Tuesday, December 18, 2007

December 21st...the shortest day of the year. Yayyyy! I want longer days...I want more daylight! I want sunshine! I want, I want, I want. Well, it's the season for wants so I will continue to want.....I want peace....that's a big one, especially since peace is temporary at best. I want a better body, or at least one that's in better shape. I want a better brain....I think mine is going to mush. I want my old eye sight back and I want my hormones back! Sheesh, is that too much to ask for?

I received a Christmas card today from Sheri. She included a picture of the kids and I was blown away by how old they are. Yesterday I received a card from Karl & Deb with a picture of Bryan who's off at college. These kids aren't just grown up, but ADULT grown up. It makes me feel SO OLD.... but what a good looking bunch they are. The boys are so handsome, and Kelly is just beautiful....and a new mom herself. Yep, I'm feeling really old. I'm a great grand-aunt or something like that. I think it's grandmother...grandaunt. Great grandmother, great grandaunt. So that's what I'm claiming as my title...Great Grandaunt. Ha!

This statue is at the corner of Cook Street and 42nd Street in Palm Desert, about a block from work. For Halloween they put a witch's hat on him...and now for Christmas, he's Santa. A little small town humor and I love it.

Dan Fogelberg

Dan Fogelberg passed away on Sunday from prostrate cancer at the age of 56. What a tragic, tragic loss. I didn't know he was ill, but now I see he's been fighting this since 2004. It was an advanced case when they discovered it....so senseless! Such a great talent cut down at such a young age. The following is from msnbc.com..

NEW YORK - Dan Fogelberg, the singer and songwriter whose hits "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne" helped define the soft-rock era, died Sunday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer. He was 56.

His death was announced in a statement released by his family through the firm Scoop Marketing, and it was also posted on the singer's Web site.

"Dan left us this morning at 6:00 a.m. He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife Jean at his side," it read. "His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him."

Fogelberg discovered he had advanced prostate cancer in 2004. In a statement then, he thanked fans for their support.

"It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years," he said.

Fogelberg's music was in the vein of fellow sensitive singer-songwriters James Taylor and Jackson Browne, and was powerful in its simplicity.

He didn't rely on the volume of his voice to convey his emotions; instead, they came through in the soft, tender delivery and his poignant lyrics. Songs like "Same Old Lang Syne" _ in which a man reminisces after meeting an old girlfriend by chance during the holidays _ became classics not only because of his performance, but for the engaging story line, as well.

Fogelberg's heyday was in the 1970s and early 80s, when he scored several platinum and multiplatinum records, fueled by such hits as "The Power of Gold" and "Leader of the Band," a touching tribute he wrote to his father, a bandleader. Fogelberg put out his first album in 1972.

Among his more popular albums were "Nether Lands," which included the song "Dancing Shoes," and "Phoenix," which had one of his biggest hits, "Longer," a song about enduring love.

Fogelberg's songs tended to have a weighty tone, reflecting on emotional issues in a serious way. But in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 1997, he said it did not represent his personality.

"That came from my singles in the early '80s," he reflects. "I think it probably really started on the radio. I'm not a dour person in the least. I'm actually kind of a happy person. Music doesn't really reflect the whole person.

"One of my dearest friends is Jimmy Buffett. From his music, people have this perception that he's up all the time, and, of course, he's not. Jimmy has a serious side, too."

Later in his career, he wrote material that focused on the state of the environment, an issue close to his heart. His last album was 2003's "Full Circle," his first album of original material in a decade.

A year later he would receive his cancer diagnosis, forcing him to forgo a planned fall tour. After his diagnosis, he urged others to get tested.

Do it...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's about those Hummers

I love Hummingbirds! This morning I had two of them flitting around my patio, going from plant to plant. One of them saw me when I opened the window and flew right up to me....the only thing between us was the screen. The other one just continued to feed on the Mandavillea Vine, ignoring me as he zoomed back and forth behind his partner. I wanted to take pictures but I was afraid to move, and I knew they'd be gone when I got back with my camera. So I stayed put, and they stayed put, and we all had a great time watching each other. I'd love to get a good video clip of them some day.

It really doesn't take much to make my day.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The snowbirds have returned....

I can't believe there are only 10 days till Christmas! It hit me this morning when I was getting ready to go out....I figured I'd better get out there before the roads clogged up with little old ladies in Jaguars.

I didn't really notice it at first, it was so subtle. Then there were more people at the grocery store than usual. There was more traffic during the week. But now the main roads are filled with cars....BIG cars.....big expensive cars, and classic Thunderbirds, Bentleys, and Jaguars....lots of Jaguars. They drive them like they're tanks....they just keep moving forward while everyone else gets out of their way. Honestly, you definitely need to keep your eyes open out there. The parking lots are worse than the streets. They double park everywhere, back up without looking, and you can never be sure they'll stop when they're supposed to. The Michael's parking lot is packed solid.......SOLID. That place is like playing dodge'm cars....it gets my blood pressure up and pisses me off. I know I shouldn't complain because I don't have all that many years before I join them.....only I won't be driving a Bentley or a Jaguar....more like a Ford or a Chevy.

This is my latest addiction...Starbuck's Mocha Frappuccino's.....yum! I get hot mocha latte's in the morning and cold fraps in the afternoon. ("That's not coffee....it's diabetes on ice" ... the Women's Murder Club). So about 3 months ago I started buying these little 4 packs at the grocery store and taking them to work for a nice afternoon pick me up. Then I found a picture of them on another blog....they'd been altered and I thought they were just so cute! So I started altering some of my own.

Aren't they adorable? I wanted to send some to all of the guys I used to work with in Orange County, but I got started too late and just sent them to the girls. I love the Mocha Frappuccino's but I can't drink them quickly enough to satisfy my Christmas list.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mountains and Rainbows

It rained again this morning, and when I left for work this is what greeted me. You'd think I'd never seen a rainbow before....I ran back inside to get my camera, realized I'd left my house keys in the car....ran back to get them and up the stairs a second time....whew. It was still there. What an awesome sight.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What to do on a stormy day?

Scrap! After my trip to the store on Saturday for necessary items, like cat food, I decided it was a good day to stay at home and do something creative. The wind wasn't going to stop, my plants and flowers couldn't be repaired until the storm was over, and I wanted to scrap some pages for Gina. I made two pages with the Thanksgiving day pictures I had, and then I made this one of the two of us.....the picture is from 2003 and I love it. I think she will too when she receives it....hope I don't ruin the surprise by posting this before she gets it. I haven't sent her any scrap pages since last year and I'm glad to be able to do so again.

And what do the cats do on a stormy day? Keep the couch from blowing away!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Facing the Facts

I was dealt a hard dose of reality this week-end.....it was cold, windy, rainy, dusty, dirty and downright DEPLORABLE! Arrrggh!

It rained all day on Friday, which was fine in itself. I didn't mind it.....I like the rain. It was a bit cold but it was okay. Unfortunately, while I was at work - my plants were all being drowned. In the 20 odd years I've lived in CA, I have always had some type of overhang on the balcony...but not here. Nope, nada, nothing. And I didn't even think about it. By the time I got home, they were all swimming in the water that had pooled in their saucers, some of them had so much water in them that they spilled mud over the rims. My beautiful balcony had turned into a mudhole.

The next morning it was gorgeous. The sky was clear and blue and the air smelled so clean until the 50 mile an hour winds started. That was certainly a great help to my water clogged planters. My first foray into the great outdoors was met with cold blasts of wind that felt like Chicago on a winters day. I had sand in my hair, sand in my eyes and sand in my teeth!
Tree limbs had fallen all over the place with cars dodging them in the streets. What a great day.

I made a video from my balcony...I hope I can post it here. It was awesome.