Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Water Cooler Wednesday: Episode #3

Today's question comes from something I spotted on Facebook ...

What's a popular word or phrase that 
you find particularly annoying?

For instance?
I hate when customer service reps, food servers, etc. say "no problem" when I say, "thank you" .....
Whatever happened to, "You're welcome"?

Feeling old in Phoenix :)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Stealing: The Crushing Questions

G'morning friends! 

... and thanks to Bev, for these thought-provoking "Questions To Ask Your Crush."   
Cute, weren't they?

What do you find hilarious, but most people don't find funny?

Ugh.  I'd have found this easier to answer, were it posed the other way around.  I appreciate humor as much as the next person, but I don't 'get' much of what passes as comedic these days ...  satiric; oftentimes at the expense of others.

What was the best year of your life so far?

Hands-down, 1983  

.....found me feeling well and fiscally comfortable. There was "no song unsung, no wine untasted."

What's your favorite thing to do on the Internet?

Blogging.  Although I don't post each day, I love keeping abreast of your goings-on!

What fad have you held onto even though it isn't popular any more?

 I can't recall ever being a 'fad' follower.  Nevertheless, I've no intentions of trading in my oversize ("Jackie O") sunglasses.

What do you spend most of your time doing?

My job aside, I'd say commuting to and from the office.  I'm not sure if Phoenix traffic is getting worse, or if I need a remedial course in patience!

What do you spend way too much money on?

Groceries. DH and I take an enormous amount of pleasure in good food and beverages.

What event, large or small, has changed the course of your life most?

My father's sudden death in '81.  Subtly perhaps, but I became a far different person.

What do you have a hard time taking seriously?

The media.

What do you judge people for most often?

I try very hard not to judge .... but it's annoying as heck to hear someone 'going off', making presumptions when he/she is unfamiliar with the facts.

What was the most beautiful view you have ever experienced?

I'm remembering a sweet evening wandering the streets of San Gimignano, Italy.

What is something you read or heard that has stuck with you for a long time?

"Though nothing can bring back the hour of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; we will grieve not rather, find strength in what remains."
- William Wordsworth -

What's your favorite thing to shop for.  Why?

Groceries. Why?  A-N-T-I-C-I-P-A-T-I-O-N!

What's the best compliment someone can receive?

Someone once told me, "I enjoy spending time with you."  When applicable, I try and pay that sentiment forward.

What's something people go on and on about and you can't stand sitting through?

Major league baseball.

What's something you can do that most people can't?

I'm pretty unspectacular ... let's move on.

When was the last time you tried to look cool and ended in embarrassment?

I think it was '99.  My first fare driving a limo ... shuffling convention-goers from Tampa's convention center to their hotels, airport, etc.   Headed to TIA, my solitary fare mentioned looking forward to getting back home to his partner.  I'm like, "Oh!, so you're an attorney, then?" 

What is the most ridiculous rule you have to follow?

I've mentioned before -- I was given a verbal warning (my first ever!) for taking three 29-minute lunch breaks in a single pay period ..... vs. 30-minute periods mandated by Federal law.

What country do you not know the location of, even though you should?

Off the top of my head?  I'd be hard-pressed to identify Norway on an atlas - my mother's lineage.

What do you have a hard time with, but most people find quite easy?

I hate trying to text!

What's the most impressive skill you have?

I don't consider it 'impressive' ..... but all things considered, I'm pretty resilient and, at the end of the day, optimistic.

* * * 

Whew, what a lot of questions!
Thanks for stopping by ... and have yourselves a wonderful new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Playing For Keeps

Good morning m'friends!

How can it be Sunday already?  ... so soon?
Ours was a great 3-day weekend.  Yours?
Because I'd a gift card burning a hole in my pocketbook, Tom and I began by making a drive to a favorite restaurant.  Normally I'm so deadline driven, enjoying a leisurely lunch was an unaccustomed treat.

We were both too full to enjoy one of their signature deserts ... but that didn't stop us from bringing home thick slices of pumpkin and strawberry cheesecakes ... then falling into a caloric coma.  (*smile*)

* * *

Perspective's a funny thing.

The Estrella Mountains near our home, for instance.
Granted, this is a lousy picture -- but smack in the middle there's a solitary peak.  An upside down "V", more imposing than it appears here.  My altar, if you will.  "Wherever we are, God is."

Anyway, not 5 miles east, I look back and it's become a broken tooth.  Another 10, it's a lumpy wart. 

Later in the day I do a mental eye-roll, listening to Guest Services associates raving over "Step Brothers" (for instance) ... "the greatest movie, ever made!" 
... then I remember the 1961 letter my mother kept, her daughter's enthusiastic script lauding Hayley Mills' "Parent Trap" as "the Best! Ever!"  
Guilty, party of one.

Perspective often comes with a price.
On several occasions I've been guilty of forcing an outcome.  Remember that old song, "Falling in Love with Love"?  Substitute "Love" with "Change of venue" and that was me.  Destination addiction, yep. 
But this time, this move feels solid.

See, there's a certain fella on the other end.  A younger man.  I've not known about him very long; and I've yet to hear him speak.  Still, I've become infatuated with Sean Dietrich.

Like the song of the Lorelei, his words feel like home.
If you've a moment, may I share a few disjointed turns of a phrase?

 ....puts a hurting on two slabs of catfish roughly the size of men’s work boots. 

... A place with pine on the floors, pine on the walls and pork on the plate.

... (stories) that make a grown man leak saltwater.

...  enough to break a stainless steel heart.

.....a single parent who'd raised her daughter into adulthood on nothing but pennies and late shifts."

..... the kinds of food that give cardiologists panic attacks.

Finally, his reflections while in the midst of Hurricane Nate's wrath:  Thoughts of picking wildflowers ... watching the sun go down over the Escambia River ... being kissed by a litter of bloodhound puppies "Before I get sucked off the map ...."

Me? I want to own an iron skillet someday ... and a pair of cowboy boots.  And sit by a sunny window sipping coffee.
What a relief, knowing what I want to be when I grow up.

I hope yours is a wonderful new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Water Cooler Wednesday -Episode 2

Thanks for joining me for another silly scenario!

When I was a little girl I believed my mother was the smartest lady in the world.  That was, until she couldn't answer my question:  "When Prince Charles and Princess Anne turn in their school work, what do they put for their last name?"

See, I've always had an absurd interest in names.  The royal family is no exception.

Princess Diana supposedly wanted to name her first-born "Oliver" -- but that was shot down for a more 'suitable' name befitting the House of Windsor.
(...a bit stuffy, are we?)

Even today.  I recall much speculation regarding the naming of William and Kate's adorable offspring.  

Now that "George Alexander Louis" and "Charlotte Elizabeth Diana" are expecting a  new brother or sister next year .....

..... should you decide to accept this mission,

If you were given naming rights to the new prince or princess, what would you choose?
(Phooey on tradition!) 


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Reconcilible Differences ... and stuff

I really, really don't like to dry dishes.   Even as a child, I'd volunteer to wash ... even if it meant wearing those ugly rubber gloves mother kept at the ready.

So, where's this going?   Last year - in an effort to cut back on our electric - I began doing dishes by hand ... and sticking them in the dishwasher to air dry overnight.  Out of sight, out of mind!

Except, if he's around Tom insists on grabbing a dishtowel and starts drying.  I know.  I should be tickled to pieces he wants to help.  Probably, I'm just bummed he doesn't appreciate the efficiency of my plan.  (*smile*)

Shortly after last month's anniversary I had to conclude, Tom and I are kitchen incompatible -- 
Remember what I said about Saran Wrap?  He actually makes that satanic stuff work nicely!  I like select-a-size paper towels ... him, Not.At.All.  Following a recent burger-and-onions extravaganza, our kitchen smelled like "Bubba's Place."   Wow. From the way he recoiled when I began spraying the Lysol this way and that, you'd have thought it was pepper spray.  I looked to see he'd retrieved something called Fuzzy Vanilla.  And cracked up.

Oh, there's more.  Lots. But that's OK.  Excepting weekends, we rarely eat the same things or at the same time.  I'm curious how all this is going to work when I'm no longer working.   One reader mentioned it was the size of their kitchen that first 'sold' her on their house.  Me, I'm thinking smaller is safer!

* * *

Say, I really appreciate y'all's comments on my  '67' things!
Still, I've got to quit putting certain things out in the Universe.  I'll never forget one old preacher's analogy:  "You keep saying s***, you're gonna keeping stepping in it."

See, a few days later I came out of work to discover one of my car tires was flat as a pancake.  "No worries" someone offered.  "Just drive it down to the maintenance yard and they've a compressor you can use."  
Oh no, no, nooooo!
(I don't care to play the poor pitiful female card, but yep.  That's just what I did.)

And my (non) love affair with the color blue?  When Tom invited his buddy and wife over last weekend, we knew our desperately ratty patio chair cushions must go.  (Eventually, I'd like to replace them with Sundrella fabric, but I'm not ready to re-mortgage the house to do so.)  What an unpleasant wake-up call to discover what retailers - even WalMart - were asking.  Then, walking into Fry's I spotted a big 'close-out' sign advertising chaise cushions for only $19.99.   Of course, they were all blue, but I wasn't going to sneeze at the price.

Funny thing, I don't think they look all that bad. 

* * *

I'm so delighted it's October!  What do you say, let's put out in the Universe, this going to be a good time!

Thanks for visiting my ordinary post about nothing, and have yourselves a great Monday!

Hugs from Phoenix,


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Water Cooler Wednesday

..... aka, idle question time!

So, I recently remarked to a co-worker, "I miss gargling with Lavoris."
(Actually, I enjoyed sipping it.)

"That's OK", Brian replied. "I liked to drink the Kaopectate."

Keeping things short 'n sweet ...

Were there any non-USDA approved items you liked to consume as a child?

What happened?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I Am, I Said (x67)

So, over the years I've enjoyed some of my bloggers' Things About Me posts ... and thought it would be a lark to do that, too. 
At first the word 'manifesto' came to mind.  But wow.  That sounds far too grand.  "67 Things" on the occasion of my 67th birthday? (6 months after the fact, you can see how well that turned out.  Nope.  With apologies to Neil Diamond, I am, I said.

I'd love it if you were to pour a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) and sit awhile.  No offense meant to anyone!  These are simply my simple facts n' foibles.

  1. Spanish moss seriously creeps me out.
  2. I'm inordinately drawn to odd numbers.
  3. Sarah Wrap is NOT my friend.
  4. I always drive with both feet ... imagine my left foot as a see-saw, pivoting on my heel.
  5. I've taken arriving early to an art form.
  6. I'm weary.
  7. I think Vladimir Putin is (ahem) darn attractive.
  8. I'm a champion worrier.
  9. I find a bit of ego very attractive in men ... not so much women.
  10. I'm not outwardly emotional, but suspect I sometimes feel more deeply than many folks.
  11. I'm not especially fond of the color blue.
  12. I'm too serious for my own good.
  13. Buttercup yellow, burgundy and forest green are my favorite colors.
  14. I'm a chionophile.  ... thank you, Sandra :)
  15. My favorite number is 13 ...  that being the number of souls at the Last Supper.
  16. I can't won't back up.
  17. I've never parallel parked in my life.
  18. I pretend to be nonchalant, but truth is, I'm scared to death of air travel.
  19. Conversely, I love being on the water - especially when the ocean is rough.
  20. The trait I most value in others is sincerity.
  21. One of the fastest ways to make me mad/sad is confusing my job with my intelligence.  (Yes, it happens.)
  22. I really think driving styles reflect personalities.  'Pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy spending time with an aggressive driver.
  23. I'm secure in my Christian faith, but find much beauty in Judaism.
  24. I'd almost rather chew thumbtacks than read (and follow) an instruction manual.
  25. I believe sushi is a plot by the Japanese to get even for Hiroshima ..... and I refuse to take the 'bait' (lol).
  26. I only fruits I like are coconut, lemon, lime and grapefruit.
  27. I've difficulty pronouncing the word 'rural.'
  28. I'd have loved being a psychiatrist -- but would have found it impossible to remain impassive.
  29. I still lift both feet when riding over railroad tracks or a cattle guard. 
  30. Please don't ask me, "Are you sure?"  I rarely say anything I don't mean.
  31. Keep your sequins and glitter, please.  'Bling' and I aren't compatible.
  32. Squirrely!  It drives me start raving mad to have moisture under my rings.
  33. I don't understand tattoos.  My first instinct is to grab a soapy washcloth.
  34. I'm not typical of my birth sign (Pisces) because I don't particularly like being wet.
  35. My biggest fear is developing dementia or Alzheimer's.
  36. Heartbroken.  Try as I may, I can't recall the sound of my dad's voice.
  37. Despite taking piano lessons for 8 years, I can no longer read a single note of music.
  38. I write and eat with my left hand, but my right is dominant in almost everything else.
  39. Watching commercial aircraft on final approach each morning I marvel at what it must feel like to trust so completely.
  40. Acute hearing is my super power -- but acting otherwise has served me well.
  41. I despise pants that fasten below my natural waistline.  A Cher-esque abdomen I've not!
  42. I'm not fond of gemstones.
  43. Fireworks ...meh.  Give me a box of sparklers and I'm a happy camper!
  44. Being an only child I can be selfish; I never had to share or compromise or compete.
  45. I've travelled to all 50 states, but remember very few.
  46. Not sure why people think it comical when I refer to my hand-held looking glass as my 'rear view' mirror.  (Think about it ...)
  47. I'm old enough to know better, but can't resist taking a quick whiff whenever I uncap a Sharpie.
  48. I love strong coffee, strong cheese and an over-abundance of Hellman's mayonnaise.
  49. I'm OCD about separating taxable/non-taxable items on the grocer's belt.
  50. I'm so law-abiding, it's pathetic.  Except for the time when ...
  51. ... at the direction of a client's widow, I forged a deceased's signature -- then notarized my own forgery.
  52. Happy!  I get a real sense of well-being when breaking out a fat new roll of Charmin.
  53. When called for, I can behave in an outgoing manner ... but I'm an introvert by nature.
  54. I've never driven (or ridden on) a motorcycle.
  55. I have, however, climbed down a steel ladder to the very bottom of a cruise ship while in formal wear.  (Hot and noisy!)
  56. Nothing can make my morning like witnessing one of Arizona's spectacular sunrises.   Another chance to get it right!
  57. Because I began developing varicose veins in my teens, you will never, ever catch me wearing shorts.
  58. "Puff the Magic Dragon" is apt to make me cry.
  59. I enjoy wearing nylons (hose).
  60. One of my least-favorite things is gift-wrapping.  And it shows.
  61. No matter the temperature, I always sleep with one foot out of the covers.
  62. I do not express myself well verbally.
  63. I've an irrational fear of putting air in my car's tires.
  64. I'm deeply sentimental, nostalgic ... and sometimes melancholic.
  65. As a professional chauffeur, once I returned a stretch limo missing the front bumper ... with no idea how or when it went AWOL.
  66. I don't like going out the day after Christmas.  It makes me really sad to see the poor live trees that weren't chosen.
  67. I love my blog friends!
God willing(!), a decade from now I wonder how many of these will still hold true! 
Will I see you then?

 In the meantime, have yourselves a great new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Falling for the Hodgepodge!

Oh what fun it is to ride ... 
along with the gang at Wednesday Hodgepodge!

Thanks for the fun prompts, Joyce!

What's something you'd rate a 10/10?  Why?

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

Have you ever been to the Cheesecake Factory?  I'm not a big sweets lover, but their creations are what I imagine Mr. God serves at his dinner table!

What job would you be terrible at?  What makes you think so?

So many things!  
I once thought being an OTR truck driver would be cool.  Unfortunately, I don't like to won't use my mirrors and can't even park my Camry in reverse.
Have you ever watched those guys maneuvering their trailers?  Amazing!

Something else.  It's not very nice, but I might not resist getting up close and riding the bumpers of bullies in their big pick-m-up trucks who get a kick out of tailgating  smaller cars in front of them. 
See how it feels?

When did you last take a fall?  What's something you're falling for (in a good way) these days?

A couple of years ago the tip of my shoe caught on a curb and I went down most unceremoniously right outside my office.  (I wrote about it then, "Bones Don't Bounce.")

These days?  I can't wait to fall in love with a small town where folks smile at strangers ... who mean it when they say, "How are you?"

According to the Travel Channel, here are some of America's best fall festivals.  Have you ever been to any of them?  Which one appeals to you most?

National Apple Harvest Festival (near Arendtsville, PA, close to Gettysburg), Harvest on the Harbor (Portland, ME), German Village Festival (Columbus, OH), Wellfleet Oyster Fest (Cape Cod), and Wine and Chile Fiesta (Santa Fe, NM).

Having grown up just north of Santa Fe - loving all things spicy - the Fiesta jumped out.

Except! My 'druthers' point towards Columbus, Ohio in honor of my German heritage.

What is your 'good-bye" message to summer?

The noble part of me might quote Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.   
But my inner child expresses it best .....

Insert your own random thought here --

I'm not a fan of SNL, but this cracked me up!
(Because ... when we first adopted 'Alexa', Tom could never get her name right and kept calling her Alexis or Alice.  LOL)

Have a blessed day!
Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, September 17, 2017


I'm not setting myself up for failure any more by titling these "Friday" Letters.  Yep, I'm late.  Again.

So, during each morning's 'cone of silence' commute my brain practically explodes with blog ideas.  I've taken to keeping index cards at the ready, but when evening arrives I've little-to-no initiative.  
Suppose this falls into the science of biorhythms?

'Just curious.  Have you a certain time of day set aside to blog ... when your 'spark plugs' get to buzzing?

* * *

Dear DH:
I really should be flattered that you wanted my opinion.  But a toilet?  Seriously?  
You know home improvement emporiums aren't my thing, but I was astounded at the variety (and prices) of 'thrones.'  
In the 'end', I don't care!  
PS -
Thank you for installing the pot.  Oh, and for prying me away from the pretty faucets aisle.

Dear Tree Doctor:
I'm mighty relieved to hear our ground water supply wasn't contaminated; that our little tree had plenty of moisture.  

But you're telling us it died from sunburn?  
I never heard of that before!

Dear Sarah,
Grandpa Tom and I were thrilled to learn you were about to begin your career at the hospital where you interned. 
Who could have guessed, your mentor who 'practically promised' you that job failed to research the fine print ... that it was a Masters-level position, not a bachelors.

Nevertheless, I'm so proud of your resolve.  Your optimism and innate compassion will get you far.   I love you!

Dear Momma in Heaven,
Witnessing the recent hurricanes' devastation, I've felt helpless and heartsick.  You've been heavy on my mind ... memories!

I'm so sorry we didn't take you more seriously.  Each year you made it a point to attend the hurricane readiness seminar ... arriving early, so as to get a seat up front.   You -- a poster child for hurricane readiness -- even purchased 'do-it-yourself' storm shutters from a door-to-door salesman.  You always said, "When the hurricane comes...."  Never "if."

DIL Lois and Mother at PassaGrille Beach

Bittersweet.  Only a few months after you passed away, Hurricane Charley swept across the Gulf coast ... destroying one of your Happiest Places on earth:  Punta Gorda's Village Oyster Bar. 
Troy later remarked, "Well, gram finally got her hurricane"  ... as we enjoyed your favorite cocktail, the Godmother.

So, I consulted Google this morning and discovered the Oyster Bar is permanently closed.  Almost seems fitting.

Dear News Anchors,
After 15 years I should be accustomed to your euphemisms.  (I'm sorry, I still don't consider 110-degrees 'warm.')  Still, I sat up straight last week when I heard you warn of an approaching cold front.  
Never mind that in "Phoenix speak" that means highs in the 90's.  I'll take it! ... and you gave me a good laugh.
(Thank you, Mr. God.) 

... and thank you for visiting.  Have a great week, everyone!

Hugs from Phoenix,


Monday, September 4, 2017

Home sweet home?

Happy Labor Day, m'friends!

Today's not a company holiday, but I elected to burn a PTO day -  because it's DH's and my 13th (woot!) anniversary ..... and frankly, I'm feeling a bit like a slug.
I'd hoped we might go for (years-overdue) pedicures, but yesterday I drove a sliver of ceramic tile up into the bottom of my foot.  Not cool.

Did I mention?  Between Tom and another fella's efforts, we've nearly 9 sq. ft. of new flooring in the master bath!
Him:  "Ya, it only took us 14 years."  LOL.

* * *

Yes, the long-distance house hunt continues ... mine at a fevered pitch; DH not so much.

Sometimes compromise bites!  (*smile*)
Nevertheless, I have to appreciate Tom's 'wait and see' approach.

More than a thousand miles away, I'm ooh-ing and aah-ing over a butler's pantry ... then he goes and points out what looks like missing structural supports and a sagging roof line.

 The cottage at iconic Lake Martin tipped the scales for both of us...

... but sits at the tippy-top of our budget.  Not realistic, when given our ages and health history.  Sigh.

So, Belyn-the-realtor has cautioned me not to be pinning my hopes on anything in particular.  

Too late.  Each morning I jump out on Zillow to make sure 'my' finalists are still there.
Both are virtually the same price and 1500-1600 sq. ft.

Bachelor #1 
.....has a new 30-year roof, new HVAC unit, new paint and flooring.

Bachelor #2's 1970's look sings to my heart.

I'm even guilty of arranging furniture and deciding where to hang Tom's favorite (enormous) painting.
Anyone wanna bet I can't wait until November?

Oh, by the way!  How'd popcorn ceilings get such a bad rap?  It doesn't bother me, but to watch HGTV you'd think it emits asbestos.  Or something.

Since we hope to market our place in a few months (without breaking the bank)  I'm interested in knowing what's Important - or, what's a turn-off? - to you when looking for a new home?

* * *

I've not mentioned the horrendous states of affairs in Texas and Montana, but I suspect every one of us is holding those victims in our prayers every day.  I'm feeling pretty dog-gone blessed ..... aren't you?

Have yourselves a wonderful new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Sergeant Major and me

It's not nice. 
I know I should let it go. 
All the same, my stomach clinched when my dentist recently mentioned attending his Class Reunion -- in Viet Nam.

... which prompted a bout of self-examination:  Am I becoming like the fellow we dubbed "Sergeant Major"?
Ted never tried to cloak his feelings about foreign automobiles -  anything, actually, made in Japan.

 Nearly a caricature, Ted came into my 1980's work-life when "the Franks" (sales managers) thought it a lark to hire a senior citizen to sell airtime.

Subtle as a sledgehammer. I recall Ted standing erect before the workspaces:  In a booming baritone, "A.E.'s, police your cubicles!"

If he was aware of the banter surrounding his place in what was admittedly a cut-throat business, Ted never let on.   Delighted to be a part of the team, he just smiled.

And talk?  Oh my goodness! 
You know that saying about someone chatting up a fence post?   At my secretarial desk, I was usually the one stuck listening to Ted's tall tales.

Unfortunate, but not a year later - shortly after the station was sold - 'old Ted' was encouraged to share his stories on another stage.

For a while there, someone or another would accept his invitation to dinner.  Then --- there's no getting around it --  it came my turn.

I remember feeling claustrophobic in Ted's tiny, dark apartment, surrounded by all sorts of military memorabilia ... all of which held NO interest.  The starched table linen and weighty silverware were impressive, but it was his genteel manner and obvious delight at having company that touched me.

Not long after, the Franks and several A.E.s found themselves at odds with new owners/management and took their leave to other stations ... other cities.  Pretty soon I did the same.  Caught up in a personal drama, I pretty much forgot about Sergeant Major.

A few years back I asked my BH if she ever saw Ted around town.
"Oh Myra, Ted died."

In part, the obituary read --
"..... was a decorated veteran of World War II, serving in the United States Marine Corps.  Dad was a member of the historic Edson's Raiders, First Marine Battalion, who fought numerous heroic battles throughout the South Pacific, including legendary Guadalcanal."       

It went on to say he enjoyed writing.  I can't help but think, Ted would have loved blogging. 

He just wanted someone to listen.

RIP Sergeant Major

Hugs from Phoenix,