Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Several Days' Worth

The weekend was chock-full of fun and Monday got away from me, so I saved up several days' worth of smiles for this entry.  (I'd like to pretend that was all calculated, but no -- it was just me being lazy and forgetful.) Some of the highlights:

  • Saw a herd of deer early in the morning on my way to pick up Riley on Friday...
  • Followed by a pretty red fox on our way back home.
  • Won a HUGE Motion Friday morning; very proud of that one!
  • My ode to my very own Opossum Slayer and the wonderful sketch my friend Katie worked up to go along with it came together just in time to welcome him home from his week of hunting.
  • Enjoyed a nice dinner at a new place (including my favorite - fried artichoke hearts) with the beau, followed by a cute/funny movie with him and his kiddos.
  • Got to host a visit with my dear friend Michelle again.
  • Our Saturday evening at Massa's was highlighted by the cast of Jersey Shore - the Wedding Episode showing up and entertaining us with their questionable fashion statements and "The Sitch's" decision to remove his shirt.
  • Something about seat-warmers and flipping switches.
  • Sunday lunch was a divine visit back to Crown Candy Kitchen, complete with a Heart-Stopping BLT & chocolate shake.
  • Followed by some shopping along Main Street in St. Charles - including the purchase of a really cute (and inexpensive!) bracelet.
  • Followed by several nice glasses of wine at Winery of the Little Hills with Michelle and David.
  • My first attempt at BBQ Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf was a success -- quite yummy!
  • Giggled myself silly recording Gillespie last night.
  • Yesterday and today were warm and sunny. 
And that's quite a lot for just a few days.  :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Would You Slay an Opossum in a Thunderstorm?

A year-and-a-half ago, I penned a somewhat tongue-in-cheek post declaring my unwillingness to provide my phone number to any future would-be suitors absent a willingness on their part to slay a dragon for me. Mostly, it was me grousing about the irritating lack of follow-through many modern day fellas seem to have developed, and mourning the loss of the courting tradition.  I didn't truly expect a dragon slayer to magically appear on my doorstep. Frankly, I wasn't quite sure they even existed.  I certainly wasn't holding my breath.  And I think I figured if I -- even just facetiously -- set the bar that high, I'd probably be doing myself (and others) a favor by keeping everything simple.  If no one can meet your standards to begin with, they'll never really be able to let you down later, right?  Not that I managed to follow my own rule completely -- I may have made an exception or two.  Which played out in predictable fashion.  

Then....I met my "Beau."  A tall, handsome fellow, who seemed to meet all my requirements "on paper" -- and even more so in person.  As we got to know one another better -- slowly, but steadily -- he demonstrated, repeatedly, an ability -- and willingness -- to top that bar.  He contacted me; he invited me out; he held the door for me; he listened to all my silly stories with the patience of a saint; he made me laugh; he willingly met friends and family; he was kind to my daughter; he cooked for me, and indulged my lame attempt at baking; he read my writing and listened to my radio shows; he volunteered for all manner of helpful tasks; he sent me flowers; he brought me silly, sweet cards. He courted me.  

I, of course, basked in this.  But, truth be told, I was a little skeptical.  I scrutinized him and pondered the situation from every angle, waiting for that dreaded other shoe to drop.  It still hasn't.  I also worried and wondered along the way what I'd manage to do or say to scare him off.  I suppose I must be doing something right, because that hasn't happened either.   

Several weeks ago, I awoke to discover an unpleasant surprise on my deck:  A dead opossum.  Not of the playing-dead or only-mostly-dead variety.  Deader-than-dead dead.  And rather slimy, to boot.  I yelped and, of course, immediately snapped a picture of the unfortunate critter, which I promptly texted to Beau with shouts of "Hallllllppppp!!" After agreeing my discovery was rather nasty, he then did the unthinkable:  He volunteered to come over and rid me of it.  Of course I didn't take him up on it. He was half an hour away, and needed to be at work.  But I've no doubt he would have.  

And as I relayed the story to a friend later that morning, she verbalized the very thought I'd had earlier:  "You not only found a guy who'll slay a dragon for you -- you found one who'll slay dead opossums!"  As if that weren't enough, a few days later, while at my sister's house for a family dinner, we got socked with a nasty thunderstorm.  About half way through it, I realized the moon roof on my car was still open, which I could have lived with, were it not for the fact that Riley became convinced her book and backpack would be soaked.  I reluctantly grabbed an umbrella, kicked off my flip-flops, and readied myself for a mad dash out to the car.  Just as I reached the door, a huge bolt of lightning struck nearby, accompanied by a loud clap of thunder.  I screamed and jumped back and quickly reconsidered my intended jaunt.  At which point, my Beau, without a word, bravely reached out his hand for the keys then bounded out to my car to close up the roof for me.

All of which is to say this: I've long prided myself on being fiercely independent, and capable of doing most things I put my mind to on my own. Still, it is a wonderful thing to encounter someone who's able and willing to hold out a hand (or shoulder or ear) and render that not such a matter of necessity.  They may be rare, but dragon slayers do exist.  Gentlemen: take notes.  And ladies, if you happen upon one -- especially one who'll dispatch dead opossums and brave the height of a thunderstorm for you -- hang onto him.  And realize that you're a very, very lucky girl.  

Special thanks to Katie Hedrick for the artwork!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

But Whining's So Much Easier....

Oy, I had a crappy day. Had to drive to Benton, MO and back this morning, my check engine & VSC lights came back on in my car (which I just spent $3,200 to fix a few weeks ago), my back is killing me, I feel like I'm coming down with a flu bug of some sort, came home to a bunch of dog barf.....But y'all don't read my blog to hear me whine.  Heck, you may not even read it to hear me tra-la-la-la-la about happy things.  However, on the off chance you are reading it, I did find a few reasons to smile today:

  • Again with the sunshine and warmth. Mother Nature keeps this up, I may actually stop kvetching about her.
  • Got my hair done this afternoon.
  • Enjoyed recording a podcast for Radio 214 this evening, with @BakedFlounder and Donlyn Turnbull.
  • Tomorrow's Friday. Which, in addition to meaning: It's the weekend!! Also means...
  • My beau comes home. I've missed him quite a lot.
  • Full moon tonight. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Short, Sweet and to the Point

Will keep tonight's entry short and sweet, in part because it wasn't a day crazy full of smiles, and in part because of the last reason on the list.  Regardless, I was reminded today just how precious life's smiles are:

  • The sun came out.
  • Even though this happened to my dear friend Fingers today, he's still here to tell us about it...

  • Only two days 'til Friday.
  • Reunited with old friends/colleagues.  We're definitely older. Not sure if we're wiser. But these folks sure do make me giggle a lot....


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Test of Tuesday

As much as I find Mondays suspect, I started noticing about a year or two ago that Tuesdays seemed to be angling to become "The New Monday."  It was actually my friend Michelle who first alerted me to this phenomenon. Sure as shootin', I've noticed it more and more.  In fact, Tuesdays often top Mondays in their cruddiness these days.  Today was no exception to that.  It was cold and rainy and dreary. I developed a very untimely bout of writer's block, just as I was attempting to complete several different key pleadings.  And my sad pre-fabbed, frozen sorry excuse for a lunch was gnarly.  

That said, I stumbled across this very timely reminder:

Yes. There is. So, with that said, I mustered up a few smiles to share:
  • At least it wasn't snowing here like it was in southern Colorado today....

  • I finished a Motion that had been nagging at me.
  • Got to watch Riley and her acting class perform the scenes they won't be performing at their Showcase in a couple weeks.  They were very cute.  And, though I voiced (to her Dad) my concern at just how skilled Riley seemed to be with the snotty attitude two of her characters called for, I loved watching her perform. She's actually quite good!
  • I'm getting to enjoy a semi-relaxing evening at home. 
  • While I discovered I may have been mistaken in my assertion that Lee Meriwether was a Tri-Delt, I discovered that Megyn Kelly actually was. (Not that I'm surprised by this.)
  • It's only three days until Friday. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Even Mondays Can Bring Some Smiles

Like most, I'm not a big fan of Mondays. That whole getting back to "real life" after a couple days of fun and relaxation is always a challenge.  Even when the weekend consists largely of working around the house and/or running errands, it still seems like a mini-vacation, and Monday, the bucket of cold water in the face.  Still, there are reasons to smile.  You just have to remember to look for them:
  • I asked Riley to pick out one recipe from my new cookbook for me to fix when she's with me next -- she went straight for the Bacon Wrapped Barbecued Meatloaf. Kid has good taste!
  • It was sunny and warm today.  It may seem like I'm stating the obvious, but given the climatological roller coaster ride we've been on of late, I'll take it.  And smile about it!
  • When my trusty high-tech recording device failed to work properly during my recorded interview of a witness this morning, I pulled out my old on-its-last-legs iPhone and it did the trick.
  • David got a turkey on his first time turkey hunting/first day out:
  • My big sis was honored by Parkway tonight as the Teacher of the Year for her school.  So proud of her!!
  • Oh! And Lizzie got her braces off!  :) 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Weekend's Smiles

It shouldn't come as a surprise, but the weekend brought with it quite a few reasons to smile. Given the week that preceded it, they were more than welcome:

  • The clouds finally gave way to sunshine.
  • Had a great time Friday night out with the girls and very much appreciate the fact that several of those friendships go back 30+ years. 
  • Watching my Twitter timeline as news that Boston Bomber number two had been cornered and eventually apprehended rolled in. 
  • Enjoying a yummy brunch at FirstWatch with David. 
  • Followed by a nice long walk on a beautiful day.
  • The trees were in bloom:

  • We found a nice place to sit and enjoy the day:

  • And we saw a tortoise...

 ...and a hare!

  • Later, Riley and I got her room rearranged -- she removed and sorted through all of her books, toys and assorted odds and ends before putting them back, and I moved the furniture around. (Aside from the heavy lifting, I actually got the better end of that deal.)
  • Overhearing Riley humming "Low Rider" this morning. 
  • Surviving a trip to Walmart on Sunday. 
  • Went for a run, even though I didn't really feel like it.
  • Making an observable -- if small -- dent in the yard work, and my ToDo List.
  • Knowing that next weekend is only 5 days away.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mother Nature's Making it Tough

My aim was to write one of these entries every day. Today started out with an angry thunder storm (which made me question the propriety of sending Riley out to the bus, though I eventually settled on running out to it with her -- like that would somehow ward off the evil storm spirits.)  And it remained dank, gross and decidedly gloomy. Mother Nature seems to be doing her level best to steal my sunshine. But I'm determined to stick with this.  At least for one more day.  

So....to the things that made me smile today:

  • Tomorrow's Friday!
  • I checked a few more To Do's off my list.
  • At least today's precip was rain, not snow.
  • Being part of a schmouple.
  • Being Christopher Robinned - "Tut tut, it looks like rain."
  • Gathered up a bag full of stuff to donate to VVA tomorrow, and made a corresponding dent in the junk heap residing in my "office".
  • Watching Riley play in the backyard in her yellow rain coat and rain boots.
  • These words were actually texted to me today: "fo shizzle poohzizzle."
  • I think I may have been followed by Ross Perot tonight on Twitter. (If it's a fake account, it certainly tweets a lot.) 
  • "Sid" the mouse reminded me today that happiness is not a destination, but a way of life. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Look for the Positive

I can't tell you how many times in the past week I've had to consciously turn away from the computer and make a concerted effort not to keep looking back at either Twitter or Facebook or various news feeds.  There's just been....so much. In fact, earlier tonight, as I was braiding Riley's hair, she remarked, "Why do we even watch the news?! It's five minutes of weather, and the rest is people killing each other!" (We don't actually watch it often here -- I get most of my news on-line these days -- but it happened to be on when we walked back out into the family room.)  I hugged her and reminded her that there are a lot of good stories and good people, too.  We just don't hear enough about them, it seems. 

Which brings me to this -- earlier today, I resolved to get back to my blogging in earnest.  I really would like to write something every day. Even if it's mostly just fluff. I re-read a number of my old posts today and was reminded how good it felt to be sharing my daily smiles (and interspersing those with more contemplative pieces.)  Then, too, I found a photo/message from one of my favorite Facebook pages "365 Days of Inspiration" that reminded me to look for the beauty in every day:

So I decided to do just that.  And I actually sat down and made a list of the things that have made me smile in the past day or two:

  • I have a new shower. Not a completely new shower -- just a new surround and fixtures. But it works. For the first time in over two years, I have my own shower and am not borrowing Riley's. And it feels great! One nagging item off that far too long list of things to get done.
  • The giggle fit Josh and I had Monday night as we opened our show with a tribute to the K-Mart "ship your pants" commercial, and Mark's bewilderment at us.
  • Discovering that I have a way to copy files off of all my old floppies at work (some saved from 13+ years ago) and even convert the Word Perfect documents to Word. (Geek alert!)
  • Receiving some of the sweetest texts and e-mails from my beau. (Schmoop alert!  And get used to it.)
  • Valiantly slaying the giant spider Riley discovered in her shower this morning -- it's nice when Mom can still save the day.
  • Getting David past the 100 Follower mark on Twitter. (This will mean nothing to non-Twitterers, but it's a pretty big deal in the Twitterverse.  I still remember how proud I was when I broke the 100 Follower barrier.) 
  • Confirming plans for our upcoming "staycation," including taking in a Cardinals game, staying downtown and doing St. Louis touristy stuff.
  • Having lunch with Sam, Hopey and Kevin today to celebrate Sam's birthday -- at Arcelia's, no less. Always loved that place and hated it when they closed. So glad they've reopened. Just as delicious as ever!
  • Working with silly, perverse co-workers who regularly force me to plug my ears and "Lalalala - I'm not listening!" at them.
  • It's warm out (for the time being) and it was sunny this afternoon.
  • I found a pretty flower in my backyard.

There is beauty in the world. There is good in the world.  Remember that. :)