Saturday, January 31, 2009

Grace in Small Things 9:365

1. getting out of bed early because i am ready to get up, instead of having to get up for work.

2. relaxing on the couch with a stack of magazines.

3. a couple of Oreos for dessert.

4. Method dish soap in Winter Berry scent.

5. the Red Sox window cling that's on my car.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

but the question is: when did we decide we wanted to live in a climate-controlled bubble?

i was reading a blog post from the Boston Globe this morning that basically called out all the New Englanders for being whiny about snow this Winter. i started to think back to when i was a kid, growing up in Connecticut. was there *anything* we looked forward to more than fresh snowfall?

i remember sitting in front of my grandparents' tv while they watched the evening news, locked in on Hilton Kaderly giving the weather report, waiting intently for a promise of white stuff. i would go to bed at night, hoping, *willing* the sky to send down mountains of snow, and then wake up early--but not bright, because the sun was nowhere near up for the Winter-shortened day yet--and lift the corner of the blinds with anticipation.

oh, to be greeted with a Winter Wonderland outside my window!

with the world freshly blanketed in sparkling white, my attention would immediately shift to the radio. WTIC 1080 AM. my dad would have tuned into the station, as he did every morning while he brewed his pot of coffee, and then bundled up to head outdoors with the task of shoveling the driveway, cleaning off the car & getting it warmed up. (something he likely woke up once or twice during the night to do as well, while i slept peacefully, with my childlike unawareness of adult responsibilities.)

sitting by the heater on the side of our gas stove, staying toasty warm while my dad was out in the icy still-dark morning, i would listen as Bob Steele reeled off the latest school closings, praying mightily that "Bristol, all schools, public and parochial" would be included. the list always started out small, as school officials assessed their individual weather situations and made the appropriate decisions, always the most rural, northern areas of the state making the first call--the areas that were districts covering multiple towns, given their lack of population density. how many times i wished we could live in "Region Six: Warren-Morris-Goshen," where they always seemed to receive enough accumulation to close! we were lucky to get so much as a 90-minute delay, if anything, an announcement that typically came later in the broadcast, either while we were in the car on our way up to Gram's or even after we had already arrived there and were settled at the table with tall glasses of chocolate milk, Bob pausing in his predictable one-sided morning banter to say he'd been handed more updates to share. (i always pictured this list as printed on one long sheet of paper, that by the time the sun started to softly brighten the world with muted light through grey snow clouds, would be puddling around his feet, much like those old paintings of Santa Claus with his List.)

i know that i'm seen as "soft" now, having transplanted myself to the state of sunshine, seventy-degrees and citrus, but back in the days of my youth, i wasn't rejoicing in the elusive Snow Day so that i could tuck myself away indoors. oh no! i wanted out! out into the pristine drifts and the frosty air, where your nose burned when you breathed it in, in great joyful gulps, and your cheeks smarted, rosy red, in just minutes.

Josh & i would tumble down the steps, bundled snug in sweaters & scarves & gloves, knitted hats layered under the hoods of puffy coats, jeans tucked into two pairs of socks under snow boots. we would burst into the yard, knee deep in snow--glorious snow!--our shouts coming out in puff-clouds. in some places where the snow would drift, like the top of the driveway where it curved toward the house, we would sink in to our waists. we would lumber through the yard, tossing handfuls of snow into the air & watching it sparkle-rain back down over us, chasing each other in slow motion, falling & getting up again, laughing, until we looked like snowmen brought to life.

and then, the best part would come when Gramp would fire up his snow blower to clear the long driveway. the snow would shoot out, piling onto the lawn where it was already heaped along the edges, creating tall snowbanks, packed tight & perfect for climbing. we would be admonished (several times) to *please* wait until Gramp was finished with his chore, lest some projectile come hurtling out with the snow & cause irreparable damage. kids don't think like that. we just wanted to stand on top of the world, towering high above the cleared ground below.

when our gloves would be so caked with snow that we could no longer bend our hands inside them, and snow would have worked its way down inside our boots, we would come back inside, often bringing half the yard's worth of snow in with us to melt in cold puddles on the floor around the kitchen door. we would drape our soggy clothes on the radiators to dry while we warmed up and long before they were ready to be put back on, we were ready to get back out again.

and after reading Eric Wilbur's blog post, i realized that the news has managed to sensationalize even snowfall now, causing panic & distress over something that was commonplace a mere two decades ago. i laugh at our local weather-chasers, who stand outdoors in slickers with their anxious voices providing minute-by-minute coverage of the typical Summer afternoon thunderstorm brewing on the horizon (maybe), as the trees stand motionless behind them & the sun shines. we treat each weather change like a pending catastrophe, yet rarely do we ever hear anyone revel in the beauty of the season at hand. it's either too hot or too cold, too snowy or rainy or humid. i wonder how i ever survived the snowdrifted Winters, the soggy Springtimes, the un-air-conditioned Summers of my childhood.

my point is this: we all know the meteorological pros and cons of where we live. maybe we have snow-filled Winter months or hurricane warnings all Summer long. but maybe we also have crisp vibrant Autumn days or mild Springs that start in March when the air is perfumed with orange blossoms and baseball begins to stretch its legs again. where ever we live, there are parts that won't be exactly perfect. we can either embrace them for what they are, recalling other days that make living here worth it...or we can find somewhere else, where the trade-off is more to our liking...but really? when did we *all* get so soft anyway?


Grace in Small Things 8:365

1. flannel sheets to snuggle into on 30-degree nights.

2. Gramp. he would have been 91 today. i should have made some cupcakes or something in his honor. maybe i still will.

(Gramp & Dawn, January 1979. Gramp's 61st birthday.)

3. Quilted Northern. i know you're rolling your eyes at me right now, but stop and think about it. just for a minute. you'll suddenly be ridiculously thankful too. because *seriously*. (and yes, these are the random things i think of during any given day.)

4. more cool weather. it will be warm again before we know it!

5. Jason Varitek *finally* signed a contract with the Red Sox. welcome home, Cap'n. it's about damn time. see you in twelve (twelve!) days.--P.S. thanks for the baseball ulcer. i usually don't have one til about June. nothing like being ahead of the game.

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Friday Fill-in: January 30, 2009

Friday Fill-in #109

1. I'd really like Jason Varitek to just sign that offer from the Red Sox right now.
(edit to add: literally 2 minutes after i posted this, the news broke that he signed a contract. now *that* is what i mean by 'right now'!)

2. ow!ow!ow!ow!ow! ::whimper:: is the word you'd most often hear me say if I stubbed my toe.

3. Possession is overrated.

4. one of the coolest additions to a Disney attraction was on Pirates of the Caribbean when they worked in Captain Jack Sparrow.

5. Marshmallows and fire go together like me & seeing a man holding a baby: melt.

6. one of my co-workers stands by my desk and just goes on and on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to staying comfy cozy at home, watching Ghost Whisperer, tomorrow my plans include scanning in some more old photos and Sunday, I want to see the Cardinals win the Super Bowl!


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Grace in Small Things 7:365

1. rain on the roof.

2. re-runs of Frasier.

3. checkbook that balances on the first try.

4. a comfy bed--even if it's so comfy i don't want to get out of it when the alarm goes off.

5. the big silver jingle bell hanging on my cabinet door that rings softly when i open it.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things 6:365

1. Gardenia scented shower gel.

2. that someone finally figured out that the tree i was trying to identify unsuccessfully is called the golden raintree.

3. being reminded of this favorite quote by j & e in nyc:
"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." (Laura Ingalls Wilder)

4. Kashi TLC crackers, Fire Roasted Vegetables flavor.

5. the realization that i have no needs that are not taken care of. every time i watch the news, i realize just how lucky i am. truly blessed. i may want for things, but i need nothing more.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Grace in Small Things 5:365

1. lists. i love lists. i have tons of them going at any one time. some are meant to be short-lived, others to be added to over time. some recorded in one way or another, while others are just tucked into the back of my mind.

2. i almost always keep my iPod on shuffle of all the songs i have on it. i love when Alan Jackson singing "How Great Thou Art" pops up randomly. i have it on there because it reminds me of my Gram and i can hear her sweet soprano in my mind, singing along, just as she used to spontaneously break out into song while working in the kitchen:

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

3. pajamas.

4. my February issue of Redbook in the mail.

5. windows open, letting in fresh cool air.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Grace in Small Things 4:365

1. crickets chipring. i can close my eyes & immediately be transported back to my bedroom at my grandparents' house in the Summer, falling asleep at night, with the windows open (they didn't have air conditioning) & the crickets singing me to sleep.

2. a bowl of vanilla ice cream.

3. catnaps snuggled up on the couch.

4. blog posts that make me laugh on Monday morning.

5. lying in bed reading til i get sleepy.

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letter to the Cap'n

dear Tek:

i like to think you're a smart man. certainly much smarter than you currently appear with this latest behavior that you're exhibiting and you're starting to make me uncomfortable.

listen carefully now. (please.)

the Sox Front Office has heard your piece. they heard you ask for two years. even though they *really* didn't plan to give you more than one year--as is evidenced by the fact that they left that one-year offer on the table for as long as they did--John Henry acknowledged your request for a face-to-face meeting, just the two of you. he heard you out and now they have upped the offer, no thanks to that low-life snake of an agent you have.

now, i may not know much about the business end of baseball, but it seems to me they just offered to meet you halfway, so now is the time to put some ink on that paper. make it official. you know, before they retract the offer all together. please restore my faith in your intelligence here, because you know that as much as i love you on our team, and the fierce loyalty i feel to you, your smarts are pretty much the only bargaining chip you have left. it's probably best not to make them nervous about that too.



Sunday, January 25, 2009

20 Questions: January 25, 2009

1. World Cup final, Olympic Games, Superbowl, World Series, NBA finals, Stanley Cup... which one would you like to attend?
World Series, no question about it.

2. If you had boy/girl twins today, what would you name them?
hmmmm... totally up to me? Emma Claire and Jack Ethan.

3. 5 Biggest Purchases of 2008:
airfare to California. bridesmaid dress for Alison's wedding. tickets to see the Sox play in Tampa. Disney pass. printer/scanner.

4. What 3 words do you think of when I say Italy?
food. Rome. boot.

5. How fond of vegetables are you? Which ones are your favorite?
i *love* vegetables. in fact, if i haven't eaten enough of them, i start to crave them! i like many veggies, but my favorites are probably broccoli & peas.

6. If I were a character on "Friends" I'd be:

7. 5 of your pet peeves.
when people treat my desk (at work) like it is Office Max. the way sales people in a store hound you every three minutes...unless you actually need one for something & then you can't find one. that i appear to be the only human being at work who knows how to put more paper in any of the office equipment. when baseball players "have" to spit between every pitch. telemarketing phone calls that ask me to please wait on the line & someone will be with me momentarily--umm NO.

8. What was the last thing you regret buying?
i'm pretty careful when it comes to spending my money, so my regretful purchases are rare. i actually can't remember the last thing i bought that i wish i hadn't!

9. What three things come to your mind when I say the word “Fresh”?
produce. Spring. Bounce dryer sheets.

10. Cheers, Mash, or Seinfeld?

11. I should be:
putting away my clean laundry.

12. What is something that you really should get rid of, but haven’t?
my scrapbooking supplies, since i can't remember the last time i even felt the slightest twinge. i keep thinking i will get the itch to though, so i haven't gotten rid of it. yet.

13. Do you think that a person can really change?
i think they can, if they really want to. i also think it's easy to *say* you'll change and maybe even try it. it's much harder to actually do it successfully though.

14. In your opinion, what is the best tv show that isn’t on the air anymore?
Boston Legal. (before Boston Legal ended this season, i would have said either Friends or Sex & the City.)

15. Is it easier to forgive or forget?
forgive. but sometimes i think you haven't *really* forgiven until you can forget.

16. What do you order when you eat Chinese food?
if i'm actually placing an order for something specific, chicken & broccoli or sweet-and-sour chicken.

17. Is your blog a dirty little secret, or do you tell everyone you meet about it?
it's not a secret but i don't make a point to actually tell many people about it. if they find it, fine, but i'm not going to direct anyone there.

18. Your personal candy heart would say:
give me chocolate.

19. You're having a bowl of soup. Your choice.
clam chowdah. New England, not Manhattan. Boston over New York, every time.

20. What can’t you miss?
Sox games. 162 regular season games & i bet i don't see maybe a half dozen, tops.


Grace in Small Things 3:365

1. the smell of freshly washed & dried towels.

2. waking up with a smile.

3. fresh strawberries.

4. catching the sunset at that perfect moment, when the sky is filled with vibrant red & golds.

5. crossing every item off my weekend "to do" list.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Grace In Small Things 2:365

1. hot chocolate in a favorite mug, stirred with a candy cane.

2. Christmas Cookie Yankee Candle

3. MLB Network - even though it's not quite baseball season yet, it fills the silence to have even an archived baseball game playing as background noise.

4. a hot shower.

5. lazy Saturday.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fill-in: January 23, 2009

Friday Fill-in #108

1. Oh, I am so happy it's been cooler here for a few days because it sounds like we'll be back up close to 80 degrees next week!

2. it can both exciting & unnerving to make changes, big and little.

3. During this week's episode of Private Practice, I am afraid to say i cried because it was so heartwrenching & touching.

4. the former CEO of Merrill Lynch spent $87,000 on a rug and $35,000 on a toilet during the process of redecorating his office; are you kidding me???

5. Right now I'd like to be able to stop time.

6. my iPod is my favorite gadget.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a relaxing evening at home, tomorrow my plans include getting some items crossed off my to-do list and Sunday, I want to get my grocery shopping out of the way early so i have the rest of the day to figure out how to stop time while it's still the weekend!


Grace in Small Things 1:365

1. the way sun shining through frost glitters - you forget when you've lived in Florida for almost seven years.

2. phone calls with old friends. especially on their birthday. even though you got distracted the first time you called & forgot to wish her a happy birthday so you had to call back a second time.

and by the do i not have a recent picture of us together?! this *will* be remedied in June & July this year!

3. helping a good cause.

4. warm fuzzy blankets.

5. Friday afternoon.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

does this qualify... cold in Florida yet??

and before anyone calls me a wimp: at what temperature did you turn on your heat this Winter? because despite lows in the 30s and now 20s, i have not turned on my heat in three Winters now. it's just me here and i refuse to pay for *heat* in FLORIDA.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mission San Juan Capistrano

when i went out to visit Nichole & Daniel this past time, just after Christmas, we went to see one of California's missions: San Juan Capistrano. i had never seen any of the missions before, but it was very cool to see history as old as what i had grown up with in New England. it's funny, but i don't ever really think about what was going on over on the West Coast during those times. we spend so much time learning about the Pilgrims and the Revolutionary War, but we really don't think much about the western side of our country before the first pioneers loaded up their wagons to settle it. i know that this period of history wasn't *American* on the West Coast but you would think we would still learn more about what was going on in that space which would become ours one day.

i'm on a tangent.

how about some photos of the mission now. the weather was gorgeous and the mission grounds were absolutely fascinating.

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not."
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)


Sunday, January 18, 2009

20 Questions: January 18, 2009

1. What are your five favorite kinds of candy?
See's chocolates. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Twix (the original version). Peanut Butter M&Ms. Hershey's Bliss (the milk chocolate with the meltaway center).

2. Do you think that gift cards are suitable gifts to give? Do you find them to be impersonal?
i see no problem with giving a gift card. and i do not think it is impersonal. sometimes it just makes more sense to buy a gift card when you aren't sure exactly what someone needs or what would fit but you know that they can shop at a particular location & pick out exactly what they want. the only gift i think is truly impersonal is cash and even then...who's complaining??

3. What is your blog about? How long have you been blogging? Why did you begin blogging? Is it the the same reason that you continue to blog today?
i have been blogging since December 26, 2004. which i guess means that i recently passed my fourth blogiversary. my blog is about me. it is meant to capture "me" as i may be at any given moment in time. i started my blog so that i had a concrete place to do this and i am proud to say that my blog still fits the same "mold" it did when i started it but i? i am nowhere near the same person. and i love that i have it all here.

4. What is your favorite Hostess treat?
good grief. i have been having a Hostess cupcake craving for two weeks now. you know, the chocolate ones with the chocolate frosting that has the little white squiggle on top & the cream center. i was so good when i went grocery shopping yesterday. i saw them & marched right past with (almost) no hesitation. and now this?? ::sigh::

5. How much money is in your wallet right now?
ummm...$53.18. that would be: 2 twenties, 12 singles, 4 quarters, 1 dime and 8 pennies.

6. How connected are you? Can you be reached by cellphone, internet, email, etc…. at all hours of the day? Do you ever (would you ever?) shut it all off, and how long could you go without technology?
very very very connected. my cell phone is always with me (other than the rare occasion that i forget it) so i am available via phone call or text. i also am usually connected to the internet in one way or another, even if i am not right by the computer. the only exceptions are: i am not online when i am driving to & from work or when i will be away from home for several days. and i do not bring my cell into church with me; i leave it in the car because i even though it could be on silent, i would be worried about a malfunction of some sort & having it go off during the service. i am usually only completely shut off when i am flying. i could turn it all off apart from that...but i don't see any reason to. i go a little crazy when i lose power or internet, but mostly because the ability to use it is taken out of my hands. when the choice is mine, it doesn't bother me at all, although i would probably start to miss it in a couple of days, because i frequently jump online to find out information.

7. If your bologna had a first name, what would it be?
Advil. (as i mentioned, bologna gives me a headache.)

8. What celebrity are you tired of hearing about lately?
Britney. seriously, enough already.

9. Which are your favorite blog plug-ins and widgets?
i like the little mood widgets. and the weather ones. and Twitter!

10. When I turn my head left:
there is a copy/fax machine. and can i just say that lately the paper smells weird after it goes through the copier? very chemical smelling. almost like chlorine.

11. If you had a crystal ball that could tell you the truth about any one thing you wished to know about yourself, life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
i want to know if i will ever have kids (which i guess would tell me some additional information about myself by default since i don't plan on having them without being married). but other than that? i'm good not knowing.

12. How do you know when you're in love?
as my Gram used to tell me: love is like the flu--if you have to ask, you don't have it.

13. Do you order Girl Scout Cookies? What kind are your favorites?
i don't order them since there are always Girl Scouts hanging out in front of my grocery store, selling them, but i do buy some. usually some Thin Mints and some Tagalongs.

14. If you could teach one person a lesson in humility, who would you choose?
heh. if you know me much at all, you know *exactly* who i am thinking of. and if you don't, consider yourself lucky.

15. What’s your favorite romantic song?
lately, it's a toss up between "Like Red on a Rose" by Alan Jackson and "Another Side of You" by Joe Nichols.

16. What is in your nightstand?
alarm clock. coaster. phone. lamp. tv remote. bottle of Vanilla Bean Noel lotion. a photo of me & my Gram when i was about a year old. a tea light holder with a Cranberry Chutney tea light in it.

17. If you had to pick a game to play from the following, which one would you pick: Chess, Backgammon, Scrabble, or Battleship?
Scrabble. Battleship would be my second choice.

18. If you could pair up any two single people you know, who would you pick?
do i even know anyone who is still single...?

19. What websites are you willing to admit to visiting daily?
Google Reader and Gmail are probably the only two i visit daily. there are others that i visit frequently but not every single day. and Google Reader allows me to read the content of many sites without having to actually go to them.

20. Someone says February and you think:
my Gram's birthday, February 4. and February 12, when pitchers & catchers report to Spring Training.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sing Along: January 15, 2009

Well, some things in this world you just can't change
Some things you can't see until it gets too late

Baby, baby, baby when all your love is gone
Who will save me from all I'm up against
Out in this world
And maybe, maybe, maybe
You'll find something that's enough to keep you
("Bright Lights," Matchbox Twenty)


not that i'm complaining, mind you

i've truly been wishing for some cooler weather. it's refreshing after months of heat & humidity. plus i finally get to wear something different. you don'trealize that when the seasons and temperatures don't change much, you're stuck choosing from the same wardrobe everyday. hello sweater weather!

i realize that this doesn't even touch the frigid weather many of you are facing (a fact for which i am thankful because i have no doubt i would surely turn into a frozen Dawn-pop version of my former self) but just as proof that i'm not saying "hey! it's chilly here!" just because it's dropped to 70 degrees from 80...

you can click the image to enlarge it!


Monday, January 12, 2009

i know you're out there in the great unknown

i know how it can be. you follow some links, down some crazy haphazard internet path, and somehow land on the blog of some person you don't know. and you read. and you read. and you feel some sort of connection. maybe with something they shared. or maybe you enjoy their writing style. whatever the reason, you keep coming back. and you really really want to leave a comment, but it seems like everyone already knows each other and you don't really know to ease in gracefully. (ok maybe that's just me...)

anyway whatever the case, you read but you just don't leave a comment. you want to, but something is stopping you. you feel funny jumping into the established group. you don't quite now what to say. you've been anonymous for so long, you wonder if you even should say anything. we all have our reasons.

well, today is your chance. it is the actual official Delurking Day, on which all those blog viewers who read in silence--lurking, if you will!--have the opportunity to make their presence known, to join in the fun, to say their piece! you don't have to...but you know you want to. who knows? once you break the commenting ice, you might decide to stay in the conversation.

so c'mon in! tell me who you are! what brought you here & what keeps you coming back? or you can tell me what's kept you quiet (because i bet i can relate!) til now. or something about yourself. and? you can help me out too: maybe i can start saying i have nine readers instead of six. ;-)


Sunday, January 11, 2009

20 Questions: January 11, 2009

1. When I look down I see:
my bag. my sneakers (on my feet). the tower for my computer with my lunch bag on top of it. a power strip. my space heater (because they need to keep this office Arctic in temperature). a tub of Clorox disinfecting wipes (to wipe off my keyboard, mouse & phone every morning as a precautionary measure, because the sickies think nothing of contaminating my desk before i get in).

2. So, what 3 things do you think of when I say vinegar?
pickles. salad dressing. baking soda.

3. When is the last time you got lost and what happened?
oh man. i got so lost on my way to the company Christmas party! the dumb thing is that we had it the same place we had it the previous two, but we didn't have a Christmas party last year & i didn't help set up for it this year, so there i was, driving around an area i don't spend much time in, after dark. i kept thinking the turn i was looking for was *before* i reached the college. turns out it was after. i spent 45 minutes driving a two-mile stretch of road, looking for a street that was a half-mile further up. and i *would* have stopped to ask for directions if i had seen a single person.

4. Pick out the most important item in your wallet/purse and tell why it's important to you.
barring the obvious answer of "my cash," that would have to be my planner. i would be absolutely lost if i couldn't find that book. it has everything i need in it: birthdays, appointments, reminders, addresses & phone numbers, my budget. anything else in there could be replaced if it had to be, but not the planner.

5. When was the last time you went to a playground and swung on the swings?
a long long time ago. maybe ten years? which is a shame because the swings were always my favorite.

6. What would it take for you to reconcile with your greatest enemy?
an act of God, because that is about the only way this person could not be toxic.

7. What is something you swore you would never do in your youth that you are doing?
live outside New England.

8. 5 of your least favorite ice cream flavors.
maple walnut. pistachio. butter pecan. spumoni. anything with cherries in it.

9. Does time heal all wounds?
i don't know if it heals *all* wounds. i think some remain but we learn to carry on, despite their existence.

10. If you could choose one song NEVER to hear ever again in your life, which song would it be?
there are a bunch i'm not remembering, but that "I Kissed a Girl" song is right up there near the top!

11. Someone has hung a sign around your neck, and you have to wear it all day long. What does it say?
out of order.

12. If you had to be trapped in a TV show for an entire month, which show would you choose? Why?
Boston Legal. i think the character of Alan Shore was brilliant and i would follow him around everywhere. he was witty & clever & sarcastic. and wicked intelligent. perfect entertainment for a month, i would say. plus? hello! Boston!

13. What were the last five songs you listened to?
"Love Song," Sara Bareilles. "The Next Contestant," Nickelback. "Baseball Ballet," Terry Cashman. "Say You, Say Me," Lionel Richie. "It's Your Love," Tim McGraw. (yes, eclectic music taste, i know. that's what happens when i let my ipod shuffle my entire music library.)

14. What 3 things come to mind when you hear the word pink?
baby girls. strawberry Starburst. Piglet.

15. If you could be invisible for one hour, where would you go and what would you do?
i would need to travel through time & space, but hey, i'm invisible, so clearly we're not talking about reality here. i would want to simply travel from one person i love to the next, and simply be able to watch them, just for a moment, being happy.

16. You’ve just received the fantastic news that you and a guest have won an all-expenses-paid trip to Destination Unknown. The catch is: 1. You leave NOW. 2. You can only bring the clothes on your back. 3. You’ll find out where you are going when you get there. Are you going to go? What clothes will you be traveling in? And lastly, where do you secretly hope Destination Unknown is? Where do you hope it’s not?
well, i am in the perfect travelling wear: comfy pants, short-sleeved shirt, light jacket (layering is important!) and sneakers. and leaving NOW would be perfect since my motivation is minimal as far as work goes. i just hope my destination is somewhere on the not-so-cold side. and preferably somewhere safe. and not involving camping. an international Disney Park would be perfect!

17. How do you eat your M&M’s?
grab a handful but eat one at a time (except for the milk chocolate ones, those are two at a time, because they're small). great. now i want M&Ms.

18. Would you rather spend the night in an igloo in the freezing cold, or on a wooden raft in the middle of the ocean?
in the igloo. because at least i would be able to sleep without worrying i would roll off the raft.

19. What three sounds do you love?
baby laughter. the unmistakable sound of bat-on-ball when you *know* it's a home run. rain falling on a roof.

20. Describe the kitchen in the house in which you grew up.
i am going to go with my Gram's kitchen, because i technically grew up in two houses. it had this brick-colored linoleum floor (that apparently *everyone* had in their childhood homes??). there were two doors--one to the outside, which opened onto a little porch landing, and the other leading down to the cellar)--and two doorways that led to the living room & dining room. there was a breakfats nook with a sideboard pantry on one side that had lots of cabinets & drawers. my Gram kept all her drinking glasses over there, as i recall, and lots of old milk glass. the breakfast nook had two windows that looked out onto the backyard. the one on the left had a thermometer outside it & i remember checking it in the Summer to see if it was over 100 and sometimes in the Winter, it would freeze & not move. when i was really little, they had a metal and Formica table there, which they later replaced with a wooden table--the area was big enough to serve two or three people. at the same time, they also replaced the hanging light over the table. it had this big glass globe on the top & when i was maybe 10 or 11, i was clearing the table and i accidentally hooked my ponytail on the lamp, causing the globe to come crashing down, smashing into a million pieces. i cried & cried but my Gram understood it was an accident. i wasn't hurt and the globe could be replaced. i was always very careful after that. the walls in the kitchen were a sunny yellow and a country blue, and the curtains were white. the cabinets were wood with black hardware, and the counters were bright yellow Formica with stainless steel trim. there were lots of shelves & cabinets & drawers & counter space. there was a stove top built into one counter that had six burners on it & there was an island that extended out into the kitchen by the stove. across from the stove was the sink--stainless steel, one basin--with two windows that looked out over the driveway, and more counter space on either side. across from the cellar door was the double oven, and next to that was the refrigerator--a white side-by-side model was the newest one, preceded by an almond-colored freezer-over-refrigerator style, and i think a side-by-side before that in either a 70s green or mustard yellow (i would need to refer back to my old family photos to be sure). what i remember most about this kitchen, though, was that you could almost always find my Gram in it, cooking or baking or cleaning or ironing. it was a warm, happy place where i learned how to cook by her side, where we talked & laughed, where we would come in from the cold. it was truly the heart & soul of the home, and it is everything i would want in a kitchen--both the way it was constructed & the way it felt to be there.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

in memory. 6 years.

not a Southern man, but the rest of these lyrics fit my Gramp to the letter...

Callous hands told the story
For this small town Southern man
He gave it all to keep it all together
And keep his family on his land
Like his daddy, years wore out his body
Made it hard just to walk and stand
You can break the back
But you can't break the spirit
Of a small town Southern man

And he bowed his head to Jesus
And he stood for Uncle Sam
And he only loved one woman
Was always proud of what he had
He said his greatest contribution
Is the ones you leave behind
Raised on the ways and gentle kindness
Of a small town Southern man

Finally death came callin'
For this small town Southern man
He said it's alright 'cause I see angels
And they got me by the hand
Don't you cry, and don't you worry
I'm blessed, and I know I am
'Cause God has a place in Heaven
For a small town Southern man
(from "Small Town Southern Man," by Alan Jackson)

Walter Radke
January 30, 1918-January 6, 2003

miss you.


it may be warm where i live, but it feels like Spring is a million years away.

some random baseball thoughts heading into the longest stretch of the year for me: that time between the end of football and the beginning of baseball.

**for the love of all that is holy, Theo, why have we not re-signed Tek yet?? this standoff is stressing me out.

**so, it seems that the Rays are taking a page out of the Yankees Book on Philosophy. the one that reads "sign any free agents you can get your hands on from the team that just eliminated you the year before" (read: Benedict Damon, circa 2005). too bad for the Rays that they didn't check the dates of publication on that book. because it seems to me that this way of conducting baseball business hasn't been particularly effective for the Yankees since adopting said philosophy.

**i know that everyone was all wigged out over Teixeira going to the Yankees, but the more i learn about him, the more i am not surprised he a) went to to New York and b) has Bora$$ for an agent. when a player is that much all about the dollar signs and also appears to be intent on "sticking it to the Red Sox" based on past perceived transgression, by going to their biggest rival, who just so happens to also have the biggest pocketbook with the loosest purse strings...well...i say we don't need that on our team. we just unburdened ourselves of the last prima donna; no need to refill *that* role. he appears to be a much better fit with the Bombers. that being said, i wouldn't mind seeing him pull a post-2004 Johnny Damon.

**i'm not convinced that getting rid of Coco was the right decision yet.

**while i am pleased to see Josh Bard's enthusiasm at being given the opportunity to fight for a second shot in Boston, i am far more concerned with Wakey's mental state following this announcement. i suspect that he has been holed up somewhere, drinking heavily, from the flashbacks of early 2006.

**i have zero issue with trading Clay Buchholz & a *little* bit of untested youth to Texas if it means snagging either Salty or Teagarden--especially if it means platooning one of them with a freshly re-signed Tek--hello Theo Epstien, i'm looking at you!--(sorry, Josh Bard Experiment Part II). i am *not* supportive of any trades that include Justin Masterson.

**can i just tell you how amused i will be if Manny retires because no one is interested in shelling out for the price tag he's put on himself, because they aren't interested in being roped into a multi-million-dollar long term deal with an aging drama queen, all that talent notwithstanding? to see Bora$$ pull all those strings, like a deranged greed-driven puppet master, only to end up not making one red cent off of Manny Ramirez would be entertainment of the highest value.

**i'm still confused why there is any question of who will start at short stop for Boston this year. haven't we managed to lock E6 in a foot locker bound for Oakland or something yet?? seriously, Theo! what *have* you accomplished this off season?!

37 more days til pitchers & catchers report. might as well be 37 eternities, the way it feels right now.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

20 Questions: January 4, 2009

1. What are three things that are on your desk that shouldn’t be?at work? some invoices i pulled before Christmas, the 2008 Resale Certificates that need to be filed with year end and the sales & invoicing reports from last Wednesday. and at home, if memory serves me correctly (which, right now, is debatable), my hymnal, a stack of photos that needs to be scanned and some receipts that should be filed.

2. My roommate and I once:
...thought that living together would be a good idea. joke was on me.

3. What was the last thing you bought online?
restocked on my Vanilla Bean Noel, once it was half off.

4. Favorite color associated with Autumn:
deep red.

5. What were you watching when the writers strike brought new tv show episodes to a halt?
Boston Legal. Lipstick Jungle. Cashmere Mafia. Samantha Who. Grey's Anatomy. Private Practice. Ghost Whisperer. Cane. i think that's it... Private Practice's season was cut very short. Lipstick Jungle has really struggled & will hopefully survive. no clue if Cashmere Mafia is coming back. and Cane was given the axe. =/

6. How many times a week do you put gas in your car?
usually no more than once, and that's typically just to top off the tank.

7. What 3 words do you think of when I say sandwich?
ham. tomato. mustard.

8. What is the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
grits quiche. hands down. even when someone is a fantastic cook, some experiments go horribly awry.

9. What is the correct order in which to wash your body and shampoo your hair while you’re taking a shower?
i wash my face first. then i was my hair & put in conditioner, which i let sit while i wash up. last thing before getting out of the shower is rinsing the conditioner.

10. What are you wearing?
a navy blue striped button down shirt with a tan tank top underneath. khaki cargo pants. my brown heeled boots.

11. What were the last five things you did in the past few hours?
assembled 2009 Accounts Receivable file folders. corrected an invoice that was missing a line item. alerted Accounting that a credit was due. cried uncle. hid under my desk.

12. What 3 things do you think of when I say “wedding anniversary”?
romantic. milestones. commitment.

13. Were you named after a relative? Tell me the story of your given name or middle name or, heck, even your nickname?
my name has no real story. i wasn't named after anyone at all. my dad wanted to name me Megan and my mom wanted to name me Danielle (i think...) but some how they came up with Dawn. i was going to be Dawn Marie but they decided Marie was too common and changed it to Lynn. scintillating, isn't it? my nickname, Nonny, has a cute story though. when i did daycare, one of my babies, Jordyn, couldn't say Dawn, so she called me Nonny. and in some circles, this has stuck. =)

14. The next person to ring my doorbell had better ____________.
...explain how they did that since i don't even *have* a doorbell

15. How many paying jobs have you had?
eleven, if you count all the babysitting i did as a kid.

16. What food smell makes your mouth water?
anything baking in the oven. meatloaf. stuffed shells. turkey. ham. cookies.

17. If you could be any age again for one week, what age would you be?
ummm...7. i was old enough to do things on my own and the homework was still a walk in the park. my only responsibility was to change into play clothes when i got home from school. even better is if i could be 7 *last* week--Christmas break!!

18. When you look out your window, what do you see?
cars & trucks. sky. chain link fence. machine shop building. and the top of some shrubs.

19. Of all the people you know, who is the best at getting to the heart of things in serious discussions?
i would have to say Nichole.

20. Quick! Off the top of your head list 4 words to describe you today, just as you are right now. (It could be thinking, feeling, looking, etc.- use your imagination.)
disoriented. tired. chilly. shaggy-haired.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

and i thought coming up with six was difficult in the past.

i have been tagged by several people to participate in this meme, the rules of which state that i must share 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about myself. i'm also supposed to tag more people but i'm going to leave that open. consider yourself tagged if you wish to play along.

1. i have never attempted to make a pie from scratch. not because i don't care for pie but because my Gram was the queen of pie-baking and i am all but certain that anything i could produce from my oven would be a disappointment in comparison, if only to myself.

2. when i was very little, i was convinced that if i misstepped onto or off of an escalator, i would get sucked inside. i am no longer afraid to ride an escalator, but i do have this ridiculous little quirk that i need to be able to step into the middle of a full step so that i don't lose my balance & tumble down them, taking out everyone in my path. if i miss it, i need to wait for the next full step. i *know* how ridiculous this is--i even giggle at myself--but something about those moving steps makes me feel off balance. and that scene in Elf when Biddy first encounters the escalator? makes me crack up every time for this very reason.

3. eating bologna gives me a headache.

4. when i was little, i was terrified that the trees in my grandparents' backyard were going to grab me if i went past them, because of the trees that threw apples at Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

5. i am one of those strange people who actually prefers Internet Explorer. and not because i haven't tried the other options. i have & still went back to IE.

6. for all the fresh fruits and vegetables available to us, a staple in my grandparents pantry was canned fruit cocktail. i hate the cherries in canned fruit cocktail.

7. i can never spell 'exaggerate', 'travelling' or 'developed' correctly on the first try.

8. i actually ate something with mushrooms on it, without picking them off, while i was last in California. i suppose this means they fall under the same rule as onions now: if i can see them and they are large enough to be removed, they're coming out, but otherwise, as long as i don't have to think about it too much, then i can manage to eat them.

9. i almost went for my hair cut today. it's a good thing i double checked my calendar before i left since my appointment isn't until next Saturday. that would have been a wasted two and a half hours worth of driving, round trip.

10. i am so ready for baseball season, i can practically taste it. having the MLB Network (yay!) helps some but i am itching for some real live baseball action!

11. when i look back at my early 20s & think about the way i had my life "mapped out" in my mind, i see now that i couldn't be further off course from that plan than i am at 32. i'm ok with that, finally, but one thing hasn't altered: i still would like to have children.

12. i love visiting aquariums and zoos.

13. one of my goals is to change over from using disposable plastic Gladware to glass containers for storing my leftovers.

14. i have been craving Shepherd's Pie for a while now. i'm not sure why, but i think i will have to plan to make some soon.

15. it is taking all my willpower not to eat a handful of chocolate for lunch.

16. my favorite character from the show Boston Legal is Alan Shore.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Snapshot From Along the Broken Road: December 2008

photo of me

1) current candle scents: Sparkling Pine. Gingerbread.

2) what i am currently reading: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (Stephen King).

3) newest music i added my playlist: "Wintersong" and "Song for a Winter's Night" by Sarah McLachlan.

4) movies i saw: Premonition. Elf. It's a Wonderful Life. A Murder of Crows. Anywhere But Here. The Nativity Story. Idiocracy. Brewster's Millions. Never Been Kissed.

5) something yummy i made this month:

6) the last place i ate out: Jack in the Box.

7) something that made me cry: Troy's family done up in Elf Yourself--the Disco & Country versions of the dancing were so funny, i laughed until i cried!

8) something that made me laugh: Athalia impressions.

9) something i looked forward to this month:

10) something i am thankful for: real true unconditional acceptance--both given & received.

11) something i want to remember about this month: how unbelievably spoiled i am. i don't forget but sometimes it hits me again just how lucky i really am.

12) a photo i took this month:


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