Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Brown, really?

Normally, I am not a fan of the color brown but twice today I've been taken in by that color brown.  I'm traveling to Pittsburgh for work.  I started feeling hungry and realized I was near the exit for Pittsburgh Mills, what a coincidence ;-) Anyway, wandering through Penney's in the purse section, I found a stunning chocolate brown, kind of like a Hershey bar brown,  purse with silver embellishments.  Normally brown is accented with gold; I don't like gold so I rarely even consider a brown handbag.  BUT, this shade of chocolate was just gorgeous with all the silver and I immediately wanted to own it.  But of course, the purse was Liz Claiborne, $70.00, way, way out of my purse price range, darn it!
Now, I'm in my motel room reading blogs and see some lovely photographs of brown and white transfer ware over at Marnie Jane's . She did a wonderful job with the photographs and her arrangement of items is very appealing to me, warm and comforting somehow.
For the second time today I'm suddenly a fan of brown.  What about you, been surprised by something lately?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pain, no, agony

Can't write much today, just the essential part, Parker has cancer.  The vet says it's a fast growing bladder cancer and his time is short, maybe 2 months.  Our hearts are breaking and refuse to accept what our minds tell us we must do.  It hurts so much.

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Yesterday I was a bum, nearly all day, a bum.  I can't tell you the last time I did not have to go somewhere or do something the minute I got out of bed.  Yesterday, though unplanned, I slept in.  I went back to sleep after Marty left for work and didn't get up until 7:30A, which is late for me. 
While I was reading the newspaper, Marty called from work asking me to record the Penguins game.  As I searched through the channels to find the appropriate one for the recording device, I came across a movie named, "Three Wishes" with Patrick Swayze and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.  I am a Patrick Swayze fan, so after the all important recording duties were completed, I flipped back to that channel and watched the remainder of the movie.
A simple movie, a bit of a tearjerker (not much of a stretch for me, I cry during Hallmark commercials) with a lesson to be learned.  I was surprised by the lesson imparted--- Jack made a wish for Tommy, "you always wanted what you couldn't have, so I wished you'd be happy with what you were given".   Isn't that a truism!  It's me on many days; wish I had more time, wish I had more friends, wish I was smarter or thinner or whatever.  I have so many blessings I can't  begin to write them all down or even list them in my head.  I have a lot, but often want more.  Happiness isn't something we are given, it is something we can learn and cultivate and something that doesn't cost us a dime.  
But I digress, when the movie was over, around 10:30, I felt guilty; I just wasted 2 hours.  At first I was mad at myself for even turning the TV on; it was Marty's fault though, wasn't it?  I could have loaded the dishwasher, put some laundry in, got the vacuum cleaner out and picked up the loose stuff on the floors,  getting ready to clean.
Just then Vivianne hopped up on my lap, stretching and nuzzling, waking up after her morning nap.  She sure wasn't feeling guilty for napping already on Saturday morning.  You know, there isn't anything wrong with me sitting down and watching a movie.  There isn't anything wrong with me sitting down and watching a movie.  There isn't anything wrong with me sitting down and watching a movie or reading or knitting or just plain sitting down!  There isn't anything wrong with that.  I drive myself and try to squeeze in one more thing, "I can do that", which is why I"m often late, "Just a minute, I'm almost done", which is why I don't sleep enough, "Wow, it's 2AM already" which is probably the real reason I'm such a poor manager of time, I'm always squeezing in one more thing.

I need to think on this personal revelation. Did wasting 2 hours suddenly turn on the light bulb that will change my life; could it really be that simple?  I think it can and I'm going to find out.

Friday, February 24, 2012


When you're an anal sort of person who functions best with a routine and a plan, sometimes the slightest little glitch throws you into a tailspin.   I've had a few glitches the past week or so and finding the time and summoning the wherewithal to write seemed out of my reach. I'm happy that things have improved, today I'm writing and I'm blessed with room to breath.
My mom has been struggling with some high blood pressure issues since the beginning of 2012.  Last week she was in the ER twice (195/90) and admitted the second time.  She was experiencing the classic heart attack symptoms on the second visit which is why they admitted her.  Tests were a bit abnormal but nothing further developed.  Mom has had a heart attack that included quadruple bypass in March 2000 so we tend to be extra cautious.  She was discharged with a list of further testing and we'll see what happens from here.
The husband of a good friend did have a heart attack last Friday.  He's home, being cranky and stressing his wife to the nth degree.  Men!  On top of that, my friend's refrigerator quit working (it had been repaired several times in the last couple of months) and the blower on her furnace malfunctioned!  Talk about a friend was over her limit for excitement to say the least :)  But like me, this week is better, she has a new frig and the part for the furnace should be installed today. Now if she could just fix her husband that easily, a new one perhaps, nah, just some adjustments on both sides!
With  a lot of trepidation, I had also set up a meeting with the other two founding members of my PKP team.  Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways (PKP) is a civic project I've been involved in for almost 4 years.  If you're curious, check out our website   Anyway, I have some added responsibilities at work that will include travel to Pittsburgh, I have to adjust my priorities for a few months until I get the hang of my new 'routine' and still do all the other things that life requires of me.   I have decided I need to back off on my PKP activity.  That was a really hard decision and I felt obligated to discuss it with my friends face to face.  I'm not good at saying 'No' or 'I can't' but for my own sanity, to keep the job I love and to not shortchange PKP, it was required.  My friends, Joe & Ines, were totally understanding and I'm so grateful and relieved.  Also, PKP recently added 3 new members to our team which couldn't have come at a more appropriate time for me.  The answer to prayers if you will, thank you Lord!
This collage of mine continues to speak to me but still  not
sure what it is trying to say ! 
Speaking of the Lord, I believe He gives us these topsy-turvy times so we can appreciate the calm times more and be thankful for them.  I wish I could remember that when everything seems upside down!  It is said that He doesn't give us more than we can handle, but sometimes I feel like He's stretching me too thin.  As hard as that is for me, it's a good thing too because finding new sides of me, learning to do new things both personally and professionally are part of the goals I set for myself this year.  I do wish He wouldn't throw so much at me or my friends all at once,  but in my case, He certainly knows what a bad time manager I am, so maybe He's just helping His little lamb along :)  I'm pleased to have made it over these hurdles and I'm happy for today, another gift from Him.

Monday, February 13, 2012

About me

Reading one of the blogs I follow hit home for me yesterday.  Erin at Two Story Cottage  described herself and it sounded a bit like me.  I'm just learning how to talk about myself (one of my goals for 2012), I don't update my FB page and I don't promote my blog.  My blog is more for me than it is for you (no offense), a way for me to journal or talk out loud about myself until I'm brave enough to do it face to face.  I could ramble on about how I'm trying to psychoanalyze myself, improve my self confidence and become a better person but... that's not the purpose of this post.
I commented to Erin that she had inspired me to join her in posting 25 things about Me.  Me being me, I tried to figure out what I should write, in what order and how I should phrase everything but in the end it sounded fake.  It sounded fake because it was, sort of; the list was contrived.  So, here is another go at it, no advance thinking, just what ever pops into my head.

  1. I've been married 3 times. Third time has been the proverbial charm, 23 yrs married in September and 26 years together!
  2. I own at least a dozen dictionaries; they are scattered around the house and at my office.
  3. I knit, I love it but I'm very slow to complete my projects
  4. I am a veteran, served in the US Army back in the 70's.
  5. I'm planning to get a new hairstyle next week, I've been searching the web for styles I like.  Very unusual for me, normally I let my stylist decide how to fix my hair.
  6. I'm Native American- Seneca Nation, Bear Clan and have never lived on a reservation but other maternal generations of my family did and do.  
  7. As a young child I aspired to be an elementary school teacher.
  8. Any time the opportunity to take a self examination quiz, survey, DISC, etc presents itself, I do it.  No real answers yet!
  9. I wear only silver or white gold jewelry, except for the pendant I have that belonged to my late mother in law, it is yellow gold.
  10. Purple is my favorite color.
  11. I am a terrible manager of time.
  12. I love to travel as often as I can, though most of my trips are centered around family or work.
  13. I had cataract surgery in 2011.
  14. I have 2 sisters and 5 brothers and both of my parents are still living--I'm very lucky.
  15. I want to get in better shape this year and I hope that leads to losing weight.  
  16. I drive a Toyota Tacoma pickup with a cap, a hand me down from Marty after he got a brand new truck and traded in my beloved Subaru :(
  17. I love to dance and danced my heart and butt away in my 20's & 30's; a fixture on several local dance floors; personal enjoyment only, no real talent. I should take up dancing again but good bands and bars seem to be a thing of the past.
  18. I had my first pedicure when I turned 50.
  19. I love coming home, it makes me feel good.
  20. I'd love to drive a really fast car but I'm so afraid something bad will happen.
  21. It's hard for me to work in clutter, I need to have a sense of organization to function well.
  22. I was once a New York Jets fan and thought Mark Gastineau was ' the man'.  I wised up and realized that Clint Eastwood was my Man; I have loved him since I was a young girl watching Rawhide with my Uncle Frank.
  23. My Dad is the second most important man in my life.
  24. I would like to sky dive.
  25. If money was no object I'd love to have a large two story house, with beautiful curtains in every window, a wrap around porch, rocking chairs, abundant hanging plants and game boards and sweet ice tea at the ready for neighborhood porch parties every weekend.
Well there's a numbered list of random things you didn't know about me.  Erin had a linky party going with someone else but I'm not up to that yet and maybe never will but at least I posted my list ! YEAH!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Tonight I cleaned off my dining room table.  I've been in and out of the house so much in the last month that nothing has found its way to its home.  The item on the bottom of the pile is one of Marty's Christmas gifts, a fleece Steelers blanket.  I always seem to find time to finish projects for others, for church, civic groups, my family, even my friends long before I finish his projects.  He's so understanding and I probably take advantage of him in that regard.  Why is that?  Is it because I think I'll always have time to finish it later, is it because I know he can see I'm working on his project bits at a time or is it just because he's less important in my mind???  I adamantly deny that last option.  But, honestly, in a sense, I think that's the truest option.  He sees me all the time, sees what I'm doing at home, sees what I'm doing for others, sees that I'm busy.  Therefore he should understand why I don't get his stuff done, right?   On the outside he might but on the inside, he's probably feeling cheated.  It's the inside I should be worried about.  I have talked to myself about this many times, about putting Marty first, finishing things for him before I do things for others.  I do really well for a spell and then I'm back to the bad behavior.  He is the best husband ever!  I love him more than I ever imagined I could love another but yet he some how, still falls to the back of the line, just ahead of  me.
Tonight I promised myself and Marty, though I didn't tell him, that I will finish his blanket before Monday morning.  After that, I will again find the projects for Marty that are at various stages of completion around the house and concentrate on finishing them before I start other things.
I have experienced some unexpected changes in my life recently and that split second change should remind me to put my husband first.  I want him to feel valued because he is and to know, on the inside, that he's my number one, today, tomorrow and forever.

Monday, February 6, 2012


Last week was an emotional week.  In many ways, more emotional than my wedding day!
  • I lost a very dear friend, she was 85.  I spoke at her memorial service, which was very hard but it was something I really wanted to do.  She meant a lot to me. 
  • I had an unsolicited face to face talk with my general manager about ways I thought we could improve the communication level between him and I and ways I thought we could improve the overall function of our small (6 people) office.  Face to face is very hard for me.  Face to face, one on one, causes me to formulate and voice my opinion and then be accountable for what I say.  It went much better than I thought it would.
  • I traveled to our Pittsburgh office on Wednesday to have my first ever 'goal setting' meeting with my immediate supervisor. I know my job, I do it well and I do anything else I am asked to do.  Simple, right?  Not now. Our company has decided to use an evaluation system to help monitor our individual progress.  I'm not scared, well, maybe a smidgen, but I'm confident I can meet the goals we set without any trouble.  What I am concerned about, can I meet them in a timely manner?  I am not a very good time manager.  I am actively working on improvement in that area and have been for about a year now.  Perhaps I need to work harder and more efficiently :)  This new policy may get me going in the right direction.  What appropriate timing!!
  • My step mom's aunt, she was 96, passed away on 1/31/11.  She was a wonderful person and I enjoyed visiting with her at every opportunity.  Because of a funeral home backlog (who'd da thunk it) the funeral was not held until 1/4/12.  To my benefit, that allowed time for my sister and I to make a quick trip to IL to pay our respects and see some of our family.  
  • Travel time to and from IL also allowed my sister and I to discuss some personal issues between the two of us.  We discussed ways I could improve on some of my shortcomings in the sister department.  Actually,  probably in the human being department as well.  OPEN UP, share, ask for help (that will be the day), enjoy time with your fellow man/woman, stop the isolation.  God meant for us to be social.  Even my church newsletter alluded to this topic last month. Hello Coralee, how much harder do you need to be hit; do you need to have a house dropped on you?
See what I mean, definitely emotional!!  It will take me a few more days to process all of this but I am grateful for this past week.  Saddened by the loss of life but encouraged by the new beginnings; it's a cycle of sorts, isn't it?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Life passes

My sister and I traveled to Illinois yesterday for a funeral today and we will travel back to PA early tomorrow morning.  My Dad thinks it's silly for us to drive 1100 miles to attend a funeral but we do not because there are other benefits.
My sister and I are both in our mid fifties, relatively healthy and capable of making this trip; we drove.  Aside from paying our respects to our stepmother's dear aunt, we also have a bit of time to visit with our family here in Illinois.
Death of family and friends can impact our lives at any moment.  We don't know if this visit with our father, or 2 of our brothers or our stepmother will be our last; we pray that it won't be; but the realization of that possibility  looms larger with each passing minute at this point in our lives.
It is a bit sad that we wouldn't chose to make this quick trip, just because, but, time spent with family, for whatever reason, is not time wasted.