Saturday, December 26, 2009

Things Change...

If you know me, then you know that things have changed in my life...again.

I am single once more and I am moving once more. Sheldon and I didn't work as a couple. We tried, we really did, but the more time went by, the more clear it was to me that I was losing all the best parts of myself in an effort to make him happy. I packed up my neccessities and my dog and left him last Sunday as soon as the snow stopped and the driveway was clear.

I have moved in with my mama, at least temporarily. She wants me to stay here and she isn't charging me rent, so it is definitely a good place to rest and recoup and make some decisions about my future. As soon as the side streets are cleared of snow I will hire a truck and get all my furniture and the rest of my "stuff" out of Sheldon's house. I'll have to put it in storage as Mama's house is stuffed to the gills already.

Right now, I feel like I can breath again, and that is a VERY GOOD feeling!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Letter from Jesus

As most of you know I stopped celebrating xmas several years ago because I am horrified every year by the materialism and me, me, me attitude that grips Americans every year at this time. The stress and frenzy of baking and shopping and party after gathering after potluck is not how I want to spend my holidays or any day of the year. I stepped off the merry-go-round and have no desire to step back on, although my friends and family call me a scrooge and refuse to listen to me when I tell them not to buy me any gifts. You'd think by now they would know that I mean what I say and I say what I mean. I did not ask for anything, I do not want anything and I will not buy anything. I will play a game with you, I will watch a movie with you, I will go out to dinner with you or cook dinner for you. I will talk with you on the telephone or read your email and write you back. I will tell you about all the best books I read this year or ask you about your adventures.

Someone emailed me the following "letter from Jesus" and although I'm not usually the type to be quoting scripture but I really felt like a lot of these points needed to be seen.

Dear Children,
It has come to my attention that many you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own.

I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa's and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing Obama complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary - especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest.

Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember:


~Earthly Author Unknown~

Friday, November 27, 2009

Orange Bowls or What I Made for Thanksgiving

I saw this idea online and although I used the same ingredients I made a much smaller batch. They turned out perfectly and were a hit at my Aunt's Thanksgiving Feast. I will definitely make them again. The hardest part was making the orange bowls, but that wasn't hard so much as a tedious. I have never been a fan of sweet potatoes or yams (didn't even know they were two different things before) but I did like this and wanted more when I finished mine.

6 oranges
2 large sweet potatoes
2 large yams
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tbsp. orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
12 marshmallows

Cut 6 oranges in half and remove the meat of the orange, creating 12 hollow bowls. Fill a 9x13 glass baking pan with all the bowls. Peel sweet potatoes and yams and cut into chunks, boil for about 15 minutes or until tender; drain and mash until very smooth. Blend the orange juice, OJ concentrate, honey, butter and cinnamon; stir into the bowl and and mix well. Fill each orange bowl with the yam/sweet potato mixture. Put one marshmallow on top of each. Put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes or so til the marshmallows start to melt and turn brown.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Dock

Sheldon and I had a date night last night and it was so nice. First I met up with him and some of his co-workers at a local Irish Pub. There was live music and the bar was crowded but not packed. His co-workers were hilarious and they loved listening to me tell stories on Sheldon. After a few more beers for them and a yummy whiskey sour for me we parted ways and Sheldon and I headed out to dinner. One of our favorite restaurants is The Dock in Lansdowne. One of our first dates was to this restaurant and I have loved it every time we eat there. It isn't frou frou at all, but the food is original and completely, completely, completely YUMMY! If you ever come to my area, I highly recommend you give it a try. Sheldon always seems to choose the same meal, pork chops, but I have had something different every time. Last night I ate jumbo sea scallops with a chile lime glaze served over pasta with marinated tomatoes and lobster sauce. It was the perfect amount of food, I could have eaten more, but I wasn't still hungry. I would have gladly licked my plate if I could have gotten away with it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Cost of College

Being back in school AND being the mom of a teenager, I am keenly aware of the cost of college tuition. The X and I invested in the Virginia Pre-paid College Tuition program when Miles was in 2nd grade and I am so glad we did. Paying for college is still an issue though, because we still have to pay his room and board and if he goes out of state we'll have to pay anything over the highest virginia tuition. Since his college years are only about 30 months away I have really started thinking and talking about this topic with Miles. Today I found a link on that gave the list of the ten most expensive schools in the nation:

Sarah Lawrence $55,788

Parsons School of Design $52,400

Georgetown $52,161

NYU $51,993

George Washington University $51,775

Johns Hopkins University $51,690

Columbia $51,544

Weslyan $51,432

Trinity $51,400

Washington University in St. Louis $51,329

This list made me curious as to what the schools in Virginia were charging these days. I am a student at George Mason Unversity, but I am only taking one class at a time (which runs almost $1,000) but I needed to see the full time tuition to compare. I clicked another link on that took me to a site where you can check the tuition of most any school in any state. I found the Virginia list pretty shocking for its disparity. I guess I never really knew the difference between the costs of the private schools in Virginia vs. the state schools. We are so lucky here in that we have so many fabulous state schools in our lovely commonwealth. After reading this list, I'm just not sure why anyone would go to one of the private schools, unless it was in their own backyard, or their parents worked there, or they had a full boat scholarship. I mean seriously, Ferrum and Bridgewater each cost 4 times as much as Va. Tech or Mason. Are you really getting a better education?

From my own family, I know that personality and school size are important factors too. My sister wanted a small school, it just fit her personality and learning style better. She went to Roanoke College which happens to be where my father went as well. It is a beautiful school and Roanoke is one of my favorite areas of Virginia, but I personnally would not be able to justify the cost. My sister reads this blog so let me say right now that I am not passing judgment on her decision but I'm curious as to how she feels about it now that she's out in the "real world" and having to pay back student loans? Katy? Feel free to comment...

BTW, Katy has her own blog now so skip on over there if you'd like to follow the life of a young single girl in Brooklyn!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guard Your Energy

The raw material of personal performance and productivity is contained in your physical, mental and emotional energies. Your body is like a machine that uses food, water, and rest to generate energy that you then use to accomplish important tasks in your life and work. When you are fully rested, for example, you can get two time, three times, and five times as much done as when you are tired or burned out.

One of the most important requirements for being happy and productive is for you to guard and nurture your energy levels at all times.

From the book “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I read this post today about letterwriting and it so took me back to my teen years and my Ziggy stationary. I thought you might like Vicki as well. I think she writes so eloquently.

I used to write letters all the time. I had penpals in Korea and England that I got in my Girl Scout Magazine. I saved all the letters and cards I ever received for years and years, but cleaned out a closet during my divorce and pitched it all.

I get my stationary and pen fix now by finding beautiful notecards at museum shops and sending thank you notes to everyone for everything. I have even taking to writing to my favorite novelists after every good book. My handwriting has always been atrocious but my ink and notecards are delicious!

How Much Would YOU Spend?

One of the blogs I read every day is Give Me Back My Five Bucks, which is written by a young Canadian girl who paid off all her debt and is living a wonderful debt-free life. She posted this list of how much money she would spend on certain things:

I found her list facsinating and thought I'd post my own list...but I'm adding what I usually spend as well as my limit:

Purse: $10 - $80
Wallet: $5 - $35
Winter jacket: $85 - same
A pair of knee-high boots: $50 - $80
A casual but not formal dress: $30 - $60
Formal dress: can't even imagine buying such a thing but I guess I'd spend $150 if I had too.
Pants (inc. jeans): $35 - $60
Computer: $1,500 - 3,000
Sneaks: $25 - $150

My limits are quite a bit lower than Krystal's but I think that is at least partly because I buy a lot of stuff at thrift stores and so pay much less. I went for years never paying more than $8 for jeans because I always found perfect jeans at the Salvation Army store near my office. I also have gotten purses for years and years at KMart for $10, but this year I found a darling purse I had to have at Filene's basement downtown. It cost $80 which almost choked me and will prolly horrify Sheldon, but I have loved it each and every day and I get compliments on it all the time.

I found this to be a very interesting should try it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Weightloss Plan (again)!

I have been struggling with 30 pounds for 3 years now. I put it on when my doc put me on a medication for anxiety. I gained 30 pounds in 6 months. Even the doc was shocked because as she said at the time "You NEVER gain weight!" Yeah, I know. I never had, other than when I was pregnant. I never had to worry, I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and nothing stuck. So when I visited my doc in a panic about the gain she changed my meds and I stopped gaining, but I also never lost.

30 pounds is a lot. It is two jeans sizes. It is more than that though. It is pride, it is self confidence, it is sex appeal. For 40+ years of my life I wasn't worried about any of those things in a physical sense, but now I worry about all of the above. I have tried to lose the weight, but nothing I have done so far has made a dent.

Last night I started reading "Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy and came up with a plan. Brian says to take every goal and break it down into smaller pieces, see what you can accomplish on a daily basis to make your long term goals happen. So here is the math that I figured out to make my goal happen:

I want to lose 30 pounds in six months, which the same rate at which I gained it. That comes out to 5 pounds a month or .166 pounds a day. There are approximately 2.5 ounces in .166 pounds.
There are 3500 calories in a pound so to lose 2.5 ounces I need to burn approximately 550 calories. Riding a bike for 10 minutes burns 80 calories so to lose the 550 calories I'll need to ride for one hour a day. Since I invested in a recumbant exercise bike last month I actually already have the equipment I need. Now I just have to force myself downstairs EVERY DAY for one hour to make this happen.

I actually did ride the bike every day the first week I had it, but then I started my second job and just didn't have enough energy to keep it up. After three weeks at the new job, I think I have stabilized my schedule and my energy output enough that I can get back on the bike. If the bike was in the family room or the bedroom instead of the basement I don't think I would have an issue, but to actually make myself go downstairs and set up the computer so that I can watch tv usually takes more effort than I feel like expending. Sigh.

Here's the thing though, it is totally do-able. I can ride the bike for 60 minutes a day. I watch at least 120 minutes of tv a day, I will just have to force myself to do it in the basement, alone. Cause I will beat this! I will!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have been enjoying tv in all my busyness thanks to the glory of DVR! Have y'all seen:

  1. Glee
  2. Sons of Anarchy
  3. The Closer
  4. Saving Grace
  5. 18 Kids and Counting
  6. Big Bang Theory
  7. Two and a Half Men
There are more but that was all I can remember...lame-o, I know...

crochet girl

As if I don't have enough on my plate I started a crochet class at my day job today! It was so much fun. I love to crochet and I love to teach others. I think needlework is such an important thing for all of us on a cultural level. It is also so so SO relaxing to work with your hands. I think of crocheting as therapy with a gift at the end. I enjoyed spending an hour with 4 of my co-workers that I didn't know very well. One of them I had never met before. We laughed and talked the whole time.

It is an ongoing class, every Thursday at noon. Today we only did chain stitch, that was all they could handle. :)

Baby Sis

So my Baby Sister moved to NYC!!! She also started a blog, so if you would like to read about her adventures you can go HERE!

I am so proud of her because she is not the type to run off on wild adventures.

I am also jealous because I absolutely adore New York and would love to be living there myself. I even dreamed last night that I had moved up there with another friend to help her and her roommate pay rent until they both had jobs.

I can't wait to load Mama in the car and take her up there to visit!!!


Hi Peeps!
I know, I know, I haven't written in a while. Sheldon has been complaining about my lack of posting and he lives with me so he knows how busy I have been! I am now working two jobs and taking a horrible, horrible math class. I'm not even sure where to start with my updating...

1. Job number one is fabulous. I am a receptionist for a Aerospace Engineering company. I took the downgrade in responsibility so that I could take classes and finally finish my degree. I love it! I love just being able to sit and answer the phone and sort the mail and be nice to people all day long. We are a 24 hour facility so I can even get overtime. The bad part is that I took a 45% paycut. Ugh.

2. Job number two is a retail job at an upscale women's clothing outlet. It is physically exhausting but fun. My favorite spot is folding/hanging clothes in the dressing room. I can stand in one place (which kills my back but is so much easier on my feet) and help the women who are trying to make decisions. I took this job to earn extra money to pay for repairs on my car and tuition.

3. I'm back to taking classes at my college of 26 years. I only need 9 classes to get my English degree. I love being back at school, but I hate my class. Unfortunately for me, Sheldon decided to go back for his second masters degree at the same time so although I thought I'd have my own personal math tutor, he is too distracted by his own homework to help me with mine. I am the oldest person in the room each week by at least 10 years and that includes the professor!

4. Due to all of the above I am physically and mentally exhausted. To make things even worse I have been having trouble sleeping.

This is a very whiny post...sorry! More to come!!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Weekend of the Summer!

It was a GREAT weekend! It was our weekend withOUT the kids and it was my last free weekend before I start my new weekend retail job. I got to enjoy all my favorite things. Friday night we had an official date night. We went to a new restaurant that Sheldon has been dying to try. He loves brew pubs and had tasted Dogfish Head Ale at two different beer festivals. We were planning on going to the local Dogfish Head Ale House (I call it Dog Breath, cause that name is just a tongue twister!) in Seven Corners but when he went online to get directions he discovered that there was a newer one in Chantilly. We jumped in the car and headed over there. There was a wait but it was well worth it! The food was absolutely delicious! I had a burger and he had a steak sandwich and they just hit the spot. He was drinking the Chicory Stout which is coffee flavored. He loved it. I thought it was nasty, but I don't like beer that much to begin with, so don't ask me. That being said I drank the Festiva Peche because I discovered in Oregon that I like fruit beers. The peach beer was good, it had a sour taste, like lemonade but different. Kind of indescribable, but good and I drank the whole thing which is VERY unusual for me.

On the back of the menu was an invitation to visit the brewery in Millford, Delaware. Sheldon's eyes lit up and he crowed "ROAD TRIP!" as soon as he read that. We made a plan to hit the road by 8am on Saturday. We headed home and hit the bed.

Saturday I got up extra early to research the hours and directions to the brewery and to find some letterboxes in the area. The bad news was that the brewery was closed to tours for the weekend due to construction, but we decided to go anyway. We drove to Lewes, DE and walked around the lovely town. We found a really clever letterbox and then headed to the beach so that I could dip my toes in the ocean and watch the waves for a few minutes. Then (I know you'll be shocked) we found the Rehobeth Beach Dog Breath Alehouse. This time we ate corn and crab chowder and crab dip with french bread. It was also yummy and Sheldon was able to buy a t-shirt and a beer glass for our bar so he was thrilled. Shortly after that we headed home.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny and Sheldon headed off to work for a few hours so I enjoyed a lovely quiet morning of crocheting and catching up on my DVR shows and taking care of laundry and chores. I had started a baby afghan on drive the day before and I managed to almost finish it by the end of the day! I also did several loads of laundry, dusted, made pasta salad for work lunches and taco casserole for dinner. Late in the afternoon Sheldon and I were both working on our homework for our respective classes. I ended up SOBBING over my statistics class because I just hate it and the professor. Sheldon sat me down and went over percentages which have always stumped me and once I understood them I felt better. I still hate the class and the professor though!

We ended the night with me climbing onto Sheldon's lap while he was playing on Facebook and having a nice long talk about life and love and chores and all the important things in life.

So overall it was a fabulous weekend. I got to do all my favorite things!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Brick on the Forehead for the Men in Your Life

Several jobs ago I worked with the sweetest man. I say that because he had a weekly ritual which I thought was the sweetest thing I had ever heard. Every Sunday evening he would drive each car in his driveway to a nearby gas station and fill up all the tanks. He was filling his own tank of course, but the sweet part was that he filled the tanks of his wife and daughter as well. I don’t remember how he came to tell me this story, but I asked him why he did it and he said it was just his way of letting his wife and daughter know that he loved them and wanted them to feel safe and protected and cherished. I honestly thought that this was the sweetest gesture I had ever heard. How simple. Not flowers, not a card, not money or time wasted, just taking care of an errand that all of us have to cope with. As women we do this kind of thing for our families all the time. We fold the laundry the way our loved ones prefer, or we set our daughter’s place at the table with her favorite pink plate, or we buy the snacks or sodas that our kids prefer at the grocery store. Nothing major, they don’t even realize it most of the time. It was so nice to hear of a man going out of his way for the women in his life in such a practical way. Maybe I’m too practical for my own good. I couldn’t care less about cards. I mean don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the thought but I would prefer a tank full of gas and a clean windshield that shows you love me over a $5 piece of cardboard from Hallmark that says you love me any day of the week!

If you don’t share a home or a bank account for the woman you love perhaps you could drop off her mail at the post office or pick up her dry cleaning. Before Sheldon and I moved in together he would always buy me a 12-pack of soda when he bought one for his house. This was thoughtful because soda was not something I kept in the house, but he liked to have one and my son loved having it available as well.

When I was little my mama always drank hot tea. Always. We also always had iced tea with dinner. Tea was definitely the drink in my house. But every now and then my dad would make mama a gin and tonic. I never knew why he did it but she was always grateful and she always drank it with relish (the emotion, not the condiment). I was grown before I realized that those gin and tonics came once a month. Duh.

My point? Well, be nice. Be appreciative. Show your love in real concrete ways and not just on holidays. There are many nice things you can do and you shouldn’t need me to list them for you. Look around. Pay attention. See what frustrates her or wears her out and then do what you can to ease that burden. Women as a whole knock ourselves out to take care of those we love, and often we don’t stop to ask for help.

Be sweet to her!! The rewards will be fabulous!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

me and my bike

A few evenings ago I was sitting out on my front stoop enjoying the quiet of dusk. All the children on our street, including ours, were inside, there was no traffic and the light was almost completely gone from the sky.

As I sat there, a woman about my age, wearing a filmy white dress came halfway down our court on a bicycle. She turned around just before she got to our house and headed back out of our court. I assumed she was just exploring and continued my daydreaming. A few minutes later she caught my eye again, she was riding past the end of my court. Now I was curious. What was she doing? I kept my attention at the end of the court and watched her sail past three or four more times. It was getting darker and darker but her white dress was shining out in the dusky light that remained. She came down my street one more time, and came all the way to the end and turned around. When she rode past my stoop she spotted me and just sort of nodded her head and continued on.

I was so jealous. She seemed like she was having such fun. Her dress was blowing in the wind she created with her movement, making her look like she was flying. I wanted to do it too, but by now it was entirely too dark. I made a promise to myself to ride my bike the next evening.

The next night around 8pm I hopped on my bike and headed out of my court. I realized that she must have been circling around the courts on our hilltop so I started off to do the same thing. As I made the turn out of my court I spotted her! She and her husband were in their driveway. She was holding her bike and her husband was filling the tires for her. I waved to them both and continued down the street. I rode in and out of 3 or 4 courts and before I got back to her street she passed me going the other way. I called out "I'm copying you!" she yelled "Great!". The next time we passed each other she said "Doesn't it feel wonderful?" and I answered with a resounding "YES". I have not officially met her and don't know her name, but one of these days I have every intention of stopping by and introducing myself.

Since that first night I have done this routine several more evenings. I even set the alarm on my cell phone to go off at 7:30 so that I would have more daylight. I think this is working well as an exercise routine for several reasons:
  1. There aren't any steep hills. Lots of small easy inclines but nothing that makes me get off and push or takes the fun out of the ride.
  2. I can quit at any time and not have a long trek back home.
  3. I don't have to change clothes or put on special shoes or start my car. I just open the garage door and head out.
Not only am I getting some much needed exercise and fresh air, but I am enjoying the sunsets and checking out how our neighbors decorate and landscape their homes. I have seen several houses that I want to take Sheldon past so I can ask him if we can copy them. One has a freshly painted white stoop and another has a lovely stone stoop both of which I covet.

I have also seen strange things, like the neighbor who empties his cat litter under the mailbox. Is that a statement against the US mail or the neighborhood?

I did have to stop for several days though because I put my back out and didn't want to aggravate it further. I'm better today though and hoping to hit the street again!

The best part????

I'm down 2 more pounds on my weightloss goal!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!

Easy Stroganoff

I made a new recipe the other night and although it was a little bland for dinner that night let me just tell you that the left overs were beyond fab. I just ate the last of it and wish I had more. I am sorely tempted to run to the store and get the stuff...hmmm.

I have made another crock pot stroganoff that was delicious but I don't know where I got the recipe and I can't find it now. This one is truly easy.

one can cream of mushroom soup, diluted
one can beef broth
1 pound stew beef cut into 1" pieces
1 cup sour cream
The recipe called for 2 cups cooked noodles but I used 1.5 cups cooked rice, your choice.

Combine soup, broth and meat in the crock pot and cook on high for 3-4 hours then cook on low for 3-4 more hours. Stir in the rice and sour cream and cook on high for 20 minutes. I didn't think to do this until after noon so I browned the meat first and then just cooked it on high for the 4 hours and low for 2 more hours.

As I said it was a little bland, but marvelous comfort food.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I heart cloth diapers...

This is a small soapbox moment, not a dig at anyone who uses or used disposable diapers. It was only by using cloth diapers and breast feeding that I was able to stay home with my son for two and half years. For that whole first year he was basically free. He never tasted formula and never even had a bottle in his mouth. I taught him how to drink out of a straw when he was two months old and that was how he got water and juice and other liquids. I know that probably sounds extreme, but I knew from the beginning what a hard-headed child I had, and my fear was that he would like the "easiness" of a bottle nipple and never go back. I stand by that decision.

When Miles was born there was no doubt I was gonna use cloth diapers. In my family it was the norm so I never gave it a second thought, I even inherited diapers from one of my aunts so I didn't have to buy anything at the beginning and only had to buy a dozen now and then when the old ones fell apart. Old ones make great dust rags by the way. My friends all thought I was crazy for using cloth but one trip down the disposable aisle at the grocery store was enough to convince me that I was only crazy like a fox. Cloth diapers save money, save the planet, are better for the baby and make potty training easier too!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August is a weird month...

Hi All,
I have a confession to make. I have a love hate relationship with August. I met, married and divorced my ex husband in different Augusts. I had my baby in August. My sweetheart was born in August. It brings hot and muggy weather to my part of the universe. It signals the Summer is flying by. This year I go back to school (year 26 of my 50 year plan) on August 31st and though I am excited about being back on campus, I am also terrified that I won't be able to cut it this time.

Also, as if this isn't enough stress, I have started Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. If today is the 4th I must be on day 4. Yikes, she is kicking my butt! She wants me to kick my own butt, but I just can't get my legs up that high. I did it in the evening Friday/Saturday/Sunday, but I skipped last night so that I could do it in the morning starting today. I'm not sure which is worse. The best part about the morning is the fact that it is DONE for today. The first night, I literally cried when I was done. The next two nights I was sore and moany, but I made it through the whole thing without tears. This morning I could hardly finish some sections but I didn't feel near as sore (no idea how that worked out!) But after my shower, all I wanted to do was climb back into bed and collapse for 5 or 6 hours. The only place I can do it is in the bedroom as we don't have a DVD player set up in the basement yet and I don't want to disturb the whole family by doing it in the family room at 4:30 in the AM. Sheldon actually got up and did it with me this morning, which was nice, but I don't know if he will continue.

The best part is that I am already down four pounds!!! Go ME!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

He will always be my baby.

My sweet baby will be 15 on the 16th of this month. He is over six feet tall and handsome and sweet as all get out. He broke his arm last Sunday skateboarding. I got to bathe him the other day for the first time since he was six. He was mortified, but it was my honor to get him into the tub, get him out of the tub, dry him off, clean his ears and get him dressed. Sometimes, just for a second, I miss those days of babyhood and boyhood. I was never a very patient mama. In fact, I didn't really want to be a mama. I'm glad his dad convinced me to try though. He is definitely the finest thing I have ever done.

Friday, July 31, 2009

I heart cross stitch!

Gotta love this! I really like that pattern and am already picturing it as my valentine wreath!!!!

Pacific Northwest Vacation: Day SEVEN

Yes, it is almost over, I know you are as happy as I was. Day seven I was bored. I was done with trees and mountains and my butt was sore after hours and hours of riding in the car. The heatwave, heatwave (jazz hands) had really and truly arrived and the temps were in the triple digits! We were headed back to Seattle to catch our red eye flight back to the east coast. We were stuck in traffic. The funniest part about this is that the night before when I was dropping off to sleep I was thinking how happy I was travelling with my sweetheart and how I never wanted to go home. I guess it was the traffic that made me cranky.

We had a yummy lunch at a quaint little diner in Raymond, WA where I had the yummiest french dip I have ever tasted. Plus my favorite part was that they offered cottage cheese as a side dish. Nice alternative to french fries!!

As we were sitting in a back up on the freeway Sheldon's phone rang. It was a former co-worker of his that he had tried to contact when we landed in Seattle. Somehow Dan had missed the message until Wednesday morning but he was glad to hear from Sheldon and they chatted for at least 30 minutes. When he realized how close we were to his house (about 20 miles) and how long we had before our flight (8 hours) he invited us over. As we pulled up in front of his house our car themometer read 110 degrees. Sheldon looked at me and said "I hope they have AC." They didn't. Dan was melting. He gave us a tour of his lovely home and then we left to hit a local watering hole that we hoped would be cooler. Um, no. It was hot there as well, but we got a booth in front of an open window and now and then we got a nice breeze.

About a half hour after we sat down Dan's lovely wife Michele showed up from work and the real fun began. She and I bonded instantly and had a blast getting to know each other. We hung out until it was time to head for the airport and then HOME!

Vacation Tips

Day 4 and 5 of my vacation have blended together and evaporated from my memory. I told Sheldon that 4 days was about all I could take, but he managed to schedule our flights in such a way that he got a full 7 days out of town. I thought I would take a small break from my narrative of the vacation to share some tips I learned this trip.

Things to remember on vacation:

1. all chargers for everything that ever needs a charger
2. computer/car stereo cord in case the rental car has an outlet
3. hiking boots or sneakers
4. socks
5. warm jacket and at least one warm top
6. plenty of reading material, preferably e-books
7. dohicky to connect carry-on bag to suitcase so I can lug my stuff through the airport without breaking my shoulder

Pacific Northwest Vacation: Day Four

Day Four (Sunday)
We didn’t stay out too terribly late at the wedding and we didn’t drink much either because we knew we had a full day on Sunday. We hopped out of bed bright and early and headed into downtown Portland. I had discovered several weeks earlier that there was a brewfest in town that day and Sheldon had been researching it and found out that there was a bike tour of the city that went through several neighborhoods and told the history AND pointed out nine breweries. Needless to say we jumped at the chance to do that!

Oh! What! Fun!

Our tour guide was a great guy who could be Morgan Spurlock’s younger brother. His name was Miles and he did a great job. At first there were five of us on the tour, me and Sheldon and then a girl and her boyfriend who were locals and her mother who was visiting. The bike ride was advertised as an easy nine mile trek and it was exactly that. After we had gone a mile or so the company van showed up and dropped off another rider. Now the first thing you need to know is that if I am on any kind of tour I always like to stay close to the tour guide because you can hear everything he says and in between stops you can ask other questions and learn more about the area. Well the new girl was the same way. At first this irritated me because I had been right on Miles’ back wheel the whole way and suddenly I had competition. I relaxed after a little while though, because I realized that she was exactly like me and was doing the exact same thing for the exact same reason. Her name was Kim…more on her later. :)

As we were biking through town enjoying the scenery and the beautiful architecture and weather we came upon a bright pink panel van. The name of the company was VooDoo Donuts and Miles immediately stopped and encouraged us all to have a donut. Although I had never heard of them they are a Portland tradition and people come from all over to have them. This was a mobile shop but they have a real shop in town and Miles told us we were lucky to come upon the van because the regular shop always has a line out the door. Although we hadn’t eaten breakfast I really wasn’t hungry and wasn’t all that interested in the donuts. I must have been suffering from brain damage because I’m pretty sure that it was the first time in my life I didn’t want a donut. Anyway, Miles kept talking and describing the various donuts and pretty soon I was calling out to Sheldon who was standing in line to get me one. The one I chose was called a VooDoo Doll and it was beyond delicious. It was shaped like a person and was filled with marionberry filling with chocolate icing on top and a pretzel stake through the heart.

It. Was. Beyond. Yummy.

This was probably the point where Kim and I bonded. She took a picture of my donut. We all gathered under a tree to eat our donuts and she and I started chatting. The tour ended back at the brewfest which was just getting started. We got our mug and map and stood there trying to figure out where to start. Kim was right there with us. Turns out that she is a Travel Nurse and is on assignment in Salem, OR and was there alone. We immediately invited her to hang with us and she was glad for the company. The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering from tent to tent and beer keg to beer keg tasting microbrews. We were each given four tokens with our mugs which would buy you either a full mug of beer or 4 tastes of different beers. Sheldon and Kim bought more tokens later on, but four tokens suited me just fine. I actually loved being able to get a little at a time because beer usually gets hot long before I finish it. I tasted a peach beer and a watermelon beer that I loved and a third one that I wasn’t so fond of. My last token was spent on another serving of the peach which was my favorite. I managed to get pretty sunburned even though I did my best to stay in the shade all day. I have to say though, that one of the benefits of getting older is that sunburns don’t bother me anymore. When I was a kid they were torture, but now they don’t even hurt and they fade away pretty quickly. I don’t think I’ll even peel this time.

By the time the festival was over I had bonded for life with Kim and we had exchanged Facebook and email information to stay in touch. She actually took most of the pictures I have of that day! Sheldon and I headed back to our hotel and hit the showers and went in search of dinner. We ended up at another brewpub, they are EVERYWHERE out there.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pacific Northwest Vacation: Day Three

Day Three (Saturday)

We heated up our blueberry bread in the hotel microwave and enjoyed that treat immensely. Then we set out to find some letterboxes. We were looking for indoor letterboxes or ones without a real hike because I had not brought hiking boots or sneakers in an effort to pack light. I actually enjoy the letterboxes left in businesses and I like to support the businesses that support letterboxing. We found that one business was gone, but the second was the Iron Mutt coffee shop and that one was lovely. Then we found one planted in a family’s front yard. It had been planted by a grandma and her daughter on mother’s day. The daughter happened to be visiting again on the day we were there and when they saw us outside they came running out to exchange stamps. They were so cute. I know I would have done exactly the same thing and Sheldon and I have already planned to plant a letter box in our front yard too.

While we were exploring the town of Beaverton, Oregon I called my friend Margo who I went to high school with. I knew she lived in the Portland area but imagine our delight when it turned out that our hotel was right across the street from her house. Sheldon and I headed back to the hotel and Margo picked me up and took me to Acorns and Threads a local cross stitch store. I have discovered in the past that shopping in local cross stitch stores while on vacation is a very enjoyable pursuit. I’m not sure that any group of women laughs more often or laughs harder than a group of stitchers! This shop had table set up outside in a breezeway and at least twelve women had set up shop out there and were enjoying the breeze and one another’s company while they stitched.

I have to interrupt this story to tell you that the weather reports for the Pacific Northwest during this time was calling for a HEATWAVE (jazz hands) but up to this point the temps hadn’t gotten out of the mid 70’s, so Sheldon and I were getting a big laugh out of the HEATWAVE (jazzhands).

Margo and I were hardly inside the store before one of the ladies who worked there was talking to us like long lost sisters and explaining how to find everything. She had bunches of things that I liked and tons of finished projects on the walls that I was drooling over. We stayed and poked around until we absolutely had to leave to get Margo to work on time. I bought one new project and Margo even bought small thing to try. She has never really been in to cross stitch but she decided to give it a try in my honor.

She dropped me back at the hotel and Sheldon and I went out on some errands and found one more box at a Baskin Robbins. I was so happy about this one because the employee who handed us the box was SO ENTHUSIASTIC when he handed it to us. Seeing other people act as goofy as me always makes me happy!!!

We headed back to the hotel and got showered and changed for the wedding and headed out to a lovely wedding grove at a local brewery. I got introduced to several of Sheldon’s high school friends who I have heard tons of stories about and then we got seated. At this point the temperature was probably in the high 90’s and the locals were melting. We were pretty hot too, but it was normal July weather for Virginia and it wasn’t NEAR as humid as it can get in the DC area! I’m sure the bride was wondering why her wedding day had to be the hottest day of the year.

Speaking of the bride she had on the most gorgeous dress and hat combination. I will upload pix if I can. It was taupe colored and just lovely. We had actually seen her in the parking lot and although I was pretty sure she was the bride, Sheldon was convinced she must be the mother of the bride because it didn’t look gowny at all.

After the ceremony we headed around a group of trees to a lovely set up of tables and chairs and a bar and a dance floor. We stood around in the shade and drank cool drinks while we waited for the sun to go down and the tables to be in the shade. As the night wore on it cooled down some but it was still pretty warm for Oregon. We were seated at a table with Sheldon’s friends and their wives and I really enjoyed getting to know them. The groom was also a friend of his from high school. I am always worried that I will stick my foot in my mouth or completely embarrass myself some other way when I am meeting a new group like that, but I think I did okay this time.

Pacific Northwest Vacation: Day Two

Day Two (Friday)

We headed out of Seattle towards Portland. We had our eyes peeled for a breakfast restaurant. We discovered that Marie Callender’s which is a frozen food company in our area, is an actual restaurant out there. We stopped there and were so enamored of the yummy blueberry bread, that we actually took two more mini loaves with us. (I had the quiche which was yummy, yummy and I wish they made it for my local freezer section.) We left there and hit the highway. Seattle and Portland are not far apart at all but we actually took a detour. Sheldon had been researching things to do and had never been to Mt. Rainier in his previous visits. This was the first of many times that his new iPhone came in handy! We were able to use the GoogleMaps function to find our way. Much better than a map because it shows you where you are at all times.

Mt. Rainier is incredibly beautiful and the mountains in Oregon and Washington are nothing like the mountains in Virginia. We stopped at a couple waterfalls and took pictures and then we went to the Visitor Center in Paradise. It was really breathtaking, and they had a lovely interactive display and a movie that explained the history of the area and the dangers of the mountain. Eventually I had to drag Sheldon away before he took off hiking with one of the groups that was headed up higher. I had packed as light as possible for the plane trip (didn't want to check my bag) and had no hiking boots or sneakers with me and I damn sure wasn’t gonna hike in my flip flops!

On our way back down we stopped at a lovely restaurant beside the road, the Copper Creek Inn. The menu said they were world famous for their blackberry pie and we soon found out why. The rest of the food was fine but the pie alone was definitely worth the stop! We left the mountain behind and headed into the outskirts of Portland and found our third hotel of the trip. Luckily this hotel had free wifi cause I was starting to really MISS my internet!

Pacific Northwest Vacation: Day One

Sheldon and I travelled to Washington and Oregon this week on a lovely vacation. The reason we chose this area at this time is that one of Sheldon's high school friends was getting married. I had never been to the pacific northwest before but Sheldon already loved it.

Day One (Thursday)

Actually we’ll start with the night before day one. We spent the night at a hotel in Baltimore because it was cheaper to park at the hotel than at the airport and because we wouldn’t have to get up quite so early in the morning. We woke up at 4:30am, which is my normal wake up time. Our plane left the ground around 7am. Luckily we were both able to sleep on the plane and it seemed like the five hour flight only took two hours. When we got off the plane in Seattle we were in for a shock; it was about 65 degrees! We were not dressed for 65 degree temps in July! We had both brought jackets but that did little to dispel the cold. A hot breakfast at a lovely cafe and some brisk walking made everything better. I had a sausage and egg croissant and Sheldon had vanilla French toast.

We walked through Pike Place Market, which is a combination craft show and fish market on the water front. We saw lots of pretty things but didn’t buy anything. Then we walked through town a little and found the Waterfall Park, which is a small hidden oasis in the middle of the city. It was a long walk back to the car but then only a couple of blocks to our second hotel of the trip. Once we got settled into the hotel we headed out again on foot in search of a brew pub that Sheldon had read about. It was the Pyramid Brewery and I got to taste the first of several yummy beers. This one was an Apricot Lager and I really liked it. After a few hours of beer and snacks and conversation we walked back towards the waterfront to have dinner at Elliott’s, which we had heard was worth the stop. It was a nice venue and the waitstaff was fantastic but the food was really nothing to write home about and it was very expensive. (Sheldon had raw oysters and steamed mussels and I had fried oysters.) We walked back to our room UPHILL and crashed.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I love a good chic flick!

Rent "A Walk on the Moon" immediately! Go ahead, I'll wait. It is so good. I had never even heard of it until Netflix recommended it to me, so I added it to my list and it made its way to the top of the queue and I loved it. Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Anna Paquin, Tovah Feldshuh and a voice cameo by Julie Kavner. Set in the summer of 1969, the summer of love, the summer of the moon walk. Cool music, funny lines, great period piece, great story. You can thank me later.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Rambling Thoughts on the Sidewalk

I was just out on the sidewalk, walking down the street to a local deli for some grits, and these are the rambly directions my mind went...

>The weather here in DC has been so fabulous this summer it is almost indecent! It hasn't gotten too terribly hot and the humidity has been completely reasonable. This is especially good news since I have to sit on a street corner in the sun every afternoon at 3pm for 20 minutes, and when I get to my car I have no air conditioning.

>There are several bus companies here that offer cheap service directly to NYC. One of them picks up and drops off right outside my building. Miles and I have taken this bus and it is marvelous, they even give you a bottle of water when you board. Anyway, everytime I see a line of people out there I just want to run over and say "Have a great time in New York!! I'm SO jealous!!" So far I have restrained myself, but one of these days it will happen.

>Grits are manna from heaven. I love them. I especially love them when there are over easy eggs cut up on top with lots of salt and butter. I make no apologies for this

>I have become slightly obsessed with the Duggar Family recently. I started watching the show because I wanted to see how that family compared to the Gosselin family. Well, there is no comparison. The fact that the Duggar's popped their babies out one or two at a time means that they had breathing room between each one and that about half of their 18 are over the age of 10 and able to help with the babies. I love the show. I love watching the family interact. Michele, the mom seems so loving and patient and calm. I feel renewed just watching her. The one thing that sort of puts me off though is that all the girls wear skirts all the time. No pants allowed. Why? Don't get me wrong, I love skirts too, they can be much cooler and more comfortable and I'm so glad that maxi-dresses are in style because long full dresses are my favorite for comfort and modesty. Buy why can't a girl wear slacks? The the thing that occurred to me while I was walking was how lucky those girls are though. They don't have separate closets. When they take clothes out of the dryer they hang it all up in one central closet that everyone uses. This way they are not always moving clothes from closet to closet as children outgrow things. I think this is brilliant! Basically this means that all the teenage girls get to "shop" for an outfit every day from the whole collection of skirts and tops that the family owns.

>I bought a new top at Costco yesterday and I love it completely. It is a 3/4 sleeve, jewel neckline with little jewels down one side. The pattern is a funky blue/green/grey design. I absolutely adore it. I caught my reflection in a window and thought how this top is SO me!

>I watched "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" last night on Netflix and I highly recommend it! I wish there were gorgeous parrots flying around Washington! All we have are ugly pigeons and Presidential Helicoptors.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Poem About Toilets

I have decided that since
I hate cleaning bathrooms so much
I will clean them in pieces
Last night I did all the mirrors
Tonight I will do all the toilets
I was spoiled at the condo
I had only one bathroom
Now I have five

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

My Michael Jackson Soundtrack

I tried not to do it, but I just can't stop myself. Here is the MJ soundtrack of MY life:
  1. ROCK WITH YOU: was the first song I ever danced to in public. My friend Edwina Binaca, (the blast that lasts all night) and I used to go to a club in Front Royal called JB's to dance. I had a huge crush on one of the dj's and would hang out with him while Edwina Binaca danced. I was way to chicken to dance. After a time, guys started asking me to dance, but I kept refusing. The dj didn't share my feelings, so he started encouraging me to dance as well. He helped me choose a song for my big debut. I honestly don't remember the actual dance, but every time we were there the dj would play the song and Edwina would send over guys to ask me.
  2. BILLIE JEAN: Edwina and I went to visit her older brother Chuckles in Washington, DC one weekend and saw this new thing called MTV. We didn't have cable or MTV in our small little town. We were fascinated and mesmerized.
  3. PYT: At 18 I started dating a man in his 30's. He lived in Baltimore and I was completely over the moon. I went to visit him one weekend and he put this song on the record player just for little ole me. Yes, I am old. When I was 18 cd players didn't exist. People still bought those big vinyl circles that warped and scratched and sounded like chipmunks if you played them on the wrong speed.
  4. SHE'S OUT OF MY LIFE: This was the song that I always wanted guys to listen to and cry when they suffered with broken hearts over me, but in reality I mooned over it and cried to it a lot, and I'll bet none of them ever gave me a second thought!
  5. GONE TOO SOON: When I met my ex husband he and I were both 24, his sister was 16, mine was eight. Five years later his sister was killed on her 21st birthday which is another story for another day. At the age of 28 while literally days pregnant, having never lost anyone close to me who was younger than 80, I had to plan her funeral. Her parents and brothers were too devastated to make any decisions. One night driving from my fil's house to our apartment this song came to mind as the perfect song to play at the funeral. Needless to say everyone agreed with me.
  6. MAN IN THE MIRROR: I'm a Mama. What mama doesn't look down into her sleeping baby's face and wonder how she can let the world continue to spiral out of control? This song spoke to that need to make whatever change I could. It is something I try to live by every day of my life.
Bye Michael. I'm glad you are not suffering anymore. Sleep well.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

such GLEE!

Good Morning My Peeps! Yes I am shouting out loud today! I stopped by BooMama this morning and was treated to a helping of GLEE! I can't tell you how fast that jump started my day! Glee stars the lovely and talented Lea Michele who I loved so in Spring Awakening on Broadway. I am excited that Spring Awakening is on tour now! Sheldon and I are going to see it again on August first at the Kennedy Center here in lovely Washington, DC!

I loved Glee, they aired the pilot the other night on Fox and the full episode can be seen on, which may be my new favorite website!

So, watch Glee, buy tickets for Spring Awakening and call me in the morning!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Turkey Dinner

Last week Sheldon and I bought a small turkey to roast. We had decided that we both love turkey and that it is a shame that it is only trotted out on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Sheldon actually did all the cooking which is one of the reasons I love him, I like being fed without always having to do all the work! He roasted the turkey with a cut up lime stuffed inside and lime juice on the skin, about halway through the roasting time in put quartered potatoes (skin on) around the edge of the pan. Then he made Rachael Ray's cranberry salsa which consists of dried cranberries, chicken stock, onion and lime juice. It was absolutely divine. Since it was a relatively small turkey it only had to roast for 90 minutes or so. The next day we had turkey sandwiches for lunch, today I have leftovers at work for lunch and there is still plenty left for more sandwiches. I may even make some turkey salad. Sheldon threw the carcus out before I could stop him but next time I will make some turkey and rice soup in the crockpot for lunches. He's not a big fan of soup but I am!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Drug of Choice

Cheddar Biscuits from Red Lobster

How do I love thee, let me count the ways.

  1. I love the smell of you wafting from the bag on the seat beside me
  2. I love the crunch of your outer shell
  3. I love the fluffy insides
  4. I love how you melt in my mouth, no butter needed
  5. I love how you entice me to have another
  6. I love how you love me even though I am fatter than I have ever been in my life
  7. I love how I can stop at RL and buy you by the dozen without being subjected to the rest of the menu
  8. I love how a dozen of you are cheaper than a dozen donuts
  9. and the taste, oooooohhhhhh the taste

Elizabeth Berg, Oh how I love her...

read this essay and tell me how you could NOT love her!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Taking Chance

I had never heard of this movie but when Sheldon and I were in Pittsburgh over Memorial Day weekend we had HBO and this came on. We only got to watch part of it as we were on our way to go do something else, but we both really wanted to see the rest. When we got home I looked it up on Netflix and sure enough it was available. I moved it to the top of my list and we got it a few days later. We didn't get around to watching it until last night but it was worth the wait.

The movie stars Kevin Bacon and is a moving tribute to our boys at war and their long trip home when they are killed in action. It was so visually beautiful and so emotional, but never political or or graphic or hokey. The movie was based on real events and adapted from this story.

I highly recommend this movie. Three of my friends have lost sons in this war, to say Some Gave All is an understatement.

Brand Preferences

BooMama just wrote a post about brand name favorites that caused quite a stir, many of us answered her with our own list. Here is mine:

Things really do taste different. My mama always bought generic or the cheapest of things, when I grew up I refused to EVER compromise when it comes to food.

Kraft Real Mayo - my ex MIL taught me to use only this. I do like Miracle Whip on sandwiches, but never NEVER in recipes.
Dannon Yogurt - cause it is the creamiest, its consistency is like pudding
Tide - cause my ex was allergic to anything else and now I’m just used to it
Jif - really does taste more like fresh peanuts
Natures Own honey wheat bread
Martins potato rolls for hotdog rolls and hamburger buns - I used to buy Martins bread too but I like the Natures Own because it is a little lighter and the slices are a little thinner
Dry Idea for more than 30 years
Helluvagood dips
Toms of Maine toothpastes - because I’m allergic to whitening ingredients and they are about the only brand that hasn’t added that to every tube!

I also only buy real butter, real maple syrup, whole milk and brown eggs.

My Sweet Sheldon thinks I’m kookie cause he doesn’t see the difference in brands, but you’d better not put anything but premium BEER in his fridge!!! :D

He just bought 2 GALLONS of fake syrup even though we still had a gallon, cause we might run out in this millenia and it was on sale.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ladies Circle

A week or so ago I decided that I wanted to get a group of women together on a regular basis to have some girl time. I live on the perfect street for this because many of the women are already close and they want to hang out with each other. Knowing that women often don't do the things they want to do because of all the things they have to do, I figured that if I hosted something maybe the ladies would stop by. I knocked on doors over the weekend and handed out invitations. Everyone was warm and enthusiastic about the idea.

Last Tuesday was our first get together. Four ladies came and it was lovely. The invitation said to bring whatever crafty thing you wanted to work on, that I had plenty of table space and lighting and we could scrapbook or crochet or whatever. Not everyone is crafty but those of us who are love a reason to sit down and work on our favorite project. I personally love crochet and cross stitch but I have attended scrapbooking crops with my crochet bag just to hang out with friends. I wanted this group to be open and welcoming to any of the ladies whether they were crafters or not. For the first night we ended up sitting at my kitchen table eating the snacks I had prepared and getting to know each other.

I'm not sure how I'm gonna handle names in this blog as I use pseudonyms for everyone except my dog and myself. I think I will confuse myself if I make up names for these ladies as I am still learning their names, not to mention the fact that I don't know them well enough to make up a new name for them! Let's try descriptions for now.

One lady is a Puerto Rican attorney with three kids. She is the type of person who questions everything, she has a very inquisitive mind and is very smart. Maybe The Closer fits her. She isn't crafty so I told her she could read to us. Before you know it we will be wearing hoop skirts and stitching by kerosene lantern.

Guest number two is a lovely British transplant who has lived in the states for over 50 years. She is small and delicate and soft spoken and yet she shocked us all by announcing that she wants to be on Dancing with the Stars! How about Ginger for Ginger Rogers, the most famous dancer I can think of...

Guests three and four are a mother and daughter originally from Indiana. The mother lives in the basement of her daughter's house with her husband of 59 years who is suffering from alzheimers. We will call her The Preacher's Wife. The daughter lives upstairs with her husband and four children, for now I'll call her the Preacher's Kid or PK.

The ladies were all completely lovely and everyone was enthusiastic about having this kind of a get together. I never specified whether I wanted to do it every Tuesday, but I think I do. This week only the Preacher's Wife came, as I said I never specified so I imagine Ginger wasn't sure whether or not I was doing it again. PK send word (and cookies) through her mom that she couldn't make it. I didn't hear from The Closer or any of the other ladies from further down the street, but I'm gonna make sure everyone knows this weekend that it will be a weekly thing.

PW and I had a lovely visit. We sat in my office/craft room and I cross stitched while she told me about her life. I asked about her children and her siblings and just let her entertain me. I don't know why I wasn't in the mood to chatter like I normally do, but I was much happier listening than talking last night. This was more noticeable later when PW left and I called the girl who lives directly across from me. She is my closest friend so far on the street. She is adorable. She is a stay at home mom of three and is orginally from this area which is unusual in the DC suburbs. Let's call her Patsy. I love that name. I called Patsy when PW left, to offer her some of the brownies I had made for everyone. She has not been able to come either week because her husband is in crunch time at his work and comes home late. Last week I took her a plate of snacks and told her all about it, this week we talked on the phone for an hour. Well, she talked, I listened. About halfway through she said "I'm babbling, usually you chew my ear off and this time I'm doing all the talking." As I said, for some reason I was just in a listening mood. It was a lovely way to spend a rainy evening, cross stitching on a project I haven't touched in months and gabbing on the phone with a girlfriend, something that no one seems to have time for anymore!


That's correct, the chart to the left is accurately portraying the fact that I have GAINED all the weight back. I am heavier than I have ever been in my life except when I was pregnant and I'm almost caught up to that number!!!! It is obvious that when I exercise the weight falls off, so I just have to get off my butt. I really, really, really want a treadmill and a rowing machine for our home gym, but there are so many other things we are buying for the house right now that those items are pretty far down the priority list. I HAVE to do something though! I hate being this heavy, I have heartburn, I snore, my back hurts, all symptoms that I'm sure have more to do with the extra weight than to my ever advancing AGE! The fact that Sheldon is skinny as a rail doesn't help any, but even he says that my eating is fine, he's the one eating icecream every night, not me.

If nothing else I will strap on the iPod and run up and down the stairs at the house tonight!!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

May Resolutions

May Resolutions: hey, not bad, I did 9 out of 10 this month!!!!

  1. Go to a Museum - Matt and I went to see the Jean Shin - Common Threads exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum here in DC. It was a really cool exhibit using recycled materials. There were all sorts of textures and colors and as we entered each room I would say, "Oh, this is my favorite." Each time we read the description on the wall we were blown away by the backstory. It was a VERY very interesting, thought provoking exhibit. If you live nearby GO!

  2. Spend time with an Old Friend - I had the most amazing conversation on facebook with a bunch of folks that I went to high school with. I had had a dream about a friend of ours who died at age 42 of heart attack and we all remembered him with stories. It was lovely.

  3. Try a New Recipe - Oh the beauty of bacon.

  4. Spend Some Quality Family Time - had Mama, Cricket and Miles over for Mother's Day. It was a lovely visit, the first time Mama saw the new house and the first time we all saw Miles' new hair. Plus we gorged ourselves on PW goodies!

  5. Make Sheldon Watch One Chick Flick - Somehow this man has managed to avoid every chick flick, but not for long. It is now my mission to make him watch my favorites. We started with Steel Magnolias. He said it was "Cute." humph.

  6. visit my Mama - see number 4. :)

  7. EXERCISE - walked for an hour Friday night and an hour Saturday morning in the neighborhood. Need to do it every day, but at least I started! (Yes I have gained ALL the weight back! YES, I need to do something!)

  8. go letterboxing - yay! It is letterboxing season again. Sheldon and I found two in Pittsburgh! Oh what fun!

  9. Sell Something I Don't Need Anymore - fail, but I at least made inroads in this, I did gather everything in a box in my office, now I just need to take pix and post them on craigslist.

  10. Crochet or Cross Stitch Something - started crocheting a baby afghan for one of Sheldon's co-workers.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

100 for the 100th

It is my understanding that it is tradition to write 100 things about yourself for your 100th post. I am proud to say that I have reached this milestone and I have written the 100 things. I started working on this a couple of weeks ago because I knew it would take me a little while. Let the weirdness begin.
  1. I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the same day, and I have.
  2. I have always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon.
  3. My favorite ice cream these days is Baskin Robbins World Class Chocolate.
  4. I have wanted to travel to Iceland for many, many years and swim in the Blue Lagoon.
  5. My absolute favorite guilty pleasure is watching the Real Housewives of New York.
  6. I grew up in a small farming town in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia but I am a city girl at heart.
  7. My favorite trees are Redbuds. Love the flowers, love the leaves.
  8. I love to read and do so whenever I have a spare five minutes. My Grandma Urath taught me to carry a book everywhere I go and I am so glad she did.
  9. I am the oldest of 3 children, we have the same parents but we were born in 3 different decades.
  10. I am part of a Mazda family, I am driving my third Mazda, my sister drives a Mazda and Sheldon owns two Mazdas.
  11. My first car was a baby blue '69 VW Beetle that had been bought new by my aunt and uncle when I was 3 years old. I paid my Granddaddy Palmer $250 for it in 1983 and traded it in for $250 on my first Mazda in 1988. They had kept all the gas and maintenance records for its entire life. Sadly, I didn't bother continuing the tradition.
  12. I work on the 11th floor of a building that is only four blocks from the White House in Washington, DC. No buildings in DC are over 12 stories tall, so I get plenty of sunshine.
  13. I haven't had caffeine since my teens. I can't tolerate it at all. I can only have chocolate during the day or I won't sleep.
  14. I worked in a movie theatre in my small town when I was 16. I got to see all the movies for free as often as I wanted and I even got to sit in the balcony which was off limits to the general public.
  15. I once worked in a bakery.
  16. I was a pharmacy technician for a year after high school and toyed with the idea of going to pharmacy school.
  17. I once kissed James Taylor's cousin. His name was Bill Taylor and he was a comedian/actor. We were 18. I didn't believe he was related to James Taylor until a couple of years later when I saw a picture of James and realized that Bill looked exactly like him.
  18. I took part in an outdoor production of Val Balfour's Oberammergau Passion Play every Summer from age 13 to 17. Usually I was just an extra, but one Summer I was the Sound Technician. (My daddy will be so proud that I spelled that right without having to look it up!)
  19. My first date was on my 16th birthday with a boy from out of town named David Braunshweig. It was very romantic, right down to kisses on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire. I wonder whatever happened to him...
  20. I read The Stand, in three days, at age 15 while I was home from school sick with the flu. Not a good book to read when you are sick, I was scared of tunnels for YEARS!
  21. I didn't go to prom. In fact I only went to one high school dance and that was because I was on the planning committee. I went with a gay guy who didn't want his parents to know yet. My parents on the other hand, did know.
  22. I didn't have a boyfriend until the second half of my senior year of high school and he was from another town. His name was Chip Anderson. I wonder whatever happened to him...
  23. I am the oldest grandchild by five years on both sides of my family.
  24. My paternal grandparents, Flossie and Palmer, had a house on Smith Mountain Lake when I was a child and I spent all my Summers there from age 5 to 12. It is still one of my very favorite places on Earth.
  25. I cannot wink my left eye.
  26. I am right-handed but I iron with my left hand because Mama is left-handed and always had the ironing board set up that way.
  27. Periwinkle is my favorite color.
  28. I had my son when I was 29. He wore me out. I can't imagine how the women who have babies in their 40's or (shudder) 50's do it!
  29. If money was no object and I could have one full-time employee, I would choose chauffeur hands down!
  30. My ex brother-in-law who never liked me, said I made the best lasagna in the tri-state area.
  31. I never learned to cook until after I left home.
  32. I love deviled eggs. I put spinach and bacon in mine!
  33. I met Sheldon on I knew he was special as soon as I read his profile, I paid to join just so I could write to him.
  34. I want to be cremated and then buried in Jerome, VA with generations of my family. I want the song "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" played at the funeral.
  35. I grew up with cats but now I'm allergic.
  36. I flew a helicopter for my 40th birthday. It was a beginner lesson and it was fabulous!
  37. I never had a Caesar salad until after I turned 40 and now that is my absolute favorite. The best chicken Caesar salad in the land is made at the Lafayette Deli in Chantilly, VA.
  38. My favorite painting is Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton. She lives in a museum in Puerto Rico. I saw her when she visited the National Gallery of Art here in DC. I want to visit her someday.
  39. I graduated from high school in 1983 and then went to Lord Fairfax Community College for one year, George Mason University for three years, Towson State University for one year, back to George Mason, then Northern Virginia Community College for ASL. I'm planning on tackling my last nine classes starting this Summer. My Grandma Urath graduated when she was 78 so I'm still ahead of her record. Miles says he won't GO to college until I graduate, so I only have three more years!
  40. It is tradition in my family to have four names. I had to get married to get my fourth name. My sister likes to remind me that when she marries she'll have five names. I'm not playing that game though. Once was enough for me.
  41. Stephen King is my favorite author, although I love his wife Tabitha King as well.
  42. I have been known to crochet at stop lights. I made 23 baby afghans in nine months, two years ago while commuting, for a church festival.
  43. I love to cross stitch.
  44. I drove a NASCAR race car on my 43rd birthday. I was scared out of my wits and never even managed to break 100 mph. I want to do it again.
  45. I wear Chanel Chance perfume.
  46. I don't handle stress well.
  47. I am alergic to the whitening ingredient in toothpaste. Makes it very tricky to find toothpaste these days as almost all them have whitening in them.
  48. Yellow roses are my favorite.
  49. I love M&M's, Reece Cups and Mounds Bars but can't stand Milky Way.
  50. I have been to England, France, Switzerland, Germany and Mexico in that order.
  51. I have lived in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia in that order.
  52. I have visited 25 states and can't wait to see the other 25.
  53. Other than dogs and cats I'm not a fan of critters. I'm always afraid of getting bitten or stepped on or peed on. I'd rather watch them on tv than see them, or smell them, in person.
  54. Something in the Way She Moves by James Taylor is my all time favorite song.
  55. I am deathly afraid of snakes.
  56. I almost never use strange bathrooms. If I come to your house, chances are that I will not use your facilities the first five or ten times I visit. Weird, huh?
  57. I have a thing for tall guys with deep voices.
  58. I drink lots and lots of water every day and I have for many years.
  59. I had a huge crush on Tom Selleck in the Magnum PI days, but I really wanted to be TC and fly the helicopter while fighting crime.
  60. I am the adult child of an alcoholic.
  61. I have a VERY strong sense of smell and can smell a cigar 10 cars away in traffic. I cannot even walk past Stone Cold Creamery in the mall because the smell makes me nauseous. Strong smells give me a migraine.
  62. I love to play board games and card games. I don't care if I win or lose, I just like spending time with my people.
  63. My Grandma Flossie made the best fried okra ever.
  64. I love to cook. Especially in my new kitchen. With Sheldon. And my Stand Mixer.
  65. I never tan, just freckle. I used to burn but in my 40's I seem to have outgrown it.
  66. I have green eyes with golden centers, although for some reason Sheldon is convinced that they are blue.
  67. I am very chatty if I know you, but I hate meeting new people.
  68. I bought my first home computer in 1990 and had email and internet before anyone else I knew. Remember Tandy and Prodigy? I'm so glad that the rest of you caught up to me!
  69. I am completely addicted to Packrat on Facebook and have been for almost a year now.
  70. I got a unicycle for my 42nd birthday, but I haven't learned how to ride it yet.
  71. I would love to own an RV and travel all over the US. Sheldon and Miles think this is the worst idea they ever heard.
  72. I was never claustrophobic until I got pregnant at age 29, now it gets worse as I get older.
  73. I never had motion sickness until the last year or so. I hate it!
  74. I love "quest" games, Packrat, Post Hunt, Letterboxing...
  75. I voted for Obama and still get goosebumps when I hear them say President Obama on the news. It makes me a little giddy that Hillary is the Secretary of State as well.
  76. I would love to own my own tour bus/travel company. I would take busloads of people to all my favorite places. It would be so much fun. Sheldon also hates this idea.
  77. Any medicine that is supposed to help you sleep just keeps me up all night. This didn't used to be true. I loved Nyquil back in the day. Sigh. I miss Nyquil.
  78. I have never been drunk in my life. Ever. I don't drink very often at all and then usually only one. That first one always tastes so good, but I have found that the second is never as tasty and I've never had a third. I am a cheap date. This makes Sheldon very happy.
  79. I like almost all types of music but not really a fan of opera, jazz or punk.
  80. When I was a kid I really did walk 2 miles to school, uphill, both ways!!!
  81. I am a list maker...I can't do anything without a list. I love crossing things off with highlighter when I am done.
  82. Growing up I had one Nanny and three Grandmas, two Papas and two Grandaddys. They are all gone now, but I like to imagine them watching over me. I hope I make them proud.
  83. I love bacon.
  84. April and August are my favorite months of the year. I was born in April and Miles and Sheldon were born in August.
  85. My drink of choice is Makers Mark Bourbon straight up, I sip it very slowly.
  86. In the past 14 years I have collected over 57,000 aluminum cans for my local fire department. They use the money they raise to send burned children to camp.
  87. I hate to scrub bathrooms.
  88. I love to do the dishes, something about playing in the warm water and making things clean. Funny how that doesn't apply to bathrooms...
  89. I also love laundry, the sorting, the folding, the putting it all away when it is done.
  90. I get up at 4:25am in order to commute to the big city.
  91. I go to bed at 9:30pm because I need plenty of sleep to function.
  92. I much prefer Pringles and Munchos to regular potato chips.
  93. I prefer the softness of flannel sheets all year round.
  94. I like sleeping in a cold bedroom with lots of warm covers.
  95. I used to sing in a praise band at my church.
  96. I won the Miss Poppy contest put on by the American Legion in my hometown when I was 16 because my dad and his friends stuffed the ballot boxes all over town.
  97. I am a Yankees fan and I now live with a Red Sox fan. This might be war.
  98. My theory on having an only child is that if you do it right the first time there is no need to repeat yourself.
  99. I ran my own direct sales business for 3 years and loved every minute of it.
  100. I believe that Sheldon's cherry brownies are the secret to world peace, but I might be wrong, it could be the glazen raisen pretzels from Auntie Anne's.