Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some random thoughts ...

#1. Shoes

I recently went through my shoe collection to "re-evaluate" what I really wear. The pairs I wear on a daily basis are in the closet next to the garage. I removed one pair from there & about seven more from the bedroom closet that hadn't been worn since the move into the Big House (2 years hence). I finally was down to an acceptable number, 5 pairs I wear a lot and about 15 that I wear occasionally. I don't think 20 pairs of shoes is unreasonable for the modern girl. Do you?

I had two pairs which fell in the undecided category. (Cue chorus: Should I stay or should I go?) I debated the merits and thought "No, they're cute. I'll wear them." So they stayed. Bad decision.

This morning I decided I would wear red. The weather has been unbelievably warm here & I wanted to make a statement. *Ding* Those red shoes I have in the closet that I don't wear, I should wear those today. Perfect! Or so I thought ...

After parking the car & walking to the library I remembered why I didn't wear these shoes: a) They don't fit well. They are mules & the way they are made doesn't make them feel very secure. b) Blisters! Oh my goodness! I had two blisters already and it wasn't even 7 a.m. 15 minutes later #3 made an appearance.

Now I love a good pair of shoes & hate the idea of throwing them away. So if there are any size 7 gals, who don't mind blisters, I have some shoes for you. *one black & one red pair barely worn*

#2. Different narrators for audio book series

I love audio books. I love unabridged, audio books. I love good narrators of audio books. Jim Dale (HP books) , John McDonough (Mitford books), Scott Brick (Cussler novels), and Lorelei King (Tallgrass) are all fantastic readers. I could go on & on about what I love about audio books.

But I won't.

What I don't like about audio books is when the publishers change the narrator in a series. For example, I am currently listening to 3rd Degree by James Patterson. It is read by Carolyn McCormick.

The first book, 1st to Die, was read by Suzanne Toren. I can't really remember much about her performance. Which leads me to believe that Ms Toren did a good job. The second book, 2nd Chance, was read by Melissa Leo & Jeremy Piven (note: a different narrator, in this case two). Not a bad choice at all. I felt Ms Leo captured the characters personalities very well. She was very believable & most of the time I didn't even think about who was reading. I was THAT wrapped up in the story. Mr. Piven portrayed only the villain. Sinisterly. It was the perfect juxtaposition to Ms Leo's performance of everything else.

Unfortunately, the narration of 3rd Degree is not working for me. I am distracted by Ms McCormick's narration to focus on the story. I keep thinking, "That's not what Jill sounds like. Or what Claire sounds like." And to top it off the producers added additional background music, not just between chapters or sections of the book, but during narration! I am more of a plain Jane, no frills but the story, kind of listener. To Ms McCormick's credit, she does a fabulous British accent.

Why do publishers do this? Is the original narrator unavailable? Why do other series continue with the same reader and not this one? What is up?!?

Onto my dilemma: Do I continue to listen to this series? ( I looked up the other books and they are all narrated by Ms McCormick.) Or do I begin to read them? Or do I give up on the series all together? I know, stop the presses, BIG decision (please note the sarcasm). I should be so lucky if this is the worst of my worries.

Moving on ...

#3. Mowing the yard

Please don't get the wrong impression. I LOVE MOWING THE YARD. I loved mowing the yard when I was a teenager and I still love it. I am the official mower of the yard. Yes - it's true - I'm really weird. So I mowed the yard today although I didn't expect it to quite turn out like this (bear with me please there is a point).

A little background - last week, ET & I, hired a company to aerate the yard last week. (For those of you in the Midwest where this probably isn't necessary unless you live on a golf course, a guy stops by with a huge machine he maneuvers over your grass which takes out small plugs. The end result is better growth for the grass & a yard that appears to have been invaded by a flock of geese with some serious gastrointestinal issues.) Then we fertilized, watered thoroughly & blew out the sprinklers.

Of course we live in Colorado where it snows the first day of May and often in October. Not this year (well except the May part). It has been beautiful: blue skies, not a trace of a cloud, easy breezes, no humidity and blissful temperatures in the upper 70s. I mean it doesn't get any better than this unless you were sitting on a boat in the middle of the Mediterranean sipping champagne. (I assume this since I've never actually done that.) Well guess what this leads to ... more. mowing. necessary. No problem, I love to mow.

I set up the mower, changing the from the bag option to the mulching feature (I'm very handy with a screwdriver) and adjust the wheels for a bit lower grass length. Off I go ... to quickly be engulfed by a cloud of dirt. Yes - dirt! I don't mind getting a bit dirty but this was overkill. It never occurred to me that the little plugs of dirt had dried out during the past week. And with the lowered mower blades they were succinctly chopped up & swirled into a halo of dirt around me. I am sure the neighbors were laughing their heads off.

Moral of this story ... THINK IT THROUGH JANE. Sometimes I don't & end up with not the desired results.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Talk about orchids ...

One of my very favorite blogs to read is The Lazy Organizer. Oh my heck; she kills me. She has a wonderful regular post on Tuesdays called "Talk About Tuesday!" Clever, eh? Anyway(s) [for the StL crowd] TAT is "a blog carnival where [bloggers] write a post of something [they] want to share or talk about and link them all together here on [Lazy's] blog. It’s a great way to get to know other bloggers and make connections in the blogosphere." It reminds me of show & tell. So without further ado ...


Where to begin ... my paternal grandmother raised/grew orchids at her home in small town IL. I didn't really pay much attention to them unless there was a bloom & only then if there was a smell. (An amazing amount of orchids have no smell.)
My father had a number of said orchids in our basement in a StL suburbia. It was a very elaborate set-up. I wish I had a picture. Imagine a dank, dark basement, the walls covered with heavy duty clear plasic and two sets of grow lights over a wooden tray Pop had built about 4'x12'. Along the top of this were hoses that had wholes where the water would come out in a mist. (Yes - I tried to find the official name but to no avail.) My brother & I were asked to turn on the water now & then. But no appeal to me whatsoever.

Many years pass ... Pop retired from his job & moved to IL. He brought his remaining orchids to me when I lived in KC. Shortly thereafter I moved to CO and gave the few pots I had to a friend. Pop came to visit me in the big house (i.e. has a yard) and gave me the last remaining orchid. I promptly let it die.

Dad visited this past Spring & we drove to Louisville to check out Fantasy Orchids. He graciously bought me my first orchid, Potinara Creation 'Summer Choice.'

Beautiful isn't it?

A few moons pass and Dad visited again. On a lovely September Saturday we decided to head back up to the orchid shop to have the orchid repotted. That didn't need to happen & I left with three new plants. Oh my heavens!

Blc. Anna Balmores 'Convex'

Blc. Edgard Stars 'Yen'

I thought it might be appropriate to finally watch the DVD that we'd purchased earlier. Very helpful & interesting. I loved my new acquisitions and even brought them to work to show off the beautiful blooms. What a dork I am!

The new & improved Blc. Dora Louise Capen 'Lea'

Two weeks later ... Dora & Yen weren't quite growing right. Dora's blooms were quickly fading after being open less than a week and one of Yen's leaves was turning black. I was very worried and took another trip up there to find out what was up! Yen was OK. Not a very good bloomer & sometimes the leaves die off; yet no worries. Dora - problem plant - Fantasty Orchids generously exchanged my first plant for the one pictured. Gorgeous, fragrant 6" bloom! Loving it!

And I came home with one more.

Den. Ladda 'Mini Pink'

Oh the loveliness of the blooms, the heady fragrances in the kitchen. Could I be any happier? (maybe with a new puppy to walk *Do you see a theme building?*)

Needless to say I was on the wagon for a whole 5 weeks. I fell off this past Saturday. In my defense I needed to have Dora repotted and just tell me who can't bring another beauty home!

I won't tell how many I bought...

Or how much money I spent... (It's funny how I can't bring myself to spend the $$ for a iTouch but sure no problem for orchids - priorities.) BTW my love I didn't spend the same amount as an iTouch.

Or how long I spent creating a very DORKY spreadsheet to track my purchases & their blooming habits. Don't worry, you'll see it soon I fear.

I'll post more pictures when I have some blooms. Too bad there is no smell feature on blogs.

Commitment issues

In my dating past I had some commitment issues. If a prospective boy didn't live at least over 4 hours away they weren't eligible for the position. I use to keep "boyfriends" at arms length (more accurately 200+ miles). I've worked through these issues. *mostly* Now I have a wonderful man who graciously leaves me for a week at a time. (He'll tell you that I whine all week about being alone. It's not whining just stating facts usually in an argument for a dog.) I will admit the first day & a half are nice - sorry my love. So I have transferred these issues to my blog reading habits. Or perhaps I'm just a voyeur at heart ...

OK ... I am really going to commit to this blog. I love blogs - other people's blogs. Their lives seem so interesting. I read a TON of blogs weekly and about 5 or 6 daily. I love the idea of blogging & documenting but what do I really have to say ... we don't have children to gab on about or pets or even any interesting habits. So I am going to begin by taking a picture every day & jotting down my thoughts about it. (Most of these aforementioned pictures will be of my yard, beware.)