Sunday, April 25, 2010

Do you really have to block the aisle while talking on your cell phone?

Cell phones have been a part of our society for a number of years now, and it's quite common to see people doing all sorts of mundane activities while carrying on a conversation. I am generally not bothered by people using their cell phones in public places, but yesterday I had one too many encounters with a cell-phone user.

I was doing our weekly shopping at our local super-store. They have recently made changes to ensure that the aisles are wide enough for two carts to pass and not have displays set up that you have to manuever around. I had less than 20 items on my list and I knew which aisles I needed to go on... a total of six aisles. And wouldn't you know it? On all six aisles, there was at least one individual standing in the middle, blocking the way, talking on her cell phone (yes, they happened to all be women). Is it really necessary to be using your phone while selecting the type of soup you want? Or the flavor of juice? What about which frozen pizza? I can see if you've called to confirm that your spouse wants the supreme and not the four-cheese, but come on... even if you're checking your list, you don't have to stand in the middle of the aisle, not moving, blocking the way for everyone else.

Move along people!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A quote from Queen Latifah

"As long as God puts breath in your body, you have the opportunity to
do something great, something special, and something new every day." ~
Queen Latifah

I heard her say this on today's episode of The Martha Stewart Show,
and it struck a chord with me. How many opportunities do we miss
because we're not looking for them? Or because we don't recognize
them for what they are?

Something great, something special doesn't have to be something that
everyone else sees... You get to decide what it is!

So take a deep breath and go find your something great!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Corner at a Time

I like the idea of spring cleaning. It's the implementation that I have trouble with, yet every now and then, I have time, energy, and supplies on hand to do a mini-spring-clean. This morning was one of those times, and the target of my attention was the corner of the room where our desk is.

A couple of years ago, we had cleaned out and organized everything inside the desk, and that's been well-maintained, so it was only the top of the desk and behind and underneath that needed attention. Dust had accumulated pretty thickly on the wood in the knee-hole, and the baseboards both behind and to the side of the desk were breeding dust-bunnies as well.

The desk sits at a window which often affords the entertainment of squirrels and birds at play between our house and the neighbor's. We have a beautiful azalea bush full of blossoms this spring. But the window is also near a bathroom, and the moisture from there creates an ick-factor on the window edges. Ay yi yi. I should look at that more often. The blinds were full of dust as was the window ledge that we use as a shelf for the desk.

I found my Nintendo DS and believe it or not, both of my games were still in their cases beneath it. They hadn't been swiped by the children! I am charging it up now so I can see how things are going in my Animal Crossing town. I'm certain there is a lot of spring cleaning to do there, as well.

So I cleared the desk off, filed papers in either their appropriate folder, the recycle bag, or the shredder, dusted everything and placed things back neatly and in order. I scrubbed the baseboards and the windowsill. I dusted the walls all the way up to the ceiling. It's amazing how even walls collect dust!

And now I'm posting this to my blog. I have plenty of room on the desktop, I can see the beautiful azaleas out the window, and just enjoying this corner that's spring-clean!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Sights, Sounds, and Smells of Spring

I believe Spring has finally arrived in our part of the U.S. Azaleas are in full bloom, vehicles are covered in a fine film of pollen, and the sky is that beautiful shade of blue you only see after the dreary days of winter.

Mornings are filled with the sounds of birds calling, interrupted occasionally by the whoosh of hot air balloons floating over the house. Afternoons are filled with the roar of the lawn mowers and the nursery songs blaring from the ice cream truck.

Evenings are filled with the aroma of dinner - some wafting through open windows and others drifting over from the backyard grills. The smells of chicken and steak, hamburgers and hot dogs.

Ah, Spring!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Hammock

All week I have been eyeing the hammock in the back yard of the villa we've been at. It's in the middle of a lightly wooded area near the edge of the marsh with enough of a clearing that you can feel secluded but not isolated. I've not seen anyone using it this week which really surprised me. Our guide said there are 18 hammocks available, yet this one - and the one a little bit away - have not seen use - at least not when I've been watching from our balcony.

So today I wandered over to try it out. I've not done much hammocking in my life, if there is even such a word. But I've seen lots of episodes of Gilligan's Island and America's Funniest (Home) Videos to know that there is a trick to getting on and off a hammock and that for an inexperienced hammock-user, it's probably best to not have an audience.

Fortunately this hammock is secured with heavy chains and ropes and attached to wooden posts, so structurally the thing wasn't going anywhere. It was also positioned low enough to the ground for a shorter person such as myself to be able to just lower herself into it as if sitting on a chair. Easy as pie and no mishap!

There is something so calming and soothing about swinging in a hammock, looking straight up into the sky (just make sure to check the position of the sun before deciding which end to put your head or you might have to readjust). The pine trees surrounding my hammock were so very tall and full of pinecones. Thankfully the wind wasn't blowing, so I wasn't concerned about a stray pinecone falling on me. I could watch the birds flying over, darting here and there. I could listen to the squirrels scampering across the clearing.

Each of my children came and joined me on the hammock. It was nice to lay beside each other, with my head at one end and theirs at the other, to talk about whatever came to mind. To just be quiet together. To enjoy each other's company without distraction.

And later today, as the sun was beginning its late afternoon descent, the hammock was vacant. I took a magazine, intending to read in the quiet, cool place. But somehow the gentle swaying of the hammock rocked me to sleep.