Dinosaur in the garden
What is your favorite time-wasting addiction?
Mine is Words With Friends.
I play it early and often. Like many people who play, I have the usual suspects of ether people who play a round-robin starting from the time I get up until I play my last words before bed.
What I love is that most of these people play just as hard as I do. My favorite opponent, zgrandmom, beats me by at least 100 points all of the time. Except for the few times I have beaten her.
Once I got her by one point, another found me thirty points ahead. Some of it was luck and some was good wordplay at the right time. Our next game after those wins features a setting back as you would not believe.
There are other opponents who are at my level. We go back and forth over the victory but the battle is worthwhile. That is what makes it fun.
The frustrating part is when I come across people who don’t seem to play as hard. You know, the ones who swap tiles 3 or 4 time a game. Or they pass a lot. Or they quit the game when you finally can pull off a terrific but terrifying word.
I lost one opponent when I played “tantric.” I reveled as I placed it on a double double word score line. The points were unbelievable!
That is till I checked and saw the other player has given up. She simply did not play anymore until the game faded.
Another opponent kept swapping tile. I have had bad tiles before but when you change them three times in the space of six moves either you are an idiot who does not know how to play or your eye for pattern really sucks. I told one person to stop swapping because I was going to take advantage of them and get a really high score. This was after I was 100 points ahead. They resigned the game shortly thereafter.
To be honest, when I have lost once again to zgrandmom or Etay at least I know I have been challenged. I know these ladies (I assume) are going to battle it out to the last letter. Chances are I am going to learn a few new words or combinations that will win a game later on down the road. They will not give up, change tiles or get scared off by a slightly naughty and difficult word.
If it were poker, these women would show me how they were going to up the kitty with complete aplomb.
So bring it on because chances are I have a whole bunch of constants without an available vowel on the board. And I am bucking for that triple word score!!!
Are you ready to go against me?
Why is it that when the tank is full to the brim, the gauge arrow is loath to move. You can go 50 miles without the line moving.
But once you get into the no-man’s land of a quarter tank of gas it appears that every mile is taking more fuel than it should. Suddenly, a ten-mile distance leaves you near the line of emptiness, wondering just why the gas station is not in sight yet.
As much as I love my mini-van, this is the one thing I hate about it.
What do you wonder ?
One of the things I like about January is that my schedule slows down – sort of. Instead of having something to do every day, I have things to do every other day. Some days are doubled booked but it is not as bad as during the month of December.
This past Saturday, for example, I dropped my daughter off to enjoy a day with the Girl Scouts as they kick off their annual Cookie Sales. In the morning my husband took in a local boat show with a neighbor so I had our kids plus the neighbor girl who spent the night. There was game playing with Lego Batman Wii and hair being brushed into designs. We picked up items for supper (Muenster cheese and bread for grilled cheese sandwiches) and I dropped the girls for their big trip. Then in the afternoon I was able to leave the house, sans kids, and do what I needed to do.
It was great. I stopped in a local resale shop that has great clothes, got my hair cut, picked out paint chips, pick up a present for my parents (from which last month’s brake job took money), stopped in the fabric store, picked up newspapers and rented dvds. Four hours of going around town doing what I needed to do at my own pace.
As much as we all like the holiday season, I believe there is a collective sigh of relief somewhere around epiphany. The holidays are over and there are no more forced celebratory gatherings till “The Big Game” or Valentine’s Day. No more egg nog or fruitcake. The champagne is all gone and the christmas ornaments have been put away for the next 11 months. There is a relief in knowing we can go at our own pace and not at dictated events.
Granted, there are a few things to the schedule. We have one child in volleyball. We have friends with children in basketball. Those winter sports will keep us active but not frantically so. We will have time to just relax and maybe take a nap.
It might be rude to admit but I am looking forward to that step down in busyiness.
How is your January schedule looking?
I wanted to take a few minutes out of this holiday season to wish you a happy birthday on the 16th. If it is possible, I would love to share tea time with you but when is always the question. With all of the events flying around our family, I scarcely get a moment to breathe and think.
Last night, our daughter and her Girl Scout troop sang carols at a senior living facility. Later in the evening, our second oldest played in a band concert. I had to run youth group at church and missed out on the concert. Tonight, half of the family will take part in the 4H Christmas party while I attend my daughter’s band concert. Friday night is my office party.
My house is getting quite messy. Toys or pieces of toys are strewn about and the dog insists on shedding. Dust is everywhere. I am hoping to spend some time cleaning on Saturday morning before heading to the stores to buy a birthday gift and a grab bag gift suitable for a boy or girl. My daughter is voting for candy although one of her classmates is diabetic.
Saturday afternoon my daughter heads to the birthday party while I am off to a Christmas party for children at my church. Then there is a singing time at my church from 5 p.m. till 7 p.m. Our church choir will sing four songs and our youngest member will do a solo of “Emmanuel.” Then I plan to go home, eat some soup and go to bed. I am hoping to stay there till New Year’s but you and I know that is not practical.
I am being quite rude as I have not asked how you are doing or if you are working on anything new. I look in the stores and hope some forgotten manuscripts have been found but I am always disappointed. I am hoping to begin work on the series by Rebecca Ann Collins which looks at the lives of various characters after “Pride and Prejudice.” Perhaps that will be my goal for the new year.
Please let me know when we could have tea together. If it cannot be in December, perhaps we could get together in January. Life slows down considerably and my biggest concern will be cleaning out the ‘closet of doom.’
Your devoted fan wishing you the best on your birthday,
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It is the middle of the holiday season and it seems as if our hearts are more open to pleas of mercy and understanding.
On my Facebook account, it seems as if everyone has a tale that makes you want to be understanding whether the issue is bullying, cancer awareness or calling this holiday ‘Christmas’ as opposed to ‘holiday.’
But then it creeps in. The guilt line.
“I bet most of you will not repeat this or put it in your status.”
If you do not you are less of a Christian, less of a person, a failure of a human being. You have no heart, no spirit, no soul.
Or you are like me. You give the flying finger to the guilt inducing note by deleting it, ignoring it or, on one of your not-so-good days, write a comment saying how lousy it is to give these guilt trips.
After all, do we not have enough guilt about everything we are not doing for the holidays, for our kids, for our community? Have you given enough this season, volunteered enough, made your kids happy enough while working around the dysfunction that surrounds you?
Here is someone you know a little or a lot trying to guilt you into agreeing with their point of view. Suddenly, you are a bad person for not agreeing and you did not even get to hit the ‘like’ button yet. Chances are you might agree with them. But that line stands in the way of complete agreement.
Here is what I am telling you to do.
Feel guilt free as you do not hit ‘like’ or pass on the email.
Let it go un-noticed.
Kids have been dodging mothers’ guilt trips for years, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Why not take a page out of that book?
Let this be your guilt free moment of not allowing someone else’s need to be insufferable
right earnest and make you ‘less than’ because you are not in the 10% who are going to re-post their statement or forward their worthwhile-but-guilt-inducing message.
They want the drama, the top of the mountain feel of being right, and the knowledge that they can get other people to follow them.
If you still feel the need to re-post, I understand. But leave the guilt at the curb because if you direct it to me with that line about how most people are not going to put this on their status, you can bet I am in that 90%.
Even if it means giving up a Klondike bar.
Today, I am sharing a few favorite tunes.
This first tune has been around for what seems like forever. Apparently it was written for Sinatra but Babs has made it her own. There are versions by Sarah Vaughn, Shirley Bassey and Fantasia. I personally like this version because the music background is stark and never overpowering of the poetic lyrics.
George Harrison recently was given the Martin Scorsee treatment in a new documentary. Paul may be the Tin Pan Alley songwriter, John was the experimental one, while Ringo was Ringo. But George was the poet, putting the most difficult feelings into melodic song.
Now the weather today is sad and gloomy. The skies are grey, the ground is wet. Leaves are matted and brown on the ground. That is when you need a song to lift your spirits and make you feet move. Chrissy, take us to the Middle of The Road.