January 22, 2022

Saturday 9: I'm the Only One

Saturday 9: I'm the Only One (1993)

Join the fun here. Thanks to Sam for the music and questions.

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) Melissa Etheridge sings this song as though her heart is breaking. What's your favorite love song? Is it about falling in love, being in love, or losing love? I am not typically drawn to "love songs", but I absolutely adore the entire soundtrack to 1998's Parent Trap, which ranks in my top 5 most romantic movies of all time. I can't choose just one so here are a few.

L-O-V-E by Nat King Cole

This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) by Natalie Cole

I Love You for Sentimental Reasons by Linda Ronstadt

2) "I'm the Only One" is a favorite song of American Idol contestants, having been performed four different times. If we were to have a Saturday 9 karaoke night, what song would you do?  Yikes! Since anything I sing sounds like the caterwauling of an anxiety ridden cat, I wouldn't be participating. However, if my fairy godmother showed up and gave me a decent voice, I'd probably do something fun for everyone to sing along with like one of these.

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond

Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker

Piano Man by Billy Joel

3) A rocker at heart, Melissa Etheridge began her career in her teen years, playing with local country groups. Which do you enjoy more: country or rock?  I'm not locked into any one genre. I enjoy all kinds of music and move in and out of phases where I'm more in the mood for one than the other.

4) In 1985, Melissa sent a demo to Olivia Records, hoping for a record deal. She was rejected. Her debut CD was released in 1988 on the Island label and went gold. Tell us about a time you bounced back from professional adversity.  My boss at the nursing home was absolutely dreadful. I loved the job, but could not deal with her constant criticisms and put downs. I tried dropping back to part time hours so I would only have to work in the memory care unit and not see her, but then the home had financial problems and the pandemic came along and that wasn't going to remain the case...so I left. I took a little over a year off and now I have a fun job that I love. **Just to note, I recently learned the woman was fired. 

5) In her personal life, Melissa has faced major challenges, including breast cancer and the death of her son. She credits music with helping her heal emotionally. What gives you strength?  My relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

6) Melissa is a vegetarian, so her diet emphasizes plant-based foods like fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables. What was your most recent meal? Would it qualify as vegetarian?  No vegetarians here, though sometimes in the summer when produce is fresh I will make a meat-free meal. Last night's meal was beef rice with ground beef, mushrooms, and a few veggies thrown in.

7) In 1993, the year this song was popular, a massive storm dropped a record 56" of snow in Mount Le Conte, TN. Have you done much shoveling this winter?  Not too much. We've only had one big snow so far. I remember the winter of '92-'93. We got hit hard here. Everyone talks about the blizzard of '93, but we were hit worse a few months earlier in December of '92. My town made the national news as the epicenter of a "perfect storm." We got more than 3 feet of snow in less than 24 hours. My husband was at work and his employer sent a crew and machines to help dig the town out. He didn't come home for 3 days. There was so much snow there was no place to put it. They had to put it in big trucks and haul it away to dump. Thankfully, our power stayed on because I was stranded at home with a 6 year old and a 4 month old baby.

8) One of the most popular movies of 1993 was A Few Good Men, starring Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Jack Nicholson, who famously said, "You can't handle the truth!" What's the most recent movie you watched?  At the theater it was the new Spiderman movie with a client. At home it was Olympus Has Fallen which is one of Tim's favorites.

9) Random question: Dessert is on us! Describe your perfect ice cream sundae.  Vanilla ice cream, warm butterscotch topping, no whipped cream, but extra maraschino cherries.

January 21, 2022


My blogging mojo seems to be missing in action at the moment. January and February are always such "meh" months here in southwestern Pennsylvania. Everything is gray and dreary with the sun missing in action more days than not. I don't suffer from SAD, at least not since I started taking massive daily doses of vitamin D3 several years ago, but I'm not particularly motivated to write, either. Even so, I think I can manage an update via the
Currently format. So, here we go.

The weather: clear skies tonight with the temperature coming in at about 10*. I do believe Friday's forecast predicts a struggle to raise the mercury to 20*.

Finished reading: A Conventional Corpse, A Claire Malloy Mystery by Joan Hess. This was a reread, though not on purpose. There are quite a few books in the series and I haven't read them all. I picked up a few at Goodwill earlier in the month. I hope they won't all be rereads. (By the way, if you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, you would probably like this series. Joan Hess is pretty funny.)

Watching: I finally got caught up on Virgin River, but I've been leaving the remote in Tim's hands lately so I've "watched" lots of action type films. Some were not bad. Some...well, those are hours I'll never get back.

Thinking about: What I need to do the next couple of days. Tim's half-aunt (I don't know if that's a thing, but she was his dad's half-sister and a year younger than Tim's oldest sister)...anyway, she passed away yesterday. At one time she and I were very close and we pretty much raised our kids together, but once they were grown we kind of drifted apart. I tried for years to stay in touch, but she had health issues (and perhaps a few mental ones) and she never returned calls and always had excuses for not doing anything if I did get through to her. In recent years when I'd see her she was so heavily medicated she wasn't really with it. It's sad, really. 

We will attend the viewing tomorrow evening and on Saturday the only one of Tim's sisters that is in the area and I will go to the funeral.

Megan and I went shopping last night and delivered a big load of quick, easy to grab food to the family and offered our condolences. 

Cooking: Lots of heartier, comfort type foods can be found in the kitchen lately: roasts, mashed potatoes and gravy; chicken noodle soup; stuffed peppers with mashed potatoes; my doctored up version of beef fried rice...

So, yeah...lots of calories and we're eating too much cause it's too cold to go outside for long. It's the usual winter hibernation pattern. Eat too much, move too little.

Work: Yeah, I'm not even doing much of that between the bad weather, clients cancelling because of illness or fear of the cold and weather, and one client whose mother (who probably would have qualified for the programs the agency offers had they existed when she was younger) tends to forget about my scheduled appointments and takes her son off to do something else and doesn't cancel. I'm starting to get everyone back on track and I do have to work tomorrow and then again on Saturday afternoon.

That's about all that's going on around here. What's happening in your part of the world?

January 13, 2022

Thankful Thursday

Good morning! It's time once again for Thankful Thursday and I am linking up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand. Life has been pretty good around here and there is much to be thankful for, so let's get to the list!

This week I am thankful...

** neither the snow or the rain lasted very long and both yesterday and today we enjoyed fairly mild weather for this time of year. I'm enjoying it while it lasts because a blast of cold arctic air is heading this way again.

** for mugs of steaming hot cinnamon tea with French vanilla creamer.

** my Bible study group ended a 10 year run on a high note last night. We met to share our words for the year, the accompanying scriptures, and pray for the Lord's blessings on the new year and all of us as we begin a new season in our spiritual lives.

** the new stove is a dream to cook on and in. All the burners work! The oven heats up quickly! And the temperature seems to be spot on. And it just looks so much better than the old one.

** I've started to use Goodreads again. I am determined to read more (and be online less) and keep track of it this year.

** Tim was off all of this past weekend and got in some good Pappy time with Colton and Leah. Saturday we had them all morning. We played games until they got hungry, had lunch at Eat 'n' Park, and finally took them to Goodwill and let them each choose one "new" toy to keep at our house. They love doing that.

I went to church on Sunday, but Colton came over to hang out with Pappy and they had a grand time playing games. Megan and Leah came over after I got home and I made pierogies and kielbasa for everyone. Comfort food on a cold, rainy day was just right.

** The pain in Tim's side continues to be gone.

** I attended my first annual business meeting at the church. It was like no church meeting I've ever been to. Information was communicated and accepted. Not a single argument or endless round and round discussion about anything!

** the church, though small, has been blessed and every ministry came in under budget for 2021. Between that and some gifts the general account doubled in size.

** our pastor is an amazing, godly man. Someone did ask why he didn't receive a raise and the answer...he was offered one and refused it because he and his family just don't need more. Wow.

** for Jasper's increasing cuddliness...though it can be annoying when I am trying to type or read as he is not happy unless he is draped across my chest or making biscuits on me, purring loudly all the while.

Not so much for his new discovery that he can jump up to places he has no business being. 

A funny story. The other morning I was rushing around, getting ready to leave for work and I switched on the bedroom light to find something...only to find no lights. Was the power out? A quick check around the house proved that wasn't the case. A tripped breaker? Nope. Then it dawned on me. I pulled the light chain on the ceiling fan and we had light. The little stinker had apparently jumped up and pulled the chain!

** for my cozy home, fuzzy socks, and flannel pj's now that winter has arrived with it's cold temperatures and howling winds.

** for my family, my relationship with the Lord, and all that he blesses us with.

** of course, for all of you!

January 7, 2022

Saturday 9: Moody Blue

Okay, I'm going to take a chance and play along with Sam and the gang at the Saturday 9, but don't hate me if I don't get around to visit everyone...or anyone. Ever since our daughter used my laptop on Thursday to download a resume for someone, it has been torturously slow. I have a feeling a trip to the repair shop is in the immediate future.

Cross your fingers I can get through this!

Saturday 9: Moody Blue (1977)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) This song was recorded in the special studio Elvis had built in the Jungle Room of Graceland. During the pandemic, have you made like Elvis and worked from home?  No. For the first year and a half I didn't work. The job I have now is not one I'm able to do from home, though I do bring one client to spend time at the house.

2) Elvis sings that his girl is completely unpredictable. Which quality to you find more attractive: spontaneity or dependability?  It's good to be able to be spontaneous and fun, but flying by the seat of one's pants all the time would get old rather quickly, I think. In the long run, I'd rather have someone I can depend on.

3) He only performed the song once in concert. In February 1977, shortly after the record was released, Elvis sang "Moody Blue" live in Charlotte, NC, but had to rely on lyric sheet. Crazy Sam can sympathize because she seems to forget passwords as soon as she sets them. Do you often struggle with your memory?  Mostly just when it comes to names. I've never been good at remembering names and now that I'm closing in on 60 I've noticed it's worse than ever. And it's very annoying.

4) "Moody Blue" was the final hit of Elvis' lifetime, only getting to #31 in the US but reaching #3 in the UK. What's your favorite Elvis song?  It's a tie between


5) We're focusing on Elvis this week because January 8 would be his 87th birthday. He enjoyed celebrating his birthday by renting the Memphis movie theater and watching the latest movie with an invited group of friends. What's your favorite way to celebrate your birthday?  Hmm...I don't know. My family wasn't one for making a big deal of birthdays and I don't think Tim's was, either, because doesn't pay much attention. Dinner with friends and family or going somewhere would be good, I think.

6) For his 11th birthday, young Elvis asked for a rifle or a bicycle. His mother deemed the gun too dangerous and the bike too expensive and instead gave her son his first guitar. Tell us about a memorable birthday from your youth.  The only one I remember was the white and lime green Schwin Stingray bike I got for my 7th birthday. It had the high handlebars, a sparkly green banana seat, and sparkly white and green streamers on the handlebars. I loved that bike! I have tried to find a picture of it online, but have never found anything close. It must have been some sort of special edition or promotional thing because it was not part of Schwin's regular line.

7) Elvis loved horses and kept them in the stable at Graceland. His favorite was a palomino named Rising Sun. To honor both horse and rider, Elvis' daughter has always kept a palomino in the stable whose name includes "sun." The current resident is Tuscan Sun. Known as "Tucky," he's lived at Graceland for more than 20 years now and is a favorite of Alene Alexander, who maintains the stable and reports he has "attitude and knows he's prettier than everybody else." Tell us about an animal who holds a place in your heart.  While I love our current pets, Daisy and Jasper, the one who will always be the one was our Beagle/Basset Hound mix, Elvis ('cause he wasn't nothing but a hound dog). There was something special about him. He had such a calming, comforting effect on everyone. If we had known what to do, he would have been an amazing therapy dog. I know I cried gallons of tears on his soft ears and our daughter credits his presence with keeping her from totally giving in to despair during her late teens and early 20's. I agree that he did. We were devastated when we lost him.

8) Throughout his life, Elvis had trouble sleeping. As a preteen, he was a sleepwalker. As an adult, he battled insomnia. Is sleep an issue for you?  It never used to be, but for the last 10 years or so it's been rare that I sleep more than 6 hours a night. It doesn't matter how tired I am, I just can't sleep longer. In the last 2-3 years I've started having trouble falling asleep to begin with and usually take a sleeping pill that sometimes helps, sometimes doesn't.

9) Random question: Do you wear your shoes in the house?  No. I always wear slippers in the house. To my dismay my husband tends to wear his work boots in the house if he's going to be in and out rather than tying and untying them. It's an annoyance...especially during wet, muddy seasons.

January 6, 2022

2022's First Thankful Thursday

Well, here we are, the first Thankful Thursday of 2022 with 51 more to go. After the past two years, one has to wonder what the year will bring. From the looks of the evening news there are still plenty of ridiculously awful, painful, trying things hanging around for another year or getting ready to rear their heads for the first time. I believe we are going to need to focus on the good things more than ever.

So, here is my first list of things I am feeling thankful to have been blessed by in the past week. 

1. We enjoyed a blessed and peaceful Christmas and New Year. Tim took the time off and we spent a lot of time just relaxing. We tackled a few neglected jobs around the house and shopped for and purchased our Christmas present to ourselves...a new stove, in which the oven can function as a regular oven, a convection oven, or an air-fryer!

2. The pain in Tim's side that has been bothering him for a couple of months has been absent the past few days. It occurred to me that at some point someone had mentioned a cyst on his kidney and now I am wondering if it grew and then broke, much like the cysts on ovaries will do. Still no word from the urologist. I'm pushing Tim to call her again this week.

3. I didn't get around to scheduling any clients for today and I'm glad I didn't. It is COLD and windy out there and snow is on the way this afternoon.

4. Jasper continues to grow and learn to behave a bit more. He's still a kitten at four months and has his share of moments, but he's more cuddly, too. It's fun to have him around (most of the time). We do have to shut him out of the bedroom at night in order to get any sleep.

5. My church is going to host a one-day marriage conference on February 12. I am on the committee that is planning it. We had a meeting last night and it's so cool to see it all coming together. It's really going to be very good. I have missed engaging in this sort of service and am so glad to be in a church and have the opportunity again.

6. My biological father welcomed the new year in from a hospital bed with a collapsed lung. As far as anyone can figure it came about because his lungs have some previous damage and then he used his CPAP machine for the first time in a long time. Fortunately, the lung reinflated easily and there were no further problems so he was able to go home on Monday.

7. I finally got to eat at the Guy Fieri's restaurant in the casino at our local mall. I've wanted to go since it opened. It wasn't what I expected. I thought it would be a showcase of his gourmet cooking, but it is pretty much all sandwiches. Tim and I both had a cheesesteak hoagie and I will say it was the best one I've ever had. Anyway, I got to go so I can check that off the list.

8. We went to the casino for a little while with friends on New Year's Eve. We don't spend much (usually no more than $20-$30 each), but I walked out with $133. Woot!

9. We are all in good health as we begin the new year.

10. Some things never change. I am still thankful for all of you.

January 2, 2022

There Is a Time to Dance

Christmas is over and packed away, the new year has arrived, Tim's vacation time has ended, and life goes back to normal tomorrow. That must mean it's time to reveal my new word for the year. 

In 2020 my word was "abide." I wanted to learn to truly abide in God. Little did I know that He was going to provide me with ample time to do just that by allowing a little virus to shut down the planet. In some ways 2020 wasn't the best of years (to say the least), but learning to abide in God helped me get through it all with what I hope was a lot of grace given...to others and to myself.

In 2021, I felt like God was leading me to the word "abundance." I wasn't sure what that was going to mean. I wasn't expecting to win the lottery or anything like that. And I didn't. Ha! But I was blessed in so many ways, most notably with a new job and a new church. Life has been full and good.

As 2022 approached, I tried out a lot of words, but somehow, none of them felt quite right. Then a post on Facebook gripped me and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. My own thoughts, studies, and devotions seemed to be confirming it and then this morning the sermon at church sealed the deal.

I give to you my word for the year 2022...DANCE.

Why "dance?" Let me share that Facebook post.

When I meditated on the word Guidance, I kept seeing 'dance' at the end of the word. I remembered reading that doing God's will is a lot like dancing. When two people try to lead, nothing feels right. The movement doesn't flow with the music, and everything is quite uncomfortable and jerky. When one person realizes that and lets the other lead, both bodies begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It's as if two become one body, moving beautifully. The dance takes surrender, willingness, and attentiveness from one person and gentle guidance and skill from the other.

My eyes drew back to the word Guidance. When I saw 'G' I thought of God, followed by 'u' and 'i'. God u and i dance--God you and I dance.

Isn't that the most beautiful, comforting thought...that we are engaged in a dance with God and the more attuned we become to him, the more we give up the need to be in control, the more we follow his lead, the more the music will flow and the more fluid and beautiful the dance will become.

It also occurred to me that the more I practice 'dancing' with God and the better I get at it, the more his music will fill my heart and make me want to dance and praise his name!

My prayer for you in 2022-

I hope you dance!

December 31, 2021

Saturday 9: The Promise of a New Day

Saturday 9: The Promise of a New Day (1991)

Hello and happy new year! This is my first post since before Christmas. I feel like I've been gone for ages and ages. How is everyone? Were your Christmases wonderful? I do hope they were. I also hope and pray that your new year is filled with blessings and joy beyond compare.

Now, with thanks to Sam @ Saturday 9 for the music and questions, let's get on with the show!

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
Welcome to the first Saturday 9 of 2022.

1) In this song, Paula Abdul celebrates the promise of a new day. Here at Saturday 9, we're celebrating the promise of a new year. What do you hope 2022 will bring?  An end to the pandemic and lives put on hold...an end to all the hatred and division along political, racial, and vaccine lines...health and unspeakable joy for all my family and friends.
2) She sings that we should see the wisdom from mistakes of the past. What wisdom did you gain in 2021?  Life is lived and ends in the blink of an eye, so appreciate every minute, let go of the crap, forgive more, and love more.
3) What is something you'd like to spend more time doing in 2022?  Eating better and exercising.
4) Paula Abdul was once a "Laker Girl" and performed at L.A. Laker games. Do you have a favorite NBA team?  Nope
5) In 2009, she hosted RAH!, an elite cheer leading competition.  Do you remember any cheers from your school years?  A couple. One from when I was a midget cheerleader and some from high school pep rallies.

6) While famous for performing, Paula has arguably been more successful for her work behind the scenes, winning an Emmy for her choreography. Are you comfortable being the center of attention? Or would you rather work behind the scenes?  It totally depends on the situation and what's going on, what I'm doing, and who is paying attention. I'd be okay in some situations, but not in a lot more.
7) She taught actor Val Kilmer how to dance for his role as Jim Morrison in the biopic The Doors. What talent, knowledge or advice have you recently shared?  Earlier this week a small group of women from the church met to discuss what we can do as a church to meet the needs of seniors who are alone and/or isolated. We all shared ideas and experiences.

8) Paula was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2005 and uses a prescription biologic every day to help her cope with pain in her toes. On your last trip to the drug store, did you pick up a prescription, or something else?  The last trip? Tim got a sample of some new CBD capsules and I got fuzzy socks.

9) Random question: You have been house-hunting for months. You finally find your dream home and are just about to say "yes" when you spot a mouse scurrying across the floor. Would you take the house anyway?  I would probably ask a few more questions and have it checked out. As long as the walls are full of them I'd probably still buy the house. There are ways to take care of the mice.

Saturday 9: I'm the Only One

Saturday 9: I'm the Only One (1993) Join the fun here . Thanks to Sam for the music and questions. Unfamiliar with this week's tune?...