Monday, July 28, 2008

Manic Monday..

Thanks to Lisa for the questions ...

Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly.What do you talk about?
Wait ..What?! I only get 15 minutes?? Did I get the socializing opportunity prior to the meal?? You know, when you can buzz around the tables .. who would be responsible for the seating arrangements ... would there be "the good, the bad and you-dared-to-show-up?" tables?
Ha, ha ... no seriously ... I believe people come into our lives for a reason .. whether it is a two day meeting, two year love affair, or a 20 year relationship ... they come in to touch our lives, and give something to build with ... good or bad. So, I would say "thank you for a being a part of my life - the person I am today is because of what you chose to share with me. I am still growing as an individual, and I love who I am becoming .. and you have played a roll in this individual".
Then I would saunter away .. with the "see what you are missing now .." look!! hahahahaha!!!

What's your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
If the rainy day is in Texas .. and it's a thunderstorm day .. I would sit outside on the back porch and watch the storm ....
If in Maine .. and it's a cold, rainy day .... fire up the wood stove or the fireplace and grab a blanket ...

Are you a window person or an aisle person? Why?
Definitely an aisle person ... too close for comfort .. I need to know that I can get up and move!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

There is Beauty in Dead ...

Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I know it is not Friday, but I still wanted to participate in PSF ..

Let me start by saying that I have been spoiled by the beauty of Maine. I took for granted the mountains and the lakes we have ... and when we went for our hikes in Acadia and Baxter State Park, or the paddling at Abol Bridge .. I didn't always stop and admire the beauty... NOT until I came here. (Although I did ALWAYS admire Mt. Katahdin .. which, btw, is my most favorite place to be ..)

We live in the middle of Texas .. not a lot of beauty .. however, as one of our affirmations at work states .. "there is beauty all around us, I will open the eyes of my soul and embrace it ..." in my further quest to "love life .." I try very hard to find the beauty in the things we see around us. A couple of months ago we went on a hike during Spring break. I stopped to take pictures of the shrubbery around us, when my loving son said "Mom ... what are you taking a picture of?! Everything is DEAD!" .. Well, to try and keep a positive note with all the dead that surrounded us, I said "There is beauty in dead .." {click, click .. as the shutter kept going ..} "OMG" as he rolled his eyes (did I mention he is 14??) .. "it's all dead!" ... "yes,I know it is all dead .. there is character in dead ..." {click, click} ..... I am sure he had more facial contortions that I would want to be aware of .. my focus was in the 2.5 inch LCD screen .. probably safer that way!!

Last year, Central Texas had a lot of rain .. so much so that Stillhouse Hollow Lake suffered major flooding. (check out pictures of The Flood of 2007 ) Every Sunday (well .. almost every Sunday!) we try and take the dogs out for their run and their swim. We take them along a trail around the lake, and often times there are openings for them to jump into the water and swim around. Today I decided to take the camera, because each time we go I am always astounded by the amount of "dead" ...

Here is to beauty in dead! Happy Sunday!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

They Say It's Your Birthday!

At two minutes past midnight, my cell phone indicated that I had received a text message .... grumpily I mumbled "who would send a text at midnight??" .. only to see "OMG, it's my birthday!" . Now I know why my daughter has over 8000 text messages in a month ... sleeping in the same house .. she has to let me know that it is her birthday! (I really didn't need any reminding ... all the calendars in the house have self created artwork on this date .. ..EVEN at my work she took the liberty to write "Aletta's 13th birthday - do not erase" !)
This is my girl .. she makes a statement without effort. Clearly her motto should be "watch out world .. I have arrived!"

Last year, she was helping me look for a quote, when she said "Life does not wait for you to be ready.." .. so I said "ahh...that's a good one, who are you quoting?" and she said .. "me .. I just said it .." you see her lively personality?

.... if the last 13 years have been this fun and interesting ... I can't wait for the next 13!! (NOT that I am rushing things!!)

I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures ...

This picture was taken in Old Orchard Beach, Maine .. her first ice cream cone.

When the firemen came and visited the Kindergarten classroom ..

Many summers spent at Abol Bridge ...
The rocket she built ... (usually she takes things apart .. rather than build them)

today ...
There is never a dull moment when she is around .. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALETTA ... I love the craziness that you continuously bring into my life!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Project Black

One of my favorite things with blogging is the amount of photography challenges there are. Anna had one about colors.. and this time it was called "Project Black". I have been going around taking pictures, and when I went to check her site out (her pictures are very, very cool!), project black was over. HOWEVER, I still wanted to post some of the black, so .. if you had to describe a few of my favorite things in black pictures here they are..Hopefully I can catch Anna in September. (check out her blog ..)

Dragonflies remind me of kayaking ... whenever Julie and I used to go kayaking, dragonflies would land on our kayaks ... I love watching them .... have you ever seen a black dragonfly?? Must be a Texas thing!!

My cellphone ... my lifeline! (****when we were in Maine for those 11 weeks .. we didn't have TV, phone or Internet ...a little secret? My phone is a smart phone .... I had Internet... but don't tell the kids!!!!! Teenagers without TV and Internet: priceless!!****)

This camera was purchased December 1993 .. we were expecting our first baby and had decided not to invest in a camcorder, but in a super, duper, state-of-the-art Olympus. This was definitely a worthy buy ... alas, the summer we moved here to Texas, my favorite camera died. However, there is always a reason why things happen the way they do ... and so digital cameras came into the picture .. (no pun!) ..

Black, high heels .. The benefits to living in Texas is that we do not have to wear nylons (panty hose, hosiery .. pick which one you like to call it!) and therefore, I was introduced to "peek toe" shoes! I love them .. move over Imelda!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Manic Monday ..

It's Monday .. ..

What's your favorite beach in the world?
Does this have to be ocean beach or just beach .... a real beach .. or the one I daydream of going to?? I can tell you the beautiful beaches I have been to .. Bali had a beautiful beach, Penang had many memories ... In this past year (and also the past 10 years ).. Mosman Park was a "beach" that I have always loved going to for thinking time .. and of course, last year when I was at Harford's Point in Greenville, I had my very own private beach (that's the profile picture!!!). Last year at exactly this week Noah, Alet and I had the pleasure of experiencing Beech Hill "beach" with bf J .. it was one of those perfect Maine summers .. sitting in a beach chair and loving life!

This is Mosman ... not very "beachy" ... but a great spot to sit and think. I know it is not a beach picture, but these were taken at Beech Hill Pond .. kind of reminds me of J and I floating .. although we had to take turns floating on the inflatable mattress!!

What's the next country you want to visit?
I would love to go to Australia .. I have a cousin there, whom I would love to see again after 13 years .... who wants to go?

What one thing are you craving today?
I don't have a craving, yet ... this weekend I was craving keylime pie. I made a "margarita pie" for the Italian Night (okay .. so it wasn't an Italian dessert ..)it tasted like Key Lime Pie..
OHHH ... not necessarily food?? I crave home and a peace of mind (or just a piece of it)!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Italian night in Texas ..

You know summer is here when you cruise down our street and you can see kids on bikes, skate boards, scooters .. adults in chairs holding beverages. Okay .. so here in Texas our "summers" may start in April and last through September ... but truly we don't all come out until school vacation starts. This summer has been a little different ... one of our neighbors had wonderful insight to build an Oasis backyard .. AND share it with all of us! So, this weekend, the theme was Italian ... we all had to bring something Italian to eat ..
Plenty of food and plenty of fun ..

Volleyball is a must ..

and lounge chairs .. ahhh..

Plenty of food ...

And some maybe got carried away????

All in all .. a great day spent with wonderful neighbors, good food and tons of fun that lasted through the night! (T: you are missed!!!!!!)

Thank you R and A for yet another wonderful day in your Oasis backyard!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

friday fill in...(late)

1. When my blog is broken, _i will not despair, for there is always a handwritten journal____.

2. I saw the most amazing _moon last night__ !

3. _Mamma Mia_ is the new movie I'm most looking forward to seeing.

4. Work: Necessary and _enjoyable__.

5. Of all the new tv shows, I enjoy _sports_ the most. (okay so Peyton isn't a "new" show .. I watch very little tv)

6. If only __hmmm___.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to _chillin'____, tomorrow my plans include _having "Italian night" with the neighbors____ and Sunday, I want to _finish my open projects____!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I discovered ...

Monday morning, 5 A.M. the alarm went off ... time for a run. We just got off of a vacation week, where getting up before 7:30 was unheard of (except for the SeaWorld day when Sgt. Dad made the "troops" get up at 6 A.M. so that we could be on the road for 7 and at the gates of SeaWorld at 10 .... tell that to teenagers who are taking full advantage of the fact that it is summer and they do not need to rise out of their beds before 11 A.M. .. THAT is another story for a different blog!!)
Okay .. so 5 am, run, go to work ... ah yes, it is Monday! Now that I am enduring my third summer in Texas, (okay .. I lied .. last summer I spent almost 11 weeks in Maine ~ one of my best summers EVER .. but that is another story for a different blog!)I have learnt that if you would like to run, then the best time to run is either at 5 A.M. or 9 P.M. when the sun is not hanging in the sky. Before we moved to Texas, and still living in Maine, I would run at 5:15 A.M. .. mostly because that was when I could get my run in .. .. and that was the main reason .. but here,
I discovered that running at 5 is simply just peaceful. It's just me, the road and the wind..
I discovered that in the dark no one can see me ... (they may hear me .. but they can't see me!)
I discovered that music sounds better in the dark, it energizes more in the dark .. it makes you want to sing and dance in the dark .... because NO ONE CAN SEE YOU! (hear you ... but NOT see you!!)
I have a full library of 70's and 80's songs thanks to my good friend Bob. There is no substitute to running to The Police .. ELO ..but today,
I discovered that Michael Jackson's PYT made Mile 3 feel like Mile 1 .. and that I could keep running ... (although I couldn't because work was calling me to get ready ... and further more, the sun would be rising shortly)....
soo .... what was supposed to be a dreary 3 mile run on Monday turned out to be a fabulous 4 mile jaunt...
A good friend said to me once "don't stop running ..." ... NEVER .. for me running is my peace and tranquility .. it is the one moment that I can just be.. today,
I discovered that I truly love to run.
I hope that I can be one of those 80 year old women, hobbling along, maybe not running a marathon, but certainly a fun run/walk 5k race!! (It's the free t-shirt I want too!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Photo Hunt - support

We went to SeaWorld this past week. These posts support the roller coaster "Steel Eel" that my kids couldn't wait to ride.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday's Photostory

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

So this will be my first posting with Photostory Friday .. what a fabulous idea. I have started to enjoy doing fun photo projects .. so when I checked out tommie's blog and saw her new Friday entry .. I played copy cat! .. Actually today's blog will be more like "copy dog" ..

The rules are simple .. basically post a picture that you took, and tell the story .. well, there is ALWAYS a story here in our household .. as I was wondering what to post, I was cleaning the kitchen .. (somehow the phrase "the kitchen is closed" doesn't work anymore with teenagers ..), and at the same time I was dodging Demi, the Weimaraner. She doesn't drink water like the rest of the dogs .. instead she bites the water, and then keeps her mouth open as she walks away from her water bowl. Then she likes to come to you in shear appreciation and share the water that she hasn't swallowed yet. When my children were babies, I remember walking around with a cloth diaper for the spit ups ... I find myself keeping a paper towel close by just so that I can wipe my legs from her show of affection and appreciation! So, as I was wondering about the latest blog .. it finally came to me during a moment of aggravation .. my sister's words rang in my head "you know, she is quite ugly ...". My sister meant Demi! Demi was the latest addition about 8 weeks ago .. I sent out an email with her picture .. and my sister, the big dog lover that she is ..(NOT).. came out with "she is quite ugly!".

Weimaraners are supposed to be known for their photographic pose .. if you remember on Sesame Street .. they were always dressed up, and acted like sophisticated dogs ..

Well, what happened with Demi? "Ugly" my sister said?! Well, today I decided to try and prove her wrong ...

She tends to look like a hound dog, with her big nose ..

She still has so much skin to grow into ..

"unfair .." she barks ...

This is when I appreciate her the most ... quiet and asleep!

Did I mention we have a Golden Retriever with the name of Bruce? We didn't really plan it like that .. when we took Demi on, it was her given name! It didn't turn out well for the original Bruce and Demi .... oh dear!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


This was too much fun .. I have had my camera for almost two years, and am still learning how to use it. Texas' landscape is everything pointed!

Happy 4th!

Normally our Fourths have always been celebrated with a parade in down town Bangor, ME .. and then fireworks in Bar Harbor... so this year was quite different .. it even started different! Anthony surprised me with a (PINK)tennis racket, and then challenged me to a game of tennis. We live behind the high school, and every day when we take the dogs for a walk we always make a comment about playing tennis. I played tennis when I was in junior high .. and then maybe again a little when I lived with my sister in the middle eighties ... so needless to say, it's been well over 20 years! So, at 9:30 AM with 86 degree temps .. we played tennis. I remembered again why it was enjoyable to play .. hopefully it is something that will become part of the cardio workout.

We were going to spend the afternoon and evening with our neighbors A & R .. by special request I had to make Jack Daniels Pie .. If you are ever at Texas Land and Cattle, get their Jack Daniel's Pie dessert .. it is sinfully delicious. There they make it in oval "single" serve (more like double serve .. depending on your mood for the day!)bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is rich and the chocolate comes out all melty (is that a word??) and it is absolutely delicious.

So, for our Fourth, we spent it with good neighbors .. once again T you were missed!! We met a few new people .. all the kids swam in the oasis pool.. margaritas were served ... LOTS of food ... all in all as much as I missed our traditional Fourth celebration, this was a good day!

Friday Fill In ..

1. Holidays in the summer are _reserved for camping.

2. _Marinated beef flank for fajitas are my favorite things to grill.

3. My thoughts are _constant!

4. _Breakfast tacos is what I'm most looking forward to this weekend!

5. My favorite book so far this summer is _.. I don't have one yet!

6. _A fresh cup of coffee is the best way to begin a day.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to celebrating the 4th with our neighbors, tomorrow my plans include harassing my sister to email those pictures and Sunday, I want to plan some day trips for the coming week!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Belated Tackled Tuesday ..

So a few days late .. I finally managed to tackle a project that has weighed on me. It is a two part series though; completing the first part is always the hardest since it is foreign territory. We all know is the procrastination of any new project that will add days, weeks or (Heaven forbid) MONTHS to completion. Once the path has been created, however, .. you'll know by the time you hit part II .. the lessons from Part I will allow you to forge ahead and complete Part II with ease and a sense of accomplishment. (and hopefully less time!)
So this project .. sewing snap buttons to the kids' duvet covers. Back in .... oh, February, we had changed all their bedroom furniture, and bedding. We switched from blankets to light weight comforters .. with covers since neither child likes a top sheet (how do you not like fresh crisp cotton top sheets in your bed??) Well, these covers came with giant openings to slip the comforters in .. well ... what goes in, must also come out - if not fastened properly. I was tired of seeing half of the comforter hanging out of their cover ... so snap on button to close the gaping hole! I was not raised to sew, iron .. (dust, vacuum, clean .. get the picture?) so to actually tackle this project was .."like WOW!"! I accomplished Alet's duvet cover, now I need to do Noah's, Part II of the series. Hopefully this pain staking project will take less time .. it took 11 minutes per pair of snap on buttons ..there were 9 buttons. It helped that I had music from 1978 playing, and IM'ing with my sister at the same time.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Belated Manic Monday ..

Manic Monday #123
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound I love is when I am sitting in my kayak, and I can hear the water splashing on the tip of my kayak... and the rhythm of my paddle going in and out of the water.

What sound or noise do you hate?
Anyone who knows me knows that "hate" is such a strong word, so I like to say "dislike" .. I dislike the sound of multiple noises (can you say that?!) FOR EXAMPLE ... it is extreme chaos to me when the TV is on, the radio is playing and from the next room I can hear the X-Box or someone else's radio playing all at the same time. Do we need to have so much NOISE POLLUTION??

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Other profession ... I am about to venture onto my second profession (at least I hope to!)so .. the "OTHER" profession .. I think would be Financial Advisor ... I had made a feeble attempt several years ago .. but a couple of weeks ago, one of the ladies I work with paid me such a high compliment (yes ... I am honking my own horn!)she said that if I were a Financial Advisor, she would give me her money to invest because I have such a "trusting soul". HONK>>HONK!!!

What profession would you not like to do?
Hands down: DENTAL HYGIENIST!! I have respect for those people .. how do they decide .. "when I grow up I want to pick people's teeth?" but then again, being an optician also had it's privileges .. who knows what lurks behind unclean ears!!!! .. and those 5 year old nose pads that absorb bodily oils ....(So note to all of you nose padded people, make sure you replace your nose pads often ..) having said that I did love being an optician.