Friday, October 31, 2008

It's finally here! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

The candy marathon is almost over!! I just hope that there is enough candy left for the trick or treater's tonight as I have been devouring the little packages on a daily basis.


Well, here's to a fun and safe Halloween for all of my blogging friends...

May you get more treats than tricks tonight!


Thursday, October 30, 2008


I looked over at the clock on the nightstand.

The digital numbers were showing "4:00 A.M.". I rubbed my eyes and looked at it again...but, nothing had changed.

So, I laid there trying to get back to sleep for a while...all to no avail.

Suddenly, I heard a noise outside of my bedroom window. It sounded like someone or something was trying to get into a plastic container of sorts...and moving it around my backyard patio. After trying to ignore it for a while, I finally gave in and went downstairs to check things out.

As I turned on the outside lights, a "masked" pair of eyes looked up at me as if to say: "What???". It was a HUGE raccoon and it didn't seem bothered by my presence or the bright light or the loud knocking that I was now doing on the glass.

He continued to "work" at the container...stopping once in a while to glance my way. He was, I finally gave up and headed back upstairs...Grammie 0----Raccoon 1


Karen and I went to see "The Duchess" yesterday with some of the girlies. Keira Knightley was in it and she is a fabulous actress as well as absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. If there is an afterlife...I want to come back as her. : )


Karen brought me some wonderful gifts when she came to visit including a great-looking glass candy dish that is filled with some of those new M & M' know, the fancy ones that they have now come out with. These have a layer of dark chocolate, a layer of white chocolate...and the middle is the regular M & M milk chocolate. OH MY goodness...they are delectable. Make sure and try these out next time you are out shopping...Mmmmmm.


On a not so happy note, my dear friend Gary (Sharon's hubby) lost him mother late yesterday. She has been in a nursing home in St. Louis for the last few years and had several health issues at the end. Thankfully, Gary was able to be at her side before she passed away. Sending love and hugs to you and your family, Gar. I'm so sorry for your loss...


Mom's birthday is on Tuesday and I found a great little gift for her today. She keeps telling us that she doesn't want any more "things"...but, I think that she will like this one. It is a carrying bag that is clear and has a ribbon for handles. I am going to fill the little pockets with pictures of her great grandbabies. She can carry her knitting in it when she goes to her class at the home and do a little showing off.....


Another gorgeous fall day here in Birmingham....Karen and I had fun just running around and doing some shopping. We both agreed that it was good exercise...


: )

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Karen is here!!!!

My sister Karen surprised me and came in early for her son's Homecoming Weekend at Alabama! Her hubby is arriving Friday and they will head to Tuscaloosa on Saturday for all of the festivities.

When my "baby" sister and I get together....we get a little crazy! Luckily, we are very much, when another sister sent me some Halloween goodies... including two masks....we decided to try them out....and here are the results!

SCARY, eh?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I'm sure that you have heard of the Berlin Wall, the Wailing Wall, the Walls of Jericho, and the Great Wall of China, etc. etc....

but, one never hears mention of the "great" wall in my "Angel Wall"! : )

Through the years, I have hung up a variety of angels that I have come across (or made) and placed them along a wall in my kitchen. They are made from metal, fabric, clay and even things found outside in nature...and they all hold a special memory for me.

These angels bring me a feeling of peace whenever I view them. They somehow touch the deepest, most spiritual part of me in ways that I can't always explain. They symbolize love and friendship and goodness and freedom and joy and, most especially, hope.

However, the angel wall sometimes makes me think about all of the madness in our world today: the violence....the wars....the prejudice....the ugliness....and so on and so on....and how we are needing to bring about better understanding by breaking down the "walls" that separate and divide us...and, by finding angels amongst us to help make things right.

Oh, if it were only that easy....

"We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another." Luciano de Crescenzo

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh Me Oh "MAYA"

While working on my pottery today, my friend Sharon stopped by.

During the conversation she told me about the swimming "competition" that her granddaughter, Maya, was in down in Costa Rica (where her son and his wife live). I had her go online and show me the photos and this particular one caught my eye. I not only love how absolutely adorable Maya is, but I also found the patterned reflections in the pool to be so interesting.

I asked if she minded if I put it on my blog today.

She said that she didn't mind...., here it is. : )

...and, one more...

Maya just emanates joy, doesn't she?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's almost over?!?!?!

When did it get to be October 26? Where has the time gone? TIME...s-l-o-w d-o-w-n, please. I have so many things that I still want to accomplish...


Dave and I took advantage of the incredibly beautiful fall day today and went walking on a lovely walking path not too far from my house. Humans and dogs galore were out in large numbers! One little black and white doggy had a "jester's collar" on that was orange and black and white. It looked like he was ready for Halloween.


The great news about this year's presidential election is that it will soon be over! I am so ready for it to end. Please don't forget to vote November 4th. Every vote counts...especially yours!


With football season in full swing, Dave has become attached to his computer and the tv. Right now he is sitting downstairs wearing one of his lucky Pittsburgh Steeler's shirts and watching them play against the New York Giants. I just heard him whistling a bit, so they must be ahead! : ) (P.S. Unfortunately, they lost...)


I Skyped with Audrey today. Owen was taking a nap. Adam told me that they were already getting some frozen precipitation up there in Minnesota! Brrr. Anyway, Audrey didn't do too much....just cooed a little and kicked her legs and flailed her arms....but, it was fun seeing her just the same! What a cutie!!!! I just got a phone call from Jeffrey up in Maryland... and Celia is up so we are going to Skype in few minutes. While seeing them on webcam isn't the same as being there in person...but, it's a close second. I miss them all so.

(P.S. I got to see Celia...and, she has changed so much...she looks so much bigger and is still absolutely adorable!) : )


I was so sad to see that the beautiful,young (26 yr. old) Arkansas newscaster died yesterday after being found seriously beaten in her home. Senseless! And, Jennifer Hudson's mom and brother were found shot to death in Chicago and her nephew seemingly abducted. WHY???? I'm sorry, but I will never ever understand violence...


On a happier note....As the weather gets cooler I find myself making heartier foods. Right now I have a huge pot of chili on the stove simmering. Add a little shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream and you've got a meal! Oh, and don't forget the corn bread! Well, now I have made myself very hungry. So, I will end here. : )

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Annual "Plump Pumpkin Plundering and Piercing"!

"When witches go riding,and black cats are seen,the moon laughs and whispers,‘tis near Halloween.~Author Unknown

Get out your sharpest's pumpkin carving time again!

Dave and I have a Halloween tradition and that is to cut our pumpkins together. The first step is to purchase some nice, plump pumpkins that have some personality even before the first cut is made. Here are this year's two. I picked out the one in the back....he begrudgingly took the other one. Ah, I can feel the competition already starting! : O

Dave is very exacting when he does his pumpkin carving and comes prepared with printouts of possible designs. Below is this year's chosen printout that he is cutting ever so carefully to get it positioned on the pumpkin just right. He cuts out his "design" and then carefully tapes it to the front of the pumpkin (I hope that you novices are taking notes here! ha ha) and draws it out. I, on the other hand, just draw and carve. (I have many, many years of experience in pumpkin carving!! At this point, you might call me a "Professional Pumpkin Person"!) ha

The top is cut off and then the fun begins (sarcasm intended here!). This part involves cleaning out the messy, stringy, insides an scraping away as much of the pulp as you can so as to make the carving part easier. And, of course, we must separate the seeds for future roasting. So, as we continue to scrape out the insides I have to put in this quote with apologies to all of the good men out there...including you, Dave: : )

"Men are like pumpkins. It seems like all the good ones are either taken or they've had everything scraped out of their heads with a spoon." : )

"I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. ~Author Unknown"

As the carving continues, we both get into our more serious mode. Dave complains about the gooey insides....I pour myself a little more wine.

The finished products are now displayed...candles are put inside....and ta da! our happy pumpkins are out on the front steps ready for Halloween!


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And, of course, I have roasted the pumpkin seeds. They are really a pain to crack open and eat the tiny little seed inside....but so worth it! Mmmmm.

Happy Carving!

Friday, October 24, 2008


"Just when you think you know love, something little comes along to remind you just how Big it really is..." (quote from a painting that Sharon gave me)

(Audrey and Jenny)

(Mom and Owen toasting each other)
(Adam and Audrey taking a quick nap?)

(Jeffrey and Celia)

(Celia in my arms...)
(Owen about to devour his cupcake!)
...and, one more of Celia.

Now this is love....such blessings.

: )

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I was all prepared for my yearly eye exam today. Because I have light blue eyes, dilation pretty much stays with me for most of the day and even keeps me slightly dizzy and/or nauseous. Knowing that my eyes would be dilated and my vision distorted for a while, I tried to get some of my paperwork out of the way earlier. I was smiling over the fact that it was cloudy out and I wouldn't have to struggle with bright sunshine and those awful plastic sunglasses that they give you.

So, you can imagine my surprise when the eye dr. told me that she could use a new machine on my eyes that takes away the need for dilation! In fact, it is actually a more accurate way to test the inside of the eye...and, it can all be saved on the computer for later reference and comparison. This test would cost me an extra $39. but I think that I would have paid anything not to be dilated.

The dr. showed me the "pictures" of my eyes and explained what everything was. It looked just like a mammogram picture but you don't need to get anything squeezed!!

(The good news was that my eyes were healthy.) : )


Today is the date of Dave's late sister's birthday. She passed away a year ago this September. Special occasions always make the memories even more present than they are on a daily basis...and the day, more difficult. I've got a hug ready for you when you come over tonight, Dave...


A husband of one of my friend's had some exploratory "surgery" done on his throat area causing him to have to go on "voice rest" for a week. He is feeling fine now, but just can't talk. Last night was his usual "poker night" with the guys and I figured that he wouldn't be able to go. After all, when you play poker, you have to make calls as to what you are planning to do. "No problem", his wife told me as she laughed.... "He just made flash cards!".

The poker game must go on!


I fell in love with someone yesterday (!!).

I watched this singer on the Ellen Show and was mesmerized by his unique voice. His name is Jason Mraz and he is incredible! If you have a chance, go to his site and you can listen to a little bit of each of his songs. Or go to type in his name. One of my sons called me "Mrs. Hip" when I told him how much I liked Jason's music. Pretty cool, eh?


OK. So I went to Target to get two things....Halloween candy and Halloween cards for the grandkids. I walked out with a whole lot more...including Jason Mraz' latest CD. There is just something about that store. As I walk down the aisles, the items call out "Buy me!" "Buy me!" "Buy me!"....and, I do.


Oh, and talking about Halloween candy and the annual "Halloween Dilemma" (see earlier post called "Ramblings...")....well, I ended up buying candy that I like! So much for my willpower. I guess that I will just have to eat the leftovers when Halloween is over. Tsk. Tsk.

Maybe I'll do better next year....


I suddenly got into making butternut squash soup. I haven't ever had it before, but it seemed appealing to me on this grey, cool day. It came out so good....and it was so easy....I can't wait until dinner tonight.


Oh, and the reason that I am blogging so late today is because my cable was down for a while. That means that my phone and computer also didn't work! That's what I get for "bundling" my services I guess! aaargh.


Have yourselves a lovely evening. Dave and I will be carving our pumpkins, roasting the seeds....and eating butternut squash soup tonight. See you tomorrow!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I had to laugh....

..while reading Pickles these last few days....


You see, when Celia was born and I was in Maryland at Janet and Jeffrey's home, I couldn't help but notice that the front walkway was desperately in need of edging (note the left side of the picture).

Prior to this picture being taken, the right side grass was actually almost meeting the left side grass in the middle of the walkway. I knew that with a brand new baby this was something that they didn't have time to worry about. So, what is a mother/houseguest to do? : )

I asked my son if they had an edger or a weed whacker?

The answer was "no, not yet".

But, I didn't stop there. I rummaged around in their basement and found some little hand clippers no larger than a pair of scissors.

"Aha!" I thought, "I will just use these to trim the overgrown grass".

Easy enough, right?


Sitting on the walkway, I slowly cut my way down to the end. This was not an easy chore and took way longer than I thought that it would.

But, I had already done half of it...I couldn't leave it like that! So, I continued to work my way back up the other side.

When Janet saw what I was doing, she couldn't believe it...and, she ran to get her camera and take a picture of Celia's crazy Grammie squatting on the ground spread eagle trimming the grass with the little hand clippers. Hopefully, that picture has been destroyed...!

After a few Advil and some moaning and groaning, I finished the job.

Now, their cute little house has a trimmed walkway.... and my work here is through.....

that is.............until the next time that I visit!!

: O

(Note to Jeffrey and Janet: I'm thinking that an edger/weed whacker should be put on your holiday wish list this year!) : )



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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why blog?

"A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world." ~Author Unknown

I casually glanced at my blog "sitemeter" today and found out that since its inception, my blog has had 17,865 visitors and 26,308 page views. Wow. What an honor to know that so many people have stopped by to read this "continuing conversation" of mine.

Blogging has become so natural for me now that I don't really think about all of the reasons that I do it anymore. It is just a part of my routine...and, I love it.

But, many of my non-blogging friends are still confused astounded when they hear that I do this daily and continue to ask me "Why?".

My answer is complex and simple all at the same time.

First of all, blogging has connected me with so many fabulously interesting and thought-provoking people. In our little "blogworld" we are safe to share a part of ourselves without fear of being judged. And, as a bonus, we all become friends...unique friends who follow each other's lives daily....We get concerned when one of "us" is not well, we mourn our losses together....and we cheer and applaud when something special occurs in one of our lives. Or, we just read the posts and smile at each other's "wisdoms".

As a grandma I can post a myriad of pictures of my grandkids without shame. And, I delight in seeing the photos of other blogger's families as well. We can literally watch our children and grandchildren "grow up" online. Having this "extended family" is wonderful!

I also find it so cathartic to express myself this way. It is a modern day diary for me. I can talk about my past, my joys, my concerns, my quirks and other silly habits, my family, my life...knowing that someone out there is feeling some of the very same feelings and can understand...and, maybe even grow from my experiences...I know that I do from theirs.

Blogging doesn't discriminate...anyone can participate. We all have so much to learn from each other and I love that aspect of it. We may have different views on things, but we respect each other's right to voice their own opinion.

In a way, being a part of the blogging community has opened my mind while making this vast world seem smaller and more intimate. I know that I genuinely care about each and every person whose posts I read and who comment on mine. We are connected. We hug each other with our words. With all of the craziness out there, isn't it nice to know that we have each other?

I have this "dream" about all of the people who I have gotten to know through blogging getting together some day and meeting in person....

Wouldn't that be fun?! : )


Monday, October 20, 2008


"Autumn carries more gold in its hand than all the other seasons." Jim Bishop

...still waiting for the leaves to change color here in the Deep South, but autumn is certainly in the air! I just got back from my morning walk and it was so invigorating out there. Having grown up in South Florida where the seasons are pretty much all the same, I have a real appreciation for the changes that I experience here in Alabama. Moderate, but changes nonetheless. I do love this time of the year!


I am trying to do my part for the earth by using my own cloth bags when I go to the grocery store. The only problem is that I usually forget to take them in with me when I go shopping. So much for helping the environment...Maybe I should hang them on my rear view mirror!?!


Dave made a beer can chicken last night and it was delicious. If you aren't familiar with this method of basically "sit" the chicken on an opened can of beer and then slowly cook it. The idea is that the beer steams inside of the chicken making for juicy, tender meat. I figure that it is a "win-win" situation in that the meal comes out great...and the chicken goes down happily. *hic*


I noticed that Eva Longoria was wearing a familiar-looking bright colored top last night on the show. I realized that I have the same top! But, it looked a whole lot better on her.


I have cleaned out and packed away my hummingbird feeders until they return next year. I miss seeing those little beauties....but, hope that they are enjoying the warmth as they fly South. : )


Well, I am going to get my flu shot tomorrow afternoon. Last year my arm was sore for a whole week afterwards...hopefully that will not happen again this year. I guess that a sore arm is a whole lot easier to handle than being laid up in bed with the flu for a week or so.


I bought two pumpkins this weekend. Dave and I have our tradition of carving them together and I thought that we'd do them this week. I won't say that it is a competition to see who carves the best-looking pumpkin...but...we do try and out-do each other each year. Afterwards, I roast the seeds. Mmmmmm. Who says that Halloween is just for children?

Of course this holiday does bring about the great "candy buying dilemma" I purchase candy that I like so that I can enjoy any that is left over? Or, do I purposely buy something that I know that I won't eat if it is left? I go through this every year...and, usually end up with the candy I like. : )


Have yourself a wonderul autumn day!


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Dave and I were invited to a beautiful dinner party last night.

It was held at my dear friend's beautiful home that overlooks downtown Birmingham. It was a clear night and the view was incredible. Even though it was a bit chilly outside, tables were set up around outdoor heaters and it was so lovely. Candles and fresh flowers were everywhere. At one point, my friend came outside and wrapped a luxurious pashmina around my shoulders to keep me warm....ahhhhhh. I asked her if that was my party favor to take home. She laughed.

The food was pretty amazing...waiters walked around with large trays filled with delicious appetizers...smoked salmon and cream cheese bites with fresh dill, filo wrapped mushroom delicacies and mini crab cakes that were to die for. I sipped my wine and enjoyed every bite of the offerings.

Dinner was even more exceptional as we dined on grilled baby lobster tails (yum), beef tenderloin, Caesar salad, grilled vegetables, and a fancy mac and cheese casserole.

One would think that there wouldn't be any room for dessert after that feast, but somehow we all managed to make room for a taste of the sweets: decadent brownie squares, individual lemon meringue tarts, cookies, and chocolate covered strawberries.

It was quite an eclectic mix of people...and it was really such fun...and one of the nicest parties that I have ever been to.

When I called my friend this morning to thank her for the lovely evening, I did ask what they did with all of the leftovers...wondering if she and her hubby were enjoying lobster omelets this morning.

She sighed and said that "no, the caterers had taken all of the leftovers with them.."

What a shame!

: )

Saturday, October 18, 2008

All My (grand)Children : )

Cutie Celia at two months!!!!!
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and equal time for Owen and Audrey!

It's a bit "grainy" but so cute!
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Friday, October 17, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

This popular book is now a movie...and, it came out today.

I went with two of the Girlies to see it and it was wonderful!

Dakota Fanning is a teenager now and absolutely incredible in this film. And, how can you go wrong with Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keyes among its many stars?

It's all about mothers and daughters, family, relationships, prejudices, secrets, and the transforming power of love.

Warning: It is a tearjerker...but, worth every lump in your throat.

Go see it if you can...and, bring tissues.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"I love you a bushel and a peck..."

This cartoon in today's paper made me laugh as I thought about a future conversation that Owen and I might have.

You see, I love to sing that song to the grandkids and recently I even looked up the words to make sure that I was getting them all right.

Seeing Owen getting so grown up now and so busy learning about and discovering his own world....I am wondering if there will come a day when he will not be quite as interested in "Grammie's singing?

I'm already getting a little peek into that time when I get on the webcam (Skype) with him now. He is so into everything around him that Grammie's presence doesn't hold his interest as well right now. In fact, the other day, he discovered the button that can turn off the Skype...and, after a while of visiting with me online, he went to the button and said: "Turn off Gammie" followed by "Bye, bye Gammie". Of course, his daddy didn't allow him to shut things down...but, I realized then that my time of holding his attention was coming to a close.

I hope that he doesn't want to use that button when I am there in person!


: )

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Great Debate?

I don't know about anyone else, but sitting here listening to Obama and McCain go at it again tonight is stressing me out. Enough of this mean-spirited finger pointing and negativity already!

I have to say that Senator McCain seems to be coming across with a bit of desperation tonight...shaking his head and "snickering" at everything that his opponent has to say....and making negative comments while avoiding the real questions....he seems terribly uncomfortable to me.

On the other hand, Senator Obama seems calmer and more collected tonight while trying to stay focused on the issues....but, having to spend of his time repudiating some of the accusations that McCain is sending his way. I am feeling much more comfortable with Obama's demeanor and directness.

While I wasn't going to get into my own personal feelings about either candidate, I guess that I have just given away my choice to be the next President of the United States of America.

Senator have my confidence and my vote.

What a day!

First, the good news...

My car started this morning.

So, I was able to make my appointment to get my hair cut and colored. I look forward to catching up with Caroline, my hairdresser for many years, during these appointments. However, today she told me that she had been reading my, we didn't really have much to talk about since she knew all of my latest news. We had a good laugh about that. With my life in's all pretty much out there. I did tell her that I would mention her in my next post so she needed to be careful about what she told me today while doing my hair. Fortunately for her, I can't remember much of what we, she is safe. But, I do want to take this opportunity to say how crazy I am about her. She is a unique individual, a wonderfully talented hairdresser, and a dear friend. She performs miracles with my hair every time that I go to her. Thanks, Caroline, for all that you do.

After that appointment, things pretty much went downhill.

I went to renew my driver's license. After waiting in line for quite a while, I filled everything out, paid my money...and then had to stand in front of that dreaded blue screen and have my picture taken. This picture will be with me on my license from now until 2012. Well, I am not teasing when I tell you that it is the absolute worst picture that I have ever taken. The look on my face makes me look like I am running from the law....eyes wide open and a frightened look on my face. What a waste of makeup...

From there I went to the car repair shop to get a diagnosis on my latest car troubles. I ended up leaving there without my car as they had to order some parts that won't be in until tomorrow. With my car reaching its 10th birthday in 2009, I guess that these things are to be expected...but, I still hate to have to pay for it all.

Well, tomorrow is another day....right?

Right. : )

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to Reality....



Carol, "Mama", and I had a great time at the casino. We had two delicious (and comped!) dinners...hit all of the slot machines...didn't hit any big jackpots....but, came home relatively unscathed.....However, after two and a half days of non-stressful, non-thinking, and fun (!!) activities...I returned to find that my car (again) had a dead battery. This seems to be a recurring problem lately in that I just had a new battery put in last week after it wasn't able to keep a "died" shortly therafter...a loose terminal was discovered....charged back up...and today, deader than a doornail. I headed back down to the battery installer, they put in another new one...but, diagnosed the problem as the loose terminal again. Tomorrow I will be heading to the Jeep dealer to have the connectors replaced...and hopefully, the end of my battery issues.


I missed some of my favorite shows while out of, I have some catching up to do now that I am back. Dancing with the Stars, Desperate Housewives, Brothers and Sisters, and Mad Men are among those that I will try and view via computer. If you haven't done that yet, try's so easy to do...and, a bonus is that there aren't any commercials!!!


For some reason, I always crave chocolate when I go on a trip...and, this time was no exception. I purchased a bag of chocolate covered almonds before leaving town (I figured that almonds are healthy so that would cancel out the fat and sugar in the chocolate and sugary coating!) ...and, now, there are only three of these morsels left. Hmmm...I'll have to pump up my exercise walking a bit for the next few days.


Mom needed something to wear for "Halloween at the Home" so I packed up my homemade cavewoman outfit complete with a ceramic bone necklace that I had made...and mailed it out to her. I had the costume from Mom and Dad's Anniversary celebration last year when Dave and I dressed up like Fred and Wilma Flintstone for our skit. What a great memory that is....


Lately, I find myself constantly wearing the little bracelet that my sisters and I made when Dad was sick. It brings me so much comfort and makes me feel like my dad is with me. I hope that he enjoyed going on the little gambling jaunt with me. : )


Exhaustion is starting to hit me so I will end for today. More 'adventures' to come tomorrow, I'm sure.

Good night!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Old McDonald had a 'sharm'....sung by Owen

Meanwhile....back at the casino....

...Having a great time....winning some....losing a little....but, being very conservative. Unfortunately, I found out that my driver's license expired 12 days ago...this was discovered when I went to cash in my 'scratch card' (for the $25 that I won!!!) I had no idea....and because of that....I received no money.... : (

They are very strict about that here. I also found out that if I were to win a jackpot...I wouldn't be able to collect anything because I am without a valid id.


When the going gets tough...the tough go.... - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

I knew that it had to happen sooner or later.

My gambling friend and her mama have been asking me to go to the casino with them over and over again...and I haven't been able to join them.

So, here I sit watching the stock markets drop to all time lows...finding myself looking for new ways to save money...and worrying about the financial future for all of us...when......

...again, I was invited to go.

It was so tempting in the the three of us always have such a good time on these trips...and, I have won some pretty big jackpots in the past....and, I have finished up the pottery boxes for the upcoming commissioned event.....

BUT, I knew that I didn't have any money to possibly lose....

BUT, it would be such a great getaway from all of the stress out there lately....

So, as I anguished over this decision for a while, something interesting came in the mail. The casino had sent out coupons for free rooms, free slot money, and meal money. All one had to do was show up. I guess that the casinos are feeling the crunch too these days and are doing everything in their power to entice people to come and gamble.

So, in hopes of helping out the economy (ha ha), I have decided to do my patriotic part....

...and go!

I will be back early Tuesday with bags full of money. : )

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Customized Football Jersey -
My boys grew up in an area of Birmingham nicknamed: "The Tiny Kingdom".

Located away from the actual city, it is a community nestled amongst the beauty of the trees and rolling hills. It is aptly named "Mountain Brook" and is really an incredibly lovely area.

The local high school is known more for its brains than its brawn and boasts of its high percentage of students who go on to succeed at very good opposed to those who got athletic scholarships from excelling in sports....especially football.

So, you can imagine the excitement in the "Kingdom" as the football team is ranked number one in its division with an undefeated season so far!

Hoover, Alabama, is another area of Birmingham with many of the same attributes...however, they are also known as a football powerhouse and have ended many a season with a championship trophy in their case. They were even the subject of an MTV series last year called: "Two A-Days" which focused on their incredible football team and all of the "drama" surrounding it.

The two teams played each other last night...and, Dave and I thought that it would be fun to go and see this great rivalry play. It has been a long 24 years since Mt. Brook defeated the Hoover team in football.

It was a lovely night, with a touch of coolness in the air. The sounds of the beating drums, blaring bands and excited kids greeted us as we found our seats in the huge stadium. This was an away game for "my" team so we were a bit outnumbered as far as fans went. Because it was such a big game, it was being held at a larger venue than the high school field.

Dave and I ended up sitting at the end zone very close to the field. In fact, we were so close that the football came flying into our area every time that the extra point was kicked. Unfortunately you had to throw it back down to the field if you caught it...but, it still generated a lot of excitement and anticipation. One ball was so close to us that the gentleman in front of us actually caught it, much to Dave's disappointment. Men are such little boys, aren't they? : )

Looking around me I couldn't help but notice how very YOUNG all of the high school kids seemed. Boy, am I getting old. Part of the fun was watching these teenagers flirt and tease the boys sitting around them. It is such a wonderfully awkward time, isn't it?

Well, I wish that I could tell you that for the first time in 24 years, our little team beat the mighty Hoover team...

But, we didn't.

It was a valiant effort though as the game ended 28-21. Hopefully, it won't be another 24 years before we can be victorious again.

: )

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's finally here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so excited as I hurriedly ripped open the package that contained my copy of the Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery book.

The long-awaited release date for this publication was finally here!

The first thing that I did was go right to the table of contents to look for my story: "Breathe".

After finding it, I sat and read the entire essay from start to finish just to make sure that it was all there! Even though I have reread my entry a million times, this felt like the first time since I was actually seeing it in print.

I'm proud of what I wrote...and, I am hopeful that someone else who might be going through a divorce and a difficult time will read it and find a connection to my story. I am also hopeful that it might bring them a sense of peace, comfort, and a positive outlook for a better they see that they are not alone in their journey.

If any of that happens, I will then know that my story was a success...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

A Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur, the holiest of days in Judaism, began at sundown last night. After a day of prayer, fasting, and asking God's forgiveness, the holiday ends with a festive meal at sundown this evening.

I find this to be a time when I do my own personal introspection and prayer. To me, a person's spirituality can be expressed in many ways. Traditionally I would be in the synagogue, but, since my divorce, I have found more peace and clarity spending time sitting outside in nature with my inspirational books and my deepest thoughts.

Whatever your religious beliefs and practices, I wish you a peaceful day.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Big word for this Wednesday morning, eh?

Well, before you get too impressed, this was the word of the day emailed to me today:

Word of the Day for Wednesday, October 8, 2008

circumlocution \sir-kuhm-loh-KYOO-shuhn\, noun: The use of many words to express an idea that might be expressed by few; indirect or roundabout language.

I found it interesting that this word came up after the long-winded "town hall meeting" (turned debate) last night.

It was a war of the words again...with one big difference, though. I did feel that I learned a little bit about the positions that each are taking on health care, the environment, and the biggest (and scariest) issue: the economy.

If one could have removed the superfluous statements and digs that were made against each of the candidates as well as McCain's continual use of the words "my friends" (aaargh) might have actually been an educational evening.

In my opinion, way too much time was taken up with the candidates having to defend their position against the statements made by their opponent.

Stick to the facts, gentlemen...puleeze.

Well, before I get too wordy and give in to 'circumlocution' myself...I will end my 'rant' for today. : )

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tzedakah boxes!

As I head downstairs to my dungeon pottery studio each day I have one goal in mind lately...

Tzedakah boxes!! Tzedakah boxes!!

I have been commissioned by the local Hadassah organization to create 25 of these boxes...and I have been busily working on these for the last few months.

These will be displayed and, hopefully, sold, at the organization's annual "Tzedakah Luncheon" on November 16. A percentage of the money that I make on these will be donated to the, I am actually creating something for others to use for charity while also "giving" myself.

"Tzedakah" is a Hebrew word that is commonly translated as "charity". The actual 'root' meaning of the word is "justice" which, to me, really helps to define its meaning.

One of the tenets of Judaism is the emphasis on the religious obligation to perfom charity and philanthropic acts as an important part of living a truly spiritual life. Giving anonymous donations to unknown recipients is said to be one of the highest forms of giving. I love that.

The boxes that I am creating are basically banks to hold money to be given as charity. The first pictures above are painted boxes that have not been fired yet...while, the other two pictures are some of the finished ones. Each box is hand-built and hand-painted and one of a kind.

I am such a perfectionist when it comes to my, I spend a great deal of time creating and finishing each box. After a while, there are some days when the last thing I want to look at is another one of these boxes!

Luckily, today is not one of those, it is back down to the dungeon for me to get my hands in the clay and start creating!!! : )

Monday, October 06, 2008


"The parents exist to teach the child, but also they must learn what the child has to teach them; and the child has a great deal to teach them." Arnold Bennett

While in Atlanta, Owen and Adam spent a bit of time just sitting and watching the birds that were hanging around outside of Aunt Marsha's condo. Mom Jenny joined in and the three of them enjoyed "nature's show"!

To Owen, this was even better than he observed the birds swooping down to the many feeders outside the window....eating some seeds...and then flying off again. He also was able to watch the hummingbirds slurp up the sweet sugar mixture in their feeders...their tiny wings fluttering in excitement!

His fascination with the world right outside of the window was such a nice lesson for all of us....(especially those of us that are multi-taskers....and, you grown-ups know who I am talking about!!). It is so important to take the time to observe the world around us...and to find the incredible beauty in nature. It can clear your mind of all of the superfluous stuff that gets in the way during the course of a day.

I challenge you to take 10 minutes out of your day today to sit and look out of your window...and watch the beauty that surrounds you right in your own backyard.

You will be fascinated.

I promise.

: )