Television

Right Now - April 2015

April . . .  always a mixed bag.  You just never know what April will bring.  Crazy weather, for sure.  But the beginnings of True Spring . . . with added sunlight and generally warming temperatures.  By the end, April kind of looks like this . . . and I'm thrilled.

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Here's what's happening for me . . . RIGHT NOW!

WATCHING . . .  PBS.  Wolf Hall - loved the book; love the series, and Call the Midwife - still charming, although getting a tad routine.  (Where is Chummy???? Did I miss something???  Is she coming back?  Sort of like Sister Mary Cynthia?)  (Just found this. . . she'll be back.)

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KNITTING . . . Plugging away on Romi's Mystery Shawl.  (That's it, up there.  I'm sorry if you didn't want to see a spoiler.  But I blurred it, so it's still kind of . . . mysterious.  Besides, there's only one more clue and then it'll be out there anyway.)  I'm not really sold on that middle stripe thing yet.  At all.  But will have to wait to see how it looks blocked and finished.  When I'm not (constantly) knitting on that (to keep up with the clues), I've cast on for this sweater.  So far, so good.  (But I haven't gotten very far at all.)

LISTENING . . . Kinda been in a John Mayer mood lately . . . 

 

DRINKING . . . More water!  I'm trying to stay a bit more hydrated.

DREADING . . . An upcoming committee commitment that is just . . . well.  Kind of lame.  

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REGRETTING . . . Too much too soon, apparently.  A bit of three-steps-forward-one-step-back, so . . . a return to the ice bag.

PLANNING . . . I am planning my "attack" on the last - and hardest - of my Kon-Mari purge zones: my knitting/sewing room, my boxes of "memorabilia," and photographs.  I think a re-read of certain sections of my Kon-Mari "bible" are in order, but I'm nearly ready to DIG IN!

HUMMING . . . A catchy little Weezer tune.

 

ITCHING TO . . . Sit out on the patio every evening, under my bistro lights, with a glass of wine and something to read.

ORGANIZING . . . All the garden things!

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DELIGHTED BY . . . My drawing class.  Why a drawing class?  Because I really want to take a printmaking class.  And maybe a watercolor class.  And "Drawing I" is a prerequisite. So . . . here I am, dusting off the cobwebs (because the last time I took a drawing class was back in college) and - surprise - having a great time!

NEEDING TO . . . Clear off the kitchen island for Tom's return.  (I tend to set out my "projects" on the island when he's away, but never when he's at home.)

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ENJOYING . . .  A new morning routine that includes meditation, yoga, and regular journaling.  Sure, I have to get out of bed a bit earlier, but totally worth it!

CELEBRATING . . . An end to physical therapy.  Tom's return this weekend.  My dad's birthday.  And Spring!

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . RIGHT NOW?

 


Right Now . . . March 2015

 (Yes.  I know it's April already.  I have a lot of catching up to do!)

Well, March.  You made a pretty good showing of yourself, right there at the end.  Way to bring it!  (Although it appears you left just in time for some chilly April showers.)  (At least it isn't snow.)  Basically, though, you were a colorless month.  Drab.  Cold.  Mostly dreary.

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And, now. . . done.

Here's what's happening for me . . . Right Now . . .

Watching . . . Out my window, I'm watching spring unfold.  (And, friends, there really isn't anything better than that!)  On TV, I'm watching Call the Midwife (I'm such a sucker for that show) and Broadchurch (I'm still on season 1, although I hear season 2 is not as tight).  I tried to watch The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but I just couldn't.  (I know it gets great reviews.  But, well, let's just say life is too short.  And leave it at that.)

Reading . . . During my vacation, I read and read and read.  Lots of good stuff.  (See the sidebar.)  Right now, I'm reading A Spool of Blue Thread (Anne Tyler) -- and, trust me, I'm going to whip through this one so I can dive into The Golem and the Jinni (which looks most excellent).  I'm also reading Better than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives (Gretchen Rubin). 

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Knitting . . . Right before leaving for vacation, I finished another Deep End (apparently the most addictive knitting experience ever).  I'll post about it another day (I really do have a lot of catching up to do).  I also nearly finished this shawl down in Belize.  And today . . . I'll be casting on for Romi's Mystery Shawl with those gorgeous shades of blue (above).  (Those lovelies are Kim's Opal in Snow Drop and Through the Looking Glass.)  (By the way, registration is still open for Kim's 2015 yarn club.  Head on over and sign up before any remaining slots are gone!  It's a GREAT club.)

 

Listening to . . . Beck's Morning Phase.  Great album - and totally worthy of the Grammy hype.

Dreading . . . I neglected to take down the Christmas wreath from the front door.  (I rarely use the front door. . .)  You know what that means!

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Drinking . . .  Spring must be here.  Because I'm drinking Bell's Oberon!

Planning . . . Pea Pots!  I'm really eager to get to gardening, but it's WAY too early for that.  But.  It's not too early to plant peas.

 

Humming . . .  David Bowie's Space Oddity . . . Ground Control to Major Tom.  (And I know exactly how this one got planted in my brain.)  (But I'm not telling.)  (1969 David Bowie is a trip.)

Itching to . . .  Run outside.  Or even run at all.  Physical therapy is going well, but I'm not running yet.  Maybe in a couple of weeks?

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Delighted by . . . receiving one of Beverly's postcards!  So awesome!

Needing to . . . get the damn taxes done.  ('Nuf said.)

Celebrating . . . my birthday (it was Monday).  You could say that I celebrated my birthday the entire time we were in Belize, but our "official" celebrations will be taking place on Saturday night -- and again on Sunday.

How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . right now?

 


Right Now - February 2015

February . . . For such a short month, you're such a drag.  Really.  So much snow.  So much cold.  I am overwhelmed by the winter BLAHs, and I would just like it to be done now.  (Disclaimer:  This post contains quite a bit of whining.)

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 That said, here's what's going on . . . Right Now.

WATCHING . . . I'm sort of in movie-withdrawal.  After seeing all Oscar-nominated movies, it just becomes what do I watch NOW???  So I count down the days (1) until Season 3 of House of Cards and turn to PBS for Grantchester.  (I'm also looking forward to seeing Cinderella and Man from U.N.C.L.E. when they hit the theatre.)  (The eye-candy in Man from U.N.C.L.E. is especially welcome on another cold winter day.  Just sayin.)

READING . . . My winter funk has wandered over into my reading list, where nothing sounds appealing to me.  (Really.  Winter is taking away my will to read.)  So I've turned to re-reading a book I already love (Plainsong) and then to a genre that never lets me down (classics) by diving into the Forsyte Saga (which has been on my to-read list for decades).

KNITTING . . . My winter funk spills over into my knitting, where I am somewhat uninspired and seemingly unable to make a decision.  What's a knitter to do?  I've cast on for my second Deep End, while I continue to contemplate the merits of various pullover sweaters.  (Someday I'll probably even cast on for one or the other of them.)

LISTENING TO . . . Diana Krall's new album, Wallflower.  (Perfect to wallow in the winter BLAHs, actually.)

 

DREADING . . . Another day without cardio.  Because, as if the winter BLAHs weren't enough to bring me down, I am also suffering from a flare of my Achilles tendinitis and can't jump, spin, run, or even walk right now.  So Pilates it is.  And if it doesn't clear up in a couple more days, I'll have to resort to the dreaded elliptical machine.  Or hit the pool again.  (Which is much preferable to the elliptical.)

DRINKING . . . More wine, please.  (And that's all I have to say about that.)

PLANNING . . . Where my Purge Project will take me next.  I've just gone through every closet, cupboard, shelf, and cubbyhole on the first floor of my house.  I've purged 30 boxes of books (the library thanks me), boxes and boxes and bags of things for Goodwill and other nonprofit organizations, and - sadly - many bags of trash.  (I'm recycling what I can, but some things must be thrown out.)  Anyway . . . where next?  I think to the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs!

HUMMING . . . This.  (Ever since I watched Boyhood.  Can't get it out of my head.)

 

WONDERING . . . Why -40ºF and -40ºC are THE SAME!!!  Tom has tried to explain many, (many) times.  I just can't get it.  My head explodes every time.

ITCHING TO . . . I can't even with this one.  

ORGANIZING . . . Not much, actually.  While I've purged the heck out of 50% of my closets, I haven't organized any of the things I've kept.  It's part of the whole KonMari thing . . . organize AFTER purging.  (So my cupboards and shelves look like disaster victims right now.  Only the survivors remain. . .)

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DELIGHTED BY . . . Seeing a sundog last week!  So glad I was at a good place to pull over and take this photo with my phone.

INSPIRED BY . . . Well.  Not much right now, actually.  I think I'd like to hibernate until this everlasting winter is OVER.

How about YOU?  What's happening for you . . . RIGHT NOW?


At the Movies

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I don't usually tune in to any of the "awards" shows on television, but I watch the Academy Awards (or The Oscars, as they seem to be called now) faithfully each year.  Truth be told, I love the red carpet!  (Although I do like the movies, too.)

So, Sunday night found me hunkered down in front of the tv with a spreadsheet I was working on, my knitting, and a glass of wine for . . . The Oscars.

Carole, who is a huge fan of the The Oscars, asks us this week . . . What we Thought of The Oscars this year.

Hands down, my favorite moment was this:

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My list of 10:

  1. See above.
  2. Lupita Nyong'o.  Her dress was divine.
  3. Lupita Nyong'o.  Her speech was joyous and heartfelt and wonderful.
  4. Lupita Nyong'o.  Her brother.
  5. Bette Middler's red carpet dress.*  That's the one I'd want to wear!
  6. Kate Hudson.  Looked like a movie star!
  7. Jared Leto.  And his mom.  And that he won.
  8. Brad Pitt.  I'm so glad he shaved.
  9. Pink.  Altough I have no idea why she was singing Over the Rainbow, I thought it was awesome!
  10. Ellen Degeneres.  The whole "selfie," pizza-ordering schtick just really worked for me.  (And, for maybe the first time ever, the movie stars in the audience seemed to be having fun.)  (Except maybe Liza Minelli.)

How about you?  What did you like about The Oscars?

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* Here's Bette's dress:

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Right Now . . . January 2014

I'm so glad to see January come to an end!  It's always such a long, long month.

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Here's what's happening in my world . . .  Right Now.

Watching . . . Sherlock on TV.  Movies at the theater.  Winter out my windows.  (True confession:  I've completely lost my Downton Abbey mojo.  Not caring what happens with Lady Mary or the Bates marriage at all.)

Reading . . . Just finished The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner and, let me tell you, it was a rambling mess!  I can't figure out why I continued through the bitter end (I blame January), but I did. (It was awful.)  Now I'm reading The Man in The Window by Jon Cohen, which is a breath of fresh air and just what I needed.  (Thanks, Carole.)  I recently finished The Aviator's Wife (Melanie Benjamin), which was interesting . . . and that led me to re-read Gift of the Sea, which is always good food for thought.  I also recently read The Spinning Heart -- which was wonderful (although I would guess . . . not to everyone's taste).

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Knitting . . . Oh, the knitting.  I'm nearing the end on two projects .  This hat (a total Pain in the Ass -- AND it looks like it might be a big too big, which is always a drag), and this wrap/poncho thing (which is, basically, cast on 110 stitches and stockinette til the end of time).  (I'm ready for a new project.)

Listening to . . . Justin Timberlake . . . the 20/20 Experiment.

Dreading . . . Needing to replace one of my team members at work.  She announced her departure just yesterday (for love AND money I might add), and although I wish her all the best, I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Planning . . . A trip!  My sister and I just made reservations for a trip to Italy.  It's a long, long way off still -- but just the thought of the trip will get us through the most dreary winter days.  (It's too far off to get too excited, but I will say this . . . cooking class in Tuscany!)

 

Humming . . . Mean Mr. Mustard.  This has been going on for over a week now . . . always shouts out something obscene. . .

Drinking . . . Bells Two-Hearted (I just love a nice, hoppy IPA. . .)

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Itching to . . . Plant something.  Pull weeds.  Harvest fresh herbs.  Dig in the dirt.  (Although, at this point, I'd settle for just Seeing Grass.)

Needing to . . . Ship a couple of packages.  They're all packed and ready to go.  But they're big and bulky and I keep putting it off.

Organizing . . . Shelves and drawers and cubby holes.  But not all at once.  I'm trying to tackle one small space each day -- and, so far, it's working!

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Delighted by . . . More light and more sunshine!  Now that Lake Michigan is nearly frozen over, it means that here on the eastern shore, we will get more sun.  (It'll be colder, too, without the insulation of water.  I'm trying not to think about that, though.)

Inspired by . . . POSSIBILITY.

How about YOU?  What's going on for you. . . right now?


Right Now . . . August 2013

My life is off the charts right now . . . when measured on the Craze-O-Meter . . . so it's not a surprise at all to find myself at the end of another month . . . wondering where it went???

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Here's what's happening . . . RIGHT NOW.

Watching . . . Nothing.  We switched over to AT&T's U-verse at the beginning of August, and so far, I haven't had the time or the inclination or the brain power to figure out how to use the new system.

Reading . . . Paris by Edward Rutherfurd.  Big book.  Big commitment.  (I'll be there awhile.)

Knitting . . . Not much these days.  My want-to-knit list is growing exponentially and my time-to-knit is shrinking.  (Sounds like a math-y, graphing problem to me.)

Listening to . . . Nothing in particular, everything in general.  Lately, the random-shuffle feature on my iPod and the general, random nature of Pandora suit me just fine!

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Dreading . . . Shorter days!

Humming. . .  Oh, man.  You're all going to hate me for even mentioning this one out loud.  But . . . Lady Marmalade.  The original version.  Patti LaBelle.  Here . . . catch the earworm yourself.

 

Planning . . . My work is All-Planning All-the-Time these days.  My brain is full-to-the-brim with Planning.

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Drinking . . . Sanpellegrino.  My favorite is the orange flavor.  But I like ALL Sanpellegrino.

Itching to . . . Just have a couple of unstructured days to relax and not think too hard.

Needing to. . . Sift through my desk at home and take care of loose ends and paperwork.

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Organizing . . . Starting to think about the coming change in seasons and what that means . . . in the garden . . . in my closet . . . in my pantry . . . at the cottage. . .

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Inspired by . . . Fresh vegetables.  They're everywhere.  They inspire my cooking.  I want ALL the vegetables!

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Delighted by . . . My butterflies.

Surprised by . . . Oh, do I have a big surprise coming into my life today!  Big.  Really big.  (And wiggly.)  Stay tuned.

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How about YOU?  What's going on for you . . . RIGHT NOW?

 


Right Now . . . July 2013

End of July.  Who would've thought that I'd be wearing wool socks at the End of July?  But I was . . . last weekend.  It was unbelievably cold. 

Still.

The calendar says it's the End of July.  Here's what's happening for me . . . Right Now!

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WATCHING . . . Orange is the New Black (Netflix original series); I declare this one Totally Worth My Time.

READING . . . Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (this one is so good and so wonderful that I'm savoring slowly) and The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy (funny; really, really funny in a delightful kind of way).  Reading is overwhelming for me right now -- because there are so many books I want to read!  The Booker Prize longlist was just announced . . . sigh.  (I've already read Some of Them, but I want to read All of Them.)

KNITTING . . . I just finished a shawl, and I really ought to finish up some projects that have been hanging around.  And I've just started the second sock (of a pair) for my mom.  But I'm hankering to cast on for another shawl.  This one, in particular.  Love it.

LISTENING TO . . . A friend who recently traveled to New Orleans got me hooked on Tanya & Dorise -- street performers she found in the French Quarter.  Love them.  (I have a couple of their cds on order.)

DREADING . . . Car shopping.  But it is essential.  Tom's car (a beloved 2000 Subaru Outback) has just been given the dreaded "terminal" diagnosis.  It is time.

HUMMING . . . Kid Rock.  All Summer Long.  All day.  (I totally blame Carole.)

 

CELEBRATING . . . Erin's move to a new (and safer!) apartment in Pittsburgh.  Tom and Brian are there now, helping Erin and Keith with the heavy lifting.

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PLANNING . . . My Secret Garden!  Work continues.

ITCHING TO . . . Do some sewing.  I recently found a dress pattern that looks especially promising (Vogue 8786) and some great fabric.  Time to fire up the Viking!

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DRINKING . . . Cold Brew tea!  (At least, I WAS drinking it . . . until the cold snap last weekend!  Then I jumped right back to my standard, hot tea.)  I didn't expect to like cold brew tea -- but it's GREAT!  So easy and fast!

NEEDING TO . . . split up and transplant some overgrown perennials in the garden.

ORGANIZING . . . My new office space at work (I just moved into a new office; still freezing cold) AND I got a new office laptop.  Much organizing to be done!

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INSPIRED BY . . . A Month of Fundays . . . A silly headline I saw recently in a magazine (the grocery line was long and I was doing some browsing).  I've been thinking about how I can have my own "Month of Fundays" -- and I'm inspired!  (More tomorrow.)

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DELIGHTED BY . . . My bee house. . . and all the crazy, egg-laying, bee-nesting activity going on there.

How about YOU?  What's going on for YOU . . . right now?

 

 


Mamma Mia!

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What better topic . . . following Mother's Day . . . than to remember our Ten Favorite TV Moms!

I have a bit of a beef with the whole TV Moms thing.  Because . . . I think TV Moms get short shrift, generally.  They always seem to be in the background.  Lurking.  Unsatisfied.  Herding their kids.  Or sorting things out for their kids.  Doing Mom-Things.  Occasionally showing their wisdom.  But, mostly . . . just being kind of . . . well . . . character-less.

And we KNOW that's not the case!

So.  With that in mind, here are my favorite, long-suffering TV Moms:

 

  1. Edith Bunker.  Her ditz-i-ness was really just a ruse -- for the wisdom and common sense deep within her soul!  (All in the Family)
  2. Shirley Partridge.  I always wished MY Mom would buy a school bus and outfit it for travelling about the country -- where my sister and I could sing and dance ourselves to super-stardom!  (The Partridge Family)
  3. Carol Brady.  She was so . . . groovy. (The Brady Bunch)
  4. Roseanne.  So REAL.  Such a breath of fresh air (at least for the first season).  (Roseanne)
  5. Ann Romano.  Such a scandal -- a divorced mom!  Raising two cool daughters.  (One Day at a Time)
  6. Kitty Forman.  She had to put up with a lot there . . . deep in the 70s.  (That 70s Show)
  7. Claire Dunphy.  Such a modern mom.  And so like many real moms I know . . . right now!  (Modern Family)
  8. Morticia Addams.  Oh, yeah.  Wouldn't she be QUITE the mom!  (The Addams Family)
  9. Lois (did they HAVE a last name?).  Stubborn and feisty, she was a strong Mom in the midst of constant mayhem and a totally stupid husband!  (Malcom in the Middle)
  10. Clare Huxtable.  She always kept her cool -- and looked great, too!  (The Cosby Show)

How about YOU?  Who is your favorite TV Mom?

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Right Now . . . March 2013

So after a tough month, weather-wise (snow in March is never welcome, y'know?), it appears that March is . . . going out like a lamb!  Fine by me!

Here's what's happening in my life  . . . RIGHT NOW.

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Watching . . . I'm re-watching Season 5 of Mad Men on Netflix right now in preparation for Season 6 (which begins on April 7).  I love to watch little Sally Draper . . . who is roughly the same age in the show as I was in real-time.  I'm always telling Tom . . . "I had those exact sheets!"  "I had those very shoes!"  "I had a locket just like that."  (He humors me.)  (And, of course.  There is Don.)  I'm also planning to check out Mr. Selfridge on Masterpiece Theater this Sunday night.

Reading . . . There are so many excellent books out there!  My to-read list is growing ever longer, and I lament my lack of reading time.  Right now, I'm enjoying Frances and Bernard immensely (this is an epistolary novel - letters - based on the correspondence of real-life authors Flannery O'Connell and Robert Lowell), and I'm also reading David Copperfield, my favorite Dickens of all time.  (Frances and Bernard is very short, and should be a quick read.  I, however, am savoring it slowly.  The writing is such a delight!)

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Knitting . . . I'm doing an informal "knit-a-long" with some of my Kalamazoo knitting pals.  We're each making ChicKnit's Elisbeth cardigan (short sleeve version).  I'm actually a couple more repeats into the knit than the photo (above) shows.  It's a bit of a slog, I'll admit.  But I'm having fun with the cables.  I'm also knitting a spring-color version of this shawl.  And trying not to get too carried away with not-wool inspiration from this or this.

Listening to . . . Buena Vista Social Club.  They just make it feel like the sun is shining . . .and you're enjoying a gin and tonic . . . on the patio.

 

Thinking about . . . Priorities.  Setting them.  Having them.  Living them.  Life is full of options.

Dreading . . . Some dental work toward the end of April.  Ugh.  But not really much else right now.  (I'm in a good place this spring.)

Humming . . . Songs about sunshine.  Good Day Sunshine.  You are the Sunshine of My Life.  Walking in Sunshine.  But this is the one that is stuck in my head (enjoy it old school and original). . .

 

Planning . . . Gardens!  I have Big Ideas right now.  Some of them have been in-the-making for a couple of years.  This year . . . It Is Time.  (Get your diggin' shoes on, Tom!)

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Celebrating . . . So very many things.  My birthday is tomorrow.  Jenny's leash restriction is over.  I'll be picking up my Mac later today.  Sunshine and mid-50s in the forecast.  (I'm ignoring the snow that is also in the forecast.)  

Drinking . . . Oberon.  (The Bell's Oberon release date is always like a birthday present to me!)

Itching to . . . Dig.  Not wear a coat.  Get a pedicure.  Wear my flip-flops.  Sit outside in the sunshine.

Needing to . . . Finish my taxes. I have started.  And, like they say. . . Once begun, half done.  So I must be at least half done by now!

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Organizing . . .  The prime organization task on my to-do list is one I actually look forward to:  Switching out my winter clothes for my lighter spring and summer fare.  Can't wait!  (And check out the little notepads I found at Target for my written organizational tasks.  Love them!)

Inspired by . . . Surprises that are cropping up in my life.  Just little things. . . that really ARE surprising, when you stop and think about it.

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Delighted by. . . Sort of wish I hadn't found these.  Because. . . YUM!

How about YOU?  What's going on for YOU . . . right now?


In Living Color

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I grew up in that Golden Age of television . . . back when there were only 3 channels, and programming ended at midnight (with the Star Spangled Banner).  I watched the original showings of Gilligan's Island and The Addams Family and Beverly Hillbillies.  I remember when we were one of the first families on the block to get a color TV . . . and I remember that not all programs were IN color, even when we had a color TV!

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I eagerly awaited my favorite television programs each week!  My favorites, as a child, included:

1.  The Brady Bunch -- Marcia was my role model; I wanted to BE Marcia!

2.  Here Come the Brides -- Bobby Sherman was my first crush!

3.  The Partridge Family -- . . . and David Cassidy was my second crush!

4.  Family Affair -- Uncle Bill was just so exotic to me . . . such a swinger!

5.  Dark Shadows -- My friends and I used to race home to watch this one after school each day; my poor sister was scared to death!

6.  Hawaii Five-O -- My whole family gathered to watch this show each week; we all loved it!  Book 'm, Dan-O!

7.  Marcus Welby, MD -- I thought young James Brolin was awfully adorable, yet really dumb a lot of the times.

8.  All in the Family -- This show was so controversial when I was a kid -- but it certainly got me thinking about social issues of the day and probably helped me form more ideas about how-things-ought-be than anything else I was exposed to at the time.

9.  The Carol Burnett Show -- I always loved the funny skits on this show!

10. The Mary Tyler Moore Show -- I wanted a cool apartment just like Mary's when I grew up!

What were YOUR favorite tv shows when you were a child?

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