Windfall Woman

Life and times of an older Brittany Murphy look-a-like still working as a sales executive after experiencing a life changing windfall a year or so ago

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Location: United States

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Thank you all.........

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I mean it. I am overwhelmed at such beautiful responses. You wonderful friends in the blogosphere so far outweigh the "meanies" that I didn't want to stay away. I swear I wasn't trying to be a drama queen! (Although I do confess a penchant for tiaras!)

It's been a strange several days here ... almost surreal. The evening I posted that I would take a break after reading those comments and emails, I had spent seven hours enroute and/or on my feet volunteering at the ballet. It was my last volunteer day of the eight I've done in six weeks while working at my job frenzily and getting ready for Christmas, throwing my Girl Scout Gingerbread party and having two groups of friends and family to visit. I am and was pretty much exhausted - but in a very satisfied way. The last of my "company" left yesterday so a couple of us decided to go see "King Kong." I have never seen the original with Faye (sp?) Wraye/Raye (sp?) but this movie......well, it is pretty unbelievable! It is action packed and with a love story/triangle on top of it.

Anyhow, I tote around a pretty big handbag. You know, being a woman, I have to have "touch up" powder and lipstick, being a germophobe I have to have my antibacterial hand soap, a brush for fine, flyaway hair, my business cards for business, my wallet for the reason everyone else takes theirs, my cell phone and headpiece since I refuse to drive and hold a phone up to my ear, assorted pens and pencils because I am an office products affianciando, my high clearance security tag to get into my office, and room for snacks, drinks, etc. oh, and my Benadryl for that pesky allergy problem. I sat down at the movies (we were hurried) and placed my bag next to me in an empty chair, but close. I kept getting emails - and I was checking them for work and such so it wasn't as though I wasn't watching my bag. Also, I had my fleece over it.

Funny how you notice things when you are a people watcher! There was not a row directly behind me so I noted with interest as a rather tall, big boned woman with long, curly, wiry and unruly hair pulled back sat down two seats away from my handbag. She had on corduroy pants and a heavy sweater -- last year's or the year before's look. She kept her face turned away from me somehow. At points, I glanced at her during the movie and wondered what brought her to a theater alone (not that that's bad). I actually thanked God that I was there with some folks I really cared about. During the last 20 minutes, (the most exciting part), she got up and left and I marveled briefly at how someone could leave then! When the movie was over, I reached over for my bag and it had been LODGED down - way down in the seat - and my fleece had been moved. I didn't think anything of it at the time, but it took three of us to dislodge it and check to see if anything had dropped out. I had driven so we got to the car, and something just told me to look inside. My wallet was GONE! My friends RAN back inside the theatre -- NOTHING. Then went to the box office and there was my wallet AND my CHECKBOOK (which I hadn't noticed was missing!) Supposedly, one of the ushers turned it in at the box office. I was starting to drive away and thought he should be rewarded! And I looked inside my wallet because I was carrying quite a bit of cash and I was CLEANED OUT. No money. No $100 bill from my dad. All gone. I was dumbfounded. It so happened that there was a police officer in the theatre.

He told me to be glad it was just money (I was glad about that) and that I would need to go to the police station to fill out a report. Which I did. He told me to call all my credit card companies and put a fraud alert on them. Well, a fraud alert does nothing come to find out. I had to cancel EVERY ONE of my cards! ALL. Luckily, I had dropped my debit card down in my bag so she didn't have access to that.

It's just really creepy to think someone with those evil intentions was literally right in my FACE and by my friends. My friends think I'm crazy but after we left the station and went to dinner, I was musing over what kind of woman would do this? How desperate was she? One of my friends was like, "Oh come on WFW, she's evil and probably on drugs." I couldn't help thinking - what if she wasn't? What if her kids were hungry? What if she had a sick child? Was she feeling guilty then after stealing from me? How scared must she have been to be so bold to try something like that? She had to be afraid of getting caught. I couldn't shake the feeling. I also couldn't shake the feeling of wondering what would have happened if I had looked over and caught her red handed with my wallet and checkbook in my hands? Would I have seen evil or fear? At that point, I broke down and cried and cried in my napkin at TGI Friday's. I cried for all the people who are desperate, for all the people who are afraid, and for those people who have no conscience.


Thursday, December 29, 2005

Taking a break........

I'm going to take a break for a little while. I've had so much fun with this blog, but in 24 hours, I've gotten two rather upsetting posts/emails. One thing I probably mentioned in 100 things about me is that I am a very sensitive person. This sensitivity is great for those that I love for I rarely hurt people's feelings that I love, like or even don't like. Unfortunately, my own heart is easily wounded. This blog is supposed to be fun, sweet, expressive, and an outlet. When I read words on here that make me feel upset or not so good about myself, then it's time to take a break. I knew I was lucky to have such great blogs that I read and read me in return. It was bound to happen sooner or later. I'm just not much in a mood to be put down right now. In fact, I'm not ever much in the mood for that -- as I'm sure most of you aren't either. Hopefully, I'll see you all later on. Be well.


Roaring down the road......

Lest ya'll think I haven't been paying attention about the Harleys, let me assure you that I most certainly have! Having become addicted to inserting a picture in each post, I was searching for just the RIGHT one. Let me also tell you that a google search on images for women on Harleys nets some PRETTY interesting images! LOL...

Ever since I started reading blogs, I gravitated toward many biker logs - including Steel Cowboy who referred me to Grey Biker who referred me to Slice of Cornbread. (Tell me if I am missing any more of my biker friends and I'll mention you in my next post.)When I read of their adventures -- the mental and physical vacation of biking, I've been truly fascinated.

I did a little research (me being a research kinda chick) and here's what I found: "The motorcycle didn't spring full-blown into this world. Rather, it evolved from the earlier bicycle. Women loved bicycles for the mobility and freedom they allowed."

And here's my favorite fact. It's a quote.

Susan B. Anthony - "The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world."

And I didn't know that "the first true motorcycle was a charcoal fired two -wheeler made in 1869 by Sylvester Roper of Massachusetts." AND......"In 1902, Harley Davidson sold its first three motorcyles!"

By 1940, the United States had its first women's motorcyle club, The Motormaids. Today, there are scores of such clubs. Anyone who wants more information about the history of women and motorcycles may want to check out the book Hear Me Roar: Women, Motorcycles, and the Rapture of the Road.

Guess what I'm going to be reading?? I still think I'd rather first try riding WITH someone for awhile. Cornbread says I've already got a good "biker" name - Windfall. How about that? I think I'm halfway there! Windfall Woman a.k.a. Biker Chick to Be........

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Here's an idea......'s an idea for something I could do for myself. Lay on a pink rug......with the beach's sunset behind me. And this is so NOT what I'm doing right now! LOL.......My second batch of "company" is here. We were out all day and I just got home! Some are still downstairs. I snuck up here to post for today. I am ready for hot and dry weather. And a pink towel? rug? wouldn't be bad either? Look at my face -- I look soooo relaxed. Where's my tan though? I guess I just got there! LOL...........I need one of those drinks with an umbrella in it! Toodles!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

What do we do now? What do I do?

Christmas is over, and next it's New Year's Eve. I do have friends over for New Year's Day and cook black-eyed peas in Hoppin' John, cornbread, greens, etc.

I've been on semi-vacation as with my job I'm "on call" so to speak. I heard nothing yesterday from work so that was nice.

I'm not really sure what I'm going to do next. I've been working like crazy, then frenzied over the holiday stuff. Now, it is virtually over; and frankly, that's when I have a really hard time. Because I keep myself so busy, I don't have to think about things. Am I really happy? Am I really satisfied? Or am I just leading a really busy life and not taking time to face my life head on? The last shrink asked me what I do for MYSELF. I couldn't think of anything. I still can't. She postphoned two of my next appointments. I didn't go back.

So I'm looking for ideas. What do you do for YOURSELF that makes YOU happy?

Monday, December 26, 2005

Now is the time for all good men (and women) to....

REST!!!!!!!!!!! I'm reclining ALOT today and intend on continuing it through to nightfall. I'm worn out. I do have time to wonder why my hair looks so red here? It must have been something I ate. Too many cranberries? I enjoyed my daddy and stepmom visiting. They left this morning. I never talked to my mother yesterday. I did send her a card. She pretty much threatened me if I sent her a gift. So I didn't. I thought of her though. I refuse to be abused any more. I've tried to overlook and forgive. I can't do anymore. I'm not dwelling on this anymore.

I'm focusing on 2006!


Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all! (Sorry I'm a little late.) I've been busy opening presents and cooking ALL DAY! I actually did all this in my special outfit. My family took this picture of me. I couldn't resist wearing my new Santa Helper outfit. Do you like it? Can you believe I didn't spill a THING on me? I mean I cooked a turkey, southern cornbread dressing, sweet potato souffle', squash souffle', apple cranberry casserole, etc. etc. etc. I must admit the boots are beginning to pinch a little.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. And for my Jewish friends....Happy Hanukkah!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Wearing red but not seeing it.......

It's Christmas Eve!!!!! The anticipation of Christmas used to almost make me sick as a child. No sleep....candy everywhere. I have to say - my parents did a fantastic job of "Santa-ing" me. I was sooo happy. As an adult, I still feel the excitement but not to such a tummy flipping degree.

Being the daughter of a schoolteacher, I grew up wearing the "color of the holiday." Green at St. Pat's Day (yes, I have some Irish blood), pink at Valentine's, and red around Christmas. In business, "they" say red is the power color. Remember "The Donald" with his red tie? Red is a color I either feel like wearing or DON'T. Red can sometimes cheer me up when I'm down or make me merrier! Being a blonde, I have to say - red is a darned good color! I wear alot of red around the holidays. Here's one of my favorite pictures where the paparazzi caught me wearing red .

Think about "seeing red." Doesn't that typically mean being angry? Feeling all burned up? This time of year, I tend to want to forgive, let go of the anger and make amends. I sent a few cards to friends I've had some issues with in the past. I'm hoping that they respond. If they don't, I still feel the peace of extending the olive branch. Life is just too short to hang on to that destructive emotion - anger. I wonder what would happen in everyone in the world - for at least one day on the calendar - could put down their anger and feel peace? For the next two days, I'm going to try to not get angry at anybody. Peace. That's my Christmas, Hanukkah, Holiday wish for all of you out there. Peace be with you.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Exercise, Breakfast, Shopping and Broken X Box

My parents (my dad and stepmom) got worried about me running in the street. They gave me my Christmas present early. A membership to a health club. Goodness, I hadn't been in a health club in awhile. I felt.....intimidated. I shouldn't have. Nobody really cared what I wore or what I looked like. I didn't even know so many machines exist! It was fun. I got on the treadmill, the bike, the stairmaster, goodness! It was exhiliarating. Watch me not be able to get up tommorrow!

After we all exercised, we went out to breakfast/brunch. I feasted on one of my favorites -- Eggs Benedict. Yummm. I went home to finish some paperwork and mail it out. I headed to the mall. The parking lots were jammed but I slid right into a "windfall" space -- front space right by the door. I finished my shopping thank heavens!

We went out to dinner for California burritos. The workers were authentic Mexicans and couldn't understand our party at all. I hoped for the best when I got my food. I just got home after being gone all day except for the stop in for the paperwork and shower. 'Tis the season for shopping and eating and exhaustion I guess. Last night I actually slept through the entire night last night. That never happens to me. I'm a really light sleeper.

Poor Walt. Remember him waiting all night for the XBox? It's BROKEN. It worked three days and it is NOW BROKEN. That was his entire Christmas. He is trying hard to keep his spirits up. I feel so very sorry for him. I don't know what to do. His parents are devastated. His Christmas was mainly centered around stuff for the XBox and now there is NO XBOX. He was jokingly saying, "Microsoft has RUINED my Christmas." He is a brave boy. Something could still happen to fix it. Best Buy promised that they would exchange his other one for a new one when a shipment comes in. I do hope a new shipment comes in tommorrow, and he gets one. He so deserves it. I think all of you deserve a little holiday windfall. Here's hoping you get one.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Nutcracker, Friends, Roses and a Boyfriend

I think I mentioned that my Girl Scout co-leader and I were going to take our troop to see Belle in the ballet. I may not have mentioned that it was The Nutcracker. I just love the Nutcracker. Puts me even more in the seasonal mood every year. Anyhow, Belle was pretty excited as six of her closest friends were coming to see her as was her boyfriend. Yes, Miss Belle has her first REAL boyfriend at 12 years old. He's already scored some major points in that he actually TALKS to her at school, brought her a Christmas present (silver earrings and a Lynyrd Skynryd CD). Yes, the guy has taste! He invited her to his basketball games, and she went to every home one that wasn't on a "ballet" day. So, he gets her performing schedule for The Nutcracker. Gets his mom to bring him to last night's performance. Asks Miss Belle where the stage door is (before the performance). My co-leader and I were waiting with the girls at the stage door to pick her up (we were having a party afterwards) and A and his mom come down the sidewalk. He's carrying a bouquet of a dozen pink roses and a stuffed mouse! Belle springs down the stairs to cries from the Girl Scouts of "Oh Belle!!!!" She sees A at the foot of the steps and is glowing. She gives him a sideways hug and thanks him whereupon she is surrounded in a huge group hug by her fellow scouts. She returns to A again, thanks him for coming and gives him another hug. We all take off and Belle is on Cloud 9!

All of this led me to think about the choices I've made in my own life. Obviously, Belle has found a "keeper" boyfriend as well as "keeper" friends. Could I say the same thing about my own choices? Do I have friends who would stand with me no matter what? I can say with great conviction that I do have such friends. I also spend time and energy on people who wouldn't.

There is something so important to me that is even more important than my "windfall" if you can believe it. It's a little thing called "unconditional love." My definition of unconditional love is that love and acceptance that you receive regardless of how much money you have, what you do, who you are. A person or an animal that loves you no matter what. You look behind you, and there they are. They celebrate your successes and console you when you're down and out. The older I get, the more unconditional love becomes one of the most important values in my relationships. It's really a necessity with me, and if you can't give it to me and receive it from me, then you're best to move on down the line. Don't give me any fence devil's advocates......just give me your love and I'll give you mine. It's simple. And it's The Nutcracker during this season, and friends that stand in the cold waiting for you after a triumphant ballet performance, and a boyfriend brave enough to stand in front of grownups and a bevy of friends, giving you roses and stuffed mouse and TWO hugs.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Satisfaction and Exhaustion

I don't normally post twice in one day. I am exhausted, but it is in a good, satisfied way. My downstairs is spotless! The party was FUN! I am so in the spirit. Hearing those girls laugh and chatter away with Christmas music in the background just lifted my soul. They really are so very special.

And hungry. I had planned on just quiches, cheese and crackers, cookies, gingerbread men, cocoa and sodas. Well, at the last minute, I panicked and ordered three large cheese pizzas. Something just told me to do it. I listen when I get those messages. Those girls ate it UP! I think they're at the stage where they are growing. Now, tell me, what is with this generation who did NOT eat the gingerbread men? Almost every one of them said, "I've never had it before." Not one was keen to try it either! They gravitated to the PIZZA. I gravitated to the quiches. I took lots of pictures, got lots of presents to put under my tree. I shouldn't feel so excited about presents - but I confess I do! My feet are the tiredest (as you can see from my picture!) LOL.......I am so tired that I have a foot spa but I am too tired to clean it out and fill it up. I think I'll settle for a lovely shower and my spa slippers that I throw in the microwave. Did I tell you I awoke at 4:00 this morning? zzzzzzzzzzzz I'm sleepy......zzzzzzzzzzz.......I'm having a salad, a shower, and bed and in that order......zzzzzzzzz..... Hope you sleep well......sweet dreams.

Party Time and Down Time

I'm hosting Belle (ballet/toe shoe girl) and her friends (my Girl Scout Troop) at my house for a Gingerbread House decorating party today from 2pm - 4pm. This is the third year in a row that I've hosted this party. My local bakery makes these huge premade gingerbread houses, and the girls decorate them using royal icing, gumdrops, M&Ms, peppermint canes, chocolate bars, chocolate kisses, etc. I always take a picture of each girl with her house. They are sooo inventive! We used to pick them up from school, serve lunch and decorate the houses (4 hours)! While it was fun, it was a bit hard. This year, the party is two hours; and I'm serving mini quiches, cheese and crackers, cookies, sodas and hot chocolate! This party should be easier!

You know, at one point yesterday, I thought I'm NEVER going to be ready for this. I honestly felt like calling them all and saying I was sick and then crawling in the bed with my covers up! It was all I could do to push through that wall and not give up. I've heard from some of you and know that you're having some really rough times. If I could be so bold as to offer some tips on coping with sadness/anxiety/overwhelmedness (not a word).

1. Alcoholics take it day by day. Sometimes I take life hour by hour. Sometimes minute by minute. It seems to help me through it.

2. I count my blessings. How many things do I have to be grateful for in place of all the things that are wrong?

3. I treat myself - a bubble bath, a good cry (don't underestimate it), fresh air outside (bracing is good), junk food.

4. Read a good book. That always transports me to another world. I stay away from depressing books during this period.

5. Make sure you are getting enough rest. Sleep deprivation will mess with you!

6. Do one task you hate. You are in a bad mood already - why not do something you dread and hate? Then you are happy because you accomplished something you dread and hate!

7. Go out and do something for someone else. Smile at a stranger. Return an empty grocery cart to the bin. One good turn can sometimes do wonders for the spirit and heart.

I've already cheered MYSELF up now! Hang in there you special people, and remember YOUR "reason for the season."


Monday, December 19, 2005

Dear Mama

Dear Mama,

I will never be able to give you this letter, but it is in my heart and I need to express myself.

I'm sorry I'm not a better daughter. I'm sorry I've disappointed you all of my life. I'm sorry I feel guilty even writing this letter that you will never see. I'm so sorry that you don't want to give or receive any presents this year. I'm sorry that you are angry that my dad is coming to see me for Christmas, and that in spite of being divorced for many years, you cannot seem to let go of the hatred and bitterness you feel about it. I am sorry that you cannot allow me the peace to pursue my relationship with my father that is so essential to me. I love both of my parents, but with you, I have to work a little harder. I can't imagine what it must be like to have a daughter like me - your same gender - and for us not to be closer than we are. I'm sorry that you don't understand why I cry easily - at movies and commercials and just in general when I am touched. I'm sorry you sit in your house and don't make friends or do some sort of service work or go to the ballet with me when I have tickets. I'm sorry that you have periods where you say the most hateful things to me, and I just absorb it. I'm sorry that you feel your childhood was overshadowed by your sisters. I am sorry that you are prejuidiced and cannot get past it nor can you understand why I believe we are all His children. I'm sorry that you cannot accept nor give love when it is truly given. I'm sorry that I don't understand you or what makes you happy. I wish I could help you. I wish I could make life wonderful for you. Unfortunately, my "windfall" does not have that particular brand of magic. I can only continue to pray for you and hope that in some way, with someone or something, you find happiness and peace. Because we all deserve it. Merry Christmas Mama.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Don't Cha wish you.......

I've received emails and comments asking for a "Sin City" picture, so here's one taken straight from shooting. And it fits today's entry. A couple of days ago, I heard a few of my JA (Junior Achievement) guys were going to camp out at Best Buy last night for XBox 360s. They're 15-16 year olds. One pair of parents was actually going to spend the night in their van in the parking lot! The other two (one being the "famous" Walt's parents) had plans to make "drivebys" checking in, bringing hot chocolate, etc. I kept waking up thinking about those boys out there. Finally at 4am, I got up and dressed and headed over there. I was really glad I had gone because they were FREEZING. One said, "Ms. WFW, I am sooo cold, if only I could have something hot to drink." I had planned to bring cocoa as I thought Dunkin' Donuts was open all night but turns out they open at 5am. I headed over there and picked up some egg sandwiches and three huge cardboard boxes of hot chocolate and brought them back. They immediately warmed up and urged me to head home. As I was heading home, I had my radio on in the car. This song came on with the lyrics, "Don't Cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't Cha wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?" OK, so I get in bed, and ALL night I am hearing The Pussycats sing this......LOL.....the fun of involvement with teenagers! Doesn't this picture look like I'm saying -- "DON'T CHA???" Why DON'T CHA have a great Sunday???

Saturday, December 17, 2005

There is a balm in Gilead

I missed you yesterday. On Thursday, I did some volunteering at the ballet. I ended up with some really bratty kids (and I am a very tolerant woman). I mean one of the 14 year olds went into a dressing room and SLAMMED the door. I was so over it. By the time I got to my car literally sloshing in rain and ice, my head was beginning to ache. I went through a drivethrough, picked up some lunch, ate it and relaxed as I had a pending hair appointment. Now any woman knows that getting a hair appointment this time of year is tricky. Since my hairdresser is right up the street, I drug myself up there. They were all so nice, and the shampoo lady gave me the most incredible neck message (those help). I still felt awful and went home to bed and that was IT for Thursday. On Friday, I tried to get up but I couldn't. I was out of commission virtually all day until the late afternoon when I had to make four long roundtrips out in Friday afternoon messy traffic! In the cold! I was really in a bad mood by the time I reached my last destination. I popped into the waiting room - a few of us gather there intermittently on Friday nights. I was glad to see one of my friends who I had heard had been in the emergency room for some sort of attack! The ER doctors couldn't diagnose her problem so they called it anxiety OR Alzheimer's. (wry laugh) They gave her medicine for both. She still wasn't herself but was hanging in there. I looked on the chair beside her, and it was loaded with plates of cookies. Someone asked her about them and she said I've been BAKING. We were all amazed that she would have gone to all that trouble having been sick, anxious or suffering from Alzheimer's. (Sorry I'm not usually sarcastic.) Anyhow, as I started to leave, she handed me a plate of cookies and said the chocolate ones may not be good. I couldn't believe it. Is this woman not amazing? She feels like the dickens, and she is baking for our little group! It really put me in the spirit.

So many of you are struggling through difficult circumstances, a difficult year.......I tried writing last night something about healing.......something comforting.......a balm for the wounded. I just couldn't make my writing come together. What kept sticking in my mind was a hymn I sang in my grandparents' small church as a child. I can still see my beloved grandmother up at the organ playing this along with the pianist.

Here is an excerpt:


There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.
Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.

Here's a link to the music if you care to hear it.

God bless you all!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Amazement, Deer and Smoothies

I had to take a little nap early last evening. I worked a special performance at the ballet just for children - field trips, etc. It was BUSY!

I awoke to the news headlines. One of my favorites is "Deer Smashes Through Smoothie Window." LOL... That deer must have WANTED a smoothie pretty darned bad. I had a friend a couple of years ago, and her husband and her bought two of those well known Smoothie franchises. They thought they were going to make a "windfall." What they bought was an extremely seasonal business with hourly workers upping and quitting all the time. And the noise of the ice in those blenders will DEAFEN you. I would rather lose my hearing standing too close to the speakers at an Allman Brothers concert. (which I did for a couple of days but man, was THAT worth it).

I personally HATE smoothies. If I want to take a $10 bill and tear it up on something to drink I would rather do it at Starbuck's. First of all, those smoothies are LOADED with calories. I bought some vitamins from the store - I guess I was on a health kick in there - and they were STALE. Plus, those darned drinks are SO SWEET. I've known more than a couple of people who have thrown up after them.

The deer, lost an antler, had to be tranquilized, will be fine and is on his way to a nature preserve. Which I think HAD to be his intent in the first place. I don't any more think that deer WANTED a smoothie than a man in the moon. He was ready to get out of the rat race (so to speak). He decided a jump through a plate glass window would get him some good anxiety killing drugs and a nice place to stay. I guess sometimes a jump is worth it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"It was the best of times....."

Here is the Christmas Letter from my Great Great Aunt (in her 90s):

"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times."

It really hasn't been a great year. We have had everything from surgeries to subterranian termites. However, it could have been worse, and it is improving.

In July, I went to Spain with X, Y, and my great granddaughter Z. We rented a car and an apartment south of Granada and took day trips. Enjoyable and restful.

Hubby and I spent 4 days in San Francisco at Thanksgiving. Saw the new de Young Museum and the Hotshipsut Exhibit. Christmas we will take the trailer to A's and go to the desert after we leave B.

In January, X, Y and I will have a long weekend together in San diego just the three of us.

May you have a Blessed Christmas and a really good New Year!


Great Great Aunt and Uncle

Now, I ask you - is this a woman wallowing in self pity? It must have been a rough year and yet she writes about all the great stuff she's done all year and her plans for next year. IN HER 90s!!
And to think I have these genes! I hope they "took."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I cheated with my Dirt Devil

I cheated. Badly. With my Dirt Devil no less. It was beckoning to me from the box. Cordless Convenience! Quick Power! Versatile Cleaning! Cleans Carpets and Bare Floors! Quick and Easy Storage! No Bags!

I couldn't take anymore. I was supposed to charge it for the full 24 hours. I couldn't resist. Maybe that's why they call it the "Dirt Devil?" It works like a DREAM. So light. So efficient! I wanted to use it all over my house!

How much time will I have to spend in The Confessional for cheating? No wait, I'm not a Catholic anymore. I'm Episcopalian. Whew! We're more liberal socially. I really don't want to go to hell over a vacuum cleaner.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Party's Over........

Sighs.....the party's I'm just another year older. LOL...I'm ok with that too! Consider the options! I had a simply grand birthday weekend! I cannot believe how many of you wished me well! 27 posts! Wow! Thank you all so very very much! Those posts were birthday presents to me, so thank you again from the bottom of my heart.

My family asked me for my "wish list." I thought I might share it with you. (1) Five GENUINE hugs from those I love; (2) everything removed from my baking shelves and reorganized and cleaned (one of my close friends has a gift for this kind of thing; (3) the new Dirt Devil upright quickie vacuum; (4) a bottle of my favorite perfume, Ralph Lauren's Blue; (5) Someone to put up my Gingerbread House train and Gingerbread House and candy canes down the sidewalk (Xmas decorations)

I got all of that -- and then some. My best girlfriend at work (the one who gave me Jessica Simpson's shawl that I wrote about) took me to lunch today. We had a ritzy lunch at the river -- one of my favorite places. After we ordered drinks and salads, she said, "Now, tell me what you received for your birthday!" She was HORRIFIED at the Dirt Devil! She was like - have you lost your MIND? - last year you got Cartier and this year you asked for DIRT DEVIL???? Then she bent over on the table uncontrollably laughing. Thank God we weren't drinking or I would have sworn the liquor had gone to her head. I kept a very straight face and asked her what on earth is wrong with a Dirt Devil? I mean, I have tons of company expected for the holidays. My whatever that thing is that the guy speaks with the British accent contraption is like taking a calculas test to get it out. The Dirt Devil is going to make my life so easy! No bending over with the Dirt Devil hand vac! Zip zip zip, and I'm done! She went on to say, "It's a cardinal rule - never ever ask for appliances - only jewelry!" Well, I guess I broke the rule. I still would rather have my Dirt Devil.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me

Another year older. I feel so relaxed about this birthday. I don't really know why. For some reason, one particular birthday keeps coming into my mind -- I must have been five or six years old. I had a birthday party (probably had three throughout my life) and there is a picture of me greedily opening a big box containing a typewriter. How prophetic that present would be! I had no idea that present would be the beginning of a lifetime on a keyboard in some form or fashion. The printed word....writing my thoughts on a typewriter....taking two years of typing in high school -- probably the best thing my mother ever made me do! That education helped me earn money typing papers in college, get great temp jobs in the summer.......Not to mention it comes in darn handy in my current job as well as one the most important typing pastimes I have -- BLOGGING. So on my birthday, I would like to say thank you to all of you that read Windfall Woman. I'll raise a glass to you sometime today and want you to know that I consider all of your friendships among the best "presents" I could receive! Peace.....

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Dream........

I had a dream. A young girl named Lilly came to me; she was a sad spirit. She told me of her life as a child with her only goal to please her parents. Alas, they expected musicial and athletic genius as well as academic prowess. She spent her childhood striving toward their approval - enduring all kinds of abuse in these environments. Still, she endured...mentally and physically suffering from the effects of such stringent expectations. She looked to the future speaking of her vision as an adult wondering why now when she met their desires, spent years doing so......when she has small requests of these parents......why aren't they too driven to please her? Is this one of the mysteries of life she asked me? I held her close as she wept. I had no answers.......


Friday, December 09, 2005

Congratulations to Jodi and TGIF!

Congratulations to Jodi on winning Nurse Blog of the Month! Thank you to everyone who reads this blog who voted for her. Congrats again Jodi!

Goodness, is it Friday again? I just love Fridays so much! The anticipation of the weekend is so delicious. I am taking today off from work (the internal stuff) which really means I am "on call" for my customer. Still, I don't have to listen in to some BORING conference calls (take your pick -- there are so many today). I'm in a small, unofficial woman's club, and there are thirteen of us. For the FIRST time ever, we are all going to make it to lunch today! I am so excited! We are having lunch at a historical house with our own private dining room. I love the way they decorate those places. I planned this get together, and even if I do say so myself, I am a great party planner. I'm probably going to do some shopping in the gift shop today too!

Last year, before the windfall, I really didn't have much money to spare. But the these 12 women are all so special to me; I just wanted to give them a little something! I ended up at a local antique market searching around for 12 little remembrances - something tiny. I hit the jackpot when I happened upon a basket of antique handkerchiefs! I went through each one.....they were all so different. I brought the basket and let my friends select one from the group. It was really interesting which one they selected! Of course, I thought they were all beautiful in different ways!

Today I am taking tiny sequined Nutcracker ornaments. They all know that I am very involved in the ballet so they probably won't be surprised. Besides, buying the ornaments from the ballet helped them as the gift shop is a huge fundraising source!

Want to know what we are having for lunch? Yummy chicken salad accompanied by a fruit compote, timbales, cheese straws and french silk pie for dessert! But what I am looking forward to the most is being with all my friends......because isn't that part of what life is all about? Being with those that care about you and loving them back? That's what draws me back here to all of you. I never thought I would feel the affection and closeness to so many of you when I began this blog. I started it to stay "real" in the face of an incredulous, life changing event. What I've ended up with -- it is so much more. It's you.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Silent Night

I think I have the loveliest readers and feel so blessed that you read my blog. You may have noticed that I am very quiet about religious matters. I happen to celebrate both Chanukah (my stepmother) and Christmas (my whole life). For the record, I consider ALL of us God's children. The Bible says, "In My house, there are many mansions." I interpret that to mean that all good people will go to heaven - not just Christians. But then, those are my beliefs.

Nonetheless, at this beautiful time of year, I reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas. I think about the peacefulness of celebrating a tiny baby's birth and the joy surrounding it. As I was reading the comments from my blog yesterday, I noticed my friend Catherine had commented. For those of you who do not know Catherine, she writes a blog called Everything is Under Control. She is such a brave woman and trying to feel the spirit of the season even with the terrible year she has had. Catherine and her husband, Steve, experienced what must be overwhelming grief when their precious baby Alex was stillborn earlier this year. Please go over and visit her; remember her family and her in your prayers.

Sleep in heavenly peace baby Alex....Sleep in heavenly peace.........

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cleaning up pays......OFF!

I'm not keeping you guys in suspense any longer. My cable internet connection went out yesterday or I would have posted sooner. GRRRR.... It's bad to depend on something like that, isn't it?

Well, I've been cleaning up as I much as I have time for since I was humiliated when the decorator came in and went through my closets. I hadn't realized how much junk I have. I have been pretty relentless in tossing that junk too.

Anyhow, I found a small cedar box in one of my boxes. Kneeling, I reflected on how I had come to have it. I remembered that as a child my parents had taken me to North Carolina along with my grandparents to see a show called "Unto These Hills." The show was cancelled due to a tremendous thunderstorm. On the way out of town, we stopped at a gift shop where my grandfather had me "pick out" a present. I picked this cedar box. At the time, I remember him asking me why I chose it, and I told him that it reminded me of my grandmother and him because they had cedar chests in several places in their house.

It had been a long time since I had seen it. I opened it to smell inside......I love the smell of cedar and nestled in the tiny chest were cotton balls. I lifted the cotton balls off and found all of these old coins inside. That's when I remembered. My granddaddy had called me into his room, opened a drawer and filled my box with all these old coins. He said, "Now, there is something to fill your little hope chest."

I didn't even remember the chest or the coins. As I took them out and looked at them, I didn't even recognize them at all! I called the attorney, who has become one of my best friends, and he had me bring them over. His eyes widened (apparently he is a big coin collector - due to his history as an Eagle Scout and working on the coin badge) and I thought he was going to pass out as he leaned back in his chair. Apparently, these coins are worth THOUSANDS or even more a piece; and I have a whole "tiny hope chest" full of them!

My attorney insisted on driving me himself, in of course, his black Lexus, sunroof, XM radio, etc. etc. straight to the bank. My, those cars do have a nice ride. We went to my safety deposit box and immediately deposited them for safekeeping. He went on and on about getting them insured, but I was barely paying attention. My thoughts kept drifting back to my grandfather. Did he know what those coins were worth? And if so, why did I get them? I certainly wasn't his favorite. My other cousins loved riding in his truck, picking butterbeans and all that. I stayed back at the house with my grandmother, playing duets on the piano and organ, singing, and following her all around as she supervised the house. I was my grandmother's baby. What made him do it?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Another Windfall!

Can you believe it??????? I cannot! I just got another windfall!!!!!!!! Stay tuned for details. I'm talking about this one!

My Recipe for Red Beans and Rice

Okie Dokie........I have been quite flattered at the requests for my recipe for Red Beans and Rice. I did make it Sunday night; I love it. It's fairly easy to make and so delicious!

Red Beans and Rice

4-6 cans RED beans ( try to get real red beans not red kidney)
*Or if you use dried beans 1lb of dried beans that have been soaked overnight

2 lbs.smoked Sausage(preferably Cajun type but Hillshire’s will work)

1 Large Onion chopped

1 bunch green onions chopped-greens and whites

1 Bell Pepper chopped

¾ cup ketchup or 1 can Rotel tomatoes

1/8 c worchestershire sauce

1/8c soy sauce

3 cloves garlic minced

3c Hot water(more can be added if needed)

½ tsp cavender’s seasoning(optional)

½ tsp garlic salt½ tsp lemon pepper or regular pepper

1 Tbs Cajun seasoning (Tony Chachere’s)

1 Tbs Roux( this is optional if you do not have any roux but if you do use it!)

Put all ingredients together in a very large kettle or deep pot.

Mix well and stir often while cooking, do not let beans stick and scorch. When using dried beans , when they get soft, take some out and mash them up and then put them back in to help make it smooth.

Cook on low medium heat for at least 1 hour. I(f using dried beans, it will take much longer till beans are soft about 3 hrs).

The longer it is cooked the more flavor it has. More water can be added during cooking if it becomes too thick.

Serve over hot cooked rice.

**Check labels on canned red beans. You do not want the red beans that contain sugars or corn syrup—some brands are sweet, and you do not want sweet beans. For dried red beans, Goya usually carries good red beans. IF using dried beans it normally takes more water to cook- start out with enough water to just cover the beans.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Today is the first day ..........

Enough grieving around for me! I am starting a new chapter in life. Out with the old and in with the new!

I went to the Christmas parade (yes, it was actually called Christmas) on Saturday. My, it was freezing cold. Two of my close friends were organizers, my Junior Achievement kids were involved in it, and of course, Miss Belle, our ballet dancer was too! She was on the front line dancing her Nutcracker piece! How on earth could I have missed it?

Of course, I forgot my gloves. I had on those fleece lined Merrills so my feet were toasty. I was all layered up. But my hands were freezing! It was cloudy, sleeting, but when those bands started playing. I really felt the Christmas/Holiday spirit!

I thought of my biker buddies, Steel Cowboy and Grey Biker, in particular, as Harley riding group rode by with white halos! (Note to myself - I think they were called "Biker Angels" - and to try to find out what they do.)

My friends and I found a Starbuck's and while they were downing coffee, I was sipping hot chocolate. (Yes, I am a wuss and can't drink real coffee. Actually makes me sick!)

On the ride home, I suddenly realized that I had eaten no breakfast at all and stopped in at Subway for a hot ham and cheese -- and a footlong at that. I went home ate half of it and thought - what on EARTH made me think I could eat all this? I was still cold so I found my gloves, put them on (yes, inside)....went upstairs, climbed under the covers with blankets loaded and fell asleep for two hours! I awoke starving (yes again) and remembered that one of my friends' husband was having an open house for her birthday! I dressed quickly, redid my makeup (thanking God it was casual) and rushed over. Gosh, the food was just awesome! The caterer was fantastic. I hung around awhile, socialized and came home and crashed! Sunday was a very lazy day.....Take care all.

Also, another plug for Jodi! A few have written/emailed asking where on the link to vote.....look for the box here that says "Vote for Nurse Blogger of the Month." All of the nominated blogs are (I think) nurses blogs or somehow related to nursing. Jodi is a nursing student. She is doing so great juggling single parenthood and school! She needs to win and win BIG! Plus, we want her to win that cool gift basket!

"Today IS the first day of the BEST of my life." I hope it is for you as well......or at least a GREAT day!


Sunday, December 04, 2005

I have a favor to ask.......

I have a favor to ask. Some entries ago, I asked you all for vote for my friend, Jodi's, blog called Coffee and Conversation. Jodi is a young widow whose husband died the same year her precious daughter was born. Let's give Jodi a great Christmas! Vote here. Choose Coffee and Conversation.

If you want to visit Jodi's blog and read more about her story, here it is - Coffee and Conversation in a Smoky Room.

I really appreciate you considering this. She was Second Runner Up the last time!


I also want to thank you all for your continued support. Balto is hanging in there. My mom seems a whole lot better. I am going to cook for her today and run something over there. I have a terrific recipe for Red Beans and Rice. Unfortunately, it is a nasty day and raining. UGH.....


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thank You Friends and Readers.......Hugs to You All

Hi there all you wonderful people! I have always loved Snoopy and his friends! Somehow a dog picture seems appropriate with everything going on right now. I can't even tell you how much I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers. I know they worked. There's the blessings I have gained:

1. My mother is much better. I'm taking her to the doctor today.
2. My Balto is hanging in there and not suffering. He goes back to the doctor today.
3. My laptop was replaced yesterday, and while I am behind at work, I WILL catch up.
4. For the first time since I cannot remember, I actually slept through the night.
5. I am experiencing some tremendous success at work even though I worked through my vacation (which I ended up not taking).
6. Last but not least, I had all of you here bolstering me up. I thank you for all of your wonderful offers; I did read all of your emails. And I thank you for all of your offered support. I am sorry not to have visited your blogs. I can't wait to catch up! Hope things have been going well for you.

More blessings too. Remember Walt the runner? He is going to run in the Junior Olympics for Cross Country! And he interviewed to be a camp counselor along with multitudes of other kids and earned as coveted spot in his first choice of date and location. He is some kid.

Remember Miss Belle - the ballet dancer? She is dancing in a televised parade for a Children's Hospital and begins her performances in the Nutcracker!

Thank you all again. AND TGIF!!!!!!!!!

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I'm NOT asking ....WHAT NEXT?

I'm really not believing this. Yesterday morning, I get up and my laptop keeps saying "extremely low battery." Can't focus on that because I have to get to the vet where my Balto gets more tests. He cries like a baby. If I knew he wasn't so unhappy, it was almost cute. We are going to try some alternative meds. Health food stuff. I get him home where he is actually a bit lively (for him now.) I head to my pc.
Long story short, it's dead. DEAD. I go to drop it off for a replacement (long story) ... of course they have none. I'm still waiting for one. While the techs are debating the replacement versus fix, I get a call on my cell. My mother has had what they believe is a stroke! I rush to her, the hospital. She is admitted immediately. I have her purse with all of her information to check her in. As I dig through it, I find a card in it that I sent to her two years ago. She carries it with her. The nurses come to get me and tell me that they want me with her. We are there for seven hours. She hasn't had a stroke nor a heart attack but they are unsure as to WHAT has happened. We are given directions. She is so hungry (as the only thing we had had was breakfast). I took her to Longhorn, and we devoured baked potatoes (comfort food I guess) and hamburgers. I dropped her off and was immediately sick. I guess all the stress, the food quickly on an empty system. I came in and showered to get the feel of "sickness" off of me. I climbed into bed and as I drifted off to sleep I thought of my mother - who never gets teary like I do - with one tear in her eye saying to me....."If I die and go to heaven, I'm going to tell God to bless you because you surely deserve it." I really think He already has.

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