Friday, April 29, 2011

Stuff love

I've recently been surrounded by complaints, laments, praises, frustrations and the like regarding aging and ailing parents.  I'm a baby boomer and I've shared about the loss of my mother-in-law last month.  My parents are both alive and well, but aging and all that comes with aging.  And, a co-worker is sitting vigil for her mother this week.  There is no getting around it, this is tough stuff.  Our parents are children of the depression era.  I don't know if this is true for any of my readers out there, but I find these folks like their stuff.  I mean a lot of stuff.  And, they like their stuff.  And, they DON'T like you messing around with their stuff.  So, let me tell you a couple stories.

I'll begin with my parents and let me tell you, I love them.  I LOVE my parents, but I HATE their stuff.  Recently I posted about the strangely inflated price of silver.  Well, since I grew up with my parents I knew my dad had collected coins.  Lots of coins.  I usually don't talk to my dad about his stuff, because it's HIS stuff and he likes his stuff and he knows I DON'T.  Anyway, I called him and said, "Hey dad, silver is selling for an unusually high price these days and DH and I are selling some of our silver on eBay and getting some really good money for it.  Do you still have the coins you collected when we were kids?"  No answer.  He didn't want to talk about it.  He told me he didn't know and really wasn't interested in checking.  Hmmm.?.  To make a long story short (and I really have to do this because this is kind of a long story and I really am not a strong writer.  I like using fewer words than more, etc. etc.)  After three days of calling him in the morning and evening of each day and bringing the conversation back around to his coins EVERY SINGLE TIME, oh yeah, and I even had my DH speak to him at least once, but I think it may have been twice.  *sigh*

I really am like a dog beautiful princess with a bone.

He consented to look in his safe.  Finally.  Now, this was no easy task.  Evidently he had not opened this safe in over 20 years.  So, there was a lot of crap stuff piled in front of the safe.  I am grateful for his willingness, albeit nagged out of him by yours truly, to go through some of his stuff while he is still alive and able to do it.  He has agreed to let us sell the collection.  I am so happy.  I'm hoping he can make enough money to afford to have new carpet put in the first floor of their house.  I know my mom would really LOVE that.  We will see and fingers crossed.

Now, you have to TRUST me.  This is the Readers Digest condensed version.  Seriously, this was a TOUGH process.

Now, let me tell you about my mother-in-law.  This was a woman who knew how to let go of stuff.  She was organized and prepared and showed so much love for her children by paring down her stuff.  My mother-in-law, sweetly and lovingly was preparing for her death.  When her children went to her apartment they found a to-do list on her dresser with what needed to be done after she passed.  There were a few items crossed off.  I think she may have lived a little longer than she expected and was able to start working on the list.  I think this is precious.  Now, I have to give some credit for her culling process to Mother Nature.  She had recently gone through hurricane Wilma.  It made her previous apartment unlivable and she had to move.  I believe some major separation of mother-in-law and stuff happened at that time.

To make a long (and still very sad) story short, my DH and his sisters were able to empty their mom's apartment in two days.  Two Days.  This was such a blessing.  It is a very hard thing to go through a loved one's possessions and not become emotional over and over again.  It is very hard to toss, donate, sell possessions that seem to have been dear to your loved one.  I think the less there is to do, in this regard, the better.  The truth is, in fact, one man's treasure is another man's trash (yes, I know you usually hear it visa versa, but in this instance the reverse is truer).

As to my co-worker, she is overwhelmed with the thought of dealing with the stuff.  And, it is scaring her to death.  I know I don't want to do this to my child.  I never want my stuff to get in the way of my relationships.  But, this is just me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Loose change

Discs of metal in my pocket
Clinking together rubbing etching
My phone.  Oh, now it
Is scratched.  Hated loose change.
Damn pennies, darn dimes and nickles

Manganese, aluminum, silver,
Extravagant cost to produce for
No value.  Why the copper?
Use credit instead of this coin
Of the land, it's outdated.

Dirty, filthy in the people's hands
It's been passed from shop girl
To church plate to far away lands
Why bother.  This bother of
Currency found useless to most.

In sock drawer or locked safe
A treasure hides quiet.  'Till one
Learns a scheme, a way
To CASH IN on tender distained
By silver and gold and platinum cards

A market of metal and stock
Find value in previous mintage unloved.
Release the silver to hungry young hawk
Preying on treasure.  Sit back and enjoy
A trade made at pace slow and steady.

Enjoy the found bounty and surprising
Reward recovered in discs loved mostly
By vending machines and everything
Slotted.  'Tis joy to find change in excess
For what?  An iPhone may scratch that itch.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Random thoughts and updates

This post would have been MUCH more interesting had it been written yesterday.  I took a sick day yesterday and had plenty of time and energy to write a post, but for some strange reason my internet provider could not keep the internet capabilities up and running.  Too bad, no refunds.  This is just how it goes some days.

Update number one.  How did I do selling my silver coins on eBay?  I did GREAT!!!  It was so exciting.  My husband and I sat together at his desk.  He on his desktop PC and me on my laptop macbook.  We took turns updating each coin as it came to the end of its auction time.  There was much laughing  and "oh mys" and just great rejoicing all around.  Fun fun fun.  My husband was able to make almost a 400% return on his coins after holding them for 18 years.  I think he did well.  And, I helped.

We had a lovely Easter Sunday.  Church was beautiful.  The sermon was uplifting and hopeful.  I sat next to my doctor and I didn't even know she went to that church.  Maybe she doesn't, but she was there for Easter Sunday.  My son came to church with us even though he had stayed up the whole night before playing Portal 2.  He did it for me and I appreciated it.  My husband had to go to his office and work on his dissertation (of course) directly after the service and I made a delicious leg of lamb.  It turned out perfectly.  I made roasted root vegetables to go with it.  I wish I had pictures.  I really need to start taking pictures.

After dinner I packaged up all the coins and got them ready for mailing on Monday morning.  It was a lot of work, but so worth it.  Then I went for a lovely walk with my husband around the neighborhood and worked up quite a sweat.  I've REALLY got to get serious about regular exercise.  I'm slacking off again and it makes me think less of myself.  See how all these random thoughts are just kind of running through my head?
I had ordered a new bathing suit from Dillard's on line.  It is sitting IN THE BOX on my bedroom floor MOCKING ME.  I know I need to try it on and discover if, in fact, I have a bathing suit to wear on my vacation.  But, I HATE trying on bathing suits.  I mean, who doesn't?  Even in the privacy of my own bedroom I HATE TRYING ON BATHING SUITS.  Maybe I'll have a cocktail before I do it.

As I said earlier, I took Monday off.  I was sick *cough cough*.  I went to the MVA and got my new driver license.  I went to the base and got a new base sticker for my car.  And then I went home and took a nap.  It was a lovely day.  I rarely take a nap and usually only when I am ill.  So, I guess taking a nap on a day I call in sick (*cough cough*) is appropriate.  Then I made barbecued chicken with roasted root vegetables for the family.  It was delicious.  I REALLY need to start taking pictures.

Thanks for taking a moment to catch up with me.  I'm back at work and all is well with the world.  Oh, did I tell you tomorrow is Administrative Professionals Day?  Yeah, it is.  Also known as Secretary's Day.  Yeah, I'm a secretary.  I will get taken out to lunch at the restaurant of my choice (I choose a NICE restaurant) and I will be given a pot of petunias.  Petunias need sun to grow and flower and my house is in the midst of a thick woods (no sun).  I will say thank you and enjoy the attention.  I CAN'T WAIT.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ is Risen

He is risen indeed. 

We are enjoying an Easter of quiet and family.  I hope this holiest of days finds you well and at peace.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter is coming

It is Good Friday.  The day I remember my Lord willingly went to the cross for my sins.  It's funny, to me, how the day is always overcast in my memories.  I always remember Good Fridays as rainy or threatening rain or dark clouds.  I don't know if it is truth, but it is my memory.  Today is a cloudy day.  I sit and reflect on this Lenten season and look at where I am in the love of my Lord.  I find myself square in the middle of His love.  And it is not my doing.  None of it.  In fact, if I were to rely on myself to be loved by Jesus, He wouldn't have me.  Right now, I'm not in love with His church.  I've returned to a church I went to when we first moved to this area.  It is a lovely church.  The minister is a Godly man, preaching the Word of God with as much candor as he can and keep people coming back.  It's ok with me.  I know the Truth of the Word of God is difficult.  It is exclusive and NOT tolerant.  I know it is hard to hear and convicting.  I like that about it.  I was raised a Dutch Calvinist and I know we are considered the "hardliners" of the christian denominations.  I was taught the basic beliefs and tenants of the faith when I was a tiny child.  And, my character type is such that I am VERY HAPPY when given a set of rules to adhere to .  And, I'm a traditionalist.  So, the church has been a tough place for me lately, but I'm working on it.  Anyway, I'm glad I'm going to this church.  And, I'm glad I found a church to attend BEFORE Easter.  I don't know why this feels so good to me, but it does.
I love going to church on Easter.  I think my favorite service of the whole year is an Easter Sunrise Service.  I've been to them many different places.  I've been to sunrise services on more beaches than I can think of.  I've been to a sunrise service on Diamond Head in Hawaii, I've been to a sunrise service in a volcano, I've been to sunrise services on boats, and I've been to many in lovely parks with mountains in the background.  There is nothing as beautiful, to me, as an Easter Sunrise Service.  I'm not going to one this year.  This church doesn't do sunrise service.  I'll be ok with that, but I'll miss it.  This year I'm focusing on being in the center of Christ's love, even though I've broken ALL the rules.  I've been mad at His church.  I've been unforgiving to His believers.  I've broken all His commands.  I've resented spending time in prayer.  And, I have chosen NOT to spend time in His Word.  I've learned a lot about love during this Lenten season.  I've shared my feelings about these things with my parents.  My parents, the teachers of all I know about the love of God.  The teachers of the faith.  The most faithful, believing people I know.  And, they were sad, of course, but they still love me.  They love me in my doubt.  They love me in my anger.  They love me in my rule breaking.

They show me how much God loves me.

I'm looking forward to being in church this Easter.  Being with other rule breakers, doubters and maybe even some haters.  We will all be there.  Smack in the center of the Love of Christ.  Even though we don't deserve it.  We believe.  We have faith.  Hallelujah, He is Risen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Silver Rush

I've shared in this little blog that I am clearing clutter in my home by selling items on eBay and packing them in boxes and shipping them to new homes.  I love it.  I love the thrill of the auction.  I love seeing my price go from RED to GREEN.  I just, downright, enjoy it.  But, I have to admit, it is a bit like a glorified garage sale for me.  I rarely get more money than I paid for the item I sell.  Well, once I had a stack of 12 Martha Stewart Living magazines go for $160.  I was BESIDE myself.  I had found a TREASURE in my closet.  Who knew?  However, this is FAR from the norm.  But, I still LOVE it.

My husband has decided to join in my fun.  And now to explain the title of this blog.  Silver is at an ALL TIME HIGH.  Currently silver is selling for $45 an ounce.  This is a very high price.  The last time silver was selling at this level was in 1980 when the Hunt brothers cornered the silver market.  There was a day known as Silver Thursday when the Hunt brothers were issued a margin call.  If you don't remember or know the story, enjoy.  Who says you can't learn anything on the internet and reading blogs is a waste of brain power.  Consider this a history lesson as well as an economics lesson.  Wow, I've certainly digressed.  My husband is a numismatist.  He really enjoys his hobby.  I have to say this was one of the sexy things I saw in him.  I mean, a guy who collects MONEY.  What is NOT SEXY about this???

Dear husband is selling some of his collection on my eBay account.  And IT IS EXCITING.  I'm hoping he will sell his coins for the price he hopes for.  I started all his auctions at $.99.  This makes me nervous, but whatchagonnado?  Feel free to take a look at his items.  It's going to be fun to watch his items sell.  *I hope*  I'm so happy he trusts me enough to put these items in my care.  He usually uses a professional coin trading company, but this time he's using ME.

If any of you have some dusty coin collections in your closets and have a need to make some extra cash, now is the time to consider selling.  Remember, we are talking Silver.  Check out the market, don't just take my word for it.  And, there is always a chance the price of silver will go even HIGHER.

This is not my typical prose for Emily's link, but I'm sharing an interest I have and something that is making my life a little more exciting than usual.  I hope you enjoyed it.

I took this picture

Monday, April 18, 2011

How to become Obsessed

I've been thinking more and more about my desire to be obsessed with being healthier and having a positive attitude.  I don't think I've been REALLY obsessing about these two things.  Sure, I think about them and then I don't think about them.  This is NOT an obsession.  I know when I'm obsessing on something and this isn't what I've been doing.  The definition of obsession is - the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.  The DOMINATION of one's thoughts.  My thoughts have not been DOMINATED by the desire for a healthy body or the desire to be a more positive person.  My thoughts have flirted around the edges of those desires, not been dominated by them.  I find myself shirking the plans I've made to go to the gym or giving into the desire to eat the wrong foods or drink too many cocktails.  My thoughts are to be DOMINATED by a desire for health and fitness.  Ditto with the positivity. 

I found a few steps to help me with the development obsession.  Hopefully this will be helpful to us all.
  • The More Obsessed You Become, The Greater The Positive Energy Generated 
Positive energy is fundamental to success, because it is the creative energy block which manifests your goals for you. When you are generating high levels of positive energy, you will also be manifesting like crazy. Becoming obsessed in your goal will make you more and more invested in your goal, and direct all of your energies towards its achievement as quickly as possible. This is how success works. You need to become totally engrossed in what you are doing as it increases a) positive energy and b) directs that energy to your object of obsession.

I will look forward to my fitness activities.  I will look forward to the pain I feel in my muscles.  This pain with reinforce the positive feelings I have about having a healthy and fit body.  I will look forward to preparing healthy food and eating it in the correct portion size.  I will put a smile on my face and in my voice when interacting with others.  My goal will be to be POSITIVE with as many people as possible in each day.
  • Obsession Allows You To Generate More Ideas And Theories On Achieving The Goal 
When you get obsessed, you are connecting deeper and deeper into the subconscious mind. This then allows the subconscious mind to provide you with the necessary ideas and plans to make the goal come about. Connecting to the subconscious will give you greater drive and motivation as well. 

If I think about being fit and positive ALL the time it will seep into my subconscious mind.  AMAZING BUT TRUE.  We all have had the condition of being able to think about nothing else but an important event or object of desire.  This is what obsession IS.  I need to make health and positive attitude my object of desire.  Not something  I wish I could have, but something I NEED.
  • Obsession Makes You Commit To Achieving Your Goals 
Getting the commitment and dedication to achieve your goals is paramount to keep your focus in the right direction. When you commit to the achievement of your goals, you go the extra mile all the time. You become as efficient and as persistent as possible. You move at top speed towards your goals, and achieve them as a result. There is always more improvement which can be made, and making the commitment to total improvement through total obsession in that improvement will work wonders. It will always keep you on track when you need. 

Becoming dedicated to my goals is going to be crucial.  Really, what else do I have to do in my life?  Being healthy and positive should be CRUCIAL to my well being. 
  • Obsession Allows You To See What's Important In Your Priorities
What you are obsessed in is where your priority lies. You will always be willing to invest your time and energy in your obsession as opposed to other non-obsessive things. This is good, because it allows you to arrange your priorities effectively. You will then end up naturally investing energy in the things which are important to you.  

Activities leading to health or fitness and activities leading to a positive attitude will become my priorities.  Offhand I can think of exercise, smiling, healthy food choices, portion control, a gratitude list, ...  that's all I can think of for now.  These will be my priorities in life.  This means I cannot dwell on mistakes, can't stuff feelings with booze or food, or lay around and feel sorry for myself.  (now I'm not saying I do those things, I might, but I'm not saying it)

Here we go.  (he looked kinda cute, so I added him to my obsessions)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together

Sigh... :)  An old dog beautiful princess has learned a new trick.        *thanks Mariza*
     Old dog Beautiful princess = me.
     New trick = prepare for a committee meeting before THE LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE

Why is life so good today?  Because I've learned my lesson.  It has taken me a long time to learn this lesson, but now it has been learnt.  This time I was assertive.  But, I was assertive in a very non-confrontational way.  You might call me sneaky, or sly, even.  Here's what I did.  This week I set up a small department meeting in the EXACT SAME ROOM the BIG committee meeting was to be held later this same week.  So, to put it succinctly, I set a small meeting up on Wednesday in the room the BIG meeting IS being held TODAY.  And, I asked my boss if he would mind if we did an electronic presentation during the meeting to see how the equipment was working and if he thought anything needed any tweaking before Friday.  He agreed.  Perfect.

As luck would have it, things did not go perfectly and my boss was not so distracted by the politics associated with the BIG meeting to overlook the problems.  And, he noticed the problems.  And, he used HIS authority to request the upgrades and changes that would need to be made to have everything working.  Yippee!!!  And, the people designated to make these changes and upgrades were IN THE ROOM.  This couldn't have gone better for me.  But, wait for it...  it gets better.

When I asked if we could use "something" as a presentation to try out the equipment in this room, I requested the "something" be the presentation needed for the BIG meeting on Friday (today).  And, this sounded like a great idea to my boss.  And, it reminded him to have the presentation ready before Friday.  Awesome!!!.  And, while he was showing the portion of the presentation he had been working on and requesting feedback from my co-workers, I smiled.

Because there is still more.

After he completes this portion and digests the critique and then requests more photographs and charts for the presentation, I ask a question.  I ask if there are any OTHER materials from the agenda he would like included in this presentation.  HOORAY!!!  I asked the question and I asked the question in front of my co-workers.  My boss would have to answer it.

I'm sure some of you may be thinking, "Well, of course he will answer your question.  Why wouldn't he?  If your secretary asks you a question about a presentation needed in two days, wouldn't you answer her?"  In my experience, the answer to what you would be thinking is NO.  He often doesn't answer me.  But, since there was a room full of people with a stake in this answer, he answered the question.  And, I was able to find out what was to be needed for the Friday presentation on Wednesday.  This was a glorious day.  I was so happy.  I was going to be able to do my job properly and without the unneeded stress as in the past.

I'm a Happy Girl.  I'm actually smiling on a Friday afternoon.  I feel like the competent secretary  I am, instead of a frazzled, "I need a drink to wash the taste of this day off me" crazy old lady.  This feels good.  I'm going to do it this way EVERY TIME.  Thanks for letting me share.  Have a great weekend.  I know I will.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Knock Knock

It's a laugh we all know
Maniacal and funny
A machine gun banter
It brought so much laughter
To me on a Saturday morn'

With a wild eyed expression
And your victims' distress
At trying to sleep through the night
Your relentless persistence
Kept me coming back for more

Now I'm old and quite tired
With a home of my own
Is it a cartoon come to life?
On Saturday morning
With uncanny timing

You're back in my life

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Debbie Downer has left the building

Let me begin by saying, everybody has a bad day sometimes.  Ok, yesterday I wasn't feeling great about myself.  It happens.  It happens to EVERYBODY, right?  At least, that is what I'm counting on.  All people feel "less than" at some point.  Nobody has it all together.  And yesterday I spilled it out on my blog.  Nobody wants to read about "poor pitiful me."  I read the comments and thought a lot of things over and sifted through the advice and came up with my own decision.  And, here it is.  I'm going to class on Wednesday and I'm going to work through the introspective portion of the program.  I may or may not share my Command Statement with the group.  We will see how the evening goes.  But, I know what it is.  I've thought it over and I know it.  And no way, no how am I going to put it on the internet for all to read and copy and email to my mother and keep me from ever becoming President of the United States.  (I just had to share that because sometimes I think people forget when you put something on the internet it is there forever and can come back to haunt you at any time.  So, those naughty pics you post on fb... will show up when you are running for president.  just sayin')  I know my Command Statement and my lie.  Since I know these things I can see them for what they are and tell myself the truth.  And, my truth is "I do care about myself."  I care about myself VERY MUCH.  Good.

The second thing I got from the blog was encouragement to try doing yoga in my own home.  There are many internet sites with yoga classes on them.  I can do some at home and, if I feel like it, I can always take another class at the studio.  It's completely up to me.  Also, I can meditate at home.  This is something I really thought I couldn't do, but I can.  I don't need a class to do this.

Finally, if I want to go to the Celebration I can go.  I paid my money.  I attended the classes.  I went to some yoga classes.  I PARTICIPATED.  It is up to me.  I don't have to feel ashamed in ANY way.  So, that's where I am on the 40 days of yoga.  I'm feeling pretty darn good about myself.

Thank you to all who commented on yesterday's post.  It is constantly amazing that people will take time out of their busy days to read my blog and even more amazing, to me, they will take EXTRA time to comment.  You guys don't even know me.  It's such a good thing for me to see my thoughts outside my head on the computer screen.  I see them and think, Huh?  What are you thinking?  Why are you being so tough on yourself?  Or, why are you letting yourself off the hook?  Shape up.  Work harder.  Get over it.  Move on.  See, these are the things I say to myself after I hit the Publish Post button.  I really try not to think about you readers out there, too much.  I don't want to edit myself into someone I'm not because I don't want to embarrass myself in front of people I don't really know and will never meet.  (Love ya, but really, we don't know each other.)  Anyway, there it is.  Some days I'm a ROCK STAR and some days I'm NOT.  Some days I check EVERYTHING off my to-do list and some days, not so much.  Either way.  I'm OK.  And, I'm doing the best I can.

For your viewing pleasure, I've included Rachel Dratch from SNL doing her thing.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Week 5 of yoga :(

I didn't do week 5.  I am a quitter.  I'm feeling pretty low about this.  I started out, as I start almost everything, with the best of intentions.  And then I quit.  I haven't done a yoga practice in a week.  I haven't meditated in two weeks.  I did do the three day fruit feast in week four, but... I still view myself as a quitter.

I have learned something in this 40 days of yoga.  I learned I don't like yoga very much.  It's MUCH harder than people say it is.  I really had a difficult time with it.  I may give it another shot, but not in the very near future.  I actually have a few days left before the program is over.  I do have an opportunity to take a yoga class or two.  I have another Wednesday night class available to attend.  And, then there is the Celebration on Friday.  I don't feel as if I deserve to go to the celebration.  I didn't do the program completely.  In fact, if you put my participation in the program into percentages, I was most likely under 50%.  I tried, but failed.

Now, I know in any program like this you get out of it what you put into it.  I have to say, I know MUCH more about yoga and meditation and myself than I knew before I started the 40 day program.  I learned things about myself that were a little hard to face.  I also got motivated.  During this program I worked a lot harder at clearing the clutter in my home.  I also went to the gym more regularly.  I was faithful in writing my blog.  And, I did look into my reactive ways of acting and thinking.  And, I learned I don't have to be that way.  I can take a breath.  I can stop and think.  It takes practice, but it can be done. 

You know, now that I'm thinking back on this, I did get something out of this program.  I believe it was in week two I was able to forgive a long held hurt and move forward.  And, I have felt a lot more comfortable about my job.  In fact, just last week I was asked to do something that is REALLY not my job to do.  And, I didn't know how to do it.  I was proud of myself for telling my boss I DIDN'T know how to do what he was asking, not because I'm not smart, but because it isn't my job to do that particular function of the job.  Instead of saying yes and making myself NUTS trying to figure out what to do.  No shame, just the facts.  So, maybe I got something out of yoga.  Certainly not the ability to do vinyasa  flow yoga, but to try something new.  Try something I'm not good at doing.  Take a risk.  But, I still think I'm a quitter.  Darn it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweetie

Today is my husband's birthday and I'm giving him all my attention today.  Except, of course, the attention I have to give my 8 to 5 job, because today is a work day.  I love my husband.  He is a wonderful guy.

Since this is my blog and not his, I'll tell you all about him from my point of view.  First and foremost, my husband was a great son.  He loved his mother so much and she loved him.  Nothing his mom did seemed crazy or wrong to him and she felt the same way about him.  I don't know how this is done, but it is a beautiful thing to behold.  Secondly, my sweetie is a retired naval aviator.  We had a wonderful time during his USNavy career.  We moved around the country and were blessed to be stationed in Naples, Italy in the mid-80's.  It was SO much FUN!!!  Sometimes I think those were the best years of our marriage, but who knows?  We're still married; maybe the best is yet to come?  As I said, he's retired.  Hahaha... Our son was six or seven years old when he retired from the Navy.  No rest for the wicked.  He had to get another job.  So, while sitting on the USS Inchon off the coast of Haiti during Operation Uphold Democracy, my husband searched for a new job via the WONDERFUL new invention of the internet and email,  *thanks Al Gore*  and he found one.

This brings us to the stage of life we find ourselves in now.  My husband is a "beltway bandit" in the mid-Atlantic.  He is also a student working on his PhD in business administration.  He wants to teach during his golden years.  Let me tell you, a PhD is serious business.  He's been at this for seven or eight years.  I'm trying to erase it from my memory as I write.  Being a dissertation widow is a lonely business.  Thank goodness I had all that practice being on my own during those long Navy deployments.  I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel in this process.  He will HOPEFULLY graduate this June.  Fingers crossed.

What our future in the second retirement of our lives will bring?  We don't know yet.  Sure, we have ideas, but we don't know.  So, I'll leave that for another post.

Happy birthday sweetie.  Yeah, you're getting older, but you still look very good to me.  And, you will ALWAYS be older than me, even if you don't look it.  <3


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I can't tell you how much I'd like
To write a poem of light
And joy.  Not a dirge of dispair
Where I air
My dirty laundry of care
And woe.

I want to show all who read
I am indeed
A woman of great joy.  I refuse
To succomb to who confuse
Words of rhyme or reduce
Verse to tears.
I need to read more words
Of happiness and bright blue birds
And butterflies.  I tried
Haiku at the start of my joyride
Into a world of wordsmiths who plied
Their talent.

I've learned words and rhythm
Can be more than awesome
And carefree.  They can be math,
Song, imagery, and not just a bloodbath 
Of tears and fears, but a path
To joy.

Monday, April 4, 2011


My first food blog.  And, I know you won't believe it, but these are some of my favorite foods.  Greens.  I mean, who doesn't like a salad?  Of course, my favorite salad is a salad someone else makes.  I mean, really, whose isn't?  Below is a pic of mescalun greens.  These greens are the best raw in a salad.  Sure, add some arugula, a few radishes, blood orange segments and a vinaigrette and you've got a delicious salad.  Now, you see I didn't add tomatoes.  Mescalun greens and tomatoes aren't available at the same time of the year here in the mid-Atlantic.  I get my greens from a CSA (community supported agriculture) in my area.  This is a farm I buy shares into and get veggies in return every week.  Not cheap, but organic and local.  It's how I choose to buy my food and spend my money.
The next green in the hit parade of my favorites is Arugula or Rocket greens.  These are a spicy green best added to salads or sandwiches.  They add SO much flavor.  I LOVE Arugala.  I haven't cooked it yet because I eat it raw in salads and don't have any left over.  If you haven't tried Arugala yet, try it.  It is delicious.
Now we are coming to, what may be, the more unusual greens.  Below is a green called English Cress.  You may know it as Water Cress or Garden Cress.  It is a delicious green.  I like it in soups.  I add it at the end of Italian Wedding soup or Chicken and Rice.  I like lots of it in soups.  I've heard the English eat something called Water Cress sandwiches.  I don't eat sandwiches very often, so I can't say anything about this.  I love it in soup.  I also like it with arborio rice in risotto.  Delicious.
English Cress
The next green is Rapini or Broccoli Raab.  These are the early shoots of the greens.  They can be COVERED with yellow flowers.  Rapini has a cabbage smell to it when sauteed briefly.  I LOVE this green as a side dish with ANYTHING.  I mean, if you like broccoli you will LOVE RAPINI.  This is best sauteed briefly with a bit of olive oil and garlic.  So good.
I think Mustard Greens are my FAVORITE green.  So good and so spicy.  I just can't get enough of them.  Now, I know many of you have eaten greens saturated in bacon grease and who doesn't LOVE bacon.  But, could you taste the greens under all that bacon?  I, too, cook the greens in some bacon, but VERY LITTLE bacon.  Here's the trick to making DELICIOUS greens.  I boil a large pot of water and salt and blanch the greens briefly in the boiling water.  Blanching the greens in the boiling water before sauteing them, sweetens the greens.  So good.  On another burner I have a saute pan with one slice of bacon chopped up and crisped and half a small onion chopped and sweated.  I take the greens and put them in the hot saute pan immediately from the boiling pot and move them around until they are dry (or all the water is steamed off).  Then I add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  I serve these on top of half a baked sweet potato and viola', dinner is served.  The play of the spicy greens, salty bacon and sweet potato is just DELICIOUS and healthy.
Mustard Greens
Lastly, but far from least is Kale.  Below is curly kale.  This is such a beautiful green.  This green can be cooked exactly the same way the mustard greens are cooked and will be delicious.  I also make them the way my Grandmother made them in the "old country" or Holland.  Grandma used to put some potatoes in a pan with some water and boil them.    She tossed in some kielbasa on top of the boiling potatoes for flavor and added the chopped kale.  When the potatoes were done she removed the kielbasa and mashed the potatoes and greens.  She sliced the kielbasa and added it back to the mash and served.  I make the dish a bit richer by beginning the process with a slice or two of bacon, chopped and then sauteing the kielbasa, bacon with a chopped onion.  I remove the kielbasa and add chicken stock and the potatoes.  Bring to boil.  I add the chopped kale and when the potatoes are done I mash and add the sliced kielbasa.  I love this dish.  I makes me think of my childhood and Grandma.  I've "lightened" this dish by using turkey bacon and turkey kielbasa, just sayin'.
Curly Kale
Thanks for letting me share some food I love.  I hope you will learn to enjoy greens.

Friday, April 1, 2011

When it rains, it pours

I can't believe I've been bestowed another blogging award.  I feel so honored.  I want to thank Joybird at A Songbird in His Court for the Stylish Blogger Award and Elaine at Hidden Heartbeat for the Versatile Blogger Square and both of them for thinking of my blog.  Along with these awards comes a bit of work.  I am to list seven things my readers may not know about me.  Now, this isn't as easy as it sounds.  I tell you guys quite a bit about myself.  Here goes.

1.  I love TV too much.  I think the DVR is the best invention EVER.  One of my favorite shows is Hoarding:  Buried Alive.  I've got it on now, while I'm blogging.  My husband HATES this show.  He will not come near me while I'm watching.  Bwahaha.  Secret solitude maker.

2.  I color my hair.  Hahaha, who doesn't.  Really.  I mean, I just saw a commercial showing a guy being asked for milk by a gorgeous woman, but goes out to buy hair color and color his hair before he gives her the milk he almost forgets to buy, as well.

3.  I wear black pants to work EVERY DAY.  I have more than one pair, but I only wear black pants.  I think they make my butt look smaller.  Isn't that FUNNY.

4.  I still don't believe in Global Warming.  I know they've changed the terminology to "Climate Change," but too bad, I don't believe it and you can't tell me any different.  Do you think I'm a bad person now?  I know the "protection" of our earth is the new religion of the day, and I'm good with being a good steward and not being wasteful.  I just haven't bought into the theory that this isn't a sequential rise and fall of temperature in the earth's condition.  Don't get me started.

5.  I'm a Christian.  I know I've indicated that I'm struggling with the Church, but I'm still a believer.  I just want to make that clear.  I've mostly found the Church is losing it's footing in the Truth.

6.  I have NEVER used an ATM to withdraw money.  I've only used one TWICE, and both times I made a deposit.  Btw, I no longer know my PIN number, so, I guess that won't happen again.

7.  I quit smoking in 1991.  Aren't I AWESOME!!!!  I know the ONLY TRULY EVIL THING in this world is smoking and I DON'T DO IT.  Now, maybe some day my dad will read my blog (haha) and know that I smoked (haha) 'cause I always told him I didn't smoke.  I'm outted now.

Now I get to do the FUN part of getting the awards.  I get to link you to 15 new bloggers I've found that I LOVE.  Well, I haven't been blogging that long.  I know my profile says I started in February 2010, but I was not very consistent back then.  I consider Christmas 2010 the start of my blogging.  These are my favorite bloggers, not counting the bloggers I follow that are MEGA BLOGGERS.  They can choose either or both of the awards and then follow the conditions of the award.  I LOVE these blogs.  ENJOY.

1.  A Family of Movers is blog I love.  Lynne is a wonderful mother of three girls and one baby on the way.  She works full time and still finds time to blog and share her life with the world.  I admire her SO MUCH.  My favorite post is Picture Update.  Isn't her family beautiful?

Homemaker Design is another blog I enjoy.  I love the blog and the ENCOURAGEMENT I get from Homemaker's posts and belief.  My favorite post is I Took The Plunge.  I REALLY admire bloggers with pretty pictures.

3.  Mom of the bride musings is a blog by flower power mama, a mother of a bride.  She is planning a wedding at her home for her daughter.  I can't even IMAGINE doing this.  My favorite post is leaky eye syndrome.  I was SO happy when she found her dress.  I mean, really, it's all about HER, isn't it?

4.  My Blessed Life is by Amber.  She is a single mom of a gorgeous tween.  She is so POSITIVE.  I can't imagine being in her shoes and admire her so much.  She is so upbeat.  My favorite post is you could have bought me dinner first...  She seems to have my sense of humor and I LOVE it.

5.  Sunshine Radical by Hanni.  Hanni is currently in Educador with a drama team.  She is an apartment homesteader in NYC and I admire her so much.  My favorite blog is I'm exhausted.  Maybe 'cause I spent so much time on these croissants.  I REALLY want to learn how to bake.  This young girl is baking CROISSANTS.  I LOVE THAT.

6.  A Sonoma Garden is a blog I wish would post more often.  I know this mom has three young children and doesn't blog for my enjoyment.  I wait with baited breath for her next post.  My favorite is How to Make a Lavendar Wand.  Can you imagine anything so beautiful?

7.  A thousand words is another blog I enjoy.  Kati is a citizen of the world.  I met her while she was living in the Sudan.  Now she is in Lebanon.  I love how she SEES the people around her.  My favorite post is a boy and his little sister.  I LOVE the way she sees them.

8.  Baking Me is a blog I have just discovered.  Like I've said, I'm eager to begin to bake and Anne is in culinary school and take GORGEOUS pictures.  I want to be her.  No, I don't, but I want to be the baker she is.  She is VERY new to blogging and my favorite post is Honey Goat Cheese Biscuits.  Don't these look DELICIOUS?!?

9.  Darby's Essential Oils Info is another blog I love and wish would blog more often.  Hey, not a criticism, just love it when you post.   My favorite post is Cool Peppermint.  Peppermint is my FAVORITE essential oil and it really worked for the hiccups.  I would love to learn more about essential oils and quit my job and teach people about them.  I hope I'll have time to learn and blog about them someday.  I love your blog Darby.

10.  Chateau A la Mode is a beautiful blog by Valarie.  This blog has gorgeous pics in home decor, fashion and food.  Valarie has a style that I admire SO much.  Her blog makes me long for the life on the beach.  I LOVE IT.  My favorite post, and it is so hard to choose, is Wishing my house were clean.  Oh, you know it's my dream, too.

11.  Portland Peeps is a blog I JUST FOUND TODAY!!!  Cindy promised me she would tell me how to raise chickens while living in the city if I followed her blog.  Now she HAS to teach me.  I don't have a fave post yet, but check her out.

12.  Southern Gal Thoughts is another new blog I've found.  This southern gal is someone I want to get to know better.  Her pictures are so pretty and she seems to have a firm grasp of Christ's love of the world.  I need this fundamental truth telling.

13.  Out of My Alleged Mind is a blog by Nancy.  I love the stories she tells and the way she leads my to the truth.  My favorite post is Happily Ever After.  This is truth.

14.  View from the Prairie Box is a blog by a FABULOUS photographer.  My favorite thing about her blog is her pictures.  And, she encourages other bloggers to take pics and blog all through December.  There were holiday pictures EVERYWHERE.  I wish I took pictures.

15.  My Own Version by Mariza is a beautiful blog about a family getting ready to go on the road in an RV.  I can't believe how scary and exciting that would be.  Mariza is a homeschooling mom of two pretty girls.  She is new to blogging, but blogs A LOT.  I can't choose a favorite post.

That's it.  I haven't been blogging long enough to have found enough blogs to give out awards.  Now I'm going to tell all these bloggers they are WINNING.   I'm NOT going to speak of *you know who*.