Thursday, May 20, 2010

"robin's egg blue?"

Since I started blogging back in 2006 (egad!), I have done my fair share of stalking envying reading a LOT of other great blogs out there.  I am often in awe of these women bloggers.  Many of them have husbands and kids and very full lives.  Yet they find time to write tutorials on how to make a fabulous reusable grocery bag or the best way to organize...anything!  But the blogs that really catch my eye are the ones where the blogger has taken some piece of furniture that was discarded at the curb or donated to a thrift store and turned it into something that any of us would be proud to have in our homes.  Most of the time, I am simply in awe.


Now I will never say that my decorating tastes are on the cutting edge.  After all, I live in a house that is 60 years old and my decorating is basically "early American poverty" based on what I've acquired throughout the years as hand-me-downs from relatives or furniture stores going out of business.  I would LOVE for everything to match, but that is probably never going to happen short of winning the lottery.

HOWEVER....there is a fad among these spunky do-it-yourself-ers that I am simply not a big fan of.  Apparently the "it" color right now is kind of a robin's egg blue.  Now, I am most certainly NOT a woman who would turn down a gift in a blue Tiffany's box (swoon), but if I had to choose a color as my LEAST favorite, it would probably be robin's egg blue.  Call me boring, but I would prefer my home decor in black or white or au natural.  Those robins' eggs can stay outside in the trees where they look quite fetching.

So, what do you think?  Am I just being bland or boring or will we look back on this period in our decorating history the way we do when we see olive green and yellow refrigerators from the 1970s?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Looking up - Remembering Mom

It's Mother's Day 2010 and my mom is far away.  Luckily she's just a few hundred miles away in Minnesota on a business trip.  Unfortunately that is not the case for many.  Today a friend of mine from grammar school posted a status on her Facebook page saying that although her mom has been gone for a while, she still misses her.  You see, her mom died of cancer in May of 1992 shortly before we graduated from high school.

As we celebrate moms today, I can't imagine the pain that those who are without theirs feel.  Although my mom and I are completely different people and often disagree on any number of things, I can't imagine what life would be if she wasn't there to call when I need help on a recipe or when something exciting happens in my life.  I can't imagine what it would have been like if she hadn't been there to see me graduate from high school or college.  I would have missed the enthusiasm she showed when I brought her to the house I bought and how she reassured me in my decision by saying the house "felt like" me.  The thrill of passing my first actuarial exam would have been lessened without her support and the flowers she sent to me.  I know I'm a woman in my 30s but what mom thinks is still important and I dread with all my heart the day when I won't get to ask for her opinion.

So, on this day, when so many are looking up to heaven and remembering their moms, I share a song by Mindy Smith.  I'm a big fan of her music and this is a song she wrote for her mom who died when Mindy was still very young.  Take a listen.  Then if you are fortunate enough to have your mom still in your life, call her and tell her how much you love her.

Here are the lyrics.  Click here to see a video and hear the song.

"One Moment More"

Hold me
Even though I know you're leaving
And show me
All the reasons you would stay
It's just enough to feel your breath on mine
To warm my soul and ease my mind
You've got to hold me and show me now

Give me
Just one part of you to cling to
And keep me
Everywhere you are
It's just enough to steal my heart and run
And fade out with the falling sun

Oh, please don't go
Let me have you just one moment more
Oh, all I need
All I want is just one moment more
You've got to hold me and keep me

Tell me that someday you'll be returning
And maybe
Maybe I'll believe
It's just enough to see a shooting star
To know you're never really far
It's just enough to see a shooting star
To know you're never really gone

Oh, please don't go
Let me have you just one moment more
Oh, all I need
All I want is just one moment more

Oh, please don't go
Let me have you just one moment more
Oh, all I need
All I want is just one moment more
You've got to hold me and maybe I'll believe

So hold me
Even though I know you're leaving

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Looking up - The International Space station.

When I asked Troy for ideas on things to blog about this month, he mentioned the International Space Station.  You can't really think of it without "looking up".  The Space Station has either been completed recently or is on the verge of being completed in very near future.  Work to build its various piece and assemble then in near-Earth orbit has been going on since 1998 and was originally started by the Russians.  Starting in 2000, crews have manned the space station on a continual basis for nearly 10 years.

While I think all of the research is fascinating and I'm awed by the possibilities that the research may bring for the rest of us here on Earth, I have to admit that the mere thought of going into space gives me the heebie jeebies!  I am most definitely and assuredly an earth sign.  I like my feet firmly planted on Mother Earth.  I am not a fan of regular old flying in a plane and I CERTAINLY wouldn't even entertain the thought of venture out of the safety of our lovely oxygen-filled atmosphere.  If the earth is going down, I'm going down with her.

For those of you who are perhaps not so "grounded", check out this quick animated timeline of the work completed on the International Space Station.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Looking up - A craft room gone crazy

I'm burned out.  I admit it.  I haven't had a real vacation (more than 3 days off in a row) since last June.  I know it may sound like I'm whining like a spoiled brat, but I need some time to just "be".  Of course, "being" for me is still fairly active.  BT (Before Troy), I had gotten into the habit of taking the week of Labor Day off of work.  It was great because I could get 9 days off in a row and it only cost me 4 days of vacation.  Besides, my birthday usually falls during that week.  Sweet!  I would use the week to finish/start projects around my house, sleep in, veg, work on any craft projects I had going, etc etc etc.  It was fabulous.

Since Troy came on the scene, my vacation days have been scheduled to make the most of motorcycle riding season and spending those vacation days on ACTUAL vacations.  Go figure!  While that has been wonderful, I've really been feeling like I'm neglecting my house.  A LOT!  For instance, I started laying tile in the basement right before I met him and that project STILL isn't finished.  We'll just say that was over 6 years ago.  YIKES!

So, I took the day off to make some headway at home.  My craft (aka JUNK room) is bulging at the seams and sending me to a not very nice place mentally, so it's time to get rid of some crap stuff.  I've been scouring the local thrift stores in search of containers to store my supplies and I've been pretty lucky in what I've found since most everything has to fit into a shelf I have from Ikea.

This morning I started the sorting and dejunking and so far I've rounded up 3 BIG boxes and 1 HUGE bag of stuff to donate and I feel MUCH better already, so things are definitely looking up!  The problems I'm having now are that I (1) have waaaaay to many interests and hobbies and (2) I am trying to fit too much furniture in what is essentially a fairly small bedroom.  So I need to find new homes for a bookshelf, a chair and my treadmill (maybe the treadmill should go somewhere I MIGHT actually use it, huh?).  I thought I was going to move the bookshelf to my back room, but I got rid of enough books that I don't need to use it back there.  Whew!

In the process of dejunking and reorganizing, I'm taking the time to label everything.  I just have to say how much I LOVE my labeler.  It's fantastic.  For those things where I want the labels to be a bit more decorative, I'm using my Cricut and my sewing machine.  Once I've finished them, I'll show you the old (1950s and older) suitcases I'm in the process of redoing to hold all of my extra photos.  I take a LOT of photos!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Looking up - A musical interlude with Ella Fitzgerald

While searching for "looking up" inspiration for this month's NaBloPoMo, I happened upon this lovely song by Ella Fitgerald.  It's so fun!  I want it to make it my "alarm" for waking me up in the morning!

If you click on the link, you can listen to a snippet of it.  Edit:  Troy directed me to this audio version of it on Youtube.  Click Here.

Here are all of the lyrics:

If I should suddenly start to sing
Or stand on my head or anything
Don't think that I've lost my senses
It's just that my happiness finally commences

The long long ages of dull despair
Are turning into thin air
And it seems that suddenly I've
Become the happiest girl alive

Things are looking up
I've been looking the landscape over
And it's covered with 4 leaf clover
Oh things are looking up
Since love looked up at me

Bitter was my cup
But no more will I be the mourner
For I've certainly turned the corner
Oh things are looking up
Since love looked up at me

See the sunbeams
Every one beams
Just because of you
Love's in session
And my depression
Is unmistakably through

Things are looking up
It's a great little world we live in
Oh I'm happy as a pup
Since love looked up at me


See the sunbeams
Every one beams
Just because of you
Love's in session
And my depression
Is unmistakably through

Things are looking up
It's a great little world we live in
Oh I'm happy as a pup
Since love looked up at me

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Looking up - Smart Phones (again!)

If you'll recall, the other day I wrote a post about how the Smart Phone people have reeled me into their evil web of readily available information.

So, here's the downside of this glorious device:  This morning as I was at a stop light waiting to turn into my parking garage, I saw no fewer than 10 people staring intently at their cell phones while walking.  In downtown Indianapolis.  During morning rush hour.  STARING.  None of them were looking up to see where they were going!

I completely and totally get why Oprah is encouraging everyone to make their cars a No Phone Zone (catchy, no?).  We have become obsessed with these things!  No longer do they simply ring when we have an incoming phone call.  Now we can be alerted by them for any number of reasons - a text message, a post someone has left on your Facebook wall, a new email.  If my old phone rang (or buzzed since I keep it on vibrate while I'm at work) 10 times a day, my new phone rings 100 times a day.  That's a whole LOT of distraction!

I'm truly concerned about our growing addiction to them and the danger they pose as we go through our day.  I challenge you to go a day without using your cell phone.  This morning I accidentally left my phone on the charger at home.  I realized it when I was still close enough to go back and get it, but I decided not to.  I think it has a pretty tight grip on my life and I'm gonna do whatever I can to loosen that grip.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Looking up - Hero worship

Except for the 5 minutes I spend in the waiting room of my doctor's office, I don't really pay attention to much in the way of celebrity news show or magazines.  When horrible stories come out about them, I often feel a bit bad for the celebrities because they don't often have a chance for people to actually get to know who they really are and tabloid writers write whatever will sell the most magazines.

Recently, though, I've started looking up to three celebrities.  This may have even developed into a bit of a girl crush.

It all started when I started watching reruns of "The Ghost Whisperer" on Ion television.  Then my obsession with Jennifer Love Hewitt hit an all time high when I saw a video of her talking about being "vejazzled" on Lopez Tonight.  It was hilarious and she's just so darned cute when she talks about it.  If you haven't seen the video, you really MUST!  It may be the best 5 minutes of your week.  Also, thanks to my bloggy friend Joan for introducing the video to me.

Then I was flipping through the TV channels and saw a bit of an interview with Jewel on CMT (Country Music Television).  Now I know a lot of people kind of rag on her about her teeth because they are a bit jagged, but I've always been a big fan of her music.  Anyone who knows me knows I'm a sucker for folk music song by a chick with her guitar.

In the interview, she was talking up her new country album that's set to be released in June.  It's called "Sweet and Wild", which she said she thinks fits her perfectly.  She's known for her sweet songs and poetry that she loves writing, but she grew up on a ranch and loves riding horses and motorcycles.  The songs and poetry are her sweet side and the motorcycles are her wild side.  I totally related to this!  I definitely love most all things pink and girly, but if you tried to take away my motorcycle, I'd have to punch your lights out.  I'm just sayin'.

Finally, on Saturday, Troy and I went to see "The Bounty Hunter" starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler (um, ladies?  Can I get a "hell yeah!"?.....I digress.)  I must say, for having just turned 41 this year, Miss Aniston looks amazing!  Her skin and hair are gorgeous even when she takes an accidental dip in a pond.  Her figure is absolutely flawless and I think it may actually be a crime to have teeth that white.  The more I watched her, the more I remembered WHY it is that I don't frequently read all those newstand magazines.  How could I possibly not think of myself as a mutant blob of fat when faced with her physical perfection?  It's no wonder young (and old) girls get such complexes about their bodies.

So this looking up to these amazing stars has given me a goal.  If I could have the perky, cute, fun wit and attitude of Jennifer Love Hewitt and the adventurous/sentimental spirit of Jewel combined into the body of Jennifer Aniston, I could rule the world!  So if you come to my house or ride in my car with me and see pictures of these lovely ladies, it isn't because I've considered batting for the other team sexually.  The pictures are just there to remind me exactly who it is I want to become.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Looking up - Smart Phones to the Rescue!

I often fancy myself a bit of a neo-luddite.  You know...neo-luddites are those people who would opt for an old-fashioned human-powered lawnmower over a self-propelled riding lawnmower.  They think the "dishwasher" they have in the kitchen is really whichever kid wants to get their allowance that week.  Neo-luddites aren't "anti" technology, but they aren't going to start using a new piece of technology without first giving thought to what it means to do so.

For me, being a neo-luddite is often about just not wanting to spend the money.  I could have a dishwasher installed into my 1950s-era home, but it doesn't make sense from a cost standpoint.  I live alone, so the number of dishes I use is minimal unless I'm having a whole lot of people over and I've done the research into the cost.  Because the pipes in my house are so old and were not laid out well, it would take over $1000 in new plumbling work to install a dishwasher (and that's without the cost of the dishwasher itself!).  It took me YEARS to get on board with CDs over cassette tapes.  I vowed to not change unless someone could assure me that they would be the last musical technology.  Of course, as soon as I switched to CDs, downloading to Ipods, etc became the new thing.  Argh!  Just this last year, I finally got a flat screen television.  Up until then, the monster (26 inch) television I've had since moving into my first apartment (in 1997) was perfectly fine.  In fact, it still works perfectly in another room.  (A side note:  It amazed me that the first thing the poker guys noticed when they came to my house was the new 42 inch TV.  Go figure!)

I've also been known to go YEARS beyond when I could upgrade my cell phone because I often lament when a "phone was just a phone".  I hate transferring the numbers over (the cell phone company can do that for ya now!), learning my way around the menus and don't get me started on all of the ringtones.  Lord have mercy!


Alas, the cell phone makers have even reeled me in.  A few weeks ago I upgraded my cellphone to the Blackberry Curve.  (For the record, I only did it because the dog got mad and chewed on the old one.  It still worked, but it had some SHARP edges!)  Already, my worst nightmare with this phone has happened.....I don't know how I ever lived without it!

With this in the palm of your hand, you can look up anything (that's where the looking up part comes in -duh!).  For instance, on Sunday, Troy and I wanted to see a movie, but we didn't know what time they started and we weren't at either of our houses where we could connect to the internet.  Now, I realize we could have just driven to the theater or called on the phone (I think they still give you the movie times over the phone, don't they? hmmm), but instead, I simply downloaded the *free* Moviefone app and poof! all the movie times (also descriptions, trailers, etc etc etc) right at my fingertips!  Seriously amazing!  Wanna know where the nearest sushi restaurant is?  Sure!  Need to know who won the World Series in 1975?  Coming right up!  Wanna win a bar bet in no time flat?  You got it!

Seriously.  Amazing.  How did I ever live without it?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Looking up - Spring is (finally!) here!

Ok, show of hands.  Who thought winter was about 8 months long this year?  I have no doubt that global warming is most certainly happening, but it apparently had no effect on Indiana this year.

I grew up here in Indiana and I'm accustomed to having snow cover every inch of everything for several months.  As a kid I lived for "snow days" and I would wake up extra early on those days and wait with baited breath for the name of my school to be called on the radio.  I would bundle up and drag my sled to the big hill in the neighborhood.  My brother and I would play for hours and when we were done, we would come back home and have hot chocolate.  It was glorious.

Fast forward to adulthood in Indiana where there are no "snow days" from work, the front walk has to be shoveled and heating bills can be sky high.  For SOME reason, winter just doesn't hold the same appeal it once did.

So, now that the weather has started to turn warmer and the trees are budding, things sure are looking up.  Now a light jacket replaces the big winter coat, hats and mittens.  Lawn-mowing (which I pay to have done - yeah!) replaces snow-shoveling.  Walking the dog is now a chance to talk to neighbors instead of an endurance test for the skin on my face.

As the temperatures rise, so does my soul.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A change of plans.....Things are "looking up".

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you something different.  For the month of May, I'm going to be participating in the NaBloPoMo.  NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month.  Since it's on my list to blog every day for a month, I'm gonna give it a go.  This month's theme is "Look Up".  For the most part I'm going to try to stick with that as the theme of my entries, but I may go off topic too.  Who knows?  It may be as much of a suprise to me as it is to you.

So, today I got to check something off of the list!  As part of the Keep Indianapolis Beautiful initiative, I helped to plant trees along Washington Street.  It is the main east/west road through Indianapolis and most of it is sadly lacking in trees.  A couple of the excellent benefits of these trees will be a decrease in speed along the route and the addition of shade, which is crucial in many of the areas.

The day started out very overcast and there was definitely the threat of rain.  Luckily we didn't get dumped on and all 50 trees were successfully planted.

I helped with 2 and now every time I drive past them I think, "Hey!  I planted those!"  There's a wonderful feeling in knowing that you have done a good deed for the environment and the neighborhood.

I'm really glad I put this one on my list because I thought I knew what was required to plant a tree, but it was much more detailed than simply digging a whole and plopping the tree down into it.  Now that I know what it takes, I may plant a few in my yard to replace the VERY old one in front of my house that has been marked with the "orange dot of death" by the city.  They are supposed to come and remove it because it's in failing health and poses a danger to some of the houses in the case of a storm.

The impending removal of that tree makes me sad.  I live in an old neighborhood and I like that the streets are lined with trees much older than I am.  Without them, I might as well live in the suburbs, right?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin