will. I’m not that crazy.

Q7. How long does it take you to shower? That’s nobody’s business but mine.

Q8. Have you ever been in a physical fight? No, but I’ve been in plenty of verbal ones, mostly with my younger brother.

Q9. What turns you on? At my age, I don’t get turned on.

Q10. What turns you off? Incorrect grammar, too many adverbs, and too many descriptions of sex and other activities that aren’t relevant to a story.

Q11. Do you prefer loud or soft music? I mostly listen while I’m working, so for me, it’s better soft.

Q12. Do you have a favorite quote? Yes. “Sometimes I even amaze myself.” It’s what Han Solo says in Star Wars after Princess Leia marvels at her successful rescue. It’s what I say when someone tells me how amazing it is that I do what I do despite my lack of vision.

Q13. What’s your biggest fear? I’m terrified of fire. This stems from my younger brother’s fascination with it, resulting in his burning down an abandoned shack and starting a blaze in our basement when he was only five years old. He eventually outgrew this, and now he teaches physics at a private high school.

Q14. What’s the last thing that made you cry? Hearing a song that was included on a cassette that my late husband sent me on Valentine’s Day after proposing to me. You can listen to the song and read more about my experience with it here.

Q15. Who was the last person you spoke to? The gal who delivered my groceries.

Q16. What are the three qualities in a best friend? Honesty, empathy, and a sense of humor.

Q17. Do you like your name? I never gave this much thought. Besides, if I didn’t like it, changing it wouldn’t be worth the hassle.

Q18. If you could pick your own name, what would it be? I wouldn’t bother. I’m happy with the name I have.

Q19. What makes you happy? Writing, reading, eating.

Q20. What are five random facts about you? I live in Sheridan, Wyoming. I’m about five feet tall with short dark hair and brown eyes. I use a white cane when walking around town. I like dogs and cats but don’t want the responsibility associated with having pets of my own. I like most types of music except for heavy metal, hip hop, and rap.

Q21. Is there any religious persuasion? No, not anymore.

Q22. Have you ever given or received a hicky? No.

Q23. What do you think about the most? My writing projects and other obligations.

Q24. Is there someone you really hate right now? No.

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Now it’s your turn. I triple dog dare you to answer any or all of the above questions, either on your own blog or in the comment field below. If you do this on your own blog, please be sure to include a link to this post. I look forward to reading your answers.

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My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

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My Biggest Grammar Pet Peeve

Thanks to Mary Hiland  for inspiring this post. Like Mary, I understand the importance of good grammar usage, and I do my best to follow all English rules. Of course, if a character in a story uses bad grammar, that’s okay, but if you’re writing a blog post or other narrative piece, it’s important to watch your grammatical P’s and Q’s.

My biggest grammar pet peeve is incorrect usage of the words “lay” and “lie.” When my husband Bill was alive, and I was his caregiver, we struggled with this all the time. He would ask me if he could lay down. I would tell him no, that I would lay him down, or he could lie down, but he could not lay down. This information isn’t included in My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds, but you’ll find many other anecdotes about my trials and tribulations as a family caregiver.

Before I married Bill and became his caregiver, I was a registered music therapist, working with senior citizens in nursing homes and other facilities. If I had a dollar for every time I overheard a certified nursing assistant ask a resident if she was ready to lay down, I would be rich enough to buy my own nursing home, and then I would immediately conduct a mandatory in-service on proper grammar usage. If, God forbid, I end up in a nursing home, and I’m asked if I’m ready to lay down, I will say, “No, you can lay me down, or I can lie down, but I will never lay down.”

What about you? Do you have any grammar pet peeves? Please share them here, so we can all learn better English.

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday:Tom T. Hall–I Like Beer

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati. If you’d like to participate, click here for guidelines.

When I read that the theme this week is “drink,” this is the first song that popped into my head. I posted it here before, but I think it’s worth a re-run.

I remember us girls in eighth grade home economics class singing this song, much to the chagrin of the teacher, who said, “Grow up.” Now, I don’t like the taste of beer or any other alcoholic beverage, but I still enjoy singing this song’s chorus once in a while. Enjoy, and drink responsibly.

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I Like Beer

In some of my songs I have casually mentioned
The fact that I like to drink beer
This little song is more to the point
Roll out the barrel and lend me your ears
I like beer, it makes me a jolly good fellow
I like beer, it helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow (Makes him feel mellow)
Whiskey’s too rough, Champagne costs too much, vodka puts my mouth in gear
This little refrain should help me explain as a matter of fact I like beer
(He likes beer)
My wife often frowns when we’re out on the town
And I’m wearing a suit and a tie
She’s sipping vermouth and she thinks I’m uncouth
When I yell as the waiter goes by
I like beer, it makes me a jolly good fellow
I like…
Last night I dreamed that I passed from the scene
And I went to a place so sublime
Aw, the water was clear and tasted like beer
Then they turned it all into wine (Awww)I like beer, it makes me a jolly good fellow
I like beer, it helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow (Makes him feel mellow)
Whiskey’s too rough, Champagne costs too much, vodka puts my mouth in gear
This little refrain should help me explain as a matter of fact I like beer
(He likes beer)
Songwriter: Tom Hall
I Like Beer lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Thursday Tidbit: Excerpt from That’s Life

This excerpt is from That’s Life: New and Selected Poems. Click here for more information and ordering links. I wrote this several years ago after visiting my brother and his family in Florida and dedicated it to one of my nieces. Click here for a recording of me reading it.

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THAT’S LIFE

For Ana

Oh you of thirteen years,
when told you can’t go to the mall
or sleep over with a friend,
please understand that’s the way life is.
If you grow up thinking
you’ll always have your way,
you’ll be sadly disappointed
so better put on your big girl pants—
deal with it.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Thursday Throwback: Brian Hyland: Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

Since I’m being featured this coming Saturday on another blog, and I plan to re-blog that then, I decided to post my weekly music feature today instead of a book feature. According to my Amazon companion, today is National Bikini Day, among other things. Here’s a song to commemorate that for those who prefer minimal clothing. Enjoy, and have a great day.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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Piss Call

Piss Call

One morning, I was getting ready to go to my water exercise class at the YMCA and running late. I considered making a pit stop before putting on my swimsuit and clothes, but since I didn’t want my friend who was picking me up to wait for me and didn’t feel it was an urgent need, I decided against it. After I got in the pool later, I wished I’d gone, but I managed to make it through the class.

My body is like a little kid. You ask her if she needs to go to the bathroom before a long car trip, and she says she doesn’t. Then, you’re on the open road in the middle of nowhere, and she says, “Mommy, I have to go.”

When my brother and I were kids, and our family took long road trips, my dad had a solution to this problem. Whenever he needed to go, he said, “Piss call” and pulled over. He would then get out and do his business alongside the road.

My brother found this hilarious, and like his father, he wanted to do the same thing. My mother said my dad was a card. At the age of twelve, I found this fascinating. The only cards I knew about were playing cards and greeting cards. How could a person be a card?

Years later, after my mother passed away, and I was a registered music therapist working in a nursing home and with senior citizens in other facilities, Dad and I planned a trip to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to visit my brother and his family. My father had recently suffered a stroke and occasionally found it difficult to express himself or understand what was being said to him.

After driving for about an hour and a half, we stopped in Kaycee for gas. It was around eleven o’clock. I figured we would stop in Casper for lunch. Since that was only about half an hour away, I again decided I didn’t need to use the facilities. When we reached the outskirts of Casper, Dad suggested we go on to Wheatland, another ninety miles, for lunch. By this time, I had to go and didn’t think I could wait another hour and a half.

When I asked if we could pull into a gas station so I could use the restroom, Dad thought I was hungry and suggested I get a milk shake or an order of French fries at a nearby Burger King to tide me over until we reached Wheatland. We kept going back and forth, me explaining I needed to make a pit stop and him insisting I get a snack. Finally, I said “Piss call.”

That did the trick, although to my surprise and relief, he didn’t pull over. Sometimes, you have to speak a person’s language in order to be understood. We ended up going to Burger King, and I used the facilities, then bought a milk shake for the road.

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What do you remember about road trips you took with your family when you were growing up? What about when you were an adult? Do you still take road trips with your family? I’d love to read your responses, either on your own blog with a link to this post or in the comments field below. Happy summer, and safe travels.

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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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On Straightening Up and Flying Right, an Abecedarian Poem


Thanks to fellow blogger Alice Massa for inspiring me to post this again. It was published in Magnets and Ladders several years ago, and I posted it here at that time. In this recent post, Alice encourages her readers to write an abecedarian about summer. I wrote this one several years ago. It’s not exactly about summer, but it will do.

When my father died several years ago, my brother and I performed the song that inspired this poem at his celebration of life with me on piano and vocals and my brother on drums. Without my brother and his drums, I can’t re-produce that version, but here’s Nat King Cole’s rendition, which is a lot better.

Below the video, you’ll find the WordPress player application, and when you press the Play button there, you’ll hear me read the poem. The printed version is below that. This form of poetry is called an abecedarian because the first letter of each line starts with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. Needless to say, this poem is 26 lines. You’ll note that the beginning letter of each line is in bold. In my recorded reading, I emphasize the first word of each line. Enjoy!

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On Straightening Up and Flying Right

A buzzard and a monkey wouldn’t fly together
because a monkey wouldn’t be stupid enough to
climb on a buzzard’s back, a buzzard being a
dirty bird with no morals.
Everybody knows that monkeys don’t
fly–buzzards do. I would
guess that monkeys associate with monkeys.
Heaven knows why the song was written. What an
imagination someone must have to
justify writing it—but with
knowledge of values, one would believe that there’s a
logical message here. The
monkey makes a point when telling the buzzard
not to blow his top and to do right.
Of course, not blowing your top and doing right are important.
People who are angry blow their tops, but the
question is do these people not do
right? I’ve blown my top a few times.
Still, I try to do the right thing. I
think that even the best of us,
under certain circumstances, blow our tops. It’s not
very unusual, but back to the monkey and the buzzard.
Why would a monkey allow a buzzard to take him for a ride? It doesn’t require
x-ray vision to determine that a buzzard is smaller than the average monkey.
You should realize that a monkey would be safer riding a
zebra. He wouldn’t have far to fall.

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If you’d like to try writing an abecedarian poem, check out Alice’s guidelines linked to above. The basic idea is to write a 26-line poem with the first letter of each line starting with a consecutive letter of the alphabet. This can be tricky. Good luck. I’d love to read what you come up with, either on your own blog with a link here or in the comments field below.
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Abbie Johnson Taylor
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
Like Me on Facebook.

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