Friday, July 29, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20

I did not blog today but linked two older posts over at Kelly's Korner in her Show us Your Life Series on Parenting.

If you have something to share why not link up too?
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Brace yourself for some sentiment...I'm about to get sloppy.

When I was seventeen turning eighteen I left NJ to attend uni in The Volunteer State. That's Tennessee in case you didn't know.

When I was eighteen I didn't know.
I was out of my element in the fall of 1978.

It was love at first sight for me and the great state of Tennessee. I fell head over heels for the lakes, the mountains, a certain boy, the gravy, the people and let's not forget, the accent. If you've been reading my blog thinking I have the voice of a Jersey girl you might be surprised to know I have a little Southern drawl. Pretty sure I picked it up about five minutes after I set foot on Southern soil and there it has remained all these many years later.

I did not know one single solitary person on campus when I arrived so I decided to pledge a sorority. Oh, I know some of you out there are rolling your eyes and conjuring up every stereotype you've ever heard or imagined but y'all...these girls...they made my college years some of the best years of my life. For sure some of the most fun. Like most stereotypes I suppose there is a kernel of truth to some of what you hear on some campuses, but most of what you hear is hogwash (is that a Southern expression?). The girls I knew and still know had/have hearts of gold.

When I look back at my life I see that the college years stand alone. The world was at my doorstep and I had one foot placed tentatively out in it while keeping one planted firmly on the safe soil of youth. We lived in one another's pockets way back when and testing your wings was easier knowing someone was there to catch you if you fell.

I don't know if you've spent much time around college aged girls but let me tell My goodness, we liked our drama and just writing that makes me smile. We could take our little problems and discuss and dissect and analyze and cry and laugh like there was no tomorrow. All problems are big problems when you're twenty. I will add that most of my drama revolved around a certain boy who shall remain nameless but who might possibly have married me. Problem solved.

I spent this past weekend at a little informal reunion of some of the girls who were in my sorority. There were about 20 of us there this year, our third get together in six years. Each year we add a few new attendees who bring their photographs and memories and for a little while we remember what it felt like to be poised at the starting line of our adult lives.

I don't see these women very often although thanks to the magic of facebook we are in better touch as a group than we have been in years. We gather at a gorgeous vacation home set high up in the mountains of North Carolina courtesy of one of the girls. We relax. We hang out in our pjs and have long conversations. We share time in the kitchen and we take a lot of pictures, most of which I won't post here because somehow it doesn't feel right. We put our collective brains together as we try to identify long ago friends in old yearbooks and composites. We all pull out the reading glasses too. I guess some things do change.

Most do not.

We compare notes on aging and children and occupations and we marvel at the different paths we've taken that all lead us back to each other. Being with these girls is effortless. Sorry, but they will always be 'girls' to me. We grew into adulthood together. We studied and didn't study together. We laughed ourselves silly over pranks and antics and a few instances of questionable judgement and we cried over hard things that have happened to people we love in the intervening years.

Mostly though, we remember what it felt like to be weightless. I don't mean in pounds, I mean in life. In 1981 we were not yet weighed down by the seriousness of a grown up world. We were still figuring that out along with about a million other things. It was in this sorority, surrounded by these girls that I learned more about friendship and leadership and confidence than any place else. These girls encouraged me to be my best self.

We're all grown up now and as I look around I feel pride at who we have become. We are an accomplished bunch, working as nurses and teachers, pharmacists and therapists, CEO's of businesses and homes, raising families and caring for aging parents. If you were to stumble upon this group you'd see women over 40, okay most of us are over 50, who look like any other group of women. When I look I see something more. Behind the eyes she's there...the 18 year old girl I knew.

We still share something special that defies both description and definition. And we're still challenging and encouraging one another to be our best selves. Oh, and we're still fun too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pack your suitcase for the HP- Vol 37

It's that time again-whew! I can't believe it's Wednesday...I need to run a little faster on the treadmill to catch up around here. I'm glad you're playing along in the HP today. Everyone is welcome to join the fun and you'll find the game rules on my sidebar. Add your link at the bottom, after you read my answers of course, and then go visiting.

1. July is National Ice Cream Month...your favorite flavor? Soft serve, hand dipped or frozen yogurt-which do you prefer? And technically yogurt is not ice cream but its hot outside so I'll let that slide for today.

Hand dipped coconut. Or a vanilla soft serve dipped in chocolate shell. What I really love though, is gelato.

In Italy.

2. When you travel do you tend to pack too much or too little?

You'd think with all the packing I do I'd be a pro but I normally pack too much. Except this past weekend I had too little. I was fine but it was so hot I wish I'd had a couple more tops. I normally have just the right clothes but shoes are my downfall. Women need a lot more shoes for a weekend away than men least I think so.

3. What's your favorite cleaning product?

Can I say my husband? He rocks at cleaning the showers. If not I'm going with good old Windex. I hate fingerprints on the glass top coffee table and doggy breath stains on the front windows.

4. What's the greater tragedy-an innocent person imprisoned or a guilty person set free? Explain.

An innocent person imprisoned. Both are a tragedy but the guilty person will ultimately be judged, maybe not in this life but for sure the next. An innocent person imprisoned loses a piece of their life that can never be reclaimed.

5. What's the longest trip you've taken by car?

Hmmm...we've taken a lot of car trips. I think our longest road trip by car would be the trip we took in September 09 from NJ to Prince Edward Island Canada. Or the end of the earth as my hubs likes to say.

It was about 1000 miles one way and most of the drive was beautiful. We both say this was one of our favorite trips ever, and that's sayin' something. I wrote three posts about it which you can read here, here, and here.

6. tennis-golf-canoeing-biking...pick one.

canoeing...I love to canoe and I love the water.

7. What sound drives you crazy? in food. shudder.

the kids on dirt bikes in the woods behind our house sometimes grate too...I understand they are kids but on a peaceful evening the sound is jarring and in my opinion upsets the balance of nature.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have so very many random thoughts. Sigh.

How 'bout this-we put in a new mailbox. And by we I mean the mailbox guy put in a new mailbox. It required concrete and 100 degree heat and all day and in case anyone has forgotten I have a hubs who travels.

The mailbox has brass numbers on the side but I have very cleverly edited those out. I love the new much better than the old one with the rust spots and the tilting post. It's the little things in life, isn't it?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Questions for the HP-Vol 37

It's possible this is one of those weeks where I'm coming and going but I'd never abandon the Hodgepodge. Well, someday I might but not today. Here are this week's questions...come back tomorrow (Wednesday) to link your answers with all the internets out there.

1. July is National Ice Cream month...your favorite flavor? Soft served, hand dipped, or frozen yogurt...which do you prefer? And technically yogurt is not ice cream but its hot outside so I'll let that slide for today.

2. When you travel do you tend to pack too much or too little?

3. What's your favorite cleaning product?

4. Which is the greater tragedy-an innocent person imprisoned or a guilty person set free? Explain.

5. What's the longest trip you've taken by car?

6. tennis-golf-canoeing-biking...pick one.

7. What sound drives you crazy?

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monday Thirteen

Yes I know this sort of post is supposed to be written on a Thursday and then I'm supposed to call it Thursday thirteen like everybody else, but I have thirteen things today so Monday thirteen it is. I've been traveling and having fun and not reading blogs or writing blogs or commenting on blogs so I have lots to catch up on. I won't be catching you up on everything right now but I am going to throw a few random thoughts out there so I can begin to de-clutter my brain. In my defense I started this list before I left town last week.

1. U2. Oh my stars. They were positively amazing. Seriously, I'm lacking adjectives. Best concert ever.

2. Did I just use the expression, 'Oh my stars'? My grandma used the expression 'Oh my stars'. She also liked to say 'Well Good Gravy' and 'Land Sakes Alive'. She did not however, follow U2. Land Sakes alive has an interesting origin-it stems from that long ago time when people were making the dangerous trek from Europe to America via the rocking rolling sea. As you know, many died or spent weeks or months in misery as they crossed the ocean. As land appeared they would proclaim, "Land, for the sake of God, we're alive" which was shortened to 'land sakes alive'. That's how I sometimes feel when I step off a boat.

Didn't know when you started reading today that this post would be both random and educational, did you?

3. You need a picture of U2, right?

Wait...that's not Bono. That is actually hubs and his brother who just so happened to be at the concert too. He lives a long long way from NJ so we don't get to see him very often. His company box was on the other side of the stadium from our company box and fyi-Giants Stadium is pretty darn big and the security around the corporate boxes is tight. Hubs made friends with one of the area supervisors on our side of the stadium and he happily escorted us over to the other side so we could say hi to the brother before the show started. Nice people are nice.

4. Here's the set-

Positively massive and it had so many tricks of lighting and sight and sound. The screens were just incredible and it's all impossible to capture in a photo but really, it was amazing!

5. Let's change topics and talk about my recent new addictions. Blue Diamond Wasabi Soy almonds would be one. If you haven't tried them and you like a little zing in your snacks then these are for you my friend.

6. Here's my other new addiction-Pinterest. I knew I shouldn't even go there but go there I did. There is pretty and clever in abundance on this site and I cannot look away. I'm at JoDaley if you are already there or you want an invite to join.

7. Words With Friends is an old addiction but if you play send me your screen name-again, Jodaley

8. I really don't need more addictions. I have a blog, remember?

9. Hubs and I might be a little bit intense. This has absolutely nothing to do with anything but is just something I've been thinking about lately. I especially noticed this when daughter1 was home recently. She'd only been in the house a short while before we were more or less grilling her about her job. Sometimes we are too much. We know this but we just can't seem to help it.

10. My new favorite website-What Kate Wore. Is anyone else more than a little bit fascinated by the Duchess of Cambridge? This website is devoted to her wardrobe.

11. The Bachelorette. Land sakes alive, please just let this season end.

12. I saw a few minutes of the new show 101 Ways to Leave a Game Show last week...they actually sicced a dog on someone. Good gravy! I won't be watching this one. Is that how you spell sicced?

13. #13 already? I haven't even mentioned the weekend but the weekend deserves its own post which will be coming. It's all in my head right now but I'll get it on my blog just as soon as I get life reorganized at home. Traveling tends to turn things upside down, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A 'Beautiful Day' in the Wednesday Hodgepodge Vol 36

Welcome to the Wednesday it just me or does the summer seem to be flying by? Here are my answers to this week's questions. Add your answers in a link at the bottom and then go see what the neighbors have to say. After you see what I have to say of course.

1. July 20th marks the anniversary of the first time man stood on the moon. Flash forward 42 years to July 8, 2011 which marked the start of the final Space Shuttle mission. Should we continue to explore space? Should nations devote more or fewer of their resources to exploring space? Would you want to go into space if the opportunity arose?

We've learned a lot thru space exploration, and not just about space so yes, I think it needs to continue. Things like invisalign, scratch resistant lenses, global positioning satellites, cordless phones, weather and security surveillance, Kevlar, carbon dioxide filters...all of these products have NASA connections.

I will go into space when I can be transported there in the blink of an eye. If I have to zoom there in a rocket type contraption that involves spinning in a small confined space then you can forget it.

2. What are three things in your freezer?

Ice, because every drink needs some. See question 4. I recently bought a box of NY Strip steaks and a box of ahi tuna steaks from a well known company that sells door to door. We had some of the tuna on Sunday and it was delish.

3. If you could see any band/artist perform live tonite who would it be? It has to be someone living-no Beatles, Elvis, etc.

This one...seeing them perform live has been on my wish list for a long long time.

4. Ice-cubed or crushed? Or are you one of those people who don't like ice?

This ridiculous question is the kind I can spend far too much time thinking about. If there's a choice make it crushed but really, as long as there is ice of some sort I'm happy. I like a lot of ice in my drinks and six+ years living in a country where that is not the common practice did nothing to change my opinion. True story-daughter1 and I were in a restaurant in the UK one time and she asked for a coke with ice and the waitress said, "We're out" and daughter1 said, "Out of coke?" and the waitress said, "No, out of ice" to which daughter1 said in an incredulous tone-'You're out of frozen water?" Daughter1 never got used to the no ice thing either.

So funny how you can miss even the little things that bugged you about a place too.

5. The owner of a small restaurant outside of Pittsburgh recently announced he was banning children under six, saying they regularly disrupted other customer's meals. You can read the story here in more detail but isn't this a perfect topic to discuss in our Wednesday Hodgepodge? Have at it friends...what are your thoughts?

We always took our girls to nice restaurants, starting from the time they were very young. I think this is how children learn to behave in civilized eating establishments. By eating in them. If you only take your kids to venues like the Golden Arches then they are never going to learn that running and shouting and eating while playing are not the accepted form of behavior in most public places.

The thing is, if you're in a restaurant you have to be prepared to deal with whatever your child dishes out. That might mean that sometimes you pick up and leave before you've gotten your meal. If Johnny isn't getting with the program then no, he shouldn't be ignored by his parents. He should be taken out of the restaurant as a courtesy to the other patrons. There are seasons to parenting and having young kids means that sometimes we don't get to do what we want. I love children and have worked with children in some capacity or other most of my adult life. I have a lot of patience when it comes to kids of all sorts and variety. I have less patience for parents who pretend they don't notice that their child is disrupting all of life around them in a public venue.

6. What was your first car? How did it come to be yours?

My first car wasn't really my car but our family's second car that I was allowed to drive. It was a Chevy Nova, kind of an ugly rust color and it had brakes that when barely tapped had the potential to catapult you through the windshield. Perfect for a brand new driver.

You're jealous I know.

My real first car was a Toyota Celica and it was a great car. My parents surprised me with it my senior year of college just before I was to begin student teaching.

I had never driven a stick shift before but my brother taught me on some pretty steep Tennessee hills which, as it turned out, was a good place to learn.

7. If I had a nickel for every time I vacuumed up the dog's hair I'd be rich.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Regarding question #3-
tonite my wish is coming true.

Solving the Rubik's Cube

It's Tuesday which means I need to post the questions for this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. You'll find the questions at the end of this post but please don't skip the lovely deliciousness I am going to share with you first.

Daughter1 was home for the weekend and she'd seen something online she wanted us to try and so we did. Because that's what mothers and daughters do...they try new things together. It's called an edible Rubik's Cube on some of the websites I've seen so we'll go with that because it does kind of look like a Rubik's Cube. If you were born post 1980 you might need to visit our friend Google. Anyhoo-here are the ingredients. You will not need a pen for this one.

feta cheese

The quantity depends on just how tall you want your cube to be but we used about half a watermelon, six kiwi, and one package of feta. There is a bit of waste since you need everything to be identical in shape but we just threw the scraps into a bowl and that made a nice snack later.

Cut the ingredients into cubes and you want the cubes to be the same size or at least as close to that as you can get. Then you work your puzzle. Layer the fruit and cheese in an aesthetically pleasing pattern and stack until you have what you want.

Here we are putting ours together-

It would appear I'm trying to correct my daughter the artiste. Why?? She is definitely the one with the eye for the lovely so why am I fixing her kiwi placement? Because I'm a control freak that's why.

That's the US women's soccer team getting beat by Japan on the TV in the background. Bother.

Wouldn't it be fun to bring this into a dinner party? Ours is a little more Jenga than Rubiks and we agreed that next time we'd use a small square or rectangular cookie cutter to achieve perfection. I believe I mentioned I'm a control freak, didn't I?

Now, on to the questions for the Wednesday Hodgepodge...answer these on your own blog and then come back tomorrow to link answers. The more the merrier so don't be shy!

1. July 20th marks the anniversary of the first time man stood on the moon. Flash forward 42 years to July 8, 2011 which marked the start of the final Space Shuttle mission. Should we continue to explore space? Should nations devote more or fewer of their resources to exploring space? Would you want to go into space if the opportunity arose?

2. What are three things in your freezer?

3. If you could see any band/artist perform live tonite who would it be? It has to be someone Beatles, Elvis, etc.

4. Ice-cubed or crushed? Or are you one of those people who don't like ice?

5. The owner of a small restaurant outside of Pittsburgh recently announced he was banning children under six, saying they regularly disrupted other customer's meals. You can read the story in more detail here but isn't this a perfect topic to discuss in our Wednesday Hodgepodge? Have at it friends...what are your thoughts?

6. What was your first car? How did it come to be yours?

7. If I had a nickle for every time I _________________ I'd be rich.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Good Morning Merry Sunshine

Good Monday did your day start? I awakened to the sound of the dog throwing up at approximately 5:15 am which is always a wonderful way to begin a new week. It's amazing how fast you can move from a dead sleep to a sprint when you realize what's about to happen. I was almost quick enough but sadly, almost doesn't count. sigh.

My weekend started out with a little excitement too. I was running errands on Friday when this happened about three cars ahead of me, coming down the hill in the opposite direction.

I have no idea how this occurred other than to say I could see it was a young driver and the curve there is a little on the sharp side. Still, I think you have to be going pretty fast to flip a truck on a residential road in traffic in the middle of the day. The driver appeared to be okay-climbed out on her own and was sitting up on the grass. I had the impression the driver was a girl but it may have been a boy (I was trying not to have an accident myself as I was rerouted around the scene). When you have young drivers in your house this sort of thing rockets your stomach straight into your throat and causes your heart to pound. It also makes you want to call your kids and give them 'a lecture' on defensive driving but you resist and just tell them you love them a lot and to please be careful when they're out and about.

On a happier note-we had a super fun weekend except as is always always always the case when daughters are home visiting, the weekend went by at supersonic speed. We picked up daughter1 and her boyfriend at the train station on Friday night and returned them to the train station yesterday. The blink of an eye.

I don't think I've mentioned my favorite blog topic lately-the weather. Glor-i-ous! Check this out-

Hubs laughed when he saw this picture but I'm sorry, a cloudless blue sky Saturday requires a picture, don't you think?

First thing on the agenda Saturday was waking everybody up. It is no easy task to get a 20-something up and moving on a Saturday morning, especially when she had been up almost all night on Thursday thanks to a certain boy named Harry Potter. The boyfriend slept in too but the thing about boys is they can be up and ready to go in a matter of minutes.

20-something girls must first employ all their hair products and brushes and tools to make themselves look adorable even though when you are 20-something you pretty much always look adorable.

We headed out into the very lovely NJ countryside around noon and our first stop was a small farm winery for a tour and tasting. We tasted wine right out of the barrel which was interesting. The vineyards are so pretty...guess why they call it a farm winery?

After we left the winery we headed across the road into New York state and had a lovely lunch in one of our favorite small towns. We wound around a bit more and stopped at a second farm winery, this one with the most beautiful scenery...

No sheep but still, there's a reason they're called farm wineries...

I would have liked a tour of the house too...just look at the cellar cut into the side of the hill-

We came back towards home and stopped at a local restaurant where people bring their classic cars on Saturday nights. The hubs and the boyfriend were in 7th heaven and I took this opportunity to educate daughter1 on something else that might be considered a classic....

...the 8-track tape. She'd never seen one before and this person had some good ones. Why yes, I did put my camera inside someone's '79 Trans Am for a picture. I have a blog ya know!

Couldn't really top that so we headed for home. Hubs grilled steaks and it cooled off so we sat around the most beautiful fire and roasted marshmallows and told stories and laughed a lot.

Let's discuss this picture for a second. There are many things wrong-the lighting, the angle, the smoke from the fire making it a little blurry. The lights are on in my kitchen and they're creating funny reflections. And no, those are not dead bodies in the background-hubs had already covered the table and lounge chairs for the evening. But when I see this picture I don't pay a lot of attention to those things. It makes me happy.

Like the weekend.
Like every weekend with a daughter in the house.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Water water everywhere

I love water.
Pools, rivers, oceans...doesn't matter, I love it all.

Being near the water, in the water, on the water, or even at the edge looking out, there is something about water that makes me feel like anything is possible.

From the time my girls were itty bitty we spent summers at the pool, the beach, and later on our boat on the river.

Both my girls have always loved the water.

We are the people at the beach who are still in the water at 7 PM.
In fact our favorite time of day on the water anywhere is the 4-7 time slot.

Hubs grew up swimming on a swim team.
He earned the nickname Aqua Lung while on a work trip a while back because he was down deep in the ocean with the scuba divers wearing only a snorkel (and a swimsuit of course).
Obviously he loves the water too.

Essentially, we're a family of fish.

We've had a most crazy summer schedule leaping from one weekend's events to another weekend's events with the in between days spent in regroup mode.

I'm not complaining because it is lots of fun stuff with lots of our most favorite fun people but still, it doesn't quite feel like summer.

Maybe that's because deep down inside I believe summer is spelled

And ours this year is missing that.

In fact, we haven't had any water at all in our summer so far unless you count rain.
No, we're not counting rain.

We have a couple of weekends planned late in the summer where there will most definitely be water.
I look forward to those weekends.
Summers need water.

There needs to be swimming...

and dancing.


and tubing~

you need to feel the sun on your face,
while the wind whips your hair and the sea gently sprays.

There has to be some sand between your toes

skim boards

and diving boards too.

There needs to be a walk along the shore

and a secret shared while sitting next to the sea.

When I stand in front of the ocean I always wonder how anyone can think this world just 'happened'.

A summer spent by the water is where memories are made-

And where the future is imagined.

"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea."
~e.e. cummings

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No lie... it's time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge-Vol 35

1. How has your hometown changed since you were a kid? What has changed most about the neighborhood you grew up in?

I guess like most towns there's a lot more shopping and dining than there was when I was a kid. People didn't shop and eat out the way we do now. We shopped when we needed to buy something and eating out was a rare treat. There used to be a big 'circle' (roundabout) in town that was converted to a regular highway a few years ago, but that circle was a landmark for giving directions when I was younger and a test of your patience and ability to drive in traffic merging ten different ways.

My mom still lives in the neighborhood I grew up in and the biggest difference is the landscape. When my parents bought their house way back when there were small shrubs and tiny trees. Those little trees are all grown up now and the neighborhood is green and leafy. The houses still look mostly the same from the outside, only the people living in them have changed. It was a fun place to be a child.

2. What song makes you laugh?

This one-

3. Are you a fan of Harry Potter? Read all the books? Seen any/all of the movies? Will you be standing in line somewhere close to midnight later this week? For those of you playing along who live outside the US or UK is Harry Potter a phenomenon in your part of the world?

I'm a fan but I'm not a fan-atic like some people I know (Hi girls!). I have seen the movies but won't be standing in line at midnight to see the newest and last. I will see it eventually. I feel like my girls grew up right alongside Harry...Daughter1 was nine when the first book was released. I do believe I have a gift for making all things sentimental.

As a side note hubs and I saw Emma Watson (Hermione) up close at a polo match in the UK...she was adorable in person too. That's her, third from the left-

Here she is again-

What? You thought they'd let me duck under the ropes and get a picture of us side by side? Think again.

4. If the truth hurts will you tell a lie? Are we better off as a society in a world that allows no form of deception whatsoever?

Whoa! What a question for the middle of July when our brains are taking a little rest.

So, is it bad to lie when you answer a question about lying? I am going to say for the first part of this question that yes, I think we all do that. I wouldn't lie about important truths but if it would spare someone's feelings and its something small and insignificant then yes, I might not tell the whole truth. Let me give you an example...say I'm a guest at a dinner party and the hostess is a terrible cook and she asks me if I like the meal she's prepared... in that case I will lie and say yes because good manners seem to outweigh the benefit of the truth in that sort of instance. And yes, I know that's what liars say about all their lies

I think if there were not 'deception' of this sort in the world a lot of people would be walking around hurt and angry all the time. Now the big stuff, the stuff that matters in the grand scheme of things, (actually anything larger than 'the meal was delicious')...well, that's another matter. Sometimes the truth hurts but it usually needs to be heard. I know there are those who will say truth at any cost but sometimes the truth, while harsh, is also helpful and sometimes the truth is just mean.

All sorts of thoughts relating to those in public life are swirling around my brain...telling the police you work in a theme park and leading them all the way to the door all the while knowing you don't actually work at said theme park, 'forgetting' you have an illegal nanny/housekeeper/whatever when you fill out your tax return, the inability to identify a questionable tweet or even your very own 'love child' as your own may seem like little things to some people but I'd put those actions in the category of 'big things'.

Oh and this is where it gets all sloppy and complicated. I know truth is truth and maybe we shouldn't be arbitrary and decide what's big and what's small but that's a lot to whittle down here in a Wednesday Hodgepodge.

5. What is your favorite 'sauteed in garlic and butter' food ? Or garlic and olive oil if that makes you feel better.


6. Attending any reunions this summer/year? High school/class? Family? Other? Do these events stir up excitement or dread?

I don't have any class or family reunions on the calendar this year but I think reunions in general stir up feelings of excitement for me. I did attend a reunion at the end of June with former summer camp staff I hadn't seen in over 30 years and that was a fantastic weekend ...I wrote about it here. And here. Later this month I'm going to a reunion with some of my college sorority sisters and I can't wait for that one. I think it's safe to say it will get a mention here.

7. lilacs, hydrangea, peony...pick one.

Oh dear. Three of my most favorite flowers...I'm going with peony but only because you made me choose. I made me choose? Whatever. We just added five hydrangea and a lilac bush to our back yard landscaping. I had peonies in my yard in England and my next door neighbor there had a collection of rare varieties that was positively stunning. I need to add peonies to this yard. Do deer like peonies? Probably. They have a highly discriminating palate...if a plant is blooming, beautiful and expensive they love it.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Here is something that is making me happy at the moment-