Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday 9

 Happy Saturday!  Time for Crazy Sam's Saturday 9: Should I Stay or Should I Go

1. Have you ever been on a date and you had to tell the person to just go away?  I couldn't do that, he was driving.  A dumb mistake that I never let happen again.  From then on, I always met the guy somewhere for the first date.  What brought on the wisdom?  Sitting over a pizza with a guy explaining to me -- rather passionately -- why he really didn't deserve to go to jail that last time for beating his wife . . . she was exaggerating.  Yikes!

2. Do you wish you were someplace else right now? If yes, where?  I could deal with being someplace warm where none of us have any responsibility other than to have fun. 

3. Do you have any pet peeves?  People who don't cover their mouths when they sneeze.

4. Tell us about a guilty pleasure of yours.  I can't really think of any.  I'm not in the right phase of life for guilty pleasures, I guess . . . maybe this is wrong-headed of me and why I'm so . . . so the way I am right now.  Alright, I've rethought this:  Etsy (window shopping & buying), chocolate, Noro yarn.

5. If you could change places and become a celebrity, who would you'd like to be?  Not a one of them.  Perhaps J.K. Rowling.  Maybe Samantha Brown -- now THAT'S a job!  (but only temporarily, of course)

6. What do you consider your biggest talent?  I'm still digging around in the toolbox, trying to find it.

7. Do you have a favorite actor/actress that is not a big star, yet they are your favorite?  No, the older and wiser I get, the less impressed I am with Hollywood or its celebrities.

8. Name your favorite rock bands of all time.  Rolling Stones, U2, Prince & The Revolution  

9. If you were to start a new relationship (for whatever reason), how much of your sexual history would you share? Would you resort to lying?  Nothing to lie about.  Is that good or bad? 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Speaking Of . . .

I'm out of sorts with all sorts things on my mind . . .

I just sent my son upstairs for the rest of his life, or at least until supper, whichever comes first.  Judging by my current mood, it's a toss up which will occur first.  I tend to lose my appetite when I'm angry, which makes me wonder why I'm not down to 80 lbs by now.

Speaking of bodies . . .

From the "I Guess It Was Formica I Knocked On" file, I now am nursing a pinched nerve.  As soon as I published the last post (on getting on with my life and leaving the body stuff to my body), I started to feel the beginnings of a pinched nerve.  After a year of not feeling up to par, I have become a rather impatient patient.

Speaking of patience . . .

My house is a mess.  Why is it that when I am feeling well enough to clean it, the mess doesn't bother me, but the moment I am not up to cleaning it, it is my fervent wish to do so?

Speaking of laziness . . .

I have the chance to enroll my son, the one upstairs for the rest of his life, in a little 2-hour lesson in harvesting sap from maple trees (to make into syrup) this Sunday.  I have considered enrolling him, but am not sure he won't be mugging our two maples trees from now on.  So I am leaning against it, yet feeling like a lazy mother for doing so.

Speaking more about laziness . . . 

Remember the mudroom project?  Me neither . . . except when I try to find something or pass through the family room (which now holds all the things evacuated from said mudroom), or do laundry.

And . . .

Do you think McDonald's Filet-O-Fish really qualify as a legitimate Lenten Friday meal?  I don't.  The other equal in my household does.  I can only hold out so long.  This is going on my List (the List St. Peter checks at the pearly gates), I know it, and suspect it is my husband's plan for getting away from me sometime before the here'after.  

Speaking of real men . . .

Why haven't I ever seen a Robert Mitchum movie until now?  And why aren't there more men like that in Hollywood anymore?

Speaking of movie mysteries . . .


Why is Leonardo DiCaprio slated to play Frank Sinatra in the long-awaited Scorsese film when it is quite obvious to me that Jude Law would make a much better "Ole Blue Eyes?"  I guess this would go in the "If You Want Something Done Right" file.

Well, my husband has arrived home with a McDonald's bag the size of a shopping bag.  Guess it's time to call my son down . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Begin Again.

Last year at this time, I was sitting in a paper gown, answering questions, feeling my heart pound, and holding my husband's hand.  My surgery was scheduled for 11:30. 

My surgery went smoothly and I woke up in the recovery room, dreaming of my childhood basset hound, and missing my left adrenal gland. 

It had to go.  It had grown a mass.  It was kind enough to make it a benign mass, but it was creating extremely elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels and jeopardizing my health and longevity. 

It has been a long year.  The offending adrenal gland had been so over-producing for so long that my remaining adrenal gland had stopped working.  Well, much like an under-paid, under-appreciated employee who suddenly receives double duty, the under-utilized adrenal gland does not rush back to production.  It took months for the stubborn little gland to come back to life, and, while I took enough cortisol in pill form to stay alive, a cortisol deficit is quite debilitating.  For months I felt fluish and weak and exhausted and cold.  Then I improved to just weak and exhausted and cold.  By the time I improved to just exhausted and cold, I was quite grateful.  I am now almost back to normal, but a normal I have not known in years, for that over-active adrenal gland has marred my idea of normal.

I still feel cold almost every minute, and tired is always right behind me like a shadow.  But I am better.  And I am alive.  And, I am told, I am healthy. 

Now to get my head to believe it.

I have spent so much time being sick, and then more time feeling sick, that now I don't seem to believe that I am no longer sick.  And so I apologize to all who are sick.  I know how lucky I am.  My condition was reversible.  It has been reversed, and I am all but totally recovered.  Now I just need to grab hold of life and live it again.  To begin again.  Without any grudges.

So here I go.  I am closing out the year of feeling unwell and monitoring every symptom.  Of not trusting my body.  Of focusing on its limitations and shortcomings.  I am going to trust my body now, enough to focus on living my life, and leave the day-to-day running of things to my body again which is healthy and is trustworthy and is strong.

I begin again.   


Thank you for listening.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Lucky Me

Look at the wonderful treasures I received from Red's Artist Cottage.  The wonders of One World One Heart continue . . . 

I was the lucky winner of this small original indigo watercolor painting:

It's just captivating.

I was also lucky enough to receive this small original watercolor of "coffee love":

It's so small and yet detailed, I really love it.

I feel really honored to have both these wonderful pieces.

Do yourself a favor and check out the stunningly beautiful work she does over at Red's Artist Cottage.  Not only is she wonderfully generous, but she is exquisitely talented. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday 9

For something new and different, I am participating in the Saturday 9 this week.  Nine random questions to answer.  Please visit  Saturday 9 for a list of participants or to participate yourself.

So here goes:

1. Who would you like not to stand so close to you?  The guy behind me in line at the grocery store.

2. Which of the following aspects of your life would you think rates the highest: mind, body or spirit?  Mind.  Getting control of my mind and having it work FOR me rather than against me is the key to most of my challenges.  

3. What is your favorite movie line?  "Having a 'Boo Radley moment,' are we?"  -- Joon to Johnny Depp's character in Benny & Joon.  OR  "You're lit from within, Tracy!"  -- Jimmy Stewart to Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story.



4. What is your favorite movie title?  "Enchanted April"

5. What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?  It's a long story . . . suffice it to say, once an old man came into my life briefly and encouraged me at the precise moment I needed it.  When I tried to contact him to thank him, he no longer resided at the given address and it seemed he never had; no one had heard of him.  Perhaps it was an angel.

6. What do you try to stay away from?  Extremely negative people who make me begin to doubt myself.

7. What is it too late for?  Me to be a Radio City Rockette . . . and I'm bitter about it.  Don't bring it up.  Nevermind that it was too late from about the moment I was born since neither of my parents are taller than 5'8" tall. . . I was doomed by the gene pool.  See?  I told you not to bring it up.


8. Give someone credit for something and name it if you can.  I give my husband credit for loving me despite my unlovable qualities.  Sometimes I can be work.  Shocking, I know.

9. Would you rather be famous now & forgotten after you die or forgotten now & famous after you die, forever? And why?  Hmmm, what an interesting question.  I think forgotten now and famous after I die.  That would mean I would be unforgettable and that's way better than famous.  

Friday, February 19, 2010

Why Winter Really is Lovely, Really, No Really

Where I live, it has been an especially harsh winter. Lots of snow, lots of gray, spirits are down; spring has never seemed so far away.

Rather than lament winter and its endless possibilities, whaddya say we make a list of all the good things about winter? Oh, c'mon, there are some good things. There are. There have to be. Now stop it.

Let's see:

1. Flattering wardrobe. Sweaters and slacks . . . even the whitest, flabbiest arms and dimpliest thighs can look good in a nice sweater and slacks. Boots will even make the best of thick ankles. Cold weather levels the playing field.

2. Static cling. Oh yes. It creates the most dynamic and creative hairstyles and provides endless teaching opportunities . . . if you're looking for lessons on electric static, and really, who isn't?

3. Quiet time.  All the time spent inside actually saves time. No obligatory small-talk conversations with neighbors you really have no interest in. Oh, you do too have one . . . or two.

4. No grass to cut. Be fair. That's a huge time-saver.  I don't care how much shoveling you've done this winter, you're still ahead of the game. 

5. Snowmen. The most polite and well-mannered and clean men around. And they know their place.  (C'mon "inside guys," you know you wanna laugh.)

6. Money.  With all the glove-wearing, you really don't need that manicure. Now you have extra money for salt for your driveway and walkways. Win-win.  See?

7. Endless freezer space.  Should your power go out -- as mine did during the last blizzard, that's right, it failed us when we needed it most and threatened the lives of my pets and the welfare of my children . . . but I'm over it now, almost, well almost, someday.  Anyway, the food in the 'fridge and freezer will not spoil, just hike it right outside where it will stay frozen. solid. indefinitely.

8. Socially Accepted Slovenliness.  You have perfect excuse for a filthy car. No peer pressure driving you to the car wash. Shew! Now that's a relief. Just don't lean on the thing or, gawd forbid, brush up against it as you're squeezing by it on the little space left on your driveway that is passable for all the waist-high snow. No, as long as you don't do that, your coat won't get ruined and your hands won't be black with road yuck. See? Simple.

9. Potholes. The sudden creation of crater-like potholes that threaten the entire health and happiness and, possibly, the mere existence of your vehicle makes driving so much more exhilarating. Who needs a Wii?

10. . .

Well, I'd like to have ten, a nice even number that subconsciously suggests abundance . . .

Let me think . . .

wait . . .

hmmmm . . .


Well, I could list a tenth, if I wanted, but instead -- and on purpose, you smart-allecks -- I'm going to leave the tenth one blank to demonstrate that the list could just go on and on indefinitely. So there.

Feel free to add to my list, in an orderly and respectful fashion . . . no pushing or shoving, there will be enough time for all.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

For K

Here's to the day when we can just laugh 
and hang around together.  
Until then, let's just hang on together.
Call me anytime, Honey. 

Love ya,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Apolo Ohno, right, and J.R. Celski, left, of USA, celebrate 
after the men's 1500m short track Olympic skating competition.

So cool.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Distress Call

Now look.

My kids haven't been to school since the morning of Friday, February 5th . . . more than 10 days ago.  I can barely remember that far back. All that has happened. And not happened.

No "going outside" to play. No bikes to ride. No toads to catch. No friends to visit. No Christmas presents to soak up extra time . . .

No unmeasured time to peruse the blogs. No quiet in which to write a thoughtful post. No "good" talks on the telephone. No unrushed cups of coffee.  No unaccompanied trips. anywhere. I haven't been alone in ten-and-a-half days. Understand?

There is now a 2 hour delay in the start back to school today. Why? No reason. Literally. One inch of snow was forecasted yesterday. Blessedly, it never came. Now, for the sake of all that is good and holy, we need some routine. We need . . . school.


Monday, February 15, 2010

And the winner is . . . me!

Well, One World, One Heart 2010 has come to an end.  My magic carpet has been washed and hung to dry before I store it away for another year.  Whew!  What a fun-filled, but dizzingly busy few weeks it's been.

I've been all over the world . . . Moldova, Germany, Scotland, England, Israel, and Australia, just to name a few. It is humbling, exciting, and somehow reassuring to find so many talented and kind people strewn all around the world. And I do believe that was just the intent of this event as it was conceived by Lisa Swifka years ago.

I asked my personal random number generator to produce a number between 1 and 254 (omitting one duplicate and one who took herself out of the running -- she'd won my earlier giveaway).  Precious random number generator, who had the day off of school today for the federal holiday, exclaimed "thirty-six!"  And so it is.  Astrid MacLean of Astrid's Artistic Efforts wins the scarf.  Astrid, I'll get a'knitting right away.  I already had the yarn, but wanted to wait to knit it until I knew for whom I was knitting.  I hope you wear it in good health and deep happiness. 

Thank you to all who visited and for all who hosted me and, most of all, thank you to that wonderful Whimsical Bohemian for bringing us all together. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
William Shakespeare

Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. 
But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
Julins Gordon

Who knows?  
But love certainly is a many splendored thing . . .

Happy Valentine's Day to all my sweets!

Friday, February 12, 2010

You Are My Sunshine

What sunshine is to flowers, 
smiles are to humanity. 
These are but trifles, to be sure; 
but, scattered along life's pathway, 
the good they do is inconceivable.   
Joseph Addison  

Just look at that flower. 

Isn't it beautiful?
I could get lost in it today.

Deepest thanks to Penny for sending me some sunshine today.
Go see her at The Hen House, it's always worth the time.

The truth is, I clutch it desperately today.

Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.  
It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.   
~ P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Allow me to pass some sunshine on to some other wonderful blogs:

Chicken Boys -- When I visit, I feel like I am at their house with my feet up having a great time with friends.

Delightfully Diva-ish -- She is wonderfully warm and wickedly funny. 

Laughing with Angels -- An exquisitely beautiful blog, and pure peaceful inspiration to me for more reasons than I can list.

The Lemon Cottage -- This is a fast-growing blog for good reason, she's brilliant and wonderfully fun, too.  She is also a tax preparer, so she is crazy-busy right now, so cut her a break until 4/15.  

The T-Cozy -- Going to her blog is like going over to a good girlfriend's house . . . the kind who makes good tea (the right way) and serves it with charm and warmth and her whole house is like a treasure trove of (mostly) vintage loveliness.

Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.  
~ James Barrie

Thank you, Penny and my fellow bloggers, mentioned and unmentioned. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Taste of Freedom, Humiliation, and More Snow

So I haven't been off my street in several days. Snow, snow, everywhere.

With a forecast of at least another 12 inches due last night, I had to get out. I had to get somewhere, anywhere.

The minute my husband got home last night, I jumped in the van and headed to the closest thing I could think of:  JoAnn's. I took mercy upon my son and took him with me.  He hadn't been anywhere in days, either.  It had just begun to snow, but the roads weren't bad yet.  "What's the worst that could happen?"


We got to the store just fine.  I found my bamboo size 8 24" circular knitting needles easily, too easily, actually; I needed an "outing."  I wouldn't be out again for several days.  So we had a stroll around the store some more.

Ever the bargain hunter, I didn't stop until I found the clearance aisle. They had a bunch of those big tin stars 70% off. Those stars have never been quite my style, but I don't hate them. Honestly, I think I was desperate for something else to think about, so I went over to look at them. There were about 10 on one rack and one by itself on the other. I cleverly reached for the one by itself so as not to tangle with the rack full. The next thing I knew . . . and I still have no idea how it happened . . . they were all falling. One. By. One. Crash!  Bang!!  It sounded as if someone was banging two aluminum trash can covers together, over and over.  And then these long boards painted with rosebuds and girly sayings also began careening off the bottom shelf. No idea how or why those would even move! The noise seemed to go on forever. It was as if it was happening in slow motion.

Being that we were way in back by the employee stock room, an employee came running out of the break room still chewing her food to see what had happened. She said she thought the roof had fallen in. Ooops I focused my efforts on apologizing profusely while I helped her pick it all up.  She then went back to her dinner.

Still not to deterred from our scamper of freedom, my son and I continued shopping.  My son could hardly walk for holding his stomach from laughing so hard. The child can be quite the teaser when given some material -- no idea where he got that trait.  He was having a field day. And I couldn't really blame him; all the times we've told him not to touch things in stores.

We found a few more things to buy, and reluctantly proceeded to the check out. The checkout clerk rang everything up and suddenly I realize I left my wallet at home.  It was sitting on the desk at home (from when I needed a business card from my wallet). In my defense, I am usually fanatical about putting my wallet right back in my purse, but this one time I wasn't -- probably because I didn't think I would be going anywhere for days and days.

Well, I did have my checkbook and asked if that would be alright. Fine, as long as I had a driver's license number, the clerk said. Nope. My driver's license is in my wallet (right where it should be) only my wallet is currently at home on my desk!  I pleaded my case. The clerk said she would have to check with the manager. So she makes an embarrassing, and slightly hostile, call over the loud speaker. Who comes . . . you can guess, can't you?  Of course, the still-chewing woman from the stock room.  She turns out to be the manager. Imagine how happy she was to see me waiting earnestly and perhaps pitifully, at the register.

I again explained the embarrassing situation -- people were now, of course, gathered behind me in line -- and she refused. I offered to call home and have my husband tell it to me. Nope. Then, as nicely as I could, I implored her, it was only $35, it was not as if I was buying a sewing machine. Somehow, that changed her mind. She finally relented, but insisted I call home and have my husband read me the driver's license number (something I had regrettably offered earlier).  So, as if I am not embarrassed enough, I now must also bring my husband into the situation.  How completely humiliating. But I was not going home to face the next several days snowed under without the specific knitting needle required to make a certain felted bag that had been nagging me for days now.  Nope, I neeeeeded this stuff; it was essential.  (By this time, my son was practically rolling on the floor with smug laughter, but trying his best to hold it together because I had, by now, explained -- twice -- how this was not at all funny. anymore.  And to think I almost didn't bring him. No good deed goes unpunished.)

I finally walked out of that store with my dignity and pride battered and bruised, but I had my stuff, my bag of treasures.  I felt a peculiar mix of victory and defeat.  All just to get out of the house, once, before the next storm submerged us all in snow. again.

Now we have at least another 12 inches of snow added to the 30 from the weekend.  Everything is closed.  Everyone is at home.  No idea when the snow will stop or how where we'll put it all this time.

Good thing I've got my new bamboo knitting needles.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Excuse Me While We Dig Out

We have a lot to do.

Some are helping more than others . . . see the guy under the table?  That's supposed to be our snow dog.

I'll be back soon to tell you all about it,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday


Have you ever taken a hot air balloon ride?
I have, and someday I will tell you all about it.

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