The gift of mail

I love email. It is a way to stay connected with family. Three of my sisters are great at writing long emails detailing the adventures in their lives and includes pictures. My other sister and I send the occasional one line response, just to let them know we are alive. Or because our  mom reminds us of our manners:P

And of course at work, email helps me to avoid talking to people:D.

But there’s something special about receiving an actual letter in the mail. It’s so unexpected and rare. In fact, my parents sent a postcard from France to thank me for watching their dog. They arrived home before the card arrived. Which just made it all the more awesome.

And then there’s the other mail. The ones in brightly colored envelopes that bring cards, or evil advertisements masquerading as cards.

Which leads us to a couple days ago. I check the mail when I arrived home hoping that my children didn’t beat me to it and I discovered this:


It was a homemade Christmas card (in July). No name. No signature. Just good wishes. It made me happy. Which is why I’ll be cuing the Mission Impossible music and passing it along to someone else in the next few days. May it be a bright start or a nice ending to their day.

Until next time.

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Happy Fourth of July

To those of us in the U.S. I  wish you Happy Independence Day and hope you spend today with your family and friends. While enjoying the festivities, take a moment to pray for our men and women serving and remember to watch your pets tonight.


© Cüneyt Öner

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Double Standards

I do a lot of research. At times, I’m pretty sure I write novels just so I can buy books that interest me. The hubbinator would agree:D

I love how the smallest detail can add dimension and layers in a story.

But then I started researching for myself not my stories. And suddenly those little details were outdated and I felt as if I was wasting my time reading books that were nearly 40 years old. It was a health book on stress and the damage it does to the body. It was ground breaking research at the time.

And it is outdated.

The foundations are there; the principles hold true even today and gobs of research later. But…. But the details were off enough to cause alarm bells to jangle in my head.

So my brain switched gears, and now the research isn’t for me, but about a book. A dystopian, alternative America series centered on the health care system. Which is fine. Research is research. But now I have to find a more modern, updated version for me. One that can stay on this side of the line inside my head. Too bad I think that line is made of yarn the cats play with:D

Until next time.

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And Now for Something Completely Different

I have been using exercise  and stretching to reign in my stress levels. And predictably the stretching and breathing tend to be hideously boring after a couple of months. Okay, the conscious breathing bit is also annoyingly New Age and yet science backs it up, so I do it.

And no one has died or been taken to the hospital.

So, we’re going to call it a win. 

But here’s the situation: I walk the same routes all week with the dog and I don’t get bored. Part of it might be because of the occassional person lounging in the park, the slow driving car, or dive-bombing owls and/or stalking by coyotes. My attention is engaged so I don’t become a statistic. 

But stretching on a yoga mat, even when I reverse the order, it’s boring. And boring means I don’t do it as much as I should. 

To get back into the routine, I started looking around for other routines. My oldest mentioned that I should try Yoga. She claimed she’d found an online one who gave her the courage to join a gym. Yoga? My first instinct is no thanks. But I’d actually been doing some Yoga poses and they weren’t so bad. My daughter also said Adriene, the Yoga instructor, is funny, occasionally falls over, and laughs at herself. So I thought I’d give it a try. Adriene referenced Mr. Burns in her intro to Yoga. Awesome!

Her slew of other videos can be found here:

Which means, I’ll be trying Yoga for the next month or so. Thankfully, she has plenty of videos to test out.

Until next time.

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Happy 199th Birthday to the Bicycle

Okay, the idea for the bicycle might date back to the 1500s, but the actual patent was issued today in 1818 by German inventor Karl von Drais. 

My childhood wouldn’t be the same without a bicycle. Well, I wouldn’t have fallen off my tricycle at age 5 and broken my arm. Nor would I have left my brand new bicycle in the driveway for my dad to run over, killing the training wheels, and making me learn about gravity the fun if this doesn’t kill me kind of way. I also wouldn’t have learned the joys of skateboarding while being pulled by my friends on their bikes. It was great fun until the skateboard and I parted company, but I didn’t release the rope. Ruined my favorites shirt which being the 70s had rhinestones on it. That took a while to heal from.

Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t be celebrating the bicycle:D

I still have a bike. It’s locked in the storage shed in our backyard. The tires are flat, the rim is bent, and I’m sure there’s a family of black widows spinning an addition for their growing family. 

I keep thinking I’ll break it out of prison, then I remember I still have the brand from the seatbelt buckle on my thigh and might want to wait until fall. Sure, I could do it now and take it to the high country where it’s cooler and the roads don’t have guardrails.

And you know the saying you never forget learning to ride a bike.   I remember learning to ride a bike. I don’t want to die on some cool mountain trail where my carcass will be eaten by bears or zombie elk. No thanks.

But one day, I’ll repair my bike for more than it’s worth because it has an extra cushiony, extra wide seat and this bike never tried to kill me. Yet.
Until next time

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Desperately Seeking…

Okay, desperate might be a bit of an overstatement. But I’m interested in recommendations for drawing apps on an iPad air. There are a lot of them out there, pages of them on my search, and I don’t really trust the ratings that much.

I want to take up doodling again but I’m not always near a pencil and paper.

And that’s not to mention that I tend to lose the paper before I’m finished with the sketch.

So, anyone have an app they like. I would like to add/remove color, but also sketch in black and white. Ideally it would be enough resolution to blow up the image about 1.5 times while not looking grainy.

As for the price, I’d prefer around $20. This is, after all, a hobby not a career.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Until next time!

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I Live in Darkness

For the third day in a row, temperatures in Phoenix are expected to be 119 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly cool temperatures for any Humans. The rest of the week, we have an excessive heat warning of 110 plus temps (usually 115).

Many like me, don’t have much of a problem with 110 degrees. I’ve lived here nearly all my life and, yes, the dry heat helps. I do in fact keep my windows down for the 20-25 minute ride home from work, including yesterday when the temperature was at its highest. Yes, I am the kind of person who wears a long sleeves at 80 degrees and has a blanket on the couch because a fan and 83 degrees with the AC on is cold.

Sadly the monsoon is moving in, raising the humidity, and making everything uncomfortable. And irritable.

What’s worse is those cranky people are horning in on my alone time. Apparently, when it’s 90 degrees by 6AM, those people rise early to walk in the park and beat the heat. The nerve of some folks :D.

Other tasks also get shifted to the wee hours of the morning (usually at midnight it’s still over 100). I water the plants before the sun turns those water droplets into burning magnifying glasses of leaf-death. I sweep the pool by pool light.

And all the blinds and curtains remain firmly shut against the light. This is why I glow in the dark and yet am not a vampire.

Thankfully, there’s only another 5 months to go. Enjoy your summer everyone!

Until next time.

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