Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween, Everyone!

Eat lots of candy, be safe, and have fun!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Temptation by Cookie

I've tried, and I've tried. I just can't stop thinking about eating cookies. I think I could walk past candy (unless it's See's), I can talk myself out of ice cream and even my beloved gelato, cupcakes are easy, pie a non-temptation. But a beautiful sugar cookie dusted with powdered sugar? (A double sugar dose) Never. Especially if it is a sugar cookie sandwich with raspberry jam in the middle - a triple treat threat. I have a strong testimony of temptation by sugar cookie. It's really shameful. I'm sitting here at work wishing I were across the street at French's Bakery. What kind of worker bee just daydreams about sugar cookies? )Or, for that matter, blogs at work?)
I'm drinking lots of water, but it just makes me take lots of bathroom breaks. It doesn't make me less desirous of my daily cookie. I sit here and think that now I'll never lose that 30 pounds by January. LaMar simply stopped eating ice cream after dinner, and he lost about 20 pounds. I stop eating ice cream, and I just don't GAIN any weight - unless I also eat dinner and don't exercise. Maybe I need to stop eating cookies too, but I don't know if that's possible. It would be devastating to cut out my favorite indulgence, only to find out I'm STILL chubby. That would be a cruel twist indeed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How to Fill A Saturday & Costume Stress

LaMar is in Utah this weekend visiting Andrew, so I'm on my own. Well, sort of. Scott is here (well, sort of...) and I was looking forward to hanging out with him. So far, we celebrated his recent step into the world of employment over pancakes this morning at The Original Pancake House. He had the traditional blueberry pancakes, and I branched out with Hawaiian Pancakes with Tropical Syrup. They were stuffed with pineapple, and the syrup was pineapple too. Delicious! But way too many pancakes. Scott is back in bed trying to sleep off the full tummy and late night before. I am wandering around the house trying to figure out what to do with myself. I don't know what's wrong with me: I used to be able to entertain myself quite well, but lately I just fumble around trying to avoid going to the mall. Pathetic. Not that I don't want to go to the mall - it's more I'm trying to discipline myself to not spend money just because I'm bored. Maybe I'll content myself with going to Barnes & Noble. There's a couple of books that I want to read: - The Secret Life of Bees (the movie was soooo good!) and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (also a movie coming out soon). That way I could satisfy my urge to buy something AND have something to do for quite some time! Genius.

I was going to make some Halloween cupcakes (a Halloween Funfetti cake that LaMar brought home) but I can't think about it now: I'm too full of pancakes. Maybe tomorrow. But here are some fun ways we've decorated our house for Halloween. Take special note of the Halloween napkins. They have the most clever damask Halloween design woven into them. I love that they incorporated a skull, bats, and spider and web and scarey cats into the whole design. Cool. And we found them at Target, of all places. The two little jack'o lanterns are our newest additions. I plug the big one in every night, and the little one runs on batteries. Sometimes I even have to go outside on the porch to look at them from the outside. They make me smile. The little 3 year old down the street asked me what I was going to be for Halloween (she is going to be a pirate). I wasn't going to be anything, but now I have to be something, because she put the pressure on me to perform. I'm kind of stressed out about it. Anyone have any ideas?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Finding Balance Isn't Always Simple

Today is a day of introspection and soul searching. For what, I'm not sure - just a day when I'm not quite happy with Me, and trying to figure "it" out. Part of it, I'm sure is that I'm achey and sore today - more "Joint-ritis" than usual, and that always makes me a little cranky, and anxious to improve myself somehow, some way. I'm middle-aged (oooh that hurts to take the senior discount at movies!), and a tad overweight (and that hurts...), and today I'm feeling very, very ordinary, and not at all special. I feel a need to create, but I don't know what, or how. I'm a girl who used to paint, but I haven't done it in so long, I have a hard time getting back to it. I'm a girl who used to play piano, but my piano is broken and it would take much to repair it. I'm trying to decide if I want to repair it, or just get it out of the house altogether. Right now, it takes up a huge corner of the living room, and is really just a large table holding up a vase full of berry branches. Would I rather have a dining room table in that space? These are choices I have trouble making. I miss playing music, but it would also be lovely to have more dining space. I'm still kind of holding onto the musician part of the girl I used to be. I don't think I'm ready to let go of her yet.
I'm a grandma, and there's a part of me that aches to be a good one. I love those 3 little ones so much, and yet I feel all out of practice. Well, it's hard to feel practiced up when they all live so far away: Denver and Puerto Rico. Every time I see them, it seems that they've reached another stage that I haven't yet seen, and I feel that I've missed so much. One thought that came to me today is that I spend so much time thinking about all of the wonderful things I'd love to do for my grandchildren and children, and not enough time doing. I dither, and I think some more and...and I let myself get paralyzed. I need to pare down, simplify. One of my most precious memories is sitting quietly with my grandma in a chair, and she would stroke my arm up and down. Delicious! And so soothing. So simple. I think my favorite memories with my kids involved simple outings out, and talking. And laughing, lots of laughing. One thing I've always treasured in each of my children is their wonderful sense of humor. They never fail to make me laugh.
I'm a wife, too - LaMar's partner, his true companion. Not a day that goes by when I'm not completely greatful for the wonderful chance I was given to love and be loved by this man. We are so much alike in so many ways, and yet our differences make us very helpful to each other. I tend to be on the lazy side, but LaMar is so hard working he gets me going, if only out of shame. And good wife that I am, I encourage him to stop working so hard, and take it easy - relax....travel...go shopping. I get him to spend money, he keeps me from spending too much. It's a match made in heaven.
So what does all of this teach me? Well, I have a lot to be thankful for. I tend to be overly hard on myself sometimes, but only because I'm a perfectionist. I need to simplify my life - everything I do doesn't have to be on a magnificent scale. Sometimes the best times are just simple, quiet moments shared. Magic on a small scale. Like the time Katie and I were watching shooting stars together at 2:00am - only she was on a beach in Hawaii, and I was home on the patio. Three thousand miles apart, we were still able to share an incredible experience. I want more of that in my life - more of the good that makes your heart soar, and less of the worldly junk that really doesn't matter at all. Sometimes it's hard to know which is which, but I'm working on it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blackbird Singin' In The Dead Of Night

This weekend we got the house ready for Halloween. We set up the spooky arch, put the orange lights on a timer, installed the skull fence, and hung up the ghostly pirate. At dusk, the orange lights on the arch lit up, and the Halloween Holiday season officially began at 142 Preakness. I'm hoping to add something new this season, but I haven't yet found that hoped for object. I like the Halloween section of Target, so perhaps I'll head there. I saw (on Martha Stewart) a centerpiece that was constructed of a small skull and bones arranged on a cake plate under a dome. Where do you find things like a small skull and bones? I shall be on the hunt.

In other news, I've planted the blackbird again. This is a small black spooky bird that I've had for years. Scott and I give it back and forth to each other, hiding it here and there. I think its lost an eye, and it's tail feathers are a bit shaky, but the game lives on. The last time he gave it to me, (in a dark hotel parking lot in Utah, just before he drove off) he told me to close my eyes and hold out my hand. I felt something small and soft put in my hand, and when I opened my eyes there was this little black...WHAT IS THAT??!! Scared the @#*! out of me, but it was just that freaking bird. Where did I hide it this time?? Mwahahahahahah! I'm waiting for Scott to scream like a girl. He already said the skeleton pirate will scare him every night when he comes home. This little bird just jumps out and gets you when you least expect it, and definately WHERE you least expect it. Hehehehehee (demonic laugh) I love Halloween...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Devil is a purse...and rain gives peace

Lazy, lazy Saturday today - so nice, for a change! LaMar and I actually slept until 9:00 this morning. Unheard of, at least for LaMar. He's usually up and out the door on errands by 8:00, and I'm at least UP. Today, though, we were sleepy slugs, and it felt great... kind of like this:
You know - when you sleep so soundly that your hair goes completely crazy? We got up...sort of... and watched Conference from Salt Lake for awhile. I still love the fact that you can watch it, at home, in your jammies if you want to. For at least half of my life you had to get in your church clothes and haul over to the church to listen to it. We've come a long way, and I love it. But, at home or not, it sets a nice tone for the day, and it was nice to hear the good words of wisdom and encouragement. Be hopeful, have faith, stay the course. That was what I mainly got out of it today, and after the discouraging events in the world of late, it was good to be reminded to hold on to our hope, and not let bad times overwhelm us.
Before long, LaMar really had gone on to the errand phase of his day, and I - well, I was still lounging around in my jammies. Talking to Scott, talking to Katie on the phone, just lounging. It seems I rarely have the time for that, and so I enjoyed every minute. Why is it, though, that we always feel that we should be busy? It's so hard to just savor sitting and talking - I usually feel I should be doing something, ANYTHING. But today, I really tried to just sit and talk, and enjoy doing only that. It took effort, but I did it, and it was so nice. Later on I balanced my checkbook, paid some bills, read everyone's blogs, made my comments, and then, while LaMar went to his session of conference, I drove myself crazy by looking at shoes and bags on line. I found one gorgeous bag: a dip dyed purple patent leather satchel to die for. I have no money to spend - why do I do this to myself?? Sigh...
LaMar finally returned, and we headed off to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Mi Casa, in Costa Mesa. It was yummy as always, I ate too much as always, but when we walked outside, something was different: it was RAINING! Well, not really raining - more like sprinkling, but that's good enough for me. It had been trying to rain all day, and I was kind of looking forward to it. I'd donned a sweater, and, for the first time this season, I broke out the Ugg boots. (I love those things... so cozy!) Anyway, it rained/sprinkled all the way home, and as I'm sitting here I have the window open, and can hear the rain coming down. The air has that wet earth smell that comes up with a first rain - I love it! From all predictions, the weather will warm up again this next week into the 80's and 90's, but for now I'm basking in the illusion that fall weather is here. I can hear the rain, I can smell the rain, and I can feel the cool, damp air. Fall is here, if only for a brief moment.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I see the wierdest things on the way to work sometimes. Today it was the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. Right on the 5 freeway heading south! Remember the Wienermobile? When I was a little girl I would hear it's appearances with Little Oscar advertised "at a shopping center near you" and I would be so excited, hoping that my mom would take us. She never did, and I wanted a Wiener Whistle so bad! Some of my friends had gotten them, and they were very desireable. Apparently, there wasn't much to do back in the 50's but go to supermarket appearances by the Wienermobile. It was exciting stuff for a kid, though.
Nonetheless, it made a dreary drive to work a little more exciting, and brought back some childhood memories (although the old Wienermobile has been souped up quite a bit!) I was a little disappointed that Little Oscar wasn't driving it, but in all reality, he's probably about 98 years old, or quite possibly not with us anymore. I googled "Wienermobile" and came up with the picture above, which is exactly what I saw. It said that it doesn't have a sun roof - it has a BUN roof. And the seats are relish colored. Gotta love that.

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