Friday, October 17, 2014

Chestnuts Roasting On An...

... open fire.  No, no. If I recall correctly, that should go more like "roast pig on a spit turning over a sizzling fire."  Haha, I crack myself up.

Now I'm wondering, does that count as a campfire or bonfire.  It was an outdoor fire anyway.  Around the holidays during our Hawaii-living days I learned that roasting a pig over a spit for a celebratory meal was tradition.  And that was a good thing as far as I was concerned.  Man, it was so good.

So, it was either our last Christmas on the island or the last over-night camp out at Hulopoe Beach.  Either way, there was tons of food, relaxed atmosphere, perfect weather, and friendly folks.  Did I mention the kalua pork?  Oh, boy! Served over white rice with simmered cabbage and yummy dinner rolls... delicious! 

Yeah, it was back during our Hawaii days where we last enjoyed an open fire, great food, and good fun.  It's due time to do that again.  Gonna put it on a Must Do list; maybe when we are in Vermont for College Girl's 2016 graduation.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hay Is For Horses ~ Uncle Jess

My Uncle Jess always corrected us kids whenever he heard us use "Hey," as in "Hey, can we go out to  play?" "Hey, take us to the park." And the most frowned upon, "Hey, why do smoke those stinky cigars?"  He'd always tell us "Hey?  Hay's for horses."  The expression was totally lost on us kids, and him saying it only made us want to use "hey" even more.  "Hey, get off our backs, old man."  We never actually said that; he'd probably have spanked us if we had.  We weren't dumb.

So, that's what immediately comes to mind when I consider the possibility of going for a hayride... as in The Husband announcing, "Hey, let's do something fun, like find some place we can all go for a hayride.  We could invite all the little nieces and nephews to join us. Sounds fun, right?"  The rest of us, "What!" Our argument would probably sound something like, "We live in the middle of the Southern California desert.  Where are we supposed to find a hayride place."  I'd insist the drive not be too long because of the cost of fuel, we'd need to find a dog sitter, and incur additional expense for food and stuff, not to mention whatever the cost of the hayride attraction would be.  You have to factor all these details into the whole thing, right.

Now, I do have one wonderful memory of another horse-drawn ride.  It was in Keystone Colorado and the entire family went on a glorious sleigh-ride.  We were bundled up in our winter gear, with additional warmth provided by festive plaid thick woolen blankets.  It was a two horse sleigh and we were taken on a scenic tour of a wintry wonderland.  Hot chocolate awaited us at the lodge.  As exhilarating as our nearly hour-long excursion was, it felt so good to come in from the snow and cold.  Being greeted by a cozy fire was the perfect ending.

Imagining a perfect Fall hayride setting would probably be at a Christmas tree farm on a working ranch. We would first follow along a guided horseback riding trail, complete with end-of-ride horse grooming. Followed by seemingly endless servings at the bar-b-que cookout, some tending to the smaller farm animals, then a giant campfire - smores, hot cocoa, ghost stories and all. Music quietly playing in the distance would also be nice - you know, some Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire and maybe some Trace Adkins, and finally a hayride under a velvety purplish-black night sky. The whole shebang.  I wouldn't mind if a bunch of strangers shared in the experience.  Our kids like to annoy us by whining, "Do we have to go?" "It's gonna be so boring." "Why?" whenever we plan to do something out of the ordinary.  And The Husband and I give them our go-to response, "Because we say so. Let's go."  Usually, by the end of these types of occasions, it's happened more than once that we arrive home to hear, "That was so much fun!" from the kiddos.  A camera would chronicle the whole day; pictures would be framed to remind us of a wonderfully special day.

Yeah, that's my ideal hayride experience.  What's yours. Put a link in the comments to your post for this BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompt.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I'm Late! I'm Late! I Am Not Late... You Just Can't Wait

At the most, there's only four times a year that I need be on time, and that's for quarterly med checks with my doctor.  That's it.  How often does my doctor call me into his office at my appointment time... never.  He's always at least 5 minutes behind; at the most, about 15 minutes. But no matter what, so as to arrive at my scheduled time, I've raced from my car, up the flight of stairs, rush the length of the corridor and fling open the door with a, "Hi, Michael."  Michael is my doctor's very professional and competent office manager.  The one time I was late due to road work, I called to let them know I'd be a few minutes late.  The doctor was still not ready to see me when I arrived.  I've worked in medical field front office so I totally understand when things aren't going as scheduled as long as the front office staff inform me they are running behind, acknowledge my willingness to wait  & reassure that the doctor knows I'm waiting... I get it.

My family insists that I have a habit of running late to pick them up from jobs and school.  Here's my argument - they shouldn't have a problem waiting a few minutes, it's not like they have somewhere else to go.  They can wait.  Also, it's a two-way street because I often have to wait on them.  Ours is a one vehicle family with three people who have places to go - the bookstore, a glass company and the high school.  I am never the reason for anyone to be late in the mornings.  A set pick up time is not written in stone... they can wait.  Just as some times I have to wait for them when they are running long.  We all have phones, so lack of communication should not be a problem.  Even on that traumatic afternoon drive to the school when a little dog dashed into 45 mph rush hour traffic and there was no chance of stopping in time to keep from hitting it, and I was in hysterics. I went into automatic pilot, calling the school so that my daughter knew to expect someone else to pick her up when school let out, I asked my husband to arrange for someone to pick up our daughter.  My son was with me and kept me calm so that I could pull over to phone animal services and compose myself in order to get back on the road. I was a mess, but had to draw from some unknown place within me to get on with the day of planned errands and picking up my husband, and daughter, at his place of work.  That was a terrible day.

There is another instance when promptness is of great importance - getting College Girl to the airport with plenty of time for her departure.  Her arrivals and departures are a family affair. And part of the fun and excitement is having the chance to catch up or to tell her how much she'll be missed and let her know how proud of her we are.  That's always a fun time,  Maybe not so much for my husband because of the pressure he puts on himself to get us out of the house on time.  The rest of us are just along for the ride.  Good times.

So, I'm late once in a while, however, I am very good at arriving on time for appointments, but there was a time when I was always early... my bus riding days.  If I had to be at school or at work at a designated hour, I'd make damn sure I boarded the bus(es) that got me where I needed to be on time.  Even if it meant waking up at 4:00 am to get to my bus stop at 4:30... no excuses.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tick Tock

TICK! TOCK!  Putting things off until the last minute... that's how I roll.  Here are some examples where I fail miserably and that often prevent me from getting to bed at a reasonable hour.

  1. Meals, my eating habits are all over the place lately (Does two years fall into the "lately" category?)  Breakfast is hit and miss, Lunch falls between a handful of nuts or a tortilla with butter.  Dinners are slightly better planned, I just have to consult with Bookstore Boy as to what he has on the weekly family meal plan based on our lastest grocery shopping run.  I still feel somewhat lost about dinner as we are all walking in the door at the end of the school and work day. I really need to get a handle on this because planning used to come so easily to me at one time..
  2. One thing that regularly get's right down to the wire is my daily post when I participate in BlogHer's NaBloPoMo challenge.  I really enjoy this activity and wish I had better content.  But, I'm just someone who uses blogging to hash things out that are going on in my life at the moment.  I have no clue who reads my posts, and when I see visits to my blog from other countries I wonder what exactly they got out of the time they took to read my stuff. After all, my writing pretty much can be described as merely typing exercise. Nonetheless, the fun I have, and sense of accomplishment do provide a rewarding feeling.
  3. Another thing I'd like to re-establish is regular visits to others' blogs. I get so much insights and enjoyment from so many talented writers.  But my daily routine has taken a bit of a back seat to YouTube videos.
  4. Which brings me to my last reason for failing to get to bed at a reasonable hour, and that is YouTube.  I have a list of subscribers that I receive emails indicating the latest posts, and I save them all and make it a priority to watch each video.  YouTube has, in fact, taken the place of network and cable television watching.  Goodbye, Live with Kelly and Michael; Hello Good Mythical Morning and Good Mythical More with Rhett & Link. I love easy access to learning channels like Sci Show, and Crash Course; As well as enrichment content as provided by Health Care Triage and The Art Assignment.  My news sources are Source Fed & others that don't come to mind at the moment.  Delightfully mindless fun, interesting facts and human interests comes by way of Grace Helbig & friends, Flula, Mental Floss, The Fine Bros, and Soul Pancake (especially Kid President) among many others.  So that's what keeps me up until 2:00 or 3:00 am.. But I wouldn't miss this for the world.  This makes me happy, and  happy is good, right. 

I can't even get into how neglected my YouTube channel creating has been lately.  I do have videos recorded, but my memory cards sit around waiting for me to do something worth watching.  The last few published on my channel, THIS IS FIFTY WITH LIL, have been spur of the moment and very rough. My hair isn't even brushed. Oh, well. I'm finding it enjoyable anyway and hope to have much improved content someday. The learning experience has been so much fun that it doesn't matter that only one family member and one friend have actually watched my videos.

Well, The Daily Show and Colbert Report hour is nearly halfway through, and I need to set myself up comfortably in my chair to enjoy many of the YouTube channels that I mentioned above.

Now it's time to edit this post and hope that it is not rubbish, but time well spent for my regular visitors.  So with that, have a good night, and until tomorrow.

~ Lil

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Crunch Time... No Pressure

Is it crunch time? Seems everything has gone well beyond that stage in my world.  So then, what comes directly after crunch time, hmm? Wait, don't tell me, I think I know - Whistle blown.  Time's up. Goose cooked.  Done deal. Light's out.  Party is over. Good night, Marie!

I could be wrong about that then, right?  After all, I am still standing* here.  There really should be no reason whatsoever for me to ever feel under pressure.  I don't do anything! Whatever my responsibilities are do not warrant an ounce of anxiety.  Also, I don't go anywhere!  I am home day in and day out, and when not home, I'm in my car.  There is no excuse for me to be late or unprepared for anything... no excuse.

There was a time - when I was single - that you could count on me to be on time; do my job accurately and expeditiously; stick to a rigid schedule, yet have ample time open for fun.  I made it work, kept things uncomplicated, and stress free as possible.  At least that's how I remember it.  Twenty-five years gone by, and you could look up the words unreliable, procrastinator, and schlub, and I'm pretty sure you'll find my pictures for each entry. Gosh I hope not, what a blow that would be!

Once again, no excuse.  There is no excuse for this even if I'm no longer single. All that conditioning should have been the foundation to build upon after marriage and starting a family.  But, oh yeah. I just remembered... those crummy chronic illnesses that sucker punched me almost as soon as my new life began.  I was always needing help when I was feeling poorly. I never knew when I'd wake up to a "good" day, a "bad day, or a "can't get out of bed day."  As a result, I am now terrible at establishing a daily routine.  I was able to manage pretty well while my children were very young, and I was fortunate enough to rely on the fact that they could work as a team to make getting ready for school stress free.  They displayed amazing trust in each other, strength and perseverance all in the name of keeping mom healthy.  I am overjoyed at how since they were very young children, they've come to my aid when it came to grocery shopping and storage when we returned home.  They still do it to this day, for which I am most grateful.

As for their momma, these days it is often that I arrive at a scheduled appointment out of breath due to having to run from my vehicle to place I'm supposed to be at whatever specific time.  Anytime I try to make a plan to do something, I get distracted and all my ideas just fall by the wayside. Energy wanes, and I'm left disappointed.  I so want to be better, especially now that I'm at the age that responsibilities should be uncomplicated and managable.  So what gives, right?

Why am I often stressed out!? This pressure, it's all self imposed. There is no reason why I should be so hard on myself.  People are getting where they need to be on time. And it is a rare occurance when, as today, I am late to work or school pick up.  Most days, meals are ready at a reasonable hour, and light snacks are usually at hand in case there's a slight delay, but for some reason I think I should be doing a better job staying on task.  I probably should just be happy with the way things are, after all, it could be worse.  My biggest regret is not being able to keep the house cleaner and better organized.  Must try harder.

The term "crunch time" will have new meaning at my house... "Time for a crunchy snack."  A "no pressure" attitude shall be the norm.

My blog post will be the exception.  There's kind of a rush when I notice the time and it's 11:40 pm and I still have to proofread and edit my post.  Sometimes it's after 11:50 when I hit "Publish." and hope someone will read my writings of the day, and maybe find that a comment or two are awaiting my responses.  I love when that happens.

How do you handle pressure? What works for you to find balance on a day-to-day basis?  Are you feeling stressed at the thought of seasonal holidays quickly approaching?  How easy is it for you to ask for assistance when things get "crunchy?"

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Are You Ready, Because This Is Happening...

A memory from age 4 ~ Favorite Song
THE BEATLES "Do You Want to Know a Secret"

What exactly is happening, with me anyway?  Age... aging,  You know how you go along holding steady from your 30's through, apparently, age 50 (at least in my case) then BAM! I mean, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... Suddenly you cannot seem to stay awake during daylight hours. I need to have at least one morning nap and one early afternoon nap!  I. know.  So you tell me.  Is this official "I'm old" phase?  I'll admit, this is a bit concerning.

It's been several weeks - hell, months - that my plan has been to sign up for AARP... mostly to see what kind of perks are available to The Husband and me now that we've reached the Golden Years - wouldn't you know it, the first known use of the term GOLDEN YEARS was 1964 - the year I was born.  So yeah, I think it is approps to apply this term to describe my current phase in life.  And although I often hashtag #ImOld on some of my Twitter posts, I'm not that old, I'm just older than a majority of Twitter followers and followees.

Anywho, evidence of this shift in my daily routine (granted, I'm always up for a lovely mid-day nap), happened this Summer when my kids and I spent weeks enjoying EW's list of 55 "must see" movies every 13 year-old should watch.  What happened? Nearly every viewing had to be interrupted due to my inability to stay awake! I needed to have a lie down midway through all these great films - never had that happen before; same with books, two or three pages in and I'm nodding off.  This is bad, yes?  It's totally an old lady thing, right? Or maybe I just need to start taking a multi-vitamin again, Or, break the habit of going to bed past 2:00 am. Or maybe, eat balanced meals and healthy snacks throughout the day.  All of those habits need some tweaking, and that's where I thought AARP might be worth a more in-depth look.

Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying that AARP membership means it's all down hill from here... god no!  I actually see it as joining an inclusive club with vibrant, productive, and eager individuals full of wisdom and knowledge who could offer sensible advice.  Fun should begin at 50, right? I'm all for that, who wouldn't be.  So this is happening to me, but I don't think I'm doing it right.  And no, I'm not ready for this... age 50.  One thing I am willing to explore is the possibility of reinventing myself.  And what do you know, AARP has this really nifty website, Life Reimagined, designed to assist and guide you through obstacles that might be keeping you from confidently approaching what should be a purposeful, fulfilling chapter in your life at age 50 and beyond.

Please click here for more information.
I signed up for Life Reimagined beginning of October and find it is already helping me see the possibilities that lay ahead.  This makes me happy.  If you know of anyone in the AARP stage of life who is feeling a bit stuck, please consider sharing this website with them.*

*This is not a paid endorsement.

For more information go to: