Friday, December 30, 2005

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and surprisingly wonderful year in 2006...! Boiling mudpots at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Monday, December 19, 2005

Day in the life of a dog

Peter and I are finding amusement on a daily basis watching Sammi navigate her way around in the snow. Sometimes she's so eager to get outside that she's not even careful of the slippery, icy snow on our deck. Other times, she stands in the doorway with the cold air blowing her in face, and then turns around to come back inside (this is just seconds after she's been begging and whining to go outside...). On this particular day last week, she had lots of fun roaming around in the backyard.
Sniffing and romping in the backyard

Running for home when I call her! (I love this shot...)

"Please, Mommy, can I get back inside where it's warm?"

Calming down and fluffy snow

Ok, most of the Christmas gifts we're giving have finally arrived, so I can relax now. I'm excited about the presents we got for people, so now I'm getting happy about Christmas! It really is much better to give than receive especially if you feel good about the gifts you've found for people.
We had a busy but fun weekend. Sunday we spent nearly the entire day in our cold garage with 6-7 neighbors, making Luminaries for the whole neighborhood. We ended up making about 900 of them and delivering and lighting them up and down the streets... It was a LOT of work (and over 1,600 pounds of SAND!), but they looked beautiful. It was snowing while we were placing them down... that big fluffy kind of snow that is so beautiful and peaceful...
River Run Luminaries!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The waiting game

So, I felt a little behind in buying Christmas gifts for all my loved ones, but I succeeded in finding things pretty quickly and did most of my ordering online. That was 13 days ago. Everything was promised to arrive by the 16th. If they couldn't promise that, I wasn't ordering it. Well, lo and behold... we're getting emails on a DAILY basis now from Amazon: "due to unforeseen circumstances.... your order is delayed... will not arrive until Dec. 23" GAH. Well, that date doesn't work for me, because once they arrive, I need to wrap, package, and then ship them all around the country. *sigh* So I think I can go online (this is Amazon we're talking about) and change the shipping addresses -- just get them directly to the recipient, even if I can't get it wrapped, which would be sad. Well, I can't. They have a message on my order page that explains that my order is "in the packaging and shipping process" and therefore NO CHANGES can be made to the order. And there's a link to their returns policy. Yeah, so I can deal with that in freaking January.

So, after daily messages that seem to basically be laughing at our stupidity for ordering from them in the first place and expecting to get our gifts within 2 freaking weeks... we get an email this morning (at 2:00 AM) to announce that the order has shipped! But it's UPS ground, and still may not arrive until Dec. 23. GAH. Merry Christmas to everyone who might not get a gift from us until January...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Winter coat

Sammi just got her winter coat... she's a little embarrassed walking around the neighborhood in it, but doesn't she look cute? Oooh, that plant in the corner has been dead for a few weeks... I need to clean out that pot. *sigh*
Sammi and Peter on the back deck

Friday, December 09, 2005

For the 3 of you...

... who read my Blog: Sorry I haven't posted in awhile... I've been very busy at work and just tired from all the holiday preparations. Last night I started having an anxiety attack... nothing serious... but it was like I could hear the ants marching 5 blocks away and felt hyper-sensitive to everything around me. I hate that feeling because I cannot control it or fix it on my own.

The weekend is almost here (another 20 minutes or so of work to get done) and I'm relieved about that. We'll be watching college basketball tomorrow (Duke game on CBS) so that should be relatively relaxing. No idea if more snow is expected. We had a huge storm last night and got about 3 inches or so. We actually expected at least twice that, but it seems Mother Nature went easy on us... for now. We've discovered that Sammi really doesn't seem to like the cold whether at all. She looks adorable in all her blackness, pouncing through the snow, but she comes running right back in and just wants to be snuggled with blankets. She's our little old lady... "LOL" How appropriate!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Giving Thanks

A few days ago, I complained heartily about the stressed of the Holiday season, so I thought I should interject here that I DO enjoy the holidays and my family immensely. Maybe that's where some of the stress comes from... wanting those perfect moments. This past weekend, Peter and I spent a wonderful couple of days in Chicago at his sister's (my dearest friend's) home. We woke up every morning to a little curly-haired blond child smiling in our doorway and telling us stories. It's amazing how many adventures a child can have before 8:00 AM. It's a little sad that as we get older we'd rather sleep away those morning hours. These girls have the most amazing playroom you've ever seen, complete with a stage, puppet-theatre, art tables, and little secret rooms and areas for private adventures with their dolls and toys. Colorful, creative, and fun... I wish I had a room like that!

Thanksgiving was at Peter's mom's home and it was just lovely. The food was delicious and we sat around and drank wine, listened to music, and just enjoyed eachother's company. Her apartment is like a mini art gallery and so there is something beautiful and interesting to look at in every direction. And it's also the home of our kitty-cats, Circe and Calypso. They're doing great and seem very happy in their Chicago condo. They have a deck on which to play and lounge in the sun, and they have a home full of great crevices and places to climb and hide and snuggle. And of course, their new mommy just loves them, so they are very lucky girls. It was great to see them so happy again and bonding as the sister they are.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cash and June

We saw the movie WALK THE LINE last night... it was excellent!! I had no idea until I saw the closing credits that both Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon SANG every note in the film as Johnny Cash and June Carter. Amazing! I had been plenty impressed that they lip-synched so well... but to learn that they had both taken intensive voice lessons and somehow managed, in just 6 months, to become amazing stage performers and vocal talents... wow. Phoenix sounded EXACTLY like Johnny Cash. They both should be nominated for Oscars, and I can't think of anyone more deserving this year (so far) than them to WIN. (Though David Strathairn in GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK was pretty great too.) See WALK THE LINE... the music is great and the performances are entrancing.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The point of the Holidays?

Christmas is supposed to be peaceful and relaxing, right? Full of love and warm-fuzzies and memories that make you smile years later. Pretty lights and Christmas trees and warm drinks and chocolates... That's how they are in the movies, and that's how I remember *most* Christmases from my childhood. Now I'm realizing, however, that it's a very sadistic holiday! As adults, there is so much to DO before Christmas that by the time it's here, we're too frazzled to really enjoy it. I've already addressed the envelopes of my Christmas cards for 2005... there are over 90 of them. I feel like there are only liek 10 people I talk to regularly, so who the hell are these other 80 people? But I feel compelled to do it, even though most of them will never write back. And then... there's gifts. Thank you cards (have you bought yours yet?). Travel plans to be made. Vacation days to be arranged at work. Pets to be boarded. Snow to be shoveled. Presents to be WRAPPED. Presents to be shipped as if you are UPS-central. Don't get me wrong... I love everyone in my life dearly, but... how are we all supposed to be rejuvinated in January if we're just coming off the maddness of December? Possible New Years Resolution: Buy Christmas presents in July. Write Holiday Cards in September. Seriously. Think how much more FUN December would be if it were all done! *sigh*
I thought these pictures were funny... like the holidays are sideways and too big...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


My friend Kerstin participates in a blogger's "self-portrait Tuesdays," which I always look forward to checking out. Don't think I'm ready to go "public" with mine (and I probably won't be very consistent in remembering to do it), but here's my self-portrait for the day...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Little feet

Last week we had our first snowdusting of the season (much more is expected this week). How cute are Sammi's little pawprints on our back deck?!


Peter found this really cool website (flash art) over the weekend and I thought you all might enjoy it... give yourself about five full minutes to watch it... you won't want to look away!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Life Goes On

Ok, I got my car back this morning with it's nice new tires. Still don't know what went wrong or why it stalled this week. The dealership service guy said "We cannot verify that there was problem". Lucky me. So, I'm trying sweet-talk with my car to make sure it doesn't happen again...But, I did get some really exciting news last night!!! Finally, thirteen years later (crap, I'm old!), Warner Brothers Home Video is finally putting the acclaimed TV show LIFE GOES ON on DVD!!! According to the Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles, they will release Season One in summer 2006 and Season Two will follow. Seems to me it might be easier to just put the entire series in a box set -- it's only 4 seasons. But I am soooo excited about this! Finally! My old old old old VHS tapes are getting warbly, not to mention they take up a LOT of space in our house, so it will be great to be able to replace them with a nice slim DVD. Thank you Warner Brothers!! And thank you DSALA for pushing to make it happen!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

good news & bad news

The GOOD news is that the dealership has driven my car for 120 miles (gah!) and the problem has not repeated. It's good news because it means I won't have to fork out a ton of money to fix something. The BAD news is that we have no idea what happened or why. *sigh* So I get to drive around in the right-hand lane in fear for a few weeks... fun. Can't I just keep the loaner car? It's soooo nice!

And snow tops it off

I've had a terrible week. In the grand scheme of life, it's not really that bad, but it's just been incredibly frustrating. On Tuesday, I had a business meeting in the middle of the day, and was on my way back to the office when... my car died. Thank god I was at a stop sign about to join traffic on a very busy main road, and I was able to wave cars around me and sit on this side-street. If it had happened 20 seconds later, I would have been much more panicked. Four hours later I was driving home from my dealership in a "loaner" car (and a very nice one at that! An Infinity G35). I managed to get the car to a service station, and drove in the tow truck to get it 23 miles away up to my dealership. The tow truck driver broke one of my headlights, but he was nice about it and they'll fix it for me (it was the last of my concerns at that point). It became clear that I was going to miss a big meeting at my office, so that was adding to my frustration. The driver was a neat guy -- he seemed a little "slow", but he was very talkative -- proceeded to tell me about his failed marriages and how his 1st wife arrested him for beating her (but of course it wasn't really his fault). Then he asked about my husband and my marriage... and where we live. Gah! I never actually felt threatened, but it was awkward, to say the least, especially since my mind was racing with so many bigger concerns. When we got to the dealership, they jokingly asked if I just wanted to buy a new car. Uhm, yeah, thanks... not really looking for humor right now!! And they offered me a lollypop, which was just CRUEL since I'm on day 10 of the South Beach Diet and cannot eat sugar. *sigh* That's a story for another day. So, it's been 2 days, and they have no idea what's wrong with my car... the problem has not repeated and the software records in the car show nothing of interest.

Yesterday my back started spasming and by the time I was driving home from work, I couldn't do it without groaning every few minutes... how pathetic is that?!?!

This morning we woke up to 20-degrees and snowing. It's pretty, but I'm not ready for it and it just seems like the world is laughing AT me right now. Hopefully today will be a better day...

(And to everyone who smokes, please joing the Great American Smokeout and STOP today!)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Mad at Fox

Okay, clearly there are a LOT of reasons to be mad at Fox TV... but politics aside, I'm currently very upset and sad about their decision to cancel the AWARD-WINNING show "Arrested Development". It's truly the funniest thing currently on network television -- inventive, creative, and not so damn cookie-cutter like 99% of sitcoms out there (the only exceptional ones being the new shows "My Name is Earl" and "The Office"). What I'd like to know is, how can they justify cutting "Arrested Development" but not cutting the stupidest show with terrible reviews, "The War At Home" (truly the lamest thing I've ever spent 4 minutes watching). It's so depressing to see the pathetic state of TV writing these days. And the ones that are truly original get axed.
I am looking forward to their final 5 episodes, set to begin airing on Dec. 5th. I may have to get the DVDs of this series -- the humor is priceless. I mean, one of the characters is a self-proclaimed "never-nude"!! And I love that Portia is Ellen's new love. Good for them.

I must have blinked

I must have blinked during all the tornado-leftovers wind we had last weekend... because I missed the Autumn season. Whiiiiiishhh and it's now it seems to be Winter. A few trees are still hanging onto their beautiful Fall leaves... here are some beauties in our front yard.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Wildcats downed by Buckeyes

For those of you who don't know, a Buckeye is a nut. It's also the mascot for Ohio State University, our local bohemoth of a school. They have over 60,000 undergrads and their famed football Stadium has over 110,000 seats. Yup, you read that right. It's insane. It's like going to the Super Bowl. And there are another 100,000 fans outside at tailgates. They get there and start drinking at 6am, for an 8pm game! Insanity. Well, they played my Northwestern Wildcats today and I really believed my team had a chance... but we lost... badly. Peter and I got free tickets to the game from his boss, though, and we had a GREAT time. The weather was gorgeous and the energy of the crowd was really fun. The loss was a bummer, but overall, we had a great day.
Peter and I enjoying the game - that scoreboard cost over $5 Million!
The award-winning OSU marching band welcomed NU... before clobbering us.

Friday, November 11, 2005

On the edge

Lately, I feel like I'm on the edge of something... the problem is I don't know exactly WHAT I'm on the edge of. And I'm not sure if it's good or bad. I feel like it's good... I keep wanting to call friends and talk and I feel like I have excitings stories to tell and news to report... but I don't actually HAVE anything new to tell. Is that strange? I have been feeling anxious lately and maybe that's part of it. I don't know what I can blame on my thyroid condition and what's just... "normal Anya crap". I keeping reading about all these people with thyroid issues that have major mood-swings, so maybe that's what's going on. *sigh* I can't believe it's been 6 months since my surgery. Apparently, I'm "normalized" now with my meds, which is a good thing. But then why don't I feel normal? Granted, it's hard to know what's normal at this point. Can you believe it's MID-NOVEMBER already??!
Did you know that the Thyroid is shaped like a butterfly?
All I have left is the left wing. The right wing is gone. Now isn't that ironic...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

rants and votes

Okay, I realize I'm new to blogging, but why why why is Blogger not uploading my photos!!?? I keep getting an error message with no explanation as to WHY.... *sigh*

I voted this morning, though I almost didn't. I drove to the elementary school polling place and drove in slow circles around the parking lot (probably creeping out the teachers inside) to try to determine the voting entrance. There are 3 building and about 9 different entrances. I almost gave up and then I saw tiny little 8 inch flags stuck in the ground along one of the entrances. I followed the flags and did my patriotic duty. They expect turnout in Ohio to be around 47%. That actually seems high to me, for a non-presidential election. How sad is it that 47% in "THE" democracy of the world is considered a great turnout? Did YOU vote today??

Friday, November 04, 2005

Goodbye Roxy

After determining her days were filled with more pain than joy, my brother and his family decided to put Roxy down this morning. I know it was the right thing to do, and she's in doggy heaven now, romping with all the pets we've all loved over the years. You know, there was a moment this morning when I was leaving the house and I kissed my own dog and said "goodbye Roxy"... maybe that was the moment she left us.
I will miss her terribly.
Roxane "Roxy" Weisbrod

Remembering November 4, 2004

I don't think I really want to get into politics on my Blog, but I cannot let today go by without "mourning" this day last year. A year ago today I stood patiently in line for FOUR AND A HALF HOURS waiting to cast my vote in the presidential election. Here in Ohio, some people stood in line for NINE hours, with children, skipping their jobs, missing meals... Some people couldn't wait that long, couldn't miss their jobs and lose their daily paychecks, and their votes could never even be cast.
Columbus, Ohio 11/4/04
It was just days after I had suffered a terrible bout with food poisoning that landed me in the emergency room. I was weak and shaky, but I stood there for those four hours with so much HOPE in my heart... I stood there among all these other people that had the same sparks of hope in their eyes... that we were helping to change the world. That we would be preventing what would surely be a disaster.

I'm still in shock over it all. I'm still disappointed that it all came down to Ohio. I'm disappointed that there weren't more investigations into voter fraud and discrimination that DID happen here in Ohio and other states. My heart sank on November 5 and still hasn't recovered, especially since now we've seen just how far we've sunk in the past year.

But I can't help but still be hopeful that someday we'll pull ourselves back out of these messes. It's almost painful to imagine how very different things would be right now had the election ended differently. And it's scary to think how much worse things might get in the next three years. Here's hoping our fears do not become a reality. Here's hoping sanity and humanity win out...

I feel like I should be wearing a black armband today. *sigh*

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My aching heart...

Ugghhhhh.... I just found out late last night that my brother's beautiful
black lab, Roxy, is very sick and will probably not make it more than a
few more weeks. She's lived 10 wonderful years, and yet it's gone by so
fast and my heart is just aching for her. I wish I could say goodbye and
give her kisses... she always knew me right away and would be so so
so soooo sad when she knew I was leaving again. She loves to play
with my socks and I'd always find them scattered around their house.
Roxy also likes pulling socks off a person's feet and I was always
amazed how she would pull them off BABIES (my neice and nephews)
sooooooo gently.... Such a sweet, wonderful, loyal dog. I hope she
goes peacefully... I hope she feels my love. Damn it, why is it that
sometimes animals seem to mean more to us than people?? And after
all the crying I did last night, how is it possible that more tears are
coming now?? I guess I should go drink some water...
I love you, Roxy!!
See more photos of Roxy, from 1996 through 2004 at:

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Happy birthday to both Lucy T. and Evan R. ! ! !

We tried to get in the spirit this year and even carved our own pumpkin at our neighbor's Pumpkin Carving Party! HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!!!!!!
Sammi will greet the Trick-or-Treaters

The Beaupre Pumpkin '05!The Carving Party Collection

Friday, October 28, 2005

Why Blog?


"It's not a bad idea to get in the habit of writing down one's thoughts.
It saves one having to bother anyone else with them."
-- Isabel Colegate

Unless, of course, you have a blog.

And then everything you write makes you wonder if you're filled with too much self-importance because of course you ARE bothering others with your random thoughts. Or maybe you're just too lazy to write with a pen in an actual journal (that seems to be my reason since I've got a box full of diaries going back to 1979 that barely make it past February 1st). I've been practicing with my blog for a few months now, without showing it to anyone. Now I think I'm ready to go public, but I'm in a quandry regarding what to write about. I'm self-conscious and I feel like it should be "important" or "insightful". On the other hand, I'm not looking for a Pulitzer Prize, I'm just journaling, right? Please be patient with me as I find my blog voice.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Miss Limpy's Mom

Okay, so I really shouldn't make fun of Sammi for injuring herself in the yard. Today, while raking leaves, I twisted my ankle and crumpled to the ground under our Oak tree. It's a little sore, but I'm fine. *sigh* My right ankle likes to just fall out from under me.... this has happened on numerous occasions, on various surfaces (totally flat concrete, bumpy grass, top of the staircase), and in several different countries. *sigh*

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Renoir's Women

My parents were visiting us last week and my Mom and I spent a wonderful afternoon enjoying "Renoir's Women" currently at the Columbus Museum of Art. If you have a chance to see this unique exhibition, I highly recommend it. Pierre-Auguste Renoir has long been my favorite artist -- I feel a deep emotional connection to the people in his portraits. It's a magical combination of impressionist subtleties and piercing reality in the eyes.

This portrait of Madame Henriot is one of my favorites -- not as much because of what's on the surface, but for the story behind it. In reality, Madame Henriot, an actress and Renoir's lover, was not beautiful. She was plain, hairy, and a little husky. But her portraits portray such incredible beauty and peace -- because that's how Renoir saw her soul. I think we all hope to be portrayed with a little soft-focus and love.

Renoir's "Madame Henriot"

"We see the world not as it is, but as we are" -- Anais Nin

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Backyard dangers

Little Sammi likes to run into the "woods" near our neighbors yard and fantasize about catching rabbits and squirrels. Well, she came back inside today limping and bleeding from her toe... We couldn't really tell how serious it was, so within 10 minutes we were in the vet's office. She was SUCH a good girl, letting us carry her and holding her in the car. The vet's office was very busy on this Saturday morning, so she was anxious about all the people and other dogs around. Ultimately, she's fine... she snagged her nail on something (trying to climb a tree maybe?) and nearly pulled it out. Ouch! She's on antibiotics and pain meds, and we're giving her all kinds of special attention. Of course, we'll be calling her "Miss Limpy" for at least a week...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Beautiful Ohio is not an oxymoron

I know, I know... hard to believe. But I took these sunset shots on my drive home from work yesterday. It's just as beautiful as any sunset I've seen growing up in Southern California.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Have you met Sammi yet?

Have you met our beautiful furbaby, Sammi!?
First we fostered her for a week, and within days it was clear... she was never leaving our house!! We adopted her in April from our local humane society (, and she's a wonderful addition to our little family.

Welcome Sammi : )

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Top of the World

We recently spent time in Wyoming and Montana, visiting good friends in Jackson Hole. I can barely describe how incredible the landscape is in that part of our country. Perhaps this photo can express it...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Back in Manhattan

Peter and I were recently in New York City for his business and it was soooo wonderful to be in Manhattan again! There really is no place like it on Earth and I will forever call myself a New Yorker. It was a joy and an honor to live there for almost 10 years.

At Lincoln Center

I think this is 57th between 5th & 6th Ave

With my dear friend, Victoria
Lower Manhattan behind us...
*sigh* Ahhhh, New York...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Blogging virgin...

Okay, I've been inspired by my friends Kerstin and John. They both have interesting blogs... which have helped me learn and understand more about them as people and dreamers... I have no idea what I'll be writing about in my blog. And so it begins... thanks for your patience with me. : )