Monday, February 28, 2011

Questions I’d Ask My Grandmother

Tomorrow would have been my Grandmother’s 105th birthday.  I know we were so lucky to have her through her 100th – I got to grow up, go to school, get my college and law degrees, get married, have a child, all with her in my life.  Best of all, Riley got to spend time with her Great Grandma and get to know her before she left us.  And I think – no, I know – she was ready to go when she did.  So, it’s selfish of me to think like this, I suppose.  But, so often these days, I’m struck with the realization that I need her now more than ever. 

I won’t say I took my Grandmother for granted.  I can’t remember there ever being a time when I didn’t see her for the amazing, strong, beautiful spirit she was.  Grandma just had this…presence.  An almost regal bearing, though not a cold one.  But I do regret not taking the time to sit and really talk with her before she went -- not just about the little things, but the big things, too:  life, love, loss.

I didn’t realize I’d someday find myself on a path quite similar to hers.  I never really stopped and thought about how she came to travel that path herself.  What it meant to her.  What it might have cost her.  I never asked her either.  And I don’t even know if she’d have been able or willing to tell me.  But I sure do wish I would have.

It will, no doubt, seem strange to some that I’ve felt her, here with me, at times since she passed on.  Always, there is the idea of her.  But on a couple of occasions, I’ve actually felt her with me, even heard her voice and felt her hand on my shoulder.  Those weren’t scary moments, at all.  A little strange, but more comforting than anything else.  Sometimes, I wish she’d come back and sit with me for awhile.  And then, maybe, I could ask her:

Was it hard to be so strong?  Where did you look to for that strength? What sustained you?

Did you envision your life turning out the way it did?  What would you have done differently if you could?  How did you maintain your focus on what you had, instead of what you didn’t?

When your heart was broken, what helped heal it?  When you wrote, what inspired you?  When you cried, what brought the laughter back?

Was it scary, being a single mother?  Did you ever worry you were letting Mom down?  If you were failing her by not providing her with a traditional family? 

How did you manage to run a farm and a post office?  (I realize the town was small, and you had some help with the farm, but I can barely manage a tiny house and a decent-sized yard.)  How did you know what you needed to do?  Where did you find the time to do it all?

How did you learn to live alone without being lonely?  To be independent without becoming isolated?

What would you tell me if you were here now?  What wisdom would you share with me to help me find my way?  

Most of all, do you have any idea how amazing you are?  What a blessing you’ve been in my life? 

I love you, Grandma. 


Sunday, February 27, 2011

When I Added Dorothy Gale to My Blog Description, I Meant Rainbows, Not Tornadoes

A week or so ago, I opted to change my blog’s name.  I incorporated the concept of Dorothy’s wistful warbling of blue skies and other such treasures lying just beyond the rainbow to acknowledge the dreamer in me.  I gave no thought at the time to the method by which she was transported over said rainbow.  Little did I know I’d soon find myself attempting to draft this latest entry while hunkered down in the bathtub in my interior bathroom, hoping to be a bit less Dorothy-like. 
I’ve actually never done that before.  Maybe the close call my parents and Riley had on New Year’s Eve still has me a little spooked.  Whatever the reason, this one had the hair standing up on the back of my neck for a few there.  The pressure in the house felt…off, and when the wind and rain (hail?) came blasting through, the sound of the latest branch heaving itself onto my roof about made me jump out of my skin. 
Naturally, I was still giving the play-by-play on Facebook.  For a moment, I had a vision of clinging tightly to my laptop, trying to post one last status update, while getting sucked up into a funnel cloud.  It’s times like these I have no choice but to acknowledge my complete and utter dorkiness. 
Fortunately, the worst seems to have passed.  Pringle and I are back on the bed, and I’m now feeling a bit of mild irritation at the realization that it will still be a long while before I can relax and drift off to sleep.  So much for six solid hours of sleep and hitting the ground running tomorrow morning. 
Ahh, well, in the meantime, I’ll share some of the smiles the weekend sent my way:
  • Learning how to integrate all my new software.  (Outlook notwithstanding – I’ll do battle with it some other day.)
  • Enjoying Margarita Friday with Di and Jane.
  • Hearing about how well Riley’s continuing to hit in softball and realizing how much she’s matured in recent months.
  • Attending another fun trivia night with friends.  (With apologies for my “Big” and “Stephen Spielberg” mis-steps.)
  • Vodka Gummies.
  • Finally getting Riley’s room straightened up…again.
  • Having the windows open.
  • Listening to Stevie Wonder’s “You Can Feel It All Over” (or, I guess it’s actually called “Sir Duke” – never knew that) on the way home from my folks this evening – can’t help but get happy and peppy when you hear that one.
  • Not getting sucked up into a ‘nado or smooshed by a branch.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Smiles from Thursday

The gloomy weather and my recalcitrant furnace are clearly conspiring to combat my happiness, but they're no match for my mule-headedness:
  • Having depositions go better today than I'd expected.
  • Learning my way around One Note -- it's an office supply/organizing freak's dream.
  • Making significant progress in planning out all my home improvement projects.  (Now if I could just win that small lottery...)
  • Seeing (hearing) some of the amazing talent that's made it through to AI's Top 24.  (Though very sorry to see sweet Jacee go.  He truly has the voice of an angel.)
  • Hearing Ryan Seacrest bust out with, "Baby lock the door and turn the lights down low..."
  • Catching the little flip kick Josh Flagg did while traipsing across the crosswalk behind his two blonde assistants on MDL.  (Words just can't do the maneuver justice, but I can't find a video clip of it...yet. Pic below will have to suffice.)
  • Coming to terms with my severe reality/Bravo TV addiction.
  • Looking over at my sleeping dog and seeing the look of contentment on his face.
  • Busting out a new font color for the blog tonight.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday's Smiles

I've been neglecting my Smile Duty somewhat lately.  It isn't that there haven't been any, but I think my brain is starting to show its age.  Like dream-memories that fade with each waking minute, my happy's have been too soon and easily forgotten.  I'd hate to think I'll have to start making hourly lists in order to compose my daily lists.  Recalling one's smiles ought not be a chore.  Anyway, today's:
  • Riley awaking and getting up on her own this morning.
  • Even though it appears to be on the fritz...AGAIN, the furnace is allowing me to "re-boot" it so that it will warm the house up before reverting to fritz-mode.
  • Pringle's incision seems to be healing well, and he's not trying to lick it too terribly much.
  • Celebrating the fact that two of my favorite people were born on this date.
  • Taco Night!
  • Watching American Idol with Riley and listening to her feedback on the various contestants (even if seeing Chris Medina go was heartbreaking).
  • Retweeting Fred Thompson -- the man makes me laugh!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

50 Things I Love About My Sister

My sister, Julie, is turning 50 tomorrow.  I'm not quite certain how that's possible.  After all, I'm only 28, and she's only 7 years older than me.  Maybe this is that "new math" people are always talking about.  I'll have to check that with her.  (She IS a math teacher, after all.)  Anyway, it seems appropriate to take this moment to set forth some of the many, many reasons I'm so grateful to have her as a sister and why I love her so:
  1. Her great big smile
  2. Her sense of style
  3. Her expressive eyes
  4. That she manages to have "good hair" even after working out
  5. Her easy laugh
  6. That she is my vocal twin
  7. That she is a Pisces (and some of my most favorite people in the world are Pisces!)
  8. Her choice in husbands
  9. Her dedication to training and staying in shape
  10. Her motivation of me to do the same
  11. That she's always been there for me
  12. That she's let me be there for her at times, too
  13. Her love for her daughter
  14. That she's like a second mother to my daughter
  15. Her appreciation for and understanding of math
  16. Her passion for teaching
  17. Her generosity
  18. Her tenacity
  19. That she will stand her ground when she knows she's right
  20. That she has endured great heartache without letting it harden her heart
  21. That she is the first person to reach out to someone else who's hurting
  22. That she frequently invites me to tag along in her life
  23. That she walks the walk
  24. Her insight into others
  25. Her empathy for others
  26. That she "let" me brush her hair and rub her back when I was little (I didn't care - I just liked snuggling in her bed)
  27. The time she brought me a bowl of ice cream to make me feel better when I was crying and hiding in my parents' closet
  28. The time she struggled to take me up to the pool riding on the handlebars of her bike
  29. Her and Karen trying to coax me down the slide at the pool when I was too scared
  30. All her hand-me-down clothes
  31. Watching her hug her great big Teddy Bear (was it "Mr. D"?) and cry over that boy
  32. Running to Arnoldsville and back with her
  33. The excellent example she set for party-throwing
  34. Visiting her at MIZZOU
  35. Traipsing to "Cafe Au Lait" (or was it "Olé"?), otherwise known as the dorm cafeteria, with her and her friends.
  36. Accompanying her to Bullwinkle's and Harpos (at the tender age of 11)
  37. Playing Ms. Pac Man with her
  38. Her car which needed no key to start it
  39. Knitting with her and "G-man" in the car on our way to Austin
  40. Being beaten by her repeatedly in Canasta
  41. Trying on swimsuits when she came to visit me in Chicago and discovering my uneven hips
  42. The hazardous trek back to my dorm from Water Tower - high wind plus solid ice = fits of laughter
  43. That she fell to pieces for me when they told me they'd need to put Riley on the ventilator
  44. The two of us climbing into bed with Grandma and having a heart-to-heart when she had a rough night
  45. Moore!  Moore! Moore!
  46. That she came back and ran me across the finish line for my first triathlon -- and all the times since she's helped cheer me on
  47. Discussing her bunion in Vegas (Bunion Ass!)
  48. Erasing exes at Baby A's in Austin
  49. Sweet Home Alabama, Puzzling Penguins, and our lovely waitress at Waffle House
  50. That she always has been and always will be one of the best big sisters anyone could ever ask for.
That's just a random sampling of her many wonderful attributes and some of the memories -- both silly and somber -- we've shared over the years.  People often say I remind them of her.  I take that as a great compliment. 
Happy Birthday, Julie!  May the next 50 be all that you want them to be.  I love you!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Puppy Love and Weekend Smiles

Far too often, I find myself questioning if taking on the role of dog owner was really a wise decision.  I do love dogs, and I certainly love our sweet Pringle.  It's rather hard not to love him -- the softest fur, the sweetest face, the very definition of unconditional love.  But there's so much fur, and the almost constant need for attention.  I'm gone much of the time, and feel this perpetual, nagging guilt for being a cruddy dog owner.  And then there are the inevitable trips to the vet which never cost less than $300.

We had an unscheduled one of those this weekend.  He'd had this spot on his arm (would it be the elbow? or the shoulder?) that I thought, initially, was just a scrape that would heal on its own.  But it didn't.  He kept licking at it, and it would bleed, and I finally resolved to take him in to have it looked at.  So, to the doggy doc we went.  We soon learned it wasn't a scrape after all -- it was a tumor.  Small, and not terribly concerning.  But, given its location, best to remove, rather than leaving it there to continue as a source of irritation -- for both him and me. 

Okay - fine, remove that sucker!  I was all for it.  And though far from ecstatic about the $330 estimate for this latest veterinary adventure, not shocked either.  So off the tumor came, and two hours later, Riley and I returned to retrieve our retriever, now sporting a shaved elbow/shoulder, stitches, and an "Elizabethan Collar."

He seemed to handle the whole process well.  But he nearly gave me a heart attack at 5:00 this morning.  I was already feeling guilty about that horrid collar.  I don't care if it is clear -- no dog is happy to have his head stuck through a lampshade.  It makes even the simplest of doggy delights, like sniffing the ground or lapping up water, or gnawing on a stuffed fox, next to impossible.  And it seemed like it fit him so tight, I worried it might suffocate him.  So, when he re-settled himself with his poor, coned head resting on my leg in the wee hours of the morning, I didn't really protest.

Truthfully, it was probably more a function of laziness than guilt on my part.  But either way, I let him stay that way, until, finally, unable to find a comfortable position myself, I decided it was time for him to move back over to his own corner of the bed.  I sat up and called his name and patted the other side of the bed.  And nothing happened.  There was no response from him whatsoever.  I took a closer look, and saw that his eye was half open, but there was no movement, no reaction.  I couldn't see him breathing.  I called his name again, and still nothing. 

And for about 5 seconds, my heart sunk through my stomach and my brain began the process of thinking the unthinkable.  No.  No, no, no.  I don't care how much I gripe about his flippin' fur, the chewed up paper towels, the bagel he stole from me, the stuffed animals he regularly steals from Riley.  NO! 

I thought I'd lost him.  I thought I'd let my poor sweet baby suffocate with a plastic cone on his head while laying there next to me.  I jumped up off the bed and squeaked, "Pringle!"  And suddenly, he lifted his head up.  And looked at me as if to say, "You aren't seriously waking me up this early, are you?"  Thank God!  I hugged him and kissed his nose, and patted his head.  And then got him to move back to his corner of the bed.  But my heart didn't stop racing for a long time after that.

Yes -- being his human is sometimes a royal pain.  But, no -- I wouldn't trade it.  I'm proud and honored to play that role.

On a lighter note...the weekend's smiles:
  • Having girl talk with Riley.
  • Keeping my good friend company by text while she embarked on a much needed adventure, and hearing about said adventure the following morning.
  • Seeing the e-collar on Pringle -- it's horrid and tragic in so many ways.  But it is awfully funny looking, too.
  • Spying Kurt and Brenda Warner and kids at the movie theater.
  • Getting out for a girls' night of movie/dinner/drinks with Cari and Tina.
  • Being left speechless at times by the movie we saw.  ("No Strings Attached" -- cute, funny, endearing, and, in a couple places, unapologetically crude.)
  • Recognizing and recalling that chemistry.
  • Watching my girl ride her bike with confidence today.
  • Enjoying the beautiful day by spending much of it outside.
  • Burgers and milkshakes for lunch.
  • Finally getting that gnarly pile of branches wrangled, cut up, bundled and out to the curb.
  • Relaxing in the hot tub with Riley.
  • Walking together to pick up our pizza-pizza for dinner.
  • Realizing the abundance of smiles with which I'm blessed when I spend time with my daughter.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Evolution, Playing the Percentages, and Smiles for Thursday

I've never been 100% comfortable with the title of my blog.  I felt like the explanation for it was fairly reasonable.  But I know that, at first blush, it seemed a bit risqué, even though anyone who's read it could attest to the fact that the content is anything but.  (Whether that's a good or a bad thing is up for debate.) 

Tonight, a somewhat tamer title came to me.  And so I've rechristened it as "Somewhere Over the Septic Tank," (though the URL, like a scarlet "A," will always hint at its unseemly past.)  I also added a description to it while I was back there behind the curtain, fiddling with the controls: "20% Dorothy Gale; 30% Erma Bombeck; 30% Tim Allen; 20% Carrie Bradshaw...100% Susie."  I guess that makes me a wry and handy dreamer/romantic.  Or something along those lines.

So, on to the smiles:
  • More sunshine and warmth (even if a bit windy).
  • Coming to terms with the fact that the next 6 weeks are going to be insane at work, and feeling more excited than overwhelmed about it.
  • Finally finding a Twitter app that syncs with Facebook on my iPhone.  (That sentence would have made zero sense to anyone 5 years ago.)
  • Staring up at the full moon.
  • Continuing with my adventures in Crockpot Cooking -- Cheesy Mexican Hamburger Soup -- Olé!!
  • Casey Abrams and the bass.
  • For dessert tonight:  Karmel Sutra.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well, It's Wednesday

...and I have a few smiles to mention.  BUT I'm starting to feel like the daily smiles thing is a cop out.  All it really amounts to is a list -- and a brief one at that.  It's helpful, in a method-acting sort of way.  But it isn't forcing me to flex my writing muscle much.  So, I may need to rethink this approach.  For now, I have these:
  • Sporting my new, bright turquoise blue emilieM purse.
  • Listening to the Highlander not make its train whistle noise anymore.
  • Finishing, finally, the gargantuan pre-trial report that's been haunting me.
  • Feeling the warmth of the sun.
  • Seeing all the Idol favorites I've mentioned previously survive Group Day in Hollywood -- and God bless that J.C. Bedeaux.  Even in the midst of a song he'd never heard and after being unceremoniously dumped by his original group, he still had the voice of an angel.
  • Giving myself a mani-pedi with obnoxiously bright colors.
  • Realizing that my new DVR enabled me to watch the new Criminal Minds series (love Forrest Whitaker!), Off the Map, and SVU (goodbye Sonia :( ).
  • Watching Bones, and hearing this:  "You can love a lot of people in this world, but there's only one person that you love the most."  Word.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's Reasons

Sure would be easier to list the reasons Tuesday gave me not to smile.  But I'd hate to drive off all 12 of my "followers," so here are the smiles Tuesday brought me:
  • Auto body guy taking charge and getting my re-visit to the dealership all squared away for me.
  • Hopey's birthday lunch.
  • My car actually making its weird noise while the dealership tech was in the car with me.  (Yay - they don't think I'm crazy -- at least not with respect to the noise in my car.)
  • Flirty McFlirtinson.
  • Reading the comments of FB friends in response to my whine about being back at the dealership with the car.
  • Discovering it was voles, rather than aliens, who made the crop circles on my parents' lawn.
  • Crockpot Endeavor #2 = success!
  • Nyquil.
  • P.S.  Apparently falling asleep before properly posting the above.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I woke up with a bad attitude today.  Hey - it happens.  Sometimes, no matter how hard one tries to focus on what one has, life and/or the calendar seem determined to remind one of what one hasn't.  To that, I say, "Thhhhhhppppptttttt!!!"  I found some smiles today anyway:
  • Reminiscing about a crazy old case I tried years ago.
  • Taking the high road.
  • Receiving the right Valentine's Day wish at the right moment.
  • Walking to lunch without a coat.
  • Getting my baby back - 4 weeks and 6 days post-off-road-adventure.
  • Picking out a couple more fun shades of nail polish for me.
  • Picking out a valentine for my girl.
  • Watching Brad continue to make good choices on The Bachelor.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Smiles

  • Enjoying lunch with Dean and Hopey and without tears.
  • Flirting with the hottie at the dealership - I'd almost consider being a cougar.
  • Dancing with my girls at Massa's.
  • Playing foosball with Di and some new friends.
  • Looking at all the stars Friday night.
  • Hearing from Riley's softball coach that she had an awesome practice.
  • Going for my first run in 3 1/2 months.
  • Feeling the sun's warmth and seeing the snow melt away.
  • Enjoying a little BBQ and shooting pool with friends.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday-Thursday Combo Smiles

This is getting rather tiresome, isn't it?  You know, smile, smile, smile.  Fluffy bunnies, tweety birds, yada yada.  Yeah, sometimes, I annoy myself.  At least my readers have the option of simply not reading when it wears thin.  I, on the other hand, am stuck with me.  Well, guess I'd better make the most of it...
  • The look on my lunchmates' faces yesterday when we discovered that there really is no such thing as a free lunch two days in a row.
  • Learning to embrace my inner app addict.
  • Also, my eclectic mix of Twitterers: Reuters - NeNe Leaks; John Boehner - John Cusack; Andrew Breitbart - Bravo Andy. 
  • James Durbin -- AI has some promising hopefuls this year.
  • Sunshine - now bring on the warmth!
  • Catching up with old friends/co-workers.
  • The hookers' -- oops - I mean "waitresses'" attire at Johnnie's.
  • Success with my first crockpot experiment -- the Potato Cheddar soup turned out great -- even Riley thought so.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesday's Happys

  • The right phone call to start my day.
  • Discovering there is such a thing as a free lunch -- at least for today and tomorrow.
  • Having a productive day at work.
  • Finding more fun people to follow on Twitter.
  • Hearing the adjuster's voice mail message -- my car will be ready on Thursday!
  • Mom's meatloaf.
  • Learning that my Mom is actually reading my blog.
  • The Lonely Hearts' Club on Glee.
  • Enjoying the user-friendliness of my new DVR.
  • Riley asking me to brush her hair.
  • Reading my friend Lisa's awesome new blog!
  • Knowing that the Gigster is alive and kicking.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday, Monday

Hmmmm....might be best if I combine Monday with Tuesday.  No - that's lazy.  Surely there were moments today...
  • Being back in the Grand Marquis (but hopefully only for another day or two!)
  • Receiving an unsolicited assist from the nice Costco Gas Pump Guy.
  • Listening to Riley's take on the bachelorettes vying for The Bachelor.
  • Picking out a new crockpot recipe to try with Riley.
  • Playing around with Instagram and Twitter.
  • Resolving that Tuesday will bring with it twice the smiles.  And maybe something a little more interesting about which to blog!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Smiles from a Long Winter's Weekend

  • Waking Saturday morning to find the latest "dusting" of snow was more like 3 inches and quite pretty.
  • Having brunch with Cari and Avery.
  • Getting shuttled up the driveway at Debbie's house.
  • Giggling with the girls at Sarah's shower.
  • Watching 'The Princess Bride' (again) through the eyes of two eight year olds.
  • Playing with a bunch of new apps on my iPhone.
  • Trying out another new appetizer recipe.
  • Enjoying the first half of the Super Bowl with the Cedarmill Crew.
  • Enjoying the second half of the Super Bowl (aside from the outcome) in my warm, comfy house.
  • Paging through the new crock pot cookbook Debbie gave to me, and receiving Riley's text: "If u find any good foods in there, COOK IT"
  • Riley's decision to put her blankie away in the drawer.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Thursday-Friday Smiles

Should have posted my Thursdays last night - I think I've forgotten most of them...
  • U-verse Man showing up early and taking only 15-20 minutes.
  • Being DVR-capable!  (And somehow, on two TV's, though I only ordered it for one.)
  • Gettin' mah hair and mah brows did.
  • The unbearable cuteness of Andy Cohen and Giggy.
  • Driving my 6th different car in less than a month.   (Malibus aren't bad, btw.)
  • Being able to offer non-depressed Susie as a lunch companion.
  • Ordering my Super Bowl squares.
  • Listening to Riley giggle over Gimli. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011


We all have our guilty pleasures.  One of my more recent ones is "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills".  I've watched other seasons (is that what you call the different geographical editions?), and found them somewhat intriguing, but none of them has drawn me in the way these Beverly Hills ladies have done.  I believe I've said this before, but what strikes me as particularly odd is that, as plastic (and believe me, there's been a LOT of work done) and obscenely wealthy as this crew is, I've somehow found myself relating to them the most.  Whether it's loving to hate Camille and her alternating shoulder shrugs and glares of death, or admiring the hell out of Adrienne and her drive and composure; aching for Taylor and her faltering marriage, or absolutely adoring Lisa and her fabulous sense of fashion and feisty sense of humor - I can't seem to get enough of them. 

And then there are Kim and Kyle.  The second I saw Kim, I thought, "I know her!"  Of course I knew her -- I'm a child of the 70's, and I remember my "Witch Mountain"!   And her sister, Kyle, was also familiar to me -- "Little House on the Prairie" featured both of them.  Wow, that's a slightly interesting twist -- former child actors starring in a "reality" show about "houswives".  (Oh - have I mentioned that none of the housewives are what any "real" person would consider a "housewife"?)  

This season followed the sisters' complicated relationship fairly closely, and it was both endearing and painful to watch unfold.  Clearly, there is love there.  An abundance of it.  Clearly, though, there is a great deal of deep-seeded pain, as well.  There were elements of their relationship -- primarily the positive ones -- that reminded me of my relationships with my own sisters.  There were elements that made me so very thankful to have the sisters I do. 

Tension built between the two throughout the season.   There were disagreements surrounding Kim's househunting, as well as her dependence on her children.  There were moments when Kyle, though the younger of the two, simply dominated and yes, borderline bullied Kim.  And, perhaps of greatest consequence, a misunderstanding between Kyle and Camille very early on spiraled out of control and Kim, though having the ability to clear things up and perhaps help them move past it, froze like a deer in the headlights and declined to do so.  This set the stage for the season finale in which a somewhat halting attempt by Taylor to, once again, clear the air quickly devolved into a shouting match, and ultimately a knock-down drag-out between the sisters in the back of a limousine.  No hair was pulled, no punches thrown, but there were words hissed in anger and backed by years of slights and frustrations that did immeasurable damage.

To anyone who hasn't watched the show, this must all seem quite silly, but I have to be honest:  As I watched the sisters' horrible fight play out, it made me cry.  Their pain was palpable and horrific.  Even watching them several months later on the "reunion" show was hard.  They clearly are still struggling with what happened and trying very hard to repair their relationship. 

All of which brings me to my primary point:  I love my sisters.  No -- I mean -- I really, truly, 100%, unabashedly, shamelessly love my sisters, and feel extraordinarily blessed to call them mine.   Kim and Kyle aren't the only sisters I "know" who have complicated relationships.  I have several dear friends who struggle with them as well.   My relationships with my sisters aren't perfect.  We have occasional bumps, moments of jealousy or mrrroowwrrr-hsssssishness, a misunderstanding and a hurt feeling here and there.  But for the most part, our relationships are blessedly uncomplicated.  We love each other, we like each other, and we're there for each other. 

Maybe I'm at an advantage, as the baby by 7+ years -- I look up to both of them and never was forced to really compete with them or tussle with them over things.  Instead, I got the benefit of their love and loyalty and protection without having to really fight for it.  Although I like to think they've gotten the benefit of mine, as well. 

One realization that's slowly made its way up to my conscious brain in recent months is that when all is said and done, they will be the ones who've known and loved me longest in my life.  They were girls and now are women who've helped shape me into the person I've become.  They are a very real source of my strength.  They are my sisters.  And I am so very grateful for that. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Resolutions and Smiles from a Wintry Wednesday

Meant to do this on Monday, but forgot.   Shortly before 2010 took its leave, I made a list of my 2011 resolutions.  I figured it'd behoove me to assess my progress with them so far, rather than wait 'til the end of the year:

1) Drink more water.  Check.
2) Write more.  Check.
3) Keep your feet on the ground.  Check.  Well, mostly.  I've had a few moments of gravity defiance. Plus there was that whole issue with my wheels.  But I'd give myself at least a B+ on this one.
4) Love the people who love you and love them well.  Check.  I've been making a conscious effort on this -- reaching out to the people who love me and letting them know how much I appreciate them.  I hope I'm doing it well.
5) Focus on what you have instead of what you don't.  This has been the toughest one.  It's hard not to get caught up in "what ifs" and "why nots," but I'm doing my damnedest.  This one, I'll give a B.

Not bad.  So far.

As for today's smiles, I chickened out and stayed home again today, so it wasn't particularly eventful, but I found my moments:
  • Phil not seeing his shadow.
  • Getting some actual work done.
  • Making significant progress on Project Organize My Office.
  • Going through all of Riley's old artwork, especially the pictures and notes she drew for me.
  • Finally leaving my house after 48 hours for the sole purpose of going to Walgreen's to get the pale shade of pink nail polish I suddenly decided I must have.
  • Painting my nails a pretty pale pink.
  • Eating a Klondike bar.
  • The invention of Llama Day.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Smiles from a Sleetbound Tuesday

Very quiet day today, but here goes:
  • Being able to relax this morning.
  • The squirrel convention on my front lawn.
  • Making some progress on cleaning the office.
  • Actually getting some work done.
  • All the Channel 4 reporters braving the sleet to give their field reports.
  • Having five Words With Friends games going at once.
  • Finding an old letter I wrote to a toxic ex in which I really stood up for myself, and realizing how far I've come since then.
  • The way the sleet/snow reflects the light at night.
  • Discovering that the more I write, the more I want to write.