Saturday, January 30, 2010


Tonight was one of those spectacular sunsets which, luckily for me, are a fairly normal event in my life.

Red rimmed clouds, purple hues, streams of light coming over the mountains with just wisps of clouds at the snow-capped peaks.

Honestly - it was that breathtakingly beautiful.

As a child, I could see the barren Sierra Madres when the smog wasn't too thick.

I like this much better.

And I did stand at attention with my dog by my side, and I did sing "America The Beautiful" out loud (badly, but Murray didn't seem to mind), and wished that everyone else in the United States - nay, in the entire world, could see this - and put aside our petty differences, biased views and prejudiced opinions, and be joined together in the belief that we are all here to help one another.

All religions, all nations, all political parties, all cultures - that's the reason we are here, and that's the lesson we all need to learn - somehow.

Glorious sunsets like this seem to make it obvious - at least to me.

Any way we can think of a way to pass this on to everyone else?

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Morgan Freeman is going the voice-over for a Visa commercial - it combines the Olympics, a family death, victory, and an adorable beautiful baby girl with that sublime, lower-than-low intonation of his.

It's like saying no to Benjamin Kinsley when he is dressed as Gandhi.

It would be refusing to have Helen Mirren as Queen Elisabeth sit down in your presence.

Or to take Eddie Murphy seriously.

Wait a minute, am I that influenced by actors? Or is just voices?

I kinda like the fact that almost everyone doesn't like hearing their own voice - well, people over the age of eight. And aren't heading towards a career in broadcasting.

Some voices just are iconic - like Orson Welles, James Earl Jones, Jimmy Stewart. Mae West is the epitome of sultry, sexy female - Sandra Bullock is the all-American mid-west girl.

(And Meg Ryan's voice is just annoying - I do like her, a lot, but I don't like her voice - only exception is a couple of good lines from "French Kiss")

So give me your honest opinion - who does the best God voice? Morgan Freeman - George Burns (does anyone besides me remember that one, with John Denver?) - Graham Chapman (Holy Grail) - and can anyone think of anyone else?

And I promise you, if anyone is gonna be struck by lightening, it's gonna be ME, not you!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Okay, here is a short quiz. Write down the first three things that come to mind when you hear the word "ARIZONA."

Okay, okay, when you read the word "ARIZONA."

Now -- write it.

No, write it down - I'll wait.

Did you write it down?

You didn't, did you?!

Geesh... why do I even bother asking you?!?

But you did think of desert - sun - hot for at least ONE of the words, right?

(The visuals should have helped - and if you didn't, don't tell me, because you are already on my bad list)

So why (back to Arizona), when our average rainfall for January is .8 inches (that is less than one inch), do we already have ALMOST FIVE INCHES so far? Why have we had snow on the mountains for WEEKS already?

I think the end is near.

Even if Dennis Quaid hasn't shown up.... yet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Rock-a-bye-baby, on the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock.
When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
And down will come baby cradle and all.

Is it just me, or are those lyrics just more than a little creepy?

Last night I got once again to sleep at a hospital with wires pasted onto my head and legs, my chin taped up, and a plastic mask over my face.

While people were actually paid to watch and record me drooling, dreaming and more than likely muttering ancient Egyptian curses in my sleep.

They did offer me a free cafeteria breakfast when I woke up promptly at 5 a.m., but I passed (hospital cafeterias are even scarier looking in the pre-dawn darkness).

Makes me appreciate more and more sleeping in my own bed tonight.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Today I opened three windows.

I wore only one sweatshirt (granted, I did wear two shirts underneath... okay, I'm still a wimp).

Najale and I played chase for the first time in a couple of weeks.

After three weeks of wind storms, rain, and snow, it was nice.

Friday, January 22, 2010


My friend Annette shared this - replace with ONE WORD only each time (it is more difficult than you think!)

1. Where is your cell phone?............... Pocket

2. Your significant other?............... Murray

3. Your hair?................ Spiky

4. Your Mother?............... Deceased

5. Your Father?............... Missed

6. Your favorite thing?.............. Chocolate

7. Your dream last night?............... Spacey

8. Your favorite drink?................ Soda

9. Your dream/goal?............... Peace

10. The room you're in?............... Family

11. Your children?................ Tall

12. Your fear?............... Heights

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?....... Home

14. Where were you last night?................ Couch

15. What you're not?...............Energetic

16. Muffins?................ Banana

17. One of your wish list items?............... Carpet

18. Where you grew up?................. California

19. What are you wearing?............... Sweatshirts

20. Your TV.?................ Firefly

21. Your pets?................. Najale

22. Your computer?................ Downloading

23. Your life?............... Calm

24. Your mood?............... Chipper

25. Missing someone?............... Yes

26. Your car?............... Truck

27. Something you're not wearing?............. Stylish

28. Favorite store?................ Target

29. Your summer?................ Hot

30. Like someone?................ Lots

31. Your favorite color?................ Green

32. Last time you laughed?................ Today

33. Last time you cried?............... Movie

I tag anyone reading this who wants to play!

Friday, January 15, 2010


My dog is at that age where I am being forced to balance the pain and suffering he is going through with my willingness and ability to put an end to it... and him.

Euthanasia for humans is illegal in most parts of the United States, but putting an animal "to sleep" is viewed as both humane and practical.

They are separate issues - I mean, almost like eating animals, but, as Willy Wonka so succinctly put it, with humans "that is called cannibalism, my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies."

But I also watched both of my parents die slowly and painfully. And believe me, I wish so much I could have saved them both the last two years of their respective lives.

And I do understand that as mortals, the end of our lives is not only a challenge for us, it's a test for those around us. Life isn't supposed to be easy - and often neither is death. It's part of the cycle of life (and I hate the fact that althought I have NEVER watched "The Lion King," that song still comes to my mind when that phrase is learned).

I love my dog so much - and hopefully I love him enough that while I can manage and help his pain, I will - and when I no longer can, I will have the courage to have him put to sleep.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


One great thing about getting older is that hopefully I have learned something from all the mistakes I have made.

And recognized that a lot of mistakes can't be undone or changed and you have to learn to live with them.
But today I really tried to take time to do the following:
- Walked both dogs until they wanted to turn around.

- Spent probably ten minutes total rubbing my horses' bellies (they both love it, don't ask me why).

- Washed all my bedding not because it needed to be done but because I wanted a fresher smelling bed tonight.

- Lay down on the floor and scratched my dog's stomach until he actually was fully satisfied.

- And then, of course, spent double that time spending attention to my cat so he wouldn't be jealous.

- Talked on the phone with my middle/difficult child until she begged to get off to watch a Star Trek: The Next Generation rerun on television.

- Listened to my borderline suicidal husband without offering any advice or counsel or becoming at all frightened.

It was nice. I need to do this more often.


I have been an incredibly SLOPPY dresser almost all of my life.

The 60's and 70's allowed the excuse of jeans and baggy T-shirts in the name of ‘freedom’ (just take away the cigarette in the photo to the left, and that's me). I was never involved in any social activity that demanded any other sort of attire. I could use drab and loose clothing to fade into the wallpaper, since for much of my young life I felt that it was where I belonged.

But moving into an office environment taught me to survive with two jackets, three skirts and a handful of tops. I could happily exist with three pairs of shoes (running, work and everyday), make-up was always minimal, my hair remained short, straight and while incredibly boring, infinitely manageable.

And I must admit I ADORE uniforms - no clothing class, concerns about color combinations and/or hemlines. Plus if FedEx and UPS guys weren't so quickly indentificable, we would have less time to check out their fantastic legs.

When “casual attire” came in, it took me a couple of jobs to learn my beloved jeans and baggy T-shirts were not it - however, khakis and knit tops did not require nylons or heels.

Wait a minute, where was I going with this?

Oh, yes - quirky vs. eccentric is wherein lies the dilemma (and I just love that word, dilemma - but when you say it like "dee-LEMMM-a!!").

I'm at the crossroads of my fashion (or lackthereof) life.

I am old enough that I am 1) not trying to attract any men, 2) am not moving forward professionally (understatement of the decade there, my friends) and/or 3) I honestly simply don't care very much about other people's opinions.

However, AM I now old enough to begin dressing seriously like a crazy old lady who wanders in the park talking to the pigeons?

I think I want to be.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Here are the problems:

- I need more exercise. I have lost a few pounds, but my body has cleverly compensated for the lower of caloric intake by clinging on to every fat cell available, claiming a close personal friendship of some twenty some years. And unless I force up my metabolism to pick up in some way, I don't think anything else is gonna come off.

- I also have two horses who both seriously need more exercise. However, the mare (Sally) is an very slow walker (she is in her mid-20's, which for a horse is seriously old), and the gelding (Najale) strides out at a fast enough pace that I need to occasionally jog to keep up with him. And I cannot take just one of them out - the mare literally freaks out if seperated from her baby.

- I optimistically purchased a Wal-Mart on-sale (read that as  'cheap') bicycle, with the concept being of riding it to the mailbox (a mile and a half down the road) and back as a work-out. My only requirement was some form of mountain-bike tires - while I live on what is officially called a dirt road, it is actually 25% dirt, 13% small rocks, 46% middle-size rocks and 16% large boulders that can easily blow out a tire on a semi. Transportation of these back-roads involves constant veering around rocks, easing through gullies and ridges, and praying that whatever sort of wheel you are riding on can survive at least one more day.

Today, I discovered a marvelous and also quite ridiculous solution to all three of these problems.

I rode the bicycle for about twenty minutes in the pasture, both chasing and being chased by the horses. It was great exercise for all three of us.

And I did leave a note inside the house that if I did not come back within 45 minutes, they should search for my body out back.

It was ridiculously fun, extremely undignified, and just what I needed today.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I have lost my heart... once again.

I do have as a personal resolution to fall in love at least once a day.

Think about it - remember how you felt the last time you fell in love? How wonderful you felt, how beautiful the world became, how perfect the person you loved was? Colors were brighter, the songs on the radio became 'your' song(s), you felt so beautiful?

Well, why not feel that way all the time?

Now, I'm married, and very sold on monogamy (is that marriage to one person or a type of wood?), and I don't want to ever have a romantic relationship/ affair/ liaison with any other man... or woman, either, I guess, in today's progressive world.

But I can fall in love with the purple and yellow blossoms on the cactus right outside my front door - I can be infatuated with Starbucks Double-Chocolate Chip Frappuccino - I can dance around when I see the awesome reds, purples and oranges of the sunset behind the Huachuca Mountains.

Why not?

And this week I fell in love with a vacuum cleaner.

I have had a standard-run-of-the-mill-on-sale-at-Sears vacuum cleaner for years, but it is now demanding more and more attention, muscle to move around (is it getting heavier or am I simply getting weaker?)  and dirt- bags it's particular size which are becoming more and more difficult to locate at local stores (a sales technique, I know - wasn't it just a few days again that VHS was still 'the' thing?).

So I bought a new run-of-the-mill-on-sale-at-Target vacuum cleaner .

And promptly fell head over heels (which makes no sense as an expression - I mean, you are head over heels right now, aren't you?) with it's lighter weight, double the rpm or hertz or amps (whatever the correct term is) and easily-changed attachments that actually WORK.

Okay, so perhaps my expectations are small - but it is a great feeling.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Our laundry room is tacked on to the farthest end of our house. And although this placement is convenient for location of a cat's litter box, it isn't practical for something like washing one's clothes.

This small, non-ventilated room is either the coldest or the hottest place in the house. There is barely room for the two machines, let alone folding or hanging garments. During the washer's spin cycle, the pictures on all walls rattle. And at it's loudest, the dryer's ending cycle beep can barely be heard ten feet away, even with the door left open.

This morning, however, I heard just a little too much of something. I was switching clothes from the washer to the dryer (sidebar - I know in Europe they have combination washer/dryers that go through the wash cycle and then in the same machine, dry the clothing - when the heck is that going to catch on over here!?) when I heard a sound that made me pause -

A tiny splashing sound accompanied by a metallic scratching noise.

Now, it couldn't be the cat - unlike most domesticated felines, Pandora is approximately the size of a small lion, and does NOTHING quietly. Both the dogs were sound asleep in front of the television (I know, I know, I should limit the number of soap operas they view daily - I'm trying).

It sounded like it was coming from the boarded off water-heater area to the immediate left of the dryer.

I do not trust my hearing ever, so I grabbed my son and made him listen and track down the noise.

And yes, it was coming from the water-heater. Unmistakably, a mouse or small rat had fallen into the water and was trying frantically to not drown.

Talk about a conflict of emotions.

1) The automatic maternal "RESCUE THE POOR MOUSE!" mode kicks in before anything else. Then...

2) "Yuck, there is a MOUSE in our water supply!" And then...

 3) "OMG how much is it gonna cost to get a plumber to come all the way out here and remove a small carcass from the water heater?

I could not find a plumber who believed the situation - "Lady, (southern accent here), them heaters are self-contained - ain't no way a mouse or a rat could get into one."

So somewhere in my house an animal has died, and I cannot tell if its death is at all related to our water supply.

But I am drinking only Diet Coke in bottles for the next two weeks.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Where did the idea originate that mother-in-laws are always evil?

I can appreciate that for many centuries, several generations of families lived under the same roof, and that could lead to a few (cough, cough, wink, wink, nudge, nudge) conflicts.

My own mother lived in our house for over five years, and I think the only reason my marriage survived was 1) my husband was the one who brought up the concept of her moving in with us after her first bout of breast cancer, 2) her already loose grip of reality was rapidly weakened by Alzheimer's, and 3) he was raised with an extremely high level of respect for his own mom.

I have a wonderful relationship with my own mother-in-law, but I think that is mainly because 1) she lives in Oregon, 2) I don't live in Oregon, 3) she does not travel.... at all, and 3) I get to visit her about once every three years.

And I may have been concerned about becoming the evil mother-in-law (and I still may, I have one eligible child), but I was lucky enough to gain a wonderful son-in-law.

Who just sent me a combination of Christmas/Birthday/Mother's Day/Grandparent's Day/Hanukkah presents for the next sixteen years - his old laptop AND a brand-new Triple Format DVD-RW / CD-RW Mobile Slim Drive (which, as far as I understand it, gives more capability to the laptop than any other computer I have ever owned).
Yeah - it's easy to be a wonderful mother-in-law when you got a son-in-law like mine.