New Car!!!

Here is a pic of my new car! 2008 Mazda3 Hatchback. I love it!!! It has all the fancy bells and whistles I wanted and still got a really good deal on it. Yay for me!

And Only 2 Were Standing

So I have whittled my new car choices down to two options: the Subaru Outback Sport or the Mazda3 Hatchback. Both look very similar and have the features I want. I am still deciding between automatic or manual transmission. I like both for different reasons.

I am also deciding if I should buy before the WDW world trip next week and drive the new car to Florida, or wait until month/year end to see what kind of deal I can get. I'll let you all know when the time comes.

Decisions, decisions.


It's Officially the Christmas Season

How do I know? Because I have my winter sickness. I always get sick in the winter, right after Thanksgiving. It seems to be a pattern that I can trace back for a few years now. Unfortunately so much is happening during this time of year that it's hard for me to just stay home and rest as I should. I have so much to do, and the year is quickly slipping away in which to do it all. Here's a quick list of my To-Do's before this year end:
  • Complete Christmas Shopping
  • Prepare and send Christmas presents
  • Learn to bake gingerbread cookies
  • Go to Walt Disney World for vacation!! (not such a burden, but still on my list)
  • Write Christmas cards and get addresses for people
  • Research new cars
  • Test drive new cars
  • Buy 1 new car
  • Sign up for January Art class at community college
  • Decorate my house as much as possible
  • Write New Year's Resolution's
  • Gather as many photos of family as possible
  • Scan hard copies of photos, and color-correct
  • Get Internet at home (I'm "borrowing" someone else's ;o)
  • Stop being sick
  • Figure out what I'm doing for Christmas day

See, that's a long list and doesn't even include everything. I really just want to crawl back into bed. Hhmmmmm...bed....that sounds too good to be true....


Quote for the Day

Internalizing only leads to bottled up feelings that you’ll never be rid of.
Its kind of like leaving marinara sauce in Tupperware, sure you can wash it till it’s clean,
but there’s always that ugly ring left behind.
You don’t want to carry around an ugly ring of marinara do you? Do you?!?



Star Wars Fix of the Day

As my Christmas present, this jersey could be.
Most grateful, yes.


Thursday is not Friday

While spending my recent days exploring new worlds, devouring the early seasons of Friends, watching new-to-me movies and rooting for my favorite football teams, I learn that life is a compilation of the little moments that matter. From learning that others think like I do, to finding new daily quotes, this life of mine is a series of fortunate events. Stepping stones, mountains, boulders and gravel are scattered across my path, obstacles and learning tools. Building new bridges and closing old ones. Scattering my seed to the wind, with the best of hopes. Even as the rain clouds bear down and the sun is hidden, I see the beauty all around me and hold my breath for the new adventures to come.


Comic of the day

People watching should be an organized sport.


Comic of the Day

Quote for the Day

Bad politians are sent to Washington
by good people who don't vote.
-William E. Simon



Happy Halloween!

Cereal Killer!!
Eee, eee, eee, eee!!!


Quote for the Day

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.


2 Quotes for Today

If she had stayed in that incarnation, she wouldn’t be who she is now.
On any given day, there is a poem in you that’s wanting out.

Freewrite 10/15/08


“If you weren’t so capricious we wouldn’t be in this mess. You know that right?” Steve sighed.

“Don’t throw your vocabulary words at me right now. I don’t want to hear it.” Wanda stated.

“I’m just sayin’, you’re completely unpredictable and it gets you in trouble. Gets us in trouble.”

Steve threw his hands up at their current surroundings. Sitting next to each other, but still separated, Wanda touched the cold metal.

“You’re the one who got in a fight. That was not my fault.”

“Not your fault?!” Steve cried. “You let that drunk fool put his hands all over you. I was trying to get him off you when he swung. What was I supposed to do, just let him hit me?”

Steve kicked the bunk and the passed-out drunk fool belched and rolled over.

Wanda cringed. “He looked a lot cuter on the dancefloor. And after a few shots.”

“Well he ain’t so cute now is he? I said, let’s go to the movies. You said, no, I wanna go out, let’s go line dancing. I know a great place where they don’t ask for ID.” Steve’s voice rose high as he feigned Wanda’s accent. “Great place all right. Great place to get felt up and in a fight. It’s your fault I’m sitting here. My dad is gonna kill me.” Steve dropped his head to his hands.

“Your daddy? I am not worried about your daddy one little bit.”

As if on cue, two disgruntled fathers walked up to the adjoining jail cells. Steve father looked down on him. “You ready to go home young man?”

“Yes, Sir.” Steve said, jumping up. He moved quickly out the sliding cell door.
“See you later.” He said to Wanda over his shoulder as he regained his freedom.

Wanda looked up at the familiar Sheriff’s badge and tears flooded her eyes.

“And you, little girl. You get to spend the night in there.” The Sheriff said.

“Yes, Daddy.”

Freewrite 10/14/08

Yearned for

People define freedom in many different ways, but freedom meant only one thing to William O’Brien. Riding his horse across the endless plains, the sun at his back and wind in his face, the world stretched out before him. This freedom is what he yearned for, longed for. When the nights grew cold and deep, he remembers days of easy living, riding shotgun on the westbound stages. The pay was good and he enjoyed the entertainment of the city folk. Newcomers, someone had once called them. So out of their element in a land he felt comfortable in.

The low hills and washes passed for miles, and from any near rise you could see for the next two weeks. Buffalo still roamed in herds and he was friendly with an Indian or two, though not too friendly. Will had earned his keep as a ranch hand, stage driver, hired gun, bartender, and even spent a whole month escorting a rich family from St. Louis to Denver.

He smiled as he remembered their little boy and his dreams of becoming a real life cowboy someday. The mother did not approve, but Will had let that little boy hold his unloaded gun. A Colt 45 with a pearl grip. It was Will’s father’s gun. The gun his father had held in his hand the night that bastard John Davis had shot him through the heart over a game of cards.

Will was not the kind of man to forgive or forget and the day will come when he’ll have his revenge. Then, and only then, will he lay down his father’s gun for the last time.

Freewrite 10/8/08


Without much thought to his actions, Martin wandered through the orchard, dazzled at the spring blooms. His footsteps muffled by the newly turned earth, he heard sparrows arguing over wind speeds and hunting grounds. Or whatever it is that sparrows argue over. Something drew him deeper into the rows of trees.

Martin did not spend much thought on fanciful dreams, yet here he was. Miles from home, walking barefoot in a peach orchard, wondering “Where are you going, you fool? Go back to your car and go home.”

Yet, he continued on. He tried to convince himself that he wasn’t looking for anything, but his eyes searched behind each tree, around each branch and down through the rows as far as he could see.

The little ramshackle cottage was nearly hidden by the overgrown vines. The land reclaiming space taken from it. Rounding the end of the row, he saw it. He had never been here, but knew exactly how that cottage looked inside. He could feel the morning sunlight pouring through its window, warming his young face.

Had he been here before? Impossible. This is nothing like New York City where he was born and raised. Memories from another time, another life seeped into his veins. He remembered.


Lotus Touts

Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

Marry a man/woman you love to talk to.
As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.

When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.

Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

Believe in love at first sight.

Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.

Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.

In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

Don't judge people by their relatives.

Talk slowly but think quickly.

When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'

Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.

When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

Remember the three R's:
Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.

Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

Spend some time alone.

Poem of the Day

William Earnest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Song of the Day

Song of Aragorn
Bilbo Baggins

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.


Quote for the Day

Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply.
If you give her a house, she'll give you a home.
If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal.
If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart.
She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her.

So - if you give her crap,
you will receive more $#!+ than any one human being can handle


Me for today

2 hour massage tonight.

Am going to cancel Massage Envy membership and get cheaper massage at the massage school.

Contemplating going to that school to gain my massage therapist license.

Bowled my highest score ever last night!

There are so many great authors out there, and so few that I'm familiar with.

Need to obtain library card.

My month is filling up so quick.

New Bob's Big Boy bank is adorable!

I need to stop worrying about what will happen and just enjoy what is happening.

Looking too far ahead makes you miss what's right in front of you.

Have 5 tickets to Kings Dominion that I need to use before they expire.

Hope to see old friends soon.

Thinking of taking up bowling instead of pool, at least it's some exercise.

Will be wearing two costumes for Halloween; one for work and one for the evening party.

I'm hungry.


Creative Writing Class

I am taking a Creative Writing class at the local community college and we have been working on Freewriting. A freewrite is where you write continually for a fixed period of time, say 10 minutes, and you don't stop writing the entire time. You choose a basic subject, word, phrase or topic and just go. It's very simple and I've already come up with the beginnings of what could be some great stories. I've posted the first few below. Please take a minute to read and offer any critiques, suggestions or comments you like. I sincerely appreciate the feedback.

PS. You do not have to be a blogger to write a comment, anyone reading this can leave comments. Thanks for your help.

Freewrite 10/01/08

First person character

I have to get my regulator cleared or this whole diving trip will be for nothing. I walk to the air compressor and hook up the hose directly to the regulator. Maybe I can blast out whatever's clogging it. Whoosh, hiss, wheezing sounds emit from the hoses and connections.

"Dammit!" I curse. "I just bought this damn thing and have only used it on two trips. It should work fine, it's brand new."

"What's wrong?" my dive buddy Mike asks after hearing my oaths and muttering.

"Regulator's blocked. Might as well get out my snorkel since it doesn't look like I'll be going deep today."

I shake the device again and blow hard on the mouthpiece in vain. "Nothing!" Despondent I throw it down on the bench and open the lid to the gear box. Maybe I have an old one in here, though I know better.

"Let me take a look." He says and grabs the part for inspection. Tossing hoses and fins, a cracked set of goggles and some old seashells, I dig through years of used gear already knowing I wouldn't keep a regulator in there.

"You dumbass!" Mike laughs. "You had the valve turned off."

He tosses my now 'fixed' regulator back at me. "Let's go."

Freewrite 10/01/08


His fangs gleamed in the harsh glare of the headlights. He would have to drain her quickly before more witnesses show up. No point in drawing extra attention to himself. As he leaned in for his last drink, she whimpered. At first he thought she was begging, as they all do. It surprised him to hear the real word. It was not Please, but Peace that slipped from her drawn lips.

“Peace.” she stated in nothing more than a whisper.

She was not begging for mercy, or the end as some do. She was accepting, as if looking forward toward what was to come. He did not know that feeling. He knew no feelings anymore. His soul was as dead to feelings as his blood was to the life he was draining from her. That is what made him pause. He did not want her to end. He wanted to understand her. To keep her.

The bright silver blade was kept always in his pocket. Silver alone can harm him, when other blades leave no mark. He carries it for his own reasons. He slashed across his chest creating a spill of his own tainted blood. He forced her gaping mouth to the wound. She tried to struggle, but he was far too strong.

“Drink.” He commanded. “Drink and become everlasting.”

Drained and confused, she didn’t understand. She tasted cold blood and pulled away out of pure reflex.

NO, her mind protested. Stop! her thoughts begged. But somewhere deep inside, something was born. Thirst. Growing, clawing, pounding, overwhelming Thrist. She could not fight both his strength and this demanding need. She surrendered, and drank. His blood which held no life flowed into her. She became him.

Nauseas and weak, she waivered on the edge of consciousness. Surely she would die now and find her peace. Death would welcome her. But the Thirst would not let her go so easily.

Freewrite 09/30/08

Burnt Popcorn

The wafting scent of burnt popcorn seeped under her dorm room door and into the hallway, infecting other rooms. She cursed under her breath as she tried to pick out the most well-done pieces. It was her last bag and she wasn't about to throw it all away. Jenny sat back at her messy desk and tried to remember which class had the most homework. All of them it seemed. Would she ever dig her way out of the mountain of essays, research papers, speeches, projects and labs? She wanted to be a doctor, but this school stuff is not what her youthful dreams were made of. She was so lost in her next assignment, she nearly missed the knock at the door.

He knew she had to be home. Only she could burn popcorn like that. He smelled it creeping under his door as he put the finishing touches on tomorrow's debate club topic. Perhaps he would change his argument to prove that the stench of burnt popcorn is actually an aphrodisiac. It certainly brought him straight to her door, though he was tempted to plug his nose.

Frazzled, she threw open the door and glared at him. Rob's green eyes smiled back at her ponytailed hair and pajama clad body. She was so cute when she didn't try.

"What do you want? I'm really busy." She growled at him. His grin irritating her more than the knocking.

"You're stinking up the place again with your excellent cooking." His Southern drawl full of sarcasm.

"It was an accident." She defended.

"Glad to know you didn't do that on purpose." He smiled down at her.

"Did you come here to make fun of me or do you have a purpose?" She shot back.

"I wanted to wish you good night." He offered.

Stung, she bit her lip. "Thank you." Her eyes not reaching his. His hand gently touched her face.

"Sweet dreams." He turned and walked back to his room, work still to do. She watched him walk away. The click of his door opened the last lock on her heart. She knew she loved him.

Freewrite 09/27/08


How much is your daughter worth? Your child. Your flesh and blood. He holds the knife to her creamy white throat and wonders. Is $5million to much to ask?

"Your daddy will pay for you, little girl. Or else." He sneers. His curling lip sends shivers up her spine. Her hands bound with the same silver duct tape that covers her mouth. She has never felt fear like this before. Her heart pounds as she remembers the coffee shop. He seemed like a regular guy when she met him last week. Just another student avoiding the dorms. How could she have known his intentions. His psychotic cruelty. His eyes, dark and dangerous, stared down at her as he paced the dark basement, taking another swig of his beer.

"Daddy's little rich girl", he said mocking her, wiping his mouth with the back of his dirty hand. "Poor little girl who's never had to work a day in her life. How much will your CEO daddy pay to keep you safe? To get you back?"
His voice fell to a rough whisper, "Enough. Had better be enough, or you'll make up the difference." His eyes went hazy as he stared over her head.

She saw him getting lost in his thoughts again. Maybe I can use that to my advantage, she wondered. Focus, Sheila, Focus. How do I get out of here?

Sheila looked around the dim basement again. Her eyes fell on the two small ground level windows. The latches didn't seem to be locked and she knew she was small enough to fit through. Maybe she could distract him long enough to pull her hands free and make a break for it. She could already feel the tape loosening as she wiggled her hands more and more. He had to leave sometime right? And he definitely had to fall asleep. Or pass out is more like it. He had been downing beers since he walked down the stairs and that seemed like hours ago. Just pacing and drinking, it couldn't last forever. She had to try.


What was that?!


Tuesday is not Friday

As the day crawls by
Minutes seem to meander by my window
Taking a rest as the world holds its breath.

Time is a place without name
A thought without mind
An answer with no question

Who will hold our hands as we walk this path?
The guideposts change directions
Smoothing the edges of our travels


Starving for Shoes....

...all better now :o)


All Enemies, Foreign and Domestic – Part One

Or…the day I became a terrorist.

Fireworks. The mere word creates images in your mind of towering spires of multi-colored sparks, high pitched shrieks of spinning pinwheels and the acrid scent of gunpowder and burnt paper. Though J-Dam’s and Smart bombs could be viewed by some as grown up fireworks, one does not normally associate an innocent firework with their deadly counterpart.

In many states fireworks are illegal, California is one of those many. However, they are not illegal in Wyoming or Idaho, where I happened to be traveling at the time. The most direct and beautiful route from Ashton, Idaho to Cody, Wyoming is through the Park. What Park, you ask? THE Park, Yellowstone National Park. The crown jewel of all our National Parks, the original, the Grandfather, the reason we have national parks. If you have never been, I highly recommend you stop what you are doing, catch a plane or a train or a magic carpet and get your booty to Yellowstone. You will not regret it. But I digress…

One of the first landmarks of civilization that assault your senses upon exiting the Park at its eastern gate, Black Cat Fireworks Superstore! Picture a large grocery store, with shopping carts and all, each aisle piled high with explosives of all kind. After visiting with my cousin and her family, I stopped at this mecca of volatile bliss. Perusing up and down each aisle, overwhelmed at the firepower, I selected some small tokens of contraband to enjoy back home in my firework adverse state.

Back in my hotel I surveyed my new acquisitions, opening packages, reading directions, imaging the fun I will have on the Fourth of July. Not once was I ever concerned about trace elements, residue, fingerprints, cross-contamination, or other such CSI affairs. Why would I be? I’m not a criminal. At least not yet…


Keep them doggies rolling...

Serious contemplations of leaving it all behind to become a ranch hand in Colorado.

Single life is not so bad, I sleep diagonally on the bed.

Pool tonite, thank goodness.

Surrounded by candy is not the best way to fend off secretary spread.

Wish people would just do what they say they are going to do, so I can do what I need to do.

Where did all this stuff on my desk come from? I'm such a pack-rat!

Only reason they hung around? Hmm... Wonder why?

Wet carpet and moldy baseboard do not a happy camper make.

Totally understand Michelle Pfieffer's song now.

Cleo's little eye is sore. Will try some eye drops to see if that helps.

I could live in Savannah.

I miss carne asada. And Rubio's fish tacos. Would anyone in SD like to overnight some to me? I would be forever in your debt.

Bad Day at Hallmark

So your daughter's a hooker
and that's ruined your day.
Look on the bright side,
it's really good pay.


Your regrets aren't what you did,
But what you didn't do.
So I take every opportunity.
-Cameron Diaz

Little Lost Calf

Back in November 2006, I attended LPL's National Conference in San Diego. Tons of mutual fund and VA wholesalers were marketing their wares and passing out all kinds of free stuff! I have a variety of these grab-n-go's in my cuffice. By far, my most favorite five-finger toy is a noisemaker thingy that sounds like cow. It's a little cylander that you flip over and back, then it makes a moo-ing sound. Make sense? Oh good.

When I first got this little noise-maker, I didn't pay much attention to it. Then I went on a cattle drive, and my entire perspective changed. Upon returning from my cattle drive, I flipped my little mooing toy and realized it doesn't sound like a cow at all. It sounds like a calf, a sad lost little calf. Like the grey one that got separated from his mama. The one Turnip picked up and then changed his mind, and the calf ran back the opposite way. I cut the mama out from the rest of the herd and drove her back around the arena to reunite with her wayward calf. Eventually they found each other and all was well.

Sporadically I find that it is much too silent here among my fellow cube dwellers and I ignite my cowgirl flames with a flip of my wrist and the mournful mooing of a little lost calf. Memories of better days swirl through my mind and stoke a longing I didn't even know I had. I can't wait to get back to the ranch, saddle up my horse and ride the range, until the end of my days.

Cowgirl Up!


...Like a Woman


On a transatlantic flight, a plane passes through a severe storm. The turbulence is awful, and things go from bad to worse when one wing is struck by lightning.

One woman in particular loses it. Screaming, she stands up in the front of the plane. "I'm too young to die," she wails. Then she yells, "Well, if I'm going to die, I want my last minutes on earth to be memorable! Is there anyone on this plane who can make me feel like a WOMAN?"

For a moment there is silence. Everyone has forgotten their own peril. They all stare, riveted, at the desperate woman in the front of the plane.

Then a cowboy from Oklahoma stands up in the rear of the plane. He is handsome: tall, well built, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes. He starts to walk slowly up the aisle, unbuttoning his shirt.

One button at a time........

No one moves..................

He removes his shirt................

Muscles ripple across his chest.......

She gasps....................

He whispers.................

"Iron this...then get me a beer."


Another Day, Another $0.62

To all my faithful readers out there, I have not taken the last ship out of Saigon. I'm still around, and around, and around.

My recent life in a nutshell:

I like my new apartment

Journey's new lead singer is pretty dang awesome!! They still Rock!

I screamed myself hoarse on King's Dominion's stupendous roller coasters.

Never take directions from a cheap hotel's desk clerk at 1:30 in the morning. You'll end up in Baltimore. Not so fun.

Suspended registration is an arrestable offense in the District of Columbia. I found this out the hard way, but talked and girled my way out of it. A Thank You card is on it's way to a cute motorcycle cop with a good sense of humor.

The Lincoln Memorial is awe inspiring. Almost as powerful as the Vietnam Memorial. I am so grateful to be free.

Watermelon Spike is pretty good.

I got a new Flat panel LCD TV with a built in DVD player, a stereo tuner and 5.1 surround speakers, all for $80 bucks. Sweet!

I'm making my own curtains.

New ceiling fan in my bedroom!

I've learned that I'm a pretty impressive shot, even for a girl.

There is more artwork than walls. What to do, oh what to do?

I wonder if the kitties miss the backyard?

I have to go grocery shopping. My fridge looks like a poor bachelor's.

Tonite is pedicure night.

I have a very surprised look on my face in my new NC drivers license picture. It's a long story.

Back to work tomorrow. Yay?


Comic of the Day

Some things are worth it!


Quote for the Day

The best way to
predict your future
is to create it.


Just a Thought

There will always be more road than time.

For Love of the Game

Winning at pool is a nice little prize, all in itself. There are no ribbons or trophies, not yet at least. Just that sense of accomplishment. I was pondering how many hours, days, months of my life have been spent in a pool hall. That compilation of time would be considerable if it were actually tallied. I have thought, at times, that it is rather odd to have spent so much time in a pool hall. As I was rolling this thought around in my mind, I came across the quote on my daily calendar:
Normal is in the eye of the beholder.
-Whoopi Goldberg
It is normal for me to be in a pool hall. It's where I feel comfortable and connected to the people around me. We all have commonality. I have made some lifelong friends and met amazing people in pool halls. There are characters and couples, amateurs and wanna-be pro's, serious and silly, but we all enjoy the game.
The game is a gift to me. A talent. I can look at colored balls on green felt and know exactly what needs to be done to make those little round colors disappear. Some have talents for art, singing, business, cooking, computer graphics, shooting, driving, teaching, scrapbooking, parenting, running, speaking or a myriad of other talents and gifts. One of my gifts is the ability and desire to play pool. Not your normal, everyday run of the mill gift, but a gift nonetheless. What an honor. It truly is a blessing to know that God choose me to have this gift. In the billions of people that have lived and will live on the earth, only a comparatively small handful have this gift.
Hmm. It truly is in the way you look at it, now isn't it?

Quote for the Day

I generaly avoid temptation,
unless I can't resist it.
-Mae West


Soft Breezes

It's late. I'm awake. Pondering. Random thoughts as the fan dries out my eyes. Does it really matter where I bank? How big of a ticket would I get if I got pulled over with my year old expired out of state registration?

Why is there such trash on TV these days? I just watched Tila Tequila get her heart broken by a girl who decided she would rather be with a guy. And this is quality, family entertainment folks. Why was I watching this you ask? It was in front of me on the treadmill. I kept trying to walk away, faster and faster, but was going nowhere. Like so many other things in life, the harder you try, the more you stay in the same place.

What are we gonna do with the kitten? Anyone want a cute little red haired kitten?

Who do I want to be? Do I even know? How do I find out? I thought I knew once, but I turned out to be wrong. Quite the learning experience, I assure you.

I really do enjoy listening to Christian music, it makes me smile. It is not lukewarm at all, despite opinions to the contrary.

I can't wait to see my mom this weekend. It's been almost 3 years since I saw her last. She'll finally get to meet her son in law.

Meditation is a wonderful thing. Moments of blissful silence, when you stop thinking and just be.

Prayer is when you talk, mediation is when you listen.

When jokes go sour, you just apologize and move on. No harm intended.

I've learned that apologizing first makes things much easier. Things such as moving on.

The Giver is a wonderful book about the importance of our memories, our feelings, our humanity. The world is in vivid color, all around us. We should not waste our precious time with our eyes and minds closed to what we could experience if we only allowed ourselves to see. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, beauty exists even when no one sees it. That's what makes it beautiful. When we are lucky enough to witness true beauty, it is because we chose to see what was already there, waiting.


Comic of the Day

Don't worry if you don't get it.
It just means you're not a Star Wars nerd, like me.
But this is dang funny!


Quote for the Day

I am always doing
things I can't do,
that's how I get
to do them.
-Pablo Picasso



For my readers who are unfamiliar with the stunning marvel of early 80's Disney moviemaking found in Condorman, here is a quick synopsis:
Accomplished comic book writer, with grandiose dreams of saving the world from evil through gadgets and heroism, is recruited by the CIA to help a beautiful KGB spy defect to the US. The comic book character is Condorman, whom the writer brings to life in himself with fancy gadgets and costumes with wings. You really have to see it for yourself, it's so cheesy it's great!

The previous blurb was to bring into perspective my 4year old frame of mind. I wanted to be a superhero. I wanted to fly like Condorman and save the world from evil. Who doesn't? I acquired some yellow sunglasses to which my mother attached a yellow construction paper beak. I grabbed a yellow towel/cape and would fly around the house, singing "Condorman, da da da da da CONDORMAN!!"

Living in Idaho was quite a drive from Southern California where my maternal grandparents lived. I-15 runs from the sandy So Cal beaches, through cities, across deserts, over mountains, around high plains and low valleys. Heading north after acres and acres of lush farmland you reach St. Anthony, Idaho. A small town built around an even smaller sawmill.

My Grandparents had just driven up from San Diego to see their daughter (my mom) and their Grandkids (me included). As my Grandfather told us of their drive in great detail, I was busy entertaining my 4year old self by playing my favorite game of Condorman. I was 'flying' from the couch onto our old green velour bean bag. Launching myself off the couch at full tilt, flying through the air with the greatest of ease, and landing with a soft thump on the ever flattening styrofoam beaded bean bag, this was the pinnacle of good times.

As the story goes, which I have to include because I don't actually recall any of this happening, the story goes that my ever worrying mother told me to stop jumping, that I would hurt myself. Why do mothers say such things? The never ending stream of "Be careful, Don't run, Stop that, Don't put that in your mouth" which seem to flow from them as the mighty Mississippi. Do they truly believe that we will listen to and heed their warnings? Did you? I thought not. Moving on...

After this dire warning of Stop-or-Else bounced off me as a rubber ball would off hard concrete, I knew I had to make the ultimate in Condorman stunt moves. Moving as far back as I could, half the couch laid out in front of me as my runway, I spoke the words heard round the world..."Grandma watch!" I ran. As fast as my little legs would carry me, across the couch and launched myself into the air, arms spread in wonder and glory. I flew.

I flew with magnificence and grace. The air rushing through my hair, my house falling away below me, I flew up higher and higher into the upper levels of the atmosphere. Time did not touch me here, I was free. I was Condorman!

A large green velour mountain passed far below me, I paid it no mind. I was a superhero. I had wings and could choose my path in life. I could overcome all obstacles and bypass those things that stood in my way. Enemies, KGB double agents, oak roll top desks, super villains; all where mere playthings to me. Though danger may loom ahead, dark and impending, seemingly immovable, I did not deviate from my present course. I had a mission to accomplish, a world to save, I would overcome.

There are many different types and weights of wood. Balsa is one of the softest woods. Pine is another soft wood, able to be marked with a fingernail. Oak is considered a hardwood, as is Cherry and Maple. Just how hard is a hardwood? Hard enough to be used as flooring and all the punishment it will endure after being walked on for decades. Hard enough to hold the weight of building or smash a skull in. The latter is not something that most Grandmothers, worrisome mothers or 4 year old super heroes think much about. Can this oak desk really smash my skull in? Not a thought you have everyday, now is it? Not so much.

Here I am in St. Anthony, Idaho, my family catching up with each other after years of separation. I am, of course, still flying through the air. Evil stands before me, dark, oak and impenetrable. Using my superhero powers I will surely smash through this evil force and conquer my foes. With wings spread wide, I stare down my enemy and focus all my mind on the task speeding toward me. The moment arrives, it's do or die!

With a resounding THWACK! I bring down my enemy with a headbutt that his children will surely feel. In the shadows of consciousness I hear my mother and Grandmother cheering me on, screaming for my victory. My Grandfather wants to take me out to celebrate with a stalwart "Get the car." Bright lights and many people surround me as they revel in my conquering of the oak enemy. Victory is sweet.

17 stitches and much cleaning up of pooling blood later, I am brought home from the Emergency Room for the third time that year. The doctors must have suspected that my parents regularly threw oak roll top desks at me, but that was not that case. I was just a daredevil, and nothing stood in my way.

Now here's what really happened, I ran across the couch, dove for the bean bag, missed and hit the corner of the desk directly above my left eyebrow. One inch lower and I would have lost my left eye. I wonder if people would have called me One-Eyed Emily? That would be be a little bit awesome, actually. You know I would have worn a leopard print eye patch and told stories of how the pirates put out my eye with a hot poker, but I never told them where the buried treasure was!!...story for another day....

Considering that my forehead had been pretty well turned to mush by hardwood and inertia, the surgical attendant in our very small hospital did a spic-n-span job of sewing me up. You would not be able to see the scar above my eyebrow unless I pointed it out. Not too shabby for a doc stuck in north eastern Idaho. I am grateful for that doc's skill at putting me back together, could have been much worse. I'm grateful for the scar as well, a constant reminder of the price we all pay to fight evil and overcome that which stands in our way.

Moral of the story: Enemies come in many forms, and we all have to smash through our own. What's a few stitches among friends?


T-Shirt of the Day

I wish I was an egg laying, duck billed, beaver tailed,
water-dwelling, super-hero mammal!
That's hot!

How to tell when you've ticked off a rocket scientist

A check sent to Verizon from an upset customer.
The amount is believed to be $533.82,
not that I could figure out this math, but whatever.


Stand Back Up

Words stolen from Sugarland

Go ahead and take your best shot,
Let 'er rip, give it all you've got
I'm laid out on the floor
But I've been here before

I may stumble, yeah I might fall
Only human aren't we all?
I might lose my way
But hear me when I say

I will stand back up
You'll know just the moment when I've had enough
Sometimes I'm afraid
And I don't feel that tough
But I'll stand back up

I've been beaten up and bruised
I've been kicked right off my shoes
Been down on my knees
More times than you'd believe

When the darkness tries to get me
There's a light that just won't let me
It might take my pride
And my tears may fill my eyes
But I'll stand back up

I've weathered all these storms
But I just turn them into wind, so I can fly
What don't kill you makes you stronger
When I take my last breath
That's when I'll just give up

So go ahead to take your best shot
Let 'er rip, give it all you've got
You might win this round
But you can't keep me down

'Cause I'll stand back up
And you'll know just the moment when I've had enough
Sometimes I'm afraid and I don't feel that tough

But I'll stand back up.


Today Was a Good Day

...If you read this blog title and heard the rest of a rap song play out in your mind, alluding to an AK, you and I have something in common. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, good for you . You've probably never listened to gangster rap and therefore don't get it stuck in your head. Now back to our regularly scheduled broadcast...

Sundays always turn out to be good days. The reasons are obvious enough to those with eyes to see. Even in my past life, I noticed that Sundays had the calming effect of smoothing the edges off a grating week. The sun shines a bit warmer, the breeze a bit softer, the air a tad sweeter. Cotton candy clouds hang in the clear blue sky.

Sunday is a day of rest. I say this means a day of naps and reading, sharing a meal and not worrying about the dishes. Enjoying the cooling evening in my backyard, watching the kitties explore their world.

Sunday is church day. Refill our spent fuel tanks and share in the Spirit with those who are willing to understand. let go of the week and it's worries, ask for help in a new start.

Sunday is what we make of it. It is a day for us to set aside, to give back and receive in turn. I've always enjoyed Sundays, and pray I always will.


...As Powerful as the Sun

Few things exist in life as powerful as the sun. Though I feel its strength only after unthinkable distances and layers of filter, it stops my thoughts and takes my breath away.

Everyday a new masterpiece is painted across the sky for all to see.
Each evening brings its own majesty.

From endless sea to small pond, the sun shares its light with all.

The first sweet rays after a storm remind me

that peace is on the horizon, waiting.

Daybreak and all its opportunies.


Is it Friday Yet?

Sitting in my cube
Pondering daily quotes and secret posts
Listening to nonsensical babble over cube walls
Mind wandering to wide open spaces

Unknown questions with questionable answers
Rants and raves assault my senses
Too much information, not enough fact
Wishing for the silence of rushing wind

Discovering that hard work has more meaningful definitions
Endless landscapes lead to ever expanding horizons
Quick trots and slow walks
Time stands still

Vacationing Wildlife

During my two very diverse and rather opposite vacations, I came across animals of every size, shape, color, species and scent imaginable. Here are a few of the closer encounters. I'll let you guess where each one calls home. "Come here, let me smell that camera"

Little lost calf.

Tree lizards came by for regular visits,

while the tree frogs sang us to sleep at night.

Ride, Sally, Ride!

This little crab tried so hard to hide behind that leaf.

Guess he was camera shy.


Sleepy girl.

Iguana's can live to be 100 years old. You can see the age in his skin and spikes,

but mostly in his "I'm too old for this" attitude.

"Just going for a little swim, mom. Geez..."

His name was Tiny.

I thought this bird was a statue, it kept so still and silent.

Always watching me.

The cat has better things to do than work.

$10,000 Reward for any Tourist who finds a Jackelope!

This Conch was still alive and crawled back inside

just before I snapped the picture. Camera shy.

This kitty cat was going after the dogs.

New style of Boot Scraper, on sale now at Sears!

Indiana Jones says the smaller the scorpion the more dangerous.

Wish I knew that before I got this close.

Little burro was best friends with the huge draft horse.

I always saw them hanging out together.

Odd couple.

I got to name this horse, Cheeks ;o)

And some believe there is no God.

This cow looks just like it's wearing a halter.

"If I could just get around this tree..."

Mama and a woolly baby
Horny toads sure do fit their name, don't they?