Wednesday, October 28, 2009

only pie, and nevermore...

Yesterday I felt the need to make a pie.
An apple pie to be exact.

So I pulled out my handy-dandy 1950's "Meals Men Like" recipe book my mother gave me when I first moved from home. It's true; that's the title. At the time I wasn't sure if it was because it was a great cookbook, or my mother's way of saying, "You're on your own now. Find yourself a mate. This, my dear, is the way to do it."

Over the years this cookbook has lent itself to finding me many 'mates', even a husband. But it turns out the cookbook is the best cookbook. Basic meals done right. It even teaches you how to time it perfectly so you can have the kids washed, and yourself primped before your husband gets home from work for dinner.

It does.

Apparently the print is too small for me to read those words. I guess my feminist eyes can't seem to make sense of the random words placed into sentences. But I can attest to the great recipes inside. Fact: I still have the cookbook. I do not, however, have the husband.

On page 23 of this fine manual of cooking is the recipe for the "Best Ever Apple Pie". I've made it several times. You can tell the recipes that I like because of their not so clean pages. While gathering the ingredients I realized I was in need of more butter. I headed out to the grocery.

Going there is normally a mundane, routine event.

I drive several blocks east, cross a bridge, over the tracks, make a left hand turn...Bam, you're there.
Uneventful. Just like a trip to the grocery store should be.

But then I drove home...

One my way back to my house I came across three large black birds. Ravens. They were just sitting in the middle of the roadway. I slowed down as I approached, figuring they would fly away.

They did not.

I swerved around the cluster of feathered freaks looking at them out my drivers side window. Two continued about their business pecking at something invisible in the road. The third met my eye and continued to watch me, knowingly, as I drove by.

When I looked in my rear view mirror it had turned and was still watching me as I placed distance between me and them. I could see it like a Stephen King novel or movie, the car moving in slow motion while MOID (Music of Impending Doom) played in the background.

That was weird. It made the hair stand up on my neck and arms.

What would you do if something really bothered you? When your mind starts playing all kinds of horror scenarios because of something you just saw? Why, yes. Nancy likes to pull out her complete Borzoi Edition of Edgar Allen Poe, the amazing master freakazoid.

Many years ago, a friend gave me the complete works of Edgar. It's still one of my favorite gifts. 1423 pages of macabre poetry. It's beautiful and tormented and fabulous all in a messed up way. His words tweak something in my mind. His poetry single handedly made me decide on psychiatry as a major in college.

So after my encounter with the subtly, yet terrifying blackbirds, I made my pie and them poured myself a glass of wine. I lit a fire, grabbed a blanket and snuggled into the sofa for a good read. Of Poe. The Raven to be specific, it seemed rather fitting. And then my second favorite, The Tell-Tale Heart.

I slumbered off with the heat of the fireplace and the snoring of my big dog at my knees. And then my keen ears heard the sound. A faint 'Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock'. It was very quiet, yet I could hear it.

I asked my daughter in the other room, "Can you hear that? It's driving me crazy!"

"What?, she replied.

"That sound. Incessant ticking. You can't HEAR that?"

"No Mommy. There's no sound."

So I settled back in to read a few more pages. One of the cats came to laze on the comforter under my chin. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock. I looked around. Where could that damn sound be coming from?

I got up and followed the sound. Stealth like, hoping to catch whatever it was that was disturbing my restful evening. I went into the kitchen; the sound became fainter. Dining room? Non-existent. Living room; very strong.

I proceeded up the stairs to the second floor. As I ascended the sound dissipated. Quieter. No longer there. So I headed back down. As I neared the base of the stairs the sound increased. There it was, the southwest wall. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

I don't own a clock. Not a ticking clock. They drive me insane. The only clocks I own are digital. Or Swiss movement. So there IS no ticking sound. No tock.

But that's what I heard.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

Pull it together Nancy. Those birds sure did make an impression. Geez, was the wine that potent? The story that great? What the hell's up with this clock noise?

I fluffed my pillows, poured a new claret and turned the page. And I read:

"Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came a rapping.
And so faintly you came a tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you. "Here I opened wide the door.,---
Darkness there and nothing more."

Those lines got me thinking about the actor last year at Cedar Point. Every year they put on a Hallow Weekends. They stay open until the last weekend in October. There are haunted houses to attend, they dress up the grounds in spooky attire and you can still ride all the coasters and rides. It's just a fun time had by all.

Last year at the glass blowing gallery they had a singular actor that recited Edgar Allen Poe. Not your normal fare at Cedar Point. But it was really well done. He was amazing. Freaky. Spooky. Talented and dark.

I was in love.
I wanted more.
I went to every performance. I thought it brilliant.
Usually those not riding coasters at Cedar Point are having their portraits sketched, or buying carved candles or branded leather. Not sitting in a dark glass blowing arena watching a performer. Totally. Freak. You. Out.

After each performance I wasn't sure whether to shake his hand or bolt for daylight. I shook his hand. I needed him to know that his performance wasn't wasted. On those that didn't know what Poe is/was. On his brilliant macabre. His tone. His dementia.

When I sat and read my Poe, I thought about those Ravens.
And then I thought of my pie. And my iPod. Cue song.

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night. Take these sunken eyes and learn to see. All your life..."
There's that damn noise again. "What the..."

I jumped up and rushed toward the sound. Here, out in the driveway, is my dog, with the pie pan licking it incessantly. Trying to get every last bit of the pie from the tin.

That's the sound.

And, there's my pie. Or what's left of it.

The sound is the damn tin hitting the tree with every lick and then bouncing back to the pavement.

My first thought? "Boy, is that dog going to have gas tonight" and "I'm going to have to make another pie." But he did seem to enjoy it. The cookbook is for "Meals Men Like". Notice it wasn't the female dog who gluttonously ate the pie.

Problem solved. I can chill.

But still, how do you explain the crows?
That still freaks me out...


Monday, October 26, 2009

one mans trash...

I participate with the local Freecycle program.

You've heard of it?
No? You're kidding.

They have Freecycle groups all over the globe. There are currently over 4,800 groups with 6 million plus members.

And it's free.
Yup. You heard me correctly...FREE.

You know how I love me the 'free' word...

The Freecycle Network is a way to keep useful items out of the landfills and keep out landscape clean. Promoting reuse. It connects people with stuff to give away to people who need it and can use it. A grassroots nonprofit Craig's list of sorts.

If you've got stuff in your basement that you know you're never going to use again, don't have the time or energy to put it up on eBay or have a garage sale...Freecycle is the way to go.

You can either offer things, or ask for things.

Now, of course, there are those that push it a bit. Which irritates me just a tad. Asking for cell phones, snow blowers or new washers and dryers. The best the other day someone had the gall to ask for white lace curtains and a Mac laptop.
Yeah, right.

"Oh, I've not using this $3000 computer, I'll just give it away to a random person."

I'm all for helping out, people, but c'mon. I want a snow blower and a Mac, but I'm not going to put a post up that asks for one. Please.

There are those really in need that can utilize the stuff that you were just going to throw away. I used to give a lot to Goodwill Industries. But with recent news about the executives salaries and how much gets pilfered before hitting their shelves, I found another source of charitable donations. Keeping it closer to home.

For instance, today I offered some GNC vitamins that I can't take. They were expensive. The women's mega vitamin packs, but I can't take 6 big pills each morning. It makes me gag.
I do not want to gag the first thing in the morning. Voluntarily or otherwise.

But I'm not the type to take them back. They've been opened. I used some.
So what to do? Throw them away?

I put them up on Freecycle.

And within 3 minutes someone replied with, "Hey, I can use those."

So BAM. Out on the porch they go with Kathy's name on them.

Scott came by today to pick up the old office phones that had been collecting dust on their boxes in the basement. Michelle picked up a pair of my daughters outgrown muck-muck's. Danielle will be by tomorrow to pick up for her daughter Boo's running shoes. And then I got a bag of gourds and a big 4x6 piece of sandstone for my garden.

I give. I get.


And nothing goes into the landfills. It's my little way of helping my fellow man and the Mother Earth at the same time.

Double cool.

I could add a triple cool, a quadruple cool and more...but you get the idea.

It makes me feel like I'm really helping out my fellow humans and my community. Last year I had a compiled a box of stuff that I no longer needed. Some of the items were gifts that had been given to me that I never had used. They weren't for me, but I knew someone might appreciate them. I started up a e-mail correspondence with this woman who was going to come by to get some a few of my daughters toys that she no longer played with. She was going to wrap them for one of her daughters for Christmas. I happened to find out through our correspondence that she had 5 children. I asked ages and put together a box of things that had gifts for each of her children. Stuff that I just had around taking up space.

She was quite delighted to be able to give gifts that Christmas. Especially at a time when she and her husband wouldn't have been able to afford that luxury. And it made me feel good. About myself.

It's about extending a helping hand. I know that my contribution may be small, but every little bit counts. And helps. I would hope that someday because I've helped another, if one day I'm the one that needs help, someone will extend their hand.

It's the pay it forward mentality. I believe it. I try to live it.

So can you join a Freecycle? Yeah, I bet you can. There's tons of them out there. You can click right here to get to the home page. From there you can search your city to see if a group already exists. And if it doesn't, you can start one up.
You know the saying, "One mans trash is another mans treasure." It's true.
Did I mention it's free?

I just love that word...

Friday, October 23, 2009

the things kids say...

My daughter was given an assignment to complete from school.

It's called an 'alpha-biography'.

I know, I know. Don't feel bad, I didn't know what it was either. I don't remember ever having to compose an alpha-biography while in school. But then maybe I did, they just didn't have a haughty-taughty name for it.

But of course, being 10 and knowing everything, my daughter was more than happy to inform me of what an alpha-biography was. How silly of me!

She was assigned the letter "F". The title of her piece is "F is for Friendship". I immediately thought of "C is for Cookie, and cookie is for me" from Sesame Street. Fact is, that damn song is now still running through my head. Just what I need, the entire cast of Sesame Street in my head causing havoc. As if this damn flu wasn't enough.

To complete her assignment she sat down at the computer, pulled up Microsoft Word and started typing. 4 minutes later she said, "I'm done!"

"Done? Already? You just sat down!"

"Nope. Done. Spellchecked and everything.", she answered rather smugly.

So I sat down to proof read her work, perhaps give a few suggestions. Tweak it a little. But I wasn't needed. It was a little window into the world that I will be entering into in the near future. Pretty soon I'm sure that she won't need me at all. My checkbook perhaps, but I should be reveling in her independence.

This is what my daughter wrote in those 4 minutes...

"Friends are like pets. They come and they go all the time. Sometimes they stay your friend for most of your life, sometimes they don't. I once had a friend named Rebeca. She was my best friend when I was in Kindergarten. Now I don't even know where she goes to school. Does she remember that we used to go to school together? Or does she even think of me? I remember that she used to help me with my school work, tell me what the teacher meant, and also was a good friend. I know that some friends may not remember you, but you surely will hold them dear and you will treasure those memories forever.

Friendship is precious. You only can get a good friend a handful of times.Don't waste the good times and forget the bad ones. As Walt Disney once said, "You have to always let go of the past and keep moving forward."

Isn't she genius?

Isn't that fabulous?

I didn't help her, I didn't even know what she was writing. I didn't even help her with punctuation. I know I wasn't that smart when I was ten. Or that insightful. Or talented. Or sensitive.

Oh my.

But this is the same kid that right before school started told me she was "in dire need of a manicure."


Need was probably in my vocabulary base, but manicure wasn't. Dire? I didn't even know the word until the band the 'Dire Straits'.

But she has a very good point. Let go of the bad, hold onto the good. Look forward, not back. Treasure your memories but don't torture yourself with bad ones. Good friends are precious. Forget about the rest.

Not much I can say to top that.

I wish I were as smart as my daughter.

I sure am glad that she's around. Out of the mouths of babes we can all learn lessons.
Perhaps she can educate my sorry ass.
Out of the mouths of babes...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I shouldn't have done it...

Fall has arrived.

The trees are turning their yearly gorgeous shades of golds, reds and browns.

Pumpkins and cornstalks are on display. The sound of children screaming with delight as they jump into the piles of leaves raked high in the lawn resonates throughout the neighborhood.

It's a happy time of year. I love the crisp air that comes as the temperatures drop. Bringing out all the cozy sweaters and cashmere peacoats.

And then, there's the down side of fall.
As the cool weather creeps in, so does the flu...

We've been eating Vitamin C and B12's in this house like they're candy. I've been making mugs of my mothers 'cure all' citrus tea. Trying desperately to stave off the inevitable.

Even with all these precautions, I got it.

No, not the H1N1. Although just the thought of that scares me, but just the flu.
Regular ol' beat you to a pulp...flu.

My daughter had a physical about a week ago. Our doctor asked whether we'd like to have a flu shot. This was the basic flu shot, not the H1N1. That hasn't become available as of yet. I had her vaccinated but declined one for myself. The last time I had a flu shot, I was the sickest I've ever been in my life. So I politely declined his offer. It was tempting though, the idea of staying in bed, sweating and puking for a week. to make me stay in bed and puke for week.

I was working downtown the other day and a security guard came into the store to chat as he usually does. He informed us that they were giving out flu shots downstairs. Free.

I really wish he hadn't said that.
That damn 'Free' word...

I can't pass up free stuff. Even though I know that I'll pay for it in the end. Many times over.

And guess what? I got it. The shot.

And then I got it. The flu.
And boy, have I been paying for it in the end. The rear end.

Because not only am I sick, but I had to go to the doctor to treat me. Since my resistance was down, I got a virus on top of it which required a shot. In the arse.


So now my days consist of this routine:

I'm tired.
I'm cold.
I hurt.
My head feels like it weighs 40 pounds.
And then I get hot.
Then cold again. Jealous, aren't you?
I should've known better.
So for the time being I've got to put off the glorious walks through the metroparks taking in the sites of the trees. The voices of the children. The exuberance of the dogs racing after blowing leaves. I've got to put that all on hold until this thing passes.

The upside is that I haven't felt nauseous. Yet.
And my Internet is working perfectly. I have 800 channels of nothing to watch.

But every time I turn on the television or the radio, someone is talking about H1N1. It makes me a little worried. 6 cases in the school surrounding our community. I know that's not what I have (thank God), but if I'm this sick now with this strain, what would that flu be like?

If by chance the vaccinations do become available, I won't be going.
I'm sick enough already.

Unless it's free.
Please don't make it free...
I've not enough toilet paper or tissue handy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the dreaded 3...

Yesterday was a dreary day.

The weather was cold and rainy, the skies dark with no promise of sun. It was windy and nasty outside, the kind of day Winnie-the-Pooh would call 'blustery'.

It was a day that would have been best served to stay in bed, add another layer of blankets and call a movie-pajama day.

Unfortunately, I couldn't do that. I had an obligations to attend to.
The blustery day was fitting for the afternoon schedule...the funeral of a close friends mother.

As many of you might know, my own mother passed away in July. After not missing many of our daily talks, I miss her terribly. So to spend the afternoon celebrating my friends mothers life and hear her daughter Sydney; sons Michael, Kevin and Chris emotionally speak, it was heart wrenching for me to say the least. Silvia's memorial service brought back the fresh memory of my mother's. I would have preferred to be somewhere else.

On the drive home I received word that Cousin Jackie had passed away just an hour before. At age 57.

3 weeks ago Jack went to see his doctor. He had been experiencing some severe back pain. They ran some tests. He left with the notice his body was filled with inoperable cancer. He was told he had 1-2 months to live.

How does this happen?
3 weeks ago he was a vivacious, laughing force of nature and now he's gone?

My best friend Chrissy's dad has also been diagnosed with cancer. Although the doctors prognosis with his treatment is favorable.

But all this death and sickness has me in a melancholy mood. I think that it's the facing your own mortality that troubles me.

I didn't have my daughter until I was 36. About the same age my mother was when she had me. So it's probable that my daughter may be dealing with my death at about the same age that I am now in dealing with my mothers passing.
It worries me.

Will she be ready? Emotionally, financially? Is there anything that I can do now to prepare her?
So many questions. Life old questions.

My dad never really liked celebrating his birthday. I know now it's because he doesn't like to have it broadcast that he's older. It's like tempting fate or the grim reaper.

"Hey! You! Grim! I'm a year older....what'ya think about that, big boy!"

I know now why he was always a little testy around that time of year. The best thing was to just pass him and say, "Hey pop. Happy B-day" and leave it at that. Maybe take him to lunch, buy him a bowl of soup. But don't. Ever. Make a fuss.
He doesn't like that.

Now my brother? He likes to celebrate birth months....

A day isn't enough time to complete the celebration! He used to send me notes reminding me months in advance that the national holiday was approaching. Or buy me a calender for Christmas with his birthday already marked. Along with prior dates....
* save money for Charles's birthday.
* special order Charles's birthday present.
* arrange for ticker tape parade.

You get the picture.

I stopped by the jewelry store on Friday afternoon. I bought a beautiful gold band. I'm having my mothers name engraved on it. That way symbolically be with me at all times. And when I think of her, I can just glance at my hand and she'll be there.

I cried when I ordered it.
Right there in the middle of the store.

Yesterday at the funeral, I cried. For Silvia and for my mom.

On the way home I cried for cousin Jack.

I went to the store and cried in the car on the way home.

My eyeballs are a mess. My tear ducts are being overworked. Maybe it's just me, but I can't take much more of this. There's that superstition that death travels in 3's. On one regard I sure hope that's true. Because I've reached my 3.

Could someone mark off that tally card, please?
I'm in need a little break here...

Perhaps you all join me and make a toast today in honor of our loved ones, past and present?
That would be fabulous.
And quite fitting.

So please accept my apologies for being in a down mood. But let's all lift our glasses and change that shall we?

Let's hope Grim will stay away from our doorsteps for a little while longer.

This post is in memory of my dearest mother.
I love you mom...

Friday, October 16, 2009

de-dogging to do drinks...

Okay already!
I get the hint. I'm not dense, you know...

If I tell you, will you stop bugging me?

There has been an overwhelming amount of you that have contacted me over the last week and said, "Yeah, great post about the stars aligning, the good luck, winning that award, all the new followers and stuff...but what the hell is going on with Mr. Handsome Moving Sale Man with Two Sisters"?

As Jen from The Brook Would Have No Music said,"Is that a Native American name you gave him?" Like Dancing with Wolves, Stands with a fist, or in my case, Stands with Martini Glass. Or Strong Like Bull Drinking Red Bull. Or even Stands Precariously Upright in UberHot Heels?


I did meet Mr. Handsome Moving Sale Man with Two Sisters; or Patrick, as he calls himself.

And yes, he's quite...intriguing. And handsome. And charming.

Of course, it was quick. Too quick. Go figure that my stars have decided to align themselves for someone else's schedule. Directly caused by my ex-husbands travel schedule to be exact. But that's okay. I can work around it.

One thing that I've enjoyed most about having an ex-husband is that I have 'designated nights out'. The nights that my daughter stays with her dad; those are the evenings when I plan to spend time with my friends; to go out. She really hasn't been much with babysitters, because I've always had one built in with my ex.

However, I think I may have to change some things if I plan on entering into the dating pool.

I had made plans to meet for a cocktail early evening. I knew that Boo's dad would be picking her up at 5:30, so 6:00 seemed a good time. Unfortunately her dad called and said that he was going to have to go out of town, could he switch nights? It's already 4:00. Should I cancel? Should I go? What to do!

I called Chrissy.

"Argh! What do I do?", I asked her.
"No buts. GO. Now..."

So I quickly checked my hair. Of course, it had been lightly raining all day which does not usually make for a good hair day. Not to obsess, but I would like to make a good first impression. I thought the rain did make my hair seem a little on the limp side, but the upside is it made my skin look nice and dewy. I reapplied some lipstick, de-dogged* myself and out the door I went.

*De-dogging- vb. To desperately try to de-fur your clothing before going out in public.
Synonym: De-cat.

De-dogging or de-catting yourself is a ritual at my home. On the back counter you can usually find several de-linting type products to use. Most of them do not work very well on Stuey hair; short, stiff white hair that manages to work it's way into the weave of your clothes. Why don't I have a penchant for black clothes if I own white haired animals? Fur is not enVogue. And especially not high fashion to be covered in Stuey hair...

I can't begin to tell you how many times I'd be standing a chatting with a friend and they start picking the hairs out of my sweater...usually unconsciously. They must think, "Geez, you'd think she could afford a lint brush!"

When we were at Cedar Point on Sunday, one ride was indoors and had black lighting. Boo loves black lighting. Her shoe laces and teeth glow. As do my fingernails and...what! I just spent an hour de-dogging this jacket!
White specks everywhere on my jacket! Everywhere!

Now back to the original story...

I ran out the back door in my black sweater as dog free as I could possibly get it. I hoped the wine bar didn't have black lighting. But I do know he has a dog, so maybe he'd be a little forgiving on the excess hair on clothes thang.

"Hi Patrick!" (He was already there when I arrived. Nice. Prompt.)
"Hey sister..." (Big smile on his face, leans in for a cheek kiss and quick hug.)

I explained my predicament that I couldn't stay long, however I didn't want to cancel. He seemed amused by my flustered apology.

"No problem at all Nancy. There will be other times."

At which I had the teenage flutters. Does he see that I'm blushing? God, I'm such a putz.
You know the worst part?
When I get nervous, I have to go to the bathroom...

Some people sweat, some people giggle.
I have to go #1.

The guy must think I have a bladder infection or something. I sure do hope he thinks it's 'adorable', 'cuz right now...I don't.

I texted him this morning to let him know that the dogs, Sienna and Stuey (pictured above) love the new loveseat. They just sprawl on it like I bought it for them. The $250 dog bed.

He responded back: Is it me or Alfred they r looking 4

I think it may be both.
Those dogs have good taste. And you know that dogs can tell about a human. So if they like his smell...then perhaps, he really is a good guy.

I'll let you know.
It does look very promising that he is...


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm somebody now...

One of my favorite movies is "The Jerk" with Steve Martin.

I know, I know. It didn't win awards, it's not a brilliant film. It's silly. But it truly is genius.

It's been recently making the rounds on cable. A friend was over the other day was channel surfing. He stopped at The Jerk. I wasn't really paying attention to the screen as I was reading my blogbuds posts on my computer. (shocking)
I was just unconsciously saying the lines along with the movie.

He was amazed.
"How do you know that?", he asked.
"Know what?"
"You're practically reciting the entire script!"

I had a boyfriend back in high school. We went to see the movie when it came out. It became OUR movie. It turned into an inside joke. No one else quite got it, but we did.

He gave me daisy stems for my birthday.
I gave him an old thermos.
We used to sing the 'thermos song' to each other...

"I'm picking out a thermos for you.
Not an ordinary thermos, it's true.
But the extra best thermos money can buy
With vinyl and stripes and a cup built right in.

I'm picking out a thermos for you.
And maybe a barometer too.
And what else can I buy, so on me you'll rely.
A rear end thermometer too."

Brings tears to your eyes it's so romantic, doesn't it?

HeatherLynn had left a comment the other day that I wanted to personally answer. So I e-mailed her. I apologized because I didn't respond immediately. There have been alot of comments of late and it's been taking a little bit more time than usual to get back to everyone. That whole thing called 'life' kept getting in the way and drawing me away from my computer screens.

She sent a return message and I quote," NANCY!! You didn't have to write me back! You're much too famous for me! ;-)" End quote.

Sweet. But, c'mon now! I'm not famous! I just had the luck of the draw! And now I have all these wonderful new friends. That's been the best part of Blog of Note. That I now have had the opportunity to find all these other blogs outside of my 'normal' circle. Blogs that I might not have ever stumbled upon otherwise!

THAT, my friends, is cool.
Seven degrees of separation. Seven degrees.
And it turns out Heather is from Ohio as well.

Knucklehead (go give him a wedgie for me...please) wrote me, "Congrats! Just don't forget us little people who were reading you BEFORE you were famous."

Forget you? How could I forget you! You're on my sidebar! I read every post you've written! As I urge everyone else to do as well....(blatant promotion plug) :-)

Even Matthew got in on the razz attack and said, "Hard being adored, isn't it?"
You guys are funny. Very, very funny...

So many new friends, plus all of my old ones. But I'm not famous by any standard.

I do, however, feel a little like Steve Martin in the movie.

"The new phone books are here, the new phone books are here! I'm somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity, your name in print, that makes people. Things are going to start happening to me now...."

I just hope there isn't a sniper nearby.
Or any cans.
I still have some comments to respond to.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

unneeded furniture...

Today was "Pick Up Un-Needed Furniture" day.
No, it's not a holiday listed on any calenders. Nor do I work for Purple Heart or the Veterans.

But YOU knew that already, didn't you?

It wasn't printed in any of the papers, it was posted here.
YOU are the only one that knows. And you didn't try to stop me, you urged me to do it...

At least 92 of you did.

You wanted me to go back to the moving sale. To spend unnecessary money for unneeded furniture. One of you even told me to buy the piano, or a car if needed. And I concur...

I woke earlier than usual to make sure I had enough time to make myself 'moving day' presentable. I mean, he wasn't there on the day of return when my hair looked fantastic. I needed to make sure that I was looking okay, not the 'mommy was rushed this morning to get the kiddie to school on time' which is the norm on Tuesdays.

When I spoke to Mr. 'Handsome Moving Sale Campaign Man' on Sunday we had set up a time this morning that I could "swing by and pick up the love seat'.

I borrowed a friends pick-up truck for the move and drove over. I called on the way to confirm, just to make sure that I wasn't mistaken on time and date. I'm normally pretty good schedule wise, but this has turned my brain into mush. He said, "Wait for me! Don't leave" rather emphatically. He'd be there in 10 minutes.

As if I would leave....please.

He drove up in a black Cadillac Escalade. Why am I not surprised? It fits him well.

When I got out of the truck I felt like I was 15 years old.
Butterflies. Nervous. A little nauseous too.

I knew that I'd say something stupid and end up going back to the borrowed pickup and beat my head on the dashboard again. I thought 'I'm going to end up with a dent above my eyebrows' if this keeps up.

Questions keep popping into my skull. How much do I talk? What do I say? Do I keep this on the down low or let him know that I really don't need a love seat, it's just my way of seeing him again?

It also brought back memories of my now ex-husband. When we were dating he was going to buy a new car. He sold his old car to me. I found out later that his buddy, who was a car dealer, told him he'd best sell it directly or find a buyer because he was buried in this car. What he owed was more than the book value. So to pass if off to me, unsuspecting, trusting girlfriend...that was a genius move on his part.

But at the time of the transaction, he had no idea that he's end up falling in love with me and asking me to marry him. Wherein he got his old 'I'm buried in this car' back as part of his property.

Funny the twists life has. If this works out, there is a possibility that he'd end up with his love seat again. How interesting.

I did manage to make a few seemingly intelligent sentences and find out that he is indeed single. Thank God. The reason behind the 'feminine touches' I saw is because he is currently sharing his home with his divorced sister. She brought most of her furniture with her.

Have you seen the Simpson's movie? Remember the scene when Lisa meets the Irish boy and can't speak? She pretty much makes a fool of herself?

I was like Lisa Simpson. Sexy, huh?
I believe I even snorted once when he said something funny. Geez, Nancy. Keep it together.

We loaded the love seat into the back of the borrowed pickup, scanning the darkening skies for impending rain and he asked, "How are you going to unload this?"

I have been remodeling the back breezeway mudroom in my home. Adding some cabinets to store all the unsightly stuff that we need most everyday, but I don't necessarily want to see everyday. Because of that, George has become a fixture in my home. He's like a handy husband that I get to send home. So George was going to help me when I returned.

Patrick told me that he was disappointed. That he had secretly hoped that I would ask him for his help. Kudos to Nancy that he was impressed I wasn't afraid to chip my manicure by carrying the couch. "Wow. Your strong."

Yeah, baby. I'm like Bob Villa meets Martha Stewart at Victoria's Secret.

I just let you in on a secret. Did you notice? Mr.'Handsome Campaign Man with sisters' name is Patrick.

His name fits him like the Escalade.

Not to bore you with the details, but Nancy is being a bit diva. She got the handshake going in and the slight hug with a kiss on the cheek going out. AND the promise of drinks tomorrow. Notice plural...drinks.


I received the following text this afternoon." ur 2 cute"

I think this is going quite well.
Did I mention that I have a love seat that I didn't need?

Actually it fits perfectly in my office. Looks like I had it custom made.
I love it when things come perfectly together.

It's almost like I planned this.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

the day I won the lottery...

I'm not a gambler.
I don't normally play the lottery.
I don't frequent casinos.

I'm not against gambling, I just don't consider myself too lucky with things of that nature. I'm not unlucky per se, but I'm not a golden child either.

It's hard for me to gamble for fear of losing what I've gained. My parents instilled that in me...young.

"Take care of your bike! We paid good money for that!", I'd hear them say as I tossed it on the ground to rush inside for dinner.
Taking risks? Bad.
Gambling? Double bad.
Everything associated with taking risks and gambling? Triple quadruple trillion times bad.

But on days when I read paper that someone won 18 million dollars, I wish I'd bought a ticket. But I don't.
You don't play? You don't win. It's pretty simple.

But this past Friday afternoon I won the lottery.
I didn't buy a ticket. I just won.

I got a little *ping* on Twitter from Blogger that they had chosen me as Blog of Note, I thought that someone was playing a joke on me. That at any moment Aston Kutcher would jump out and say, "You've been punked." Which in and of itself would've been like winning a lottery. But that's what that *ping* felt like; like winning a lottery.

I guess that you could classify me as cautious. A non-risk taker.

Oh, there was a time that I was a diva, a spontaneous 'throw it in the wind' kind of girl. I was used to pushing the envelope. I'm not sure when that changed, but it did. I don't speed. I don't park in unauthorized parking spaces or cut in line, I don't even jay walk.

I follow the rules.
I'm a little afraid if I don't.
Of what?

Getting caught? Being punished?

It drives my ex-husband insane if I'm in the car with him. I'm warning him to slow down, or not park there. Or when he goes to bolt across the street, I walk to the cross walk and wait for the light to change.

I admit this non rule breaking thing is a little over the top. But there is a reward for being so predictable.

It may not have the highest payout like those that take the risks, but I've not a speeding ticket in 8 years. So my insurance is only $63 a month. I'm not afraid of police, because I'm on the right side of the law. The only parking tickets I've received are when someone else has been driving my car.

Yeah. It may sound boring. But I can usually sleep pretty well at night.

Except Friday night.
Friday was when I got *pinged* for the BoN.

There was the overwhelming adrenaline from having the Blog of Note bestowed on me. Watching the world widget on my page spin and show the flashing red beacons of where the people are that are on the site real time is mesmerizing. Watching it turn and turn, around and around constantly flashing...

THAT blew me away.

When I did eventually get to bed, my two large dogs had decided that they wanted a little more space than normal. I'd shue them off only to wake later all contorted into the small space left for me; a huge American Bulldog head on my shoulder and a large Labradoodle pinning down my feet. This happened no less than 4 times. Add into the mix a cat who decided that I needed a fur collar whilst I slept, well...lets just suffice it say it wasn't the best sleep I've ever had.

But finally...sleep. Peaceful, blissful sleep.

And then the realization that I had forgotten to turn off the alarm. It was a Saturday for God's sake. The only one real day that I have no responsibilities to wake for, and I've ruined it by the damn static beeping of my alarm.

"You've got to be kidding me...", is the only thing my overly tired mind could muster. Why. Why. Why.

And then I remembered in my sleep deprived brain that I was BoN for the day Friday. So I went down to my office to check on the stats on my computer. Do you realize that overnight while I slept there were 4,000 hits on the blog? 4,000! All over the world. That's amazing.

And so very cool.

I didn't dream it. It really did happen. ME! The not unlucky, but not particular golden girl. And to make my early morning ever more wonderful when I retrieved my cell phone from it's charging dock there was a message from Mr. 'Handsome Moving Sale Campaign Man'.

I got to thinking that it was a fluke. These kind of things don't just happen to me. Maybe the stars were aligned just so to allow me a glimpse into that other world. The one whose lives these things DO happen to. Just a little taste of the sweet life. The easy life. Of those that are golden.

There are days that come around every so often where you feel invincible. That's it quite feasible that events could continue to drift in the general direction of 'good'. That your mindset should enable pushing the envelope, to test your luck. Stretch it to the limit. Because it is quite plausible that you could win.


Friday was one of those days. And yesterday continued in the same vein.
Wow. Two days in a row? The stars are going to stay aligned for me for two days?

Today? I believe I'm buying a lottery ticket. Hell, I might even buy two.

If there was a casino closer to my home, I might even go; put it all on Black. But I don't have the I'll start with a scratch off and see what that holds and then go from there.
Maybe I should start changing my ways since the stars are seemingly aligned in my favor. I might start taking a few more risks. Be a little less cautious and a little more carefree. Who knows what could be in store.

I feel a change in the air!

In the next day or so, watch out. A new Nancy is emerging. One with a little of the old diva Nancy mixed in.
I may just jaywalk.
For the hell of it, I may even drive over the speed limit.

I'm taking risks now. I feel empowered.
And I've got Handsome Moving Sale Campaign Man in my speed dial...

I can't wait to see what tomorrow is going to bring. It's been a good couple of days...

Thanks for being part of it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

missed opportunities...

Has you ever experienced a feeling of regret? A really big regret?

One that made you want to bang your head on a dashboard because you knew, at that very moment, that you missed a golden opportunity?

I'm not talking about the run of the mill 'Blue Light Special' kind of missed opportunity, but the life altering kind?
I'm pretty damn sure I had one of those yesterday. And it has lurked in my subconscious filling me with regret ever since then.

I dreamt about it last evening wondering if the opportunity really did exist. Or was I imagining things. Did I misinterpret the signals? Can I do something today to make up for my obvious bad timing? And lack of response?

Yesterday afternoon I went to the movies with a good friend.

She loves movies. And we used to do this periodically when our kids were attending the same school. We'd meet at noon and watch a flick and still have enough time to go pick up the kiddies. Yesterday we managed to work it back into our schedule and planned to meet at the local cinema to see 'The Invention of Lying' with Ricky Gervais.

(BTW - I would highly going to this movie if you want to be entertained. Very, very good movie.)
On the way to the theater I saw a Moving Sale sign. Something inside me urged to me to stop, even though I knew that by stopping there was a sure chance I would be little late. But my instinct told me to go, so I turned the car around and went.

By that time in the late morning many of the big items had sold tags on them waiting for the purchasers to come back to retrieve them. Too bad, there were some things that would've worked great in my home. But, oh well.

I was greeted in the driveway by a beautiful golden retriever, Alfred, who obviously picked up the scent of my own dogs and the fact that I love dogs. He was following me everywhere. The owners, a man and woman whom I assumed were married, were very friendly as well and we made the obligatory conversation that dog owners have.

"I used to have a golden."
"Oh, how old was he?"
"I had to put him down at 14, he was bigger than yours. 120lbs in his heyday."
"Max is only 3." get the picture. I thought to myself, "what nice people". They kept telling Max to "leave the lady alone". It really wasn't any trouble, I love dogs.

The woman told me there were more things inside on the sale as well, so I proceeded to go take a look. There were some beautiful items and in the typical Nancy fashion, I asked where they were moving.

Now really. Did it matter where they were moving? Why would I bother to ask such a thing. I don't know these people, what would I do with that information? But I asked and she obviously also being made of the same cloth as me, told me.

I had been perusing the stuff staged in the family room whilst this conversation took place. As she was answering my question I turned to look at her. At which point she told me, "You've got beautiful eyes."

I'm not used to compliments. I don't do well with them. I give compliments, but I'm usually not on the receiving end, so it set me a little of kilter...

I thanked her for her kind words and then took leave into the front rooms to see what they had to offer over there. They had some nice items if I had room for a grand piano or a full dining set complete with curio, but otherwise there wasn't anything that I could use in my own home.

And then on a table mixed in with linens was a framed document.

I picked it up to take a closer look. It was the invitation and admission ticket for the 2001 Inaugural Ball for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. I'm not a very political person, but my past political standings are more on the right. I have always liked the Bush family, politics aside. My dad is a staunch republican and I thought that if this were indeed for sale, it might be a great present for him.

So I inquired if this piece of history WAS for sale. She said, "Let me ask my brother. He worked on the campaign, you know."


I could hear the chimes in my head. Oooh, that good looking man is her brother? Not her husband? Is he married? Is he moving because of a divorce? All the furniture and trimmings have a woman's touch to them, but it is a moving sale. There is no other woman here. And he is very handsome, but doesn't look hmmm.

The thoughts running through my head were interrupted by them both answering, "Oh, that? No. That got mixed in by mistake."

Darn, I thought. But okay. I wouldn't have thought anyone would sell that anyway.

"Do you like George Bush?" Mr. 'I'm so handsome and I'm moving and this is my sister helping me' asked.
"Yes, I do."
"Come with me then. I have something you might like."

Um. You bet you do. You have no idea....

I followed him out of the house into the garage where is sifted through a box and pulled out an 11x14 framed photo of the Dub himself. It's a casual photo. Like someone took a snapshot of him driving a truck on the ranch from the passenger seat.

"This is one of my favorite photos of him. You can have it."
"I can pay you for it.", I replied.
"No, no way. You can have it. Your so cute."

And at that point, looking at my watch knowing I was going to be late to meet my friend for the movie I thanked him for his kindness and walked down the driveway and left.

I never even looked to see if he had a wedding ring on.
I never introduced myself.
I never asked him his name.
I didn't ask him about the campaign.

All these openings!

I think I may have missed a stellar opportunity. And now what do I do. Would it seem to obvious if I stopped back this morning to "see if that love seat is still available?'

Perhaps I should just let it go. And think about 'what might have been' from time to time. It's been so long, perhaps I didn't 'get it'. By not reacting or responding I sent him the "yeah, no thanks' signal.

But it keeps creeping back into my brain. Was this the knight in shining armour?

Maybe I'll go back and buy that grand piano if it's still for sale.
That should definitely get his attention.

Now where will I put it? Damn.
I knew I should have kept up with those piano lessons...

Footnote: (11:00 am)

OKAY! Okay!
Upon the overwhelming response to me 'GO BACK!' I did drive by. I even made out a little note in the case that the sale was not continuing through today.

But it was, and I went.

Another sister was there today, but no "Good looking I worked on the campaign" guy. I did buy something small, inquired about the loveseat that now also had a SOLD sign on it and left my business card with a note of "Thanks for the picture, didn't get to thank you a rush to a meeting" on the back of it.

So I guess, I've done my part...outside of stalking. Who knows?
Too bad he wasn't there today. My hair looked fabulous.

Footnote, Part II: (6:00 pm)

So my cell phone rang. I didn't recognize the number so I let it ring into voicemail. Voicemail is my God, right next to the Internet and Cable...

Here it is Mr. 'Handsome with two sisters still don't know if he's married or single' calling me back. His message? "Thanks Nancy for leaving the note and your business card, very classy. The loveseat is still available, call me back. Maybe we can work something out."

So I waited a little while...I mean, I don't want to appear to eager. But don't want to wait too long, he might think I was the one unavailable.

Anyway. I just got off the phone with him. We talked for 20 minutes. I'm having drinks with him next week!!!!

But I bought a loveseat. Thank God the piano was sold.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Slo' mo "Nooooooo"...

Have you ever clicked on a link and immediately you knew you shouldn't have? And within moments you are scrambling to desperately fix your computer and back everything up...just in case?

Perhaps you've been there. When you see the minuscule fine print just as you are clicking your mouse?

That really, really, small print that informs your brain that "this page didn't originate where you thought it did and boy is this going to be bad please God don't let my computer crash because I forgot to back up my hard drive even though I promised myself that I would every week since the last time this happened to me oh please no...."

You might have heard me. Anywhere. Around. The. World.

I was the one screaming in slow motion, "Nooooooo.........!"

I bought an external hard drive for my laptop. About a year ago.
A very nice, cute, sleek little device that is supposed to be easy to use and would give me the peace of mind needed if my hard drive ever got corrupted.

Because, if my house caught on fire, I would try to save all my photos first. Right after the humans and animals, of course.

On my's the same. I'd want to save all the digital images I've been downloading there for years.

So, I ask myself, why would I buy this device, let it set on the bookshelf in my office and never use it? Probably for the same reason that my treadmill has become an iconic statue in my dressing room. Not used, just looks nice.

The other day I saw a tidbit on the news about a boy in Chicago who died due to a brutal beating. Supposedly, it had been caught on tape. A street gang fight that killed a teenage boy, an honor student who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. It peaked my interest. Not due to the violence, but how could a bystander catch this footage and not help? I wanted to see it for myself, not just the few frames shown on the news.

I ask you, where would you expect to find the amateur footage of the fight?
Why, yes. The internet!

Thus the beginning of the long drawn out overuse of profanity and my vocal chords.

I clicked on a link that I claimed to have the uncut footage I was looking for. Voila! A window opened on my desktop claiming my computer was under viral attack. It looked like it was from Microsoft. I assumed it was from Microsoft. But it wasn't from Microsoft.

Oh No! That can't be! A corrupted file? On my computer? *%^#@*!

And then I did what you aren't supposed to do. Yes. I clicked the button that said "fix it".

I have now spent the majority of the last two days trying to get this bug off my laptop. SecureWarrior is the culprit. If you look at the small margin at the bottom left hand corner very closely, it identifies itself. But not until the damage has already been done.

It bogs down your system. It's collecting your data. It send pop ups every 4 seconds for you to "buy the full protection system".

I've removed the offensive program, however it doesn't fully erase it. It still sends pop-ups and is running in the background. It won't even allow me to restore my computer to a earlier date before the invasion of the warrior.

There are a slew of programs that claim to have the capabilities to remove SecureWarrior, but they want to download 12G's into your system and then charge you $30. I think not. I can do this. I'll figure it out.

"Damn, Nancy." I thought I was smarter than that.
I panicked.
I outright panicked when I saw that on my screen...

I might not have been smart at that very moment, but I am now.

I've donned my battle facepaint.
I got all Braveheart on the SecureWarrior.

I opened my sleek little exterior hard drive box. I plugged it in. I backed it ALL up. All my files. All my folders. All my photos. And now I'm getting viral on the virus.

Oh yeah.
They've not seen viral yet. I'm going to wipe them clean.

My daughter said to me yesterday as I was swearing (out of earshot and under my breath, thank you. I'm a good mommy...) at my computer screen as yet another try to restore did not work..."Mommy, it might be time to buy a new laptop."

Do I want one?

My little Sony Vaio owes me nothing. It has served me well. Some of the letters are worn off the keys, but I know which ones are which, so it matters not to me. But it is a good little computer and I will not let it come to it's demise because of this trojan attack. I will succeed!

I will buy a new laptop when I choose to. Not when I have to due to brilliant people using their brains for, well, no good. Pissing people like me off.

I will buy a new laptop after I've extinguished the Warrior from my little Vaio.
And I did.

I'll be damned. I did it!
Now I can sell my own solution on the internet! I'll collect enough dosh to retire to Cabo. Maybe even enough to bring you all down to vacation with me.

Enough money to buy a new computer. I think I'll get a Mac.
They don't get hit by virus's, at least as often.

Now, how do I get this blue make-up off...

Monday, October 5, 2009

grab a seat and a martini...

I can't begin to tell you how many times I start perusing my favorite blogs to find that my friend JennyMac over at Let's Have a dressing in her finest for an awards show!

I find it amazing that seemingly every week she has collected enough awards in those seven days to make her awards show a weekly post! I'm thinking, "Wow, now that chicks really got it goin' on." And then just today she had a post where they interviewed her for Women's Wear! AND asked her to be a blogger for them. When I grow up, I want to be JennyMac. Oh wait, I'm older than she is...

...but I still want to be her!

Anyway, this week I must have done something right, because I now get to have my own mini awards show! Yes, my friends! I received a few awards this week that I now need to pass out of my cue to others that are more deserving AND give kudos to those who thought of me when passing theirs out.

JennyMac usually dons something spectacular for her show, I'm just going to pour us all a few drinks. Is that okay? Alrighty then, settle down and let the presentation begin!

The first award comes from none other than Miss JennyMac! I didn't leave comments on her posts to actually GET this, I left her comments because I felt compelled to. But isn't he cute?! I just love him!

And as a perfect segue...I'm starting my own little special commenter's award. Every week I'll post a Follower of Note that will have front and right sidebar stage on my blog. This week it's JenJen of Jen's Voices. Isn't she beautiful? Perhaps next week it could be YOU!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The first award received this week (or was it last week...I'm bad at getting around to awards!) is from Theresa at An Officer and a Gentleman. Theresa has been with me for a long time in this blogging community. She is one of those individuals that if she lived nearer to me, we meet for lunch and chat until dinner. Thanks Theresa for thinking of me!

The requirements for this award are that I have to list my 5 biggest obsessions. Then, I must pass this award on to 5 other worthy bloggers.

My obsessions:

1. Sunday laziness. Nothin' is quite like Sunday's spent in your PJ's. Or Mondays. Or Tuesdays. Awww hell, if I could live in them, I would.

2. Automatic coffee makers. As long as you remember to properly set the time in the right 12 hours, AM or PM, it's quite lovely. Nothing like waking to the smell of Java Joe.

3. Sleeping on brand new 1200 thread count sheets. It's like I've died and found myself at the Ritz.

4. Black riding boots. Good ones. Italian made if at all possible.

5. The perfect martini. Still looking...and sipping. Any suggestions? :-)

And my 5 fabulous bloggers to whom I'm passing the torch are:

1. Cameron at A Haiku a Day. However, she's finding that daily Haiku's are going to be less than daily, so her blog title may change! But she's quite talented and needs some new friends to follow her! So go on by and check her out! :-)

2. Heather Kathleen at A mouthy Irish woman?...Ridiculous, brings a smile to my face daily. Besides her talent, how can you not love someone named Heather Kathleen?

3. Across O/ Oresund is a photo collaboration between two friends. Kristina in Sweden and Julochka in Denmark. It's fabulous. You must see their talent...

4. Life, Love and Wine...she's been popping by my site and leaving the best comments! She also has this honest way about her posts that make me smile. And for God's sake, how can you not just love someone who likes their lips stained red due to wine consumption?! :-)

5. Sharon at Your Not My Real Mom is one of my new bloggy friends. I usually can't help myself from laughing or crying or spitting out my coffee or waving my hand at the screen when I read her posts. I just like what she has to say and how she says it...

Just like Ronco, "But wait! There's more!"


Josephine over at A Day in the Life gave me this a little MeMe! To celebrate the Me in the MeMe I have to create 5 categories each containing 5 favorite items of said category. And then tag 5 people to do the same thing! That's alot of 5's...but here goes!

My 5 favorite times of day:
1. Bedtime.
2. Playtime with my daughter.
3. Vacation time.
4. Nighttime.
5. Did I mention Bedtime?

5 favorite things to do in Fall:
1. Rolling in leaves. Embrace your inner 10 year old!
2. Apple picking.
3. Decorating for Halloween.
4. Bonfires.
5. Hosting pumpkin carving parties. With bonfires.

5 favorite pieces of clothing:
1. Black cashmere turtleneck.
2. Black cashmere blazer
3. Black cashmere zipped hoodie.
4. Black cashmere oversized ribbed turtleneck. (are you seeing a pattern?)
5. Paper, Denim and Cloth jeans.

5 favorite fall drinks:
1. Java Joe with ginger pumpkin cream.
2. Hot Chai.
3. Hot sake.
4. Grogg. (spiced red wine)
5. Hot mulled cider.

5 favorite pets of all time: (this category came to be because the 2 dogs that are still alive are both sitting on my feet right now. Who needs slippers?)
1. Sienna. (current- Labradoodle)
2. Stuey. (current - American Bulldog)
3. Cameron. ( Golden Retriever)
4. Ferris. (Bovier)
5. Ellioto Goziamasta (white cat...who thought he was a dog)

Okay. Now to pass that little seal of approval onto 5 people!

1. With Eyes Wide Open always has some great things to say. Now I'll find out more about her with this ditty!

2. Jennifer at Momma Made It Look Easy deserves this award as well. She's another newbie on my list of fun reads! And this beautiful award will look SO NICE on her sidebar!
Plus I can't wait to see what he does with her categories...

3. I want Jill at Tickled Pink and Green to have this award as well! She's new on my list, but what I've seen thus far...I can tell we'll be bloggy friends for a long time!

4. The SquirrelQueen at The Road to Here has been supplying me with my visual needs for some time. She takes great photos and also has superb commentary to go with them. What more could you ask for?

5. Pearl at Pearl, Why You Little... because she's witty and funny and my God, she posts Every. Single. Day. Thank you Pearl for giving me a daily chuckle. Oh yeah, I'm there whether I comment or not, I've been there reading. :-)


Georgina at Olive Juice is a new reader that has offered me the Fabulous Blogger award as well! WOW! Not one this week, but two! I feel all tingly! Thanks Georgina! You have to go check her out...she has some fabulous insights and things to say! She's becoming one of my favorite blogs to read each day.

I'm to give you another 5 obsessions and pass this on to 5 bloggers...I'm running out of brain!!!

5 more obsessions...
1. waking before the rest of the house. It allows me a little quiet time...
2. Cinzia Rocca coats. Overpriced but so well worth the money.
3. Walking the dogs at twilight. That way I can see where I'm going AND look into peoples houses as they turn their lights on!
4. My computers running smoothly. Had a little virus due to trying to open a video on that Chicago thing and have been trying to get it off the laptop ever since....Bah.
5. Lipstick. I don't even mow the lawn without it.

5 fabulous blogs?

1. Jules at A Hermit's Ranting Tantrums. She's got great wit, but doesn't post enough! More Jules, More!!!

2. Claire at A Little Piece of Me. She's really quite wonderful...put down your beverage BEFORE opening. Don't say I didn't warn you.

3. Pat at A View From the Edge. She's traveling right now and I'm living vicariously through her tire treads. Extremely witty woman...ah, if only.

4. Carma at Carma Sez becuase she is clever, witty and a wonderfully entertaining read! Go. Now!

5. Judearoo at Different Wiredly... She's got some beautiful writing and great images. She also deserves more people to see her stuff. The girls got talent.

And finally,
A special shout-out to Matthew at AbodeOneThree. His writing blows me away. And the kind things he said about me on his own awards post really made me grateful to have found, by accident, his blog. One day I'll be perusing Borders Bookstore and find a novel with his name as the author. And then I can say, "I remember when...."

Thanks to everyone for sharing all these awards with me! I hope that I've given you some new leads on blogs to find and follow. It amazes me daily how many talented people there out in the blogosphere. Thanks!


Friday, October 2, 2009

events that change us...

High school reunions.

What does that bring to mind to you? Happy memories? Sad times? Does it bring up fond recollections?

These three small words evoke a series of emotions in me. The main one packs a punch in a mere seven letters.


There really isn't any reason to be anxious, at least not yet. The notice said the reunion isn't until next July. I responded that they can plan on my attendance, but I'm already thinking that perhaps I may not go.

If I haven't stayed in communication with my classmates up to this point, why would I need to get in contact with any of them now?

My high school years weren't filled with the typical angst that you normally hear. It's not that I'm trying to escape the woes of those pubescent years. I was popular among all the different 'groups', if you will, and had a rather turmoil free existence in the halls. I was well liked by the teachers, except for one. Ms. Steel (don't call me Miss or Mrs) explained it as she "expects more from me than the others". I thought she was just being as her last name suggested. Or something that starts with a capitol B.

I was on the track team. I even held a school record at one time. I'm sure it's been surpassed by now. I was in ski club. Until they canceled some of the trips for kids being kids. Weren't we supposed to push the boundaries and try to sneak alcohol? Hello? And I was on the cross country team, but hated running long distances. I was there for the camaraderie. No other sport was as close as the cross country team.

I was invited to all the dances. I went to all the parties. I was voted best dressed of my senior class.

It was all pretty drama free.

No. There isn't any reason why I shouldn't want to go back and reminisce my high school years. There was some heartbreaking experiences. Like when Buffy, the rich biatch of our school, decided she wanted something. Which one year was my boyfriend, the football center. That was pretty hard on my tender young ego.

I remember the outfit I made to wear for Ohio State - Michigan games. Do you remember the corduroy pants that had different colored panels on the legs? In my consistent vein of staying neutral, I made my own patchwork pants. My left side was red and gray, the right was blue and yellow. I know, clever wasn't it. Great fashions of the times. There is even be a year book photo of it somewhere. Although who would know...the photos are all black and white.

And I remember the extremely funny events which remain fresh in my memory. Like when Cleo thought she could make the switch from cheerleader to sprinter. Let's just say she was a little heavy. On top. I do believe every male in the school were in attendance for that spectacle.

When I ran into her on campus at Indiana University years later, I said, "Hi Cleo!"

"It's Charlotte."

Well, excuse me. Correction taken. The next time I saw her was as a centerfold for Playboy. Not as if that was shocking to anyone. I'm guessing she won't be on the confirmed guest list attending the reunion. Although if she were, I'd place bets that all the males would again, be there to witness it.

No, I certainly don't have the Bruce Springstein's attitude of the "Glory Days" of high school. There wasn't anything in high school that I look back and think, "Sure do wish I were back in High School, those were the days..."

Most of my favorite high school memories revolve around the "Happy Bunch". Gordon, Dave, Mike and I; we were inseparable. One afternoon Gordy's dad coined our name. In total deadpan, he said, "Oh, it's the "Happy Bunch'." And it stuck. I recently had the pleasure to catch up just a bit with Gordy, thanks to Facebook. It had been twenty-eight years since I spoke to him, and yet here we were back to sounding like two teenage kids yaking on the phone. He even came to my mothers funeral a few months ago. But I've no idea what happened to the other two. Gordo's lost track of them as well.

Time is a funny thing.

This weekend I'm attending a childhood friends wedding. I'm so happy for her! It's her second marriage. The first was quite a challenge, to put it mildly. She endured a string of deception and disappointment, along with four children now mostly grown.

She lived caddy-corner from me growing up. Her birthday was two days before mine and we did everything together growing up. We were a synchronized swimming duet team for the Flamingo Club. I was the one under the water pushing her up so she could get all the 'ooooh's and aaaah's' things with her legs above the water. I was the unseen power behind it.

It was nice when she moved into our neighborhood. Before Beth, it was all guys...and me. We had a Girl Power clubhouse in the crawl space above my garage, before the term girl power was even coined. We dressed alike. We rode the same bicycles. We had the same haircut. When leaving the house, my mom would say, "Where are you going?"

"Beth's house!", was always the reply.

Or some days it would be just the opposite conversation at her house. "Nancy's house!"
And that's how it was. Until high school.

Then Beth became a band geek, and I wasn't. I was still friends with Beth, but she had her own posse by that time and we didn't hang out much anymore. We still got together for our birthdays, but it just wasn't the same.

Beth got pregnant in our senior year. She left school in January. She quietly got married and had a daughter about the time I left for college. As her father was a pastor, that was the only road available to her.

Our lives that seemed so much alike in our early years, had taken a drastic turn down different paths. And we lost touch. But again, thanks to the Internet and Instant Messaging we have maintained pretty good contact in recent years. It blows me away when she talks about her grandchildren when my daughter is just in fifth grade.
It's like in the movie Mr. Destiny with Jim Belushi. When you can pinpoint a specific event that would totally transform your life.

Beth's life was changed in high school.

The stark correlations between our two lives makes me ponder how disparate my own life would be had I changed a few of my own choices. Would it be better? Would I be happier? Richer, poorer, thinner, wiser?

Who knows.

A bloggy friend of mine at 'Your not my Real Mom' wrote a post recently that has stayed with me for weeks. Her stepdaughter was telling her about a classmate at fifteen who planned to get pregnant. Fifteen! Planned! The two words when talking about pregnancy shouldn't even be in the same sentence. It made me think about my friend Beth and how that changed her life. But Beth's pregnancy was an accident, not planned. The movie Juno glorified teenage pregnancy, but at fifteen you aren't prepared to make decisions for yourself, let alone care for an infant.

On the other hand, my having waited until I was in my thirties to have a child puts me on the other end of the scale. Although in my social circle, there are more mothers my age than not.

But all this leads me back to the reunion. I wonder what happened to the people I used to know from class and eat lunch with? It would be interesting to put the new, older faces with the names of my youth. But if I've lived thus far without having them be part of my bubble, do I need or want to get together with them now?

I guess I don't need to make a decision right away. The reunion is over nine months away.

Nine months is time enough to have another child. Or get married. Or go to the gym.

I think the most viable option is the gym.
And if I DO decide to go, I've got my eye on this wonderfully slinky black ensemble.
If I were ten pounds lighter would make it look just killer.

After all, I was the best dressed of my senior class.

I might as well stay there.