Sunday, December 31, 2006

one last meme

Year's End Meme by yours truly. I promise no more than one meme a week in 2007!
1AM: Did you make resolutions for 2006? Did you keep (any of) them? Sort of: “If I was going to make a resolution for 2006 it would be that I would make time for the important things.” My unwritten resolution is always to be more prompt with bill paying. I have made progress on that, thanks to auto-payments though, not my own efforts.
2AM: What New Year traditions (celebrations or superstitions) did you keep in 2006? None of the food ones, and we never stay up til midnight unless it is by accident. We sometime go to friends' early in the evening, but usually stay home. I suppose the one superstition I always follow is to do a little bit of everything on New Year’s Day that I want to do all year. Thanks, Mom.
3AM: Was there anything you did in 2006 that you had never done before? Bunches! Never been to Mexico or climbed a pyramid; never tried to spin wool or knit on two circular needles; never gone to a university commencement or applied to grad school.
4AM: How many calendars do you display/use? Where and what kind are they? There are always at least two displayed in our house, but like Rissa, my most used one is electronic. Mine is in my PDA. At work I use the Outlook calendar feature a lot, but I need to ask for my iPaq software to be added to my work computer so I can sync my desktop and PDA calendars. I like to have pretty calendars around, too. Have a cat weekly engagement type on my desk at work, and one where each month turns into a file folder for bills/receipts/etc. at home. I buy the pattern-a-day knitting calendar just for the patterns, but I may take it to work this year so my knitting co-workers can enjoy it too. I like those moon phase calendars but haven't seen one in years.
5AM: What is the most important lesson you learned in 2006? You have to work hard at being compassionate, and keep doing it every day.
6AM: Which color would you chose to represent 2006? Gotta reason? Turquoise. It's a calm and peaceful, yet intriguing color. It has mystical properies and it just plain makes me happy to look at it. Funny, though, I don't wear it often.
7AM: Of what are you most happy you accomplished in 2006? Knuckling down and getting the diabetes under good control.
8AM: What was the worst thing that happened to you in 2006?Having an emotional breakdown in the middle of the Mexico City International airport. It was a pretty good year really.
9AM: Did you renew or restore a relationship in 2006? I continue to try to accept my father's marriage and wife. I make a little progress each year.
10AM: What candy would best describe 2006 to you? Dulce de Leche, in honor of my study abroad adventure.
11AM: Where you more or less healthy in 2006 than the previous year? Am more healthy now than at the beginning, so would have to say more healthy than 2005.
12PM: What was the best change in your life in 2006? There are actually two: being diagnosed with diabetes and going to work full-time. My life is more structured, my financial situation more secure, and my post-grad education will be covered by employee scholarship – “future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!”
1PM: What is your greatest regret from 2006? Going to that upstairs bar in Puebla to watch the last game Mexico played in the World Cup was not a good idea. But mostly I regret that my mother did not live to see my college graduation.
2PM: How did you celebrate your birthday in 2006? Hmm… had to check the blog to remember. I was pretty sure I dined with family and friends. I was right.
3PM: If 2006 was a member of your family, which member would it be? I have a small family. I guess I'll say #2Son: full of potential, procrastination, and some how everything usually works out just fine.
4PM: If you could, to which one day in 2006 would you return and why? The day I decided to pursue the second major. I wouldn’t. Then I would have graduated in May, still taken the trip to Mexico but under less stress, and blown off the two minors. Of course, the whole job/grad school-thing would have worked out differently. Eh. S’okay this way.
5PM: Did you fall in love in 2006? With whom or what? Yes, Mexico & Hispanic culture. Am trying to figure out when I can take DH and go back. But I'm also falling in love with Tibet. Heading there first, and taking DH this time, first time!
6PM: What is the most significant thing you read in 2006? Seems everything I read that His Holiness the Dalai Lama says/writes is significant. Reading newspapers and magazine and blog articles while in Mexico, from their perspective, aided by the cultural understanding the professors gave us was certainly important to developing a less USA-centric view.
7PM: Did you take a vacation in 2006? To where? Mexico in May/June; Richmond, D.C., & Silver Spring in October. Oh, also Saint Augustine with DH in October. Lovely year for travel.
8PM: What did you lose in 2006 that can never be recovered? Time and opportunity.
9PM: Do you believe you are a better person at the end of 2006 than you were at the beginning? Yes.
10PM: In your opinion, what was the most memorable world event of 2006? Silliest: the proposed 700-mile fence along the Mexico border. Scariest: Iran and North Korea's build up of arms and nuclear capabilities.
11PM: Are you glad or sad to see 2006 end? I’m always glad to see a new year begin. I like beginnings. Change is good. I try to be a forward-looking person most of the time. I’m not usually happy with out at least a half-dozen things coming up or going on in my future.
12AM: Have you made (or will you make) resolutions for 2007? Will you be able to keep them as well as those you made for 2006? I’ll make a few more; I’ll keep few more, I hope.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

abc of me meme

Rissa tagged me:

A- Available or single? Attached.
B- Best Friend? There are SO many levels of friendship. Standing the test of time (over thirty years) though, is my high-school friend, Mary.
C- Cake or Pie? Cake, which, of course, includes cheescake.
D- Drink of Choice? COLD skim milk.
E- Essential Item? My mind.
F- Favorite Color? Purple
G- Gummi Bears or Worms? Ewww. Neither. Jujyfruits or gumdrops/jelly beans.
H- Hometown? Lakeland, FL
I- Indulgence? Three-layer chocolate cake with thick fudge icing--about two bites.
J- January or February? February. Valentine's Day, Camellias, Mom’s birthday (but unfortunately also the month in which her mother died), birth month of my first sweetheart and true love, and also the month I got my driver’s license. No wonder I love purple (amethyst).
K- Kids and names? Human: Lisa, Betty; Brent, John. Feline (past & present): Spooky, Morris, Magnum, Shadow; Brickle, Sasha, Nero.
L- Life is incomplete without? faith
M- Marriage Date? First: March 7th. Second: Oct 2nd.
N- Number of Siblings? One sister.
O- Oranges or apples? Apples.
P- Phobias/Fears? Heights and crowds.
Q- Favorite Quote? “Life has to be more than just a heartbeat. What we hold sacred gives life meaning.” (Written by J. M. Straczinsky for the character Jeffrey Sinclair in Babylon 5).
R- Reason to Smile? Every morning I wake up.
S- Season? In the south, winter (except for the short days); in the north, autumn, though spring is a very close second.
T- Tag three people! Lisa, since she’s blogging again, and any one else reading who hasn’t done it and likes meme (leave me a comment so I can come read).
U- Unknown Fact About Me? If I tell it, it won’t be unknown any more!!
V- Vegetable you hate? Never been big on vegetables, unfortunately, but I’m learning to at least enjoy them. I suppose what I hate would be one which was unseasoned.
W- Worst habit? Yikes. What an embarrassing question! Starting things and not finishing them. NO! Procrasinating.
X- X-Rays you’ve had? Normal ones… dental, chest, foot, wrist and hip. I had one of veins in my legs when I was about six months pregnant with twins—that was uncomfortable. And some really nasty GI series’ done. Do sonograms count as x-rays? Or that test that checks to see if your fallopian tubes are blocked?? Talk about painful!!
Y- Your favorite food? Lately, shrimp and beef tenderloin
Z- Zodiac? Moonchild (i.e., Cancer)

Friday, December 29, 2006

more meme

    I got this from Rissa, who got it "from Deb over at Red Shoe Ramblings, but she got it from someone else. I thought the questions were interesting, so I decided to play along." Ditto.
Do you own a gun? Technically, I guess so, but I don’t really consider it my own possession.
What do you think of hot dogs? Only good if grilled or broiled and not boiled, bun-size, fat ones. I’d really rather have Polish or Smoked sausage. Must have mustard.
What’s your favorite Christmas song? Sacred: Away in a Manger; Traditional: Good King What’s-his-name; Modern: I’ll be Home for Christmas.
What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Hot chocolate made with milk.
Can you do push-ups? Been wearing underwires since I started wearing C cups. Never have tried those water thingies—what if they spring a leak??
What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Something expensive.
What is your secret weapon to lure the opposite sex? I don’t know about luring, but isn’t or@l sex every woman’s secret weapon? As for getting my way, Daddy always caved to a pouty lower lip and teary eyes.
Middle name? Sue. Pet name, Susie.
Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
1. What IS Rissa’s middle name?
2. I’ve already seen this episode of CSI:Miami.
3. Shit! I hate that Grissom is leaving.
Name 3 drinks you regularly drink:
1. Diet Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper—too much
2. Coffee—usually only in the morning at work
3. Water – but not enough
What time did you wake up today? Around 10 AM
Current hate? Corruption and Stupidity.
Favorite place to be? Home of mine, friends or family.
Least favorite place to be? In a crowd.
Where would you like to go? To where I’m not already planning a trip? That would be Italy, Scotland, and somewhere to see the Northern Lights.
Do you own slippers? Yes, but it has to be REALLY cold for me to wear them.
What shirt are you wearing? Black short-sleeved tee-shirt with Pink Ribbon decoration (breast cancer). It was the only clean black shirt I could wear with a black & white sweater I bought yesterday that I wanted to wear today.
Do you burn or tan? If over-exposed and unprotected, I burn, otherwise I tan. But it fades fast.
Favorite color(s)? Purple, mostly.
Would you be a pirate? Only if Jack Sparrow was my captain.
What is your favorite holiday? Used to be Thanksgiving. Now, I think maybe Valentine’s Day or my wedding anniversary (25 years last October). Life’s getting to be about me and DH now that kids are grown but there are no grandkids yet. Mardi Gras is a fun time to be off work, but I’d never spend it in NOLA.
What songs do you sing in the shower? Whatever the last song was I heard before turning off the clock-radio. Yeah… I want a radio for the shower!
What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? Something from under the bed.
What’s in your pockets right now? No pockets right now, but usually it’s my work/student ID and keys.
Last thing that made you laugh? The animal videos we watched on Animal Planet tonight.
Best bed sheets as a child? I’m too old for ‘character’ sheets, but the dark lavender ones my mom dyed for my new room with the canopy bed, French Provencal furniture, purple carpet and frilly bedspread would have to be the most special.
Worst injury you’ve ever had? I have been very lucky with regard to physical injury.
Are your parents still together? Hopefully by their heart-strings, but Mom passed 7 years ago this month.
Do you wish on shooting stars? I wish they’d go to jail for their crimes.
What is your favorite book(s)? One that makes me think.
What is your favorite candy? Green M&Ms
What song did you have played at your wedding? 1st: Trumpet Voluntary; 2nd: none.
How is the weather outside right now? Wet, rainy, humid.
What was your first thought this morning when you woke up? To take my sister shopping and enjoy the day with her.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

mini movie reviews

    We've watched a few rental DVD's in the past couple weeks. I'm batting 500.
    One night I picked up Take the Lead and The Break-Up. The latter I didn't even watch half-way through. It was like one long crappy sit-com. The former, was good, but not enough Antonio for this ol' gal. I thought it a bit to coincidental that the same music was used for the hot tango (he and his up-town student) in this film as was used in Shall We Dance (Gere and Lopez). It was a fun movie and so good to see Banderas again.
    Then on Saturday I picked up Lake House and Scoop. OMG! Even Hugh Jackman couldn't save the latter weak effort by Woody Allen (of whom there was WAY too much in this film!). I lost interest way early. Even though you are supposed to know the outcome from the start, like the heroine you are supposed to be hoping that it isn't true. Yawn.
    But! But! But! Lake House was WONDERFUL! Right up there on my list of romantic movies with An Affair to Remember (an old classic) and Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail (newer classics). Even though I knew from the... hmm... I guess I really can't say without spoiling it for others. It's a wonderful story, even if the "physics" of it don't quite work. Of course, I'm a Keanu Reeves fan. YMMV.
    And then tonight it was MI:III and X-Men 3. I'm not much of a Tom Cruise fan, nor a big action movie fan, so I read blogs and only tried to follow the story line (of which there was little and no surprises). X-men was lots more fun to watch, perhaps simply for all the fantasy of the special effects. Handsome Hugh more than redeemed himself as Wolfie, bless his little self-healing heart. I did not like some of the turns the story took and am curious how the story line will develop if there are any more X-Men films.
    So, it seems I manage to pick only one good one out of every two we rent. I love the in-store exchange program that Blockbuster has started with their online/mail program. I'm glad we changed from Net-Flix. Two free in-store rentals a month and now the in-store exchange program make it a great way to watch new and old movies, and all those series I need to catch up on! Try it free for a month, if you like (I get no benefit, nor am affiliated in any way, just a happy customer):
One Month FREE for friends and family!
Expires: 12/31/2006
Enter promo code: friend1

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

new beginnings

    Part of me always feels that the 'new year' begins the day after Christmas. The hassles are over and my mind can clear a bit. I have a full week to waste, um, I mean accomplish so much! This morning I at least started off right...
    Even after begin up early and quite active all day (forgot to put on my pedometer though), not getting to bed until after midnight (!!!), I still got up just a little after 9AM. Got my 8+ and didn't zonk out for half the day as I expected to do. Perhaps because I had a few things I wanted to get done -- and I feel quite rested, except for my eyes which are almost always tired. Yes. I need to get them checked.
    First thing accomplished was to get my husband's XM satellite radio activated. I'm looking at him now, across the living room from me, enjoying it immensely, happily clicking that record button every time something good comes on. His station of choice is "Willie's Place" for old country music. I want to get him one of the headsets with the antenna booster in it. He has to remove his hearing aids to use the earbuds. His ears will probably be sore shortly, but then he is used to wearing the hearing aids all the time, so perhaps not. I also got us a car kit so we can listen to it in the truck. AND, I get to listen to it online at work (or wherever).
    Next is to order #1Son's iPod Shuffle. I want to get it engraved for him, so I have to wait until he gets up to know what he wants on it. He surprised me actually, by picking that as his gift instead of the front-end mask for his car. But, they are SO cute, I can't blame him at all. I'd get one for myself, but I already carry around too many electronic gadgets!
    I don't always get my kids a lot of gifts, so we try to make the presenting of them fun. This year, I wrapped the Shuffle (that I had on-hand whic is a 21st-birthday gift for DH's grandson) as one gift, a printout from J.C. Whitney for the car mask and $50 as another, and put those two wrapped items along with a plain white envelope with some Marble Slab Creamery gift certificates in a box and wrapped it. Inside too was a note which said something about how it was time to play "Let's Make A Deal" and that he could have the small wrapped box and the plain white envelope or the wrapped envelope, to choose wisely because one was twice as valuable as the other. He wouldn't decide right away. He opened other gifts and later on decided on the small wrapped box (the Shuffle) and the white envelope (the GCs). It was fun for him I think. In the end, I gave him the cash too because it made the difference with what his brother's gifts totaled.
    For #2Son, in a large box, was his guitar stand, in pieces, and new strings, some tool for restringing and some string conditioner, along with a gift card for Circuit City and a bag of Hershey's Peanut Butter-filled Kisses. He got the Creamery GCs too and some for CiCi's Pizza, too. I'd seen this little Smiley Face bank at a dollar store and got it, because his dad always buys Smiley Face stuff for him. But I didn't want him to know what it was as soon as he took off the paper, so I tore the box apart at the seam and turned it inside out. Then I used copious amounts of heavy box tape so he could not get into it easily. He was appropriately frustrated, and greatly amused at his momma.
    My husband loves coconut, and especially all candies coconut. A few weeks ago I brought home some Hershey's Coconut Creame Kisses. He loved them. But he also said later not to get him any more because he just ate too many of them. Well, of course I had already bought him some more! I had a three-tiered candy jar put back as an 'emergency gift' so put one bag of the candies in each of the BOTTOM two glass containers, leaving the top on empty. We are known for putting gifts in boxes which are not what it says on the box, so when he was all "great, a candy jar" I reminded him of that habit, and he puzzled as he took out the foam I had added that would keep everything tight and wouldn't let on the candy was in there. He kept taking out the pieces and finally got to the candy...I'm sure he could smell the chocolate -- as could our sweet-toothed kitty, Sasha! That and the Jeff Foxworthy Redneck Christmas book I found on the BAM bargain table gave him good chuckles.
    All in all, a rather successful day of gift giving. Oh! Me? Well, two lovely books, Tazo Chai tea bags, both dry-roasted and SF chocolate covered macadamia nuts from DSis -- also violet soaps from Scotland, beautiful blown-glass hibicus ornament AND rosewook DP knitting needles, size 2 and 3 -- which I am about half afraid to use after breaking the Brittany birch 1s that I borrowed from Lisa (Remember to order those replacements for me, please, Rissa.) My sister ALWAYS overspends on Baby Susie! At least we got a lot done on her laptop yesterday too. Trying to get her anxieties relieved and her comfort level raised. She has a very nice wide-screen Dell -- just needs the junk cleaned off of it. LOL
    Now, on to other To-Do's. Blessed day to all.

Monday, December 25, 2006

christmas finally

I'm really NOT into Christmas.
    I just wrapped my gifts this morning--for those who I will see today--few as they are.
    I *do* love shopping for gifts for people I love. And this year I've been lucky enough to know what I wanted to get almost everyone.
    What I don't like, and don't do well, is getting gifts in the mail to family living back in MD/WV/PA areas. I still have last year's gifts sitting unwrapped in my living room. And not for the first time.
    I know my sons, at least one of them anyway, get disappointed that we don't really have traditional celebrations. Last year the tree only got about half decorated, then stayed up for months because I can't handle the parts and no one would take it down for me. This year, I didn't even want it put up. I took my Hallmark miniature tree to work; now it sits on top of the television, decorated, but unlit.
    The one tradition we almost always keep is for Christman Eve. Pizza and riding around to look at lights. Only the pizza places keep closing earlier and earlier. This year we, rather #1Son, had to drive 25 miles for carry-out and it was too rainy/foggy to ride around looking at lights. Perhaps tonight.
    I don't get in a hurry to have an early dinner. Usually we have Christmas supper. It gets simplier every year. This year just turkey, bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, some steamed vegetables and salad... I won't be having stuffing or potatoes. I won't be making sweet potatoe casserole (too much sugar, and we now eat sweet potatoes quite often). Rodger may make apple pies later on. Don't know if I'll raid my pecan stash to toast a few or not.
    Every year we talk about going away for Christmas "next year," but so far we haven't followed through. When my dad goes off to LA with his wife to spend the holidays with her son's family, I can't bring myself to leave my sister alone. Plus, we don't want to fly, and haven't taken the time yet to find a good place to be over the holidats that is close enough to drive. (Suggestions welcome!)
    So... now we wait for the bird to cook, and watch some TV. Need to help DSis with her computer. Wish we had some good movies to watch tonight. As appalling as it is to me, I have movies due to Blockbuster today -- can't believe they are open -- so, just might ride down there and get something to watch. (I remember Christmas in, oh, mid-1970's when I was married to the Texan, we went bowling on Christmas!)
Good day for everyone!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

grad pics

    We finally got one of the rolls of film with graduation photos developed yesterday, and I cropped three of the photos for the blog:

    *I* knew that the binder would not have my actual diploma in it, but DH didn't. That's why I flashed it at him. What we should have is a photo of *his* reaction rather than of me!

    I'm not the only one in the family to have taken some time to get their degree, or to have graduated from USM. My sister did it in '98 -- but it was her second bachelor's. My dad and mom met at there; he, my uncle, aunt and their three sons, my cousins, all graduated from USM. My mother lacked only a few hours. I would love to walk for my Masters in two years along with my two sons walking for their bacherlors. Will keep working toward it.
    Graduation was more fun than I expected. I'd never attended a university commencement before, so seeing the masters candidates walk and the doctoral candidates get 'hooded' was something new. I have 'lemon yellow' vestments to look forward to. LOL

Monday, December 18, 2006

yikes! spikes!

uhoh... I ate something this morning which was supposed to be whole-grain and low0sugar, but which apparently wasn't... plus, I was half-sick this weekend and didn't eat like I am supposed to... and, I've been under just a WEE bit of stress the past couple days... so after being so happy that my BG was 109 after a great meal the other night, I am shakey this morning. So, afraid my BG was dropping too low I checked it... OMG!! 221!!! What the heck can I do fast to get it down?? I quickly went and did some cardio exercise, then grabbed some protein and am now downing a LOT of water... Finging no help with quick look online, but don't really have time at work to do indepth search. Any advice for future spikes, would be appreciated.

Friday, December 15, 2006


    My superviosr just returned from the afternoon commencement. She and the other SLIS faculty attended in their full regalia. She apparently didn't realize I was walking this term. She pointed out my name (complete with the honors designation) in the program and said that the person next to her asked, "Didn't we just hire her?"

BIG honors

The BIG day is finally here.

    And I think I am finally excited about it.
    I picked up my cap & gown over lunch. Walking to the coliseum I suddenly realized that it would most likely be folded in a bag... meaning it would be creased/wrinkled! omg! All I could think of was my mother and how she always made sure I looked perfect! Fortunately, there were people there who would steam them (and for a very reasonable fee).
    I came to work today dressed way down: jeans, t-shirt, no make-up, hair undressed, sneakers. The IT folks are running a major test on the main program we all used to access our cataloging system, so it was the ideal day for cleaning. So, I brought my dress and other regalia along and will change after work.     With all the hoop-la over unfinished papers and difficulties with my study, I totally forgot that I was graduating summa cum laude: I have Seat 1 in Row 1 of my college. I think my dad is planning to arrive a bit late so he won't have to sit so long (and perhaps so he can make a fast escape, lol), so I am glad my college is not the first on the program -- or he would miss it all together! My sons are under command to appear; #1Son will be chauffeuring his brother, DH, and DSis.
    Now, between the sunny walk back from the coliseum and cleaning my workspace, I'm all perspire-y... at least I remembered to include wipes, washcloth, deodorant, toothbrush and paste in my 'necessaries' bag!
    I don't know if I'll have a digital photo to upload or will have to wait to scan a printed one, but I'll show-off sooner or later.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

small honors

    Last year, I wrote a paper for Buddhism class entitled Bodhisattva of Compassion: Tara & Kwan Yin. Two of the primary sources I used for information on Kwan Yin were John Blofeld's Bodhisattva of Compassion, and Sandra Boucher's Discovering Kwan Yin. Both books made deep impressions upon me, so much so that when it came time to select a library holding for the Senior Bookplate Project, and I couldn't decide on a current holding, I donated both books and asked that my bookplate be placed in the Blofeld book.
    The woman who has the workstaion next to mine is responsible for placing the bookplates and she stopped me today to show me that it was ready to go. As a 'student worker' in the Reading Room for over a year, I am happy that even though at the moment as am graduating I am not currently a 'student worker' they still allowed me to be honored in this way. A small thing, but meaningful.

half an hour?

    Even though I know from studying sleep facts and behavior that losing a half hour of sleep a night WILL have an effect, like most people, I've been ignoring this truth. I have been sleepy-headed on the job for days, especially the last two. So much so that last night, I gave up and headed to bed at 9PM -- one half hour before I usually do so.
    This morning, I was bright and chipper, and alert all morning (the mid-afternoon sleepies are just a fact of our inner rhythm that few can escape, but mild for me today). But the idea of going to bed every night at 9pm, when I don't get home until 5:30 or 6PM, just makes me so sad. Perhaps when the daylight is lasting longer I won't mind so much. And I think that after the first of the year, I am going to cut my lunch break to half an hour so I can leave at 4pm...
    Sorry I've been absent. I'm just too sleepy to do much of anything lately. And speaking of sleep, my DH finally has an appointment for a sleep study to do something about his OSAS (Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome). Yay!