Monday, January 30, 2012

I Decided to Answer the Questions in Jodi's Post After All

You can have one of the following two things: trust or love.  

Well, I'll take trust.  I want to be trusted and I want to trust; if you have that, love will naturally follow.

Are you the kind of friend you would want to have as a friend?  

Not always; sometimes I'm lazy or cranky or tired and I kind of fail.  You know, when you fail a friend, you also fail yourself.  Now that's something to think about.

Where do you like to go to have fun?  

Wherever the fun is!  Fun is what you make of any activity, whether it's a solitary pursuit or a gathering with friends.

What is beauty?  

Beauty is the light that shines from within.

Why is it called a "drive through" if you have to stop?  

That's a good question. 

Do you have any regrets in life?  

Yes.

What is your favorite song and why?  

I don't really have one favorite song.  I like lots of different songs for lots of different reasons.  For example, I love Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll."  If I'm in the car alone when that one plays on my iPod, I turn up the volume to concert level.  I also like "Amazing Grace," mostly for the story behind the writing of it:  The author was in the slave trade, and he had an epiphany, realizing that slavery was wrong, and this song reflects that.  Plus, it has a very moving melody.

If you were granted one wish what would it be?  

World peace.  If I only had one wish, I'd want to make it count.

If sour cream is past its expiration date is it good then?  

If it doesn't have blue fuzzy stuff growing on it, it's OK to eat.

Why is your definition of true happiness different from anyone else's definition of true happiness?  

Happiness is a personal thing.  You have to find your own happiness; no one can give it to you.

What do you expect from 2012?  

It's good not to have expectations; that way you're not disappointed when they don't pan out.  I'd rather be open to whatever comes.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rules?!?! I Don't Need No Stinkin' Rules!

Actually that's not true.  If we didn't have rules, we would have chaos.


Jodi (of Under The Georgia Sun fame), posted this on her blog a day or so back.  It's an "about me" survey sort of thing, and the originator posted rules and Jodi edited them.  Here's her version:


The Rules:
1. Post the rules.
2. Post 11 fun facts about yourself.
3.  Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 11 new questions for the people you tag.
4. Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
5.  Let them know you've tagged them.


Facts about me (don't know how much fun these facts will be, but they'll be true facts (as opposed to untrue facts)):


1.  While I am nominally a Christian, I think I'm really an agnostic, defined by Prof. Huxley as: "One who holds that the existence of anything beyond and behind material phenomena is unknown and (so far as can be judged) unknowable, and especially that a First Cause and an unseen world are subjects of which we know nothing."  An agnostic is not the same as an atheist.  I can look around me and have faith that there is a higher power (or Higher Power) of some sort; just look at any sunrise or sunset, or the stars at night, or especially the full moon. Have you ever seen anything so gorgeous?  I don't know for a certainty that a Christian God created these things, and frankly, I prefer the mystery.  I don't feel the need to "know" everything.  That's why they call it Faith and not Knowledge.  I heard an Episcopal priest once say in a sermon that doubt is good; it keeps you curious.  Now I know there are some contradictions in this paragraph, but there you have it.  


2.  This will be my 127th post.


3.  I am a child of the Southeast, but I have also lived in the Northwest.  I went to library school in Seattle (go Huskies!)  mainly because I was feeling adventurous.  Seattle was where I attended my first major league baseball game (and the Mariner's won both of the ones I went to).  It's also where I experienced a live hockey game.  If I hadn't gone to UW, I probably would not have spent two months in England in the summer of 1987.  That was an experience I'll never forget.


4.  I met Richard because he, as a research scientist, came to the library to introduce himself to the librarian (that would be me) right after he started his work at the facility where I was.  I've heard of people who don't think they need libraries and librarians, but they really do. (Notice I said "need" not "want.")


5.  I love my in-laws.  There are some I like better than others, but I love them all, because they are fellow human beings and I believe in the Golden Rule.


6.  This one I brazenly stole from Jodi:  There are days when I would be perfectly happy not saying a single word; and other days when I can't shut up.  


7.  I like baking.  Unfortunately most baked items are also high-calorie goodies.  I have to temper my urge or Richard and I and all our friends would be roly-poly.  


8.  I used to be a person who indulged in retail therapy, but after my depression and subsequent recovery, I find that I don't need a lot of the kind of stuff I used to buy.  Although Richard may not believe it, I actually think twice before I make a purchase.  


9.  I love cats.  And I love dogs.  I don't mind little rodents, or even big bunnies.  We once had a (former) laboratory white rat named Gus.  Daddy brought it home from work.  We thought Gus was a little boy rat... until she produced a litter of little ratlets.  We changed her full name from Augustus to Augusta.  


10.  I have plans for my retirement.  If there is a God, I hope He's not up in Heaven guffawing at my plans.  I will mention what these plans are if they come to fruition.


11.  Growing old ain't so bad.  After so many years on Earth, you sort of get to know who you are, and you tend to not worry so much about what other people are thinking.  I've seen a t-shirt with this message:  "The older I get, the more people can kiss my ass."  I'm not quite that drastic, but don't tell me how to behave.  If others don't like me as I am, then perhaps that's their problem; I may work around that if I'm in a good mood.  A benefit of aging is that you tend to feel kinder toward everybody, but you're less likely to take a lot of crap.  Happy aging!  


I think I'll pass on answering the questions.  If you want to see what they are, go to Jodi's blog.  


And just because I like you, here's a pretty picture I swiped from Google Images:




This is somewhere in Canada.

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What a Relaxing Weekend!

I did not want to get up this morning when the stupid alarm went off.  But... I have to be at work at 7:30 am, so I dragged myself out of bed and did all my morning stuff; you know, the weigh-in, the shower, the breakfast, the tooth-brushing, etc.  If the weigh-in doesn't get my heart started in the morning, the shower certainly does.

Before this morning at 0-dark-hundred, I, like most of America, had a lovely three-day weekend.



The loveliness started on Friday evening with Theresa and Kathy coming for dinner and Knit Night.  Richard bought some outstanding rib-eyes, and cooked them on the charcoal grill.


To accompany these tasty steaks, we had broccoli with a lemon/crumb topping.


We also had sauteed corn.


For dessert we had cheesecake.  Yum!


Before all that, though, we had some pomegranate martinis.


And then we got down to knitting.





We knitted until the effects of the martinis began to wear off and by then it was about bedtime anyway, so Theresa and Kathy departed, to be seen again at our next Knit Night.

On Saturday, Richard and I went out to dinner for our anniversary.  We went to a seafood restaurant in Albany (west of here).  I'm not going to describe the whole meal, but we had lobster egg rolls for an appetizer.  They were quite good, as was the spicy dipping sauce that came with.

On this anniversary foray, we also went to the booze store and to a bookstore.  Had success with booze, not so much with books.

On Sunday, I watched romantic comedies all afternoon and evening.  The ones I watched in the afternoon were on the Hallmark channel, and the other one was The Holiday, with Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, and Jack Black.  What a charming movie!




On Monday, I just puttered around the house and knitted.

All in all, my long weekend was very pleasant.  I've noticed that when I do something social on Friday night, the whole weekend seems longer, and that held true this weekend as well.

So, this was a frivolous look at my life.  I hope your weekend was just as enjoyable.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas in Tennessee

Richard and I spent Christmas in Tennessee with Richard's sister's (Beverly) husband's (Paul) mother (Ann).  Clear?  Oh, well, never mind; just call them nice folks.


 It was a pretty quick trip.  We went to Richard's mother's house on the 23rd and spent the night there, and then the three of us drove up to Tennessee on Christmas Eve.  The traffic was not bad at all and we passed through some very attractive countryside.  We left Tennessee on the 26th, and although we were expecting some heavy traffic on that day, it never materialized and we had another quite pleasant drive. 

We spent most of Christmas Day at Ann's house (after a pretty danged satisfying breakfast at the Waffle House near our hotel).  During the afternoon, Paul's brother Mark took us on a tour of the surrounding mountains.  This was an area I had never visited before and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

First we drove up Tracy Mountain, ears popping all the way.  Mark didn't waste any time getting up to the top of the mountain.  Once up there, we visited Foster Falls, named for an ancestor of Ann's.



 It is a lovely waterfall, and I could tell that Richard was just itching to go camping and hiking in the area.

After seeing the waterfall, we went to Suwanee Mountain (these mountains are in the Appalachian range), and to Suwanee, Tennessee, home of The University of the South, an Episcopal institute of higher learning.  The campus is not huge (but then, neither is the school), and it's lovely.  It was overcast that day and I'd love to see the area when the sun is shining.


 This is the DuPont Library on campus, and the architecture is typical of the whole campus.  Yes, it's named after The DuPonts.  I wish I could have gone inside but it was Christmas Day.

We did get to go inside the All Saints Chapel.  The word "chapel" is a bit misleading.  This building is like a cathedral.  And beautiful.


Mark's young son passed away several years ago from leukemia, and they held his funeral service at this Chapel, so it has more than a little family connection.


The acoustics in the Chapel are just amazing.  You don't have to speak loudly to be heard from one end of the Chapel to the other.


This is the rose window you see on the front of the building.  I imagine if the sun had been shining, it would have been a better picture, but I have a bare-bones, idiot-proof camera.


The stained-glass windows were impressive.


 Here's another shot of some buildings on campus. 


Our final campus tour stop was at this overlook into Pelham Valley.  It seems to stretch forever.  Too bad the mist was covering the area. 


This is the dinner turkey after Richard finished slicing it up and before we all fell upon it and consumed it with the gusto of a hound dog.  Dinner was good (I've never had a bad Christmas dinner).  I made a Spiced Eggnog Pound Cake for dessert, and it was good as well.  I tend to use my extended family as guinea pigs when it comes to baking.  They take it well.

I hope everybody had a good Christmas and New Year's holiday.  Except for this head cold (which mercifully waited to attack me until after Christmas), I've had a good one.  My mother-in-law thinks that Richard and I should host Christmas in 2012.  We'll have to cogitate on that.