Wednesday, January 31, 2007

confession #5: my stuffed animals are in hiding

Well, not ALL of them are. But the top shelf in the guest room closet is swarming with the remainder of my stuffed animals. Each one has a story, a sentimental reason I've kept him or her. They all have names and histories. I can't just throw them out. Or let someone else adopt them. So, they hide in the closet, staring down at me reproachfully because I have no room for them to live anywhere else in the house. People who know me would probably find this somewhat comical or downright hypocritical. I am a massive de-clutter-er. But now when it comes to these babies. They're not going anywhere. I'd miss them horribly. Okay, there's ONE in there that is not really mine, and someday he may want it back, so I'm saving it just in case. We got 2 cats, at the same time -- a panther and a leopard. I can't even remember which one is his and which one is mine. I'm keeping them both safe for now. And I'm not going to tell you who "he" is, 'cause he'd probably be terribly embarrassed. Not that he reads my blog. Or that practically anyone who reads my blog knows him. Still. It's the principle of the thing. Stuffed animals are good at keeping secrets. So am I.

If I have nothing good to say ... I'll say something neutral.

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"I am very little inclined on any occasion to say anything unless I hope to produce some good by it."

-Abraham Lincoln

I have to say that I AM inclined on any occasion to say a LOT ... uh, hellO...that's why I came up with the title for my blog! I do, however, tune in to hurtful and mean things, not just that come out of my mouth but that enter my brain! Who am I to criticize someone? I may have a different way of doing things or I may not like what they're doing, and it may make me frustrated, but that just tells me where my expectations are. People are allowed to do things the way they want -- hurtful and nasty comments do nothing except cause pain. So, perhaps by process of elimination, I try to make my words a force for good, or at minimum, neutrality. *grin*

Playing with art bits

Artsy Mama had this prompt for Cabinet of Curiosities & I jotted it down & decided to give it a whirl. It was incredibly fun & although I'm not overjoyed with how it turned out, I will be doing it again, just to PLAY. Here's the result of my collage-y, art-y adventures:

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

TRENDY TUESDAY!! 10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..1

10 Favorites

Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Pizza
Favorite Month: May
Favorite Song: Barber’s Adagio for Strings
Favorite Movie: Ladyhawke
Favorite Sport: Longsword
Favorite Season: Winter
Favorite Day of the week: Thursday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: New York Super Fudge Chunk
Favorite Time of Day: 4 pm

9 Currents

Current Mood: Thrilled
Current Taste: Water
Current Clothes: Workout gear
Current Desktop: Goodrich Castle
Current Toenail Color: unpainted, naked
Current Time: 4:35 pm
Current Surroundings: sunlight, quiet, cats
Current Thoughts: trying to remember what the Italian word for “advance” is!*

8 Firsts

First Best Friend: Lani Boyer
First Kiss: Rick Rackett
First Screen Name: Peregrine
First Pet: Peppermint
First Piercing: Ears
First Crush: Christopher Reeve
First CD: Chess

7 Lasts

Last Cigarette: Never
Last Drink: Alcoholic? ….no earthly idea.
Last Car Ride: This afternoon, coming back from dropping off my friend, Chris.
Last Kiss: Ken. MMM.
Last Movie Seen: in a theatre? Casino Royale
Last Phone Call: checked my voicemail a half an hour ago.
Last CD Played: Digital Empire


Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends: No
Have You Ever Broken the Law: No
Have You Ever Been Arrested: No
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: No
Have You Ever Been on TV: Yes
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: No


Thing You're Wearing: Robe.
Thing You've Done Today: Took care of homeless kitties.
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: Typing. Silence.
Thing You Can't Live Without: Love
Thing You Do When You're Bored: Surf the web



Rock Bottom Restaurant





My mom



1. Black or White: White
2. Hot or Cold: Cold


*I found out! It's accressamento!

confession #4: these are ALL of my shoes!

I own a grand total of 10 pairs of shoes. I simply don't see the need for more. One of these will wear out, and it will get replaced, but I am unlikely to accumulate more. As the journaling says on the left, the funniest part was when I got out my camera to take a picture for this confession, I had more shoes, but after I took the first picture, I realized many of the shoes I didn't need. So I put them in a box to take to goodwill...except for the 1 pair of worn athletic shoes - those are destined to be recycled to make cushioned floors in athletic spaces. Anyway, I wonder if I really do have fewer shoes than any woman I know -- so please, ask your friends to come post & tell me if it's true or not! *grin*

Monday, January 29, 2007

No exciting (or horrifying) discoveries for me

Today's quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

-A. A. Milne

I am a woman of three separate desks. So, yes, I would consider myself pretty organized. And as you can see, my desks tend to be pretty clutter-free. I snapped these shots as-is, no cleaning or tidying involved. *smile* I guess I am not likely to make exciting discoveries ... or terrifying ones, like finding I did not pay a bill, or that the glue was partially open before a cat leapt on my desk, or that I left half a tuna fish sandwich under a stack of paperwork. *grin*

confession #3: Splash Mountain is my absolute limit!

I am not a big roller coaster fan. I just do not need that adrenaline surge that comes with it, feeling like my heart is pounding out of my chest. Nor do I need the concomitant bruising from being slammed around in a ride vehicle. Not my idea of fun. Splash Mountain, though, is 7/8ths cute & leisurely, 1/8th pure terror. Fortunately, the terror bit is at the end, a sudden 5 story drop, and I can forget about it if I haven't been on the ride in a while. Mission: Space, though, I absolutely LOVE ... and my husband, who can handle Space Mountain and probably that new Everest ride at Animal Kingdom, he says Mission: Space is just too intense for him. Go figure!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

confession #2: I sort my books by genre...

...and then I alphabetize them by author. I'm not kidding. We have a sci-fi/fantasy/mystery section on one set of shelves ... historical books on another ... classics take up two shelves next to my scrapbooks ... childrens' books are in the guest room, as are some science & philosophy books. The reality is that we don't have enough space for all of our books, and it is about time to go through them again and be certain which ones we want to keep. I'd like to have a "library" in my home. You know the scene in Beauty and the Beast where Belle finds the library, with floor-to-ceiling shelving? I want that.

Mystery Animal from yesterday...

We are pretty sure this guy is a beaver. He looks rather squat, and in a couple of spots, he seems to have a flat, rounded tail. I was standing about 15 feet away, being quiet to shoot some video, so he must not have noticed me or considered me a threat.
He was quite a fast swimmer, and when I raised my voice to confer with Ken, he dove under water, and hid under an ice shelf for at least 2 minutes. I gave up the photo hunt, and walked back up the bank, and handed the camera to Ken. He shot a few more pictures, and as he walked back to the car, I saw over his shoulder, the beaver, coming out of hiding, so gestured furiously.
Ken managed to snap a few more shots (the one posted below is one of his, as it this one), which I think came out very cool, because you can actually see his "wake" as he swims! Like I said, he moved pretty fast, which made photographing him a bit tricky! Still ... we agreed it was our highlight of the day. I've never seen a beaver (or otter, if I'm wrong!) in the wild ... and it's been ages since I saw a beaver in a zoo. I have seen otters, though, at Brookfield, fairly recently, and I remember them being much sleeker. I've been told that the otter is my totem animal. I can see that! :)

Slow down and just EAT!

Today's Quote from a Fancy Word for Simple:

The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook -- Julia Child.

I avoid "diet" foods, because they often taste terrible. They're not really REAL, just jammed full of substitutes to try and fix one problem, which creates another. Take low-fat Oreos for example -- just check out the carb content -- it's super high, to compensate for the lack of fat. And they taste like cardboard! I'd rather enjoy a single Lindt white chocolate truffle than a dozen low-fat Oreos. Now, there are some things like 1% milk, reduced fat shredded cheese, fat free yogurt, and diet soda, which I've consumed for so long, that their "regular" counterparts leave me feeling sick. My body is very confused about what's good for it. I often have to sit it down and say "Now, LOOK. Just eat one of those strawberries and then try to tell me you'd rather have a chocolate chip cookie." Because the reality is if it's a REALLY good strawberry, it's more than a match for your average chocolate chip cookie. There are also, however, some better-than-average chocolate chip cookies, which I will savor with my eyes closed...when I remember not to bolt it down, just because I'm busy, racing around accomplishing tasks. So, for me, I'd rather have "the real thing" AND I'd rather remember to SLOW DOWN! :)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Black Eyes or Conversations?

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.”

Miss Piggy

I do believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We all see elements we find to be breathtaking, but which others cannot or will not see as "beautiful." I suppose I could be more like Miss Piggy and slug them in the eye so they will see things "my" way ... but honestly, I'd rather have them tell me what they see as beautiful and why. I know, I'm taking this rather silly quote a bit too seriously ... but it's how it strikes me!

Day o' Fun!

Ken got inspired, and so we spent the day together, having lots of adven- tures. Here's what we did!

First, we went out for a leisurely brunch at our local diner, Omega, for a fortifying meal.

Then, we ran back home so I could grab some stuff, including the camera, and we headed out for the outlet mall, which is about a 25 minute drive from our house.

We looked at the "map" upon arrival & headed over to Reebok to get Ken some new shoes, and we picked up a nice big whisk from Farberware. Then, I insisted on going into the Lindt store, just to see (and smell) all the pretty chocolates.

The nice ladies gave us each a sample truffle (white chocolate for me, dark chocolate for Ken), and I found a bunch of bins at the back with different flavors, so I got one hazelnut (for me) and one extra-dark chocolate (for Ken). Ken, however, went right for the big guns and found a 2.3 pound bag of truffles for a mere $9.67. I think it may last us for a while.

At least I hope it will last us for a while. One of the Lindt Ladies informed me [by the way, Ken just dove in to the bag for the first truffle...and said "these were a mistake to get." I asked "Why?" and all he does is whimper and moan. Is this bad?] that if you put them in a bowl in plain sight, they will disappear. Maybe she's right.

After that, we went to the Morton Arboretum, and enjoyed a very quiet respite in the chilly, bare places of the natural world. After I shot some video of a babbling stream, and I turned around, Ken whispered very intently. "Honey! Stay there! Something's coming up the river towards you." I froze and wondered what it might be ... and sure enough, there he was. It was hard to capture him on film. Can you see him okay?

Thor- oughly chilled, we warmed up in the car & headed out to do a bit more shopping, as Ken needed to replace a polo shirt. There were so many tropical prints, I wondered if this is the new rage, if people are just hoping for a warming trend, or the people who shop at Casual Male often make trips down to the tropics during January. I still don't know the answer.

We rounded out the day with a trip for a late lunch to a place where I enjoy a fabulous Monte Cristo sandwich with extra raspberry jam. YUM! I brought half of it home. Our fridge is now liberally stocked with leftovers, so it is likely that tomorrow, we'll just huddle up and stay home!

Next on our agenda is a few hours of World of Warcraft with our blood elves and dranei. If this makes no sense to you, don't worry ... few people "get" it, either. *smile*

confession #1: the only place I can do nothing all day long

People who know me well will tell you that I am almost always in motion, and almost always "have something to do." When I first told Ken about Caneel Bay, he was completely baffled at why I would like it there, because I didn't have any stories about what I'd "done," just how it made me feel, and how beautiful everything was. This tiny spot on the planet still has the distinction of being the only place I can sit and do nothing all day long!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Not so keen on bats.

Today's quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” -- Dr. Seuss

I actually think that big bats cause more troubles than they solve. I can understand the idea of feeling attacked on all sides and needing to have a bat to beat them away, but in my life, I've rarely found that to be a solution. The trouble just learn to avoid the bat and hit lower. As a button of mine reads: I tried to drown my sorrows, but the little suckers learned how to swim.

I have to confess...

My cover and (first) 5 pages are done! *smile* This was a very fun little project, and I already thought of 2 more confessions I want to make & am going to print up photos to add to the album. FUN! Thanks, Shimelle, for an entertaining & simple project. It only took me an hour and a half to create it (after having assembled the supplies and been on the hunt for photos in advance), and I just let myself "play," not worrying if things matched or made sense or if the colors particularly went together. Whee!!!! Who else has theirs done? Did I see it yet? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

not 1, not 2, but all FIVE senses!

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days during their early adult life. Darkness would make them more appreciative of sight; silence would teach them the joys of sound.

-Helen Keller

Today, I tried to cue into sight and sound ... and found myself tuning into
ALL of my senses. Here are some things I noticed throughout the day...

Sight: the glare off my windshield made my eyes tear up, most cars have salt crap on them now, my flowers are beginning to wilt after 10 days, wood paneling ran amok in the restaurant where I had lunch with Kim, the cover of the book I read today doesn't resemble any of the interior story, Office Depot makes it hard to figure out which items are on sale by matching up the SKU numbers.
Sound: silence is rare, one of my dance songs has an ambulance siren in the background, all of our cats' meows are different from each other, my (13 1/2 year old) car is sounding rougher than it used to, my computer's strange noise upon start up is shorter than it was, Office Depot's store jingle annoys me
Touch: the bottoms of my slippers are lumpy, I love the way fleece feels on my skin, fish really is incredibly slimy, spices stick grainily to damp fingertips, my lip balm makes my lips sizzle with mint

Scent: My new Trader Joe's citrus shampoo & conditioner makes me go ZING!, I am stinky after the gym, brownies that smell chocolatey can still be an incredible dud, raw fish is stinky & wrappings should be put in the outside garbage can right after removal
Taste: When I wear my lip balm I taste mint, those chocolate chip cookies at Connie's Pizza really were worth the calories, Braeburn apples have a snap and flavor I really like, dark chocolate M&M's seem very intense to my taste buds, and Cilantro-Lemon-Paprika butter is truly divine on fish.

I know this last piece because I just made a wonderful dish from Cooking Light. Ken is raving about how tasty it is! It was also super-simple. If you think you might like it, do a search on their website for Skillet Fillets with Cilantro Butter. We ate it with green beans, so there's a whopping 270 calories or so in this meal. Yummy, light, and good-for-you-fish!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Embrace life!

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"Be as a page that aches for a word/ Which speaks on a theme that is timeless" -- Neil Diamond

I can get behind the idea of being a page aching for a word. I know what it is like to see a blank space staring at me, dying to be of use ... to be created upon. Whether or not that is timeless, well, that's a separate issue. Because in some ways, all themes are timeless...loves, hopes, fears, worries, joys, sorrows...and in some ways, all themes are fleeting. Time moves on, to attempt to hold it is like trying to trap a wave upon a shore. Just sit back and enjoy the wave .... or leap into it with complete ecstasy! Wait not for perfection, for the excellent expression of timeless themes, just embrace life and and enjoy all of its timely and timeless aspects.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Mindlessness? No thank you!

Today's Question from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"What small and quirky habits, routines, and rituals have you developed over time?"

I observed myself throughout the day, and did a lot of thinking on this subject as I was driving. The only routine I can come up with is that I lock my car door when I get into it. Seriously. Everything else is up for grabs. I usually brush my teeth after I put in my contacts, but not always. I generally shower (okay, I always shower after a workout) at some point in the day, but if I'm at home on the weekend, that's not always the case! I really don't have much in the way of typical! And that is fine with me. I was talking with my tai chi instructor about this -- the idea that there are no good habits. The concept is this: Things that we do without thinking, without purpose, without mindfulness, are inherently problematic. If we do something mindlessly, we are not actively engaged, we are not paying attention. In life, I believe we should be paying attention, so if that means I don't have many habits, I rejoice in that fact!

Monday, January 22, 2007

White Elephant Afternoon Tea

I gotta tell you...I had an absolute blast yesterday at the White Elephant Afternoon Tea I hosted! It was SO much fun!!! 7 of my lady friends came over for 2 hours for tea (see the lovely photo!) and to trade out stuff we can't use. Wonderful conversation -- lots of laughs -- getting rid of old stuff -- acquiring stuff we can use -- munching on treats -- it was marvelous! It was so much fun to see how items changed hands & that about 90% of the "stuff" was all sought-after by a new owner! We are definitely looking forward to doing something similar for the summer -- and in the meantime, maybe we'll do something related to entertainment & books! I highly recommend an event like this!

Heading towards amazement

Today's quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"My ambition is not to just be a good fighter, I want to be something special."
-- Sugar Ray Leonard

I like this concept: don't just aim for "good"....aim for "special!" There are days, granted, that I am just happy to do "enough", but in the grand scheme, I'd much rather look back on my life and say that I truly tried my best to do something close-to-wonderful, perhaps even sublime. I enjoy having aspirations, goals, and ambitions...they give my life a direction to head. And if I'm going to head somewhere, why not head someplace amazing?

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"You can observe a lot just by watching."

-Yogi Berra

Right now I'm just observing how worn out I am by cleaning the house and shoveling the driveway. I will strive to watch and to observe more, today. *smile*

edited at 11:10 pm to add: I noticed a missing scarf left behind at my house. I saw a beautiful amber necklace on an elderly lady in the restroom at the Italian restaurant. I observed that penne pasta is easier to eat by threading it through the tines of my fork. I realized that some of the threads on my sweater are fraying. I watched a play performance that was pitiful and disappointing because the acting was overblown. I noticed just how much fun I have at my own parties. :)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

C is for Cookie

You Are a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Traditional and conservative, most people find you comforting.
You're friendly and easy to get to know. This makes you very popular - without even trying!

Winter beginnings

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer"
-- Albert Camus

Isn't this always the case? Maybe this is why I love winter so much. It presages a wonderful spring, stunning summer, and delightful winter. It wipes the slate clean, giving us a fresh start all over again! And don't we all have a fire, burning within, that we feel so much more strongly when cold air surrounds us? I know I do!

Friday, January 19, 2007

What's "to do" today? Too much? Not me! *big grin*

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it."

-Andrew Jackson

Interestingly, for the first time in a long time, my "to do" list isn't covering pages and pages, and I am just basking in those empty lines with nothing written on them. I would concur that there is no pleasure in having nothing to do ... and that it is enjoyable to be able to put aside tasks in favor of luxuriating in the day. But I will also admit that I do take a lot of pleasure in accomplishing things, especially things that enrich my life or the lives of those I care about. So, I will enjoy my "to do" list being short ... and I will enjoy the days when it is long and I turn a blind eye! *smile*

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The best medicine

Today's quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:
"Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I've had my share. But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude. In the final analysis, you have got not to forget to laugh." --
Katherine Hepburn

Oh, I am frequently laughing. It doesn't take much, either. My friends all have a wacky sense of humor & point out the everyday hilarity in life. I am often giggling over something, whether it's an email from a friend, a humorous website, a Bill Cosby or Robin Williams piece, or just witnessing something wacky unfolding. Laughter is good medicine!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Me, on Winter

A Fancy Word for Simple's challenge for Tuesday was to take a picture of ourselves in our winter gear and do a little bit of writing about how we feel about winter. Well, anyone who knows me will tell you I love winter, especially the snow. We had about a half an inch of snowfall on Monday, and although I saw the post too late on Tuesday to get a photo, I was able to run outside today and snap one of myself. Conveniently, snow is falling lightly, so you can see it on my collar - snow, the perfect accessory. *grin* This is my winter attire for days when it is hard-core winter. Winter with an attitude, below zero Fahrenheit, taking no prisoners, you're gonna want cocoa when this is all over --- that kind of winter. I wear mitten-gloves. They look like mittens, but have a zipper I can open up to reveal fleece gloves -- perfect for staying warm, but being able to manipulate small things. I got the gloves in 2001 in Colorado. The coat, I got in the fall of 2000, while shopping with a friend from out of town. The scarf I recall getting for myself, a splurge, but I cannot recall where or when. And that fancy fur hat (yes it is real fur) is from my parents, who got it from friends of theirs in Russia, who gifted it to them during a stay. I am against fur being worn on people, not animals, but (a) the hat's been around for a while. I'd never spend money on something like that. and (b) this hat is WARM. I give thanks to those little animals every time I put it on. I could probably wear it at 75 degrees below zero and have no problem keeping my head warm. I might need 3 more scarves and worry about my toes being frostbitten, but my head would be warm. And that's all I have to say on the subject. I hope the unmitigated glee in my eyes tells you how I feel about winter. *grin*

More quizzes. LOL.

You Communicate With Your Ears

You love conversations, both as a listener and a talker.
What people say is important to you, and you're often most affected by words, not actions.
You love to hear complements from others. And when you're upset, you often talk to yourself.
Music is very important to you. It's difficult to find you without your iPod.

Your EQ is 180

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!
51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.
71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.
91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.
111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.
131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.
150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

Well...people HAVE compared me to Dr. Phil in the past! LOL!

You Are Sunshine

Soothing and calm
You are often held up by others as the ideal
But too much of you, and they'll get burned

You are best known for: your warmth

Your dominant state: connecting

Kind .... to a point.

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world."
-Annie Lennox

I consider myself a kind person, but I am definitely NOT a push-over. I try to attend to what others need and what will bring joy into their lives, and then make it happen. But people who make the mistake of trying to manipulate me learn that it is not a good idea. I have respect for people who stand on their own two feet, and if they fall occasionally, that's normal...but for people who whine and complain and try to live on others' kindnesses, that kind of thing just angers me in the extreme!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Quick and dirty quizzes

You've Experienced 92% of Life

You have an amazing amount of life experience. In fact, you've seen and done more than most people.
So congratulate yourself on what you've done so far. The future is only going to be more of the same!

Who Should Paint You: Andy Warhol

You've got an interested edge that would be reflected in any portrait
You don't need any fancy paint techniques to stand out from the crowd!

You Have a Choleric Temperament

You are a person of great enthusiasm - easily excited by many things.
Unsatisfied by the ordinary, you are reaching for an epic, extraordinary life.
You want the best. The best life. The best love. The best reputation.

You posses a sharp and keen intellect. Your mind is your primary weapon.
Strong willed, nothing can keep you down. Your energy can break down any wall.
You're an instantly passionate person - and this passion gives you an intoxicating power over others.

At your worst, you are a narcissist. Full of yourself and even proud of your faults.
Stubborn and opinionated, you know what you think is right. End of discussion.
A bit of a misanthrope, you often see others as weak, ignorant, and inferior.

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

You Are an Excellent Cook

You're a top cook, but you weren't born that way. It's taken a lot of practice, a lot of experimenting, and a lot of learning.
It's likely that you have what it takes to be a top chef, should you have the desire...

I think I better stop quizzing myself and go to bed. *smile*

Mighty Hunters

The fierce hunters nap after a long night's work. Ken informed me, as he left for work, that the cats caught a mouse overnight. He found the bloodied carcass near the entrance to our kitchen. My thought "Oh, good, on wood or tile -- no staining!" I do feel bad for the mouse. The reality is that with 3 cats, all working in concert, it didn't stand a chance without one of us humans around to rescue it and put it out in the woods. Fear them, little mice. Fear them.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Beauteous flowers!

Aren't they lovely? Ken sent them to me. Why? Because he's a sweetie. That's why. The card says "Just because." Am I the luckiest woman, or WHAT? No, you can't have him. He's mine. I'm keeping him. *smile* These flowers are SO pretty. And they'll STAY that way as long as I can keep them in a room far far away from prying kitten paws. Our cats love flowers. They love knocking them over and chewing on them. Paws off, animals! MY flowers! *smile*

Take #2 on Day #5 for a Fancy Word for Simple

Over at House of Paper, Babs challenged us to use one of the quotes from a Fancy Word for Simple, on a layout ... so, VOILA! It was perfect for this photo of our cats, looking intently out the window at something THEY can see ... but WE cannot! LTMQ.

Investing in what's meaningful

Today's Quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am a caretaker for the things that matter -- sometimes silence is the best strategy, in my opinion. I refuse to waste my energy banging my head against a wall, trying to convince someone who is entrenched in a different belief. I will, however, speak up if I feel someone is running roughshod over the things I care about. I am also not shy about encouraging people to research a cause I feel is worthy. I also, however, feel it is vitally important for people to come to their own conclusions about what they wish to support. There are so many belief systems in the world ... and so many people in need of assistance, we'll never have a surplus of resources, so I can only hope that people will invest in the ones the find most important and meaningful.

Too funny!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What does the trick for me?

Today's quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden, or even your bathtub.--Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

I am continually reinventing new ways to center, to ground, and to relax. I practice tai chi & yoga, and those both help, but sometimes it's just a matter of looking inward and asking myself in that very moment, what will bring me the most peace. Sometimes it's cleaning the kitchen counter of dishes ... other times, it's reading a book ... but usually, it's just the act of looking inward, demonstrating that I am worthy of living in a peaceful moment that does the trick!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Vroom!! VROOM!!!!

I'm a Porsche 911!

You have a classic style, but you're up-to-date with the latest technology. You're ambitious, competitive, and you love to win. Performance, precision, and prestige - you're one of the elite,and you know it.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Got this from Stephanie's blog. *smile*

Done....and just in time, too!!

YAY! I'm done with my Christmas Journal! It took me a week to cut the chipboard for the cover & come up with a design. I decided to go super-simple, use up some of the lovely Pebbles Inc stickers I had left, and NOT to put ribbons on the rings. The top and right hand side of the journal already have all kinds of doo-dads sticking out [I did that intentionally], and I want the reader to have a solid place to put his or her hands while reading it. I like for my books to be user-friendly! But for now, it'll get tucked away with other journals or with my Christmas decorations to come back out in another 11 months! This class was tremendous fun, so imagine my delight at going to Shimelle's site to see she's got another class posted. Perfect timing!

a rather fat greyhound

Today's quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

If one is a greyhound, why try to look like a Pekingese?

-Dame Edith Sitwell

I'll admit it, I'll never look like a Pekingese. I'm a greyhound. A rather fat greyhound, but a greyhound nonetheless. And it took me years to accept my body with all of its curves and rounded bits. I'd still like to change some of it, but I know even if I halved my weight, I'd still be a solid and curvy woman, and I'm fine with those essential elements. I am also the only woman I know who is inordinately proud of her grey hair. I love L-O-V-E my grey hair. I made a scrapbook page on the subject a few years ago, I love it so much.

I've worn glasses since I was 5 years old and one eye wasn't tracking properly (amblyopia/cross-eyes). I have a rather large gap between my teeth. It seems to be growing wider as I age, too, which is frustrating, but I understand the steps to fix it involve complicated surgery, which I have no interest in! My face beauty ritual consists of a once daily scrub with water. Sometimes I even use soap!'s all my body needs in that arena, and so it's all I give my body. It probably helps that I don't wear make up or hair spray or anything that needs to be sanded off my face. When I do wear make up for the VERY occasional special occasion, I cannot wait to get it off my face. It feels greasy and grimy to me. And, yes, I have the "good" stuff that's matched to my skin type and color and whatnot. I still don't like it.

There are lots of things I cannot change ... and lots of things I can. I'd rather pour myself into the things I can change ... so let me respond with my own quote: "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results each time." I refuse to submit to insanity! Serenity now!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Come over and play with us!

Over at the House of Paper, we're having a weekend full of challenges. I just posted 4 of my own, so come over and play. My prizes are open to international guests, too! Please click here if you'd like to check them out! Uh, the prizes, not the international guests. Check 'em out through January 15th at 10 pm Central US time!

Drink? No thanks...!

Today's quote from A Fancy Word for Simple:

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes." Oscar Wilde

LOL. I don't have much to say about that! Oscar Wilde was certainly a carousing lush ... I can see where he would've felt very strongly that way. Not being a drinking kind of gal, I guess I don't see work as a curse! *grin* Seriously, though, I don't drink. I just never developed an interest in it, and my taste buds feel that alcohol is nasty. So, I am quite happily the designated driver for any get-together. Keep that in mind Karen, Dawn, Gaye and Jacquie! An easy way for you to party with your martinis and Coronas...and not worry, 'cause I'm not feeling left out at all!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Keep an eagle eye out

Thursday, January 11, 2007: from A Fancy Word for Simple

Thursday, January 11, 2007

You don’t have to be a “person of influence” to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they’ve taught me.

-Scott Adams

Think about influence today. Who influences you? Is he or she aware of the impact they make on your life? Who do you influence? In what ways? Live deliberately today by being a positive influence to someone you encounter.

One of the things I dearly love about the career I've chosen is that I can be a catalyst for positive change. I am keenly aware of the effect I have on people & try very hard to have a positive effect on the people with whom I interact. There are so many accidental, negative influences on us, I feel compelled to try and counterbalance it with some purposeful, positive influence. I can be influenced by my friends and family, but more often, it's my own mood that influences me for good or I try to keep an eagle out for any negative vibes on the horizon, in order to head them off! That being said, I've got to get going, out into the world, and will carry this thought with me through the day!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Laughing from my fingers to my toes

Wednesday, January 10, 2007: from a Fancy Word for Simple

January 10, 2007 -- Laugh your head off!

Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. *** William Saroyan***

ROCK ON! Live fully, or you might as well be dead! I can say this with great gusto because I am reading through a list of 925 items forbidden to role-play gamers and am cracking up completely. It feels so good to laugh from the ends of my fingers & toes!

Sooner or later

I am so very geeked. I already got in my journaling, meditating, tai chi, and yoga, and am savoring a simple breakfast of yogurt, apple bread, and water. It's all very yummy. I am starting to tackle my email, and got Ali Edwards' latest AEzine. It is cool to see someone who is "famous" in the scrapbooking world write about how she is stuck, and that creative blocks happen to her all the time. It is a fact that I've always known, but yet some creative superstars make it appear as if that is only the case for us "lesser folk". *smile* Somewhere in her email or her blog, she mentions a very cool website for customized silver jewelry (it's here if you want to see it). That lady makes some pretty neat stuff. I've bookmarked it for later, 'cause I am a slow shopper and rotten consumer -- and because I can't decide what I'd like best. She has some awesome quotes I'd like to have on jewelry to bring me back to reality, stuff like "live with intention" and "may the light always find you on a dreary day". I'd like to make up my own: "be mindful". If I just got everything I wanted, I'd blow hundreds of dollars, so I'll surrender to my own style, and be patient and wait. It'll come together. Just like those creative blocks. Sooner or later, they'll crumble.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Who I am in this moment!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007: From a Fancy Word for Simple

Trendy Tuesday 1.9.07

Tuesdays are dedicated to the wall flowers. We know you're out there (lots and lots and lots of you). But, we also know that while the quotes provide a lot of inspiration what you have to say might just be too personal to put out there in cyberspace. So, Trendy Tuesdays were born. It's our hope that Tuesday prompts still lead to thoughtfulness but a more playful kind of thoughtful.

With no further ado, Trendy Tuesday # 1:


Capture who you are and the world you live in at this very moment in time by completing this list. Think about it, write about it, photograph it, scrap it—your choice.

Somehow share your thoughts/creations. Maybe: post in the comments, post on another message board/site and link to it in the comments, send an email, or link to your blog.

If you let us know you’re out there, you will be entered in a RAK. Entries must be received by 5pm CST on Sunday 1/14/07. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 1/16/07.


Aphrodisiac. What turns you on? Sultry music


BFF. Who’s your best friend? Ken


Celeb. Favorite? Most annoying? Geena Davis. Smart, sassy chick.


Drink. What’s your poison? Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi


Everyday essentials. What do you use everyday? Hm. My cell phone.


Fav. color. What’s your signature color? Blue. Deep blue.


Groove. What music are you enjoying today? Jonathon Coulton's Skullcrusher Mountain


Hot! Who’s hot? Who’s not? Jude Law is definitely hot, in The Holiday


Indulgence. Dish about your guilty pleasure. NUTELLA


{dream} Job. What would you do? Already got it!


Kitchen Companion. Most used item in your kitchen? Wooden spoons


Life is incomplete without. . . ? sunlight


Mc. . . What would you “Mc”? McWorkouts


Natural or dyed? Natural. Love my grey.


Outrageous Outfit. What’s hiding your closet that you’re dying to wear? Wacky, irresponsible t-shirts


Pet Peeve. What makes you absolutely crazy? Warning people about something, having them deny it's going to happen, have it happen, then have them beg me for help


Quote. Share some inspiration. "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it!"


Restaurant you give rave reviews Stir Crazy


Starbucks order. Uh, chai latte grande?


Television. What keeps you glued to the couch? Firefly.


Ultimate Vacation Destination Wales


Virtual Babe Name. What’s your online ID? Latharia, uh, duh!


Wonder Woman. What woman leaves you in awe? My mom.


eX - _______________ eX-pianist


Youth in a bottle. What keeps you feeling young at heart? Lilac perfume


Zodiac sign Gemini

Just chill!

I tend to get incredibly irritable when my schedule gets thrown off. I am pretty good at going with the flow (it's a skill I had to learn to develop), but when I've actually GOT a schedule and have managed to make everything fit together like a finely crafted puzzle ... boy, do I ever get cranky when someone messes with it. So, today strikes me as overwhelmingly chaotic, just because one piece fell apart & now I am trying to re-orchestrate my entire day. I am going to work hard at just living in each moment, but my desk also reflects the chaos, with haphazard piles of things half-done. I'd like to throw a sheet over it an ignore it ... but the reality is that I'll feel better if I actually dive in and tackle some of it. That being said, I am going to review my to-do list, pick an item, do it, then make myself a cup of tea and just chill!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Creative endeavors

Monday, January 8, 2007: from A Fancy Word for Simple

Day 8: Source of our Creative Spark?

And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower they themselves never hoped to see -- or like a sealed letter they could not plainly read.
-- Alice Walker

I would have to say that my mother and grandmothers handed down the creative spark, in ways that are easily identifiable. All of them encouraged me to play the piano, draw pictures, do crafts, make jewelry, bake cakes, all kinds of wonderfully creative and imaginative endeavors. My grandmothers never got to see my scrapbooks, but they would've loved to see them!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Treasuring the spare moments in life

Sunday, January 7, 2007: From A Fancy Word for Simple

Day 7: 1.7.07 (Sunday)

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday seems like a good day to think about "spare moments." After all, isn't it supposed to be a day filled with them? When I started to think about my "spare moments," I realized two things. One, I waste a lot of moments just sitting on the couch or staring at the computer. Two, the "spare moments" that I use are some of my favorite times of the day--the times when there isn't anything planned and life just kind of happens.

What role do "spare moments" spend in your life?

There was a time in my life where I had no "spare moments". Everything was crammed in right beside something else. There was no room to breathe or to just "be". I now have lots of spare moments, floating around throughout my day. Sometimes I make "good use" of them, sometimes I just delight in the fact that they exist, taking the opportunity to breathe deep or listen to music or just gaze at one of our cats adoringly. Having had a time in my life where there were no moments to spare, I do, indeed, treasure the ones I have now!

Paging Lynne!!

Lynne -- please contact me about your prize by first thing Monday morning (about 24 hours from now), otherwise, I'll redraw a winner -- I don't have your contact information! Help!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Stirring up the Brain

Saturday, January 6, 2007: From a Fancy Word for Simple

Day 7: Making a Decision?

For me, making decisions in general, are hard. I tend to overthink or in the alternative, plunge right in - never a happy medium. I guess that is why today's quote hit home.

"In any moment of making a decision the best thing you can do is do the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing."
-- Theodore Roosevelt

How is it going? Are you finding it difficult to keep up? It is hard!!! to do this every day! I am really trying to keep up in my own journal but have had a few delays too. Don't give up - keep with it and do your best.

One more thing - keep your eyes peeled for a fun new feature to be revealed on Tuesday. In yesterday's quote, Barb asked you to take notice of things around you. Well, on Tuesday this might come in handy and should be a fun activity for everyone to take part in. We understand that for some of these topics, sharing the journaling is just too personal, too private. Well, not everything that goes into a journal is this way so get your self ready for some fun!!

I am enjoying the process of stirring my brain up a bit with these fun quotes. *smile* It is always helpful to look at life from an oblique angle, tune into the bits you might be missing otherwise. I am also thoroughly enjoying reading other people's responses to the quotes. As far as decisions go, I am a fairly strong P on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which means I really prefer to gather data, lots of it, before I make a rock-solid decision. It's helped me, over the years, to see decisions as fluid and changeable, and that allows me to decide without having ALL the facts, just most of them.

The attention-to-detail thing yesterday was interesting. I noticed that most of the details I noticed were of things to be done: scrubbing the shower door, wiping up a mess the cats made near their food, going through a stack of papers. I chalk this up to the light being so incredibly poor - it was a real struggle to notice beauty!

Geek Fest!

Today, Jason & Todd came over & we spent ELEVEN AND A HALF HOURS watching all 3 extended versions of the Lord of the Rings movies back to back. It was freaking awesome. We chatted about which parts we thought were coolest ... and which ones didn't match up with the books ... and which ones we would've done differently. My friends are just as geeky as I am. What a totally fun time!!

Relaxed, content, connected

On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ... a completed Christmas Journal! LOL! This is the last page entry in my book, although I still need to do the title page & the cover ... I always save those for last. So, dear readers, you'll see a little more from me on this theme, and then it's "hasta la vista, Christmas." I wanted a page that would wrap up my thoughts on Christmas, but again, there was too much to write, so I settled for a photo of me, with Sere on my lap, that I think captures Christmas for me -- relaxed, content, and with those I love (including pets!).

Friday, January 5, 2007

So long, farewall, auf wiedersehen, goodbye...

Well, it's time to say goodbye to all of the Christmas decorations. Again, Shimelle has wonderous timing. Although I'd been corralling all the holiday-related objects (including gift bags, boxes, bows, trimmings, trappings, minature sleds, cookie jars, cookie cutters, cookie books, tissue paper, holiday cards....), they hadn't actually been put into tubs & boxes until today. They're now officially stored away for next year. I've even put things into stages to be unpacked, starting with putting holiday cards with the Thanksgiving items. *smile*

Word of the Year, 2007: JOY

Ali Edwards has a little newsletter thing going on, to which I've subscribed. In her latest issue, she encourages her readers to come up with a word to focus on and to return to, throughout the year. After letting it percolate, I've decided on "joy". Short, simple, sweet, but oh-so sublime. From

joy [joi] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun
1.the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation.
2.a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated.
3.the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
4.a state of happiness or felicity.

Today's goal: to notice the simple things

From a Fancy Word for Simple: Friday, January 5, 2007

Day 5:

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
-Henry David Thoreau

Take some time today to notice the details. Look at the simple things in your day and see the fancy. You might be amazed at what you notice.

I will take this to heart & try to look at some simple things and list them here later ... right now, the skies are grey and dreary, rain looms, and I am exhausted from my workout. I'll gather Thoreau close and see what develops.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

wrapping a virtual string around my finger

Gotta remember these tidbits for next year's holiday season! I already had most of these jotted down & stored in a spot on my Outlook so they'll pop up when they're most useful, so it wasn't too hard to think about what should be included on this retrospective page for my Christmas Journal. I don't think the rings for my album are big enough ... but I'm not sure where to buy bigger ones. These are already the biggest ones I own, and I gotta do a couple more pages and a whole cover. It's a FAT book! LOL!

Pouring rain + boredom = fiddling with the camera function on my cell phone

I had to make a trip to the post office, because I sold a book on and it absolutely, positively HAD to be shipped no later than today. I supposed I could've marked it shipped and actually mailed it tomorrow, but that's sneaky and underhanded, and I don't like people to treat ME like that, so I refuse to do it to others. So, I had to go out, in the pouring cold rain...and get stuck behind 3 freight trains while I was in downtown. After I got bored listening to 4 really nice tunes on the radio, I busted out my new cell phone (it's about 2 months old, really) and discovered I really can take pictures and email them. How much that's gonna set me back, who knows? LOL. At least the package is shipped. As are a prize to runawaygypsy and a fun package to my bro-in-law and nephew for Disney. WHEE! Now, to thaw out my fingers.

Get your feathers ruffled

from Fancy Word for Simple: Thursday, January 4, 2007

Today's quote:

"It's not what I do, but the way I do it. It's not what I say, but the way I say it".
-- Mae West

I love this quote because it touches on, to me, the little things that make us stand out. What causes our sparkle? Our special insights? Our hidden talents? How do we break out and have the confidence to be a little different, a little more than we have been before? I am excited to see the direction that you guys take this one. Keep up the good work!

I am slightly mischevious by nature. I'll admit it. I like being a maverick ... to do things differently just because I can. I'm the person that shows up early to class, just to pick a different seat and shake things up a bit. I like being a catalyst, prompting change, even if it ruffles a few feathers!

I won a prize!!!!

At my gym, if you average workouts 3 times a week for their 8-10 week "sessions", you get your name put in a drawing. They just called me to tell me I won a prize. I don't know what it is ... but I have to go pick it up this afternoon. Is that cool or what???

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Dream a little dream with me

The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.
-Walt Disney

I am a master dreamer, schemer, plan-maker (what ever you want to call it). I can talk and talk and talk and talk about the things I want to do or might do. But, something always seems to get in the way.

What do you anticipate might hold you back from your goals in 2007? What are your "roadblocks" and how will you over-come them?

I gotta be honest ... NOTHING gets in my way. When I really set my mind to a goal, look out! I am a master at accomplishing, checking off, measuring progress, and moving along, step by step. I love being able to help others reach their dreams, too!!!!

I can't pick just one!

I sifted through all my wonderful memories of this Christmas past ... and there was no way I could pick just ONE. So, I had to pick two. *smile* It was interesting to see that they mirrored my thoughts on an earlier page about what "makes" Christmas for me -- being able to connect with those I love and feel like my life is richer for those connections! Such continuity, and all of it accidental!

The Winner is .... LYNNE!!!

Lynne, please contact me with your mailing address -- you've adopted some of my less-used and lonely supplies!!!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Step away from the insanity

I surprised even myself. *smile* I went with the white theme, tossed in some silver, and a smattering of color, inspired by the snowman's scarf. Too bad the scan doesn't show up the lightly chalked photo corners on the upper right and lower left of the journaling. In any event, I am pleased with my page ... and my interpretation.