Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things.......

A while ago I wandered around my house taking pictures of some of my favorite things. For no specific reason, just fooling around with my camera. Now, please note that I did not say anything about "favorite people" or even "favorite things to do", but just favorite things, items in my home. Do our favorite things reveal something about us as individuals? I bet they do.

I ended up with about 18 items so this blog with have to become a 2 parter most likely because I want to chat a bit about each thing. If that sounds boring, feel free to move along to the next persons blog, I'm doing it anyway! Ok here goes...........

I love my red walls! We lived with an interely white house for so many years due to the dreaded "Fear of Color!" We were so afraid of getting it wrong that we did nothing. How dumb is that? Now we have this beautiful dark red in one room & pale yellow in another & a yummy butterscotch in the kitchen! Loving all our color!

Why is that very first swallow of your morning coffee so perfect? I love my coffee in the morning, either here at this cute little pub table looking at my backyard or on my swing in the backyard. I feel sorry for all of you who have your first sip of dark delight out of a cardboard cup while driving or riding to work. I am lucky enough to have semi-leisurely mornings before work if I time it right. MMMM I can smell it now!

This is how my bedside table almost always looks. I love books! I go to the library every couple of weeks & bring home a stack to enjoy. If a book does not capture me in the first few pages it goes into the "go back" basket & I move on to the next one. I love all kinds of books, mostly fiction, sometimes silly & sometimes serious. I will not tolerate predictable plots though. If it does not challenge me with new words or new cultures to explore I'll leave it be.

The color combination of blue & white captured me when I was still in high school & I began to collect dishes in this pattern called Blue Calico. When I got married at the age of 23 I chose this pattern as my fancy "good" dishes in rebellion to the gold trimmed stuff that others had chosen. I still love it & have cupboards full of it. My house used to be so completely blue & white that my husband said he felt like he was living in a black & white movie! I have moved beyond being strictly blue & white now, because I am tired of the "country" look that I worked so hard to get years ago.

Speaking of blue & white & country! I still adore my old beat up blue calico chair! It is so comfy & totally perfect for reading & blogging. As you can see, the arms are worn so have to be covered with cloth napkins. It has great sentimental attachment for me. The first piece of NEW furniture we ever bought! (About 15 or 20 years ago. ) But as I have been slowly getting rid of all my country style things, it is beginning to look like it came to the wrong party! (Can't lose the maple table behind it. Belonged to my mother-in-law & hubby is quite attached to it!)

Believe it or not I won this beautiful oil painting at an art gallery in Hawaii! It is worth many $$$ but I got it totally free! Yah for me! It was pretty funny actually. We were in Hawaii with some friends because my husband & I inherited the trip from a friend who died & wanted us to get to go there at least once in our lives. Well, that part is not funny, but the other gallery people sure were! We had spent a day wandering through random gallaries enjoying all the crazy expensive & beautiful items & I filled out a slip for a free drawing that would take place later that night. At about 8 or 9 that evening we were done swimming & were all dirty & sandy etc. & someone mentioned the drawing in the art gallery. We debated whether to go or not but decided to stop by & see what would happen. The gallery was full of very dressed up people with their glasses of wine & slightly snooty expressions. I mean, fur-coat dressed up! In Hawaii on a warm evening! Well, you should have seen their faces when this tank-top & shorts lady won the painting right out from under them! Ha! The artist loved it & had his picture taken with me. Very cool! Plus, it reminds me of my late friend.

This pile of firewood makes me just giddy! No, we do not need it right now because the temps are hitting over 100 degrees thank you very much! But in the winter this is a life saver in our house. Our fireplace has a wood burning insert so it heats the whole house without ever turning on the heater! I am a temperature sensitive woman & hate to be either too hot or too cold, & to me "too cold" is worse than "too hot". Love that firewood!

Sure hope this isn't boring you cause I'm having a great time! I am crazy about this Yoga Video! I found a set of 2 in a bin at our Walmart store for only $5! Can you tell that I love a deal? She is easy to listen to. I have listened to some online that had voices that would cancel out any relaxation that the moves inspired! It is easy & SLOW so I can actually do it & feel really good afterwards. Love it!

This really has gotten too long I know, but gotta mentioned my loverly collection of flip-flops! Can you have too many? I don't think so! Should we do one more Favorite Thing? Okay, one more......

That large book on the bottom is my giant antique library dictionary! Isn't it amazing? I found it at a local garage sale for about $8 & lugged it down the block to my home. It really is quit beautiful to look through & it is full of unusual ancient words that we no longer use. I think it's a treasure.

Do the things we love tell others about us? We have had hundreds of fires here in California this summer & it makes you wonder what you would grab as you evacuated your home. I know I'd have to grab my laptop even though that does not sound very romantic & sentimental, but it has all my best photos on it & letters etc. What do your favorite things say about you?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Menopause Sucks!

At this moment I am grateful to myself that I have not allowed my other website to cross-pollinate with this one. Only 2 people in my daily life know about this little sanctuary of expression & that gives me complete freedom to say loudly & clearly that menopause sucks, a lot!

I am so tired of sitting in a staff meeting in a circle of 15 people & suddenly feeling the inner warmth creeping up my body from the inside out & quickly making itself visible on my neck & face! I force my hand not to reach for some paper to fan myself & just will the sweat to dry up on it’s own before anyone looks my way. My face turns bright red & blotchy & once my glasses even steamed up! It is just so embarrassing & uncomfortable. It seems like my body is betraying me after so many years of getting along pretty well with each other.

The other awful symptom that has me baffled is the unexplained weight gain. I practically live on yogurt & salad. I love them & really do eat one or the other almost every day for lunch at work & at home. But this last year I am getting puffy & soft all over the place. My neck & arms are moving when they are not supposed to, yuck! I used to be able to get rid of tummy fat with a few extra exercises in the morning & skipping desserts for a bit. Yesterday in my new swimsuit the little rolls just loved moving right into the “slimmer & shaper” panel of extra material.

But the part that is really bugging me today is the mental fogginess that is showing up lately. I am getting more forgetful & starting to not trust my memory. This can be brutal in the middle of an argument with your husband when you realize that maybe you did not do what you think you remember doing! Ack! It kind of takes the wind out of your sails.

Last week I bought a whole cartload of food at our Super Wal-Mart & as I stepped outside into our scorching heat I headed to where I had parked the car & it was not there! I circled the area with that heavy & awkward shopping cart realizing that I was probably giving someone some great entertainment. So I decided to push the car unlock button on my key & listen for the beep. Nothing! My ice cream was already getting mushy by this time & I was so not wanting to call my husband & make him come on his motorcycle to help me find the stupid car!

After several wanderings around the hot parking lot I headed back to the shade of the store & called him. Just as I hung up I saw the car……in a whole different section! I quickly called him back as I wrestled the cart of soggy food to the car. Once the trunk was loaded & I put the key in the ignition, the car rebelled at all the button pushing I had done & began to beep & honk, loudly alarming everyone to the fact that an intruder must be trying to start it. I forgot how to make it stop! I waited for it to be quiet & when I turned the key again the alarm screamed again, so I called my amazing husband for the second time, yelling above the alarm that I did not know how to make it stop & let me get back home. He told me to push the unlock button on the key & it would stop announcing to everyone that an idiot was at the wheel. He did not say the idiot part, that’s me talking to me; we were not getting along at all at this point!

The only good part of that story is that I drove home laughing at myself. A couple years ago I would have been crying all the way home. There are some good things about being over 50, & one is that I don’t take myself as seriously as I used to. I don’t expect perfection anymore. Good thing huh?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Backyard Swing

My Backyard Swing…….
Here is my backyard swing, I love it even though it’s old & ugly & faded. I come out here early in the morning in my jammies & enjoy my coffee while listening to the birds. I usually bring my Bible & journal out with me but seldom open them. Coffee & tweeting birds…what more do you need?
My views from this spot are pretty nice for an ordinary house on the corner of a cul-de-sac. Right in the middle of my yard is a huge almond tree loaded with almonds right now as you can see.

This tree has sort of a weird shape due to my husbands’ fear of the lady horticulturist that lives behind us. The first year we lived here Hubs came out to trim the messy looking tree & after a bit of chopping away he heard an authorative voice from the other side of the fence.
“What are you doing? You are trimming that tree at the wrong time with the wrong tool & you are doing it wrong!” So now, years later it looks kinda goofy but it gives our yard some nice shade.

Here is my view while looking up from my comfy spot. I removed the canopy that came with the swing because I like the sun (I know, I know, leave me alone!) and at night I love to see the stars. Earlier today I actually fell asleep out here.
Tony is my snooze partner. (Yeah a totally original name for a tiger stripe cat huh?) He likes the birds too, but I always make a noise and ruin his hunting moments out here. That’s when he gives me this face…..!
My backyard is far from being a fancy gorgeous place even though all 17 of the neighborhood cats seem to like it. But I really love it. Obviously I am not a yard work kinda person, we’ve kept it low maintenance & barely alive. Most "yard people" really mean that they like working in the yard. Not me, I just like sitting in it!

It’s my little retreat place, early in the morning, sunning in the afternoon & watching the stars late at night. It relaxes me & helps me get my mind to slow down. It’s peaceful…at least until the people next door start screaming “Marco!..Polo!…Marco!...Polo!” Oh man!