Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Best Laid Plans ...

Update ...
Thank you all for your prayers n' positivity!   Tom's surgery went well, albeit a little longer than expected -- doc says his bones are like 'concrete.'
(To which his former admin wrote, "so's his head!")

Off to physical therapy/boot camp now.   Have a great day everyone.   Stay warm, stay safe!

You'd think by the time I'd reach this age, I'd know better.   I'd curb my enthusiasm.

Oh nooooo.    For a few years now, we've I've toyed with the idea of revisiting Santa Fe and my hometown -  but set it aside as being fiscally irresponsible.   Then, this powerful post made me sit up and re-examine my priorities.   

Game on!   Reservations were finalized for the long Thanksgiving weekend, and the anticipation of tasting authentic New Mexico cuisine again had me salivating.     

Then, after two years of DH's oncologists' "maybe's" and "we'll have to see's" ..... Tom got a call a couple of weeks ago ... an 'all-clear' for hip replacement surgery.  

Have to admit, at first I was less than gracious when hubby called.   (Control freaks hate having their plans changed, don't-cha-know!)
In lightning-like speed one thing led to another, and the deed's being done tomorrow at 11:30.      

While the mechanics seem almost as routine as a tonsillectomy, my only concern is how Tom's oncologist and orthopedic-dude agree to orchestrate his blood thinner.   
Seriously, it's like when I used to work for a couple CPA's who'd often feud over the silliest things:   "Myra, would you tell Doyle ...."  
Followed shortly by, "Myra, tell Cliff ...."

Driving home tonight, Doc #1's assistant calls to ask me to tell Doc #2 tomorrow not to do the filter, but instead resume the shots.   
(Seriously? ... I wanted to say, "Tell him yourself!")

I'm pretty sure everything will turn out fine and Tom will be able to return to his beloved game of golf come Spring.
... Still, prayers are certainly appreciated!

... and the good thing?   I don't have to worry about eating turkey next Thursday! :)
If anyone has some great tapas recipes, won't you let me know?

Hugs from Phoenix!


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I've been Liebster-ed!

One of my favorite blog-friends, Paula, has nominated me for the Liebster Award!
 I'm not necessarily big on awards ... but as I told her, I'm delighted to let my 'inner Barbara Walters' out of the closet! 
Here are the rules:
  1. Post 11 random facts yourself
  2. Answer 11 questions posed by Paula
  3. Nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers to do the same
  4. Let those bloggers know that you've chosen them

OK, random facts about myself:
  1. Take away the part about water, and I'm a typical Pisces
  2. Rainy days get me down -- but I love the snow and ice!
  3. I like to think I'm a good listener
  4. Conservative?  Yes.  Both in my politics and lifestyle
  5. I still care WAY too much what others think of me
  6. On account I'm a lousy backer-upper, I go out of my way to find a pass-through parking space
  7. Ya, I'm "that" person who makes 3 right turns to avoid a left
  8. I've never once had to parallel park, and don't plan to start!
  9. Given my druthers, I'd most enjoy Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at a nice restaurant
  10. If I'm 'on time' ... I'm late
  11. I can't stand having an unmade bed

My nominees?
Dang, this is hard!   I don't want to put anyone on the spot.
I'd love to see what Kim and Tarryterre have to say ... Anne and Mary, too.  Heck, I invite all my circle of friends to come play!
Paula's questions for me:

Why do you blog?
To see myself think.   (No, that sounds flippant - not my intent.)
I suppose, when all's said and done, I blog so my granddaughters will have a good idea of who I was and what mattered to me.

How did you choose the name of your blog?
Respice Prospice came from an inscription on an old locket given me some years ago.  I was really taken with the translation:  Look to the future, learn from the past.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Our year-old Malti-poo puppies, Macie and Grace.  They're crazy!

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a morning gal.  My day starts at 4:00.  (Mind you, I'm a basket case after 9!)

Favorite TV show and why?
The Bachelor/Bachelorette -- not sure why.
Jeopardy always makes me think (how little I know!)
Family Feud never fails to crack me up!

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A homicide detective.  (If I can pay someone else to do the science stuff.)

How do you cope when things are not going well in your life?
Wine and prayer.  (Not necessarily in that order.)

A favorite quote:
There's so many, but my 'right now' favorite:
"So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good."  - Helen Keller
(Thank you, Jack!)

Your favorite food to snack on when no-one is around?
Ice-cold, extra-crunchy JIF.

What is your favorite social media?

What is one destination that you dream of traveling to?
It used to be St. Petersburg, Russia..  Today, between the TSA and terror threats, my sights are set closer to home -- Breckenridge, CO for the International Snow Sculpting championships.

My questions for y'all! 
(...and yes, you over there!)
  1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  2. Everyone's heard of TV's "The Apprentice."  If you could apprentice under anyone in the world for one year, who would that be?
  3. What's your favorite way of relaxing?
  4. What would be the most enjoyable way for you to spend $100?
  5. What type of entertainment that others enjoy would you have a really hard time sitting through?
  6. Name a taste that makes you melt.
  7. If you could have chosen your own first name, what would it be?
  8. What CD is currently playing in your car?
  9. Have you any present-day heroes?
  10. If, like a product, your behavior came with a guarantee, what could you honestly guarantee about yourself?
  11. What would be a good theme song for you?
As Paula says, "Please jump in and let's all get to know each other a bit better."  

Hugs from Phoenix!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Charmed Life?

"Is every one of Michele's family ridiculously good looking?"
... so an associate asked me a few years back.   My boss' daughter was to be married in a few days, and extended family members from here-there-and-everywhere gathered to check-in.
Yes.  To a person, their faces appeared to have been crafted by heavenly hosts.

I probably shouldn't say this out loud .... but it's been on my mind a while now.   And at this stage of my life, I'm all about transparency.

For too many years, I might have disliked them - and their seemingly 'charmed lives' - on sight.   For no good reason.

Since grade school, I resented those whose effortless good looks and charisma made me want to shrink further and further into the shadows.    Janice's poignant "At Seventeen" may well have been written about yours truly.

Thank God, we grow and get over ourselves!
And learn what Real Beauty is all about.
Still, every now and then I wonder.   What is it about the presence of others' larger-than-life appearances that makes us feel clumsy or inadequate?  
Sure, every once in a great I can still hear a classmate's words, "Myra?  You mean the one with the big nose?"  
Then I reassure myself, recalling another similarly-afflicted soul's laugh: "All this oxygen we get to breathe, and I'm sure lucky to get more than the next fellow."
I was sobered recently by a news story whose headline teased:  "What the Dying Really Regret."  
As Erma Bombeck once lamented - I presumed the answer to be not taking more chances.
No.  They regretted wasting so much time hating their own bodies!   Isn't that incredibly sad?
Oh, and by the way.  
One of Michele's  "ridiculously good looking" family members - a vibrant young man with a lovely, loving wife and two little girls recently passed away from brain cancer ......at age 34.     
Tommy's story is but one of hundreds, maybe thousands.  
Didn't we used to refer to the Kennedy family as 'charmed'?
It's a little early to be talking about Thanksgiving, but I'm incredibly grateful to be right here, right now .... and especially for you allowing me to be part of your charmed lives.  
I promise to be back with a more upbeat tone next time.
Hugsfrom Phoenix!
Myra :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Do you smell that?


So, I've been doing a lot of smiling in the last 48 hours.
Not just because DH's latest CT scan warranted a great review from his oncologist (which is pretty awesome!)

... but I think Summer's finally releasing her grip on the valley.  Woo-hoo!

Just yesterday morning - instead of automatically hitting the A/C, I felt like rolling my car's window down.    Not 10 minutes later, I caught the unmistakable aroma of a commercial bakery, and my toes began to curl in unison.

... Which got me pondering.  
Aside from baking bread, or a porterhouse steak sizzling over a mesquite-wood fire, here's a baker's dozen of my favorite, happy aromas.

Bubble gum

Garlic and onions simmering in olive oil
Movie theater lobbies
Brand-new textbooks
Wooden matches
Supermarket freezer-chests (it's been a long time since I stuck my head deep inside and inhaled ... only on account grown-ups aren't supposed to do that sort of thing.)
Ponderosa pines

Elmer's rubber cement (remember those adorable pots in elementary school?)
Original Jergens lotion
The lumber section of a warehouse
Horse stables
A lit pipe (preferably held by a gent wearing a smoking jacket, cradling a cognac in his other hand.   Ahhh!)

Have I struck a chord with anyone?  
What would you recommend?
Thank you for pausing to visit, and please, have yourselves a sweet new week!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Killing me softly, with his song

I hadn't planned to chat about Those.Who.Entertain today, but learning of Paul Revere's passing leaves me a bit reflective.  
Inquisitive, too.

Do you recall your first concert?

Growing up in a community the size of your average saucer, I longed to live in New York City or Los Angeles.  I longed sit alongside those screaming in Sullivan's audience.   Instead, I sat cross-legged, inches in front of our black/white television, dreaming of the day I'd reside in a Big City.

A few years later, I was thrilled to attend a campus concert by one of my favorite artists.   Unfortunately, the poor fellow was so messed up on gosh-knows-what he couldn't recall the words of the opening song and had to be led off-stage.    Na├»ve, yes, but I remember feeling soooo sorry for him -- and really upset at my supposedly-religious fellow students' jeers and boos.   (Thankfully, I learned he subsequently cleaned up his act and turned his craft to a 'contemporary Christian' genre.)

All the same, I was hooked -- on the smells and sounds and energy -- even before the artist(s) took the stage!   One of my favorite memories involves a B.Y.O.B. affair in the early 80's where we sat at portable tables and danced in front of an "up-and-coming singer" by the name of George Strait.   I wasn't really 'into' c/w music at the time, but had to admit he was pretty cute!

Obviously, some were better than others.  Perhaps my biggest let-down was a surprise trip I'd planned for my then-husband to see Ole' Blue Eyes at Reunion Arena in Dallas.   Unlike "R", I wasn't especially fond of Sinatra - and even less so after the lukewarm performance where he appeared wholly disinterested.

A few years later I began work at Tampa Bay's CBS affiliate where I was astonished to realize, concert and theatre tickets could practically be had for the asking!  Crazy, the things I used to take for granted.  (It may be a common practice, but now that I'm on the "other side-looking in", I don't think that's especially fair.   LOL!)

These days, DH and I've not attended a concert in ages.   Oh, a few years ago I won a radio contest to see Neil Diamond, and his show was just as amazing as I remembered from 1972.   Unfortunately, transportation in and around the newly-constructed stadium was poorly orchestrated, and at least one concert-goer was trampled and badly injured in the exodus.    Tom sometimes experiences difficulty maneuvering, so I do my best to avoid crowds.  

Sure, there are times I miss the energy.
... But I was only mildly disappointed recently at being "Caller #5" when the tickets to see Kris Kristofferson were meant for "Caller #6."   
Aside from the obvious, most nights I find myself yawning uncontrollably after 9! 

Irrational, perhaps ... but I'm always concerned that someone I've adored for years will turn out to be a huge disappointment.    I may be the only person on the planet who disliked George Strait's much ballyhooed farewell concert.   Has something like that ever happened to you?

All else aside, is there someone I'm still dying to see?   You bet-cha! :) 

(Say, I never claimed not to be a square!)
When we were in Vegas a couple years ago and had a chance to purchase tickets I balked at the prices.  Instead we returned to our rental, stuck a bag of popcorn in the microwave and watched one of his 'live' performances on DVD.   Not so sure I'd do the same today. 

If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear your own concert-going stories -- the good, the bad and the ugly!    Is there a special someone you're still longing to see?

Hugs from a deliciously-cooling Phoenix.   Have a great week, everyone!




Saturday, September 27, 2014

Heirlooms - or horsefeathers?

Me, I'm not normally given to 'signs' or 'tugs' from the universe.  
I sure don't discount their existence.  It's just, that stuff happens to other folks.

Before anyone goes getting excited, I'm not talking about seeing long-deceased, line-dancing ancestors.   

Instead, a mundane activity in which lots of us find ourselves unwilling participants:   Deciding what family 'heirlooms' to save, what to release.

For a while now, I've felt it's time to purge.  
Still, I was doing a pretty good job of ignoring our guest-room closet - whose contents challenge anyone to hang more than 1-2 articles of clothing.  

Then, in the space of a few days came a proverbial 'kick' ... and another.  Followed by another:
As is custom, the other morning I grabbed a random Unity cassette from the hodgepodge to 'pump me up' while preparing for the day.   Titled Heirlooms, my former minister was speaking about those sometimes silly, inanimate objects we hang onto - which really have no value - except in our hearts.   Her turning point came when a trusted friend sat alongside as she examined the contents of one box, then another.   Each time the friend asked, "Does that mean anything to you?"

That evening an inspiring e-mail arrived, improbably titled, 'Learning to travel lighter.'

... and the morning after that?  Both my go-to radio stations were playing something I didn't care for, so I hit the button for a frequency I used to enjoy.  The hosts'  were soliciting listener's feedback, asking, "What is something you will never get rid of?"

I don't know about you, but I'm probably holding onto lots of stuff out of some weird sense of obligation.  I've already tossed some hundred matchbooks and swizzle sticks - keeping those whose logos still evoke a smile.   They'll probably mean little to my granddaughters, but meanwhile they don't take up a lot of room.

Perhaps I should consider an Etsy shop like my blog buddy, Kim.   Or Instagram akin to Martha's spot in the sun.    You think?

Candidates for the chopping block
That with which I'll never (ever) part?  
I know this is long, but I'd really like to show you few of my favorite heirlooms.

No, this isn't my wine-glass! 
I remember little from our 1957 European excursion, but do recall my father refusing to let the folks at StadtKeller ship his 3-liter glass boot.
Instead he carried it by hand throughout the rest of the tour, then across the Atlantic, and finally via Greyhound back to New Mexico.
Know what?  Throughout all my moves, I've done the same.   
Grandma Willer gifted a set of these to my parents for their wedding ...
then was enormously appalled when she discovered the 'nekked lady' engraved on each of the delicate glasses.
Once I turned 13 y/o, one of these 
appeared alongside my own dinner plate each Sunday!
Silly old wooden bowl now sits atop my refrigerator,
but used to be the dedicated repository for S&H green stamps,
So, I've got to ask.    
Besides photographs, what's something you will never, ever get rid of?
Hugs from (rainy) Phoenix!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Let's hear it for the hose!

From an early age I was besotted by my mother's silk stockings. 
On road trips I'd position myself 'just so' in the little cavity beneath the glove box and run my hand up and down her stockinged calves until sleep came.  

I could hardly wait for my very own pair!
Lordy, reaching that milestone made me feel like 100 bucks!
Never mind that my nerdy 14-y/o self wobbled like crazy in my first hose- n'-heels get-up.
I'd arrived!   

To complete the ensemble, certain accessories were in order.

To the best of my knowledge, no-one I knew was permitted to own one of these.

Instead, our mothers consulted with the matriarch of all things lingerie at Clement & Benner. 
An appraising once over ... a nod ... then old Mrs. Benner would pull open a narrow drawer and carefully present a tissue-wrapped GIRDLE for inspection.
I was mesmerized.  

While I've difficulty recalling the advent of pantyhose, I soon became addicted.  I loved the way they kept my legs cool in the summer, and toasty warm in the winter.  I even wore them under blue jeans!

Fast-forward to 2002.   July, to be exact ...my introduction to Phoenix:
Clad in a navy business suit, nylons and heels, I must have been quite an apparition out there on the interview circuit.  
 (Those familiar with our 110-degree summer days and super-casual business attire may well be laughing aloud.)

Loathe to change my stripes, I continued to wear 'panty-nylons' (DH's term) for another few years before caving.

Imagine my surprise last Fall, when I happened on an old piece of luggage containing two dozen pair of L'eggs!   Woo-hoo!

Unfortunately, I'd quite forgotten the art of putting them on! 
Then came the ugly realization I was trying to squeeze 20 pounds that weren't there before into the unforgiving silk.   Yes, I hopped up and down.  
.....And yes, I swear those darn dogs were giggling.

Obviously, I need to pick up my game, shed some most of this unnecessary weight and start using those L'eggs again.  

'Casual' is all well and good -- but I can't help feeling better about myself in heels and hose.  

I'm curious!  
Ladies, are nylons still in vogue in your part of the country?

How about the fellows?
.... Do you care one way or another? 

As always, hugs from Phoenix!