Meet my new pet cockatiel! I’ve been wanting a bird for a while now and my ever indulgent husband gave me this sweet boy for my birthday (even though it’s not for 12 days yet!) I’ve been told he’s nine weeks old and is a boy. Now from what I can gather from all-knowing Google, you can’t truly know the sex of a cockatiel until they have their adult plumage. But how do you know when they have it? I’m no bird expert so I’m going to just assume he’s a boy. I want to thank all of my Facebook friends for their name suggestions – they were all wonderful. I really mulled over the choices. It’s not like me not to have a name for a pet right away. I hope no one will be hurt that I didn’t choose their name suggestion but like a thunderbolt, it finally hit me today. So I’m happy to introduce Levi! Supposedly, Levi is Hebrew for “joined in harmony”. I think that sounds nice as he has joined our family and will hopefully live in harmony with us! I love his coloring and he seems very affectionate. He is adjusting to his new living arrangements and so we are taking things slow. I will share more on his progress soon!
As a former military brat and Air Force wife, I’ve shopped for groceries at a military commissary my whole life. Well, when I was little, I just tagged along with my parents. Those commissary visits weren’t so bad. I loved it when I was allowed to stand on the end of the shopping cart and got whisked around the aisles. It was like a ride! But it’s an entirely different thing to go to the commissary as an adult. Some days it feels like mission impossible. When my daughter was little, we created a mantra for commissary days. It wasn’t hugely original but it generally worked. We would chant “we will be happy at the commissary” over and over until we arrived at our destination. Positive thinking – it matters! If you have never been to a military commissary, you may wonder just what could inspire such a profound mantra. Well, let me tell you! It can get pretty crowded. Navigating aisles with a bunch of people is stressful even in the best of circumstances. But people at the commissary seem to view it as a social hour. This is not a party, folks! Stopping in the middle of an aisle to chat and shoot the breeze is not helpful to those of us actually trying to find items. And for the love of all that is proper and good in commissaries, DO NOT, seriously, DO NOT leave your shopping cart and wander aimlessly. When you do this, you get in my way twice – first I have to get around your discarded cart and then I have to play chicken with you as you decide if you want to continue to meander or head back to your cart. Oh, the fantasies I’ve had involving a bullhorn on my grocery shopping days:
“You over there! Yes, you! Get back to your cart this instant. You can push and look at the same time. Yes, you can!”
“Hey, lady, you’re causing a traffic jam by leaving your cart in the middle of the aisle at a diagonal!! Really?!! It’s all about you, isn’t it?”
“MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!!”
Whoa, where did that come from? Well, what can I say? I’m not patient while shopping for food. Anyway, I seem to have one of those faces on top of it. People want, no, need to tell me stuff. The guy in the dog food aisle needs to tell me all about his little dog and what kind of dog food he likes. A guy in the cereal aisle once asked me if I was around in the 1950’s (what the heck? I had a serious crisis about how old I looked that day) and then proceeded to tell me that back then there were only three cereals to choose from. I guess he was a bit overwhelmed by the choices. But I was not even born yet in the 50’s!
And when you finally do manage to get all of your groceries, you get to head to the LINE. There is only one line at the commissary. Yes, there are several checkout registers but only ONE line. And while there may be 15 checkout registers, there are usually only 3 cashiers working at a time – if you’re lucky. I usually spend my time in the line looking through any coupons, avoiding eye contact with anyone who seems chatty and may accuse me of being born in the 1950’s, and trying to ignore the numerous “helpful” displays of chocolate and other goodies that whisper my name. No, I don’t need a giant box of 48 Ferrero Rocher hazelnut chocolates. Wait, they’re on sale for $7.99? *throws in cart* Anyway, when you do finally get your groceries paid for and bagged, there is a helpful bagger to take your groceries to your car and load them up. This is actually nice and I always give a good tip. I only say this because word got around at one point about my nice tip and baggers started trying to flag me down to their checkout lane whenever they saw me. I am not one to crave this sort of attention. However, lately I’ve been getting baggers who like to share just a little too much information about themselves. It’s amazing what you can learn in the 2 to 3 minutes it takes to load up your food in the car. Frankly, I did not want to know that my bagger has a need for Viagra on occasion. Yes, I have one of those faces. Sigh…
Recently, I arrived at the commissary in a fairly good state of mind. It was after the holidays and I was looking forward to a simple shopping trip without having to purchase all the fixings for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. As I arrived, I was pleasantly surprised that there were not many people there. I grabbed a shopping cart and started filling it up. It wasn’t long before I realized my shopping cart was possessed. One wheel was making a horrible screeching sound and wobbling most violently. How had I not noticed this when I grabbed the cart? I guess the cart was not possessed at the time that I first got possession of it. Hah! Say that three times fast. I quickly debated whether to grab a different cart but that would have meant going outside to get another one and transferring all my food to the new cart. I decided to grin and bear it. Well, the screeching and wobbling got worse. People began to look my way. I tried leaning my cart to the side to lift the possessed wheel off the ground but this caused me to appear a bit possessed myself – a grimace on my face from exertion and swerving around erratically trying to keep from crashing into food displays. When I grew tired of wrestling with the cart, I then tried to “own” it. Yeah, my cart is possessed. What of it? I like that screechy sound. That wildly careening wheel that has a mind of its own? I love it!
I fooled no one.
I got the pitying looks. She got that cart, poor dear. So much for a simple shopping excursion. I was feeling quite anxious and ready to make a break for the door without my food, when I came across an elderly woman of small stature. She was struggling mightily to reach something on a top shelf. When she saw me, she smiled and got that look on her face I’ve seen a few times before. You’re tall, help me!! And lest you think I’m a complete meanie and yelled at her through my imaginary bullhorn, I happily complied. In fact, I take great pleasure in being able to reach the top shelf at the commissary for those who can’t. On those days, it makes having a demonic shopping cart totally worthwhile.
This face…oh my…talk about love at first sight! This is my Jack Russell Terrier, Maxwell, as a baby. He came into my life in January of 2012 and promptly stole my heart!
He’s the third Jack Russell I’ve had. Once you’ve had a JRT in your life, nothing else will do. These feisty and intelligent dogs won me over long ago.
It’s a daily challenge to wear them out for sure but their antics provide so much enjoyment.
This guy makes me laugh every day. He’s not the most graceful dog. I always say he’s like a bull in a china shop. If he wants his toy, he’s going to get it no matter what the obstacle – and sometimes he’ll fall down just for the joy of it. Haha!
And let me just say that if he’s not had his playtime, he will stare me down until he gets it. So yeah, I write a blog post AFTER he’s had his exercise!
Am I the the only one that sees this? I always think the white patch on Max’s back looks like Woody Woodpecker. It’s not just me, right? Right?
Oh this boy of mine… I love him so. I can’t believe he is 5 years old already. If you want to see more of Max, check out his Facebook page: Maxwell Smart the Jack Russell Terrier
People who aren’t that familiar with New Mexico are often surprised to find out that we get snow. We do! In Albuquerque, snow accumulation is rarely more than 2-4 inches at a time but I do remember one winter storm in which we had 11 inches fall in one day. I’m glad that doesn’t happen very often though. I’m not a huge fan of the white stuff. Sure it’s pretty when it’s fresh on the ground. Peaceful to look at if you are fortunate enough to be at home all warm and cozy! But this city usually goes a bit loco when it’s snowy. Let’s just say not many people know how to drive in snowy conditions around here and if there is any ice, things just pretty much shut down. This winter we haven’t had much snow in the city but we have had a LOT of rain! We always need that moisture for sure. Of course, rain in the city means snow on the mountains. Yesterday I snapped this picture of the Sandia Mountains. This is where I like to see snow – on a mountaintop. Hah! Still, I have to say all the rain and cold put me in a melancholy mood.
I’ve always found January to be a bit perverse. It’s the start of a new year filled with new hopes and fresh starts. Sounds good, right? Maybe. But let’s back up a bit here. When the year starts to come to an end, it is filled with so many good things. Autumn hits and it’s all about good food, parties, gift exchanges, and peace on earth. I mean, what’s not to love about the holidays? Things start off with a bountiful feast at Thanksgiving. It seems that my Facebook feed and all the magazines I receive are filled with recipes for decadent desserts and all the wonderful trimmings for a fabulous meal. Things quickly escalate as we hit the Christmas season. I love the way it seems the whole world is transformed. Holly. Poinsettias. Christmas trees. Lights. Silver bells. Carols. Santa. Creches. You name it, I love it all. So many wonderful things to close out the year. More magazines and internet articles with recipes, homemade gift ideas, decorating ideas, stories of hope and giving. I even find myself wishing for snow (even though I hate it) because I want a white Christmas! Ah yes, Christmas time is glorious. And then when it’s over, closing out the year watching the ball drop in Times Square and feeling determined to keep those New Year’s resolutions past February!
And here is where things get a bit perverse. The January magazines in my mail now have articles about diets, exercise, and low-fat meals. All the stores are now filled with plastic bins to get organized! There are endless articles about decluttering and ads for help with your tax return. I mean, it’s just cruel. Sure, I think it’s important to try to be healthy and organized, but coming off December’s decadence, it’s like a slap in the face. And now the snow that seemed so peaceful and white is just all brown and slushy. January is harsh. It’s cold! Spring seems a long way off. No wonder so many people fail to keep their resolutions. It’s tough to stay upbeat. It got me thinking about an old movie, Stripes, starring Bill Murray. He has a really bad day and says “And then depression set in.” I don’t know why this sticks in my head but it does. It’s hilariously Bill Murray though and somehow it puts a smile on my face.
So if you are feeling the January doldrums set in, remember to be good to yourself. Have resolutions or goals you are working on? Great! If you got some exercise today and ate a healthy meal, you deserve kudos. Did you mark something off that to-do list? Wonderful! Did you get that bathroom cleaned up? Come clean mine! Hah! But seriously, I think we should also make time to rejuvenate our spirit. Whatever “fills your cup”, set aside some time to do it. Go ahead and put up your feet – binge watch a few episodes of that show you’ve been meaning to watch, buy something totally fun with that gift card you got for Christmas, eat a cookie, or just do something you know will make you happy. And if you are so inclined, let me know what you did!
If you live in New Mexico, you know the answer to that question. You HAVE to know the answer to that question – it’s part of the culture here. We are a bit obsessed with our chile peppers here to say the least. Most Mexican restaurants in New Mexico give customers a choice between red or green sauce with their meal. The main difference between red and green peppers is the time they are allowed to grow before they are harvested. They both start out green. Some are harvested while still green while others are allowed to ripen and turn red. Green ones are roasted so their tough skins can be removed. The red ones are sometimes roasted but more often ground into chile powder. Both sauces taste great so if you really can’t decide, you can always say “Christmas” which means you want both! On a side note, around here you spell it chile, not chili. If you spell it chili, you’re talking about a beef and bean stew, not a pepper!
But if you thought this post was about chile, you’d be wrong. Hah! I have a much more pressing problem that involves the same question. It all started innocently enough while showing my husband a completed Lego project. I had just finished putting together a Lego Volkswagen camper van (or micra bus if you will) and this led him to remember the song “Convoy” by C.W. McCall with the following lyrics:
Well, we shot the line and we went for broke
With a thousand screamin’ trucks
An’ eleven long-haired friends a’ Jesus
In a chartreuse micra-bus.
I don’t know what made me ask him if he knew what chartreuse was but I guess my snarky side thought I might catch my super intelligent husband in not knowing something. When he told me it was the color “green”, I thought for sure I had him! “Oh no,” I said with supreme confidence. “Chartreuse is a color of red.” Now without boring you on the back and forth conversation that ensued, we eventually went to the all-knowing Google to settle our argument. I was convinced I would be proven right. After all, I had spent many a childhood day coloring and I knew that my chartreuse crayon was reddish, gosh darn it! Much to my astonishment, the first website I came across described chartreuse as a yellow-green, getting its name from the liqueur, Chartreuse. Well, this simply couldn’t be right and upon further research, I discovered I was not the only one who remembered chartreuse as a shade of red. But this was not enough for me. I had to find a picture of that crayon as proof; but it was more difficult than I had anticipated. Funnily enough, I came across this picture in my searches:
This only added to my confusion. To say this became a bit of a mission is an understatement. I went to Wal-Mart and purchased the biggest box of crayons I could find. If I couldn’t find a picture of a chartreuse crayon on the internet, I would take my own! But after painstakingly going through each and every crayon in a box of 120, I was to be disappointed. There wasn’t a chartreuse crayon in there anywhere! Madness! It was back to the internet for more research. Well, it seems that Crayola no longer manufactures a chartreuse crayon. Discontinued in 1990! Instead they have colors like fuzzy wuzzy brown and macaroni & cheese now. My, how things have changed since I was a kid. Sad to say, I never came up with an answer to satisfy me. Still, when it comes to the question of red or green, my answer is green when it comes to chile but red when it comes to chartreuse. I can only say my proof comes from my completed Lego project:
What do you say?
I think we’ve all been there in our lives. Giving up on a dream, thinking it’s too late. There’s something about getting older that makes you more cautious about taking risks and dreaming big. The obstacles seem too many. Well, enough of that! If you haven’t seen Shia LaBeouf’s motivational video, watch it now: Get your MotivaSHIAn! I’m not waiting for tomorrow anymore! If you have a dream on the back burner, I hope you will not wait for tomorrow either. I have no idea where this blogging will take me. All I know is that my childhood dream was to be a writer. No more waiting for the right time. In today’s world, blogging is an easy way to get started on that dream. My main goal is to just be writing more but I also hope to make your day a little brighter, maybe make you laugh. But I do need your help with my dream. Yes, YOU! I need your encouragement which means I need comments! I need you to like my Facebook page. Tell me what YOUR dream is and how you are going to pursue it this year!