Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Last is Very Stubborn

My weight loss journey has been successful in many ways. One of which I have taken 1 year to lose 15 pounds. In order to do this and not backslide (at least too much) I have changed my habits. A slow steady progression.

The problem is this, my goal was to lose 20 pounds.

The last 5 pounds have been stubborn as a mule! I have increased my exercises. I have decreased my calories. and

Nothing. I am stuck 5 pounds from my goal. Maybe I should increase my goal to 25 pounds and trick those 5 pounds into thinking they are not the last 5 pounds. A psychological trick? hmmm

Okay I'll do it. My new goal is 10 additional pounds. I'll re-set that goal for September 15th. Why that date? I don't know.

resort to drastic measures

Okay, mark, get set, go.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Some days, some circumstances I just don't know what to say. I want to be eloquent but find myself fumbling. So I'll just try to keep it simple.

A passionate plea to God to help those in need affected by the tornadoes across the country this spring.


New Look

I am playing with blogger. Looking for a new look. You may see some sporadic changes. I kind like the green. Not sure about the text colors. I may still play with it. But oh how I love the color green.

I also realize I really need to add more pictures for my blog. It's been kinda bland for me lately. Any suggestions? What do you like? What do you not like?

More stories too.

More of my insanity with a dash of crazy duck lady! Don't know the crazy duck lady story? Here is a link to it.


And well don't forget the bear incident.


I got plenty more where that comes from. There is a never ending supply of insanity in my family.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Quotes

Jump into the day!

"Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present." -Regina Brett

"Mothers understand what a child does not say." -Jewish Proverb


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Quotes

Have an adventurous day!

"Those who follow the crowd are quickly lost in it." -unknown

"You can be big and nimble." -unknown. This was shown to me by Savanah on a billboard with an elephant on it. Savanah loves to find me quotes. And I love that. I think someday she will cherish my quote book when I am gone from this earth.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Yay! for Friday

Billy drove yesterday!!! Just in our neighborhood. We waited until after dinner time but before dark so all (or most) of the young kids were already inside. Jeff took him. I do think Jeff is going to be the primary teacher here. Jeff has an unbelievable amount of patience. Literally it took them 15 minutes to pull out of the driveway and I was like, "Would you go already?" Oh and of course I freak out too easily, the anxiety thing.

But as they pulled out of the driveway I could hardly contain myself. I started jumping up and down, hooting and hollering, camera in hand. hmmm maybe that is why they waited until all the neighbors were inside. I was quite the spectacle. poor Billy with the crazy Mommy!

It has been a long week of ups and downs. I am so very happy it is Friday.

I was looking at our calendar and thinking WoW! May through June is VERY busy. Every year. A good kind of busy. Fun stuff: birthdays, vacations, graduations, end of the school year parties, etc. It is very "go, go, go".

It does make me look forward to July when everything slows down and the lazy days of summer kick in.

Then we jump into the craziness of August and September: camps and state fair and getting ready for school to start. Gees I am sooo getting ahead of myself.

This would be one of those moments I have talked about before. Time to live in the moment. Just a couple of deep breaths and a return to the present.

I am smiling as the weekend approaches. I love the time with my family.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

The New Era

The New Era in my life?

We now live in a world where my son will be driving a car. Billy Congratulations. And now for prayer requests! Please Dear God Keep my baby boy safe. Help me keep my sanity.

This is only the permit stage but.......

First and foremost let me apologize to the neighbors in Trout Brook, the population of Elk River, the residents of Minnesota, the citizens of the United States of America and the human beings of the world. I am sorry for all of the driving mistakes my son will make. I hope there will be no injuries (serious or minor) and certainly no loss of life or property damage as a result of those mistakes. However with this blog post you have been legally warned.

I feel many a sleepless night coming. Starting with the frightening teaching of driving.

The real fear comes for me once his driver's license is in hand. The fear of a passed curfew and the phone ringing almost paralyses me. If only we could keep them five years old with helmets and training wheels.

Time to up the anxiety medication...again.

My Honey's Back

My Honey has been gone three days now and has returned! I tell you...and I have said it before... Things just aren't right without him.

I know lots of women who's husbands go out of town often for longer periods of time. Kudos to them. I am not sure how they do it! I guess I mean I am capable but I'm pretty darn close to miserable when he is gone!

The sun shines a little brighter for me during the day when I know I get to see him that night!

My husband is a "night owl" and I am a "morning dove". We like to go to bed together but my honey is not ready to sleep. So he watches movies on his zoon with headphones while laying in bed. At the end of a long day I know I can open my eyes while I lay in bed and see him. The light from the Zoon shinning on his face. I'll feel the bed shake as he chuckles. It is then that I experience the most cozy comfortable safe feeling I have ever known.

Love you Honey,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Q-Tip Miracle

In 1997 I was a single parent making a measly $20,000 a year. Living in a moderately crappy two bedroom apartment.

I was always one stumble from eviction. I was frugal to say the least.

The food I purchased was only the necessities. In fact I went to the grocery store every two weeks with my calculator. When I hit $25.00 worth of groceries I was done shopping. It was rough. My family helped me a lot. My sister would show up with the occasional bags of groceries.

It was a lesson for both Billy and I in restraint, persistence and suffering. We survived this poverty. We even thrived.

We were helped often with small miracles from God. This particular miracle may seem small but it filled my heart every day with faith.

Is there anything that feels as good as cleaning your ears with a Q-tip? Well okay maybe one thing. ;) Everyday as I was getting ready for work I would take a deep breath and walk to the hall linen closet.

Maybe?....Just one more time? I hoped. I would open the door of the closet and pull out the basket and begin my search. For months I had been out of Q-tips. I was unable to buy more because of lack of money. So each day I dug through the basket of miscellaneous toiletries and where the Q-tips used to be. The Q-tip container had been thrown away long ago when it was empty.

Everyday I was surprised to find just one more loose stray Q-tip. I thought it was magical. I was working so hard to make a good life and provide for Billy. Truthfully the never-ending supply of the eternal Q-tip was a miracle.

Keep your eyes open and watch for the small miracles in your life.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Happiness # 8 - Happiness doesn't make you Happy

Ingredient # 8

Happiness Doesn't make you happy.

What???? I mean just because you are a happy person that doesn't mean you will be happy all of the time.

I could see some people (myself!) slipping into a unflattering position here. So I have a bad day and I am not happy. I failed. I must not be a happy person.

A constant state of happiness doesn't exist and who the hell would want to be around that person anyways!! It is just like light doesn't exist without dark.

Contrast is necessary. Just as truth is necessary.

And the truth is Life is an organized mess, fraught with difficult decisions that seamlessly change us. Life is filled with magic and miracles, disasters and disease, fantasy and reality.

To truly live you must believe in the possibilities and live within reality. You must grow and change.

To experience all that life has to offer the good and the bad, happiness and sadness in truth and not allow yourself to dwell in either of those realities.

Oops, this is my last post on Happiness. And I am happy about that. It is several weeks late. Enjoy


Monday, May 16, 2011

This Feeling


I hate the feeling I get after I chew Billy's butt. It was a legitimate reason. I know parenting can suck sometimes. It's hard. You have to be tough. But truthfully it stinks. Nothing hurts me more.

Sometimes when I am that angry I need to breath more before I speak. No I don't call names or insinuate stupidity. I do a lot of, "What the hell were you thinking?"

Which really insinuates intelligence. I know he knows better, he knows the difference. He knows what he needs to do.

Billy has never responded well to yelling or anger. But this was an instance that needed the proverbial slap in the face.

So why is my face stinging? Because I feel like shit! :(


It's Coming!!! 40

June 2nd!! It's coming!! Just around the corner! No way around it! No escaping it! Can't hide from it! Can't run from it! Can't skip it! Can't pass! Yup it is inevitable!

June 2nd, 2011. That very day I'll.......be.........40!

What comes with being 40? What are the consequences? The difference between 30 and 40?

More aches and pains.
More wrinkles and veins. (varicose, that is)
More gray hairs
More "Who is that there?" (vision's going too)

More "turn it down"
More Dr. appointments
to make me frown.
More things to make me laugh
most often at myself!

My gait may be slower but now it is more confident.
I now realize how important it is to slow down and fully experience the things that matter.

More patience
More confidence
More intelligence
More knowing who you are
More accepting who you are
More liking who you are

Not only do you stop "sweating the small stuff" but I am told, You start to not give a shit about the small stuff. You are no longer consumed with what people think of you, your outfit, your hair, your words, your actions. You are so comfortable in your own skin there is no need to "be cool". That in itself makes you OH SO COOL!

So although I can see the changes of time and age. And I won't lie, they do bother me. I am also looking forward to what comes with age,


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Quotes

Have a blessed day!

"We ought to treat strangers as if we expected to see them again." -unknown

"Don't be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances we learn how to be brave." -unknown


Where Have I Been?

I've been quiet lately. Where have I been?

In the Land of Unmotivated, Iowa. Sorry to any Iowans. I am sure there are lovely parts of Iowa but well my experience driving through on my way to Missouri has been less that stellar. Two camera speeding tickets once on the way there, once on the way back. However, I do love driving through Cedar Rapids Iowa simply for the smell of Oatmeal. What am i talking about? There is a big factory for Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids Iowa and when you drive through it smells Divine.

So truthfully have I been in Iowa? NO

I think after my long experiment with winter blogging I lost some inspiration. Yeah, winter can do that to you for sure.

So Now what? What is happening in my life?

Billy is finishing his classroom portion of Driver's Ed today. Oh Lordy. After today he can take the test to get his permit. Mercy!

Two questions:

Question number 1.How did the time go by so fast? Last night Billy told me, "Hey you know I will be able to vote in the next Presidential election?" WTH? I tried to argue with him but alas he was right. The 2012 Presidential election he will be 18, just turned 18. Do you think we will vote for the same person? Hmmm

Question number 2. How will this child of mine with the attention span of a gnat be able to drive with said attention span? just kidding but he is easily distracted. scary!

Let's see..... what else? My beautiful world has once again turned vibrant green.

I am thinking on and working on an outline to another book. This one would be completely fiction.

I was also thinking of writing a story based on my grandmother's (Pama) life.

So my question the other day of facebook was: Can you call yourself a writer if you have never had anything published?

I received positive affirmation that YES you can. I like this particular answer: When you become published you then call yourself an author. WORKS FOR ME.

So I am no longer a "housewife" (EWE) and no longer a "homemaker" (blech). I'll keep my volunteer status. You know I am President of the "ISD #728 Competitive Cheer Squad Booster Parent Group." But now I add "writer". Can you call yourself a writer if you always mispell receive? I mean recieve. oops no I meant receive.

Thank God for spellcheck! I could probably use a "random useless content checker" too!

Saturday, May 14, 2011


What a busy, cold, rainy Saturday.

Enjoy the quotes.

"Every piece of the puzzle that doesn't fit gets you closer to the one that does."
--Cynthia L Copeland
--Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me

"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." -Andy Rooney


Friday, May 13, 2011

Uncle Yandell

Lt Charlie Shultz is in the back row 4th from the left. Also known as my uncle Yandell.

My uncle, WWII Veteran Col. Charles Yandell Shultz, Jr. United States Air Force/Ret., passed away on April 15th, 2011. This makes me sad. Although I hadn't seen him in many years I did cherish the time we spent together. What an incredible commanding man with a heart of gold.

He was part of the 398th. The 398th was part of the 8th Air Force 1st Air Division during WWII and was one of many B-17 Bomb Groups stationed in England. The 398th was formed in the United States in 1943 and was stationed in Nuthampstead, England from April 1944 until June 1945.

The stories of flying bombers during World War II always captivated me. He was a Mickey Operator.

What is the meaning of the Acronym PFF and MICKEY
Specially equipped B-17s, called Pathfinder Force [PFFs] were equipped with a radar navigation system devised by the British and improved by the Americans for targeting through heavy cloud cover. It was encased electronics and replaced the ball turret in the B-17 lead plane. These planes flew in the lead and others dropped their payload when this plane did. Since the ground couldn't be seen, the results were marked as "unobserved." The "secret" system was code named "Mickey". Highly trained operators were called "Mickey Operators." For additional details see the April 1995 Flak News Article

I am sad that these stories can never be retold by him from his personal accounting. I am sad to never see him again at least on this earth. I feel the loss of my father again as this was one of my last true connections with my father's family. They looked a lot alike.

Thank you for serving your country and for being a wonderful man.

I miss you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Without Exception

So without any exceptions...THIS WEATHER SUCKS.

It feels like forever until we will see 70 degrees again. Yesterday was nice but oh man.

It could be worse a large portion of the country has seen quite a few dangerous spring storms. Parts of Wisconsin had 8 inches of snow this past week So, I'll shut it and count my blessings.

So I will use this rainy yucky day to get caught up on chores from last weeks spring break shenanigans. Now to find my motivation. Revving my engines. Emergency break off. Seat belt on. Coffee loaded. Music turned up. Windshield wipers wiping.

Mark, get set, go

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happiness # 7 - Remove the Word Perfect

Happiness Ingredient # 7

Remove the word Perfect from my dictionary.

I just can't stress this enough.

Perfection has the ability to ruin my day and everyday if I let it. Some examples:

When we were selling our house I was a perfection monster. I tortured my family and myself. Now this was short lived and somewhat necessary. We needed to move and we needed the house to sell....and fast.

But every time we got the call for a showing I went on a flippin tantrum induced psychotic outburst.

The problem really started when we moved into our new house. I still required that perfection. Since this was a brand new home I expected it to always look like a model home. I felt like a failure when it didn't.

Now I still easily can slide down this slippery slope back into this neurosis.

Something I strive to remember....Perfection is not only ugly. In fact I would go as far as to say "Imperfection is Beautiful". You can quote me on that.

I lived in a new home outside of Dallas, TX as a child. This neighborhood created great memories for me (catching frogs, gaining some independence with my bike all summer long). But perhaps my favorite thing about the neighborhood was an imperfection within our house. The sliding glass door had an oil spot in the glass. I assume it occurred on an assembly line. Probably oil dripped from some machinery. Someone quality checking the product must have missed this imperfection. To me it was the most beautiful thing in the world. When the sun would shine on that glass door it created the most beautiful rainbow on the floor.

No one in my family ever mentioned the imperfection but I found out later that my mother also loved that door. To me it was my special little rainbow.

I have 12 beautiful drinking glasses. (they were an anniversary gift last year) They should all be exactly the same but they are not. One of my kitchen glasses has a strange, wonderful, beautiful imperfection. It is hard to explain what it looks like. Almost like a small strip in the glass is blurry like a prism. It is my favorite. Every time I pull a water glass out of the cabinet I look to see if it is my special glass. On the lucky days that it is.....well, I smile just a little brighter that day! It's hard to explain I'm not sure I can.

A perfect plank of mahogany would not be as beautiful without the knot. A perfectly sunny day would not spark the imagination of a child making shapes out of the clouds.

A few times when my children were little I would hear people tell them, "That is perfect." It could have been a story they created or a drawing. Or maybe the clothes they were wearing. Whatever it was, I would privately speak to that person and ask them not to say perfect to my children. I would give them suggestions like, "Wow that is great. I can tell you worked hard on that." or simply "nice job".

I never said it to them. I don't want them to feel like they have to live up to perfection. I have always told them just do your best. People may still say that to them but now I feel they are equipped to understand. Young children take everything so literally.

I have had to learn to train myself to stop requiring perfection.It is an ongoing work of art.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

KID News

About the snow I am only going to say one word......Blech.

I have successfully recaptured the cat. Soon we will be taking him in to the vet/shelter. Savanah said a tearful goodbye this morning. But I sensed a little relief in her voice. I think she has been worrying about the well being of this cat and now she knows he will be well taken care of. I am so proud of her. She took great care of the cat. She understands the need to get him to a good home. And she understands why that home cannot be ours. She has finally graciously excepted it.

She has a huge capacity to nurture and love.

Exciting news, Billy made it on to the Elk River Competitive Cheer team. I just think Billy is so neat. He looks all emotional DRAMA. He looks dark and dreary. But he is so upbeat and comfortable in his skin.

One of his teachers has nominated him to be a LINK leader. They go through training to help the new freshman next year. I like that they see him as a leader. He is a leader and certainly not a follower.

Also very exciting...BILLY IS PASSING CHINESE! Yay! This has been the hardest class for him. He has an awful time with the written language. The characters and such.

Billy want to join this club called "Yellow Ribbon". According to him they deal with teen issues and emotions. They also help raise awareness to Teen suicide prevention. I also like that he wants to be involved. He has had to deal with suicidal threats and talk from friends and a girlfriend. He handled himself with caution and care. he really cares about people and values life. One of the guidance counselors runs this club.

Last but not least important.....Billy starts Driver's Ed on may 2nd. Lord help us all!!

I love my kids and I like them too.....most of the time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Okay Everyone and their brother is complaining so I am going to join the crowd. You know the old saying, "If your friends jumped off a cliff would you too?" At this point with this weather. well....Yes, yes I would!

This weather SUCKS!!! I am going to close my blinds for the next 24 to 36 hours. Light some pina colada candles, turn up the Bob Marley, turn up my thermostat to 75 and drink some rum!

These are my suggestions to you as well. There is nothing I can say or do to make the approaching snow tolerable!! So I plan to bury my head in the sand! Or you could just bury your toes in the sand while dreaming of a sandy beach, humid sunshine and gentle ocean breezes! A frothy drink with little umbrella. Oh yeah that too.

Is 10:30 am too early for that??

Monday, April 18, 2011

Let the Heart Ache Commence

Oh my sweet animal loving baby girl is about to have her heart broken.

Little stray kitty affectionately named "Kit Cat" is going to be leaving us soon. The little girls of the neighborhood have been caring for him for about 5 days now. And he is the sweetest little guy. So affectionate. I'm gonna miss him terribly but I can't sleep at night knowing the coyotes are out there in the woods he sleeps in. We can't keep him because of allergies. I would keep him if it was possible.

My neighbors vet office is also a shelter. They do not euthanize cats unless they are very ill. They foster them out and then place them through adoption.

So he will go to a good home but Lord help me to help my child get through this heartbreak. She loves this cat so much.

I will use all the appropriate and true words, "He will have a great home. You took such great care of him. You saved him. I am so proud of you. Now he will be safe." all that ya da yada yada. But it won't matter. I'm gonna watch her heart break and it is going to break my heart!

There will be anger, many tears, hugs and kisses too.

This is going to SUCK!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011


Dammit! Yes I cursed!

I am so irritated. I saw something that no one else saw. I saw something I wish I hadn't seen. I saw something that completely shocked me and caught me off guard. I saw something that completely changed my view about a person.

I cannot say what I saw or who did it. (it is not illegal or really really bad) just immoral in my eyes and mean.

I previously respected this person, liked this person. This is a person I have regular contact with. It is not someone I can really avoid. I feel I will not be able to look this person in the eye again.

It leaves me asking the question, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?

It makes me question the "good" in people. Or this particular person. And you call yourself a Christian?

It just makes me feel ill.

0 Days to go - NO MORE WINTER 4-15-2011

0 Days to go. Farewell you wicked beast! I have prevailed!

What is this day? What does this day mean?

It is April 15th, 2011
It is a Friday.
It is Tax day.

It is over. Winter is over.

YOU HAVE ARRIVED. Think of the GPS saying this to you.

You have not only survived, you have thrived this winter. Give yourself that well deserved pat on the back.

You didn't kill anyone this winter. It was close for me. I often plotted the demise of the snow plow driver everytime I had to dig out the mailbox.

This does not mean the days going forward will be 80 degrees and sunny. We will still have gloomy, chilly, windy days. This is spring not heaven! In fact today is one of those days. But just look around you. The grass is turning green and things are growing.


And for God's sake I don't want to hear any of you complaining in summer about, "How hot it is!" Before you know it the days will start getting shorter. The leaves will start changing and BAM.... you will see white covering your world again.

And we will be back here in winter counting down the days. Oh the seasons of our lives.

My heart is smiling.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

1 Day to go - Freakin Winter 4-14-2011

1 Day to go

So for my purposes this is the last day of winter.

It is also my brother's birthday. Happy Birthday Scotty. I'm truly blessed that you were born.

Yes I do find it ironic that tomorrow night you may see white stuff falling from the sky. But truly that is normal for spring here in Siberia.

Vivian I am proud of you!!! You did it. You made it! Another Minnesota winter. It's a down hill coast now. Relish in this moment.

My crisis seems to be resolving itself. I am thanking God! Many times over! I do think when we are truly in the "all clear". I will write a post about this struggle in detail.

Another happiness post coming soon. We are almost done with that series too.

Whew, Enjoy the day!

1 Day to go - Freakin Winter 4-14-2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2 Days to go -Freakin Winter 4-13-2011

2 Days to go

Just hang in there folks the current weather is just a glitch in spring. Just think it gives you those last few days to finish your indoor projects before you will want to be outside every day.

Truthfully it does suck. Just admit that. Say it out loud and then move on!

Short post today gotta go take the dog to the vet this morning.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

3 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-12-2011

3 Days to go!

A beautiful day on tap today. 70 degrees, sunshine. I can't wait!!

However, I find it increasingly ironic that on 4-15-2011 this coming Friday night. The night of the day winter in my textbook is over......we may get (measurable) snow. Oh the pain, the misery, the sorrow.

My secret problem has taken a slight uptick. I am so hopeful and grateful to God! It's funny that I don't feel quite right talking/writing about it here. It's almost as if I'll jinx it if I put it in writing. Please know I appreciate the loving thoughts and prayers.

So go LOVE this day!

Happiness #6 - Engaged In the Moment

Happiness Ingredient #6

Engaged in the moment

This is a significant struggle for me. In fact I just noticed I wrote this happiness ingredient in THE PAST TENSE! Uhhhhhh Duh.

It should be "Engage in the moment!!"

I find myself distracted a lot. It drives my family crazy!! Maybe I have ADHD. Could be. Sometimes I am distracted by my to do list. Sometimes I am distracted by my past. Sometimes I am distracted when the wind blows.

But one thing for sure, I am always distracted.

I hate it! and I vow to improve it. How?

I am not sure yet. But I have some ideas.

1. I think the first step is just trying to be more aware. I want to catch myself in the act of not being engaged. And then stop it. I can do this. In fact I have done this. For example while playing a game with Savanah, I caught myself making a mental list of things I need to remember to do. So I got out my notebook, asked Savanah to wait one second and then I wrote them down. I was able to stop thinking and instead I enjoyed one of these fleeting moments that I have with my child.

2. Remove distractions. For instance when I am on the phone....walk away from the computer. I find while I should be listening I may still be reading something.

3. Turn the TV off! I am so sucked in by the TV. In fact when I am watching TV, you can't distract me from it. I am in a trance.

Well I guess I'll start there.

Let me know if you have any ideas for this!

Monday, April 11, 2011

4 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-11-2011

4 Days My enthusiasm has waned a bit here!

I know we all feel like we may be backsliding. 55 degrees right now. With highs forecasted later this week 49 degrees, 47 degrees and 48 degrees. With even a slight chance of snow Friday And believe me I know it sucks big time. We have that beautiful glorious day that hits 70 and we are all ready to run around in shorts and flip flops.


This is Minnesota and well, unfortunately we just aren't there yet.

But just hang in there. Look at the grass. It's turning GREEN! I see buds on some of the trees.

Really the temps will bounce back. I promise. I just don't know when.

My ugly problem persists. It hasn't escalated. To tell you the truth I'll take stable.

Stable is good for now.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

5 Days to GO - Freakin Winter 4-10-2011

5 Days to GO


Sunday Quotes:

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." -- Victor Hugo

"Death is no more that passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see."
-Helen Keller


Saturday, April 9, 2011

6 Days to Go - Freakin Winter 4-9-2011

Happy Saturday!!! We are almost there!

Saturday Quotes:

"I saw a TV commercial that said, "Kiss your hemorrhoids goodbye." -not even if I could!" -unknown

"I found that in entertaining, as well as in life, It's best to surrender to the natural chaos around you. You'll have so much more fun." -
-Ree Drummond - Pioneer Woman

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, April 8, 2011

SLE Maybe - BS Yes

SLE (lupus) Maybe but for sure it is BS. Bull shit.

So the doctor has said based on blood tests and symptoms...I have some sort of Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. Lupus - Maybe, Rheumatoid Arthritis - maybe, Schleroderma -maybe, sjogrens - maybe. Or maybe a nasty combo of these. So it is yet undetermined. This is old news. I've been dealing with this for 3 years.

Now none of these are particularly terminal, none curable. Mostly managing symptoms and watching for more serious complications. SO YES I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW I need to count my blessings!!!!!

But Bull Shit...This is my post and I'm gonna complain and vent. For my way of life is in jeopardy!!

Yesterday I walked. I diligently put on my prescription strength sunscreen (no more skin cancer for me ya'll) to my face! I wore a hat! I put spf chap stick on my lips. I wore long sleeves and long pants. I was good!! During my walk I pushed up my sleeves as it started getting just a little hot.

After I got home I sat on my deck in the sunshine for 30 minutes with short sleeves. I reapplied sunscreen to my face and lips. Fast forward four hours later. My still white ass arms that match my white ass legs feel like someone is poking me with tiny needles. My lips are stinging and bright red. This lasts all night and continues today. It has subsided substantially but still there.

Now I have a big ass ganglion cyst on my wrist. Okay I am pissed!!! I deal with fatigue and joint pain every day and the occasional "itis" (inflammation) epilglottitis, uvulitis, pleuritis!

But BULL SHIT if I am giving up the sun! and beach vacations! and enjoying the outdoors! and gardening! and swimming! This just sucks!!! Big sucks.

I know I know I know...There are much worse things but really this stinks.

Maybe because I watched MS take everything she loved away from my mother I am freakin adamant that NO NO NO. This affliction will not take anything away from me. This is bull shit and fix it. And that is what I plan to tell my rheumatologist. FIX THIS because I am not going down without a big ass fight. I am not going down quietly! I will jump up and down screaming if I have to.

Okay I feel a little better now.

Thanks for listening.

7 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-8-2011

7 days folks. That is it.

Yesterday I increased my walk once again to about 3.4 miles.

Said problem is still a problem. Working on one possible path to handle it. will let you know. hmmmmm

Here's to hoping!

Cesar Milan's dog Daddy died yesterday. What an incredible dog! I adored him. I never thought a dog could change my mind about pit bulls. But Daddy did. I still wouldn't own one but he changed me. It's really quite sad.

well today I will walk once again.

It has been a wicked long week! I am entirely glad it is Friday. Woo-hoo.

Supposedly there may be thunderstorms this weekend. I would love to see lightening and hear thunder. That is a sure sign spring is here.

Another happiness post next week.

I have tons to do today so without further ado....

Have a Fantastic Weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

8 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-7-2011

8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8

8) 8 days until My winter is officially over.

What a glorious day yesterday was. I went for my walk and because the sun was shinning and the wind was light I extended my walk from 2 miles to 3 miles.

Oh but yikes that last half mile!!! That was rough. But I did and it felt great!

I went shopping yesterday. I usually hate shopping but yesterday was different. I got a fantastic surprise when I tried on clothes. 2 sizes difference of a surprise! It was a good day!

However, last night things went south with a difficult homework assignment and tears and angry words. I hate that! At that point you kind of just have to say, I'm going to bed! We'll try this all again tomorrow.

Today is supposed to be nice too. So I am going to walk and soak in the day.

Yesterday's mentioned potential problem continues to exist and I'm gonna hold out a couple more days before I completely FREAK OUT!! We are just going to take this one day at a time. After said problem passes I'll explain.

Soak in today's sunshine and a 60+ degree day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

9 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-6-2011

9 - 9 - 9 - 9 - 9 - 9 - 9

9 Days!!!

This will be really random.
I feel a spring cleaning jag approaching. I feel the need to sweep the porch. Clean off the deck.

I looked at my garden yesterday......MY CHIVES are growing. They are popping up out of the ground. Amazing. beautiful. Green. My beloved green is slowly making a come back. The return of green fills my heart with joy.

I foresee another walk in my future. My vow - My body will be bathing suit ready by June!

I do have a big dark cloud of worry perched upon my shoulder. Nothing I can really speak about. I am hoping by not acknowledging it that this problem will not completely materialize. At this point there is just a hint of this potential hazard. This is like a mental chess game with much at stake. I cannot misstep and make a wrong move. I know for certain I have to tread lightly here and DO NOT panic. I feel like I am in a pressure cooker. The next 3 days are critical to the outcome and within that time I will know exactly what we are dealing with here.

I'm praying in earnest about it. Praying for patience, wisdom and swift resolution.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

10 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-5-2011

The final count down! This is it folks. We do the BIG countdown. 10 - 9 - 8 - 7.


Yesterday Savanah showed me her hands (palm side up). She asked me, "Do you notice anything different?" I looked and said, "No." She excitedly said, "Mom Look closely....CALLUSES! That means it is almost summer!" Oh the joy of monkey bars on the playground at school.

I see signs of spring all around me now. I see buds just coming up out of the ground. I hear a bazillion birds chirping. The Canadian geese are back. The box elder bugs are gathering in earnest on the sunny side of my house. Never thought I would be happy to see those nasty little creatures but I am.

I am watching the sun rise. It is rising to the left of the neighbors(across the street) house. In winter it rises to the right of their house.

I have a patch of snow in my yard about 12 inches by 7 inches. That is it. That is all the snow in my yard. I smelled dirt on my walk Saturday!!!!

Yesterday was a little dismal. Cold, cloudy, windy. But if I flip it to a positive. The wind dried up my yard! And wow! those beautiful dark gray clouds mixed with bright blue sky. You don't get that fabulous contrast in winter.

Now today, another sunny 50+ degree day. Oh yeah. I am really looking for 70 degrees but hey I'll take what I can get.

Think spring, speak spring, smell spring, hear spring, see spring, feel spring.

Open your heart to spring. It is all around you!

Happiness #5 - Accepting the truth

#5 on my list of ingredients

Accepting the truth

What does this mean? Don't live in fantasy land. You can go to fantasy land in your mind occasionally but don't live there. In fact don't go there for more than a 5 minute break from reality.

For instance once in a blue moon I will buy a Powerball lottery ticket. Inevitably I play the, "What would I do with all that money?" game. I envision the car I would buy for my honey, my vacation villa in the keys, the professionally amazing landscaped retreat that my yard would look like, the addition to my home, the people I could help with unlimited funds. Oh, oh no. See I did it!!!! just trying to explain it!

This is dangerous to my mental health and depression management. These visions first give me a feeling of euphoria but then I am left feeling unhappy about my current situation. When gosh darn it...I am truly blessed!! My current situation is blessed!

Lower your expectations.

Something good (besides Billy) that came out of my first marriage. Funny huh? lowering my expectations is a result of my first marriage? My ex-husband told me this about myself. Listen up...cause you will never hear me say this again.....not ever....he was right. Just joking...kind of.

He told me that I would build up an event or a person, (holiday, date night, birthday, etc) in my mind and picture how perfect it would be, romantic, fun, exciting, etc. Then when it would fall short of the perfection ( oh no, THAT word again) I envisioned I would get sad, mad and disappointed.

He was right. I did that. I would make grandiose plans with grand intentions and if something went awry I would be horrified.

Now when I say, lower your expectations, you have to understand I would set the highest of expectations. My expectations required perfection. I still have expectations of the people in my life. They are realistic. I expect and require that I am treated with respect, honesty and kindness.

However I really don't think about upcoming events anymore, unless I am planning them. But even then I don't really set expectations. I don't daydream about them or spend any time envisioning the outcome. I have found I am almost always thrilled and surprised at how wonderful things turn out.

Do dream a little for the future but live for the now.

Live in reality


Monday, April 4, 2011

11 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-4-2011

11 Days to go.

God was spitting white stuff out of the clouds this morning. The appreciation of each unique beautiful snowflake is completely lost on me now. It looks like spit balls to me now.

However it was a pretty nice weekend. I went for a walk both days.

Now Today....Today is one of "those" days. [insert an exasperated sigh] Or hopefully just one of those mornings. But quite often I have found if you start out the day with "one of those mornings", it will take some concerted effort to save the day. I am up for the challenge.

Just gotta love Mondays.
The day started with a sleepy grouchy teenager. Followed by an equally crabby husband (he is the most NON morning person I know). Culminating to an irate 8 year old who left the house chasing the bus ( okay she didn't exactly chase the bus but it had already left the stop but he saw us so she got picked up in her own driveway) crying the whole way.

On one hand, I HATE sending a child out the door feeling like their world is falling apart. (A missing boot means no playground at recess) On the other hand, I'm like would you just go!!!!!! After the bus pulls away I inevitable feel sad and guilty. I did however, take that moment where I held her adorable cheeks and looked her in the eye, then told her, "You're gonna be okay. I love you" And gave her a big kiss before she stepped on the bus. As an afterthought I hollered, "Have a great day!" So here I sit hoping the day turns around for both of us.

Oh yeah EVERYBODY is going to sleep tonight at 8:30 pm!!


Friday, April 1, 2011

14 Days to go - Freakin Winter 4-1-2011

Happy April Fool's Day! Happy Two Weeks more of winter!!! 7 X 2 = 14

Yes we have been practicing our multiplication in our home. For some reason my strange but adorable dog loves to eat multiplication flash cards. So far she has enjoyed the multiplication facts for 7 and 3. My witty sister said, "She must be hungry for knowledge."

So today Savanah watched all (she has seen parts before) of Les Miserables. She loved it and cried at the end.

Now I am doing some tap dancing around the prostitution part. I have told her all those ladies live on the street and are poor. I tell her they are asking the men for help or food. Now there are two distinct parts where the word "Whore" is used. I am very militant at these parts. I speak very loudly gaining Savanah's attention and I distract her with any means possible. Today I faked a stubbed toe. I hollered and yelled and jumped up and down. I knew acting school would pay off some day!

Thank the Lord she hasn't asked me what whore means and Lord help me when she does. Guess I'll cross that nasty bridge when I come to it.

After she watched the whole thing (very long) she started it over to watch it again. This time she made it through act 1 before she needed to do something else.

I love it! I remember seeing the actual play the first time. As soon as it was over I said, "I'd sit through the whole play again right now if I could change into my jammies first." I had on fancy play clothes that were very uncomfortable.

I love that my children appreciate the theater. We are so fortunate to provide them the opportunity to see many plays.

One of my most wonderful memories of my father is going together to see "Kiss Me Kate" with Robert Goulet at the beautiful outdoor Muny theater in St. Louis. ( I still have the program) It was a beautiful night to sit in an outdoor theater. It was one of those magical nights you always remember. It was also the day I fell in love with Robert Goulet and those crystal blue eyes!

This was around the same time I fell in love with Christopher Plummer from the Sound of Music Movie. It's no wonder my fantastic husband has dark brown hair and beautiful blue eyes. :)

I find this to be quite the random post! Fun but Random.

Hey enjoy the weekend!

Wow I love coincidence (or not);I just looked up The Muny website to see a picture of the beautiful theater again, "Kiss me Kate" is playing this season June 27th - July 3rd.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Savanah's Paint Job

Here it is. The finished product. Now we will be getting her a desk since she got rid of a lot of old toys. I love the stripes.

I couldn't have done it without the help from my neighbor.

Thank you so much Tracy


15 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-31-2011

The last day of March. Wow. The days go so fast although winter seems to drag on. I look forward to warm summer nights with the sound of frogs and crickets.

There is no school today for my elementary student. What to do? She is scheming about some April Fools trickery. hmmm I'll have to keep my eye on this one!

I am feeling discombobulated this morning. A little off. Perhaps the change to my normal Thursday schedule or the impending weather forecast and gray skies out my window.

Rain with possible snow showers. Another chance of snow Monday. blech

So now I am looking for inspiration. Something to move me.....or the alternative....a nap.

Nope gotta move. Move my body or my mind. For the level of blah I am feeling I need both probably.

I may start my outdoor gardening planning this week.

Maybe that will work. I'll give it a shot.

I'll let you know how that turns out.

Soon I will post pictures of Savanah's new paint in her room. I love it.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Blogger problems

If you haven't noticed already I am having technical difficulties with blogger. Not sure if it them or my operator error.

All of my sentences are bunching together the second I save a post. So huh, bear with me.

16 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-30-2011

16 days until I officially rule winter complete. 2 days until April 1st. Ahhhh I saw a bug today!! A fly flying. I saw a robin. I also heard the spring call of a cardinal. I promise warmer days ahead.

I went for a walk yesterday and it felt glorious. Although it was only 42 degrees. Can you believe 42 degrees felt good? The sun was shinning and there was no wind. Today should be about 45 degrees. Funny how in September 45 degrees feels frigid. In March 42 degrees feels manageable.

Can't wait to feel 75!!

Happiness #4 - Gratitude

This is number #4 on my list of ingredients.


Why gratitude? Well simply said, You can't be miserable when you are filled with gratitude.

When you are feeling down name your blessings. Don't count them, name them. This one is truly that simple and there is not really any more to say about it.

Just fill your heart with gratitude.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happiness #3 - Worry and Stress

#3 on my list of ingredients.

Dealing with worry and stress effectively.

Everyone has stress, no one is immune. People deal with stress and worry all the time, whether or not they realize it. A lot of times people self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. We know these are unhealthy and can damage every aspect of your life. This will sabotage your happiness and your relationships. If you or a loved one is trapped in this hell please seek professional help.

There are a lot of other unhealthy self-medicating ways individuals deal with stress. Eating, hoarding, shopping, extreme exercising. I do some of these myself ......a little. That would be the key. I eat for necessity, pleasure, boredom or escape. I drink alcohol occasionally to take the edge off. I shop and will occasionally partake in a senseless impulse purchase. I guess I don't hoard. Moderation is the key here. Exercise is a great stress reliever for me. Going for a walk. But there are people who exercise all day becoming addicted.

Speaking of addiction I am letting the cat out of the bag. For those who don't know this, I smoke. :( I smoke as a way to relieve stress and I smoke because I am addicted to smoking. Smoking is like my quiet time. It's my 10 minute break from the world. I don't smoke in my house or my car. So I smoke on the porch or the deck. Can you imagine me all huddled up against the Minnesota winter wind standing outside like a damn fool to smoke a cigarette? ridiculous. Do I know how bad it is for me? I do and even more so with my particular family history of heart disease and bladder cancer. So You are hearing it now!!!! I am choosing a date to quit. I will announce that day on that day. I am working up a plan. And a new way to experience that 10 minute break.

Stress and worry will steal from your happiness. And can take years from your life.

I feel the key here is to find ways of dealing with it effectively in a healthy manner instead of trying to escape from it.

Some methods I use:
Make a worry journal
Instead of making mental notes. I make written notes. Staple some pieces of paper together. Each piece of paper gets two worries. One at the top of the page and one about half way down. Then look at each worry separately asking questions and writing down the answers. Is there anything I can do about this? What needs to be done? the steps? Dates to complete steps.

Then I use this piece of paper to make notes. Say one of the steps is to "call Mary to confirm cancellation." I call and leave a message for Mary. I will put that note there, "Called Mary Left message on 2-25-2011. Follow up on 2-27-2011 if I haven't heard back."

So often I go through life thinking about what needs to be done. But this really frees up my mind, so I can enjoy moments with my family or just enjoy quiet time with a quiet brain. No nagging question or looming doom! Because I know I am doing what I can and controlling the situation as best I know how. Everything has been captured and is "in process".
1 Minute Meditation
Taking five really deep breaths. On the intake I breath in through my nose and I think the words "clear the mechanism" ( I saw this in the movie For the Love of the Game). I exhale the breath through my mouth making a sighing noise as I let the air out. As you exhale try to relax your entire body especially your shoulders. Just let them droop. Repeat this five times.

Then I stretch my whole body. Doesn't stretching feel magnificent? If my mind starts to wonder back to what I was worrying (obsessing) about. I repeat over and over, "Here and now". When I am done I get up and do something physical or busy work. Fold laundry, clean a room, empty the dishwasher. Just something that makes me move and makes me feel accomplishment. These steps really do help me.

I go for a 30 minute walk. or I put on loud bouncy music. and jump. Just jump for one song.

Stop Procrastinating

I have learned over time that often I create a crisis by procrastinating. If I had taken care of a problem it would not have escalated to the boiling point. If I extinguish a small flame it does not turn into a raging inferno. I have had to examine why I procrastinate. If something is really irritating me I find I put it off. Also if I am doubting my ability to do something I procrastinate.

Here is a current example. 6 months ago I got a crack in my windshield. It was a little irritating to me because it was a nuisance. I dealt with it. Called my insurance, called the window place, got it fixed. It was an inconvenience. One month later a freaking rock flies at my windshield and cracked the dang thing again. I have been so irritated that I have somewhat subconsciously refused to start the process and call the insurance. So I have been driving around with a cracked windshield for 5 months. I keep thinking dang I need to get that fixed.

Now if I really think hard about this I realize a few things. 1. It is dangerous to drive with a cracked windshield. 2. I worry about it. It yells at me every time I get in the car. 3. I'm breaking the law. And the most important. 4. If I had gotten the windshield fixed immediately, I would not have wasted all of this time worrying and feeling angry.

Guess what I am doing tomorrow. Yeah it's time.

Often I write about my worries or frustrations here or in a separate journal. It helps me think through things.

And sometimes I just need to talk about it with someone I trust. I mostly talk to my husband, my sister or a good friend. Getting the words out there helps. Sometimes they give me great advice or a shoulder to cry on. It reminds me I am not alone.

So how do you deal with stress? How could you do it more effectively?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Treasure

Today Jeff and I are going to Pama's home at the assisted living to finish clearing out her things. It is difficult. I am anxious to get it completed. Maybe it will help with some closure.

I have gone back there a few times to work on this difficult task. I would like for today to be the last time I have to go there. When I am there I am touched by the people who come and talk to me. Residents and staff adored Pama. They have told me how they miss her. Everyone was very shocked by her unexpected passing.

The nurses and aides and the director of the assisted living have all made it a point to tell me how peaceful she looked that morning. One said it was like God had just lifted her soul leaving her body peacefully resting. They all said she looked beautiful.

When I go through Pama's clothing I am reminded of the woman that she was. So many of her shirts are beautiful and bright with fantastic patterns. I love it. This vibrancy that belonged to her. This vibrancy that she wore so well.

I remember going to visit her feeling excited to see what shirt she would be wearing today. What earrings would adorn her ears?

The dinning room at the assisted living was beautiful. Two story windows looked out over Lake Johanna. Bird feeders lined the windows. Brightly colored birds, geese, ducks and squirrels provided constant entertainment. I like to remember her sitting there smiling and commenting on the antics of the animals.

There was one thing in particular that I found in Pama's belongings that was endearing to me and spoke to Pama's character.

At the assisted living they would use paper place mats at mealtimes. On holidays and sometimes for no particular reason, instead of just white they would use colorful paper place mats. Fourth of July would be red white and blue with flags, the first day of spring would be colorful flowers, fall would be orange and red leaves. My grandmother would neatly fold them up before she ate and keep them. Paper place mats were beautiful and special to her. That is who she was. She could find beauty and something worth cherishing in the simplest of things.

She treasured life and she was a treasure to those who knew her.

Friday, March 25, 2011

21 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-25-2011

I got most of the snow off of my deck..... again. I actually sat out there in the sunshine yesterday for a few minutes reading a book. It was nice.

The good thing about March snow, it melts rather quickly because of the angle of the sun even when the temp is below 32.

Billy tried out for Elk River Cheer yesterday. I hope he makes it. He told me how fun it is to just be himself, jump around and yell. I am proud of him. He is fearless and he knows himself very well.

No school today for Savanah. So what to do? hmmm I'll think of something.

One week from today.......will be.......April 1st. Oh boy. I used to be a big April Fool's Day prankster. Then I figured out my family really didn't enjoy the tradition as they took the brunt of the torture. So I stopped BUT I threaten each year. I make them wonder, "What is she going to do to me this year?" That in itself becomes it's own fun prank but with less casualties.

Another post on happiness on Monday.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

22 Days to go : Freakin Winter 3-24-2011

Why write about happiness?

Because it is March in Minnesota and happiness is hard to find!! Just breath...spring will come..eventually.

Some people are born with a genetic abundance of happiness. I am not one of them. Some researchers say 50% of a person's happiness is determined by genetics. That means 50% of my happiness is determined by me. Now I know that my genetic disposition for happiness may be low. My parents were some of the most unhappy people I've known.

But what a wonderful thought that my attitude and my reaction to circumstance can control a portion of my own happiness.

So the way I see it, the rest is up to me. I am no psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctor or great philosopher. I am just a normal but determined, Joe, who struggles with depression and anxiety.

I love being around people who are just naturally joyous. You know the ones. But me.... I have to work a little at it. Sometimes I don't suceed.

I am intrigued by discoveries about myself and others on this journey of life and pursuit of happiness.

So I write. Maybe my writing will help someone else. It certainly helps me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Have Had it!

Oh man, I'm pissy, pissy, pissy. seriously irritated!!

grrrrrr. I think all of Minnesota is done. Everyone has a slight to large scowl on their face!

Not sure what to do with what I am feeling. Gotta think this through.

Wish me luck or duck.

23 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-23-2011

Okay so as I watch the snow falling and I see 1/2 inch of ice and 6 inches of the white blah on my deck, I am trying to focus on positive thoughts. hmmmm let me think.

It's going to get colder the rest of the week. This will slow the melting therefore decreasing the flood threat. Okay I'll take that positive.

The snow fills in the wicked pot holes. Okay that is positive.

School was closed today because of the snow. This gives Billy a chance to catch up from being out of school last week. He also needs to do some serious reading for his report due next week.

I also got to sleep in. That is good.

I don't have to go anywhere today. That's good too. My honey made it to work safely.

So there you have it.

That's all I got.


Happiness #2 : Passion

As my grandmother was the happiest person I've known, it seems appropriate to continue with the search for happiness topic.

This was #2 on my list of ingredients.

Finding and Pursuing your passion.

This sounds so easy, doesn't it? It is not as easy as it sounds but......It's not as difficult as you think either.

To find your passion. Ask yourself some questions. First (oddly enough) take others out of this equation. We all experience great joy just being with our family or doing things for the ones we love but I'm talking about you here. So when you are by yourself.......

When are you most happy? What are you doing when you are most happy? List a minimum of three things but no more than six.

Your answer will be unique to you. It could be mountain climbing, reading, playing tennis, skydiving, driving, singing, cleaning, training your dog, etc.

Mine happen to be: (in no particular order)






Helping others

These are my passions! Just because it is my passion doesn't mean I am accomplished at this task or that I do it often. It means I am happiest when I am doing these things. These things move me, make me feel fulfilled.

Again take your family out of this equation. Of course my children and my husband are my passion too.

But also remember what we talked about yesterday. How is your relationship with yourself? You can't have a great relationship with someone else if you don't have one with yourself first. Nurture yourself as you would a child.

Pursuing your passion

Now I can feel the angst with this one. Do I need to quit my job and become a mountain trail guide because I love to hike? No you don't. You can and more power to you if you decide to take your passion to that level.

But I am also a realist. I have lived paycheck to paycheck. I understand the needs of my family and myself to survive and thrive. I have responsibilities to myself and others.

So I need to think of how I can pursue these passions and still live up to my responsibility.

Think of the impossible as possible.

Here is an example: Your passion is to become a nurse. You need to go back to school but you work full time supporting your son as a single parent. Look into night school. Even if it is one night a week. People, including yourself, may be tempted to say or think with a groan, "That will take forever." I say "NO, if you never start, then IT WILL TAKE FOREVER." If you can't afford to take the class or have daycare issues. Even if it seems completely impossible and truly it is just not feasible. Don't give up! So it may not happen now but that doesn't mean you can't make it happen in the future when circumstances change.

I knew a lady who so wanted to become a teacher. She married right out of high school. Didn't go to college, had three children. When the youngest of the three started school, so did she. She became a teacher. And a great one.

Now assuming your pursuit of your passion does not involve career change, what does that mean? Make time in your life for your passion!!!! If you love to sculpt with clay, schedule it in your calendar. Love yourself enough to fulfill your passion. Make it happen. You owe this to yourself.

Now on the flip side, I hate to bring this up at all. But I have to. I would feel neglectful if I didn't. My mother had a passion for painting and craft projects. She allowed this passion to become an obsession. It took over our home and her life. It became, to be brutally honest, more important than anything including people. She lost her relationships (#1 on the ingredient list) and filled that void with paint. Sad but true.

Recognize a few key points:

Nothing is impossible even if it is not possible right now.

Your passion does not need to be your job. That would be great but not always realistic. You can pursue a passion outside of employment.

Don't let your passion become your obsession.

Your passions may change as you change.

Sincerely and Passionately,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

This sucks!

Okay tomorrow I am getting back to the weather therapy. But......

This sucks!!! We are under a Winter Storm Warning. 6-10 inches of snow. I just got to see most of my grass. Damn. Sorry But seriously, "Are you kidding me?" "Are you freakin kidding me?"

I will say this...I knew it was coming. I tried to pretend winter was over. Heck we had a few 50+ degree days. For a few blissful days I did not wear a jacket. I told Jeff, "Guess we are done with measurable snowfall." He just gave me a knowing smile. He knew.... It was all just as cozy lie.

These are the worst days of winter. The tease of spring and then BAM, the cold wind and frozen precipitation slaps you across your face. A whole week of temperatures not getting above 37 degrees. Yes this is the true test. The true grit of the Minnesotan needs to be summoned.

I will embrace my insanity over the next 10 days.

Then I will say hello to April.


Today Pama's body was buried in her beloved El Paso Texas next to her adoring husband. There is comfort for me in that.

I also found peace with letting her body go. Not by the means most people would think. Like thinking, what would she want? Or, that is just her body. Her soul is already with the Lord. Although those things are true and significant, one thing in particular helped me. I thought of Pama watching from heaven seeing my uncle and I fighting over her body. Angry actually probably very hateful words would have been said. That would make her sad. She loved us dearly and loved her son unconditionally. So with that thought and mostly God's help I am at peace.

I am slowly traveling the path back to the living. It is part of the grieving process. For the last week almost all I could think of was my Pama and my tragedy. Necessity pulls me back to reality. I think to myself, "Now, where was I before my world flipped?" Ah oh yeah. Canceled doctor appointments need to be rescheduled, vet appointment, bills need to be paid, etc. The world will continue to turn without me participating.

Now thoughts of Pama come and go. Sometimes I feel a little guilty as if I am forgetting her. I am not. No one lived life more beautifully than Pama and she would want this for me too.

This will be a dance of course, two steps forward, one step back. I am sure as I clean out her room. I will take one giant leap backwards. But again I will move forward towards living..... with Pama as my inspiration.

I think all of this is God's way of healing the broken heart.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Searching for Serentiy

I am asking God to help me grieve and replace my anger with peace.

I need to write my problem to release it.

My uncle, Gary did not take good care of my grandmother (his mother). Her house was damaged with a leaking roof and broken windows. Her clothes were falling apart. She had no food in her house. Her bank account had been depleted. She was being given unnecessary percocet to keep her in a confused state of mind. (my uncle would take half of the prescription for himself) This is how we found her in September 2006.

Since 2006 and being in our (her grandchildren) care she hadn't required narcotic pain killers once.

We fought a three year battle to get guardianship of her. We all sacrificed so much. Our savings were depleted and relationships were tested beyond limits by stress. We survived it. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Pama flourished in our care. She truly enjoyed the last 5 years of her life. Surrounded by her daughter until 2009 and her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved where she lived. She was by far the happiest most grateful person I have ever known. She never complained.

She journeyed to heaven Monday morning peacefully while she slept.

While making funeral plans we were suddenly informed my uncle is taking possession of her body. She is being shipped to Texas to be buried there.

I am struggling with this on so many levels. First, How can I give her back to someone who abused her? I know this is just her physical body and her soul that I adored is already in heaven. But still it feels so wrong.

Also, I (my family as well) have taken care of her now for awhile and just as I did for my mom when she died, I feel this huge responsibility to see her safely to her final resting place. I feel I owe this to her, she deserved to be treated respectfully and I need to ensure that happens. I am letting her down by letting her go.

I cannot stop this from happening so I am trying to deal with my anguish. It is hard enough to just say goodbye and give her to God.

So God I am asking you take great care of this special lady. She holds my heart, please fill it with serenity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Rough Day

I am having a rough day. All my emotions seem just at the surface of my skin. Tingling and bubbling.

I go through the motions that I must , calling and planning. Hiding my sorrow in busy motion and a numb professional voice.

But truthfully I am heartbroken. No one can quite know what my grandmother meant to me. She was the matriarch of our family. My hero, my friend, my inspiration, my heart.

I could always depend on her for a smile, a chuckle. Her joy and gratitude radiated to all that knew her.

Last week my niece, Cara interviewed Pama for a school project. Cara asked her, "What lessons have you learned in life?" Pama answered, "Tell the truth. Be yourself. Don't let anybody push you around."

Pama had medical conditions but they seemed under control. I thought I would have some warning. I thought her health would decline in a way that the doctors and I would know.

When I saw her last Friday her eyes lit up when she saw me from across the room. I wish I had stayed with her longer. I kissed and hugged her goodbye. Told her I loved her. As I walked away I turned to look at her, she was waving at me. I went back to her and kissed her again and told her "I'll see you soon."

In some ways I wish I had known in a little over 48 hours my chances to be with her would be gone.

I am thankful she passed the way she wished. She had said, "I don't want to know when it's coming. I want to die peacefully in my sleep, and hopefully I'll have lipstick on."

I think most people, myself included, hope to pass on into heaven so peacefully.

I have never known someone who lived so vibrantly.

I know where she is now but selfishly I regret. I just wish I had more time.

Monday, March 14, 2011

An early morning phone call today literally brought me to my knees.

My beautiful Pama passed away last night in her sleep. The ache in my heart is almost unbearable. She has been reunited with her beloved daughter and husband. She is with her parents whom she hadn't seen since she was a young child when she was placed in an orphanage. Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was 5. She is with her sister.

They are all together now, welcoming her into heaven. My heart grieves so for my own loss.

On Friday when I saw her, she told me she wanted to have a picnic. I promised we would when the weather got warmer. She looked wonderful on Friday. Happy. I asked her how she was feeling. She said great. She joked with her usual wit.

I miss her. The sun will not shine so bright. Or maybe as my husband said the sun will shine brighter.

I am filled with sorrow knowing I will never see her again or hear her laugh.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

33 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-13-2011

Sunday Quotes

"Immature love says: I love you because I need you.
Mature love says: I need you because I love you." -unknown

"What if the hokey pokey really is what it's all about?" -unknown


Saturday, March 12, 2011

34 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-12-2011

Saturday Quotes

"Never hit a man when he is down - he might get up again." -unknown

"You laugh because I'm different. I laugh because I just farted." -unknown


Friday, March 11, 2011

35 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-11-2011

Sending out prayers to the people of Japan. Unbelievable!

So we are now......

35 days remaining until I declare winter completely over. April 14th!!! You know I am practically a meteorologist?!

Daylight savings time starts this weekend. I am doing the happy sunshine dance!

Look for another happiness post on Monday!

Happiness #1 : Relationships

The first of my ingredients for happiness:

Strong fulfilling relationships with your God, your family, your friends and yourself.

This should be first because if you don't have these then well, nothing else really matters.

Not that everything needs to be put in order in life but I struggle with which one to talk about first between Your God or Yourself. ( I don't mean which is more important, more like which comes first the chicken or the egg.) Actually I think I just figured it out. Perhaps they need to be cultivated simultaneously.

Your relationship (or not) with God or Allah or Adonai or Jesus is your own. I don't want to argue it or change it. But I will say this, having faith in something much bigger than myself has given me peace and happiness. I suggest searching out your faith and strengthening it.

Your relationship with yourself requires you to love yourself. I know that sounds cliche. But..... You should treat yourself as well as you would your best friend. Or your child. Respect. kindness, caring, sympathy and very importantly FORGIVENESS.

A favorite quote I have heard, "Treat others how you would treat yourself. Not better than yourself."

You will make mistakes. That is okay, everybody does. You will be wrong. Accept it, admit it, learn from it. MOVE ON!

Be your own champion. Learn to accept praise from yourself. Pat yourself on the back for your accomplishments. Be proud of yourself. Humbly become your own biggest fan.

I want to make something clear though. This acknowledgement of your worth has to come from honesty. We all know the most annoying of people who think they are God's gift to the universe. We know this about them cause they are constantly telling us how wonderful they are in one way or another. My guess is that 95% percent of these people have debilitating low self esteem. They spend all of their time desperately trying to convince others and themselves that they are not worthless. They are not worthless. God doesn't make worthless.

Define your worth with truth. Remember your many accomplishments and more importantly your failures and how you learned from them. This exercise is meant to be done alone. Or with the help of a best friend. The person who knows you best.

If you first have a good relationship with yourself, the other relationships will follow suit.

All relationships should be based on respect, honesty, kindness, communication, and forgiveness. If you can accomplish this with yourself you can accomplish it with anyone that you care about.

One last word on this. No relationship is PERFECT (oh how I hate that word!). Expecting that would be disastrous.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 64 Freakin Winter 3-10-2011

I changed today's post. I renamed the original to "Ingredients for Happiness". I decided to make that whole discussion different from this winter dialog. So I will continue our winter count simultaneously with my happiness hunt.

But now I have decided something else new. Do you remember when I said I was going to call April 14th the end of the Freakin Winter shenanigans? Well I am sticking to the April 14th date but instead of counting up (ex. Day 64, Day 65, Day 66) I am going to start counting down!!! Yay! So as of tomorrow the blog will say "35 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-11-2011" the following day will say "34 Days to go - Freakin Winter 3-12-2011". and so on.

Warmer today. Sun is shinning. I hear melting outside. dripping Drip Drip Drip.

Careful, could be compared to Chinese water torture. ;)

Cause it can't melt fast enough for me. Okay I take that back. I don't want it to melt too fast because it will cause flooding. I guess I'll just have to be content with the drip drip drip.

Hang in there,

Ingredients for Happiness

Okay so I posted about my sock fetish the other day and how the more outrageous fun socks I have on my feet the happier I am. That is the truth too.

But......I've been thinking a little on the happiness thing again.

Happiness I think has just a few ingredients. In searching out happiness I think people try to make Tamarind Marinated Chicken Breast In Coconut-chickpea Flour Curry. Many ingredients, lots of steps, lots of stirring, waiting, prepping and care.

Maybe happiness should not be that difficult.

Here are my key ingredients. (in no particular order)

Strong fulfilling relationships with your God, your family, your friends and yourself.

Finding and Pursuing your passion.

Dealing with worry and stress effectively.


Accepting of the truth.

Engaged in the moment.

Removing the word perfect from your vocabulary.

Having happiness doesn't mean you will always be happy.

And really I think that is it.

You know those silly psychological tests and profiles you take with HR? While taking one once I really started to question the questions. Such as

"Would you consider yourself to be happy?
0 - never 1- rarely 2- sometimes 3- often 4-always."

Well if you caught me on a great day I'd say "3". Then again this could have been my day! I was late for work cause some dingle-berry rear ended my car. Spilled my coffee all over myself. My boss is pissed at me. Have a huge project to complete and need to leave early to see my kids basketball game. So on that day my answer would be "1".

My point here...... Happiness will ebb and flow. If you think happiness means being happy all the time then you are looking for (the dreaded word) perfection.

Perfection to me has finally morphed from something to strive for, into one of the dirtiest, most nastiest, most self deprecating, most self loathing words in the dictionary. Honestly, in the dictionary the synonym for the word Perfection should be Pain. Perfection = Pain. Perfection is Painful! Sounds like the name of a book. hmm?

I would like to visit each of these ingredients individually over the next few weeks.

Should be an interesting exercise.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 63 Freakin Winter 3-9-2011

Somebody jokingly compared me to the inspirational Christian speaker and author, Joyce Meyers. I found this so amusing. I don't know much about Joyce Meyer but I think she is successful in helping others.

And I surely can't speak to heavenly matters. I have my beliefs which are personal and personalized to me. But maybe I can speak to earthly matters. Matters I feel passionate about. Helping others, the search for happiness, organization. Surviving winter intact.

Yes maybe I should become the uplifting winter advisor! hmmm I will lift myself and others out of the despair of winter. We will tug, pull, push, pray ourselves into spring. Barely keeping our head above the 76.8 inches of frozen h2o precipitation.

Interesting. Not sure where to go with this but I am sure willingly to let it will take me somewhere.


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 62 Freakin Winter 3-8-2011

Ahhhhh Ode to daylight savings time.

What Daylight Savings Time Means to Me

A later sunset.

Warmer days are on the horizon.

Spring rain.

Melting snow.

Hope and light.

Joy and rain.

Thunder and lightening

A mai tai at sunset sitting on my deck.

The glimmer of possibility.

Dreaming of warm summer nights.

Bonfires and frog catching escapades.

Cling tight to the inevitable. Spring will come as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Day 61 Freakin Winter 3-7-2011

It's hard to wake up and feel upbeat when you see new snow (even just the two inches) on the ground in March. Anyone (well except the die hard snow mobilers) in the Twin Cities would tell you, it has been a long winter. Everyone, with few exceptions, would also tell you they are physically aching for spring. In some ways it almost makes it more difficult because you are surrounded by people feeling the same angst as you. The scowl on the faces around you shoveling once again. On the other hand it gives you a sense of community because you are all scowling in unison.

I do find myself searching for that one smiling face. And I found it last night.

Sitting with my grandmother (somewhat senile). She kept smiling at the "beautiful falling snowflake". Her words not mine! Then she says, "It doesn't snow here much." God Bless her!

It has snowed 76.8 inches so far this winter.

Love you Pama!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Day 60 Freakin Winter 3-6-2011

Sunday quotes

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." -Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who follow the crowd are quickly lost in it." -unknown

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 59 Freakin Winter 3-5-2011

Saturday Quotes

"Progress always involves risk - you can't steal second base with your foot on first." -unknown

"Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." -Ben Franklin

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day 58 Freakin Winter 3-4-2011

The key to happiness. A question that has been asked in every language throughout the ages. A question pondered by great philosophers, theologians, prophets, brain surgeons and yes.....rocket scientist. Even the common folk such as myself have pondered this wish when we have time.

The greatest minds of the earth present and past have looked to the heavens, thrown money into a well and wished upon the falling stars for this very thing....Happiness.

Many a birthday candle I have blown out wishing for "Health and Happiness".

Thousands of authors have written tens of thousands of books on this very subject. Happiness, How to find it? How to keep it? How to make it? How to feel it?

Out of all the answers to this question I have recently found but ONE answer to the question that rings true in my heart (well besides that provided by faith in God)..................

ONE Key and Truth to happiness. Can you believe it? After all these years in my tireless search and wanting. I have found it! And I am going to share with you this secret to happiness. Are you ready?

The key to happiness is looking down upon thy feet and seeing this.

Who freakin knew?

In all seriousness...I know this sounds strange, but weird unusual fun socks make me happy.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Day 57 Freakin Winter 3-3-2011

Well at least all is right with the world now. My honey was out of town the last few days. I miss him fiercely when he is gone. He is my sunshine when there is none. He's my rock. He's the one I give a knowing look to when I've had it and I'm done. He's the one who gets my special smile only meant for him.

I'm very lonely when he is gone.

Besides that I am damn sick of being "in charge". I need someone to take over! I need someone to take over for awhile, heck even just a few minutes.

I am breathing a sigh of relief.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 56 Freakin Winter 3-2-2011 COLOR

I know I have been moaning about the lack of color in my world for weeks now. The bright hues of spring and summer.

But this is ridiculous.

I am tackling one of those inside projects I spoke of the other day while winter still has her hold on me. I have been wanting to do this for some time now. I am painting Savanah's room. Now my daughter professes, "I am not a girly girl." Which to be honest is fine by me. I want her to be her own person. So there will be no pink (she can't stand pink) or purple (she tolerates purple) in her room.

I am a little irked with myself! Every time I start a massive project like this I mean to take before pictures. I always forget. So well anyways, here is just after the start. I will post after pictures too.

Savanah is the epitome of life to me. Always moving, loving nature, inquisitive, caring about living creatures. She will be a tree hugger. Which again is fine by me. I have no doubt she will work with animals. She sucks up as much knowledge about animals as she can possibly hold. She can tell you things you would hardly believe she knows. She knew more about "lemmings" when she was three years old than I know now.

Anyways, my thirst for color and Savanah's insatiable zest for life gave me the idea for these colors. Along with her comforter. I tested them out on her wall asking her opinion. Which one she liked best. She loved both colors. She wanted them striped. The entire room striped.

Oh Lordy! I have never striped a wall. I am a good painter but I have never really been put to the test like this. I am unsure of my skills.

I have compromised with Savanah. One wall can be striped the rest will be one of the colors. I have come up with a plan.

But as I began painting today I am questioning our choice. Dang this is bright!!! I have to squint as I paint. Oh well, can't stop now.

Oh Well I have to go paint!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hold on....wait a minute here

I just heard my favorite meteorologist, Keith Marler, say something intriguing, something wonderfully intriguing!

Today begins......drum roll please.........

Meteorological Spring!!!!!

What does this mean?

Well here is what Meteorologist Paul Douglas has to say about it.

"Here's the deal: apparently Mother Nature does not consult the calendar. If you look at what is (historically) the coldest 90 days of winter - and who among us hasn't - winter really begins close to December 1, not the 21st. And it ends closer to March 1, not the 21st of March. Yes, as far as the atmosphere is concerned spring arrives today - the coldest days (and nights) of winter are definitely behind us now.

When it snows in March (when the sun angle is as high in the sky as it is in early/mid October) any accumulation tends to melt rapidly, usually within a few days. March snow is - temporary. I know it's awfully hard to believe gazing out at the seemingly immovable glacier in your yard - but most of the snow you're staring out at now will be gone by the end of the month (when the average high will be close to 50 degrees)." -Paul Douglas

Is that not the most wonderful, fantastical, glorious bit of information you have heard all year, well all winter, or this week, or maybe just today?

It's awesome and I am doing the happy dance.

I just needed one person to say it (now I have two people saying it) and.....

I believe! I want to believe!


Day 55 Freakin Winter 3-1-2011

Hello March!!! Remember there are a lot of things to look forward to with the arrival of March.

The problem is at this point we all have really had it with winter. We are on the back side of winter. You would think that would mean coasting into spring. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy. These next 45 days are my make or break point. More often I find myself breaking! I generally define spring as when things start to grow, grass, trees, bulbs.

But...I have a plan! Actually the plan is "to plan". There are two completely different planning methods I use. Feel free to use them both. I do. I suggest doing number 1 then finishing up winter with number 2.

Planning Number 1
First comes the realization. Now Minnesotans all know winter lasts about 5 months (sometimes 6). We also know that come the thaw of spring, the heat of summer and the crispness of fall. We are going to be outside CONSTANTLY. Practically living outside.

I moved here in June of 1995. I loved the trees and green grass and all of that. I was amused that on a nice day everyone was outside. Truly everyone. Having lived in sunny southern California I didn't understand. In California you might choose to stay indoors on a beautiful day because hey....tomorrow was going to be another beautiful day. Having not been through a Minnesota winter yet I had NO CLUE! I learned a cruel and quick lesson my first full year here.

When Minnesota gives you a sunny day above 50 degrees you don't waste it!

Where the heck was I? Oh yes Planning number 1.

I want you to think of all the indoor projects that need (or want) to be started or completed. Decluttering the basement. Painting. Sorting photos. Spring cleaning. We all have those projects. The ones started or just in our head. The nasty visual reminder you get every time you.....open a certain closet. Oh the guilt!!! Well stop. Write it down. Then write how, when, what and all the steps to accomplish this task. Then on to the next project.

Now what we are doing here is giving ourselves a deadline. Winter's end. Which I am going to call it....45 days from now! My point here is that once the weather turns you are not going to stay inside to complete these indoor project. Use this time now.

I know what people are thinking, I can see it in your eyes, "That is too early, It still snows past April 14th." Well yes I realize that but....It can snow in spring!! Now that is the date I am picking and if you don't like it well.....too bad.

Winter blogging ends 45 Days from now!!! April 14th. A good day. My brother's birthday.

Now holy crap, you can say to yourself I only have 45 days to finish this. That should keep you just busy enough to keep you from wallowing in winter's pity for the next 45 days. Hell I don't have time to bitch about winter!!!

Planning Project Number 2

This involves planning your outdoor projects. Gardening and Landscaping. Planting. This is fun for me but I can't start this too early then I have way tooooo big of an itch for spring. It becomes a nasty rash further leading to massive spring fever. Which can be quite painful and long. I'll let you all know when I am starting this planning.

So get planning and completing,

Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 54 Freakin Winter 2-28-2011

Ahhhh the last day of February. That is a sigh of relief you hear.

On to March. In like a lion out like a lamb? Or will it be In like a lamb out like a lion?

I have been worrying a lot lately! I hate it! Worry is the root of all evil for me. So I am making a worry journal today.

Instead of making mental notes. I am making written notes. Each piece of paper gets two worries. One at the top of the page and one about half way down.

I then look at each worry separately asking questions and writing down the answers.
Is there anything I can do about this?
What needs to be done? the steps?
Dates to complete steps.

Then I use this piece of paper to make notes. Say one of the steps is to "call Mary to confirm cancellation." I call and leave a message for Mary. I will put that note there, "Called Mary Left message on 2-25-2011. Follow up on 2-27-2011 if haven't heard back."

So often I go through life thinking about what needs to be done. But this really frees up my mind, so I can enjoy moments with my family or just enjoy quiet time with a quiet brain. No nagging question or looming doom! Because I know I am doing what I can and controlling the situation as best I know how. I am not procrastinating. Everything has been captured and is "in process".

Okay I gotta get to work. Give this a try if you find yourself obsessing over what you should or need to do.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 53 Freakin Winter 2-27-2011

Sunday Quotes

"As parents, my wife and I have one thing in common. We're both afraid of children."
-Bill Cosby

"Nothing is easier than fault finding: it takes no talent, no self respect, no brains, no character."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 52 Freaking Winter 2-26-2011

Saturday Quotes

Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference." -Robert Frost

"If it's not one thing, it's your mother." -unknown

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 51 Freakin Winter 2-25-2011 My Boy

As we head off into the weekend I wanted to share something that touched my heart.

For Valentine's Day my son gave me a card. Not a Hallmark card. A handwritten card. The best kind. He gave me permission to post it on the blog. Here is what it said.

Hey Mom.

It's Valentine's Day!!! Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you. I've been through a lot in the past couple of months, and you've been there for me every step of the way. Always willing to talk or offer your experience or opinion, even though I usually didn't take it. I usually don't show enough appreciation for everything you do. I know you're doing your best to look after me. Out of this, I want you to understand these three things: I thank you from the bottom of my heart, I am deeply and truly sorry, and I love you no matter what.

Your Loving Son,

I cried. Then just about fell over when he said, "You were right about everything." I smiled and thought, can I have that in writing with your signature. Just kidding, sort of.

I love you Billy,

Your Mama

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 50 Freakin Winter 2-24-2011 Bouncing


50 days!! And holy crap we've got about 50 more. oh no, nuh huh! We are not going there!

No way! One day at a time. Chugging along to spring.

An odd thing that I look forward to that gives me hope for warmer weather is American Idol. What the heck does American Idol have to do with spring?

One reason I love American Idol: Although it starts in mid January, I know that the last episode will be in May. I know I can and I have watched the last couple of episodes from my deck! Oh yeah Baby it's coming. Spring is coming!

So I have a challenge: every time you write in your journal or a letter or unofficial non professional e-mail, put exclamation points wherever your first instinct tells you to. It's fun!!!!

I love exclamation points!

As I was drowning in my snow white sorrow the other day I was desperate to swim to shore before I reached the point where I didn't care. You know there are a few pivotal moments where rapid change can occur. You can be swallowed up into the blank void or you can push yourself up to rise above the drifts of despair. I have found to do this you have to physically move. Get up off the couch. Get out of bed. Leave the computer behind. (Well wait til you're done reading this post.)

One good method: BOUNCING

Yes I would like to revisit bouncing.

I have an emergency bouncing CD. It was made by a friend of my husband's that he works with. I have never met her but have heard stories about her. Apparently, my husband talks about me a lot at work. (good thing too or I might be jealous!) Enough so that she made me a CD titled by her "Girl Power". Funny that almost every song I love! Most of the songs are very appropriate for bouncing. I pull out this little gem when I am sinking.

Later today I will compile a list of songs on the CD and other bouncing songs in my repertoire.

Now bouncing is all about silly unabashed movement. Jumping, spinning, flinging your hair, shake your hips, raise your hands like you just don't care. Oh Yeah! The key here is there are no rules. Dance like a 7 year old. Then clap with the music. Loud, listen to the sound of your clap.....there is power there. It's odd sounding and I know I sound crazy but do it. Do it alone when no one is home.