November’s Last Hurrah

It’s time to change my wallpaper.  No silly, not my literal wallpaper.  Who wants that hassle?  The wallpaper on my computer monitor(s).  The “s” is there because I have two monitors on my desk, side by side.  I never thought I’d like having two monitors; turns out it’s very cool.  When I click on an email it opens on the opposite screen so I can still see the inbox.  I know right?  Big whoop!  What is really neat though is when an attorney sends me a document they’ve effed up with a bunch of changes; now I can open it on one screen,  open the master version on the other and make the changes without having to click back and forth between two open documents OR print a hard copy and highlight the changes so I don’t miss any.  

But I digress – I started talking about my wallpaper so let’s get back to that shall we?  The view is down a tree-lined street or maybe it’s a driveway with beautiful fall leaves on the trees and carpeting the road.  There’s a weathered old farm-style fence on the right and at the end is what looks like a cabin or perhaps a barn – only a portion is visible so it’s hard to tell exactly. 

But fall is over.  I know winter doesn’t officially begin until mid-December-ish but looking outdoors confirms that fall is over.  The vibrant leaves are all wet and mucky.  The air is no longer crisp … it’s just cold darn it.  So I’ll pull that wallpaper down and find something else to adorn my work area.  It’s all good.  Cold, but good. 

Here are the final excerpts from the gratitude book.  I didn’t get to all of them, but it was a fun experiment and many of them reminded me that I have much to be thankful for.  How about you?

“Not wanting what my neighbor has.”  Melisa M. Fearn, Murray, KY

“The glimmering evening sun dancing across the lake.”  Bertie Kepley, Delta, CO

“The sound of rain on my windowpane as I fall asleep.”  Julie Westbrook, Los Angeles, CA

“The ability to write.  While I can’t be sure my writing is “good,” it is one of the most satisfying ways I have to express myself.  For such an outlet, I am grateful.”  Jennifer Bernstein-Lewis, Novato, CA

“Sharpie markers with perfect points.”  Laura Akers, Sparks, NV

“I got on the baseball team.”  Joey (10), Chicago, IL

“I got on the baseball team.”  Robert Kamuda (59), Kirkland, WA

I LOVE those two!

“Paper and pens and the stories I discover hiding in ink.”  Garry Halliday, Gracey, KY

“My husband’s strong hand to hold as we grow old together.”  Helen Luecke, Amarillo, TX

“I have begun to make peace with the Cosmic Joke; it’s always there, and I’ve started to remember to laugh – even when the punch line is me.”  Matthew Laurence, Gloucester, MA

“Fenway Pahk.”  Josh Gordon, Boston, MA

And finally,

“All of those gardeners who bury ugly bulbs in the fall, full of faith that their reward in the spring will be magnificent TULIPS, DAFFODILS, AND HYACINTHS.”  Arlene Hess, Vashon, WA

A whole year

 I’m supposed to be writing a post to commemorate that my blog is one year old.  But it isn’t like a child’s or grandchild’s birthday. 

Happy Birthday Blog!

There aren’t any obvious milestones to celebrate.  The blog didn’t start walking after all, and it’s never going to eat solid food.  (Ssh!  Don’t say anything; it thinks it’s getting cake with a candle.)  On the other hand, I can recognize that after a year it’s still up, I’m still writing somewhat consistently, and I actually have repeat readers!  That’s pretty cool; especially since I never expected to have any readers!  That IS something to celebrate!  

I went back and read my very first post, Pleezedtomeecha!.  It says what a lot of bloggers say:  writing is therapy, and way cheaper.  So I have to ask myself, “Self, did you get any benefit from said writing therapy?”  And do you know what I replied?  Me neither. 

I’m not ready to declare it a success or failure.  I know I have felt better after drafting a post out of frustration, even when I haven’t actually published that post.  There are two I think which remain in draft form and will probably never see the light of the Internet.  They’re way too personal to share.  But writing them helped me.  It relieved the tension and allowed me to vent in safety.  So I guess if we’re looking at whether the blog is therapeutic as intended, then I’d have answer a resounding YES! 

Besides the healing properties of the blog, I’ve gained in other ways.  I’ve met some fellow bloggers who have become friends.  I got to meet one of them in person (waves at Grammy) and I’d like to meet the others if we can pull that off.  Put on your thinking caps ladies; maybe we need to do a bloggers’ long weekend somewhere relaxing, hmm?  Maybe a spa?  Some place equidistant from all of us so none of us has to travel farther than anyone else.  These are the kinds of things you muse upon when two of you are a country apart and the others are scattered about in the middle!  It would be so cool! 😀

What I’m really proud of though is that I’ve kept it up.  In the past when I’ve started a writing project I’ve given up when I hit a wall, encountered a plot complication or ran into writers’ block.  Hellooow – I have one unfinished novel and a bunch of short story starts, as well as some stupid poetry.  But not here.  Although I have been known to recycle the stupid poetry here when I need filler. 😕  Sure, sometimes I’ve had to go a few days without posting.  And then there was the whole surgery/no internet hiatus.  Or I posted something dumb just to be posting something.  But mostly I’ve continued my attempts to write and post REAL material.  No, it isn’t deep or dramatic…usually.  But it means something to me…usually. 

In closing, thank you so much for joining me on this adventure.  I hope you’ve enjoyed your time visiting my blog and I hope I can continue to entertain you.  I won’t promise enlightenment or education, though that could happen.  It could too!  Shut up. 

Happy birthday Blog!  No, I didn’t get you a cake with a candle.  How would you blow it out?  See?  We don’t need a candle.  What we need is a beer!  Or rather, a hard cider…with attitude!  Angry Orchard anyone?

You have to try this!

Today’s gratitude is all mine … I’m so very thankful for this place to vent, rant, count my blessings and most of all, find new friends.

Today’s post brought to you by

Me!  Well sure, it’s my blog after all so of course it’s brought to you by me.  Okay, that was lame.  Lamer than lame.  Cut me some slack, I’m grasping for ideas here. 

The following was drafted yesterday (Tuesday) but as you can see it’s late.  Sorry about that. 

Physical therapy last night was a bitch.  A cold, steely eyed bitch with a sadistic streak.  I tossed and turned all night with achy legs.  The ice pack helped eventually but sleep was still elusive and when my alarm went off this morning I wanted to cry.  A year ago I might have called in sick.  However, the whole point of having the surgery and doing the rehab is to NOT be a cripple.  Yeah, I realize it’s a process and I’m not all the way there yet.  But I can’t wimp out every time I hurt.  So I got up, took painkillers, set my cell phone alarm for about 2 hours and went back to bed.  Heck, if I still felt like crap in 2 hours I could always call in sick then

After tossing and turning some more, mixed in with a little sleep — I seem to recall dreaming at one point so I must have slept — I got up and still felt lousy.  But I put one foot in front of the other and started getting ready.  There’s always time to call in but there are only so many trains departing for Seattle and if I miss the last one I have to take a bus.  That is so not happening if I can help it!

And here I am at my desk blogging!  How about that!  I hope your Tuesday got off to a better start!

Today’s Gratitude Platitudes

“The bad times—they make the good ones so much better.”  Susan Rigsby, Aloha, OR

“The way chocolate engages all my senses:  the jangle of the doorbell at the chocolate shop, the smell of the candy I see stacked around me, and the weight of a box of milk chocolate treats I’ll take home with me and let melt on my tongue.”  Tina Czarnota, Boca Raton, FL

“The man who makes me smile as big as the moon and stars.”  Erin Lewin, Taft, CA

Still thankful…

I’ve mentioned before that I’m blessed.  Yeah, I whine a bit too but overall I’m pretty happy.  Thanksgiving this year was better than last year’s even if it was a little bittersweet being the first one without Dad.  I have to say it was the absolute least stress-filled holiday I’ve enjoyed in some time!  Friday it rained all day so I got to be lazy without even trying!  Score!  Saturday I finished knitting a scarf and then cleared out my knitting trunk.  After bagging up a lot of yarn for Goodwill and tossing a bunch of other stuff, my trunk is clean and organized!  For now.  Sunday I went to the Fashion Bug sale:  50-70% off!  Finally found a red cardigan I liked for less than $15!!!  Thank you very much!

Then I started to knit a sweater I’ve been wanting to make for the new granddaughter, who is just over 3 months.  It took many, many tries but I finally got close enough to the proper gauge that I figured I could proceed.  Still trying to proceed… after multiple attempts at getting the correct number of stitches cast on I finally reached 156 this morning before leaving for work!  Too bad I need 160 and I ran out of yarn on that attempt.  Sigh.  I left it all on the needles though and will adjust it later.  Then I can actually start the dang thing.  Have I mentioned that I haven’t knitted seriously in some time? 

And one last thing I am thankful for right now:  WE ARE BACK ONLINE!  (Insert sound of crowd going wild here.)  As of yesterday afternoon we have internet access again!  Woo hoo! 

Finally, here are more attitude of gratitude quotes.  Thanks for following along this month.

“The smell of campfire on sweaters and sleeping bags.”  Kari Mosden, Seattle WA

“The fall of pure white snow that transforms my world without a murmur.”
Annette Eckart, Medford, NY

“Remembering to be grateful.  Realizing your blessings is a blessing in itself, and it opens the door to as much positivity as you are willing to invite in.”
Matthew Laurence, Gloucester, MA

“Eyes to see the natural wonders of the earth, ears to hear sweet sounds, a mouth to speak freely, arms to hug, legs to walk, and feet to be tickled.”
Lorraine Fraga, Stoughton, MA

Day of Thanks

While reading the book For This I Am Grateful I often found quotes which reminded me of people.  What follows are specific thank yous from the book which made me think of some of my blogging buddies.  I hope they’re enjoying the holiday and their families rather than reading this today though.  It’ll be here Friday.  😀

For Grammy:  “My three-year-old granddaughter, Madelyn, who greets me with a smiling face and arms reaching out for a big hug from her Bubbie.  She is my heart and the breath I breathe.”  Janie Logan, Birmingham, AL

For Dana:  “Halloween and having the imagination to still dress in costume as an adult.”  Jessica Browning, Houston, TX

For Pam:  “Unsolicited hugs from my twenty-three-year-old son with an accompanying, ‘I love you, Mom.'”  Dorothy Judy, Newhall, CA

For Jo:  “Friends who aren’t afraid to say, ‘I love you, and I’m praying for you.'”  D’Juana Beason, Baton Rouge, LA

For RJ:  “People who view BOOKS as something more than commodities and devote time and care to making them both BEAUTIFUL and MEANINGFUL.”  Marcia Ian, Metuchen, NJ

Happy Thanksgiving!

As I sit here at work pondering the irony that is the short work week, I try to remember to be thankful that I am employed.  Yet I whine about having to come to work and plow thorough three days which feel like three weeks. 

If it was slow I could understand the week dragging.  Usually this time of year things do slow down.  This week?  Not so much.  The accounting department needed extra hands to help with filing and team player that I am, I volunteered.  It helped that I could do it at my desk as time allowed.  I’ve been sorting those stacks for the last two days and I’m still only up to the Js.  Several drafts of an agreement needed to be proofed, reformatted and printed.  A table had to be drawn and filled in with the appropriate information.  Another document was compared to an earlier version.  Add in that I needed to arrange for personal service of legal documents on someone who doesn’t speak English and may not even be home … and you see how my day is going.

But overall I’m grateful for my job.  It’s often frustrating but I mostly like it.  I LOVE the people I work with.  Several times I’ve contemplated moving on to find the rumored greener grass, but it would mean leaving behind the attorneys I support and that’s not something I could do easily.

On a completely different note — I’m all caught up with my blog reading!!  Yay! 

Another completely different topic — I think I may have over-medicated when I was hurting earlier.  Keeping my eyes open is a bit difficult at the moment.  It’s a good thing the really important work I needed to do is done already.  A nap might be in order…..

In closing (before I really do fall asleep), have a wonderful holiday peeps.  Enjoy the family time and the yummy food.  Count your blessings.  (Why yes, that is an order!)

😀

Today’s reasons for gratitude

“First, a husband who found time to put up our first birdhouse, and second, that we had occupants right away.  Bluebirds know good work.”  Kathy Johnson, High Point, NC

 “A husband who understands why I keep latex paint in a container marked “macaroni salad” in the refrigerator.”  Helene Turner, Tallahassee, FL

That’s a story I’d like to hear. 🙂

“Thanksgiving potluck dinners with mashed potatoes, turkey, pumpkin pie, and wall-to-wall people who aren’t afraid to sit on the stairwell to eat.”  Elizabeth Krenik, Le Center, MN

“The scent of wild honeysuckle in the dark air as I walk among the trees.  Though I know that out there, in the world beyond my small woods, more fearsome things lurk, I stretch my arms to the moon, inhaling the safe, damp night.”  Arlene Mandell, Santa Rosa, CA 

“A little orange cat with birth defects.  I saved his life, and he saved mine.”  Jane Johnston, Coos Bay, OR

I think I may have something in my eye (sniff). 

“Waking without an alarm clock.”  Cheryl Charming, Gainesville, FL

“My friends.  Like the peppers in chili, they spice up my life.”  Carol Bolden, Cleveland, OH

And MY friends, online and off.  Thank you so much for being my friends.  HUGS for everyone!

Umbrellas…

…just one of the things I’m thankful for.  The Seattle area is experiencing the first deluge of the season.  Heavy rain and high winds are expected to cause flooding in the usual areas.  Landslides are also a possibility.  The inundation is projected to continue through the week. 

“We have a virtual fire hose of water directed at western Washington,” said KIRO 7 meteorologist Morgan Palmer.

According to the KIRO 7 website’s story, “Crews spent Sunday cleaning drains in advance for the heavy rain.”  Wouldn’t you think they’d want to start clearing drains more than a day ahead?  It would make sense to me to clear them while the weather is actually cooperative.  But hey, that’s me.  They’re professionals after all!

This is the perfect weather to return home and curl up with a cozy blankie, a good book and something hot to drink.  I can’t wait till quitting time! 

Stay dry and warm my friends. 

More thanks:

“Down pillows and flannel sheets in January.”  Julie Hockley, Greeley, CO
Or November in Seattle.

“My friendships with people both much older and much younger than myself.  I learn from their experiences and pass along my own.”  Paula Kirman, Edmonton, Alberta

“The perspective I gain from every new day and every new experience.  The older I get, the better life becomes.”  Matthew Laurence, Gloucester, MS

“The written word and endless cups of tea.”  Brianna Mewborn, Clearwater, FL
Amen!  Though I think I might get bored with tea and have to change it up some.

Happy Birthday Hubs!

I’m thankful for my husband, whose birthday is today.  This morning I woke him with a resounding chorus of Happy Birthday, complete with a candle planted in the middle of a circle of miniature chocolate donuts!  Hey, you work with what you have and I haven’t been up to baking in a very long time. 

This song is probably more appropriate for our anniversary but since he doesn’t read my blog anyway I can do what I want!  This is us all over.  I’m a lucky woman!

If I Won the Lottery

Lately I’ve noticed advertisements on our buses for the Washington State lottery.  I’m uncertain how long this ad campaign has been going on or why it suddenly stood out for me.  From what I’ve seen the gist of these ads is what would you do if you won the lottery – and apparently the wilder the better.  One I recall in particular shows a vessel similar to an aircraft carrier, only it’s covered by a golf course.  The caption says something like, “I’d play golf all over the world.”  There’s another with a line of motorcyclists closely following each other but I’ve never seen it clearly enough to read the caption. 

We’ve probably all imagined winning the lottery at least once.  I’ve heard of folks who say they would quit their jobs immediately; and then others who would keep working at least for awhile.  In addition, there are countless stories about winners winding up destitute after plowing through their newfound money at record speeds. 

I did a little (very little…I’m lazy remember?) research and found a couple of people who seemed to represent the opposite ends of the spectrum regarding what they would do should they win big.  Clever Dude would pay off his debt – no surprise there.  However, his article broke down his possible winnings into different amounts and based on the amount won he laid out what debt he hoped to be able to pay off.  If his winnings reached the right level he said he’d even pay off his parents’, grandparents’ and siblings’ debt!  Generosity, thy name is Clever Dude!  To be fair, CD also mentions doing fun stuff like traveling, if the money is big enough.  It’s just not first on his list. 

The plan which most amused me was Chef Keem’s.  I have no idea who this man is but his exuberance is contagious and I want to be his friend, even if he never wins the lottery.  His plans include flying all his buds to Austin, Texas to visit him.  Then he’ll cover dinner (which he describes in detail), drinks, and evening entertainment.  Finally, he’ll take everyone to Munich, Austria, and Vienna!  Even after all that he still had money left over!  What to do?  He asked his readers to suggest ways to burn the remaining $23 million!  Although this was only a dream it made me smile. 

Mine isn’t your typical lottery list.  I’m not hankering for a luxury vacation, a palatial new home or a fancy car.  Yes I am too normal – shut up! 

My wants and desires are less grandiose.   

  1. A vehicle I can get in and out of easily.  I adore our pickup and Suburban – in a fender bender guess who’s driving away?  However, the older I get the harder it is to climb into our beasts.   I’d like a previously owned mid-sized SUV with four wheel drive please — in blue.  Not only would it be easier for me to get into but our ancient canines would benefit as well.  Win-win! 
  2. Triple A coverage for all my kids – peace of mind for me.  More win!
  3. An indoor swimming pool.  Heated goes without saying.  And maybe a hot tub.
  4. To pay back the loans I had to take from my retirement.
  5.  I would give away a LOT of money but only to organizations which help people help themselves.  Like Kiva and Habitat for Humanity.
  6. A time machine (preferably with David Tennant at the helm, but I’ll take what I can get).  I’d like to go back in time and tell my mother I’m sorry and that I forgive her.  I’d like to go back to say goodbye to my Grandma and punch my grandfather in the gonads.  Um wait, that might be too touchy-feely; maybe I’ll just wear some pointy-toed shoes and kick him.  (Sorry, the whole time travel thing got a tad out of control there.)
  7. I’d upgrade my blog to a paid version so I could use all the neat tools and graphics and stuff.
  8. Eventually, I would retire from my job.  Like the next time BigLaw annoys me. 

Smaller vehicle and indoor pool aside, I can’t think of anything I want that I don’t already have.  The SUV would be nice.  Sure, I’d love to have access to a pool all year.  But I’m surviving just fine without those things and I feel truly blessed in my life.  How many lottery winners can say that? 

Today’s gratitude excerpts:

“The sound of my child’s footsteps coming downstairs for breakfast.  That sound is like music and makes my heart soar every time I hear it.”  Robin Lieberman, Queens, NY 

“Hot chocolate with double-whipped cream, a good book on a rainy Saturday, the snoring sound my dog makes when she sleeps, and the lovely wrinkles around my husband’s eyes when he smiles.”  Ellen Birkett Morris, Louisville, KY

😀