Carpe Diem Y’all by Michele Bernard

Writer, Texan, Semi-interested Sports Fan

And She’s Back


October 9, 2010 Posted by | Michele's Musings | 1 Comment

Carpe Diem Y’all

Now I know, a refuge never grows
from a chin in the hand and a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose.
Indigo Girls

The good news:¬† business is booming.¬† It’s going so well, in fact, I find myself rather busy these days.¬†

The not-so-good news:¬† business is booming.¬† So much so, I find it’s time to say farewell to this particular blog.¬† I will however be launching a new web-site soon, and when that comes to pass, you will be among the first to know.

I appreciate your continued support and look forward to our continued cyber-walk together through Writer’s World.¬†

In the meantime, Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele:)

September 24, 2008 Posted by | Michele's Musings | 2 Comments

Camp Fire Girls Back in the Real Day or Man I’m a Wuss

Camp Fire USA Logo
Camp Fire USA Logo

“For nearly a century: integrity, responsibility, tolerance.¬† We build more than campfires” – Camp Fire USA



From Blue Bird to Horizon Girl, I did my time as a Camp Fire Girl.¬† I still remember, and sing:¬† “Worship God (hum-hum-hummmmmmmm),¬† seek beauty, give service and knowledge pursuuuuuuuuuu; Be trustworthy ever in all that you doooooo; Hold fast onto health and your work glorifyyyyy; And you will be happy in the laws of Camp Fire.”¬† Not sure about that last line, nevertheless,¬†still great words to live by, not to mention sing while¬†doing dishes.

One of my favorite Camp Fire activities was earning honor beads.  In the Camp Fire Handbook were lists of specific tasks to complete to earn specific beads, each a different color to correspond with different categories.  Once earned, these multi-colored beads were used to decorate the vest worn over the Camp Fire Girl uniform one wore to school on meeting day.  And who wanted a sparcely decorated vest?  Not me!  More was definately better in my eyes.

Recently, while researching a story idea, I ran across¬†a copy of the 1914 Camp¬†Fire Girls Handbook.¬† While I’m proud of the honor beads I earned back in my day, I now know the truth:¬† man, I’m a wuss.¬†

Case in point – a sampling of tasks 1914 Camp Fire Girls needed to accomplish in order to earn their honor beads:

  • “Make two pounds of butter a week for two months”
  • “Pick, dress and cook a fowl”

Teaching girls about Marketing in 1914 was a bit different too:

  • “Marketing: Describe characteristics and identify and select six chief cuts of meat, also state the market price for each
  • “Market for one week on one dollar and a half per person, keeping accounts and records of menus”

Other honor bead opportunities:

  • “Care for at least two kerosene lamps every day for a month”
  • “Take care of the milk and cream from at least one cow, and see that the pails and pans are properly cleaned for two months”

I’ll end with the one that still has me scratching my head:

  • “Install an electric bell and care for it for three months”


Bottom line:  Camp Fire Girls back in the real day had it going on, even if they had to chop down the tree to whittle out and paint their own honor beads.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

September 6, 2008 Posted by | Michele's Musings | 2 Comments

Out of the Mouth of (my) Babe

 I Dream Big.  Really Big. РMy Son

It’s back to school.¬† Who knew my son, the baby, the jock, the quiet one would turn out to be the poet I most admire this week?¬† English is not his favorite subject.¬† Dyslexia makes sure of that.¬† Yet, this assignment struck a chord with him and his words strike a chord with me.¬† Is it because he’s my son?¬† Maybe.¬† Nevertheless, with his permission I share the following:

I am me and only me.

I wonder all the time.

I hear the music I like to hear.

I want to succeed.

I am me and only me.

I pretend I am a ninja.

I feel good when I do something good.

I touch the smooth wood of a baseball bat.

I worry about not passing.

I cry when I laugh real hard.

I am me and only me.

I understand the game.

I say just don’t give up.

I dream big.

Really big.

I try to work as hard as I can.

I hope to succeed.

I am me and only me.

Carpe Diem y’all, Michele

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Carpe Diem Quotes, Family, Heart, Inspiration, Michele's Musings, Parenting, Writerly Stuff, Writing | Leave a comment

5 Weeks Post-Op Update

I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better.  ~Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh, 1903

First, Thank you for the sweet emails and comments.  They are much appreciated.

Second, a confession.¬† I told a bit of a white fib when I said in my last post, “it isn’t anything serious”.¬† It was, hence, the many weeks away from the keyboard.

Third, I’m happy to report, that because of proactive doctors, wonderful surgeons, and good medicine, and the best, most caring family and friends on the planet, I’m on the mend, and feeling better than I’ve felt in quite some time.¬† I think over the next few posts I’ll tell the story using exerpts from my journal.¬† I’ll call it Carpe Diem Rewind.

I’m still not “back to work” yet, but feel well enough to sit at a keyboard today, and string a few words together.¬†¬†

Here are words I think go particularly well together:

Peanut Butter

Grape Jelly

No Cancer.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele¬†

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Family, Michele's Musings | 7 Comments

Away Message

181321773pxtirt_th.jpg“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.¬†” ~Irish Proverb

“Can this wait till AFTER baseball season?” I ask the surgeon.

“Uhm, no,” he says, barely able to surpress the chuckle.¬†

Surely I’m not the first patient to ask this question?

All that to say, it’s not serious, but, I’ll be away from the keyboard and the cheap seats for a few weeks.¬† The good news is, morphine is included in the deal.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele:)

March 13, 2008 Posted by | Michele's Musings | 8 Comments

Best Lines: Writers Who Say It Way Better Than Me

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.” – Alice Walker

March 12, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Novel Writing, Novelists, Writerly Stuff, Writers, Writers Who Say It Way Better Than Me, Writing | 1 Comment

Snow Day

snowflake_3d_38322.jpg“Winter is nature’s way of saying, “Up yours.”¬† ~Robert Byrne¬†

¬†I, like most Native Texans, don’t have the survival skills to live north of the Red River.¬† Case in point:¬† Today.¬† It’s snowing.¬†

“Should we¬†pick the kids up early from school?” I ask my neighbor, the Ohio transplant.

She laughs.

“Okay,” I reply, not convinced.

The phone rings.¬† It’s¬†a recorded message from my son’s school.¬† “School will let out at the usual time, but it is okay if you want to pick your child up early.”

I give into the anxiety that makes me want to stop down, build a fire, and hunker down because white stuff is falling from the sky, I bundle up, jump in my truck and make my way to the school, where every other native is waiting in line with a nervous eye to the sky.

I collect my son and head for the store.  I stand in line with even more natives.  We each purchase the requisite survival gear:  eggs, biscuits, milk, and two fake logs.

Grocery sacks in hand, I brave the elements, dodge the traffic jam in the parking lot and jump in the truck.  I turn the key, then tune into the local radio station. 

“Please do not call 9-1-1 to tell us it’s snowing,” says a representive of the sheriff’s department, “We know,” he concludes, “Our phone lines are jammed and we need to free them up for you know, emergencies.”

Like I said, no survival skills.

Carpe Diem Y’all, Michele

March 7, 2008 Posted by | Her Royal Nerdiness, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Southern Humorists, Winter | 5 Comments

Best Lines: On Writing

19683030281.jpg“A freelance writer is one who is paid per word, per page or perhaps.” – Robert Benchley

February 28, 2008 Posted by | Best Lines, Freelance Writing, Humor, Humor Writers, Writerly Stuff, Writers, Writers Who Say It Way Better Than Me, Writing | Leave a comment

The Really Big Fat Stinky Elephant in the Middle of the Room

donanobispacem01.jpg“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”¬† Mother Teresa

The really big fat stinky elephant in the middle of the room 

Is blocking my view. 

What did I chant when I was a child?

“Can’t go under it.¬†

Can’t go over it.¬†

Can’t go through it.”

What did I learn as an adult? 

Guess I need to eat it. 

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“One bite at a time.”¬†

My elephant has a name:  SonInIraq.

No matter what I do,

Where I go,

How fast I peddle,

SonInIraq is still there. 

And will be there for the next year.

In the meantime:

I work, I pray, I go about my day. 

I write letters

And email

And shop for items

To brighten his day.

My military family grows.

I write and email and shop for items for

Two young men I do not know.

They serve with SonInIraq.

Their mothers do the same.

I don’t watch the news (good advise received from a mom who’s been here, done this).¬†

I join with¬†families in our Family Readiness Group and “Walk to Iraq and Back”

With phone in hand.  Always. 

Sometimes I dance to Iraq and back. 

It counts.

Moving is good.

I note the time, then add nine hours. 

That’s what time it¬†is¬†for SonInIraq.

February 26, 2008 Posted by | Army Mom, Blogroll, Family, Michele's Musings, Motherhood, Parenting, Peace, Winter | 6 Comments