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Sunday, November 21, 2010


Today marks my husband's birthday.  The man of my dreams.  My King of Hearts. Mr. Romance.  He gave me a birthday for the books. On second thought, he's given me many birthday gifts for the books.

In 1982 I outdid him forever. I delivered our firstborn, our daughter, on this day, November 21. If I'd had my druthers I'd've delivered her Nov. 11, as my first OB called it.  Chris knew our baby would be born on his birthday, and I scoffed at his prediction.  As the day grew nearer I scoffed more. I was ready to have the pregnancy done by the 1st due date, but no, that wasn't the case. Chris was working a turn-around (refinery lingo for scheduled maintenance) in Nov. and right after he left for work at oh-dark-thirty on the 20th, I went into labor; after a few hours of feeling weird I called him and home he came.

Long story short, the home birth didn't work & we went to Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi (where the late Farrah Fawcett and my husband were born) and voila!  There she was!

So Chris has given up many birthdays so that we could celebrate hers This year, as in previous years, he's working.  My plans for his special day were thwarted.  I'd hoped he could fly his hang glider, or ride his age, or get a massage and enjoy a fabulous meal.

Instead, he worked late, we bought our daughter's gift, I gave him his, and we ordered Amici's East Coast Pizza delivered.  Drank some local Cabernet Sauvignon, watched a movie we DVRd and called it good. Part of me is very unhappy that I couldn't spoil him rotten.  And since he's OK with this, I guess I get to be OK with it, too.

Just wait 'til he's retired...I'll spoil him every day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Dark and Stormy Night

The California coast averages fewer than 10 thunderstorms per year.  When we're privileged to have one it's a real novelty.  If I can I watch the sky for the light show, and cringe in advance of thunder pealing overhead.  Our first two Schipperkes, Scout and Gretchen, would run around the house and bark at the ceiling when we had thunderstorms.  Beau and Oliver don't seem to care.

Tonight's storm featured hail and high winds. We came out of Nugget (and a surprise wine tasting) and I saw lightning reflected in the wet parking lot, followed by thunder. The storm was just west of us, moving east in a hurry.  Two hours later the rain & wind persist, and faint rumbles emanate from the east.  The mountains are going to have some wild weather tonight.

Meave & Chris are watching a horror move, "From Hell," starring Johnny Depp.  I'd watch it because he's in it but I abhor horror movies.  "Motel" and "The Exorcist" almost scarred me for life. I'm upstairs with laundry washing, 7-bean soup simmering, 3-layer cornbread baking, with a glass of wine and "This American Life" on the radio and the staccato rhythm of rain on the patio cover in the background.  I have a few candles burning throughout the house.  My favorite is a Colonial Candle, Peppermint scent, that I haven't been able to find for 3 years.

Why do I have candles from 3 years ago?  Because I've learned to stock up, thanks to Nike.

In the 90's, when Nike offered discounts to group exercise instructors, I'd buy shoes from them in which to teach my Jazzercise classes.  I had 3 pair that I rotated; I taught 10 classes or more a week, and according to the wisdom of the day, one was to wear a pair and air out the other two.  I'd buy a pair every 3 months, with the oldest being 9 mos. old, and if they broke down by then I'd wear them to my personal training sessions -- in other words, they were fine for non-impact activities.  I could train clients in them, do my strength training routine in them, but not use them for teaching.  For about 10 years I was the Lompoc version of the Imelda Marcos of workout shoes.

So I'd get a pair from Nike and really, really like them.  Three months later I'd attempt to buy a second pair. Nike would tell me those shoes were no longer in production.  WTH?   Only 3 months?

Seems they'd make shoes, offer them to instructors, collect feedback, and either make more for the masses or discontinue the line.  So after 4 years I got wise -- when I found a pair that I liked a lot, I'd order another pair within a month.  Usually I'd get the 2nd pair.  Sometimes the style was already passe'.  That was frustrating.

And that's why I have candles I bought 3 years ago.  I wish I'd bought more.  I love the scent.  It's minty, fresh, light and not heavily-perfumed.  Some of those scents hurt my nose, they're so heavily-scented. It's as though they're made for people who are losing their sense of smell.

So my search continues.  And now dinner's ready.  I love a rainy night.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where's my Zen?

Enjoying some fine patio time:  no wind, mild (t-shirt & shorts) temperature,  a glass of Berryessa Gap (local) Tempranillo in hand. I am restless; want to ride/run/work myself into endorphin heaven and must settle for some relaxation. It's not working.  I want to do that which I cannot.

So in 10 days I'm to give a speech about service at my Installation of officers luncheon.  I volunteered, was asked by my friend and President-elect, accepted, and am now...speechless.

Normally glib, gifted somewhat at extemporaneous speechifying, I find myself at a loss.  I have a nebulous idea of the impact I want to deliver, the point I want to make, and cannot come up with the language to put it all together.  I'm puzzled and frustrated.  I suspect that my procrastination is due to the pressure I've put on myself for a "perfect" speech.

I know I need to put that nonsense aside and just let the language come from my heart.  I'm willing to bet that the day of the installation I come up with just what I need for it to work.

Meanwhile, I sit here, trying to relax, and resisting all the while.