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

Thursday, November 06, 2008


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I love being home.

This is the week off from school in Jersey, when teachers have conventions and we have a fall break with no major holiday attached that requires cooking and cleaning and a lot of work. (OK, election day is attached, but it doesn't require cooking and cleaning and gifts and stuff.) I love this week off.

Just like usual, the time flies when you're having fun. It's a long endless week when you are looking at it in advance, with a ton of time to do everything you've been putting off for weeks. But then when you are actually in the middle of it, the time shrinks down into little tiny bits that are taken up too quickly.

It's given me extra time to Nanowri, but those hours slide by into the afternoon and I haven't gotten anything done. Not even enough words in my novel to be ahead of my schedule. Then the regular cooking thing and laundry thing takes up time too. And having fun can be time consuming. And the whole week is just sliding by before my very eyes.

I wish there was a way to make bad times fly by, and good times slow down to a crawl...

Why can't

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barack Obama :D

I remember seeing this speech, year after year, and wondering why the dream that Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of was so slow in coming true. And when the election results were announced, one of my first thoughts was of Dr. King's dream. It's an old speech, and everyone has seen it a million times. But it always moves me.

I was watching one of the channels with election coverage and saw the Reverend Jesse Jackson, with tears running down his face. So many emotional people. It's a lovely thing.


What an amazing moment to be a part of! I'm so proud and amazed that we did it! I wasn't really optimistic, but it actually happened!

Watching Mayhem

Watching the Mayhem is what my family (especially Thor) calls it when there is endless TV news coverage about anything. It can be election results, it can be snowstorm reports, it can be breaking news about any topic. It's all mayhem. We enjoy watching mayhem -- well, we enjoy it when it's something like election reports or snowstorms. Sometimes it really is mayhem, and that isn't really too enjoyable.

We all went and voted. We are all sitting in the family room, watching the mayhem being reported. Well, they guys are paying more attention than I am. I'm watching and nanowrimoing and surfing the internet tubes and doing laundry and drinking tea. And blogging. They say women are much better at multi-tasking than men. That may be true.

My Nanonovel is almost at 4,000 words. That means 46,000 to go. That's not really a good way to look at it, because that is very intimidating. It's been flowing pretty well, but I'm really not sure if it's good or not. I might post excerpts on my Nanowrimo page, and if I do, I'll let you know. I haven't yet.

I read a few books and articles about writing novels, and I got the idea from what I read that the best idea is to come up with the characters and then just see what the characters do. So that's what I've been attempting to do. I have no outline, just some general ideas. And the characters are all completely made up. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to come up with a character that wasn't a copy of someone that I already know, but it turns out that it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The characters really are their own people. They might have things in common with some people I know, but just in the same way that any one person could have something in common with any other person. The setting, though, is very definitely my own neighborhood. I need to picture the place that the character is moving around in. I'm not calling it by the same name as my neighborhood, but it is laid out exactly the same.

So just like the advice I read suggested, for my Nanonovel I'm just sitting at the keyboard and reporting what the character does next.

It's kinda like nanomayhem.... (groan) :P

I have strong opinions about WHO I'm voting for, but I don't care who YOU are voting for... Just as long as you vote!

I hope that whoever wins, at least makes every effort to do the right thing.

Whatever that might be.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

An award for ME?

Thank you, Punam! It is very nice of you to award my blog, and I will be forwarding this award to seven others... I also look forward to seeing the other blogs that you've awarded!

Same sunset, more shadow.


I like playing with the photos in picasa, like I've mentioned before. I just tried more shadow and I really like the effect. It isn't real, but it's cool anyway. Really, any photo isn't real, is it? Besides that, I took a bunch of photos on different settings, at the same time, of the same subject, and they all came out differently. So really, what difference does it make if I adjust it AFTER I take it or BEFORE?
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Sunset, a day later


I like this picture of the sunset better than the picture of the sunrise. The moon is included, and a few streaks of clouds give it more color. And actually, I don't dislike the wires and street lights. (Note added later -- I like the top sunset better than this sunset, though.)

It's been a busy few days. Time for a rest.
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Orange juice sunrise


This morning's sun reminds me of that song "Tequila Sunrise" except I really don't like Tequila.
I usually don't get up early enough to look at the sunrise on the days when I have time to look at the sunrise -- and on days when I have work, I get up before the sunrise and I'm in work by the time there is anything worth taking a picture of.
So here is one of the very few sunrise pictures you will ever see on my blog.

I must admit that I think the sunset is more beautiful.
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