Wednesday, October 30, 2013



Despite so many things that seem to be going wrong lately, I really do have a lot to be thankful for. It never ceases to amaze me how much of a difference focusing on the reasons to give thanks rather than griping makes.

This morning is a prime example. I awoke to discover that my Marshmallow had committed a couple offenses against our rules of the house. I could have gone off and yelled at her. I could have sent her to her room for the rest of the morning. I could have held a grudge and glared at her when ever we crossed paths.

Instead, I calmly talked with her about her wrongdoings and we made an effort together to turn the day around. She was awesome at helping! She unloaded the dishwasher all the way, almost completely by herself! We made macaroni and cheese with turkey bacon from scratch together for lunch. She helped with serving up breakfast for the cats.

So as I go about the rest of my afternoon, I shall make a concentrated effort to focus on the reasons to be thankful, and not let myself gripe. I may allow myself to comment in my head that the 2 hour wait at the pharmacy stinks but I will be thankful not only for the fact that we have this benefit, but that the BX is right next door and I can take that time to do some window shopping! I may gripe a moment that this computer of mine always leads to such procrastination, but I will be thankful that we have enough disposable income that we can own and operate these machines with internet and many other bells and whistles. And I could go on, but mainly, I'm curious to see how much brighter this day will get when I choose to give thanks instead of gripes.

How much brighter will your day get with a positive change in your state of mind?

Thursday, October 24, 2013


"Idle hands make devil's work" but my hands have been far from idle today! First I made up some pumpkin cream cheese spread.
All mixed up!
I based it upon an apple butter cream cheese recipe from and did a whole lot of tweaking with it. This batch turned out OK. Next time, I am hoping to make it sweeter and more generous with the cloves. I just can't get enough of cloves!

Then I took one of my cats over to be weighed at the Vet's. I will spare her dignity and refrain from disclosing the details of what the scale said! Suffice to say, there will be a reduction in the quantity of menu offerings.

After that I had some time to spare before meeting my Marshmallow at the bus stop so I looked up a recipe for Chai Spice blend for making tea. I was all excited to grind it up, but I have no Cardamom Pods, or Turmeric. Time will tell if the spices get hunted down, or if I just buy the tea in bags.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


$ $ $ $ $ $ $
In one way or another, we all must work. So why not make the task a little more enjoyable with some quotes that might make you laugh, contemplate, or groan?

"Looking for work? Have some of mine!"- One of my Mom's witty old coffee mugs

 “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Confucius

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made,
What's a sundial in the shade?” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Work without love is slavery.” ― Mother Teresa

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” -  Aristotle (384-322); Philosopher

“Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” - Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226); Catholic Saint, Founder Of Franciscans

 "I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate" - George Burns, Comedian

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel" - Carl W. Beuchner, Author
"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." - Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)
I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. – George Burns - See more at:
I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. – George Burns - See more at:
"You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy." - Bob Ross (1942 - 1995), Best of Joy of Painting, Winter Elegance
"Getting fired is nature's way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place." - Hal Lancaster, in The Wall Street Journal
My sources for these quotes were: GoodReads,, One Week Job, and The Quotations Page

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


~ ~ ~
I'm sitting here sleepily trying to remember if I've actually ever had just one pet during a period of time. I guess when I was in late high school Roofus had solo rule of the roost but my brother's saltwater fish tank might have still been up and running in the living room. Wait, I also remember having a Fire Bellied Newt at the time. I felt so clever for naming him Gingrich, after the Speaker of the House!

These days it is quite the menagerie around here! There's the three cats: Tai-Grr, Aurora, and Wooter
Left to Right: Wooter, Aurora (in front) and Tai-Grr
Our avian duo of Baby the Umbrella Cockatoo and...
Sprinkle the Goffins Cockatoo,
Macchiato the Hedgehog and...
Last but not least, a multitude of fishy friends! We have a salt water tank, freshwater tank, and we harvest our own food for them too!
Rah the Betta Splendens in center and Raspora Tetras to the left (freshwater fish)
The forever evolving saltwater tank with fish, invertebrates, live rock, and live corals.

It is a challenge to keep up with the feeding, cleaning up after, and loving on so many critters! I read somewhere not long ago that "Pets are God's way of making up for the bad days" and it couldn't be truer. When people question in one way or another why we have so many pets my answer pretty much boils down to that statement. Many scientific studies have been done proving that pets as stress relief is a valid and effective method too!

Saturday, October 19, 2013


My husband is the Hint Master. He drives me crazy with how clever his hints are! We went on a cruise together, as a surprise to me, before our daughter came along. He told me three single words plus that we needed our passports but he didn't tell me anything besides that minimal information to give me hints to where we were going! And he told me this information something like two months before we left, it was torture! The trip was a cruise aboard the now retired and scrapped SS Norway on Norwegian Cruise Lines and we went to the US Virgin Islands.

Another time he drove me absolutely batty was the Christmas scavenger hunt he did. There were 12 clues for the 12 days of Christmas. I had to find each of my presents based upon these clues which took me all over our house. I felt so loved that he took the time to think up all the hints, print them out, and hide all that stuff!

Christina mentioned on her blog about the hints of winter coming along. I am so thrilled to be having those hints becoming more and more frequent!

Monday, October 14, 2013


This isn't one of the words of the day.

It feels like recently I've been fighting. So many forces seem to be pushing at me, so many excuses to  slide into depression.

Inspiration and creativity are trickling through, at best, but there isn't enough to make something of it.

But I fight on, in my own way. Because that is what I do. I may not always fight strong but some how, by God's Grace, I seem to keep winning.

Friday, October 11, 2013


When most people hear "icon" they think of icons in the cultural world like pop stars, MVP sports players, or possibly political figures.

When the word "icon" is mentioned to me, I think of the religious icons. Images crafted in a state of spiritual inspiration to honor and worship. Being raised in the Roman Catholic faith I had the chance to see reproductions of many icons. I would much rather spend my energy focusing on a religious icon than some sort of celebrity. I got a reproduction of an icon as my parting gift when we moved away from the Catholic Chapel at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Now it is hanging over my desk.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Thursday, October 10, 2013


When thinking about friendship, the Michael W. Smith song almost always pops into my head. This song was released when I was in Junior High School and it got sung many times in my choir classes on through High School.

Over the years I've been blessed to have many friends. I don't think I've lived up to my friendship potential in many cases. With all the places I've lived over the years my friendship garden has been filled with many flowers but I get distracted and neglect watering them, so the bonds fall apart. I apologize to those who have been a victim of that.

It's been said that people are put in our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I have two great friends right now and I hope these ladies will stay with me for the rest of my life. I'm learning so much from them and appreciate them so much. It would be nice if they viewed me on the same level that I view them, but I don't expect them to and will be grateful for what we have, for as long as we have it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I feel like I don't really know what to say about shoes. There are the literal ones and the figurative ones. The shoes I wear each day are all getting old, worn out and stinky but for some reason I keep putting off buying new ones. Eventually my dogs will bark loud enough and I'll give in and go shopping.

Walking a mile in someone's shoes is a concept I strive for but lately I feel woefully inadequate at doing so with success. Truly relating to others feels like a challenge for me, which is something new and uncomfortable.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


\/ \/ \/

I do love a good book.  The problem is, life and it's distractions keep me way too busy to crack open the covers and read that print as much as I'd like to. My attention span also equals that of a mouse jacked up on Mountain Dew.

There have been certain times in my life when I was blessed with quality book time. I recall nursing my little Marshmallow and enjoying some light reading, before she became aware of her surroundings that is. Then she got to an age when the book was more interesting than focusing on eating! Deployments were also fertile reading grounds. After Marshmallow was tucked in for the night I'd grab a book and blanket and cuddle up to read with the cats. The B3 or B4 ritual also was born: draw up a Bath, choose a Book, pour a little Booze (sometimes), then get to Bed.

I do try my hardest to make time to read and right now I'm actually in the process of reading three books. There is a growing To Be Read list as well.

My Current Reading List:
     The Bible, New International Version or the New American Bible
     "Pour Your Heart Into It" by Howard Schultz
     "Onward" also by Schultz (this one is being put on the back burner until more of "Pour..." is finished)

To Be Read:
     "Song In The Silence" by Elizabeth Kerner (at the request of Marshmallow, she is reading the series)
     "Uncommon Grounds" by Mark Pendergrast

I am playing around with the idea of writing reviews of some or maybe even all of these books. We shall see, so stay tuned!


Ok, I will put this out in the open: I am a sweater. My internal furnace has a malfunctioning thermostat. It's not so bad in the winter but gets really irritating in the spring and summer.  Especially since the thermal regulation discrepancies happen on the outer edges of my limbs. This can be interesting at night. The fan will be blowing and every body part will get chilly except for my feet so I end up sticking them out and have the rest of the covers wrapped around my torso and pulled up to my chin.

Monday, October 7, 2013


Cats are synonymous to cozy in my book. Contrary to what some may say, there can never be to many pictures of cats on the internet so I'm sharing some pictures of my cats being cozy! 
Now I'm going to get cozy in my bed! =)

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Money. I'm makin' some right now! I have taken on my biggest pet care job as of yet. This is so exciting! There are five Standard Poodles, three adults and two puppies in my care for the next three days. I haven't had this much fun or been this tired since my Marshmallow Girl (daughter) was tiny!

I officially launched my pet care business toward the end of August. I had been taking on jobs here and there but have decided I want to take the leap and make things more official with it so it can hopefully be a valid source of secondary income for my family. So I made up some cards at VistaPrint and set up a facebook page. There are a couple other steps to be taken and then we'll see what happens next!

I still want to be a barista again too, though! I loved pulling shots at the Barnes and Noble Cafe. When being a barista I thought it was pretty cool that I had a bartender like relationship with my customers, except I didn't have to deal with the worry of them getting a DUI! Even better though was educating the customers about the different drinks and coffee blends and seeing their faces light up when they tried the perfect drink! So I've sent out a couple applications and have had an interview which I'm waiting to hear the final word upon the status of my hiring.

Which ever jobs I take on in the near future, I will be thankful for the opportunities and give them my all! In the mean time I'll keep playing the following song in hopes that more will come our way. It's bass line is really fun to plunk out, too!

Friday, October 4, 2013


Today's word of the day is: coffee

Hooray! One of my most favorite things in the whole wide world! My experiences with coffee have ebbed and flowed over the years. I've been a regular at Starbucks (and other specialty coffee shops) at certain points, resorted to brewing cheap coffee in a can from the grocery store in my Mr Coffee, and the in-between spots too. There have been times when I've had to take a break from coffee altogether. I've gone on stints with drinking it decaf. These days I'm going the half-caff route with whole milk and sugar. I'm relishing brewing Starbucks Caffe Verona at home again but wish I could get more stars, more often.

I got started drinking coffee stealing sips from Mom's mug on the drive over to my Junior High. My Dad is the one who makes the coffee at my parents house. I love my Dad beyond what words can say but barista, he is not! He brews Yuban at half strength which is probably why I was able to start drinking coffee as early as I did. It's also probably why I was able to drink a 32 ounce travel mug full of it on High School mornings and still have a functioning GI system as an adult. If my first tastes of coffee were full strength, no doubt it would have been too rich for me in my younger days. Having experienced one end of the coffee spectrum I am able to more fully appreciate the higher end coffees. Bless my Dad's heart, we tease him sometimes for how he makes his coffee and when all of the family gets together we have a second pot going of 'real' coffee but he doesn't even bat an eye any more! So Dad, I raise my mug in admiration and thanks to you!

The first coffee shop I went to on a regular basis was Diedrich Coffee. They were the big man on campus, actually, in my town when I was a teenager. They were to us (on a smaller scale) what Starbucks was in other places. It's my understanding though, that eventually Starbucks came in and bought out many of the locations. Some of them closed down altogether. After I had been going to the coffee shops for a while I decided I wanted to make espresso at home. I thought it would be fun to have my friends over for fancy coffees in the evenings on the patio at my parents house. So for my 16th or 17th birthday my parents bought me an entry level espresso machine. It was the Krups Espresso Mini. I still own it and use it to this very day! Sadly, I never got the hang of making espresso at home. Back then I was dumbfounded by it, but now I've learned about espresso machines and how they work. That little Mini is steam driven, not pump driven, so basically nobody can get a true shot of espresso out of that thing. I do say, I'm still quite fond of my 100 dollar milk frother, regardless!

These days I'm also reading about coffee. I have two of Howard Schultz's books checked out from the library. He is the Founder and CEO of Starbucks, in case you didn't know. The things Schultz accomplished and the short amount of time he did it in is absolutely astounding. To hear him tell the tale of his long love affair with coffee and business, I can't help but wonder if he had a crystal ball or something. As I'm reading "Pour Your Heart Into It" and "Onward" I find myself shaking my head and chuckling with amazement at these adventures. The more I read about Howard Schultz and Starbucks, the more I love what they stand for and would love to share that joy with you all! I also would like to re-read "Uncommon Grounds" by Mark Pendergrast, which was given to me by my brother Paul. This book is "a coffee-flavored history of the modern world." Quote from inside the book jacket. Perhaps I shall take a stab at writing up official reviews of these when I'm done with them.

I could probably sit here and write about coffee for the rest of the night. Heck, I've already been composing this blog off and on all day! But there's chores to do, dinner to make, and beans to grind (no, that is not a chore!) so I will close off with the intention to write more on this topic later. There are far too many good things about coffee to limit myself to this one post!

I hope to see you soon, and look forward to your comments!

Nine Hours Later

Just for kicks, this is what things look like this evening. To say that it snowed this morning almost seems like a joke! Almost done with my word of the day...

Yep, it's fall in CO!

This morning we got a small snow flurry. That is a normal thing for fall in CO. We will get one or two random snowfalls. It usually melts off before the day is over and then the following days it will warm up again. I'm going to enjoy this while it's around! I hope you enjoy the picture too, while I'm working on my word of the day blog! 

Thursday, October 3, 2013


It is supposed to be legitimately cold tomorrow:
Friday: Overcast with snow and rain in the morning, then mostly cloudy with a chance of snow and rain. High of 45F. Breezy. Winds from the NNW at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of snow 60%.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy in the evening, then clear. Low of 30F with a windchill as low as 21F. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 20 mph.  Weather Underground

Cold is so much more logical than heat. One can bundle up to infinity, but there are only so many layers that someone can take off!

I used to consider myself a stranger to true cold. Being raised in Southern California, 50 degrees once seemed like freezing to me. Then entered life as a Military Wife and a move up to Anchorage, Alaska. I was introduced to true cold, full force. My husband needed our car to get to his work, so I took the bus to school and my part time jobs. I learned many things on those bus rides.

There are different types of cold. Anchorage (and the Denver area) have dry cold. This type of cold is nice because the lack of humidity helps it feel not quite as cold. I remember visiting my brother Dave in San Francisco, where the cold is wet. When the fog rolled in, the temperature felt at least 10 degrees colder! But dry cold also sucks all the moisture out of you, as if it is feeding itself on your own reserves. I never once used moisturizer on my face until I moved to Anchorage, and have developed the habit of buying a lip balm almost every time I go to the store, it seems! Another drawback of dry cold is that it cuts through everything. Cold dry winds sting more. The leaves dry out quicker. Sometimes it feels like your own limbs will snap like a twig if you're out and not sufficiently layered up. Having said all that, in my opinion, there is almost nothing better than getting defrosted and cozy after being out in the cold for a while.


I love this season, although I prefer to call it Autumn. My favorite things about it are:

The cooler temperatures and sometimes a chance of snow.
The yummy foods and drinks coming out of the wood work in abundance.
Going for long walks and deeply inhaling the scent of a wood fire.
Admiring the richness of the new fashion and cosmetics collections.
Having the best excuse to cuddle up with my cats, a blanket, and a hot drink.
Mulled wine and home made spiced cider.
Starting the mission of finding the perfect Christmas gifts.
The chances to spend extra time with family and friends.

And although there are many more things that make me feel a fondness for Fall, my list must end here, for I'm about to fall asleep!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Am Up For The Challenge! Are You?

A certain lovely lady I know, Christina, has come up with a great idea, all on her own, for a blogging challenge this month and I hope I will live up to this challenge. It sounds easy enough. Thirty one days, thirty one words. Surely I can handle that! ;) So, without further ado, my first word!

blogging: verb (used without object)
to maintain or add new entries to a blog.
I first started blogging way back in... 1999 if I recall correctly. It was over at Diaryland. Then due to technical issues with them I moved it over to my free page on Tripod, then my blogs moved to, the private domain of my man and I. We stopped using that as a web server but maintained it still for e-mail, so I hooked up here on blogger. 
I always have intentions to pick up a project which will "force" me to blog on a regular basis but almost always end up flaking out. A couple of my past projects have been a Photo A Day and MTB Monday. I'm sure there's other dusty little blog posts out there too but I was especially bummed that those two didn't get to live up to all I'd been hoping them to.
So, I guess I'll round this out by advising to start small(er). Take things a day at a time and play catch up if you need to but avoid gaping holes. And read Christina's blog on a regular basis too. She truly is  inspirational and I am Blessed to call her my friend!
See you tomorrow with another word!