November 1, 2005

It is so hard to believe that it is already November!!  Thanksgiving is just around the corner...and Christmas isn't far behind.  It seems as if time goes faster each year and I'm getting further and further behind all the time!!!  Time flies, whether or not you're having fun!!

I guess part of the reason it's hard to grasp how late in the year it really is has to do with the majority of leaves still being green and the grass just now going dormant.  And it has stayed warm later than usual this year.  I'm crossing my fingers and hoping we have a very mild winter (no ice or snow!!!)  I don't know how you Northerners stand the long hard winters.  I wouldn't make it!


November 3, 2005

I have encountered the mother (or daddy) of all toadstools!  This thing looks like it is out of some video game or from Alice in Wonderland!!!  It's very big and meaty and solid (as in, it was hard to remove!).  Are you ready???  Here it is!


It's almost twice the size of my fist all balled up in both height and circumference, so it really is a big guy!  And it didn't have all that black yucky stuff underneath (one person suggested they were spores).  It was all white mushroom meat.  Or toadstool meat...

Also, it's starting to look more like fall.  This picture is from my back yard looking into the woods behind my house.  As you can see, there are still a lot of green leaves, but some leaves are beginning to change and a few have fallen.  It's still very warm for this time of year.  I've been wearing a t-shirt during the day, but adding a sweater at night.  Very pleasant!!!  I wish it would stay this way all winter long!!!  The days have been gorgeous!  I keep the windows open to let in the wonderful fresh air...unless it gets a little too hot for that.  This is my favorite time of year!!!!








November 6, 2005

I did this really dumb thing yesterday.  Or not dumb, exactly.  But kind of...dumb.  I couldn't tell what color my car was any more, it was so dirty.  I'm afraid washing it really isn't something I enjoy.  In fact, it's not something I even think about doing until it gets so bad, I finally have to grit my teeth and go for it.  As in force myself.  And so I did.  Oh, but I didn't just wash it.  I waxed it too.  And in the process, I discovered I am old and woefully out of shape.

It was a beautiful day; very warm and sunny.  It was so warm, in fact, I had to pull my car back in the garage to wax it because the wax was baking on in the sun.  Now, perhaps I would not have discovered that I am old if I did this type of thing more often.  But since I don't, since I put it off as long as possible, it's harder to get clean, harder to wax and I am totally not prepared for such muscle-building labor.  I kept thinking about "The Karate Kid" (wax on, wax off) trying to focus on the positive (good exercise).  But I noticed that I was wearing out much more quickly toward the end.  Five seconds of "wax off" and a 5 minute break.  When I started, I was doing 10 minutes of "wax on" with a 10 second break.  I was PATHETIC!!! 

And even worse, about an hour later, I was in some SERIOUS pain.  I hurt...everywhere!  My shoulder and neck muscles hurt the worst, but my legs were sore from all the repetitious squatting and getting up.  My back hurt from all the bending and reaching.  My arms hurt from all the "wax off" and maybe even from some of the "wax on".  I took Ibuprofen and laid on the couch with a pillow under my neck feeling very pitiful.

Evidently all that moaning made a difference (O.K., so it COULD have partially been the Ibuprofen that made a difference...but I'm not totally conceding because I feel the moaning was beneficial).  Although I am still a bit sore today, I have been able to do more than lay around moaning.  I even met friends for my shiny new car!!  I must say, it does look pretty spiffy when it's clean and waxed!  Not that I'm bragging or anything, but you can see for yourself...see what you think...








Not too bad for an old lady, eh?


November 9, 2005

I have a confession to make.  I know there are many of you who believe I am nearly perfect (oh, man, I just blew Diet Mt. Dew out of my nose...).  But, alas, I am not, though I know that is very difficult for some of you to hear (shoot...I need to stop with the Mt. Dew HURTS!!).  You may be wondering why I am making this public confession and I don't want to keep you in the dark any longer.  It is a sad and ugly story.

On the way home this evening from my new job, I encountered one "cognitively and spatially challenged" driver after another .  At a peak point of frustration, I had a moment of significant enlightenment, coming to the realization that, should I ever live in a truly large city where the traffic gets totally nasty...someplace like Houston or LA or Dallas...I would surely expire some night on my way home from work because of a fatal explosion of idiot induced frustration overload!!!  I would be overcome and overwhelmed by the lunacy and I would not reach my destination in time to decompress.  I would be history!!  Kaboom!!!

You see, though I attempt to shrug off the annoyance of people who drive 30 in a 50 mph zone, or who drive 20, suddenly accelerate to 70 and, upon reaching this velocity, just as suddenly slow to 20 again, I am not an especially successful "shrugger."  I try to overlook all the vehicles that wildly veer off the road or just as wildly veer over the line the closer they get to me.  I try to ignore the tailgaters, the inconsiderate and idiotic, the insanely slow, the insanely incompetent and the generally insane.  I sincerely attempt to avoid being aggravated when I see people turning without signaling, when people pull out in front of me, testing my anti-lock brakes (so far, so good!), or when they sit at the green light only to shoot through on the amber, leaving me with a red.  I want to let it roll off of me.  But it sticks like bugs on the windshield.  It is NOT a pretty sight!!!

There are times when I wish I could drag people from their cars and "whap" them until I beat some sense into them - because I can't beat a senseless person senseless, now can I??  And sometimes, I want...with all of my be Jennifer Garner so I can seriously kick some deserving butt!!!  (O.K., there ARE some other reasons I would like to be Jennifer Garner...another, you guys are tough!)  I have come to the conclusion that I am a failure when it comes to overlooking incompetent and inconsiderate drivers.  I am an even worse failure at being Jennifer Garner.

I've read that the first step in overcoming is to square up to your deficiencies and own up to your failures.  This is supposed to help somehow.  And I figured I didn't have a whole lot to lose.  So I decided to confess to those two or three of you who actually read my journal.  I am hoping my confession...though of course, today is just the beginning of the journey...will eventually produce the desired results.  If this works, some day I will wake up looking almost like I could be Jennifer Garner's twin.  And when I do, all the stupid drivers of the world had better beware! I'm going to KICK SOME BUTT!!!


November 11, 2005

And then there's the drivers who take off from a stop like a snail with glue on it's butt.  They don't actually use the gas pedal.  They just remove their foot from the brake so their car, which has an automatic transmission (you didn't seriously think they had the ability to manually shift did you), slowly begins to creep forward.  After a quarter of a mile, they have finally reached the blazing speed of 20 mph.  At the half mile mark, they are doing 45.  After three quarters of a mile, they are going 65.  If they don't encounter a stop sign or light anytime soon, their speed just keeps increasing until they wreck or reach 120 mph!  I get the feeling they think driving is a passive act...the car somehow goes on its own like a roller coaster going down a long hill.  It starts off slow - REALLY SLOW - but keeps going faster and faster and faster and faster...

Or what about the person who has to come to a complete stop to make a turn.  Well, maybe they don't make a COMPLETE stop.  But to negotiate the turn, they seem to feel movement faster than 2 mph would prove deadly, so you are forced to sit for 5 minutes as they v-e-r-y c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y c-r-e-e-p a-r-o-u-n-d t-h-e c-o-r-n-e-r...

And so ends another day.

Happy Birthday, Bonnie!


November 16, 2005

Ha!  You thought I was paranoid, did you!  Well, I'm not...and the article in the Tulsa World this morning PROVES I am not paranoid!!  In fact, it proves that I am a good mother to my Schnauzer.  A good mother with good instincts!!!  And I'm feeling rather better about being a protective mom right now because of the mountain lion that is stalking the area of Broken Arrow where I live!!!

Yes, it's true!!!  As Dave Barry would say, I'm not making this up!!!  There is a creek behind my house and the area is very nicely wooded.  It provides wonderful privacy for me and a sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife.  I have seen and heard coyotes, sighted raccoons on numerous occasions, watched hawks, owls, and a huge variety of song birds, sheltered a rabbit (well, Maddie doesn't shelter the rabbit, but I'm looking out for it), seen beavers, opossums and heard other "things" moving stealthily in the night.  At times, I have heard this awful noise that sounds like a cat with a very deep voice fighting furiously with...something.  This has always been very early in the morning, when it is pitch black outside and when these kinds of noises tend to be the most frightening.  I confess, I've scooped Maddie up and ran for the house a few time!!  And now, along this very same creek, a whole bunch of "non-paranoid" people have seen a mountain lion!  One man even saw the big cat snatch his dog and take off into the woods with it!!!

My baby would be a lovely little morsel for a 100 lb. cat.  I have frozen my butt off in the winter and sweat it off in the summer, yet my butt remains.  Oops!  I'm getting off track again!  Actually, what I wanted to say was, I've frozen or furiously sweat as I have shadowed Maddie any time she has to go out when it is dark.  I watch over her to protect her just in case a coyote feels an urge for a snack.  I didn't know we also had a mountain lion prowling around.  But Maddie is such a sweet and innocent little creature, I couldn't stand the thought of some wild animal hurting or killing her just because I was too lazy to take care of her.  And so, like a silly fool, I have gone out with her in the dark, day after day after day.  And I'm feeling very justified in my actions considering the latest news!!!

So to all of you who have made fun of me and thought I was ridiculous, I just want to say, "nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!"  Looks like I wasn't crazy after all...well, at least in this case!!  And I must say, it's terribly nice to know that I'm not totally crazy!!!!


November 20, 2005

I'm trying to hold off on a full blown rant about the way people drive.  I sort of feel like I would be doing something hideously inappropriate with Thanksgiving looming on the horizon.  It's hard to overlook.  Since I started my new job, not a single day has passed without becoming hopelessly trapped or threatened (or both) by some person who has surely had an unsuccessful brain transplant.  By unsuccessful, I mean the old brain was removed, but the doctors were not able to put the new brain in place.  It's the only rational explanation...surely people can't be this stupid, thoughtless, careless and inept otherwise! There have been billions of these unsuccessful surgeries, judging from the way people drive.  But I'm not going to get started down that path today.  Well, I'm not going to go any further down that path, to be more accurate.  In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm swallowing down all my frustration and shocked disbelief.  I can't promise you that I will be able to hold it all in much longer than that.  But I'm determined to be a nice person...for now...because Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful.  Thank you very much!

I do have a lot of things to be thankful for.  I have some wonderful friends.  I have a great house.  I have a new job.  My health is good, I'm fairly intelligent, I live in a relatively peaceful country (except for the brainless drivers) where we enjoy freedoms some people can scarcely dream of knowing.  I get to enjoy a lot of the benefits of technology.  With the exception of New Orleans, I live in a civilized nation.  I have the best little dog ever (sorry about you guys) and she loves me extravagantly!  There is no food or gas shortage and I can, within reason, afford both.  I get to buy totally cool beads and make jewelry with them and I have some outstanding customers who have made my first year very enjoyable.  While the business hasn't been profitable yet, I love making jewelry, so it's worth it to me to keep going.  Maybe someday, this habit / hobby will pay for itself, but for now, I'm thankful I get to continue.

Life is full of surprises; some good, many bad.  I've had a lot of bad ones over the past couple of years.  But as you can see, I've had some positive and special ones too.  I hope the good surprises far outweigh the bad ones in your own life and I hope you have a long list of things to be thankful for this holiday season. 


November 28, 2005

You know how you can suddenly find yourself feeling blue and all alone sometimes?  Kind of lost and empty and isolated?  I was feeling like this tonight.  I wanted to call a friend because I was hurting and needed someone to be there.  But I didn't know who to call without being a bother.  This is a very busy time of year.  Everyone has so much they are trying to fit in and juggle.  So I was moping around and feeling lonely, carrying a pain in my heart.  I figured this was just the way it was going to be because, after all, that's my reality.

I decided to open my mail...I had a big stack of bills and ads.  So I sorted everything out, threw the junk away (had to keep the bills) and decided to open some beads that had arrived today.  I always save the beads for last because they are so fun to a Christmas present!  And when I opened the package, there was an honest-to-goodness Christmas card inside - my first this year.  I thought it was special that she sent a card.  But there was more.

This particular person started out as someone whose work I greatly admire and somewhere along the line she became a person I really like and care about.  Though I have never met her in person, I feel like we have become friends.  Getting her beads is always a treat, but getting a special Christmas card was even better.  And then I saw something wrapped up in her special tissue paper that said "Early Christmas Present" on the outside. 

Not too long ago, she had created a bead with sterling silver caps - caps that she made - attached to a silver tube that lined the hole of the bead.  She had stamped the silver with a short saying and some small artsy pictures.  I LOVED that bead!  It was such a cool idea and I loved the way it looked.  But I wanted a different color bead and saying, so I asked her if she could make me one with a bead that was in my favorite colors of blue.  I sent her several options for sayings, hoping one would fit.  She told me she could do it, but needed to wait until something she had ordered came in.  So I've been waiting, not really giving it much thought.

Tonight, the Christmas present she sent me was the blue bead with one of the sayings I liked stamped on it.  It would be a treasure no matter which night it arrived.  But it came tonight, when I felt so lonely and empty.  When I desperately needed to know I wasn't alone.  And I cried!  She gave me the gift of her heart and her friendship.  She put it in a lovely bead and sent it to me, not knowing how much more meaningful it would be because it arrived tonight.  That is the kind of person she is...a warm and giving person; a generous and caring person.  I will treasure this bead forever...not just because it is beautiful, but because she is.  And this lovely gift carries within it a precious piece of her heart. 

Somehow, I no longer feel so alone...