Wednesday, August 31, 2016

W Is For What I'm...

Working On. As I have said so many times before, I see myself as being on a Journey Of Continuous Self-Improvement. To that end I am always striving to better my character in many Arenas. Currently, I am Working On most Strenuously and to some Success: graciously accepting Compliments, never saying Never, defaulting to Kindness, being Quieter and Listening. For some of you, these things may seem quite Simple and Natural, and you may be saying, "I don't get it." Trust me, neither do I to a large extent, but that's why I have to Work At Them.

Weeping About. For some reason lately, I have become quite sentimental/hormonal and teary. This is extremely unusual for me and very unsettling. I find myself thinking of people no longer in my life and whom I miss terribly. In a few cases, I'm sure it's due to a lack of true closure; in others, the finality of death. Also bringing me to tears is the sight of the small Syrian boy from Aleppo, the victim of airstrikes. Even now, having to search for the image has brought me to tears yet again. One more--have you ever heard the song Cecilia and the Satellite by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness? I love it, and yep, it's making me tear up, too. Sigh. When (and Why) did I get to be such a crybaby?

Wishing For. While I am everso grateful for airconditioning, I am heartily sick of it this summer. We have had to have ours On more than Off, and I crave some fresh air and more moderate temperatures with low humidity. How on earth do any of my friends in the Delta states or places where 90+ with high humidity as the norm survive? NEO is also in a Moderate Drought, so while our air feels like we are walking through a bowl of soup, our yards are crisp and hard and brown. I know, California--Old News to you--but here, we're crabby and outraged. And the Death Toll in my landscaping continues: two cedars, one Japanese maple, one lilac, one more and this will be another thing I'm Weeping About.

Wild About. As many of you might recall, we here at the Dept. are Cord Cutters, and have eschewed cable television for lo these many years now. Very few network shows are Destination Television for us, but we are crazy about Life In Pieces, which we find funny, smart, and quirky in just the right doses. We continue to be avid viewers of Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards on the Netflix (thank you, Jared). I continue to mourn the absence of Hugh Laurie In Anything, and wish that House was on in perpetuity, no matter how awful it got. Isn't it a shame he isn't Doing Something, and Immediately? (And hasn't Modern Family gotten...really terrible?)

Wearing. No more high heels. Lots of easy pullover dresses. Camisoles forever, especially with breezy, loose, gauzy tops. My fleece blanket every evening on the couch, thanks to airconditioning. My hair long, past my shoulders. Makeup every single day, even if I stay at home. Perfectly arched eyebrows, waxed myself, thank you very much. No perfume. As much navy blue as I can find (which is damn little).

Well, that about Wraps It Up. Please share your W's in Comments.



  1. Weary. I'm weary of The Outrage. I couldn't care less whether Colin K stands or sits, or if Gabby puts her hand over her heart or not. WHO CARES. Not me. There are real, very important issues to worry about, and if one wishes to avoid those, there are More Interesting small issues to worry about, like what to do with my hair, what's for dinner, and so on.

    One thing about living in the Bay Area is that we sometimes gets delicious fog that comes in and cools things down quite nicely. So we had a stretch of hot hot weather (not humid, thankfully) in July, but August has been lovely. I know we'll have heat again in Sept and/or Oct, but for now I'm loving NOT having the a/c on. I get tired of it, just like you do.

    I'm sorry about the death in your garden. Are there limits on how much you can water? Here in California, we were told to let our lawns die (I don't have a lawn, so whatever), but we were encouraged to water trees and other plants, so that they would stay healthy and strong. Are you not allowed to use a hose to water your plants?

    Congratulations on your self improvement odyssey. I have never tried to wax my eyebrows, though I've had it done plenty. You are brave and precise, a good combination. Kindness reminds me of my personal goal of saying, "you're welcome" when I'm thanked. I'm getting pretty good at it, actually.

    1. (I hate typos, esp when I make them...we sometimes GET delicious fog, not gets...)

    2. J@jj--Firstly, I completely missed your typo. I had to go back AND FIND IT. Don't sweat the small stuff here in Comments.

      I'm weary of the outrage as well. I blame Social Media (of course) along with the 24-hour news cycle which is always hungry and has little regard for True Journalism anymore. Now, everyone's opinion is equally important, readily shared, and sometimes televised, what with samplings of tweets run along the bottoms of newscasts, both local and national. I wish, and heartily, that everyone would just shut up.

      Except me, of course.

      Our landscape death is a big mystery. The Japanese maple was hearty and beautiful when we left for Canada on July 1, and completely brown and dead when we returned on July 5. We have been watering, but to no avail. Some horticulturists/arborists are saying that it is a combination of the drought and last winter or even the winter before. Others are entirely unsure. I am heartbroken.

      Today, we have a brief respite, but no rain. A cool front has brought northerly winds with dry air. I am opened up--YAY--and we will have temperatures in the 70s. I expect the local Paneras to sell a ton of pumpkin spice crap.

  2. I've always been a crier, so I can't help you there.

    We don't have cable or satellite TV either. I agree that Modern Family has gotten bad; they should have ended a couple of seasons ago and gone out with everyone wanting more.

    We have been getting our Hugh Laurie fix by watching the old PBS Jeeves and Wooster series, with him and Stephen Fry. Perfect.

    1. Bridget--Ending On A High Note--a George Costanza Principle. More people should take a lesson.

      I much prefer Hugh Laurie in serious roles. I find him extremely attractive and sexy when he's not cutting up, even though he played House as a sort of darkly humourous role at times. His role in The Night Manager was too small to suit me, however perfect it was, so all it did was to make me miss him even more. Sigh.

      And Fry was stunning as Oscar in the movie "Wilde."

  3. WORKING ON...
    I am working on Balance, Focus, and... Not Sweating The Small Stuff. Or even some of the big stuff. I find it odd that I am able to remain calm when advising students, etc., but get so wound up in pushing through my own tasks, spending hours on end just so something gets done completely in one day, and then being behind with everything else. A little every day (I even tell my students that about studying... so why do I work as if I were cramming for a final exam?) So, yeah:

    *Balance: a little of 5 things works better than too much of 1
    *Focus: stop mentally & physically multitasking
    *The Small Stuff: nobody really cares if all the course syllabi have left and right margin justification (and they don’t read it anyway, lol)

    I’ve always been too sentimental and too weepy. In recent years, I find I get too angry and worked up about stuff going on in the world. I watch less and less of the news on TV. And it’s not even what’s going on so much as the broadcasters getting viewers into a lather by beating a subject to death and over-analyzing it. So I just pick and choose articles on the net. (Which has led me to getting messages from the Washington Post, etc., about how I have used up my “20 free articles” and “wouldn’t I like to subscribe?” (I get depressed, too, about getting older. Not going there right now, however.)

    I stay indoors a lot during the blazing hot months here. And live for those rare days in the year when the temperature is perfect and I can open the windows and get some real air. I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful trees dying! A garden is one of the great comforts that go with a home. Right now I have to settle for the landscaping in the condo complex where we live, but Mr. O. is in Mexico now, finishing building what could be our retirement home on the outskirts of Mexico City.

    I have not seen Life in Pieces, but I love the title and must now check it out. Hugh Laurie: O.K., that subject should be under “Weeping about” from my point of view. Mr. O. and I watched House religiously and I was so distraught when it ended. Rather like the way I felt when Jon Stewart retired. Irreplaceable. (Although I have since found great solace in the sarky, sharp satire of John Oliver (Last Week Tonight =

    Whatever is clean and washed. How pathetic is that? In a younger day, I was all into coordinating outfits with matching shoes and handbags. Now? If it is comfortable, does not make me look too much like A Woman of a Certain Age, and does not have to be ironed... I am all over it. Shoes: Still have stuff for special occasions, but otherwise--- comfortable flats. Biggest issue: finding anything anymore in size 5.5. So I usually get size 6, which is almost as big of an issue. I do still love my cologne/perfume: Ives Saint Laurent, Paris. (Harder to find nowadays.) Fleece blankie on the sofa? Yup! Hair: Just above the shoulders. Make-up: bare bones if I do not have to go out, although I ramp it up when Mr. O. comes home. Eyebrows: I think I have already commented on the fact that half of the hairs in my eyebrows dropped off my face after my car accident four decades ago. What little is left is half white hairs. I have become very adept at using an eyebrow pencil with eyeshadow to ‘draw them in’ as it were (without looking too harsh, something which, at my age, is a real concern.) Navy blue: love it, too! In fact, I often buy something just because it is in a color I love (burgundy-wine or dark teal), which may or may not be in season for a while. Usually not, however, and I cannot stand these horrible orange or lime green shades that abound right now.

    All of that was, uh, incredibly long-winded. Even for me. But also, somehow, therapeutic! So thank you for “W” !

    1. Ortizzle--You can blog on my blog any old time; you know that.

      Why is navy blue such a great basic, yet so under-utilized in clothing? And it flatters everyone. I still coordinate like a maniac, but not purses. I feel like I'll never buy another purse--it is such trauma for me. Your feet are dainty and wee. I'd buy cute little basics in the kid department whenever possible.

      My friend in MD sends me links to John Oliver all the time, or I get it in my Google Newsfeed, and he is a treasure. A National Treasure. Sadly, he is too smart for the people who really need to hear/understand what he is saying.

      Mexico City is you moving in the distinctly WRONG direction if we are ever to yoohoo across our backyard fences at one another in our dotage. Sigh. But how lovely for the O's.

      Like you, I have cut way back on my News Watching, but in my case, it is Meet The Press. Rick still watches, but I have had to bow out. And that is only a third of his Political Show Lineup. I prefer to relax and kibitz now and then and enjoy view or play Words With Friends or knit.

      And, oh!, how I remember the constant Multitasking. It was Survival for me. Looking back, I truly have no idea how on earth I did it.

      Stay sane, dearest. I think of you often, and hope you are doing Just That.

    2. Nance,

      Kid department for shoes--- Sometimes it works; doesn't always work for shoes I need, but you are right: for basics, sometimes it does the trick!

      John O. - Yes, very sad but true: Those who really need to listen ARE too dumb... or totally unaware that Oliver even exists. That said, (since we know the Drumpf die-hards will never listen to, or even acknowledge any other point of view), I can only hope that those who are 'undecided' will come to their senses and realize that someone who emphatically states that global warming is a hoax perpetuated by other governments, such as the Chinese, will start looking at the weather map and the polar (melting) ice caps. Geez...

      Retirement Home in Mexico City: We may never end up living there. The point is for Luis to finish *building it* before we become zombies, and still have a choice of whether to live there, rent it, or sell it. It's a property he invested in and starting building over 20 years ago right before he came to the U.S. It's in a really nice zone on the outskirts of Mexico City. His kids live in the U.S., so... it is probably looking more like a rental property for retirement income for us. But we might live there for a while and rent it later. Who knows...

      You KNOW I would love nothing better than to "yoohoo across our backyard fences at one another in our dotage." Worst case scenario, we will at least meet up one day. I keep looking for conferences taking place in your city, so I can justify a trip, but I may just find a time to pop up there for no reason at all beyond the magnificent reason that I really must meet you in person one day. And hope I am not too shriveled up and ancient to do it! XXOO

      Trying to Stay Sane in Texas, whichever way!

  4. Working On- Changing the way we deal with our daughter, who has recently been diagnosed with ADHD of the hyperactive-impulsive type. Trying to catch her being good and focus on that than the negative.

    Weeping About- My daughter, what else? She is so far having a difficult time finding friends at school. Her best friend from last year changed schools, and her class did not stay the same from last year. Which is to be expected. However, it is proving to be a lot for her to handle and she is getting overwhelmed. It's so far not going well and she is super sensitive when people are not nice to her. Which seems to be more often than not. We are trying to find a med that works for her and it is freaking exhausting. I'm not sure we will ever find one at the rate we are going. The side effects are terrible from the get go, and none of them seem to make a difference anyway.

    Wishing for-Hot weather to be over. I swear I live in the wrong section of the country. I need to move north. We will still be super hot for months while everyone else is getting to wear boots and sweaters. :(

    Wild About- My husband. He is everything to me. We will be celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary (although we have been together as a couple for 25!) in November.

    Wearing- What seems to be mainly my work polo. If I'm not in my work outfit, it's just a nice shirt and (gasp) capris! Dun, dun, dun... As always, full makeup and hair if I plan on going out, not so much if I am vegging out. Flats, sneakers, no fall colors or clothes. Boo!

    1. Gina--My heart breaks for you as you watch your daughter struggle and work so hard yourself at parenting her effectively and with love. It is exhausting for you both. I truly wish there were something tangible I could do to help you. At this distance all I can do is offer support, but if there is anything else you can think of, please never hesitate to ask me for it.

      While we are experiencing some relief today and for the weekend, the temperatures are shooting right back up into the high 80s to low 90s by Tuesday and beyond for the next two weeks. This will be accompanied by tropical humidity, I'm sure, and no rain. Like you, I'm OVER IT. Will it last well into October, like your weather? Probably not, so you have my sympathies. If you can run away for a bit, please come and stay with me at the lake. It is lovely in October.

      Congratulations on your Long-term Love Affair with your terrific and supportive husband! Remind me again as it gets nearer to November so I can congratulate you more properly.

      As to your capris, my sister informs me that my cropped pants (slightly above the ankle) are pseudo-capris, so I should not be So Judgy. And I have already banished my lovely white shorts since we are into the Labor Day Weekend. Sigh. But my spectator flats will remain until hot weather disappears.

      Please take care of yourself, dear Gina. And of your son, who is going to be your rock; I just know it.

  5. Whinging. Working on not doing it.
    Finished weeping over the beautiful athletes of the Olympics, but I may start again if Brazil messes up the equally beautiful para athletes.
    Wishing for rain. If I can get the knees working, I am going out to do a rain dance on the crunchy dead grass of the back field.
    Wild about the first cool night we have had that requires a quilt since, I think, June.
    Wearing. My white jeans for the last time this year. Yeah, very silly rule to ditch the whites on Sept's arrival, but I am a stubborn old nanny goat who learned dress rules in the 1950s and I am not happy in white in September. In fact, I belong to a book club of women mostly my age or my age plus a bit and we all turned up at our meeting this morning in white trousers. All of us. Truly silly funny.
    Happy belated blogoversity from a disorganized and non posting (but I will reform!) on line buddy.

    1. Mary G--Now there is a distinctly Britishy/Canadiany word--Whinge. I don't think I have ever heard anyone in the US say it, and I have to ask: Do you pronounce it winj or hwinj? I am all about using the H sound in such words, as in white, which, etc. My students really homed in on it, and they made considerable fun of me for it. They, of course, elided it lazily, and all WH words were merely W-sound words.


      Unlike you, I am happy for the Olympics being over. I was bored, bored, bored with the whole thing, probably because here, we were treated to what NBC sampled for us as far as the events and sports, and we got endless little featurettes about the athletes' stories and yada yada yada. I also wish some of the Professional Olympians would move aside and let others compete.

      Still awaiting real rain here, too. Not much hope til October, if the extended outlooks are correct.

      I love your story about your book club all coming in their Last Gasp White Pants! Please, please, PLEASE tell me that someone had the presence of mind to take a photo.

      Thanks for the congrats. I will take them no matter how late! And I am right there with you on being a lackadaisical poster. Even with the alphabet theme to help me out, I still have trouble with finding the inspiration for posts, mainly due to wanting all of them to be excellent and engaging. (I know this one is Not So Very on both counts, but it was getting ridiculous...almost two weeks since a post!)

    2. Whinge - I sound the H, like whine.
      We had the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) coverage and that included 'camera feed', uncut, from most of the venues. I was a swimmer and overdosed on the Canadian women, family has gymnasts so I watched the competition uncut, etc.
      We just got 1/4 inch. Plants are all cheering.
      No, no photo. Sorry!!!
      I am loving the alphabet posts and hoping you will find a series theme after z so that I can continue to chuckle and empathise. Dern spell correct just hit me for empathise. Looks good to me. Go [censored] yourself, Google.

    3. Mary G--Google probably prefers the American spelling "empathize".

      Struggling here with the Letter X post idea. Hard to get creative with that one.

  6. It's 9:41 on Saturday night & I really feel like I should write something here, but I still have to pack for our trip to NC (leaving after church tomorrow), so I'm pretty sure that I won't do justice to W. And I've always considered it "my" letter because my maiden name was Wallace. Ha!

    I'm one of those weird emotional people who cries at movies & books (& Hallmark commercials), but doesn't really cry at the things that matter. I know people wonder what kind of heartless yahoo I am, but truly I'm just shell-shocked by whatever cry-worthy event has just happened. I usually cry later. Or I just read another book...

    I'm too sleepy to comment on any other W, except to wonder why we can't just all wear sweatpants & our husbands' giant t-shirts all the time? Or is that just me?

    1. Bug--Oh, please don't ever feel as if Commenting is an Obligation. Or Homework. Ugh.

      I completely understand your Weeping Mechanism. When Tragedy strikes, I become almost Martial-Like. It's far more important that I Keep Calm, figure out What To Do, and try to Get Things Under Control if possible. Later, I collapse, get a Headache, and cocoon.

      Sweatpants and giant teeshirts IS just you. LOL. I would be apoplectic if I were surrounded by that sort of Sartorial Slop all the time. Now, if it were just for Jammies, okay. Or HomeTime Comfies, that's okay. For the record, I have not worn/owned a pair of sweatpants for decades.

      Now, if you switch that outfit to "husband's giant teeshirts and boxers", we can chat.

  7. I am wearing no more high heels too! Enjoy the rest of your week ♥

    1. Summer--Hi, and welcome to the Dept.

      But do you miss them, ever? I retired out of mine, and into a casual wardrobe, and sometimes I miss the Daily Dress Up. I'm sure my feet don't, however.

      Thank you again for stopping by. I've stopped in at your place; you have lots of lovely photos there.

  8. Oh Goodness me!!! I am so happy that someone asked me about the phrase "eleventy billion" and I was reminded to check in here!!! I was slightly nervous that I would not find any new posts, but incredibly delighted to see The Dept stil up and running strong! I hope you are well and enjoying retired life...Janina

    1. Nina--Oh, how lovely to see you again at the Dept. We have a lot of Catching Up to do! Hit up my email link at the Sidebar, and let's see about doing that.

      I am well, thank you, and enjoying Retirement. I can't imagine how many things are New in your life!


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