Saturday, June 30, 2007

Up Close and Personal

I got to meet CPA MOM - how awesome is that? It was like we had known each other for years. I felt so incredibly comfortable chatting with her. I had a wonderful visit and lunch and even got to meet her adorable children. Here is the proof ...

Gotta go fix me something to eat (after being pampered for a week, it's hard to get back to reality!) and maybe start unpacking if I am awake that long ( we had to be out of our staterooms at 7:30 this morning and well, I have been going to sleep and getting up a few hours later in the same day for let's say the last 7 days ...)

Since When Is A Week So Short?

I'm back on the mainland and I miss the islands all ready.

From heaven -

Back to reality -

Stay tuned ... there is lots to share.

Right now, I'm thinking about unpacking (THINKING ABOUT IT BUT NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT for at least the last 4 hours) and dreamingly waiting for Howard from the bar staff to bring me another "Mango Tango" poolside while soaking up some rays!

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Time Has Finally Arrived

In less than a 1/2 hour, I head south to meet a new friend (I am so excited), then board a ship on Saturday, to sail to Bermuda for a week. I have been waiting for this for sooooooo long. Everyone take care and I will be back next weekend.

Bon Voyage !!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


If I got off this stupid machine ....

I leave for a trip on Friday morning, I haven't packed a thing yet, I bowl tomorrow evening (until probably 10 or so) - I'm stressing BIG TIME !!

So, can't post anything of any substance tonight ...

See ya!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fun Monday # 3 - Hanging

Here it is - Monday again and the assignment is compliments of Return of the White Robin. She has requested that we show everyone something that hangs on our wall that is fun, interesting, endearing, sentimental, or otherwise enticing.

This is my "family wall" at the landing between the two sets of stairs leading to my upper level. The white things (towards the bottom) to the left and right are plaster casts of both of my son's handprint (done in Kindergarten - they both had the same teacher). Going upwards on either side are pictures of them receiving their diplomas and then a wedding picture. At the top is a picture of ME! (don't look real hard - I don't like it). At the bottom is a picture of my parents, myself and my siblings taken last year at their 50th Anniversary party. The shelf in the middle holds pictures of my grandchildren (minus the last one because I haven't updated it yet). The pictures on either side of the mirror are family pictures taken a while back (minus the 2 granddaughters - need to update those too!). On the hooks, hang graduation tassel keychains.

The following are pieces of art done by a former "significant other" (we ARE still friends - he moved back to NH). He and his current "significant other" (she is a starving artist also) have some of their work displayed at an informal gallery in Massachusetts. Just think, if he ever becomes famous - I own some of his early work !!

Don't forget to visit MJD and check out all the rest !!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Saturday Meme (because I do have a few moments right now)

Amy W tagged me to do a meme and she is in luck, because right at this moment ... I have a few minutes of extra time! On Saturday mornings, I do nothing productive until after I have had my coffee. What better thing to do than check blogs while enjoying the fresh brew. And since, A Family Story is one of the first I read each time, I will get to it right now ... before time slips away.

The deal is: go to Wikipedia and input your birthday (just month and date). Then write down 3 events, 2 births and 1 holiday that you share your birthday with.

My birthdate is February 26th.


1957: Final radio broadcast of Dragnet. (Don't tell anyone, but that was the exact day I was born!)

1991: Tim Berners-Lee introduces WorldWideWeb, the first web browser. (YEA Tim - do you think he ever realized that his introduction would be so HUGE in the years to come?)

1993: World Trade Center bombing: In New York City, a truck bomb parked below the North Tower of the World Trade Center goes off, killing 6 and injuring over a thousand. (If only we had known then ... maybe the future could have been changed)


1829: Levi Strauss, German-born clothing designer (d. 1902) (I have owned more than a pair or two of Levi straight legs and cords in my lifetime!) Don't blame me - it was a 70's thing!

1953: Michael Bolton, American singer (OK - I'll admit it - that man was an object of my affection for quite a few years - things all changed when he cut his hair!!)

An added extra to prove that I can be a little more current -
1979: Corinne Bailey Rae, English singer (Put Your Records On) I may be a bit older than a lot of you, but I listen to the new stuff too and can sometimes make my sons proud when I recognize what they are jammin along with!


Liberation Day in Kuwait (1991). (Not much there for holidays ... So, my birthday will have to be the main reason to celebrate on this day!)

OK - the coffee cup is empty so that means that my time is up and I need to get busy doing things I should be doing instead of doing things like this! Thanks Amy W, you were a welcomed diversion this morning.

I tag ANYONE who is interested - let me know, so I can come check you out.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Wanted (Desparately): A Time Machine !!

Time is flying by and I NEED MORE. So much to do and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day. Does anyone know how I can get a time machine so I can go Back to the Future?

The last few months have just flown by and there is so much to catch up on ...

So, here is a quick synopsis of what I have been doing - All for the good of other people! Every year it's the same thing - it seems like it is non-stop from the beginning of April until the first weekend in June.

I missed the MS Walk in DC this year. It was the weekend after I came home from visiting my parents and SJ in Colorado and I wasn't up to walking 7 1/2 miles (jet lag killed me). I have done it before and it really is a nice walk along the C&O Canal from Georgetown (Washington, DC) to Glen Echo (MD). Unfortunately, I know too many (even one is too many) people that have this disease and I do it for them.

April 30th - I participated in Rebuilding Together (formerly known as Christmas in April). It was hard work, but a family in Stafford County now has a safer home.

That's me in the back right hand corner! These are just the people that were there, at this location, from the company I work for. We worked right along side a Men's group from a local church and some Marines from Quantico (they are so young, now a days!)

Among other things, I painted the underside of the roof of the porch AND ended up with paint all over me, especially in my hair! No one could really tell because, WELL my hair isn't naturally totally brown anymore.


Diet Dr. Thunder (Walmart brand) is a sorry substitute for Diet Dr. Pepper - it's not really that tasty ... I will know better next time to spend a little bit more cash to quench my thirst.

May 6th - I walked in the Race for Hope with Team Jeff Chewning. Jeff was a co-worker of mine who lost his battle with brain tumors much too soon - a year ago March. This race is very near and dear to my heart. It is such an honor to remember him by walking with his wife and daughter and his many, many friends.

The young lady in the pink boa with the tiara - that's Jeff's daughter - the day of the Race was her birthday AND she ran with all the extras including a sign that said "It's my Birthday and I'll Race if I Want To!"

The Wall of Hope - so many of these people lost their battle in the last year. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw the pictures of people that I had seen at the race the previous year.

Waiting for the Race/Walk to begin ...

I usually participate in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes but it took place on May 6th also and you just can't be in two places at once (and honestly, I don't think I could have walked back to back for a total of 10K!)

June 2nd - I walked in the Susan G. Komen National Race for the Cure.

I met up with a co-worker at the race ... she ran - I walked.

It all began with ...

The Parade of Pink with all the breast cancer survivors is always emotional ...

It was extremely humid in DC that morning - but the runners still ran (on the left and center coming towards you) and the walkers walked (on the far right heading in the opposite direction). You pass each other at one point during the course.

It took a while (you can't really walk that fast because there are so many people - about 50 thousand I think they said) BUT I did finish - Here is the proof !

And with that ... I am finished for now! It is way past midnight and I need to get to bed (see - time flies by way too fast). And I don't get things done .... Come back later for PART 2!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fun Monday # 2 - My Kitchen

Many thanks to A Spot of T for hosting this week's Fun Monday.

Simple - show everyone your kitchen !!

When I bought my townhouse 6 years ago, the kitchen was one of the main features that reeled me in (that and the porch on the side - I live in an end unit and the entrance is from the side).

Sorry, I got side-tracked !

The kitchen and dining room is the full width of my townhouse - lots of space! Unlike anything I had ever had before. Before becoming a real home owner, I lived in a 60' X 12' mobile home (don't even want to go there ...). That is where I raised my two sons. How we ever made it, I don't know - but we did. The kitchen and dining room (if you want to call it that) were at one end and there wasn't much room to even turn around much less sit down and eat together as a family. The appliances and decor were very 70ish - avocado, gold and orange. There wasn't much you could do to change it, so we dealt with it. Only good part was that the stove was GAS and how I do miss that (but nothing else). The boys left home, got married and Mom saved her money by continuing to live in that dump - uh, mobile home until she had enough cash (and credit) to buy a real home.

And this is what I have now - I LOVE IT !

Maybe not the color scheme - it was here when I moved in - but the space is heavenly. And I have managed to fill up a lot of that space!!

The picture above is standing in the dining room, looking straight on. The counter tops are hunter green and the wallpaper is a hunter green and beige plaid. The walls above the chair rail in the dining room are beige with the plaid wallpaper below. It's tolerable !! Not bad at all, but I would like to someday brighten it up a bit !

This is the wall to the left. The refrigerator sits back a little at the end of this wall. You can barely see it and yes, the frig is full of pictures and magnets! But, nothing like the refrigerator in the old place! There were so many that people used to kid me that if I added another one, the refrigerator would tip over. ( They were - and still are - from places I had been plus ones my kids made and I couldn't part with them so they now have the proud home of being on the washer and dryer (the sides) downstairs in the laundry room). I haven't a pantry, so the cabinet has to suffice. Honestly, there isn't much food stuff in it - baking dishes, casserole dishes and the like plus some god awful ugly orange Tupperware canisters that I wouldn't dare let anyone see!

This is the wall to the right. The cabinet/hutch is full of cookbooks (and teacups with saucers on the top shelf) and sits in between the sliding glass door that goes out to the deck and "the psuedo bay window" in the corner.

The "pseudo bay window" !!

It is a perfect place for more plants - like I don't have enough already throughout the house !!

The counter in between the "bay window" and the sink ....

The counter in between the stove and the refrigerator ...

Can you tell that I like decorative bottles ?? Many are purchased (great buys after the Christmas holidays), some were gifts and quite a few are homemade. I used to scope out thrift stores and flea markets to purchase bottles of "unique" shape and fill them myself. There are oils and vinegars (with fruit, peppers, herbs - all kinds of possibilities), pasta of different colors and shapes, dry beans, olives, popcorn and spices. There is even a glass "maple leaf" filled with authentic Vermont maple syrup. None of the purchased ones have ever been used or even opened !!

AND if that isn't enough, some have even found their way to the top of my late grandmother's dish cabinet in the dining room !! (the sinful stuff - nuts, candy and sugars). The two small ones in the right front are colored sand - you know, like what the kids make at the stands at the beach and places like that. Yes, TWICE I had to be like one of the kids!

The wine bottles are FULL and waiting for someone to come over and have a glass with me. One is an awesome Italian wine ( a former co-worker brought it home from Italy -first tasted it on a cruise) and the other 3 are Virginia wines from the Oasis Winery in Hume, VA. Virginia Wine ROCKS !! (I have volunteered at quite a few wine festivals over the years and this winery is one of my favorites). You can't always drink the cheap stuff from the grocery store, now can you? So, come on over anytime and we can sit in my dining room (with a view of the kitchen) and have a few sips.

But before you do that, go over to A Spot of T and check out everyone else's kitchen !!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Weight Loss Wednesday and SSS

This morning I weighed in at 200 lbs on the nose ! Not so good, when last week it was 197.6. But I have no one to blame but myself !! And right now, I'm OK with it ... 200 lbs. or less is my goal right now BECAUSE we are going into the summer season and I'm busy. And not quite as focused ...

I went to a going away celebration on Memorial Day Weekend (my nephew reported for his upcoming deployment today) and ate. Not a lot of forbidden things but just enough to get my metabolism going in the wrong direction. I have participated in numerous charity events in the last few weeks and ... If you don't eat what they provide to you ... You don't eat !! So, that's the way it goes.

I'm not making excuses - it is just what I have chosen to do. I don't go overboard (it takes less to fill me up nowadays) and the discomfort of eating TOO many carbs and sugar isn't pleasant (your body lets you know !!). I have promised myself that I won't let it get out of hand (except for, maybe, the week I am on my cruise - midnight buffets are the best and you can't not have a drink or too !!)

So, on to a more exciting topic -

Saturday afternoon ( after I returned from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Washington, DC) there was a package leaning up against my door. IT WAS MY SECRET SWAP !! It took me a while to get it open (those Canadians use some pretty strong packaging) but it was worth the effort. Inside, was a wonderful decorated clipboard from the infamous Emma from Canada.

I have seen pictures of her talent and NOW I am the proud owner of one of her creations. I love it ! I have tons of pictures (memories) all throughout my home and this will definitely have his own little place of honor among them. My only problem will be in deciding which picture will be mounted on this clipboard! The little tag at the top left hand corner says "Family" so most likely, that will help me make my decision. Many thanks to Emma - You couldn't have sent me a more fitting gift.

And kudos to Frannie for setting up the SSS. It's been a blast !

And now a favor, Frannie (please, please, pretty please) - after everyone has recieved their SSS - would it be possible for you to give us a rundown on who got who - Blog names would be sufficient. It would be icing on the cake! I think it is awesome how people from different countries participated. I sent my SSS to the UK and recieved one from Canada !! And I feel like I have made many new "friends" which is the best part of all.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Fun Monday - The First for Me

Karmyn is the Host of this week's FUN MONDAY and I decided to join the bandwagon and participate.

Today's Fun Monday is all about your Crafty Side - Karmyn is the host and has asked everyone to show something they've made. It can be ANYTHING - burnt pot roast, a crooked knitted sweater, scrapbook pages, that junior high shop class table - WHATEVER - as long as it was made by hand.

In my younger years (pre-kids) I used to make a lot of my clothes. I made my wedding gown ... and numerous bridesmaids dresses for a few of my sibling's weddings. Things were so much simpler then and lots of money wasn't spent. I would show pictures but those were pre-digital camera days and I don't have a scanner.

I have always loved doing cross stitch and really have nothing to show you, because everything I have done has been given away. I have a cross stitch frame which works very well and it hasn't been used in quite a few years. Time has a way of slipping by so fast and I need to slow down and start doing projects again. This was started and well, as you can see, I didn't get very far with it ... (Use you imagination - it is a bunch of sunflowers!)

The other types of projects that I have managed to get done are the quick and simple kind.

In my dining room is an old beat up desk cabinet (with a drop down writing area and lots of cubby holes inside and open shelves on the side) that looks old and rugged like the one in this picture that is hanging on the wall next to it ...

I made this wall hanging out of twigs and berries to compliment the picture ...

A few years ago, my mother gave me a canister jar of buttons that had belonged to my grandmother. I didn't want to get rid of them, but didn't know what to do with them, so I made 2 sets of button flowers (kinda) and put them in a vase. I kept one and gave the other one to my mother. The picture doesn't do them justice - they are kind of unique in their own little way!

I once helped a friend make roses out of Hershey Kisses for favors at her wedding and I kept some.

The piece of pottery is also hand made (BUT NOT BY ME!) I picked it up from a local in Puerto Rico who was selling his wares to make money to support his family.

Right after the Virginia Tech tragedy, I wanted to show my support, so I made a bunch of these and shared them with some of my co-workers ...


Friday, June 1, 2007

Today Was My Turn !!


Today was my turn.

He got me!

Traffic was heavy on Route 1 (like it always is at 7:00 AM) so I scooted over to the back road so I wouldn't have to creep along through Lorton. I came up over the damn hill and BLIP went the red lights of a sneaky VA State Trooper (who should have been out on the highway where the real crazies are). On a back road, with only a few houses in sight along the way. A freakin' radar trap!! It's a two lane road with hills - no place to pull over without getting crashed into by some other "fool" (just like ME) who is going faster than they should be. So, I continue along until a driveway pops up on the right side of the road. He's behind me, blinking those stupid lights on and off. Does he think I didn't see him? I'm not stupid - I can see flashing red lights when there is no one else in sight but me and him! But, I also value my car and don't wish to have the trunk behind me in the back seat !! He pulls up behind me (in the road, mind you) but I don't really care at that point because it would be his cruiser getting hit, NOT my car! He moseys up to my window - it's already rolled down and I have my drivers license in my hand. "Do you know what the speed limit is?" 35. "No m'am, it's 25" (The sign a couple of yards in front of me says 35 mph)."Do you know how fast you were going back there?" No, Sir.. " You were doing 48 in a 25 - that's reckless driving M'am." What could I say? He asks for my license and registration. I give them to him and he tells me to stay right there (where am I going to go? He's right behind me!) and then goes back to his cruiser. I then realize that the registration that I pulled out of the glove box is expired, so I get the current one out of my wallet (ready for him when he comes back). He walks back and reads me the riot act, makes me sign the damn ticket and tells me the COURT DATE is JULY 13th and IT IS MANDATORY that I report at 9:30 AM on that day. Just like on the movies, he tips his hat and says "Have a Nice Day. You are free to leave now." What an arrogant SOB, I am thinking ... Have a Freakin' Nice Day!!

So, I carefully back out of that unsuspecting person's driveway, and proceed down the road to the 4 way stop sign (where, incidentally there is another sign on the other side of the intersection that says 35 mph). I continue my journey to work traveling exactly 35 mph. And a stupid Mercedes is riding my ass the entire way. NO WAY IN HELL am I going to get another speeding ticket on the same morning! ( I am aware of the usual speed traps on that section of the road). I can see him in my rear view mirror and he is cussing up a storm and making gestures at me. I continue along going exactly 35 mph. When I get back to Route 1, the Mercedes whips around me and makes a right hand turn.

I am sure I put a crimp in his Friday morning commute also, just like the State Trooper put one in mine !!

What a way to start the month of June !! RECKLESS DRIVING !! I wasn't driving recklessly - just a little faster than I should have been. I have never had a reckless driving ticket in all my years of driving. Maybe a speeding ticket, but not one for at least the last 20 years. The points on my license WERE ZERO but not anymore! Maybe, he won't show up on the 13th (just maybe, he'll be back out there on Old Colchester Rd with another speed trap). I work hard for my money and the county of Fairfax has enough already!

The only bright side of this whole story is that once I got to work, I checked the calendar and July 13th is a FRIDAY.


But, I probably will be too poor to actually be able to do something !

So, how was your Friday??

Note: I missed Weight Loss Wednesday - this week - 197.6 lbs (that sucks!)