Thursday, June 26, 2008

Daisy, Daisy -- jcarolek

Last night, after finishing up at the office, I returned to my hotel room. Within minutes my friend's husband called, telling me that Chris had instructed him to pick me up and bring me home with him...we were going to play, sing and eat... I had to laugh. I had told this co-worker friend of mine that I was going to be in her neck of the woods for a few days and had given her my "possible" available times to get together. She decided she would take all three of those times! And last night was the first.

So just at 6PM i jumped into the car and Doug drove us to their house. We had another wonderful evening...eating, talking and telling stories, listening to Trevor (their seven year old) recount his field trip where he got to hold an exotic.....COCKROACH (LOL). We eventually retired to the living room, where Doug and I played and sang, while Chris and Trevor mellowed, Trevor falling asleep to the song I had learned for him...the one his mother sang to him when he was a baby in the neonatal unit..."I Will" by

Sunday, June 22, 2008

From a Distance -- jcarolek

When my daughter was in fourth grade, she sang in the school's annual talent show. The song she sang was the Bette Midler one, "From a Distance." Her voice was clear and strong and the auditorium of parents and family members actually hushed....
"From a distance the world looks blue and green,
and the snow-capped mountains white.
From a distance the ocean meets the stream,
and the eagle takes to flight.

From a distance, there is harmony,
and it echoes through the land.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Taming jungles -- jcarolek

I might as well admit it now. I like yard work. I like digging and growing and mowing and pretty much all of it. But one thing I find particularly enticing is what I call the "taming of the jungle." Left to its own devices, my "yard" would swallow my house whole in just a couple of years. Let's face it, the little patch of clearing upon which my house was erected, used to be just more of the same woodland that still makes up almost 7 acres of my property.

So, every spring or early summer, I pull out my trusty little electric lawn mower, the one that I have totally abused for six years now and it STILL has not even whimpered,

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Impatience -- jcarolek

Impatiens are one to the easiest flowers to grow around here. Once planted, they pretty well tend to themselves, with the occasional gift of water from mother nature or the garden hose. And they produce a lovely flower, bright, and cheery. Summertime in my garden abounds with these insignificant little flowers which gather, in true congregational manner, to present an eye-catching effect.... but we aren't there yet, and I am growing impatient!

Another week away from home, on the road for my "real job," has me chomping at the bit to get outside,

Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Sometimes Artist -- jcarolek

I was looking through some photos my niece took during our recent visit at my dad's. One is of Dad singing with me, and that is something sweet in and of itself. But I noticed in the picture, a picture hanging on the wall. This black and white oil painting is always a special one to me.

When I was 10, 11, 12...somewhere in that age bracket, I was a would-be artist. I loved to draw and I also loved to paint. I had taken up painting with oils on canvas, inspired by my granddad, whose many oil paintings adorned the walls

Friday, June 6, 2008

Leaving Florida -- jcarolek

In a few hours I will be leaving Florida, having had a successful trip, both business-wise and recreationally. I enjoyed meeting a fellow blogger for supper on Wednesday night, and yesterday I took the opportunity to drive up to Tallahassee to visit my brother. I had not been back to Tallahassee in at least 14 years and let me tell you, things have changed!

The five hour drive each way was well worth the time and effort. I was treated to the grand tour of Tim's home, currently under serious remodel (a perpetual state for my brother) and got to visit with him over supper. We "caught up" on

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Slow, but steady -- jcarolek

Tonight I was a little late getting to my dinner engagement, where I was to meet tj, a lovely young woman I met here on the blogs, and had the opportunity to meet tonight in person. She was, as she had promised she would be, patiently waiting. I had to run back to the car as soon as I touched base with her, because I wanted to get my capture a new/old friend in real life. We had about half an hour to get acquainted outside of the restaurant as we waited for our number to be called, indicating our table was ready.

I was thrilled to meet tj. She wanted to know if I was surprised by how well she spoke, and I answered truthfully. Nope, not surprised at all. I found her to be exactly

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I have to go to the bathroom NOW!!! -- jcarolek

As I sat in the Atlanta airport this afternoon, awaiting my connecting flight to Melbourne, FL, a woman and her three young children sat down beside me. The two eldest were boys, and typical of such creatures, spent the better part of the hour plus wait, aggravating each other. Meanwhile, the youngest, a little four year old girl, natural restlessness augmented with soda and Starburst candy, spun and rolled in the chairs, legs in the air, shirt pulled up to her armpits, skirt whirling about, as mom tried to tame her. She was a bundle of energy and a vocal one at that. Somehow I knew, I JUST knew, these were destined to be on the same plane to Melbourne, and would be seated in close proximity to me.

I was not wrong. I was in the very last row and

Monday, June 2, 2008

Stamps and Burl Ives -- jcarolek

I've always been a "busy" person. As far back as I can recall, I was doing something, filling every free moment with activity. I can honestly say it has been the rare occasion that I have actually experienced boredom. Of course, as a kid, Mom and Dad made certain we had plenty of chores to fill the hours that might otherwise lead to boredom, and with six kids in the family, there were always games and battles to be won and fought.

But I also had my "special" interests that were mine alone and to which I devoted many hours. One of my favorite pastimes was my stamp collecting. Now, admittedly, this sounds like a dreadfully dull pastime for a young girl, but the stamps from around the world fascinated me. As I lay on my belly

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Four children, $468 parking and a copperhead -- jcarolek

Saturday was another busy one for me. I wrapped up my work in southern CA, did just a wee bit of sightseeing and then made my way to the San Diego airport. As things happen in my life, so it was Saturday. I did not check my flight schedule before packing up my computer, confident that my memory was reliable for the information stored more than two weeks ago. In my mind, my flight was a USAir flight leaving San Diego for Dulles at 11:00 PM PDT. So, I set out with plenty of time to return my rental car, grab the shuttle to the terminal, check my single bag (my overstuffed backpack),