The Puzzle of Life: Find Something to Live For

*part 27 in a series about life…for Grace…based on an actual puzzle*

Sorry some of the circles are impossible to read in the picture. They're hard to read in reality, too. ;)

Sorry some of the circles are impossible to read in the picture. They’re hard to read in reality, too. ;)


This time the Puzzle of Life gives us what may be the most depressing bit of advice I’ve ever encountered: Find Something To Live For.

Oh, dear.

It is one of my sincerest and deepest hopes that you never ever have to find something to live for.

There are so, so many jillions of fantabulous things in this world…I hope that hundreds of things always easily come to mind as lovely reasons to enjoy life…without searching.

Does that mean things will always be peachy and ducky? Nope. Sometimes life will suck, but, even then…plenty of things to live for.

Even if this phrase was intended to have a more positive note and just meant that you should discover or identify a purpose in your life (in which case, that’s what the phrase should have said, but, alas, puzzles and people often don’t say exactly what they mean), I’m guessing you’ll not have to search for that purpose.

Or maybe the puzzle meant you should find where to focus your energies in life. (Again, if that’s what the phrase means, perhaps that’s how the phrase should go?) And you probably will spend some time thinking about where to focus your energies in life, but you’ll find that these things change over time…and that’s 100% okay. Don’t feel like shifting priorities and evolving passions and changing purposes is a bad thing…it’s really just a part of life. When we grow as people, what we choose to focus our time and thought on adapts. :)

Let’s just hope the puzzle wasn’t intending to be as dismal as it came across, and it actually meant one of those other, less depressing things. ;)

Want to keep up with the whole series? I made a page for that! ;)

What do you think? Do you have to find something to live for…or do these things make themselves pretty apparent? (If you really do feel like you are searching for reasons to live, I do so hope that you’ll look for some counseling and/or medical help.) What are you currently living for? Is it the same as what you were living for ten or twenty years ago?

Three Things Thursday: August 21

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

This week my pictures are all from last week’s trip to see my best friend…and they don’t even include the pizza or the truffles or the Scrabble. :D

That first glimpse of the mountains is always a lovely sight. :)

That first glimpse of the mountains is always a lovely sight. :)

This house holds some of my favorite people...and it's just a super-cute house. :D

This house holds some of my favorite people…and it’s just a super-cute house. :D

It was goose pandemonium!

It was goose pandemonium!

So, what made you smile this week?

Reading Program Update

Note: Even if you don’t read the post about the Reading Program Update, please scroll to the bottom of the post and vote about a new possibility for the blog!

I’m excited to announce that we have our very first picture of a completed tracking sheet! Woop, woop! Yep, Becky G. sent this lovely photo in a few days ago:


As if that weren’t fabulous enough, I’ve also gotten reports from the fantastic Hannah at Things Matter about poetry and magazine articles and books with one-word titles and picture books (with animals on the cover to boot)!

Here’s what she had to say about Drift by M. K. Hutchins:

I like the idea and the worldbuilding is unique — People live on the backs of giant turtles, surrounded by the ocean they call Hell. (The cover is gorgeous). In the world of subsistence farming, children are valuable as extra work. Poorer families have more kids, rather than fewer. Drift throws a wrench in the works by making the land a scarce resource — if there are too many kids, the turtle could be overfarmed and even sink. The upper classes don’t have children because they can support themselves in their old age, or if they’re artisans, they have apprentices to do that. So, there’s a really interesting class dynamic where there’s a pressure to have kids, but also a pressure not to have them.
However, the underlying assumptions in the book bother me. There are men’s roles and women’s roles, and celibacy is challenged, but those roles aren’t. I did like that we have a bigoted main character who learns not to be prejudiced against the poor and married. However, the message of the book is that it’s normal and desirable for everyone to marry and have kids. Sure, people shouldn’t be shamed when they do that, or forced not to, but is “it’s okay to get married and have kids!” really a message people desperately need to hear in this day and age? No. They need to hear that their value ISN’T solely in marriage and kids, and that if they choose something else, that’s fine. LGBT people are also completely unmentioned, despite the extreme detail in which all the male/female relations and reproductive norms are described. I’d be interested in reading a sequel, but I’m a little wary of this author because of the unexamined assumptions in this book, and that makes me sad.
Of course, Grace has also been hard at work on her reading! She’s read a couple of picture books about Roanoke as part of her Social Studies research. (I still maintain that there is just no better introduction to a topic than a picture book!) She’s also finished Blackwood, a paranormal teen romance deal with all sorts of historical fiction about Roanoke. Now she’s tackling Whisper Falls, another historical fiction book focused on North Carolina…this time a time bending adventure between an indentured servant in 1796 and a bike-riding teen from present day Raleigh. Fun!

Congrats to Becky, Hannah, and Grace for winning this round! :D

We still have one more round to go for the Summer Reading & Writing Challenge, but we do finish up on August 31, so go ahead and get your submissions in! If you need to review the challenges for inspiration, you can check them out HERE. I’ll do a final post for the 2014 Reading Program on September 3 to let you know who the winners are. :)

I’m pondering ideas for a reading thing to do after the Summer Reading & Writing Program finishes up. So far, I’m leaning toward an online book club through the blog, but I’m curious to see how many people are interested. What I would really like to see happen is a book club focused on some of the fantastic independent authors out here in blogiverse. I’ve read so many wonderful books by these authors, and I’d really like to do my part to bring them a bit of attention while providing some book club fun for my readers (and myself). :) So, now here comes your part in all of this…tell me your preferences in this whole matter by voting below, please. :D

If people show interest, I’d love to get this whole thing started in September. :D

Writing Prompt Wednesday: August 20


“The Rules”

  • Try to keep your responses to 100 words or less.
  • Feel free to submit responses in the comments or send to

I love hearing from all sorts…authors, students, well-trained reptiles.  You’re all welcome to join in the fun. :)

Enjoy! :D

* * * * *

Last Week’s Prompt(s) and Awesome Responses:wpid-img_7584.2014-07-29_204101.jpg

From Sincerely Kate:

“You’re right. Your arms are too small for your body.”

From Seedling:

“I’m looking for something strapless and with lots of sequined detail in the train, right, Mable?”

From Container Chronicles:

Why do you always make the cool costumes for him?

From Little Reader Book Reviews & More:

“Just for your angst, this was supposed to make me look slim.”

From Teachezwell Blog:

It will fit just fine. I’ll lose the weight by June.

The Puzzle of Life: Ask Questions

*part 26 in a series about life…for Grace…based on an actual puzzle*

Sorry some of the circles are impossible to read in the picture. They're hard to read in reality, too. ;)

Sorry some of the circles are impossible to read in the picture. They’re hard to read in reality, too. ;)


This next bit of wisdom from the Puzzle of Life is something I can wholeheartedly get behind. Yep, the puzzle tells us to Ask Questions. Oh, My. Goodness. Yes.

Ask questions about everything. Ask questions about the things people tell you, the things you read, the things you hear. Ask questions about experiment results and statistics thrown in your face. Ask questions about what you believe and what you don’t believe. Ask questions because you happened to wonder about a thing or because you want to better understand something.

Ask. Questions.

Ask yourself questions. Ask your parents, your teachers, your bosses, your friends, your co-workers, your kids (after you have them, of course). Ask complete strangers questions if you think they’ll know the answer to something on your brain. Don’t hesitate to ask an expert either. (Do you remember when we needed information about mouse behavior and brain function for school? I emailed neurologists and behavioral psychologists in our area…you thought I was a bit nutty, but do you remember how it turned out? Yeah, we ended up with all the information we could eat and some awesome contacts and supporters for that whole project. There’s no harm in asking the people who are the very most likely to know the answers.)

Asking questions keeps your thinker constantly growing and pondering. Asking questions helps you to find your personal truth about nearly everything there is to have a truth about. Every answer and every ponder increases your education and awareness…and there’s that whole trivia-game champion potential, too. ;)

So, yeah, I absolutely agree with our puzzle on this one. Asking questions is a fantabulous thing to do for always. :D

Want to keep up with the whole series? I made a page for that! ;)

What do you think? Is it important to ask questions? Has there ever been a time when asking a question could have really improved or changed your life? What’s the most important question you’ve ever asked? What’s the most interesting question you’ve ever answered?

Sharing My World – Week 33

*answering the fun questions provided each week by the fabulous Cee – check out her blog so you can play along, too!*

Do you believe in ghosts? 

Rationally, no, not at all. However, when I’m home alone at night and watching something creepy, ghosts suddenly become a way bigger possibility in my mind. I’m a total chicken about that kind of thing. ;)

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility:  If you could play any sport professionally what would it be?  Or if you can’t picture yourself playing sports, what is your favorite sport?

I think I would be excellent in the world of roller derby. Roller skates, knee socks, and knocking the mess out of people? Yeah, that would be for me. :D

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

I prefer long hair. It drives me bonkers to have my hair touching my face, so I usually wear it back in a bun or a ponytail. When I had shorter hair (we all have to experiment with these things, don’t we?), my hair was constantly driving me bananas with the whole “it’s touching me” thing. ;)

If you were on a small island, who would you want to be with? And where is it?  How big is it?

Well, of course I would want to be with this guy:

Back Camera

And this chic:


And this guy:


And then there are a couple of good friends (and their families) that would make the island way more awesome. My BFF and her little and husband would pretty much have to be there.

I think I would want my island to be part of the Outer Banks. (Surely one of those is still unclaimed, right?) ;) And I think 14.7 square miles would be a lovely size. :)

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am so, so gleefully grateful that I got to spend the day with my BFF yesterday. Pizza, truffles, Scrabble, and the lake with my bestie? 100% win! (Edit: I guess that was actually the day before yesterday. That’s what I get for writing my posts in advance.) ;)

Since my birthday falls on a Thursday, we’re going to go ahead and celebrate this weekend…yeah, there’s a piñata in my near future. :D

Now, I do so hope that you’ll share part of your world with the rest of us. :D

T-shirty AWESOMENESS — Blogging For Good


Awesome shirts for an awesome cause! I do hope all of my lovely readers will check this out. Oren sounds pretty amazing!

Originally posted on

shirts header




This is the post that has all my geek-buttons lighting up.

Are you a proud dork yourself? Do you have a giant dork in your family? Here is your chance to stand up loud and proud and show the world that the dorks have inherited the Earth.

For TWO WEEKS ONLY, exclusively from these hardcore, dorktastic t-shirts will be available through our partners at But it gets even better. has generously agreed that 100% OF THE PROFITS GENERATED WILL BE DONATED TO BENEFIT THE FAMILY OF OREN MILLER, a fellow blogger and father who was recently diagnosed with stage IV cancer. (for more about how this came to pass, see below)

So feast your eyes on the nerd-candy below. Remember, they will only be available for two weeks. Grab ‘em while you can. Buy some for your friends. And please, for Oren and his family,

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