Saturday, March 31, 2007

Buy one, get one free?

"That story is going to end up in your blog tomorrow, isn't it?

That is what my friend asked me last night as I related to her what had happened at dinner.

Flashback sometime last year as Dave and I were dining out at one of our favorite restaurants...The portions served here were quite large and when Dave realized that he couldn't finish it all he asked the waiter to please wrap it up in a 'to go' box.

No sooner had the waiter walked away from our table when a loud crash was heard as the tray of plates, including Dave's leftovers, went flying!

Of course the waiter felt terrible and told Dave that if we wouldn't mind waiting, he would have the chef prepare the same meal in its entirety and pack it up for us.

What a he turned Dave's little piece of leftover fish into a completely new dinner to be enjoyed another time.

Flash forward to last night...same restaurant...both of us enjoying our meals.

After sharing a bottle of wine, eating our salads, and munching on their wonderful bread dipped in seasoned olive oil...we were both full before we were able to finish our entree.

Remembering our last incident with leftovers, we both chuckled a bit as we asked our waiter to please wrap up both of our meals to be enjoyed at another time. He smiled and said, "no problem". As he walked away with our plates we listened for any sounds of falling dishes. No such luck this time.

Several minutes later the waiter returned to our table with the bill. At this point Dave inquired about our leftovers. The waiter looks at us dumbfounded. He said that he was so sorry, but he didn't hear our request to do that and had already disposed of our food.

Before we could say anything more, a manager came over and said that he would have the chef prepare both of our meals again and wrap them up to take home.

Walking out with our bag full of two complete dinners, a little loaf of bread, and a container of seasoned olive oil, we both left the restaurant grinning in amazement. I was smiling with the realization that I wouldn't be needing to cook anything for the next night as we watched the final four games on tv. Nice.

We can't wait to go back and dine there again and, of course, ask for our leftovers to be wrapped up! : )

And, my friend was right, this story did end up in my blog today...

Friday, March 30, 2007

"SPRING, thy name is color"

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All of this beauty that surrounds me on

my morning walk is such a wonderful way

to start my day.........

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beautiful hot pink azaleas....
...bright reds....
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...the colors are magnificent...
...all making my walk through the neighborhood so beautiful!
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BUT..........Unfortunately, along with the incredible blooms comes a tremendous amount of dusty,yellow pollen that is covering everything that is outside. Here is a neighbors car sitting out on the road collecting a layer of pollen. Not having had any rain in quite a while is worsening the situation. The forecast calls for some "possibilities" of precipitation this weekend.

I think that I will head outside and do a little rain dance...

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Pollen on my table outside....
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

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Brussel Sprouts


It used to be that the mere mention of the name of this vegetable would send me running.

However, after years of having "eat your veggies" ingrained in me, I have become less fearful of this strange, little, herbaceous globe. In fact, I believe that it is quite misunderstood.

It looks like a miniature cabbage...kind of cute....however, it also has the reputation of being quite malodorous when cooked. And, I am here to tell you that the above-mentioned notoriety is absolutely true.

That being said, after hearing of the wonderful health benefits one can derive from eating brussel sprouts, I decided to give them a chance...smell and all.

After cleaning and trimming them, I coated them in some olive oil and tossed them around with some seasonings. I then placed them on a cookie sheet and roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. They turned brownish on the outside and some of the outer leaves even had a crispness to them...but, inside they were delightfully creamy and really good!

I had some left over so I refrigerated them and saved them for the next day.

Early the next morning I had a gentleman from Hunter-Douglas blinds come over to measure my sunroom windows. He was very nice as he did what he needed to do, but seemed a bit anxious to get going afterwards. I walked him outside and went to get my morning paper. When I returned to the house, I was shocked at the horrific odor that greeted me! The brussel sprouts had left their mark from the night before...

Because I hadn't left my house that day, I hadn't really noticed it. I guess that the odors become less obvious after being around them for a while.

But, the poor Hunter-Douglas man had no idea what hit him.

No wonder he was in such a hurry to leave!

Next time I roast brussel sprouts, I will make sure and air out the house before letting anyone in... : 0

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sanjaya's newest "do"

Yesterday I said that I felt sorry for Sanjaya Malakar.

But, today, after watching American Idol last night, I feel very differently.

I do believe that he is going to have the last laugh on us all.

I now think that America's newest teen heartthrob, Sanjaya, is just enjoying the whole media "thing" and having a great time doing it. Kind of like a "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude!

Last night he sported a strange (!?!) mohawk hairdo that one could only call "rooster-ish". Simon mockingly said that Sanjaya must not have had "...a mirror in his dressing room". I must agree as it was truly a sight to behold.

But, he came out with that mischievous grin on his face and sang his song with renewed confidence to the screams of all of the 10-14 year old girls in the audience.

I've got to hand it to this kid, he may not have the best voice in the competition (understatement!), but he seems to have the charisma to go far.

Maybe what we all have to 'get' from Sanjaya is to not take ourselves too seriously...that's really not a bad lesson for us all to learn as we go through life's bumps.

Will he make it through another round?

Millions of us will tune in tonight to see.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


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Confessions of an American Idol fanatic...


It's Tuesday morning and I wake up with a smile on my face.

American Idol is on television tonight!

Those of you who have been following my blog know that it isn't a secret that I am a big fan of the show. After all, Birmingham's newest Chamber of Commerce slogan is: "Birmingham, Where Idols Are Born!"...and those of us who live here are quite invested in who the next Idol will be.

I love all of the drama that surrounds the show and its contestants.

However, that being said, I must comment on what has been going on with 17 year old Sanjaya Malakar. This seemingly sweet, young man has been part of a movement by the "Vote for the Worst" website and Howard Stern to keep him in the running...even though his singing voice is quite weak....and, as Randy says: "very pitchy".

I feel sorry for the kid, in that he must realize that this is going on and that he is being kept in through "sympathy" votes and not by real fans. That is not to take away from the teeny boppers who no doubt have fallen in love with this moptop character...but, to me it is hurting any integrity that the show may have had to kick out more talented singers to keep him in.

Anyway, my favorite right now is another youngster, 17 year old Jordin Sparks. Besides her incredible voice there is something so special about her....a clarity and confidence that is quite unusual for someone of that age.

I guess that we will just have to see what occurs tonight.

Oh my. I just paused to reread what I have written so far have decided that I need to get a life. Maybe tomorrow I will post something in a more intellectual vein.

But, I doubt it. : )

Have a nice day!


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Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Musings....

I am getting a late start today.

I started my day with an appointment with a new dermatologist. I was shocked when she walked in the room. She looked like she was about 16 year's old! Aren't there any doctors out there in my age range anymore??? I guess that they are all retired and living in South Florida....!

With Dave still out of town, I went to a movie and dinner with some girlfriends on Saturday. We went to see "Reign Over Me" with Adam Sandler and Don Cheadle. It is an interesting movie about one man's struggle in dealing with the loss of his entire family on Sept. 11. It is also a fascinating story of friendship as well as healing on one's own schedule. It started out slowly for me, but about a third of the way through it really grabbed hold of me and took me in.

Spring is announcing its arrival with yellow pollen everywhere. Cars are covered in it! Not having had any rain for quite a while is not helping things. I was tempted to write "ah-choo!" on one of the cars in my neighborhood just for fun. : )

The War in Iraq continues to weigh heavily on my mind. Almost 3500 fatalities since its inception. I wish that there was a way for the United States to withdraw from this unpopular conflict before more young lives are lost. The American people are speaking out....but, it seems, not being heard.

Some of my latest pottery creations (box above) express the sentiment of my own very personal feelings.

My hope is for peace, sooner, rather than later.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Like Father, Like Son

It looks like Owen is taking after his Dad.

From a very early age on, Adam was quite the "ladies man". As far back as I can remember, he always had a girlfriend that he was "sweet on".

Well, the teachers at the day care have let Adam and Jenny know that little Owen now has a girlfriend.

Her name is Ella and even though she is several weeks older than Owen, he's not letting that stop his advances.

This picture was taken at day care and shows my grandson making his move to hold Ella's hand while on the red buggy ride.

I can't quite tell from Ella's face how she feels about it all, but word on the playground is that she is an eager participant in this little romantic tryst.

Way to go, "O"! : )

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Owen and the Little Red Wagon

I bought Owen this "beginner" Radio Flyer wagon last year. It is made of heavy duty plastic and has a deep area with two seats and seat belts.

Now that Owen is able to sit up, Adam decided to take him for an inaugural ride on his wagon! With the snow pretty deep outside, the ride had to take place in their basement room.

So, Adam pulled him back and forth in the small space down in the basement...over and over and over and over again. (sorry, Adam)

Eventually, Oscar hopped in to join the ride...And Adam made the following video of the whole excursion. My favorite part is when Owen is gently holding onto the dog's tail as Oscar remains unfazed.

Make sure and turn your speakers on...the music is very fitting and fun!


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Friday, March 23, 2007 - Create custom images


"Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones." P. Brooks

Driving home from taking Dave to the airport this morning stirred some old memories for me.

For some reason I started to think about getting my driver's license many, many (many!) years ago.

Growing up in S. Florida, the age for your restricted license was, (I think) 15, and your permanent license, 16. I swear, I can still remember that thrill of getting behind the wheel and driving! It felt so empowering and grown up. My mom tried to be my "adult driver" while I had my permit, but, after almost pushing her foot through the floor on the passenger side (trying to 'brake' for me) we both recognized that I made her too anxious. So, Dad became my teacher. I recall doing a lot of empty parking lot practicing with him. He was a brave man...

I especially remember one night when I was driving with my dad and feeling kind of cocky as I sat behind the wheel. He let me drive in front of the National Guard Armory where weekend dances were held. With bunches of my friends looking on, I slowly drove past the front of the place waving with glee. To my astonishment and embarrassment, I was pulled over right in front of everyone by a policeman. I found out that I was driving the wrong way down a one way street! Pretty cool, eh?

Another situation that sticks in my mind was when I went to get my permanent license. I did fine through the driving part...but, when it came time to parallel park I was quite anxious. Even though Dad had practiced that with me, I wasn't very confident in maneuvering the car between the poles.

I was so nervous on the day of the test. When it came to the parking part, I started out okay and thought that I was easing in to the space handily......that was, until I not only hit the pole but knocked it totally over!

Needless to say, I failed the test that day. : (

(Now, I must add right here that back in those days (!!) most of the cars were very long and had these "wings" in the back where the rear lights were. My car was an old Plymouth and it was especially lengthy and seemingly unending! Got the picture?)

But, there is nothing worse than having announced to all of your friends that you were going for you license only to come back without passing it. So humiliating.

I did go back a week later and successfully parked, bringing home that prized license. : )

But, I must admit, that to this day, I still don't relish to parallel parking.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Birthday Boy!

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Happy Birthday Dave!

I'm most excited because today you are actually older than I am...that is, until September...

You are a unique person in so many ways and you keep my life interesting...that's for sure!

I wish you a very special day filled with all good things.

love and hugs

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007


"Hiss"y Fit!

It was exhausting!!

Today was Gizmo, the cat's, annual check-up appointment at the veterinarian's office.

Generally a pretty docile creature, today she hissed, kicked, growled, and scratched her way throught it all. She pretty much stayed in a constant state of agitation...

You can't blame the old gal, they examined her, poked, prodded, weighed her, drew blood, did a urinalysis, measured her blood pressure, clipped her nails, and then swabbed her in alcohol and gave her a series of shots...!

This annual check up is a necessary evil, but, of course, she doesn't understand that. As soon as I put her in her travel box--she knows something is up and begins to cry.

Since Giz is almost 18 in cat years (approximately 126 in human years!), she has to have the "Senior Wellness" exam and it's not much fun. With her failing kidneys (not unusual in older cats), the doctor said that she might make it a couple more years if we are lucky... Yikes. I can't even imagine life without Gizmo. She has been my loyal companion all these years and has seen me through good times as well as bad. Any fellow "pet lovers" out there can understand, I'm sure. So, I am not going to think about that for now. : (

As I got ready to check out at the vet's, they handed me my bill for the morning visit...WOW!

Guess who's having the "hissy fit" now! : 0

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Mid-Life Analysis through a Baby Boomer's eyes...

Now that I have accepted (kicking and screaming!?) the fact that I am in what is called "midlife", I read an article from More magazine with great interest. It was called "Getting to What's Next" by Suzanne Braun Levine, and, in my opinion, contained some great food for thought.

She says that "Restlessness-A yearning for change-comes with the midlife territory" and it can be both "...exhilarating and terrifying" depending on how you look at it.

Of course, it feels so much safer just staying put and not making any moves or changes as we age...but, is this always the best way to go? If we are brave enough, change can be liberating. But, taking that first step is always the hardest and many of us find ourselves kind of "stuck" while staying put.

By all of this, I don't mean necessarily making physical moves, like selling our homes and relocating, but attempting small, baby step moves to get ourselves out of a rut....or to help us to move on.

This can be a time of reevaluating our work, our friendships, our love relationships, our activities, our choices and, especially, our priorities. In a way, I see it as lightening our load a bit as we get older. Ms. Levine says, "We hold on to lots of junk-in our attics, in our memories, and in our hearts. Moving forward is easier if you are traveling light." I couldn't agree more....but, it isn't always easy letting go.

After going through my divorce following 31 years of marriage, I continued to see myself through the eyes of a married lady. After all, I had been in that role for more than 2/3 of my life! Making that transition to single life again in my 50's was daunting at best. I found that, in time, I was able to make peace with it all and even come through it with a sense of renewal. That is certainly not to take away from the intense pain that occurs when a marriage ends, but once you find it in your heart to recognize that you really had grown apart and needed to go your separate ways, it really can be freeing. Once I allowed myself to accept certain things, let go of any anger or regrets, accept my responsibility in it all, and truly forgive my spouse, as well as myself....I was then able to truly move on with a lightened load. The result of that is a friendship of sorts with my "wusband" (another word for ex-husband!) of many years and the ability to appreciate what we had together.

This is actually a great time of life, if you can get past some of the eventual aches and pains that may come with aging. We now have a chance to make peace with our past selves and become the person that we want to be. If we were the "social queen" before, we can now enjoy being a bit reclusive...or, we can reinvent different aspects of who we once were...and emerge with a whole new persona that is truer to what we are feeling now. How liberating!

Midlife can also be a wonderful time to learn to put ourselves first. For so many of us, much of our lives were spent taking care of others...and, happily so. But, now we can actually take care of our own needs without feeling any guilt. We certainly have earned that by now, don't you think?

And, we learn so much on this journey into our "later years". We learn that we can be alone without being lonely. Some of our past fears can be looked at dead on as we find resolution. Frantically having to get things done can be replaced with a sense of calm if we so choose. I guess that the key word here is "choices"...We now have the power to make decisions based on our learned life skills. How wonderful to hold that kind of wisdom within ourselves.

Part of this path of midlife is full of surprises....we surprise not only the people who know us, but we actually end up surprising ourselves!

The author ends the article with this:

"The restless curiosity that can be so unsettling during this transition is part of a growing imperative to sort out who you are becoming from who you have been. It is a drive for authenticity. The goal, as Judy Garland reportedly said, is to 'Always be a first-rate version of yourself, rather than a second-rate version of somebody else.' The trip begins with your first authentic, self-certified act, large or small. Your butterfly awaits."

Now, all of you fellow baby boomers....go and break out of your rut and surprise yourself!

...and, have a good day! : )

Monday, March 19, 2007

Lady Luck?

True story from yesterday:

"I'm sorry, honey, but you are going to have to get up," Dave suddenly said while playing video poker on the computer.

"Huh?" I replied to his ambiguous request.

"Ever since you sat down on the couch beside me I have lost every hand," he said.

"Oh, I see," I laughingly responded... waiting to see if he was joking.

"Really, I mean it," he again replied.

"Ooooookay," I reacted with a touch (!!) of sarcasm. "I certainly wouldn't want to bring any bad karma to your poker game." I got up and left the room making sure to take my "negative poker vibes" with me! : O

Several minutes later I heard my name being called out as he said: "OK, baby, you can come back now, I just lost the game."

"Oh?" I said feigning interest as I went about my business.


Now I know that you women out there will understand that I didn't exactly jump right back on the couch to be with him any time soon.

MEN! : )

Sunday, March 18, 2007

I could have danced all night....

What a night!

Dave and I left the house in plenty of time to get to the Country Club before the wedding began.

But, what we didn't know was that the ceremony was not first on the agenda. This was not going to be your typical wedding! As we walked into the room, people were having drinks and eating hors d'eurves including the bride and groom! She was not dressed in her gown, but instead had on a lovely black and white cocktail dress. She was relaxed and glowing as she greeted her guests...kind of nice....and certainly interesting.

This went on for quite a while as we found ourselves munching on cold shrimp, stone crab claws, cheeses, etc. The shrimp was sitting within an incredible ice sculpture....beautiful! In the meantime, the servers were offering hot hors d'eurves such as little lambchops and such...The wine was flowing as large trays of white and red wines were being brought around. In addition, there were three bars open for mixed drinks, champagne, and such....and one of those bars that is where Dave headed as he spotted the television set with the March Madness games on. He very happily settled in with a glass of scotch and watched the end of one of the games. (see picture below when I caught him in the act!) : ) After a while other basketball enthusiasts began to gather and do the same thing while the women buzzed around socializing.

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Eventually we were summoned into the large ballroom where the round tables were magnificently set with candles burning and incredibly tall (and unique!) centerpieces. As everyone finally found their way to the assigned tables, the white satin runway was rolled out and the ceremony began.

The bride had changed into her wedding gown and looked breathtaking. All went off without a hitch (no pun intended) as the young couple were pronounced "husband and wife" after a lovely service....

Suddenly, the band began to play and the dance floor beckoned. I don't know the name of this group, but they sang a lot of Motown songs and they were fabulous. I love to dance, so I was ready!! I dragged Dave out there and we did some damage. When he got tired, a group of the women danced together....such fun!

At this point we were all starting to get after some speeches were made..dinner was served!

We were ready as we made our way to the different stations where we found fresh tossed Caesar salads, rolls, haricot verte (little, skinny stringbeans), asparagus tied together with a piece of pimento, a chicken dish, potato pancakes with sour cream and caviar and (to Dave's delight...)a filet of beef carving station.

Okay, but I am saving the best for last...besides the fabulous wedding cake, there was a station set up with mouthwatering chocolates! Chocolate covered strawberries, apricots, dried bananas, delicious chocolate covered toffee bars, chocolate turtles with caramel and nuts, little bite-sized chocolate covered crushed Oreo's....etc. etc. etc. It was decadent and heavenly.

After getting back out on the floor for some more dancing, Dave and I said our 'good-byes' sometime after midnight and headed home...I went to sleep dreaming about that chocolate station....MMmmmmmm

What a lovely night.... : )

The centerpieces were elegant....this picture doesn't really do it justice. Each one was like a piece of art...
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Saturday, March 17, 2007

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Morning Musings... I sat eating my bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios this morning, (General Mills, of course, since Adam and Jenny are both employed there!) my thoughts went to the day ahead of me.

My girlfriend's black tie wedding is tonight at 7 and I am so looking forward to seeing her beautiful daughter walk down that aisle. I still remember her as a little girl....and now she is a 30 year old young woman...

I went and had my nails and toes painted a fun red color already this morning and they are looking quite festive.

Later on, I will spend way over an hour getting all "dolled up"...while Dave will take approximately 5 minutes to get his tuxedo on! Men have no idea what is involved when a woman gets dressed up for an evening out...

I also thought about the weather. From a high of nearly 80 on Wednesday, we have now dipped down into the low 40's today. Just when you thought it was safe to put those winter things away....

And, then there is "March Madness". My kids always do a family bracket challenge and this year is no different. We each sign up with our own nickname (I am "Three-point Grammie" this year!!) and put in our team choices. I started out strong...but, have quickly fallen behind. Owen even has an entry this year under the name, "Dribbling and Drooling"! It is a lot of fun and makes the games more interesting to watch. The winner gets the grand prize of "bragging rights" until next year.

I try not to get too political on my blog, but this editorial cartoon from today's paper caught my eye and I am going to post it. It pretty much sums up how I feel about this ongoing war....

Have a nice day fellow bloggers and I will have wedding details tomorrow if I'm not too bleary-eyed!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Do I look like my Daddy?

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In trying to see whether little Owen was starting to look like his Dad, I went through some albums and took out some of Adam's pictures from around the same age.

The one above is Adam... AND