Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

I caught this happy trio filming a video near the court house on the town square.  This was a couple of weeks ago - not today.  Only in Bloomington.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Post number 500.  Not that many, really when you consider I've been on here since 2008.  I was on another site for a couple of years before that.
I enjoy blogging because it fulfills my need to write and publish.  I enjoy shooting and using my own photos.  I enjoy the interaction that results from blogging.  I get a real sense of accomplishment from blogging.
I'm always writing blog posts - in my mind.  Do you do that?  I shoot a bunch of photos and have it all planned but life gets in the way sometimes and it doesn't get written.
I tend to be Mary Sunshine.  My creativity shuts down when times get tough.  I have shared some tough times with you along the way.  I've shared some real times with you, too.
The blogging community is interesting.  There are some blogs I have read and enjoyed and commented on and no matter how many time I've commented, I've never heard from the blogger.  And there are other bloggers who respond right away when you comment. And there are people who always, always comment on my blog.  Thank you - feedback is wonderful, isn't it?  I think so. 
When I'm blogging, life is just about right.  I'm rested, (usually) and have enough time to blog and something to share.  I love to blog and read and comment on other blogs. Other times I barely have enough time to throw a blog out there.
Because of working full time, the hours are limited and it seems everything needs me...the animals, the house, the laundry...ugh. 
Usually, when I write, it flows.  I have something to say and I say it. The beauty of it is, if you don't like it or disagree, don't read it.  This is the record of my life.  I like to think about how blogging is changing history.  How after we are gone, other will be able to read our words.  I like to think the Bee will read this blog some day.  Maybe she won't.  In some small way, I like to think I'm leaving my mark on the world or helping someone out, out there. 
Happy 500th post to me.  Here's to many more!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What she wore - #2

This is what I wore to my friend's son's wedding.  I had the boots and tights, bought a new sweater dress and paired it with a knit jacket of sorts and matching necklace and earrings. 

This was taken in our drive.  Our burning bush is burning! I bought the dress, jacket and jewelry at Dressbarn.  The tights and boots are also from Dressbarn - but I bought them last year.

Have you been shopping, recently?  Take it from me, the pickins are slim!  I'm not crazy about a lot of stuff out there - even at Dressbarn, but I also found a pair of basic jeans and two knit tops.  I'm not a huge jeans person and only had one pair.  It seems to me a lot of the clothing out there right now is cheap and not very well made.  And if it is very well made, it costs an arm and a leg. 

Where is your favorite place to shop?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday: Saturday, 10/20

My last post was about girl's night out - the night before my birthday - on Friday night.
My actual birthday was Saturday the 20th.
My day began with a hair appointment at 8:00 a.m.  I arrived before anyone was at the shop. 

do salon

Following my hair appointment, I met Doug for brunch at Michael's Uptown Cafe.
For information regarding the tree sweaters on the square, read here 
 and here.
 Why I love a birthday in October:
 Another reason I love an October birthday:
After brunch Doug and I went to the Farmer's Market where Doug bought a ginormous mum for me.  Isn't it beautiful? I always have a big pumpkin (he brought one home to me last week) and a big mum at the end of the drive.
After Farmer's Market we went home and got ready to go to my friend's son's wedding in Indianapolis.  It was in an old historic downtown Indianapolis church.  The reception was at the Ritz-Charles in Carmel.  The wedding and reception was a great place to spend my birthday.  My friend has always been there for me and my family and it was our pleasure and privilege to be there at her son's wedding.  We ate, we talked, we raised money for Lou Gehrig's disease, we drank, we danced.
Donna and me
Donna and I were born the same year, three days apart.  Her birthday was October 17.  She will forever be my "older" friend.  We've been friends for twenty-three years. 
All in all, I had a truly wonderful birthday.  (Anyone notice anything different from my previous post?)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Riding the rails in the birthday car

Friday, after work, my gals and I went to The Rail for drinks. (I will refer you to their facebook page as their website isn't too hot.) We went to this place in the summer when it was about nine hundred degrees. Apparently their AC was out. So we decided to visit once again since the temps have cooled down. My birthday is 10/20 and when I received an Outlook meeting request "to discuss a VIP," I figured the girls were up to something.  They crowned me queen for the evening.  (Who doesn't love to wear a crown?)
This place is known for their unique, outstanding drinks.  We all share drinks - passing them around and tasting each other's drinks.  We figure the alcohol will kill the germs.

With every one's drinks
 Anne brought cupcakes from Angel B's. Rene brought cupcakes, too.
 We were also celebrating the huge new rock that Anne is now sporting.
Love everything about this picture
Sadly, the rock is obscured from view in this photo - it is beautiful.  (Good job, Matt.)
We are all very happy and excited for the wedding which is late next summer. 

Sweet Annie.  Love this gal.
 Rene is artsy and smart with all matters where computers are concerned.

me and Rene
Anne wears a lot of hats in her position.  When Karen isn't eating men for breakfast, she can be found at HR.  MJ is a writer and the voice of all things important at the Kelley School.  She is also my former "egg lady," who convinced me to keep chickens.

Anne, Karen and Mary Jo
Our waiter, was a musician from the Jacobs School.  Oh, my, I wanted him to sing Music of the night for me.  Especially when I learned his name is Vincent.  He had the most beautiful speaking voice.

Vincent - who had to put up with us got to wait on us
Rene brought the latest issue of Bloom and Mary Jo - the writer, had a piece published in it.  MJ was very excited to show us her article.

Mary Jo will love this photo.

on the sill beside us

sur la table

 I love these gals.  At one time, we all worked together.  Now, only two remain where we used to work.  We all still work at university.
wearing the awesome necklace Rene made for me
Thanks, ladies for the drinks and the cupcakes and the gifts.  You rock.  So fun to be queen - even if it is for the day. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How do you deal with stress?

My last post was written about massage.  I had not had a massage for years.  I had a massage in an effort to relax.  I don't do relaxation too well. I really don't do relaxation too well when I am stressed out. 
When I am upset or stressed out I usually clean.  Clean helps clear the clutter out of my mind. I clean, organize, get rid of. I want my bedroom to be clean.  I want my bedroom to be a place I can go to and say "ahh." 
I like to have my country kitchen table covered with a freshly ironed tablecloth.  I don't like clutter.  I don't like stuff to be on every counter top.  I don't like dirty dishes sitting around.  Doug is good to help out in the kitchen.  Usually, I take care of the rest of the house.
I like the house to smell good.  I use orange floor cleaner and orange pledge.  I like the smell of oranges.  I do not like the smell of lemon.
One way I help the house to smell good is by burning candles.  I've burned candles all my life.  I started burning candles in my bedroom when I was a teenager.  I have candles in the bathroom, the living room, the kitchen and the entryway.  I feel candles are welcoming to guests. I love candles.
I like to iron when I'm upset or stressed.  A lot of people don't iron, anymore.  I love to iron.  I don't like to wear wrinkled clothing.  Especially when I'm stressed out or upset, I love to iron.  I love the hiss of the steam.  It just seems to set things straight.  As if I'm ironing out life's wrinkles. 
I like to make art when I'm stressed.  Other than writing, making art is the only other manner in which I can get so involved I lose all track of time.
Another wonderful way to relax and get lost is by reading.  I am a voracious reader.  I am always reading a book.  I also love to read magazines and catalogs.  Too many catalog sales are lost in my opinion because a lot of catalogs are delivered via email these days.  I am twice as likely to order from a catalog when I have a paper version that I can circle, tear out and mark up.  I also rip inspiration and ideas from magazines.  When Doug and I were fairly new, he couldn't get over how I would tear up a magazine.  Now it doesn't phase him.
I don't take baths normally.  I don't like to sit in my own dirt.  And when I do take a bath, I always stand and shower afterward.  But soaking in the bathtub is a good way to relax.  I like to soak just before going to bed.  One of my favorite things to do as I soak is to sip a Kahlua and milk.  Very relaxing.
If I'm stressed out I like to walk- very fast.  Now that I have my bicycle, I like to ride my bicycle, too.  Riding my bicycle makes me feel young.  I like to walk and talk with a gal friend.  I like to walk my dog.  She is always good company.  Walking and exercising is just a good way to clear the cobwebs.  Sometimes I will walk around campus on my lunch hour.  I always feel better when I return to the office.
We don't watch a lot of TV.  We do watch movies or TV shows on DVD.  Our latest passion is Breaking Bad.  We are in season three.  No spoilers, please!  We like to have pizza and beer or sometimes a glass of wine while we sit and watch DVDs.  When I do watch, I don't do anything else. 
In the winter I love to relax by sitting before the fire.  Sometimes I even lay on the sofa in front of the fire. I'm not one that lays on the sofa very often.
Finally, I like to be home.  Home is safe.  I like quiet.  I don't want to be out in public and go, go, go.  Call me a homebody.  In my book, it is a compliment.
As you can tell, I hold on pretty tight.  I walk fast.  I work hard - at work and at home.  I can work circles around most.  There are a lot of people who would think who cares?  I consider work a virtue. 
When I went to the masseuse last week, I warned her "I doubt you have worked on anyone as tight as I am in some time."  Afterward, I said to her "I warned you." Massage is like magic.  It makes you feel better for a long time, afterward.
I know how to relax but I am still not very good at it.  Tell me, how do you relax?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


She was a friend of a friend.  On the night we met we talked quite a bit.  Doug had a stiff neck.  She told us she was a massage therapist and volunteered to work on Doug's neck.  Right there in the bar. She friended me on facebook and I asked her how much she charged and  asked if I might get a massage after work.
Tonight I went out to her house for a massage.  I looked forward to it all day. I hoped she had one of those rooms and she did.  It was wonderful.  It was warm and had a candle.  The bed was covered in oatmeal colored flannel sheets.
My last massage was several years ago.  When I had those massages, they were with the same woman in my home town.  When she massaged it was hard and deep.  I felt good for some time afterward.  But what it felt like was a person working on another person. 
This was a massage very unlike the ones I had previously experienced.  This woman seemed to push out all of the bad with love.  When I told her that her hands felt like my Grandma's hands on me she told me she wasn't surprised.  My Grandma was one of my most beloved people in my life and she passed away in 2006.  Until tonight, the memory of how her hands felt had floated away from me.  I cried.
I've been experiencing major sleep issues for some time now.  When the massage lady put her hands on me she asked me how many hours of sleep I get each night.  My answer was "not enough."  I asked her if she could tell how tired I was just by touching me.  She said she could.  She told me my body's energy was messed up.  I'm sure it is.
When the massage was over I got dressed and went into the bathroom.  When I looked at my face in the mirror, it had changed.  The relaxed face I saw in the mirror was quite different than the face I wore before the massage.
I can't go often but since it is now socks and shoes weather, I won't be getting a pedi.  I suppose my pedi money could become massage money.  I'm about to go to bed and I expect I will sleep well tonight. 
I've lived here for almost five years and hadn't had a massage since I lived here.  I could never get a good referral from anyone.  I feel as if this woman was sent into my life just when I needed her. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The power of words

Today at work I was emailing with a colleague from work.  I shared a disappointment I experienced today.  She wrote back "enjoy this beautiful evening."  I thought to myself
I should take my bike out on the trail- but I have too much to do at home.
I've been too busy as of late- involved in a lot of fun things- like a lot of volunteer work, but I've neglected my art, my house, my blog, myself.  After tonight, I am busy for the next three nights.  Fun stuff, yes, but I have plans. 
I got home and started to take Chelsea out for a walk and just happened to look down at my phone and saw I had just missed a call from my friend. I'm really bad about leaving my phone off after work and missing calls. 
The message was did I want to go out to the trail and walk with her?
Did I?
I have not walked the trail with anyone this summer.  The times I've been out on the trail this summer I've been on my shiny new bicycle. 
But a walk and talk with a gal friend?  Oh, my.  Yes!  My friend and I had lunch recently after falling out of touch with one another.  When I told Doug we had fallen out of touch he said he couldn't believe it.  I couldn't believe it, either.
So I called her back, finished walking Chelsea, threw on a pair of hiking shorts and my Paris pink tennis shoes and drove to meet her. 
This is the kind of friend that causes me to always feel better after a visit with her.  You have those kind of friend, don't you?  I hope so.
We had a lot of catching up to do. We both are Grandmas to our first grandchild.  We both have two children.  We both still have our parents.  We had to catch up on all of that.
Then we started talking about how sometimes (especially with those you love the most) words come out of your mouth that you wish you had never said.  She asked me if I had those moments with my children.  Oh, do I ever.  I said a lot of things when my children were growing up that I wish I had never said.  The worst thing I ever said was to my daughter.  The night she told me she was gay.  Well, that night she was trying to soften the blow and she told me she was bi.  I sat there shell shocked.  Speechless.  My daughter said "say something"
and I said "I think I'm going to throw up?"
My daughter told me she was gay and I told her I was going to throw up.
That in my mind, is the worst thing I've ever said to anyone.
So I drove home after our walk thinking about the power of words.
Someone crossed the line with me recently.  Perhaps in her mind she thought she was being helpful.  But she proceeded to give me some unsolicited advice that was just downright insulting and hurtful.  I'm not the sort of person that needs (or desires) that kind of "feedback." 
Our words are so very powerful.  How will you use your power- for good or evil?

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