Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fall(ing) Down and Embracing Failure

Oprah Winfrey said, "So go ahead. Fall down. The world looks different from the ground." Do you embrace failure?

Here is the definition of the word “embrace”:

1. hold (someone) closely in one's arms, esp. as a sign of affection.
Synonyms: hug, take/hold in one's arms, hold, cuddle, clasp to one's bosom, clasp, squeeze, clutch.
2. accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
Synonyms: welcome, welcome with open arms, accept, take up, take to one's heart, adopt.

So in a word, no. I do not embrace failure.

Do I own my own failures? Yes.

Am I afraid to fail? Yes. And no. And sometimes.

Is it OK to fail? Yes.

I have let the fear of failure hold me back in life. I admit that, but I don’t embrace it. I have zero affection for failure. I do not accept it willingly, and I sure as hell don’t accept it enthusiastically. I have tried my best to learn from it, and I have enthusiastically attempted to not repeat it.

I think Oprah was trying to say that failure can give one a different perspective on things. Failure is not always a horrible thing. Thomas Edison was credited with saying, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” This way of thinking is much healthier than “I’ve failed, so I’ll quit.” And since good ol’ Tommy boy didn’t actually invent most of what he is credited with inventing, you can bet he was paying attention to other’s failures and pounced on them when they either decided they enjoyed snorting sod, or just took a little too long to get back up.

But it’s true; sometimes laying on the ground, letting the ants crawl on you and smelling the dirt can help you see what you’ve been missing – or what you were just at the wrong angle to see. “Ah HA! My driveline is broken, and that is why I plowed into that tree. I am not a bad driver after all. Hey, dude, don’t step on that – that’s my spleen.”


So, I had to take poor Snoopy into the vet on Saturday. On Thursday I went to rub his ears and he yipped. I felt so bad! After that, I noticed he seemed continuously puzzled about things. Then I realized it’s because he has his head tipped to the right. And he was digging in his right ear. So I made the appointment and took him in to our beloved vet’s office; seriously, the best vet I have ever made acquaintance with. Sure enough, double ear infection. $145 later and I'm out the door with a wash to go in both ears, a liquid medication for both ears, and an oral antibiotic. That poor dog, every time he’d make eye contact with me, he ran. I was afraid that he would hate me forever! But Monday night he got up on the couch and snuggled up to me, falling asleep on my leg for about two hours. And he still greets me at the gate when I get home from work, bless his little pea-picken’ heart. Because, you know, I feed him.

Les has a bad cold, and I’m trying to keep my distance from him. I have had a sore tonsil for about a week and a half, and I’m trying to stave off any crud that could be coming in my direction. I don’t get paid sick days, so I try to call out sick very sparingly. However, I refuse to be “that guy” who comes to work because they can’t afford to stay home, then infects every person they work with. Hopefully, if I have to succumb and stay home, it will be a Friday or a Monday. ‘Cause we just got AmazonPrime, and they have soooooooooooooo many things I want to watch!!!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The First Person I Fell For

Today's question is: tell us about the first person you "fell" for.

He was my first real boyfriend. We met when we were both in the 6th grade; we were the same religion and met where we worshipped - although to be perfectly honest, I don't remember how old we were when I actually noticed him. 13? 14? We officially began dating when we were 16.

Everytime I saw him, my heart tingled and I had butterflies in my stomach. I soon learned which of my dresses he liked best, and I always wore my highest heels around him. We had the same sense of humor, and we were both in the marching band, although we went to rival high schools. He's wicked smart and even though we were the same age, he graduated two years ahead of me. That was great because then he started helping with the colorguard so he was able to go on band trips with me. There was quite a bit of lip-locking going on, but we never went any further than that. Even when we really, really wanted to.

We had planned to get married, but things don't always go as planned. He married someone else - I won't go into any of that, it's the past and water under the bridge -just suffice it to say it shattered me. I found him on Facebook many years ago, and we keep in contact that way; he apologized to me for how things ended. I accepted.

And you know - truthfully?

He married the right person.

They have been happily married for more than 25 years; they have done missionary work in Samoa. It makes me happy that he is happy.

Now, if someone would please send Johnny Dep my way, I'd appreciate it.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Today's subject: love.

Today's NaBloPoMo question is: Tell us about falling in love: what does it feel like?
I think that I can honestly say: I don’t have a freaking clue.

I have only been in love twice. Once when I was 17, and later in my mid-20’s.

Sometimes I think that those ages are too young to really know what love is. I know that there are those who marry their high school sweet heart right out of high school and stay married for 80 years, but I think those lucky people are the exceptions to the rule. I think that the love I felt was more like infatuation rather than true love. I think that is what most of it is at that age.

In my case, the love that was felt was pretty much one-sided (my side). My first love didn’t start out that way, but it did end that way. The second time it was all just me.

I haven’t had the love experience since. It’s been a mighty long dry spell.

I dunno. It’s a sore subject for me. I’d very much like to be in love; two-way love, reciprocated love.


Friday, October 11, 2013

The Great Fall Pie Question: Apple or Pumpkin?

That is today’s NaBloPoMo question in a nutshell. To be honest, my answer is BOTH! (Did I mention the weight loss blog with zero weight loss blogged? Juuuuust checking.)

I love a really deep, moist, juicy apple pie with either the double crust or lattice work on top. But I detest, protest, and despise a double-crusted deep dish apple pie that is nothing but four inches of air between the apple filling and the underside of that upper-crust. There is a restaurant out here that shall remain unnamed that does that and I cry a POX on their house! A POX I TELL YOU! There is just something so evil about displaying a pie that is 4 inches tall, then revealing that the filling is about ½ inch thick and the rest is air. In complete contrast, I have a recipe somewhere for Four & Twenty Blackbirds’s Caramel Apple Pie; layer after layer after layer after layer of sweet, juicy apples bubbling away in a caramel sauce…….

Sorry. I went away there for a moment…what were we talking about?

Ah, yes, pie. You can find Four & Twenty Blackbirds’s website here, or if you are in Brooklyn you can visit them at:

439 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11215
Corner of 8th street and 3rd Avenue
Park Slope / Gowanus
(718) 499 2917

I have never been there, myself, but I watched a story about them on the Food Network a couple of years ago, and I swear I could smell the pie through the TV. If you go to their site, click on the PIES tab and check out the flavors they offer. This season, in addition to the Salted Caramel Apple, they have an Apple Pear Rose and a Salty Honey Custard. Oooooooh man, it’s a good thing I don’t live out there. I’d be in pie heaven!

Now, about pumpkin pie. Love, love, love, LOVE me some good ol’ punkin’ pie. Especially cold for breakfast! I actually prefer my pumpkin pie either chilled or room temperature; not so keen on it hot out of the oven for some reason. I adore the humungous pumpkin pies you can get a Costco around Thanksgiving. I am not too proud to admit to eating those directly out of the tin with a spoon. (Did I mention the weight loss blog? Yes? Just double checking.) I remember the one time my dad tried to trick me into eating Sweet Potato Pie; have I mentioned on here how my hate for sweet potatoes burns as intensely as ten thousand suns? To say that I hate them is an understatement; kind of like saying the Pacific Ocean is a damp puddle. Anyway, I saw right through that. And even though he died over 30 years ago, I still haven’t forgiven him for it.

Wow. So…yeah. That’s my opinion about pie.


I finished Inferno today at lunchtime. It was a really good read; would probably make a good movie. I hope they don’t make a movie though, because they already screwed up the last two, and three would just be – I dunno – sad. Omens will now be my work-lunchtime book, and I started the newest book by John Le Carré - A Delicate Truth - last night.

Hopefully I will get some work done on Poppy Puss this weekend, and maybe if I hold my mouth just right, Blogger will actually let me post some pictures of it. AND maybe my new pattern – Ra Ra and the Grasshopper – will arrive as well.

Well, I guess that’s it for now.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

To Jump, Or Not To Jump, Into What is the Question

Today’s NaBloPoMo question is: Which is better to jump in: a leaf pile or a puddle?

I had to think about that one. I would have to choose the puddle, mostly for ridiculous reasons.

I love the youthful idea of being outside in a super cute pair of Wellies, jumping around in puddles like a hyperactive Mexican jumping bean. I’m not afraid to get a little wet; I won’t melt. Unless it’s cold, then I HATE to be wet. But I’m getting off the subject.

The only drawback to jumping into a puddle is when it’s not a puddle, but a four foot deep hole, abandoned well, mineshaft, or similar. That would totally harsh my buzz.

As for leaf piles, they seem all fun and soft and everything, until someone either jumps out of one and makes you soil yourself; piles the leaves up around a fire hydrant and you expose your brain by cracking open your noggin; or you gleefully jump in and make leaf angels, only to discover that you are now covered with slugs. Or dog poop.


Don’t ask me how I know about these things; sometimes one’s childhood is just too depressing to talk about.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Just a quick note

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit - Blogger has decided to bestow upon me a window of opportunity to post a few pictures and edit a few things on my side bar!

Woo hoo!

So please scroll down a few posts and see where I have added a few pictures, and please to be introduced to our doggies that have been added to the side bar on the right. I'll add pictures of our cats, Teddy and Miss Muffin at the next available opportunity.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Wordless Wednesday - Autumn in a Picture

Via Google Image

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Sounds of Autumn

Today’s NaBloPoMo question is:

Which sound is more satisfying for you: crunching leaves underfoot or bubble wrap popping?
I would have to go with the sound of crunching leaves underfoot. I’m not sure I can put into words the exact reason why, but I’ll try.

The crunching of leaves underfoot brings to my mind a feeling of youth and freedom. I guess at some point when I was a kid, I ran headlong along a trail through the trees, kicking leaves and crunching them underfoot as I went.

The sound of bubble wrap popping kinda makes me nuts.

Now, don’t get me wrong on the subject of popping bubble wrap! Sis and I have often thought that we could be zillionaires by opening our own “counseling” practice, wherein patients simply rolled around or stomped on big sheets of bubble wrap. And that’s it. No talking, no reading, no special “growing” or “learning” exercises, no medication of any kind; just yards and yards of bubble wrap to pop however the patient saw fit. $150 an hour. I’d just get some really, really good noise cancelling headphones. Hell, if Dr. Oz can make it rich by doing what he does…Oprah? You out there, girl?


Nothing else new to report; still reading the same book, haven’t been able to work on Poppy Puss this week yet.

You know what I really want to do? Open an Etsy store, or sell some things at a local store here in our super-dinky indent on the highway. I want to make money from my cross stitch somehow, and not by selling my patterns and stash!

I love to make jewelry, greeting cards, etc. I’m not fabulous, but I think I do pretty well. My niece has an Etsy store (please do check it out here), and she is not necessarily getting rich or anything, but really enjoys it.

Does anyone out there make an income this way? Any pointers for a newb like me? Feel free to email me if you don’t want to leak your secrets in the comments section. I’d really appreciate any suggestions you may have. TIA!


Why oh why do all the Powerball winners live east of the Mississippi? I don’t even have to win the whole pot! I’ll gladly share it!

Hello?? Powerball gods, are you listening?

{crickets} {more crickets} {lone wolf howling}



Monday, October 7, 2013

What kind of apple would you be?

So, how was your weekend? It was bee-you-tee-ful out here! Gorgeous blue skies with a few clouds, windy as heck, hot in the sun. Mrs. Weenie and Gigi did some serious sun worshipping by lying in the grass and offering up their tummies for baking. After all the rain during the week, this sumptuous break was good for everyone. Les worked out back on Sunday in the raised planting beds and managed to completely clear one of them of all the overgrown weeds. He will probably sleep for three days straight making up for that, but he felt really good about it.

Still reading Inferno; can’t put it down. Still haven’t read anymore of Omen yet. I’m about half-way through Inferno; took it with me on my Saturday errands and read it while having lunch at a favorite mom-and-pop diner. We love this little diner, but I’m glad Sis and Les weren’t with me this time; I was a bit disappointed in them.

There was a new-to-me waitress working there, and she seemed to be pretty on the ball. Keep in mind, this is a very small establishment with only one or two waitresses (one is the owner) and one cook/busboy. I noticed one customer had been trying to get her attention for several minutes. Finally, he just got up and walked over to the coffee machine – that got her attention! As she looked over, he hollered, “Do you mind if I just go ahead and help myself to a refill?” She just shrugged and said, “Sure.”

Then, when she came to take my order, I ordered a bacon cheeseburger and asked if I could get sautéed mushrooms on it. Sure – no problem. When the burger came, it had sautéed onions, not mushrooms. I checked the bill she had slapped down on the table when she delivered my plate, and sure enough – she had written it down wrong. After getting down towards the bottom of my fries, I found a hair on the plate (which I doubt had anything to do with the waitress, but ewwwww…). Finally, I decided that I would like to have a piece of their awesome pie. It took me almost 15 minutes to finally get her attention. She was a master at the eye-contact avoidance and hand-wave ignoring. I should have done what the coffee-refill guy did and just holler to get her attention, but that’s just not me. I would have complained to the owner, but she had left by the time I put in my initial order, and I figured complaining to this gal would not do any good. When I went up to the front counter to pay my bill, she had her resume and a job application out on the counter.

That kind of explained everything.

Other than that, it was a pleasant weekend. I got most of my laundry done (why, WHY do I wait until I am out of underwear and socks to do laundry? Why?) and got to work on Poppy Puss some more. Still can’t post pictures. Still working on a solution.


So, today’s question from NaBloPoMo* is:

If you were an apple, which type of apple (Granny Smith, Gala, Red Delicious, etc) would you be and why?

These types of questions are so weird. But, I guess I would be a Honey Crisp. This is my favorite variety, and the name says it all. Very crisp, like a Granny Smith, but so sweet, unlike a Granny Smith. Very little pucker factor here, and lots of apple-y flavor. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Granny Smith apple pie, but I’ll go with HC for snacking any time. Unfortunately they are seasonal and not available everywhere. I don’t really know if I could say why I would want to be this type of apple. I guess I could say that I am normally a very sweet person; but if you aren’t careful, you could experience the crisper side of my personality.

Which, I suppose, is a very lame way of saying that I am a nice person pretty much all the time, unless you piss me off. Then heaven help you.


*It's so funny; I keep wanting to call this Nostromo. I guess the ship from the original Alien movie has settled deep into my subconscious mind. Should I be concerned?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Today's NaBloPoMo question does not apply

Q: Tell us about your favorite Halloween costume from childhood.

As far as I know, I never had one. We didn’t celebrate Halloween, so zero costumes for me.

So, since I can’t really write about the question for today, I am instead going to whine about the fact that I didn’t get the job I thought I was going to get. So much for trying not to be negative!

This job was so perfect for me; it literally looked like a cut and paste from my resume. They even told me, and both my first and second interviews, how perfect I was for the position. I had all the skills, and they were impressed with my experience. It was down to just a few people, and I was top of the list.

So why did they give the job to someone else?

They couldn’t even call me to tell me; they called the house and left a message on the answering machine. So my sister got to tell me.

I. Am. Crushed.

I tried so hard not to get my hopes up too high, but after all the praise they heaped on me after the second interview, it was not hard to get them up a little. I tried hard not to think about the more fuel-efficient car I’d be able to afford, and how I would only have to get gas once a week instead of twice a week. I tried not to think about how there would actually be some money left over after paying bills that I could buy some decent clothes with, and how I could finally save up the money for the Kindle HD Fire that I’d really like to have. And I tried not to acknowledge that the little bit of hope I felt about possibly giving my two week notice was all that was getting me out of bed to go to the job I hate every morning this week.

Epic fail. I cried all the way home. And in the driveway. And some more at home.

Today I just wanted to stay in bed with the covers pulled up over my head. I just couldn’t face coming back to work knowing that for now, there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I cried all the way into work.

I’m doing better now, but I’m still crushed. It’s like when a flower gets crushed underfoot; some of the petals pop right back up, some gradually recover, and the bulk of the flower stays crushed. That’s where I am right now.


Well, that’s enough of that.

I’m still reading Inferno and I’m really enjoying it. I like Dan Brown’s books; they’re like a scavenger hunt! I also like how I can look up the paintings and places involved on the Google so that I understand what’s happening just a little better. One of the items on my Amazon wish list is the illustrated copy of The Da Vinci Code. I know the plot is strictly fiction, but having the paintings, etc. involved in the story right there in the book would be awesome.

I haven’t read anymore of Omen yet, but I plan to make that my weekend reading project.


HAED is having an unannounced 50% of sale through the 12th, so I went over there to treat myself with something from my wish list. Here is the pattern I bought, called Ra Ra and the Grasshopper:

I’m wondering if I should stitch it on black fabric instead of stitching all of that black. What do you think?

I’m also considering running away to Mom’s this weekend. There are two stitchery stores downtown that I’d like to check out, but I hate sleeping at Mom’s. Her place is so tiny and there are no extra beds; Sis sleeps on the single fold out couch, and I have to sleep in a chair. It’s doable, but I won’t be diggin’ it.

Well, that is all the news for today. Hopefully I will find a way this weekend (if I don’t go to Mom’s) to post some pictures. If Blogger and my computer feel like cooperating, that is. It's kinda like Congress right now. We shall see.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Will you dress up for Halloween? What will you be?

Woo hoo! I figured out how to get line breaks in so that I have paragraphs again! YAY! Now I'll go back and edit the other posts so they don't look like such a hot mess.

Anyhoo, the short answer to the first question is: No. The longer answer, if you are interested, is: No. I have never celebrated Halloween, and I am too old and fat to start now. Well, maybe not too old, but definitely too fat. Unless I wanted to dress up as a can of lard. Or a carton of ice cream. If, however, I decided to stuff the guilt of celebrating a holiday and if I was thinner, I think I would dress up as Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory. She is a hoot and a half!

Speaking of dressing up and the BBT, have you noticed how each character, with the exception of Penny and Berndette, has a very specific layered dress pattern? Sheldon is usually dressed in layers of a long-sleeved t-shirt with some sort of short-sleeved t-shirt over it that has a superhero theme or math/science theme to it. Leonard wears an undershirt, then a t-shirt, then a hoodie/canvas coat combo (the exception was when he was dating Priya, and he had the dreaded pants made from a wool/fire ant blend). Raj wears an undershirt, then a long-sleeved button down the front shirt, then a sweater vest, then a Members Only jacket. Howard wears a dickie with a different pin each time, with usually a long-sleeved shirt (either T or button down), with the same pants every time just in corresponding colors to his shirt(s) along with the same shoes every time that usually match his pants. He also only owns one belt, but hundreds of superhero themed belt buckles. Amy wears a skirt, stockings, a t-shirt, a button down shirt, and a cardigan.

Yeah, I watch waaaaay too much BBT. I am SO glad there isn’t a 12-step program for that!


As for cross stitching, nothing new to show (as if Blogger would let me post a picture!). Sissy came home on Monday, so anytime she is home, I try to just spend time with her. Even if we are just watching a movie, that's OK. I can't stitch out in the living room because the lighting is so bad, and there are usually 3-4 little doggies that want to crash on my bouncy-house body. I'd really like to open an Etsy shop and do personalized baby samplers. What do you think?


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

NaBloPoMo, October – Day 2: Favorite Autumnal Flavor

As I stated in my post yesterday, I do love just about anything on the sweets side made with pumpkin. I don’t like pumpkin prepared as a vegetable (as I hate all veggies), but put it in something with sugar, add spices like cinnamon, ginger, or cloves and I am a happy camper!

My other favorite autumnal flavor is caramel. But, to be fair, I love (luuuuurve) caramel any time. On practically anything. Heck, maybe instead of trying to get veggies down me by smothering them with cheese and/or butter, maybe I should try smothering them in caramel instead!

Ha ha!


But seriously, caramel makes everything wonderful. I am really into the salted caramel fad now as well. Safeway makes a Salted Caramel Butter Pecan ice cream that makes my toes curl. And if you combine something pumpkin and something caramel?


Did I mention I also write a weight loss blog that is currently not showing any weight loss? Yeah. Probably not a huge surprise right now, huh?

What about you? What is your favorite autumnal flavor?


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A new challenge for me - NaBloPoMo

Still having issues with Blogger and my computer (even my computer at work). I think the main issue is that my home and work computer both run Internet Explorer, and the highest version on both computers is IE8. I can't run anything higher on my home computer due to having Windows XP, and I certainly can't change what we run here at work. So, I'll just have to make do until I can figure something out.

I have finished reading Joyland and NOS4A2; just cracked Omens and have read several chapers in Inferno. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a really small book - only 178 pages! I am almost finished with it (page 139), and it's a different type of read for me. A children's tale for adults, basically. I like it. I also got several cross-stitch books from the library, and have a few patterns that I may use. Hopefully, someday I'll even get to post some pictures!

Speaking of cross stitch, I completely ripped out all of my Poppy Puss project and started over. I will have to say, putting the pattern's grid directly onto the fabric has really helped. It took me all day Saturday to rip out all of my work (sniff, sob). I put on seasons one and two of The Tudors and ripped out stitches until Anne lost her head. I've started re-stitching, and I am much happier.

So. This new challenge is NaBloPoMo for October. It is a themed challenge, and the goal is to post everyday (except weekends) in response to a prompted question. The theme for October is "Fall". Here is my first question and offical NaBloPoMo post!

Q: What is your favourite thing about autumn?

I love the smells of autumn. I love the smell of anything pumpkin baking: bread, cake, pie. Add cinnamon or cloves and I am in heaven.

I also just love the smell of the air. I love it when it's finally cool enough for people to start using their fireplaces or woodstoves, and how you can smell the smoke from a mile away. When I smell that smoke, I am transported back in time to when I was in elementary school - grade 1 or 2. We lived for a short while with my grandmother in Monroe, WA, during the fall and winter. Whenever I went outside - playing or waiting for the school bus - I could smell those fires. And when I got home from school, my grandmother's house smelled heavenly from her freshly made applesauce, with Red Hots candies mixed in it. Mmmmmmmmmm...

I love the crisp scent of the air just after a fall rain, mingling with the tang of fallen and wet leaves. And lord knows we get quite a bit of that fall rain out here in the Pacific NW.

And winter rain.

And spring rain.

Let's face it - we don't tan out here, we rust.

But it's that crispness - like biting into a Granny Smith apple, that SNAP - is like nothing else. I love it when the sky is clear and blue, no clouds, too warm for your coat in the sun but the air so cool it makes your nose run.

Those are my favorite things about autumn.

Oh, and Halloween candy. Just sayin'.