Thursday, December 31, 2009

Question of the Week.....

Thursday, December 31, 2009....



I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.


This Week's Question:When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

Throughout my life, I have stepped outside my comfort zone by either creating a physical challenge (walking a marathon in Dublin) taking on an intellectual challenge (switching careers and having to think very quickly to stay afloat) or learning to survive a difficult situation by being strong or through laughter (e.g, divorce, job loss and health scare).

However, when is the last time I truly stepped out of my comfort zone?

I admit, losing my job has been eye opening, but having worked for wireless start-up companies around the turn of the century (translation -- before people thought it necessary to have a ringtone, headline or stock quote on their wireless device) I found myself pounding the pavement (never for a long time) because the companies I worked for went under financially.

I think the last time I truly stepped out of my comfort zone was when I decided I could open my heart up again. Specifically, when I looked at my husband and knew I wanted to grow old with him.

Having met my ex at 20 and divorcing him at 35, I spent a number of years exploring me. After the initial shock of "wow, my life plan went up in smoke", I actually enjoyed living alone. I had no intention of ever marrying again. But Bill came along.

We've been together almost 4 years and I grow closer to him everyday. Every time I've moved outside my comfort zone, I've had such a positive experience that I think it's time to challenge myself again in 2010.

Not sure what, but when I do, I'll let you know how it goes.

So, when is the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone and did you survive?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, December 30, 2009.....

As many readers know, Wednesdays are earmarked for me to rant and rave about the previous week. This week I'm taking a break from ranting and raving. I figured it is the last Wednesday of the decade and maybe it's time to look ahead to 2010.

In the upcoming year, I'd like the following to happen (other than the obvious of finding the perfect job):

- I like traffic to completely disappear from my world.

- I like to only have encounters with friendly, courteous people.

- I'd like to reverse time in regards to aging and not have to worry about what skincare product I SHOULD be buying.

- I'd like all foods, except lima beans, to have zero calories. Because I do not eat lima beans it can contain 1000 calories per bean.

Okay, okay...I'd seriously like to live a healthier lifestyle without feeling it is a burden or punishment and I'd like to never utter a bad word about anyone. My 87 year old father does not speak ill of anyone and I am in awe of this.

Next week, I will back to ranting and raving as there will always be something stupid that annoys me and something that puts a smile on my face.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Another Brilliant Idea From Hubby....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009....

I was going to post about Christmas, but other than learning a new card game, Phase 10, the holiday was drama free (last year made up for drama for the next ten years).

Instead, I thought I'd share my husband's brilliant idea for a calendar --- The Penis Calendar (seriously, do men ever mature past the age of 7?).

I told him there was probably one out on the market and he made me google it to shut him up. He was right and I was wrong (yes, I can sometimes admit I'm wrong, but only over stupid stuff that will never impact me). I found a cartoon one, but it was out several years back.

Personally, I thought the calendar was going to be 12 months displaying a penis-a-month, but he thought outside the box (a marketing term I loathe) and came up with what he believes to be a brilliant idea.....READY....Dress the penis up. Not with a top hat, but he had more creative solutions.

For instance, April, start of baseball season (see where I'm headed on this one) a bat and two balls...November a turkey and at one point he suggested dressing the penis up as Cinderella. Cinderella? Seriously? I told him if he did that they'd take away his balls for that shot.

Hubby discussed his calendar idea with YogaGirl. She was...ummm.. appalled (not sure why as she has never seen his penis -- at least I think she hasn't). After she expressed her disapproval for wanting a copy of this calendar, he told her she has two cats and they'd probably appreciate looking at the penis calendar on her fridge.

She politely told him they might, but since her fridge was stainless steel, she couldn't use a magnet to hold it up.

Hubby, always thinking, said: "Ya know, they have this revolutionary invention called tape".

For some reason the conversation stopped.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Question of the Week.....



I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.


This Week's Question: If you were given the wrong leftovers from a restaurant would you eat it?

Last week at my food pantry dinner, the subject of sharing food with others came up, but the discussion went one step further.

One person recounted her recent visit to a local restaurant for lunch. She had a fish sandwich, but only had 1/2 of it and asked her waiter to wrap it for her. The next day she went to have the leftovers, but when she opened the container finds a fresh chicken salad -- obviously another patron's take-out order.

While she got a fresh salad, the take-out person got a 1/2 eaten fish sandwich.

If you were that person would you eat the leftovers?

Would you eat them if starving and no time to get anything else?

If a Freegan, would you eat the leftover if someone tossed it in the trash that day?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, December 23, 2009...


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rant: Shopper in a Walmart parking lot. The Walmart by my house is in a plaza that includes a liquor store, Staples and Japanese restaurant. I was going to the liquor store and parked far away from Walmart. I'm in my car, about to leave (back up lights on) when a Walmart shopper (parked next to me) decides to open her car door. To get to her car she would have seen the lights, but if she hadn't, she definitely saw me in the car. She was taking her time (she wasn't pulling out yet) and I saw I could back out without hitting her or the minivan. I'm slowly pulling out and bump into something. Her cart. No damage, but really? How do you miss the back-up lights? Why not put the cart on the other side of your van WHERE - THERE - WAS - NO - OTHER -CAR? She moved slowly to move the cart.

Rave: I went to Walmart on Saturday morning to pick up a present and no one was there. I also called them prior to ensure they had the game I wanted and they did. I was surprised they picked up the phone, but they did.

Rave: The fun dream I had last night. I dreamt I set up Justin Timberlake and Oprah. They were having an engagement party and I was invited. I was wearing these shoes (most uncomfortable and ugly) and every fashion magazine was snapping a picture of my feet as I became a trendsetter. This dream cracked me up. I like comfortable shoes, rarely shoe shop and could care less about them (I can imagine all the people cringing at this comment -- also, I'm in yoga pants and slippers at the moment). Best part is waking up with the song SexyBack in my head. Very fun song to start the day with (no, I don't have an alarm clock that plays music).

Rant: Listening to a store salesman yell at a customer (the store had only been open for 15 minutes) instead of walking 10 feet to help her. All I heard was "yes, that bookshelf, now further down, no further, to your right" it was a bit longer and actually made giggle and fear help from this guy as he was a screamer and very hyper.

Rant: Christmas season wouldn't be complete without one rant about drivers on the road. This one is about the entitled driver. The person that thinks I'm too good to wait in the line of cars to go straight so I'll zip up in the left turn lane and cut off people because I'm too important to wait. Yeah, these people suck.

Rave: Christmas shopping done and we got our tacky gifts. One is tacky and made us both laugh - can you say perfect?

That's it for me. Okay, I'm in the process of chopping and simmering so very little time to think. But I would love to hear if you have any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Experience with Julia Child's Beef Wellington....

December 22, 2009....

This past summer, I read the Julie & Julia book and wondered if I had Julia Child's famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in my collection. Surprised to say, I didn't.

Borders had an amazing sale on the book so I snatched it up. I made plans with a friend to have her over for dinner before going to see the Julie/Julia Project. I made Julia's famous Beef Bourguignon and a chocolate mousse. Both came out wonderfully, but the time involved was insane.

Fast forward 4 months and as I decided to make Beef Wellington, I searched my cookbooks only to discover Julia's MtAoFC was the only one with the recipe. I think I had forgotten how freakin insane this woman was.

What I mean to say, is that she really had A LOT of time on her hands. This recipe had 3 recipes embedded within it (note - one of the recipes referenced also had you off to refer to another recipe).

Other than not making brioche and using puff pastry, the wellington and the sauce accompanying it (which took 2 hours of simmer time) was wonderful. However, Julia Child was right in her notes about puff pastry, it just didn't work for me (although, I think has more to do with just wanting to finish putting the roast together and having very little counter top space to roll out the pastry dough).

As much as I question her ingredients and think some steps are a bit insane, I know if you follow her directions (which you have to read several times to ensure you've incorporated all the recipes into one) and set aside a boat load of time, you will have yummy food.

I was happy to have had leftovers because there is no way I really wanted to cook the next day or last weekend.

For Christmas Day, I will be serving Julia's Beef Bourguignon along with chicken parmesan and Martha Stewart's Mac & Cheese (YogaGirl is bringing) as main courses. However, I know to make the Beef Bourguignon 2 days prior because the clean up is a bitch.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Respect

Monday, December 21, 2009.....

Some people believe respect is earned, others believe it's earned by one's status, age or title within a company. I believe respect is associated with all these scenarios and one more: acceptance.

I have many friends from various walks of life with various beliefs. Some I've known for 30 + years, some under 5, some conservative and others very liberal. Although many differ from me, they all have one thing in common -- my acceptance.

I think in a friendship one has to respect a person by accepting who they are; how they live their life, basically, just appreciate who they are and how they compliment your personality. In friendship, acceptance of a person means you respect who they and how they live their life.

So why is it that people can't accept others? Why try to correct or change them to fit your standards? If it bothers you, end the friendship, but don't make the person feel horrible through your words or actions that really do nothing more than have the person on the receiving end feel hurt, unworthy, and basically crappy.

Someone was recently disrespectful in my home. Through their mocking words and an action they thought I wouldn't notice, but did, they hurt me. To others it may have seemed trivial, but to me, it wasn't.

It showed me that this person really doesn't accept me and ultimately has little respect for me. Maybe they didn't realize this, but it did.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Question of the Week.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009....





I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.


This Week's Question: What is the best advice you've received?


Over the years I know that I've received advice whether I asked for it or not. I admit to being stubborn when unsolicited advice is thrown at me and even if I dismiss it, I do mull it over and typically use it (without telling the solicitor of said advice).

Recently, someone gave me a great piece of advice. I was commenting that I was applying for a position, but mentioned the company had the position as both full and part time. As much as part time appeals to me, I need to apply for the full time one.

She said this "LMB, you could never apply for the part time one because you care too much and work as though you're in a full time position".

She's right and things were much easier when applying for the full time position. No hopeful delusions of working part time because I know I would make a part time position into a full time one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, December 16, 2009...


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rant: Shopping at a specialty spice store where no one really can be of assistance and hearing "my bad" from the help.

Rave: Tomorrow is my food pantry dinner and I've lost a net of 6.8 lbs this month (I actually lost 9.4, but gained 2.6 the week of Thanksgiving) and am happy with the number.

Rant: I'm insane in the fact that I'm making Julia Child's Beef Wellington for tomorrow night's dinner and am hand chopping the mushrooms and making brioche from scratch (never had this).

Rave: See above. I love trying new things.


That's it for me. Okay, I'm in the process of chopping and simmering so very little time to think. But I would love to hear if you have any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Holiday Letter

Tuesday, December 15, 2009....

I love receiving Christmas cards with the letter inside telling me what wonderful things people have been doing throughout the year. I admit, I don't do a letter and it's a hit or miss if you get a card from me.

This year, I'm going green. No cards. But...if I were to write a letter it would read like this:

1. traveled nowhere (unemployment will put a damper on going to exotic places, hell, I went to RI, it's an island, but exotic I think not).

2. job front - well, I interviewed at a lot of places over long periods of time that were window shopping (translation - they would pull the position).

3. volunteer -- I did raise monies for my local dog park (I don't own a dog, but why not pretend I have one) participating on a plant sale committee. When it was over, the president sent a shout out to the volunteers and mine was for making people laugh with my outlook on things (hmmm...note to self, behave oneself and remember all thoughts don't have to be turned into vocal words).

I also started a monthly food pantry dinner party based upon the weight I lose each month. I'm overweight and am at a point where I can't motivate myself to lose the weight for me, but if I can help others, I will. It breaks my heart to drop off the food every month.

4. marriage - it's been a year and Bill still tells me he loves me. I'm starting to think he's deaf and doesn't hear 1/2 the shit I say out loud. Who knows, but I'm not complaining. Love him to pieces.

5. how do I stay out of trouble -- well, I have no kids (which may be a blessing because who knows how they'd turn out under my influence - oh, that thought scares me) but I blog and people, other than my family, read my blog. Why? Who the hell knows. But I love it, met some great bloggers and learned new stuff to fill my brain(the Jersey Shore Drinking Game)

I also making a crack in my cookbook collection (it might be easier if new ones didn't magically appear).

See, that's my Christmas letter. Short and sweet. Now...if I were a superhero imagine how packed it would be full of fun stuff.


Happy Holidays from LMB....



p.s. I've learned my husband is a romantic guy...his ideas for romantic dates leave me speechless.

p.s.s. I've also learned my husband will not be naming any pets we get. Yesterday he told me if we got a male cat he'd call it boogers, female cat would be called snot. If a dog, well, he thinks "Crap" is the perfect name while out on a hike and your dog runs ahead of you. As he said, yelling out "crap" in the woods sounds so much better than yelling out "fuck." I think I have to give him this. Just glad we didn't have kids together. They'd probably get picked on for the names he'd come up with.

Monday, December 14, 2009

0 to 100 in 10 Seconds Flat

Monday, December 14, 2009....

No this isn't a post about me driving around a racetrack (although that would be cool to do), but one about how my sister can push my buttons with 2 words: Gay Olympics.

Yes, every time she brings up the subject, it gets me spiraling on an out-of-control diatribe talking faster and faster about how stupid and wrong I think it is.

I understand the Special Olympics and am inspired by everyone involved, but the Gay Olympics just seems like a place for all participants who couldn't qualify for the Olympics to have a second shot.

Hello? Does anyone not remember Greg Louganis? He won gold medals and gay.

When I watch an event, I don't think he or she is great for a gay athletic. I think "wow, I'm a lazy shit watching this from my couch and why don't I go run a marathon" then I click the remote because I don't want to be depressed. But, did you notice I didn't once think wow, wonder what their sexuality is?

I understand being second choice. As a child who was not coordinated, I was not chosen first to be on any team, but I didn't go off and start my own league that only allowed little blond girls to participate (Yoga Girl, I am aware of the fact that my hair is very dark today, but when little it was blond)

Is it just me? Does this not bother one other person out there? Will people who didn't make it to the real Olympics now fake their sexuality to participate in the Gay Olympics? What if you're bi-sexual? Are you not allowed to participate in the Gay Olympics?

See where I'm going (okay, maybe I'm like a train going off my tracks)....

Dang that Yoga Girl, she managed to get me worked up writing this post.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Question of the Week.....

Thursday, December 10, 2009....





I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.


This Week's Question: What is/was your favorite holiday tradition?

For me, the holidays have changed drastically since I was a child. As a child, the magic of Santa and the elves we hung over the fake fireplace have been replaced with years where I put up no tree because it's just me and year where I over decorated because I could.

Even the years I haven't put up a tree, I've loved this time of year. The hustle, the bustle and the decorations always put a smile on my face.

As a child, I remember going to midnight mass on Christmas Eve and when we arrived home we were allowed to open one gift and my mother put out a meat/pork pie out for the tasting.

I don't know the name of the actual meat/pork pie, but it is a French Canadian tradition. I was one of the few members of the family who loved this pie and as my mom got older, she stopped making it for one or two people.

I never thought to ask my mom for this recipe and now, with her Alzheimer's, it's too late.

I wish I had this recipe.

As an adult, my traditions appear to be ever changing. I married Bill in October 2008 and opened our home to a Christmas Day buffet. We both love to cook and enjoy loved ones in our home. However, one constant tradition has happened for the past 20 years....the tacky Chinese grab bag gift.

Adults always had the grab bag where you buy for another person, but the tacky Chinese grab bag allowed my nephews to join in the fun with the adults. As the youngest of 5, I loved when I was able to participate in what the adults did.

I'm still looking for the perfect gaudy gift. It's always great when you brought the tackiest gift to Christmas...in fact, it's a high honour in my family. Besides, who wouldn't want to brag they brought the tackiest gift.

By the way....my husband was so proud of his $25 date that he thought I should have the question for the week be -- Is My Husband a Genius?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, December 9, 2009...


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: My ear ache and infection are pretty much gone. It's nice hear and great that I don't feel miserable.

Rant: I'm annoyed how some doctors show absolutely no respect for their patients and think they're God.

Rant: Weight Watchers giving corn points. Seriously, they're the only food that comes out looking the same way as it went in. The corn is just taking the intestines park ride.

Rave: Date night did happen, BUT...because I ate a late lunch, we just went to see Blindside. We skipped the rest because I actually like to be warm. I know, I'm high maintenance. [Side note: My husband appreciated all the comments which has fuelled him to come up with more clever suggestions].


Rave: I got these great kick-ass sneakers which controls my supination problems with my feet. It's amazing what a great pair of sneakers will do for you.


That's it for me. Okay, I have a brain cramp and my mind has gone blank. But I would love to hear if you have any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday -- or leave them in the comments section here. Please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Married the King of Romance.....NOT....

Tuesday, December 8, 2009....

Last night, when hubby got home after several days being away, he suggested we go out to dinner Tuesday. I was like sure. Love the idea. Love when he does the planning.

Right after I said 'great idea' he told me his plans......the $25 date....

#1` We go to Burger King because they're running some sort of hamburger special where we can get 4 for $4 and I can get a diet cola with extra ice (this he threw in because he knows I love extra ice in my drinks whenever possible).

#2 We drive across the street to McDonald's to get a small order of fries and 2 apple pies (he thinks you can get 2 for $1 and I'm thinking maybe if it were 1970). According to hubby, a classy guy always gets his dates dessert.

#3 After going through the McDonald's drive thru (did I forget to mention we're going through the drive thru of these places) we drive back across the street to the multi-plex where movies are $6 on Tuesday ($12 for 2 people).

but....the classiest part of the date is coming up.....

After the movies we get ourselves a quart of Colt 45 and 2 straws. Why 2 straws you say...well, straws get you drunk quicker and it's easier for him to take advantage of me AND he'd keep the date to under $25.

After he revealed his plan for the perfect date he wanted to know if I was going to blog about him and how romantic he is... I said...I'm going to blog about you, but not thinking many will find the straws and Colt 45 too romantic. He said...their loss.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Impact of People.....

Monday, December 7, 2009....

Today I was going to write about my horrendous visit to the ENT doctor on Friday, but have decided after a couple of events over the weekend to change the direction of this post.

There are three individuals I want to profile representing the good and bad of mankind.

Obviously, the ENT doctor gets my vote for the bad. He wasn't mean, but desrespectful and ARROGANT. Can you repeat after me, ARROGANT.

Never mind getting the appointment even with an ear problem took 7 business days, or the wait in the waiting room was 1 hour and another 20 minutes sitting in a patient office (who knew ear docs were so busy), but that's not what got me going. Nope. It was his disregard to LISTEN to me. Funny how an ear doctor doesn't listen to his patient.

After explaining my issue and going over my past medical history (I have partial paralysis from Bell's Palsey episode in 1997) he told me I needed a hearing testing because Bell's causes hearing loss and I'd probably need a hearing aid. What? I don't think so.

I'm not opposed to having a hearing aid IF I NEEDED IT, but since I had the same issue a month ago and antibiotics cleared it up I knew I wasn't going deaf.

Long story short, hearing was above average, I met with the doctor in his office and within seconds of me being in his office, he took a personal call and CHATTED FOR A GOOD 5 MINUTES. He prescribed steroids and when I asked if there are any side effects I should be concerned about -- his response -- "Don't worry, I'm not turning you into Jerry Lewis".

Really? For this, he gets the Ass Award. How sad that my first meeting with him has left a burning impression of arrogance with me.

The second person I want to talk about is my sister, Yoga Girl. I post about her, she comments and yesterday it was her birthday. I'm fortunate to have someone like her in my life. We're different, yet, we compliment one another. She's my biggest cheerleader and words can not begin to express how blessed I know I am to have her in my life.

I can only wish that everyone has such a great individual in their life that inspires you, supports you and makes you laugh.

The third person is a childhood neighbor. He passed away very early this morning.


His son and I grew up together and this man taught me how to swim at a very young age by throwing me in a pool. Of course, he also created a fear of bald men till the age of 30 because of this life lesson. I mentioned this to my friend in my early thirties and the next time I saw his dad he bent over and rubbed his head for me.

He was a very kind man, a bit colorful, but always welcomed me into his home and made me laugh.

I wonder if people actually know that they can make a significant difference in another person's life without knowing. I hope, if I've made an impact on anyone, I've left them with a smile. If not, I hope there is still time for me to change that.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Carl Jung

Friday, December 4, 2009....

Last night, I had a dream in which Carl Jung came to me. I can't remember what he said, but remembered to google him this morning.

Prior to googling him, I knew him to be an equivalent to Freud in the psychology (note: I'm not saying one theorist is better than the other, just they are respected man in the field of psychology).

Turns out Jung is the father of analytical psychology (also known as Jungian psychology). What really caught my eye is that he emphasized understanding one's psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, religion and philosophy.

I didn't know this and I find it bizarre that he came to me in a dream.

So....how did you sleep? Any unusual dreams?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Question of the Week.....

Thursday, December 3, 2009.....





I've decided to make Thursdays my "Question of the Week" day because I always have questions and am always interested in people's answers.


Today's Question: Would You Rather Have Fame, Fortune or Power?

Over the years, I've been asked this question many times and I've always had the same answer. I thought it apropos to raise this question with the media coverage in the U.S. regarding Tiger Woods and the White House party crashers.

Power: I've been fortunate to have worked with some great people who I watched change before my eyes once their status and power increased. In my opinion, they couldn't handle the power given to them and they eventually fell off the pedestal and became humbled by the experience.

However, during their rise, I witnessed the change in personalities -- the selling out of their beliefs and the lies. It was quite sad to watch and I no longer respected these individuals, but pitied them.

So for me, Power is out!


Fame: I know many individuals would want to be recognized on the street and to have people want to be near them. It's nice to be recognized for one's accomplishments and I admit, I love having followers (I consider this a form of recognition), but do I want every high or low point of my life to be over inflated by the media? Do I need people knowing I had a Mocha Latte at Starbucks. I think not. Why? Because I'm just an average person and would be bored watching or reading about me 24/7.


So for me, Fame is out!


Fortune: Yup. That's the one for me. Having money would give me the opportunity to help others behind the scenes without the spotlight. It would also allow me the opportunity to own a home with adequate storage for all my cooking stuff :-).

So, what would you want? Fame like a famous athletic, author or movie star? Power like the leader of a country; or Fortune to allow you to spend at will without a care in the world?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, December 2, 2009...


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Thanksgiving went off pretty drama free. Only twice did I change the subject. The first time was while I was eating. My sister went into too much detail about the lady who was mauled by a monkey. Monkey face lady (sorry, not a knock on this person, just shorter name) went to our local hospital and my sister is in the medical field. Did I need to know your butt can one day be your nose. She stopped when asked. Second time, I changed the subject when a tiff between my sister and nephew went on. It worked.

Rant: My ear problems have come back. I called last Wednesday for appointment and the earliest one is this Friday. Hoping I can make it without another trip to the walk-in clinic.

Rant: The great tickets YogaGirl got for us to see the Top Chef judges, well, Tom isn't able to make it.

Rave: However, Eric Ripert will be sitting in for Tom. Although, I would love to see Tom. I admire Chef Ripert, like his show and love his restaurant in NYC. Looking forward to it.


Rave: Spent the day with a good friend last Friday. She has 2 kids and time is limited so it was a real treat.


That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday. Please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Definition of a Hero....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009...

I subscribe to the magazine Outside, a magazine where extreme sportsmen meet living green. I'm not an extreme sport's person, but get a guilty pleasure from reading about people who do.

This month, I skimmed an article "Reader of the Year", which is Outside's pick of extreme do-gooders with an amazing life background. One was a Navy Seal purple heart recipient, another helped rebuild a fallen government and under the age of 35.

For a moment, I felt a twinge that I couldn't be a hero because I didn't have the backgrounds posted in the magazine, but then I woke up.

I realized not everyone is meant to live the extreme lives these individuals have lived, BUT, could still be a hero without knowing.

I guess I define "hero" a bit differently than Outside magazine. For me, a hero can be a parent who teaches their child to say "thank you" and "please" or an adult who holds open the door for another (especially when their arms are full), or a person who drops one canned food item in one's grocery store food pantry box to help out a hungry person.

Not every act has to be over-the-top, but I've noticed as I've gotten older, people connect less and less to strangers and move about in their own world. Why is that?

In the end, I define "hero" as one's ability to connect with another person....and in many cases, put a smile on their face or make their life a bit easier by performing simple small acts.

I will probably always have a subscription to Outside, but based upon my definition of hero will probably never be featured in their magazine....and I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, November, 25, 2009...


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. However, this week, I've decided only to Rave as it is Thanksgiving week. Without further adieu, here are my Raves from the past week:

Rave: Yesterday, my husband helped me drop off 56 lbs of food to the local food pantry. I was happy I was able to help. I just wish it wasn't necessary.

Rave: Shopping for Thanksgiving meal done. Maybe because I've been doing it for so many years, but the menu is in place and will be a breeze.

Rave: Spending time with friends last week over good food and wine.

Rave: Yoga Girl got us tickets to see Tom Colicchio, Padma and Gail Simmons (tv show Top Chef judges)at a NY Times talk series.

Rave: Natasha at Girl Stuck in a Rut has given me the Superior Scribbler award. Tasha is losing weight, but with a twist - MEATLESS. She has given me some ideas on replacing my food choices with meatless options...AND... she's great at answering questions (for me it was about the right type of tofu to try). Besides sharing her food choices, she shares her journey on slimming down. Thanks Tasha!

Rave: Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I'm looking forward to spending time with my family.

Rave: I appreciate all the name suggestions for the triathlon team with my sisters. Many names were clever and other comments made me laugh. Thanks. I'll let you know what we decide upon.

Rave: Followers...anyone that takes the time to read my blog and for those who comment. Thanks.


That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday. Please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is my only Rant for this week).

Monday, November 23, 2009

What the Heck?

Monday, November 23, 2009.....


Over the past 18 months, I've applied to many jobs. Some through recruiters, referrals and online. Last night I thought I've seen it all -- until these 2 questions appeared on the online app:

Overall Undergraduate College GPA ____________

SAT
Verbal:______ Math: __________


Really?

I've been working for the past 20 years and have changed careers 3 times, so I thought this a question for recent college grads and didn't complete (actually, I don't know the answers -- for non US readers, the SAT is a test you take prior to university and is used by universities as part of the application process). Guess what? It didn't accept my information and stated that I needed to complete these areas.

I doubt I'll hear from this company because I didn't go to an ivy league university and after a bit more research, I've learned they are education snobs.

I define "education snobs" as individuals that only look at the university name on the diploma and discredit the individual because he/she may have gone to school at night, state college or gained their knowledge and experience through life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's in a Name....

Thursday, November 19, 2009.....


In September 2010, I'm participating with two of my sisters in a sprint triathlon. We're each doing a specific part of the relay (mine is the running portion) and I'm excited to be doing this with them.

Science Sister asked Yoga Girl and I for names. I came up with "All in the Family", Yoga Girl's suggestion was "Girls Gone Wild".

Here's the rub, we like both names. When I asked a friend of mine which name he liked better his response was: "If you choose All in the Family, you have to wear house coats, if Girls Gone Wild, you have to flash your boobs".

Needless to say, this has not helped in the decision making process.

Any one with a good suggestion?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, November, 18, 2009...


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Tomorrow is another Food Pantry Dinner. I'm excited because I had such a great time last month. I lost 8 lbs, but I had gained 4 and lost the 4 I regained. However, I'm not beating me up. I have to remember this is a process and I am not looking for the quick fix. My friends have agreed to bring 8 lbs of food for the local food shelter. At the end of the night, I'll have collected 56 lbs of food.

Rave: Another great weather week (in terms of temperature) here in the Northeast.

Rave: I had an amazing weekend with Yoga Girl. Spa treatments, gifts, shopping, movie and yummy food. Awesome.


Rant: Ford (the car company) has created a special edition Yankees' vehicle. I believe it's the Taurus, painted white with blue pinstripes. I saw the ad the other night and threw up a little in my mouth. My husband threatened to get the car for me.


Rave: Sleeping again. One word....ahhhhhhh....


That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday. Please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mysteries of My House.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009....

You know how people refer to the "Mysteries of Life", well, I'm more curious about the "Mysteries of My Home". I often wonder about the following:

1) Why is it that the laundry is never ending? Can anyone explain it to me? I won't even talk about how the dryer eats socks because I've finally accepted there is a monster who lives in my dryer and lives off socks.

2) If we take a shower to get clean, why do we need to clean the shower? Doesn't the soap and water have the same effect on the shower as it does on me?

3) Why is it all the leaves off my neighbors' trees land in my yard and the leaves off my tree don't fall into their yards? Apparently my trees are the only ones in the neighborhood that understand the concept of boundaries.

4) Why do I own an obscene amount of some obscure spice? Marjoram? Why?

These are only a few that come to mind. I'd love to know if anyone has answers for me or mysteries of their own....Share....I can't be the only crazy person out there thinking this stuff is just weird. Can I?

Monday, November 16, 2009

My Weekend with Yoga Girl (a.k.a. my sister)

Monday, November 16, 2009.....

Although my sister didn't arrive till late Saturday afternoon, we managed to squeeze a whole lot of fun in.

I must admit, any guest who shows up with fun gifts gets a definite A in my book. She had just returned from Italy and I had asked if she could pick me up some spice bowls (my definition of a spice bowl is a very small bowl that holds the spices I use in a recipe - I'm a big believer in prepping BEFORE I cook and depending upon the recipe, I could need many little bowls). She brought me 2 cool ones.

They were simple, but beautiful. In addition to the bowls, she brought me a silver ring she got while at a street fair and a leather journal. Both which I love.

Once I was done ogling, it was off for a pedicure. Not just any pedicure, but one that lasted 90 minutes and included a back and shoulder rub. Can you say A-W-E-S-O-M-E?

With cute toes, I decided to take my sister to a new grocery store that opened by my house. Yes, you heard me. A grocery store.

Fresh Market is ......pretty. It is not a place I'd go for my everyday items, but fresh breads, black truffle oil or really unusual beer is a place that needs to be visited. They've managed to arrange the items in a place that doesn't feel like a grocery store -- a definite place you have to visit, but not too often because it is easy to drop $$$ you didn't plan on spending.

After our trip to the store, we came back to the house for a quick dinner and then back out the door to see the movie Precious.

Precious, is not a light or fluffy movie, but I guess if you've seen the previews you already know this. It is a dynamic movie with great performances and a story line that kicks you in the gut. I never looked at my watch or had a moment where I thought the movie was moving too slowly. If you like serious drama, go see this movie.

After getting back from the late show, we came back to the house, chatted and went to bed.

Yesterday was the cooking demonstration class. I'd recommend a demonstration class to anyone who has a fear of cooking because it demystifies cooking.

The class was taught by Rick Rodgers. He often writes for Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, appears on t.v. and has published numerous cookbooks over the years. Personally, I've been going to his classes for years, but this is the first time my sister went with me.

I knew a guy who has won Bon App├ętit's Food and Entertaining Award for Outstanding Cooking Teacher would be someone my sister would like. Besides, he was cooking Thanksgiving dishes. What could be better than that.

He started with a sherried crab bisque and then for the main course had turkey, mulled wine cranberry sauce-- mortadella, walnut and rosemary stuffing--baby carrots with orange glaze --mashed potato casserole with smoked gouda and bacon (okay, gouda & bacon how could this not be yummy) and pumpkin cupcakes with ginger cream.

Everything was tasty and throughout the class we were fed great cooking tidbits about turkey (he worked for Perdue for 10 years and knows a lot about turkey from the farm to the table).

Although I hadn't been to one of his classes in 3 years, he recognized me and we chatted a bit after the class. I got his latest books Winter Gatherings, Autumn Gatherings and Summer Gatherings which he autographed for me (I should mention many of my cookbooks are signed by the author).

After a quick kiss goodbye and a snatching of another cupcake for hubby we were on way home. Yoga Girl dropped me off to begin her trek home to NJ. It was great to see her and nice to know I will be seeing her soon (wow, Thanksgiving is next week).

That was my weekend...how was yours?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, November, 11, 2009...


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: In the US it's Veteran's Day and although I'm not a fan of war, I appreciate everything a veteran has done for me to have the freedoms I have today.

Rave: Some really nice weather for November in the Northeast. It's freakish, but I'm okay with that.

Rave: I'm seeing Yoga Girl, a.k.a. my sister, this weekend. We're going to a cooking class at The Silo in New Milford with Rick Rodgers, an amazing instructor and cookbook author. This was my birthday gift.


Rant: I called the Silo to get the time of the class and they don't have us registered. They are investigating.


Rave: Two wonderful bloggers gave me awards. Miss Nobody not only gave me one, but THREE awards. You really should go check her out if you haven't. She writes about her life and will from time-to-time share some of her writing pieces. She's young, but has a very insightful soul putting her years beyond her age (55 Word Fiction).

Green Eyed Momster bestowed the You are Wonderful Award on me. Green Eyed shares the good, bad and painful with her readers, but is taking a break from blogging for a bit. She needs to recharge and I respect that. When blogging becomes a chore or exhausting, one should stop. I think people forget that.

Rant: Stinkin small fuzzy animal (want to blame the bunny, but I think the bunny has a friend) who is eating my brussel sprouts AGAIN. I thought I foiled the bunny and his gang, but I was wrong.

Rant: Insomnia. Last night. It sucks. Enough said.

Rave: Mad Men. The finale was Sunday night and the writers did a fabulous job at tying up all the loose ends. Every episode during the season I'd wonder what they were going to do with so-and-so's character, but the finale answered my questions. However, it's not just the finale, it's the writing. They master capturing the social impact, particularly events had on people (e.g., Kennedy's assignation,) while other life events (marriages and divorces) are downplayed making it very interesting. It's a show that makes you want more.

That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing for anyone that wants to participate in Rant and Rave Wednesday. Please be respectful and do not use the linky thing if you are just promoting your blog (yes, this is another Rant of mine).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Holiday Conversations

Monday, November 9, 2009....

With the holidays right around the corner, I am wondering what the topic of conversation will be this year at the Thanksgiving table.

In the past, we have discussed the side effects of drinking soy milk. I didn't realize this, but apparently it enlarges the size of a woman's breasts. Who knew. I didn't.

Past Christmases the family would play the game "Mystery Date" and every time someone got the nerd at the front door, they have to drink a shot.

Recently, YogaGirl told me about a website that is just gross. Pop That Zit is all about squeezing zits, draining sinus infections and other things -- so gross, but like a car accident you are sucked into their videos and keep watching when you should turn your head.

After going through the website with YogaGirl on the phone, I knew our other sister, the nurse, would love it. We emailed her the link and she LOVED it. Loved it is an understatement.

I'm hoping she has forgotten all about this website when Thanksgiving comes around. Puss + turkey = gross dinner.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What Do You Get When You Mix a 6 lb 12 oz Can of Potatoes and 6 Women?

Thursday, November 5, 2009....


You get amazing conversation and food collected for a good cause.

Last month, I decided to extend the Weight Watcher promotion of donating a pound of food for every pound lost by inviting friends over for a tasty dinner (well, I hope it was -- no one died and many have signed up to come for November's dinner). Because I lost 6lbs, every guest was to bring 6lbs of food for my local food pantry.

One friend, D, went shopping at Restaurant Depot where all food is larger than life and among the items was a 6lb 12oz can of sliced potatoes. I'm not a restaurant owner, so, I was both intrigued and amused by the can (yeah, I'm sometimes easily amused at stupid stuff).

I think I was so amused by it because I couldn't imagine Bill and I sitting down for a 7 lb meal of potatoes. Last I knew, we weren't giants.

Know what the best part of the can was? The recipe for scalloped potatoes on the back.

The conversation at the table was mixed, but at some point focused to a guy my friend met online. He was affectionately named 'Seahorse Guy'.

She hadn't met him, but he already told her that he raised seahorses as a hobby. He explained the process to her and my gf, D, blurted out something like "Oh. My. God. What a boring guy."

Personally, I was amused by Seahorse Guy, but I like quirky people (although, I think dating a guy who went on about his love of raising seahorses would be too much for even me to handle).

I really loved D's comment. She's been married almost 20 years and hasn't dated since college. She doesn't have a clue of what it is like to date in your mid to late 30s. If she did, she might have thought he wasn't half bad.[Before I get slammed with comments about women being whack jobs, I'm only speaking from my experience -- seriously, one guy (8 minute dating event) told me he likes his job because he likes to be in big trucks -- I thought I was on Sesame Street. Needless to say, I did not choose to see him again]


I also learned it is the male seahorse that gives birth and a bunch of other factoids that have quickly left my head.

Since the dinner, my friend, L, has gone out with the Seahorse Guy and she's coming to my next dinner. She mentioned she was going to take a break from dating for a bit, but am looking forward to her misadventure with him.

When I dropped off the food, the reason for the dinner sunk in. The waiting room was packed. People in line for food, others for winter coats and when I handed the volunteer the food, I was asked what church I was from. It's probably because of my angelic looks.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, November 4, 2009....


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rant: I had a miserable ear infection which got in the way of meeting some great bloggers on Sunday.

Rave: The meds are kicking in and I'm feeling about 90% better.

Rave: Unplugging for 24 hours. Granted, I wasn't able to follow my own rule for 24 hours, but it was a great experience (have to admit, it was a bit odd to be untethered).

Rant: Day Light Savings Time - Darker earlier - sniff, sniff.

Rant: Once I'm 100%, I'll be spending my time raking, raking and raking.

Rave: Neighbors with no boundaries finally sold their house and have moved out.

That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to hear them. Will Work for Shoes, Da Jersey Boys and Green Eyed Momster have posted their own R&R Wednesday. Check them out.

Monday, November 2, 2009

One Focus....

Monday, November 3, 2009....

Why is it when you're sick, you can only focus on one thing? Well, that's the case with me.

Today, I wanted to catch up on blogging, but can't get passed the fact I'm hungry and want some Indian food.

Since I don't see lamb vindaloo or onion nan falling from the sky into my kitchen, I'll settle for some soup.

Dang the Next Iron Chef America competition for being all about Indian food and dang my DVR for taping it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Today Sucks....

Sunday, November 1, 2009....


Today I was supposed to go into NYC and meet some fellow bloggers and cheer on another blogger running the NYC Marathon, but couldn't. Instead, I'm home on the couch with a horrible earache - actually, a staph ear infection.

It started Thursday and got progressively worse every day. I knew when I got up yesterday if I didn't go to a doctor I'd be miserable today. No way did I want to miss out on meeting fellow bloggers (heck, one drove 8 hours) so I planted my butt in the waiting room of a local hospital's walk-in medical center and waited.

Here's what I experienced while at the walk-in center for 2 hours --

1) A lot of waiting to be checked-in. Not sure what that was about, but 40 minutes and only 2 people ahead of me before my insurance info was taken.

2) A lot of waiting once you were brought into your own exam room.

3) A little boy Timmy, who thought it cool and brave to fall on his head, create a huge opening, but scream & cry when told he needed staples.

4) Discovering that Timmy could cry and cry and cry without anyone ever touching him for 1/2 hour.

5) Feeling horrible and wondering why his parents didn't tell him how 'cool' the staples were going to be (this kid was into the cool factor).

6) Having the PA (Physician's Assistant) examine me and tell me that they are going to treat me for both inner and outer ear infection (yes, I was in a lot of pain). Me, thinking I hope they give me some good drugs to dull the pain.

7) Having the doctor come in after PA, check out my ear, listen to lungs (was a bit confused about that connection) then tell me I might need surgery before disappearing for 5 minutes. WTF???

8) Me, now feeling like little Timmy, have tears welling up (I have a justifiable fear of surgery) and begin breathing techniques to calm self down before doc gets back.

9) Learning he wanted me on IV drug, but Cipro and Bactrim are prescribed. This is when I'm told I have a staph ear infection (didn't have a clue what it meant, but his deadpan expression told me I should be very concerned). I was also informed if the swelling on my face didn't disappear that evening, I needed to get to the ER.

10) Later, I called my sister the nurse, to find out a staph infection in the ear can spread to the sinuses which can go up to the brain and kill you. Glad I didn't know this in the medical center.

11) For the rest of the evening, my husband kept looking at my face, not in a lovingly way, but to monitor my swelling. I can only imagine what he would have been like if we had kids together.

Today, my ear hurts. My jaw is stiff. It is not fun to chew food and my ear canal is swollen.

In a roundabout way, I am thankful I was supposed to meet up with some bloggers. If I wasn't, I probably would have avoided going to the doctors and heaven knows what would have happened. For this, I will even congratulate Otin on the Yankees' win last night.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Unplugging....

Thursday, October 29, 2009.....

About 8 years ago, my sister and I started an annual (well, almost) tradition this time of year -- we go to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts.

It's been 2 years since our last journey, but I'm really missing it this year. I know, I can hear people saying, 'Oh, LMB can't go away to an amazing spa for one week. Boo hoo - Get a life.'

I get it. In fact, I constantly say the same thing to me. However, I have to tell you what I really appreciate about this trip is that it gives me the time to truly reconnect with me.

I journal, catch up on reading by a glorious fire, try out new lifestyle changes, eat healthy, exercise, and yes, I fully embrace spa treatments.

The management and staff are wonderful -- always smiling, always nice.

So, for one week, I take 5 days of it to regroup, and it is wonderful. I come back refreshed and also with some great tips to live the life I want. In addition, I get to refocus in a beautiful location with no interruptions or nasty people to push my buttons.

Today, I am going to try to recreate this scenario for 24 hours. My husband will be out-of-town tonight and I planned a day I might have had at the spa. I'm unplugging my phones, t.v. and computer for 24 hours. If this goes well, I might consider doing this for an entire weekend right before the holidays gets into full swing.

I'm looking forward to reconnecting and pampering me with NO interruptions.

Till Friday....

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 28, 2009....


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Monday was the perfect weather - 65 and sunny. I took advantage of it and went for a nice walk.

Rave: I love sleeping to the sound of rainfall. My only issue is getting up in the morning.

Rave: I'm going to meet some bloggers IRL this weekend. I'm treking into NYC to see OP run in the NYC Marathon and hope to connect with Otin, Midtown Girl and whoever else Otin connects with. I'm very excited!

Rave: My first food pantry dinner was so much fun it may require it's own entry. How can you capture the magic of potatoes in a can and seahorses in 2 lines. You just can't.

Rave: The meeting with the people at my mother's nursing home went well last week and I believe the resolution will protect my mom from being hit in the future.



That's it for me. Can you believe no Rants? Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fashion Faux Pas....

Thursday, October 22, 2009....


Yesterday, I blogged about finding a heavenly pair of slippers. I'm all about comfort and having worked out of my home prior to becoming unemployed, slippers became the preferred footwear in my office.

Although I love my new slippers....




....and have a been a bit out of touch with the latest shoe fashion, I do know not to wear them outside my home. I'm pretty confident my wonderful slippers will not be worn by the models on any runway at Bryant Park during fashion week.

Imagine my surprise when I saw a woman wearing my same slippers the other night. Seriously, I wanted to ask where her Snuggie was, but didn't. Instead, as I waited for my name to be called for the focus study, I couldn't keep my eyes off her feet.

Did I miss the memo about slippers becoming the hot new fashion for outer foot wear?

Even if I did, I still don't think I would wear outside the home. Sometimes, no matter how much something is considered 'in-fashion', I'm a rebel and go against the grain of every fashion magazine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 21, 2009.....


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Tomorrow is my first Food Pantry Dinner Club. I've lost 6 lbs and will be donating 36 lbs of food to the local food pantry.

Rant: Jules and her out-of-tune Tuesdays this week. I have insomnia tonight and her version of When I'm 64 with wimpy-ass Ken in a pink car keeps going through my mind. Thanks a lot Jules.

Rave: My Brussels sprout plants are starting to sprout. I bet you're saying who cares --- well, I do.

Rant: I suck at blogging lately, but promise to do something about it.

Rave: I participated in a focus group the other night, but because I was an alternate, I had to wait 15 minutes before they decided they didn't need me and I was paid $100.

Rave: A meeting is setup with my mother's nursing home and the Ombudsman person tomorrow. There is a resolution to the issue with the resident who hits my mom that is far better than their original suggestion.

Rave: These were sent to me the other day from Cabela's -- the world's best slippers. They weren't supposed to arrive until today, but appeared on my doorstep 5 days early. My feet couldn't be happier.

Rave: Loving that the nights are getting are colder. I love to sleep with the window open. Sure, it drives hubby nuts, but I LOVE it (maybe if I didn't steal most of the blankets he'd appreciate it like I do).

Rave: Some bloggers (Midtown Girl, Tasha, Kys, Baker Girl and Jenny Mac) thought of me and my little blog. Each gave me a cool award which I will be posting about in a future post and I want to thank them. Thanks :-)

Rave: Apparently, the answers to my last meme have me appear as a very sweet and innocent blogger. Hmmmm...I like that.


That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Shout Outs...

Monday, October 19, 2009....


Over the weekend, two people accomplished amazing feats that I want to recognize.

IRL, my friend Sue, an amazing athlete who come rain or shine, works out at 4:30 a.m. daily, placed 2nd in a 4 woman boat coming in 2 seconds after the first place winner.

When I was texting her the other night, she was disappointed and I quickly pointed out that she could row an amazing race and come in 2nd or .....be sitting on the couch watching t.v..

Sometimes people don't recognize their accomplishments and need lazy couch potatoes, like me, to remind them how AWESOME they are.

Sue, does not have a blog, but the other shout out I want to give does --Living and Loving in LA who ran in the Nike Women's Marathon this past weekend.

My favorite tweet was this: "Mile 11 and all we can think about is beer. Oh, and the finish line! Only 15m to go!"

If you have a moment, stop by Erin's blog and congratulate her. I've walked a marathon and remember the months of training and what it takes. IT'S HUGE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I'm in a Meme Mood....

Friday, October 16, 2009.....


Yeah, yeah, I know another meme, but I'm in a meme mood these days. Miss Nobody posted a meme (actually two) and I couldn't resist this one.

Guilty or Innocent?

You can only answer the question with Guilty or Innocent. If you play along, please let me know, I'd love to read your responses.

Oh yeah, I am not allowed to explain anything unless you message me and ask - but there is no guarantee I'll answer

You're supposed to copy and paste this into your notes , delete my answers, type in your answers and tag to your friends to answer this. I'm not tagging a soul. Steal it if you want.


Asked someone to marry you? Innocent
Ever kissed someone of the same sex? Innocent
Danced on a table in a bar? Innocent I think...
Ever told a lie? Guilty.
Had feelings for someone whom you can’t have back? Guilty.
Kissed a picture? Innocent
Slept in until 5 PM? Innocent
Fallen asleep at work/school? Guilty
Held a snake? Innocent.
Been suspended from school? Innocent.
Worked at a fast food restaurant? Guilty.
Stolen from a store? Innocent.
Been fired from a job? Innocent.
Done something you regret? Guilty
Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Guilty.
Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Guilty.
Kissed in the rain? Guilty
Sat on a roof top? Guilty
Kissed someone you shouldn’t? Guilty.
Sang in the shower? Guilty.
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? Guilty
Shaved your head? Innocent.
Had a boxing membership? Innocent.
Made a boyfriend cry? Guilty.
Been in a band? Innocent.
Shot a gun? Guilty.
Donated Blood? Innocent.
Eaten alligator meat? Innocent.
Eaten cheesecake? Guilty.
Still love someone you shouldn’t? Innocent

Have/had a tattoo? Innocent.
Liked someone, but will never tell who? Innocent.
Been too honest? Guilty.
Ruined a surprise? Innocent.
Ate in a restaurant and got really bloated that you couldn’t walk afterwards? Guilty.
Erased someone in your friends list? Guilty.
Dressed in a woman’s clothes (if you’re a guy) or man’s clothes (if you’re a girl)? Innocent.
Joined a pageant? Innocent.
Been told that you’re handsome or beautiful by someone who totally meant what they said? Guilty.
Had communication with your ex? Guilty.
Got totally drunk on the night before exam? Guilty.
Got totally angry that you cried so hard? Guilty.

That's it....Have a great weekend

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 14, 2009....


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Sunday was my 1 year anniversary. We had a very nice weekend and when I asked my husband if he would do it all again, he said "yes".

Rant: People....how hard is it to merge on the highway?! Seriously. I was driving home the other night on I95. Construction was going on and we had to merge down to 1 lane. I HAD thought the rule was to let one car in front of you to keep traffic steady. I had let a tractor trailer in AND a minivan (who couldn't comprehend I let him in and was driving 1/2 in lane, 1/2 in shoulder -- I missed this driving technique in driving school). However, some YA-HOO from NJ decides to drive along the side of my car. He was in my blind spot and there was no way I could let him in without getting into an accident (the shoulder was closing in on him). Eventually he realized what I did and WAITED HIS TURN. Folks, just because I let 2 cars in, doesn't mean I'm going to let EVERYONE in. WAIT-YOUR-TURN. When did we lose this concept?


Rave: The state omnibud's person for Long Term Care. We're having a situation with the nursing home my mother is in. She was struck by another patient (not the first time) and their solution was to move her into a different wing, a semi-private room because it is easier for the staff to do this then address the issue. The omnibud speaks on our behalf, but with the weight of a hammer, not a feather duster.


Rant: I'm mad at me. With the recent events of my dad, I'm not recognizing his lying is really not lying, just a person who is older and their memory is going. I witnessed his lies and went ape-shit on my sister because, well, I thought he was lying. After talking with him last night about a particular situation and thinking about it overnight, I realize he wasn't lying in his mind, he really didn't remember.

Rant: Going through my dad's voicemail. He didn't know how to access it. Guess what? 160 phone messages is time consuming. Most are sweepstakes calls, but the scams they use to have him call them back is scary. Some people claim they are with the Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Affairs, one person just said he was an officer, several claimed they worked for either UPS or Fed-X and had an urgent package to send. After I finish listening to them all, I will go in and block his telephone # on the do-not-call directory.

Rant: My Red Sox are out and I have to listen to my hubby go on-and-on about his Yankees until they get knocked out.

That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gloating....

Monday, October 12, 2009....

Did you ever hear the expression: Gloating causes wrinkles? Well, it does.

My husband is going to be very surprised when he wakes up in a few days looking as though he's 95.

It's one thing to gloat about his Yankees winning, but I don't need any reminders about my Red Sox.

Maybe I should purchase some Geritol or Depends to go with his new look.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Awards Sunday

Sunday, October 11, 2009.....





If I'm posting on Sunday, it must mean another Blogger Awards Sunday. Host: LMB dressed in her finest bathrobe. Setting: Sitting in front of laptop, properly accepting a lovely award from another blogger and paying it forward.

Today's award is from Living and Loving in LA. She may not even remember bestowing the Sugar Doll Award, but I haven't forgotten....okay, I'm just slow. Heck, I was busy the past month and a half doing lots of nothing....

Without further adieu, lets get down to the show. I must now, according to the rules, tag 10 other bloggers and list 10 interesting facts about myself. Assuming you can handle such information, here goes nothing:

1. I need a lot of pillows to sleep. I've been known to steal from others. Wait. I don't steal, I openly take them from others. Two pillows is NOT enough.

2. I trained dogs for the circus to jump through hoops of fire. Okay, I didn't. But, it sounds much more interesting than telling you at one point in my life I was in the insurance industry.

3. I don't drink real coffee. Mocha, caramel yes. But, I'm a tea drinker.

4. I have never watched a Rocky movie and plan to go through life without seeing one.

5. I own a small wine collection which include some 1965 Chilean wines and 73 Saint Emilions.

6. I was in the Guiness Book of World Records in 2006 as being part of the most sea kayakers launching simultaneously (303) - heck, the event is even in Wikipedia.

7. I'm a big lover of Guiness (figured I'd tied this one in to #6).

8. I have a friend that can touch her nose with her tongue (look everything doesn't have to be about me)....

9. I love old movie classics.

10. I used to love peanut butter and pickle sandwiches as a kid.

The 10 bloggers I choose to know more about are:

McGillicutty
Goose
Adorably Distracted
kk
The Sorority
Stereos & Souffles
Lola
very married
neske
Eyes Wide Open

I can't wait to know more about you.

Update: I just read Edder and was informed the I Shoulda Been a Stripper Award should really be the Premium Meme Award and asked that the bunny be replaced with the right award, correct picture.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Over the Top and Through the Moon

Thursday, October 8, 2009....


I know it's not Awards Sunday, but this award came with a meme that I couldn't resist. The fantabulous Actual Scale has bestowed upon me an award.





So the rules are:
Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. You must use only one word answers!

Once you have filled it out you then pass it on to 6 of your favorite bloggers and alert them that they have been awarded.

1. Where is your cell phone? Living Room

2. Your hair? Brunette

3. Your mother? Alzheimers

4. Your father? Spidey Man

5. Your favorite food? Brussel Sprouts

6. Your dream last night? Horrible

7. Your favorite drink? Diet Cola

8. Your dream/goal? Balance

9. What room are you in? Office

10. Your hobby? Varies

11. Your fear? Rodents

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? On Earth

13. Where were you last night? home

14. Something that you aren't? President of the United States

15. Muffins? Cranbury Nut

16. Wish list item? Financial Security

17. Where did you grow up? By the WWE

18. Last thing you did? Blog

19. What are you wearing? Clothes

20. Your TV? 36"

21. Your pets? Dead

22. Friends? Great

23. Your life?Turmoil

24. Your mood? Varies

25. Missing someone? Nope

26. Vehicle? Passat

27. Something you’re not wearing? condom

28. Your favorite store? William Sonoma

29. Your favorite color? Green or Blue

30. When was the last time you laughed?

31. Last time you cried? Yesterday

32. Your best friend? Several

33. One place that I go to over and over? Supermarket

34. One person who emails me regularly? sister

35. Favorite place to eat? At a table

The six bloggers I want to pass this on to are:

Jules
Kelly
Sunshine Meg
Miss Nobody Scribbles
P
kyslp

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rant and Rave Wednesday

Wednesday, October 7, 2009....


Any readers following me on a regular basis know if it's Wednesday, it's time to Rant and Rave about the past week. Without further adieu, here are my Rants and Raves from the past week:

Rave: Started a dinner club that will not only create fun evenings with friends, but help out the local food pantry.

Rant: Scumbag that tried ripping off my dad with a fake sweepstakes scheme (posted about this Spidey Man and the Bandits)

Rant Gourmet magazine going out of business. I LOVE that magazine.

Rave/Rant: I caved in and am now the owner of the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. I've read so many bloggers having great results with it, but don't think they got results from sitting on the couch, eating some coconut gelato and just watching it. Yeah, I did that. Coconut gelato is heavenly. I actually plan to do the program, but wanted to know what I was signing up for.

Rave: Got to see gf yesterday for lunch and was able to eat outside by the Saugatuck River.

Rave: I was bestowed with the Over the Top Award from Actual Scale that has this crazy meme attached to it. I'm stoked. One word answers reminds me of 'What is Jeopardy Alex'? and I love Jeopardy. I'll either post this meme tomorrow or on Award Sundays.




Thanks Actual Scale.

Rant: Insomnia. It's back and larger than life. I could rant about several other things at moment, but am just too exhausted. Worst part, when I have been able to sleep the past few nights, I dream about people who have been really mean to me in the past and wake myself up. They're in my past for a reason and I don't want them visiting me when I'm trying to get some sleep.


That's it for me. Any Rants and Raves you want to share? I would love to read them. Just click on the linky thing. This way, I won't miss a person that wishes to post their own R&R Wednesday. I hope it works again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today is Free Food Day Tuesday.....

Tuesday, October 6, 2009.....

No. This does not mean I'm cooking anyone dinner tonight.

Every Tuesday I weigh in, and every Tuesday, I don't count a single calorie or log my food in my journal. I've mentioned that I want to concentrate more on the process than the actual goal of this weight loss journey (probably because I haven't decided what I want as my goal) and not feeling as though I'm depriving myself is part of the process.

I also realized the WW promotion ends October 17th (they give $1 for every pound you lose up to $1 million dollars) and was a bit saddened by this, so I did something about it.

Yesterday, I decided to organize a monthly dinner with a meaningful purpose. I've asked guests to bring a pound of food for every pound I lose the previous month at Weight Watchers which I will deliver to the local food bank.

The monthly dinner parties are limited to six people and I'm already booked for this month with one on the waiting list.

One gf is traveling 40 minutes to come, but has asked if she and her daughter can come with me when I deliver the food. I'm so touched by this request.

I'm down a total of 5.8 lbs (3.4 weight loss this past week) and am highly motivated to lose more for others.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Spidey Man and the Bandits.....

Monday, October 5, 2009....

Last Monday, I posted about a scam phone call I received (Mish Mash Monday) and many posted comments about how scary this was because elderly people would probably get taken.

When I was reading your comments I never imagined that Spidey Man (my 87 year old father -- see Spidey Man Intro for better peek of my dad) would be the victim of such scam artists. But, he was.

Spidey is very protective of his personal information and when Publisher's Clearing House called to tell him he won $2.5 million dollars, he was thrilled. Luckily, he shared this tidbit with my other sister as he was driving her home from the train station Friday night.

He told her they were coming to the house Saturday to go to the bank with him where he'd give them a check for $350 and they'd make the transfer of $2.5 million into his account.

She lost her mind (rightfully so), but couldn't be there Saturday to greet the scam artists, so she called me.

Bill and I called the police department the night before, not much could really be done, but we were to get license plate #. My other sister arranged with the neighbor for us to park in their driveway so the scumbag, oh, I mean scam artist, wouldn't know we were there.

We go to Spidey Man's early Saturday a.m., Bill armed with a camera and me with a lot of sorrow and disgust knowing there are people who would rob an old man of his life savings.

Bill stayed by the car because he wanted to surprise the scumbags, oops, there I go again, I mean scam artists, and I went in.

Luckily, my dad listened to my sister and thought about what she said. The fake Publisher's Clearing house people called and when he told the person he hadn't mailed them the check and a trusted finance person told him not to do this, the representative told him to hold for the President of Publisher's Clearing House.

The "President" also tried to convince my dad what a great deal this was, Spidey told them under no terms not to come to the house and no check was going to be mailed to them. Publishing Clearing House hung up on him.

We had a long chat. I learned they wanted him to mail a check for $350 to a residential address in Charlotte, NC to handle the mailing expenses of the $2.5 million dollar check. Oh. My. God. Really? Has anyone paid $350 in shipping charges to send an envelope via UPS? Besides, if they were already coming over to go to the bank with my dad to give him the check, why does he have to incur a shipping charge?

Things I learned from my dad about this call:

1. When the scumbags (okay, let's just call them what they are) called, they told him they were from Publisher's Clearing House in Syosett, NY (I explained to Spidey any info can be found on the Internet).

2. They wanted $350 for shipping via UPS (asked my dad had he ever incurred a shipping charge that high for mailing a package....and asked him if he thought it fair to pay upfront for a winning).

3. My dad asked me how they knew he had submitted entries to Publishing Clearing House (I explained they probably didn't, but because he was receptive to their statement they went with it).


This was a close call. He had a check in an envelope ready to go (I ripped into pieces) and I gave him some info about scam sweepstakes to read. I told him the best defense was to be armed with knowledge.

Spidey is afraid, okay paranoid, about someone getting his personal info and we discussed what had happened. I explained once they had his banking info they could steal and worse case scenario remortgage his house and default on the loan. He thought the bank would stop someone from electronically withdrawing funds from his account and when I told him it wasn't their responsibility to do this, his ears perked up.

He went to the bank with a list of checks that he had written and froze the account (except for these checks). He was going to close it out and open a new one.

Only after explaining to him how other elderly people without children could be taken by these scumbags did he easily give up the info. I think he was embarrassed for falling for such a scam, but I assured him, others of all ages are being taken.

I just don't know what to really do with this info to make a difference and stop others from being taken.

I wonder if UPS or Publisher's Clearing House have gotten complaints from similar scams?

It broke my heart to see my dad, a man I leaned on growing up, be taken. Things will be changing for him and I hope he'll be able to cope.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Awards Sunday

Sunday, October 4, 2009.....




Today is the first of several Sundays where I will properly accept and pass along the wonderful awards other bloggers have given me while sitting in my oh-so-chic bathrobe sipping my diet coke (don't judge, early morning fix and I don't drink real coffee)....

Edder from I Don't Care for Your Tone gave me the I've Shoulda Been a Stripper Award.

The guidelines of this award are to list 7 of your personality traits, as evidenced on your blog and then pass the award on to 7 other blogs with notable personality. I’ve also been told that you are allowed to keep a copy of said award on my sidebar forever. And ever.

I've already listed my 7 personality traits in a previous post (I posted about it here), but need to acknowledge the 7 bloggers I feel could not only ride the pole, but master it.

They are:


Jenny Mac at Let's Have a Cocktail
Yvonne at Yo Mama's Blog
Deborah at The Peach Tart
Candice at Life According to Candice
LiLu at Livit Luvit
CheekyMonkey at Lacochran's Bloggery

and....

The Organic Meatbag

Sorry, no bills will be put in your G-String and I will not be asking for any lap dances.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Five Simple Words

Friday, October 2, 2009....


Joanna at The Fifty Factor posted this great entry about using five words to help you know someone.

It's a meme that caught my eye. Here's how it works. Joanna was given 5 words from another blogger and she did a post about the words she was given (which I've linked to above). She then offered to give 5 words to someone else. I thought it would be fun, so now I'm going to post on the five words she gave me. If you want to join in, tell me in the comments and I'll send you your own five words!

1. Cooking: If you're new to my blog and have not read my profile, you would not know that cooking is my passion. Cooking, like breathing, is crucial to my existence. I own over 200 cookbooks and LOVE them all. In May 2009, I realized I really hadn't a clue how many books I really have and decided instead of just counting the books, I'd choose 4/5 recipes from 5 books a month and cook them. May went well.....June went into July and into August (I guess I forgot the power of hot summers killing the desire to be around a hot stove) but I'm back in the groove and am doing a month of healthy/low fat cooking.

2. Grateful: Several years back, I had a health issue which was life threatening. It was during this time that I realized how lucky I was to have such great people in my life. Over time, both good and bad stuff has happened to me and I recently got sucked into letting the bad rule my emotions. I had trouble seeing the good in any situation and it really clouded my judgement.

Years ago, I saw Jerry Posner speak at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA about the practice of gratitude and how it changed his life. For 7 years, he kept a gratitude journal. Everyday he wrote down 5 things he was grateful for in his life and after 7 years noticed his life had shifted. His positive energy was infectious.

I had read about the benefits of the practice of gratitude in many books, but I got to see the first hand results. After his speech, I kept one for about 1 1/2 years, but in the past year, stopped. I was consumed more with what I didn't have than what I do. I couldn't do it because I guess I let the negative shit in my life control me.

About a month ago, I started it again. Some days I find it hard to do, but I have noticed a shift in thinking is going on again. Before blowing up over petty stuff, I ask myself is this really going to impact my life? Most times the answer is no and I let it go.

3. Travel I miss it. I miss it a lot more than I thought I would. Being unemployed has eliminated my ability to travel and explore new places. I've been to England, walked a marathon in Dublin Ireland, lounged on beaches in Mexico and Aruba, taken a mini-cross country excursion out West helping a friend move, hiked the Grand Canyon for 7 days and explored many other cities. Each hold special memories for me and I know I will travel again. I'd love to bike through the countryside of France, kayak in Alaska and cook in Tuscany. These are just a few places I plan to visit.

4. Goals: I have big ones, small ones, long term and daily goals. Over the years my goals have changed to reflect where I am in life. For now, I'm striving to find a job that excites me every day to get up; lose weight, try 44 new things my 44th year of life, declutter and streamline my home, run a relay with my two sisters, and cook many new recipes.

5. Marriage: If you asked me this question 10 years ago, I would have said crippling, lonely and miserable. I was with my ex for 15 years. We met and married young. I was in a marriage with the wrong man. He was in a marriage with the wrong woman.

For so many reasons this marriage ended. Once divorced, I realized how happy I was and it was better to be happy and alone, then remarried and miserable. I expected to be single the rest of my life, but then I met Bill.

One morning I woke up and knew I wanted to grow old with him. Next Sunday, October 11th will be our one year anniversary and I consider myself blessed to have found such a wonderful man.