Showing posts with label Thursday thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thursday thoughts. Show all posts

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cancel Those Vacation Plans as the Ship is Sinking--A Thursday 13

My universe is cracking!

This is my Thursday Thirteen, which I have not done in a long time, and which, unfortunately instead of a thankfulness list, is reduced to a reality to do list!  (As a background, before you read ahead, this house was completed in 2006 so she does not yet have that patina of charming old age.)

  1. Front door knob not turning easily and slipping on the catch and door can swing open--I am sure that is how that mouse got in!
  2. Large burner on range not auto-lighting - using a match
  3. Deck steps to back yard are sinking to one side or I am having too much wine
  4. West wall on garage is cracked near door - probably sinking
  5. A few inches of taping on front room ceiling (two stories up above my head) coming loose due to a nasty storm years ago
  6. Taping in guest bedroom ceiling coming loose now
  7. Gate not hooked up to electricity, waiting on budget ease to hire electrician as we have given up on the solar panel option
  8. Some smoke alarms need to be replaced in basement and top floor but cannot find plug-ins that match
  9. Wine cooler not working (Yes, I see the small violin you are playing.)
  10. Water pump has low pressure--called for repair yesterday.  Repairman came and fixed it in an hour.  We were told it could have cost $1900, but our repair was only $100.  (Thankfulness #1)
  11. Gutters need cleaning badly and I will not let hubby up on the ladder and it is not in the budget for right now
  12. Window in right guest bedroom does not close easily--so I no longer open it!
  13. Driveway pavement needs cracks filled AGAIN!

Next Thursday Thirteen will be a thankfulness theme...I promise!(Thankfulness #2  ease on the future budget is that most of the spring vacation has been pre-paid.)

Post Script. Regarding Blogger stats:  My  most visited post (2394 visits) was this Thursday Thirteen back in September 2012... in case you are curious.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Thursday Thirteen #34--Random Conflicts

Is it sort of like answering the door in your pajamas when a new reader visits your blog for the first time and the post they read is a 'Debbie downer' rant on how bad you feel?

There are women who have regular hair appointments and then there is me...who realizes it is time to get a haircut when my side combed bangs cover my eyes and I trip on a fallen branch.

For almost a decade I have hated the low or even 'regular cut' jeans because only a 20-year-old has a flat
abdomen.   Please note, the term muffin-top began at the same time fashion move the waistband on jeans. By the way, wiki says it originated in Australia and was the word of the year in 2006.

The minutes from Congress this week, "I know you are, but what am I?"

Why is it that neighbors always say, "He seemed so normal," after someone runs amok?  (No I am not writing about Ted Cruz.)

So we are now 95% sure that mankind is causing global warming...when will scientists be 100% sure.  I know,  it will only grow to 99.9%  at the most but most of us will be treading water and not notice.

October 2 was National Kale day and also the day Putin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize...I think these are linked in some is a conspiracy of some sort.

While there were poor people on the streets of Budapest when I was there I was surprised that the legislature recently passed a law to ban sleeping on the streets or must tear down the shelters they have built in the woods.  Homeless will be assigned to community service or a  fine when caught.  A fine?  Has the world gone mad?

Something I never thought I would read in a headline "revenge porn."  ?

In case you or your children do not know this...the natural color of water is NOT green or even 'greenish'.

The shortest war in history lasted only 38 minutes...the Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896.

There is a restaurant in Pittsburgh called The Conflict Kitchen and it only serves food from nations the U.S. is at odds with.

Only 11% of jewelry stores in the U.S. have a conflict-free diamond policy.  Where do you buy your diamonds, sweetie?

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Thursday Thoughts 13 # 39 -- It has been a long time.

  1. Blogs are like children.  If you have too many that you follow, you cannot give each one the attention that it deserves.
  2. I love cowboy boots and own two pair...but I don't wear them as often as I should or could because I am afraid of getting them dirty and if I am home alone, I cannot get them off!
  3. I was away from the house for two days and asked hubby to do one thing while I was gone - clean the microwave oven.  While I was gone he vacuumed the whole house, did three loads of laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, but did not touch the scum in the microwave! (Is this bitch ever happy?)
  4. I was discussing the difficulty of weight loss with my daughter and she said she was sure if I just gave up bread I would lose weight.  In the spirit of self-defeat I am going to try that for as long as I can just to prove her wrong.
  5. Over a week later my bouquet of mixed cut flowers from hubby is still in beautiful condition.  It has taken 42 years of marriage...but he finally gets me flowers from the florist rather than the grocery store.
  6. I really do like being alone and if I was not afraid that it was a possible mental defect, I would rarely leave the house.  I will be really all alone this coming week, and I am a little sad about it.  Am I never satisfied?
  7. Since I have a cable DVR I rarely channel surf in the evenings.  It all waits for me just exactly as I have arranged it on my elitist list.  Thus I was both shocked and surprised to see that I had recorded some program that set a contest of people trying to get wheels of cheddar down a hill on a sled.  Boring.
  8. As a follow-up to the above, it depresses me to no end that people who watch the most popular shows on TV may also vote. 
  9. After returning from Mexico and drinking their coffee, I cannot seem to find a brand that satisfies me anymore.
  10. I am still boggled and trying to understand the message that only 10% of the cells in our body are human cells.  I guess the message is that we are more connected to nature than I had hoped.
  11. A distant but long time friend died last week of a rare but nasty brain disease similar to Alzheimer's and left behind a sweet and smart wife.  I cannot stop running the scenario through my head on what I would do if this had happened to me.
  12. Next week I am taking my daughter to a spa for her birthday as her choice.  I never go to spas and will be getting a facial for the first time in my life.  I got my first pedicure in my late 40's.  It all seems so decadent to this former farm girl.
  13. I am thinking I should not do these Thursday 13's unless I really make an effort to structure them around a theme!  So lazy.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thursday Thoughts 13-#38 Thankfully

I will be sharing Thanksgiving away from home and with my son's future in-laws whom I have only met twice.  It will be a long drive and a bit of an experience, but I am sure by the end of the day I will be thankful that I didn't have to cook, didn't have to hostess, didn't have to eat with just the two of us and didn't have to bite my tongue once over something not worth such behavior.

Thus I am thankful that:
  1. The holiday catalogs that will fill my mailbox on my return are not overdue bills.
  2. The candles I light tonight are for beauty and not because of lack of electricity.
  3. The fire in my fireplace tonight before departure is not the only warmth in my house.
  4. The clothes that I pack are well-worn but by me and not a stranger.
  5. The long drive that I take will be to see friends and not to seek shelter.
  6. The food I eat will not be the only warm food  I have had that day.
  7. The stories I hear will be followed by laughter and not tears.
  8. The photos I take will be for smiles and not for insurance assessments.
  9. The tours I take will be to see places for the rehearsal dinner and not the damaged neighborhood.
  10. The thing broken will be my diet promises to myself and not something rare that I loved.
  11. The loss will be the passage of time but not whole days in my life.
  12. The hugs I share with others will be for the future and not to forget the recent past. 
  13. The thankfulness I give will be no less sincere than that of others on this planet.
Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving this week or an other time in your life, I wish you peace, understanding and forgiveness as you break bread with strangers and loved ones.

(posted early due to travel)

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Did You Know...any of these Thursday 13? #37 in a Boring Series

When the hurricane crossed all those Haitians who are still living in tents 2.5 years later after donations of over a billion dollars from around the globe, you may be wondering where all the money went.  You can go here and check on the charity of your choice and see what it (claims) did.  The explanations are pretty generic and there is some controversy over this.  I donated to Shelterbox which is not on this list, but also is not a charity that works for long term support but rather immediate disaster assistance.  Here is another take on this.

The recent LIBOR scandal where Barclays manipulated the rates to borrow unsecured loans actually is now coming back to this country to bite institutional investors such as pension funds that may have used LIBOR based derivatives and lost money.  Yes, this sounds complicated, but simply it means we still need greater regulation of banks.  (And there should not be anything that is too big to fail in my opinion.)

Parents are now getting renters insurance for their college bound kids because they have so much expensive stuff that they bring to college.  When I went to college we were not even allowed to bring a portable radio.  Times have changed.

A Sirs Barbet Capito fitzpatricki  is a new species that was found in Costa Rica this year, actually just this summer!  It is a beautiful bird and amazes me that we can still find lovely new animals this high on the biology tree in my life time as we continue to remove rain forests and mountains to mine diminishing resources.

All grant and loan programs from State and Federal governments are socialistic in nature and the job of government (I feel in a democracy) is to provide a minimal social support floor for businesses and individuals.  But it might surprise you to learn that the Energy Loan Program (designed to help businesses fund high risk research efforts for energy resources) was started in 2005 under a Republican Congress and the Solyndra business was number three on the list for funding (high priority) under the prior administration 5 days before Obama took office.  High risk means high chance of failure and even some drug companies get this socialist help.  Of course we heavily subsidize the oil and gas industry and have for decades.  I hope they can soon turn a profit without our help.

No matter which president gets elected and which health plan is instituted your health costs will go up.  We are the huge demographic bubble of aging boomers and everyone is going to be stuck with paying for all us old folks going through the health care system before we die, unless they kick us to the curb and the rich are the only ones to get comprehensive health care.  Medicare will have to change.

Speaking of being old and penniless, Casanova at age 60 was forced to take a position as a librarian to Count Joseph Waldstein who lived in Bohemia in Castle Dux 60 miles north of Prague.  This castle is now open for selected touring.  Casanova's life, by the way, seems to have been much more complex than just adding up amorous conquests.  And, irrationally,  I have always thought there was something dark and sexy about librarians.

Remember those strawberry pots with hanging plants on patios and decks?  Did you know that Singapore is starting a project which will construct 18 supertrees as high as 160 feet with trunks covered with vertical planters that will hold more than 162,000 plants of up to 200 species in a city park?  Above these trunks will be enormous metal rod branches forming canopies to provide shade.  Some rods will be fixed with solar panels to light them up at night.  The highest tree will have a bistro offering a panoramic view of the gardens.  I hope I can go see this someday.

I rented The Hunger Games the other day.  I have read the trilogy and liked it well enough in spite of the tremendous violence.   I couldn't help but wonder if conservatives and liberals would see this movie in very different lights, one seeing Sutherland as a Tea Party dude and the other seeing him as a socialist dictator in control of all the money.

I am Reading Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre which is the true story of a very complicated British deception plan to fool the Germans during WWII and which worked.  Movies and books have been produced on this true story but I am loving the "cast of characters" some of whom we all know that come to light in this version...such as Ian Fleming and that British guy, Leyland, of the cypress tree fame. 

I am also Reading A Hope in the Unseen by Pulitzer Prize winning author Ron Suskind which is the story of inner city students and their families in Washington, DC struggling to find their place in society.  It sounds depressing, but it is very well written with realistic characters.  I have met some of these characters in my life and their version of pulling up by their bootstraps is a little different that we know..

On a related note, Princeton sociologist Sara S. McLanahan has shown, poverty is what hurts children, not the number or gender or age of parents.

And FINALLY, number 13,  (drum roll please if you have gotten this far) back in 1988 it was called the greenhouse effect but the scientist who reported on it over 20 years ago says he would have changed his predictions with what he knows today.  He says he would have made these predictions much more dire with the speed of global warming going much faster than he thought and with much more violent weather and extremes ahead.  (Yeah one of those nerdy scientists that good-ole-boys love to make fun of.)  I am terrified at how expensive insurance on everything from houses to crops is going to become as companies try to pay for these huge weather disasters.  I am terrified about lots of other things about this as well, of course.

(I am on travel with my son and future DIL, so no future posting for a while.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday Thoughts #37 Everything I Need to Know I Learned in My Garden---Thursday 13 Thoughts # 36

  1. I learned to accept differing points of view but to learn for myself by testing.  One man's weed is another man's treasured landscape plant.  I have purchased beautiful landscape plants from nurseries only to discover that they spread or re-seed like wildfire and then leave my yard to invade the rest of the woods.  On the other hand I have learned that one man's treasured landscape plant sometimes becomes a Prima Donna in my yard requiring too much attention.
  2. I have learned to think outside the flower bed and to compromise.  Do I want butterflies or parsley?  If I plant a lot of parsley there will be some left over and then I can have both.  (Now if I can only teach that ground hog how to compromise!)
  3. I have re-learned each day that change is inevitable and we all must adapt.  Some plants die, some plants are eaten to the ground and some plants get too large.  Perennial gardens are replete with changes.  Every season requires digging, moving and replacing.
  4. Target your enemies so that there is minimal collateral damage.  Picking off a few or spraying very specifically for the many insects such as Japanese Beetles while carefully avoiding all other insects means less harm to those birds that are also eating the insects in my garden and less harm to those insects that are beneficial to my garden.

  5. I have learned patience.  Plants take a long time to bring forth their reproductive beauty and instantaneous results are only for those who buy annuals in large flats.
  6. Keep your place, you are not a miracle worker.  While the intermittently large plant in the foreground adds interest, planting most tall plants in the background allows everyone to show off as is the same with people.  Also, as a gardener, you need to step back once in a while and let s**t happen without beating yourself up over it.  (The voles had a vacation in my dianthus bed this spring and the rabbits have eaten 90% of my zinnias I nurtured so carefully from seed.)

  7. Gardening is common ground.  Gardeners are wonderful people and can garden side by side even when on opposite sides of the political spectrum.  Disagreements almost always lead to compromise or changes in activity.
  8. Gardening is the only reality show that I like and watch each year.  It can cost money but if you are smart and buy from local garden club plant sales and get freebies from friends, you are more likely to get better and tested plants more cheaply.
  9. I have learned that fear paralyzes intelligent action.  Anger has to be provoked and many dangers are not as they seem or as you have been told.  Bumble bees and honey bees and all pollinators are so busy eating that they do not have time to sting unless you step on them or sit on them.  I can reach in and cut all the flowers I want as the bees dance around my arms.  This lesson has broader applications in life.

  10. Deciding where to start and how to start your projects are the most important preparations you can make.  Foundation is everything.  You have to know where the sun hits your yard and when and for how long.  You have to know the soil as if it was the back of your hand.  You have to amend this soil because it is the first and last meal for your plants and no soil is perfect.
  11. Opinions on style and design don't really matter.  Mother nature can pull together pink and orange and it looks perfect.  Mother nature can pull together large and small, smooth and prickly, and it always seems to fit.

  12. Sharing is the richness in life.  If you are lucky to have something to share, be sure and do so.  Pay back is the smile on their face and the bond you have made.  Share your garden knowledge with your grandchildren, share your produce with your neighbors or the local food pantry, share your plants with new gardeners, share your time with Mother Nature.

  13. And the most important lesson I have learned is to enjoy myself.  If I feel it is hard work, then I am doing something wrong.  Work should be a little refreshing, shouldn't it?  Maybe I just need a smaller garden.  Yes, mistakes happen. The best thing about gardening is that there is always a do-over next year.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday 13 # 35 - More Free Advice - via Definitions (!)

Yes, I have changed the mask of my blog. (Don't you love the jig this bird is doing?)  Hope you like it.
  1. Photography.  When photographers say the camera used does not matter, that is 50% true.  A good capture can be made with a cheap point and shoot camera...but a good lens means you have a much better chance of getting that capture closer to what your eye is seeing.
  2. Gold.  There is a BIG difference between buying actual gold as a investment and gold stocks.  Do your research or you will be out a good chunk of money down the road.  (Same advice for reverse mortgages that seems to be promoted this year on every single channel.)
  3. Loneliness.  Most people are "people who need people" as Ms. Streisand has sung.  But many creative souls are perfectly happy being alone and we should understand and respect that.
  4. Parenting.  When you are feeling critical of how your parents reacted to you at some time in your life, just put your child in that same place and think how you would/did react.  (Of course, if you don't have kids, you may have to manipulate this a little for the lesson.)
  5. Losing Weight.  The only thing that works, and it is not guaranteed to work exactly as you hope,  is eating less and moving around more.  Just because you don't end up looking like (insert fav skinny/ripped celebrity name here) doesn't mean you aren't getting so much healthier and happier.
  6. Compromise.  In our complex world compromise is essential in moving forward, whether you are an environmentalist, a tea party protestor, a politician or a parent.  "My way or the highway" only works in Hollywood Westerns.
  7. Pets.  These little organic entities have been proven to enhance, purify, save, and add fun to a life.  If you are allergic you should adopt an animal at a preserve as a remote pet and it will indeed improve your life and help save the world.
  8. Trust.  You should trust everyone in the beginning.  Yes, you will get blindsided once in a while, but you will be rewarded more often with justification for that trust.  (This is why I am so against the political fear drum that is being beaten to death every day.)
  9. Gift Giving.  The best ( and least expensive) gift you can give anyone is time.  Time that gives someone a break to be with someone else, or be with you and your effervescent personality, or just time for them to take a nap!
  10. Moments.  You must try each day to grab some of these and stop and breathe and really look at them closely using every single sense you have.  Surprised?
  11. Religion.  Everyone has one even if they say they don't.  Something is your motivator each day.  People believe in something, even if it is their own powerlessness.  Only you can change your religion, others cannot.
  12. Cantaloupe.  A poisonous and deadly fruit.
  13. Keys to Happiness.  A sense of loving one's self and not giving up...ever...except on those battles that will not win the war,   What war?  The one that fights for you to live your life and not some other person's.
(I searched 'advice' on my blog and came up with 100 entries.  I am the most obnoxious and ego-inflated person I know!)

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Thursday Thoughts #36---13 Things That Annoy Me

The world if full of annoyances which if not ignored will drive us to tearing our hair and screaming into the night sky. So we ignore them as best we can. Today I will list some of my favorites.

THINGS THAT ANNOY ME  (Listed in the order in which they burble to my consciousness...nothing 'pops' into my head anymore):

  1. Salad Kits.  These can be found in the produce section and they are plastic bags filled with chopped greens, and perhaps, a plastic bag of dressing as well.  I do admit that if you do not know how to chop lettuce you should stay away from knives.  But a SALAD "KIT"?  Puhleeze...just shred the lettuce with your hands and buy a bottle of dressing.
  2. Any 'Housewives of'  Television Show.  No further comment, except if you enjoy these you need to go to more of your family reunions for entertainment.
  3. Comments from My Children on How I Spend My Time.  Yes, I do spend inordinate hours taking and processing photographs.  Why does no one comment on how much time a chef spends perfecting his skill, a weekend boat builder in spending years on his hobby, your husband and his sports related stuff?
  4. Cleaning the kitchen sink and finding 5 minutes later it is covered in tea leaves.  Enough said.
  5. Lowfat Yogurt.  This stuff tastes like something weird and certainly NOT yogurt.  Ice cream and yogurt have to have fat in them or they are not worth eating.
  6. Plastic Wine Stoppers.  Real cork has been proven to be the more environmentally friendly way to go and metal screw on tops have been proven to be a better way to seal wines for aging.  I HATE plastic wine stoppers and you cannot tell you have one until you remove the aluminum wrapper and spend an hour trying to pull out the stopper!
  7. Provocative clothes for any girl under 14.  You can complain about childhood promiscuity and the danger of pedophiles...but if your kid wears a bikini or tiny skirt I am ignoring you.  If your 14-year-old wears white skin-tight slacks I am going to hit you up the side of the head.
  8. People who assume you have an open book in front of you on your lap because you are bored and want to talk to them.
  9. Congress.
  10. Picky Eaters.  Wasted time trying to plan a meal or choose a restaurant that makes them happy.
  11. People who read over my shoulder.  I apologize, but it is a quirk I cannot contain.  Hubby knows better!
  12. Mosquitoes after the rain.
  13. Late Acceptances.  After inviting my son and his girlfriend down for the 4th two weeks earlier and not hearing from him we gave up and decided to head to the city for fireworks.  He calls at 1:00 that very afternoon and asks if he can come down with his gal!
Anything particularly annoying for you these days?  (The oyster photo has nothing to do with this post...isn't that annoying?)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Green Thursday Thoughts #34

As Kermit the frog has said:  "It's not easy being green."  Humans are finding this out more and more each day.

1.  The ozone hole above the earth is the smallest since 2006 and may disappear by 2050 which is a long time from now.  I probably won't be alive then.

2.  Our recent budget bill passed by the U.S. Congress included the highly relevant removal of protection against shooting gray wolves.

3.  If you were giving out the 2011 Environmental Hero award I am sure that the actress, Darryl Hannah, would not be the person who would first come to mind...but she is getting the award.

4. In my neighborhood several folks leave on porch lights which I can see blazing the woods as I crawl into bed each evening.  These lights would not discourage robbers as there are many dark corner windows for them to explore.  I suggest we turn off all our outside lights at night to reduce light pollution which is a huge tragedy on this planet.

5.  The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rules to reduce mercury emissions from coal plants by 91%. According to some politicians this would be too expensive for coal plants to implement.   I think it would be too expensive for baby lungs NOT to implement.

6.  Pollution for the copper mine chosen to produce metal for the medals awarded at the 2012 London Olympics is responsible for up to 200 premature deaths each year.  Sort of takes the edge off of the reason for the Olympics.

7.  In 2006 Brazil and Peru agreed to construct five dams throughout Peru, selling most of the power to energy hungry Brazil which has reduced its poverty rate to 15.3%.  Most of these dams will be built in the heart of the last rain forests in the world creating cities and new highways and jobs into the heart of the green.

8.  Kit foxes living in cities in California have a diet richer in corn products than their more rural cousins...probably due to corn syrup...i.e. junk food from trash.

9. Earth Week is almost about using cloth for wrapping your Easter Gifts?  Turning off all lights at night?  Not using so many paper towels or turning off the continual rinse water when washing dishes?

10.  I did not know about this group!

11.  If you have children you might do one or two of these this week.

12.  The good side of rising gas prices is that we will be forced to pay for a fossil fuel at its real value.  Of course, those on fixed incomes and those who are poor will learn this lesson in an unfair way.

13.  When you go shopping today, look for things you need and not things you want, and please remember that there is no more away to throw it!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thursday Thoughts #33...Thirteen Things I Learned in March

1.  Both men and women taste the same according to cannibals.  (Equality at last!)
2.  Republican State Representative Alan Hale from Montana thinks the drunk driving laws in his state are both draconian and adversely impact small businesses.  He wants the DUI laws repealed. ( Montana roads are NOT that empty.  I wish all these idiots had a country/state all to themselves.)
3.  Children who are the happiest, are the most likely to use drugs or alcohol to excess.  Children who face at least some stress in their lives are not.  (Remember these are likely percentages...not certainties.  The study was mentioned in David Brooks recent book.)
4.  Only 10% of children are actually born on their predicted due date.
5.  Daffodils do not always increase in numbers and naturalize, at least in my yard.  :-(
6.  One community has tried to ban a child who is allergic to peanuts from their school.  They want the child home-schooled so they can feed their children peanut products in lunches.  (Really!  Is the most creative they can be in solving this problem?)
7.  In a recent interview by Bill O'Reilly, Donald Trump began to question whether Obama was actually born in this country, and O'Reilly, to his credit, indicated he thought it was a stupid argument.  (He (THE DON) will never run for president because he will actually have to turn over his finances to be managed by someone else, but he will always say outrageous stuff because he is an attention sump.)
8.  If you are short on topics for dinner conversation perhaps you might want to discuss this statistical data and its meaning for your dinner guests.
9.  Or here where I learned that Indonesia has the highest number of twitter users on the planet.
10.  Japan first tried cement on the leak and then went to shredded paper and sawdust...does this have a familiar ring to anyone?
11.  This spring I got a third grandchild and this gal had triplets.  For live camera action, go here.  The nest weighs over a ton!
12.  This is an inspiring self-publishing story.
13.  I learned this month that even good writers (those far better than I) have concerns about their abilities to write.  I try to re-read my posts a few times before putting them up.  Typos and grammatical errors still squeak through, but my over-sized ego will survive when I see the mess ups.  Fortunately, I do not have to make my living at this.

(As a post script I cannot believe that lawyers (and others) with six figure salaries and excellent health care programs cannot get their act together and solve this budget issue!  Shutting down the government is a bigger mess than most people can comprehend.  One tiny effect is that federal libraries have significant gaps in their research subscriptions proving this.  The next time that Food and Drug scientist is looking for that unique study and has to wait several weeks to get the article Faxed to the office, let's hope it wasn't about something you ate.)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Thoughts #32---Very Small Happy Thoughts

The news has been so full of awful things, more awful than usual. Mother Earth has just shown us who is boss once again by slapping us up the side of the head and Mankind has shown that testosterone is highly overrated when trying to control a social Tsunami in a desert.  So here are some of my personal thankful thoughts helping me hold it together, small though they are, as I straddle this bridge of life.

1. Spring has moved into my yard and is unpacking scarves in the most magical of colors.
2. My daughter has not yet delivered baby #3 and thankfully it will be coming closer to the ready date.
3. My daughter's friend who has a sister who is a professional photographer actually asked me for some butterfly photos to decorate her daughter's bathroom.
4. I have not lost any weight but I am in very good health and not on any medications.
5. My son is still dating the same girl.
6. My grand-daughter called me this past weekend and begged me to come visit, which I did.
7. The bluebird is checking out the birdhouse just under the deck outside my bedroom window.
8. I have found a new hair dresser and she looks like she might be a keeper.
9. My husband kissed me yesterday morning in passing.
10. I have finished my income taxes.
11.  I have very special blog friends, in spite of the fact that I have not met them.
12.  This past trip I renewed and restored friendship with several long-time friends.
13.  I am alive.

I am sure on your gloomiest of days you can come up with a thankfulness list of 13 'small' things!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thursday Thoughts #31 ---13 Things I Have Learned

  1. Working on photos has a lot to do with math and precision and I am not good at either in spite of being known as somewhat an anal retentive bitch.
  2. Any other person who called me 2 hours ahead to let me know he was coming to spend the night with a guest would get a piece of my mind or at the very least a lie about our sudden plans...except for my son whom I see not often enough.  Instead, he got a piece of my pot roast.
  3. I need to drink more water...really!  (Wine and tea and coffee are not enough.)
  4. You don't always get what you ask for or want and more often than not you get something you did not ask for.  I asked for bubble bath for the holidays, and since I found none in my stocking, I ended buying it on sale after Christmas.  I did not ask for a Kindle and did get that.
  5. It is hard to find meaningful volunteer work in a rural area if you do not belong to a church.
  6. I am a good and patient teacher, except when trying to teach my husband Windows stuff and I think this has more to do with Windows than either him or me (or is that he or I ?).
  7. My daughter had dinner with Rob Lowe recently and while they were prepared to talk entertainment industry, to my relief he really wanted to talk politics.  No air head there.
  8. Thread was recently found that was 30,000 years old made by humans using plant fibers (wild flax) in different colors on pottery.  It seems mankind has always wanted to make and decorate cloth.
  9. Flamingos use a makeup they secrete from a gland near their tail to keep their color bright during the breeding season when the colorful shrimp they eat are not available.  (How long before H. Couture starts selling lipstick made with essence of flamingo butt for thousands of dollars?)
  10. One of the most moving exhibits I have ever seen is the Pulitzer Prize Photos Gallery displayed at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  It brought me to tears several times and reinforced my love of the power of photography.
  11. A 47 F degree gray day with gusty wind is much colder than a 27 F degree sunny day with no wind.
  12. I fear the world will go to 'hell in a hand basket' if my children's generation continue to value "reality" television over reality.  I stumbled across The Bachelor while waiting for another movie to start and actually got nauseous watching the last ten minutes. Why in the hell we spent time burning bras....?
  13. And finally, the best thing I learned this year, is that no matter how many new years come around each is a valuable opportunity to do it better this time.
(One thing I wondered about most recently and have not learned is why is bicycle not pronounced like motocycle in the English language?)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Thursday Thoughts 13... #30: Blogging Along

Doesn't this look so neat and clean   ;-)

  1. According to my Blogger statistics readers have searched and found my blog with the phrase "i think too far ahead" and "bad karma stories."  Is that flattering or scary and should I be concerned?
  2. I used to have 58 followers here.  I know that is not many for those of you in the solid 3 and even 4 figures, but I lost one follower the other day.  Was it something I wrote?  That hurts because while I love my followers I am not very good at cultivating them. A 'princess' has joined my entourage since I wrote I am back to back to 57!  Did I lose another one?
  3. I am currently using '50.7%' of my Picasa photo storage for Blogger.  As a person who took almost 900 photos just last month and deleted only 400, the fear of the eventual need to upgrade storage in my blog photos stalks my every post.
  4. I am trying to wean myself from checking Blogger a half dozen times a day (or more!) when I am home alone.  I need to enrich my life, I guess.  I am so addicted to your comments and to the fact that you read what I say and I even do not mind criticism (polite suggestions on viewing things a little differently) although most bloggers are too polite.  Maybe I could be Fran Lebowitz and not care what people think.
  5. I also am dismayed by the bloggers that I link to that have quit posting...I just can't seem to find the courage to remove those links from my list.  I also feel the same way about FB.  People befriend me and then NEVER post anything!  I wish I had the courage to defriend them as they have become stalkers in my mind...but they KNOW me, so it is not as easy to do as it might be in my blogging network.
  6. I actually am trying to consciously keep my blogger reader demographics broad.  I know that I have much in common with those my age and with my interests, but for the same reason I will never live in a retirement community, I am trying to proactively add younger readers and readers with different views to my lists.
  7. If you think you have been blogging a long time, the first blog (daily online journal) was published electronically in 1994 by a young man named Justin Hall and the link to that blog is still ongoing and here.
  8. In 2004, "blog" was the word of the year...I didn't know they had a word-of-the-year.  I am so stupid sometimes.
  9. The precursor in naming a blogger or online journalist was escribitionist.  Maybe that should be a word of the year.  (Colleen, see if you can work that into your next Scrabble game.)
  10. I look at blogging as chapters of a diary of someone's life and Facebook as the footnotes (which are sometimes more like anecdotes or my   daily boring life activity notes).
  11. Is it true that a new blog is created every second around the world?  How many die every second?
  12. Perhaps the most important change blogging has made is allowing social activism from the smallest 'end of the tail' and not just from the large and 'popular' opinions.  Information is powerful, especially when we find others thinking like us.
  13. The most important change for me is learning that you do not have to meet someone face to face to get to know them and sometimes there is a little magic that happens in blogland and we become very good friends.  I can remember how shy and intimidated I was about blogging when I first started.  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thursday Thoughts (29)--Language and Communication

  1. "Walking the dog, and Zara spook"...I overheard from a recent telephone conversation at my house.  Some of you have a clue to what this all means....;-)
  2. One of my friends on FB posted that he was "splitting quasihemidemisemiquavers."  I think I must be friends with some really cool young people.
  3. People spend more than 700 billion minutes per month on the FB site and, according to Facebook, 400 million of them have logged in during the past month  (sharing and sharing). Keep in mind there are only 309 million people in the United States -- total.
  4. According to a recent Newsweek article in 2000 there were 12,000 active blogs and today there are 141 million.
  5. In the same article in 2000 there were 282,242 books published and in 2010, 1,052,803 were published.  We are becoming great communicators.
  6. I asked for feedback on my blogging, and I got it!  It took so long I almost forgot that I asked.  It was not as harsh as it could (should) have been, but he did mention my age several times, so perhaps was afraid he might give me a heart attack if he was too honest.  I was vindicated for not doing memes.  Writers always need feedback, and this was fairly painless.  He did suggest I needed more Eat, Pray, Love in my style...right!?  Although it made me realize how boring I and my life are and made me change to "compelling comments".
  7. Someone keeps posting comments on my blog in Chinese han and I keep deleting them because I cannot figure out what their blog is all about.
  8. On the importance of using food to communicate love the less stuff cooked, the better.
  9. John Bassinger, retired theater professor, at 76, can recite John Milton's 10,565-line poem by memory.  It takes him 3 eight-hours days to communicate this.  At 76 I think I might be doing something else.
  10. If you send an email from an domain, you are sending an email from the Army. From or from – those emails can be interpreted as though you are acting on behalf of those companies.
  11. My husband and I have been married almost 4 decades and we still have problems communicating...but now he says it is because he doesn't hear clearly what I am saying!  He says it has to do with not focusing on me...not loss of hearing.  (That is flattering.)
  12. Maybe I should do the pheromone dance that the bees do to communicate my point!
  13. And finally, "Home is not where you live, but where they understand you."...Christian Morgenstern.

(For those who asked about the Thursday Thirteen challenge in a prior post---which I am not creative enough to play with any regularity---go here.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What is Hot? Thursday Thoughts #28

My Thursday Thirteen because: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...(Colleen Redmen always gets it tight and right with her Thursday 13 and yes, I know it is not least on this planet.)

What is hot?

1. My back yard
2. My front yard
3. The inside of any car today
4. The new fluorescent coneflower I just bought
5. My granddaughter's temper
6. Burn Notice
7. The steam that put a nasty welt on my wrist from the crab pot
8. The angry lightning from the storm last night
9. My husband's homemade hot pepper sauce
10. Every new #-pad that comes out
11. Dolce-Gabanna men's cologne ads
12. Sam Elliott's voice (Who wouldn't be agreeable to anything he said with that sexy voice?)
13.  Oddly enough the mourning dove in my oak tree...he cannot leave her alone!  Talk about hot and bothered even though spring has long since come and gone.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Thoughts #27 --- Litany of Too Much to Process

Apologizes ahead of time for this boring post...

  1. I took my granddaughter from her mother on Thursday morning having been childless at this house in the woods for too long. This was both totally exhausting and totally exhilarating at the same time. Daughter was generous to give her up since Wednesday had been her first day home in some time.
  2. My daughter was involved in a bankruptcy take-over in another state last week involving mucho dollars. She worked from 8:00 A.M. until late into the evening most days with only minutes for lunch and dinner. Since guards were stationed round the clock they wanted to finish their work as fast as possible. She was assisting with the computer forensics activities and was surprised to find how 'sloppy' or 'conniving' businesses are in tracking and evaluating their valuables. Some real valuables were found sitting under the computers!
  3. My son was asked to go on national tour with another band last month and had the good sense to turn them down.
  4. Overheard during an evening dinner party was a story about an argument between a representative from an insurance company talking to a very high level lawyer for the CIA regarding some argument over a settlement. Seems the CIA lawyer indicated that they could make this someone's life very miserable if they wanted without regard for the law. I know this 'someone' and he is just a young honest career dude trying to do his job. Didn't hear enough to know if it was under this administration or the one before. This scared me as I thought most of this stuff was over-hyped in movies.
  5. Having both grandchildren over the weekend was also a more than full session which included rubber pool swimming, squirt gun fights, big pool swimming, kite flying, crab catching, baby fish catching, caterpillar watching, tomato picking and beaching.
  6. My daughter was feeling sick Sunday morning and joked that maybe she was pregnant...I guess my reaction was too startling as she immediately suggested it was probably just eating too many fresh tomatoes and fresh sweet corn.
  7. Found and removed the tiniest tick from my husband's back yesterday. It was the size of an 11 point period! This has been the very worst year ever! If one of us does not get Lyme's, it will be a miracle.
  8. Continuing to read a rather slow, plodding book that I started last week and am wondering why I don't have the courage to put it down and start on something I might enjoy? (Actually I finally did put this book into the give-away box after reading to the very middle.)
  9. My refrigerator/freezer is stuffed with leftover homemade blackberry/peach cobbler, a homemade clementine cake, a watermelon and some ice cream...too many ways to get fat(ter).
  10. Two weekends ago I had house guests on Saturday and Sunday for boating and wine touring and barely got the house cleaned in time and the sheets changed for the next weekend's visitors.
  11. This past weekend, as I wrote above, was a two-day / two-night visit from my daughter and her two little ones. Toys and crumbs are still being found everywhere.
  12. This coming Friday I will prepare a dinner for a visiting business friend from Korea, and Sunday I will drive up to the city for my granddaughter's second birthday party and that is the easiest of the busy weekends coming up.
  13. I invited someone down to the house for a visit soon and then found that I am booked solid with stuff until the third week in September. Why don't I just keep my big mouth shut?
  14. In spite of this post, I really am NOT the social butterfly that it seems. Looking forward to 10 days of alone time when hubby takes off for Hawaii next month.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Thoughts #26---I Am a Very Bad Girl

Sometimes I just can't help myself.
  • While spending time babysitting with my grandchildren I was watching another little boy chase ducks near the playground. His smaller brother, perhaps two, was trying hard to follow but got distracted by a small mud puddle just a few feet away from me. The little guy proceeded to stomp and splash with perfect joy and abandon. The exhausted and distracted father glanced back in pain. I looked across at the young dad and said "When was the last time you got to stomp in a mud puddle?" I then smiled and headed for the slides.
  • I was shopping for bubble bath the other day, and while in one of those suds and muds stores that focuses only on ones self-indulgence, the sales girl offered me the deal that if I bought 3 bottles of bubble bath I could get another 3 free! I am at the time in my life that I think 6 bottles of bubble bath a bit too much and so I said: "Who on earth can used 6 bottles of bubble bath before their expiration date?" Of course her trained response was to get them as gifts. I left the store with the one bottle I needed.
  • I have been watching the chickadee go back and forth like a crazy parent feeding her little ones with insects. The house sits above one of my garden beds. I finally could not resist and stepped into the middle of the bed and peered close into the birdhouse. I saw little moving cute. But I won't do that again as the momma chickadee almost had a heart attack when she returned.
  • When I went to pick up my vacuum and was told that the circuit board had to be replaced at a cost of $107 plus $40 in labor I actually said "D##n!" under my breath.
  • When I struggled once again with the handle to my freezer and was able to snap it back on the first try I said "Hot d##n." out loud in my kitchen.
  • Last Sunday after spending two days washing windows and window screens, I did absolutely nothing all day other than read, nap, and watch some really bad movies.
  • After grocery shopping I always step out into the yard just to 'check' on things and fifteen minutes later find I am out weeding in my good shoes and go-to-town pants. (I am such a fashion would be surprised.)
  • I still get email from certain rather disfunctional colleagues with questions about how I handled stuff in my previous has been over a year since I retired. I take my sweet old time in answering. (Why I bother, I do not know.)
  • I have been eating waffles, whipped cream and fresh strawberries for breakfast for the last three days. BAD GIRL!
  • I finally saw the Star Trek movie and I swear I almost cried when they brought up the theme music at the end. I am such a silly Trekkie.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday Thoughts #25---Brain Dump

  1. You know that it has been raining way too many days when you wander into the kitchen to turn out the overhead light and realize it is the sun shining through the skylight.
  2. On gray rainy days do not attempt painting trim when the color of the paint selected is antique ivory and it is going over builder's white. I guarantee you will end up touching it up at least three times.
  3. You have reached Zen when your daughter explains that they had made too many plans to celebrate Mother's Day over the weekend, but could you come up and babysit next Tuesday?... and none of this really bothers you including not hearing from your son until Mother's Day late afternoon.
  4. I actually saw a catbird land on a stick near the bird feeder and the stick flipped and ended up 'goosing' the nearby squirrel. That was so immature funny.
  5. You know that you are an elder when most arguments with your husband are about who forgot what.
  6. I could not remember the name of a place my hubby took me to a few months earlier and so I said "Aren't you glad you married me for my figure and not my brain?" (This is funnier if you know I am mostly angles instead of curves---well maybe sorta funny.)
  7. Then this brought up a discussion of a prior girlfriend of hubby's who did have hooters and long blond hair and no brain and who actually got a degree in medicine by using those assets. Makes you think about looking at your doctor more carefully before you choose 'her'.
  8. I am using the dog whisperer's advice on mental energy and body language and it seems to work as I was the only one that did not get head-butted by the goat at the farm we recently visited. Next I try this on my grandchildren.
  9. I never ever in my life thought I would say I would have time to actually see spring in all its stages, but I had time this year and I am very glad.
  10. I have been an ardent science fiction fan since back in the days of Asimov, Bradbury and Clarke. But I am especially fond of Rosenberry and am wondering if I will like this new Star Trek movie. It appears the director was not a fan of the Star Trek series that came after Captain Kirk. Ahem? Oh well, I am going to see it anyway.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Thoughts #24---Exhausted

Thoughts after an extended weekend with immediate and distant family:
  • Legos are still fascinating toys but involve tiny detailed work! And, of course, Tabor still follows the directions and her projects look like the picture on the box!
  • Hubby does not follow directions (as you will recall in a prior post) and he skipped an important step in putting together the birthday plastic basketball kit and was told in no uncertain terms by son-in-law that he would have appreciated a more organized approach. One is a biology major and one an accounting major...can you guess which is which?
  • My son was at the birthday party and when we hugged good-bye he told me he loved me! OMG was I in heaven for days.
  • This big party for my favorite 4-year-old's birthday was a bowling party where they used regular bowling balls and no one broke a toe or mashed anything! I don't recall any strikes being made either. Kind of gives you a feel for this recession when they allow 4-year-olds to drop bowling balls on these nice alleys.
  • A new experience for me was having a 4-year-old I didn't know sit in my lap at the birthday party while I pushed the accelerator and he did the driving on a video game at the bowling alley. We wiped out a ton of stuff!
  • I had Xman the first three days after his party down at the house and am totally wiped...!
  • 4-year-olds cannot eat at the table or play games on the computer unless all four appendages are moving around like crazy at all times. This leads to your dinner plate being moved while you are eating as the table slides away and your computer DVD loader opening and closing as little toes keep kicking the button!! You have to be a pretty sharp grandparent to keep up. (I learned the last day, if you are eating at a small drop leaf table, this toe tapping leads to the drop leaf dropping and Xman's entire plate hitting the floor and shattering into a half dozen pieces!)
  • I taught Xman about collecting colored rocks on the beach and putting them in his pocket. He asked if I was sure he could put rocks in his pocket and I said "SURE, always!" (I am a sneaky little grandma.)
  • We also were the first for the new season to have him take off his shoes and socks and walk on the beach and actually wade in the cold bay water. He loved it.
  • I made a promise to hubby that I was no longer going on international trips just because others wanted me to, and instead, my money was being saved for my next big trip in the coming year to somewhere I really wanted to go. But recently I have been asked to fly to South America to babysit grandchildren for a wedding over Thanksgiving (on my dime of course) and my SIL wants me to join them on their annual trip to Denmark this fall. I love them both and am going to have the courage to say 'no.' (help me...)
  • Sky asked about my gray hair decision and you will just have to wait until I get back from the cruise...too busy to elaborate. And Tammy, bless her heart, actually wants pictures of the cruise!!
  • Tied into my 360 degree prior post, the Italy earthquake was very near the area where some of my ancestors were born and raised...very globally intense and thought provoking as I saw people that looked like my Dad when I visited years ago.
  • This will be my final post for a number of days as I will be heading out on a ship with animals with large noses and big ears. Everyone together now...awwww, gee!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Thoughts #23---Housekeeping

  • Company is coming to stay overnight this weekend to visit and perform a house blessing Hawaiian style. ( I wonder if I need to get out that grass skirt and do I dare wear it?) I MUST patch the ceiling in the guest bedroom before that time. Bad Karma to sleep with cracks above your head. The hardest part is finding the can of matching paint.
  • Need to plan a nice menu for them as they have entertained us numerous times. They cannot visit easily as they have goats, chickens, etc. that are pregnant this time of year.
  • Babysitting for kids completed this past weekend. Check that off the list. (Daughter did not have to travel to New York over the Valentine's weekend...good news...but may have to fly out this week.)
  • Must finish the magnetic photo hanging project that I started. Too many small magnets lying around waiting to accidentally erase PC stuff. In order to save money, I tried to do it myself and have ended up purchasing and re-purchasing parts thus costing even more than the pre-made kit would have cost. (I never learn.)
  • Considering planning a March trip somewhere...again just considering...craving a change of scenery. Must do some Internet surfing.
  • It is really hard to get 50 brand new one dollar bills from your bank...I know I have tried for days! These days banks only have dirty money. (A belated birthday addition for my baby brother.)
  • Planning a budget for the deer fence installation. One determined deer caught his/her head in the wire cage I had placed so carefully around the new smoke bush and dragged the cage into the yard before freeing themselves. They had pruned the smoke bush cleanly insuring I will get no smokey blossoms this year!
  • Finished The Time Traveler's Wife but found this love story very heavy and too depressing to pass on to hubby to read. Don't know what to do with the book now. Ditto feelings on Revolutionary Road, but for some reason liked it much more.
  • Must drag out all my 8 to 10 swimsuits, many over a decade old, and decide if indeed I should purchase new suits for the "Cruise." (I have decided to focus on photography during this cruise and therefore won't feel so anxious...I have other reasons for anxiety that have nothing to do with my looks in a being confined with members of 5 different families on a boat and being encouraged to play competitive games. I am like Oprah and would like to hide in the closet at the Kennedy compound.)
  • Caulk all the trim work where it is separating--5 rooms. Done! See, I am not a total procrastinating couch potato.
  • Post process all the Valentine's weekend photos. That was fun.
  • Off to 'cut brush' and pull weeds this of the very few things I have in common with our prior president.