Livin La Vida Loca

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Whew! Hello Again “Strangers”! My apologies for being away from you all for such a long time. I have missed writing, blogging, and my photography intensely these last few months. Life took an insane turn for the busy is the best way I can put it. (Those of you who are friends on Facebook will know exactly what I’m talking about) But for those of you who are not, or who I’m not in direct communication with – here’s what’s up in my neck of the woods:

I have scarcely had time to breathe or relax since August. Several family members – including my mother – have been very ill with serious medical issues and/or issues with aging. It is now time for me to step up further, along with my sister and step-siblings, as we continue to adjust our assistance to help meet the needs of our parents. The initial period of adjustment has been, shall we say, “bumpy”? – as diagnoses are mentally processed by all, and plans are put in place. I’m not a friend of Bill W – but I do find myself saying the Serenity Prayer frequently; as I’m learning the difference between what I can and can’t change in a BIG hurry; and finding my balance in the process (which is a good thing!) But I gotta tell ya – its tough when you live just down the street – jussayin….

As someone who went to school for Social Work and more importantly, as a Parent, my first instinct is always to be “The Fixer.” I see, I analyze, I solve…. Problem is, not everyone agrees with what to me are obvious fixes. Therein lies the rub…. I also need to remember that not everyone is looking for advice, sometimes they just need to vent. I don’t have to have a solution for everything. And I don’t. There are things that I have to let be, whether I like it or not. I can, figuratively speaking, grab a seat and some popcorn to watch the ensuing train wreck. I may have to do that – and I’m not happy about it at all.

Additionally, other friends and family are struggling with their own issues and I am doing my best to be supportive of them. Who ISN’T struggling these days? That would be the short list I think. That’s the list I would like to be on, even for a brief time. It doesn’t appear to be in the cards for me right now – but I’ll live. The Viking changed jobs and went back to his old company in CT. His former company has downsized considerably and cut all overtime for employees. Since we are trying to replenish the seriously depleted nest egg – this was unacceptable. Like most in the middle class – we can generally pay our bills on 40 hours, but saving appreciably? No way. So, he applied back with his old company and was pretty much re-hired on the spot. We had to get a second car for him, but well worth it. Good news in the midst of Mi Vida Loca!

For those who are interested, my weekday looks like this:

6:30 am – Hit the deck, get ready for work etc
7:30 – Commute
8-4 or 4:30 – Work
4/4:30 Commute
5pm-7/8/9 pm – Dinner Prep, Chores, Pet Care, Child Taxi Service as needed, Dinner, check in with family, friends, shop, run errands etc. etc…. (Wine, anyone? 😉 )
9/10/11 pm – TV/Read/Bed (depending on level of tired I am)

It doesn’t look like much when I write it down, but Boy Howdy! It sure takes the starch out of my knickers. And when the morning light comes shinin in I get up and do it again, Amen. And I remind you, dear readers, I am not 25 anymore. La Vida Loca, indeed. Weekends are spent catching up on chores I don’t get to do during the week (like the major housework) and helping the Viking with the outdoor stuff, plus doing whatever my Mom needs help with. So yeah…. Busy, busy. And its not like the girls don’t help. But Chaos is rarely around on weekends and busy with college and work during the week. Mayhem is helpful but also increasingly busy as her high school social life expands. She’s now involved in the Drama Club and the GSA at school; and Keystone Club and the PAL Mentoring Program at The Boys and Girls Club after school. Fortunately, one of her friends’ family and ours kind of “co-op” transportation duties so no one has to play taxi all the time. In many ways, it does take a village these days – or at least another family – to raise children. This weekend my friend Eve – of the aforementioned family transportation co-op – is coming over to help me regain some control of my house and the clutter therein. It’s a mess despite best efforts otherwise. She’s really, really good at organizing and de-cluttering so is going to give me a consult free of charge! Hurray!!!!! We have a really small house (approx 800 square feet) with only two micro-closets. Add two large breed dogs, a cat, a ferret, a teenager and three adults and VOILA – hot mess!

So that pretty much catches you all up my friends. I should have an op-ed post up about the Healthcare debacle in the near future, as well as whatever else strikes me or tickles my funny bone. I just need to find the time to gather my thoughts and write the darn things! Hahaha.

I’m out for now, Peace.

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Stream of Consciousness and Relationships

Greetings All!  I have been away for awhile here, attending to things at Hacienda Del Chaos. (aka My Life) July was insanely busy with amazing social events, including but not limited to 2 weddings and a family reunion. Then I also managed to get sick; which as my British friends might say, took the starch right out of my knickers.  The amount of tired I have been is unmeasurable.  We also have several extended family members who are quite ill at the moment.  Last summer was much worse in terms of stress and  family illness  – but I could certainly do with  less of that this year – and all the years to come. Sadly, I am also sure that will not prove to be the case…..

I have been too busy or worn out to feed my muse lately and she has begun screaming at me so I think it past time to unlock her from the padded cell again,  😉  I do feel better – connected and grounded somehow, when I write or work on my photography.  So this  post is going to be about whatever pops into my head – just so I can get back into the swing of things.    The girls have been busy this summer spending less time at home and giving us a dress rehearsal for the empty nest looming on the horizon.  Not sure I’m liking this, but it definitely serves as a prod for me to develop and nurture my hobbies and interests. Hello!  I will need something to do when they move, right?   I may be entering some photography contests or local exhibitions during fair season this fall – not sure yet.

Back side of the Sunset August 2013

Back side of the Sunset August 2013

So what keeps us going when life gets so busy?  I find myself more and more just moving through my daily routine without much active thought. My goal is getting through the day so I can collapse on my couch or in my bed at the end of it – thankful to have a place to lay my head down.  If I have to guess in a word, I would say the answer is “Relationships”  That connection to others.  And relationships are hard work.  Like gardening, we need to water and feed – develop, maintain, and enhance. Sometimes, we also weed and prune; reassess , re-categorize, or just move on.

Most always, the process of staying connected takes relatively little time –  a shout out text or email; a quick note or phone call;  a sit down dinner, a sofa or pillow conversation is  generally all that’s needed to maintain the status quo.  ‘Whats up with you? Hows it going?’ and then listening. Generally, the person on the receiving end of your communique will be delighted that you thought of them and glad to hear from you. I do try to stay connected to my friends and family regularly.  Most often, this involves a phone call, but texts and emails  work as well.  My immediate family ( The Viking and The Girls – we are all pretty good with the communication dept for the most part) So what happens when things break?  When you send those texts/emails and make phone calls/leave voicemails and hear nothing back for weeks at at time (if ever)? This is especially hurtful if you value that relationship considerably.  Or, you drift so far away from someone you don’t know how to  reconnect – or even if you should?

Let me tell you a true story.  I had a dear friend at one point a few years ago.  A long time friend.  The type of friend you speak with every morning before work, and generally chatted with several other times during the week as well. The kind of friend you were matron of honour for at her wedding. Whose daughter is your goddaughter and who was flower girl at your own wedding. We had our arguments, but patched things up fairly quickly all in all.  Her dad got sick with that long slow journey into darkness (the dreaded A- word) and she moved in with him to take care of him. I had issues with my family, including the death of my father in 2007 as well. She and her husband came to the wake.  Our daily conversations became weekly, then sporadic, then practically non-existent.  I’d periodically think  “I really have to call her and catch up”, but something always came up that needed my attention immediately, and by the time I thought about it again it was well past an acceptable time to pick up the phone. At the time, mornings with a high schooler and a middle schooler were (and probably still are) not conducive to telephone conversations  – so our former pattern was not an option.   Then, I ran into her daughter and granddaughter at the Christmas Tree Lighting at the Town Square a few years back. I asked her how her mom was, and how her grandfather was doing.  She looked at me funny, and then told me Pop had died the previous year.  I was dumbfounded. No one had told me, and I don’t get the paper or read obituaries online.  Of course, karma being what she is , I turn around after mumbling some very embarrassed and extremely belated condolences, and my friend was standing right behind me…. I offered my condolences again, saying I’d no idea he’d passed away. They were accepted quite frostily – and that, as they say,  was that. Can’t say I blame her on that one.  I run into her daughter occasionally and we chat.  I do miss my friend, but I have absolutely no idea how to fix this one – or at this point if it is beyond a fix and I should just continue moving on….  The whole situation saddens me immensely.

In other relationships, for example – the actions of my toxic monster in law; and the sister in law I’ve never met in the 29 years I’ve been with my husband; have made the choice to stay away from them  super easy- breezy.  I guess there’s always at least a few in every family. And conversely – in every family I’m sure there are members we would love to stay in closer touch with – but for whatever reason(s) we are not.   I would be interested to see how you all address these issues, particularly with a view to reestablishing and reaffirming broken connections with valued others. So please feel free to comment, and take my poll!

After the Storm Comes the Sunshine - and the Rainbows

After the Storm Comes the Sunshine – and the Rainbows

Road Trip

There’s something to be said for seeing the country the old fashioned way.  I’ve been in the mood to take a road trip for quite some time and was fortunate enough to both get some time off to do so, and to have a friend willing to give me a destination point. There’s a connected-ness that happens when you put wheels on the road.  Very distinct, and much much different from air travel.  I’m always a little off balance when I arrive in a city by air ; and that’s not just due to my inner ear pressure being scrambled.  Travel by car allows me to experience the places I travel through directly; and allow my mind and body to acclimate.

Let me talk for a minute about the interstate highways.  Arguably, one of the most significant achievements of the Eisenhower Administration.

Dwight D. Eisenhower photo portrait.

Dwight D. Eisenhower photo portrait. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act on June 29, 1956.   American lives have not been the same since.  At this point our future as the United States was about to become a reality. (Coincidentally for you trivia buffs – Marilyn Monroe married Arthur Miller in White Plains, New York on that very evening)   There’s not an item you have that has not traveled on an interstate highway to get to you – thanks to the truck drivers of America.

As a child of the 60’s and 70’s I can’t remember a time when one was not able to travel on the interstate. My mom can tell you stories of literally all day drives to get from southwestern MA to upstate Vermont taking what we now call “the back roads” all the way. You can still take back roads anywhere but with the interstate, why bother? You can get there much quicker on the highway.  That said, there’s something very pleasurable to me in driving myself somewhere; and experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of each region.  My car wheels roll and hum on the roadway; the tires softly thudding at predictable intervals as they cross the thin lines dividing each section of pavement.  My navigator and sidekick for this adventure – my fourteen year old daughter.  Our destination:  The Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley – Virginia.

Our GPS guided path took us south through Connecticut and into New York City on the I-95. A hot concrete and chrome fast/slow crush – smelling of exhaust fumes and faintly, low tide.  The City Proper – hazily visible to our left under thundery skies.  The Freedom Tower a beautiful soft focus exclamation point on the mid-afternoon skyline. Next, the crowded hustle and bustle of Newark NJ and the Garden State Parkway.  Everything’s close together and moving fast.

Things slow down and spread out as we reach Pennsylvania on I-78.  Farm country, the Lehigh Valley. Rolling hills divided by neat white fences that  enclose single and twin siloed red barns. Barns with stone foundations that seem to come straight up from the ground itself.  White farmhouses with wraparound porches. Everything neat – spic and span; as the saying goes. The first haying has come and gone, the second, now rolled up and drying on the fields. Horses and cows graze contentedly in green gold pastures.  Closer to the road, fence lines are covered with fuzzy, dusty pink flowers,

Some of those dusty pink fuzzy flowers along the roadside.

Some of those dusty pink fuzzy flowers along the roadside.

wild roses, and creeping vines.  Thunderstorms are coming in from west to east and it rains on us sporadically. It also creates splendid cloudscapes as the afternoon sun  lowers behind them.  We stop for a break, and I’m struck  by how similar things are on and around the interstate.  Mile-high signs announcing food, fuel, and lodging. Restaurant and Hotel chains providing the same services all up and down the road.  There’s a standard level of service on the interstate; which gives the traveler a sense of stability as they go along their merry ways.

We resume after refueling ourselves – and the car, and as we leave Pennsylvania behind crossing the Delaware and the Mighty Susquehanna, I am suddenly aware of a difference in the air quality. It’s become softer.  The thunderstorms have now tracked well to our east, but continue to provide a spectacular sky show to my left – as the late afternoon sun turns the line of massive thunderhead tops berry-pink with alpen-glow; with bruised purple foundations underneath. A dramatic, stunning backdrop for the farms dotting the low hills.  On I-81 now, we arrive in Virginia where the air seems even softer and smells sweeter.  I later discover that the scent is a luscious, heavenly combination of honeysuckle and sweet pea.  The Blue Ridge Mountains live up to their name as the sun sets behind the last ridge in Virginia in a purple, gold, and peach blaze of glory. Getting off the highway, we now take the back road directly to my friend’s house. On the way, a white tailed deer is grazing by the side of the road. We slow down to take a look and startle her into bounding off – back into the woods.  It was a nice “a-ha” moment to appreciate.

After arriving at  TL’s house, we settle in and relax, chatting up a storm with her and her son Ceej.  Getting to know the rest of the family – the cats: Miss Katie Scarlett, Paul Newman, Jack Sparrow, and Gandalf. And the dogs: Ruby Thewes and Miss Daisy. (TL has an affinity for literary characters). Mayhem and I felt welcome and at home; bonding with the entire cast of characters instantly.   I  doubt TL and I stopped talking the whole time we visited.  It was great fun.  Next post will be about our profoundly affecting trip to the Civil War Battlefield of New Market  – with pictures – and then later, our trip home.

To end this particular post, I thought I would leave you with a list of my favorite “Road/Road Trip” movies.  What are some of yours? And, do you have a favorite recollection of a road trip you might like to share?

  • Duel (1971)
  • Easy Rider (1969)
  • Electra Glide in Blue (1973)
  • To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything. Julie Newmar (1995)
  • The Gumball Rally (1976)
  • Thelma and Louise (1991)
  • Psycho (1961)
  • It Happened One Night (1934)
  • The Wild One (1954)
  • The Long, Long Trailer (1954)
  • Smokey and The Bandit (1977)
  • Speed (1994)
  • From Dusk to Dawn (1996)

I Waste So Much Time – but Maybe Not

I waste so much time.  Not really, but yeah… Tonight is one of those nights. My patience has been tried this evening.   Oh, nothing horrendous mind you. Just feeling intruded upon a tad bit.  So, my remedy this evening has been to sit out here on the computer, update my iPad, mess around with iTunes, blog, and drink – tonight my adult beverage of choice is Sailor Jerry – 92 proof rum,  and coke – in case anyone is interested.  I’ve had 2 so far – in a ball mason jar. 😉

My evening playlist whilst I imbibe has included but is not limited to: Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust;  Alan Jackson: Remember When, 1910 Fruitgum Co: 123 Red Light, The Archies: Sugar, Sugar,  Bay City Rollers: SATURDAY Night;  Apocalyptica: The Unforgiven, Dolly Parton and Vince Gill: I Will Always Love You. The Penguins: Earth Angel, Richie Valens: Donna 😉 , Rammstein: Du Hast,  The Ramones: I Wanna Be Sedated, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick : Dammit Janet , Rihanna: Disturbia, The Partridge Family: I Think I Love You, The Everly Brothers: Devoted to You, The Bee Gees: You Should Be Dancing, How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?; KC &The Sunshine Band: Boogie Shoes;  Santo and Johnny: Sleepwalk; Sinatra: Summer Wind and Something Stupid,  Aerosmith: Crazy, Carl Orff: O Fortuna, Red Hot Chili Peppers: Snow (Hey Oh), Lesley Gore: You Don’t Own Me, Fleetwood Mac: Landslide (thinking of you Kathi!), King Pee Wee and his Golden West Cowboys: Slowpoke; Simon & Garfunkel: Homeward Bound, Old Friends (Love You C!), Feelin Groovy, and Hazy Shade of Winter. Betcha didn’t know The Bangles actually covered that one and its an S&G original.  And, I forgot to mention that I’m singingAs loudly as possible – with the porch door closed in deference to those that are sleeping. Its been a very long time since I have wasted time in this fashion and it feels GREAT!

Oh yeah – the soundtrack for “Mamma Mia” is on now – and I’m getting verklempt singing along to “Slipping Through My Fingers”    but I’m not changing the music.

” I try to capture every minute.”… “Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture, and save it from the funny tricks of time.”   ‘Slipping Through My Fingers

I get in these moods occasionally.  I have to admit its been quite awhile since I’ve sat out here and belted out a few tunes and had a few drinks to go along with my solo jam session.  My oldest is out with her friends, my baby (see above)  – gone to bed,  and the Viking went night night several hours back because he has to work early tomorrow (going in for 5 am).  I’ve got iTunes on Shuffle and just letting it do its thing while I write. Having some fun now my friends!

And just to paint a picture for you – I’m also dancing in my seat where appropriate. And, when is it appropriate not to? Its my party and I’ll dance if I want to…. LOL. John Lennon once said  “Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.”  I’m  having a blast so I guess my time isn’t being wasted.  I choose to look at it as recharging ye olde batteries. My musical taste is quite eclectic as you can tell from the playlist I mentioned.  But what is it about music that is so emotional?  Songs take me right back to the place in time -which leaves me melancholy, yes – but also quite happy in a strange way. If cotton is the fabric of our lives, Music is the thread, connecting it all.  How many times has your day been made by hearing a song you haven’t heard in AGES and remembering the lyrics instantly?

Hearing Sinatra singing Summer Wind brings me to the last dance I ever had with my Dad.  It was literally almost 2 years after he passed away before I could listen to anything by Sinatra at all. The Bee Gees, KC and The Sunshine Band take me straight back to high school, The Partridge Family, The Archies, Simon and Garfunkel bounce me into my tweens. Slowpoke brings me to my childhood with my Gramma Emma singing it to me while I sat in her lap.  And anything by The Everly Brothers or Paul Anka brings me right to my kitchen in Blandford – singing harmony with my Mom.

This has been good for my soul – although I will likely pay for it with a big headache in the morning (I’m on drink #4 now)  But yeah, I’m having one helluva time – wasting time… I highly recommend it.

Johann Pachelbel – Variations on the Kanon

Aaron Lewis – Massachusetts

Green Day – Good Riddance [Time Of Your Life]

James Blunt – Goodbye My Lover

Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo‘ole – Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World

Reflecting the Light

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking lately.  There’s certainly much (too much) going on in the world  and on a smaller scale, within my circle. My struggle, my goal, is to take control back, empower myself, and become a better reflection of the light.

The Cyrkle – Red Rubber Ball

Authenticity and Truth go hand in hand.  If I had to guess, I’d say Authenticity is a daughter of Truth.  One facet of it, at any rate.  I want, I NEED – to live a more authentic life. To be a reflection not only of the good things and people that surround me (I’m discovering more of them every day) but also to be a reflection of what’s inside of me.  And since I’m trying to be more authentic I’ll say that it might not always be pretty, or positive.  And that’s OK.  That’s real.

Truth is what it is. Sometimes it involves fear.   If there is a giant funnel web spider under my bed I don’t do myself or anyone else any good until I admit that Shelob is, in fact, under my bed – makin “friends” with the dust bunnies.  If I allow my fear to paralyze me I cannot admit there is a spider. Once I acknowledge the spider, then I can take steps to deal with it. If I don’t, then  I’m going to be living with that stupid nasty spider under my bed for eternity.  And those of you who know me know that I really, really, REALLY don’t want to have Shelob taking up residence in my house – never mind in my bedroom!

When we acknowledge truth – whether that be our fears or our anger; our achievements or our missteps; whatever  – we are then freed to respond.  When we respond, we are in control – and that brings balance back to us.  I can take karate, become the Fist of Goodness and run across rooftops! (I’m just not into that whole crashing the dinner party thing though…. obscure TV commercial reference: finished., thank you.) Truth is uniquely personalized.  My truths are not yours – although they may be similar.  I have an obligation to present my truths respectfully, to present myself respectfully and with consideration towards others. Being genuine does not mean I have a license to be hurtful.   I also recognize that I can help no one if I am not refreshing my spirit when it needs to be.  That’s a hard thing for a parent, a wife, a sibling, a friend, a daughter. But I will make time for me, because if I don’t I won’t have anything to give myself or anyone else.    Multiple roles create multiple stressors, demands – and opportunities. I have unique opportunities all the time. I get to decide how I respond to all of them.  Pretty cool, if you ask me.

I’m pretty proud of myself today.  I had a situation that I could have let completely ruin my day at work and much of my evening.  I made some mistakes.  (Alert the Media! cuz that NEVER happens, right?  HA!)  Now they weren’t earth shattering ones – and others played their parts. But it was my responsibility to catch that stuff. And I didn’t.  So, I had to have the dreaded talk  with the boss.  Guess what?  I owned the responsibility and freely acknowledged that.  Which allowed my boss and I to have a very constructive dialogue; and for me to come up with a plan of corrective action that not only makes sense but will benefit us immensely in the future.  By CHOOSING not to point fingers at others, CHOOSING not to get upset, CHOOSING to think creatively – and in fact asking some others for ideas when I got stuck – I became the Fist of Goodness and ran across that rooftop!!  GO ME!!!  It’s all about the attitude, baby!

In other news on the more personal front:  I’ve decided I can assist my loved one(s) best at the moment by providing some humor. I have made it my mission to find and pass along funny memes and jokes every day  to a precious someone who truly needs the healing power of laughter right now. I want to hear and make a Joyful Noise  – and Laughter is the most joyful of all – along with song.  So please, feel free to send along stuff. Just in case I’m not as connected to the internet “vibe’ as I seem to think I am…   😉

I continue my journey towards being a better reflection of who I want to be, living a more authentic life and loving the minutes – and the people – in it. I’ve really met the nicest people on my road to ruin. Seriously. So to that end,  “Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” (name that movie!)

Acknowledge What Is – be it fear, anger, failure or triumph.  But do it in a respectful context.

Take a Deep Breath – before you respond.  You’ve given yourself the gift of time, to think.

Think–  Actions have a ripple effect. Tread carefully.  That stone, the one you chucked into the pond.  That displaced water splashes back….

Be Kind – It costs nothing and hurts no one.

Pay it Forward -. That also costs you nothing, and creates positivity in the universe.

Be Good to Yourself –  In our everyday busy-ness we (women in particular) can easily lose sight of the fact that we can’t take care of others when we’re sick or needy ourselves.  Its OK to give ourselves permission to be selfish – and then (GASP!) actually do something for us alone.  The feminist movement of the 70’s helped us roar.  But its alright to admit we have laryngitis sometimes.

Cowboy Up – it’s OK to be fallible.  We’re human after all.  Admitting when we make mistakes really is liberating if we let it be.

Choose –  Are you going to promote peace or create chaos, help harmonize, or enable entropy?  Its up to each of us.

There’s so much darkness in the world.  We can choose to be a light in that darkness – a “shining beacon in space ,all alone in the night”  Oh wait, that’s Babylon 5…..But you get the idea.  I just want to really try to reflect that light – inside me and around me.  I’m creating a Light Reflections category on the blog.  I hope it’ll be visited and commented on often. Lets be a “light in dark places”, together, “when all other lights go out”  (LOTR moment) Join me on the journey. I’ll put on the coffee….. See ya!

All photographs are my own, even if not watermarked as such – please ask me if you want to use them. Thanks!

  • The truth (ladylightningtarot.wordpress.com)

Eleven Questions

Thanks to Peaches for tagging me!!

Let’s get started:

RULES
1.You must post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post.
3. Create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4. Tag (eleven) people with a link to
your post.
5. Let them know they’ve been tagged.

QUESTIONS FOR ME TO ANSWER:

Least favorite quality in some people?  Dishonesty and Backstabbers

Favorite smell?  The smell of Christmas Dinner cooking, and Balsam

Favorite song that is at least 10 years old?   D’yer Mak’er  Led Zeppelin

What is your biggest niggling anxiety at the moment? (Not fear, just..anxiety)  Finances

Best health tip? Drink lots of Water

Favorite type of book? I have to have a favorite type????   Hmm, mysteries, thrillers, spy novels, sci-fi, high fantasy, romance, supernatural romance, supernatural, biographies, historical fiction, historical non- fiction (particularly the Tudor era) and so on, and so forth, etc etc.  I even like graphic novels and comic books.  Bibliophile Extraordinaire – thats me!

What injustice do you find most infuriating?  That people are still judged based on their appearance and not what’s it their hearts.

What is your favorite environment to be in?  Vacation mode, anywhere. Or home – snuggled up on the couch on a snowy evening with a warm blankie, hot cocoa and the husband.

What makes you feel safe?  See above, Actually, I feel most safe on Saturday afternoons, after chores are done, dinners in the oven, on the grill, or in the slow cooker, the fridge is full of good food, I’m sipping a glass of good white wine, and listening to the neighborhood kids (including mine) laugh and play.

What do you love most about yourself or your life? I’m fortunate to have family and friends that provide unconditional love and support.

What moment in history do you think most affects the present?  Hands down, has to be 9/11 – unfortunately.  

My 11 Questions:

Channelling James Lipton (“Inside the Actors Studio”)  here for the first two questions:

1.  What is your favorite Sound?

2.  When you get to heaven, What’s the first thing God will say to you?

3. Favorite  @%&*U*$%&   word?

4.  Personal Accomplishment that makes you feel the best?

5.  Biggest Regret? (I’ve had a few, but then again – too few to mention)

6.  Favorite Drink?  (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)

7. What’s the best vacation you ever took? And why?

8. Whats the best movie adaptation of a book you’ve ever seen, and why?

9.  Describe the person you are closest to in one word.

10.  Do you have a hobby, if so – what is it? (Blogging doesn’t count for these purposes, lol)

11.  What grinds your gears about people?

And as a big bonus:  Name 5 things that make you happy!

Taggees:

Barneysday

Irishsignora

Gina

Eleenie

Kate

Sammyjaybird

Russelray

raymondtowers

Emma

Genie

Marsha

underthewisdomtree

SKEdazzles

Gasp!

Offering my most abject apologies here for the wasteland my blog has become lately.  There is so much going on in my life right now that when I do have a free minute – all I want to do is relax and not think about anything. I’m hoping things will slow down a little soon, because I do feel better when I write and I love hearing from my readers and blogger friends and relatives.  I also desperately need a vacation, I haven’t had any significant time off since the holidays.  So I’m taking this opportunity to write quickly; as I found an opportunity to surface for a quick breath of air  (“Gasp!”)    I’m due to go under again in just a few minutes,  so sending you all love and big hugs!  I’ll try to post snippets and some pictures if I get the chance. Right now, I’m taking care of me and listening to my inner voice- which is telling me to relax and do nothing  whenever I get the chance.  Please know I love you all and really appreciate all the friendship and support you offer me every day.  You lift me up. Hugs again  (One can never get, or give, too many of those!)   Best,  Donna