Chasing Inspiration

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Little Winter Whine

  1. The wonders of email, instant messaging, Facebook, and other means of online communication that allow me to stay in touch with friends and family
  2. Holiday themed movies that amuse and delight me year after year
  3. My Pilates instructor, Jenny, who has amazing insight and an incredible ability to teach and connect with her clients.
If there was doubt before, this is no doubt is winter. Last week we had bitter cold temperatures, which warmed up nicely over the weekend but are going to plunge again toward the end of the week. We also have snow. Lots of the fluffy white stuff. I'm not complainings as I am not the one who needs to clear the driveway and I have snowshoes to assist me if it happens to snow a lot just before a jaunt to the dog park.

What I'm not enjoying is the cold. It occured to me that I don't like extremes in temperature. I melt in humidity. I can't get warm in really cold weather. I told the husband that I want to move to Santa Barbara. It's close enough to mountains that we can get our snow fix and has seasons...I think. It's no the ocean, which would make me super happy. It's expensive so I think we would both need to sell the majority of our internal organs in order to afford the cost of living. Sigh. It's a dream. One I will hold close during the dark and frigid days of winter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gloomies Antidote - Adoration

  1. Indoor heating in what is apparently the start of a new ice age
  2. Roxanne St. Claire and her amazing Barefoot Bay romance/women's fiction series - I have much love for these books as not only great escapes but tenderly written stories that deal with some complex pieces of human nature
  3. The delight and exuberance Velcro Dog displays whenever I return home from an absence of minutes to hours to days
I've been working long hours for the last four weeks. While this isn't a horrible thing, it does tend to throw life a little off balance. For example, it's the second week of December and I have exactly one Christmas present purchased. I hope everyone I exchange gifts with will be okay with the concept of Epiphany gifts.

We all need to put in our dues and there will be times I need to put in time at the office than I would like. I'm okay with this. However, the long hours mixed with this near apocalyptic cold snap we're having and the reduced hours of sunlight can make me want to stab something. A pleasure to be around, I'm not. So, I have started sequestering myself in the bedroom or the home office so I don't spread my gloom and doom to anyone else in my household, including the ever exuberant Velcro Dog.

Thankfully, his joy is boundless and even in my grumpiest of states, one look of his adoring eyes and the gloomies start to slip away. Having yourself a case of the gloomies or the grumpies? Take 5 minutes of unconditional adoration, rinse and repeat.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chirstmas Fail

  1. Cozy and colorful pashminas that double as scarves and shawls in this period of fluctuating temperatures
  2. Herbs and spices that allow for a myriad of combinations of flavors and make what could be boring old chicken taste like a party in your mouth
  3. People who send me Christmas/holiday cards even though I haven't sent any out in years
I have been incredibly busy for the last few weeks. This means that despite my best laid plans, I will not be sending out Christmas cards this year. At least not before Christmas. I think people will be lucky to get gifts by the big day. Every year I tell myself I will plan better and every year in November something occurs that eats up my time and energy. My saving grace? Gift cards.

I refuse to feel guilty about this - the gift cards fall back or the fact that every year it's a rush to get done what I can for the people I love and cherish. Life is busy and priorities need to be juggled. Next year I may try to get everything done in August when life is quieter and I have more time on my hands. Yes, I'm putting that on the calendar right now.

I can see how that will work. I'll be at the cabin and writing out my Christmas letter while sitting on the dock and baking in the sun. Knitting will take place during evenings while watching TV or chatting with friends. I will be addressing cards during breaks at work or on Sunday afternoons while the husband is watching the football pre-season. Gift cards will be purchased and secreted away, wher I can find them come November of course!

Yes, maybe next year I will use the summer months to get the majority of my Christmas planning and execute done. and maybe in 2014, you will actually receive a card from me. But don't hold your breath.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Mini PSA - Sleep

  1. Crisp autumnal air redolent with wood smoke, evergreens, and the sharp tang of frost
  2. Velcro Dog's unwavering joy as we adventure to the dog park every day - it's motivating
  3. A good night's sleep
You have no idea just how wonderful a night of uninterrupted sleep is until you don't have it anymore. I didn't have any idea how wonderful it was until I was finally able to go an entire night without waking up in pain or walking up just because my body decided I had enough of the zzz's to last me a while.

Until recently, I don't think I had a full night of restorative sleep in almost 20 years. What changed? I started seeing a neurologist for my fibromyalgia and thank God she has no fear in prescribing medication to help her patients manage their pain issues. There's a chicken vs. egg thing that goes on with any chronic pain issue. When you hurt, you don't get restorative sleep. When you don't get restorative sleep, you hurt. I don't know what causes my pain and I right now I don't care. I have medication that helps me manage my pain at night which helps me to sleep.  I am a firm believer in  better living through chemistry.

Last night my chemical cocktail didn't do it's job and I lay awake until almost 4:00 am. I think I got three and half hours of sleep, none of which could be termed restorative. I could have stayed home and tried to sleep off and on during the day but that would likely through my sleep schedule off. Besides, work is kind of crazy and I would be worrying all day that I am getting further behind.

Sleep, it's a beautiful thing. If you are one of the lucky ones who manages to get enough restorative sleep every night, be grateful because you are indeed blessed. If you are one of the many people who has sleep issues, find a doctor who is willing to work with you to figure out what can be done to help you. Don't live with a chronic lack of restorative sleep if you don't have to!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Chemistry Lesson

  1. Homemade pumpkin spice granola bars (thank you, Jenny!)
  2. Books I have preordered and forgotten about that magically appear on my nook or at my doorstep
  3. Better living through chemistry
I don't know what I did to myself on Monday, but at one point in the afternoon I got up out of my chair and almost fell over from the pain spiking up and down my lower back. I hobbled through the rest of the afternoon thanks to ibuprofen and turmeric - both known anti-inflammatory agents. I walked Velcro Dog hoping that moving would alleviate some of the pain, which it did. For about an hour. During which I made dinner. And about died climbing the stairs to the loft where we were going to eat.

I stretched. I massaged. I iced. I heated. And finally with the help of a muscle relaxant and some good pain meds, I slept.

Yesterday I called my doctor who told me that aside from PT, I was doing all the right things. Great, a lot of help there. Since moving had helped a little, I went to my Pilates class and told my instructor where the pain was and what it felt like. Sadly, it was not due to sex injury, as she inquired. Good thing I don't embarrass about that type of thing.

During class we went through stretching, many deliberate stretches that helped to ease the muscles that support the SI joint. Oh, did that feel better! I was without pain for several hours. We also looked at how I sit, since I sit for much of the day. Buttocks and core were engaged and will be engaged while I sit as the culprit for the pain may be my loose jointedness and my bodies propensity to sink into my joints instead of using the muscles to support them.

I have some of the exercises I can do at home as they involve laying down. Sadly, I can't do them at work. I may head home for lunches so I can do some stretching. I live within 10 minutes from work so I'm okay with that. I am also going to buy this so I can do some of the deeper stretches at home. It's the same roller my Pilates instructor uses and the stretches are amazing!

The company that sells this also sells other Pilates equipment that I would love to have at home so I can reap the benefits of Pilates between classes. We'll start with the roller.

Even though the stretching helped me to feel much better, the star of the show was the muscle relaxants and the anti-inflammatory. They are my constant friends right now. This pain will heal and I will get better, but for now, I'm embracing better living through chemistry...and Pilates.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In Which Joss Whedon Meets Doctor Who

  1. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because Coulson lives (or does he) and all sorts of other geeky super hero goodness takes place on this show. And Joss Whedon.
  2. The DVD/Blu-ray release of Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. What do you get when you mix my favorite Shakespearean play, one of my favorite directors, several of my favorite actors all together? One of the best adaptations of  Much Ado ever, that's what! Saw it in the theater. Have already watched it twice on DVD. I am content
  3. Three days to myself at home...priceless.
My husband and Velcro Dog had a boys weekend at the cabin  that started Wednesday evening. While he, his brother, and his nephews spent time closing the cabin and hauling the dock out of the lake, I spent time with various girlfriends eating, chatting, laughing and relating. I love my girlfriend time. It nurtures me in ways time with my husband cannot. This is part of the reason I believe no one person can meet all my needs. This is a good thing.

Wednesday was dinner with a friend I see periodically. We geeked out about Doctor Who and the upcoming Day of the Doctor episode. Plans were made to to watch the episode together, a good thing as I don't have cable. We shall partake of Doctor Who themed snacks and will geek out some more as we watch David Tennant along side Matt Smith. I don't know if I will be able to contain my glee!

Thursday was some down time where I read about mental models and when my brain could take no more, I relaxed to some lovely classical music and candle light and a hot bath. No interruptions. No expectations. It was bliss.

Friday was girls night with a dear friend and we once again stayed up talking in the car into the wee hours of the morning. The conversation was at turns enlightening and entertaining. One of these days I may make it home before 2 a.m. but what's the rush? Well, other than my sleep being thrown off so completely I do suffer for a couple of days after. Eh, small price to pay, right? :)

Without a husband or a dog in the house, I was able to air things out a bit on Saturday and clean the public areas. I didn't get all the dusting and cobweb removal done, but I did manage to figure out what was smelling like sour milk, put all miscellaneous objects away and the floor, counters, and tables gleamed. They don't look that way today but for a moment in time, it sure was pretty. As a reward for my hard work, I played my brand spanking new DVD of Joss Whedon's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. Which led to rewatching The Avengers. Which turned to a viewing of  Iron Man. Which isn't a Joss Whedon film, but sure is fun!

Then my boys came home. Velcro Dog had been skunked....again. Husband did try to get the smell out right away but it takes two people to wash the dog. We washed him again on Sunday and tomorrow we will have a special skunk treatment to get the remaining odor removed from his body. What is it with my dog and skunks? Apparently other than the skunking, cabin time went well. Now we're back to our regular pace at home. I love the quite but it's nice to hear the patter of the dog's feet and my husband's colorful outbursts at his computer. Ah....the domestic life.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

For Grace

  1. Crisp autumn air that's just damp enough to be heavy with wood smoke, ripe fall apples, and nutrient rich earth ready to rest the winter away
  2. Fantastic medical facilities and the ability to utilize them
  3. Terrific pediatric specialists in said medical community
My gratitudes this week have been around someone near and dear to my heart, my good friend's daughter. Grace is a wonderful human being. Her heart is big, her creativity immense, her joy in the absurd a delight. For the last couple of years, Grace's brain has been in a decline and the true root cause has been unknown. You can read more about her journey here.

Thankfully, we live in a state that has some excellent pediatric care and Grace has been able to see some of the best of the best psychatrists and neurologists. And finally someone thinks they know the root cause to what has been going on with Grace's brain and body in the last few years. Right now Grace is at a premiere children's specialty care hospital for diagnostics. There is great hope that answers, if not found, will be much closer than they have been in the past. This is likely the beginning of a new phase in Grace's journey and it may be a long one, with more questions before there are answers. Journeys are like that, after all. Questions have to be asked in order to determine one is on the right path and heading toward the right destination.

We visited Grace last night. She was tired and adorable with all these electrodes attached to various places on her head. She's a newly minted teenager, so there was some hiding of the face in embarassment. I'm sure she didn't think she looked her best and that having electrodes attached to one's head in such a way that caused the most interesting of hairstyles can be mortifying. I know how I feel if I have bedhead and someone is at the door. Taking a cue from Grace, I stopped telling her how cute she looked, because she does look adorable, and started to ask her about her day, what videos she had been able to watch and how her time doing crafts went.

She's a trouper, Grace is. She's very aware of what's going on within her brain and how that's impacting her and her world. And yet she hasn't lost this amazing sense of joy. She sees her world and she knows there are things to be grateful for, and she has no problem, at least in my observation, in expressing that gratitude. I am awed by Grace every day, by her bravery and her curiosity and her joy. I know she has bad days where the world can be dark and the pain can be a stifling blanket that smothers her and offers no relief. Even then, I am in awe and so thankful for the privilege to be a part of her world.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Knit One, Purl Two


  1. Warm, sunshine filled days - summer's last gasp before Jack Frost decides to come out and play
  2. Pumpkin spice candles with real wood wicks so they crackle and pop and almost make up for the fact we don't have a fireplace
  3. Easy knitting projects!
I have been trying to figure out what to do for Christmas. I have more people in my life for whom I would love to give gifts. For some I will do the traditional gift cards (you know who you are). For others I want something a little more personal. 

In scouring the blogsphere for easy and quick knitting projects (I haven't picked up my needles in a year and feel very rusty), I have found the perfect gift for several of the women in my life! 

This delicious cowl that you will need to click on the link to see because I'm all about recognizing copyright and haven't made one for myself yet. But please, click on the link!  It's fabulous, easy and fast to knit and making this has endless possibilities for gifts! 

There are a few other super secret items I'm considering but they won't be finished in time for the holidays. Of course, I don't need a holiday or a birthday as an excuse to give gifts. ;-)

It will be nice to knit again. I took a hiatus because I couldn't decide what to knit and because my hands hurt horribly when I tried to knit for more than a few minutes at a time. This makes for frustratingly slow progress. I think I have figured out some of the pain issues and if I can remember to hold the yarn loosely I should be okay. Fingers crossed! 

Friday, October 04, 2013

Barren Lands


  1. Kait Nolan's newest novel - a treat and a half of paranormal romance goodness
  2. The kindness of strangers - you know who you are and thank you
  3. The thunderstorms that have been rolling over us for most of the evening. I do love a good thunderstorm.
The title of this blog is Chasing Inspiration. I started it eons ago as a place to talk about my writing process, to talk about creativity. Over the years the purpose has morphed and changed. I don't  really talk about writing here anymore. Why? A few years ago I found myself entering a barren desert land where the stories dried up and no matter how hard I tried, no matter what techniques I used, I couldn't get them back. 

They were just...gone. 

I did manage to finish a draft of a story I've had brewing for years and I struggled through a story that is close to my heart but I don't have the refined craft skills to tell to my satisfaction. Nothing new developed and nothing has been polished enough to submit. I started to doubt myself, my desires. Maybe I wasn't supposed to be a writer after all. 

Or maybe I'm in a period of filling the well. Maybe this time isn't a sign that I have no stories to tell but a time to recharge and to grow in ways that will take my writing, my creative process to places I couldn't go without letting it lie sleeping.

So, I've stopped worrying about this barren land and am learning instead to embrace the process. It will be very interesting to see what will be on the other side. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Change is Inevitable

  1. Cool autumn days and crisp autumn nights (You'll likely see this more than once)
  2. Cuddle time with Velcro Dog
  3. My cousin who rocks my world with her obsessive love of Doctor Who
I used to watch the really old Doctor Who episodes.  The ones from the 60s and 70s. This was when I fell in love with the francise so it was super exciting when I learned Doctor Who would have a reboot. Sadly, we don't have cable and the episodes were never aired on network TV or PBS in my area.

Then came Netflix. With the rebooted Doctor Who. There was much rejoicing! Except, I loved Christopher Eccleston and didn't know his Doctor was only going to last a season. It was a shock to the system to step into a new episode with David Tennant at the helm of the Tardis. I don't think I watched the older seasons in any specific order and I don't recall seeing the transition episodes for Doctors 1 through 8. I grew to love David Tennant's Doctor even more than Christopher's and dragged my feet when I knew we were getting close to David's reign.

I didn't think I could handle another change. And I really didn't think I could handle the good Doctor going through an existential crisis knowing his incarnation was going to die and a new incarnation would be born from the proverbial ashes. Sure, this new Doctor would have a smilar personality and would retain all of the memories and experiences of the previous 10. But he wouldn't be David Tennant! And he wouldn't be as burdened by his love for Rose. Nor would he so desperately miss Donna, the companion who lifted his spirits and didn't fall in love with him, not even a little. The companion who had the same lust for exploration as he did. All those nuances, they would be gone.

I caved this weekend after almost a year of dragging my feet and I finally transitioned to Matt Smith as The Doctor. I cried. I lamented and while I'm still not completely sure of Matt's rendition of my beloved Doctor, I am willing to continue the ride. Change happens. Change is always going to happen. I can fight it kicking and screaming and always lamenting what was in the good 'ole days. Or I can slide into it and experience something new. The good Doctor wouldn't have survived this long if it wasn't for change, now would he?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Champagne and Pilates


  1. Husband is sick and I haven't caught his crud...yet. Fingers crossed that I remain healthy.
  2. The hot, hot weather, aka Satan's armpit, appears to be over for the season. Here's to a gentle autumn, which is my favorite season. :) 
  3. My Pilates instructor, Jenny.
I started to take Pilates when I was in college. It was all mat work, which is hard, people! But I gained a lot of lean muscle mass and had fun. About a year and half ago I found a Pilates studio near where I live and work and took about a year of private lessons. I started to move better, carry myself taller and feel an overall sense of well being I haven't felt in years. I haven't been a slug all that time, but due to increased pain due to fibromyalgia, I haven't been able to do the kinds of workouts I used to be able to do. And walking, while hugely beneficial to body, mind, and spirit wasn't helping with rebuilding lost lean muscle mass.

I now take a group class with private check in sessions about once every six to eight weeks. I don't ever want to quit! In fact, if we could afford it I would up my sessions so I was at the studio three times a week. It's been amazing for my health and well being and I don't see myself ever stopping.

One of the great Pilate elders passed away in August. Romana Kryzanowska was a protege of Joseph Pilates and taught the classical Pilates method for years after Joseph passed on. If Joseph is the father of Pilates, I think Romana was the earth mother. Almost every form of Pilates taught today has been influenced by Romana. One of the things that she is best known for, aside from Pilates,  was her zest for life. She is known for her Friday glass of champagne, not to settle into the weekend, but to celebrate the week well lived and the joy of friendship.

Jenny embodies this zest for life. She is joyful when she instructs and loves the whole person, not just the physical. For her, it is the whole person who comes to her studio and the whole person who she ministers to. Just this last week while I was with her for my private session, she told me about Romana and pulled out a bottle of champagne. We toasted life, Romana and a week well lived. And I left pondering this simple thought: what if instead of thanking God that it's Friday and the week is finally over, we thanked God that it was Friday because the week was lived?

Thank you, Romana, for being an inspiration to many. And thank you, Jenny for being an inspiration for me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Windows, ABBA , And Me


  1. The rain held off long enough yesterday that we were able to stain two of the four windows that have needed staining for a few years. 
  2. Gluten free gourmet pizza.
  3. ABBA, which is music to stain by and the foundational music for one of the kitschiest and heart-warming movies I own. Pierce Brosnan's singing notwithstanding. 
We have these wonderful windows we purchased as part of the renovation project. They have real wood inside and look fabulous. The downside. We didn't have the wood factory finished because we didn't know what the final product should look like. Would we paint the wood? Stain it? It was completely undecided. 

A few years ago, about two after the windows were purchased and installed, we decided stain it would be. But the years passed and staining was not completed. One year it was because we were forced by the city inspector to replace the deck and that took up the nice summer/early autumn days. Last year it was because my father-in-law died and all spare time was spent getting his house market ready. 

This year, we got two windows completed and if the rest remain unstained until spring, so be it. Hubs let me pick the soundtrack. He was hesitant because I've been listening to Katy Perry, ZZ Ward or P!ink a lot lately (don't ask...I have no idea why these three get stuck on play either), but for staining I went with trusty and true: ABBA. 

I grew up in a conservative home where I was allowed to listen to Christian music, classical, The Carpenters, Anne Murray, and ABBA. Oh, the days of Dancing Queen and Take a Chance on Me.  I remember when Super Trouper came out. I begged and pleaded my parents to take me to the record store where I purchased the album on vinyl and copied it to tape right away. I spent many, many hours listening to Voulez Vous, Waterloo and Super Trouper via headphones. Ah, ABBA. You saved a conservative small town girl from a fate worse than death. Okay, I exaggerate, but I am forever thankful my parents either didn't get the innuendo or didn't think I would. :) 

While putting on the final coats of poly, I dug out my copy of Mamma Mia! and watched it on the computer. The musical was amazing. Hubs even got into it when we went as an anniversary gift when the Broadway traveling cast made their way to town. He wouldn't see the movie with me, but that was okay. I wanted to enjoy it by myself. Just me and half a theater full of other fans during a weekday matinee. Pierce, I love you, but you can't sing worth spit. Everyone else was amazing. And the songs, oh the songs! Flashbacks to childhood days singing along to ABBA records filtered through my brain. 

ABBA, you make everything more enjoyable! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

When Cleaning Leads to an Epiphany

  1. Even though it was more humid than Satan's armpit earlier this week, the forecast for the remainder of the week is for gentler, more autumn-like weather. This makes me happy.
  2. The gluten-free cookies I made last week taste almost as good as the non-GF chocolate chip oatmeal cookies I make for Hubs.
  3. Grace. I'm very thankful for grace.
This past weekend I did something I haven't done in a long time. I cleaned the master bedroom from floor to ceiling. I went through the closet, the drawers, under the bed, the night tables. I purged, I polished, I organized. I must say that the room looks more restful now than it did when I started. The closet isn't any less full, but the top of the dresser has only necessities upon it and the end tables are neat and tidy without the miscelaneous piles we have gotten used to living around.

I clean the bedroom weekly - dust, vacuum, toss and recycle obvious garbage. But I don't declutter and I don't purge on any regular rotation these days.

As I was going through a pile of books I stashed beside the bed, books I started reading but didn't engage enough to finish, I started thinking about all the things in life I start and don't finish. Which started me down the road of self recrimination. When I was finished with flogging myself for a behavior I felt was not okay, I looked more carefully at each book as I was putting it away. Why didn't I finish it? Sometimes it was because the book didn't grab me. Was that a bad reason to put it down? No, not really. Sometimes the content of the book was very deep and involved and I needed a break to digest the information I had just read. Another fine reason to put a book down and not finish it right away. Sometimes the book was put down because a book I had been waiting to read with great anticipation was finally released or finally available from the library. No need to beat myself up over that.

Perhaps the books could have been put away, or given away, during my break from it. But hey, they were in a neat pile beneat my night table so they weren't really in the way. I continued to clean and while I was vaccuuming I had an A HA! moment. Sometimes I start things for very good reasons. Starting doesn't necessarily mean something needs to be finished now, or ever. Sure, there are things that need to be done - personal finances need to be tended to, budgets updated, dishes washed, dogs walked. There are other things that don't need to be finished. That scarf I was knitting, the book I was brainstorming and wasn't clicking with, the blog post I was writing. There are things that need to be finished but maybe not right now.

I had to apologize to myself for the self-recriminations and flogging. I was judging myself too harshly. As long as my world is not in chaos and I'm making concious choices, so what if some of the things I start are never finished? Or get finished later? Or never started at all? The dishes can wait if  Hubs needs to talk through an issue. The scarf I was knitting, well it never has to be fnished and I can recycle the yarn for a different project if I feel like it. That book that I wanted to toss against the wall? I can stop reading it and donate that to Goodwill or give to a friend who may enjoy it more.

I'm sure I'll kick my own ass again in the future over something I find in a pile that was started but not finished. Until then, I will remind myself that it's okay. There are, after all, only so many hours in the day. I get to choose how I spend them and who I spend them with. That's the fun part of being an adult. :)

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Christine, Girls Night Out, and Me


  1. ABBA - there is no better cheque book balancing, bill paying music. 
  2. Kindles and Wine book blog, which has become my go-to-blog of choice for book recommendations. 
  3. My car battery is not dead and Daisy's starter does not need replacing. Phew!
Okay, here's the story. Last night was girls night out with good friend Miss J. We are known to close down restaurants and sit in the car for several hours AFTER we return to her place chatting about anything and everything. We don't get out as often as we used to so it's a real treat when we can leave husbands, children, and dogs behind for an evening of girlfriend fun.

We left one of our favorite haunts after some great food (restaurants that have GF menus to make it easier for your patrons with foodie needs, thank you for the bottom of our hearts!)  and even more amazing dessert, we drove back to Miss J's house so I could drop her off. This was around 11pm. As per our custom, the windows were rolled down, the engine turned off and we sat chatting for another, oh, three hours. There is such joy when you connect with someone and are able to be completely yourself with them. We don't always agree, and we call each other on our shit, but we are sisters of the heart so when said shit is called, we know it's done out of compassion.

So we talked, losing total track of time. I suck at parallel parking so I kept the park lights on during this time, just in case my midnight black car was not easily seen by passing traffic. Three hours later, when I attempted to start my car, all I got was a click, click, click. Thinking the park lights had drained the battery, Miss J and I pulled out jumper cables and attempted to jump my car. Nothing except a click, click, click. The headlights worked and the windows worked so maybe it wasn't the battery. I thought back to a previous demon car from hell and thought the clicking sound was an awful lot like when Spike's starter died. Each time Spike's starter died. 

Miss J graciously drove me home after I locked up Daisy for the night and I crawled into bed next to a completely unconscious husband and slept, hoping I would wake up when he did so I could tell him about poor Daisy.

This morning was hot. Icky, gross, I need an iced tea and a pool boy to fan the waves of heat away hot. Or maybe that was the dream I had last night. Either way, Hubs was not looking forward to climbing under my car to replace the starter. Mr. Grumpy left for Miss J's and called me about ten minutes later. "Were you drunk last night? I jumped the car and it started just fine."

Hmph. Fickle, thy name is Daisy. Of course she started for Hubs. Of course she wouldn't start for me. No, she had to be all coy and make me look like I'm not the daughter of an automotive mechanic who knows how to jump a freaking car. 

On one hand I'm really glad we didn't have to replace the starter and that Hubs didn't have to spend most of his morning working on Daisy's ill-conceived motor design. One the other hand, really? I swear, my car and my husband are in cahoots and trying to make me look bad. Maybe they are both gas-lighting me. Maybe Daisy is really Christine reincarnated and lurvs Hubs with all her little oil pan heart. 

I'm still really glad Daisy is up and running. And even more grateful for girls night out. Miss J, we really must do it again sometime soon! 

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Weekend Round-up, Sort Of


  1. Cool breezes in the mornings I walk Velcro Dog. I am not a morning person by nature so these lovely breezes that offset the heat of the day make me very happy.
  2. Long weekends. Nuff said.
  3. Good friends who are willing to keep me entertained during the work day. Seriously, I love being able to email and Google chat with you during the day. It keeps me sane. 
We were away for the long weekend, even took an extra day off to make it a four day weekend. I could seriously get used to those! When I worked part time, back before the days of cable modems and flash drives, you know, the age of electronic dinosaurs, I worked Monday, Wednesday and Thursday so I always had a three day weekend. I tried to get my schedule changed so I had Mondays off as well, but my boss that that was wrong. I worked 10 hour days three days a week so I did work hard, but boy, did I love those days off. Running errands during the middle of the day is so much easier than running them after work. Or on the weekends. 

Yes, I could get used to three or four day weekends. I don't think that is going to happen for me any time soon so I should be thankful that I have two day weekends, right? 

Our time away wasn't all fun and games, though we did have some nice relaxation times. Not to mention sleeping in. Though someone needs to tell Velcro Dog that vacation means he doesn't need his regular morning walk right at 7am. 

We went to the cabin with the intention of doing some sorely needed maintenance. We mostly focused on two tasks: painting/patching windows and cleaning the attic of all signs of mouse infestation. The attic took about four hours. Four stinky, gross, disgusting hours. Please, Lord, never again. The windows took far more time. I won't get into details but let's just say that if we ever let the exterior of our home get into the shape the windows and doors are at the cabin, I think the city would cite and fine us. Not that we let the cabin get into this state of disrepair. We, or rather Hubs, hasn't co-owned it with his siblings until this year and his father owned it prior to that. No finger pointing here. Just wishing there was a little more help. 

It will come. People are still adjusting to what owning another property really means. When someone else owned it, everyone came up to enjoy the lake and the woods. It was fun and nothing was expected of us. Now, it's a shift in thinking and behaviors. 

We're home and back in the grind. Hubs is back in school. We're both caught up at work. And the kitchen is still in slight chaos due to renovations. In other words, things are back to normal. Now, if only Velcro Dog could learn to walk himself...

Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm Feeling Sassafrassy!


  1. Used book stores for they are filled with treasures just waiting to be sifted through and purchased. Picked up 5 books for under $12 today! All new to me authors. YAY!
  2. Blamtastic lip balm in Oh My Grape! and Sassafrassy Root Beer. Best, lip balm ever!
  3. Words with Friends for it allows me to keep in touch with family while playing games on the internet. 
Short post today. It's hot. I'm tired of the heat. We're heading north for some rest and relaxation and cooler temperatures. I can't wait to sit in a comfy chair outside on a deck overlooking the lake and read for fun. Not for work. Not for personal development or to educate myself on any topic in general. Just for fun. 

Yes, I'm looking forward to a little time away. I hope you all enjoy your long weekend and get in some well deserved R&R before the craziness of fall is upon us. Be well!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Adventures of Velcro Dog, or He Has Infected What?!?!

  1. Velcro Dog, who even though he is under the weather due to an infection, still offers love and adoration to us 24/7.
  2. Forecasts for cooler weather next week. I'm glad it's still summer but I'm ready for a break in the heat.
  3. Sunflowers.
Velcro Dog came home from his morning walk/run with a limp so Hubs determined it was time to see the vet. You see, we also thought there was an issue with his anal glands and no way was I okay with trying to express them ourselves at home. Gross. Turns out, it was a good thing I put the kibosh on home treatment.

Hubs called the vet and got him in tout de suite. The limp is likely due to a strained muscle in a front leg. We have tried to get him to stretch before running, but when those rabbits or dump trucks come along, he can't seem to help himself. We were assured that he will take things easy until he heals but if we don't see the limp improved to take him back in a week.

As for the anal glands...I am not too proud to say this but I am so glad I wasn't there today. First, I can't stand to see my baby in pain and while the expressing of anal glands is not uninvasive, it usually doesn't hurt. Velcro Dog apparetnly whimpered and yipped during the procedure, causing the vet to call for an analysis of the...excretion? I have no idea what you call the stuff that is normally excreted from a dog's anal glands, but I do know this. Accoridng to Hubs, it stunk to high heaven. We have watched the YouTube videos on how to express anal glands so Hubs was prepared for a foul odor but he was not prepared for the stench that eminated from the excretion. Yeah, he's very glad we didn't do this ourselves.

Turns out, Velcro Dog has infected anal glands and is now on medication and goes back in two weeks. Hubs said that when he got Velcro Dog home, he limped over to his pillow, laid down and told Hubs to go away and leave him alone. I think he was a little embarrased from the procedure. We'll have some snuggle time when I get home. I hope my poor baby feels better soon.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Nineteen Years? Seriously?

  1. Hubs' mad cabinetry skills. He's buidling our kitchen cabinets from scratch and I now have the use of the majority of our new base cabinets. They are amazing.
  2. The great staff at my local Barnes & Noble who are knowledgeable, patient and more friendly than any other B&N staff I have ever met. Thank you for helping me out with my replacement nook and getting me the upgrade the other store's staff didn't tell me I needed.
  3. Even though it's hotter and more humid  than Satan's arm pit this week, I'm thankful that for the most part summer has been mild, sunny, and quite enjoyable.
Tomorrow will be my 19th wedding anniversary. I will have been married to Hubs for 19 years. I feel like that number should make me feel old. I mean, I remember when my parents celebrated 20 years and I thought they had been together forever at that time. In only 6  years they will celebrate their 50th. When did all that time pass?

I don't have panic attacks around birthdays. I enjoy getting older and I've learned to enjoy celebrating my life. It seems that it is the anniversary that has me gulping back the sensation that I must be getting old. I'm over forty. I see my age and I smile. My 40s are amazing so far. The best years of my life in terms of growth and opportunity. then I see how many years I've been married and I run and check my head for grey hairs and my face for pesky wrinkles.

What is it about a number that can make us feel or act crazy? In stead of feeling pulled down, I can focus on the knowledge that we have survived and thrived together for 19 years. According to some statistic I heard on the radio (and we all know what what you hear on the radio is true!), the average marriage in the USA lasts 8 years. We've more than beat the odds on that. We have much to be proud of.

Honestly, I don't think about how long we've been married. I think that's why the number surprises me. We're married and marriage is a day-by-day thing where you get out of it what you put in and if you're not willing to contribute to the relationship, that's on you. We have our ups and we have our downs, but over all we are happy. So I guess 19 years isn't such a panic inducing number after all. We'll see how I feel about 20.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rocket Club


  1. It may be shallow, but I adore my new Macbook Pro. Having a laptop again is a joy and having a Macbook is a pleasure. I'm so thankful for this amazing piece of technology.
  2. Air conditioning. The weather is going to be in the 90s and creeping up toward the 100s and I am so very thankful we have air conditioning. Extreme heat and I do not get along.
  3. That my husband loves one of my favorite local bands almost as much as I do, and because of his love for this band, we were able to go see Rocket Club perform last night! I consider it an early anniversary gift. :-)
I have been listening to Rocket Club since I first learned that a former co-worker from a company I used to work for had not only started a country band but was getting some airtime on local radio stations. In December of 2008, after the dreaded layoff from said company, I downloaded Rocket Club's first album and have been a fan ever since.

Now, you need to know that I'm not generally a fan of country music. I tend to skip the country stations when shuffling through the radio presets and the only country music we owned prior to this was Johnny Cash or The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - both because the husband enjoys them. Rocket Club was my little secret. I listened to them on my computer on iPod and rocked out to their music pumping through my earbuds while I was cleaning or making dinner or walking the dog. 

It wasn't until we dove a little deeper into the 21st century and purchased an iPod dock with speakers that Hubs was introduced to Rocket Club. He recognized one of the vocalists right away as being a morning personality on a radio station he enjoys streaming. And he forgave my taste in all other music once his toe started tapping and he started doing the white man's overbite to a few of the tunes. Okay, maybe not all my musical choices. 

We have every album from iTunes and on CD and we have every single they've released in MP3 format. When they started playing local summer festivals we availed ourselves and become those fans - the ones who will follow their band of choice to as many local venues as humanly possible. Within the budget, of course. 

Rocket Club has had a few singles on the Billboard charts and have caught the attention of some producers down in Nashville. They are the hot new thing...sort of. They aren't your traditional country band. They've dubbed the music they play North Country because they are from the northern midwest. Unlike most bands, they don't have a single front man but have two regular vocalists and a third who has a few special songs of his own. With so many talented vocalists there is this amazing blend of three-part harmonies in their music. Their songs are stories, just like most country, but they are stories pertinent to their lives and the lives of their fans - most of whom live north of the Mason-Dixon line. And as such, they refuse to relocate to the mecca of all that is country, instead blazing their trail as indie artists while continuing to shake up the status quo in the country world. 

This year, Rocket Club decided to try something different, a project they dubbed Lucky 13. Writing, recording and producing one song a month, Rocket Club is in the middle of releasing an album one track at a time, debuting each offering on a local country station on the last Thursday of the month the track was written. By December 26th they will have thirteen singles for their newest album. Thirteen because they will release a bonus track in December. It's a unique way to make music and so far we are nothing but impressed. 

For every new single there is a release party and we were lucky enough to be able to head out and see our boys perform at a sweet little venue Friday night. Hubs was so impressed he is going to make a special effort to be available to attend all future Lucky 13 release parties. Fist pump, y'all! 
Don, Chris, Joe, Brian, Billy and Luke, you may think you've met your biggest fans but trust me when I tell you, getting the husband to go out on a Friday night is a huge deal! Congrats, you've done in one night what I've been trying to do in almost 19. I owe you one!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tape Me Up, Tape Me Down

And first, the gratitudes:

  1. I have actually managed to blog three days in a row. This calls for a fist pump!
  2. Hubby is roasting corn on the barbecue. Mmm, roasted corn on the cob!
  3. My nook tablet still has the extended warranty so even though the battery is failing, I get a replacement nook for free! 
I had physical therapy this morning and my PT decided that the upper trapezius muscles were overworked and over compensating for weakness in my neck and my lower traps. So, after ultrasound and muscle manipulation, she put four strips of Kinisio tape on my back. It's...strange. I didn't get the neon colors that so many Olympic athletes were sporting in London last summer. It's beige, which makes me wonder if it's a knock off brand.

Anyway, the tape is supposed to help my upper traps relax and remind my lower traps to engage. So far all I have is a lot of pain, likely because I'm more conscious of this muscle group and my posture and am using these muscles in ways I likely haven't in a long time. 

I did some research and there's not a lot of scientific data that this tape actually does anything beyond a placebo effect. I say if it eventually helps my upper traps relax so my upper shoulders don't feel like concrete anymore than who cares if it's from a placebo or some sort of revolutionary treatment. 

The things we do in the name of self care. Hey, I could look like this! The tape, people. There's no way I want to look that ripped. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Enchanted, Inc. Goes to Scotland

  1. A somewhat flexible work schedule that allows me to adjust my start and end times to accommodate Pilates classes and lunch dates with friends
  2. My good friend J who is the source of much wisdom and challenges me to be a better me
  3. Nathan Fillion for being a source of endless entertainment for me. I know we haven't met and likely will never meet, but you have brought great joy to my life, so thank you

I've been reading a lot this summer, which is always fun. The beginning of the year was filled with a lot of self help and personal development reading but this summer has been all about the fun. Not that personal development isn't fun, cuz it definitely can be.

I've been trying to be better about cataloging what I read. I find it easier to do with my ereader because I have the Goodreads app, but I also like to keep my spreadsheet up-to-date so I know which books I own and where they are located. I have been known to buy a book more than once because I couldn't remember I owned it.

This summer was the summer of the re-read. First, I reread Diana Gabaldaon's Outlander with my friend as her daughter was tackling the tome for the first time. Diana's writing has tighted up since that first book, but I found the Outlander to be quite enjoyable regardless. It's not like Ms. Gabaldon was a poor writer or anything. She's been a master at spinning tales and creating amazing characters from the beginning. My desire to visit Scotland has been renewed!

On the other end of the literary spectrum was the Enchanted, Inc. by Shanna Swendson which is a comical fantasy light series about a twentysomething character named Katie Chandler and her adventures with magic and magical creatures. What makes this series different and compelling is that Katie is a magical immune. Magic and illusions don't generally work on her. This makes her a huge asset to the magical community because she can tell when someone is trying to get away with something. The series consists of seven books and there is adventure and quests and dragons and romance and Merlin and New York City and Texas and....well, it's a great series that doesn't take itself too seriously and is filled with excellent storylines and characters you want to root for.

I read the first two books after the second book came out and then read the third and fourth books as they were released - all in trade paperback. Last summer I discovered that Shanna was releasing more books in the series so have been purchasing them and holding on to them to read some day in the future. I was in desperate need of something fun so rounded out my ebook collection and started reading from the first book. So much fun! I'm a little sad that after book seven there won't be any more Enchanted, Inc. stories. Still, I'm so ver glad Shanna dreamed up this fun world and wrote these books!

I don't know what I'll read next. I may go back to one of my personal development books or finish reading about the dark side of change management. Sounds fun, right?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Give A Little Thanks

It's been an interesting year without my father-in-law. Family dynamics definitely shift when a parent dies. And mourning is unique to each family member. This has caused some tension and has allowed for some opportunities for growth. The anniversary of his death came and went without fanfare, everyone remembering their father, father-in-law, grandfather, uncle in a way that was honoring to both is memory and the mourner. I think this is right. There's no right way to mourn and the only wrong way is to not mourn at all.

As for me, it's been a year of introspection and an evaluation of various relationships in my life. A common theme has been gratitude. I know I have posted before about gratitude and even started posting some things I'm grateful for on this blog. And then I took a hiatus from blogging here in any regular fashion. I won't say I'm back but I'm ready to start blogging more than I have been. And I want to start with regular gratitude posts. My goal is daily but given my schedule I'll be happy if I have four posts a week. :)

When I was a therapist, one of the cognitive techniques we used with clients who were depressive or anxious was to keep a gratitude journal. The purpose was to start to shift thinking away from constant negativity loops so the client could begin to see the world through a different perspective. In other words, this was a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) exercise. I think everyone can benefit from CBT at different times in their lives. You don't need to be depressed to need a little help in shifting thinking away from something that isn't a positive benefit.

So, I'm considering the next little while my mini-journey into CBT and am using gratitude as a way to help my focus my thoughts on the positive. As Nathan Fillion once said somewhere, I think it was MySpace, take time to spread some positivity into the world. Well, that starts with gratitude. And yes, I just sort of quoted Nathan Fillion. Live with it. *grin*

Three things I'm thankful for today:
  1. A local medical group had a mini health fair today and I scored fresh veggies! Roasted corn on the cob is now on the menu for tomorrow.
  2. My new copper farmer's sink is in and even though I mistakenly rubbed off the protective wax, it looks so pretty.
  3. Someone dreamed up colored highlighters. Whoever you are, thank you for making my work day more fun through color.

Monday, May 27, 2013

What I Did This Weekend

We went to the family cabin this past weekend. Cabins are wonderful things - when you are a visitor. This particular cabin has been in my husband's family for now three generations. When his father owned it, he was in charge of the expenses and maintenance. My husband and his brother would assist with the physical labor, but by and large, other than cabin opening and cabin closing, the work wasn't overly time consuming. The cabin wasn't owned by us. Our usage was always based around my father-in-law's schedule. We were, in essence, visitors. 

Now that my father-in-law has passed away, the cabin is legally owned by my husband and his siblings. The brunt of all the work, all the decisions, all the labor, and all the expenses fall to this collective group. And their families. I was struck anew by the amount of work it takes to maintain a cabin. This past weekend was the first time anyone had been up to the cabin since it was winterized and closed up last fall. There were mice to evict, cobwebs and spiders to destroy, a general closed up odor to air out. Surfaces were scrubbed with Clorox. The sinks, tub and toilet were also scrubbed and de-spidered. Cabinets were emptied and dishes were washed…with Clorox and hot water. Pesky mice - they will pee on anything! Trees that had fallen over the winter were dissected and converted to firewood for next year. The yard was raked. The screened porch assembled and the dock was wrestled into place. Then there was the start of the cabin inventory - what needs to be fixed and in what priority; what items in the cabin can be given away or tossed; what items need to be purchased. 

This took a looooong time. I kid you not. And we're not finished. For years the cabin has been the happy dumping ground for anything that was no longer wanted at my FIL's house. And for his father before him. You can imagine what kind of things we found. Ancient coffee percolators that don't work. A food processor that predates my birth. Plastic Raggedy Anne and Andy place settings that no on uses. Enough lawn chairs to outfit a battalion of parade observers. A set of bathing trunks that have seen better days. And this is just some of what I found in the kitchen and one closet. I lost steam around the time my hands started to permanently prune up due to exposure to water. 

It's going to be a long summer. Every time we come up there will be something to fix, another drawer or closet to inventory, and more wildlife to convince they belong outside. I had a moment when I was inside washing mugs and glasses that have never been used in the eighteen years I've been a part of the family. Is this what cabin ownership is going to mean? We work hard on our own home only to turn around on weekends and head three hours out of town to work on the cabin? Are we never going to be able to relax? Ever again? 

As I was having my private breakdown, I noticed the bird feeder just off the back door and the kitchen. The bird feeder is on a post and is supposed to have two clear panels that are open about an inch on the bottom. Feed fills the feeder and birds are supposed to perch on it and eat the seed. At some point one of the sides had broken and it's now a little cave on a pole. One industrious robin has built her nest in the feeder and has layer several eggs. I watched her as she cared for her eggs, sitting there keeping them warm and safe. Then I noticed some chipmunks roughhousing in the wood pile. And when I sat down to look out at the lake, I saw my nephews, pretending to  help my husband and his brother wrestle with the dock. The joy on their faces was priceless. 

Sure, being a part owner in the cabin is going to mean more work than we're used to. But it's still a retreat for family. It's away from the city and on a clear night, the sky is awash with stars. The only noises you hear are your neighbors and the occasional boat or car. It's peaceful here. And if can also be full of laughter. As it was last weekend. 

Cabins are wonderful things, when they are filled with family and laughter. 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Scaling Back

I never want to leave unorganized crap behind for someone else to deal with. Grieving the lose of someone you love is hard enough without compounding it with having to go through every piece of their life and decide is it garbage or is it a treasure worth keeping.

After my FIL died, my husband and I spent a lot of time at the family home. His stepmom wanted to get the house ready to sell and sell quickly. My husband spent most of his life before marriage in this house, as did two of his three siblings. You would think the house would have been full of family keepsakes. It wasn't. At least not those types of keepsakes. You see, his dad and step-mom had been prepping to downsize for a few years and had culled the home of the children's possessions.

No, we didn't go through old yearbooks and arts and crafts. We went through years of documents my FIL had kept from EVERY JOB HE EVER WORKED! Every church directory that ever crossed his path. Reel-to-reel audio tapes we can't even listen to because he kept the tapes but not the equipment. Ten computers, most of which were so out of date no one wants them. Plus, every last piece of computer software the man ever installed. Or purchased. Or received free in cereal boxes or from AOL. I kid you not. We tossed so much crap from this house. And that's just his stuff. My step-MIL also had books, cookbooks, paper products, exercise videos and paraphernalia, doodads, knick knacks, fake plants.

And then there were the items from the shop. Tools, yes. But not always tools in good condition. Pieces of wire and tubing that were too small to be of any use. Vacuum tubes. Half used caulk and glue. Baby food jars filled with nuts, bolts, screws, nails and more bits of wire.

It took us six weekends to clean out the junk, decide what was valuable and help his step mom set up an estate sale. I'm talking 8 hour days or longer. And while I loved my FIL, the amount of crap he clung to made me itch.

I am a packrat. I get what it is to want to cling to something. Part of this comes from the fear of what if I need it in the future. What if I need that document? Or that book? Or that pice of wire that is less than two inches long? Part of this is laziness. I have better things to do with my time than to make sure everything is organized and put away. No one goes into the office anyway, so what why not let everything pile up? I have a file cabinet, why not stuff it full?

But man, after last fall, I'm less inclined to want to have all this stuff. I took a week off from work over Christmas and during that time I went through all my books and Goodwill is now the proud owner of over 100 of my books. Last month I cleaned out my closet. Twice. The file cabinet is more organized than it's been in years and those piles of papers that were squatting in various rooms and on various surfaces have been evicted.

I really don't want to die and leave a mess to someone else. I guess what I want is a simpler life with less stuff. I won't ever be a minimalist, but I can scale back and know that only the things that matter surround me. I think it's time to bring back Operation Office Downsize and maybe expand it further. Yes, I think that is a very good thing.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


My birthday was a week ago and for this joyful occasion I decided to treat myself to something I have been lusting after for quite some time, a shiny new Macbook Pro laptop. 

I started saving money for this beauty about three years ago. Every month I socked away some of my spending money into a "replace the desktop or netbook or both" fund. Once I had enough money pocketed, I started to hem and haw about what to buy. I could save money by getting a netbook, but the processing power in those smaller laptops isn't great. Plus, I would need to get an external DVD drive if I ever wanted to play one of our myriad of DVDs on it. Also, it wouldn't really allow me to replace the Apple G5 desktop that Apple hasn't supported since 2009. 

I though about moving away from Apple products altogether. They are expensive and they have a built in obsolescence of about 5 years. Apple isn't as user friendly when it comes to home upgrades of the computer itself. For example, the husband has built and maintains a computer we use as a media center. He can upgrade all of the guts, including the motherboard. In our apple computers, we can upgrade memory and hard drives and that is about it. There just aren't parts to be had, or at least not parts we've found. 

So, given those cons, which were worth taking into consideration, I reviewed my Windows based options. And nothing appealed to me. Sure, I could get a laptop for less money. But it wouldn't be a Mac. 

I finally decided on what to purchase. I'm a Mac girl, through and through. Have been since 1993 when my husband, then boyfriend, introduced me to the joy of the Apple SE, an all-in-one computer that was also sort of portable. The platform, even then, was so user friendly. And while he is now an affirmed Windows man, I will remain loyal to my Apple roots. At least until I am priced out of the market. 

Still, after deciding on sticking with Apple, I took months agonizing over used versus new, Retina versus glossy versus anti-glare displays, solid state drives versus hard disk drives. And there was that small matter of being willing to actually part with the money I spent so long saving. Watching my account go down that quickly was not easy for me. 

It all boils down to making a choice and just...doing it. So, I decided on a new Macbook pro with the anti-glare screen and a whopping 750GB harddrive. No solid state drive...yet. I can always upgrade later, right? 

I've finally moved over much of the files form the netbook and all the iTunes media from the desktop. There's a lot more to go, along with applications to purchase and layouts to explore. It's like having a shiny new toy. My husband teases me and calls my new Macbook my Precious, complete with Gollum-like intonations. I can't help it if my my laptop is prettier AND more functional than his, now can I? 

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Things I'm Thankful For

The seventh book in Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series came out today and the millionth book in J.D. Robb's In Death series came out last week. I'm happily enjoying the later and can't wait to start the former.

My friend's son, who is being treated for cancer, is doing well and all signs point to no more cancer. Fingers crossed this is truly the case!

Work upgraded their servers, making it more difficult to connect remotely. They finally resolved this and I can once again work from home. *happy dance*

My birthday is next week and my present to myself is a shiny new Macbook Pro. She arrived today and is all shiny and pretty and better than any other computer in the house. *squee* And, for those people with Facetime on their iPhones, iPads and iTouches, I can now Facetime with you, from my computer. Once I figure out how to do use it. *grin*

A is going to buy me an MS Office upgrade for my new Macbook. In addition to other birthday goodies he has planned. He's so sweet.

I was able to get my birthday off of work and have planned some fun things for me: a birthday breakfast at a restaurant that has the best GF pancakes; a birthday mani/pedi; birthday lunch with a friend I haven't seen in ages; a massage.

I will be 42 in just over a week. Yes, that makes me happy. I have survived another year and given the events that occurred last year, I don't ever want to relive 41.

I have rekindled my love affair with Doctor Who and am happily not at the EPISODE with Rose. At least, not yet.

It is warm and snowy and sunny out and I have books to read, a dog to cuddle and hot cocoa to drink.

I am loved, not for what I do, but for who I am. And isn't that a wonderful thing.

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Friday, March 01, 2013

Updates and Such

It's been an interesting week. The weather warmed to lovely temperatures - which means it hovered around freezing instead of trying to mimic the Arctic. A huge storm missed us by heading east instead. Sorry, Chicago! The vintage china tea service that was shipped to me from Canada went on a lovely trip bouncing back and forth between Calgary and Louisville. It did finally end up in my possession and all the pieces are in excellent condition.

Husband decided he needed to help me maximize space in my new bookcase so more shelves will be built. Don't tell him this, but I kind of played dumb so he would do the hard work for me. What's a husband for, right? As a reward, I made him a lovely homemade pot roast dinner last night and he has been getting homemade cookies since he decided to dig out my stand mixer a couple of weeks ago. He's my hero. *grin*

Other than than spilling hot cocoa on my lovely grey cardigan this morning, things have been fairly quiet. I'm kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop but crossing my fingers that after ten months of chaos things will settle down if just for a little while. If we can get through my birthday without any serious incidents or illnesses, I will be ever so thankful. Just two weeks. That's all I'm asking. Well, that and an easy way to remove hot cocoa stains from cotton jersey. Maybe world peace. But seriously, hot cocoa stains? Anyone?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow - Killer of Blissful Commutes Everywhere

Last winter we didn't have a lot of snow. I think it lulled everyone who lives here into complacency because this month has been full of the fluffy white stuff and while it looks gorgeous, it's playing havoc with my commutes. I grew up in the mountains where winters were long and snow was abundant. I know how to drive in ice and snow. Others around me do not.

It's not like snow storms are freakish occurrences. It happens. Every. Year. Multiple times over the course of a winter, even. And yet people forget they need to slow down a little and that slamming on the brakes is nothing less than a recipe for disaster. No, everyone wants to drive at their usual breakneck speeds down the highway, talking or texting on their cell phones, not paying attention and then slamming on their brakes when they realize the light turned read or the cars ahead of them have slowed to a crawl.

This is when accidents happen. So when it snowed last night and continued to snow this morning, accidents were inevitable. And accidents meant my commute suddenly went from a blissful 15 minutes to an unnecessary 45. I know there are people who commute for this amount of time or more every day, twice a day. I used to be one of you. But I paid my dues and now live 15 minutes from work. Which, as an aside, isn't always a good thing. Especially when everyone who works further away thinks the reason I'm late is because I slept in, not because I got caught up in a winter storm accident tsunami on my way to work.

I love snow. I love how it coats the world in a pristine crystalline white. I love how trees and grasses and shrubs take on new personas under the marshmallow pillows of snow. I adore watching my dog run and snort and track all sorts of creatures,  both real and imaginary, through the snow. The world becomes quieter somehow, and things are just a little more peaceful for a time.

Now, if I didn't need to get into a car and ruin my love affair with snow, all would be right with the world.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Sorry for the lengthy absence. Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging and I have learned to be okay with that. Know that I have missed you and I have missed being here.

I don't often listen to the radio. My commute is no longer lengthy and honestly, I'm not a fan of most of the DJs on the stations in my market. I either listen to talk radio, my iPod or CDs. Or nothing. The voices in my head can provide me endless hours of entertainment when I let them. *grin*

My husband drove my car over the weekend and he never returns the radio to the station I was last listening to. I shouldn't have been shocked when I started the engine and music poured out of the speakers in ear splitting waves. Husband has a bit of a hearing problem. What did surprise me was the station he was listening to. He's not a pop guy. He's a classic rock and sometimes country guy. What I was listening to was pop. Specifically Taylor Swift. I call her a pop artist because even though she is technically country she is played on our pop and top 40 stations. She's ear candy. She's sometimes annoying. And she's everywhere.

Yes, I've been hiding under a rock because this was the first time I heard her song Trouble. The verse started out in Taylor's typical pop manner - a little upbeat with what I would call her trademark staccato word/syllable repetition. Then came the chorus and I was hooked. I can do without the verses, but the chorus, it's become an earworm. At first it was pleasant. I like the chorus, having it repeat in my head was kind of nice. Now, after several hours of the darn song playing on repeat in my brain? Not so much.

I think I need to plug in my iPod and listen to some Matchbox Twenty or P!nk. Maybe some Rush. Anything to get Taylor's quickly turning annoying earworm of a song out of my head before I go postal. Taylor, I knew you were trouble with this song. Shame on me now...