30 January, 2014


The third word to describe how I want to
 be seen is appropriate.
So, here's where I am:
I hadn't planned to even think about
spring/summer clothes
until April, but everyone else seems to be...
Our weather can be unpredictable until
well into April.
Because my internal thermostat
is wacko
my current supply of clothes are
lighter and layerable
and hopefully will see me through
for a while, yet.
The undeniable fact, though, is that with my weight loss
I have no spring/summer clothes.
If I'm going to shop I want to add
pieces that will fit a broader plan for this
next phase of building my "look."
I've spent  many hours
The starting point always seems the
biggest challenge.
Two neutrals?  Three?
A favorite painting?
A scarf?
Just tell me where to start!
In spite of my ruminations it has been a good week.
Important decisions have been made;
Nails?  Shorter.
Hair? Longer.
The third word.
While looking through my closet for something else
I found several unexpected items that
helped shape a plan.
For whatever reason these things
have survived both the moving purge
and the weight loss shuffle and were buried, forgotten,
in the depths of my closet.
A blue Missioni-style sweater.
A plaid fabric belt. (!?!)
A pair of blue tweed pumps.
Blue and white cardigan.
Add the tan bag
- my favorite summer bag -
and I think we can see a pattern developing.
At this point I'm happy to go with a
plan in navy.
It's a good starting place for me.
I'm excited to get started.

26 January, 2014

Sunday Afternoon

I should be driving, so today counts as
a free day.
Free days - as you know - should
be used for projects or naps
or movie marathons
but shouldn't be wasted on ordinary
household tasks like
The weather kept us from making the trip
to Minneapolis to
 say goodbye to
Aidan's dog, Proton.
He wasn't himself when they came for Christmas
and a trip to the vet yielded a
sad diagnosis.
We were already on the calendar for the
Chinese New Year program
coming at the of this week, but it
seemed urgent to make
the trip now.
Unfortunately the weather interfered and we
made the call to stay home.
So we skyped instead!
We were able to chat.
Charlie added his greetings.
Proton responded to our voices and wagged his tail.
None of us know what the next few days
will bring.  So we were glad
to see Aidan and Proton.
We talked and laughed together.
It was far from perfect, but
it was good.

17 January, 2014

Senior Discount

I've noticed that many
service providers
calculate senior status
beginning at different ages.
 60 being the most common with
an occasional 55 to be found. 
Apparently This Old House marches to its
own beat on this one.
Or has a terribly slow/thorough process
for finding seniors.
This came in the mail for me today:

Such a deal!

16 January, 2014

Thursday Morning

My haiku challenge has ended.
On Tuesday the last one was composed and posted.
You'd think that after a solid year, those few minutes
would still automatically beckon.
No topics clamored for expression as I walked to work
and back yesterday.
No snippets pushed their way into my
consciousness as I woke this morning.
Seems odd that something so vital to your
everyday rhythms for that length of time
could so easily stop.
I am thinking of planning on a new
- but less formal -
How to go about it
will require some thought and
It will take me waaay
outside my comfort zone, as they say.
But I can remember thinking
that kickboxing/gymrattery was waaay
outside said zone.
A new ten-week session has begun at the gym.
There are 60+ students
and four of them are part of our regular
class time. 
I've agreed to be a coach, assisting
a woman who has done this
for previous sessions.
We're not instructors.
We help/support the newbies as they
sort through all the terms and techniques,
 easing them into the mainstream
of class activity.
Four days in and so far, so good.

I'll get back to you with that other project.


14 January, 2014

365 Homeward

The scent of wood smoke

Rides the north wind suggesting

That warmth awaits me.

13 January, 2014

364/365 Passage

We track our times of

Challenge through those dear faces

Standing alongside.

12 January, 2014

363/365 January Sunrise

Neon lavenders

And pinks overlay the fresh

hues of dawning day.

11 January, 2014

362/365 Over the Rainbow

Certain memories

Replay in technicolor

Dazzling wistful eyes.

10 January, 2014

361/365 Fine Lines

New territories

Of thought and practice require

Careful attention.

Don't Call Me - I'll Call You

Some days, all you can do is laugh at yourself.
In a year filled with personal challenges
and new experiences
I've encountered an unexpected hurdle.
I've recently upgraded traded up to a smart phone.
Not the smartest phone,
 but definitely smarter than the old one.
(The kind referred to in movies as a $10 burner phone.)
And yes, it will make certain 
communications easier.
And, yes, I expected a certain learning
 curve would be involved. 
The biggest challenge, so far?
Learning to carry it.
A gadget that has to be on or near my person?
At all times?
In an accessible manner?
Who thought this would be a good idea?
Do I want it in my right-hand coat pocket
when I run into the store?
Then my keys have to go somewhere else. 
When I return to the car it has to be
removed from the pocket
before the seat belt is applied.
Can't just dump it in my purse
can't leave it home
can't answer it in the car
can't stand the thought of carrying it
from one room to the other.
And on and on and on.
The old phone was treated as
a phone.  It sat on my desk
 - next to the land line-
unless I was using it.
Which wasn't very often.
In fact, I blithely and
routinely ignored it unless a road
trip was scheduled.
It was a safety net for solo travel situations.
I still ignore the new one
when I'm in the car.
It stays in one spot when I
roam the house.
I'll figure it all out
but it makes me laugh to think
I've joined the ranks of those who sit
in parking lots to check
their latest message.

09 January, 2014

360/365 Quickening

Bleak morning haze,

Thick with silence, dissolves as

The sun climbs westward.

08 January, 2014

359/365 Day's End

From behind closed doors

Comes the deep rasping chorus

Of well-earned sleep.

07 January, 2014

358/365 Pause for Breath

A satisfied air

Of relief follows the end

Of scheduled effort.

The Unexpected Delights of Rural Iowa

I ran a few errands earlier today.
I'm on my way home
- maybe three miles from the house -
when I crest a hill and looking
forward to the bottom
  see the unmistakable
white heads of two
- count 'em 2 -
bald eagles in the middle of the road
worrying a bit of roadkill.
They lifted away as the car came nearer
and I watched their shadows
circle past me to turn and land again.
There was no traffic from either direction
so I took my time
and enjoyed the sight.
Did I have a camera!?
Of course not, so I'll close with this image
courtesy of Google.

06 January, 2014

357/365 January's Yield

Springtime’s fertile fields

Lay barren and snow-swept by

Winter’s bitter winds.

05 January, 2014

Oh the thinks I had thought!

Today was filled
with shiny expectation!
My list had fun entries
sprinkled among the laundry and dishes
and normal getting-ready-for-the-week items.
I was going to post a couple recent outfits
- and then I went to edit the photos -
so that's not going to happen this week.
But I'll give myself credit
(take it where you can)
for actually having taken photos!
They are an afterthought, at best.
I was also going to activate a new gadget
but it requires information
from my current service provider
so that means business hours tomorrow.
Downtown Abbey is still ahead.
Here's a sop
as the planned pictures
were a flop:
Naphtali and I had our nails "done" the
Monday before Christmas.
She opted for a pedicure in preparation
for her trip to Haiti.
I had my first shellac manicure.
It will be three weeks tomorrow and
they still look like we just left the salon.
Growth is evident at the base of the nails but
tips and color are intact
and still vibrant.
What do they use to remove this stuff!?

356/365 Where Friends Gather

Warm eyes and knowing

Smiles offset the brutal cold

Of winter’s icy touch.

04 January, 2014

355/365 Heft

Wool socks, either plain

Or bright, add comfort when faced

With bitter cold days.

03 January, 2014

354/365 Fronts

Banshee winds assail

My senses creating cold

In the midst of warmth.


My sister-in-law gave us
homemade granola for Christmas.
It was delicious and didn't
last very long.
I asked for the recipe.
She obliged.
A batch has already been made and enjoyed.

Here's how it works: 
 gather ingredients and equipment
stir together
 bake in 10 minute increments
add almonds and back in the oven
mmm - golden and delicious.
This is the recipe as I made it:
3 C. rolled oats
1 generous tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C ground flaxseed
3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. oil
1/4 C honey
1/4 C brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C whole almonds
1/3 C sunflower nuts
Preheat the oven to 325F. 
Toss the oats, flaxseed and cinnamon together.
Mix honey, oil, sugar, and vanilla in a separate bowl.
Pour over oat mixture and
mix well.
Spread on cookie sheet covered with
parchment paper.
Bake 10 minutes. Stir.
Add almonds.
Bake 10 minutes.  Stir.
Add sunflower nuts.
Bake 10 minutes. 
Turn oven off but leave in oven
another 5 minutes.
My SIL used 2 cups of oats,
no flaxseed,
1/3 C almonds
 and added
pistachios(rather than sunflower nuts)
 and 2/3 C craisins
 (after cooling for several minutes). 
Tasty by the handful
or with milk and blueberries!

02 January, 2014

353/365 Preparation

Words cannot prevent

The pain of loss though they may

Help soften the blow.

01 January, 2014

352/365 Clockwork

Daily routines dance

Around the clock’s face setting

Rhythms for my day