Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summertime

Tomorrow is June 1, 2012! I am so excited about the start of Summer!! Summer themed projects, summer themed foods, summer weather (can you feel the sun shining???). Summer!! And these awesome books/journals which I am going to fill with summer stuff!  I have been waiting for the 1st of June to roll around so I can kick-off my “Project Summer 2012”.  It’s going to be totally amazing and crazy and so much fun.  For the next three months, I am going to document each day, and each day is going to be filled with projects, i.e., crafts, scrapbooking, reading, exercise, organizing, home-keeping, mini-holidays, concerts, picnics, summer t.v. shows, blockbusters, the drive-in, dates with the Mister, time spent with the kiddies and with my Mom, trying new recipes using in season foods, the Arts Festival, a wedding (Mike and Jolene's), birthdays (Amanda, Melissa, Kayla) and just everything summer!!!!! 
The black book is going to a Smash Journal (like it's size better); the other  "green" notebooks will be filled to the brim with lists, stickers, pictures, ephemera, journaling,
Currently listening to: Summertime, by Billy Stewart.

9:15 a.m. EVERY WEEK DAY

At 9:15 a.m. every weekday morning, I am at the office, sitting in my chair at my desk, looking at a computer screen.  I am in the inner office and do not have a window, though I could always turn a bit in my chair and look through the window of the office that sits behind me.  Or I could go for a walk and check out the views from the four corner windows of our building.  Now those are views!   I could also, just sitting here at my desk, visit the whole wide world with just a click. 
 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The View

We see all day.  We see our homes, our furnishings, the outside, cars, people, the list of what we see everyday is long.  Today's task is to focus on what we see.  For me, it's the sun shining through my bedroom window when I wake in the morning.  Everything else is a blur until I've parked my car and begun my trek to the office.  And that's when I'm fully awake (scary for other drivers, huh?) and focused.  I know I've posted countless photos of my walk to and from work (and this will be no different), but when the skies are blue and the sun is shining, or when the sun is going down for the night, year round, these are some of my very favorite views of the day.  So indulge me and look again.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Remembering those who have served and those who continue to serve.  Thank you.

It's a Heatwave!

We've been having a heatwave here in Pittsburgh. No complaints here though, I'll take this hot weather over snow any day.  By 11:00 a.m. Sunday morning, it was 85 degrees and climbing.  I couldn't think of a better way to spend it but poolside at my daughter's with her and her children.
So inviting.
I didn't swim though.  I will eventually.  I'm happy sitting poolside, retrieving the beach ball when it's hit out of the pool, eating DumDums with the boys and comparing tongue colors, soaking up the rays, catching up with my daughter, listening to the sounds of summer - birdies chirping, crickets humming, lawns being mowed, just being.


This is the moment when Carl realizes his iphone is in his pocket.




Blowing saliva bubbles. 


Jake tried. 











Caught! Digging in the plant dirt.
When it's too hot for cooking, toss together this main dish salad.

Shrimp Stuffed Tomatoes

This recipe makes 4 servings.

1 lb. cleaned and cooked shrimp, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tomatoes
Lettuce 

In a mixing bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. 
Line 4 individual bowls with lettuce greens.
Cut each tomato into wedges, cutting down to within 1/2 inch of bottom (do not cut all the way through tomato).  Place each tomato on a bed of lettuce.  Fill each tomato with shrimp salad. Serve.
Good eating! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Me, a Career Girl?


When I was in the ninth grade I wanted to be an airline stewardess (that’s what we called them back in those days).  Now I believe they are flight attendants.  Anyway, an assignment I had for a typing class was to choose a profession and research what the criteria was to apply for that position.  I called various airlines and really did my research.  What I remember most was you had to be tall (5’8” and up).  I was never going to be that tall.  You could not wear corrective lenses.  I’d worn glasses since the seventh grade.  It was deflating.  As for typing class, I had a great teacher who I really liked, but I only passed with a “C”.

In the 10th grade I took Office Practice. I flunked that class.  Really.  Mrs. Holbein even conferenced with my Mom and told her that she believed I was “too into boys.”  Well, duh! I WAS a teenager.  Oh, but if that teacher could see me now!!!

For that past 22 years I have worked as a legal assistant and I absolutely love what I do.  Of course, the fact that I work at a firm with really great people makes it that much easier.  I am responsible for four attorneys. That’s four times the assignments, the time sheets, the filings, the deadlines.  But, I am grateful that they let me do my own thing, i.e., draft pleadings, letters, discovery, etc. My days are very busy and I always volunteer for overtime when offered.  I look forward to rising in the morning and going to work (okay, not every day, but most).  I always say that when you start not liking your job it’s time to move on.  I think I’ll be staying here a little while longer.
 Me, working.  Or maybe, me at work.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You . . . No, Me.

A list. Of me.

1. Age: 53
2. Favorite part of my day:  The moment I enter my house after a long day being away from it.  The downstairs is so cool and dark and quiet.  Sigh.
3. Loving: Life itself.  I am serious about this.  Amidst the ups and downs, the good and bad, I love my life, my every day, the humdrum, the routines, the sameness and by the same token, I am loving the newness of each day, being introduced to new foods (totally loving Caldwell, my favorite cheesemonger at G.E., who has a different cheese for me to try each week with tips for serving), visiting new to me places (like a recent trip to Manhattan), my new hairstyle, etc.
4. Longing for: More travel. Just a few weekend road trips with the grandkiddies, the Mama, the Mister.
5. Inspired by:  the blue, blue sky.  This may sound silly but I think I have taken more photos of the Pittsburgh’s blue sky and put it on my blog than anything else this year.  My family probably thinks I’m weird.  But it’s just so darn pretty, and it brings promise of clear, sunny, beautiful days and that makes me want to just do stuff.
6. Dreaming of: Sun filled days, long walks, cool evenings, being in the moment.
7. Needing: Clean spaces…in my home.  So I don’t feel guilty just sitting around reading a book, writing or scrapbooking.
8. Navigating:  through this year with my one word – Frugal.  It has been much harder than I thought it would because of the many speed bumps encountered early on, but I am persevering.
9. Struggling with: staying neutral as my son goes through a difficult time in his life.  I try to see both sides, but, dagnabit, sometimes it’s so hard being a Mom!
10. Knowing: that each day is so precious and that I will live it with a grateful, happy and peaceful heart.  And I mean this.

I got my haircut cut yesterday.  This is my own personal photo shoot.
 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Story of Prayer

Growing up, my Mom would take us (myself, my sister and brother) to Sunday School/Church each week.  The congregation was huge in number and the sanctuary was always filled.  I attended Church with the same children I went to school with.  In summer we attended the Strawberry Festival and Vacation Bible School, and as a teen we had youth group on Sundays and once a month, a dance on Fridays. As an adult, I've had periods of going to Church faithfully and periods of not going at all.

About eight years ago, I was going through a very dark period in my life.  I remember it being a Friday and I was in such despair, I felt that suicide was the only answer.  That's awful, I know.  Now, I walked the same path from the bus to the office every day and while I know that I passed St. Mary's Church each day, I never "saw" it.  On this particular Friday, I happened to look up and there it was.  Though I am not Catholic, I walked inside anyway, sat down and prayed. And you may not believe it, but I was given an answer.  I am so thankful for the day I looked up.

When I was younger I always thought I had to save my prayers for something "big."  I learned that's not true and I ask for just about anything - help in finding my glasses, the car keys, parting the road so I can make a turn.  I pray every day for family, friends, the homeless, the sick, the abused, and I say thanks, thank you for the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the house we live in, for our lives on this earth, and for this earth, for each and every day.

My favorite inspirational reading is Guideposts.  My Mom subscribes to the magazine and it gets passed around between the children and grandchildren.  So much goodness each month in one little book.

And that's my story.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I Read Books...and everything else!

When I was in the fourth grade I flunked reading. I could read the same paragraph over and over and not be able to tell what it was about. In reality, I flunked comprehension. I did go to summer school for reading and the one on one attention helped to make me a better reader, but not a voracious one.

When I was in the seventh grade, we were reading "The Outsiders." It wasn't a long book, but it was good. At that time, I could not tell you how the book ended as the assignment was finished before I was. I was a slow reader.

When I was 16, my Mom gave me "The Wildest Heart" by Rosemary Rogers. That book was thick! and it was a romance. Really, Mom??! I can't tell you why, I haven't a clue, but it was like something huge clicked. I devoured that book and so many others in the months, and years that followed. I even got a job at the local library during my high school years.

Today, I read everything: books, cookbooks, magazines, blogs, newspapers, labels, the backs of cereal boxes, everything! There is reading material in every room of the house and I never leave home without a book or magazine in my purse. Goodness forbid I get stuck on the elevator without something to read!

When my kiddies were young, on rainy days, I would gather them in blankets and we would sit on the porch and read. I still know the titles of their favorite books.

Books for me are like films, I have a really hard time choosing just one favorite. If you have never read "I Know My Love," by Catherine Gaskin, well, you might want to put it on your list. Every Christmas, I read "Little Women." "Bridget Jones Diary," and "The Shopoholic," and sequels are a few fun favorites. Get out the tissues if you ever choose to read "Ride the Wind," by Lucia St. Clair Robson.

I am currently reading "The Recipe Club," by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel, as much for the story as for the recipes.

Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Morning Already?


My morning routine is simple.
If I didn't shower/bathe the night before, I do so now.
Then I check the weather so I know how to dress.
Going to 78, perfect for a sundress
I make my bed.
Goodbye bed. . . for now
 ·       Then I brush my teeth, fix my hair, get dressed, put on lipstick (my favorite make-up).  I add a bottle  of water and a baggie of fruit to my bag which is always packed with my notebooks, car phone battery thingy, gum, etc.  Here comes the not so fun part.  I forget/lose things all the time (i.e., car keys, phone, camera, etc.) and then I climb the two flights of stairs 3-5 times before I get out the door.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

31 Days: Thoughts on Jewelry


My Mom always says I live in accessory HE-double hockey sticks.  When she was not retired, she dressed to the nines. Earrings, rings, necklaces, pins, scarves, the whole shebang. 

I remember having my ears pierced when I was around 14.  My sister and I and a few friends got out the ice cubes, a potato, matches (for sterilization), and a sewing needle and did it ourselves.  Ahh, youth. 

I do not wear much jewelry.  In fact, I go through periods of not wearing any at all and I do not know why that is.  When I was married, I only took off my wedding rings if I was making meatloaf or cookie dough.

Although I have hung a plastic expandable hat rack on my bedroom wall to hang necklaces (no more tangles) and own a jewelry box, I have rings, earrings and necklaces all through the house.

I like jewelry and I like mine to be tiny, dainty; elegant. A few of my favorite pieces are a Bulova watch, a custom made gold ring, a promise necklace, and a gold bracelet. I like wearing rings, but I have to admit that I am really tough on them.  I’ve cracked one, lost a pearl, and bent a heart ring.  All while wearing them!  

Currently, I have been wearing rings that I just purchased through a co-worker’s jewelry party.  They are bigger than what I would normally wear but they look pretty.




Sunday, May 13, 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Newest Possession

I bought a lawnmower.  And not just any old lawnmower, though that's what I wanted, an old fashioned, wooden handle push mower.  This is the modern equivalent:

And while I was laboring, cutting the grass, Jade and her Dad played fort under a tree.  Though, in truth, Jade could have just got lost in the grass.  Didn't look that high from my upstairs windows.