Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Every once and a while, my online friend, the one I've never met, but the one who shows me beauty in a land I once called home, says something on her blog and I immediately Google the phrase or thought.  Yesterday it was 'red squirrel'.  Apparently, they now have signs in Britain asking you to go SLOW for red squirrels. hmmmm...my mind went, as my fingers immediately opened a new Firefox tab, and went to The Google, a place as encroaching on our privacy as The NSA. Nuff said. I still wanted an answer as to why Britain slowed for red squirrels, not gray or black ones. Racial profiling? Probably not.

But I also started to ponder - When do we not immediately go to The Google when there is a question in our head or on our minds? Have a discussion at dinner? or with family?  or a with spouse? and what is the final arbitrator? The Google. As soon as a question arises, out come the iPhones or other smart phones, and the issue is settled. Extra points for the one reaching the truth first!

But, remember the days when questions arose and you ... you just wondered? You could spend hours just thinking about the idea, the question, and just wonder because in many or even most cases, there was no easy way to answer the question. Parents or siblings or spouses might know it but more likely they might not.  Rarely could it be answered immediately.

Perhaps a look at the ubiquitous Encyclopedia Britannica that resided prominently in my house while I grew up would have the answer. If the answer wasn't solvable there, there was no option to try another search response. Paper doesn't understand the Boolean Search concept.  You had to think how to rephrase that question or again..just wonder. Perhaps a trip to the library might solve the issue, if you remembered the question or considered it important enough to make a trip to the library. Would the library be open? Could you phrase the question so that the librarian could help you fiddle through ponderous reference books or hunt through a paper card catalog. (And yes, damnation to those unspeakable souls who stole cards, rather than write down the reference numbers of many of the missing cards.) If you did find a card with a promising book, would it even be on the shelves? Did you even care anymore? So many blocks to immediate answers.

It's no wonder that in most cases, when a question like red squirrels in Britain came up, you wondered and then let the subject go into that limitless vat of unanswered questions. At some point in grade school, I had a question about the Great Wall of China. I asked my teacher who was stumped at by that question and so I put it on my mental list of things I would ask in heaven when I died. Today, I don't remember what the question was, but if I did, I'd check with The Google. Heaven is probably a place for better occupations but maybe not. I'll leave that one to just plain pondering.

Every now and then you see an article saying people - children especially - aren't as curious as they once were. Rubbish. Check how many Google searches each person makes in a day or even refers to sites like Pinterest or YouTube to SEE the answer to a question. Does having immediate answers make us less curious or are we now allowed to consider more questions because we get answers Right Now. While I don't have an answer to that, I suspect there are probably many studies out there I could reference by searching...you know where.  Oh, and are you still wondering about those red squirrels that you should slow down for? and why only those? Well of course, The Google led me to Wikipedia who told me that the red squirrels in Britain are diminishing because of the introduction of the American Gray Squirrels into Britain and Europe.  Perhaps I should Google Illegal Immigration of Rodents but most likely I won't. Sometimes, enough information is enough.

Monday, October 28, 2013

AAM Monday Project Life Week 42

The weeks in this time of year always seem to go so quickly for me. The days are shorter, there's less light to shoot in and it always seems that summer lingers longer than it should, could. Halloween season comes and we're still wearing lighter weight clothing and the house seems cluttered, not cozy - yet.  The Jotul is on during the day but at night it seems too warm for this cover and too cold for that one. Shifting...changing...slowly.

HomeGoods....I'm ready for you! Can I wait til Spring????

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Want To Be Happy?

10 Easy Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science - See more at: http://www.themindunleashed.org/2013/10/10-easy-things-that-will-make-you.html?m=1#sthash.Vq5TkTC8.dpuf
 10 Easier Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed by Science

my uncle and aunt on right

10 Easy Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science - See more at: http://www.themindunleashed.org/2013/10/10-easy-things-that-will-make-you.html?m=1#sthash.Vq5TkTC8.dpuf

Really good items that are not hard at all. Check them out and see what you can include in your life.
The original article is here.
10 Easy Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science - See more at: http://www.themindunleashed.org/2013/10/10-easy-things-that-will-make-you.html?m=1#sthash.Vq5TkTC8.dpuf

10 Easy Things That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science - See more at: http://www.themindunleashed.org/2013/10/10-easy-things-that-will-make-you.html?m=1#sthash.Vq5TkTC8.dpuf

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five on Friday: October 25, 2013

Yes, fall has arrived! It's BRISK outside!

1. In fact, it's so brisk I have decided to give myself a pass on aerobics this am. It's a bit of a reward for...

2. Becoming a certified Hospice Volunteer! My training is complete and once I have an interview to go over positions, godwilling, it will all fall into place. I am a bit more hesitant about doing actual patient care in the Resident wing after our hands on session last night. NO, not on actual patients. That would have been cruel but getting a thorough overview of what those volunteers actually do. I'm not quite sure I'm up to it...yet.

3. Have you ever wondered why some phrases change? Back in the day, ok back in my day, we graduated FROM hs/colllege etc and we waited IN line. Today it seems one graduates hs, graduates college and waits ON line.  How did those phrases change and why? Inquiring minds want to know...

4. The curried lentil/chickpea soup is finally gone so today I hope to make another mainly vegetarian soup - heavy on the bean side of life. Perhaps this will be the farewell to this year's basil soup.

5. There are Photostream issues on my iPhone. Somehow I now only have 71 images in Photostream but new photos are going right into Camera Roll - as they should - but not appearing in Photostream and thus not synching with my iMac. Again, my mind wonders.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Last Day of School - Sorta

I feel a bit like a kid finishing up my last night of Hospice Training. It's not like I'll know it all for sure but it's been quite a month. Classes are usually about 4+ hours and the drive to and from Easton is about an hour each way. You can never be sure about the Bay Bridge traffic and god forbid an accident on Route 50. It's always best to go to the bathroom before this trip - just in case. kwim?

I have thoroughly enjoyed the classes even tho I am a natural born classroom wiggler. Even in college, I could feel my body (and butt!) getting restless after sitting for 45 minutes. Those last 15 minutes were usually a killer as I wiggled round in my seat, restless and ready to get up and stand, walk ...anything other than sit. I have been known to be able to sit quietly on a stage, ladylike and well behaved for extended periods of time when it was required in a former job. Fortunately, at some point in all that sitting, I would be getting up to make a short speech so I knew a break would come eventually. But I was 20 years younger then and my old restless self is back.

It's a good thing that I have the various exercise classes in the mornings to give my body a bit of moving about before the evening's marathon sit. Tonight will involve some more standing and doing some 'hands on' work though I'm not sure what that will involve. I do know that I have loved the training and have been very grateful to the Talbot Hospice for the quality of speakers and the loving kindness they have all radiated. They set a high standard for those of us who are training to be volunteers.So as much as I'm glad to be done with the 6 hrs of sitting, I know I will miss the camaraderie and love I've had over these 4 or so weeks.   But next comes putting that training into action. That's the progression and I look forward to the next stage, with only a bit of trepidation!

Talbot Hospice

Monday, October 21, 2013

AAM Monday: Project Life, Week That Went Astray

I had been thinking that the last PL I posted might not have been a consecutive week. Yep, week 41 got blogged before week 40. In the scheme of life, it's not a biggie but it only goes to show that the mind is going.... Too much driving, too much sitting in training, and the brain cells don't function as they could, Should!

Or maybe it's galloping old age. Whatever.

So for your enjoyment, I present the 'out-of-sequence' week 40.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Five on Friday: October 18, 2013

This has been one of those weeks. I tried not to fill it up too much while dh was away but it did get jammed. Things went downhill fast on Sunday night when I went to start the dishwasher and saw that the pipes under the sink had come loose.  A lot of scheduled things needed to be shifted with the usual domino effect.  Kind of like when you have children living at home and there's one blip and it ripples out everywhere. I'd forgotten what that is like. Happily forgotten.

1. The under-the-sink episode did get me to thoroughly clean out that area which wasn't too bad other than pureed tomatoes spattered everywhere. It now is a bit more functional and looks tidy. Always a plus in my book.

2. I've started Hospice Training and I'm loving it. However, the twice weekly nightime drive to and fro plus the hours of training add up to a lot of sitting.  With the shifts due to a plumber visit, I've missed some exercise classes that I certainly could have used. Boy was I getting stiff! Next week is the final week and so any driving I do to Easton afterwards will most likely be in the daytime and won't involve Just Sitting.

3. Finally found the missing last bit of Halloween decorations etc. Of course some of the items can move into November but not all. One year, I'll get them all out BEFORE October!! Trouble is is that it's usually still hot in September and my mind doesn't want to go to thoughts of Halloween. Gotta retrain that brain.

4. Have you noticed how many new pins on Pinterest are not full links anymore? Or they link back to Tumbler which is a royal pain because it's just an image. Nada as far as any how to. This makes me cross. Boo Hiss.

5. There's another Vince Flynn 'Mitch Rapp' book on my reading list - The Third Option. I have read one or two of this series  years ago but otherwise I'm reading them in order. Sadly, I just saw the Vince Flynn died this year. Sigh...

 It's finally getting more fall like here and with a full moon too! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Project Life Week 41? not exactly

I didn't use the 'formal' PL layout this week because sometimes a girl just needs a change.  But Week 41 is done and that's what counts. I have two projects I'd like to get a move on so PL has to be quick as can be and still be a good representation of the week.

btw, I think it's now time to get a whole batch uploaded to Persnickety. I have my credits from their sale so mush on girl, mush on!

And that's a wrap! On to week 42 this weekend.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

PL Week 39 Beach Time

Week 39 was a week down at Myrtle Beach. We were fortunate not to have rain nor any sign of a hurricane. What we did have was a man with shingles and a grandson too jammed for a visit. I worried (rightly so) that he was burning himself less than a year after having mononucleosis. But it was just as well that he was so busy because the drive to and from Columbia might not have been so good for my own patient.  We didn't even leave Myrtle Beach and the only jaunt was to North Myrtle Beach! LOL

The views from the villas never fails to impress. Gotta love that ocean view and sound. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Was That More Rain?

Yes, yes, it was. Someone asked me Thursday night when the rain would stop. (Just call me Ms. Delphi if you like.) I said what I thought I'd read in the newspaper. In about 5 days. Well so far, that seems to be on schedule. It isn't just that it's raining, it's that it's a downpour and then it stops. You get kind of fooled thinking it may be a bit less wet and then it starts up again. Drizzle, drizzle and then another heavy rain.

I really am not complaining because I have a lot of things to get caught up inside the house, but it does make me a bit more reluctant to get out of pajamas and into outside clothes. I did decide that it was time to switch the summer tshirts etc to the depth of the closet and pull the winter ones front and center. Maybe if I have my heavier clothes in front of my nose I'll get dressed!

I have about three feet of my closet that is back in a hard-to-reach-corner. I suspect this closet was built in about the 1940s when there apparently was a fire in the bedroom. Prior to that the bedrooms most likely just had standing wardrobes typical of a 1910 house. That fire was before my ownership of the house but told to me by a woman who lived in the house then. Sounds like smoking in bed! In any case a closet was built on one of the walls and the bi-fold doors only cover the opening that was apparently built to fit those doors. I've often wondered whether it was worth rebuilding the closet wall to open that corner but mostly I just gave up that thought... too much mess and I never mentally resolved how to replace those doors with something better.

Once I finish the rehanging of my summer stuff ( they go from green hangers to white which makes the seasonal items that linger easily spot-able ) I will be ready to face the changing of the bedding. That needs a sunny day to hang linens on the line. Put away with the outdoors scent makes even the linen drawer smell wonderful. It's also time to strip the stalks of lavender that are ready to scent the drawers also. Yes, I am truly a Nana!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Five on Friday: October 11, 2013

Wow this week has gone by in a flash!  Some of it has been a lot of exercise classes. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are aerobics. Tuesday and Thursday are Pilates. Friday is also a chair Yoga.  I like them all but that aerobics still kicks my butt and I leave with my hair dripping. It's funny in class how weird it feels to have the sweat dripping from my hair onto my neck.  Good for my but I've never been a happy sweat person. I'm learning to Get Over It.

1. My poor dh is still having the occasional nerve pain from the shingles. I've wondered what determines the area of the body that is affected by the ailment.

2. Baking is back! and I'm going to have to watch it. I made some delish brownies which I could have eaten in one sitting I think. Fortunately, we had some resolve and the pan lasted a few days. Not a long time but long enough to feel we had been sorta good.

3. Near failure. That was the batch of peanut butter cookies I made and that was the batch that burned. I said call them heavily caramelized and let's eat them. We are but I didn't have the energy to make the 2nd batch that was going to go to my grandson. Bad Nannie.

4. Halloween printing of banners for grandchildren is done. Now I just have to string them and mail them!

5. The autumn winds and weather have arrived. We also have had some very heavy rain due to the tropical storm Karen. It's been enough to put a chill through me and make me want to bake more and eat all that baking. It's also time for fall soups, preferably some good bean soups. Gotta balance that baking!

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Fall...Finally

With a good storm moving through our area, the temperature finally dropped and we got a good bit of rain. Well needed rain. I scrapped. Nothing special just a fall feeling, even though those pumpkins were from our week down in South Carolina. It's all good!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Five on Friday: October 4, 2013

Nice to start off the month with some things I like. It's always easy to find the things that irritate but it's also better to find the things that bring a smile to the face and to the heart.

1. When I read recipes from Jamie Oliver, I often wonder why we in the US don't use these phrases a bit more - a lug of oil or a knob of butter. Unless you're baking, recipes aren't stodgy formulas. I had a friend whose on-line recipe for chimichurri sauce called for several glugs of olive oil.  Someone asked him how much a glug was.  Just listen he said... Pull all the senses in when you cook. Glug, glug, glug. Doesn't that appeal more than three tablespoons or so? Give me a knob of butter, salted or unsalted, and I'm content.

2.Who can resist the first sighting of a batch of pumpkins? Yes, it means peaches are now almost a memory but even if the weather is still hot, those pumpkins bring out the child in all of us.

3. I was fortunate enough to spend a week at the ocean. I don't go in the water any more, no reason in particular, just don't and this time I didn't even bother to walk along the shore. I just looked and listened. The sound of the ocean is about the best sound in the world in my opinion. I wonder, if like having the weather in Southern California, I'd be spoiled if I had that ocean sound all the time. Would I still appreciate it so much?

4. Thinking of peaches, this is one image we didn't see on our trip but I've seen many a time myself driving down south. The Gaffney SC peach. Most of the photos you'll see on line look like they were taken while driving. It IS one of the best ways to get an idea of the size of that peach. And yes, that peach does look like a giant peach colored butt. Totally smile inducing.

5. Finally, the feeling I get when I return home from anywhere. Even if it's been the best of trips, home always gives me that ....well, comforting home feel. Everything fits me just right when I'm home. Clothes sometimes excluded.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Shingles on my Mind - Project Life Week 38

Fortunately, the shingles I'm talking about are just about gone. But week 38 was colored by this unexpected and truly unwanted arrival. My dh believed that they would be gone in about 4 days. He never did have blisters but the pains in his head, not exactly what you'd call a headache, lingered and lingered and lingered. My good friend Judy has had shingles attacks over the years I've known her and sadly Dick, I believe, thought his case would be different as we've both had the shingles vaccine. I don't think he knew how much of a mild case he did have until a full two weeks passed. Please God this will not be a recurring event for him. Sick men are not my strength - yet. Perhaps that will change in the upcoming years. We shall see. In any case, Project Life and I are back to being nearly in synch which is good, because I sure do have a batch of projects I'm itching to get into!

I made Week 38 simple and to the point. The story is told, the images are shown and it's a done deal.

It was a week filled with a lot of unexpected events. Big events and small events. I finally got a new cotton bathmat after a lot, a lot, of looking. I’d still like the old fashioned kind. Judy came over for catchup & we shared our dismay at our studio clutter. She felt better seeing mine. The joy of having the housecleaners come. After seeing last week’s car fire, ambulances on our street took our breath away. They also took someone away on a stretcher. I got my flu shot at the Senior Center & came home with a packet of Twizzlers! A beautiful full moon in a pastel sky. I wanted to get the pigeon on the wires also but I was still learning IOS7. I voted but Dick did not make his election judge position because he came down with shingles. The antibiotics would be a part of his life for two weeks. We did have a good dinner at Chris’s and I made Dick a batch of kedgeree. It didn’t help with the shingles pain but at least his belly was happy. It was rather a stressful week but at least the clean house and the visit from Judy made it bearable for me. Unfortunately, neither of those helped Dick much.

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