Thursday, February 26, 2009

True Colours Thursday & An Award

I have been quite busy lately, but I really enjoy True Colours Thursday and did want to participate, even if a bit late.

This week's colour is BROWN. I have chosen a brown bear, a gift from a customer. True Colours Thursday is hosted by my friend Blue.

An Award

As I mentioned earlier, it has been a busy month and I am a bit late in picking up this award. Thanks so much to BJ for sending it to me--I appreciate it very much. This award has passed many hands. I'm going to quote the person who gave me the award (BJ), who, in turn, quotes Sylvia From Over the Hill

According to Sylvia:
“This award acknowledges the values that every Blogger displays in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values with each message they write. Awards like this have been created with the intention of promoting community among Bloggers. It’s away to show appreciation and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.”

Here is the hard part. I'm supposed to choose 15 bloggers and pass this on. However, I choose to leave it open to all my blogger friends. If you would like to receive the award, please feel free to accept it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

First Flight

For Sunday Scribbling #151-Trust

I’ve always suffered from aviophobia and claustrophobia and consequently, swore I would never fly. No way! However, when daughter Sunshine began talking about us making a trip to Arizona for a writer’s conference, the little voice inside me whispered that I might indeed be forced to eat my words.

Being a mother, I know the importance of listening to my little voice. So I determined to embark on a personal self-cure mission. I Googled “fear of flying” and found one site of particular interest. It was created by a pilot who had logged many miles of safe flight. The information appeared to be beneficial, and after scrolling to the end, I decided to pay the small fee and purchase the DVD Mr. Captain Pilot had made especially for us aviophobes.

As the planned event drew closer, the pressure increased. Sunshine kept reminding me, “You’ve got to decide soon. I need to register for the conference and book the flight.” Part of me really wanted to accompany Sunshine on the trip. In addition to attending the conference, she had planned to arrive a few days ahead of time, rent a car and do some sightseeing in the beautiful state. Neither of us had ever been to Arizona and I knew the trip would be lots of fun. That is, if only I didn’t have to fly to get there.

Having procrastinated as long as possible, I scheduled a vacation day from work and promised Sunshine I would make a decision before nightfall. I spent most of the day watching the DVD. Fellow aviophobes discussed their fear of flying, and Mr. Captain Pilot sought to assuage the various concerns with comforting facts about the safety of flying. One worry shared by many was a loss of control—putting your life in the hands of a complete stranger. Yes, flying involves implicit trust in the pilot. But Mr. Captain Pilot assured the viewers that our trust would be well-placed.

It was a gut-wrenching decision, but by 4:00 p.m. I finally made the timid announcement, “I guess I’ll give it a try.”

Sunshine was immediately on the computer and had soon booked a flight leaving Tuesday morning. I knew there was no turning back now. The next few days passed quickly. Sunshine took care of booking the rental car, planning our itinerary, and making hotel reservations. I was busy making my list of things to pack, finishing a special project at work and trying to get things caught up to a point where it would be feasible for me to be gone for almost a week.

I will admit that I was a bit excited. But also, I was really scared! I could envision myself having a major panic attack on the plane--gasping for air, leaving my seat, hugging the floor in the aisle while shouting, “Land the plane and let me out NOW.”

Tuesday morning soon arrived. We rose early and loaded the car. I did all the things Mr. Captain Pilot had advised on the DVD—“eat a light breakfast, don’t drink anything with caffeine and go easy on the orange juice because of its acidity.” Once we arrived at the airport, the hustle and bustle of getting our boarding passes and going through security kept my mind occupied so there was little time to conjure up the disturbing images of myself in the small, enclosed cabin of the plane.

There was only a short wait before our flight was called to board. As we made our way back to our seats, I surveyed the surroundings. The cabin did seem a little cramped cozy. Just imagine you are at home in your easy chair, I told myself. Consider the flight as a good opportunity to relax and catch up on some reading. (These were not my ideas—they were some of the suggestions from the DVD). At this point, however, I was willing to play whatever mind games were necessary to get me through the flight without a full-fledged panic attack.

We settled in our seats and I opened the overhead vent, allowing a stream of cool air to blow gently onto my face. (Another hint I had picked up from the DVD). I closed my eyes, took a few deep breaths and tried listening to my MP3 player. Oh, I never relaxed enough to go to sleep during the flight, but I did manage to remain pretty calm. I was quite proud of my conduct. Why, I even got brave enough to open my eyes and look out the window. What a beautiful sight.

Before long, the pilot announced we were ready to begin our descent. Some travelers do not like this part of the flight, but I enjoyed it very much. It was interesting to see the airport below and to watch the distant buildings grow larger as we approached the landing area.

Soon the plane touched down. Thankfully, it had been a successful flight and landing. Glad to be on the ground again, I heaved a sigh of relief as the passengers began filing out. The pilot stood near the exit, greeting the passengers as they departed the plane. I wanted to compliment him for the smooth flight. “Good job,” I said. “I was a little nervous since this was my first flight.”

He looked at me with an understanding smile as he replied, “Thanks. Mine, too.”

Click here to read more Sunday Scribblings.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm An Audrey

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You are an Audrey -- "I am at peace"

Audreys are receptive, good-natured, and supportive. They seek union with others and the world around them.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * If you want me to do something, how you ask is important. I especially don't like expectations or pressure
  • * I like to listen and to be of service, but don't take advantage of this
  • * Listen until I finish speaking, even though I meander a bit
  • * Give me time to finish things and make decisions. It's OK to nudge me gently and nonjudgmentally
  • * Ask me questions to help me get clear
  • * Tell me when you like how I look. I'm not averse to flattery
  • * Hug me, show physical affection. It opens me up to my feelings
  • * I like a good discussion but not a confrontation
  • * Let me know you like what I've done or said
  • * Laugh with me and share in my enjoyment of life

What I Like About Being an Audrey
  • * being nonjudgmental and accepting
  • * caring for and being concerned about others
  • * being able to relax and have a good time
  • * knowing that most people enjoy my company; I'm easy to be around
  • * my ability to see many different sides of an issue and to be a good mediator and facilitator
  • * my heightened awareness of sensations, aesthetics, and the here and now
  • * being able to go with the flow and feel one with the universe

What's Hard About Being an Audrey
  • * being judged and misunderstood for being placid and/or indecisive
  • * being critical of myself for lacking initiative and discipline
  • * being too sensitive to criticism; taking every raised eyebrow and twitch of the mouth personally
  • * being confused about what I really want
  • * caring too much about what others will think of me
  • * not being listened to or taken seriously

Audreys as Children Often
  • * feel ignored and that their wants, opinions, and feelings are unimportant
  • * tune out a lot, especially when others argue
  • * are "good" children: deny anger or keep it to themselves

Audreys as Parents
  • * are supportive, kind, and warm
  • * are sometimes overly permissive or nondirective

I found this while visiting Blue. I notice that BJ andSunshine have also played. I was amazed at how accurately this described me.

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

True Colours Thursday--Blue!

This beautiful bow topped the white Christmas tree in my office. The tree was decorated with blue lights and blue ornaments.

I just finished baking a cake for a co-worker whose birthday is on Sunday. Sadly, she is battling cancer at the present time. I know she would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Nothing goes better with a piece of cake than a nice cup of coffee. Each evening after work, I enjoy some flavored coffee in this cup.

While sipping my coffee, I often enjoy watching a movie or enjoying some comedy. Monty Python is always a good choice for lots of laughs.

True Colours Thursday is brought to you by my friend Blue

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Do You Wanna Dance?

When I read that this week’s prompt for Sunday Scribblings was “sports,” my first thought was “I have nothing to say about sports.”

I’ve never been much of a sports fan; my idea of sports was either playing a favorite board game or listening to a baseball game while lying on a blanket and soaking up the summer sunshine. As a child, I was not particularly athletic--much preferring a good book to participating in sports. Physical Education was always my least favorite class in school. No, let’s be truthful; it wasn’t just my least favorite class—I hated it!

I was a strike-out queen, couldn’t run very fast, and, after that unfortunate event of being smacked in the nose while looking expectantly toward the descending baseball, always ducked when I saw one coming toward me. No hits, no runs, all errors—that pretty much summed up the way I played the all-American game. I was always one of the first ones out in dodge ball and was grateful to sit on the sidelines because I was scared senseless by the anticipation of the sting of the basketball being flung with herculean force by one of the big, upper classmen boys. It’s not surprising at all that I was always one of the last ones chosen in P.E.

One particular day in Freshman P.E., our girls’ class had been joined by the boys’ class. The teacher announced that today we were going to dance, and the boys were instructed that each one was to ask a girl student to be his dance partner.

I immediately wished my personal good luck fairy would wave her wand and create a hole in the locker room, thus allowing me to escape from this awful fate. At this moment, I figured the netherworld held more promise to me than my present predicament. Now I had to face not only the embarrassment of being the last one chosen, but I would probably be facing the humiliation of being partner to one of the dirtiest, stinkiest, grossest boys in the class. And it wouldn’t stop at that, for there would be the merciless teasing that was sure to follow.

”Will you dance with me?” a soft-spoken voice asked.

Interrupted by this intrusion of reality, my thoughts left the cauldron of ugly scenarios I had concocted, and I glanced timidly to see who had uttered those unexpected words.

My gaze shifted upward where I was greeted first by his charming smile. I quickly noted as many details as possible. He was about a head taller than me, with a slender build. He had a handsome, but gentle face and a head of thick, dark hair. His smiling eyes were accented with the most beautiful long, curly eyelashes.

I quickly sneaked a quick, hard pinch to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Ouch. No dream--this was really happening! Here he stood, the cutest boy in the whole class, and he had come to ask me to dance with him. And furthermore, he had walked straight to me, without hesitation—I had been his first choice!

My heart skipped as he took my hand and we headed for the dance floor. I smiled inwardly. Immediately I knew that, for the first time in my life, I was going to enjoy P.E. class.

To read more about sports, visit Sunday Scribblings

Saturday, February 14, 2009

True Colours Thursday--Silver!

I'm late, I'm late. I know it's past the date,
but here are my SILVER pictures.

This is a SILVER anniversary
gift from Sunshine

You can probably see the reflection of
my camera in the mirror.

A pair of SILVER salt & pepper shakers

A SILVER kitty ring holder

True Colours Thursday is hosted by friend Blue

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #149 -- Art

The Art of...Dumpster Diving

Hubby and I decided to drive to a nearby town for our bi-weekly grocery shopping trip today. Normally we go on Sunday after church, but today we were both experiencing a little cabin fever after enduring the winter snow and extreme cold temperatures of the past couple of weeks. Besides, Hubby wanted to visit a little shop that was closed on Sundays.

Part of our bi-weekly shopping routine involves a trip to the recycling dumpster to deposit our two-week collection of glass, plastic and steel cans. We’re not really tree huggers, but we try to be environmentally conscious and it does give us a sense of satisfaction to know that our outcast items will be re-incarnated into something useful rather than accumulating in a landfill somewhere.

As we approached the area, we noticed other recyclers were also taking advantage of the balmy weather. Since the two existing dumpsters were in use by the other recyclers, we were glad to see a third one had been added to the fleet.

Hubby popped the trunk of the car and hauled our bag of recyclables to dumpster #3. When I saw him poking around, I naturally assumed the dumpster was full and he was trying to rearrange some of the existing refuse to make room for our stuff.

But no, a closer look revealed he was pulling something out of the large bin. I groaned. Now, Hubby is a wonderful person, but he has had some past struggles with an addiction to dumpster diving. He had made some remarkable progress. In fact, I thought he was cured. But, alas, he seemed to be falling off the wagon today. Evidently the temptation was more than he could resist.

I called Sunshine, who had not accompanied us on the trip. “Guess what,” I said. “George (that’s what we call Hubby) is dumpster diving. Can you believe it?”

Just then Hubby opened the back door of the car. I was afraid to look, but at the same was overcome with horrified fascination. I slowly turned my head in time to see him loading the car with his newly acquired loot—books! I braced myself for more to come. Hubby has a passionate love affair with books and I knew he would not be able to leave any orphan books in a dark lonely dumpster. Sure enough, he made another trip and yet another.

Upon returning home, I googled “the art of dumpster diving” just to see what I would find. To my amazement, there is actually a book entitled The Art and Science of Dumpster Diving. I don’t think I’ll tell Hubby about it--he doesn’t need any tips. I think he already possesses a natural talent for dumpster diving. Besides, he doesn’t need any more books at this time.

Click here to read more Sunday Scribblings.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

True Colours Thursday--Orange!

From the orange archives....

A lovely fall arrangement which graced Mom's Thanksgiving table.

A gorgeous tree in fall. Don't you love the street name?

You might recognize this one from my profile. This gerbera daisy was a Mother's Day gift from Sunshine in June 2004, and I have enjoyed it each summer since then. It spends the winter months in MIL's sunroom.

True Colours Thursday is hosted by my friend Blue