Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hyper-Sensitivity Hyper-Sensory

We recently got some scary medical news about someone very dear to me. Diagnosed with the confirmed "C" word with surgery scheduled for this Tuesday. How quickly things can change in life. It's weighing heavily on my heart. I am afraid for this person I love. I feel guilty because I have not always shown my appreciation for this person. She is like a parent to me. In fact she is a parent to me.

My walk today wasn't so much about exercise, losing weight or being physically healthy. It was entirely about mental health. I needed to clear my mind to find peace and strength. I had no idea how to do this. I asked God. Without knowing how or why..... I went into Hyper-sensory mode. Suddenly I noticed everything around me. I soaked it all in through every sense that I have.

This tree makes the most wonderful noise when the wind rustles the leaves. It sounds like falling rain.

The smell in the park of the freshly cut grass.

The sweet smelling lilac breeze rushing through my hair.

The bluest sky you ever saw.

The geese and goslings crossing the path in front of me.

The farm at the end of the road. Hearing the horses whinny and watching them swish their tail.

Looking at a tree up ahead, then noticing the feel of it's shade when you get underneath it. Looking up into the tree. Feeling it's life.

This may look just like a mud puddle to you and I. A tire track rut ruining the perfect grass. An imperfection created by man. But to the birds around here it was the greatest bath. I just watched them.

Crossing the creek that runs behind my house which contains and gives so much life.

My road to home. The beauty of "the end of the road".

My home approaches with a new outlook from when I left here 45 minutes ago.

A new understanding, a new perspective was God's gift to me today. So often all of this wonder goes unnoticed by me and others. Today the power and beauty of nature gave me strength, peace and even joy.

Thank you God,


Pamaism - The Thing About Wrinkles

When visiting Pama the other day I was telling her how beautiful she is. I told I couldn't believe how few wrinkles she has.

She told me, "I don't let my wrinkles worry me. If you do worry about them they just get worse." Truer words have not been spoken.

She also told me, "When I think of myself or in my dreams I see myself when I was about 18. Then I look in the mirror and I am shocked. I think who is this?"

I guess when I think of myself I see my 30 year old face. Amazing what nine years can do to change you. Just need to stop looking in the mirror. ;)

She also told me, "I never learned to drive a car. I only learned how to turn them off." There is whole post that will be dedicated to Pama's driving lesson with my grandpa.

Ode to the Pama,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Sweet Puppy Dog

Okay well she is not a puppy at all but she is awfully sweet. She still plays like a puppy.

My sweet girl, Cabby. Cabby is short for Cabernet. She also is affectionately called Cabbers, My Cabby Girl or Cab. She will also answer to "What did you do? Huh Just what the heck did you do?".

Funny things about my dog.

She likes to eat paper.

If you roll a ball to her she will knock it back to you with her nose. Over and over again.

If you give her a treat and then leave the house she will not eat the treat until you return home. However, if you leave the garbage out and leave the house you will come home to a freakin mess. Explain that to me. It makes no sense. I have learned my lesson after a $1,000 dollar emergency vet bill and an incident involving 10 Famous Dave's ribs. Uuugghhh

Maybe the funniest thing is this. On Cabby's birthday we always sing "Happy Birthday" to her and then given her a dish of vanilla ice cream. In the last few years she associates the "Happy Birthday" song with her receiving ice cream. Now whenever she hears that song she freaks out, runs in circles, jumps on you and then runs to the kitchen, sits down all sweet and waits. She will wait there for an endless amount of time. She is relentless and will remain there until she gets her ice cream.

As she turned 9 this last year we decided she should get ice cream on everyone's birthday. Oh heck why not. In people years she is like 63. When I am 63 I'll eat ice cream every damn day if I want to. Problem is I don't like ice cream.......I'll eat CHEESE! hmmmm mouths watering.

Love you My Cabby Girl,


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tip for Tuesday - Painting

Tip For Tuesday involves painting which I have SSLLOOWWLLYY been doing to my bathroom.

Okay first tip. Even if a bathroom looks small and you think it will take an insignificant amount of time to are dead wrong. I always forget how freakin tedious it is to paint a bathroom. all the corners, trim, caulk lines, cabinets, pipes, toilet to paint around.

Remember when I said I love to paint? well I should have prefaced it with...I love to paint at the beginning and end of a painting project. I like the excitement of the color choice and seeing that first brushstroke obliterate the dull drab previous color. I love seeing the results at the end. The middle?..... well it sucks. It just stares at you looming over your tired shoulders. And I HATE painting bathrooms.

Okay so here are my tips.
  • Take lots of breaks.
  • Use disposable tray liners - very inexpensive and allows you to easily take breaks.
  • During short breaks saturate your brush or roller with paint then wrap it with a plastic bag tightly. This will keep it from drying out. This actually worked for me overnight.
  • Poke small holes around the deepest part of the rim of the paint can on the side you are pouring from. This allows the paint that just sits in there to slowly drain back into the can.
  • Take lots of breaks (oh did I say that already?) It's important.
  • Never paint bathrooms!.... just kidding.

Good luck,


Monday, May 24, 2010

Hey YOU......

So My Honey came back from his trip Friday to Orlando. He was there for a medical conference. He came back with a lot of interesting information on being healthy which ties in perfectly to my new health kick diet!

One of the key note speakers was Dr Mehmet C. Oz. Yup Dr. Oz. I just love him since he used to be on Oprah now that he has his own show even better. So my Hubby got his book "You Staying Young" Coauthored by Dr. Michael F. Roizen. My honey met Dr Oz and got the book autographed for me!! Jeff also told Dr. Oz that I have a crush on him. hmmm It's true I do but I don't know how my honey knew that.

Anyways this book REALLY speaks to me. It's not necessarily that I want to live longer it's just that I want to live more! I want quality. And if quantity comes with it.... great. I would love to see and play with my great grandchildren.

This message is so strong to me after watching my mother slowly die. It started years before it really started. She gave up on her body even before her body gave up on her. Now I am not saying she could have stopped the MS but I think she could have managed it much better. I also know she fought depression which keeps most people including her motionless and unmotivated. No judgements here at all. I just know with all my heart I don't want to live that life so I have decided I am not going to. Whatever genetics may have thrown at me. This book is teaching me I have more control over the outcomes than I ever would have thought.

In this book they compare your body to a city. "For a city, genes are geography- whether it's built on a river, or whether it's located in a hot or cold climate, or whether it lies directly in a prevalent hurricane path. The city's geography can't inherently change. But the city can adapt to that environment, with earthquake-proof construction, underground tunnels for walking in winter time or a ferry system for commuting. The adaption the city makes to survive and to thrive is what's crucial to its vitality. The same goes for you."

It goes on to say, "Just because you've been dealt a genetic hand that predisposes you to heart disease or diabetes doesn't mean you can't mitigate the effects of those genes. One of the major things we'll teach you is that while you can't change your genes, you can change whether they are turned on or off, or how you express them."

Well I'll be danged.....Who knew?......I didn't.

Lots to learn with this book. I will be examining it carefully.

No Post Sundays

I think I have decided there will be no posts on Sundays. MY FAMILY DAY! And Monday is catch up day. I'll get a very important, informative post (yeah right) out a little later today.

So check back, I'm recovering from my morning walk with 100% humidity!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

101st Day

So today marks the 101st day since I started blogging again. I started February 10th, 2010. It's hard to believe that. I am proud to say that I have kept my own personal goal in that I have posted most days. I have posted 112 times in the last 101 days. And I still have lots of ideas of things I want to say. Not sure anyone wants to hear what I have to say...but...this has really been therapeutic for me. I love to write and this has been my journal of sorts. I get to be creative in my very structured life.

When I started we were still in the thick and nasty of winter here in Siberia! Now it's lovely. I am sitting here today with the windows open enjoying the humid air of the morning and the birds chirping. Waiting for a spring thunderstorm getting ready to roll on through. My family is laughing because I love weather. I should have been a meteorologist. I love watching radar, trying to predict where the storm will go or how much precipitation there will be. Will it turn severe? I'm pretty good at it too. I guess I missed my calling.

Well my honey is home. it's great. This morning the whole family piled in my bed...excluding Billy (guess he thinks he is too old for that).....including the dog. And we all cuddled and talked and laughed and enjoyed each other. Love those mornings. I will sure miss this someday when the kids are grown!

It's a beautiful day and I am going to thoroughly enjoy my family today!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I feel like this today

My Honey is home. I feel like this song by Jessica Andrews. Helplessly, Hopelessly. It's an awesome song. Here are the lyrics.

I can stand with the weight of the world on my shoulders.
I can fight with the toughest of the tough.
I can laugh in the face of all my insecurities.
Anytime Anywhere Anything
I'm strong enough.

But when you're holding me like this
I'm carelessly lost in your touch.
I'm completely defenseless.
Baby it's almost too much.
I'm helplessly, hopelessly, recklessly
falling in love.

So let consequence do what it will to us
I don't care
Let the stars stand as witness to it all.
Say the word
and tonight I will follow you anywhere.
I just can't pretend anymore
I'm too sturdy to fall cause

But when you're holding me like this
I'm carelessly lost in your touch.
I'm completely defenseless.
Baby it's almost too much.
I'm helplessly, hopelessly, recklessly
falling in love.

I am not afraid.
I am not afraid.

When you're holding me like this
I'm carelessly lost in your touch.
I'm completely defenseless.
Baby it's almost too much.
I'm helplessly, hopelessly, recklessly

I'm helplessly, hopelessly, recklessly
falling in love.

Here is a link to the video on Youtube.

My Honey's Favorite Tree

I have been out of sorts this week because my sweet Hubby has been gone all week on a business trip. Oh It just sucks without him. Being away from him really sucks! Boy does absence make my heart grow fonder! Remember last week when we were irritable with one another.

Well not any more. I miss him. I want him back. now. :( Just a few more hours!

This is his favorite tree. From our deck you can see this tree in the distance on a big hill (probably the highest elevation in our flat little town). It turns real pretty red in the fall. See how it stands above all the others. Very proud and beautiful, confident but not boastful, like "Here I am". It reminds me of Lion King and the tree of life. I love that he pointed this majestic tree out to me. I miss him.

Often when we go to sit on the deck Jeff will mention that it is his favorite tree. He knows I already know this but he feels the need to tell me again. I always smile. I love that predictability that comes from 10 years together. We still discover new stuff about each other but it is the stuff you can count on, the tried and true stuff that I cherish.

If I haven't said so already....I miss him. I love him too.

Honey, Nothing is the same without you not even your favorite tree.

I love you and I miss you!

Come home to me

Oops. I forgot to answer the Trivia question! I like the word "alas". Reminds me of the first Harry Potter. Hey trivia: Do you know the scene and who says "alas"? Answer Dumbledore says it in the scene at the end when Harry is in the hospital.

And a correction, the other day I posted a quote of Savanah's it went like this "Savanah was trying to show Jeff how to play this made up game called Ninja. She said, "Daddy, Billy and I are going to do a sampling to show you how to play."

And should have gone like this. "Savanah was trying to show Jeff how to play this made up game called Ninja. She said, "Daddy, Billy and I are going to do an exampling to show you how to play."

It wasn't "sampling" , it was "exampling". Sure makes it more cute and funny doesn't it? As my dear friend Amy's Dad used to say "a-duh". I sure miss him.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Stairs....Her Imagination

This is a photo of my stairs. These are Savanah's animals. She loves playing with them. She has created a game like this is a stage. They each have to sing "In My Heart". Like American Idol the animals can get voted off of the stage. It's cute watching her do this.

The problem is this.

Each stair on my staircase has animals on it. She has begged me to leave them there. I have left them there for two days. She has played this game for two nights right before bed. I have tumbled, dodged, tripped, tiptoed and stumbled up and down these stairs for two days now! Okay somebody is going to get hurt here. She jumped all over me because if you look at the third stair from the bottom the cat is apparently been knocked over! GASP She noticed right away that it had been knocked over and was not in its original place.

Excuse ME whose house is this anyways????? huh.... huh.... MY HOUSE. That's right you heard me........ MY HOUSE......M-I-N-E mine

Oh look at that cute face. aawww flowers. oh for me. How sweet is that?

Okay keep the animals on the stairs one more night.

Yup I'm a softy, a push over. But seriously look at that face. Hard to say no to ain't it.

Holy cow It's her house now. The worst part is she knows it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beauty on the Inside....or Not

Recently I posted about my favorite rock. You can read it here if you haven't already.

That post reminded me of a story I wanted to blog about. So Here it is. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty.

Billy in Kindergarten Mommy’s Pride

Billy went to Kindergarten at Homecroft Elementary School in St Paul. His teacher was named Renee. He was allowed to call her Renee. There were a set of twins in Billy’s class named Mitch and Sheila. Mitch and Billy did not get along very well. Mitch was troublesome and of course Billy was angelic. 8)

Sheila had a very noticeable facial birth defect. She was very sweet and shy. Mitch was the exact opposite of Sheila. He was handsome and obnoxious. Their mother was never friendly with me as she thought Billy was the root of Mitch’s problems at school.

We were at a school event sitting at a table with Mitch, Sheila and their Mom. We were discussing a project the kids had been working on to discover the meaning of their names. For instance, William means protector. Sheila’s mom was trying to coax Sheila into telling us the meaning of her name. She was painfully shy but eventually she whispered, “Beautiful”. Billy exclaimed to Sheila, “You are beautiful!” Sheila smiled but looked unconvinced. Billy emphatically said, “You really are beautiful.” He looked at her mom and said, “She is beautiful.”

In this moment I was so proud of Billy. My son looked past the scars on Sheila’s face and saw the truth of what really makes people beautiful, their soul. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I smiled at my young son.

Sheila’s mom smiled at Billy too, then she cocked her head to one side and said, “Well that’s nice, particularly after what you said about me.”

My mind went uuuuhhhh, uh oh! I looked at Billy with raised eyebrows. He shrugged his shoulders and said without apology or hesitation, “I said she was ugly.” I gasped.

Never in all my life have I wanted to embrace my child and then strangle them within ten seconds!

I must say though looking back at this event I acknowledge in both circumstances with Sheila and her mom, Billy was seeing the inside of the person.

I gently admonished Billy saying, "Billy that is not a nice thing to say." I then said with a bit of a smirk, "If you can't say something good then there is nothing good to say." However wrong this may be, I did not make him apologize.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tip for Tuesday - Custard Dish Diet

The key to the "Custard Dish Diet" is NEVER EVER fill the custard dish with custard. Not under any circumstance!

The custard dish diet is my own little invention. Please note VERY IMPORTANT, I am not a dietitian, nutritionist, expert on dieting by any means. I put this out there as my medical disclaimer. I am not responsible. I mean....I am not responsible for you or your health! You cannot sue me!

So as I have been dieting and exercising I have observed my passionate cravings. The largest one for me is cheese!!! I love cheese. love love love cheese. When I try to ignore my cravings, they just get worse and I get crabby. So I figured out a way to "have my cheese and eat it too."

I read a study once about weight. The study was interesting in that it followed people who were overweight trying to lose weight. But it also followed thin, healthy people who never dieted. They found the healthy fit people would crave something with high calories then eat it. (with portion control) The overweight people would crave something with high calories then try to avoid that craving by eating something else and then eating something else. The third thing they ate ended up being what they were originally craving. Then they would be satisfied.

Okay so I start with a healthy breakfast (oatmeal, cereal) and a healthy lunch (salad, turkey sandwich) and a smaller size dinner. My husband is the best cook and he makes fattening stuff (fettuccine Alfredo) so I really have to limit my calories during the day and then limit my portions at night. I drink lots of water. Anything low fat, low calorie that I can tolerate without feeling like I am denying myself I use (low fat mayo, ranch dressing, etc).

Now my big problems have been the in between meals hunger. And cravings.

So I decided to satisfy my cravings. I have found that eating a small amount of what I am craving actually will satisfy the craving.

Now I am allowed 3 snacks a day. In fact three custard dish size snacks.

Examples of some of my snacks are:

Cottage cheese
Two tablespoons of any light dressing or light dip with 15 small stick pretzels. (satisfies my dipping need)
2 pieces of cheese with two crackers.
small piece of chocolate with a little peanut butter
cut up cucumber with a tablespoon of light dressing (if you take out the seeds it won't give you gas)
cut up red pepper with light dressing
Banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
Baby Carrots dipped in light dressing

Now if we are having something very fattening for dinner I may cut out 1 snack. Or if it is a day I will not get to exercise I may cut out 1 snack.

Another key to this working is to prepare your snacks and don't eat one bite until you have put all the ingredients away. I used to eat a piece or two or three of cheese while I was cutting it up. Or I would leave the cheese out. Oh so easy to cut off another piece!

Now I have been doing this about three weeks, I have lost 8 pounds. I am rarely hungry and I feel satisfied. The hardest part of this is dinner time for me. Such yummy meals and I want to keep eating! and eating and eating.

I know everyone is different so what works for me may not work for you. But I thought I should share this since it's different and it is working for me.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Great Fun

I've had great fun this weekend. I planted. I weeded. I mulched. I played. I painted.

Yes it was a great weekend. Now Monday. :( Well not really :( But I do love spending all of this uninterrupted time with my family.

Now perfect for a Monday morning.....I want to throw my computer out the window. I am soooo close. Had nothing but problems this morning. I plan to catch up on my posts for this week today if she (my computer) will hold up.

I changed my plans this weekend, after overhauling my upstairs bathroom this past week I was going to paint my bathroom all weekend. An awesome mocha tan color from Behr called Toffee Crunch. But alas the sun and yard work pulled me outdoors. I like the word "alas". Reminds me of the first Harry Potter. Hey trivia: Do you know the scene and who says "alas"?

I did paint a little. So this week I paint! I love to paint. I'm pretty good at it too, if I don't say so myself.

So I am going to push this post out before my computer craps out again. I'll post more later....hopefully.


Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Beautiful Saturday

It is a beautiful Saturday and I intend to spend most of it outside enjoying the sunshine....not sitting at the computer! So here are a couple cute and funny quotes from my family.

My son Billy told me this gem. "If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests?"

Last night Jeff and I were watching The Marriage Ref with Billy. Not sure if this is appropriate but hey it's funny and Billy can handle it. This is most obvious by the comment he made. In this episode there was a REALLY creepy guy. I mean make-your-skin-crawl creepy! Jeff and I were both thinking to ourselves, this guy could be a pedophile or stalker or something. So Billy says, "This guy could be riding around in a rusted red windowless van with "Free Candy" written on the side." Jeff and I both doubled over in laughter! Dang is Billy funny!

Savanah was trying to show Jeff how to play this made up game called Ninja. She said, "Daddy, Billy and I are going to do a sampling to show you how to play." Sampling- huh I like that word.

Gotta go..the breeze is calling to me.
Enjoy your day.

Friday, May 14, 2010


You may remember the other day I posted about my favorite sign. If not here is the link to read about it.

Well today I am talking about the stop sign above. This is the only thing separating me from civilization. Humanity at its finest. The hustle and bustle of Elk River!

On my side of this sign you see homes, farms, ranches with horses and cattle, prairie, woods and dirt roads. It is serene. My neighborhood doesn't necessarily fit into this serene picture. It is just a regular old suburban neighborhood. But it serves its is my home. Just past my neighborhood is where all this beauty lies.

About five miles past my neighborhood is a small town called Nowthen. At its origination it was called Burns Township officially established in 1869. However the first birth in this town was recorded in 1857. The first marriage was also recorded in 1857. Not sure which came first? hmmm shotgun weeding? Anyways the population as of the 2000 census was 3,357.

The interesting thing about Nowthen was how it got its name. The official story on the city website is this.

Jim Hare (first postmaster) was credited in naming the Nowthen Post Office. History says that Hare wrote to Washington requesting a Post Office in Burns Township. The Post Office Department indicated that they could not approve the Burns Post Office because there was already Burnstown Township Post Office in Southern Minnesota. The department asked Hare for suggestions for a new name. Jim Hare sent a letter to the department with several suggested names. At the end of his letter he stated "nowthen" and signed it. Not knowing that Hare often started and ended his sentences with "nowthen", the department thought it was a pretty good name and named Burns Township's Post Office the Nowthen Post Office.

Even after the Nowthen Post Office closed in July 31, 1894 the residents still referred to the area around the Post Office as Nowthen.

In 2007 Nowthen was incorporated into a city! It is a darling little community. I love going to Nowthen.

So that is one side of the stop sign. And God help me but on the other side of the stop sign is Walmart. This stop sign is the only thing that stands between me and Walmart. Only one stop street lights....just one measly stop sign. really Stop

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Words We Don't Mean

Have you ever had a day or night that you and your love were just off? Not in sync. Maybe one is grouchy and then the other gets irritated. And it snowballs into this very yucky feeling. All you want to do is go to bed and try this again tomorrow.

I am sure this happens to every couple. It happened to me and my love the other day. Whenever this happens (thankfully not very often) I think of this Amy Grant song called "That's What Love is For". It helps me feel better. Reminds me of the big beautiful picture. Here are some of the lyrics.

Sometimes we make it harder than it is

We’ll take a perfect night

And fill it up with words we don’t mean

Dark sides best unseen

And we wonder why we’re feeling this way.

Sometimes I wonder if we really feel the same

Why we can be unkind

Questioning the strongest of hearts

That’s when we must start

Believing in the one thing that has gotten us this far.

That’s what love is for.

Melt our defenses

Bring us back to our senses

Round off the edges

Talk us down from the ledges

Sometimes I see you

And you don’t know I am there

And I’m washed away by emotions

I hold deep down inside

Getting stronger with time

It’s living through the fire

And holding on we find

That's what love is for

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pamaism Day

Okay I visited my dear Pama yesterday. She had a doctor appointment that went great. She is quite healthy and happy.

I have a few Pamaism. What is a Pamaism? See this post for an explanation.

It is hard to choose which one to write about. So I guess I'll start with this.

My sister Vivian went to see Pama the other day. They sat by the bird aviary that is filled with finches. So Pama says, "Isn't it amazing how easy it is to love almost anything?"

So looking at this quote you think, what a sweet, loving, kind lady! And she certainly is, however she has a sassy side.

Yesterday while visiting Pama, I told her how in Billy's play he had to have a sword fight with his ex-girlfriend. She chuckled and said, "I bet that was tempting for him." I told her the sword was made of wood. She said, "Oh too bad"

The lesson in this story is don't cross my 92 year old grandma. Cause I bet my grandma could beat up your grandma!

She may be sweet but she is feisty too.

I love both of those qualities,
"Sweet and Sassy"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tip For Tuesday - Spring Cleaning

To Spring Clean or not to Spring Clean? That is the question.

Whenever I think of "spring cleaning" I think of 1950's housewives. That brings a guttural uuugggghhh from my bowels. I am not a 1950's housewife. I am not June Cleaver. I am not even Morticia Adams.

I am a Domestic Engineer. So I don't do "spring clean". I do however take time in the spring and fall to "overhaul" my home. I try to make it fun though.

I work in only one room at a time. (very important so you don't get overwhelmed!) This week I am working on the upstairs bathroom.

First I declutter all the cabinets. Throwing out anything that is no longer used (expired medications, old make up, etc.)

Then I reorganizing the stuff that is used. While reorganizing I take stock of anything I need to replenish, soap, sunscreen, etc.

Then I do a very thorough cleaning. (the un-fun part). I clean those parts of the bathroom that go unnoticed during your average cleaning. The grout. the caulk. the window blinds. the lighting fixtures. Soak the trash can. Lift the little knobs off the bottom of the toilet.....eeewwweee gross, clean that too. After this major sweep.....

I fix anything that need to do be fixed or done. For instance every year in this process, I reseal the grout around the tile. Wow looks awesome.

Then I look through the room with a fresh eye. What do I love in this room? What do I hate in this room? What small decorating things can I change with no cost? What color would I like this room to be? Make a wish list of things that cost money that you would like to change in this room. Keep a folder for every room in your house. When you see something in a magazine that you love. Put it in there with your wish list.

Then by all means paint the room the color you want it to be. Now this costs a little money but it is the most dramatic inexpensive change you can make!

Then love the room!

Now move on to another room.

Running late

Sorry I am running late! I have to take Pama to a Dr appointment, (no worries just a check up). Tip for Tuesday- Spring Cleaning Edition will be posted later today.

Check around 3:00- ish.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Who Knows Me?

Facebook is really interesting to me. Recently I have become "facebook friends" with people from my past. Friends from high school. Even friends from elementary school. People I have worked for and with over the years. Through these new/old interactions I have started thinking...... who really knows me?

Those that really know me the least I think are the ones who have worked for me. Many of these people I would have wanted to be friends with. In a manager role you are not really allowed (the unwritten rule) to be friends with those who report to you. I could never truly show myself to them. I had to keep a wall of propriety between us. I had to implement company policies without showing my true opinion or many emotions. I couldn't really befriend anyone for fear of playing favorites. And above all I couldn't show my wicked sense of humor. I am really unconventional as that goes.

I like to think I helped some of them by either being someone who would listen or by giving them career or situational advise. But sad as it may be I don't think they ever got to know me. I like to think they would have liked the real me. The playful, insightful and humorous me.

I suppose in any relationship you adjust for appropriateness. I will allow some of my different characteristics to surface with some people more than others. That is normal and right I suppose.

The person who knows me best is my husband. I can let completely go with him and know I will not be judged. I will still be held accountable for my words or actions but not judged.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

To all the Mommies out there. Here's to you!

Mother Prayer

Dear Lord,today we pray for mothers--
our own mothers, and mothers everywhere,
who have made such a major contribution
to the good qualities we have,
sometimes through genetics,
more often through great effort and patient instruction,
and who have done their best
to gently polish away our rough edges.

Lord, please bless our mothers
for the endless hours of time they spent
and the boundless energy they invested in us.
Bless our mothers for their sacrifices on our behalf
as they often gave up or deferred their own dreams
so that we could have ours.

Bless our mothers for always being there for us,
for being the person we know we can turn to
when we need comfort, encouragement, or just a hug.
Bless our mothers for making a home for us
where we could feel safe, where we felt we belonged.

Most of all, Lord,bless our mothers for their unconditional love,
for loving us no matter what,
and for frequently showing love
in ways that make us feel valued and cherished.

Lord, please bless our mothers mightily.
Strengthen them, soothe them,wrap them in Your infinite love
and shower them with blessings
too numerous to count, too magnificent to describe.
We love them, admire them, respect them,
and we wish that You would give them back
many times the good they gave to us.
By Joanna Fuchs

Thank you Mom,

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mr.Okasaki... Thank You

My Dear Mr. Okasaki wrote this in my yearbook of my junior year.

"Joyce- There are so many things one can say about conservatives: a) They're usually old b)narrow minded and c) intolerant. But there is only one good thing one can say - IT IS CURABLE! Besides you don't fool me - You are a closet liberal aren't you? It has been fun and interesting having those political discussions in our science class. Hope you learned something from it - maybe even a little science. The very best to you always. Your friend, Mr. O"

When I knew you I was still a product of my parent's beliefs and political denomination. I suppose we all start out that way.

Mr. Okasaki, I learned science from you and oh so much more. Most importantly you showed me how to find my confidence. You showed me I could voice my opinion without retribution. I grew up in a less than stellar home. You were not allowed to disagree. My father was ALWAYS right. There was no point to discussion, you couldn't win and your opinion would never be respected.

You taught me how to respectfully disagree with an elder. (sorry to call you an elder!) Our discussions mean more to me than you will probably ever know. Although you and I often disagreed and probably would still today, I always had the highest respect for you. You were the first adult in my life who listened to my argument, disagreed and respected me.

Perhaps this lesson was important for you to teach as you were born in an American Concentration camp for Japanese-Americans in World War II. A time when Japanese-Americans weren't allowed a voice or freedom.

Through our discussions I think the entire class learned this lesson too. As teenagers they might not have known they were learning this lesson but we sure made an impression on them because here are some of the other entries from that yearbook.

"It's been great having you in my science class and listening to your arguments with the teacher."

"It's been great having you in Mr. O's science class and seeing you always argue with him."

"I have learned so much from you being in science class together."

"Multi-science has been fun this year! You and Mr. O arguing."

"I've had a lot of fun this semester in science."

"It was fun knowing you in science."

"I'm happy that we met this year. It was exciting hearing you and Mr. O arguing."

"Joyce, So glad I got to know you and that you didn't let Mr. O's opinions sway you. Hope to see you next year." Mrs. Love

Like I said we for sure made an impression on those young minds.

However the questions still stands... Am I a liberal or a or republican? I don't know! I am neither and I am both. In the middle I suppose. Right where I am supposed to be.

Just wanted to give a huge thank you to the best teacher I have ever had. I am not sure what I remember that you taught me about science. But I have become successful in life because of you for teaching me to respectfully stand up for myself.

Thank you


Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day and a Birthday Wish

Mother's Day by definition means: An annual day for honoring mothers and motherhood observed on the second Sunday of May.

Mother by definition means: n.1. A female parent 2. A female who holds a position of authority or responsibility. v. (mothered) 1. to give birth to; be the mother of. 2. To create; produce 3. To watch over, nourish and protect.

I suppose the most significant of words I would use to describe a mother would be; one who loves unconditionally, guides, teaches and protects her children. It is my greatest desire to be described with these words.

For many years I had a love/hate relationship with Mother's Day. My own Mother, God rest her soul, did not give me many of the things I needed. Mostly protection. I traveled a difficult path that today indeed I would protect my own children from with my life. Forgiveness and unconditional love was/is my last eternal gift to my mother.

Today is May 7th, 2010. The birthday of my first born daughter, Katie. I love you with all of my heart! Happy Birthday

On May 7th, 1987 at the age of 15 I became a mother, at least a biological mother. I gave birth. I love this daughter as if she were my own. But she is not my own for I gave her to another mother. One that could take care of her in a way that I could not. A mother that could protect her with the wisdom that comes from age. A mother who would, did and does love her as much as I do. The love of a mother who could not have children of her own. I have never stopped caring and worrying over her well being.

She has asked me the what if question? What if I had kept her? This does break my heart. I don't know. It didn't seem like an option at the time. I did what I thought was best for her.

So Mother's Day was/is bittersweet for me. I honored my mother but felt emptiness for I too had the love in my heart for my child. I was a mother but I was not a mother.

This sounds selfish so I apologize. I was not celebrated on Mother's day. Rightfully so I was not honored or recognized on Mother's day. Deep down it hurt. Again this sounds so selfish to me but it is the truth of my feelings. With guilt over these feelings I have asked myself, "What about this child who maybe felt abandoned by her mother?" I have prayed every day that she would feel and know my love for her.

Many years later when my son, Billy was born, I was recognized as a "Mother". It made Mother's Day a little less painful but the sting was still there underneath.

The underlying pain of my own childhood and the lost years of my first born daughter's childhood is still there today. Maybe a little stronger this year with the passing of my mother. I suppose now I know what it feels like to not have my mother.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Life Altering

My sweet Savanah is in love. me cool her jets. Yes she is 7. But truly she has a ginormous (gigantic and enormous put together) crush. This crush is on the captain of Billy's play. Captain Jennings. She drools when she sees this boy. She cannot stop staring at him.

And this is what she told me, "My life has been changed. This has changed my life. He changed my life."

God help me.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Pama

My Pama is my grandmother, Evelyn. Isn't she a beauty? She was always beautiful. This photo was taken this year on her 92nd birthday. I hope I look like her when I am 92 years old. More importantly I hope I am just like her when I am 92 years old. She is funny and happy and forgetful. The truth of the matter is she used to be shy but I think she forgot that she was shy. She smiles and says hello to everyone she sees.

My Grandmother was born in Knoxville Tennessee on February 4th, 1918. She was born with a twin. My grandmother's true name is Thelma Eveylyn, (she never liked the name Thelma). Her twin was named Zelma. Can you imagine Thelma and Zelma? Her twin died at about two weeks old. She had an older sister named Wilma also.

So it was Thelma, Zelma and Wilma. ;)

Pama's parents both contracted Tuberculosis and moved to El Paso Texas for treatment. Because of it's warm dry climate El Paso attracted many with tuberculosis.

She lived in an orphanage called Southwestern Children's Home. On her way to school every day she would pass the treatment center where her mother was being treated. They would wheel her mother to the window so she could wave to her girls. She wasn't allowed to see her mother for fear of bringing TB germs into the home. She never touched her mother again and only saw her through a window pane. She died when Pama was approximately 6 years old. Her father died shortly after that.

She and her sister were orphans. My grandmother has many stories about living in the orphanage. It was started by Reverend Hogg and his wife. Shortly after that a prominent Attorney named Victor Moore began running the orphanage. Pama referred to Victor Moore as "Daddy Moore". She loved him dearly. But life was not all pleasant at the orphanage. Victor's wife was very stern and religious. She ruled with an iron hand. All the children had to call her, "My Dearie". According to Pama, "My Dearie" couldn't stand pama and treated her poorly, perhaps because Daddy Moore adored Pama? To this day when Pama tells a story about the orphanage she says "My Dearie" with disgust in her voice and a roll of her eyes.

My grandmother moved from the home at age 18. She and her sister lived together until she met and fell in love with my grandfather, Pampa. He passed away 20 years ago.

Unfortunately, all of her parents belongings (photos, family records) were burned because of germs. I have searched for records and photos of them for her and have been unable to find anything. All she had left of them were her memories.

Three years ago we moved my Pama from her home she shared with Pampa in El Paso to Minnesota so we could take care of her. Now it seemed as we moved her into assisted living that she was being put back into an institution. Through the guardianship battle she lost her home and many of her most precious belongings by the hand of her evil son. (A whole grueling and gruesome story in itself.)

Throughout the move and guardianship battle with my uncle her photograph of "Daddy Moore" was lost. Now with her memory fading I felt I needed to find something of the past for her to hold onto. Something tangible she could look at or see that proved her existence or self worth. We all need reminders of where we have been through photos or writings or documents. She had nothing....again. I felt awful about all of this.

So I started searching the Internet again for info on her parents. I could find nothing. So I searched for Victor Moore, "Daddy Moore".

Then I found a treasure!

A book called "A Chance for Every Child". I was so freakin excited! This book was about two children's homes is El Paso Texas that combined to make the existing structure of Center for Children El Paso. The two homes were St Margaret's started in 1919 and Southwestern Childrens Home started in 1925 (yup you guessed it...this is where pama lived as a child!) I contacted one of the authors Sandy Ruiz, (He is the director of this organization still today). He was a very gracious man who sent me a copy.

When I received the book in the mail I just about cried. There were so many photos. A beautiful picture of my pama's beloved, "Daddy Moore". Photos of the home. Photos of the summer cabin in Ruidoso that my Pama always spoke of.

When I gave this book to my grandmother I can say it was profound and perhaps the most significant gift I could have ever given her. This is one of my more proud moments in life to be able to witness so much joy as she looked through the book pointing out things in the pictures. The window to the bedroom where she slept as a child in a orphanage which is no longer standing. This book gave her a missing piece of her past. I was thrilled to be a part of it. To listen to her childhood stories now with a photo. Now as her memory continues to fade she has this solid proof of her past.

I love you Pama.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tip for Tuesday - Inspiration and fun!

Make a book of quotes.

I love my book of quotes

My dear awesome, smart, funny, pretty (she is probably reading this) sister Brenda started this brilliant idea. And I have to share it.

She has this cool journal type book. Actually it is exactly the same as mine pictured here. She uses it to write down quotes that she finds inspirational or funny. When I saw this book I knew I had to get one. Then she bought it for me as a gift.

Now whenever I am somewhere and I see or hear a quote that I love I write it down and put it in my quote book. Often when I am looking for inspiration I turn to my quote book. It helps me find my smile.

My sister and I live a few hundred miles from each other. :( But when we get together we compare our quote books, taking inspiration from each other.

Isn't that pen fun too!?!? I love different funny pens. When you write with this pen the beads on top jiggle and make a fun noise.
Then again I love pretty much any office/school supply. God help me when shopping for school supplies. I always over buy, oops guess I'll have to keep that for myself! My addiction to office supplies could be a post all by itself. hmmmmm wheels are turning.

I love it!


Monday, May 3, 2010


Yeah! This is my calendar for today! You see that?! Nothing!!! This is indeed a rarity. It is unprecedented. I don't know what to do with myself!

Just Kidding. I certainly have things to do but Wow...what a relief to see an empty day on a calendar especially after such a busy weekend. I am not sure "Nada" is a real word or how to spell it.

Still struggling with this cold but it is manageable.

Anyways with all this time on my hands maybe I can get caught up and write some future posts.

So look for something new from me later.

Got lots of ideas brewing.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

The End......TaDa

Oh the end of "The Lady Pirates of Captain Bree". It is bittersweet. Last night was the best performance. So much beautiful young energy. It was electric. You could tell the seniors were feeling the moment. After the play I saw some tears shed, the last play of high school.

Billy did a great job. I think he felt a little sad.

I met Billy's new girlfriend. I liked her. She was sweet and cute. Polite. I won't mind him hanging out with her. I think she will appreciate him.

Savanah was a little devastated that this was the last play. She sat through that play 4 times and still loved it. Now my child has been to many plays. She loves them. She has been fortunate to see Broadway productions of Phantom of the Opera, Annie and The Wizard of Oz at the Ordway theater and the Orpheum. She has gone every season to the world renowned Children's Theater in Minneapolis. She is no stranger to the stage. However she told me this, Billy's play was her favorite play ever. Needless to say this was quite the compliment.

Well I have one more "haf-too" this weekend. A "Haf-too" is something that HAS to be done, no way out! Versus a "wan-too" Something you want to do but can be flexible or delayed.

It's been a fun filled hectic beautiful weekend!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Karate Tournament and a Play

This morning Savanah participated in a Karate Tournament. I will post pictures. I was so proud of her! Mostly because she wavered several times about participating. She was scared, really scared. But she faced her fear and did great. She was even a team captain. I was choked up big time!

Tonight is closing night of Billy's play. I am so proud of him also.

After this things should settle down a little.....maybe. Although Billy and some friends are starting a band. WayPoint So there will be practices. uuugggghhhh

Ahhh the incredibly proud and tired Mama,