Friday, July 31, 2009

Grace in Small Things 190:365

1. it's Friday.

2. the weekend is here.

3. the longest week in the history of ever has finally ended.

4. i do not have to think about work for the next two days.

5. John Smoltz finally got his second win. if that's a relief for me, i cannot imagine how it feels for him & i'm happy for him!


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Friday 5: July 31, 2009



Taboo!

This week’s 5 is inspired by the party game called Taboo, in which players must make their teammates utter key words by giving them clues. The twist is that each key word is assigned five Taboo words, and players are forbidden from using the Taboo words in their clues. For example, one key word might be milk, and its Taboo words might be dairy, cow, drink, white, and carton. Your clue might be something like, “It’s a beverage from Bessie,” or “You add it to coffee,” or “The land of BLANK and honey,” or “It comes out of breasts.”

Your task is simply to answer these five questions without using any of the Taboo words or phrases. Challenge yourself not just to avoid using the words, but to think of fresh, new answers to these sort of cliched meme questions!


1. Who’s making a positive difference in your life?
Taboo words: friends, family, husband/wife/spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend.
bloggers who show amazing compassion in the face of heartache to others they have never even met and probably never will.

2. Where would you like to be right now?
Taboo words: home, bed, anywhere but here.
Magic Kingdom with a Dole Whip in hand.

3. What’s the first thing you’d do with a $5,000 (or your local equivalent) gift?
Taboo words: save, debt, vacation, payments, invest.
take a "Bloggers I'd Really Like to Meet or See For Longer Than Three Hours" Tour!

4. What super-power would you really like to have?
Taboo words: invisibility, x-ray vision, flying, strength, transform.
the ability to slow down & speed up time at will.

5. What’s your favorite sound?
Taboo words: laughter, music, ocean, wind, ____’s voice.
the crack of a baseball on a bat.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

dancing.

sometimes i am amazed by the sheer volume of thought fragments that can swirl in my mind at any one time.

...MLB Trade Deadline looms, who will be here tomorrow? and who won't...

...i totally teased Pocklock with a story right before Wedding Weekend. it's been three weeks. i actually *saw* her for several hours & didn't even tell her then. she probably doesn't even remember by this point. but i do. why haven't i replied to that email yet...

...my Gram's favorite candies were Milky Way and Nestle Crunch bars. i miss my Gram...

...my family is freaking huge. and that's just on my dad's side. Gram had five siblings. Gramp had eight. the number of cousins is astounding. i can't even recall all of their names. i wonder how they all are. do they even remember me...

...what comes next...

...i should put those hamburger buns in the freezer so they don't go to waste. that's the fifteenth time i've said that to myself but there they sit...

...my Gram's parents' names were Julius & Helen. Gramp's were Karl & Amelia. i need to record that somewhere. the details are so important...

...i'm ready for it to not be so hot. why can't Florida have a real Autumn...

...i wish i could scoop up all my friends & deposit them all in closer range. they'd probably kill me though. Florida Summer isn't for the faint of heart...

and they all just dance, gracefully skirting each other, without collision, surfacing in my consciousness & then ducking out of sight again.

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Grace in Small Things 189:365

1. tech-savvy friends who leap to your aid when you can't figure out how to save a video for future viewing.

2. silliness.

3. crossing three items off my to-do list that have been there longer than i would have liked.

4. teamwork.

5. seeing friends support one another, build each other up, offer encouragement.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Grace in Small Things 188:365

1. the cover of the August issue of Better Homes & Gardens. the colors & the fruity drinks. just screams Summer to me. and not the relentless humidity & oppressive heat side of Summer but the romanticized Summer that i remember from before i lived in Florida.


2. friends who not only understand my occasional grouchy days but commiserate!

3. a two-out three-run home run by Mike Lowell. and that's all i have to say about that.

4. sending little surprises.

5. internet at home. that works.


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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Grace in Small Things 187:365

being perpetually behind on my blog reading lately, i am exceptionally late in acknowledging the receipt of a Best Blog award that was bestowed on me. i'm supposed to pass it along to 10-15 more blogs, but i'm going to twist the rules a little (boy, do i ever live on edge! LOL) and share five of my more recent blog discoveries-who also happen to be some pretty awesome blog buddies too--as today's Grace post!

1. Mrs C of Next to Heaven (who happens to be the same person who shared this award with me)

2. Rachel of and if it's a hero that you want, i can save you

3. Gidget of Fidgeting Gidget

4. Brandi of Living & Loving in Tampa

5. Samantha of Emotion on the Ocean and Mother Culture (i went to high school with her & discovered her blog, Mother Culture, thanks to the wonder of Facebook!)


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Monday, July 27, 2009

Grace in Small Things 186:365

1. the sense of relief creating a to-do list gives me when i am feeling overwhelmed.

2. that perfect golden late afternoon sunlight.

3. when the Red Sox remember how to hit the ball.

4. anticipation.

5. knowing you did the right thing.


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Sunday, July 26, 2009

20 Questions: July 26

1. I don’t really think I can manage _______________ today.
...to get everything done that i want to...

2. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
a granola bar & a glass of cranberry juice.

3. Share some recent good news.
my car insurance policy renewal was less than i was anticipating.

4. What was the last movie you saw? What did you think of it?
The Taking of Pelham 123. good action, a little predictable, almost always like Denzel Washington & John Travolta though.

5. If you had to, could you do commentary for a sporting event?
i do commentary for a sporting event more days than not, right from my couch.

6. What makes you feel better when you're sick?
curling up on the couch with my blanket & the remote. the rest varies based on the malady. if it's my stomach, then some ginger ale & bland foods. if it's a cold, some zinc lozenges & vitamin C.

7. What do you listen to in the car?
my iPod on shuffle most of the time.

8. What were the last five foods you ate?
pizza. handful of peanut M&Ms. a piece of cheddar cheese. some black cherries. granola bar.

9. Who was your first prom date?
Dan Bernier, my junior prom.

10. What was your first grade teacher's name?
Mrs Bredehorst.

11. How many weddings have you been in?
flower girl for my dad's cousin. junior bridesmaid for my mom's sister, Barbara. bridesmaid in my dad's second and third weddings. bridesmaid in my mom's third wedding. bridesmaid in my friend Alison's wedding. so that would be six. and i guess you could say i was kinda in my parents' wedding too. ;-)

12. Who is on your "List"?
Mike Lowell. James Spader as Alan Shore. James Tupper. Wes Welker. McDreamy.

13. I love you more than _____________.
...a Mike Lowell walk-off grand slam against the Yankees.

14. Oranges or grapefruit?
grapefruit.

15. What is the earliest memory you have of your first day of school?
first grade. i remember the construction paper leaves on our lockers with our names on them & the cutouts of different colored cats on the wall with the names of the colors on them.

16. Would you ever choose money over love?
not even once.

17. Four people who e-mail me regularly:
Michelle. Daniel. K. Troy.

18. What were your favorite books as a child?
the Baby Sitters Club series. the Nancy Drew series. the Little House on the Prairie collection. Call of the Wild. Black Beauty.

19. Never in my life:
would i willingly jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane & call it 'fun'.

20. Ever been given an engagement ring?
yeah...and i gave it back too.

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Grace in Small Things 185:365

1. Jim Rice finally getting into the Hall of Fame.

2. catnaps.

3. tomatoes in the Summer--they just taste better.

4. being well-loved.

5. pajamas.


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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Grace in Small Things 184:365

1. waking up happy.

2. the gentle morning sunlight filtering through the trees, softened by blinds cracked open just a tiny bit.

3. deciding to head over to WDW after all, despite the heat & threat of thunderstorms, after being on the fence about it.

4. the re-done Hall of Presidents show, which is very moving.

5. Mickey's Philharmagic--my favorite 3D show at WDW.


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Friday, July 24, 2009

Grace in Small Things 183:365

1. feeling completely content.

2. leftovers that taste even better the second day, after the flavors get to mellow.

3. Post-it notes.

4. rice noodles.

5. finally a Sox win after what feels like ages!


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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Grace in Small Things 182:365

1. Pepperidge Farm cinnamon raisin swirl bread.

2. having exact change.

3. a tiny bit of golden shimmer for my eye makeup.

4. watching Mark Beuhrle (Chicago White Sox) pitch a perfect game.

5. the way the member of my little "internet community" get each other through the days when we need it.


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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Grace in Small Things 181:365

1. efficiency.

2. when people share photos.

3. daddies & their little girls. melts my heart.

4. going out on a limb & seeing it was the right choice.

5. natural light.


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it's not heaven. but it's close.

some favorite photos from the game i went to at Fenway on July 9. there is just nothing like being there...



























full album here:

Royals @ Sox (July 9, 2009)

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i want.


see that pillow with the butterflies?

(you might need to click on the screenshot to get a better view. go ahead, i'll wait.)

i want one. i have this thing with my decorating. i don't get four seasons in Florida so i manufacture them for myself in various ways. i burn seasonally-appropriate candle scents. my little decorative touches all have a seasonal theme. i even change my blog design to follow along with the seasons as they change. that butterfly pillow would fit in *perfectly* with Spring in Dawnsworld!

problem is i am not at *all* talented in the way of sewing. so...who's going to make me one?? ;-)

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grace in Small Things 180:365

1. thanks to good reflexes & the fact that i don't try to "multi-task" while i drive, i was able to avoid being hit by someone who decided to change lanes without a signal & while applying makeup. i had to drive off the road to prevent a collision but that's better than the alternative.

2. i wore my red shirt, one of my very favorites. cute & the perfect shade of red. makes me happy when i'm wearing it!

3. i loved today's Real Simple quote:
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
(William James)

4. "virtual tours" of WDW with my friend Michelle, via email. they help a little when we'd both rather be playing at Disney than working. ;-)

5. blog awards from some sweet bloggy buddies: the Meme Award from Rachel (i'll follow with my seven tidbits at the end); the Blog Lovin' Award from Fidgeting Gidget; and the Humane Award from Mrs C. i'm so glad our blogs crossed paths! and now for seven random tidbits you don't already know about me...hmmm...always a challenge after you've been blogging for so long!

1. the thing i like least about living in an apartment is not having my own washer & dryer.

2. i'm thinking about making pasta salad for dinner tonight. it's usually a Summer staple for me & here it is, the middle of July, and i haven't even made it once yet!

3. my hair was all the way down to the middle of my back when i graduated from high school in 1994. when i started college, i cut it to shoulder-length. when i turned 21, i cut it even shorter. i've been wearing it this length (in various styles) for 8 years now, and most of the time, i can't imagine growing it out again.

4. as a result of doing daycare for 5 years (on top of babysitting since i was 11), there is a whole list of names i could never use for my own (potential) kids due to *ahem* bad associations.

5. i don't drink coffee ever, but i love the smell of the coffee aisle at the grocery store and coffee ice cream is one of my favorite flavors.

6. my Gram used to call me her little ladybug, even after i was all grown up. unless i was being a brat. then she called me a teabag. don't know why but it still makes me smile.

7. i play in multiple fantasy baseball & fantasy football leagues (private groups by invite, not public leagues where you don't know anyone else) and i *love* it. i play with some great groups of people & i look forward to it every year!




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Monday, July 20, 2009

Grace in Small Things 179:365

1. blog posts that make me think. or remember. or feel.

2. early morning thunder storms.

3. Mango Peach Salsa Yankee Candles.

4. when my checkbook balances to the penny on the first shot.

5. seeing evidence of how much more strength & confidence i've gained in myself over the past three years. i remember days i never thought i'd smile again, let alone be the person i am now...and yet here i am.


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Slice of Life: July 20, 2009

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Grace in Small Things 178:365

1. friends that make me laugh. and do i ever have a wealth of them!

2. leaving church feeling relaxed & at peace.

3. daydreaming.

4. fresh cherries.

5. turning off the tv (which is usually on for background noise) & just listening to the quiet.


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20 Questions: July 19, 2009

1. If you had to could you take a vow of silence for 48 hours hours?
piece of cake. when you're quiet by nature, being quiet isn't really that difficult! wait...i could still email or text right...?

2. What is your favorite kind of soup?
New England Clam Chowdah.

3. How often do you cut your hair?
every six weeks. that's the downfall to short hair. it needs to be maintained regularly or i look like a shaggy dog. highlights are done every other cut.

4. If you had to could you do your own income taxes? And have them be correct?
i have always done my income taxes myself. i don't really have much that complicates them. and to the best of my knowledge there have never been any issues.

5. What is your method to reading a magazine?
i start at the front & work my way through. i don't always do this all in one sitting though. sometimes i mark my page & pick up where i left off at a later time. as i move through the magazine, i pull out anything that i want to file for future reference or make note of any recipes i want to try in a draft for my recipe blog. when i'm done, the magazine gets tossed. i really wish i could find a recycling bin for them though. living in an apartment my only option is the dumpster.

6. How many magazines do you subscribe to?
seven. i ♥ magazines!

7. What is/was your paternal grandfather's name?
Walter.

8. And your maternal grandfather's name?
Joseph.

9. I know I'm tired when:
i cannot will my eyes to stay open another minute, even with the Red Sox game on.

10. What color(s) do you associate with Spring?
robin's egg blue. yellow. lavender. the soft pink of cherry blossoms. pale green. pastels mostly.

11. What color are your eyes? Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family?
my eyes are blue. both of my parents have blue eyes. my dad got his from his father. (my Gram's were green.) no clue where my mom got hers; her parents both had brown eyes & dark hair, and so did her three siblings. somehow my mother is blonde-haired & blue-eyed. i haven't passed them on to anyone though.

12. What do you have in your glove compartment?
tire air pressure gauge. notepad. pen. all my insurance paperwork. an envelope. car manuals.

13. Who are you in 6 words?
quiet. genuine. dorky. sensitive. sentimental. laidback.

14. What is your favorite current tv drama?
Grey's Anatomy.

15. Who do you think is NOT funny, but others think IS funny?
pretty much anyone on Saturday Night Live.

16. Three things you've been meaning to do, but haven't gotten around to yet:
reorganize my file cabinet. mail out a card to a friend. clean out my closet & donate the clothes i don't wear anymore.

17. What is your noodle of choice?
ziti.

18. What commercial are you so sick of?
pretty much any of the All-Tel ones.

19. If you gave birth today to octuplets (OMG!) and had sole naming rights, what would you name them? You can assume four of each sex, or make your own mix-up.
Emma Claire. Meghan Grace. Lauren Addison. Jenna Paige. Jack Ethan. Aaron Grant. William Steven. Evan Jacob.

20. Is there something hanging over your head that you need to do right now?
not really. there are things i would like to get done, but nothing imperative.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Grace in Small Things 177:365

1. chatting with a friend...

2. ...while editing photos from last weekend...

3. ...and flipping through magazines in between the two...

4. ...is my kind of multi-tasking...

5. ...and makes for a perfectly relaxing Saturday.


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Grace in Small Things 176:365

1. it's Friday. Fridays are always welcome.

2. the Sox are back from the All-Star Break!

3. eating the last serving of ice cream right out of the carton. because sometimes you just have to break the rules. ;-)

4. Mike Lowell is back in the lineup!!

5. an email from a friend that made *me* feel like i had been a good friend. i need it less for the accolades & more for the fact that i know i made a difference to *her*.


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we had a wedding!

let's consider this a little bitty preview with borrowed photos til i can get my own photos edited. and also? i'm obviously not in any of the ones i took. ;-)









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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grace in Small Things 175:365

1. the way Brad Paisley does "love songs" because they somehow come off as "real life" and not super sappy or contrived.

2. August issue of Real Simple!

3. i love that these posts capture a snippet of each of my days. i make a point of finding my five "graces" from each individual day (and yes, some days are more challenging than others) but a fringe benefit of these posts is that they work like a daily version of my monthly Snapshot posts as a result.

4. today Keri left a comment on yesterday's Grace post that made me realize what a charmed life i lead, as a result of it being filled with so many small blessings. i mean, i *knew* this already, on a subconscious level, and doing these daily posts certainly brings life's little pleasures into the spotlight, but for some reason her comment really drove it home for me, and it made me see, yet again...

5. ...that my life is so good. *so* good.


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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grace in Small Things 174:365

1. a surprise box of goodies in the mail from my Dad.

2. a sparkly clean apartment.

3. Good Housekeeping's August issue arriving in my mailbox!

4. tomatoes, basil & mozzarella cheese: one of the world's most perfect flavor combinations.

5. stretching out in my bed.


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grace in Small Things 173:365

1. August Redbook in the mail!

2. getting something done right the first time.

3. an electric bill slightly less than expected. always welcome!

4. singing along to Jason Mraz's version of "Summer Breeze."

5. quiet stillness.


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Monday, July 13, 2009

Grace in Small Things 172:365

1. remembering how, flying over the clouds, it looked like i was peering down over snow drifts.

2. i cannot believe that my bridesmaid bouquet actually perked up & is looking very pretty still, after going without water for 36 hours. i wasn't even going to bother at first, but then i thought i would at least attempt to keep them alive a little longer in a vase. i had no idea they would spring right back the way they did. let's hear it for the resiliency of gerber daisies!

3. sorting through my photos from the past weekend, getting ready to begin editing them.

4. getting back into my usual daily routine.

5. i was actually able to enjoy watching the Home Run Derby last night. amazing what *not* having a Red Sox player participating in it does to improve the event for me.


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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Grace in Small Thing 171:365

1. getting to meet Lil Foot's Mommy!!!

2. and she brought along Pocklock as a surprise!!! there's nothing like meeting people who already feel like friends.

3. Lil Foot & LylaBean are even cuter in person. hello, adorable baby/toddler fix!!

4. a totally uneventful flight home.

5. sleeping in my own bed.


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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Grace in Small Things 170:365

1. absolutely perfect day--sunny, blue skies, just the right amount of warm & breezy--for a wedding.

2. seeing two people commit their lives to one another.

3. the bride looked like a princess.

4. having the whole day pull off without a single hitch.

5. wedding cake!


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Friday, July 10, 2009

Grace in Small Things 169:365

1. laughing over getting semi-lost not once, not twice but THREE times over the course of the day.

2. the reaction i got from my god daughter when she saw me. nothing like being loved. ;-)

3. repeated glances exchanged with Alison of the "OMG i'm/you're getting MARRIED!" variety.

4. getting paired up with a really funny groomsman for the wedding. we were cracking up during the entire rehearsel.

5. ridiculous behavior at the girls-only Wedding Eve slumber party.


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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grace in Small Things 168:365

1. got to spend the day with Nichole and Daniel in the best city ever.

2. taking the Fenway Park tour. there is just something about that place.

3. learning that the Sox Management Group is planning to take steps to ensure that Fenway is never torn down. cannot even *begin* to tell you how happy i was to hear that!

4. unbelievably fantastic seats for the game. like "three rows behind the camera well beside the Sox dugout" fantastic.

5. absolutely perfect weather for a baseball game.


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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Grace in Small Things 167:365

1. my work week is done!!

2. online check-in for flights.

3. grilled ham & cheese sandwiches.

4. not allowing someone else's foul disposition infect me.

5. leaving work with a clean desk.


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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Grace in Small Things 166:365

1. having a friend thank you again for a gift much after the fact simply because they enjoy it that much. i love knowing i made a good gift choice that continues to make them happy.

2. one more day of work left this week.

3. Lil Foot's Mommy.

4. good-natured banter.

5. chocolate and mint. *almost* as good as chocolate and peanut butter.


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i've come to realize...

borrowed from UKOK

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size. . .comes with the added benefit of being slightly less susceptible to the unforgiving effects of gravity.

2. I’ve come to realize that my job. . .is going to have ups & downs, good days & bad, pros & cons, but when they all balance out (as inevitably they do) i've got it pretty darn good.

3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving. . .i really don't trust the vehicles around me, because people are far too often focused on multitasking and not paying attention to their actual, you know, *driving*.

4. I’ve come to realize that I need. . .balance, and quiet time to recharge in order to achieve it.

5. I’ve come that realize that I have lost. . .very few things of real value and what remains are only the people whose earthly lives have reached their end, so even they are not *truly* lost to me.

6. I’ve come to realize that I hate it when. . .i am belittled, not taken seriously or spoken to in a condescending manner.

7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk. . .pigs must be flying; i prefer just a slight buzz, at most, thankyouverymuch.

8. I’ve come to realize that money. . .is a tool to be managed and shouldn't be permitted to manage you.

9. I’ve come to realize that certain people. . .thrive on drama and i will never be able to comprehend that.

10. I’ve come to realize that I’ll always. . .be a generally quiet person and that's ok.

11. I’ve come to realize that my sibling(s). . .lead lives that i can't possibly imagine, given the distance between us.

12. I’ve come to realize that my mom. . .and i will never have a traditional mother-daughter relationship and it's better to just focus on what we do have.

13. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone. . .occasionally annoys the living hell out of me.

14. I’ve come to realize that when I woke up this morning. . .i am one day closer to a very busy & exciting weekend.

15. I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep. . .i was completely content and i never take that for granted.

16. I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking. . .someone needs to kill this wasp that's flying around in here.

17. I’ve come to realize that my dad. . .really stepped up and was a hands-on father long before it was the "fashionable" thing to do.

18. I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook. . .i'm likely to find any number of shocking blasts from the past.

19. I’ve come to realize that today. . .will be what i make of it.

20. I’ve come to realize that tonight. . .is going to be like every other night and, creature of habit that i am, i *love* that.

21. I’ve come to realize that tomorrow. . .is a gift if it arrives.

22. I’ve come to realize that I really want to. . .spend a week at home doing a whole lot of nothing.

23. I’ve come to realize that the person mostly likely to repost this is. . .always a surprise.

24. I’ve come to realize that life. . .is series of unexpected twists & turns but how you react to them is what matters.

25. I’ve come to realize that this weekend. . .i'm going to be celebrating the love of two friends and i am honored that they have included me in their special day.

26. I’ve realized the best music to listen to when I am upset. . .reflects my thoughts & feelings in its lyrics.

27. I’ve come to realize that my friends. . .are an eclectic bunch but they each bring out something slightly different in me and i cherish each & every one of them.

28. I’ve come to realize that this year. . .has been a very good year for me.

29. I’ve come to realize that my exes. . .are part of my personal history but they can stay there in my past and have no effect on my life moving forward.

30. I’ve come to realize that maybe I should. . .remember to listen carefully to my gut; it's always proved very wise.

31. I’ve come to realize that I love. . .sitting back & taking in the scene.

32. I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand. . .why people need to disparage their efforts, speak so poorly of themselves and not use their small accomplishments as steps to reach their personal goals, rather than beating themselves up for not accomplishing every goal immediately.

33. I’ve come to realize my past. . .only affects me if & how i allow it to.

34. I’ve come to realize that parties. . .are much more fun for me if i have a partner in crime.

35. I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified. . .of being a disappointment to someone that i love.

36. I’ve come to realize that my life. . .is filled with more blessings than i could possibly deserve but for which i am eternally grateful.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Grace in Small Things 165:365

1. there is a street corner filled with buttercups at one of the intersections i pass in the morning. i'm not sure many things look more cheerful than a whole mess of buttercups!

2. August issue of Everyday With Rachael Ray. i love new magazines in my mailbox!

3. i got my auto insurance policy renewal in the mail today. it was less than i was anticipating. it's still highway robbery but less is less.

4. two days of work left this week! tomorrow is my Wednesday!

5. watching that long standing ovation for Nomar Garciaparra tonight really made me happy. seeing him standing there, soaking in the love, tipping his cap & patting his heart. we parted ways so abruptly & under such strange circumstances. it was like a relationship that ended with no explanations, leaving everyone feeling disgruntled & bewildered, without closure. sometimes i think these reconnections are healing for everyone involved. i know it really warmed my heart to see the emotion he showed and to watch him feel the love of a fanbase that loves like no other.


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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Grace in Small Things 164:365

1. hearing a church full of people singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

2. i have thoroughly enjoyed Sean Casey filling in on NESN with Don Orsillo. nothing tops Remy, but while he's recuperating, we've been generally fortunate with replacements. Eck has kept things interesting and don't get me wrong, i love everything Dave Roberts means in Boston after 2004 but he is just a bit too stiff from inexperience, but Sean Casey has, by far, been my favorite booth fill-in. just listening to him makes me happy.

3. tomorrow may be Monday but it kicks off a three-day work week for me. three days is totally do-able. (remind me of this when i get back on the 13th and am in shock & awe regarding the disaster area once known as my desk.)

4. the shade of blue that the sky turns on a Summer night as the twilight lingers til almost 9pm.

5. hearing a song that makes me smile that i haven't heard in a long while:
I laid in bed that night and thought about the day
And how my life is like a roller coaster ride
The ups and downs and crazy turns along the way
It'll throw you off if you don't hold on tight
You can't really smile until you've shed some tears
I could die today or I might live on for years

I love this crazy, tragic,
Sometimes almost magic,
Awful, beautful life

(from "Awful Beautiful Life," by Darryl Worley)



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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Grace in Small Things 163:365

1. lists. i love lists. today's list is everything i will need for 2009 New England Tour Part Two, including a trip to Fenway and the wedding!

2. seeing the enormous flag unfurl over the Green Monster & getting chills.

3. watching the Independence Day fireworks in Boston on tv.

4. that i was born in this country with so many blessings, opportunities & freedoms.

5. hot dogs on the grill once the requisite afternoon storm passed.


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in which i am humbled.

as i sit here with my laptop, browsing the many blogs that live in my Google Reader, reading anecdotes that make me laugh or stories that touch my heart, scrolling through photos that awe me & take my breath away, finding myself inspired by person after amazing person upon whom i have been lucky enough to stumble on the vast internet, i can't help but wonder...

...why on earth do you wonderful people keep coming back *here* of all places, when there are countless other more incredible locations you could spend your time online? and why do you keep leaving such thoughtful comments on my silly ramblings or amateurish (at best) photos?

whatever you say (as inevitably, you will), i'm still not going to wrap my mind around it. so, just... thank you. for sticking around and following me along this little journey and just being generally awesome in ways i couldn't possibly deserve. i don't have any idea what the heck i'm doing most days, other than the fact that i do this for myself, but you all make the ride so much richer.

"Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends."
(inscription in the book Clarence leaves behind for George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life)

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Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: June 2009

photo of me


1) current candle scents:
Mango Peach Salsa and Summer Holiday (a long retired scent, which smells like "a calming blend of ocean air, salt mist roses, beach plum and seagrass," according to Yankee Candle, for those of you wondering).

2) what i am currently reading:
Faithful (Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King)--yes, still, but i'm kind of keeping pace with the actual season timeframe as i go, and yes, i know i'm a dork, which quite honestly, you should have figured out by now. Jewels (Danielle Steel)--which, yes, total fluff reading but it's one of my very favorites, the characters and the story, and i needed something brain-candy-ish after finishing America Alone (Mark Steyn).

3) newest music i added my playlist:
none, though i have a list a mile long that i'd like to. saving pennies right now though, between the wedding-related spending i've done and the fact that my car insurance renews soon--hello, highway robbery.

4) movies i saw:
The Taking of Pelham 123.

5) something yummy i made this month:
Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle. verdict: very yummy & i would make it again, but wow do i ever render my kitchen a disaster area when i make a new recipe. this was no exception.

6) the last place i ate out:
Macaroni Grill. right before i saw that movie.

7) something that made me cry:
nothing major. more just a case of blinking back tears quickly a few times. i fully expect to have a different answer here for July.

8) something that made me laugh:
said in reference to Big Papi's...er...lack of speed on the base paths: "Ortiz couldn't run out of sight in two days." he's one of my Sox & i do love him, but that way of putting just made me laugh.

9) something i looked forward to this month:
participating in this Photo Hunt.

10) something i am thankful for:
that my flight coming home from Connecticut didn't turn into a layover nightmare, because it sure did have the potential.

11) something i want to remember about this month:
something little that was said to me that didn't slip by unnoticed, though it was left unmentioned. and no, i do not intend to elaborate further, thank you.

12) a photo i took this month:

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Grace in Small Things 162:365

1. it's Friday.

2. and i'm not at work.

3. and i'm still getting paid for the day.

4. Sean Casey in the booth with Don Orsillo, calling tonight's Sox game. i don't think there is a guy i have ever enjoyed more as a part of the Red Sox family than Sean Casey. the only thing more entertaining, possibly, would be to see what would happen if you got him together with Kevin Millar.

5. when someone just "gets me" without trying. or needing to have it explained to them.


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as irony would have it, i live in a place where it's Summer eight out of every twelve months.

so here i am, on my three-day holiday weekend. i'm reclined on my couch, laptop perched next to me. i feel the cool breeze from the ceiling fan as it circulates the air-conditioned air over me, gently (and hearing that maddening intermittent tick-tick-tick that would indicate a slight imbalance which, interestingly enough, stops when i cast an annoyed glance in its direction...but i digress).

somewhere outside, someone is mowing a lawn. that low hum brings me back to my childhood in an instant, and is an integral part of the very definition of Summer in The Dictionary of Dawn. we didn't have an air conditioner when i was a kid, save for the open windows & the God-sent breeze to cool the indoors, or a shade tree & some lemonade if the heavy motionless air (or your Gram) drove you outside. on the very hottest dog days of late July into August, Gram might bring out the coveted fan, with it's transparent blue plastic blades to oscillate quietly in whichever room she happened to be in at the time, making that the room *we* wanted to be in at the time, draping ourselves over whatever we could find that would put us in the path of the electrically-generated breeze. until such point that we drove her crazy--whether by squabbling, knocking something over, asking too many questions, or, i suspect, blocking the breeze from reaching *her*--and we were banished to the aforementioned shade tree outside.

oops. inadvertent side trip down Memory Lane. where was i...?

oh yeah, lawnmowers.

what with said opened windows, inevitably someone was mowing their lawn for what seemed like the entire Summer, and it became the daytime soundtrack to the Summer months, until swapped with the cricket song of After Dark. if not Gram or Gramp or Dad, then one of the neighboring aunties or uncles or cousins. or the few unrelated neighbors who had infiltrated the otherwise family-tree forest corner of Chippens Hill. or someone half a mile away as the sound would hover on the thick still air & carry for what seemed half a town away.

whomever the mower belonged to at any particular moment in time, it's a sound i associate, immediately and inextricably, with Summer. it ranks right up there with barbecues, baseball, lightning bugs, watermelon, fireworks and running around barefoot. it takes just that solitary sound to transport me back to days when Summer was the ultimate anticipation, overshadowed only by Christmas morning, and with a pumpkin-bucket brimming with Halloween loot hot on its heels. the sound of a lawnmower, and all the fond (albeit sweaty and mosquito-bitten) memories, always make me smile and feel that lazy sort of relaxation one only associates with the sultry days of Summer.

but as i sit in my climate-controlled environment in my grown-up world, where i have to pay the lofty Summer electric bill and i don't get two & a half months respite from my job (at least, not without serious consequence), i have to say...

...i think i only like Summer in theory and retrospect.

is there anywhere on this great Earth that is perpetually Autumn?

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Grace in Small Things 161:365

1. i got to go home an hour early today...

2. ...to start the long holiday weekend!!

3. i think it's so cool to see the edge of a storm front. the way the dark thunderheads form a distinct line against the clear blue sky.

4. it's official!! i get to meet K at WDW in March!!!

5. one week from today, i will be at Fenway with two of my favorite people ever. (this is a Grace post, so we're not going to discuss the weather. but...well...you know.)


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i'm not above groveling.

if you know anyone at all in the northeast portion of the United States, then you've undoubtedly heard, at least once, about the unseasonably chilly soggy weather they've been given in (an unwilling) exchange for Summer so far. given that i am a week away from Part 2 of the 2009 New England Tour, i have been watching the extended forecast with some concern.

as of this morning, July 9 looks to be a perfect day for some baseball at Fenway:


and Saturday looks like it will be perfectly suited for a group of girls to put on beautiful (SLEEVELESS!!) dresses and celebrate the wedding of their very dear friend:


Mother Nature, i am pleading with you. what will it take to make this hold true? PLEASE don't let this be a tease where you end up yanking the rug out from under my feet, leaving me with a rained out Sox game and as a shivering bridesmaid in an undesirable contrasting blue (NOT one of the approved bridal colors!) to go with my lovely watermelon-colored gown!

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Grace in Small Things 160:365

1. i love the smell of new construction. they recently installed a new vanity in my bathroom at work & i just love the smell of "new building" in there now.

2. when a blog post "comes out" exactly the way i imagined it in my head & nothing gets lost in translation from brain to keyboard.

3. when my boss says we really need to start doing something that should have been done a long time ago (in this case, managing a master calendar of scheduled time off for the company) and i can say "i've been doing that since i started working here!" as i hand it over to him.

4. getting my photos from Shutterfly a week earlier than they estimated i would!

5. that Shutterfly let's me customize info to be printed on the back of photos for no extra charge.


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what's the opposite of calling for an encore?

there are performances that defy words. they occur in all sorts of venues: musical, theatrical, culinary--just to name a few. in this case, i'm referring to sports. (of *course* i am.) sometimes it's for something incredible, like a no-hitter. and other times? it refers to a meltdown of epic proportions. it was the latter the Sox treated us to last night.

it started as a fine outing for Smoltzie, stalled out due to rain. not wanting to risk injury after a lengthy delay, Justin Masterson took over the ball and the 9-1 lead in the fifth when play resumed. i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a bit miffed that Smoltz was ineligible for a win after certainly deserving one after the way he pitched.

the about-face all began innocently enough. Masterson looked good in the fifth. in the sixth, we observed a bizarre clearing of the infield when, with two outs, five Red Sox headed for the dugout, leaving the outfield, Tek and a bewildered audience wondering what the hell was going on. i laughed, imagining a new Southwest Airlines commercial--featuring Youk, Pedey, Bailey, Lugo & Masterson: Wanna get away?

ha.

the joke, it turns out, would be on me. in retrospect, it was almost as if the Sox knew something ugly was brewing when they prematurely departed the field. at the very least, it was an omen of things, unimaginable things, to come. it seemed as if an entirely different team emerged from the visitor's dugout in the bottom of the seventh.

the final out of the sixth was recorded quicky enough, but when the Sox took the field in the seventh with a 10-1 lead, i watched a game unravel faster than a Walmart-purchased sweater tossed into a washing machine. by the time they retreated to the dugout--after recording all three outs *this* time--the lead had shrunk by five, Masterson unable to record even a single out.

in the eighth, Jeemer repeated the Masterson act (oh goody yay). Saito came in to put out *that* fire and ended up doing very little but throwing gasoline on it. with only one out in the eighth, Papelbon came in with bases loaded and a 10-9 score to protect. he teased us with an out, then blew the save. when the Sox left the field for the eighth (ninth?) time, the Orioles were on top 11-10, having completed the most insane comeback i have ever witnessed.

the Sox fizzled at the plate in the ninth, which really wasn't that surprising, given what they'd already...errr...accomplished in the game. all i could really do was laugh. i mean, what else is there when a team loses a game they once lead by nine runs?

i think we need games like these to keep us humble. you tip your cap to the opponent for never giving up. you tell yourself that the best bullpen in baseball pulled off the unthinkable: an epic disintegration in perfect unison. you look over your shoulder at the month behind you, one historically known for not-so-stellar play, and acknowledge that even with this astounding loss, the Sox would go 18-8 in the month of June. as a fellow Sox fan Twittered: "One game. Not worried. Embarrassed, but not worried."

that about sums up what i feel about that performance. i'm going to hope that the Sox got out all The Suck last night and covered the annual June Swoon in one fell swoop, rather than just postponing it til, say, July or August or some such agony. i find myself suddenly relieved that Smoltz was not in line for a win after all last night, because then i would be furious that they'd blown it for him when i so badly want to see him succeed in Boston.

and now we look forward to a Commander Kickass start this afternoon. that should put a stop to this monumental suckitude nonsense posthaste. because you know he won't be tolerating that kind of crap during his start. not without atomic wedgies being handed out and someone getting stuffed into a Gatorade cooler. (in fact, i wouldn't be shocked to learn that this was handled in "preemptive strike" fashion.) what say you we get this bitter taste out of our mouths with a little Beckett stopping action?

and just remind yourself of this: at least we weren't enduring that in The Juice Box or the Bronx Band Box last night.

silver linings, anyone?

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