Saturday, July 31, 2010

Slice of Life: July 31, 2010

I originally had no plans for my Saturday, beyond getting my hair cut, tackling my To Do List & crashing on the couch for some Sox, after a particularly stressful week. However, when my car began misbehaving on Wednesday, I ended up rescheduling my hair appointment, not knowing if I would have a reliable vehicle to make the hour & fifteen minute trek. And then I woke up this morning with an overwhelming urge to play with my camera at Disney. (In retrospect, I think I subconsciously decided I couldn't handle the fretting over the Trade Deadline & what the fate of my favorite player would be, and this may have been my way of forcing myself not to stop at my computer to refresh the news every three minutes. As it turned out, there is *still* no resolution. Of course.) Instead of subjecting myself to the park crowds in high-nineties heat (and complimentary humidity), I decided to wander through a few resort hotels...

















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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Timing.

As I was sifting through my Google Reader today, I happened upon a quote that really appealed to me, Tumbled by a bloggy friend. At the time, I couldn't have possibly seen the foreshadowing.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore


I left work this afternoon. I made my daily stop at the post office to drop the invoices in the mail & to check my PO box. I got back into my car--my car that had worked just fine three minutes prior--and as I shifted into reverse, I felt something wrong. There was this ominous shudder & the engine was unmistakeably rough, the timing on some engine part I will never hope to identify was, without a doubt, very much off. I rolled the car forward again and just sat there for a moment. I don't tend to worry a whole lot anymore. But this? This is one of the few things I dread.

I should point out that I have a love-hate relationship with my car. Despite many reassurances when I signed on a dozen dotted lines that this car would grow on me, well, it's been eight & a half years, and if it's possible, I actually hate it more. Its one redeeming quality: it's been paid off for close to five years now. That & it's stayed running with only a few minor maintenance issues. I am quite aware that I am on borrowed time before something goes very very expensively wrong.

And now...my car is acting undeniably unhappy.

There was a time when I would have made a phone call with much trepidation, unsure of what would answer me. Disdain? Annoyance? Accusation? No answer at all?

But today, I flip open my cell phone without hesitation. I press a couple of buttons. I say "I have a problem... I need some help." And someone comes. There is no harsh edge to his voice, no sigh of exasperation at the inconvenience. Just a calm "I'm on my way."

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore


As I sit on his couch while he assesses my car for the cause of its misbehavior, I think back. I think back to the turning point when the cloudy moments first began to give way, not to storms but to beautiful sunset. I recall another time I picked up a telephone & dialed a phone number, a different one, though no less reliable. I said no more than "Please come get me," and through a carefully designed plan that two people had discussed well in advance of my plea for help ("Take car. Go to Mum's. Kill Phillip - "Sorry Phillip." - grab Liz, go to the Winchester, have a nice cold pint, and wait for this all to blow over." -- Shaun of the Dead), someone came. That was the beginning, really, of my belief being rebuilt that someone would come when I needed help. That no matter the inconvenience, no matter the distance or the time or the reason, someone would be there. We believe these things as children, but as adults, when life teaches us more ruthless lessons, that blind faith no longer springs readily.

As I drove home this evening, I looked up at the sky. It had rained earlier, but now the sky was filled with breaking clouds and the setting sun painted it deep red & rich purple, brilliant orange edged with glowing gold. I haven't seen a sunset that breathtakingly magnificent in years. On any other evening, I would have spent that drive into the sunset longing for my camera. But tonight, I just drove in silent reflection of the timing of that quote finding me on *this* day.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
Rabindranath Tagore


Indeed. A thousand times over.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Right Now: July 27, 2010

Outside my window... it's dark & quiet.

I am thinking... I should go to bed, but that would require the motivation to get up from my couch.

I am thankful for... the end of this West Coast Sox Tour tomorrow. I miss being able to watch a whole game, without the aid of my DVR.

From the kitchen... came some ravioli with ground sausage & tomato sauce, some salad & some garlic bread.

I am wearing... boxers & my big comfy red Red Sox tee. I don't generally sleep in my Sox shirts, but I do when they play late & I can't stay up.

I am creating... a plan. And yes, I am being intentionally vague.

I am going... to Fenway next month! The tickets arrived today, thanks to a most awesome vendor. To say I am excited is such a gross understatement, it is almost laughable.

I am reading... very little since I watch the Sox til I can't keep my eyes open for another moment longer.

I am hoping... to cross some more organizing projects off my list this week.

I am hearing... the sounds of baseball on tv & the quiet tap-tap-tap of my typing.

Around the house... I am seeing more & more little projects I need to tackle. It's the never-ending list.

One of my favorite things... having fun plans to look forward to.

I don't understand... why people play games. It just wastes everyone's time.

I wish... it were Food & Wine Festival time *now* for about six different reasons. Not all of them related to the actual yumminess.

A few plans for the rest of the week... involve more de-cluttering, a hair cut and some general laying low & chilling out.

A picture to share... from my cell phone. It's not the best quality by miles, but nothing beats a sunset over the Seven Seas Lagoon.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Stream of Consciousness: July 26, 2010

I found myself in A Mood on Sunday. If you've had much contact with me at all, I am (annoyingly) positive. I try to find the best spin to give any situation & do my best to keep a good attitude. After what seems like weeks of nothing but negativity from the vast majority of people I come into contact with online, my happy nature finally gave in to the bitter assault. I just couldn't take it anymore. Rather than join them, though, I decided to step back. See, the thing is, I don't *like* to be negative. Sure, I have my moments when I complain or get annoyed. But I don't like to dwell on it. I say my piece & I do what it takes to move on. And I do my best to share a little sunshine when it seems someone is lacking. But Sunday? I had reached.my.limit. I went to church (I hadn't been in a few weeks for various reasons) which always improves my state of mind. I have an hour or so to just be. No contact from the outside world. No interruptions. I can just breathe & re-center. It restores my inner peace. But I didn't stop there. I got home from my usual Sunday errands & tackled some projects--and I avoided all but a small group of people I knew wouldn't threaten my tenuous sense of balance & calm. I cleaned out & re-organized my refrigerator... my freezer... my pantry. I did laundry & put away some belongings that had been left straggling about my home. I flipped through some magazines so I could add them to my recycling basket. When I am stressed, clutter adds to my tension. So I clean. And while I keep my hands busy with tasks, my subconscious works on the mental clutter. I tidy up, file away, toss what isn't needed--figuratively & literally. I needed that. I managed to get my Mood Threat Level from red down to orange. Which means I remained on guard but was out of the danger zone of being totally sucked down by others. By this morning, I was safely to Mood Threat Level: yellow, protecting my mood but not to the point of isolation. My optimistic nature may seem relentless constant, but even I have my limits...and I am not afraid to protect my mood when I need to, even if it means the friend who is always there to pick everyone up & dust them off & listen & fill their glass back to half full has to downgrade availability to "almost always." Someone has to keep my well from running dry, even if it means I have to be that someone, looking out for myself.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hungry.


Gimme some nuts.


C'mon, please...? I know you have them in there.


I can see you sitting right there. You're watching baseball. Make like a peanut vendor & just toss me some already.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

It Crossed My Mind: July 23, 2010

**I know many women who go through four dresses and/or six pairs of shoes when getting ready in the morning. Me? I tried on three Sox shirts before settling on the one I wanted to wear today. I'm holding onto my Girl Card. But just barely.

**Sometimes it hits me again, out of nowhere, just how awesome my life is, how filled to brimming with blessings that I cannot possibly deserve, and it makes it hard to breathe. That level of gratitude is a "burden" I will gladly bear.

**I was a hurtin' puppy last night. I just could not stay awake for another West Coast 10pm start. Well, I was there for the start. Just not past the third inning or into the 13th. I drifted off, wearing my Pedey t-shirt & my present-for-every-single-game Believe bracelet. It appears that while I slumbered, the Red Sox bullpen once again conspired to take a respectable lead & turn it into a soul-crushing loss. I'm glad that the Red Sox bats refused to go silently into that good night, because *man* did we need a win.

**I may never be caught up on my Google Reader again. I'm still trying. So if you can't remember the last time I commented on your blog, I apologize, but I *am* reading, just very (very) far behind, and silently. Sorry.

**Sometimes I think too much.

**I forgot to bring the mayo for my lunch today. That chicken sandwich would have been mighty dry, if it weren't for someone willing to grab some for me when she goes out to get her own lunch today. Whew. Crisis averted. (My problems are monumental, huh?)

**In relation to my second point, I look at how amazing my life is, how lucky I am...and then I look around me. It seems as though there are heavy clouds surrounding so many people who are important to me. I don't know how to help. I don't know how to ease the weight for them. I almost feel guilty for having so much wonderful & being so cheerful when they have to work hard just to paste on a smile. The only thing I can do is try to shine a little of my sunshine through the clouds until they have their own again. But it's so difficult to watch people you care about hurting.

**I do not like being told that I must like every guy who puts on a Red Sox uniform, simply because he wears our laundry, or I'm a bad fan. It doesn't work that way. I was likely the only Sox fan *anywhere* who didn't hate Eric Gagne long before he made his exit. So if there's a player in Boston that I just don't care for? I'm pretty sure I've paid my dues. I don't boo my team (ever, not even Lugo) & I appreciate every contribution made by any guy on our roster. But that does not mean I am an not entitled to lack affinity for a particular player or not really care if he finds himself putting on a different uniform in the future. Even if he might be a really nice guy in his street clothes.

**I've gone back in time & have been re-watching some old school Grey's. Popped in my DVDs of Season One a couple of weeks ago. Just finished Season Two. I'm really enjoying the bonus features too. I usually forget they exist on tv show season DVDs. I've found some great interviews, a tour of Seattle Grace & some unreleased scenes. And that's just in two seasons! I love me some Grey's. Even when it makes me cry.

**I should point out that I haven't loved a show *this* much since Friends. That's saying something. There are plenty I really enjoy a lot, but very few are deemed Forever Favorites.

**Today is my official six year anniversary for my job. (I have an unofficial anniversary because I started here as a temp in April. I wasn't made permanent until July.) Six. Years. That both impresses me (longest time I've been with a single employer) and worries me (I have an infamous history of "expiring" after six years in...other life situations).

**I mentioned, earlier this week, that I happened upon a preview of the menus for this year's Epcot Food & Wine Festival. I may or may not have already started my list of things I want to try. Maybe I should point out: It doesn't start til October 1.

**I love daydreams. The "What If" game. Only good.

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Right Now: July 22, 2010

Outside my window... it looks pleasant--sunshiny & a slight breeze--but it hides a humid reality & the only air movement are puffs of steamy air.

I am thinking... I sure am a rebel, posting my "scheduled" Tuesday post on Thursday. I live life on the edge.

I am thankful for... opportunities.

From the kitchen... will come very little, but the grill will produce chicken sandwiches & veggie kebabs.

I am wearing... tan capris with embroidered, scalloped edges, a navy t-shirt & some brown sandals.

I am creating... a plan for a super-relaxing weekend. I need one badly.

I am going... to find a nail to re-hang my calendar at work. The pushpin just isn't cutting it.

I am reading... Taste of Home magazine. And discovering some very yummy recipe possibilities.

I am hoping... the Sox rediscovered themselves on the flight to Seattle. It's time to start winning again.

I am hearing... the hum of conversation in the office behind mine.

Around the house... are piles, demanding organization. I'm going to try to listen to them this weekend. The clutter is weighing on me.

One of my favorite things... is realizing how amazing my life is.

I don't understand... the thought process of some people.

I wish... it were closer to Epcot's Food & Wine Festival. I happened upon a menu preview & I really want to start tasting.

A few plans for the rest of the week... include hanging out at home, going out to dinner on Saturday & tackling my to-do list.

A picture to share...

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Monday, July 19, 2010

A Picture's Worth: All Star Game Edition.

I wish I could put into words how awesome it was to see the All Star Game live, but I just can't. So I'm just going to share some of my very favorite photos that I took there.














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Sunday, July 18, 2010

20 Questions: July 18, 2010

1. What was the last thing you baked?
Hmmm... Some garlic bread, I think. I've been thinking of making some brownies though.

2. Which do you prefer in your hot chocolate: marshmallows or whipped cream?
Either are yummy, but I think the whipped cream has a *slight* edge.

3. What was the last thing you photographed?
The All Star Game!

4. What inspires you?
Everyone always has these lovely, flowery answers to this question, but for me? I just never know how or what or when I will be inspired. Sometimes it's a quote that I stumble upon. Or the perfect balance of light & shadow. Or a bit of music lyrics. Or something I read. I'm never looking for it & sometimes it hits me much later, after a raw thought tumbles around my subconscious for a while. I think anything & everything can inspire me, if it comes across my path at the right time.

5. What kind of weather do you dislike the most?
Torrential rain, if I am trying to drive. Extreme humidity, if I have to be outside.

6. What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
I didn't, which is rare for me. I had some juice & then ate an early lunch when I got home from grocery shopping.

7. When was the last time you caught a train?
Had to have been at Magic Kingdom, though I cannot say when I last rode it. Unless you count the monorail at Orlando International on my way home from California last week.

8. Other than the basics (gas for your car, groceries, bills), what was the last thing you bought for yourself?
I bought a Red Sox Mickey statue at the All Star Game!

9. Name something you aren't.
Routinely negative.

10. What magazines did you read as a child?
Highlights. Humpty Dumpty. National Geographic World. Teen. Seventeen.

11. List three things you did this weekend.
Attended a company picnic. Unpacked from my trip to California. Took several naps.

12. What is your favorite name that starts with the letter C?
Claire.

13. What drink do you typically order when you go out to dinner?
Water. I drink it so often now, that having a beverage with flavor to it makes my food taste funny to me.

14. What is your web browser of choice?
FireFox.

15. Would you ever fight someone over your significant other?
I like to say I would but quite honestly? I'm past that point in my life. I don't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with me. And if someone wants to be with me, then no advances from another person would require me to fight anyway.

16. What do you find beautiful?
Sunsets & sunrises. Pristine snow. Childlike wonder. Compassion. Autumn foliage against a clear blue sky. Fenway Park lit up at night.

17. Do you need it quiet when you're falling asleep or do you need some kind of noise?
I prefer it to be quiet, but if I am tired enough, I can fall asleep despite just about anything.

18. Do you trust all of your friends?
If I didn't, I wouldn't still be friends with them; they would merely be acquaintances. Trust is not something I take lightly, or grant much of a "pass" on anymore.

19. What really turns you off?
People who are obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, mean or bitter. Oh & when someone talks like they have a mouthful of marbles.

20. The color purple makes me think of:
Lent. Royalty. The school I attended nursery through grade eight. The Minnesota Vikings.

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Snapshot from Along the Broken Road: June 2010

A photo of me:


1) Candle scents this month:
Clean Cotton. Honeydew Melon. Pomegranate.

2) What I am reading this month:
Deep Drive: A Long Journey to Finding the Champion Within (Mike Lowell with Rob Bradford).

3) Top three songs I was drawn to:
"The World Is Ours Tonight," by Gloriana. "The House That Built Me," by Miranda Lambert. "I Need You Now," by Lady Antebellum.

4) Movies I saw:
S&TC2. Alice in Wonderland.

5) Favorite tv moments of the month:
I've pretty much just been watching baseball. I did watch the last three episodes of this past season of Private Practice. They were really good, but holy crap was the season finale sad.

6) Something yummy I made:
Wasabi and Panko Crusted Pork with Gingered Soy Sauce.

7) Restaurants where I ate:
Friendly's. TGIFriday's. Ling's. Burger King.

8) Something I am thankful for:
The safe arrival of my very first nephew on June 4.

9) A goal I had for this month:
To blog more. I failed. Clearly.

10) This month I looked forward to:
My nephew being born. Spending some time with my Connecticut Girls. Finding out who Alison is growing (yay, baby girl!).

11) Something I want to remember about this month:
The long months, the ones that drag by & test our will, make the really great ones worth it. Good things aren't as good if we have nothing to contrast them with. That was pretty much the mantra that shoved me through the month of June.

12) A photo I took this month:

Her curls kill me. I would have put her in my pocket & brought her home with me if her mommy would have let me. ;-)

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Greater than.

Cantaloupe > watermelon.

Walt Disney World > Universal Studios.

Chocolate chip cookies > peanut butter cookies.

Fresh produce > store-bought.

Target > Walmart.

Being a Red Sox fan > being a fan of any other MLB team > being a Yankees fan. ;-)

New England Autumn > Florida "Autumn."

Florida Winter > Winter pretty much anywhere else.

Facebook > MySpace.

Jeopardy > Wheel of Fortune.

Dustin Pedrioa > any second baseman your team has.

Gmail > Hotmail > Yahoo.

Puffs Extra Strength > Kleenex.

S&TC > Twilight.

Spending time at home > being on the go too much.

Mr Big > Aidan Shaw.

Friends > Seinfeld

Quilted Northern > Charmin.

Any other blogger's posting habits in the last two months > mine.

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