And more questions!

Any one who wants questions should comment on this post or the last one and I will give them to you on Monday when I get back from My  Tai Chi Intensive.
These are from noodledays

1.  The last thing you made or cooked that you actually felt good about.  I made Sesame Chicken and Broccolli a couple of days ago that was made with all fresh ingredients, and actually tasted like real  Chinese food.

2. Your favorite book to recommend.  Lately people keep asking me about Vampires because they all got into Twilight.  I read the first book but wasn't thrilled with it and didn't try the others.  I keep telling them that there are much better ones out there.  I usually recommend Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, or for those who prefer team Werewolf, Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs, or Bitten by Kelley Armstrong.

3.  The album, or one of them that you've listened to most in your life.  The first album that I ever owned was The Carpenters Now and Then.  I played that so much I wore it out.  When I get something new I still play it constantly for a while.  I play Joni Mitchel's greatest hits all the time in the car where I can sing at the top of my lungs when no one is listening.  At Christmas time I play the Transiberian Orchestra one with Christmas in Sarajevo constantly.  I do listen to newer stuff, but mostly on the radio,

4.  How much coffee do you drink in an average day?  During the week if I drink it all I'll have one or two cups.  On weekends I will usually have at least three or four cups.  

5.  How you discovered Tai Chi or meditation.  about 8 years ago when I was still in NJ, I joined a gym and discovered that I wasn't in god enough shape to take a lot of the fitness classes.  I looked at their list for Sr. citizens and the out of shape and saw Tai Chi. They said it would help with stress, which I had a lot of, so I tried it.  I fell in love from the very beginning.  I could do it first of all.  Second, it really did help relieve stress, and third  the more I did it the more physically taxing it became.  In the beginning you do your Tai Chi according to what your body can handle and then as you advance and your body can handle more, you get more of a workout.  After I moved to North Carolina I couldn't find anyone who was teaching the particular form that I had been learning.  It took two years before I found the Taoist Tai Chi Society and started doing their form, which is similar to my old one, but not the same.

6.  Your favorite Chick-lit book.  I'm never really sure what constitutes chick lit.  I tend to read books by women with female protagonists.  I wold recommend any of the authors I mentioned above, or anything by Janet Evanovitch.  I love her Stephanie Plum books, but I also like her romances.

7.  The best movie made before 1980 in your opinion.   Please remember that before 1980 I was in High School and didn't have very good taste.   I guess I'd have to say Charade with Carey Grant and Audrey Hepburn.   The move that was the most memorable to me was Smokey and The Bandit because that's where I went on my first date. I also have a lot of memories of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I can't say that was the best of anything.  
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Kermie Yay

Question Meme

Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.  I will however warn you that I am going away for the weekend, so I will ask the questions on Monday.  No, really I will.

With questions from wolfden

1.  What would your dream job be?  Probably designing web sites or web content for a company that was selling something, or doing something that I truly believe in.  I've always thought that it would be fun to work in a library, even though I'm sure they don't actually get to read the books much.  I wish there was a job out there that would let me be a professional reader without having to critique the stuff I read.  Someday I'll figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

2. What one place do you most want to visit?  Derinkuyu in Turkey.  It is an ancient underground city.  After that would be the clay army in China.

3.  What is your favorite book and why?  As much as I read you'd think this would be an easy question, but it's not.  The Lord of The Rings Trilogy would have been my answer in the past, because I would start to miss the characters and have to go back and visit them.  They were the only books I ever wore out and had to replace.  The Immortals Series by Tamorra Pearce is a favorite of mine because I love the idea of being able to become an animal and see through its eyes.  A Wrinkle in Time because it was my first exposure to fantasy. 

4.  What talent do you wish you had?  I wish I could express my opinions and debate better.  I wish I were better at dealing with groups of people, because I have a really hard time even participating in a conversation with several people.  

5.  What is your favorite food?  Chocolate!

6.  What one piece of advice would you give a teenage girl?  I would tell her that she should follow her dreams, but should not feel tied to them.  It's ok to change your dreams or to have more than one dream.  In the course of our lives we get to be many people, and that's OK.  

7.  If you could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would you chose and why?  I would have lunch with my Grandfather who died in 1994.  He was my hero.  I admired him so much and there are so many things that I never got to talk to him about.  He was the person that brought me back to Christianity from atheism, not because of anything he ever said to me, but because of how he lived his life.  He was a scientist and a Christian and saw no conflict there at all.

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Kermie Yay

(no subject)

Ok, we told her she had to be in bed by 9:30, but she was still up at 10:00 so I have to wait until she is asleep to move everything downstairs.    At least I get to eat the milk and cookies this year!  My name is mud if I forget that part.  Yawn.  Oh well,

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The family you meet

This year was the first time I have ever spent Thanksgiving away from family.  When we lived in the same state as our families my husband and I would alternate which side got Thanksgiving and which side got Christmas.  Since we moved, we have been making sure that when we go up we see everyone during the weekend if not on the day.  Usually we spend Thanksgiving at Harvey's Mom's because my extended family is willing to do Thanksgiving dinner on Friday so that we can go to both.  We then have to go up to North Jersey to visit Harvey's father and step-mother.  Then we try and get visits in with my friend Barbara who was my daughters Babysitter from 4 months to six years and to whom Tina is very attached.  Then we try and visit as many of Harvey's brothers and his sister as we can, and then we try and visit my cousins.  What ends up happening is that we drive 8 hours to get there, then eat for two days straight, and then drive several hours a day for the next day or two before driving 8 hours home.  At first we didn't mind so much because we were homesick, but after a while it just gets to be too much.  As I keep reminding myself, unlimited long distance calling really is the next best thing to being there. 

This year we decided to stay put.  We went to the neighborhood pre-Thanksgiving cocktail party on Wednesday night where we actually all sat around and talked about what we were thankful for this year.  (Something I don't think my family has ever done)  I talked about all of the support I have had from my friends throughout the last year.  After my husbands surgery I ended up staying overnight at the hospital and one of my neighbors took my dog home with her because he was lonely outside and no one had a key to my house to let him in.  My neighbors mowed my lawn for over a month until I had to beg them to stop because my husband was feeling better and wanted to do it himself.  Both of us have always had people to talk with when we didn't want to burden the other.  While neither of us attend church on a regular basis, Harvey and I are both Christians and in these last few months we have had many prayers said for Harvey and for our family.  Many of our neighbors are very conservative Christians, and they are well aware that we are not and that we disagree on many religious and political issues, but this has not mattered to any of us.  One of my fears about this move was that I would be surrounded by a bunch of right wing Christians who all thought I was going to hell.  Now that I know the real people, I feel pretty silly about that.

On Thursday we had Thanksgiving dinner at our friends Laurie and Jeep's house.  I got to try cornbread stuffing for the very first time.  Why have I even been messing with mushy bread stuff for all these years?  Jeep's Mom made the best Turkey gravy I have ever had! (Sorry Mom)   We had dinner around 2 and than at 7 instead of supper we had pie!  Afterward Laurie and I wandered over to another neighbors house where they were watching football in the backyard and having a bonfire.

On Friday there was a birthday party for my friend Gina.  The rest of the weekend was quiet and mostly spent alone since Harvey had to work and Tina was busy playing with friends.  I spent a lot of time decorating for Christmas which included making lots of origami stars because I am doing a second tree this year with a star theme.  I always wanted to do a theme tree, but can't bring myself to give up all of the sentimental and often goofy ornaments that one accumulated over time.  This Saturday, which is OMG two days away we are having our first annual Christmas open house for the people Harvey works with, and probably the neighbors also if I manage to spread the word.  Wish me luck!

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Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

This year I've been busy!

Last week I got in line at the supermarket at the same time as someone else and I didn't yield (-8 points). In January I invaded Iraq, broke it, and couldn't glue it back together before Mom got home (-1012 points). In September I didn't flush (-1 points). In May I turned ainsley in for running naked in the mall (3 points). In October I ruled Duluth, Minnesota as a kind and benevolent dictator (700 points).

Overall, I've been naughty (-318 points). For Christmas I deserve a moldy sandwich!


Write your letter to Santa! Enter your LJ username:

Haven't tried any of these for a while.

you are lavender

Your dominant hue is blue, making you a good friend who people love and trust. You're good in social situations and want to fit in. Just be careful not to compromise who you are to make them happy.

Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz

Your rainbow is intensely shaded green, blue, and violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You feel strong ties to nature and your mood changes with its cycles. Those around you admire your fresh outlook and vitality. You share hobbies with friends and like trying to fit into their routines.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

This message brought to you by the maple, the oak and the pine, and a guy named Harry.

I think autumn has really and truly arrived in North Carolina now.  It has been quite cold for a few days now and the leaves are finally in full color.  I still haven't gotten used to the leaves not turning until late October.  I imagine it's getting close to being over in New Jersey.  This morning I didn't even mind driving my daughter and her friend to their very early morning chorus practice.  It was all so pretty out there, I wish I could have just kept driving,

On the way home I put on a Harry Chapin CD and was immediately sent on a trip to the far distant past.  Its funny how some memories fade and some stay so completely clear.  There I was driving along Route 401 in North Carolina and suddenly I was 18 years old, sitting right in front of the stage at the Princeton University Gym.  Harry and Tom Chapin were there doing one of their benefit concerts, just them and their guitars.  Towards the end of the concert, Harry stepped out in front of the lights and the monitors, turned off his mike, and standing perfectly still sang Mail Order Annie to a packed, but completely still auditorium.  It was one of the first times I ever remember emptying my mind and crawling inside the music.   I was introduced to so many songs that night that have come part of my internal soundtrack:  Mr. Tanner, Flowers Are Red, College Ave., The Circle.  Harry Chapin died just a couple of months after that.  Probably 20 or so years later I went to a memorial concert done by various members of his family.  His daughter sang Tangled Up Puppet, a song about the relationship between fathers and daughters which ends with the words "You don't have to grow up all alone."  Of course I sat their with tears streaming down my face.
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Water Lilly

Body Image / Navel Gazing

Today I picked my daughter up at the bus stop.  I was wearing shorts and one of those camisoles with a built in bra.  Not an unusual outfit in 90 degree heat, but I couldn't help thinking about how unusual it was for me.   When I was a teenager and weighed all of 120 lbs I spent whole summers resolutely wearing nothing but blue jeans because I was too insecure to show my legs,  I was over 30 before I ever owned a bikini, and I don't think I ever wore that one out in public.  Somehow, now that I'm in my fourties and wear a size 16, I've become less self conscious about my body.  It isn't because I no longer care about my looks in fact I pay a lot more attention to such things now than in the past.  I am no longer mortified to expose a little bit of skin on a hot day.  Go figure.

I guess it's just something that ebbs and flows over time.  My worst times where the teen years, and the first couple of years after I had my daughter.  The best times were in my early thirties and I guess now.   I am more vain than I used to be about not looking my age.  Unfortunately that has more to do with having oily skin and still wearing my hair long than anything I've actually done.  I did stay out of the sun, but that was solely because I can't stand pain.

Anyway, I'm not sure where I'm going with this.  Sometimes security shows up all on its own.

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