The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

Back from the dead? October 3, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings — auntlelo @ 6:58 pm

I haven’t thought about this blog in a long time. About two years, actually. There was a time in my life when writing about ceramic chicken friends, short stories about my life and my views about everything from weather to people kept me entertained. Then I allowed a negative comment or two kill the pleasure for me. For two whole years…

Well, enough of that! I need to sharpen the old virtual pencil and start to harass my friends and family again with shameless puns, imaginary chickens and all sorts of random hilarity. So, here goes.

Today’s random musing is about how hard it is to get used to the technology in a new car. Case in point:

I got a new SUV a week ago. I love it. It’s a Chevy Equinox and it has everything from soup to nuts. I particularly love the fact that the iPod now hooks into the system and we have this wonderful display that allows us to manage our songs from the dash. It also has a terrific navigation system (thank you OnStar). It also has a one disc CD player. This is where I ran into problems. I like to believe I’m somewhat intelligent, but, while I was able to figure out how to load the CD, play the CD, work through the tracks of the CD, etc., I was completely unable to figure out how to eject the CD!

Twenty minutes. This is definitely an issue of usability, not stupidity.  I really, really believe that everything else about this car is terrific. They obviously added the eject button as an afterthought.

Maybe we’ll have more random musings in a day or two. In the meantime, I’ll take a feather duster to the chicks in the office and see if they have anything new to say after two years!


What I love about Saturdays January 31, 2009

Filed under: Random Musings — auntlelo @ 9:01 am

Wonderful lazy Saturday mornings. The busier the week, the more you cherish Saturdays. Here are a few of the random reasons why Saturday is such a special day of the week:

  • There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning without an alarm clock knowing that if you want a few more minutes you can just snuggle up under the covers and go back to sleep.
  • Time to savor a lazy cup of coffee (or two) while you look out the window and watch the rest of the world wake up. The birds seem so much more interesting and colorful first thing in the morning.
  • As much as I hate doing housework, I love the way it looks and smells after all the Saturday chores are done.
  • It’s so much fun to plan the menus for the week and make up the shopping list. Even on a diet. ESPECIALLY on a diet!
  • Some Saturdays are full of visitors like my kids and grandkids. Perfect excuses to bake cookies and play Barbies.
  • There are always a few extra minutes to play computer or video games.
  • I like taking Allen to his guitar lessons and watching and hearing him get better every week.
  • Spending more time with my family.
  • Having my Mom and Dad, etc. , in for supper. Love the visits.
  • Taking a longer shower. (If the teenager is still asleep, I can take one with hot water which is even MORE exciting!)
  • Knowing when I go to bed there’s one more day at home before going back to work. Ahhhhh…

The new Michelin Guide is out and so are my random musings October 7, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:18 am

As reported by Epicurious, the new Michelin Dining Guide is out and there are chefs celebrating or weeping all over the world. I love reading about food, cooking food and, of course, eating food. The amount of creativity and work it takes to achieve this rating is certainly something to be admired. That said, there are still some things this novice finds interesting/confusing about the whole thing.

  • Have you ever actually dined in a Michelin rated restaurant? Have you known anyone who has?
  • Is it common for the wine to cost more than the entire meal?
  • Have you ever participated in a chef’s tasting? Does it taste better with Michelin stars attached?
  • I’ve read some of the menus from the 4 star restaurants on the list and I am both awed and confused by some of the descriptive terms used: amuse bouche, girollies, veloute, etc. I always have to go look things up to know exactly what they’re talking about! Or, take a basic French course…
  • Occasionally these top restaurants have things on their menus that I can’t imagine people wanting to eat at all, let alone pay top dollar. For example, pigs tail may taste good, but, I’d rather have pork loin or something a bit more substantive. Or, as noted on the menu for Le Bernardin, geoduck. Geoduck?? Did you watch the episode of Dirty Jobs where Mike Rowe helps harvest geoduck? Man, those things are NASTY looking!
  • There are things on the menu that I’ve just never heard of or been exposed to. Especially in the area of fish or seafood: kampachi, fluke, kumamoto, escolar, kindai maguro. Wow, I’ve got to get out more!

As I said, I’m highly impressed. Life in the hospitality industry is a lot of hard work, late hours and dedication to craft. If you’ve eaten in rated restaurants, let me know what you thought. Worth the hype and the cost or highly overrated?


Random thoughts about the start of classes August 22, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:29 am

This past week marked the beginning of classes for my teenage son, my granddaughter who started kindergarten, and my daughter who began her career as a teacher. It was a strange experience for me as I had such different feelings about each one of those events.

  • You really start to feel old when you have both a child and a grandchild starting school in the same week. All I know is that I heaved a big sigh of relief that my child was a sophomore and not starting kindergarten!
  • The teenage boy returning to high school doesn’t have the same level of excitement attached as the little girls going to grade school. There was no agonizing over what to wear (Allen usually wears cargo shorts and an American Eagle tee shirt).
  • When your child starts the first day of school as the teacher, you get a whole different set of jitters. “Will the kids like her? Will she have any problem children? Am I going to be mad when a parent yells at her?” I guess she’s ready. She’s a pretty good teacher if I do say so myself!
  • Do you remember the days when choosing a backpack or tennis shoes or a lunchbox for school was exciting? I remember having a pink Barbie lunchbox one year and it was cool. My husband still has his very first lunchbox from first grade. Bozo the Clown. You know you’re getting old when you see your lunchbox on eBay selling for a nice price as a collectible!
  • Our granddaughter told us last night that she cried at school because she missed her Mom. Wonder if she’d be surprised to know how good it probably made her Mom feel that she was missed? Especially since she ran to get on the school bus and never looked back!
  • Since we’re talking about classes starting, I can’t neglect the effect this will have on my work day. I love the excitement of things getting busy on campus again, but, I’m not looking forward to traffic and parking congestion and having to stand in long lines at Chipotle again.

What do you have to report about the first day of school?


Random musings about choir August 21, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:19 am

Last night’s choir practice was interesting. Made me thing about the generational differences in the choir and where I fit.

  • You know you’ve reached another generation when someone refers to a song from the 70’s as an “old hymn.”
  • You know you have some really elderly people in the choir when they have to leave early because they’re afraid it’s going to get foggy outside.
  • You can still think of yourself as a “younger” member of the choir when someone else refers to an old favorite that was a standard song from a hymnal you can’t remember using during your lifetime.
  • You know choir practice is going to be interesting when you sit on the piano bench and it’s wet. Why when a church roof leaks does it ALWAYS have to be right over the piano?
  • You have to remember when you’re in church and someone suggests lighting candles during a song that you shouldn’t suggest using a BIC lighter because it’s easier (you know, like you do when you go to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show). Somehow I don’t think that would go over well…
  • You know a woman has been a smoker most of her life when she decides to join the choir and chooses to sit in the bass section. 🙂

Random musings from Vermont again August 5, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings — auntlelo @ 6:29 am

The weather finally turned here and it’s lovely, although still a bit chillier than I’m accustomed to in the latter days of summer. It was a hefty high of 75 degrees yesterday. But at least the rain had stopped and I got to see the beauty of Vermont that everyone’s been talking about.

Last night we spent the evening at the ECHO Aquarium. It was beautiful there. I think it’s time for me to share a few more random musings about my latest adventures:

  • After hearing the name of the first song I wrote when I was a kid (Now that our love is dead the only thing left to kill is you), it completely threw everyone off the trail when it came to guessing the faculty fave 5 that we play here at the beginning of each session. Mine were songs from Queen, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, James Taylor and Bon Jovi. Everyone was expecting country/bluegrass. I guess you can never quite account for taste!
  • Do you think there’s something cannibalistic about eating fish or seafood as appetizers when you’re visiting an aquarium and looking at fish?
  • No kidding, there was a sign about seeing the live animal display directly behind the meat carving station last night. Creepy.
  • I’m a new fan of Adirondack Chairs. In fact, any chair. My foot really, really hurts!

Random musings about pizza July 24, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings — auntlelo @ 4:57 pm

I’m sitting at my desk and it’s 4:40 p.m. I had a turkey sandwich for lunch. Blah. I even had some chips, but, that didn’t do the trick either. I know, I know, all bad things for me. What I really have a craving for is some really good pizza.

Not the piece of cardboard with sauce and cheese you get in a Domino’s delivery box, but, something truly wonderful. With that I’ll launch into my random musings about pizza.

  • I’m a thin crust kind of gal. Hard to believe when my figure would tell you that thick crust is more believable, right?
  • I love supreme with all the veggies. However, I’m also a carnivore so it has to have meat as well. Sausage or pepperoni are my favorites.
  • Why do pizza places make you ask for extra cheese? I mean really, doesn’t EVERYBODY order extra cheese? You’d think that would be standard now, sort of like large french fries.
  • One of the most painful injuries is when you get a cheese burn on the roof of your mouth because you just couldn’t wait one more minute to have a bite. Will we never learn?
  • The perfect pizza is a blend of just right amounts of crust, cheese and toppings. Too much crust, cheese or toppings is just bad. After all, if you have to eat it with a fork it’s just no fun anymore.
  • I don’t know why some people think breakfast pizza is a new invention. I was eating leftover pizza for breakfast decades ago. Now they’ve gone and messed it up by trying to make it healthy and putting eggs on it. Eeeeewwwww!
  • I’m sort of a pizza purist in a lot of ways. This whole gourmet pizza thing with toppings like BBQ chicken, spinach, pesto and such seems a little strange to me. If I want BBQ, I’ll eat BBQ. If I want pesto I’ll get some pasta and do it right. And for heaven’s sake, if I want a burrito I’ll eat it with a tortilla not a pizza crust. Really!
  • People nearly come to blows when trying to define a favorite pizza. Mine depends on my mood. I love the Achilles pizza from Arris’ (beef and jalapeno peppers). I also love a good slice of canadian bacon and mushroom from Shakespeare’s, although I don’t care much for their crust. (I know, that must make me a communist or something, right?) I also love a good Papa Murphy’s pepperoni pizza that I bake at home. Mmmmm.
  • I’ve gained at least 3 pounds writing this blog entry. Hungry. Very hungry. STARVING!
  • You know what’s really bad? I probably won’t get to have pizza for dinner because my son had it for dinner last night. How sad. All this torture for nothing. Sigh.

Random musings about July July 9, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:57 am

I haven’t blogged in awhile. Anybody notice? Anybody care? It’s been crazy busy and things aren’t looking to ease up anytime soon. For lack of a better topic, here are a few random musings about July.

  • Although July normally brings thoughts of very high temperature and very low rainfall, this particular July seems just the opposite. It’s been a strange year weather-wise in mid-Missouri.
  • July 4th celebrations were quiet at my house. I had family in for the weekend and we feasted on BBQ and steaks throughout the weekend, but, they all scattered to other more fun places to watch fireworks and make merry. My husband and I watched TV and I played a computer game till time to go to bed.
  • All the weekends seem to be full and I longingly wish for a summer that includes a real vacation. Seems like the early part of the summer was taken up with a wedding, the latter part by work, projects and church activities. Add to that a kid in summer school and a husband who’s working overtime while he can ( in anticipation of a slow winter in HVAC) and the summer is pretty much shot.
  • July is a notable month for Allen because this is the long anticipated month in which his braces come off. He’s had them on since the end of 5th grade and will finally enter his sophomore year of high school without the metal that has become so much a part of his appearance. It’s hard to imagine them gone!
  • July has also been full of physical pain. I seem to have developed some sort of problem with my foot and leg that has made it difficult for me to walk. I limp around like an old lady and dread days when meetings require that I walk distances on campus. Although I may not hurt while I’m actually walking, somehow that aggravates things and I suffer greatly for the next day or so. It sucks to get old!
  • July is also a month of getting things ready for the presentations I’ll give at the CASE Summer Institute for Communications and Marketing in Vermont. What a lovely spot to be in as the temperatures climb in other parts of the U.S. I understand that Vermont enjoys 80 degree weather in the hottest parts of the summer. Woohoo!
  • Our oldest grandchild turns 5 on July 22nd. Wow. It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years already since Aidan was born. Next thing you know she’ll be graduating from high school. Did I mention it sucks to get old?
  • You would think that July would be a lazier time at work on a University campus, wouldn’t you? Not so here in Web Communications. We are crazy busy with project after project. It’s amazing how little down time we have. I guess it’s nice to be needed. Job security, job security, job security…
  • July is the last full month of summer vacation for students. Most go back to school during the latter part of August. Seems like once August gets here there are feelings of melancholy because summer vacation is over and anticipation for the new school year to start. I remember being so excited about getting new tennis shoes when I was a kid. August was new tennis shoe month. And crayons. There’s something about a brand new box of crayons. Ahhhh, school supplies. There’s a memory for you!
  • Funny how we already anticipate the end of the month and it’s not even the middle of the month yet. I know why! Payday. 🙂

Random musings about weddings June 11, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:58 am

With our daughter Heather’s wedding coming up on Saturday, it seemed an appropriate time to share some of my random thoughts about weddings. I’m quite familiar with weddings and have been to more than my share of them. I play the piano and have been responsible for providing the music for a large portion of the “marrying and burying” of family and church members in my time.

  • Have you realized that weddings have gone from being a small private ceremony held at home or the preacher’s house to a full blown orchestrated extravaganza that requires planners, organizers and a major bank loan?
  • Most designer wedding gowns have more beads and sequins than the evening gown competition for the Miss America pageant!
  • The cost of the tuxedo rentals alone could probably save an average person’s home from mortgage foreclosure.
  • Receptions have grown from a simple cake and punch affair in the church basement to a full-blown catered meal complete with wine, champagne and an open bar.
  • We barely saw printed invitations 30 years ago. Now we have wedding “programs” because the ceremonies are more like a musical revue.
  • I think it’s a conspiracy in the clothing design world to make the mother of the bride look as frumpy as possible. It’s obvious when viewing the clothing for sale in the category of mother of the bride.
  • One of the most unfortunate decisions most women make in their lives is their choice of a bridesmaids dress. They are perhaps some of the most disastrous clothing items most women will ever wear. I’ve seen maternity clothes with more style!
  • We used to choose colors for our weddings with names like red, blue, green, pink. Now we choose from names like apple, cabernet, persimmon, olivine, plum—are we wearing them or eating them, I ask you?
  • In the old days when people got married they received gifts. Now, the trend is to give gifts. Gifts are given to the bridal party, the parents, the grandparents, the officiants, anyone who moves…you get the picture. I think it’s a trend that started when the couple getting married had to make nicey nice with people who were asked to lay out massive amounts of money so they could have the wedding of their dreams. Average price for a bridesmaids dress and shoes: $250. Ouch!
  • Brides used to wear a nice street dress or suit to get married in. Something they could wear again for special occasions making it a practical purchase. Only the very wealthy purchased single use wedding gowns. Now, paying over a thousand dollars for a gown worn one time is the norm.
  • You know what’s really sad? When the planning process for the wedding lasts longer than the marriage.
  • It’s obvious that weddings have gotten out of hand when we can devote entire television programs to them such as Bridezilla, A Wedding Story, Wedding Design on a Dime, etc.
  • Do you realize how many people would be out of work if we went back to weddings as they used to be? Entire industries would be effected. Wow, that just can’t happen. We better make sure they keep getting bigger so we can help the economy, right? 🙂
  • Is it any wonder now that some parents are encouraging their kids to elope? It’s all about financial survival!

Random thoughts about SPAM June 4, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:27 am

No, despite the photo, this isn’t a post about the original SPAM. You remember SPAM? That strange and unidentifiable meat product in a tin that so captivated and inspired my grandparents’ generation that it has now become its own iconic part of pop culture? This is dedicated instead to the strange and somewhat disturbing emails I receive in my inbox everyday.

  • Have you ever wondered just who the living, breathing body is behind some of those bizarre emails? Who spends their life at a keyboard creating emails about Viagra and updating your personal information on eBay or please help me, I need to transfer a million dollars into a US bank account?
  • I wonder how many people actually fall for these emails everyday? After all this time, you’d think people would get wise to anything that asks for personal information.
  • Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if all the people who spend massive amounts of time and money creating or filtering all this SPAM could instead be free to spend their time doing something more positive? For instance, mowing their lawns?
  • Do you know what SPAM stands for? I found two definitions on a Web site that say: [not an acronym] written spam — slang name for Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE; junk/bulk email); Superfluous Pieces of Additional Mail
  • How many “superfluous pieces of additional mail” do you get in your inbox every day? Does it make you angry enough that you feel compelled to write an email to someone complaining about it? Is that complaint email then considered more SPAM?
  • I always wondered why people got so mad about SPAM. I just delete it. I never notice those same people getting that angry over the “superfluous pieces of additional mail” they receive in their regular mailbox. They just glance at it and toss it in the trash. Simple. Kill trees AND contribute to your local landfill. You’d think that would make people more angry, wouldn’t you?
  • Ever try to figure out how much money in our economy is tied up in SPAM? I wish I had all that money right now. I’d spend it on things like paying off my house, a cool Australian vacation, new shoes that make my feet look daintier, putting red streaks in my hair to cover up the silver, buying stamps (to mail more cards, not SPAM)…
  • Wow, this rambling post made me hungry. Anybody have a can of SPAM they can spare? Did you know there is an official SPAM Web site, a Monty Python musical called SPAMALOT, and a SPAMMOBILE? No kidding!