Friday, January 30, 2009

My happy place...

Making dinner in my kitchen by candlelight.
Using my brand new Le Creuset for the first time (that I got for $14)
Listening to Big Band music and humming along.
Welcoming Tim home from a business trip and hearing his success stories.
Homemade beef stroganoff was just the icing on the cake.
Oh yeah, that's my happy place.

One word only...

If your friends and family had to describe you in one word, what would it be?
Kind, thoughtful, giving, generous, loyal?

This was actually a little email game that went around with a few friends/family members. They sent you an email and you had to send back a one word email describing that person. Just one word. I really thought about it for the people that I sent the email to. And was able to perfectly fit what they mean to me into one perfect little package. One of my friends was "talented" and the other "sincere."
And when I got the emails back, it was fun to see what people thought of me.
One even said "savvy."
It also makes me want to be a better friend
- a better person -
because when people think of me
and think of a word to describe me,
I want it to be a good word.
Try it, I dare you!
What will your friends say about you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Crazy Animal Lady

Dear Kind of Mean Lady with a Dog
on the path in Dove Canyon,
I'm sure that you thought I was trying to kidnap your dog today. I could not help it that I noticed your dog on the trail while I was walking and he was walking all by himself. I was going to be a good citizen and help him find his way home if he was lost. I said "here puppy, puppy" about 12 seconds before I saw you there. And you looked at me like I was a crazy dog napper. I didn't want your mangey old dog anyway.
Anonymous Good Citizen/Dove Canyon Walker (me)
That is what I get for being such an animal person.
It reminded me of something similar that my mom did when I was little. We were driving home from school one day and saw a little white puppy on a sidewalk with no collar. We stopped and picked him up. I did what any 7 year old would do - convinced my mom that we should keep her. My mom made signs and posted them in our neighborhood. She said that if we didn't find the owner, we could keep her. I prayed that no one would call to retrieve the cute puppy, but of course, they did. We drove the puppy home and it just so happened that her "home" was the exact spot we had picked her up from. We actually un-intentionally kidnapped the dog from her own front yard! The owner said "she never leaves the yard, where did you find her?" My mom was too embarrassed to tell her the truth.
Mom, I know how it feels to be the crazy animal lady.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In the mood for love?

I finally took down my last Christmas decoration - my beautiful fir wreath that I enjoyed all winter long. I decided to try out a craft that I have seen a few of you do out there in blogland. I decided to do something fun for my door for Valentine's Day.
(notice my antique heart ornament that I bought last year)
As I was hanging it (and consequently admiring it), I could hear my neighbor's son and his girlfriend having a break up talk. She said she needed space and that she was having a hard time trusting people. Not that I was listening or anything.
Hope you are all having a good week, dear friends.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Watching History

I am a Republican. I proudly displayed my McCain/Palin sign in my front yard for two months (even though McCain wasn't my ideal choice for a President.) I didn't vote for Barack Obama. And I certainly didn't anticipate feeling hope over his inauguration.
Yet I really do.
And when I watched the inauguration today, I cried two times. Once when I saw the soldiers marching in tune to "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and felt so connected to my country's history and so proud to be an American. And once watching Michelle Obama look at her husband with wonder as they danced. As though, their lives and their hopes had come to full fruition in that instant. Who wouldn't be proud to be an American on such a day as this.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


If you ever find yourself in Pasadena or San Marino, Ca, you simply have to make time to stop by Julienne. It is one part french bistro, one part foodie heaven with a little bit of amazing bakery thrown in the mix. Luckily for me, Tim just happened to have some business in Pasadena today. And remembered that his fiancee loves herself a good dessert. So, this is all mine.
Oh, lemon coconut bar, you will just about wipe out any of the good that my hour long walk did me today.

Honey, I imploded the sink.

Now, I know that none of you would be silly enough to peel a whole bag of these babies... and then run those slimy old skins down your garbage disposal, right?
I mean everyone knows that potato skins clog up a sink, right?
Well, let's just say that I was the one person in America who did not realize this very important fact. So, instead of sitting back while my osso bucco was slow cooking on Sunday, I was busy trying to fix my sink to avoid having to call Joe the Plumber.
Tim, as we know, is not Mr. Fix-It. He pulled out the "BIG BOOK OF HOME OWNER HOW-TO's" that his dad bought him for his birthday, but they didn't have a solution for us. We found out online that you can take the sink trap off, which we did, but the sink was still clogged. (Ugly plumbing bill was looming). So, I googled solutions and figured out that the solution was right there in my pantry.

So, if some bonehead in your house ever jams a dozen potato peels down your drain, just use the following steps to take care of the problem.

1. Dump a box of this down the drain.
2. Then pour a bottle of this down there

3. Run some hot water.

4. Watch bubbly magic science-experiment style volcanic eruption happen in your sink.

5. Thank the google gods for cheap natural solutions to silly self-imposed problems.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

On "When are you and Tim getting married" and why January reminds me of divorce.

I got divorced on a day just like today in January of 2005 - four years ago this month. The divorce was really the final step in a really long, agonizing process that began about four months earlier. I think that is what made it so difficult is that it really was the last step and was so final. I woke up that morning and went for my first walk ever - not sure what prompted me to do that. I just needed to get out and get some fresh air. I needed to think about what was going on in my life. As I walked, I looked at the flowers, noticed things about the trail that I drove by every day but had never really seen. And I thought of a quote that I loved but had never really had any meaning until that day...
"How sweet the roadside flowers would be, if they did not mean goodbye to you old friend."
After my walk, I got really dressed up - as if to say - look what you will be missing. I drove to the divorce place - the place where all the non-magic happens. It was a small office in Orange located on the second floor of a two-story building. The bottom floor was a paintball store. Derek and I had decided to meet there and sign the paperwork together. I actually insisted that we do it that way. Mostly because I really just wanted to see him one last time. And because I wanted him to see the pain this whole process had caused.
Signing divorce papers is like someone handing you a paper that says "I screwed up" with a big x at the bottom. It felt like that then and in so many ways, it still does. I don't remember much about the process exept that I asked for tissue becaue I was crying and they didn't have any. I remember being so shocked that a place that specialized in divorce paperwork wouldn't have tissues. Like I was the first person who had ever cried there. In my mind, they should have it set up and stocked with things to make you feel better - like tissues, and chocolate, and cute single men who wouldn't break your heart. They had none of these things.
Four years later, in my new life with my amazing fiancee, it is not every day that I think about things like this. But I still do, and it still stings. Not the way it did then, but in the way that this was my life, and I have scars from my past.
As I was walking today, I thought about it and reflected a little. Four years later, I have the scars. I also have my walks which I have been taking ever since that day. And I still stop and smell the flowers, or at least notice them.
So, when people ask when Tim and I are getting married, this is why I don't have a date planned. Or at least part of the reason. I love Tim and want to get married again. I really do. But it is difficult to jump in - again - knowing what the first time looked like. It is also challenging because Tim wants a big wedding and well, that is traumatic for me too, for obvious reasons. Instead, when people ask, so I don't have to expose my poor struggles to the world, I say "Oh, we've just been so busy."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Number 6

So my blog buddy Melissa over at Sunbonnet Cottage let me know that I had been "meme'd." I rushed on over to her blog to find out exactly what this meant and it turns out that the idea is to open your sixth folder in your pictures and post the sixth picture in that folder. This way, you may be able to learn a little more about your blogging buddies from seeing some of their photos.
So, this is mine. I took this picture when Tim and I visited Boston last year. He is a lifelong Boston fan and had never been to Fenway. It was a really fun evening (even though Boston lost). I loved this picture so much that I had it blown up in black and white and framed it for Tim for Christmas last year. I love the way the sun sort of glows through the windows - it looks so cool in black and white.
Melissa, thanks for tagging me and I challenge each of you to accept the challenge. What is your 6th picture of?

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I've always made pretty superficial New Year's resolutions - in fact most of them have been to either stick to a diet, or to exercise more, eat healthier - you get the idea. And although I could certainly stand to do all of those things, my resolution this year is different. I am saying NO - to over doing, to putting so much into things that don't give much back, to saying yes to things that I really don't feel much like doing. For example, on New Year's Eve, we went to a party and everyone was asked to bring an appetizer. Kristin in 2008 would have made something fancy from scratch and expended a lot of time and energy. Kristin in 2009 ordered some take out from a local restaurant and put it on a pretty platter. No one noticed that I hadn't labored over the food and it saved me time and trouble. Amazing, isn't it? I feel really relieved by not putting so much pressure on myself.
Do me (and yourselves) a favor and try it.
Next time you start doing something you don't feel like doing ---Say no!
I promise you will thank me.