Sunday, January 30, 2011


Do you use them?

I'm specifically thinking about Filofax "systems" and their ilk. I've got this sudden itch to own one, but they're rather pricey and I'm wondering just how useful it would really be.

I've always kept a personal diary or journal, and I'll continue to do that. I'm not thinking that the Filofax would replace that. I also keep a reading journal, just to keep track of what I'm reading and the number of pages I read per day. This year I'm using one of the Reading Woman engagement calendars by Pomegranate.

It's lovely, with nice smooth, heavy pages for writing, and reproductions of thirty-two paintings that show women reading. And it helps keep this woman reading - the days I don't do any reading are left blank, and I really hate seeing those empty spaces.

But I'm thinking the Filofax would come in handy for organizing more than just my reading life. This year is likely to be a big one for me: hubby retiring, selling the condo (I hope!), buying a new home, moving, and exploring a new area. My year will almost certainly be exciting, but also hectic and chaotic: lots of work and planning and travel and appointments to keep. So you can see I really need that little leather notebook with all those cute - I mean useful inserts and accessories.

Of course, I could use my iPad for all that. Or my "smart" cell phone. They've both got calendar and planner capacities. But I guess I have to admit that, for all my fascination with the new technologies, I'm really a pretty confirmed pen-and-paper type. There's just something about a hand-written list on a real sheet of paper - something visceral that electronic devices just don't provide.

Basically, of course, it's just that I've been bitten by the Filofax bug and I've just got to get my hands on one. And I find I'm not alone in my fascination. I had sort of assumed the non-electronic organizer was a thing of the past. Not so. After doing a little googling, I found there are still loads of people devoted to their Filofaxes, Day Runners, Day-Times, or Franklin Coveys. There are "fan" groups on Facebook and Twitter. There are even Flickr groups, with hundreds of members who've uploaded thousands of photos of their beloved (and lovingly customized) planners. (See Philofaxy, Filofax Joy, For the Love of Filofax, Filomaniac, and Filofans.)

So, after much dithering and hair-pulling, I've finally decided to take the plunge. Now, of course, comes all the dithering and hair-pulling while I decide on style, size, color, where to buy, etc. That's going to be a problem because there's a lot to choose from and I don't do well when I have too many options. Looks like I've got a little more googling to do.

Cross-posted at Joy's Blog.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Fill-Ins 2011-04

Time for another edition of Friday Fill-Ins! I think this is the first one I've done in 2011. And can you believe it's suddenly the last Friday in January? I sure can't. This new year is only a few weeks old, and already it seems I'm playing catch-up. Oh, well - here we go:

1. Up on the housetop reindeer pause. Sorry, I'm still singing Christmas songs.

2. The hubby is home sick today - he's got a touch of whatever's been going around.

3. Coats and scarves, mittens and boots: I absolutely hate dealing with stuff like this. Where's springtime?

4. There's nothing better than a nice back rub. Well, almost nothing.

5. I'm thinking about buying a Filofax organizer. Trying to decide which style I like best. Probably the Finsbury personal size in black.

6. All this snow can't be gone soon enough for me.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to staying in (and away from the snow) and spending a quiet evening at home with M, tomorrow my plans include not much of anything right now and Sunday, I want to watch the Pro Bowl and the new episode of "Downton Abbey" on PBS, and also get some reading done!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cat Thursday

This week, I'm posting a few of my recent favorite LOL Cats from the I Can Has Cheezburger website (you can see many more adorable kittehs if you visit the site). Three with captions:

And one with no caption. Maybe you can come up with one. Personally, I think it's just too cute to be funny!

Cat Thursday is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Out and About in Old Town

It's been so cold around here lately, I haven't really ventured out much. And there's snow on the ground again today. Not picturesque snow - just patchy, gray stuff. So I thought I'd post a few shots taken back in the fall, when "going outside" sounded a little more inviting.

These photos were taken back in October, on a day when M and I drove into Old Town Alexandria for lunch and a little sightseeing. As I recall, it was pretty darn cold that day, too - but at least the sun was shining. This is Christ Church, the first Episcopal Church in Alexandria. The building was designed by James Wren in the colonial Georgian style, and completed by John Carlyle in 1773. George Washington and Robert E. Lee were regular worshippers here. The churchyard is filled with the graves of parishioners and some of the tombstones are barely readable, but still interesting to see.

George Washington isn't buried here (his grave is at Mount Vernon), but there is a plaque dedicated to his honorary pall bearers.

The church was in use on the Saturday we were there, so we didn't go inside; but here are a few more shots of the outside and grounds.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.
To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please visit her blog.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cat Thursday: Cats and Their People

A home without a cat - and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat - may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title? (--Mark Twain)

Mark Twain has always been one of my favorite authors - even before I went to a junior high school named after him. And since my husband has been reading the new autobiography this winter, lately I've been hearing a lot about Twain and his adventures. He was famous for being very fond of cats, and always had a few around him at home. He once said he could never resist a cat - "particularly a purring one." So, for this week's Cat Thursday, here are a few shots of Twain with some of his cats.

Cat Thursday is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Outdoor and Wordless Wednesday: Spider, Spider

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Spider on squash blossom
November 2010

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.
To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please visit her blog.

For more Wordless Wednesday offerings,
please visit the website here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Outdoor and Wordless Wednesday: Lost Toy

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Texas Hill Country
November 2010

Outdoor Wednesday is hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.
To see many, many more outdoor photos or to post some of your own, please visit her blog.

For more Wordless Wednesday offerings,
please visit the website here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cat Thursday: In the Garden

Just checkin' out the catnip crop.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Cat Thursday is hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Alphabe-Thursday: "M" is For...


That's my little travel doll, Kayla, waving. But the margarita was for me!

Alphabe-Thursday is hosted by Jenny Matlock at Off On My Tangent.
To see more entries, or to participate yourself, please visit her blog.

For the Birds

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

San Antonio TX
November 2010

Saturday, January 1, 2011

SSS 137: Shadows of Christmas Past

I know Christmas is over, and everyone is probably sick of seeing Christmas-themed posts. But we still have our decorations up and since this might be our last Christmas in this apartment, I've been taking lots of photos of the place this holiday season. I'm always being surprised by the shadows that get thrown onto the vertical blinds over the door to our balcony - here we have the shadow of a Christmas stocking that's hanging on the balcony door. First a closeup:

And then another one that shows a teensy shadow of the Christmas lights around the door, and even a bit of balcony furniture:

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

OK, I'll try to make this the last of the Christmas posts. Must move on to 2011. Gee, I already miss 2010!

Shadow Shot Sunday is a weekly photo meme hosted by Hey Harriet.
To see many, many more shadow shots or to contribute some yourself, head on over to her blog.

Saturday Snapshot: Christmas Past

Saturday Snapshot is a meme hosted by Alyce of At Home With Books.
Please visit her blog for the guidelines.

I've been looking through some of our old Christmas photos. Probably not a good idea; I try to stay clear of needless nostalgia at this time of year. But this has always been one of my favorites. It's a shot of me with my little cousin MLB on her very first Christmas Eve back in ???? Well, many long years ago, obviously. (Up with Boomers!) She'll probably murder me if she sees this (I think I've posted it once before and got away with it), but weren't we cute? And just look at that state-of-the-art TV set in the background. Her family was probably the first on our block to have a TV, but her dad was a TV newsman so they had to have one. Looks like she's off on a little adventure, doesn't it? Well, she always had a mind of her own, even at such a tender age!