Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Places I have been

Visited States

Visited US States Map from TravelBlog

"Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything. " Charles Kuralt

Thanks to my friend at Frogs and Crowbars I began to think about all the places I have been in the United States. I have lived in four states and have traveled to more than I had thought. Some states I would love to visit again.

As for states I have not visited Massachusetts is the one I want to visit first. I want to go to Cape Cod and take a trip on a whale watching vessel and rent a cottage by the sea.

I particularly like the southern coastal states with South Carolina being my favorite. I would love to go back to Savannah Georgia.

I want to go to Washington to visit a dear friend and see the Northwest. I want to travel to the Northeast in the fall to see the beauty that abounds in that section.

I need a travel companion as I do not want to have all that fun by myself.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Emotional Stability?

"Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow."  Jeff Valdez

Cats truly are smarter than dogs.  My cat Annie made me a believer this morning. 

The story goes:  Every morning our routine is that I get out of bed, stumble around finding my clothes and getting ready for work, while my three cats sit patiently outside my bedroom door waiting for me to feed them.  As soon as I open the door the trio trot happily down the hall and wait  by their food bowls,  meowing contstantly, just to be sure I know that they are there.

Well,  this morning, only two cats were waiting for me.  I proceeded with the normal routine and it became obvious that one cat was missing!  I looked in the linen closet because at times she has gotten shut in there.  She is getting old and is a bit senile.   Well I fed the other two and proceeded to look around for Annie (named after Little Orphan Annie, because she was rescued from the bushes at the office where someone had dumped a litter).  I decided to check outside, not sure how she would have gotten out, but I was out of options.  

Well the back door was ajar!  Somehow the lock must not have caught the last time we let the dog out for the evening and the wind must have blown the door open a bit.  Now I was in a panic!  I went out and called for her,  she is so vocal I expected her to "talk to me", but she didn't.  I looked all over the yard,  I got J out of bed to help me look for her.  Then I drove around the neighborhood  looking.

I was in quite an emotional state by this point. I called R and got her out of bed to help me walk the neighborhood.  I stopped in at work to let them know I would be a little late and a co-worker suggested I put a bowl of food outside in the place where I wanted her to return to.  So I called J and told her to do that.  Well, right when I got to R's apartment, J called and said she had noticed the other cat staring intently out the back door;  the food trap had worked!  Annie was munching on food on the deck!

By this time I was an emotional wreck.  I just burst into tears!  I could not bear the thought of poor old Annie being lost.  As it turned out she was having a deck party!   She wasn't distraught at all, she was hanging out under the deck, enjoying the outdoors!   I drove home and just hugged her for a bit, and got my emotions in check, washed my face and headed to work.

I think I may be way to emotional to be a pet owner!  I am happy that she is home.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Top 20 Films

"You know what your problem is, it's that you haven't seen enough movies-all of life's riddles are answered in the movies."  Steve Martin

I have been thinking about my top 20 films of all time.  What films can I watch over and over and over?   This is a tough one, for me at least, because I love the entire film making process from the actors, the art direction, the music, the props,  well just all of it.  So picking the top 20 is a difficult task, but here goes( not in any particular order)

Princess Bride
LOTR Return of the King, The Two Towers, Fellowship of the Ring
Pride and Prejudice
What's Up Doc
It Happened One Night
A Day at the Races
Bringing Up Baby
Harry Potter(all of them)
Pirates of the Caribbean
Scrooge(the musical Albert Finney)
Its a Wonderful Life
Rio Bravo
Blue Hawaii
The Quiet Man
Murphy's Romance
Dear Frankie
Some Like it Hot

While not in any particular order, these are my top 20 for now( well okay so there are 21, I just couldn't stop).  Of course there are so many wonderful films that I enjoy watching often and some that I watch once a year, but that could be another post.

What is on your Top 20 list?  I'd love to hear from everyone, might give me some new films to watch.

Nature's Splendid Light Show

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous"  Aristotle

My muscles were tired and very relaxed as I laid on the sofa in my jammies watching an episode of Alias with J.  The swim earlier in the day was very exhilarating, it felt good to push myself, swim faster.  The day had been so dreadfully humid and the water felt so delightful. While this was so much fun, it left me exhausted and ready to relax.

While watching the dvd, J decided she needed a cookie!  No cookies in the house.  So we decided to leave a bit early to pick up R from work so we could get a cookie and a drink and just hang out in the book store for a bit.  I plied myself off the sofa and got dressed, I didn't bother to put on any makeup, however.   We had just heard some thunder and saw a flash of lightning.   My friend called to tell me that he had just seen the weather on t.v.   A line of thunderstorms (the red ones on the map)  was headed our way.

Well J and I decided to go ahead and set out for the book store,  I mean I had gotten out of my jammies, might as well head out.   The light show in the western sky was awesome on the way to the bookstore.  I wasn't really raining,  yet!  It wasn't frightening, just beautiful in the night sky.

We got to the book store and R was glad to see us.  We ordered steamers,  Strawberry for R and  Almond for me and each got a cookie.   J took advantage of he wireless at the book store as she opened up the computer and began to surf.   I wandered around and picked up  a few books to peruse.  I found two books on body sculpting ( I have been toying with the idea to buy some dumbells and ankle weights for home workouts).  I picked up Mario Lopez's exercise book, just because he is so cute and I thought J would enjoy the pictures!  I then got a travel book on Ireland.  We sat and sipped the steamers and the hour went by so quickly, then it was time to close the store.  Just then the rains came!   We helped R with some closing routines, just to get out of there in a timely fashion.  I went to the parking lot to get the car, so J wouldn't have to get her computer bag drenched.   Well the rain was coming down so hard and at such an angle that my pants got drenched.  My head stayed dry with the umbrella, but not so the pants and shoes!  I drove to the door and picked up J, then we drove to the employee entrance and picked up R. 

Well the light show that nature provided us with on the drive to R's apartment was tremendous and mesmerizing.   Truly awesome.

When we got to R's street we noticed a tree had been struck by lightning on the west side of her building, then we noticed another tree, half down and struck by lightning on the east side of her building.  She got out and waded through the puddles to get to her door.  We set off down High Street to Race.  Just north of Illinois street we had to turn around in someone's drive way as a large tree was blocking the entire street!   We went around the block and  met up on the other side of the tree.  It was all very exciting and I just couldn't sleep once I got home.  I read a bit and finally relaxed enough to sleep.  

So today I may be a bit groggy at work, but last evening was quite exciting.

Monday, July 21, 2008


"So divinely is the world organized that every one of us, in our place and time, is in balance with everything else." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lately, I feel like I am just plodding along, getting from one day to the next.  I work diligently while at work, then just sort of collapse at home.  I don't seem to have the energy to keep the house in order and work at 40-42 hour work week.

It may be due to the fact that I am very emotional right now.  Being single in my 50's and dealing with the occasional empty nest, 4 geriatric animals, and one mature animal,  the financial worries of living in this economy and the everlasting menopause are a lot for a girl to keep in balance.  Plus the fact that my oldest daughter is lightening her load  and has stacks of well loved toys and other stuff planted in the family room awaiting her garage sale next weekend  and the total overhaul of our 4th bedroom, which is used as storage really has me feeling in a state of disarray.

So this weekend, I  worked a little at home,  went to the movies with my youngest daughter to see The Dark Night(which by the way I highly recommend as the quality of the acting is outstanding with Christian Bale, Gary Oldman and Heath Ledger all giving extremely fine performances. But be warned that it is truly a dark film), went to supper with two of my fine girl friends and when the margarita's tasted more like Kool aid,  we decided to go back to my place to watch a movie and have a few drinks!  

 Now, like I said earlier, the house is crazy right now, along with the array of garage sale stuff, furniture and bins from the back room, we have  a dog who is running around with a lamp shade on his head and has to have his ear surgeries cleaned regularly, but I said " Well the place is a total wreck, but come on over and let's party"   Well we watched a good film and sipped drinks and talked and I was totally relaxed and had a great time.  I even threw in a trip to the pool during the afternoon on Saturday!  I mowed the lawn (as much as I hate to do that) on Sunday after church , went to supper with the girls and visited a friend for a while on Sunday evening.   I also got to read a fun book over the weekend!  I feel like I've  found  my balance again.

I let go of the worries about everything being perfect and just let life be.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Summer Day

"In the summer, the song sings itself. " William Carlos Williams

Today is Friday, cause enough for celebration, the week end.  Today also happens to be Summer Day at my work place, extra cause for celebrating.

You see, we will grill hot dogs, share yummy food, and all celebrate glorious summer together  today. I rarely eat hot dogs, let's face it, they just aren't that good for you.  For a while I ate only veggie "dogs".  I was a vegetarian for a moment in time.  But today I plan on eating two hot dogs!  Yes one will be a chili dog with onions  and the other will be smothered in mustard, relish and onions,  no ketchup on hot dogs for me.

I have been looking forward to this relaxing celebration today.  I have been working like a dog!

I have been trying to get to the pool as often as possible.  I love the feeling of gliding under the water without a care in the world. The world's problems,  and my own problems seem to vanish under the water,  for about 20 laps of the pool.   Then to sit by the pool side and dry in the sun, reading a book, or just letting my mind wander, while watching the glistening water in the pool makes me feel happy.

I finally turned on the air conditioner at home.  My little dog had surgery and I thought he should recuperate in a little less humidity, besides the dew point is rising and the humidity is beginning to be oppressive.

I will have to do some work around the house this weekend, but I plan to visit the pool (if the storms pass us by on Saturday) and get in some relaxation!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rainbow Connection

I am feeling so connected to Kermit these days, just can't get him off my mind.  I have been listening to Rainbow Connection over and over and over and over, just can't seem to get enough.  I suppose I have been in need of a strong dose of optimism recently and Kermit certainly has given it to me. 

The song and the frog:

Why are there so many songs about rainbows

And what's on the other side?

Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,

And rainbows have nothing to hide.

So we've been told and some choose to believe it

I know they're wrong, wait and see.

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,

The lovers, the dreamers and me.



Who said that every wish would be heard and answered

when wished on the morning star?

Somebody thought of that

and someone believed it,

and look what it's done so far.

What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

And what do we think we might see?

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,

the lovers, the dreamers and me.


All of us under its spell,

we know that it's probably magic....


Have you been half asleep

and have you heard voices?

I've heard them calling my name.

Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?

The voice might be one and the same.

I've heard it too many times to ignore it.

It's something that I'm supposed to be.

Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,

the lovers, the dreamers and me.

La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

Music and lyrics by Paul Williams, sung by Kermit the Frog

Best Friends

"A Best friend is someone who makes you laugh, even when the jokes aren't funny." Kermit the Frog

There is a wonderful chapter in Before you Leap, Fridays with Fozzie.  The chapter is the best in the book in my opinion. This chapter is all about the importance of friends and the importance of having someone that lifts you up when you are down and always believes in the dream, someone that always believes in you. 


"Best friends need time to be with each other. Time to talk, laugh, cry, whistle, hum, sing, and just stare out the window and watch the world go by."

The dialogues between Fozzie and Kermit are amazing. Now I don't get to spend as much time with my friends as I would like.  We all have busy lives and things we need to take care of,  but I think it is important to remember that sometimes you just have to let it all go and have some fun, sometimes doing nothing,  together.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Everyone needs a dream

"You must look deep inside your heart and ask what you really want. If your immediate answer is "dessert," you probably missed your heart and went directly to your stomach.  Kermit the Frog

Well I am totally in a Kermit the Frog frame of mind at this very moment.  Lately I have had the blues.  They just keep hanging around.  My dear old friend Kermit seems to be able to bring me out of my funk with his profound wisdom and poetry.  I used to have a dream.  I began to realize my dream and then circumstances left me without that dream.   I have been searching for  a new dream.  Not quite sure what that is yet, but I am contemplating it.

I agree with Kermit,  everyone needs a dream.  If there is nothing to look forward to or strive to achieve, life just is too dull.  It is fun to walk down memory lane from time to time, but I really need something to look forward to.

I know that part of my dream is to get out of debt so that I can travel.  Now I have to set up some realistic goals to attain that dream.  

 Another part of my dream is to find a special someone (male) to accompany on some of my travels.  I also really enjoy traveling with a very good female friend.  Sometimes women are more fun to see the world with than men. 

It is not easy to re-invent your dream, when the first dream has gone by, but with Kermit's sage advise, I will dream on!

What is your dream?

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July, Babies and other Random thoughts

"You can wake up each morning just trying to get to the end of the day, or you can do everything in your power to make this the best day ever."  Kermit the Frog

My head is swimming with random thoughts this morning.  I guess that is what a 5 day weekend does for a single woman in her 50's!  First let's talk about the frog.

Kermit the frog is my absolute favorite Muppet.  I adore the Muppets and I think Jim Henson is a genius.  Kermit is full of wonderful thoughts for living, and he just happens to be green, my favorite color of all time.

My girl R bought me a book for Christmas, Before you Leap A Frog's-Eye  View of Life 's Greatest Lessons by Kermit the Frog and I just finished it last night.  Sheesh (as Kermit would say) it took me a while to read.  The truth of the matter is I snuck a couple of other books in while I was reading Kermit's great book.

Kermit and the Muppet's make me think of when my son, R, was a little boy.  I walked down memory lane thinking of him and how adorable he was as a little boy.  He loved Miss Piggy.

I have a set of friends who just had a baby on Wednesday July 2.  They are the most wonderful family and invited the girls and I to visit them in the hospital.  We all got to hold the beautiful baby girl.  Watching my girls hold her made me feel so happy, and holding her myself sent me down memory lane, yet again.  It is the most wonderful feeling to hold your daughter in your arms for the first time. I relived a lot of happy and funny moments of my girls, births and growing up years.   Seeing the two brothers of the family we visited see their baby sister for the first time was truly amazing.  What a lovely family; I am truly blessed to know them all.

Then on Saturday I attended a baby shower for my friends son and daughter in law.  It was a great deal of fun, but again, I was walking down memory lane!

Now it's time to discuss fireworks!  I think I have reached a point in my life where going into the crowd to see the fireworks up close and personal has lost its' magic.   It was a beautiful night for fireworks, the weather was lovely.  I went with two good friend, who I really enjoy being with, but the spark (pun intended) was just not there for me this year.   I really just wanted to be home watching a movie, sipping a drink and then reading for a while.  Instead, I sat in a crowd on a blanket on the damp ground, not very comfortable at all.   Then when the finale of the fireworks display began, my chest cavity was vibrating as was the ground under me.  It was just too much for me. As much as I used to love fireworks, I just think I am beyond that type of "fun" now.  I never was much for a crowd anyway, and I just prefer much more intimate gatherings of friends now.

My last random thought is how much fun I had visiting my sister and her family on Thursday.  You see my sister is having surgery this morning,  and we wanted to go down to my hometown and visit and have some fun with her.  That involved renting a car.  I was pleased that the car I rented only took one tank of gas for the 6 hour round trip.  I had a marvelous relaxing time with my sister, her daughter and son, and her daughter's daughter, my great niece.  Of course I enjoyed seeing my brother in law also.  I wish that I could afford to drive down to Alton more often.  I miss my family.

So there it is,  all the randomness one can take for a while.  So, like Kermit,  I am going to try to make the most of each day and stop moping around.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long. Ogden Nash

Driving to work this morning had me going on a circuitous route.  Which in turn set my mind to thinking.  There were good things and not so good things about my alternate route.

One good thing about my drive this morning were the chance to see some wide open space. One of the nicest things about moving to Central Illinois were the beautiful vistas opened for the eye to behold of miles and miles of farmland and blue sky meeting fertile land bursting with green crops.  But along with the good comes the bad.  Sadly, these vistas are disappearing. Progress.  Sometimes I think that is a dirty word.  So much farmland is taken for enormous buildings, rows and rows of modern housing units and condos and apartments.  I miss the miles and miles of open farmland.

Another good thing about my change in driving route is that I get to see the sunrise from a different angle.  Turning north this morning I saw the sunrise through a sky full of cumulus clouds and it was truly awe inspiring.

So as I sip my coffee this morning and dive into my work, I will mourn the loss of the farmland and rejoice that I still get to see beautiful blue sky and fluffy white clouds with the sun bursting forth.