Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sunday Scribbling

#257 - Manifesto
I know it is a big one, but the prompt this week is: Manifesto. Looking forward into a new year, there is always talk of resolutions or themes or plans. I'd like to see if you can go a step further.For inspiration, have a look at
this or this.Happy Holidays to you and yours!

I saw this a couple of days ago and fell in love with it. I enjoy the visual aspect of it. I would love to put together a collage of how I hope to live out the coming year. As I jot down my inspirations I see in my minds eye how this would look on my Moleskine if I decide to tell the story with cut out pictures,memorabilia, stickers, and things that catch my fancy and I can fit it into my manifesto

I want to continue to feel the need to expand and grow intellectually and spiritually. I want to give more of myself. I want to travel more and do all the things I love and have neglected so much the past year - photography - reading - writing - gardening - just to name a few.

Since I carry the Moleskine and pull it out daily and lay it on my desk to write out my lists, keep track of Grace in Small Things and the canvas for the occasional burst of genius it is the perfect venue to carry my visual manifesto.

I feel like I have jump started this blog and my love of spewing the written word and wish to thank the #10 Reverb for the push in the correct direction.

Guess we all need a little shove every once in a while, don't we?

December 26th #10 Reverb

Prompt: Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul?

Crap! I can't remember what I did yesterday let alone what I ate that rocked my soul!

On one occasion in Florida my friend took me to eat at a Seafood place that served scrimp in a garlic linguine sauce. I will never forget it. Though I can not remember the name of the restaurant.

Wanted to lick the plate.

The Greek salad at this place in Tarpon Springs was inspirational. Went back a year or so later and it was not as good. But I tried to recreate that salad at home. The dressing is what made that salad totally out of this world. Paul's Shrimp House.....? I think.

There was this little Italian Restaurant in Podunk Ky that served Eggplant Parmesan that made me want to lick that plate!

My Chicken Pot Pies where out of this world. Good comfort food. I learned that if you make them in a 10 inch iron skillet they are even better!!!!!!Something about the crust that is just heavenly.

Recently I made Butternut Squash soup and it made me pause. It was delish.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 25th

Prompt: Photo - a present to yourself. Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you.

I am the one behind the camera not in front of it. I am always astonished at the woman I have become when I see a picture of myself. I am an older version of myself and think I remarkably resemble my Aunt Pat. Which is not a bad thing at all, but still...I'm only saying.

The picture of my Mom and myself at the Memorial Day ceremony in Nicholasville this past May was OK. I cherish pictures of myself and Mom. But I had on little make-up, if any at all and my hair was horrendous! That's all I see. Not a picture of the first born and my beloved Mom - just old fat bad hair day Mary.

Then the pictures at the Frat. reunion were no better and I looked drunk in all of them. Happy drunk.

The there was the picture of me and one of my best friends C. taken in Louisville after my BIL's surprise B-day party.

I looked extremely hung over. lol. I was!

But this one, the first time I had seen any of them in over 30 years, this was a great time and a pretty good of me. I don't look drunk or hungover.

I am the one always behind the camera.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23

Prompt: New name. Let's meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

I have known many people who have changed their names somewhere along the line.

Kitty became Kathy.

Martha became Elaine.

Cookie became Linda.

Howie became Howard.

John became Jack.

Brenda became Kay.

Leroy became Clifford. He was Clifford to begin with, became Leroy and when returned to the real world became Clifford again.

I have written about being named Mary. A Rose by any other name. When attending catholic High School in the 1960's if one yelled out "MARY!!!" in the hall way half the girls would turn their heads! Great Balls of fire there certainly were a bunch of us!

I have been "Mary Mary" at one time and most recently May May to my grand kids. I like May May and sometimes when I enter the house I announce myself like this


I often wondered why I didn't have some fabulous Irish name like Fiona or Caitlin but my Mother wanted me to grow up to become a nun so she saddled me with the name in the hopes that I would take the hint. Never did.

I'm just a Rose.

#10 Reverb December 22nd

Prompt: Travel. How did you travel in 2010? How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

The only travel I got under my belt this year was racing up and down I-65 to get to Louisville or racing down I-65 and cutting over to Bluegrass Parkway to get to Lexington. I traveled at the speed of light at times and at other times it was like molasses in January.

Several times I had to pray to make it to a rest stop to get out jog around, slap water in my face, do deep knee bends and jumping jacks to get the blood going and keep me awake.

Then I discovered the marvelous five hour energy shot.

I did not get a chance to travel travel anywhere exotic. Except Memphis. Is Memphis really exotic? Nope, but funky fun.

We are hoping to take a cruise next year. It's been too long.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 21 Reverb Prompt

Prompt: Future self. Imagine yourself five years from now. What advice would you give your current self for the year ahead? (Bonus: Write a note to yourself 10 years ago. What would you tell your younger self?)

Save a lot of money.

Note to self 10 years ago - save a lot of money and cut up your credit cards and back away from that time share!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reverb for December 20

December 20 – Beyond Avoidance. What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?) (Author: Jake Nickell)

Some of these challenges are so thought provoking! I wish I had remembered to consider this all day long. The first thought was I should have reworked my resume the moment I took this job at the Mall and parlayed it into something better. Something that pays better so I wouldn't feel it necessary to work two jobs to "make ends meet".

And I didn't.

When and if we pack up and move further south, which is becoming a bigger possibility, I will be forced to do it. No more putting it off, or halfheartedly revising the increasingly alarming work history! Trying to decide which direction to go! I'm all over the map now and need to find some concise way to bring it all together.

I have had a lot of challenges this year to develop and execute several Mall events. I think I did a bang up job with the Senior Fair. The fashion show was fabulous. Trying to alter how people view "Seniors" was the biggest hurdle to sail over. I find that when you say Senior people think "Old Nursing Home". I threw down the gauntlet not only to convince the staff at the Mall,but when I solicited vendors for the event.

Everything from estate planning to good shoes! From financial and living wills to Medicare and Health Insurance. From vacations to funeral homes. (lol)

I managed to pull it off in a city where the medium age is somewhere in the late 20's thanks to it being a Military and college town.

The Baby expo was much easier.

I am not all that happy sitting in an office all day. I'm the Hippie Gypsy! I like touching base in the morning and then taking off in a company car and being paid to sight see all day.

The resume. I should start working on it tomorrow.

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 19th

Prompt: Healing. What healed you this year? Was it sudden, or a drip-by-drip evolution? How would you like to be healed in 2011?

The inference of this prompt is that I in someway need to be healed. I suppose this is typical of our society today that everyone in someway needs to be healed.

I guess that I could lament the death of my Dad nearing three years (how is that possible?). But death is a part of life and one does not need to be healed as much as to accept that which is inevitable.

And the loss of my beautiful Three Legged Cat. It is rough to daily drive by the spot where Joe found him. I miss him enormously but I don't think I need to be healed. I think the presence of Blackie, the abandoned kitty who showed up on our door step last January, made the loss easier. We still had him and I did not find it necessary to run out and rescue a kitten from the pound. Now Blackie is Top Cat. For some crazy reasons it seems that he has taken on some of TLC quirkiness such as laying on whatever it is I have laid out on the bed, be it book or tray of jewelry. Thank God he has not taken to eating through the plastic wrap on the bread or falling between the dryer and the wall and cry to be rescued. Tough to get out of a tight spot like that when you are a Three Legged Cat.

I am just lucky that nothing drastic or dramatic that would have caused mental anguish requiring a healing period. Living in a Military town I read in the paper daily the acts of extreme heroism that takes place by our brave men in Iraq. There is a tremendous amount of sorrow in this town. The 101st has suffered the loss of over 100 troops since deploying earlier this year.

Not a very positive note to end this post.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

#10 Reverb - December 18th

Prompt: Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn't go for it?

Next year I want to make another go at the Stella & Dot business. I claim to be the Queen of Excuses and sometimes when I read what other women accomplish while taking on a Home Based Business (full time jobs, graduate school etc. etc. etc.) I feel like a wimp.

One Sunday I had made arrangements to participate in a small Holiday Show. I am never scheduled to go into the Bucket on a Sunday afternoon. I am the closer. It is always 5 or 6 pm until close. I was astonished when the schedule was posted and I had the 3pm - 8pm shift. I fretted for days and on Sunday I called the Bucket and told them I was going to be late.

The show overlapped an hour and I need at least 1/2 hour to close up and change clothes. I was rushing around packing up the Cake Pops I had made as a refreshment, arranging all the jewelry in such a manner that I could unpack and have my display ready to go in minutes. I had my black table cloth and six foot collapsible utility table I had shelled out $45 for at Lowes laying at the door at ready for packing to the car.

Suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. There was just no way I could do this. I did not want to do this.

So I called in the 11th hour and cancelled and headed into the Bucket.

I would like to have more control over my life next year and the ability to go to trade shows and have in home truck shows. I want to work on strong arming (lol) people into having shows. I want to figure out how to make them want to have trunk shows.

Hey everybody! Check this out!! Stella and Dot Opportunity!

Friday, December 17, 2010

#10 Reverb - December 17th

December 17 – Lesson Learned What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? (Author: Tara Weaver)

I am fairly impervious to certain things. And self reflection is quite close to the top of the list. The challenges become very difficult when I turn the spot light towards myself. If I learn something about myself, it probably startles me for a moment and then heads on down the mighty Mississippi of my being emptying out to the Ocean of Forgotten Revelations.

I could turn it around and ask "What surprised you about yourself?" and I would answer that first and foremost working these long hours week after week, going 30+ days without any breaks from one job or the other and I am really not that tired! It does surprise me. Just think, I say to myself, if I were in shape!?! And had a healthy diet! If I quit eating all this candy and waking up in the morning thinking, "why do I fell so yucky?" and then I answer, "what did you eat? that's it! too much sugar and carbs!"

The fact that I committed to doing Grace in Small Things for a year and by-Golly I did it for a year! Sometimes I may have had to play catch up, but I did it. I knew I have a decent amount of sticktoitiveness yet this was surprising. I am also the Queen of Great Excuses.

Another thing that surprises me is how I have taken to listening to these self help tapes. And I am learning behavior modification techniques. I am even applying them! I am finding that the most important trick is be aware of what is going on in your mind (irony, due to today's prompt and my resistance) and processing your feelings giving you the opportunity to THINK before you give in to your impulses.

I am a creature of habits and rituals. I need some new habits. I need some new rituals.

That is what I take into 2011. The desire to continue with this behavioral awareness.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Reverb December 16th

December 16 – Friendship How has a friend changed you or your perspective on the world this year? Was this change gradual, or a sudden burst? (Author: Martha Mihalick)

I flip the pages in my address book inscribing each envelope carefully. I write a quick note in each card, place it in the envelope taking care not to smear the ink, place a stamp especially for the holidays in the right corner, another label with my current address in the other corner and place the Christmas Card in the growing stack to be mailed. My list of friends include those I met in Cancun during the hurricane, the frat boys, friends from my childhood street, friends from my grammar school days, in-laws, friends from High School, friends I have known all my life, friends of my parents, cousins, friends from various places I have worked, friends from college days. Even some friends from AOL-J land and beyond.

Sometime during my life passage they have touched me and we bonded in such a way to ensure their inclusion on these pages of my tattered address book. I fill out a card, write some short lines about how I hope they are enjoying the holidays, how much I miss them, suggest we get together somehow, somewhere and then close the card with thoughts of them dancing in my head.

Each person conjures up a face and an emotion. A memory. Some of them are painful such as why do I never hear from this person? I send them cards, am friends with them on Face book, yet I never hear from them. It saddens me, yet I know that they will remain in my sphere of Christmas card sending and maybe a card or note or two during the year.

And so it goes. My life long connection to people who become more than just an acquaintance and stay with me - well, maybe forever!

As for one single friend who touched me in a way that altered some perspective or understanding - I'm blank. I just know that people are busy - heck, I'm busy and that life is nothing if you do not have people to share the joys of living, the hardships of enduring, and the monotony that sometimes is handed to us. It's nice to share.

I did find out, in a collective way, people change but somehow remain the same.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

REVERB - December 15th

December 15 – 5 Minutes
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Gathering at the Lake House in East Tennessee with family and some close friends and one California cousin

Memorial Day in Central Kentucky - had a marvelous week-end with the Grand kids. My step-son cooked for us and we had a spectacular time!

The Fraternity brothers reunion in West Kentucky where I reunited with about 40 of my salad days, pot smoking, beer over the border, skipping classes, 25 cent beer out of the Coke machine, spade playing, Hairy Buffalo partying wild and crazy guys from my college days.

Going to the re-union party for the High School I never went to but lived in the county but my parents forced me to go to Catholic High School in the next city! So I was allowed to go because I knew practically everyone in that age range.

Plus my best friend coming up from Florida for the event. It had been about a little over a year since I had seen her. And seeing my old running buddy, G. Great party. Over too soon.

Hay ride party and seeing my other Florida best buddy who flew up for the event. That was a blast too.

Getting the cat off the roof next door twice. Not the Three Legged Cat but Blackie, who showed up on our door step last January during a hard freeze. We made a little house for him with a blanket and fed him and before you knew it he was in the house! Three Legged Cat did not like it one bit and never acknowledged Blackie. Ignored him the way only a cat can accomplish. Blackie continually would climb on the neighbors roof,usually before dawn, and then cry for help! Joe and I would have to combine forces to get him off without waking the neighbors and getting ourselves shot. Blackie never ventures out now. Once inside, he is in "No Way" ever setting foot out again. He should live to be a ripe old age.

The priest, Father Dan coming into my Mothers ICU room and giving her the blessing of the sick and then laying hands on her. Faith and the power of God can accomplish miracles.

I found that lost purple earring just like I knew I would six months later when I moved from the front reception area to my own little office. I had faith that earring would show itself and it did. Once again, the power of faith.

Working two jobs and thoroughly enjoying any limited or minor time off I have.

The feeling of accomplishment putting together the Senior Fair and the Baby Expo.

Driving back to Louisville during this past summer and the beauty of the city at night with the spot lights on the church steeples. Simply breathtaking. Bardstown Rd. is so vibrant even late into the evening. A grand welcome home.

How ironic it is that I, who can not stand Malls, end up working in one.

The highs of having that Three Legged Cat for the past two years and how much we loved him.

The thrill of paying off the motorcycle and my Sonota.

My cousin E. and her husband Bill coming to visit my Mom and bringing Auntie M for a short week end visit. More than three days and the sisters are at odds.

Visiting Memphis around the 4th of July. I enjoy Memphis, the shopping, the great book store at the library, the fabulous Goodwill in Olive Branch area, and Beale Street. Oh Mama! What fun that was.

Discovering self help CD's while driving! They are the bomb.

And so ends five minutes.

Reverb December 14

Prompt: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

This is more like it!!

To narrow it down to just one thing I have come to appreciate is very difficult. I have come to realize how imperative it is to have a good Dr. Scholl inserts in your shoes. You can accomplish anything, solve enormous problems, defy great odds when you are not thinking that your feet hurt! Inserts could be called miracles - but I can not think of a way to express my gratitude of this marvelous invention except send money directly to Dr. Scholl, but I think he has enough.

Everyday I realize how much I appreciate my husband Joe and that I am guilty of taking him for granted and I should be horse whipped for that! When our Three Legged Cat went missing, it was not that unusual. Many times he would take off for parts unknown and we thought he had another family on the side. I don't know why this time it felt different. And Joe went looking for him and found him. I can't express the appreciation I have for him doing that for me, for us. And Joe took care of it.

It has become a combination of little things that when added together make me realize that I am very blessed to have him in my life.

Yesterday I told him how much lucky I am to have him.

"I know I know" he said in understanding way that is the tag line to a real life joke of his from his youth when he was sliding into home plate and was called out! Crying on the way to the dug out he told his coach, who was walking him back with his arm around him, that he was SAFE!! "I know I know, Son" he said in a sympathetic tone that totally contrasted the way he was shoved into the dug out.

I realize that small gestures mean everything. A handful of German Roaster Peanuts (yummy) or a four pack of his favorite $10.00 beer, (can you say Bourbon Barrel), or just running that silly head massager thingy through his hair without being asked. All these things are an expression of my love and my gratefulness that we are together for this crazy ride.

I could do more. I just need to ask myself some questions such as,"What would shock him and make him so happy!"

It just came to me! Stay tuned

Reverb Dec 13th

Prompt: Action. When it comes to aspirations, its not about ideas. It's about making ideas happen. What's your next step?

I have not been very inspired by the past two prompts so I have been dragging my feet about posting my thoughts. When I think of the word "aspiration" I think it in terms of dreams verses ideas. I would substitute the word "inspiration" for aspiration and the question would click for me. But, I'll work with what I got, haven't I bragged that I can roll?

One of the prompts had me map a couple of things out, changes that I would like to make in 2011 and one of them was to stop thinking about visiting nursing homes/assisted living facilities and just do it! I have this little grain of sand in my brain that I have been rolling over and over in the hopes of producing a pearl one day.

What holds me back is that I feel I need a tape recorder. Do they make them any longer? Or is it all digital? A little while ago I checked out a book about short hand and thought maybe I could pick up enough that I could utilize it while interviewing. But man, that stuff is tough! And I think I picked up an instruction manual verses a Shorthand for Dummies. I learned nothing. Except that squiggles have nuances you can not fathom!

The opportunity to gain entry to these homes is overwhelming! The daughter of a man I work with is the activity director at a home in the town here. When I worked so hard on my Senior Fair/Expo I was introduced to a lot of fantastic caregivers who would lend a hand in selecting the type of people to talk to and record what they have to say. And photograph. I have this vision in my head of these beautiful black and white portraits I will take while they talk about the people they love then and now.

So, nothing is holding me back except me. I would like to define who and why before I begin. Ideas collide in my brain making that pearl.

My next step should be to just take that first step. “The first step binds one to the second. ” Some old French guy was pretty smart (See, old guy!!)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Reverb for Dec 12th

Prompt: Body integration. This year, when did you feel the most integrated with your body? Did you have a moment where there wasn't mind and body, but simply a cohesive YOU, alive and present?


Unless you count the numerous times I have almost been hit at the four way stop or when someone miscalculates my speed and pulls out in front of me requiring me to slam on the brakes! Then my mind and body are one at that moment. I do have good reflexes and if something begins to fall I can go for it before my mind tells me "Your eggnog is taking a dive!".

But I believe he was asking about it in an athletic way (take a look at his picture. Who has their publicity shots taken sans shirt unless you are an athlete?) and is trying to see if anyone runs marathons. Heck, the 10 miler will do that to you! Or swimming. Yoga. Sometimes when I would participate in Step Classes I thought I would loose my mind.

Simply put - no. Maybe next year.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ode to a Blue Russian

My headlights sweep across the entrance to the small subdivision we call home bouncing off the large concrete and brick sign and shimmering on the slick blacktop. A shadow among the shadows moves in an easy lope to the edge of our drive way and as I open the car door he sits to welcome me home. "Hello pretty kitty" I greet him and always I run my hand down his luxurious mane of blue gray hair. My three legged wonder scrambles ahead of me in that goofy walk of his caused by the absence of a back leg. He saunters down the drive way and avoids the grass.

Opening the door is always a challenge as he refuses to believe the primary physics law that two objects can not reside in the same place.

He enters the house and lays on the hip of his missing leg side and claws at the scratch tree, as if wiping his feet upon entry. Then its a mad dash to the food bowl to see if he has missed anything. Same old stuff, but he eats like he has not had a decent meal in a week. Afterwards he likes to stretch out with his legs high above his head and the bottom half of his body with only one leg arches his back to complete this ballet like pose. He looks to one side to ensure I am watching. I always stoke his soft arched back and tell him how gorgeous he is.

He follows me from room to room plunking his girth outside each door, laying on his side.

How many different sounds can this marvel make? Well, there is the "Let me out of the house " wail.

There is the low growl when he does not want to be screwed around with.

Every time Joe picks him up he lets out this long "Meoooooooowwwwwwww" that ends with a "EEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK" at the end. Hilarious.

When he is laying around thinking little cat thoughts in this big cat head and you lay a hand on him to pet him he says, "ERRRRRRRRRRRR".

There are probably several more, like when he goes around and around your legs when you are fixing dinner asking, "what's for a cat" with another type of high pitched "meow".

He loves to poke his head in the door of the refrigerator when you open the door and at times he would crawl in to get a better look (is that chicken I spot in the corner?) and has to be nudged away. He squawks in disappointment.

At 4am he always wants out and climbs on the book shelf. If you don't respond by getting up and letting him out, he will begin to knock things to the floor to get your attention.

For some crazy reason, he would go into the bathroom attached to the bedroom and make some crazy agonizing moans, as if he heard birds on the other side of the wall and he needed out right away.

I love this cat. This cat who had extra life added when my daughter called me begging and crying for help to save him when he hurt his back leg. I did and felt like I owned a piece of this Blue Russian gluttonous bird hunting fat cat.

And that is why it has taken me a day to stop crying that his well fed and demonstrative lovable fur ball met an untimely death yesterday. How is it possible to become so attached to a cat? my husband asks me through his tears.

He was a great cat. He certainly lived his nine lives with gusto.

Reverb for December 11

Prompt: 11 Things. What are 11 things your life doesn't need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life?

Not in any particular order

1) The excess 25 pounds I have packed on in the last 5 years. 2011 does not need me courting a heart attack. I could go to the gym, I could watch what I eat. I could take up walking with the aspirations of turning it into running again. I could swim, I could make it a goal to get ready for the triple crown of running in Louisville as part of the Derby Festival. Whoa, that begins with a 5K in March! I better start hitting the pavement and buy some good running shoes - lol. I mean, this is what I would like to do. What will I do?

2) I have a lot of stuff. And that stuff is stuffed into a tiny house. I have a lot of books. I'm not certain how many there are packed in all those boxes in the garage, but it's a lot. Probably close to 1000 - 1500. I have some great titles, some first editions and a lot of variety. My travel section is superb. I would love to sell them just so I do not have to pack them around another couple of times. Maybe I'll get serious and do Craigslist and offer them in lots based on subject matter. Now that's a project!

3) I don't need this obscene debt I have managed to strangle myself with. This year I have done a great job of paying several loans off but there is a whole lot left to get rid of. It is impossible to think it could be done in one year unless I hit the lottery. But, I hope to continue to focus on getting Joe and me debt free before we "retire" (he will, there is no way I can) with only the house mortgage to knock off.

4) This one is way too personal to post on this blog - but I am trying to alter my behavior in the hopes of altering someone else.

5) Another way too personal and would absolutely kill someone if I even hinted that this is something I do not need and consider it a drag on my existence. People have all sorts of reasons to justify their behavior/addictions/personality traits.

6) I am not one to dwell on negative things. There is no way in hell I can come up with 11 things I do not need in 2011 and am willing to change. There are many things I would like to change about myself - I'm a procrastinator for one. I try on a daily basis to not let it screw things up. I rely too much on my being smart and fast.

Reverb for Dec 10th

December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

In January I was offered the Assistant Marketing Director position at the local Mall. I was flabbergasted at the paltry salary attached to such a lofty title. In addition, they bragged about how they had decided to combine the Secretary position with the Assistant position due to budget cuts.

I decided to take the position and to hang on to my sales job at the Bucket by reverting to part time.

Smartest thing I ever did. Event though I work anywhere from 52-67 hours per week, it's okay. My drinking has suffered. I am totally out of practice. And the extra moola has come in extremely handy for those surprises that life hands you.

The most important truths have revealed themselves working retail. I have a semi-skill that is fun and I like.

I'm not certain if necessity caused me to hang on to the Bucket job but the wisdom in such a move has proven to be one of the best decisions I ever made.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yesterday's #10 Reverb

Prompt: Party. What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans.

I can not talk about the reunion party with the Frat brothers over and over. I did have a heck of a good time at the reunion party with the High School I did not attend and mainly because I was with my BFF from Florida. I had a fabulous time at the surprise 50th birthday party for my brother-in-law. And then again there was the Hayride party! Now that was a hell of a good time even though we showed up at the tail end of the party but we started part II which continued well into the wee hours of the morning. We had numerous impromptu gatherings at the Eagles Nest all summer, they were fab. Maybe somewhere in the next 20 "challenges" I can elaborate about each them. But the best party aka social gathering of 2010, is the same one of 2009, and before that 2008 and all the way back to maybe 1998 (I could have the year mixed up) when my brothers and sisters, sometimes Mom and Dad and some special invitees & extras and more recently, long lost cousins gather together. Yes, I am talking about the annual four day week-end at the lake house held each year in June (thought we had to have it in Aug in 2009 because of scheduling problems).

I look forward to it every year and every year it never lets me down.

The early years brought the inception and execution of Treasure Island when a boat load of young children first made way to an abandoned island (courtesy of TVA) and hunted buried treasure with a pirate map! What was found? Jewelry and dinosaur bones, dolls and board games! Oh the treasure you will unearth by being able to follow a map and decipher clues. One year a bottle of special tequila, made to look old and decrepit, was hidden (as a joke for the major Trouble maker) and found by his young son who said, "Yuck" and proceeded to toss it with all the might of a seven year old intent on smashing the horrible looking liquid. My other brother in law, quick thinking and fleet of foot and prepared to take one for the team, made the ultimate sacrifice of diving full length to catch the expensive bottle before it crashed into a tree. All the loot, and a limping slightly boat captain, made it back with a ton of fabulous prizes.

And then, they grew too old for such games and in boredom invented a game called "Smash everyone with the heavy wet soggy water balls as they bounce up and down on the water trampoline and try to swim from said trampoline to the dock." It sounds complicated but it was about 15 minutes of total hilarity with screaming and splashing and smashing and then more! The other brother in law, all six feet six of him, standing on the dock with his back to the floating island of young super shots, shaking his large butt at them singing "Na na na na na, you can't hit na na na na." He was ultimately taken out and down by 10 kids!

Then as night falls and mosquito's come out we retreat inside the house to play charades, the most anticipated and discussed game of the week end.It is always a random pick for teams and you always have a mix of young children (keep it clean guys!) with college aged kids and then, of course my Mother (when she is there). The kids are relentless and take no prisoners when it comes to making it as difficult as can be "picks". For example, pink fairy armadillo in the animal category.

The one that stands head and shoulders above all other charade years was a Movie category, "Moonstruck". Yes, my mother got mooned and was laughing so hard she couldn't get "Moonstruck" out, even though she knew the answer.

I look forward to it each year. It can't come soon enough and it passes like the breeze over the lake.

It is easily the best time of year and the best times of my life. Family.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Poker is not my game

1) I'm loyal and most the time you can count on me to follow through with what I say I'm going to do. Sometimes I back out, but I feel very guilty.

2) I am very good at correspondence. I love to pack your mail box with snail mail. Back when I worked with the beverage company and had quit a bit of time to do these things I was better at it. Send me your address and you are likely to receive post cards and note cards from me. Some hand made!My Christmas cards from several years ago (when I was unemployed) where the bomb!

3) I am a hard worker and I know when I arrive at the Bucket people are glad I finally made it (I'm usually a minute or two late!).

4) I can write a grand letter! As a matter of fact, I am one hell of a good writer. You would not believe the loot I can get by just asking in a letter! Have I mentioned here that my Mom had a letter published in Time magazine in the 1960's taking the economist John Kenneth Galbraith to task over his put down of stay at home Mom's? I got a little of that in me too. ( I really need to write more about my Mom and what a phenomenon she is.)

5) Joe tells me stuff all the time about how I am the voice of reason, how I help him think things through and rationalize things. It's so much easier to do for someone else than yourself!

6) I truly am a good listener. I am interested in you and give you my full attention unless you are some dumb ass giving me a line of crap and then I still listen, but not so sympathetically. I save the bull crap and may write about it (look out and do not blow smoke up my apron). (I have this one crazy conversation I recently had with a 19 year old co-worker that still makes me shake my head).

7) I love old people. I would love to someday concentrate on how beautiful memories are retained and passed down.

8) I once asked my Mom what she thought made each of her kids special. And she told me that she thought I was the most compassionate of all her kids so I guess I'll go with Mom. I would give you the shirt off my back.

I am not a good poker player. You can read every emotion on my face.

Outside Looking In

# 10 Reverb

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I never have been much of a joiner. I try and I fail most the time. I loose interest or my good intentions become washed out or my expectations are not met. I have a glamorized and totally delusional image of myself that I carry around in my head. I think I have magical powers that cause me to become involved in all sorts of endeavors that I have little business atttempting. But, like I said I am delusional.

To tell the truth, I am a trifle bit of a loner. This is a good thing because the tendency has served me well. To pick up roots and move (and baby, I have moved over and over again) has not tramatized me (much).

One move really stands out. When AOL shut down AOL Journal's and scattered us to the four corners of the Internet. If I felt really involved in a community, it was AOL J-Land. I began journaling on line a few weeks into their kick off and loved it. Absolutely loved it. At that time it was a small community that every day highlighted five journalist's. Every day. Five journalist! We got to know each other pretty well in the beginning.

Nothing that wonderful and intimate and worthy can stay that way very long and it took a hit several years later by allowing advertising on the journals without the permission of the writers. Anarchy responded. People left in droves and set up a "community" outside J-Land on Blogger. It did not work. But AOL was delivered a blow it never recovered from. The best of the best had jumped ship. Then it was totally shut down several years after.

Enough of that.

This sense of community, trying to find, fit in and become a part of clearly alludes me. I have hooked up with the Little Black Dress Club in the area and loved the first gathering at Applebees. But the recent attempts to get together and have a Bunco club, or even have a Holiday Open House have been thwarted by some by-laws or such nonsense. That saddens me because there was this one woman who practically promised me a Key Lime Martini. Bummer.

And my stab at Home Based Business was almost a disaster. I felt like I was plunked down into a sorority house. Yikes and no thank you. I will venture out on my own and do my own thing (loner and hard headed).

I can not get a grasp on the community of belonging in this area. It's too weird for me. Weird in a way that I have never been so surrounded by people who do not bend. Who see Black and White. There is only one way to do things and that is the official and directed way. No variance. That's military.

I don't foresee the future being much different. I sure would like to play Bunco while drinking a martini though.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Making A Mess of Things???


Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

Putting my thinking cap on and off all day long I finally remembered something that I had "made" that was not food related! Even though I was dying to tell you all the adventure of making those Cake Pops.

Finally it came to me upon waking this morning, that I had attempted to make some salt scrubs earlier in the year when I had the bright idea that I would sell them at the farmers market.

Have you ever tried to make anything with oils? It's frigging hard if you don't know what you're doing! Everything I read, all the recipes I looked up (including good old Martha) make it sound so easy.

I gathered all the ingredients from far and wide. Including sea salt from the real source, the Dead Sea! I located (over priced) essence oils in a health food store in town. On one of my trips to Louisville I found a reasonably priced bottle of Almond oil. Coconut oil was found at the Mall at the vitamin store! Shea butter came from Africa. Epsom salts - Walmart. Canning jars from Big Lots.

I was ready. I laid it all out and began to mix, stir, experiment, drip drip in the drops of essence oil, heat the coconut oil in the microwave to make it runny and workable, ditto with the Shea butter. The bullet (Christmas gift last year) came in mighty handy for pulverizing that salt!

I decorated the jars with ribbons and decorative remnants of cloth in soothing shades.

The oil separated.

Ditch the almond oil, work with the coconut oil.

Everything smelled like coconuts. Even the pretty pink salt with peppermint essence oil.

That was a disaster! But I certainly have some smooth skin!

And a slippery bathtub.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Plus Seven

Sunday December 5th

Grace in Small things - elongated version

1) Peppermint bark - yum

2) Working with my buddy Kim.

3) Seeing old reports from last year on HBTN's desk and seeing my name with Kim & Rita & Cindy & Ms. W and K. It made me smile remembering How Much Fun it was last year.

4) Made me realize I wanted to have a small gathering at the house! So I will. Just need to find a time when Kim and I don't work at the same time. Going to be tough during the holidays.

5) Checked out a bunch of jewelry books at the library just to look at the designs and teach myself somethings about vintage baubles. They are so much fun to thumb through!

Plus 6

Grace in Small Things
Extended Version
Saturday December 4th

1) (Resumed) cleaning out closet. Lot's of wonderful room. But garage is filling up fast.

2) Got box of old jewelry from the 80's and 90's from the garage and played with old funky jewelry for a little while. Put in Stella and Dot boxes and using a Sharpie, told when I thought I got it, who gave it to me etc. (lot's of junk!lol)

3) The Grinch made a trip to the Mall and I was back in my official capacity as Mall photographer. I had to be at the Bucket for my shift beginning at 5pm, but I managed to take photo's of all the Mall employee kids and still be at work on time!

4) The Angel Tree kid I have asked for "science and musical" toys (isn't that sweet) so the paper Jamz at the Bucket is marked down! So I go that and a dinosaur excavation kit. (cool)

5) UK game on tv - the BIG screen too! They almost beat UNC at NC. Good game, even thought I missed the final 15 minutes b/c of the Grinch. He is a mean one!

Letting Go

December 5th Reverb 10

Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

After a two year absence from the work force and yet another move from the sunny side of Louisville (across the river in Indiana) to the tiny town that straddles Tennessee and Kentucky, it was decided that I needed to find a job. I had to do something more effective than play the game of roulette wheel called Career Builder.

Searching Career Builder led to nary a lead. Avon positions, small investment opportunities, non-salaried positions prevailed the landscape of this military equipped, supplied, signed, sealed and delivered little corner of the world.

There was nothing. Even a search of Nashville yielded little to nothing. Interviews were scarce. It was then that I had to revert back to an old system of looking for a job - hitting the pavement.

My first stop was the Biscuit Bucket that is approximately six miles down the two laner from our house on the border town. I was almost hired on the spot. Heather Be Thy Name was the brand new Retail Manager and called me later that day to set up an interview. I was so desperate that I took it and was to report on Wednesday for official training.

I took the job thinking that it would be short term. I was convinced I could find something more in my line of expertise, account and sales management, that would utilize my college business degree. Hopefully in the beverage industry which I knew like the back of my hand.

Did not happen. Isn't that the way life works. Those ironic little twists and turns on the road to salvation?

I had to let go of the idea that I was better than this. I had to kiss good-bye the notion that this work was beneath me. I had to drop kick the resentment. Resentment? Yes, I was angry that no one valued my experience, my smarts and my charm.

I had to tie it all up in one big parcel and tie about a thousand balloons to it and let it go...go...go...Up..Up..Up.

And as the previous entry, I am very happy working my butt off for the great unwashed. Letting go was the best thing I could have done for myself.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


#reverb 10

Prompt: Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

I am constantly astonished that, in the Autumn of my life,
  • I find myself needing to reinvent who I am
  • required to step out of my comfort zone
  • forced to make new friends
  • mandatory to find a new occupation
  • living in a strange environment (military town)
  • adapting daily to situations of which I have no control
  • working as hard as I ever have in my life (save that stint with the crazy people in North East Indiana which forced me to resign from the beverage company - but I was rehired in a better, more suited position several months later) ( and that time I volunteered to help out my fledgling restaurant owner friends on Mothers Day -but that was only one day)

And the crazy wonder of it all is that this past year I have been the happiest and most content that I ever have before.

Go figure.

Plus Five

Friday December 3rd

Grace in Small Things - Extended version

1) Mt "late day" at the Mall so I do not have to be here until 2pm. But, got up b/f 6am b/c I did not want to waste a single minute of the free time.

2) Shopped!

3) Went to Library

4) Went downtown (finally, been awhile) and visited Betty's Antique store and got some great ideas for presentation if I ever participate in a Stella and Dot show ever again and/or have a party . Who wants to have a trunk show?? Free jewelry. And it is smashing.

5) The new TV arrived. Oh happy day.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Going to Play Catch Up

Found this thru Schmutzie, who introduced me to the incredible Grace in Small Things, which she created, so why shouldn't she introduce me to another site to keep me occupied for the next month. This once called #Reverb10. I think I may be a couple of days late in beginning, so I'll just catch up somehow.

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

I am going to go with the very first thing that came into my minds eye...

Sometime earlier in the year I reconnected through FaceBook with about 40 guys I went to college with in the 1970's. I was a Little Sister to this group of fraternity men. Boys. They were boys back then.

First I connected with one of the other Little Sisters and from there it just snowballed. First one brother, then another then another until we had a whole group of us corresponding on FB.

Who had the bright idea to get together. Who had the brilliant idea to gather us all together one July afternoon when it was 100 degrees outside? Who had the clever idea to meet at P's house, who had a swimming pool and an understanding wife?

Leading up to the party I found I could not sleep and what little sleep I got, it was filled with memories that were almost too painful, too wonderful, too long ago to contain. Each day leading up to the party brought some new fantastic astonishments. One day it was a telephone call and the realization that this was really happening. First one old flame was coming, then another, then a third! I was practically giddy in those final hours.

I drove the 90 miles to the party alone. My husband had to work. My little friend C. who was suppose to keep an eye on me, watering down my drinks, bailed on me. I drove alone with the expectation and the giddiness and the joy swelling and building up in my heart as each mile brought me closer to 35 years ago.

I carried in a bottle of grain alcohol, a 12 pack of beer, a 1.7 bottle of coconut run. Do you think I was ready to party?

Funny what 35 years does to a person. How it plays with the face, expands the belly, changes the shape, how it messes with the hair lines and the hair color, but it does very little to the eyes and to the smile.

I recognized every one of them. I hugged everyone of them and I even cried.

For one afternoon we all stepped back. I did not see the faces of the middle age grandpa's. What I saw was the gang of young men I feel in love with.

Oh baby, did we party.

Best time ever.


Grace in Small Things
December 2


1) Found sniper program for e-bay! No more losing the auction. Well, at least it will be closer.

2) Had the battery switched from the defunct and retired Movado to my old Beverage Co. watch, the one I received for my five year anniversary.

3) Picked an Angel Tree kid from the Salvation Army.

4) Met Joe at Applebee's for cocktails and appetizers after work. Fun.\

5) Zenyatta was waiting for me at home! Ordered her on Tuesday from Horse Park. Wild.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

365 + 3

Wednesday December 1st

Grace in Small Things - Extended version

1) My bro called me from NYC saying he was getting ready to go meet Anne Rice and have her sign her latest book did I want him to have her sign anything for me? Well heck yea! I hope she signed a paperback of "Interview with the Vampire". My all time favorite novel of hers is/was The Mummy and when I she was at a book signing about a hundred years ago at Jo-Beth I asked her when she was going to publish a sequel. She stated that she was working on it. 20 years later.......come on, where is it? I asked my bro to ask her about it. I want answers (and an autograph to add to my collection of her autographed books).

2) Got behind that school bus that picks up the kids that live about 1/4 mile or off the road. One mother drives her kids to the stop, the other walks them up. This time, she ran them up. The little girl made a great run. Took her several minutes to make it. It was cute. I am reminded of the ride each morning when we car pooled to Lex Cath. Every day down US 60. To this day I imagine I can drive that road blindfolded I know it so well. As we approached the airport, there was a farm that every morning, and I mean every single morning, that mother would race the car from the house on the summit, down the hill, down the stretch to meet the bus, who was waiting, at the entrance to the farm. I always wondered if one day the bus driver would grow tired of this game and take off! He never did. He always slowed down and took his time before throwing out the stop sign to wait for her.

3) We received gift cards at the Bucket! I used mine immediately on Christmas tree ornaments and a birthday card.

4) Had to call my mortgage company about our escrow account and if it ever was going to be a lower payment. He was kind of mean, kept reading the screen instead of answering my questions. But, I remembered the words from the Dale Carnegie CD I am listening to at the moment (b/c I still spend a lot of time driving from here to there)and realizing you get no where and no help when you loose your cool. As much as I wanted to scream at him (and I once screamed at an insurance guy over the phone and felt so bad afterwards) but instead I calmed myself down and explained, "Look, what I am trying to get at is that I do not want to have $6,000 sitting in my escrow at the end of the year. Please tell me how to avoid this." and he did! Or rather he reassured me that the over payments (his voice implied that he knew better than me there would be none - according to the formula he was looking at) would be refunded to me or applied to my principal, which ever I wanted. When I got off the phone I was so hot, I knew my face was beet red, but I did keep my cool and found out that Feb 1st my mortgage payment should straighten out.

5) We changed the music on the MUSAK box to reflect that the holiday season is upon us. I flipped on something called, "Holiday Pop" and immediately we received calls about it. I flipped on, what I thought was Classic Holiday music, but in reality it was Holiday Classical (lol). I was grooving in my office listening to Nutcracker and the such when we began receiving calls "Boring music" "too High Class for THIS mall..." etc. etc. etc. For some reason, it made me laugh. I was told to back away form the box - I am hearing Mariah Carey sing "All I want for Christmas" about 100 times a day. I'm thinking of switching to Country Christmas for the week-end? Do you all think I should?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

365 + 2

Grace in Small Things
Tuesday Nov. 30th

1) Found a dollar lying on the floor!

2) Discovered the Goodwill auction site. Oh mama.

3) The Zenyatta Breyer Race ornament became unavailable at the on-line store I used (sold out or did not receive their shipment, I was unclear as to why) so I called the Horse park and they are going to ship me one. Alright.

4) Scrooged was on TV last night with Bill Murray. I love that movie and repeat some of the lines all the time...."Back off Big Boy, might work with the chicks but not me.."

5) When I arrived home from work I was greeted with a package. A package from Nikon! My lens! I slapped it on the camera discarding the poor substitute that I have been crying about for months, and snapped some pics of the cats right away! Yay Rah! I'm back!