Tuesday, September 29, 2009

You might need an IQ of at least 132 to participate in today's random meme

Linda at 2nd cup of coffee is hosting her weekly random dozen meme and this week the questions are hard y'all...except for the first one but don't let that fool you. Come play along...you can answer the questions on your own blog or in the comments section here....if you do post it to your own blog be sure to link back to Linda's so everyone can see your answers....

1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie.

on our big comfy couch in my pjs...bowl of popcorn and hubby beside me...course hubby would say this is actually my absolute favorite way to sleep thru a movie as opposed to really watching one

2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be?

Can't say I've ever really thought about my funeral...now heaven...that's another story.

3. Are you more of a giver or a taker?

Wow-these questions are not like last weeks name your favorite fall food are they?

I think I'm a giver. At least that's what I hope people would say. I'm wondering if anyone is going to admit they're a taker? Don't takers think they're givers and thus feel like they've earned the right to take? Maybe I'm interpreting this one incorrectly. I'm not sure I meet the minimum IQ requirement for today's random.

*I'd like to edit this as I think maybe my comment is coming across in a way I didnt intend it to....now I may have to change my answer to #10 too : ) I guess when I read the word taker I had people in mind who I know and consider them takers and not in a good way...many people did say they were takers but I think the fact that you say it and think about it means you are not a taker in the sense of the word that I meant when I wrote my comment. I'm sure that's clear as mud now.

4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear?

A little of both but mostly play it by ear...I absolutely love to travel and can get on board with a few planned activities but definitely need time to seize the moment...my husband and kids and I love to explore and find our own way around a city...to step away from the typical touristy stuff (within reason of course-I mean we don't go to Paris and skip the Eiffel Tower). We've lived overseas for the past few years and have had lots of houseguests. A whole whole whole lot of houseguests. Oftentimes our guests would have such a long check list of must sees that they missed out on experiencing the real heart and soul of a European city...we love to get off the beaten path, stay in a local hotel (as opposed to an American chain), ask people who live there where to eat, and definitely spend a few hours sitting in the middle of a cafe just people watching.

Now, if we're talking beach vacation then a lounge chair and a stack of books is all I need to make me happy.

5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly?

Just one? (I bet every woman says that when they answer this question)...hmmm....actually I've only been in my house about two months so there isn't really anything that is too out of control (yet). I guess if I have to pick something I'll say ceiling fans....but how in the world do I reach the one in my family room??? Haven't figured that one out just yet.

6. Name a cause that means a lot to you.

Young Life. I wrote a post about it when I first started blogging which you can read here. I apologize in advance for the picture placement in that post...I was just beginning with Blogger and technology was not, and in fact still is not, my friend.

7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly?

I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a pb sandwich. If I were making one today (which I'm not because there is no pb and in fact no jelly in my house) it would definitely have jelly.

8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous?

Apparently I cannot stop talking. I know. You're wondering how that is any different from when I'm relaxed aren't you?

9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of toothbrushing and jammies?

Well, it's becoming more elaborate with every passing year...sigh.

10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog?

not so far

11. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree?

I don't think I look like anyone famous...I've been told at different times I look/act a little bit like Natasha Richardson (I think its the hair) in the Parent Trap and sometimes Diane Lane ...oh, and that I have the personality of Cinderella because I always see the rosy side of life.

12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated?

this one was hard...I love music and I love lyrics that say something...in the end I've decided on Ordinary Miracle by Sarah McLachlan...a beautiful song dedicated to my girls who are full of dreams and remind me every day that life is full of ordinary miracles...

'Life is like a gift they say, wrapped up for you every day, open up and find a way, to give some of your own....when you wake up every day, please don't throw your dreams away, Hold them close to your heart, cause we're all a part of the ordinary miracle...'

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Out of the Box

We were so in the box yesterday...the corporate box that is. My husband's company has a suite at Giants Stadium and we were lucky enough to get to go to a game on Sunday. Of course the Giants were playing in Tampa Bay so we were there to see the Jets in action. You'll want to pay attention here...it was retro day so the Jets were calling themselves the Titans since that was their name for a couple of years back in the sixties. And yesterday the 'NY Titans' were playing the Titans as in Tennessee Titans except the Tennessee Titans were calling themselves the Oilers because they were the Houston Oilers once upon a time. Whew! I think I understand now why the Brits find American football confusing.

It drizzled rain most of the day so I was especially happy to be in the box. I'm an Eagles fan but we rooted for the Jets since they were the home team. And also because we were surrounded by Jets fans and it might have gotten ugly. Here are some of the boys warming up. I'm pretty sure Jillian would be calling them sissies and telling them to work it...
And she'd be giving this one an earful about his bent knees...

Hey I look just like the Titans aka Jets when I do that cross abdominal move in Level 2.

Can someone please explain the hair to me??? I think every team in the NFL now has a player with very long hair hanging out of their helmet. I mean forget grabbing the face mask and risking a penalty...any girl could tell you to go for a handful of the hair if you want to inflict some real pain.

As the Titans ran onto the field there may have been a little booing...hey, it's New York people. Well, actually it's New Jersey but the New York teams play on this side of the bridge. When the Jets ran onto the field there was a whole lot of wild cheering and also some very cool effects involving fire.

It wasn't just the players in retro uniforms yesterday...the refs were wearing the old AFL jerseys too...they are orange and white striped instead of the more modern black and white. Of course back in 1963 not many people had colored tv in their homes so I guess they would have looked black and white. Wow. Remember when we didn't have colored tv? And I might sound like I know what I'm talking about throwing around words like AFL but actually the box was filled with guys who knew a lot of football trivia. I'm just educating the masses here. This ref looks like he's all set to lead the Hokey Pokey.

Another thing I learned at the game yesterday? No daughter of mine will be wearing a Jets cheerleading uniform in my lifetime. That's all I'm saying about that.

Although I do give these girls credit for being plucky...they danced their hearts out with big smiles on their faces for the entire game in the icky drizzling rain all while wearing not alot. And I hugely admired their ability to jump for 20 consecutive minutes...Something tells me these girls wouldn't even break a sweat in the 30 day shred.

What else? Oh I haven't mentioned the food. The food is the best part of the corporate seating if you ask me. They had cheesesteaks y'all. I grew up in the land of the cheesesteak (that's Philadelphia in case you didn't know) and a cheesesteak is not something the Brits do well so its been a long time since I've had a good one. Actually there was a whole wonderful buffet of great things to eat and then at halftime they brought in a big tray of Mrs. Fields cookies. I sent my husband over to knock one or two kids out of the way so we'd be sure to get one before they were all gone. Hey, professional football brings out a little bit of the aggressive in all of us right?

Long story short (sort of)...the Jets won. Or the Titans depending on which era's team names we're talking. It was a good game too and the Jets are now 3-0 which apparently they haven't been in a number of seasons. As we were leaving the stadium we heard one die hard Jets fan proclaim, "Yes!!! We are going to the Superbowl this year for sure!" There is nothing in the world quite like the optimism of American sports fans. Ya gotta love it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dogs are People Too

Anybody else have a dog who thinks she's human?

We drove up to Highpoint NJ on Saturday afternoon...it's about thirty minutes from our house and is the highest point in NJ, hence the name. You're welcome. I'm just smart like that.

There is a huge monument in the park and you can climb to the top for even more spectacular views. We didn't climb today because we had our pup with us and although she believes she's human she is in fact a dog and dogs aren't allowed in the monument.
The monument is 220 feet high and was built in 1930 to honor the war dead. Highpoint itself is part of a ridge in the Kittatiny Mountains and the park is beautiful...you can see into three states-New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania-depending where you stand. The landscaping was designed by the sons of the landscape architect who designed Central Park and the Appalachian Trail crosses only about a quarter of a mile away.

Dixie loved the hiking trails and of course she loved being outdoors...but really, for her...

the day was all about the view.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

So long self...again

I spent most of yesterday on the internet stalking researching doctors in my area. This is one of my least favorite parts about moving house...trying to find a doctor who is conveniently located, board certified, accepting new patients, taking my insurance, who is not being badmouthed by his/her current or former patients, blah blah blah. I've gotten a couple of recommendations from people I've met but then I have the problem of one person telling me that under no circumstances should I see Dr. So and So and another person telling me they've never loved a doctor more than they love Dr. So and So. Sigh. It's that whole starting from scratch business a-gain.

Great- big -sigh.

I think the move in general has begun to catch up with me and these past couple of days I've felt like just crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head. I don't feel like finding a new doctor. Or a new dentist. And while I'm on the subject of what I don't feel like doing I also don't feel like following up on our voter registration, locating the missing key to our old safety deposit box, figuring out what to do with the four boxes of 'stuff' that are in a bedroom upstairs, finding a new church, sorting thru our umpteen photographs in order to decide what to frame/scrapbook/toss, remembering where I saw the scissors we use to trim the dog, calling the UK phone company for the 35th time to sort out a refund, finding fabric to recover my dining room chairs, locating my brand new ipod and two expensive pair of sunglasses all of which have been awol since we moved, ordering rubber mats for my car, finding one more pot for a mum I bought last week, buying a pad that is the right size for under my sunroom rug, tracking down lightbulbs that fit my kitchen fixtures, or really even finishing this post.

And so I didn't. I hit save and went to bed. But that was yesterday.

When I woke up this morning a beautiful sunrise was making its way up over the mountains. We have a backyard with grass that is naturally fenced on three sides by huge boulders. Behind the boulders our property begins to slope upwards into the woods but between the grass and the woods there is a rather scraggly hillside. We talk about doing this and that to the hillside but mostly have decided to leave it alone because it would be a massive project and besides the deer like to snack there. I've discovered a hidden blessing in this scraggly hillside. As the sun begins to rise all that wildness turns pink and golden and lovely. I can see and feel the golden light peeking thru our bedroom window very early and I get myself out of bed and go to the front of the house and look toward the mountains.

And I am reminded of the verse in Lamentations 3:20-21 that says..."The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness."

And I am also reminded once again that its not all about me. I've been reading Crazy Love by Francis Chan and he has alot to say about the fact that this isn't 'our movie' so why do we live as though it is? Why is it so easy to get caught up in myself...to continually turn the spotlight on me...to put my life under a microscope and dissect every little bit that isn't perfect?

Lately I've been feeling a lot like that scraggly hillside...I needed a sunrise today. I needed to put the spotlight back where it belongs. And I needed to say so long self once again.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cheaper by the Dozen

How do you like my random title to go with today's random meme? Here are this weeks questions...

1. Please share one middle school memory. It can be good, bad, ugly, funny. Pictures or words, I don't care, just share.

I didn't hate middle school and I absolutely loved 8th grade. Middle School was called Junior High where I lived and was grades 7 and 8 only. I honestly don't remember much about Jr. High...no single event or memory stands out...Here are some bits that come to mind...finally getting to be part of the youth group at church, riding a bus to school-we walked in elementary, roller skating on Friday nights and sometimes Saturdays too...asking a boy I liked to skate or hoping he would ask me, braces-ugh, an end of the year school dance in 8th grade (it was special because we didn't have many dances), my English teacher sporting hot pink lipstick on her teeth every single day, lockers-didn't have those in elementary school, babysitting...recognizing I was growing up...wanting to stay a kid some days, wishing I were all grown up others...

2. What's your favorite Beatles song?

Golden Slumbers...my husband used to sing this to my youngest daughter to calm her when she fussed...and it was pure sweetness.

3. If I asked you to describe your most comfortable outfit, what would it be?

Jeans. Next question.

4. Would you rather host a party or be a guest?

This would kind of depend on who/what/where the party I'd be a guest at is all about... but I do love to host a party...my husband and I make a good team. We love chatting about the evening when we do the washing up afterwards.

5. Do you think we will move completely from traditional books to digital ones, and if we do, are you OK with that?

Please say it isn't so!!! (Insert stomping feet here) Oh I really hope not! I love the feel of a book in my hands. I love looking thru lots and lots of books in libraries and book stores and friend's bookshelves. I love turning pages. I love a book next to my bed at night. I love passing a well loved book onto someone else. I love giving my childhood books to my children and look forward to passing some of their favorites on to their children. I love marking up study books and then going back to re-read later and see if I feel the same. Does absolutely everything have to be electronic???

6. Do you learn best by reading, listening or experiencing?

Reading but oftentimes I need a visual to go with the words so maybe a little experience too.

7. If you are (or when you were) single, what is the kiss of death for you concerning the opposite sex? (That is, what is one trait or behavior or habit or anything at all that immediately turns you off from considering that person a potential match for you?)

Not wanting children would have been a deal breaker for sure.
An inconsiderate person. No sense of humor. A sense of humor ranks way up near the top on my list of must-haves. I've been married for 25 years and my husband is still one of the funniest people I know.

8. Snacks. Salty or sweet?

I love a combination and my favorite movie theatre snack is popcorn and milk duds. If I have to choose I guess I'd probably say salty. I mean we're just talking snacks here which means I can still have my sweets for dessert, right?

9. Look around you in a four foot radius. What object is around you that you didn't realize was there or forgot was there? How long has it been there?

So that's where the dustbuster has been hiding! I've only been in my house about 2 months now so it hasn't been there long.

10. What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?

A Few Good Men but TC has pretty much lost all appeal for me in recent years. I don't need to explain do I?

11. You buy a bottle of shampoo and discover that you don't like what it does to your hair at all. What do you do with that full bottle?

I put it in my guest bathroom...I like to have extras there for people who are visiting. You might say staying with me is just like staying at the Ritz. Or you might not.

12. Your favorite Fall comfort food? (Last week it was beverage.)

This is a toughie...I love the whole Thanksgiving meal, does that count? Otherwise I guess a good pot of chili or homemade soup, something warm and cozy. I heart autumn!

Join in the random dozen meme each Wednesday by visiting 2nd cup of Coffee ...
just answer the questions on your own blog and leave your link at Linda's.

Wordless Wednesday- How Much Wood Can A Woodchuck Chuck?

Just outside my living room window....

Just inside my living room window...

What she wouldn't give to be on the other side of the glass....

for more Wordless Wednesday visit 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I had lunch with my friend H today and her two sweet daughters. We had such a nice time chatting and catching up on our lives, our mutual friends and our love of all things English...the afternoon literally flew by.

H and I met in the UK where we spent every Monday morning of the past two years together in a women's Bible Study. She lived in Italy for a while too and if you read here I think you know how I feel about that! We also served together on the Young Life Parent Committee in our area. Oh, and girl scouts...we both were a part of our school's Overseas Committee. And the Women's Club...lots of fun there! Did I mention that my friend H lives in England?
Still? It makes my heart happy to see friends from across the pond when they trek to the states for home leaves, family gatherings, work commitments, or shopping. And yes, people do come to the US just to shop. To taste and feel and touch home. And thankfully, to see old friends.

Speaking of friends... Carol at Joy in the Journey is celebrating her one year blogging anniversary with a giveaway this week. If you've never been to Carol's blog then you need to go visit today. Carol and I 'met' thru blogging...we were both Americans living in the UK and although she was at one end of England and I was at the other we shared the common bond of ex pat life. When I moved back to the states I felt like I was leaving a good friend behind. Of course we all know in the blog world you never really leave friends behind. Her blog is lovely and so is she so hop over today and say Cheers!

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth."
Robert Southey, English poet and writer

Monday, September 21, 2009

Everybody's working for the weekend

I thought you'd appreciate a little Loverboy to get your week started. You're welcome. Loverboy was a popular 80's band in case you're too young to know or in case you were preoccupied during 1981.

It's Monday so how about a little weekend update? It will be kinda like Saturday Night Live except without the funny...

Let me begin by saying it was good to be home in our own house. In fact it was great. We knocked out a few projects and by we I mostly mean my husband. I did cheer him on as I finished a book I could not put down (Still Alice by Lisa Genova in case you're wondering) and it was my birthday after all. Hey, my kids can make theirs last for weeks so I figured mine could run through the weekend, right?

Early Saturday we had a landscape architect out to give us an estimate on putting in some uplighting in front of the house...a relatively small project. I went into the house for literally five minutes to get everyone coffee and came back outside to find husband and landscaper at the back edge of our deck pacing out a 20 x 20 patio with a fire pit and plantings all around. And there was talk of drains and rocks and more plantings on the side of our driveway. And perhaps a bed cut around a large tree out front. And maybe a little something around the mailbox and driveway entry lights. Whoa! Lights. We're starting with lights.

Besides all the dreaming we painted our front door and our porch railing (again, using the term we very loosely), washed the windows in the back of the house (I did locate the correct product in Loews), power washed the front walkway...and here I genuinely was a huge help because as soon as my husband turned on the power washer the tiny little tip shot outta there like a bullet. We were like CSIs marking off a crime scene while trying to locate that small, but unfortunately essential, end piece. He was ready to give up and use the superduper spray nozzle when I spotted it in the shrubbery. As an aside does anyone else's husband get a big grin on their face when they get to power wash something?

And while we were doing this and that we may have happened to glance over and see this-

We have four acres of forest behind our house so I have no idea why they are standing here...some kind of confab going on it looks like. They eventually lined up and trotted across the street and into the woods...so pretty.

What else...oh I may have eaten 1/4 of a German chocolate cake. My husband had one made specially for my birthday. Thankfully it was only half a cake so when I ate half of that it was really only 1/4. Whatever...I met my good friend Jillian this morning after my walk so its all good. Has anyone else noticed she can't count? She likes to say 'only three more' and then we do something like 12 by my count. She's mean like that.

We went to church on Sunday...this is the first time we've been to church in our new town since moving into the house mid-July. We've only actually been home three weekends so this was really our first opportunity. We visited a church we used to attend when we lived in this area 15 years ago... it's changed quite a bit but as I sat in the pew I couldn't help but think about my sweet little daughter2 at age 3 performing in a VBS program there in 1993. The entire week she had refused to sing any of the songs when they practiced them on the stage. The night of the program she did everything but grab the microphone and walk out into the crowd. Such hilarity.

Hubs and I may have spent part of Friday evening watching some of our old VCR tapes that we haven't seen since before we moved to England. Little girls with their soft sweet voices and babydolls and bicycles with training wheels, and big pink bows and little blonde curls...we agreed we could only watch a little bit...the sweetness almost makes your heart hurt. Well that and the fact that I seemed to enjoy speaking at a decibel level that only dogs can hear. Why? And what was my husband thinking with that big mustache and those tennis socks? And my hair??? It's just too much in every sense of the word. Why is it so dark? Was my hair really that dark? Well, obviously the answer to that is yes since we have it saved for posterity on videotape but yuk. Oh and I was really thin. And young. Like I said, our hearts could only take so much y'all.

It's time to be productive so I'll leave you with a picture of what I saw as I walked over our hill this morning...

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Enjoy your Monday...Joyce

Friday, September 18, 2009

O Romeo, Romeo Wherefore Art Thou Romeo

Today is my birthday and if I understand the rules of blogging you get to write about anything you want on your birthday. Oh wait, that's every day. I guess you know where this post is headed....I'm going straight to my happy place....Italy.

In my defense however two birthdays ago I was sitting right here....

In Verona.

I have three friends whose birthdays fall close to mine and we decided to treat ourselves to some Italian pottery and of course we needed to pick out the pieces ourselves. We wanted to shop in a little town called Nove so we based ourselves for the weekend in Verona which isn't too far away. The first day was spent shopping at the potteries. We bought so many lovely pieces and even today when I look at them sitting in my kitchen and dining room I feel happy.

See how big the smiles are? Italian pottery does that to a girl.

The second day was spent leisurely strolling thru the streets of Verona...walking on pavement made of marble...stopping for Prosecco at a sidewalk cafe...

passing the arena that is third in size only to its more famous cousin in Rome...

checking out the castle...

tasting the gelato...we all know you can't go to Italy without having gelato...
and lots and lots of walking in the gorgeous sunshine around this beautiful city.

Oh, and we laughed alot. That's just what we do.

And oh yeah...we went to the opera.

And we loved it.

I've never been to an opera before and yes, it was all in Italian but it was Romeo and Juliet so we knew the story.

There is really no way to describe how it feels to be sitting in an ancient arena with the warm Italian air around you while amazing voices sing out in the night.

That's the word.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The post in which we act just like the annoying paparazzi

We left Bar Harbor and drove a bit further down the coast to the lovely little town of Kennebunkport Maine. Most people recognize the name because the Bush family owns a home in Kennebunkport and their house was the backdrop for many an interview during George Bush Sr's Presidency.

The town itself is absolutely charming...cute inns, quaint shops, wonderful restaurants and the sea all around. We drove around a bit and lo and behold there was the Bush house sitting out on a point of land that juts into the sea. We slowed down and saw a pull off cut into the side of the road. I suppose the town/security/whoever gave up and created a spot for people to get a photo. There is a sign posted that says no buses or RVs and stopping is permitted for no longer than 15 minutes.

As we pulled off the road my husband commented that a car was pulling in to the driveway of the house. It stopped in front of some of the outbuildings and three people climbed out. Course we played the part of ultimate tourist and peered obnoxiously through our trusty binoculars. My husband announced, "Hey, that's George Bush (Sr.)"
And sure enough it was. My camera has a crummy zoom but he's the one closest to the flag. The car continued up to the house and Barbara got out. She unloaded a couple of things from the boot then climbed into a golf cart and went back to the group.

She's in the tan jacket in the middle of the photo...unless you're Superman you must click on the photo to see it a little bigger. Of course you can't miss her lovely white hair. I love Barbara Bush. It was really very exciting. We decided to stay way longer than our alloted 15 minutes with the hopes that the security detail would drive over and tell us to move along. Or maybe say, 'Hey, the former President and his lovely wife would love for you two to pop in for a glass of wine." No such luck. I'm pretty sure they know a tourist when they see one. Gee, what gave us away? We were so subtle.

The day we were in Kennebunkport? September 11, 2009. I'd been thinking about George Bush the son alot that day. We'd watched some of the replayed footage from that awful day on the morning news and I was struck by the moment they showed an aide whispering in the President's ear, trying to quietly let him know what had occurred. Struck by the thought that in that moment his heart must have broken into a thousand million pieces. That the true weight of the world was upon him as he sat in that classroom of innocent children whose eyes were watching, trying not to??? I don't know... scream, burst into tears, wail, shake his fist, yell I give up-this job is too hard!!!? I think about the shock and horror I felt that morning and I wasn't the President of the United States.

Sometimes I'm ashamed of the way Americans talk about George Bush (Junior and Senior to be honest). Men who served their country to the best of their ability. George Bush Sr. was the youngest pilot in the Navy when he received his wings. He flew 58 combat missions and was shot down by antiaircraft fire in WW2. Never mind that he was President of the United States. That fact alone earns him a little more respect than he's typically given. And his son? His son led this country through one of its darkest days and he did it with encouragement and dignity and compassion and steely resolve. Was he a perfect President? Has there been a perfect President? We did not walk in his shoes that day or the days after. Were mistakes made in his Presidency? Sure. As there are in every Presidency. I'm saddened by the lack of civility, respect and common courtesy that this man is given. And I'm glad it was George Bush #43 sitting in the White House on that crystal-clear, blue- sky, never- to- be- innocent again morning in 2001.

We looked at the house for a bit. It is beautiful. And peaceful. And my husband and I both thought, "I'm glad they have this house. It's peaceful. And they've earned some peace."

Randomness today...US Presidents tomorrow

I will post about our little Presidential stalking adventure tomorrow so check back for that on Thursday. Today Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee is hosting her weekly 'random dozen' meme and I'm playing along. If you want to join the party of randomness just answer this week's questions on your blog or in the comments section here. Leave a comment at Linda's too so everyone knows where to find your randomness.

1. Which is worse: a long, boring meeting or standing in a return/exchange line after Christmas?

Definitely standing in line...I'm way better at something that involves sitting.

2. Except for maybe Rosie O'Donnell or Ann Coulter, nobody likes confrontation, yet we all have to deal with it. When you feel cornered and defensive, do you "bite back" or become passive aggressive?

I dislike confrontation. I'm the third child in my family and we're the peacemakers aren't we? I suppose if I'm honest there could be a little passive aggressiveness in me when I'm pushed.

3. Do you know anything about your genealogical background? (What country, culture, ties to prominent historical figures, or other stuff.)

Some...I've not researched it myself but others have...a little German but mostly Irish and English...I knew there was a reason I was so happy living in the UK. My dad enjoyed researching genealogy and one year for Christmas my sister put his collected notes into scrapbooks for us. One of my favorite things in the scrapbook is a mention of something that was found written about one of my great great greats...it said simply, "He was known as the most reasonable of men. He never lost his temper, but could stand for the right against any odds..." Isn't that a nice legacy?

4. What is the quickest way a person can endear him/herself to you?

besides chocolate?
displaying kindness towards others in word and action, especially towards those who are weaker in any sense of the word
seeing the bright side...optimism

5. Cake, pie, cookies, or ice cream? (Note there is no "all of the above" option. You must choose one. Feel free to elaborate on flavor or memories tied to this dessert.) If you'd like, you can share a recipe, but you certainly don't have to.

German chocolate cake. This was what I always asked for on my birthday.
I love anything chocolate and anything coconut.

6. Females: Do you regularly change your handbag to coordinate with your outfit?

no...I carry neutral bags for the most part, change more by the season. I do have one fabulous orange bag that I love to carry but it doesn't quite go with everything.

7. Are you task-oriented or relationship-oriented?

I'm all about my peeps.

8. IHOP, Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel?

Silly question-it's Cracker Barrel of course. Nobody really likes IHOP better than Cracker Barrel do they???

9. Have you ever left a movie in progress in a theater? Why?

only once...I was about ten and had a sudden case of the stomach somethings...my whole family was there and no one was too happy with me.

10. What is one area of life in which you would like to develop more discipline or organization?

discipline-excercise...but I am trying here.
organization-my photos...there's a big box or ten just calling out my name begging to be organized.

11. Was middle school fun or painful?

Frankly I think if everyone could just skip right on past grade 7 the world would be a better place. 8th grade though? Loved it!

12. What is your favorite Fall beverage?
warm cider... I love the way it makes my house smell and love the taste too. All warm and autumny. I love the fall in general-the weather, the colors and the smells...oh, and college football of course.