Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Tuesday Rant

When wondering what the subject of today's post would be I came across an article in the NY Times concerning "Toilet Texting".  Now I am definitely NOT going into any great detail on this subject, but in essence the article is informing us of the percentages of people, male & female, younger & older that text or talk on their cell phone while sitting on the toilet.  Does that say something about our population that we cannot even take care of personal business without the constant use of or obvious need of our cell phones??  This almost makes me gag, people.  Why has our society become so enslaved to our cell phones?  What happened to decorum, etiquette, civility, or manners for gosh sake??  Can I ask how you explain "the flush"?  I will admit I stay pretty close to my laptop while home, and take it with me while on a trip, but it is not chained to my wrist, or next to me while in bed, and certainly not with me while I am taking care of personal "stuff".  What would you do if you heard someone carrying on a conversation while in the stall next to yours in a public restroom??  Laugh?  Frown and shake your head?  Ignore?  Make a comment about the "talker" to the person you are with saying it loud enough for the "talker" to hear?  I am not sure what I would do, probably nothing since I can let out my frustration right here, through words, but that won't stop the obvious rise in"Toilet Texting".   First Chicago banned the use of cell phones in cars without a hands-free devise, then it banned texting while driving (both very obvious needs for public safety purposes) now can we ban the use of cell phones in public restrooms and call it public etiquette?  Just sayin....

It was warm again today, but certainly not as sunny as it was yesterday.  Toby spent the entire day outside.  Thank goodness we have a completely fenced in yard for him to roam in, he thinks he is protecting his property from any intruders, man or beast.  And because he spent the day outdoors, his little paws and underbelly carried in half the mud that appears after the snow melts.  YUK!!  He came in with mud so thick and caked on his paws he had gained an inch in height.  Toby is such a good little dog, he stands really quiet while I wash and wash and wash his little paws in the kitchen sink.

Such a pitiful looking dog.  He needs a trim so bad, but because he loves to spend time outside, I usually leave it long in the winter-time.

It has been so incredibly warm here these little quince buds are beginning to expand....not too soon, sweet buds, the temps may say spring, but certainly not the calendar.

"Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action."  ~  Benjamin Disraeli

Until next time.....

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blue Monday

If you think this was going to be another "pity party post" not so.  I snapped out of it with the sunrise this morning.  Maybe that was the problem....no sun.  It has been a little dreary lately, but this morning, the sun was shining and proceeded to shine ALL day.  It almost feels like spring outside, the birds are chirping, the snow is almost gone except for spots that the sun doesn't reach, but wait a minute this is only January.  But isn't Ground Hog Day coming up this week??....Puxatony Phil will let us know if Spring is right around the corner.  And speaking of Puxatony Phil, one of my fav funny movies is "Ground Hog Day" with Bill Murray.  And it was filmed right here in Illinois....Woodstock, IL, a small town about an hours drive from here.  Yes, it has that cute town square, looks just like the movie.

OK, back to Blue Monday.  In my on-going quest to eat healthier, I ate more blueberries this morning for breakfast....the only blue fruit I know.  And thinking about it I don't know too many foods that are the color blue.  There are plenty of foods that are green, red, and yellow but not so much blue.  So in honor of the only blue fruit that comes to my mind I am linking this up to Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday with the added layer of hers entitled "simplicity".  A simple fruit with a simple texture.


After shopping (yes I went shopping, that always seems to cheer me up), as I was driving home the sun was setting.  What colors....only God can paint a sky like the one I saw this evening with all those heavenly blues and corals.  That is what makes photography so blow-that-bugle awesome.  To capture that beauty, and then to be able to look at it again and again and again.

Now off to the Bunco Pajama Party...you may see some fun pics later!!

"Earth is crammed with heaven."  ~  Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Until next time.....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Giving Advice to Myself

I am in a funk....haven't left the house in 2 days, didn't even get dressed today.  I have sunk into a funkiness that has enveloped me in a little self-pity.  Do you ever get that way?  Please tell me yes.  No matter how many blessings we have, I think ever once in awhile we tend to fall off of the "everything is wonderful" train and fall into that pity ditch.  Nothing is particularly wrong, my sweetie had a good check-up and a good outing on Friday.  He is back to his sweet self, got out of the funk he was in and is back on track with eating and even talking quite a bit.  So what happened to me??  Maybe it is because last week was our 48th Wedding Anniversary and this whole week I keep thinking of how it should be, not how it is.  How each year we would take a little trip, usually to either Lake Geneva, WI or Galena, IL, both lovely places for a quick Anniversary celebration get-a-way to commemorate the day.  We would always stay at the same place, eat at the same restaurants, walk the same streets, most everything the same each year, but we did it together.

If I were giving advice to myself, I would definitely recommend that I get out of the house, do something fun, and remember, yes, remember ALL of my blessings.  It's often easier to be wiser for others than for ourselves .  When we ask others for advice, we know what is right, we know which path we should take, we already know the answers to our questions.  So, I need to take my own advice, get out of this funk, remember the good and do something fun.  Tomorrow night is our annual Pajama Bunco Party....now that should be fun.

And enjoying a cup of Earl Grey in this sweet cup is sure to get me out of my funk....

"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions"  ~  William Shakespeare

Until next time....

The Week That Was - Jan 22-28, 2012

And again....

Until next time.....

Scavenger Hunt Sunday - The Jan 29, 2012 Edition

There are 168 hours in a week....168!!, and what do I do, leave everything to the last hour.  No matter what my good intentions are, I always fall back on old habits.  YURK!!  This week is no different.  As I write this I still don't have one of the pics for this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday at Ashley's Ramblings and Photos.  But before I end this post, I will have (sounds almost like the Little Engine That Could...do you remember that book?) all 5 pics.  The challenges this week are
  • Smile
  • Stand Alone
  • Rusty or Old
  • Artificial
  • Repeating Pattern
My Sweetie always "smiles" at me......

I am "standing alone" these days....

An "old" teacup that was in my Mother's collections

Be still my "artificial" heart.....

The "repeating patterns" of the corn fields under a layer of snow.....

So that's it for another week of Scavenger Hunt Sunday....drop on by and see us!!

Until next time.....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday Musings

It's Saturday, it's cold, it's windy...too cold and windy to enjoy the outdoors.  I know, I am such a wimp, but standing outside when the temps are in the 30's, and the wind-chill is in the teens is not my idea of a pleasant Saturday afternoon outside when my house is warm and cozy on the inside.  And, last night was a "sleepless night", well not the whole night, but a big chunk of it.  When I have those nights I wonder to myself, now why am I not sleeping, did I drink caffeine too late in the day, did I have too many chocolates, am I worried about something???  Well, I am always worried about something, aren't you?  I don't know a woman alive that doesn't worry about something or someone. I don't consider myself a "worry wort" (such an old fashioned term), and my worries are different now than they were when I was younger.  Wouldn't it be nice to be able to take your worries off, say, as you do your jewelry, and place them in a box, and there they remain until you open the box and take them out again?  To be able to remove them when you are ready to face the worry, or maybe have an answer to the concern?  I'll call it the Scarlett O'Hara Box.  After all, Scarlett is the one that uttered that famous line in "Gone With The Wind"..."I can't think about that right now.  If I do, I'll go crazy.  I'll think about that tomorrow."  Hmm wonder if that would work??  Maybe I will give it a go.

Still enjoying my Trader Joe's tulips....

Love these little books, they are filled with great quotes, the quotes I love to add to the bottom of many of my posts.

Last night a little snow fell, just enough to give the trees and bushes a little softness....

Still trying to eat healthy.....(an apple a day??)

Sometimes I just have to photograph this little bird's nest...gives me hope that Spring does come....

"It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it."  ~  John Steinbeck  

Until next time.....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Five Senses Friday - 4th Edition

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can SEE"  ~  Mark Twain

"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to TASTE experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences."  ~  Eleanor Roosevelt

"Love is missing someone whenever you're apart, but somehow FEELING warm inside because you're close in heart."  ~  Kay Knudsen

"There's nothing like walking out of the house in the morning and seeing the sky, smelling the world and HEARING the birds.  Everything here - the property, the privacy, the quiet, the wildlife - I love it."  ~  Signe Cann

"Middle age is that perplexing time of life when we HEAR two voices calling us, one saying, "Why not?" and the other, "Why bother?"  ~  Sydney J. Harris

Until next time......

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Edit Me # 1

This is my first "edit me" challenge this year.  I participated several times last year, but somehow it kept slipping by me this year.  But today is the day.  Ashley Sisk  is contributing a photo and choosing her favs this week.  So thought I would jump in and give it a try.

This is the original....sweet cutie patootie, however there is the light glare on one side of his face creating dark shadows.  This may tip me over the edge to purchase the new Lightroom 4 because I think that would resolve some of these problems with glare.  However, since I don't have Lightroom yet, I gave it a whirl in Elements 9.

Edit Me

This is my edit...  Used PSE 9, lightened, lightened and lightened some more, de-saturated the color, then ran "dreamy color" from Paint the Moon.  Also sharpened, cropped, and then added Coffee Shop Blog "Velvet Truffle" effect, lowering the opacity somewhat.  And there he is...so sweet and a mighty big chair he is sitting in too.

Until next time....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Layer Upon Layer

As I backed out of the driveway this morning on the way to Bible Study I noticed, now that the snow has almost completely melted away, the amount of liter that accumulated under the layers of snow and now fully exposed, is not a pretty site.  There were newspapers, bottles, empty Styrofoam trays and various other pieces of trash.  This started me thinking about "layers" in general.  Sometimes when layers are peeled away there is trash, however sometimes there is treasure.  I am not going into any deep thoughts here about unpeeling the layers of our lives, we all have layers, some we would just as soon keep buried, while others make us feel good to uncover them and let them go.  No, I am referring to physical layers.  Something as simple as preparing my lunch and the layers that I uncovered in that process.  First up, the onion.  In order to savor the enjoyment of onions, you pretty much have to take off that top layer, it's thin, papery, and not very tasty.  But once you remove that top layer it adds to the overall taste of whatever you are preparing.  In my case, a sandwich.  A few thin slices of red onion on a ham sandwich awakens those taste buds.


Next up.....lettuce.  Not your regular iceberg lettuce, but Romaine lettuce...romaine almost sounds regale.  Again that top layer usually comes off, sometimes just for sanitary reasons, but more than that, once you get pass that outer layer you uncover the tender leaves that are a tasty sensation between the layers of the sandwich.

You can't have a sandwich without the bread.  Personally I prefer the bakery bread, Italian, not sliced with its crunchy crust.  And once again, taking that first layer/slice off.  I know some people like that end piece, but on a sandwich, not so much.

After all the peeling and slicing the sandwich comes together in layers of perfection on a plate.

And an apple for dessert....Some peel off the outer layer of skin prior to eating an apple, but with Honey Crisp Apples, (my fav) I leave the skin on, to enjoy the jubilation of flavors.

While enjoying this palate pleasing layers of good to the last morsel sandwich, I also stare at the latest bunch of tulips purchased this morning, again from Trader Joe's.  My last bunch enjoyed their brief, but beautiful life on the windowsill in the living room.  This sweet bunch will sit next to my laptop right here in the kitchen where I spend most of my time.  I can watch and enjoy their journey as they unfold their layers of petals, layer upon layer.

"Seek and you will find.  Don't be willing to accept an ordinary life."  ~  Salle Merrill Redfield

Until next time.....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Dripping Will Continue

After 4 attempts at seeing my Dr. for a yearly physical, I finally managed to make & keep an appointment Monday morning.  I blogged about these earlier "attempts" so I won't re-hash the why's.  Being the first appointment of the day you would think I could get in and out in a reasonable length of time.  But, as suspected, she (the Dr.) hadn't even arrived.  So after sitting with parts of my anatomy exposed for far too long, she finally appeared in the examining room.  "Any complaints?," she asks.  I do have this dripping in my nose, which in turn drips into my throat, which in turn (well, never mind you don't need to know that part).  As she sits in her chair, she begins this long litany of questions about when it happens the most, blah blah blah.  After all is said and done, she is convinced that I have an allergy to my dog.  WHAT???  An allergy to Toby, no way.  She then tells me I should keep him out of my bedroom, and definitely no sleeping in the room.  I didn't dare tell her he sleeps in bed with me.  So guess what??  I will live with the dripping, it is a small price to pay for the companionship Toby gives me.

Along with the dog advice, she also wants me to have a bone density scan, a heart scan, lose weight, get more exercise, etc etc.  The heart scan is a must-do since my Mom's side of the family all had heart conditions and my Mom passed away from a stroke.  And since February is Heart Month, there is a clinic here that is offering the Heart Scans in February for $25.00.  For $25.00 it could eventually save my life by discovering any problems that may be building that I am not even aware of.  Heart disease can be sneaky, you don't even know it's coming until it may be too late.  One of our State Senators, 52 years old, just suffered a massive stroke on Sunday.  He survived, but it will be a long, long road to any kind of recovery.

After leaving the Dr.'s office, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some "healthy" foods.  This morning I mixed fresh blueberries, with clementine oranges and a dollup of low-fat vanilla yogurt on top.  The pairing of blueberries and oranges not only looks good, but is mighty lip-smacking tasty.  Healthy can be good.

After breakfast I decided a walk was in order since exercise is on the list.  While walking I snapped this pic.  What is it about pinecones that always get my attention?  No matter how many times I see them, stumble on them, pick them up, get their sticky sap on my fingers that is almost impossible to wash off I seem to be drawn to them.  But I'm guessin' I'm not the only one, I see lots and lots of pinecones on blogs, on flickr, in classes.

And one (I promise, at least for this bunch) last image of the tulips, dropping their petals one by one.

"Every day that we wake up is a good day.  Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day.  Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good." ~ Walter Mosley

Until next time.....

The Box of Surprises

Toby was barking which usually means someone is approaching...what a great watch-dog he is.  I opened the door just in time to greet the mail-woman as she was bringing a package up the walkway.  I could see my name on the front, but had no idea who would be sending me such a large box.  It wasn't my birthday, I had not ordered anything from Amazon or anyplace else.  What could it be?  Who was it from?  As I brought it inside, I glanced at the return address and then realized it was the book that Michelle from Michelle Renee Photos was sending me for participating in a challenge on her blog in preparation for the Scott Kelby World-Wide Photo Walk in October.  It was an awfully big box for just a book.  Using a scissors to slit open the box, I was like a kid on Christmas morning.  As I began to unwrap the items, yes I said items, I found much more than a book inside.  The first unwrapped treasure was a beautiful red cup/mug (how did she know that my favorite color is red??), then a matching small plate, then a red cloth napkin with a lovely napkin ring.  The surprises kept coming.  I then uncovered a sweet little porcelain bird that was disguised as a tea light holder.  And to top everything off there was chocolates and tea.  And oh yes, the book was there as well, Scott Kelby's "Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It."    I haven't been this surprised in many a moon.  Thank you Michelle, you made my day!!! Michelle has such a lovely blog, please visit her and become a fan.



“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”  ~  Ashley Montagu

Linking with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.....hop on over and join us. 


Until next time......