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When it’s cold, wet, or snowy, how do you stay fashionable?

I have a major collection of jackets, scarves, hats, sweaters, boots, you name it.
Where some people collect ensembles of dresses or party clothes, I collect ensembles of cold weather and outer wear.  The first button I click in any clothing magazine is jackets, followed by sweaters, then dresses.
I tend toward a lot of vintage, since it's well made and usually roomier in the arms for layering than most modern coats and jackets.  
It's also unique, with it's own flair.

Writer's Block: News development

What's the first major news event that you remember hearing about as a child? Where did you learn about it? How did it impact your world view?

The Iran Hostage Crisis.
I was 8 when they were taken, and it was over a year that it was in the national news. 
Hostage was a brand new word for me.  There was always a picture of a man with a blindfold on the picture screen in the news when they talked about them.  In the beginning I don't think anyone thought it was going to last long.  I was taught that the Shah was the rightful ruler, it was tragic that he had been ousted, and that the US was going to free the hostages and put him back in power. The longer it went on, the less I heard about the poor Shah, and more about the hostages.  Yellow ribbons were going up everywhere, and that was my introduction to 'tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree' and the meaning of the yellow ribbon to bring people home from conflict.  People started wearing yellow ribbons.  I was watching a sporting event on tv, and not only was the National Anthem sung, but God Bless America by a woman wearing a large yellow rosette of ribbons. 

The thing I remember most is that they weren't actually freed until after President Reagan was sworn in, and the pictures of Carter being up all night with his aides hoping they would be released while he was still President.  I thought how unfair it was that technically the hostages would be freed by Reagan, when it was President Carter and his administration that had actually done all the work.  They hadn't handled it perfectly, there had been mistakes, such as the failure of the military attempt to free them, but they had finally been the ones to strike the peace agreement and effect the release of the hostages.  Yet they weren't going to be the ones to receive the credit in the end. 


With the advent of our new life coming upon this, 2010 promises to be an interesting year, literally full of change.
I have been looking into building vs. buying, and ways to build, and also looking at whether it would be feasible for us to use the old craft house on Grandma and Grandpa's property.
So, for fun, I put in a search on barns for sale in Pennsylvania, and for some reason, barns in France came up.
I was reading it, and it made me think of the book/movie about Under the Tuscan Sun, or something like that.
In the movie, the main character is Diane Lane, and after her divorce she's in Tuscany and she buys a house, moves in and restores it to live in it.
When I was looking at these old stone barns, with great views of French countryside, I thought, "how marvelous!"  But in the very same thought, I couldn't imagine being as lonely as that woman was that I would move all the way to Europe, so far from my family and friends.
Mom, of course, would kill me. 
She's campaigned so long to get us to Pennsylvania.
I can just see her if I said, "well, I'm headed to France!"
While the movie was all romantic, and the woman did find family and friends and everything that was missing in her life, I hope I'm never as lonely as she was that I have to go half a world away to start over.

think think think think think think

I feel like Pooh Bear right now.
I'm in constant thinking mode.

I feel bad, because I kind of have the idea that if it was based purely on the facilities to work in, then the decision would be a slam dunk for Darius.
If he didn't have me to think about, and what I like and don't like, the choice would be obvious.
But having a wife along to consider the other factors as well kind of muddies the waters.
We're trying to set up a second visit to the other place in early December, to get a better idea to help us make the decision.  It is a very close decision, though.

think think think think think think think

Is it wrong?

I really get excited when I make people happy.  Their gratitude gives me a good feeling, I get almost a high from it.

Today was Gabby's last day
Which is sad.  For us.  Not for her, really.
She's getting married and moving into a little log cabin with her husband, which is exciting.

I stopped by, and I gave her a wedding present and a little housewarming gift.  They're weren't much, but she was excited to receive them, and apparently, I chose well, because she was showing it off to a co-worker.
Her wedding present is a little bit of a joke, I told her it goes with the wedding present "that she doesn't know she's getting" and I know that she won't open it until her wedding because she likes to save things like that.
Then for her house, I decided that every log cabin needs a braided rug.  I saw one in a store that had the same colors as some coasters she made at girl's night ceramics.  So, I picked up for her, and that's what I put on the card. 

It kind of ties in to why I wrote the title this morning, and was going to make an entry before I left.
Of the three places we went to, one made me feel like the town needed me, my coaching skills, my theatre background, as much as it needs Darius.
And that was very addicting for me.  It rode over all other considerations, and I had hard time not saying, "let's move here, now." 
I didn't realize how much I want to make a difference in the place we go to until that moment.
And part of it is because I want to be a good role model to children, young adults.  I thrive on their respect and admiration.  It's not just because I'm doing something for them, but because I can feel that they appreciate whatever I'm doing that makes it all worthwhile in a sense.
It almost makes me feel selfish that I want to go to the place where I can make the most difference.

It's official

More then the chill in the air.
More than the turning of the leaves.

What makes it official autumn is the flock of Canada Geese that landed on the UMaine experimental farming fields.  They flew over my head to land for their rest as I drove to work yesterday.

Mr. Mossy has become quite a clown when he goes out, now.
The other day we went for a walk, then I sat on the porch with my netbook, and took one of his beds down to the porch with me.  He hung out on the bed, I typed away.  When Darek returned from his run, he called Mossy from a little way down the street, Mossy ran down the sidewalk to him, then he ran back to me, then Darek called him and he ran to his Daddy again, and back to me.  It was very cute.  We can stand at opposite ends of our property and give him a call and he'll dash back and forth between us.  It's good exercise for him, for sure.  And cute as all get out for us to watch.  He looks absolutely silly when he's bearing straight down on you at full speed.  And then he jumps around and his tail whips about like a helicopter blade, then he's off again.

Darek has been leaving the downstairs door open faithfully for Sebastian.  He doesn't talk about missing the little buddy, but I can tell by that one simple act how much he wants him to come home.
However, I was walking Mossy, and there's a skunk not far down the street, and we have raccoons in the area.
With the cold weather coming on, we can't have them moving in to our downstairs, so I had to start closing the door, and told Darius why.  I felt bad, because it's almost like giving up hope.

okay, I know I'll take flak, but...

I was reading about the floods in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, and the loss of property and life.
They were going over the lost people.  One of them was a hearthbreaking of the flood waters ripping a toddler out of his father's arms when their trailer was pulled in half.  I can't imagine that poor father's grief and the guilt he feels, even though it's unlikely he has the strength to have done anything to prevent it.
Another one is a man who died when the ground collapsed underneath him, and yet another woman who was washed away in her car.
Then this is followed up by a man who is missing because he bet his friends he could swim across a flooded ravine behind his house.
Another example of the tragedy of stupidity.
And what were his friends thinking taking him up on that bet?
Please tell me they seriously tried to dissuade him.
It floors me how people die of absolute foolishness in natural disasters.
Trust me, people.  Mother Nature is not to be messed with.  When she puts the smack down on stupidity, the result is usually permanent.

Sep. 22nd, 2009

I'll finally get to see what an Autumn Glory Sedum looks like in it's full autumn glory.
I've always known that the flower heads turn from green to red in the fall, but I've never been around them at that time.  So this will be really neat. 
They're already half turned, they have a pinkish look right now.

I'm becoming used to the fact that Sebastian isn't coming home.
We still leave the door to the building propped open a little, except for windy days.  The door has a glass inset, so it would be bad to leave it propped for the wind to smash around.  We prop that open so that he can get it in if he comes home, but he won't be able to get into the apartment until we open the door. 

Oddly, Grania seems to be happier and more comfortable with Sebastian gone.  It's wierd, because I got Sebastian for her because I felt bad about her being alone after having lived with other cats for awhile.
I guess she enjoys being the only cat.
She doesn't get all worked up around Mossy any more.  She doesn't jump up and bristle when he walks by where she's laying.  The other night Grania was sitting on my lap when Mossy came over to say Hi.  I pet Mossy, then he started sniffing at Grania.  She didn't get upset, she just sniffed back, although she was leaning her head back a bit as she sniffed like she was saying, "Hey buddy, careful where you stick that huge schnoz of yours."  It was incredibly cute.
Somehow, I get the idea she wouldn't mind if we adopted 10 dogs.  As long as they all knew she was in control.  But she's not interested in having to share attention with another cat.  She wants to be the only lap animal, the only animal allowed on furniture and cuddle animal. 

I've had quite a few dreams about the fuzzy little guy.
I miss the wide eyes and silly ghost attacks where Sebastian would dash around taming blankets and rugs.  I miss waking up with a warm body curled up and purring reassuringly against my head.  Believe it or not, I miss the prompt interruption the second I sat down on the toilet.
He would get up and follow me back and forth whenever I got up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night to make sure I made it back and forth okay.  He was my mini body guard making sure I was safe and comforted.

I hope he comes back.  I do miss him dearly.  But a part of me can't help wondering how Grania will react, and will she be unhappy if he does.

Wherever he is, I hope he's at least having fun and happy.

Still no sign

We had a glimmer of hope yesterday when the neighbor said a tiger cat was under our car that morning, and it ran across the road when we came out.
But it was short haired tiger cat.  Not our fluffy boy.
I miss him so much.  My pillow is empty in the morning.
Grania, however, seems to be living it up.  She jumps on the bed in the morning when my alarm goes off for loving.  She spends more time in my lap because Sebastian doesn't jump up on the back of my chair and do the gargoyle stare at her.


I saw this article today, and it started me thinking. 
This, to me, is an extremely hard issue to have a position on.
On the one hand, the score and the loss is demoralizing to the kids. 
Especially the ones who were on the team the year before that won.

But, the winning coach had taken out all their starters for the second half.  He played his second team, he wasn't keeping his first string in to see how high they could run up the score.

Not only that, but most of the points in the first half came from mistakes made by the losing team.  A blocked punt, allowing a kickoff return of 99 yards, two interceptions with short yardage.  Two of these scoring opportunities came from special teams, which is fairly rare in High School football.  You can't put out your special teams unit and tell them, "don't try and block the punt."  You may as well not put them out at all.  Same with the return team.  "Okay, get the ball, but don't try and run with it."
Not only are both of these things wrong for the young players trying to learn the game, it is just as insulting to the other team as beating them.
Maybe, MAY-be, you could tell your defense, "if the opposing quarterback throws the ball at you, try batting it down instead of catching it."
But still, that's almost the same as taunting.  "I could have caught the ball but I didn't."  Is that any better for the moral of the other team?
The fans of the losing team talked about how the fans of the winnng team weren't cheering any more because even they were embarassed.  Or maybe they were sensitive to the fact that other team was alreasy upset, and felt bad for them so they had the sportsmanship not to rub it in.

You can't put all of this on the shoulders of the winning coach, saying that he should have done more to prevent the score from being so high.  The losing coach didn't want to talk about it.  Why?  Was he embarassed by his team's performance?  Did he not prepare his team enough because he figured, "we beat this team last year, we'll have no problems with them this year?"  At least some questions have to be asked of the losing coach as to why his team lost so incredibly to a team they defeated a year ago.

On the one hand, I am pleased that more people are aware of the idea of sportsmanship.  It is something that has been missing in this day and age of Little League parents beating each other up in the parking lot.  However, I don't feel the winning coach should be accused of showing a lack of it.  He did what was within his power, short of actually throwing the game, to give the other team a shot. 

Hopefully, painful though it may be, the losing coach will go home and watch the tape to prevent a repeat.  Why did the Quarterback throw two interceptions?  Was the receiver on the wrong route?  Did the QB not read the defense properly?  Was the QB under too much pressure because the front line wasn't holding their gaps?  Why did a kick-off return make it through his special teams for 99 yards?  Who picked up the wrong rusher to allow someone through to block the punt?  These are things that every team has to take a look at when they happen to keep them from happening again, win or lose.

This also puts the rest of the teams on notice.  This winning team has depth.  Even their non-starters put out a pretty good game.