Archive for the 'random thoughts' Category

Random thoughts and reflections

As we are coming to the end of the year, it seems appropriate to look back at 2009.

Some things have not changed – the kids have very obviously grown a few inches each, but they are the same lovable Eric and Justin. Same personalities, likes and dislikes, and the same challenges. Work continues to present challenges for both myself and Terry, and my travel schedule was pretty hectic at times. We had some good times with good friends, especially over the summer, though not as often as we may have liked. We enjoyed another season of football for Justin. Next year will be his last before playing for high school, which is a whole different world.

Some things have changed quite a bit – we welcomed a new and furry family member, Duke, who has easily settled into our home and our lives. We’ve made a few new friends in the neighborhood as well as through football. One of the biggest changes: Terry’s parents will arrive today or tomorrow, making Arizona their permanent home. Their first move since 1972!

I logged the frequent flyer miles with trips to Sacramento, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the Bahamas. Of course our vacation in Hawaii was the best of all. Terry got to travel a bit, with a business trip to Las Vegas and of course Lake Tahoe where he won the Hawaii trip – he can’t wait to go back to Tahoe next year in hopes of getting another prize like that one.

We enjoyed some family visits – Terry’s Aunt Bobbie and Uncle Vern visited us from Ohio and Terry’s brother Tim came with his brood all the way from Switzerland in April. Easter was spent with them as well as Terry’s cousins Russ & Sherri and their family. My brother Damian visited over Thanksgiving and my Mom and stepdad just left last week after a 2-week visit.

2009 presented many challenges, but truly challenges are opportunities. I hope that 2010 holds many good opportunities in store for us as well.

Best wishes to you and yours for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Airport ponderings

TravelerI love airports. Yes, you heard me right – love them. I know, I’m an oddity. But tell me, where else but the airport could you spot a grown woman wearing bright pink galoshes, a little old man eating out of a homemade lunch pail, a platinum blonde diva with 4-inch heels, an entire family adorned with Mickey Mouse memorabilia and countless retired couples in matching attire? Where else would you find a businessman in a $2000 suit standing in line next to a vacationer in worn out flip flops, cutoff jean shorts and a Laguna Beach t-shirt? Airports are a stop within an itinerary that is not our norm. An interruption in our regular schedule, but a potentially welcome one.

Sure the airport has its share of annoyances. I’m actually at the Charlotte airport right now and already this morning have witnessed the usual ones. The guy on his Blackberry talking too loudly to notice hordes of travelers rushing by him. The intolerably long lines at the coffee/pizza/burger stand (or bathroom). My biggest pet peeve is the casual traveler who is oblivious to others around him/her – walking slowly, gazing around, then suddenly coming to a stop smack dab in the middle of the walkway to dig through his/her luggage for something (presumably his/her boarding pass?).

But there is something else about an airport that’s particularly exciting. Airports are our “holding area” – the place where we wait to be taken to somewhere else. Somewhere hot and sunny or somewhere cold where a warm fireplace awaits us. Somewhere new and adventurous or somewhere comfortable and familiar. Somewhere we’ll get to meet new people or somewhere that reunites us with those we love. And on the return trip, the airport is where we wait to be taken to the place we belong – home.

So as I wait for my flight (to somewhere many would call paradise) I will just sit back and people-watch. Wonder where these people are going, who they are going to see, and what circumstances are bringing them there. And that’s one of my favorite things to do.

Mystery mutt

Our beloved Duke is a mutt – or as someone once corrected me – a “hybrid.” Because we got him from the Friends for Life shelter, and they themselves found him living on the streets, we don’t really know what breeds of dog he is.

Nose to the ground, brown and black coloring, wiry hair – all these traits tell us he has bloodhound in him. But there’s definitely something else – his face does not at all resemble a bloodhound, nor does his body shape. After doing some searches on the Internet, I realized how much his head and face looks like a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

A couple weeks ago I met a lady at the dog park who has one, and after analyzing his head, hip/back leg area, stride and observing him with the other dogs, she agreed that yes, he probably was one. We even noticed that both our dogs had black spots on their tongues!

Here’s an episode of “Breed All About It” that talks about the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and even better, shows them in action. Sorry – video embedding was disabled by Animal Planet so just click on the link to watch it on YouTube.

So what do you think? Could Duke be part Ridgeback?

Just for fun: Fake vintage ads

ipodI have recently developed an affinity for all things vintage, and especially advertising. The love affair I have with Mad Men on AMC might have something to do with that, of course. I just stumbled across this blog post on the Internet and found the concept intriguing.

When you need a break from your day, go ahead and take a look at all of them here.

PS – that ad to the right —> is a REAL ad from the 50s.

Hot, hot, hot!


Yes, summer is here. Summer in Phoenix is serious stuff. There are supposedly thundershowers in the forecast for tomorrow though, so maybe we’ll catch a break. More likely however is that they will just up the humidity, which is already noticeable.

So, we’ve been enjoying the pool as usual. Well, Duke hasn’t. He is not a big fan of swimming. We wanted to make sure he knew how to get out if he ever fell in, so we’ve been tossing him in and guiding him to the steps. Now Terry and the kids just do it to annoy him I think. He is a good sport – he tolerates it but it is definitely not his favorite thing. He’s a pretty good swimmer but I don’t think he’ll be jumping in on his own anytime soon.

I got back from Vegas a few days ago, which was of course just as hot as Phoenix. We operated a conference with about 1,100 people which kept our staff really busy, but afterwards we had a little time to enjoy ourselves. I actually won $100 at the casino – that was fun!

I’ve been playing Texas Hold’Em poker though mostly on the computer since I can’t seem to scare up enough people to play “in real life”. Been teaching Justin the principles of basic poker games too – which he enjoys. Nothing like good ol’ mom teaching her son a life skill, eh? Maybe someday he’ll win the WPT or WSOP and I’ll get some cash out of the deal. Hell, the boy already aspires to be a rock star/bartender – why not add poker stud to the mix?

Speaking of Justin – his 12th birthday is just a few weeks away. Where does the time go? I can’t believe I’m a mother to him, and even worse, a 17 year old! Seems like not so long ago I myself was just 17. Of course I was a senior in high school and already driving, but I digress…

Well Justin’s home and I promised to play a few rounds of dealer’s choice with him so gotta go!


Thought du jour

Stop complaining, stop focusing on others and stop worrying about what other people are doing. Focus on what you can control – YOU. What can you do and how can you make a change?

I’m still here but…

Really busy! Getting ready for my annual cookie exchange which is tomorrow night. Have a house full of injured and sick people, and just returned from a 12-day business trip 3 time zones away.

I’ll post an update in a few days but wanted anyone concerned to know that I’m around, just kind of… not.