Thursday, December 31, 2009

The long and winding road

Funny thing about clich̩s Рthey bombard our vocabulary even while being held in contempt by lovers of language and literary nobility. They have, however, woven their way into our vernacular because they have merit. They are born from repetitious truth.

With that in mind may I say, “My how time flies.”

One of my last clear memories was sometime early in August when I decided to sell me house. The remainder of that month was lost to combat against cobwebs and dust bunnies, hours spent with brush in hand and paint in my hair, scouring and scrubbing that left my weary bones in need of a Calgon moment.

September was my month of upkeep. Fluffing the pillows, wiping the counters, and chasing down pet hair in an attempt to keep the home front ready for that last minute viewing. The lawn must be trim, the windows sparkling, the bathroom spotless. I fell into a vortex of cleanliness that led to exhaustion which was compounded by fitful sleep as I worried the place would never sell.

In early October an angel walked in the door. “I love it, I’ll take it,” she said and I barely had a moment to revel in the good news than the onslaught of inspections began. This was a harrowing month. My home was 80 years old and while charming and full of character, she was also showing every bit of her age. I think I held my breath for about 45 days waiting for some awful defect to surface.

I squeaked through multiple inspections by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin and was a wreck as I waited for the dreaded gas utility visit. When that last inspector gave me a “pass” I did a little jig in my basement as he backed away in horror. I would have kissed him except he really was quite sweaty.

With the reality looming that I soon would not have a place to live, I launched into a frantic search for a rental. All the anxiety up to this point was suddenly a minor blip compared to the ordeal of finding a clean, safe, affordable new home. Not to disparage all landlords, but why don’t they clean up decomposing mice before they show the house? And don’t they realize a fresh coat of paint would certainly help justify the exorbitant rent.

After hours and hours on craigslist I lucked upon a tidy ranch; fresh, bright, a little bland but it would be a nice place to call home. It had everything I needed and a few bonus features: good location, space for a home office, nice kitchen, pristine bath, fenced yard, and a large breezeway for a 3-season garden room.

I moved the day after Thanksgiving. The relocation went smoothly without a single horror story to tell. While I do not pine for my old house, I soon realized what creatures of habit we are. The emotional upheaval was amplified by silly little things – having to sleep on the other side of the bed, mistakenly driving home to the old place, the frustration of finding my way around a new grocery store.

While the past few months remain a blur, the feelings of time lost were swept away as I realized in an unexpected moment how magically everything came together. The disorder of my life was replaced in a nano second by the richness of a fresh perspective.

So as I am propelled into another decade I ardently embrace one more cliché – “Out with the old, in with the new.”


Note to Friends from the Blogosphere: Honestly, not a day goes by that I don’t think of you. I wonder what delight and silliness and drama is filling up your lives. I miss you; I miss your creativity and your generosity of spirit. I send heartfelt wishes to you all for a new year filled with comfort and joy, peace and goodwill.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

The evolution of a blogger

One year, 27 days and 161 posts ago, I officially became a blogger.

It all started with an offhand comment from a friend. I was deep in the throes of job hunting and seriously frustrated with the process. I had been stood up, made to do role play and the final straw -- one of my interviewers fell asleep.

As I was moaning about my experiences and prattling on about the undignified world of the job search, my friend said, “Why don’t you write a blog.”

It took a minute for my brain to process the idea. Then I laughed. If you’ve read my masthead, you know I am a self-professed luddite and the thought of jumping into the blogosphere was skulking no where in my universe.

That night I woke up in the wee hours and instead of counting sheep, I started a one-person brainstorming session about blog possibilities. The next day I logged on to blogger.

The original concept was to rant about the idiocy of potential employers as a means to ease some frustration and maybe amuse a few simpatico cyber surfers. But as I jumped into writing, I just couldn’t muster up the enthusiasm for a good rant. It seemed so self-absorbed, so whiny, so “who cares.”

Instead I began writing in an essay style. Talking about what inspired me, what I enjoyed, how I viewed the world. Sometimes I took two or three days and many hours to finish a post. I searched for the right word, a unique perspective, an original thought. It was relatively satisfying.

Then I began running out of material to write about. Being insightful isn’t so damn easy.

About that time, I started cruising through the blogosphere. I bounced from post to post and was impressed by the creativity, the variety, the fresh voices I found. I wanted to be funny. Then I decided I wanted to be impactful. Or how about writing around a certain theme. Where could I find brilliant photos? Maybe poetry. Maybe fiction. I could do recipes or talk about gardening.

Enough already!!! I was making myself crazy trying to catch up with everyone else. Wanting to be as good. Trying to be better. Trolling for followers. Spending hours making comments.

Thankfully I finally settled down and just started having fun. I locked onto some interesting sites and made good friends. I was impressed by the bounty of generous, kind, talented people hanging out in cyber space. I felt so at home. I was enthralled with the sense of community. I loved the expression.

And I spent way too many hours being consumed by posting and exploring my blog roll.

That brings us to present time. The phase I am in now I would say is a classic case of burn out. It’s fairly typical of my personality – diving in feet first, keeping a frantic pace, eventually wearing down my enthusiasm.

But before it’s never been such a dilemma.

I don’t want to walk away from the blogosphere, but it seems…so ….uncommitted? half-hearted?.... to do it with one foot in, one foot out. The conundrum is the fence I am riding.

This was a long winded way of saying, you’re not going to be seeing as much of me. I think maybe I am morphing into a lurker. I will be hanging out in your comment pop-up box and when you least expect it, a tart response will appear. Maybe I will even have something to post about once in a while. Maybe not.

A couple of months back I did a Six Word Saturday post, half of which said I was: “embracing the unexpected”. Bottom line -- that could be what this shift is all about. I am clearing the deck for what is coming next in my life.

When I find out what that is, I will let you know.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Blingee Flingee

The sparkly stuff has arrived. Some came willingly, others were badgered into the world of glitter, but everyone had fun making wild creations.

Here are participant masterpieces in order of arrival in my inbox.

"Sarah Trooper" by Some Guy from a blog of the same name.

Personalized Glitter Graphics

Kathleen at Easy For Me to Say pays tribute to Mr. B.

Mr B and Loro
Add Glitter to Pictures

Nancy from Life in the Second Half creates a sparkly ode to nature.

Create cool Profile Comments

VA, who brings us Vegetable Assassin, wanted to offer up the "cheeseyist" glitter.

Zig a Zig Ah
Glitter Graphics

Dee aka "Lindy MacDuff" at Mike & D's Life in the Hoosier State and Beyond gets friendly with a favorite Scotsman.

Late Late Night Host
Make custom Glitter Graphics

Lori, who shares great adventures on Lori Times Five, pays hommage to the King of Beasts.

Life in the Bush
Make custom Glitter Graphics

And last, but certainly not least, ds from Third-Storey Window has been hanging out with the Bard.

Glitter Graphics
Glitter Graphics

Thank you everyone for putting some sparkle into your life, and into ours.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blingee nation

Uncle Sam for Prattle
Glitter Graphics

Hello! Anybody out there in the blogosphere?

My request for Blingee creations has been woefully ignored, having received only a few entries to date. Interestingly, those who did submit a sparkly masterpiece all said the same thing..."Gee, that was fun."

So, see what you're missing. A creative process. The opportunity to wow your fellow bloggers. The chance to attach shiny stuff to digital pixels.

It's not too late. Click here for details. Wednesday, September 16, at midnight is the deadline. Looking forward to your razzle and dazzle.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Looking back

As Labor Day approaches, I’m not saddened by the loss of summer, but thankful at the prospect of fall. While spring may be the most eagerly awaited season, with the puppy dog anticipation of crocus shoots and longer days, autumn brings a sigh of relief with its colorful, cool days.

Spring gets you pumped up; autumn encourages you to let go.

In February and March, I find myself looking out the window at my garden, brown and trodden. I watch for the first green sprout to show itself among the soggy leaves. One by one as the early daffodils, daylilies and iris present themselves, my heart pumps faster with each green bud. Like a bear coming out of hibernation, my spirit starts to stir.

By April I find myself circling the perimeter of my yard. Sometimes two or three times a day. What’s growing new today, I wonder. By May the peonies are emerging so quickly I would swear they leap up when my back is turned. My heart soars when I notice the first buds on the hydrangea, so you can imagine the exaltation when the apple tree glows pink with blossoms.

And then before you know it, it’s July. Hot, humid, relentless, with the steamy days, blazing sun and breezeless nights. The leaves of the peonies become crispy brown. The lawn forsakes all hope that spring promised. Slugs, beetles, thrips beat you down with their tenacity.

O fall where art thou?

Labor Day is summer’s last hurrah. Who cares if I can no longer wear white...I can see a rosy touch of pink in the sky, hear a note of reprieve in the birds’ song, and feel a kiss of coolness in the night air. While I’m so happy to fill pots with flowers as spring begins, I find myself in August longing for the day when I can store the hose away.

Until it begins all over again in a few months.

(Reprinted from last year because my creativity is on the wane.)


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Blingee Free-For-All

Bono and Bill
Personalized Glitter Graphics

Hear ye! Hear ye! I am calling for an official end to the August blogging absenteeism. Some of us (including myself) have been MIA for one reason or another. I've missed visiting you and commenting. I've also missed reading your comments on Prattle. get everyone back into the swing of things and exercising their creative muscle, I am hosting a Blingee Free-For-All. Take yourself to the home of glitter and sparkle by visiting From there the process is pretty intuitive. Making a twinkling masterpiece is free -- and fun for all ages.

No rules. No regulations. (Though I am a PG rated blog, not XXX.) Choose your image and add shiny crap to it. Send your entries to by September 16th. That's one week to razzle and dazzle.

You must send me the Blingee "code". Once you've finished your entry, there will be a link right next to the photo that will take you to the code location. Choose photo size #3 (280x280) and cut 'n' paste the full code text into your email. If I don't have the code, I won't have the sparkle.

Don't forget to include your name/blog title so proper credit can be given.

I will post all entries by September 18th and visitors will have a chance to comment on the creations. Sorry, no actual prize is being offered, just the opportunity to showcase your talent. Hopefully, you will also make us laugh.

NOTE: Lurkers are welcome to play along. You don't need to have a blog to participate.

Now...on your mark, get ready, get set.....Bling me!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Dum da dum dum... dum

With that milestone birthday getting closer and closer (oh, the horror), I have been thinking about what I want for the next phase of my life. Here are my big day wishes:

I always be resourceful and moving with the flow of life.

I be the eternal optimist.

I keep being interested so that I may be interesting.

I wish....that I will never lose the twinkle in my eye.

I wish....that if I ever have a moment like this somebody will shoot me.

I always have a sense of humor.

(This photo is dedicated to Rudee.)

Here's hoping all my wishes come true. And yours, too.

CREDITS: Images are courtesy of my resource coordinator, the lovely Kathy Vina.