Thursday, July 31, 2014

Throwback Thursday, July 31


A while back, my brother-in-law posted on Facebook about a fun way to waste a few hours (like anyone needs help finding that online, right?)  Anyway, he shared a site called The Nostalgia Machine, which really will suck you right into some kind of time warp.  It’s a nice collection of popular music, organized by year, so you can take a trip back to your childhood, or street cruising days, or just last year to the song that kept you bopping during your morning commute. 

The site isn’t anything fancy, just a bunch of links to YouTube music, but that’s okay, because it’s still fun to just hop around and relive the sounds.  Though, I think it’s just one more indication of my advancing age that I know more of the songs the further back the years go.

Which brings us to today’s selection—a song from the year of my birth.  I’ve always liked this song, though it certainly has a bit of melancholy to go along with its mildly peppy chorus.  (And, if the rumors are true, and it’s really a disguised drug anthem, well, I was far too young to recognize the possibility when I first grew to love the song, and now I just refuse to accept it.)

Enjoy this song, then pop on over to the site, and enjoy a whole bunch more.  Go on; it’s fun.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, July 30


Wasn’t a very active week, as you can tell by the numbers.  My planking has gotten haphazard, and even on the nights I do it, I’m struggling to hold it for longer than 45 seconds.  Clearly two minutes will not happen by the end of this month, but perhaps by the end of August.

But I am still shrinking, though slowly.  .3 pound lost this past week and down a total of 3.4 inches.  I’ll take (or give, however you want to look at it) slow, as long as it keeps on keeping on, because that’s what I’m doing. 

Off to bed now so that I can break this nasty habit of sleeping the first few hours on my couch!













30 minute treadmill



36 minutes treadmill






Talent Show


You know how I can tell when I need a television break?  It’s when nothing holds my attention, even the shows that are really good and that I really enjoy.  And do you know how I can tell I’ve reached it today?  I’m watching America’s Got Talent.  Nothing specifically against that show in particular, I’m just not a fan of those types of shows in general.  But Brian’s been watching it this season, and I’ll admit there are a few acts I feel connected with that I’d really like to see advance, so when I found myself sort of dazed this evening, and unfocused on anything, turning on the show seemed the easiest thing to do.

But, though I’m not really a fan of the show, I will say that Howie Mandel is generally a pretty entertaining guy, and—amazingly—even Howard Stern makes a decent judge.  So, all in all, it can be a harmless way to pass a couple of hours when you don’t want to put a lot of effort into your television viewing, and I suppose that’s not the worst thing you can say about a program. 

Monday, July 28, 2014



Maybe we’re finally getting closer to having a national law allowing medical marijuana.  Thank goodness. 

Not that I’m a pothead or anything, you know, just that I think our society has a whole bunch more important things to focus on than prosecuting—and persecuting—folks self-medicating with a little weed.  And, honestly, I’d be okay with recreational legalization, too, because I just haven’t yet found anything that convinces me that marijuana is significantly worse than the country’s drug of choice, alcohol. 

But let’s take the recreational aspect out of it for a minute.  Seriously, what can be the harm of medicinal access?  Our pharmacies shell out far more dangerous substances every hour of every day under the banner of “medicine”, so surely there can’t really be that much of a health risk.  And gateway drugs and all?  Honestly, I’m not sure I entirely buy it.  But with legalization will also come more regulation, and undoubtedly more availability of help for anyone who finds themselves addicted to any drug, which means eventually, we might actually reduce the numbers of users.  Maybe.

But really, I think all you have to do is think about all the people who actually stand to benefit from this change.  Who are we—any of us—to tell the sick and/or dying that they aren’t allowed access to a treatment that could end their suffering?  Can we really be so wrapped up in the terrible things that might happen that we ignore the great things that we know will happen?  An end to even one person’s suffering has to be worth the risks in legalizing.  That’s what I’d think if it was my mom, or grandmother, or son who needed access to this treatment, and it’s still what I think if it’s your loved one. This is an easy choice; I’m hoping we’re ready to make the right one.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Choosing a Path


I know I mentioned a week or so ago that I’ve become an independent ambassador for Plexus products, and that I did that so that I could save some money on my monthly product purchase.  I really had no intention of trying to sell the product, for a variety of reasons.  But in the past few days, I find myself wondering if maybe that’s the wrong decision.

Like a good many people, I have an inherent skepticism when it comes to any sort of network marketing plan, even when I personally believe in the product.  But, I’ve seen so many people—people I actually know, not random strangers—who have benefitted both physically and financially from Plexus, and I find myself wondering if I should just take a deep breath and jump in.

On the other hand, MLM concerns aside, I also know that I’ve been dissatisfied at work lately, and have been hoping and praying for an alternative.  Sure, this could be an answer to a prayer, or it could just be me desperately grasping at straws.  I have never been a fan of running away from something rather than running to something; it just seems to me that is simply asking for trouble.   Of course, I wouldn’t be looking to just up and abandon an actual paycheck to chase potential income, but if I could generate a little extra cash every month, I think that might take a lot of stress out of the actual job situation, if I didn’t feel like leaving was absolutely out of the question. 

It’s just a lot to consider, especially when we’re seriously looking at a five year retirement plan, so this is not a spectacular time to be making a lot of changes in our financial situation.  So I know it won’t be a decision to be entered into easily, whether I pursue the opportunity or leave it behind.  I only hope that I won’t regret whichever choice I make.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Flying Pickle


The jury may still be out on my writing abilities—I rate the merits higher or lower depending upon the day.  However, one look at this, and you’ll see there’s no doubt that painting is not my forte.
















But, we had a good time, and raised a little money for a good cause.  And regardless of the reason, or the end result, a girls’ afternoon is always a reason to celebrate.


Feel Good Friday, July 25


At the end of a very long and stressful week, I know I need just a minute of feel good.  If you do, too, take a minute to watch this video.

Not only do I love the message, but I especially love that it’s trying to get kids to spread the message.  I’ve reached the point in my life that I’ve begun to believe that it may be too late for many of the “adult” generation to learn the simple truth that we are all—every single creature on this planet—dependent upon each other for survival, and we should be coming together to find ways to share this world and celebrate the differences that make the world exciting.  Instead, we focus on those differences as a bad thing, and we’re slowly tearing our world apart, through both hatred and a scramble to be the first to claim and control some of the limited natural resources we have  at our disposal. 

And if it’s too late for the adults to recognize these things and try to do something positive in the world, then I worry about who’s going to teach the next generation how wrong this approach is, and I despair that we’ll find ourselves on a never-ending downward path.   So, when there’s an initiative that wants to use children to share a positive message about the inter-connectedness of the planet, I’m all for it. 

By the way, if you want to get your own young people—whether they’re your kids, students, church group, whatever—drop by the We Are All Connected site, and learn how to make your own video.  Who knows, maybe even some of the not-so-young people will prove that it’s not too late, and want to get involved, too.  Let’s follow the lead of the kids.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Old Woman in the Making


Oops. I hate when I open up my computer and find last night’s post never published.  I’d say the change in me is that I’m getting old and forgetful, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been forgetful for longer than I’ve been old!  Oh, well, better late than never, right?

I visited the imagination prompt again today, and it suggested I write about how I’ve changed recently, so I’m giving that some thought.

First, as I’ve discussed, I’ve got some physiological changes going on that have also reached out to create some changes mentally and emotionally, but I’m not sure that’s what the prompt was talking about.  And, I’m hoping those changes are temporary!

And, while I think I’ve gained some wisdom and compassion over the years, I like to believe that’s mostly been an increase in characteristics I already possessed. 

But one thing I do notice has changed as I’ve gotten older—and not for the better—is my patience level.  I find that with each passing year, I become more easily aggravated with any number of things.  So far, my behavior hasn’t changed much in relation to my increased aggravation/impatience, so I find that that I’m a little more stressed from having that increased aggravation inside, which is kind of a bummer. 

Anyway, I know that I don’t want to become some sort of cranky old woman as the years go by, so I guess I’m going to have to really start paying attention to this now, and trying to figure out how to regain some of my earlier abilities to simply let things slide.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, July 23


Well, the scale and the tape measure are still moving in the right direction.  Down about a pound and a half and another inch.  Not to be too totally gross (and TMI), but pretty soon I’ll have lost a full belly roll!

I’ve fallen a little behind on my planking, at least from the standpoint of staying daily, but I’m still on track for duration.  Right on schedule with a minute, 15 seconds yesterday, so I’m hoping I can tack on the extra five seconds tonight.  The goal is to be able to hold a two minute plank by the end of the month, but that is only one week away, and I have to say that it’s still feeling way out of reach.  But I’ll never know if I don’t try, so try I will. 

I also need to put a big focus on the whole emotional eating problem.  My work has been a huge stressor lately—to the point that I think it’s about time to dust off the resume—but that’s been sending me home the last couple of nights heading straight to the fridge.  I really have got to do something about that, and more quickly than finding a new job.





60 second plank



62 second plank






36 minutes treadmill



44 minutes treadmill, 30 second plank



45 second plank



75 second plank

Farewell, James Garner



 This past weekend, the acting community lost another great one. 

  James Garner played a variety of roles during his career—moving easily from television to film and back again as time rolled along—but this picture shows him in my favorite role, that of Jim Rockford.  That cheeky grin and his sardonic attitude entertained me for a long time.

  At some point during my childhood, spurred on by my enjoyment of the Rockford Files, I started watching Maverick reruns, and found yet another reason to enjoy Garner’s work. 

Like many people, I was drawn in by Garner’s easy charm.  He wasn’t your typical leading man, smooth and polished, but he definitely still had rugged good looks and that elusive “star quality”.  For myself, it probably didn’t hurt that I always thought he looked a lot like my daddy.  I mean, not “looked like” in the sense that people confused my dad for Garner or anything, just that they shared a similar stature and had that same sort of outdoorsy, man’s man type of a persona.

And, to top it all off, he’s from my home town.  Garner hailed from my very own Norman, OK, and like most people, I really enjoy seeing a hometown boy make good, even if that good got made long before I was alive.  It’s like sharing a little something with a stranger you’ll never meet, and it’s kind of cool.  A few years ago, the town put up a statue honoring Garner and his iconic Maverick character; since his passing, its turned into something of a shrine. 


It’s a nice tribute to the man, a way of showing that his hometown still loves him, that we’re grateful for what he gave us, and that his talent will be missed.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Can't Trust That Day

It's Monday. Monday, and all that that implies. Really, I don't think there's much more to say than that.

Oh, except that I'm already counting the hours until Friday. Because I already need another weekend. Only 91.5 to go, just in case you're wondering.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 20, 2014

One Small Step



    Forty-five years ago, almost to this very minute, Neil Armstrong was taking a step that would leave its footprint in history.

   I was five years old at the time, and to this day, I don’t know if I have any actual memories of the moon walk, or only those that I have acquired in the intervening years and claimed as my own.  Not that it really matters.  Sure, I’d love to be able to answer a “where were you when” question about this spectacular moment, but it’s enough to even have those hazy feelings of wonder and pride that float around in my brain.

And even those fuzzy memories aren’t necessary for me to still be in awe of the idea that there have actually been men on the moon. Men from Earth, on the moon.  What’s not awesome about that? 

And it’s still awesome, forty-five years later, to contemplate what is possible when people work together toward a common goal.  I think that’s important, maybe now more than ever.  When you think about what we achieved decades ago, with information and technology that’s practically ancient compared to today, it’s exciting to think what we could accomplish now, if only we would pull together just a little bit, and take a few more steps.



Grown Up


You know, you’d think, that after living half a century, I’d feel more grown up and ready to take on the world.  But today, my husband (who’s older still) and I were discussing the challenges of changing jobs—leaving behind the comfort zone of a place where you know exactly how things work, trying to figure out the interpersonal relationship puzzle in a new office, etc.  It’s the sort of situation that makes a person feel completely out of control.  Not very “grown up” at all.

Another case in point: as we really start to focus on a retirement plan that gets us out of the rat race in another five years, I realize that I’m woefully lacking in a solid understanding of financial matters.  When you work and pay bills for a few decades, it’s easy to think you understand money, but the truth is, I am easily overwhelmed by stocks, bonds, 401K plans, insurance, and all the other tools that go into managing a life-long portfolio.

And, retirement in general is just a little bit terrifying—even with planning, how do you know it’s really the right time to give up steady employment that’s sustained you for your entire life?  Honestly, I don’t know, but here’s hoping that I grow up quickly enough to figure it out. 


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Facebook Friday, July 18


Just yesterday, I was despairing the state of the world. 

Today, the local child who was the subject of the amber alert last night has already been found safely, and, a friend on Facebook shred the most amazing video. Faith in humanity: restored.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Where’s the Good News?


I’m hiding from the news today, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  With crazy fighting in the Middle East (even more than normal), and an airplane apparently shot down from the sky, there’s nothing uplifting to be found there today.  As I scroll through my Facebook feed and see post after post filled with dismay and anger, along with arguments and theories, and even some justifications, I find myself hoping that future generations are not looking back at these days to explain the start of WWIII. 

At home, there’s been an amber alert issued for a five month old child, who’s believed to be with a mentally ill person who has recently reported visions of seeing the little girl die in two days.

So, yeah, I’m hiding from the news today, and praying the world finds some peace.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, July 16


Another pound down this week, and a total of two inches all over.  Yay!

I spoke with my doctor, and the test results confirm I am definitely menopausal, though that certainly wasn’t a surprise.  Because of problems with blood clotting, typical hormone replacement is not an option for me.  Apparently the patch version has lesser risk, but still more of a risk than I’m willing to take.  Doc also offered the idea that sometimes antidepressants are used to help with symptoms in those who can’t take the HRT, but after giving it some thought and talking it over with Brian, that was another step I didn’t want to take, even though I really wanted to get rid of my symptoms.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, but for several months—like since around the first of the year—I’ve been taking a product called Plexus Slim.  I started taking it hoping it would help me lose weight as it seemed to have done for so many others, but it didn’t have that effect for me.  Other good results—better sleeping, more regularity—kept me drinking the Slim. 

Just about ten days ago, I added a probiotic and cleanse product from Plexus to the mix, and I’m attributing the recent weight (and inch) loss to that more than anything.    Not in a drastic, out of control way, but in a way that just seems to be slowly making me feel better and allowing some of my eating and fitness choices to start to be productive.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I will say that I recently became an ambassador for Plexus products, but primarily so that I could save a little money buying my own stuff, not because I want to share it with the world.  (Though maybe some day I will, so if you want to know more about the stuff, drop by my site!)  But, seriously, I don’t share these results in an effort to push something on anyone, only to say that this is the next step I’ve taken in my fitness journey, and it seems to be helping me out.  Getting myself into better shape really has been more difficult at this stage of life, and I’m glad to have found something that I can use as another tool toward my goals.

And, I’ve stayed on target with the Facebook group I’m in this month for steps and daily plank, so that has helped, too. (Except I haven’t done my plank yet for today, and I’m feeling strongly that I may have to do two tomorrow to make up for going to bed without getting it done tonight.)  The next thing I really need to tackle is finding a way to make it to the gym at least once during the week, but lately work has been a drain, and I just haven’t had the enthusiasm for it after I leave the office—particularly as the gym seems about a million degrees hotter in the afternoon than it does in the morning, and I’m having enough trouble regulating my body temperature lately without feeling like my workout is going to send me into some sort of heat stroke!

But, as always, this remains an ongoing journey, and I’ll just keep taking it one day at a time until I get to where I want to be.





37 second plank



40 second plank



41 second plank



34 minutes treadmill, 45 second plank



36 minutes treadmill, 20 second plank



50 second plank



60 second plank

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Say Hello to the World, Again


How about a quick stroll through Tube Day Tuesday this evening?  Really quick, though, because it’s been insinuated that I might have to give up my grown-up card if I speak too loudly about enjoying this particular program.

And what kind of a program might bring such shaming?  One of the latest offerings on the Disney Channel, Girl Meets World.  It’s only aired two episodes to date, and I can certainly admit that it skews pretty young, and there are some definite over-the-top characterizations.  But, its predecessor, Boy Meets World, started out pretty young, too.  And even though it aired during the 90s—otherwise known as the decade of my 30s—I really enjoyed watching it grow up.

Following the story of young Cory Matthews and his friends, it was definitely a “family” show—meaning that it was truly geared toward the younger members of the family—but it was funny, endearing, touching, and very often, real.  I liked Cory and his gang, and I liked seeing them grow up together, particularly Cory and his girlfriend, Topanga.  They had the sort of honest and committed relationship that many adults can’t manage, much less high school kids (or younger).

But Boy went off the air back in 2000, having seen the kids live and love, laugh and cry, and ultimately grow up, move from grade school all the way to college, get married, and move away to start their adult lives.  The show really did mature as it moved along, tackling some tougher subjects and letting the characters be real people, even as it stayed primarily a light-hearted comedy.  It seems I’m not the only one who misses it.

Now, more than ten years later, the new show picks up with Cory and Topanga still happily married and raising a family of their own.  The focus this time around is their daughter, Riley, and her best friend, Maya.  As in Boy, the Matthews child is the more grounded of the two, with the best friend around to pull Riley out of her comfort zone and into trouble.  But it’s all in good fun. 

As I mentioned, I think the first couple of episodes are not indicative of where I hope the show ends up.  It’s been a little uneven, and sometimes it feels forced—both the laughs and the emotions.  But I’m pretty sure if I went back and watched the first few episodes of Cory and Co., I’d find pretty much the same sort of thing, and look how well that turned out.

So, even if it is a Disney show that people poke fun of me for watching, and even if it does seem a little too cutesy and childish right now, I’m still going to keep watching.  Maybe it will grow up as well as its parent show, and maybe it won’t, but either way, I think there are worse things than to try to create a show that focuses on the importance of having family and friends around as you learn to navigate the world around you.  Regardless of age, we should all be so lucky. 

Outside the Inbox


I just emptied out my spam folder.  I’ll admit, it’s been a while since I’ve done that, since I’m generally content to just let the email wizards figure out what is and isn’t worth delivering to my inbox.   Maybe I should peek in there more often, though.  Because apparently there are an awful lot of people who want to say hello to me, offer me amazing investment opportunities, and declare their deep love for me—or at least make a night in bed feel like love.  Who knew you could get such an ego boost from your email?  I’m going to hang out there more often.

Seriously, though, I’ll admit to being puzzled by spam.  Not annoyed, mind you—I’ve never been one of those people who will rant and rave about spam, but then, I also don’t mind the junk mail that comes to my home (except for the number of trees it kills), and I often don’t even complain too much about telemarketers.  I figure everyone’s just trying to make a living.  But spam puzzles me because I can’t understand how there’s any profit in it for anybody.  I mean, if my own practice is anything to judge by, somewhere around 99.99999% of the mail in a spam folder is deleted before anyone ever takes a look.

But, even if you couldn’t resist a subject line and opened up the message, who clicks suspicious links that might infect your entire computer or allow someone to steal all your private information? Or, even if it’s not some sort of malware lurking in the link, who buys random stuff off the internet from a sketchy ad in your spam folder?  But, obviously, somebody does, or these spammers would quit flooding my mailbox, hoping that I’m the one who helps them strike it rich today. 

But, it’s not going to be me.  I might be close to the ultimate consumer, drawn in by all sorts of ads, and easily intrigued by a good deal, but even I don’t shop in the spam folder, no matter how much they might try to boost my ego.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

And Now, a Word from the Germans


I’ve never been fond of the idea of a mid-life crisis; it seems a little pretentious, don’t you think?  Trying to hang on to a youth that’s passed you by, making yourself seem to be something you are not, mourning a loss of something that may never have really existed to begin with.  It just all seems a little over the top and unnecessary to me.  Not to mention that it sounds overwhelmingly terrifying.  I mean, it’s got the word crisis right in the name.

Having said all that, though, I have to confess that I feel I may be falling into one.  Or maybe not, I don’t know.  I do know that these menopause symptoms, coupled with other niggling health issues, are making me a little crazy.  I know that I feel a kind of constant melancholy that is not normal for me.  I feel that I should re-examine my career choices and wonder if I’m doing the thing that I’m meant to be doing.  I wonder if there is still time to repair the rather distant relationship that exists between my son and I.  I wonder if I’ve done enough good in my lifetime.  Really, I wonder an awful lot of things, and mostly my wonderings reach no definitive answer.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately perusing the pages of webmd, the Mayo clinic, and other medical sites reassuring myself that the things I’m feeling are normal, and I’m not really slipping into some sort of break from reality, but knowing that I’m not alone in these feelings hasn’t really been all that comforting.  And, knowing that these feelings are likely not permanent hasn’t been much of a relief, either, because it seems I’ve still got quite a ways to go before my symptoms are likely to diminish.

So why talk about it if there’s nothing much to do except muddle through?  I don’t know.  Maybe if I can still reason it out, that makes it seem like a bit less of a “crisis”.  Or maybe just as a way to let some of it out safely, because actually talking about all of it out loud to someone might make me sound even crazier than I feel.  Or maybe just because that’s what I do here—talk about things that are on my mind, and this is front and center today.

But I still don’t like the idea of a mid-life crisis.  I was watching a rerun of Big Bang Theory today, and Sheldon was talking about a German word for a feeling of depression that comes from comparing how life is to how you imagine it should be.  He called it “weltschmerz”, and I think that’s the root of most folks’ mid-life crisis: that life just hasn’t developed exactly as we thought that it would and we’re running out of time to change it. 

But, whether it is or isn’t the true underlying cause, at least it doesn’t sound quite as alarming as a mid-life crisis.  Yeah, no crisis for me if I can help it.  In fact, I believe I shall begin calling my situation “age-induced temporary weltschmerz”.   Thanks, Sheldon.

Six Word Wish


The weekend should last until Tuesday.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Facebook Friday, July 11


Like a lot of people, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook.  I love that it helps me stay in touch with people that I would otherwise lose track of, and love that it entertains me.  All while hating the drama that is so common and certainly the way that it can be the most enormous time suck ever. 

However, a big plus on the “love” side is the way it shows me things that I might never have known existed and gives me new things to dream about.  Most recently, I’ve learned that I really need to add the Maldives to my travel bucket list, because there seems to be an island resort there called Kandolhu that I really need to see.  Who knew you could stay in a hotel room that looked like this?


And, apparently this particular villa will only set you back about a thousand bucks a night.  And that’s after I spend roughly $2500 bucks per person on a flight to get there.  This one might have to stay in my bucket for a while.

Come to think of it, this entry might have to go onto the “hate” column. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

And Still It Goes


On this date, way back in 1925, a trial began that would come to be known as the Scopes Monkey Trial.  A science teacher, John Scopes, was on trial for the absurd and unreasonable action of teaching science—in this case, evolution—to high school students. 

In the week that followed, what should have been an ordered and judicious event turned into a circus, segments of society were divided on opposite sides of a religious line in the sand, and reasoned debate was abandoned for hyperbole and theatrics.

It’s kind of hard to believe that argument took place 89 years ago, isn’t it?  I mean, it could’ve been yesterday.  And at the rate we’re going, it will be tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday, July 9


So, I’m down about a pound and a half this week, which is good, considering I haven’t made it to the gym since Sunday.  I joined a Facebook challenge page this month which has very reasonable step goals (even for the days I end up stuck on my butt behind a desk most of the day), as well as a progressive plank goal.  The idea is to be able to hold a two minute plank by the end of the month, though I’ll admit that seems a little bit out of reach at the moment.  Still, a week ago, 40 seconds seemed a pretty long way off, too.  I just have to keep reminding myself of those sorts of things and keep moving on to next week.





20 second plank



20 second plank



31 minutes treadmill, 25 second plank



37 minutes treadmill, 25 second plank



42 minutes treadmill



31 second plank



40 second plank

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Million Dollar Question


You might not know it, but I’m a sucker for websites that will give me short little topic prompts in hopes of finding something that strikes my fancy enough to actually want to write about it.  One such site is Creativity Portal, and I like their prompt generator.  Today, it gave me an option I really liked:  If you were to donate a million dollars to a charity, who would it be and why?

I thought that was an interesting question, not so much because of the question itself, but because it made me actually think for a second.  When I think about winning the lottery or somehow coming into many millions of dollars, I always think about donating money to those who need it, and I always put the American Cancer Society on my list.  But when that thought popped into my head this evening, I paused for just a second.

Don’t get me wrong, if I ever have tons of money to give away, the ACS is going to get some of it for sure.  I lost my mom to that awful disease, but even though that pain follows me year after year, I know my own loss is multiplied by far too many others who feel that pain every single day.  At some point, that has to stop.

But, the prompt made me think about what I would do with the million dollars I would give to “a” charity, not how I might spread it around (which is what I’d really do), and I had the idea that a million bucks might not go all that far in the fight against cancer. 

But, then I thought of another organization that I think does much needed work: the Make a Wish Foundation.  I’m sure you’re familiar with them, but they’re the folks that grant wishes to sick children.  I love the idea that these kids and families get a chance to just be happy for a while.  These are the people who deal with the details of illness and potential death every minute of every day, and I can only imagine the strain that puts on everyone involved.  But whether the child wants a trip somewhere or a video game or to meet a favorite sports star, Make a Wish tries to make it happen, and I think it’s important that those families have a chance to forget about the illness for just a while.  Kids should get to be kids, even if—or maybe especially if—they’re fighting for their life.

Anyway, my understanding is that most of the wishes granted cost less than $10,000, so that means at least a hundred families could be helped with my million dollars.  I’m not sure I could get the same impact through the Cancer Society, so I think my donation would have to go to Make a Wish.

What about you?  Any particular organization on whom you’d want to bestow such a gift?

Like This Post, Or Else


I’m feeling the need to rant just for a minute.  Maybe this is even a rant I’ve shared here before—I’ve certainly shared it a few times IRL, and on Facebook—so apologies if this seems like a rerun.

Anyway, as I frequently do, I was simply scrolling through my Facebook feed, trying to see if anything new was going on with my friends. Now, first, let me be honest:  while I am most interested in the actual life stuff of the close family and friends that populate my friend list, I am certainly not above being entertained by random personality quizzes, uplifting videos, or even lolcats.  I figure that sort of mindless entertainment is a large part of what social media is for.  But, it’s a place where people share all sorts of things, and, as you might expect, I don’t care for all of it. 

And what has caused my rant today?  Nothing out of the ordinary, unfortunately.

7.7.14 Facebook Threat

This is what I saw today during my mindless strolling.  Essentially, it’s an old-fashioned chain letter, modernized to Facebook, promising good will come for those joining in, and threatening something horrible for those who choose not to participate. 

I have to say that all versions of these sorts of things rub me the wrong way, but certainly those pertaining to prayer/faith/God.  First, there is the issue that I’m a fairly private person about my faith;  you won’t see me posting scriptures or trying to save the wicked in my Facebook posts.  I have plenty of friends who do that sort of thing, and that’s fine by me, though I’ll admit I scroll on past an awful lot of the “preaching”.  But second, and more important, my bigger concern is that I simply can’t buy in to a God that is so angry and shallow that if someone doesn’t recite a prayer and share a picture, he’s going to rain down some sort of retribution upon them. I don’t—can’t—believe in in that.

So, if these are the kinds of things you are sharing with your friends, please don’t interpret my “ignore” as the behavior of some sort of Godless heathen; really it’s just the opposite.  It’s just that I’m saving my prayers for a time and place having nothing to do with the number of likes.

Thanks for listening to the rant.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Working Woes


I’m conflicted.  A couple of years ago, I was unemployed and just beginning to toy with the idea of returning to school.  Then I buckled down, learned a new trade, and got myself a new job, because that’s what we’re supposed to do, right?  I mean, I do want to contribute to our household, and to society if I can.  Especially now, when hubby and I are making serious plans about retirement in the not-so-distant future and the work it’s going to take to get to that day.

On the other hand, I can’t deny that I enjoyed that summer with no job.  Once I moved past the depression of having lost my job, I mean.  But, really, I could work out every day, any time I wanted.  I could write, read, watch TV, go for a walk.  Brian and I got to have dinner together every night, something that pretty much only happens on the weekends these days.  Honestly, though I’m grateful to be working, there is a lot to be said for unemployment.  If only I could figure out some way to pay my bills!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Twenty Eight Years and Counting




Like most little girls (or maybe just most girls), I had an dream of how married life would be and exactly what the “perfect husband” would be.  And, like many dreams, it turned out to be a lot different from reality.

But part of growing up is realizing that even though reality might not have a lot of similarities to dreams, it can still be just as good.  For instance, in my dreams, I wouldn’t have imagined an anniversary celebration consisting of lazing around, having a nice, leisurely lunch just talking to each other, and trying to map out the beginnings of a retirement strategy.  And if I had imagined it, I think I might’ve thought it was more nightmare than dream.  But you know what?  I would’ve been wrong.

After spending close to three decades living with someone day after day—and all of the challenges that come with that—there’s a feeling of contentment and belonging that comes from still enjoying a day just hanging out together, and a feeling of safety that comes from realizing that both of you still think it’s going to last for the rest of your lives.  If that’s not the stuff that dreams are made of, I’m not sure what is.



Fireworks 2014

Yes, I know that just yesterday I was a little annoyed with some recent goings on, but that doesn’t mean I’d want to trade the good ol’ US of A for anything at all.   So , today I spent the day doing the things I am most  grateful for, mainly, hanging out with family, talking, laughing, and having a variety of good food.   And, in my annual quest to get decent pictures of fireworks, I finally got a few that I was happy with, including the one above.  Nice way to end the evening.

So, happy birthday, America; let’s plan another party next year!

Friday, July 4, 2014

A Question of Patriotism


Do I lose points, especially this time of year, if I admit that I don’t really consider myself overly patriotic?  I mean, of course I love my country, and there’s truly no place that I would rather live.  I think we’ve done a lot of things right over the years, and I’ll light a sparkler or two tomorrow night in celebration.  But I don’t fly a flag outside my house, I’m glad my son never wanted to join the military so I never had to worry I’d lose him to some crazy war, and for all the things we’ve done right, I still think there are an awful lot of things we have done—and continue to do—wrong.  Does that make me unpatriotic?  Maybe.  So while I’m making the confession, let me just pile on one other thing:  the Supreme Court is really pissing me off lately.

As I have mentioned in the past, I’m not only potentially unpatriotic, but I’m definitely mostly non-political.  But still . . . To my very core, I reject the idea that organizations can be granted personhood in any way, so the idea they can be allowed to exercise religious freedom is truly unfathomable to me.  And I say this as an Oklahoma (almost) native, so it’s almost impossible for me to escape the arguments in support of Hobby Lobby being allowed to opt out of the full requirements of “Obamacare” on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs.  I’ve heard them all.  But you are never going to convince me that an employer’s religious beliefs should trump an employee’s right to health care coverage that’s right for her.  (Or him, though in this particular case, it’s really only the “hers” that are getting the short end of the stick.")

And, listen, when it comes down to the particulars, I get that Hobby Lobby is really only objecting to less than a handful of contraceptive techniques.  And I really don’t even doubt the religious beliefs of the owners are sincerely held.  I just think the owners should confer with their health care providers and discuss available options before continuing forward with any necessary treatment for themselves, and I think that they shouldn’t exclude treatment from others because of their own religious views.  And, don’t kid yourself, it really doesn’t matter that the Court tried to “protect” women by saying that they could pursue other options for getting these particular treatments, even if the government has to pick up the tab.  First of all, maybe my religious beliefs prohibit that sort of thing.  Secondly, people without insurance forgo important medical treatment regularly, even if they might have some sort of “free” treatment option, just because they don’t want to ask for help.   There is no doubt in my mind that this ruling will prevent at least some women from receiving needed medical treatment, and I think that’s a shame. 

As far as I’m concerned, it boils down to this:  companies are not people, and I don’t believe they should have equal rights to people, much less superior rights.  And I can’t believe that our founding fathers ever intended that a business entity should be viewed as a citizen with full rights and privileges.  I could probably go on, but I’m not really here to try and convince anyone, just venting a little bit about a recent mistake by this great nation.  And, now that I think about it, maybe caring enough to be upset when I see us stumble, but still believing that there is nowhere greater to call home, makes me absolutely patriotic.  I’ll be thinking about that tomorrow when I light my sparkler.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wellness Wednesday, July 2


You can tell I’m out of practice with this blogging thing; I was actually on my way to bed when I remembered I hadn’t posted yet today.  So, the snoozing will have to wait for just a little bit longer.

Back when I was posting regularly, this day of the week was reserved for either Weight Loss or Wellness Wednesday, mostly depending on whether or not I felt like I was making the progress I needed to make.  But, the truth is, I’ve lost and found the same five or six pounds for months now, so I have to say that, no, I’m not really making a bunch of progress.

But I’ve got an overall health issue at the moment that is undoubtedly contributing to a whole bunch of things, including the tenacity with which those five pounds—and so many others—are hanging on.  And, I’ll apologize in advance if this falls into the category of TMI, but the truth is, I am a woman of a certain age, and it seems that this is the time for my body to “change”, as they say.

Like most women, I’ve heard stories, and this phase of life has not been something to look forward to.  Especially since I was old enough to remember my mother having a hysterectomy, which caused her—and the rest of us—some unpleasant days.

<Small foray: I’m so out of practice with this blogging thing, I just fell asleep here on the couch.  I must’ve been more tired than I realized. Let me try this again.>

So, anyway, while I may not have (yet?) been turned into a total crank-fest due to these changing hormones, I do struggle with other emotions, particularly finding that I am on the verge of tears often, and anxious pretty much all the time. 

And hot?  Oh my goodness.  For someone who’s spent most of her life being cold, this being hot thing is taking some getting used to.  I’ll admit, there have been some times when I sort of enjoyed it, like when I no longer have to bundle up just to sit in a theater for a couple of hours, but for the most part, it’s been incredibly annoying.  Plus, my electric bill has probably increased by about 25% just trying to keep myself comfortable!

But, the point of bringing this up here on Wellness Wednesday is not just to rattle off a list of menopausal symptoms (and this is really only a partial list!), but to say that while these changes have to be recognized and accepted as a natural part of aging for women, they don’t have to be the end of any sort of fitness quest.  The pounds may be a little more stubborn these days, but I’ve lost a few inches, and it’s nice to have a little extra breathing room in my jeans.  I still try to hit the gym three times a week, though I’ve mostly had to give up on wearing the rubberized clothing designed to generate additional heat during a workout, since nature has got that covered for me these days.  And I’m still trying to make better choices about calorie intake, along with making sure I get at least 100 ounces of water daily.  I’m convinced that these things are probably making this change of life less of a challenge than it might otherwise have been, and I think that’s a good thing.

Of course, as I would encourage anyone to do, I have visited with my doctor about any possible options for some relief from some of the symptoms that are truly impacting the quality of life, though other health concerns have limited those options for me.  I’ll be scouting around for other options that might exist to make myself feel better on a daily basis, and I’ll keep trying to do the things that I can do, too.  And for the other women out there dealing with this change, or dreading dealing with it in years to come, I’ll just say to hang in there.  I’ve still got a long ways to go before I come out the other side, but I know that I’ll get there, and if I can make it through, I’m pretty sure anyone can.  And as for losing the weight?  Don’t count me out yet!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I’m Ba-a-a-ck!


Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to July! It’s been a long time since I’ve been here, and if you’re still here checking in from time to time, thank you.  And if you’re new here, thank you, too!  I was actually going to take a peek and see what date I posted my last entry, but I don’t think I really want to be depressed right now.

I’m dropping back in now because I’ve missed being here, and also because today marks the beginning of the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  I’ve done this particular challenge a time or two in the past and I’ve usually had fun, so I thought I’d give it another try.

The new month also marks the beginning of another photo prompt list from Fat Mum Slim, so I thought I’d see if I could get back to that, too.  Lots of fun to look forward too.

But it’s also kind of terrifying.  It really has been a while since I’ve blogged regularly, and even longer since I did much with photographs beyond taking a snapshot with my phone.  But I guess that’s what these challenges are all about, bringing people outside their comfort zone just a little bit, so I’m going to go ahead and jump in.  After all, what is there to lose?  A little face, maybe?

Maybe, but I might as well give it a shot.  So do drop back in here from time to time, where I’ll be chatting about whatever crosses my mind on any given day, and sharing my challenge photos, too.  If you’re interested in reading more about the July challenges, you can find the details here and here.  Read all about the fun, and maybe even join in—like the very best games, they’re more fun when lots of people play along.  In the meantime, happy blogging and snapping to you all, and mostly just happy July!