Wednesday, December 28, 2011

On My 2011 Year in Review

Have you ever sat at your computer, or desk with a pad of paper and a pen intent on writing a list of what you've done during the year--only to draw a complete blank? 

Do you see me jumping around waving my hand? Oh yeah, complete brain dump, right here.

I know I've done stuff. 

Probably a lot of 'stuff'. I just can't remember it. 

At least not without help. 

I asked my best friend what I've done this year, she is after all my best friend so she'd have a pretty good idea, right?

Her response: "Worked your ass off."

As true as that is, it wasn't much help. 

She wrote this blog the other day, and I was so impressed with it I wanted to write one myself. 


  • Completed P90X
  • Got a new tattoo
  • Completed two novels
  • Started a third
  • Completed a short story
  • Wrote several pieces of Flash Fiction
  • Completed six college classes
  • Changed my major
  • Welcomed the Marine home from Afghanistan
  • Said goodbye to the Marine when he deployed... Again.
  • Added the Niece to our home--for a permanent stay.
  • Turned 30
  • Went to the Living Desert and rode a Camel with the Munchkin.
  • Made friends and lost friends who weren't really friends.
  • Experienced the Munchkin in her first dance class
  • Watched the Munchkin in her first Christmas program
  • Found out I had allergies...bad allergies.
  • Saw the Lt Dan Band in concert and met Gary Sinise 
  • Went to San Diego with my best friend.
  • Started doing Zumba
  • Started doing Yoga
  • Went to Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm and Calico Ghost Town.
  • Rode on a tram
  • Discovered twitter (yes, I'm slow, but you can follow me @rsemeline)
I'm sure there is probably more, but that will have to be enough. 2012 is going to be insane. Really insane. Not to mention great. 

2012 is going to be great.

What did you do in 2011?


Sunday, December 25, 2011

On Christmas

Just thought I'd take a moment to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. May it be filled with joy, love, and happiness.

Now back to my regularly scheduled couch time.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On Preparing for the Holidays

It seems like I've been baking since November. 

Oh, that's right. I have been.

It's called the preparing for the holidays. Something I feel like I've fallen behind on.

Who decided it was a good idea to have two holidays filled with baking, so close together? They sure didn't discuss it with me. I'd have offered June as a good month for one of them.

This is the first year I've gotten into the Spirit in years. It's a nice feeling. We're actually trying to create family customs and memories (even though the Marine isn't here to participate). 

That would explain the lack of writing I've managed to accomplish. 

Oh well, the writing will be there later, right? The Munchkin won't be this young forever, and I don't want to miss out on making Applesauce and cinnamon ornaments with her while she still likes me. 

I'm off to continue the baking. It's a never ending process, I tell ya.

I hope this week has found you happy, joyful, and in the Spirit of giving. 

May your Christmas be Merry and filled with all the love and excitement you could want. 

Season's Greetings,


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Saying, "You Look Amazing".

My sister-in-law has always been beautiful. Both inside and out. She's got a beautiful skin tone that speaks of ancestors not as pasty as my own. When I first met her, shortly after I started dating the Marine, I thought she would have fit in as some type of Eskimo Princess (forget for a moment I have no idea about Eskimos or whether they have Princesses). She's got long black hair that is so thick and shiny it would make Barbie jealous. I know at times it makes me jealous, and I'm a redhead. 

She's also one of the nicest people I know. She volunteers to help others, spends quality  time building relationships with her children, and looking for ways to influence others in positive ways.

Not too long ago she started working out. Zumba, Pilates, Turbo Kick, hitting the YMCA etc. She's still gorgeous,  but now she's gorgeous and missing a hundred pounds. Of course, I told her she looks amazing, because, HELLO, she does! She responded, "I've always looked amazing, but I know what you mean. Thanks."

I internally cringed when I read that. Some how, I think, I'd managed to step into the metaphoric crap. 

In a society so consumed by physical appearance, how is a person supposed to congratulate someone on an amazing accomplishment like losing a hundred pounds, without sounding like it's a backhanded compliment? 

By saying I thought she looked amazing, did it sound like I didn't think she did before? That I had thought she needed to change her appearance? 

Looks shouldn't be everything. Being skinny, with nice skin doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be a beautiful person. In fact, I've known plenty of people who would be considered beautiful, because of their outward appearance. 

They were some of the ugliest people I've ever known. 

Inside where true beauty really is, they were empty. There was no love, or caring--just selfishness and hate. 

It sucks to feel like giving a compliment will be in poor taste, but wouldn't it be worse to ignore the hard work someone has put in? I know she's proud of her accomplishments, and she should be. I also know her main focus wasn't getting skinny for skinny's sake, but for getting more active and healthy both inside and out. 

The same reasons I workout several times a week, don't eat fried foods, drink tons of water, and keep positive thoughts at the forefront of everything I do. 

What are your experiences with saying 'You look amazing' or something similar? Did the person take it as the compliment it was intended as, or did they take it as something worse? I'd love to hear about it.

Remember, as long as you're healthy, happy and caring, your true beauty is already apparent to the world. The outside is just wrapping.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On the Shortness of Life

Since September 11, 2001 our country has been at war. Thousands of people have lost their lives, and the military men and women as well as the Country as a whole understand the dangers in the Middle East. What many don't often realize is how dangerous the military's job is even when they're stateside.

According to this article, early last night four Army helicopter aviators died during a training exercise near Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State.

They weren't inside some Middle Eastern country, they were within the borders of our own.

Yes, I'm sure they knew the dangers of their job each time they set foot on a helicopter, and though I didn't know them personally, I've known many like them. They did what they did each day, and loved it. It was who they were.

That doesn't make the loss any less severe for the  families and friends of the four pilots, or the family and friends of any person who dies unexpectedly.

I wish more than anything there was a way to guarantee the safety of our men and women during training, but there's not.  

This holiday season while everyone celebrates the joy of being together, we should all take a moment to realize how short life truly is.

Take a moment and thank those military men and women you know, not just for the sacrifices they've already made, but for the ones they could make.

My heart goes out to their families and friends.

May the aviators rest in peace.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

On Between the Hours of 8:00 and Noon

If you've ever had to make an appointment for a delivery or a pick up, or some other 'meeting' that requires someone to come to your house (the exterminator for the bugs who have started wearing your clothes and shoes, the repairman for the dishwasher that sprung a 'small' leak that now looks like Niagra Falls, or in my case, today, the LoJack installation guy) you know they never give you a set time. 

It's always in a window. 

Usually between three and four hours. 

For me, it always seems to be between the hours of 8:00 and Noon. 

I obviously have nothing better to do with my time than wait for four hours for someone I'm paying to get around to me. 

Today, my LoJack needs its two year service (okay, it's needed it for several months). Which, in theory is a good thing since the light on the little doomahickey that hangs from my key ring has been flashing angrily at me for over a month. 

I think it's taken to taunting me. 

It's like a game.

I try to catch it blinking, but I miss it more often than not.

What can I say, I'm easily amused. 

So today during the hours of 8-noon, I'm hanging out at my house (the same place I hang out whenever I get a free moment), trying to get something useful done. 

Like work on the YA WIP, or sketch out the most recent short story ideas that have decided to plague me at night when I'm supposed to be falling into a peaceful, restful, rejuvenating sleep.

Instead, I've discussed with my best friend topics for articles I want to write regarding the Marine Corps. Though, I'm not sure in my present state of mind those would be a good thing. 

I've also decided to make brownies, because while I'm looking for things to keep me busy between 8 and noon, I was skeezing on Facebook and realized that today is National Brownie Day. How did I not know this day existed?

Pretty sure my waistline is not going to be happy with me for this. 

That's okay, I'll do some extra yoga. :)

What is the worst experience you've had when it came to a window of time and waiting for someone?


Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Women and Sex

This month I'm working on an article about married women and sex.

Men often complain their wives don't have the same sex drive as they'd had before they got married or during the first year after the ring was placed on the woman's finger.

Many women complain about not wanting to have sex with their spouse at all, because of a lack of emotional intimacy. I've spoken to many of my friends and each of them have a similar story to tell.

For this article though, I want to touch on the feelings, concerns, and actions of people I don't actually know. I want to see if everyone is like this, or if it's just a few select people.

I need as many women as possible (either married or formerly married) to truthfully fill out a questionnaire. I don't need or want names or locations, just truthful responses to the sometimes touchy questions. I'm hoping for at least 100 women to fill out the questionnaire before I begin writing the article.

I could really use all you wonderful blog readers' help. Even if you're not married or have never been married, maybe you know someone who is. Pass along my email to them and I'll send them the questionnaire.

If you're interested send an email to rsemeline (at) gmail (dot) com, with the word "questionnaire" in the subject line.

Please have the questions completed no later than December 15, 2011.

Remember, the answers are completely confidential, and your names will not be shared. Ever.

Thank you in advance for your participation., and please share this post with your friends on twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks.