Friday, January 31, 2014

Water - A Few Random Thoughts

There was a woman, Ruth, who attended our church a while back who’d been a missionary / teacher in Tanzania, Africa. She was so interesting. We learned much from her as she spoke of her experiences in that country. One thing that stuck with me was how she never had a proper shower while she lived there. If I recall what they did to stay clean was sit on the floor near a drain and pour water over themselves. Unbelievable. And of course that got me thinking about water.

When our boys were young I’d get up early in the summertime and go out on the hill and work in the garden. When I was filth from head to toe I’d head back to the house and hop into a hot shower while they had their breakfast. On recalling that wonderful feeling of being washed clean, I have to tell you, it was just like being baptized. All the awful gets flooded away in this wonderful substance called water and out you come – a new creature. I know, I know, we’re only baptized once, but this was sort of like seeing a great movie over and over. Feels so good to do it again.

Water doesn’t just clean, it nourishes. Think of all the stuff you eat that has water as a component. A juicy apple or orange, a crisp head of lettuce, a frothy mug of beer. When I was a little girl living in Northern Minnesota there were ads for Hamm’s Beer. The jingle began, “From the land of sky blue waters . . .” A little bear danced while the virtues of the beer were extolled. That’s probably how I learned that Minnesota is called the land of ten thousand lakes. Lucky guy who got to count them.

Water has immense power. You just have to stand at the edge of Niagara Falls to understand that. Or any other falls you may be able to stand next to. We tap that power for electricity. Okay, not “we” but some genius who stood there and thought, how can I channel that roar into lighting my home and cooking my steak? Hmmm.

Water can be destructive, too. Russell Crowe stars in an upcoming movie titled, Noah. I’ll bet the writers and producers had to think about water A Lot for that flick. Can’t wait to see it. Yeah, I’m sure they’ll take liberties with the original story line. But, hey, that’s what Hollywood does, Jack (oh – sorry - channeling Si Robertson there for a minute). There’s also Katrina to remember – with a shiver.  

Soon the water that became snow will become rain all gathered in the water table just below the surface waiting for us to use in all the varied ways we need to for our very existence. Meanwhile I’m going to shower, kick back, plop down in my recliner (maybe with a beer) and pretend to like the Super Bowl this Sunday. And maybe I’ll try that new recipe I found for cheesy bacon potato bites with ranch dressing. Think that would go pretty good with beer? 

Have a Super weekend!

PS: Here’s a link to Ruth’s blog

Image: samuiblue                                 Free Digital Photos

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Selling to Quarterlies

Howdy, fellow freelancers! Here's a slightly modified article I wrote a few years ago that appeared in Writing for Dollars. I  hope you find it of use as you seek markets for your work. 

Have You Considered Quarterlies?
By Susan Sundwall

A couple of times a year I give my submissions spreadsheet a good going over, looking for reprint possibilities and pieces that haven’t sold but still have potential. In a recent such move I noticed the number of quarterlies I’ve sold to and there were quite a few.

Many writers won’t consider quarterlies – or put them at the bottom of their ‘possible market’ lists – for the following reasons.

1.    Trying to remember due dates for various publications is bothersome.
2.    Issues are themed and some writers don’t like to be restricted by them.
3.    Too many quarterlies are literary journals.
4.    Pay is non-existent or low.

That’s why I never wrote much for them either. Then I took the bull by the horns and got some re-prints out there and – sure enough – three of them sold to quarterlies. For instance, The Lutheran Digest takes, even prefers, reprints and I sold to them. The editor took my essay about the family recipe box and that sale was number five for that piece.

Themes can be a bane or blessing. The bane part would come in the limitations set by an established topic not of one’s choosing. The blessing comes with having a topic to tackle from the get-go. It saves you from having to guess what to write about. Or worse, writing so far out of the publications parameters that you totally bomb.  But you might find that quite often the theme is broad. When you read the guidelines try to read between the lines a little to determine if your enchanting article about where best to invest your lottery winnings would fit into a broader theme of ‘family,’ or ‘finances.’ You might be surprised what an editor will consider.

Literary journals and magazines can be tough. Many of them pay in copies and if you only want the prestige of having your piece in one of them – well, okay then.

Now, as for those pesky deadlines. Simply make a log for them. Look at it in the first part of each new quarter to determine when you’ll need to get your work in for consideration. Note which ones take reprints and which tend to be themed. Try color coding. Add new markets as you find them.

So, are quarterlies worth it? I think so. The truth is they probably won’t yield you buckets of money. But here’s a little math. You set a goal of submitting three pieces a month to quarterlies. If your ratio of sales to subs is three to one then you’ve sold twelve pieces in a year. If each of those pieces garners $50 to $100 you’ve made anywhere from $600 - $1200 for that time span. Not a lot all by itself, but a nice little chunk of change to add to your other revenue streams. And if some of those are reprints, you’re that much further ahead in the game. Same goes for your evergreen pieces.

Take a look at these for starters.

The Lutheran Digest – Pays $35

Range Magazine – Pays $50 - $400 per article

The Georgia Review – Pays $50 per printed page

Have a great Wednesday everybody!

Image: Free Digital Photos

Monday, January 27, 2014

Life - A Leaky Boat

Yesterday we went to watch our eight-year-old granddaughter, Anna, play basketball. She’s doing okay having learned court aggression tactics from her older brother. Sam and his buddy came along to watch and as I gazed down the row he seemed intent on the game before him. And then I noticed the money. He was flipping two dollars back and forth and I had one of those Boomer flashbacks, accompanied by head shaking, that pop up at odd times.

Two dollars when I was a girl was the equivalent of four hours of babysitting, 20 Hershey bars or, when I was a bit older, two lunches at the high school outdoor snack bar (the best burgers ever). Sam was probably thinking of a bag of Skittles and maybe a ring pop. Boy, how time and money have changed.

I never got an allowance. Dad could just about keep us in food and clothes (often hand-me-downs) and it never occurred to him that his kids might want a little jingle in their pockets. Well, maybe it did but he knew then as I know now that appreciation for money comes when you have to go out and get it yourself. Once, when I was about fourteen, I’d managed to save twenty dollars. I’d earned it babysitting, cleaning houses and ironing for a couple of neighbor ladies. I stashed my cash in an envelope in my dresser and counted it with great pleasure. Then Mom took me shopping.

Now, my mother had peculiar ideas about fashion and when she saw the plastic coat with the giant mother of pearl buttons she just knew I would love it. It was also lined with fake fur – really – I am not making this up. And, since my fashion sense wasn’t much better and she being so excited about it and all, I spent my hard earned money on the Thing. I’d also purchased a pair of shoes that were a kind of modified saddle shoe, very trendy, I thought. But the unyielding hard sole clacked on the tile floors of the middle school and that, along with my crunchy plastic coat, made for a cringe worthy memory. Clack, crunch, clack, crunch – must be Sue heading for her locker. Who needed a bully when you were so skilled at bringing great humiliation on all by yourself?

I’m sure Sam and Anna will come to appreciate money some day. And there will be many cringe worthy “moments of intense self awareness” to call their own. Like this past  Saturday when Anna grabbed her brother’s shorts for her game, flew out of the house, and didn’t realize her error until it was way too late. She tucked her shirt into them so they’d stay up which gave her an odd pear shape. The crotch was at her knees but, God bless her, she played on. And yesterday in a moment of frenzy she attempted to make a basket for the other team. Yup, she did. Even the ref laughed.

Nobody gets by without a bit of humiliation in this life and we all make mistakes with our money. But it’s a blessing when we’re able to look back and laugh because we realize we’re all in the same leaky old boat called Life. All in all a very cool thing.

Image: bplanet                                            Free Digital Photos 

Friday, January 24, 2014

A Poem for the Season

I wrote this poem a long time ago – okay, it’a rhyme – and since so many of us are enduring a humdinger of a winter I thought you might get a chuckle from it. I've had a few discussions with other writers about poetry. Some think it should always rhyme while other claim the term (poetry) should be viewed more broadly. I've written rhyming and non-rhyming poems, sold both, and would love your thoughts on it. Really. Just put them down there in the comments. 

Out For The Paper
By Susan Sundwall

Winter, that old man, came calling
and set bitter cold at my feet

I’d only stepped out for the paper
but found myself stuck on the street

My keys somehow fell in the snow bank,
no gloves on my hands nor a hat

And then, didn’t I spy through the window
our dog Lula Belle and the cat 

I spotted my wife right behind them,
foot tapping in robe trimmed with silk

She opened the door but then slammed it again,
I’d forgotten to bring home the milk!

Thanks for reading, stay warm, and remember that spring is lurking right under the surface of all that cold. And won't it be glorious when she finally shows her face? Hmmmm - I think I have a poem for that. 

Image: Free Digital Photos

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weird Things We Do

Yesterday I popped a frozen stick of butter into the microwave to melt it so I could mix it with brown sugar for my monkey pull apart sticky buns. Some of the butter stuck to the wrapper so I turned and looked at Agnes. She must have known what I was thinking because she “meowed” and walked over. I held the wrapper taught, bent down, and let her lick the excess butter off. I’ve always done this for our dogs and cats but suddenly I wondered if an observer would think it odd. Then, just like in those Prego commercials where bad choices are outted, my mind wandered off to other weird things people do.

My husband can’t suck on a hard candy. Nope, he pops a peppermint into his mouth where it sits for about two seconds and then he starts to crunch. I’ve chastised him for this to no avail. I mean, it sounds like his teeth are breaking. One of our granddaughters does the same thing and I once had a boss who did that, too. What’s with these people?

I have a relative, who, when contemplating a tough problem, like the answer to a Trivial Pursuit question, will suddenly seem to go off into another world. The manifestation of that is her rolling eyes. It’s as though she’s consulting ancient manuscripts, early television, and her own memory bank and perusing them all for the solution. You can’t talk to her when her eyeballs are reeling for fear she might either pass out or lunge at you. Kind of scary. She usually gets the right answer, too.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I’m a licker. A serving spoon crusted with little bits of a delicious casserole, a beater full of whipped cream or frosting – they don’t have a prayer. The will be licked clean – um – when nobody is looking, of course. And after I’ve beaten back a couple of grand kids. “Go watch Dora! Grandma’s real busy.”

I’ve drawn a few conclusions from this mental exercise.

Critters love butter and if I can give them some, I will.

Some people are crunchers. The rest of us are suckers.

Magic eyeballs are so cool! I want some.

I may need help – “Hello, my name is Susan and I’m a licker.” Call me if you know someone.

How about you? Care to share?

 Image: Maggie Smith                                                               Free Digital Photos

Monday, January 20, 2014

Money - Write About It!

This is an article that appeared in Writing for Dollars several years ago. It’s been updated and the markets are all viable. So, take a look fellow writers. Perhaps this is just the project you’re looking for to get your year off to a rip roaring start! Glad to be of service.

Write About Money
By Susan Sundwall

Good grief, have you been watching the stock market roller coaster lately? Scary doesn’t even begin to cover it. But if you’re a savvy freelancer you can take advantage of the situation by creating articles that explain, offer tips and highlight trends in the world of money. And you’ll be happy to know that it’s just about like any other kind of writing if you follow a few simple steps.

Research – A good place to start is your local bank. Inquire about new ways for the average Joe to money manage in this dicey economy. Pick up brochures that offer further explanations. And take notes on investment trends written up in financial publications or tune in to any of the money management segments like Your Money or Money Matters offered on local or national news programs.

Realistically assess – While it can be daunting to think of querying a magazine like Forbes or Money Magazine, you can certainly get your feet wet more slowly. Ask around and see what friends and neighbors would appreciate knowing about money matters close to home. Write to those concerns.

Take the plunge – So your research is done, your article is written and you’ve identified your target audience. What will your approach be to the editors?

If you are approaching one of the high end magazines like Forbes or Mortgage Banking Magazine make sure you understand their content and style. Beg, borrow or steal a copy (or you could buy one – just sayin’) of the magazine to determine the acceptable tone. A recent feature in Forbes, for instance, reports on how you can write about your travel experiences and then write it off. How cool is that? Maybe you’d like to tackle a similar subject. Make your query professional, concise and interesting. Put a little personality into it, too.

How about a publication geared towards specific populations? Try something like AARP the Magazine, or Senior Life. Seniors take their finances very seriously and always appreciate an article written in a manner that’s friendly and easy to understand. Use the same tactics of good research, tone and style for these pieces, too.

Many Americans don’t have time to get a comprehensive reading on all that’s going on with money these days. That’s where a “did you know” or “six quick money tips,” write up is called for. Recently Woman’s World did a split page on how to super charge your kids’ college savings – something all parents would love to know about. By definition these articles will be brief, blocky and full of quick take away tips.

Most people want to know where every bit of their money is now and where it’s coming from next. Help them out. Find some of the newer and better ways to handle our finances and reap the benefit from those words. Check out these guidelines, too.

1. Mortgage Banking Magazine – Fee negotiated with editor in chief

2. AARP The Magazine – Pays $1.00 per accepted word

3. Girl Works – Negotiate payment and invoice

4. Dollar Stretcher – Pays $.10 per word

5. Colorado Biz – Pays $.40 and up

Image: Free Digital Photos

Friday, January 17, 2014


Dear Grieving Child,

Yesterday we had a visitor in our yard. He seemed very shy at first, but hungry, too. Right by the old bread crumbs I put out for the birds I was surprised to see a small cat eating the crumbs. I was very quiet when I opened the door. He popped his head up real Quick! His eyes were big as he looked around because cats have to be very careful when they’re all alone. Sometimes other cats or mean dogs are close by. This cat seemed scared.

I’ll bet you were scared, too, when you couldn’t find your cat. One day you let him out to play and he didn’t come home. Sometimes that happens. Cats start visiting in the neighborhood and go the wrong way. Then they get lost. So for days and days you worried about your cat. At night you cried and maybe couldn’t eat your supper because you were so worried about him. Maybe he’s the cat that comes to eat my bread crumbs. Maybe this is your cat that’s in my yard.

For almost two weeks the little cat came back to eat the crumbs and one day when I opened the door he didn’t run away so I said, “Kitty, kitty.” And guess what? The cat said, “Meow,” back to me. He looked very skinny and still a little bit scared.

The next day when I put out the crumbs, I sat in a nearby chair. The cat walked through the yard and said, “Meow,” to me and – then – when he had eaten only a few crumbs, he rubbed against my leg. I reached down and picked him up and he purred on my lap! Right then I decided to keep him.

I hope he is your cat. Do you know why? Because even though he was lost and misses you very much, now he has a good home. He’s not lost anymore. If I knew where you lived, I would bring him back to you zippy quick. But I don't know and now he’s with me, nice and safe. I can tell he had a good friend like you once. He curls up in my lap at night while I watch television and only a cat who had someone wonderful like you in his life would know about warm laps. He trusts me.

So tonight when you go outside and look one more time for your cat, I want you to know that he’s okay. He misses you, but he is safe and warm. There are people like me everywhere who care about what happens to lost cats. So dry your tears and try to remember all the times you played with your cat and petted his soft fur. And even though he once was lost, he’s now been found and is loved.

The Lost Cat Lady

PS: I call my new cat Charlie.

Image: Vlado                                                Free Digital Photos 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Don’t you think it was pretty swell of God to go ahead and let us name things? Last Sunday the children all piled up at the front of the church to hear what pastor had to say about names. Theirs, the people out in the pews and The Name above all names, Jesus. One little girl, when asked about some of the names we give Him, raised her hand and said, “Jelly Beans.” I’m sure her outburst was the result of a long thought process involving Easter baskets, pretty bonnets and possibly the Elf on the Shelf, but you never know about kids. Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God may be too much to grasp, so we'll cut them some slack - for now. 

While the children were getting name tag help pastor Slater stepped into the aisle to ask if any of the rest of us had name stories. Hands shot up.

“I was named after my grandmother,” said one.

“Three generations of men in our family have the same initials,” said another. Different names, but the same initials. Hmm. That took some figuring.

One woman confessed that she’d been named after a brand of sardines a relative noticed while traveling abroad. DeNola. Sounds kind of fishy, doesn’t it? She’s a very nice lady.

I’ve been reading the Bible starting with Genesis and my stars – the names people had in the Old Testament. Ibsam, Shilshah, Rephaiah – yeah, names like that. What did they do? Toss cuneiform wedges into the air and whatever came out on the floor was your name? Maybe. One guy named Nichloaiah had about 120 kids by 80 wives. It got so confusing that friends and neighbors simply asked each kid, “Do you have a real name or just a Nic-name?” Okay, I made that up, but it could have happened.

By the time we got to the New Testament, things had dramatically changed. Peter, James and John are still with us today and much more likely to stay, I think. Well, unless you’re some gotta-get-my-name in the paper somehow Hollywood type. Then it’s back to the old wedges.

The only thing I’ve recently named is our cat, Sister Agnes, and any story I might happen to be working on. I wrack my brain for those story titles. Please notice the great detail I put into naming this blog post. Pretty cool, huh?

What have you named recently? A new recipe, your ranch, a tattoo, or disease? Think about it and let us know right here in this post with the complicated title. 

Have a Terrific Tuesday. 

Image: domdeen                                                   Free Digital Photos

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sometimes Your Kid Gets It Right

I couldn’t believe my ears when he said it.

“Of all the seasons, we love winter the most.”

“What?” I asked with a squeal at the end. This bit of wisdom was handed to me by our middle son who had just become smarter than the rest of us being in high school now and all. We were in mid-run to the car on a particularly blustery afternoon.

“Okay, why?” That was my second question as I gained the driver’s side door.

“Because we’ve conquered it,” he answered with a touch of glee in his voice.

I didn’t know what to say next because my mind was a whirl. I thought of houses heated with that beast in the basement called a furnace. Hot air being pushed through ducts into every room spreading warmth through the house as winter ravages on outside. We dash from a warm house to a warm car to a warm building or grocery store and hardly give it a thought. I had to conclude that son was right so I grinned and told him so.

But, of course, I couldn’t let it go at that. No, there were other paths to stray onto, like all the people who don’t live where winter rages. Places like Florida, Arizona, and California. The residents of these balmy states are joined every year by the “snowbirds” who flee the chilly north when Old Man Winter comes whistling through the calendar. Their ability to escape with trailer in tow, or plane ticket in hand is another way of conquering the season, I guess. Right after Christmas upscale stores put their cruise wear on sale. When the going gets tough the birds call Carnival. That’s the modern age for you.

Off on another path, I considered many other situations, natural or otherwise, that we’ve overcome. When was the last time you heard of a child getting chicken pox, measles, mumps or any of the other childhood diseases that plagued our ancestors? Gone – at least in this country. Stretching that thought a little further, think of the injured soldier who comes back from war these days. You won’t see him or her with a pinned up sleeve; not for long anyway. Take a look at old photos of the Civil War or the YouTube video of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg held in 1913 and you’ll appreciate what’s done now for our wounded and limbless warriors. Countless hours of research, design, and testing go into producing the devices that help alleviate some of the devastating affects of war. Lots of work to do there yet, but look how far we’ve come.

Back on track and contemplating winter. When it’s time in the autumn to close up the windows, put away the patio furniture, and pay for another tank of oil there’s a sense of sadness. Goodbye to the lazy, hazy days and hello to cozy fires in the living room fireplace, fat pumpkins and turkeys, the holidays, chunky warm sweaters and . . . hey! That all sounds pretty good, wouldn’t you say? It’s a kind of hibernation thing. We don’t go out as much but rather hunker down, enjoy the football and basketball seasons from the comfort of our homes. I think I like it. 

That’s the trouble with some people. One little remark about how we love a season sparks a brain hurricane of wandering thoughts and curious conclusions in the mind of his mom. I’m thinking I should reach back a few years (20 or so) and thank number two son who knew more than anybody and whose wisdom still helps me cope with the weather reports some of us non-snowbirds will be enduring in the next few months. Brrrrr.  

So - do you love winter, too? 

Image: Free Digital Photos

Monday, January 6, 2014

And Then There Are Cats

I wrote this article many years ago. And since, quite recently, we've become "cat people" I thought those of you who are also owned by a cat might enjoy this. 

That's our Sister Agnes in the picture, a rescued stray, come to stay. And getting darned fussy about her food!

Got Whiskers?

If a cat has nine lives it might be because of its whiskers. There are about 24 whiskers on the upper lip of a cat and more above their eyes, on their chin and on the back of their forelegs. Look at how many ways they use them.

  • To get around in the dark.
  • For measuring an opening to see if it will fit through.
  • For communicating with other cats.
  • For hunting.
  • To tell whether or not the mouse or other prey they just caught is trying to escape.
  • To avoid bumping into things.
  • As protection from eye injury.
  • To detect air currents.
  • To send signals to humans.

The whiskers around the cats’ nose are movable and are more than twice as thick as ordinary hairs. They are called vibrissae, a word that reminds us of vibrating. When something vibrates around the cat like air currents or objects, the whiskers send a signal to the cat. The whiskers are as wide as the cats’ body so if they touch the sides of an opening the cat knows it will not fit through.  

Whiskers help a cat hunt. Night hunters like housecats and leopards have longer whiskers than day hunters like cheetahs. The night hunting cats will push the facial vibrissae forward and use them as sensors while they hunt. Even the shorter whiskers over the eyes and on the cheeks which are not movable are still very useful. When these whiskers are touched the cat blinks, which protects the eye from harmful objects.

Cats are farsighted. They can clearly spot a small darting animal from a distance, but will need those whiskers handy when the critter is caught. The cat will rotate its whiskers down to check on the size and shape or to detect if the mouse or prey is trying to escape.

When a cat wants to send a message it uses its whiskers. A cat out for a stroll will have its whiskers fanned out as far as they will go. If it meets another cat the whiskers are held in close. They are pulled close at suppertime too. A fussy kitty does not want bits of food trapped in its lovely whiskers!

An angry or frightened cat will have its whiskers pulled all the way back. This can happen with another cat, a snarling dog or some other kind of threat.

Cats do shed their whiskers but not all at once. The whiskers should never be cut or pulled on. Children should be made aware of how harmful it is to the animal when the whiskers are damaged. And too many missing whiskers will have Mr. Boots in a fix—fast! The cat’s ability to get around will be severely impaired.   

Take another look at the above list and focus on one or two of them as you watch your pet in action. Those whiskers keep kitty in touch with the world and may even be the secret to his nine lives.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Home Is Where Your Recliner Is

Mom raised us to make our beds – every day. It’s one of those habits I have never been able to break and Mom would be so pleased. The only thing I’ve altered, and only in the last few years, is the elimination of a bedspread. When I made the bed this morning I noticed the dents. You know, those body specific ones you leave from sleeping in the same spot for months on end. One shaped like me. One shaped like him. It made me smile because those dents are something that tells me “this is home.”

And then, of course, that got me thinking about all the other things that make my home mine (ours). Like our mismatched recliners. Mine is a girly peach color with the original arm guards and head thingy in place. His is a manly gray with toast crumbs in the creases. We love them. If we’re away from home for a length of time, one of us will raise an eyebrow and say, “I hear my recliner calling.” The other one chuckles. We know what that means. Time to heed the call.

I fold my bath towels just so. Lengthwise twice and widthwise twice. Makes a nice, easy to stack towel bundle. The way I do it in my home. Another “mom” thing that I’ve kept up. Kind of bugs me when others have some deviant, strange towel configuration, but, hey, I’m a tolerant person. I would never try to force my towel folding method on anyone. Really. I’m not kidding. Fold your towels your own crazy way. I promise I won’t dis you to the neighbors.

I like curtains. I know the current fashion is to let the window be the star and some of them are gorgeous. But the hominess of curtains has more appeal to me than beautiful bareness and I have them at every window, even the ones that face the woods. Can’t be too careful about peeping Tom squirrels.

My upstairs bathroom is my “changing room.” That’s where I change from Ugly Duckling to Swan every morning. Each piece of essential equipment is right where I want it, too. And I can pull the medicine cabinet mirror open and put my nose right up against it. Not like when you travel and the hotel mirror is so far away that a nearsighted swan like me has to stand on tiptoe just to sweep on the eyeliner. Sheesh. What are these hotel designers thinking, anyway? Yeah, the huge marble vanity is nice, but please. A really snarly swan could go all Alec Baldwin on those designers if they don’t wise up. Put in a makeup mirror already.

If I’m coming home from a meeting at night I can count on the road light to lead me in. It’s at the end of our long gravel driveway. Hubby usually turns it on for me and it’s a very welcome beacon. Then, when I swing open the back door and my own home greets me, a kind of peace settles in. The creaky wood floors, the lingering aroma of whatever I made for supper, the oranges in the basket on the kitchen counter, and the good book waiting for me after I put on my jammies all say, "so glad you're back," and I just love it.   

How about you? What peculiar things make your home your home? I’d really like to know. Unless it's some weird towel thing, that is. 

Image: Free Digital Photos