Thursday, November 26, 2009

I thank Thee Lord...

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How this Autumn is, in a way, also a Spring for me

As I sit on my comfy new couch looking out at the front yard I see the beautiful golden colors of the cottonwood trees in the woods behind the houses across the street. The clouds are sinking to enclose us. Only the trees closest to me can be seen all the way to the tops. The ones in the background are shrouded in mist and look like water-color paintings. The continuing rain has added a glossiness to the plants in the yard. I can honestly say I have never noticed before that my little pink dogwood tree has beautiful red fall foliage. I see the little chickadees checking out the birdfeeders and the drooping heads of the sunflower flowers that grew from bird dropped seeds. Although the growing season has wound down, my yard is still alive with life and colors.

With renewed eyes I am learning to appreciate this season, autumn. In the past, it has only been the precursor to my dreaded winter. This year, autumn marks a new beginning for me and those who share my homelife.

I have come to the point with my fibromyalgia pain and it's ever-present fatigue, that I need to increase/change pain management medication or try a drastic change in lifestyle in hopes of staving off more meds and the accompanying side effects. So, after many tears, prayers and long talks with my DearHusband, we have decided that it is time for me to retire.

I have one week left to wrap up an almost nine year career and will be returning to the 'career' that has always been first in my heart: fulltime wife and mother.

I am excited about the prospect of having time to devote to getting healthy and regaining some strength and stamina. I am really excited about the prospect of having energy to return to my love of heirloom sewing and needlework! I am even looking forward to the challenge of re-learning how to live on one income and keeping a frugal household budget.

I have to think this is going to be a marker in the timeline of my life. There was childhood and pre-marriage, marriage pre-children, the years of raising our family, and now, a new chapter. One I hope to share with a return to blogging and sharing with friends and family.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 2 in Aruba: Monday, June 22nd

We slept in, much later than we expected. Although we intended on keeping our early to bed, early to rise routine, I turned my 7:30a alarm off and suddenly it was 11:30a! We spent the early afternoon exploring a bit of the island, went down several dirt roads along the coast and drove along the water's edge for quite a while.

In spots the coast was rocky and wild, big surf and carved weathered beach. In one place the beach was ALL coral pieces instead of sand, bleached white by the sun. It was very musical stepping down closer to the water it sounded like chimes as DearHusband walked down ahead of me. Footing was tricky as the fingers of coral tended to roll and shift as we stepped on them. It was very charming, almost a magical sound.

We went to the famed California lighthouse, nice view from there. There was an expensive restaurant up there, along with a vendor selling shaved ice. Much welcome shaved ice. It was hot!

The scenery wasn't what we were expecting. Not much vegetation other than cactus, some of which were pretty impressive! I guess we were expecting a tropical island but found ourselves instead on a desert island. It seemed incongruous to us to be loooking at a beautiful coastline and a great blue ocean, in the same lines as we saw in Hawaii, to turn 180 degrees and see nothing but sand and cactus in the lines of Arizona. Took us awhile to get used to it. That and the wind, not a breeze, but a hot wind that blew constantly. I can see why they warn you about not getting sunburned as you don't realize how hot the sun is with the constant wind blowing to cool you off. It was refreshing--would be unbearable without it!
Today I saw my first pelican in the wild. Maybe it was a small one, but I thought they were bigger. We watched it feed, diving all the way into the water then paddling around for a bit before taking off to fly for a short time before diving again. It was impressive. We also saw lots of lizards with blue spots. Wild and very skittish, very hard to get close enough to take a good picture. The ones I did get were too grainy when cropped to show any detail of their spots.
Then we made a trip to the grocery store to pick up some breakfast, lunch and snack foods. After last night's dinner, we knew we'd need to economize on breakfasts and lunches. We were starving, not having had breakfast before we started out exploring so we stopped at a Wendy's before going to the store. The cost was very close to the same price as at home, only priced in Dutch Guilders. We also saw alot of other American restaurants: Pizza Hut, Tony Roma's Benihana, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, and Subway, the last two being on the premises of this resort, along with a Baskin Robbins.
Dinner was more than a bit of a disapoinment. We went to the much touted, Driftwood Restaurant, which the chef himself is said to catch the special of the day. The service was terrible, the food overpriced and overcooked and worst of all, after spending more than $25 USD roundtrip on a taxi, so we could both enjoy rum cocktails, the drinks were lacking much rum and horribly overpriced. Unfortunately for them, Texas de Brazil is a lot to live up to in both first class wait staff and five star cuisine!
Impressive cactus! See the ocean at the left of the picture? This was just yards from the coast.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Day 1 in Aruba: Sunday, June 21st, Father's Day

After leaving at 4p Saturday for SeaTac, we arrived in Aruba shortly after 1p on Sunday (20 hours of travel and waiting in airports), rented a car and found our way to Playa Linda in Orenjestad. It is a cute little condo. 1 bedroom with a single daybed/couch and a double sized sleeper sofa in the kitchen/dining room.
Inside views:

Outside views:

We quickly unpacked and went for a long walk on the beach. It felt good to wade into the warm ocean water, it is a beautiful turquoise blue. Even the sand is different. It is white and powdery soft.

Look SisterA, Mrs Toes in the white sands of Aruba!

This is a view of the condo from down the beach a ways. It's shaped like the pyramids in Mexico, each balcony has a full view without being blocked by a balcony above your head.

Although we were really tired after our overnight flight across country to New York, then another flight down to the Caribbean , We didn’t want to waste a moment of sunshine, as our trips to Hawaii has taught us that it gets dark much, much earlier than our 11pm at this time of year! Upstairs to the 3rd floor to change, then back to lounge poolside. Nineteen months after our last swim (Maui), we enjoyed a little bit of swimming before our lack of regular meals began to register. Mostly because it was close by and we were starving, and the fact that there was a line, which told us it was probably worth a bit of a wait, we went across the street for dinner at Texas deBrazil. An excellent decision! I will tell more later…
A couple shots of the pool area:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Here we go...

Leave SeaTac 9:58p on JetBlue. Great airline! I would fly them again in a heartbeat! In fact, when we fly again, they’ll be the first airline I check for! We paid for extra legroom but even those seats available for less money seemed pretty roomy! All you can eat refreshments, after making the usual trip down the aisle offering beverages and snack items, the stewards put a nice display out on the galley counter and encourage you to help yourself! Each seat has it’s own TV, they encourage you to use your own earplugs or headset, no need to buy headsets that only work on a specific airline, oh and did I mention plenty of legroom! Very important for a claustrophobic like myself!

Our first glimpses of Aruba

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Surprise! An Early Father's Day Outing

We did it! We surprised him! The kids and I planned an early Father's Day outing at the Woodland Park Zoo and we actualy pulled off the surprise without DearHusband guessing what was up! Until we got off at the zoo exit off of I-5, he thought we were heading to Auburn to spend the day at DaughterS's and then to enjoy a spaghetti dinner!

Here's a couple of photos of our outing:

After weeks of sunshine, this day was cool and cloudy. Even SonMySon gave up and used an old sweatshirt found in the trunk of his sister's car.
Zebra's are my favorite animal at the zoo. I almost wore the sterling silver zebra earrings I got at the Denver Zoo but was afraid it might offer a hint as to our destination!
DaughterS posed on a boulder overlooking the zebra viewing area.

All in all is was a wonderful outing. We wrapped up the day with a delicious spaghetti dinner before our long drive home. Hope you had a Happy Father's Day, Lover. One week early.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lord, hear our prayer, ease our hearts

I normally try to only post about things that bring me joy or make me laugh. But today I feel I must share a tragic event.

Today, DearHusband, DaughterA and I did something we and close to a hundred other people should never, ever have to do.

We attended the memorial service for a former teammate of my daughters', a bubbly, sparkly and joyful young woman whom my husband enjoyed coaching, and we had the privilege of sharing ten years of our life with when it revolved around tournament softball.

Chrystal Anne Hansen, age 22, engaged to be married and six weeks pregnant was killed in a car accident, only 3 minutes from her home, by a drunk driver who blew through a red light and t-boned her in an intersection with such force that it pushed her car through the intersection and into the roadside ditch. Her fiancee later suffered a brain aneurysm. The drunk who committed double-murder with a ton of moving metal, walked away without a scratch.

If so moved, you can read the newspapers articles here.

The service was a wonderful gathering of friends and family, and I feel we were again privileged to be in the company of those who loved her, to listen as they shared stories of laughter and adventures enjoyed by Chrystal. I thanked her father for having the service and for giving us the opportunity to share in the obvious love that abounded in the room full of people.

It must be true, that God gives you the strength when you need it. I don't know how her parents were able to be there, dry eyed and calm, actually giving comfort to others as well as, hopefully, gaining comfort from those around them.

Her father said something, while we stood near the table that held lovingly made posters and collages of photos taken throughout Chrystal's life, that continues to reduce me to tears each time I think of it. It a quiet voice, he said to my husband, "I was going to be a Grandpa..."

All I can say of the man who killed Chrystal and her unborn child, injured her beloved and forever changed the lives of their families, May God have mercy on his soul. Because, believe me I certainly would not, do not, will not ever. In my humble opinion, I believe we should bring back public floggings for people who deliberately get behind the wheel after drinking and cause the death of another person. It wasn't an accident that he drank and drove, you cannot accidentally get behind the wheel while impaired. It was a conscious choice he made, and now others will continue to suffer for it. The current slap on the wrist these criminals get isn't sufficient. They should be flogged, and perhaps, if they survive the shock and injury of having the flesh stripped from their backs, the memory of the pain and humiliation will keep them from drinking and driving again.

Please forgive me if I sound hateful, if my words injure you, my innocent readers, but justice needs to be served and examples set.

An example DearHusband and I have set for our children, friends and family is a zero tolerance for alcohol consumption in relation to the privilege of driving motor vehicles. Knowing the alcohol impairs judgement, we have removed the danger of inaccurately judging our level of impairment by making it a HARD AND FAST RULE, if we have even so much as a sip of alcohol, we do not get behind the wheel! Is that an inconvenience? You bet it is! It means only one of us can imbibe when we are out to dinner by ourselves, as we live too far out into the county to take a cab. But let me tell you, I and my beloved, will never take the chance of injuring ourselves, or worse yet, someone else by a poor decision that might forever change the lives of those we come in contact with.

I know this is, what some may think, an extreme attitude, but once again, a drunk driver has taken a life, two lives actually this time, and I hope my children will remember this event and our family rule when they are out for the evening and choose to have a drink. Honor the memories they have of Chrystal, remember the terrible impact on the lives of all who knew her, step up and be responsible for their own decisions, and put the car keys away when the alcoholic beverages come out.

I pray God give comfort and strength to the families and friends of Chrystal, may they find comfort in shared memories, may time ease the pain of separation, and the promise of seeing her again, restored and in heaven give us peace.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We didn't get a picture...

Yesterday, we continued to work on the pond along the front walkway and decided we needed some more rocks to set on the ledge that runs along the inside of the pond. So off to the stone landscaping place. In search of the perfect size and just the right color to match the small boulders that create the small waterfall.

After turning off of our street, we head out on a little wooded roaded that winds to the state highway. We come upon a van stopped in our lane. Before we get too close, we can see under the van that something brown was in the middle of the lane, in front of the van. We thought, oh no, he's hit something. But no, they didn't. A doe and her very young fawn had jumped out onto the road and when the fawn saw the approaching van, instinct took over and he dropped down as flat as he could, thinking he was hiding. Unfortunately, there's not alot of cover in the middle of an asphalt road. The man driving the van didn't know what to do, he didn't want to just drive around and away fearing that it was injured or that someone else might come along and hit it.

Having raised an orphaned fawn when I was a child and living on a ranch in the middle of 40 acres, I knew that he wasn't injured, only doing as Mother Nature dictated and was "hiding from predators" by not moving and letting the spots on his coat serve as a camoflague so he would blend into the underbrush. I knew it could be a long time before he moved, and might not until his mama came back to nudge him. I decided to pick him up and move him to the edge of the ditch in hopes that he would bound off, but he didn't, he just continued to stay frozen. While I backed off, the two young teen girls from the van decided they wanted to hold him, too and get pictures on their phones. DearHusband let them finish, urging them to do it quickly, then he took the fawn away from the girls and waded across the ditch and put the fawn on the woods side of the ditch and this time, he bounded away and in a flash, we couldn't see him anymore. I am sure his mama was close by, as he had bleated for her when I first picked him up. I've watched deer before, they cross this road frequently, and I've seen the does wait in the edge of the foliage and call to the fawns to encourage them to jump the ditch.

I was a nice brush with our local wildlife that ended with an experience those girls will never forget. I won't either, as spotting our local deer is one of the things we enjoy about living out in the county!

We are going to finish the pond area today. I want to finish the rockery and get the plants back into the ground, add the new ones we purchased and get some mulch down in hopes of choking out some of the pernicious weeds. I will post pictures of the project, as soon as I have the final product ready to photograph!

It's a beautiful Sunday morning, I have enjoyed a cup of coffee while perched on a huge pile of pillows in the corner of the couch so I can can see the pond and the bird feeders. I have been enjoying the song of the goldfinches at the thistle feeder and have been thoroughly entertained by the hummingbirds chasing each other away from the feeder on the front porch next to the hanging baskets of red petunias. Time to get outside myself and get busy!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

The biggest joys in my life have been the blessing of our three children.

To our children I say Thank You. You gave my life purpose and direction, and brought us both laughter and tears!

My life has truly been blessed with all I wished for.

I have experienced the deep contentment of holding my newborn babes at my breast while falling ever more deeply in love with each of you while gazing into your bright and wondering new eyes. I have experienced the wonderful ups and downs of everyday life, the exhaustion of having three kids under age 5, of seeming to never again have an unbroken night of sleep.

Then to the hustle and bustle of preschool and gymnastics, ballet, kindergarden and elementry school, choir and music concerts, grade school and middle school, plays and talent shows, basketball, volleyball, wrestling, and from tball to baseball and tournament softball , and tae kwon do, high school with all it's dramas of teenage life, now college and higher education, summer jobs to full time jobs.

Now, we step back as you all step forward into life.

These past twenty two years have gone by so quickly, each phase quietly sliding into the next almost without me realizing it was happening.

Now I marvel at the responsible young adults you have each become and we continue to be blessed by witnessing your steps into adulthood, to see your lives open with possibilities before you and watch you each forge your seperate paths into life. It is an exciting time for all of you.

Again, today, I say a hearfelt prayer of thanks. I have thanked God for each of you everyday of the past and will continue to throughout the future.

To all my sisters, both those born into my life and those whose threads of life have become part of the tapestry of mine, I wish for you all the joys of motherhood and wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mama always said, "Pretty is as pretty does"

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. --Audrey Hepburn

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Arrives

Although we've had snow flurries at least once a week for the past month, and yesterday dawned cold and frosty, I heard my first hummingbird of the year!

This morning the feeders went up, and within 5 minutes they were being visited by my favorite garden dignitaries, the Hummingbirds!

In the front of the house, I have one feeder hanging from the eaves in front of the porch, mid-May this one will be replaced by a hanging basket of mixed flowers, that has to include purple petunias.

In the backyard, I have one feeder outside the kitchen window and one in front of my bedroom window. I cannot wait to get my window boxes planted. Hurry up warmer weather!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Here's to the Birthday Boy

There are so many things I want for you,
as many wishes in my heart
as I watch you grow into your own life...
I wish you a world of adventure and experience--
and also the serenity
that comes from listening to your inner voice
as the world rushes around you...
I wish you the strength
to face challanges with confidence-
along with the wisdom
to choose your battles carefull..
I wish you the satisfaction
of seeing your goals achieved
and also the true contentment
that is born of simple things--
work well-done,
friends well-loved,
moments caught and cherished.
And my greatest wish is that
you will always rememer
how much
you are loved--
for you are a good and caring person...
A man we are proud
to have for a Son!
Happy 18th Birthday, SonMySon!!!
As you can see from the pictures below, my youngest babe is no longer a little boy.
He's been taller than me for a couple of years now, so I am getting used to looking up to him.
Now I look up to him in more ways than one.
I am very proud of him. This is just one of the reasons.

Breaking 2 boards simultaneously.
I was pretty impressed with how high he jumped. Shoulder height to the board holders standing on chairs! and landed on his feet, nimble and catlike!

Black Belt ceremony.
December 2008
SonMySon, black belt and TaeKwonDo instructor. Good work, Son! I hope your eighteenth birthday was a memorable for you as it was for me. Of course, you are looking ahead, I spent the day looking back over your childhood.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday

This is going to be my first posting to Works For Me Wednesday now hosted over at We are THAT Family .

Making homemade soup from leftovers, this Works For Me.

Shortly after my eldest daughter moved away from home, she brought it to my attention that she didn’t know much beyond the very basics of cooking. She is an excellent baker, but the day to day cooking wasn’t something she was used to.

I felt like I had failed her, my Mama taught me so much, including cooking. I was upset with myself for not properly preparing her for life away from home.

After giving it much thought, I realized that I could cut myself a little slack. You see, both my daughters started playing highly competitive tournament softball early in middle school. As athlete scholars with very good grades, they were either in class, at practice, doing homework or asleep. Our weekends March through August, were dedicated to traveling to and from softball tournaments. After high school, they went to work fulltime during the day, and attended our local college at night. Not much free time in there to spend on domestic duties. I felt they would have the rest of their lives for domestic chores, but they were only student athletes for a short time in their lives.

One of the first things DaughterS remarked about not knowing how to make was homemade soup. As a staple meal in our family, I was surprised that although I’m sure she watched me make it a million times, she didn’t know where to start.The first step in making delicious homemade soup is also the same rule as living frugally, something we did, living on one income for 13 years, so I could be a stay-at-home-mom.

Step #1: Waste Not Want Not. Don’t waste food. Save everything for soup.Pan drippings? Scrap out of the pan and cool in the fridge, de-fat and into the stock pot in the freezer. There’s a lot of flavor in that lone tablespoon of pan drippings, well worth the effort. Left over gravy? Mashed potatoes? Last bite of macaroni and cheese no one has room for? Last few teaspoons of corn? A leftover burger patty no one wants? One last half slice of meatloaf? Crumble ‘em up and add to the stock pot in freezer! Even spaghetti sauce.

In my freezer you’ll find square plastic freezer containers, one for beef and one for poultry. I feed them generously, it’s guilt free. Why put leftovers into the fridge and let them grow fur before throwing them out, when they can go straight into the stock pot and nourish the family once again?

Step #2: Make homemade stock, it is very inexpensive to make, using the parts of the chicken we don’t normally serve. To make chicken stock for use in soups, I boil the bones and skin from the rotissaire chickens, throw in the necks, backs, wings and giblets from the whole fryers I cut up. Add whatever fresh veggies I have on hand, carrots, celery, onions-including the yellow papery skins, which will give the stock a lovely golden hue, butt ends snapped off of asparagus, woody parts of broccoli. I’ve taken to saving and freezing in a gallon ziplock baggie all the parings from fresh vegetables, such as carrot tops, onion trimmings, rind from winter squash that I’ve cut up raw for roasting, apple cores, skins from sweet potatoes, everything I can think of, till I’m ready to make a batch of veggie stock. Cover completely with water and boil down or use a pressure cooker to shorten the time it takes till the veggies are limp and the bones falling apart. Strain and then I freeze in 1 quart containers for later use.

Not sure a potpourri of leftovers will taste good together? Amazingly the flavors all blend together wonderfully, I may season with Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, or Spike Seasoning, add dried sweet basil, or an Italian herb blend or Lemon Herb Seasoning. Sometimes I’ll add a can of tomato sauce or I have even used ketchup in a pinch.
Which reminds me, when you cannot get another drop of ketchup out of the bottle, add a little water and shake, drain into stock pot.
For the stronger flavor of beef stock, I’ll add a couple of dashes of Whorchestershire Sauce. A1 Steak Sauce adds a very hearty, tangy flavor.

If I brown some hamburger, I drain the meat by propping one side of the pan on a small ramikin dish, when the meat drains, I siphon off all the juice with a turkey baster, let cool to seperate the fat and into the beef stockpot in the freezer it goes!
When short on leftover veggies, I’ll sometimes add canned veggies, without draining. Except for beans, I always rinse canned beans in a strainer before adding to the soup.

I will usually add some starch or carbohydrates to the mix, too, in the form of rice or pasta of some shape. To thicken to a more stew like consistency, add instant mashed potatoes. You can also add a can of condensed milk to make a ‘cream soup’.

Think of this as a primer, take it and run with it, make it your own.

Homemade soup from leftovers, without a recipe. It Works For Me!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Am I the only one who likes clowns?

When I was expecting our first child and shopping for nursery themes, I knew I wanted white embroidered eyelet and I wanted to use bright primary colors, red, blue, yellow and green, too (yes, I know green isn't primary, but it is a good compliment to the others). The only nursery theme I found that met the requisite primary colors was a juggling clown. I had always associated clowns with cheery fun, lightheartness, and playful. Years later, I find out all my sisters think them scary and sinister, my kids, too. I'm guessing DaughterS won't be asking to use her own cribset should the day ever come. Anyway...

Last weekend SisterG told a clown joke that even made me laugh.

A little boy and a clown carrying a chainsaw walk into the woods. The little boy looks around and says to the clown, "Man, these woods are really creepy!" The clown replies, "Tell me about it, I have to walk out of here alone!"

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Roadtrip to Mt Baker

Valentine's Day weekend: rest, relaxation, fireplace and steam shower, and a sightseeing day trip. All without leaving the county.
We ran away for the weekend. Ran all the way to Lynden.
Stop laughing!

The kids got the biggest belly laugh when we bought into a timeshare whose flagship resort is in Lynden, where DearHusband works. The literature for the timeshare touts how close it is to the beach, only a short half hour trip to Birch Bay! They still think that's funny as all get out! Buy a timeshare for the city you work in so you can visit to bay you live on.
Okay, maybe it is funny.
We enjoyed Friday and Saturday nights away from the house. While DearHusband worked Saturday, I enjoyed a Valentine's Day of Pampering including a massage and a facial.

Sunday dawned bright and sunny. We left Lynden to take a Sunday afternoon drive and look for eagles. All told, we saw 8 eagles, including 4 in one tree with a nest. We saw one on the ground in a field not far from the road. We saw other nests, one with a eaglet visible.
We eventually ended up on Highway 9, winding our way slowly southward till we came to a crossroad. We headed east and ended up at the ski area at the top of Mount Baker. It was a beautiful drive. A leisurely drive in the sunshine, listening to good music and enjoying each other's company.
We decided to head to the mountain, when we realized that even though we've lived in the county for 22 years, we've never driven up to the mountain. Here's a couple of shots I snapped on my cellphone.

A little bit of snow along the highway up on Mt Baker

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Magic of a Full Moon

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, crisp and clear. The high wispy clouds moved in during the afternoon and it seemed most cloudy. I'd heard they are predicting snow Monday night and judging from the snap in the air, they might be right.

Last night DearHusband and I enjoyed our hot tub for the first time in months. After dashing to the hot tub in the cold crisp air and getting settled in and relaxing, I glanced up and the full moon was spectacular. I've seen pictures of the moon ringed by clouds but had never before seen it live and in person, so to speak. Bright enough to read by, in sharp focus, a large circle of clear sky ringed by cloudy sky. It looked like the moon had burned a perfect circle of clear sky edged in clouds. A lunar corona.

The neighborhood was quiet, and kids were away, the moon was bright and we were cocooned in steam. We always ask ourselves, why did we go so long without using our spa?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Day of Note and It's A Small World After All

Happy Anniversary to me! Today marked my eighth anniversary of being a branch office administrator for a national investment brokerage (my how time flies when you are having fun). That makes this the absolutely longest position I’ve ever held other than Wife (24-½ years) and Mother (22 years) .

Today is also the day I can officially hang up my chauffeur’s cap, as our youngest is now a fully licensed driver! Woo Hoo! I now get to replace running here and there to just worrying while he goes here and there! Life is a trade-off.

Another good note on the day….

Tonight, SonMySon dropped me off at the local coffee shop on his way to Tae Kwon Do (as opposed to the usual: me dropping him off and then going to the coffee shop to be comfortable while his daily class was in session). As I made my way to the comfortable leather couch in front of the fireplace at the coffee shop, I spied the same two ladies that I’ve seen the previous two Thursday evenings. We exchanged smiles as the pretty lady with the dark hair teasingly remarked that I was late! While waiting for my hot cocoa to arrive, I had my ‘puter on the fireplace hearth to the side of me, making it visible to others, when this same lady delightedly remarked that she recognized the header on the blog page I was reading: Works For Me Wednesday( And she challenged me to find her post. As it turns out, I’ve been reading her blog,
for several months now! It was hard to tell who was most pleased, she to find out she has a regular reader, or me to meet a famous blogger! I never would have imagined that one of the writers I enjoy lives in my little corner of the world!

A funny note tonight…

This is what happens when you fall asleep sitting up with your dinner plate on your lap. Do you think 2 PE classes, an hour and a half at Tae Kwon Do working out in anticipation of taking his Instructor’s Belt Test tomorrow night, a full day of school and the stress of taking his driver’s test might have taken a toll today? He didn’t even wake up when Brindle walked all over him, butted him in the face trying to wake him and finally settled on finishing his dinner for him. Sweet dreams, SonMySon.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year's Day

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.~Martin Luther

A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I've played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.~Edgar Guest

Another fresh New Year is here...
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest...
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs! ~ William Arthur Ward

A new year, a new beginning.

A fresh start is supposed to begin January 1. I am finding the new start began the day my mama left us to continue her eternal journey. Just as life is measured mile markers such as “when I was in school”, “before I was married”, “before we had kids”, I am now finding time measured as “it was the week before Mama died’ or “in the six weeks since Mama died”.

We gathered together last night, resolutely determined to keep our bonds of family, to honor Mama’s memory by continuing our traditions. Determined to stay united as friends and we enjoyed each other’s company, shared some laughs, and a few teary moments. Some us came out ahead after a couple of hours of poker, some of us found their pockets lightened of their $5 buy in!

I reveled in the noise and the confusion of having a house full of 18 people, Mama would have loved it. All the activity, all the conversations. Seeing the cousins interact with each other, as well as the sibling dynamics, too.

We sorely missed those not with us, by will or circumstance. We welcomed a new girlfriend into the mix, a sure sign that my youngest has seen the last year of childhood, as he enters the last years of his teenager status. Our family mix is changing, ever growing. We no longer have babes in arms or toddlers under foot. The youngest is in school fulltime and the oldest has graduated college.

One thing I know for sure, this well be a year a change, many ways unwilling change. In other aspects, conscious change as we all cope with the loss of our Mother, learn how to help our Father navigate the waters of “going on”. I hope we will all find our ways, support each other when we stumble, continue to grow and learn and knit closer to each other. Please, let not inertia and the daily routine let us drift apart.