Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Long Weekend.

The sun had slid silently, without drama over to the other side of the house, casting the porch into lengthening shadows. Pine trees surrounded the house, the tips of their branches opening like candelabras reaching toward the heavens, standing straight, tall and green, like silent sentinels to the weather changes. Last week there was snow, this week there was sun.

A soft breeze flirted with the skirt that covered the white wicker furniture on the porch. The breeze, combined with the lengthening shadows encouraged the woman curled on the wicker couch reading a book, to pull the blanket closely about her. The book she was reading in peaceful solitude had distanced her to the passing of time.

Her back was to me, her aged white hair pulled up into a bun, the entire essence of her that I glimpsed in the 30 seconds it took us to pedal past her house, gave me the sense that she had enjoyed the sun and was enjoying the shade just as much, but the book she was reading took priority to her comfort.

I enjoyed that moment of imaginary and, despite a 5 hour journey (2 hours normally) to get to the mountains on Friday (due to this), then coming down with a nasty cold early Saturday morning and getting the first period since my miscarriage (a helluva doozy, if you’re curious), there were lots of good moments that more than made up for the pain and inconveniences.

We BBQed chicken skewers and spontaneously invited friends who happened to be up there to join us. We talked late into the evening and it was such good fellowship.

On one of our bike rides, we stopped and visited with the donkey who lives a couple streets over from our mountain cabin, and when we left I received a rather loud serenade of sad donkey hee-haws… “DON’T GO, DON’T GO!” He seemed to say.

Taking my coffee out on the back porch in the early morning hours and listening to the squirrels “chaw-chaw-chaw-chaw” at each other from the tree tops, while they performed a strange dance of hops and runs from one tree top to the next, fearless of heights, sounding for all the world like a strange bird.

We had breakfast at our favorite breakfast place, and one of the waitresses, hoping we would be up this weekend, brought me a dark chocolate candy bar with almonds. She was so excited to be able to give it to me, and I was so touched at her thoughtfulness.

The cook at our favorite breakfast place cooks two nights a week at a fancy restaurant. He’s always encouraged us to come by, with stories of deliciously prepared food. Sadly, we’ve never been up there on the nights he works there, but we were this trip, so we made a date of it.

On the way down the mountain this morning, for the first half of the drive, there was no one in front of, nor behind us. If you’ve ever driven a twisty mountain road and been stuck behind someone, you know what a blessing that is.

And the Sweet Broom is blooming — the fragrance is amazing. We rolled our windows down, things a-flying about in the car, the bird chirping away at the havoc of it all, but the fragrance, oh, the fragrance!

The snow has melted (this is one of my favorite views on the drive down, in case you hadn’t noticed).

It was one of those weekends that made you believe that if you could just blow a dandelion in one deep, long breath, that maybe, just maybe, you could have another weekend just like it. Starting now.

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Filed under I did something Special, I have Friends, I Left Home for Awhile

Love & Loathe – 05/27/10

Loathe:

* Political mail. What a waste of paper, postage, man hours delivering it, space in my post office box and, ultimately, in the trash can and landfills. Worse yet, there’s no way to opt out of it. Registered to vote equals mandatory junk mail. EPIC FAIL to our politicians!

* Having an overwhelming day at work. One of my friends landed a job a few months ago, and worked so hard and well, she actually worked herself out of the job. Her advice to me was to be careful not to do that. I’m thinkin’ I need to stop working so quickly while at work, because I think they now think I’m superwoman. I need to correct their erroneous impression. Not by screwing up, but by letting them know I can’t do everything. Why do I feel like I’m letting myself down by admitting that?

* I need to sew some items. Sew, as in “darn some socks and fix some holes,” not sew as in “create something new from scratch and patterns.” Just to clarify. And this is not something I enjoy doing, thus it being on the “loathe” part of the list and also the procrastination list. And has been on these lists, although not listed, for a few weeks now. Ugh.

* Coupons that require you “buy 2” in order to use them. I don’t want to buy 2, I want to buy 1.

Love:

* The anticipation of a holiday weekend. We’re going to the local mountains and I cannot wait.

* How good Tug’s cat, Snug, is for him. The other day, Tug was all amped up about something, back and forth, to and fro, running in circles, meowing at me. It was getting on my nerves, so I pushed Snug into him. Tug started grooming Snug, and pretty soon, he was all calmed down. Exactly why Tug has his own cat.

* My favorite instructor was teaching tonight’s aqua class. I guess her mom died and that’s why she’s been away for three weeks. *sniffle*

* Finding a pair of $89 slacks that fit like they were tailored just for me, and only for $11.99. Sweet.

* Turkish Delight. I’ve read about them for years in novels. I found some in a store a couple weeks ago and all I can say is, “Yum!”

* Milk. I cannot tell you just how very much I love milk. I am grateful every single day that I discovered I can drink raw milk and that it’s still available for purchase in California.

One Last Thing:

So, apparently, when a person registers for social security, social security in turn provides your name and mailing address to all the old fart mailing lists? Industries like AARP, places that sell support hose, and companies that are concerned for your bowel health?

All of those sentences end in question marks because my mom registered with the social security (an unsuccessful adventure and a story that would take far too long to tell here) and all of a sudden my mailbox overfloweth with old fart mail. Trust me when I tell you that my mom is the least old fartish person I know, and I know without asking that she did not request to be put on those mailing lists.

One such gem I threw away, but the headline caught my eye and caused me to retrieve it and take pictures. What was the headline you ask? Oh, let me share.

It gets better…

Rather not. Thanks.

Cool. A vitamin called “Smooth Moves.”

I guess it would stand to reason, if your poop is healthy, so are you. Really don’t want to think about 120 year old poop.

A quiz! About colon cleanliness!

Right, because we have 35 feet of intestines inside of us, and our pets have less than that, I think. Scared to Google that one, but you go right ahead.

Ummm, ick?

And, final words to live by:

With that, I say carry on. Or poop on. Or… just have a great Memorial weekend. What are YOU doing this weekend, besides pooping?

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Filed under Good for your Poopy, Love/Loathe

Long Weekend Ahead?

I’ve walked around all day today thinking that it’s Wednesday. Freaking out when someone asked me to schedule something for Thursday morning and thinking it’s TOMORROW. Yikes.

My car got two new shoes this morning. I was getting tired of testing my driving skills on slick pavement when it rained. The two that needed replacement were on the rear on a rear wheel drive car. Can you say “fishtailing”? Me neither, but I sure was driving that way.

While waiting for my car, I discovered a Starbucks gift card in my purse and, wouldn’t you know, there was a Starbucks across the parking lot!

I waited for my coffee, just people watching. The gal running the cash register and the two people making the drinks had a great system, and even though the line was long, it moved really quickly.

A fellow who was also waiting started to sit down in the chair sharing my table, and then realized that I was there already. He paused in an awkward half sitting, half standing position, so I laughed and said, “Go ahead and have a seat!” He grinned and shared that he’d called ahead for two gallons of coffee, but they had forgotten to make them. I said, “Uh ohhh…” He said, “Yeah. That’s OK, life’s too short to get upset over something like this.”

I replied that was very true. My mind flashed back to an experience I’d had a few months ago when someone got really upset because she wasn’t first in line to the newly opened cash register. The guy in front of us ushered her to the front of the line and told her, “You know, ma’am, life’s just way too short to be so upset over something so meaningless.”

Today’s person apologized and said, “Maybe that sounds too philosophical…” I replied, “That’s OK, there comes a point in people’s lives when I think it’s appropriate to be philosophical and realize that you have to prioritize everything, even the things you choose to get upset over… and it’s important to realize it IS a choice.”

And all this before my cup of coffee, mind you.

Is it no wonder I felt like it was already Wednesday?

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Filed under I ♥ My Miata, I Stimulate the Economy, I'm Never too Old to Learn, Sometimes Thinking Exhausts Me

Love & Loathe — 05/20/10

Loathe:

* Negotiating money. I really need to gain a new perspective on this, because I seriously dread this part of the process. Maybe because I never feel like I’m worth the price I’m asking, even though I know my experience and history belies that feeling.

* The Renegade Pooper. One of our cats has decided that the litter box is boring, and would rather put a pile of poop alongside my car in the garage. I’ve learned to look before I step, and I would really like to know who the flagrant violator is, but he doesn’t do it consistently, just… you know, when the urge strikes.

* Now that I’m back swimming, so is the chlorine rash. Ugh.

Love:

* When the heater kicks on in the pool while I’m swimming. Doesn’t matter what temp the pool is, it immediately feels super warm the second it kicks on.

* The gym has three aqua aerobic instructors. I rate them as OK (accompanied by a shrug), Really Good (with a smile), and Excellent (with a fist in the air). I never go to the Excellent class because that’s on Saturday morning at 8 AM. Tonight, the Excellent instructor filled in for the Really Good instructor. I was so happy!

* When Tony and I make dinner together. It’s just a nice feeling to be working alongside him in the kitchen. So homey.

* Watermelon and blueberries, my most favorite treats, are in season.

* I saw someone do something intelligent on the freeway the other day. It was so rare to see that, it gave me hope that there are still people out there who pay attention when they’re driving.

* Star jasmine and magnolia trees are blooming EVERYWHERE. We can almost get high off the scent when sitting in traffic or at stoplights. (That white strip in the picture below that looks almost like snow? Star jasmine… mmmmm.)

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Filed under Love/Loathe

Don’t Fit In…

… or I have temporary ADD and can’t seem to put together a coherent post about one topic. So you get bullet points. I know, you’re thinking “Hey, that’s no different than your most recent posts!” And I’m here to tell you, it is too. Because I’m not using asterisks, instead you get two dashes for each new thought. So there. Don’t argue with me, you won’t win.

And now that we’ve settled that, here are things I’ve done in the last couple of weeks but don’t seem to fit in anywhere.

— I got a new cell phone. A Samsung Reality. Yes, mom, a Korean brand. It has a QWERTY keyboard and I feel like I’ve now upgraded to the Big Time (even though I didn’t get a data plan). Text messages? Bring ’em on, baby!

— I also got a 2nd computer (remember my other one’s monitor died just after I lost my job last year). I got a Gateway Netbook and I love it. It also has Windows XP, which makes me very, very happy.

— I upgraded the RAM in both my Netbook and my Notebook. My Netbook hadn’t even been turned on when I did it. After seeing how fast my Notebook booted (with Windows Vista, no less), I now cry out, “Why didn’t I do that sooner? WHY?” Vince even told me to, way back when it was new.

— Graham crackers are delicious. Who let me forget that?

— I colored my hair a golden brown color for summer. It’s pretty.

— Umm, I think yesterday marked one year with no usage of shampoo. I’m too lazy to check my archives, but I think that’s right. I also think that’s pretty cool.

— I got a Furminator for the cats. It appears that they think my hand has grown a purple cat tongue that grooms them. They now fly across the room when I open the drawer it’s kept in.

— Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny that I got a bit sunburned (slightly pink, not ouchy, ouchy burn) on Saturday when we went to Sea World, and now it’s raining outside? So, you know, here I am walking around all tan-like and there’s no sun.

— We saw Bill Cosby on Sunday evening. He’s 72 years old, married 46 years and is the only person I know who can bring a thousand people to hysterical laughter just by saying, “Aaaand then…” Worth every penny spent for laughing for two non-stop hours. Awesome.

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Filed under I Left Home for Awhile, I Stimulate the Economy, Kid Substitutes, Tidbits

Love & Loathe — 05/13/10

Loathe:

* One of the aquatic aerobic instructors at my gym always wants to do 30 minutes of weird balancing and bouncing with fun noodles and handbells. She usually works Tuesdays and that’s why I chose Thursdays for my “early day” at work, to avoid her class. But she’s been subbing for the Thursday teacher and it’s annoying. I still worked my early day today for consistency there, but avoided the class tonight, which made me sad. Better sad than annoyed, though.

* When people send an Excel spreadsheet and don’t preview it to ensure that it will print properly. If you’ve ever received one of those, you know what I mean.

*Mother’s day, as I’m sure you can imagine, was a bittersweet day for me. I should have been feeling my little one kicking me from the inside out, but it didn’t work out that way.

* My body has absolutely no idea what it’s doing. Well, actually, I’m sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing, but I have no clue where I’m at in my cycle. Blood work is normal, non-pregnant and that’s about all I know.


Love:

* Having lunch with my friend, Grace. Everyone should have a friend like her in their life.

* My sister-in-law, Marigold, who gave me a gift on Mother’s Day which touched my heart deeply. It was exactly right for that day, and for where I am in the processing of our loss emotionally.

* Seeing Tony’s east coast brother (and his family). They came out with the intent to see Grandpa, but he passed away before they could get here. It was so good to see them, though, despite the circumstances.

* When appropriate, shrugging things off and saying, “That’s out of my control…” It’s so freeing!

One Last Thing:
It’s been a weird week at work… click to enter your password and continue reading.

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Filed under Love/Loathe

Love & Loathe — 05/06/10

Loathe:

* Bird crap on my car. Got a doozy today.

* Getting behind a person smoking a cigarette in rush hour traffic. I drive a convertible, people, please don’t flick your ashes and butts out your window!

* The arborists went through the neighborhood. The trees at the pool I loved so much last week, those heavily-ladened, pink blossomed ones? They now look like this. I am so sad.

Love:

* The first rose of the season.

* It looked like a million diamonds trailing me in the water. I had kicked my feet in a dolphin kick, leveraging a turnabout at the end of the pool. Apparently, I turned faster than usual, gifting myself that unexpected fleeting moment of beauty… simple bubbles in the water, back lit by the sunshine. Diamonds.

* The street lamps in our neighborhood. For some reason, every time I see them (which is a lot), I think of the Chronicles of Narnia.

* There is a hawk who sits atop a light post over one of the major streets I travel every day. I see it every morning and evening, without fail, on my commute. I wonder how many people notice that bird every day… I notice him because it’s such a contrast. He looks so peaceful and lofty, high above us commuters who are jockeying for position on a six lane thoroughfare. Really, I guess, I envy him his position.

* The yellow flowers are bursting out on the hillsides. Such a bold statement of changing seasons, welcoming spring, full of bright colors. Seeing the green hillsides teeming with color like this, triggers fond memories of our trip to Ireland.

One Last Thing:

About a year ago, I gave some of the important elders in our life a “tell me your story” book. I found them online, Amazon has a bunch of them if you search “tell me your story” or “do you remember when”. For me, it was an acknowledgment that time passes and the inevitable will eventually happen, and surprisingly, I discovered when I read the questions, there are a lot of things I didn’t know about the people I love. The books ask leading questions, and while some questions aren’t applicable to everyone, they might trigger a thought or memory that could be written instead.

After Tony’s Grandpa died, we learned that he had taken the time to partially complete his book. Paging through it now, seeing his handwriting … well, it’s as if he had handed us a gift from beyond the grave. A gift that the entire family who misses him so much will be able to cherish for many years to come.

If you have a loved one who’s getting on in years, I encourage you to get them one of these books or at least make a list of questions you’d like to ask them. It can feel a little awkward to ask questions which you maybe feel like you should already know the answers, but I can tell you, it will be totally worth it.

19 Comments

Filed under I have Family, Love/Loathe