Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In their honor

Your cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.

You talk trash about your 'buddies' that aren't with you.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.

You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He patrols the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.

You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.

You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.

Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.

You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.

You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.

You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.

You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.

You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.

You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.

You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.

You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.

You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told even if it puts his life in danger.

You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.

You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He tries to sleep but gets woken by mortars and helicopters all night long.

This was a "chain letter" of sorts sent to me but it really got me thinking about the bravery and selflessness our soldiers show...every day. It's easy at times (too easy for me I confess) to complain about things that just seem so trivial when compared to the plight of our troops.

I may not believe in or support this war (or any for that matter), but I do support our soldiers. Whether they are young or old, men or women, first timers or re-enlisted, their bravery simply stuns me. That they willingly go to the lengths they do to protect our freedom or to create it for others is nothing less than amazing.

In their honor, I salute, and pray today.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I really love this, for what reason I'm not sure?


(can anybody help me figure out how to make this look like the video screen instead of just the ugly string of letters that is the link?)

I learned today that a dear friend's mother died recently. So terribly sad. Whenever life ends, there is tremendous confusion. I feel as though I've been put into suspended animation, a bit like this ad which I saw today for the first time.

I know that I've walked this path, but my path is different from anyone else's. It's easy to feel that we can give advice and painfull to know that our advice will not help. My heart breaks and heals all at the same time.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I recently read a sad story about a dog from the perspective of a six-year-old boy. Our family has shared our home with more than one loyal and lovable member of the canine persuasion, so the story caught my attention more than most.

It told about the family dog that had cancer and had to be euthanized. The father and mother thought their son could learn something from the experience. As the dog slowly drifted away, the little boy seemed to accept the dog's transition without any difficulty or confusion. The family sat together for a while after the dog's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. The young son already had it figured out, and announced, "I know why."

His explanation was stunning in its depth and simplicity. He said: "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life—like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right? Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
We can learn a lot from dogs. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal anyone has ever made.

The veterinarian who cared for this dear family pet, and so many others, offered some other lessons that dogs can teach us: (There are 65 million dogs in the United States.)

1. When loved ones come home, always run to greet them. Dogs treat us like celebrities when we come home. There's nothing wrong with showing people that we care about them.
2. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. On warm days, there's nothing wrong with stopping to lie on your back on the grass. I think of Richard Gere's character in the movie Pretty Woman. He was so busy working—doing big business deals—that he never stopped to enjoy walking barefoot in green grass until Julia Roberts showed him.
3. Take naps. Many of us are on overload, so in life you have to know when to throttle up and throttle down. If you can't take a nap, at least take a break. It will improve your disposition.
4. Run, romp, and play daily. If you have a chance to have fun, go for it. Life presents plenty of difficult times, and we all need a break every now and then. My motto: work hard and play hard. 5. Let people touch you. Don't be aloof. Allow people to get close to you.
6. Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. Just make sure your bark isn't as bad as your bite. It's okay to warn people that you're upset or even angry, but keep your temper in check.
7. When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. Happiness is the American way. After all, the Declaration of Independence says we are endowed "with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." So we have a right to be happy!
8. Delight in the simple joy of a long walk. Exercise is always good. I've been doing it all my life. It just makes me feel better, gives me energy to work more productively and, I hope, live longer. My philosophy is: Exercise doesn't take time; it makes time.
9. Be loyal. In a recent column about loyalty, I wrote that one of the first qualities that I look for in both employees and friends is loyalty. And my friends know they can expect my loyalty in return.
10. If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it. I'm constantly asked what the secret of success is, and persistence is at the top of the list. When you study truly successful people, you'll see that they have made plenty of mistakes, but when they were knocked down, they kept getting up ... and up ... and up.
11. When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. People remember two things in life—who kicked them when they were down, and who helped them on the way up.

Moral: My goal is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just SO proud

I am just so proud. Of all of us. We've been waiting and fighting the good fight for almost two years (or eight, depending on how you look at it). And last night we finally got our chance to stand up and make it all count. Make it add up. Make it matter!

And we did it. This amazing thing of starting a change. I think of it as a quiet revolution. And I think there's more to come. I love that Obama has united and ignited our passions and has brought belief and hope back to us. It is a marvelous feeling.

And I am just SO proud.

Oh yeah, and on another note...K4 - after a hard fought campaign of her own was elected President of her 3rd grade class yesterday. I can hardly stop smiling.

November 4th, 2008 - a day that will go down in history!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

So exciting

It's a day of unbelievable excitement and anticipation. I've been covered in goosebumps for a good share of the day already. I won't get to vote until later tonite and am simply chomping at the bit.

K1 called to tell me he did vote - and to my great pleasure he shared his choice with me. I was worried, but he made (in my opinion) the right (and only) choice!

Hooray for small (and LARGE) victories!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

By the rules

I've always been a person who lives by the rules. Mostly anyway. I believe in the 10 commandments, the Golden Rule, and yes, some rules ARE made to be broken.

I found the following Rules for Life recently and thought they were worth sharing:

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life. Do all you can to create a tranquil, harmonious home.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Call your mother.
20. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

All true. # 19 made me cry though because even now, more than three years later, I still wish I could call my mother sometimes.

I found another list too and #1 really made me chuckle. So I have to post this too because one of MY rules is everything balances out...eventually.

1. Never give yourself a haircut after three margaritas.
2. You need only two tools: WD-40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40. If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
3. The five most essential words for a healthy, vital relationship are, "I apologize" and "you are right."
4. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
5. Never pass up an opportunity to pee.
6. If he/she says that you are too good for him/her - believe them.
7. Learn to pick your battles; Ask yourself, "Will this matter one year from now? How about one month? One week? One day?"
8. When you make a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.
9. If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!
10. Living well really is the best revenge. Being miserable because of a bad or former relationship just might mean that the other person was right about you.
11. Work is good, but it's not that important. Money is nice, but you can't take it, or anything else, with you. Statistics show most people don't live to spend all they saved; Some die even before they retire. Anything we have isn't really ours; we just borrow it while we're here... even our kids.
12. Be really good to your family and/or friends. You never know when you are going to need them to empty your bedpan.
13. If you are going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it,you may as well laugh about it now.

There, balanced.

Tears + laughter = good.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

He's OK

I am full of joy tonite. A pepeated topic this week. My boy (K3) is OK. But today was big (and little) in a few ways.

I got a call around 12:30 at work today from K1, "I have to leave work right now to take K3 to the emergency room"


The school nurse called and he was "CUT" at school.


And WHY were you called instead of me (not that he isn't fully capable of handling ANY emergency but for CHRIST'S SAKE, I am the emergency contact on every piece of paper ever filled in for this child)?

Well...the school nurse called and said he wanted ME to pick him up to take im to the hospital.


So...later...much later and several phone calls later...I learn that a classmate inadvertantly cut him with a pair of scissors (did any pair of scissors YOU ever used in middle school ever cut ANYTHING?!) and he has a cut on his hand that probably requires stitches...

OK...a few calls more and it's not stiches but glue he needs and I'm feeling better. Kind of. I'm still wondering WHY he wanted to call his Dad and not me to take care of him. I found out tonight - thankfully with a nice bottle of wine - that he was worried about ME. He did not want ME to be upset. He did not want to see me CRY.


I AM an emotional mother, there's no doubt of that. And my boy is growing into a wonderfully responsible and thoughtful young man. BUT I AM HIS MOTHER and I SHOULD TAKE CARE OF HIM. ANd I don't want him to worry that I am not able to take care of emergencies without tears.

I feel like I need a good cry...he's growing up. Very nicely, thank you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Yes - it's October 29th and we have our first snow day of the season. Schools are closed throughout our region. Joy indeed!

Naturally, the kids are beside themselves with excitement and have already been outside x-c skiing (sort of, since it's a really wet clumpy snow) and snow shoe-ing. This afternoon we'll attempt a snowman, or maybe a snow PUMPKIN!

Jeesh, we haven't even had Halloween yet, let alone Thanksgiving and already K4 is asking "when are we getting our Christmas tree?"...I don't have the heart to tell them that if the snow days keep coming at this pace, they'll be going to school in July...

Friday, October 24, 2008


Next week is the week I participate in the 5x5 project and I am excited! I have always loved photography and almost always felt that I don't use my camera nearly enough.

I've also always known that I am blessed beyond belief and that my world is full of amazing and beautiful people, places and things that bring me great joy. I am looking forward to documenting some of those thing in this project.

Now seems a particularly good time to focus on the things that bring me joy and happiness since my company laid of about 25% of our employees this week. Times are tough and I see no relief in sight. And while I'm thankful that I am still employed, I am afraid for my friends who were let go. They are amazingly talented people and will be OK I'm sure...but what an awful time to be seeking employment. I also admit I am afraid for what the future holds for my company.

So in the week ahead and on I will focus on the good. Focus on the joy and try to share that with as many as I can. To have joy one must share it.(Lord Byron)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thank You

Thank you Lord, for letting Finn go home yesterday. Thank you for the healing hands that touched him and for his mother's extraordinary strength, patience and humour in staying by his side all that time and never uttering one word of discontent (other than "well I guess we'll have to get him a set of his own Marvel Dinosaurs since he loves the one in the hospital play room SO much!"). He is home now and hopefully fully on his way to total health once again!

Thank you for the glorious fall day yesterday. Both K3 & K4 had fun planned with friends and that always makes their weekend more complete. K4 went to a birthday party (having received her invitation at 7:00pm the night before (WTF?) and happily we were able to find JUST what she wanted to give her friend in a local store the morning of and she happily reported "It was S's FAVORITE present of them all! She had to play with them right away!"

Thank you for letting us (me) find K3's cell phone... Yeah, here's a good one...after his football fun with his friends went to another house to jump on their trampoline. Apparently they decided it would be cool to put K3's cell phone on the tramp and see how high they could bounce it. Well, let me tell you...they bounce high and fly far!

When I arrived two of the five were searching on hands and knees in the grass (the other three - including the instigator - were still happily bouncing) and K3 reluctantly explained the situation. I helped them search (yes, he had the ringer on "vibrate" to add extra challenge to the search) for about 20 minutes and was about to give up, get in the car and write his phone off as lost. Instead, I marched to the trampoline and told the other three to evacuate and help with the search until we phone the phone since they were all involved in it's disappearance. Finally, after about another 20 minutes of crawling I did find the phone - it had flown over 20 feet in the air, over a split rail fence and landed in a brushy, abandoned garden area. It was undamaged and I do believe a lesson or two was learned.

Thank you for good company. Our fine friend J is here with us for another week and not only is he lots of fun to have around, he is a perfect guest (by my estimation) in that he doesn't mind that my house is not always - in fact, not often - immaculate, he eats what's put on the table and he shares with me his stories of when his children were the same ages as ours and gives proof that all can survive!

For these things and many more, I say Thank You.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I could cry

I am so so sad on several levels tonite...just heard my sweet nephew (gosling) is in hospital with double pneumonia! Poor little bug and his Mama to boot. I can not imagine anything worse than to have your child at the mercy of the medicines and machines and the mysteries of today's hopitals. I can imagine the fear that may be cycling through them tonight in a bed that is neither familiar nor comfortable, a room that is cold and noisy. I pray that the Drs and Nurses are knowledgeable and caring and that God is looking over their shoulders and guiding their decisions and their hands. Get better soon little gosling.

I'm also sad because tonight I had the extreme displeasure (can I turn this in to a positive experience? - Dear God, I'm trying) of helping K3 with yet another "long term project" whose deadline is tomorrow...Dear Lord help me find a way to help this child when he needs it, when, despite all urging, he needs to do the project at the last minute. I kep telling myself that sixth graders are not born with excellent or even adequate time or project management skills and that for (probably) years to come we will be faced with the debts of a procrastinator.

I wish I could close the gap between the skills I have learned and those he needs. I wish I could be and feel more helpful, even in the face of his ranting "YOU'RE NOT HELPING ME!!!" (translation: "why won't you just tell me what to write?"). I wish we could find a common language to help each other in these homework crisis situations.

Any and all advice from the world is welcome.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Copy cat

I am taking inspiration - once again - from my lovelly sister. I saw a link on her blog to the 5x5 project and curious as I am...had to check it out. It's a cool and creative project where the creator has "named" several projects and is soliciting contributors.

I've volunteered to participate in the project called "Joy". I am particularly grateful for finding this opportunity to express...and am looking forward to seeing, finding and sharing the things that bring me JOY.

Though I know I am full of it (YES...JOY!)...sometimes I really feel connected to "not seeing the forest for the trees" so again...gratitude. And joy!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


So I had to drag my fanny the past two days because I really procrastinated this week. I've made a fitness challenge with my beloved sista (Mama Goose) to exercise at least 20 minutes three time a week between now and Thanksgiving. Each of us would like to loose some weight since we're getting together with the FAMILY for the holiday, which is alsways a great incentive.

Unfortunately I really dragged my feet this week and therefore had to drag my @$$ this weekend to get my three days in. But I did. I've learned my lesson and also learned that what I try to teach my kids (K3, the sixth grader notified me on Friday of some "special" supplies he needed for a science project that is due on Monday - yeah, THIS Monday!) I must model myself.

Sigh...for some of us the lessons have to be learned, and learned, and re-learned. What's up with that?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Trying too hard?

OK - so I guess I've figured out I'm trying to hard to be creative. I have wanted something marvelous to just spring to mind for me to post and it just ain't happening, so I'll focus for a while on consistency instead of creativity.

For many years I've attempted to journal consistently and have never succeeded for more than a few months at a time. Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most, right. So I'll be trying to examine the everyday little things that happen in my world and just note them. Here's a good place.

Here IS a good place. I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Adirondacks and this is truly the most beautiful time of the year here. It was just this past week that our foliage "peaked" and it was brilliant indeed. But overnight, the brilliant reds and flame oranges and golden yellows faded to a more muted beauty. It's all so fleeting. I have to discipline myself to see it and to enjoy it and to record it now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

If no creative juices flow...just vent.

Well, a month has passed and I don't feel any closer to my "creative" brain. For whatever reason I keep hoping that the thought of blogging will somehow bring me back in touch with the feeling that I am creative, I can organize my thoughts into some (at least semi) intelligent content and write in a meaningful way. Geez, when I put it like that, and see that I've posted abolutely NOTHING in over a month I feel like a real lost cause. I know I'm not (a lost cause) so I guess maybe I just need to put any old thoughts down here and see what happens.

So here's my rant for the day - I've been a card holder with a certain credit institution for 22 years and have used the card just enough to have it memorized. Despite K1's periodic urgings to burn the card I have kept it because I think that the longevity of my ownership and connection with this card says something about stability (whacked, I know).

Well, a week of so ago I get a NEW CARD and a letter in the mail which explains that due to a potential DATA BREACH, my card number is at risk for unauthorized use and therefore, to protect me my card has been cancelled and a new one issued.

I should be happy, right? Happy that my credit card company is looking out for me. Happy that because of their concern, I won't be held responsible for potential fraud. Happy that in this age of modern technology and the wonders of cyber-monitoring I am safe.

I'm not happy. I am pissed off. Yes, I do respect and even appreciate that the credit card company took the action they did so I won't become a victim, but I MISS my old card number. I feel that a connection (OK, it is absurd to connect to a number, I know...but I still remember my very first driver's license number for God's sake!) has been broken and there's nothing I can do about it. It makes me angry that people out there steal credit card numbers, it makes me angry that people develop computer viruses and hack into security systems or credit card databases and wreak havoc on people. It's just wrong, on so many levels. And now I will have to memorize a new card number.

There, I vented and I feel a little better.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Today's the day!

No, not the day when my creativity returns, it's our annual SUMMER BASH!

Yeah, I think we're pretty much ready. The food is bought and prepared, the beverages are chilling, AG will be here to "inject" the turkey in preparation for it's boiling oil bath, what, you've never had deep fried turkey?! Oh you must try it! CP has promised his famous Northern Pike nuggets. Games and diversions of all sorts are ready to go, mostly.

And K1 is obsessing. That is the true indicator that we are nearly there. It's not even 7am and he is vacuuming the pool for the second time. He is worrying we that we haven't mowed the lawn (criminy, we've had 12 days without rain all summer!), he asks me for the 4th time where I think he should place the next tarp...

I love this man more than words can tell but he can truly drive me crazy over the littlest things. This is a FUN party we have every summer for our friends and I look at it in a rather casual way I guess. I have never been the kind of hostess who color coordinates napkins with tablecloths or plans menus intricately. K1 feels every detail must be scrutinized and re-scrutinized. And it makes me crazy.

I do wish he could relax a bit more before the fun begins. But the good news is, he will eventually settle down. And once the party gets started he will kick back, grab a horse-shoe and revel in the company of friends and have fun. I just hope the rain (and his well placed tarps) hold up.

Let's get this party started!

Friday, August 8, 2008


So, here's the thing. I'm waiting for the creativity to strike. My sister has been blogging (quite beautifully) for a while now and I have so enjoyed her posts and those of others here as well. And since I was encouraged to start a blog, I'm drawing a blank. And therein lies the problem. Well, not exactly a problem I suppose, but a challenge.

I was at first intimidated a bit but thought it might be fun and might also inspire me to regain a certain creativity that feels very far away from me lately. I worry that I've become utterly uninteresting...so a blog might inspire me to see things from a different perspective. Right? So I'm waiting for something to inspire me andthen, I'll be back. For now, it's the same old same old...

Thursday, August 7, 2008


It was shocking to her smiling at me here this morning. I have been inspired to think about / start blogging by my marvelous sister but it is scary, daunting, uncomfortable and yet it is something that feels right and like I need to do it. I don't know why. Yet.

But seeing the photo in my first post was somehow comforting and Mema's smile reminded me that she is with me and no matter what part of what cycle I'm in, she is with me. Urging me to forge onward. Reminding me of what she taught me. Do your best, stumble at times but always pick up and carry on.

Grow, share, live.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Because she taught me...

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
–John Muir