Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A quote brought to my attention by Toos

"Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence." - Napoleon Bonaparte

I gotta keep this in mind. A lot. *grin*

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cooks R Us

Cooking has always brought me a happiness that I didn't think was available.I just fire up the stove, and things start to fade away.
-Paula Dean

We like to cook in our house...when we have the time! We get into rhythms some weeks where we are cooking almost every night...and then other weeks, we are just scrambling to get some kind of dinner together. We do a huge amount of cooking using recipes from Cooking Light, of which we are excessively fond. I just bought a subscription to Eating Well this year, but so far it's not ringing my chimes much.


Humor is the shock absorber of life; it helps us take the blows. -- Peggy Noonan.

I had an amusing yet pathetic interaction this morning. I ran by the eye care place to ask if they have those small bottles of contact lens solution, perfect for traveling. [I'd buy the damned things if someone sold them, but after checking CVS, Walgreens, Dominicks, Target & Jewel, no one seems to.] I mentioned that I'd asked when I picked up my contact lenses 2 weeks ago & they were out. I explained I'd be traveling this summer & would really like to avoid hangups with the TSA and with carting around an 8 oz bottle of solution and an 8 oz bottle of saline. The result?

One of the women, we'll call her Helga, there said she couldn't help me, didn't I know that the particular brand had production issues a few months back, and no one makes small bottles of saline.

One of the women, we'll call her Angelica, there stepped around the person named above, went to a back cupboard and came back with .... you get one guess .... yes, the very brand of solution I'd been trying to locate. We joked that it was magic & I thanked her profusely.

Then, I said I was up a creek with the saline, because I hadn't found any in local stores and they didn't have any, either. I explained my biggest concern was I wanted to have something to rinse my lenses in the morning.

Again...guess the result.

Helga shrugged & said that I should probably just take my 8 oz bottle of solution on vacation.

Angelica tilted her head, inquired if I used my particular brand of solution because I was allergic to anything. I told her no, and she walked me over to a cupboard with a different brand of solution. She explained it was an all-in-one kind of deal, and that I could use it to soak my lenses AND rinse them in the morning.

So, here's what I find amusing ... how is that 2 people with the same supposed job have two completely different skill sets in problem solving? I like to think of myself as a problem-solver. There's always a way around, over, under, or through a problem. It may not be a solution I particularly like (for example, having to take 2 large bottles of liquid on a plane and deal with the TSA being a PITA), but it just fascinates me that some people are interested in identifying an array of solutions while others are just totally uncaring of that process. What makes one person so eager to find various ways of getting to the same destination and another completely clueless?
I had a similar thing happen at the post office lately. For the 3rd time in a year, their credit/debit system was down. So they could only accept checks or cash. They didn't tell me this until all 6 of my packages were weighed & metered. I got very angry when they told me the only solution was to come back later, because I had only ONE chance to hit the post office for days, and this was it. I said firmly, "I am looking for a solution, here, people." One of the agents finally piped up about an ATM he knew about across the stress*. SOLUTIONS, people ... SOLUTIONS. Is it really THAT hard???

*uh, that should be "street". As Toos pointed out, a bit of a Freudian slip on my part. *grin*

Expecting help?

A failure to plan ahead on your part
does not constitute a crisis on mine.

I have always loved this quote. It never fails to amuse me how much people will freak out when things don't go as planned, and then expect someone else to fix it. I refuse to get sucked in to others' inability to plan. This is an interesting corollary to a previous post where my beloved came to my rescue when I did not plan effectively. Okay, I DID plan effectively, but then failed to carry out the plan. *grin* I tried very carefully to communicate that I was in a crisis situation, and because we're partners-in-life, I wanted his help, but at no point did I ever feel like the crisis was HIS. Kind of like Dirty Dancing: this is my dance space .... and this is YOUR dance space. My crisis, not his. And I didn't expect him to jump in and rescue me -- hope, yes ... expect, no. I think a lot of it has to do with expectations. When people have failed to plan and then EXPECT someone else to fix it -- that sense of entitlement, and the pouting and screaming that comes afterwards, THAT is what sets my teeth on edge!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Luxury or Necessity?

"Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities."
-Frank Lloyd Wright

I think my ideas of "luxuries" and "necessities" are strange compared to most.
Necessities: food, basic clothing, shelter, family, friends, vacations & trips, computer, affection, eyeglasses/contacts
Luxuries: cell phone, personal data assistant, extensive wardrobe, expensive perfumes, manicures, frou-frou coffee drinks, alcoholic beverages

And I don't even LIKE the last 3 luxuries!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Beginning, middle, and end

"Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So, when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will."
Birdee from Hope Floats

I don't know about beginnings being scary and endings being sad. For me, beginnings are usually thrilling ... and endings, gratifying. I guess part of it is the kind of adventure I'm on. I can see where something that was completely out of control would be pretty scary. And that endings are, in a way, sad ... but certain things do have to end in order to make room for other things in our lives. It's just a natural progression. Sometimes it's hard to know when to let go and make room -- those are, I find, the saddest times of all.

More amusement in the realm of catchy tunes

This video is from a high school production that is unknown to me, but I have fond memories of seeing How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying as a young girl ... and listening to my parents' LP recording. For those of you having a hard time getting through the day, just click to watch -- and you'll be laughing by the end. If you're not, well, I can't help you with other amusements on my blog, either, then.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This just cracks me up too much not to share.

This is NOT a video from the 1980's ... but damn, it sure LOOKS and SOUNDS like one!!!


Right from the start

*grin* Somehow, this just makes me chuckle. The idea that day one, action one, people started getting irritated. Douglas Adams is a very funny guy. Today, day one, action one, I'll admit, I started getting irritated. I am not a lover of exercise, but I have been applying myself consistently & have started seeing a few results. So, yesterday, half-way through my workout, my body demanded I stop. Since I'm trying to get better at listening to said body, I did. This morning, it started off right away, demanding that I stop. Stop what? I haven't even gotten out of bed, for crying out loud! So, I've spent the last 2 hours trying to encourage it to get up and running so we can go to the gym. My sweetie is very worried about me -- I want to go to the gym (that idea is freakish unto itself!) and he doesn't want me to go. It is highly frustrating. I am trying to decide what the best course of action is, here. I struggle with this kind of decision -- is it better to go? better to take it easy? I think I am going with the latter.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

7 little known things

Kel tagged me, so here are 7 little known things about me:
1. I like electronica/dance music. I love how I can feel it in my bones.
2. I have a piece of my car in a dresser drawer. I plan on keeping it for a long time.
3. I hoard lotions & potions, but seem not to use them much. I refrain from wearing them to work or to the gym to keep from offending sensitive noses ... and also don't wear them to the cat shelter, to keep from offending sensitive kitty noses. I've taken to wearing them at home!
4. I do not own a single pair of panty hose. Knee-hi stockings, yes, full-fledged hose, no.
5. I have a dollhouse in my guest room. If you visit, you can play with it.
6. I think one of my cats is peeing on our downstairs rug. I think I know which cat it is, but I can't find the spot. Yet. I borrowed a black light from a friend to try and figure it out.
7. Even though I am not a hoarder, I seem to find stuff to give away all of the time! I am having a garage sale this summer, and I keep finding more things to put in it. I think maybe it's because I don't have a very strong attachment to "stuff".

I am tagging Gaye, Dawn, and kaj!

not too much trouble

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me. But, I think she enjoyed it."
-----Mark Twain

You'd have to ask my mom if I was troublesome, but I suspect I know the answer. I'm pretty sure it's "no." I know she wanted me to grow up healthy & sane, but barring that, I don't think I gave her too much cause for concern. Well, that's not entirely true -- we're wired differently, emotionally, and I know there were plenty of times I had intense feelings and she just didn't have the faintest idea what to do with me. But as far as being troublesome, I'd have to say no. I can only hope I'll be as blessed with any offspring. *grin*

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mine, all mine!

"I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain."
~Jane Wagner

I have no cause for complaint. In fact, I have cause for celebration. My sweetheart, my knight-in-shining-armor, my beloved rescued me yesterday. Because he loves me, he came all the way into The City, braving nasty trafficses precious, something he absolutely abhors. But, he did it because I desperately needed his help to solve a problem. Can ya feel the love? I sure can! And then, when I get home, what do I find? The whole kitchen's been cleaned up. Just spotless. Dishes done, counters cleaned, everything. To answer your question, no -- you may not have him. He's mine, all mine. Get your greedy mitts off him. It's awfully hard to have a bad day when the person you love most has paved your way to make things easy. I kind of wonder what kind of kharmic debt I'm going into...but I am enjoying it more than you can possibly imagine. Thank you, honey. You are the absolute best & my dearest treasure in the whole world.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


It is one thing to be gifted and quite another to be worthy of one's own gift.

--Nadia Boulanger

Today, I feel very blessed. I hope I am worthy of my gifts. I am fortunate to be surrounded by people who love me & who are conspiring to celebrate my birthday a bit on the early side. This is just too lovely for words. They are all plotting downstairs and have forbidden me to emerge until they give me the all-clear. I know there is food -- I can smell it. There may be flowers (a request for help in locating vases), and maybe even balloons. I suspect a cake and some presents may even be in the works! WOW! I am looking forward to having just an amazingly fun time!!!

Problems & answers

"The answer to life's problems aren't at the bottom of a beer bottle, they're on TV." Homer Simpson.

As I am neither a drinker of beer nor a viewer of excessive television, I think I've missed out on many of the answers to life's problems. *grin* Or at least the answers to Homer Simpson's life's problems, of which he has many. My own answers, I find, tend to be inside me somewhere. It's a matter of listening to the right thoughts bouncing around in my head ... or finding a way to be still enough that I can simply sort out everything fairly clearly. When I think about what my life's problems are, there really aren't a lot of them. Let me consider them:
Problem #1: A friend/acquaintance appears to have completely forgotten about me, and then wants to resume our friendship.
Answer #1: Tell her how hurtful her behaviors are, and see where things go from there.
Problem #2: Bills need to be paid.
Answer #2: Pay them.
Problem #3: ... I was going to say that my plants need to be put into the ground, but
Answer #3: my sweet friend-neighbor is solving that problem FOR me!
Problem #4: Laundry needs to be retrieved from the dryer & folded.
Answer #4: Go fold it!
It seems pretty straight forward to me. Every problem has a fairly simple solution. I may not like the answer, but an answer is almost always forthcoming!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Damned close to perfect

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one"

-----Jill Churchill

I have to say, my mom is about as close to a perfect mother as I could ask for. Granted, she's wired differently from me, so emotionally sometimes she just can't "get" me -- but she makes up for that in a myriad of ways. Everyone who meets her is just amazed at how great a mom she is. She's just a very thoughtful & balanced human being. With her, there is no sense of obligation or guilt. Her self-esteem is intact -- she can delight in my accomplishments, and it doesn't take anything away from hers. I love my mom.

Happy Campers

Be pleasant until ten o'clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.
~Elbert Hubbard

Ever notice how "bad days" tend to be rotten right from the start? I rarely have a day that starts out wonderful and ends up bad. I also know that I try to spend the time before 10 am, preparing myself to handle the world, expending energy to center myself, to connect with the important elements in life ... and then I launch myself out. When I try to abbreviate this process, like rolling out of bed, jamming contacts into my eyes, and going to a cardio class, I am a very unhappy camper!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lazy & Fluffified

"You can't teach people to be lazy - either they have it or they don't"
-----Dagwood Bumstead

Right now, I have this covered. I almost never "have it" in terms of being lazy, but right after a massage .... I've got it. Today is coming together seamlessly. I think I've accidentally absorbed all the good kharma from my sweetie & my best friend, who are grousing through their days.

I had a fun time shopping at Whole Foods, then came home & put some plants in the ground, got tired of that, went to lunch with a friend at the Morton Arboretum and walked around a bit, then came home & my neighbor-friend has given me a birthday gift: the offer to plant my remaining 6 plants. Just PERFECT! Then, I retrieved my messages & my gift certificate for teaching a scrapbook class last November came through, for a massage. So, I seized the moment & went to get the massage right away. I am all fluffified and lazy now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


Home is not where you live but where they understand you. ~Christian Morgenstern

I think this may be why I feel "home" at so many places! There are at least 5 places I can think of where I'd say I feel "at home." Some of it is the people I'm surrounded by, and some of it is a sense of belonging from the surroundings, the landscape. It is so all-encompassing that when I have to leave, I often cry!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Flashbacks on music

A Fancy Word for Simple asked us to think about what music we "flashback" to for high school and/or college. So, here's the different responses between my sweetheart and myself!


You have to take time to live. Living takes time. -Eleanor McMillen Brown

Living takes our whole lives. But I know lots of people who are just surviving, not even really "living." Myself, I prefer to THRIVE. You know, the whole growing thing -- the idea of me, being planted in the ideal environment. Sun-loving plants belong in sunny locations ... shade-loving plants don't. My environment, which is under my own control, is pretty close to ideal for me. So, as a result, I thrive! I wish more people had that experience in life. It really does have a profound effect on my outlook, my options, and my overall happiness!


"We usually get what we anticipate. . . . "
-----Claude M. Bristol

Or, maybe not.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Goal oriented

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. - Dale Carnegie

I have a bizarre way of achieving goals for myself. I start out with a ridiculous long list, and I tell myself that I don't expect to do all of those things -- that I don't have enough time or energy -- and that it's just fine if I don't get to them all. Then, I have this sudden burst, as though the gauntlet has been thrown down & I have been challenged to do EVERY THING on that list. Some days, I give in to the frenzy, others, I remind myself that it's not about getting everything done. There are plenty of life moments that were never on any list of mine, and I wouldn't trade them, not for a guaranteed list of completed tasks for every day of my life.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A 3 year old's solution to monsters

This just makes me smile. On so many levels.

Laugh as much as you breathe and and love as long as you live.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Neverending story

"Strangers are exciting, their mystery never ends."
-----Ani DiFranco

I am always fascinated to find out new things about people, whether they are complete strangers or friends I've known for ages. We are all beings of mystery -- so many levels, so many passions. Every day is a new chapter in our story, and we select who gets to have a role. For those of you who are part of my story, just know that I count myself lucky to have such a wide array of boon companions and steadfast buddies!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Adults vs. Children

From Socrates: "Children nowadays are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food and tyrannise their teachers."

From the Grumpy Old Man: click here.

From me: It is only because as adults, our imagination shrinks & our tolerance fades that we fail to take delight in the small things that children use to fuel themselves every blessed day they walk the earth.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


I got my first challenge done for National Scrapbooking Month! *smile* [edit: you can click here if you want to see it!]

"Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think."
-----Chinese Proverb

So, I am enjoying myself this evening in many ways -- completing a page about our Lord of the Rings Movie Marathon in January (I'll post that tomorrow), reading the 3rd book in the Dresden Files series, browsing for books, and leafing through a catalog to see if I can find some shade loving plants. It's just wonderful to amble through the evening!