Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Last Day of 2008

The men are off to the mountain to ski, and I thought I'd check in here at a computer for just a minute. I'm supposed to be at the exercise room on the treadmill already. I've made a resolution to lose weight this new year, and I don't believe I'm going to wait until tomorrow to start. I also don't believe I'm not going to eat and drink as much as I want! But I hate feeling so thick around the middle, so it's starting now.

It's snowing like crazy, and we're having a lovely day so far. We've got a great party planned for tonight... hopefully even better than last night... and it seems like a good way to rap up the old year.

I'll check in again later, hopefully!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My last day at 44

Today is the day before my birthday. I will be 45 tomorrow.

45 and 44 aren't really that much different, are they? Both are older than I thought. I thought I wouldn't feel "old" until I hit 50, but I surprised myself by feeling that way when I hit 40. Age is only a feeling, of course.

Life expectancy is a hard thing to pinpoint. I know the Center for Disease Control has all kinds of statistics. I looked them up. It seems that the current world lifespan averages around 66. But lifespan differs in different places. Some countries live longer than other countries. And if you make it through puberty at all, you've got a better shot of making it to an older age.

The longest living person lived to be 122. I have no expectations of living that long. Of course, that doesn't take Methusalah into account, that person in the Bible who was supposed to have lived for a few hundred years -- maybe 900? I kinda figure that the math was done wrong on that one.

I think a realistic estimate for me, living in this area, is something like 81 years old or something. But my one Gram lived to be 92. And being optimistic, I prefer to think that I will live to be at least 90. Which, if that is the case, means that this is exactly my half-way year. I can't really have any expectations of longer life than 90. I'm not even sure I'd want to. But with that in mind, I'm exactly middle aged tomorrow. Which, I guess, is better than being old, even though I often feel old. I don't know, can you feel middle aged? I usually only feel old or young, never middle.

On the other hand, I could be way over optimistic. I might not reach 90 at all -- I might get hit by a bus tomorrow. (Which is why if you ever cross the street with me, you'll find I have an overwhelming fear of buses.) (Just kidding.)

But if today was my last day on earth, I must say I've had a good and long life already. Also on those mortality tables, which I looked up here on Wikipedia, they showed how long people of other eras lived. The answer is not too long. Someone in the Bronze age was lucky to make 20. Ancient Greeks and Romans were lucky to make 30. Even someone in the early 1900's was lucky to make 40. So I can't complain about living such a good, easy life, and living it for so long.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I was tagged by Niall...

... ages ago, but with the holidays, I was too busy to even realize. So now, having seen the tag and having the time to post, I'm posting my Fridge pictures.

What do you have on your fridge? Post a picture! I'm tagging Beth, and Gem, and everyone who wants to play!


Just so you know -- Frankie was the person who arranged the front of our fridge most recently. He was named Senior of the Month, which is a big deal at his High School. At least, it is for him. He was hoping he'd get it. So when he did, I got a copy of the stuff posted in the school, so I could post it at home as well.

Above (and under) his senior of the month stuff is magnetic poetry. And below it, I have the flyer for Devin's eagle project, which happened already; Booth's essay he wrote for a college essay, which I helped him edit, and which I don't want to throw away (even though he has it in his lap top.) I also have a Christmas letter I get from Jan's sister Kathy. She's so creative you wouldn't believe it, the whole thing is beautiful. I also have a recipe I want to try for biscotti. And finally, on the left there over the ice and watermaker, I have all the boy's report cards. They both did really well. Again, though, Frankie was the one who put them there.
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Magnetic Poetry for the Fridge


This has been fun for a long time. It was a gift from Beth, a few years ago. Now, though, we will be replacing it soon, because Nick got Magnetic Chess for his dad for Christmas... I'll take the words down for a while, and we'll replace them with the chess set.
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The wider view

The side of the fridge has way more receipts and appointments and phone numbers and things. You can see the Hummingbird I'm drawing for Laurie, who wants a tattoo. You can also see all the knickknacks on top. Those blue bowls were my Grandmother's. It's a mess, isn't it?

Here is the Kitchen Fridge, both sides, and the view into the pantry...
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The Pantry fridge

Yeah, that's right, we have two fridges right next to each other. I keep soda, and wine, and leftovers, and seeds, and stuff in this fridge. Plus, this fridge has a larger freezer, which is much more useful for meats and casseroles and things. We fill them both up, especially if we're having a party.


On the top, I have the school pictures and baby pictures and things that I get from friends and family. And on the bottom, we have all of the state magnets that we collect when we go to a new state. We've been to quite a few places, but all in the US. I'm starting to think more about traveling internationally... but I'm a big chicken. Maybe when the kids are older.
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A lovely vacation and Shopping thoughts

The Christmas break is wonderful. One of the huge benefits of working at the school is getting so many of the school holidays as work holidays. I don't get many vacation days... but I get so many days off, I can't complain!

Vacation days are lovely and leisurely. Even though the whole family is home, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. (I like having the house to myself a little bit!)

Every morning, I've set my alarm clock for 8 or so. And every morning, I laugh at myself as I turn it off, and sleep until way later than I ought to.

Today, being football day, I was hoping the whole family would be heading to the Jackson's to watch the game, but they decided to stay on the couch. So I met Beth and the girls and her mom for lunch at the mall. We had a nice lunch at Friendly's, and visited a little while. I gave the girls their Christmas presents, and then we separated. I shopped a little bit, hoping to find the bargains they've been talking about on the news.

This is what I've been noticing about the mall and the economy: The stores are scared, and trying to play it conservatively. That's my opinion. It seems like they are filling their shelves with cheap merchandise that if they are stuck with, it won't be too bad for their bottom line.

For example, I've shopped at one department store for their holiday decoration shop for years. They always have a huge selection of expensive items to choose from. But this year, their baskets were full of bulky, inexpensive, plasticy stuff, and even before the holiday the selection was much smaller than usual.

And today, at another department store that I often do well at when buying clothes, I saw table after table of one style of cheap sweater. It was priced pretty well, but it wasn't overly attractive. It looked like something that they had gotten at a really good price and were trying to bulk up their sales with. I guess they can't have an empty store, right? But they don't want to over-extend themselves with items that cost a lot, because no one is shopping much.

It feels like the stores are making every attempt to survive the long, bleak winter ahead of our economy. Only the strong survive, right? So I don't blame them for making this effort. I hope that they all come out doing well, with many jobs intact.

I just hope that the winter ahead isn't as bleak as it seems... and that when spring comes, we are all happy and healthy. I love to have a huge selection of beautiful things to look at when I go shopping. I've been so spoiled in my life.

And yet, I also wish that our whole culture wasn't so based on a disposable lifestyle. I'm as bad as anyone else I know, but I want to change. Will I? Can I? I don't really know.

Well, I didn't buy any clothes today. I don't need anymore clothes -- I need to look better in the clothes I already have. But I did buy books. I'm so excited! I bought a Deepak Chopra book, and a novel that was on the reduced price table, and that Barbara Kingsolver book about eating food that is grown locally. I hope it inspires me to have a bigger garden next year !

Photos from Jude's house

I didn't take too many photos at Jude's house. Mostly, we were all lumpy and sat around and ate tons of cookies. Which is part of the reason why my New Year's resolution this year will be to loose weight. I've never actually made that resolution before. I don't think. I always seem to skate around it. But last week I bought myself a nice new sweat suit, with a picture of an Indian Princess in sequins, and I really want to wear it, but I look like a bratwurst in it. So I've resolved to loose weight. Wish me luck.

But anyway, we always take a nice little walk at Jude's house because it's such a nice outdoorsy place. And I did take a few photos of our walk... which I am posting below.

And after I am done posting all of these photos, I'm going to go make some more cookies. The ricotta ones, for New Years Eve.

No point in making myself miserable TOO soon, is there?

So anyway, back to Jude's house.
The boys even got a little tired of video games and wanted to run around a little. So they brought a football outside, when it was determined that it was time for our walk. William is a cutey, isn't he?
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Go out for a pass.


So anyway, Nick and Will and Thor played a bit of catch in the street in front of the house first. They already know it takes us women a little while to get it together and start walking.
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Good catch!


I actually took a motion shot!

I am so bad at motion photography. This isn't very good, because the subjects are a bit fuzzy. I love Thor's hat, though, don't you? And William's expression.
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We meandered down the road.


The boys didn't stop playing football. Jude and I really needed to stretch our legs a bit, though.
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Usually, there are many deer wandering through the woods at Jude's house. I was planning on taking photos of them. This time, though, I didn't see any. I must not have been looking out the window at the right times.

We saw these deer during our walk. They were just standing in the middle of the road, hanging out. They waited 'til we got pretty close before they bothered moving. When they did move, it really wasn't because of us. They were just no longer interested in standing in the middle of the road.
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Conflicting messages.


Which is it? Is it no outlet, or is it and Emergency Evacuation Route? Can it be both? Don't you need an outlet in order to evacuate?

So we walked down to the end of the cul-de-sac.
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Here is the emergency exit.


Do not block it. Someone might need to get through.
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It just seems silly to me.


The sign is actually bolted on to the gate. And the gate is padlocked and chained. Not to mention the fact that the snow is blocking most cars from getting through, unless you have a truck. Does this make sense to you?
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Friday, December 26, 2008

The view through the Dining Room Window

Bunny decorated the backyard instead of the front yard, because most of the house faces the back, and that's what we see.

If I see a deer (or a bear) wander through, I'll post a picture for ya...

Merry Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas
and at Gram Jude's place
we were sitting and eating,
moving at a slow, lazy pace.

The presents were open
and wrap strewn about.
St. Nick had been good,
the kids happy, no doubt.

And I at the 'puter,
and Thor on the couch,
and Pop back in bed,
(Though Jude is no slouch).

Out in the dining room
arose such a clatter.
The kids - always wrestling
- knocked over a platter.

I looked out the window
from there at my seat.
I was glad that the fireplace
threw so much heat.

The clouds in the sky
and the woods full of snow
made us cozy inside,
glad we'd nowhere to go.

I felt bad for Bunny
who worked at the bank.
She had to go in today --
(she'd the shoppers to thank.)

Well, I sat and I wrote
this here poem for you.
Aside from just sitting,
I've nothing to do.

'Though I guess I could help
poor old Jude clean a bit.
The house is quite messy
(but she won't throw a fit.)

And I suppose I should cook
'cause lunch time is here.
Before you know it,
Frank will open a beer.

So I'm gonna sign off now
and make us a bite.
Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hey, I missed you!

Hello my dear bloggy friends, I haven't been here in a while, and I've missed you all dreadfully!

OK, I'm drinking some nice red wine right now... maybe a bit more than I should be. I'll have to slow down a bit because I don't want to be hungover for the Polish Christmas Eve fest tomorrow at Thor's parents house.

And I'm listening to some lovely bluesy folksy music. And the kids are out, but they will be coming home soon -- hopefully with a bunch of their friends -- and I have a baked ziti in the oven.

I'll be posting more tonight, I hope. Unless this wine flows too freely, or unless the children come back and steal their laptop from my grasp. (I'm still computerless. Which SUCKS. And I'm afraid to make the leap and buy the computer of my dreams, with the whole economy going down the tubes.)

But right now I've gotta clear the table, so we can eat. Talk to ya later.

Love ya.... no, really, I mean it! Seriously!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Boys!

Today is my Nicholas' Birthday! He is 16 today, the 17th. 16 year old girls have the sweet thing. Nick isn't sweet, but he is wonderful.

The main milestone for a 16 year old boy is the whole driving thing starting up... He took the written test today, and yes, he passed. He was less excited than I expected. But Nick is just basically a laid back, chill kinda guy. The actual driving classes, six hours of instruction, start on Monday. I am NOT ready.

Nick is the peace maker in the family. He is the one who wants any conflict to cease immediately, and he is the one who always calls for the group hug. And, in fact, if any hug at all is happening in the house, he is most likely to throw himself into the middle of it. He is very loving.

Nick also has a great sense of humor and he loves to laugh. He loves comedies and Nickelodeon and Sponge Bob. He is always glad to be goofy.

Nick has a great ear. He is very good at imitating sounds and speech and songs. He has a very good voice when he sings. In fact, he's also a GREAT dancer, with a lot of natural rhythym and smooth moves. IF you can catch him. Because the minute he notices someone watching, he stops. He is still very shy. I think he'll grow out of it, eventually. Just not quite yet.

So Happy Birthday, Chicky. Don't be in TOO much of a rush to grow up. (Now go get a job. Shop Rite is hiring!)


ALSO celebrating a birthday today is my William! William is Nick's cousin. Here they are at the party this weekend, as we sang the worst rendition of Happy Birthday that you have EVER HEARD.

William is 11. He's a sweet kid, and he gets along great with Nick. He is totally into video games and Nascar and Pokemon. He is very intelligent and does well in school.

Happy Birthday, William!
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Jan's Birthday

Jan also celebrates her birthday on December 17th. Jan is another one of my BFF's along with Beth, but she's moved even farther away than Beth did. (I seem to have that effect on people.) However, we have a pact that we will be living in the same old age home when the time comes. We'll be in our 90's, sitting on the front porch and drinking tea, reading books, and wearing hats, and probably eating bonbons.

Isn't it terrible that I don't have a photo of Jan? I will take one the next time I see her. This photo reminded me of her because she has always been stylish; just now, Mom style takes the place of Fashion style.

I will get to Pittsburgh some day. Happy Birthday, Jan!

In Memory

I know Laurie will read this blog at some point, and I felt like in addition to acknowledging the beginning of life, with all of these birthdays, I wanted to also acknowledge her mom. She passed away today, and she will be missed very much by all those who knew her.

I give you this one thought to keep -
I am with you still - I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone -
I am with you still - in each new dawn
~~ Author Unknown ~~


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keep your fingers crossed....


.... it could be a SNOW DAY tomorrow, if we are really lucky! Or, at least a delayed opening!

Tomorrow is Nicky's Birthday. I'll post a whole entry about my wonderful son tomorrow. It's also Jan's birthday and William's birthday. I'll try to post for them as well.

Right now, though, I've gotta go fill out the paperwork for his Drivers Ed written test tomorrow... :P
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Chris's Tattoo

  Everyone is into tattoos these days.

When RJ said he wanted a tattoo, I drew a picture for him, but I never really expected he'd get it. I was significantly stressed when I saw it permanently engraved in his flesh -- I at least thought he'd wait until he was old. I don't even have a picture of it; I took one, once, but it must have been in the computer before it crashed.

Anyway, Chris wanted one, too, so I drew it -- even though I wasn't sure I should, considering how worried I was about RJ's. Chris said he'd wait until he was 18, which seemed like a far time away. Well, Chris is turning 18 this week.

I had a similar reaction when I saw the photo of Chris's tattoo. I hesitate to do murals for people, even, because I feel like it's so permanent. It's really weird to do a sketch and have it permanently engraved on someone. However, it is also very flattering, that they liked my sketch that much.

I just REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that they don't regret getting tattooed. Which I think is very possible, no matter what image it is, whether it's mine or another one.
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Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Visits

  It was a very busy weekend of Christmas visits and parties. All the decorations were up and plenty of food was made, although to be truthful, not ALL of the decorations ever made it out of the box, and most of the food was provided by other people. It was a lot of fun, we were very very jolly.

Even so, I'm STILL not feeling very Christmassy. I had a great time, but it wasn't anything to do with the "spirit of the season," it was just having a good time seeing everyone. I couldn't really enjoy listening to Christmas music. I'm not connecting with the magic of the holiday. It might be at least partly because I'm not around little kids who believe in Santa very much anymore. Only Sabrina and Kelly. Sabrina, does this picture look more spooky or less spooky?

I took a sick day off work today and I'm planning on cleaning and shopping and organizing. I'm very happy to be home alone... it's wonderful! Maybe the next thing I need to do is get some of those old classic Christmas movies on the tv, while I fold laundry. That should get me in the holiday spirit!
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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Silver Tree

This is our main Christmas tree this year.

I had a little silver tree when I was a kid, and I was allowed to play with it, which was a lot of fun. When I got older, and my kids were little, there were no silver trees anywhere. I found this one in an antique store; it was from the same era as the tree I had.

About two years after that, silver trees became very popular. (Well, maybe not popular, but you could find them in the stores again.)

But I still like this one better than those.

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Holiday Decorations

I haven't been in much of a mood to decorate, but I got it together well enough for this weekend's parties.
Oh yeah, I must admit, the next photo is retouched to make the colors brighter. I wanted it to look fancier and brighter and prettier than real life.

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Follow Your Heart

I've watched the kids and their friends
play pretend when they were little,
and play with their toys,
and try on different lives.

And I've watched a few of them,
going through middle school very earnestly,
and others going through middle school very dramatically
trying on different styles and opinions
and sometimes settling on some rather silly ideas
and saying,
"this is who I am."

This is who you are since when?

And now they are in High School,
and this seems to be who they really are.
But it is at least partly a choice.
They have chosen to be this way
and they can choose to try to be different,
although they may have to work hard at it.
Those choices tend to solidify
and trap you in the place
you have chosen to occupy.

And I am getting old,
and I have told myself, and everyone else,
"This is who I am."
I'm rather set in my ways.
I didn't feel that way as a child.
I felt like everything was still a possibility,
and I could create myself new in every new relationship
and in every new day.

But just yesterday
As I approach yet another birthday
I found a crack in who I've become
and I've decided that now might be a good time
to try on a whole new possibility
and to say to myself,
"I can be this person, too."

Monday, December 08, 2008

(Old photo. I don't even have time to take a new photo... sorry....)

Busy week...

I wrote two posts in this spot tonight. When the first one was done, I went back and re-read it, and decided to erase the whole thing and start over.

The gist of my first post is that there is a lot going on this week, and I'm a bit stressed. Or should I say tired? Because that might be more appropriate. If the house doesn't get cleaned, and decorated, and gifts wrapped, and cookies baked, well, it really won't matter all that much in the scope of what is really important.

More importantly, everyone hold a good thought or say a prayer for Kelly, who is in the hospital. She had what seems to be a stomache virus, she got dehydrated, went to the hospital for a few days, went home, and got sick AGAIN and so is back in the hospital. She's only a baby, and her mama is stressed. For real.

And hold a good thought/say a prayer for two different families I know with parents who are ill... and for the family who I know who just lost their father... and for the family Gem knows who is just getting out of a homeless shelter. And for all the families who are being hard hit by economics. I went to a tag sale this weekend at a house whose owner was going thru bankruptcy and was liquidating the entire house for cash to pay their bills.

So never mind my complaining about too much to do and not enough time to do it in. It wasn't really important. My stress is manufactured. The only thing left of the post that I had previously written is the following statement:

I think that in another life I was a bear, because all I want to do is hibernate. I am so SLEEPY!

So if I'm not writing much, that's why. I'll get back to ya all next week.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Energize me

G'Morning. OK, for you early birds, it's almost afternoon, but 10:25 on a Saturday, that's early enough for me. But I'm starting out good today. I MUST get this house at least clean, if not decorated, by the end of the weekend.

Plus, I have cookies to start. And gifts to wrap. And, actually, gifts to buy.

The boys got up and out early, working on an Eagle project for one of their fellow scouts. Thor's dad called and has a project for him to do as well. So EVERYONE is moving. And the laundry is already started.

So I'm not posting much right now, because I really don't want to stall any longer. I have the energy (I think) and I'm gonna get going.

I plan on writing more later.

Watch me work.

No, really, I'm going.


(Feel free to stop in for a cup of tea at any point.)

See ya.

Friday, December 05, 2008


No, really.


That is all.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Lack of Spontaneity part 2

I wrote the previous post at break, which I take the exact same time every day. I drive home, start the tea kettle, and go online to check emails and blogs while the teakettle boils. As soon as the kettle whistles, I pour my tea, and head back to work. Which is my point, of course.

Then, after my break, I work on permanent records in school. I have a certain specific amount of time and then I head back to my car and drive home for lunch, which is almost the same as break only more food and more time.

Today, coming home again for lunch, I heard a really good song on the radio. So that made me start thinking -- and I knew I had to adjust my previous post.

Music is the key factor in my life that makes it not so bad to be so unspontaneous. Because I'm doing all of these boring mundane things everyday, but I usually have the Sirius Satellite Radio on, or discs, or my Ipod. I only wish I could listen to music in work -- that would make it perfect.

Music keeps my lack of spontaneity from freaking me out. Which is why I need to change my music so often, probably. Music is my variety which spices my life.

(Rock on, Milwaukee!

Lack of Spontaneity

Did I spell that right?

Anyway, I like my job. I really do.

The only bad thing about my job, which is probably one of the main bad things about any job, is the lack of spontaneity.

More and more, my life is revolving about the clock.

I wake up at exactly 5:30, I shower at exactly 6:15, I get to work for 7 (ish -- I'm not THAT exact!), I take my break and come home to make tea, I work on specific partsof my job at specific times of the day. It's rather predictable which makes it rather boring. But the predictability of it also makes it easier to get everything done that needs to get done, because I have certain times to do certain things, and those things take a certain amount of time.

Mind you, I'm not trying to complain. I'm not sad or depressed about it; it's just easier, which technically means it's a good thing, probably, more or less. Like I said, I like my job. I'm choosing this lack of spontaneity.

Maybe I need to schedule in some spontaneous time?

Anyway, I'm not in a very Christmasy mood. I think that Christmas is a spontaneous holiday, and I haven't started feeling it at ALL yet.

I need to get some decorations up inside my house. Maybe if I surround myself with the season, I'll start to feel it.

But decorating and cookie baking doesn't really fit in with my self-imposed schedule.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Life Lessons email: the reply...

I received this email from someone I know who isn't in the greatest mood lately... but she makes some very good points.

Sue...I put my own comments in after each one... lol...

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.No shit it isn't fair. If it was fair all the bitches would be fat ugly and bald, with out men and broke.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. But keep your eyes wide open... cause most likely there is a pile of shit somewhere nearby.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. But sometimes you just gotta hate some people.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. yeah I know very few people take me seriously.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month. nuff said

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. I don't usually win arguments, but if I am right I will prove it!!!

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. I feel sorry for the people I end up crying too. They probably have learned to not answer when I call.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it. I don't get angry with God. He didn't do it. I am angry with me, and a few others. I am thankful he listens to me bitch and complain though!!!

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque. Now ya tell me

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. I can do with out chocolate... until I go to work... then gimme gimme!!! But I did loose 7 pounds so I guess I am not eating too much.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. I try to make peace with every thing and every one. My present is already screwed up.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. That's good, cause he has!!

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. I compare all the time. But I know that I am where I am supposed to be...even if I don't like or understand it.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. No kidding. Hmph I would have never guessed that one.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks. yep don't I know it

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. sometimes you can even get a good head rush!!

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. Well I guess I have alot of stuff to be rid of, my ex husband, a few other things.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. And tell me when is that strength they talk about actually kick in. I should be super girl!

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. I had a happy childhood, it is adult life that isn't going too smoothly.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. Sometimes you hafta take no for an answer... otherwise you are labeled a stalker.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. I do burn my candles, I use my sheets, and wear my lingerie... why wait... but today isn't very special. It is just the same as yesterday.

22. Over-prepare, then go with the flow. I always overprepare. I was a girl scout ya know.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. What does purple hafta do with old age?

24. The most important sex organ is the brain. I don't think I ever had the big O from my brain or anyone elses for that matter!

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you. I agree, but you need someone to help you in happiness. Being alone is not very happy.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years time, will this matter?' truthfully not much will matter in 5 years. but stuff still happens and it still sucks.

27. Always choose life. Well no duh!

28. Forgive everyone everything. I can forgive... and I have... but I will never forget... and in some cases will make sure other people won't either.

29 What other people think of you is none of your business. If it involves me it is my business. But most times it is better off if you don't know.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time. notice the almost.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. yep, it usually does... but sometimes it is for the worse!!

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch. How true that is.

33. Believe in miracles. I do. and I am hoping and waiting for mine.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. I am thankful for that.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. I do try to make the most of nothing. But sometimes you are just not in the mood.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young. Agree totally

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable. I try that with all my heart and soul.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. I loved, and loved and would be nice to have that feeling returned on occasion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. So that is why I haven't gotten my miracle yet... I like being inside.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. I know my problems aren't as bad as some. No doubt there!!!

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. I do have all I need. My son, family. A place to live, a job, etc. Still it would be nice to have a companion.

42. The best is yet to come. Good, cause I don't think I found the best yet.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. I do... sometimes.

44. Yield. yield, I am a doormat... I think maybe for me it should say stop!

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift. I am grateful for all that I have... Especially my family and friends.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Life Lessons from an Email.

I just received this in an email from Laurie. It is all good, but has a few especially good thoughts. I enjoyed reading it... hope you do too...

This was Written By Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

'To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It's the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 90 in August, so here goes:'

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over-prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years time, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29 What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative of dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and sho w up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lets try this again. I want to post this video... I really like it. But for some reason, I'm having trouble getting it to post. I hope it works; I really like this song. I hope you don't get the commercial in the beginning, but if you do, it doesn't last long. What do you think of the song? I'm lovin' Ben Harper!

Frank hooked up the laptop to the TV and stereo speakers for this evening's entertainment, so I've been surfing the internet looking for tunes. This was my favorite.


Friday, November 28, 2008

Ups and Downs

It's been a busy few days, and it's not slowing down yet. So many ups and downs, and I'm sitting in the middle of the seesaw trying to maintain my equilibrium.

:) We had plenty of company for the holiday, which made it wonderful. Thor's dad had been in the hospital for several days, but he got out in time to be here. The whole family, including all of my sons' cousins were here. It's nice to get to know the kids a little better as they are becoming more adult. I like all of them a great deal, they seem to be good people, and interesting to be around.

:) The food all came out great. We went through more butter than should be legal. It was in every recipe I cooked, I think.

:( Healthy food should start now. But I don't really know ANYTHING about healthy food. Except that I don't usually like it.

:( We heard about the trouble in India. It is a terrible thing, I can't even imagine. I feel terrible for the people there, and I certainly don't understand what the attackers are fighting about. My thoughts are with the people affected. It reminds me of September 11th. I wish them all peace.

:) Frankie went with his cousin and their friend into the city last night. They waited on line overnight for a book signing. There was a lot of discussion about whether they were old enough, and if it would be safe... it wasn't that many years ago that New York suffered from a terrorist attack. But my own opinion was go for it; it was a great adventure. You can't live in fear -- especially if you are an 18 year old. (He had a great time.) (But he didn't get a book signed -- too far back in line.)

:) My mom and dad stayed over and we went shopping this morning -- not the psychotic shopping at 3 AM, just a pleasant trip for Christmas presents. It was lovely.

:( A friend's husband passed away -- very suddenly -- right before Thanksgiving. He was a member of my own generation, which makes it rather personal. His son is friends with my son. His wife is a lovely, caring person. The wake today had a huge number of people attending. The family is holding up very well... in public, at least. But they are a family with a lot of faith in their religion, and I think that helps, perhaps. I'm sure when everything sinks in, it will be difficult for them, but I wish them peace.

:( I'm very melancholy about people coming and going in and out of my life. People I love, people I am friends with, people I fight with, people move, people change and grow away. People get sick and people die. New people move in and close people fade out and I wonder if I should make more of an effort or just go with the flow?

:D Then... after the wake, we arrived home. There was a large envelope in the mailbox. It was from the college Frankie would most like to attend. And... HE WAS ACCEPTED. I'm very glad. He was even given a very nice academic scholarship. He's ready, and it is a great thing. It is what I want for him. But even so, a little melancholy, too, you know?

Do you see how everything rather relates together? So that's my story.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

I got off my butt last night, finally, and made the pies and stuff. I'm still in a blah mood, but I'm sure I'll feel better when everyone is over and eating.

I'm very thankful for many things, especially my family and friends, and especially my children.

I have posted this poem before, but I wanted to post it again today. Not because of Thanksgiving, but more because of my mood. It's one of my favorite poems EVER!!!

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls.
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow.
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I am thankful today for today, and for my family and friends, and for the Archer, and for this poem. I am thankful for all of the blessings I have -- home, food, and "stuff", but even more than "stuff," for the health that we all have and don't even realize we have until it's gone. I am thankful for computers and the ability to reach out to people across the world who I feel like I am friends with, even though we have never met. Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blah humbug.

I'm not in a spectacularly holiday like mood.

I have plenty of complaints, but I won't list them because no one wants to hear them. But that is probably the reason I haven't posted much. I'm feeling rather blah. And slightly stressed, mainly from being too unorganized. But I can't get organized because I don't have any energy. I guess my energy level is my main complaint -- I don't have any energy at all.

I'm looking for something to post, but I haven't come up with it yet.

Maybe I'll try to post a holiday cooking photo. I'm making Thanksgiving dinner, and I'm actually glad I'm cooking, but I'm procrastinating anyway. Cooking for Thanksgiving isn't one of the things I'm complaining about.

I feel rather like taking a nap and staying in bed for a week or so.

Anyway. THIS is a rather bad post, isn't it? I'll try to start cooking and see if I can find a good photo subject...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Gram D.

My dad's mom would have been 87 today if she was still alive.

I posted the graphic of the American Indian woman above because she was 100% native American Indian. She was a Mohawk Iroquois, born on the Kahnawake Reservation, near the St. Lawrence Seaway in Canada. The day she was born -- November 24th -- was the first real snowfall of the year that year, which was probably pretty late for Canada! Her family named her "Kanietahawi" which means "brought the snow." Interestingly enough, I remember very clearly the day she died. It was on my birthday, and it snowed that day too. It seemed appropriate.

My Grandmother had certain key beliefs that she instilled in me. One very important belief was that all people are created equal. She did not discriminate based on looks or race or beliefs or where a person was from -- and for a person of her generation, that might be considered somewhat unusual. She also was a firm believer in women's rights. She also didn't think people should keep secrets about their health; she wanted people to share information, so that everyone would learn. It aggravated her to no end when people whispered about someone having cancer. "They called it the Big C -- they didn't even say the word. And they kept it all hush hush. But you need to learn about these things. Who knows, hon, maybe one day you or I will have the same problem, and we will know a little more about it than if it's constantly kept a secret!"

Another interesting thing about my Grandmother was that she donated her body to science after she died. We had a service, but her body was taken to a medical school for students to dissect. "They don't need my organs, they are too old and not very healthy," I can hear her say. "But maybe they can use me to learn something." It was more than a year before her body came back for us to bury. I was weird. But cool, too.

My Grandmother wasn't the most lovable old woman -- actually, she could be a bit ascerbic and outspoken. She didn't always say what you wanted to hear. But she was a great person. I also believe that at my age, she was having her share of problems and depression and stress. She was strong, though, and I loved her very much. So, Happy Birthday, Grandma.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Elderly Woman Behind a Counter in a Small Town

This is the first song I ever loved by Pearl Jam.

I first listened to this song because Frank told me about it. He said it reminded him of my Grandmother. Gram DeSanto, not Gram Rodgers. At the time, she was in a coma. She died not long after.

"I seem to recognize your face...
haunting, familiar, but I can't seem to place it.
Can I find a candle of thought to light your name...
lifetimes, they're catching up with me..."

But I always think of her when I hear this song. (Of course, I'm not sure what Eddie was thinking when he wrote it. Most people seem to remember this song as part of their youth, and identify with it that way. I'm not in that age group. It wasn't part of my youth.)

"All these changes taking place,
I wish I'd seen the place, but no one's ever taken me....
Hearts and thoughts, they fade... fade away."

I'm going to be writing about Gram DeSanto in upcoming blog posts, because it would have been her birthday. And because just a few days ago, I realized that I am actually older now than she was when I was born. So I could be a grandmother already.

I'm really ready to be a grandmother. I'm CERTAINLY not ready for my kids to have kids, but I'm ready for grandbabies.

"I swear I recognize your breath...
memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.
Me, you wouldn't recall, for I'm not my former...
it's hard when you're stuck up on the shelf....
I've changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate
Perhaps that's what no one wants to see

I just want to scream


My God it's been so long -- never dreamed you'd return.
But now, here you are, and here I am.
Hearts and thoughts they fade... away..."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I just heard this song on the radio. I really like it...

Monday, November 17, 2008

not much to say.

I'm tired of mondays. And my eyes hurt again. And I have a pile of laundry to do. That's about it. I'm gonna go do laundry now.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Deck the Halls


Well, we're only decking the outdoors. And we don't have a deck.

It's been a quiet day around here. I spent the morning working on the food drive for Scouts, and helping Casey with his Eagle paperwork. He's almost there. I got home and started working on house cleaning -- which for me, means 1. Laundry, and 2. gathering all of the papers lying all over the place and figuring out whether they need to be paid, filed, or whatever. I also made Frankie start working on his scholarship applications. He's less than thrilled. When Frank and Nicky started working on the lights, I was going to tell him forget about it, that he had to work on the scholarship stuff. But he LOVES to climb on the roof, so it seemed unfair. So there they are, up on the roof. I really can't watch.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Marie-Antoinette Award
A Real Person, A Real Award

Wow, I was given another award. I am honored! Wilben gave me the "Marie Antoinette Award- a real person, a real award"

Wilben's blog is called "Sayings, Quotes, and Adages: Inspiration, Wisdom, Humor" and you can find it by clicking here.

Now I have to go look up more details about Marie Antoinette. I remember from my reading she was a misunderstood person.

I also have to follow the rules below:

Here are the Rules for the Award:
1. Please put the logo on your blog
2. Place a link to the person from whom you recieved the award
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

I also have to go back to work now. So I'll have to follow up on this later. Thanks, Wilben!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I hate when people are mad at me.

I have 7 minutes left until my self imposed deadline to call a friend who I know is mad at me. I know she's mad, and I know why, and I completely understand. But I hate when people are mad at me. It really stresses me out, and it always has.

A while ago I wrote about my oldest memory -- I remember being like three or four, and Gram Rodgers swatted my butt for stepping into the dust she had just swept up after she told me not to. It didn't hurt even a little bit, I was SO UPSET that she would be mad at me! I cried and cried. My feelings were so hurt.

In more recent years, Jan used to make fun of me for apologizing all the time about everything. I would do anything I could do stop conflict, and I would always act in whatever way I could to avoid making someone mad at me. I try to apologize less now. I don't want to dilute it's strength. I want any apology I make to be ... real.

My sister Bunny yells at me all the time for not just letting things go. "Too damn bad!" she would probably say. "If they don't like it, tough!" She talks a good game, but she is pretty sensitive too.

With this specific situation, I know I didn't do anything particularly WRONG. What I did was to make some choices that didn't put my friend's feelings first. I wasn't very sensitive to her needs. Because I had other priorities, and I did what I felt like I had to do, in spite of her being a friend.

So now, I have to call her. It's taken me 8 minutes so far to write this post. It's now a minute past the deadline. I'm stalling just a little bit. But writing helps me put my thoughts in perspective. So maybe I'll know what to say when I call her, if I write it out like this.

What can I say to her? I am sorry she's mad. I don't want her to be. I did what I felt like had to be done. She may disagree with my reasons. She may think I'm making excuses. I'll probably apologize... does it count if you apologize even though you would probably make the same choices if the situation happened again?

She may not even be home (crossing my fingers) and I can just apologize over an answering machine.

OK. It's 6 minutes past deadine. I've gotta go. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No computer. Probably 'til Saturday.

Aren't I glad we got laptops for the kids?
Of course, Nick's laptop isn't working either, because he's trying to add memory but really doesn't know how, I guess. It didn't want to turn on.

And Frankie's laptop is password protected. But he started it up for me.

So I can do a little 'puter stuff, even though I can't get to nano...

Monday, November 10, 2008


My computer has crashed, and it can't get up! And my nanowrimo is trapped inside! Arrgggh! Help me help me... (Ok, Frank's working on it. Cross your fingers.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I feel bad for Teenagers.

I remember Gram saying the same thing to me when I was a teen. I feel bad for teenagers today. It's such a complicated world. It used to be simpler. And we used to have so much fun, when I was a kid. You can't have fun like that as a teen today.

I know quite a few teenagers today. But when my kids were little, teens kinda scared me. In fact, they still do. They can be very unpredictable, to the point where you can't always even say that you will be safe if you walk by a group of them on a dark street.

I'm very unsure about where I stand with most teens. They can be so uninterested in anything adult. They often make me feel invisible.

Often, teenagers piss me off. They can be quite obnoxious on occasion. They can be very condescending.

On the other hand, sometimes I have a good conversation with one or two of them, or learn things about the kinds of things that they are going through and trying to figure out and my heart really melts for them.

(Of course, they aren't ALL good. Some of them still just make me mad, no matter what they do.)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Football Saturday Afternoon

Around here, fall is all about football. Saturdays is college football -- which gratefully, my crew isn't that addicted to. Sunday, all day, is pro football.

So today, Saturday, in spite of the rain, we had a football game at the park. Here are the players, after the game. We've got three age levels represented -- the old guys, Frank and Jimmy; the younger guys, Brian and Joey; and the kids, Frankie, Nicky, James, and Chris.

When I first started dating, my dad and his brothers played against Frank, Jimmy, Ray and Mac. It was a tough football game. In those days, I think they even played tackle. I figure Frank and his buddies were around 18 or so. And now, Frankie and Nicky and James etc. are playing the old guys. Years go by, and the seasons change, and everything remains the same. Which is really cool for me, isn't it?

So tonight -- it's a new beginning in another tradition, a whole new learning experience. They're playing poker. For money. :D