Monday, October 31, 2011

Boogity Boogity Boo!

Happy Halloween from the City of Arcadia.  I am not in this picture. 
It was taken this morning around 8:30 and I am lucky if I make it in by 9 :)

Hope you all get lots of treats and only the good kind of tricks!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday 5 (on Saturday) - Repellent

Lately, although I have things to say, I seem to have trouble putting together a coherent blog post.  This sort of block is one big reason why I love memes like Friday 5 , which is one of my very favorites to use.  Seems appropriate that right before Halloween the theme would be "repellent". Even though it is Saturday, please enjoy some Friday 5 soul searchin'.  Play along in comments if you like!!!

1. What’s something you enjoy eating that many others would be grossed-out by? My tastes are quite non-exotic, so it is hard to imagine anyone being grossed out by my food.  Still, my deep love for ranch dressing and/or french onion dip and my willingness to put them on most anything MIGHT be a teeny bit gross to some ;-)

2. Which of your personal traits is most likely to make others want to avoid you? The french onion dip? Maybe. I wonder sometimes if my shyness keeps me from seeming approachable. I tend to look down at a book or my phone in situations where I am on my own. Yet, I do seem to attract those people looking for someone to talk to...endlessly...

3. If you could wear a bracelet that had the power to keep certain kinds of people away from you, what kind of people would you repel? I would want to repel people looking to spread their negativity and ugliness to others. I'd never again be subjected to a weird, random, bigoted rant...BE GONE!

4. We are all capable of overcoming our biases, of course, but what’s a physical trait (in others) that pretty much turns you off? Not that you run into this often, but I have to look away from those really muscle bound super body builder types.  The distortion of the musculature is unattractive to me.  Also, don't mind some extra weight...I myself am not the slip of a girl I once was! But, you know, hugely obese? No thank you.

5. When you feel a case of the blues coming on, what do you do to fend off the bad feelings? Too much solitude tends to bring on the blues.  Not that I don't love my "me" time...but too much seems to lead to darker thoughts.  If I feel myself getting kind of weepy and down, if I can't actually get together with someone, I try a phone call or even interacting with someone online. The human connection repels the blues for me.

Hope you're all having a great weekend repelling what needs repelling...and more importantly attracting what needs to be attracted! Be thee like the magnet!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Was Born, One Day I'll Die

It is Wednesday, which means it is time once again to Choose and Defend.  The question today comes straight from the life of yours truly.  It will be no surprise to anyone to hear that people don't like to be told "no".  Today, I am running a very popular program for the little kids.  It is very simple, a brief storytime, trick or treat through the library, back for snacks and a little video.  For some reason, this community goes crazy over it.  I do the program twice and am able to allow 75 children (ages 2-6) into each program.  We have been giving out tickets since Saturday, and since yesterday afternoon both programs have been full.  You might be surprised if you could see how upset people get when they find out they won't be able to attend.  Honestly, tempers flair. But there are certainly different styles of anger, frustration, and trying to get your way.  And I thought I'd ask you how do you tend to react when you come up against something that angers or frustrates you?  Do you get...


Passive Aggressive

Some of you are probably pretty zen and don't delve into the murky waters of aggession.  But another way to look at it is you tend to be very direct? Or do you slide around the issue and hope for results?  Choose and Defend!  Because it is Wednesday and this is What Fresh Hell is This? !!!  Thanks :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I am so stressed right now.  I need to medicate or at least meditate.  Very, very anxious.  I need to go to my happy place.  I guess it would look something like this...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday 5 - Everyday Tasks

Since it is Friday, at last, I thought to myself - why not do some Friday 5?  They usually give me some food for thought.  This one is about the everyday things that we all know and love.  I invite you to participate in comments or on your own blogs! 

1.What everyday task is more difficult for you than it should be?  Anything having to do with meals. I like eating, but I am not crazy about deciding what to eat or preparing it for myself and/or others.  I would prefer that good food just magically appear in front of me. Come on lottery! Mama needs an awesome chef!

2.What everyday task do you usually put off for as long as possible?  It isn't quite an everyday task, but I find myself putting off gassing up the car.  Sometimes it feels like an everyday task...feels like too much money, too often, and I try tend to ride the fumes a bit.

3.What everyday task do you perform especially well?  Hm. Well, I guess I perform my commute pretty well.  I don't, as a rule, get impatient or feel stressed when the traffic is bad. I use the time to enjoy music and the feeling of just being in my little capsule.  But my commute is not really all that long, so it is a slight boast :)

4.What everyday task has most recently been added to your every day? There hasn't been anything very recently added.  I guess the biggest, most recent change, as been Handsome Lad's weird and sometimes inconvenient Cross Country practice schedule. I think we've only got another three or four weeks of that.   

5.What everyday task makes the least sense to you? Most everyday tasks are so routine that they just get done.  Sometimes I have that compulsion to not make the bed, because I'm just going to unmake it in another 17 or 18 hours anyway. And sometimes I give in to that compulsion.  No need to be a slave to these chores!  Get crazy and skip a shower!  Or, you know...maybe not....

Image from

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Sun is the Same

Time for some Choose and Defend Wednesday.  This week, you are off on a year long adventure! You will be a bit isolated, but oh, the things you will learn.  As always, you have a choice about where you will spend this challenging year.  As always, I will ask you to also defend that choice in comments. 

Where would you prefer to spend a year...

Primitive Society

Space Station

Think it over...then Choose and Defend. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Some Updates and Such

Just wanted to drop a quick note while I can. Busy days are nipping at my heels! Which is mostly a good thing.  I'm trying not to feel overwhelmed...but there is so much going on right now over which I have very little control.  I think that is the hardest part of any issue...lack of control. 

WTG and the boys (men) there have just barely a month in which to situate themselves and be out of their house.  WTG, whatever.  The guys, I have concerns.  Yes, they are grown men. (25 and 22!) But they just don't seem to be preparing and as a mom I still worry.  But...not much I can do materially.

The transmission is shot in my car.  I can't come close to affording to fix it.  WTG is trying to help by finding the best deal on someone dropping in a used one.  But even so, it may be a couple of months before I can get it together financially to move forward on a repair.  In my heart, I suspect my mom will come to my rescue again.  And I am so, so, so grateful and fortunate...and so, so, so guilty feeling. I try to pay her back for all she does for me, but I admit that she moves to the bottom of the list of debts when things are tight (always). And she is so kind about it.  The ONLY person I know of who has never made me feel bad about needing something from her. The ONLY person who doesn't make you feel like since they've given you something, they now have some claim on all that you do. I know some people have zero options, so believe me, I do feel lucky that both of my parents have been able to help me when I need it.  But as a middle aged woman, I feel awful that I have to keep asking.

But hey!  I have good news too!  Did you notice the countdown clock in the right margin?  DR is finally coming back!  For the first time since he left at the end of May last year, there is a DEFINITE plan for his return to California and to me.  He's done what he can do for his family and now it is finally, finally time for us to be able to move forward!!! I'm so happy and so relieved. I don't have any ridiculous thoughts that having him here will make everything alright...but it will certainly make things much, much better.  He'll be leaving, by car, the afternoon of December three days or so later, he will be here!

So let me close here on a happy note :) 

Saturday, I was the only one who did Saturday Scavenger Shots, so I guess I will let that go for now. If anyone else remains interested, of course, let me know. I'm always up for it. But it isn't much fun to play alone.

Tomorrow - Choose and Defend Wednesday.  If you haven't done last week's, would you? Please? It would mean a lot to me.   Thx!  TTYL!  xoxo


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do You Want Some More?

Hello Sirs and Madams. Today, I invite you to INDULGE, because that is the Saturday Scavenger Shots word. You can thank Silly Rabbit for that one.  Thank you!

When I think about the word INDULGE I think of the pleasure of treating yourself to something extra. Did anyone see this week's Parks & Rec episode? If you didn't, you really should Treat Yourself...Donna and Tom really know what they're doing.  Since I am a poor-ish person, I think the ways that I INDULGE myself are fairly simple.  Sometimes it is simply about indulging in a feeling...I let myself feel the pure happiness that strikes at odd times, or I allow myself to sink in to a good wallow of self-pity.  It happens.  But those things are hard to photograph.  Or rather, they are probably not something you'd like to see :)

But here are some things you should not object to seeing. And since I am at work today, the focus will be on my fabulous cubicle where I INDULGE in a few small ways.  Here you go.  INDULGE -

Dealing with the peoples is hungry business.  Sometimes you just need a little sumpin' sumpin' to get you through.  I will INDULGE in a little snack now and again and again!

I find it rather nice to put on some lovely scented lotion from time to time.  It is a way to INDULGE myself in a bit of sensory redirection, I guess you could say.  Also, whenever I think about lotion, I can hear Buffalo Bill in my head saying - It puts the lotion on it's skin, or else it gets the hose again.  And that makes me laugh, so that's cool.

I do INDULGE in some blog reading and writing time while at work.  Not to excess, but it is always a wonderful break in my day.

I have DR's picture pinned up so that I can INDULGE in the occasional daydream. It is nice to see his face during my long days. I have pictures of the kids and grands all over too, so I can INDULGE in fond, foolish musings about them all.

Now you are privy to some of the ways in which I INDULGE myself when I am not doing what they pay me to do here.  Luckily, I have the kind of job where there are moments to do so.  Also luckily, I have the kind of job where I get to INDULGE my love of reading, books, and the people seeking such things :-)

Hope you are all able to INDULGE in something pleasureable this weekend. See that you do!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

So Let's Sink Another Drink

Time once again for your my favorite Choose and Defend Wednesday!  That's is your chance to predict the next winner in Dancing with the Stars!!!  Okay.  No one is as excited about it as me. Obviously there are fans in the world...this show does very well in the ratings.  But none of those people read my blog. Or associate with me in real life.  I am alone in my love for this super sweet and cheesy show.  I accept that.  But a couple of times a year I do ask my blog reading friends to make the whole experience even more fun for me by choosing who they think will win for the current season.  Since it is Choose and Defend, it is great if you can tell us why you made your choice.  "She / He is hot" is absolutely acceptable.  Just please, please indulge me and play! If you Choose the winner, there is something in it for you too!  I will send you a $25 Target gift card.  It's true. 

So, a few weeks in and here are the remaining contestants...

David Arquette - Actor / Producer

Chaz Bono - Author / Activist / First transgendered contestant

Nancy Grace - Lawyer / TV Inquisitor

Rob Kardashian - Reality Star / Professional Kardashian

Carson Kressley - Celebrity Stylist / TV Personality

Ricki Lake - Talk Show Host / Actor

JR Martinez - Iraqi War Veteran / Actor

Hope Solo - Professional Soccer Goalie

There they are...take a look...Choose and Defend!  Thank you in advance.  (Especially to NoRegrets, who at least LOOKED at my DwtS page and already chose David Arquette...are you sticking with him NoR?) Rest of you, get on it!  Thx.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Can't Complain

Yesterday was one of those days that put things into perspective for me.  It was a nice day that included a late lunch with the whole family to celebrate Secret Agent Man's birthday. The lunch went well and it was a truly lovely day. After lunch I brought Miss Personality home with me for a visit while her parents went shopping.  She read "Are You My Mother?", ate a fruit cup, drank some milk, ran up and down the block a few times, and got picked up by her mother.  Very nice.

Awhile later, I got a call from Princess Diva (mother of my grands, Kick Back Dude's ex).  She said Kick Back Dude had been in an accident on the freeway while driving from her house back to his dad's.  She didn't have a lot of information, although it was reassuring to hear that he'd called her. She said he sounded shaken, but that he was not injured.  WTG (Kick Back Dude's dad, my ex) went over to where he was.  It was a five car accident...I guess this big rig came right into his lane...right into him...not sure how the other cars were involved.  But Kick Back Dude is fine.  His car was even drivable, although severly damaged.

You can't see what is going on in this picture very is from WTG's phone and of course, it is dark.  But what you are looking at is Kick Back Dude's little Dodge Neon, with a very large truck smashed into his driver's side door.

So, you see what I mean about perspective.  This could have been so, so, so much worse.  But it wasn't. And I find that in the end, that is all that really matters.  I'm so grateful.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

SECRET Secret Agent Man

It is Saturday, October 8.  So, we have Saturday Scavenger Shots...and the Oct. 8 date means it is also Paul's Secret Agent Man's birthday.  Thus, join me for a celebration of everything SECRET and SECRET Agent Man!

I am not very good at SECRETs.  My life tends to be an open book.  My second oldest son, SECRET Agent Man, is one of the most private people I know and has been that way since he was just a little guy. He keeps his own council.  He's always had some quality about him that touches my heart....maybe it is that 'I go it alone' thing...or his tough guy exterior with a soft heart that can't help showing though.

Here is one of SECRET Agent Man's nice guy things.  He is to your right and Social Animal is on your left.  They both give blood regularly.  It isn't a SECRET activity, but if you know SECRET Agent Man casually, you probably wouldn't guess that this is one of his things.
Although, now, SECRET Agent Man won't be able to give blood for awhile.  About three or four years ago, he got one tattoo on his upper arm.  Recently, he added another three, including this one.  He says he wants both upper arms completely covered.  Because we have encouraged him not to go below his elbow, he can keep his tattoos a SECRET of sorts when he is working.  He likes the body art...what can I say?

In conclusion, I wish a very happy 25th to my second son, SECRET Agent Man. My heart is full remembering each year of his mysterious life :)

Hoping I can get Silly Rabbit to choose a word for next week.  What say you, Silly?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday 5 - Book 'Em

When I found myself with time to blog today, I had to go check out what was going on at Friday 5. Don't get there as often as I have in the past, but I always enjoy participating.  And this week's entry is so perfect for me!  Here is what the host of Friday 5, scrivener, had to say -

"I am a total bookworm, but I’ve mostly avoided indulging that passion of mine in this space. Today, however, I feel the need to be reminded of why I love books and reading, so please share your thoughts on books as you answer these questions." are my thoughts on some books!

1. What book did you struggle to get through but is something you’re glad you’ve read? - Sometimes reading something worthwhile, can be a struggle...although ideally, not.  Seems less worthwhile if it is a chore.  Still, I try to push myself sometimes and not be lazy even in my pleasure reading.  A few months ago I read The Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.  People tend to rave about it and I had been curious for some time.  It is one of those books that disappears from libraries, but we finally held on to a copy long enough for me to read it.  Let's just say I was underwhelmed.  But still glad I can now say I've read it.

2.What’s a book whose popularity has baffled you? Not exactly baffled, because I think I understand what makes popular books popular.  But The Da Vinci Code? I mean, yes, I get that it is all action packed and each short chapter is like a little cliff hanger (sort of like Goosebumps for grown-ups).  But please don't pretend that it is great literature. That is not gonna fly.  Um, don't hate me.

3. If you could make everyone you know read one book, what would it be?  Right now I am feeling very fond of The Elegence of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.  While sometimes the characters can annoy you...just like real people...the story and the writing are so lovely.  Some of the passages made me want to cry.  Not in that sad way, but in that beautiful ache way.  So, I'd encourage others to take a look.

4. What book have you liked less and less as time has gone by? Anything by Tom Robbins. As I've gotten older, I am more bothered by his (or his characters') misogeny and fondness for, shall we say, very young women.  I still name Still Life With Woodpecker as a book that made a difference to truly did change how I thought about fiction.  And I still have a fondness for Robbins colorful and engaging style. But I do find myself liking some things about his books less as time has gone by.

5. What book have you loved more and more as time has gone by?  I'm going to say Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr.  Although I liked this book when I first read it several years ago, I think I appreciate it in a different way as time goes by.  Doerr style is quite understated, but her characters are vivid.  This story about an older couple settling in a tiny Mexican village to reopen an old copper mine is full of life and death in a matter of fact way.  It is really so beautiful and really has stayed with me in a way that I have come to appreciate over the years.

Wow.  Not sure anyone else will enjoy this little game as much as I did, but I would love to read anyone else's answers in comments or on your own blog.  I'd really enjoy that!

Hope you all have a good weekend! Stop in tomorrow for SECRETS and a little birthday post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

But You Were Up to Your Old Tricks In Chapters 4, 5, & 6

Welcome to Choose and Defend Wednesday, hot and fresh :)  Since I asked you about television a couple of weeks ago, I thought I'd try some literature today.  You know, mix it up.  Then since there needs to be two choices, I needed to think of two things that most people would have read (or at least encountered by cultural osmosis) that had something similar about them, yet something very different.  It is a process, people! 

Here is what I have for you.  Would you rather be a character and live in the world of...

Winnie the Pooh

Wizard of Oz

Think it over.  Put yourself in the stories and decide where you'd rather hang out....FOREVER.  Choose and then Defend your choice to us...your judges.  J/K, no judging here.  We just like to watch.  Choose and Defend!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Me Go Crazy

Just a quick note to vent some frustration about work.  I am adjusting to my new, weird boss. She is weird, no way out of that...but I could work with just weirdness...there is something else.  I don't like having a meeting of some sort nearly every single day.  Yesterday, I met with her individually to...I still don't know.  We talked about the internet presence of the Children's Room.  We talked about...something like...the room as an organism and how we relate to it  And I have some trouble understanding what it is she is looking for a lot of the time.  Right now, I am trying to be open to suggestions, to offer suggestions, to stay on top of things.  So much of what she says strikes me as kind of ridiculous, but I fear seeming old and set in my ways.  She always makes a big deal of the fact that I've been here for 10 years. It is a double edged sword for sure.
On the home front WTG (the ex) has lost his house.  That was something a long time coming, but it still shakes things up.  They have to be out by the middle of November.  None of that is really my problem, but of course I have it on my mind. Fortunately Handsome Lad is doing well at school and loving Cross Country. The older kids all seem fine, but of course with grown folks it can be harder to tell. I guess until I hear specifically otherwise, I can assume things are fine.  Not looking to borrow trouble!
I hope that you are all less stressy than me.  I hope I can be less stressy soon.  I just need to figure out what my boss wants and try not to worry about the family.  There is so little I can really do about any of it.
Thanks for the rant space.  Come back tomorrow and I will try to have a fun Choose and Defend.  Suggestions welcomed!  Also, please note...Saturday's word is SECRET.  Ooooohhhhhh! 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I Close My Eyes, Oh, But I Still See

Hello from a Saturday Scavenger Shots post.  Today's word was both fun and easy and we have Furtive Wangler @ Tortoise Feathers to thank!  Thank you.  The word for today is RED.  Nothing says pay attention like RED!  I wear a lot of black for the invisibility factor, but occasionally RED feels right.  I went through my photos and here is what I found -

Here are Little Prince and Love Bug standing next to a big RED fire engine. 
I know some cities use different colors now, but to me RED is the color of the Fire Dept.

Here are a couple of my friends from work, Camper and DD. On this particular day, they looked like sort of hipster doofus siblings and we had to memorialize the moment.  Notice their lovely RED sweaters!

I wore a RED Sebastien shirt on the day I met the very lovely Henry Winkler. 
So that RED shirt is kind of my lucky RED shirt :)

Thanks for stopping in and seeing RED.  Don't know what is happening next week, but can't wait to find out!!!