Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last Day of the Year


The weather is suppose to go from the 60's down into the 40's....more winter-like. I am waiting with baited breath because I just know winter is going to hit with a killer come January or February. The rest of the country has been hit, so I can't believe we will be spared. Texter is wanting snow, I'm not.


Fixed my 2nd "new" dish a couple of nights ago......once again I didn't take pictures. In fact, I am looking for the cord to download some pictures right now. It was Lemongrass Beef Skewers from Martha Stewart's magazine. Did not add the peanuts at the end, but served it with rice, fresh pineapple and the lettuce leaves.

Once again, a mixed response. Texter liked it. OD did not. It was ok, but I was pleased I had used lemongrass and fish sauce, neither of which I had cooked with before. OD did give me thumbs up for the presentation. It did look nice. Will I fix again, probably not. But it was easy to fix. Maybe if I did have a grill rather than having to cook them under the broiler it might change my mind a little.

Since I consider the "new year" starting after Christmas, I have now fixed 2 new meals in the new year. Have a 3rd one planned.

Better get dressed as I need to walk over to the library and pick up some books I had reserved and take some back. And then need to come home and get the Christmas decorations down and put away and start working on my quilts.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

18 Years Ago Today....









I was in the hospital, nursing this being. She was much, much smaller then, but not any less cute. Well, actually, she was awfully wrinkly and not really all that cute to be honest. But they told me I had to take her home. Since they had given me happy drugs, I agreed.




When I knew I was going to have a baby I did not ask if it was going to be a boy or a girl. I KNEW it was going to be a boy....Matthew Randolph would be his name. We called the growing baby "Wilbur", like on Mr. Ed before she was born. And then we realized we needed a girl's name.




I had just finished teaching a class at work and there was a girl named "Tennessee" which I thought was wonderful (I am from Tennessee) and she thought it sucked. So I suggested "Carolina"...as IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. Her father, being a huge UNC fan, quickly agreed.







And so she grew....ok, we will not mention she just bought herself a set of 3 sippy cups. Yes, they had "Belle" on them, but really!







And as she grew she discovered reading and all the joys it can bring....like excuses not to clean your room. She started out with fantasy and horror and then, unknown to her mother, starting reading her mother's romances. Alas, men in kilts are no longer safe. As are men with really long white blonde hair.




Besides reading, she enjoys writing. Usually about herself and the things going on in her life. And drawing. She has made several self portraits throughout her life.




And this......












And more recently, this.....















And she has always been a good student.......










playing well with others.

She is not afraid of dressing up and in fact, loves to put on different costumes......






and play dress up and do her hair differently.....











She then discovered boys. First, she tried making her own "man", but her efforts were short lived.
















Now my baby is growing/grown up. She is in control of her future and has a bearing about her which few can match.










But hopefully, despite being "grown up" and an "adult", my wish for her is that throughout her life she never forgets to be a kid....................










Happy 18th birthday......Love, Mom













Saturday, December 27, 2008

Long Time and Starting to Catch Up



No, this is not exactly what mine looked like, but I did make the meal last night. Decided to try and have at least 1 "new" meal a week, to introduce something different rather than the same old meals.

So, while waiting to get my hair cut, OD and I saw this recipe in Real Simple magazine; Lemon Chicken with Olives. And since we were going to the grocery store right afterwards, picked up the ingredients for the chicken. Mine was served with a green salad, white rice and mango slices.

Verdict. The chicken was......ok. I am not a fan of olives anyway, but willing to give it a try. The taste was a little "different". I think it was the olives. OD liked it, but we both agreed it was not going to be a repeat. Texter ate a small piece and opted for a PBJ sandwich.

The hit, and a surprise for me, the mango. OD had asked for it at the grocery store, which was an eye-opener since I did not know she liked mango. Texter eyed it on her plate and then wanted more. So now I have another fruit I can get them to eat. I know it does not fit in the "eating local", but hey, get them to eat fruit willingly it great. Besides, what local fruits are there in North Carolina at the end of December? Come spring/summer with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, etc, etc and I'll do local then.

So as I write this, I am eating my breakfast of a bowl full of Great Grains cereal. So I can take my vitamins. Now, hand me my coffee.....loaded with sugar and milk....2%.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ok....another few weeks have passed....books been reading

I can't believe time is passing so fast. Where is time going?

Anyway, one of the things I have been doing is a lot of reading. Some of my picks are....






Of course, first of the list is Laurell K. Hamilton's continuing Merry Gentry series. I love her books!



Unfortunately, I have to wait until next year to next the next installment in the Anita Blake series.



Warning....unless you are into hot fae (and not your Tinkerbell type) and hot sex, stay away from these books.

Next, I did stray from the hot hunks and read Moon Shell Beach by Nancy Thayer.






A great book about friends in youth finding each other again as they get older. Good story, enjoyable. Did want to move to New England, which is a real stretch for this Southern girl.






Then I read a series of books which had a knitting/quilting theme to them. I like them because I had a jumping off place where I had something in common with the main characters because of their knitting and quilting.




A Single Thread is also set in New England. A transplanted Texas opening a quilt store after a divorce and how what happens to her affects the local matriarch. Worked really well reading this book with all the quilting I have been doing lately.







Warning...both A Single Thread and the next book do have cancer as one of the story lines. But well done and works with the story.


The Knitting Circle is about a woman who loses a child and takes up knitting to help with her loss, bullied into it by her mother. It is her ups and downs and the other women who are in the knitting group she is a part of. Realistic in that taking up knitting does not immediately solve her problems, but Ann Hood describes the things you gain from a "group" such as this, the bonding which takes place over the common ground of yarn.
















Finally, a "mistake" in requesting a book from the library yielded a surprise find. I thought I had requested Kathy Reich's Devil Bones and instead I got Jefferson Bass' The Devil's Bones.

Now I have a new author I have to go back and read his other books. Set in Knoxville (I'm originally from the other side of the state), very interesting, some humor laced in, and lots of good "bones".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

WHERE DID A MONTH GO!!!!!

Ok, I know it hasn't been a month since I last posted, but blogger doesn't lie. Wish I could say I have been busy doing exciting things, but I won't lie to you.

Working, working, doing some writing, some quilting, some cross stitch, a little of this and a little of that.

I did eat spaghetti squash! Yes, Mom, I ATE SQUASH! It was ok. Won't say I'll have it often, but I didn't gag (like when I was younger).

Made a variation of Tuscan White Beans from a Martha Stewart recipe. Good, good, good in the cooling weather. Also, making my 2nd batch in about 2 weeks of chicken and dumplings.

So off to go supervise "chores" and play World of Warcraft until the chore doers are done and I have to give up a computer. Speaking of which I "killed" the desktop computer and had to have it scrubbed clean. OD doesn't hate me too much as I got it fixed in 24 hours and now none of my stuff is on it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I'm Loved!!!!!





Robin, at Alchemy Studio, loves my blog! Much to my daughters' relief. They thought they were the only ones who checked on mom's blog.


Thanks, Robin. Before I go into the 7 I nominate (and it's hard to narrow it down to 7) I would like to thank those who do wander over here and take a minute in my world. Those of us who blog do so for a couple of reasons I think. One, is it is a forum to express ourselves verbally and visually. Second, it is a chance to reach out to others with our same interests who might not be near us physically. Believe me, when I talk about most of my craft interests and art doings at work, eyes glaze over.


So my seven are:


Cynthia at Shiny Little Things


AmandaJean at Crazy Mom Quilts


Maralena at MCDC3S (have to go there to find out what it stands for)


Andrew at Urban Paper Arts (or &rew)


Berlin's Whimsy


Pomegranates and Paper


and of course......


Patricia at From the Inside Out (among others)



Rules of being tapped for this award.....


1.The winner can put the logo on their blog


2. Link the person from whom you received your


. Nominate at least 7 other blogs


4. Link those blogs to yours


5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you nominated.

Thanks again Robin. My daughters thank you too!


Art and Pens and Pencils







Texter has inherited her mother's gene which responses to pens and pencils. If you have a Sharpie, it's history. So, during the move, it was no surprise I came up with all of this.....





Two tubs of pens and pencils. Now there have been 2 more smaller bins added and this does not cover the 2 huge ziplock bags of pens/pencils in the closet.



Texter (and OD) has been a "doodler" and "drawer" all her life, so the artistic ability has been passed on. She has even drawn up my next tattoo if I can get up the nerve to get over the pain of having it done. I did promise when I had it done I would let her go with me.



But Texter does exhibit a lot of her work.....like this.....







She has promised not to do "all" her jeans this way...the mother in me does require at least 1 pair of "undecorated" jeans.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Good Read!


I saw this book recommended on another blog (sorry I can't remember which one...bad me!) and checked it out of the library.


This is a book to be savored like a fine wine or box of good chocolates and not gulped down. I have been spacing it out over lunches and breaks so I have several moments of laughing to myself and reinforcing my co-workers belief I am really nuts.




Now even if you don't care much about bird watching, read the book anyway. The first 3 lines of the book sets the mood....


"I grew up in England, a small country near Ireland where we all love the queen and the sun don't shine. Because of the lousy weather and the unfair distribution of wealth, the place is filled with sad people with not much going for them. My homeland has a strong tradition, however, of inventing safe pursuits for all the losers."


Read it....it's great fun.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Finished


This is the Lacy Kerchief Scarf out of the Holiday Gifts issue of Interweave Press from a couple of years ago. This is another one of those projects I started and just couldn't quite "get it" and had put it up for a long, long time.


With the move I dragged it out, frogged the entire thing (think I was almost finished) and restarted the scarf again. This time it "took" and I zipped right through it except for a brief posting on Ravelry to be sure I was reading the directions correctly. There is an eyelet created as you increase the center section which is suppose to be everything 6th row (out of 8). I put an eyelet every 4th row. Made it easier for my brain to get around.

Anyway, it's done except for a little blocking and weaving in a few ends. However, looking at the scarves I have draped around my bookcase post (anything can be turned into a scarf holder) I have 3 green scarves already. Can you tell I like green!

So I will go back to a shawl I have started (not green!) and will see about doing more needlework. It is really hard for me to get back into the needlework. Knitting is so simple, only 1 skein, couple of needles, pattern and off we go. Easy to get back into. The needlework requires more "stuff".

The fourth green scarf? It's going on a journey to Texas as a belated birthday present.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Morning Coffee


I am pulling from blogger extraordinaire Patricia Mosca and instead of Saturday coffee, I am having Sunday coffee.


This is the first weekend day I have to myself, no plans, and will be my only day off until Tuesday a week from now. At this point in my life money is an extreme necessity, so am working long hours.


But I do have things to be thankful for which instead of feeling like my life is "terrible", "awful", goes bring some grace and laughs into it despite the NEEDS that have to be accomplished.


1. Because I have so many things which need to be fixed (teeth, car, etc) and a need to work long hours, some of my fellow co-workers are in the same fix and we have a challenge going on. For the next two weeks, the person who works the most hours will get a trip to Starbucks for a coffee. With the fun of cheering each other on, it's not as bad as it could be if we felt like we were suffering alone.


2. I was asked to help someone make a photo quilt for their mother's birthday. This person is in her 20's and not a "crafty" or "sewy" type person, so it is fun to tell her what she needs to do. It inspires me to get stuff going of my own.


3. There is very little housework to be done today, just a couple loads of laundry. So the day is mine. Texter won't be home until later (spending the night with a friend) and OD is going to work herself, so I will have the house to myself...and the dog....and the cats.


4. My BFF is ok. Thought there was some heart problems, but turned out to be "normal", so she is ok.


5. I have more and more writing being done and more ideas coming along.


6. Almost done with the item I am knitting for my mom's birthday (which is tomorrow by the way).


So despite the fact the blue heron probably won't visit my pond this morning as the water is really up from the rain last night, I plan on having a lovely, restful day....after all tomorrow starts a long 8 days straight at work and with Gustav coming along......better go pour some more coffee.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things to do when your back is out......

I did "something" to my back and while it is slowly getting better (really don't have a choice), did take one day to be at home on muscle relaxers and heating pad. These are some of the things you can do from the couch.





1. Knit on a pretty simple pattern. But only for a short time.





2. Update Goodreads and LibraryThing. I just realized they give away copies of books too. I have updated with most of my books I have read recently. There is a stack of paperbacks which I have not listed, mainly because I have gotten lazy and distracted.





3. Add codes for Coke rewards. I "dumpster dive" at work and get other people's Coke caps. I don't drink that much coke....sweet tea here. I got enough to get a years free subscription to "O" magazine. Texter is eyeing my points this time around. She helps me enter codes at times.





4. Watch taped shows I have on DVR. Prime time on the east coast is 9pm. That is also bedtime at my house, so I DVR most of my shows and then watch them the next day when I get home from work. Also watching Season 2 of Dexter on Showtime a friend recommended. Have caught up on Season 2 of The Tudors already. Weeds is next.





Sunday, August 24, 2008

Books, books and more books



I have been on a real reading binge lately. With the pending move, I put reading on the back burner so I am catching up on my reading.



Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron has been one of my "big" reads. I love all her books and this one ties in a main character through all her Dark Hunter books.



Christine Feehan's Turbulent Sea is another in a series I keep up with. I can't wait until September for a book in her Carpathian series to come out.



Can you guess I really like fang and fur and witches?



Anne Bishop's Tangled Webs is another in a series I enjoy. This is also has witches and mages and sex and .... or did I mention the "S" word? Shame on me!



But to prove I am not all other worldly, I am behind a couple of books in the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series, just finishing up Lean Mean Thirteen. I now have to get number 14 in the series. If you want a laugh, read these books. Funny and some sex....can't beat it.

Despite my fondness for fur and fang, I do branch out quite often. Just finished The September Society by Charles Finch. This book goes back to the "old" style of Gothic and Victorian romances, a real departure from the "modern" mystery. A more formal style than usual, but an enjoyable read.

Another departure from my usual is Michael Ruhlman's The Reach of a Chef. I really enjoy reading stories which are day-to-day or behind the scenes of cooking and gardening.

Stephenie Meyer is a young adult fiction writer which I discovered via OD. If you haven't checked out what is going on with the younger set recently, take a gander. There is a lot of great fiction, beyond Harry Potter, geared for the younger set, but great reads for those of us with gray hair. I am at the end of book 4 of her Twilight Saga series, Breaking Dawn. If you read Laurell K Hamilton this is like her series, but for a much younger set....fang and fur and very little sex. Good read. Ms. Meyer has also written an "adult" book, The Host, which I have requested from the library.

In case you are wondering, the library is my best friend. I can surf and find books, request them from the library and they are there by magic. There are a few authors I do buy their books to hold and reread.

Four other books on my bedside table are The Silver Needle Murder, by Laura Childs; Zine Scene by Block and Carlip; No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong and Debbie Macomber's Twenty Wishes.




Friday, August 22, 2008

Fowl Update and Turtle Story


There are other "things" in the water besides mallard ducks. One end of the lake is further away from the parking area and has been left fairly natural. This guy caught minnow after minnow while we were watching him across the water. I should be so successful fishing.



From clear across the lake, in a little cove, was the blue heron which visits the little pond under my balcony. It's nice to know he "lives" here when not visiting me.


Part of the Waterfowl Flotilla which can hear the rattle of a bread bag clear across the lake. The little ones have already learned to race across the water.

One of the pair of swans which live here. They are really impressive in size, especially compared to the "regular" ducks.




I never knew there was this pair at the lake until this last walk. We have named them "Ying and Yang". One solid black and one solid white, they are definitely a pair, swimming everywhere together.



The swans look like battleships among little tug boats.

And there are also geese, Canadian ones. It is interesting the ducks and the swans will swim together, but the geese keep totally away from them. Of course, swans, geese and ducks are way too noisy for the herons and cranes.



These are not "fowl", but there are hundreds of these little beasties in the lake and they will come up and eat bread and chips also. While I like turtles, I have a real problem with them in lakes.


See, when I was little, my grandparents lived near a lake and we would go up there during the summer and spend a couple of weeks, minimum. The cabin didn't have a really efficient bathroom system, so it was a daily ritual to load up, go to the lake with our bar of soap and play in the water and take a bath.
Since the bottom of the lake was really rocky, we had to wear old tennis shoes to protect our feet. But there were tons and tons of turtles in this huge, huge lake. There were parts of the lake were they would run trot lines and catch turtles which were 2 feet across and ugly and scary (mud turtles).

I was told when I was little, if a snapping turtle bit you it would (1) not let go until the sun went down or (2) not let go until it thundered. When you are 4-5 years old, it doesn't take much to put it together it could be several days before it thundered when the sun went down, so I have visions of walking around with this turtle attached to my toe. I don't like swimming in anything I can't see what's in there with me. A turtle might get me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Walk in the Park


This is the front entrance to the unit I now live in. Although it is pretty enclosed as you walk in, they do have tons of lighting. It is a nice walkway to come home to.

Anyway, last week Arizona Boy was here for about a week. OD and Arizona Boy have been long distance "dating" for about 3 years now. She went out there and stayed with his family during spring break, so he came out here and stayed during summer break. Thank goodness for the passes I have as an airline employee and that they are young enough and "in love" enough to not mind being at the airport all day.

One day while I was off (Texter makes a great chaperon while I am working! Nothing like the little sister to keep everything on the up and up.) we decided to go for a walk around the lake behind us. OD and Arizona Boy loaded up on old bread and chips and off we went.

It was a lovely morning and off we went to feed the ducks, swans, geese and turtles. I have walked around the lake many times, but it was the first time I had taken one of the paths that lead down to the water on one side rather than walk on the paved pathway. I discovered there are 2 or 3 benches in the trees which will make a nice meditation, writing, or reading retreat.

They have also been adding some picnic tables at points around the lake rather than just in the "play" areas further away.

These are some of the mallards which abound at the lake.



These are the ones which would rather sleep than eat. I which I could stand on one leg on a rock and sleep. I wish I could just stand on one leg for any length of time.




OD and Arizona Boy dispense bread and chips to the "starving" ducks.


The walk around the park is 2.5 miles so it was a pleasant stroll, stopping to commune with nature...greedy little webbed footed things.



Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tying up loose ends so to speak.....

One of the benefits of the move was I got rid of a lot of unnecessary items. One of the downfalls of the move is I saw how many partially completed projects I had. Let me set the stage a little better.




At one time I did needlework 24/7. Primarily cross stitch, I not only stitched for myself but for a local needlework store. I could thread a needle and stitch by candlelight on 40 count linen (well, not by candlelight exactly!). Then I got bored. I had a box of items to be framed (still do) and wanted something more practical. So I switched over to knitting (and when equally rabid).

But with the move I have vowed (silently, to myself) I would go back and finish up some of these pieces, since I was getting a little tired of knitting. I reached in an grabbed the first one I came across and this is it.



It's about 1/3 done and I love the poem on the piece. It's about weaving a tapestry of your life and what it will look like when all is said and done. So I have dragged it out and am almost (notice the almost) ashamed to say I started this when the pattern was first published in 1994. So for 14 years it has been in my stash and I will get it out by the end of the year...maybe.

Did I mention I had opened by big mouth and had gotten "volunteered" to do costumes for the first thing our local community theater is doing? Luckily it is a simple production which will only be one night and most of the characters are hobos! We will see how that goes.

And on the writing front, I have been doing more writing. Hopefully, I will get some transcribed (yes, I handwrite most of my stuff and have a future posting on handwriting vs typing) and posted. But I have found out there is a local writer's group. It meets in a couple of weeks. I can't wait.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

New Apartment

It's been a month now and I think I am fairly unpacked and organized....ha, ha, ha. Anyway, this is the view from my new balcony. There is a 2.5 mile walk around a small lake on the other side of these trees. Or rather among these trees. In other words, I won't be looking out at any other apartments, houses, stores, parking lots, etc. Only trees. And I can't see or hear the people walking around the lake.

This is about the most of the apartments I can see. Now from my bedroom window, if I open the blinds I can see the edge of my neighbor's balcony and more of the apartments.

But to spare my neighbor's the horror of it all, my blinds are generally kept closed. Now when the weather cools off, they will probably be open a little more, but still, someone would really have to be looking to really see anything.

There is a small fountain in the little pond here (this isn't the lake people walk around by the way), so when I open my windows or am out on the balcony I get to hear some delightful water noise. So calming and peaceful.

I did spare you the picture of the "poohage" which runs beside the apartments. There is a gas line (underground) and electrical lines (those big ones) going down beside us. Once again, there won't be any shops, houses, etc. right beside the apartments. But this created an area about the size of 2 football fields the apartment complex keeps mowed, has a poohage disposal can (with baggies), so I can just exit the unit and it's right there. Very nice.

We also have 2 pools, with the smaller one being near me and 2 workout rooms. I have fallen in love with treadmills. Treadmill, TV, air conditioning... this all works well.

Even Noel is pleased with the move. Since we've moved she has learned to sit nicely while we put the leash on and not to pull quite as bad. The cats are ok with the move also it seems.

Well, need to get back to unpack or organizing "stuff" and to refill the coffee mug.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Moved in...no camera

Ok, so no pictures....yet. Got all moved in and basically unpacked. Or at least the living area is unpacked. There are still boxes of books and craft "stuff" in my room to unpack. And we will not go into OD's room status. But since boyfriend will be coming for a visit in about 10 days, she has something more than "do your room" from mom to get her going.

Love the apartment. I really have to look to see another apartment from my balcony. This morning I walked out onto the balcony and looked at the little pond below and there was this huge blue heron. Way can't we locate the cameras! Hopefully, he/she will be a regular here.

My goal this afternoon, after I drop OD off at work and Texter back at her dad's is to come home and get the rest of the boxes unpacked in my room. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I Created a Monster...or Rather an Artist!

I have been journaling for decades now (how sad/wonderful when you realize those years are actually decades). I have always had a sense of lust for paper and pens and diaries. Hand me a diamond from Tiffany's and I'll thank you nicely. Hand me a fountain pen or a journal with a leather cover and nice paper and I'll shower you with affection.

Anyway, my journaling has gone from a strictly written entry only, to art journaling, to a hodgepodge of whatever takes my fancy.

And I have never hidden my journaling. I journal at home in the privacy of my bedroom, at work between calls, in public at the bookstore, waiting for appointments, whenever and wherever I fancy. As a tribute to my boring life, no one has ever read my journal without my knowledge. And those who read it with my knowledge, were less than impressed I'm sure.

I talked openly to my BF about my journaling and as I got more and more into art journaling or decorated journaling and altered books, she got more and more interested. Hence, the monster was created.

BF has collected quotes for the past XX years I've known her. And with the internet and surfing, she has collected a lot of interesting images. From these quotes and images she has put together several altered books on various themes. her latest is "The Faces of Christ". She puts her work down, saying she isn't really doing altered books, (I am working getting her to "own" her art) saying all she does is cut and paste, there is not real art involved. I disagree.

First off and primarily, it fills a need in her. Like for most, if not all, of us, the act itself is therapeutic. We relax, rejuvenate, heal, purge, overcome, celebrate through whatever form our journaling or art takes.

She is creating something. Granted she is not creating the images or quotes themselves, but she is putting them together from totally different sources and combing them in a new form, ie, creating.

She has made "books" for some close friends (like me) and many for herself on various topics, but they are all very personal. What amazes me is how she can tell you not only why an image resonates with her, but also who the artist was/is who created the painting or other form of art whose image she used. The collage above was created from pictures of some of her different books.

There is also a thought process behind what she does, not just cut and clap like I do. She deliberately plans out where certain pictures go in relation to each other. Her remembrance of quotes is encyclopedic. She can pull appropriate message to go with the image or idea she is trying to convey out of the air.

So now when her hand tremors get too bad to cross stitch (and she is an award winning stitcher) she galls back on her books. When she has an idea or thought she cuts and pasts.

SHE IS AN ARTIST!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I'm so pretty....

Ok, I have heard a lot of different stories in my almost 29 years in the airline industry, most of which has been on the phones in reservations. I have been asked about discounts for prisoners being released from prison. Queried as to why they can't put their 6 week old baby alone on the flight to grandma's house, after all it will sleep the whole way. But today has made me laugh and smile and given me a new excuse to use in life.

A gentleman, who is an extremely frequent flier, called in about his wife's travel a few days ago. Seemed she was going to the Caribbean ahead of the rest of the family and had 2 suitcases, one of which was overweight and was standing at the ticket counter, moving items around, adjusting weight, so she would not have to pay overweight charges. Happens all the time. However, during this adjustment, the ticket counter agent remarked about the large amount of suntan lotion she seemed to have in her suitcases. "Well, after all, she was taking enough for the whole family!"

When she gets to security, she was apparently "targeted" for extra screening and had to be pulled aside and patted down. I apologized if this was inconvenient, however, their job is the safety of the entire plane and if there was something that triggered doubt, that was her job.

Wwwwweeellllllll.....it seems his wife has this problem EVERY time she travels and it is always after she has dealt with female agents.....after all "she is too pretty".

Ok, folks, give me points for not laughing out loud over the phone. No giggles, snorts, twitters emerged until he was off the phone. At which point I lost it.

Now I know why the grocery store clerk bagged my eggs with my canned goods, that guy cut me off in traffic, and the item I wanted was sold out.....I'm too pretty! I am laughed about this all day. If you start saying it as the reason for things happening, you can't help but lighten your day. So now, when you get your hair done and it rains....you're too pretty. That dress doesn't fit anymore....you're too pretty. No longer can someone just having too much going on it their lives be an excuse for bad tempers, after all...you're too pretty.

So everyone...repeat after me....I'M TOO PRETTY! and see if your day doesn't go better.

(extra points are given if you say it with a straight face, no giggles and a toss of your hair or pouty lips)

Walking with a Purpose


I have been slack this month about walking. Between getting ready to move and the heat and humidity, both being in the 90's, my mileage has dropped dramatically. But once moved, that is going to change. I am right next door to a 2.5 mile paved walk around a small lake. No excuses then!


Two weeks ago, while on vacation and taking care of numerous little odd jobs, I managed to read up on some of the blogs I follow. &rew of Urban Paper Arts (who is fantastic by the way) is one of them. Reading one of his posts on taking a walk and photographing flowers inspired me to take a walk myself. Of course, I get this wild hair at 11am when it is already 90 degrees and 80% humidity, with the dog and my camera.


First off, it was nice to walk without poohing and peeing being the primary focus. Although it was midday and the light was actually too bright, I did take some interesting plant pictures (at least to me they are interesting). I looked at the pictures and realized I had focused on the "private parts" of the flowers.


However, after about 30 minutes, both the dog and I were dripping in sweat and headed back to the house. My next walk with a purpose will be for windows and doors I think. I have seen several postings of people on vacation and the windows and doors they saw on their trip.


One thing I did take a picture of is a fashion "don't" ..... plastic daffodils in front of this wonderful faux Victorian house. They have them all down the fence in front and red plastic geraniums in baskets by the front door. One day, at 430am, they just might disappear. I do know pooh when I see it!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Railroads and Rites of Passage

About 3 blocks from my soon-to-be-old house are the railroad tracks which cut through the center of town. If I take the dog out in the evenings I sometimes walk up that way and follow the tracks for a couple of blocks.
As part of my "walking with a purpose" I noticed a couple of the box cars recently had graffiti on them. with the heat of the summer you can smell the creosote from the cross ties and it took me back more than 4 decades to summers I would spend on the railroad - literally.
A brief family history...I should be working for the railroads rather than the airlines. My paternal grandfather was a conductor for IC (Illinois Central). His house was a block from the tracks in the town where he lived and we would stand on the sidewalk and count cars as the trains went by.
Then on my mother's side, her grandfather and uncle were both engineers for IC. Her mother and stepfather worked for GM&O (Gulf, Mobile and Ohio). My step-grandfather ran a crew which painted and repaired trestles in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama - in the back beyond. My grandmother was his cook for the crew.
Because they worked in rural areas for the most part, the railroad made them "camp cars" they pulled to where they were working and leave them on the siding. The camp cars were actually converted box cars made into living quarters. My grandparents had one car. Theirs had a small bathroom, double bed, small storage area and living/office space. then there was a dining car which had a kitchen area and a long dining table with benches. Besides a car to hold the work supplies, there was also a car for the men to sleep in.
This is where I learned to cook when I was only about 7-9 years old. I learned to cook for 12-24 at a time. My grandmother would fix a couple of different meats, 4-5 veggies (all fresh in season), rolls and/or cornbread and desserts. My "job" was to make the desserts and the Eagle Brand Lemon Meringue Pie was the first pie I can remember learning to make. I have to fix at least 1 every summer, if I can stop myself from eating the Eagle Brand milk right out of the can.
But one of those rites of passage we all go through in our lifes involved those camp cars.
There were doors, like regular house doors, on the sides of the cars where normally there would be the huge, sliding doors. And the steps hung from the car itself and for clearance purposes the steps where set up really high, even if you were a kid who was tall for her age. But at the end of each car was another door. I had to open one door, step onto the coupling (the thing which joins the cars), close that door and lean over and open the other door and step in. I knew I was grown up when I could open 1 door, lean over, open the other door and just make one step on the coupling to step over into the other car.
To this day it's harder for me to cook for 2 people rather than 20.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

When all else fails....

blame it on the dog.

My arms and neck are covered in hundreds of little, red, itchy dots. They came up Friday night, after I pet the dog on the couch. I am the only one affected in the family. I am blaming the dog. Texter took her for a walk and the dog charged through foliage of different types and I think whatever rubbed off on her, rubbed off on me.

Now there is only so much benedryl I can take and still work, pack, etc. So after taking OD to work this morning, I am going to run by the Doc in the Box and see if they can give me something for it. And stop and get cammimile lotion. And did I mention it's on my lower lip. I don't carry off the "pouty" look very well.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Tour de France


Today is the day.....Tour de France starts! My men in spandex for almost a month. A daily buffet of buff butts....I mean, great cycling!

I have NO idea why I have gotten so caught up with this sport, but about 5 years ago now I happened across it on TV and have been taken with it ever since. July finds me in front of the TV with all the dedication of the most rabid football or baseball fan.

This year, 2 American teams (a rarity for Americans to be there to begin with) High Road, with my man, George Hincappie, and Garmin-Chipotle (sounds like a Bobby Flay spice rub!)

There are no clear riders to root for this year, but just like I always bet on the gray horse in horse racing, I am rooting for George Hincappie and High Road to do well.

And don't forget some of the most beautiful country in the world they ride through. French countryside is lovely and if you watch the nightly show with Bob Roll on it, you can laugh away.

So it's July, my daughter's are shaking their heads and hiding at mom's little quirk.

PEDAL ON!