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Mia Marlowe

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It’s Day 2 of our 30 day cruise to Hawaii and the South Pacific and we’re still sort of decompressing after our whirlwind road trip. (Long story short, at the last minute, we decided to drive from the Midwest to San Diego instead of flying just in case there was a pilot strike.)

So what is there to do on a cruise ship?

Whatever strikes your fancy. There are cruise director-led games, art auctions, cooking classes, music, dancing, movies out the wazoo, a couple of pools, a library in case you forgot your ereader, and a new live stage show every evening. Or…

Stone loungesYou can do nothing at all.

We tend to major in non-activity. Our favorite place to do nothing is on the heated stone lounges in the spa. Until I tried it, I had no idea I could fall asleep on stone. With the ship rocking under me, the steady soft trickle of water into the basins and the warmth seeping into my body, how can I do anything but let the peace of the place take me away?

And it occurs to me that I need to find a way to reach this level of relaxation when I’m back home too. Any suggestions? What do you like to do to unplug?

 


Mia Marlowe
Mia Marlowe

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Let me start by saying I’m a lukewarm sports fan. At the start of any game I watch, I choose who I root for based on where the teams are from. Then I pull for whichever place I’d prefer to visit. I’ve just never become attached to any one pro team in any sport.

Probably because I’ve lived in 9 different states–all but a couple of which had pro football, basketball and baseball clubs. How could I remain a Viking, Celtics, Chiefs, Bronco, Jazz, SeaHawk, Rockies, NC Panther, and Red Sox fan all at the same time?

But I have to admit that I tend to invest a bit in March Madness. This year has been specially exciting because my alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa, made it to the dance. The DH and I stayed up to watch the Panthers squeak by Texas with the Hail Mary 3 pointer of the season!

What can I say? Gotta love those Iowa farm boys!

Now as I write this they have to face third seed Texas A & M tonight (Sunday) so the Lone Star state has more than a chance to exact a little revenge. Our corn-fed victory may be short lived, but it was sweet nonetheless.

Anyway, I’m wondering how many romance fans are also sports fans. Do you follow a favorite team? A favorite player? (Or maybe you’re like my buddy VK Sykes and prefer to combine sports and romance?)

Why not share who you like to root for? Or make a prediction about who’ll win March Madness?

____________________

Lexi1

Mia’s going on a little adventure soon. She and her DH of almost 40 years are celebrating their anniversary with 30 days on a cruise ship! She’ll be posting while she’s a float. If you’d like to armchair travel with her, just pop over to The Coldwater Gazette–the blog for her contemporary alter-ego Lexi Eddings. Just sign up in the “Follow by Email” form under her pic in the right hand column.


Mia Marlowe
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Sometimes, I fret about our country. I worry that politics has degenerated to nothing more than “opposition research” and personal destruction. But a quick look at history proves this is NOTHING NEW!

GroverClevelandIn 1884, a few days after Grover Cleveland secured the Democratic nomination, this bombshell dropped. Cleveland had a nine year old illegitimate child he’d reportedly supported financially and paid the mother to keep hidden.  Before this scandal broke, Cleveland had a spotless public reputation, hence the little “Grover the Good” tag hanging from his coattails.

This might have derailed his candidacy, but for the way he responded. When he was offered an envelop reportedly containing dirt on his opponent, he paid for it and then burned it without opening it.

Was he perfect? No. Was that a classy response? YES! No wonder the country sent him to the White House. Twice.

Lincoln's shoesEveryone loves Abraham Lincoln. At least they do now.

In 1864, there were plenty of people who didn’t want to see this Republican win a second term. As you can see in this cartoon, several people are taking measurements, trying to figure out who might fill Abe’s shoes.

The funny thing about this image is that all the little guys with rulers are not other candidates. They are anti-Lincoln newspaper editors! Even in the 19th century, the media wanted to not only report the news, they wanted to shape it.

There really is nothing new under the sun.

So if you’re as tired of this political season as I already am, I hope this historical jaunt has put things into perspective. This too shall pass. For the first time in a long time, I really don’t know who I’ll vote for when my state has its primary.

First LadiesI don’t want to know who you plan to vote for. That’s between you and the voting booth. But I am kind of interested in what you think the next president’s spouse should take on as a project. Barbara Bush promoted literacy. Michelle Obama has championed exercise and nutrition for children.

If YOU were able to shine a national spotlight on an issue and could make a positive change, what would it be?


Mia Marlowe
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Happy Birthday to all who were born on Feb. 29th!

When I was a kid, I felt sorry for you. It seemed sad to only be able to celebrate your official birthday every four years.  (Of course, now I wonder if I’d been born on the 29th, could divide my age by 4 and claim to be a teenager?)

But how did this extra day ever get started anyway?

snowmanbikiniBlame the Egyptians. They were the first to notice their calendars and the solar year didn’t exactly match up. Now we know it’s because Earth’s orbit around the sun actually takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds. Over time that means your calendar could be telling you it’s time to break out the bikini while there’s snow on the ground.

Then the Romans decided to tinker with the calendar from time to time, adding an extra day when they perceived that the date and the seasons didn’t always align. Finally, the Gregorian calendar was modified to have an extra day added in every year that was divisible by 4.

leap-yearBut because there was an extra day, some folks decided they could flout custom as well.  In the 13th century, Queen Margaret of Scotland declared that every February 29th, women could propose to men instead of waiting for the guy to pop the question. AND if he said no, he had to pay a fine–a kiss, a new gown or pair of gloves for the rejected lady.

Sounds like a good way to beef up the wardrobe, doesn’t it?

So imagine for a moment that YOU are queen for Feb. 29th. What custom would YOU like to stand on its head?


Mia Marlowe
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No, I’m not talking about how to have a romantic evening with your sweetie. I’m not warning about a possible Zombie Apocalypse. I’m talking about how a mom pulls it together when a winter storm knocks out power, keeps the kids home from school and generally disrupts the natural order of things. We’re experiencing an ice storm as I type this (Thank God for long computer battery life!) and it’s taken me back to when my girls were younger. Here are a few activities we tried when Mother Nature decided life as we knew it should be upended for a while:

family-playing-snow-228003381. If it calms down enough to play outside, make it a family affair. I still remember our first winter in North Carolina when they experienced an unusual 8 inch dump of snow. The whole city was paralyzed, but since we’d moved there from Denver, we had the boots and snow suits that made playing in the white stuff fun and safe. (Of course, all our new neighbors peered from behind their curtains and shook their heads at the “crazy Yankees” making snow forts!)

2. If there’s no electricity, have fun together the old fashioned way. Break out the board games. Find a deck of cards. Work a jigsaw puzzle. Read a book aloud, preferably something funny. Once our kids became independent readers, we had what we liked to call D.E.A.R. Time (Drop Everything And Read) at our house even when we had electricity. Then after a specified amount of reading alone, we’d gather again to share what we’d read.

3. Get the kids involved in preparing a cold meal. If you have no way to heat food, make sure you have plenty of goodies on hand that can keep body and soul together without needing to be cooked. Here’s your pantry list: peanut butter, crackers, salami, hard cheeses, raisins, chips, carrot and celery sticks. A bowl of Cheerios, even without milk, always makes a good snack.

4. Get crafty. It’s time to pull out the crayons, markers and paint-by-numbers sets. Find that play dough and enjoy the feel of something squishy between your fingers. One of the best things about unexpected time with your kids is that you get to play like one too.

Indoor-Camping5. Stay warm, even if the heat’s out. If the inside temps keep falling, try camping in the living room. Set up your tent, or make one with blankets draped over a table, and have the whole family sleep in the same enclosed space. Add the family dog or two and body heat alone will raise the temperature in that area. 

Oh, and if it gets dark, you get to go to sleep early. Now there’s a strawberry every over-worked parent can appreciate.

So while winter continues to move across the country, stay safe and warm out there.

THE CURSE OF LORD STANSTEAD EPUB (small)I hope you’ll share your ideas for how to deal with no-electricity days. If you do, you’ll be entered in the random drawing for THE CURSE OF LORD STANDSTEAD, Book One in my Order of the MUSE series. It’s an ebook, so make sure you keep your ereader’s battery charged up.

Just in case…


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