Monthly Archives: March 2011

Blogabilities – Week of 03/27/11

* Since I’m not allowed to go swimming right now (doctor’s orders), I’ve been using my “swim time” as “scan time.” Surely you remember the family photo archiving project I embarked on back in … 2004? I’m able to get through two years each night (thank goodness my mom wasn’t a photobug like me!). I just finished scanning year 1982 and came across this picture taken in Gettysburg of two of my cousins sitting on a cannon. It’s not a very good picture, which is directly correlated to the camera (a pathetic 110 deal where the viewfinder didn’t match the lens, so all the pictures it took were skewed to the right, usually cutting any person on the left of the frame in half, and also only one speed of exposure), not the skill of the photographer (an 11 year old girl who was in a hurry).

It makes me laugh because I always think, “Hey, that cannon must have just boomed a ball out!” I mean, why else would the picture be so blurry, right? Nothing like action photography in my imagination.

* Our local grocery store has been undergoing a remodel, and so they were clearancing some of their inventory at unbelievable prices. I’ve wanted to try pretzel chips for awhile now, but not to the tune of $4 a bag. I was thrilled (absolutely thrilled!!) to find bags and bags of them, in all different flavors, on clearance for $.79. Also, cinnamon sugar pita chips. Awesomely delicious.

* This hot sauce from taco bell. I like it so well, I’m thinking of going there, ordering one taco and grabbing a handful of them for inventory.

* I’m usually one for vivid, dramatic sunsets, but yesterday’s was so gentle and soft and peaceful… and it was soothing. I snagged this picture over my backyard fence.

* My hospitalized fish has started intermittently eating again. She has been on a hunger strike for the last month or so, so it’s a huge relief to not have to vacuum moldy food out of her tank every night. Apparently, she is very stealthy about the whole eating thing, and won’t eat if you’re looking directly at her, but if you peek around the corner, you can see her darting out and getting food. Tony reported on the beginning of this miraculous happening a few days ago.



Filed under Blogabilities, Kid Substitutes, Love/Loathe


My mom flies onward, ever onward, to her next destination tomorrow. The past 2 1/2 weeks have flown by on wings that I didn’t see or hear flapping.

One of the lessons I’ve learned this past week is, it seems I get so wrapped up in trying to do it all, and trying to be strong, that I don’t give anyone a chance to help me or if I do, it’s a delegation type of role. But… while I was off my feet, my mom and Tony did an incredible job keeping the pets loved, the house cleaned, and my every need met. I needed them. Two angels. No wonder I didn’t see their wings — you never see angel’s wings.

We spent some time sorting through photos that I had scanned a few years ago and saved on my hard drive. Discussing what year they belonged in, based mostly on how my brother and I were developing — were we walking? Did we have our permanent teeth yet? Looking kind of gangly, all knees and elbows in that one… and so forth.

We also went through the memory book I had given to my mom, and I delved further into some of her shorter answers to get more elaborate details. If you’ve never “interviewed” your parents or grandparents, or even a beloved aunt or uncle, I encourage you to do so. Learning their story is to learn your story… everything they’ve experienced has influenced their interaction with you.

Today was my first day back to work and it was good to be back.


Filed under I have Family

Blogabilities – Week of 03/20/11

* First up, I’m going to blog about blogging for a moment. Nothing quite as riveting as that! I’ve received several emails and comments from you lovelies who have been kept away from visiting me here because you let life carry you away (excuses, excuses). Oh, I jest! I’m more guilty of that than you are, probably. Since I have a spare moment or two (or three) right now, I spent some time exploring e-mail subscription services for you (you’re welcome) and added that option over there to the left. What could be better than me in your e-mail? So, if you want to be notified of my new posts via e-mail, just click-click over there and plug in your e-mail address. I promise not to overload your inbox by posting every day. Again, you’re welcome.

* Next up, I’m going to change the title of my weekly “Love & Loathe” posts. I don’t always feel loathing for something, and many times I struggle with things to put under that section of the post. I long ago coined the word “blogabilities” — in fact, for years now, every month I create a new images folder in my computer titled just that. So, henceforth, I shall name my weekly updates “Blogabilities – Week of _____” and you shall like it!

* I’ve been on a turkey kick lately, and so I made a 9-pound turkey breast in the crockpot last week. I was more than a little worried whether it would fit, and it did, and it was delicious! Since then, I’ve been addicted to leftover turkey on a bagel thin (those 110 calorie bagels) with just a dab of butter. Especially when they’re put together by my husband.

* This cat of mine is something else.

Bedroom time for him is very rare, and only something that happens when he’s deathly ill or we feel he desperately needs it for mental health reasons. While I’ve been out of commission, we’ve let him into the bedroom for a couple hours every morning for my mental health. I’m fairly certain, based on the way he drapes himself over me like a tiger who’s captured his next victim, that the pleasure he takes in this special treatment is running neck-to-neck with the gluttonous satisfaction he derives from his food.

* I was craving some healthy cookies, so I baked 4-5 dozen of my honey oatmeal cookies last Sunday evening. Of course I doll them up with raisins, dates and chocolate chips… no cookie recipe is functional without chocolate chips. The experience was so wonderful. It was raining outside, and everyone was in the kitchen together, working on different things. Tony and my mom finished their food projects, and I had a couple dozen cookies left to bake. It was quite late, and everyone had gone to bed… or so I thought. Until I heard my mom’s footsteps coming down the stairs. It was a sweet moment when I gave her a cookie I had baked, warm and fresh from the oven. She savored it and requested another. I remembered the times I had, as a child, done the same exact thing… except then they were cookies she had baked.


Filed under Blogabilities, I Blog about Blogging, Tidbits

Major Decisions.

How much of the outcome is luck? How much of it is based on level of skill? How much is based on statistics? How much is superstition based? How much of all those things together impact my brain’s level of comfort and ability to rest in God’s hands?

My answer: A LOT!

Which, I suppose, is why the major decision I had trouble making was what underwear and what socks to wear yesterday. On a normal day, those two things are important to me (because you just NEVER KNOW!), but on an important day like yesterday? Overwhelming.

When Tony arrived home to drive us to the appointment, I grabbed his hand and explained my dilemma as I led him upstairs and pointed to the options I’d laid out on the bed. To his credit, he assisted in the decision without laughing or rolling his eyes at me. Which is good, because I was rolling my eyes at myself.

Ladybugs are a thing with us. Everywhere we’ve gone together, whether it be Italy, Ireland, Hawaii, Sea World, LegoLand, etc., a ladybug has always flown in and landed near us. So we chose to go with a ladybug theme yesterday. But, to keep the Irish theme I’ve had going all month, the ladybug socks had a fair amount of green worked into the pattern, and I added two temporary clover leaf tattoos to my inner-upper calf area.

If nothing else, the silliness of my dilemma served as a distraction and a point of laughter for us, setting the tone for the rest of the day.

The procedure went well. I’m now off my feet and resting for the rest of the week.


Filed under I Stimulate the Economy

Along for the Ride.

One of the things I appreciate about Tony is that he pulls me out of my routine and worries, and encourages me to do things spontaneously. Respectful, of course, of my needs or things I need to do… thus the word “encourages.”

Saturday morning he suggested going to the swap meet. It’s one of those things I love to do, just walk around and see what’s what, but just never take the time to do. I decided to go… and despite some physical discomfort, given what I’d done the day before, I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would. Although, I have to say, a post-adventure afternoon nap was definitely on the agenda after that!

Today was all about chores and planning ahead, boring but necessary.

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Filed under Best Husband, I Left Home for Awhile

Slept In.

What with traffic and appointments before work every day since last Sunday, yesterday for the first time in a week, I slept in past 5:30 am. I felt decadent when my alarm clock went off at 7:05 am, I yawned and stretched and just enjoyed the perfection of the moment. And then the brain engaged. Dratted brain.

When I checked my e-mail, there was one from Tony wishing me a good morning, a routine I love and appreciate from him. Except he also mentioned that the sprinklers between our house and our neighbor’s house had been on all night and was flooding the area between our homes, running off to the main street. Just a minor emergency of which I notified our homeowner’s association, since they have the key to the sprinkler box — and, you know, I tried to be non-threatening about the whole thing. ha. Non-threatening. ha.

Thank you for your prayers yesterday. The procedure went well, but there’s a second part that will occur and I am still requesting your prayers for success.

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Filed under Best Husband, I own a Home

Love & Loathe – Week of 03/13


* Teaching people common courtesy at the gym. Like, if you want to split the lane I’m swimming in, let me know before hopping in with me and going for it. I have my diatribe down now (three months of practice), and I’m not shy about letting them hear it. People can be so rude.

* Our little Nemo passed away this week. We know he had a good life, longer than it would have been in someone else’s home. We miss him, though, he was such a happy little fish.


* My mom stayed with a friend of hers and his family for a couple nights, since we’ve been busy with work and stuff this week. When he drove her back to our house tonight, he brought us a gift of Korean pears. My first thought was, “Why a gift for us? I should give YOU a gift for driving her around, entertaining her and feeding her!” So I gave him some cookies I had baked.

* Another FREE salad from a meeting at work today. This makes me happy!

* St. Patrick’s Day dinner (Green Dinner) is this weekend. My mom gets to attend this year and I just know she’ll enjoy it! (I must remind her to pack earplugs for the bagpipe player…) Also, green nail polish and holiday appropriate socks — love it!

One Last Thing:

I recently read Home to Holly Springs, authored by Jan Karon. It’s a fictional tale of retired Father Tim returning to his hometown where he reunites with childhood friends and discovers he has a half brother who needs a stem cell transplant. Father Tim’s blood matches, and he begins the arduous and painful process of harvesting the cells from his blood to engraft in his newly found brother’s.

One page of the book details how Father Tim called his bishop, and then a chapel, and then friends in another county, another church, another friend, with the purpose of asking them to spread the word that prayer was urgently needed. Any prayerful person — he needed them all to petition God in prayer for the procedure to be successful. That when he had left his dying father’s bedside years before, he had in a sense let him go. But unless God himself ordained it, he was not going to let his brother go. The page is concluded with, “He was marshaling troops, he was calling up regiments, this was war.”

It was powerfully written, I could nearly imagine the accompanying music build to a crescendo in my head as I read it. But more importantly, it reminded me that vulnerability is the key for relating with our fellow people — enabling us to request prayers and support.

If you would then, please pray for us tomorrow, Friday, over the weekend, and continuing next week. I will be undergoing a medical procedure and we would really appreciate your prayers for its success.


Filed under Love/Loathe

Love & Loathe – Week of 03/06


* I still have a lingering cough from the nasty cold I caught three four weeks ago. It’s a mild cough, just annoying as all get out to me, as I have high expectations of my lungs when swimming. Someday it will go away. I think.

* The gym’s pool. I’m just holding on to the light at the end of the tunnel — one more month until our community pool is heated and I can swim outside again. One more month. One more month.


* My life right now. It’s far from perfect, but I am so thankful for what we have.

* Do you know what this is?

Yes, yes, it’s a salad. But it’s not JUST a salad. It’s an enormous (the picture doesn’t do its size justice) FREE salad that I brought home from work after a meeting. Why people don’t eat salads is beyond me, but I’m not questioning it too deeply; since it wasn’t eaten, and I didn’t want it to go to waste, I brought it home. We will surely eat it.

* Last weekend, finally, I finished straightening my back yard. It’s been in messy chaos since December (thanks to painters and fencers) and I’m so glad it’s back the way it’s supposed to be, instead of all topsy-turvy.

One Last Thing:

I’m posting a day early because my mom lands in our life tomorrow for 2 1/2 weeks. Just thinking about seeing her makes me feel excited, apprehensive and tired (can I be tired in advance?). Marathon visiting, entertaining, transporting and feeding someone who’s not normally with you everyday takes energy!

I know the next couple weeks will go way too fast and before I know it, she’ll jet on to her next destination and we’ll go back to our routines. So, I intend to fully enjoy every moment I can wring out of the next couple weeks.

Hmmm, mother-daughter relationship — let’s just hope the wringing doesn’t reach our necks!


Filed under I have Family, Life Encompasses Me, Love/Loathe

Weather Tricksters!

It was last Friday evening and I was gathering my stuff to go to the gym, debating in my mind whether I’d do an easy work out that night and a heavy work out in the morning, or just do a normal work out and wait until Saturday evening to go again.

Tony walked in the door and said, “It’s raining outside. They’re forecasting thunder and heavy rain for tonight.” I turned to him and replied flippantly, “Huh. Maybe we should go to the mountains…”

His eyes lit up and, a few phone calls later, miraculously, everything we were scheduled to do that weekend was able to be rescheduled and completed that Friday night.

You see, we never go to the mountains when it’s already raining (which means snow up there), but always when there’s snow in the forecast and then 99% of the time, it wimps out on us and we just go up and see dirty snow. Or no snow at all. Also known as sunshine at a higher elevation.

So it was that last Friday, it was raining heavily and halfway up our drive on the twisty mountain road, the rain that was loudly splattering on our windshield, turned to snow which gently, quietly settled for a moment before being whisked away by the windshield wipers. We were the ones making the noise at that point, shouting giddily at each other, “We tricked it! We tricked the weather!”

It was around 2am that we settled in the cabin and finally went to bed. We awakened the next morning to a world blanketed in white. I love fresh snow. When it lands in the night, it’s as if it makes nature pause — everything is so still and quiet. Before it’s touched by humans, the pure white, drifting mounds seem to go on and on. It’s so beautiful. This is the first snow we’ve seen this season, so we were reveling in the magical quality of it.

On our way to breakfast, we drove past our neighborhood donkey, she was contentedly under cover munching on her breakfast. The wicker couch on a porch, which not that long ago held a woman basking in the last rays of sunshine while reading a book, is now covered by a blue, plastic tarp. Dogs reveling in the snow were out with their humans who were alternately shoveling and laughing at their pet’s antics. People wearing snowshoes and winter clothing were briskly heading to mountain trails, replacing bicycles that were not long ago being idly pedaled down the road. Instead of people fishing alongside the bridge, birds were standing opportunistically in their place, waiting for the ice to break just enough…

Our favorite restaurant was pleasantly busy. One of the waitresses was just back from maternity leave, and it was so good to see her. We sat at the counter, as we usually do, and partook in the camaraderie that is such a part of the place.

While eating at the counter, the lady next to me took a phone call. In a low, discreet voice, she asked her caller a few questions and then left her seat for a more private spot. I asked her husband if she was a bail bond agent, he gave me an assessing look, and replied in the affirmative.

Knowing I have a magnetism for strangers telling me most anything and everything about themselves, I mentally shrugged and asked him what he did. He replied, “I’m a criminal lawyer, but I also do Federal Marshall work…” and the conversation continued on to discuss his work, his hopes for his future career, the economy, long-time restaurants in Los Angeles, and continued for another 15-20 minutes, when his wife returned to finish her meal, she joined in the conversation.

After we left, Tony said to me, “Did you find out if they’re on LinkedIn? Maybe you should network with them.” I blinked a couple times, laughed, and replied, “Nooooo?” I’m still trying to figure out if Tony thinks we’ll maybe need a bail bond agent and a criminal lawyer in our future?

After making our rounds in town, it was back to the cabin for movies and peaceful afternoon naps. Relaxing and rejuvenating.

Someone once made the statement that we move at such a fast pace in this world, we need to stop and let our soul catch up with our body.

That’s what the mountains do for us — the beauty and peace, devoid of everyday obligations, allows our souls to catch up with our bodies.


Filed under I did something Special, I Left Home for Awhile, Life Encompasses Me, Sometimes I Sleep