Friday, May 29, 2009

Only the GOOD Friday #6 ~ catalogues

I was at a loss about a post for ONLY THE GOOD FRIDAY until I made a visit to the blog of Empress Bee of the High Seas and her mention of the new phone books being out for distribution.

About a year ago (maybe 2 years ago), The Today Show profiled an organization called
CATALOGUE CHOICE. At that time our mailbox was FULL of unwanted, unnecessary catalogues for everything from Arts and Crafts to zebra print clothing. Catalog Choice is a free service that allows you to decide what gets in your mailbox. Use it to reduce your mailbox clutter, while helping save natural resources.

It’s a very easy resource to use…

Step 1: Sign up.
Fill out our online registration form using your name and primary mailing address. Your contact information will only be used for the purpose of honoring your mail preference.

Step 2: Find your catalogs.
Find and set mail preferences for your catalogs, using the Catalog Choice search facilities. We'll then contact the catalog providers on your behalf, requesting that your preference be honored.

Step 3: See the results.
It can take at least twelve weeks to process your request, after which time your mail preference should be in effect. Results will vary depending on whether the company is actively participating in our service. All Participating Companies have pledged to honor your requests within 12 weeks. If you do continue to receive catalogs you requested not to, you can return here to let us know, and we'll follow up with the merchant.Catalog Choice is designed for your continued use. Upon receipt of additional unwanted catalogs, return here to set a mail preference for them. As a registered user, you'll also discover additional features related to managing catalogs at multiple addresses, adding new catalogs to our database, recording personal notes, and "going paperless".

My experience has been positive but it DOES take a while for your “eliminate this catalogue” to take affect. And there were companies that did not respond to the STOP SENDING request. For those companies, I called a phone number listed on the catalogue itself and requested them to stop sending. If they asked why, I just told them that anything I want or need I can access their business on line AND I don’t want to waste any more of our natural resources than we are already wasting. Some of the reps I talked with laughed when I said, “Save the trees, baby!!” And, ya know what? I am really proud of myself for doing that because I don't normally like confrontation with any person or organization who could send someone out to hunt me down for not liking their catalogues (yeah, I'm a bit paranoid). But these calls WORKED. My mailbox is so much happier now. And so am I.

Thanks for stopping by… have an ONLY THE GOOD FRIDAY… and a glorious weekend.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Murphy's Law

At one time or another we have all made the comment that perhaps everything turning upside down on a particular day had to do with Murphy’s Law. That prompted me into looking into exactly what generated that term: MURPHY’S LAW. Here is what I found…

First there was a very technical, military explanation…
The following article was excerpted from The Desert Wings, March 3, 1978”…

Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will") was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 at North Base. It was named after Capt. Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, (a project) designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash.One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, he cursed the technician responsible and said, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." The contractor's project manager kept a list of "laws" and added this one, which he called Murphy's Law. Actually, what he did was take an old law that had been around for years in a more basic form and give it a name…”

That’s all very well and good, but I like this explanation better…

Murphy's Law or Sod's Law?

While I admit that the name of Murphy's laws is a pleasant one as is the story of how it came to light, but the original name for 'if anything can go wrong it will' was sod's law because it would happen to any poor sod who needed such a catastrophic event the least. It also removes the ability to say "I coined this phrase!" because sod's law has been around long before any living man and has existed in many forms for hundreds of years. In the English County of Yorkshire I know it to have been around for generations because it has been passed through several Yorkshire families I know. But this original name is dying out because sod over here is a cursory so is not used much. Murphy's on the other hand is nothing insulting or lacking in hope I hope this clears any problems up and while this maybe hard to come to terms with, think about it, would such an obvious piece of logic have only come about in the second half of the 20th century???? (no credit given for this explanation)


  • If anything can go wrong, it will (Corollary: It can; Corollary: It should)
  • MacGillicuddy's Corollary: At the most inopportune timeExtension: it will be all your fault, and everyone will know it.
  • If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the one to go wrong
  • Extreme version: If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the FIRST to go wrong
  • If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway
  • If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something

Well dern… it just goes on and on. AND there are soooooo many of them. It’s a really neat site if you’re interested… or have nothing pressing to do for the next few minutes/hours/days… Meanwhile, I’ll just blame my bum luck on Murphy’s Law.

Thanks for stopping by… BBSL

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Manic Monday ~ MEMORIAL

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can read it in English, thank a soldier.”

My father wasn’t in the military service – neither was my mother. Somewhere there is probably an uncle who fought during WWII or Korea. I admit that I am not all that informed on the military history of my family.

The person to whom I was closest who did serve his country was my ex-husband – the father of my three sons. He served as a Marine during the Viet Nam conflict. He spent from January 1969 until December 1969 as a foot soldier in that country. At the time, I did not realize how that war would affect my life. In short, he would divorce me (irreconcilable difference caused in part by delayed stress syndrome from his war experiences).

In turn, this really made me stand on my own 2 feet. I was pressed into becoming a more responsible mom for 3 growing boys. OK… this was a start into becoming the responsible adult that I should have been all along (notice, I say START). Looking back, I sure wasn’t the easiest person with whom to live. I was a spoiled, inconsiderate brat at times. I just could never get the hang of looking at life’s bigger picture. To be honest, my life was too focused on ME. Funny how that quickly changed (and still does with age). As with all stories, there is a lot more to this one. And, I am still (always) working on the responsible adult thing.
However, it is Memorial Day and I will make this short.

This year, instead of saying a prayer to thank Don for (a) putting up with me for all those years and (b) for divorcing me, I will post this thank you to him. Hoping that his spirit can rest in peace knowing that no matter what happened between us, I am a better person for it.

Thank you, Don.

Friday, May 22, 2009


I have been seeing a commercial on TV every now and then that aroused my curiosity.
It is for TOMS Shoes.

TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One. Using the purchasing power of individuals to benefit the greater good is what we're all about.
In 2006 an American traveler, Blake Mycoskie, befriended children in Argentina and found they had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created a company that would match every pair of shoes sold with a pair given to a child in need. One for One. Blake returned to Argentina with a group of family, friends and staff later that year with 10,000 pairs of shoes made possible by caring TOMS customers.
Since our beginning, TOMS has given over 140,000* pairs of shoes to children in need through the One for One model. Because of your support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009.
Our ongoing community events and Shoe Drop Tours allow TOMS supporters and enthusiasts to be part of our One for One movement. Join us.


Most children in developing countries grow up barefoot. Whether at play, doing chores or just getting around, these children are at risk.
Walking is often the primary mode of transportation in developing countries. Children can walk for miles to get food, water, shelter and medical help. Wearing shoes literally enables them to walk distances that aren't possible barefoot.
Wearing shoes prevents feet from getting cuts and sores on unsafe roads and from contaminated soil. Not only are these injuries painful, they also are dangerous when wounds become infected. The leading cause of disease in developing countries is soil-transmitted parasites which penetrate the skin through open sores. Wearing shoes can prevent this and the risk of amputation.
Many times children can't attend school barefoot because shoes are a required part of their uniform. If they don't have shoes, they don't go to school. If they don't receive an education, they don't have the opportunity to realize their potential.
There is one simple solution...SHOES.
Of the planet's six billion people, four billion live in conditions inconceivable to many. Lets take a step towards a better tomorrow.

The website for TOMS Shoes is:

The shoes are a bit pricey, in my opinion. But you ARE buying 2 pair. And I think this is pretty good for a Friday.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Former Neck of the Woods ~ part deux

Did you ever see that commercial for "I shudda had a V-8"? Yeah... the one where someone smacks the guy/gal on the forhead. Well, I had a V-8 moment last night while watching the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Jay was interviewing Kevin Bacon (You no doubt remember Kevin Bacon from such movies as Footloose, Tremors, Flatliners, Hollow Man, etc). Kevin and his brother also have a nice little rock band business.

So Jay says, "Where will you be performing?"
And Kevin says, "Next in Lincoln, Nebraska."
And Jay says, "And after that?"
And Kevin says, "PITTSFIELD, MASS."

And then I said, "Holy **** (something I could but won't print here)!!!"

And that was my V-8 moment!! Actually, that was my holy-crap-Pittsfield-really-is-on-the-map-moment.

I almost got up right then and there to write this, but I was really tired and it was after mid-night. But when I did final get up today, I started investigating this. I don't know why it shocked me so, I actually saw the Statler Brothers at the Boys Club waaay back a few years ago. And there is always Tangelwood in the summer and that draws a lot of 'names in the business.' So I figured the Bacon Brothers would be playing at one of the smaller venues on the Tanglewood Grounds. NOPE... again, I was wrong. Their website said at the Barrington Stage Company. OMG... where did that come from. I had never heard of that place. So back into the investigation.

Can I tell you how grateful I am for the WWW? Without this marvel, I would never have known how well downtown Pittsfield is surviving after the devastating hole in the economy left when G.E. pulled up stakes and went south.

Barrington Stage Company (BSC), founded in 1995, is a not-for-profit professional theatre company in the Berkshires (MA), with a three-fold mission: to produce top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways of bringing new audiences into the theatre, especially young people.

However, for it's first eleven years BSC operated from rented space at the Consolati Performing Arts Center at Mount Everett High School in Sheffield (very much south of Pittsfield -- almost to the Connecticut border). In January 2006 BSC began renovations on a 1912 vaudeville theatre in downtown Pittsfield which BSC purchased in 2005. And by June, 2007, BSC opened its doors to a completely renovated 520 seat state-of-the art theatre. Now, there is the explanation as to why I didn't know about the Barrington Stage Company. I have been in California on and off since 2001 and permanently since 2004. Anyway, this 1912 theater was also at one time The Union Square Movie Theater where, as a mere child, I saw great films like West Side Story, The Apartment, and Flower Drum Song.

So... there is another little part of the former neck of my woods. Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Only The Good Friday

I was so excited, I had to post it yesterday. The following is my ONLY THE GOOD FRIDAY contribution. It was written and posted on Thursday and happened on Wednesday. So I guess, all in all, it has been an ONLY THE GOOD WEEK for us.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's been a year...

I have been waiting and waiting for an email from Mr G's doctor's office. Finally... it arrived. Yesterday, at his appointment, the staff took some pictures... and had a little celebration for Mr G. The staff called it his First Birthday.

Mr G has Multiple Myeloma which is cancer of the blood plasma and affects the bone marrow -- eating the bones from the inside out. This cancer falls somewhere in the leukemia/lymphoma cancer family -- somewhat similar in treatment. There is no cure, only treatment and remission. It has been 2 years since his diagnosis. On May 8, 2008, he had a bone marrow transplant. His own bone marrow stem cells were used for this.

So just a little over a year ago, Mr G looked like this:

And this...

And this...

And this... (a few days later)

When he came home on May 22, 2009, he looked like this:

For the last year, every three months, Mr G has to have a battery of tests done to check the progress (more hopefully the non-progress) of this cancer. Starting last August (at his first bone marrow transplant check up), the doctor said the Mr G certainly appeared to be in remission. This was indeed good news. The news was the same at the 6-month and 9-month marks.

Mr G was one of the first cancer patients to access the services of a new cancer department at Sutter Health Services and Sutter General Hopsital. His doctor, Michael Carroll, was enlisted from a medical practice in Arizona and started set-up of the cancer services at the beginning of 2008. Mr G was one of his first patients. When we first started visiting the new infusion center where he got his chemo and other stuff, he could walk in the door and have his choice of cubicles. This is not so any longer. When Mr G goes for his bone stregthening IV (every 4 weeks) it can be a long wait -- even with an appointment. BTW... he no longer needs to have this IV.

Mr G is still in remission. Dr. Carroll is extremely pleased with his tests. We asked how long the average remission can be and he said about 3 years. So yesterday the doctor's staff celebrated Mr G's 'First Birthday' with us. At that time, we found out that he is the first Bone Marrow Transplant patient at this cancer center to celebrate this milestone. This is the picture of the whole crew...

Mr G is in the whitish shirt (and holding the balloon). The gal next to him is one of the infusion center nurses. Dr. Carroll is behind Mr G's right shoulder; I am on his left. Linda (Dr Carroll's office manager and in charge nurse) is over my right shoulder. She hugs a lot. Dennis, the medical assistant who gives Mr G all his shots is waaaaay in the back (behind Dr Carroll).

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day from my former neck of the woods

The older I get, the more nostalgia rolls in, through and around me. I am missing my mom, my family and my hometown today.

When I was 11 months old, I was adopted by a couple who, at the time, lived in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It is the largest city and county seat of Berkshire County. This small-in-size-but-big-in- talent Western Massachusetts city was to become my home for many, many years.
Most of the population occupies roughly one quarter of the city's land. Pittsfield lies at the fork of the east and west branches of the Housatonic River, which heads southward from the city towards Long Island Sound. The eastern branch leads down from the hills, while the western branch is fed from Onota Lake and Pontoosuc Lake (which is on the Lanesborough town line). Like much of western Berkshire County, the city lies between the Berkshire Hills to the east, and the Taconic Range to the west. To the west of the city also lies Pittsfield State Forest, a 65-acre park with hiking and cross-country skiing trails, camping, picnic areas, and a swimming beach. Sections of the Housatonic Valley Wildlife Management Area also dot the banks of the river.

Dad was an electrical engineer for G.E. He designed and oversaw the building of a very nice home in an up and coming development. Purchasing a lot in that neighborhood came with swimming rights to a lot on a nearby lake. It was a nice bike ride on a hot day. There were no fences designating property lines.

When Mom and Dad became “empty nesters” and decided it was time to sell their rather large house, they moved less than a mile from that home. Meanwhile, I had lived in some nearby “hill towns”, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and San Diego, CA. Always, always… I found my way home to Pittsfield. I used to say it was like a vacuum cleaner and just sucked me back into its hug. But what did this place have, that I found nowhere else?

Comfort? Yes, like a puffy comforter in the middle of the winter (oh! and do they ever have winter there!).

Family? Yes… Mom, Dad and many other relatives within a 2-hour drive.

Beauty? OH MY YES!!

History? Here is just a little of it…

Pittsfield was first settled in 1752 and was officially incorporated in 1761. Royal Governor, Sir Francis Bernard named Pittsfield after British nobleman and politician William Pitt. The town was a bustling metropolis by the late 19th century. In 1891, the City of Pittsfield was incorporated, and William Stanley, who had recently relocated his Electric Manufacturing Company to Pittsfield from Great Barrington, produced the first electric transformer. Stanley’s enterprise was the forerunner of the internationally known corporate giant, General Electric (GE). Thanks to the success of GE, Pittsfield’s population in 1930 had grown to more than 50,000. While GE Advanced Materials (now owned by SABIC-Innovative Plastics) continues to be one of the City’s largest employers, a workforce that once topped 13,000 was reduced to less than 700 with the demise and/or relocation of the transformer and aerospace portions of the General Electric empire.

Other interests in the area:
Berkshire County (known as the Berkshires) is a historic area that includes Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Not far from Pittsfield is Stockbridge, a small New England town and home of the Norman Rockwell Museum. Rockwell moved to Stockbridge in 1953. I had the pleasure of meeting the artist in person in 1970. I remember this because I was 7 months pregnant with my first son at that time. The extent of our conversation was a ‘please sign this print’ that I am purchasing and a ‘thank you’ for doing so.


And, how can I forget the Popcorn Wagon parked all summer long at the curbside of Berkshire County Savings Bank.
There is much much more that I will share in subsequent Saturdays. The marvelous thing about this “neck of my woods” is the amazing variety of wonderful things to do and see in a basically easy to navigate area. Maybe it’s easy because I lived there for so long. There are NO freeways so ALL the traffic that needs to get from any direction to any direction MUST go through the city. That can be frustrating at times.

And so this is where my heart is this weekend… even though I am told that it is cold and gray back there and even though I SWORE I would never be tied to a hometown… part of my heart is there.

thanks for stopping by... have a great day

Friday, May 8, 2009

OTGF #4 ~ Extraordinary

I first heard this song on the ABC hit reality show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." This show is always ONLY THE GOOD -- no matter what day...

Since the embedding has been "disabled by request", I must provide you with this:

I was a bay tree
Quiet and unseen
I lived in stories but inside I kept a mystery
I was a starling
Nobody's darling
Flying in perfect circles just for company

And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready to be extraordinary

A midnight airplane
A window blowing
I know I am another sparkle in the sky
I shine on copper
Still undiscovered
But you might see me in the corner of your eye

And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready to be extraordinary

Waking up to wake up someday
I am my own parade
Stopping off at a sidewalk cafe
Wind is playing in the trees
Kick up confetti leaves
Seems as if it's all to say

And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready to be extraordinary

And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready
And now I'm ready to be extraordinary

Have a fantastic Friday!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The dishwasher saga...

My last post ended with Mr G and myself heading out to Lowe's to find a new dishwasher.

I had done the same thing a couple weeks ago when I went to Home Depot for the light switch plate. At Home Depot, I found a nice Maytag dishwasher that I thought would fit very nicely in our kitchen. The salesperson processed everything at his register, gave me a stack of papers about the new dishwasher and I was told that my beautiful new stainless steel appliance would be delivered the following Wednesday. Now this was Thursday... that's a long time to wait. But ok... I'll wait.

Tuesday night, Mr G and #1 Son removed the old dishwasher and moved it to the garage. And then Mr G looked at the spec sheet about the new dishwasher. OMG, Carol!! This new dishwasher won't fit in this spot. It was something about the depth of our counter space being 24-25 inches and the appliance being 35" in depth (according to the spec sheet). So when the delivery service called to confirm a delivery time, Mr G cancelled the delivery as he believed the new dishwasher wouldn't fit. He thought it was either for a business or it was for a kitchen island.

And... back to Home Depot we went the next day -- it's now Thursday (last week). We took all the paper work with us to show them why we cancelled the delivery. The customer service rep was very helpful and very nice. But he couldn't help us because the delivery company hadn't put the dishwasher back into inventory on their computer yet. We actually went to the appliance department also and looked at the same dishwasher and found (TAAAAAA DAAAAAA) -- are you ready for this??? The information in the spec sheet was WRONG!!! Someone had put in a depth of 35" when it really is 25 inches. We were both a bit miffed. This whole situation was the result of THEIR error!

So we waited til Friday and went back to Home Depot. The same CSR was there to help us -- again he was very apologetic and was very helpful. The dishwasher was back in inventory. Did we want to reorder it? Well, I thought if they can deliver it on Saturday or Monday, sure. So back to the appliance department I went. Nope -- can't deliver until next Wednesday or Thursday. By this time, I was just a bit fed up. So I said NO, just refund my money. I was beyond being "a bit miffed" about this now.

So the CSR does the magic keyboard thing and handed me a receipt saying that my money should be back in my account in 24-48 hours. Now just wait a second! When I purchased this damn machine using my debit card (same as cash, right?), the money was OUT of my account before I got home. It's Friday, banks really don't work on Saturday or Sunday, so you are telling me that I have to wait til Monday or Tuesday to get my money back??? GRRRRR... grumble -- no longer am I miffed, I am seeing RED.

And that is why, Mr G and I went to Lowe's on Sunday. Our lovely new dishwasher was delivered yesterday morning and the boys (Mr G supervising #1 Son) actually had it working before it was time to make dinner. And I decided to get the black one instead of the stainless. I was a little leary, but wow! it looks so nice (Mr G likes the little blue lights on it when it's working). Oh, and the money to pay Lowe's came out of my account AFTER the delivery was made. (The money from Home Depot was back in my account this morning -- Tuesday -- grumble)

I must chuckle... while at Lowe's Mr G decided that it would be nice to put in a water filter for our refrigerator. Then he extended the idea to include a filtered water spout at the sink. We have gone from having water service to using BRITA during the past 2 years. Now we can just turn on our own filtered water spigot at the sink. Well... when the project is done we can... I'll let you know how that turns out...

Thanks for stopping by...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

from the week that was...

Guess I will work my way back through the week. Yesterday (Saturday) was rainy here in Sacramento. But I was on a mission to meet Linda at iHOP. We had a wonderful 2 hour visit, drank coffee, ate pancakes. Oh, by the way, do you see what's left of those strawberry pancakes on her plate. OMG... it was like a HUGE strawberry shortcake!! It was so nice just to sit and chat over a cup of coffee. Just like we have known each other for much longer than my few short months in the blogging world. She has a lot of traveling left to do around these parts before she heads back East. She is going places that will provide some fantastic photo ops.


On Thursday we were supposed to take Ramona to her last obedience class session but I opted out on that. The previous week the instructor had made me feel like it was hopeless to ever expect her to behave properly in public. Well... I just guess I showed HER!!

On Thursday, #1 Son and I took Ramona to the dog groomer (Bath & Bones). She got all purdy and good-smelling and got her nails trimmed. It's really a neat shop. You can have your dog groomed by them, but they also have washing stations where you can do-it-yourself. They provide the aprons, shampoo, water, etc for $15.00. Since Ramona shies away from water (doesn't even go out in the rain), we thought they should have the first shot at grooming her. And just to show the instructor how wrong she was about her behavior, Ramona proved to be very comfortable with many other dogs around. It must have been just an amazing "hen party". Of course, the groomer found that Ramona had some redness in her ears and advised a visit to the vet.

So... on Friday it was off to the vet. It's $190 later (that did include the medicines) and we have to put 4 drops of medicine in each ear once a day. That is a chore. But with treats, she doesn't make it too difficult for us.

While we were finishing up on the new bathroom, I had to run out to Home Depot to get a light switch cover before the inspector got there for the final inspection. Of course, I didn't just run in, pick up the $1.50 cover plate and come home. I just had to nose around the store... specifically at the dishwashers. Now I blame that on Mr. G as he remarked the other day that our current dishwasher really should be replaced. Yeah... I bought a new dishwasher. And I'll finish this story when we get back from Lowe's... (we're going shopping for a dishwasher)

Saturday, May 2, 2009


It's Saturday. It's RAINING!! It just doesn't rain in Sacramento in May... at least it doesn't rain like this. We need the water to fight this draught, but NOT today!!

I am looking to meeting Linda from Are We There Yet? I am sure there will be pictures. Her plane arrives in an hour. I better get ready.

Friday, May 1, 2009

OTGF #3 - Simply Maaaaavelous

My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Nun’s Story, Sabrina, Gigi
and the list goes on.
Look at those eyes… large, soft, wise and, as Eliza Doolittle would say, loverly.
Audrey Hepburn is credited with the quote beneath this drawing.
From what I can find, the words are truly hers.
These words are my Only The Good Friday to you.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands… one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Have a maaaaaaaaavelous weekend, I know I will.