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Lovely weekend

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What a lovely mix of activities this past weekend!

Our ballroom class met for the first time Friday night: my husand and I aren't very good, but it's a lot of fun and a great way to spend time together. Rumba (we'ver forgotten so much) and merengue (just an intro) this week.

Then there is a local music festival which I look forward to every fall: excellent musicians, a wonderful range of instruments and periods and performers. So I enjoyed several concerts in the festival, two with my husband and one with my daughter, who as a fine musician herself can help me clue in better to what I'm hearing.

I spent most of Saturday with my sister, who is doing amazingly well after a six week cycle of radation and chemotherapy: we met midway between our homes, had coffee, caught up on the news, shared war stories, did a little shopping, had lunch. We laughed a lot. It is reassuring to see her resiliency and I admire her courage. When she is well enough to travel, we are planning a sisters holiday together. The drive to meet her took several hours coming and going, through a fall landscape of golden rod and purple asters and distant vistas with reddening maples; there were periods of driving rain alternating with brilliant blue sky. All exhilarating!

Today it was nine holes of shirtsleeves warm golf with my husband; Scrabble with my son (lost decisively yet again); and more of the music.

Not much work got done -- laundry, yes, even a bit of ironing: but groceries, no. The fridge is empty! There is a salad prepared for my lunch tomorrow, but I haven't made my soup for the week yet. I'll have to squeeze that in after work tomorrow.

Charlie has leapt up on the bed, ready to curl up beside me for sleep. Life is good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARLENA3 9/29/2009 10:11AM

    Sounds like a fun time had by all. emoticon

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IMAGINE_IT 9/28/2009 3:15PM

    I could imagine it all reading your description of your perfect weekend..and it made me smile and happy for you....now i have one question...may i come and spent a weekend with you and your family?? I promise to behave.... emoticon emoticon
...wishing you many..many more beautiful weekends with your loved ones.... emoticon emoticon

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KIZIDOG 9/28/2009 2:53PM

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend. What more can you ask, music, golf, warm weather, family. It had it all. Hope your week goes smooth. Star emoticon

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BEAUTIFUL_BABY 9/28/2009 6:36AM

    Sound like you had a busy and fun time! Hope you have a wonderful week!

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/28/2009 5:18AM

    Ellem you write so beautifully I can picture your varied and enjoyable weekend so clearly. So pleased to hear your sister is doing well and that you had such a wonderful weekend. Have a wonder filled week ahead, hugs, Sandy

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ROCKYCPA 9/27/2009 11:04PM

    Sounds like you had a great weekend with a lot of activities. I am glad that your sister is doing well. Have a great week.

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Shopping in My Closet Part Two: Frivolity Frolic! (Not About World Peace)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's been sunny but getting chilly and over the past couple of weeks I've been shifting the pastel/flowery/sleeveless summer cottons and linens out of my closet, slowly moving the fall stuff in. One last wearing for the tan cotton suit -- bye bye for now. One last wearing for the fitted black cotton blazer and light black and grey houndstooth pants -- TTYL.

Last June, after almost 2 months at SP, I blogged about how happy I was to be able to put some of these summer weight items on. And now it's every bit as heartening to see that the winter stuff I had stopped wearing last February (20 extra pounds ago) is going to fit me fine again as we segue into the cooler seasons ahead.

A grey blue skirt suit; a navy tweed skirt suit; a camel tweed skirt suit; all eights, all "greats". Ditto black suede jeans. A dark green pant suit -- size 6 -- pretty good! Black leather pencil skirt size 6: excellent! A navy pant suit, size 6: wearable, but it wouldn't hurt to take off those pesky last three pounds or so . . . . so, I'll soldier on to get to my "adjusted" goal weight. Woman's reach must exceed her grasp or what's a nutrition tracker for???

Do I need anything, clothes-wise, for fall? Not at all! I've never spent a lot on clothes -- thrift shops and hand-me-downs from girlfriends account for the bulk of the inventory: my favourite price point is definitely zero.

Did, however, decide to treat myself to one fall trend -- a leather motorcycle jacket to go with the tattoos (tiny little dots, from the radiation treatments, but I don't much like them -- a permanent reminder of what I'd rather put behind me: except that they're on my front!!). So my thought, if I've got the tatts, may as well rock the motorcycle chick! Went for red as a bit less hard-edge than black: and not too many zips/belts/studs etc. which would be over the top for an aging motorcycle chick like myself. And I've dug out a pair of black leather over-the-knee boots, for when things get a bit cooler -- can't believe that I've had them for about 30 years, but they're in great shape and the fashion magazines seem to indicate, also back on-trend this year.

Promise I'll limit myself to one silly/trendy item a day, not even every day -- just enough to relieve the stodgy "uniform" sadly appropriate to my line of work. Clothes are fun -- maybe not of earth-shattering importance, but fun!

And: no question that clothes are way more fun when they fit, they're mostly free (because I already own them) and frisky enough to reflect the way I'm beginning to feel!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 10/11/2009 9:32AM

    I've done this shopping in my closet too ...just a couple days ago! I loved reading this because I adore ...ADORE being able to fit into those size 6 clothes too! Makes me feel GREAT, so I know how you were and are feeling. Congrats on your continued health and progress. Aging biker chick though - now that I didn't see coming!! You're too cute! I love tall boots too! Fun blog! :)

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    Hooray for shopping in your closet. I went through my closet today for a different reason - to get rid of the stuff that is way way too big and that I no longer have room for.

You should be so proud of yourself. You've worked hard, and now you can sit back and enjoy the rewards. Way to go!

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DSHONEYC 9/24/2009 2:25PM

    How fun it is shopping in your own closet. I am glad I saved some of my favorite "skinny clothes" cause I am going to get there, too. Maybe in time for the winter (in San Diego?) season, at least by spring!

You are an inspiration! I got a fashionable soft red leather coat when I was in Italy that fit me perfectly when I got it...now it's too tight to zip up. But I will get there. emoticon

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HAPPYNSMILING 9/24/2009 9:14AM

    Cute blog...which reminds me...I need to go thru my closet. That could be fun!!

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WHOLY_FIT_48 9/21/2009 9:54PM

    Great job! Nothing like being able to get into clothes that you haven't been able to for awhile. That's why I joined SP last year...didn't want to have to buy new clothes. Had all these great winter clothes just waiting for me. I don't like to spend $ I don't have to. Way to go on treating yourself to the red leather jacket too. Gotta have some fun along the way. Blessings...

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IMAGINE_IT 9/20/2009 3:19PM

    Ummm...ok!! Here i was reading along about you "shopping" in your closet for Fall clothes and of course i am recognizing all or let me say most of the items you are describing...and i am nodding to myself because i am excited for you that you found this and that..and you are planning to wear it....until i get to this part: emoticon
Red Leather Jacket?? AND black OVER the thigh leather boots??!! emoticon emoticon emoticon And to put it into 3 extremely overused words:
YOU GO GIRL!!! emoticon You are so inspiring to me!!! It gives me Hope that maybe..just maybe i am able to wear something "HOT" one of these days again!! Thank you... for your Blog...thanks for being you emoticon
P.S. PIcture????
Yes??? emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KIZIDOG 9/20/2009 1:47PM

    Hey I can see you in that red leather jacket and black leather boots. Brings back memories of teen years. Love to see a picture of you in them, I'll bet you are hot looking. I agree with Darlena connect those dots and make a hot tat. (lol) You are an inspiration to me to reach my goal. Can't believe I've been doing this since June and only lost 9 pounds. Oh well, a little at a time and I know that my inches are less. Good luck on that last few pounds. Oh vanity, I don't think I've seen a size 6 since 5th grade. Star emoticon

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JOPAPGH 9/20/2009 8:19AM

    Sounds great. Always fun to keep folks guessing.

Glad to hear you are still with the program and making progress.

I have let my nutrition trcking slip since I started running longer distances. Don't remember the last time I stood on the scale. Will do it Wednesday, then I'll see where I really stand.

Once again, emoticon

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TRYINGHARD1948 9/20/2009 1:28AM

    You rock Ellen. I can just see you in your red leather and black knee high boots. WooHoo. Zoomin' down the highway with heads turning as you pass. emoticon

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DARLENA3 9/19/2009 8:42PM

    Love this! I can see you now in that red motorcycle jacket, rock it girl! Sorry about the tatts, wish I could make the memory of all that go away. But so happy you are better off having gone thru it.

Since I couldn't get you wear a bikini, or get your ear pierced a few times over, mayyyybbbbbeeee - a connect the dots tattoo. Something really hot. Hoping you are laughing! Love you girl.


ps I haven't stuck around the cold weather states for so long, that this winter will be an exercise in frugality for me. I don't even own a winter coat or boots.

emoticon emoticon emoticonshopping tips!

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CUTEASCANB 9/19/2009 8:08PM

    It was good.

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Charlie Care

Friday, September 11, 2009

Charlie (my golden retriever) was pretty muddy this morning. He had been for a long walk with our son yesterday, with a swim, and although completely dried off his long, magnificent coat was tangled and matted a little, especially on his chest and leggings.

I pulled out his brush and called him to me. He does not like being brushed very much, but he wants to be cooperative. I spoke to him conversationally while fluffing up his plumage and gently removing the matts, telling him what a fine dog he is: his tail moved back and forth on the floor. There were a couple of small matts behind his ears, too, and some mud on top of his head which came out with a light brushing. It's easy for goldens to get ear infections so I took out his special ear cleanser which smells minty and fresh, and followed up with the medicated ear lotion.

Charlie looked up at me hopefully; he knows that grooming sessions are followed by freeze dried liver treats! I reached for the bag on top of the fridge and put Charlie through his paces: he loves the tricks as much as the treats!

"On your mat", "come", "sit", "stay", "wait", "about", "leave it", "down" and finally "all gone" (that's the one where he gets to finish up all the crumbs). Charlie beamed up at me, and my husband watched it all with a fond expression on his face.

Taking care of Charlie is such a pleasure. He flopped down beside my kitchen chair while I sipped my coffee and read the paper. What a great start to my day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHILOVERINAZ 9/16/2009 5:20PM

    What a great story, I feel the same way as I care for my dogs. They really are amazing!!! Such unconditional love.


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TRYINGHARD1948 9/14/2009 5:39PM

    Youmade me tear up remembering all our past dogs and the joy they brought to our lives. Thank you for sharing such a lovely experience.

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DARLENA3 9/12/2009 8:35PM

    Warm thoughts, emoticon to you and Charlie.

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BIGOLEDIVA 9/12/2009 4:28PM

    I was lost in the dreamy bliss of having a sweet puppy too...your charlie sounds wonderful! it crossed my mind that I needed to groom my little girl...when all of a sudden I hear Pffffffft! I look down and my "precious fur baby" is apparently having some tummy issues....now I'm having white carpet issues-LOL....and she DEFINITELY is in need of a bath! So thank you for getting that iniciative going BEFORE it became MANDATORY LOL!

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IMAGINE_IT 9/12/2009 3:11PM

    Awww...wonderful story..i don't have a dog anymore..but just reading this wants me to go out and get another one emoticon I can tell you have a lot of Love for your Charlie....you are a very special person...thanks once again for sharing those precious moments with us... emoticon

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KIZIDOG 9/12/2009 9:36AM

    What a wonderful story. Don't you wish it were as easy with children and spouses?(lol) Dogs are such loving caring creatures. You are lucky to have one. Star emoticon

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WHOLY_FIT_48 9/12/2009 5:21AM

    What a great story - there is nothing like a Golden. I love, love, love, love, love them. Thanks so much for sharing Charlie with us!

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BEAUTIFUL_BABY 9/11/2009 11:14PM

    Dogs you gotta love 'em. Thanks for sharing.

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DSHONEYC 9/11/2009 11:00PM

Where would we be without our loyal dog friends...I loved the picture you painted of your morning. Check out Time magazine 9/21/09 The Secrets Inside Your Dog's Mind. Have a great weekend. Kicked mine off with a long walk with Sarah to the lake overlook park...the sky was amazing reds, rusts and yellow bouncing off the western clouds at dusk. Glad to be alive!

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Stuff I Love or At Least Really Really Like

Saturday, September 05, 2009

1. Husband -- 30 years later, what I still know for sure is that the smartest, luckiest thing I ever did was marrying Mike.

2. Kids -- works in progress (as all we are) but both terrific human beings who make me proud. And of course number one above had quite a bit to do with this item as well!

3. Sister: would never never have survived without her. What an amazing woman, and my admiration for her has only increased as I've watched her dealing with recent serious health problems with grace, dignity, courage.

4. Dog Charlie -- what a sweetie! I've loved all my dogs, heaven will be the place where I'm reunited with every one of them eventually; Fritz, Pepper, Skippy, Kabul, Ambrose, Sabrina and Rufus will also be just inside the Pearly Gates, wagging and smiling! But Charlie is the Platonic Ideal of dogs; loving, companionable, never obsequious, just understanding there is no loss of self in wanting to please others. I have learned a lot from Charlie about how to get along with people! "What would Charlie do?" Greet everyone at the door wagging and with a carefully selected toy!! Wonder what he'll have for me at those Pearly Gates?? (And nope, this isn't irreverent at all).

4. Friends. Understanding, kind, supportive and delivering kicks in the rear end as required!

5. Work colleagues. What a great group of people to share a big chunk of time with every day! And the work itself: keeps the brain ticking over and some days feels like I've been useful to someone . . .

6. Nature: sunshine in its ever-changing manifestations from sunrise to sunset throughout all of the seasons; big skies and distant vistas; birds; flowers; trees; forests; rippling fields of grass; oceans; beaches; tiny northern lakes ringed by white pines; dewy mornings; hoar frost sparkling after sleet storms . . . all of these sights plus the scents of lilac and mown lawn; the sounds of cicadas and howling winds; the textures of bark, fur, powder sand, squishy spring mud. The world is an infinitely beautiful place with the power to sustain and to console us through its sheer loveliness.

7. Food! especially fresh fruits, vegetables -- yup, really really do like these best -- and oatmeal. And dark 85% cocoa chocolate! Which is or should be a food group all its own.

8. Exercise: it makes me feel great right then, and the cumulative effect of exercise keeps me feeling great all day long. Can't buy that feeling, can't achieve it any other way than by sweating it out -- may never want to roll out of bed at 5 a.m. to go to the gym but I'm always glad that I did when it's over and I'm heading for the showers.

9. Anticipation. What's coming next? What am I planning -- what treats are on the horizon to give zest to my days? What great things will happen that I never even dreamed of? Postive anticipation is the reverse of negative worry . . . worry about stuff that may never happen -- and when it doesn't happen I never wish that I'd worried more! So the deliberate cultivation of anticipation helps me manage worry.

10. SparkPeople. This is an amazing site with remarkable resources. Yup, I really really like this virtual community of like minded people!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 9/14/2009 5:43PM

    Thank you, you show us all what a wonder our friends, family, animals, experiences in this life are while hinting at the joy that awaits us in the hereafter.

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KALISWALKER 9/10/2009 12:39PM

    What a great list! It's a nice way to get to know you.

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DARLENA3 9/9/2009 10:21PM

    This blog speaks about your wonderful personality and outlook on life. It brightens my day to read this makes me prioritize the things that are important and rejoice in them. Beautiful sentiment.


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FROSTIERACES 9/8/2009 10:21AM

    Reading this was very uplifting! I am really happy for you having such wonderful people in your life and for appreciating your surroundings. :) It's a good reminder ... :). Yep..kids are a work in progress but we love ours too endlessly! The sunny days...wow they really do make a difference in my days as well! and doggies...awe, I know these feelings. I too, have a hubby Mike in my life - hope someday he and I will be 30 years later! emoticon emoticon emoticonThanks for sharing your fabulous thoughts!

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DSHONEYC 9/6/2009 12:33PM

    emoticon emoticon
Two thumbs up, emoticon

You have inspired me, more than once. Now I want to put together not only the things I love (makes you cherish them all the more, eh?) and the things I want to do before I meet my maker. I hope your sis is doing well, and what a wonderful thing it is to have you by her side.

I guess my #1 thing would be having a sense of humor and being able to laugh,,,especially at myself. You've got it, too. emoticon

And I wish you many more laughs down the road of life.

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DBCLARINET 9/6/2009 12:20AM

    Thanks! Though of course I got all excited about the section leader gig, then today I got a letter from the U.S. Army Field Band that was like, thanks for sending your audition CD, but we're not advancing you to the next round. Boo. Every silver lining has its cloud?

BTW, love the post. This just made me happy to read. emoticon

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KIZIDOG 9/5/2009 7:37PM

    Great blog. So many things to be thankful for. we are truly blessed. I agree with your whole list and I would have to add my grandsons to the list. They are all 4 wonderful young human beings, each with a joy all there own. Have a great weekend. Star emoticon

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IMAGINE_IT 9/5/2009 7:32PM

    Best Blog ever!!! emoticon
It expresses so many things i also feel and am thankful for.. .. emoticon so much for posting this..I am happy for you..you are truly blessed...there is a lot of Love and Joy in your Life.... emoticon emoticon

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LIMASTAR 9/5/2009 3:44PM

  I really enjoyed reading your blog. It's such a sunny outlook on life.

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LADY_DONKEY 9/5/2009 2:27PM

    I really liked this! emoticon

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Rainy Lazy Weekend

Friday, August 28, 2009

Latish on Friday night after a great theatre production -- it's raining on the skylight over my head and I can hear the wind howling gently. And the forecast calls for rain all weekend.

Not such a bad thing, actually -- an excellent reason to lie low, enjoy the weekend papers, drink coffee, hang out with my family.

I'm looking forward to a rainy lazy weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FROSTIERACES 8/30/2009 7:39AM

    Glad you're enjoying time with family and relaxing. :) it's nice when the weather - rain or shine helps us to do this...

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JOPAPGH 8/29/2009 7:58PM

    Kicking back sounds like fun.

My wife is visting our daughter. My son is working. So I'm enjoying some quiet time with just the dogs.

We have had very little rain here this summer, so I have been able to get my long runs in on the wekend.

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DBCLARINET 8/29/2009 12:09PM

    We had some fabulous thunderstorms here in northeast Texas on Wednesday night, and it even drizzled a bit into Thursday morning. Too bad that was the first day of classes! And that it still got up into the mid-90s with bright sunshine by afternoon! I am originally from Ohio, and this post really makes me miss the lazy, rainy weekends where everybody just kinda sat around doing nothing. And that makes me miss lazy, snowy weekends in the winter...

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KIZIDOG 8/29/2009 8:57AM

    Hi Watermellen, Haven't talked to you in awhile. Sounds like a wonderful weekend. Me I'm working, but it is raining here today in Western WA for a change too. We have had the driest summer in forever here and I for one am not complaining. Although I do appreciate that it is raining while I am working. (lol)
Enjoy your weekend. Star emoticon

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SJORDAN7157 8/29/2009 5:48AM

    Rain??? What is rain??? It has been so long since we have seen any in Central TX - let me Wikepedia it.

Sue J

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BEAUTIFUL_BABY 8/29/2009 12:00AM


Its been like that all week here.. the rain that is, its been off and on where you just cant get much done outside... ready for some SUNNY FLORIDA weather again ;)

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PANDA131 8/28/2009 11:48PM

    Now that sounds like a wonderful ideal. Read a good book could also be a wonderful way to enjoy rainy lazy weekend.
Whatever you choose too do I hope you enjoy your weekend.
Susan in East Tn.

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