Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cinderfella, plus some garden pics

I read that Jerry Lewis was to receive an award at the Oscars tonight. I loved Jerry Lewis! His characters were goofy, sweet, vulnerable, funny. And in a couple of movies (Cinderfella, The Nutty Professor), we got to see him morph into another version of himself: suave, sexy, appealing on a different level. In the Cinderfella clip, he confidently snaps his foot as he takes the first few steps down the staircase, all eyes on his every move. Such attention to detail. He was also a technological pioneer in the movie-making industry. And of course everyone knows of his tireless telethon work on behalf of "Jerry's Kids."

I love movies of this era, late 50s/early 60s. There's a hopefulness in them, a sense that - despite obstacles - we've just got to keep our chin up and figure out how to make the best of things. The kind of Lil' Rascals "C'mon kids, let's put on a show" cheerful optimism or the Pollyanna "Glad Game" resilience to tragedy that movies had then. I don't watch violent movies, action-packed movies, car chase movies, Ben Stiller/Jim Carrey; they're just not my thing. Give me a movie with a decently entertaining story of goodness and integrity, throw in some laughter, add a dash of a love story (but keep everyone's clothes on), add in a fun twist ... and I'll get the popcorn started, tea brewing and a blanket at the ready.

Jerry Lewis made me smile, he made me laugh, he made the days lighter and brighter. And no, I'm not French. :-)


I promised Carol-of-the-frozen-ground some garden pics. These first three, though, are the lilies my friend Ryann gave to me. The scent just filled my home when I came home each day.

Cymbidium orchids in the courtyard:



Sunday, February 15, 2009

Things I like about birthdays

Things I like about birthdays

Going to the mailbox and being surprised with another new card

The variety of cards, some sweet, some funny (fo shizzle, Vic!)

Displaying my birthday cards where they can give me a smile when I see them

Yoga class on my birthday

Getting my very own birthday post from my online decorating buddies filled with such sweet, sweet messages, plus virtual balloons, cupcakes (zero calories!), roses and other goodies

Having birthday wishes posted to my facebook wall from friends new and old

Reading tons of birthday e-mails from family and friends

Getting a birthday call from my brother
Getting a birthday call and song from my other brother

Having my granddaughters call and sing "Happy Birthday"

The beautiful lillies and touching card from my beautiful friend Ryann at the yoga studio

Having a special birthday dinner with my daughter and her family
Enjoying delicious German chocolate cake made by my eldest granddaughter

Don't you love birthdays and being celebrated by those who love you and care about you? Receiving love and good wishes for days and days, smiling at the comments, laughing at the jokes, feeling the caring goodness of others. My cheeks are positively sore tonight from smiling all day long. In yoga class, as I opened my heart, I could feel it filling with love from all the beautiful people in my life, and then I opened my arms wide, lifted my crown chakra to heaven and sent that love forth from my heart to the world ... sparkling, bright, clear images of peace, love and goodness to all beings everywhere.

Thank you, dear friends. You remind me of all the various parts and history of who I am and who I have been. Each of you holds a different piece. I am abundantly grateful to have you share some part of my life's journey with me. How happy you make me!


Sunday, February 8, 2009

some gardening and some bling ...

I've been trying to spend less time online; if I don't watch myself, I can burn a couple of hours easily, visiting blogs, reading news, researching things that interest me. (You, too?) So, although I've had a couple of topics that I've been wanting to get on paper (metaphorically), it's midnight on Sunday night, so I'm just going to share some pics.

Now there's a reason why I don't usually post my own pics; well, just take a look at these and you'll see the painfully obvious reason why. A photographer, I'm not. My apologies. I know some folks who visit here are truly gifted and skilled in photography, and I thank you for making up for my lack. It kind of balances things out, I think.

And I'm all about balance. We can't all be superstars in everything, can we? I think it's good to know what your gifts and your weaknesses are. I feel I'm really a strong editor, for example. I did some editing for a former co-worker, Joely Gardner, a published author and expert in Human Factors, who told me I was the best editor she'd ever worked with. Very nice of her.

But I digress, so how about a visit out to the garden? I know some of you won't see spring for some time, but here in SoCal, we had some really warm weather the past few weeks and things have started to sprout. Above are sweetpea seedlings that I really hope do well this year. They look healthy right now, although maybe a bit crowded. Growing up, my dad had sweetpeas growing all along the chain link fence out back. Oh, the aroma was absolutely mind-blowingly delicious! I'd gather up great armfuls of them and just stick my nose in the bouquets, like a cat with catnip. Years ago, my friend's mom had a wedding shower for her and had big vases filled with sweetpeas throughout the room. So intoxicating! Sweetpeas have been my favorite since I was a little girl.

The next three pics are some of the orchids in the garden. The 2nd and 3rd pics are from the same plant, which probably has about 6 very full stalks on it right now.

And below is an example of my poor skills. This was supposed to be a close-up of some bulbs that have sprouted, but I obviously didn't focus correctly. These are just a few of the bulbs that have sprouted. I also have quite a few freesias, all with long stalks just ready to burst into bloom in a few weeks.

My camellia's been blooming for a few weeks. Some of the buds have fallen off before fully opening; not sure why. But this one's sure pretty.
And lastly tonight, here's a bit of bling that I bought for myself. My friend, Lisa, is a talented jewely designer with a shop on Etsy, called Rox & Things. I purchased some gorgeous quartz earrings from her last week. I love sparkle! I expected them to come in a simple package, but Lisa does nothing halfway. The package arrived in a box stuffed with red filler and a scroll - tied with twine - that described my new earrings. Very classy.
Inside the green sparkly paper (I love sparkle!), I found this sweet little box. Adorable, yes?

And inside the box, my beautiful earrings, tied with a twine bow and nestled in sweet-smelling lavender ... aaaaaaah! I'm so thrilled!

I hope you have a great 2nd week of February. My company has had two rounds of layoffs so far; I'm not normally one to get anxious about such things, but I've been through layoffs twice before, in a healthier economy, and I'm hoping we don't have further layoffs when jobs are more scarce. I really love the work I'm doing and the people I work with and I'd love to continue to work there. (If you're planning on buying a car, consider a Mazda, who is our client. Shameless plug, but they're really good cars. The new 2010 MAZDA3 has high-end features for its category. I love the 5-door!)

Happy Valentine's Day! Say "I love you!" to those you love!

Monday, February 2, 2009

I need to go to my happy place ...

Q. What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.

Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen.

“Dear American Taxpayer,
Think you were in debt before? You now owe $825 billion more. Have a nice day!”
A government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.
~Thomas Jefferson
My first brother S sent me the following article link:

When it always takes Congress an inordinate amount of time to ever get anything done, how is it that they were able to write a 647-page "stimulus" (I can't write that with a straight face, even with quotation marks) bill within days of Obama's inauguration? Seems like someone had it stashed away in a drawer somewhere just waiting to spring this pork-infested bloat upon the American taxpayer.

" our estimate only $90 billion out of $825 billion, or about 12 cents of every $1, is for something that can plausibly be considered a growth stimulus."

Out of the $825 billion, only $90 billion is really stimulus. The rest? Well, just read the article. Try not to get too angry.

I am responsible enough to stay within my personal budget, not spend on extras; I have no debt other than my mortgage payment. But Nan and her ilk are gonna put me and my fellow Americans in deep, deep debt.

Here's my brother's proposal, which I think is brilliant:

Instead of San Fran Nan’s we-won-the-election-we-wrote-the-bill bag o’tricks, how about giving every man, woman and child $100,000. With a population of 300 million, that works out to $300 billion. Much cheaper and I’m willing to bet it would provide much more actual economic stimulus, plus put money back into the banking system.

(I told you it was brilliant.)

~ With that money, people could pay off mortgages, or put a down payment on a house, or stop a foreclosure - the housing crisis would end.

~ People could buy new cars, or do home remodeling, or invest in a new business - stimulating the economy.

~ Credit cards could be paid off, reducing the incredible personal debt that Americans currently carry.

~ Every dollar spent would mean more people would keep their jobs - lowering the unemployment rate.

Yes, we need something, but this bill isn't it. What we borrow, will have to be repaid. We need a real stimulus bill, not this. A bill that we'll be able to repay without mortgaging future generations because of the greed of some politicians and their pet projects and union connections.

In California, our government is taking drastic measures to reduce spending. Our State tax refunds have been suspended; we're getting IOUs. And starting next week, government employees are required to take off two days per month unpaid, saving the state 1.3 billion through June 2010, closing some government services on those days. It's tough, but at least these employees won't be laid off; they'll still be working and have benefits. It's tough, but it's better than going into even deeper debt.

A debt crisis is not solved by acquiring greater debt.

There's been a proposal for the United States Postal Service to deliver mail five days a week instead of six. Fine by me. Again, I'd rather see reduced services, than people losing their jobs entirely or having our government go into further debt.

There's a better way. Let's pray that our leaders put aside their greed and stop trying to pull a fast one. Let's pray that they focus on real stimulus that will truly and honestly help Americans, not saddle them with a bill that cannot be repaid. Pray for wisdom and for hearts that genuinely care for the lives of every American, now and in the future.