Monday, October 29, 2007
We are going to Guntersville, AL. tomorrow (Tuesday) through Friday and staying in a 6 bedroom home on the water there! (not exactly roughing it!?!).
Sharon invited the group, found the house online and rented it sight unseen.... so we are hoping for the best! It looks wonderful in the pictures....and the weather for the rest of the week is going to be heavenly.
But, in the meantime, getting all of this "together" has been as formidable as trying to create a world peace summit. : )
So many decisions.....What to wear?.... what food to bring?.... what games?....hairdryers?...make up?....shoes?.....reading materials?......how much wine?......where and when to eat out?....how many cars to take? ...who's driving with whom?....etc. etc. I have to laugh as we go through this routine every time we leave town.
Men would be so different....pack some underwear, sweats, and beer, and they'd be ready to go!
But, I wouldn't have it any other way...it is part of the wonderful rhythm of female friendships...and I so cherish these wonderfully incredible women that I call my dear friends...
Tomorrow cannot get here soon enough....
P.S. Happy Halloween....and don't eat too much of your candy!!!!!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
To me it shows great courage on the part of this little flower to hang onto a little more summer, basking in the sunlight, and showing its lovely face for all to enjoy.
Bravo. : )
Saturday, October 27, 2007
This book represents so much of what goes on in one's life...a microcosm of sorts.
In a strange way, it tells me where I have been and gives clues as to where I am going.
Each page holds the names, addresses, and phone numbers of those who have been/are a significant part of my life. So many of the names hold stories of my past and I smile as I read through some of them. I have sadly lost touch with many of the people listed through the years. I guess that I leave them in there..."just in case".
I also feel a sense of loss as I see so many names of people who have passed away through the years...I do not want to "x" them out. I like to hold their memory on these pages. It is almost as though they are still around if I don't remove them from "the book".
There are little scraps of paper tucked into the well-worn pages. Some return- address labels have been scotch taped in. These hold new addresses of people who have come into my life more recently. I haven't made the time to put them in permanently, but I will....eventually.
There are also scratched out names for the people who have moved...and their new addresses are printed on other pages. Some people have remained at the same address for over 20 years or more....some have moved several times in that same amount of time...I have their history right before me.
There are couples who are no longer "Mr. and Mrs."and now appear as separate listings....there are children that have grown up enough to have their own addresses listed in my book...I notice that I have many "notes" written throughout with a little extra information that I don't want to forget such as my relationship with that particular unfamiliar person...justifying my having them as part of "my book".
As I look over this old, outdated address book I keep thinking that one day I will need to purchase a brand new address book and fill it only with the most current info and names. It will be shiny and neat and updated. The newer books even have places provided for email addresses and cell phone numbers. I know that it could be a lot more organized if I did that....and I will....
Someday....but not yet.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
No matter what you want to call it...
...it's what I am today.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
I have been sitting in my downstairs
dungeon studio almost all day trying to get the last few pieces of pottery ready for a Show next Saturday and Sunday.
The only times that I got up were to eat, shower, and run over to a friend's house to see some jewelry from a wonderfully talented woman from Atlanta. I needed the break...and it was great to see some of the "Atlanta Girls" as well as the gorgeous necklaces. I didn't buy anything, but so admire her work.
Back home, I got back to work... and then decided to write a quick post before I take this weary body to bed.
Most people don't realize how much time goes into making a hand-crafted piece of pottery. It probably doesn't help that I am a stickler for details
perfection .....so that even adds more to my working hours. But, I get such a great feeling when I finish a piece and really like it. It is very satisfying.
This "traveling lady" (me) is going to be heading out again next Tuesday through Friday as I head to the mountains to celebrate a very close girlfriend's 60th birthday with the "Girlies"....more on that later....but, that is why I am having this deadline to get these last few pieces done before I leave town.
I am determined to get all of the pieces fired and glazed before Monday.
Tomorrow is going to be another l-o-n-g day....so on that note I will say, "good night"!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
I had so much fun, but...
...I lost. : (
(Not to worry....I didn't lose a lot...I don't bring enough to cause me any real distress...but, I must be honest, it does feel a whole lot better to come home ahead!)
I'm still blaming the "Mercury retrograde".
Strange things continue to occur all around me. I can't wait until the 1st of November when this particular period is said to end.
So, back to the trip...We had a great time....there were a variety of new penny and nickel slot machines sitting there just calling our names. But, the rolls just weren't going my way this time.
Of course, being the optimist that I
am try to be....my accountant will be glad to have some losses to offset my past jackpot winnings.
Good rationalization, huh!?!?
The most fascinating thing about going gambling is the "people watching" part. Going to Philadelphia, Mississippi is one of the most eclectic grouping of people that you will ever see. It's amazing. And, we are all there chasing this
ridiculous wonderful dream of winning our riches....ha! What a commonality!
Since the "Gambling Girls" always get our meals and rooms "comped" ("free" for those of you who don't know gambling lingo!), we always get our own individual rooms which is so nice and luxurious!
The first night we ate at a wonderful restaurant called "Phillip M". It is almost laughable in that we are so predictable....Carol and her Mom get the petite filet of beef...and, I always get the seafood platter. Mine is a combination of salmon, shrimp, the "fish of the day", scallops and tuna all grilled to perfection. Very yummy. At the end of the meal each lady is presented with a single fresh red rose and an incredible chocolate...which, of course, we all snarfed down even though minutes before we had said that we "couldn't possibly eat another thing"! There is always room for a little chocolate...
I adore the buffets....and had lunch there on Monday. You can fill your plate with every little thing that your heart desires....and then go back for more. **groan** I ate so much that I couldn't even eat dinner that evening! One finds themself putting things on the plate that you never would have eaten in normal circumstances. It is such a temptation!
These getaways are so therapeutic for us all....we laugh....we share stories of our wins and, in my case, losses....and, just generally have a great time. Time stands still and we don't think about anything going on back home at all for the 2 and 1/2 days that we are away...
I'm sure that we will go back in six months or so for another "fix"...but, this time I will make sure that we do not go during the next "Mercury retrograde" period!!!!
I'm not taking any chances. : )
Saturday, October 20, 2007
But, we didn't listen.
After all, the game didn't start until 11:30 and we were going to hit the road at 8:15 a.m.
Boy, were we wrong.
I couldn't believe it. 8:15 in the morning and the traffic heading towards Tuscaloosa was already bumper to bumper. What were these people thinking?
The majority of the cars had their Alabama (or for a few brave souls, Tennessee) flags flapping in the wind, hanging from their car windows. The way that they were driving, it seemed obvious that the "celebrating" had already begun!
I almost did my University of Florida "gator" sign....but, decided against it at the last minute.
So, here we were, three girls en route to the "Kentuck Art Show" right in the vicinity of Tuscaloosa, Al. or "Roll Tide Country"!
What should have been less than a 45 minute drive turned out to be over an hour and a half.
The Art Show was great and we enjoyed browsing through each artist's booth. None of us bought anything with the exception of kettle corn!! You haven't lived until you have had homemade kettle corn. It is popped in a huge kettle right before your eyes and it comes out a little sweet and a little salty. Mmmmmmm.
I said that I was buying the large bag for Dave...and that was my intention....but after a while, it became more like a small bag. I figured that he wouldn't know the difference as I carried the remains home to him.
The driving saga wasn't over as we headed back to Bham. There were "detour" signs all over and we just kept on following them to get back out to the expressway. Well, several wrong decisions later and we found ourselves getting a "tour" of the areas farms as well as having to pay a toll at one point. We weren't sure exactly what this toll was for...but we paid it and went on our way.
Miles later we still hadn't found the expressway. Obviously, this wasn't the right way to go.The good news: we did finally make it home. The bad news: I ate more of the Kettle corn.
All I could think about was: "Is the Mercury retrograde still haunting me??? "
I will find out tomorrow as I head to the casino with my friend and her mom to seek our riches....
...back Tuesday. : )
Friday, October 19, 2007
Many of my friends have been having strange and somewhat disconcerting things happening in their lives lately....
Yesterday I couldn't seem to do anything right the first time and was quite frustrated with myself. The topper was when I headed to the drugstore to fill a prescription....got out of my car....and realized that my keys were locked inside.
A friend of mine said that her new car all of a sudden wouldn't start as she was trying to get to work to open up the store. And, then later on that evening her flight out of town was suddenly cancelled.
Another friend was supposed to meet a business associate for lunch and ended up going to the wrong place in another part of town and missed her appointment.
I could go on and on and while things like this can happen to anyone anytime...there just happen to be an overabundance of mishaps lately.
But, I think that I now have somewhat of an explanation...?
I was told by a friend that we are now in a stage called the "Mercury retrograde". This situation happens 3 times a year and lasts for about 3 weeks. This one is from October 12 through November 1.
Here is some information that I have gotten off of the Internet about this phenomenon:
"This is an important period, and we should be aware of the effects associated with this astrological influence. Since it is so often, we must learn what it means and how to take advantage of it.
There is no real backwards movement of Mercury; it's just that we see it this way from Earth, because of the combined movement of the Earth and Mercury around the Sun. However, astrologically this is very relevant.
Mercury rules over the mind's processes, studying, communication, businesses, travels and the like. When Mercury reverses its direction, all these areas are affected as well.
The mind turns naturally inwards and people tend to analyze more of their own thoughts and follow the common thinking patterns, rather then be curious and eager for new intellectual experiences or challenges. This helps the meditation or the thorough lonely long-term study of a specific matter, but it affects the study of new subjects, the communication with the others, the attention oriented outwards.
Businesses, travels and communications tend to experience delays and different problems. Computers and other processes that work with information may experience crashes, unexpected failures.
Don't enroll in courses, don't buy expensive Mercurian items (books, cars, mobile phones etc.), don't sign important contracts and do not marry.
What is this Mercury retrograde period good for?
It is definitely a very good period for some actions. No time is completely bad for anything, there is a reason in everything happens.
The key is the reversed direction of movement: take any known Mercurian action, reverse its flow, consider the keywords "re-doing something", "double-checking", "finish the old projects" and there you are, you've found the good side of Mercury retrograde.
For instance, you may want to read again a book you particularly liked, a subject you studied before, meet and discuss with old friends you haven't met for a long time, travel to places you've already been to before.
This is an excellent time to work on old projects that never got to be finished. So, think about the things you started and never finalized.
Next, you might wish to prevent any bad things to happen to you: so double-check your agenda, call your business partners to confirm that everything goes as planned, have everything ready before the deadline and leave some extra time for unexpected events. Make copies of your important files and documents, save your work more often.
The other solution is to go on vacation or at least slow down the pace of your projects. You will find that going slowly during the Mercury retrograde period will spare you many efforts of redoing the same action that wasn't performed right the first time.
Above all, be generous and compassionate: you are already aware about the influence of this period, but the others aren't aware of it or there may be uncontrollable events. That's why you should have more diligence with the others and give them some more time. It'll be your mental health that you'll be sparing actually. "
Not to worry, the next one isn't until January 28-February 19 in 2008....... : O
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Man Wins $2.98 Million on Nickel Slots AP Posted: 2007-10-16 21:26:44 FORMAN, N.D. (Oct. 16) - Orville Erickson could hardly believe it but his wife, Dorothea, says she "just had a feeling" it might be a lucky weekend. Orville Erickson hit a $2.98 million jackpot on a nickel slot machine Saturday at the Dakota Magic Casino near Hankinson. Slots manager Darrell Mireau said it was the largest jackpot in the casino's 11-year history. "I still can't hardly believe it," Orville Erickson, 63, said Monday from the couple's farm a mile north of Forman.
Why, you might ask, is this story of such interest to me?
Well, those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that I love to play slot machines...especially the nickel ones!
This Sunday-Tuesday, the "Gambling Girls" will be at it again as we head to Philadelphia, Mississippi to try our luck at winning big!
We have such a great time getting away and entering the crazy world of ringing bells and clinking coins. Of course, I never take more than I am willing to lose and gamble very conservatively. We get our rooms and meals comped so the only expenditure is what we put in those machines. Such fun!The last time that I was there I actually hit a "mini" jackpot on a nickel slot machine and came away with $1250.
Can I do it again?
Stay tuned!!!! : )
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Do I believe in fate, destiny, predetermination, B'sherit, karma, kismet....or whatever you want to call it?
I used to struggle with the concept: "It was meant to be" or "Things happen for a reason".
How could something be meant to be when its consequences weren't pleasant or good? Was my divorce "meant to be"? When a loved one dies, was that "meant to be"? Are wars and suffering "happening for a reason"?
This question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no as it is way too complex....especially on a world-wide scale.
So, I am going to break it down to believing in fate as it relates to me on a personal level while keeping away from any religious beliefs and just speaking on an individual emotional and spiritual level.
I do believe that in my life things have happened "for a reason". Many of the lessons that I have learned that have made me a better and happier person in the long run were a result of events (some good-some not so good) that have occurred to me in my lifetime.
Certain people have come into my life unexpectedly who I later realized had a huge impact on my being. The purpose in that acquaintance made itself known much later on. In the same way, certain events have occurred that made me change my course and later turned out to be for the better.
Even after an earth shattering mid-life divorce, I have come to realize that it was probably "meant to be" in that I was on a path that was not bringing me happiness. I had actually "lost" myself and some of my inner joy and the divorce allowed me to "find" the real me once again.
The fact that the graphic design class I wanted to take was filled 20 or so years ago and I signed up for an available pottery class in the interim was fate. After taking the same class for three full sessions in a row I found my passion: clay. Now, I am a studio potter doing what I love as I create hand crafted items and sell them locally. Graphic design began changing right after that time as more and more companies were using computerized graphics and individual artists weren't as necessary as they had been.
I do believe that we are sometimes given choices and are able to step in when fate comes our way. We can either choose to follow our instincts and take a chance...or not. So, maybe fate and personal actions are really the combination that affects our future?
Fate or luck? Coincidence or good fortune? Risk taking or being cautious? I still can't really give a definitive answer to so many of those questions, but I do know that fate has molded me into the person that I am today in so many ways.
How about you?
Monday, October 15, 2007
"God may have created Man before Woman---But, there's always a rough draft before the masterpiece."
I love that quote....and it is so true! As the catalog where I copied that from said: "Perfection takes practice, even for a divine power!"
Now, I am not saying the women are perfect
even though we are....but what is it with men? They are such strange creatures! A study in "complicated simplicity"...that is how I would describe them.
Just saying that we operate differently is such an understatement...we are wired in totally contrasting ways.
It amazes me sometimes how Dave and I can read or observe the same exact thing and, yet, see it in two completely distinct ways.
When women get together there is this immediate understanding and sisterhood that develops as we speak. We get it. That's all there is to it. We understand each other. As women communicate words like, "Exactly!", "I feel the same way!", "You are so right!" are spoken back. We are each other's most captive audience. It is so cathartic to express one's feelings to another female....but......
Men want to "fix" things" quickly...get to the bottom line.....move on....get over it....and we hear things from them like: "What are you talking about?", "HUH?"...."Are we finished with this conversation yet?", "I don't get it"and the ever famous: "Do we have to discuss this again? I thought that we already talked about this...".
Women want to discuss and analyze things for a while. In fact we thrive on having those deep, emotional conversations. Ah, it is so heavenly. That's why I love my "girlie trips"....and, in fact, I have two coming up in the next two weeks. Stay tuned!
To a man, "can we talk?" is like a kiss of death statement. Dave's eyes glaze over and he gets this pained look on his face as he says: "Yes, dear?".
I am thinking as I am talking to him that great pearls of wisdom are dripping from my lips...he half smiles and tries to look interested....but the reality is that he is actually half watching the television over my shoulder and hardly listening to me as his attention is diverted to the latest football scores. Ladies, can you imagine that?!
Now, I am certainly not saying that I don't enjoy the company of men. I absolutely do....I just wish that they could be more like us!!!!
Well, as I end this little soliloquy (?), here is one more quote that I am lifting from this catalog (http://www.femailcreations.com/):
"If it has tires or testicles it's going to give you trouble.": ) Have a nice day.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle..."
There is so much wisdom in that simple quote by Plato.
I don't know if it is just my age or what, but it seems lately as if there is so much suffering going on all around me to people that I love.
As I am writing this Jenny and Adam have flown to St. Louis to spend some time with her aunt (Jenny's father's sister) who is dealing with her metastasized lung cancer. She was diagnosed less than a year ago and today this insidious disease has taken over her whole sixty-eight year old body. They are keeping her as comfortable as they can as she lies in her hospital bed...but the prognosis is grim.
It feels, unfortunately, exactly like what Dave just experienced with his sister....seemingly good health, the horrifying diagnosis, the chemo that sadly does not shrink the tumors, the intense pain as the cancer spreads, the jaundice as the liver is shutting down...
I am so sad for Jenny's entire family and all of the people who love this woman so dearly. She has wonderful children and grandchildren....and, I know that it is such a difficult and surreal time for them.
While it is so difficult to deal with all of this, I have to keep reminding myself that this is the reality of Life. There can be so much sadness all around you...but there is also so much to be grateful for. One has to try and keep their focus on the joys when they come our way...and appreciate them...embrace them....and feel them fully.
Keeping one's faith becomes so tested in times like this...and so many questions come to mind...the biggest one just being: "Why?"...
The inconsistencies as to why good people can end up suffering, while those who have done bad things go on to live continue to plague me. I want to understand, but I am not sure that I ever will.
I guess that each should never take anything for granted--especially, our health. We must make every effort to take care of ourselves as best as we can.
We are so fortunate to be living in a time when great medical strides are being made every day. Take advantage of those tests that are available before something occurs. Don't continue to "put it off" until another day! Be an advocate for your own well-being.
..And, most of all be compassionate with others knowing that many of them are carrying around their own battles inside..."Smile at strangers--you never know where angels may be..."
Thursday, October 11, 2007
It was a fabulous performance with incredible scenery, props, and makeup.
The gentleman who played the Phantom had a voice that went from softly angelic to powerfully demonic in his singing.
I was in tears at the end when he finally let the innocent Christine free to go to be with her true love, Raoul. This only came about as she tenderly accepted her "Angel of Music" as a man and not a monster.
On the way home I began to think about the "Phantom" in each of us. Even with his deformity and "ugliness", there was a beautiful person inside wanting to be exposed and acknowledged. He had the gift of his music to share, but no one to accept him and connect with his soul. Thus, he was imprisoned in his own mind.
People can be so judgemental at times without taking the time to really "see" the true person inside. First impressions can, unfortunately, set the tone for how we may ultimately treat each other.
Adding to that, we are now living in a world of "instant beauty" as a large percentage of our population work on their "outer" selves through plastic surgery, etc. We are all looking to slow down the aging process by tightening and plumping and enlarging and reducing and sucking and tucking whatever we can. Unfortunately, we may be producing a generation of pretty people who are lacking the authentic, inner character traits to match.
Although we are frightened by some of the Phantom's horrific antics, the musical slowly allows us to see a glimpse of the gentle soul deep inside this pained and tormented man. When it comes down to it, all he is wanting is to love and be loved.....
Those simple realities are pretty much true for all of us, aren't they?
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
We arrived there on Thursday afternoon after a seven plus hour drive from Birmingham. Unfortunately, most of our drive was in torrential rain along the way as well as in St. Simons. (everytime that I write "St. Simons I think that the "s" at the end should have an apostrophe before it....however, the name is actually "Simons" with the "s") : )
Thursday night was a "pre-party" at my friend's lovely home right on the marsh. By the time that we got there, the rain had lightened and then actually let up for a bit....so the indoor/outdoor party was not adversely affected. Two gentlemen were roasting oysters (yum!) in the backyard for the guests...and Dave and I spent a good deal of time back there enjoying this delicacy. Inside were raw oysters on the half shell, shrimp, chicken strips, and assorted other munchies for all to enjoy. The bar was a popular spot as drinks of all types were being downed and people were meeting and greeting and old friends were getting reacquainted.
It was a great beginning to a lovely weekend...
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
My dear friend's son is going to be getting married there...and it should prove to be a wonderful weekend!Everything that they have done in the past has turned out to be such fun, so I am really looking forward to celebrating with them. There will be lots of dancing, drinking and great eating I am sure...and that is the good news.
Unfortunately, it is a seven and a half hour drive from Birmingham so we will be heading out first thing in the morning in order to get there in time for the first party, Thursday night.
I have already packed some books on tape as well as some good music in preparation for the long drive. I am sure that Dave will be listening to his favorite talk radio shows so these book tapes and cd's will help to keep me occupied. He and I have very different tastes when it comes to some things--for example, his views tend to be very conservative (but he calls himself a "moderate")...while I tend to be a bit more liberal (I call myself "open-minded" ha ha). We have agreed to disagree and pretty much avoid discussions of a "political" nature if we can help it!!
They say that "opposites attract"...and tomorrow's long drive may be a good test of that.
I'll try to write from the Island if I can....
I had one (brave) boy and six (giggly) girls. (There will be one more boy next time, but he had to play in a make-up football game last night.)
I realized that thirteen year olds are seemingly much more sophisticated than we were back when...especially the girls. They each had their own color coordinated cell phone with them and they are certainly much more technologically advanced than we were then. Of course, we didn't have access to i-pods, text messaging, etc. in my day. It was all that we could do to run the record player without scratching the record! (Am I dating myself?)
I noticed that they wanted to get to the final product with their clay even though I kept emphasizing patience and care in working slowly and carefully. This, to me, is all part of their fast-moving generation where instant gratification is the norm. So, this will be a challenge to me as I attempt to teach them to explore their creativity in a well-thought out manner.
As they worked on their pinch pots and built small bowls with coils (picture is of their work), I enjoyed their teenage chatter. It brought me back to a time long, long (did I mention "l-o-n-g"?) ago....
During the class, one of the conversations led to my mentioning my age. Their was a group gasp as they said "59 years old????!! You don't look THAT OLD!"
After the shock of being "that old", I guess that I was a little flattered?
When class was over, the little boy's mom was a little late in picking him up so we had a chance to chat as I put things away. I asked him if he minded being the only boy in a class full of girls.
He had a wide grin on his freckled face as he said, "No, not really."
"There are some really cute girls in this group, aren't there" I asked.
"YEP", he said as his face turned red.
Ahhhh, I guess that some things never change... : )
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
"Nude gardener sows seeds of discontent around neighborhood"
Those were the headlines on page two of my newspaper today right next to the story about Britney Spears having to give up custody of her sons.
It must be a slow news day today as far as important things going on in the world.
Back to the nude gardener...
So, this 56 year old
NUT CASE gentleman enjoys mowing his lawn and working in his garden totally nude.
The neighbors in this Happy Vally, Oregon, community aren't very happy about it. In fact, they are very offended. So, they have scheduled a public meeting in order to propose outlawing "nudity visible from public locations".
But, there seems to be a glitch in this proposal in that Oregon law does not "...prohibit nudity on private property unless the exposure is sexual..."
The way I see it, if he keeps this up, his thumb won't be the only body part that is green. What is this guy thinking? Why not just walk around nude inside his house when he waters his indoor plants?
I'm all for personal freedoms....but...
Hey, even Adam wore a fig leaf! : 0
Monday, October 01, 2007
When Adam was younger, he loved to
bang on play the drums.
We sensed right away that he had a pretty incredible sense of rhythm and purchased him various types of drums through the years...ending with a full drum set.
This set was downstairs in the playroom, and I can still remember feeling the floor shaking upstairs as he beat out the rhythms.
It is pretty amazing that the neighbors didn't complain back in those days...
Well, I may get my "payback" in that little Owen seems to have a propensity for playing the drums, too. Here are some recent pictures of him discovering the joys of making noise.
I'll be mailing some cotton balls to Adam and Jenny asap...