June 30, 2008

Driven (Not Like Miss Daisy)


Learning How To Garden

“After awhile you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul and you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning and company doesn’t mean security, and you learn that kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises and you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open, with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child, and you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans. So plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure, that you really are strong, and you really do have worth."
(via snickerdoodle)

June 29, 2008

Dirty Reading Glasses

Two years ago I joined the millions of people getting older, and one of the first changes I dealt with was the inevitable change in eyesight.

A visit to the eye doctor was a learning experience. I tried bifocals. Did not care for that as the job I had at the time entailed up and down motion from my chair to other rooms throughout the day and I found myself having difficulty with motion. I didn't get used to removing the bifocals each time I got up from the chair and then I couldn't see clearly when I walked. I then opted for two pair of glasses, one for up close/computer work and one for distance. That seems to be the best solution for me.

Since I have retired I have been re-evaluating different situations and the eyeglass thing is one of them. I probably have the bifocals around somewhere so I just need to look for them. Now that I am not working at a job I am not jumping up and down. In either case, I have a pair of up-close glasses on the desk by my computer and those stay there. I also have a pair of reading glasses that stay with whatever book I am currently reading.

I don't think I put my fingers on my glasses as I am careful when removing or picking up, so I wonder how my glasses get so dirty. Am I just a fanatic about seeing a clear image through the glasses? Or is clarity more than just looking through the glasses?

Ready For Battle

A favorite quote of mine is found in Jeffery Deaver's
The Twelfth Card:
"Sometimes the hardest battle is within your own soul".

You don't have to be a warrior to be fighting a battle. We struggle to remain constant in making wise choices. Many years ago a comedian was known for the one-liner "The devil made me do it". In real life, no one makes us do things. We make choices. We can gauge our growth by how soon we recognize an unwise choice and then how quickly we make amends. An amends can be as simple as speaking up and voicing an honest, sincere apology or it can be as difficult as changing a serious, significant situation.

Sometimes the struggle is over the minute we speak or write about the battle taking place within. Other times the battle rages on and on until we deal with it properly and honorably.

I'm not talking about power struggles; I am referring to struggles between the outside person and the inside person. When those struggles are quieted and resolved, there is true peace within.

I have been battling growing up my whole life. I didn't know what to do or how to do it. The child inside me has been struggling and fighting the same immature way until I was able to understand that was stopping me from moving forward into a mature and healthy adult.

June 28, 2008

Remembered And Still Not Repaired Part III

Today was her ninth birthday. Her mother picked her up at school and her school friend rode home with them. There wasn't a school bus from that school that went that far out of town. The friend was overly excited and the birthday girl caught some of that excitement.

The family from next door walked through the fence opening while it was still daylight to join the birthday celebration. There weren't many presents but that was the way of life for the low-income families living in the country setting. A ninth birthday was something to celebrate regardless of the financial situation. The friend from school brought a present and the mother and father gave the birthday girl a new (used) coat. There is still a picture in the scrapbook of the birthday girl modeling the navy blue coat with the red hood and holding up nine fingers and trying to smile for the camera.

After the homemade cake was cut and consumed, the young people wanted to go next door to watch Walt Disney on the neighbors TV. There was much excitement and laughing and running as the back door slammed behind them and they headed in the direction of the neighbors house. It was dark and there were no lights. It was at least 100 yards to the neighbors front door and there was only one way to get there:
On the worn walkway through the break in the fence.

Everyone knew about the one opening except the visiting friend from school. Amid the screams and laughter of the running children, the birthday girl kept calling in the dark to the friend for her not to run, yelling to her to come with her. In her excitement, the friend did not take heed. There were three rows of barbed wire on the fence between the properties.

There were no more birthdays in her heart after that and birthdays are not something to celebrate to this day. And there were no more friends for a very very long time.

Previous posts found at Part I and Part II.

June 27, 2008

Gas Prices Continue to Climb

We are in contact with friends in various parts of the country who are all concerned about the cost of gas. Never in my wildest dreams would I have forecast prices like they are today. When will it end? How will it end?

One writer in the Los Angeles Times has this to say:

"...there's been no shortage of oil buyers even at current high prices -- a sign that supply and demand are playing their expected market roles."

...""The most likely reason for high oil prices is the simplest and, unfortunately, also the most intractable: too much demand chasing too little supply."

..."Oil prices won't be heading south, at least not until demand eases. Maybe that's accomplished through alternative energy sources, maybe through increased fuel efficiency."

I'm just a ditzy blond, but I have a nasty feeling that the entire oil/gas fiasco has been ongoing and deliberate. So many people packed together on the planet and so few people in power. What or who is overseeing the people in power?

June 26, 2008

Affordable/Recyclable Wedding Dresses

When the stuff hits the fan after the honeymoon, the bride doesn't have to run ads to sell the wedding dress. Good article at gigglesugar:

These "winners in the fourth annual design-a-wedding-dress-with-toilet-paper contest. They could only use TP, tape, paper, and glue".

Yeah, Smell That Coffee

An article about coffee in Scientific American is believable.

"That morning coffee is just the thing to get the brain in gear and the body moving. But it turns out that just the aroma of coffee also gets some of our genes up and at ‘em. That’s according to research in the June 25th issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The authors report that a sniff of coffee turns on several genes in the brain in ways that help diminish the impact of sleep deprivation. In rats, at least. "

..."Rats that were stressed by lack of sleep were exposed to the smell of coffee. Seventeen different genes got activated in their brains. And thirteen of them produced proteins known to protect nerve cells from the damaging effects of stress. While there have been numerous studies analyzing the health impact of the ingredients ingested when drinking coffee, the researchers say that this is the first study to examine the effects of coffee’s aroma."

I really like the smell of coffee. The coffee beans. The coffee brewing. The coffee in the cup. So, hey, if it is good for the rats it's got to be good for me too. Getting my brain in gear is good too, but the scents and senses are happy campers in our house.


I prefer two ply.

June 25, 2008

Zooming In

This is an interesting story found in The New York Times:

"Ms. Kalin-Casey, who manages an apartment building here with her husband, John Casey, was a bit shaken when she tried a new feature in Google’s map service called Street View. She typed in her address and the screen showed a street-level view of her building. As she zoomed in, she could see Monty, her cat, sitting on a perch in the living room window of her second-floor apartment."

"The issue that I have ultimately is about where you draw the line between taking public photos and zooming in on people’s lives,” Ms. Kalin-Casey said in an interview Thursday on the front steps of the building. “The next step might be seeing books on my shelf. If the government was doing this, people would be outraged.”"

"Google said in a statement that it takes privacy seriously and considered the privacy implications of its service before it was introduced on Tuesday. “Street View only features imagery taken on public property,” the company said. “This imagery is no different from what any person can readily capture or see walking down the street.”"

"Back at her apartment, Ms. Kalin-Casey acknowledged that plenty of information about her — that she manages an apartment complex, that she was an editor at the film site — is already easily accessible through Google and other search engines."

"People’s jobs are pretty public,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean they want a shot of their sofa on Google.” She has asked Google to remove the image of her building, which was still online as of Thursday evening."

Grooming Day

We started a fun tradition a couple years ago. At the time, we had a small dog whom we groomed at home. Then we extended it to all of us:
Me, Him, and the Dog.

I would cut his hair and give the dog a bath and cut her nails, and he would put polish on my toenails. We no longer have the dog but grooming day is still part of our life with some additions. I still cut his hair, and sometimes I give him a manicure. He cuts my hair and puts the hair color on for me and still puts the polish on my toenails.

Taking care of each other brings us to a close place. We are comfortable with each other and we talk companionably during the grooming processes. The final product isn't the goal. The benefit is the affection we show each other while we provide our need for maintenance and good health. We feel safe and provided for in a healthy environment.

June 24, 2008


Watching the birds in the yard is a pleasure. Seeing them fight against the strong winds, then a slight tilt of a wing, soaring into the sky. It is beautiful.

Nature is a teacher. Watching the birds helps me to focus on keeping the balance in my life and in my relationship. Tilting my head to show I am really listening. Using my strength to move through the rough winds of disagreements while skillfully maneuvering a turn toward smooth sailing and resolving conflict.

In any relationship, staying balanced requires both parties to participate, just like birds need two wings.

June 23, 2008

Detox from Aspartame

A couple years ago I deleted all refined sugar and refined flour from my diet. Since that time I have also become more interested in the chemical sweetener products and have come to realize how dangerous some of them are. Specifically Aspartame.

Since Aspartame is accumulative, it did lots of damage. I didn't even realize that the damage or the symptoms were due to Aspartame.

I have not had a soft drink or fruit drink with sugar or sugar substitute for over two years but I have had symptoms that had become uncomfortable.

After more investigation, we found that the Metamucil-type product I had been using for my diverticulitis contains Aspartame. So, through ignorance, I have been accumulating Aspartame into my system for ten years. We had been reading all labels and been so diligent in keeping all the sugars out of our home, and it amazes me that the one product I have been using for so many years for medical reasons was the culprit. I have thought of the Metamucil-type product as "medicine" in order for me to be regular and have taken it almost every day for over ten years.

The main ingredient in a Metamucil-type product that I need to stay regular is psyllium. We purchased psyllium husks and I tried it. It was not ground fine enough for me to drink comfortably, so we ground it to a finer powder in our coffee grinder. The ground psyllium does not have an odor, is tasteless and can be added to any beverage, so I tried nonfat milk (we only drink nonfat Lactaid milk), which was okay. Then I tried just water with a little honey and I like that best. I have been using this mixture for over two months, and after a few days of adjusting the amount of ground psyllium, my system has maintained the regularity I need.

The main symptoms from Aspartame poisoning were dizziness and headache, which are drastically reduced, and others. In addition, the psyllium husks cost less and because there are no additives it is like using a concentrated product and it takes much less to do the job.

I have been using the term Metamucil-type product because I stopped buying the more expensive Metamucil brand about five years ago, opting for a generic brand which costs about a third of Metamucil. I bought the sugar-free orange flavored product. The labels clearly say Aspartame in the list of ingredients on the generic brand and the name brand products.

My symptoms: Headaches, Dizziness, Confusion, Moodswings, Hair Loss, High Blood Pressure,
Muscle Aches, particularly in arms and legs, and numbness in toes.

Changes in symptoms after discontinuing Aspartame:

Within 3 days, headaches rarely
Within 1 week slight dizziness; at end of 3 weeks dizziness very slight and not all the time
Within 2 weeks new growth in hair; at end of 3 weeks cannot see pink scalp through hair and hair thicker
Within 2 weeks, blood pressure normal and remains within normal range at end of 3 weeks
Within 1 week muscle tingle increase and by end of 3 weeks tingle/pain in arms and hands and upper and lower legs increased as if nerve endings in pain. I attribute that to the healing and reaction to withdrawal from daily Aspartame.

Now after two months the headaches are practically non-existent. I have a full head of hair, no longer do I have scalp showing anywhere. My blood pressure medicine is at half the dose. There is slight dizziness about two times a week instead of every day most of the day. The toes in my right foot are are about half as numb and the left foot remains about the same. Things are changing every day and improvements are profound.

June 22, 2008

Seeing Life Clearly

I have been working on many things within myself the past year. The result has been the clarity and calm that has been showing up in my life. Breaking through the barriers takes work.

When I began the journey of recovery, I had no expectations regarding results or timing. I just knew I wanted better health both emotionally and mentally. Most people who would meet me throughout my life thought I had things pretty well under control, maybe just some bad luck with relationships. Not so. I have been running scared my whole life. With fear in the drivers seat, I was unable to think clearly or see what I needed in order to live a productive, happy life. Consequently, I have been unhappy and unfulfilled and spending precious energy keeping it under wraps because I sure wouldn't trust anyone to know the real me. From an early age I discovered that if I showed a tiny glimpse of a weakness it would be used to hurt me.

For the first time I am living every day in a real world with someone who wants what is best for me and works with me to discover my desires and my potential while at the same time is working on taking care of himself. For people like me, this is astonishing. And such a blessing.

June 21, 2008

Shirley's Mom Laura

I met Shirley in the summer right before 8th grade when we moved a couple blocks from her. She was the first person I met in the new neighborhood and we were the same age. Our backgrounds were different but we found that we liked each other and began a dear friendship that has continued into each of our retirements and my living in various states and Shirley continuing her education, eventually earning a masters degree. Shirley has maintained a loving, strong marriage to the same man and has shown herself to be a caring and tireless woman to the people who know her.

Her role model was her mother, Laura. I would stay overnight at Shirley's house every chance they would let me. I learned from watching the way Laura would tell each of her children to do something and then expect them to do it. She was a busy mother who was showing by example how to be a wife and mother. One of my earliest memories of staying at their house was joining the family at the table and eating Shepherds Pie. I had never heard of it before and I loved it. I have made it thousands of times over the years and it is one of our favorites now as well as a dish my daughters make for their families. Also I found out about apple butter from Laura, which I would still be eating if I could learn to make it with honey and no sugar. I stopped using sugar and artificial sweeteners over two years ago. But some day I will figure out how to make apple butter using honey as the sweetener, and then I will have to ship some out to Shirley to give to Laura.

But the most important things I remember about my time around Laura was seeing the strength and openness of a good woman. I never thanked her for showing me the goodness and compassion that she bestowed on me. Not only was she teaching her own children qualities that would serve them well as adults, she was showing the rest of us hangers-on some things we would use the rest of our lives. For me it was a blessing to meet Shirley and to have her in my life for most of my life, even if we have not lived near each other most of that time. It has been a privilege to know Laura and hear how she is doing over the years and remember her acceptance of me and how she lovingly taught me so many things.

Laura will be 88 this year and Shirley and her siblings are going to celebrate with Laura on her birthday with an awesome party. For those of us who are unable to attend the celebration, we send loads of love and appreciation to Laura along with our best wishes for a wonderful birthday. I hope you enjoy your birthday party and many more birthdays to come.

June 20, 2008

Second Chance...Falling In The Mud

Eroding away at my emotional reserve is more wearing than being drained physically.
Or bruised or scraped.

I fell off my bike again today. This was only the second time and both times I fell away from the sidewalk bike path and today I fell out of the way of a fast biker coming around the turn behind me. It made me nervous, I guess, and I took the turn wide and was going to be in the way of the fast biker and I applied my brakes and didn't slow down enough and went skidding off the trail, across the wet grass. Thank goodness for the storm last night and the medium high grass on both sides of the bike trails. Of course, my bike dug into the mud and so did I. Kerplunk, shwish, slide, splash, then stop.

It happened in early morning. My wrist feels a little ouchy and neck a tad tight but it could have been so much worse. The fast biker stopped his fancy bike and asked if I was okay, which gave me a better feeling for the "bikey people" as I call them. The bikey people ride the expensive bikes and wear the fancy bike clothes and helmets and bike cleats and don't break a sweat as they ride 50 miles an hour all day. Maybe a little exaggeration, but not much. I, on the other hand, ride my $60 bike, wear my old tennies, old shorts, baggy shirt, and a sun visor. And I think I am stylin'!

For a moment as I was pulling myself up out of the mud, I remembered that I don't have health insurance. I don't know why that popped into my mind at that time because I haven't had health insurance for years except for a few months at the last job. Since I rarely go to a doctor, the monthly fee for the health insurance cost more than me just paying my own way if and when I see a doctor, so I canceled that insurance and I also knew I wouldn't be working much longer. But I don't live my life worrying about an accident or living so cautiously that I don't really live. It was just interesting to me that I felt relieved to know I wasn't hurt and wouldn't need to find a clinic or a doctor.

Getting back on the bike to finish the ride was what took the emotional energy and chewed it up and seeped it out as I rode back to where the car was parked. This was going to be an adventure today to investigate a different bike trail and the long sharp winding downward curve was not very much fun. I'm going back to the scenic straight shot bike trail for awhile longer before I get adventurous again.


Wouldn't it be great if there were a key on the keyboard to touch softly for a smidgen of inspiration, or crank down hard for a symphony of ideas?!!!

Our thoughts and experiences are where we get most of our inspiration.

And then begins the work to seek something, to accomplish something, to learn something, to share something.

When I am feeling relaxed, inspiration is right around the corner on the same side of the street.

June 19, 2008

Now I Know How Guys Feel

Since my retirement, I have found a new freedom besides not having to work.

I don't wear makeup and very little clothes, and I have my hair cut very very short. Better than punk. Just spunk.

So when I get out of the shower I now know why guys can get ready so quickly. Run a comb through the hair (in my case I don't even do that), throw on a T-shirt and shorts and done. What freedom!

Trees Aren't Safe? Yikes!

June 18, 2008

My Every Other Day Energy

I am starting to notice a trend. My energy level fluctuates. Most of the time it is normal energy one day and not as high the next day. I don't use any energy drinks because they contain either sugar or alternative sweeteners.

For example, yesterday we rode the bikes for the 8 1/2 miles, came home and I worked in the garage hand-sanding a chair I found at a thrift store. The seat has been removed and I am going to re-stain a different color, and use black shadowing in the cutout back design. It is a really cool chair and I plan to use it at my desk in the living room where I use the sewing machine and write.

After the hand sanding, I used the electric sander on some of the larger areas, then cleaned the entire chair and put the first coat of stain on the main areas.

I did a few other things around the house as well; wash kitchen floor etc.

The thing I am noticing is that I don't feel as energetic today. We did the bike ride this morning and I have washed 3 loads of clothes, but I am not eager to go to the garage and continue the work on the chair. And working on furniture like this is my all time absolute favorite thing to do after of course time with the hubby.

Just noticing any trends since the retirement is new for me. So I am going to read my book today and may be do some yoga exercises this afternoon. And give my sore wrist a rest today and go back to sanding tomorrow.


Comeraderie and Fun
are high on my list of what I want
in a relationship.

Hence, Comfunraderie.

It is important to me that there is fun in life, and I want it to be more fun than the not so fun stuff. I am realizing how much fun means to me. I don't think that is shallow or self serving. I deal with the not so fun stuff so much better if I have enough of the fun stuff in my life. Yes, I care about other people and have empathy for someone who is having problems of their own. And I wish they could have fun in their life too. Plenty of fun to go around. Fun doesn't have to cost anything, not time or money.

June 17, 2008

Let's Get Rid Of The Toes

How many times have you heard someone say this or something like this? I have heard this many times and I have said it myself.

When I was growing up I walked barefoot. So I would stub a toe, usually a big toe, and by the time one toe was healing, I would stub another toe.

As an adult, I run into the side of the coffee table, or a chair leg and yelp with pain and hop around on one foot, because I am still walking barefoot.

I have had many broken toes. But I still won't wear shoes. Flip flops maybe.

The only good thing I can see for me to have toes is to put pretty colors on them and maybe a cool toe ring! But for guys, I cannot think of one reason they need toes.

June 16, 2008

Happy Couples 101

What do happy couples do to stay close and happy? Is it a secret or is there a basic training course somewhere?

I found this list called "Ten Things Happy Couples Do" by Mark Goulston, MD.

1. Go to bed at the same time. Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn't wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

2. Cultivate common interests. After the passion settles down, sometimes you realize that you have few interests in common. But don't minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevent you from appearing too dependent.

3. Walk hand in hand or side by side. Rather than one partner lagging or dragging behind the other, happy couples walk comfortably hand in hand or side by side. They know it's more important to be with their partner than to see the sights along the way.

4. Make trust and forgiveness your default mode. If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can't resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong. If you look for things your partner does wrong, you can always find something. If you look for what he or she does right, you can always find something, too. It all depends on what you want to look for. Happy couples accentuate the positive.

6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work. Our skin has a memory of "good touch" (loved), "bad touch" (abused) and "no touch" (neglected). Couples who say hello with a hug keep their skin bathed in the "good touch," which can inoculate your spirit against anonymity in the world.

7. Say "I love you" and "Have a good day" every morning. This is a great way to buy some patience and tolerance as each partner sets out each day to battle traffic jams, long lines and other annoyances.

8. Say "Good night" every night, regardless of how you feel. This tells your partner that, regardless of how upset you are with him or her, you still want to be in the relationship. It says that what you and your partner have is bigger than any single upsetting incident.

9. Do a "weather" check during the day. Call your partner at home or at work to see how his or her day is going. This is a great way to adjust expectations so that you're more in sync when you connect after work. For instance, if your partner is having an awful day, it might be unreasonable to expect him or her to be enthusiastic about something good that happened to you.

10. Be proud to be seen with your partner. Happy couples are pleased to be seen together and are often in some kind of affectionate contact -- hand on hand or hand on shoulder or knee or back of neck. They are not showing off but rather just saying that they belong with each other.1. Go to bed at the same time. Remember the beginning of your relationship, when you couldn't wait to go to bed with each other to make love? Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

June 15, 2008

Tributes To Deserving Fathers

Sometimes the reward for surfing the blogs is finding a post like this one at Cookie's Oven. This is a heavy subject for me personally. I would never attempt to describe my father to anyone but a shrink or my husband. My brother and I have been able to talk about our childhood twice as adults, trying to skim over the most painful episodes and keep the conversations on the surface.

Throughout my life I have been exceptionally interested in other peoples families, enjoying seeing them interact and tell their family stories. I have been feeding on their histories and taking some of the emotions into my being and relishing those feelings in place of my own.

When I was three and four years old, my father would supervise my early learning. He barely finished eighth grade and he only had two percent vision, so he could barely see the scratchy numbers and letters I would write on the small chalkboard while sitting on the kitchen floor. These peaceful moments were few and far between but that at least is a good memory.

The past two years I have been determined to release the negative emotions and enjoy the freedom that peace brings. Becoming part of the family I am now married into has filled the void; I am now part of a family. I am getting to "know" the man who was their father and I now understand what it is to honor a dad who takes care of his family and teaches by example how to be a husband and a productive part of the community while making time to have personal time for each of his children. So for me, I don't have a substitute dad, but by being part of this family I benefit because there is love enough for all of us. So Happy Fathers Day and for the first time I mean it and speak it joyously.

June 14, 2008

The Desk Next To Mine

Sometimes the activities at the desk next to mine in our
home office/studio are SMOKIN'!!!!
I have never known someone
who is interested in writing
and composing
and investigating
and commenting
and learning online
as much as James.

Keep those fingers flying on the keyboards and guitars!

June 13, 2008

This Is A Fun House

It's been so many years since I really liked a house I was living in, and this house is more like "playing house". It is fun to wake up and see the critters in the yard and put some food out in the back yard for them. One squirrel has befriended us and comes when called. The rabbits and other squirrels and birds all play in the yard.

This house is just the right size too. Not so big that all our time is spent keeping it clean. But big enough to accommodate two people and some friends once in awhile.

The garage is becoming a favorite place for us. We're refinishing and painting some bookcases and a large entertainment center. Then we have some chairs to recover and paint. Plenty of little projects. It's also easy to work out in the garage.

Going in and out of the back door to the garage and the back yard throughout the day is pleasant and we are figuring out how to make things more convenient and customized to our lifestyle.

The old sewing machine works great and I have been busy making curtains. I find myself stopping throughout the day and being thankful for the quiet life here and the freedom to decide what project to work on or just sit and read a book.

This morning we rode the bikes about 7 miles and then came home and made breakfast, then walked about a mile around the neighborhood.

We are enjoying the life in this house and are calling it HOME. It's not just a house anymore.

June 12, 2008

Time Flies

Retirement is awesome.

The days fly by. Each morning I think of some
things I want to accomplish and some things that
sound like fun that day. And then, Zing,
the day is over and I have done several
things but there are still so many things
I want to do.

Trying to catch some extra time is turning out to
be one of the fun exercises in the game of

June 11, 2008

Bank Your Basil

Bank Your Basil (The Food Section)

A small pot on our kitchen table is serving up fresh sweet basil regularly. The seeds took 7 days to germinate and I have been using this yummy basil in crockpots full of black eyed peas and ham hocks as well as stewpots of homemade spaghetti sauce. In fact, this basil is being used so quickly, I may plant some more.

The herb saver caught my eye as I have tried to keep herbs fresh in the frig in the past with little luck. I think it is worth the initial investment. Nothing like fresh herbs!!!

June 10, 2008

June 09, 2008


Sounds are emotional eyes.

Some sounds make me feel jittery or on edge,
like listening to a chain saw or wood chipper.
Dogs constantly barking kick the jitters up a notch.

I am privileged to share a home office that is also a studio, so I work at my computer while listening to beautiful music being composed. Since music feeds my soul, I am well fed but not full.

June 08, 2008

A Visit To The Local Library

It has been years since I visited a library. I had forgotten how easy it is to sign up for a library card and then to pick from thousands of books and check some books and DVD's and CD's out and bring them home. All I have to do is return the items by the designated date and then I get to check out some more.

My computer is so convenient for searching blogs, for finding facts, and googling for information on any subject. But to curl up with a good book I want to be sitting in a big comfy chair with my cup of coffee nearby.

Because we don't watch TV we have lots of time to read in our house. We read so many books that the local thrift stores have run out of the books that interest us.

The library is a perfect solution.

June 06, 2008

Sore All Over

The bike riding is going better. Another adjustment to the bicycle seat helped and the gel bike seat cover is supposed to arrive today.

The ride yesterday was hard though. The previous night there was a major storm in the area but the sky was pretty clear in the morning and the wind didn't seem too strong as we drove to the parking area to leave the car and start riding.

It should have been a clue to me though that we did the first 4 miles in less time than ever before. So on the return ride we were trying to ride against the wind, which had by then become stronger. Possible 45 mph winds. The wind kept trying to push me and the bike over off the bike path. I am not the strongest bike rider (yet) so I was holding on and determined to finish on the bike and not get off and walk the bike all the way back to the car.

Bugs flew into my eyes and mouth. Yuck.

Mud on me and the bike.

The feeling of accomplishment when I rode all the way back to the car was awesome even if I couldn't talk for another half hour from all the exertion. Today my shoulders and neck and back and arms are so sore from trying to brace against the wind yesterday but after I decided I would not go riding today I still felt like I had accomplished something yesterday. And today I will work out to the Qigong DVD.

June 05, 2008

Home Deliveries

We have been living in this part of the country about a month and a half now. It is so peaceful and pretty here. The mailman introduced himself and the neighbors welcomed us to the neighborhood.

Because of the long move, we did not bring all our things with us, knowing we would replace some smaller items when we got here. That being the case, we have had several UPS and FedEX and mail deliveries.

Where we used to live if there was not someone at home to sign for a delivery, the delivery person had to leave a note on your door and you had to sign the delivery ticket and request they try again. It was impossible for a package to be left at an empty house because of the problem with theft. So the theft problem caused more work and consequently cost more money for the consumers.

Where we are living now, a pleasant delivery person walks up to a front door, sets down the package and gets back in the truck and goes on delivering packages. They don't even ring the front door. This is the standard operating procedure here. And the best part is the packages are safe on the doorstep. What a concept; people here leave their hands off things that don't belong to them. Wonder if some of the natives here would be willing to teach classes in other states on Thou Shalt Not Steal!

June 04, 2008

Riding A Bike

I have heard the saying "It's just like riding a bike" when people are encouraging someone to get back up and do something again.

In my case IT IS riding a bike.

I had not ridden a bike in so many years that I did not see that as being part of my life again. When I was a young mother, I would ride with my kids and I would put the youngest one on the child bike seat with a helmet and we would ride all over. And then one afternoon I rode my bike to the local convenience store, put some glass liter bottles of sodas in my bike basket, and headed home. There was a slight incline that I did not anticipate and I fell, bottles breaking all over the gas station lot, and when I drove myself to the emergency room the next day, I was told my left elbow was broken. Bummer.

That was many years ago.

Then about 5 or 6 years ago, I slipped and fell on a misty morning and hurt my tail bone, my shoulder, broke my wrist, and broke my RIGHT elbow. Again, bummer.

A couple years ago I started riding a bike again. Trying to. Determined to. For the exercise this time. I have bought at least 5 different bike seats, and a couple different types of bike seat covers. My tail bone hurts regardless of what I sit on. When I am sitting on a couch or a soft chair, I eventually find that I have scooted down (very poor posture) because my tail bone hurts. I don't usually think much about that though because at my age lots of things hurt from time to time. There is yet another bike seat cover in the mail; this one has gel cushioning.

We rode about 8 miles today. The handlebars are now the height that fits my size best. The seat is at a good height. I am working the gears better. So all that is needed is a comfy seat.

June 03, 2008

Bad Karma With Coffeemakers

Is it just us, or are coffeemakers a problem for everyone?

Two years ago we were using a new fancy brand name coffeemaker with a timer, built-in coffee bean grinder, pause and serve feature, automatic shut off and special features we did not even use. It died. Kaput. Since we gotta have our coffee every day, we ran to the store and bought a different brand coffeemaker with less fancy features but still auto shut off and pause and serve. Since we are usually in a hurry to drink that first cup of coffee, we thought we should have the pause and serve feature at a minimum.

Three days ago (Surprise, the coffeemaker died) we drove to Best Buy and purchased our third coffeemaker in two years. No extra features. It is either on or off. Period. The first two days it worked fine and by last night the evening decaf ritual was tainted by a nasty surprise of coffee grounds in the coffee. This morning's pot of coffee overflowed all over the counter. Since this is only three days old, we are NOT going to return it but rather we are going to make some adjustments. A couple things have now been removed and now there is no springy thing under the basket. No fuss, no muss. Nothing to clog. There is just a hole in the basket and the coffee goes from the filter into the pot. Whew.

Maybe we have moved past the coffeemaker dilemma and can move on to the office printer sleep mystery. That's another story.