Coffee Shop II

gurley157fsDecember 26, 2006

--(from last coffee shop post)--

Good call Gene

We're going to get dumped soon - kind of like a date - so we had better do the dumping first :-)

I'll start a new one as I have grown quite attached to you guys and don't want to lose the connection.

Sounds like you guys had a pleasant Christmas. Mine was spent in St Augustine FL. I had not been there in over 35 years. It has become significantly more commercialized but it was a nice trip non-the-less.

Don't know where I'll go next year but something will pop up. The idea of 'running away' for the holidays is turning into a sort of tradition. I did take a few pictures but I'm cutting back on that.

Found a neat little shop called 'Simple Gestures' where the owner had funky artwork and crafts from over 40 local artists. I bought a painted cat that had the coolest designs on it. I may try to learn the technique myself.

I am learning to make beaded jewelry. I woman at work got me started with it. She is retiring in a few years and started this just as a hobby which has now turned into a booming little business. It is a lot of fun except for the eyesight part. I have to wear this magnifying thing on my head to see what I'm doing. Quite comical looking.

I've been doing some shopping around for another dog. I am so undecided about this. My old lab 'Dusty', despite being quite vigorous, is over 15 years now. He was rescued from a situation where he was left alone for months on end and given water and food only every three or four days by a caretaker. He is happy here but still has to spend all but two or three hours a day by himself. I don't think I want to do that to another dog. Actually, now that I have put that down in writing, where I can take a good look at it, I think it has helped me make up my mind. No more dogs - maybe when I retire.

Gerry - please tell me what kind of left overs you had today. I am not a cook (anymore) but I love hearing what others put together. The wine, cheese and chocolate sounded fantastic. I just found a cheese called 'Langers' cheese that I fell in love with. Unfortunately it is $11. a pop for a very small amount - I'll just have to treat myself VERY occasionally.

Gene, I think you will enjoy your high speed internet. I am normally very frugal when it comes to routine expenses. Mortgage, car, insurance, clothes, electric bill and so forth are tightly budgeted so that I can afford my trips and other things (like expensive cheese and coffee). My internet connection is the one thing that I really feel that I 'must' have. Of course I could do without it just fine but since I don't watch television as a rule and the internet has so much information at the touch of a button -- AND I'm such a hermit -- this is my connection to the world.

Well it looks like I've written a novel once again. I do hope we continue our meetings here in the coffee shop. It has been over 4 months since we started meeting here -- longer than most dates!! Maybe we'll even pick up a few new friends this coming year.

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My mom has made it a tradition to go someplace for christmas. This year she went to New Orleans. It was still devestating, but she's having a good time non the less. Perhaps I may make it a tradition of mine too, now that my daughter is going to be 20 next month. I even drove to Pueblo to visit my best friend for christmas this year (I live in Denver.)

I totally know what you mean about being on such a tight budget with everyday expenses. I really miss having cable and when I was with my firend over the weekend we watched a lot of movies. But since buying this house I can't afford that luxury any more, and as for the internet, I just have dial-up, but it's ok. I'm just glad to have what I have.

I never participated in the last "coffee shop" by the time I stared reading it it was too long and I had no place in it it felt....oh well...on to the next...and here we are!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 9:08AM
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Happy Tuesday, All,

At least I think it's Tuesday - so many "Sundays" in a row here. I am glad the rush is finally over - no more cooking to feed the hungry masses (children, grandchildren, neighbors) Now I can bask in the warm glow of after Christmas lights and scented candles, relaxed and at peace with the world. Oh, it was fun, but I'm relieved that it's done. Now, I don't want to see anybody for at least a few days. --A few weeks might be even better!

I really enjoyed the antics of the grandchildren. The oldest, at age 5, told her mother, "Granny is a strange person"!!! --- I baked several Cornish hens (rubbed with crushed rosemary), put them on lettuce leaves on a large tray, surrounded by pickled pear halves and cherries for decoration. My granddaughter was fascinated at the "tiny turkeys" - and I told her they were partridges from the pear trees and that I even picked some of the pears to go with them. She ate some, but said she wasn't going to tell her friends at school. I suspect that I am somewhat of an embarrassment compared to her more traditional Grandmother on her maternal side. Why I even gave her a book about snakes.

Gurley, those leftovers I'm enjoying -- am having hot ham and cheese sandwiches from the baked ham. There's sweet potato pie, still a few glazed carrots left, a whole Cornish hen left. Managed to send most of it home with the children thank goodness. Oh - those chocolates I keep snacking on are from Harry and David (that's the brand, not who gave them to me)

Gabrielle, I imagine you are still digging out from under all the white stuff aren't you? Would have been nice to have had a little here, but we get very little snow here in the S. C. Lowcountry. Last time we had a white Christmas was in 1989 - 7 whole inches!! That was the "Weird Weather Year", the year of Hugo.

Gene, Hope you, too, had a nice Christmas. Did you go to your daughter's? I hope your cold was better so you could enjoy the goodies. Congrats on your new high-speed internet.
Everyone I know who has it says it's just the greatest. My old slow dial-up is about as fast as I am these days. It's a little irritating at times, but mostly suits me just fine.

The weather is finally turning cooler today after a warm, muggy, rainy, few days.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 12:37PM
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Hi, I would like to get in on this grand opening of the second Coffee Shop. I just lurked on the other one, because like gabriellesgarden above, I was afraid I might be intruding. All of you seemed to know each other so well I thought perhaps you were personal friends. I was introduced to GardenWeb's site by an acquaintance, (someone I worked with many years ago), and she posts a lot with you guys.

I am single, and had been living alone many years. For several months my niece has been here with me, but she is leaving this coming weekend. I have enjoyed her so much, but in a way it will seem good to have my house back to myself. I have been a little better about keeping things picked up and in place while she has been here. Now I can get messy again without feeling guilty about it. Or who knows, perhaps some of her neat habits have rubbed off on me after all.

Christmas was very nice this year.

Gardening catalogs began coming in the last week or so, and I have been sticking them aside until I had more time to look at them. Now that Christmas is over, I can began to start dreaming about Spring.

BTW, I do love coffee.


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 1:26PM
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ummm...yeah! the snow was pretty bad out here. living alone is hard when you have 2 feet of snow to shovel by yourself, my gosh my body hurt for days....good thing my neighbor helped me a little!!!

I really really want spring to be here but we still have the worst of the snow to come yet. Then I have two branches on my front tree that need to be cut, they are just hanging there from the fall heavy snow that broke them. I have some work facing me, that's for sure! :-) This is my first full circle in my house. I planted like crazy last summer and this spring will be the first spring I get to deal with my perenials. I'm not sure what to do, but i'll figure it out.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 4:03PM
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I'll jump in too...I could just see the 79 or 89 or 99 posts on the other coffee shop thread, and didn't know to look...sometimes with that many messages, I ?? Don't know, just don't look...

New Years Eve plan---as I posted on another thread, I am keeping my tree up indefinitely after the Christmas season is well over, I am even thinking I might leave it up until Daylight savings returns in March. (This upcoming spring 2007, they are speeding up the arrival of daylight savings, to mid-March--YAY) so New Year's eve this year will be sparkling cider, taking all the Christmas type ornaments off of the (faux) tree, and replacing them with a beautiful Lead Crystal and white ribbon garland, and Faux White Amaryllis flowers. Maybe a few butterflies thrown in too. I plan to do this either in the afternoon on New Year's eve, or at night, while watching "new year's sparkling eve" on QVC, a CZ show where in the past, the woman who usually hosts it, cuts it up and clowns around all night showing things I have no desire to buy but just enjoy the sparkle...

I don't know whether or not to say this is the best Christmas I have had in 5 years, or if I should say this is the best I have FELT around this time of year, in 5 years...probably the latter...

...Hope to keep up with reading this one until it gets to where I have to scroll down too far and poop out.

Happy New Year...

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 10:39AM
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so maria, I'm thinking "why on earth would you want to keep the tree up indefinitely" I didnt even put one up this year. I pretty much let this year pass me by...hoping to maybe get the spirit next year. Anyway, then as I read on I started thinking, hmmm.....interesting idea to keep a tree up all year and change out the decorations to reflect the time of year. I have the perfect room for it too, but it's kinda under construction right now. I've always thought keeping up a string of white lights around a window or something all year long was kinda cool.

I had no christmas spirit this year at all. Plus my b-day falls on christmas so it's nearly a non-existent day for me in regards to a birthday. oh well, i'm 46 now so how much celebrating can you do at this age anyway?

happy new year!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 11:41AM
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Hello everyone and Welcome!!!

It is really great to see some new faces. I hope that you will hang around or just drop in when you can.

This is my place to come to touch base with other people who don't have some sort of agenda with me - just chatting and unwinding. Or sometimes just write down random thoughts or whatever.

Sometimes when I'm in a withdrawn mood I just lurk a little and see what Gerry, Gene and sometimes Mercer have to say. Then I chime in when I'm ready.

Where is Mercer anyway?

I am so pooped tonight. My new job has me working 4 tens but I LOVE the three day weekends and because of New Years I will be off 5 days this coming weekend - HOORAY!!

I am really too tired to even ramble much tonight but I just wanted to welcome the new faces :-)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 8:14PM
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Single and a new to the Coffee Shop.

Spent Christmas at my daughter's home and opened gifts with my sil, dd, two gds (one 3 mos. old), and my gs (so blessed). We ate most of the day, LOL, took pictures and watched a silly movie. Funny, I bought some beans at Starbucks for my sil and they gave me the same beans because Thanksgiving I had commented that the coffee was very good! Came home early because next day we were driving to AZ early in the AM to visit my mom so she could see her grandkids plus meet the newest addition to the family. We got back yesterday evening and it was great walking into my home; the scent of the live Christmas tree that I put up for MYSELF still very fresh-smelling and beautiful!

gabrielesgarden, what do you mean by "46 now so how much celebrating can you do at this age anyway?" I am 61 and still feel very much like celebrating. Of course when I look in the mirror, that is a different story, LOL!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:36AM
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Good morning, Gurley, Gene, Gabriele,Tam, Maria

Indeed, it is good to see some new faces at the Coffee Shop. Order a cup of your favorite coffee and share your musings and mind rambles with us.

Today is Dec. 29, 2006 - I can remember 50 years ago today as if it were yesterday. I was 18 years old and visiting an aunt for the holidays, met her neighbor's son who was home on leave from the Army. He asked me to go to the movies with him that night - we saw Elvis in "Love Me Tender". Later, went to a fast food drive-in for a burger. Oh, he was so handsome in his uniform with a chest full of ribbons - and such a gentleman (not like the groppy, feeley teenage boys I dated in high school). He was an "older" man, being 26, had served 2 years in Korea at the height of the conflict. He was then stationed at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne, and Ft. Bragg was only 35 miles from my home town.
We were married the following June, and were married for 23 years before he died. Such wonderful, tender memories.

I dreamed about dead people last night - No, I don't SEE dead people, except in dreams. Dreams of my grandmother, an aunt and uncle, my mom. The dreams were not morbid - in fact my uncle laughed and laughed about his broken bike and I talked to his daughter by "phone" using 2 tin cans and a long piece of string. I keep a dream journal, but haven't yet analyzed this one!!

I have an old friend coming by this weekend and am looking forward to spending a few hours with her. She's rather a misfit in today's society (much like a few other people I know) She seems to be stuck in the Hippie era still. Wears her gray hair almost to her knees, lives in a one room cabin in the woods, plays her guitar and sings off key, smokes pot sometimes for her glaucoma, uses a wood cook stove. She lives this life by choice - she was an only child and was left quite wealthy when her parents died. She is known in her local town as being eccentric. Her little cabin sits on several hundred acres. The three story pre-Civil War plantation home burned a number of years ago and rather than rebuild, she just built the cabin. She also owns a home and two lots in a town near me, which she rents out. When she comes down to check on it she stops in to visit me. She loves to read and is very well educated. In fact, she taught for many years at university level. She is definitely one of the most interesting people I have ever known. I have boxed up some books for her to take home with her. Gurley, I think i will give her "Party of One, The Loner's Manifesto" if she doesn't already have it.

I have to make a trip into town today - have a doctor's appointment at 2:00. I dread driving in, but must keep the app't.

I, too, hope Karen joins us again soon. After all, she and Gene are the ones who keep us current on the best coffees.
And speaking of coffee, I got a nice collection of coffees for Christmas. I'm using the Guatemala Antigua right now and find it quite good - smooth.

All you good people have a pleasant day.


    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 10:46AM
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And good morning to Eloise, Apparently we were posting about the same time. Didn't mean to leave anyone out. The Coffee Shop is growing - so the safest greeting perhaps will be "All"

Another Starbucks lover, I see. As I have mentioned on previous posts, I usually just buy a regular coffee like Folger's or Maxwell House, but now and then I get some Starbucks beans just to sorta pamper myself.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 11:00AM
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hey, I just returned from Antigua, Guatemala last month. I went with my mom again...our second time there together, last time was two years ago. It's a beautiful place. I really enjoy it.

It's snowing again here, our second storm in two weeks. But hey, I get another day off work! :-)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 1:38PM
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No problem Gerry. By the way, the coffee beans I got for Christmas are Yukon Gold. I hope the coffee taste as good as it did on Thanksgiving. I do love Starbucks, and it is very accessible here in So. California, but my daily coffee at home around 5 AM is Yuban mixed with some grounded Vanilla coffee beans and made strong.

Just got back from shopping for ingredients to make tamales for New Year's. I do not know how to make them, but I have downloaded a couple of recipes. My daughter wants to learn as well so I will be going over to her home. It will be interesting on how the tamales turn out! I better also take a bottle of wine just in case we need it to either celebrate on the results or drown our sorrows :-)!

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 4:26PM
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Gerry, your friend sounds fascinating. I like her already she sounds like someone who lives by her own rules. I hope to do that one day but for now IÂll just have to play the game long enough to earn a retirement check :-).

I am still picking at the book - I read it in bits and pieces. I was pretty comfortable with my own company before but now after reading some of it, I must say that I do feel a lot better about myself - I don't have this feeling that I'm 'broke' and need to be 'fixed'.

Eloise, I love the sound of the Yuban with ground vanilla beans. I plan on picking some up this weekend and will give it a try.

I am currently making a quiche with farmers cheese, onions and shitake mushrooms  I havenÂt made one in years and it seems to be taking forever to bake. Should be done shortly.

    Bookmark   December 29, 2006 at 8:01PM
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I am trying REALLY HARD to clear up some clutter this morning. I have done pretty well so far. My office is almost completely tidied up except for one thing - a pile of stuff that needs to be filed.

When I have a particular project that needs to be done that I really don't want to do, I can find a hundred other things to do first. This pile has been sitting here for months probably. I just shuffle it, rearrange it, or move it around. I probably spend more time fussing with it than I would if I would just file it and get it over with.

I liken it to cleaning the oven - that is one of the things that I absolutely HATE to do.

Maybe if I fix another cup of coffee and think about it just a bit more I might get motivated to actually do it :-).

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 8:59AM
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Procrastination - I think the older one becomes the more likely to just put off chores one does not like. I see that in myself and in some of my friends. Perhaps as one ages the mind realizes these little mundane chores getting done doesn't amount to a darn in the greater scheme of things. Who is going to remember 6 months after we are gone that our filing was still sitting on our desk, or that there was dust on the top of a bookshelf, or that the closets were messy, or that the oven needed cleaning? After all, a Type C procrastinator puts off "small stuff" to do do real work........

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 10:35AM
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Gurley, what is the name of this book you are talking about? Sounds interesting!

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 10:45AM
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Good morning and hope the New Year found all happy, healthy and ...

Gerry also wanted to comment on your friend. Reminds me of a friend I had from work. She retired and is no longer with us. She was also a misfit who originally came from Austria. She was an only child and preferred animals to people, probably because her mom didn't let her have any pets or friends. Thank God I got to see pass that hard exterior because underneath, she had a heart of gold.

Gurley, I hope you like the mixture of Yuban and vanilla. I don't add a lot of vanilla beans; just enough to change the Yuban a bit. The Starbuck Yukon isn't as great as I thought so on Thanksgiving, LOL!

Procrastination. Since I retired, I do less then when I worked! That mentality that one has more time is false and leads you to drag things out! I think I work better under pressure.

One of my friends also retired from UCLA and today we are going there to turn in her parking sticker and have lunch with a friend. It will be fun going back to the office knowing that we will both leave without having to work, LOL!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 8:56AM
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I read in Sunday's Parade section that some whiskey might be good for your daffodils, diluted of course. Is supposed to stunt growth of the stems to keep them from flopping over, but doesn't affect bloom. I think I will continue to use a good bulb booster and save the whiskey for human consumption. I like to see daffodils on long stems nodding in the soft spring breezes, so why stunt their stems?.....

I really enjoyed the visit with my old friend. I truly hated to see her leave. Usually, even with my own children, I am relieved to see guests go home. This time was different. I had the gut wrenching feeling that this was our last visit, and I felt so sad at saying goodbye. I am still feeling that lingering sadness somewhat.....

And so, now I will jump into other "busy" things. I need to begin the process of putting Christmas decorations away. There's always the problem of storage with my small place here. I need to pick up small limbs from the yard that seem to fall continually. Keeping the limbs picked up makes the carpet of leaves more attractive. I usually chew the leaves up with the lawn mower, but this year my mower has been broken. My son has promised to come out one weekend soon and do it. He was here at Christmas and said all those leaves could be a fire hazard during dry weather. I don't know as chewing them up with the mower will make them any less a hazard, but since he wants to do it.... While walking around in the yard with my coffee this morning I noticed that my red Encore azaleas have some blooms on them. They bloom off and on from Spring through frost, then during the winter months when it is warm for a couple of weeks. In the winter, though, the blooms tend to get frost bitten, because it always turns cold again!!

Last summer I told myself I was not going to do any gardening this year. Today, I have changed my mind.

Someone is coming to repair the fence today. Now the dogs can go back in the front yard and play tag amongst the bushes and trees. Mostly they just run the fence line out there. They can see down the drive towards the highway at one corner so in that corner is only a huge oak tree and some very old, very sturdy, very large Formosa azaleas. A few ditch-type day lilies try to struggle through the fence each year, but each year they get beaten down by dog feet.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2007 at 10:36AM
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Good Thursday Morning, All. Gurley, it looks like CSII is up and running. Good job. Other than complaining about a six weeks cold and, more recently, a pinched nerve which numbs three fingers on the right hand I don't really have a whole lot to say. But, I'll work at that.

I hope all had a fine Holiday Season and everyone is looking forward to 2007. I got a Christmas coffee mug and a couple of flavored samplers (don't like flavored coffee) for Christmas. I was hoping for some Caribou or Summit House. A comment about hot water. I still use my old Mr. Coffee. If I put too many coffee grounds and less water I get a unfinished brew taste. Has anyone else experienced this? I think I need a newer coffee maker that will heat the coffee water higher.

For Christmas I also got an easel; a couple of canvas'; and a Royal & Langnickel oil paining kit with brushes and so on. I've never tried painting. When started I'll not try landscapes; flowers; potraits; animals; or the like. I'll do an abstract painting strictly to look at colors. I've mentally conjured up a wide variety of designs but am still waiting on the one that I feel will work for me.

I'm on high speed Internet for six months thanks to my brother's Christmas present. What use to take me an hour now only takes 5-10 minutes. I'm venturing out a little. I like some of the NASA minimovies. I like scientific things and I'm sure I'll find more.

I'm glad CSII is active. Gurley, maybe starting a new topic at around 50 would have been better than the almost 100. Or, would it?

I met someone around 1980 who I felt was as close to being a hippie as I've ever been so fortunate as to encounter. I was in my mid 40's, married, and three children at home. She and I had a platonic relationship. She wanted it to go forward but my wife and family were paramount. Her name was Mona. She was ultra intelligent. She was a perpetual student although in her mid 30's at the time. Just to hear her speak of life; to listen to her read everything from Shakespeare to Huxley; to Keats; to Frost, was to make one rethink life whether or not any change could be made. She was inwardly beautiful and I still miss her greatly. Years ago someone said they thought they saw her walking the campus of Chapel Hill at UNC. I had heard before she might be doing her Phd work. Like the friend mentioned in someone's note there are people who make more of an impact in life, don't they?

At year's end I watch new's segments of those who have died. I often have tears in my eyes. I didn't know the people but I had heard of many. It stirred emotions. Along with that I began to associate people, such as Mona, who have crossed my life and who left a mark. I wish them well wherever they are and I thank them for entering my life although it was short lived. I feel this, too, toward some of my Internet friends.

I wish everyone well and hope the year has started good for all. I enjoy reading what everyone has to say. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 10:24AM
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Hello All -

My dreams continue to be very vivid --- strong colors, textures, content. I wonder what the events in my life, the life forces surrounding me, and my repressed consciousness are trying to tell me? .....Que sera sera

Rainy and warm here today.

My five year old Collie suffered a seizure last night. It was comparatively mild as seizures go, but nonetheless scared me half to death. The dog is very healthy, active, and had been acting perfectly normal - and has seemed normal ever since. The vet could find nothing wrong with the dog. He says it's likely what they call cryptogenic epilepsy, or seizures for unknown reasons. They did a complete examination and blood workup, and say take a wait and see attitude for now, unless he suffers another one soon. Great relief!

So, Gene, are you going to become our Grandpa Moses? Apparently you have some recognizable talent for someone to have given you art supplies. If you have never painted before, then the abstracts idea is great. It will allow you to experiment with color blending, brush techniques, etc.
Good luck with your endeavors....My oldest son was an artist, and for many years after he died the only pictures hanging on my walls were those he had done. To this day, I still have one hanging in my living room; the rest I have already given to my other children. He worked both in oils and acrylics - even did one excellent piece in a charcoal drawing. Someday, when I'm not feeling as emotional as I do right now, I want to tell you a very strange story about the drawing of a horse.

Hmmmm....Your friend Mona and my friend Lorrie, sound almost like the same person - my friend would have been 41 in 1980, and she was at UNC Chapel Hill for awhile but I don't remember just when.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 2:23PM
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There once was an old lady who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror and saw she had only three hairs on her head.
"Well", she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today" So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
"H-m-m" she said, "I think I will part my hair down the middle today." So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and found that she only had one hair on her head.
"Well" she said, "Today I'll wear my hair in a pony tail" So she did and had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed not a single hair on her head.
"Yea!" she exclaimed, "Today I don't have to fix my hair!"

Attitude is everything......

I guess something in my attitude is lacking. My head is not shaped well enough to look good bald. Now where did I put that wig?

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 10:00PM
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It's after 2:00am and as usual I am up wandering around the house.

Gabriel, I am reading 'Party of One' A Loners Manifesto. It is taking me forever to read because I am just reading it in bits and peices on trips or when I have occassion to be in a waiting room. I really like it but it is not one of those gripping books that I can't put down.

Gene, I wish you well in your painting - I have always wanted to be able to express myself through painting. I paint little scenes on bird houses, mail boxes and such but I am in no way talented. My son had an uncommon talent but, as far as I know he never really did anything with it. I need to start making a list of all of those things I want to do when I retire. One of them is to take some classes in painting so that I could learn how to use and blend the colors to achieve the look that I want.

When my children were little I used to do some pen and ink drawings. I would print them up on note cards and sell them, along with other craft items. I tried to pick up drawing again sometime back and the talent seems to have left me - at least for now. It seems that my job is all-consuming right now, but that is O.K.. There is a time, or a phase, for everthing.

Gerry, I hope your collie is doing O.K.. I had a collie/shepard mix over 30 years ago that was a real buddy to me. He had epilepsy. I wonder if it is a 'collie' thing.

What wierd weather we are having! I just went outside and it is somewhere over 60 degrees - in the middle of the night in January! I am afraid that will spell trouble for my garden in spring. Lots of bugs and funguses. I have new apple trees and I don't know how they will be affected by a warm winter. Of course, it's not over yet - cold weather is probably yet to come.

Well I had better try to get a bit more sleep. I have to be up at 4:45am on a work morning so I need to try to sneak in a bit more shut-eye.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 2:32AM
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Morning all. I was unable to get on the internet yesterday and was totally lost! I am used to being on the computer by 5 AM checking on emails, trading plants, looking at real estate (considering selling my home), etc. I got on it this morning late thinking it would not work again, but it did, yeah!!!

Our trip to UCLA was interesting. We might have saved a man's life! Going into the parking structure, I noticed a guy sitting on the stairwell. The lot was full so we had to park down on the bottom level, which now I believe this was meant to be. We walked up the three flight of stairs and when we hit the street level, I looked to my right and the guy was still there. I told my friend that something wasn't right because of the position the guy was in; she called out to him with no response. We continued calling out loudly; just a slight movement of his head. We didn't know if the guy was on drugs so we started to walk away, but then I remembered a construction guy working on the bottom level. I went to the walkway and called down asking if this guy up here was working with him, and told him he was not responding. The guy ran up immediately and was yelling at the guy with hardly any response. He immediately called the UCLA paramedics and someone else. We went to turn in my friend's parking key and sticker and on the way back the ambulance and police were there. We didn't find out the results, but still felt good about getting involved :-)

Oooh, painting! I used to take art classes in college and had a ball. I should do that again. About 5-6 years ago, I painted cartoon figures on my grandkids' bedroom wall, but other than that haven't done anything else -- sad.

I pulled out this huge Mexican sage plant that was in the front of my home. I loved to see the hummingbirds always hanging around the plant, but it had gotten totally out of control. Also pulled out the red fountain grass and trimmed a couple of bushes/trees. I feel wonderful when I do something like that!

Went with a friend to see the Mel Gibson movie, Apocalyto. Has anyone seen it? It is violent, but I love to see the jungle scenery.

Going dancing with a friend this Saturday. Hope we have lots of fun. Got to keep those joints moving you know, LOL!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 11:43AM
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eloise - I LOVE Mexican heather - usually buy some each year and just treat it as an annual. Just can't seem to get it to overwinter here. I've tried mulching, not mulching. It may be that my soil stays too damp throughout most of the winter. I live adjacent to a swampy area. I notice you are in Zone 10 which is also much more tropical than here. I'm in zone 8 here. If I buy a plant this year, I think I will put it in a raised bed to see if that will help with it not being too wet next winter.

Gurley - You're right about that weird weather. It's 75 degrees here and the noon news and weather on TV says expect very severe weather beginning around 3:00 this afternoon - that's only a couple of hours from now. We will also be under threat of hail and tornado watch will likely be in effect. You may already be getting it in your area.

I have venison roast cooking in the oven, but it will be ready to take out in about half an hour. I'll be sharing dinner with the hunter who bagged the deer and brought the meat over. I just hope the bad weather is over in time to finish dinner. Planning to have garlic roasted red potatoes, spiced pears (yes, the ones left from Christmas), butternut squash baked with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, green salad (romaine, cuke, bell pepper, granny smith apple, green onions), iced tea. Then nut cake and coffee for dessert.I haven't yet shopped for groceries this month, but I think we can make do with that menu, don't you?

I better go batten down the hatches in prep for high winds.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 12:45PM
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It is nice to have a thread where it's OK to go off topic - or is there a topic?

I really miss my niece. It seems too quiet around here. I know I got too used to having another person around and now I am feeling lonely. Now I need to get busy doing something instead of just sitting around. I don't suppose it's too early to start spring cleaning, but the place is really pretty neat right now, so why stir up things? I could work in the yard some, but we have had so much rain and everything is so wet! Am I trying to make excuses, or what?
So I guess I'll just sit here and feel sorry for myself all day!
eloise, most people would have walked right on by that guy, thinking he was probably drunk or something. But who knows, he could have been having a heart attack just as easily. You were in the right place at the right time, and did the right thing by getting involved. Bless you.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 8:41AM
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No topics here just whatever ramblings happen to be rambling around in your head. It could be a conversation with others or it could be a conversation you are having with yourself (those are the best kind).

I am listening to Andreas Vollenweider this morning. I havent listened to his music in a long time and I think I need to find some more of his music. Very uplifting and relaxing at the same time.

Breakfast was omelets with roasted red peppers, soft white cheese and chives from the garden. I did buy the Yuban and I like it. I like the fact that I can have organic, fair-trade coffee and still not pay a fortune. It is a satisfying coffee and I can contribute to a good cause.
When I turned on my monitor this morning it caused a power surge that appears to have burned out 3 of the electrical sockets in the office. Normally you worry about power surges from outside sources so the surge protectors dont guard against surges from the inside out. A relative is a retired electrician and he thinks that possibly a mouse chewed through a wire or the cable guy may have drilled to close and nicked the wire back when it was installed. In the meantime I have the surge protector running the cords out to the living room.

I still think it was this monitor but I will let the pros figure that out. This monitor is over 8 years old but I do have a slightly newer one in the attic and I will switch them out.
I have some purple fountain grass that I was going to try to hold over in the garden room until spring but it is not doing very well so today I will plant it outside and hope that it can make it through the winter that way.
I made a necklace for my neighbor the other day and she came over yesterday and asked me to make two more for her grandchildren. She wanted to pay me for them but I dont want any pay from her she and her husband do quite a bit for me. It is neat that someone would want to pay for them though.
Today may be a day for me to play on the computer. It is rainy and cool and I am very content to just sit in the house and putter around.

BTW, when I am feeling down my 'fix' is a couple of hours at Barnes and Noble, a Cappuccino, and some good chocolate.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Gerry, it was Mexican sage, i.e., salvia leucantha, that I pulled out. Still have more in the back yard and another in the front that I will leave there. Your "venison roast cooking" reminded me of when I flew to Anapolis a few years ago to visit friends. On arriving, we were diverted because a couple of deer were hit while crossing the path of a plane landing and disabled that plane. We started hearing people say, "venison for dinner tonight"!

tamarisk, Hope you have company again very soon. My grandkids (13 and 10 yo) went with Dad skiing for a week. I missed seeing them on a regular basis as I only live less than ten minutes away, so I called my granddaughter on her cell just to tell them I missed them and loved them. I saw them yesterday and gave them hugs and kisses! My grandson is very receptive, but my granddaughter -- you know she is 13 yo -- but still she seemed to enjoy the attention! About the guy at UCLA, we also considered that he might have gone into diabetic shock.

gurley, ooooh, omelet with roasted red pepper, white cheese and chives sounds wonderful! I am not very creative when it comes to breakfast. Usually I will have oatmeal, or scrambled eggs wrapped in a flour tortilla with mayo, or cereal -- gets boring. Hope your computer issues are over with.

This and that: We had a ball dancing on Saturday night! It is so windy here; I hate going outdoors because I fear one of the palm tree fronds will come crashing down on me! Yesterday after church went and bought some mini-blinds for my laundry room so will put those up today; also need to take down my Christmas tree today. Received Robin McGraw's book, 'Inside my Heart' for Christmas so might start reading it.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 9:59AM
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Hi All,

Gene, is it snowing at your place this afternoon? I just received e-mail from Waynesville, N.C., and from over in Blacksburg, Virginia - both say it's snowing like crazy. Ohhh, I would so love to see it snow again! Here, it is incredibly windy and 59 degrees.

I have been doing some de-cluttering in the house. Lots of old magazines to toss, a bunch of stuff for Good Will, some collectibles will be boxed and stored. Daughter wants my collection of Poppy Trail dishes, son wants some cast iron cookware. And who needs 3 Crock pots? or a blender? (I have a food processor) or more than 1 set of glasses? or 3 coffee makers? So much "stuff" ---

Eloise - I was reading Mexican Sage - but THINKING Mexican Heather - big difference, eh?

Gurley, Vollenveider's music is New Age isn't it? Or not? I may be confused here.... I'm beginning to get quite a collection of Celtic music.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2007 at 4:09PM
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Good Sunday (14th) Morning, Folks - Gerry, we did have a pretty snow. It was the kind most people like. It came during the day. It was fairly heavy. The roads stayed very drivable but yards, fields, and the like got 3-4". I was driving around and found it very pleasant. Most had melted by the next morning.

I folded up my easel and put my unwrapped canvas' and oils/brushes on a shelf. One of the children did some holiday decorating before Christmas. It's the 14th and I've only gotten it so far as placing it on the dining room table. I'm saying there's many things to be done before I can delve into new ventures.

I like the thought of leaving a Christmas tree standing all year and changing decorations to fit the season. My wife changed some things within the house, and outside, to comform to the season. She had place mats, pictures, wreaths, and so on. I liked what she did although I may have never have commented about it.

I've got a 7' artificial Christmas tree that's been in a box since 2000. We always had a real tree but we tried an artificial for a couple of years. We went back to a real one in 2000. My wife died a few months later. Now I have a 3' artificial with lights. I miss seeing my wife decorate a big tree. She had ornaments the children made when they were very little that she always used. Then she would start selecting from those we had acquired over 40 years.

That was interesting about about Lorri; her age; and the comparison to Mona. I don't recall Mona's last name. One comment I made about her being beautiful inside. Well, as I recall she was beautiful on the outside as well.

I had a labordor (sp?) retriever that had bad seizures. It was tough love. We gave him daily medicine and took him to the vet regularly. His mind was okay during a seizure but he could not control his body and fluids. The aftermath of a seizure would be two to four hours. I kept him in the house for a few years but it became necessary to put him in a pen. I built an indoor/outdoor one whereby he could come into the garage or be outside. In late 2000 a seizure was so intense he ruptured an organ and had internal bleeding. The vet said there was nothing that could be done.

Nothing going on with coffee, y'all. I still patronize Port City Java once or twice a week. I like their house coffee and, of course, I have to check out their home made cookies and muffins. My morning coffee is presently regular MH. I've always used that or something similar as a morning staple. I get venturesome in the late afternoon.

I hope the warm weather doesn't screw up mother nature's Spring plans for anyone. I'm still trying to get some trees cut. Oh, well.

I wish everyone well. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 11:49AM
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I'm beginning to think I either have an eating disorder or that my body is getting ready to go into the hibernating mode....I seem to want to eat any food in sight these days. Fortunately, I stocked up a few days ago on healthful snacks - lots of fresh veggies and fruits, cottage cheese, yogurts.

Perhaps my "cravings" are the result of having eaten so many sweets over the holidays and now my system is "withdrawing" from all the sugars and carbs.

Daffodils are up several inches and some early bloomers should start showing signs of color soon. Several irises are showing buds, too.

January --- named for the Roman god Janus, who was always shown has having 2 heads, one facing towards the old year, one facing forward to the new. January was supposed to have been my birth month, and my mother had selected the name Janis for me, but I became somewhat impatient and made my arrival some 6 weeks early in November. So I did not get named Janis. Would I have been a different person had I been born in January? Would my life have been different in any way? All these people who have their horoscopes drawn up based on the time of day, and how the planets were aligned at the time they were born would probably think so. I can't believe there would be any noticeable difference -- we are who we are.....

This weekend has been absolutely tepid!! Where has all the winter gone????

My Indian friend gave me some roots of the sassafras tree today, so tonight I plan to make some tea. I will make the first batch mild, then sweeten with honey. The second batch I will make stronger, either drink as is or sweeten with Splenda. I have always loved homemade Sassafras tea.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2007 at 3:36PM
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Morning all. It's cold outside and I hate having the heat on in the house all the time! I did some yard work yesterday after church and that kept me warm while I worked.

Gerry I think we all go through that. Sometimes I am so discipline in what I eat that it amazes me; other times, I snack on whatever I can find. If I am just watching tv, I find I want to snack continuously so it's best that I don't get too comfy. Interesting info re. January. My son was born on the 27th and a sister on the 17th of January.

Never have had sassafras tea, but I have made some lemon grass tea from my plant, sweetened with honey. Maybe it wasn't that special because I've never made it again. I do like ice tea (Lipton) with honey and lemon or sometimes with mint added to it.

About a year ago, I bought a black Labrador for my grandson. He and I drove to another city to select the dog. It was so funny when we went to select her (Charlie Q). There were about ten black Lab puppies who all came to us at once and knocked my grandson down trying to lick him. We were laughing so much at the sight of this mass of black super-active puppies. We were trying to see the difference between them but they moved around so much that finally I just said, "pick one"! My grandson loves his dog; he will bat softballs and she will retrieve them; he runs around the backyard with her; and he will rollerblade and she pulls him down the side walk. Charlie Q is so beautiful with that shining black coat, although she has destroyed their once very nice green backyard by chewing up the sprinklers!

Had a horrible night. Got a message from an old acquaintance in the evening. She tracked me down to say that my ex only has a couple of days or less to live. He moved to another state and we never kept in touch, not even for the kids sake. My daughter is his only living child, and her and family are flying out this morning hoping to find him still alive. It's a long story, and now I find it extremely sad. I couldn't fall asleep last night and when I was finally about to do so, I had a nightmare. My family is flying into Texas and I pray that things will go smoothly for them.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:15AM
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Sorry to hear about your bad news. Did your daughter stay in touch with her dad through the years after she grew up? I know your heart must ache for her sake.

Labs are great dogs. I have had two in my lifetime. The first, a big black female, would tow the kids around in the lake on an inner tube. One day she got so tired it looked as if she would drown, so we made the children help her up on the inner tube and tow her back to shore. The other one was a chocolate male who would see us picking up trash from our "adopted" road side, and even though he was forbidden to go near the road, he would sometimes sneak out at night and pick up trash, bring it back into the yard and put it in a pile by a tree. They have both been gone for years now. I still have dogs (3 of them) and they are a lot of company for me. Two of them (A Collie and a Keeshond) are "middle-aged" now and the JRT mix will be three years in February. I have made arrangements for them in case something were to happen to me while they are still living.

Our temperature here is supposed to reach 78 today, so let me get back to my outdoor activities. I decided to check mail while I was taking a coffee break.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 10:31AM
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Short days and long nights set the stage for soul searching and reflection.
I reflect on how far down this road I have come and how fortunate I am to be where I am today.
A co-worker and I were discussing what we would do if we only had one day to live. He said that he would go take that dream vacation that he is always fantasizing about.

I am normally very much a solitary person. But after giving it some thought I decided that if I only had one day to live that I would want to reach out in some way to touch someone who is less fortunate than I; to hopefully change their life for the better.

Im not really sure what else I would do. Possibly go for one last ride on a horse.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 6:49PM
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Today was one of those days that make you glad there is a tomorrow.

I had the day off so I headed for a little coffee shop that I dont get to go to often. The cappuccino that they gave me was the worst thing I have ever put in my mouth. I guess the new girl didnt know what she was doing or something but I had to pour it out. I was already too far down the road to bother with turning back.

The new Bead store that I found is closed on Mondays they forgot to mention that on the internet. As I got ready to pull out of the parking lot there was an I have a dream march going down the street so I was stuck in the parking lot for some time.

The rest of the day pretty much followed suit electrical outlets out, cable went out, and so on. It is over now thank goodness.

Tomorrow it is back to the daily grind but Im actually looking forward to it.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 7:01PM
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gurley - I believe we used to call that type of day a Morton's Salt day.

Today I started my 2007 Journal. Also put everything in the computer on disc that I have in my journal just in case I have a crash or something.

Put my Christmas film in for developing. I don't have digital camera that I can download to the computer, so I just have the film developed at the drug store, get 1 print of each and a CD so I can add them to the "My Pictures" folder. Some day when my ship comes in I'm gonna upgrade to all that good stuff. My printer died a few days ago.

I think there may be a critter of some kind inside my duct work beneath the house. I've been hearing noises and the dogs can't keep away from the floor vents. I went through the house a little while ago spraying an ammonia/water mix in each floor vent so perhaps whatever it is will decide to leave the same way it got in. I haven't heard any noises since spraying. I just hope it's not a bunch of little possums!!! The last replacement vents I purchased don't fasten down with screws - they just fit down in the opening, and none too tight either. Right now I have each vent covered with a stack of books,(I won't be using the heat tonight), but I think I probably should put a small nail through each end, then buy some screws tomorrow. I really would hate to awaken tomorrow morning with a nest of baby possums sleeping on the foot of my bed.

Goodnight all - and I hope we all have pleasant dreams.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 9:49PM
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Well, I did not wake up sleeping with possums this morning, thank goodness. Now I have to find someone brave enough to crawl up under the house and see where the duct has separated and repair it. If I call air-conditioning/heating repair people it will cost a small fortune - perhaps I'll do it myself. After all, my husband owned an air-conditioning, heating, and refrigeration business all his life until he retired. I sometimes helped out with the grunt work if an installation was running behind schedule and I became quite adept at screwing duct sections together.

I have a pickup truck load of stuff to haul to the recycling center. They have a little building called a swap shop where you can put things that are too good to throw away, but you don't want to be bothered with a yard sale. Yard sales out here in the boonies don't do so good anyway. I just hope that people who really need these things get them.

I got this today from a very politically incorrect person - thought you might get a smile from it: The Definition of Political Correctness: A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous leftstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Have a good afternoon.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 1:03PM
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Hello - I just got back home from a visit to Savannah. Spent a few days with my sister down there. It seems to have helped pull me out of my after-Christmas blues. We didn't do anything special except that we did go out to eat a couple of times.

I have been perusing my gardening catalogs. I don't do mail order except for seeds sometimes, but I do love to look at them.

Gee, sounds like some of you are really plagued with problems: Gurley157 with electrical problems and bad cappuccino and gerry with her possums, and eloise, I hope things are going better for you and your family. Is your daughter and family still in Texas?

Gerry, you just crack me up sometimes! Did you get your ducts repaired?

I have lots of mail to catch up on - just wanted to check in and see what went on while I was out of town.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 5:39PM
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Greetings all. Taking a break from the phone and running around. I am picking up part of my family from the airport today in about four hours. My daughter and grandbaby stayed in Texas until Saturday. Her father passed around 4:30 AM yesterday, and so my daughter is meeting with the funeral home today to make arrangements. He only opened his eyes once and saw my daughter, but we are not sure if he was aware of her being there. Sad.

It is cold outside, and my plants are getting all burnt by the cold. This is a first for me as my plants have always been left out year around. I won't worry about them though because I have other things to deal with.

Great definition of Political Correctness! I used to get possums in my previous house -- they sure are ugly! The dog would bark all night long as these possums would come into our back yard. I felt the possums loved teasing the dog.

The other day I heard my chickens (only have 3) squawking a lot. Earlier I had let them out the coup to free-range in the yard. By the lemon tree was a hawk! I threw a grapefruit at it and it flew away. My poor hens were hiding by some shrubbery fightened half to death. I did a search and believe it to be a Cooper's hawk. Hope it doesn't come back.

I think I will make some coffee now :-)

    Bookmark   January 17, 2007 at 5:03PM
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Hi Everyone!

I'm not a coffee connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination but have always been a coffee drinker. I know what I don't like but have not tried a lot of different types of coffees. Reading all your posts makes me want to get a little more adventurous. Only problem is I live in a small town and the selection at the two available stores is limited.

My DIL gave me a Krupps coffeemaker for Christmas which has actually increased my coffee consumption drastically. Prior to that, I would make a pot of coffee and before I could drink the third cup, it tasted bad. Sitting on the burner gave it a strong burnt taste so I tried turning the warmer off and reheating in the microwave. A little better but not much. I actually ended up drinking coffee only at the office or when out for dinner.

This type makes a fresh brewed cup one cup at a time (two if you have a visitor). Has anyone else tried this type of coffeemaker? There are several different brands out there. If so how do you like it and which coffee pods do you prefer. I've only tried the Folgers and Senseo brands so far as that is all I have available in this small town.
If I had a good idea as to what is available and had some recommendations, I would order online.

Gerry &Eloise - Possums aren't bad. We get skunks coming through the property here. The dogs not only bark but chase (and sometimes catch) them. Needless to say the skunk odor lingers awhile. Not to mention not being able to get near the dog until the odor goes away.

I remember when my kids were babies, we lived in an apartment over a garage. (beans & cornbread days) We kept hearing what sounded like a babies rattle rolling across the ceiling and only late at night. Come to find out squirrels were hopping on the power line that led from the pole to the building and going into the attic through the vent. How the baby rattle got up there we don't know but they had a good time playing with it.

I've really enjoyed luking on this post.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 3:07PM
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Good Sunday Evening, All

Hello and welcome to Pris - Sorry, I can't help you much with the coffee. You might try the Starbucks website. I use Folgers or MH on a regular basis, but use Starbucks when my meager budget will allow. I don't buy on line since it's available in most any of the stores I go in around here - both beans and ground.

Yes, Tam - I got the duct work riveted back together and the surrounding insulation replaced, and some sub=flooring replaced that had rotted out. It was a stray cat looking for a warm place to sleep. I'm feeding her (him?) since I found out about her and have prepared her a warm bed in the barn. She seems to be almost feral - skittish, won't let me near her. I checked today and she is using the bed I prepared for her and is eating good. One of my neighbors told me he thinks it was a cat that was deserted by some people who moved away. (That's how I came by owning the beautiful cat I have already) If so, she may become approachable once she learns to trust again. I surely hope so.

I am really suffering from the January Blahs!! I just need to get away from this place awhile and see some world. A drive over to the hatchery and a long walk on the dikes is my sole source of entertainment these days. I think tomorrow I will drive into MC and go junking at Wal-Mart. I need some blank CD's and ink for my printer.

I have irises blooming!!!!!(Three, anyway)

I got an e-mail from daughter this afternoon. It's snowing and sleeting where she is and she's fretting about being able to get to work tomorrow. This is her first experience with having to drive in ice and snow. She's in Western Virginia.

I fixed a hamburger out on the grill this evening. It smelled so good while cooking. I ate it with salsa heaped on top (I've cut out the bread temporarily)

I think I will bundle up and go back out on the porch for awhile. Probably will not be any stars visible tonight since rain is forecast for later this evening. And the frogs won't be singing. Still, I love listening to the dark.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 7:03PM
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Gene, I hope you are finally over your cold/flu. Since you haven't been around to the coffee shop in a while, I am a bit concerned about you. When colds hang on for that length of time your defenses can be greatly compromised and lead to pneumonia or other things. Let us know how you're doing.

So, to cheer you up and give you a chuckle, here's a little
something I found in February issue of RD:

A patient limped into the UNC-Chapel Hill hospital with his girlfriend in tow. His back was killing him, and he wouldn't stop griping about his chiropractor.
"I could just wring his neck," he said angrily. "All that money, and he's nothing but a charlatan."
His girlfriend disagreed. "I thought he was from Raleigh."

I have a few daffodils blooming now, along with the few white irises. I picked most of the daffodils and brought them inside so I could enjoy some indoor "sunshine". The ones that are blooming are in more sheltered locations. I hope the rest hold out for awhile.


    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 10:42PM
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Morning all. Catching up on emails, drinking my coffee and checking out GardenWeb.

Just heard a flock of wild green parrots fly by. They do this twice a day, in the morning and again in the evening as they return to their trees for the night. I can't recall the story exactly, but apparently years ago someone or some organization had some parrots that escaped. Throughout the years, they have multiple so much that there are several flocks around southern California. A couple of years ago, some parrots stopped on my apple tree, but when I went out to take a picture, they flew away and to my knowledge haven't stopped by again. People complain about they eat their fruit and make a mess. When they fly through squawking, my cockatiel will start calling out.

Has anyone had Starbucks Cinnamon dolce latte? Not bad. I took my grandkids recently to Starbucks and they wanted to try something different. Usually they will get either chocolate or vanilla bean. My granddaughter liked the latte, but my grandson did not, sooooooo I had a latte the following day!

pris: Living in a small town should not limit you. Try mixing coffees in your home. As I have mentioned before, I mix my Yuban with a bit of vanilla beans and it taste great! I do not drink a lot of coffee, usually just in the morning, but I do want that cup to be extra rich! I never order coffee out in restaurants because most of them taste like 'boiled cardboard' to me. Of course I have never had boiled cardboard, but these are the words that always come to mind that best describe what I think of as bad coffee.

I am so thankful that my family is all back in California from Texas. Here's a lesson we learned: if you do not have a will of some sort, get one done. My ex did not have a will and now my daughter, who is his only living child, is having to go through unnecessary work.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 10:20AM
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Good Sunday morning everyone. I haven't chimed in on the Coffee Tawlk messages, but for some reason I feel so inclined today!

It's Sunday morning and I should really have gone to church. Just didn't feel like it today. I'm hoping to find the necessary energy to work around my place today, pay some bills and perhaps even start my taxes.

I've got one of those one-cup-at-a-time Senseo's. Just made myself a cup of Sumatra blend, double strentgh. Waitng for the caffeine to kick in!

Cold for Florida today, mostly cloudy and had substantial rain overnight. Haven't seen much of the dog - she's under my bed.

Anyway, I just wanted to pop my head in and will probably go back to lurking. Had a good conversation with a "phone friend" of mine. We've never met but chat online and occassionally on the phone. Vent about each others' significant others, talk about life, that sort of thing.

Hope everyone's having a wonderful day.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 11:06AM
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Good Sunday Morning, Folks - Gerry, thanks for asking about my cold. It lasted a month or more. A couple of times I thought it had run its course but no. If misery loves company another in our golf foursome had a cold with similar symptoms. Its been over six weeks and he's still hurting a little. Poor guy.

The other evening I looked at excerps of movies on the TV. Over in Coffee Shop (One) I menioned starting a book in 1954 while in Korea and it being taken by a so called friend. Well, the TV's four or five lines I read about one seemed so close I was shocked. It came on late. I didn't watch it or even get the title. Mine was over 50 years ago and started in Korea. This one was more recent. I suppose there's lots of stories about GI's and commas (sp?).

I'm still staying away from my coffee trials. Some coffee I was trying affected my sleep. Others did not. I suppose it all depended on caffiene strength.

That was very funny about the charlatan. Thanks for the smile.

I'm glad some of you are enjoying flowers and I regret it might be short lived. I think Winter has finally come to the Western North Carolina mountains. All of this week it'll run from the 20's to low 40's. But, this is what should I expect for January.

I need to go somewhere. I think it was last February I went to Tybee Island. I'm thinking of going to Navarre Beach next month. My last time there was shortly after a hurricane and the big dunes had been heavily washed. Is Navarre a federal or state protected area? It was very serene. At times I could only guess where the asphalt road was because it was covered with sand. I was lucky and didn't get stuck.

I have a boxed-up Senseo in the basement. I drink 20-25 ounces of coffee every morning. The Senseo would only make 6 ounces on normal and about 8 ounces using a twin pack. I even bought a separate holder whereby I could use non pods. Overall, I couldn't tell any taste difference between it and my old Mr. Coffee whether pods or regular coffee were used. Since I couldn't get it to make enough coffee anyway I just gave up.

I've seen Mike Wallace speak of depression on TV. How does one know when they have depression? For instance I'm 72, along, and feel lethargic most of the time. I do enjoy the weekly golf outings. Other than that I stay at home and don't seem to accomplish anything. I'm not a complete hermit. I get groceries although I don't like going to the store. At times I drive around just to have a change of environment. Oh, well. Sorry to ramble.

Back to coffee for a minute I try to find sampler packages on line. They usually come in four ounce packages and there's usually four packages of different coffees in each. Sometimes the price and shipping is not too bad if one figures they are getting a full pound.

I hope everyone is happy and well. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 11:57AM
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Good Sunday afternoon,

Gene, glad to hear your cold has run its course. - To answer your question, Navarre Beach is a Florida State Park. Should be a good change of scenery for you, should decide to make the trip.

I used to love going to Edisto Beach (S.C.) in January, especially after a winter storm. The miles of beach would be covered with beautiful sea shells. Now, they do not allow collecting them, so I really treasure the ones I collected over the years before that regulation was put in place.

I find that as I grow older, I prefer to sit in my back yard garden on Sunday mornings (or any other morning for that matter) and commune with nature - pondering - contemplating - meditating - call it what you will. I have never been much for organized religion, though I did take my children to church when they were young.....I believe it was Thoreau, who when asked on his death bed if he had made his peace with Gad, replied, "I wasn't aware that we had ever argued". And it was my mother, when asked at her back door by two JW's out spreading their gospel, what she was praying for that morning, told them that she was not praying FOR anything, that she was too busy being THANKFUL for the blessings she already had. "And when I pray FOR something, it's that there be peace in this troubled world, and that no child will go hungry in this land of plenty". I was just a child at the time, but I have always remembered those beautiful words.

Perhaps, Gene, it's not depression, but SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) A lot of us have that in the winter. I think, years ago before they had a name for it, it was called cabin fever!!! However, it you do feel you might be depressed, please get yourself to a doctor for some medication. We don't want you in a deep funk!! Do I sound like your mother, or what? Sorry.

mimi boo - chime in anytime. I always enjoy your contributions. I seldom post anywhere except here. Not all of the posters are senior singles, but a lot of us are, so we tend to have a lot of the same interests, and a lot of the same problems.

It's not so cold here - 58 degrees right now - but by dark it's supposed to become rather windy, with temps dropping rapidly into the 20's. Rain is predicted, so perhaps it will turn into some snow - rare, but better than ice.

Speaking of coffee, when the children came at Thanksgiving and Christmas, they brought lots of things in the line of non-perishable food items and just stuck them in the pantry.
Yesterday, I was rummaging around in there and found a LARGE can of MH Masterblend coffee. It hasn't been opened. Do you suppose it's still fresh? I went ahead and stuck it in the freezer.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 2:33PM
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Hi all

Gerry- Just to quickly answer your question about the can of MH coffee. If it is vacuum sealed there should be no problem. Freeze after opening. Until then it can remain on the pantry shelf.

Gene- I grew up in a coastal city and as kids we spent all our spare time at the beach. Later we took our kids to the beach until they were old enough to get there by themselves. I find now that, as much as I enjoy the time spent there, I really do not like the gritty sand and sticky salt water feeling you get after you leave the beach and before you can get home to jump in the shower. Not to mention the wonderful taste of sand in your hotdogs. Kept the plaque off your teeth. I now live further inland and have rolling hills and rocky ravines to look at instead. I love to sit on my back porch and watch the rabbits, squirrels and occasional cayote stroll down the arroya. (perfect time for a good cup of coffee)

Is it just me or is depression more prevalent today than in the past. Is it really? or do we just hear more about it as in everything else. (mass media) There are times when I feel really down and have in the past let it go on for several days but, I found that the longer it goes on the harder it is to pull myself up out of it. Therefore, when I find that I have been sleeping too much and letting chores slide, I make myself get up and do something. And yes, a change of scenery is good too. I realize that what works for me, won't work for everyone so if nothing you do helps, get thee to a doctor.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. I better get back to work. (why I don't know, last few days of the month are excruciatingly slow for me. Will get busier starting tomorrow or the next day.)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2007 at 4:20PM
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mimi boo (Barbara), I know you are from somewhere in Florida. Were you in the tornado damaged areas? I hope everything is OK with you....and for any others in that area.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2007 at 7:03PM
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Gerry - thanks for checking up on me! I'm fine. I'm just north of Tampa and the tornadoes were quite a way from me.

The pictures and television coverage is devastating. I hope all can be accounted for very soon.

Thank you again,

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 6:34PM
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Wow. Just realized this morning that I hadn't visited this forum for weeks...perhaps months! Busy working, but not making any money. lol Such is the lot of the realtor who works on straight commission. Lots of phone calls and showings, nothing has closed. Yet. But it will.

In the meantime I used up all my frequent flyer miles with one trip to visit my best friend in Orange County, CA; and two weeks ago I went to visit another dear friend in San Francisco. Both trips were pure perfection. I saw, I heard, I visited, I ate, I drank. Both trips were a complete, perfect bubble of an experience. Now I'm home and grounded until I can accumulate some more miles so I can go back. lol

In my area realtors use Starbucks gift cards as bait to get other realtors to attend their brokers' opens. I had about $25.00 in cards last week. Traded in some of that for a half-pound of Kenya. Still love me some African coffees.

My biggest project for the coming week is to get warm and stay that way. Can not believe the air temperature is about zero. Don't even get me started on wind chills. Ack!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2007 at 9:56AM
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Hello, All. I know someone whose house is so big they have two furnaces. He knows someone whose house is so big they have three furnaces. I'd never given much thought to heating of these large monstrosities (sp?). The ones mentioned are in the midwest where it's ranging 0-20 degrees. I suppose if they can afford that size house they can also afford to pay for heating. Oh, well.

I'm sure as singles (widowed) most of us have wondered about how to conserve heating costs and whether we can narrow down areas we use. I have eight rooms. My house is so configured I can only close off two of them. I've tried electric space heaters and even a kerosene heater. At my age the cost and/or aggravation of either doesn't seem to offset peace of mind in being warm throughout the house. So, I bite the bullet. Are we all in this same boat! Yes, it seems a waste for one person but what else can we do!

I'm sorry for the Florida folks and happy for those who were not in harm's way. Lake Couny? Is this not too far from Leesburg? Someone had a deeded lot and a camper at a park. Last year I went to check it out thinking it might be nice to go there for January and February. The lot and camper were much too small and the area was cramped. The tornados sure make me wonder if it is such a good idea. I've always been told one should go south of Sarasota to be a little more protected from things like that. At the same time, however, one becomes a little more unprotected with hurricanes.

I am at the same place where we moved to in 1965. My house is the typical ranch style from the time. The houses just recently built near me look much better than mine. They are two/three story; have high pitched roofs; and occupied by much younger people who have the energy to do whatever needs to be done. I use to be like that. I added on to my house in 1970. I didn't think of curb appeal and the 800 square feet I added was to the back. Now, if one is driving by they see a 46foot house front and roof that's on the same plain. There's little to nothing to show contrasting features. So, on one end I'm thinking of building maybe a 15'x15' room with a recessed porch and raise its roof above what's existing. That might help. It would make it 61' across the front. On the other hand I might put the roof that way but beneath it have a nice deck with a porch type entrance. Sorry to be so boreing.

Got a call from a tenant last night. She saw a big light in the woods behind her house. From the description it sounded like someone had put up a tent and had a light it. The temperature was 10-20 degrees. I don't know why she called me but I called the sheriff and they called her and sent someone out. The tenant called back saying the sheriff left without saying anything. I had to take a nerve pill to sleep. For her expedited safety and my nerves I'll tell her to call the sheriff directly next time.

Sorry about the flowers getting messed up with the cold. I've asked this before. Can I cut yew trees back severely and will they re sprout? What about nandena (sp?) bushes. They border the front porch (cement slab) and have gotten about three feet high. The red is certainly pretty. All year long they have leaves and the color changes with the season.

Regards to everyone. Here it is February 6. The daylight hours are getting longer. I've even seen a flock or two of robbins. That's unusual for this time of year in Western NC.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2007 at 11:39AM
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I seldom turn the TV on unless the weather turns ugly or something. Today, not feeling quite up to par, I wrapped up in a quilt on the sofa and turned on Oprah. She was doing a program on decluttering your house. I have been trying to get some of that done, but after watching her show, I realize I have no problem with clutter at all. In fact, everything is very, very neat considering what she was showing. SO....I've decided to leave everything as is. I did already get rid of a lot of duplications, extra dishes, cookware, small appliances I no longer use, clothes I no longer wear, but unless one opens closet or cabinet doors one can not see a difference.
I really was looking for an excuse to not do anything else, anyway!!

I have a very dear old friend who will be coming to visit this weekend. He is from out of state (Pinehurst, NC) so will be staying over for a couple of days. I insisted he stay here since it's a 25 mile drive to find a decent motel/hotel. He is concerned about "appearances", so I assured him that at our age it makes no difference, and besides I have no close neighbors!! I haven't seen him in almost 2 years. No, there's no romantic involvement (darn it!!) - his sister and I are very close and I've known him since I was a child.
He has never toured downtown Charleston, so that's our plans. He lost his only child, a son, in the first Gulf war, and his wife passed away a few months later, so he's been alone for quite some time now.

Have just finished reading Tom Clancy's "Balance of Power". Just before that I read "Avenger", by Frederick Forsyth. Right now, I'm about half way through "Paranoia", by Joseph Finder. I had never read anything by him before, but I think I like his writing.

It has been a beautiful, spring-like day here. Daughter called - they've had MORE snow in Virginia.

Gene, I've seen some robins already, too. They are truly harbingers of Spring.

Good evening.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 6:54PM
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Good Evening All,

I have been lurking and enjoying everyone's posts.
I am a bit of a grumpy bear in the winter time so haven't felt like participating but still look forward to reading what others have to say - it cheers me up.

I do manage to be sociable and somewhat friendly at work but once I get home I am done for.

Right now I am just sitting here procrastinating about balancing my checkbook and paying a couple of bills.

Later, gurley

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 8:11PM
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Gene - About those Nandina bushes - if they are damaged or have that leggy look: Cut plant back to within 6 to 12 inches of the ground before spring growth begins (that is this month). Most broadleaf shrubs, including nandina,Japanese cleyera, camellias, privets, and glossy abelia, respond well to this treatment. When the new shoots emerge, pinch out the tips and thin out some of the shoots to make some room and begin developing a strong framework. Sorry, someone else will have to give you info on your yews. I know you can remove dead, diseased or broken limbs at any time, but I think you are wanting to do some drastic pruning, are you not? If you cut them back drastically, it will take a very long time for them to grow back since they are so slow growing. Actually, I think they are supposed to be trimmed and shaped sometime during the warmer months. But, as I said, I don't know much about yews.

This warm weather is making me want to start digging, but it is supposed to turn much colder by this weekend, so I may as well wait a while yet.

Just spent a wonderful weekend touring historic Charleston. I had not done that in many years. My house guest for the weekend had never done the tourist thing. He had been to Charleston many times on business trips, but had never had or taken time to really enjoy it.

This coming weekend my son is doing a backyard oyster roast. It is also his birthday, and his daughter's birthday. My daughter and her husband are coming from Virginia for the celebration. Of course, other things besides oysters are served since some people just don't eat'em!

A good day to all.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 9:30AM
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I never think much about Valentine's day anymore except to mail cards to the grandchildren. Today was different - the florist's delivery truck just brought me 3 dozen beautiful red roses and a sweet little card. The lady driving said I must be special because someone paid a big delivery charge to get the roses way out here in the country. And it did make me feel very special - so much so that I actually cried. I can't even remember the last time I got roses -- from anyone other than my children, I mean.

Yesterday before the thunderstorms began, I picked some daffodils and broke a few branches of forsythia to bring inside. A few azaleas are blooming here and there, but not enough to take a bouquet without getting unopened buds, so I'll leave those for now.

Then last night, after the storms had passed, I felt restless and was unable to sleep. So I put on a batch of CD's and sat in the dark. I decided to include one of Dan Fogleberg's albums (does anyone remember him from back in the 70's - 80's ?) He sings "Run for the Roses". I've heard my daughter sing that to her husband as he struggles to finish up with his internship and residency to become specialized in neurology - just one of her ways to encourage him.

I think perhaps my restless feelings (still here today) stem from that long, long trip down memory lane my friend and I took this past weekend. I think I will take a long hike in the woods today if the threat of rain diminishes.

Life hurts sometimes, doesn't it?

And so, having rambled long enough.....


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 12:57PM
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And just who sent you those roses, Gerry. Please don't keep us in suspense! I'm guessing your friend from the weekend. Right? Wrong?

This forum hasn't been very active recently. I keep lurking and I really should be posting now and then. But as someone else said, I don't always have something to say. But I do enjoy reading what others are doing.

I got a tin of homemade cookies and a pot of red tulips from one of my neighbors today. I gave her a book she had been wanting and a card. Valentine's Day isn't just for lovers, is it? I also got a nice card and letter from my niece - yes, a REAL letter, not email. She is doing great she says.
She also thanked me again for "putting up with her" while she was getting her life back together. She is thinking about moving back to this area if Google comes to G.C.

- oops! For those of you not familiar with my area G.C. stands for Goose Creek. Google is looking here for property.


    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 6:40PM
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Howdy, Folks. I've been an N. C. Notary since the '70's or '80's. Each renewal is good for five years and I just renewed. This expiration is February, 2012. Has anyone else seen a projected date and wonder where they might be when it rolls around? Notwithstanding that my posts at times seem a little morbid (sp?) I like life. I want to see people land on Mars. I want to see if global warming can be resolved. I want to see if a miracle pops up and we have world peace, especially in the middle east. I want to see if the string theory is validated. I want to see how far we can go with quantum physics; quantum mechanics; and the like. Did you know we're not too far from being able to carry something like a cell phone to enable us to talk to anyone of any language. The unit will interpret what we say to their language and their language to ours. I tend to think of myself as a Buckmeister Fuller wannabee. He died. He was interested in just about everything and I think he made an impact.

Google recently acquired a large tract of land at Lenoir, N. C. about 50 miles from Asheville. Lenoir at one time was a mini furniture capitol of the U.S. That went down the hill with all of the other industry that's gone outside the U.S. I think N. C. made some very large tax concessions to get them here. I think they last for ten years. A lot of the technology companies may not last that long, even Google.

I have a timeshare week expiring this month. I should go somewhere but being alone (and 73 next month) takes something out of planning. I've never tried going alone and now my age comes into play and I'd like to have someone with me for a little bit of security. Oh, well, I guess I'll just waste the week as I've done many times since my wife died.

I've not acquired new coffees since last October (I think). A golfing buddy/neighbor and I go a few times a week to Port City Java. We are both widowers. We drink coffee; talk about golf; about cars; and so on. We both know it's tough being alone and I suppose that's why we don't bring up the subject of women very often. I think if it ever warms up (I've seen high 38 low 15 for so long I think the weather person's computer is broke) I'll feel more like starting back on my coffee trials.

I'm glad you got the flowers, Gerry. Wouldn't it be fun if you did not know from whom they came and you could retain thoughts of having a secret admirer. Yes, life definitely hurts sometimes.

So much for rambling, y'all. Happy Belated Valentines Day to everyone. I wish you well and that your futures are filled with happiness. Gene

    Bookmark   February 15, 2007 at 4:31PM
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Yes, Gene, it would be very romantic to feel one had a secret admirer. However in this case, I would have known, even had there been no card. --(And yes, Tam, it was my weekend house guest.) As I previously mentioned, we go back a long, long way -- all the way back to childhood -- and through a lot of hard times, sad times, etc. -- There's a very beautiful, touching story behind this man which I would like to relate someday. You might not recognize his name, Gene, but I know you would very likely recognize the name of his corporation. He's retired now, but still sits on the board.

The Southeastern Wild Life Exposition began today and runs through Sunday. That's always so very interesting. This is the 25th year.

I am actually looking forward to the oyster roast tomorrow. The weather should be just perfect - low 50's, I think.

Gene, could you possibly invite your neighbor/golfing buddy to enjoy your time-share with you? It seems to me that two male friends could enjoy a week together, perhaps not doing every little thing together, but still having fun on the golf course, or driving around looking at the scenery, etc.
Just a thought.


    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 6:09PM
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Dropping in to say hello.

Nothing new and exciting here in southern California. It's been raining and I hope it stops today because my family is taking my granddaughter and friends to Disneyland Saturday through Sunday for her birthday.

I have lots of yard clean up to do and not enough time to do it all. The cold weather burnt lots of my plants and they need to be trimmed severly. Some plants are starting to leaf-out and I had hoped to have cut them back before this happened. Oh well.....

Celebrated by 62 b.d.! We went out to eat at this restaurant that I would never go again, unless someone else is paying, LOL! Each item on the menu is 'a la carte', so it can be quite expensive, e.g., I ordered a salad and herb-stuffed chicken breast. The salad came on a very small plate and costed $7! The food was good though, and they did give me a small cheese cake that I brought home.

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 9:26AM
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Good Morning (Friday 23rd). Earlier I spoke of Google coming to N.C. Since then I've read newspaper articles that seems the N.C. govermental authorities didn't see the forest for the trees. It seems tax incentives might last 30 and not 10 years. It seems satellite business attractions for a technology company is almost non existant when compared to a new car manufacturing plant and the like. It seems N.C. would have recognized this.

Nice weather, Gang. Yesterday I played, or tried to play, golf at Glen Cannon at Pisgah Forest. Started around 10AM and was stripping to my golf shirt by 11. Signs of things to come, huh. I've seen daffodils (sp?) leaves coming through the ground and probably other types of plants. My wife planted them and I've never been knowledgeable of flowers.

Gerry, I've given thought to asking my golfing buddy/neighbor to take a trip and play golf. I'm just too set in my ways. I think I could retain repport better on a trip if I had a lady friend. If afterwards we were no longer friends it would be disturbing but not tragic. I wouldn't want to loose a golfing friend. It might be like the fish and family story and both of us might feel we're the host.

I picked up some Community Cafe Columbian Blend. I'll start it tomorrow. Have coffee prices gone up. I think I paid $4.99 on sale (reg price $6.99).

Recently I heard a song - Lucinda Williams singing Are You Alright. Different sort of melody and a little haunting.

The tree cutters are here. I miss the weeping cherry beside the house that I planted in the early 70's. But, now I can see out the kitchen window to view the Tabernacle and Pinnacle mountains. I normally could only see them
from the dining and family room. And, it will enable me to better judge what I plan to do to give my house some curb appeal.

Coming back from golf one of my friends said about a year ago he hit a depression day. I'd never heard of having it only for a day. He said it was the most upsetting day he ever had. He had convinced himself he had no friends; he had recently retired on disability (post polio syndrome) and couldn't work; and so on. He said his wife came in from work and he was crying like a baby. One of the other guys asked how long it lasted and he said just a day. I'd say he's lucky. I don't cry but only feel like it at times. I feel rather worthless because I can't create a desire to do anything to help myself like exercise or whatever.

So much for my moaning, y'all. I do wish everyone a great 2007 and that all of your flowers are large and beautiful, and all the eating bugs are small and minimal. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 10:55AM
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Good afternoon

Taking a break from yard cleanup. Just had a bowl of soup and my third coffee of the day.

Happy (belated) Birthday, eloise. Always good to have family/friends to celebrate with you.

I keep noticing more and more daffodils blooming. I have several different kinds, so should have some blooming for several more weeks. Irises and daylilies are growing like crazy. Got rose bushes and butterfly bushes pruned yesterday. Several bushes of Mrs Huff Lantana are showing new green growth, but I think I'll give them another week or two before cutting the old limbs. I'm going to plant some snow peas this afternoon - am late already. I plan to just make a border of them in the flower garden near the front door, then when they are finished, put in some annuals.

It's not just coffee prices that have gone up. I bought eggs a few days ago - almost 2.00 a dozen for medium. Wish I had a few hens, but I really don't have a place to keep them anymore. The hen house and yard were done away with several years ago.. Rebuilding it now would cost so much that I may as well just buy the eggs. I have a neighbor that has eggs for sale now and then and he charges l.00 doz.

Back to the subject of guys taking trips together....I can see what you mean. Many years ago, when I needed to get my husband out from underfoot so I could do heavy cleaning,or I wanted to go spend a few days with a sister, he could be talked into taking a fishing trip with his buddies.
They would load up the tents, supplies, hitch up the boat, and head to Florida everglades or the Outer Banks for a few days. In later years, though, he wouldn't do that, said it just wasn't that much fun with the guys anymore. So then the two of us would take the smaller jon boat over to the lake and fish a few hours. Later, as he got to where he couldn't managed even that, we just did bank or pier fishing.

Depression by the day? Yes, entirely possible. I have several of those each year. I suppose it really isn't true depression, just sadness because we are remembering that it's the birthday, wedding anniversary, date of death, etc. of someone we loved deeply and miss terribly and now they are gone. We learn to live with the sorrow, but I don't think we can ever get over it.

Gotta run - Gerry

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Good Monday Morning. I mentioned coffee a while back as Community Cafe, I think. Actually, it was Millstone. I got the Columbian blend and although it's nothing to write home about it's really not too bad. I think it was regular $6.99 on sale for $4.99.

One tree down; four trimmed; and two to go. It already seems brighter around the house. I see flowers breaking the ground. They're not completely up but they're not protected. With it not even being March I think a frost will take care of the blooms.

I got an email about Presidents. It seems the process setting forth elections of presidents was established by the Constitution. Washington was first. But, there were several years before then when people took one year terms based on preconstitution rules limiting a president to no more than one year in any three year period. The process of those filling the one year terms is generally unknown but those who were "president" are known in history for the revolution. I read a lot of stuff from the Net with a jauntis (sp? eye. Should this be true it seems it should be general public knowledge. Maybe I slept during that class.

There's a book out called something like Mexicali or Calimexi that's suppose to have eight theoritical rules on how to destroy a democracy. I've not read it but have read the excerpts that a governor gave in a recent speech. It's frightening but it seems to be coming. I feel for those future generatons that may have to confront it.

Sorry to leave on a downer. Regards to all. Gene

    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 11:32AM
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It has been a most beautiful day - 73 degrees, sunny, and with only a slight breeze. I've been sitting out on the back deck this afternoon with the sun on my face and arms. It was almost too warm.

Just finished one of my favorite snacks: doritoes dipped in hot salsa con queso. Of course the dogs had to have a couple each. They don't bother me at mealtime, but a snack on the porch is a whole nother story! They sit in a semi circle with those sad brown eyes and every few seconds will lick their lips in dog speak.

I'm beginning to spend lots of time over on GW. Am lurking on Container Gardening a lot since I'm afraid that's the way I'll have to go this year with veggies. I'm picking up lots of great information.

I just noticed my fingernails still have a little dirt under them from working in the yard this morning.

I really need to get some new Frisbee's. Murphy has chewed the edges on the ones I have until they are really rough. That must have some effect on how well they fly.

I slept through that class, too. One day when I get around to it, I want to study up on those preconstitution rules you were talking about.

That made me think of the little wooden round tuit I used to keep on the wall just above my desk. I wonder whatever happened to that thing.

Life is good right now.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2007 at 5:49PM
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Hello, Everyone! I am new to this forum, having just discovered it existed. I love my morning and evening coffees. Sometimes I get Millstone's House Blend, Starbuck's House Blend, or the one that Border's used to carry, which I really loved (don't recall the name right now because when everything went south in Hurricane Katrina, the manufacturer was among those that were blown away). I especially loved their Pumpkin Spice and Holiday blends that were only offered during those seasons. Normally, I don't like flavored coffees at all. I have an expresso machine and make my own lattes; have been doing so for about 10 years. I have a Krups now, and it's okay, but my favorite was the Capresso.

I've been gardening in my own yard since 1998 and my style of gardening has changed a lot over those years. Now, I primarily garden for the butterflies, moths, and other wildlife. As an urban dweller, I actually see quite a few interesting lepidoptera. Last summer, I raised and released over 100 Monarchs, along with a few Black Swallowtails, Giant Swallowtails, Red Admirals, Eumorpha Achemon sphinx moths, clearwing hummingbird moths (hemaris diffinus), tobacco hornworms (manduca sexta), and tomato hornworms (manduca quinquemaculata). It is fascinating to witness the process from egg to butterfly or moth, and my granddaughter joins me in my endeavors.

Trying to attract these insects to my garden has piqued my interest in growing native plants in my garden, because this is what they prefer.

I also love cats - have 4 of them, George, Sam, Mike, and Bugsy. Between them and gardening, my life is pretty full. During the winter, I winter sow seeds and have several little sprouts coming up in the garden now. I also care for my granddaughter while my daughter works and goes to school. I just qualified for SSD after only 3 months! Could not believe it! But, fortunately I have private disability as well, so I am very fortunate in that respect.

I worked as a paralegal for well over 25 years, and had basically 3 employers over that time. I worked for 10 years for the government, and the last 10 years for a large private law firm in downtown OKC.

I am learning how to use a digital camera right now (Sony Cybershot 5.2 mp with a Carl Zeiss lens) and I love it. I can get some really good shots of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars. If you want to see anything, I can post a few photos.

Just wanted to get to know everyone. I am single, and have been divorced since 1988, and it was difficult to say the least, altho I learned over the years how to be alone without being lonely. But, I do wish I had some friends who entertained the same interests as I do. Most of my friends at work are not/were not gardeners like me. I totally get into it and immerse myself in gardening knowledge by readings numerous books, especially butterfly and moth gardening books. So much to learn, so little time! LOL!

So, I am glad to make your acquaintence on this forum, and I also frequent the Butterfly Gardening, Oklahoma Gardening, Natives Gardening, and hits and misses on other forums as well.

Hi, y'all!


    Bookmark   February 27, 2007 at 12:49PM
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Good Thursday Morning to all -
MARCH already!! And it is supposed to be coming in like a lion this afternoon. That also means I need to do everything on the computer that I had planned because out here in the back side of nowhere, we often have power failures.

Hi, Susan. I just visited "Your Page" and I see we grow a lot of the same things. I have tried to get enough flowering shrubs and long lasting perennials in so that I don't have to garden so hard. Of course, there's still the weeds to pull. This year I may resort to using more Round-Up on those weeds. My aging joints protest all the bending, stooping, etc. In the line of flowering shrubs, I have azaleas (lots, probably over 100), hydrangeas, forsythia, gardenias, rhododendren, viburnum, camellia; then for non-flowering (at least insignificant bloom), I have nandina, hollies, mahonia, all of which have berries, and acuba which has the bright yellow splashes on the leaves. Also have a number of rose bushes, butterfly bushes, lantana, all of which make fairly large bushes and bloom most of the summer. Lots and lots of perennials. And the butterfly raising. I maintain a butterfly garden, but leave the raising to one of my sisters. Each year I also have a vegetable garden. Last summer was so hot and dry that I'm afraid I allowed the weeds to take over, plus some undergrowth stuff from the forest has crept in, so rather than tackle that this year, I'm planning to do a few things in containers.

Had a decent nights sleep last night for the first time in weeks. I had been thinking about asking the doctor for a sleeping aid, so when I called over there yesterday, they told me to take a melatonin tablet just before bedtime. So I made a trip in to town to get that. Ah!!! Well worth the trip. And I feel really great today. I think that incident a few weeks ago with the prowler still haunts my subconciousness, and results in my not being able to sleep very well. So, with a few good nights sleep I may just feel like tackling the gardens again!

Clouds and thunder in the distance. Time to shut down the computer.

The dogs have been outside playing and are now trying to take the door off the hinges. My Keeshond is terrified of thunder.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 11:58AM
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Oh, you have a Keeshond? My parents used to raise them, along with Irish Wolfhounds. Such a beautiful dog!

I'm afraid MY PAGE needs to be updated. I used to grow a lot of aroids, but with the weather changing to a hotter, drier climate, I am now converting to a native garden primarily. I just got through ordering a beach tent to raise my butterflies in. I think it will be just so cool!

I have raised most of my plants from seed, except for a few I "installed" several years ago, when I wasn't yet so bent up and crippled. LOL! Now, I have to plant smaller plants, like the seedlings I grow.

I did order a few native plants from Mail Order Natives today. Viburnum nudum, sasafrass (hope it won't suffer too much transplant shock), Aristolochia tomentosa (3 plants), and many others I can't even recall now. The memory is going along with the back and feet!

I use one of those benches that sits on the ground, with handles on either side, so I can get up and down a bit easier. It really helps!

I best get off this machine and go fix dinner for my daugher and granddaughter. See ya later.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2007 at 7:25PM
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Good Friday Morning, Folks. I suppose this fits the category of what single people do when they're feeling sorry for themself. I'd read C-Net and Plasma TV Buying Guide. I decided on a Panasonic 42" plasma and ordered it. Now, if someone will just tell me how to arrange a small family room so I can watch it comfortably. I configured a 100+ year old corner cubbord (sp?) to house my 27". I can't do it with what I'm getting. So, now I'll have to move it somewhere and I don't have another corner it will fit. Oh, well.

Gerry, when you spoke of sitting on your porch; your dogs; dirt under the nails; probably barefooted; and so on seemed very peaceful. I envy you. I hope the feeling stays with you from now on.

Susan, the Millstone House Blend is a decent coffee, isn't it. I personally like coffees that the flavor depends on the roast (some more than others) and nothing artificial. At my age I've never even drank iced coffee. I can't believe it myself.

Well, I let another RCI exchange week go down the tube. I had to use it by the end of February or loose it. I keep telling myself that if I'm ever going to enjoy life I must find a compatible lady friend. But, one must make an attempt to be social and I don't. Also, although I think I'm a decent person I just don't have what it takes to be likeable. Bald? Dentures? Lacking in communication skills? and so on and so on. As someone recently said, they hide behind their computer. Maybe a lot of us do.

I envy you folks and the horticulture knowledge. I raised a vegetable garden back in the late 60's to the mid 70's. I did pretty well even if I do say so myself. About ten years ago I helped my wife do a dahlia/rose/bluebell/and something garden. We laid it out in a half moon shape about 15'x25'. Dahlias bordered the outside. Roses were circular in the center. Bluebells and so on filed the gaps. It certainly was pretty. I began mowing over it last year since about everything had withered since she died.

A tenant died at a house my brother and I own. She was 69; lived alone; had lots and lots of friends; and had a heart attack. I talked to her by phone the day she died. I asked if she was okay. She said she's had the flu but was better. She laughed and said if she was any better there would have to be two of her. That was something she said regularly over the 1-1/2 years I knew her. I would have liked for some of her social skills to rub off on me.

I wish everyone well and hope this is the best flower year yet. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 11:09AM
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Hello, All

Last night's storm did minimal damage. No tornadoes in the area, but the wind was very strong. I drove down to the highway to get the paper this morning, then decided to take a ride on around the "block" (my country block covers approximately 15 miles of highway) Saw a tree down here and there, but thankfully no buildings with roofs missing, etc.
As usual, my yard is full of small limbs.

Gene, you have never come across in your postings as being less than sociable. I have a feeling you are somewhat shy.
You are probably a most likable fellow if one gets to know you. Perhaps you are not ready for another relationship just yet. And please forget about the being bald or having dentures - most people our age have dentures, or partials - and bald is beautiful!

I'm unsure what the protocol is about starting new threads, but someone made a suggestion that we not let this one get so long. However it's gurley's thread, so I think it's her call. She hasn't stopped in in a while. I must admit, I miss her little pearls.

Sorry about your tenant, Gene. Sounds like she was a fun person. I'll be 69 this year and sometimes I think about finding myself in her situation. Can't dwell on it though - I just hope I have my teeth in and a bra on when they find me!!!!

Susan - yes, I have a Keeshond. I, too, used to raise Keeshonden. My little "Ess" is from the last litter I had, and she is seven years old now. She is such a love. I also have a huge Collie who is 6 yesrs old (he was my husband's dog) and a little JR/chi mix. My Daisy girl passed away last July. I also have 2 cats now, one of which is rather semi-feral. She is becoming a little more friendly as time passes. I find all my animals a lot of company. I, too, live alone and in a very rural area. Quite often, I find myself carrying on a regular conversation with the dogs, or even reading them something aloud. I really don't encourage visitors though, as I value my peace and quiet out here. There is a young Native American couple a mile or so away who check on me about every day - by phone usually, though they sometimes drop by. My son, who lives about 50 miles away comes out twice a month to help with heavy chores, etc.
My daughter lives in SW Virginia so I only see her now and then.

I have rambled quite enough - now it's time for my afternoon siesta.


PS Gene - Yul Bryner is just the sexiest man ever!!! (OMG, I think I'm flirting)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 1:12PM
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Good evening. I am taking a break from a very hectic week or so. My daughter has been working on their annual, fashion show fund-raiser for her job (school), and I volunteer and help with the flowers. Tomorrow Saturday is the fashion show and it is always a great time. There is a silent auction, a live auction, dinner, fashion show and entertainment. Mostly I look forward to us getting back to a 'normal' week.

Gene, you should try to grow a veggie garden or even some flowers for yourself. It is most satisfying knowing what you feed your plants as opposed to what they sell in the stores. Everytime I get the college catalog, I think about signing up for golf lessons, but I never do. Re. "a book out called something like Mexicali or Calimexi", does it by chance have to do with the plan for Mexico to take over California? If so, I find it extremely frustrating how our government continues to give illegals so many rights here in the U.S.

Gerry, you are funny! Thanks for the b.d. wishes. Sometimes I have a hard time sleeping, and years ago, I tried melatonin, but it gave me nightmares. I heard this happened to other people as well, so if you can take it without side-affects, I envy you.

Hi Susan, I love gardening and most plants (not into cactus or most succlents). My front yard is more of a cottage-type garden, and the back has more tropicals and fruit trees. Of course, I have an ongoing fight with the gophers. I force myself not to go to the nursery because I always find plants to buy. I am waiting for some begonias I order recently and hope they survive once I get them!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2007 at 10:48PM
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Hello everyone,

After reading gerry's post about starting a new thread I figured it was only decent of me to step up and admit that I have been here all along. I was in one of my 'funks' for a while - maybe brought about by winter - maybe it's just me being me.

As I have said before, I am married but very much a loner. DH and I share that trait and he is very good about giving me my space when I need it. I am very high-profile all day at work and when I come home to my little hidden place in the woods I don't answer the phone, don't like to see neighbors and don't want visitors.

Don't get me wrong, I would like very much to have friends but I just can't find people that I have enough in common with that I can stand to be around - it is as if I have to make an effort to be friendly. I do have one freind in Alabama that I have been very close to for over 20 years now. She is a lot like me in many respects.

I'm not good at maintaining family ties. My DD just got married not long ago. Her husband and MIL want us to have lots of get togethers and spend all of the holidays together. I know it sounds horrible but that sounds very painful for me and I just can't handle it. Now I have just found out that DD is pregnant so there is even more expectation that I spend all my free time being a 'part of it'.

I don't know why I feel this way. I guess a part of it is that I gave up 18 years of my life and a career to try to do the very best for my family that I could. It didn't come to a good end. I ended up giving up my farm, losing my son, found out that my (now ex) husband had been sleeping around and had other children, and my daughter didn't appreciate anything I tried to do for her. It was never good enough.

So I started my life over, was lucky enough to have another crack at a good career, now have a wonderful home and very understanding DH. I like staying in my new little bubble and don't want anyone to pop it.

One of the reasons that I like the 'Coffee Shop' is that I don't feel that anyone here expects anything in particular from me. I can come here and chit chat a bit or just hang out in the corner and listen if I like.

Gerry, anyone is welcome to start a new coffee shop at anytime but since you gave me the opportunity I believe I'll take it. Nothing brightens my day more than to come home to find a new post from Candler, you or any of the newer members.

So, with that said, I will officially come out of my winter depression and start a Coffee Shop III. I promise that my first post will be on a more positive note. And I hope all of you will join me.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 6:10PM
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Good Sunday Morning, All. Yep! It's snowing in these Western North Carolina mountains. Primarily flurries but the view is pleasing. Just Mother Nature letting us know who is boss. I don't remember the exact year but on April 5th (I think) five feet of snow fell on Mount Pisgah, about seven or eight miles from me. Of course it was around the 5000' elevation and it's around 2,500 where I live.

Gerry, your baldness comment was pleasing and thank you. A lady named Nadene has been cutting my hair for years. Last Summer I asked about clipping my hair down to the scalp. She discouraged me. Although she didn't say so I have personal thoughts my scalp is not well conformed. Ten years ago they were trying to find a vein leak and did a bore in the front. It is always noticeable since it's sunk in. But, that didn't work so they removed the right side of my skull. They found a clot about the size of one's finger. On the X-rays they said it looked too much like brain tissue and that's why they did the bore first. Anyway, it left a lot of scar which is now covered by hair.

Gerry, we never did get to meet at Waynesville and have our coffee at Panecea. Will you be here this summer? I hope so. Maybe I'll stop by and see the folks at the B&B to introduce myself. I'll ask them to relay to you their thoughts and my e-mail address. It just occured to me that they may be closed for the Winter. Are they?

Gurley, I thought I'd answer Gerry in II to keep my thoughts uniform but my next post will be on III. I suppose all of us have been aware of your absence and I, for one, am glad you're okay and I hope your "funks" are few and far between.

Eloise, I don't remember if it was you or someone else who mentioned a box garden, or something like that. I may get 12 railroad ties, make them into three squares, and fill them with whatever it would take to grow veggies. I want to be careful of what I use. One time I used a lot of lime and mulch for tomatos. I had the bushiest (sp?) ones in my entire gardening career but there was not a bloom on any of them. I guess we all have to learn. In today's Asheville Citizen-Times there's a good size section on planting by the signs. I glanced over it for later reading. I didn't see anything that told me how to read the stars, sun and moon for this information. I'm sure it's on the Net.

Although fairly cold today we're suppose to have mid 50's the rest of the week so golfing should be in order. I'd really like to try twice a week and maybe I will.

This morning's Parade, or whatever comes with the newspaper, had the cover page with people and how long they would live. That's really some thought with which to be confronted on supposedly a relaxing Sunday morning.

I enjoy reading what you folks have to say and thank you for being here. Regards, Gene

    Bookmark   March 4, 2007 at 10:44AM
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Candler, another suggestion would be to plant in half whiskey barrels. My father used to do that and he enjoyed quite a harvest of vegetables, plus it was raised so he didn't have to bend over. I'm thinking about doing that myself. It's getting harder and harder to get down on the ground. I have a bench that when inverted acts as a kneeler with handles so I can get up and down a bit easier. I like it, but I tend to "lose" myself in gardening and before I know it, it's across the yard and I've scooted myself several feet or yards away. LOL!

Gurley - I don't know all your names yet, so forgive me - I can so relate to your experience with the ex. Mine was a lawyer who thought he was God's gift. But, I was so afraid of giving up the relationship and being on my own. Now that I am, I cherish it, and would not be willing to compromise my life with anyone else, I don't think. The thought is rather scary.

I am rather a isolationist, preferring my own company, and that of my daughter and granddaughter over other people. Most people do not maintain the same likes and dislikes that I do, and while I'm willing to give a bit in friendship, most of my friends I had at work, were so unlike me that I had a difficult time finding a common ground. A lot of women my age are still searching for the proverbial "rainbow relationship" with a man, and when they find someone to date, they brush off their friends like dandruff only to come crying back a short time later with their pitiful stories of "woe is me". I want to shake them and say, "what did you think? That they were going to fulfill all your fantasies of what a relationship is about?" Rarely do they get to know anyone in depth before they are into a physical relationship, not knowing anything significant about the other person. I guess what I'm trying to say is find a companion first, someone you enjoy talking with, being with, listening to, and that you have similar beliefs, values, etc. - BEFORE you get into that physical relationship. It's a whole lot less heartache, and you may get a valuable friendship if not a significant other, at the very least. Investing emotionally through physicality is going to bite you in the rear every time.

But, so far, I haven't found any women or men who are interested in my theories of what a relationship is all about. So, I tend to stay in my comfort zone, which is my home and my yard. Relationships are a lot like a garden. You have to prepare it first by "building" the soil; then you plant a few things to see how they do, tend them, fertilize them, prune them, watch them grow, and then you might get a bit more adventuresome with some plants and see how they do, and before long you have something long-lasting - and you haven't had to get into hybridizing or cross-pollinization yet! LOL!

Sorry to get so long-winded. Peace and serenity is what I most seek now in life. Not the roller coaster rides I used to be able to tolerate in my younger days.

Candler, I had something similar, called an arteriovenous malformation in my brain, but they caught it before it bled and were able to repair it through a procedure called an endovascular embolization (using a catheter through the femoral artery). I was lucky. But, I still have a dent in my head from when I fell off a swingset at age 5, and had to have stitches in my head. Maybe we should all go for the Brittany look. Tee hee!

Sure am enjoying my latte this morning!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2007 at 10:09AM
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