Sunday, December 15, 2013

Traditions Revisited

Christmas Background Design Stock Photo
'Christmas Background Design', Stock image,

Somehow, this is the year.  After almost 20 years removed from a totally different life that was never of my choosing and 10 years away from the very last vestiges of said 'other' life, I am finally ready to come full circle in accepting some good things that do exist from that life.

But isn't that the thing?  Always learning that nothing and no one are all good or all bad....

I'm still working on that.

This Christmas time it has all manifested in a feeling of acceptance that is washing over me.  A feeling that I will pass along some of what I am to my loved ones and that those parts of me that came from those I was influenced by, in one way or another, will make something worthwhile to share.

In my effort to embrace this idea that I can glean the good out and keep those things, I have found such peace.  It is a gift of great proportions.

Although so many of my childhood friends and their families are pretty much either incarcerated, dead or lost in some other way, I have figured out that I carry so much of what is good and wonderful and true about them.  And I can use my super sharp memory to pick and choose the great parts and keep them, close to my heart.

This year I am revisiting old recipes, Christmas memories, silly fun times, loyalty known only to those who share a certain kind of life; really just the simple things that are true of all human beings no matter what the situation.  It's like a sweet secret in my heart that allows me to bridge some of the old life with the new that is so absolutely different.  It's fun to know that the good stuff can always remain, no matter what.  And people are people- and there's good in them.  Always.

Cookies Stock PhotoCookies Stock PhotoChristmas Biscuits Stock Photo

stock images of cookies, found at:

I wish a true peace this Christmas season, for anyone who shares my life now and to those who have influenced who I am and will be.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

It's The Little Things- A link back to Barb at: This and That (As I Bounce Thru Life)

Barb posted an interesting little ditty about the little things that make her tick and then asked others to share their own -and I actually had a moment and felt inspired to participate, so here goes!

1) Bubble bath that fits the season.  Right now I'm into gingerbread scented.
2) A dress that hits in all the right places and even makes my thighs look thinner.
3) When little kids figure out that we have a candy dish that is open to ANYONE at ANY TIME!
4) A stranger that smiles back at you.
5) The times when I feel badly that I'm running late and then the other person is too!
6) Warm puppy wiggles
7) Adopted plants that turn out to be super cool
8) When that thing that I would really like to have, but can't possibly pay 'that' much for goes on a good sale
9) A warm house and a furnace that has 3 nice blue gas flames going
10) Unexpected sunshine!

Here's the link back to Barb's original post:
This and That (As I Bounce Thru Life): It's The Little Things

Care to join in?


Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one getting a little behind with the blogging this Christmas season!

It's funny that somehow this year I don't feel so rushed or squeezed and I don't even feel too guilty for what I don't have time for.  Maybe, since I'm about to turn 40, I've finally learned how to prioritize or something like that.  Ha! 

Actually, the fact that I'm helping out with homeschooling my nephew may be the real reason that I'm not quite able to keep juggling all my usual balls and may also be a good reason that I'm willing to drop a few of them.

So for now, I will wish all my blogging friends good tidings of great joy and say that I will pop back in as time permits.  Have a good one, y'all and enjoy everything and everyone the holidays bring to you!

Hanging Christmas Ball by Digitalart, found at:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Musical Monday: Your Christmas Song

Ok, I kind of checked out there for a week or so... sorry about that.  I went down to Palm Springs for Thanksgiving and got a little caught up in the sun and relaxation.  To be fair, this was the really the first time since we bought the place a year ago that we actually spent the whole time playing and not working!  But enough of that...

I did finally respond to your comments on my last post- I have really begun to love the back and forth of the comment section, on everyone's blog it seems.  And I am now ready to jump back into the fray.

So, without further ado-
It's Musical Monday!!!  The feature that appears here with some regularity is back today!

Today's theme is Christmas songs.  Some are great.  Some are annoying.  But what I want to really get at today is that ONE Christmas song that really hits you.  The one that when you hear it, then it's really Christmas time.  So, today, I'm asking for your active participation.  Hit me up in the comments and tell me what your song is!!!

For me that song is Dan Fogelberg's 'Same Old Lang Syne'.  Until I hear it, I usually don't feel like the Christmas season has really arrived.  It always takes me by surprise when I hear it come on the radio and it always makes me stop and listen.  It has to be spontaneous and coming through the radio or it doesn't count for me.  As an example:  last year I was putting up sun filtering curtains in my Palm Springs condo and 'Same Old Lang Syne' came on and suddenly I wasn't in the desert trying to block out sun that comes blaring into the windows at 6:30am;  I was watching snow turn into rain.  Like most of my holiday memories, this song is so very bittersweet.  I just love it.  It encapsulates so many of my feelings about Christmas time.

So now you...  What's YOUR Christmas song?  Or if not Christmas, then what holiday music does something magical for you???

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Family That Bowls Together...

My husband and I are fairly involved in the local bowling scene.  My husband is a really good amateur bowler that shows up occasionally to tournaments when he is not studying like mad for an actuarial exam and I am just your average female bowler.  We have a good time and sometimes my husband is lucky enough to cover his costs or even a little bit more.
Bowling Strike Showing Winning Skittles Game Stock Photo
'Bowling strike showing winning skittles game' by Stuart Miles, found at

Over time, we have noticed one particular family that always seems to do really well at these tournaments.  Pretty much if you see their last name on the list of competitors you can bet that they will end up at or near the top of the roster.  And that's not the only interesting thing about these people.

This family is one rowdy bunch.  And I'm not talking just the fun and gregarious thing. 
I mean these people are prone to a bit of legal troubles, if you know what I mean.  So they have quite a reputation for being rough around the edges.

But here's the main thing I have noticed about this big, rough, rowdy, bowling family.  They are in this together.  They help each other out.  My husband and I always marvel at how effectively they coach each other and how when it comes to bowling there is no argument among them at all.  It is clear that they are there to benefit one another and to raise up the entire group.  It's really something to see.  There's just something really cool about people who clearly have some serious differences among themselves being able to drop all that and work together so well.

Have you ever been truly surprised by another side of someone that you didn't see on first observation?  Was it a good thing, or a bad thing?  Do you think everyone has something about them that you wouldn't expect?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Musical Monday- Rion Paige

I used to be a die hard fan of those singing competition shows.  Then, somewhere along the way, I just kind of lost interest.  (I seem to have lost interest in much of TV these days.)  So these days I don't often know what's going on with those singing shows at all.

The other night I came upon a young girl singing on what turned out to be the X Factor that I just could not ignore.  She was mesmerizing and her Southern country style was just wonderfully comfortable to hear.  When I found out she was only 13 years old and has some challenging life issues, I was even more impressed. 

Take a listen and look at Rion Paige and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

30 Days Of Thankful- 6 through 13

Ok, obviously I stink at this posting things on a certain time frame.  Ah, but let's see if I can get back into the swing of things here...
Pilgrims giving thanks by Debspoons, found at

Right now I am thankful for:

6) learning to step out on a limb, more and more
7) having risks pay off
8) being able to help people while keeping my boundaries
9) taking one day at a time
10) looking forward to a sunny Thanksgiving!
11) being in the moment
12) enjoying getting to think about the time I will spend with people I love over the holidays
13) having patience

Thanks for hanging in there with me.  I know I'm not the most reliable blogger, but I like to think that I have something good to add to the whole picture!

Monday, November 11, 2013

So I'm An Insomniac Now

(It is often so hard to write things without giving the wrong idea.  My written 'voice' is sometimes a bit sadder than I mean it to be.  Hopefully, today I can express myself without anybody thinking I am all depressed or something!)

"Ladder Leading Up To The Sky" by Sira Anamwong found at:

So, why is it that we are so good at seeing something so much better from the outside than we are at looking at our own stuff?!

For the past 10 days or so I have been sleeping only about 3-4 hours a night.  This is absolutely not normal for me.  Yes, I may be a true night owl.  I have honestly been that way my whole life.  And yes, I am blessed with natural energy and don't require a whole bunch of sleep.  But even for me, this is getting ridiculous. 

Then suddenly, yesterday, while at a friends birthday party, I realized just what the heck is going on. 

It is November.  This is the time of year that, like so many others out there, I struggle a bit with family relations and memories of not so cheerful holiday experiences.  So for the past 10 years I have been dealing with nightmares every November.  Sometimes just a couple of them.  Sometimes a relentless amount that leave me feeling very emotionally drained.

Apparently, this time I seem to have come up with my very own cure.  I guess that somewhere in my subconscious I have decided that if I don't sleep then I can't have nightmares.  Now, while I have to say that so far this November my 'cure' is working I can't say that the side effects are worth it!

Tell me, have you ever been plagued by nightmares?  Were you able to get rid of them?  Did you do anything, consciously or otherwise, to try to avoid them?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


It echoes in my kitchen.  I have gotten rid of so much, that the place literally echoes.  I noticed it the other day.  It made me think about when we first moved into this house, almost 12 years ago.

I needed this home so much back then.  I needed something, anything that really was a home. 

We had moved here from a tiny little cinder block rental house and this house was so huge compared to what we had moved from that it echoed in every room.

The house wasn't the only thing that felt empty.  My heart was empty. 

I had just 'lost' my mother to her mental illness.  My sister had just had a baby, that I instantly fell madly in love with, and she had taken him 4 and 1/2 hours away to live with a man that she wasn't legally supposed to be seeing at all.

I so desperately needed something solid, something with a real foundation that I could build upon.  That's what this house has been for me. 

This house has been the place where my husband and I have both grown into ourselves.  We have loved our friends and family so freely here.  We have shared this home for more time than either of us have ever come close to being in any other home, in either of our lives.

Now, over the last couple of years, we have been preparing to leave in search of new and different adventures.  We are both more sure than ever that it's time to go, to seek out the sun, to find yet another facet of ourselves that we haven't met yet.

And so I have been slowly, but surely, emptying out this house.  I have known for a while now that I intend to leave without much baggage.  We will leave this place in a very similar state to what it was when we came here.  There will be echoes in the empty rooms and my heart will be open and ready for the next big thing.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

30 Days Of Thankful- 1 through 5

I noticed several other bloggers doing 30 Days Of Thankful and I decided to join in!

I may not post every day, but I will get 30 in by the end of the month!

So here goes with days 1-5:

1)  that my nephew has settled smoothly into his home school routine and that it works much better for him
2)  that I've had some time to do some things that I've wanted to
3)  that my house is warm inside and we haven't lost power during recent storms
4)  that I've had the opportunity to meet some interesting new people recently
5)  that I have some level of skill for DIY projects and that saves me money

How about you?  In this month of November, what has been going through your mind as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Musical Monday: Lou Reed

First off, I must admit that I'm not all that familiar with Lou Reed.  So hearing that he had died yesterday and had been a beloved musician, I was curious as to what this was all about.

With a little poking around I realized right away that I did know his song: 'Walk On The Wild Side'. 

Then I had to admit to myself that I had mistakenly thought that song was one of those "one hit wonder" type deals.

Boy was I wrong.  Lou Reed was actually one of the two founding members of The Velvet Underground, a group that is said to be responsible for inspiring much of the alternative movement that included Seattle's own Nirvana.  So basically speaking without Lou Reed there might never have been room for one Kurt Cobain to find an audience.  And while I do readily admit that I don't have a lot of love lost for much of the early 90's alternative scene (out here it wasn't alternative at all- everyone was listening to it), I do have a very soft spot for Nirvana.  Besides being born and bred right here in the northwest rain forest, their stuff just touched me at a time when I was beginning to realize that I did indeed have my own thoughts and feelings.

So to Lou Reed I must say 'thank you' for the influence on future musicians and being an important part of this musical journey that so often surprises with its roots and branches that reach out to so many.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

El Paso Chihuahuas!

My husband is a huge sports fan.  Just about any sport.  Just about any time.  Just about anything pertaining to sports at all, really.

He is very excited today about a new name for a AAA baseball feeder team for the San Diego Padres.  When the team moved from Tuscon, Arizona to El Paso, Texas, they needed to rename themselves.  They chose the name: Chihuahuas.

My husband loves sports, especially baseball.  My husband loves our little tan chihuahua.  His initials are EP.

So of course he loves this:

Logos created by the Brandiose team

Our little guy, Tanner, thinks he's plenty feisty enough and wants to know if he can play too!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Musical Monday- OrigAudio Rock-It 3.0

My new favorite little musical gadget is a tiny thing called a Rock-It.  It is awesome!

I like to take music with me while I work and stuff and this thing is perfect for that.  You wouldn't believe the amount of sound you can get out of it by sticking it to a closet door or large open box.  It is just a really cool item that actually works as advertised.

I am super cheap, so I got mine from Bed Bath And Beyond for $9.99 on clearance.  If you look this item up you can find it in many places for under $20.

Check out this review from YouTube:

Have a great day and I hope your week is off to a rockin' start!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Musical Monday

Music speaks to my soul; always has.
From my overcooked by 3 and 1/2 weeks journey in the womb- always responding immediately to any upbeat tune that came through an old transistor radio to the experiences I've shared as a member of an 80 piece symphonic band, and every musical experience and genre in between, music has always been a part of who I am.  
I once met a doctor who deemed that music was just frivolous and unneeded.  I knew I would never trust him with anything regarding my health.  Although I was born with hearing issues that required surgical repair, I can certainly speak to the fact that the vibrations and patterns in music are life blood and I feel sorry for someone who doesn't get that life without music is certainly missing something.

With a love of music in mind, I am starting a new feature here on my blog.  I will be posting something musical on Mondays, as often as I can.  I am hoping to find lots of different musical aspects to touch upon.

For today, as an opening to my Musical Monday feature, I will leave you with a video for a song that I found while looking around for new stuff to add to my mp3 player that I use for my daily 'dance breaks'.  This song is an example of a typical easy going Zac Brown Band deal that speaks to where I am in life right now and it's got a great, fun beat.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Look Out World, Here I Come!

A recent fortune received after some tasty kung pao

Sometimes we have to get back to our core.  That inner 'thing' that tells us what we really want is a powerful tool when we actually pay attention to it.

It's easy to get caught up in over-thinking stuff and hoping to do what we 'ought' to do, all the 'shoulds'.

The facts are what they are in any situation; and yet how those facts pertain to our lives can be something else entirely.

So for me and mine, for now, the most important thing is that we are all on the same page.  We're coming out and declaring to the world that we are going to make a move to Southern California!

My husband and I have spent a lot of time in California, making wonderful memories and strengthening the bonds of family and friendship.  California is our go to, for reliable weather and an easy going attitude.  California has been pretty good to us over the years.

We need to leave the Seattle area.  Hiding out from the grey and the rain 9 months out of the year has never been our bag.  We are constantly seeking out sun.  The snippy 'Seattle freeze' attitude is real.  Frankly we're tired of spending time trying to avoid interaction with people who want very badly to let you know how much better they are because they are greener, donate more to charity and are just way smarter than you.

There are always things we can complain about in any place we choose to live.  It's time to stop complaining and move on. While Washington is beautiful in many ways and Californians can be dopey and apathetic, there is no perfection anywhere.  Only different experiences that can fit us better or worse at different points in our lives.

This feeling of being ready for change is so strong now.  I am familiar with it.  It is the exact same feeling I had when we bought the Palm Springs condo one year ago in November. 

That turned out to be absolutely one of the best things that my husband and I have ever done!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Never Say Never

I don't care if I end up looking/sounding stupid. 
I really don't.
Seriously, have a laugh.  This one's on me.  
And we'll all feel better for it. 
I'll laugh right along with you.

Ever get the feeling you've been swimming against the current and then found yourself wondering why?  Sometimes we fight and fight and fight against something, only to find that the thing we thought we ought to avoid at all costs is the very thing that we really need to be doing.  In fact, it's what is meant to be.  At least for a particular season or two of life.

So here goes. 

Through a series of unfortunate experiences with a surprise opportunity that turned out to be a non-issue with a company that still doesn't know exactly what they are looking for, my husband and I did manage to learn something very important. 

Both of us are actually very open to the idea of living in California.
Stop laughing.  Seriously, you can stop now.
I know, I know... I wrote this: Why Southern California Isn't Really A Full Time Option

This would not be forever.  Not even for more than a few years or so.
But after honestly looking at the possibility of living in Southern California, my husband and I both came to the same conclusion- the annoying things that have kept us from moving to California, like crazy politics and a high cost of living are already haunting us daily right here in Seattle.

While we would not accomplish the true fit of home that Texas feels like for us, nor some key long term objectives- we could manage to put on something warmer and more easy going and wear it in comfort for a time.  And of course there is the fact that there are more options for where my husband is in his career right now than there are in Texas.  So it just makes sense in a lot of ways.

I guess I'm saying I've realized that sometimes an in-between is good enough for awhile.  And it sure beats the feeling that I have every time I come back 'home' from Palm Springs to the Northwest- that feeling that has grown stronger and stronger for my husband and I.  That feeling that simply says:  We can't stay here anymore. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Not Comfortable

A wise blogger I once met irl (you can find her blog at: and I have talked about the fact that life seems to keep sending you the same message over and over and over until you get it.

Oh yeah, some days can really feel like head to wall experiences if you get caught up in this little hamster wheel of the universe.

Phodopus sungorus - Hamsterkraftwerk.jpg
found at:

So right now I'm thinking that I hope this is the last time around for me needing to learn that it's OK to be in uncertainty.  Not that this will be the last time that I'll ever have uncertainty...  Nooo, that's completely unrealistic.  I get that. 

But this should be the last time that I ever have to equate uncertainty with getting all anxiety ridden, overly emotional and just certain that the only thing I could be certain of in a moment like this is that all things negative eventually grow out of uncertainty.  Whew- did you catch your breath after that one?!  (This is where those of you who were raised in households in which you needed to be hyper vigilant to avoid any possible upsets to the ol' family apple cart can rest assured that yes, this is a personal shout out to you.)

This time around I am learning that not only does life go on while we are in uncertainty; it can actually go on in a remarkably positive way.  If you try hard enough to separate yourself from the queasiness that tends to take over in the midst of uncertain moments, those moments of uncertainty can lead to paying attention in sharp detail to every day things that will leave us with memories and appreciation that we might have otherwise missed.

Today, in this moment, that's where I'm at.  I'm stopping to take notice of the little things.  I'm listening with a more open heart.  While it's true that I will probably always be more comfortable when things in my life are fairly 'settled', I am making a concerted effort to allow the positives that always exist- even when life is a bit out of sorts, to come through.  I want to experience the best life has to offer, no matter how unsettled I might be feeling.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Some Things I Love This Week

...that I met a funny guy with really bad OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) at my garage sale that insisted he could fix my computer so I wouldn't need to buy a new one... and it turned out he was totally right!

...beautiful mosaic sparkly glass pumpkins that make even me think of Fall as a cozy seasonal change that means another summer is really only 8 short months away... and that I can find lots of things to love about the other non-summer seasons.

...that my hair is blonder than ever thanks to time spent in the sun in Palm Springs.  It's like taking the summer with me right into the Fall.

"Back Pose Of Smiling Female Looking At Camera" by imagerymajestic/ found at I managed to stain the deck on the very last truly warm day.

...that I have a few tomatoes left that will ripen while still on the vine.

"Tomatoes" by Simon Howden/ found at glad I am that spending time at the vacation place has made me acutely aware of how little stuff I actually need to live.  And that I am now putting a plan into action to get my regular home into a similar state.

...that the neighbor lady got to have a whole day of laughing and visiting and just enjoying the company of her friends while we whiled away the hours selling stuff that other people could use more than we could. tremendously different my nephew's attitude is towards learning since we've started with the homeschooling. own openness to new experiences that have been previously completely uncomfortable.

What are you loving this week???

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Art by Stuart Miles, found at
When I was a kid, 'maybe' always meant no.  No matter what.
'Maybe' was said in the presence of others for the purpose of keeping up a charade.
'Maybe' was nothing more than a negative disguised as openness, so outsiders wouldn't suspect how rigid things really were.
'Maybe' was reserved for those few moments when I forgot the rules, slipped up and made a request in public.  'Maybe' was code for "don't make that mistake again."

It's funny how even after we learn that the rest of the world is not the same as what we may have experienced growing up, the effects of the ingrained lessons of our family will often linger on- even if we don't mean for them to.  Sometimes it catches us by surprise just when we feel how strong we are and just when there's really no reason to fall back into old habits.

Right now I am awaiting the final answer to a fairly big 'maybe'.  And I'm reminding myself that an answer of yes or no is just that.  An answer.  A fair answer that doesn't mean anything other than that. 

Life is full of questions and answers and sitting with a 'maybe' is not necessarily a bad thing.

Maybe that's what life is... a wink of the eye and winking stars.
-Jack Kerouac

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Even If It's Raining

There is an intriguing prospect that may just change life quite drastically for me and mine lurking just around the corner.  (I promise to give details if/when this thing comes to fruition.) 

I couldn't help but notice that when looking into said prospect I started to think/act quite a bit differently.

I wondered at why it would take a different life situation to make me think so differently.  So much more openly.

I wished it didn't take the prospect of a pretty big life change to make me want to make more positive changes in my life overall.  I thought about where I was when I decided to dump a bunch of weight.  And how that had been the same kind of light bulb moment and I wished that I could somehow make these kinds of things happen without having to face up to some sort of negative aspect of life first. 

I just love the idea of going right ahead and jumping onto the positives that help to make life so much better and really want to start doing those things without the push of a negative to get me to that point.  You know, I kind of want to get past the point of needing the proverbial cattle prod to improve myself!

For today, my goal is to get out and exercise in the fresh air as much as possible, even if it's raining. 
This is a tough one for me and yet I just know that I will be rewarded with even better health and other beautiful and wonderful non-tangibles along the way.

What do you struggle with doing that is easier when life prods you in some way?  What is the best reward that you have reaped from a life change?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not Cool!

Remember how I just mentioned that the A/C in my car went on the fritz for the second time in a month- and just when I needed to make sure it was working because I was headed back to the desert?

It was fixed again and I am gloriously happy that is still working while we are away in Palm Springs.

However, I would love to have you share with me the wonderful moment that I had when I came into my Palm Springs condo at midnight when I arrived here a few days ago.  Just imagine if you will the true disgustingness that is a refrigerator that probably stopped working right after our friends left here a little over 3 weeks ago.  Oh yes, the mold, mildew and the 'thank God that smell stayed inside the appliance and didn't permeate the whole place' aroma of said dead refrigerator was truly unbelievable.  We set our thermostat to only kick on the A/C if the temp rises over 85 degrees when we are away, so yeah let your imagination run wild on this one...

We were able to get a new one here in less than 24 hours and they gladly hauled the old one away for free- so yay!!!!  All's well that ends well.  But come on, you know your week wouldn't be complete without a good old testing of your gag reflexes...

So yeah, in the end I realized that it was a pretty old refridgerator (-OK, not quite as old as the one in the picture below) so I probably might have seen this coming, but dang I am so done with stuff that is supposed to stay cold that doesn't!

Refrigerator by patpichaya, found at

Friday, August 23, 2013

A True American Hero

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I am quite concerned about the future of our great country and the direction that America is headed in.  Especially lately, it seems that there is just so much to be sad about and not so much to feel hopeful for.  It can certainly be hard not to get caught up in the pessimism.

Then once in a while there is a light that breaks through, beaming and shining brightly enough to help us all remember the special thing we share as Americans and human beings.  Antoinette Tuff is one of those people that brings light and love to this world.

If you have not had the chance to listen to her 911 call, please take the time to do so.  Antoinette is the bookkeeper who helped to save the lives of the children at a Georgia elementary school when an armed and dangerous mentally ill man came onto campus apparently looking to kill.

In the end no one was hurt and the world learned of a wonderful woman named Antoinette Tuff, instead of what could have been yet another horrible tragedy.

Start the video at the 48 second mark to hear Antoinette demonstrate what real empathy and heart can do.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bullets In The Moment

Sometimes it seems like it's easier to blog when there's not so much that I could blog about, you know what I mean?

There's quite a bit going on around here.

It's not so much that I feel overwhelmed.  It's just that I'm not sure how to break it down into digestible pieces, rather than yammer on in a not so interesting way.

For today, let's go with the bullet points...

o  I have discovered that there is yet another layer of stuff that I am ready to have out of my life that is still currently residing in my house.  I am in the process of purging more things again, even though I am probably the least pack-rattish of any of my friends. 

o  I have spent many hours with my little chihuahua doing more kinds of training than I have ever done with any other dog that I've ever had.  It turns out that although he is still quite typically 'toy dog' shy with strangers and we can't seem to change that about him, he has an extreme ability to learn tricks very quickly.  Although I wish that more than just our closest friends could see what a happy go lucky little guy we have, I have decided that it is not any more likely that I will ever truly change my dogs personality than changing my own innate self, so we are going to concentrate on his strengths.  Since he loves attention when he is 'performing' and almost completely forgets his shyness, we will soon start agility training!

o   On the way back from our July 4th trip to Yellowstone, my suv's A/C went out as we were traveling over 100 miles of eastern Oregon desert and it was 100 degrees out.  Now a month after having it repaired for $900, it is out again.  Did I mention that we are leaving on Friday to go back down to Palm Springs?  Yeah, another desert.  If this car is not careful, it will find itself in the pile of things that I don't need in my life anymore!

o  Here in Seattle, this summer has honestly been the nicest, warmest, sunniest summer of my life.  I wish it would never end.  I am trimming back all of my trees and shrubs as much as I can to maximize the light later on this Fall.

o  I have become very interested in the idea of people deciding to live where they like to vacation.  Why do so many of us spend so much time convincing ourselves that we couldn't do that? 

o  I love that my husband is easily the most easy-going person that I have ever known.  I used to find this a tad annoying and now I don't even know why I was ever annoyed by that!

What about you?  What's up in your life these days?  
Sometimes the fun is in the details!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A New Adventure!

 This past June I celebrated with my nephew, Nathan, as he reached the milestone of finishing elementary school.  I drove down for his big day and had lunch with his family.  I also brought him this balloon as a way of indicating both my pride and my wish for him to continue on with his education.

Although it was an exciting day I couldn't help but feel a bit of underlying worry. 

It is the local custom to finish elementary school in the fifth grade where my nephew went to school; not the sixth grade as I am accustomed to.

My nephew has always been able to keep up with or exceed the educational expectations of any classroom, but his social issues often create some real trouble that even the best teacher struggles to deal with.

I have continued to wonder over the summer how Nathan would do with the big transition to middle school- with all it's new responsibilities of having to move from one class to another all day, keeping organized with the proper supplies for each class, navigating each day as one of the youngest yet tallest and biggest kids in the school.

Although I know that my nephew will eventually be perfectly capable of dealing with all of this I haven't been able to keep from worrying.

Then one day last week I got a most interesting phone call.  It was my nephew's Dad, telling me that he wanted my opinion on something.  He was considering homeschooling for Nathan.  He had many of my same concerns, especially about the transitions into this next school year.

Wow, my mind was reeling.  I have to admit that I have many times believed that Nathan would benefit greatly from homeschooling, even before my worries about the transition to middle school.  I have actually believed in, participated in helping with some subjects for our neighborhood kids who are home schooled, and loved the homeschooling idea for a very long time.  I grew up with close friends who were home schooled and came to the public school for band classes and sports. 

I also know that homeschooling is not for everyone.

Although my secret heart's desire has been for my nephew to be home schooled for quite a while now, I have also faced up to the idea that asking his Dad to do that is asking a whole lot, as he is a single parent. 

True enough, Nathan lives with his grandmother as well as his father and yet I have just never been able to justify asking them to do this for Nathan.

Turns out his Dad is more than willing to be as creative as he possibly can to help out with home schooling and Nathans grandmother is also more than willing to participate.  I have also signed on to take Nathan for a couple of weeks at a time just as I do during holidays now.  I will be doing it more often and helping out with his schooling process when I do.  Hopefully, that will help to keep Nathan & his Dad as close as they are now, without too much over exposure and frustration creeping in!

We have all agreed to try this for one year and see where it goes, knowing that often the first year of home schooling is the toughest. 

Nathan will stay in his local after school program for social interaction and his grandmother will take him to that on most afternoons. 

I am excited to be joining the home school movement and I will let you know how it's going!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sometimes Randomness Is Fun

So I'm here tonight doing something that I feel like I must be the last person on earth to do... and I can't imagine how this particular project managed to slip through the cracks what with all the going through and living with less stuff I've done over the last few years (in my effort to move cross country).

That's right folks.  I'm getting rid of my VHS tapes- yup, every last one.  Anything worth keeping, such as fine family memorabilia will be stacked up and taken to a place that will convert them to DVD.  Otherwise, it's all gone.  Out the door.  Heck, I won't even miss it!

 Stock photo by anankkml, found at

The only thing is-  I'm wondering if I am really and truly just about the last person on the planet to do this.

To support my theory I found this little gem on the best of craigslist:  (Who even knew there was a 'best of craigslist'?)  It's from somebody in Portland, Maine who finally rid herself of VHS in November of 2012.  Enjoy!

Lot of VHS tapes - FREE!

It's finally happening. This is the moment you have been waiting for your entire life. What's that, you ask? Peace in the Middle East? Well. no. Official word on the Arrested Development movie? I wish! An end to the seemingly insurmountable polarized political climate that has stymied any conceivable progress in our country? Ha!

It's none of these things. But here's what is happening--I am FINALLY getting rid of my entire collection of VHS tapes. Hear me out.

As a kid, I was a huge nerd (or nerdette, as the case may be). A nerd who was obsessed with TV. It's probably inconceivable these days, but there was a time when a kid like me didn't have access to every episode of Full House at my fingertips. Viewers were slaves to the TV lineup. You either saw that episode of Alf when it aired or you had to find out what happened from your classmates at school the next day (for shame!). Armed with my family's VCR, equipped with a state-of-the-art auto-program function, the world was my oyster. I could tape things! And tape I did.

Now you can enjoy such classics as Edward Scissorhands, Children of the Corn, Pretty Woman, and The Great Muppet Caper. But that's not all!! The real beauty of these tapes are the hidden gems that lie within. You may think that you are just watching an ordinary version of Ghostbusters taped off HBO, but stay tuned! After the movie you might be treated to an episode of Growing Pains, followed by a snippet of The Sting! The Sound of Music may be great in and of itself, but think how much improved it is when it's followed by part of Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards from the 1990s and a few choice episodes of The Real World: Season 1! You may pop in Flatliners, only to find out how touching the series finale of Dawson's Creek really is. (Spoiler alert: Jen dies!) These tapes are replete with random episodes of TV shows and snippets of movies. Are you in the market for a VHS tape full of nothing but Buffy, Will and Grace, and Beavis and Butthead? You found it!

Some of the tapes will baffle you with their randomness. Pop in an unlabeled tape and see what you find! It just might be a mish-mash of Behind the Music: Jessica Simpson, South Park, the Jon Stewart Show circa 2004, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and some strange VH1 show starring Pauly Shore.

Did I alienate you with the Pauly Shore reference? Please keep reading. I swear whatever that show was, I did not tape it on purpose. But you know what I did tape on purpose? Every single episode of The Adventures of Pete and Pete. There, have I won back your trust and respect? Probably not.

Have I mentioned the news clips and commercials?? Sometimes they are better than the movies! We are talking references to the Clinton presidency (good times!) and the Unibomber while he was still at large!! If you have no idea who the Unibomber is, please stop reading. . .you do not deserve these tapes. The commercials for the "new" Honda Accord will make your own car seem like a friggin' DeLorean. (And yes, Back to the Future is on one of the tapes.)

There's also some personal history in there. If you are really diligent, you might find the news clip that features my sister's 4th grade class in the background in Newark, New Jersey's famous cherry blossom park! My sister was prominently featured, although I have taped over that particular portion with Beetlejuice. But you can still see some of her classmates at the tail end of the broadcast, after Beetlejuice ends.

Words cannot convey how much you need this collection. Hell, I'll even throw in my old VCR FOR FREE with the lot. I'm pretty sure it works and I might even be able to find the remote.

You may wonder why I am getting rid of these tapes. The truth is, at this point in my life they mostly just take up space and prove to be a hassle whenever I move. I need to spread the joy to others who can more fully appreciate them.

Here's the deal: you take these tapes off my hands. I'm giving them away. I do not want anything in return for this kindness. They are conveniently packed into cardboard boxes for easy transporting. But you have to take them ALL. This is an all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave-it deal. I will throw in the VCR for free. 
How about you?  Give me your VHS stories- home movies, whatever!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Every time I hear the song 'Easy' by Sheryl Crow I tell myself that I need to look up who Jack Johnson is, because of the line that she sings: "We'll play Jack Johnson.  He's the new Don Ho."

Here's the video for Sheryl Crow's 'Easy':

Well, I finally looked up Jack Johnson and I have to say that although neither he or Sheryl Crow will be changing the world anytime soon I sure can hear why Jack Johnson might be just what I need right now.

Please have a listen to my new rain escape.

As I have accepted that I will most likely be here in the Northwest for yet another non-summer season or two I will definitely be loading some Jack Johnson music up for my next foray away from reality.

How about you?  Who or what helps you get through the times that it seems you would like to be somewhere else in space or time?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Patience? Luck?

So now that we have done our fair share of celebrating around here regarding my husbands newly acquired A.C.A.S. status, of course I have set to thinking about what that could mean for us.  And of course  I am thinking that anyone in their right mind looking for an actuary should be beating down our door just now.
"Opened Door With Bright Light" by ponsulak found at:
Never mind that it doesn't work that way.  I won't be convinced.

But seriously, something has clicked inside me and I can feel what everyone said about how things would certainly change for us once my husband was able to meet this first of his two main goals.  (The second being to become a fellow in the Society of Actuaries.  Give it another couple of years for that one.) 

I feel doors opening and opportunities knocking.  I actually can't remember feeling this 'open' to new possibilities. 

And yes, it absolutely feels downright weird and wrong to be feeling so hopeful while witnessing so many people that we are close to still struggling mightily just to get by.  That is absolutely not lost on me.
"Breaking Rope" by scottchan found at

Over the weekend, my husband and I sat down and went over our budget and future plans because that's what we always do when anything is changed up in our lives and because that's just how we roll.  I think being raised in poverty either makes you never able to deal with finances or makes you super careful.  We are certainly the latter.

My plans to start flight lessons will happen soon.  Not just yet, as we never count chickens before they hatch and Fall weather in Seattle is not a great time to start that sort of thing.  However, I can actually envision being able to tuck my two small dogs into the back seat of an airplane rather than the car and get down to sunny Palm Springs in half the time it takes to drive...

With that said, I will admit that I am hoping that my feelings of something else big coming are about us moving to a warmer weather place.  No, I don't have any solid evidence for my feelings.  I'm just really hoping.  It is hard to be patient sometimes.
"Business Art" by digitalart found at:
The other day I mentioned to a checker that I believed in the old adage that 'the harder you work, the luckier you get' and I couldn't believe that he was so quick to say that he didn't think he could agree.  I didn't know whether he was saying that because he felt that lots of people work hard and don't get anywhere or because he felt that people who are fortunate don't work hard to get where they are.  I didn't ask because I was afraid of the answer and how it might make me feel. 

Being bold usually pays off and I should have been willing to chance what that moment might have lead to.....

Have you had moments in life when you knew that things were changing in a nearly tangible way?  How do you feel about hard work and what it leads to?   How much control does anyone really have over life direction?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dear NYC-

Dear New Yorkers,
With over 8 million people in your city, is anyone really supposed to believe that the best mayoral candidate you can come up with is Anthony Weiner?!

Whatever the excuses, this man is not fit for public office.
Please, I beg of you, show the country and the world that you can find a better representative of yourselves.
Show that respect for women is alive and that the good old boys club is dead. 
Do this for real; not just with the same old democrat lip service. 
Please New York, you can and must do better.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Liebster Award

Thank you Jodi over at KY Fire Wife for giving me a Liebster Award!  I am sometimes very bad about responding to these and answering all the questions and such.  (Just ask Robin.  Sorry, Robin.)  This time I am going to give it a try. ***Over the weekend I messed around on blogger and lo and behold what do I see?  I see that Robin over at YOUR DAILY DOSE has also bestowed the Liebster Award upon me.  So yes, I will be answering her questions as well.  And I'm glad to get a second chance at responding to an award from Robin!***

After digging around on the net a bit I found this:
The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. So, what is a Liebster?  The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn't that sweet? Blogging is about building a community and it's a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs.

Well... I do try to be pleasant most of the time, so here goes!  I need to give 11 facts about myself, answer 11 questions from the person who gave the award & ask other bloggers, that I pass the award on to, 11 questions of my own.

I've really been struggling with coming up with facts about myself, so I am just gonna' go with whatever comes to mind right now.  Hopefully this goes well!

11 Facts about me:

1) I like fun girly things.  Not fussy things that require tons of time and effort, but the little touches that make things unmistakably feminine.

2) I can go to the store and pick out something that is an exact color match to something I would like to match at home- like a fabric or paint, without bringing said item with me.  For the longest time I thought everyone did this.

3) If I spend more than one day at home without leaving the house I go stir crazy!

4) I am blessed with natural energy. 

5) I am often the hardest working person on the job.

6) Outside of being stuck in a lousy class with a lousy teacher, I can't remember ever really being bored.

7) I would rather be too hot than too cold.  I spend most of my time being too cold.

8) I can't stand maybe.  It's yes or no for me!

9) I love color, texture and design.

10) I am much more likely to use power tools than my husband is.  We blur the traditional roles very comfortably around here.

11) I would rather be constantly traveling and moving around than be stuck in one place forever.

And now it's onto the 11 questions and their answers from my nominee, Jodi, over at kyfirewife.
1) How do you usually spend your free time?  I try to be productive whenever possible.  I usually turn to fixing, cleaning or making something.  I'm not much for sitting still.
2) How would you like to spend your free time?  I really should think more about getting out and being active as much as I can as I know darn well how much more toned I could be and when the weather is decent I should be taking advantage of it!
3) If you could live anywhere, where would it be, and why?  I actually started this blog so I could document how I'm feeling as I accomplish a long distance move to Texas and that is still where I really long to be.
4) How long have you been blogging?  Since September of 2010.
5) High heels or flats?  Definitely high heels.  I don't wear them on a daily basis or anything, but I am certainly willing to give up a little comfort for fashion and I love how I feel when I wear them.
6) What advice would you give to your former 18-year-old-self?  Get out of the house as soon as humanly possible.  You WILL finish college and make something of yourself and staying 4 more years in a hell hole is totally not necessary to prove anything.
7) What color is your car?  Red!
8) You just won the lottery, check has been deposited... what do you do first?  I actually told my nephew the other day that if I won the lottery he would know it because I would arrive on his doorstep with lots of guns and ammo and have a private jet waiting outside for him.  Yeah, I come from a long line of crazy, what can I say?!
9) On an average day, how much time do you spend watching television?  The TV is almost always on at my house.  I don't do quiet.  It makes me think something bad is about to happen.  But actually watching it, ummm, maybe 2-3 hours a day between news, some HGTV and maybe a reality show on TLC.
10) Have every played an organized sport? if so, what / when?  I'm pretty much a dance girl only, but I did play on the church soft ball team once back in high school.
11) Do you have any siblings?  Yes, only one half sister that I share a mother with.  However, I am pretty sure there are others on my Dad's side that I don't actually know... it's a long story.

And now onto Robin's questions:
1. Who do you miss the most?
I think that would be my friend Donna.  I actually visit her grave site on a regular basis where I talk to her and look out at the beautiful lake view.  This is SO not like me.  I  hate funerals and don't actually dig cemeteries so much either.  I think I feel like we were so much alike and we didn't have very much time together.  I met Donna only 4 years before she died.
2. What is your favorite word, and why?
I have never actually thought about this!  So for now I'll say that it's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious because that's kind of fun!  By the way, I hate the term 'for now'.  It says 'this is going to be done half-assed and never really finished' to me. 
3. Where do you want to go that you have never been, and why?
I have a long list of National Parks to get to.  I need to see the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion, etc.  I also need to spend more time on tropical islands!
4. Where do you want to you go that you have already been, and why?
I need to get back to Montana in the summertime and I need to take my husband to see Cancun as that is the place that I just can never get over.
5. If you could relive any experience in your life just for the pleasure of doing it one more time, what would you choose?
I might go back to when I was 10 and spent the summer before my favorite aunt turned 18, having her read the Winnie The Pooh chapter books to me.  She is probably the only person who ever really tried to nurture me in any way and I remember loving that she was doing this with me, even though I was never really into kids stuff.
6. What is your favorite holiday?
Definitely Thanksgiving.  A pretty easy going holiday as holidays go, and I absolutely love to cook!
7. Do you feel like you are doing what you are meant to be doing?  If so, what is that?  If not, what is holding you back?
I definitely know that I am meant to be serving people's needs in some fashion that allows me to use my creative flair. And I do that quite a bit right now.  I also know that I like change and I sense that I will probably find a new way to anticipate and fulfull others' needs in the future.  I see myself dancing again in the future as well.  Sometimes I have such a vision of myself leading dance classes for senior citizens.  I think that would be so much fun!  Right now, I need to know that I'm not preparing to move in order to be comfortable in changing things up.
8. Do you remember your dreams?  Have any of them ever been significant in your life?
Once in a while I remember dreams, but I mostly remember very vivid nightmares that leave me breathless and terrified.  I try to analyze them and see if I can learn something.  I often can.
9. Tell me about the first time you learned the lesson that life simply was not fair.  (It's not a question because I know it has happened to you.)
On the day that I fell in the mud on the way to school and had to go back to my grandma's house to wait out the day, with nothing to do and no one there to talk to.  I hated missing school and she had only diet food in the house!
10.  Who, or what, did you want to be when you grew up (earliest memory)?   (For example, I wanted to be Cher when I grew up when I was about five or six.  That is my earliest desire that I can recall.)
A writer in New York City.  So funny now- I can't stand NYC!
11. Why do you blog?
I started out wanting to document the process of moving out of my home state to a place that felt more like home.  Now I do it because I like the way it makes me think about things and I like the interaction with other bloggers.  :) :)

Now, I don't have a full list of 11 bloggers to pass my questions on to mainly because so many of the bloggers I read have already been included from the 2 people that I received the award from.  However, here are some people I'd like to pass the award on to and will ask my questions of-
Arlee Bird @ Tossing It Out
Amber @ Faith, Love, Kids and Me 2
Loretta @ Loretta's Journey
Myra @ Myra's Journey
And now here's the list of my own questions:

1) Do you speak any other language, other than English?

2) Do you have any serious regrets? 

3) Have you ever broken a bone?

4) If you could change one major law, what would it be- and why?

5) Have you ever had a pet that was truly a terror, but you loved it anyway?

6) Are you a home body?  If so, why?

7) Do you sometimes break the law if nobody gets hurt?  Or do you always toe the line?

8) Have you ever discovered something that you absolutely love that you thought you never could or would?

9) What is your guiltiest pleasure?

10) What is the biggest surprise of your life?

11) If you needed to live somewhere outside of the United States, where would you choose? 

Again, I thank anyone who has read all of this and hopefully you've found something interesting here.  If I didn't nominate you but you're reading and would like to get in on the fun, hit me up in the comments and tell me where I can read your answers! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Refuse To Glorify Terrorism

Here is the email that I sent to Experience Music Project museum here in Seattle, just the other day.

To Whom It May Concern:
Being musicians ourselves, my husband and I became founding members of the EMP as a way to promote music and knowledge of the history of music in Seattle.  We feel strongly about the positive influence that music can have in everyone's life, especially for students as they pursue music education along with their core subjects.  We have seen the EMP as a productive player in this endeavor.  
However, over the last couple of years we have been especially disturbed by the choice of the EMP to include a free subscription to Rolling Stone Magazine along with membership to the museum.  Several times we asked to have that subscription cancelled on our behalf as we do not support it and find it to be of especially poor quality, full of political far leftist politics that have nothing to do with music.  Unfortunately, for only one year has our request been fulfilled to not have that magazine delivered to our home.  As we do not have time to constantly remind you that we don't want the magazine delivered to us, we have resorted to simply tossing it into the trash every month as that is where that particular publication belongs.
This month as I tossed the magazine I noticed something completely shocking.  On the cover of Rolling Stone magazine was a photo of one of the Boston terrorists with a reference to an article inside.  It seems that Rolling Stone magazine has taken to glorifying an anti-American terrorist by placing his photo on their cover while running a full story inside.
This is completely unacceptable.  We will no longer stand for having our membership money or anything having to do with our EMP  membership support Rolling Stone magazine.  That magazine is simply not a good representation of the EMP and we would ask that its association with the EMP be ended immediately.
Our membership is due to be renewed by the end of the summer.  If we cannot be assured that the EMP will no longer be associated with Rolling Stone magazine, then our membership will not be renewed.  I'm sure you can understand that with the ramifications of glorifying a terrorist that killed and maimed American people, Rolling Stone has simply gone too far.

As you can see, I am very happy that I am not the only one who has a problem with Rolling Stone magazine giving a terrorist the 'Rock Star Treatment'.  Thank you CVS for refusing to sell this garbage!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Special Souvenir

We're back from a wonderful trip to Yellowstone National Park.

"Scenic View At Midway Geyser Basin" by aeypix, found at

I should be right back at it with the blog and sharing some cool photos from the trip and such.

However, I seem to have brought back the ultimate souvenir.  You see, my nephew is here with me for the next week or so while his Dad takes a motorcycle license course.  With all the 11 year old energy added to the house, I'm not sure I'll be able to blog much for the next little while. 

We have so much swimming and running and biking, etc. to do....

I don't know how you bloggers with kids do this!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Free Beer

I couldn't help myself.

My local grocery store had an advertisement for a $40.00 rebate on a $100 purchase if you also purchased a certain major brand of beer.

I don't drink beer.  Not because I'm a teetotaler, but because I've tried a bunch and they just don't float my boat.

However, my little old lady neighbor likes beer.  And one of the types that you could buy for the rebate was her favorite kind.

So I played beer fairy.

I bought the beer and brought it home to my neighbor and sent away for the $40 rebate. 

It'll take 6-8 weeks to get it back and by then I'll be all surprised and happy to get it.  And then I'll be smiling again like I was when I saw my neighbors face when she got some free beer right before the holiday weekend.

Beer Bottles On Ice by Napong, found at   

Have a wonderful, happy and safe 4th of July! 

US flag backround with fireworks by Nirot, found at

My husband and I will be in Idaho Falls for the big fireworks show and then it's off to Yellowstone with my nephew and his Dad for their first time ever seeing the park!

Thursday, June 27, 2013


My husband has passed the test needed to become an Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society!!!

If you don't know what that is, you are completely normal.

I, on the other hand, never claimed to be normal. 

And I am super excited!!!  Honestly folks, this is a major deal around here and we are celebrating big time!!!
Party Text with Confetti Falling

Monday, June 24, 2013

Running The Gauntlet?

So we've lived for the last 3 years planning to move to Texas, as soon as we possibly could.
The original plan was hatched by way of several visits to Texas and many in depth discussions that left my husband and I feeling as if we had finally found a place that felt like home.  That place also being a good fit for our desires to see the sun more often and spend a lot less money to merely experience life was clearly also a bonus.

 Sunflower With Sunglasses by jiggoja
found at
For various and sundry reasons that plan has not worked out- yet.

That's not to say that my husband and I have not had many interesting adventures in these past few years while pursuing our goal of moving to Texas.  We have been to places that we once thought of as 'other possibilities' to help us reach our goal of finding a home that is mostly sunny and not so expensive.  Some of this has been rather comical and some of it has been a bit sad.  However, it has all been a learning experience.  And that is often what life is all about.

We have learned that my husband's chosen actuarial profession is prolific in jobs along the two coasts.  We have learned that it is not impossible to find a job in the middle if you are patient and if you are pretty much done getting to the highest level of said chosen career, as there are very few people who are capable of doing this (about 5,400 in the country).  In other words in 2-3 more years we will have a pretty good chance of securing a job for whatever my husband would like to do within his chosen career path, in just about whatever place we really want to be.

In the meantime, my husband and I have purchased a condo in Palm Springs, CA and we seek sun there whenever possible- which means we get to have something that resembles the life we are really looking for about 6 weeks a year.

And that's certainly a big improvement.  However, it still seems like there should be another way to improve the overall picture of what we are seeking without having to wait around for another 2-3 years.

Although we can't actually live at our place in Palm Springs, CA because there are not any actuarial jobs out there in the desert, it seems that we may have found a way to avoid that 2-3 year wait to attain at least part of our goal.

In our many and varied trips down the coast with my nephew and the dogs in tow, we have discovered that although we don't see any financial benefit to being in California we sure do feel a lot better overall when we are there.  We get out from under our sweatshirts and flannel hoods and meet people who seem much more varied from the brooding types who reside here in the Seattle area.  We are just happier overall.

So now the question is:  Would living in California full time be a nice Disney, sandy beach, sunshine-filled diversion for a couple of years or would I end up feeling as if I had to run the gauntlet of more liberal politics than I can even imagine handling to simply get to what I really want which of course is living in Texas?

image found at Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sharpie Marker Mystery

Why is it that when I use a black Sharpie to hide a tiny bleach spot on a pair of black cotton pants, I have to reapply the marker after every washing because the Sharpie marker always washes out? 

'Black Marker Pen' by Stuart Miles, found at

But then when I get a tiny little bit of black Sharpie marker on my pink cotton t-shirt it won't come out no matter how many times or how many ways I wash it?!?!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

An American Heart: Part 2

My own American Heart has been a bit fractured lately.  One part has been extraordinarily busy, busy, busy.  And to be honest I have been grateful to have those distractions to keep me from feeling the full weight of the other part of my heart that has been so deeply sad, even despite all the things that I know I should be more than grateful for.

So today I will share with you from both sides of my own American Heart.

First- here are some other fun shots from our Memorial Day spent at the Palm Springs Air Museum:

I know some people who would really like a ceiling fan that looked like this!

Here are some fine examples of beautiful pin-up style lovelies, painted by Santiago "Sant" Godinez :

We got to watch 'Pretty Polly' fly that day.

On our way out of the museum we saw this sign:

Visiting this flying WWII air museum on Memorial Day gave me an even stronger appreciation for those who serve.

 And as for that other side of my American heart...  I will share with you a couple of videos that have given me pause lately.  I have been sad to see what is becoming of my beloved America and yet I have hope when I see things like this:

And this:

These are some of the things that have been on my heart, lately.  How about you?
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