Sunday, December 30, 2012

Toot your own horn!!!

Thanks to Karen Salmansohn for this FANTASTIC thought!

"What makes you special is not a form of egotism; it's SOUL-ITISM. It's valuing what your soul is here to be and do."

For many years -- okay, most of my life -- I've been eternally soul-searching. There are days I feel I'm no closer to figuring out why I am here, what my "special purpose" is.... then there are days I think I'm on the verge of making that discovery and I need just one more piece to make it click into place and the light to come on and TADAAAA! angels will sing and harps will ... um, make that harp-y noise .... and you know. All that.

Or it may be that I've held that treasure in my hand the entire time and never recognized it as such.

What is it that makes me who I am?

I am an introvert, and I love to think. I love to ponder. I'm not sure that I ever get any closer to solving the world's problems, or even my own sometimes, but I get a lot of insight that helps me grow and do more.

I am an optimist at heart. I act rather cynical and sarcastic sometimes because I realize life shows us its ugly sides too many times. Yet I truly believe that most people are good, in their very essence, in the core of their being. We were created in goodness, we are meant to live in goodness and share light with everyone. And that's in whatever belief system we profess (or lack of belief system, whichever). Some things are just basic across every line. There are those who choose to toss away that seed of goodness in them, and it is heartbreaking to see. I'm not sure why they choose to disbelieve their inherent value and worth, but they do.

Because I am an optimist, I believe that I need to encourage others to look for the good in things and in others -- and especially in themselves. For so many years, I struggled (and still do) with self-worth, self-esteem. I always had to be perfect or it just didn't matter. Unless I was the best, I was nobody. The spaces and systems in which I lived at the time didn't lead me to believe that I was a person of worth regardless of what I accomplished. It has taken the rest of my life so far to wipe out those early years with that sort of thinking. And that's why I try to hard to share positive thoughts, quotes, posters, etc. I need those messages just as much as anyone.

Because of my struggles in so many arenas, I can share my story. You can take from it what you will. What helped me may not help you, or something that didn't work for me may work perfectly for you.

What skills do I possess? I could list specific things that I do in my daily life that I'm good at -- using specific programs or other tools from my work. Or I could list various statistics to show myself as more than a novice and not quite an expert. But honestly, it's not my skills but my gifts of which I'm most proud -- the ability to catch on to things fairly quickly; to look at things and spot patterns or trends; to change plans on a dime and not get dizzy.

I think 2013 will be the year I begin to toot my own horn. It's my year to expect the best in life and most especially in myself. Shouldn't we all?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmases past and present

Christmases of my childhood were always waking on Christmas morning in my own house, opening our gifts, and making the trek (with side dishes in tow) to my grandmother's for the family gathering. From the time I was roughly 4 until around 14, she lived in a townhouse-style apartment in a small town: 2 stories, very small square footage. A small front porch, a foyer with stairs leading to the bathroom at the top and two bedrooms. On the main level, a couple of rooms as parlor and living room, and a galley-style kitchen. To fit my grandmother, 7 children and spouses, and fifteen grandchildren (and occasional other people) in there was always a challenge. Those of us who were the younger grandchildren ate our food while sitting on the steps. Adults and older grandchildren had to navigate around us if they needed to avail themselves of the facilities.

But then Granny moved. She had an apartment that was slightly smaller in square footage, but all on one level. Four rooms: living, kitchen, bedroom and bath. We ate everywhere but the bathroom that first year. The next year, she wisely made arrangements to use the clubhouse at the complex. MUCH better. We kept that arrangements for a number of years. Then a couple of times, we had it in other places -- my uncle's house, another locations, and then my aunt arranged to have it at her church's social hall, since nothing was ever going on there on Christmas Day. 

By that point, things were very different in my life from the time of my childhood. I'd gone from Protestant to Catholic, working on my career (such as it was/is), and in some ways completely miserable. I loved my family but I loved my friends too, and parts of me were wishing I was having an "Orphans' Christmas" where friends get together and celebrate being a chosen family to each other. But in my case, all my friends were celebrating with their own families. Another part of me was thinking that one year it would be nice to travel somewhere for Christmas..... go to a resort or a vacation spot and celebrate all of us just being together.

Soon enough the time came when we decided that having it on Christmas Day was too much: too many of us having to visit other parts of our families (in-laws, in-laws-to-be, sending the kids to the ex's for the holidays)...... and so the tradition of the Sunday after Christmas began. I think that year, I actually breathed a sigh of relief at the idea of having Christmas Day with nowhere to go, nothing to do unless I just wanted to..... gasp! how nice!

Then October 1996 came around, and Granny passed. We had another Sunday-after-Christmas gathering that year, because it didn't seem right not to. We cousins sat and spoke to each other as adults, more as friends than as cousins. And then..... we didn't do anything for a few years. Even now, our gatherings are sporadic. We've lost a few more people, gained a few more, but we're staying connected still. The eldest uncle is now requiring assistance, and it breaks my heart to realize he's so much older now. I still think of him as that sweet, kind pillar of strength for the family.

Christmas for me will be the same as it has been for about 22 years or so now. Leave for church sometime after 10:00 PM on Christmas Eve. Sing at prelude to Midnight Mass and celebrate our Savior's birth in the dark, quiet hours of the morning. Come home and collapse! Wake, have breakfast, open presents. Only now, it's relaxing with my family .... and this year, going to see Les Miserables with some friends from choir on Christmas Day. I've actually never gone to the movies on Christmas Day, but so many of my friends do. It might become a new tradition for me!

However you celebrate, make sure that you remember the best things about the season: even if you have no religious practices to the season, it is a spirit of giving and of love, of warmth and light overcoming darkness. Be the light and love the world needs.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

This may get me in trouble...

People may not like what I have to say here. I'd like to say in advance that I apologize, but not for what I'm going to say, but that you may not like it.

There's a lot of stuff going around about the Newtown shootings, and a lot of it deals with: "We need to get God back in schools."

Newsflash, people: God never left schools. If you truly believe that God is in all, through all, with all, and permeates His entire creation, then he is still there in the schools. He will be there as long as those who wish to recognize his place in their lives do so. But it is not our place to force the message upon those who are not  wishing to hear it. "Let him who has ears, let him hear." I get very put out with those who believe that the entire salvation of every soul depends upon them and their witness alone. That they somehow "let down" Jesus by not preaching him 24/7 to everyone.

Another newsflash, peeps: If everyone's salvation depends on you, what was the Crucifixion for?

Here's a novel thought: if you really feel that God somehow cannot move people's hearts without your help, then preach it without words. Instead of going to your 4th revival service of a week -- where it's truly preaching to the choir -- how about staying at home and having your kids clean out their toy chests or closets to give something to truly needy children? And when the busybodies at church ask you the next Sunday, "Where were you, we missed you" with that sly "I was in church and YOU weren't" tone, you can answer them with "Following Matthew 25 instead of sitting on a pew and congratulating myself on what a 'good Christian' I am."

You want to do something to really make a change in the world? Start doing works of mercy, works of justice, works of peace and stop just talking a good game. Quit wringing your hands over God not being somewhere (as if that's possible - you DO believe that, don't you?) and make him present without words. So what if you (ahem) "aren't allowed to share God" with people? Sure you are: you do it with your actions. If actions alone were a barometer, then I know plenty of supposed heathen who are better Christians than those who warm the pews.

And lest you think for a second I'm the expert in this, far from it. This is a wake-up call to me as well, to do more, to be more, and to best utilize the gifts I've been given to build the Kingdom.

Oh, and if you wondered, the Kingdom is not some far off tomorrow, where we look to a calendar or to the skies and say "When?" Because "when" happened at the Annunciation, the Incarnation, the Nativity, and on.... we live the Kingdom now, even as incomplete and right-here-and-not-yet-realized as it is.

Okay. I'm stepping down off this soapbox. I have others to step up on....... and more to come.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trying to stay low-key

I promise, I'm not the Grinch and my heart isn't three sizes too small..... but seriously, I do not get into all the holiday hype. I have various folks in my life who are positively giddy at the thought of Christmas and all the decorations and baking and.....

Well, not me.

Just so there is no misunderstanding: I have no problems with Christmas in itself. I have great awe for the actual event itself. But I have massive problems with the hype, the hoopla, the buildup and frenzy only to have it disappear on the 26th as if it never happened. And the commercialism is encroaching into other parts of the calendar. It is bad enough that stations begin 24/7 holiday music before Thanksgiving..... and that Christmas decorations are out around Halloween.

Whatever happened to simple celebrations of miracles? To a time when our gatherings focused on family, on all we'd been given, on the fact that we were together and alive and have another breath and the opportunity to reflect and recommit ourselves to the message of the manger?

For so many, Christmas is an extremely difficult time -- joy that is tempered by loss, by sadness, by broken relationships and our own broken hearts and broken pride. I have also felt the pains of non-Rockwellian Christmases, where the snow never falls, the table always has an empty seat or two, and the heart feels bereft of any emotion, let alone joy and wonder. Christmases colored not in red, green, gold or silver, but in blues, greys, even black.

For a long time, I simply wanted to fall asleep on December 16 and wake around January 4 ..... I wanted so much to avoid Christmas. I felt very acutely what it was to no longer have Christmas. I suppose I noticed it starting after my grandmother's death. For me, Christmas was always the celebration that belonged to my dad's family -- at least in our celebrations, and especially so after my mother's mother passed. To have it ripped away due to death and to misunderstandings and miscommunications ..... a dagger in an already-wounded heart. It is but a window into the pain that many families feel on a much greater scale.

So I try to make my Christmas celebrations a little more low-key. I'm not against gifts, but I'm far more appreciative of the love and the sentiments behind the gifts. I'm not against parties and fun -- quite the opposite! I love the gatherings of friends and family and expressing our happiness to just be together. One of my favorite events of the last few years is the night I gather with choir friends and other people from my church to do neighborhood caroling, followed by snacks and warm drinks at their house. All it costs me is the investment I make in a snack to bring and a few hours out of my night. Worth every moment, and the fun we have wandering the neighborhood is awesome .... as well as belting out tunes around the piano! These are the things that give me the warm fuzzies and make me believe in Christmas.

The beauty of Christmas isn't in the money I spend on gifts, but in the love and warmth felt in hearts. It is in the humility and simplicity of a place where a tiny baby was born into poverty and despair and yet whose message in life and death was that there's so much more ..... if we just believe.

This is where my heart lies ..... believing that there's so much more, believing that it cannot be found in the clamor of the seasonal squawk and noise but in a whisper of soul to soul, believing that miracles are unlimited and that they still happen in every moment.

It may not be Madison Avenue's view of the perfect Christmas, but then again, neither was the first one.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Travelogues ..... more to come!

I haven't forgotten that I need to do a travelogue for my trip to the Virginia Creeper Trail and Damascus VA earlier this fall ............. and I also need to finalize my travelogue for my first-ever trip to New Orleans recently! HOORAY!!!

But it will have to wait until I get back from Savannah this weekend..... :)  The one thing in common for all these trips is activity: biking on the VCT, a 5K in New Orleans (which was really an excuse for a girls' weekend), and a 5K in Savannah (another excuse to meet up with friends). I will say that I never imagined all those years ago that I would be doing all this. GOSH! do I love that.

Stay tuned for "Eating My Way Through New Orleans," coming soon over most of these CBS stations..... right after "Tattletales"!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Feeling a little wistful

I love October -- since my childhood, it has always been my favorite month. I suppose that because it's my birthmonth, I always associate it with good things, and I've always loved the weather. The trees and the leaves were my guideposts that my birthday was drawing near, as well as Halloween (my favorite holiday). Something about autumn brings me into a good place.

This October, however, I'm feeling a little wistful as I start out. Nothing bad has happened, nothing amiss that I see on the horizon. In fact, I'm pretty psyched about a mini-break I'm taking in a week or so, and for things coming up later this fall into early winter. But early October is always tinged with a little sadness. Late Thursday night was my remembrance of a similar night 16 years ago..... around 11 PM, we got the call from my uncle that my grandmother had passed. St. Francis of Assisi Day; I can always remember that. And we buried her on the 7th, on Our Lady of the Rosary Day. At least I will never forget those two feast days and when they fall (not that my grandmother would have cared, since she wasn't Catholic).

I had the opportunity earlier this week to download a Jackson Browne collection ..... his music finds a place of melancholy in me and instead of running from it, I run to it, embrace it. But it's good. Sometimes you need to go to those places to remind yourself of everything that has shaped you into the person you are ..... the highs and lows. Maybe that's contributed as well to this momentary cold front that's sweeping my brain and heart.

In every season, there is in me an invincible spirit, and I am so thankful for everything that brings me to this moment. 42 years, 50 weeks, 2 days and counting......

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The OTHER religion.

In the South, we have two religions: Jesus and football. (Okay, that's only half-joking).........

Today, they intermingled as I was dressing for church. You see, I am a Carolina fan. I belong to a church in Clemson. As I was deciding what to wear ..... okay, really, going through and saying, "Okay, I haven't worn that in a while. And it's clean" .... I had this thought:

Yea, though I walk into the valley of the Orange, I shall fear no evil, for I have clad myself in garnet and black. Thy spur and thy vicious rendition of "Sandstorm" shall comfort me, and verily, thou dost prepare a table before me in the midst of those who are not enemies but who pull for the other team.

Now, those of you who are Not From Here may be thinking, "What melodrama!" Obviously that means one thing: You. Are. Not. From. Here. Iron Bowl. Egg Bowl. Gator-'Nole Battle. Now, we have our conference rivalries and those mean a lot. But so too those in-state rivalries. And this one has great capacity for ugliness. Remember the brawl when CU won 63-17 and both teams, while bowl-eligible, got to enjoy them from the comfy couch instead of the sidelines? Yeah.

Hallelujah and pass me the cheetos. Sunday is church day, but I worship on Saturdays too. :)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Well dangit

I meant to post this yesterday so I would have a post for August.... oh well, crud happens. And it's not exactly Friday anymore but hey, it's a long weekend so it's one big Friday (wahoo!)

Fill in the Blank Friday

And I remembered to inclue a link this time!!

1.  Over this labor day weekend I will be     doing nothing super-special. Work, church, okay one thing special: REST   .

2.  With the political debates going on right now, my thoughts are   "and just WHY did I major in political science??" Honestly, I used to love this time of an election year, but the increasing polarization in our society makes me ALMOST wish for the abolition of the two-party system and go with coalition governments. ALMOST, because coalition governments on the surface don't provide the stability to keep necessary government programs/processes running smoothly .... especially since our bureaucracy has devolved back into the spoils system (they say it hasn't, but....) Okay, enough on this topic     .

3.  Today   is a busy day but a good one. And a day to plan my September schedule, since it is going to be absolutely INSANE-O for the next couple of weeks  .
4. The best thing I've cooked recently was   a barley stew with ground turkey. It is from a Taste of Home cookbook and modified (it called for ground beef but I didn't have any). But most of my cooking lately has been more mix-n-match (chicken breasts, pieces of fish, etc. and heated frozen veggies)..... you know, grab 1 meat, two veggies in the morning for lunch..... it works, though .

5. The last thing I bought was    hmm, what was it? OH! besides groceries, I bought some things online and they arrived this week -- an immersion blender and massage mat for my chair. Yeah, living the high life .

6. The best movie I saw this summer was     okay, don't laugh. I don't see movies at the theater, because I can actually get physically ill in them. So I usually just watch them on PPV at home..... but honestly, I haven't seen any lately. Too involved with watching Braves games this summer!    .

7.  The best book I read this summer was    I've been working on several of them, actually, but getting around to FINISHING one???? HAHAHAHAAHHAHAA!!!  I'm currently involved in three of them: "The Fire-Starter Sessions" (Danielle LaPorte), "Prayer of the Heart" (Fr. George Maloney, SJ), and "The Gifts of Imperfection" (Brene Brown). Okay, wait, I actually DID finish one book this summer -- no, two!!! OMG! "Angry Conversations with God" (Susan E. Isaacs) and "Traveling Mercies" (Anne Lamott)..... wow. I didn't think I'd even finished one this summer .

Monday, July 30, 2012

So I'm a little late.....

The old format of Fill in the Blank Friday is back by popular demand!  Enjoy!

1.  I am   a picker, I'm a grinner...... Okay, okay: I'm a unique creation of God, living here on earth in this time and place for some greater purpose; I'm a big goofy kid at heart who loves nothing more than making people happy; I'm a music lover who lives to sing and hope people enjoy hearing my voice. I'm moody and tired, I'm suspicious and selfish, but once I have your back, you almost have to kill me for me to stop caring for you..... yeah. That's who I am   .

2.   I have always     read, always sung, always been a little standoffish, but have always believed in the best life offers    .

3.  I hope to     have people look at me and realize that what you see is only about a tenth of what you get   .

4. I can      change moods on a dime. It's a talent that a lot of people don't have. I can tie cherry stems fairly easily (not perfectly, but it can be done), and I can talk your ears off .

5. I dream of       finding a winning lottery ticket. No really, because I have already dreamed up the various ways in which I can give the money for truly worthy causes .

6. The way to my heart is     long and circuitous, with deep dark forests and big bright meadows, and worth every mile of the way for the right guy  .

7.  I am passionate about    wellness. I just wish I had been ready to begin my own path to wellness far sooner, but I truly relish talking to people about ways to live a healthier life. I am also incredibly passionate about my faith. I don't preach on street corners because I'd rather my life serve as the example. Do I fail? Daily and miserably. But still, I rise!   .


Friday, July 13, 2012

More than a hole in the world.....

Just before bed last night, I received some horrible news ............. my friend Mike Kosior passed away very unexpectedly. Gobsmacked is about the only word I can think of to describe what I felt.

I first met Mike via e-mail. He'd found my website back in the mid-90s and we started an e-mail friendship. A few years later, he sent me a sweet e-mail: "I found a nice young lady....." and Susan came into my life. Just 3 years ago, I got the sweet notice from them that they were adopting a beautiful baby boy.... no, wait! Girl! Girl! and so lovely Miss Leah came into the circle.

With all apologies to the song writers and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the circle is not unbroken, at least for the time being.

I want the world at large to know the wonderful person that Mike was ......... so please allow me to share these links with you. I hope that you will take a moment to visit them and read just a little of how special and wonderful Mike was and how inspiring he will always be.

Godspeed Mike. This world is far less complete without you in it. The Eagles sang about a hole in the world, but in this case it's a canyon..... article
Mark Patinkin's article (originally posted in Providence [RI] Journal)
Mike's own web page

Friday, June 29, 2012

Just some thoughts....

This isn't inspired by anything in particular -- there has been no event, no word spoken, no gesture made to label this a reaction to it. These are just some things I've been thinking on for a while.............

I'm world-weary; more precisely, I'm weary of a lot of things about the world.

I'm weary of a world that expects conformity, and considers it the highest value. I lived in that world: it was called high school. It took moving across the state and starting with a blank slate in college to move beyond it. I swore I'd never live there again, and I have no intention to do so. Perhaps that is why I sometimes choose to be contrary simply for its own sake -- to remind everyone that in a world of a billion shades of grey, we need hot pink and lime green and eye-popping turquoise and even ugly UT Orange (both UT's).

I'm weary of a world which only places value on your economy -- what you can contribute, how much you drain. If you fall below a certain Mendoza line, well...... or if you somehow get above an arbitrary ceiling set for you, then they'll either let you loose or find a way to bring you down.

I'm weary of a world which places no value at all on the arts. Okay, that may just be an American cultural thing. Or art only if it's controversial and arcane. Or art if it draws a fortune at a Sotheby's or Christie's auction. We tell our children that arts and crafts are best left to childhood camps and art day at school, but artists in real life are slackers who don't want to "grow up" ...... or who have to do work which doesn't feed their art or their soul.

I'm weary of a world where people are judged and divided by where they fall on an issue -- and immediately labeled as the enemy. I daresay I probably disagree on various issues with my friends and yet we still love each other. Unfortunately with the cameras rolling, I doubt Harry Reid and John Boehner would ever own up  to agreeing on anything.

And I'm definitely weary of a world in which all our best efforts go completely unheralded and our tiniest mistakes magnified.

I believe in more.

I believe there is a place where people are valued for who they are, encouraged to be whomever they want to be with no limits and no expectations. I believe there is a world where people are free to do what makes their souls sing and they are loved for it. I believe in a place where differences are respected and everyone still loves each other all the more for it.

That's my version of heaven ......... and I believe in my heart of hearts that if we just put forth a little more effort, we could have heaven on earth.

The shackles are undone, the bullet's quit the gun
The heat that's in the sun will keep us when there's none
The rule has been disproved, the stone - it has been moved;
The grain is now a grove; all debts are removed.
Oh, can't you see what love has done?
Oh, can't you see what love has done?
Oh, can't you see what love has done,
What it's doing to me.......

To every broken heart, for every heart that cries
Love left a window in the skies
And to love I rhapsodize.....

This song has been going through my head just about every morning this week as I've awakened. Someone's trying to tell me something...... thank you Bono!

Friday, June 08, 2012

FITBF, 6/8

Today I bring you the new and improved
Fill in the Blank Friday!

The format is a little different, but the idea is still the same. There will still be blank filling, but instead of coming up with seven blanks each week there will only be one. You may be thinking, "What?! What am I supposed to do with only one blank?!" Well, let me explain....

I will be giving you a fill in the blank, a theme or a story starter each week and you'll complete a blog post based on the prompt. Kind of like a writer's workshop. Remember that when you were in school? I always loved those!

I thought this would be a fun way to see how people make the post their own. Feel free to add photos or whatever you want to personalize your post and then make sure you link back here as always so we can all check out each other's posts! So, without further ado, here's this week's blank....

I need to... period.

I need a creative outlet for all the thoughts, words, ideas, everything that swirls around in my head. I need a place to put the deeper story of life: the backstory, the little details that explain, the emotions behind the words.

I need to write. I sing, my one best talent, but that's hard to do in a blog. Writing is my "1B" .... I need to write so that I can continually improve the craft, hone my skills, expand the gift I was given.

Vainly, I blog to have some sort of record somewhere, other than facts in a census record or vital records vault, to show the world I was here. Without kids to carry on my story, this is how I can do this.

I blog to help others, especially in my weight-loss blog. I want to show people that anything is possible with determination, hard work, and a lot of support. To never stop believing, dreaming, working, planning and trying.

I blog privately to express the things I cannot say aloud: my deepest secrets, my worst fears, things that induce my deepest guilt and shame, the things that bring me unspeakable joy.

I blog... because I must.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday, 5/24

Happy Friday friends!!
Time for some blanking!

1.  The best surprise ever would be,   besides a winning lottery ticket? A surprise vacation..... not in the sense of you buy it and you're not sure where you're going (because they are SRSLY discussing that right now on the morning news). I mean the one where a friend says, "We're going this weekend, not telling you where but everything is planned." I had that happen several years ago, and it was one of the best weekends. I don't think I thanked my friend enough for that    .

2.      My time in college with my frat brothers   is my most favorite memory .    There are so many specific moments and precious memories that I cannot choose one and say, "Oh, that's it!" And there were times in college that were not as pleasant as that time in life should be. But on the whole, it was my friends who made those 4+ years just beautiful. They met me with no expectations, no preconceived notions, and together our friendships developed    .

3.  The hardest, but most worthwhile thing I've ever done was     no doubt: losing over half my body weight. Long journey (still ongoing, always will be) but worth EVERY dollar and second invested  .

4.  The best part of my day is    either drive time home (on days where I have no where to be, no appointment), just me and the road. I can take whatever road, however long it takes to decompress. With a 45-min-plus drive, it's not too hard to do that, but sometimes, you need the extra moments or the different perspective  .

5. Something I like that most people don't is       spicy chocolate. I love the flavor of chipotle or cayenne mixed into chocolate. YUMMMM! .

6. Something I am willing to fight for is     my faith. I chose my expression of faith in my early 20s, and people reacted with everything from complete support to almost-shunning. I may not always agree with every little statement issued by those in the ivory tower, but my faith is not in them.... I fought too hard and too long to come this far, and my faith life is all the richer because of it  .

7.  Something you might not know about me is   that I am an introvert. Introversion is not the quality of being shy or afraid of performing in public - rather it is from which sources is your energy derived. I have no trouble dealing with the public, no fear at all of public speaking or performance -- but I can only take so much before I am utterly drained. My energy comes from the internal world. Daily solitude is a must -- hence, the reason the long drive time (#4) is very important to me  .

Happy weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fill in the Blank Friday, 5/17

Feeling cheerful this week
so I came up with some cheerful blanks.


1.  Something that is very near and dear to my heart is,   wellness.  I really believe that people can do so much themselves to help themselves become healthier day by day. It might not take away all the health issues but it may make them easier to keep in check    .

2.      Breathing   is good cause to celebrate .

3.  The most fun I ever had was     how could I possibly choose?  There have been so many fun moments that I can't begin to think of the best one  .

4.  True friends are   the ones who have seen you at your best and your worst and love you anyway, who know your secrets and would never dream of telling a soul, and with whom you feel absolutely safe  .

5. Something that makes me terribly happy is       my dog greeting me every day when I come home like it is the first time he's ever seen me .

6. A good way to spend a sunny day is     hanging out with friends doing whatever we wish  .

7.  My favorite celebratory food is   I don't really have one..... it all depends on the circumstances, the people, my mood......  .

Happy weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fill In the Blank Friday, 5/10

The original author is a bit under the weather, so she made the FITBF with a health-oriented theme. Y'all know health/wellness is dear to my heart, so...........

1.  On a scale from 1-10 the frequency with which I get sick is,   actually SICK, is a one. Going to the doctor, about a 6 ..... at least this year. Most of my illnesses tend to involve migraine, and well, no cure for that    .

2.   The last time I felt sick was    about a month ago when I had that blasted horrid stomach bug ..... OOOOOG! That was a real bummer. Of course, this back/hip thing is no fun either but I'm hardly down for the count    .

3.  The worst part about being sick is     the helplessness       because     being helpless is on my list right below root canal and a million other things. I am not one to admit there are things I cannot do .... and illness takes that from me .

4. When I am sick I like to be taken care of by     being left alone unless I ask you to do something for me I cannot do at that time. But don't ask me every 10 minutes how I am.... I'm sick. That's how I am. Just leave me to my own world .

5. Something I do to keep myself healthy is     just not think about being sick. For all the years that I wasn't covered by health insurance, I just tried my best to "think myself well" ..... most of the time, it worked (except for that pesky gallstone thing) .

6. A secret remedy that I use when I'm sick is to    well, again, dependent upon the illness. For migraine, my secret remedy is to try Excedrin Migraine if I think I'm even getting close to a headache. And I also try to eat as healthy as possible, supplement well, and just take care of myself as much as I can  .

7.  One thing that always makes me feel better when I'm sick is   hmm..... music. Yeah, music makes everything better  .

Hope you have a fun non-illness-filled weekend!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Fill In the Blank Friday, 05/03

1.  My bedtime routine includes,   mostly watching the news or the Braves game, wrapping my legs (lymphedema management), checking e-mail or Facebook one last time, making sure the alarm clock is on, quick facial care, dental care, and going "Oh holy crap, what time IS it? I gotta get to bed...." Lay down, head hits pillow, out I go.....    .

2.   I am    having a midlife crisis   .

3.  I can't stand     when I'm not kind to myself       because     I know I'm better than that and I need to be kinder to myself  .

4. My idea of relaxation would be    no set schedule, no deeds to do or promises to keep, and a whole bunch of scented candles and some coffee or herbal tea .

5. If I had an extra $50, I would     put it back in the bank. Not that it would last there much longer than if it were cash in my wallet, but I like to think it would... heh heh .

6. The best thing about a bloggy friend is     that they are objective. They know what you write, but not your hangups .... so they can give you some perspective. But I also love my real-life friends because they do know what drives me. Probably more so than I know myself  .

7.  A recipe I've been dying to try is   I have shelves full of cookbooks and I guarantee at least 70% of them are tagged as "dying to try"!!! But really, I'll be trying one out this weekend ..... a quasi-key-lime tartlet .

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fill In The Blank Friday, 4/20

(heh heh.... 4/20.....)

Hope you enjoy them!

1. Today is a great day because, it is Friday. 'Nuff said!   

2. Tomorrow I will     get up, go to my weekend work, and while I'd like to come home and be productive, the sad truth is that I will probably nap... But if I am productive, I will be working to put up winter wear / get the Goodwill box ready!   

3. My favorite time of day is   afternoon drive time because   at that point in my day, I have total freedom to do what I want, go where I want, and not have to really worry about the clock. It's just me and the road. And I love the idea of finding new ways to get home. 

4. Sometimes you just have to   say, "What the....." No, really, sometimes you do. You just throw your hands up and say "the hell with it" and start laughing........

5. A song that I just can't get enough of lately is  pretty much the entire "Already Free" CD by Derek Trucks Band ..... not a bad song in the bunch.
6. My favorite accessory is   this beautiful strand of pearls that Jill N. sent me from the Middle East, when she was there on an assignment. I treasure those so much -- I don't wear them every day, but when I do I feel special!  

7. My favorite thing about this week was    getting a massage and a chiro treatment and finally getting my back/hip in better shape.    .

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fill in The Blank Friday for 3/23

fill in the blank friday.

Today is Friday,
the day we fill blanks.

And today's theme is....COLOR!  
Hope you'll play along!

1.  My favorite color is     blue, no yellow! (Just kidding, it's blue).... although if you look at my clothing, it's heavily pink, green, purple, blue, red......

2.   My home decor color palette includes   a little of everything. Especially since it isn't really my decor.    .

3.  Other people always tell me I look good in the color     red... which always surprises me. Not that I think I look hideous in red but I just don't think of it as "my" color    .

4. The color I detest is     orange, and it's NOT just because I'm a Gamecock fan. I truly *do* look awful in orange. There's very little that really goes well with it, and I just don't wear it.

5. If you were to look in my closet most of the colors you'd see would be    oopsie, I answered that already: blue, red, green, pink, purple.... and black. Always black. And if you look at my workout gear, it is overwhelmingly black, purple, pink.....   .

6. A color that I simply cannot pull off no matter how hard I try is     yellow and orange. It does not work for me in any way, shape, form. The ONLY way I can wear it is peach/salmon (for the orange) or BigBird Yellow and even then, very sparingly   .

7.  The color of my favorite dress is    hmmm, I have a navy blue one of which I'm particularly fond    .