Friday, December 29, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Friday, November 24, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
I took this photo at Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. It's a beautiful place for a walk. Expect to see more photos from my visit on future FFFs.
Just an aside: my Mom is ill and is in the hospital, so my posting here and my visits to other sites are a bit infrequent these days...
Friday, November 03, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I managed to sneak in a vacation with a dear friend in September. I went to school in Indiana, and I came to love the Midwest while I was there. I had not been back since graduation (literally decades ago), and it was wonderful to see the heartland again.
The waves of grain were just beginning to turn amber while I was there. It was beautiful to see the moon hanging low in the sky over acres and acres of corn and soy; what a welcome sight to someone who can’t see the horizon at home because she lives in such a highly developed area. And the stars! The stars are bright and sparkling and abundant, with no light pollution to obstruct your view of them.
You all know how I like a quiet place. This visit with my friend fed my heart and soul in ways I can’t describe. I took long walks each day (sometimes more than once in a given day) along a country lane. The fresh air and exercise made me hungry as a big bear, and the home-cooked meals were filling and satisfying. It really was a perfect little idyll for me in the midst of a tempest.
I love being close to the ocean, but the East Coast is such a frenetic place to live anymore that I think I could leave the ocean for the farmlands. I’m sure the years from now to retirement will take me down many unexpected paths, but I think I may have found my heart’s desire along the country roads of the US Midwest.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
See y'all soon!
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Today was an OK day. I did a bit of shopping at the mall and at Borders (had to try to find the song that made me cry when I was walking through Walmart on Friday), and I took a ride past my old house late in the afternoon. It's out in the country, and it's a pleasant drive. I'll post about that house one of these days; it was the only home I ever really fell in love with. I call it my Manderley, for those of you familiar with Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca (though not because it's a mansion, or has a seaside cottage on the grounds; I've never been that rich).
Anyway, I turned off of my route home from the mall to head up Cumberland Avenue. Doesn't it sound green and bucolic? It is! I was immediately distracted by a small sign with an arrow that said, "Yard Sale." I made a quick left onto who-knows-what road, intrigued by the concept of a yard sale in the middle of nowhere.
Half a mile or so up the road, on what I think was a farm (I didn't stop to look too closely) some folks appeared to be clearing up the last evidence of the sale. It was late in the day (5-ish), so I guess it was silly to think a yard sale would still be in full swing. Wonder if they pulled in any business? This is truly a back road through the woods, with very little traffic - lovely and peaceful, but not yard sale territory.
I turned around a little way up the road, went back to Cumberland Ave., and cut over to my old street. It has an equally lovely name, but I'll leave that detail out. ;) You really can't see much of my old house from the road - it sits WAY back in the woods. The driveway appears to be in need of a new load of stone, and weeds seem to be poking through. Oh well, it is the country.
Still not ready to go home, I cut back up Cumberland Ave. This time I rode through with the sun roof and the windows open. I wanted so badly to just pull over and enjoy the peace and quiet, but it didn't seem like a sensible thing to do, so I headed for home.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
I actually let the box sit out for a couple of days, and I thought I had decided to return it to the attic unopened. I should have known better than to tear the packing tape off of it, but what would the world be like if Pandora had been a woman of good sense? I proceeded. What was inside? Rare treasure, indeed!
1)Tiny little chinos from the late 80's, with tapered legs and high pleated waistlines. Bought at The Limited. Black and khaki.
2)Two knit dresses barely big enough to fit my Charmin Chatty doll (I still have her, though she's in terrible condition). One green and slinky, one black and white striped above an empire waist, and black below the waistline. Both with the obligatory padded shoulders of the 80's. The black dress has two gold buttons just under the waistline, giving it a military flair. Can't believe I ever wore these to work!
3)Several pairs of shorts.
4)An acid-washed denim jumper with a high, tight waist. I remember wearing this on a date to a comdedy club in Philly, with a walk along the waterfront afterwards. I loved that jumper. Guess that's why I saved it.
5)One truly pretty outfit with a royal blue skirt in a silky fabric and an oriental-inspired wrap top in a matching print (same fabric).
6)A pretty black knit dress with long sleeves, an empire waist and a dirndl-style skirt falling from the waist, fuller at the bottom. This would be a great dress to dance in; it would flow with every movement.
And so, discontentment has been loosed from the box and into my world. I want to wear these clothes again, or at least be able to wear them. They'd look ridiculous out on the street in aught six, especially without the big permed hair to go with the shoulder pads.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Hope the song can lull me back to sleep for an hour or so. I seem to fall asleep for a few hours, then wake up for a couple, mind in overdrive. I'm tired. A quiet weekend is just the ticket for me right now. Gotta make it through Friday first. An outing with the Breakfast Club should start the day off right. Pax, Zelda...see you at 8:00!
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Friday, August 04, 2006
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
My favorite element, however, is wind. I love a strong, steady wind that washes over me. In Ireland, we visited Inis Mor on a windy day. The ferry ride to this island off of the coast of Galway was rough, what with the troubled waves of Galway Bay and the powerful winds that came with the day. We climbed Dun Aengus and stood atop a cliff, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean with no walls no fences no guards to interfere with the view, all in the wild, wild wind. One does not go quite to the cliff's edge on Dun Aengus; to do so could be quite perilous.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
A massive reorganization of our services is on tap for this fall, and the entire office is expected to change locations late in the year. The reorganization will probably leave me with a change of supervisor (boo), making life much more complicated. The move will put me closer to home, which is a good thing, but I'm not so sure that the new location will be as convenient for running errands on lunch break and that sort of thing.
I'm relatively philosophical about most of the changes (though I'll really miss a couple of friends). We will adapt, and the new situations will become normal to us once we establish new patterns. I'm a little bit concerned about the possible layout of the new office, since the folks in nearby cubicles (dratted world of Dilbert that we work in) have a huge impact on the quality of your workday. Oh, well, plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose is especially true in bureaucracies.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Tonight is surely the buggiest night since prehistory, nay, since the dawn of time. It is in my backyard, at any rate.
I might not be able to speak for all women, but I know what I find sexy. This isn’t it. I confess to having skipped a few heartbeats for Mel back in his Lethal Weapon days, but sorry behavior and small-mindedness are too ugly to be outweighed by a pair of pretty blue eyes. While I believe in forgiveness (he has apologized), it’s hard to make a fallen sex symbol sexy again.
I am fortunate to know several good, kind and intelligent men. I think it’s the blessing of middle age to be able to see into a beautiful heart and love it. The wrapper is appealing because what’s inside is so attractive.
The title of this post is What Women Want. Well, to me, the most attractive things a man can possess are an intelligent mind, an interest in the world, and a willingness to consider his companion’s ideas while sharing his own. Discussions of religion, politics, travel, literature and world events are far more intriguing than flexed muscles, and a kind heart trumps everything, at least in Merci’s world!
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Where do you go and what do you do when you need some time alone?
Friday, July 28, 2006
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Monday, July 24, 2006
I still want pizza about once a week – some things will never change. I have no real desire for pasta, though I still love a good sandwich. Soups and salads taste marvelous to me, and there are a lot of good diet soda options these days.
My biggest potential downfall right now is tortilla chips and salsa. I struggle to keep myself from eating the whole basket. In fact, Mexican food in general is nearly irresistible to me. There is one Mexican restaurant near my office where they serve a marvelous chicken in mole sauce. Hmmm, might have to sneak off for lunch one day this week. If I don’t eat the chips, and keep the rice to a minimum, it might not be such a terrible lapse for me.
I’ve developed the oddest taste for hot peppers. I’m not usually crazy about very spicy foods, though I do remember many summers ago having been on a Big-T cheesesteak-with-hot-peppers kick. If memory serves, I was even eating hoagies with hot peppers at the time. But now I seem to want to nibble on plain pepperoncini, which would have been unimaginable to me in the past. I’ve even packed a couple in my lunch for tomorrow. Fortunately, peppers are very low in calories, and they’re fat free, so why not?
Come to think of it, a cheesesteak with hot peppers would be a tasty diet break sometime soon. I think I’ll allow myself one or the other (cheesesteak with hot peppers or chicken with mole sauce) this week. I might have to hold out on the cheesesteak until I can find a companion for a road trip to Philly. I must confess that I have never had an actual Philly cheesesteak. I know, I know – I grew up right over the bridge from the City of Brotherly Love, and I’ve never consumed their most famous product. I must make amends soon.
Of course, I work in a town with an extensive Italian population and many good Italian restaurants. I have to guess that I will be able to find a respectable cheesesteak with hot peppers for lunch if I look hard enough!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
Yep, those would be pink camo garden gloves. Pretty cool, huh? One of the many things I plan to do today is a bit of gardening. Later. When it's cooler. Much cooler, I hope!
And there's lots more cleaning to do, and a pie to bake, and laundry to do...It's a busy day off!
Gotta love it.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Written by S. Nicks
I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
'Til the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older, too
Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I'm getting older, too
Oh, I'm getting older, too
Oh, take my love, take it down
Oh, climb a mountain and turn around
And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Well, the landslide will bring it down
And if you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills...
Well, the landslide will bring it down
Oh, the landslide'll bring it down
You're My Home
by Billy Joel
And you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
It always comes as a surprise
When I feel my withered roots begin to grow
Well, I never had a place that I could call my very own
But that's alright my love,
'Cause your my home
When you touch my weary head
And you tell me ev'rything will be alright
You say use my body for your bed
And my love will keep you warm throughout the night
Well, I'll never be a stranger
And I'll never be alone
Where ever we're together that's my home
Home can be the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Indiana's early morning dew
High up in the hills of California
Home is just another word for you
If I travel all my life
And I never get to stop and settle down
Long as I have you by my side
There's a roof above and good walls all around
You're my castle, you're my cabin and my instant pleasure dome
I need you in my house 'cause you're my home
Why quote these two songs in the same post? I like the juxtaposition of Stevie's song about change against Billy's song about constancy. I can't decide if Stevie's song is about change within the context of her love or change at the cost of her love. Is the landslide taking down her childish self or taking down the love?
So what do you think? Is change the only constant, or can love be constant as well?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.”
We applied to the same college. We were both accepted, but it was out of my league without more financial aid than they offered me, so I went elsewhere. We kept in touch, and we ended up working together back at camp (a one-week conference held each summer, not the camp I've mentioned in other posts).
Thing is, she was the one friend I've had who really knew me. Her song was pretty similar to mine, so I guess it was easy for us to keep each other in tune.
|You Are a Red Flower|
A red flower tends to represent power, seduction, and desire.
At times, you are loving like a red tulip.
And at other times, you're very enthusiastic, like a bouvardia.
And more than you wish, your passion is a bit overwhelming, like a red rose.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Cutbacks in the Toad Armory Budget (TAB) have limited their protective capacity to the insects who arrive by foot, so insects equipped for flight often manage the crossing. Still, lets face it, it is the creepy-crawlies (nods to Joe T.) that concern us most, and the Toads are highly skilled and effective in the management of these creatures.
Tonight, for some reason, my Toad Patrol is missing in action. No insects were seen sneaking across the unreinforced line, but the potential for a break would appear to be at critical mass. I have grave concerns about the whereabouts of my patrol, and I can't help speculating as to the cause of their absence. Is tonight the annual Toad Ball? Has electronic surveillance been incorporated into the Toad Patrol arsenal, leading to cutbacks in personnel? Is there a froggy flu outbreak keeping each Toad to his hole this evening? Were all Toad Guards called to the aid of a fellow officer in the front yard tonight? I suppose the possibilities are endless, and I may never know the answer to my query.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I know that lightening can reach you just about anywhere, even in your home. I've seen it happen. I've seen lightening enter a house through a wall, go down a staircase, make a left turn, and knock a clock from another wall before exiting through it. It neatly bypassed each of my parents and then me. I was downstairs, in a perfect position to see it hang a Louie and dislodge the clock. Mom was upstairs in the kitchen, to one side of the lightening bolt, and my father was just to the other side of it, on his way up the other staircase of our split level home. Ironically, we had just returned from church.
I know people who would nod sagely and say that we were protected by angels because we had been faithful in attending church. I know others who would point to the randomness of such events. Although I believe in God, I would probably side with those who saw random natural activity in the incident. The undeniable truth is that our physical beings are anchored to this physical world. Good things happen to bad people, bad things to good people, and vice versa. Believers die, have car wrecks, get sick, win the lottery, get promoted, and so do non-believers. My parents and I were fortunate to avoid any ill effects from the lightening, but that can hardly be seen as proof of divine intervention.
I do believe that most of us are born with an inherent desire to understand the incomprehensible, to know God. We each have a God-shaped hole in our hearts, a longing to experience ultimate power and ultimate love. That doesn't mean that everyone who feels this will reach the conclusion of God, but I think we have a spiritual nature that craves nurturing along with the physical one.
Tonight, just moments ago, I stood in my backyard. The earth and the very trees that sprout from it are drenched in moisture, and the air is heavy enough to cast a misty shadow under the electric lights. I felt both warm and cool at once, as the gentler evening temperatures competed with the wet, cloying air. Even with the evening temperature drop, it is imperative that the air conditioning be kept running tonight, since this much humidity would be intolerable indoors.
The evening is scented with the aromatic odor of pine sap, closer in smell to turpentine than the fresh pine needle scent we look for in our Christmas trees. I wonder if this is simply a fragrant manifestation of so many turgid, waterlogged layers of wood, or if one of those bolts of lightening earlier tonight connected with a tree, setting free years - perhaps decades - of accumulated resin.
I seem to be constantly re-thinking the things I believe about life and love and God these days. I find that I experience my greatest sense of awe (is that awareness of God?) in natural settings, like my backyard.
I suppose the way I see the desire to know, and to be known by, an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent being is best summed up by Psalm 139. This poem is attributed to King David. I don't think you have to share his belief in the God of Israel to understand the longing he has to be known and to be loved. We all find different ways of expressing and fulfilling this need. Here is an excerpt:
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,"
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother's womb.
14 I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
This made me wonder if the Yeti might not have his own blog called, "A Cave Somewhere." What do you think it would look like? Something like this, perhaps? Just curious....
Quick trivia question: Which nationally celebrated one-year-old is nicknamed, "Butterstick?"
I've decided to do some comparative shopping research. I'm looking for the best Cosmopolitan cocktail in South Jersey. I checked out a couple of contenders over the weekend, and the search continues. This could be a life project, since one may only consume so many Cosmos at any one time, and I just don't imbibe all that often.
I've had more trouble with this post than you can imagine. My browser crashed before I saved it the first time around, and I had to reconstruct the entire thing. I can't seem to keep the formatting the way I want it, and I'm having a lot of trouble with the "Edit Html" feature. Sorry if the appearance of this post is poor.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I don't have much desire to visit my Ukrainian kin on their home turf. I suspect that it would be painful to see, with social divides beyond modern American comprehension and brutal revolutions rampant throughout the region. I don't have much information at all about the history of that half of my family, and I'd love to know more, but I don't think it would be easy to visit.
There are some intriguing questions I'd love to have answered about my Ukrainian ancestors. We sort of suspect that there might have been a touch (or more) of Mongol blood introduced somewhere along the way. Imagine: I might be a distant descendant of Genghis Khan! I'd really like to know more.
One prolific Ukrainian ancestor was rumored to have been responsible for most of the population of a small Hungarian town. If that's the case, I might have a lot of Eastern European cousins to look up someday!
Of course, I'd love to watch some larger historical events unfold, too. The American Revolution, the French Revolution (though I really wouldn't want to be actively present for this one, since it was exceptionally brutal) and the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (again, I shudder at the thought of actually being present; I'd just like to see it) are especially interesting to me.
I guess you could call me the timid time traveler, with my fly-on-the-wall technique. I wish I could believe in the past life regression thing, it might be interesting. If I've had past lives, I wonder where and when they occurred? Hmmm, sounds like a topic for another post someday!
Saturday, July 08, 2006
If you could go back in time, would you wish to actively participate in the culture and events of the era, or would you prefer to just observe? Which era would you choose, and why? There is a "Part II" to this post, saved for tomorrow, since this was getting to be a bit long. I'll answer these questions in reference to myself in tomorrow's post.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
I don't know what's come over me, but I find I am beguiled by fragrance these days. I never cared much in the past whether or not a man wore cologne. Now I find the right scent to be appealing, even distracting. When I wear one of the very few scents that isn't too strong for me, I find myself stopping at frequent intervals to check the fragrance as it changes throughout the day.
I have a hair product that has the most wonderful fresh lemon scent to it. If I could find a cologne that smelled like that, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I remember wearing Love's Fresh Lemon when I was young. It's still on the market, so maybe I'll try it again.
I have a small bottle of Tea Rose perfume. I love it, but it can be tough to wear because it tends to be strong, and a lot of people are allergic to it. Still, I will wear it now and then.
Last night I put on a touch of L'Air du Temps. I was surprised to find that there was still cologne in the bottle. I had kept it these many years because it was a refillable spray bottle, and I have always intended to buy a refill. I spritzed some on just for fun. I still like it, though it's on the sweet side.
Last week I had a conversation with a male friend about the advantages of being male versus those of being female. He said he thought it was probably hard to be woman, that he wouldn't want to go through all of the hormonal ups and downs we go through. I told him my mother has always said she wants to come back as a man in the next life because men have it made. He wondered if I thought most women feel that way. I said I could see Mom's point, but I like being a girl.
There are things I don't like about being female, of course. A woman has to be more careful about going places alone than a man does, and women of my generation don't get as much of a pass as younger women when it comes to watching our "reputations." Women my age still watch each other closely for signs of looseness, from the cut of a neckline to the color of nail polish. And, yeah, there's the whole hormone thing, but that has its upside, as well ;).
Younger women were freed from many of my generation's unwritten rules, for good or for ill, by the child-tart fashions and behavior of the Britney Spears era. They wear tight-fitting, low cut clothes for business and for pleasure, regardless of their body type, and they just don't seem to be uncomfortable. I know that the anorexic starlet images persist, but doesn't it seem that most young women today are not as affected by them? Am I mistaken?
In any event, I think the whole preoccupation I have with fragrance these days is just another facet of being a girl and loving it. Are men as bewitched by fragrace as I seem to be lately? Maybe it's a human thing, not just a girl thing. Perhaps it's even more basic than that; perhaps it's an animal thing.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
What are you reading/listening to/watching these days?
Monday, July 03, 2006
"I would welcome the Assembly actually coming in, staying in Trenton, working on the budget, hour after hour, 24 hours a day until we come up with a budget," Corzine said Monday morning on CNN. "I can't veto a budget, I can't sign a budget until it's actually presented by the Legislature."
No budget bills had moved through legislative committees yet, and any legislation those panels approve must wait a full calendar day before receiving final votes in the Assembly and Senate. If no bills move forward Monday, the Legislature couldn't adopt a budget before Wednesday morning.
Governor Signs Executive OrderCalling For A Special Legislative Session
TRENTON - Governor Jon S. Corzine today signed an Executive Order calling for Special Sessions of both Houses of the Legislature beginning on Tuesday, July 4, 2006, at 9:00 a.m. and continuing for each day thereafter until a General Appropriations Law for Fiscal Year 2007 is enacted. The Governor faxed a letter to each Senator and Assembly Member containing the following text:
Pursuant to my authority under the New Jersey Constitution, Article V, Section I, Paragraph 12 and Article IV, Section I, Paragraph 4, I am hereby convening Special Sessions of both Houses of the Legislature for Tuesday, July 4, 2006 at 9:00 a.m., and for each day thereafter, until such time as this call shall be revoked, in order to pass a balanced General Appropriations Law for Fiscal Year 2007 and to consider legislation that is related to the State budget. I have determined that the public interest requires these Sessions in order to expedite the enactment of a General Appropriations Law for Fiscal Year 2007 and thereby end the current state of emergency caused by the failure to enact such a law by July 1, 2006.