Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All Time High on the Monthly Post Count

Acknowledging everyday blessings today:

1) Slept in a little later than usual and so did the kids

2) Good day at work - busy, no conflicts, no drama, plenty to do and finished all my projects with a few minutes to catch my breath and enjoy the ride home

3) All housework completed

4) Pizza for dinner and no dishes to wash

5) Highest post count for one month in the history of the blog (30--only missed one day!)

6) Looking forward to tomorrow as pseudo-Friday since it's the last day of my work week

7) Face washed and teeth brushed - feels good to be clean :)

8) Fresh sheets and blankie for bedtime

Monday, March 30, 2009


Still have a lot to finish, but I'm out of daylight, so to speak. I guess since that darned bathroom won't clean itself, it'll keep till tomorrow.


Sunday, March 29, 2009


Noticed today that I'm almost up to 3,000 views and this month also marks the all-time high on monthly post counts. :) Got the fridge cleaned off! Woohoo! Forgot to mention something else I found during yesterday's retrograde: the Thanksgiving card and pictures I had taken to give to Nana Shuman! They were in a grocery bag on top of the fridge, along with some very old Turkey Day cookies. Ewwww! The kids played Break the Ice yesterday and had a grand time hitting the ice cube blocks.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


When I lived in Sarasota, I knew a sparkly lady named Patti. She had light red hair and wore flowy skirts with pretty shoes. I noticed that people flocked around her. She drew them like a magnet, attracting all kinds of people into all kinds of conversation despite the fact that she had a really quiet voice. When I chatted with her once, she said that she didn't think I'd live there very long since I had moved there when a few of the planets were in retrograde. In hindsight it sounds a bit strange and maybe a little airy-fairy, but I didn't think of it as such; I just wondered what she meant. So I asked her. She said when some planets turned retrograde, it meant they were moving or directed backward from their usual orbit. During this time period it seemed that people would lose things. I must've frowned because then she said, "Oh, but people find things too, like something you misplaced a while back, or something you put somewhere special but then it went out of your mind for a while." She'd touch you while she spoke, and it gave you the feeling that she was an authentic and caring person. A few months later when I told her I was moving back to Sebring, she just grinned broadly with an air that said, "Yep, told ya so," but the friendly way that said, Remember when we talked about that?

Ever since then, it's been part of my family shorthand to say, "The planets must be in retrograde," if I'm having a particularly irksome day. Still, any time I find something that I've tucked away for one reason or another, I laugh to myself and think of Patti L. Today when I cleaned off the fridge (yessssssssssssss!!!!), I found several old photographs and to say I was delighted about them doesn't begin to tell it. The serendipity of all of it was sublime! :)

There was the only picture of me with Sam & kids on my 40th birthday, and some great black & white pictures I took of John Sam and Sam with Caroline. Priceless expressions!!! Still farther down in the back of the stack were two photos from May 2003. They were taken by my friend Kelly Seiler Borsheim when she and her husband and adopted son, Rudy, came to visit me and meet the kids. One was me holding Caroline, who was 5-1/2 months old. The other showed John Sam petting Beamer, and my hand just over Beamer's head getting ready to pet him. When Beamer passed away, I remember wailing that I hadn't taken enough pictures of him that were more recent than the ones I had. The one Kelly took was so sweet; it warmed my heart a lot and I treasure it all the more because Beamer looks just like I remember him. Guess which pictures are going on deck for scrap pages?!

Took a lot of "before" pictures today. I got a lot accomplished and will wrap up tomorrow, take some "after" pix, and call it a great weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Planning Ahead

Not a lot to say tonight. Glad the work week is over. I was busy today and it made the day fly by. Next week will be a short week for me as I'm taking a couple of days off for spring break. Things are much different this year than last year at this time.

My "therapist" has been having me keep a mood journal and it's been somewhat of a stress relief to pinpoint my ever-changing mood and write briefly about it. I guess it's like letting it flow and then sending it out into the Universe--I don't have to cuddle with it or worry about it anymore, ha.

I plan to spend a lot of time doing things I want to do this weekend instead of only doing stuff I have to do. I've been mulling over some scrap layouts and want to finish those and some other little projects around the house. I've been neglecting my rosebushes in the worst way. I hope to get them all spruced up, and then let the rains wash them clean with a good soaking. I also have quite the pile of reading materials to dig into.

Let the relaxing begin!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Problem Area

Ok, so it's not the world's most critical problem. It's just one of those little teeny weeny things that annoys me constantly as I am in the kitchen area most of the week. I can't stand how my fridge looks like a total mess! I didn't find the time (yet) to remedy this situation, but I did have a minute to take pictures of the last night it's going to look like this:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hump Day Is Over

Been having a good week so far. Things don't seem to be irritating me nearly as much as last month, LOL. Work is going well, and I haven't thought about buying "Skinny & Sweet" even one time this week. But I did think it was Thursday night and I was about to turn on CSI. Have to wait till tomorrow to get my forensic fix.

Background noise:

John Sam is doing math homework with his dad. He was adding from left to right instead of the other way around, and was none too happy to have to re-do everything. I can hear that it's almost done and bedtime is nigh.

Caroline finally lost one of her top front teeth today, and was devastated when she opened her little tooth box and tried to show it to her dad--it had broken into three little pieces. (She'd bumped it on the playground a while back and it was probably cracked.) So Daddy told her that maybe the Tooth Fairy would leave $3? She was unconvinced and not to be consoled.

Got my lottery tix and gettin' my mind right to win the big one so I can call in RICH tomorrow! Don't bother checkin' your numbers - I got the one, baby.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Literacy Night

Tonight we went to Literacy Night at the kids' school. Pizza, soda, popcorn, Ding-Dongs, contests, art projects, books and free T-shirts. There was also a bit of burping, laughing, running and socializing.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy One Year Anniversary To Franabelle's Fancy

One year ago today, I started this blog. I'm proud of it and happy that I've been able to keep it going. It's become important to me and it makes me feel good when other people tell me that they enjoy it too.

Here's to another great year of blogging!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Cleaned up some clutter today. I heard a segment on Mix 105.1 about decluttering. (I believe it was the same fellow who was on Oprah and got famous after cleaning/decluttering the one lady's house who ended up with two 10,000 sq. ft. warehouses full of stuff she was hoarding in a 3,000 sq. ft. home. Bugs me that I can't think of his name right now.) More interesting were the emotional reasons people "hoard" or allow an area or areas to get & stay cluttered. Seems like spring and cleaning have always gone hand in hand. Repeat after me: I am not hoarding!

Tomorrow I will post a before & after pic of an area that has been in need of a declutter for a while. I know the project won't take that long to get through, and I'm thinking how I'll feel satisfied with a job well done and how it'll make me happier in a small--and kinda kooky--way, and this will motivate me to get my next project done.

When I do it this way, I discover I have more time than I think I have to get things accomplished. :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Miscellaneous, a Shameless Brag, and The Secret

Got signed up on Twitter. So far - I'm underwhelmed. We'll give it a little more time to grow on me.

Had my hair done today. Then when I bought my lottery and powerball tickets, the hunky little cashier asked me if I knew who Teri Hatcher was. "You know, the good lookin' one with brown hair on Desperate Housewives," he says. "Yes," I say. "Well, you look like her," he tells me.


Thanks, fella. Kinda needed that today~

Have been wishing for a new laptop. My computer keeps crashing when I try to balance my Quicken account. And I've been focusing on that Mercedes 450 GL I had my eye on a while back. The other day at the office, a shiny black one was parked right in front. Man, it looked sharp. I thought I wanted a red one until I saw one IRL, and it looks more burgundy than I care for. So I've decided I want the platinum colored one. The Secret tells me to visualize. So I have a vision of myself finding this humongous bag of cash in a parking lot or on the side of the road.

(insert smiley face here)

Friday, March 20, 2009


It's hard to keep up. I thought I was running with the in crowd by having my own blog after deciding that I was a little old for myspace. Then a few friends invited me onto Facebook, and I felt connected and up to date - maybe even cool!

Then I heard last night on the local news that blogging is WAY OUT and Facebook is so yesterday. But tweeting is IN. The latest and greatest in computer socializing is something called Twitter.

Hmmm. I guess I better look into it unless I wanna look like an old fogey who's hopelessly out of date.


Thursday, March 19, 2009


One month ago today, I had my miscarriage. There, I said the word. I found out I was pregnant on Valentine's Day, and five short days later, I lost the baby. Everything kept happening so fast--over and over I found myself accepting an new state of awareness . . . and then suddenly there was a different state to acknowledge, deal with, and accept. Intellectually and physically I am completely fine.

Emotionally, I finally think I've got it sorted out. I really don't think I was meant to have more than my one boy and my one girl, but it was both sad and painful to come to grips with the fact that while it might have been possible to have another child in our family, it wasn't in God's plan for me or us. Leaps of faith are quite difficult for me, but God already knows that since He made me who I am. For the first time, I'm viewing the experience not as a punishment but as an affirmation that God truly wants what is best for me. Even if I think a certain choice or path might be appropriate, once in a while He intervenes and I need to let Him.

When I am older and wiser, I will appreciate all the more how God has led me in the best direction. Until then, I'm being patient with the process. Sometimes you only get one choice because it's the right one.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lordy, Lordy, Someone is 40

"He who shall not be named" has turned 40 today! Happy Birthday, Pookie!

Welcome to what we like to call the Middle Ages . . . . and just remember, 40 is the new 30!


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day 2009

Is it just me, or does this photo proclaim, "WE ARE SO SICK OF YOU TAKING PICTURES OF US!"

Sorry, kiddoes. It's a mother's prerogative to continue to do things that annoy you. Here is the consolation: When you're a parent, you can do it, too! ;-) I'm betting you'll enjoy it as much as I do, hehe.

Other musings:

***Caroline wore this same clover T-shirt on last St. Patrick's Day. I swear she has grown since then, but hey, if the shirt fits......

***This is my 200th post on the blog. Wowza!

***Today at work we all received an e-mail that was the mother of all work e-mails - totally Hall of Fame material. Due to confidentiality, I can't repost it here.....but I will go out on a limb to offer the following opinion: Poop is the great equalizer. That'll have to do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Power of Two

Once again, we are a TWO television family! Yay! Sam got this 32" JVC for a smokin' $70 - and just how fabulous does it look in our entertainment center? I know it's the smell of greedy with a whiff of selfish indulgence.....but I have so missed having a TV in the living room. :) After homework and story time, once again the kids and I can enjoy the last couple of rounds of Wheel of Fortune!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Magic Win Against Jazz 105-87

The kids' school gave them each a free Orlando Magic ticket when Dwight Howard visited the school to get everyone pumped up for the dreaded "FCAT." :)

So tonight we all went to the Amway Arena and watched them pummel the Utah Jazz. Their coach, Jerry Sloan, got off to a roaring start in the first quarter by arguing with the ref and getting himself tossed from the game. That set the tone for the game, and I don't think the Jazz ever had the lead during any of the quarters. The stands weren't too crowded, the fans were rowdy but not obnoxious, and even though the kids were a tiny bit bored by the end, it was a lot of fun.

I like the pictures except for the redeye, which I couldn't remove because the pictures won't open in my PSE 3.0 anymore. (And I was too tired to keep trying.)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Erma Bombeck

Anybody besides me remember how funny Erma Bombeck used to be? My mom had a couple of her books and I read them when I was in middle school. She had such a genuine sense of humor and was hilarious without using foul language or crass situations. She talked a lot about David Susskind (a talk show host, apparently) and all the things she could do with pink plastic clothesline. Too damn funny.

Today as I was vacuuming, I had an Erma Bombeck moment. I picked up one of Caroline's shoes and stuck the end of the vacuum cleaner hose into it to suck out the sand instead of dumping the shoe out into the trash can. It was SO much faster! I accomplished this feat without one whit of Suzie Homemaker guilt or even a second thought, really. Oh, I'm sure somewhere June Cleaver and Carol Brady are clutching their pearls and gasping for breath. But I didn't waste too much time thinking about that..... instead I laughed at how Erma probably had done the same many times.

Other books my mom had that I enjoyed were written by Helen Gurley Brown (one of my all time favorite writers and life gurus) and Phyllis Diller. Both women had a wicked sense of humor!

I learned a lot from all these funny gals. Life is short; laughing makes it way more enjoyable. And the sooner the vacuuming is done, the better.

Friday, March 13, 2009


A few things I'm tired of seeing and/or hearing about:
  • Stimulus packages
  • TV and radio commercials doing their version of "sales" by copying the stimulus package
  • Anything having to do with the stock market
  • Taylor Swift
  • Rihanna & Chris Brown
  • "Octu-Mom"
  • Dating reality shows
  • 3G i-Phones
  • Deals on new cars
  • Dr. Phil
  • Mr. Madoff

I'm not going to put any "labels" on this post because I don't want anyone Googling anything on this list anymore.

Ok, I feel so much better now. :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Peace of Wild Things

It's a little strange to think that my dad passed away four years ago today. I don't like remembering the date of someone's death; rather, I like to remember them on their birthday as it seems a happier memory. One of the tiny burdens of my tendencies towards OCD, I guess, is that rarely can I forget the dates about anything.

When Alan Alda guest starred on the TV Show "ER," his dying character recited the following poem. I have no idea if my dad ever read it, heard of it, or would've liked it. But I like it, and it reminds me of him. I'm sorry to say I don't know if he's at peace wherever he may be - but I hope he is.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water,
and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~Wendell Berry

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Full Moon 3.11.09

The full moon makes me crazy. I've heard that's an old wives' tale, but it does ring true sometimes. I still love looking at it, even if the Universe seems wonky in some ways on those couple of days. (Apparently it makes others crazy too, but that's another post for another day.)

I got up earlier than everybody else because I wanted to take some pictures of how cool it looked before daylight today. I guess the Virgo in me is just not satisfied with the way they turned out--photos can't capture the beauty of it. The electrical lines would not photo-shop out of my image without ruining the rest of it, so I just left them there.

Tokyo and I greeted this day in the moonlight. Picture or no picture for the scrapbook, I have an imprint of it in my mind's eye, and a sweet memory with our much loved canine. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Dog Quotes

Missed a day of bloggin on 3-10-09! Bummer!

The kids and I talked today about all the pets we've loved who are now in Heaven. Here are a few of my favorite quotations about dogs.

"Those sighs of a dog! They go to the heart so much more deeply than the sighs of our own kind because they are utterly unintended, regardless of effect, emerging from one who, heaving them, knows not that they have escaped him!" - John Galsworthy

"The censure of a dog is something no man can stand." - Christopher Morley

"Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail." - Josh Billings

"The uglier the dog, the more he or she is loved." - Martyn Lewis

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience." - Woodrow Wilson

"Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in." - Mark Twain

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Photos in Random Order

I've been taking some pictures with the new camera. In no particular order, here they are!

The first page I've scrapped in a very long time: "Made For Me" - isn't the black lace trim gorgeous? It was about $8 per yard, and the pattern was exactly what I visualized before I saw it.

Here's what I see when I sit at my computer:

Finally, a great picture of Miss Tokyo Jones~

Not sure what this plant is called, but I loved its orange color.

One of Sam's citrus trees that he is babying in the hopes of cultivating some great fruit; this one is called Eureka Lemon and I'm told they'll turn yellow when they're bigger and more ripe.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring forward!

(Said in my best Martha Stewart voiceover)

A gentle reminder to set those clocks ahead one hour to observe the silly annual tradition of springing forward!

Pancake breakfast will be shifted to pancake brunch as we spend the rest of the day trying to get it together so we can get where we need to be on Monday in a timely fashion.

Oh my--time for bed already ;-0

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Night PBS

I've traded in my happy hour cocktails for a new guilty pleasure on Friday nights: Bill Moyers' Journal on PBS. Since the TV guide in our local paper doesn't list who the guests will be, I always tune in a little before 9:00 p.m. to see if I want to watch.

A couple of months ago, John Lithgow was discussing his recent run in Arther Miller's play "All My Sons" and other acting accomplishments. They went on to chat about his popular children's books and his latest book, Poet's Corner, which includes some of Lithgow's favorite poems. He read a Shakespeare poem that he'd read at his father's memorial service. It was from Cymbeline, and called "Fear no more the heat o' the sun." Even though it's a typical Shakespearian tongue-in-check piece, it was quite moving. Lithgow must really knock out his audience in person--he is quite a remarkable performance actor. I've decided I'd like to book Lithgow to read it aloud at my memorial service. LOL

Two or three Fridays ago, a poet named Nikki Giovanni was featured. She was soft-spoken but forthright and sassy; I liked her right away. I believe she now teaches at Virginia Tech. She shared how she had a crush on Billy Dee Williams, and how she'd confessed that to his wife, who didn't mind. (Or was it Denzel Washington? Not 100% on that.) Later she read poems from her book Love Poems and talked about how you need two things to learn how to ride a bicycle: trust and balance. She chuckled and said she'd realized that's all you need for most of life, too.

I'm thinking I agree. :)

Tomorrow I shall take my 40% book coupon to Borders and get Ms. Giovanni's book of poems. (I'll post the bicycle poem when I get the book.) But right now - it's time for the Journal!

Update at 9:30 p.m. - The show about John Lithgow was repeated tonight. Great to see it again.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Michael J. Fox

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business." - Michael J. Fox

After I read this quote, I realized I've often confused the two. But actually, it might be more accurate to say I had their meanings mixed up. It feels good to make the distinction.

Clarity . . . I like it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Daylight Savings Time

Even though the time doesn't "spring forward" until this weekend--and usually later in the year--I've been waking up earlier. Today I woke up at 4:40 a.m. (OMG - I know, right?!!)

The best thing I could come up with was, Hey, next week, it'll be 5:40 a.m. and possibly we'll make it to school and work on time. ;-0 We are looking at the glass as half full these days, bwahahaha.

I have been going to bed earlier, too. Didn't mean to fall asleep the other night in the middle of "Two and a Half Men" - I'll have to catch that one on repeats.

Another personal side note: Good luck to Gravy on Thursday 3/5 as he goes to the special magic pediatric dentist. Hugs, mi sobrino!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Invisible Ink

Tonight I am using invisible ink for the post . . . since I don't have anything to blog.


Monday, March 2, 2009


Feeling a little rushed tonight. I want to get my checkbook balanced before my shows come on in 5 minutes! I should've done it yesterday, but while Sam took the kids out for a while, I spent the time working on a scrapbook page. Once I get it glued down, I will post it here.

A family historical note: My mom's father would be 103 today if he were still alive.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

My path-

" . . . this path, this road that is one perfect
straight line even if it goes around the world through heat
and fog and rain and snow and it's my life I keep thinking,
It's my life."
- Deborah Keenam, from "Small History"

Instead of lamenting that my path isn't easy and straight, I'm reminded to try to be more observant of what is positive along my own path. I need to pay more attention to the universality of my journey insted of focusing on what might be missing or what's wrong with said journey.

In my eyes, my journey is here, there, and everywhere. But suddenly I remember that in God's eyes, I'm traveling on a perfectly straight line . . . the one in accordance with His plan.