Saturday, November 30, 2013

Six Word Convection



KitchenAid® 27-Inch Convection Double Wall Oven, Architect® Series II




      Got a new toy coming soon!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Feel Good Friday, November 29

Really, this should probably be “Feel Lazy Friday”, since lazy is absolutely what I’ve been today.  My day’s agenda looked like this:  sleep in, move from bed to couch, eat some leftovers, nap, watch football/play on computer, eat a bowl of cereal, watch more football, and I think I’ll probably end it with an early bed time.  I’m not really a stranger to lazy days, but this one was pretty extreme, even for me.  But I guess extra days off work are the perfect day for that, especially when we’re about to move into a whirlwind few weeks, so I’m not feeling too bad about it.

But, there’s something else to make you feel good, besides my incredibly carefree and unproductive day, and that’s this video by a cute kid.  In all the words that we say day in and day out, there are some that just aren’t used enough, and Kid President would like to remind us of the things we say more often.

Enjoy, and if we ever get together, the corn dogs are on me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

thanksgiving 11-2-12







Image courtesy of debspoons at

It’s been a long day.  The alarm went off only about half an hour later than any other day of the week, and still slightly before the sun came up.  But sometimes—a lot of times, really—good times require some effort.  And today was good times.  The family was here for lunch and we visited and laughed and ate a whole bunch of food.  I’m thankful that we have the opportunity.

And, as I spent my first Thanksgiving without Granny, I realized how fortunate I was to have her for as many as I did.  At my office, three of us have lost our grandmothers in the past few months, and I am by far the oldest of the trio; I know that I had a gift many, many people do not.  And while Billy may never have gotten to know my mother, he was blessed to grow up with a great-grandmother who adored him.  Today I am particularly grateful for that.

Honestly, as I sit here, tired, full, and reflecting on a good day and a good life, I am simply grateful.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, November 27


Not quite a half pound this week—only .3—but I’m glad to be moving downward again.  Seriously running out of time before vacation, so I nee to get serious about getting back in shape.  Won’t be easy this time of year, what with being even more busy than usual and surrounded by tons of food, but I’ve got to give it a try.

And, speaking of all the food, I just made my cooking chart for tomorrow and realized I have to be up by about 630 in the morning, so I really ought to head on off to bed. 

Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving.


















The Season of Repeats


As with so many things, there’s both good and bad in the typical television approach of handling the holiday season and it’s accompanying programming.  And what is that typical approach?, you might ask.  Mostly, it’s avoidance. 

Fear of low ratings prevents a great many network shows from airing new episodes during the height of holiday season, and as a forever-fan of the medium, I have to say I’m not in love with the mentality.  I get it; you have to compete with holiday programming, some of it truly classic.  You have to compete with holiday activities in the real world, that simply keep people away from the living room TV.  And you have to compete with viewers’ sheer exhaustion, that makes people stay away from anything that requires too much effort.  (And let’s face it, sometimes keeping up with some of these ongoing storylines takes a lot of work.)

But, it’s also a time when some people might actually have some extra time to watch television, and maybe they’d like to spend some of their holiday break watching favorite television programs without having to wait days or even weeks to pull it off the DVR.  But a lot of times, that isn’t an option, as the networks either show reruns throughout the season, or pull a show off the air for their own holiday programming.  I really get tired of reruns this time of year. 

But the good side of that equation?  Well, all that classic holiday programming I mentioned earlier.  And even some of the new holiday programming that comes out each year (maybe we’ll get a good Hallmark movie out of the deal this year).  And, of course, the whole point—when I’m super-duper busy with shopping and planning and finals, I don’t have to try to squeeze in quite as many hours of television viewing . . . though I’d gladly do it!

And, this year, I’ll also have some vacation preparation to add into the mix, plus tons of stuff that needs to come off my DVR, so I certainly have plenty to keep my busy.  But I still get awfully tired of reruns this time of year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Short Follow-Up


If you saw my post yesterday, you know I’m a little bit annoyed at the folks over at CBS who have decided that this year it would be a good idea to air the timeless Christmas classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, two days before Thanksgiving.  And it’s not just CBS annoying me, but the whole segment of society that just won’t let us finish one holiday before beginning on the other. 

Well, I was really ticked off yesterday, and a blog post wasn’t sufficient venting, so I also made a quick post to Facebook.  I was glad to see that most people agreed with my idea that Christmas is simply arriving far too soon if it’s happening before Thanksgiving. 

So, I was amused when someone shared this little beauty to my timeline today:

Sure, it defiles Rudolph just a little bit (though probably not much more than showing the poor guy on Tuesday before Thanksgiving), but it still made me lough out loud.  Put down the Christmas cheer and back away slowly, and nobody gets hurt.

*No reindeer were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Too Soon


I really feel like I’m turning into some sort of cranky old woman.  A lot of things annoy me these days that I used to pretty much take in stride—loud restaurants, crowded stores, cold weather, whining kids—I could probably come up with a much longer list.  Honestly, I’m probably not even another birthday away from yelling out the front door, “You kids stay off my lawn!”  You get the picture.  But there is something else that’s been bothering me for quite a few years, so maybe it’s not entirely a sign of encroaching crankiness, but it is really irking me this year.  

And just what is so egregious?  The way the trappings of Christmas show up earlier and earlier every year, that’s what. 

I saw my first Christmas commercial a good two weeks ago, maybe more.  My Facebook feed has been peppered with people tuning in to the holiday movies on the cable stations for almost that long.  And sometime in the past week, the local radio station that annually transforms into the Christmas music station on Thanksgiving day must’ve lost track of the calendar, because that transformation has already taken place, even though Thanksgiving is still several days away. 

But the thing that really pushed me over the edge was when I was watching TV tonight and saw a commercial for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Yes, it’s a classic.  Yes, I love to watch it every year.  And, yes, if I’m ever lucky enough to have grandchildren, I hope it’s still being shown so they can enjoy it, too.  But I don’t want to watch it Tuesday, when I’ll still be making plans for Thursday, otherwise known as Thanksgiving.  That’s just too early. 

I know that I’ve been bothered by this for quite a while, because when I wrote about it last year, it was really a recycling of a piece from years earlier.  But it seems so much worse this year.  I get that Thanksgiving is late this year, so all the advertisers and money-makers are likely worried they won’t have quite as much time to work everyone into a holiday frenzy and take every last penny from our pockets, but still.  Rudolph in November?  That’s just really going too far.  I won’t be watching this year, because some things just shouldn’t happen.  Not that the people who make these decisions care what I think, of course,  They probably won’t even listen when I start telling them to stay off my lawn. 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Six Words, Fifty Years



Ultimate Top 10 Lists on Anglophenia

Happy anniversary to you know WHO!

What If?


        When I was a young teenager, I became fascinated with President Kennedy.  I read a bunch of stuff about his life and times, and formed an opinion that my generation (and those that followed) had been deprived of knowing greatness.  Or at least, as much greatness as can be found in a man.  I’ve said before that we might see him differently had he lived; he might have suffered the same fate as so many other politicians who somehow manage to self-destruct and lose their credibility along the way.  Or it might just be that slogging through an entire re-election campaign would have shone a bright light on his failings, which might have turned the tide against him, and maybe I wouldn’t feel like my generation had missed out on anything.

But that’s the whole point of the last fifty years, isn’t is?  We just don’t know what might have been. 

But I do know that my readings back in the day painted a picture of a man who was growing into his position, a man who wasn’t afraid to learn something new and perhaps change his course of action as a result.  Most important, he seemed to be a man who could inspire change.  We’ve never lived in a Utopia, so there have always been (and will always be) things that need changing, so it seems that a leader who can convince the populous to go out and make a difference would be a leader worth having. 

I’ve been listening to the pundits this past week, as the media has ramped up to this 50th anniversary of tragedy, and a recurring theme has been how much the country changed after Kennedy’s death, how there was an innocence lost.  And more than anything, I think maybe that’s what my generation was cheated out of.  That lost America they speak of—when institutions were trusted and people wanted to follow their leaders—that’s an America I’ve never known.  In my lifetime, it’s somehow been in vogue to question the establishment, to criticize our leaders, even though we’re the ones who put them in office.  And as that mentality has continued through the years, we’ve become more and more divided, less and less confident in the institutions that are supposed to serve us, and seem to have little true faith that the man in the Oval Office (whoever it may be) has our best interests at heart.  I definitely think we got short-changed in that department. 

But while the nation may always wonder “what if?”, and I will likely always believe that I missed out on the opportunity to grow up with someone truly admirable as president, I haven’t totally given up for all the future generations.  I mean, even if Kennedy’s legacy is glossier than it might have been, what if we use that as a template?  What if we all decide that we are only going to vote for people who really do have our best interests at heart?  What if we send the message that we want leaders who inspire, who aren’t afraid to try to make a difference?  Leaders who grow into their positions and understand that they have the opportunity to do good for the world instead of just doing good for themselves or their party?  What could we accomplish then? 

I hope that’s not just another question that will never have an answer. 


Friday, November 22, 2013

A Long and Winding Road


Grief 11-21-13

  Grief is a strange thing.  It’s not linear, or predictable.  In fact, it’s twisty, and stealthy, and strikes out of nowhere.  When you lose someone, you spend a while being sad every day, but then, eventually, you start getting back to your regular self.  One day, you have the realization that you got through a full twenty-four hours without shedding a tear, and it would seem like some sort of progress, except that as soon as the thought passes through your mind, the tears begin to flow.   It’s been ten weeks since my granny died, and I still have those moments that suddenly overwhelm.

  I was caused to think about this after seeing one of our clients today.  Actually, her husband was our client first, but then he passed away early this year.  She chose to continue the suit, and she was a strong, put-together woman these few months that I’ve known her.  She came to pick up her settlement check today, which brought to an end something that she’s been hanging on to for a long time.  Most people are glad when they get some money at the end of a long lawsuit; she only seemed sad.  We chatted for a couple of minutes, and as she was leaving, I wished her a happy holiday season.  She’s an honest lady, and very matter-of-factly told me she didn’t expect it to be good; in fact, it was going to be very hard.  Of course, that’s not the kind of thing you can argue with, or smooth over with some sort of platitude, so I just told her to stay strong, cherish memories, and take care of herself. I’ve never lost a spouse, but I certainly know the difficulty of facing the first holiday without someone important.  And, it brought home to me that I’ll be having another of those firsts just a week from now.  I wasn’t ready for that thought to pop up like that, and it hasn’t left me yet. 

But Thanksgiving really is just around the corner (with Christmas then lurking just behind that), and it’s supposed to be a time of celebration and gratitude, a day set aside simply to give thanks for all that you have, though that can be hard when you can’t stop thinking about what’s missing.  I hope our client and I can both find a way to enjoy the day, anyway.

*Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, November 20


So, in the future, remind me not to complain about only losing 1/2 pound a week.  At the end of a week with zero movement on the scale (and on my feet, apparently), I’d be thrilled to have a half pound right about now.

















Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Kid In Town


It’s a good thing I’ve given up on recording a couple of shows this season and cleared some space on my DVR, because just this week something new worth watching has come along. 

Almost Human, starring Karl Urban and Michael Ealy, is the latest in a long line of buddy shows to catch my attention.  And, these buddies are cops, which is just about the best.  The fact that it’s set against a futuristic backdrop is just icing on the cake. 

Of course it’s a little bit of an odd couple situation, which some might consider over done and cliché, but I’m a big believer in not fixing what isn’t broken.  Odd couples keep showing up for one very simple reason:  they work.  In this case, you’ve got a slightly damaged (physically and mentally) human detective (John Kennex, Urban) who doesn’t trust most people, let alone the robots, teaming up with an android—they call them “synthetics”—partner (Ealy’s character, Dorian) to go out and catch the bad guys.  Oh, and it’s just possible that the synthetic cop is more well-adjusted and likable than the human.  It’s a nice foundation.

FOX aired two episodes this week, the pilot on Sunday and then a second ep on Monday evening.  I thought the pilot was really strong, and it made me set up the DVR for the upcoming episodes.  The second episode was good, too, though already a little weaker, I thought, and it had a familiar flaw:  it moved a little quickly from the tension of two people learning their way with each other to partners who have mostly settled in.  One of my very favorite shows, Hardcastle and McCormick, did that, too.  I think they missed a lot of opportunity in skipping over those very early days (though that missing time period did give me some nice fanfiction idea starters, so it’s not all bad!), and I don’t like to see programs steal away those chances for natural character development.  Anyway, I hope maybe Almost Human will step back just a little bit and give us more of the uncertainty and edginess as the characters get to know each other.   Along those lines, there was one scene in episode two that was just about worth the price of admission, which ended with Kennex giving Dorian a directive to never scan his testicles again.   It was laugh out loud funny, and a new partnership moment at its best.  We definitely need more of that.

So, even though it’s early, I’m definitely on board to see where Almost Human takes us, and I have high hopes.  With the exception of Doctor Who (which isn’t currently airing), I don’t think I have any science fiction in my recording queue at the moment, so that’s definitely been missing.  And we all know there can never be too many buddy cop shows.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, Monday



There isn’t really much to say today, except that it was a Monday, ya know?  Just an all-round, things-not quite-right-feel surrounding just about everything.  Even this post was supposed to be an easy-peasy thing—get it done and hit the hay.  That was almost three hours ago, before I fell asleep on the couch, laptop open, cursor blinking at me.  Now I’ve got a few hours’ sleep, a couple of lines written, and a big ol’ crick in my neck.  Joy.  I’m going to blame in on falling asleep before midnight, while it was still technically Monday.

Still, it was a fairly productive day at work, and I crossed quite a few things off my to-do list (I really enjoy it when the attorneys are out of the office), even if it did seem like things were slightly off-kilter.  I made it to class just in time for lecture, even though I was stuck in ridiculous traffic that caused it to take over twenty minutes to go about four miles (and most of that time was spent in the first three blocks).  And, I got to spend a short amount of time visiting with some fellow PTK members while we staffed a table waiting for canned good donations for our food drive, though we only had one actual donation in the time I was sitting there. 

Still, every single donation counts, and this particular gentleman waited quietly in the background while we talked with some other people about our goals, then timidly came forward to hand us a ten dollar bill.  We weren’t really set up to take cash donations—and it’s technically against school rules—but I wasn’t about to turn him down.  Especially when he looked like he didn’t have too many ten dollar bills to spare.  I thought it was a particularly kind gesture, and he looked very pleased when we took his name down and assured him we’d put his money to good use for fellow students. 

Come to think of it, maybe it wasn’t such a bad Monday after all.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

More Than a Game


I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s football game, and I’ve decided that six words just aren’t enough to dedicate to the afternoon, so I’m going to chat about it just a little bit more today.

First, let me just say that I was totally overwhelmed to simply have the tickets given to me, particularly by my boss.  Well, okay, technically by my boss’ wife, but still.  They’re a couple, there were two tickets, you gotta figure they at least halfway came from my boss.  Anyway, I thought it was very nice, especially since I still feel like something of an outsider at the office, even after almost six months.  So it was nice.

And, as I believe I may have mentioned, they were excellent seats.  Brian kept saying he was sure someone was going to realize we didn’t really belong and come kick us out.  Silly man.  But he really enjoyed the location.  And it really was a different perspective than from the cheap seats we usually inhabit.

But, besides the normal football playing, we got to see a couple of other things during the game, as well.  For one thing, there was the goofball who decided to run out onto the field during a commercial break.  Who ever knows what people are thinking when they do such foolishness, but the fans gave a roar of appreciation for the highway patrolman who brought the guy down.











Of more significance, though, was an event that happened earlier in the game.  You know those surprise military reunions that make the rounds of news clips and YouTube posts?  Well, we were treated to seeing one live, and if you ever think those videos are doctored or something to make them more emotional, I’m here to say that they are not. 

At each home game, OU has a military recognition moment; whether an active duty or vet, they recognize someone who has served.  So it didn’t seem all that strange when they were recognizing a man who was still serving in Afghanistan.  His family was on the field to accept on his behalf, and he had a taped message to play on the big screen.  But then the Sooner Schooner was coming out onto the field, and the crowd—and his family—realized what was happening.  It was great to see and there were giant smiles and misty eyes all over that stadium.



















So, all in all, free tickets and great seats weren’t anywhere near the best things about the day, and I’m really glad we were there to take it all in.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Six Word Trifecta



Good weather, great seats, nice win.














Feel Good Friday, November 15


The first stop in today’s Feel Good Friday happened in the copy room at my office.  Late in the afternoon, I was just going about my business, mailing off a settlement agreement and such, when our intake manager—who also happens to be our senior partner’s wife—walked in and asked if I had plans for the weekend.  I thought it was just typical Friday afternoon chatter until she said, “Could you go to the game?” and handed me a pair of tickets to tomorrow’s OU game.  Dang good seats, too.  I’m not sure how I got to be the lucky one, but I’ll chalk it up to clean living.  Or something.  Whatever the reason, I will accept it gladly.  Though I did tell her she’ll spoil Brian, letting him sit in such good seats. 

As for the next part of Feel Good Friday, I think you probably had to be living under a rock somewhere today to have not heard about this already, but I think it’s worth sharing at least one more time.

View image on Twitter

When I was a kid, I probably wanted to be Batman, too.  Fortunately, I never had a potentially fatal disease that would cause an organization to try to make that wish happen.  Miles Scott wasn’t lucky enough to avoid the horrible disease, but he was blessed enough to have the Make a Wish Foundation go all out to make his dream of being Batman a reality.  And he was even more blessed that so many thousands of people cared enough to help make his day extra, extra special.  And then we were all fortunate enough to get to be a tiny part of the day just by hearing about his exploits all over the Internet.  If you’ve somehow missed it up until this point, read his story here.

And the very best part about the story?  Miles is currently in remission, so maybe he’ll get to cherish the memory of this amazing day for a long, long time to come.  And if that doesn’t warrant our shout out for today, I just don’t know what does. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Drama Free is the Way to Be


“The best way of removing negativity is to laugh and be joyous.”

~ David Icke

I’m not a fan of drama.  In life, I mean.  Television, movies, books—bring it on.  But when it comes to every day living, I’d prefer things be a little more humdrum.  But some people seem to thrive on drama.  Always looking for something to gripe about, dwelling on bad situations, quick to take offense.  I’m sure you know the type.  Not that we need to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that life is just a bunch of roses, but I just don’t see the point in choosing to be mired in such a way of thinking that you end up spreading drama wherever you go.

Except for some family members that I’m pretty much stuck with (can’t choose family, you know), I’m lucky not to have a whole lot of drama-ridden negative Nellies in my midst.  Though, honestly, that’s not all luck; except for family, I do get a whole lot of choice in who I spend time with, so I try to choose wisely.  But today I ran smack-dab into a bit of drama courtesy of a classmate.  Her dramatic method of choice is the quick to take offense and then lash out variety.  I know this about her; I’ve seen it in action before.  So you’d think I wouldn’t be surprised when it happened again, this time with her negativity aimed in my direction, but surprise me it did.  And, as drama is wont to do, it managed to seep into my brain and put a cloud over my whole day.  That’s my fault, of course; I shouldn’t let other people’s wackiness have such an impact on me, but sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and ignore it. 

Still, at this point, I’ve had my say, addressed the perceived insult with an apology (since I honestly did not mean to offend), and have gone on about my business.  But it doesn’t feel resolved, and I feel pretty sure things will be tense when we see each other again tomorrow.  That’s the way it is with drama—it likes to linger.  But, I know that I can’t do more than I’ve done; things will either be okay or they will not.  Obviously, I hope for the “okay” resolution, but I’ll admit that there are days when I completely understand reclusive hermit types, and think it would be better if we all just lived in our own little bubbles and didn’t have to interact with each other at all.

Anyway, I just wanted to get it off my chest a little bit, and say that each time I run into such drama, I am a little confused, and frustrated, and saddened.  But, with all due respect to Mr. Icke, I think tonight the best way of getting rid of negativity and moving on from the drama is to see what happened on tonight’s episode of White Collar, so that’s what I’m going to do, and hopefully before this headache takes over and the med I just took for it wins out and I find myself sound asleep on the couch again!

Good night, and I wish you all a sunshiny and fun Friday, completely drama free. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, November 13


I don’t know, at half a pound a week, it’s going to take me years to get rid of all the weight I want to get rid of.  What I seriously need, though, is some sort of real motivation—something that makes me head to the gym even when my head is pounding, or I’m dead on my feet, or I’ve got eight thousand other things to do.  And it would be most helpful if I could lose my craving for sweet snacks. 

Still, I won’t be ungrateful for my half pound; it’s the whole idea of every journey starts with a single step, right? 













treadmill, 48 mins, 3.43 miles




Walking the Line


I’ve decided that the most difficult line for a television show to walk is that of  allowing characters to grow and change without losing touch with the reason we wanted to watch the character to begin with.

Take, as an example, How I Met Your Mother.  I’ve been watching this show for years, and will continue to watch as it completes its run this year.  But I have to say that it’s been at least a couple of seasons since it’s really been good.  And I think the reason for that is a fundamental change in the characters.  Barney and Robin have fallen in love and gotten engaged; Marshall and Lilly have become parents.  Those are perfectly normal developments for real people, and they should be perfectly normal for television characters, too.  Because as much as we don’t want our characters to change too much, we also don’t want them to be so static that they become practical caricatures of themselves (which, incidentally, is just about what’s happened to the final HIMYM character, Ted).  But the HIMYM gang hasn’t succeeded in pulling off these changes, at least not consistently.  Oh, there have been moments of their former glory, but they’re no longer the carefree late twenty-somethings we first met.  I don’t know; maybe real adulthood just isn’t as funny as that carefree lifestyle, but I think the real problem is that the gang just isn’t really the full adults we expected them to become. 

It’s a similar complaint that some have about the progression of The Big Bang Theory, with the argument being that since most of the geeky guys now have girlfriends (something many seem to think would be impossible in the real world), they are no longer the people we’ve come to know and love.  But I disagree.  I think that while the circumstances may have changed dramatically for our favorite science nerds—even including marriage for Howard—they are still fundamentally who they have always been.  They’ve grown into the people I think they reasonably would be, given where they began.

Castle, too, seems to be doing okay with that.  They may be the exception to the rule that says you can’t let your main characters actually hook up and still keep the show lively and interesting. Not that I haven’t been worried a time or two, as the show seems to try too hard sometimes to prove they are that exception, but when they settle themselves down and just do what they’ve always done, they usually seem to get it right.  

Really, I think what it probably boils down to is that we turn to our favorite television programs for some sort of escape from our own own reality, wanting a simple visit with old friends.  And when those friends are no longer the people we first befriended, it’s a little bit jarring, and suddenly we want everyone to go back to the way they used to be.  I’m sure there’s some sort of pop psychology reason lurking there somewhere, something about the real world containing more uncertainty and instability than we can easily absorb, so we want our fictional worlds to always remain the same, or something, but it could be even simpler than that:  good television is built upon good characters, and good characters have to be real, not just puppets for writers to make dance on a whim.  Like I said, it’s a hard line to walk, and I appreciate the shows that manage to make it work.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Day to Remember


Veteran’s Day.  It seems like a pretty simple concept—a day set aside to honor those who have served our country in the armed forces.  But sometimes the simplest of concepts are the ones we overlook, and it’s sometimes easy to forget that a lot of people have died in their service, and countless others have made different kinds of sacrifices, though many of those sacrifices were no less permanent. 

I think about these things, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I have some mixed emotions surrounding the entire idea of military service.  I don’t agree with everything our leaders ask our military men and women to do.  I certainly don’t agree with some of the cruelty inflicted on others in the name of “patriotism” or “duty”.  But I still recognize the need for armed forces and I know that I could never step up and be part of the group that provides that line of defense.  So I am truly grateful for those that can and do.

November 11 is also my husband’s birthday, so that’s twice the reason to celebrate him, as he also served in the Navy in his youth.  Tonight, I decided to skip class and make my work holiday an all-day holiday with the added benefit of spending the entire day with Brian.  And I’ve been seeing the commercials all weekend for the Golden Corral offer of a free meal for all veterans, so we decided to head over there for dinner.

When we pulled into the parking lot, we were amazed by the line of people streaming out the door.  I mean, when is there a line at Golden Corral?  Of course, a free meal is a good incentive for people to come out, but I don’t think that’s all it was.  As we waited in line, I heard people talking to each other about their experiences while serving, whether war or peace time, huge events or daily grinds.  It was amazing to me how easily these strangers related to each other, even when their stories were opposite ends of the spectrum.  Different branches, different generations, different experiences, none of it mattered.  These people were connected, and it was kind of cool to see.

When we finally made our way to the front of the line and it was our turn to be seated, we were asked if we would mind sharing a table.  That’s not what you expect when you head out to dinner, and I can’t say I was immediately thrilled with the idea, but of course we said it would be fine.  We ended up at a six-top table, sharing with two other couples.  Now, as I’ve likely mentioned before, I’m really kind of an introvert, and unexpectedly having dinner with four complete strangers caused me a moment of anxiety, especially when I ended up sitting in the middle.

But, I was pleasantly surprised by the enjoyable evening.  And I was even more surprised to find that other than a basic inquiry as to which branch each veteran had served, the conversation really had little to do with being a veteran.  We talked about families and travel and sports and just really minor chit-chat.  It was nice.  And it made me think that maybe all those strangers in line weren’t connected because they were veterans, but maybe just because they were people.  Maybe the free meal just gave everybody an excuse to come out and mingle with people they wouldn’t ordinarily get to meet.  Maybe if we could just manage to carry that same feeling of camaraderie and familiarity into more parts of our daily lives, we could solve a lot of problems in today’s world.

So, while I’m still truly grateful to these men and women for the service they have provided at some point in their lives, and I’m grateful to Golden Corral for offering a nice recognition of that service, I’m also newly grateful for a renewed sense of hope that we’re not destined to live in a country driven by anger and separatism, but can still find a way to come together to make a positive difference in the current state of affairs.  And maybe getting this country out of the rather dark spot it’s in and back into the light would be the very best way to honor our veterans. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Family Feud


“A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.” ~Frank A. Clark

Fathers and sons.  What is it with those guys, anyway?  I mean, I’ve always heard about the quarrelsome dynamic that exists between men and their male offspring, and goodness knows, I’ve certainly been witnessing it first-hand for years now, but I still don’t understand it.

Maybe I wasn’t prepared because I’d never been exposed to it personally before I began living it.  I have brothers, but they’re of the step variety, so we didn’t grow up in the same household.  Certainly there was some tension between them and our dad at the times they lived with us, but I always thought that was because they moved in with us as they were becoming young men after being separated from their dad for so long.  And Brian has never indicated that he went through any significant drama with is own father.  So how was I supposed to know what was lurking in the wings?

All I know for sure is that my husband and son have not particularly seen eye to eye on much of anything since the kid hit driving age.  And whatever frustration it is they feel for each other is exacerbated by the fact that neither of them can see—or at least won’t admit—how very much alike they are.  I keep thinking things will eventually improve, but I think at least one of them is going to have to grow up first. 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Six Word (x Two) Vacation Planning


Booked hotel for nights before cruise. 

hampton inn

Nothing fancy, but everything we need.


Friday, November 8, 2013

Facebook Friday, November 8


My friend, Judy, shares a lot of things on Facebook that I really enjoy.  She’s one of those virtual friends that I so wish I could have the opportunity to meet face to face, because we so clearly have so much in common.  The video I’ll share with you today is yet another item that appeared on my FB feed courtesy of Judy.

As I know I’ve said at least a few times before, I dream of a world where people are all accepted for exactly who they are, though there certainly are times I despair of that dream ever becoming a reality.  I know that’s a dream Judy shares, too.  But, I won’t bore you with a lot of my blatherings today, I’ll simply let Ash Beckham tell you how she views things, and about just a few of the similarities that we all share.  I think if enough of us can begin to recognize and accept these similarities, we just might get to the point where speeches such as this one will no longer be necessary.

Oh, and for the record, like a lot of other really cool things, this was being shared via Upworthy.


School Daze, Part 4


“Education is for growth and fulfillment.” ~ Tom Robbins

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but when I was awarded a scholarship for this fall semester, it also covered next spring semester, even though I will complete my degree plan and graduate this December.  So, the big debate was whether I should return in the spring for a couple of electives.  Well, as it turns out, I just couldn’t bear to leave free money on the table, so this week I have enrolled in two additional classes for next semester. 

The problem, of course, is that though this seems a perfectly logical solution, there is still a part of me—a pretty big part—that is really ready to be done with school.  Even though I’ve selected one course that seems really interesting to me and one that has an instructor who I think can make most any subject at least mildly interesting, I’m still a little worried I will not be able to focus and put forth my best effort, knowing that they are not necessary.

On the other hand, I have always been something of a nerd and enjoyed school, so I’m hoping that nerdiness can carry me through just six more months.  Plus, I selected courses that will not have the drudgery of daily class attendance, one entirely online and one that only meets for five Saturdays.  I think it will be a big relief not to have to rush from work to class every day and then drag myself home totally exhausted only to sit down in front of a computer and try to do homework.  (Not to mention write this blog; this is not the first night that I have drifted off while working on the laptop, only to awaken several hours later still needing to finish both schoolwork and my daily post. Though tonight I appear to have somehow changed the television channel in my sleep and awoke to PBS even though my local news was on when I first drifted off, but I digress.)  Anyway, I think a large part of my burnout this semester has to do with the fact that I have to be on campus for classes Monday-Thursday, and then every other Friday we have our paralegal club meetings, so I feel like I have no time to just breathe and get things done at a reasonable time and pace.  Not having to be on campus next semester should help with that.

But, burnout or not, the fact is that there are tons of things I want to learn, and I am always fascinated to be introduced to new facets of the law.  To not take advantage of the opportunity to learn more—with no further strain on our household budget—seemed unthinkable.  So, I will officially graduate in December then take a short break—including our celebratory cruise—and then I will be back in school, probably before I even receive my actual degree.  Oh, and sometime in January I will also be sitting for the paralegal certification exam.  So, it will be quite some time before I can fully be done with the text books and homework.  Let’s hear it for nerd power.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday, November 6


So, one decent week and then immediately followed by another slacker week.  Bah.  Work was crazy, multiple summary judgment responses to file and never enough time.  That’s the way things go, right?  On the other hand, I did manage to drop half a pound and I think about half an inch, so it’s not all bad.

In even better news, my sister’s test today didn’t find any problems, so that’s definitely good news.

And, I found out that my gym has a location here in town, so dropping by on the weekends will be much easier, so hopefully I can get myself there with more regularity.


















Myth vs. Reality


So, here it is, Tube Day Tuesday, but would you believe I don’t really have anything about TV to say today?  Unheard of, right? 

Actually, the BlogHer prompt for yesterday was to tell about your favorite character of all time, and I had toyed with the idea of tackling that one—as soon as I could figure out just who that would be.  But this evening I got a phone call that pretty much put television out of my head for the moment.

My sister is in the hospital, and has been since Sunday, though today is the first I heard about it.  Incidentally, I’ve always been a little suspicious of those storylines on doctor shows when people don’t tell their family they’re in the hospital because they don’t want to worry anyone.  I mean, who does that?  Well, apparently my sister.  Thankfully, she’s not too sick for me to tell her that her silence caused me to conjure up much worse possibilities than what’s actually going on.

Anyway, by today’s medical standards, what’s going on is fairly routine—lots of testing to try to identify a cause for some minor chest pain.  Sounds pretty scary, but, like I said, these days that sort of thing is pretty common place.  Which is probably why TV didn’t leave my head entirely.

As I sat there in her room visiting this evening, I couldn’t help compare medical reality with the doctor shows we see on television.  The first thing I thought about was the room itself.  She’s in the newer hospital in our town, only been open a few years, so it’s shiny and inviting and has patient rooms like you’d see on TV:  spacious, equipped with several visitor chairs and a DVD player, and doors with a window and a door knob.  (Well, not exactly a knob, more like a handle, but you get the idea.)  At our older hospital—and every other hospital I’ve ever been in—there are no windows to the hallway, and the doors don’t really latch, you just push them open or closed as the whim strikes you.  Actually, now that I think about it, a couple of years ago, Granny was in the ICU at our old hospital, and her room was fairly similar to the one my sister is in now; the door might have even latched, though I can’t say for certain.  Maybe eventually all the rooms will be remodeled to look like the new ones.  Then we’ll be all fancy-dancy like on the teevee.

And, just between you and me, I’ll tell you the one thing I always wonder about when I watch doctor shows and often when I’m actually in a hospital:  just how much “extra curricular” activity is actually going on between those folks? I mean, if you watch Grey’s Anatomy, or ER, or, you know, just about any soap opera, all those doctors and nurses and random others are involved in romantic relationships, and they seem to like to consummate those relationships frequently, and all over the hospital.  The on-call rooms at least make a little bit of sense, seeing as how it’s serving as a bedroom, though I wouldn’t think it would offer a whole lot of privacy.  But the supply closets and empty patient rooms-- and other places—I just don’t know.  Seems pretty unrealistic to me, even if the folks are spending 18-20 hours a day there.   Not to mention unsanitary.  Eww.  And, it really does make you wonder if windows on all the rooms are really the best ideas.

So, maybe next time you have to be at a hospital, just to take  your mind off of things for a while, you can sit and wonder about the medical staff providing your service, and just what they might be doing when they’re not poking and prodding at the patient.  I think you’ll be glad most of those exploits are saved for television.  Or maybe you’ll just be glad that you don’t have my obsession with television and all those things will never even cross your mind.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Healing My World


“If you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.”

               ~ Deepak Chopra

Like most people, I’ve been known to mutter things like, “I hate that!”, and I suppose maybe there are some things that I really do hate.  But I was brought up to believe that, unlike some things, all people are worthy of better things, and it is never okay to “hate” a person.  And for the past fifty years, it seems I’ve managed to heed that admonishment pretty well.  But it’s bothersome to me that after those fifty years of seeing the good in people and trying to understand why it is that they do what they do, my first real foray close into the feeling of hatred might be with a relative—and I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be that way.

It’s time for me to do some soul searching and remember what’s really important.  My mom was right about most everything she taught me growing up, so it seems reasonable she was right about this, too.  If so, then everyone—even those being the most hurtful and selfish—are worthy of at least our forgiveness.  I’m a long way from that right now, but I know that I don’t wan to be responsible in even the smallest way for contributing to the wounding of our world, so I will have to find a way to let go.  No doubt this is easier said than done, but perhaps saying it is the necessary first step to stop wounding and start healing.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fantasy Spending Spree


So, over at BlogHer, it’s NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month.  Really, I think they sort of celebrate this particular event every month there at BlogHer, but it’s a really big deal in November.  The reason I bring this up, is because during this celebration, they post a bunch of writing prompts to help get people through the month, and I was intrigued with the very first one:  If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?

That’s a fun thing to think about, isn’t it?  I mean, everyone can probably pretty easily rattle off how they’d spend a million bucks, but to do it in one day?  I like to spend money, but that’s a lot of dough to get rid of in, what—twelve hours, fifteen?  Of course, it could be easy enough if you decided to go big, something like a house.  Even around these parts, you could easily drop half that on a home in a matter of minutes, and with a little effort, you could probably find something you liked that would let you drop in all in one fell swoop.  But I think that’s not the way I would go.

I think I’d start with cars.  For myself, as much as I love my Hondas, I’ve always had a hankering for a Jag.  But I’ve never actually driven one, so it’s hard to say if I’d really like it once I had to live with it every day.  Still, I think that’s what I’d go for.  After all, if I hated it, I could sell it and buy myself a new Honda with the proceeds.  And for Brian, he could have that Corvette he’s always wanted.  I’d still make a trip to the Honda dealership, though, for new cars for my kid, and my sister and brother-in-law.  I might even pick one up for my nephew, though it will still be a while before he needs a car (barely over a year though; they grow up so fast).  I figure that ought to take me through a quarter of it, maybe even a little more.

After the cars, I’d probably spring for a whole new kitchen remodel.  Of course, it wouldn’t be completed before nightfall, but I feel quite certain I could pick out my appliances and flooring, as well as hire a contractor and work out a design with a pretty good idea of budget needs—it’s sort of amazing how quickly you could make decisions about things like that if you didn’t have to worry about cost. 

Next, I’d make some travel plans.  Again, I think as long as I spent the money, I’d be within the rules, even if I didn’t get the benefit of that spending just yet.  For sure, I’d book at least three trips:  Disney World and Australia, both including travel for me, Brian, and Billy, as well as Tanya and her family.  I’d also book one of those around the world type cruises for just me Brian and me.  I might also buy a few airline mile vouchers just to keep on hand for the next time I want to take a trip somewhere but no longer have my windfall bag of cash.  By this point, I figure I’m up to about five hundred thousand. 

No doubt there would be at least a few electronics purchased, too.  A giant, wall-sized television, couple of new computers decked out with the latest gadgetry, and definitely an iPad, which I’ve been wanting forever but just can’t justify.  And maybe new smart phones for the whole family, with the bill prepaid for a couple years or so.  In the grand scheme of a million dollars, though, these few things are just a drop in the bucket, though they would probably end up being the things I used the most out of my entire day of spree shopping. 

I’d like to make sure my son and nephew had school money for any education they’d like to pursue, but since higher education institutions don’t really have gift certificates, I’m not sure how that would work.  Do you suppose buying a CD would count as “spending” the money?  Well, it’s my game, and I’m saying that it would.  I figure if I set aside about a hundred grand for each of them, that ought to get them through most of a college degree, even if they picked some place sort of fancy. By now, I think I’m up in the neighborhood of seven fifty. 

Lastly, I’d make sure there were no immediate needs that any of us had—clothes, home repair, medical bills.  Surely there wouldn’t be more than fifty grand there, even if one of us had some sort of major home issue and we all decided we needed entirely new wardrobes. 

At this point, I think I have taken care of all the basic needs of my closest family, as well as some fun splurges, too, and I think I’ve still got about two hundred thousand left.  That would go to charitable contributions of some sort.  Maybe just a flat out donation to something like cancer research, or maybe buy a bunch of necessities for homeless people, or spread it around to different causes and agencies.  But I’d find someplace useful to direct the money. 

All in all, it would be a pretty busy day; it takes a lot of work to do all that running around and spend all those dollars.  But it would be the most fun day I’d had in a really long time!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Six Word Ceremony


Induction Fall 2013

Fall Induction.

Welcome new PTK members!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Feel Good Friday, November 1


It’s time for another Feel Good Friday.  These long and exhausting weeks really need to take a little break, but at least it makes these positive finds even that much better.

But even if it hadn’t been a horribly long week that left me yearning for any sort of good news, I’d still love these pictures tonight, because it reminds me that I’m justified in believing in the good in people, even when there are some who are making me want to doubt it.

Click the photo to get to the rest, and enjoy . . .

1. When some kids left this note to track down the owner of a forgotten skateboard that they could've easily stolen.

Wherever it Points


So, fifteen or sixteen hours ago, when I was driving to work, I had grand ideas of what to blog about today.  Alas and alack, the very long day has sucked all the creativity and chattiness right out of my head.

But, before my day began to drag into eternity, I heard a song on the radio this morning that really struck a chord with me, so I will share it with you tonight before I head off to bed (without even watching tonight’s episode of White Collar, I might add, so you know I’m dragging!). 

Anyway, the song might be a little too laid back to call an anthem, but I’d say it could at least serve as a perfectly solid theme song for being yourself.  In these days of anger and divisiveness and bullying, I like to see folks carrying the banner for the idea that it’s okay for people to just be themselves.  Now, if only we could get everyone to agree with that.