Monthly Archives: April 2011

Right Direction.

Tony had a coupon from Chick-Fil-A, a restaurant that we’ve come to really like for their healthier chicken food than other places. The coupon for tonight was to buy an adult meal and get a kid’s chicken nugget meal free. Since I’m a small eater, the coupon was perfect for our needs — he gets the adult meal, I got yummy chicken nuggets. Real chicken, too, not that processed crap that other places serve.

In my kid’s meal a toy was included. Tony asked what toy I got. Holding up the as of yet unwrapped plastic-encased plastic toy, I replied, “I don’t know… looks kind of like handcuffs to me.” He raised an eyebrow, I grinned. I knew just how incongruous that sounded. Turns out the “handcuffs” were actually a compass, although they kind of look like Mickey Mouse ears all unfolded like that.

We played with the wobbly kid compass for awhile and I learned that, all this time, I thought north and south were this way and that way based on the way the major freeway runs past these parts. Apparently “true” north is a smidge further this way and “true” south is a smidge further that way… which makes perfect smidgey sense given the direction the sun comes up and sets every day.

Which then reminded me that I recently discovered a freeway on ramp where, if I want to go northbound on one freeway (which I always do), I have to get on a southbound freeway for just a bit to get to the northbound freeway. Which just seems so counter-intuitive to me. Who goes south to go north?

I’m learning that’s kind of how life is these days. Counter-intuitive. To go the right way, you have to go a completely different direction than you originally intended.

Flowers from my back yard.



Filed under I'm Never too Old to Learn, Sometimes Thinking Exhausts Me

Bargain Weekend.

In these parts many stores were offering various free things for Earth Day, and we managed to spontaneously participate in a couple of them.

Disney stores, in exchange for 5 plastic bags (who doesn’t have 5 plastic bags hanging around?), were giving away a free “green” bag. The store we went to had Cars themed bags and we were quite happy with that! We zipped down to our local Disney store on Friday evening, and then as we were pulling out of the parking lot, I caught a glimpse of El Torito over my shoulder and, man, that sounded just right to me for dinner. So, a spontaneous trip to the mall also turned into a spontaneous stop at El Torito for dinner… and there was only a 5 minute wait for a table!

On Saturday morning, I was eating my breakfast and Tony pipes up with, "I'm going to get my free tree!" I decided to tag along with him to Lowes. They were giving away free little baby trees (promoted as "This Tree is One in a Million") that once planted, we can go online and register them, as well as see where the other 999,999 free trees went.

I guess its been awhile since we’ve been to our local Lowes (Home Depot is only a mile away vs. 10 miles for Lowes). I predict that I may be going over to the Lowes vicinity more frequently now, since we discovered a brand new Big Lots! right next door. Big Lots! had this Too Tall Bunny (too tall for the box, look at its ears!), I didn’t buy it, but I thought it was hilarious.

Following a lunch break at home (we had leftovers from El Torito!), we decided to take some donations to the thrift store. I had read online that many of the local thrift stores were running 50% off sales, and I managed to find some really cool things for super cheap. Have I ever mentioned how much I love thrift stores? Or how much I love that Tony loves to go thrift store shopping with me?

They had this lovely glass thing in the antiques/collectibles area. If I’d had any inkling what to do with it, I would have bought it. As it was, I just thought it pretty, took a picture, and left it for someone else who might appreciate it more.

You know what they say, right? The family that thrifts together stays together… or something like that. Or I might’ve just made that up. You’ll just never know. ha

Happy Easter to you… I hope it’s a beautiful one.


Filed under Best Husband, I ♥ Sales, I ♥ Thrift Stores, Time Consumers

Blogabilities – Week of 04-17-11

* There was a kid in Target the other day, sitting in a stroller beside his sister, and he was crying up a storm. Wailing, actually, might be a more accurate description. Their mom was pushing them and was just kind of ignoring the whole situation, which I guess is the thing to do these days. I glanced at the little boy — all that crying and screaming had turned his face a mottled pinkish-red and I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s kind of ugly.” Now I know you’re not supposed to think that about people, really, especially a poor kid, but… he was. I suddenly found myself avoiding another little kid who was running amok. I have no idea where the Amok kid’s parent was, but Amok swerved right in front of me coming to a dead stop in front of a display of bags of Easter marshmallows. The Wailer’s watery eyes followed Amok’s activity and all of a sudden his wailing stopped. His eyes got HUGE. He sniffled, hiccupped and said in a voice equally as loud as his wailing had been, “Mom? Does EVERYONE in the WHOLE world love marshmallows?” All of a sudden “kind of ugly” turned into “adorably cute.”

* Flowers are blooming. My Double Delight rose shrub (which I really, really need to learn how to properly prune, because I know it could produce SO MANY MORE ROSES) came out with the first rose of the season. A real beauty, with two more on the way.

* My first gardenia of the season made its appearance this weekend as well. It’s now on my desk at work, in front of the mini fan I’m running because the sick auditors are back in the building. Yes, that last sentence was unrelated to the happiness of flowers blooming, but it is so aggravating to have people who are sick come in the building and spread their germs.

* The star jasmine in my work’s parking lot, as well as all along the street where I work is gearing up for the spring show. I cannot wait!

* Fields of yellow flowers contrasted against a stormy dark blue sky.

* Greek Yogurt. I read somewhere that it’s actually healthier for you, with less sugar, than many of the other brand name yogurts out there. I tried a couple brands of Greek yogurt and found that I like The Greek Gods yogurt best of all. It’s thick, with the consistency of custard, and so incredibly delicious. Bonus: It hasn’t yet given me any adverse effects, not even a little. Maybe because it has probiotics?

* Not so thrilled with gas prices. You guys, my car is little. It has a gas tank that’s just over 11 gallons. This is how much I spent on gas the other day for my little bitty car at Costco – the cheapest place to get gas in these parts. I cannot even imagine how painful this would be if I had a big SUV.

A story in senses:

It was warm and dreamy, the weather was, this past weekend. We went over to Tony’s parent’s house for a bit of time on Sunday afternoon. After awhile, I went outside and the green grass beckoned me. Particularly a spot just on the other side of the big tree where the nephews were swinging back and forth with Tony’s strong pushes.

I twisted my hair up into a knot and laid down, using that hair knot for a pillow, and closed my eyes and just felt. I felt the sun on my skin, I felt the breeze, just as quickly, cooling my skin.

My ears became attuned and I heard cheering from a great mass of people, and laughter at a higher volume than the cheering… a game, then, down the hill at the high school. I became aware of the sound of a daisy wheel, the plastic clattering as it tried to spin as fast as the wind was blowing it… and then the sound of leaves, pattering against each other in the trees, all the way to the top.

Then, the sounds of various birds chirping and singing at each other added to the instruments that nature was playing, punctuated by the sharp chatters of hummingbirds.

And, finally, the begging of little nephew, Milo, to Uncle Tony, “Push me at Super Speed!” and his laughter as his request was granted.

Sun, laughter, cheering, breezes, leaves and birds… sometimes the best orchestra is one that nature creates.


Filed under Blogabilities

Blogabilities – Week of 04-10-11

* I’ve started doing a new thing, a simple thing, that I plan to make a new habit. When I get home, I go out into the back yard and sit down for about 5 minutes. Tony comes out and joins his hand in mine and we just sit there, quietly, together, and soak up the beauty of the plants, flowers, and the birds chirping. It’s a great way to decompress and gain some peace after a day at work and a stressful drive home in traffic.

* I really dislike it when cats purge themselves on my car. Ummm, cat barf, or stomach bile in general, is just not good for automobile paint. The really whacked out part of this is, you know that rule about how cats will go to great lengths to find the softest surface in the house, like a rug, carpet or couch, and avoid the 90% of the home that is hard, shiny surfaces like tile or hardwood floors when barfing? Yeah, that rule doesn’t apply to my car. Nope. Apparently, the rule about barfing on cars is to do it on the hard, painted surface, specifically, over the edge of the trunk so it gets into the crevices of the blinker cover and down the bumper, even into the gas tank filler area, avoiding the car cover completely. Egads.

* In the mornings while I take my shower, I put our little bird on her perch and turn the radio on for her. The entire time I’m showering, she sits there and chirps along to the beat. One chirp per beat. It really is one of the cutest things that happens in my mornings.

* I switched to Google Chrome on my computer that runs Windows Vista. I know, I know. I feel like I’ve crossed over to the dark side or something, but I’ve dealt with Firefox crashing and freezing for over a year when it encounters a YouTube video or Flash ads on websites. Downloaded updates that are supposed to fix it, all to no avail. I’m over it. Moving on. Google Chrome better do me right.

* Still loving that my hospital fish tank is empty.

* Keeping it generic here … I’ll just say that anxiety is hell; God is peace. I’m countering my anxiety about tomorrow by praying ceaselessly for it to go well. As always, my prayer warriors, please keep us in your prayers.



Filed under Blogabilities

Shadows Cast by Clocks.

I crept quietly downstairs, the gurgle of water in the fish tanks a soft constant sound, disguising the patter of my stealthy steps. I remember reading somewhere that if it’s dark, to look to the side of my target. By doing so, I will actually see what’s in front of me better than if I attempt to look at it directly. Which is how I avoided cracking my shin on the coffee table. That and the glow from the green digital clock on the microwave.

Who says reading stuff on the Internet doesn’t come in handy sometimes? Or shin-saving, as the case may be.

I grabbed the utensils I had set out earlier that evening, prior to the house darkening; a small flashlight, fish transporter and two fish nets.

Then I lifted the lid on the tank, turned the flashlight on and set it at an angle on the counter. My prey was floating softly, drifting really, at the bottom of the tank. I have about 30 seconds before she wakes up enough to realize something is coming for her, so I easily swooped her into the net and went to put her into the transporter… except the net didn’t fit into the transporter correctly, and she woke up more quickly than I expected and darted out of the net back into the tank.


I turned the flashlight off and waited a minute. The reset button for fish capturing. Using the smaller net this time, I again captured her easily and moved her into the transporter. I hung the transporter on the lip of the tank for a minute while I set the net down and then carried her across the room to the big tank. I acclimated her for a few minutes and then dropped her in.

(It’s much easier to catch non-nocturnal fish, such as cichlids, when it’s dark. Also, since they’re such aggressive, territorial fish, it’s better to relocate them when it’s dark, too. Their tankmates don’t see the new addition until the next morning and then assume they’ve been in there all along. Which saves us all a bunch of injuries and suffering.)

The glowing green clock from the microwave sufficiently lit the lower part of the house for me to rinse the transporter, fill it with sterilizingly hot water and then head upstairs to bed. Again, avoiding my shin on the coffee table.

The next morning she was swimming around with the rest of the fish as if she’d been in there all along. Somehow, she’d already established a territory of her own, and came out to eat when I fed them.

What that means is, the fish hospital tank is now just an empty tank. It’s a little weird, but it’s a good thing. Once again, Fish Whisperer was right — she’s been ready to go back into the big tank for a long time.


Filed under Kid Substitutes

Blogabilities – Week of 04-03-11

* Chivalry is still alive. When I was at Costco earlier this week, I purchased a large box of bottled water. Knowing that I’m not supposed to lift heavy things right now, I turned to two guys who were walking past me and said, “Can you do me a favor and help me put this in my car. I’m not supposed to lift…” The dude had the water in my car before I could even finish my sentence. Chivalry rocks!

* Got a call from my former bosses who are trying to recruit me to come work for their company. Not sure it will be a good fit for me, given all that’s going on right now, but I’m meeting with them tomorrow to find out more information. Under the heading of when it rains it pours, I also got two calls from a publicly traded company who wanted to conduct a phone interview. Their first call I kind of blew off, and was surprised as all heck that they actually called again. Turns out, the position isn’t a good fit for me (not enough money), but the conversation went really well. Since my attitude isn’t one of entitlement, I go to work every day with a grateful heart. That I’m getting calls for jobs I haven’t pursued, well, I’m feeling very complimented right now.

* It is so nice to have my mom back in the U.S. again. Even though she’s not near me, she’s not really all that far away either. That is pretty cool. Just knowing that my mom is on the same continent as me makes me so very happy.

* I figured out how to stop my phone from changing its lock screen wallpaper back to the default setting. I like MY picture, not Samsung’s picture. That was incredibly annoying. Also, this bullet point probably makes no sense to anyone but me.

* Easter is coming! Easter is coming!

* When I was driving to work this morning, a woman in a SUV merged into my lane and totally cut me off, without matching the speed of the lane I was in.  I flashed my high beams at her (rather than honking, she was just rude, not dangerous), and she gave me “a look” as I passed her after I changed lanes to get around her. A couple miles up on the freeway, a CHP got on and switched over 3 lanes and then started doing a traffic break right behind me… and that rude woman was behind him, so she had to come to a complete stop.  I was like, wow, karma!  I have no idea how long the traffic break lasted or what it was for.  There was a large tire tread on the freeway that someone in front of me flipped up causing me to swerve just before I exited.  Maybe it was for that?  But the timing of that traffic break totally made me laugh… and I was sooooo glad I was in front of that cop. Probably the first time anyone has ever said that!


Filed under Blogabilities

Hair Update.

It was recently brought to my attention by one of my dear friends that I haven’t posted an update lately on the state of my hair. She asked how long my hair is now, and I realized that the last update I posted was a year ago in February.

The short answer on my quest to eventually look like Cousin Itt, is that my hair now falls smack-dab to mid-butt. The longer it is, the less you see of me AND it’s a great distraction from the aging body parts I’m gradually acquiring as time passes. Ha.

I desperately need a trim, but when i called to schedule an appointment with the lady who I trust implicitly with these fine strands, I learned that she was having surgery on March 21st and will be off from work until September of this year. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do between now and then, except pray that she recovers very, very swiftly!

For comparison, time lapse pictures:

February 18, 2010:

July 5, 2009:

June 11, 2009:

August 14, 2008:

Also, my no-shampoo regiment hasn’t changed one bit since then, I still use baking soda mixed with water to clean my scalp and apple cider vinegar mixed with water, aloe vera juice and rosemary for clarification of the length (removal of chlorine). I have no intention of ever going back to using shampoo again. I love the pooless way far too much!


Filed under Hair Can Be a Topic of Conversation