Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - A Day of Firsts

Good: First Rose of '08

Better: First Strawberry of the season

Best: New Piano Came Today!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Time to Smell The Roses

On this Memorial Day weekend I plan to relax, reflect and hang out in my yard enjoying the flowers. Sometimes we are so caught up on getting somewhere that we don't appreciate the journey. Obsessed with achieving a goal, we don't take time to appreciate the the fruits of our labor thus far. This time of year I make a point before I leave for work and when I come home, to walk around the yard, smell the flowers and marvel at life's miracles.

In Another Lifetime I used to have a "real" job. I worked in the offices of a billion dollar corporation. (Not as impressive as it sounds). Every quarter we would have a "briefing". More like a giant pep rally. I vividly remember one of these Quarterly Briefings. After the reports of company performance and awards were handed out, we had a surprise visit from the founder and CEO.

O & A
Our great, wise leader took the podium and made a short speech. When he was done, we were told there would now be a question and answer session. A hush fell over the crowd. It appeared that we had an entire organization of mutes. After an uncomfortable silence there finally was a "softball" question followed by another one.

More silence.
" Any more questions?"
... more silence
" Anyone???"
yet another awkward moment or two.

Finally a gal with a big, booming voice stood up with another query. This gentleman, a college drop-out, had started the company with $5,000 and a big idea. After lots of hard work, and a bit of luck, he was now a successful billionaire.
"....... Do you ever stop and look back in awe on what you have created?"
More silence...
Our founder furrowed his brow and thought for a moment. He stammered a bit and finally answered.
" I never thought about this before. No one has ever asked me that. Hmmm...I guess my philosophy is that if you stop to smell the roses, you'll get run over by a bus."

I remember shaking my head, thinking how sad that must be, for someone to have achieved so much and not take the time to enjoy his success.

Five or Six Years Later

I had left my job to start my own, very small, business. I was tired, felt stifled and needed a break from the corporate world. A few years into my venture, I was interviewed for a fluff piece by a writer for a local business journal. Midway into the interview, the reporter asked " What is your greatest accomplishment?" I hesitated. "...Something you are most proud of?". While it was a pretty standard question, I did not have an answer. I thought back to the comment about getting "run over by a bus".

I finally understood what this successful businessman had meant. I was so busy trying to grow a business and comparing myself to others, I was never satisfied with my efforts. I kept setting the bar higher and higher as I achieved my benchmarks. I was never where I wanted to be.

Moral of the Story

I have noticed the same phenomenon applies to blogging and life in general. We get so caught up in trying to keep up with others, we sometimes spend more time worrying about what we don't have rather than appreciate what we do have.

As I sit in my backyard, I take in the sweet smells of suburbia; the intoxicating odors of gardens and barbecues. The sounds of birds chirping, lawn mowers humming and children playing create a joyful symphony for my ears. I am taking time to be grateful for what I have. I also owe a huge amount of gratitude to the men and women who have given their lives for our country, to protect the freedoms that we take for granted.

This weekend I am taking extra care to smell the roses. And give thanks to those who made it possible.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - May 21 Garden Report

Peonies are progressing

Vegetable garden is finally cleaned up & planted

A perimeter is set up to guard the strawberries as they ripen

Attack Bunny

Shade Planter

Corner of my haven

Monday, May 19, 2008


Jenny from Jenny's Happy Life tagged me for a 5X5 Meme. I will try my hand at this. Okay 5 topics to say 5 things about.......

Five Favorite Foods
1. Coffee - I make a fresh pot every morning
2. Chocolate - It should be a food group on the pyramid.
3. Fresh baked bread with brie
4. Pasta with tomato basil sauce ( made with tomatoes & basil from the garden )
5. Salad made with greens from our garden

Five Hobbies/past-times
1. Blogging
2. Gardening
3. Walking
4. Going for bike rides with the boys
5. Flying kites

Five things in my purse
1. Lip Gloss
2. Wallet
3. old reciepts
4. cell phone
5. pen

Five Goals in Life
1. Win the lottery
2. Start my own village
3. Create my own Holiday ( like Hallmark does ) or a special Blog Day
4. Start my own religion
5. Find 5 more realistic goals

Five things that I wish I could do
1. Keep a clean house
2. Eat healthy
3. Exercise regularly
4. Play a musical instrument really well. ( I took a few years of violin when I was young )
5. Have 5 blog-friends to tag.

If you want to play along.... tag, you're it.

Did I do this right, Jenny? This is my first and possibly last attempt at MEME.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

First Salad

We had a nice sunny day today, although still a bit cool. I needed to finish getting the vegetable garden ready for planting. I found some chives and rogue lettuce that had sprouted up; just enough for a small salad.
I made my first salad of the season and had to take a photograph. I added some salmon and strawberries with some raspberry vinaigrette. It was delish!

Tomorrow we will go to a garden center and I get to pick out plants for the garden. This is our Mother's Day Tradition. Hopefully I am able to get some gardening done. We're expecting rain.

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mommas out there!

Mom of the Year Award!

This Friday, my first grader came home with a laminated wall hanging for Mothers Day.

"I love you because when you let me go to your work you give me good snacks and let me wach Pinky and the Brain (cartoon)" the personalized, handwritten, foreword proclaimed.

What he means by "good snacks" is recently past-the sell-by date, samples and other food items that I have in a tub marked " Eat Me". How many other parents have their children asking them on a regular basis " Do you have any expired food I can eat?".????

I'm sure the teacher was impressed with our good taste in cartoons. I guess I should be grateful he only mentioned "Pinky and the Brain" and not Yugioh, the Simpsons, Family Guy or Mad TV. She may now also be onto our plot for World Domination. A family has to have hobbies, right? Hey! Taking over the world takes skills!

The typed poem reads:

Sometimes I might upset you
Just because I'm small
By leaving fingerprints of mine
On a table, chair or wall.

But everyday I grow a bit
and I'll be big one day
When all my tiny fingerprints
Have long been cleaned away.

So keep these prints of my two hands
to help you to recall
Just how big my fingers were
That time when I was small.

See! I'm not a bad housekeeper. My house is one giant scrapbook!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How to Create a High Level of BlogZanity

How to Make Friends and Influence People at Cre8Buzz and Other Social Network Sites

1. Day 1 : Log on and see how many bloggers you can quickly visit just long enough to leave your profile photo on the Recently Visited section of each member. Do Not leave any comments.

Day 2: Change your photo to something slightly more disturbing like this:
Go back and visit all the Buzzers who noticed your visit on Day 1 and called you out on not leaving a comment. Do Not leave any remarks; just your new profile photo.

Day 3, 4 and 5. Repeat Day 2 until no one gives you a shout out!

Opposite Day
Take a random day and make it Opposite Day. Do not tell anyone. When leaving comments, say the opposite of what you mean. When Rating photos & posts, 1 now is the best and 8 is the worst for today. Pick all the top rankers & rate them with a 1 (for best) and your least favorite should be rated with an 8! Vote early and vote often.
Random Day - Similar to opposite day, make random, nonsensical comments as you blog hop.
Do not tell anyone what day it is; make them guess! Create your own vernacular and acronyms and don’t tell anyone what they mean.
Meme from Hell
When you have some extra time on your hands, create a special 100 question Meme. The more random and bizarre the better. Send it to any one who ever sent you a meme. This could be the start of a new career as a Random Question generator for Blogger.
Drunk Blogging
Similar to Drunk Dialing, have several drinks before you blog. This is a great time to reminisce about your dysfunctional family, unresolved issues or highly personal matters. Do not use spell check or proof-read before publishing. This is also a great time to leave comments for all your blog-friends!
Time to Downsize
Once you have a healthy "Friends" List built up, it's time to cull the herd. Have your own personal Friend Down-sizing. Too many friends can be unproductive. Time to get rid of the non-performers. Offer no apologies or explanations.
Create Your Own Blog Award
Make your own blog award. The goofier the better. Give it to half of your blog friends and make the other half envious. Award it to random blogs that you have never seen before.Create Your Own Blog Day - Pick a day of the week and create your own special day like "I Hate Mondays - Personal Issue Day". (Everyone needs a special day to air their dirty laundry and family dysfunction.) or how about "Tuesday - Bluesday " ( for things that make you sad)

Dance Dance Revolution

When pimping out your site with music, include your children’s favorites like the theme song from Barney, the BooBah soundtrack, recordings of your children practicing their piano or family Karaoke night. Make sure you have the volume as high as it can go.

Other Suggestions? Feel free to leave your BlogZany ideas.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Garden Report - Week of May 5

Jungle Island coming back to life

Lily of the Valley in Bloom!

Peonies - Stay Tuned ...

Casualty of Winter Hail

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ambivalence is the Best Revenge

Have you ever written a post, one you were proud of, and were disappointed to find no comments? When I first starting blogging, I had to create another identity, just to test out my comment section. It was a good day if I received one remark, even if it was Kenny Surtani telling me where I can buy handmade suits for less. Even now, I am extremely grateful if I get more than 3 comments on a post. More than 5 comments make me feel like a rock star. I don't know what I would do if I ever exceed my all-time high of 15 ( from a blog-hopping party).

I haven't seen a Troll since I was a child.
What are these Trolls I hear talk of? I have heard mention of marauding bands of naysayers and cyber-bullies that lurk in the blogosphere. They lie in wait to attack innocent and unsuspecting bloggers. Lately I've come across several posts where maligned posters direct attention to an offending missive. I take the bait and follow the link to view what the hack journalists and their commenters have to say. Pumped up and prepared to help out a fellow blogger, I end up disappointed.

Any attention, even negative, is better than none. Directed to a post I never would have normally come across, I am helping draw attention and boost ratings to an undeserving blog. I am left to wonder, who benefits from this? Certainly not me. Nor the cause I wanted to help.

Ambivalence is the best revenge.
Sometimes it is better to ignore bad behavior as opposed being drawn into an argument. Attention is like oxygen for the fires of controversy, fueling the flames. If you cut-off the "air-supply" by not paying attention, the inferno will die out. Often, after living well and looking good, ambivalence is the best revenge. I'm still working on the first two!...