Just a quick little check-in to let you know I’m still around… and not getting emailed my comments from WordPress.  It’s enough to send a girl back to Blogger.   Does anyone out there blog on free WordPress and use a different comment tool/service?


Where's my Mama?!

This weekend, I was in Houston for a conference.  Sadly, the way I do conferences, I fly in, miss the opening session or two, and fly out before the closing reception or whatever the wrap-up is.  This time, we were in Houston less than 30 hours.   Unlike NoLa last year this time, because of a special meeting we basically had to attend Friday night, we didn’t even get to really have a night on the town.

I also have to tell you… as someone who has done conferences as a presenter and a regular ol’ attendee…  If you’re the host group, do a goodie bag.  I know it’s just one more thing to ask your taxed conference hosting committee to oversee, but truly… my feelings were a little hurt and I feel I missed a chance to learn a little more about the city I didn’t get to see.

photo.JPGSee… even when I can’t fly in early and leave late, I can count on those host site bags to include a list of where to dine, some local history and tourism propaganda, and a snack or three.  If we’re lucky, there are other goodies too, like a locally produced hand cream, or from Baltimore, some McCormick spices.  Thankfully, someone has been reading my post-conference surveys, because at least there were very real snacks at our breaks this time.  (Never mind that I couldn’t eat the pimento cheese because while there was at least two quarts of dip left, the crackers were long gone…)

I also have to mention the very sobering moments at the end of our flight from Houston to Charlotte.  I’d seen the solider in his (Army) dress uniform as I boarded, and I had a strong suspicion as to what that meant, but I still shudder-sighed when the pilot announced during our landing process that we were carrying a fallen hero and asked that we all remain seated while his military escort deplaned.   The pilot repeated the message as we made our final taxi, and the very full plane honored both his request and the escort… save two.  One was not a native speaker – I know because I was behind him boarding, and it was a struggle for all involved in trying to explain that all of us still left to board had to check our rolling luggage, even if it did meet carry-on requirements.  The other I am assuming also didn’t speak/comprehend English, but that makes me wonder…  if we’d had a real emergency, how would they have reacted?  I sure hope they weren’t just being impatient and disrespectful.

Meanwhile, our big fundraiser is this Saturday.  If you’re local and you like poker, I believe we have a few seats left in our poker tournament.  I also have two general admission tickets I’d like to give away if you’re interested…

Target 2011

Marjie, I’m SO GLAD you found these cute shoes for me last spring.  Now, I just need to decide whether I’ll go bare-legged or buy hose.   Otherwise, my outfit is taken care of, thank goodness.  Dress, shoes, special undergarments, earrings…  I’m good to go, with no time to change my mind.  If it’s not pouring down rain Saturday, the girls and I will have a fabulous, long walk, rather than me running around like Chicken Little!

What have you been up to?

Year of the Rabbit?

Happy Thorsday, little friday and Thankful Thursday to you! 

Disney image

Why yes, I *DO* realize it is the Year of the Dragon.   However, dragons are big and strong, can fly, breathe fire, etc.  I’m feeling more like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, personally.  I haven’t been late to anything yet, but I’m running around like crazy, so this will be my last post for a few days while I try to catch up.  That, and I’m hoping WordPress will get its act together and return to emailing my comment notifications.  Is anyone else having this problem with WordPress?

January 2011 009

Almost done now!

Thankful.  I’m thankful that I’m safe and sound, unlike parts of the deep South.  Pop over and visit Jessi for a rather personal take on the tornadoes.  

I’m very thankful for all the babies on the way this summer, including one friend of a friend due on my birthday!!  (Wouldn’t that be neat?!)  I need to get knitting, because at least FIVE of the babies on the way NEED hand knits, meaning their mamas are precious to me and will appreciate such.

Good thing I have one blanket almost done, eh?  I’m going to have to find my knitting mojo… next month.  Right now, I’m just trying to get through the next 10 days or so.  (And the Knight has already pointed out that next month is right around the corner, but it feels better to ignore that little fact, okay?)

The girls have a link up to a tug at your heartstrings post.  I just don’t understand how anyone can abandon a pet.

Is 2012 off to a good start for you?  What are you thankful for today?


Comments and Lincoln

Firstly, I apologize if I fail to answer a comment to any post.  I really do like reading and replying to comments and the conversations that evolve, but despite confirming – repeatedly – that my settings are set for email notification for all comments, WordPress isn’t emailing me squat.  Yes, there are ways around that, but they’re time-consuming and time isn’t something I have a lot of these days, so bear with me and hopefully, WordPress will get back to normal sooner rather than later.

Courtesy of

I’m now on book #5 of the Wine Country series.  Love ’em.  But I took a little break to read Killing Lincoln.  

It really does read like fiction.  I stayed up until 2am to finish it.  Why yes, I did announce in sixth grade that I was devoting my life to history, so I am rather familiar with the plot/facts, but it was still hard to put down.  

As with the setting for the Wine Country cozies, I know the area well.  DC is my college town.   Given gridlock and all the cars on the paved roads these days, I suspect even my notions of travel time were accurate enough, despite the more rustic roads traveled by horseback and/or carriage.

For some reason, despite knowing this was non-fiction, I was expecting more conspiracy theory stuff.  The authors did touch on all of that and mentioned the never implicated but gee isn’t that a coincidence connections more than once, so if you’re not well-versed in the first US presidential assassination, you might find this really insightful. 

Again, despite knowing the story well, I found this hard to put down.   I did get a better feel for Lincoln the man – he hated being called Abe, for instance – and it’s clear that balancing marriage, family and running a nation had worn him down.  I have to wonder though, if he had lived, would he have been able to heal the nation as he so desperately wanted to do?

Now I want to know more about the man who followed him, Andrew Johnson.   Reconstruction and healing definitely aren’t the same thing…

The Cancer Thief

Like many of you, I have a host of blogs in my reader.  One of those is Javamom, whom I discovered somehow after one of the Junior League conferences last year.   While I don’t know her friend, I do know that cancer is a thief and it steals from all of us. 


My Hooey Hound, taken too soon by the Cancer Thief

I won’t bore you with a laundry list of those the cancer thief has robbed me – and the world – of.  I will tell you that right now, I am still in awe of “Hope” and all that innocent, strong, brave, beautiful child gave those of us who knew of her.  And two women my age with happy young families were blindsided by cancers within in the past year.  (We’re talking no history, hit all of the proper milestones for routine testing, etc.) 

So here’s a link, so you too can be inspired, supportive… whatever you feel called to do.  Surely if we keep promoting awareness and routine testing according to your medical history, we can indeed “arrest” the Cancer Thief.

It’s not me, it’s you

No, really…  I loved the Estee Lauder gal who helped me at the start of the year, even though I went looking for other brands (albeit all from the same parent company — you do know there are precious few parent companies behind most of the cosmetic industry, right?).


Watching Mama do the makeup thing

I know my eyes are ridiculously sensitive.  I gave up daily eye color and mascara years ago, but frankly… I need concealer now.  I’ve tried the new concealer and foundation separately, together, and I’ve gone makeupless (but only to the firehouse and around the house!) for days.  The verdict is in; I cannot wear this stuff.

And it’s not JUST me.  gMarie also tried some new makeup over the weekend and had the same problems I always do…  the lipstick comes right off and her eyes itched.   It shouldn’t be this hard to primp and preen.

Luckily, Clinique is in the same family of cosmetics and podunk has had a Clinique counter since the stone age.   Change is hard, and this time, it’s bordering on painful, but I did indeed need to leave Mary Kay after a very long, good run with them.

Here’s what I don’t get.  I have two good, very good, friends with allergies I consider far worse than mine.  They’re both professional women who wear makeup for work.  I’m sure my analysis paralysis is part of the problem, but really… it shouldn’t be so hard to find the cosmetics I need that don’t cause my eyes to feel as though they have sand in them, or make it look as though I’m wearing a cherry-red eyeliner…

How was your weekend?  We were iced over, so no walks happened.  The girls didn’t even mind!


Yes, I’m writing a post entitled Poo…  Go figure.  It’s a brand name, okay?


Kisses 2-10

Happy Thorsday, little friday, thankful thursday and really busy day/week/life.   I think I warned you a while back that life is picking up steam and posts might be sporadic, but just in case you missed it or forgot, there’s your reminder.   Thorsdays are important though, so that’s always a good day to check in! 

There’s a party invitation the girls are sharing over on their blog.   You know Gretchen won’t miss a chance to give smoochies, and Sissy isn’t going to miss a chance to be crowned queen of yet another thing.

So… about the title.  Several of you insisted the girls and I needed safety vests for all of the walking we’re doing and the Knight was of the same mind.  Of course, being a doting Dadaw, the girls had to have their signature colors.  While we can’t recommend Gretchen’s little number, we’re still using it.  It was intended to serve as a harness, but the first time we used it, she froze in place when a neighborhood dog met us in the street, and just that sudden stop and her retractable leash pulled the D-ring from the fabric.  Luckily it was Gretchen the well-behaved and she remained frozen until I snapped her leash into the collar she always wears…


That’s a top-down view.  Her regular harness is underneath.  She likes her little “shirt” and has worn it around the house just because it’s hers and it’s pretty and it’s comfortable.  Pity I can’t recommend it, as it’s soft, easy to put on and remove, and again, Gg loves it.


That’s where the PooBoss K9 Utility Vest comes in.   While I hear purple is a popular favorite color for girls of all ages and it has been a symbol of royalty for centuries, it’s hard to find doggy attire in purple.  But the Knight is a persistant shopper, and he stumbled upon this gem for his princess.

photo.JPGNow… regular readers and Sissy’s fans will recall girlfriend HATES clothes.  Hem.  It seems exceptions can be made for purple walk-walk attire, purchased by Dadaw.  The silly goose actually ASKS for it now before every walk.   The hot mess has been seen lounging around the house in her fancy walking vest.

See that tip of green at her rear hip?  That’s the poo bag dispenser built right into the vest.  If you want full feature photos of the vest and all its glory, follow the link above to their website.  And yes, they offer it in pink, so I suspect that in time, wee one will have her own PooBoss.


That’s a shot of the other side, which is mesh so girlfriend can tote her own dirty poo bags at the beach.  I won’t have to tie them to her leash handle anymore.  Score!!

Clearly, I’m thankful for a well-designed doggy safety vest and for a husband who loves these silly dogs as much as I do. 

What are you thankful for today?

Comfort & Cozies

The cover on what Susan passed on to me...

It seems that I’ve moved on from comfort food (only because I don’t live too near Panera’s and their mac n cheese) and into comfort reading. 

gMarie got me hooked on cozy mystery series a while back with the Melanie Travis mysteries.   From there, it’s been one series after another.  (See the book review tab in my categories to the right…)  Now, back to blogging Susan has me 6 ounces deep in the Wine Country series. 

I have to pause and chew on calling my home “town” wine country.  It’s horse country, thanks much.   While I get calling where I currently reside on up through the setting for this series Virginia’s wine country, it was called horse country first and still is.  Don’t get me wrong…  I’m a proud supporter of Virgina wines (especially Horton!)

Anyway, Ms. Crosby did a great job of honoring the geography and landmarks, complete with a disclaimer for the noteworthy liberties she did take (but I promise, unless you’re intimate with the area, you’d never know…)  I couldn’t put it down and read it in two evenings.  I’ve already started the next in the series.

I still love nonfiction and other genres, but when life is a bit hectic, I find great comfort in a cozy mystery.  They hook me quickly and hold my attention without demanding any great internal debate.

What are you reading these days?

Black vs. Blue?

One of my blue LPs

I realized a few months ago that almost everything I’ve ever purchased from Lilly P is blue.  (And then turned around and scored another solid blue dress during their latest sale.)  I now own THREE blue Lilly P dresses, albeit made of some very different materials, in very different styles. 

I’ve said for years that brown is my black, but that’s not entirely true either.  I do wear a lot of brown, particularly in footwear, but I also wear black — just not alone, near my face.  However, my wardrobe is ridiculously blue.

I’m not just talking denim.  I own a lot of that too.  And grey.  I’ve knowingly and with intent added a lot of grey to my wardrobe this year.  I wanted to add a lot of camel, but I didn’t seem to get more than a pair of cord pants and a cardigan. 

I love color, but I don’t seem to pull the trigger and purchase much of it.  This cardigan is on sale at Talbots and I love it, but…  I haven’t purchased it yet. 

Do I need to worry that “everything” I buy from Lilly P is solid blue?  Are color ruts really ruts or is it just a matter of me knowing what I like and honoring what looks good? 

I’m hardly some slick cosmopolitan chick who always wears black – or even blue – and white.  In fact, I only own one little black dress that is actually too big, a black pencil skirt, a floor-length black skirt and black wool pants.  I own ONE white blouse and a few white summer shirts.  (But that sweater would look great with black and white, no?)

This Chanformation stuff is deep.  Thanks for “listening” as I muddle through recapturing myself.  And honestly, does ANYONE else out there do analysis paralysis to the degree I do?

Warm Feet

It’s very simple… if my feet are comfortable, I am comfortable.  This time of year, that means keeping them warm.  I want to share two of my secrets with you so you and your feet can be cozy too!

I love boots, but what’s funny is that many aren’t lined.  For some reason, the Crocs Cobbler Ankle Boot caught my eye.   One afternoon right before Christmas, I was rather cranky about my cold feet, so I ordered a pair.  I’ve hardly taken them off since they arrived. 

Because it was barely into double digits (F) when I left the house this morning, I added another secret weapon… Legacy Legwear Fleecy Tights.   They are thicker than your average tights (think… leggings?), but you get a thin layer of fleece against your skin and normal enough looking tights on the outside.  They remind me more of the tights I wore as a school girl than the opaque hosiery I wear these days. 

I’ll tell you another secret.  I order boots & athletic shoes 1/2 size larger than my normal size so I can wear hand-knit socks (boots)or really thick, hiking socks (both). 

And yes, if you’re doing the math, that means I’m wearing a sweater dress today… with a cotton-wool shell underneath that!   Contrary to popular belief, sometimes wearing a dress IS the warm way to go.  Plus, I almost feel like I’m in my jammies, so what’s not to love on a Monday morning when the rest of the country is on holiday and I’m working?

What are your stay-warm secrets?

Oh – and pop over to the girls’ blog for an update on Sissy’s eye exam.


Are you afraid of Friday the 13th?   If so, you have triskaidekaphobia.   I grew up in what I’d call a mildly superstitious household.  I don’t ever remember a big deal being made out of Friday the 13th though, until the movie came out. 

While I am intrigued by numbers and patterns (for instance, one hourly employee’s check, after taxes and deductions, came out to an even dollar amount today), I’m not superstitious about them.  I don’t really have a lucky number, although I started requesting jerseys with a number ending in a 4 fairly early in my athletics experience.  That happened for two reasons; my first two very randomly assigned numbers were 4 & 14, and someone pointed out that my nickname has 4 letters and asked if 4 was my lucky number.  Ummmm… it is now?

October 2010 016

No fear here!

I’d like to tell you that despite all the Irish & Scot blood in my family tree, I don’t buy into folk lore and superstitions, but that would be a stretch.  I still flash back to Nana’s panic when I mentioned I loved yellow roses, and while I have refused roses I was given at least once, it wasn’t because of the color.  (Hem.  No, you may NOT ask.) 

I’d also like to tell you that I don’t pick up my feet and touch glass when I cross a state line, but I do when I’m paying attention, even if I’m driving.  (That’s why they invented cruise control, right?!) 

I don’t walk under ladders, but that’s more a safety issue than a superstition.

I’ve owned a mostly black cat, so I don’t get that one. 

Do you consider yourself superstitious??