Songs that take my breath away….

Songs can take you back to a moment in your past like nothing else can! Songs link you to good and bad times and instantly take you there and allow you to relive a memory or moment for the few minutes that the song is playing.

Here are the songs that never fail to take my breath away – they catapult me into a specific moment, link me to a special person or time, or are just so beautiful I literally have to stop and let them absorb me!

I surely have forgotten some, but these are the ones that pop in my mind with little or no effort.

In no particular order:

Whiter Side of Pale, Procol Harum
Old Time Rock ‘n Roll, Bob Seger
Turn The Page, Bob Seger
We’ve Got Tonight, Bob Seger
Unchained Melody, Righteous Brothers
The Dock of The Bay, Otis Redding
The House At Pooh Corner, Loggins and Messina
Danny’s Song, Loggins and Messina
Stairway to Heaven, Led Zepplin
Maggie May, Rod Stewart
He Stopped Loving Her Today, George Jones
The Long and Winding Road, The Beatles
Michelle, The Beatles
Hey, Jude, The Beatles
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, Hank Williams
Lady, Kenny Rogers
Why Me Lord, Kris Kristofferson
Sunday Morning Coming Down, Kris Kristofferson
Help Me Make It Through The Night, Kris Kristofferson
Colour My World, Chicago
Teddy Bear Song, Barbara Fairchild
Tequila Sunrise, The Eagles
Dreams, Fleetwood Mac
If I Can Dream, Elvis
One Night, Elvis
(Such an) Easy Question, Elvis
American Pie, Don McLean
Sugar, Sugar, The Archies (ok, so this one doesn’t take my breath away, but it sure brings back some great memories!!!)

Movies I could watch a zillion times…..

Movies touch our soles in one way or another – whether you like comedies, thrillers, love stories, dramas, action/adventures, or whatever other genre I missed….. I love going to the movies – I particularly enjoy going to a Sat or Sun matinee to see a good romantic comedy! I believe that if I leave a movie and I have laughed, cried, and have the “warm fuzzies” for a while afterwards, then the movie has met all my criteria of being one that I will definitely want to see again! I thought I would come up with the top 5 movies I’d see again and again and again……..but, I couldn’t do it — there are way too many!!! So, I started to just jot down all the ones that I can think of that I would stop everything to watch in a heart beat! Here is my list – I’m sure I’ve missed some, but these are the ones that came to mind – the ones that I still cry when I watch them even after seeing them over and over (in fact, I actually start crying earlier in the movie because I know the sad parts are coming……LOL) and the ones that still leave me feeling all warm and fuzzy!!!

In no particular order:

Hope Floats
Sweet Home Alabama
Fried Green Tomatoes
Pretty Woman
Untamed Heart
Walk the Line
Guarding Tess
The Notebook
Steel Magnolias
Gone With The Wind
Wizard of Oz
Manions of America
The Rose
Rebel Without A Cause
West Side Story
A Star is Born
The Way We Were
Love Story
Terms of Endearment
Urban Cowboy
An Officer And A Gentleman
Mr. Holland’s Opus
City of Angels
Step Mom

It’s Raining!!!!

WOO HOO and Hallelujah – it’s raining!!! And it’s coming down at a nice gentle steady pace — not so hard and fast that it will just run off and not so fine that it won’t sink in!!! If it doesn’t stop too fast, I think this just might do us some good!!!!


I love oatmeal………….unfortunately, I don’t think about making it very often! I don’t mean the instant kind that you dump out of a pouch and add hot water – I mean the good Quaker Oats kind you make in a pot! They can be Quick Oats that only take a couple minutes, but the regular ones are better!

I like to make them using a little less water than the box calls for – that makes them stiffer, thicker and less runny! I don’t put any milk in them (sometimes just a drizzle, but only if I make them TOO stiff and thick!) and I like to add lots of brown sugar (not white sugar – it has to be brown sugar). Occasionally, I like to add a few chopped walnuts or pecans or maybe a few golden raisins – but I really do prefer it with just brown sugar. I also like to eat buttered toast with it and dunk the toast in the oatmeal — YUMMY!!!!

I had some this morning for breakfast and it really hit the spot – big time – the only disappointment was that I was out of butter, so I didn’t make any toast to go with it!!! I tend to not think of oatmeal unless it’s cold outside – not really sure why! I guess because it is very “warming” and it’s easier to think about things like that when it’s cold and you need to get warmed up! But, it is good any time. A real “stick to your ribs” breakfast that makes for a great foundation for the day!!! And it’s even good for lunch or supper, too!

So, that’s that — here’s to more oatmeal……….


I went to the movies tonight and saw Hairspray! I’ve wanted to see it since it came out, but didn’t get a chance to go until tonight! I am really glad I went — it was actually quite good!!! What a great place the world would be if everyone could just burst into song and dance in the streets whenever we felt the desire to!!! ha-ha

John Travolta was wonderful as Tracy’s mother!!! Christopher Walken was a hoot as her father!!! I really got into loving to hate Michelle Pfeiffer as the bigoted station manager!!! Zac Efron was a perfect Link Larkin — he has the most gorgeous blue eyes I’ve ever seen! And Nikki Blonsky is really going to do well – she’s got star appeal and did a great job as Tracy Turnbald. I really enjoyed it and recommend it! But – if you don’t like musicals, it might not be the best movie for you – the breaking out in song over every little thing might be a little much for you!

I’ve seen Hairspray before — I saw it on Broadway and on video when Ricki Lake played Tracy Turnbald and I can say that I like the current version the best! That is odd because I usually don’t like remakes – I think they tend to not be able to stand up to the original. (Major exception to my stance on this subject is “A Star Is Born” – the original 1937 version starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March was good for its time, but the 1954 remake starring Judy Garland and James Mason blew it out of the water — they didn’t just remake the movie, they updated it and made it fit into the time period!!! Then came the 1976 version starring Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson — WOW — they updated it to fit in the time period again and it became my single most favorite movie of all time!!!! Amazing!!! So — definitely an exception to my stance that remakes tend to not live up to the original…..)

So, anyway — Hairspray was well worth my time and money and made for an enjoyable evening!

OK – I’m ready for it to cool down, now!!!!

OK – enough with the stifling heat, already!!!! I never thought I’d hear myself say this, but I’d even take being stuck in the Buffalo snow belt in mid-January over this heat (grew up in a small town near Buffalo – been there, done that – but if it’ll cool me down, I’d do it again)!!! From what I can tell from forecasts and predictions, we don’t have much relief coming any time soon and what little is possible isn’t supposed to last long!!!

My grass is full of brown patches, my bushes, trees, and plants all look pretty sad —- it’s even too hot to put the top down on my car and enjoy a little cruise around town!!!!

My idea of the perfect climate is 70-75 all year round with occasional peaks in the low 80s, a constant refreshing breeze, sunny every day with nice frequent gentle rains at night or during work hours, and no really severe weather events!!!! Oh, wow – you know what? I’m gonna just sit here in my air conditioning, put my head back, close my eyes, and project myself there for a while today (hey, whatever it takes….right?)!!!!

Y’all stay cool now, ya hear?????

The Girls Love Their Pool…..

The girls love their pool so much! I fill it with fresh water and they go absolutely nuts!!!! They don’t like it when the water gets warm from the sun, so I have to freshen it up and cool it down every evening, but it is so worth the effort – it gives them a ton of joy and keeps them occupied – and cool…..

Amy gets in there and bites at the water and dunks her head under the water to throw it up over her back – she splashes around and lays down so that only her head sticks up out of the water — she really gets into it! Then, she rolls around on the grass or pine straw to dry off before she heads back in for more….. Katie, on the other hand, likes to run, jump in, splash around, dunk her head under the water, and run like the wind through the yard to dry off. Sometimes, she just stands there enjoying the cool water on her legs.

Then, there is Megan — she’s the one that wasn’t sure she liked the pool, at first. She would go up to it and get a drink, but get away from it whenever the other two came around like she was afraid to get wet from their splashing! She’d stand a safe distance away and watch them having fun. Then, one day she got in and she’s the craziest one of the three of them now!!!! She digs at the water and throws it up under herself to get herself totally soaked! She’ll dig at the water so fast and hard she ends up throwing it out onto the ground and the pool is 1/2 empty and needs to be filled after every trip she makes to it!!! And, unlike the other two, she doesn’t mind staying wet – she doesn’t seem to do anything special to dry off, except to lay out on the patio to get “sun dried”!!!

What a riot it is to stand on the deck or sit on the patio and just watch them take turns going crazy in the pool…………..when one is ready to get in and another is taking too long to get out, they will bark at the one in the pool until they give in and relinquish their turn — sometimes they all get in together and that really takes the cake!!! They bite at each other to fight over who gets what section of the water to do their rituals in!!! That pool is the best fifteen bucks I ever spent!!!!

When the playing is done, it’s time to rest — they come inside and CRASH!!! Here they are all peaceful and snoring – Megan, Amy, and Katie – in that order:

Goodnight, all……

What’s Bugging Me????

Good morning…. So, what’s bugging me this morning? The same thing that has been bugging me on mornings just like this since I moved into my home almost 4 years ago!

I sit in my den at my computer looking out the window at my front lawn and the short, quiet, cul de sac street that connects me and my neighbors. As I look out on mornings like this (spring/summer mornings that are not too hot, but not too cool), I witness an amazing phenomenon — a swarm of black wasp-like flying bugs hovering a few inches above my lawn. I say wasp-like cause they look sorta like a wasp, but they aren’t a wasp – maybe they are mud-wasps, not sure – but they don’t attack or sting, like a wasp does (I’ve walked through them and they don’t seem to care that I’m there at all). There are zillions of them – they blanket the entire front lawn and swirl around in circles close to the ground like they are searching for something. Occasionally, some will dive down into the grass and emerge back out after a few seconds.

It’s odd because they are only focused on the largest section of my front lawn – they don’t do their dance on the other side of the driveway or in the back yard and they don’t do it in any of my neighbor’s yards – only this one section of my front lawn! And only at this specific time of the mid-morning – I never see them early in the morning and once the day starts to warm up, they are gone and don’t return until the next morning!

What are they searching for? What makes my lawn so special to them? They aren’t a nuisance – like I said earlier, I can walk through them if I need to and don’t get stung or swarmed and they aren’t damaging the lawn, like some other pests have a tendency to do. So, I haven’t had a reason to figure out a way to get rid of them. I assume they are searching for food and if they are finding it in my lawn and it isn’t doing any damage, then I’m happy to be of service – ha-ha! They are also a source of entertainment (I think I said in an earlier post that it doesn’t take much to amuse me….. See? I really meant it!). But I do wonder what they are, what they are doing, and why my lawn??????

Another cool thing I witnessed this morning is worth noting here: I was looking out at the dancing bugs and saw two really large black birds walking down the street from the intersection toward the cul de sac. When they walked along in front of my house, they stopped. They faced my yard and watched for about a minute. Then, they turned, walked back up the street to my driveway, walked up the driveway to the garage, turned onto the sidewalk that connects my driveway and my front porch and walked along it until they got to the end and turned to enter the grassy lawn. They walked around a little among the dancing bugs and then flew back down to the street and walked off. It was so funny!!!! When I saw them walking up the driveway, I had to go look out another window to see what they were going to do because I can’t see the entire driveway or the sidewalk from my den window. I was amazed at how they took the proper path and didn’t just fly or walk onto the grass! I thought they were there to catch some of the dancing bugs (or whatever the dancing bugs were looking for) for a little snack of their own, but I didn’t see them partake in anything – they just wandered around a little and few off. I saw this same thing happen once before – that time it was 6 big black birds walking down the street and only 3 of them took the side trip up my driveway, down my sidewalk, and into my yard, while the other 3 stayed on the street and watched them – this happened last spring/summer sometime! It was equally as funny then!!!

Happy Sunday!

Remembering Elvis and Grandpa

This Thursday – August 16th – marks two very important events:

First (only by virtue that it occurred first in history) – it marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death. Yes, I do recognize he’s dead and I don’t look for him to put in an appearance at some 7/11 somewhere! I was madly in love with Elvis — I remember as a young girl sitting within inches of the TV screen watching his movies and sobbing hysterically as I pretended that the girls in the movies were me and he was singing just for me!!! My favorite Elvis songs were Trouble and If I Can Dream! His recording of Amazing Grace is also a favorite – I’d like to have that and If I Can Dream played at my funeral. Favorites aside, there isn’t an Elvis song that I don’t know every word to and still melt when I hear them. I was heart broken when he married Priscilla! I was particularly fond of “black leather, ’68 come back” Elvis — talk about making a twelve year old girl weak in the knees……..WOW!!! By the time he got to Vegas and was into sequined jumpsuits, I had moved on to The Eagles, The Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd and others, but Elvis’ music still touched my heart and took my breathe away……..and it still does!!! Most people now think of him as a corny Las Vegas act and that is so sad, cause that was just a small portion of the long and amazing career of a man who helped shape Rock and Roll and lead the way for so many others to follow!

The second and most important event to occur on Thursday, August 16th is the 9th anniversary of the passing of my beloved Grandfather. Grandpa was an amazing man – he could grow anything and grow it bigger and better than anyone else! We always joked that if Grandpa touched it, it would grow like a weed!!! He was especially proud of his tomatoes – they grew HUGE and were solid and delicious! This was ironic because he wouldn’t eat a tomato or anything made with tomatoes – even if it was the only thing between him and starvation – something about they were originally thought to be poison and he just wasn’t eating them! For a while when I was little, my Mom, my brother, and I lived with my Grandparents. Grandpa was strict and had some very old fashioned ideas about how things should be done, but he was also kind and loving. I was the first grandchild and the only granddaughter – and it was apparent to me that I was the favorite – or at least he made me think that I was! (Don’t tell my brother – I think he thought HE was the favorite – ha-ha). Grandpa was an excellent bowler – he used to travel all over NY bowling in ABC tournaments and was very successful. He had a wicked curve ball that hit right in the pocket to mow those pins down for perfect 300 games more often than not. He watched me bowl and said I had his curve ball – it was a natural trait, I guess, but I never really learned how to control it like he did – I do alright, but never came close to a 300 game! He was also a math whiz – he didn’t finish school cause he had to quit in his junior year to go to work. But he was smart and great with numbers! He was so proud when I graduated from college! He worked as a foreman at the local Hunts plant for many years. The factory was just up the street from where he lived and just beyond that was Woolcott’s Dairy. I remember many times walking to Woolcott’s to buy a Pineapple milkshake to take to him on his lunch break. When he retired, he took a job as a rural newspaper deliverer. During the summers and on days I didn’t have to go to school, he used to take me along with him so I could fold the papers and put them in the boxes. We’d always stop for lunch, an orange soda, and an ice cream and he’d give me some change or a couple dollars for my “work”. He would often say “I plan to be here to sign my name in the year 2000!” We talked about how I would be up there that New Year’s Eve to witness that one!!! On August 16, 1998, Grandpa was in his garden tending to his crops when he had a stroke and died later that day. Alas, he didn’t get to sign his name in the year 2000……..

As I grew up in his house, one thing that was always present was a Seth Thomas electric mantle clock that he purchased from a jewelry store in the mid 1930s on one of his bowling trips to New York City. That clock chimed every hour and 1/2 hour all the years of my life. I have that clock – he gave it to me after my Grandmother passed away and I cherish it more than anything else I own. The chiming in my home brought such comfort and warm, fuzzy feelings for me. Sadly, it doesn’t work anymore – I have tried to get it repaired, but found that there are very few people in the entire country (none in NC or neighboring states that I can find) that work on those old electric clocks and one shop I spoke with recommended I convert it to a battery mechanism – but I don’t have the heart to do that – it would have a different chime sound and I’m sure Grandpa would not be pleased if I did that! So, I’ll just keep it as is – just the sight of it warms my heart! My brother lives in Grandpa’s house, now, and is keeping both my Grandparents alive in spirit through the pictures and furnishings in the house.

So – this Thursday, I will be remembering two major icons —- Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll, and my Grandpa – bigger than life and one of the three guardian angels that watch over me and are part of my very soul (BTW – the other two are my Grandma and my Poppie)!

I love and miss you, Grandpa……..hugs and kisses!

Simple Pleasures….

I decided that I have enough thoughts for two blogs today – especially since I didn’t write anything yesterday! Not that I’m committing to write something every day – I’m sure there will be days that I have no thoughts worthy of documenting (or that are not particularly appropriate for this forum)….

I’m a generally happy person and pleased with how my life turned out – yes, there are things I would liked to have done better, but I wouldn’t change much even if I were given the chance! I believe that right, wrong, or indifferent, everything that happened before got me to where I am now, so there has to be something said about leaving the cards as they were dealt.

So – that brings me to the simple pleasures that make me smile every day!

My girls – Katie, Megan, and Amy – are absolute joys! The only thing better than having a devoted, adoring pet is having THREE devoted, adoring pets!!! They want to be by my side every second and follow me from room to room and push each other out of the way to have the chance to be closest to me! It’s a major ego boost! And, never fails to make me laugh to watch them running around the yard, playing, wrestling with each other, splashing in their wading pool — there is no way anyone can stay mad, depressed, or sad with them around!!!!

Of course, my family and friends — I am very blessed to be very close to a great circle of family and friends that bring me a ton of happiness!

Another pleasure is working with a local non-profit that focuses on helping kids stay in school and prepare for life! I believe so strongly in what they stand for and the excellent programs they offer that I spend as much of my free time as possible working to help them succeed. Right now, we’re organizing the annual fundraiser – an elegant, black tie optional event that will be absolutely fabulous -we’re working to secure sponsors and silent auction donations AND individual tickets are on sale now for $100 each!

My career is also a source of extreme pride and satisfaction — I’m doing just what I was meant to do in a rewarding career. It’s a good thing…..

Don’t get me wrong — I am not free of stress, bad days, or issues – but the simple pleasures get me through it and I look things that make me smile! It doesn’t take much to amuse me and I don’t stay down long…….. 😉