Archive for the ‘Thursday thirteen’ Category

  1. I really hate pets right now. I want to get rid of all the ones in this house but they aren’t mine. If I had my way, I would get rid of them all.
  2. I need a new laptop. This one is three years old and it keeps freezing on me. It heats up and shuts off on me, too. And I got it when 60 GB was a lot but now it isn’t. I’d like to have a larger hard drive so I don’t have to keep carrying an external drive with me. One day.
  3. California. I really like it here. It has it’s drawbacks: it’s crowded; it’s very expensive; it’s too far from the east coast; and on and on. BUT, I like it. If I could find a nice spot where it wasn’t as crowded and a lot less expensive to live, I would go there. I really like this coast.
  4. I should read more. I have a lot of books that I’ve gotten and have not read. There is also a long list of books that I would like to go out and get but it’s so expensive to buy books. I did discover a used book store last week so I think it’s time to head over there with a list of books I’d like to have and a $ limit on what I will spend. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
  5. Email forwards are such crap! I really dislike them. (I’m trying not to use the word hate today.) I wish people would not send them. I especially dislike the ones that end with that little nagging threat that even though I know it’s not true, I kind of feel like I have to forward the dumb thing so that a herd of elephants does not run through my bedroom or so that my daughters aren’t horribly injured because I didn’t send it on. Yeah. You know the ones.
  6. Family is family. We can’t pick them. Sometimes I wish I could pick my family but then I realize that if I did that, I would have no one to blame but myself when the whole clan revolts against me or becomes revolting to me.
  7. Blogging is fun but it sometimes feels like a responsibility. I guess it is–a responsibility to myself.
  8. Writing long hand fills a different need than writing on the laptop or on the desktop. Long hand lets the thoughts flow from my mind to my hand to my pen to the ink to the paper and to my eye. Somehow it is quite different from writing/composing on a word processor. I should write long hand more often.
  9. Reality shows suck.
  10. I should listen to music more often. I guess that means I should listen to a radio so that I can get newer music. It doesn’t do a lot of good to listen to my own music on CD or on my iPod because the point is to get exposure to different music—music that is new to me.
  11. I wish I could be mean to the cats. I can’t. It would be like being mean to an innocent child and I can’t ever do that, either. I’d rather be mean to me.
  12. I want flowers. I think I will go buy some for myself soon. I haven’t gotten any in a long, long time. The kids (well mostly Tina) used to get them for me on Mother’s Day and on my birthday but I haven’t gotten any since my birthday in 2006. Yeah. I think I’m going to get a yellow bouquet of something cheap. Maybe on the weekend.

13.  I like salad. Some people hate it but I really like it. I like salads as entrees. One of my favorites is a Greek salad.     I               haven’t had one in a long time, though. Hhmmm. I think I’ll have one tomorrow. I have to go to the grocery store                  later. I’ll get salad stuff.

Thursday Thirteen

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Thursday Thirteen

In no particular order:

Amaretto on the rocks—Actually, when I was pregnant with my first child, I had a dream that I was about to have a drink of Amaretto.I hadn’t ever had it.I woke up before I had my drink in the dream and so I had an intense craving for Amaretto di Saronno.But I was pregnant and I couldn’t drink.Finally, at my ex’s Christmas party from work, we accompanied some of the other couples for drinks in the lounge afterwards and someone ordered an amaretto on the rocks for me.I had a small taste and gave the rest to a friend.I became an instant fan of Amaretto!

Kahlua—I love Kahlua.My parents used to drink it when I was growing up and I had some tastes of it.I still love it now.My preference is either on the rocks or in hot milk.

Margarita—On the rocks is my preference.I also love flavored ones, especially watermelon and strawberry ones.

Piña Colada—This is probably my favorite all time drink.I love the freshness of pineapple and of coconut.This drink marries the two.Love it.Love it.Love it.

Mojito—I had my first one a couple of years ago at Dave and Busters.It was okay but not wonderful.More recently, I ordered one at TGI Friday’s and didn’t regret it one bit.After that last one,I love, love, love mojitos with their fresh mint and rum flavor!Very nice.

Rum & Coke— A simple but classic drink.I take mine with Diet Coke now.Occasionally, I will take the rum flavored, such as vanilla rum or coconut rum with my Diet Coke.Very nice.Very easy.

Martini—I’ve never had one but I’ve always wanted to try one.

Mimosa—A wonderful way to start the day, if I dare.I usually don’t but when I do, I am glad I did.

Hibiscus—One of my new favorite drinks.I love cranberry juice and I love it more with champagne.

Daiquiri—I love strawberry daiquiris.I haven’t had one in many years but maybe I’ll treat myself to one soon.

Cosmopolitan—I’ve never had one of those either.They look pretty.They sound yummy.

Champagne—Just plain champagne.I don’t like the really dry stuff.I have discovered a couple of Korbel varieties that are not distributed except at the Korbel Champagne Cellars.Those are the best!

Wine—Not a mixed drink or anything.Just plain glass of red chilled wine.My current favorites include merlot, syrah, or cabernet sauvingnon.

I know, it sounds like I’m a lush.I’m not.I don’t drink often.I don’t drink much.But I thought this would make a different kind of Thursday Thirteen list!

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  1. Ninety-seven years is a long time but sometimes it’s not enough.
  2. Family is family is family is family, no matter how often you see each other or not.
  3. Just when you think you have things all planned out, life pulls the rug out from under you.
  4. Make sure you are standing in a cushy spot when life pulls out that rug.
  5. Never trust that the airline will get you to your connecting flight on time.
  6. When you leave your 17 year old with your 23 year old, they will both survive.
  7. Sometimes 17 year olds are more dependable than 23 year olds.
  8. Your kids need you, no matter how old they are.
  9. When your parent gets to a certain point, you have to parent them.
  10. Let people know ahead of time what you might want at your funeral, just in case.
  11. Let people know what you don’t want at your funeral, just in case.
  12. When someone tells you what they want at their funeral, follow through, no matter how silly or how ridiculous you think it is.
  13. Tell people you love them, before it’s too late.

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This is part 2 of a post that began as a small, thirteen item list and grew and grew and grew. It grew so much that I ended up dividing it into two parts. If you haven’t already read part 1, please do.

7. Chicago~I’ve been there twice. The first time was in January with subzero temperature and the second time was in July with above 100 degree temperature! We were visiting family so there was minimal sight seeing. However, we did take a lake cruise that had us going through the lock system. My son was with me and he was about six. He enjoyed watching how it worked and called it an elevator for the boat! We also went to the observation deck at the top of the Sears Tower. That was awesome! We walked to the Lincoln Park Zoo from my sister-in-law’s apartment. It’s a wonderful zoo! We also happened to be there during their annual Air Show so that was pretty neat. You must visit the Greek neighborhood and the Italian neighborhood. Eat there! Really! The Field Museum is a must do. They had hands-on activities that were entertaining and educational for adults and children!

8. Anchorage~We went in May. It was not too cold; very bearable. It was light out until the late evening. In fact, I took a picture outside with no flash after ten pm and got the photo with no problem. At the time that I was there, in 1982, it was very much a small town. I hear that it is quite developed now. I hope to have the opportunity to revisit Anchorage and compare the present with my memories. One thing that struck me was how remote things are there. We drove from Anchorage to the Kenai Penninsula south of Anchorage and found we were pretty much in the middle of no where! I often think that if it weren’t for the fact that I would be so far from my children, I wouldn’t mind settling in Alaska.

9. Vancouver, British Columbia~This Canadian city, to me, has very much the same feel that San Francisco does, only much cleaner. It is on the coast and very much the international city. You can walk the streets and hear a great many languages. This cosmopolitan city is full of beautiful gardens. Stanley Park is a must visit destination, as is the world class aquarium located in Stanley Park. There is much to do. A little bit for everyone that visits. The weather is very much like California! No wonder studios take their crews to Vancouver to do much of their filming these days!

10. Honolulu, Hawaii~This city is full of tourists and yet, once you leave the Waikiki area, you get the Hawaiian laid back spirit. The first time I went to Honolulu was in 1985 and I remember telling my ex-husband that if he was ever asked to move to Hawaii to open a branch of his firm, say yes immediately! He was not to stop and think. I would go in a heart beat! It is that beautiful and that relaxing! There is the Waikiki area where all the tourists congregate and the International Marketplace. There is also the Honolulu Zoo where you can see the only snake in the entire state of Hawaii (it had to be imported to the island, or so the tour guides say!). If you go, I highly recommend taking an island tour, either with one of the many touring companies or on your own. All you need is a car and a guide booklet which are available for free at many street corners.

11. Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii~Wow! If I thought Honolulu was great (and I did) Lahaina is to die for! The atmosphere here is much more small town and much more laid back. Although there are many tourists, they are not concentrated as they are in Waikiki (although that is changing and it is becoming very crowded as I witnessed during my last trip to Lahaina in 2004). You can either do a lot, do a little, or do nothing and you will still enjoy your stay! Try a luau. I’ve been to a couple of them and they are wonderful! Beaches, an ocean breeze, fresh air, relaxation, palm trees, fragrant beautiful blossoms, and so much more! Really, go! I can’t describe the beauty.

12. Kona, Hawaii~The Big Island! And it is big. This is much less populated and visited than are the islands of Maui, Oahu, and Kauai (which are the other three islands I have visited). The Big Island boasts both the wettest place on American soil (in Hilo) and the furthest southern point in the United States. Visit Hilo, Captain Cook, and Kailua-Kona. You will encounter beaches, coffee plantations, orchid fields, volcanos, legendary homes of Hawaiian gods (Pele, Lohiau, Hi’iaka, Kane, and others). You can see Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in the world, when measured from it’s base 19,000 feet under the surface of the Pacific Ocean to it’s peak, making it well over 33,000 feet in height. Be sure to visit Volcanoes National Park and Punalu’u, the black sand beach. There is a wealth of beauty and nature on the Big Island that is not to be missed!

I’ve saved the best for last…

13. Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii~This is the most sacred place I can think of. This is the volcano crater that is found 10,023 feet above sea level. Ancient Hawaiians came here to worship the sun and ask for favors. In fact, the word Haleakala means the path to call the sun, in ancient Hawaiian. If you ever go to Maui, do yourself a favor. Get up early and make the trek to the summit to watch the sunrise. It is absolutely freezing up there and it is totally blacker than black until the sun rises. This is the place to go to reaffirm your life. This is the place to make a pilgrimage to. This is it. It is an experience not to be missed. I cannot say enough about it. Here is a photo I took at sunrise on Haleakala.

Sunrise on Haleakala

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Inspired by Smiler’s Thursday Thirteen posts. Thanks, Smiler! You’ve come through with another blog idea for me! This began as a simple list of thirteen items and ended up to be so long that I have divided it into two parts. I will post part 2 in a day or so. By the way, I hope some of you click on the links. It took me hours, quite literally, to find all the links and insert them here for you.

1. San Francisco~This one should almost not count because I grew up an hour south of SF and currently live an hour north of it but many people haven’t been and would like to hear about it, so here it is. A funny thing is that, as a child, my father used to bring us to San Francisco at least once a month. When we had out of town company, we’d take them there to see it for themselves. However, my father ALWAYS complained about the traffic and how confusing it is to get around the city. I ended up being afraid to drive there myself. When I was in college, my friends and I would often visit San Francisco but I never wanted to drive because of the fear instilled by my father. It just made me nervous. Now though, I am okay with driving to and through the city because of my daughter. Susie loves San Francisco and stayed there for six weeks during July of 2006. That made me go there and take her there and learn the ropes. I still get lost but now with my GPS, I’m fine driving there and it only took half a lifetime to feel comfortable with driving there. Must Sees: The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Palace of Fine Arts, Union Square, the Fairmont Hotel, the Coit Tower, Lombard Street, the Mission District, Golden Gate Park, City Hall, North Beach, and in spite of recent events, the San Francisco Zoo. There’s so many places you must come and stay a good week or plan on coming often! Make sure you take a ride on a Cable Car. Below is a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge that I took just a week ago.


2. Los Angeles~Again, having lived within 20 minutes of Los Angeles, maybe I shouldn’t count it but someone will find it interesting. Make sure you see the birthplace of the city at Olvera Street, Chinatown, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Wilshire Boulevard including the Miracle Mile, the Mark Taper Forum, Hollywood, the Hollywood Bowl, the Kodak Theater, El Capitan Theater, the sidewalk at Mann’s Chinese Theater (formerly Grauman’s), the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Dodger Stadium, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica Pier (okay so it’s not L.A. but it is!), and Union Station. There are far too many sites to see in L.A., as in S.F. but get a start, at least!

3. Boston~ As a history buff, this is a must see place. I loved the Freedom Trail and the gilded dome of the Massachusetts State House, the Charles River and views of it from both sides, M.I.T. campus, Harvard campus, the subway, the Museum of Science, and the Children’s Museum. Be sure to allow time to take a drive to Cape Cod, including a stop at Plymouth Plantation and the harbor where you can still see Plymouth Rock!

4. Salem, Massachusetts~The home of the Salem witch trials of the late 1600’s. This is a very picturesque town as are the towns along the drive from Boston. You’ll find it full of history and places you’ve read about. The House of Seven Gables inspired a wonderful novel and you can also visit the birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne. There are numerous places you can visit that are associated with the witch hunt and trials! You’ll have lots of photo ops, too!

5. New York~The first two times I went there were scary because I had no idea where I was in relation to any place else or any place I wanted to go. I had no clue of how to use the subway system. And it was January which in one of those two visits included a big snow storm and being pretty much confined to the hotel. It was the Waldorf so I didn’t complain, though! The third and last time I visited NYC, it was much better. I went with my son and daughter. We planned the trip in advance, got maps and books, and my son took charge of getting us from one place to the other. I got a real feel for the layout of the city and for getting around the place. I even want to go back and for a scaredy cat like me, that’s saying something. What to do? Eat dessert at Serendipity 2, take the ferry to Liberty Island and don’t miss a stop at Ellis Island. The sites in Manhattan are already known to you so I won’t bore you but don’t miss Central Park or Times Square. Be sure to visit SoHo and Greenwich Village. Rockefeller Plaza is a site any time of year but is particularly beautiful during the Christmas season. Okay, I think each of the above places requires a post of their own. Huh! This could put me in posts for a long time! I’m fairly certain that I will return to New York. My youngest daughter loves it there and I have an idea she may end up there, at least for a while. My oldest daughter has not been to New York and I promised I’d take her so I have to make good on that promise. She works for the Fairmont Hotels and they just re-opened the Plaza in NYC as one of their properties so she gets a significant discount. I’m not sure we’d be able to afford it, even with her discount, but maybe for one night! Here’s a picture my daughter took of me looking out the window on the ferry to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.

me on ferry to liberty island

6. Dallas~Do not leave the city without visiting the site of the JFK assassination at Dealey Plaza. There is a somber, reverent atmosphere as you walk the areas so many of us have seen over and over again as we watch the file footage of the motorcade approaching Dealey Plaza and passing the grassy knoll. If it is still there and open to the public, do not miss the museum called The Sixth Floor. It is in the Texas School Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald sat waiting for the motorcade. Being inside that building and inside the very room where history was made, is an awe inspiring feeling. You will read accounts from every day people, telling how they heard about the assassination and where they were when they heard it, and how they felt. There are large books filled with accounts from people like you and I, that have visited the museum and been moved by it. I still remember the day President Kennedy was murdered. I was in second grade. I’ll have to write a post about that day. The Sixth Floor Museum is a must do – must see! There are amazingly beautiful buildings in the downtown area. The city reeks of money (and oil). I also enjoyed a long, almost full day visit to the Dallas Museum of Art where I saw an exhibit of French Impressionist Art. It was ages ago and I was on my own walking the streets of the city while my ex was in an all day meeting. So I walked and walked and walked and then walked some more! It was wonderful!

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