Wednesday, September 21, 2016

It's an Autumnal Hodgepodge!

Joyce asks ... we respond.
What could be simpler?

I'm soooo ready for Fall!  How about you?

* * *

Thursday (September 22) is the first official day of autumn in this part of the world.  How will you welcome the season?  I know some of you have been celebrating way too early, but it's official now, so permission granted.  House Beautiful recently listen 10 ways to make your home smell like fall (you can read the list here.) What's a scent you love this time of year and how will you add it to your home?

Well, it's still ridiculously warm here in Phoenix, so I certainly won't be turning on the stove!   I used to love scented candles, but after learning from our vet (that) they may have contributed to Caraleigh's death, I won't ever be lighting any more candles inside our home.

Reaching back ... I have to say you can't beat the aromas of home-made chili bubbling on the stove and a mesquite wood fire in the hearth.  Heaven!

Apple pie or pumpkin pie?  Apple cake or pumpkin bread?  Warm apple cider or a pumpkin spice latte?

Absolutely, always pumpkin!
Unfortunately, DH doesn't care for it.
(Because HE's crazy for apple - we compromise and don't keep either one around the house to tempt us me.)

Do you suffer from what is sometimes referred to as an afternoon slump?  What helps ward it off before it hits, and/or tell us what helps you shake it off once its here?

Yes, almost always.
I'm up at 4 each weekday, so when, at day's end, I get in the car and let myself relax ... 
... well, by the time I get home some 60 minutes later, I'm totally primed for a nap!  

Ladies:  How have your friendships with women inspired you or made you a better person?  For the men here:  How have your friendships with men inspired you or made you a better person?

Until a couple decades ago (with few exceptions), I regarded other women as adversarial; not to be trusted.   I enjoyed a closer camaraderie with men.
Over time - and in large part through blogging - I've engaged and bonded with many wonderful women, each of whom has taught me by example.  Thank you!

Are you a people pleaser?   Yes.  
If you said yes, do you think that's a good or a bad thing?  If you said no, do you wish you were more of a people pleaser?

I didn't consciously think about it 'way back when', but I believe acting in a subservient manner has suited me well in the workplace ... especially in my present circumstance.

The seasons are a-changin' .... share a favorite song relating in some way to change (not necessarily seasonal change; it could be change of any kind.)

I love Judy Collins' "Both Sides Now"

What do you wish would never change?

My computer's mysterious, insidious updates!
If I wanted Windows 10, I'd have asked for it.
God bless my tech-savvy co-workers who combined to make sure it went back to the mother-ship and stayed there! 

Insert your own random thought here:

Oh, I've scads of random thoughts, but it's best they lay in wait.
This?  This resonated with me, and I hope it does with y'all.

(Click to enlarge)

Hugs from Phoenix!

Sunday, September 11, 2016


I don't know about you, but I still struggle to comprehend (that) 15 years have passed so quickly.   
5 years ago I posted the following first-person account authored by a former Delta pilot.

I think his perspective was fascinating ... and, since I didn't 'know' many of you in 2011, I'd like to share it once more.

My experience on 9/11.

We were just ready to close the door for our Delta 767 flight from CVG to MCO when the gate agent came on board and asked if we had heard anything about a small plane hitting the World Trade Center, we had not, so she said goodbye and closed the door.

Shortly thereafter we were airborne climbing out on a beautifully clear crisp fall morning heading to Florida with not a cloud in the sky or a care in the world. I heard a bizjet ask for a reroute since he could not get to New York and I thought that was strange. Then another bizjet said "well I guess we won't be going there either" and asked for a clearance to an alternate.

At that point I asked center what was going on. There was a pause and then the controller came back in a very excited voice and said "they have hit both of the Trade Center Towers, they have hit the Pentagon, they have hit the Capitol and the White House"

...well you can imagine it got really lively on the frequency. I turned to my Co-Pilot and said "I don't know what has happened, but I do know that things will never be the same", and I think I got that right!

Within seconds the controller had composed himself and said all flights on this frequency standby, and it was dead quiet. He then said all flights are to land immediately and went down the list of the planes under his control..."American 235 turn right heading 230 you're landing at Pittsburgh, Continental 456 turn left heading 180 for Cincinnati, Delta 235 (that's me) turn right to 250 and descend to 8000, you're landing at Knoxville, airport your 2 o'clock 40 miles....etc" It was the best, fastest and most efficient handling I have ever had from ATC...they had everyone on the ground all over the country in minimum time.

After all the initial confusion, their professionalism, and that of all the flight crews was exemplary!  We spent two days in Knoxville and then ferried an empty 757 back to Atlanta and I believe were one of the first flights to land back at our main hub.

Our arrival at ATL was one of the most moving experiences of my flying career. The airspace was totally empty, there was no talk on the radio, and we were the only plane in the sky over ATL, the busiest airport in the U.S., but we did have, unknown to us until informed by the controller, an F-16 right on our tail, but we never saw him! When we taxied in the normally frantic ramp area was dead quiet, all the ground equipment, tugs, baggage carts, tugs, fuelers etc. were lined up in military precision and the ground crews were standing at attention and, I'll never forget that.

They needed a sign that things were getting back to normal...that we were moving and flying again.

... and the people said, "Amen."

Hugs from Phoenix,

Friday, September 2, 2016

Marital bliss ... and miss

"What do you want to do for our anniversary?", DH asked a few days ago.   Trying not to do a double-take, I responded, "Oh, I don't know .... I've not given it any thought."

So, this is what 12 years looks like?  

We might visit my favorite adult attraction (Bed, Bath & Beyond) in search of a cast-iron skillet.  Then again, I recall the 'spirited discussion' we got into the last time we were there:  I needed a new scrubber to replace my beloved Scrub Daddy, who'd suffered a broken jaw.

Nearby, studying an array of pastel Daddy's, a young woman asked me, "Are these really good?"   Lawdy!  From the light in my eyes you'd think I was a time-share pitchman.   Then, from the direction of my right elbow, DH felt it necessary to sound off why his brand is superior.

Ugly, ugly  ... ugly.
Dear God, is THIS what we've become?  

* * *

Now DH might kill me, but I can 't help but share his latest cost-cutting endeavor:

It all started when the thing-a-ma-jig that holds his driver's side visor in an upright position recently broke.   (Uncharacteristically) I opted for the path of least resistance:  "Just take it over to the Toyota dealer and give them my card."

Nope.  I didn't realize YouTube contains more hacks than old Mr. Carter has pills.

Armed with Velcro strips and zip-ties, I must say DH gave it his all. When that didn't work, he took to calling local junk yards. Call me naive, but I never would have guessed one could locate a pair of like-new visors for less than a $100!   Unfortunately, theirs was a case of find-it-yourself .... and don't forget to bring your tools.

Ta-dah!  He practically pranced in the door ... until I exclaimed, "WHAT happened to your brand-new shorts?"  Honestly, the back looked like he'd sat in a bucket of tar.

Muttering to myself about dollars-down-the-drain, I stuck the shorts in a pail of Oxi-Clean.   A few hours later, some of the pitch seemed to be loosening.   I decided I'd give it another day. Or two.

(Dat's getting to be a pretty expensive pair of visors you got there.)

But wait ... there's more!

A couple of day's later I phoned from the office:  "How's your day, hon?" 

"Well, Don asked me to meet him at Olive Garden, but I couldn't find my keys.  You want to guess where they were?"

I couldn't help erupt in a fit of giggles:   "Well, I imagine they're pretty bright and shiny by now."   

I totally forgot about the electronic fob thingy.  No worries.  We grew up in an era where manually locking and unlocking your doors was the norm.

Uh-huh... there's more!

Remember my saying, DH's hearing is rapidly deteriorating?
Before I arrived home from work, our dogs' furious barking alerted Tom someone was at the front door.   Apologetically, our neighbor broke the news, "Excuse me, but your truck's alarm keeps going off."   The key fob was having a stroke.

They seemed to placate the system, but not 15 minutes after I walked in the door it started bellowing again.   By this time I imagined the auto repair shops had closed for the eve  ... I was about to consult YouTube for a tutorial how to yank out automotive alarm wires.  Either that or drive it up to the nearby fire station and beg them for help. 

(I may have said something a teensy bit derogatory about bargain visors.)

Thankfully, he dissected the fob, threw away the battery ... and was able to find an inexpensive replacement online.   All's well that ends well, right?

... there's more!

Riding to the grocery the other day, I went to pull down my passenger-side visor.  Simultaneously, we realized the 'new' visors were installed backwards!    I'd have taken a picture, but didn't want to rub salt in someone's wound.  :)

* * *
Bliss-or-miss, after 12 years I suppose there's something to be said for being able to laugh at ourselves.

Hugs from Phoenix ... and please, have a SAFE holiday weekend!

P.S. -
No, I wasn't able to salvage the shorts.  But(!) remember the Scrub Daddy incident a few weeks ago?  Waiting to check out, I noticed the young woman we'd encountered paying for a Daddy of her own.   (Fist pump ... God is good!)