Friday, July 30, 2010 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more


"The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress, is the easiest type of existence."- Norman Vincent Peale

No kidding?!?!

I had to laugh when I read my "Daily Inspiration" this morning.  I mean who has that kind of life today with all of the stresses surrounding us?

I could probably re-word that to say: "The easiest type of existence is a life where you can handle stress with a good cry and a nice glass of your favorite wine."

I try not to be stressed....but, it seems to want to follow me around.

Now that I have had several floods in my finished basement, I have decided to begin to name they do Hurricanes...

Speaking of that, we are finally dried out (the downstairs, not me) from Flood Connie.  The plumber, the air-conditioning specialist, the Sears technician, and the candle-stick maker (just thought that I'd prove that I still have a remnant of humor left in me) have all left their mark....and, their bills.

Another stress-producing thing in my life is getting packed.  OH, how I hate doing that....especially now that they have imposed that 50 pound weight limit on our luggage....not to mention paying big bucks for each bag.  I am pretty certain that a man decided that weight limit.  For a week long trip, Dave can take a pair of dress pants, a pair of shorts, khaki's, a couple of shirts, a little underwear, socks and a pair of shoes.

I am a different story.  Just my cosmetic case alone could weigh 50 pounds.  I take things that I need....AND, that I might need.....just in case I find myself stranded somewhere and there isn't a drugstore in sight.

Who am I kidding?  There is a CVS, Walgreen's, and Rite-Aid on every corner in America!

Have a harmonious day everyone....  Ohmmmmmmm.....Yeah, right.  : )

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Sure, go ahead of me'" I said to the gentleman....

As I stood in line at Sam's Club today, the woman in front of me was buying so many things that it looked like she was going into hibernation for a while. I mean, can anyone use that much toilet paper?

Well, anyway, I found myself feeling a bit impatient as the gentleman checking her out was moving v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y...However, I took a deep breath and waited for my turn.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a gentleman get behind me with only two towels that he was going to purchase. At first I tried to act like I didn't see him ( C' know that you all have done that!)....but, remembering how I have felt in that position, I told him that he could certainly go on ahead of me in the line.

So, he did.

And, I waited some more as the woman finally finished up and then the guy began to pay for his two towels.

After he was done, he walked away with a scowl on his face.

A little "thank you", a smile, a wave of his hand... any of those might have been nice......

What happened to being gracious?

If you have been reading up on things, you probably know that dark chocolate has now been deemed "good for us"! You can bet that I jumped right on that bandwagon...almost as fast as when they said that red wine was therapeutic!

So, there I was in Target, on my second errand, when I spotted something chocolate that looked incredibly delish.

It was a bag of M and M Premiums called "Chocolate Trio". It is described as "tantalizing layers of milk chocolate, white chocolate and dark chocolate to tickle your fancy...with a new shimmering soft shell".

Be still my heart.

So, I did what any health conscious woman would do.  I bought it. I ate a third of it before I even left the parking lot. There was just a little bit of dark chocolate inside of each one...but, that's okay....every little bit helps, right?

I feel healthier already.
Talking about being healthy....I just read another article about how important women's friendships are to our well being.  I totally concur.

I can't imagine my world without the Girlies in it.  They are my confidants, partners in crime, listeners, life savers, etc. etc. etc.

Women to women friendships survive because we are all from the same planet. We like to discuss our feelings.  We like to get other's opinions.  We relish our time talking about "men" fact, we just like to talk! Oh yeah.

Let's be honest.  Men just don't "get us"....and probably never will.

Here's to Girlie Power!  : )

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

yada yada yada

As I looked out of my sunroom window the other morning, I noticed that something was different....very different. Where were my beautiful birds that were usually feasting at the bird feeder as the sun came up? Actually, where was my FEEDER?!?!

I ran outside to see the entire feeder had crashed to the ground spilling seeds all over the place.  Not only had the feeder crashed....but, the branch that has held it up for all of these years was also down!

I imagine that the weight of the many critters who roam my backyard at night must have finally caused the branch to crack.  Maybe, in their frustration over my newest "squirrel proof" feeder attachment, they decided to take it down?  Or, possibly, there was a party going on that got out of control.

Maybe, they ate one too many nuts.
The good news is that my hero, Dave, was able to reposition the feeder wire on a much higher, and hopefully stronger, branch in the same tree.  He got up on my tall ladder and worked the wire over the branch securely....the feeder was attached....and all is well in my backyard birdland once again.

And, the seed that spilled all over the place provided a lovely all-you-can-eat buffet for everyone!
Speaking of birds.....Dave has managed to get his hummingbirds to drink the sweet nectar that he provides while he was holding the feeder!  Now, that is trust.

Mine fly away at the first movement that I make to get a better view of these tiny fascinating creatures.

He now calls himself, "The Bird Whisperer".  : )
Don't you just hate the "waiting" to get diagnostic health reports back? I finally found out that my mammogram was clear and all was well.  That's always a good feeling...

Ladies....take care of yourselves and don't put off doing this important test.
Let the packing begin! 

I will be heading to Wilmington, DE in a few days where Dave will be already visiting with his mom.  The next day, he and I will then drive a rental car to Skaneateles, New York (near Syracuse) where he will spend 3 1/2 days filled with being with my sister and me and playing golf with my brother-in-law, etc. etc.

When he heads home, I will remain.... and my three sisters and Mom will join me for a week together!!  We will be celebrating birthdays, eating a lot, drinking some great wine from a local vineyard, relaxing, boating, talking, talking, talking, and just enjoying being together!

I can't wait!!!!
More to come on this trip....
My friend's precious granddaughter, Maya, will be heading back to Costa Rica at the end of this week. This little bundle of joy has totally taken Birmingham by storm....leaving smiles and laughter wherever she has been.

I know that her parents will be glad to have her back home after this three week visit...but, I will miss her wonderful spirit and love so very much. 

Safe travels, Maya!
Stay cool spite of the sweltering summer temperatures!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Messages from Marsha

Last night I began to receive email messages from my sister, Marsha, as she sat on a plane in Atlanta awaiting departure.  Each one came separately as she typed away on her Blackberry to me...obviously, and understandably, quite frustrated.
While I totally empathized with her situation, I couldn't help but see some of her sarcastic humor in the messages and decided to copy and paste them for my post for today.

"There are 25 planes (those are the 25 that are visible!!!!) ahead of us and none are moving because of storms on the way to Raleigh. All flights on hold. This could be one of those flights you hear about where we sit for hours ."

"Captain just said some (planes) have been sitting for three hours!!!!!!!"

"So far one hour and not moving. Why did they put us on the plane???"

"The newest estimate is approximately one hour to leave. But the sky is now pitch black. Who knows!"

"We now have a screaming baby.

And this before we even took off!!!! "

"In the air after 2+ hours. We hit turbulence and the young lady in front of me starts screaming oh G-d, oh G-d. Her "whatever he is" is holding her down and everyone else is staring. I guess you will get this when I finally land. "

"Just arrived. No agents available to open the doors. 10 more minutes of waiting.

What a fun night."

Monday, July 26, 2010

California Ca$h

We know that when we head to California in October, things will be ridiculously expensive, we have begun to save a little money each week in a little container that I made.

Besides shots of San Francisco, I have glued a photo of me and Dave saying the following: Me: "Where's the shopping?" "Let's taste some wine!" "I love to people watch..." and Dave: "Where's the food?" "Is there a TV in here?" "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives!"

I am hopeful that, by the time we leave on our trip, we will have accrued enough to do something fun....maybe a nice dinner out...or a wine (yesssss!) tour....or even to defray some of the cost of staying in San Francisco.

Whatever. It just feels good to be putting some $$$ cash away.

Too bad that it can't be earning interest...

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Dave and I went to hear Mary Chapin Carpenter sing last night. For any of you unfamiliar with this wonderful American folk and country music artist, she is a 52 year old, multi-Grammy award winner who has had many recording hits through the years. In 2007 she suffered a pulmonary embolism and gratefully survived it, enabling her to go back on tour this year.
There is something very soothing when she well as when she talks. She wove a few personal stories into her set and it made me feel like we were two old friends talking. Nice.
Thanks, Dave for surprising me with these tickets...that included "bar-b-que and brew" (or wine!) served prior to the concert...
I went for my annual mammogram on Thursday. That's always a bit of anxiety until one receives "the letter" in the mail that is either good or not so good news.
But,I feel the same way about this test as I do a colonoscopy....I am so grateful that I am living in a time in which these diagnostic tests are available...allowing the doctors to see things that aren't visible to the naked eye....and, hopefully finding issues in their earliest, and treatable stage.
HOT is the word around here! Yesterday we got to 100 degrees...and, with the humidity factored in, it actually felt like 500 degrees.
Right now I would like to kiss the person, or persons, who invented air conditioning. ahhhhhh.
Well, it has been a week and the squirrel-proof bird feeder seems to be working. The birds are happy...and, so am I.
While cleaning out the closets in my "boys rooms-now guest rooms" this past week, I spent a lot of time reminiscing. It is interesting to me that, even though my sons are both in their 30's, I still have a lot of their "things" here in my house.
They don't know it yet (shhh!), but, when they come to visit in September, I'll be passing some of their stuff on to them. Maybe I should tell them to bring along an empty suitcase or two. : )

Have a great weekend everyone and try to stay cool....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Noah has nothing on me....

...and, ark-building may be in my future.

This morning I am awaiting the arrival of a huge dehumidifier that is to be delivered to my soggy downstairs.

The flooding yesterday has saturated part of my brand new carpeting that was recently put down after my first, and more severe flood a couple of months ago. I guess that the old adage, "What goes up must come down" is very true in this case, since it seems that the excess water was coming down from my upstairs. So, everything in this house seeks the lowest place to show finished basement.

I am going to try and keep this all in perspective...I am going to try and keep this all in perspective....I am going to try and keep this all in perspective.....I am going to.......

Sorry, I got a little carried away!

If this keeps up I may be getting carried away.....but, for now, just pass the hammer and let's get this ark built. - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more
All aboard!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The plumber was baffled.... I awaited the heating and air-conditioning technician's arrival. If they can't figure it out, Sear's refrigerator specialist will be here tomorrow between 1 and 5.

"Why?" may ask.

Well, again, I had (dare I say?) a F-L-O-O-D downstairs. (Didn't I say that calmly???)


Going back a few hours.....It all started as I walked back into the house after being gone all morning, I felt a familiar "squish, squish" sound under my feet. And, then I noticed the water that was beginning to fill the carpeting.

I ran into the downstairs bathroom to check it out, since that was where the first flood originated. Nothing wet there. Phew.

I checked out the room where the water heaters and furnace were located. F-l-o-o-d-e-d.

But, where was it coming from? That was the question of the day!

Besides this mess in the downstairs, my refrigerator was making some strange (and loud!) noises the other, I called Sears to come and check it out. They couldn't come until Friday.

However, I had a, I pulled the huge side by side refrigerator away from the wall. F-l-o-o-d-e-d. (I'm beginning to notice a pattern here...)

While I kept thinking that the two floods were connected....the plumber pointed out that the refrigerator was all the way at the other end of the house, one floor above the basement. He couldn't imagine that much water coming all that way. He was convinced that wasn't the source and suggested that I call the air-conditioning people.

So, I did.

They examined the ac unit and cut apart condensation pipes... looking for anything that would cause that large amount of water to soak the carpeting. They also checked out the hot water leaking there.

We were about to give up...but, I again mentioned the refrigerator upstairs.

I saw a light go off in his head as he asked me if the ac intake vent was anywhere near the refrigerator.

"YES! YES!" I said, as I dragged him up to the kitchen to check it out. The vent was right next to the refrigerator.

Well, it turns out that, after much inspection, he saw signs of water going down the ac vent. When he followed the course of the vent pipes, he found more signs of water all the way down to the basement.

AHA! I was actually right from the beginning.

But, being right really didn't matter...

I still had to pay both bills...and, tomorrow I will be paying the Sears guy when he, hopefully, fixes the refrigerator...not to mention the mitigation people who will have to set up their heaters and fans to dry everything out... (again)

Doesn't "expertise" count for anything these days???

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Little treasures can sometimes mean the most....

It isn't the size of the gift that matters, but the size of the heart that gives it. ~Quoted in The Angels' Little Instruction Book by Eileen Elias Freeman, 1994

During a casual conversation with my mom the other day, she mentioned her small perfume bottle collection. She was thinking of passing it on and I immediately told her that I would love to have it! I had two bottles of my own and would love to add hers to the mix.

Being one of the daughters that moved away (over 40 years ago), I am not always privy to some of the "pieces of Mom" that are shared with the two who live in the same, I was thrilled to be the recipient of a few of her perfume bottles.

When the package arrived, I slowly opened each piece that Mom had wrapped ever so carefully so that everything would arrive intact. I then found myself wandering around the house looking for the perfect spot for these treasures.

They ended up in my bedroom where I can see them most often...displayed with some of my favorite family photos.

It's amazing how these little perfume bottles can make me feel closer to home.....and Mom.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Squirrels 2-----------Grammie 1

Okay, so the backyard squirrels figured out how to get to the birdseed on two of my "squirrel-proof" (ha) feeders....BUT, I believe that I may have stumped them on this latest one!

When the folks at Droll Yankees sent me the new bottom for my feeder, I must admit, I was a bit skeptical. This one supposedly "flings" the squirrel off of the perches when they try to get onto it. It is run by a rechargeable battery and doesn't affect the birds at all. The weight of the squirrel sets it off.

I decided to take a "wait and see" attitude over the last week occasionally checking it to make sure that the squirrels weren't on it having a great time going around and around.

So far, so good.

My birds have been feasting undeterred and the food is not disappearing within one day anymore.

Ah, life is good.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Playing in the dirt???

When I woke up Saturday morning, I was shocked when I saw about 8 large black circles on various spots on the lawn.

It turns out that they were mounds of rich, dark dirt placed in areas that weren't level.

I then realized that the yard people must have done that when they were here all day Friday working on my landscaping repair from my flood. Because of the damage that had been done to my yard, they had to put down large amounts of dirt to fill in the places that the plumbers, sprinkler system people, and the concrete guy had displaced.

Now, I know that one way to level bumpy spots on a lawn is to put a mixture of sand and dirt lightly on top of the grassy area that is not level. The rule of thumb is to only cover the area with about a half an inch of soil mixture...and, to allow the grass below to still come through.

Well, this was about 6 inches of heavy, dense soil that was pretty much killing the grass underneath!!!

So, I did what any normal person would do....I went totally crazy calmly decided that I needed to get that dirt off of there before I ended up having eight large dead grass areas...

So, I took the hose and began to "wash" some of the dirt away.

Big mistake! This just made it heavier and caused it to become compact and almost impossible to remove.

Undaunted and terribly frustrated determined, I got out my pitiful rake and began to try and remove the dirt.

Did I mention that the temps were in the high 90's and the humidity was off the charts?!?!

I did what I could...but, finally gave up as I stumbled into the house to take a shower and attempt to get the black dirt off of every (and I mean "every"!) part of my body...especially under my nails which looked kind of hopeless.

This morning I begged recruited Dave to help me finish the job. The two of us worked for about an hour and a half...finishing up with running the hose over the areas to remove the last signs of the dirt. Of course whoever was holding the hose acted on the temptation to totally spray the other person with water. We screamed, but, in all honesty, it really felt good.

Then, dirty fingernails and all, we jumped into the pool to cool off and soothe our aching bones.

When the yard people come this Thursday, we are going to have a little "chat" (ha!). I am going to express my discontent...and....I am thinking that, at the very least, they owe me a free manicure...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Maybe it is my age.....

She was only 64 years old and had been fighting cancer for more than ten years.

A brilliant lawyer, I only knew her as an acquaintance...but, enough to know how well-respected she was in the community.

She was close friends with two of my closest, I felt like I knew much about her through their words.

Sadly,I attended her funeral today and it touched me so deeply. Tears were rolling down my cheeks as the Cantor beautifully sang songs in honor of the deceased. And, when her very best friend got up to speak, she had us laughing and crying all at the same time. The stories that she told made me sad that I didn't have the chance to know this exceptional woman better....yet they made me smile to see the strong and meaningful bonds that she had with others.

Maybe it is my age. Maybe it was that her age was so close to mine. Maybe it was that I was sitting with and near my closest, dearest friends. Maybe it was watching her extended family in mourning...

Whatever it was, I found myself taking it all a very personal way.

I listened to the tales of her friendships...and, I thought about my own friendships and how much my wonderful friends mean to me. I listened to the stories of her community service and other accomplishments....and, I questioned whether I was doing enough in my life. I listened to the talk of "family" and I found myself missing my own family so deeply...and wishing that we could live closer so that we could share more of the everyday moments together.

I felt a little guilty when my mind was wandering to some of my own feelings instead of just concentrating on this remarkable woman's life and the void that she is leaving behind in the hearts of all whose lives she had touched...

I guess that funerals can have this affect on us. There is this realization of our own mortality and this need to embrace our lives with all that we can. We again recognize the importance of making the most out of each and every day as we get a glimpse of the finality of it all.

As my thoughts went to the many people in my life that I love so dearly, I wanted to be with them all at that very moment, hug them, and let them know exactly how I felt about them and their importance in my life.

As I left the synagogue and headed to my car, I made a decision to not wait until I experienced loss in life to live my life to the very fullest.....a very clear message that I took with me as I honored the life of the friend who had passed away.

I wish that I could have had the opportunity to thank her for this gift...

Thursday, July 15, 2010


A beautiful little, loveable, bundle of joy arrived in Birmingham last Sunday.

Her name is Maya and she is here visiting with her grandparents (Sharon and Gary aka "Abby" and "Papa G") for three glorious weeks!

I know that I normally only brag about my own incredible (!) grandkids....but, Maya just continues to amaze and astound me so much that I decided to make her the subject of my post today.

Maya has always been a unique child with an unbelievable personality and zest for life. The minute one meets her they are immediately charmed by this adorable (almost) 6 year old's spirited energy and cuteness. She loves to do anything having to do with arts and crafts....and, is amazingly good at creating wonderful artistic treasures...some of which she gave out as gifts today that I am now fortunate enough to have in my possession!

It shouldn't come as any surprise that Maya loves to entertain...and, today was no exception. A few friends were invited over to see Maya's puppet show.

When she was over visiting the other day, we made a couple of sock puppets together...and then she went home and made two more with Papa G.--who then helped her convert an old box into a wonderful puppet theatre. Excitement filled the air as the puppet show commenced...

The puppets danced about the "stage" while singing songs about love and happiness...and we were all enchanted...

I can't wait to see what she will do next... : )

Maya's Magical Puppet Show!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jenny's special day.....

Happy, happy birthday, my dear Jenny!

I wish for you a day filled with warmth (even in Minnesota!), joy, lots of gifts, lots of "Happy Birthday" singing, cake eating, hugs galore, and, most especially, LOVE!

....a special day for a very special daughter-in-love, wife, and mother to my precious Owen and Audrey!

I love you,

Mom : )

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Art imitating life?

For those of you following my blog who read yesterday's will understand my amazement at today's Dilbert cartoon!

By the way, I got Subie-do back today...and, it feels so right. : )

Monday, July 12, 2010

Me and my "kiddie" car

The parts for my damaged car finally came, I headed down to the body shop first thing this morning.

The "joint was jammin'"!

I guess that I wasn't the only one who was in a car accident recently... !

Finally, a gentleman came for me and we went out to my brand new Subaru (aka "Subie-do"). He handed me a million papers to sign and then I went back in to the office to await the used car people who were scheduled to come and pick me up.

As I glanced out the window I saw them driving my Subie-do into the work area. I swear, it was like I was sending my child off to college as I sadly watched it going in.

About an hour later, no one from the car rental place had, one of the workers at the body shop ended up driving two of us over there. So much for Enterprise's door to door service!

Once there, we again had to wait for quite a bit. It seems that Mondays are the day that people are returning, they didn't have many on their lot.

Eventually, we were again transported....this time to another Enterprise location....where we again sat and waited....and waited.

I jumped when my name was called and I was escorted to my awaiting rental car. I thought that it looked small. No, it wasn't just looked like a toy one of those that you see in a carnival ride going round and round....or the kind that the clowns would ride around in....

Maybe I am just used to my own car....but on this car everything was manual; the windows were roll up, the side mirrors had to be moved by sticking your hand out the window and pushing it, the locks were just push buttons....and, the weirdest thing was that the speedometer was off to the side instead of right in front of you.

Knowing that the other guy's insurance was supposed to be paying for an "intermediate" car...I questioned the gentleman about it. He confirmed that this minnie car was indeed an intermediate car.

So, I put on my clown nose and got in!

(Just case any of you own a Toyota Yaris!)

It turns out that the car was definitely not the one that the insurance paid for me to have....this cute little thing was actually their compact car...and, it is definitely compact.

I think that I am getting a bigger one tomorrow! : )

Saturday, July 10, 2010

As I began to peel the ripened mango.... mouth began to water at the thought of eating the delicious summer fruit that was in front of me.

Yes, the temperatures are hovering in the high 90's, making it feel like walking into an oven when one steps outside. The weeds are flourishing in the warmth and the lawn cries out for mowing more than ever. My daily walks have now moved inside the house on my treadmill. The mosquitos are everywhere stalking their next human prey. One cannot get their car air conditioning on fast enough after it has been sitting outside in the sun.

Yes, summertime can be sweaty, itchy and, even oppressive at times....HOWEVER, there are also so many delights that come with the season: the trees and shrubs that were dormant all winter are bursting with beautiful flowers; the joyous sounds of the many birds enjoying the summer warmth fill the air; the heat gives us a great excuse to be a little lazy; and summer's bounty includes deliciously sweet fruit!

So, this morning, I found myself cutting up fresh mango, cantelope, watermelon, strawberries, and a nectarine...putting it all in a big bowl...and digging into the delectable tastes of summer.


"Live in each season as it passes: breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit." – Henry David Thoreau

Friday, July 09, 2010

When I saw the truck pull up I knew that something good was going to happen....

...and it did!

Four months after my pipe breakage and flood and the walkway is finally done and as an extra added bonus I got to spend some time with Sammy.

Sammy, the "concrete guy" is the only workman who arrived here when he said he would...on time...and, ready to work! I could just hug him!

He had the area prepared, the brick laid out and it was all ready for the final step--the concrete mixer!

While waiting for the concrete truck to arrive, we got to know a little bit about each other. He was telling me how difficult it was to get work these days...and that he was trying to do a little bit of everything to bring in some money. His wife passed away after 28 years of marriage...and, I could see the sadness when he spoke of this. But, then he gave me a big toothless grin when he spoke to me about his 4 grandchildren. Now there was a topic that we could commiserate on!

Sammy took pride in his work and it showed as he carefully poured the concrete into the area that he had marked off. Then he began the smoothing process...

I had spoken to him earlier about trying to make something positive out of the flood and damage that had been done to my home inside and out. My idea was to take broken pieces of my pottery that I had been saving and fashion a heart out of them...and lay them into the concrete. I stayed up late last night collecting and cutting my broken pottery and placing them into the shape of a heart.

He graciously said that he would hang around to help me get it done. We had to wait about an hour until he thought that the concrete was just the right consistency to hold the pottery...BUT....

...unfortunately, he had waited a bit too long and the concrete had gotten a little too hard!

But, this dear man didn't let that stop us as he broke through bits of the concrete... making it a little easier to push the clay pieces through. We then spread some fresh concrete over it to fill in some of the cracks and openings that the pottery caused. After a while, I wiped away the excess concrete and voila! the heart was exposed.

So, here are some pieces of my heart that will, hopefully, signify good times ahead... and, certainly, no more floods!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Don't forget about you....

As I removed this pottery plaque from my kiln the other day, I didn't give much thought to its real meaning...until today.

Life can sometimes get in the way of our taking care of ourselves. If you are anything like me, you constantly worry about others in your life and try desperately to make everything "good" and "right"....and it can get exhausting at times.

The caretaker and optimist in me is alive and well these days and has lived inside of me for a long time...not that there is anything inherently wrong with those character traits unless you forget to be realistic and take time out and think about yourself every once in a while.

I am realizing that I sometimes need to stop and recognize the limitations of trying to make everything positive and happy for everyone. (Every once in a while one of my girlfriends will ask me how things are looking through those rose-colored glasses of mine!) I tend to get into my own little "la la land"...and, even though I do like it there (!)....reality beckons and I must try and see what things truly are and not necessarily how I would just like for them to always be.

I am working on it. : )

I love this quote that suggests that we continue to look out for others as well as taking care of ourselves... and, it keeps it all into perspective for me:

"If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I for? And, if not now, when?" Rabbi Hillel

Be gentle with yourself today, my dear blogging friends, and have a great day....


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

(Mr. Squirrel....caught in the act...)

5:50 a.m. Wednesday morning

Even though I went to bed relatively late last night, I found myself wide awake at 5:50 a.m. this morning. My mind was just racing and I couldn't turn it off so I gave up, got out of bed...and began my day. I had so many things going through my head...including the work NOT being done on my flood damage! I went through my blog archives and found that "The Great Flood of 2010" actually began on February 4th! So here I sit on July 7th with many of the issues still not fixed. I may soon have to rename it "The Great Flood of 2011"...

The contractor from the mitigation company who is in charge of my damage is such a good guy....but, seems to be extremely overwhelmed and in need of some help. I have even taken on the job of calling some of the workers to light a fire under them and schedule appointments. Even then, they don't always show up. Saying that I am frustrated would be an understatement!

As I am typing this I am glancing out my window just in time to see the neighborhood squirrels having a wonderful time eating the bird food and swinging from my "squirrel-proof" feeder. I am awaiting a new bottom for the feeder that the Droll Yankees company has offered to send me free of charge to see if it helps my squirrel issue. It is a rechargeable battery operated thingamajig that supposedly begins to spin and fling the squirrels off before they can get to the food.

Knowing my backyard squirrels, they will probably be charging other squirrels for a ride on the new "swing and feed" contraption on my feeder. Wheeeeee!


I wish that I could get my head to stop spinning with all of the many thoughts that are going through is quite exhausting.

I foresee a nap being a necessity later this afternoon.


Monday, July 05, 2010

I felt like a teenager who eats leftover pizza for breakfast.... I sat at the counter early this morning eating some crabmeat spread on crackers with a side of corn pudding!

Why is it that leftovers always taste sooo good the next day?

These were just two of the items from our delicious 4th of July get-together last night...Just a few friends and lots of food=a great time!

So, hundreds of calories later, I am still thinking about the spread from last night...besides the crabmeat appetizer, I had garbanzo bean/sun-dried tomato spread with veggies for the healthy minded. Dave cooked his "low and slow" ribs for hours and slathered them with his two homemade sauces while I split some cornish game hens and grilled them with my own sweet bar-b-que sauce from an award winning recipe. The sides that I made were chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, greek olive and feta cheese salad and cornbread pudding...while my friends brought over potato salad, slaw, key lime pie, chocolate covered ice cream balls and banana pudding. All of this was topped off with some fresh watermelon slices. Of course, who really wants to eat watermelon when you have those other delicious desserts??!?!

The "theme" of sorts was an indoor picnic as I set the table with a red checkered cloth, bandana napkins, American flags as well as some plastic bugs to give it an outdoorsy feel!

Dave had surprised me with some very cheesy fun patriotic banners and flags as well as red, white and blue bowties for each of pictured above. We took some ribbing from our friends....but, hey, we certainly had the 4th of July spirit!

I hope that you all had a safe and spirited holiday, too! : )

Sunday, July 04, 2010 - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Have a meaningful 4th!

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.- Declaration of Independence of United States of America

Friday, July 02, 2010

My cardinal has two lovers!

Aha! I caught my male cardinal feeding, not one, but TWO female birds this morning!

My apologies for the blurriness of the video but I had to take this through a window as I snuck up on the little polygamist in my own backyard.... : )

While I wasn't able to capture the cardinal feeding his girlfriend yesterday, I was finally able to post a photo taken online...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

At first I thought that they were just kissing....

...and, I thought how sweet that was to see two of my backyard cardinals with their beaks interlocked. Maybe they were on a bird date? Or, could they be secret bird lovers hiding out in a tree? (I've been watching way too much reality tv!)

So, I sat and watched them for a while with my cameral in hand...but, everytime I got ready to take a photo, they flew away.

It seems that the male bird (the beautiful red one) was going to my feeder, filling up his beak with seeds, and then flying back to the tree limb to feed the female bird (the brown one).

After watching this for several minutes, I saw him do this over and over and over again. He would swoop down, fill up and then transfer it right to his girlfriend's mouth. (At this point I was hopeful that his female companion wasn't on Jenny Craig or any other special diet!)

Fascinated, I went to Google to see what I could learn about this behavior and here is what I found:

"At your bird feeder, you may see what is referred to as mate feeding. What you'll see is the male pick up a seed, hop over to the female, and the two momentarily touch beaks as she takes the food. Mate-feeding continues through the egg-laying and incubation phases of breeding.

Typically, Northern Cardinal pairs remain together the whole year. In winter, the bond may be relaxed. Pairs often stay mated until one dies at which time the surviving mate will look for another partner. "

and this:

"The Northern Cardinal is a mid-sized songbird with a body length of 21 centimeters. It has a distinctive crest on the head and a mask on the face which is black in the male and gray in the female. The male is a vibrant red, while the female is a dull red-brown shade. The Northern Cardinal is mainly granivorous, but also feeds on insects and fruit. The male behaves territorially, marking out his territory with song. During courtship, the male feeds seed to the female beak-to-beak. A clutch of three to four eggs is laid, and two to four clutches are produced each year. "

Later on I actually saw them "fighting" in flight. I wondered if this was part of the mating ritual, or if "the honeymoon was over"?

Next stop, the bird therapist?