Monday, January 25, 2010

These Are a Few of my Favorite Things

It was suggested that, to balance out my post regarding things that annoy me, I make an opposite post to highlight things that I like. Behold:
  • Leni - it had to be said
  • Crispy bacon
  • Multi-ply toilet paper
  • A full tank of gas
  • When weather and my outdoor plans cooperate
  • The Today Show
  • Getting mail...NOT junk mail
  • Giving the perfect gift
  • Will & Grace
  • Wikipedia
  • Skiing
  • When both my labs try to use the doggy door at the same time
  • Artful graffiti on rail cars
  • A great bottle of wine
  • Scrubs -the sitcom
  • A clean bill of health
  • Asian food
  • When the laziest solution to a problem also happens to be the most efficient thing to do
  • Being in the company of good people, especially those I do not often see
  • Music that perfectly matches my mood
  • Weddings of people I know really well
  • Geo-caching
  • Fresh tortillas
  • Environmental awareness
  • The smell of a bakery
  • Local coffee shops, even though I don't really love coffee
  • A toasted bagel with garden veggie cream cheese
  • A decently fast internet connection
  • People who know how to get stuff done
  • A friendly and productive customer service experience
  • Live music
  • Seafood, within reason
  • Musicals
  • Baked beans
  • Dr. Mario for NES (old school Nintendo) - updated 2/6/2010

18 days until the Olympics begin!

Keep It Real!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Total Mileage


That's how many miles I've put on in a motor vehicle since December 14th.

If you count the running around town and side trips here and there, the number DEFINITELY exceeds 7000.

Here are the trips that that number includes:
  • Big Sandy, TX to Los Alamos, NM (the move to NM!)
  • Los Alamos, NM to Harker Heights, TX and back (Christmas with Leni's family)
  • Los Alamos, NM to Albuquerque, NM and back (belated Christmas with my family)
  • Los Alamos, NM to South Fork, CO and back (quick trip up to see friends who were skiing there)
  • Los Alamos, NM to Tucson, AZ (drive to parents' house. Jumped plane with my mom to Madison, WI)
  • Madison, WI to Tucson, AZ (drive back with mom with small moving truck full of furniture)
  • Tucson, AZ to Los Alamos, NM

Whew! If anyone has any ideas for any more road trips for me in the near future, kindly keep them to yourself! This girl is done traveling for a while. I've got a wedding in Phoenix next month but don't want to be in a car for any more than about an hour and a half before that.

On a related note, now that I've anchored myself and don't plan on driving many places any time soon, I wanted to put out there that the house is ready for visitors! We have cleaned up the guest room and even have a newly purchased queen size bed in there! On the calendar already for visiting this spring includes my best friend from Virginia and Leni's parents from Texas. Let me know if I should pencil you in too :)

25 days until the Olympics begin!

Keep It Real!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rush is....fill in your own answer

I'm thoroughly disgusted right now.

When word of the hurrendous earthquake in Haiti hit this out-of-touch traveler, my heart sank for those poor people. I was in a moving truck and on the road with little radio signal so I was eager to get to my hotel that night and see a little news about it. I saw a very nice address from the president and excellent coverage from several news stations. But my attention was soon focused on some very distasteful and unbelievable comments made by two individuals: Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh.

Among many other things, Pat Robertson is a preacher, the founder of the Christian Coalition and launched a failed run at the 1988 Republican presidential nomination. You'd think this guy's Christian heart would go out to the victims of the earthquake, right? Wrong. His comment on the tragedy was that it was the consequence for a "pact to the devil" the Hatian people made in order to gain freedom from France. Unbelievable.

Rush Limbaugh is more well-known to the common person as one of the most conservative voices on the radio waves today. I see this guy as a total renagade who shoots his mouth off and has something good to say about once a decade. Unfortunately, someone has given him a national forum on which he can vomit his toxic, bile ramblings. Anyway, even the most conservative Republican I know (no names!) would still be shocked and appalled to hear what he had to say about the earthquake. He implied that Obama is using this terrible event as an opportunity to seem "compassionate" and "humanitarian" and a way to connect with "light-skinned and dark-skinned black in this country". Rush also discouraged his listeners from donating to Haiti by saying, "We've already donated to Haiti. It's called the U.S. income tax." Unbelievable.

I often get asked how I can be Christian and support the liberal political base. I understand how it seems contradictory at times. But let's look at these guys instead. They claim to support the Christian right. Ask anyone, or read the Bible, and you'll quickly learn that, as Christians, our call is to love and care for one another. I remember lots of tragedy and poverty from the Bible and I also remember Jesus being right there in the middle of all of it doing what could be done. Not asking for miracles here....just that people can do what they can. Someone I know in Wisconsin recently was watching the news coverage on the earthquake with her 3-year-old. Said 3-year-old ran to her room and dumped out her piggy bank and wanted to give all $17 to the people in Haiti (don't get me started on how a 3-year-old has that much money!). How moving! This child is definitely giving out of her own (somewhat questionable) poverty when these unbalanced men are calling names and childishly withholding help all the while encouraging others to do the same.

Such shame. I'm thoroughly disgusted.

In my research, I unfortunately found a reason to like Rush. He has raised 1.7 million dollars for Leukemia and Lymphoma research and personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most people in my life know that these diseases changed my family's life forever when my mom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma back in 1994 (recently reclassified as Small Cell Lymphatic Leukemia). I just spoke with my mom about this and we agreed that, if it was within our financial power, we'd write Rush a check for all of this money. We don't want to be associated with any of it.

To end on a more positive note, I encourage you to do what you can to help out neighbors across the gulf. When it comes down to it, these aren't people of another race or nationality. They are just people. People with fewer resources than we have and we are called, by whatever faith to which we subscribe, to do what we can. Leni and I, despite both being unemployed, will be sending what we can to Haiti through the Haiti Fund of an organization called Episcopal Relief and Development. I support this organization not only because I am an Episcopalian but also because it is one of few charitable organizations that sends 100% of donations to their intended recipients. Not a penny goes to "administrative costs".

Please find a similar organization and send what you can. Every $10 helps. Or $17 if you can keep up with the 3-year-olds.

Keep It Real!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Letter

Dear Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, Steven Spielberg, and all others involved with the writing, directing and production of Back to the Future Part II:

First of all, thank you! I've grown up with the Back to the Future trilogy and consider myself a better person for it. I even watched all three movies on Thanksgiving Day back in 2006. Or was it 1955?

Anyway, the real reason for this correspondence is to give you this well-deserved and very needed warning:

You have five years left.

In part II of the Back to the Future series, hoverboards were all the rage. Tons of people had them. They seemed to be quite accessible to the common public and not just for the rich. They were shown in the year 2015, as depicted by the time circuits on the Delorean time machine.

I wanted a hoverboard as a kid so very badly and that childhood wish has not at all withered in the 21 years that have passed since the release of this movie. But according to your movie, hoverboards should be around and in heavy use in no more than 5 years.

I won't hold you to the hover capability of cars. I don't expect there to be floating trash cans roaming the streets. My dogs don't need an automatic dog walking machine. Clothes that automatically fit the person who dons them and can reactively dry themselves when wet would be awesome, but I'm not making those demands. I'm asking very little when you really think about it.

If you are at a loss of where to start, the nice hot pink one that Michael J. Fox rode was manufactured by Mattel. This is the one for which I will be saving my money. I do not need one of those fancy ones that can go over water, as nice as they look.

I'm not meaning to threaten. I just wanted to give you a heads up because I'm sure others are anxiously waiting as well.

God bless you all and I look forward to seeing your work in the near (5 year) future.


Maggie <><

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We Three Kings

Today is Epiphany, the feast day during which we celebrate the arrival of the 3 kings from the east who came to worship Jesus.

It's a well known story and most of us could probably name the 3 gifts that the three wisemen brought to lay before Jesus: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. But I never knew until recently what was the significance of those gifts. In short, here it is:

Gold - A gift for a king
Frankincense - A gift for God
Myrrh - A spice used for burial

I, of course, have my own reflections on this. But more important than sharing them with you, the Snack for Later Enthusiasts, would be for you to consider these gifts for yourself and contemplate your own conclusions.

What gift will you offer in this new year?

Keep It Real!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

There and Back Again

I'm feeling a little like a wandering nomad.

In the past 2 weeks, we've been in Big Sandy, Tx; Albuquerque, NM; Los Alamos, NM; Killeen, TX; Los Alamos, NM; Albuquerque, NM and finally back to our new home in Los Alamos, NM.

The reason for so much traveling was moving, journeying back to TX for Christmas with Leni's family, and then coming home for a day and a half before celebrating a belated Christmas with my side of the family at my brother's house in Albuquerque, where we took this photo at the River of Lights.

Despite the crazy traveling and inability to rest my head in the same place for more than just a few days, it's been fun. The trip to Leni's family's home was packed with day trips and visits with friends and family. The visit with my side of the family was a little lower key although the days still seemed to leave me just as drained since I was more tired when the gig started from the previous travel.

Both Leni and I had brothers with somewhat recently acquired pets. Leni's brother, Landon, trapped this Kestrel back in October which he is currently in the process of training so it will hunt sparrows and starlings. Her name is Kasha. On the day that we arrived at their house, my brother, Nick, and his wife Claire, got their first dog. Meet Dottie! She is a cross between a Basset Hound and
a Dalmatian! She is 6 months old and over the course of our stay, we saw more and more of her personalility unfold everyday. I can't wait to see what she's like next time I visit.

Throughout all the travel and introductions to the many dogs in the households we visited, our own dogs were BEAT! They had become pretty antisocial and stressed out. During our visits, they spent most of each day holed up in some empty corner of the house to just be alone and recuperate. They looked absolutely pathetic at the end of my brother's hallway laying by our bedroom door.

While I am home now, my wandering is far from over. We returned home this afternoon and are currently washing clothes as quickly as possible in an effort to do a mad re-pack job in preparation for our departure tomorrow for South Fork, CO, about 3 and a half hours north of Los Alamos. We'll be joining some friends for a day of skiing at
Wolf Creek Ski Resort (presently the recipient of 78 inches of snow this season!) and the night of laughter and jocularity (look it up) that is sure to follow before heading back the next day. Our friends do this week of skiing each year. Perhaps next year, we'll be able to afford more than just a day :) But we're pleased to be close enough to be able to drive up and back relatively quickly and see some good friends.

A day after returning from CO, I'll jump back in the car and drive the 9 hours to my parents' home in Tucson. From there, my mom and I will catch a plane to the motherland, Wisconsin. There, we'll spend some time visiting friends and family before loading a small moving truck with some inherited furniture in order to drive it to its final resting place in the southwest with us, my brother and sister-in-law, and my parents. Don't worry, I'll be sure to also save room in the truck for my favorite Wisconsin brew as well as some fresh cheese :) Once all the furniture has been delivered and we are back in Tucson, I'll be sticking around for a couple days to help with some projects around my parents' new (to them) house before heading back to Los Alamos, FOR GOOD. WHEW! By the time I'm back in Los Alamos, I will have been on the road for over a month and ready to sit around and do nothing for a while.

That's the word from New Mexico where we're still enjoying the new and beautiful (not to mention WAY different from TX!) scenery.

Keep It Real, Merry Christmas (still a few more days of the 12 day season!) and Happy New Year!