Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Too Much Confidence Is A Bad Thing

Last night I learned that one or two computer success stories do not make you a skilled techno geek. And I learned it the hard way.

After my surprising blog re-design accomplishment, I decided to try my hand at doing the same for my hubby’s blog, The Centerline. Once I master something (OK…maybe “master” is too strong a word), I have a habit of recapturing the thrill by doing it over and over and over ad nauseum. I found a photo, uploaded it to his header, changed all the fonts and colors and even added a photo to his profile. Mission accomplished. He likes it and I was feeling confident about my computer skills…BIG mistake.

Now I won’t go into the gory details but let’s just say I took on a computer challenge that was far beyond my skill set. And, of course, I did this all just before bedtime so I was doing it with only half my brain functioning…not too smart. It has nothing to do with blog template tweaking so I’m not sure what made me think that my success in one small area of ComputerLand would translate to another but I’m thinking over-confidence is the culprit.

The good news is I’m sure the problem I’ve created is correctible although I'm waiting for Tech Support to help me undo my “mis-doing”. There’s nothing like having to admit your mistake (via email) to some nameless, faceless, far more knowledgeable individual, who’s probably young enough to be your son or daughter, to put things in perspective. I’ve been humbled and I promise I’ve learned my lesson…for now.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

He Does Return...

A little history is in order here. When my husband was working, he loved to write. His weekly reports were sent to all the managers in his department and he always received lots of compliments about his writing style, wit and wisdom. Then, when he retired, he gave up writing for some time. A few years after we retired, I began to research all about blogging, thinking this might be a way to encourage him to use his writing skills again. After much prodding, he finally let me create a blog for him late last year.

For a short while, he produced a number of blogs on a variety of subjects. Mostly, he loves commenting on human nature and sharing his observations and opinions. Anyone who knows Hubby will tell you he is never without an opinion. And many times, his writing can almost be described as sermon-esque...not preachy, mind you, but uplifting and inspiring with suggestions for living life in a more positive way.

Now to the present...on Sunday, we were at our friends' home for a Memorial Day weekend barbecue. My friend and her daughter both asked me why Hubby hadn't blogged about anything for a while. I mentioned this to Hubby yesterday and I could see that their interest in his writing pleased him. I guess he gave it some more thought today because this evening he actually sat down at the computer (a rare occurrence) and proceeded to compose his first post in months.

So...if you have some time and would like to discover a new blogger, please stop by Hubby's blog at The Centerline. Maybe having some new readers will encourage him to continue sharing his thoughts.

Surprise, Surprise

Okay...I've been thinking for some time now about fancy-ing up my blog after seeing everyone's beautiful, creative templates. Loving a challenge, I decided this morning to try my hand at designing my own. To be honest, part of my decision was based on the fact that I had nothing to post about today so I thought a new look would at least give me a subject for this post.

With lots of trepidation, I started the task of finding a graphic, playing with the colors, and moving things around. I'm thrilled, of course, that I actually managed not to mess things up too much...I've read lots of horror stories about bloggers screwing up their sites with mis-aligned graphics, texts etc. But... am I happy with the results? Will it stay like this? I'm not sure. I'm thinking the graphic is too big and the blog title doesn't stand out enough but I'm exhausted from the stress of all this so I think I'll let it be for a while. I can only do so much at one time...sigh.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Button, Button…Who’s Got the Button

OK…I admit it…I’m a button fanatic. I just love buttons…all shapes, all sizes, all colors, all designs. When I buy clothes, I always look for blouses with interesting buttons…not the plain old smooth round ones but ones that have something unique about them.

I’m pretty sure my love of buttons dates back to the time I was a baby. My maternal grandmother would visit from Montreal and she would sit me on her lap and sing to me. And what would she sing? “Button, button…who’s got the button?” And I would sit and finger the buttons on her blouse or sweater or whatever she was wearing. My mom has always insisted that “button” was the very first word I spoke (after “mama” and “dada” I’m sure).

So you can imagine my delight when I found these shoes when I was out shopping on Friday.

Okay…I was out shopping ostensibly for a suitcase but I drifted into the shoe warehouse nearby and there were these pretty black sandals on the clearance rack. How could I resist trying them on? They were an 8 ½ narrow (which explains the sale rack) and, much to my delight and surprise, they actually fit! The best part…they only cost me $21 thanks to the discount plus the remaining money I had on a gift card given to me by a friend for my birthday.

So while I'm still on the hunt for a silly old suitcase, I have these marvelous shoes to keep me happy.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Sad Suitcase Saga

This will be a fairly short post (for me) because I’m off to shop for another suitcase…yes…just when I thought we had that matter settled.

Our friend picked up our travel documents yesterday and, when he got home, he and his wife read through the material. Lo and behold, the tour guidebook specifically states that each person is allowed only ONE piece of luggage along with the little soft-sided carry-on (emblazoned with the tour name) they provide. Here’s the problem...that one piece of luggage can be no larger than 30”x18”x 10”. Isn’t it nice to find out this exceedingly important detail with only 3 weeks remaining before we fly to Ireland?!?!?! Where was our travel agent when we needed her?

Anyway, I feel like a traveling Goldilocks at the moment. The big suitcase I just bought is way too big (it’s going back to the store today) and our medium sized pieces (which I was actually planning to bring) are way too deep. Our one older large sized bag is just a wee bit deeper than 10” but we’ve decided to heck with them and are planning to use it anyway. So now I’m off to buy yet another suitcase for Hubby to use.

I don’t know about you but I’m getting really tired of hearing (and writing) about suitcases…what a thoroughly boring topic for so many posts. See…I told you my life was mundane!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Promise Never To…

OK…I think we here in BlogLand all need to get together and take an oath never to write another post dealing with insomnia. Why you may ask? Well…my sleeping habits have been much improved lately…that is… until last night. I’m chalking it up to Patti’s blog yesterday about her inability to get a good night’s rest. Now I’m in no way blaming Patti…after all, I’ve written about my lousy nights a number of times. It’s just that I think the power of suggestion, when it comes to insomnia, is just far too intense and it becomes terribly contagious far too often.

What can I say about last night??? We crawled into bed around 10:15PM (Hubby designated this “go-to-bed” time years ago), watched a little of the 10:00 news, and then Hubby turned off the lights…and that’s when I turned on my brain. Now I didn’t mean to turn it on…it just sort of happened. Suddenly my thoughts were bouncing from one topic to another…picture a billiard ball careening off the walls of a billiard table. Let’s see…I wondered about our trip, our plumber, my mom, Hubby’s mom, our suitcases, golf, Bravo’s TV show “Shear Genius,” author Janet Evanovich, the city of Santa Cruz in California, Cedar City in Utah…you name it, I thought about it last night. I think I finally managed to stop thinking and get some sleep around 4AM but then, for some ghastly reason, my eyes popped open at 5:00 and I’ve been awake ever since.

So…is everyone willing to make this commitment? If so, let’s all raise our right hands and promise never ever to write about insomnia again. Good!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Update Wednesday

I’m off to take my mom to the YMCA this morning but I thought I’d update everyone on the plumbing and shoe situations from yesterday.

I waited most of yesterday morning for the plumber to call and then gave up and decided to go out and run my errands. While I was in the parking lot of our Big Box Warehouse, my cell phone rang and, lo and behold, it was the plumber. It turns out he’s going on vacation starting next Wednesday but he was able to squeeze us in next Tuesday sometime between 10-10:30AM. It’s a good thing our leaks haven’t turned into torrents of water yet so we can wait the week. The odd thing is that he’s going fishing for a week and then he and his wife are taking a trip to, of all places, Ireland. Yep…we’ll be there at the same time so he’s going to bring his itinerary when he comes so we can see if our paths will cross while we’re there. Talk about coincidences.

Now for the shoe results. All three pairs arrived yesterday afternoon and I immediately tried them on when I got home. So…the first two pairs I tried were far too wide for my skinny little feet so they were a no-go and I’ve already taken them to the shipping store to have them returned. The third pair (the ones I like the look of the best) actually fit pretty well after I put in a Spenco pad plus my orthotics. They were still a little loose so I immediately went back to the shoe website, found the same shoes one-half size smaller and ordered them. When they arrive later this week, I’ll try them on and then decide which pair I’m keeping for the trip and which one will be sent back as a return. So what do you think of them?

Not much else is happening, thank goodness. I’ve been spending most of my time re-visiting my packing list, checking off items I have and making a list of things I still need to buy. The “to-buy” list is shrinking rapidly although I’m sure there will be a few last minute items to get at the end. Yesterday I spoke to the couple who are also going on the trip. They talked to our travel agent who has promised that our package of trip documents will be hand-delivered to our friend’s office this Friday. Once I have the documents in hand, I will actually begin to believe we are really going to Ireland. I simply can’t wait.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It’s My Pity Party

I’m back! Yesterday was one of those pity party days when I sit at home feeling sorry for myself. Mind you…I have absolutely nothing to feel sorry for. I have a loving husband; we have our health; we have enough income from our pensions; we have loving families; we are going to Ireland in a few weeks for a wonderful vacation…what’s there to be unhappy about? I’d like to chalk up my lousy mood to hormones but I doubt I have any of those left so I have no excuses to offer…I was just plain miserable yesterday.

So…what did I do while sitting home? Let’s see, I called our plumber and left a message asking him to call me about our two outside leaks which need repairing. Did he call me back yet…no…maybe this morning. The only other productive thing I did was to order online three pair of black walking shoes to take with me to Ireland. Yes…I said three pair. Since I have such narrow feet, I ordered every pair that was a potential fit so that, when they come, maybe one pair will actually fit. Since shipping both ways is free, I figure I can always return the shoes that don’t work and my credit card will be credited for the costs. The shoes are due to arrive today so I’ll let you know if I’m successful.

The rest of the day was spent in front of my computer reading everyone’s posts although I just couldn’t find the energy to comment…sorry…I promise to make up for my lack of initiative. I also spent a great deal of time lying across my bed watching afternoon reruns of TV dramas on cable and napping through the day. How pathetic is that!

The good news is that today I’m feeling a heck of a lot better and, with all that napping yesterday, a lot more industrious. I have a long list of errands to run and I am actually looking forward to doing them so that’s a good sign. I usually only allow myself 24 hours of “woe is me” time so that’s over with for a while. Let’s hope it’s a long while.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

You're Another Year Older Today

Today is Hubby's birthday. To honor his big day, here 's a birthday song that Sheriff John would sing to all the birthday boys and girls on his local children's TV show when Hubby was young:
Put another candle on my birthday cake
We're gonna bake a birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year older today.

I'm gonna have a party with my birthday cake
Come on and take some birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year older today.

We'll have some pie and sandwiches
and chocolate ice cream, too
We'll sing and play the day away
and one more thing I'm going to do.

I'll blow out the candles on my birthday cake
and when I do, a wish I'll make
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I'm another year older today
Happy birthday to you
I'm another year older today.

I love you Hubby

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Expressing Our Sympathy

Today Hubby asked me to find a sympathy card while I was out doing my chores. He received an email last night letting us know someone he used to work with lost his wife this week. Hubby not only worked with the husband but also with the wife many years ago and, for a short time, we used to play golf with this couple on occasion. So, while we know this couple, we were never the closest of friends and have been out of touch with them for several years. Still, we want to acknowledge our sorrow with a card.

On my list of places to visit today while out running errands, I included a party store where they have a large selection of greeting cards. I found the Sympathy card section and began to pick up and read each card trying to find just the right one. What an act of frustration that was. Each and every card I read had some kind of “sing-song-y” poem that made me want to wretch. Come on…who in their right mind would send such a treacly card to a grieving widower? I could not find one card with an appropriate message of condolence.

I’m home now trying to decide if I should go out to another greeting card store or find one of our pretty blank cards and write our own message of sympathy. Here’s the problem…I have never been able to express myself in times of sadness. Whether it’s face to face or in a card or letter, I just cannot find the right words to offer someone, in pain, the comforting words he or she needs. It’s not that I don’t feel compassion for the person…it’s just that I feel incapable of expressing my condolences in just the right way.

So here I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to decide whether to go find a store-bought card or take a blank card and write a personal message of sympathy. Sigh…

Thursday, May 17, 2007

You're Doing What to His Nose?

Today Hubby and I went back to the dermatologist who did the Mohs surgery on his nose three weeks ago to remove a spot of skin cancer. Hubby has been concerned about a little crevice which was created when the doctor sutured the flap he created to cover the wound caused by the excision.

The doctor (who’s young enough to be our son) took a look at the scar and crevice and then asked Hubby if he knew what a Dremel tool was. In case you’re not familiar with one, it’s used for a variety of woodworking projects including routing, cutting, drilling and sanding. Here’s what one looks like:

The doctor told Hubby he will set up an appointment for him (after we return from Ireland next month) to do a dermabrasion treatment on his nose to help smooth the scar tissue and hopefully remove the crevice. And apparently he is going to use a Dremel tool to do all this fine skin repair work. Okay…this I can’t wait to see.

Anyway, as soon as I heard the word dermabrasion, I immediately pictured my fine lines and wrinkles disappearing so I asked the doctor if there was a husband and wife package we could sign up for. He kind of looked bemused but didn’t offer me the chance to look years younger…rats! So now I’m thinking of going off to the hardware store and buying one of these handy tools. How difficult could it be to do a little self repair work????

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

“Let Me Call The…”

Ah…those are the four magic words that will get a husband off the comfy couch to do house repairs every time. Whenever I say to my husband, “Let me call the a) plumber b) electrician c) handyman etc.,” he suddenly finds the energy to take on whatever small house repair needs doing.

Such was the case this weekend. For quite some time now, the sink faucet in our small bathroom has been dripping. We have two bathrooms in the house and each of us uses one as our primary “get ready in the morning” place. The small bathroom is the one my husband uses and I use it occasionally when I’m on that side of the house. I noticed the faucet was dripping some time ago. It began as a slow intermittent drip and I tried to ignore it since I’m in that room so little. Recently, however, the drip has become a full blown leak and it began to worry me. I mentioned it to Hubby several times and he kept assuring me it was nothing to worry about and he would fix it soon. Sure…right…soon.

As you can tell by the countdown at the top of my blog, it’s less than a month before we leave on our Ireland trip. Now I'm absolutely paranoid about plumbing leaks turning into torrents of water while I’m on vacation. Granted it sounds silly but I’m always afraid the stopper in the sink will suddenly close, the leak will continue to fill up the sink and eventually it will overflow all over the floor causing great damage. Yes…I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s my little paranoia and Hubby knows this.

After waiting and waiting for Hubby to get around to fixing the leak, I decided it was time to get serious and so, this weekend, I finally said to Hubby, “Let me call the plumber this week and have him either fix or replace the faucet in the small bathroom.” Okay…I was using all my manipulative skills to get what I wanted but I’d been patient long enough! He’d had his chance at doing this on his own and he’d failed miserably. I had no choice…he forced me to rely on my secret wifely strategy.

And, as always, those four little words worked their magic. On Tuesday, I went to a meeting and, when I was done, I called Hubby to tell him I was on my way home. When I asked him what he was doing, he told me he’d gone to the store, bought a plumbing repair kit, and was in the process of tearing apart the faucet. By the time I got home, Hubby was proudly standing in the bathroom with the newly repaired faucet that no longer leaks. Of course I heaped loads of praise on him for his husbandly talents and thanked him profusely for fixing the faucet.

Now….here’s the problem. We still have two leaks (a backyard sprinkler valve and a front yard hose bib) that need to be repaired before we leave and I’m trying to figure out if I can use the “Let me call the…” tactic again so soon. Hmmm…maybe this time I will call the plumber.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Thinking Blogger Award

Michele at The Rocky Mountain Retreat has included my blog among five that have earned the Thinking Blogger Award. I feel so honored although, for the life of me, I can't imagine why she feels me worthy…my posts are generally a description of my very mundane life as opposed to any deep metaphysical ponderings. Oh well…

To pass this prestigious award on to other bloggers of note, I hereby honor the following “5 Blogs That Make Me Think:”

* A Tired Mama
* Are We There Yet
* Green Eggs and Pam
* Late Bloomer Boomer
* Meno’s Blog

Congratulations, you've won the:

Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. I thought it would be appropriate to include them with the meme. The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

"No Muss No Fuss" Eggs

Now here’s a surprise…I’m actually going to post a recipe. Okay…those of you who know my “culinary skills” can stop laughing. This recipe was emailed to me by a friend nearly two years ago. Something told me to keep it for future use so I archived it. Sure enough, last week I thought about it as we were planning our Mother’s Day brunch at our family friend’s home.

One of the problems with making omelets is that you make them one at a time so people are always eating in shifts. We were looking for some way to have all the omelets ready at the same time so we could sit down as a group. That’s when I remembered this recipe. It’s really easy to prepare and I thought it would be a fun “activity” for us to do. It allows everyone to choose their own ingredients and the clean-up is fast and easy. So without further ado…

Easy Omelet

1. Have each guest write their name on a quart-size freezer bag with permanent marker.
2. Crack 2 eggs (large or extra-large) into each bag (not more than two) and shake the bag.
3. Put out a variety of ingredients such as: cheeses, ham, onion, green pepper, tomato, hash browns, salsa, etc.
4. Each guest adds prepared ingredients of choice to their bag and then shakes and kneads the bag to mix all the ingredients together.
5. Make sure to get the air out of the bag and zip it up.
6. Place the bags into rolling, boiling water for exactly 13 minutes.
7. You can usually cook 6-8 omelets in a large pot. For more, make another pot of boiling water.
8. Open the bags and the omelets will easily roll out.

This turned out to be a really fun activity and our hostess insists we should make it an annual event. So have fun, be creative and bon appetit.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

I love you Mom!

Friday, May 11, 2007

A New Hair Day

Yesterday I took Mom to our new hair stylist for our very first hair cuts with “D”. If you don’t know why we’re going to a new stylist, take a look here and here. Anyway, I was loaded with anticipation and, quite honestly, a little trepidation as we entered the salon. I’d met “D” a few weeks ago when I went to the salon with my friend who’s been her client for a while and, while “D” seemed exceedingly professional and nice (a big plus), I am fully aware that my hair is not easy to cut. It’s wavy and thin and short and has a definite mind of its own which often cannot be tamed. But after my terrible experience with my former hairdresser, I was bound and determined to give “D” a chance to become my new stylist.

So….what are the results? My mom has straight, coarse, thick hair so hers is easy to cut and style. “D” did a nice cut for Mom although next time I think I’ll be a little more specific on the actual style…maybe I’ll even bring a photo. Mine, however, is another story. No…it’s not terrible…it’s just blah. Basically I think “D” tried to follow the shape it already had and, since I’ve been fighting with it for the past 5 weeks, that wasn’t the best idea. Part of it is my own fault…I just wasn’t specific enough about what I wanted…not that she can give me what I really want which is long, thick, straight, shiny hair. Sigh…

Anyway, after watching her cut, I think maybe her cutting skills aren’t as sophisticated as my last hairdresser and her blowdrying technique is definitely not as good as mine. It’s hard to explain (and maybe I’ve been watching too much “Shear Genius” on Bravo TV so I think I’m an expert on hair) but I might need someone with more styling skills than “D” has. Whatever it is, I am more than willing to give “D” several more appointments to learn my hair’s texture and idiosyncrasies before making a final decision.

What I do appreciate, however, is “D’s” willingness to have me come back to “tweak” the cut if I’m not satisfied. She told me to go home, play with it for a bit, and just give her a call if I’m having problems so she can have me come in to do a little repair work. That’s the mark of a true professional and I really admire that in a person. So I'm off now to play some more with my hair...where's that spray bottle and blowdryer...?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Their Final Answer Is...

I'm sure you've all been waiting anxiously for me to post the airline answer to my email question about measuring suitcases. Ta it is:

"...each Checked bag cannot exceed 62 linear inches (157.5 cm) as measured by length + width + height including all wheels, handles and feet. Items in excess of 62 linear inches (157.5 cm) are subject to an oversize baggage fee."

So there you have it...the definitive answer to my very important question. Only now I need to return the 64 linear inch suitcase (not 59 linear inchs) I bought the other day (see...I told you never to trust the dimensions listed on the manufacturer's tag) and then re-examine my options. My choices are either to shrink my 3-page packing list to just the very bare minimum (can I really do this?) OR take two smaller checked bags per person instead of one large bag each. Help!!!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Make Up Your Mind

Ahhhh…just when I think I have nothing to post, something comes up which cannot be ignored. As you may know, my brain has been playing mental Pong trying to decide whether to use my mid-size suitcases or buy larger ones for our trip to Ireland next month. If you don’t remember this, take a look here.

Yesterday, I decided to go shopping to see if I could find an inexpensive large suitcase with the idea that I could always return it if I decided to use the smaller ones. Lo and behold, I found a 59 linear inch suitcase at one of my favorite discount stores made by the same manufacturer as my other luggage. So, of course I just had to buy it.

I immediately brought it home and proceeded to measure it just to make sure it was less than the 62 linear inch maximum set by the airlines. I never trust the measurements listed on the tag attached to the bag. So we measured and here’s where it gets dicey. Yes, it is 59 linear inches IF you only measure the bag part itself. If you also include the handles, feet and wheels, however, it measures a whopping 64 linear inches. Hmmm.

Concerned I could get to the airport with the bag only to find out it was considered “oversized” and would cost me $50 dollars extra per flight, I called the airlines and spoke to Tiffany, a friendly representative. I explained my question and, after putting me on hold to check, she came back on the line and told me that the measurement only includes the bag itself and NOT the wheels, handles and feet. Whew…that made me happy…for a moment.

I guess it comes from years of getting conflicting information from companies and organizations but I just couldn’t feel 100% confident that I’d been given the correct information. I wanted something in writing that I could take with me to the airport on travel day in case there was a question about the size of my bag. I went to the airlines website and found a customer service form to fill out with comments, suggestions or questions. I did just that and then waited for a reply. This morning I opened my email and found one from the airline’s Customer Service representative Austin. Sure enough, Austin writes that the handles, feet and wheels ARE included when measuring a suitcase. Grrrrrrrr.

Of course I sent them another email explaining that I’d been given conflicting information about baggage measurement and I wanted a final, decisive answer to my question. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what they have to say. Check back for their "final" answer…if I ever get one.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Blogging Blahs

I seem to be experiencing one of those times when my brain just does not want to engage in any useful activity…particularly blogging. When I reach one of these annoying dry spells when creativity is nowhere to be found, I get cranky and exceedingly frustrated. Why can’t I be like other bloggers who never seem to be at a loss for something brilliant or at least interesting to share? Why do these folks always have a story to tell, an opinion to voice or a photo to share while I sit here with an invisible “Space For Rent” sign on my forehead?

This morning, desperate for something to write about, I carefully read the newspaper trying to find even the smallest article to comment on. OK…so today must be a really, really slow news day because nothing jumped off the page at me. Oh, I was thinking about discussing the guest list for the formal state dinner President and Mrs. Bush threw for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip last night but what is there really to say about a group of politicos plus obvious Republican supporters who get to dine with royalty? Of course, there were a few names that surprised me. Can anyone explain to me why NFL quarterback Peyton Manning, former golfing great Arnold Palmer and CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz were there? Is the Queen a closet American football (yes, not soccer) fan? Does the Queen play or watch golf in her spare time? Geez…I watch football (on occasion)…I play golf (on a very rare occasion)…I watch Jim Nantz on TV (when a golf tournament is televised). Why wasn’t I invited?

See…I told you there’s just nothing going on in my life right now that’s interesting enough to write about.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Fun With Wikipedia

I've been tagged again...this time by Linda who decided I deserved to be tagged after tagging her the last time.

I've been assured by Linda that this is an easy tag. Simply go over to Wikipedia, type in the month and day of your birth, and then post three events that happened on that date in history, two people who share your birthday and one person who died on that day.

The Wikipedia Meme

My Birthday - February 23

On This Date In History:
1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.
1836 - The Siege of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
1945 - World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten US Navy Corpsman reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag. The photo would later win a Pulitzer Prize.

People Who Share My Birthday:
1685 - Georg Friedrich Handel, German/British Baroque composer (d. 1759)
1965 - Michael Dell, American computer manufacturer

Someone Who Died On This Day:
1965 - Stan Laurel, British born actor and comedian (b. 1890)

Okay...I liked this one because it's a librarian's dream to share a little information. So who should I tag to do a little homework? Hmmm...I tag Lynn, Pam and Renee.

Friday, May 4, 2007

We’ll Always Have Paris

Okay…as many of you may know, poor Paris Hilton is going to jail. Yep…the young lady violated her probation and the judge has seen fit to sentence her to 45 days in the pokey…no work release, furloughs, or electronic monitoring in lieu of jail She’s gonna do hard time…in a Los Angeles County women’s jail starting June 5th.

I find it amazing that she continues to portray herself as a victim insisting she was misinformed about the requirements of her original sentence. Did she really think pleading ignorance of the judge’s ruling revoking her driver’s license would work? Did she really think the judge would buy her excuse that she was unaware her license was actually suspended and that she thought she was allowed to drive for work purposes? Did she not remember being stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer on January 15th at which time she was informed she was driving with a suspended license and that she signed a document acknowledging she was not to drive?

While I do not take pleasure seeing Paris humiliated, I am happy to see that, for a change, someone in the public eye is being made to take responsibility for their actions. When you break the law…and alcohol-related reckless driving is definitely a serious offense…and then you ignore the penalty you are need to pay the price for your behavior.

Paris…welcome to the real world. Oh…and Paris…next time, if there is a next time, you might want to show up to court on time instead of ten minutes late.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

You’re Fired…

After yesterday’s Freeze Tag, I was going to take today off from blogging to recuperate from that brain draining exercise. Unfortunately, something happened today that I just have to share. Some of you may remember that I had a horrible experience a few weeks ago when I went to have my hair cut and highlighted. I won’t bore everyone and repeat myself so if you want or need to catch up, take a look here.

The long and short of it is that, after the incident, I decided it was definitely time to find a new stylist. That very Saturday I went over to a salon near my home and met my friend’s hairdresser. I liked her a lot and decided to book appointments for my mom and me for May and June. All that was left to do was to call my soon-to-be former hairdresser “L” to cancel the May and June appointments I’d made with her a few months ago.

Okay…I told you in my previous “hair” post that I am basically a coward. How was I going to call hairdresser “L” to tell her the news that I was firing her? I’ve only had to fire one person in my entire librarian career (a part-timer I supervised who well deserved to be let go) and I still remember how stomach churning it was. So I’ve fretted about this telephone call to “L” for the past four weeks. I know I could have just not called and then not showed up for our appointments but I just couldn’t do that. If nothing else, I’m basically a nice person and I thought it only fair that I give her notice that our times would be vacant if she wanted to fill in other clients. Okay…so one of us is nice.

Today I finally got up the nerve and called hairdresser “L” on her cell phone. When she answered, I told her who it was and that I was cancelling the May and June appointments I’d made. When she asked me if I was going to re-schedule them, I told her in my nicest voice that, since I was not happy with the things that happened during my last appointment, I had decided that mom and I should go to a new stylist. Her response was classic. In her nastiest voice, she said “Whatever” and then promptly hung up on me.

So the moral of this story is “Trust your judgment about people; they’ll always prove you right.”

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Chinese Freeze Tag

I’ve been tagged by Dana to come up with ten interesting habits or facts about me in a friendly game of Chinese Freeze Tag. So, ready or not, here they are!

1. I have super narrow feet (9AAAA) which makes finding shoes impossible. The scary thing is that my feet were a 7 ½ AA once upon a time ago but have gotten longer and narrower as the years have gone by. Yikes!

2. When I was younger, I had the ability to touch my nose with my tongue. Sadly, this talent has disappeared recently.

3. I won a dance school scholarship when I was in fourth grade. This entitled me to a year of free lessons AND a solo dance in the big recital at the end of the year.

4. I sleep with one foot outside of the covers even in cold weather. It seems to be a trait shared by several members of my family…my dad started this habit and my sister and nephew do it as well.

5. My choice of reading material is confined to mysteries by female authors, written in the first person, and featuring quirky female protagonists. This is pretty sad considering I spent 26 years of my life in buildings filled with fiction and non-fiction books of every genre and subject.

6. As much as I dislike reality shows, I am addicted to all things Bravo TV…Project Runway, Top Chef, Top Design, Shear Genius. I don’t sew, cook, decorate or cut hair but, for some reason, I can’t get enough of these shows.

7. I don’t know how to drive a car with a manual transmission and I have no intention of learning how.

8. I cannot seem to tread water so I never go in water above my face. I know how to float and to swim from one side of the pool to the other but I cannot stay in one place and survive.

9. I’ve taken golf lessons for more than 15 years but I still tell people I’m playing with that I’m a novice. I never keep score and the ball spends lots of time in my pocket instead of on the golf course.

10. One of the things I most want to do in my life is ride on a float in a parade. Sadly, this doesn’t seem likely to happen.

Whew…that was hard but here’s the harder part…coming up with 10 people who haven’t been tagged yet. Okay…here goes: Lynn, Renee, Pam, Patti, Ralph, Pea, Rosemary, Linda, Midlife Mom, and Empress Bee. Have fun!

It’s All About Size

Yawn…it’s been another sleepless night for me. Usually I can’t figure out what’s keeping me awake but, for the past few days, I’ve had one thing on my mind…luggage. I’ve been fretting day and night that the suitcases we are planning to take to Ireland are just not large enough to hold all the “stuff” we need to bring.

My goal is for each of us to bring one large suitcase to check-in and a small rolling tote to use as a carry-on. We already have one set of these and my sister Lynn has an identical set which we borrow when we travel. The rolling totes are fine…they fit an extra set of clothes (in case our checked bags get lost) as well as sundries and other miscellaneous items. It’s the suitcases I’m worried about. They are 25” bags and I really like them because they have a built-in suiter for hanging things. Most airlines allow 62 linear inches for each suitcase and ours measure 54”. That means we are shorting ourselves 8” of valuable packing area.

I’ve been through my Ireland packing list multiple times now and I think I have it down to the bare essentials. OK…bare essentials might be too strong a concept but I really need all the clothes and items listed…honest. And to make matters worse, we took a look at the websites for some of the castles and hotels we will be staying at and now we think we need to take some “nice” clothes for the dining rooms. Nuts! I hate getting dressed up when I travel and I especially resent having to give up precious packing space for fancy clothes.

So now I’m wondering whether I should go out and buy bigger suitcases. Trust me…it’s not the money issue that has me worried…it’s the storage issue. We already have several small and medium sized suitcases scattered throughout the house and garage. Do we really need to add to our already large luggage collection for this one trip? Will we need larger suitcases for future traveling? Is there any place left in our house to hide two large suitcases? Should we get rid of some of our small bags to make room? Can I whittle our packing list down any more? Why is Hubby sleeping soundly while I'm up all night fretting for the both of us?