If We Were Having Coffee On This February Morning…

THE SETTING:  

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We’d be sitting in my kitchen at the table, staying warm, glancing outside at the bleak leafless trees that make you wonder if you’ll survive this time of year with your sanity intact.

We’d be drinking basic brewed coffee, with cream, and eating donuts because carbs are where it’s at when the world is this dull and gray.  

We’d be listening to the local university rock radio station because on Saturdays they play hits from the 60s & 70s & 80s– and it’s fun, once in a while, to groove on tunes from the past.

THE CONVERSATION:

√  We’d be sharing… our latest reading obsessions, which in my case would be 3 different books that I seem to read depending on which room I’m in.   My father did this and I realize I’m doing it now, too.  So, when I’m in the tv room I’m reading The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin.  In the living room I’m reading 1215, The Year of the Magna Carta by Danny Danziger & John Gillingham.  And in our bedroom I’m halfway through The Key by James N. Frey.  You’d assure me that this book-reading behavior isn’t as weird as it sounds.

√  We’d be discussing… how I find Cheryl Tiegs’s out-of-touch criticism of Ashley Graham’s size and look to be sad and spiteful.  I’d mention that I never thought CT had much on the ball, so I suppose she hasn’t noticed that the ideal body image of models has evolved and diversified since her days as a model.  I’d realize that I was being snarky, but conclude that sometimes it’s the only response to stupid.

√  We’d be laughing… about how this week, after months of effort, I got to Level 445 in Candy Crush Soda Saga, and how I believe I just might make it to the end of this game, which is Level 565.  You’d roll your eyes at me because whatever, but I’d still be proud of this achievement considering I’ve never come this close to finishing one of these silly games before.

√  We’d be talking… about how when Zen-Den went to buy paint for one of our bedrooms, he made me the happiest girl on the block when he bought me a brand-new slick and wonderful Sherwin-Williams ColorSnap Fan Deck that has in it, according to the SW sales clerk, 200 new shades of paint.  My little amateur interior designer heart is racing with the possibilities.

THE CONCLUSION:

IMG_0028We’d have to part after an hour or so of chit-chat because we each had obligations in the afternoon to get ready for. 

We’d hug and promise to get together sometime in the Spring, which for both of us is busy, then realize that maybe it’d be Summer before we do this again.

And we’d thank each other for listening to & laughing about our small victories and wacky ways.  Like friends do everywhere.  Often over a mug of coffee.

• • •

Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

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If We Were Having Coffee On This January Morning…

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{ image via @lawyermom1 }

THE SETTING:  

We’d be sitting at the local Starbucks, enjoying the fact that we were out of the house, doing something together.  

I’d be drinking a vanilla latte with an extra shot and you’d be drinking whatever it is that floats your boat.  My treat, of course.

We’d be listening to the sound of the overworked espresso machines, the indistinct conversations of fellow Starbuckians, and the random genre-less background music that seems to be in every Star$.

THE CONVERSATION:

√  We’d be chatting… about how I read that the colors for spring clothes are rust, mustard and poppy.  I’d assure you that there’s no stinking way you’ll be seeing me in any of those colors.  I’d also mention that I have no plans to go shopping for spring clothes this year.

√  We’d be sharing… our latest podcast obsessions, which in my case is Call Your Girlfriend.  I’d tell you that the podcast’s tone is smart and warm, and that it is lots of fun to listen in while girlfriends talk about a variety of subjects such as feminism, fashion, politics– and whatever else is newsy and relevant this week.

√  We’d be talking… about how after reading this article about raiding your own cookbook collection, I’ve decided to make one recipe per month from a cookbook I already own.  My first recipe, Braised Pork With Sauerkraut, which was delicious, was from Joy of Cooking [75th Anniversary Edition].  Considering I have over 30 cookbooks, this could turn into a fun longterm project.

√  We’d be laughing… about how Zen-Den, the confused, asked me if I’d be “calamari-ing” our house.  Somewhere he’d heard about this new Japanese declutter trend.  While he understood the principles, he’d gotten the name wrong.  My answer, when I finally figured out that he was talking about KonMari, was NO!

THE CONCLUSION:

We’d have to part after about an hour or so because each of us had things to do, things to do.

We’d hug and promise to get together sometime in February, weather permitting, daily life allowing, work schedule be damned.

And we’d count our blessings that we have each other to talk with.  Like friends do everywhere.  Over a fancy coffee in one of the most ubiquitous places on earth.

• • •

Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

• • •

If We Were Having Coffee On This November Morning…

THE SETTING:  

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We’d be sitting in my living room, staying dry, looking outside at the Halloween decorations still on display. 

We’d be drinking cafe mocha that I made for us.

We’d be listening to the local classical radio station because it makes for a laid-back atmosphere– and it’s fun, once in a while, to let a radio station pick your tunes.

THE CONVERSATION:

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√  We’d be chatting… about how this week, after weeks of trying, I won Level 90 in AlphaBetty Saga and how I believe there’s no disgrace in giving up on a game when it becomes too challenging for you.  Bye, bye, Betty!

√  We’d be sharing… our latest TV obsessions, which in my case is Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, made in Australia and set in Melbourne in the late 1920s.  I’d recommend them for the sheer entertainment of seeing a smart + sassy + stylish flapper detective, named Phryne, show the boys how it’s done.

√  We’d be talking… about how I’m trying to decide if I’m going to continue on blogging, or if I’m going to let it go.  I’d be saying how this hobby has become a part-time job.  And while it’s good that it keeps my brain clicking and my heart open, I’m finding that I’m unsure about who is following me– and why.  Which makes me a little uneasy.

√  We’d be laughing… about how the Bengals, our local NFL franchise who used to be called the Bungles, beat the team from the Mistake on the Lake.  And we’d wonder, chuckling at the old-time Ohio insider joke, if either of these NFL teams could beat OSU!

√  We’d be planning… when we could get together next, knowing our December holiday schedules were already filling up.  And lamenting, but in a good way, how every year the invitations come earlier and earlier.

THE CONCLUSION:

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We’d have to part after about an hour or so because weekend obligations are just that– things that must be done. 

We’d hug and promise to get together sometime after the holidays when life returns to normal.

And we’d thank each other for listening to & commenting on our joys and woes.  Like friends do.  Everywhere.  Over a mug of coffee.

• • •

Idea for this post came from Diana at Part-Time Monster.

• • •

Answering The Liebster [Not The Lobster] Award Questions

Introduction
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Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest.

I feel like a bit of a fraud accepting this award by answering these questions.  The point of this award is to showcase new up-and-coming bloggers to your readers.

And if there is one thing I am not, it is a new blogger. [Read more here.]

However, be that as it may, I like to do blogging memes like this one because they challenge me to think differently about my life.  And because I’m alway honored to be included.

So when charming delightful DearLilyJune nominated me for the Liebster Award [which my spellcheck insists on changing to Lobster], I thought to myself:

Sure. Why not? It’ll be fun. 

# # #

The Rules, Or As I Choose To Think Of Them, The Guidelines

Here are the rules for the Liebster Award.  If you’re nominated and choose to accept it – you:

  • answer 11 questions given to you by your nominator;
  • leave a link back to the person who nominated you;
  • nominate up to 11 blogs that are relatively new (usually less than 200 followers);
  • notify your nominees; and
  • create 11 questions for the nominees.

# # #

Here are DearLilyJune’s questions with my answers

1) Here’s the Lorelai question, posed to her daughter Rory every year on her birthday: What do you think of your life so far?

I like my life so far.  Living in suburbia this far out of the city is not where I thought I’d end up, but I’ve come to accept it and enjoy it.  Life is quieter here than in the city, and allows me to center myself in nature, write when I want to without distractions, and pursue my love of design.  I’m comfortable being a low-key suburban person who watches the parade go by and cheers on those who need to march in it.

2) What’s the cruelest thing you could do to another human being?

Cause them pain, physical &/or emotional.

3) How do you avoid doing #2?

Pay attention to your behavior, know why you do the things that you do, make a conscious decision to play nice– and remember the golden rule.

4) What’s the kindest thing you could do for other human beings?

Support other people in their dreams, listening and guiding them to make good choices, helping them understand that you can only control the process.  The results will be what they will be.

5) How do you get motivated, or motivate others, to do more of #4?

I used to think that modeling the behavior you wanted to see in other people was the answer to that question.  But now, older & wiser, I’m not so sure that kindness happens that way.  Meaning, I don’t have an answer to this question.  Do you?

6) What do you dream about at night?

I rarely remember my dreams at night.  The little tidbits that I do remember revolve around houses or dorms or hotels– being safe, seeing friends, getting rooms.

7) What do you daydream about during the day?

My daydreams are pretty benign.  Walking on a beach.  Being in a city park, enjoying nature.  Traveling to other countries with friends.

8) If you could go back and choose it, what would your first word be?

Neato.

9) If there were anything you could remember about your life as a baby, what would be your chosen memory?

My grandmother died before I was 1 y.o.  I have a photo of her holding me, but I’d like to have met her when I was more aware.  They tell me that she was kindness personified.

10) Why are we so quick to pose questions, and so slow to listen for the answers?

In a word, screens.  Our society brainwashes people into thinking that distractions via screens, such as social media, TV, movies and video games, are more important than real interpersonal relationships.  So waiting to hear a real person answer a question becomes irritating, irrelevant– and not worth wasting your time away from the precious screen.

11) If you had to ask yourself one question each day to take stock of your life, what would that question be?

What have I done today to help my spirit grow?

# # #

Care to play along? Here Are my 11 questions, or writing prompts, for you

1.  Which day is your favorite day of the week?  And why?

2.  What color do you find the most annoying?

3.  You’re going on a short drive to run errands around town.  What will it be: radio OR personal tunes OR silence?

4.  What novel has had the most influence on how you express yourself?

5.  Do you like the traditional Thanksgiving feast?  If so, what in particular do you like?  If not, what do you think is a better meal?

6.  When asked to do something that you do not want to do, what do you do?

7.  You have a favorite TV show, right?  Tell me about it.  

8.  Is the TSA the most over-rated, self-important, inept government agency around?  If not, what is?  

9.  Guacamole is ________ .  

10.  To what are you allergic?

11.  How much do you love my questions for you? 

# # #

Conclusion
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Once again Linus, of Peanuts fame, sums it up perfectly.

If you’ve made it this far down on the post, I applaud you.  You are a true bloggy friend.  Meaning that if you want to do this meme, please feel free to do it.

  • Do it like the “rules” say you should.
  • Do it like I did, in the spirit of the thing, using the rules as guidelines.
  • Do pieces of it as writing prompts for your blog.
  • Do it but never publish it.

All I ask of you is that when you choose to do this, please make sure you’re saying to yourself:

Sure. Why not? It’ll be fun. 

# # #

In Which I Do The “3 Quotes In 3 Days” Meme, My Way

[During the last few months I’ve seen a meme around the blogosphere that asks you to share three quotes + three photos.  

Or something like that.  

The intention is that you do this over the course of three days, but this being a quiet Sunday afternoon, and me being me, I think that I’ll do it all at once.  

Why not?  Are the blogging police going to come and get me?]  

~ ~ • ~ ~

I took these photos last month when we were visiting Centennial Park, Nashville TN.  The famous author quotes are three of my favorites which seem to go perfectly with the photos.

Don’t you love serendipity?

~ ~ • ~ ~

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“If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

~ ANNE LAMOTT

~ ~ • ~ ~

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“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”

~ NEIL GAIMAN

~ ~ • ~ ~

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“To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”

~ JANE AUSTEN

~ ~ • ~ ~

Again With The Five Senses Friday

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• • •

FEELING:  organized.  centered.  jovial.  ready to have a productive and fun weekend.  nice weather predicted.  a neglected garden to weed.  a new vegetarian recipe to try.

HEARING:  with the windows open, traffic from the interstate.  going fast.  no sirens.  just a nice lull in the background.

TASTING:  water.  cold.  fresh.  keeping me hydrated as I seat here typing.  adding vitality to my life.

SEEING:  trees with red leaves on a few of the branches.  green grass tinged with a bit of gold.  blue skies with white clouds.  a relaxing natural color palette indicative of change.

SMELLING:  a new parfum called fresh life.  its scent has lingered in the air after I applied a dab of it from a sample card onto my wrist.  light floral.  citrus-ish.  clean.    

[This meme, which I think is a wonderful idea, originated a long time ago on a blog that is now defunct.  If you wish, you may play along in the comment section below or on your own blog.]

The “Never Have I Ever” Meme

This week has been a slow slog for me.  If you rob me of an hour of sleep, this is what you get: a woman with a tired brain who is incapable of creating much of anything.    

Then while reading Knocked over by a feather & Fish of Gold I saw their versions of this meme, and I remembered the Never Have I Ever Drinking Game.  Suddenly, doing this meme seemed like the perfect subject for a TGIF post.  

Happy weekend, everyone.  Enjoy!

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  • Never have I ever ridden on a motorcycle.
  • Never have I ever grabbed eggs from a hen’s nest.
  • Never have I ever owned a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.
  • Never have I ever watched an episode of American Idol or The Voice.
  • Never have I ever regretted having this house built.
  • Never have I ever smoked pot purchased legally in Colorado.
  • Never have I ever worried about whether someone thinks that I’m bossy.  
  • Never have I ever knitted a sweater.
  • Never have I ever thrown a TV out a window.
  • Never have I ever inconvenienced other people with my luggage on an airplane.
  • Never have I ever ordered a Long Island Iced Tea.
  • Never have I ever run or walked a marathon of any length.