Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I read a very interesting article yesterday that I thought you might enjoy....

My circumstances for finding it were amusing - after returning from the doctor. It brings up something that I've always had issues with... Hollywood being obsessed with anorexic-thin women. As the article says, they're making women masculine - thin, muscled, with small or no breasts. The voluptuous beauties of our era are not white, they're African American or Hispanic. I've noted this for years but that hasn't stopped me from trying to tone up and lose weight. It's not that I want to be de-sexualized - quite the contrary, actually. I'm looking for balance.

It took me a long time to embrace my femininity - I was a tomboy, after all - but now that I have, I wouldn't trade it for the world. It would be nice if society would embrace the natural curves of a women...instead of trying to make her into a 12-year-old boy.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Bit of the Bard

On Friday night, SK and I checked out a local production of Much Ado About Nothing. It was really cute. The acting was great, the storyline light, and the theater small.

I often forget about this play....instead remembering Shakespeare's great tragedies (Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet...). Never having read the play, I only vaguely remembered a film version I saw in college. So, the production held quite a few surprises for me.

Beforehand, we got dinner and a margarita....which meant I was a bit sleepy afterward. But it was great to have a girl's night out!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ballband Dishcloth #2

Finally, some knitting to report!

Pattern: Ballband Dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting by Gardner and Shayne
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Fantasy Naturale Multi (pink, 9991) and Lily Sugar n' Cream Solid (pink)
Needle: US 7
Made for: my mom
Time to completion: about four months, give or take

SK and I got together for our second Knit Night last night, which was awesome. Once I picked up the dishcloth, I realized that it was possible for me to actually finish a project over the course of the evening. So away I knitted! Outside of about a half-hour of crochet work (to give my hands and eyes a break), I knitted the entirety of the evening....about three hours. It was wonderful to finally finish something!

This dishcloth was started for my mother, to go with her pink kitchen. She'll get it when I next see her over July 4th weekend. It was originally going to be a small part of her birthday present....four months ago! Ha! Better late than never, I suppose!

Friday, June 25, 2010


I'm looking forward to this weekend more than any other in recent memory. The funny thing is that there's not much going on this weekend. But that's why it's so great! I need to sleep and rest.... I'm exhausted.

My dental hygienist blamed the heat for her exhaustion and perhaps that has something to do with it. Four weeks of around one-hundred-degree days... It's hard on the body and so very oppressive. Given the humidity, I fe
el as if I'm trying to run through a swimming pool at times!

But the weekend will help. Surely.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


While other Americans go crazy for the newest iPhone, I'm ambivalent. I can understand why people want it: it sounds pretty awesome. As a Mac user, I'm keen to see all that Apple can come up with. But I do not and will not own an iPhone - at least not any time soon.

And it's not just my knee-jerk reaction to rebel against anything this popular... It's more of an organizational thing. I like my phone that can call or text or take a few low-quality pictures. I like my ancient iPod that I can take on a trip or plug into my car stereo. I do not want the two merged. Those are two separate things in my mind, and I want them to stay that way. Furthermore, I have absolutely no need for a phone that can record video. That's just crazy!

The cost alone is also enough to keep me away, even if I admitted that I liked the idea of having an iPhone. The plans are just outrageous, in my opinion.

So while others scurry to get the latest and greatest, I'm content with my ancient pink phone. It does exactly what I need to it to do (with better reception in the country than the iPhone)......and that is, to make phone calls.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Road Rage

It is possible to have road rage during an eight minute commute. One word: lights. Lights that do not change after you sit at them for five minutes.

Enough said.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Parental Visit

My parents came into town for Father's Day, which meant my dad saw my new abode for the first time. Of course, he commented on the weeds in the front yard....he is ever critical.

But it was a good day. We went to brunch and ate way too much. Then we ran a few fun errands, including a stop at Mr. Higgins' house. Dad was, again, ever critical.

It was good to see the parents but I'm glad I have my own place now. My father and I always seem to rub the wrong way. He's a great dad but our expectations of my life differ a lot. And I can't live my life in a way that will make him happy and me miserable. I have to live my life the way that I want to. That's always where we butt heads.

I know he has good intentions. He's a wonderful dad who only wants to see me succeed. And I hope he had a wonderful Father's Day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mad Men

Mr. Higgins suggested I watch the previous seasons of MAD MEN so that I can watch the upcoming season, which starts in July, with him. I'd always been intrigued by what I'd heard about the show and was willing to watch it. Given the crazy Texas heat, we've had plenty of opportunities to stay inside, in the air conditioning, and watch MAD MEN the past few weeks. We're halfway through season two, I think.

I've never so thoroughly enjoyed watching a show that revolves around so many despicable people. I can't name one character that I like or sympathize with, but it's still so much fun watching them screw up their lives and tamper with the happiness of others.

The time itself freaks me out - the 1960s. In my mind, the time of the housewife, misogyny, smoking....basically, my worst nightmare. I hate the way women are treated and my inner feminist is perpetually appalled both by the men who so casually commit adultery and the women who tolerate such disgusting men. And the worst of all evils...the blonde trophy wife....Betty Draper. Is there an original thought in her head? Ugh!

Still, the storylines hook me in, every episode, without fail. And that's what great TV is, methinks!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Six Years Ago

Six years ago my girlfriends and I were just getting back from our grand trip to Europe, post college graduation. I'm in shock thinking about those six years and where they've gone.

On one hand, I can still remember the sights and sounds of the places we visited so clearly....and the emotions they evoked. But sometimes I feel like a completely different girl than the one who guided her friends around Italy.

Time is a funny thing, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


I've had a continual headache ever since my move and I'm really beginning to lose all patience for it. About a week after my move, I found fleas on Doug the Cat. As soon as possible, I bought Frontline for both cats. Syb had been on this before and I never saw a flea on her.

Over the weekend, I found a live flea on my bed. Yesterday I found a live flea on Doug and then one in my sock (on my person!). I wake up and can't go back to sleep, fearing fleas crawling all over me (though there are never any in the bed), and I go around itching constantly, paranoid that there are fleas on me (not that there are). It's awful.

I have no idea what to do. It's not like there's an infestation in the house; I've only seen a few! But I know they're outside where about six stray cats loiter. I have tons of mosquito and flea bits on my legs and I find new ones after every venture outside to do yard-work.

So, even if I bombed (flea bomb!) the house (which would be virtually impossible with two cats and exposed dishes), the fleas are still going to be outside which means I can still bring them in.

Right now, all I know to do is call the vet and see if they have suggestions for Doug since Frontline didn't do the job. I welcome any and all suggestions. Please help!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Knit Night

SK and I finally began our own Knit Night last night. I took the only knitting that moved with me: my knitting bag of current projects, not really knowing what was inside.

I found the crochet scarf we started in class and worked on that for quite a while. Thankfully, my little bit of crochet knowledge had not deserted me! I like that there's very little thinking involved in that one. It made conversation easy!

Next I took out my Ballband Dishcloth and that was another story. I hadn't worked on it in a while and the pattern looked completely foreign - even more so after half a glass of wine. I got through eight or so rows but there were a few times when I had to backtrack and redo stitches. Counting to five, after all, is difficult. Ha!

It was a fun night and I can't wait to do it again. Who knows? Maybe I'll have some Christmas presents done by Christmas! Er....that means I should probably start on them tomorrow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Saturday Night

Every relationship has its hurdles, obstacles, and milestones. Some, you are conscious of and some, you are not. Mr. Higgins and I have jumped through and glided through most of these thus far and Saturday night was no different...though I think we were both nervous.

We finally met, in a group setting, all of our close friends. I finally met Mr. Higgins' two best friends and he finally met SK and was re-acquainted with AL. We met at a Mexican food place that's a kind of institution in the area and let the margaritas flow. What I thought would last a few hours, lasted four. The guys talked about guy stuff and the girls talked about girl stuff...and the guys...and we all seemed to have a good time, given the circumstances. We were all on our best behavior, I'm sure, but it was still good.

The restaurant asked us to change tables at one point and Mr. Higgins and I ended up opposite each other at a large, round table. It was cool to watch him interact with my friends and his, all the while glancing at me every now and then, or winking when he caught my eye.

I only hope I made a good impression with his friends. I'm not the most sociable of people, you know! Ha!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dougie the Cat

Meet Doug.

He's Dr. S's cat and is currently in residence at the house where I'm staying. (For the record, that's a potted avocado in the pic.) He's such a sweetie....always wanting to be in my lap or head-butting my hand.... We're getting along quite well, despite the poor guy's propensity for hairballs. He and Sybella.....

Well, they're still working things out. For the time being, Syb resides mostly in the bedroom. They have supervised visits. Ha!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Key Lime

I did some baking over the weekend for Mr. Higgins' birthday. Though I got him a "real" gift, I wanted to shower him with sweets leading up to his big day.

After making him some chocolate cookies, I tried my hand at one of his favorites: Key Lime Pie. The recipe is from Cooking Light but it didn't taste low-fat to me, which is awesome. I managed to find key limes and actually squeezed almost two bags of them to make a half cup of juice. Whew! And Mr. Higgins liked it!

The baking was good for several reasons, not the least of which was getting more comfortable in my new kitchen. I'm learning the oven and everything's place...and how to control the cats while cooking/baking.... It's all a grand adventure! And also a tasty one!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Deep Breath

It's been a busy few weeks....a busy month! The last big thing on my calendar with Mr. Higgins was his parents' visit and now that has passed. Hopefully, we can settle into a nice rhythm since we're now living in the same town!

His parents' visit was a bit stressful but I think it went really well - from my perspective. I got to spend some lovely time with them and hopefully I made a good impression! There's already been talk of me and Mr. Higgins making a trip to his home to visit the rest of the family. Gulp! No, I'd really like to do such a trip. Right now, though, I need to recuperate from the past month.

I've been stressed for several reasons lately (moving was just the beginning) and the end result is an exhausted Doniamarie. I need a week of vacation! Or two!

Now that things have - hopefully - settled down, look for some pics on here. My life is full of kitties and I'd like to introduce you to my newest furry friend.... Hopefully tomorrow! I've also counted six (or so) stray cats around the house.... It's like a the middle of a metropolitan area....eek! Ha!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blogger Woes

Blogger has been down for most of the day (scattered regional problems). I'm so annoyed that I'll keep mum and post tomorrow. Sorry for the delay!

Friday, June 4, 2010

In the News

It's a bit surreal to hear my mother's hospital mentioned in the news. I read about yesterday and this morning I heard about it on NPR.

Her hospital is suing the federal government over a small rider in the new health care package which limits the growth of physician-owned hospitals. Someone - lobbyists, I suppose - had it out for this small minority of hospitals that they see only as "for profit hospitals." My mother's hospital is directly affected as they were about to start a large expansion project. Now, under the new federal guidelines, they are not allowed to add any more beds to their facility.

What people don't seem to understand about these "evil" hospitals who seek only money (ridiculous!) is that these they, statistically, provide better care and have a lower infection rate than public hospitals. They also have to pay taxes - of every kind - unlike public hospitals, which makes a serious dent in that so-called "profit."

In the town where my mother's hospital is located, there are two huge "public" hospitals, both of which have expanded to the degree of being monstrous institutions. They set up clinics hundreds of miles away from their hospital base and expand their main hospitals to include a dozen city blocks. My mother's hospital provides extraordinary care in one small niche of medicine and they occupy one city block. They are not a huge company, bringing in millions of dollars each the other two "public" hospitals.

Under the current health care guidelines, those huge hospitals would only get bigger, would build more parking garages where you must pay to park, add one more bed to that two-bed room, and hire more ER doctors who operate on six hours of sleep every thirty-six hours. Why stomp out the little man? Why not let these small hospitals provide excellent care?

I'll tell you one thing.... If I have an emergency, I'm going to a private hospital where there will be no lines, no worn out physicians, and one patient per room.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wild Weather

Last night, something very akin to a miracle occurred.... It rained!

We've gone over two weeks without rain and parts of East Texas have been without rain for a month. With temperatures flirting with the 100-degree mark, it's been a miserable week. But last night the skies opened and it rained for several hours. Temperatures dropped and we had a nice respite from our early summer scorching highs.

I'll try to remember this when the above-100-temperatures that they've been predicting become a reality this weekend. Ugh.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I'm not sure why I decided to read this book, except that I'd seen it everywhere, including on bestseller lists. Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was not at all what I was expecting.

The over-arching mystery in this novel is one about a missing girl who disappeared forty years ago. Her uncle, still devastated by the disappearance after all these years, hires a disgraced journalist to dig through the clues in search of any new ideas as to what happened to his niece. The journalist, Blomkvist, is aided by a punk hacker, Lisbeth Salander. What they uncover is a family history filled with dark secrets and sexual crimes.

I can handle gruesome crimes. I can handle blood and vampires. It is very difficult for me to handle a rape scene as graphic as what was in this book. Call me prudish or innocent or unworldly, but I do not need to know that such perverts exist.

There were several such perverts in this novel. Really, why is this necessary? I can enjoy a good mystery but must we read about the details? I kept reading this novel because I wanted to know the outcome, that's all. I'm unsure whether or not I'll read the rest of Larsson's trilogy.

I had to laugh out loud at one point when, in the middle of the book, Larsson's played with the idea of religion as a motivating factor for these crimes. Suddenly, he sounded like Dan Brown, searching for those hidden Apocryphal texts... Uh, pick up a Catholic Bible and you'll find such "secret" books! Thankfully, that little interlude did not last long.

Just be forewarned if you decide to pick up this novel: there are gruesome things to come.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Parental Meeting

Mr. Higgins' parents and my parents have met. The big parental meeting is now over and done with and it was a big success.

There's really nothing else to say. We enjoyed our holiday out in the country. There was good food, good people, and good conversation. Sookie provided plenty of entertainment and laughter.

All is good. Except that it's back to work today. Hmph!