What’s New With Amoeba & Quilly?

Well, Amoeba spent a week in Louisiana, came home for a few days and then flew off to Hawaii. He came home from Hawaii for a few hours — literally just long enough to get the clothes in his suitcase washed and repacked — and drove to Seattle where he is now.

I have been busy, too, but not jet setting. I have been right here at home gardening and cleaning the garage. I had to clean the garage because we bought a second car. Well, it is sort of a car …. It is street legal and we have it licensed and insured, but calling it a car is kind of ambitious. It is a little electric Ford TH!NK Neighbor.


I call it a buggy and I love it. It only goes 25 mph, but that is plenty fast enough in town — and one can still get a speeding ticket in it on many of our local streets. (No, neither of us have done so nor do we plan to). I told Amoeba I would happily trade him cars. He can have the Malibu and I will have the buggy. He said no — then he got in the Malibu and went to Seattle!

Of course, going to Seattle in the buggy could be an ordeal since one would have to make at least 3 eight hour stops to recharge the battery along the way. And I am happy zip, zip, zipping around in the buggy.

Blessed: Living a Grateful Life

How much tea can one pour from a pot without refilling it? No matter the capacity of the container, sooner or later it will empty of it is not replenished.  The same can be said of the compassion of women.  As wives, mothers, friends and community members women often work selflessly and tirelessly to meet the needs of others while neglecting their own need to be nurtured.

Ellen Michaud has focused her life on celebrating and supporting strong women who support others.   Her latest book, Blessed: Living a Grateful Life, Michaud invites her readers to explore and enjoy the everyday blessings that surround us.  Replenishing our own reservoirs of strength needn’t take weeks or days or even hours.  A few moments spent here and there truly noticing and appreciating our family, friends, community, and environment can fulfill us in ways no vacation ever can.

Each chapter in Blessed is a story unto itself complete with refreshment for our souls and lessons on embracing our blessings.  Each reading is a two to three page vacation from our own daily stress.  I have enjoyed these readings every morning either with or in place of my daily devotional.

About the Book:
Sometimes we just need to stop for a moment and absorb the quiet moments in the world around us–to take a deep breath and appreciate the things in life that make us thankful and bring us joy. In this heartfelt collection of her online columns from Diane, the flagship magazine of the Curves women’s fitness center organization, author Ellen Michaud reminds us of the everyday blessings that surround us, but we all tend to overlook.

Entries include:

  • Summer in a Jar: On a 200-acre farm known for its Jersey cows and prizewinning cheese, two women harvest a cornucopia of produce that looks like it came from the Garden of Eden. Although the visit was intended to pick up ingredients for “one of the finest salsas in the near world,” the end result is a view of a fertile valley, the rich smell of vegetables freshly tugged from the earth that speaks to the soul, and the natural rhythm of friendly conversation.
  • The Teapot: During a snowy winter storm, the author pulls her great- grandmother’s worn silver teapot down from a shelf. As she polishes the teapot’s tarnished surface, she contemplates its long journey over an ocean and through the generations. As she discovers engraved hallmarks that lead to a deeper understanding of its 200-year history, her appreciation for the women who traveled with it grows.
  • Welcome Home: As an Airbus 321 begins its descent toward the coastal lights of Los Angeles International Airport, the pilot makes an overhead announcement that stills the restless and rustling passengers. What follows are moments of contemplation about the sacrifices of soldiers and, how regardless of one’s politics, there is still a shared sense of love and respect for those who fight for our freedom.
  • The Courage to Change: After a lifetime of self-built barriers, the author’s 88-year-old aunt overcomes discouraging memories and years of grief to prove that it’s never too late to open yourself to new experiences, take risks, and start over.
Ellen & Meggie -- photo by Peter Chin

Ellen & Meggie photo by Peter Chin

About the Author:
Ellen Michaud is an award-winning author and editor who lives high in the mountains of Vermont. Her work focuses on women’s stories, and has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Ladies Home Journal, Health Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Men’s Health, Readers’ Digest Magazine, and Prevention Magazine, where she was the editor-at-large for six years. Today she not only writes for these and other media, she is also an online columnist at MyCurves.com.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Ruby Mansuri of FSB Associates.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Don’t Bug Me

All this rain is making me miss the long, hot, dry days in Vegas. I was thinking how good it would feel to step out into the dry desert heat and soak in about 100º of vitamin D.   I miss having a tan.  I really miss the elevated mood effects of sunshine.

Happily, thinking of all the things I miss maked me wonder why I left, then I remembered all the things I wanted to get away from:

Gray — the city is made of concrete. What isn’t dry sand — also gray — is concrete.
Dust — the whole place is dry and when the wind blows dust and sand flies.
Bugs — they love the heat and thrive in Vegas.

If I’d had the number of a good Las Vegas exterminator I might have stayed longer. In Vegas getting rid of bugs — and keeping them gone — takes a pro. Store bought bug sprays are like candy to the LV roaches. They gobble the stuff down and ask for more.

And did you know that a female cockroach only has to mate once and she’s pregnant for the rest of her life? She just keeps popping the damn things out! Seriously! You can check it out here on this Fun Bug Facts page. Some of the facts aren’t fun though, they’re just plain gross — like the occupied house (people, pets & more) that had over (estimated) 1 million cockroaches that when the house was purged “flowed out over the lawns, tree trunks, and walls of nearby homes, and into the sewers”. [shudder]

Dear Wolfie

I was underwhelmed by my dinner.  My Rosemary chicken is better than yours.  And my mate said that my garlic mashed potatoes are way better.

~ Disillusioned Diner


We ate dinner here at SeaTac International  where we’re awaiting our flight to Boston.  The eatery was Vintage Washington, a little bar specializing in Washington State wines and Wolfgang Puck cuisine. We didn’t try the wine, but I can tell you that the unsweetened tea was good.  Alas, the food was merely mediocre.

Since the menu has Wolfgang Puck’s name on it, I was expecting something a little less prosaic.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying the food was bad.  We paid a fair price for it and were served generous portions, but — because of the name recognition — I was expecting something a cut above mass produced fast food, and I guess it was, but just barely.

Would I have rather eaten at MickyD’s?  No.  An IHOP might have been nice, though.

Fly Time

I’ve been doing internet research on Cheap Flights. It is time for a trip east to see Amoeba’s family. We were there last February for Amoeba’s mom’s 80th birthday, but it looks like we won’t make it back until April this year.

I am all up for visiting in April. I recall very well that February was cold! I’ve had enough of that now, thanks. I’m looking for warm and All Cheap Fare is helping me! They offer up to 65% off the price off regular airfare!

At any rate, Amoeba wants me to score the Airline Tickets asap. The earlier we buy the cheaper they are.

I am excited to see Tilden! I am also excited to see the Atlantic up close and personal. I saw it last year, but I didn’t get out of the car. It was way too cold!

Speaking of being warm, All Cheap Fare also sells vacation packages. You suppose Amoeba would notice if I booked a vacation for two in the Caribbean? I can see me on the beach with one of those little umbrella drinks in my hand.