Blogs

Posted in Writing

Welcome

Welcome to my narrative horizon about our wacky, wondrous world. There’s no pattern to my inspiration, so my pieces range from silly and mundane to serious and heartfelt. Here I share true, slice of light pieces about family, friendship, dogs, womanhood, health and wellness, wine, education, shopping, shoes, spirituality, reading, writing, entertainment, the moon, the sun and anything else under our sky.

I am a high energy, middle-age active woman who is constantly on the move. Filled calendar pages give me pleasure and purpose, but they also stress me out and make me more scattered than your average part-time sunshine. The older, busier, and more disorganized I get, the more I need to recharge in order to relax and refocus.

This blog gives me a chance to take a timeout to savor life, collect scattered memories, highlight sunny moments, and unclog cloudier ones. I seek balance, meaning, hope, and laughter that I’ll spread like PB&J through my stories.

My professional, home, and social fronts keep me hustling while giving me stories. I am a full-time high school English teacher, mother to two adolescent daughters, pet owner to two furry dogs, wife to one witty husband, relative to many loves, and friend to those who embrace my friendship.

I’m also a part-time sunshine who strives to be lively, bright, lighthearted, and comforting. Oh how I wish I could make my sunshine status full-time, but no can do. When the sunshine zest is too exhausting, and warmth becomes a scorcher, I lose the chipper optimism you’d expect from someone with nicknames like Sunshine or Sunny D. It can be a cockadoodle-dodo world, so being constantly happy and smiley while being honest and genuine is a trick I’d like to master.

For now, I’m a part-time sunshine, at best. When frazzled, my daily mission is to dazzle and find some extra beaming reason to smile and share why.  Random rays and small warm shimmers are the best, like double rainbows at a wedding, a greeting card among the bills in my mailbox, or a spotless bedroom cleaned by my daughters (who jest that this blog should be called Full-Time Nut Job, Part-Time Sunshine.)

I invite you to follow me on my horizon.  There’s a chance of sunshine (and a handful of nuttiness) in it for you, yours, and everyone else under the sky.

Shine on!

 

Posted in Family, Holidays, Inspiration

Thank you Veterans for your Service to America

Frank T. Snyder, my father, was a man who valued family and brotherhood, and it’s no wonder, since he was the baby of nine boys.  

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Frank T. Snyder – Army 1952

Their father, Janko Petrovich, immigrated from Croatia to America as a young man who wanted to give his family the streets of diamonds Eastern Europeans (and many others) were promised.  My grandfather was advised on his boat ride over to Americanize his richly ethnic, beautiful name for his family’s future in this country, so he entered America as John Snyder.

A changed name didn’t change the Snyder boys’ merit, contributions, or devotions to community, country, and church.  As young men, all nine extended their band of brotherhood patriotically by serving their country in all four military branches.  

In fact, several of the Snyders served in different branches at the same time during WWII. This was an extremely unusual circumstance, since there had been an unwritten embargo placed by the government that prohibited more than a few brothers to be in the service during war times.  Somehow, they got through this protective red tape and bravely served simultaneously; thankfully, all returned home safely and honorably.

My father was stationed with the Army in England at the tail end of the Korean War. Thank you to everyone who has, does, and will serve our country with loyalty, dedication, and patriotism.  

I’m proud to be an American!

vets-day

 

Posted in Holidays, Inspiration

Happy Halloween and Golden Anniversary, Great Pumpkin!

imageI wrote this last year for the 50th anniversary of It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I still believe in the powerful, realistic messages of this classic cartoon.  This was one of my favorite posts to write.

Tales from a Part-Time Sunshine

its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown                             I have loved the creation of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts ever since I can remember. Growing up in the 70’s, I was a ready-made fan of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and the rest of the gang.  Before I was old enough to even read the comic strip, I was delighted by the holiday television specials. My favorite has always been It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

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Posted in Reviews, Sunshine and Happiness

Best Food Pairings: Wine, Cheese, Crackers, and More

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It gets even better than this.

There are certain food and drink combinations that have universal appeal.  These pairs of flavors are my personal top-ten taste-bud tempters:

Milk and six Oreos dunked for twelve seconds (If you use skim milk, go for the Double Stuf.)

IC Light Beer (I love Pittsburgh) and Thursday night fire hall wings (garlic and butter)

Original salt-rimmed lime margaritas and hard-shell beef-stuffed tacos.

Coca Cola and meat lovers’ pizza (heavy on the sausage, bacon, ham, bacon, pepperoni, and bacon)

Thick chocolate milkshakes and cheeseburgers loaded with paradise

Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa and a dozen of Jet-Puffed Mini-Marshmallows

Chilled chardonnay and puffy pillows of seared sea scallops

A&W Root Beer and two scoops of French vanilla ice cream

Starbucks coffee and donuts so thickly glazed they hurt my teeth

BLUE RIBBON PAIRING – Cabernet Sauvignon and Extra Cheddar Flavor Blasted Goldfish Crackers

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Get ready for a Flavor Blast!

That’s right, my number one pick is this wine and food pairing. The cracker in itself is a combo of baked Pepperidge Farm goodness sprinkled with the precise amount of cheddar. Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied dry red that explodes with complex quality and smoothness.  There is no better half, since, in a partnership, each brings out the best in the other.

Over a decade ago, I discovered how good this was while I was packing my kids’ school lunches.  That night, while enjoying a glass of red wine, I filled their Tupperware boxes with Goldfish.  I was then on a heart healthy diet that encouraged a daily glass of red wine, which I was still acquiring a taste for.  I munched on a few crackers while sipping cab and discovered a divine unification of tastes.  I was surprised how much the cheddar in this adorable, kid-friendly snack evoked the strong tannins and oaks in my wide-mouthed glass.  Conversely, the velvety red liquid melted the cracker crunch into a blend of salty and bitter-berry bliss.

It was then that I poured a fish bowl serving size of 51 crackers containing 140 calories and another glass of cab at 120 calories. I tipped my glass and feasted on cheese and crackers all mixed into one smiley snack. As I swallowed and savored, I fancied myself at a classy party and raised my pinkie.   Holy mackerel! Nearly 300 calories later, I became the hooked fish.

I continued my daily dose of wine, and my purple-stained mouth came to expect a school of Goldfish to swim in it.  The more I got used to the wine, the more I wanted the crackers.  After eating 51 fish, how could I have room for more?  Well, I’m honest, so I confess that there have been times when I gorged on 204 crackers and an entire bottle of wine! During those moments, my pinkie drooped while I sucked the cheese off my other fingers. Classy.

Drinking the crumbs from the bowl, I was drowning my diet.   My flesh was too weak to give up my wine and cheddar flavor blast though, so to avoid becoming whale size, I became a runner.  Every four miles run shed a glass of wine and two servings of Goldfish calories that would have stuck to my gills.  Will run for wine! 

I tried to justify my intoxicating gluttony with religion.  What would Jesus do?  He fed the masses with fish and turned water into wine.  I realized I was misconstruing the Bible to work for me. Out of guilt I tried giving up the Goldfish for Lent, but when everyone would “sacrifice” by eating fish on Fridays, I was overcome with temptation.

Today, 10 years later, I continue to be tantalized, mesmerized, and hypnotized by this taste-bud dancing duet. I’m older and wiser and know if I stick with just one 6 oz glass I can avoid my crazy craving for crackers.  It’s a struggle to repress my palette’s desire, but I have learned to moderate.  Of course, there are times when I dive in and have a buzzing cheddar blast doing so.

What’s your favorite food pairing?

 

Posted in Writing

Celebrating my One Year Blogiversary: Shine on!

BlogiversaryIt’s been one year since my first post on Tales From a Part-Time Sunshine.  I’m thrilled to report that I hit my 50th post on my first blogiversary which also happens to be my twentieth wedding anniversary.  It was a good cause to celebrate.    Continue reading “Celebrating my One Year Blogiversary: Shine on!”

Posted in Father Time, Relationships, Sunshine and Happiness

Happy 20th Wedding Anniversary to Us – The Romantic Comedy of When Harry met Donna

Harry and I met during our junior year of college at IUP in the fall of 1993.  He, a marketing major, and I, an English education major, ended up in the same Spanish II class.

IUP Continue reading “Happy 20th Wedding Anniversary to Us – The Romantic Comedy of When Harry met Donna”

Posted in Mother Nature, Shadows and Black Clouds, Sunshine and Happiness

Howling at the Full Moon

Well, ladies, I survived another full moon and so did you!  I barely howled this month, yet I’ve been quite growly lately.  This Part-Time Sunshine blogger has been swinging through moods like Tarzan in the jungle. It’s distressing because I cannot pinpoint any true triggers.  I mean life is good, so why am I such a JUDY MOODY?  I’d like to attribute these irritable, sad, irrational spells on something tangible, realistic, and beyond my control.  It’s not me; it’s the moon!

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Blame it on the Moon

Continue reading “Howling at the Full Moon”

Posted in Dog Lover, Father Time, I Hate Puppies

Italia was my Furry Best Friend – I Miss my Dog

This photo was taken on my 40th birthday, five years ago when my golden retriever sweetheart, Italia was just six-years-old.  It’s been over nine months since her passing and my family and I still miss her.  Thankfully, we are strong enough to reminisce and keep her memory eternal.

italia-and-donnaCaption posted on 9/23/2012 – “She’s my “42 year old” furry best friend, and she moves a little slower, barks a little less, listens harder, chases less, paces more, plays fairly, snores intensely, wags her tail all day/everyday, and loves limitlessly. She reassures me that middle age continues to bring so many gifts. I’m excited to lift the calendar page to enter a new decade of golden dreams!” Continue reading “Italia was my Furry Best Friend – I Miss my Dog”

Posted in Family, Father Time, Parenting

Back to School: Needed Schedule Changes

 

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Goodbye Summer!

I am a high school English teacher who gets ten weeks off every summer.  This particular break, I was ready to go back to work after five weeks.  I felt very unproductive during the summer of 2017. Continue reading “Back to School: Needed Schedule Changes”

Posted in Dog Lover, I Hate Puppies, Writing

Coming Soon: I Hate Puppies!

 

I Hate Puppies! is contemporary canine fiction told in first-person by an adult sheltie who lacks puppy love for his adopted sister, an obnoxiously cute golden retriever.  She moves in with the Lucchessi family when she’s eight-weeks-old and has been a pain in her brother’s tail ever since. Continue reading “Coming Soon: I Hate Puppies!”