Saturday, April 29, 2017

5 Things

Re-running, I yam. :) 
Here, I was searching for something else entirely and this - largely forgotten - post came up.  (Back in '09, I received this piece - authors unknown - from our company's then-CEO.)

Hope one or more of these snippets touch your heart like they have mine!  

* * *

First Important Lesson – The Cleaning Lady
During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one:" What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall,dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers,you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain
One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older black woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab. She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home.
A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away. God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others."
Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

Third Important Lesson - Always Remember Those Who Serve
In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied. The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away. The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish,were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

Fourth Important Lesson - The Obstacle in Our Path
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the King's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand: Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it CountsMany years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded.He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?" Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Spring(-ish) Hodgepodge

Volume 305
Joyce, thank you for these gentle prompts
 ... helping jump-start my writing block!

* * *

"April showers bring May flowers", or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers?

Um, no.  Last week our humidity levels hovered between 7% - 9%.

Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it?

I love umbrellas!  Then again, given all the product I put in my hair, the raindrops would probably bounce right off.

Besides rain, what else has filled your April?

Too many doctors' appointments and worry genes running amok.  Not going there right now. 

What's something you could give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?

Oh wow, just the idea of giving a presentation makes my teeth chatter!
'Suppose I could stretch out the preparation of seafood crepes with champagne sauce ..... my only take-away from cooking class.

Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

On the few occasions when my dad was home for Sunday dinner -- once the roast was ready, he'd give me a little crust of bread smeared with salted marrow.  It's been more than 50 years, but I'll never forget that seemed like the best taste in the history of EVER.

What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

No one song comes to mind, but I've championed the art of "la-la-la'ing" along to more than a few stanzas!

According to one travel website, the most over-rated tourist attractions in America are:  Niagra Falls, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Times Square, Epcot, Seattle Space Needle and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.  How many of these have you seen in person?

I've not visited the Space Needle or Faneuil Hall.

Did you feel like a tourist?  Did you care?

Aside from someone (in Manhattan) cautioning me, "Please don't embarrass me by standing on the street corner and looking up." I never considered being a tourist a bad thing.

Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

Your signature clothing item?

I've worn heels for so many years, my feet sometimes feel 'off' in sneakers.

What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once?

Seeing the Grand Canyon up close and in person can't be beat.

Unlike her more exuberant sister ...a few years ago our pragmatic g'daughter cracked me up: "Wow.  I thought we were just going to see a big hole in the ground."

Insert your own random thought here.

Color me excited!
We recently finalized plans to visit son and family in Alabama next month.  Not only does our long layover in Tampa allow for lunch with BF Debbie ... but I'm hoping to meet and break bread with blog pal Rick and his wife!

Have yourselves a beautiful rest of the week, m'friends!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sunday Stealing!

If you could say anything you wanted to say to Donald Trump, what would you say?

"Thank you, Mr. President."   
(That's all.  Those who agree require nothing more.  You don't?  Well, nothing I might say is likely to change your mind.)

If you had to be the mother of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan, who would you choose -- and why?

Neither, thank you.  I'm not that familiar with either young lady, so it's not my place to think I could parent any better.

You get to be Queen for a Day.  The kids are all taken care of, and you can spend as much money as you want.  What do you do all day?

Sure, I can imagine lots of indulgent behaviors; but I'm already so blessed.
To tell you the truth, my enjoyment would be diminished if I couldn't share it with those I love, making memories.   Money's no object, you say?  OK!

I'd send a private jet to collect my son and family, two close friends, and all my blog pals (Yes, you too; I see you over there)  to come aboard a private yacht charter around Tampa Bay.  (To be fair, I stole this idea from a former co-worker who did just that to celebrate the occasion of his elopement.)  

Because I've never been one for mindless chit-chat, our vessel would boast cozy settings (both indoors and out on deck) for warm conversation.
... and, of course, a dizzying array of comfort food and drinks.  (Any special requests?)

Is there a song that brings tears to your eyes every time you hear it?  If so, which one.

Without fail, "The Way We Were"

A fairy taps you on the shoulder and tells you that you can either have a perfect face or a perfect body for the rest of your life.  Which do you choose?

I don't believe perfection exists -- on this plane, anyway.  But playing along, I'll say my body, because sickness, disease - even achy muscles - could not exist.

If you could live any place in the world and money was no object, where would you live, and why?

Vail, Colorado - one of  the most beautiful  places I've ever seen.   I adore the changing seasons - particularly Rocky Mountain winters where the snow audibly crunches underfoot.  The only drawback might be (our) having little-to-nothing in common with their privileged residents.  Then again, I'm way past the point of needing camaraderie from my neighbors.

What is your biggest regret in life?

Believing those who said my father would be OK ... and not seizing the opportunity to jump on a plane to Florida following his heart-attack.

If you could go back and visit one person in your life who is now dead, and ask one question, what would that question be and why would you ask it.

Uh-uh, too personal.  May I be excused?
(Well maybe, I'd ask JFK, "Who really pulled the trigger?")

If you had the chance to age forward (like we are now) or aging backwards (think Benjamin Buttons) which would you choose and why?

Definitely backwards.   Sure, I'd miss the benefit of modern medicine ... central air conditioning .... even, especially, the internet.    Generally speaking, I believe folks of my parents' and grandparents' generations behaved more respectably and in a kinder fashion to one another ... to law enforcement and our military.  Sad, what rage exists, even on our roadways.

What will the epitaph on your headstone say?

Some of you may recall what I shared on Facebook:  
I'd ditto what Charlie Mechem is credited as having said:  
"Dear God, Thanks for letting me visit.  I had a wonderful time." 


Yes, thanks for visiting!
If you're so inclined, I'd love to hear how you might answer some of these questions!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

On a lighter note!

Volume 303

Joyce asks ... and we respond.   Easy-peasy!
Won't you click here, and join the fun!

* * *

April is Lawn and Garden Month.  On a scale of 1-10, what's the current state of your lawn and/or garden?  (10 = showpiece, 1 = send in the professionals).   Tell us about any lawn or garden plans you have for this month.

Okay, my first inclination was to answer "2" ... but that's not being fair to Tom.  He has some great ideas to restore the back yard and pool deck.  But(!) I worry about his stamina, particularly in Phoenix's unrelenting heat.
It's a balancing act, wanting to hire a professional service without insulting his ego.

"Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there." (Thomas Fuller)  What does this quote mean to you?

My DIL has an amazing knack for turning bare earth into beauty ... and sharing her passion with our grand-darlings.
(Not so sure they still enjoy it, but that's what came to mind!)

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Merciful (and Mighty)

If we were chatting in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

Embarrassing.  More often than not, I'm not even aware (that) I'm gnawing on my cuticles or worrying the sides of my thumbnails raw.  
(Eeeew, right?  Maybe I should take to wearing gloves.)

Do you like the color yellow?  Would I find any in your home or wardrobe?  Daffodils, tulips, roses, sunflowers, day lily, black-eyed Susan ... which yellow bloom on this list is your favorite?

I adore yellow!
From this list, I'd have to say tulips ... or sunflowers.
Nevertheless, I delight in dandelions.  Yes, I know they're technically weeds ...  not sure why they got such a bad rep.

I can't wear yellow, but that's no excuse for my not having more of it around our home.  It's such an optimistic color, don't you think?

Flip-flops or bare feet?

Bare feet!  
Personally, I think flip-flops are dangerous.  A while back, while sitting at a red light -  my BF's mother's flip-flop began sliding off her foot.  Fearing the car was rolling she stomped on the brake pedal ... except it was the gas.
Thank goodness, no other vehicle was involved, but she suffered some significant injuries when her car catapulted into a big tree.  

Tell us about any Easter plans, celebrations or traditions you'll carry out this month.

!To Be Determined!
(I really want to attend church, so we'll probably skip Sunday's family brunch and arrive just in time for grandson's birthday cake n' ice cream.  Eat dessert first, right?!)

Tom has such great memories surrounding his extended Polish family's Easter observances - blessing of the baskets, etc.  
I'm a little envious!  

Insert your own random thought here.

Any other fans of grilled cheese sandwiches out there?
The other day, Kroger's was demo-ing an amazing twist!

Slice of California white sourdough, brushed on both sides with unsalted butter and layered with --
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Grated Bourbon Bellavitano (cheese)
Roasted Red Pepper
Thin-sliced Salami
Fresh Spinach Leaf
.....Grilled on low heat to a gooey, delicious finish.

No, I didn't buy the ingredients, but I'm definitely going to do so next weekend!   
I wonder what substituting fresh basil for the spinach would taste like. ... too overpowering, maybe?

'Tween now and then, have a wonderful week and take good care!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Clearing the Air?

Hey, I know!  It's not always practical to speak up ... to say what you're really feeling.  
I've always been a sort of milquetoast; never one to stir the water.

It's pretty embarrassing, but I have to admit, there are big chunks of memory missing from my adolescent and teen years ..... not a particularly pleasant time.  Without sounding like a total drama queen - a fair amount of bullying went on.  (Except, back in the 60's, that wasn't a popular colloquialism.)

Imagine my surprise when, not long ago, I received a Facebook friend request from someone I vaguely remember as being one of my tormentors ... a "mean girl."  More curious than anything, I accepted C's request. 

OK, I was probably hoping she'd grown into a Real Hag.  No such luck.  C seems like an attractive, pleasant-enough soul; and in fact, she's commented nicely about remembering good times spent at my house and my "adorable" little dog, Pepper.   Would it be terribly rude to admit, I have NO recollection ... only the taunts, the put-downs.  Part of me just wants to know, "Why?" 

Conversely!  On several occasions I've attempted to hook up with one of my earliest play-mates.  After graduation we all scattered in differing directions.  But a few years ago, I spotted A's name on Facebook and sent a friend request ... a private message ... even a hand-written note to her address of record.  "For the good times."
As you can probably guess, there's been zero response.  I've considered asking our mutual friends, "Do you remember me doing something or saying something hurtful?"  If so, I'd really like the opportunity to apologize.  You know?

I'm guessing most of us recall past, unreconciled hurts we'd like to make right.  Loose ends drive me wonky!

Then again, to what end would any of that serve?

Well.  Rather than fret about folks I'll never have see again, I'm hoping to clear the air a little closer to home.  Because DH isn't entirely on board, I thought I'd use one of my 'lifelines' and 'ask the audience.'  

Tom's son is a really good guy.
Unfortunately, since he married, our interactions have been few and well, strained.   Coming from  a very large, uber-close family, I get that she wanted to buy a home in the immediate area where her parents and most siblings reside.   Because we don't belong to - or espouse - their (seeming) exclusionary religion ... they've never been especially interested in engaging with us.
Seriously awkward, each of the grand's birthdays. My heart hurts, watching DH try time and again to strike up conversation with her dad. 

Obligatory.  I get it.  I appreciate that son and DIL care enough to invite us to their home 3-4 times a year.

Their children are adorable, but really.  When you're 4 (or 5) (or 6), high on cake, tearing around the backyard with a dozen or more of your 'besties'  ... do you really want to sit and make conversation with some old people you don't really know?

Their parents?  They've siblings and buddies of their own drinking wine in the kitchen, manning the BBQ.
No-one's ignoring anyone on purpose ... I get it.  I remember.
Yes, I remember being that young woman who, so preoccupied, had little time for more than a smile at an in-law's elderly mother ... the obligatory guest. 

Grandson has a birthday coming up. 
Without finger-pointing or rancor, I'd like to say something like, "We appreciate your invitation, but." 
... and instead, propose a get-together at a burger joint like we all enjoyed on Christmas eve.  (Our place is out of the question because son dislikes our dogs and well, they live here, you don't.)

Before (hopefully) relocating next year, I'd like to clear the air. 
Or, do you think the risk of hurt feelings is worth it? 

Ma reminds us, today is National Reconciliation Day.
Is there anyone with whom you'd like to reconcile?
Life's so short!

* * *

As always, thanks for listening.  Have a beautiful week!

Hugs from Phoenix,


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bringing home the bacon

Hi friends ... how are you?

I know some of you will go to any lengths to avoid grocery shopping, but I've a new favorite past time ....
hanging out at Kroegers (aka, Fry's).

It was a sad, sad day when I first moved to Arizona and discovered there were no Publix supermarkets.  Neither was there any Hellman's Mayonnaise .... practically a Deal Breaker before Tom informed me, "West of the Rockies it's sold as Best Foods."  (Now, that commercial jingle makes sense: "Bring out the Hellman's and bring out the Best!")

OK, I digress.  Again.

Anyway. I appreciate that someone smarter than myself discovered a long time ago, consumers are drawn to good lighting, wide aisles and clean, attractive displays.  I think Kroger takes it one step further, hiring folks who, for the most part, seem to love what they're doing.  One cashier confided he'd left his corporate managerial role, because he "enjoys making people happy."   

So all was well until my hair guru asked one day if I'd checked out the new Camelback store.  It's a few miles further, but boy oh-boy!  (Oh-boy!)

This is but one section of their more than 100 varieties of cheese.  They've even a 'concierge' who makes recommendations and logs customers' favorites!   Once she let me sample the Espresso Bellavitano, I was a fan.  Similarly, DH enjoys their whiskey cheddar.   I told Tom, I may as well start rooting for the Green Bay Packers, on account I'm becoming a real cheese head!

A few feet away, a fellow was preparing and distributing samples of rib-eye steak.  It's hard to make out, but their sign says, "We will gladly grill your meat or seafood purchases free of charge."

I can easily imagine the adjacent bar becoming the latest place for young people to go enjoy a nice glass of wine and steak dinner - at a fraction of the price - before bringing home the Pampers.

Tom's not as easily impressed; I think he's privately amused at my 'oohs and ahhs.'    Kroger has a similar store in north Phoenix where they even feature complimentary valet parking!

What he not so amused by, I've developed the silly habit of placing our groceries on the roller-thingy, first by taxable v. non-taxable, then by category.  (OCD, much?)  Hey, it makes me happy and no-one's getting hurt. 

* * *

Such a creature of habit, I am ... buying products because "that's what mother used", etc., etc.
Does anyone else do the same thing?

So, MadSnapper ...I finally broke down and purchased my first bottle of Dawn detergent the other day.  :)
Except when I was rinsing the dinner dishes and those adorable little bubbles rose and exploded, there came to mind an olden, unmistakable scent of ....  Geritol!  
Troy's dad (aka, my 'starter' husband) used to give it to me for 'iron-poor blood.'  (LOL)
Now, my 47-y/o little boy says, "Never heard of it."  Hmpf.
Like the nice young lady at DSW, he probably doesn't know what oxblood shoes are, either.

Color me, lost in the oldies tonight.

Please, have yourselves a wonderful new week!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Of Birthdays, Bowls ... and Cars that go "Zoom!"

Hello friends!

Like my high school boyfriend recently quipped,
"Now I get to tell everyone, I'm only 67!"
(Oh, com'on ... my face is far too time-stamped to fib about my age!)

... plus, I regard each St. Paddy's Day as my very own (fiscal) New Year. 
Another chance to get it right.  Right?

So, yesterday Tom took me shopping at my favorite consignment shop in Phoenix ..... then to what I call, the Happiest Place on Earth (i.e., Cheesecake Factory).

I've never worked in the food-service industry, but that place seriously amazes me.  I was telling my son, their menu is like 12-13 pages long and we've never had even a less-than excellent meal.   (I keep thinking about what Troy said: "Wouldn't you love to watch their kitchen in action?"   Why yes. Yes I would!)

Tom had his usual Colby burger and fries, and me the Firecracker salmon rolls.  As is tradition, we each ordered our desserts to go ... and enjoyed for supper last night:  Carrot-cake/cheesecake and lemon-meringue cheesecake ... Tom pronounced better than any of the chocolate varieties he's ever had.   Hungry, yet?
(Alexa even sang 'Happy Birthday.'    Ha!)

* * *

Not a birthday present, necessarily, but Tom sure gladdened my heart when he took an off-hand remark and ran with it.

I love these olden mixing bowls ... a wedding present to my parents back in '38.

While the mid-size (aka, tapioca bowl) acts as a catch-all in my 'ish' room, I was crushed when Mother's dough bowl took an unfortunate spill.   Knowing I was reluctant to part with it, Tom did his best to repair the break ... but still it leaked.
What to do?

Well ...

He drilled some holes for drainage ... hot-glued a section of screen to the bottom ... added a wee bag of aquarium rock and soil, and would you lookie here!

If I listen real hard, I swear I can hear my mother chuckling!

* * *

Today's back to the tile store (I'm sooooo confused!) then running errands .....
when what I'd really, really like to do is run over to P.I.R.
DH's enjoying sitting out back and watching the private jets flying low over the house!

Unfortunately, there's no 'running over.'
With Tom's limited mobility, my dislike of crowds -- and today's 96-degree forecast -- that's probably not a great idea.   (And, there's little likelihood we've enough disposable income to get anywhere near the pits!)

I won't go so far as to call myself a true-blue fan, but I sure respect NASCAR's patriotism and values.
Any questions?

Have yourselves a great weekend!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Life With Alexa

So, it wasn't until DH expressed a desire to download some favorite tunes,  I had an 'eureka!' moment what to get him for his birthday.
(Only two days before the fact, but who's counting?)

Sure. I'd seen Amazon's promos everywhere, but paid little attention .... until, like a proud parent, they boasted their wunderchild 'Echo' could become a virtual jukebox, containing 'tens of millions of songs' on request.  
(Tom doesn't play so much any more but, hands down, music IS his passion.)

Both of us being techno-challenged, I was surprised how obliging Alexa-the-Echo was to set up.
Leaving Tom to his own devices, I'd retired to the other side of the house when all of a sudden an ear-splitting version of 'Honky-Tonk' began blaring.  The walls seemed to vibrate and I heard my sweet man screaming, "Stop, Alexa!, "Stop!"     

Like most women, I don't suppose Alexa appreciates being yelled at.  Hurrying in, I said -- in what I hoped passed for a pleasant tone of voice -- "Stop, Alexa."  Silence.

Perhaps his is a tell-tale sign of aging, but I'm constantly having to remind my darling that the correct term is 'blue-tooth' - not 'blue-nose' ... and her name is Alexa - not Alecia, not Alexis.   Unlike most women, however, she doesn't seem to mind being called by another's name.  Go figure.

Now I'm not unaware of concerns friends and family have voiced about smart phones, televisions, etc. being transmitting/listening devices for 'whoever' might be listening.  I'm certainly not inclined to refute that claim, but being the daughter of government employees, raised in a government town, I'm not especially concerned.

Then again ...
Early Friday morning I was visiting with the pups, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a thin blue light come on and begin circling Alexa's lid -- letting me know she  was listening.  
Then, Tom shared something he'd read online.  I scoffed, "Ya, right."   ... until I tried it myself:

Me:  "Alexa, do you tell the truth?"

Alexa:  "I always try to tell the truth.  I'm not always right, but I would never intentionally lie to you or anyone else."

Me:  "OK, do you communicate with the C.I.A.?"
... whereupon, she shut herself off.
Once, twice, three times!


Call me na├»ve, but if someone wants to take time to eavesdrop on us, I say: "Knock yourself out; I hope you don't die of boredom."
"Oh! and I hope you like Bill Doggett."

Have a beautiful new week, everyone!
Hugs from toasty Phoenix,


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Perfect Hodgepodge

Congratulations to Joyce for hosting her 300th Hodgepodge hullaboo! 
Click here to join in the fun!

What is one area of your life where you're a perfectionist?

Ha!  I'm somewhat rigid about our bed being made up every day.  DH used to venture: "It's just going to get messed up again."
(He doesn't say that anymore.... )

Is that a good thing?

I may not have control over most of the stuff in my life, but at least I can control my bedsheets.  LOL.

What's something you find perfectly ridiculous?

Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but the sight of lovely young women with purple/blue/green hair makes my teeth hurt.

What's a skill you've developed by way of that old fashioned saying, 'Practice makes perfect'?

No matter the effort, I can't think of a single area in my life I've 'perfected.'   
... but I'm getting darn good at Defensive Driving.  Phoenix drivers are the worst!!!

What's your idea of a perfect breakfast?

I've not indulged in a while, but Eggs Bubba -- featured at one of our favorite hole-in-the-wall establishments -- is pretty unforgettable:  Two eggs sunny side up, atop buttermilk biscuits and chicken fried steak, and covered with cream gravy.

What's a trip, holiday, vacation, or day outing you've taken that you'd rate a perfect 10?  Tell us why.

Now defunct, Sitmar Cruiselines offered once-in-a-lifetime experiences (1983/84/85).
Their smaller, more intimate ships offered tableside Caesar salad preps, an adorable Italian crew, and opportunities to don formal wear more evenings than not.
Did I mention the touchy-feelie, adorable Italians?

What quote or saying perfectly sums up your life right now?  (If you can't do perfect, how about one that comes close?)

Does a song count?  Lately I've been thinking a lot about Bob Seger's "Against the Wind."

How would you spend $300 today?

That's 'found' money; not to be spent on anything practical.  Right?

OK! I'd probably buy a nice bottle of Masi Amarone, indulge in a facial (a first!)  -- then donate the rest to a local rescue, no-kill shelter.

Insert your own random thought here.

As the mother of a Gulf War veteran who suffers from PTSD, I wanted to share a bit about (former Army Ranger) Jon Jackson's grass-roots organization, StagVets.  
Our nation's first acute veterans crisis agriculture center, they focus focused on rehabilitation, reintegration and most of all, rekindling our heroes' strength.  

Don't you love it when good things happen to good people!

Hugs everyone!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

This n' That

Holy cow ... it's been a while!
Still, if my thoughts had become print they might have rivaled War and Peace.  (OK, I exaggerate.  A little.)

I've nothing remotely remarkable to share, but here are a few excerpts from the days we called February.


Unlike DH, I'm not much of a television watcher.
But watching him gaze longingly at others' whizz-bang, smart TV's, I agreed it was time to part with our elephantine, 90's-era set. 

Unfortunately, the existing cubbyhole that seemed so charming when the house was built in '03 precluded our getting anything larger than a 36" screen.   What were we thinking?!?

We tried sitting it atop the cubby, but someone complained didn't appreciate being unable to see down the hall.

Next, my OCD kicked in because it looked too short to occupy the cubby.   Thankfully, DH had a vision ... a skill saw and can of flat white paint.

Where I expected just a block of wood, this almost looks like a custom piece, plus it hides all those homely cords.

* * *

So, with an eye on listing our home next year, I'm anxious to replace our beyond-UGLY carpet. 

After much back-and-forth, we settled on a ceramic tile that looks amazingly like warm cherry hardwood.  

Now, I've never pretended to know much about interior design.  But something in me chaffed big-time when informed at the design center (that) we'd require a 3"-4" border/transition between the existing and new flooring.  All they offered were  jeweled-tone tiles that look much like a kitchen backsplash.
Their idea seems not 'trendy', but 'tacky'... especially in a smallish room.   Is it just me? ... or does this look like a diamondback slithered inside, exclaiming "look at me!" 

Whoops ... Oversight alert!
This photo was lifted from the internet because it resembles our kitchen ..... but we've had nothing done YET.

Back to the drawing board.  (sigh.)  Where are Chip and Joanna Gaines when I need them?

* * *

So, last weekend DH turned 75 ... with little fanfare.  I loved your suggestions (thank you!), but in the end we're low-key sort of folks.

Still, I wanted to surprise Tom. 
Remembering the German Chocolate cake he loves ... that his daughter used to promise to bake each year (for naught) ... I consulted the internet.   While I didn't find any nearby bakeries that carried that delicacy, there was one in NYC that promised overnight delivery.
Thankfully, common sense prevailed before I agreed to pay $60-plus for a 6" cake. 

In the end, I pulled up my big-girl panties and decided to make one myself ... from scratch.   It's been a long time since 11th grade Home Economics -- where I swore I'd never sift flour again -- but afterwards I felt (almost) proud at his delight.  

Ugly as home-made sin, but he's eaten almost the whole thing!
... and no, I'm not anxious to repeat the experience.  LOL.

* * *

In spite of my misgivings, we're supposed to warm up 'for real' by next weekend.   (Like there's anything I can do about it?)
'Must remember how thrilled I become each Fall, the first day the mercury doesn't hit 100.  Perspective's a great tool ... when I remember to use it.

Have a wonderful new week, everyone!
Hugs from Phoenix,