Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trees, Trees Everywhere!

I know, I'm a blogger slacker again!  I think the season is getting the best of me.  Anyway, here's a little post about my Christmas decorating obsession.  I apologize for the quality of these pictures...taken with my phone.  I have not taken the time to take  pictures with my real camera.  Another thing to add to the "to do" list.  I think for now we'll stick with the trees and that will leave me with something to write about on Friday, when I will post about my wonderful fireplace mantle.  I know, sounds exciting doesn't it?  I know you'll hardly be able to wait until then!  Oh well, you'll just have to ;-) 

My husband actually brought all my Christmas boxes in from the garage early this year.  I have to tell you, it almost gave me a coronary.  I don't think I've started decorating this early....well, it's been so long I can't even remember when I ever did decorate this early.  Probably when we were first married and all my Christmas stuff fit in one box that I could control.  That was probably the last time.  Over the years I have accumulated lots of Christmas "stuff".  I love decorating for Christmas.  I love the way the house looks when it's done and it gives me that cozy feeling I imagine people get who live where it snows.  When it's 75 on Christmas day, it's nice that you don't have to shovel anything, but it's kind of hard to get into the spirit.  Which is why I do go a little overboard, but it doesn't hurt anyone (except that hernia Dan gets every year hauling all the boxes in from the garage!) so I will keep decorating.  As of Sunday everything was decorated...even the trees.  Yes, I did say trees...plural.  I have three.  I have three trees and I still can't get all of my Christmas ornaments on them.  I told you I was obsessed.  The trees are a big project which my son reluctantly helps me with. 

I have the big tree (8ft) in my living room which is a you-know-what to put up.  It has to be meticulously "fluffed" and if I didn't love the end result so much, I would never spend that much time on something that only lasts a couple of weeks.  Most of the ornaments are Hallmark, because I'm obsessed with them also.  You can read more about that here.  Each one of my children gets at least two ornaments every year to add to their collection.  They already have enough ornaments to decorate a tree when they have their own place. 

I have two smaller trees in my dining room which evolved out of having too many ornaments to fit on the big tree.  This one has my collection of bear ornaments and resides in "Teddy Bear Corner".  I have collected Teddy Bears forever so this is my homage to them.

This one is all Santas and snowmen. 

I think they look really nice on either side of the hutch I inherited from my mom.

Ok, enough trees for one day.  Hope you are all enjoying the spirit of the season.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Great Christmas Card Extravaganza

Christmas Card Extravaganza has begun!

There are few things in life I love more than Christmas cards.  I love receiving them and I love sending them.  I have always loved this part of Christmas.  To me it's kind of what the Christmas spirit is all about.  Sharing special holiday greetings and wishes for the year to come with all the special people in your life.

I go all out with my Christmas cards.  Which is not to say I spend a lot of money on the cards themselves, but the whole thing is somewhat of a process.  There is a letter to be written.  That usually starts sometime in October and there are always several drafts before I get it to the point where I feel it is worthy of being sent.  I take pride in the fact that my letters are not your typical Christmas tell all.  I tell the good with the bad and try to sprinkle in a little humor with it all.  This year marks the 20th edition of my famous (or infamous, if you prefer) letter and it is definitely my favorite part of the process.

Then there is the picture.  I've never done studio pictures.  I just always dressed the kids in something cute and usually took it in front of the fireplace. A few pictures were family vacations.  When the kids were little the picture wasn't really an ordeal but over the years it became the hardest part of the whole process.  If any of you have ever tried to get three teenagers to all smile at the same time in a photo...you know what I mean.  And now with my family growing up and moving away...it's not an easy task to get everyone here for a picture.  So far I've managed, but I'm not sure how many more years I'm going to be able to get everyone together to do a picture.

Next is the choosing of the stationary and cards.  I like my cards to have a religious tone because, after all, Jesus IS the reason for the season.  I usually pick stationary that has a more secular feel because I love that part of Christmas also!  I love anything with a vintage look but whimsy is appreciated also.  I hand sign all my cards (about 80) because I don't hand sign the letter and I just think it makes it more personal that way.  I don't do personal salutations, hand address the envelopes or hand write on the back of the pictures either, because if I did that, they'd never get sent.  I think labels are my best friend at this time of year.

Before I start putting everything together I make sure I have enough ink for the printer for all those letters and labels. Update my address list and purchase stamps.  Not just any old regular stamp.  Of course they must be Christmas stamps.  Last year I asked my husband to pick up the stamps for me.  I just assumed he would know I wanted Christmas stamps for sending Christmas cards.  Wrong.  He came home with an entire roll of stamps with state flags on them.  So last years cards went out with state flags on the stamps and I'm sure I'm the only one who cared that they had nothing to do with Christmas.  I did learn a valuable lesson from that...when sending the husband for stamps...be specific...or get them yourself.

I try to have all this accomplished by Thanksgiving.  Some people shop on Black Friday....I sign Christmas cards.  I try to get the whole process done during the Thanksgiving weekend.  I like to send my cards out on December 1st.  I want to get them out early but sending them before December doesn't seem right so...the 1st it is.  I don't always accomplish my goal but if I shoot for this I always have them out during the first week of December.  Again, I'm sure that's not important to anyone but me.

So this weekend I began the assemblage of said Christmas cards.  I signed all my cards and labeled the envelopes yesterday.  The letters are printing as I'm writing this and once they are done I can start putting the cards together.  I think I'll reach my goal this year...cards out by the 1st...with Christmas stamps on them!

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season filled with whatever it is you love best.

Quote for the Week:

At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year.
~Thomas Tusser~ 


Friday, November 12, 2010

End of an Era

This weekend my baby girl will play in her last softball game in the league she has been a member of since she was 5.  I think this is the last of the "milestone" lasts that I have to endure.  They've all been hard.  From my oldest daughters last day of college, all the way through to this weekend....now all the kid stuff is over.  It's a very melancholy feeling.  I'm not sure I'll really miss the games that much, but I will miss watching her, if that makes sense.  I get these little melancholy twinges every so often when something reminds me that my children are children no longer.  Like this morning when I walked into the lunch room at work.  The TV was on and some morning news show was at one of the local high schools doing a remote about the upcoming football playoffs.  As they were signing off, the marching band started playing their fight song.  That's all it took.  Two of my kids were in marching band.  I'm sure I've mentioned here before how much I loved the marching band.  Every time I hear a marching band I get that little melancholy feeling right in the center of my heart.  I guess you could call it a heartache. 

My T-Ball Baby

The funny thing about this is....I really love the life I have now.  I love having my own time and not having somewhere to go every night of the week.  I definitely do not sit around moping about this but I've thought a lot about this the last couple of years.  Wondering about why, if I love my life, do I miss the past so much?  I think I've finally figured out that it's not the past I miss, it's my kids.  I miss my kids being kids.  I miss the innocence, the fun, the lightheartedness.  I miss watching Sesame Street and Hey Dude!  I miss Dr. Seuss.  I miss bath time and storytime.  I miss Saturday morning cartoons.  I really miss all that stuff that having kids gets you.  I miss the simple pleasure of knowing that my kids have no worries. 

Coach Dad and Player/Coach 2008

I love my adult children.  They are fun to talk to and discuss issues with and sometimes I can even borrow money from them!  I love who they are and where they're going.  I love them more than I ever have.  But I still miss my kids...and I suppose I always will.

Dan & Beth - Coaches Extraordinare - Spring 2010

Quote for the Week:

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another!

~Gail Sheehy~

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Father's Gift

Wednesday was the 19th anniversary of my father's passing.  It's hard to believe that it's been almost 20 years.  There are very few days that go by that I don't think: WWAD or What Would Art Do?  My dad had very high expectations for all five of his children and he rarely let us "just get by".  He always used to say, "If you can't give 100%, don't do it at all".  My father was the oldest sibling in his family.  So am I.  I got my Type A, obsessive personality from him.  I've since passed that along to my oldest daughter.  I guess it's what we oldest siblings do.  Some of the things I love the most about my dad:  his crooked smile, his sense of humor, how he loved my mother, and that I always knew he cared about the kind of adult I would turn out to be.
This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad, Art. 
My father gave me many gifts.  The most important gifts were the lessons he taught me.  My dad taught me how to live a moral, civic minded, patriotic, compassionate and faith filled life.  I'm glad for those lessons.  But I think the lesson he taught me while he was dying is probably the one I cherish the most.

My father had colon cancer.  He lived for 18 months after his diagnosis, 6 months longer than doctors expected.  During that time he had some really good days, and he had some really bad days.  He always took the bad along with the good and never complained.  Near the end he suffered greatly, but never complained.  At the very end he was not conscious of his physical surroundings.  He was, however, conscious of our Blessed Mother, who I am convinced, appeared to him in his last hours.  I believe she came to show him the way to Our Father in heaven where his suffering was at last taken away, as we are all promised it will be.  I believe in the cleansing power of suffering because that is what my father on earth taught me by his actions and what my Father in heaven promises me through His Word. 

It troubles me when I hear people talk of end of life compassion, right-to-die, euthanasia, mercy-killing, whatever you want to call it.  Just because someone is suffering does not make it right to take their life away.  No one has that right except Our Father in heaven.  And we dishonor His suffering and dying for us when we diminish it by eliminating it.  And the suffering is part of living.  We need it just as much as we need the joy in life.  My father also taught me not to be afraid of the suffering but to embrace it as a soul cleansing opportunity that not all people are fortunate to have.  Yes, I said fortunate.  I believe my father felt fortunate in his suffering.  He was able to use it to cleanse himself of the earthly trials that have no place in our eternal life with God.  I'm so very grateful to my father for this gift.  I feel it was the greatest gift he gave me.

I miss you everyday Dad.  I love you.  Thank you for loving me.


There is a great book called Making Sense out of Suffering if you're interested in reading more about this topic.

Quote for the Week:

We are healed from suffering only by experiencing it to the full.

~Marcel Proust~
 (1871 - 1922)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone!  I love this holiday...definitely one of my favorites.  I miss getting little goblins dressed up and taking them out to Trick or Treat.  This was always a time of year I really looked forward to.  We don't get many little ghosties in our neighborhood anymore so it's kind of boring now.  But I live vicariously through those that do come to our door and through pictures of my little nieces and nephews. 

I never did get my Halloween decorations up.  I tried to get them out of the garage myself but fear of bodily harm stopped me.  Dan has been so busy with work and softball, he hasn't had time to dig them out.  I'm a little disappointed but I'm thinking I may stop on the way home from work tonight and see if I can find a pumpkin to carve.  I haven't done that in years....that should put me in the holiday spirit.

I've posted these pics in the past but I think they're worth a repost.  These were two of my very favorite costume years. 

 Halloween 1991---My little surgeons (l-r: Sarah - 6, Stephen - 5, Beth - 2 1/2)

Halloween 1992---Batman and the Witches (l-r: Beth - 3 1/2, Stephen - 6, Sarah - 7)

Hope you and all your ghosts and goblins have a wonderful time on Sunday.  I hope they collect enough candy so you can raid their stash....isn't that what the holiday is all about anyway?

Have a great weekend and an even better week!

Quote for the Week:

Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night.
~Steve Almond~

Friday, October 15, 2010

What's In A Name?

This week I re-started a very old project.  It's been sitting in a plastic tub in my bedroom closet for the last 10 years.  I've thought often of this project and wished I could return to it.  I just knew it would be too time consuming for a working mom with three kids and no real time to devote to the project.  So, there it sat, waiting for me.  I bet you all think it's some gigantic afghan that I never finished crocheting.  It's not, but much like yarn becomes an afghan with patience and lots of hard work, the subject of my project evolved over centuries with love, dedication, and hard work.  This project is all about my family.  My father's family to be exact.  This week I re-opened my genealogy files.  I'm very excited to see what new information develops since my last quest.  Many things have changed over 10 years.  Not the least of which is the fact that I am no longer a busy mom.  That has been a much lamented theme of this blog.  Well, maybe now I've found that something extra to keep me busy.  Also, the internet has so much more to offer these days than it did 10 years ago.  So off I go in quest of the Dion ancestry.

I've always been fascinated by my French-Canadian heritage.  I don't know why exactly.  I'm really a Heinz 57 mixture of nationalities.  Some German, Irish, English and yes, even a little Polish (this explains a lot about me, doesn't it?).  But whenever someone asks what nationality I am, I always say French-Canadian.  Maybe because it has a more exotic and romantic sound to it than saying you're German.  Or maybe it's because those people to the north are just so darn nice, eh?  In all reality, it probably has a lot to do with the stories my grandmother told.  The ones where we are related to the famous Dionne quintuplets.  The first surviving quintuplets in history.  What little kid wouldn't be fascinated by that?  So, I grew up being fascinated with being French-Canadian and loving my last name.  I had a very hard time giving it up when I got married but I was too much of a traditionalist to keep it.  I'm so looking forward to finding all my Dion ancestors and finding out if they are as fascinating as I've always imagined they would be.

Here are a few pictures of my father and his family:

This is my dad, Art (right) and my Uncle Ted (left).  There are no dates on these pictures so I have to guess.  I'm thinking this one is probably around 1934.  There are pictures of my youngest brother John at around this same age...you'd think it was the same person.

This one I'm guessing is probably around 1939 or 1940.  Again my dad on the right and my uncle on the left.  They really were cute boys!

Here's one of the whole family.  Again my dad is on the right.  Was there some kind of picture rule back then that the oldest had to be on the right?  I wonder.  I'm going to guess this picture is somewhere between 1945 and 1947 give or take.  See that great wave in the front of my dad's hair....he gave that to me.  The wonders of DNA.

So there you have it.  The beginnings of my ancestry hunt.  I'll keep you posted from time to time on how it's going.  Wish me luck!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Quote for the Week:

We inhereit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted...Each of us contains within...this inheritance of soul.  We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.

~Edward Sellner~

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Finally Here!!! And Other Randomness

So fall has finally decided to show her little head to all us desert dwellers.  I was starting to worry....it was 102 last Saturday...I had lost all hope.  Then we had a storm which dumped huge amounts (well, huge for this part of the world) of water and even some hail:

Ours was the size of a shooter marble...you remember those don't you?  Some area's of town had golf ball size hail and there was a lot of damage all around town, fortunately that part skipped us.  The storm really cooled down the temps and it was 64 when I went to work this morning.  It was heaven.  So, yeah, I'm looking forward to the weeks to come.

Something else that comes with fall.....hockey!!  The season starts this weekend.  I'm excited for the games to begin, and hopefully my Coyotes will fare better than my poor D-Backs.  The Coyotes seem to be our only hope this fall since the Cardinals look like they're going back to the pre-Kurt Warner days...lose, lose and lose again.  I sure wish Kurt hadn't given up his cleats for dancing shoes......

Last Saturday Dan and I had our anniversary party.  Lots of family and friends with us to share the evening...it was lovely and I feel very blessed indeed.  Everyone took lots of pics which still have not been downloaded or emailed to me....I'll share some of those when I get them.  I did take this picture with my phone, I wanted a picture of the kids to post on Facebook.  This picture proves that no matter how old they get, I still cannot get a decent picture of the three of them together without some kind of tomfoolery going on.  It's so frustrating....every year since they were little, trying to get a picture for the Christmas card went something like this:

Beth laughing...at nothing, Sarah dutifully trying not to laugh...at Beth, and Stephen being irritated with both of them and the whole picture taking in general.  I guess the more things change the more they stay the same...they're still cute...even when they irritate me :o)

As you can tell from my backround change, I'm really in the mood to decorate for Halloween.  I think that's going to be my project for this weekend.  I usually wait for Dan to pull stuff out of the garage which means that I never decorate because Mr. Procrastinator never gets the stuff out.   This year I'm going to take my life in my hands and get the stuff out myself.  One of two things is going to happen: I may injure myself trying to get the stuff out of the garage or my husband may injure me for daring to mess with his unorganized organization.  I'll let you know what happens.

OK, that's enough randomness for one day.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Quote for the Week:

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.
~Albert Camus (1913-1960)~

Friday, October 1, 2010

Everyone's Home

So, this is a very busy week and this post will be short and sweet.  I'm sure you're all happy about that ;-)    Preparations for the big anniversary party this weekend are in full swing.  The weather is not cooperating however, as it's suppose to be 103 on Saturday.  Did I mention we were having this thing in our backyard?  I'm glad everyone loves me...although after Saturday they may rethink.

Sarah came home yesterday so I am in Mom heaven having all my kids home with me.  Just to prove a point that kids never grow up, I give you this picture:

Sarah (25) and Stephen (24) playing Super Mario Bros. on the Wii.  You should have seen how excited she was when she found out he had the game.  They are still cute!

In other kid news I was able to totally embarrass my 21 year old daughter by rocking out to Katie Perry's "California Gurls" while we were in the car the other day.  It felt just like the old days and I loved it!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Quote for the Week:

Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.
~Bill Cosby~

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Decision to Love

Dan and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary on Monday. Last year I wrote about how we met, which is a pretty cute story, if I do say so myself. You can read that story here.

Occasionally people will ask how I've been able to stay with one person for so many years. There really is no secret formula, it's all about decisions. When Dan and I were engaged we had to go through various preparation classes before we could get married. One of those was called "Evenings for the Engaged". I have no idea if they still do this, but I think it's a great idea. We met one night a week for six weeks at the home of a married couple from our church. They took us through what life as a married couple is all about. They talked about the reality of living day to day with a person as opposed to the fairytale. Like the fact that sometimes you have to do things for the other person that aren't so pleasant. Like when your spouse falls and breaks both ankles and can't get up and down off the toilet by themselves. Yes, this actually happened to us. I broke both my ankles at the same time and Dan had to help me do all sorts of things I'm sure he would rather not have done. That is true love.

The one thing that made the biggest impression on us was when they told us that there would be times when you would have to make a decision to love the other person. It sounded kind of crazy to two people so in love that they couldn't see past themselves. To us, that decision had been made and we were happy with how in love we were. But as always, the more experienced couple was correct. There are days when, honestly, you just don't like each other. Someone does something that irritates the other and all those lovey dovey feelings fly right out the window. But, if you stop and make a conscious decision to love the other person, it makes a world of difference. Maybe not right then, but in the long run. There have been many, many times during the last 30 years when one of us has said to the other, "I'm making a decision to love you right now". It really makes you stop and think about what you are doing that might be irritating the person you love most in the world. As with anything in life, it's all about the decisions you make and marriage is no different. I made a decision 30 years ago to love, honor and cherish until death do us part. It's been the best decision I've ever made.

Quote for the Week:

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
~Mignon McLaughlin~

Friday, September 17, 2010

Being Thankful Anyway

It has been a pretty frustrating week, actually the last couple of months have been frustrating. Topped off by the fact that my internet is not working again, so here I sit typing this blog on my Droid because I really don't want to mess up my blogging streak. Anyway, my mother always told me to count my blessings instead of feeling sorry for myself, and because my mother was a smart woman, I'm going to listen to her. Here are some of my blessing and the reasons why I am thankful anyway....

1. My family. A great husband who puts up with me even when he doesn't feel like it. Three great kids I couldn't live without. Everyone is relatively healthy and happy and they all have jobs..

2. I have a job, a house and food to eat.

3. I have a very large extended family to lean on. I appreciate every one of them.

4. I live in a country where I can practice my faith without persecution, speak my mind, and vote.

5. I'm most thankful that I was raised by two parents who cared what kind of adult I would turn out be. They gave me my faith, my moral integrity and they were the best example of what a marriage should be. Oh yeah, and they taught me to count my blessings.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Mom Remembers...

This day will always be hard for me. I always felt really safe in America. It was a place where no one could touch us and everyone loved us. Nine years ago that all changed. I remember feeling so angry. Because after that day my children would never live in the safety of the America I grew up in. We all lost innocence that day. A couple of weeks later I sat down and wrote a letter to my children who were 16, 15, and 12 at the time. I thought I would share that letter with you today. It's sentiments are as true today as they were then.

October 5, 2001

To my children,

I want you to know how incredibly proud I am of all of you, each in your own way:

Sarah, for wisdom and maturity beyond your years. For your ability to handle yourself with grace and the incredible strength of your convictions. Please hold strong to these things, they will serve you well in the future.

Stephen, for your compassionate, caring and loving personality. The first with a hug or pat on the back and encouraging words, these are the things that will make you a truly strong man. If you treat your future wife the way you treat your mother you will have a long and happy marriage.

Beth, for your love and passion for life and animals, and your incredible sense of humor. You have taught us all a lesson on how not to waste a single second. Do not lose these qualities as you get older, they will make you a strong adult.

These are only the main reasons you make me proud. There are many more, but these are the things I treasure most about each of you. I tell at least one person a day how much I love my kids and how proud I am of them. I know that some of them are sick of hearing about you all, but I don't care. Never a day goes by that I don't know how truly blessed I am to have you three for my children. I hope that how your Dad and I have tried to raise you has something to do with the way you are, but some of these things are born in you, and I recognize that God worked overtime on all of you. My point in all of this is to ask you all to stay true to who you are and never let someone else make up your mind for you. Never go along to be part of the crowd. One of the best gifts you can give yourself is to be your own person. Always know that Dad and I are here if you need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. Having said all that, there was another point to this letter:

All mothers hope for a peaceful world for their kids. As of three weeks ago, those hopes are no longer possible in the short term. I know that all of you must be having feelings of being anxious and fearful about the future. Especially since all you hear on the news is talk of war. What I want you to know is this: When all is said and done, each of us will be OK. I've said to you many times that you need to be ready everyday, because it could be your last. You need to think and pray about this because it will give you peace. I am not fearful of war or terrorist attacks. I put my faith in God to take care of me and if He sees fit to call me home, I know I'm ready. One of the ways you can best accomplish being ready is to stay true to who you are. Remember the things I mentioned about each of you in this letter. These are the things that make you strong, hold on to them. Treat all people with respect and dignity, be truthful and practice your faith and when it's time we'll all be together in heaven too. This is our ultimate goal here on earth anyway. It's not how many possessions or how much money we accumulate or any of the worldly things. God put us here so we could make a choice. Live your life like you choose heaven and you will be there with Him in the end.

I love you all,


Thanks for letting me share this with you.

Never forget.

Quote for Today:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
~Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)~

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mom? Who's she?

Fall is finally in the air (well, in the mornings at least). Football season is starting, kids are going back to school. I drove by a high school the other day and saw the marching band practicing, it made me sad. Of all the things my kids did, I miss the marching band the most. It got me to thinking about how much I miss having all those "things" to do. When it was going on I thought I couldn't wait until my time was my own. But, if I'm being honest, I really miss it all. There are times when I don't even feel like a mom anymore.

For most of my life being a mom has defined who I am. And that was just fine with me. In fact, it was perfect. Being a mom is all I ever really wanted to be. I've always considered being a parent my number one priority. It's the job I always wanted and the only job I've ever truly loved. But how do you parent when you're kids are adults? You can give advice, and hope they listen but you can't be sure if they're even hearing you, or if they even care what you have to say. And should you even be giving advice in the first place? The last thing I ever want to be is the interfering parent.

Life is interesting, just about the time you think you have something figured out, it throws you a curve ball and you have to readjust your swing. So now I'm trying to relearn the whole mom thing from scratch. I'm not sure I like this new roll, but since I don't have a choice, I'm going to figure it out the best I can. Wish me luck!

This week you get two quotes because they were both so good I couldn't choose. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Quotes for the Week:

The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children.
~Elain Heffner, O Magazine, May 2003~

A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
~Dorothy C. Fisher (1879 - 1958)~

Friday, September 3, 2010

Oh Library...How I Love Thee, Let Me Count The Ways

I have loved reading for so long, I can't remember a time when I didn't read. If I'm not reading something, I feel lost. Always have. When I was young my father signed me up for a book club. Every three months I would receive three books in the mail. I had them read in a week. I read whatever I could get my hands on. Newspapers, cereal boxes, packaged foods, recipes, it didn't matter, if there were words, I would read.

In third grade I was introduced to the library at school. It's location was a teeny, tiny room sandwiched between two classrooms. The fact that I found it small in third grade is an indication of how minuscule it must have been. I imagine it was originally a storage room for the classrooms that bookended it. Inside this tiny room I found magic. I never imagined one room could take me so many places. I started out by reading the entire set of Biographies of Great Americans (this is where my love of American history began) and moved on to books about China, Africa and Australia. I discovered Charles Dickens, Margaret Mitchell, Laura Ingalls Wilder and a host of others who took me places I'd never dreamed of. By the time I graduated eighth grade I had read every book in that little library. Some I didn't understand (and still don't, if I'm being truthful....O, Henry?) but most I loved and read more than once.

One of the happiest times of my life was when I introduced my young children to the public library. They had an excellent summer reading program of which we took full advantage. We spent lots of time in that library, listening to stories being read, picking out books to take home and soaking up the cool air (that's important here in desert land!). Through my children I discovered new authors like Maurice Sendak, Chris Van Allsburg, Shel Silverstein and a host of others who delighted not only my children but me as well. While not all my children became as avid a reader as I, I know the time spent in the library fostered an appreciation of the written word and how powerful it is.

I love everything about libraries. The smell, the quiet, the solitude, and yes the cool air. I have found so many wonderful stories I would never have known about had it not been for just wondering through the library, looking at books. I know the library has enriched my life and the lives of my children. I cannot picture my life without it. And to think it's free! So, why do I write this today? September is library card sign up month. (They have a month for everything now, don't they?) So, if you don't have a library card, go sign up for one. If you have one, take a friend who doesn't have one and sign them up. Discover the wonders that await you at your public library. (And no, no one paid me to write this, I'm just a nerd like that.)

Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend.

Quote for the Week:

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.
~Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986)~

Friday, August 27, 2010

Traditions Old and New

With the holidays fast approaching (I know it's only August, but you just wait, it will be here before you know it!) I've been finding myself thinking a lot about traditions. They can be as big as who hosts the holiday shindig and as small as the summer reading program you participated in every year at the local library. Some are really special and some you would rather do without. For example, in my own family, I always cherished the tradition of putting baby Jesus in the manger after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Mom's green jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner however, not so much. Funny thing though, it wouldn't have been Thanksgiving without it. So no matter good or bad...I think you cling to tradition.

As my own little family was growing up, we created new traditions along the way. A blending, if you will, between his traditions and mine. And sometimes, you have to create new traditions when you don't really want to: as we did when our parents passed away. I'm coming to one of those crossroads now. As my little family is all but grown up now, I'm faced with the reality that, eventually, they will be blending their traditions with someone else's. And with Sarah so far from home, she has been creating some new traditions of her own. She has spent the last two Thanksgivings back east with friends. This year, Beth will join her there. I'm sad that both my girls will be gone for the holiday, but I'm also so very happy that they have each other and that Beth will provide a little bit of "home" for Sarah.

I'm not sure I like how these new traditions affect me. Since I don't really have a say in the matter, I'm trying my best to forge forward and find joy in the fact that I raised happy, healthy adults who love their family but are independent enough to be able to create their own traditions. It's the age old conundrum of being a parent. You raise them up with all the love in your heart, only to have them leave you. And here's the conundrum part - that's what you want to happen, even though it hurts you beyond anything you ever imagined.

So here we are at the dawn of another holiday season full of traditions and I'm thinking I might just have to create a new one of my own. Not sure what it will be yet but I'll keep you posted.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and an even better week. Talk to you next Friday!

Quote of the Week:

Men can know more than their ancestors did if they start with a knowledge of what their ancestors had already learned....That is why a society can be progressive only if it conserves its traditions.
~Walter Lippmann (1889 - 1974) ~

Friday, August 20, 2010

Let's Try This Again, Shall We?

It has been three months since I wrote a post. Needless to say, I'm a blogger slacker. I have several excuses, none which you would be sympathetic to, because lets face it, we're all busy, we all have work or home or kid issues. I have tried to keep up with my favorite bloggers but have failed to comment because, honestly, I didn't want anyone coming to my blog and actually realizing how much of a slacker I am. So, here I am, back after three months with one lesson learned. I am not an everyday blogger...I will not post everyday. My goal now is to try and write a post once a week and I have chosen Friday as my posting day. Let's see how this plan works.....

For my first post back I think I'll just do some random thoughts about things that have been happening lately.

1. I have decided that the car companies are in cahoots with the mechanics of the world and they now make crappy vehicles on purpose so you will have nothing better to do than pour money into them, spend your time in rental cars (they're probably in on it too) and never feel completely confident about said vehicle whenever you drive it. Or maybe it's just that Jeep makes crappy cars....there I said it. I think we have spent almost as much money in repairs as we paid for the thing. I would love to trade it in but can't at the moment. Anyway, I really just wanted to say how much I HATE Jeeps and hope no one ever buys one of their vehicles again. Oh, and they have the WORST customer service ever....on the face of the earth. Ok, now i feel better about that.

2a. My Droid is my new best friend. I can't go anywhere without it and it has caused me to become a Facebook addict. I'm constantly checking the phone for updates. I think I need help.

2b. My husband now has a Droid. Which I find totally hilarious since the man still doesn't know how to use his email and his idea of high technology is a remote control that works the TV, cable box and DVD player all in one. Hearing him talking about the apps he has downloaded just makes me feel like I'm living in an alternate universe. His favorite is the weather app. He now gets continuous weather updates on his phone. He's so proud of this. Really honey? Because we live in Arizona...you don't need a weather app to tell you it's hot outside! Although, it was quite humorous the other night as we were sitting watching TV while the monsoon was rolling in. He says to me, "I got a weather update, storm warnings in our area." My reply, "I heard the thunder, saw the lightening...don't need an app for that." I've lived with this man for almost 30 years and never knew how important the weather was to him. In other weather related news....

3. I'm tired of the heat and ready for fall...which by the way doesn't get here until December.....

4. Every summer I watch Big Brother. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to admit this. It's my guilty pleasure. I don't really care for most reality shows but for some reason I love this one. It got me to thinking....can you have standards for your reality TV? For instance, I would never, ever watch the show about the 3 year old pageant queens but I'll watch a bunch of adults go crazy stuck in a house together for an entire summer. All the while lying, backstabbing, scheming and treating each other terribly and then complaining because people are lying, backstabbing, scheming and treating each other terribly. I think it's a sickness. Big Brotheritis...oh well, it's free, unlike my other sickness, which brings me to.....

5. My obsession with Hallmark ornaments, also known as Hallmarkitis. You can read more about it here. In July I attended the Hallmark ornament premier. I bought lots of ornaments, but was very proud of myself as I did buy less than last year. I made myself feel better about it by telling myself that I was helping to stimulate the economy. I think you have to do whatever you can. ;-) Now the dilemma is to figure out where I can fit that fourth Christmas tree.....

6. We have our 30th anniversary coming up next month. Sarah is planning a party for us. We are having it at our house. I'm feeling very overwhelmed about the whole thing. We were suppose to get some improvements done around the house but the King of Procrastination struck once again, nothing has gotten done, and now it's softball season again, so there goes that..... Oh well, thank goodness all the invitees love us and they all understand the King, so I'm sure it will bother me way more than it will bother them.

7. Last but certainly not least: My poor D-Backs suck big time. I'm very disappointed in this season but have high hopes for next season. Things seem to be moving in a positive direction. I had to take down the baseball theme from the blog....just don't have my heart in it at this point. Thank goodness hockey season is around the corner...something to take my mind off of it.

Alright, I guess I better stop boring you. I promise next weeks blog....oh, whose kidding who, I can't promise anything. I'll be around to reintroduce myself and hopefully you'll remember me. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and an even better week.

Quote for the Week:

"Ever tried? Ever failed? No Matter, try again, fail again, Fail better."
Samuel Beckett (1906 - 1989)

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Shower

I've spoken here before about my husband, the King of Procrastination. He is a wonderful man, who I don't deserve, but he has one little flaw. He is a chronic procrastinator. I've learned to live with it over the years. I choose to weigh all the great points against this one bad point. There is one project in our house that has been put off above all others. The master bathroom. This particular bathroom, the shower to be exact, has even found a coveted spot in my annual Christmas letter. I actually update the progress, or lack there of, of said shower just like I update the progress of my children. I've been writing about it in some form or another for the past 15 years. Yeah, you heard right, 15. Here's whats transpired with the shower in the last 15 years:

Our original shower fell apart on me...literally. Standing in the shower one day and the tiles started falling off the wall...fun. We gutted the shower and because of lack of funds and some procrastination, an absence of shower ensued. We went so long without a shower that my youngest daughter didn't even know that's what was suppose to go in that hole in Mommy and Daddy's bathroom. Having 5 people using the tub shower in the kids bathroom for years was not fun. But wait, it gets better. We finally get the shower done and are relishing having our own shower when a couple of weeks later......the same thing happens in the kids bath. So here we are back to one shower again. Several months later we find a leak in the new shower...no joke. We hurry to complete the kids shower so we can try to repair ours. Only to find it was probably leaking the whole time and we have mold behind the shower walls. Lovely. So, we gut the master shower again and here we are about 5 years later and everyone is still using one little tub shower. Now, in my husbands defense I have to say that it has not been all his fault. There are always extenuating circumstances...which translates to lack of funds.

So, how surprised do you think I was when I walked into the bedroom last Saturday to find a fine layer of drywall dust covering EVERYTHING. I couldn't get mad because he was actually working on the bathroom! He pulled the whole ceiling down (hence the drywall dust), put in a pretty new light/fan combo, rewired the light switches and put new drywall up on the ceiling. It's a start and I'm looking forward to actually having a shower in there once again.

I'll keep you updated on the progress. Who knows, I may have to find a new topic of conversation for my Christmas letter......

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I've fallen into Facebook and I can't get out!!! Which is why I missed my son's birthday post. His birthday was Monday, so happy belated birthday to the best son a mother could ask for. I'm still working on Stephen's story so I will post it in a couple of days providing I can find my way back here from Facebook. I knew I never should have started with that darn thing........

Quote of the Day:

"Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever."
Samuel Smiles

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Never Say Never.....Again

Quite a few times in the last several months I've said something like...."I'll never do...fill in the blank". I was never going to get one of those fancy cell phones. Who needs it? I really don't use my phone all that much, but I do text my daughters a lot. Mostly because it's their preferred method of communication. Well, my little cheap freebie phone was not cutting it for the texting so, it comes time to upgrade and I decide I need a new phone that has a keyboard for texting. What I ended up with is a Droid and now I can't figure out how I ever lived without it. I suppose it's the same feeling my mother had when she said she'd never use a microwave and then we got one. She never cooked vegetables on the stove again(well almost never).

One thing I was always very adamant about was the fact that I would NEVER get a Facebook page. First of all, I felt like it was a "young persons" thing. And then I worried that my daughters would feel like I was checking up on them. But most importantly, I was worried about the time factor. Do you find you lose track of time when you are online? Hours go by and it seems like minutes. So, time was an issue also. As most of you know, I can barely keep up with my blog, let alone manage Facebook. Well, this week I caved (my daughters words). I kind of hate myself for it. But, once again I'm finding myself hooked. I don't think it's as great as my Droid and it's certainly not as useful as a microwave, but it's fun. There's a whole world out there I never knew existed. Who knew you could run a farm, bake bread and serve up food all without leaving your couch? I'm still getting used to Facebook land, but it's interesting and intriguing and I'm willing to give it some time....but not too much.

So feel free to "friend" me and come write on my wall. Now there's something I NEVER thought I'd say!
Quote of the Day:

"Never say never, for if you live long enough, chances are you will not be able to abide by its restrictions. Never is a long, undependable time, and life is too full of rich possibilities to have restrictions placed upon it."
Gloria Swanson (1899 - 1983)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Story of Beth

A few days ago I told you The Story of Sarah, my oldest child. Now has come the time to introduce you to my youngest, Beth. She turned 21 in January and I swear it was just yesterday that I watched her walk into the pre-school classroom for the first time. Who knew then that she would grow up to love tattoos, try my patience everyday and fill my life with joy?

The Story of Beth

The thing I remember most about my baby child's birth is that her father missed it. Oh, he was there; he just didn't find it necessary to change into the required scrubs when I told him he should. Consequence of not listening to me: fast delivery and Dad misses everything. I guess I shouldn't be too critical, the doctor missed it too. Beth came into this world in a hurry and she hasn't slowed down since. I had to heehee/whowho while the nurses pushed my gurney down the hallway to the delivery room, all the while the resident was telling me not to push till the doctor got there. I told him he could say it all he wanted but the child was not listening(that was a sign of things to come!). And with that and one small push she was born. I've always thought she might become a pilot because she came out flying. The one good thing the resident did was make a spectacular catch.

And so the fun began. She learned to crawl early and then to climb. At 6 months she could climb onto or up anything she put her mind to. She wasn't really interested in walking, she'd rather climb and make Mommy a basket case. By the time she was two nothing was out of limits. From the time she could mobilize Beth has gotten everything she could out of every single day. She goes head first(like the bull in the proverbial china shop)as fast as she can at every task big or small. She makes me exhausted just watching her. She has always had this zest for life. But along with that zest comes a small little problem. No time to be neat. We must move from one thing to another as fast as we can so as to get as much as possible into one day. No time for clean up. She can leave a mess in her wake only the Red Cross could appretiate.

She's the child that tries my patience the most. She's the one that feels it necessary to push any issue just to see how far she can get. She also loves to argue and will argue about almost anything whether it needs to be argued about or not. She also needs to get the last word, or should I say sound, in. Even if it's a sigh or a grunt, she must leave the argument having had the last sound. That same determination also makes her a fiercly loyal person. If she loves you, she loves you unconditionally and with everything she's got. She's the best kind of friend there is. She's kind and compassionate, loves kids and animals and makes me laugh everyday. She is just a naturally funny person. I can't even explain it. You just have to know her. But if you're around her……you will laugh.

To Beth, life's a party and the more fun you have at the party the better. Who wouldn't love having someone like that in their life? It's exhausting, but oh so wonderful.

Thanks for reading about my little girl who's not so little anymore. I used to think it was hard when the oldest did all those "first" things but I've come to realize that it's much harder when the youngest does everything for the "last" time. I'm slowly getting used to the fact that I'm the mom of adults, but it's taking time.

Hope you all have a wonderful evening.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Circle Never Ends

It's softball season once again. Dan is on the board of our local girls fast-pitch league. It's a fun league and much more laid back than club ball. Beth played her last season of Spring Ball last year. It was a sad time for her. It's the only thing about turning 21 that she regrets. She loves softball more than anything. I have been going to baseball and softball games for almost as many years as I've been a mother. I was sad that it was coming to an end but quite frankly, I was also ready for it to be over. Then Dan comes home and announces that he will be coaching our 9 year old great-niece this season. I don't know what I expected, he loves coaching and he loves being at the field. It's been a long time since he coached "little" girls. He's learning all over again and Beth is helping so she still gets her softball fix. Today was their first game. I went to the game because I knew it would mean a lot to my niece if I came to watch her daughter. And, because I don't have any grandchildren, I occasionally claim her as my surrogate grandchild ;-)

I forgot just how cute they are at this age. And just how boring the games can be. Many of the girls are just learning how to play. Lots and lots of walks make for a boring game. I still enjoyed it, but it was boring. Oh, and I forgot about the chanting. If you've ever been to a girls softball game you know what I'm talking about. The bigger girls didn't chant so much but the little ones love it. When Beth was little I used to hear those chants in my dreams....oy! It also made me remember one of the many reasons that I love my husband. He is so patient and wonderful with these little ones. He makes them all feel special. He loves them and they love him right back.

So, while I was sitting there, I thought about how things always come full circle. How I thought I was done with this part of my life only to find out that it's come back to me in a whole new way. How my daughter will coach her kids and those kids will coach their kids and the circle never ends.

It's a beautiful thing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Story of Sarah

Back in September, I shared with you The Story of Dan and Gerri which was the start of this wild ride I call my life. All along it was my intention to share the stories of each of my children on their birthdays. Then life intervened, I became a slacker blogger, and two of their birthdays passed without so much as a fare-thee-well. Since the third birthday is fast approaching, I guess I better get caught up. This is the story of my oldst child, Sarah. It's not so much a story about her, as it is a story about how she came to be. While no mother has a favorite and you love different things about each child, your first child is special in a special way only mothers can know. And so it is true with mine. She is the heart of my heart, a miracle of God, and when I look in her eyes I see the promise of tomorrow. She is everything good and true and wonderful about the world and she has grown into such a special young woman. She is amazing. I marvel every day that God entrusted her to me. I'm not only proud to call her my daughter, I'm so very proud that she's my friend. (It's one of the perks of having adult children, that you can finally be their friend.)

The Story of Sarah

When Dan and I decided to get married we talked a lot about having a family. We knew we wanted one but we were unsure about when we wanted to start one. After much discussion we decided that since we had dated for 4 years we had already had a lot of time to ourselves and we were ready to start building a family. We got married on a sunny and rather hot September afternoon. I was almost giddy with happiness. I was marrying the man of my dreams and soon I would attain the ultimate goal of my life, motherhood. I was so sure that I would get pregnant within the first month. It didn't happen that way and it upset me but I knew that it would happen soon enough. As the months passed I started to wonder why God was making me wait so long. I prayed, pleaded and even bargained with God to send us a baby. Nothing. I couldn't understand why He wasn't setting the plan in motion. Hadn't He revealed to me that motherhood was my calling? Or had I only heard what I wanted to hear?

I watched women who had gotten married after I had, get pregnant, have their babies and get pregnant again. I began to dread baby showers. I hated the sight of strollers, playpens and baby toys. It was painful to watch all the young mothers with their babies while my arms where empty. I wanted to cry out "What about me?". I was bitter and angry. I wondered if we would ever conceive. Dan was patient and kind, always reminding me that good things come to those who wait. Well, I was tired of waiting. I was tired of doctor appointments, taking my temperature and fending off well meaning, but nonetheless hurtful, questions about when we were going to start a family.

About three years into this process I just decided to forget it all. I was so fed up with everything. I wish I could say it was a voice from God telling me to slow down or that I had a great epiphany of some sort, but no. I think I was just so emotionally worn out. I didn't have another ounce of fight left in me. (As an aside here, I must give it up to all those women who hang in there for years and years and fight the good fight to become mothers. I know so many of them who have waited much longer than I did. I don't know how they do it, but I admire them.) So, I stopped everything. No more doctors, no more thermometers and no more worrying. I prayed about it and asked God for his forgiveness and that His will be done.

I started thinking about adoption or just living out my life without children. I felt peacefully calm for the first time in so long. About 5 months later I missed a period. I didn't really think much of it. This had happened many times before. But the days moved into weeks and I missed another one. I finally bought a home pregnancy test. Now, this was back in the day when you had to wait a couple of hours for the results. Let me tell you, that was the longest two hours I ever spent. Much to my surprise, it was positive. I was excited, but cautious. This had also happend before, false postitives. I made an appointment with my doctor and waited some more. All tests were positive and we were given a due date of December 26th. Ironic since both our birthdays' are in December and Dan's is the 27th. We figured, first baby, we probably won't deliver until January anyway. We were just so happy to finally be pregnant.

I had a wonderful pregnancy and tried to enjoy it without wishing it away. I really just wanted to deliver and hold that baby in my arms. As the last weeks of December approached we readied everything and began to wait. There were the obligatory jokes about delivering before the 31st to get the tax deduction. I was ok with that…the sooner the better. Christmas Eve was a beautiful sunny Arizona day. We did some last minute shopping, looked at Christmas light displays and went to 9 o'clock Mass. By the time we got home I was tired and ready for bed. I went to bed but for some reason I just couldn't sleep. I was restless and uncomfortable so I got up and vacuumed the living room and did some dishes. Hmmm…guess I should have figured it out. When the contractions started at about 1:30am I was so surprised. Christmas Day, I was going into labor on Christmas Day?!? At first I thought, it's just a false alarm, they'll calm down in a while. At 6:30 when they were 15 minutes apart, I decided maybe it was for real and maybe I should wake Dan. At 5 minutes apart we headed to the hospital.

I was still in denial about delivering on Christmas. All the horror stories I'd heard from people who hated their birthdays being on Christmas began running through my head. The doctor made his appearance at 10am, told me he thought I'd deliver around 1pm, and left. I decided he was wrong, asked for an epidural, and spent the next couple of hours trying to convince myself I could hang on until midnight. I was wrong, of course, and amazing things happen when you give your destiny to God....

At 1:09 PM on Christmas Day 1984 our wonderful, beautiful daughter was born. The miracle of birth makes you forget all your negative thoughts. All I could think was what a beautiful little life had been entrusted to my care. And how apropos, after waiting such a long time, that we should deliver her on Christmas Day. She was and continues to be the best Christmas present we've ever received. We have always told her how special it is that she shares her birthday with the Savior. She has always felt special because of that and has certainly never felt cheated. So, Christmas at our house is much more than gifts and holiday meals. It's a celebration of two special births, and a reminder of how lucky we are to have them both in our lives.

So, there you have it. The story of my own little miracle baby. If you stayed to read the whole, long story, I appreciate it. In a couple of days I'll be writing about my youngest child who turned 21 in January. To know her is to be totally exhausted 24/7/365. She still keeps me on my toes!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's not the one thing......

I have always loved figure skating. My earliest memory is sitting with my mother, watching Peggy Fleming skate across the screen of our old black and white TV. I used to put socks on and slide around our linoleum floor pretending I was the next Olympic figure skating champion. I think living in the desert made the sport seem so mysterious and glamerous. I had never seen a pair of ice skates or an ice rink, for that matter. And while none of this has anything to do with the theme for this post, what started my thinking process did and I thought I would share a long forgotten childhood memory. So there you have it....the randomness that is me. Onward.....

I was watching a program about Scott Hamilton (see, there was a link, however small). All about his comeback after brain surgery and a five year hiatus from skating. It was inspiring. During the show he talked about facing something he had never faced before. While practicing, if he made a mistake in the program, he would quit skating. He had never done this before in his career. He knew it was fear and he was having a difficult time figuring out how to work through the fear.

I experience this a lot in my own life. I have a problem with anxiety. It keeps me from living life to it's fullest measure. It's the one thing I really dislike about myself and would like to change.

During the program Scott mentioned a saying that he used to get himself over the fear and to stop quitting. "It's not the one thing...it's the whole thing." Meaning that if he made a mistake it didn't ruin the whole program because there were many more elements in the program than just that one jump or just that one spin.

It got me thinking. I could apply this in my own life. Many times the "one thing" will keep me from enjoying the "whole thing". So many times I get caught up in some thing that is making me anxious and I forget the big picture. How will this affect me in a week, a month, a year, five years? When you stop to put things into the context of your "whole" life, the "one" thing doesn't seem so big.

So I've decided to live my life like I'm figure skating. And if I fall on that triple Lutz, I'll just get back up and do a triple toe loop. All the while reciting my new mantra...."It's not the one thing...it's the whole thing."

Here's to new beginnings......

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Unhip mom....yeah, that's me

I've been thinking a lot lately about growing older. I'm not bothered by the fact that I'm getting older. I think I have a pretty realistic outlook on the situation. It's inevitable, I can't stop it, so I might as well do it gracefully. Some things about growing older are really appealing to me. I'm actually looking forward to those senior discounts because, let's face it, who doesn't like to save money? I like the fact that my husband and I can go virtually anywhere we want to go without being accountable to anyone. We don't really do this, but we could if we wanted to (or had excess piles of cash laying around). I enjoy coming home from work and having no place to go. No little league, no softball, no orchestra concerts, no band competitions. The days of hectic running are all but over and I have to say, I'm ok with it. My time is my own unless I choose for it not to be. Now, don't get me wrong. I loved every minute ( well, almost every minute, I'd give back the teen years if I could) of being with my kids. I loved being involved with their lives and I never thought of it as a chore. But, I'm ready to move on to the next phase of my life which I think is all about me. And I'm ready for it.

There are some things that do bother me though. I touched on this a bit in my last post. I remember when I was young thinking that I would die before I would let myself turn into, horror of all horrors, my parents. Not that they weren't good parents. They were great. But they were fuddy duddies. Not with the times. Out of the loop. Well, the unthinkable has happened. I'm not sure when or how it happened, but suddenly, I am my parents. My fuddy duddy factor is at an all time high. Here are a few things that up my factor:

  • I think I'm the only one in the world who doesn't have a Facebook page. I have no desire to find anyone I went to school with and frankly I just don't want the time commitment.
  • Until recently I thought tweeting was something only birds did.
  • I thought Skype was a new kind of flu.
  • Sometimes when I listen to young people talk I think they are speaking a foreign language. I'm not down with all the lingo (my daughters will kill me for that last sentence).
  • I think music should actually have a melody.
  • Tattoos: see previous post
  • I can't get used to the fact that thongs are now flip flops and what are now called thongs just seems like a torture mechanism to me. And by the way, I don't think it's appropriate to wear flip flops to a job interview, I don't care what color they are or how they are decorated. Put a regular pair of shoes on for goodness sake. And your thong should not be showing out of the backside of your pants...bending over or standing up...if you think it's sexy...you're wrong.
  • While we're on the subject of pants....boys, buy the appropriate size and wear a belt, PLEASE! If you have to hold on to your pants while you are walking....well, enough said.
  • Last but not least (I'm sure there are more but I'm getting long here), just the fact that I used the words "fuddy duddy", brings my score way up.

Well, there you have it. The sad story of my realization that I am not a hip mom. Oh well, guess my kids will just have to do without like I did.

Monday, March 8, 2010


So, this issue has been weighing on my mind for sometime. I think, because it's one of those things that I have no control over, I let it bother me even more. I think it also makes me feel like my mother and older than I want to be, which also bothers me a bit. I really try to be open minded when the issue doesn't involve life or death, but for some reason I just can't get past this one. So I will lay it all out there and you can tell me what you think. Here goes:

My youngest daughter loves tatoos. She has 4 of them. She's 21. This bothers me. When I was growing up the only people who had tatoos where gang members, prison inmates and Hells Angels. When I was her age, girls with tatoos where considered cheap, fast or both. I realize that tatoos have become much more mainstream but for the life of me I just can't get used to it. The fact that I have a hard time accepting it also makes me feel old. The whole thing is a conundrum.

I try to take solace in the fact that her tatoos all have some meaning to them. At least they were not spur of the moment and seem to be well tought out. The Holy Spirit with a bible verse, Faith, Family and the most recent a pink breast cancer ribbon in honor of my mother. She is already planning her next one which is a fairly big one. The Faith and Family tatoos bother me the most only because they are on the insides of her wrists which i think is really hard to cover up. I also wonder how she is going to feel about them when she's my age, which is really none of my business, so why do I care? She has promised me she will not tatoo her face....I'm glad for that. Another reason it bothers me is because I think she is such a beautiful girl and to me the tatoos take away from that. I really feel like the most judgemental and prejudice person writing that. But it's how I feel so I might as well own it.

So there you have it. I'm officially the fuddy duddy mother of a young adult. Something I never intended on being and never wanted to be. I always promised myself I would not become my mother. (Mind you, I love my mother very much and she was a special person, but just not always the most open minded.) How does this happen? Is it just inevitable? Are we destine to become our mothers? I wonder......

Monday, March 1, 2010

She's Baaack......

So yeah, not sure who out there will still be looking out for me, but I figured I'd try this one more time. Christmas was hectic, and the New Year has been filled with me being sick 3 times in 6 weeks. Work has been very hectic and the last thing I feel like doing when I go home is getting on the computer to do anything. I have, however, been able to keep track of you all....so I still feel connected in some ways. Anyway, I thought I'd steal a little time on my lunch hour to do an update.

Some random happenings from the past 2 1/2 months:

Christmas was wonderful with all the family around. We had almost 30 people for Christmas dinner. It was great! Of course, Sarah's stay was much too short, but I really enjoyed the time I had with her.

I promptly got sick in January and stayed sick off and on so much that my Christmas stuff did not get packed away until the week before last. I rarely get sick, so I'm not sure what is going on, I just know I don't like it one bit. I also started Weight Watchers in January and then got derailed by the illnesses. I really need to get back on board with that. I have several crochet projects in the works and it irritates me that I just can't stay home and crochet all day long. I really need to win that big lottery so I can retire ;-)

My oldest daughter, who lives in DC, survived Snowmageddon 2010...just barely. She also survived carbon monoxide poisoning in her house (old broken boiler). The fact that she's still alive makes me believe that God has bigger plans for her. It's so scary to think about, I just don't.

My youngest daughter, who lives with me, turned 21 and now I feel really old. She planned a big trip to Vegas nearly 6 months in advance and almost missed the whole thing due to weather the likes of which we never see in the Valley of the Sun. Sky Harbor was actually on a ground stop for hours which NEVER happens. Waiting in an airport for delayed and cancelled flights makes for one cranky 21 year old. She also got another tatoo(not in Vegas).....future post to follow on this subject. Oy.....

I have enjoyed watching the Olympics the last couple of weeks. I love the winter games. I was disappointed the USA lost the hockey game but it was an awesome game none the less. I'm a sap for all the pomp and ceremony and those "up close and personal" pieces they do. I love it all. As you can see by my backround....baseball fever has hit. Spring training is in full swing and I can't wait for Opening Day. I'm waiting for the day I can climb into my car and listen to the game on the way home. I'm crossing my fingers that my beloved D-Backs will fare better than last year.

Well, that's all I have time for now. Better get back to work. Hope you all will come back and visit me. I'll try not to be gone so long next time. Have a great day!