Saturday, April 12, 2014


"What's your personal Dumb Little Victory?"
... so asked the radio hosts who live in my dashboard.

They illustrated ...
"Is there a light you try to make daily?
Having exact change for something?"

I began to nod.  
Years ago my daily commute took me right past the end of Tampa International's runway, and I'd race to 'beat' approaching aircraft to the gore point.  
Isn't that silly?  
Naturally, I lost more times than not - but there were a few fist-pump moments. 

More recently -
... My workplace boasts plenty of free parking spaces, but I'm partial to one in particular.  (mine!)
...  I auto-gravitate to the far southwest seat at the conference table each Wednesday morning.  (mine!)

And here's the FACE I probably wear if either is occupied when I get there.

Of course, there's never been reserved parking or seating at my workplace, or our church's auditorium for that matter - but I'm such a creature of habit.

Even before hearing that radio prompt, I had cause to chuckle at my similarity to another's misfortune:  
A few months back, DH and I'd taken a day trip to see a friend perform at a local casino showroom.   We'd not been seated more than 5 minutes when there comes this rat-a-tat on my shoulder and looked up to see an elderly soul glaring at me, "Those are our seats!"

Um, all-righty then .... be easy, now .... we'll just move over there.
(Danny later told us we were there first, but these old gals are regulars and favor that area.)

And then it happened. 
Last week it seemed there were no more little victories to be had:
I was uncharacteristically late - then discovered my car wouldn't start.    Sticking my head back in the bedroom, "The battery's dead; I'm taking your truck."  
.... Only to find myself behind every slow-moving, oversize vehicle on the road. 

Just as I was working my way up an epic pity party, I became witness to one of the most spectacular sunrises I've seen in years.   The kind that bring tears to your eyes.   

You know, I wasn't late after all.  And "my" parking space was right there waiting -- with a bright shiny penny sitting face-up when I opened the door.

I don't know.  But I suspect these little "dumb little victories" are like seeing God smile and wink.    It doesn't take much; I just have to remember to look for the wink.

Wishing you scads of  'Dumb Little Victories'
.... and (of course) hugs from Phoenix,


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Confessions of a Reformed Dieter

I think - no, I know that moment I first fell in love with DH:
His was an off-hand remark.  All the same, my stomach did a little doe-si-doe when I heard,  "There's little better than biting into a juicy burger and having the grease run down your arm."

Cheeseburger in Paradise!

Fast-forward ... 13 years and nearly 30 lbs.  
Events of the last year culminated in my questioning my Life Choices: some life affirming; others not so wise.    

The good part?    After years of unsuccessful attempts to quit smoking, I'm now confident referring to myself as a 'former smoker.'  

The bad?  Until recently, I was still inclined to beat myself up about the weight.    Come January, without fanfare I elected to cut out the carbs in my life.   (Some may recall my dear vegan friend, Diana, dubbing me 'The meat-atarian.')  
Used to be, I could shed 15-20 lbs. in a few weeks ... consuming enormous porterhouse steaks and rashers of bacon .... paying no attention to portion control.

Unfortunately, come vacation last month it seemed the only significant weight I'd lost occurred in my feet.   Really.  When my shoes began flopping at the heels I was having visions of body casts!

Discouraging.   But maybe, just maybe that explains the disembodied voice I heard just prior to my alarm going off the other morning:  "Time's running out."  
(I'm not a big believer in the supernatural, but that was just creepy!)

I'm trying to be more careful where I spend time, and with whom ...
 ... and who, exactly, is it I'm trying to impress?
Most articles of clothing I know I'll never wear again are headed to charity.    (Other favorites I hope to repurpose into a memory quilt some day.)

At this stage in my life I suspect a 'happy Myra' is more attractive than an old grump trying to replicate the sunken cheeks I wore like a badge of honor in my 30's and 40's.    

Perhaps I spend too much time fantasizing about my next meal -- not to be confused with actually cooking it!

While I won't be eating this ....

or even this .......

for supper each night, it's refreshing to give myself permission once in a while!     Aren't we lucky to be living in a world where (nearly) anything's available 24/7?

For more amazing choices, why not drop by my friend Buttercup's place.   As part of April's 'A-Z Challenge, Carol is featuring some of Manhattan's little-known, but delicious eateries.    You're guaranteed to leave hungry! :)        

Wishing you all a healthy and happy new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Monday, March 24, 2014

Smiling at strangers

So, some of you may have spotted an embarrassingly-unattractive picture of me out on Facebook recently.
"Looks as if you were having an abysmal time.", a co-worker remarked.

Instinctively, I knew better than to attend hubby's reunion, where I knew no-one.

Then again, observing my facial expression and slumped posture it's little wonder no-one sought me out for further conversation!
My parents had a pet name for me when I'd get 'that' look:  'Josie Martinez.'   I've no idea where it came from, but wow.  My 3-year old self would howl in rage -- or most likely, embarrassment.

When necessary (um, that would be my workplace), I consider myself fluent at faking an extroverted presence.

Left to my own devices, however, I don't much enjoy spending time with more than 2-3 persons at a time.   
Still, that doesn't excuse my channeling 'Josie.'         

I suppose most everyone's nervous in unfamiliar situations.  
The only difference is, if I'm nervous and excited I wind up chattering on and on and on
.... then beat myself up afterwards for talking too much.

Oops!   I strayed off topic there for a moment.

For years now, I've been Really Intrigued  why some folks find it difficult to smile at others - or simply offer a 'Good morning' greeting.    Mind you, I'm not talking about jumping in someone's path like a zealous timeshare or used car salesman!
The worst offenders?
My vote goes out to those real-life denizens of Gray's Anatomy.   Last year when DH was in and out of hospitals, I'd find myself sharing an elevator with 'med folk'... all of who'd studiously examine the ceiling ... the floor ... the shiny walls.   
Ya, I get it.   You've serious business going on; the stuff of life and death.   Maybe you hate your job. 
.....But would it kill you to smile back? 

I probably gathering molehills over here, still trying to over-compensate for that pill, Josie.

Rather than asking if you find it natural to smile at strangers -- bloggers are some of the nicest people on the planet! ..... am I missing the obvious? my naivety showing?

Wishing you a sweet week, and as always .....
 "Hugs from Phoenix!"


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Simple Pleasures

... so, I had quite a different post slated for this weekend, when I happened by Dayle's place this afternoon and was reminded of her delightful prompt, Simple Pleasures.

In all  honesty, somewhere during the past few months I misplaced my sense of pleasure.    Without obvious reason  I've begun experiencing middle-of-the-night (OK, early morning) panic attacks  ...and frankly, have been feeling overwhelmed.

Obviously, I've forgotten the time-true practice of counting one's blessings ... or, in this case, Simple Pleasures.   Starting right now, I'm going to revisit that route.   Might I share a few of tonight's agenda items?

Despite the odds, last week I'd the good fortune to turn over another year on my 'fiscal calendar.' 
By my own choosing, Monday was a subdued celebration.   Nevertheless, I was delighted by dear friends' remembrances:

The next day, on an ordinary trip to my fav emporium, I had a flash-back.

I'm pretty sure it was Becky's delightful  memoirs that included a mention of something I'd quite forgotten  ... Jergens original scent body lotion.  I couldn't help hunt that product like a coon dog, unscrew the cap and take a long whiff, right then and there.   Yesssss!

...unfortunately, that detour down memory-lane only resulted in a (fruitless) search for Lavoris mouthwash.  
Another day, perhaps.

Sensory links from our past pack a sweet punch, don't they?  
Wishing y'all us all sweet dreams!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

I didn't mean it!

Good grief.   When I last signed off, I never dreamt it would be 75 days before I'd begin to gather my wits about me again.

Personally, nothing's amiss....   
... and since I'm not fond of excuses, I won't offer any.  OK? OK!

Most recently ....
DH and I realized a long-overdue visit to my son and his family in Alabama ... by way of Florida.
I'd quite given up on trying to figure out the thought processes behind airline schedules and insanely-expensive fares.   Then quite by accident, I discovered substantial $$$ might be saved by flying into Jacksonville (v. Birmingham or Atlanta) .... and we could fulfill a decade-old promise to visit Tom's sis and BIL at the same time.   Yea, me!  

Not so fast.

Given DH's chronic hip issues, I thought it brilliant to book the red-eye:  It would be sparsely populated so he might stretch out, and I'd be too sleepy to notice every bump or jiggle.
Can you tell, we've not flown recently?  
Every stinkin' seat on that airbus was filled!   'Ms. Genius' here had even pre-selected the one row where seatbacks don't recline.   To add insult to injury, when DH went to sit down, his seat cushion did a 90-degree pivot!   ("Oh that's OK, sir.  They're just velcro-ed down.)   

Does anyone else remember when flying used to be fun?   When travelers actually dressed up in hose and heels for the privilege?  Thank God, we landed w/o incident!

Rain -- and more rain heralded our return to that State I once swore I'd never set foot on again.   (You think I'd not heard the term, 'never say never'?)   Then, when I saw the manner in which Tom's sister lives, I immediately felt ashamed that she'd ever been to visit our place.  
....OK, I'm blaming that on lack of sleep and a raw, sore throat.   
It's amazing how a long snooze, followed by nice company and a great meal turned my attitude right around!
Tom and Annette

Poor quality from our moving vehicle ...
But this is John Grisham's residence.
(Probably just one of his houses, but neat to see all the same!)

I won't say time spent w/ family was relaxing or fun, necessarily ... our 14 year-old grand-dog passed suddenly which was devastating for all concerned. 
And driving 7 hours a day isn't the lark it once was.  
Still, I'm feeling infinitely more peaceful for having seen and hugged those I love!

Troy, Chloe (16 y/o), Sarah (20) and Lois
My DIL complained her face was all puffy from crying, but I still think she's beautiful.

That ... and I'm ridiculous pleased with my unintended souvenir.

I'm not necessarily a fan of shopping (more about that at another time!)   .... but returning to Florida, I began craving an iced coffee in the worst way.    Must have been kismet, but SIL took me to this delightful Plantation shop on the island featuring everything I wanted ... and nothing I needed.    (Been there yourself, have you?)  
Given Annette's member discount, I probably picked up more goodies than was prudent ... and thank goodness I didn't read one price-tag correctly, or I'd have put my doorknob back.  
(OK, it's a doorknob-turned-bottle-stopper.  But it still looks just like those in my grandmother's farmhouse so many years ago.)   

Thank goodness, DH doesn't get his feathers ruffled if my common sense wanders off the reservation now and then!

Finally, I'm supposing the mystery surrounding Flight 370's disappearance isn't far from any of our thoughts and prayers.   I can't begin to imagine what their loved ones are going through.

A few years back I posted about differing 'farewells', citing one of my all-time favorite movies, Castaway.  

"There is a goodbye intended to be temporary ~ much more temporary than 4 years! ~ when he says, I'll be right back." 

We never know when we say 'goodbye' some morning, if that's the last time we're going to have this exchange .... when or if there will be another hello. 

So, isn't it important for all of our goodbyes to be loving and genuinely affirming? "God be with you... good be with you."

I think so, too.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Facts n' Foibles

As my friend Anne recently pointed out, some Facebookers have been sharing little-known things about themselves on line.   I've had fun playing along (in my mind -- NOT on FB!), and thought it might be a lark to share a baker's dozen here, this first day of 2014.

In no particular order, here are a few of my own facts n' foibles ...

~ ~ ~

No matter how cold the room, I can't sleep without one foot sticking out from under the bedcovers

I do most everything with my left hand - unless strength or sports is concerned.  Then I'm right-handed

Speaking of sports, don't choose me for your team .... I'm a total klutz

Because of that, I don't particularly enjoy dancing

I've always been partial to odd numbers.   Recently I (inadvertently) drove our catering coordinator nuts by removing one glass from every other row of her perfectly-aligned goblets

In spite of having flown most all my life (without incident, thank God!) I'm a white-knuckle passenger

Conversely, I love being on a ship when the seas grow rough!

The characteristic I most value in others is Sincerity

I don't consider myself superstitious, but have a real aversion to the number '6'

Knee-deep, crunchy snowbanks and raw sugar-cookie dough are two of my 'right-now' favorite things

I'm not fond of 'bling', jewelry, roses 
... or fruit

In my 13th year, 'The Triumph of Janis Babson' had a profound effect on me.  So much so, I believed myself to have leukemia - but didn't tell my parents for several (miserable) months!

A confirmed 'morning person', I'm amazed and delighted most every day by the sunrise ... yet I'm sometimes prone to melancholy watching the sun set

~ ~ ~
Happy New Year !!!

As always .... hugs from Phoenix!


Friday, December 27, 2013

Turn out the lights ...

 ... the party's (almost) over!

I hope everyone thoroughly enjoyed -- in his or her own fashion -- a wonderful Christmas!

Ours was certainly made brighter by Encouraging News from DH's oncologist the day before.   Baring any unforeseen 'uh-oh's', they don't want to see us again until March!   
Recalling Tom's original diagnosis, I can't begin to describe the enormity of our relief.   
....then again, I hadn't counted on the army of angels who've held us up! :)

My FB pal, Danny, sent this link just the other day.   At the time, I supposed there wasn't enough time to spend 6 minutes sitting, watching a film about gratitude.  This morning I watched.   Then twice, three times.

Silly lady!   Looking back, I've probably wasted more time telling myself, "I don't have time"!
So, the party's nearing a conclusion, and I'm left to consider its parting gifts.   

Before saying "bye" ... and speaking of gifts, here's a poser:  

Is it just me, or does anyone else wish Victoria's Secret would go away ..... like far, far away?   
I'm not sure about you or your circle of friends -- but (aside from Cher) I don't know any 60-something gals who boast perfectly flat abdomens and anorexic hiplines. 
God bless hubby, I'm sure he thought his was a sweet gesture - but even the more "matronly" pajamas (can I use that word in conjunction with VS?) came up only to the top of my (not-so-anorexic) hips.   
Return-to-sender and happily, no feelings were hurt!   

Right now, I'm enjoying the sweet gift of not setting foot outside in two days.   Let the crowds thin a bit, then I'm planning to have a whee old time buying something really risqué .... like a new coffee maker!

Hugs from Phoenix!