Monday, October 29, 2007

The Good Aunt


I may be 50 years old but when my Aunt Ellen said, "I'd like to take care of most of the food for your mother's party, you take care of decorations and the veggie platter and I'll do the rest", I turned into a little girl and said, "Okay, I love you Aunt Ellen."
And I really and truly do.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thinking Party

I got a few more confirmations of people coming to the party. Funny, I've heard from all the out of town people but none of the local people. Guess they figure they've got time to tell me they are coming. So far, for sure we've got about 30 people. SO that will be respectable. I'm getting a little nervous now that I know people are actually going to come.

I am in no way an experienced party giver and know nothing about being a good host. In fact I've spent my whole life staying away from parties. I'm winging it here and you know, a party is pretty simple, at least one like I'm giving. You provide food, make the place look lively, people show up and there you go, instant party. I hope.

Mostly I just want her to be surprised and totally speechless, which is an unusual thing for my mother, I can assure you.

So, in about a week and a day, I'll report on how it went.
Have a good Friday!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today in History...


....Pablo Picasso was born back in 1881 in Malaga Spain. His mother claimed his first spoken word was pencil (in Spanish of course). Not always my favorite of the great artists, his paintings bother me a little but I've always been interested in his life.
Lots of people do love his art and his paintings rank among some of the most expensive ones sold. For example the one here is called "Dora Maar au Chat" just sold in 2006 for the sum of 95.2 million bucks. WOW! His painting disturb me a little, did I say that already?
Anyway, my friend is going to Barcelona in a month or so and there is a Museum there that has lots of Picasso's early works. I'd HAVE to see that if I were going. Maybe I'll get a full report. Please?
"Happy Birthday Picasso!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

GIRL POWER!



I don't know how I missed this but a friend of mine just informed me that there are two women in charge of things with the space shuttle that took off on Tuesday.

One is flying the shuttle and the other female skipper is already up in space sitting there at the international space station waiting for her arrival. How cool is that? First time ever in 50 years that two women have been in charge up there. Read about it here if you want.

A Good Day

Today on a conference call, a team of two other managers and me had to give our presentation. It went well and I'm glad that is over. Now, I just got to get through this birthday party. I'm getting more and more excited.

Today I heard from an old friend of my mother's that lives in Tennessee and she and her husband are planning to come. This is HUGE because I had to track her down and wasn't even sure she'd get the invitation and with her showing up plus my son, my mother will be totally shocked! That's the thing that makes a surprise birthday party fun is to have some people there that you've not seen in a while and were totally not expecting to see anytime soon.

If I can pull this off as a Surprise I will count it as one of my greatest accomplishments in life. (You'd really understand this if you knew my mother!)
WISH me luck!

Still in the Reading Zone


I am so enjoying reading this book. It's kind of scary how much I can relate to her thoughts, so much sometimes to the point I am shaking my head wondering how she got into my own thoughts.

I don't know when I've read a book of non-fiction that I've enjoyed so much, probably because it reads so much like a novel.

Like Liz, I've been searching for answers to questions I have. I just told a few friends of mine a few weeks ago that I fear I will become so nutty in my older age that I will become a strange women who lives in fear of microwaves and goes totally overboard with trying to save the environment. I'd live in the woods, far away from other people, wear a big floppy hat, long dresses and strings of beads. I'd talk to the animals and grow my own vegetables, and live off the land, growing more and more paranoid of the modern world. Little children would point and laugh at me and I'd give them a look and they'd run off in fear. I even dreamed I was living in the woods and people were trying to get me to come back to the real world.

In this book, she is able to travel and is searching for different things in each of the three countries she goes to. Here's a quote that reminded me of my story above.

" I'm wary of the danger that i f I drift about this world randomly for too long, I may someday become The Family Flake. The divorcee in the muumuu with the dyed orange hair who doesn't eat dairy but smokes menthols, who's always coming back from her astrology cruise or breaking up with her aroma-therapist boyfriend, who reads the Tarot cards of kindergardeners and says things like, "Bring Aunty Liz another wine cooler, baby, and I'll let you wear my mood ring..." "

I'm just getting started with this book but so far I'm loving it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Morning Ramblings


Yep, conference call this morning. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. It's over now.

The birthday party is less than two weeks away. If we can keep her from planning her own party, I think we will be able to surprise her but not because she is making it easy. The good news is my aunt has volunteered to help me with the food which relieves my stress a bit. I'm thankful for that.

Lots of pressure at my job at the moment because we are in the mist of this big Contact Lens Event we have twice a year and counts for a big part of our sales for the year, and because business is really bad across the board and our big bosses are stressing which in turn causes stress for us managers.

I'm getting really excited about my son from Washington coming for his grandmother's birthday and also about seeing other family members that I've not seen for quite some time.

I've just gotten through a book called "Love in the Time of Cholera" and although a little hard to read, it was well worth it. It was an Oprah pick and though I don't usually read her picks, I was curious about this one. And now I'm reading "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

And last but not least the unrest my soul has felt all year is settling down and I'm very close to making a final decision on what I want and how to go about getting there. I can't say its been a journey but more like a dance as I've gone one step forward and two steps back. But I'm thinking the dance is about to end and I can move forward.

Hope everybody has a great week!
Love,
Robbin

Monday, October 22, 2007


Watching people try too hard makes me uncomfortable and causes me pain.

I like it when human beings are true to themselves. It's less confusing and allows the true beauty of their souls to come shining through.

When we try too hard to be someone we aren't, we aren't fooling anyone except maybe ourselves.

Requirements


Sometimes when I'm reading a novel or poetry the words are so that I need to read them out loud. I'm not sure I know why I do this but I do.

If I ever have somebody living along beside me again he has to be willing to read out loud to me. It's a requirement!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

What a Concept!


Last week I saw on the Today Show a segment about a minister in Kansas City, Mo. that had started a campaign within his congregation for a "Complaint Free World" and I've been thinking about it ever since.

The idea was that it takes usually 21 days to form a habit of most things so he gave out purple rubber bracelets for his people to wear and they committed to trying not to complain for 21 days. If you find yourself complaining you switch the bracelet to the other arm and start over. He says the congregation was complaining about trivial things like the songs they were singing and the color of the choir robes. It was his idea that the negativity from this spread throughout and caused problems. So, when they completed 21 consecutive days of not complaining they swap their bracelets for a certificate of happiness.

Seems like his idea has spread across the world and now he's written a book and you can even order the purple bracelets for free (the people in his church are packaging them up from the church basement.) You can also buy them too if you want a bunch of them or you want them in a hurry.

Anyway, I love this idea. Negativity is like a disease and it spreads and gets bigger and bigger and I'm all for a more positive world. (my bracelet is on the way!) I'll let you know how it goes. Which mean I can't complain on my blog anymore either! Not even about Conference Calls. Umm. Well he says stating a fact about something that's wrong is not complaining and Conference calls can be BORING. And that's a fact! We'll see how this goes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My mother....



...popped in to see me at work today. And I had to tell a big fat lie!

She and I have been going through one of our "distance" phases and even though I live right down from her, sometimes we are both involved in totally different things and don't see each other for weeks at a time. Since I've been working on her party that's been a good thing since I want to surprise her and it would have been hard to not let something slip.

Anyway she came by to see me today and told me that she dreamed both her grandsons came to see her on her birthday and that it was wonderful! (I hope this dream is one that is going to come true, # 2 grandson will be here, #1 grandson, well depends on his mood that day) but anyway when she told me I said " Well that is some dream!" and she says, "Yeah, they don't have time for me anymore!" 'Hee, hee.'

And then I had to tell her that I'd been so bu sy lately that I'd not had time to plan her a birthday party. I apologized and she brushed it off like it wasn't a big deal, but I know my mother and IT is a big deal.

I told her she and my step dad and I could go out to a fancy restaurant or something and I'd plan a big birthday party for her when she turns 75! "Oh, no big deal" she says and then..........THEN, she says, "We could just invite a few people over for supper on the Sunday before my birthday." (I'm planning the party on the Saturday before) and she starts naming people I've invited to her surprise party that she could invite for supper on Sunday I guess she decided if I wasn't going to throw her a party, she'd just throw one for herself.

So we're down to two weeks before the event and I'm so hoping we can pull it off. It's getting a little tricky!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well Received I'd Say


The box from Grandma! A little help from Hannah Montana didn't hurt.



A girl can never have enough purses, especially in her favorite color.




And a High School Musical Sticker book is a must!




...and as expected Susie the witch was a hit!

(Special thanks to her mom for the pictures.)

I think....


...but I'm not sure that I would like Indian Cuisine. I could be wrong as I've never had the opportunity to try it. But I like hummus, and flat breads. That's a start I'm thinking. The only thing is I can't pronounce the name of the dishes. If I went to a real Indian restraunt, I'd have to point or have someone with me that could order.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences.
All events are blessings given to us to learn from.

Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Monday, October 15, 2007

Perfect

I went to the post office this morning to get stamps to mail the invitations to my mother's party and the clerk asked me which stamps I wanted. I didn't really care and I told her it didn't matter but she insisted on showing me what my choices were and then I spotted it. The Jimmy Stewart Stamp. It was perfect! Better than perfect! Jimmy Stewart is my mother's all time favorite actor. She loved him and June Allyson in every movie they made together. So I knew I had to have Jimmy Stewart stamps. Of course nobody will know the significance of it but me but I think it is perfect!

Ready, set, go.....

...and we're off! To the start of a new week that is. I was sort of off yesterday but I worked most of the day on that presentation that got canceled along with our meeting a few weeks ago. Now it seems we still have to present it, except over the phone. Giving a real presentation versus an oral presentation is quite different. The presentation we had planned was going to work well visually but when it was switched to oral it took some work. My day flew by!

I also got the birthday party invitations addressed and they will go out today.
This will be a busy week as well. Lots to take care of at work and a meeting to plan for Friday.

And so goes my life at the moment. Not too exciting. Just work.

Have a good week everybody, see ya!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Unconditional

Yesterday was one of those days when things seemed a little off axis to me. I felt like I was moving faster than my brain was moving or maybe the other way around. People that I know felt unfamiliar to me, distant in a way. My surroundings seemed foreign to me , as if I was visiting.

I moved through the day and survived but was glad to get home to what did feel familiar. To be met at the door by my little dog, "Sweetie" who didn't feel like a stranger to me at all, who loves me no matter what, who doesn't care about my shortcomings or any mistakes I make. She doesn't care.

We human beings expect a lot from each other and most of us come up short of those expectations but with Sweetie, I am absolutely a wonderful person and she adores me no matter what and you know what? I return the sentiments!

How lonely I'd be without her in my life, and what an honor it is for me to be HER "person".

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Confession

I forgot to pay my electric bill when it first came in and guess what?
No lights when I got home from work. A quick call to the after hours number of the power company and a $25 re-connection fee and like magic I have power again.
I knew there was something I was forgetting!
I wish I could say this is the first time this has ever happened to me, but I can't. Sometimes it ain't easy being me!

Brown Rice Tip


I love whole wheat pasta and have converted over quite easily to get the health benefits of it but brown rice is a problem for me. It never comes out right for me, either taste not done enough or too mushy.

I just read an article that says you should always toast it slightly and then cook it like pasta with lots of water and then drain it when it's done. Think I'll try that method and see what happens.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scrambled Memories

It's funny how we seem to associate people or things in our past with a certain food. For example, when I was a little girl my parents and I would sometimes on a Sunday afternoon visit a much older couple that I've no idea how they even knew. It wasn't as if they were neighbors because I remember they lived way out in the country and that the drive out to their place took a long time.

I remember their names were Mr. & Mrs. Cato and on the Sundays we visited they'd have a gaggle of grand kids running around playing and I'd loved them. They were all blond, almost white blond. The younger ones ran around only in shorts, no shirts, and they were all barefooted. These by no means were well off people, in fact I suspect they were quite poor because I even remember an out house instead of indoor plumbing and I'm not so old that was the norm back then, thank you very much!

Anyway, my point is, always during that visit we'd have scrambled egg sandwiches. I think eggs were abundant as they had chickens running around amongst all those grand kids too. The sandwiches were never for a meal, as we'd go after Sunday lunch or dinner as we called it and we'd never stay until supper. It was what she served us for refreshments I guess. And not for just us kids either, for the grown-ups too.

She took white bread, smeared loads of mayonnaise on both sides (it was in the 1960's, we didn't know better) and she'd pile steaming yellow scrambled eggs on one side, and flop the other piece of bread on and squash it down with her hand.

I'm not sure what she did to make those eggs so good, but to this day I've never been able to replicate the taste of Mrs. Cato's egg sandwiches.

Eventually we stopped visiting. Who knows why, and those Sunday afternoons at the Cato's became memories. I can still see the old farm house, the porch with the flapping boards, all those little tow headed barefoot children. And even now I can remember how good those scrambled egg sandwiches were.

I love this.......


What Every Woman Should Know!
BY: Maya Angelou

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..
a youth she's content to leave behind....
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .....
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
a feeling of control over her destiny...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to fall in love without losing herself..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..
whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday Morning Ramblings


Usually on Tuesday I complain about my weekly work conference call. This Tuesday is no different, only again today I'm having two! I've just gotten off one, and after I actually go into work at twelve thirty I'll have the second one.

Also, by taking the last few days off, I'll have to pay dearly for them as I've got lots to catch up on and do, so sometimes you wonder if it's worth it.
Yesterday we (my best friend, Steph & I) went shopping for things for the
birthday party. We found some interesting things and I was happy with what we purchased. The red bottles are pretty and will be part of the decorations on the tables. Plus it was good to spend some time with her outside of work again. We seldom get to do that with me being manager and her the assistant manager we aren't ever off the same time. Yesterday was an oddity.

Other than that, I seem to be fighting depression again but when I get back to work it will get better. Seems like when I'm off for more than a day or two I sink into a funk. That's nuts, as badly as I'd like to not have to work, it seems that work lately is what keeps me going. Go figure!

Well, enough said about hardly anything. Happy Tuesday to you all!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Painting the Picture

It's a nice cloudy morning and it looks like it rained during the night. I wouldn't mind if it rained some more. I like a rainy day.

Thoughts again have consumed me this week as to what exactly it is that I want. This has been the year for that and by the end of this year I am determined to decide and to act upon it.
It occurred to me recently that my life at the moment is sort of like a blank palette and I, the artist can paint pretty much any picture I want. A few things are foggy still but I'm getting there.

Actually I'm pretty lucky, there aren't many people who can paint themselves a new life. But here I am at 50, all alone, no real ties here where I've landed for the last eight years, and so ready to move on to something new. And yet, something still keeps me from actually committing to that first stroke of the brush. Most people tell me it is fear. FEAR has never been a problem for me, especially when it comes to changes. But I can't prove them wrong, maybe it is fear.

One little problem is being able to afford the paint I'll need to make the perfect picture of the life I'd like to have but I might can get pretty close. Perfection can come later. And who wants perfection anyway? That would make a pretty dull piece of art I would think. Life shouldn't become a masterpiece until you're all done living. And then, if you're lucky, maybe, just maybe you can leave the painting of your life here on earth so that a few people will cherish it and have it to remember you by.

My goodness I'm quite the philosopher this morning. I need more coffee!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Meet Susie the Witch


I'm preparing a box to send to my granddaughter for Halloween and I wanted to share one of the things she's getting. This little witch is so cute!







But what makes her even cooler is she lights up with fiber optics!



But even better......she sings "
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun".

And I got her from all places AVON! I should have ordered two. I kinda hate to send her off , I've become a little attached to her. Haleigh will love her, I just know it! She's a little ghoul that loves to have fun and this is sure to bring a big smile.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I have a new blogger friend over at Free Association. Please, please, please go over and read this post and follow the link she gives. I can't think of anyone I know who reads this blog that will not appreciate this story and love it as much as I did. And I know you all are the kind of people who want to help the cause she mentions , and that means YOU! So let me know you did! Do it now! It will only take a minute. Please. If you don't I'm going to be upset!
Oh, and spread the word too!

Thanks Saly for sharing that information. Just another example of how important animals are in our lives.
And thanks for sharing the link too so that maybe we can help a little.

If you have a little time to kill....

.....check out this site .
My best friend's sister sent her this link this morning and she shared. I had the best time remembering what these guys, (some of them old guys now) looked like in the 70's and 80's. I had crushes on quite a few of them and still do! They were hotties then and most of them are still pretty hot now.

Thoughts of Sarcasm & Roses


I'm so very disappointed. Our business meeting, the one at which I had to do a presentation , the one where I had two other managers in my group who weren't all that into our presentation, the one where I seemed to be stressing about constantly, the one that was coming up just next week.................has been canceled. Ahhh, I really hate that . Looks like it really isn't going to be rescheduled anytime soon either, darn it!

Sometimes "cancellation" can be such a beautiful word.

And now I can concentrate on the birthday party. I'm determined to surprise my mother. If the party itself doesn't do it, if the arrival of her grandson who hasn't been home in five years doesn't do it, then maybe this will. After her arrival at the party her husband will present her with a dozen beautiful red roses. And then I'll do the same. And then both of her grandsons will do the same. So there she'll be holding 4 dozen long stem roses. How's that for a surprise?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

As long as I'm here....


...and not doing the things I really need to be doing, I wanted to quickly share this. The book that I read last week had a character that was an artist and what she worked with was gourds.
It interested me because when I was little my Daddy grew them and they always amazed me. So, doing a little research I found this site. Along with my love of art, my love of nature and my love of the American Indian, this was candy for my eyes and soul. So check it out if you want.
Click here: John Gibson, Gourd Maestro .

SHH!

I really shouldn't be blogging because I have sooooo much I should be doing. But I'm sneaking in just for a minute. I couldn't help it...I'm doing just a little bit of dreaming today and I had to come post it to get it out of my system you see. This is, after all, a Cedar Chest of Dreams and if I tuck the dream here I can always come back to it later.

Today I'm dreaming that I live in a nice little English cottage style house with ivy growing up the sides, in a beautiful area where there is water nearby and maybe a view of a mountain. This time of the year the leaves of all the beautiful trees that surround the house are in the shades of gold and red and the sun shines brightly with a sky of blue overhead.



Very nearby there is a farmer's market. I walk there almost every day and buy fresh veggies and fruits. They have nuts and fish and jellies and jams. On weekends I bet there is music . I take my food home and cook it in very simple ways, using only the best of olive oils and herbs (which I buy there as well.)

I don't have to work (since I'm dreaming here, I'm going for it all) but I keep busy beading, and reading and writing poetry and learning new things. I take long walks in the early morning and sometimes again in the late afternoon and at night I sit on my porch, sipping green tea and listening to the the night sounds. I have two chairs so you can join me if you want.

Just a little Book Talk


Last week I read this book and really enjoyed it. Probably because the story centered around six friends that are in my age range and because they are Southern. They've been friends since college and it's dead on how women can accept each other's faults but love each other anyway. One interesting thing too is that the book is written by Cassandra King who happens to be married to
Pat Conroy, a famous southern writer. He wrote "Cape Fear" and although I'm not a big fan of his, he has lots of fans.

I usually am a big John Grisham fan and he has a new book out. I've lost a little interest in him. This is the first one ever I've not bought right away but it's a novel about football in Italy and somehow it doesn't appeal to me. I'll probably still buy it but I'm going to read some reviews first. It's called
"Playing for Pizza."

I'm now reading "Good in Bed", and no it's not that kind of book. It's a novel written by Jennifer Weiner.

I guess the best most absorbing book I've read lately would have to be the novel by Nancy Horan called "Loving Frank". It's a novel that is based on a lot of research of the truth about Frank Lloyd Wright and his life with a woman, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The two of them had a scandalous affair and it was during a time when women were still fighting for rights. This book was not one I could devour like I do some books. It was one I had to take the time to absorb and think about. I loved the fact that both of the main characters were brilliant humans that found themselves in a situation that was so much deeper than the people looking in could understand. I really liked it.

So now you know what I'm reading.


You Have Just Entered the......


Yesterday was a bit odd as days can be. And since the moon is no where near being full the only explanation is that maybe I passed over into the Twilight Zone.

. I had not only my normal conference call but a second one as well which if you know how much I actually dread that one call on Tuesdays, you can imagine how I felt about a second one.

. My 62 year old Aunt is dating my mother's first boyfriend from over 50 years ago, and trust me, my mother is not going to find this a good thing. In my mother's mind she has always been the love of his life for all these years.

. My oldest son got mixed up and was thinking the birthday party for my mother was today instead of November 3rd. (He's never been very good with dates).

. Last night as I was working alone, a "Little Richard" like character came in and made an appointment. He was very strange but I'm used to seeing strange people and he was quite nice to me but then he then he went out into the bigger store and slapped somebody and was carried out screaming "I'm pregnant!" by three policemen. I mean really physically carried out with them holding him by his arms and legs.

I'm off today, thank goodness and maybe, just maybe, I've moved out of this ZONE!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Planning Mode



So many things spinning in this brain of mine, I've not had time to concentrate on blogging like I'd like.

Between planning a presentation for a work meeting next week and my mother's birthday party in November, I'm on overload. And getting a little confused. I hope I don't get the two things mixed up!