Friday, July 31, 2015

Traditions (Silly Trilogy Pt. III)

Yikes, I lost track of the calendar there for a minute!
It's seriously high time I get to trolling for my gal-pal's upcoming birthday.   

... which got me wondering, how'd that Tradition -- finding something "as seen on TV" -- get started in the first place?   We're so different, Debbie and I.  'Suppose the ball started rolling when I learned it was the only show we both enjoyed ... and, I could shop on-line!

I adore Tradition.   

Except, our family unit wasn't big on it.  
Actually, it wasn't big at all.   Dad, Mom and Myra situated atop a mesa, literally thousands of miles from our next of kin.
(... which was OK on account we didn't know them all that well anyway.)   

Thus began the practice of holidays spent in anonymous resorts and restaurants.   Gift-giving was a slow, carefully orchestrated process where everyone took his/her turn while the others paid undivided attention.   

Imagine my surprise (and dismay!) the first Christmas Eve spent at my (former) in-laws when -- not unlike the start of a NASCAR event -- a horde of men, women and children simultaneously converged on the poor tree's underside.   I actually winced as wrapping paper flew this way and that.   "That's just wrong!" (cue the tears.)   
... but someone observed, "If we wait for everyone to open their presents one at a time, we'll be here 'til midnight."       

In the end, before DH came on the scene (*smile*), mother and I took comfort where we'd begun: A nice supper out, followed by comfy pajamas, pistachio nuts and cocktails.   
Guaranteed:  I'd always get a box of L'eggs panty-hose and a new Vanity Fair nightgown  ... and always, I'd feign surprise.   
In return, I'd try mixing it up, but invariably, mother's 'stocking' contained an oversize bottle of Bailey's Irish Creme ... and she'd squeal like it was the first time.

Are there birthday or holiday Traditions you observe to this day?

I suppose it's never too late to start a new Tradition.   On a smaller scale, I might even turn the occasion of my Blogaversary into an annual event.   You think?  

Heck, that's too far out to think about right now.   
I'm just tickled to see your names in my comments, then go and grin at the array of trinkets and treasures scattered in the guest room, each awaiting its new home!    

Why yes, I'm the original party animal

Hugs from Phoenix!



Friday, July 24, 2015

Silly Trilogy, Part II

Now, where was I?
... Oh yes.  I promised to share some (unfortunately) unforgettable 'bloopers' that occurred in the spirit of giving.  

Without further ado ...

Anxious to make a good impression on my new (former) husband's daughter -- a young lady only 8 years my junior -- I spent more $ than was prudent on a sweater featured in the window of a fashionable boutique.   
Like most young people her age, 'R' really enjoyed the local c/w music scene.   
Except the design -- featuring dancing chipmunks, clad in boots and cowboy hats -- was a little over the top for anyone say, younger than 70.

Moving right along ... the Decade of Extravagance.   I had my heart set on a pair of fine Italian driving gloves; and, yes, I made it a point not to keep it to myself.   Sure enough, a few months later, one of the account executives with whom I worked gave me a pair for Christmas.   I could hardly wait to wear them down to my mother's the next day ... she'd be so happy for me!   
Well, later that night mother seemed unusually subdued as she handed me my gift.   Inside lay a pair of nice - albeit imitation - gloves.  Talk about feeling like a heel!  Or worse.  
Ya, much worse. 

Finally, the episode that still stings the 'loudest.'  The first few years I worked for 'M', her generosity was more than appreciated.   So, in spite of the chasm in our salaries, I always tried my best to find something out of the ordinary to make her smile.   
Undeterred by the ugly disagreement we'd experienced a few months earlier (I'd refused to take her advice about something in my personal life),  I was becoming enthused about the approaching holidays. 
Knowing her favorite color, I found a handsome, red-leather photo album and had it engraved with her family name and the year.   "Can't wait ... this is going to be sooooo good!"
In return?   I received an (unwrapped) bag of Starbucks coffee beans and a, "You do have a coffee grinder, don't you?"  
Silly me.  Still hoping it was a joke, I stuck my hand deep inside, fully expecting to find a gift certificate ... concert tickets ... anything.   Na-da.  (And no, I don't have a coffee grinder.)

(You know the sad part?  
In spite of my best resolutions to buy a bottle of wine each year and just be done with it, I still find myself wanting to impress her.)

Sure, there's more episodes of egg-on-my-face ... but you get the idea.  
Since the year of the dancing chipmunks I like to think I've refined my hunting instincts.  
I may still be guilty on occasion of  'over-giving' or 'under-giving' - but I'm enjoy the process too much to quit now!   

Won't you please share your own moments which may have gone awry?      

Don't forget!  Your commentary anywhere, anytime on my silly trilogy makes you an eligible recipient of a 'special something' from my home to yours.     

Blogaversary #7's coming July 31!

Hugs from Phoenix,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Prelude to a party! (Silly Trilogy, Pt. 1)

Woo-hoo, my 7th Blogaversary's right around the corner!
... which, given my sophomoric early posts, almost defies logic.

Do you happen to recall the first comment left on your blog?  Your first follower?
Until someone came out and asked, I'd talked myself into believing it was somewhat arrogant to put up a Followers widget.  
(Expect nothing and ye shall not be disappointed.)  

So I'm a bit euphoric that Respice Prospice not only survived its infancy, but helped pave the way for some remarkable friendships.
It's high time to say, thank you!   
"You would see, the biggest gift would be from me, and the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.  La-la-la-LA-ya....."

Uh-huh.  I'm throwing a party and indulging one of my favorite pastimes: Gift-giving.
(Thanks, but I must credit another for the idea.)

Off the top of your head, can you name the 'best' gift you've been given?    
Why, I grew downright envious when I read where one blogger's adult daughter was kidnapped by her best friends for a girls' weekend getaway.  
Then, there was a co-worker who drove his wife to a hotel overlooking Cocoa Beach so she might begin her birthday watching the sunrise ... then back across the state to St. Pete where champagne and a cabana tent awaited their toast to the sunset.

My younger, more materialistic self might shudder, but I think it's the small gestures that mean the most.  In fact, I've a few adorning my bulletin wall that make me smile when I imagine the sender seeing it and thinking, "Myra might like that."

Now, I've not a lot of discretionary income - or imagination to make you gasp.   But you recall my 'word' of the year?  Release!  

Bear with me, OK?
Some weeks ago, I realized I've still a multitude of 'stuff' I simply cannot let go to Goodwill.  And eBay leaves me cold.  (Or, is it sheer laziness?)   

Nevertheless, to the extent I've come to know some of y'all through your blogs, I get a niggling sensation, "I'll suspect ______ would like that."

So, that's what we're going to do!
I promise, there's no used articles of clothing, ceramic bunnies or baked goods in your future!

If you'd like to play along, please leave a comment here or on a future post between now and July 31.  Oh, and would you send a private e-mail ( containing your mailing address?   (Certainly, I'll understand if you'd rather not divulge that information, or would rather give a 3rd party locale.)

While you're considering the answer to my 'best' gift query, let me leave you with another to consider:
Next time, let's chat about gifting Bloopers and 
(yes, there's no-disguising it) Disasters.   
There's no undoing the past, but maybe - just maybe - we can bring some comic relief to the table!

Hugs from Phoenix!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

A little thing called Honor

Given his family’s busy lifestyle, my son and I don’t have an opportunity to chat as often as we'd like.  And I’m OK with that.  Sort of. 
More often than not, he works 10, sometimes 12 hours a day.
 … and I sure as heck don’t want to interrupt anyone's nap time!

So I was ridiculously happy to get a call last weekend  that stretched nearly 90 minutes!   
I’ve not shared before, on account I didn’t want to jinx anything … 
but now it looks like their dream home’s going to become a reality! 

Since a previous seller pulled a ‘fast one’ at the last minute, son and DIL have kept a tight rein on their emotions.   
(Well, son more so than his wife! ... or his mom!)

But this time, his excitement was palatable.       
 Still, I couldn't help sharing my concern because the property was still showing available out on “For Sale by Owner.”  

Cool as a cucumber, Troy assured me, “We shook on it, mom.”
… and you know what’s neat?   
Come to find out, the seller’s own attorney tried persuading his client not to accept the offer, only to be told, “No. We shook on it.”


Given recent news stories, this show of honor reminded me of something I shared back in 2010.   I hope you agree, this re-run seems appropriate:

In A Tender Warrior, Lieutenant General Hal Moore, military hero, accomplished author, and national speaker on leadership, shares his letters to America:

“America used to be the proud home of civility. We can be again
An unequalled pledge of sacred honor took place on April 9, 1865:

As General Lee rode “Traveller” to surrender to Grant at Appomattox, Grant formed his Union troops in two lines. They stood with their swords at attention as Lee, with great dignity, progressed the final yards to the farmhouse, riding between the “formed lines of respect.” With the slow, high-lifting discipline of each hoof, leader was preparing to meet leader at his and America’s best – in the worst of times. 

During the surrender, a personal movement of appreciated civility occurred: “General Lee removed his sword and handed it to General Grant, and Grant handed it back.”
After the surrender, as General Lee mounted his horse to depart, General Grant stepped down from the porch, and, moving toward Lee, saluted him by raising his hat. All officers present followed him in this act of civility, compassion and honor. Lee raised his hat respectfully, and rode off in great dignity…loving America still.”

- Excerpted from

Son and DIL's front entryway.

Monday, July 6, 2015

And now, a word from our sponsor

Some of you might recall a while back, I recounted a bit of professional pleasantness.
... Where, for near a decade,  I woke with a smile on my face.
I won't pretend I could go back to that arena and hold my own, even in a supporting role.  I'm pretty sure the Gospel According to Television Sales has evolved to make the old disciplines nearly unrecognizable.   

Nevertheless, I still wince when watching TV, if one automotive spot immediately follows another.  
(Somebody's gonna get an apology ... and most likely, a comp.)  
I hide a smile at DH's annoyance when he thumbs through different channels only to find the same commercial playing on every station.   (They paid good money for that 'roadblock', dear.) 

No, I don't know if the old rules still apply.  
'Not sure why I care.
Except I think marketing philosophies are so stinkin' intriguing - whether it be television, radio or sensors embedded beneath the supermarket floor.

Just last week DH and I sat alongside a little RV whose good looks  had me salivating.
When we got home I Google-d the 'Serenity' ... fell into sticker shock and vowed never to return.  
But now, its picture's poised atop my e-mail and the sidebar on Facebook.  How'd that happen?
Sure, we're all test dummies in some form or another ... but I'm rather enjoying it.

For instance?   I rarely watch much TV, but when a spot comes on featuring a piece of background music from the 60's my head's likely to pop around the corner.   It's probably no coincidence that I spend WAY too much time at the Brass Armadillo, whose audio loop features the likes of Dylan, Donovan, Puckett and the Hollies. 
Here I go singing out-loud, with little regard to who else might be watching.  
Most of them are singing, too.
We linger, and more often than not, we buy.

Of course, there's the obnoxious.  No, I'm not talking about political campaigns; calling them 'obnoxious' is far too complimentary.   
I'm talking about gazillions of dollars spent to insult viewers' intelligence.   

I'm trying to be polite here and not name names, but there's a current ad campaign for a Major Automobile Manufacturer whose ads urge the consumer to forgo the (superior) competitor because it doesn't offer children their own backseat wi-fi.   
That same manufacturer recently featured a storyline where the 'actress' gushed (that) it was "better than a Mercedes!"   
(Come to think of it, I haven't seen that one lately.  Perhaps they were laughed off the air?)

Please don't take me wrong!  It's highly unlikely I'd ever have an opportunity to even park a Mercedes.  And I'd be thrilled to drive a new anything!    
I just hate being talked down to, even if it's from the  'idiot box.'

Rather than close on a sour note, I believe in giving credit where credit's due.
I'm not fond of beer, but this spot for Guinness is genius.
I won't even complain if it 'magically' appears on my Facebook's sidebar!

Have yourselves a sweet new week ... 
and don't forget, Big Brother's probably watching!

Sending hugs from Phoenix!