Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brain Dump Sunday

I'm pretty sure this post will be a brain dump, random blog post.  So hold on!

I was surfing Facebook a bit ago and came across a post that brought me such JOY for so many reasons.  The simplest reason?  It was just pure JOY.  Check it out.  Like WHOA???  Yea - like pure JOY...

You know what gives me instant JOY?  An empty skating rink!!!!  Just saying'...

So I'm reading a book called Once We Were Brothers.  It's so good.  It's "I can't put it down" good.

I am not saying the subject matter is JOYful because it is SO not.  But I do enJOY a book that grabs me.  I have read so many books set in the time of the Holocaust and World War II and it is only recently that I have distinguished the actual perspective, i.e., from a Jew in a concentration camp, from a Polish refugee, from the early years of Hitler as he made his way across Europe, from the English perspective, from the German perspective.  I have read ALOT of perspectives through the years.  All horrifying and unfathomable.  But I never tire of the empathy I feel as I read my way through this history.  And no - the subject matter is not JOYful.  But this learning curve has been one of JOY.  Once We Were Brothers is yet another perspective - this time set in 2004 as a Jewish man confronts a mean, horrid Nazi living the good life in America after all the atrocities he was a part of.  A very personal perspective - one I have not read from this angle - for lack of a better word.

Speaking of books, I have read 13 books in 2014 and I am on #14.  #15 is on deck.  It is called The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.

It was recommended to me by my friend Nancy.  Oooooh Nanc!  The pressure is ON, girl!  I'll let you know!!!

I am very happy to be reading again.  I went through a very dry spell where I was doing a lot of iPad and TV watching.  I became addicted to a few shows - as I mentioned in a previous post - Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, The Black List, Parenthood...I still stay current with Parenthood (only the best show on television) but I am way behind on the other shows.  I am sure I will catch up - but for now?  I'd rather read.  And that's a good thing!

So Easter is upon us as are the 50 plus people coming to celebrate that day and the weather has been so nice.  Higher than 70 today and I spent several hours working the yard.  It is so JOYful to get a head start on the gardens.  The weeds aren't up yet so clearing the gardens is a piece of cake!!!  Now to mulch the hell out of them and I am good to go!

Speaking of Easter - and all that candy - remember when I was the big shot writing a post about how I had calmed my jets and not been so strict with my diet and exercise?  Well - the proof is in the pudding bloodwork.  A1C test?  Not good.  I am back to being a pre-diabetic human.  Such a bummer.  Because it means I am back to thinking about the food I eat.  So tired of this.  But it is what it IS.  I must deal.  Soon...LOL!!!  OY!!!!!

Today I took my middle child foot apparel shopping.  Can you say Chucks?  OMG - I pray I made the right decision letting him have these.

Please say I made the right decision.  Please say this is not coming back to haunt me in a day or two...these hurt my feet.  My ankle hurts.  There's too many laces.  These don't go with shorts.  No - no JOY here.  But they are kinda cute...

Well - the three little pigs are on vacation from school this week.  You know what I plan to do?  Tire the living sh*t out of them by hiking everyday.  Haaaaaaa - they have no idea...ahhh such mean-spirited JOY...there's all kinds - ain't there?  YeeeeHAAAAA!

BTW - you have NO idea how many dimes have been texted to me since the last post.  NO IDEA!  It's a new state of consciousness!!!!  I'm so excited to be a part of this!  I am willing to bet that a wisp of JOY is caught each time someone finds a dime.  I know I smile every single time.  It's so very cool.

One last quickie!

There's a "Blood Moon" eclipse Tuesday morning.  I'm setting my alarm and waking all the 3 little pigs and pushing them out the door to see it.  Can't wait!!!  Here's what I am reading:

Photographers and astronomy fans in North America are gearing up for a rare meteorological event the night of April 14-15. According to Sky and Telescope magazine, on April 15th, the lunar eclipse will begin around 1:20am ET.
This 'Blood Moon' — the poetic name given to the deep-red color of the moon during the eclipse — is caused as the Earth passes in front of the sun and the sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere is refracted.
See Sky and Telescope magazine's time chart to get approximate viewing times.
Many photographers will take to the outdoors to capture this unique event. Here are a few tips for those looking to capture a good image of the moon:
  • Remember the moon is very, very far away. The large apparent size of a moon low on the horizon is partially an optical illusion. In order to capture a good photo of the moon you need a telephoto lens. A standard or wide angle lens (as you might find on a camera phone or compact camera) will make the moon look smaller than it does to the eye. The longer lens you can get, the better.
  • With a big lens and a subject at such a distance even a small amount of motion results in an out of focus photo. A strong tripod and a shutter release cable (or camera timer) is a must. If you don’t have a shutter release cable simply set your camera to the longest self-timer setting.
  • The moon is very bright, even during an eclipse. If you rely on the internal exposure settings in your camera you’ll likely get a picture that’s overexposed and has no detail. That’s because the exposure meter in the camera expects everything to be neutral gray and the moon is bright white. Either rely on the manual exposure settings in your camera or use the exposure compensation dial to override the exposure.
  • There is a rule of photography called the 'Sunny 16' which means you can shoot sunlit objects at F16 at 1/ISO. So if you’re shooting ISO 100 you can shoot 1/100th at F16. You can use this as a base exposure for shooting the moon (although during a lunar eclipse they’ll be less light available than if it were in 'full sun').
  • Even a little bit of ground light can ruin a shot of the moon. The best photos of the moon are captured in areas away from street lights, buildings and atmospheric haze. If you’re in the city try to find a spot in the middle of a big, open park. Many of the most successful lunar photographers plan trips to the desert or to remote locations for events like a full moon. The bottom line is that if you can see streetlights or house lights, you’re probably going to get a sub-par shot.
  • Bring a flashlight with a red bulb or gel. Red light doesn’t reduce your night vision, but a bright white flashlight does. Even though looking through the lens at the moon will blast your night vision away in one eye, you can still see pretty clearly out of the other eye unless you use a flashlight or the screen of your cell phone to look at the camera and change settings.
  • Shoot with manual focus. The moon is tricky to focus on and it’s best to rely on your eyes instead of the camera’s autofocus. 

See you at 1:20am on Tuesday April 15th!!!

Ok - time to end this dump of a blog post.  Just wanted to check in and now I'm checking out to go read.  I am not even proofing this fastidiously like I normally do.  I'm in a hurry.  I want to go lay in bed and read.  No - it's not dark yet.  Soon enough...


Saturday, April 5, 2014


Well THAT didn't take LONG!  Look what I woke up to at 5am.

Catching JOY in a joyless moment.

All I can say is...

Friday, April 4, 2014


So - I've been finding dimes.

My kids have been finding dimes.  My biggest non-believer conspiracy theorist husband has been finding dimes.  My hairdresser has been finding dimes.  My Uncle Al has been finding dimes.  My brother-in-law has been finding dimes.

Say WHAT???  What's that wacko talking about now??

You will NOT believe it.  But here goes.

Sometime in 2013, a friend started talking about finding dimes and how she believed that were left by a loved one(s) who had passed.  Her stories were intriguing, fun, hopeful and at best - entertaining.  I loved her stories.  But I considered myself a person who didn't...well - find dimes.  Later in the fall of 2013, I listened to more of her dime stories.  Again - soooo entertaining and just fascinating to me.  A few days later?

Dimes started to show up.

I know.  I know.  CRAZY!

We are long past 10 dimes in this family.  We are long past 20 dimes in this family.  We are long past FIFTY dimes in this family.

All found by one of us 5 in often unremarkable circumstances but many times?  IN REMARKABLE CIRCUMSTANCES!  So listen up.

I don't recall my first dime.  But I specifically remember the meaningful ones.

We must have found more than 20 dimes when the first really meaningful one was found.  We were sitting in row 2 of the middle school at my son's Christmas concert, waiting for it to begin.  It was an exciting night because my oldest was singing his first solo EVER.  He was a wreck.  So I bent over to scrap some scunga off my Ugg and there sat one dime on the floor next to my foot.  I pointed to it, looking at my husband and he commented. "Grandma must be here for Michael's first solo..."

A month later - and many dimes later - my daughter was skating in a postponed Christmas show.  When we got to the rink I sent her upstairs to start warming up.  When I got upstairs, she came lunging toward me and suddenly stopped, gasped and pointed to the floor by her foot.  One Dime.  I casually commented with a big smile on my face..."Grandma's here at your solo too!"

About a month later, I was rummaging through my jewelry and I discovered a silver cardboard box with a pair of earrings in it that my beloved niece had given me for Christmas.  I was going out to lunch so I put the earrings on, leaving the box on the bathroom vanity.  When I got home about 2 hours later, my daughter yelled down the stairs, 'Mom, did you leave this on the silver jewelry box?"  And I'm thinking...silver jewelry box?  What silver jewelry box?  I don't own a silver jewelry box.  (I'm thinking big box used to store jewelry?)  She comes down the stairs with the little silver cardboard box with one dime on top.  "OH!"  I said.  "Grandma's wishing you a happy birthday a day early!"  heehee.  And then I gasped.  Today was the 7th anniversary of my mother's death, the day before my daughter's birthday and a dime was left on the box that one of her beautiful granddaughters gave me for Christmas.

A few weeks ago, I was vacuuming my house (there's a gasp - lololol) and my niece called and wanted to stop in and visit.  Sure!  So I hang up the phone and continue vacuuming.  I lift up an object in my kitchen to vacuum underneath?  One Dime.  Guess Noni is here for when her granddaughter comes to visit.

Last week, my daughter was performing in another skating show.  We were all hanging around the house in limbo most of the day waiting to "leave".  My husband walks into our back living area (where we all hibernate all winter because that's where the wood stove is) and points to a stuffed animal thrown on a chair.  "What's that?"  My daughter walks over and looks at the stuffed animal.  One Dime.  I was guessed it!  "Grandma must be going with us to the skating show!"

An hour later, I walk into the rink and my husband is already there setting up the lighting for the show.  He's a bit excited and keeps saying, "I have to tell you something.  I have to tell you something".  Me being me - blew him off - (lol) and went down into the locker room with my daughter and came back up a bit later.  And he tells me the story.  He was laying down electrical cords and covering the cords with red duct tape so no one could trip on them.  He was left with a 12 inch piece so he crumpled it up and held it in his fist while he stood around drinking the last of the coffee in his cup.  He went to toss both the cup and the crumpled up tape in the garbage and when he opened his DIME.  "She's here!  She's HERE!"

That same evening, my little brother was at the skating show and we were regaling him with our dime stories and he was like, "no one ever leaves ME any dimes - boohoo".  8:49 the next morning?


Yes - seriously.

My husband finds numerous dimes.  The washer stopped draining a few weeks ago and he pulled the machine apart.  He found a PILE of CRAP that was clogging the drain dime.  Not a handful of change.  Just this one dime.  Last week he told me to go into the laundry room and open the dryer.  On the ledge under the door?  One Dime.  Not a quarter or a few pennies or 2 nickels.  ONE DIME.  Yesterday he told me to go upstairs and look on top of a pile of clothes on one of his Yankee dime.

My kids find dimes almost everyday.  One dime at a time.  My son was cleaning out a bureau drawer the other day (oxymoron - "cleaning" and "my son" in the same sentence) and when he emptied everything?  One dime.

About a month ago, I was in my basement looking for my ski boots.  They were in a boot bag and hadn't been touched in 15 years.  So I pull them out and try them on and I notice there are some ski "things" in the bottom of the bag so I pull them out and also...One dime.  Not a quarter.  Not a few pennies.  ONE DIME.

I had lunch with my Uncle about a month ago and was entertaining him with my dime stories.  He was laughing and enJOYing my tales so much.  That night he was all freaked.  I found one DIME Jo-Ellllleennnnnnn!!!!  It was all by itself in the cup holder.  A week later, another phone message.  I found one dime when I lifted the kneeler at church!!!  A week later.  You're NOT going to believe this Jo-Elllllennnnnn!  I lifted the couch to vacuum under dime.

My hairdresser - who lost her husband about 7 years ago - is losing her mind with all the dimes she is finding since I told her my dime stories.  Not quarters.  Not pennies.  ONE DIME at a TIME!

Do I ever find other coins?  Actually?  Of course.  But rarely do I find ONE coin that isn't a dime.
I can't explain it.  I can only tell you - it brings amazing, contagious  JOY to everyone finding dimes.  Just wait.  You'll see...

The JOY of a Dime

PS - just in case you think I'm the only crazy one?






READ THE COMMENTS!!!  It's INSANE!  It's simple.  It's catching...yup...JOY.