Friday, February 29, 2008

And we dance...

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Grateful for strong car doors

I was in a little accident the other night. It didn't seem little at the time. I just sat there after the impact thanking God that the door held. The inside of the car was not changed. I was safe.

My first thought was, "well, I guess I'm not going to the health club." Later, when I told the nurse at the hospital that I was on my way to the health club when the accident happened, she said, "well, maybe tomorrow." She is right. Maybe tomorrow.

I am grateful that my tomorrows are going to be better than my todays and that today was better than yesterday. One day at a time, things get better, old wounds heal, cars get fixed, and I am planning to work out like hell to get in good shape. The doctor said, "you look very strong". I consider that a big compliment. I don't think anyone has ever said that to me before. I am strong! And as I sat quietly waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I felt strong on the inside too. Things are going to be fine.

What doesn't kill me makes me stronger!

Have a great evening.

Blogging to say hi

I am ok. I had a big scare last night, but the car stayed in one piece, I was checked out at the hospital and sent home at 11 p.m. I'm a little sore, but more determined than ever to get into shape. I think my new muscles helped me deal with the shock of the incident.

More to come.

Have a good day.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Me and my buddy!

No more Pitiful Pearl!

George came home safely. He arrived at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, about an hour before the snow started. The snowstorm was responsible for everyone getting off work early on Friday, so I got to come home to watch George nap. Taking the red eye from Hawaii is enough to make anyone want to nap all day. He slept most of Friday, and took another long nap on Saturday, and now he is all better.

George brought me six lovely t-shirts in nice colors that I will enjoy wearing to the health club, and which will see many trips to the washing machine. He went to the flea market and spent so much time choosing the right colors and designs that the seller became surly. I guess there are surly flea market salespeople everywhere...even in paradise.

He also brought candied pineapple, macadamia nuts, Hawaii calendars that were a big bargain at 5 for a dollar (who cares if no one needs another calendar), t-shirts for his grandkids and some really beautiful pearls for me.

On the way to work on Friday morning, he gave me a strand of beautiful brown pearls with a sterling clasp that I put right on. It was an exciting morning! He also bought me a strand of black pearls for me to hand knot, and another beautiful strand of mother of pearl which is white on one side and pearly gray on the other. I have never seen any beads like these, and they will be wonderful to work with. He is always thinking of me, and I was always thinking of him. I am awfully happy to have him back home.

We had a great time at the health club today. He went on my guest pass, and worked with the trainer. It was nice to share that together. Things are looking up!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just a pretty picture

Day to day, today

George is still in Hawaii. He is shopping for t-shirts for me that I can wear to the health club. Who knew that I would go through so many t-shirts in a week. He is shopping for more pearls for me. For $10, the Hawaiian pearl lady will also hand knot them, so I asked him to buy me a necklace made with black pearls that is already made and ready to wear. Can't wait. He visited my niece and her family, including her brave husband who is a Marine and just back from Iraq. They will be stationed for three years in Hawaii and I think that is just wonderful. I wish I had gotten to visit with them too....but .... someday.

Thunder and I rattle around in the big house without George. She isn't sure what to make of the emptier nest. She meows and scratches and wakes me up two or three times during the night looking for the warm body. I have a whole list of things that have to get done when George is not around to do them. I microwaved Thunder's cat food today, to make it just a little warmer, and we both thought of George and all the nice things he does for her.

I also put in a load of laundry, washed the dishes, emptied the garbage, packed my lunch and stopped at the dry cleaner. I miss George a lot when he is not here. My motions are just motions without him and the whole thing seems rather blah. The house seems big, and last night I realized I was turning lamps on just because and I didn't actually need all those rooms lit up. So I turned them back off and retreated to the bedroom to watch the travel channel. I meant to curl up with a good book, but I only got to the curl up part, before I feel asleep.

George will be home Friday morning at 6 a.m. I can't wait!

Aloha, George! Hope you are having a wondertime time!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Yesterday, Michael's beloved kitty, Taniko, died. She was fourteen years old, and he found her as a kitten. Well, actually, his friend Mark found her behind a Taco Bell in Terre Haute, Indiana. Like many of us, Taniko found herself living in many different places and adjusted well to all of them. Taniko died yesterday, just two days after Valentine's Day, of kidney failure. She didn't suffer long.

Taniko was an amazing kitty. She was true calico, with a thick heavy coat, and she was stocky and loved her food. She had lots of personality. Unlike most kitties, Taniko talked. She talked and talked. I never met a cat who wanted to converse with you so much. Meow, meow. She was beautiful, playful and happy.

Taniko and Mike made quite a pair together for several years. Before Mike met Michelle, Taniko was there for company. She played feather, and ball, and had a nice cabinet full of good things to play with. She stayed away from Mike's candles, mostly, only once setting her tail on fire. It was a small hiccup in a very comfortable life. She walked across his keyboard countless times and helped him play the kind-hearted Loral on Evequest.

We will all miss Taniko very much. Everyone hates to see a cat get sick, and it was a blessing, I guess, that Taniko got sick suddenly on Friday and went down fast.

Taniko learned a new skill in the past few months. She learned how to handle a 70-pound (lovable but rambunctious) dog named Jebu, and let him know who was boss. She made cat compromises (of which there are very few) and let him have part of the house. She let him know when his spunkyness and ball gobbling got a little too much for her. She sniffed and spit, but only when he really became unbearably puppylike. She retreated gracefully. She meowed and talked to people, and ate her Iams food, and looked out the window, walked across the keyboards, and even learned to share her window seat with Jebu. That must have been hard!

Taniko has a spirit that will never leave us. She had a nice life, and really went places after her humble beginnings as a starving kitten behind a Taco Bell. She was the best thing a cat can be...a great friend. She was there when Michael needed someone, and we will always love and admire her.

Bless you Taniko!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda....

I just drove home from the sports club after my workout, and realized that I did it all wrong. I should have married a trainer. I signed up for five more hour long expensive sessions against the advice of almost everyone I know. I am convinced that, for me, this is the right thing to do. George has joined a health club too, and my club is offering friends sessions for the rest of this month, so I intend on bringing him in to work out with me.

I have been working out at the health club for a month and a half and I have learned many things. The first thing I have learned is that without a trainer to tell me what to do next, and to encourage me to do more, I would already be floundering. I have learned that being tired is no excuse not to go. When I am tired, and I trudge up those stairs to the cardio bike, I think I am not going to live another minute. After five minutes of warm up at a very reasonable pace, I crank up that machine and my legs just want to move! My tired goes away, my body heats up, the sweat starts to drip, and thoughts of how tired I am fly out the window.

I have learned also that sweating is fun. Who knew? This beautiful cold Saturday morning, I worked on the cardio bike for 40 minutes, listening to some great tunes like Cajun classics, Aaron Neville and Prince. I really had fun! It was hard not to exceed every limit that I have ever had, and my heart rate was faster, my pace was faster, I burned 250 calories (or so) and I felt really great! Then I did 30 minutes on the treadmill simply because I didn't want the music to stop.

I have learned that I can't listen to my head, or anyone else's head either. I have to listen to my body. I don't listen when people at work tell me about their workouts, or their spinning classes, or their trips to the health club so they can sit in the sauna or do yoga. I don't listen to the advice of anyone but the person I pay to help me. A whole new world of exercise is opening up to me. I don't want to tell anyone how much I enjoy lifting weights. I love the burn, the challenge, and I love thinking about it afterwards. Me, of all people, lifting weights! If only I knew that it would be so much fun!

Have a great day!

Friday, February 15, 2008


This morning at 5:00, George left for Hawaii. Without me. We wish him a safe and happy trip. In his suitcase is an American Girl doll for my grand-niece, a pair of binoculars for my nephew and a pretty white embroidered bag for the baby. My niece and her husband are stationed in Hawaii and George gets to visit with them. Seems to me like everyone is going to enjoy the beauty and fun and warm climes of Hawaii, while Thunder and I alone in the cold northeast.

I'm not going to cry. The house is already too quiet. I have made plans to keep myself busy. I will spend longer hours at the health club, and maybe even try out that sauna that everyone seems so keen on. I will eat healthy salads. I know just where to buy a delicious grilled chicken salad on my way home from work. Who wants to cook for one? I am hostess of the Hearts card party at church on Saturday night, so that will get me up and laughing. I have several knitting projects to finish and a good movie, Elizabeth, The Golden Age, with Cate Blanchett, on it's way from Netflix.

George and I finally finished watching the whole series of Deadwood on Netflix. We started before Christmas, had a marathon of watching Deadwood at Mike's house at Christmastime, and just finished on Monday night. It was great. I fell in love with the character of Calamity Jane. The ending was anticlimactic, like they didn't know what to do with the story after all that time, but, so what, it's all about the journey, not the destination.

Unless you're on your way to Hawaii today. Weep.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Party at the Aquarium

Last night George and I went to the New England Aquarium for his office party. It is an annual event that they have at various venues in the city each February. There is always lots of wonderful food. They pass hors d'oeuvres like duck with goat cheese, beef wellington bites, shrimp with wasabi, crab cakes and there are multiple stations of vegetable crudites and cheeses. Dinner is served buffet style at points throughout the party with roast beef (always a favorite), tropical pork & pineapple, grilled salmon and a station for various kinds of ravioli. All this is served with elegant side dishes. There is usually tarts and fruit for dessert, but George and I seldom make it that long. They have an orchestra and a few hardy souls venture out.

Last night the party was held at the New England Aquarium. The evening was darker than normal, but they had tables overlooking the huge fish tank with candles, so it was all very nice. I have never been there before. It was fun and interesting to see all the fish, penquins, sea turtles and stingrays. We followed the pathway up and up around the center tank, where some really colorful and interesting shapes of fishes go round and round. There was a diver with a sign that read George's company name. The diver would put the sign up on the coral, and an angel fish would come by and knock it down. This happened three times, and finally the diver gave up and just swam by a few times with the sign in his hand.

The fish are amazing. It was a little disconcerting to stand in line by the baked salmon table which had been placed right in front of the East Coast Salmon tank, with all the little salmon eyeing the festivities with alarm. But, that didn't stop anyone from enjoying their dinner, which was served with Asian noodles and a napa cabbage salad.

The floor was unadorned cement, and dancing looked rather hard on the legs, so few people ventured onto the small dance floor. I don't know what kind of music the band was playing but it was relatively undanceable. We wandered around instead, greeting friends and munching on all the delicious food. Instead of waiting for the door prize drawing and the tarts, we came home. On the way home we bought some sugar free vanilla ice cream and enjoyed that tucked in our beddies. A nice way to end the evening.

I'm sure we had more fun that those salmon in that tank.

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I can't watch

The Patriots are playing in the Superbowl. It is hard for me to watch. I am too excited and worried. It reminds me of when the Red Sox play for the World Series. It is just too exciting and scary. I find other things to do to keep my mind off the game, while I watch it peeking around the door, or from the computer desk. The Patriots are SUCH an awesome team, they just HAVE to win!

George and I think the commercials so far have been awful. We switched to a travel show at half time and watched a show about Prague. I would like to go to Prague and my Tom Petty days are long over. Now it is time to go back to the game, and watch, and pray.

Go Pats!

Streusal Cake in a Cup

For Christmas, we received a gift of a boxed Dean Jacobs streusel cake mix which you bake in two porcelain cups. Blessed Google gave me the information about this cake mix. They have lots of different kinds and you can buy them from online kitchen supply places. They range from $10 to $16 each. It is a sweet basic streusel cake mix, to which you add egg, oil and water. You add butter or margarine to the streusel mix topping, and mix it all together and bake it for 35 minutes. Each cake is in it's own white porcelain cup.

Yesterday morning we decided to bake the cake so we could write a nice thank you letter. There is something basically confusing about baking a cake in a cup. I can't figure out why I am bothered by this. I know what bothers George--where will be put the cups. He has a saying when we want to buy something new, "Where are we going to put it?" He is right. They sell a lot of wonderful things that I can afford but can't store. No, that is not what bothers me so much. I guess I am too frugal. I am bothered by the fact that when you finish, you have two small single serving cakes, when you could bake a big streusel cake in the same amount of time and for a lot less money. Don't get me wrong. I am grateful for the gift. It is good to get any gift that makes you think.

Have a great day.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Apples, Bananas and Oranges

I work in a healthy community. Lately I have been asked to join the Wellness Committee. One of the efforts of the wellness committee in the past few months is to provide fresh apples, bananas and oranges for employees for healthy snacks. The committee replaced all foods in the vending machines that contained trans fats and added a lot of snacks that are healthier, if not low calorie. They took the cokes out of the machines and replaced them with juice and water. All this is very good. Some of the water has fructose and calories, and some of the snacks are only low fat, but we need calories for energy, and no one needs heart clogging trans fats.

Today I picked up an apple from the front desk. It is a red delicious. George and I don't buy red delicious from the grocery store, because their skins are tough and often they are mealy and soft. Ew. So we mostly buy Gala or Fuji. They are usually beautiful and fresh. My apple from the reception desk is so wonderful that I Googled the name on the little label - Stemilt. Lo, behold, there are beautiful pictures of an apple orchard in Wenatchee, Washington. You can pick apples, take a tour, buy some jelly and go on a hay ride if you want to. But all I want is a good delicious apple at my desk that is fresh and juicy.

Bananas and oranges will have to wait for another day.

Have a great day!