Monday, January 30, 2006

Human felicity is produced not as much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day.

(Quote from Benjamin Franklin)

Despite the slowed start, it ended up being a pretty good day. That's thanks to two wonderful people I work with, who surprised me with a mocha latte -- before ever seeing my morning blog!

Early morning cheerfulness can be extremely obnoxious. William Feather

It's already one of those days. I could really use a mocha latte, but it doesn't look like I'm going to get one since I'm already running late. (And yet notice that I'm writing this instead of doing what needs to be done...)

I started to put my list of 101 in 1001 days on the sidebar. Check out Triplux's Blog for the details of this project. Basically, the mission is to complete 101 specific preset tasks in a period of 1001 days (about 2.75 years). I love lists, and I thought this would be a fun project to do. I was really surprised at how difficult it was to come up with 101 items to do. I got the first 29 written quickly. The next 20 were a little more difficult; either the task was too simple (and would be done in the daily routine) or too ridiculous (what are the chances of my taking a trip to England in the next couple of years?). By the time I got to item 70, I was really struggling to think of what else to put down on the list. Of course, now that the list is finished I'll probably come up with another 101 items that I should have included!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn’t it. (Groucho Marx)

Another Wild Thing, found during our photo safari earlier this week at CityPlace. This one was done by our town's mayor, Lois Frankel. It is called "City Pelican." (Not the most original name, but I think it's one of the cutiest pelicans I've found so far.)

I spent six hours this evening working at the tax office, and despite it being our peak season I only got to do two returns. On the plus side, I did finish writing out my list of 101 Things in 1001 Days. I'll be putting the list on this site soon. Officially, my 1001 days start in the morning and will end on October 27, 2008.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. (Fran Lebowitz)

From the Wild Things: The Mughal Horse, found at CityPlace. This was painted by Alvia Rahman.

Today it's been all about Becky. She's finally getting to have her birthday party (better late than never!) and I've been running around trying to get everything together for the sleepover.

Friday, January 27, 2006

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm. (Colette)

This "phoon" picture, taken in front of the Harriet Himmel Theatre at CityPlace yesterday, seems especially appropriate today. I overslept, then spent the entire day running around trying to catch up with the two hours I had missed in the morning.

This, by the way, was my first attempt at a phoon. It was a lot of fun. I even got Becky to do a phoon, and we're already planning more phoon-attacks. (If you don't know what a phoon is, check out
John Darrow's explanation of this fun pose.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it. (Roald Dahl)

Submitted to the Lensday challenge for "Clock."

This clock, with musical teddy bears on either side and above, overlooks the popular shopping district of CityPlace. It was originally an F.A. Swartz toy store, and one of my favorite places to go browse. A lot of people like to browse at Swartz. Maybe if some of us actually bought stuff, they'd still be in business.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with its own loveliness. (George Jean Nathan)

Pelinnici, by artist Ruth Lampman, is my entry for this week's Photo Scavenger Hunt. We were looking for an outdoor work of art, with a bonus point for sculpture.

The picture was taken this afternoon at CityPlace, where Becky and I had gone on a photo safari. We found several wonderful, whimsical Wild Things. This is a project by local artists (and some not-so-local artists) who have decorated life-size fiberglass dolphins, pelicans, sea turtles, and horses which are currently on display throughout the county. The scupltures will eventually be auctioned off to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs. There are 80 sculptures all together, and I have decided to see how many I can get photos of between now and April (when the auction is scheduled). Of course, it would have been nice if I had decided this while I was still at CityPlace so that I could have gotten the dozen that are on display there, but I guess I'll just have to make another trip soon. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A hair on the head is worth two on the brush. (Irish Proverb)

This week's Macroday Challenge is Bathroom.
I like the pattern of the bristles on my brush.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Life is full of obstacle illusions. (Grant Franzier)

Well, I did it. I finally bought myself a new pair of glasses. It surprises me what a difference they make. I can see things so much clearer. I really hadn't realized how much my vision had changed.

Since these are progressives (yes, I'm actually old enough for bifocals) there's actually a learning curve. I need to remember to "point my nose" at what I want to see, and "keep my chin up" when reading.

Reading this entry over, it could almost be the basis for some wonderful motivational essay. Luckily, I can't think of anything truly profound to add.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Of course the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you ~ if you don't play, you can't win. (Robert Heinlein)

This is my entry for Week Three of the Photo Scavenger Hunt. We were looking for a bowling pin, with bonus points if it is a real bowling pin used on a bowling alley.

I was hoping to take the kids out bowling sometime this week (I really wanted the bonus points!), but there just hasn't been the time between our regular school and work schedule plus the tax job. I'm not complaining, though. (Surprisingly.) I actually like the tax job, a lot more than I thought I would. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege. ( Unknown)

I would really love to have some of Checker's new "Fully Loaded Fries." Those things are good! And I'm really hungry, having skipped dinner to go to work on time. But I refuse to give Checkers any of my money after they were so stupid at my last visit.

I went there last week with Cari, and we both ordered combo meals. Since the sign said we could "fully load your combo for an additional charge," that's what we ordered. Only to be told that we couldn't have the loaded fries with a combo, we would have to order it separately. I pointed out the sign said we could do it for the extra charge, and yet the manager still insisted it was impossible to do. All it would have taken was to ring in our "combo" meal as separate items -- the sandwich, the loaded fries and the drink. But according to the manager this couldn't be done because we hadn't ordered separate items, we had ordered a combo meal.

I gave up. And that's why I'm fixing a sandwich for dinner, instead of stopping at Checkers.
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Sunday, January 15, 2006

I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

The title is a quote from Anna Quindlen. But it seems just the sort of thing that I should have said.

We took Cari to the airport yesterday morning. Having her home was nice, I think. I hardly got to see her, between her social activities, her working, and my work schedule. All the same, I'm going to miss having her here. And yet it's nice to see her go -- to see her as an adult, capable and strong and ready to take on the world.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006

If you're on thin ice, you might as well dance. (Unknown)

This week's Scavenger Hunt challenge was "ICE." There is a bonus point if the ice is outside. Since I'm in south Florida, it isn't easy finding ice outside. Even with the current cold snap, the best I could hope for was someone wearing a sweater. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Life is not easy for any of us, but what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. (Marie Curie)

I have fish! Two pairs of fancy tail guppies, three sunburst platies, and four zebra danios are now happy residents of my aquarium.

I was beginning to think that I would never have anything alive in the tank. Tuesday evening we used the Ph Increaser exactly the way the pet store employee (who turned out to be the manager) told us. I ran the tank a full day, and went back to have the water tested again. This time the Ph was way too high (8.4) and I was told that I would have to start all over again. So PJ and I drained the tank, wiped it out clean, and refilled the tank. I ran it a full day to leach out any acid that the gravel might still have, and we drained and refilled it again. After another day of running the tank, I took a sample back to the petstore. AGAIN the water quality wasn't right. The Ph was still a little high. Not as bad as it had been, but they still wouldn't let me bring home any fish.

So I bought a wonderful product called Ph 70. This stuff is amazing. I added it to the tank, and the next day the water was perfect. So we made another trip to the petstore, where the employees are now greeting me by name. They tested the water, and this time I was allowed to bring home a few of the fish. After they survived the day, we went back and got the rest.

I never expected that having fish was more complicated than having children. At least the fish haven't talked back to me yet. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thursday Challenge: Signs

This is my entry for today's challenge. I took this picture the last time the children and I went camping in North Carolina. We wanted to be back in the mountains, so we rented a cabin in Cherokee. One of the things that amazed us was the signs. Here in South Florida we're used to seeing many signs translated into Spanish. In Cherokee, everything was translated for the Native Americans that populated the area. I thought that it was a visually beautiful language. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to learn how to speak any of it. Maybe on our next trip -- which we have planned for this summer!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Moody Monday: Energetic

This is my entry for the Moody Monday challenge. I don't know of anything more energetic than a teenager playing DDR (Dance Dance Revolution). I've tried to play it on the beginner level . . . let's just say that it was a good thing that the kids were laughing so hard, otherwise they might have noticed when I tripped over my own feet.

I actually took this picture of Cari last summer at the mall. Despite the narrow skirt, she still managed to outdance everyone else in the arcade.
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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Patience is the art of hoping. (Marquis De Vauvenarques)

My aquarium is ready, but what happened to the fish?

I've been enjoying PJ's tank so much, that I decided to indulge in a tank of my own. The kids and I set it up on Sunday, carefully following all the "rules" of good aquariumism. (Okay, aquariumism isn't a real word, but it sounded good.) After letting the tank run for a little over 24 hours, we checked the water conditions and everything looked good. So Monday evening we purchased my first fish. I chose two pairs of fancy tail guppies (my favorites), two sunburst platties, and four zebra danios. We brought the fish home, followed the rules of aquariumism again by letting the fish adapt to the water temperature before releasing them. Within an hour the danios were dead. By bedtime, I had lost three of the guppies and one of the platties. And in the morning the last two fish were also dead. Needless to say, I was very upset.

After work the kids and I took the dead fish back to the pet store, along with a sample of the water. Even the petstore employee thought the water was good, although she did decide after a brief discussion that maybe the ph should be a little bit higher. So instead of new fish, I went home with a ph increaser. If I follow directions, maybe I'll be allowed to own fish tomorrow
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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Things are always at their best in the beginning. (Blaise Pascal)

It's the first day of the new year, and the possibilities are endless. This year, I can finally get organized, lose weight, relax more and stress less. I make no resolutions, but I have started a list of short-term and long-term goals.

As far as celebrating New Year's Eve itself, I had a very nice, very relaxing evening. It was just my son and I, since the girls both had plans. We rented a couple of videos, and I made cookies. After seeing the New Year in, I indulged myself with a late night bubble bath.

This picture of my bath, by the way, is this week's entry for
Brookston's Photo Scavenger Hunt. We were looking for "something bubbly" with bonus points if the bubbles contained alcohol. (Drats! I should have had that glass of wine that I thought about...) It's the first week of the new hunt, and I'm excited to be taking part in the challenge. Wish me luck!