#118forboston on Runkeeper

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I received an email the other day from Runkeeper, an app that helps me log my exercise activities. Runkeeper wants to track 118 million miles to honor the 118th Boston marathon. You can read more about it here.  They encourage you to sign up and pledge to help by tracking your miles. You can also donate money. So from March 1st until April 21st my personal goal is to log 118 miles. That means 52 days. That is a goal I feel I can accomplish. I will be running (when the weather cooperates), walking, cycling or using a fitness machine at the gym. I took the day off today, but yesterday I logged 5.8 miles on an elliptical trainer. I will also be tweeting (@goingtogermany) and sharing my progress on Facebook. Does anyone care to join me?

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100+ Followers – Thank You!

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Hi there readers in blog land. I just hit 100 followers today. Thanks for visiting. I know we live in a busy, fast paced world and I appreciate you taking time out of your day to stop by my blog. It is so much more fun when you leave comments.  I have started something new on my blog: National Weird Day Writing Prompts. I hope you check it out, participate, share the prompt on your blog, comment on the writings of other bloggers and reblog. I usually spend 10 – 15 minutes writing mine., so it is not a huge time commitment. This could be your new writing warm up for the day.

National Weird Day Writing Prompts – Old Dr. Seuss Reads Across America Eating Banana Cream Pie

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Dear Readers and Writers,

I have some fantastic prompts for you today. The weird day writing prompts is still in its infancy, so spread the word, tap on the keyboard and express yourself. My piece will be at the very bottom.

Here are the rules:

1. Write 100 words or less about the prompt provided. For example: If you chose National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day your story doesn’t have to be about the day itself but about a peanut butter lover. (It doesn’t have to be a complete story. It could be a scene or a poem)

2. Share your writing in the comments section via a link back to your blog.

3. Read and comment on other posts.

4. Be creative.

5. Have fun.

MARCH 2, 2014:

– NATIONAL OLD STUFF DAY

– NATIONAL BANANA CREAM PIE DAY

– NATIONAL READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

DR. SEUSS DAY

Old Dr. Seuss Reads Across America Eating Banana Cream Pie

Jim McNabb enjoyed dressing up and impersonating others. After an unplanned early retirement he purged his belongings. A withered copy of The Cat in the Hat brought back memories of reading to  his children. An idea was born. He bought a tall, striped hat.  Jim with his stooped shoulders and puckered, whiskery face would travel across America, sharing his love of books and desire to be someone else. In Tuscaloosa, the organizers at RIF  invited him to eat at the potluck. Later in the greyhound bus, with a whole banana cream pie on his lap he was finally happy.

Something New! National Weird Day Writing Prompts

Dear Readers,

I have decided to try something new here at going to germany. Each day I will post a writing prompt that comes from a National  Day. I have no idea who decided these days  National this or that day or why, but I think some of them are weird. I thought this would be a fun way to challenge yourself, think outside the box, improve your writing, build community in blogland and have fun. I will take part as well. I hope to see familiar faces and new ones, so if you like this feel free to reblog or pass it on.

Here are the rules:

1. Write 100 words or less about the prompt provided. For example: If you chose National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day your story doesn’t have to be about the day itself but about a peanut butter lover. (It doesn’t have to be a complete story. It could be a scene or a poem)

2. Share your writing in the comments section via a link back to your blog.

3. Read and comment on other posts.

4. Be creative.

5. Have fun.

MARCH 1, 2014: 

This day has several prompts. Choose one or write about them all.

1. NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER LOVER’S DAY

2.NATIONAL PIG DAY

3.NATIONAL FRUIT COMPOTE DAY

4.NATIONAL HORSE PROTECTION DAY


Vicki and John fell in love at the local diner over a breakfast of peanut butter smothered bagels . Vicki said, “I never thought I could love someone as much as peanut butter.” John said, “Mm, are you going to finish yours?” They moved in together and united their collection, filling an entire shelf.  The day Vicki discovered she was pregnant she blew chunks all over the dining room after eating John’s $42 imported New Zealand variety.  The doctor said she was allergic. On Monday evening John arrived home to an empty shelf. The next day Vicki was alone.

word count: 97

OMG! – She’s Pregnant!: Week 2 of Reading Anna Karenina

Last week I shared that I was embarking on a fun reading adventure  of the classic novel, Anna Karenina with my friend. As of now, I am on page 325, which puts me into part 3 of the book,(out of 7 parts). Let’s just say this week of readings was a mixture of surprise, disappointment and boredom.

First of all, let me say this: I. AM. SHOCKED!

Anna revealed to Vronsky (her lover) that she is pregnant with their child. Now let me explain why I was so astounded to read this in part 2 of the story. Earlier on when Tolstoy mentioned Anna (who is a married woman in high society Russia) and Vronsky were spending a lot of time together, I just assumed they continued to meet at private gatherings amid other society people, like the ones  her friend Princess Betsy was hosting. I was a bit disappointed to read of the hand holding, exchanging of looks, igniting feelings of love, etc. I wanted some details – you know, the tearing off petticoats, sweaty bodies romping underneath lace eyelet sheets, ducking into closets so as not to be discovered, heavy panting and kissing sort of thing. But then I remembered: This book is more than over 150 years old. There were certain ways delicate topics had to be referred to. I’m wondering if a woman had written this book would there be more of this detail? As I have not read other classics written by women from that time period, I can’t say for sure. Just to let you know I wasn’t looking for Jackie Collins, but I needed more love affair details to suspect  physical intimacy, which would of course lead me to wonder if the result of their infatuation could result in a pregnancy.

I was also surprised when Anna told her husband, Karenin, that she loved Vronsky so soon in the book. Now what? There are still a lot of pages left to read. What else is left?

Well, there are the characters of Kitty and Levin. I do hope the rest of the book does not continue in the slow, monotonous fashion of a day in the life of Levin. I nearly fell asleep from boredom while reading the chapters chronicling Levin’s attempt to both avoid his half-brother and work like a peasant for one day. There was way too much detail about mowing and tools and laying about in the tall grass. I would have much preferred details of Anna and Vronsky laying about in the tall grass if you know what I mean?

And then there is poor Kitty. So young and confused about life. But weren’t we all confused about life when we were 18 without the added stress of being a princess? She needs to toughen up like the Scherbotsky she is (again I’m thinking of Robin Scherbostsky from How I Met Your Mother.)

So dear readers who have swallowed this tome of Tolstoy already, were any of you surprised when you read Anna was pregnant? Were you hoping for sensational details of her affair with Vronsky? Were there moments when you felt bored and wished you could just skip a chapter?

Until next week.

Friday Fictioneers

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It’s time for Friday Fictioneers. I have not participated in this fun writing exercise for many months, but I hope to start the habit again. A lovely blogger named Rochelle is the creative genius behind it. If you click on the link, you can read the rules about participation. The above photo is the inspiration for the 100 word story of the week.

A Long, Long Time Ago

Jacques  sat next to his grandson, trying to pry his attention from the action on the small screen. “Orphe,  look at this.” Jacques said pointing to the page. The tween glanced over, “What’s that?” “A wagon pulling hay.” The child stared at him. “This was from my vacation to the country years ago. A lot of farms. ” “Farm?” “A farm was a place where people used to grow food.” “Food?” Alan sighed, “People used to eat food everyday to nourish their bodies. That was before the decades of droughts .”  “Oh. Can I have my pill now?” “Yes. You can eat.”

wordcount: 100

9026 + 899 = My Email

This is not a new math problem that can only be answered using Common Core Standards. Seriously, these were the numbers I saw when I opened my email on the desktop
counter top computer. I tried to access my email via my phone, but lately it has taken a long time to load. I was impatient so I booted up the computer and felt uneasy when I stared at the large numbers.

It reminded me of when I  was really sick a few years back and my husband was out-of-town. I was so sick I couldn’t walk. I had to crawl to the kitchen and told my small children they had to make their own breakfast and amuse themselves with television for the day. A week later, I was finally able to deal with the aftermath – mountains of laundry, a lot of dishes, dust bunnies as big as kittens, grimy counter tops, and dirty bathrooms. I felt so overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to tackle first because it seemed like getting my house back to normal was impossible. Eventually, I chipped away at the neglect  and little by little things were back to normal. Just like I had neglected my house during my illness, I have also been neglecting my email. Day after day and month after month I just let the emails pile up instead of deleting and filing a bit at a time. Most of it is e-junk mail. A hot deal only for today, a new collection out, a newsletter about local education issues, a class thread about homework. Instead of deleting these emails or placing them in the right folder, I ignored them until they grew out of control.

Well, I realized it was time to clean up the mess and not have a cluttered inbox. It’s just too distracting to my brain and prevents me from being productive. I began Friday afternoon and set my goal to delete 1,00 emails. Saturday, I spent the morning with my goal to get through to last October. While I was successful with both goals, I was not done. At this point I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I have less than 6,000 emails in my inbox and less than 300 in my folders. I decided that I couldn’t spend my entire weekend at the computer just cleaning things out. My end goal is to have 0 in my inbox by the end of this week.

It has been a tedious experience and I think I have learned a few lessons in the process. For the future I plan to do a few things differently:

  1. Delete as many emails a day as I can
  2. Try a weekly catch up reading folder  and see if a.) I remember to use it and b.)I am able to read through the emails/articles/blogs I am setting aside within an hour or so
  3. Schedule time once a week to clear/organize my email accounts (yes, I have more than one!)

I hope that I can keep a tidy inbox so I am more productive and spend my time writing and creating instead of dealing with accumulated electronic clutter. I also hope this overhaul will resolve the issues with my phone.

Am I the only one who has let an inbox get wildly out of control? I’d love to hear your stories or tips on how you tame your inbox.