Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet Puppy Doggers

This is my little Ninja. Her name is tough. She is as sweet and gentle as they come. She is into her second week with us and seems to like us. This dog is either awake and doing something or asleep. She like long walks, treats, and duck duck. I am secretly waiting for the day when the squeaker goes out on duck duck.

Monday, October 25, 2010


The title pretty much says it, I am not a big fan of Halloween. Yes, I dress up the kids, carve pumpkins, decorate the house (a little) and buy candy for the trick or treaters, but I do so grudgingly. Today I was at an appointment and the office manager asked me what I dressing up as for Halloween. WHAT? It was a medical appointment, she had my chart, she knows my exact age, and still asked me what I was going to be for Halloween. Even more odd (to me) is this person seemed shocked when I said, "Not planning on dressing up". I do not care that many adults do dress up and participate fully in the festivities, but please respect that some people have never really been that keen on dressing up. It is not strange that I do not like dressing up as some character. If I could just dress up in a chic cocktail dress with fancy hair and make-up, I would. However, this would just be Allie dressed up for a special occasion. It would also look very silly as a I walk my kids door to door begging candy. I love to dress up, just not as a character. Did not like it as a kid either. Call me defective, but I just am not into it.

Halloween also annoys me because of all the candy. The kids seem very happy to collect tons of candy, count it, sort it, and trade it. I am then saddled with the task of slowly throwing it away in increments so small that it will not be noticed. Everyday, grabbing handfuls, making sure that some really precious treat is not accidentally tossed. No way in hell are the kids going to eat all that candy, and neither is my spouse (much to his dismay). Sure, they love to trick or treat, but honestly I look forward to the time they are no longer interested. I am sick of my deceptive candy removal tactics. It makes me feel sneaky and cheap, but their teeth will thank me later.

I apologize for no joyful post about the fun costumes and excitement about sweet treats. I can't love everything. However, I am starting my countdown to Thanksgiving. That is a holiday I really love. Family, food, thankfulness, and football, that is the recipe for a great holiday. Truth be told I really just enjoy the football for background noise for my Thanksgiving turkey induced nap. I will suffer through Halloween on my excited march to Thanksgiving Thursday.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

5 Random Thoughts

Once again I find that I have ignored my responsibilities as a blogger by not posting enough. Here is the deal, sometimes I just have little random musings that do not seem like "real" posts. I have in my mind that a post has to have a certain length and represent a clear line of thought. Lately my thoughts have been brief and all over that map. So here are some of my random musings from the past week. Maybe all strung together it may seem like a real post.
  1. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Yes, I have been sucked back into this silliness. These ladies faces do not move. Each looks a bit more plastic than the one before. I am pretty glad that my friends do not look like these gals. I like to make people laugh and I am pretty sure that the cast of this show can only give give vapid, pleasant looks. Please stop me if I ever say I am getting botox or other injected facial fillers. Just give my a blank plastic stare to remind me why. Thanks in advance.
  2. I have a new favorite pair of shoes!!! They are leopard with big gaudy clear jewels. Sounds tacky, looks awesome. These shoes make an outfit. Leopard goes with nothing, so it goes with everything. I declare these shoes my fall fashion statement. I am only making one statement per season. Generally I do it with a purse, but perhaps footwear will be my new way to express my inner fashionista.
  3. The new dog. Ninja is really getting along well with the family. It is nice to be adored and appreciated. The cat is lovely, but not into worshiping her family. Retired racers are a very laid back bunch. She is happy to go for walks, play, eat, and sleep. Which is good because we are good at all of those things too. Greyhounds may be a thin breed, but they are very food motivated. I have never seem a dog run to full food dish as fast as she does.
  4. I re-discovered Chicken Shwarma sandwiches. I went to lunch with my mom last week and had this taste treat. How I had forgotten about chicken shwarma, I do not know. I am glad to have it back on my culinary map. The downside of shwarma is the extreme amount of garlic. Yes, it is a taste treat, but I feel like I need to apologize to everyone who encounters me for the rest of the day. It is a couples food, so if you and your beloved have it together the garlic is a non-issue.
  5. Poltergeist. The movie. I watched it a week ago. I think I saw it back in the early to mid-1980's and I was scared then. It still freaks me out. The clown is the worst. The TV people...eek!!! The most disturbing thing is my daughter watched it and thought it was "no big deal". WHAT? She must have inherited the bravery gene from my husband. I have a triple dose of the "chicken sh**" gene. I will stick with Nightmare Before Christmas. I think that movie is scary, but it is animated, so its not real.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Addition

No this is not a complaint about a new math program at the kids school, where the homework is impossible for even an engineer. Don't put that past me I will complain about homework, especially of it causes tears in our house. I have a new addition to the family. She is a retired racing Greyhound. I swore up and down that I was done with rescuing unwanted or abandon dogs. My last two dogs were slightly unstable. However, this dog is perhaps the most serene animal I have every encountered. She likes people (thank goodness), she listens, and she shows a lot of promise is the training department. Ninja (that is what we are calling her), seems to enjoy learning about retirement living in a house. She needs to learn about household living. Vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, kid's toys, cats, pretty much everything is new to her. I feel like I have a very agreeable alien living me. It all surprises her, yet she is not scared. Here is the best thing, she loves to sleep. Outside she can zip around as fast as I have ever seen a dog run, but she gets in the house and she is on her dog bed, sleeping before I can get my coat off. It is an exciting new journey for us as we learn about Greyhounds. One new thing is they must wear coats when it is cold. That is fun and new. I will keep you posted on Ninja's adjustment to family life. Maybe she has a little stinker in her and she is just showing us the good stuff right now? Only time will tell.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Mining for Trouble

I do not know about you, but I have been pretty enthralled with the Chilean miners' rescue efforts. In August when the 33 men were trapped I honestly did not believe this event would have a happy ending. Thankfully, I was wrong. Each man pulled from the depths was a miracle to me. What an amazing engineering story, as well as a human interest story. Personally, I am starting to wish it focused more on the engineering and drilling side and less on the human interest side. Particularly the media focus on the tangled love lives of some of the 33 miners. It started with the man who had a wife and a girlfriend waiting for him at the surface. The wife, according to the news reports, left the site before this player emerged from the ground. I know that life is complicated and things happen, but I truly struggle with not judging this man and the girlfriend harshly. I wish such reports from the media never were mentioned. The pain and perhaps embarrassment that it causes the wife and other family members must be awful. Now there are other "mistresses" of other miners coming forward to share the spotlight. Why? I am not sure. Who wants to gain 15 minutes of fame for sleeping with a married man? Right now I am about to go off on a tangent about Tiger Woods and how he brought this "dirty mistress" situation to a whole new level. However, I will not because I may just puke on my keyboard if I do.

My point is that the media is taking an event that has so many positive messages and stories of personal triumph, and making it cheap and icky. The man who had one too many ladies waiting for him, was apparently the underground pseudo-doctor when they were trapped. I am sure that each man in the mine had a function that aided in the survival of the group. Why can't that be the focus of the media and not the very human, moral shortcomings of these men that occurred above ground in their private lives? I am sick of the tawdry side of the story always being the lead on the news. Can I change this? I guess I could stop watching and reading the news, but that would just make me uninformed. Ignorance is suppose to be bliss. Right? Anyway, I still believe it is a miracle that all of these men could be saved from such a disaster. Hopefully, each will take this second chance and make a positive contribution to his community. This very strong example of getting a second chance makes me want make the most of each day. I do not need to personally be buried alive for 70 days to take away that valuable lesson.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I like to procrastinate. Right now I should be outside raking leaves and cleaning up the yard, but instead I am writing about why I am avoiding it. See how that works? Pretty silly really. The yard will get cleaned up, I just need the right motivation. Generally that motivation is the leaf sucking truck two streets over. Then the situation is urgent and the consequences very real. The thought of leaves choking the life out of my already sketchy lawn does motivate me, just not yet. Sure right now the weather is sunny and warm. Ideal for yard work, right? NO. Ideal for a walk around the neighborhood or reading a book outside or a bike ride. Not for being productive in the out of doors. I need cold, maybe a bit of rain, the wind whipping at me. Then, and only then, do I want to take up my rake and brandish my pruners to make the yard ready for winter. Yes, that is ridiculous, but that is how procrastination works. It makes you push things to the limit of acceptability and still get things done.

Procrastination is my friend. It works for me and has for more years than I care to admit. Somehow the pressure of a very real, imminent deadline makes me feel alive. All through college I put off writing papers until the last minute. Sure I would do research and make outlines, but the actual paper was nothing until 24 to 48 hours before it was due. Packing for vacations is always the night before or the morning of departure. I know people who plan out all the things they need to bring and have their bags packed days before departure. This doesn't work for me. Sure, I am excited to go, but why do I want to walk around a packed suitcase for days prior to going? I don't. I like the pressure of getting all together, right under the wire. Perhaps I am crazy for embarrassing procrastination. Perhaps someday procrastinating will bite me in the a**. Until that happens, I will be walking past all the people doing yard work, enjoying my day. The pressure will get to me. It will get done. In my own time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In My Opinion...

Have you ever noticed that some people's opinions matter more than others? In particular when a person compliments clothing choices. There are people who can tell me they like my outfit or a particular item I am wearing, and I say "thank you" politely, but I do not feel particularly uplifted by their kind words. Then there are those who can pay me a fashion compliment and it makes me feel like a million bucks. I do not get dressed, do my hair & make-up with the though of getting praised for my fashion prowess in mind, if it happens that is nice. I do however think of my stylish friends and I do not want to bring down the whole aesthetic of the group. As an example, if preparing for a "girls night out" I do take extra care with make-up and outfit selection. Not at all because I am trying to impress the gentlemen that may be out and about. No, I like most other women, dress to impress the other ladies I am out with. The secret is out. Women very seldom dress to impress men (because really most men have very limited fashion sense). Women dress to impress their well dressed women friends and acquaintances. The only caveat to the "men's opinions do not count" rule, is if a gay man is handing out fashion praise...that is the gold standard. Think if Carson Kressley came up and told you how nice your outfit was, or how beautifully accessorized you are today. That, my friend is high praise, from an authority on what looks good. No spouse or boyfriend can hold a candle to that kind compliment. I wish my spouse had a passion for fashion and could accessorize and style me so I always looked fabulous, but that will not happen. So I will continue rely on the compliments and direction from my trusted lady friends. Their opinions just count more.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lunchtime Loner

I have found since both kids are in school all day the loneliest thing is lunch. Generally, I have a my morning plan and my afternoon plan. Lunchtime, I try to be at home and grab some sensible food. It is the quietest meal of the day. Yoda (the cat) does not even wake up to join me. I do not like to turn on the television in case I get sucked into something that interests me more than my afternoon plan. Many days watching a leaf blow across the lawn is more interesting than my afternoon plan. The quiet, uninterrupted meal is an odd thing for me. I do not have to get up and refill water or milk for anyone. I do not have to cut food for anyone, except myself. I do not have to listen to anyone chew with their mouth open. It is a bit lonely and dull.

The rest of my day I may or may not have people around me depending on what I am doing. When decluttering closets and the basement I am alone and it does not bother me one bit. In fact I enjoy the solitude. The time to focus on a task or to let my mind wander comfortably while doing a more mundane task is very freeing. I get a lot of thinking done when people are not around asking questions and requesting my assistance. Often I come up with ideas for this blog or another topic I want to write about privately in one of my journals. I toy with idea of a memoir...and then laugh at myself for toying with idea of a memoir. Perhaps I am lucky that the only time I only feel lonely throughout the whole day is at lunch. Maybe is a good thing to feel a longing for my family, then perhaps I am more excited or prepared for the chaos that ensues when they all arrive home.

How do you feel about solitude? Is there any particular time or situation that you feel lonely? Here is to hoping you have the correct balance of solitude and chaos in your life.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Am Beautiful

Okay, as you look at the title please do not judge me as a vapid, vainglorious, woman. I am using this as my topic today because I saw an event on Facebook for "I Am Beautiful" day. I checked out the event page to see what it is about. The idea is that on October 6, 2010 people on Facebook should set their status as "I am beautiful". It is about embracing ourselves and accepting ourselves as the beautiful, unique creations we each are. I am totally on board with that. I also feel like being an advocate for celebrating beauty. Only in the past ten or twelve years have actually come to accept that I am beautiful. Honestly. I have always known I was intelligent, and I have generally liked myself. However, I never really believed that I was physically attractive. I knew I was not unsightly or hideous, but pretty? That took a good 25 years to accept. The turning point for me was realizing that what is inside matters vastly more than what is on the outside. At that point I started seeing everyone different. It was a "light bulb" moment. It is as if I look more at a person's heart or character or whatever you may call that internal quality. The content of a person's heart lights their outer appearance for me now. It also lights how I see myself. When I am being caring, giving, and striving to make a difference (even if it is for one person) then suddenly when I look in the mirror I see a "glow" that comes from within. Conversely, when I am being self-centered or critical, I see the darkness. Thus, as a slightly vainglorious women, I try to live a life of giving, caring, and appreciating. So I can be beautiful.

Hopefully the rest of you figured out the whole beauty thing sooner than I did. 25 years is a long time to feel not beautiful. If not then think about it. Each of us is beautiful, and no one can take that from us. Time can not steal your beauty. Cosmetics can not give you beauty you do not already have. Its all about letting your heart light shine.

Go forth and be beautiful!

Monday, October 4, 2010


I was just working on a different post. It is a work in progress, I will share it when I feel it is just right. I began thinking it is not a Monday type post. Monday is a day that needs levity. The kind that can only come from a hot cup of coffee in a mug with something quirky written on it. I love coffee mugs. I can spend a long time in gift shops just reading funny mugs. I have learned that I can not buy very cute mug I see. Just like I can't buy every cute shoe just because it comes in a size 10...tempting as it may be. Anyway, back to my friend coffee. I think I should just list my favorite things about coffee...
  1. Coffee is hot and Michigan is generally cold, so that is natural match.
  2. Coffee can be served over ice during the three months when Michigan is hot.
  3. Coffee is a non-offensive social beverage. Most people can tolerate coffee in its caffeinated or decaffeinated form or go for a hot chocolate or tea option at a coffee house. So you have an option for your non-boozing friends.
  4. You can add booze to coffee. I am both sides of the coin person. A nice Irish Coffee or Mexican Coffee is a welcome end of day beverage.
  5. Coffee is an all day drink. You can not sip on gin & tonics all day without some pretty harsh judgement, not to mention impairing your own judgement.
  6. Juan Valdez and his donkey (or should I say, burro). Just a classic coffee commercial.
  7. Fun coffee mugs (already covered that one)
  8. The stimulant effect of caffeine. Never underestimate the importance of being awake and alert (even hyper-alert)
  9. The smell of coffee. Not only does it say, "Good Morning, my love". Coffee beans are a great deodorizer for refrigerator, and other areas of the house. I have put coffee beans in stinky shoes. It works.
  10. My ladies coffee group. These ladies completely rock. It is super cheap therapy and a lot of fun. So I will give coffee credit for this group, but we might meet up over other beverages too.

Tip back a steaming mug or two, and make your own list of reasons of why coffee is king!