Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When It Comes To Packing, I'm A Ditherer

When I begin to prepare to leave for a trip, I have visions of my suitcase looking like this:

It usually ends up looking more like this.

Packing is a talent that I seemed to have missed out on. I love to travel, but the packing part is not fun for me. Most mornings I have a hard time deciding what I want to wear that day....how do I decide what I want to wear for the next week? When you add shoes, maybe some jewelry and whatever else needs to go into the suitcase, I'm a mess.

What almost always happens is that I pack way too much. I start out with a pretty good plan, but somewhere in the execution the plan goes awry. I become a ditherer. I can't decide between two things, so I take them both. I like to have choices.

I'm packing now to go to a wedding in Cabo San Lucas. I'm leaving tomorrow (I was supposed to leave Thursday, but  there's a snowstorm coming our way, so I'm leaving a day early). I need to finish packing, but I can't decide if  I want to take the green swimsuit or the black. Maybe I'll just take both, and the maybe the red one too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Breast Cancer and My Best Friend

In December it will be seven years since my best friend, Suza (Soo-zay) died from breast cancer. She survived for three years after her diagnosis, with many complications along the way. I remember and miss her each day and especially in this month of special awareness.

Suza and I were best friends from sixth grade on. We were best friends through the perils of junior high, high school and college. She was my best friend through the death of both of my parents when I was only 18. We were best friends through weddings, births, and divorces. We were best friends through raising three children each as single mothers. I hope I was the best friend I could possibly be to her during the final challenge of her life.

I won't enumerate all the things you should do in regard to your own breast cancer awareness. We all know what they are. I only ask that you do them.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Time For Us to Rescue A Dog

We've decided to get a dog. Actually, Doc has decided, since I have wanted one for a long time and he has said for a long time that he doesn't want to take on that much responsibility, expense, and all of the other things that go along with having a dog. I don't know what changed his mind, and I'm afraid to ask, but he said earlier this week that he thinks  it's time for us to get a dog. Voila! We are now in search of just the right dog for us.

We both agree that we want to get a rescue dog, or a dog from the animal shelter. We have both had dogs of various kinds throughout our lives. Doc grew up with Cocker Spaniels, but dearly loved my last dog, a very friendly Chow. We're both thinking probably a mutt of some sort, not too small, not too big, likes children and hopefully not much of a shedder.

It will be a little while before we actually get the little guy, or girl. We have some fence issues to sort out first. That is, we have no fence and a yard that is not very fenceable. As much as I want a dog, I don't want to have to get up extra early to take it for walks on cold mornings before I go to work. I have my limits as a dog rescuer. But, Doc is on the fence thing and when he gets on something he is like, well, he is like a dog on a bone.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Mother Was A "Pretty Girl" and A Feminist

8 Pretty Girls
But You Can't Marry

That was the headline for the article that included this picture which was published in the Daily Oklahoman on Sunday, April 3, 1938. My mother is the "pretty girl" on the left in the picture.

She was 24 years old and had made the decision to be a self-supporting, unmarried, working woman. In 1938, that was an unusual  and remarkable lifestyle. She and seven other working women lived together  in a large home in an upscale neighborhood. The newspaper article about these independent women was written in a tone that would raise both eyebrows and hackles in today's world. Here are some exerpts:

At 1608 Classen Boulevard is a large Spanish type house. It has the same distinguishing elegance of line that is characteristic of the houses in the block-those of a bone specialist, a city minister, a corporation lawyer, an architecht and some of the city's business and professional leaders.

But this house is a fairy tale palace without a prince charming and royal treasury. Without even a butcher, baker or candelabra maker to provide a monthly paycheck.
But there are eight young girls and fair, who live their lives in peace and harmony. Last winter these eight girls decided that eight hours work for each or the 64 they worked collectively each day was no excuse for a lack of home life. So they banded together and rented the house.

When and if slight differences arise, they are ironed out within the cloistered walls lest someone outside the organization should shake a knowing head. The tradition that two women can not live in the same house is being broken four times over.

About house rules. There aren't many. There's a standing rule against inviting large groups of people in to make noise. It would disturb the neighbors and the clever girls know that there are those who would welcome a chance to critisize a group of batchelor girls living alone.

Not a description that today's feminists would likely appreciate.

My mother did eventually get married and have a family, but at a far later time in her life than was common at the time this article was written.  She continued to be an independent thinker throughout her life and had very feminist views before "feminism" game into being.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Six Word Saturday

To participate go to ShowMyFace

It's only 69 days until Christmas!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oops, I Didn't Do It.....Again

I'm going to a wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in a couple of weeks. About three months ago I did what I always do when I have  an event coming up. I decided I wanted  to lose 10 lbs before the event. I will be there for 4 days and there will be lots of activities involving beaches and pools and bathing suits (yikes), in addition to the actual wedding. There will also be a lot of food and drink. A little weight loss over a few months seemed like an excellent and achieveable plan.

What is it with those few pounds? A couple of them have come and gone and come again over the last few months, but none of them have left for good. It is now only 2 weeks until I leave and here I am with 10 lbs, (okay, I'll be a lttle realistic,) 5 lbs still to lose. I might be able to lose them, but I'll probably gain them back with the first pina colada I drink.

I have another trip planned, back to Mexico, in January. Wow, that is three whole months away. I'm sure I can lose 10 lbs in three months......

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Admire People Who....

I see out jogging when I think it's too cold even in the basement for me to go down to use my treadmill.

Say they are going to the mall to just look around
and actually just look around.

Know that there is always something new to learn.

Say that they want to lose some weight and then lose some weight.

Realize there are times when it is okay to let someone do more for
 you than you can ever possibly repay.

Have time and money and are willing to share both.

Are over 15 years old and can still ride a Tilt-A-Whirl
without getting sick.

Are really positive about their political convictions
and really know why they are.

Don't take all the blame or all the credit for
the outcomes in their childrens lives.

Get up an hour or two early in the morning
so they can go workout.

Who do you admire?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's All Good

All is right with the world when you can sleep
 with a Dora the Explorer sprinkler can

I was given an award, my one an only,  from Sonia at Gusty Writer. It is the Heart of a Dragon award and I was, of course, very surprised and pleased to receive it from Sonia, gutsy writer that she is.

The Heart of a Dragon Award is a
special award for the blogger who
inspires you and/or others to go
above and beyond or the blogger
who helps keep us all connected.

Here are the rules.
1. Post the award on your site with a link to the person who gave it to you.
2. Pass it on to the blogger(s) who inspire you and list why they are receiving the award.
3. Post a comment on their blog.

I knew immediately that I wanted to offer this award to Betty at A Glimpse into Midlife. She is an awsome blogger friend and she more than fulfills the requisites of the award. She is authentic and insightful. She has encouraged me and tutored me, always going above and beyond. Please visit her today.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Six Word Saturday

I can't remember all my passwords

Six Word Saturday from  http://www.showmyface.com/

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How Old Would You Be.....

How Old Would You Be If You Didn't Know How Old you Are?

I don't claim that this is an original question, but I find it to be an interesting one. It came up in a conversations with friends recently and I have been wondering about it since. I talk a lot about how much I love being a grandmother, but I sometimes find it hard to believe that I am actually old enough to have been a grandmother for nine years this month. I've already outlived my mother by nearly a dozen years, and because she died at 51,  there was a time when I'm sure I never expected to reach the age I am now. 

I feel lucky that, as yet, there's not much that I want to do that I can't do because of my age. As far as how old I feel, there are times when it comes to things like being as mature as I should be about some things I feel like I am about 12. When it comes to my attitude about some other things, like little girls wearing sexy clothes or teenage boys wearing their pants around their hips with their underwear showing, I'm probably nearer to 70.

The common thing that we all said in my conversation with my friends was that we all still feel like we have always felt on the inside. The outside, however, has it's own tale to tell. Sometimes when I am shopping with my daughters and we pass a mirror in a store, I feel a little shocked that I actually look older than they look.

I can't help thinking that doing our best to stay young on the inside can't be anything but a benefit to the outside of ourselves. These people say it well:

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
 Eleanor Roosevelt

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
      Abraham Lincoln

There is still no cure for the common birthday.
                                                   John Glenn

If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart.
The spirit shoul never grow old.
        John Kenneth Galbraith

Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
    Mark Twain

You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come into contact with a new idea.
 Pearl Buck

I can honestly and maybe gratuitously say that I feel young for my age, at least young at heart.

How old would you be if you didn't know how old your are?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I Hope You Dance

When my first grandchild was born nine years ago this month the song I Hope You Dance, sung by Lee Ann Womack and written by Mark D. Sanders was very popular. It had been released in May and as we awaited the birth over the summer it became a sort of theme song of our hopes for this new life that was coming into our family. I have gone back to the lyrics of this song with the birth of each of my other grandchildren and every time I hear it I revive these hopes for each of them.

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May your never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Loving might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it our or dance
I hope your dance
I hope you dance

I still have these hopes for my grandchildren, and I think the words of the song also offer pretty good advise to those of us in the grandmother years of our lives.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dear Robert, or A Postscript to My Previous Post

In saying Dear Robert I don't mean Robert, you are so dear to me. I mean Dear Robert in a Dear John sort of way, as in Dear Robert, You're Fired! Robert is Doc's main maintenance guy, and was the one that was here checking our furnace when I got home last night. That's the furnace that was "all checked out" last night and the furnace that quit working during the night, on the coldest night of the new season....about 26 degrees. For those of you who operate in Celsius, that's brrr cold, below freezing.

Robert could be the poster child for the saying "Jack of all trades, but master of none." He knows how to do a  lot of things, but often just doesn't quite finish the job. He did some paint touch-up last night also, but left the open paint can on the floor and the dirty paint brush in the sink. In the past, he has worked on the water heater, but forgotten to actually turn it on before leaving. There's always a tool left under the sink after he has worked on the plumbing. Sometimes when he starts a job he will leave to go get a part or a tool and not show up again for a week or so.

On the other hand, after an early call from us this morning (with teeth chattering) he was here by 7 a.m. asking why we didn't call him at midnight when we realized the furnace wasn't working. He'll climb the tallest ladder to replace light fixtures or even bulbs in our very high ceilings. He will search all day to find  the exact match for an unusual bulb in the fixture above the dining room table. There's never a job he says no to. He likes Doc a lot and will do anything for him.

So, I guess he's not really fired, just on a short probation.

Oh, and Robert says the problem was with the thermostat, not the furnace. Just a coincidence? I wonder.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

This Can't Be A Good Thing

I'm writing about the weather, which some may consider not a good thing, but I am off work Friday and Monday, so I may be feeling a little lazy. On the other hand, I live in the Rocky Mountain West and we take our weather pretty seriously here, so when I saw these clouds coming over the mountains this evening my first thought was "This can't be a good thing".

I love summer, but where I live, as they say about all good things, it has to end. The temperatures going from the 80s yesterday to the 50s today, finding one of Doc's guys here checking the furnace when I got home, and seeing these clouds coming over the mountains tell my that my summer is over.

I think I'll go make some chili.