Monday, December 28, 2009


We are in that odd time between the holidays. Trying to think of things to do and places to go. The weather has gotten rainy and ugly so the family bike ride is off. We can't all get interested in the same movie at the same time. And the suggestion of Monopoly or Scrabble was met with snorts of laughter.

I have run the dishwasher and washed hand dishes,wiped counters and carried out trash in a loop interrupted only by making meals. I forgot how much more work it is to have additional people here.

Maggie's plane leaves early tomorrow morning. She is prepared to remain in her seat for the last hour of her flight and whatever other nonsense they come up with "to keep us safe." Geez. We are so good at closing the barn door after the horse burns his crotch.

She is going to see the New Year in with her honey in Florida. Zac is hoping to get onto the schedule to deliver pizza on New Year's Eve - a big night for pizza and tips. Ally is still making her plans.

Tom and I will probably light up some sparklers I found in the back of a kitchen cabinet and toddle off to bed shortly after midnight.

See ya next year.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Maggie did not make it home on Sunday as scheduled. Her flight was one of the hundreds canceled due to the big snow storms. She is rescheduled to come tomorrow when the weather looks good all across the country. Fingers crossed.

The domino effect of this was that I had to hustle and make a lot of cookies on my own that we had planned to do together. And I still have no idea of what we are going to do for our big holiday dinner because we are going to plan and shop for that when she is here.

If Zac had his way we would wear our sweats and get In and Out burgers. Ally wants to dress up because she has a fancy new dress. We could flip our tradition, which is big Christmas Eve dinner, casual Christmas night dinner. Oh! And we still have not decorated the tree. We have a lot to pack into the 3 days and 4 nights we will all be together since Zac has to go back to Monterey on Saturday.

The house is pretty clean and decorated, the clothes are washed and the beds are made for everyone. I am excited to have the house full for a few days!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The tree will be decorated on Sunday night when everyone is home! See more homes on the tour here.
Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Dear Elderly Gent at the Post Office,

As you walked in your halting gait in a diagonal across the parking lot, holding up traffic in 4 directions, I began to think about the future.

While I waited for the cross traffic to clear so I could back from my space and then had to stop half way out because you pulled out of your space directly across the parking lot from mine without, apparently, seeing me, I thought about how many people would have honked at you. Not me, though.

Then I pulled up behind you and waited and waited and waited because you wanted to turn left and there was a sign prominently displayed prohibiting left turns and you were waiting for the city traffic department to change its mind and take down the sign and finally someone behind me started to honk so you gave up and turned right directly in the path of an oncoming car. And I thought about that talk family members have with aging folks about driving and how I will take it when my time comes.

And, well, just wanted to wish you a safe holiday season.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009


This may be a strange time of year to get serious about the job search, but that is the way these days are. The fact is that Tom is panicked about the drop in business and our large monthly requirements which come whether there are paying clients or not. The reality is that I cannot bring in or bill out money. I can help in other ways, but not the essential one.

And paltry as my pay was, I brought in our health care benefits. And now those are going to run out. And we could hire me as an employee and get benefits through his practice, but it isn't cheaper that way.

It isn't as if I haven't been looking and applying for jobs. I have posted with some frequency about my frustrations. About 6 weeks ago I realized I was depressed. It was really obvious once I started examining my symptoms. It isn't like the wind-up doll that they use in one of the drug commercials, or he hollow eyed, sweat shirted people in other drug commercials. For the most part I was up and around and functioning and wearing lipstick appropriately.

I went through the hoops and various appointments and have been taking some medication and I feel much more like myself. I feel some enthusiasm where before I felt my efforts were pointless.

I was submitting applications online over the weekend and wound up on one of those employment agency sites. Usually when that happens, I just go back out. For some reason I stopped and thought about it and decided to see what would happen if I followed through with their application process. In my experience, the agencies don't necessarily have the job advertised. They are trying to get candidates for their temp jobs, which I am not interested in doing.

I filled out the long and involved forms and was eventually siphoned into an appointment. And this is where I realize I have been really dim. Being sent by an agency to a job is so much better than sending a resume in cold. Especially as an older candidate. Being screened and "recommended" to the employer is always going to be better - duh.

Then I get to the strip mall office and I am not so sure. They put me in front of a tacky video for 15 minutes then have me fill out MORE forms and sit in cramped, dirty chairs in a waiting area with outdated posters on the wall and I am thinking I am wasting my time....
But the consultant was quite charming and professional. She really got my story and understood what I was looking for and had some ideas right away. She recommended I also apply to a couple of other agencies and sent me some tutorials to use to improve my skills before testing in Excel and Outlook. So I am quite pleased with my experience and have great hopes for the new year.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I have never understood why so many blue collar folks identify themselves as conservatives. Over and over again leaders of the Republican Party show themselves to be people who think you are a loser if you are not rich like them. Take Rush Limbaugh who thinks it's just fine that health care, like a beach house, is only available to people who can afford it.

* * * * * * * *

No matter what Tiger did and how many women he did it to, it is not NEWS as in capital letters kind of news. When NBC is using TMZ (a gossip show) as a source for stories, then it is gossip. There are more important things for us to focus on. The more the media plays into this glorification of celebrity and gossip - the stupider society is going to become. This really must change.

* * * * * * *

Okay, enough of the cranky pants. I am now officially done with my shopping and decorating and ready to move on with the festivities. I am going to make CDs of some Christmas music for a few family members to send along with biscotti and some fancied up almonds, specifically: Honey Lacquered Almonds with Rosemary & Black Pepper. I have a lot of wrapping to do and a couple of mosaics that need to be finished off.

I addressed all my holiday cards and letters last night while watching Glee. Tom said he wants an autographed picture of Sue Silvester for his office. Ally and I found one that says "WWSSD?" that we are going to print for him! And if you don't watch Glee - catch up while it is on hiatus. Great writing and musical numbers.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


This e-mail came today from a book club friend:

I am passing this on to you, because it definitely works

and we could all use a little more calmness in our lives.

By following simple advice heard on the Oprah show, you

too can find inner peace.

Dr. Oz advised, 'The way to achieve inner peace is to finish

all the things you have started and have never finished.'

So, I looked around my house to see all the things I started

and hadn't finished, and before leaving the house this

morning, I finished off a bottle of white Zinfandel, a

bottle of tequila, a package of Oreos, the remainder of

my old Prozac prescription, the rest of the cheesecake,

some Doritos, and a box of chocolates.

You have no idea how freaking good I feel right now.

Pass this on if you know anyone you think might be

in need of inner peace.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


"She will try to help an author who detests her, because of the home she wants to build inside herself, because of how she wants to live. In the end, to forgive, to tell the truth, to honor what is worthy of admiration, hurts less than the alternative." Elizabeth Berg , from her novel " home safe"

I finished this book a few days ago but this passage kept coming back to me. I really understood what she was saying about forgiveness versus carrying a grudge or seeking revenge. It is about what I want to reside in me. I don't want hurt and anger and hate there.

I want a clean slate; ready to be filled up by every new day. I want to hold on to what is useful and hopeful and loving. Take that into the next day and the next and make my life better and make the lives of my family better and then lives of other people better.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I signed on to do Jen's Holiday Home Tour again this year, then started worrying that it was all going to look the same as last year. But when I got all the boxes home from storage I was reminded that I had several large rooms worth of decor and a much smaller space to decorate now.

So I went all out. Pretty much everything in the boxes is out on display. Tom came home from a bike ride and was quite agog. It is very shiny.

We will not be decorating the tree until Maggie comes home on the 19th, but the photos for the home tour will be posted on Friday December 18. Stop in and see all the festive houses.


As the debate continues, I found this refreshingly honest.

Quote of the day :

This health care bill continues the redistribution of wealth to Wall Street at the expense of America's manufacturing and service economies which suffer from costs other countries do not have to bear, especially the cost of health care. America continues to stand out among all industrialized nations for its privatized health care system. As a result, we are less competitive in steel, automotive, aerospace and shipping while other countries subsidize their exports in these areas through socializing the cost of health care.Notwithstanding the fate of H.R. 3962, America will someday come to recognize the broad social and economic benefits of a not-for-profit, single-payer health care system, which is good for the American people and good for America's businesses, with of course the notable exceptions being insurance and pharmaceuticals. -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


1. I benefited from my premature grey hair today. I was shopping at Kohls and the checker deducted the 20% Senior Discount from my purchase. I am almost ten years too young for it - but I didn't volunteer that information...

2. My husband is so enamored of this commercial that he told me to go out to buy these shoes and I could even pay full retail price. I am tempted to buy them and loll around naked but for the shoes and see what he thinks then!

3. A woman who has been a friend for a long time went to one of those big sample sales in San Francisco. She bought a lot of cashmere scarves and pashminas and other things for gifts and some extras for people who asked her to bring some things for them. Before our last book club meeting she pulled out this gorgeous black and white patterned pashmina to show me. She had purchased one for herself and an extra one. She asked if I would like to buy it for $20.00.
This pashmina was so striking and completely my style. I felt a bit sorry for myself, but I said I couldn't buy it.

After our meeting, she was distributing the scarves and other pretty things and everyone was oohing and ahhing. Then my friend pulled out the black and white pashmina and showed it around and offered to anyone who might like it for $15.00.

4. Hilda, our aging little dachshund, has taken to howling and other nocturnal behavior on nights around each full moon. Is this a behavior known to come on in old age?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


In person this shoe isn't so white. It is what they call "stone" when it relates to khaki pants, which is what I had in mind for them to match.
I bought them because they were really highly rated and they were really cheap. Really extra cheap. And good "comfort" style shoes are usually so expensive.
Let me tell you. The ratings were right on. They're really comfortable. Wear all day with no socks comfortable.
So tell me straight. Are they really ugly?
P.S. Maggie - I already know what you will say....I won't wear them when you are home!