Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks!

I generally practice giving thanks each day for my many blessings. Some days it is hard to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. Being in a transitional phase in my life has resulted in some pretty crazy moments for me and those near and dear ones that receive the brunt of the crazy making moments! I will say that with the changes there is never a dull moment!

I am thankful for the ability to practice whatever religion or rituals I desire without threat from government or angry mobs. I am exceedingly grateful for my belief in Heavenly Father, our creator and for the example of Jesus Christ. I strive each day to be a kind, respectful, compassionate, honest steward towards all people and things of this earth.

I am so thankful to open my front door and see little arms reaching up and saying "I want to hold you" Melts my heart every time! Family is so important to me and I love spending time with ours, immediate and extended family.

I am thankful for the variety of friends that bless my life...this could be a post by itself. I am also thankful for my i-family (thanks for the perfect word Hayden) It has extended my world view and gives me a glimpse into their lives. Thanks s.l.o.b.s!!!

I am thankful for a home that is comfortable and a safe haven for all who enter. (Except when I am having one of those moments and then you better run to the basement!)

I am thankful for my window seat where I can sit and watch the jays, robins, woodpeckers, blackbirds, doves and the many cardinals that come around. Our cat loves to watch the birds as well and often runs from the window seat to his favorite chair and ledge to watch them fly about.
I know his purposes for watching the birds are way different than mine! Our cat gives us great joy and is a part of our family!

I am so thankful for the beautiful Autumn colors and crisp fresh air.

I am thankful for the variety of foods we can enjoy. I love vegetables, so many colors and textures and tastes!

I am grateful everyday that I am able to walk, talk, see and hear! Good health is not to be taken for granted, you really miss it when things start "falling apart"
As I've said many times before, I am thankful for books and a love of reading, I am grateful for all kinds of music and art for all the ways we are able to express our individuality.
Every Day is a Day to be grateful! Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Exercises in Creativity

"List five people you wish you had met who are dead." The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Just FIVE??????? I have been working on some of the exercises in The Artist's Way in effort to jump start my flagging creativity. Life just gets in the way of creativity and the more practical aspects just seem to take over hours, days and weeks. So back to the task at hand...being an extremely inquisitive and/or nosy person there are so many people I would love to talk to about their lives and contributions to the world! Since I cheat I listed groups of people, in no particular order here goes!

"The universe rings true wherever you fairly trust it" C.S. Lewis - I would love to talk to C.S. Lewis about his conversion to Christianity. I adore "The Chronicles of Narnia" and would love to pick his brain about the characters. C.S. Lewis was quite prolific writing non-fiction, science fiction and fantasy! He hung out with J.R.R. Tolkien and some lessor known writers in a group called the Inklings at a pub. How cool would it be to sit and chat with the Oxford professors about writing!

Jesus Christ, Dr. Martin Luther King, Ghandi - I would love to talk with each of them and discuss how they kept such great faith in humankind despite the cruelty, evil and oppression each of them experienced. What do each one of them see happening in our World in the next decade or generation. I could ask each one a million questions yet would rather just listen as each expressed themselves.

Anne Morrow Lindberg, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alice Paul, Queen Elizabeth I - I would like to talk to these women about being catalysts for change, being powerful women and to thank each for what this means to women in this day. Each suffered tragedies but left amazing legacies for us.

"As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along."

"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
Eleanor Roosevelt

Paul Klee, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Frida Kahlo - I love surrealism! Can you imagine sitting at a table with anyone of these artists and discussing their inspiration, their bad days, what stifles their creativity and what enhances it! I also wouldn't mind speaking with Gustav Klimt, Renoir or Jackson Pollock. I realize I am mixing periods and styles, however I just love art in all of its forms!!! I would ask Jackson Pollock what the heck was he thinking - what is going on with that and did he have a clue his paintings would be valued so highly?

And because I last group is actually people I have met and know I will meet again in the eternities...

Dad, miss him and his calm, rational, loving manner in addition to his visions of the future that were frequently dead on correct!

James, "Jimmy" - my adventurous brother, I would love to talk to him and hike with him, he had a great sense of direction so I wouldn't get lost in the woods (see previous post on getting lost)

Dot, Dot, Dorothy - best friend ever! I miss her so much and am still mad that she is gone from my immediate presence. I still pick up the phone to call her about stuff.

Oma - my maternal grandmother, she taught me about unconditional love, I spent summers with her when living in Germany. I never got to see her again as an adult...with school, marriage etc...she passed before I had a chance to grow up and talk to her as an thank her for wonderful outings and the homemade noodles we made and ate and so many other things including the quick smack on the bottom if the occasion merited!

Who would you spend time with if you could spend time with ANYONE you desired? (not living here and now)

P.S. I would love to chat with Dorothy Parker - she was one sassy lady!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In which she ran away

Sunday dawned bright and beautiful. My grandson had one of the first parts in the primary program at church. He was such a little man and presented his part in front of 200+ people with aplomb! All the children were amazing presenting their songs (solos, duets, trios etc. and as a large group) and giving their talks and scriptures. I was so moved I believe I dribbled tears throughout the entire presentation. Feeling a little overwhelmed and emotionally drained from several weeks of "drama" (for lack of a better word) I left church after the program and thought I would talk DH into a Sunday drive. The idea popped into my head that I would just take off on my own and find a rock, some water and the splendors of Autumn in "the mountains" (this was largely due to the fact that I could not locate my dear husband) Hmph...I packed journal, books, camera, water bottle and a change of clothes...put the top down and took off...not sure where the road would take me...if you don't know where you are going it doesn't matter which road you take (that may be from Lewis Carroll) As I cruised into North Carolina, a spur of the moment decision was made to take the "back roads" to Chimney Rock. Good choice, a most delightful drive down curvy roads through farm lands and horse country. The final curve before arrival at Lake Lure and the Lake just explodes in front of you in a dazzling array of blues with autumnal colors all around. Absolutely breath-taking. Looking for just the right spot to perch, keep driving around the Lake and towards the town of Chimney Rock. Apparently, everybody had the same idea for a Sunday drive...too crowded, taking the "back road" I believe #9 to Black Mountain. This is the road that a sports car was designed for...the S curves were phenomenal, sometimes the car was turned so sharply the front looked like it was meeting the rear! While exciting this type of driving is exhausting. It was beautiful! Just couldn't seem to find the right spot to sit and reflect. Too tired to go back the way I came and not sure how to get home from Black Mountain, no GPS on board and no map...took I-40 in what felt like the wrong direction...
daughter calls and asks if I would like to go to dinner in which this mother replies, I am lost in North Carolina, I don't think I'll be back in time for dinner. I. Just. Want. A. Map. Does anyone sell maps anymore???? See a sign for a highway and a town I recognize! Yipee! Swallow buckets of pride and call dear husband hoping that we BOTH have cell signals and he can direct me home. Stay on that road until you see I-85 east and follow it to I-77 and take that road on home. I-85 runs NORTH and SOUTH, Honey and have we lost our signal and well let's just take I-85 SOUTH because we want to get to SOUTH Carolina...oh no no, drive, drive finally see a sign for Columbia, SC...immediately freak out because it is another 93 miles just to Columbia and we must drive 20 minutes beyond. Stop to get gas, take a potty break, get some caffeine and call DH and tell him the which he should have called me back...oh brother! Finally, finally there is my home, home sweet home and where is that darn husband now? Go directly to bathroom and fill jacuzzi with water. Sweet relief!
Running away from home as a child was a much easier just packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and stayed in the woods all day until you were missed and heard your Mom calling you home. Have you ever felt the need in your adult life to run away and hide? Or the need to reflect and meditate, clear your head by yourself kind of moments? I say take a bath and STAY OUT OF THE CAR!!! All was not lost as it was a most beautiful excursion albeit an exhausting 8 hour tour of North Carolina in all her splendor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hey Lady What's in Yer Purse?

As I am driving to work and yet another lovely individual does something ridiculous and I must slam on brakes...the contents of my purse fall out all over the floor. This reminds me that I despise all purses and despise the fact that I am a slave to said purse. Gentle readers, I am a touch OCD (just ask my children) and AADD (adult attention deficit disorderly ) or CRS (can't remember stuff) and I suffer from an overactive bladder! I know too much information and what might this have to do with purses you might ask. I need a purse I can live with that does not cause irreparable damage to my back, arms and shoulders. So shopping for the ideal purse is an interesting endeavor in the land in which my mind resides. First, I immediately have to go to the restroom which I abhor public restrooms and what do you do with your purse in the stall? Of course, the restrooms are as far in the back of the store as you can get and still be in the store thus causing one to look at the dazzling array of goodies on the way, those retailers and marketers are not dummies! Oh yeah, I was shopping for a purse not shoes, not sweaters...back to the task at hand. Have you ever picked up one of the designer bags with all the hardware and dangly things? Those things weigh a ton, which if you can afford them, you can probably afford someone to carry it for you. I can go to TJMaxx and immediately fall in love with the most expensive handbag they have in the store. I don't have to see the price I just hone in on the most expensive one. I am entirely too fickle to spend over $100 on a purse! If I could find the perfect purse, I would buy it in every color and carry them the rest of my life. Since my needs change it doesn't exist and you don't know you will hate a purse until you take it home, load it up and schlep it around. I am reminded of a ball and chain.

My DFK (kristi) does not carry a purse if she can help it. On a recent excursion she borrowed her daughter's purse and was rushing around looking for things to put in it. Looking for things to put in have got to be kidding me!!! Did I mention I am a slave to my purse I want it with me ALWAYS! I like a purse that holds my wallet (a purse by itself) 14 tubes of lipstick and gloss, comb, 10 pairs of eyeglasses, sunglasses, tissues, tide to go pen (because I'm messy everything lands on my boobs), ink pens, sketchbook or journal, addresses/datebook (because I am an old fashioned technophobe) camera, water bottle, keys (mine, mom's, in-laws, work etc.), my handy dandy pocket knife with many wonderful attachments (don't ask) cell phone, reading material and hair clips/scrunchies, gum or mints...sometimes husband's wallet or something that will entertain the grandchildren.

I surely would have won the "Let's Make a Deal" purse plunder. Where the emcee says I'll give you $$$ for a .........wait, yes I have one! I recently dumped all of my purses, well most of them on the floor and decided there was something uncomfortable or unwieldy or just something wrong with each and every one of them...I have already given several I am thinking of eliminating all of them and starting over! Hey Dishy, want a purse or anyone else for that matter! You may not want the GINORMOUS one with my initials on it...this was yet another brilliant idea whereby I would put my laptop and purse contents in one was a miserable laptop was too big, everything else fell to the bottom of the cavernous bag...

My daughter bought me this adorable soft as a baby's bum leather purse to carry to NYC for the evenings on the is so tiny! I don't think it really qualifies as a purse it's more like a big wallet with a handle.
I've laid bare my soul within the contents of my purse. There must be some serious psychological explanation as to why some women carry so much stuff or obsess over their purses. Thank goodness I don't carry a diaper bag anymore...I saw a first time mother at the grocery store yesterday and I swear she was carrying the house in that diaper bag and her husband had to carry the baby...I wonder what she thought would happen in that store with a baby and less stuff? I feel your pain sistah, truly I do. So what's in your bag?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chocolate Milk, Flat Tires, Spiderwebs and Children

Roofing nails and my 4 door larger "grandma" car seek each other out as if magnetized or drawn by some force of nature. My intention was to load up the older, larger Ford and take contents to "Goodwill". As I round the car with the first of many bags, alas the front driver's side tire is flat to the rim flat! Inflate tire, get thee to nearest station, repair like there is no tomorrow, walk outside to find said tire flat yet again and since we are at the station anyway let's change the oil and "fill er up"...discussion with our favorite mechanic about possibly replacing all tires. (They look fine) Rush to pick up grandchildren from daycare before it closes! Feed grandchildren, play, rinse and repeat. Make pallet of down comforters and blankets on floor and prepare to get quiet for the evening and sleep. NOT!!! Watch same two movies, "Chicken Little, The Incredibles" finally put two wiggly children in bed with grandmother, one on each side...wake up every two hours for various reasons...

Look Nonnee, "I makin a spiderweb!" Note to is entirely too funny so one can not really be angry that crochet thread is all over and entwined through everything. Such a creative little creature! The plan is to pick up the great grandma and spend time together. Pick up great grandma...grab some drive thru lunch...hey, Nonnee where's the chocolate milk? They were out of chocolate milk...note full blown meltdown until we reach home...leave the children with the great grandmother and make effort to go to grocery store...why oh why is the car swerving all over the road...YES...ANOTHER flat tire! This time the rear tire is flat to the rim flat! Call father in law because every other male is in North Carolina at a 2 seat Porsche for VW Beetle...still small with 2 doors, however we are back in business with a back seat. Note: refuse to fix tires and drive other car due to the fact that there are two more tires with the potential of having nails in them...

Rest of the day is spent playing, crying and mad dashes to the potty...change little girl...mop floors, rinse and repeat throughout the day...take great grandma home...
Starting to feel a wee bit exhausted and relax in chair, dozing lightly because younger daughter has arrived and is entertaining children...wake up to extremely loud, dancing turtle and little boy right in your face knocking over glass of diet coke which looks lovely running down the walls and all over the hardwood floors...mop, rinse, repeat! Daughter watches children so that "Nonnee" can rest...all three fall asleep on floor (down comforter pallet) daughter wakes and goes home...sleep on couch, stumble to bed for a few hours, four feet running down hallway with a cheerful, happy singsong GOOD MORNING! Attend church, eat lunch, read books and take naps...what's not to love about Sunday! Other grandparents are taking the wee ones Sunday night and Monday. Younger daughter stressing over job, needs to be "fluffed" and fed, (her husband is out of town as well) goes home...8:00 p.m. house is in shambles and all is quiet...
It will be several hours before husband arrives is almost too quiet...restore home, relax on couch, reflect on amounts of spilled beverages, body fluids and sticky about spiderwebs that must be cut because the "webs" are so cleverly constructed...Life is Good, tiring sometimes but still very good...four sticky little hands on your face or around your neck...hand prints on the walls...gosh, deja vu...was it just yesterday that I was the Mom and this was an everyday event? Yes, my friends Life is Good!!! And grandchildren are even better!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

19th Amendment - VOTE!!!!

Susan B. Anthony - "Mother" of the suffragists movement. Ladies, remember Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Burns, Alice Paul, Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the many other women that stood up and demanded to be heard and sacrificed much so that we, women of all backgrounds could have a say in our country's politics! The 19th amendment has only been in effect for 88 years!!! If you haven't already, PLEASE BE SURE TO VOTE!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Exciting Election Day Coverage 2004 - Happy Birthday Hunter!!!

Do you remember what you were doing during the last presidential election? I do, my first grandson, child of my firstborn was pushing his way into the world!!! Just as the current election will make history...the prior election was an historical event for our family! It was the first time I actually stayed awake and watched election returns sitting/dozing in a chair while my daughter labored all through the night! As she pushed and breathed, I placed cool cloths on her head...Kevin was in the room somewhere awaiting the birth. It was a long night and an even longer delivery...I was exhausted! I realized that I had been holding my breath every time Michelle "pushed". My first born was born prematurely with an emergency c-section...she and I were grateful to be alive for THIS day in our personal history! Thank you Kevin and Michelle for allowing me to witness this miracle!
Yes, much to my dismay, this is a real motorcycle and Hunter is a little dare devil and he LOVES riding.

Hunter is thinking, Hurry Up with the song already I WANT CAKE!!!

This is how a real slugger swings.

Happy Birthday Hunter. 4 Big Years Old! (Walkin with Nonnie) Who knew that one little baby could bring so much Joy and Love into the world!!!