Posted in Hunting, Shopping

Not another Manic Monday


Hey there.  I have this Monday off and am spending an exhilarating morning hunting in Northwestern Pennsylvania.  I hope to tag some biggies. When hunting, I refuse to wear the traditional fluorescent orange and camouflage. I prefer yoga pants, an oversized sweatshirt, and my lucky pair of reindeer cabin socks when I scope out the scene.  By the way, I’d rather “dress” like Lady Godiva than sport a camo outfit, even if it’s one bedazzled with sparkles.

I am keeping a low profile and hiding away though from all things furry (dogs) and scampering (kids) in my wilderness (living room).  Quiet concentration is necessary.  I don’t want to waste my arsenal of coupons or miss my shot this Cyber Monday.  


I’m warmly perched in my recliner chair-stand and keep loading my carts and firing away. While I might let some bucks slip away, I plan to score points around the tree for the holidays.

All jokes aside, I don’t hunt deer, bears, birds, or anything else except merchandise, especially shoes. I am a bargain hunter and pride myself on being a coupon queen who can slash prices like a fruit ninja.  I hope my scrolling and clicking brings some valuable bounty.   

So far Kohls, Alex and Ani, and are my favorites (just like any other day).  I’m an Ebates Member too, and they are offering bonus rebates today.  Swell sales!  

Good luck to all the hunters unplugged and venturing to the real wilderness on this  Opening Day of rifle deer season. May you enjoy a warm meal and stories around the dinner table tonight.  

Hoping we all get what we’re hunting for this holiday Monday.  

Feel free to share a picture or story of your deal or deer.


Posted in Dogs, Happiness, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Dinner and Fried Chicken


We are thankful for these two furry friends. Because of their coloring, our daughter Cara nicknamed Louie (the sheltie) “Thanksgiving Dinner” and Italia (the golden) “Fried Chicken.”


After my husband let the dogs out on such a brisk, rainy Thanksgiving morning, Italia ran back into our bedroom and jumped right into our bed. This was a big deal, because of her aging body, she hasn’t been able to get into the bed unassisted for months.

I cuddled with her for an extra spell of time. She would have stayed there forever to be pet and loved. Louie, on the other hand, Mr. Thanksgiving Dinner himself, whined for us to get out of bed, so I could continue fattening him up. He basically sees me as the hand that feeds him. It’s all balances out with the unconditional love from Italia.

I’m so thankful toimg_0249 have started out our holiday with extra snuggles.

Hope you had your own special Thanksgiving Dinner (or Fried Chicken).

Posted in Happiness, Sunshine

My Symbolic Story of being a Part-Time Sunshine

img_9996The actual and metaphoric sky which umbrellas all earthlings sprinkles and showers us with various shines and shadows. It’s a wacky, windy, wildly unpredictable sky, and so is my job as a sunshine.

I know some of you have been wondering what this position entails.  Allow me to explain. Who knows, you might be cut out for this line of work too?  First of all, neither I nor my co-workers are suns; we are sun-shines who derive our heat and energy from the Big Mac Daddy in the sky, the star around which the earth orbits.  The sun is boss.  Remember, I’m only a part-time sunshine, so I have a lot of other jobs, responsibilities, and realities that can prevent me from always catching up to the SUN, but I give my best, daily.  

Since I’m a part-timer, I get to punch in at any point on the sundial.  For example, while I teach my students, I can clock in some sunshine time too.  Adolescents can always use an extra ray of light.  When mothering my own teen and tween, I’m encouraged to pull out extra beams.  Lately, this has been dramatic, sassy, and tricky, but there’s an abundance of brightness to go around.  My dogs love when I give them extra sunshine with deep belly scratches and jaunts around the neighborhood.  It’s easy to log in sunshine minutes for my timesheet; the minimum requirement is  365 minutes a year.  That’s it.  A minute a day, to absorb and send out a ray.  Flex time is a swell fringe benefit.

Every job has its perks and labors.  Some days are easier than others, like on the brightest ones when I can just join forces with the other sunshines, and we can bask and gather together to reap and sow the splendor of the sky.  It’s the darker days that are trying when we have to chase the sun and unclog the clouds.  Blocked up illumination requires a reliable plunger and a lot of elbow grease.  Even though our plungers are golden handled, it’s still a messy process.  For the really tough jobs, we get to use solar power; it’s unbelievable how many clouds get sucked up by my Shark Rotator Lift-Away Vacuum.  I gotta be careful though because my hose accidentally siphoned a lazy crow sleeping in a cloud.  Luckily, he survived with the loss of a few tail feathers.  

When the solar path is cleared and glows like a Yellow Brick Road, my job is to record and report the radiance of the moment.  Armed with a plume of ultraviolet light, I highlight everyday moments and musings to share.  I used to only tell my stories, but the boss wants me to write them down and pass them along to a wider audience.  The theory is that if I spread slices of sunshine you may also be able to find, capture, and unclog your own bright spots.

When I complete my paperwork, I get a bonus if I helped you do any of the above.  I get to pick from an array of solar powered candles, disco lights, and light sabers (great Christmas presents), as well as vitamin D, bluer skies, friendlier smiles, and happier moods.  img_6555

Being a sunshine is a rewarding job, and we are currently accepting winter applicants. This is our busy time with so many earthlings suffering seasonal affective disorder, winter blahs, holiday humbugs, and sunshine amnesia (current studies being done on this one).  If you want to join Team Sunbeam, you begin by focusing. Find and reveal at least one tiny thing that is special, meaningful, amusing, or magnificent every. single. day.   

Fill out the application which requires you to share five favorite ways to soak in the *sun and you might get recruited as seasonal help.  (*Remember, this is a figurative sun that denotes warmth, cheer, and happiness.)  Be more creative than literally telling us you absorb the sun while laying with your feet in the sand by the ocean with Jimmy Buffett singing on a Caribbean stage while friendly islanders offer mai tais while braiding your hair and teaching the hula.   FREE TIP:  You are better off telling us how you find sunshine on a cloudy day.  Keep it honest and professional.  

Should you get hired, you will earn a slick yellow and orange uniform: a bedazzled solar cape, an adorable infrared sunhat, and protective reflective tortoiseshell Ray Bans.  (I designed this outfit… and in case you didn’t know, I designed this department’s job.)

All sunshines work with the common goal to spread happiness and comfort, but, at times, we get caught up in turbulent storms, unwavering wind tunnels, and unpredictable forecasts. Sometimes my journey blinds me, and I can’t completely focus on what matters. When this happens, my energy empties and random and painful fireballs tilt me in a game of emotional pinball. I whine, yell, and sob when I get stuck in black cloud movements.  I can’t stand wasting my beaming energy like this, missing the sunny parts.  

Thankfully, I’ve collected some proven skills and keep learning new techniques for these maddening cloud battles.  The biggest thing that I’ve discovered is that I can’t defeat all clouds on my own.  Whether you’re on a sunshine team or not, many of you promote the positive in the daily bustle of the mere twenty-four hours we all get.  You are vital to our humanity.  

Every shadow has a ray of light cast upon it, and there can be no shadow without it.  True story on both a literal and figurative level. When slumping through the cold, heavy dark and scratchy times, there is always hope for something warmer, lighter, and softer.  Each day starts with a newly resurrected sun, whether or not we see or feel it.  Each night ends with the moon, and no matter how full and super it gets, it still has to go to bed.  Goodnight, Moon! Time to swoon.  img_8176

Shine on with the sun, and have a day you dreamed of!  


I would love it if you would follow me and my part-time sunshine ventures.  All you have to do is sign up with your email address to get notifications of new postings and chances for happiness.  

P.S.  This is my swimming pool about five months a year.  It’s ok.  We know a thaw will come.


Posted in America, Education

Veterans Day


Dear Readers,

In observance of Veterans Day, 2016, I’d like to thank you and your loved ones who have served this magnificent country of ours.  

My father, Frank Snyder, God rest his soul, was in the army during the tail end of the Korean War. He was stationed in England as a PFC who drove a half track.  His eight older brothers also served in various branches of the military.  The Snyder boys were patriotic brothers.  

Soldiers of all branches and eras, whether serving during war or peace, deserve this collective American tribute.  Our veterans have made both great and small sacrifices and achievements across the oceans and within our nation.  

I’m a high school English teacher in a rural area in northwestern Pennsylvania.  On certain occasions our staff and student body encourage each other to wear symbolic ribbons and bracelets, spirit wear, or specific colors to support a charity, cause, organization, or team.  These simple gestures build unity, awareness, and hope, pertinent qualities that we always need, especially now.  

Today, it was refreshing to see so many fellow faculty members and students donning their red, white, and blue to honor our American Veterans.  After the Pledge of Allegiance, which is still a vital way to begin an American school day, we stood for a moment of silence to reflect, give thanks, and keep memories eternal.  

The biggest thing I can personally do to improve our country and its government is to educate our future. I am responsible to help create productive citizens of our local community and country as a whole. Beyond our subject matter, teachers have a duty to continue to teach values like tolerance, honesty, acceptance, gratitude, perseverance, and community.   

Education, peace, love, and hard work leads to liberty.  There is no patriotic piggy bank great enough to pay for the freedom we gained and still have as Americans, but when we start to abuse those freedoms we put our country in debt.  

After a long presidential campaign and recent days and nights of anti-patriotic bashing, we need to rebuild Team America!  I know we can.  Our team mascot is still the eagle, not a donkey nor an elephant.  Our veterans did and do still support that eagle that flies for our flag, our democracy.  We civilians need to also soar and unify.  God bless us, Everyone!  vets-day

Posted in Seize the Day!, Writing

What is NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo – November 1, 2016

Who out there knows what this is?  If you don’t are you curious?  Is it a name for a grandma?  Is it an expression from a new character on earth (similar to Mork from Ork — Nano Nano).  Is it the worst possible name to give to your brand new puppy?  How about your new kitty?  It stands for something, but if you’ve never seen it, then you might come up with all sorts of other balderdash meanings.  

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it happens to last the entire month of November.  Sometimes, I mistakenly substitute “November” for “Novel,” but it’s all good as long as you string together 50,000 words in a month: 11/1-11/30.    

This activity, contest, and writing incentive stretches beyond our nation and inspires people of all origins and nationalities.  It would just be weird to call it InNoWriMo after all these years (International November Novel Writing Month).  You can write in the language you feel most comfortable.  Hell, you can use OP talk if you want, but that would be really difficult and you would not entice a very large audience (See it here:

In a Nano Nutshell, the goal is to write the rough draft of a story using 50,000 words.  That’s a decent length (understatement for this 500 a word day gal) to cover in a month.  I wonder if there is a half marathon or 10k for this race.  Phew, I might be able to pull that off more than a full event…

Ahhhh!  Look at me already giving myself the boot, like I’m ready to kick my fingertips off of this endeavor.  I’m busy though!  

Wah!  All of us are busy.  That’s why we need things like NaNoWriMo to push us.  I think I can. I know I can. I know you can. I know we can.  OK.  Let’s chug along.  It doesn’t have to be perfect (not even close).  

To get down 50,000 words would take a lot of drafting and gobbledygook from me, so I am willing to cut it in half or even half of that (I don’t do math, so who knows what the hell I just didn’t commit to). Anyhow, I am promising to write something brand new each day for at least thirty minutes. My participation will be to show up each day and add new words that hopefully make some sense and contribute to my plot/s.

I vow not to revise what I slap on the screen until NaNoWriMo is over.  Perhaps I will mine some diamonds when I go back and edit and revise.I think that is a good plan for now.  

With that said, I better wrap up this blog so that I can start building my novel.  Ahh, nuts! It’s already 10:16 pm and my bedtime is 10:01.

Maybe tomorrow…