Sunday, January 31, 2010

What Is Your Extravagance?

Doc is in no way a wastrel when it comes to spending money. His head is not turned by flashy cars or fancy new clothes. He can tell me to the penny what the cost is of every household expense (though I try not to ask). You would think that a man who has never bought a cup of coffee at Starbucks (more in a minute about what he does buy at Starbucks) would want to keep his money in his pocket when it comes to parking a car, but car parking is exactly where he starts flashing the Gold Card. Specifically, airport parking. More specifically, valet parking at the airport. Valet parking, that over the top expensive spot right across from the airport door is the only place he will leave his not so new truck. I'm pretty sure that he has paid more for valet parking at times than for the actual airplane ticket. He says it is worth it not to have to deal with bags, and shuttles and snow when he comes home tired from a trip. It's just his thing.

If I was paying, I would be dragging my bags through the snow onto the shuttle. My thing is a bad Starbucks habit. I'm sure I spend as much, or more, in a year at Starbucks as Doc does on valet parking. I rationalize it by being a Starbucks stockholder and telling myself that since I'm still working I deserve that little extravagance. Not a good excuse, but it is what I tell myself. The good news for me is that any gift giving occasion includes a healthy Starbucks gift card from Doc to me. The bad news is that it is still a pricey addiction. It's just my thing.

I have a friend who buys all her clothes and shoes at discount stores and consignment shops, but all of her purses are very expensive designer bags. It's just her thing.

I know people who will drive far and wide to find the cheapest gas, won't pay for a meal in a nice restaurant, or make sure they have coupons for all their groceries, but wouldn't think of foregoing their weekly massage or pedicure. It's just their thing.

Do you have an extravagance? What is your thing?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

There Were No Children Hurt In The Making Of This Video

My 4 year old grandson Wil

As his Dad said, the vault may not be Wil's strongest event. He also said that if he had let the video run a few seconds longer we would have seen Wil jump up with a smile on his face looking oddly proud of himself.

Six Word Saturday

Basketball today-three grandkids have games

To participate in 6WS visit Cate at Show My Face

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Right Supplies, A Great Time, And Back To Reality

Patty and I had a great time on our trip to Puerto Vallarta. The right supplies for the ailments we left with, a positive attitude, some sun, sand, and a couple of margaritas all made for a very positive and healing trip.

Starting with the right supplies,

we were able to enjoy the sun and the beach.

We enjoyed the sculptures done in sand

and the more traditional kinds of sculpture.

We got into the wild life, that is nature's wildlife

by meeting the hotel's resident Iguanas

and sharing our lunch with a visiting friend.

The sunsets were gorgeous.

The people were interesting,

and sweet

and beautiful.

All vacations end with a return to reality. Our reality was snow that started just as we were driving home from the airport.      Sigh!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hola y Gracias

One of the things I like to do when I travel is visit internet cafes. They are always interesting and fun places to me. I often end up meeting and talking with interesting people, and of course there is always the "cafe" part for a little snack. The keyboards are sometimes a little strange and I'm not skilled enough to upload pictures on a computer that is not my own, but since it is the hot part of the day where I am today (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) spending a little time e-mailing home and reading blogs seems like the perfect thing to do for a while.

Patty and I are having a great time. She is still struggling a bit with her recovery from pneumonia, but we are taking it pretty easy for the most part and a few more margaritas and she should be farther down that recovery road. (I talk big,  don't I, but the reality that is one margarita pretty much puts me away).

I was very pleased when I logged on to see that I was fortunate to receive some very nice blog recognition.

From Linda at Wander To The Wayside, the Happy 101 Sweet Friends Award. This award asks that I tell 10 things that make me happy and that I pass it on to an unspecified number of bloggers.

So, 10 things that make me happy:

1. Being a grandmother ..

2. Having grown children that are my friends .

3. That my grandchildren all have wonderful parents.

4. Spending time at an internet cafe in a foreign country.

5. Waking up to the sound of huge waves outside my window.

6. E-mails from home when I am traveling.

7. A good friend like Patty who I can travel with and know we will both have a good time.

8. Our dog, Dodger, who I know is having fun at home with Doc while I am gone.

9. Listening to the woman at the computer next to me telling someone how beautiful it is here.

10. Blog friends who are such nice people.

I would like to pass this along to Betty at A Glimpse Into Midlife and to Sonia at Gutsy Writer because the are both kind and generous bloggers.


From Sonia at Gutsy Writer the Kreativ Blogger Award which asks me to list seven things people don't know about me. Thank you, Sonia.  I don't know who knows what about me, so some of this will not be new to everyone.

Seven things people don't know about me.

1. I love Mountain Dew, but don't drink it very often.

2. I don't bake cookies very often because I don't have much self control on how many I eat when they are fresh out of the oven.

3.  I have a degree in journalism and used to write a weekly newspaper column. I've said this before, but blogging is sort of like that, without the circulation and the paycheck.

4. When I am fortunate enough to be able to travel, I have a hard time deciding between going somewhere new or returning to a favorite, comfortable place.

5. I like to say I can speak Spanish, but the truth is, my vocabulary is just okay and my grammar is awful.

6. I drink way to much coffee, but never drank it at all until I was over 40 years old.

7. Blog awards, like compliments, are hard for me to take....I don't feel at all deserving, but I am nevertheless appreciative.

I will pass this on as requested when I return home.

From Oh My Goddess a Toasting The Posts of The Week recognition. Thank you so much, Goddess. Visit her for fun reading every time.


This keyboard which has a very fussy space bar and a few other keys that are also a little grumpy is getting the best of me. I'd better go before it completely turns on me and erases everything.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


My friend Patty and I have had a beach vacation planned to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for a few months now.  We are leaving Friday morning. Patty and I have traveled together numerous times over the last 20 years or so to beaches, foreign cities, Disney, campgrounds, and islands. We've had mishaps, miscalculations and missed planes, but we've always had a good time. A really good time.

This trip is starting with a bit of a twist. In addition to swimsuits, shorts and flip flops, we are both packing brand new antibiotic prescriptions, nasal spray and and some horrible sounding concoction called Mucinex. Patty is recovering from pneumonia and I am recovering from what I am calling the worst and longest lasting cold I have ever had in my life. We both visited a doctor today (by coincidence, same doctor an hour apart) to get the okay to travel and not spread disease far and wide. With the above mentioned supplies we are good to go. The doctor said the tropical environment and a few margaritas offered an excellent healing environment. Well, the margaritas were our idea, but the doctor didn't object so we are going to go with it.

Now don't  get the picture in your mind of two sickly old ladies slogging around at the beach. Patty, who is my age less about a year, is a marathon runner and wilderness trekker. I can't keep up with Patty, but neither am I a slacker. We will keep our nose spray in our room and we will be looking good as we down our pills with an umbrella drink sitting at a palapa bar. Don't doubt it!

Patty and I have made it through a camping trip with a bunch of kids that featured our van stuck in the sand up to it's axles, our cold food left at home in the refrigerator and a thunder and lightning storm that was literally hair raising and tent toppling. This trip will be no problemo.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Give Me That Old Time Religion

Let's all stand and open our song books to number 129. That has always been my favorite part of church, the part when everyone sings together. I especially love the old time hymns. Some of them are foot-stomping, some are comforting, some are powerful and inspiring and some have ingenious harmony. They are all a balm to my spirit.

I didn't grow up in a church going family, except for  when I was 7 or 8 and  my family attended a Unitarian church for a while. When I was around 11 years old I started attending church with a neighbor family....I think I was their "project". If so, I guess I was a successful project. I continued to attend that church three times a week through high school. Though I am not at all musically talented, the songs I heard week after week during that time came to mean a lot to me.

I was a regular church attender through much of my life. I don't attend regularly now and when I go it is with my youngest daughter and her family to a church that features very contemporary Chrisitan music, rock band and all. I like it, but I still love the old church songs best.

Some of my favorites are....

The Old Rugged Cross

When The Roll is Called Up Yonder

Abide With Me

Mansion Over The Hilltop

Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere

Precious Memories

Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Just A Little Talk With Jesus

And of course.....

Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art

I just wish I could carry a tune well enough to sing them the way they deserve to be sung.

Do any of these songs bring back good memories for you?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Six Word Saturday


Dogs really are man's best friend.

To Participate in 6WS visit Cate at ShowMyFace here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Whatever you are doing at this time, I ask each of you to take a moment with me to think of the people of Haiti and to say a  prayer for their healing and comfort and recovery during this time of complete disaster.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Random Dozen

 Linda  at 2nd Cup of Coffee asks a dozen fun questions a week for us to answer. I have not participated before, but have had fun reading other peoples answers. I thought I could handle this weeks questions.

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave?
Yesterday, Carrabba's Minestrone, and yes, I caved.

2. M &M's or Skittles?
M &M's, dark chocolate, please....but I do love Skittles.
3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?
Yes, but it was a very long time ago.

4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?
I am pretty much instantly awake and ready to go, but I do like a cup of coffee right away.

5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?
I have been on several cruises....My favorite is Windstar, small ships with 150-300 people, but I     
      wouldn't turn down any cruise.

6. Who is your favorite actress?
Meryl Streep comes to mind, but I'm not sure I have a real favorite.

7. ______ is something that I will just never understand.
Why people act like no one can hear them when they talk on their cell phones in public, and of course

8. How much of a technology junkie are you?
I would say moderate, my interest being tempered by my ability. I am in the market for some kind of
smart phone.

9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?
I usually like selecting greeting cards, especially for kids.

10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?
 Cut and color every six weeks. I'm trying to find a way to get away from that. I don't love sitting in the
 chair or paying the price.

11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?
I'm not a shopper, but probably most enjoy buying shoes.

12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?
Where is the dog?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Would Jackie Do?

Long before the book What would Jackie Do? was published in 2006 that title was my mantra. When I was a young teenager and preteen I was obsessed with Jackie Kennedy. I wanted to look like her, dress like her, know everything about her. I had a drawer full of magazines with Jackie on the cover and I became a news junkie just hoping to read or hear some news of Jackie.

 No movies star, sports figure, political figure or  celebrity of any kind captured my interest the way Jackie did. If Jackie wore big sunglasses, I wanted big sunglasses. If Jackie wore a yellow checked dress, I wanted a yellow checked dress. Jackie was a horse woman and wore beautiful riding habits. I cherished a pair of English riding boots given to me by my aunt. I even applied to Jackie's college, Vassar.
The drama and pathos of  the assassination of President Kennedy
only heightened my interest. The Onassis years came when I was
in my early 20's years came  and I continued to watch Jackie.
With time and age I still hold an interest in the mystique of Jackie.
A mention of Jackie on the news or a picture in a magazine can still capture my interest.

Who did you idolize when you were young?                             
Did That person hold  your interest as you got older?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blog Reading Can Apparently Be Messy

Reading blogs is fun and and reading comments can be even more fun. I've seen some comments lately that sound like the blogs being read are so funny or shocking or gross that the commentor might need to have a towel or a bib or maybe even a diaper handy while they read. Yes, it seems blog reading can be very messy.
These are real comments from real blogs.

OMG, I'm laughing so hard I am spewing coffee out of my nose.

Gawwwwd! I can't tell you how many times I gagged reading that.

Your  story made me throw up in my mouth just a little.

OH MY FREAKN' WORD! I just peed my pants and choked on my own saliva. 

When I read that my jaw dropped so far down that my teeth fell out.

You've got to be kidding! That was panty-peeing funny.

OMG, I'm laughing so hard reading this, I'm going to have to go to the bathroom, might just pee myself!!

I laughed so hard at that I am going to have to lie to my boss about why there is coffee spewed all over my desk.

I'm not kidding, I laughed so hard reading this that I got a bloody nose.

I haven't laughed that hard since Grandma fell down the stairs. You made me pee my pants.

For the record, I have giggled, laughed and even guffawed, but I haven't, yet, spewed or peed.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Six Word Saturday

Blogging sometimes feels like high school

 To participate in 6WS visit Cate here

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thank Goodness for Digital Cameras

Thank goodness for digital cameras. From when I first became a grandmother 9 years ago when Jared was born, I pretty much always have a camera with me and I love taking pictures of my grandchildren.  Getting all 6 of them in the same picture is a special coup for me. Jared's birth apparently happened before I had a digital camera....during a recent closet cleaning, I uncovered a grocery bag full of packets of pictures of just his first year, and those are the one's that didn't make it into the album. If it weren't for digital cameras, I would by now be overrun with those packets of out of focus, too dark, too light, not just right pictures.

My photo obsession has grown by having my two youngest grandchildren, two precious little girls, Ellis and Anna, born just four months apart. When the two of them are together I can't help wanting to take every picture possible. I'm so bad that I fear that they'll only remember me as a body with a flashing box for a face.
Ellis just turned two this week and Anna will be two in May. Even though I didn't do very well with Christmas pictures this year, I got enough to show what a difference a year makes.

Thank heaven for for digital cameras, polka dot footy pjs and little girls.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Blog About Blogging

When I started blogging a year ago, in January, 2009, I had no idea what I was doing.  I wrote the following in my first post:

At 61 years old I often think back and wish I could remember more about myself or my children or some event or activity....all those years and all those things that brought me to today. I like where I am today....I live with Doc, who I call Kenny, who thinks whatever I do is okay. I have 1 son and two daughters, 1 daughter-in-law, 2 sons-in-law, and six grandchildren, all of whom I think are the best ever, and who all bring joy beyond description to my life. I'm not sure that they think that whatever I do is okay, but they let me share in their lives and that makes everything okay for me. Blogging feels like a good way to reflect, remember and share the things that take us from day to day, and with time make up the life we look back on.

Why "Living Consciously"? I am, like everyone, getting older and I hope, like everyone, that continues for a long time, so I want to do it the best I can. I feel like one of the keys to that is to live consciously. It is something I have thought about and tried to do for a long time, but still can't totally define., and certainly am far from being really good at. Maybe blogging will help me along that path.

As I start my second year I'm still a neophyte. I think the blogging endeavor has helped me to do what my title suggests I am trying to my life more consciously. Oh, and  it has also cured me of a computer Mah Jong addiction. The surprise serendipity  for me has been the wonderful people from the blogging community that have come into my life. All ages, from all walks of life, writing about births and deaths, loss and healing, marriage and divorce, tragedys and triumphs, the everyday and the mundane. Writing about life. I truly value everyone I have gotten to know and all that they have shared .

I have learned a lot about blogging from other bloggers. Joanna, at  The Fifty Factor has done a wonderful series of posts that answer a lot of questions about the "how tos" of blogging. Betty at
A Glimpse Into Midlife has very kindly and patiently answered many of my questions by e-mail about how to do something or why something doesn't work. Others have offered suggestions about my recent crazy HTML issues and Thais at thedesign-house fixed my HTML issues and re-designed my page. With all this help, I still have questions.
  • Do you feel as embarrassed as I do when you leave a comment and then see that there is a typo in it?
  • Do you know what the difference is between a member and a follower?
  • Do you think "lurking" is a very unflattering term for dropping by to visit a blog you don't follow?
  • Do you publish posts on a schedule or just when the muse moves you?
  • Have you ever left a comment and then worried that what you said came out wrong? Do you e-mail to clarify or just let it go?
  • When you go to a site and see that the person has more than one blog do you get a little flustered?
  • Do you really, really like being able to visit with your friends in your pajamas with no make-up and before you have washed your hair?
  • Do you like it when people put a question or questions at the end of their post?
  • Do you sometimes have trouble thinking of a way to end a post on just the right note?
I do, so I will just say thank you and all the best to everyone for a great new year.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Older I Get.....

I'm not yet made over, but my HTML issues have been fixed I am told by the woman doing the makeover (I love her for that). Since my posting fingers are getting a little twitchy I decided to revisit some posts from long ago before even I was reading what I posted. When I went back and actually read it, I kind of liked this one.

The older I get.....the less I like to shave my legs.

The older I get.....the more I'm afraid there are a lot of things that I'll never be really grown up about.

The older I get.....the more I both wish I could have and am afraid of having plastic surgery.

The older I get.....the more I wish I had done a better job of keeping up with people I was good friends with in the past.

The older I get.....the more I need to exercise and the less I like to exercise (or I guess these days you have to say work out).

The older I get.....the faster time goes. I know that is a cliche, but it is so, so true (except for some days between 2 and 4:30 in the afternoon at work).

The older I get.....the less I like the word "retirement". I'm all in favor of not having to go to work anymore, but no so good with calling my self "retired".

The older I get.....the more I wonder what I would look like if I quit coloring my hair...and how I would do that without spending many months looking like a skunk.

The older I get.....the more I realize that being older doesn't necessarily mean being wiser.

The older I get.....the more I wonder how my grandchildren will remember me.

The older I get.....the harder it is to know if certain clothes are "appropriate" for "someone my age" to wear. Okay, I don't worry too much about that, but I do think about it and am pretty much done with sleeveless. (and I can hardly even mention swimsuits)

The older I get.....the older everyone else is getting right along with me and I am grateful for that.