Thursday, March 31, 2011

The End of March

Today is the last day of March in the year 2011.  It's hard to believe that a quarter of the year has already flown by.  March has been a good month.  Quiet, steady, and rather emotionally unstable, in terms of weather.  lol.  It came in like a lamb, and went out like a lion up until this afternoon, when the sun came out, the streets dried, and everything started blooming again.  It's like even the weather is ready for April!  And as I reflect on the first quarter of the year, I am happy and satisfied!

The sun came out!
Ive gotten closer to my husband, my sister, and other family members.
My friends at work are amazing, and are more like family than ever before.  I delight in that comfort.
I've made decisions about the future, speculations about what will happen, and provisions to set things in motion.
I'm so excited about Spring and everything that comes with it.
I've had opportunities to sit and be with myself, and ponder.  I really do like to ponder.
And I've questioned things.
I feel safe with where I am, and with the knowledge that I am evolving.
I think I've laughed at more silly things lately, than combined in the last 10 years.
And I'm taking as many pictures as possible, about any and everything!  And I'm blogging.  It feels so good to get back to blogger. 

And I guess I'm feeling pretty introspective tonight, but I think I can also attribute this to the fact that I'm sleepy.  It's been a long and busy, but good, week, and I'm looking forward to getting under the blanket on the couch and watching "The Founding of America" with the hubby.  I've forewarned him that it's quite possible that I will be falling asleep within minutes of the program being started, but as long as it's expected, why fight it?  heh.  :)

I wish your end-of-March well!
May your beginning-of-April be swell!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mile-High Mexican Pie

1 lb lean ground chuck
1 box (8.7 oz) Soft Taco Bake dinner kit
1 cup water
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 jar (16 oz) Thick 'n chunky salsa
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (4 oz)
1 small onion
Sour cream and/ or guacamole for topping
How to make it:
Heat oven to 400°F. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef and onion, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in seasoning mix (from dinner kit), water and half of the cheese sauce (from dinner kit). Heat to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-high. Simmer uncovered 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in kidney beans and remaining cheese sauce; heat until hot.

In ungreased 2-quart casserole, place 1 tortilla (from dinner kit). Layer with 1/4 of the salsa, beef mixture and cheese. Repeat layers, using up ingredients and ending with cheese on top.

Cover; bake 17 to 22 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes.

Mmmmmm... cheesy, yummy goodness!

It does make a bit of a mess.  It's worth it though!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Bad Hair Day" Plant

And yet I feel like this plant is one that so closely matches the sentiment of my hair on an ::almost:: daily basis.  Not that I have "bad hair days", but that I have hair that likes to do whatever it wants, with little regard to what I want it to do... let alone for how long I want it to last.  I can walk out the door with a somewhat poised "do" and arrive at my destination, looking like this...
(well, sort of...)

Needlesstosay, I keep a round thing in my purse, and a slew of bobby pins in my pocket, just in case it gets too out of control.

I'm delighted in the fact that this plant embraces it's kinky-ness, and wears it proudly, day after day, and in the rain no doubt, as the elements persist.  It will be the first inhabitant of my garden, and I think that it will be a great example and a gentle reminder to all living things that surround it, that perhaps dishevelment is the prettiest anomaly of all, and in the case of this plant, I couldn't agree more!

The plant is called a Corkscrew Rush, and was a gift from my friend Kitty!
I can. not. wait to watch it grow!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

les échecs

Me: Hey!  Can you do me a favor??
G: Yea.
Me: Can you write down all of the moves to your favorite chess game?
G: What?
Me: Can you write down all of the moves to a favorite chess game that you've played?
G: ... Just one game?
Me: Yea, and preferably of the French defense!
G:  OK.  Why?
Me: ... I'm going to use it in my blog tonight.  (me: big, accomplished smile)

Success!  :)


Gary likes chess.
Gary loves chess!

It has been his outlet for a long time now, and when I first met him and he mentioned he likes to play chess, I had no idea that a person could like playing chess this much...  lol.  But he does!

It's cute!

Chess to me is:
The knight moves at a diagonal 1 space, then 2 spaces.
The pawn moves forward, 1 or 2 depending on the turn.
The bishop goes diagonally as many spaces as it wants.
The rook goes in a straight line as many spaces as it wants.
The queen does whatever it wants.  Period.
The king moves one space at a time, any direction.

And that doesn't even get into how the pieces can capture each other, which piece goes first, or the strategy.  And let me tell you, there has to be some strategy involved, oh, and analysis too.
(This is where I fail.)
I'm too busy trying to remember how the pieces move, that by the time I figure out where I want my piece to move, G has planned out his next 3 moves, and he's going to ask me why I chose that move, why it was good (or bad), and what my next move should be. 

The majority of the time, it doesn't end well for me... He hasn't mastered letting me "win" yet.
For shame!

Chess to G is:
[Event "Amsterdam"]
[Site "Amsterdam"]
[Date "1970.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Efim Geller"]
[Black "Wolfgang Uhlmann"]
[ECO "C09"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "93"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Ngf3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd6
7.O-O cxd4 8.Nb3 Ne7 9.Nbxd4 O-O 10.Bg5 f6 11.Be3 Ne5 12.Re1
a6 13.Bf1 Kh8 14.h3 Bd7 15.c3 Rc8 16.a4 Re8 17.Nxe5 fxe5
18.Nf3 h6 19.a5 Rc6 20.Bb6 Qb8 21.Rc1 Rf8 22.c4 e4 23.Nd2 Rxb6
24.axb6 Bc5 25.Re2 Rxf2 26.Rxf2 e3 27.cxd5 exf2 28.Kh1 Nf5
29.Ne4 Bxb6 30.Qf3 Qe5 31.Bd3 Qxd5 32.Nc5 Qxf3 33.gxf3 Bxc5
34.Rxc5 Ne3 35.Rc1 Kg8 36.Kh2 Bb5 37.Rc8+ Kf7 38.Kg3 Bxd3
39.Rc7+ Kf6 40.Kxf2 Nd1+ 41.Kg3 Nxb2 42.Rxb7 Nc4 43.h4 a5
44.Rd7 Bc2 45.Rc7 Bb3 46.Kf4 a4 47.Rb7 0-1

By the way, in case you couldn't tell, this is the French defense, and black wins.
He adds "It's the French defense... I'm not going to give you a white win".  (Scoff!)

I still have no clue what this combination of letters and numbers (the moves) means, but that's okay.
When I want to play chess, I remember how to move the pieces, and I move them.  :)

For his birthday, the first year I knew him, I even made him a chess set!

It was like a big scavenger hunt for me... deciding on and getting all of the pieces together, painting them, packaging them, and the presenting them.  I heart it, and Gary was impressed!

Back to the present tense though.
G will continue to study chess.
I will continue to learn it.
And we will play again... someday!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Flying of the kite!

We took some time to fly a kite today.
I really wanted to get it in before the end of March, and the rest of the week is supposed to be rainy-ish, so we saw the chance and took it!  It was great fun!  We are so lucky to have this vacant field right across the street... it makes running around with a kite trailing you, easy.

I felt like a kid again!  Throwing the kite up in the air, and then running like crazy to keep it there!  It was so cute, and it was just windy enough to be effective!

 And I'm proud to say that the Dollar Store kite did well!  I was worried about the really thin string, and I was hoping it wouldn't break, but luckily, I think the fact that it wasn't too windy, was perfect!  And the cute designs are fun!  And you get 2 for a dollar!  All in all, a great deal!

I can't wait to try it again, with some more friends, and take some more pictures!  :)

And although this song has nothing to do with flying a kite, I couldn't help but think of it...
And when you sing or say it in reference to a "kite", the words take on a new meaning. 

"Landed" by Ben Folds
We'd hit the bottom
I thought it was my fault
And in a way I guess it was
I'm just now finding out
What it was all about
We moved to the west coast
Away from everyone
She never told me that you called
Back when I was still
I was still in love
Til I opened my eyes and walked out the door
And the clouds came tumbling down
And it's "bye-bye. Goodbye. I tried"
And I twisted it wrong just to make it right
Had to leave myself behind
And I've been flying high all night
So come pick me up
I've landed
The daily dramas
She made from nothing
So nothing ever made them right
She liked to push me
And talk me back down
Til I believed I was the crazy one
And in a way I guess I was
Until I opened my eyes and walked out the door
And the clouds came tumbling down
And it's "bye-bye. Goodbye. I tried"
Dragging the sea of a troubled mind
Had to leave myself behind
Singing bye-bye, goodbye I tried
If you wrote me off
I'd understand it
Cause I've been on
Some other planet
So come pick me up
I've landed
And you will be so
Happy to know
I've come alone
It's over
When I opened my eyes and walked out the door
And the clouds came tumbling down
And it's bye-bye, goodbye I tried
Down comes the reign of the telephone czar
It's ok to call
I will answer for myself
Come pick me up
Come pick me up
I've landed
It works... for the most part.  lol. 
I guess particularly the "Come pick me up, I've landed".

Moral of the story:  Flying kites is fun!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


It makes me think of Winnie the Pooh, and specifically Eeyore.  I think it's the fact that he is grey, and when it's "blustery" outside, it's also grey.  I always felt sorry for Eeyore.  He needed a hug.  And I guess on days like today, when the rain is coming down really hard, and there's fierce wind, and an all-about, general "blustery-ness", a hug could be a good thing.  I hope he got plenty of hugs! 

Today, it was rainy, and windy, and blustery.
If you were outside, you were stuck in it, and you were getting wet.
No questions about it.
It was yucky.

And yes, of course, we went out in it.
The backs of my jeans were sopping, and the hole in my shoe did little to alleviate rain water from soaking my heel, but I guess that's what I get for not wearing my rain boots, and not walking on my tip toes everywhere...  next time...

I did use my orange umbrella though, and that was a good thing!
I hardly ever use an umbrella.
It made me think about the photo-shoot I did with my sister, and the orange umbrella, a year or so ago!
It was sooooo much fun, and we got some great shots out of it!
As a matter of fact, here are a few of my favorites:  :)

And for now, the rain is back to pouring, and there is still lightning off in the distance, and the counties around us are under a tornado watch until 4am, so I'm counting us in as well!  The cats seem fine, and there were just a few things out of place when we got home, so apparently they were ::too:: traumatized!  The storms are supposed to continue in to the morning (as thunder rolls outside my window - Nice touch thunder storm, nice touch indeed!)  I look forward to going to sleep to the sound of the rain! 

Friday, March 25, 2011


The city of Woodstock, GA is definitely growing.  They've finished the construction on the road, they've added park benches and container gardens of beautiful flowers, and their expanding list of eateries is attracting a healthy amount of fresh individualists looking for a warm place to "hang".  Woodstock is responding to that, and pleasing the people!  It's so great to see new businesses opening and new homes being built just off Main Street.  This year has already been really good for the little city, and I can only imagine what the next few years will bring!

We were able to walk about Woodstock tonight.  We had originally planned on going there for the annual Streetfest, but after parking easily and seeing not many people about, we figured that it must ::really:: be scheduled for tomorrow - during the storms...  But I'm sure the party will go on anyways, and that it will be fun as well!  So we were there, and we decided to look around.  We visited Blue Frog Imports, a funky and fresh new store featuring little items and trinkets from all over.  Lots of bright colors (and I mean bright and loud!), tons of little figurines, and fresh scents.  The soy candles all over radiated their own new scent for each area.  And while it's not a huge store, it's packed full of goodies!  There are cute signs that have been hand-painted with little sayings, handmade jewelry, and some really cool pottery!  Definitely a place to go back to, especially to savor the chance to support a local business!

After browsing Blue Frog, we crossed the street and headed for the good stuff - Yoguri.  We had seen this new store from Main Street the other day, and although we couldn't tell what it was without being right next to it, we could see that it was bright, open, and the sign resembled something like a yogurt swirl.  Today, we were determined to find out what it was.  And it was yogurt!  Very good yogurt, to be exact!  It's a self-serve style sort-of-place where you go in, grab a cup, fill it with as many flavors of yogurt as you want, and then pile on the toppings.  They weigh your concoction at the end, and then you enjoy!  It's simple and satisfying!  And it was really good!  The entire place is very clean! The walls are all white with very little signage - which means very little distractions. It adds to the simplicity of it all! The only colors in there are the stunning tiles along the yogurt wall, and the array of colors from the toppings. They had a few metallic tables on the inside and just outside, and the whole place was so conducive to stopping in, grabbing a snack, and sitting and watching. Woodstock is beginning to bud into a great place to watch people, so I'm happy to oblige. :)

Tonight, they had 8 flavor yogurt choices:
Original (greek yogurt)
Taro (hazelnut)
Peanut Butter
And I sampled the pomegranate, chocolate, and the original.  I put about a tablespoon of each into the bottom of the cup and then topped it with chocolate sprinkles, blackberries, strawberries, and kiwi.  Gary, being the peanut butter lover that he is, tried the peanut butter yogurt and then topped it with Reese's Pieces, chocolate chips, and gummy bears.  He said it was lovely!  (I'm rubbing off on him...  hehe).  I totally agree!  All of the yogurt flavors were light but had a great heartiness - the pomegranate was excellent, and the 'original' was my favorite!  It's the greek yogurt flavor, so there was a tanginess there that went really well with the fruit. 

And then the toppings ranged from fresh fruit (yumm!), to nuts, to candy, to cereal.  Like I said, I was impressed - it happens fairly easily!

And it was a pretty "happening" place. They've been open for two weeks, and there was already a steady stream of people going in to try it. It helps though to have an awesome location! The girls in there was very sweet and even allowed me to take pictures. They asked me if I was a journalist! Gary told them "She wishes" (which I do) and then I told them that I was a "Blogger", and that it was for my blog. Lol. They seemed mildly impressed. I felt the need to pull out a business card and pass it out, but alas, no blog business card.

All in all, it was a great night to be outside, and with some frozen yogurt in hand, it was even better!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just another...

Manic Thursday!

Today was beyond busy!  Work has been slammed this week, and I was literally working until the last second trying to get things done...  and some things get to wait until Monday.  It was good though!  I do believe that I would rather be running around like crazy then poking around looking for things to do.  Yes, today was good!  I love it when there's lots of laughter - and even more, when we have a full house!  You can feel the energy radiating from every corner of the room, and all it takes is one spark to set us all off, in a good way of course.  :)

I got another box of goodies to go through (tomorrow hopefully)!  I still need to sort and divide up the last set and figure out what to use, and this new box should be fun as well!  I am also borrowing a Pike's Garden center magazine this weekend.  I need to take notes so that I can get my garden going.  I also need to go look for some awesome containers to hold it all in.  I. Am. So. Excited. About. This. Garden!!!  I can't wait to grow things, and I really hope it turns out well!  I think I'm most excited about the containers - I can't wait to see it all coming together, and then to actually have produce, wow!

I met up with my sister for dinner tonight.  I decided it was going to be a good idea to go straight from work instead of leaving work, driving N to home, then leaving home, and driving way S to Laura's.  There are enough activities to entertain me between work and Laura's, that I figured a little extra time to waste would be a good thing.  And so it was!  I decided to stop at IKEA.  And I had specific instructions not to buy anything, which in IKEA is a very, very hard thing to do.  They have so many deals, and small, little, cheap things to buy, that walking out of there empty handed isn't conducive to being "Nancy".  But, somehow or another, I managed.  I think having a mini notebook and a pen in hand really helped.  lol.  Oh, and I didn't grab a cart (even though their carts are really fun to drive around...).  I just walked around, analyzed things, and wrote down what I was considering buying.  :)  So now I can go over it with Gary and persuade him.  lol.

It was great to see Laura!  She's getting used to her new job, which means she's exhausted right now, which is completely understandable.  Going to a full time job after not having one ever, is tough.  But she'll get used to it, and she's probably going to love it!  I think it's going to be a real good opportunity for her!  But we got to catch up a bit and talk about those early wedding plans, and we even looked at dresses - we are such girls.  But it's so much fun!  And we talked about venues, and looked at some websites.  I'm going to try and do some more research soon for her - They're looking for something unique, in Atlanta, for not a lot of money, and a good time table.  I think the perfect place is out there, and we'll find it hopefully!

I feel the need to get a binder and use my light pink lined paper, pens in every shade of the rainbow, and take notes.  And then get tabs, separate all of my notes, into sections, and then present it to her in a official presentation - complete with color copies of the venue websites, pricing sheets, and appointments.  lol.  I'm going to try to contain myself though...  I'll start small (jotting down notes in my pocket journal) and graduate to the serious stuff (full-fledged notebook of extremely detailed details...).

Maybe we could use - oh - about 100 of these at the reception??
That's so Nancy.  :)

P.S.  Music is amazing!  I'm astounded sometimes at it's ability to speak.  And I really really enjoyed singing to some of my favorite songs on the way home tonight! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today on the way home, I was stuck behind a large metallic truck.  I never actually saw what it was holding, but I would venture to assume it was gas or some sort of liquid with which a large, metallic truck is needed to hold it all.  Well, usually I would try to go around it, but it was going the speed limit, other cars were impeding my merging capabilities, and I was content, especially when I started noticing the reflections on the back of the truck.  The back is also metallic-y and mirror like, and as we were driving, the reflections were rotating and swirling around kind of like a kaleidoscope.

It's times like these that I wish I had a camcorder handy...

I really enjoyed seeing the wires hanging over head being transformed into snakes, scurrying across the beveled planes.  The trees and cars passing were mirrored and warped, and the colors were accentuated but overall muted against the silvery hue. 

It was transfixing and albeit a bit distracting, but like I said, I was content.  :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hands and Feet

Sometimes, when I need to remember to do something important, and I know I won't be able to get to it until later that day, I will write it in my calendar, or, in extreme cases, on my hand.  I will usually write down some letters, mostly indescript jumbles or abbreviations that cryptically disguise the true meaning, or something extremely vague, that only I could possibly remember the meaning to.  :)  When I happen to catch it out of the corner of my eye, it makes me think about the thing I'm supposed to remember... especially if I have to try to remember what I was trying to remember in the first place.  It's fun...

Well today, I did something different.  Yes, there was something I needed to remember, and yes, I wrote it in my calendar, but I also drew a picture on my hand.  Something vague.  Something only I could guess at.  But as things would turn out, I have really enjoyed having that little picture on my hand today.  I'd glance down and see it smiling back at me, and I'd smile right back at it.  It's simple, it's tiny, and it's just there.

It makes me wonder about getting another tattoo.  I have often wondered about getting a second one, and where I'd get it, and with this image on my hand, I have to admit, that it would not be an awfully awful spot to have one.  Especially if it was uber-small like this one pretends to be.  I don't know if I'd get a cat though... which means back to the drawing board in terms of awesomely awesome ideas. 

It reminds me of a camp song, and I, of course, am going to include the lyrics here...  :)
I have a daisy on my toe.
It is not real; it does not grow.
It's just a tattoo of a flower... so I look good taking a shower.
It's on the middle toe of my left foot.
It has no stem, it has no root.
...Why not?  'Cause that wouldn't look good.
I have a daisy on my toe.  My right foot loves my left foot so.

I actually really like to idea of a daisy tattoo on the middle toe of my left foot, but I don't want it to feel like it's competing with the freckle on the fourth toe of my right foot... 
I don't need my feet developing complexes or anything like that.  They're too cute!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tea Time

We had a surprise party for Deb and Di's birthday today!
It was a 'Red Hat Society' themed tea party, and it was lovely!  :)

We had dainty goodies and a selection of delectable teas!

There was fancy china!

There were gifts!  Oh my!

Headbands, lais, and even matching t-shirts!

And there was LOTS of red and purple!

All to celebrate the twin birthday gals!!
And it was an amazing day!
Happy Birthday Deb and Di!  :)

And I believe the consensus was that we need to have tea parties more often.
Especially when petit fours, tea in fancy china, and dressing-up are involved!  :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Breakout Kings

Oh, lazy Sundays, how I do love thee!
We started watching "Breakout Kings" today.  We had been watching the "See No Evil" movie on Syfy, and somehow or another, the previews for this show came up, and while I wasn't immediately drawn, Gary was, and lucky for us, the pilot episode, as well as the next one, were coming on after the movie.  (The third and new episode comes on tonight at 10 on A&E... I will be sleeping.)  But anyways, the moment Gary turned it on A&E, I was like "isn't it my turn to choose a movie?"...  There's only so many "crime" related shows a person can watch...  However, we did start watching the show and within the first 5 minutes, I was hooked!  A mighty fine hook by the way, if I can go ahead and give those props!

The premise of the show is that a team of "experts" is assembled to catch escaped convicts.  It was said that the probability of finding an escaped convict goes down to 5% after the first 72 hours, therefore the need for the team of experts.  But what makes this team different, is that the experts are actually convicted felons serving time themselves.  They get to go on these "field-trips" when they are needed to help solve a case, and if they behave well and catch the escapee, they go back to the more minimal security prison, and have a month shaved off their sentence.  Interesting?  Yes!  And I'm really enjoying the characters so far!  Of course, the convict who knows everything but has a troubled past, is my favorite, but then again, every single one of the characters seems to have a troubled past - even the main police dudes!  And I think that harks to the fact that everyone - every single person in the world - has an issue.  And you know, I think I can safely say that I agree and take claim to that... claim!

If you have a chance, you need to watch it... if you like that sort of thing.  The idea is something that is not altogether fresh ("White Collar" on USA is similar in theory, as well as "Leverage" with Timothy Hutton), but it is extremely well done here in my opinion, and the plots are just enough to keep you entertained for an hour.  The only problem is that it comes on late, and on Sundays, so I'm just hoping that they re-play it enough again and again and again during the week, during a time that I can catch it.  :)


In other news, our onion is sprouting... and it's not supposed to be.
I've never really seen an onion sprout before, and it hasn't even been that long since we've had it.
I guess it's been that long since I've looked at it though.  lol.
I have half a mind to plant it.  But I'd want to research "planting onions" first.  :)
Maybe when we get the garden going, I'll save a place for it.

Hehe... title of blog: Breakout Kings...
And oddly enough, the onion sprouts are "breaking out" - like kings!
Har har harrrrr.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Playing dress-up.

We've begun the arduous task of cleaning out closets...  Not the most fun thing in the world, but a necessary beast to be tackled, nonetheless.  And it's fun because the upstairs closet has been harbouring goodies for oh, close to 4 or 5 years now... and it's amazing what random stuff accumulates in a space in any amount of time.  There are art kits, random office supplies, older linens, a super heavy amp, some costume wear, a box of old pictures from my Granny, Laura's bridesmaid dress, and my ::other:: wedding dress.  And after going through some of it - meaning taking all of the art kits out, looking through almost every picture, and divvying up all of the goodies, Laura tried on the wedding dress, and I tried on the Bridesmaid dress.  :)

It was fun because they both fit each other, more or less, disregarding the length.  The bridesmaid dress was long on me, and the wedding dress was a little short on her, but other than that, they looked great!  And it got us to thinking...

Laura is engaged, but they haven't really started planning a wedding yet.  Well, with the impromptu trying-ons, wedding wheels started turning, and an all out wedding plan started falling into place.  :)  And although the wedding dress she tried on isn't exactly the way she wants to go, it's definitely a valid option, and it may even work with some tweaking.

It makes me happy because I'll get to help coordinate a wedding, other than my own, and I'll get to focus on all of the fun details, and spend time with Laura doing it!

And even in this uber-beginning phase, I can tell it is going to be SUCH a cute wedding!
I can already see the pictures in my mind... the dresses, the flowers, the colors, the favors...
So much fun!
So now, she just has to talk to the fiance, and we can get the show going!  :)

Theme teaser: Lemons

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cereal and Memories

Whenever I have a bowl of cereal, I am taken back to my Grandma and Pawpaw's house.  She would open the cupboard and offer us a choice from about 9 different options... and for a kid, we always delighted in getting to choose!  I remember corn flakes and honey nut cheerios were a staple, with a few other sundries scattered about.  Nutty clusters, fiber oats, or something with whole grain probably sat on the shelves amongst them.  And very rarely something with artificial colors and sugar would show up - too rarely much to our demise.  But we still ate! 

I most often would choose corn flakes, and then Grandma would slice up a banana for me, and I would note, even then, that the sweet banana was great with the not-sweet corn flakes.  I loved the simplicity of it, and how good it tasted.  And then there's honey-nut cheerios.  I don't know what it is about them, but the little oh's of honey-nutty goodness are entrancing!  This is the go-to cereal when I want a little sweetness.  I still love it, and it's Gary's favorite.  I believe it's going to be a staple at our house forever!

Interestingly enough, cereal has the preponderance of making memories for me.  For my Grandma, like I mentioned, it was the boxes of cereal on the shelves, and the choices.  And the smiles.  There are always smiles when I think about Grandma (and Pawpaw)!  For my Granddaddy, the cereal of choice was definitely Raisin Bran Crunch, without a doubt.  And while there were also the random others, Raisin Bran Crunch was the only one I ever remember him eating.  And if I ever wanted to have cereal while I was over there, that was what I was eating too!  I was/am a bit of a copy cat when it comes to certain things.  :)  And again, I remember the flavors, the slivers of the almonds, the chewy of the raisin cluster things, and the bran flakes that crumbled in the milk (not too bad though).  A darn good cereal!!

It's funny though, how I have those memories. 
They are so specific, so undeniable.
I look back now and it makes me smile to think about them and their cereals, which is good - because I wouldn't want it any other way.  Their memories will always be with me, and the fondness for those cereals will always remain.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I had a good time hanging pictures with Debbie and Kitty today!  Apparently it takes 3 of us to hang a  picture, and then since there were 4 pictures, well, you can imagine it took a quick minute.  But it was fun... and they even turned out mostly straight.  :)

And lucky for us, (lucky - st.patty's day - heh) we're all short, so attempting to hang a picture half way up the wall equals good times and laughter!  But we had a step stool, level, tape measure, pencil, screws in our pockets, a hammer, a calculator, some post-it notes, a screwdriver, and the pictures... and we got the job done!  lol.

And that was the "hanging pictures" part.  First, we had to decipher my note.  Second, we had to undo two of the frames, switch the contents, reclose the frames, check for specks, and since there was one, reopen the frame, remove said speck and dust the glass, put back together, rework the hanging wire, and then we were ready to go.  And third was the hanging of the pictures.

It was really funny, and it felt good to laugh!
I love these girls.  :)

Phew - and it's good to be able to check this off the list!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I was in a funk today................

But at least I had some treasure troves to go through when I got home.  :)

Cardboard boxes full of fabrics, fringes, belts, and clothes.
Given to me in the hopes that I would find something to do with them.
And as I started sorting through them, I'll admit it, I found myself smiling at the possibilities.  :)

I'll let you know what I get going, when I get it there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Too school for cool.

I don't watch near as much news as I ought to... or even as much as I care to.  I like to think that I get just ::enough:: news from the 3 minute snippet on the radio each morning (well, each Monday through Thursday morning), and that if I did miss anything, the ladies at work will bring it up, and we can discuss it there.  :)  And if I do happen to turn it on, it's probably because I am waiting on another show to begin, or there is nothing else on.  And rarely, I will turn it on because I want to be "in the know".  But for the most part, I kind of tend to avoid it.

It's mostly negative though, what can I say?
Honestly, I like to avoid negative things...

And I feel that, in life, there are enough negative things that it feels silly watching the news to find out more of the negative things that occurred while I wasn't watching.  I really and truly do see the importance in being educated, and aware, and in tune with what's happening... but isn't there also the side that says that "ignorance is bliss"?

If you think back to when you were a child, there was nothing more important than playing with your toys.  I remember when taking a bath was not about getting clean (or even using soap - gasp), but about playing with my barbie dolls, and planning their soap operas.  My biggest concern on a daily basis would be whether or not my fort at the school playground survived the night, or if my sister's roll call of stuffed animals would turn up one missing.  I had food on the table, a warm bed, and a family.  I didn't know any different, and I was none the wiser for a very, very, very long time. 

Call me sheltered.  A bit, huh?

And seriously, I wouldn't say my viewpoint began to change until I got into college.  Okay maybe when I was in middle school, I started becoming aware of other cultures and people - but they lived within the realm of my history and social science book.  I rarely had a real-world example, aside from the occasional newspaper article that I had to summarize.  But even then, I had no idea what I was reading, and I was trying to make sense of words that didn't make sense to me.  It was a weird time, and I didn't know what it meant to understand the world around me, especially places on the other side of the world.  But I dare say, I was still happy.  I didn't necessarily worry about other people because I didn't necessarily know that there were other people to worry about.  I was content in my bubble.

When my views started to change, I began to question things.  I was studying religion, and the fact that there were so many different religions and spiritualities out there, was amazing.  It was comforting actually.  I grew up ::knowing:: that if people did not believe in God, they were going to go to Hell.  But with my religious studies, faith took on a new meaning.  I began to see myself as being selfish all of those years.  How could I dare chastise another person's beliefs, just because they differed my own.  And I was fairly vocal about my beliefs, in a passive-aggressive way of course...  I would wear Christian themed t-shirts, and that was pretty much the extent of it.  But I would go on the mission trips, attend Wednesday and Sunday services, and I belonged to a group - and I think that was the kicker.  I had struggled to belong, and at church, I had friends. 

But even at church, eventually cliques began to form, and I was once again straddling to the other realms.  I found it hard to connect with a religion that wasn't actually living up to it's own principles.  How could you preach about loving others, when you couldn't even pretend to be friends with a fellow Christian?

I think the point is that when I was exposed to other religions, my eyes were opened and I was happy that other people found their own strength in other religions, aside from Christianity.  It made me feel better about the world.  I didn't find myself worrying about everyones souls, because for one, most people can take care of themselves and their souls for that matter.  They learn to survive, and they learn to adapt.  And they do.  People adapt to what they are comfortable with, and by finding religion, a person commits to a faith they are comfortable with, and therefore, they commit to a destiny.  I liked this, and so I went with it.

And while I am still a Christian, I am also accepting of others and thankful for the diversity.  I appreciate the different faiths, walks of life, and spiritualities in the world.  I think we can learn so much from each other, without trying to change each other, and that ultimately, it leads to a harmony that cannot be denied.

Harmony would be / is a positive in a world of otherwise negatives. 

And it is the positives that I like to lean towards.

I don't like watching the news, or listening to the news, because it is so much a negative thing.  I will admit, there have been attempts on certain stations to make things "happier" but for the most part, news thrives on the negative, and on the stories that will draw the most attention - namely world disasters, murder mysteries, and peoples downward spiral.

I'm sorry, but I like to smile... and I don't when I hear all of this negative stuff.

I think as a "people", we need to try to find as much interesting and positive things on a daily basis as possible, in order to smile, to laugh, and to experience "good".  There is not one day that goes by where I do not search for something interesting - which is part of my commitment to this blog.  I will find something interesting, talk about it, take pictures of it, and sometimes even relate it to my life...

I have ::really:: enjoyed the journey so far, and I'm glad to have people all around supporting me.  It helps having feedback, and suggestions.  :)

Tonight, Glee is on!  One of my favorite shows ever, I love the quirky mix of song, drama, and comedy.  It makes me smile, and it helps me realize some of my favorite songs, and in some excitingly original covers.  For instance, I have been a fan of the Pink song "Raise Your Glass", but tonight, when I saw and listened to it performed on Glee, I connected with the lyrics on a different level.

And so, if you want, you can read them here, or watch the music video here.  :)

And here of some of my pictures from today...
The Madre Tree with the Sophie cat.

If you stare at this picture long enough, it doesn't look like a hand anymore... 
but the nails do still match the tissue paper.  :)

The picture of the piano, on top of the piano...

The hydrangea that I insist on watering... even though it's dry as a bone.
But still gorgeous.

The dead plant living on the back porch... a bit ironic, but nice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Looking up!

Today has been better.
I have a bit more energy and my spirits are higher, which is good.
I'm not moping around as much and I'm finding that the pain is more manageable today, with advil.
My ear is still swollen shut, which makes me wince whenever I (or Gary) tries to touch it.  When the doctor touched it though, I didn't wince, and it didn't hurt (amazingly).  I was afraid that it was going to.
It's hard to eat because it hurts a bit to open my mouth.  So yogurt, chicken noodle soup, and fluids have been my friend.  I did have some chicken nuggets for lunch though.  It wasn't terribly hard to eat.
And I can barely hear... which is fun...  There is this rather loud, buzzing noise in my left ear, that when accompanied by trying to listen to anything else from my right ear, makes it complicated.  Gary is taking advantage of it, and moving his mouth without actually speaking... causing me to say "what?".  And then he starts laughing...  lol.  I'm glad I can be of entertainment.

I went to the doctor, and he prescribed me some prednisone, which is what I was hoping he would do.
I had that the last time I had an ear infection and the swelling cleared up within a few days.
And I now have it in my system, so I'm hoping it will work really fast!

Every now and then, I'll have a sharp pain or a gurgling sound or an air bubble that feels like it escaped.
I think that means that the meds are working.  I hope so at least.

I'm ready to get back to the groove of things!
I mean, I do so enjoy laying on the sofa watching 'Top Chef' marathons and episodes of Anthony Bourdain's 'No Reservations', but I miss my friends, and I miss the routine.

The kitties have been very sweet though.  I always enjoy witnessing a-day-in-the-life-of-a-cat.  For the most part, they sleep.  They play for a few minutes, bathe themselves and each other, run around, eat, but mostly they sleep.  And sometimes, they will even come pet me (or come over to me expecting to be petted).

I found them!  So sleepy...

But oh so cute!

Impressively fluffy and gorgeous clouds this afternoon!
Here's to looking up and things getting better!  :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

By lamp light...

I spent the day on the sofa, in and out of sleep.
We watched many movies and shows, and Gary was very good at taking care of me.
My ear infection seems to have gotten worse today, and I think I need to go back to the doctor.  It has been throbbing all day, and feels swollen...
We'll see how tonight goes, and how I feel in the morning.

And in an effort to photograph something "interesting" today, the lamp came in handy.  It was nice and close, and interesting to boot.

Nice contrast.
Lamp base detail.