Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life (100 Ways)

Taking the cue from my buddies San and Paschal, I'm presenting the really, really long meme that seems to be starting among my contingent of blogging buddies. San has declared this post long enough to see us through her vacation so that we won't miss her. Paschal has compared it to an overly long commencement speech by a past presidential wonder. I'm gonna tell you that when I copied and pasted all the bits into a word document, to delete the comments prior to inserting my own, it ran for 3 pages. That was without the comments. So yeah, this is a really long post. It's supposed to reflect your life and some of the many possible things you might have done in it. My life is no where near as exciting or colorful as San's or Paschal's but it is a life I've had some good moments in. So here we go!

Directions: copy and paste the 100 items into your blog and bold the ones you've done. Then add in any pertinent comments you care to to make it more interesting than a long list of events. Throw in pictures if you've got them and voila! It's a Wonderful Life! (100 ways)

1. Started my own blog - I did this about 3 years ago by accident. I was trying to comment on a friend's blog, Susan Palwick, and wanted to register so she would know who I was. I didn't realize that you didn't need to make a blog to register. Silly me for not paying attention. And suddenly there I was with a blog, an empty one, in cyberspace. Oops! Couldn't let it stay that way and there you are.
2. Slept under the stars - On the ocean thanks to parents who bought a sail boat and in the San Juan Wilderness when they took me backpacking at age 16.
3. Played in a band - If family music nights count then yes but I don't actually think of the trio of my Dad, my sister, and me making music in our living room for our own enjoyment as a band experience. It did teach me how to keep rhythm and time with other players.
4. Visited Hawaii - Someday! And I want to swim under a water fall and watch a whale while I'm there.
5. Watched a meteor shower - Well we tried as kids in our back yard, again with the parents, but I never could catch them in my vision. Did see a meteor crater once on vacation. It was huge.
6. Given more than I can afford to charity - Not really, although when I was a newbie Christian I would tithe according to the directions of the Holy Spirit. I'm not kidding. I'd start to write what I thought was good and then wait for a moment. If the spirit suggested a bit more I'd do it even if it made me a tad nervous about the budget. My philosophy for this is, "the Lord loveth a cheerful giver" so whatever the spirit and I came up with I managed to feel proud of.

7. Been to Disneyland/world - When I was there in the summer of '74 the Epcot Center had just been started. The dome was up but only half covered so it looked a lot like an incomplete golf ball from where I stood. I was on my one day of liberty from basic training (a.k.a. boot camp) at Orlando, FL and my friends and I had bunches of fun on the rides. Our favorite was the Haunted Mansion with ghosts that seemed to dance in the air as we rode through the room on a fantastic cart.
8. Climbed a mountain - well not with ropes and spikes but hiking through the San Juan Wilderness of Colorado as a teenager took us up some pretty good heights so maybe.
9. Held a praying mantis - I'm with San on this one, why would I want to hold a bug? They are pretty but I just don't like the ticklish feel of their feet on my hands.
10. Sung a solo - Sure! Lots of times in the shower. Actually I guess you could call my college drama department tryout for the musical a solo. I sang Hut Sut Ralson on the Rillerah. :-) Which you can hear in an from an earlier post, here.
11. Bungee jumped - No! Not only no but H_ _ l no! But! My nephew has and from the 3rd highest cliff in the world. Whoa!
12. Visited Paris - No but I want to! I want to see it by night. Even modern Paris with all the cars racing down the roads and the noise has to be a beautiful city.
13. Watched lightning at sea - I might have but I don't actually remember any lightening. Yes, I've been to sea, but my dad who was the captain of our sailboat worked really hard to avoid any storms and that would seem to take care of the lightening wouldn't it.
14. Taught myself an art from scratch - Not really taught myself. I've always been one who liked the classroom instruction and the chance to ask questions that came along with it.
15. Adopted a child - Nope, not even a cabbage patch kid.
16. Had food poisoning - This is my idea of what stomach flu has to be. And there were definitely times in the Navy when I was so sick they had to give me a shot to get me to stop throwing up. Since at least one of those episodes came after a picnic where I had my first taste of mesquite barbecue I think this has to be a Yes!
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - That sounds so romantic but I'd want to get to the town first and that's on my dream vacation list.
18. Grown my own vegetables - We grew some when I was a kid, I distinctly remember squash. And my grandmother had a garden where we grew all kinds of good things to eat.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - Throwing myself straight into the fantasy of The Da Vinci Code, I'm all there! How wonderful and mysterious!
20. Slept on an overnight train - Yet another addition to the dream vacation list.
21. Had a pillow fight - Can you tell me of a girl's slumber party that didn't include a pillow fight?

22. Hitchhiked - The whole family did! We got off the narrow gauge railroad at Silverton and were walking up the road when along came this guy in a jeep. He offered us a ride and we took it. Sure saved a lot of tired feet that day!
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - Now there's all kinds of ill besides physical, but I've taken a day off when I was just too sad to be there. That was the evening of 9/11. Those news videos did it to me. I just couldn't feel good and went home.
24. Built a snow fort - I've never even seen enough snow to need a snow fort. And I've only ever gotten to make one snow ball. That was the winter I was in Millington, TN. It snowed about 2 inches worth. First and only time I ever got to play with snow.
25. Held a lamb - Not held but petted at the children's zoo. And a friend had a Lamb Chop puppet that I got to play with.
26. Gone skinny dipping - In the ocean, in a friend's pool, and in a hot tub.
27. Run in a Marathon - Nah, my sister is the family's champion runner. She runs in half marathons lots of different places around the states.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - Italy is also on the dream vacation list (dvl) and Venice surely has to be one of the places to go see.
29. Seen a total eclipse - Maybe not total but a fair percent of it. This would have been a long time back when I still lived in Corpus and the guy who worked the microfiche machine showed me how to use several layers of microfilm to create a safe media to look at the sun through. I'm pretty sure the most of the sun got covered up but I don't remember the date. I've seen a lunar eclipses too.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - Yes, both, and from land and sea. Just haven't done it lately and I guess I need to make time to do that.
31. Hit a home run - Hah! I'm lucky if the ball doesn't hit Me!
32. Been on a cruise - If by cruise you mean on your family's sailboat through the Bahamas, YES! As much as I love good food, dancing, and companionship, nothing beats going on your own boat.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - another addition to the dvl and I want to see if from the Canadian side please.
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors - No, but I'd love to have seen where my granddad grew was born and grew up. It's always been a wonder to me why no one in my family but me seems interested in our past much.
35. Seen an Amish community - not in person. I did see that movie with Harrison Ford in it, The Witness.
36. Taught myself a new language - Sure, I taught myself just enough basic to be able to set up a formula in it to create production statistics. We were looking for the line of best fit.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - this is an ongoing fantasy. Win the lottery, marry wealth, this is one where I know I'm not that different.
38. Seen the leaning tower of Pisa - No, never seen this one.
39. Gone rock climbing - this one is pretty close to mountain climbing. Well, yes, I've done this once. It wasn't terribly difficult because there was a path up the rock. It's called the Enchanted Rock and just about anyone wearing shoes with a good grip can walk up it. The trick is getting down safely.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David - I will, by golly! Someday I will!
41. Sung karaoke - Exactly once! And it was after spending a couple of evenings at the club with my ex and a girlfriend getting all hyped by the fun atmosphere. Joann and I went up and sung a number together. I don't remember what we sang but this would have been in the 90's so something popular then no doubt.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt - DVL! DVL! But I've seen plenty of videos of it happening!
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - Actually this was the other way around. I was bought lunch by a stranger. It was really nice of her. We were sitting through the wait for jury duty together.
44. Visited Africa - photographic safari's are right at the top of the dream vacation list but I've been there by webcam at Pete's Pond. See link on the right hand side bar.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight - Yes and with 3 friends bounding along with tons of energy it wasn't as romantic as you might think. But I do remember the moonlight on the waves when I was a child and my mom, sister, and I spent the night at a cabana at Padre Island.
46. Been transported in an ambulance - For a sprained ankle which happened when I fell down some steps at the doctor's
47. Had my portrait painted - Not painted but drawn, certainly. When I attended college after the Navy one way of adding to the cash flow was modeling for the art classes. I even bought a one of the sketches from the college art show.
48. Gone deep sea fishing - Yes! My father-in-law took us on a fishing boat. I didn't catch anything. Heck, almost no one did that trip. But I learned how to handle sea sickness with medication.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - no and I guess this goes on that dvl too.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris - another one for the dvl. Are there restaurants up there? I like dining with a view.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - Sort of. Was taking a scuba class, got the gear, and then got claustrophobic when I tried to be under water. Didn't finish the class.
52. Kissed in the rain - Yes!
53. Played in the mud - Dad built my sister and me a sandbox so we had tons of mud to play with and got really good at making mud pies.
54. Gone to a drive-in theater - This was where we saw most of the movies as a family when I was little. I can still remember seeing Cinderella dance on the screen. There was a playground at the base of the screen next to the concession stand so sis and I always went there to play on the slide that was shaped like an elephant and the seesaw and swings. It was the Wes-Mer Drive-In Theater and sat right between Mercedes and Weslaco on Hwy 83 in Texas. I don't know if it's there any more.
55. Been in a movie - Sure! My dad used to make movies of us all the time. What!? You mean with actors and such? Heck, we were natural hams. LOL
56. Visited the Great Wall of China - Dvl again!
57. Started a business - The Cat Spy Company. My sis and I were in this venture together. Our mission was to discover where Sammy, our family cat, went on his outdoor forays. We weren't very good spies so I guess it's a good thing I never tried to join the CIA or any of those other agencies. ;-)
58. Taken a martial arts class - Took a several lesson self defense class with a friend when I lived in Corpus Christi. The man who taught the class taught us martial arts methods of defense. You should have seen how embarrassed my friend got when he grabbed her foot and showed her exactly where she should kick her opponent by placing it in that spot on his own anatomy.
59. Visited Russia - Dvl again! I'd love to see the cathedrals at and palaces in Moscow.
60. Served at a soup kitchen - This is a real blessing to the folks who do it and surely those who receive their efforts. Maybe someday.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies - Yes and eaten plenty of them too. Wasn't much of a sales girl but the neighborhood was always pretty decent towards us.
62. Gone whale watching - See #5. Dvl!
63. Got flowers for no reason - Yes, my ex had his romantic moments. Got teddy bears more often though.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma - Yes and I was so proud when I did. When I was in my 2o's I weighed too little to be able to give blood, but in my 30's a shoulder injury and it's treatment, which included muscle relaxers, generated a weight gain which never completely disappeared and I was about 127 pounds when the bank I worked at held a blood drive.
65. Gone sky diving - Never! Never! Never!
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp - No but I think I'd cry if I did. Because I have a German heritage I do want to visit Germany someday but I've got real concerns about seeing places where so much pain and horror occurred.
67. Bounced a check - Yes, repeatedly, and got all the bounced check fees back too. See when I worked at the bank I had reason to take a signer, my ex roommate, off my account. To do this you have to close your account and open a new one. The bank didn't switch my direct deposit over and the incoming paychecks kept reopening my old account instead of the filling the new one. It took them a lot of paperwork, and several weeks to get that straightened out. One clerk got so frustrated that she yelled at me for the inconvenience and loss of all those fees.
68. Flown in a helicopter - Did I tell you I want to explore the world? Well this is one of those things that I see as part of that exploration.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy up until my late 20s - Not sure how far into childhood you have to be to qualify for this but I've still got the huge Teddy Bear I got when I was a teenager in high school. I bought it for myself with my saved allowance and named the bear Socorro because I was a lonely teen at the time. So make that into my late 50's.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial - Visiting DC, all the monuments, the White House, and the Smithsonian is definitely on the DVL.
71. Eaten caviar - Yes and it was salty. That's all that I can say about it as a food. But since it is fish roe and I've fished with salmon eggs I think it must be an acquired taste if you're not a fish yourself. It definitely makes good bait.
72. Pieced a quilt - A church friend was teaching me how when I lived in Corpus. I never got far enough to actually get a lot of squares done. But I know the concept.
73. Stood in Times Square - NY City is definitely on the DVL!
74. Toured the Everglades - No but I think my parents may have. They used to sail around Florida to get to the Bahamas every year and one time they even sailed the inter coastal waterways and canals.
75. Been fired from a job - I guess that even though I see a clear distinction between being fired and being laid off they are ultimately the same thing. And while I've never been fired for wrong doing, I have been laid off once or twice.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London - Right up there along with seeing a Shakespearian play in London and spending the night in a castle. DVL baby!
77. Broken a bone - I can truly sympathize with San on her broken toe. I've broken one too. It was when I was in the Navy. Slammed the toe into the door on the way out of my petty officer's office in a hurry. I've also broken the tibia, fibula, and the ankle. Those last 3 happened all at the same time in 2004. Was headed off to the library, stepped off the apartment steps and the ground wasn't where I expected it to be. Foot stuck between the ground and the step. I fell forward and rolled 360 at the same time violently twisting my lower right leg. I heard and felt it snap mid air. God was looking after me that day! Clean break, neighbor saw it happen, had phone w/ me to call for help, and a DD-214 that got me free medical care.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle - When I was stationed in Millington, TN one of my friends was a guy who used to be a member of the Hells Angels in CA. He and his girlfriend took me on rides lots of times. I like bikes to ride on, just don't want to have to drive one.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person - Once again this one is on the DVL. I'd like to raft down the river in it.
80. Published a book - No, although my co workers have accused me of it. Seems I can't write just a note. I have to write a paragraph, chapter, or short story.
81. Visited the Vatican - Online! You can actually tour their works of art and see many of the wonders the Vatican holds. As for real live visit, DVL!

82. Bought a brand new car - Very first car! Volkwagon Rabbit the year after they came out.
83. Walked in Jerusalem - Again to the DVL! But I've done the modern day version of a pilgrimage by walking my church's labyrinth. Try one if you can find one near you. It's a great way to pray.
84. Had my picture in the newspaper - This was on TV instead of the newspaper. I was taking dance lessons and the group that I was with performed on a public stage for a festival that was going on in town. So of course they filmed us all. We did what is called formation dancing and it was ballroom.
85. Read the entire Bible - Took me 3 years. See, I have a really short attention span and the bible, while interesting, can have some troublesome spots. I started reading it in King James because I like the poetry of that language. New Testament went just fine but when I hit Exodus there came a snag. About half way through you start hearing about all the instructions from God about how to build the temple and how the people were to live. Well that's interesting but in the King James version you get it 3 times. God tells Moses, Moses tells Israel, and then they do it. And in King James they use the exact same words for each of those parts. That got boring pretty quickly. So I changed versions of the bible to finish that book. And from then on when ever I hit a snag like long lists of names or the story just wasn't written by a dynamic writer, I'd change versions again. Before I was done I had 5 different versions of The Word.
86. Visited the White House - See #70 for addition of this to the DVL.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - Caught a fish when I was a kid and we were on vacation. Dad had gotten me my first rod and reel and my mom and grandmother taught me how to scale it, and then fillet it. I think I actually ate it. It was a small trout. And I caught it with a salmon egg as bait. If I remember correctly this was on the Guadalupe at the Casa Bonita Lodges which also had a great Tarzan rope to swing from into the water. I also learned how to row a boat that summer.
88. Had chickenpox - Yes! At Christmas! So did my sister! And I got measles when I was attending San Marcos Academy for high school. We had a school wide epidemic of that one year. I didn't even feel sick when they stuck me in the infirmary.
89. Saved someone’s life - well if the gift of blood counts then perhaps. I'll never know what happened to that pint of blood I gave.
90. Sat on a jury - No, never got to do this. While I'd love to do my civic duty I think I'd actually be a bad choice for a jury.

91. Met someone famous - Before he was famous actually. I went to college with this guy! That's Christopher Rich! He's probably best known for playing the ex on Reba. Everyone who went to school with him is proud to be able to claim they knew him when. And we all knew he was going places. He had presence when he wasn't even trying! I liked him in The Charmings. Wish that series had lasted as long as Reba has.
92. Joined a book club - The mail kind where you have to send in cards. Actually I've belonged to several of these and one for many years.
93. Lost a loved one - Lost all four of my grandparents, two aunts and one uncle, and my best friend. Thank goodness my sister and parents are still living.
94. Had a baby - No, wanted children but never got the chance to have any. When I found out I could no longer have children because I was going through the change of life I took my diversity day. I felt really down and told my boss that womanhood was as much a culture as anything else.
95. Seen the Alamo in person - Well yes! Both the building and the movie. That's almost funny. Folk who live in a place don't visit the tourist spots as often as the visitors do and I live in San Antonio.
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - No but I swam in a really salty pond once. It had formed after a hurricane hit the coast and was so salty that you couldn't sink. Really! Walk in and by the time the water hit your hips you were floating. It stung like the dickens too because of all the salt. God help you if you'd shaved your legs that day.
97. Been involved in a law suit - Small Claims Court, I was in college and my roommate drank her share of the bills away. My dad made me sue. Good thing I guess cause it forced her to tell her parents and she went on a no drinking program.
98. Owned a cell phone - Yes and if I can bring myself to give up my land line it will be my only phone.
99. Been stung by a bee - This was a wasp and not a bee. And it stung me twice. It had flown under my shirt on a hot summer day and in trying to get it out I think I killed it but it had done it's damage by that time anyway. Ouch!
100. Ridden an elephant - Yes at the San Diego Zoo. I was visiting friends in CA and we went there and their two boys and I wanted to get on and so we waited to do this. It was awesome!

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Cat was the Hat

When I get up and feed the cats Hyram likes to eat his straight through and then snack on anything he can steal from Hooboo's bowl. Hooboo likes to eat a bit, go outside, then come back in and finish whatever I've managed to save from Hyram.

Shortly after I let Hooboo out today I heard this cat calling almost non stop. I didn't think it was Hooboo but I went to the patio door to check. It didn't stop and I didn't see Hooboo so I went outside to see if I could figure out where it came from, wondering if my cat was begging at another door. The cry seemed to come from another building and didn't sound frantic, just "please let me in." Then I heard this rustling off to my right. I looked over to see what it was and was astounded. My cat is resourceful with a capital "R".

Living in an apartment complex there aren't that many climbable trees. And cats like to get high up. So Hooboo usually sits on the porch wall. There's a hedge type bush off to the right and another to the left of my patio. The left one is really close (next to the stairs) and I've seen plenty of trash in it but never a cat. I barely notice the one on the right. It's more of an a/c screen. But today Hooboo was in it. Yep, he'd gone up inside the limbs and made his way to the top. That's what I'd heard. My cat pushing his way through dense hedge leaves to gain a new vantage point. It was really funny! All you saw was his head and a little of his neck. Green square bush with orange cat head on top. LOL

I ran to get the camera but by the time I'd gotten back Hooboo had seen what he wanted to see and climbed down to go find the other cat. Darn! So sorry that I can't give you the picture but I hope your imaginations serve. Aren't cats amazing?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Delightedly Happy Update

Yay! Pearson called and I've got 2 weeks of work starting the 15th of June. I've scored this type of test before and apparently they like that. Doing the "happy dance"!

A Word That Amazed

Still reading the A's in the dictionary, not going very fast either, and yesterday I read abamp which said: an abampere. That was it. No explanations or roots, no nothing other than that it was a noun. But the next word was abampere. Ahah! It said: A centimeter-gram-second (Okay, so which is it?) electromagnetic unit of current, equal to the current that produces two dynes per centimeter of length on each (each?) of two infinitely (infinite? as in sideways 8 infinite?) long straight parallel wires one centimeter apart. It is equal to 10 amperes. [AB- (absolute) + AMPERE]

Whoa! Now I'm not a total electronic idiot. I took Basic Electronics & Electricity (BE&E) along with a host of other electronics driven courses when I was in "A" school in the Navy. At one point they talked about holes moving and not electrons. It was an engineer's argument, not an electricians, and I didn't even have a clue as to how to interpret the, no doubt significant, differences between which item moved in order to create current. I'm wondering now if I missed out on a great joke. But the level of measuring and precision in this floors me. I have a very general understanding of what an electromagnetic field is. You wind a bunch of wire in a coil shape, turn on the juice, and voila, electromagnet. Make it strong enough, by putting the coil around a core of magnetizable metal, and you can pick up car engines and other heavy things. Wikipedia link here. I could be missing all kinds of things in that definition. Is a wire in a coil, which to me means curved, straight or not? Why declare them of infinite length if you are going to define the measurement in a specific length of it? I guess this is one of those cases where I know just enough to be amazed and not enough to have a real understanding of how this works and why it is used. If there are any engineers out there who want to educate me on this I'd be glad to read anything you care to share in a comment.

Now abampere has too many letters to be very useful in Scrabble, but not abamp. :-) Or ampere.

Progress on the apartment is continuing apace. I've gotten some furniture rearranged to increase comfort and traffic flow in the living area. Three loads of laundry done last night. Lots of old magazines and catalogs are now trash. I'm planning on boxing up books I've read and also the winter clothes. And I'm going to get rid of the old 2 sizes to large clothes in the closet. I hope to never get that large again and could really use the closet space.

On the Internet TV side, I've watched Wolverine: Origins and most of Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. I've also discovered ReGenesis and Mental. ReGenesis is 3 seasons old and like CSI only medical research instead of criminal. Kind of cool. Mental is brand new on Fox and only has 2 episodes out. Enjoy!

Monday, June 01, 2009

How I Spent My Morning

Last week the Census office here in town downsized while they gear up for the next phase. That phase won't happen till possibly October. So they needed to get rid of a lot of people. We had done a fantastic job of doing the address canvasing. That's where they just go through neighborhoods and note down all the addresses so that we don't skip anyone. We did this in such a fantastic way that we are "victims of our own success." So the address canvassers all got laid off and so did a lot of the office clerks, me included. Friday was my last day. That's the bad news. I don't like bad news! So I'm going to try to maintain a positive outlook. This will be easier if I bring up the good points first.

Because I got laid off for "lack of work" I'm upgraded to "experienced" and eligible for recall, so when they open the other offices around town (probably in September) I should be among the first to get called back to work. This may take anywhere from 3 to 4 months, possibly more (God forbid). I'm also eligible for unemployment, or at least I hope so because I didn't work a whole lot last year. I'll have to go to the Texas Workforce Commission to see how that affects things. If I'm eligible for anything based on last years earnings it may be smaller but anything will help. I'm also able to rewrite the resume to include all the skills I gained from my office clerk position. I ended up pretty much in charge of personnel files, their creation and maintenance. That should help me find a job somewhere. Or perhaps do temp work since I'm a quick study.

So that's the good side of things. Other nice things that happened as a result of this is that I learned of several folks generous spirit. When I mentioned it at church one of my fellow verger trainees told me that if I needed food he and his wife had gift and reward cards at the local store that I could have. That was so sweet of Ron. I feel really blessed by the concern and friendship he exhibited in that offer. Sandi told me that my cats would never go hungry. :-) That was a relief and made me laugh. The office manager, my assistant manager, and my supervisor all gave me promises of references. So I can go into the job search with some really great folk that know and like me saying I'd make a great employee.

So now I have some time to spare. My goals are to find work, take care of me, and use the experiences I've had over the past 4 months to renew my own personal view and enrich my life. God gave me 4 months in an awesome office full of caring and wonderfully fun loving folk to help me grow. It would be a shame to waste that. I've got the phone numbers of several work friends. Some of them are in the same boat I'm in so we can be a support to each other. I was even able to hook one of them up with a fellow church member who needed someone with his unique skills for a possible job. That really lifted my spirits.

I've spent the morning doing productive things around the apartment. The cat box is cleaned. The trash has been taken out. I've started clearing off the desk and found several important documents in the various piles of mail I had stacked upon it's surface. I wrote a nice long email to my friend JS and we are talking about goals and routines. It's a good friend who can help you by being a goal buddy.

I'm also trying to start several small self enrichment projects. These are tentative but I'm hoping to make them fun and useful as well as spiritually renewing. Among the ideas I've had for these projects are: increase my vocabulary, spend more time communing with God, get outside at least once a day, and pick up my guitar again. There are others that will no doubt crop up as I talk about things. JS suggested exercise. My good friend Susan would suggest that too. She is a strong proponent of exercise as a way to manage depression. I figure if I get out for a little bit every day (probably early when the morning is still cool) I'll find myself walking and enjoying it. That's exercise although it isn't very strenuous.

So far this morning I been outside twice and read a little bit of the dictionary. Outside was gorgeous. There was a nice cool breeze, the birds were singing, and the trees are green. One of my neighbors drove past and we smiled at each other. What did I learn from the dictionary? Well, besides the fact that the letter "A" is in a lot of abbreviations and is a word in it's own right, it is also the first letter of aardvark, aardwolf, and abaca (I'm skipping names of people). I knew there were aardvarks. I didn't know there was an aardwolf. Apparently he eats termites and insect larvae. The abaca is a plant that is from the Philippines and the dictionary classifies it with hemp. So there you go, a new animal, a new plant, and a possibly useful word for scrabble if you have 3 A's.

Since I have more time I'll try to blog more regularly. I'll keep you posted on the job search and how I'm doing with the tightening of the purse strings. I'll also let you know how I'm going with the self enrichment projects. And if I find a job. Till the next post, "Have a good day!"