Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

I must have been 10 or 11 years old when I got my first job as a paper girl for the Daily Record, Kittitas County’s only daily newspaper. I can’t recall if it was 4th or 5th grade when I started delivering the news but I continued doing it until I was 13 or 14. I think.

After school I would go pick up my papers (maybe about 30?) and load my bag over my shoulders. It took less than an hour to make my rounds, but in the heat of summer or frigid-cold of winter it felt like it took much longer than that! I had those terribly mean parents who actually made me deliver my own papers, too, and steadfastly refused to drive me around unless there were extenuating circumstances.

Back then, we had to collect payment from most customers on our own. I remember going around knocking on doors once a month. I remember dreading going to some houses because they would never answer the door. But I loved going to other houses because I would be invited in for some cookies and soda then would visit for a while before heading out for more money collections. Many customers gave me a monthly tip and many more gave me great presents at Christmas.

At the end of the month all of the local paper carriers would meet down at The Harris Street Deli (later Killer & Babes, and now Beau’s) to turn our money in to someone from the paper. They’d count everything up then give us our share of the money. I don’t recall what the monthly rate was for delivering papers, but I do recall that often times I made more in tips than wages!

When I turned 14 I took a job washing dishes at the local truck stop cafe and I haven’t delivered a paper since.

Every once in a while I stop to wonder if kids still deliver papers door-to-door. I don’t know that I’ve seen any out and about where I live, but then, I don’t read print newspapers anymore. I get my news online or on the radio during my morning commute. Well, if you can call it news…

Quite honestly, I don’t know what the point of this post is. But I blame Plinky for making me do it.

Heading east

About three months ago I wrote that I was getting ready to watch The West Wing. All of it. Seasons 1 through 7. At the time I thought I’d be able to plough right through and accomplish the task within a month. Well, that didn’t happen but I’ve finally watched the last episode this evening.

I was extremely excited when I first started the series because so many people I know told me how fantastic it was. In fact, one overly-enthusiastic fan informed me that (except for Season 5) “…the whole thing is the best telly on the planet. Ever. Period.” I received similar reviews from others – including the opinion that Season 5 was, essentially, rubbish.

Now, in an effort to not be overly contrary I have to say that the show was, on whole, very good. Not the best telly on the planet, but certainly very good. In fact, I even liked Season 5. (I will make no apologies for that statement.)

However, I think that I made a mistake in watching it all back-to-back-to-back. I think that part of the reason I wasn’t overly impressed is that I got a bit of West Wing Fatigue. It just seemed a bit monotonous after a while. Maybe if I’d seen the show one episode at a time over a period of years, I would have enjoyed it more. (This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, I just didn’t totally and completely love it like crazy.)

I had originally planned to start watching The Sopranos next, but I feared that watching it all at once would cause me to become a bit bored of it, too, and I can’t bare the thought of being bored by one of my favorite genres: mob flicks. So I’ve decided to just watch a couple episodes a week and mix them in with re-watching a series I’ve already seen, and love, Black Adder.

NOTE: In case it didn’t make sense, my post about “The West Wing” was titled “The signs point west” and now, because the settings for both “The Sopranos” and “Black Adder” are east of the Pacific Northwest, I am heading east. I know, I know: If you have to explain it, obviously it wasn’t that clever…

If God used sticky notes

A woman I’ve never met gave me a small book a few days after Paul died.
If God Used Sticky Notes” is just a little picture book but I’ve probably read it 30 times in the last year. I don’t know if it’s my passion for sticky notes or my unwavering faith in God that makes the book so special to me, but every time I open it I smile and think about the kindness of strangers.

It’s going to be a good day today! ~ xo, God

Model A

My drive into work took a bit longer than normal today because as I pulled onto the highway I fell in line behind four Model A Fords from the Inland Empire A Car Club out of Spokane. Their average speed of 45 mph was acceptable to me so I saw no reason to pass them along the narrow one-lane highway. After all, it was only 25 miles.

As I followed I began to think about how nice it would be to live in that world with the slower pace of life. How idyllic, right? But then I wondered: In the 1920s and ’30s, did people driving along the road behind a horse and carriage find themselves yearning for the slower pace of life found in the late-1800s?

Then I started to think about how these vehicles from the late-20s and early-30s would make a great blog post, which gave me an ironic chuckle as I was just considering the less complicated, less wired life of that bygone era.

Of course, now I wonder how slow and idyllic the early-2000s will seem to people in the 2070s…

Shaken, not stirred

My love for Martinis developed sometime in the summer of 2008. It was a drink that Paul and I spoke about trying for a long time, but we needed Martini glasses and it took us quite a long time to find ones that we liked. (We ended up with very simple Ikea glasses.) Once we had all of the supplies, we took on the task of mastering the perfect drink. It took a while, and we dumped a fair bit of failed liquid down the drain, but eventually we got there and developed our “RyanCentric” Martini.

A RyanCentric Martini is the perfect blend of vodka or gin with dry vermouth, a drop or two of bitters, and as many olives as you can fit on a cocktail pick. (Maybe a little bowl of olives on the side, too, because you should never drink on an empty stomach.) Oh, and a splash or two of olive brine, because I like it dirty… ::giggle::

I used to love coming home after work and Paul would be there waiting to greet me. He seemed to know if I was having a hard day at the office, because on those days he’d greet with with a kiss and a hug – and a freshly-poured Martini. (Hugs and kisses happened regardless of the quality of my day.)

And every four weeks, when the results of my blood work would come in, he’d be ready with a Martini. If my platelet counts were high, we’d have a celebratory drink. If they were low, we’d commiserate with one of those deliciously-salty drinks. (For those who wonder, my last counts were really really good. Tonight’s Martini is a belated celebration of that fact.)

We used to love being all “la-de-da” with our Martinis!

I remember sitting in the funeral home looking at urns a couple of days after Paul died. I knew I wanted something simple – and certainly not something etched and floraly and ugly (as most funereal things tend to be, apparently). The funeral director showed me a few options – one of which was a plain, silver, traditionally-shaped urn. As I held it in my hands, it dawned on me that it was shaped like a Martini mixer – right down to the top “lid” portion. I had to laugh. And for an ironic moment I considered it. But in the end, I went with the simple boxes. Two of them: A black metal one for his burial in the states (it reminded me of a monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey) and a simple wooden one for his burial in England.

I don’t know that I will ever be able to drink another Martini with at least a passing thought of Paul. But you know what, it makes me smile to think of him. And you should always smile when drinking an extra-large, extra-olive, extra-dirty Martini. They taste better that way.

And when it comes to shaken or stirred, I prefer shaken.

Fictional President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet once said:

Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James [Bond] is ordering a weak Martini and being snooty about it.

Snooty? Maybe. Pretentious? Probably. Smart? Definitely. In Bond’s case, he could enjoy an extra Martini or two and not be too tipsy for all his spy stuff. In my case, a slightly weaker Martini means I’ll have the steadiness of hand to mix more than one in an evening. (But only one on a school night!)

Funny forks

I love the way people can share the most mundane everyday details of their lives with the world thanks to the Wonderful World Wide Web. And I think it’s funny that so many people I know share photos of their food on various online mediums. There are photos on Facebook, Flickr, websites, blogs, and even multimedia messages sent between mobile communication devices.

But here’s the thing with food pictures: Most of them look funny. Well, at least the ones where the photo is staged with eating utensils in the shot.

I look at most of those pictures and I feel they’re off balance. There’s something funny about them. And today I realized what it is that bugs me so much: People take photos of their plates and bowls full of food but they put their forks and spoons on the wrong side! Certainly, the correct placement is the left side, as that’s the correct hand for using said implement. (Knives are permitted on the right side, however.)

I just thought I’d share that random little observation with you. My fellow right-brained ‘correct-handers‘ will understand, even if my wrong-handed readers don’t.

Everyone is born right-handed… only the gifted overcome it!

Wear your hair in bunches

Following up on last Friday’s pigtail challenge, here’s a fun little song I have to share with you. I’d never heard it before meeting Paul, but each and every time I’d put my hair in pigtails (that’s bunches for my UK followers) he would sing this song in a funny little voice. And, of course, that means every time I wear pigtails I think of this song and every time I think of this song I think of Paul. But then, most things make me think of Paul so that’s not a surprise!

Happy Friday!

(Oh, and if you wondered, all of this came up because I had my iPod set to random play in the office today and this song came on.)

Lap cat

It’s been a little over a year since I got Schrodie and the stupid thing is acting more and more like a cat every day. This is evident today in that she loved me for three minutes when I came home (right up until I fed her) then ignored me for the rest of the evening, moving back-and-forth between the love seat and wing chair staring at me all night – but not interacting.

That is, until I plopped my feet on the coffee table and brought the laptop onto my lap. Within moments, the cat bullied her way in. And now she won’t move. She’s got my right arm pinned down giving me limited use of that wrist and hand for typing and my left arm is draped over her meaning that wrist and hand have to type at an odd angle.

The stupid beast is now demanding I stop typing and scratch her under the chin… It’s true what they say:

Dogs have masters and cats have slaves.

Free Tootsies!

I enjoyed a raspberry flavored Tootsie Pop after dinner this evening. And for a special surprise, it was an Indian wrapper! Yay!

I don’t remember when I first heard the urban legend about the infamous wrapper that depicts an Indian chief shooting a star with a bow and arrow. But the rumor was that if you found one you could redeem it for a free Tootsie Pop. Admittedly, I never tried this, but I have heard stories from people who insist that their neighborhood Five and Dime honored the tradition.

Though Tootsie Roll Industries claim to never have offered such a promotion and, presumably, these Five and Dimes did so taking the loss themselves as a gesture of good will – and in the hopes of creating loyal customers for tomorrow a the cost of a measly two-bits today.

But still, each time I open a Tootsie Pop with an Indian shooting star I smile… and make a promise to myself to go buy an extra one. Because, obviously, it’s a sign that I deserve it.


Twice a year, an old urban legend is told about the possibility of balancing an egg on end during the spring and autumn equinoxes. It always gives me a giggle because, whilst it is possible to do it, it has nothing to do with the tilt of the Earth’s axis and its positioning to the Sun but rather is possible any day of the year – if someone has enough patience.

Tonight I watched The West Wing season 4, episode 20 (“Evidence of Things Not Seen”) where C.J. Craig tries to convince Toby Ziegler and Will Bailey of this possibility. Which, of course, means that I spent about an hour trying to balance an egg myself.

As evident by the photo, I did manage to get that damn egg to balance on end. But I must confess, it was only after I reached for a tube of lip balm sitting on the table. After sweeping a thin line of the balm on the bottom of the egg it balanced with ease! And it’s not even an equinox!

It’s the fuzz, sans fuzz!

I live in a small town of 650 people. The nearest “city” is nine miles down the road with a population of around 1,100. The two municipalities share three police officers between them. When I first moved here I noticed that there was an older cop car that was always parked at the edge of one town or the other, right near the highway where the speed limit changes from 55 to 25 miles per hour through town. And in that old cop car sat a very large stuffed bear wearing a mounty-style hat. Paul and I joked that our local “fuzz” really was a pile of fuzz!

For the past several weeks the car has been parked at the north end of town, just as it was yesterday morning as I drove by on my way to the homeland to see my folks. But instead of a big stuffed bear, there sat a real, honest-to-goodness person! Yes! A cop was sitting in the cop car. And it made me laugh as I wondered how many people have sped past the car “knowing” it was just a stuffed animal all this time. I also wondered how many poor souls the cop would get in his fun little speed trap.

Much to my delight, on my way back into town there sat the cop car – real cop included – once again. This little switch-out makes me smile. But then, I am always certain to slow down when I get to town so don’t run the risk of meeting the fuzz in person!!

Remember folks: Spring means speed traps! Slow down!

A weekend at home

Weekends haven’t been the same since Paul died, but I’ve been determined to get back to spending them as normal as possible. Now that spring has finally sprung, I was thrilled to learn that I would have this weekend completely free. No work, no plans, no nothing. This is the sort of weekend that Paul and I liked best because we could spend it doing nothing – which basically meant doing all sorts of things!

Paul used to tell me to sit down and relax, but I just can’t resist working in the yard on a nice day. And then there are all the kitchen chores. And, of course, laundry and grocery shopping and running and… Sadly, now that Paul is gone I have to do his share of the work, too.

Anyhow, I managed to pack quite a bit in to the weekend – even though I didn’t get out of bed until after 10:00 a.m. each day! I’m certain you don’t really care for the details of my weekend, but since this is my blog, I get to pick the topic. And get to talk (or type) as much as I want. To that, I’ve created a photo album so that you can see just how I spent my weekend.

I’ve spared you the little details like checking Facebook every-so-often and personal hygiene tasks because, well, I don’t want to share everything with my fans!

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The root of all evil

Last Wednesday I started to feel a bit of a twinge in a lower tooth. I didn’t think much of it and thought it would be gone by the next day. But it was a bit worse instead. Knowing that I had big work events coming up, I told myself to suffer through. But my tooth didn’t agree and by Friday evening I was well and truly in pain. So much so that I opened my one-and-only dose of “emergency” acetaminophen. (Guiltily, I also had two glasses of cheap-and-cheerful wine with my sister and a friend.)

By Saturday morning I was in so much pain that I called to make an appointment with the dentist then drove to town to buy some extra-strength Tylenol and a tube of topical anesthetic. Even with the chemical assistance, I was in severe pain throughout the day.

Sunday and Monday were a bit better – likely because I had a bit of a toxin build-up from all the Tylenol on Saturday then the regular top-ups. I spoke with my dentist on Monday who prescribed an antibiotic, but I declined the offer for him to call in a prescription of Vicodin, feeling that I could maintain with the Tylenol until my appointment the next day.

Well, today was appointment day – nearly a week after the initial pain. Not surprisingly, I am in need of a root canal. Which is apparently a three-step process starting with a bit of drilling and cleaning today after which the dentist packed the tooth with more antibiotics then put in a temporary filling. Next up is a root canal, which may take 3-4 months (really!) to schedule, then I’ll be fitted for a crown.

I accepted the offer for Vicodin after today’s appointment with the hope of getting a decent night’s sleep for a change. As someone who generally steers clear of medications, preferring to treat my ails with a general “healthy living” stance, I have to laugh that I’ve gone from having one stash of “emergency” pain killers in my house to having several of those evil chemicals in my handbag! I hope to be pain (and drug) free soon though, because I never can remember to take those damn pills!!

Tulips: Day 6

Well, the first petal dropped today so I suppose it’s time to toss these out and get some new ones. They topped out at 21″ tall and 16″ across. I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that I don’t plan to share a running commentary on my next batch of flowers… But I can’t promise that some random flowers won’t get another post all of their own in the future.

Total growth since Day 1: 5″

Tulips: Day 4

Day 4 and the tulips are really on the move now. They’re starting to have that casual look I love so much. Each flower has opened up a bit so you can see a bit more of the color variances, which is nice.

As the stems begin to curve a bit, I’m realizing that even though there may be growth, the tops of the flowers won’t necessarily extend as tall from the mantle – but I suppose that the distance bloom-to-bloom will show a bit of that. But anyhow… today’s measurements are 20″ tall and 13 1/2″ across. That’s an inch taller than yesterday and 2 1/2″ more across.

Total growth since Day 1: 4″

Tulips: Day 3

The tulips are starting to move a bit more now! Yay! This morning they were standing tall at 18″ and measured 9 1/2″ across but this evening they were proudly boasting 19″ in height and 11″ in width.

Total growth since Day 1: 3″

Tulips: Day 2

It’s the second day of the Tulip Dance and while they’re not dancing as much as some tulips I’ve seen, they are certainly on the move!

As of 9:30 this morning, they were standing at 17″ from the mantle and measured about 7″ from bloom-to-bloom (which means just the width between flowers, not leafs). By 8:15 this evening they were 17 3/4″ tall and 8 1/2″ across.

Total growth since Day 1: 1 3/4″

Tulips: Day 1

Tulips are my favorite flowers. I love how they are so simple that they can bring elegance to even the most basic of vessels. I love the way they seem to dance around after they’ve been placed in pretty vase; the way they reach and stretch and grow after they’ve been cut – as if to tell the world that they are strong and they will survive and adapt to their new environment.

For something so simple, they truly are so complex.

I enjoy watching tulips change, and like to sit and stare at them from time-to-time, remembering what they looked like yesterday or even earlier that very day. And I often wonder to myself just how much they grow with each day. It’s such a trivial thing, but I find pleasure in it and I wish that Paul was here to share in that silly little joy.

But since he’s not here, and I still find dancing tulips so much fun that I really want to share it with someone, I’ll use my narcissism-based blog to share it with everyone. (Come on, I know you care or you wouldn’t have made Just Frances your browser’s home page!)

To that, I present to you:

Tulips Day 1
Purchased at Safeway for about $4.00, these 10 stems of reddish-pink and yellow tulips were cut short because they will continue to grow all week long. Each day, I will photograph them and share new measurements. Moments after being placed in the vase and on the mantle, these measured 16″ from the mantle to the tallest bit of flower – in this case, that was one of the leafs.

Check back tomorrow to see how the tulip dance is going!!


I completely pigged out on Chinese take-away tonight. I mean completely pigged out. I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty site to watch me wolf down so very much monosodium glutamate laden food. But whatever, I have a happy belly for it so that’s all that matters.

Well, that and the fact that in my piggy-ness I enjoyed not one but two fortune cookies. Which means two fortunes. Yay!

Fortune #1:

You would prosper in the field of medicine.”

(Totally not buying into that one, sorry.)

Fortune #2:

Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you.”

So, Tuesday, July 6, 2010 should be a good day. I wonder what the good things could be?

I wait with bated (not baited) breath…

Words I hate; Part I

I love words. When strung together properly they can be so powerful. Without words there would be no poetry, no musical lyrics, no mindless blogs…

But some words make me cringe because of their ambiguous nature. Words that mean two things can be especially angering to me when there is no clear way of knowing which meaning is being used. There are some words that you can figure out by context. You won’t easily confuse the word “tire” in the following two sentences:

“If you keep running around like that you will tire out before the party.”

“We need to pull over because we have a flat tire.”

But what about bi-monthly? The definition can be “every two months” or “twice a month”. So, how do you know?

“It’s a bi-monthly magazine subscription.”

Does that mean that I get a copy of the magazine twice a month or every other month? It’s quite unclear. It’s the same question with bi-weekly and bi-annual.

Is that two meetings a week or one meeting every other week? Are there 6 or 24 bottles of wine in that club offer? Do I have to have those medical tests twice a year or every two years?

You can see the problem here, right?

And we wonder why so many people shy from learning English when they immigrate to America. (Which is a separate rant all together, siding with non-English speakers in a Devil’s Advocate kind of role.)


Jokes we thought were funny

Paul and I liked to say things that were 100% accurate, but would easily be taken as meaning something completely different than the truth. The reactions we got from people made us giggle.

  1. My first wife/husband…
    We would drop that into a conversation quite randomly as in “My first husband used to own that CD.” People who knew me (or thought they knew me) were always shocked thinking that I’d been married and divorced without them ever knowing – when in reality, Paul was the first husband I was talking about.
  2. A woman in your condition…
    Paul loved to say this within earshot of my family and friends! “A woman in your condition shouldn’t be mowing the lawn,” would be a normal situation, and it was generally because I was meant to be resting/taking it easy because of an illness – not because of pregnancy. But you know what people were thinking…
  3. I’m in love with a married woman/man…
    When friends would gather and start telling their deepest, darkest secrets, I’d pop in with “I’m madly in love with a married man.” Oh, the looks on their faces when I went on to talk about spending weekends away with this married man!

Yeah, we were so weird…

And don’t worry, I will come up with more ridiculous things to say to make me giggle. It’s what I do.

Right on red

I like to think of myself as a calm driver; defensive but certainly not aggressive. Though maybe I’m a bit passive-aggressive at times. The whole “right on red” thing gets me riled up at times, causing those passive-aggressive tendencies to come out and play.

First, to answer the question you may be asking yourself, a “right on red” is a traffic law that allows a driver to make a right-hand turn on a red light after first coming to a full stop – if it is safe to do so and there are no signs prohibiting it at that light.* (Think turning left on a red light in the UK.)

This is an option, not a mandatory maneuver. And an option I really like. However, I err on the side of caution and only proceed when there is a very clear path. I feel that it’s rude for me to take a quick right on red if it means that other cars proceeding through the intersection on a green light would have to break or slow down in any manner.

But from time-to-time I get someone behind me who will start honking their horn, flashing their lights, or gesturing frantically for me to take that right turn. This hurried attitude makes me decide that I will wait. And wait. And wait. Until the light turns green. Because that’s what passive-aggressive people do. And I do it with a smug smile on my face.

It is my right to forgo the option of turning right on red. And if you want to see just how stubborn I can be, test me on this. Or ride my tail when I’m already going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit and see just how close to the speed limit I can get without going under.

Rant over. For now.

*See the Washington State drivers’ guide for clarity. Not all states allow this maneuver.

Two truths and a lie

Several years ago I was asked to tell two truths and a lie; a silly game, but one that seems come up again from time-to-time. Anyhow, in reading through a very old blog of mine, I ran across a post with two truths and a lie.

If you know me, you probably know the stories for the two truths and therefore know the lie… If you don’t know me, well, happy guessing!

  1. I once got a ticket for 104 mph in a 65 zone
  2. I once got out of a ticket, and ended up with a date
  3. I once got a ticket for running a red light

And for those who know the answer to that set, here’s a second set for you to ponder:

  1. I once sang on stage with Pat Benatar as part of the opening act for the Steve Millar Band
  2. I played alto sax with a small jazz ensemble when I was in my early 20s
  3. I played First Chair clarinet in school

Thirty-three paper clips

I had a sudden urge to go upstairs and open the footlocker in one of the guest rooms. It is full of memories from high school (oh, the photos that I’ll never share!) and I thought that I’d try to find an example of how tragically dreadful my writing was way-back-when.

Anyhow, the writing was so bad that I couldn’t bring myself to share it here. (Which really says a lot, considering what I DO share.) But I did enjoy the little trip down memory lane… again, some memories I just can’t bring myself to share.

But I also found a small white box tied with a brown ribbon. I didn’t recall what was in it, so I untied it and removed the lid. There I found a note, dated June 1989, written on half a dollar bill that read:

Don’t forget this memory. It’s part of our future.

The only other thing in the box was a large safety pin that secured 33 colored, vinyl-coated paper clips: One blue; one purple; two red; three black; three green; six white; six pink; and 11 yellow.

But here’s the thing: I know who it’s from, but I don’t know why. I have no memory of this – but am quite certain that it was meant for me, based on who signed the note.

Is there a clue in the fact that it’s a bunch of paper clips? In the number of paper clips? In the color assortment of paper clips? Or is it simply some random bit of nothingness that doesn’t mean a thing today, and probably didn’t mean a thing more than 20 years ago when the note was written?

This is why we shouldn’t keep crap like that. Some future generation may find it and think that it holds vital clues to the survival of civilization as we know it. What a wild goose chase that would be…

The great clean out

I don’t “do” makeup. It’s too much of a hassle and I just can’t be arsed to mess with the junk. However, I do own a small amount of the stuff. Mostly old stuff; mostly seldom used. This isn’t a secret, and several friends (who have more makeup in their handbags than I own all together) have let me know on several occasions that it’s not OK to keep the stuff so long. Apparently, makeup has expiry dates just like eggs and milk. Who knew?

In an effort to de-clutter, I’ve decided to finally clear out all of that old makeup once and for all. And, because I’m sure you care, I’m going to let you know just what sort of makeup I’m talking about! (Yay!)

  • Cover Girl powder stuff
    Given to me in 2001 by my Aunt Stephanie, and never used. Not even once.
    Recommended shelf life: Two years
  • Almay Intense i-Color eye shadow trio (Color: “Trio for Greens”)
    Purchased in 1995; Last used: November 28, 2009
    Recommended shelf life: Up-to three years
  • Cover Girl eye shadow (Color: “Plum Fairy”)
    Purchased in 1994; Last used: Your guess is as good as mine.
    Recommended shelf life: Up-to three years
  • Garden Botanica lip crayon (Color: “Amethyst”)
    Purchased in 1992 and used regularly. The company is no longer in business and I’ve been searching for years to find a comparable product.
    Recommended shelf life: One-two years
  • Trish McEvoy lip crayon (Color: “Nude”)
    Purchased in 2006; Last used: November 28, 2009
    Recommended shelf life: One-two years
  • Burt’s Bee lipstick (Color: “Honesty”)
    Purchased in 1999; Last used: Your guess is as good as mine. The company no longer makes this product. I wonder when they stopped.
    Recommended shelf life: One-two years
  • Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
    Purchased sometime in 2009; Last used: Within the last hour
    Recommended shelf life: 18-24 months
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (Color: “Fig”)
    Purchased February 2010; Last used: Within the last week
    Recommended shelf life: 18-24 months
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (Color: “Watermelon”)
    Purchased Summer 2001; Last used: Last summer
    Recommended shelf life: 18-24 months
  • Sister Moon Spa’s Cucumber Melon lip balm
    A gift received in February 2010; Last used: Last week
    Recommended shelf life: 18-24 months

Now that I’ve tossed the old stuff, I own the following:

  • Garden Botanica lip crayon (Color: “Amethyst”)
  • Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (Color: “Fig”)
  • Sister Moon Spa’s Cucumber Melon lip balm


I don’t know if I need more than that, but I might look for a new eye shadow set one day. After all, that’s something that I’ll wear once or twice a year… If I can be bothered.

Are you sorry that you started reading this entry? What a snooze-fest, huh?

In (bad) style

Oh my goodness gracious me! My parents sent me home with an old scrap book of mine and I just had to share this awful picture. What the heck was I thinking?

So, what information about me can you gather from this photo?

  • I was friends with Shirley at the time, as that’s her kitchen
  • I was 16 years old
  • Wearing spandex under torn and tattered jeans with over-sized sweaters was my style of the day (though not necessarily THE style of the day)
  • I had already bought my way-awesome brown leather jacket (Which I ceased wearing after a weekend softball tourney in my early 20s when it got completely soaked and damaged. This was a good thing.)
  • I was still on speaking terms with “V”, as that’s his skull-and-bones ring on a chain around my neck
  • I was still being courted by “J”, as the flowers were from him
  • I had way-awesome hair with my way-cool “wave” bangs
  • I used to sport extremely large glasses – ugg!
  • My nick-name at the time was “Jazz” because of my musical preferences and because I played clarinet in the school’s jazz band

This is one of the less embarrassing photos. Maybe I’ll share more from the scrap book later – if I can stop laughing long enough to use the scanner again!

Greener grass

As I turn on the “Out of Office” reply for my work email, I have to giggle. I’m so excited to be on two weeks’ holiday, but what am I really getting? Two weeks where there will be no work? Two weeks of work that will just vanish from my workload? No. I’m getting a two week deferment – and hardly that since I will be checking my email and working on content planning for an upcoming project the entire time I’m out of the office. The work still needs to get done and it will all be there waiting for me upon my return.

Before I went to university I worked as a waitress and in customer service. Those were great jobs because when you clocked out, that was it. You were off the clock and you didn’t need to worry about table 12 waiting for their Cottage Burger and fries – whoever had the swing shift would deal with it for you. And when you took a vacation, you certainly weren’t stressed about how many tables would be waiting for you when you returned.

Of course, before going to university I struggled to pay the bills and certainly couldn’t have taken a holiday in the first instance. Heck, I could barely afford to eat back then! Now, the bills get paid and I have enough money left over to travel the world… And eating? I’m not struggling in that department!

So, I’ll stop bitching that I have to work on my holiday. Especially since I really do like my job! (And I’m on holiday! You can’t bitch when you’re on holiday!)