Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Want Wednesday: January 27, 2010

**I Want to try this sandwich from the new Mediterranean lunch menu at Macaroni Grill.

**I Want to have all my old photos professionally scanned so that they are safe & backed up, at a better quality than my sorry little scanner at home can accomplish.

**I Want the cable company to figure out what is causing the intermittent interruptions in my home internet service so it can be fixed & i can go back to having the awesome reliable service i've grown accustomed to in almost eight years with them. that would require my service to cooperate & be out when a service appointment is scheduled though, because it is awfully difficult to diagnose the actual cause when there's currently not an outage to provide them with more information.

**I Want to curl up on my couch & watch some more Boston Legal, Season One.

**I Want CafeWorld and FarmVille (on Facebook) to stop being so addictive! (not really.) (what can i say? guilty pleasure.)


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Picture's Worth: January 26, 2010


Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Stream of Consciousness: January 25, 2010

i am really excited to be starting with the things i have been planning for my blog now that my year-long Grace challenge is complete. some of them have already made their "soft debut"--such as Sunday's "20 Questions," I Want Wednesday, and Tuesday's "A Picture's Worth"--while others will make their first appearance this week. today is the first time i am doing my Monday Stream of Consciousness. basically, i am sitting down with an open blog post & setting the timer for five minutes. and i'm just going to write about whatever happens to be on my mind. i will correct spelling errors but i'm not going to waste time breaking into paragraphs. Thursday will bring a new "series" called Memory Lane, which could be a memory that has surfaced for me or an old photo i've scanned in, maybe even both in some cases. Friday will be my "Action Series": i have compiled a whole long list of "action words" to use as a springboard for blog posts. i have no idea where this will take me, but i'm curious to see. Saturday will be a "Slice of Life," which i have done in the past & want to resume--simply a photo from that week. i am not limiting myself to *just* these posts, but i did want a built-in framework to guide me through my week. having a preset "format" takes the pressure off me deciding what to blog. and... there's the timer!



i was flipping through this article on the Top 25 Things Vanishing from America (thought it's parts one and two, so it ultimately comes out to the top fifty), and was thinking about the items listed. some i would miss if they really did become extinct, while others? meh. probably wouldn't even notice.

25. Pit Toilets - yeah, see, i am a BIG fan of indoor plumbing. (see also: girl who refuses to go camping. ever.)

24. Yellow Pages - i cannot even tell you the last time i used a phone book. i just look it up online.

23. Classified Ads - i don't know that i would miss them, per se. i didn't have much luck with them the last time i was job-hunting. seems everyone down here uses a temp agency these days.

22. Movie Rental Stores - now these i miss a little. i don't like to pay for a subscription fee for Netflix when i barely ever rent movies. usually i end up renting a movie on a whim--like when a baseball game gets rained out & there's nothing on tv.

21. Dial-up Internet Access - does *anyone* miss this?! it's been ten years since i went high-speed and i've never looked back.

20. Phone Landlines - i still have a landline. i actually don't like talking on my cell a whole lot. it's not terribly comfortable. plus, it's cheaper to have the cell plan i have and the landline that comes with my cable bundle with unlimited long distance than to make my cell plan unlimited.

19. Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs - while i cannot say that i will personally miss them, it makes me sad that we've overfished them to the point where they could be gone. especially when i think how many of them likely go to waste.

18. VCRs - i still have a couple of movies on VCR tapes, but mostly all DVDs. i have a VCR/DVD combo so at whatever point it stops working, i will just replace the few tapes i have left. what really bugs me is that everything is going Blu-Ray now. i can't afford to keep replacing everything i own every five years for something that costs even more! and i have a lot of tv show series in DVD--not cheap!

17. Ash Trees - i would miss ash trees. we don't even have them here (i don't think) but my grandparents had one in their yard & i would be sad thinking they were all gone, forever. i can still clearly remember sifting through their bright yellow leaves at the bottom of the driveway while i waited for the school bus in the morning.

16. Ham Radio

15. The Swimming Hole

14. Answering Machines - while i do have a landline, i use the digital voicemail system that my service provider includes. one fewer thing to plug in is fine by me.

13. Cameras That Use Film - i am torn on this. i don't want one for myself, mostly because i like the immediate ability to see if the photo came out, and it's cheaper than developing a bunch of photos that didn't come out. (i'm also not one of those people who allows her photos to live on her camera indefinitely though. they're just too vulnerable there.) however, i love admiring the photos that others take with film cameras. they just have a different "feel" to them.

12. Incandescent Bulbs - i would miss them less if the new energy saver bulbs a) didn't take so long to actually come on and b) they didn't have such an obnoxious fluorescent glow. i like a softer, warmer light, and that just isn't as widely available in the newer bulbs--especially in the three-way bulbs which i like in my lamps. all in good time though, i'm sure!

11. Stand-Alone Bowling Alleys

10. The Milkman - i have to be honest. i didn't even know this was still a service being offered.

9. Hand-Written Letters - i really need to make a conscious effort to do my part in keeping this alive. there's just something about getting a real piece of mail that someone took the time to sit down & hand write, just for you.

8. Wild Horses - this makes me sad.

7. Personal Checks - not everything is available to be paid online. until it is, i would prefer to NOT have to pay for a money order, so i will be keeping my checks. (and balancing my checkbook by hand. you never know when having that information in black & white might prove useful!)

6. Drive-in Theaters - i have never been to a drive-in...

5. Mumps & Measles

4. Honey Bees - this is not good. not at all. i hope we can find a way to reverse this one.

3. News Magazines and TV News - the former, meh. the latter, despite the degree which they annoy me with their drama, i would miss being able to watch & listen to the news in the evening. sometimes a girl needs a break from reading all the live long day.

2. Analog TV - i've been a cable tv girl most of my life.

1. The Family Farm - i grew up on a family farm. no animals but plenty of fruits & vegetables in the garden & the orchard. i can't imagine small farms ceasing to exist. i wish i could find a good pick-your-own or truly *local* vegetable stand near me. around here, they all sell bananas which makes me distrustful of the source of all their produce.
25. Professional Typists

24. Catholic Schools - since i am pretty sure they are including all parochial schools under the Catholic school umbrella here, i would absolutely miss them. i had a great education at a parochial school. i am sure people rethink paying a tuition when the public school option is free, but public schools get more scary by the minute. i liked having a small class in a safe environment. i would choose the same for my potential future children if at all possible.

23. Cash Registers That Make a Ka-Ching Sound - the last time i saw one of these was on It's A Wonderful Life (Get me! I'm givin' out wings!) but in a store? not even in my lifetime.

22. Wild Salmon - i refer you back to the one about the Blue Crabs.

21. Alleys - i don't frequent alleys. and i am ok with that.

20. Charcoal

19. Neighborhood Kids Who Will Do Odd Jobs - i think this is a combination of parents not feeling safe allowing their children to offer said service and the fact that kids seem to get lazier with each generation. both make me sad.

18. Trader Pits at the Stock Exchange

17. Cars With Manual Shifts - all cars should be automatic. i wish mine came with a chauffeur.

16. Homes Without Cable - i admire their resolve to be tv-free (which is pretty much your only option now that all tv signals have gone digital). i cannot make that commitment.

15. 401(k) Matches

14. Dental Coverage

13. Butcher Shops

12. Shade Tree Mechanics

11. No-Down-Payment Home Loans

10. 0% Balance Transfers

9. Customer Service - do not even get me started on this one. lack of customer service is one of my greatest pet peeves. to the point that i will choose a slightly more expensive service provider if they also offer good customer service. and yes, i do take the time to thank those providers for their good service whenever i have the opportunity. i also spread the word--in either case.

8. Known Toxins in Children's Products

7. Maple Syrup - NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

6. Sidewalks - i don't see them in the subdivisions but i do see them getting put in around town in various places! not having sidewalks would be a sad sad thing.

5. Fax Machines - i would not be sorry to see the one here at the office go. like, today.

4. Your Net Worth

3. 10 PM Drama on Network TV - speak for yourselves. i still have plenty of 10pm drama to keep my DVR working double-time! just because NBC made a regrettable mistake in that time slot doesn't mean all the networks jumped aboard!

2. The Daily Newspaper - i have only ever bought the Sunday paper. long as that one keeps going, there will be no complaints issued here. take it away, however...

1. Community Banks - my community bank appears just fine. in fact, i would think that with all the fallout associated with The Banks Too Big to Fail, the little banks have thrived. i know quite a few people who pulled out of The Big Banks & went small community bank. more secure, because they couldn't afford to make the mistake The Big Banks did, and *way* better customer service. in fact, if you don't use a small bank, i strongly urge you to check one out. i *love* my little bank.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

20 Questions: January 24, 2010

1. What's the last sporting event you watched?
hmmm... i guess that would be the Vikings-Cowboys playoff game last Sunday. i didn't see either of this Sunday's games because i was at Epcot.

2. The world could do without:
bananas. mean people. Joe Buck. humidity. cockroaches. and telemarketers. (just to name a few.)

3. What is the farthest you have ever been from home?

4. What is your favorite kind of cereal?
Special K Red Berries. but i have to pour in just a little milk at a time because soggy cereal grosses me out.

5. Four sports teams you like:
Boston Red Sox (duh). New England Patriots. Arizona Cardinals. Anaheim Angels (when they aren't playing the Sox).

6. What is it time for right now?
adding an extra day to the weekend.

7. You wake up and discover that it's a rainy, dreary day out. Does this affect your attitude at all or do you tend to stay happy no matter what the weather is doing?
the weather doesn't affect my mood unless it stays the same for a long period of time. one rainy dreary day is just a nice break.

8. What is the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
watching baseball. don't care if i am at home, sprawled on the couch, or at the baseball field.

9. What is your favorite appetizer?

in fact, i'm pretty sure i could exist solely on Caprese Bites for a considerable length of time.

10. Why did you pick the outfit you have on?
because i am getting ready to go to bed? (pajama pants & a tank top)

11. How sensitive are you to cool temperatures?
i like them in short bursts, no more than a couple of weeks at a time--i find it refreshing. i do NOT like five months of Winter (hence why i no longer live in New England) nor do i like to be cold & wet from digging my car out of a snowbank or slopping through a slush puddle that was posing as solid ground under a thin layer of snow cover. i also do not like when the office feels like i am working in a meat locker.

12. What's your favorite blanket like?
soft. fuzzy. tan with an Autumn leaves pattern. just the right size for snuggling up on the couch to watch tv.

13. Did you go to public school?
only for high school. before that i went to a Lutheran school from preschool through grade eight. i'm really glad that i went parochial. i would send my own kids to a Lutheran school in a second.

14. Are you scared of bees?
i don't mind them when they aren't buzzing around my person.

15. How many lurkers do you think you have that read your blog, but never comment? Have you ever been successful at getting them to say hello? Do you mind the lurking? Are you a lurker? Or do you try and comment every time you visit?
i would say i have about thirty people who comment regularly. and probably a good hundred that silently lurk (i can *see* you all, by the way!) i don't know that i have ever convinced anyone to reveal themselves. i don't mind the lurking to a point, but it does weird me out a bit when people come back, day after day, for hours at a time, digging through all my archives & *never* say a peep. it's the internet & my blog isn't private, but if you're that interested in reading so much about me, the least you could do is say hello! i do lurk on some blogs, but usually the ones that have a huge following. i do my best to leave a comment on any blog where i feel i have something to contribute though. it was one of my personal goals that i tackled in 2009 that i felt i could cross off the list as a success.

16. Desktop or laptop?
yes, i have both. i use my laptop more frequently on a daily basis, because it is convenient, but i use my desktop a fair amount too. i archive a second copy of all my photos there. i have my entire iTunes library on it. it's attached to my external hard drive where i store a backup of all my music & a third copy of all my photos (both backed up the first of each month). my desktop also has Microsoft Office on it (laptop doesn't), plus it's attached to the scanner/printer.

17. What is your favorite kind of cheese?
it depends on what i am using the cheese for. but just to eat plain? Monterey Jack. i think it stems from my childhood. that's the cheese my grandparents always had on hand.

18. What is the oldest thing you own?
my grandparents wedding, wait. my Gram's Catechism. i have some wonderful family heirlooms. not many of them, but what i do have i cherish dearly.

19. How did your car get that little scratch/dent? (Because let’s face it, we ALL have car stories, right?)
ha! right after i started this job, one of my co-workers backed into it with a golf cart. there's a gouge on the rear bumper. he offered to have it fixed i have a love-hate relationship with this car. he's lucky it wasn't my old Altima though!

20. Which would you rather do: the dusting or the vacuuming?
vacuum. it's fast. it's easy. it doesn't make me sneeze. and it leaves those nice lines in the carpet.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Grace in Small Things 365:365

1. it is finally the weekend on a week i thought might never end.

2. employee lunch today!

3. it's a grey rainy day. which is good because a) we need the rain, b) it's easier on my eyes, and c) it gets the rain out of the way for most of the next week when i will be playing at WDW with Nichole & Daniel on several days!

4. my black tote bag with the palm trees embroidered on it. those little trees always make me smile.

5. I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! 365 days of grace! challenge complete.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Grace in Small Things 364:365

1. realizing how many different people i will get to spend time with at WDW this year! Nichole & Daniel this coming week (and hopefully in October for Food & Wine Festival!). K in March (not sure who else is officially joining us at this point...?). my Dad in April. my mother in September. possibly my brother over the Summer. anyone else? ;-)

2. Real Simple February finally arrived!

3. so did Redbook! yay!

4. taxes have been filed & accepted. refund enroute! woohoo!

5. my new green & white gingham pajama pants. so cheerful!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Want Wednesday: January 20, 2010

**my old luggage has seen better days. now that i've traveled a decent amount, i have a much better idea what kind of luggage set I Want when i replace what i have.

**I Want baseball season, baseball season, baseball season!!

**I Want it to be Sunday so i can hang out at WDW with Nichole & Daniel.

**I Want it to be the weekend. this week has felt like an eternity.

**I Want my February issue of Real Simple magazine already! where is it?!


Grace in Small Things 363:365

1. my new red sweater. it's the *perfect* shade of red. it makes me happy.

2. Clorox Wipes.

3. my W-2 is available online today! just need the 1098-E for my student loan & then i'm ready to rock-n-roll on filing my income taxes!

4. grilled cheese.

5. seeing all my Sox t-shirts & jerseys hanging in my closet.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Picture's Worth: January 19, 2010


Grace in Small Things 362:365

1. Alison! is online! and on Facebook!

2. being able to stay connected with far away friends, thanks to the wonder that is the internet.

3. cookies & cream ice cream.

4. taking the time to tell someone you appreciate them.

5. a really funny episode of Big Bang Theory.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

Grace in Small Things 361:365

1. good customer service.

2. i am almost done with this challenge!! not that i haven't enjoyed it tremendously, but i am excited about the new things i have planned for my blog. like, you know, a little more variety. ;-)

3. a fresh new high lighter.

4. the slightly new arrangement of my living room furniture. just one piece in a new spot, really, and some others slid over just a bit (my options are limited because i cannot move my tv or computer & the room isn't that big), but it's just enough visually different to make me happy.

5. one month til Spring Training.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

20 Questions: January 17, 2010

1. What drink are you usually found sipping with dinner?
almost exclusively water. unless i am visiting Nichole and Daniel. then i'm served water in addition to whatever the host provides.

2. If you were to publish your autobiography, what would the first sentence be?
"It was a dark and stormy night..." no, no... that won't do. hmmm... how about... "I bleed red." (quite possibly also the title. though why anyone would wish to read such a thing is way way WAY beyond me.)

3. If you could own any building in existence, which one would you want?
Fenway Park. it is my mecca.

4. My parents are:
both blue-eyed.

5. Do you get excited when the season begins to change? Which season do you most look forward to?
i got more excited when the seasons weren't Hot, Hot-n-Humid, Hurricane and Perfect. but i am starting to be able to discern the subtle changes here. (took me nearly eight years to do it!) and yes, i love them. i especially look forward to the season of Perfect (what the rest of you call "Winter," typically followed by a groan), which reaches its glorious peak with the blooming of the orange blossoms. back when i lived where there were seasons of a more traditionally recognized sort, i looked forward most to Autumn, which has weather quite similar to that of Perfect here in Florida. it's just less colorful here. i also really look forward to enjoying the progression of seasons on the blogs of those who actually have them in recognizable ways.

6. What's on your to-do list?
file. run the dishwasher. put away the laundry. do some more laundry. stalk the payroll company's website, waiting for my W2 to become available so i can file my taxes.

7. How many glasses of water do you drink a day?
i drink two bottles of water while i am at work. and two-three glasses of water in the evening at home, usually.

8. What do you get the most compliments about?
my hair. seems everyone loves the short, flippy hair.

9. Where have you been on the Internet today?
Blogger. Gmail. Google Reader. my bank. Bright House. Verizon Wireless. Tumblr. Facebook. a few various blogs. Boston Globe. Picasa Web Albums.

10. When you travel, what kinds of souvenirs do you like to bring home for yourself?
usually just photos. they don't cause clutter.

11. What would be one thing that would embarrass you a great deal?
one thing?? well...anything that makes me the center of attention, i guess. i hate being in the spotlight. no having a restaurant full of people singing to me, for example. yuck.

12. What non-blog-or-email-related website do you visit regularly?
the Red Sox website.

13. There's this girl I know who:
doesn't give herself enough credit for how awesome she really is.

14. If you were wishing on a star right now what would you wish for?
one long weekend per month. we get spoiled in November & December and then nothing all the way til *May*.

15. Where do you usually get your hair cut?
a salon in Clermont. and not "usually." *always*.

16. What other windows do you have open?
Gmail. Google Reader. Tumblr. not in other windows though, just tabs in this window. i have my Twitter widget are open as well.

17. So many people use Twitter now and many of the people we follow on Twitter are those whose blogs we already read, but some new friends join the circle through Twitter. Who are some of your favorite e-buddies discovered specifically through Twitter?
discovered through Twitter?? jsbsox (but her account is private). ikesuzy (also private). StuffinMyBrain. i have to be honest. i have a hard time remembering who i found on Twitter & who i followed on Twitter because i already read their blog.

18. What were your school colors?
preschool-grade 8: purple & white. high school: maroon & white.

19. Where did you get the shirt you are currently wearing?
i think from the Red Sox website shop. or some other online store that sells Sox tees.

20. What shows/movies are currently saved on your DVR?
The Nativity Story. It's a Wonderful Life. Prep & Landing. Absolute Power. PS I Love You. this week's Grey's Anatomy & Private Practice--i already watched them but i might wanna watch them again, so i haven't deleted yet.


Grace in Small Things 360:365

1. one week from today, i get to hang out with two of my favorite people at one of my favorite places. it's been *way* too long since we Disney'd Florida-style together!

2. a gorgeous breezy day here in Central Florida.

3. having a hairstyle that can not only handle the breeze, but often ends up looking better when it's windblown (something nearly impossible to fake!).

4. a fantastic analogy of a healthy relationship that a friend of a friend posted on Facebook: "When my hubby & I first got together I had told him that we were like trees, growing beside each other. We were both very different in many ways & the same in others. We've lived different lives & had different experiences that made us who we are. I told him that as long as we worked together to grow together we would be fine. However, if one person (tree) becomes more controlling & begins towering over the other one, a constant struggle/battle for survival will begin & eventually one tree will die. You can't live like that."

5. i may be one of only three Brett Favre fans remaining, but *damn* does it make me happy when he throws touchdowns. i wish more professional athletes would get that excited about their game.

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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Grace in Small Things 359:365

1. i think i am finally on the mend. just a slight cough left!

2. getting a whole bunch of housework done! my home got neglected while i was feeling meh.

3. finding some new-to-me music.

4. grabbing a random chocolate from my box of See's and getting one of my *very* favorites.

5. flashback episodes of Friends. they pull them off better than just about any other tv series.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Grace in Small Things 358:365

1. we had the doors open in the office today. more fresh air! and hopefully fewer germs.

2. got a big box full of cute tops i got on clearance...

3. ...and i like them all! (you never know when you shop online.)

4. picked up my replacement frames (i brought them back in for an adjustment & a piece broke, so they ordered me a new pair) and they fit even better than the pair that broke.

5. i can finally breathe through my nose again!!

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Grace in Small Things 357:365

1. real Florida Winter has resumed. as much as i loved the refreshing cold snap (enjoying it for what it was), there is *no* way i will ever complain about Florida Winter. it's my favorite time of year here.

2. Advil.

3. opening up my windows, getting some fresh air in here. out with the germs!

4. new Grey's...

5. ...and new Private Practice tonight!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grace in Small Things 356:365

1. getting my work computer back (again), with a new hard drive.

2. Puffs Plus tissues.

3. February Good Housekeeping!

4. i replaced all my work clipboards (that mysteriously grow feet on a regular basis) with red ones. everyone else's remain smoke-colored. let's see 'em try to get away with swiping my clipboards now! heh.

5. the silly joy i feel every time i can breathe through my nose for a few moments.

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do a little dance.

i've blown my nose a ridiculous number of times today. my poor nose is feeling the effects. i thought it would help to apply a little SoftLips to my nose with my fingertip. what i neglected to remember was that the tube in my bag was not my usual vanilla flavor. it was Winter mint.

note: applying something minty to a raw nose will make one want to do a little dance. and not because it feels so awesome.


I Want Wednesday: January 13, 2009

**I Want this Cardinals print (erinjane illustrations on Etsy). it reminds me of my grandparents.

**i don't have many decorations for Valentines Day, nor do i feel compelled to go all out for it either, but i do like to tuck in a few little pops of red & pink among my snowmen & snowflakes that stay up for the duration of Winter after the more Christmas-y items get tucked safely away for another eleven months. I Want to add this heart pillow to my collection to rest in my armchair.

**I Want whatever this crazy collection of symptoms i have to go away already. i don't feel terrible. it's just annoying.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Picture's Worth: January 12, 2010


Grace in Small Things 355:365

1. the solitaire app on my iPod to keep a computerless day at work from being completely boring.

2. watching a really funny episode of The Big Bang Theory on the DVR.

3. followed by a really funny episode of Men of a Certain Age.

4. found out today that i'm going to have a nephew in late May(ish)!

5. looking forward to some of the new features i have planned rolling out on my blog.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Grace in Small Things 354:365

1. i'm so glad that i kept my old ice scraper in my trunk when i moved to Florida. it's come in pretty handy over the last couple of weeks.

2. a very understanding employer who doesn't make me feel guilty when i need to go home sick.

3. ginger ale.

4. feeling better after a nap.

5. losing myself in a giant cocoon of blankets.

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eat, drink & be merry!

once again, i've got the pictures, Nichole provided the words (you'll have to check out her blog for an explanation of what you're seeing--trust me, it's worth it!) in our joint effort to remember the meal!


Second Course

Third Course

Main Event

and i was too zapped from the combination of food coma & getting up at 4am Eastern, having the time change allow for a 27-hour day, that i forgot to photograph the dessert...

...but i did remember to get the hot buttered rum Daniel made a couple of evenings later!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

20 Questions: January 10, 2010

1. What was the best meal of the past seven days?
this new recipe for Winter Vegetable and Bean Soup with Pesto

2. What color(s) do you associate with Autumn?
deep red. warm brown. pumpkin orange.

3. What will most likely be the next book you read?
hmmm... not sure. i'm reading three right now. depends on my mood. either a Mary Higgins Clark or one of my baseball books.

4. Describe your usual disposition in meteorological terms (partly cloudy, sunny, stormy, etc.).
unusually sunny with occasional afternoon fog.

5. What specific subject do you feel you know better than any other subjects?
ridiculous trivia about the Sox.

6. What do you like to order from your favorite fast food place?
a cheeseburger & some fries. oooo... i really go out on a limb there, huh? it has to be Wendy's or Five Guys though. i don't care for Burger King or McDonald's.

7. What time of day do you usually feel most energized?
7am. and then again at around 7pm (second wind).

8. What was the last television show you watched, and was it good?
just finished watching some episodes from Season Two of Friends. still makes me laugh right out loud.

9. Describe the last week in 3 words.
chilly. long. aggravating.

10. Describe your favorite movie scene. You know, the one that just gets to you every time you watch it.
the scene from "Sex and the City: the Movie" when Charlotte hugs a devastated Carrie, after Big left her at the altar, and screams "No! NO!!" when he tries to approach Carrie. always makes me tear up.

11. If you had to live in a large city, which one would you want it to be?
Boston. no question. if i'm going to live in a large city, it's going to be the one where i can find Sox fans all around.

12. By this time next year:
i will be 34? i don't know. i've given up trying to predict my own future.

13. Whose intelligence do you find intimidating?
probably a dead tie between Nichole and Daniel. the room practically bursts from knowledge when they're both in it!

14. Name something you've done that surprised you.
walked away from a bad relationship. i had started to believe i didn't have it in me. thank God for friends who convinced me that wasn't true.

15. List 3 people whom you have only "met" online, but consider good friends.
K. Giuseppina. Carrie.

16. What's your favorite flavor of birthday cake?
ice cream cake. or yellow cake with chocolate frosting. or chocolate cake with white frosting--bonus if it has some raspberry filling in too.

17. What comes to mind when you hear the word bizarre?

18. What was the last object (not person) you took a picture of?
a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane in it. it's still on my memory card.

19. If you visit my hometown:
go in the Autumn. Connecticut is so beautiful then.

20. What is your current computer desktop image?

home desktop:



Grace in Small Things 353:365

1. the Cardinals won their playoff game in overtime! i ♥ Kurt Warner!

2. i managed to successfully get my seven-and-a-half-foot Christmas tree back into its original box for the fourth year.!

3. Friends. that show still makes me laugh, even though i have seen every episode about a dozen times. at least.

4. having favorite tv shows on DVD.

5. being exceptionally productive today, despite really wanting to just be a lazy bum on my couch.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Grace in Small Things 352:365

1. we had snow in Central Florida overnight. it melted right away but it was so cool to see video of it. it snowed at Disney World too. can you just imagine how magical it would be to see it snowing at Disney? makes me happy just to picture it.

2. having a nice cozy stay-inside day.

3. the writers of Boston Legal, who never fail to make me laugh with their sheer brilliance. (why did that show have to end again?)

4. my red Old Navy fleece pullover, which i has kept me snuggly warm for the last week when i was in my pjs & watching tv for the night.

5. still having Winter decorations to keep up when Christmas comes down. makes the transition a little easier.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Grace in Small Things 351:365

1. deciding to play around with Tumblr. someplace to post things that do not warrant an actual blog post but just refuse to be squashed into Twitter's 140-character constraints. i introduce to you: Tumbling Thoughts, a tiny little extension of The Broken Road. there's a permanent link in the linkbar under my header photo.

2. shuffling my entire library on my iPod. like listening to the radio, never knowing what will play next, but with all songs that i like.

3. emailing with my friend, Michelle.

4. fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

5. new episode of Ghost Whisperer. good to have some new tv after mostly re-runs for the last month!

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Grace in Small Things 350:365

1. hopefully all this cold weather will succeed in giving us a benefit we don't usually get here, since it doesn't typically get cold long enough to effectively accomplish this: kill off all the germs & other yuck. and hopefully it doesn't last so long that we become shut-in & just start passing crap around *inside* instead, like they do up north.

2. a frost-edged world outside my door this morning.

3. the way sun sparkles on frost, making everything look like a glittered Christmas card come to life.

4. Alan Shore on Boston Legal. one of my all-time favorite tv characters.

5. song lyrics that make me smile.
If you were falling, then I would catch you.
You need a light, I'd find a match.
'Cause I love the way you say good morning.
And you take me the way I am.

If you are chilly, here take my sweater.
Your head is aching, I'll make it better.
'Cause I love the way you call me baby.
And you take me the way I am.

(from "The Way I Am," by Ingrid Michaelson)

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Want Wednesday: January 6, 2010

**ohhhh... i have zero counter space for this, but I Want a 90th Anniversary Limited Edition Candy Apple Red 5-qt Stand Mixer anyway.

**i have a couple of mixing/prep bowls but I Want a BIG set!

**in keeping with the kitchen theme (apparently) today, add a dutch oven to the list of things I Want.

**i have a teeny little crock pot, but I Want *this* fancy-schmancy slow cooker that comes with multiple size crocks!

**and unrelated to the kitchen, i have a pair of those little stretchy gloves for when the weather gets cold down here for a few weeks, but pickings are slim & i had to get white ones. i don't like white ones. they're boring & they get dirty in 3.7 seconds. I Want a pair of little stretchy red gloves. i used to have a chenille pair that were so cozy, but i had to retire them... =(


Grace in Small Things 349:365

1. every time i am about to complain about the cold snap we're having, i recall the sweltering humid sticky oppressive days of August (and July) (and September) (and October) when i was dreaming of cold days like this, and i remember to enjoy them for the brief time they're here. knowing these days are coming is how i make it through the last half of a Florida Summer.

2. warm soup in my tummy on a chilly night.

3. because Epiphany falls during the week, and tree dismantling is an involved project, i get a couple bonus days to enjoy my tree until the weekend!

4. i have my 2010 budget penciled in! it will be tweaked & adjusted quarterly as i evaluate it, but i love having a plan in place!

5. set-up of my new planner has been completed. i love my planner.

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not a day goes by...

(Gramp and Dawn, October 1978)

...that i don't think about how lucky i am to have had him for my Gramp.

...that i don't remember some small memory or tidbit or characteristic about him.

...that i don't miss him terribly.

...that i don't find it shocking that it's been seven years since he passed away.

...that i'm not thankful to be able to remember him this way.

...that i don't believe he wasn't an earthbound angel for just short of 85 years.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Grace in Small Things 348:365

1. babies wearing teeny tiny little jeans.

2. dogs running around in the chilly air like crazy, you know what i mean.

3. broccoli cheese soup to warm me up when the heat is not working in the office.

4. my foresight to keep some heavy sweaters (just in case) when i moved to Florida. i have enough to make it through a full week of 20-degrees-colder-than-normal temperatures.

5. crawling into bed, under a mountain of blankets, and reading.

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Grace in Small Things 347:365

1. this bit from "I'm Yours," by Jason Mraz.
"There's no need to complicate
Our time is short"

2. February Everyday With Rachael Ray!

3. coming home to a nice cozy apartment after freezing my tail off at work all day. there really is "no place like home."

4. Chex Mix Muddy Buddies. some kind of yummy.

5. curling up in bed with a good book on a chilly evening. which is where i'm heading right now.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Grace in Small Things 346:365

1. the way the air just smells different when the weather is chilly.

2. finding that my debit card wasn't lost so much as just tucked into the wrong spot in my wallet. (whew!)

3. people who hold doors for me.

4. hot chocolate with a candy cane in it.

5. snuggling up under my soft fuzzy blanket when i come back in from the cold air after getting my clothes from the laundry room.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Grace in Small Things 345:365

1. emails from old friends.

2. seeing all the photos i took in December & loving so many of them.

3. good customer service from my cable provider.

4. candlelight.

5. still enjoying my tree because it's only the eighth day of Christmas!

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: December 2009

photo of me

1) current candle scents:
Mistletoe. Christmas Eve.

2) what i am reading this month:
Watching Baseball:Discovering the Game Within the Game (Jerry Remy). Joy in Mudville: The Big Book of Baseball Humor (Mort Gerberg). I Heard That Song Before (Mary Higgins Clark).

3) top three songs i was drawn to:
"Song for a Winter's Night," by Sarah McLachlan. "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" by The Carpenters. "Let It Be Christmas," by Alan Jackson.

4) movies i saw:
PS I Love You. The Wedding Planner. A Christmas Carol (the George C Scott version). The Nativity Story. Home Alone. A Christmas Story. Elf. It's Wonderful Life. plus the requisite classic Christmas specials: A Charlie Brown Christmas. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. How the Grinch Stole Christmas. and the new Disney special, Prep & Landing, which will definitely be added to the rotation! 12 Monkeys. Vertigo. Wild Hogs.

5) favorite tv moments of the month:
the Dexter season finale. my jaw is still on the ground.

6) something yummy i made:
Christmas cookies!

7) some place i ate out:
Cafe Orleans at Disneyland.

8) something that made me cry:
Publix commercial. again. this time it's a Christmas one. i'm telling you, these people rival Hallmark.

9) something that made me laugh:
Nichole & Renee decorating Christmas cookies.

10) this month i looked forward to:
giving Christmas gifts.

11) something i want to remember about this month:
the joy Christmas brings me.

12) a photo i took this month:


Grace in Small Things 344:365

1. the last five years and six days i've had this blog, and all the wonderful things that have come about as a result.

2. the arrival of the cold snap i've been anticipating. i welcome the change in weather because it happens so rarely here. i like feeling all cozy & warm in my little home.

3. useful Christmas gifts beginning to make their appearance in my daily activities!

4. flannel pajama pants.

5. a whole fresh new calendar full of days that each hold the potential to be awesome.

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2010 Wishlist

1. One habit you'd like to break totally:
not putting my clean laundry away as soon as it comes out of the dryer. i know i should but by the time i make all those trips back & forth from the laundry room, i'm just too darn lazy to put it all away.

2. One person you'd like to get to know better:

3. One random act of kindness that you'd like to make a habit this year:
little surprises sent in the mail to brighten the days of friends. it's amazing what a little unexpected happy in the mail can accomplish.

4. Something that you'd like to own by the end of 2010:
there's nothing i really *need* to own. there are little things that i'd like but... even if i don't acquire them, i'll still be very content and grateful for all that i have and the life that i lead.

5. Something that you'd like to get rid of by the end of 2010:
the boxes in my storage closet that i haven't gone through yet. i just need to get it done, once and for all.

6. One change you'd like to see in your life in 2010:
i'd like to let go of a little more insecurity. that's a wicked habit to break.

7. One thing you'd like to memorize in 2010:
memorize? i don't know that i really need to memorize anything...

8. Something that you'd like to improve on in 2010:
being as disciplined with my organization as i am with my budget.

9. Something new you'd like to learn in 2010.
learning how to say 'no' without feeling guilty.

10. Something you're looking forward to this year.
meeting some of my bloggy girls in March!

11. One thing you're going to make sure DOESN'T happen this year.
allowing myself to slip back into old self-deprecating bad habits.

12. One person that you want to be closer to this year.
i want them all to be closer! none of this "picking one" nonsense.

13. One place you want to visit this year.

New England in the Autumn.

14. One thing that you'll move from 2009's to do list to 2010's to do list.

organizing my closets & cabinets--storage is at a premium here & i *need* to use it more efficiently. i just didn't get to it last year...

15. One old acquaintance that you'd like to reconnect with this year.
i'd love to get together with my old high school pal Theresa next time i'm in Connecticut. it's been so much fun re-connecting over Facebook.


happy 2010!

wishing you a happy, healthy & prosperous new year.


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