Gusto Gal!

Friday, April 02, 2004

Lulu's Friday Five:

1. Apples: Green or red? Red, but preferably peeled, and baked in apple crisp or pie.
2. Corn on the cob: Eat it like a typewriter or round and round? I'm afraid I don't like my veggies as much as I should, but if I am going to eat corn on the cob ... for accessibility reasons, I need it cut off the cob, so I can sink my fork into it.
3. Coffee/tea: Plain or add a little something? It's tea for me. When I have it hot, I love the way Sunshine sweetens it with honey. Iced tea, oddly enough, I take straight.
4. Eggs: Scrambled or fried? Of those two options, probably scrambled. My favorite way to eat eggs, however, is hard-boiled.
5. Bacon: Crispy or fatty? I like bacon bits and those are crispy, so crispy it is!

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Today's Wednesday Whatevers:
1. What noise bothers you the most? I have never liked the sound of vacuum cleaners. They are way too loud for me. The noise, literally, sucks away any chance I have at being heard. In some article I read ages ago, the writer claimed a running vacuum could soothe a colicky baby ... I find that hard to believe! It sounds like a growling monster, ravenous for a meal of dust bunnies, dirt and any shred that falls in its path. How is that going to comfort an unsettled sweetpea?
2. Which emotions seem to take the best of you? Worry and anger. I try to keep them in check, but I struggle to deal with them sometimes. The way I attempt to handle worry is to accept that I only have so much control in most cases. I have to make the best choices I can in the given situation and then hope for a positive outcome.

As far as anger, I hate the fact that I tend to turn to tears when I am most frustrated. Crying does not effectively convey the emotion I am feeling and I end up looking like a weeping weakling.
3. What do you take pride in the most? I feel good about the extent to which I make the most of what I have.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

A blog on Easter goodies from Celebrating the Holidays!
1. What candy in your basket means Easter to you? I am actually not a candy freak. My Easter baskets were typically filled with goodies like stickers, little games, fun jewelry, a stuffed animal and other girlie delights. Marshmallow Peeps were always included, and I still like their pure sugary, fluff flavor. Usually, the "Easter Bunny" would load my basket with other candy, too, but I depended upon help to eat the treats.
2. What Easter candy is a big YUCK! I really do not like jellybeans. For a short spurt, I went through a phase where I thought Jelly Bellies were cool. It was fun to mix 'n' match combinations like peanut butter and grape, but once that novelty passed, I haven't really enjoyed jellybeans.
3. What is your favorite Easter tradition? Aunt Flo's lemon pie. I never liked it, and she wasn't my aunt, but the traditional Easter dessert has made for great writing material.
4. Now that you are an adult, what is Easter like for you? Easter is generally a quiet holiday for us. I like the bright, cheery trend of the season. We usually have a fragrant spring flower in the house, like a hyacinth. I expect we will catch part of a church service on TV in the morning and maybe parts of the Disney Easter parade. Dinner will probably include ham, scalloped potatoes and deviled eggs.
5. What is your favorite Easter memory? Dad loves to tell and retell the story of how I long ago questioned with great sincerity, "If Santa comes in a sleigh, how does the Easter Bunny get here?"

PS -- I saw my first spring robin today! In the morning, lately, I have been hearing plenty of "chirpies," but on our way for noon errands, I had my first sighting. As Mr. Frog by my computer says, "Spring has sprung!"

Friday, March 26, 2004

Friday Five from Gusto and Sunshine.
1. What is your favorite kind of Campbell's soup? I used to really like many varieties of Campbell's soup, including chicken noodle, tomato, alphabet, scotch broth and cream of potato. Now, I am lukewarm on a plain bowl of ordinary Campbell's. I can eat it, but I rarely crave it. When I am REALLY sick, I sometimes like just the chicken broth or just the noodles from a can of chicken noodle. We always have a can of that on standby, just in case, so I would call that my favorite.

With that said, one of my favorite UpBeat columns was based on a serving of Campbell's tomato soup.
2. What is your favorite recipe using Campbell's soup? I like soupy concoctions in general. My favorite, though, is green bean casserole, because it means it is holiday time. Stock up the pantry with cream of mushroom and Durkee onion rings. It is a classic!
3. How do you like your Campbell's served? (in a bowl, in a mug, etc.) I like mine served in a deep bowl with an iced tea spoon, so I have a long handle.
4. Do you save and donate the Campbell's soup labels? We have saved them in the past, but we have been eating so little Campbell's that the labels are hardly worth collecting.
5. What soup, other than Campbell's, do you occasionally eat? Soup is one of my favorite meals. I love Village Place chicken noodle with croutons and Sunshine's company. I love Panera in a bread bowl. In TC, the nearby tavern has several homemade choices daily they serve with freshly-baked bread. For a quick fix, Progresso, Ramen noodle or Mrs. Grass' chicken noodle get pulled from the cupboard.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

3x Thursday: These are just a few of my favorite things...
1. Who's your favorite person in your family? What makes them so cool? (note: family doesn't necessarily mean blood members)
Our true family is rather small and we do not spend tons of time with one another, which sometimes disturbs me. I realize that being an only child, however, has plenty of perks. What makes me really fortunate is I have had three "sisters" in my life that have helped me make my way in this world.

First, Deann. She gave me those kiddie experiences that no adult can provide. We played countless hours of board and video games, concocted cherry and frozen cokes, spent sunny hours at the beach and stayed up as late as I could stay awake.

Then, Sunshine. She understands me better than anyone else right now. When I run into a dilemma, she comes to the rescue. She knows my likes, longings, fears, weaknesses and zaniness. Somehow, she still is willing to keep my company. With her, I can relax, be myself and, best of all, we always find a way to have fun.

Finally, Heidi. I did not get enough time with her, but she brought me into her inner circle and linked me to the enormous disability community. Thanks to her, I gained confidence, experience and a reminder to try to lead a life with as few regrets as possible.
2. What's your favorite meal of the day? Why? I'm voting for lunch, because it is generally a low-pressure meal. Whatever works is fine. If it is an occasion, it can be a fancy "luncheon" with teacups and crustless sandwiches. If I am being productive, it can be a quickie meal of cheese and crackers. On a regular day, it is a 30- to 45-minute break to regroup for the afternoon.
3. What's your favorite search engine? Can it cook your meals for you?
Google is my current favorite. I love the cache feature and their search capabilities on news and photos. As for cooking meals, I have used the Web to find some "just right" Jell-O recipes.
Bonus question: You're given one day to do any number of favorite things that you choose. What would your day consist of?
Sleep until 8 a.m. or so.
Some computer time.
A field trip to a fun place, like a nearby town, a special exhibit, a dessert date with a friend.
A chance to read.
A chance to write.
An opportunity to help someone.
A surprise delivery.
Sunshiny weather.
Good health.
A sweet bedtime treat.
A restful night's sleep!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Hmmmm ... my life seems to have become uninteresting lately. The most exciting news is we bought a new mini-chopper/blender/beater because I have been struggling to swallow meats, etc. The gadget makes it feasible for me to enjoy chicken, chops, shrimp and all kinds of treats that have been tiring and trying for me to chew in recent days.

I am also loving fruity drinks. My favorite is a morning smoothie of strawberries and sugar. Bananas with vanilla ice cream are a yummy concoction, too, but better before bedtime in my opinion. We tried swirling fresh pineapple in my magic machine, but it came out the consistency of applesauce, and I'm not sure how to make it more drinkable? Add water? Add ice cream?

Now, everything is either pate or puree, and I am thinking I just might get fat!

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Spring rained into Michigan last night. I heard T-storms a few times when I awoke in the early hours.

Today is grey, no smidgen of sunshine, but I celebrated the start of the season with my first Dairy Queen hot fudge sundae of 2004. I think the DQ has been open since March 1, but there hasn't be an occasion, until today, when it was feasible to stop and splurge.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Today's Friday Five: If you ...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve? Comfort food ... pot roasts, macaroni, warm bread, mashed potatoes and lotsa kinds of soup ... chicken noodle, french onion, broccoli cheddar, etc.

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell? Fine papers and greeting cards.

3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be? Maybe, a memoir.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach? Creative writing.

5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it? Holiday music, because no matter how early they start playing Christmas music on the radio, it is never too early for me.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Here is the 3 X Thursday on St. Patty's Green:
1. What's your most memorable St. Patty's Day event?
Oddly enough, I have several happy St. Patty's Day memories, even though I am not particularly Irish. I remember in my early grade school days, the cafeteria people colored our milk green. Then, one of my high school teachers hired an Irish storyteller to give a performance that was incredibly animated and fun. This year, Sunshine made me a green beaded bracelet that I love. It was the perfect accessory to go with the shamrock scarf I wore in my hair.
2. Do you believe in the whole wearing green thing for St. Patty's Day?
I recently read that wearing green is not the rule for the holiday, but people are supposed to wear clovers. That was news to me.

It turns out that I do not have much green clothing. On Tuesday, I wore a lime top with my bracelet. Then, yesterday I wore navy, but I had my St. Patrick's Day accents, so I was all set.
3. What's your drink of choice on St. Patrick's Day? Yesterday, the beverage for me was barium, because I had a U-M test ... ugh! I figure it probably tasted more-or-less like too much green beer. Thank goodness, I survived and I don't seem to have a hangover today.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Lulu created these questions to tie in with the March holidays and our Celebrating the Holidays blog.

1. Which woman in history has impressed you the most? Why? My historical heroine is journalist Nellie Bly. She had the spirit to go places that few women in her day even considered visiting. If a story had an element of adventure to it, her byline was a natural.
2. Do you know who St. Patrick is, or did you have to Google when I asked? I had to Google, of course. Before I looked, all that came to my mind was a little leprechaun in a green suit, and I knew that was not right.

Still, I have plenty of Irish spirit. In fact, I am wearing a shade of lime today and my beautiful green-beaded bracelet that Sunshine made for me. Just call me O'Gusto!
3. Is spring your favorite season? Why? Actually, I think it might be my favorite, because it typically is a mild time and it is full of promise. May is my b-day month. This is my 31 flavors year. I love tulips, lily-of-the-valley and lilacs, all spring flowers.

Friday, March 12, 2004

These are the song lyrics Sunshine heard playing on the radio last Wednesday morning on her way to see me.
1. "One more day" -- With whom would you like to spend one more day? Heidi, unquestionably. I feel like she left work undone somehow and I can play a role in bringing her dream into being.
2. "Small town" -- What is your favorite small town to visit? Our summer visits to Alden are dreamy. The lake is a perfect blue pool, plus the town has the cutest cafe called, Afterloon Delights. Most customers eat under umbrellas on the patio, but we try to be lucky enough to get one of the three tables in the air conditioning, where we can watch the chef prepare all of his exquisite dishes. If I have planned the trip correctly, we call in the early morning and ask him to bake us a whole apple pie to take home. He shops daily for ingredients ... it all tastes ultra-fresh. If we take a certain route home, we pass a humungous patch of smiling sunflowers.

I also quite like our periodic getaways to "the-much-larger-than-Alden" Port Huron on the St. Clair river. It is far enough from home that it feels like a mini "away-cation," but it is close enough that the trip is not exhausting. A chocolate soda from London's dairy is a must. Mom and I also like to hit the TE inn gift shop and the "big" mall.
3. "White flag" -- What topic or fear makes you throw up a white flag? As boring as this is to say, "politics" is a matter that I leave untouched. I see no point in getting all hot-and-bothered about issues that stir people into rages. It is important to have an opinion, but my viewpoint does not need to be crammed down the throats of others.
4. "Every little thing she does is magic" -- Who is your favorite magician? I really do not know many magicians. David Copperfield, of course, is the first one who comes to mind, and I have heard his show is spectacular, but I have not seen it in person. To his credit, I have also heard that he spends time helping people with disabilities learn magic, so that is pretty cool. Voila!
5. "You've lost that loving feeling" -- What have you lost the "loving feeling" over lately? Pillsbury crescent rolls. I was eating them every morning for breakfast, but no more.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

My energy, at least for now, is high, so I have hopes today of making up some of my missing blogs.

Here is last week's Friday Five.

What was...
1. ...your first grade teacher's name? It was Candy Garmel. Since then, she has married and her name has changed. Imagine how great the introduction would have been if that "G" in her last name was a "C," instead!
2. ...your favorite Saturday morning cartoon? Bugs Bunny and company were probably my fave, but I went through an extreme Smurf stage.
3. ...the name of your very first best friend? Nicole. We met in preschool and went through high school together. Our friendship was strongest in the early years. She had CP that impacted her speech, and I could understand her better than most adults around us. It was almost like having secret code, which was cool! We shared the good parts of our lunches. She gave me my first Strawberry Shortcake doll and we went through the sticker book stage at the same time. We spent recess together, wrote long letters to each other, rode the same school bus and talked on the telephone forever.
4. ...your favorite breakfast cereal? I could go on and on about cereal. Generally, I prefer it dry like a snack food, as opposed to drenched in milk. Cheerios, for me, are the standard. Coming in close behind the cheery Os, however, are Kix and Chex. I am not too crazy about bran or flake varieties, because they get soggy so soon. To this day, however, I do not think I have had my fill of sugar cereals. I believe either Fruit Loops or Apple Jacks were my first introduction to the sweet treat. Corn Pops, formerly known as Sugar Pops, appeared occasionally in our pantry. A few times, also, Mom would surprise me with the snack packs of sugar cereals. In those assortments, I was crazy for the Cocoa Crispees.
5. ...your favorite thing to do after school? In high school, it was either watch "Guiding Light" or talk on the telephone.

Friday, February 27, 2004

My Friday Five based on the release of the "2004 Forbes Richest People" list.
1. Who are you happiest to see on the list? It was great to know J. K. Rowling made the list because it celebrates the power of writing and reading. I'm happy Oprah is there, as well. Not only is she another rags to riches story, but she also seems generous with her wealth. It was fun, too, noticing number 293 was from Bloomfield Hills and his name is William Davidson. Hmmm ... sounds familiar.
2. Who do you wish was NOT on the list? When I posed this question, it seemed like a good one, but after really studying the list, I realize I do not know at least 80 percent of the names on there. It is hard to say, then, if I consider anyone unjustly included. What is interesting is that fame and fortune need not necessarily go together.
3. How much social responsibility do you think billionaires should have with their money? Even though I know it doesn't work this way, I would like to think all people, no matter their wealth, would be socially responsible with the money they have. If we each give something we can offer, then we are making the world better. Billionaires really shouldn't be held to higher standards than others
4. How much happiness can money buy? I do not think money can entirely buy happiness, but it seems to me that having "enough" helps.
5. If you had one BILLION dollars to donate, what ONE (just ONE!) cause/organization would get the money? I'm not sure which hunger organization is most reputable, but since hunger is such a basic need, I guess I consider it to be a fundamental starting point.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Thursday Threesome: Choreography: The art of symbolically representing dancing

Choreography: What do you choreograph in your life? I am fortunate to usually get to structure my work schedule as I wish. Certain tasks may need to be accomplished on deadline, but I can orchestrate how I complete them. I often suggest meal ideas. I like to keep my reading list and TV viewing choreographed so I have fodder for small talk.

The art of symbolically: What kind of art do you like to have? The funny fact is we have virtually no art on our walls. Each piece, I think, appeals to each person differently ... so when three people live under one roof, why make anyone live with a picture that is unsettling?

As for my personal taste, I love soft, blurry, pastel watercolors ... lotsa blues, pinks and purples.

representing dancing: Which type(s) of dancing will you stop and watch? Some people who use wheelchairs, I guess, have an extreme fascination with dancing. They dream of ballet shoes and full-length mirrors and pink tutus. Not me!

I somewhat enjoy catching ice dancing on TV and I remember loving Dance Fever on Saturday nights in the 70s, but for the most part, dancing is not an activity I would stop and watch.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

The white stuff is starting to make me "flurrious"! Here I at last have the Three for Thursday on snow:

1. What are 3 things you love about the snow? The intricate design of flakes, the way it sometimes sparkles like diamonds in the sun and the book, "The Long Hard Winter."

2. What are 3 things you hate about the snow? It keeps snowing in February, March and sometimes even April. The greyness that typically accompanies major blizzards. The fact that it makes it hard to go places.

3. What are the 3 funnest/funniest moments you can remember that happened on a snow day? Extending a holiday vacation with a snow day, baking a treat so the kitchen is warm and smells good and venturing into the winter wonderland when the majority are bunkered indoors.

Monday, February 16, 2004

I started about three blog entries today and this is the only one I finished, so I am posting it now before today turns into tomorrow.

Unconscious Mutterings: Week I
Legitimate :: Signed documents
Angel :: Tree topper
Question :: Mark
Ready :: Set, Go!
Greed :: Grinch
Affliction :: Polio
Ocean :: Atlantic
Foolish :: Jester
Digital :: Alarm clock
Chalkboard :: Eraser

Friday, February 13, 2004

Happy Valentine's Day! This-or-That from Celebrating the Holidays:
1. Conversation Hearts or Red Hots? Truthfully, I am not crazy about the taste of either, but because the messages are so cute on Conversation Hearts, they are my pick.
2. Flowers or candy? Neither are long-lasting, but flowers mid-winter are so hopeful.
3. The Newlywed Game or Love Connection? I never really watched The Newlywed Game enough to give it a fair chance. Chuck Woolery had a fun show. On the commercial break, I liked how he always said, "We'll be back in two (minutes) and two (seconds)."
4. Valentines: Homemade or store-bought? Homemade. Thanks to Sunshine for lending me a creative helping hand and getting her fingers all gooey with glue.
5. Gourmet restaurant or intimate, candlelit dinner at home? Dinner at home, simply because fighting the crowds does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
6. Pink or red lips? Somehow a shimmery pink sounds pretty to me. Maybe, it is because the color would go perfectly with my new Valentine bracelet and its pink crystal hearts.
7. Love at first sight or cultivated love? Oh, my goodness ... how could you rush into true love? Not me! You know you have people's heart when they know all of your quirks, and they still think you are a-OK.
8. "When Harry Met Sally" or "Jerry Maguire"? "When Harry Met Sally" gets the nod because it has been around longer, so it has more of a "classic movie" feel. Still, I LOVE the "He completes me" line in "Jerry Maguire." Corny, but sweet!
9. Hugs or kisses? OK, the bloggals are unanimous ... you gotta have both!
10. More romantic: soft lighting or soft music? I'm not into music and everyone looks better in low lighting ... fire up the candles!

Friday, February 06, 2004

Yesterday's Thursday Threesome: Anyone can miss a day

Anyone -- Has anyone made an impression on you lately? I'm convinced that I am surrounded by the coolest people. So many ideas come to mind for this question ... the staff in U-M's TACU on 5C, the blood drawer at St. Joe's, the gal who founded Tiny Miracles to distribute quilts to NICU babies, the staff at Oakland Family Services who really put their heart into the questions for my newspaper story.

Two people, however, stand out this week:

1. Greg, aka The Strength Coach, because he is making sure I stay strong, by giving me a reason to use my abilities. All kinds of people empathize when you run into a rough spot, but he offered immediate action when I was scrambling.
2. Sunshine, of course, not only because of all the energy she gives to me, but also because she is branching out and managing to help me as much as ever. I don't know how she stays so motivated, but I am in awe.

can Miss -- What types of things do you take a miss on at your place and choose not to post about? I try not to post about any detail that I wouldn't want the public to know. This is a far cry from a private journal, but I hope it reflects my personality.

a Day -- Do you post every day ... or just whenever ... or is every session at the computer a spur to work up a little something? I'm not good enough to blog daily, but I do post as much as possible, usually three or four times a week. I have never been devoted enough to keep a "true" journal, so my blogging effort redeems me a bit. I think the reason I keep with it has to do with the fact I know I have a reader or two. So, please keep reading!

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

In honor of Groundhog Day! Posted on Celebrating the holidays.
1. Do you believe Punxsutawney Phil's prediction? That little groundhog guy is pretty close to accurate. He saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter, and technically on Monday, we had 48 days until the official start to spring.
2. Have you ever had a rodent for a pet? No, we have had fish, a bird and cats, that is, unless you count the field mouse one of our cats caught ....
3. Today's birthdays: Christie Brinkley (50), Kim Zimmer (49) and Farrah Fawcett (57.) Who is your favorite? Guiding Light used to be my soap opera of choice when I came home from high school. Also, I just discovered that Zimmer is from Grand Rapids, Mich., which I find quite cool. However, for nostalgia reasons, I have to go with Farrah Fawcett. We used to have her famous swimsuit pose hanging in our garage in poster form. No matter where we were headed, at any time of day, she always looked like a bathing beauty to me.
4. Do you know anyone who celebrates a birthday or wedding anniversary today? I don't know anyone who had a birthday or anniversary on Monday, but my friend, Sonic, has a birthday at the end of the week.
5. Today is the 33rd day of 2004, with 333 days left. That's a lot of 3s! What number is lucky to you? When I first started school, I rode bus number 66. Either my mom, one of my teachers or my bus driver drilled that number into my head and that is as close as I can come to having a lucky number.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Having survived yesterday's needle more easily than expected (no tears, in fact!), here is today's Thursday Threesome:

The happiest day: Tell us about the happiest day of your life. I suppose my graduation from OU. Other people have more advanced degrees, of course, but it was such a long haul. Some of those days on campus were so cold, frustrating, exhilarating, tiring, rewarding. I pretty much experienced a full realm of emotions there.

It was a tremendous challenge, but I met people who were devoted to helping me make it work. Plus, when it was all complete, I was prepared to keep making my way. Now, I'm realizing the "ongoingness" of life is the true challenge. Thankfully, I'm still finding caring hearts to give me a push when necessary.

The gradation ceremony, itself, was incredible, complete with a special award and standing ovation. Way cool!

It doesn't take all that, though, to be content. In fact, a fancy dessert like chocolate mousse, a long chat with a friend or a shopping trip can be quite delightful.

The happiest hour: What’s your favorite time of the day, and why? I like the morning, once I'm out of bed and running with a bit of breakfast. It is a time when my energy is building, and the secrets of the day have yet to unfold.

Mine eyes shall see: What’s the one thing/place you would really like to see in your life? I really would like to take a grand tour of Chicago, theatres, museums, shops, the works!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I have a bit of a jittery feeling today. It probably has to do with the fact that tonight I have to get a blood draw at an unfamiliar place.

The mention of a needle used to make me crazy with fear. Before it was even near me, I would be frantic. I am thankfully way past that stage, but I am still someone the medical staff considers to be a "hard stick," meaning many people have trouble drawing my blood. At U-M once, we even had to call a SWAT team member to start my IV.

With any luck, the person who gets elected tonight will be calm and confident. If he or she seems squirmy, that elevates my strain and the procedure tends to take more pokes. I become the human pincushion!

Monday, January 26, 2004

This was a fun true-or-false blogging prompt posted on Monday Madness last week. I did not catch it then, but it still works for today.

1. I often wake up before my alarm clock goes off. Somewhat true. I usually awaken around my usual rising time even if it is a day when I can sleep as late as I like. I generally feel frustrated when I awaken and I discover I only have a few minutes before I must get moving. Those last few minutes of sleep can be the dreamiest.
2. I love to drive/ride; in any kind of weather! True. Maybe it has to do with me always sitting in the passenger seat, but I actually like scurrying out when the forecasters are acting all dramatic. It makes me feel like I can reach wherever I need to go.
3. I'd rather have to worry about staying warm than staying cool. No way ... false! Of course, neither extreme is comfy, but the more layers I have to add, the less I can move. Pretty soon, I am not a person anymore; I'm a puffy pillow with a pulse.
4. I wish I lived in another state. Somewhat true. I honestly think I could be a year-round Florida gal, and the humidity, bugs and gators wouldn't get to me. This move seems like a brighter and better idea, the more the winter winds blow and the flakes fly.
5. Multitasking is what I do best! Slightly false. I am capable of juggling, but I get easily flustered.
6. Flying is the only way to go! Again, slightly false. Driving has plenty of advantages, but if time is short, I can understand needing to be a jetsetter.
7. Budgeting my money is one of my downfalls. False. I understand the importance of sticking to a budget, that builds up a steady savings.
8. I wish there was eight days in the week! Absolutely true! I am always wanting to squeeze in one more project.
9. I get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Slightly false. Seven is about the right number for me, but I usually come out a tad short on the snoozing schedule.
10. I'm a night owl. False. I wish I had enough energy to REALLY burn my candle, but I dim down as it gets late.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Friday Five time

At this moment, what is your favorite...

1. ...magazine? [This Friday Five question was originally about music, but I hardly pay any attention to songs, so I tweaked number one just a bit.] Ever since Oprah came out with her magazine, nothing really compares for me. It has a celebrity feature, reading suggestions, personal essays .... I love it! "Rosie" was a close second choice, but now, that magazine is long gone.

2. Pot roast. It is such a comfort food. OK, I am obviously not a vegetarian.

3. ...TV show? ER. I do not think it is as good as the early episodes, but I'm a loyal watcher. Plus, I have refused to invest my attention in other prime time shows, because these networks could have me tuning into the tube every night. No way! It is a much better idea to experience the ER vicariously through TV, than to visit the real place in person. At least, that is how I view it.

4. ...scent? My favorite perfume right now is Beyond Paradise, but a large part of that is the design of the bottle. It looks like a bubble with the iridescent colors of a prism. The smell is floral and nice, too.

5. ...quote? I really need to get a new quote, because I am almost tired of hearing myself quote this. Still, journalist Nellie Bly's words suit me well: "Energy rightly applied can accomplish anything."

Thursday, January 22, 2004

This morning when I signed onto AOL, the first announcement I read said today was the day for celebrating the Chinese New Year. I really have no clue how to celebrate this occasion, but I think I am in good shape anyway, because 2004 happens to be the year of the monkey.

Coincidentally, during the Christmas break, one of my gifts was a Mylar purple monkey balloon with a curly tail, eating a banana. Then, yesterday at the hospital, Mom surprised me with a cute red and yellow Beanie Baby monkey named Chopsticks. She thought he looked suited for Valentine's Day with his bright, cheery color.

With all of these monkeys I have, I am thinking my next Chinese fortune cookie better bring me good luck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

This or That: Today needs a bit of excitement!
Which is worse?
1. Hospital food or airplane food? I haven't had many airplane meals, but at least the U-M Hospital has quite a selection, so usually I can find something. I like their Naked juice and, of course, they have cake ... let me eat cake!
2. Liver or sardines? Skipping both sounds like the best option to me, but liver is so rubbery, I cannot even chew or swallow it. Then again, maybe that makes liver better?
3. "Joe Millionaire" or "Fear Factor"? Sometimes the ads for "Fear Factor" make me queasy
4. Guinea pigs or eels? Eels are slimy.
5. Maury Povich or Montel Williams? I have seen Montel give a speech in person, but I was not too impressed. Still, it is cool to have seen him, and he is a person with multiple sclerosis. Povich doesn't get any of those points.

Which is best?
6. Fruit pie or cream pie? Cream pie. To be more specific, I think French Silk is my fave.
7. Butterflies or ladybugs? Ladybugs are supposed to bring luck, but certain ladybugs bite and that isn't so cute. I love the fleeting quality that butterflies represent, plus they come in multiple pretty colors.
8. Renee Zellweger or Nicole Kidman? We saw "Cold Mountain" during the holiday. Both actresses were outstanding, but I would have to give the edge to Renee. Nicole is breathtaking, but Renee is warm and feisty
9. Hot chocolate or cappuccino? I can get wired enough without the caffeine in cappuccino, but please let me have a cup of whipped cream with my cocoa!
10. Flannel PJs or silk PJs? Silk means I go slip-sliding, so flannel PJs for me.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Friday Five + 1 ... our version. Do you believe in:
1. Handwriting analysis? No, I doubt my handwriting would reveal much about me. It is not exceptional in any way, not overly neat, messy or artsy. It is occasionally teeny-weeny; I call that "mouse print." What does it say about me if I write like Minnie Mouse?
2. Astrology charts/horoscopes? If I have a newspaper and time on my hands with nothing to do, I might read my horoscope, but I consider it pure amusement.
3. Palm reading? Well, I appear to have a long lifeline, so maybe I should start believing in this.
4. Tarot cards? I really know nothing about them other than I think the pictures on the cards are creepy-looking.
5. Fortune cookies? I believe that, if nothing else, fortune cookies taste good.
+1. Psychics? Out of all of these, psychics scare me a little. Some people seem like they might have awareness about matters that most of us do not realize. I have never meet a "true" psychic, but I think they could be out there. Coincidentally, I currently happen to be reading a fun book about a young mother who can see into other people's lives. The book is called "The Saints and Sinners of Okay County."

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Since last Monday, Jan. 5, I have been totally spoiled with Valentine treats. My first Happy Heart's card arrived on that day. Then on Wednesday, I opened a Christmas present that had gone unopened and it was a beautiful red heart pendant and a gift set of Happy Heart scented goodies.

Saturday was my next big day of Valentine delights. Sunshine sent me links to spark creative card ideas and she offered to help me put some together when the going gets "gluey." Later that day, Mom and I went to the Great Lakes Crossing mall and we found the cutest Valentine place mats and a heart-covered nightgown.

Yesterday, I received my second Valentine with scrumptious-looking iced heart cookies on the front. Yummy!

Can you believe it? Feb. 14 is still a month away and I am so surrounded by love.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

In honor of Lulu, who starts her new job tomorrow, Sunshine created these questions for our Bloggal Friday Five.

1. Best job? I haven't really had scads of jobs, but definitely working for in its heyday has been a great work-related thrill. My assignments were incredibly varied, fulfilling and creative. What more could an employee ask?
2. Best place/area to work? Working from home has plenty of advantages and works well for me with my disability. I can understand why some people might find it to be lonely, but with my computer and Sunshine's help, I never feel too isolated.
3. What is your education? I have a bachelor's degree in English with a minor in journalism. We like to say around here, "Oh yeah, OU!"
4. Is your career what you wanted growing up? Since high school, I knew I wanted a job writing. I feel lucky to have realized that as soon as I did. I still struggle at times, wondering if I am in the "just right" place, but overall, I think I am on the right path.
5. Do you socialize with coworkers? I love having a close friendship with Sunshine and a mostly virtual relationship with my other coworkers. The combination is perfect, really. I love the fact that someone knows me well enough to read my mind. Working with the others via the computer keeps my communication skills sharp, because it means expressing myself clearly so they can read me across the miles.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Oh, my goodness. I am so behind ... here is a post I started two days ago. It is the Wednesday Whatevers:

1. Do you prefer today's world or would you prefer the more simplistic past? I am not sure I buy into the idea that simple is better. When it comes to tasks, I generally believe the more effort I put into a project, the better the result. Plus, when you consider all of the conveniences we have that did not exist just a few years ago, I am not too convinced, the past was so peachy. I mean, how easy could life have been without microwaves, computers, electric lights and indoor plumbing? I'll stick with the here and now, thank you!

2. What does Valentine's Day mean to you? It is my first reason to be cheery following the holiday hoopla. It is a time for sweet treats -- Conversation Hearts, cute cards, lacy trim, spring flowers, hugs, kisses and all gestures that are lovey-dovey!

3. What types of books do you like best? I used to really only like fiction. Now
I am getting more interested in biographies, so it just depends on my mood. The book I most recently finished reading is "What a Difference a Year Makes."

Monday, January 05, 2004

I promised Sunshine I would blog today. Since we are suddenly living in an extremely white winter wonderland, I thought the following topic I came across in the Monday Madness archives would be brilliant.

For the following 10 items, name the color that, in your opinion, best describes it.
1. your mood: A rainbow assortment, depending on the situation. How could anyone be a one color-mood?
2. your personality: Lilac. To some I may seem muted, but others seem to spot a "spring-like," alive hue to me.
3. your job (or your past job) OR your school: I suppose red is rather appropriate, because it seems to be coming to some jerky stops lately.
4. your home: Lamplight yellow, warm and glowing.
5. your imagination: Shocking pink. Mine is full of fluorescent energy.
6. nature: Different shades of green.
7. your name: Tanzanite blue. It is unusual enough to qualify as rare and refreshing, I think.
8. wealth: Golden.
9. the perfect car: Black. It is a perfect match for that slinky black dress that is supposed to hang in every gal's closet.
10. good health: Rosy.

Friday, January 02, 2004

This week's Friday Five on the one thing I am most looking forward to . . .

1. Arriving home, safe and snug.

2. ...over the next week? Figuring out my next freelance assignment.

3. ...this year? Working on a long-term writing project that was proposed to me.

4. ...over the next five years? Following a course where I can make the most of my abilities.

5. ...for the rest of your life? Reflecting on having created a meaningful life, surrounded by loving family and friends.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Happy New Year! This ... ER ...That from Celebrating the Holidays.
1. Going out or staying in? If we go out, we will be home well ahead of midnight, ready to toast 2004.
2. Big gathering or intimate fiesta? I expect it will simply be the three of us nibbling on treats and rocking into the New Year with Dick Clark.
3. Daily desk calendar or monthly wall calendar? My 2004 Mary Engelbreit daily desk calendar is all ready for use. I was disappointed to discover she did not produce her usual monthly block calendar for the New Year.
4. Champagne or soda? I rarely drink any alcohol, but New Year's Eve is one holiday where I usually splurge with a bit of bubbly.
5. Watch the football bowl games or movies? I don't really expect to watch either. If I turn to the TV at all, it would be for a movie over football any day.
6. Sleep in or work? Sleep until I naturally awaken, probably about 9ish.
7. New Year wishes to share? Hmmm ... I suppose I will rely on my favorite Nellie Bly quote, "Energy rightly applied can accomplish anything."
8. New Year traditions to share? This holiday is always just a play-it-by-ear time. When I was a child, I usually spent it with my cousins, playing with our Christmas presents in their basement. Meanwhile, the adults partied upstairs. At midnight, we were served gingerale and it made me feel oh-so-mature to be sipping from a stemmed glass.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

I meant to post this picture on Christmas Day because I thought it would be cute to be like an Advent calendar and reveal a creche scene on the 25th.

Oh, well ... better late than never, I suppose.

Here, too, is the Friday Five a day late. The theme was ushering in the New Year.

1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year? I felt nervous taking on an overwhelming work challenge early in 2003. Now that the job has seemingly come to an end, I feel good that I have not come undone over the sudden loss of order in my life. My thinking is that I will eventually reach some more settled state, and I need to be open to new possibilities without getting overly anxious.
2. What was your biggest disappointment? I am sorry that my efforts were not enough, in combination with others, to turn a friend's vision into reality.
3. What do you hope the new year brings? I hope 2004 brings a sense of satisfaction to everyone. For those of us who set out with high hopes, if those aspirations pull us to new insights, than we are truly blessed.
4. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? I will not formalize any resolution with a declaration, but I do have a general idea in mind about where I would like to head in 2004.
5. What are your plans for New Year's Eve? We will probably enter into Jan. 1 quietly with Dick Clark on the tube. Usually, we toast with champagne and mountains of munchies.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

It is Christmas Eve and I probably won't be in bed by midnight. Please don't tell Santa.

We just returned from a festive dinner at our friend's home. They have every nook and niche bedecked for the season and it is positively gorgeous. Plus, they have two precious girls, one in the first grade and one in the sixth.

The evening was quite elaborate. Our menu was printed and placed in a frame for our review when we arrived. We enjoyed decadent treats including coconut shrimp, pork tenderloin and cheesecake with a cherry/raspberry glaze.

We dined at a formal dining table and their player piano played Christmas music in the background.

When we left for home, snow was falling from heaven and blanketing the world in white.

As Tiny Tim said, "God bless us, everyone."

Monday, December 22, 2003

The Friday Five became my Monday Mission:

1. List your five favorite beverages. Hot tea with honey, Pedialyte, Sprite, gingerale and fresh-squeezed lemonade (Kilwin's loads it with sugar and it is soooo sweet!)
2. List your five favorite Web sites. Yahoo!  Google. Out of loyalty, Bloggals.
3. List your five favorite snack foods. Pringles; cheese and crackers; Planter's cheese balls; peanut butter cookies, lately; and tonight I had some ruffled Jay's chips with french onion dip.
4. List your five favorite board and/or card games. Uno. Connect Four. Monopoly ... I could never find anyone who liked playing this as much as me. Yahtzee. At Turkey Time, we had a hoot playing Racko.
5. List your five favorite computer and/or game system games. Mah jong.  Puzzles at Free Cell. I used to love my tabletop versions of Q*Bert and Ms.Pac Man.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Sunshine and I are in agreement. This has been a disorienting week. Today is Thursday, but it somehow seems more like Tuesday. We have both taken cold/flu meds, so maybe that is why we are feeling foggy. Between the orange Dayquil, the pink bubblegum Amoxicillin and my other usual assortment of bitter pills, I am sick of drugs.

I stayed up last night watching Diane Sawyer's Oprah interview. It was worth watching even though I have been yawning through the day. I was impressed to think that she was not overwhelmed by the deplorable conditions that the children of Africa face. She has decided to make the best difference that she can and to feel content knowing that her impact is momentum in the right direction.

Thank goodness I don't have to worry about catching ER tonight because it is a rerun. I better get some Energizers for Christmas. I need more ooomph to keep going and going ....

Monday, December 15, 2003

This is a flag ornament.I'm not the teary type. When I'm sick or facing a barrage of needles, I might get drippy, but I am not all emotional, generally, in sentimental situations. No running mascara for me. I rarely wear make-up and, like I said, I do not cry easily.

This morning, however, Diane Sawyer interviewed two soldiers who were a part of the division that captured Saddam Hussein. On GMA, they arranged it so one of the soldiers had a chance to talk to his mom and wife. He was overcome with emotion.

I couldn't help getting slightly misty-eyed at the thought of the fear, courage, pride, relief and love that young man has felt in the past 48 hours.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

This is the bah-humbug Ebenezer Scrooge.This is Ebenezer Scrooge holding gifts.
This...ER...That from Celebrating the Holidays blog:
1. Homemade ornaments or store-bought? The majority of our ornaments are glistening glass, but a few homemade beaded and sequined varieties occasionally sneak their way onto the tree. We have a set of wooden snowflakes that an up north friend made for us. I have had a cloth Santa, Mrs. Claus and gingerbread man since I was a tot. To complete our homemade collection, a few ceramic ornaments are marked "1973," the year I was born.
2. Angel or Santa or Star tree topper? For as long as I can remember we have always had an angel. Our old cat broke one of our previous angels during dedecorating many years ago. The replacement angel, my mom insists is not as lovely as the other, but I think she is quite a luminous beauty.
3. Blinking or full-on lights? Full force. Blinking lights almost make me feel dizzy or like I had a little too much eggnog.
4. Presents wrapped under the tree throughout the season or hidden until Christmas Eve? We usually leave them around the house. Putting them directly under the tree simply is not practical because of the abundance of ornies on our bottom boughs.
5. Grinch or Ebenezer? I will never be humbug on Scrooge. One of our holiday traditions is to see a theatre production of "A Christmas Carol."
6. Snowman or snow angel? I have never made either, but realistically I think my preference would be snowmen, because it is hard to imagine the fun of laying in the snow and getting cold and wet.
7. Gingerbread house or gingerbread man? I have some sweet memories of gingerbread houses, even though I hardly remember eating a piece of them. One year, I was sick at holiday time and a neighbor made me a faux gingerbread house. It was frosted cardboard, I think, but it was covered with wrapped candies that could be pulled off and eaten. My grandma gave me gingerbread houses a few years in a row. She ordered them from a catalog, I think. Then, my friend Heidi gave gingerbread houses as holiday gifts. So cute!
8. Hat or earmuffs? Hats make my head itch and earmuffs hurt my ears, but if I have to put a lid on my top, I would reluctantly reach for a hat.
9. Fed Ex or UPS or USPS? The regular USPS actually seems the most cost effective.
10. Full-size or tabletop tree? Tabletop trees are fine for extras, but for the actual real showpiece, only a full-size fir can do the job. We have a mambo artificial tree, so this year and last, we left out one section to speed through the bah-humbug comments about the effort. Even with this concession, however, the tree trimming still requires a stepladder to put the tiny ornies on top.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Lulu posed these questions on our "Celebrating the Holidays" blog:

1. Have you ever been utterly surprised by a Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday time gift? Sunshine really made our Christmas last year when catastrophe struck. She spent the night, stood in line for our ham and even fixed the tree lights that fizzled into darkdom!

2. Have you ever been disappointed by a Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday time gift? Not really. I LOVE the holidays, so I guess if I have any letdown, it is that others may not be in the spirit as much as me.

3. Have you ever celebrated Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday time by volunteering your time? No, but I think I might like to cheer people in the hospital as a volunteer.

4. Do you celebrate Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday time differently now than you did as a child? Slightly different. We used to have Christmas Eve dinner at my grandma's house with my aunts, uncles, cousins. The funny part was we had all the holiday side dishes, Jello, green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes, etc., but for our main meat we had KFC.

Christmas morning we always spent at home with just our immediate family. Then, for Christmas dinner, again with the grandparents, we traditionally had ham.

Now, we celebrate the holidays in TC.

5. Do you decorate for Christmas/Hannukah/Holiday in a simple fashion or do you go all out? Our tree is a humungous to-do, but it is the main decoration. Some years we get out our Santa collection. We have a wreath on the door. Ooodles of ornaments ... that is the big deal here.

Friday, December 05, 2003

No Friday Five this week, so Sunshine from our "Celebrating the Holidays" blog created this set:

1. What store seems to be getting most of your biz this season? Target or Marshall Field's.

2. Who on your list has been the easiest to buy? Probably my two cousins' little girls. It is such fun making the toy store trip and seeing the Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake and Polly Pocket dolls. The only hard part is knowing when to STOP!

3. Who on your list has been the most difficult? My mom, because she inevitably buys the gifts I buy for her before I can give them to her on Christmas morning.

4. Do you make up a "wish list" for presents? No, in fact, I don't ever recall making a list. Usually my mom takes me with her to shop for my main present. I love "just right" surprises, though. The most memorable are the unexpected, thoughtfully chosen gifts.

5. What dish/food are you bringing to your family's festivities? We always "take the cake." Usually, we take two because it is my dad's birthday and his twin brother's, too, and they each like their own flavor -- lemon for my dad, chocolate for my uncle.

Monday, November 24, 2003

The highlight of the weekend was ogling Bachelor Bob at Borders last night. We didn't wait in line to chat with him, but we found a great peeking spot and had fun watching him interact with customers. He seem to be genuinely sweet -- posing, hugging and smiling at everyone from little girls to mature women.

TV really did not do him justice; he was more handsome than I expected. Plus, with all of his charisma, he appears to be quite a catch.

The people in the bookstore, actually, all seemed to be in especially good spirits, too. I was offered the chance on several occasions to move to the head of the line. They seemed miffed when I declined, but it was a treat simply to be an onlooker to such generosity.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Woohoo! My Friday Five is ready on Friday.

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year. Have my new magazine assignment complete and approved by my editor. Have another writing assignment in line to be produced. Have my computer files better organized. Have my agenda down to more of a routine. Have my book project in motion.

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again. My cousin, Mary. A former journalism prof, Al. A distant relative, Katrina. An acquaintance named Chris. Steve, an author I interviewed.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do. Quilt. Be able to recognize/appreciate fine art. Carry on a compelling casual conversation. Blog faithfully.

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit). Visit some big cities. Infuse life into Send someone to college who really wants to go, but has not had the chance. Move Sunshine's family to TC when we go. Spend the slushy months some place sunny.

5. List five things you do that help you relax. Reading magazines. Rolling through the mall. Eating ice cream. Writing friendly notes to post via snail mail. Browsing through new releases on Amazon or

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Whew, this process of finding freelance work has made me a little more loony than usual.

I have extreme highs and lows. Either I am near tears or fully believing the next great project is about to hit my e-mail. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Finding the "just right" mix of work will no doubt be a challenge, but I know good results take time. If I am patient and pursue possibilities, I will land on my wheels.

Thank goodness I have friends helping to keep me cheery.

Each time I see our Christmas tree, I have to smile about seeing such a spectacular sight.

My name is being circulated throughout my network of peers.

I dedicate myself to making at least one new professional approach every day.

Meanwhile, I concentrate on positive notes when I notice the blues clouding my spirits.

Even with this challenge, I know I am a fortunate gal!

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Our Christmas tree is looking "tree-mendous" as of today. We couldn't have done it without Sunshine's help. It is such a beauty.

The process of bedecking it is certainly monumental, but it is a case where I believe the contentment correlates with the effort. The more ornaments, the brighter the joy.

I have an assortment of favorite ornaments: the orange smiley, the pineapple, Olive Oyl, Madeline, the gingerbread boy, Dolly Parton. OK, the list could be longer!

Anyway, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and I couldn't be happier because I need to concentrate on some merriment and believe in possibilities that seem fantastic.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Envision whirled peas:: A sixties flashback
Envision--How much television do you watch each week? Lately, I have been rather tired so I have been watching more TV than usual, but I am not a glued-to-the-tube kinda gal. "ER" is my favorite show, even though, I acknowledge, it is not anywhere near as good as it used to be. I also like news programs like "20/20" and "Dateline." I have stooped as low as "The Bachelor," but it is really just background to give my mind a rest. Bob is a local guy, too, so that adds to the interest.
Whirled--Are you ready for Thanksgiving? ...or are you going to be whirling around at the last minute? Can anyone every truly be prepared to serve a dozen different dishes gracefully, at the right temperatures, at the same time? I think not! I am, however, ready for the bustle of "Bird Day" and I feel grateful we will be celebrating the feast with family this year.

With that said, we are already quite ready for the Christmas hoopla. We have cards and stamps ready for writing and sending. Many of our presents are purchased and await a wrap job. The tickets to "A Christmas Carol" have arrived. Our tree is even standing in the hopes of soon dazzling.
Peas--What are you looking forward to eating on Thanksgiving that you just cannot get the rest of the year? Stuffing and pumpkin pie!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Ugh, the report that says fatigue is a symptom a month prior to a heart attack makes me crazy! Who isn't tired? Who doesn't stay up too late running errands, watching a favorite TV show, reading a magazine, eating a snack or catching the news? Who doesn't set the alarm early to finish a work project, arrive at an appointment, sort through some mail or get set to face the day?

Everyone I know is running on minimum shuteye, so we all are on the verge of heading to heart attack city, I guess. I'll be yawning when I reach the welcome gates.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Wednesday Whatevers, posted on Thursday. Better late than never, right?

1. Do you still trick or treat? No, but I have plenty of great Halloween memories. My costumes were not usually a major deal. Several years, I simply had the plastic mask variety that isn't considered safe any longer. My bus driver always really wore a costume with major make-up, so you could hardly recognize her. It was thrilling to guess how she would dress. The costume I remember most was her Miss Piggy.
2. What are you afraid of? I'm afraid of being alone ... not for a few minutes, but I mean REALLY alone, because I do depend on people to help me manage basic tasks.
3. White lie, or honesty about something like a bad haircut? I guess I believe in creatively-phrased truth telling. It seems to me there is almost always a positive point to express about most situations. If not, then I should be smart enough to stay mum on the matter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

This...ER...That: Blast back in time ... complements of Sunshine
1. Pac-Man or Space Invaders? Pac-Man, but I actually had a laptop Ms. Pac-Man game that I loved.
2. The Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family? The Brady Bunch. Here's the story ... I don't think I ever watched The Partridge Family.
3. The Cosby Show or Family Ties? I liked both, but I would probably give Cosby the slight edge.
4. Flashdance or Footloose? I loved Flashdance. I had all kinds of leg-warmers around the time of that movie, and my mom played the soundtrack whenever we piled into her car.
5. "Feathered" hair or straight hair? I suppose straight. Really, I only feel strongly about longish hair as opposed to short.
6. Arcade or home video game system (like Atari)? Arcades are not really accessible.
7. Heavy metal or pop? Anything, but heavy metal!
8. Dick Clark or Kasey Kasem? Both are a-OK, but Dick Clark has the edge, because I associate him with a Happy New Year.
9. Janet or Chrissy? I watched "Three's Company," but I never was really too into the characters.
10. In honor of Halloween: The Addams Family or The Munsters? I was too much of a baby for those shows. I would have to tune into "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!"

Saturday, October 25, 2003

No Friday Five, so here is Friday Fun from Sunshine, being posted on Saturday.
1. Name a cartoon/cartoon character that drives you nuts. Bart Simpson. I don't really think I like the concept of cartoons for adults.
2. Link the weirdest news story you read this week. This morning on "Weekend Today," I heard this weird story about an intruder who was living in this couple's attic and the homeowners had no idea they had a guest. I was unable to find the story on the Web, however, so this piece on cholesterol-reducing orange juice will have to do. It sounds yucky to me. Also, why is it that shares of Coca-Cola stock were down with this announcement?
3. Name a TV show you tried to get into watching, but ditched. I have tried to watch "Ed" a few times, especially because they have a regular character who uses a wheelchair, but I never seem to have the attention span for a weekly comedy.
4. Besides ice cream, what is your favorite frozen treat? Orange push-up cups. I haven't had one in a long time because ordinary sherbet is really the same and easier to eat. Still, packaging can add to the pleasure.
5. What are your plans for the weekend? The weekend has started out a bit out-of-sync. We usually have Friday night dindin at a restaurant. Instead we decided on Chinese carryout and TV. As soon as I was done eating and read a few pages of my Lance Armstrong book, I stretched on the sofa and fell asleep.

This morning, rain was pounding on our roof. I had a warm crescent roll for breakfast. Then, when I tried to connect to the Internet, my AOL would not start. I restarted, unplugged and prayed, but nothing worked until I reinstalled AOL. So, who knows?

I need to devote some attention to Make A Difference Day projects that are benefiting the disability community. Also, I need to make use of the press kit I have for the new movie, "Radio," starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. Other than those plans, we shall see.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

This is a word association blog topic called, Wednesday Words.

Instrument - My first thought was a big tuba, not really sure why? Somehow I don't think it is a good sign that I also thought "hospital instruments." Keep me away from needles, please!

Truth - "The truth shall set you free." Perhaps, but if the truth is unpopular, everyone will balk at the reality. Disproving facts that people want to believe is a tough part of journalism.

Money - I really dislike giving/receiving money as a gift even though it is practical. For teenagers, it sometimes has to do, but BORING!

Hair - I have often wondered how my hair would look with a tinge of red, not carrot red ... just an auburn cast. Of course, I won't have it colored, but it would be the shade I would try if I was experimenting.

Favorite - "Favorite" is a temporary state, based on my mood. My favorite color today is tanzanite blue.

Candy - Candy is not one of my major downfalls. I occasionally like a piece for a treat, but generally I like plainer varieties than types with toffee, nuts, caramel, etc.

Grits - I haven't tried these in ages, and when I did, I didn't like them. I could easily be a southern gal, though. If it meant eating grits to be one, dole them into my bowl.

Saturday, October 18, 2003

This was a fun Friday Five, because it tested my brainpower. I wasn't able to "cheat" and take a peek to find out what is lurking in the depths of our house. Maybe, I have a good deal ....

1. Name five things in your refrigerator. Two Yoplait cherry yogurts. A partially-eaten package of colby-jack cheese cubes. Some leftover Mideastern food from Anita's Kitchen. Cranberry juice. The remainder of an open can of peaches that we didn't eat.

2. Name five things in your freezer. Ready-made pie crusts. Strawberry popsicles. Gorton's lemon pepper fish filets. Ice. I believe some Breyer's ice cream ... chocolate, strawberry or possibly both?

3. Name five things under your kitchen sink. Liquid hand soap, I think it is clear Dial. Cascade dish detergent. Our wastebasket, with the cleanest garbage in town, because the rule here is that every throwaway has to be rinsed. Comet cleanser for scrubbing the sink.

4. Name five things around your computer. I have already introduced my froggy friend. My Ruthie cow from London's Dairy is another computer pal. Then, my prim 'n proper chick sits in my Mary Engelbreit teacup and saucer. My rolodex is a functional item, rather than fanciful. Finally, my Mary Engelbreit "Time for Tea" snow globe complements my Mary Engelbreit cube calendar. I also have a Mary Engelbreit day-at-a-glance calendar, but on a funny note, I'm still always grappling to recall the date.

5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet. Excedrin. Band-aids. Hydrogen peroxide. Tylenol cold tablets. Tissues -- wipe away those tears; I'll be blogging again!

Saturday, October 11, 2003

These past two weeks have left me aswirl with rambling images and ideas, a few unpleasant, but most of them fairly cheery.

My dad had to make a routine visit to TC to check on the home front there. This meant mom and I had a few girls' nights on the town. At Salvatore Scallopini's, my mom saw a baby flip in his stroller and bump his head. Since then, I have caught myself wondering on several occasions how the sweet baby is faring.

Dad bought a digital camera that seems quite puzzling to use. It has all kinds of buttons and specific Kodak software. We have taken several photos already, but the instruction manual is thick and when I glance at it, I get a sick feeling in my stomach. I fear the camera will remain a perpetual mystery.

We celebrated my mom's b-day. I had fun trying to treat her to some surprise treasures. The Radko cross ornament I knew was a safe gift. The Niagara plate was taking a chance, but it seemed to be well received, and the eBay experience is entertaining.

Sunshine brought me the cutest Halloween frog! He has on a pointy black hat, with yellow-and-orange trim and a purple sparkling star at its tip. It wasn't MY birthday, but I really think he is the greatest. Whenever I see him, I smile, and he is always watching over me, even as I jabber in this blog. No matter is too trivial for his scrutiny.

By the way, I discovered a new blog that I am following. It is called, "The 19th Floor." A fellow SMA-er is filling in the lines. I'm so hooked, I have added it to my faves list.

Getting back to b-days, though, K turned 13, a true teenager. The review of her party was so vivid, I felt like I was part of the planning committee. It made me feel good to know she enjoyed her celebration so much.

The next big event for me was the black tie gala, complete with dress, satin slippers, hairdo and a celebrity. With all of that, the best part was running into my cousin and his wife at the occasion. Somehow, seeing someone familiar made me feel more grounded ... hard to explain!

The past two weeks at work have been complete chaos, between the Dream Ball and the Summit. I'm glad we survived them. Now, we can catch our breath and move forward in whatever direction makes sense.

We started our Christmas toy shopping midweek. Boy toys are frustrating, but the doll aisles are like a memory lane trip. Last night we went to a family/friend get-together. We agreed to bring dessert, so we brought three cakes: one said "Happy," two said "Fish" and three said "Fry." The sides of the cakes were decorated with waves and fish. Yes, the main course was fried walleye and blue gills!

This morning I saw Scott Baio interviewed on the Today Show. I think they said he was 42 ... how funny! I remember him from "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi"! Now I guess he has directed some independent chick flick that is getting good reviews. It surprised me how wise he seemed.

Earlier today I finished reading the book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," by Mitch Albom. It was an excellent read. Now I am thinking, who could be the five people who explain the meaning of my life to me in the next world? Could I ever stretch my creativity enough to write something as powerful as Albom?

Not sure what has inspired me to blog all of this. Like I said at the start, the saga is all disjointed.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Thursday Threesome on Saturday morning cartoons:
Saturday- Is Saturday a day to relax? Yes, to some degree. It has the most room for playing of all the days of the week. I am not opposed to accomplishing some work tasks on Saturday, however, and sometimes it is a good opportunity to complete a project I have been procrastinating.

Morning- What's different about your weekend morning routine than the other days of the week? I sleep until I awaken naturally, generally about 8 a.m. I sometimes have a breakfast treat, like french toast or a cinnamon roll. Then, I pretty much enjoy the serendipity of the day.

Cartoons- Do you have a favorite one? Do you still watch it and/or other cartoons? I used to be a Looney Toons fan. Tweetie is still a sweetie, but I'm not really plugged into cartoons anymore.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

This...ER...That: Rock-A-Bye, Baby! Complements of Sunshine.
1. Waterbed or regular mattress? I've never had a waterbed, but I think all that sloshing might make me a little seasick.
2. Music alarm or buzzer? Lucky me ... I still get a personal wake-up alert.
3. Quilt or bedspread? I like a throw blanket. That way I can decide feet in or out depending on my temperature.
4. Fall asleep: right away or count sheep? I usually drift to sleep slowly unless I am totally zapped. That time just before I reach dreamland has proven to be good brainstorming time.
5. Lie in bed: watch TV or read? When I go to bed, I am usually ready to sleep ... no lazing!
6. Stuffed animals or the real thing? Nothing beats a warm, purring kitty.
7. Makeup or au natural? Au natural. Makeup is too much to-do.
8. Dreams: vivid or fuzzy/none? When I have them, they are fairly clear, but generally nonsensical. All of the details on my mind combine into a story with a preposterous plot.
9. Bonafide PJs or sweats/shorts/tshirt? I like actual nightgowns; the softer, the better. I never have liked pajamas.
10. Blanket: electric or regular? Just regular. The electric models are typically reserved for times when I am sick with chills.

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