Sunday, May 30, 2010

20 Questions: May 30, 2010

1. Have you ever built a snowman?
I have but mostly small ones. I think I only successfully constructed one "life-size" one. This obviously took place quite a while ago. I wonder if I would be any better at it now?

2. Do you trust your instincts?
More now than ever before. And when I don't, it sure seems like I live to regret it. My gut is far wiser than I give it credit for being sometimes.

3. Can you sew?
On a basic level. I can replace buttons & mend a seam. I can kind of do a hem, but not well. I'd like to learn more though.

4. What kind of system do you have for keeping tracking of your bills?
It's complex when you're on the outside looking in but it makes perfect sense to me. I build a baseline budget for the full year, making adjustments as necessary. I track all my spending. It keeps me honest & true to my budget.

5. Do you have any rings on your hands?
Not a single one. I think I've owned three rings in my entire life. One my brother tangled with & I think he still holds a grudge. One stopped being "my style." The last one I gave back.

6. Name someone in your life with blue eyes:
Other than me? ::bats eyelashes:: My dad.

7. When did you last see the sun rise?
This very morning. I woke up around 4am for some reason & couldn't shut off my brain.

8. What is the last thing you wrote?
I filled out a check to pay my rent.

9. If you could change one thing about your home, what would it be?
It would have a bigger kitchen with better storage & a place for a table.

10. Can you remember your childhood phone number?
Yes, I can. And my grandparents' as well.

11. Do you feel in control of your life?
As in control as I need to be.

12. What was the last thing you put in your mouth?
Publix Raspberry Blush Sherbet.

13. What beverage do you reach for in the morning?
Real unsweetened cranberry juice that I mix half-and-half with either pineapple juice or 100% apple juice.

14. Would you rather be really hungry or really tired?
Really tired. When I'm really hungry, I get cranky. I don't like to be cranky. Unless I have to drive. Then I would rather be hungry because driving tired scares me.

15. What piece of jewelry do you wear most often?
Probably my cross necklace.

16. What three items can always be found in your refrigerator?
The aforementioned cranberry juice. Water. Yogurt.

17. How old is your computer?
My desktop is a refurb that I got almost four years ago. My laptop was new, a birthday gift, about a year & a half ago.

18. Who do you look the most like in your family?
I think I'm a pretty good blend of both my parents, which means if I see myself next to either one in a photo, I can see the common features, but when I'm on my own, I look like neither one.

19. Were you afraid of the dark as a child?
Only if I found myself outside by myself. I had a vivid imagination & could easily psyche myself out. My Gram's frequent warnings of some creature she called a jackyl contributed to this, I think. Most likely because I couldn't conjure up an actual image of what this thing might be. Fear of the unknown is far more powerful than fear of the known. If I had to run out to the car for something I forgot, I would scurry & throw furtive looks over my shoulders.

20. What is your favorite flavor of pudding?
I *love* vanilla pudding.

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Oof.

Sixteen days since I last blogged? What??

I? Have been busy. But I'm around. And I'll be back here soon.

So in the mean time, while I finish getting my ducks in a row, tell me something that's new with you.

Ready? GO!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Want Wednesday: May 12, 2010

**This is very out-of-the-norm for me, but I Want these shoes. I would never be able to justify spending this much money on a pair of shoes (responsible budgeting is not often *fun* budgeting), but I do really like them.


**Now, back to your regularly scheduled Dawn. I Want to add a Wakefield t-shirt to my Sox gear. I would have settled for just the standard Sox player tee, but then I saw this one. I really really *really* want this one.


**And before Tek retires, I need to add a shirt or a jersey or something, representing the Cap'n in my closet. I don't care which it is--road, home, alternate, batting practice, standard player tee--but I Want it to have his captain's C on the chest. I didn't realize, til I looked just now, that most don't have the C. Mine must. Non-negotiable.


**While I was browsing, I happened across this tee, which I Want just because I like it a lot.


**And now I Want this one too, because it covers the Monstah *and* Fenway Park, which I do not have in my current collection. It is also the only green Sox shirt I would consider owning. All others must be red or navy (or some neutral color background).


**I happened to stumble across this image in my online wanderings. I am in *love* with this. I have no idea where or how I can get my hands on a print like this, but I Want one to frame & hang. If anyone happens to stumble across one, I *need* to know!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Right Now: May 11, 2010

Outside my window... are hungry squirrels. They are never ever full. And they aren't afraid to let me know this.

I am thinking... that the American flag isn't offensive. It represents my country & should always be allowed to be proudly displayed within its borders. By all means, celebrate your cultural heritage (provided you aren't slaughtering virgins on an altar or something) but respect the country in which you are celebrating. If you are a citizen of this country, you should be proud of this flag, regardless of where you came from or what roots you are celebrating, and I have to question anyone who can't do both. (If you're so ashamed of and offended by this flag, perhaps you should reconsider where you live?) And if you're merely a visitor here, please be a gracious guest, and respect my flag as I respect yours, no matter what holiday you're celebrating. ::steps down from soapbox::

I am thankful for... the opportunity to work hard, even when it drives me a little crazy.

From the kitchen... came just some noodles & a salad as side dishes to the chicken that was cooked on the grill.

I am wearing... boxer shorts & my Pedey t-shirt, in honor of my latest motto: "Pedey Power fueled by Rally Socks!"

I am creating... a menu for next week.

I am going... to watch some of the Rays-Angels game with the tv on sleep-timer when I get into bed in a few minutes. I bet I'll see about three pitches.

I am reading... Better Homes & Gardens magazine. So much eye candy!

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Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Stream of Consciousness: May 10, 2010

It's not the first time I've mentioned it or ranted about it, but *what* is the deal with people not using their turn signals?! Is it to difficult to turn them on? Is there something un-cool about using them? Do they feel the rules of the road just do not apply to them? Do they possess telepathic powers that alert them when other cars are turning or changing lanes, thus forgetting that the rest of us mere mortals need an indication when these driving maneuvers are about to occur? Because seriously. SERIOUSLY. Just use them, people. And if you are one of those drivers who doesn't? You're darn right I'm looking at you. While on the topic of the car. I consider my trip between work and home to be a bridge. Whatever took place during my workday needs to be left behind so that it doesn't carry over to my evening. The best way for me to do that is to turn up the radio and just sing. It clears my head. It's probably a good thing I don't carpool though. That would be enough to ruin the evenings of anyone subjected to my singing. While I was making my way home, I passed two little old people, sitting in the shade of a tree in their lawn chairs, holding hands & just watching the traffic go by. It made me smile. Today's stream of consciousness brought to you by my commute.

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

20 Questions: May 9, 2010

1. Fiction or non-fiction?
I enjoy both, as long as the reading isn't textbook-dry.

2. How many hours of sleep did you get last night?
About six & a half.

3. What does it take for you to be happy?
Ultimately, it requires "only" the following: being warm, dry, fed, safe & loved. Additionally, I find that when I go to church regularly & don't stretch my personal time so thin with plans that I allow no down-time to recharge, that I "like" myself much better and have a much more positive attitude, which also contributes to my happiness.

4. What is your birthstone?
Opal and Pink Tourmaline are both birthstones for October.

5. If you could relive a year in your life, what age would it be, and why?
Just one...? Wow. I'm going to go with...1993, when I was 16-17. Although I could really do without reliving high school, I think I'd like to go back to a time when I didn't have adult responsibilities looming over my head, but I was old enough to truly appreciate my grandparents. I'd go back, take more photos, ask more questions, record more stories. And be wise enough to soak it all in while I had the chance.

6. Go back to three different ages and give yourself some advice.
Age 13: You don't have to be so shy. Turns out there are some people who are pretty awesome & just as tentative as you are. You don't have to talk to everyone, but keep your eye out for the other kids who are pretty quiet too.
Age 23: You're going to survive. You don't think you will and it hurts a lot, but this really is for the best. Someday, you're going to like the strong woman this helped you to be.
Age 26: Listen to your gut. It isn't wrong & deep down, you know it.

7. What sort of people do you think read your blog?
Those who love me & those who are very bored. ;-)

8. Which Olympics do you enjoy more: Summer or Winter?
Winter. The Summer sports just do not hold my attention for some reason.

9. Do you use profanity?
Very rarely will you hear anything worse than *ss or *itch come out of my mouth. If you do, stand clear.

10. What is your opinion of snow?
It's beautiful. Especially from many many miles away, where you do not have to shovel it or drive in it. It's also very pretty from the other side of a window, where I am warm & cozy. I love to go out in it for just a bit, when it's fresh & pristine, and I love it over the holidays, but other than that? I have no use for it.

11. Do you know which was is east, right now?
Uhhh... sorta?

12. When is the first time you can recall being proud of yourself?
I was maybe eleven years old (?) and I was able to put a baby to sleep that no one else was able to.

13. Do you carve a pumpkin for Halloween?
I did a few times, when I lived up north, but never down here. Too hot, it would never last.

14. When you are getting ready to leave your home, what are three things you always do?
Make sure the lights are off (or strategically left on, if necessary), that everything that needs to be unplugged has been, and that no candles are burning.

15. Can you whistle?
A little tune. But not those loud get-your-attention type whistles. My Gramp used to be able to do those but I could never figure it out.

16. What is your state "known" for?
Sunshine. Walt Disney World. Old people. Beaches. Citrus. Alligators. Palm trees. Messing up elections.

17. Where were you when you learned Ronald Reagan was shot?
In my grandparents' living room. I was only about four & a half years old. I understood that something important had happened, but not really what it was or meant.

18. Have you had the chicken pox?
Oh *boy* did I. I was in eighth grade, it was a warmer than typical April and I had them from head to toe & then some. Missed two weeks of school, but because my brother brought my assignments home for me, I was able to keep up with my work & it didn't affect my graduation.

19. What is your favorite precious or semi-precious stone?
I really like rubies and garnets.

20. You need to go up two floors in a building. Do you use the stairs or the elevator?
Stairs. My legs work just fine & a little extra exercise never hurts. One exception: if I have luggage, I will use the elevator.

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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Slice of Life: May 8, 2010


Friday's dinner. YUM. Use of all capital letters completely warranted.

------------------------------------

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?

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Memory Lane: May 6, 2010

I used to babysit for this family that lived near my grandparents. I remember being somewhat enamored with their home. It was this gorgeous big old farmhouse. There was a mudroom entry way off the garage, like the ones you see in Better Homes & Gardens magazine, complete with cubbies and hooks and a bench with a cushion. It opened into the kitchen on one side and into the foyer with the front door on the other end. Both points of entry led into the kitchen. And the kitchen? Was amazing. There were endless counter tops and beautiful cabinets in a warm wood finish, a gigantic island in the middle, and a breakfast nook with big windows to let in the morning light. The living room, off the kitchen, was big, yet still cozy, with comfy over-sized couches, a fireplace, a piano, and some chairs & tables arranged along the bank of windows overlooking the backyard and a to-die-for view. Right near the doorway from the kitchen were these heavy wooden double doors that, when pushed open, revealed the formal dining room, with its table that seemed to stretch forever, and a sideboard and hutch that had likely been in the family for ages.

Behind the living room was a hallway that led to the office and a bathroom, and a staircase leading to the bedrooms. At the top of the stairs, you'd find the kids' two bedrooms, not very big, but still just the right size for having your own space, and at the far end of the hall was the master bedroom suite, with double doors, that created a private sanctuary out of the bedroom I could fit my entire apartment into, not counting the reading nook with its smaller version of the fireplace below, the spacious bathroom and the two walk-in closets. The doors were always wide open when I was there, and the room was always impeccably decorated & cleaned. The floors throughout the house were shiny hardwood with perfectly placed rugs to soften it & provide warmth in the chill of Winter. The walls were painted in rich warm country colors, yet were never overpowering.

What truly fascinated me, though, were two things: All the built-in nooks and shelves and drawers and cabinets tucked into the most opportune places. Not an inch of space seemed wasted, and yet it was never "too much." And the *second* staircase, the one leading up from the kitchen. At the top of the steps, you could turn right, follow the hall, and find yourself right outside the master bedroom, but if you turned *left*, you would pass a door to the attic, a bathroom, and the guest room. There was a door in the hallway that could be closed so that the bedroom and bathroom became like their own private little apartment. But it was the existence of the second staircase that so captivated me.

Once the children were in bed for the night, I would wander slowly through the house, soaking in its beauty. I never opened anything that was closed or poked my nose into things where it did not belong. I simply ambled aimlessly through the halls & rooms, admiring & wondering what it was like to live in such a beautiful structure, so very unlike the house where my Gram & Gramp lived, with its linoleum kitchen floor, red carpet that had been there longer than I had been alive, and its one lonely staircase.

The farmhouse was, and I am sure remains, quite lovely, but it is in that smaller home, to which I compared that sprawling farmhouse, that my mind often wanders, recreating the layout, inch by precious inch, that I find infinitely more beautiful now. The details of that home are what spring to my mind as I hear Miranda Lambert singing:
You leave home,
You move on,
And you do the best you can
I got lost in this whole world
And forgot who I am
I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healin'
Out here it's like I'm someone else
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in I swear I'll leave,
Won't take nothin' but a memory
From the house that built me


Nearly four years after the fact, I no longer feel broken inside. Healing has taken place, and I am whole and strong and filled with a golden joy--that would seem silly to speak of, this "golden joy," if I didn't truly feel it the way I do, and so it doesn't seem silly to me, only something for which I am deeply and eternally grateful--and I actually feel more like myself than I have possibly since I was last in my grandparents' home. I don't want to go back to fix myself or recover anything that has been lost. I just have this burning desire to walk through, one last time. To let my eyes wander & settle on the walls. To run my hand one more time along the railing. To stare out the windows, seeing not what stands there now, but filmstrips of days in my past that took place there. To soak in the million intangible memories that dance at random through my mind.

"If I could just come in, I swear I'll leave, won't take nothin' but a memory...

...from the house that built me."

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Observation: It's not easy being green.

I get it, Aquafina. You're doing your part. 50% less plastic. However, I'm guessing you didn't count on that translating to 50% of the water ending up on my desk.

Might need to re-think this one.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Want Wednesday: May 5, 2010

**I Want this Red Sox Mickey Mouse All-Star Game figurine. Really really bad.


**I Want a vacation. Not even one that involves traveling. I would be perfectly happy just staying at home. For like two weeks.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Right Now: May 4, 2010

Outside my window... it's hot. And humid. And I'm really just not ready for it to be Summer yet.

I am thinking... how happy I am to see my Sox looking a little more like themselves, and a little less like what it would be like to watch me out there.

I am thankful for... air-conditioning.

From the kitchen... came my stuffed shells tonight. And they were tasty.

I am wearing... boxer shorts & one of my Mike Lowell t-shirts.

I am creating... blog posts in my head.

I am going... a little crazy this week. I really need a vacation.

I am reading... blog posts & magazines, while I am between books.

I am hoping... the Sox can win again tomorrow.

I am hearing... the fan on the laptop & the whoosh of the air conditioner.

Around the house... are annoying little chores that I really need to do, if I only had the ambition.

One of my favorite things... is a classic Mike Lowell wall-ball RBI double.

A few plans for the rest of the week... include watching the Sox games & heading over to check out the farmers market on Saturday. And those aforementioned chores.

A picture to share...

This one is from the archives. Back when I went to the zoo in February. It pretty much sums up how I feel right now.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday Stream of Consciousness: May 3, 2010

Yeah. So. Blowing the cobwebs off Ye Olde Blogge. Yikes. I've felt completely & overwhelmingly buried for a couple of weeks now. And I am not even sure, exactly, what I have to show for it. I'm pretty sure my To-Do List gets *longer* somehow, each time I cross something off. I'm sure there's a Law of Physics that proves that impossible, but my To-Do List begs to differ. I'm actually a little intimidated by it, but in light of my morning proclamation (via Twitter-Fair warning: I'm putting up a negativity buffer. This is going to be a GOOD week. If you get gloomy on me, I will sunshine right back at ya!), at least I know I won't be bored! I can't speak for how blogging will fit in with this ginormous To-Do List issue, but I've put it on there & we will see what happens. In other news, the Sox are keeping me humble lately, but I am ok with that. The last thing I ever want to be is an entitled sports fan who cannot lose with grace & still support her team. (Ok, maybe that's not the *last* thing I'd ever want to be, but hyperbole or otherwise, you catch my drift.) And now I leave you with a parting thought: I received my "Rays Insider" email this morning (don't judge, I get my tickets to see the Sox through the Rays website & there are some perks to them believing it's the Rays I'm there to see) and they were promoting their post-game fireworks on Fridays. IN A DOME. I'm trying to wrap my head around how this is possibly a good idea. Or how the St Pete Fire Marshall has determined this is a safe venture. What I do know: I will not ever be hanging around after a Friday night game.

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Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: April 2010

Photo of me:

I've used this photo about a zillion times this month. It's the only photo of me. But I think it warrants as much use as possible. =)

1) Current candle scents:
Buttercream. Spa Fresh. Beautiful Day. Tahitian Tiare Flower. Lilac Blossoms.

2) What I am reading this month:
I finished Where Are You Now? (Mary Higgins Clark) and I am still randomly reading Watching Baseball (Jerry Remy, Corey Sandler) and Joy in Mudville (Mort Gerberg), but I haven't started a new book that I am "actively" reading yet.

3) Top three songs I was drawn to:
"Fearless," Taylor Swift. "The House That Built Me," Miranda Lambert. "Gimme That Girl," Joe Nichols.

4) Movies I saw:
Not a single one. Can barely keep up with DVR'd television now that baseball season is here.

5) Favorite tv moments of the month:
The whole "Peter" episode of Fringe.

6) Something yummy I made:
Asparagus Parmesan Au Gratin

7) Restaurants where I ate:
Bonefish Grill. Sunshine Seasons (Land pavilion, Epcot). Macaroni Grill.

8) Something I am thankful for:
Spending time with my Dad.

9) A goal I had for this month:
To Spring Clean. I'm about 80% done. I had to wait til the trees stopped pollinating before I washed my windows. Now I'm just putting it off. Along with the ceiling fans.

10) This month I looked forward to:
Getting to see my Dad.

11) Something I want to remember about this month:
I want to remember how easy it is to make a child's day with the simplest things. I sent my god daughter a package for Easter. It had a few coloring books, a new box of 24 Crayola crayons, a couple of cute little notepads with brightly colored fun Spring covers, and little Easter eggs with M&Ms & Hershey's Kisses. Heather told me Catherine was so excited. I think we'd all be so much better off if we would still remember to get excited over the little things in life.

12) A photo I took this month:

My Easter Lily. I have to get one every year. This one was one of the best I ever chose. Six blooms, staggered, lasting nearly two weeks, peaking for Easter Sunday.

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