Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve Musings

I've never been much for celebrating New Year's.  It wasn't a big holiday in my family.  We didn't do any special foods or activities. The one memory I do have from when I was a kid is what a treat it was to be able to stay up and watch Dick Clark count down to the New Year in Times Square.  If I could stay awake.  Sometimes I made it and sometimes I didn't.  Theses days it's just a good reason to have a day off work.  I don't do resolutions because I feel like if I live my life the way I'm supposed to everyday...I don't need them.  That's not to say that I do live my life right every day...but it's what I strive for and no list of "stuff" is going to change the way I go about my business.  That's just me.
One thing I do enjoy every year is Dave Berry's year in review.  He is such a smart and funny writer.  I always enjoy reading his articles.  You can read the article here.  It's long...but worth every word.
Reading his article did give me a few ideas of things I hope to never hear again, some of these things dominated news and social media to the point that it made me want to scream, some of them just irritated me.  Here are the things that annoyed me in 2013:
Miley Cyrus, twerking, Jodi Arias, Duck Dynasty, Obamacare, Obama, Congress...all of them, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, the LA Dodgers, zombies, sequestration, debt ceiling, The City of Glendale City Council, The Goldwater Institute, Quebec hockey fans, new computer systems at work.
I guess that's enough for one year right?  I had no idea there were so many until I started typing them.  I'll end on a high note.  Here's what gave me joy in 2013:
33 years of marriage to the same man...I really do love that guy; my kids...no explanation needed; crocheting...anything; my cat...I know, it's weird, but true; my big crazy, weird family...I love them all; a beautiful wedding; and last but not least...my new son-in-law Adam...He is a special young man and I could not be happier that he is now a member of our family.  I am looking forward to many years with him :)
My heart is full and my life is perfectly what it should be.  Looking forward to lots of the same in 2014.
Happy New Year friends!  Hope you find your joy in 2014...Love you all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

O Holy Night

Christmas is five days away....FIVE!  Every year I feel surprised by how fast the holiday sneaks up on me.  You'd think I'd have learned by now...

You know how things just don't seem to go right sometimes?  That's how I feel about this Christmas season. 

Dan started decorating the outside of the house, got the lights up around the roof and promptly got sick. He's been sick for the better part of two weeks.  Needless to say no other decorations made it up.  He is highly disappointed.  Decorating the house for Christmas is the highlight of his year. 

I've had a really hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year.  I miss buying gifts for the kids. Gift buying is the highlight of MY year.  I love searching for and picking out gifts.  But we are exchanging stockings this year so I only have one person to buy for. ONE!  How do you only buy for one person?  I mean, it's practical and its necessary and I love the simplicity of it.  But I yearn for the days of a pile of presents under the tree.  I need some grand kids people! :) 

One thing that never changes is why we celebrate this holiday in the first place.  I try to always keep that in the forefront of my mind.  Especially when lamenting the absence of gifts under the tree.  

Driving home last night it was cloudy, a little windy and a tad chilly.  And then from the radio came the most beautiful version of O Holy Night.  It was the perfect setting...for the perfect song.  It made my heart swell and it filled me with Good Tidings.  This is what Christmas is all about, Gerri.  It was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time.  Amazing how God always does that for me.  In the midst of Christmas hub-bub and lamenting, He finds a way to bring me back to what is Real.  The Christmas Story is one of hope and the beginning of the journey toward Easter and eternal salvation.

I am happy for this season of hope and thankful to my Savior who always finds ways to bring me back to Him.

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Christmas.

Friday, November 22, 2013

RIP 35

The hallmark of a seminal moment is if you can tell people where you were and what you were doing when the event happened.  I can't tell you were I was or what I was doing on November 22, 1963...but it was a life defining moment for me.

My first recollection of the event was sitting on the floor next to my father's feet and watching the funeral procession on TV.  I was two weeks shy of 5 years old. Even at that age..the memory is burned in my brain and it is one of the most vivid memories of my young childhood.  I believe that that is the moment that my fascination with JFK began.

I always wanted to read every book I could find about him and the events leading up to that day.  In high school I wrote a term paper about the assassination and all the conspiracy theories.  That was 1976 and the theories were flying fast a furious at that time.  I really truly believed that there had to be more than one gunman.

Over the years as more information has come to light, I'm leaning more towards the lone gunman theory.  The sad part is...we will never know and so there will always be speculation.

I am still fascinated by the Kennedy family and their place in history.  One of the most emotional days of my life was the day I first visited Arlington National Cemetery and was able to view Kennedy's grave and the eternal flame.  It was 1987 and so I wasn't that far removed from those days in the late '70's.  I most recently visited the grave in 2009 and while not as emotional, and viewed with a new and more mature perspective, it was still very moving.  And the same thought occurred on both occasions...what if?  The big question that always hangs in the air whenever you think about Jack or Bobby or John Jr.  50 years have passed and we still ask what if?

Today I will offer up a prayer for our 35th president and his family.  Today I will not ponder what if...I will only be thankful for the life of a man who was dedicated to public service and for the ways in which he was able to positively affect the country and people he served.

RIP 35.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Wedding

I have tried at least three times to write this post.  Each time I sit down to write it, the words just won't come.  I just cannot find the words to express all that the day held and all that it meant to me.  Very foreign feeling for me.  I am never at a loss for words.  I decided that my Facebook post from the morning of the wedding really expressed exactly how I felt that day.  This is what I wrote when I woke up that morning:

So THE day is finally here. It's one of those milestone days you dream of when you hold that tiny little human being in your arms for the first time. You dream of first words, first steps and the first day of school. Learning to drive, graduation, going to college...getting married. There is no way to prepare for how fast this dream becomes reality.

Today my baby girl marries the man of her dreams. I love you Beth
, and I am so, so happy for you and Adam. Happy Wedding Day!

Pretty much sums it up.  The day came too fast.  She was a baby in my arms and then she was this...

A gorgeous, beautiful bride. 

It was very overwhelming...but equally as awesome.  Everyone told me the day would go fast and it sure did.  Which is why I made the decision to not take pictures.  I knew there would be enough other people taking pictures and I just wanted to be "in the moment".  I am so glad I decided to do that.  So, none of these pictures belong to me.  My wonderful best friend, Debbie, who is also my sister-in-law, took the pre-ceremony pictures.  She did an excellent job.  Some of these pictures are hers.  Some are from my wonderful relatives who came from all over the country to share the day with us. Some are from my oldest daughters friends.  I am publicly thanking them here for helping me to remember the day.

I hate having my picture taken.  If I do have my picture taken I hate for anyone to see it.  But, I decided that for this day I needed to get over myself and just be ok with it.  Another thing I'm happy about.  Which is why I'm sharing this picture:
Just a funny silly picture of Beth and I when we were getting our hair done.  I obviously don't have the talent to make the "duck" lips...but I tried.  And honestly...I love this picture.  I decided that this day was only coming once in our life and I was going to make the most of it. I wore makeup, which I applied myself without too much trouble...thank goodness for YouTube!  I gave a speech and yes, it was probably long by wedding speech standards.  But I had things I wanted to say to my daughter and promises to make to my new son-in-law.  So I said what needed to be said and no one called the speech police so I guess it was ok.  I used to love to dance but since I've gained so much weight I've always been really self conscious about dancing.  Well, that night I danced.  I honestly had so much fun...it was one of the most AWESOME nights of my life.  I'm so happy that I didn't let my insecurities get in the way of making the most of the day. 

So, here are some pictures of the day along with my observations.  I hope you enjoy!

My beautiful kids: Stephen, Beth and Sarah.  Love them!

Dan seeing his baby girl for the first time.  There were tears...
Escorted by my wonderful son Stephen.  We had to navigate two sets of stairs...I told Stephen his only job that day was to make sure I didn't fall! :)
The Maid of Honor, my beautiful daughter Sarah
 And when this happened...I cried...hard.  I had a hard time holding it together while he walked her down the isle.  I was having visions of the little tomboy with crooked glasses and a dirty face.  She's come a long way baby :)
Adam when he turned around and saw Beth for the first time.  Priceless.
Saying their vows.

First kiss.

Mr. & Mrs. Adam Dixon

Beautiful couple
Bridal Party
Father/Daughter dance to "I Loved Her First".  I cried during the whole thing.  I think I may have cried the hardest during this dance.
First dance to "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun.  Beth and Adam love movies so all their songs were from movies.  Which made the following hilarious when you know that it was done to the theme from Mission Impossible:
I love her face in this picture.  She had no idea what he was going to do.  I wish I had a video of it.  He did some great Mission Impossible moves around the chair.  It was awesome!
Last but not least...my personal favorite picture of the night.  The last Coach/Daughter picture.  After all the years of Dan coaching Beth in softball we have many Coach/Daughter pictures.  Several years ago I made Beth an album with all the pictures.  This was her idea...to have a last softball picture with her dad to add to the album.  It was very special.

Well, thanks for sticking with me through the picture tour.  I learned an important lesson on my daughter's wedding day:

Life is too short not to dance and have fun.  Everyday should be like a wedding day.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Today I'm sharing two of my favorite pictures of my kids.  When they were little I always tried to dress them somewhat alike for Halloween.  As they got older that idea didn't fly but when they were little it sure made for some cute pictures.

(For the purposes of this blog post, I am writing only of the secular celebrations. I'm planning on doing another post on religious holidays as it gets closer to Christmas)

I always loved Halloween as a kid.  I never liked the scary part of it but I loved dressing up and I REALLY loved the candy!  Of course when I had kids of my own I loved sharing in their excitement and helping them to pick out costumes.  Now that I am an adult, I think I love Halloween because it's the true beginning of Fall in AZ and it means that Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Fall is my favorite time of year and in all honesty, I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I know that shocks most of you who know me as the obsessed Christmas lady, but it's true.  I do love Christmas, but a little bit of the magic goes out of it when your kids grow up and it looses a little bit of it's shine.  Plus, it's just such a hectic time with so much hubub. Thanksgiving on the other hand is a simple joy.  I love everything about it.  The colors, the decorations and of course the food.

It is a time to spend with family and friends.  It's all about gathering at the table and giving thanks for the Lord's abundant love and blessings in your life.  Thanksgiving is the purest and simplest of holidays.  Gather together, enjoy some good food, enjoy each others company, enjoy some football if that's your thing.  Spend some relaxing time with those you love and who love you.  It's the calm before the Christmas storm.

I'm really looking forward to this holiday season.  With the addition of my new son-in-law Adam and his family, the Clem Clan is growing ever stronger...in personalities and in numbers.  It's all very exciting stuff.

I'm still trying to gather my thoughts about the whole wedding thing. I'm hoping to write about it this weekend when I have more time to gather my thoughts.  Until then I will leave you with this...in the pictures above Beth is the littlest surgeon and witch...last Saturday she dressed up as a bride...and she was gorgeous. Words cannot express how my heart fills up when I look at this picture.  Simply beautiful...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Makeup, Or Not To Makeup...

I don't wear makeup...ever.  When I was 37 two things happened that made me decide I just didn't want to wear it anymore.  I had to switch from contacts back to glasses and I got an extremely bad sunburn.  The glasses just made me feel like you couldn't see my eyes (my best feature, I think) so what was the point and when I had the sunburn I couldn't wear it anyway.  I had never really enjoyed wearing makeup so at that point I just decided it didn't matter anyway.  I'm ok with no makeup and I don't really care if anyone else thinks I should wear it.  I'm independent that way.  But...

My daughter is getting married on Saturday.  Events like this only happen once.  Pictures will be taken.  I don't want her to look at her pictures years from now and think...wow, Mom looked really bad.  Not that she would, because she's not like that.  But, I don't want to be the washed out one in all the pictures.  I'm already the lightest one in my family.  If I don't do something, I'll just be Casper the Ghost standing next to all those Malibu Barbies and Kens.  Also, several years ago, I acquired rosacea...a lovely little skin condition that leaves your nose and cheeks red.  It makes you look like you've had a few too many...all the time.  So I'd be drunk Casper to boot.  No one needs that in their pictures. 

So...in order to even out my skin tone and not appear dead in the pictures, I bought makeup for the first time in 18 years.  Today I did a practice run with said makeup.  Here is what I learned:

Plucking gray eyebrow hairs is not fun. Plucking is another thing I don't do anymore...don't judge...at this age I don't have many left and you can't see the dang things anyway.  But in order to wear eyebrow pencil...one must pluck the brows.  Trying to twist and turn so the light would catch the silvery ones so that I could then pluck them...well, that probably would have made a good home video...thank goodness no one else was home.

Applying makeup with a sponge is not as easy as Carmindy on What Not To Wear makes it seem.  Never used the sponge before...it was interesting to say the least.  We will think about this little task an re-evaluate later.

The medicine I use for my rosacea also dries out my skin considerably so the makeup didn't look so hot over the dry skin...don't know what to do about that one...any ideas?  I'm not that keen on looking flakier than I already am.

I hated the way it felt on my skin and could not wait to wash it off...which is going to make my time sitting in the 90 degree weather on Saturday just peachy.  But I will do it...for the sake of my fellow wedding attendees...and pictures.

And all of this just goes to prove the lengths you will go to for your children...even when they are adults.

Wish me luck with the making up on Saturday...I need all the positive juju I can get. 

Despite the great makeup debacle of 2013...I am beyond excited for this wedding and can't wait for the day to finally arrive.  I will be back next week, sans makeup, to tell you all about it.

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 21, 2013


St. Germaine Cousin

I have vowed to publicly thank my patron saint anytime she helps me with a problem.  So, today I am here to say thank you to St. Germaine for her intercession, once again.  She is known as the forgotten saint, so I have vowed to do what I can to make her name known.  Her story is incredible and worth the read.  I think it will inspire you.  Here is a link to her story: http://www.stgermaine.com/germaine.htm

In the past several weeks I have asked for intercession twice and both times the outcome has been favorable.  Not surprising to me of course, prayer is powerful.  It changes things.

I wanted to talk a little bit about intercession and prayer. 

Lots of people who are not Catholic, and many who are, do not understand intercession.  Many people think we pray to saints instead of going straight to God.  This could not be further from the truth. We are not asking the saint to grant us anything.  We are asking for their prayers. Do you ever ask a friend to pray for you?  This is exactly what intercession is.  You are merely asking for someone else to pray on your behalf.  That is what I ask St. Germaine to do for me.  I have been doing this since my parents taught me to pray.  I feel like she is my friend.  And as I would ask any friend if I were in need, I often ask her to pray for me...or to intercede.  Here is a link if you wish to read more about intercession: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08070a.htm

I have asked publicly on Facebook many times for prayers.  I have a community of faith filled family and friends there who are always willing to pray for my intentions, even when they have no idea what they are praying for. You don't always have to tell people what you need.  You need only to ask that they pray for a special intention.  Sometimes what we need is too personal to tell the world.  Or we may be embarrassed that we are asking for intercession for something we may think God thinks is insignificant.  But remember this...if it's important to you, it's important to God.

Prayer is so powerful and in numbers it's power can be staggering.  I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of others.  Of course, we must always be mindful to pray that God's will be done.  And remember that your prayers are always answered...it may not be the answer you wanted, but it is always the right answer.  And sometimes you don't get the answer for years after you pray.  But when the answer comes, you know it, and you realize that God knew all along.  He knows what is in our hearts before we do.  He knows what our lives will be before we can even imagine it.  So whatever His answer is, it's the right one.

So once again, I am coming before you and St. Germaine and asking for your prayers for a special intention.  I appreciate your prayers and always keep you all in my daily prayers as well.

Thanks for being such supportive and loving friends.  I love you all :)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Weddings and Anniversaries

Today I've been married for 33 years.  I wish I could say I have all the answers to a long and happy marriage.  I wish that, because my daughter is getting married in exactly one month.  I would love to be able to impart some great wisdom upon her so that she also will have a long and happy marriage.  I only know what works for Dan and I.  I suppose some of it is good advice.  Some of it is advice others gave us...some of it we learned on our own.  So here goes...everything I know about marriage in one easy blog post...

It's more about the marriage and less about the wedding.

Live a faith filled life...together.  It's important to remember who the Higher Power is...and it is neither one of you.

We promised to love each other for richer or poorer (there has been no richer), in sickness and in health (we've had both) forsaking all others until death do us part...and we meant it.  We meant it then, and 33 years later we still mean it. 

When we aren't exactly seeing eye to eye or we just aren't really liking each other (yes, that happens) we make a decision to love each other.  We just say to the other person, "I'm making a decision to love you right now."  It lets the other person know you are irritated and maybe they should back off until you cool down.  It's much better than fighting and it gives each person time to think about the situation.  Then, when cooler heads prevail, you figure it out.  99.9% of the time we both are to blame for whatever was going on. 

It's not important to always be right...it's more important, sometimes, to let him (or her) think he is ;)

Take one for the team.  Sometimes it's just better to let the other person have their way.  You don't always get to have things your way...you have to give some too.  But stand up for yourself when it's necessary.

And speaking of giving...marriage is NOT a 50/50 deal.  It's 100/100.  Each person has to give 100 percent for the relationship to work.

Think before you speak...and then think again...words cannot be recalled. You don't have to say everything you think.  (this is really hard for people with Dion DNA)  Silence truly is golden.  Sometimes complete and total honesty is highly over rated.  Learn when it's necessary and when just keeping your mouth shut is the better option.

Never leave the house without telling each other goodbye and saying I love you.  It might be the last chance you ever have to do so.  In 33 years Dan and I have never left each other without saying goodbye and I love you....even if the other person is sleeping. Believe me, I have never minded being woken up so he can tell me he loves me :)  It's important...do it.

The oldest piece of wedding advice is probably still the most important.  Don't go to bed mad.  Resolve your issues before you hit the pillow.  I did once, and it was the most miserable night of my entire life.

Don't let other people tell you how your relationship should work.  If it works to be sarcastic then be sarcastic.  People often think Dan and I are being mean to each other...we are not.  We are just both very sarcastic...we get it...we like it...it works for us.  Find what works for you and don't let anyone tell you differently.

When you have kids, always present a united front.  Make sure you don't pass the buck to your spouse.  Don't make one parent be the bad guy...be united and on the same page about all parenting issues.  Kids can smell weakness and they will divide and conquer if you don't stick together.

And most important of all...

Make sure the other person always knows that he/she is the most important person in your life.  Before kids, parents, family, friends or pets.  Once you are married you become each other's pillar of strength.  Make sure you always have each other's back, defend each other and don't talk bad about each other to anyone.  One day the kids will grow up, move away, get married and have kids of their own.  Then you'll be right back where you started...just the two of you.  If you don't continue to grow and nurture your relationship you'll end up with nothing.  Do not put your kids before your spouse.  You were together first...you will be together forever.

So that's it...the simplified version of what I've learned in 33 years. 

I always thank God for bringing Dan and I together.  I know how lucky am.  He is truly one of a kind.  They just don't make them like Dan anymore.  If you could pick out all the qualities you want for a husband and father in a catalog...the finished product would be Dan (hopefully minus the procrastination...but nobody is perfect ;) 

Happy Anniversary Danno!  I hope we have at least 33 more years to be sarcastic to each other...you make my life worth living.  I love you more than you know.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Will Remember

I will, for as long as I live, hate this date. I suppose it's how my grandparents felt about December 7th or how my parents felt about November 22nd. Dates that are associated with an event so unbelievably, horribly evil. It doesn't matter what time of year it is or why I may come across the date, but when I see or hear September 11th, it stops me short. 12 years later I still feel dread when I hear it. It is the single most terrifying day in my life. I remember the feeling of not knowing what was going to happen next. I remember living the next week or so in a fog. I had a hard time sleeping. I was scared for my kids and their future. I remember thinking that if I felt this way I just couldn't imagine how the people in NY, DC and PA felt. But...

It doesn't matter that it happened 3000 miles from my home or that I did not personally know anyone who lost their life or a loved one. It happened to my country...on my home soil. It happened to all of us. It changed forever the way we look at the world, the way we live in the world. It changed my children's future.

But, as horrible as this date is...we must never forget. We cannot forget things like 9/11. To forget is to chance repeating. I am not willing to repeat. I will forever remember what was perpetrated on MY country that day. I will never forget those who lost their lives. I will remember...no matter how badly it hurts. No matter how much the current administration believes it is now right to help the ones who perpetrated the evil of 9/11…I do not. And I will not forget what they did that day…I will not forget.

I will remember.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wanting What You've Got

I read a lot of blogs. I love them. I love reading about other people’s lives. I guess this makes me a voyeur…and the over sharing world of Facebook and blogging are ripe for someone like me. But it’s also not a very good thing for me. You know, I’m one of those “the grass is greener elsewhere” kind of people. On any given day, after a session of blog reading, I find myself wanting to:

1. Live on a remote farm and raise chickens and goats…eat eggs and milk from said chickens and goats and make my own natural soaps and lotions.

2. Be a mother with young children, writing about their exploits and plastering their cute little faces all over the internet…while home schooling, cooking only organic foods and hand sewing all their clothes.

3. Own my own successful internet business where I only have to work a few hours every day and I rake in the dough.

4. Travel to exotic places, take pictures of historic sites, eat local cuisine and walk 4000 miles each day in an effort to see the whole world.

5. Have enough time in the day to create all the beautiful crochet projects that I can…and then sell them for exorbitant amounts of money on etsy.

Sometimes, when I read these blogs…they make me dissatisfied with my own life. Like I’m missing out on some really exciting and wonderful stuff…I always think about the Meg Ryan line in “You’ve Got Mail” where she says she feels like she leads a small life. I feel that way sometimes. And then I remind myself that small is good and you are important to those that need you. Which is a very good thing. And then I realize that all those things which I think sound glamorous really aren’t because I remember that:

1. Chickens scare me and I don’t like goat’s milk. And I’m pretty sure I don’t really ever want to make my own soap…I’m too lazy…Dial is good enough for me.

2. I’m pretty much over the kid thing…except for grandkids…I can’t wait for those! If I home schooled anyone they would end up an expert in history and know absolutely nothing about math. I hate to cook...organic or not. AND…I hate to sew…

3. I’d love to own my own business that I only had to work a few hours at…but I’m smart enough to know that nothing good comes without hard work.

4. I love the idea of traveling…the actual execution of it is another story…insert anxiety issues here. I love taking pictures but rarely remember my camera; if the local cuisine looked weird in any way…I would be searching for the nearest McDonalds…and I hate to walk.

5. This I would do in a nano second…but there’s a little thing called work that keeps getting in my way.

So, the moral of this pointless blog is, in the words of Sheryl Crow:

“It’s not having what you want; it’s wanting what you’ve got.”

I hope you are all wanting what you’ve got…and I hope you all have a super duper weekend!!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Tiger Says...

So I decided to come write this post because it's been exactly one year since I came to live at the Clem Castle.  The family is pretty much the same except for the girl that brought me here.  She moved away and didn't even take me with her.  Can you believe that?  I was kind of looking forward to getting away from the big guy that hounds me constantly when he's home.  I know he means well, but jeez guy, give it a rest.  I don't like you and no amount of cajoling is going to change it.  He does not take rejection well at all.  But I do have to thank him for taking me to the doctor when I was sick.  I really HATED being put in the little cage for the ride in the car.  I cried all the way there. But I guess it was worth it because I felt a lot better after the doctor gave me a shot. Oh, and there was that one time that there were about a thousand people AND a dog (shudder) in my house all at the same time.  Mom cooked a bunch of food (of which I got none, mind you!) and all these people came to eat and talk and they caused such a racket.  And the dog, well, I just can't even explain what the dog was like.  I just went and hid under my mom's bed, it was all too much for me to handle.  But after all the people and the dog left, the big guy picked me up and carried me around the house so I could see the coast was clear and it was ok to come out again.  That was really nice of him, so I tolerate him, and I let him pet me when no one else is around, but that's as far as I'm letting it go.

I still like my mom the best.  She says she's not a cat person but I beg to differ.  She gives me treats and pets me whenever I want to be petted.  She puts up with my "talking" when it's time to eat...I can be very annoying with that, but hey, I'm a cat...I want what I want when I want it.  I don't get why that's so hard to understand.  I mostly sit on the back of her chair and watch her play with that string she won't let me touch.  That's really the only time she gets mad at me, so I try really hard to be good about that.  But sometimes a cat just can't help herself.  When things move, sometimes I just gotta pounce, you know?

I still like the boy a lot too.  He is always good for some petting and cuddling when I'm in the mood.  His room is cool and quiet.  I like it in there.

My family has provided me with some really cool toys.  I love batting them around the house and then taking off like a crazy cat and zooming all over the place.  I mostly do it for the families reaction...they think it's hilarious so who am I to spoil their fun.  They are very easily entertained. 

I'm still kinda freaked out by the spinning things on the ceiling.  I try really hard not to look at them but sometimes I just have to take a peak to see if they are still spinning.  I peak and then look away quickly.  So far they have remained on the ceiling, but I don't want to tempt fate by letting them know I know they are there.  Hopefully someday they will go away...although I'm not holding my breath because my mom seems to REALLY like those spinney things.  I think she's crazy.

When I'm not eating, sleeping or chasing toys I like to sit in the window sill in the living room or by the back door and look out the windows.  It looks very interesting out there but I'm not allowed to find out.  The one time I did venture out the back door I got into a lot of trouble, so I guess I won't do that again.

All in all, life is pretty good here at the Clem Castle.  I pretty much have every single one of them (even the big guy) wrapped around my little paw.  Yes, life is good!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hockey in the Desert

Most of you who read this will already know about my love of hockey. I've written here before about the struggles of our beleaguered franchise. This will be another one of those posts...I just have to vent.

The City of Glendale (CoG) voted 4-3 last night to approve the arena lease deal and pave the way for the sale by the NHL to the new ownership group. There are still steps to take to get the ownership deal done, but this is the best position we've been in for the last 4 years. Still, I remain cautiously optimistic. Because we've seen deals come and go and we've been through 4 years of uncertainty and heartbreak. It's not easy to let that go. Now that the whole ordeal seems to be coming to an end, I have a few things I want to say. Here's my take on hockey in the desert...at this moment.

The name will change to Arizona Coyotes...don't really care as long as they stay here, they could call them the Glendale Coyotes of Arizona (take that Anaheim). Or the Roadrunners...I like the sound of that, you'll understand why later.

After watching the CoG vote last night I came to a couple of conclusions. CM Sherwood is probably the smartest person in the whole city. Vice Mayor Knaak should be the Mayor. And 1/3 of the city council are just buffoons and I have no idea how they got elected.

I am not a fan of Gary Bettman (NHL Commissioner) by any means but I do appreciate what he has done to keep our team here. And hopefully there are no ulterior motives...

I am extremely happy for the business owners and employees of the Westgate area. To think that a major entertainment venue could survive without an anchor tenant is folly. Thousands of jobs would have been lost, businesses would have gone under and the only thing you'd be hearing at Westgate is the sound of the wind whistling through the empty space. I am really irritated by those that continually want to lay the CoG's financial woes at the feet of the Coyotes. We have been living through one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history yet attendance was up over the last several years...keeping the businesses at Westgate afloat. I'm sure there are many more economical problems in the CoG than the Coyotes and Jobing.com Arena. The lack of vision on the part of some is really astounding. Sometimes things have to hurt before they get better.

I am excited to see what an actual, honest to goodness, real owner will do with this franchise...we have never had one of those and I am looking forward to the prospect.

There has been a lot of talk about how we don't have our own fan base. That when we fill the arena it's filled with Hawks, Redwings or Bruins fans. Well guess what people? We live in a melting pot. People move here from Chicago, Detroit and Boston because they love the weather not the sports teams. They grew up with multiple generations of loyalty to a team. They are not going to give that up just because they moved here. And quite frankly, I really don't care who comes just as long as there are butts in the seats. We are just now coming into our own as a major league sports town. The kids who were young when Coyotes or the D-Backs or the Cardinals came here are just in their 20's now and starting families of their own. That's how you build a fan base, but it takes time. You have to give it time...and good ownership. The Cardinals have just been seeing more of their own fans in the last couple of years. Go to any D-Backs game and you will hear lots of cheering for the opposing team. It's just the way it is in this valley and if you are going to be a true fan, you just have to get used to it. And then be the solution instead of the problem. Go to the games, support the local team, and bring a friend who's never been to a game. Grow the fan base.

Lastly, I want to say to those that think hockey doesn't belong in the desert and that this is not a hockey town (yes, I'm talking to you Canada)...I have been watching hockey in the desert for over 40 years. I went to my first hockey game when I was 10 years old. I fell in love and I've been in love ever since. They were the Phoenix Roadrunners back then. There was no Plexiglas surrounding the ice, just wire mesh. They didn't wear helmets or face shields and the goalies had the Freddie Kruger type masks. They fought more and whined less. My husband and I fell in love going to Roadrunner games. I still think the Roadrunner logo is the best logo in all of sports...ever. (I really wanted to include a picture of the logo but could not get it to work.)So yeah, I'd be happy if they changed the name to the Roadrunners...but the Arizona Coyotes is fine...and I love their logo too. I just really want people to know that there are rabid fans in this valley and state. One interesting tidbit I learned on Twitter last night...there were more AZ players in the NCAA Frozen Four than in the Final Four...not a hockey town, huh?

If you made it this far I want to thank you for bearing with me while I vented. I just have one last thing to say before I go. Quoting from a recent NHL commercial....

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Mothers and Daughters and Dresses...Oh My!

Wow, I was in a writing mood and thought...it's been a while since I wrote a blog post...I should do that.  Little did I know I haven't written one since December!  Well, I've written them...I just haven't posted them.  So today I'm going to share something I originally wrote in February.  At the time the emotions were just too raw to share.  This is a really emotional year for me with the wedding coming up and all that entails.  I was expecting to be emotional when it came time to go dress shopping.  I had no idea what the emotions of that day would really end up being...

February 2013

Last night I went with my baby girl to watch her try on (and eventualy buy!) a wedding dress.  I fully expected to cry, to blubber like the sap that I am.  I didn't.  I got teary eyed when she finally made the decision, when she finally knew that it was THE one.  I was having extreme mixed emotions the whole day.  I've talked often about the mix of emotions you feel as a parent.  I think one thing imparticular left me unable to even cry. 

When she talked about being nervous and excited to try on the dresses, it brought me right back to the time when I did the very same thing.  Except my mother wasn't with me. 

My mother lived in another city and was unable to come with me to shop for a dress.  My mother-in-law came with me.  She was so wonderful, but she was not my mother.  I was sad she could not be there but I honestly NEVER thought about how she felt.  Until last night.  Sitting in the bridal salon, watching Beth try on dress after dress...it hit me.  My mother missed this.  I felt so sad in that moment.  And so, I knew I had to hold back because if I let THOSE feelings go...it would not have been pretty. 

I was feeling a little guilty.  Had my young, 21 year old self been too selfish to try and figure out a way for my mother to be there?  I don't remember the exact circumstances so I can't know for sure...but that was not a good feeling.  My mother NEVER said anything about missing the event.  She was great like that.  And now she's gone and I'll never know just how she felt about that.  So, on a night when I should have been feeling extreme joy, it was tempered a little with the realization that I had what my mother was never able to have.  But, she would have been happy for me and not sad for herself.  And even if she was, she never would have told anyone.  I know she is happy for me...I feel it everyday. 

I didn't set out to write this post this way.  I wanted to talk about how hard and joyous it is to watch your baby girl turn into a woman before your eyes.  But sometimes you just have to write what's in your heart and today this was it.  I think it's really brought home to me the fact that my mom and dad are not here to share this with us.  They would have been SO happy to see their "little peanut" get married.  But I know their spirits are with us and that is very comforting. 

I wish I could share a picture of the dress but we don't want the groom to see it before the big day.  Obviously I will be sharing that with you at some point...probably shortly after October 26th :)

Thanks for letting me share all this with you.  I hope everyone has a wonderful week! :)

[I apologize for any spelling errors...spell check is mysteriously abscent from my toolbar!  I am nothing without spell check :'( ]