Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not a Hippie Thing

     "Timothy will know - " I heard my name as I walked down the hall at work.  (Being a Marine, I go by my last name at work.)

      I took a couple steps back to peek into the office from which I had heard my name.  Three or four of the judge advocates I work with were gathered for an end-of-the-day gab session.  "I'll know what?"  READ MORE>>


      Colleen Timothy.  If you follow me here on Cheap Wine and Cookies, and/or on my Facebook, and/or my Twitter (plug, plug), you probably know me, Colleen, pretty well.  If you met me "in real life," though, I think you'd be surprised.

      My online persona really doesn't line up with my real life personna.  Even my Facebook account that isn't linked to my blog, while a closer representation, doesn't completely capture my day-to-day personality.  I suppose that's not surprising.  I mean, can any person really be truely represented virtually?  Probably not.  There is too much else that plays into in person encounters to be replicated in a cyber atmosphere.  But I think some online representations are farther off than others.

      Some people, of course, blatantly lie and misrepresent themselves online.  Some people use their online personnas to try to cover up their pasts or change perceptions they are subject to in real life.  Some people construct elaborate alternate realities online.  Some people are just fake. 

      I'd like to think I'm not one of those people who is just blatantly fake.  I don't have anything to hide.  I'm not trying to come off differently online than I do in real life.  And yet, a discussion I recently had with a co-worker got me to thinking just how different my online life is from my "offline" life.

      You see, there was big drama going on at work.  My workplace is small enough that everyone knows everyone else and gossip spreads like wildfire.  Except around me.  It is as though there is a little bubble around my office that shields me from all that gossip and drama. 

       It's not as though I'm never involved or aware of it, but I am much less embroiled in it than the majority of my co-workers, and the gossip virtually never involves me.  You see, in real life, I am a very private person.  Not so much online, right?  ;-)  I have to same values in real life that I do online, the same opinions, the same family, but I'm not a real big "sharer" normally.

      If something MacGyver is interested in comes up in conversation, I will most certainly talk about him.  But there are only about 4 people I ever discuss my marriage with.  The only reason my co-workers and friends know that I am very happily married is because of the flowers, pictures, plants, and other little tokens that tend to randomly appear in my office.

       I am a very quiet person.  No, seriously.  I hear you snickering.  I don't talk much unless I have something to say, something to contribute.  That doesn't mean I don't talk.  I won't hesitate to weigh in on legal discussions or give lively and detailed answers when aquaintences enquire into my lifestyle (usually ethical eating related).  I am quiet and private, but I am no shrinking violet.  I am confident and capable in the courtroom.  I will not hesitate to stand up for what I believe, even if my opinion is unpopular.  But you'll rarely catch me discussing the weather or pop culture with random people. 

      Occassionally, drama finds me - even in real life.  But even then, it usually falls flat.  Even when there's drama in my real life, I usually only rant about it online.  Unless there is something useful I can actually do with the information in real life, I ignore stuff.  And then kvetch about it online.

      When I find out that my entire workplace is in a tizzy over some drama that I had no idea was going on, I'm not surprised.  Maybe I should be more aware.  Maybe it would be a waste of my energy.  I'm pretty happy just the way I am.

       One thing is for sure, though:  My online personna is not the same as my real life personna.

      How different are you online from real life?

      PS:  I'm starting to fear that the most accurate reflection of me online is Pinterest.  How frightening is that?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why Compassion?: Because of This

This morning, I was blindsided.

      As a Marine and as an attorney, I am no stranger to tragedy and heartbreaking scenarios.  Violence, death, abuse - the list of awful things that I might encounter in any given day is immeasurable.  I am not talking about atrocities in combat.  I am not a combat Marine, or, I haven't been so far.  But I have seen awful things relating not only to the horror of battle, but, more often to the horror of life.  READ MORE>>

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Compassion?: It Fits

      I have written on Empathy before.  I feel very strongly that the ability to put one's self in another's shoes, so to speak, is crucial to compassionate human relationships.  Compassionate Life emphasizes and refines that point.

       Compassion is key - for personal enlightenment, for global justice, for right relationships.  It is something we have evolved for.  Compassionate Life discusses at length in its beginning the evolutionary journey that has molded us to be compassionate beings.  The author discusses the war, so to speak that takes place between our different "brains."  READ MORE>>

For all of the progress on my journey so far, please visit (and Follow!!) A Compassionate Life: My Endeavor.

Why Compassion?: The Journey Begins

      Several months ago, I found myself palgued by negative thoughts and pointless drama.  A couple people from MacGyver and my pasts had popped into our lives for no apparent reason other than to spread discontent and drama.  I started hearing gossip that involved me from military personnel I barely knew.  It wasn't anything too particularly vitriolic or slanderous, but that made it all the more annoying.  Though this may seem like a contradiction (given this blog), I am a very private person and I can't stand people talking about me (or my loved ones) behind my back.

      I don't know if there actually was more gossip going on, or if I had simply been made more aware of it by certain new acquaintences, but I quickly became increasingly more frustrated with the situation until finally my frustration built up into anger.  One day, I found myself railing angrily inside my head, "Why the eff can't people who have no business in our live - be they from the past or just not really close to us - just mind thier own mother-effing business?"  "How can a person who has done X and Y, who is so blatantly selfish and immoral presume to say anything about me?"

      And I stopped.  And I was a little shocked.  And a little disturbed.  These are NOT the type of thoughts I think.  I do not think that I am better than anyone else.  When people strike out pointlessly against me, I ignore them and allow their own vitriole and hatred to consume them.  I don't get sucked into other people's petty, childish games.  And I do not tear people down just for the sake of it.  I may disapprove of people's actions, and I may even say so (or blog so, as the case may be), but I DO NOT individually attack people and tear them down.  I, in short, don't think thoughts like I caught myself thinking.

      I felt like I was being pulled down by the negative, petty people in our lives (and there were a few of them - it was almost like there was one in every single arena of our lives - like they were planted there to test me - not that I'm megalomaniacal enough to believe that ;-)), and I did not like it.  So at Samhain, I cast these things away.  I promised myself I would not get dragged down anymore.  I would avoid these negative forces at all costs.  I cut a bunch of people out of my social networks.  I avoided a couple people at events.  I felt immensly better.

      Sure, there have been a couple of slip-ups.  Gossip I tried to avoid reached me anyway a couple times, and though I fought it, there were twinges of annoyance and frustration.  But not much.  It didn't result in anything more than a little kvetching on my part.

       But soon, I started to feel like maybe just ignoring this negativity wasn't the whole answer.  Suddenly, I started to feel like I was getting a very clear message from the Universe that it was time for me to do a whole lot more than ignoring things.  It was time to overcome my annoyance, frustration, preoccupation, and anger - and the insecurities that coincide with them.  There are many more details on this "message" from the Universe here.

      The key to that message from the Universe was the book Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong.  After reading the book just once, I was completely won over.  This was the answer I was looking for.  This was the beginning of my journey.  Starting in January, I would spend approximately one month on each of the 12 steps, which I believe will be a solid foundation for a journey I expect to last many years - probably a lifetime.

To follow my journey as one cohesive work, please visit (and follow!) A Compassionate Life: My Endeavor.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Compassionate Life: My Endeavor

      As a couple of you have already noticed, there is a new tab up at the top of this page.  A Compassionate Life:  My Endeavor is my new blog following my progress as I undertake Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to a Compassionate LifeThere being twelve steps worked out perfectly since I decided to undertake this project in December.  Hence, I will be devoting one month to each of the twelve steps.  Obviously it has not escaped my attention that January is almost over.  Not to fret, I have been following the first step all month, I just haven't written all that much about it.  I expect to get a couple posts out about the first step over the next week or so.  And if it bleeds over into February?  So what.  It's my project and I'll bleed if I want to.  Plus, since the steps build on each other, it's not like the first step suddenly stops when I move on to the second.

      Please check out the new blog.  You can either click on the first link in this post, or the tab at the top, or you can click one of the following links to be taken to the individual posts:

      Why Compassion?: The Journey Begins

     Why Compassion?:  It Fits

      And while I'm on the topic of other blogs, I've been thinking about my other tabs at the top.  Generally, when I add something to the Ethical Eating and Sustainable Living (EESL) blog, I post it here as well.  The EESL blog is more or less a place to gather the Cheap Wine and Cookies posts that relate to the topics of Ethical Eating and Sustainable Living.  The same goes for The Family That Reads.  It is a collection of Cheap Wine and Cookies posts. 

      I have not followed that trend with the Recipes site.  As often as I can, I throw up quick recipes (ok, they're not always quick to read, I'm rather wordy with my recipes), as I'm cooking or after dinner.  I do not, however, usually post those to Cheap Wine and Cookies because 1) it's a pain in the rear, and 2.) it would flood Cheap Wine and Cookies.

      So I'm putting forward this request, if you're interested, please follow the Recipes blog on it's own.

      At this point, I haven't decided whether I'm going to maintain the Compassion blog seperately, or whether I will post all the entries here on the Cheap Wine and Cookies main page.  I suppose that depend partially on whether anyone follows it.

      Any input from my loyal Cheap Winos?  Do you want to see my Compassion posts here on the main page, or would you rather follow it as a seperate blog?

Friday, January 20, 2012

He Signs

      As I have mentioned before, Flintstone uses sign language.  Actually he uses it so much (and I talk about it so much) that a friend of mine on Facebook recently asked if he was deaf.  He's not deaf, but he is a very adept little signer.

      Signing has been an amazing experience for us.  It has been a great stress reliever to me to be able to just ask Flintstone what he wants or needs and not to have to guess or frustrate him further by offering him a celery stick when what he really wants is a drink or a diaper change.  Plus, you can clearly see the joy on his face when he knows what he's saying is understood.  He loves using his signs and is always excited to learn new ones.  I just wish I was better at keeping up with him!

      We started signing to Flintstone at birth with the "milk" sign when nursing.  When he started on solids at 6 months, we added the signs for "hungry" (though we actually use the ASL sign for eat because it's clearer) and "more."  While it became clear that he was starting to understand the signs around 7 or 8 months, he didn't really start trying to mimic them until 10 months, and then it was only a little here and there.  Since we could see he understood the signs, we gradually introduced more even though he didn't do them to encourage him.  And it worked!

      Just a few days after his first birthday, we arrived home from a looooong car trip.  As soon as we got into the house and I put Flintstone down, he looked at me and said "Buh!"

      "What?"  I asked and signed.

       He toddled toward the hallway, stopping at the doorway and turning to me.  "Buh!" he yelled again, and started excitedly doing the sign for "bath."  We were so excited to encourage the sign and confirm to him that he had it right that before we even started unloading the car, MacGyver took him back for a bath.
      Side Note:  Flintstone is very into cleanliness.  I think he does the signs for "bath," "wash hands," and "change" more than any others - even "milk!"  He's also way ahead of his age group in using utensils, which I think is largely because he doesn't like to touch his food (and also partially because he thinks it's cool).  And the first thing he does if he can get his hand on a washcloth or towel (or baby wipe or dryer sheet), is wipe his face with it.  My little neat freak.  Apparently, that's typical of Virgos.  More likely, I think he gets it from MacGyver.
      Starting with the sign for bath, Flintstone began to pick up more signs every day.  By the time he hit 14 months, the kid was on some sort of insatiable langauge binge.  He could not get enough of new signs/words.  He always wanted new signs and would get visibly impatient with me when I didn't know a sign.  I couldn't keep up with him! 

      Actually, I still can't.  I don't think he knows the maximum number of signs for his age (he's 16 months now), but that is only because we haven't been able to keep up with teaching him new ones.  We're still making progress, though, and he's still learning new signs every day.

      So far, Flintstone knows the following signs:
  • Bath!
  • Milk (as in asking to nurse)
  • Thirsty/Drink
  • Hungry/Food/Eat
  • More (and I'm very impressed at his deapth of understanding of this concept.  He knows he can use this sign to get more food or water, but he also knows he can use it to get more of a particular treatment.  For instance, if MacGyver is bouncing Flintstone on his knee and stops, Flintstone will immediately ask for more)
  • All Done
  • Banana
  • Cheese
  • Pouch (as in those organic baby food pouches with the attached "straw;" he loves those things)
  • "Give me/I want" for items he does not know the sign for.
    • He also points
  • Change [diaper]
  • Wash hands
  • Brush Teeth
  • Up
  • Swing
  • Dog
  • Cat
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Bird (ok, this still looks more like the fish sign, but he does it pointed at the sky, so we know what it means)
  • Hi
  • Bye
  • Blows kisses (not sure if this counts as a "sign," but it's super adorable AND it's a form of communication
  • Car
  • Ball (though he almost never does this sign because he can say ball - and he enjoys saying it, very LOUDLY)
  • Book
  • Grandpa
  • Uncle Boo
  • Train
  • No (of course ;-) )
  • O's (as in those little organic veggie baby puffs)
  • Owl
  • Please
  • Phone (which is extra cute because when he puts the phone sign up to his ear he says "Hello?")
  • Hot
  • Cookie
  • Freeze (for frozen breastmilk or veggie pops) 
      And those are just the ones I can think of now.  I'm sure I'm missing at least a few.

       Even though I started out with a baby sign language book for teaching him the signs, I lost it somewhere along the way, and eventually read that it can be more advantageous in the long run to use regular American Sign Language.  So now I just look up ASL signs on the internet when I want to teach a new one to Flintstone.  And as an added bonus, Punky is picking up on a lot of them, too.  I may look into an overall ASL class.  ASL is, after all, the third most prevelant language in the world.

      Some people worry that learning to sign will slow down a baby's speech development, but research has soundly disproven that - as has our own experience.  Flintstone has been able to babble and talk at or above his age level all along.  He says Mama, Milk, More (though I would guess that only MacGyver and I can really tell the difference between the words he uses for milk, more, and mama), Dada, Cat (which is freaking adorable because it looks like he's hissing at the cat when he does it), Dog, BALL! (he does not say ball, he always says BALL!!), Tickle Tickle Tickle, Hello (on the phone), buh bye, TaTa (which means give me, as in TaTa Mommy the whisk - one of his favorite toys), Bath, Thank You, and at least a few others.  He actually just said a new 2 syllable word yestderday and brilliant mommy can't remember it right now! 

      Of course, most of his spoken words are baby versions (Dog is DAH!, etc.), but he does say Tickle, Tickle, Tickle very clearly, and it's hilarious.

       I'm now trying to figure out the best track to take for a whole new round of signs for him.  I'm thinking these are the next ones we'll be working on:
  • Hurt (esp useful for teething pain since the Ped thinks he's already starting to get his 2 year molars)
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Squirrel
  • Sister - for whatever reason it never occured to us to teach him this one.  Probably because he learned to say Mama and Dada so early that we never really taught him family signs.
  • Outside (though he can already clearly tell us when he wants to go outside)
  • I'm also contemplating starting to introduce emotion signs like Sad and Happy

Flintsone doing the "Chicken" sign while peeking through the fence at them.

Back Again

      So I disappeared there for a bit.  Last weekend we drove up to VA to do some minor renovations on our house up there.  Well, MacGyver did renovations.  He starting installing the bookcases to convert a storage room into a library.  The changes MacGyver has made to our house so far have been amazing.  I love our house.  I loved it when we first found it, and I have loved it since, but one thing was always clear in my mind:  The whole thing needed to be redecorated.  Badly.  It looked like the interior design had been done by an 80 year old mexican lady (NOT that I have a problem with 80 year old mexicans, I just don't tend to have the same taste in decor).  There was so much baby blue I wanted to vomit.  I am NOT a fan of baby blue.

       The only picture I currently have handy to demonstrate is this one from Punky's 7th birthday:

      The colors aren't all that clear, but you get the general idea.  The wall is baby blue and there is the atrocious hand painted boarder with purple, pink, green, and yellow, and all these flowers.  This is the kitchen wall.  The faces of the cabinets were painted the same as this border.  It was aweful.  I almost feel bad for saying that because someone obviously put a lot of work into it, but really.  Ick.  And it wasn't the only room with such "touches."  The master bathroom had a hand painted tree that looked like something out of Whinnie the Poo and included the same aweful colors as this border.  And it had a bird house nailed to it - to a tree painted on the wall.

      The room that MacGyver is now converting into a library had what I can only assume was supposed to be a forest sponge painted on the wall, but it was an epic fail.  Pastel colors, and baby blue in particular, were everywhere.

      After we had the unfortunate pipe burst incident last year, MacGvyer chose to redo the kitchen himself instead of having the insurance company contractors do it so that he knew it would be exactly right.  We wanted something warm, rich, and maybe vaguely Tuscan feeling.  And holy cow did he do an amazing job:

What is that built into the island?  Oh, that's right.  It's a wine cooler!

      These cruddy cell phone pictures don't even begin to capture how AWESOME our kitchen is now.  New tile floors, tile countertops, dark wood cabinets, gorgeous copper backsplash.  It is just perfect.  Even the new pot rack and wine cooler in the island and the warm textrured paint.  One of these days, I'll have to post some better pictures of this house.

      We also redid the bedroom in a gorgeous dark red.  The whole upstairs got beautiful dark wood floors.  We did the Master Bath in a dark slate grey with stone accents and an opulescent shower curtain that made the whole thing feel like a waterfall - with plants all along the ceiling.  Sadly, this was destroyed when the pipe burst and the contractors couldn't put it back the way it was.  But I'm not worried, it won't take MacGyver long to put it right.

      So we went to VA for the weekend.  We stayed in a nice hotel with a pool and buffet breakfast and all sorts of nice amenities.  It was a really lovely, relaxing weekend of just hanging out and bonding with my family.  Plus, I picked up a couple of much needed new tops on clearance.

      With super long drives on either end of the trip, MacGyver and I got to enjoy some fun long, rambling conversations and caffeine induced giggles.

      The downside is that, for some reason I have yet to identify, long drives have always just massacred my immune system.  So within hours of getting home, I could feel it.  That tingling in the throat, in the ears, the little itch that says "this is going to suck tomorrow."

      And it did.  Tuesday wasn't so bad, but it got worse Wednesday.  Not so bad that I was completely dysfunctional.  For better or for worse, I'm not the type of person to let sickness turn me into a sniveling mess on the couch unless it reaches a point where I am physically unable to move.  I wasn't unable to move, I was just very uncomfortable.  I took part of the day off Thrusday, and thanks to having the best, most considerate husband in the world, I didn't have to worry about dinner or the dishes or any other housework the whole time I was sick.

      Today, I'm feeling better.  Still a little head and throat achy, but nothing too serious.  Back at work playing catch up.  Being sick sucks, and it makes my brain all muddled, which I hate.  But it was worth it for the lovely weekend we had.

      One day, I'll do a post with much better before and after pictures of the various rooms of the house.  It is so beautiful now.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dear Shampoo, You're Fired

      Natural, organic, crunchy, ethical living can be sort of a slippery slope.  When I was in Law School, I cut out bleached carbs, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils.  Gradually, I started switching to a diet that emphasizes veggies above all else.  This was all for health reasons.  When I became a mother to Punky, I further cut out most juices and junk food except for on special occasions.  The more I read, the more I tweaked our diet, removing processed junk and "non-food," adding whole foods, etc.

      Then I got pregnant.  READ MORE>>

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Holiday Ham

      When I found out the family was coming for Christmas, I was very excited.  I immediately called Boo to talk about what they wanted to do while they were here.  I also asked him what he wanted for Christmas dinner.

      "Dangit!"  he exclaimed.  "I didn't even think of that."

      "Mom made the best honey ham for Easter, and I was really excited about having one for Christmas, but I guess that won't be happening at YOUR house."  READ MORE>>

       Today is a multi-post day.  Please see the previous post for more information on what's going on at Cheap Wine and Cookies these days.


      It's 6 o'clock in the morning.  The house is quiet and still.  The only sounds are occasional doggie footsteps and the regular background hum of the house.

      This is one of my favorite times of day.  I sit alone by the fire and drink my tea and read.  It is my half hour of quiet.  It started when I was in law school - I would sit in bed and drink my coffee and watch Xena until the caffeine hit my bloodstream and got me moving.  For a while, starting about 4 months into my pregnancy and lasting until Flintstone was maybe 6 months, exhaustion forced me to give up this time.  Some days, it still does.

      Some days, I have to use this time to catch up on some cleaning or other random task I had put off.  Some days, I have PT and have to be out the door by 5:45. Those days are the worst.

       But days like today start off peacefully, a slow build to the day, as I sit with my tea and read.  Except today, for whatever reason, I can't get into my book. I'm still reading Tipping Point, and I still love it, but I didn't get into it when I picked it up.

      I got to thinking about the day ahead of me.  It will no doubt be another go-go-go super busy day.  Yesterday was nuts.  All my Marines looked just beat at the end of the day, even the other Captain.  It's the post holiday rush, and it's crazy.

      So I haven't been blogging much.  I've been thinking about it a lot.  I've been lurking your blogs a bit, but I just haven't had the time.  But I will get back into it. I have a bunch of good posts lined up.  I can feel my little blog evolving.  Growing up a little bit.  I suppose I am, too in a way.

      So please bear with me. Posts may get rather spaced out.  And when I do get time to  post, it's likely to be a little pop of 2 - 3 posts in one day.

      We shall see...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Holiday Pic Explosion

      Yes, the holidays have been over for about a week.  That just makes this post unique, right?  Our Christmas tree is still up, too.  All the other decorations are down, but we haven't gotten to the tree yet.  And poor Flintstone was so sad he actually cried when MacGyver packed away the train.

      Anyway, our holidays were awesome this year.  In keeping with the stragely functional dysfunction of my family, my divorced parents and grown brother, Boo, and my mom's huge german shepard, Scully, all packed into my mom's tiny Kia and drove 17 hours to spend Christmas with us, and it was one of the best Christmases ever.

      Here are six million pictures of the festivities.  They were taken by two different phone cameras and our digital camera.  The differences are rather obvious.

      There was much relaxed galavanting about the house:
Crawling race with Grandpa
Helping Nan with the dishes - which she insisted on doing even though she was a guest
 Bathtime was even more fun than usual with Nan and Uncle Boo:

Four people in the bathroom at once!
Hickory, our Elf on the Shelf, had his last couple antics:
Patriot Elf on my R/C Battle Tank

Submariner Elf
Even our Calendar Owl got into the spirit (with a Gryffindor scarf just like mine!)
 I made an entirely ethical Christmas dinner, which will, if I ever get around to it, get it's very own post on the Ethical Eating page: 

Chipmunk cheeks!
Christmas morning brought much excitement.  The very first present discovered was by far the biggest hit:

Get this ribbon crap off here so I can go for a ride!!!
Punky played Santa, and had no trouble getting the presents behind the tree:
Punky's new blanket from Grandpa
Books were a big theme this year.  MacGvyer got me a HUGE stack of beautifully bound classics, and everyone else got books, too:
Hitchiker's Guide the the Galaxy Collection!
HUGE stash of Goosebumps from Uncle Boo
(Note Flintstone STILL playing in his car)
I got my traditional ultra-unhealthy Christmas Tree Cakes.  Sadly, I think this is the last year I will allow myself to partake in something this wildly unhealthy/unethical.

Flintstone got some great eco-friendly wooden toys.  The button taped to the floor in the background was so he could turn the train on and off himself.  BIG hit.

There was a lot of cruisin.
Flintstone was able to open his own presents for the most part, and got some adorable new clothes from Nan.
MacGyver got the table saw he has been drooling over for MONTHS.  Flintstone cuddled it.
We spent the next day at the beach at one of the state parks.  It was sunny and beautiful, but the wind off the water made it a little chilly.  Still, it was a blast:
Flintstone's absolute obsession with birds continues unabated.  And he still calls them "fish" in sign language.
Punky built a massive castle.  MacGyver may have helped a little.
We went for a hike down the beach to this beautiful area full of polished downed trees.

A half-way decent picture of Flintstone and me.  I think the last decent pic I have of the two of us is a few months old.

I'm going to keep digging until I topple into this hole head first.

Grandpa, Uncle Boo, MacGyver, and Punky enjoying the wild trees on our hike.
 Mostly, though, the visit was filled with lazy times together and irreverent fun.  For instance the day my mom decided she wanted to sit in the front yard since our backyard is all full of trees and doesn't get much direct sun, and Boo and I invented a new game called Acorn.  We spent at least two hours, probably closer to 3, batting acorns back and forth to see how many volleys we could get.  My mom viewed this as absolutely silly and refused to be involved, insisting that we had better not hit her with any acorns.  That didn't stop her from exclaiming loudly when we reached our highest volley (11).  At various points Punky, MacGvyer, and my dad joined in, too.  But really, it was Boo and my game, and we rocked it.  With many references to the friends episode where they waste a whole day throwing a ball around. 

It was an amazing holiday, and a perfect visit.  There wasn't even any bickering!  The only thing that makes me sad is that we didn't get a single picture with all of us in it.

Nan: not pictured because she wanted to stay lounging in the sun next to the wind break.
No idea why Punky is 3 feet from Uncle Boo.
Flintstone was thrilled with having to sit still for two minutes.
And for whatever reason, half of us look really chubby in this picture.
still ...
I love it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


      Well, the New Year is upon us.  2011 was a great, pretty low key year - no moves, no births, no real major life changes that I can think of.  Even our New Year's Eve was more low key than it has been - probably ever.  We went to waterfront park, enjoyed some lattes (fair trade, organic, soy) and watched the fireworks, then hung out at home with friends (and wine) and watched the Ball drop.  The highlight of the night was when we saw our picture on the ToshibaVision screen in Times Square - one of our friends had tweeted it in!

Yes, it's a poor quality cell pic, but it was on the big screen in Times Square New Year's Eve!
      There was little to no talk of resolutions.  I don't do resolutions.  Ok, I sort of do, but only in a very small way.  I perfer to focus on improvement.  Not, I will do X thing Y times better, so sweeping loose weight or quit smoking resolutions (um, mostly because I don't want to loose weight and I don't smoke . . .).  I think Jo really captured it in her resolutions post.  If you haven't read Outta Jo before, you need to start.  She is awesome.  She is a real life friend of mine who I deeply admire.  She is a Doula in NYC, mother to an unbelievably adorable little girl with another little one on the way.

       The long and short of it is that I plan on this year being better.  Life is about growth, and as such every new step should be a step forward and every year should build upon the last.  And I was content just to leave it at that.  Until, as I mentioned in The End is Near, I read Karen and Katherine's recent  Project 52 posts, and my love of listmaking and fantasizing about things I don't actually have time to do got the better of me.

       So here it is, my Project 52.  Don't expect any regular updates to it.  You'll be lucky if you see a year-end address to it, but I'll be doing it nonetheless.  These aren't resolutions.  They're not even goals.  They are things I want to do in 2012.  Some of them I won't do.  Some I'll change my mind about.  Some will be good ideas, and some might not.  We shall see.

1.      Conduct an Ethical Eating Discussion Group
2.      Write at least 2 posts per month on the Professional Blog
3.      Get rid of all the junk in the spare room
4.      Visit a cemetery
5.      Invite friends for dinner at least 6 times
6.      Create a page for my Compassionate Life steps
7.      Compassionate Life Step 1
8.      Compassionate Life Step 2
9.      Compassionate Life Step 3
10.  Compassionate Life Step 4
11.  Compassionate Life Step 5
12.  Compassionate Life Step 6
13.  Compassionate Life Step 7
14.  Compassionate Life Step 8
15.  Compassionate Life Step 9
16.  Compassionate Life Step 10
17.  Compassionate Life Step 11
18.  Compassionate Life Step 12
19.  Plant a Witch’s Herb Garden
20.  Call Grandma once a month
21.  Call a friend I haven’t talked to in a while every month
22.  Send Thank You cards
23.  Re-do my resume
24.  Implement an entryway organization scheme
25.  Begin the patent and/or marketing process for one of MacGyver’s inventions
26.  Clean out closet
27.  Start cementing details for the 5 year Re-wedding
28.  Put up a Meal Plan display
29.  Go camping
30.  Figure out the bills
31.  Go to the Doc for my knees
32.  Give blood
34.  Send Holiday cards.  On time.
35.  Finish Flintstone’s baby book
36.  Update/Frame/Hang new Family Pics
37.  Create the webpage for my office
38.  Finish restoring Cheap Wine and Cookies
39.  Surprise clean MacGvyer’s Truck
40.  Have at least one Mommy/Daughter day a month
41.  Maximize the success of the Tax Center and the Tax Center Marines
42.  Earn my Green belt
43.  Read 12 books
44.  Have jaw surgery
45.  Pack away Flintstone’s baby things
46.  Switch to homemade hair products for at least a month
47.  Spend more time in the garden
48.  Do more Isometrics
49.  Create Consumer Law Fact Sheets for the office
50.  Nurture contacts for the civilian transition
51.  Learn more about herb uses
52.  Buy more ethical products/fewer unethical products
       What are you expecting in 2012?  Want to join up with Project 52?  Just click the link above and hook up with Karen's linky.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin