Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nintendo Watching

Unbelievable as it sounds, when John Sam plays his Nintendo DS, Caroline is quite content to engage in "Nintendo watching." You'd think she would want to play her own DS, but she has always liked watching him play. Most of the time, when they are totally quiet, it's disastrous. On this day, though, it was because they were hanging out and just being with each other.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Upping the post count 1/30/09

Nothing specific to say today, really, just wanting to try to up the post count for January. Another lousy day at work marked down in the record books. Anyway, the morning rain wasn't so bad, and it looked deceptively warm when the sun came out. Brrrr! Again! Our flannels are all clean and ready for wearing.

If I could only choose one movie to see in the thea-tah, it would be "Frost/Nixon." Caught Frank Langella on CBS' Sunday Morning. He's very forthcoming about a lot of his life. I liked that.

A few movies I'd like to see in the theater, but will probably have to wait until they get to DVD:

1) Gran Torino - Clint Eastwood's still got it, even in the trailers on TV. Yes, ma'am!
2) Last Chance Harvey
3) Doubt - LOVE it when Philip Seymour Hoffman says, "Where is your compassion?" and Meryl Streep says with a sneer, "Nowhere you can get at it."
4) Revolutionary Road

Movies I most likely won't see:

1) Bride Wars
2) New in Town - Renee Zellweger bugs me. Her hair usually looks great in the films she makes; yet on every awards show I see her on, she's got a strapless dress, manly arms, and hair pulled as tight as a face lift. Very unflattering.
3) Taken - for the same reason I can't watch the TV show Criminal Minds anymore.
4) Curious Case of Ben Button - 'cause Brad Pitt bugs me now, too.

Speaking of curious--on one of the local TV stations today, they showed a big feature on body language, and tonight on 20/20, they also did a story on the brain chemistry involved with body language and being in or out of love. Very interesting to me. Goes into the notebook to remind me to get more scoop on that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Search and Destroy

Tokyo got a new chewie from Granny for Christmas. The love affair lasted a few hours (see picture of them in chair), but once she ripped it open and the white puffy stuffing started to come out, it was ON, jack! We've enjoyed watching her growl and shake it around, and the kids have been nice enough to pick up the stuffing. There is so much more of it in there than you'd think. ;)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Which is bigger?

My behind or my large mouth?

Some days it's very, very, VERY hard to keep my mouth closed. I did it today. But I damn sure didn't want to. :(
I guess when it gets all built up, it'll come out. But one of the good things about delayed gratification is that it gives me an opportunity to choose appropriate words instead of the words I really want to use.

Honestly? I hate waiting. But I suppose it's for the best. This time I will let the Universe help save me from myself.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Looking within

Today had a rocky beginning. Ice on the windshield, hose frozen solid, heater in the old Yukon still doesn't work. Got to work late, and a tiny bit of unintentional misinformation passed from one to another, and it sure didn't take long for me to get into a snit. *sigh* Why do I always freak out and ask questions later? Why can't I be one of those placid, patient, unflappable people? When I was a kid, I always figured that was a "grownup thing." Little did I know that how I was when I was young was how I was gonna be when I'm old, er, middle aged. Welcome to semi-maturity.

I've found the times I most need a friend is when I'm feeling on some level that I'm not all that deserving of a friend. After letting me vent, my amiga W. reminded me, "That's not good for you, and you have to let that go." Instead of avoiding me when I'm a downer (like a lot of people would), she made the time to make a truthful statement and help me remember not to give other people the power to take away my peace. I did give a voice to my emotions. I pinpointed what made me upset, and I acknowledged it. After that, my day improved immensely. Another thing I considered with a clearer head: the life lessons that you keep getting are the ones you still haven't learned. Ah, there it is.

Here's a card I made for W. last month. She loves yellow and (IMHO) the card turned out lovely.

Since it says "Happy" on the front, here's something else that I hope will make me happy once I finish reading the instruction book. And it could take a while ;-)

Concentrating on what brings happiness is the secret to more happiness. Getting a handle on changing some of my thought patterns and reactions isn't pretty, but in the end, it's going to help me. I feel like the stuff that happened on this Thursday was worth it.

P.S. I liked this week's CSI much better than last week. I thought the last episode with "Grissom" was great until the end of the episode. Don't like Sara, I always wanted Griss with Lady Heather. I like Lawrence Fishburn's character a lot. Reminds me of someone, ha.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


If you're well acquainted with me, then you know if it's below 70 degrees, I'm freezin'. The low temperatures yesterday, today and tomorrow are not something I enjoy. No, I don't like the change even for a few days. No, I don't like the crispy scent of winter in the air. No, I can't wait till it's back to the 70s and 80s. May I remind you all that we live in Florida for one reason, and that is so we don't have to pretend we're in Minnesota?!

Here's where the herbs and tender citrus trees end up when the temps are in the low 30s:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009

It's not a black or white thing. It's not even a Democrat or Republican thing. For me, today is all about the promise of change.

On my way to school, I drove by three young black kids on one side of the street, and an older white lady taking out her trash on the other side of the street. The lady hollered something to the kids with a big smile (I couldn't hear what she said) and they hollered back, and then at the same time, each threw a fist in the air and cheered and laughed. No doubt they were referencing today's historical events. What a sight to see old and young coming together in an expression of happiness and joyous expectations.

At work we all gathered around the TV to listen to President Obama's inauguration speech. Before he was officially announced, media coverage kept showing him walking down the corridor towards the stage where his speech would be given. It seemed to me that his eyes were watering, and I imagined he was drinking in the moment, savoring the beginning steps of his journey. I'm glad to have seen that.

I'm also glad to see how the "younger generation" has embraced the world of politics. It's sort of like the reading frenzy created by the Harry Potter books. Never before, at least in my lifetime, have so many young people been so involved and so interested in the direction of our great nation. Even if they disagree, they're aware and taking part. I celebrate that progress.

I am proud to be an American and I feel lucky to be able to watch history in the making. God bless our country--it's the greatest country in the world today and every day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Here are a few quotes from Mr. King that haven't been overused.

"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."

"All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem."

"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. "

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sing a Song!

I'm not 100% sure if this little video clip will work if I put it here, since I've never posted one yet. Here goes:

I hope Caroline will forgive me some day for showing this. You can even hear me laughing a little in the background because it was so much fun watching them enjoy listening to their song lists. Plus those little gadgets are so tiny and cute.

I've always been a music lover--I believe I get that from my Dad. He really enjoyed all kinds of music. Listening to old songs and favorite songs is a pastime of mine. Songs make me think of certain people and events; some are a commentary about my life situation that seems relevant now or recently; and others speak to me about stops along my life journey. While I was burning songs for the kids, I also tried to get all the songs that I consider to be on my "Songs of Life" CD, a/k/a Fran's Top Ten Songs Ever (except now I'm thinking of one I left off).

1) Rock You Like a Hurricane (Scorpions). 2) Hungry Heart (Bruce Springsteen). 3) Goodbye, Alice in Wonderland (Jewel). 4) Born to Be Wild (Steppenwolf). 5) Call it Love (Poco). 6) Sister Golden Hair (America). 7) Against the Wind (Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band). 8) Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton). 9) Something in the Way She Moves (James Taylor).

The one I didn't get yet: Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress) (the Hollies). Now I'm thinking I should have country & western version of the list also.

Here are some lyrics from other songs that I've loved.

"And I remember what she said to me, how she swore that it never would end. I remember how she held me - oh so tight - wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then." (Against the Wind, Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band)

"Every time I see your sister, Lord, she's with somebody new. She's mean and she's evil, like a little ole boweevil, think I'll try my luck with you." (Little Sister, version sung by Dwight Yoakum, but I think this might be an Elvis song?)

"I've been everywhere, man." (I've Been Everywhere, Johnny Cash).

"Sometimes I find it's easy to be myself. Sometimes I find it's better to be somebody else." (So Much to Say, Dave Mathews Band)

"There's a light at the end of this tunnel, you shout--cause you're just as far in as you'll ever be out--and these mistakes you make, you'll just make them again, if you only try turning around." (Breathe, Anna Nalick)

"I might steal your diamonds, but I'll bring ya back some gold." (I'm No Angel, Greg Allman)

"Your mama don't dance, and your daddy don't rock-n-roll." (Your Mama Don't Dance, Loggins & Messina)

Other funny song notes:

  • I loved the video of the Poco song because it showed a girl in a black dress with white polka dots jamming out when she thinks nobody is watching, but a group of cute cowboys is having a great time watching her. The dress was so cute, and just because of that video I bought a black dress with white dots.
  • I'm convinced I've got a great song or two in me. I need to get them down in the notebook.

Try burning a CD of your "Songs of Life" - do you know which ones are on it?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Guilding - again

Just added a few new websites to my list, and fixed the links for some old ones.

Studied for social studies test and checked over homework. Had Carrabba's for dinner. Folded 2 loads of laundry, and now it is bedtime.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A New Look for 2009

It took longer than I thought it would to update and guild the lily that is my blog, but now that it's finally the way I want it at 10:11 p.m. EST, I really like the new layout. Let me know if it pleases you, too~~


Friday, January 9, 2009

Feeling Better

Today our office manager remarked, "Frannie, you look like you're finally feeling better."

I had to agree with her. :)

I'm still not sleeping well, but I feel normal again. I've got my appetite back (and then some, unfortunately, lol). I don't feel weak anymore and doing household activities doesn't take all the wind out of my sails.

Tonight we had Game Night after we ate pizza and the kids got cleaned up. We played "Perfection," the one where you have to put the shapes into the holes in one minute or less. Even Daddy got in on the action and we all had a lot of fun. Then after the kids went to sleep, I organized and purged around my desk, and finally figured out how to copy all the songs from my CDs over to the iTunes directory so I can put the kids' songs on their iPod Shuffles they got from Santa. "Only boy songs, Mom, no girl ones," said John Samuel. Ha!!

Thinking of going with the kids to the Science Center tomorrow. I've lived here in O-town for 19 years and haven't ever been there. I believe it will be something the kids enjoy.

I won't promise, but I plan on getting out my new camera and getting it charged up and messing around with it. Looking forward to that.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Reading Area Completed

Here is the reading area I've created.... now that it's all done. After I publish this post, I shall sit for a short spell and read before retiring to the boudoir.

Also putting up a photo of the littlest Baumgardner engrossed in reading. Not sure what it was about this photo that made me chuckle; most probably it was the pink socks and Mary Janes.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pissed off

{ This post has been edited by the author, who, having gotten some sleep, decided the original post was somewhat in poor taste. But I will leave the last line. ;-0 }

Apparently sleep is overrated.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time for bed

Wanted to blog, but just too darn tired. Remembered I wanted to start doing "morning pages" again - maybe tomorrow if I don't wake up during the night a bunch of times.

Monday, January 5, 2009

"Another one rides the bus"

Saw that on the back of a huge tow truck today. Laughed out loud. People and businesses take their parking pretty seriously here in Orlando.

Getting back in the groove after Christmas vacation isn't an event, it's a process. Finally last night I got the last of the ornaments put away. Funny how you admire the tree so much when it's first put up, basking in its beauty. Then after New Year's, you kinda curl your lip up in disdain at it--the green elephant in the room. But I guess when you've been looking at Christmas decorations since they were put out with the Halloween candy, you're over it by January 4. My ambitious sister said she took her tree down on Christmas night because "Christmas is over in this house." I hear ya.

We were almost 10 minutes late for school, and work was busy. Thank goodness Caroline had already done her homework at school, because John Sam's homework took some real maneuvering to get done. We had salad and spaghetti or ravioli, a rare dinnertime choice. I wanted to give myself a manicure, but it's so late and I need to get all the family's important dates onto the new Victorian calendar I treated myself to so I can get it hung up.

Over the weekend I got my rocking chair out of the garage, and it's going to go where the Christmas tree was with my new floor lamp I got from Target. Add in my footstool from long ago, and the whole thing's going to be my little reading area in the living room. I've got a nice stack of books ready to go--some of them I've already started on, some are brand new.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Digital TV Ready

Finally got our converter boxes hooked up so that we can get "digital TV" through our big ole antenna or BOA.

WOW, just wow.

Not only does it not matter anymore which way the BOA is pointing to get a clear picture, we also get about 15 more channels, including the public television station that shows the show Scrapbook Memories. Not that I have time to watch it, but hey, at least it comes in. Sure do wish that woulda been hooked up while I was feeling sickly.

Woo-hoo! For us, it's ALMOST like having cable. Channel surfing anyone?


Friday, January 2, 2009

Joan Didion

Yesterday I finished Joan Didion's book The Year of Magical Thinking. From the title it sounds like a happy book, but in reality it was a somber one in which she chronicles the first year after her husband's death. I'd seen Ms. Didion on an episode of Oprah back when I still watched the show regularly, maybe as much as two years ago? I can't recall now the single thing that I found so intriguing about her (there were most likely multiple things), but I remember going to Target and buying that book within a week of seeing the show. But I didn't make the time to read it until a few days ago. Once I began, I stole every spare moment I could to finish it. I couldn't put it down, really. On two occasions, I burst into tears while reading her words, and turned those pages down for future reference.

Her husband's name was John. Her birthday is the same day as Caroline's. And she is a firm believer in the adage Information is Power. She said that all her life, in times of trouble, she'd been taught to read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Damn! Is it an accident that I'm just like that when I've never read that before?!

I don't know Joan Didion personally, and unfortunately will probably never run in her circle of friends, LOL. No matter how remote the connection, I felt that I developed a kinship with her. Her words really moved me. Wherever she is, I hope Ms. Didion continues to share her words in her quest for information.

Serendipity ain't for sissies. Information is power. Drink it in, and thirst for more.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Be it resolved . . .

I decided to make some resolutions that should be fairly easy to keep. Why go through the motions of setting unrealistic goals? While for some it is admirable, as for me, I'm going for success this year.
  • Read every day. Book, magazine, newspaper, or internet--the source isn't important. Reading is one of my life's most pleasurable endeavors.
  • Stop multi-tasking. Doing one thing at a time will help me be more present, whether I'm mopping or living.
  • Create every day - may or may not be scrapbooking-related. Could be writing, cooking, or even creating something better about my environment or my attitude.
  • Carry my notebook with me so I can make notes of stuff I'd like to research, write later, or create at a later time. Also will be used to commemorate things that bring me awareness or joy that I'd like to remember or investigate further.
  • Not take other people's decisions personally. I'm going to make a point to remember it's not always about me. Because it's not!
  • Listen more carefully to my kids. They have so much to offer and I have so much to learn.
  • Realize that growth isn't always pleasant, but that doesn't mean I'm doing it wrong. "There is always the agony of choice before the promise of change." - Larry Lea
  • Pet my dog Tokyo every day, and let her lay on the couch beside me. Vacuums were made to pick up dog hair, weren't they?