Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's all about tender negotiations. It begins with admitting you were wrong, and even earlier by taking a breath, gathering information and choosing your words carefully. It was about racial profiling. Now it's about beer. There are no words of my own that come to mind, so I propose the following toast, adapted slightly from a traditional beer toast. Maybe the President should have this loaded into the teleprompter. :)

For every wound, a balm.
For every sorrow, cheer.
For every storm, a calm.
For every outburst, a beer.

Phi (Fi Fo Fum)

Art is not a science and never will be, there's too much personal interpretation, but artists use scientific theory and mathematical concepts along with their creativity.

For instance: .618. It's not just a number. And it's not a type of ammunition, or the change in your pocket or a new interpretation of pi (3.14.......). It's phi, an amazing concept and numerical value that is used by artists and others in their quest for perfect balance and natural aesthetics. Architects use it, graphic artists work with it.

Phi is the golden ratio; Leonardo da Vinci painted using the unique formula. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887. Phi is infinite. It's actually a never-ending decimal that just goes on and on and on....

Today I heard an amazing artist talk about his work, how he creates his majestic landscape paintings and his loyalty to the golden rectangle (or golden ratio).

I learned so much. I am going to spend some time researching and experimenting with phi as a basic formula that can be used in composition. It's already used in music and I imagine there are writers who already use it; "Leo"certainly got it, but I am just learning about the interesting connection between math and gold. I suppose there are some who would refer me to compound interest and the principle of saving 10% of your income, but today I am thinking about something different - I am thinking about phi.

So, phi is the infinite non-repeating decimal 1.6180339887.... Phi also governs the proportions of the pyramids, the Parthenon, and your height divided by the distance from your belly button to the floor = phi. And according to the Da Vinci Code, it's a mystical number.

It's still a bit of a mystery to me, but it shouldn't be. I mean, how young could I have been when I first heard about it? Maybe 3 years old? I remember Jack and the Beanstalk, and the giant and the goose that laid the golden eggs. I just never realized how smart that giant was...I thought he was just ranting and rhyming an almost when in reality he was thinking more along the lines of Leonardo da Vinci, chanting symbolic mathematical phrases relating to gold.

Mystical or maybe magical? Jack or Mickey? Art or science? I think it's time for a little experiment; ohmmm is going to have to take a back seat tonight during yoga with me and Wii and Fifi. I'll get back to you with the results. Phi-fi-fo-ohmmmmmmmmmm...........

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Me + Wii = Heart

It finally happened. We bonded, or maybe I should say that Wii bonded. Me and Wii, that is.

It wasn't quick, it wasn't without a few bumps, we had our moments...but we finally did it. We bonded. We are a team. There's no one I would rather spend an sweaty hour with every night.

Nothing can come between me and my Wii.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Nearly 35 years ago (that would be in 1974 for the math-challenged), I first met my future father-in-law. He was dressed in tan slacks, a short sleeve button down shirt and had a flip notepad in his shirt pocket. He managed several businesses with that small notepad for decades, but I never got it. In fact, I think I may have made fun of it.

Now I carry a flip pad everywhere.

After thousands of dollars on Franklin Planners and hours upon hours of online calendar and to-do list organization, I returned to the basics earlier this year and have found myself more organized than I have ever been. Granted, I have an iPhone with instant access to my calendar, email and contact list, but beyond that my lime green or hot pink or sky blue flip notepad has become the center of my world. Everything goes into my flip pad - notes, comments, reminders, names, ideas, etc. Even calendar dates and phone numbers sometimes end up there when I don't have time to enter them into my iPhone immediately.

So, I owe a thank you to my NM friend who provided me with a supply of colorful flip pads and an apology to my former father-in-law (proof that life really is eternal - future became former). And I need to do some catch up, because there is no way to determine the lost minutes and hours that were wasted because I didn't use a flip pad. But I can do it, I have a flip pad.

I flipped, can you?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flower Power

I loved the 60's. It was the decade of peace, love, sit-ins, long skirts, braids, free love and our family vacations up and down the state of California.

In a brave display of fortitude, Dad drove us smack into the middle of San Francisco in the summer of 1967. I remember Lombard Street (yep, we got to drive down it back then), the Golden Gate Bridge (which I still think is orange, not gold) and the hills of Frisco that we drove up and down hoping the brakes would hold. My Dad then made us lock our doors when we drove through the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. He seemed certain the hippies were going to mob the car (secretly, I think my Dad would have joined them had he not been married with children). And Mom seemed to believe the love children would run up to the car and rip Melanie and I out of the back seat - presumably to force us into the love-commune. Both rather paranoid concerns were shared by my parents and were repeated to us several times during our cruise through the wild intersection of love and peace, in spite of the MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR t-shirts and fresh daisy chains worn by all.

Driving through the throng of long haired, flower chained, tie-dyed hippies, I knew they were onto something. Peace, flowers, cotton, sandals and hair that didn't need to be crimped, straightened, curled or cut. And they were smiling (of course, they were probably stoned, but I was too naive to know that). I should have jumped out of the car right then and there (not for the drugs, but for the non-drug-induced euphoria that seemed to permeate the air), but I bought into the paranoia and watched wide-eyed from the left rear window in the back seat of the very slow moving white Chevrolet Caprice, as the sea of hot pink/lime green/pyscho orange/lemon yellow cotton flowed by me.

I missed my chance to be a flower child by about 5 years (I was only 13 when we drove through the sea of love) but thankfully someone long ago shared with me the much loved and well-known phrase, "Take time to smell the flowers." I have always remembered both the daisy flower chains and the phrase.

Even earlier in my life when I was a very little girl, my Mom, my sister and I would visit my Mimi and Boppie in Illinois during the summers.. I am told that when I was very little I used to watch from the front picture window of my grandparent's home for my Boppie to come walking down Pell Street in Paxton, Illinois from his job on Main Street, just a few blocks away. He would walk home at lunchtime from Paxton Mercantile and when he walked up the stairs to the front door I would be there to greet him, "Boppie, can we please go smell the "plowers"?" Even as a young toddler I loved the fragrance of flowers (or plowers as I called them). Flowers can brighten anyone's day, even when you are 3+ years old and especially when you get to look at them with your Boppie.

And I love to "smell the plowers" even now. I always try to find time to pause in the craziness of life and take a deep breath and smell the flowers. However, I believe a flowerless future is ahead; the next 6 weeks are going to be so busy that I am certain I will be plower-deprived before they are over. A flurry of both business and personal travel will keep me on the road most of the days between now and Labor Day. I am afraid I will be too busy and too tired and too preoccupied to stop at all, let alone to stop and smell the flowers.

Life goes by too fast for us to allow our 'daily grind' to overshadow the moments of simple pleasures that are all around us. Boppie could have told me no and that he only had a short time for lunch, but if he had I would not have later heard the tender stories of his time with me and the "plowers", and I wouldn't have the pictures of me smelling the "plowers" along the side of his house while holding his hand. I am so glad he took the time to smell the plowers with a little redheaded girl who adored him.

Smelling plowers is one of those simple pleasures we need to find time for. I am going to be on the road (and in the air), but I am now determined to make time. In fact I think I will stop at a sidewalk flower stand and purchase some flowers for my hotel room. They will brighten my day and I will be able to smell them all night long.

Maybe it's a good thing I didn't jump out of the car in Haight-Ashbury, and maybe not. After all, I have always been more comfortable in peasant blouses, long flowy skirts and jeans and sandals than any other type of clothing (my children have no idea that I am really just a latent redheaded hippie). I was quite happy in the lovefest of the 70's with long wavy hair, halter tops, jeans, mexican sandals and a flower tucked over my ear.

Flower power is real, whether you are a hippie or not. Flowers can brighten spirits, soften a room's decor, infuse sweet fragrance or add vibrancy to your day.

Maybe I should make a daisy flower chain and wear it while I am gone so that I can smell the plowers all day long. My hair is long and wavy again, maybe I will wear a long skirt, peasant blouse and mexican sandals, but my halter top days are over - I couldn't do Haight-Ashbury then and I am certainly not going to try to do it now! Mom and Dad can rest easy.

Zazie "Flower Power"

Shades of Weddings to Come?

For your viewing enjoyment...and congratulations to the happy footed couple! I just love these two and their entire wedding party! So do over 7M You Tube viewers, as of today!

JK Wedding Entrance Dance

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Alligator Tears

I don't know if it's the heat from the cameras, the reduced caloric intake, the sore muscles that have been long underused, the reality that their 15 minutes of fame are at their most vulnerable moments, or maybe it's just male hormones, but the men on The Biggest Loser certainly do cry... a lot. We're talking alligator tears here, tears that match their first weigh in. Huge tears, and lots of them.

Some people are making fun of these guys, and I would be lying if I didn't admit a few eye rolls and "oh for pete's sake" comments (to myself) while I was watching my first episode ever, but you can't let those gigantic tears overshadow the amazing results these men are achieving.

So, the tears may be real, but more real is the determination and courage of these people who not only share their 15 minutes with the entire world, but they stand in front of cameras showing nearly every inch of their oversized bodies, including the large rolls of fat over their pants.

I have my own love handles, so I am not making fun and I hope to not be handles are cause for tears all by themselves.

Real men do cry, although as with everything on reality TV we don't really need to see quite so much or so many. And they drop the pounds too. Modern technology is amazing, there they are on TV, in front of all of us, exercising, sweating, (crying), swearing under their breath, in the sand, at the beach, on the court, and not a single electrical cord in sight.

But then again, with all the tears, it's probably better that they aren't in close range.

Sha Na Na "Tears on My Pillow"

Friday, July 24, 2009

How to Lose a Diet in One Day

We have all read the magazine covers "Lose 10 lbs of belly fat in 3 hours", "Walk your way to fitness and never take a step", "Find the hidden you beneath those layers of fat without even changing your clothes"...yada yada.

Well, I have written my own diet and exercise program "The Ohm and Wii Diet, by Mii - How to lose weight without saying a real word" and I have actually done fairly well on it...until today.

This blog entry is written from several pounds of personal experience. I have discovered, in one day, what NOT to do when you are on a diet. I am sharing it here to prevent others from the same calorie-laden one-day diet disaster, so suck it in and pay attention. Here are the top five diet no no's or "how to lose a diet in one day":

#1 - Do not attend a baseball game when hungry. (Peanuts, hot dogs, beer (for some), more peanuts)
#2 - Do not cruise new neighborhoods; you might find an Italian bakery. (canoli)
#3 - Do not go to Costco at noon. (samples and more samples)
#4 - Do not do anything without water in hand. (iced sweetened herb teas and decaf coffee drinks)
#5 - Do not wear loose clothing. (you can eat even more peanuts, hot dogs, canoli, etc.)

OK, time for Mii to get close and personal with my Wii. I am certain I am several dog years older and at least one hot dog heavier than yesterday. I think I am going to change diets, I am going on the "Best Friend Diet - Mii and You can do this together if Wii never leave the house". Watch for it on the newstands soon. Ohmmm.

Let It Flow - Naturally

I don't know who she was but I hope I run into her again.

I was walking home after my morning trek to Starbuck's (I read my paper there every day) and a gal went pedaling by me on a bicycle. She didn't say anything and by the time I noticed her she was already past me so I didn't either.

I remember thinking that it was odd to not say "hello" to someone who was less than 3 feet away from you, but I just kept on keepin' on and dismissed the thought almost as quickly as it surfaced.

As I was watching her expand the distance between us, she suddenly maneuvered a large U-turn and headed back in my direction (not so easy with a baby tent trailer dragging behind her).

This time I was ready, and I smiled to say "Hello" as she approached, figuring she would respond-in-kind either verbally or with a quick nod of her head and then again pedal past me in her backtracking efforts to wherever she had been.

Instead, she slowed as she approached me and smiled to say, before I could even get "H...." out of my prepared mouth, "I came back to tell you that your hair looks beautiful and shiny in the sun."

Wow. Thank you! What a nice thing to say! Have a wonderful day (I could feel the words gushing in a very ungraceful way as I tried to respond quickly yet graciously while we both were in motion). She smiled and made another huge U-turn to head back up the hill and away from where I was still quick-stepping my way home.

Suddenly life was brighter. So, with a swish of my gold-laced-auburn wavy locks, I picked up my pace and pranced on up the street, absolutely positive that every strand of hair on my head was almost glittery with a heavenly glow beneath the crowning rays of sunshine.

I don't know who she was, but I hope to see her again so that I can tell her that she made my day. Nothing from 8 AM on could dampen these gold and auburn flecked spirits. And I don't think I will wear my baseball cap to the game tonight either, or straighten the natural curl out of myhair, or use the straightener or curling iron; I am just gonna let it flow "naturally" (because I'm worth it!).

Who said blondes have more fun? Pffft.

Shawn Desman "Red Hair"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dog Years

It seems to me, if someone (or something) wants to be liked, used, appreciated and bragged about, they are careful about their communication - honest but not necessarily totally revealing, serious about life but with a enough humor to make them real, AND tactful and sensitive.

This is not the case with the Wii Fit. Within the first few minutes of our initial "getting to know you" conversation, I was told that my "Wii Age" is 4 years older than I really am. "Your Wii age is (imagine a drumroll here, as if I am going to be ecstatic) FIFTY NINE!" What? Excuse me? How dare he/she? We hardly know each other! The totally out-of-the-blue, shoulda-known-me-better-first statement was shocking to say the least, especially since I am not even 55 yet.

I am much more accustomed and appreciative of the (possibly insincere) comments that I more often receive: You have HOW many kids? I would never have guessed." OR "You must have been a child bride." OR "Your age, let's can't be a day over 45!"

Now that's what I am talking about. Blatant lies, but that's one heck of a lot better than blatant honesty! There is a time and place for insincerity and blatant fudging, or even withholding of the truth. And there are some things that don't need to be said. EVER!

First impressions count, and at this moment, my first impression of Wii Fit is not great. I appreciate directness, but NOT in the first conversation you ever have!!! Gimme a break! Try delicacy next time.

And use some tact please! Why not just say "In dog years, you lovely lady, you are little more than 9 years old." But noooooo, just blurt out the calculation of FIFTY NINE as if it's my daily mileage allotment or something. Of course he/she didn't care, they are a Mii, they can't see my face, feel the emotion of my offense.

All I know is that the Wii needs some etiquette training. I can only imagine their online communication blunders if this is how they communicate 'face to face'.

Manners are a thing of the past, and evidently, I am not far from joining them. And speaking of that, I just lost four years, so you'll have to excuse me now; I have some living to do - with my dog - most definitely a woman's best friend!

Aerosmith "Living on the Edge"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Techno Weddings

There was a day, not so very long ago, when weddings had to be planned a minimum of 6 months ahead of the scheduled wedding date. Not so much to allow time for making doilies and creating rice filled sachets, but to allow for the transfer of information between the engaged couple, the future in-laws and the bride's parent(s).

Today, 6 months would still be nice, but the reality is you can do it in weeks because of technology and the easy transfer of information in a very short amount of time.
For instance, in the past several days I have emailed - individually in their own separate emails - several name and address clarifications to my darling daughter (the gorgeous bride), all in response to a call, a text or an email from her. It didn't take several days, it wasn't laborious, it was easy. She asked, I looked at my online database, I responded. Quickly. "Guest list done!"

And RSVP's had to be accounted for, the time for a guest to decide to attend, to remember to complete the RSVP card and the postal timeline for the RSVP card to arrive back in your mailbox. Not anymore! RSVP online, at a website or a blogsite, or just text the bride and groom if you really want! Voila! "RSVP's done!"

And used to be the very last thing a groom wanted to do - wander through the china department of a store he didn't even want to be in. Now he can sit and watch TV and just nod his head as the bride points to something on her laptop computer screen and with a click they are registered for that item - right there in their own living room with the outdoor channel blasting survival techniques the whole time. They never miss a beat. "Gift registration done!"

You can even download a mix of wedding songs, or create your own mix on iTunes (see below) And that leaves the venue and the flowers, dresses, tuxes and food - and some things just shouldn't be done online. Please.

Techno weddings are the way to go! Of course, in spite of all the technofacilitation, brides and grooms are still stressed, still using checklists (albeit online), still overwhelmed and still counting the days until it's over! But before we know it we will be saying "wedding, done!" And from that moment should just get better.

Monday, July 20, 2009


....need I say more?

Probably not, but I will add that I am exhausted from the set up (I am soooooo not a techie) and no longer have any need to see how it works today. Multiple chords to multiple units in multiple colors with multiple uses are way beyond my normal limit. I have overdone and need a break. Once I recoup I will actually turn it on.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Smarty Pants

I am guilty. I am one of those people who should probably just 'fess up and accept responsibility for SOME of the hands free laws now being enacted (and enforced).

I have been using a cell phone since they were the size and weight of a cinder block. I once had to buy my purses based on their ability to lug a heavy-weight communication device around without breaking the purse straps. I couldn't leave home then and I can't leave home now without my cell phone. And this is where my guilt plays in; until recently I have always talked on my cell phone while I was driving - not smart, but the truth. And when texting became the new "best" way to communicate, I found myself chastising my kids for texting while they were driving and then hypocritically text on the sly myself - while in motion - which was not only stupid, but dangerous. I am happy to say that I came to my senses on my own with regard to that silliness.

Hands free is a good thing. It's safer. It makes people more feel more secure. It reduces unsafe multitasking in the car while driving as well as a driver's divided attention and focus. It also means there won't be any dropped phones, which can result in accidents when the driver reaches down to grab the fallen item. (In Albuquerque, a very sad accident happened recently; a woman was killed while riding alongside the road on her bike; this happened when the driver that struck her was reaching down to pick something up).

So yes, I am all for hands free (go bluetooth!), but my penchant for hands free doesn't stop at cell phones.

What is it that makes some young men (and young women) feel a need to walk around with their hand clutching the band of their sagging pants? Is it the teenage security blanket? Can they not afford a belt? How can that be comfortable? What happened to hands free pants?

Yesterday I was driving along Central in Albuquerque and a young man was walking toward me with his pants so loose and low that it took me a few minutes to determine that he wasn't wearing a skirt. Once I concluded that he was indeed wearing pants, I had to shake my head at the memory of some others who dress similarly; these "others" have told me that it is so much more comfortable to "sag and hold on" than to wear pants the normal way - hands free.

REALLY? It's more comfortable to shuffle instead of walk (because if you walked normally your pants would slide right off)? REALLY? It's more comfortable to have to hold onto your pants when you stand up (because if you don't they will stay in the chair without you)? REALLY? And it's more comfortable to hold onto the front band of your sagging pants as you meander down the sidewalk on a summer day (because if you let go you could be the new record holder for the quickest arrest on a sidewalk for indecent exposure)? Really? REALLY? Pull 'em up, please!!!

I am now a HUGE proponent of hands free. I am beginning to think that in the absence of our own common sense we need better laws to help us all be safer, to make others more comfortable and to reduce the risk of letting go and showing all. Normally I am not in favor of forced anything, but maybe we need a hands free law regarding pants, possibly a worldwide ban on any pants or skirts that are not hands free: if they can't stay on by themselves, they are banned. It's common sense. It's a safety issue. It's just common courtesy, when you get right down to it. I mean, I won't show you mine if you don't show me yours! But having said that, we all know that the rubber necking factor in these saggy pants cases is very high. I won't even mention the very heavy woman sitting on a bar stool last night...sagging. Words could not describe..................

Virginia tried, and failed, but that doesn't mean we can't try in New Mexico. Florida's working on it. Many states are concerned, schools are taking action, universities are trying to manage an overabundance of sagging pants and exposed cracks. It's affecting classwork: a) kids who are holding their pants do not have two hands free to carry books, etc. and b) the other kids are doing double takes so fast they get dizzy and lose focus on schoolwork. This is not a gender or racial issue, it's not even age related; this is one ban that would cross all boundaries, hopefully with a little slack for the toddler or senior-senior with droopy pants (no explanation needed or offered). Hands free as the better option for saggy pants will preserve everyone's safety and sanity. Cell phones and saggy, droopy pants. Bluetooth and belts or suspenders. Or maybe just pants that fit...what a concept.

I want to be clear that I am not suggesting a need for belt AND suspenders, that's a bit overkill and always makes me think the guy (or gal) is rather insecure, but please, one or the other. For the sanity of all.

Hands free. I am all for it. Besides, if you had to reach for your cell phone instead of holding onto that waist band, or reach down into those low pockets to get ANYTHING, just the bend alone is cause for concern.

Hands free. For safety, for self-preservation, for decency, for your self-esteem and for all the rest of us. Please.

Be smart, just say no to crack.

First Choice "Smarty Pants"

Thursday, July 16, 2009

When Life Gives You Cholesterol....

....take meds. But at least I can ramp up my exercise (now that I know that I will not keel over from a stroke - the ticker seems to be ticking strong) and my blood pressure is where it should be. Oh, one more little tidbit of news - beta blockers prevent weight loss. Great.

I liked making lemonade so much better.

Madagascar "I Like to Move it"

The Simpson's Theme Song

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dust & Bubbles

Dishes, dust and dirty laundry, will it ever end?

I clean, I cook, I have a sink full of dishes.

I clean, I live, I have dust again.

I clean, I wear my clothes, I have dirty laundry again.

I suppose if I didn't care I could just let it all go. I actually did that a few weeks ago. I cooked and rinsed my dishes but didn't wash them (I don't have a dishwasher). I let my dirty laundry pile up and over the top of the rather large dirty clothes bag I have next to my washer (yes, I have a washer and dryer, thank heavens). And I didn't dust; I just ignored the layer of dirt that was building up on every piece of furniture (to say nothing of the hardwood floors and carpet).

The problem is, I do care. So once I ran out of clothes, became worried about ants and cucaracha's, and could draw my name over and over again on any piece of furniture I wanted AND see my footprints on the hardwood floors, I caved.

And thus began the two-day cleaning marathon. Everything was dust-free and dirt-free and dried food-free. I was in heaven...for about 3 seconds.

And then it all started again....Dishes, Dust, Dirty laundry. The three D's. The absolutes of life. The eternal to do list.

Thank heavens there are 25 more letters to have fun with: Art, Baths, Chocolate, D----, Ellen, Food, Golf, Hiking, Internet, Jokes, K-kids, Laughter, Music, Nighttime, Opera, Play, Qdoba, Rest, Sightseeing, Travel, Ukulele, Vases of Flowers, Walks, XMen, YouTube, and Zoo.

But now, if you will please excuse me, I have chores to do; just a little dust and bubbles to go with my fun.

The Eagles "Dirty Laundry"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carb Heaven

Carbohydrates rock. I have basically been living without them for several weeks in an effort to look decent in my mother-of-the-bride dress.

Tonight I closed the door where the dress hangs 24/7 to keep me focused on the fact that I will definitely be wearing it in 6 weeks, and I made spaghetti.

Homemade marinara sauce. Regular pasta spaghetti noodles (not spinach). No parmesan. Ground turkey instead of ground beef. Fresh green beans sprinkled with garlic instead of garlic bread. But PASTA, pure carbs!!

It was so yummy. I am in carb heaven.

I wonder how a mu-mu would blend with the bride's plans for her wedding. I bet I can find one in the right colors, with big flowers, puffy sleeves, down to the floor, kind of a sack shape. Oh never mind, it's back to no-carb hell for this mother-of-the-bride.

I guess I love my daughter more than carbs, but it's close. Six weeks and counting, but who's counting?
Wierd Al' "Eat It"

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ten Random Thoughts

I am too tired tonight to write anything cohesively coherent, so here are some random thoughts that are definitely not cohesive and only marginally coherent.

Random Thought #1 - Cedar City's appeal just bumped up several notches with the possibility of living within boundaries of the "Wagon Trail Ward". Is that a cool name or what?

Random Thought #2 - Little America in Salt Lake City was always a popular place to stay for General Conference, but I never had the opportunity (we usually stayed with friends). All was not lost, however, because unbeknownst to me there is more than one Little America and recently I stayed in the Little America in Flagstaff. I love the Legend of Little America (found on a postcard in the lobby) so I will share it here:

Back in the eighteen-nineties when Little America's founder was a young man herding sheep in a dreary section of Wyoming, he became lost in a raging northeast blizzard and was forced to camp out all night at the place where the original Little America now stands. O that long January night in a terrible storm with fifty-mile per hour winds and 40 below temperatures, he longed for a warm fire, something to eat and wool blankets. He thought what a blessing it would be if some good soul would build a house of shelter at that desolate spot. Many times in his heart he dreamed of a haven for travelers with a crackling fire, a warm bed, delicious food.

In the nineteen-thirties when he saw Admiral Byrd's picture of "Little America" in the Antarctica and his isolation so many miles from his base camp, it reminded the founder of his experience in the Wyoming blizzard. The thought came back to fulfill his dream, to erect a haven of refuge on the spot of his harrowing experience. The name, of course, was a natural "Little America".

From its beginning on Wyoming's southwestern desert, Little America has grown to include properties throughout the western United States.
Random Thought #3 - Sometimes happiness is staring you right in the face and you look right past it.

Random Thought #4 - Every day counts.

Random Thought #5 - Personal trainers are for those with time and money. Dedication really has nothing to do with it.

Random Thought #6 - The grass only grows greener on the other side of the hill if it rains more on that side.

Random Thought #7 - Sanity is a state of mind.

Random Thought #8 - Never go to sleep with your pistol beneath your pillow.
Random Thought #9 - Dirt is a lesser evil then dead grass.

Random Thought #10 - If I want to live somewhere because of the coolness of a name, what could be a better choice than Albuquerque?!?!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Legally Redhead

So, do you remember the scene in Legally Blonde where Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) plants herself on the grass in a lawn chair near the field where all the guys are playing football? You know, it's the scene where the guys lose focus on their game and almost fall over themselves (drooling) when they look at her size 2 body tucked into the pink lawn chair with her crossed bare legs and a designer lunch box of gourmet snacks and cool drinks?

Yes? Well, that's exactly how my day went today. Kind of, well, almost. Actually, that's not how my day went at all and that is not even close to how I looked today when I sank into my lime green lawn chair which I had planted in the grass near the area where all the guys (and gals) were playing volleyball . I even crossed my jean clad legs and casually enjoyed my homepacked lunch of hummus and crackers. But I didn't get the same reaction; not even close.

I had a great time watching and chortling and making wisecracks from the sidelines, but I was not decked out in hot pink anything and my cool drink did not have a colorful paper umbrella jauntily perched in the cup. Oh, and I was not wearing pink feathery heels, nor was my tshirt hot pink lycra -- my shirt was yellow and I was wearing flat brown leather sandals.

Other than that, we were exactly the same. Really. Almost twins. It's amazing. Don't let the hair fool ya.

However, I think I broke the tie with fresh blueberries and cherries (which I shared). Elle Woods may be a California blonde, but I am a New Mexico redhead.

And that means that I win!

Legally Blonde "Watch Me Shine"

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Fine Line

I crack myself up and it's a good thing since I spend so much time with me, myself and I. Two very recent instances of my own laughter at myself come to mind. Both instances are great examples of the fine line between sanity and insanity. I, of course, am sane. And so are me and myself.

The fine line, defined:

A) During a regular morning walk earlier this week my mind was whirling as it typically does, jumping from topic to topic and person to person and emotion to emotion (think: whirligig action in a monsoon). As I was maneuvering my way through the adobe abode neighborhoods of the Nob Hill area in Albuquerque, simultaneously navigating the tornado-like thoughts colliding in my mind, something struck me as funny and I found myself laughing AFTER I had made a verbal (out loud) (to no one) conversational observation. As soon as I heard myself making audible sounds (thankfully, I did not answer myself) I looked around to see if anyone was looking. I can't be certain, but I think I was alone on the street at that moment. However, I do think that me and myself were listening.

Later that same day I was walking in another part of Albuquerque to a business appointment downtown and passed an old, wrinkled and stooped woman who appeared to be homeless. As I passed her, presumably unnoticed, I felt compassion for her situation, but only a few minutes later I heard sounds from behind me and turned to look at the source. It was the same old woman, now about 20 feet behind me and walking the other way, with no one else on the street, talking audibly to herself (out loud) (to no one). I immediately thought, "Well, just another crazy old woman...." and then froze in place as almost at the same moment another thought surfaced, "Well, she sounded just like you did this morning, you crazy old woman." I immediately stood up straighter and zipped my lips. And as if that's not enough, sadly there is more:

B) Earlier today I posted a comment on my boss' Facebook page regarding his link to a blog entry concerning high speed rail in New Mexico. Because I am not a policy analyst (like he is), I tend to look at life and issues from "the lighter side" and my comments are typically tongue-in-cheek. Today as I typed my typically tongue-in-cheek comment and hit "POST", I laughed out loud as I read through it once more and said (out loud) (to no one) (as I was laughing), "I love my sense of humor."

I really don't think any further comment would be in my best interest, do you? Thank heavens I can laugh at myself, and so can me and myself, cuz it's not real often anyone else does.

Ok, enjoy your day; me, myself and I are heading off on a short road trip and we plan to share some laughs along the way.

(PS I am still laughing)

Blood, Sweat and Tears "Spinning Wheel"

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tweet Tweet

I suppose it was inevitable. After all,I wake up to chirping birds outside my window nearly every morning.

There's something about their daybreak chirping that makes me smile and gives the day a good send-off. It's as if they are saying (in 140 characters or less), "Good morning! We are so glad you rested well, now up and at 'em and have a chirpy day!"

"Tweet tweet, I will!" And I really will, because I am now an official twitter-er. Yes, that's right, I am a tweeter. I have become a twitter tweeter. I have joined the bird chorus and will be tweeting my way through the day. If all goes well, I will now have chirpy days and tweety days and whistle my way to work too.

You can find me at, well you know me, one of anything is never enough so I have a few Twitters, but you should probably find me at (or /theqontheqt or /baughhumbug or /mywritearm) or /geeneebee); I can tweet from any of these.

Tweet! Tweet!

The Jackson Five "Rockin Robin"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Life in an Adobe Abode

When I was a child, my Dad used to get up on Saturday mornings to "cut the grass". I always thought that was a funny way to say that he was going to "mow" the grass with a lawn mower.

Well, last night, a little different from my Dad's M.O., after the beautiful NM sunset and as temperatures dropped along with the sun, I also cut the grass. Literally.

Since my lawn is basically dirt (the result of a landlord/owner who after 6 months STILL has not done the zeriscape we discussed when I signed the lease in early December 2008 - yes, I am a bit frustrated over this), anyway, since my lawn is basically dirt, there isn't much grass to worry about.

And since I don't have a lawn mower or machete or lawn clippers, but I do have about a dozen tall tufts of grass growing wild along the sidewalk leading to my front patio, I needed to do something to tidy up the lovely dirt entry to my simple adobe abode (oh, that's just WAY to fun to type...ADOBE ABODE. ADOBE ABODE....a real finger calisthenics and mind concentration exercise).

Anyway, as I was standing in my gravel driveway looking at my ADOBE ABODE and daring not to look to either side of my house where lattice trellis and rock walkways lead visitors through natural vegetation and red rock to the front doors of the ADOBE ABODE residences of my two lovely neighbors, I had a brilliant idea.

If Dad got up on Saturday mornings to "cut the grass" in his yard in front of his 60's California rambler, I most certainly could get down on my knees on a Wednesday night to "cut the grass" in my yard in front of my 40's New Mexico ADOBE ABODE. The only difference is that I would not be mowing the grass, I would literally be cutting the grass.

Off I ran to the kitchen to grab my favorite kitchen scissors and then back to the scraggly sidewalk area to drop and cut (there was no fire, no need to drop and roll). So onto my knees I went and the barbering began.

I CUT the grass, with scissors!

There was a lot more to cut than I thought, so I spent quite some time cutting and cutting and cutting the grass along the sidewalk leading to the lovely patio in front of my ADOBE ABODE.

But I chuckled at myself the whole time, on my knees cutting the grass with kitchen scissors (and since I was in the appropriate position, also praying that no one would walk by).

Thank heavens that I have a sense of humor, or "cutting the grass" with kitchen scissors in front of my ADOBE ABODE in the moonlight might not have ended so charmingly.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Little Behind

I am typically late, always running a few minutes after deadline. This last trip home took 3 days instead of 1 day, or 2 days later than planned, which makes it the latest I have been in a long time. (We won't even talk about the weeks late arrival several years ago on a trip to visit the Hunt's). If I was young and cocky, I might buy the bumper sticker: "Always late, but worth the wait." (Thank heavens I am neither young OR cocky!)

It appears, along with my character trait of always being late, I am also an asphalt gypsy - I love to become one with the road. I have an affinity for asphalt beneath my rolling tires. I have already admitted a penchant to see "dust in the rearview" in earlier posts so this expanded description should not be shocking news to anyone.

I think it's obvious that I am a road trip babe. This seems like a relatively nonevasive, nonaggressive pasttime. I mean, I am not a downhill skier or a go-cart racer, I am a road tripper. I am not a dirt biker, I am an asphalt driver.

I remember when my good friend, Dee Hunt, had to give up winter skiing because her knees were going out. And I also remember a friend leaving his favorite game of tennis behind because of the arthritis in his ankles and elbows. They were not able to put in the long, hard hours of their favorite pasttimes any longer. Age had caught up to them. Aches and pains were winning.

It seems that age and its aches and pains has caught up with me too, but it's a bit embarrassing. I am about to leave my long days of road tripping behind, because of well, because of my behind! I just can't sit that long anymore! I wish it wasn't true, I wish I could sit longer, I wish I was a little behind rather than days or weeks late, and for that matter, I wish I had a little behind (something I was never blessed with).

But seriously. I am not kidding. This is not a joke, as funny as it might seem, I am serious. My ankles swell, my legs hurt, my behind gets sore, my back aches...and all I am doing in sitting and driving and checking my rearview once in a while for dust clouds. If I get tired I rock out to country western or toe tapping blues, and my whole body dances in my seat - on my behind to be exact.

So, my friends may not be able to downhill ski or serve a perfect game, but I can no longer drive for 12 hours. Even with pillows propped behind me and tucked beneath me. I just can't do it. I lose a day of my life everytime I try, maybe two days. One day to drive, one day to recoup.

No more 12 hour road trips for this redhead. Not by myself, anyway. I have to leave the asphalt for awhile, and it's the ass' fault that I do. (Pardon the silly play on words, I couldn't resist). So it's down to short road trips for this ass-fault babe.

Now, if someone wants to come along and help drive, or if you can find me a four hour road trip, I am there! And you never know, I might be on time!

Asphault driving. It's in my blood. Road trippin. Dancin' in and ON my seat. Oh yeah, I love it!

Now I just have to convince my behind.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Want To Can Do It!

I want to can do it! I do, I really do!

And so did my granddaughter, Kourtney, as she hung with the tips of her pointed toes only an inch from the drop pad beneath a monkey bar, wanting to let go and drop, knowing she could do it but searching for the will (and the faith) to just let go and trust her own instincts and the cheerleading team (parents, grandma, aunt) yelling their encouragement.

"I want to can do it!" is what she said just before she let go and dropped successfully to the pad. She was so proud of herself! And we all cheered!

Isn't that how we all feel about new experiences and challenges? We want to do it, we think we can do it, but we are hesitant, maybe even afraid...we want to know that we can do it, but that inch drop seems like a mile, that hour seems like an eternity, that new job, or new relationship, or "A" grade seems impossible. And the cheerleaders in our lives cannot go unrecognized, sometimes the encouraging words from someone close can be the fuel we need to take us the final stretch of a long journey, or the last inch of a drop, when we might otherwise have given up.

I love the eagerness of youth, their willingness to try, their want-to-can-do attitude.

We could all use a little more of that innocent zest for life in our lives! We need to want to can do it!

I want to can do it, do you?

Crosby Stills & Nash "Teach Your Children"

Sunday, July 5, 2009


When you look at your life and examine things that have happened as a result of your own decisions or actions, and also as a result of the actions of others, it's simply amazing although sometimes frightening.

Look at us...we live in America. We enjoy freedom. We share the joys of life, liberty and the right to pursue happiness. We have the right to worship God as we please, or not at all. We are truly a blessed people.

Is every day perfect? Do we glide through life effortlessly? Is our nation at peace? Are we completely confident in our leaders? Is the economy strong? No, no, no and no! But we are a nation of opportunity and the pieces are there if we, as a people, choose to work together and complete the puzzle that was started so many years ago by the founding fathers. I am so grateful to live in the United States of America, a nation I consider blessed.

Today I witnessed yet another blessing, another joy of life when my granddaughter, Kierstyn Avarell Jorgensen, was blessed by her Father, JR Jorgensen. What a little doll she is and what a great man he is.

And speaking of blessings, I am not a perfect person. I am what some might refer to as a lazy Mormon - others have referred to me as a reformed Mormon (which actually cracks me up) - but whatever the assigned title, I am and will always be a Mormon, lazy/reformed or not, and more importantly, I hope that I am a good person, a kind person, an honest person - because I am blessed.

Today I was reminded just how grateful I am for the influence so many people had on me just over 30 years ago as I was searching for something to tie my anchor to. I am grateful for the principles taught by many, including the LDS Church - the focus on family, the practice of daily effort to become a better person, the principles of service and sacrifice.

Today was about all of those guiding principles - the eternal truths that make us get up in the morning and face the daily grind once more; our liberty to do so, the life we dream of, our desire of happiness and comforts with our family. Today was an affirming sequence of events with family that underscored the deep-seated truths that I have held close for so many years. Those basic principles of life that give each of us our sense of being, our purpose for living, our work ethic, our desire to push through the hard times and our ability to laugh and love.

It was so fun to be with my kids (4 of them) and grandkids (4 of them) today in Cedar City. I had a wonderful day. Nothing makes me happier than to be around their fun, eager, honest, open personalities. I always learn from them and I always enjoy them.

It's been a great weekend. I was with people I love and people who love me the entire time. Together we pursued happiness and together we found it. Blessings were given and blessings were received.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were lived. The country celebrated the 4th of July. Flags waved on every block and nearly every building. Parades marched down Main Street America. Fireworks exploded in the sky in celebration. Families gathered around bar-b-ques in backyards. Stories were retold. History was made. Laughter was shared. Babies were blessed.

This weekend I lived a blessing and I am grateful. God bless America.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Life doesn't always pan out as expected. We can set goals, make plans, arrange details, outline travel plans and make appointments; we can put blood, sweat and tears into a project only to have everything go topsy turvy and
make us start all over again.

Such was the case this weekend, resulting in a great day in Park City which culminated with the Blood, Sweat and Tears concert at Deer Valley.

Who woulda thunk it?

Anyway, plans were trashed, appointments were cancelled and travel plans were remapped. And we made it to the Blood, Sweat and Tears concert with time to spare!

The group was great, the wine-toting crowd was jubilant to be toting wine (new liquor laws were passed this past week in Utah and whether the new laws affected outdoor concerts and the ability to bring in your own booze, or not, I don't know, but the crowd was celebrating)!

With 42 years of music and close to 250 band members behind them, Blood, Sweat & Tears looked VERY different but managed to rock the crowd with some classic favorites. Drum, piano and base combinations were amazing. The trumpeter was brilliant. The trombonist was classy. The blues they played were, well, blue. And the place rocked.

Spinning Wheel Made Me So Very Happy, and I really hope Lisa was listening.

No rain, in spite of every weather forecast and gray clouds overhead in the early afternoon. Lots of sun, it didn't completely set until after the concert was over, although it dropped behind the mountain about 7:15 or so. Cool breeze. Blankets, windbreakers, low chairs and people...and wine, lots of wine...all the way up the ski slope.

We packed a picnic, blankets and jackets. Decked in cowboy hats and boots we fit right in at Deer Valley. All that was missing were the blinding diamonds dripping from my neck and fingers. It was a great day and night.

I love it when a plan (or no plan) comes together.

Tonight didn't take a lot of effort, just some flexibility and, of course, Blood, Sweat and Tears.


Blood, Sweat & Tears "And When I Die"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Madoff Made Off (but he won't make it out)

After all these years Darwin is once again proven right.

It was the survival of the fittest - not the financially secure - the fittest. The good guys won. The fit to be free, the honest, diligent, we-followed-the-rules, apple pie and baseball folks won. Of course, the win was in the courts, we had already lost financially in our retirement accounts. You might think the 150-year sentence of Bernard Madoff for (what I consider) the most selfish crime against Americans BY an American in the history of our country would ring hollow to the throngs of hard-working middle class Americans who lost their life savings, but it didn't. It was a small victory in the face of huge losses, but it was a loud message to others with whom we trust our finances, it was a slice of vengeance, it was due process, it was really all we could get. And we cheered.

Madoff thought he held all the cards and had the game won, he expresses regret now and at 71 with a future of criminal inmates as his social circle, a wardrobe of orange pantsuits and a cell for a home, I am certain he has regrets. But he chose to play the game, and he cheated and he lost...but only after he lost everything for so many.

Madoff may have made off with an unbelievable amount of money that was earned by the sweat of someone else's back while he was sitting in his extravagant office and private jets and plush homes; Madoff may have made off, but in the end, he didn't make out. He is in jail, stripped of assets and silk suits, and lush surroundings; he is down for the count.

Madoff's locked up, and we can be pretty certain he will die there. His wife has $2.5 Mil to survive on for the rest of her life; a lot more than the people he bilked but not even a % worth citing of what they did have. Of course, it was not really their money, it was your money, and mine, and our neighbor's, and our kids'. Madoff made off with millions, but he won't make it out of jail. Jail is a place for those who are unfit to "fit" within society in a positive, productive, honorable role.

Madoff has proven that his is not fit to hang with all of us. He's being separated from us to protect us and there is no "GET OUT OF JAIL, FREE" card in this phase of the game.

There's no doubt that many were injured in this selfish game, but at least we survived.

Go Darwin. Cards down, Madoff. Game over.

Kenny Rogers "The Gambler"