Tuesday, November 30, 2010

30 days

Thirty days ago I committed to blogging every day for the month of November. There were days I didn't think I would make it -- squeaking by with a post shortly before midnight, just writing a few words or sharing a link. I've struggled with how much to reveal and setting a tone, but all and all I'm glad I did it. I haven't decided if I will continue the trend in December, but I do plan to post more often. Maybe I will share some of my struggles. I've been working on a post about my favorite Christmas that I just recently found out a family member considers his worst. I definitely want to continue working on my Life Unchained list. So I'm sure there will blogging. How much? That's any one's guess.

Monday, November 29, 2010


I just noticed my receipt from the doctor's office says I had an extensive visit. I waited for an hour, saw her for less than 10 minutes and had blood drawn. Her definition of "extensive" must be different than mine.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Time continuum

It's amazing how quickly the time passes on the way to take B back and how slow it moves on the way back.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food for thought

I stumbled across a link on a blog to this article on introverts. I wish I had bookmarked the blog because a lot of it resonated with me and I haven't been able to find it again. I sometimes wish I was an extrovert. It seems like an easier life if you enjoy interaction and self-promotion. I think introverts can be shafted at work and life in general because we don't put a happy face on things. Style triumphs over substance so many times.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I refrained from any shopping on Thanksgiving, but we did make a short mall run today. It was way too crowded for the family of introverts. The guys did a little tool shopping and we walked maybe a quarter of the mall. It's been a peaceful couple of days and I am hoping the trend continues for the next couple. Big changes at work are starting next week, and that always makes me a little nervous. In an effort not to get dooced, I don't know how much I'll say about it.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

As God is my witness

The last few years I have started a new tradition. While I'm cooking I watch one of my favorite episodes of one of my childhood favorite sitcoms.

"As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving. Have a safe and blessed holiday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I'm making the cornbread tonight for the dressing tomorrow. Many of my family traditions have fell by the wayside, but this is a must for Thanksgiving. No other dressing can compare to the way my grandmother made it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I can't believe I nearly missed a day this far into NaBloPoMo. It's been a busy week trying to get ready for the holidays at home and at work. Why does work have to double so you can get days off? It's never made much sense to me. I've been thinking a lot about traditions and family, in part because of recent events and in part because this house used to be so full at the holidays. I may work it into a post for a day when I have more time. Just got to keep moving forward. That's all I can do.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I can dream

If I every get independently wealthy, I am going to pay to have my groceries delivered. Today's shopping did not put me in the holiday spirit.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Short week

I'm looking forward to two four-day workweeks in a row, but first there is a lot to do. Crossed two things off my list this weekend. It felt good, so I'm going to push for another few before B arrives Tuesday and the Thanksgiving feast on Thursday. With big changes in the works at the office, I'd like to have my home life a little more orderly.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting ready

Cleaning out the refrigerator in preparation for the Thanksgiving feast has unveiled some self-truths.
1- We eat out way too much. I basically just threw money in the trash because we didn't eat what I bought.
2- I am desperately out of shape. Cleaning the refrigerator should not make one sweat.
3- I takes me longer to think about doing housework than it does to just do it. I need to get with the program.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Guilty pleasures

Slowing my roll with a new Kid Rock CD and facebook games while waiting for our steaks to be delivered. I've been thinking of something profound to say all day and it just isn't happening, so I'm just going to enjoy a few guilty pleasures.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On the lighter side: the feast

I have looked at literally a hundred or more Thanksgiving recipes in the last few weeks while building Food and Life & Times pages and here are my conclusions.

1- Stuffing or dressing: Dressing, cornbread. Any other kind is pointless.
2- I like vanilla and I love pepper, but I am never going to try that recipe for vanilla pepper turkey. That sounds vile.
3- Keep it simple. Green beans do not require 10 other ingredients.
4- Marshmallows do not belong on vegetables. Sweet potatoes are sweet enough, hence the name.
5- Nobody makes pecan pie like my great grandmother. Her recipe is the best. It is unnecessary to try to change it by adding chocolate or turning it upside down.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Small pieces

One of these days I'm going to figure out how to make everyone happy, but for now I'm going to worry about making me and a select few a little more happy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's an amazing universe

NASA's Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole I love that NASA offers so many gorgeous pictures of wonderful things. Sometimes I look through its gallery just to feel small and insignificant. It puts things in perspective.
Photo credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/D.Patnaude et al, Optical: ESO/VLT, Infrared: NASA/JPL/Caltech

Monday, November 15, 2010

I know how it feels

The pushmi-pullyu (pronounced "push-me-pull-you") is an "gazelle-unicorn cross" which has two heads (one of each) at opposite ends of its body. When it tries to move, both heads try to go in opposite directions. Dr. Dolittle meets it on his voyage to Africa to save monkeys. (See: The Story of Doctor Dolittle) Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, November 14, 2010


I'm not the conductor or the engineer, I'm just along for the ride.
Inspiration via Mom

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Less is more

Some days I would just like to trade all this drama in on some comedy or maybe even a good mystery.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Off kilter

Being sick is one of my least favorite things. Being sick on my days off is even worse. So only a few things for my Life Unchained list. Then another aspirin and back to bed.
20- Spin yarn.
21- Conquer a fear.
22- Learn to roller skate.
23- Take a trip by train.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

War and the written word

War made me. No, I'm not a veteran. But if it weren't for World War II and a handwritten letter I wouldn't be who I am. How does a young man from the dusty desert of West Texas met a young woman from Michigan's Great Lakes Bay region? Written on the camp's gold embossed stationery and dated in August of 1943:
Dear Miss Shirley,
Louis Sylvester told me about you so I thought I might write to you. I hope you don't mind.

She didn't.
They began to write back and forth. Beautiful letters that go from Miss Shirley to Shirley Darling. After he returned home from Europe, they got married and moved to Texas to start a family. They had three sons, the eldest would become a war veteran himself. That son would elope to Mexico with young redheaded woman before he shipped out to Vietnam. His daughter was born while he was in Southeast Asia. He came home when she was nine months old and they have been trying to make up for lost time ever since.

So I guess you could say two wars made me. I not only owe my freedom to veterans, I owe my life to two of them. My grandparents' love started with a letter. That love grounded me and gave me a touchstone in my life. I miss them everyday.

So this Veterans Day, thank a veteran and don't forget their loved ones either. It isn't easy being the loved one of someone serving their country. It takes great strength to serve and great strength to share the sacrifices of one who serves.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A passage

I've been trying to read more. I love to books, but I seem to put them on the back-burner a lot lately. So today I was getting in a few minutes of reading while waiting and this passage from Anne Rice's "Angel Time" really spoke to me for some reason.
"But in every family there are bad people, and weak people, and some people who can't or won't withstand the trials of life, and who fail spectacularly."

I don't think I'm a bad person, but perhaps I am a weak one. I'm definitely one who tries to avoid trials. It's something I need to work because I don't want to fail spectacularly.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life unchained: this list continues

So I woke up today stumped for a post. I'm working on a really good one (I hope) for Veterans Day and I'll have more time to come up something tomorrow. So for today, just additions to my Life Unchained list, again special thanks to Mighty Girl for the inspiration.

10- Swim with dolphins.
11- Visit the Smithsonian.
12- See a bear in Alaska.
13- Get to visit a specific relative face-to-face.
14- Volunteer my time for a cause I believe in.
15- Have one room in my house just the way I want it.
16- Help someone anonymously.
17- Knit a pair of socks.
18- Paint a picture.
19- See a Broadway show in New York.

You didn't really think I was going to end with an even number, did you?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Time change and life unchained

Daylight savings time has never really made sense to me. The idea that we can trick ourselves into using daylight seems a waste of time, but on a positive note it did get me up an hour earlier. Two loads of laundry are done, the dogs are fed and water has been added to the fish tank. Oh, and I've had more time to kill on facebook and surfing the Net.

I figured today would be a good day to start my Life Unchained list inspired by Maggie Mason's Mighty Life List. In the spirit of her list, I will have some simple things and some major items. One slight difference is she has 100 items, I will have 99. It's one of my eccentricities that I prefer odd numbers, especially nines. So I will announce the first nine today and keep adding as the ideas occur. Also it's just random order not order of importance. Notice I said eccentricities, not quirks or crazy. That's the beauty of being from the South. Obsessive compulsive much, why yes, why do ask?

My Life Unchained List (aka the bucket list)
1- Take B fishing at the coast where my grandparents took me.
2- Get a passport.
3- Travel to Ireland and kiss the Blarney Stone.
4- Make blackberry jam.
5- Go sailing.
6- Write a novel.
7- Get a freelance job.
8- Learn to fry chicken like my grandmother.
9- Publish a poem.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And so it goes

As we were standing in line purchasing our shiny new BlackBerry phones, he says "I bet it will be cheaper tomorrow." The agent reassured us we were getting an extra discount and waived activation fees, so I was pretty pleased. Today I open the paper to see an ad that offers them $50 cheaper and in three new colors.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


It's been the best kind of Saturday, relaxed and drama-free. I splurged a little on a new phone and new bedding. Bonuses are a good thing. I'm kicking around some post ideas for next week -- some serious and some fun. I've been inspired by Mighty Girl's Mighty Life List. It's similar to a bucket list and I plan to call mine the "Life Unchained List" to match my freelance company name. It might even make a good blog title, but I'm kind of attached to this old thing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Five for Friday

Since the larger posts I am working on haven't come to fruition yet, here are five random thoughts for Friday and Day 5 of NaBloPoMo.

1- I'm not sure how I got here from there.

2- Why I have I formed more attachments to stuff than I have to people? Now the stuff smothers me and makes it hard to let people in. What do I do to fix that?

3- Why can't most people talk about politics or religion in a civil manner? Even though I enjoy exploring both, I have had to avoid conversations all week to stay out of the vicious fray.

4- I'm very organized at work, yet very disorganized at home. I need to find a balance.

5- Friday is my favorite day of the week. It's my day to recharge, but I need to find ways to make it more productive without adding more stress.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The nanny state or scapegoats r us

Have you seen this? Law curbs Happy Meal toys. Instead of blaming a lack or activity or too much food for childhood obesity, San Francisco is blaming the toy in the box. I'm all for healthier choices but this kind of mandate is just another example of people refusing to take responsibility. An occasional kid's meal with a toy is not going to make a kid fat. I've had a weight problem all my life and most of my childhood was spent in a town that didn't even have a McDonald's until I was in high school. If I had to relate my weight problem to anything it would be that I preferred books to sports. Should I blame authors and publishers for my health issues? If it's your problem, own it. I say playing the blame game is a waste of time and counterproductive to fixing any problem.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Muddled thoughts

Here I am at Day 3 with hundreds of topics in my head that I can't get to the page. Wandering is what I seem to spend a lot of time doing. My mind wanders to frivolous things, my body wanders through life. I can focus on the minute details, but the big picture eludes me. I thought I'd have my shit together by this age.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


In an effort to get back to writing, I have committed to posting every day this month through National Blog Posting Month. I expect to write a lot of crap just because of the volume, but may be in the process also come up with something clever, funny or insightful. The goal is to find my voice again. I know it's in here somewhere.

Monday, November 1, 2010

From the inbox

Apparently I have a previously unknown child who likes to skip classes a few times a week at Flowery Branch High School in Georgia. Matthew, please go to school. You might need that knowledge later in life. And while you are there, please give the attendance secretary your mother's real e-mail address. Thanks so much.