Sunday, February 28, 2010

20 Questions: February 28, 2010

1. What current tv comedy is your favorite?
The Big Bang Theory. it makes me laugh so.freaking hard.

2. Who is the fourth person on your cell phone's "missed calls" list?
BrightHouse, calling to sell my faster internet. they were promptly ignored because at the time, they couldn't get the internet i was already paying for to work. i had less than zero intentions of spending more money for faster internet that still wouldn't work.

3. What kind of weather do you enjoy the most?
March in Florida weather, which is much like Autumn in New England, minus the foliage: warm days. cool nights. gentle breezes. minimal humidity. sunny skies. and down here, March also brings orange blossoms. i'm pretty sure if heaven has a scent, it's orange blossoms.

4. I want something to drink. What's in your refrigerator right now?
pineapple juice. cranberry juice (the pure unsweetened kind. none of this sissy, watered-down, sugared-up cranberry "juice" cocktail nonsense!). water. Pepsi. 2% milk.

5. You're planning a trip--money is not a concern--do you opt to travel by plane or take a road trip instead?
road trip!! as long as i don't have to do the driving. ;-)

6. What is your favorite movie whose title begins with the letter H?
it's a photo finish between "Hitch" and "Home Alone."

7. Do you enjoy cookouts?
i do. sometimes nothing is more tasty than a burger or a hot dog right from the grill.

8. What was your sixth grade teacher's name?
Mr Ryskowski.

9. Where did you live in 1987?
Bristol, Connecicut.

10. What's the "right way" to read a magazine?
flip through it once quickly, making note of any articles you want to read more carefully later. then go back & read said articles. then remove anything you wish to save for later reference (recipes, decorating inspiration, gift ideas). then recycle!

11. What would make today a better day?
knowing it would be followed by Monday off. i would also settle for whatever it is i am allergic to being done blooming.

12. What was the last song to get stuck in your head?
hmmm... it's been a while. long enough that i cannot recall. this is NOT an open invitation for you to implant yours in my head!!

13. Did you inherit your eye color from a family member?
both of my parents, as well as my paternal grandfather, all have (or had, in the case of my Gramp) blue eyes.

14. Do you like fireworks?
i do. i especially like the ones that "sparkle" at the tips. (man, i wish i could describe them better than that!)

15. What is your preferred outdoor temperature?
75 degrees. (but without the humidity!)

16. What three professions would you like to try for a day?
See's Candies quality control test sampler. assistant to a wedding or infant photographer. Christmas elf (what?? sounds like fun!).

17. What do you do when you're stuck in traffic?
turn up the music & sing along. not much else you *can* do.

18. Who was the last person you know who got married?
Alison. July 2009.

19. Name three things that are overdue right now.
sending Alison the photos i took at her wedding. a birthday card for my father's wife. the arrival of Spring weather in Florida.

20. If your mood were a weather forecast, today would be:
bright blue clear skies & a lot of sunshine.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Slice of Life: February 27, 2010

it actually looks like Winter (well, like November in Connecticut anyway) down here this year!


i saw the coolest post on the blog, "your wishcake," and thought it would be a lot of fun to incorporate it into my weekly Slice of Life posts. it's up to you, readers! what slice of my life would *you* like to see photographed & shared here in the future?


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Memory Lane: February 25, 2010

i knew Gram & Gramp in their golden years. when i flip through my stacks of old family photos, though, i often linger over the ones like this. this young couple that is unmistakably these two dear people i was blessed to have as grandparents. and yet they are unknown to me. we are, each of us, so many different people over the course of our lives. looking back over my own 33 years, i can see all the people i have been, some who have been shed in favor of a newer, hopefully better me, and others who have come along for the ride, meshing together to form the person i am right now.

in this photo, my Gram was 24 years old. Gramp was 23. it's February 15, 1941, and they are young parents of a one-year-old. my father isn't even a twinkle in my Gramp's eye yet. i observe Gramp's proud beaming smile, as he holds his baby girl. i look at Gram's loving gaze upon the two of them.

and i wonder.

i wonder what she's thinking. i wonder what it was like to be a young mother then. i wonder where the photo was taken. i wonder if it was a mild Winter that year--based on the way they are dressed for a day in mid February. i wonder who took the photo.

i want to ask a hundred questions. i want to see my grandparents hold this photo in their hands, watch the memories drift across their faces, hear their stories as they surface. isn't that the way with photos? you look at one, and there's a "surface story," the obvious one that can be seen in the elements of the picture. but the longer you look, there's always more. you remember something that couldn't be captured. or it triggers another memory, invisibly linked, as it can be only in the mind of the photograph's beholder.

i want to ask a hundred questions. i want to learn all the stories. i want to see through the younger eyes of the people i love in this photo.

but i can't.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

observation: afternoon snack.


...taste convincingly like these...

...even though the former lacks the frosting & cream filling found in the latter. and believe me, i am a connoisseur of the latter. i am not easily swayed. and the former are cheaper, fresher and provide me with 12% of my recommended daily fiber intake--thank you 100% whole grain muffin mix, i suppose! (neither are great if you're counting calories, but let's be honest: if you're eating either of these tasty treats, it's not because you're in the mood for a healthy snack of carrot sticks. and the Hostess one has fewer calories, for the record. that wasn't on my criteria for snack decision though. just being truthful.) mostly though? they just taste really really good.

for the record, no one is reimbursing me for this observation, either in cash or snacks. i'd gladly take either though. in case you were wondering.


I Want Wednesday: February 24, 2010

**I Want this necklace just because it's delicate & pretty & the colors are happy.

**I Want to put this bedding in my guest room. well, if i had a guest room. but i think it would make my imaginary guest room a very peaceful, relaxing place to stay.

**I Want to be able to pull off wearing a scarf without looking like a joke (seriously, they just look so...contrived on me, or something) because i think this one is so pretty.

**I Want this pub mirror so badly. it would be perfect on the wall right behind my front (only!) door. and it would be so useful too.

**i have plain white *boring* dishes. don't get me wrong, i am grateful to have dishes. but if i were in the market to buy new dishes? I Want Mikasa Red Berries. understated but still pretty & visually interesting.

**i have no good reason to, other than it's so pretty, but I Want to make this Carnation Centerpiece that i saw posted on Lovely Cruise.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Right Now: February 23, 2010

I am thinking... a bunch of random, fragmented, deeply personal thoughts, none of which i plan to share here in any detail.

I am thankful for... not having to wonder where i stand with the people i love.

From the kitchen... chipotle chicken quesadillas.

I am wearing... lavender track pants & a blue tank top, which totally don't match, and i really don't care.

I am creating... a new list of songs i want to acquire for my iPod.

I am going... to bed earlier tonight.

I am reading... the last several hours' worth of Tweets during commercial breaks.

I am hoping... with all my might that Mike Lowell gets to stay with the Red Sox for this one last season.

I am hearing... Turkish music from the women's figure skating competition.

Around the house... are some indicators that it's time to vacuum, but it's a bit too late to do that right now. i don't want to disturb my neighbors. i'll do it when i get home from work tomorrow, before i leave for church.

One of my favorite things... is the soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera, with the original London cast. Michael Crawford singing the part of Phantom just blows me away.

A few plans for the rest of the week... i'm going to the zoo on Saturday!!

A picture to share...


Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday Stream of Consciousness: February 22, 2010

i am tired. that bone-aching, muscle-aching, eyeball-aching tired you get when you force yourself to stay awake past your body's desire to do so. i stayed awake to watch the ice dancing medal ceremony. which is beyond foolish since i've done nothing but poke fun at ice dancing for the last three nights. (figure skating, i get. ice dancing bewilders me.) but here's the thing. the American kids that won silver & the Canadian kids who won gold are so adorable. they are so genuinely thrilled for each other--friends who train at the same facility in Michigan, under the same coach, though they skate for different countries--and they're so excited, beaming & bouncing around in the hallway outside the rink, and then across the ice & onto the podiums. i'm glad i forced myself to stay awake. even though i most enjoy when it's the Star Spangled Banner being played as the flags are raised, there is something endearing about watching those two kids from Canada grinning & singing the words to their national anthem. the joy is apparent. they aren't stone-faced. this is their first Olympics & seeing them soaking it all in is something worth stay awake to watch.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

20 Questions: February 21, 2010

1. What would you like to appear in your hands right now?
a handful of warm chocolate chip cookies.

2. What was the last thing you ate?
a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

3. What is your favorite episode of a tv show?
oh man... so many favorites. i think it would be a tie between "the paintball episode" of Boston Legal and the Thanksgiving episode of Friends with the turkey on the head.

4. Have you ever ridden in a limo?
i have: for my senior prom, my mother's wedding, my father's wedding, my Aunt Barbara's wedding, my father's cousin David's wedding, Gosia's bachelorette party, my Gram's funeral, and Alison's wedding.

5. Which is better, your cursive or your printing?
my cursive, if i take the time to not scribble. my "normal" handwriting, though, is a hybrid between printing and cursive.

6. What photos are living on your camera right now, waiting to be downloaded? And why are they still there?
none! i just downloaded the most recent ones yesterday.

7. How many pregnant women do you know?
hmmm... just my sister-in-law Kas at the moment.

8. Three things you did this past weekend:
went to dinner & a movie. watched the Olympics. gave my kitchen a good cleaning.

9. If you could only visit three websites for the next month, which would you choose?
Gmail. Google Reader. Facebook.

10. What did your family do for vacations when you were a child?
mostly, we took short trips to Cooperstown, NY. we did make some trips to Orange County, NY for the fair and to Lake George as well.

11. Law & Order or Boston Legal?
Boston Legal. no contest.

12. Do you mind if guests show up uninvited?
honestly, i would prefer some notice, even if it's just an hour.

13. When will you next travel by plane?
most likely in June when i usually go up to Connecticut.

14. What did the last text message you received say?
"Are you sleepy?"

15. When was the last time you got dressed up?
Alison's wedding, last July. i don't have much occasion to get dressed up. dressed nicely, yes, but that's not dressed up.

16. The perfect sign of affection is:
a hug.

17. Do you use your real name online or do you go by a screen name?
some of both. it depends on the site.

18. What do you miss when you're away from home?
my home. my routine. my bed.

19. What are you completely & totally over hearing about, reading about, discussing ad nauseum?
Tiger Woods.

20. Do you reply to comments on your blog?
i do. usually right here, though occasionally i will email privately, if i have the person's email address & i'm discussing something i wish to keep more private.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Slice of Life: February 20, 2010

the beautiful quilt my mother made for me.


i saw the coolest post on the blog, "your wishcake," and thought it would be a lot of fun to incorporate it into my weekly Slice of Life posts. it's up to you, readers! what slice of my life would *you* like to see photographed & shared here in the future?


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Memory Lane: February 18, 2010

i've always been a bigger fan of the Winter Olympics than of the Summer games. i won't claim to watch them religiously, but they are my background noise of choice when they're in the tv lineup. as i've watched bits and pieces of the various figure skating competitions in Vancouver, it reminded me of one of my favorite childhood activities.

Gram had a fairly good-sized, relatively open kitchen. in the evening, once all the meals for the day had been cooked, consumed and cleaned up after, she would turn out the kitchen lights and retreat to the living room to put up her feet and watch her "programs."

as she relaxed on the couch by Gramp's side, on days that she scrubbed her floor, i would steal into the kitchen, where the freshly washed and waxed floor would gleam, shiny and tempting. there in the quiet, with the kitchen lit only from the glow of lamp light spilling over from the living room, i would glide silently in my socks, sliding over the floor with all the grace and ease (in my mind) of a figure skater. the linoleum became an ice rink. the counters were the edges of the rink where the crowd pressed close to watch my every twirl and leap. minutes would tick past with the faint click of the second hand on the kitchen clock and the whisper of my little stockinged feet circling around and criss-crossing back and forth through the kitchen, as i skated, lost in the scene as the music played in my imagination.

never mind that i've never put on ice skates in my life, nor have i wished to. i don't even delude myself with believing i wouldn't be carted away from that scene with a broken bone or several. but i look back at that six-year-old, kitchen skating contentedly, and i smile at her innocence, her imagination and all the memories that were spun in the hub of my grandparents' home. little boys played in the backyard with their wiffle bats and tennis balls, hitting homeruns to the cheers of invisible fans, but for me, the crowd roared wildly when i spun slowly to a stop and took a deep bow.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Want Wednesday: February 17, 2010

**I Want to trade in all my plastic hangers for wooden ones.

**my mother had given me some cute tops from J.Jill for my birthday & among them were a couple of their "perfect tanks." they are so comfy & good for layering. I Want to get a few more: black, plumberry and french blue.

**I Want to go to church & meditate quietly & regain my sense of calm after being driven insane at work today.

**I Want to spot-wash my sneakers but i keep forgetting until the morning when i put them on & don't have the time for it right then.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Right Now: February 16, 2010

I am thinking... of taking my Tuesday post in a new direction. (clearly.)

I am thankful for... my employment. even when they drive me to drink.

From the kitchen... kielbasa, pierogies & sauerkraut.

I am wearing... jeans and a red & white striped sweater.

I am creating... a sense of calm for myself.

I am going... to put away my clean laundry while i watch the Olympics.

I am reading... four different books right now. although it's mostly reading one, while the others wait in various stages of completion.

I am hoping... that my internet might actually be fixed, but it's only been three days, and my connectivity issues have been known to play possum for up to a week, only to return with a vengeance.

I am hearing... the news, but i'm only half-listening for stories that haven't been beaten to death by the media for months interest me.

Around the house... you can find my happy little "Valentines" decorations mixed in with my standard Winter ones. the little pops of red & pink make me cheerful.

One of my favorite things... is red tulips. i have a small pot with a couple blooming in it, sitting on my window ledge.

A few plans for the rest of the week... include attending the Ash Wednesday service tomorrow evening, and going to dinner & a movie on Saturday.

A picture to share...

(from the Epcot archives)


i've seen this particular "meme" (and several variations of it) appear on many different blogs. Jeanne posts it pretty regularly. i thought i would give it a try in place of a weekly installment of A Picture's Worth, to allow that one's creativity to remain free from the pressure of scheduled posting. it might stick, it might not, but i don't know if i don't try.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Stream of Consciousness: February 15, 2010

i've been thinking about my weekly blog format. now that it's been going for about a month, home internet interruptions not withstanding, i'm ready to make some tweaks. or perhaps i should say just a single tweak. i love doing my "A Picture's Worth" posts, but i'm finding that the pressure of forcing myself to match up a quote with a photo is stifling my creativity. i used to have so many ideas for this & now...i come up dry. so i think i will make that an "as inspired" occurrence (i'm not even going to tell you how many attempts i had to make to get a spelling of 'occurrence' that FireFox didn't leave an angry red line beneath), which means i need to find something new to plug into Tuesday. i have an idea i plan to test out. we'll see. it's a little similar to my monthly "Snapshots" though, so i may find it redundant & abandon it in favor of something yet to be determined. i'm feeling totally uninspired today. i think it is a direct result of envying those who had today off for Presidents' Day and a severe Girl Scout Cookie deficiency.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

20 Questions: February 14, 2010

1. What are three things that you are looking forward to?
meeting K for the first time in less than three weeks! going to the zoo with Brandi. the start of Spring Training.

2. What is your favorite kind of tree?
hmmm... at first i was going to say "birch" because it reminds me of my Gram & Gramp's front yard. then i was going to say "orange" because their blossoms are one of my most favorite scents on earth. i finally settled on "Christmas" because nothing makes me happier than a Christmas tree glowing happily.

3. What is the newest thing you own?
i got a couple of new placemats for Spring from Target this morning.

4. If I do anything well, it’s:
navigate a Disney park. i think i could maneuver my way through three of the four with my eyes closed. (i don't spend as much time in Hollywood Studios as i do the other three.)

5. What is your favorite dessert?
i like stuff that is hot-cold contrast: warm brownie or pie with a scoop of ice cream. i also really like cheesecake.

6. Do you use a planner?
i do. it is my personal bible. you would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands to take it away from me.

7. What is your all-time favorite tv comdey?
Friends. Big Bang Theory runs a very close second though.

8. What is your current obsession?
much to my chagrin, i am still loving FarmVille and Cafe World on Facebook. those games are so silly--i *know* they are silly--but i enjoy the mindless activity. it's relaxing.

9. Three signs Spring is here:
orange blossoms. baseball. positively perfect weather arrives in Florida.

10. Do you balance your checkbook or wing it?
the phrase "wing it"--especially in relation to my bank account--causes me to break out in hives. i balance my checkbook. to.the.penny. i know you're rolling your eyes, because you watch your bank balance online, you check it daily, you don't even own a checkbook anymore. i still choose to balance mine. a) i still have to write some checks, for instance, rent. therefore, i still have a checkbook. 2) i get some satisfaction from putting pencil (never pen in the checkbook! NEVER!) to paper & having the numbers balance out perfectly--to the penny! (there may or may not be a victory dance following.) D) banks make errors & i choose to record my spending in my checkbook, then make sure what the bank shows online matches what i've penciled in, because even if they're off by a dime? i earned that dime & i want it back. plus, things happen: natural disasters, power goes out, servers crash. my checkbook is in my penny-pinching little hand.

11. What kind of grapes do you prefer?
green. seedless. cold.

12. What is your favorite store-bought cookie?
Oreos. either the classic or the vanilla cookie with vanilla filling.

13. What was your fifth grade teacher's name?
Mrs Moll. (pronounced like 'mall'.)

14. High school was:
four years long. it was kind of a neutral experience for me. i didn't hate it but i don't want to relive it either.

15. Describe your dream kitchen.
ohhhhh... big, as in, gigantic. open. airy. lots of natural light. plenty of cabinet, drawer & counter space. a large double sink. whisper-quiet dishwasher. a double-decker built-into-the-wall oven. an enormous refrigerator (and a second freezer for storage elsewhere). either a bar with stools, or an alcove with windows and a round table, for eating. a walk-in pantry. a desk spot. maybe an island. some shelves for cookbooks. and a spot that would fit a china cabinet that had windowed doors for displaying special pieces. i'm not sure of the colors, but the wood would be a natural color (no paint or crazy stains!) and the accent colors *might* be a warm red (surprise, surprise), a tan & white.

16. What was the last thing you purchased?
groceries. you want specifically? i believe it was either the eggs or the newspaper that was rung up last.

17. How many of your friendships have lasted more than a decade?
wow... Heather, Chele & Gosia, i guess? there are a few that aren't *quite* there yet, but close. and a few people with whom i have re-connected via Facebook that would qualify as more than a decade, at least that i've known them.

18. Are there times when you still feel like a kid?
yes. YES. sometimes it blows my mind that i am a full-fledged adult. most of the time i feel like a kid, still playing house.

19. What teacher from high school comes to mind first?
Ms Norton. she really left a memorable impression.

20. What magazines do you read?
Real Simple. Everyday with Rachael Ray. Redbook. Good Housekeeping. Better Homes & Gardens (some serious eye candy for me!).


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Slice of Life: February 13, 2010

this week's Slice of Life is two-part: it's a peek at one of the decorations that i add to my Winter ones for Valentines Day (i don't really celebrate it, but it's fun to add some pops of red (my favorite color!) & pink to the cooler tones of the snowmen & snowflakes that remained out after Christmas was tucked away again) and also the set-up for the photo that would become the new blog banner til Spring!


i saw the coolest post on the blog, "your wishcake," and thought it would be a lot of fun to incorporate it into my weekly Slice of Life posts. it's up to you, readers! what slice of my life would *you* like to see photographed & shared here in the future?


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Memory Lane: February 11, 2010

one of the strange parts of living in Florida, after spending the first 25 years of my life in Connecticut, is the almost non-existent change of seasons. it's easy to lose track of time when all the days feel the same. there are subtle changes here, but you have to really pay close attention, and probably live here for several years, to notice them. it was really only recently that i have been able to detect the slight shift from one "season" to another. for the most part, the seasons all bleed one into the next, with no real indication of arrival or departure, save for the photos that pop up on blogs or Facebook or the evening news.

with the mid-Atlantic coast and the northeast getting hammered by a string of snow storms marching across the country, i started to think about Winters when i was a kid. i remember the dejected disappointment of the milder Winters, when all we got was bitter wind, frosty temperatures, chilling rains, and a drab brown landscape that made me long for even a meager dusting of snow. i recall the years that we got the "mixed bag": sleet, freezing rain, slush, and just enough snow to turn grey-brown with sludge and sand along the edges of the road.

but what stands out in glittering splendor in my mind's eye are the years like this one--the Winters that turned my favorite place on earth into a magical wonderland.

beautiful heavy snow that stuck itself to the bare branches and the harsh edges of the world, sparkling like diamonds as the sun peeked up over the horizon, bathing Chippens Hill in spectacular morning light. this was the view i held my breath for, hoping it would greet me as i peered from the upstairs landing window on my way down to the kitchen for chocolate milk and toast with homemade jelly.

it was breathtaking to see my world decorated with new snowfall, freshening up the drifts from previous days, covering the tire tracks and the footprints that punched holes in the yard's snow-covered surface, evidence of children running and playing in the clear biting-cold air. after the snow fell, the world would be made pristine again. the sight of an untouched world, blanketed in white puffs of snow, always made me gasp a little with awe. it is one of my earliest memories of pausing to truly appreciate and revel in the beauty of the world--before spilling out into it, wrapped in sweatshirts and long underwear, socks and boots, coats and hats, gloves and scarves, to climb drifts and roll down snow piles and run through the yard, leaving a trail of footprints and snow angels in my wake, until the chill and dampness had soaked through the layers upon layers.

and then i would retreat indoors to thaw out, gazing out the window as i warmed, dreaming of the next day, wishing Gram & Gramp's yard would again be transformed by Mother Nature's arctic breath.


I Want Wednesday: February 10, 2010

**I Want to make these little Paper Blooms. wouldn't they be so cute to decorate with for Spring??

**i need to retire a couple pairs of pajama pants. I Want a pair of these as one of the replacements!

**when i was perusing pajama pants, i found these socks too, which I Want as well now.

**i went to the See's Candy website, because who doesn't associate Valentines Day with a big heart-shaped box of chocolates, and now, not only do I Want one of those...

...but I Want one of these Dark Chocolate Raspberry Hearts too!


A Picture's Worth: February 9, 2010

foregoing the photo with a quote this week in lieu of some photos from Animal Kingdom this part Saturday!


Monday Stream of Consciousness: February 8, 2010

i have to play catch-up this week. there is very little i hate as much as playing catch-up, with anything, not just my blog. however, work has been so busy this week (this is certainly a good thing, given the condition of the economy, i know!) and my home internet has been flaky. hence the reason for the Monday post showing up on Thursday. my internet has actually been flaky since October, but has gotten considerably worse over the last few weeks. the outages are completely random, both in timing and duration. it happens any time of day or night, lasting from ten minutes up to nearly two days. and of *course* every time there is a service tech in my home, all the lights on the modem shine happily, strong & steady. intermittent outages can be nearly impossible to diagnose, much less solve, when they aren't happening during a service call, since no pertinent information can be gathered. bottom line is this has lead to delays in posting and limited time to visit other blogs. i am, however, ripping through my little projects at home, provided they do not require use of the internet in any way. at any rate, be patient with me. i hope i will be back to normal soon.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

20 Questions: February 7, 2010

1. What was the easiest subject for you in school?
anything to do with English, followed closely by History.

2. Three signs Autumn is here:
in Florida: the busiest part of hurricane season. Autumn scents arrive at Yankee Candle. MLB playoffs. back in New England, there were more traditional signs: orchards open for apple-picking. the arrival of sweater weather. gorgeous foliage.

3. What is your favorite flavor of potato chip?
sour cream & onion, followed closely by the regular "flavor" particularly the lightly salted version.

4. What is your favorite dessert to get at a restaurant?
something with warm cake & a scoop of ice cream.

5. Where is your favorite place to go when you need some time alone?
my home. it's my sanctuary.

6. Scatter-brained or organized?
i have my scatter-brained moments (last week was a prime example!) but i am typically very organized.

7. Would you pay extra for a room with a view?
what's the view? and how much extra? if you're talking about over-looking Disney or the Pacific Ocean or something equally breathtaking, yes, i would consider it.

8. What is your favorite black-and-white movie?
It's a Wonderful Life.

9. What's the best part of the playground?
the swings.

10. Which do you prefer: the activity of city life or the peacefulness of country life?
peacefulness. i am all about the quiet. i like to be within in close driving proximity of town but i like being somewhat removed.

11. The color yellow makes me think of:
my Gram (it was her favorite color). daffodils. sunshine.

12. What was the last tv program you watched?
the Super Bowl is on now. the actual last *show* i watched was one of my favorite episodes of Friends, "The One With All the Haste."

13. How old were you when you got your first bank account?
the first account i opened for myself was when i was ten, at Bristol Federal Credit Union.

14. What is your most productive time of day?
i feel most productive from 6-11am, but i need to be most productive from 3-4:30pm. Monday through Friday. this is unfortunate because it's smack in the middle of my lowest energy time of day.

15. Ketchup goes on:
hot dogs. cheeseburgers. French fries.

16. Which room in your home needs the most cleaning attention right now?
my bedroom. i need to dust & i have a full basket full of clean laundry to put away.

17. What bill do you hate to pay the most?
my car insurance. i own the car free & clear. it's eight years old. i am a low-risk driver as a 33-year-old female with a perfect driving record. i pay my entire six-month premium in full at each renewal. and every six months THE PREMIUM GOES UP!!

18. Why did you choose the shirt you are wearing today?
i'm wearing a sweater with gold threads woven into it in support of the Saints!

19. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
absolutely not. i think it's an important commitment to make & one that shouldn't be entered into lightly.

20. Where was the hangout spot when you were a teenager?
with my group? Friendly's.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Slice of Life: February 6, 2010

i saw the coolest post on the blog, "your wishcake," and thought it would be a lot of fun to incorporate it into my weekly Slice of Life posts. it's up to you, readers! what slice of my life would *you* like to see photographed & shared here in the future?


Friday, February 5, 2010

Action Series: February 5, 2010

a preface: when i was contemplating the framework for The Broken Road, Version 2010, i decided to challenge myself with approaching my posts from a couple of new angles. Monday's Stream of Consciousness theme was one; Friday's "Action Series" was another. i created a long list of action words (i am open to suggestions if anyone has any!) and my plan was to choose one each week & see where my thoughts took me. i honestly have no idea how this will play out--maybe i'll hate it, maybe it will be a raging success, maybe it will flop--but i'm going to give it my best shot & see what happens with it.



there are so many directions this one could go. for instance, we can take a new direction. we can take from another person--of their material goods, their emotions, their energy, their graciousness. we can take a photo. we can take a leap of faith. but the first place my mind went this morning, when i selected the action 'taking' at random, was: taking the time.

sometimes, too often really, i think we don't take the time. we don't take it for ourselves when we need it, but we also don't take it for each other. i don't mean in the "long term commitment" sort of way or in a time of crisis. i think we don't take the opportunities that present themselves when it would cost just a few minutes. we get busy. we get selfish. we underestimate the impact of just a few ticks on the clock & an ounce of effort.

taking a few minutes to listen when a friend just needs to talk about the heap of little things that have piled up on their shoulders & providing the relief of unloading them to an attentive ear.

taking a moment to pay an sincere compliment, to tell someone you like their new hair style or that they look nice today. that doesn't even require missing a step. and so often we think these things to ourselves when, with minimal additional effort, we could let the words come out of our mouths.

taking a few seconds to say the words. thank you. i appreciate what you do for me. i love you. i miss you. i enjoyed spending time with you. you make me happy. i'm proud of you. i noticed.

i've tried to be aware, recently, of actively taking the time. to listen. to spend time with those i love. to form a thoughtful reply, in place of a quick "canned response." to give my attention. to say "hey, i noticed."

we do a lot of taking--intentionally or subconsciously--because i think we are, by nature, selfish beings. it's easier to take for ourselves, and it requires an effort to balance the taking we do with giving back. "taking the time" is one of the few instances in which the taking is not self-centered and the cost is negligible. i think we underestimate how much those few moments we take from ourselves can brighten someone's day, bolster them when they most need it, make them feel special & loved. some of us are more prone to "taking the time" by nature--we all know someone, or if we're lucky, several someones, who regularly make that effort--but those same people will also tell you that they could always take more opportunities than they do. that's the nice thing about taking the time: the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the better you feel for having done so. the more conscious i am of taking the time, the more i realize how many opportunities have passed me by. i am determined to see more of them, to make it a priority to take the time before the time runs out.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Memory Lane: February 4, 2010

(Gram, Dawn and Gramp -- September 1982)

within a span of less than a week, my Gram & Gramp would have celebrated their 93rd and 92nd birthdays, respectively. (Gram was born February 4 and Gramp was born January 30.) i've had some random birthday-related memories bouncing around inside my head as i remember them on the anniversaries of their births.

**Gram was born during a snow storm. her family lived out in the country, on the top of a hill, and the doctor couldn't get there to deliver her. her father had to assist her into this world. every year, in the week surrounding her birthday, there was snow or ice (or in the warmer years, some heavy rain)...until the first birthday following her passing--that year the sun shone fiercely in the bitter cold.

**Gram never made a birthday cake for herself. she would roll her eyes as she stuck a candle into whatever bit of dessert followed dinner. even when i was old enough to step up to the task of making a cake for her birthday, she would insist that i not do so.

**Gram always made a Boston Cream Pie for Gramp's birthday. it was a slippery-slidy gooey delicious mess. it was the only time she made one every year.

**it was impossible to buy a gift for Gramp. the man didn't want anything, other than to be outside, digging in the dirt. and if he did want something, he just bought it for himself. he had no desire for anything that wasn't useful. it didn't help that his birthday came a month after Christmas.

**Gram was the exact opposite. she loved anything pretty to tuck into this corner or onto that shelf. she loved making her home beautiful. i would have to cut myself off from Christmas shopping for her & let the overflow keep until her birthday. and i still had to cut myself off.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I Want Wednesay: February 3, 2010

**I Want these cute little vases IKEA.

**on the subject of cute little vases, I Want this one too.

**I Want Men In Trees to be released to DVD. that was such a feel-good show. still bummed that the writers' strike was the nail in its coffin.

**Brandi mentioned going to the zoo. now I Want to go to the zoo.

**Brandi also mentioned wanting a bakery-style cupcake (yes, there *is* a difference) so now I Want one of those too. (apparently, i just want to be Brandi today?)


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Picture's Worth: February 2, 2010


Monday, February 1, 2010

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: January 2010

photo of me

1) candle scents i burned this month:
North Pole. Welcome Christmas. Christmas on the Beach. Mountain Pine. Hazelnut Coffee. Red Berry & Cedar. Christmas Cupcake. Jack Frost. White Christmas. Hollyberry. Christmas Cookie. Christmas Wreath. Sparkling Snow.

2) what i am reading this month:
I Heard That Song Before (Mary Higgins Clark). Watching Baseball:Discovering the Game Within the Game (Jerry Remy & Corey Sandler). Joy in Mudville: The Bog Book of Baseball Humor (Mort Gerberg). The Bible in 90 Days: Cover to Cover in 12 Pages a Day (my church is doing this as a whole congregation. we started on January 1.)

3) top three songs i was drawn to:
"Laughed Until We Cried: by Jason Aldean. "Lucky" by Jason Mraz with Colbie Caillat. "Ain't No Sunshine" by Kris Allen.

4) movies i saw:
It's a Wonderful Life. The Wedding Planner.

5) favorite tv moments of the month:
the Cardinals winning on Wild Card Weekend in OT on a fumble-recovery touchdown--awesome game! classic Favre Touchdown Joy, as exhibited in the Vikings-Cowboys Division Playoffs game. the episode of The Big Bang Theory (The Bozeman Reaction) where Leonard & Sheldon's apartment is broken into: "I am the master of my bladder." Men of a Certain Age Go With the Flow--seriously made me laugh *so* hard.

6) something yummy i made:
Winter Vegetable and Bean Soup with Pesto.

7) restaurants i ate at:
Biergarten (EPCOT - twice). Tokyo Dining (EPCOT). The Wave (Disney's Contemporary Resort Hotel). Il Mulino (The Swan on Disney's Boardwalk). Rose & Crown (EPCOT). Ling's Chinese Buffet.

8) something that made me cry:
all the images of Haiti. so much pain and destruction. and yet still, so many video segments of rescued people being pulled from rubble, singing joyfully. there are a lot of humbling lessons to be learned.

9) a goal i had for this month:
to construct a new framework for my blog now that my Grace in Small Things year-long challenge has been completed.

10) this month i looked forward to:
spending some time with Nichole & Daniel at WDW.

11) something i want to remember about this month:
how refreshing the two-week-long record-breaking cold snap was. i want to burn it into my memory for those sticky endless Summer days in August. (and September.) (and October.) when it feels like they will never end & that relief may never arrive, i want to remember that eventually it always does.

12) a photo i took this month:


Monday Stream of Consciousness: February 1, 2010

i probably should have thought it through better when i planned to debut my new blog plans last week. i knew i would have a busier week than normal, for me anyway. i made my way over to Disney four times last week to spend time with Nichole & Daniel, enjoy the parks & eat some really delicious meals. by the time i got home, it was time for me to wind down & crawl into bed, not leaving me much time for blogging. had i not pre-blogged a few of those posts, there likely wouldn't have been *any* activity here on the blog last week! but this week is a clean slate. i can adjust my plans from last week & get this week off to a better start. at least i could if my home internet would get fixed. unpredictable service interruptions that last for lengthy periods of time tend to put a damper on online activities, you know? but i'm going to do my best.


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