Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Leaving Well Enough Alone #AtoZChallenge

Sometimes it is better to bite your tongue than to reveal truths that benefit no one. 

Sometimes it is better to say nothing, if you don't have anything positive to say.

Sometimes it is better to say nothing at all.

Sometimes it is better to leave well enough alone.


Today's photo prompt is "it stinks!". This is Mr. Goo. He's a 13 year old pound puppy who could use a bath. But that's not the part that stinks... the part that stinks is that lately he is having a really hard time getting around. The towel under him was my attempt to help him stand up so he could go outside - an attempt that failed. So I gave him some ear scratches, a puppy pain pill and a treat and am hoping for the best. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Just Kaizen... #AtoZChallenge

Last night I posted F is for Fatigue... which is crazy because I posted on F last Saturday (it's the A to Z Challenge, don't ya know?). Yesterday's letter was J. So, I guess I was more fatigued than I thought. Huh... totally didn't realize that until just now.

And nobody noticed... ;)

Kaizen, if you don't know, is the Japanese word for improvement or change for the better. This concept, as I have mentioned, is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I am always trying to improve - myself and the world immediately around me. I"m not always successful, but I do try.

When I grow up, I'd like to be a Dream Manager - helping to improve other's lives by helping them realize their dreams, no matter what they are. If you haven't read it, I can't recommend Matthew Kelly's Dream Manager book enough. It should be mandatory reading for managers. It's all about achieving business success by helping employees achieve personal success.

Today I had a taste of that... while pondering a business problem with a co-worker, a perfect solution for her both personally and professionally occurred to me. She may never act on my suggestion, but I certainly gave her something to think about. It might mean a cut in pay, but it would mean a more fulfilling personal life. And really, what's the point of having a lot of money if you don't have time to enjoy it with your family?

We spend soooo much time at work. Life is too short to spend it working at a job you don't love, doing things that don't interest or enrich you... yeah, I know... that's a lot easier said than done. No really, I totally get that.

I came across a quote on Facebook a week or so ago, it went something like this:

If Saturday and Sunday don't excite you, change your friends. If Monday doesn't motivate you, change your profession.
I was totally going to post the actual quote (it was a jpg)... but the Grammarian in me would not allow it. It had too many errors in it... like "ur", not your, and "dont" not don't *shutter*

Anyway... wow. Simple, yet really rough; a lot easier said than done. But it's something to consider.

Shew... ok... time to move on to something less complicated, like.... today's photo of the day: in the fridge

I'm not MrsPickle for nothin' :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

F is for... Fatigue

I am tired, feeling somewhat grumpy. I love to problem solve; it's what really drives me, so when I encounter problems that I cannot solve it wears me out like nothing else. My fight or flight instincts really kick in, I get a headache and I find myself at loose ends. Gah!

Since I have written and deleted about five paragraphs, I think I'll just call it quits on F - fatigue was not my first F-word choice - and try to figure out what to post for today's photo of the day... which is "dirty".

Yes, I too thought that I could combine an F word and dirty into a post... but this is not that kind of blog ;)

Earlier this week we had a dust storm with just enough rain to make it stick to my car

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for #INTJ... yes, I really AM a Mastermind #AtoZChallenge

Warning: This post may very well sound egotistical - sorry about that.

Have you taken a personality test? If not, I recommend it. Why? Because it will very likely help you understand yourself a little better. Don't believe me? Try it for yourself - here's a link to the test, which I have found to be very accurate. No worries, it's free.

I took this test, and a few others, during a Communications class a few years ago. (I blogged about it here, in case you are either interested or stalking me).

It turns out that my personality type is INTJ aka a "Mastermind". The letters stand for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging. Some famous INTJ's include Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates and Ayn Rand.

INTJ's are very analytical, they have a contingency plan for just about everything, they are mentally quick, prefer to keep to themselves and dislike chaos. We are often misinterpreted and/or misunderstood because we do not enjoy small talk or social rituals that make no sense; so we tend to come off as cold or aloof.

One thing really struck me when I first learned my personality type:
Though they are highly capable leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead.
 Woah... that helped me understand so much about myself and how I act in certain situations! It was a real "Holy Shit" moment for me.

Since then I have done a lot of research on INTJs, and it has really helped me to understand myself better. This personality type is very rare, somewhere between 1 and 4% of the population - which only fosters the idea that maybe you're an oddball (which I am LOL).

I found a great INTJ group on Linked In, and another on Facebook, where I found the pictures above and this little gem:
A: Thanks for asking. Our pet peeves are:

* We dislike surprises.
* We hate having decisions made for us. We’re INTJs; nobody is more qualified to make decisions than us.
* We dislike getting gifts, as it burdens us with the need to reciprocate.
* We hate small talk, gossip, and relationship/people talk. Really anything mundane is beneath us.
* We get particularly annoyed by attacks on our intelligence, competence, and integrity.
* We hate it when people try to manipulate us.
* Insincerity and lying.
* People interfering with our alone time.
* People who are chronically late.
* People who talk incessantly. We will just engage our “nod and smile” autopilot and mentally go somewhere else.
* People who are stupid, arrogant, opinionated, and/or closed minded.
* Crooked/badly placed pictures.
* Superficiality (body piercings, pimped out cars, brightly colored anything).
* Salespeople. INTJs are immune to emotional manipulation and have zero tolerance for lines of bullshit.
* Incorrect grammar and word usage.
* People who waste our time (see Salespeople, people interfering with our alone time, etc.).
So, again, I recommend you find out what your own personality is. It might even help you find like-minded individuals and other resources to help you become a better you. I know I have.

Today's photo prompt is "clean". Hmmm... well, I could go clean something and take a picture of it - but frankly I am not quite that dedicated to this photo challenge. The kid just took a bath, but she's in bed now (ahhhh) and there is no way I'm going in there (again). Clean... clean... clean...

Oh, I know! This is an old picture, but I was very pleased to have caught the water droplets in the air :)

Splish, splash I was takin a bath!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Hoover... how I love thee... #AtoZChallenge

I purchased a Hoover FloorMate about a year ago, and I absolutely love it.  I hate to mop my floors, but with this machine it's a breeze. My floors have never looked so good!

The FloorMate can vacuum, scrub hard floors and even dry them. You mix hot water with a cleaning solution and lay it down like you would with a carpet shampooer, scrubbers scrub the floor and suck the dirty water back up into a different tank.So, dirty water doesn't go back on your floors as it does with a traditional mop.

I will caution you that if you have dogs, or other furry animals, that you may not want to use it to vacuum - it can do the job, but the hair will likely get wet and cling to the scrubbers, insides, etc. Plus, the water tank is gross. So, with two dogs who shed constantly, I have determined it is best to vacuum with my regular vacuum first.

I rarely use the dryer on the machine, the floors really aren't that wet after scrubbing - there's a rubber squeegee in front of the scrubbers/vacuum that does a great job pulling up the water.

I have used this machine on the linoleum floors in my kitchen and bathrooms, as well as the wood floors in my den. Works great on both.

The machine is not heavy and the amount of effort required to scrub your floors is about the same as you'd put into vacuuming them.

So, if you're in the market for a new mop, get this instead. Your floors will look fantastic and you'll find yourself cleaning them more.

You can find this item on Amazon, or at your local Target or Walmart. I definitely recommend it!

*This review is not sponsored in any way :)

Today's photo prompt is "priceless".

Arizona Sunsets are Priceless to me :)

Monday, April 8, 2013

G is for Grandmother #AtoZChallenge

Some of my earliest memories are of times with my Grandmother. She taught me my numbers by teaching me to play card games. I'd play solitaire and she'd feed me buttered crackers, or sliced ring bologna with mustard on it, or Lipton Cup of Soup.

Sometimes I would watch Sesame Street and they'd flash a word on the screen. I couldn't read yet so I'd start yelling "Grandma, Grandma, come here quick!!" and she'd come running in in a panic to find me frantically pointing at the tv screen. "What does that say?!" LOL It's a wonder she didn't throttle me.

It has been a very long time since those days, but whenever I think of her, I think of those times. And other times playing card games around her kitchen table. I am certain my love of games comes from those early games with Grandma.

I miss those days, and I miss my Grandma too.

August 2007 - Grandma, Dad, Aunt Pat, Me and Angie - 4 Generations!

Today's photo prompt is new, so I'll use this prompt to show off my new leg tattoo. I got a rose because my husband has a rose tattoo on his arm. Although they don't really look alike, it makes me think of him. I got it on and for my birthday last week. I'm currently in the OMG it's ITCHY phase :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Black and White

Today's Photo Prompt is black and white. Here's a picture that Angie drew of me. I keep it by the mirror in my bathroom to remind me how glamorous I am :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pissing off my... F is for Future Self #AtoZChallenge

My favorite blog is still (sorry other bloggers, I love you too). She posted one awhile back entitled past self and future self with a plea to her past self to stop being such a dick... (yes, you should go look - it's a cartoon. Yes, I'll wait).

I think of that post often, because it portrays exactly what I do to myself all the time. I make a habit of pissing off my future self. 

For example, in the mornings I am frustrated with my past self for not sticking to my diet, or not exercising, or not being all around awesome. So I set off determined that today I will stick to my diet, exercise, be nice to everyone... that whole all around awesome thing...

Rinse, repeat. 

Yes, yes, I know every day is a new day. But I already know that Future Self is not going to be pleased with me come morning... 

Sometimes I even think about how irritated Future Self is going to be, but Present Self typically isn't swayed.


Egg Update: It's not easy being an Easter egg...
Today's Photo Prompt: Plate - this was my mother's

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for Extremely Average (@ExtremelyAvg) #AtoZChallenge

I have a friend named Brian, and he's extremely average... well, at least that's what he calls himself on Twitter (@ExtremelyAvg) and that's what his blog is called ( However, I assure that there's nothing average about him. He is extremely though, an extremely good writer, an extremely dedicated writer. He has written every single day for the past several years. Years!

I don't know about you, but I've been having problems writing for the past several nights!

Brian has already published one novel, Henry Wood, Detective Agency, and he's about to publish the sequel - three weeks from today. I really enjoyed the first Henry Wood story and its unexpected plot twists, and am looking forward to it's sequel! I encourage you to check Henry Wood out - right now it's on sale for only $2.99!

You will also enjoy his current writing endeavor, Killing Hemingway, which he is currently writing and posting on his blog. I can almost guarantee you will immediately be entranced with the young hero of his latest endeavor. I know I was.

Extremely average? Not even close. To boot, he's one of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever had to pleasure to "meet" on the interwebs. :)

A quick note about my product endorsements - since I have been doing so many lately. I have occasionally been offered free products in the hopes that I would writing glowing reviews about them. I basically hated all of them... yep, if you give me something to review, there's a good chance I won't like it. Just my luck.

So, if you see me reviewing something - like a book or an appliance or a service - I guarantee you that I not only loved it, but am getting nothing out of promoting it other than the pleasure of spreading the word about how great it is. :)

Today's photo prompt... Egg

I don't think they've figured out yet that tomorrow they'll be starring in some egg salad...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for Divergent #AtoZChallenge

On my apparent theme of book recommendations (really that was not my intent...), how could I not post about Veronica Roth's Divergent series?! These are fantastic books. If you liked The Hunger Games, you will love Divergent.

The story revolves around a young girl living in a dystopian world where society is divided into five "factions." At sixteen, the children of this world must choose which faction they want to be a part of - they can stay with the one they were raised with, or leave their family behind and join a new faction. It has a very interesting story line, and richly detailed characters.

Yes, it's technically young adult fiction, but so was The Hunger Games, so don't let that stop you. I used to let it stop me, but no more!

It seems like so many novels today are post-apocalyptic in nature. Lots of fictional zombies running around as well. One of my favorites is yet another Stephen King novel - The Stand. Have you read it? Great book. Believe it or not, I only started listening (reading) King within the last year. That's me... I find an author or a series that I like and I do not rest until I have read all of their books. I've mentioned it before, I love series books. If I find characters I really enjoy or connect with, I am reluctant to "let them go" after only one story.

Why, some of my best friends live in the pages of books... :)

Today's picture prompt is bloom. Angie and I found these flowers in the middle of a dry riverbed near our house... and then she promptly picked them :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for Cloud Atlas #AtoZChallenge

I recently read (listened to) Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. I admit, it started off not only a little slowly for me, but practically right in the middle of an ongoing story. In other words, it didn't start off with any real introduction or back story, but in the middle of a journal as it was being written.

That being said, I thought it was an excellent novel. I haven't seen the movie yet, but plan to. The premise of the novel is that everything is connected - our actions, good or bad, affect those around us and ultimately history. It also toys with the concept of reincarnation, without actually every directly discussing it.

These are concepts I've been musing about lately. I'm currently reading (listening to) Time and Again by Jack Finney and just finished To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis. Both are excellent, and both deal with time travel, which is a pretty interesting concept.

By the way, Time and Again by Jack Finney was recommended by Stephen King at the end of 11-22-63 (mentioned yesterday). Everything is connected... huh? huh? :)

So, do I think time travel is possible? Yes... I agree with the theory that time is not an absolute, but can be manipulated. Do I believe in reincarnation? Yes, I believe we have lessons to learn, and each life is a new lesson. This fits in with so much of what I have observed and what I believe.

Anyways, back to the books, I found myself sort of irritated with one of these novels in that someone went back in time and caught a bus, observed an event and left. They didn't change history... or did they? By catching that bus - no one got on the bus with them, so the bus stopped for them - the caused a string of small ripples that affected countless others. Perhaps someone had originally missed the bus, but now they made it. I think about things like this when I just can't seem to leave on time in the mornings, then pass a bad accident on the road that I missed by only moments.

Have you read any books lately that have challenged you to think outside of your box? What do you think about time travel?

Oh... and would you believe that today's photo prompt is "Future".

What better symbol of the future is there, than the face of our children? 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Books #AtoZChallenge

As you likely know, I love books. Ever since my dad handed me a Nancy Drew novel when I was 7, I have been hooked. I was that kid who stayed up way past bedtime with a flashlight reading under the covers.

Nowadays I do most of my "reading" during my commute. Just about everyone asks me how I can stand driving two plus hours a day (one to work, one back). and the answer is simple... audiobooks. As much as I love books, I love audiobooks even more!

Here are a few of my favorites that I have listened to over the past year...

I read IT by Stephen King as a teenager, and basically avoided his books after that. However, since I am quite the JFK buff, I had to get this time travel novel. What would happen if someone attempted to stop the JFK assassination?? Sign me up! Great books

Which lead me to...

Wow, this book was just fascinating! Suddenly an entire town is cut off from the outside world inside this huge bubble. It's a compelling journey into how people react under pressure. This novel is going to be made into a mini-series sometime soon.

By this time I was fascinated by Stephen King novels. Not enough to listen to IT, or The Shining, or any of his other scary novels, but he has quite a few that don't involve creepy clowns, like...

The Dark Tower series has seven books in it. The series is now complete, so it's a good time to check it out... i.e. no waiting for the next book to come out! 

These links will take you to Amazon, not to, in case you still read books. However, if you have a long drive, or want to listen to a book while you clean the house (seriously, you get soooo much done, without hardly even realizing you're doing it!) then I highly recommend audiobooks. typically has an offer of one or two free books if you sign up - no obligation. That's how they hooked me - three or four years ago :)

And here's today's Picture of the Day - On the Wall (had I found a Bug on the wall - tonight's post would have been totally different LOL). You can see my collection of JFK Assassination Conspiracy books up on the top here and that envelope under the bear? In there are newspaper clippings my grandmother saved from the days after... how's that for neat?? :)

One of my bookcases... on the wall... :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for Attitude #AtoZChallenge

I have a sign in my office that reads:
Happiness is a Choice
Simple, yet profound.

Is it true? Yes, I believe it is. We make dozens, perhaps hundreds, of choices every single day; many of them are how we perceive the world and the people around us. If we choose to be unhappy, choose to assume the negative - we will be unhappy and see only negative. 

So today (or you know, tomorrow - it's late, go to bed already) I challenge you to make the choice to be happy. If the world around you seems negative, brush it off and be positive. Push that positive energy out from yourself like a bubble. (Yeah, kinda like a hamster ball - but please, don't bump into walls (over and over)).

Don't let the naysayers get you down. Avoid negativity. Smile. Laugh. Laugh at yourself. Don't take life too seriously, no one gets out alive anyways. 

Attitude is everything. And while you're at it, maybe you could use these words of wisdom...

I hope you have an amazing day!

Speaking of attitude... here's my Photo of the Day: