Wednesday, August 31, 2005

L is for...

...Tropical Storm Lee who thankfully looks like he is staying far far away from any land



“I’m alive. I’m alive,” shouted one joyous woman as she was ferried from a home nearly swallowed by the rising waters.

from this article on

she's right. in the midst of all this obliteration, she has something to celebrate. something hundreds will not have. the rest--it can be replaced in one form or another. just making it through, surviving, is something for which to be thankful.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005


tonight my heart aches for people & cities that will never be the same again.

there are just no words...

Gulf Port, MI

Pascagoula, MI

Dauphin Island, AL

Mobile, AL

the city of New Orleans

New Orleans, French Quarter

I-10, New Orleans

i stayed at this Hyatt near the SuperDome in New Orleans in 1992 when i attended the LCMS Youth Gathering, one of 22000 Lutheran Youth who visited the city for the convention called "A Time For Joy" longer a place of so much joy...

my thoughts & prayers for the many who have suffered unspeakable loss. loss that will continue to grow before it subsides. loss that is immeasurable. i wish for them: strength. patience during unimagineable hardship & devastation. courage. peace. and mostly: hope.

The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination and the energy to get started.
~Norman Cousins~


random thoughts on a Tuesday morning

**someone must have really needed to get home:
Judy Garland's Famed Ruby Slippers Stolen

**discussed with Andi over email this morning: it really irritates me when girls wear low waist pants with a high rise thong. c'mon! they *do* make them in low-rise styles ya know. i mean why go though the trouble of wearing a thong in the first place just to have it all hanging out there for the whole world's viewing...ummm...yeah, pleasure isn't the word i want to use here. i was under the impression that the purpose of putting up with a thong was to avoid pantylines, not advertise your underwear & your backside to the entire planet. *shrug* maybe i'm just getting old...

**trying to convince me that the Bucs are a sure win against New December--it's just going to make me laugh. a warm weather team playing in a New England winter, they're just going to be shivering their timbers out there, blowing frosty breath on their ice cold fingers. against a team who thrives on their home field weather conditions & who hasn't lost a game at home since December 2002. playing a team that hasn't had a winning season since they won the Super Bowl in 2002. yeah yeah, i know anything is possible. that doesn't mean it's going to happen though. i promise to eat those words if the Bucs find a way to win that game but until then...BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

**i used to get my grandfather the Old Farmer's Almanac as a Christmas gift every year. that little publication has an unacanny knack for weather prediction. the 2006 edition has now been released & since we all know my preoccupation with the weather, you know i am very interested in what they have to say. you can check out the current month's & next month's weather predictions--which for me says that there will be another hurricane threat to the Gulf Coast somewhere around September 12th *sigh* hope they're wrong. and what about this winter forecast huh?? hope you New Englanders kept all your shovels & ice scrapers handy. ;-)


Monday, August 29, 2005

lightening the mood... things have been so tense & serious. also lazy though so instead of my own thoughts, i am sharing an excerpt from one of my all-time favorite books: Couplehood by Paul Reiser.

...even if you woke up every morning & heard nothing but the birds and the love in your heart, there's still one moment every morning that's unavoidable and invariably gets your day going wrong.

You know how you get out of bed, drag your feet into the bathroom, flip on the light and stand in front of the mirror? You know how you squint your eyes and look? That. That's the big mistake. Looking in a mirror that early in the day.

It's always a disappointment, no matter who you are. You just see your reflection and think, "That's not what I was hoping for. I could have sworn I was better looking than that. I must be thinking of someone else."

Nobody looks in the mirror and goes, "That's about right." They always start fixing, moving their hair, tucking their cheeks..."No, that's not working either." So you go into the shower, you soap up, clean up, fluff up, dress up, take another look: "Nope, still not working."

It's the face. Something scientific happens to your face when you sleep. You go to bed normal, you wake up--you have no face. The features have gone away while you slept. I think it has to do with the earth's rotation. As the earth revolves, facial features move with it, so that while you sleep, your face is in Europe. Because there are only a finite number of faces, and if the Europeans go to work with no face, it looks bad for them. So this way everybody gets a shot.

I think it's all nature's way of keeping us humble. At night, you're thinking of your problems, you're thinking of yourself. "How come this didn't work out? How come I live the life I do?"

You wake up, you look in the mirror, and you go, "That's why! I have no facial features and a T-shirt with orange juice stains from 1983." It gives you perspective.

and with that, i bid you a good night. here's to having facial features when we look in the mirror tomorrow morning. or at the very least, a renewed perspective.


it's so hard to think of anything else...

Michelle summed it up well in her blog this morning.

i've been saying so since yesterday: you couldn't pay me enough money to get me inside that SuperDome. i've been in it before & there's just NO WAY. not under circumstances like these. my thoughts & prayers are with anyone who is in the path of this monster.


Sunday, August 28, 2005

something to think about...

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."


i truly hate to be right about this...

...but didn't i say i had a bad feeling about this storm?? Cat 5. 155mph hour winds. still approximately 250 miles away from it's target, Katrina has almost another day & a half to intensify over the warm Gulf waters. i just *knew* this storm scared me for someone. good luck New Orleans...


word association for the week of August 28, 2005

brought to you by Unconcious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

Girlfriends:: Heather, Andie, Alison
Here to stay:: loyalty
Call me:: later
Frustrated:: aggravated
Public school:: a shock to the system after 10 years at a small parocial school (lol)
Glitch:: error
Cheese:: cake
Director:: of a play
Pivotal:: crucial
Exclusive:: not to be shared


i'm too boring to be quirky

Andie tagged me! 5 quirks about me though? Why couldn't this be just the 5 random facts one huh Andie?? LOL


  1. i don't know why but i always eat the toppings off my pizza, including the cheese, before i eat the sauce/crust part.
  2. i hate touching raw potatoes. they make my hands feel extremely dry & no matter how many times i wash them after that or put lotion on them, i can't get that feeling to go away.
  3. my own typos make me crazy. if i go back & reread something i typed, even a few days after the fact & i catch a typo i missed before, i'll still go back & fix it. the fact that i can't correct a comment i leave on someone's blog is NOT a feature i enjoy LOL!
  4. it drives me *insane* when i can't figure out all of the lyrics to a song i like. i have to look it up at the first opportunity i get because even though i will only sing along by myself in the car, the words have to be right!
  5. i am both a morning person AND a night owl. please don't expect me to be coherent between 2 & 6pm though! everyone tells me it's because i go to bed too late but here's the dilemma: (unless i am not feeling well) i wake up after exactly 6 hours of sleep, without or without the alarm clock. we're talking wide awake here & happy to be so. so i go to bed at 11:45pm & wake up at 5:45am even on the weekends!

ok...i tag...Lisa (Mommy Musings)!


Friday, August 26, 2005

going to carolina in my mind

got this stuck in my head...

with a holy host of others standing ’round me
still i’m on the dark side of the moon
and it seems like it goes on like this forever
you must forgive me
if i’m up and gone to carolina in my mind
("carolina in my mind", james taylor)


better late than never?

oops almost forgot my Unconscious Mutterings for this week & it's almost time for the next round! here goes:

I say ... and you think ... ?

Fan:: sports enthusiast
Scum:: oh don't even get me started on this one!! lol
Lily:: of the Valley
Humid:: FLORIDA!!
Ghetto:: gangster
Remember me?:: old friend you haven't heard from in a long time
Polished:: smooth, well-spoken
Compose:: create
Squish:: a bug...ewwwww...
Future:: what hasn't happened yet but what we set the stage for today


the waiting game

everybody said i was over reacting. everybody said it was just a lot of rain & not much wind. everybody said it was just a tropical storm. i need to listen to my gut! something told me that this one was going to be more than just a bit of wind-whipped rain...Category 1 hurricane leaving 1.3 million people without power & 4 confirmed dead. i say you have to keep a watchful eye because the unpredictability of these storms means you aren't safe till it's past. sometimes not even then when they decide to reorganize & circle back around for another try. it's a waiting game. you wait to see what the storm will do & then you wait for your friends to check back in from the areas hit & give the all clear that they came through the other side of it.

and so now i wait...


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

K is for...

...Kink: what i had in my back when i spent 3 hurricane-filled nights laying on my family room floor near my puppy who was terrified of the sounds the wind was making
...Kite: what my poor puppy looked like when we took him outside to pee during those 3 storms
...Kilt: what a man should not opt for as attire if going outside during a hurricane
...more people are Killed from non-storm-related causes (traffic accidents, electrocution by contact with downed but live power lines after the storm ends, etc) than by the storms themselves: for example, last year: Charley 15 direct, 20 indirect; Frances 7 direct, 42 indirect
...the Keys: what gets evacuated for every hurricane. think these people are tired of trekking back & forth over that bridge?
...Knowledge is power. for me at least. i like to know where a storm is, how it's developping, where they are projecting it. some of it is uneasiness caused by the unpredictability of these storms. the rest is just my fascination with weather & how they track these storms, how they form & what directs them. Tropical Storm Katrina who was given her name sometime between 6:30 and 8:15 this morning. she's mostly a lot of rain & not much wind so that's good. sort of. FL is a bit water-logged & i'm not sure there's many place in the state than can handle another 5-10" of liquid sunshine. which reminds me. after all the rain from last year's storms & all the rain just this summer, how are we still under water bans for drought conditions?? i have water coming out my ears & the outside plants are requesting life preservers!

...Keep away from my friends anyway LOL! seems Katrina is coming in at Andie and going out at Michelle!


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

the way we were

Carrie: Your girl is lovely, Hubble.
Big: I don't get it.
Carrie: You never did...
yeah...something about this show. something about the conversations between Carrie & Big, when i realize i've been there at some point in my life. tonight it was the guy who just didn't get it...practically hit him over the head with it at the time & still...nothing. but it's liberating somehow to finally understand for yourself that it was nothing you did, the guy just didn't, just *couldn't* get it.


spoke too soon?

The recent lull that has enveloped the Atlantic hurricane basin for the last week or two looks to be coming to an end just as the calendar nears the peak of the hurricane season. With the remnants of quick-lived Jose dissipating over Mexico, the National Hurricane Center is now focusing its attention on two areas of storminess.

The first area of clouds and showers extend from eastern Cuba and Hispaniola across the Southeastern Bahamas and Turk and Caicos Islands and into the western Altantic Ocean. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center noticed this morning that the clouds and showers are now more concentrated near the Southeastern Bahamas. To get a better fix of the conditions in and around this area, hurricane hunter aircraft may be dispatched later today to investigate. This weather system is forecast to move eastward and could affect the Atlantic coast of Florida. It is too early to tell if this system will remain a weak tropical wave or develop into something stronger, so resident should monitor the progress of this system closely.

The second area of storminess is associated with a large tropical wave located over the eastern Atlantic 700 miles west of the Cape Verde Island. This wave has the potential to develop into tropical depression during the couple of days as it moves west over the warm, open water of the east-central Atlantic.

hold on folks...this ride could start to get a little bumpy...


new music alert

finally found the video code for the new Gary Allan song that i mentioned in my blog a while back...

totally touched by this line:

and it might take some time to patch me up inside
but i can't take it so i, i run away and hide


belated birthday thoughts

my dad's birthday was on the 18th. i didn't make any reference to it but that doesn't mean i forgot about it (not that any of you would know even if i did right? lol). quite the contrary though. i *did* remember. and i called & left him a message on the answering machine when no one picked up. i wasn't ready to talk about this until now though. i guess i was hoping that i would have something better to say about it.

it's been 5 days. no response. why am i not in a panic, you wonder? well...this isn't the first time this has happened. it happened on Father's Day. and before that it was Easter. in the almost 4 years that i have been living in FL, i have had to be the one to call CT on any given holiday if i expect to talk to anyone in my family. even on my own birthday.

i'm tired of being the one who calls every time, leaves a message & no one even calls back to acknowledge that i called in the first place. my feelings are a little stomped on. i know that i'm the one that moved 1200 miles away. but does that automatically mean i have to be the one to maintain all the contact? is this my "punishment" for leaving home & striking out on my own? i don't know...but i'm worn out from being the one responsible for staying in touch. it makes me sad because i've always been a daddy's girl...and suddenly i feel like i've been written off as the family member that abandoned everyone to move to FL. doesn't seem fair somehow. none of my CT friends have a problem staying in touch. they call. they send cards. they write email. they find me on AIM. some have even been down to visit. i guess i just don't understand. i would have thought i might lose contact with a few friends (which it turns out, i haven't!) moving so far away but i never dreamed it would be my family that wouldn't at least meet me half way. =(

ok i'm done.
you will now be returned to your regularly scheduled non-sensical shiny happy blogging.


J is for...

...don't want to Jinx FL but we have been very lucky this far...
...Just stay away hurricanes!!
...Tropical Storm Jose who apparently felt more at home going to Mexico =P

...bad Jokes because this J List was impossible; and i thought the I List was hard!!


Monday, August 22, 2005


courtesy of Monday Madness

This week’s questions are totally unrelated to one another; just a ‘pot pourri’ of randomness! Have a great week and thanks for playing!

1. When putting groceries away, do you rotate your food so your newest items (cans and such) are in the back, and older food in the front? since i only restock on what i am out of or almost out of, this isn't usually an issue for me. if i do have 1 or 2 left though, then i try to keep them rotated to the front.

2. Do you own a digital camera? If so, how long have you had one? no but i wish i did =(

3. How do you store your precious photos? i have the negatives stored together, stored seperately from the cd version of the prints. i also have them uploaded to Snapfish. my actual photos are either in photo storage boxes, frames or have been put into scrapbooks.

4. It’s 6:00 a.m. and you’ve just lost power due to a severe thunderstorm; they say it will probably take at least 12 hours before power will be restored; what do you do? go insane. pace. sweat from lack of a/c. be bored. take all my perishables to Ken's parents' house so i don't lose them. then get out of the house for a while.

5. How many times a year do you (or does someone dear to you) wax your automobile? LOL you're kidding right? we're lucky when it's CLEAN never mind waxed.

6. Gas prices; what can we say except they’ve reached an all-time high. How are you dealing with this? i have to live with it. i drive almost 80 miles roundtrip to work & back so i go through a tank of gas a week just commuting. i cringe every time i drive by the gas station though & see that it's gone up AGAIN. and it kinda ticks me off that it costs me $42 to fill my car now. wasn't that long ago that$28 was full, topped off & then some.

7. Have you ever purchased a book or cd twice, forgetting that you already had it? nope i know what i've read & i rarely buy cds anymore. i usually just download & burn my own cds now.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

how experience changes your perspective

i was watching tv this evening, flipping back & forth between Extreme Makeover: Home Edition & the stories featured on Dateline. i saw 2 homeless families being given a new start, a home in which to stay warm & safe while they regained their footing. whatever the reason that this show somehow has become controversial, i enjoy it. it warms my heart to see people helping people. alternated with the horrific account of a young boy in Uganda who suffered an existence i never could have conjured up even in my own worst nightmares, i guess i was setting myself up for a good tear fest. it wouldn't have shocked me if it had been Extreme Makeover, it wouldn't have been the first time. or it might have been hearing about Patrick, the little Ugandan boy, but i was too shocked & horrified to tear up at that i think. what got me was the final news story on Dateline.

on August 24, 1992, the southern tip of FL was ravaged by Category 5 Hurricane Andrew. we all know this. we have heard the statistics of how this was the costliest storm on record. we have seen footage & interviews. in the past, i looked at that complete devastation with compassion & awe. those poor people that lost everything. EVERYTHING. to see homes crushed to splinters of wood & memories scattered like so much worthless litter. it made me sad.

but tonight i viewed the destruction, listened to some people recount their tales of survival, saw the footage of 165mph sustained winds savagely assaulting anything that stood in Andrew's path. and i felt something different this time.

this time it was recognition.

you don't understand what it really means to hear someone say "the walls of my home pulsated around me, almost as if they were breathing, from the force of the winds" until you've felt your own home tremble & heard it groan. you don't understand what it really means when someone says "you hear the wind howling & 2 hours feels like a lifetime as the shingles on your roof snap & you just pray that it doesn't fall in on you" until you've laid on your living room floor all night praying that the incessant deafening scream of the wind would just stop before you lose your mind...and that when it does, your house is still a place you can live. you don't understand what it really means to have a meteoroligist stay up all night broadcasting non-stop for hour after tireless hour until your eyes are the ones glued to the screen for as long as you have electricity & then find that you are unable to tear yourself away from the battery-powered radio where the tv news is being simul-cast, waiting to hear those beautiful words that the worst is over.

i get teased a bit about my dread of hurricanes. but i watched this show & felt the sickening terror of what these storms are capable of. i understood that it could have been me last year. it wasn't & for that i am grateful. but i sat there tonight with tears running down my face...understanding in a small way the mind-numbing fear as you hope that it will stop & that when it does you are just thankful to be alive. you may think i'm crazy or dramatic but until you ride it out, until you've felt the power of a seething angry Mother Nature, you can only look at those images & hear those words & feel compassion. when you've experienced it--even on a smaller scale--your perspective changes & you understand. and if you're me, when you watch a little girl cry when someone finds her baby doll or a grandmother silently weep as she clings to the photos that are all she has left, that she has pulled from the wreckage that used to be her home, tears spill down your own cheeks & you are thankful because you realize that with a slight twist of fate, it could have been you too...


Saturday, August 20, 2005

i was tagged!

happened to check my little "who links to me" thingy & discovered i was tagged & didn't even know it! oops! LOL better late than never...right...?

List ten songs that you are currently digging... it doesn't matter what genre they are from, whether they have words, or even if they're no good but they must be songs you're really enjoying right now. Post these instructions, the artists, and the ten songs in your blog. Then tag five other random people to see what they're listening to.

i am always listening to a ton of music & i have hundreds of "favorite songs" but here are 10 of them:

  1. "Lonley No More" by Rob Thomas
  2. "Arlington" by Trace Adkins
  3. "Mississippi Girl" by Faith Hill
  4. "Real Fine Place to Start" by Sara Evans
  5. "You & Me" by Lifehouse
  6. "Kind & Generous" by Natalie Merchant
  7. "Come a Little Closer" by Dierks Bentley
  8. "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down
  9. "You're Gone" by Diamond Rio
  10. "Best I Ever Had" by Gary Allan

ok...hmmmm...who to tag, who to tag? how about...
and hey, anyone else who wants to play along, just post a comment & go to town! =)


not your usual email survey

1. What is your favorite memory as a child? i have so many great memories from my childhood that it's impossible to pick just one. i guess i could narrow it down to Christmastime. Christmas Pageants & midnight candlelight services. parties & family gatherings. traditions & decorations. Advent services & carol sings. it wasn't about the gifts so much as that my dad & grandparents made the whole thing so magical.

2. What is your worst memory as a child? when my dad told me that my grandmother was in the hospital. i was only 9 at the time & i didn't find out until several years later that she had breast cancer & had actually been given only *months* to live. she defied all the odds & survived cancer-free for another 15 years. at the time though, i was just terrified that she would never come home.

3. What is the most joyful thing that has ever happened to you? so many things. i couldn't even start to list them all. i guess one of the best is when Heather & Jason asked me to be Catherine's god mother & then of course when she finally was born. =)

4. And the saddest or worst thing ? well it didn't really happen to ME but watching my grandfather suffer from Alzheimer's disease was awful. i felt so powerless, just watching him slip deeper & deeper inside himself to a place none of us could reach him. it still makes me very sad to think about it.

5. Are you a glass half empty or glass half full kind of person? other than an occasional lapse, definitely a glass half full kind of a girl. i try to keep a positive clear perspective & face each new day with a smile no matter what happened the day before.

6. Do you believe in God? And if not, do you believe in anything as a higher power? YES. i am not the type to just broadcast my religious convictions although i do not have a problem sharing them with anyone. i just try to live my life in a way that reflects my beliefs & values. some days i do well & other i fail miserably but i always try.

7. Do you like thunderstorms? sure do--as long as my electricity stays on ;-)

8. Do you like to go camping? BAHAHAHAHAHAHA. no. see the answer to #7. apply those same feelings to showers & running water & my bed. factor in the part where i HATE bugs. i don't think this is something that i would ever find enjoyable. i like my creature comforts way too much.

9. If someone offered you $100,000 would you pose naked in playboy/playgirl? not a chance. not that i am uncomfortable with the way i look. i just don't think people need to see me naked unless i specifically choose to show them ya know?

10. If you had $100,000 what are the first three things you would do with it? pay off all my debt. do something special for all the people i care about most. put the rest in the bank for "a rainy day".

11. Are you a black and white type of person, or dabble in the gray? i believe that there are 2 sides to every story, that there is often far more to the story that it first appears. i believe that sometimes flexibility is necessary in order for us to attain happiness. i think that we need to be able to change our opinions on the black or the white in some circumstances, that there can always be an exception to a rule. so i guess i dabble in the gray--sometimes. there are some issues in which i am decidedly black & white though, some compromises i am not willing to make--but i accept that not everyone will agree with the way i think & feel.

12. If you could be anything other than the profession you are in now, what would it be? now that i have the job i've got with the company i work for, i can't imagine anything i'd like to do more. when i am truly happy, i don't feel the need to look for greener grass.

13. Ever done drugs? never

14. Did you ever contemplate suicide? absolutely not. i think that life is a precious gift & that no matter how bad it might be right now, things can improve. sometimes it takes time, sometimes it takes work, sometimes it takes patience, sometimes it takes asking for help. but nothing is ever so bad that it's worth not living at all. that's a choice you can't reverse & all it does is hurt the people that love you.

15. Do you actually like filling these things out or do you just indulge your friends? i like filling them out for the most part. there are some email surveys that have circulated around for so long that it just gets tedious filling out the same 25 answers. but if someone sends one with at least a few new questions, i find it kinda fun to think about "who i am right now". this one in particular really made me think.


Friday, August 19, 2005

a vision of beauty

Atlantic - Carib - Gulf of Mexico
There are no tropical cyclones in the Atlantic at this time.


baby it's HOT outside!

you know it's hot outside when you grab the doorknob to come back in from taking attendance at the timeclock & your burn your hand! yeeee-ouch!


good Friday morning blog readers!

feelin' pretty good and that's the truth
it's neither drink nor drug induced
no, i'm just doin' alright

it's a great day to be alive
i know the sun's still shining when i close my eyes
there's some hard times in the neighborhood
but why can't every day be just this good

(from "It's a Great Day to be Alive" by Travis Tritt)

just a quick something to hold you over till i can get back here with more--you know, if you're checking for an update. ;-)

didn't wake up in a great mood but i'm in one now =)


Thursday, August 18, 2005

they're coming to take me away, ha! ha!

do you ever get the feeling some days that there are people where you work that are trying to push you over the edge?!


brings tears to my eyes

i was driving into work this morning as usual, surfing the radio stations in my preset, looking for favorite songs or humorous bits from various morning shows. i stopped when i heard SheDaisy's song "Please Come Home Soon". for some reason it transported me back to Orlando International Airport, right around last Thanksgiving. i was standing in the main terminal, waiting for that first glimpse of Heather & Baby Girl. being right before a major holiday, there was a steady river of people pouring off of planes & into the arms of loved ones not-so-patiently waiting for their arrival. as i stood off to the side peering into the sea of unfamiliar faces, searching for the one i know, i saw 2 soldiers walking through the crowd, unmistakable with their camouflage fatigues & dogtags. i noticed the large group of people next to me catch sight of them & start cheering & crying. hugs were exchanged, babies & moms & girlfriends kissed. everyone was talking at once & laughing & smiling. it was one of the most heart-warming things i had ever witnessed: a family reunited just in time for the holidays & i was thinking to myself that they would surely feel much to be thankful for around their turkey & cranberry sauce at their Thanksgiving table.

and then a man who had been standing alone, also waiting for some unknown (well to me anyway) person to arrive, moved quietly forward. he approached the group, appearing almost hesitant to interrupt their joyful reunion but was obviously very driven by what he intended to do. he tapped the 2 young soldiers on the shoulder & they turned to face this complete stranger. the man looked them full in the face, so much emotion written there. he shook each of their hands firmly & said to them: "i just wanted to thank you for what you're doing for your country. that's all. thank you. now please go back to enjoying your family." you could see the gratitude this man had & the appreciation in the young men's faces as they smiled back at him & thanked him & wished him a Happy Thanksgiving. i just stood there silent, taking in the scene before me.

so i'm driving down the highway, listening to this song & thinking about that exchange. my eyes got all teary & i felt that same feeling i felt then. that feeling i can't seem to find the appropriate words to express...


top 3 worst lines that have been used on me

in no particular order...

  1. you aren't traditionally beautiful...more like...unconventionally pretty (ummm..ok but...ouch!?!)
  2. i've decided that i need to stop looking for Miss Perfect & realize that i should just be settling for Miss Good Enough since i've already got you (speechless...i was just speechless)
  3. i can sleep with anyone i want to whenever i want to but i want you (*coughcough* really?!)

now i will admit these were probably not meant to come out quite the way that they did but sometimes you need to learn the skill of saying things in your head before you let them come out of your mouth, know what i mean? so their punishment for saying these things is that they are now being posted on my blog for anyone in the world to happen upon. the fact that they were things likely meant to be much nicer than they came out (i'm giving the benefit of the doubt here!) is what saves them from being directly credited with their names attached to the end of the quotes. ;-)

guys...*please* yourselves a favor & THINK first, k?


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

what makes a man sexy

maybe it's just me but there is something irresistable about a man who lights up around babies. even if you're not a "baby person", there's just something about a man with a mostly hidden soft side that peeks out every now & then.

man + baby = heart going pitty-pat.

also very sexy? is the man who has no idea he is...


ya know what i mean?

sometimes you meet a person who really makes you appreciate little things about the people already in your life--little things you knew were there but now have renewed gratefulness for once you've seen someone who lacks these particular characteristics. not that you ever took these great qualities for granted, more like you realize now just how many people don't exhibit them...and should. ya know what i mean?



(Michelle should be able to appreciate this with the stories of applicants she has to share in her blog...)

i believe i have officially cured my never-ending appetite. i just had a guy in here that had BO so bad i had to go upstairs before i threw up on my desk. he's gone & it STILL stinks in here! we are considering adding an addendum to our "This is a drug-free work environment" sign that we have up on the wall to say "We also promote the use of the following: shower, soap, deodorant."

i just hope it isn't the Seinfeld variety of BO that attaches itself to people...


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

shoe lust

i don't get it often but when i do, i get it BAD

these in black & brown...

...and these in the dark chocolate brown


just a suggestion

"Don't let a suitcase full of cheese be your big fork & spoon..."
(Marie to Debra, Everybody Loves Raymond--"Baggage": May 2003)

just put a new garbage bag in the trashcan already!


it is our great honor on this 16th day of August in the year 2005...




what do these guys all have in common (beyond the blatantly obvious)? they are the first member inductees of the inaugural year for the Mascot Hall of Fame today in Center City, PA of course! many other well-known mascots are expected to attend.

can you imagine being on THAT flight into PA? hee hee...


hey this is good you all a little warning ;-) lol

brought to you by Monday Madness (yes even though i am aware that it is now TUESDAY lol)

This week’s questions are all about you! Nothing personal; just for fun…

1. On what day of the week were you born? Tuesday (which btw, i had to look up...)

2. Do you look forward to birthdays? not really. i don't dread them either though. they are really just another day...and an excuse to eat cake. ;-)

3. How do you usually celebrate your birthday? with as little fanfare as possible

4. Do you like surprises? depends on the type of surprise & its potential to embarrass me

5. Has anyone ever thrown you a surprise party? no but Ken did fly Alison down here last year & had her sitting on my couch when i walked in the door from work. i hear the look on my face was priceless. and i am stunned that the two of them--of all people!--were able to not spill the beans before it actually happened! *that* was an awesome surprise. =)

6. How many family and friends’ birthdays can you remember right off the top of your head? just about everyone's--although i have a mental block on Heather's husband's for some reason. good thing he thinks belated birthday cards are the funniest! ;-)

7. Do you send cards to your family and friends on their birthday? yep but sometimes they don't get there in time. still trying to figure out the post office time table for mailing things...nailed Andi's this year though!

8. What kind of cake do you like? ice cream cake! or chocolate with chocolate frosting...or CHEESEcake!

9. What kind of ice cream goes best with it? ummmm...the ice cream that comes IN it?! lol...or with chocolate cake: vanilla. no ice cream with cheesecake though

10. When is your birthday? (You don’t have to share the year with us if you answer this question.) October 12


Monday, August 15, 2005

what was that...?

i feel like i have the attention span of a fruit fly today. i am getting distracted by everyth...

what was that i was just saying?


Monday morning happies =)

  1. 3 great songs in a row on the radio
  2. individually sized bags of wheat thins to get me through the morning munchies
  3. email from a friend i haven't heard from in a while
  4. Heather was in the office to chat over email this morning
  5. GREAT hair day!
  6. smiles on the faces of all my favorite co-workers
  7. looking down to see freshly painted toes in a summery shimmery copper color--like a brand new penny with a hint more pink

happy monday! =)


Sunday, August 14, 2005

word association for the week of August 14, 2005

courtesy of Unconcious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

Idiot:: what Debra calls Ray at least once an episode on "Everybody Loves Raymond"
Rocket:: scientist
Liability:: insurance
Harmless:: what people tell me most bugs/spiders are but that doesn't make me any more comfortable with them being near me!
Stringy:: hot melted cheese
Gwyneth:: Paltrow
Use it or lose it:: what our policy is for vacation time at work that i *still* can't get some people to grasp the concept of!!
Theater:: movie
Sonic:: boom
Pucker:: up! (as in for a kiss)


the land of lost time

is it just me or have you noticed that they don't have any clocks at Walmart? it's as if they don't want you to know how long you've been trapped in there with their life-draining lights cause if you had any idea just how long you were in there, you'd abandon your cart & run screaming for the door!


things that confuse me

  1. why a side effect of a sleeping pill is "drowsiness". ummm *hopefully* i would think...
  2. how it is possible that things like jets & space shuttles are actually able to stay up in the air. i mean i understand how it happens but just the actual thought of the fact that these huge heavy pieces of metal don't just fall out of the sky on a regular basis amazes me.
  3. how all these spammers that assault my email account with useless trash can know my full name but still send me "get free roundtrip airfare to Orlando"...hmmmmmm...except that to fly anywhere, the closest airport to me is ORLANDO International.
  4. how i can make it through THREE hurricanes in less than 2 months last year & only lose power for about 10 hours total 2/3 of the way through the last one, yet all we have to do is hear a vague rumbling of thunder somewhere in the distance these days & the electricity goes out for 4-7 hours. i've now lost piwer more times in the last 2 weeks than i have during the entire rest of the 3 1/2 years that i have lived here.
  5. miles & miles of backed up highway traffic that suddenly starts moving again with no apparent reason why it was ever stopped up in the first place.



...very tired...


the power of love

"The breeze of love blows for an hour and makes amends for the ill winds of the whole of a lifetime." (Naguib Mahfouz)

isn't it amazing how just a little bit of love goes a long, long way?

live well, laugh often, love much


Saturday, August 13, 2005

wondering where i've been all day?

i was taking advantage of the reason it is worth it to live in 95-degree heat & 87% humidity & 3 major some photos today that i am unbelievably thrilled with! if you click on the one below it will take you to the rest!


Friday, August 12, 2005

look out...



a Patriot three-peat?

Maybe Pats will ... maybe they won't
John Czarnecki /

The New England Patriots are embarking on a goal, winning a third consecutive NFL championship, that hasn't been accomplished since the legendary Green Bay Packers of Vince Lombardi. Even novice fans must realize that this coach named Lombardi must have been damn good in the 1960s because the Super Bowl trophy is now named after him.

Behind every great team, there generally is a great coach and that's why the Patriots have won two consecutive titles to go with their great upset of the St. Louis Rams after the 2001 season. Bill Belichick is this era's great coach. And like Jimmy Johnson and Bill Walsh, his expertise at evaluating personnel has been equally as important as his overall strategies. It is a major ingredient to both his success and that of the Patriots.

With that in mind, here are five reasons why the Patriots can make it three straight:

1. Quarterback Tom Brady figures to improve. He is already the best quarterback at anticipating blitzes and knowing a defense's weakness. His main receivers, starting with Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch, are all young. Plus, he should have a new weapon underneath and deep down the seams in TE Ben Watson, who was injured last season.

2. The Patriots' special teams ranked only 21st overall last season, a very bad number for a championship team. But they should be better since personnel guru Scott Pioli signed two very good returners in Tim Dwight and Chad Morton. The Pats had their worst punt return average in 15 seasons (5.8 yards) a year ago. Plus, they improved their kick coverage teams by signing Wesly Mallard away from the New York Giants. They retain the game's best clutch kicker in Adam Vinatieri.

3. This may be hard to accept, but Brady and his offensive buddies may be better off with Belichick calling the plays and devising the offense than they were under former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, who left for Notre Dame. Outsiders believe this is a huge gamble on Belichick's part, but he surely understands offenses because he's been devising defenses his entire career to stop them. He's smart enough, and inventive enough, to develop some intricate game plans. Plus, he has the guts to call a game. There are offensive coaches in this league who can install an offense, but can't call a game to save their jobs.

4. Both DT Richard Seymour and SS Rodney Harrison will be taken care of financially. Seymour is pleased with his one-year deal while both sides work toward an extension for the 25-year-old, four-time Pro Bowler. Harrison, who was dumped too early by the Chargers, is expected to receive a new contract as well. Harrison, with linebacker Tedy Bruschi out for the season, assumes much of the daily practice leadership role. Harrison has been more than even Belichick expected.

5. WR David Terrell, who had tons of personal issues with the Chicago Bears, could blossom in New England where the focus definitely won't be on him. He played at Michigan with Tom Brady and was a first-round draft choice. He has big-play ability, but his career suffered in Chicago because he became a distraction on and off the field. Of course, Terrell was stuck with some awful quarterbacks in Chicago, too. Don't forget that Belichick has had success with so-called bad boys. Corey Dillon was unloved in Cincinnati and all he did was rush for 1,635 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

That being said, there's a reason why no one's won three championships in a row since Lombardi's Packers ... it's unbelievably hard to do.

So before you start thinking a three-peat in New England is inevitable, here are five reasons why the Patriots can't repeat:

1. With the losses of both defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel (now head coach of the Browns) and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis (now head coach at Notre Dame), Belichick has turned the defense over to young coordinator Eric Mangini. "Bill has been used to being involved in every facet of his team," said Jimmy Johnson, "but it looks like his focus will be offense. He's counting on Mangini to take care of the defense and that could be a lot to ask for a first-year coordinator."

2. Belichick has a plan for the offensive play-calling, but he's going to experiment with it in the preseason. He's counting on himself and new tight ends coach Pete Mangurian, who he knows from when both worked for the Giants. Quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels will also be involved. Bottom line though, he's counting on the rapport he has with Tom Brady. But maybe his focus on the offense takes away from his customary work with the defense and special teams.

3. The Patriots are without both inside linebackers, Tedy Bruschi and Ted Johnson, from last season. Bruschi was a huge leader and a playmaker on defense. Johnson was rock solid against the run. But if the experiments of shifting Mike Vrabel inside or using newcomer Chad Brown, who hasn't started in a 3-4 since 1996, aren't the solutions, the defense could be a mess instead of a strength. Brown and ex-Chief Monty Beisel (since when do you find defensive stars in Kansas City?) will be given the first crack at the inside positions. Most believe, though, that Brown is better as a weak-side linebacker, considering his sacking potential. Brown has also missed 19 starts in the last three years.

4. The law of averages catches the Patriots. Everybody will be gunning for them. They have to play at Carolina, at Pittsburgh and at Atlanta in the first five games. Plus, their division competition may be the stiffest in the NFL with the arrival of Nick Saban in Miami. Yes, they have won three Super Bowls, but they've won them by the smallest of margins: three points each time. They are very good, but they haven't dominated anyone.

5. The offensive line has never been filled with Pro Bowlers. But they failed to sign leader Joe Andruzzi and it appears that rookie Logan Mankins is set to replace him. Dante Scarnecchia is one of the game's finest offensive line coaches, but what if Mankins doesn't develop as quickly as Scarnecchia needs him to? Remember, this isn't a stellar pass-blocking unit. Left tackle Matt Light has been beaten by speed rushers. If they get dominated, it could be a long season for Brady and Corey Dillon.

i have to say i am hoping that the first 5 outweigh the last 5...but i am at best cautiously optimistic. a season minus Bruschi does not leave me feeling confident defensively. i know that they have overcome the odds & won even with an injured team & minus key players but i don't know how much longer good fortune can smile on a beaten up team. let's hope the guys we have left stay healthy...


Thursday, August 11, 2005

make me laugh why don't ya!

sometimes i wish you all could climb inside my head & see some of the dreams i have while i sleep. i keep thinking about the dream i had last night about the hairiest baby i had ever seen. i woke up laughing & i start again everytime i think about it. it's the mental image. i'm telling you i wish you could have seen it.


in sports news this morning...

now THIS is what i call a good ol' fashioned WHOMPING! be sure to check out the video highlight of Manny's 3-run homer. what a thing of beauty to watch that sail.

GO RED SOX!! 5.5 games up baby!

it's a bird! it's a plane! it's...Tom Brady?

or Kevin Millar at Tuesday's batting practice...*giggle*


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

the dog days of summer??

apparently today is Spoil Your Dog Day. funny, i thought that was *everyday*...silly me.


Tuesday, August 9, 2005

great moments from "Friends"

Joey: Ok here's a quarter. We'll flip to see which baby we'll take home.

Chandler: We're going to flip for the baby?!

Joey: You got a better idea? [pause] Ok. Ducks will be heads cause ducks have heads.

Chandler: What kind of scary-ass clowns came to your birthday party?!

i can't help it. this show just cracks me up. every time.
it's been almost a year since it ended.
i'm not over it yet.


in case you missed it

i happen to love this Baby Girl =)

and tell me how can you resist a Baby Girl with a ruffle butt?!


it's all fun & games...

...till someone snorts water out their nose!


man, i love me some good all-day email conversation with an old friend.


a sense of awe

...and Discovery is home...

it's something of a perspective adjustment to listen to the last 3 minutes of a space shuttle's descent back to earth. the calm voice of the NASA commentator bringing the live play-by-play. i sat there in the car, enraptured by the event unfolding on Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in CA. it amazed me that the pre-dawn touchdown scheduled for 8:12am ET for a shuttle still millions of miles away, hurtling through space at thousands of miles per hour can be *that* precise to within less than a minute. at 8:11:22 am ET, after 14 days in space, Discovery is once again earth-bound. and if i am rendered thoughtful at a mere jet being airborne for a few hours & returning to the ground pretty gracefully when you really think about it, then this feat of a space shuttle is darn near incomprehensible to me. it makes me feel small in comparison.

stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of 659 & main street in Lakeland, FL, i got an uncommon feeling of community as the announcement was made of the shuttle's safe return to earth & the woman driving the car in front of me clapped her hands. i glanced in my rear view mirror to catch the man behind me, his fists raised in silent victory. i knew without a doubt we all were listening to the same live broadcast & felt the same sense of relief. it gave me a chill. you don't find feelings of community very often anymore these days as we all go about our lives in separate circles, bound by our own thoughts & routines.

this morning i was moved. i felt quietly awestruck. both by the grand--an accomplishment of succesful rocket science (quite literally!)--and the small--a connection between people, complete strangers, that involved no words, not even eye contact, yet was indescribably powerful. i guess come to think of it, maybe that isn't small at all.



just a random little something to start your day off


"Jason sneezes. God bless you, I say. He sneezes again. God bless you. He sneezes a third time. Bless you, I say kinda angrily. He sneezes for a fourth time. Stop it already, I say. It's annoying now. As if he can help it."
(excerpt from "Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Mind" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, pg. 182)

at the time i read this, it made me chuckle. made me do it again just now as i extracted this from my list of potential blog entries. (yes i have a compiled list saved of things to ramble about. if i ever made all these things entires as i thought of them, you'd all end up drowning in everything i have to say i save them as drafts & come back to them at times like this when i want to say something but still haven't cleared the sleep-induced cobwebs from my brain.)

all that aside, that little blurb from the book elicited a giggle because after someone gets to 3 sneezes with me, i warn them: "that's it. 3 is the limit." i don't know why i say that & i would surely offer a 4th if the opportunity presented itself in the form of another sneeze, but i wonder if as i progress toward my "limit", do i too sound more & more annoyed? lol oh & in case you're wondering, i am not hypocritical on this. if i sneeze 3 times myself i start to get kinda ticked off. like i have a choice or something.


Monday, August 8, 2005

call me crazy but...

...isn't there a whole lot of mother-daughter resemblance going on here?? Heather says she doesn't see it. i wonder how anyone CAN'T?! now granted the photo of Heather is from when she was 4 (sorry, it's not like i have baby photos of Heather LOL!) & Baby Girl is only 14 months...but still...

and just so she doesn't kill me for that photo of her, i offer up to you myself from the very same nursery school photo from way back when we first met on the brown line around the edge of the room where we sang "Good Morning to You". =) 25 years ago next month...nice with the cheesy fake smile & too busy being distracted to look at the camera huh? lol


i ask you... this not the cutest darn baby ever??! =)

ok so i can't take any credit for her really but she *is* my sweet baby girl god daughter. and she so very much makes me smile. =)



...and the lightbulb clicks on

Disney's Animal Kingdom was running a commercial with a slogan a while back. i must have heard that thing several hundred times. took me reading a Disney World trivia book to finally catch on though.



i feel like such a moron.


Sunday, August 7, 2005

word association for the week of August 7, 2005

courtesy of Unconcious Mutterings

I say ... and you think ... ?

Complexion:: clear
Teach:: Andi
Back to school:: supplies
Months:: of the year
Nominate:: a candidate
Favorite curse word:: i don't have a potty mouth lol
Concerned:: how i often feel about the people i care about
Better:: than nothing
Escalate:: increased intesnity
Unveil:: reveal


I is for...

...Insane: this year's hurricane season is insane! and it's driving me there too!
...Impatient: i am impatient for hurricane season to be over.
...Irritating: this is an irritating list to compose lol.
...Intensity: they are anticipating even more storms with great intensity during the next few months.
...Irrational: i now have an irrational (or maybe not so much!) fear of June-November.
...Insecure: i feel very insecure about the weather right now.
...Ignorant: i was quite ignorant about hurricanes before 2004. ya when they say ignorance is bliss? yeah well whoever "they" are, they're right!
...Ignore: i would like to ignore the fact that we still have 4 months left of this crap.
...Irene: Tropical Storm Irene has officially become the 9th named storm for 2005.


a celebration of friendship

there are lots of people who roll their eyes at the "Hallmark holidays", claiming that it's all a ploy to get consumers to spend more money...i for one though think they may be onto something here that we might otherwise overlook: the celebration of the important relationships in our lives. this is not to say that we shouldn't be showing our appreciation for these special people each & every day but i kind of like the concept of a special to day really celebrate these people who make our lives full & complete. think about it. what's really so wrong about having an extra day where we single one special person or group of people we love & taking that opportunity to make them feel good? not one thing in my opinion.

on that note, today is Friendship Day. i want to take just a quick moment to celebrate my friends--my best friends, my good friends, my old friends & my new ones. friends that are close by & friends that i don't see nearly often enough. friends that have been there for me & friends that will be. friends i've met through the internet & friends that haven't even come into my life yet. i can't imagine where i'd be without each & every one of you. thank you for the times you've listened, the times you've made me laugh, all the great memories we've made & all the ones that we'll make.

You've always been
Time and again
The one to take my hand
And show me
It's okay to be
Just the way I am
With no apology
You've always been
And you will till God knows when
Yes you've always been
A friend to me
(from "A Friend to Me" by Garth Brooks)


Friday, August 5, 2005

holy atmospheric and oceanic conditions favoring hurricane formation Batman!!

NOAA is calling for a 95% to 100% chance of an above-normal 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. (gee ya think?? and you paid out big bucks to attend a higher education facility to be able to make a determination like that? stunning...)

on a serious note though, NOAA announced an revised August outlook for the 2005 season. the summary states: "For the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season the outlook calls for an extremely active season, with the seasonal ACE index forecasted to range from 180%-270% of the median. This range is above the 175% baseline that Goldenberg et al. (Science, 2001) use to define a hyperactive season. The outlook also calls for a seasonal total of 18-21 tropical storms (up from May's prediction of 12-15), with 9-11 becoming hurricanes (May esimtated 7-9), and 5-7 of these becoming major hurricanes [categories 3-4-5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale] (in May they were thinking more like 3-5).... Even though there has already been considerable early season activity (7 tropical storms, with two becoming major hurricanes), most of the activity is still expected to occur during the climatological peak months of August-October. Many of the storms during this period will develop from disturbances moving westward from the west coast of Africa, and will likely form over the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea in the region between 9°N-21.5°N (black box). Historically, tropical storms that first form in these areas account for 55% of all hurricanes and 80% of all major hurricanes....Tropical storms that form over the tropical Atlantic Ocean generally track westward toward the Caribbean Islands and/or United States as they strengthen into hurricanes, and therefore pose an increased threat to these regions."


in layman's terms: it's been a record-breaking start to the season & it's only going to get busier with storms of even stronger intensity. and as the season progresses toward the typically most active months, the U.S. comes under a greater risk. prior to this update, there were 7 tropical storms and 2 major hurricanes. for the remainder of the season, we can expect an additional 11-14 tropical storms (if you're counting, that would mean that we would have a minimum of 18 named storms if we come in on the low end of this outlook--if we reach the maximum at 14 more named storms, we will actually run out of names on the 2005 list!), with 7-9 becoming hurricanes, and 3-5 of these becoming major hurricanes. and yes the increase in the outlook is certainly taking into consideration the fact that we've already been very busy in the tropics but they are saying that basically "we ain't seen nothing yet folks".



a watchful eye

this is looking somewhat better...let's hope we stay this course


a wish for you

feeling especially "musically-oriented" this morning i guess...
listen here:
track 13 on Faith Hill's new cd "Fireflies"
mostly just taken by the lyrics to this one though...






i hope you have that kind of day...


someone please explain

why is it that songs we hate are the ones we seem to know all the words to after hearing the song once & they are the most easily lodged into our heads but the hardest to eradicate??

speaking of music...
you can see the video for Arlington by Trace Adkins (i talked about it last week) by going HERE. i suspect it will also end up on my blog as soon as some video codes are made available.



...i don't know exactly how comfortable *this* makes me...go Bermuda High go...


Thursday, August 4, 2005

remedies for rotten days--part 2

(Good Housekeeping July 2005)

6. give yourself the day off
when things go wrong, it may be a sign to stop and do nothing. spend a day reading a trashy novel. make a pot of tea and lie around in your pajamas. instead of trying to keep up, just give in for the day. if you can't take the whole day, then take just an hour or an afternoon. indulge your inner lazybone. you'll be much more able to rise up again tomorrow, ready to face your life.

7. gaze at something orange
color has been used throughout history to influence mood. recently, some psychologists have even used color therapy to help their clients reduce stress. what color should you surround yourself with? according to experts: ORANGE. it promotes optimism, enthusiasm, and happiness. so buy an orange flower today, use an orange-colored light in your living room, or put a big bowl of oranges in your office and see if you feel happier!

8. keep a sense of perspective
putting life's annoyances into perspective restores a sense of proportion. we often hear others compare themselves to someone less fortunate. understanding that a minor setback is not the end of the world will give you the positive energy to move forward.

9. bring the ocean inside
have you ever noticed how rejuvenated you feel after being in the ocean? you can simulate the effect by taking a luxurious bath: pour one cup of salt into the stream of warm water while filling the tub, turn on a CD of icean-surf sounds, light a sea-breeze-scented candle, and enjoy.


Wednesday, August 3, 2005

summer mornings & memories

isn't it funny how you can read the words of a complete stranger & they can evoke the strongest memories? i was reading this entry in a blog called "a journal of sorts..." & something in the words she chose transported me right back to the most vivid recollection of my childhood. not one specific day but more a span of days that replayed in comforting similarity over the course of years.

summer mornings.

i wish i had a photo that could capture the memories in my head for you. so you could be here too. =) it was good times. summer vacation. i could have been 7 or 9 or 12. it could have been any day of the week. maybe it was July. maybe it was August. it could be any of those days. it was all of them.

i was lucky enough to have grandparents (my paternal ones) that played an extremely active role in my upbringing. their house was the best place to be. not just in the summer but year round. i digress...

all summer long it was commonplace for me to just live at my grandparents' which was about 10 minutes from home. they had 3.5 acres with lush backyard, an orchard & these great gardens that were my grandfather's pride & joy, filled with lucious summer bounty. there was green grass & bright flowers. giant shade trees for sitting under in the heat of the day & flat rocks for laying on as you gazed at the puffy summer clouds. and this long bumpy driveway. i can see it all in my mind's eye & i wish you could too...but sometimes more than the picture, it's the feelings it dredges up from my long-tucked-away memory bank.

on summer mornings i would wake up at daybreak. literally. i would pad downstairs to the kitchen for chocolate milk & toast spread with homemade jelly, sitting at the little round kitchen table with my Gram close-by puttering about, my Gramp already long outdoors, elbow-deep in the dirt & his vegetables. and then i would run back upstairs, put on shorts & a t-shirt and dash outside barefoot to run in the dew-drenched grass as the sun painted the sky in streaks of pastel. there is something still breath-taking about that misty, golden morning hour that enchants me. i was wise enough to memorize it in my heart even as a child who had yet to understand the beauty that was so breath-taking it is almost painful recall. but i can draw on it now with appreciation.

and a piece of my soul both aches & dances with the memory...


H is for...

...Hurricane. just stating the obvious lol...
...Howling winds. the strength of these winds determines how tropical systems are classified in varying degrees. a tropical wave is a kink or bend in the normally straight flow of surface air in the tropics which forms a low pressure trough & is monitored as it can develop into a tropical cyclone. the next step up is a tropical disturbance which is often the earliest stages of a tropical cyclone or hurricane with an organized area of thunderstorms that forms in the tropics & persists for more than 24 hours, but winds remain below 30 mph. a tropical system with maximum sustained winds near the surface of less than 39 mph is known as a tropical depression and is listed only with a number, not a name. when winds of 39 to 74 mph are sustained, the system is upgraded to tropical storm status & it is usaully given a name when it reaches this intensity. when winds reach 75 mph, the system officially becomes a hurricane. hurricanes are classified by category number based on wind speed. category one: 75 to 95 mph. category 2: 96 to 110 mph. category 3: 113 to 130 mph. catergory 4: 131 to 155 mph. category 5: winds greater than 155 mph.
...Haven't we had enough of this yet? why yes, yes we have.
...Heat. tropical storm systems need warm water to keep them going. i've said this before. well, the water temperatures are exceptionally warm this year.

Atlantic Ocean Surface Temperature Map
...Hurricane Hunter Aircraft: they go out on reconnaissance flights directly into tropical systems to gather information to help meteorologists form possible storm tracks & predictions of storm strength & to monitor a storm's development. locally, these planes are coming from the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center, MacDill Airforce Base, Tampa.
...Heavy rain. up to 5 inches per hour.
...Hundreds of millions of dollars in damages caused by these natural disasters.
...Humbled: how i felt last year after seeing what these forces of nature are capable of.
...High pressure systems which block hurricanes & steer the storms around them. this is why the strength & placement of the Bermuda High is so critical for FL--it will either protect us or conversely direct the hurricanes into paths right over us (like last year).
...Hurricane season: June 1 through November 30
...Tropical Storm Harvey

...Hahahahahahahahaha!! HARVEY?!
...Hallelujah for storms that stay away from the United States


fun with words

got this email forwarded to me from Chele & since we all know how much i love vocabulary & playing around with words (or you should if you pay attention to what you're reading here! LOL), i decided it would be a fun addition to my blog.

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's {2005} winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.
3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
12. Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
13. Decafalon (n.): The gruelling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
14. Glibido: All talk and no action.
15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter, when they come at you rapidly
16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web. (note from Dawn: i believe this one is my personal favorite!)
17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
18. Caterpallor (n.): The colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.


Tuesday, August 2, 2005


survived 3 major hurricanes last year & only lost power during the last one for about 8 hours. can't have just a standard, run-of-the-mill thunder storm though without losing power for 7 1/2 hours. oh they TRIED to get it back on. 3 times. unsuccessfully. it would come on long enough to make you feel safe & turn on your computer. then HA! GOTCHA! right back out again. you can imagine my disbelief when it finally came on at 1:20am. and stayed on. why do i know when it was returned to me for real? because even though i put the battery back-up in my alarm clock, i still do not trust that it will really work. yes, i AM a neurotic idiot. lol.

in case you were wondering. it's not really conducive for sleeping anyway when you have no a/c. in FL. in July. if i could have taken my skin off (sorry for the visual lol) i would have. probably still would have been too hot. actually considered getting into my car & sleeping there just to have the comfort of a/c. don't worry. it's parked in a carport, not a garage. i promise i was only contemplating the benefits of being cool again, not ending it all. ;-)

here's what *i'm* wondering though: not worried about the freezer. the meat was still all frozen solid even after that many hours. but what about the stuff in the refrigerator? when the power came back on, i checked it & it was cool but i don't know HOW cool. we did have power--albeit very briefly--3 times before it came back on to stay. was on long enough each time to give things a quick chill again. i'm not worried about most of the stuff in there (juices, hot dogs, some tortillas, pickles, things like that)...but do i risk all the dairy products or chuck 'em just to be safe?

*cringing as i think of the gallon & a half of milk i have in there, not to mention pudding, yogurt, mayo & some other assorted goodies*


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