Picture taken by my friend Cyndi Leos....thank you Cyndi.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some Days...


"And so she smiled
  As sweet as can be
  In the face of the monster
  Called reality.

by Adina Levitan

Some days there is just so much to do and some days my energy level lags behind my drive to get things accomplished...

Some days, things just don't go the way I want them to.

Some days, I am angry as hell and wonder why things aren't going my way...

Some days I feel frustrated, agitated and I cuss a lot...

Some days, I just can't see clearly. I forget faith, the good stuff and the life lessons I've learned...

All I can do is my best effort each day.  If it takes me several days longer than planned, big deal, I am retired, so what.

I may have a plan, how I want things to go... but the Universe or God may have me scheduled for some personal tweaking...    Eventually, I will catch on and go with His plan...

Some days, this scruffy, strawberry-blond doggy, comes to me with her big brown eyes, wanting me to pick her up.  She licks my face and I start to laugh...she helps me relax and reconnect...

Thanks, I really needed that...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Magpie #59: A Woman True To Herself...

Mona Lisa

Photography motivation by Tess Kincaid
Challenge by Magpie Tales

of her name
her beauty exudes
her smile sweet, yet,
with curious mystique
her fame is famous
a natural woman
true to herself
her eyes
to her soul
baring only the truth 
beckoning to differ
while she poses knowing
her will is strong, her way
is her own, comfortable in her own

Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor
modern day
Mona Lisa
once said,
"I adore wearing gems,
but not because they are mine.
You can't possess radiance,
you can only admire it."

She wore radiance well.

A lady with
bawdy humor,
known as the most
beautiful woman
in the world
unafraid of growing old
and losing her youth.

 She sold her 69.42 carat Taylor-Burton diamond
for five million dollars to build a hospital
in Botswana

Following her passions,
she shamelessly took another woman's man
but claimed to only sleep with men she married.

You wanted her as a friend
never an enemy...
her loyalty
steadfast, dependable,
and real.

 Born in pain with Scoliosis;
at 12 years old, she fell while
 doing her own riding in National Velvet
breaking her back, yet forced herself
to complete the film...
and at 25, fell again on her tail bone
when her boat lurched forward.
Surgeons removed 3 of her lower discs
in her back, replacing with bone from her
pelvis, hip and a bone bank.
She lived a life in daily pain.

Her presence
was strong,
and truthful.

It is rumored
her jewelry collection
worth $600 million dollars
will be auctioned off
with the proceeds
going to amfAR
to find a cure for AIDS.

She was an icon
yet she was ever so human.
A glamours survivor.
The definition of celebrity
A devoted Mother,
Grand mother,
and great Grand mother;
requesting to be
15 minutes late
to her own funeral.
She was laid to rest
covered with lilacs,
magnolias and lilies of the valley,
beneath a marble
Michelangelo Angel.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Magpie Tales #58: Warrior Woman

Photograph motivation by Tess Kincaid
Challenge by Magpie Tales

She is self-sufficient.
She knows
 breathing independence;
learning what it takes
to make her smile,
to sigh,
to love,
to feel
 feeling free...
She picks her battles,
 stands her ground;
following her gut.
Her shield
is integrity,
inner knowing,
Fierce courage of
inner strength
and wraps
in her
She is a
warrior woman,
birth er of children,
survivor of death,
enforcer for truth.
She can
wield a sword
or hold the
lantern high,
She labors
she toils
she struggles
she endures
she seeks
she finds...
she never
gives up


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Updates and The Fine Line of Negotiations Within a Marriage...

I finally discovered the problem I was having with my CPAP sleep apnea mask...I had the nasal pillows in backwards.  No wonder they didn't fit right!  Since turning them around I have slept like a baby the past three nights!  I plan on taking it with me this weekend when I go visit the grand kids and my two daughters...

I adjusted the mask, removing the hose going between my eyes and fastening on top of my head,  to allow it to swing freely from the bottom of the nasal pillows.  I find it much easier to read at night and it still stays out of my way when I sleep...

We plan on visiting family this weekend, so I know the 8 year old and the 6 year old grand sons will get a good laugh when they come to wake me early to make them their special french toast...I will tell them it is similar to the masks worn by the jet pilots...then they will think it is cool.... kinda' looks like one....

My husband and I are... shall I say,  STILL "negotiating" about which bills to cut back on.  He has no problem with reducing the services on the phone...but our DISH channels and learning to use the "timer" to automatically turn off the TV, saving electricity when he falls asleep, is a whole different situation!

We have always had a "difference of opinion" on the subject of thriftiness and decorating:

His definition of thriftiness:  Find what you like and pay whatever it costs. He does not believe in "second hand" anything. Spend less money driving around to find the best price.

My definition of thriftiness:  Take the time to do my research.  Check various stores websites, newspaper for "gently used" furniture options, check out stores to see the items in person, measure, and decide on what we like and best bargain.

In all my life, I have NEVER had a man care about sticking his two cents in on what furniture I buy, where I put it, or how often I want to move it...until, I married my husband!  When we went to buy furniture for our house, we left early in the morning and arrived at a particular store (who will be nameless, and it no longer in business by the way...) and began to look.... (course, being a man, he was "on the hunt"...)

I must admit, the prices were good, but I did not want to get the first thing we saw... HE found our bedroom set, - Queen sized bed, frame, dresser with mirror and two side tables, all in oak, dining room set - dining room table with leaf, six chairs and double hutch, family room set - love seat, couch with double recliner, coffee table and end tables.

When I said I wanted to look some more...else where, he promptly sat down and began to pontificate on why this was such a good "deal", we did not need to look further and why didn't I like it...

We had been in the store since it opened.  It was way past lunch and I was starving to death and very thirsty.  He knew that, it was part of his strategy.  Wear me down, get me good and hungry, and I will agree to anything...

So that is how we got all our furniture...  

Just hanging pictures was another "discussion"...

I am very creative with arranging a collage of photos...but he believes there should only be one framed picture or painting per wall.  By this time, I was wise to his plan, so after a couple of hours of "fake fighting", I relented, let him hang everything where he wanted it and then when he went to work, I changed it to how I liked it.

When he came home, of course he was upset, he pouted, he threatened to sell the house...(yes, that is what he said....LOL), I quietly, sadly, looked at him with my big blue eyes and asked why he did not like my decorating talents... after all, I just wanted to make a cozy home for us...(sniff, sniff)... If he really didn't like it, he could help me fill in all the holes, and I would change it back...

And that is how THAT battle was won... (big, huge, proud, female smile...)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Unfathomable Devastation and Tragedy...

picture from Yahoo news

Only by a change in destiny, any one of us may have been in Japan.
Disasters like this, haunt me and affect me profoundly.
Empathy for the images and shaken, emotional voices,
reach inside my soul, gripping me in a vice of sadness.

Japan has now upgraded the magnitude of the earthquake to 9.0
US still records 8.9
A shaking so strong, it ruptured the earth's crust 150 miles long and 50 miles wide.
It moved Japan 8 feet to the East.

Japan had 30 minutes after this horrendous shake
Before freezing, speeding waters, crushing, 30 foot waves engulfed and demolished so many Japanese cities...
Racing, filthy water, filled with planes, ships, cars, homes, debris and battered bodies, flooded 6 miles inland before settling into a muggy swamp of twisted chaos.

As if it weren't tragic enough...
Now we hear of a possible nuclear catastrophe

Police reported 200-300 bodies were found along the coast of  Sendai, a town in the eye of the quakes epicenter...
A nearby coastal town of Minamisanriku, just two miles from the sea, with a population of 17,000 and over 9.500 people are missing.
Many are believed to be buried in the debris or carried out to sea...

Imagine having your home and car washed away...
No clothes but what you were wearing, which is most likely dirty, wet and torn.
No food.  No water.
Quite possibly, not knowing the whereabouts of your spouse, children, other family, friends and pets...
Continuous after shocks.  So far, over 160. Many measuring over 6.0,
Tsunami warning sirens still sounding.
Where to go?
How do you find higher ground in all this devastation?.

Or being trapped, unable to leave where you are due to all the water surrounding your escape?
Think of the Injured...
No doubt many in shock, overwhelmed with the unfathomable devastation and tragedy...

Regardless of life times of earthquake education,
how do you prepare for the one of such magnitude?
Unable to confirm anything...
The earth still shaking...
Questioning if "this is it?"
Homeless and hearing sirens.
Absolute bone chilling panic, fearing another tsunami is coming...

I cannot even imagine the overwhelming, stark reality of this disaster
I am just sick and crushed with a myriad of thought...


Monday, March 7, 2011

Magpie #56: I Love Everything Italian...

Photo by Tess Kincaid
Challenge from Magpie Tales

I love all things Italian.
In my young, idyllic days
of yesterday
my life would transform
by going to movies:
Roman Holiday
Three Coins In A Fountain
It Started in Naples
La Dolce Vita
Divorce Italian Style
Two Women
Come September
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Gidget Goes To Rome
Marriage Italian Style
The Godfather Trilogy
Blume in Love
The Italian Job
Under the Tuscan Sun
To name a few...

I love
the romance of Italy
The food!
Oh mama mia, the food.
fresh Basil
Everything tastes better
with extra virgin olive oil
and garlic.
Garlic conjures up
cooking, love, Italy
and music...

I love that pizza commercial
with the guy dancing and
sailing the pizza dough
above his head...
you might recognize the song...
Mambo Italiano
(And who better
to sing it
Dean Martin)

(Were you able to listen
and sit still?
Not me
I had to shake
my figa - fanny)

Whenever I cooked my
Italian food
I would put out
my red and white checked
tablecloth and
Chianti wine bottle
complete with a
melted candle...

I got an English-Italian
bought lesson
Cd's to learn
My favorite word is
I LOVE to say
that word!

Best of all
I married an Italian man
100% Italiano (swoon)
Of course we had
Italian music
at our reception
Dean Martin
Andrea Bocelli **
We gave away
with a tag
which read:
"When the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie; that's Amore!"

I have always dreamed
of going to Italy
and we are
fulfilling that dream
on our 10th
wedding anniversary
this year.

For many reasons
(other than his heritage)
he is the love of my life
He is kind
has an incredible,
infectious laugh
easy going
and he
tells me
he is in love
for the
first time
the last time
in his life.

Sono una donna felice e contenta

(I am a happy and contented woman)


Sunday, March 6, 2011

For Ellie...

"Time is the welcome healer...
Yet love floats
far and wide,
traveling so slowly..."


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Six Word Saturday and Updates...

Taxes are done, back is better..

Thankfully, the CPA picked up all the paperwork and totals for our taxes.  He told us he should have it finished within a week.  Normally, I do our taxes online with the free H & R Block program.  This year, with my husband's retirement and all the roll overs and setting up of our new retirement program...I did not want to take a chance...

I will resume my mission to reduce our utilities next week... I had one set back today.  I had called our land line, Internet provider (Century Link) to change to the lower long distance plan I had been told we could get.  I found out she was a new employee and gave me wrong information. Instead of reducing our bill by $50, it will only be by $39.  We will no longer have an option to dial long distance, or have a message service or call waiting, but we will still have our low rate for our Internet.  We will use our cell phones for long distance.

Most of our messages are from doctor and dental offices confirming our appointments.  We'll just have to have them call our cell phones instead.  Anyone we care about reaching us, will know to call our cell phones.

Our cell phone service, through Verizon, has 1400 shared monthly minutes which also includes 10 free phone numbers which are not with Verizon.  I have the nursing home where Dad stays on that list.

We pay our electric and gas bills on level pay already, but I want to talk to each utility company to get ideas how to lower our energy use.  I will do that next week.

I have been able to resume my purge in our office.  Some where in the purge, I am missing my "good copy" of Gifts From The Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  I have been reading my old, original copy, which is literally falling apart.  I plan on using the pages in a creative journal project... so guess I will be purchasing another copy.

We plan on getting together with our friends, another couple, this weekend for dinner and a movie.  The weather is so nice, we'll barbecue on our back patio. 

Happy weekend to everyone...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I'd Like To Know...

I have been very busy lately, adding up and getting all our tax information for our tax person.  He comes the end of the week.  What I'd like to know is, how can a woman, who hates math, be the delegated individual to deal with this?  I mean, my husband is a human calculator and a former banker!!

We were noticed our car insurance will go up $20 a month.  We have a clean record and no claims...but were told there were a vast amount of car claims in Nevada, so all us "good and reliable" drivers must pay for those who caused the increase.  My husband hit the roof...and started calling various other car insurance companies....turns out, even with the increase, so far, AARP is still the cheapest.

I figured I would try to find a way to counteract the increase by saving on one of our other utilities...

So, in addition to gathering up the tax stuff, (which I HATE to do and choose to procrastinate at every opportunity...) I have been calling each of our utilities to see if there is any way to lower our monthly bill.  Once I finish my survey, I will share it with all of you...

What I'd like to does one get cheap, inexpensive Internet service without hauling one's lap top down to the nearest coffee house?  We have ours bundled with our land line.  If we cancel the land line (and use our cell phones instead) the company will raise the monthly amount of our Internet.  I am looking into a "work around" to this, so we can keep the $25 a month Internet fee.

I had planned to write more...but I am sleepy and can no longer think...night, night...sweet dreams...