Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Five: Vacation Thoughts

Sally says: It is a holiday weekend here in the UK, and the weather forecast for much of the country is not good!!! But we can still dream and so with that in mind I bring you this Friday Five.

1. Getting ready for summer, do you use the gradual tanning moisturisers ( yes gentlemen you too can answer this!!!), or are you happy to show your winter skin to the world? I never use those because I wind up with orange splotches. I don't tan well, and spend most of my time covering up in the sun. But I love to be outside, if there's enough shade or a breeze to keep me cool.

2.Beach, mountains or chilling by the pool, what/ where is your favourite getaway? I enjoy the mountains, but I really love the beach if I can keep from getting sunburned. Just sitting by a pool is pretty boring after a while.

3.Are you a summer lover or does the long break become wearing?
...The long what?? I could use me some of that "long break" you're talking about. The sauna-like atmosphere around here in the summer gets old fast, but that's why God made central air conditioning, right? The best things about summer are the chance to go to the beach occasionally, and the luscious summer fruits that are among my favorite foods.

4.Active holidays; hiking swimming sailing, or lazy days? A bit of both. On an extended trip I enjoy being active but for a short break like this weekend I prefer to hang around and take it easy. We're seeing my cousin's new baby and going to the ballet tomorrow night, and grilling in our own back yard on Monday; that's as active as I plan to be this weekend.

5.Now to the important subject of food, if you are abroad do you try the local cuisine, or do you prefer to play it safe? I'm all about the local cuisine, and usually do a lot of research before we go on a trip. I want to eat where the locals eat!

No bonus this week unless you can think one up!!!

Well, I'll share our vacation plans; at the end of July we're going to Santa Fe for a week. I'm attending an outstanding conference called Creativity and Madness that is held there every year. In the mornings I'll attend fascinating lectures about famous artists, writers, and musicians and how their lives and struggles inform their work; a field trip to the Santa Fe Opera is part of the week! And I get CEU's for all of that! Then in the afternoons we're free, in Santa Fe! We did this about six years ago and had a marvelous time. And talk about the local cuisine...!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oddly familiar meme

Dogblogger tagged me for this one.

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago:
Ten years ago, I had just escaped from a job I hated (the only job I ever had where I would cry in the car on the way to work), and had started working in a group practice headed by a psychiatrist friend and three of his colleagues. That practice imploded about two years later, but it was a pretty good two years. I learned a lot about pain management, and enjoyed working with the other therapists and doctors in the practice.

Five things on today's "to do" list (we'll make this "tomorrow", since today's nearly over):
- Clean up the back yard (again!)
- Send my billing service a long convoluted email about an old account
- Review drafts of narratives that other PNC members and I have written for our CIF (Church Information Form, for non-Presbys--the document that prospective candidates will read to learn about our church)
- Confirm whether or not we will be attending the local Chowhound dinner in June
- Vacuum the foyer and the major dog zones

Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:
- Endow a scholarship at my alma mater
- Pay off our church's mortgage, including what we owe on the land adjacent to the church
- Upgrade local animal shelters...or something else related to animal rescue, I'm not sure what
- Give lots more to our favorite charities
- Travel wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, for as long as I wanted!

Three bad habits:
- Spending too much time on teh internets
- Getting into the candy jar at work
- Cussing

Five places I've lived:
- Greenville, Mississippi
- Memphis, Tennessee
- San Antonio, Texas
- Pasadena, California
- Houston, Texas

Five jobs I've had:
- Envelope stuffer
- Drug store clerk
- Day care center worker
- School psychologist
- Clinical psychologist

Five people I'm tagging:
This one went around, in a slightly different form, several months ago, and I think most people have done it. If you haven't, and you'd like to, consider yourself tagged!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Spring keeps springing

We are so pleased with how the landscaping in the front yard turned out. I love the bicolored gingers...
...on either side of the front door.
Meanwhile, in the back yard, some of the lirope (monkey grass) is starting to bloom.
After the pansies and cyclamen faded in the heat, we replaced them with caladiums... all their variety!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Five: Grand Tour

Songbird says, Name five places that fall into the following categories:

1) Favorite Destination -- someplace you've visited once or often and would gladly go again
That would be Tuscany. The people, the scenery, the little towns, the vineyards, the wine, the food...ah the food....

2) Unfavorite Destination -- someplace you wish you had never been (and why)
I won't say I wish I had never been to Cozumel, because I have very fond memories of our honeymoon there, nearly 26 years ago. In those days it was a quiet little island where you could ride a scooter to the beach for the day, then come back to the peaceful village of San Miguel for a simple dinner. Now it's Tourist Trap Central, and although I was not surprised, I was disappointed at how the years have changed it. So I'll say that I wish I hadn't seen that, and that I wish it could have stayed the way it used to be--but nothing ever does, does it?

3) Fantasy Destination -- someplace to visit if cost and/or time did not matter
I would love a long trip through Greece, with plenty of time for the Scientist to explore antiquities and archaeological sites to his heart's content, followed by a leisurely cruise around the Greek isles. Santorini, anyone?

4) Fictional Destination -- someplace from a book or movie or other art or media form you would love to visit, although it exists only in imagination
Well, I tried to think of something other than Narnia or Middle Earth, since it seems that's what nearly everyone else said, but I can't come up with anything else. In search of inspiration, I asked the Scientist where he would go, and he quickly answered, "Narnia. Or Middle Earth, of course." Oh well. Either would do.

5) Funny Destination -- the funniest place name you've ever visited or want to visit
Hushpuckena, Mississippi, and its near neighbor Alligator come to mind, but I think my favorite is a little community about 60 miles north of here: Cut 'n' Shoot, Texas.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Random asterisks of Wednesday

*After fifteen years of looking out at scraggly grass, I am really loving this garden. When I got home tonight I sat and watched a juvenile mockingbird forlornly hopping around the patio, cheeping plaintively, stretching its wings again and again but not quite mustering the courage to use them. When another mockingbird (a sibling with advanced motor skills, I think--it still had some speckles on its breast too) suddenly swooped down, the kid lurched aloft with a brief FLAP FLAP FLAP before crashing into the caladiums. It resumed hopping across the yard, still cheeping, still stretching its wings. When I told the Scientist about it, he said that yesterday he saw a young bird following its parent, mouth open plaintively, as the parent ruffled its feathers and turned away. Tough love!

*I'm sorry you missed the Scientist's impression of a hungry half-grown bird.

*We had the front yard landscaped last Saturday, and it looks wonderful too. We got some bicolored gingers that are among the most gorgeous things I've ever seen. I'll take a picture of them soon. Please forgive all my flower pictures. I just can't get over all these fabulous plants (and thank you, Lord, for the sprinkler system we installed last year, without which this would not be possible).

* I wanted to go to one of RLP's Franciscan retreats in June, but I'm already signed up for an Asperger's conference on the Friday I had intended to go. Rats.

*All of our peaches are in the freezer now. The tree is still small, and there weren't enough to bother with canning. Maybe next year we'll have enough for preserves.

*My dear spouse and my dear dog have returned from their evening stroll, so I think I'll go down and join them now.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


We had a wonderful weekend at the beach. Amie seemed mildly puzzled by the water moving around her feet, but I think she enjoyed the change of scenery. If you ever want to take your dog to Galveston, be sure you have dinner here, where she was welcome on the delightful patio while we ate interesting sandwiches (especially a salmon club sandwich that reminded me of Scotland) and drank sangria.

Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a cold there. Scratchy throat, sniffles, etc. I gave myself permission to stay home tomorrow.

This has been one of those weeks when retirement sounds really, really good, so Dr. Z is looking forward to hiding out at home tomorrow, maybe sleeping in a bit, and just being a slightly sniffly wife and dog mama.

(Added Thursday morning, 10:15:) Now this is the way to take a sick day: sitting on the back porch with my second cup of coffee and my laptop, admiring the gorgeous agapanthus in full bloom, enjoying Amie's company, the light breeze, and the call and response of the mockingbirds and mourning doves.

I picked peaches this morning, too.

And speaking of agapanthus:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Quick getaway

We're off to the beach tomorrow, with the dog in tow. We'll see whether or not that turns out to be a good idea! We'll be back sometime Sunday. Have a pleasant weekend!