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.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 49 Freakin Winter 2-23-2011

Yesterday afternoon I began feeling much despair over the whiteness of my world. And no that is not a socially motivated statement. It is not Caucasian-ness I speak of. It is SNOW!!! Suddenly I felt incredibly down. Just exhausted and uninterested.

So I hung an expression I have been holding on to from Uppercase Living. Here is a picture.

I love it. It is so appropriate for me. And I think it is in a perfect place. Directly above my laundry room door. (always doing laundry for my blessings!) Near the garage door. (where I go in and out to chauffeur my blessings.) Basically in my kitchen (where I clean up after my blessings the most.)

It was a difficult place to put this because the door here is not centered. So I either had to center the saying with the wall or the door. I chose the wall. It looks a little off balance and cattywompus (one of my favorite words). But then again my blessings are slightly off balance too's the perfect placement! I wouldn't have it or them any other way.

I think what I need is more change. Dramatic colorful change!

Today I am off to change things up some more. I am heading to home depot. Getting more paint cards. Trying to decide on a color for Savanah's room. I have also rearranged Savanah's room three different ways over the last two weeks. I think we may be on to something with this last configuration.

Then we will be looking for a desk for her room. What an adventure?!

Brightening up my world one wall at a time.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 48 Freakin Winter 2-22-2011

Alas, I have shoveled the driveway for the umpteenth time this winter!!! arg My honey snow blowed yesterday afternoon. But "oyvey" it just kept snowing. So I did shovel again this morning. The good news is this. It is actually quite beautiful outside. It is not snowing! A bright blue sky, invigorating sunshine, no wind, pretty new white sparkling snow, and I didn't feel cold.


Funny how we become so accustomed to cold. Because I was outside shoveling with no gloves on, no hat, no scarf. I wasn't cold and the temperature outside right now??????? 12 degrees. I got blood thicker than peanut butter!!!

I am starting to think about the spring equinox. I am going to have a craft party for some of Savanah's friends. Gotta think up something fabulous-ly spring!

I always say "live in the moment." But that doesn't mean you can't look forward also. Look forward to awesome things that keep you going in winters despair!

Start making a list of things to look forward to. Things that confirm spring will arrive (not soon enough) but it will arrive. The days are getting longer!

February 27th! My Honey's birthday
The end of February (the 2nd coldest month of the year)
March begins. The average high by the end of March is 47! The record high for March, 83!
Daylight savings time begins March 13th!! Yay!!!
St Patrick's Day! I love this holiday, the sneaky little Leprechaun visits our house!
Spring equinox is March 20th!!!

Not spring yet. But if you listen closely you will hear the whispers of spring.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 47 Freakin Winter 2-21-2011

A day off! Yay! So much snow...booooooo!

I wish for my daughter to find herself and follow her dreams. Along the way I hope she finds a love that is true and lasting with a man much like her daddy. Truth be told it doesn't matter to me if it is a man or a woman, just a person. A person with kindness, intelligence and humor.

A quote I like.

"Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep.....Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who thinks you are just as pretty without makeup on. One who reminds you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have YOU......the one who turns to his friends and says, "That's her." --unknown


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Day 46 Freakin Winter 2-20-2011

Happy Sunday. happy snow storm day! What the....?

"Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable." -African proverb. Given to me by Savanah

I have a quote book. Every time I see a quote that I like I write it down. Some of the quotes are silly, some inspirational and some make you say, "hhhhmmmmm."

Savanah loves my quote book. Often on Saturdays and Sundays she decides which quotes to post on the blog. I absolutely love the fact that she contributes to this book. She will come home all excited to show me a quote she found for the book! I think someday when I am gone my kids will treasure this collection.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 45 Freakin Winter 2-19-2011

Well Winter has descended upon us again. Winter Storm Warning (WSW). It is like a WMD (weapon of mass destruction) not sure it will materialize. Let's see if the meteorologist can get this right. If what I am hearing is true I'm hunkering down starting tonight until Monday afternoon.

Enjoy these quotes from my insanity.

"A friend is someone who thinks you're a good egg even though you're slightly cracked." -unknown

"I define joy as a sustained sense of well being and internal peace - a connection to what matters." --Oprah Winfrey


Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 44 Freakin Winter 2-18-2011

Okay NOW you can be sad about the weather. Winds brought in the cold front. Or did the cold front bring in the winds? Well regardless our fake spring is over...for now.

Just in time too because today is Beach Day at Savanah's school. Kind of cute. The kids dress in summer attire. No swimsuits! Bring beach towels and sit on them on the floor for lunch. Play beach music and have hula hoop contests. It's fun.

On the flip side, At Billy's school, it is Snow Week. The kids had snow men contests in the front lawn of the school....but Monday and Tuesdays high temps melted the snowmen! Today at his school it was "Winter Bundle day". First time I have seen Billy wear gloves all year! And a scarf!

Quite the contrast...Beach day and Winter Bundle day.

I am excited for the long weekend! No school on Monday and No work for Jeff on Monday. I love that!!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 43 Freakin Winter 2-17-2011

FOG I love fog. It makes me feel cozy. I don't know why. It also feels springy. It smells like spring today.

I will go for a walk today as it may be close to 55 degrees. 55 degrees! That is the record high for today so maybe we will break it. Wouldn't that be fun?

I went for a walk yesterday. It felt glorious. I miss walking everyday. I have decided that for the rest of the winter. If it gets to 40 degrees with little wind chill I am going to walk. That is my pact, my promise.

I am going to exert a great amount of energy "not" thinking about tomorrow. Only going to say it once. The weather tomorrow will bring us back to reality. sad face.

Oh But living for today. happy face I am soaking it in.

I am still playing catch up. I was interrupted in my marathon yesterday. So today is back to the grind with many breaks for outdoor pleasure.

I am going to cheat today!! What???? I am going to go backwards and fill in the days on my blog that I missed because of being sick. Hey it's not cheating! It's like when you are sick at school...the teacher gives you a few days to make up missed work. That's what I am doing.

Since this current post is pretty random thoughts I'll continue on with this theme.

I think my son is a neat kid! He has a cold and needs to go back to the doctor to recheck his spleen after his mono episode this past December. So I was going to make the appointment for today. So he says to me, "Don't make the appointment for during the school day. Today is a pep fest!" He is excited about the pep fest. (Back in the day we called it a pep rally.) Then I had to wash his white jeans because this week is "snow week". Supposed to wear all white today. My point?.... Billy participates. He fully participates. Naysayers be damned.

Sad to say. I was a naysayer in high school. Pep rallies were an opportunity and excuse to skip school.

I am proud of him that he is not what I was.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 42 Freakin Winter 2-16-2011

All I gotta say is 46 degrees! And 50 tomorrow. Remember what I said awhile ago, don't live in the future. Well don't because a cool down is on the way. Don't ruin the next two days spending any energy on the weather this weekend.

I think I am going for a walk today.....outside!!!!

I am also playing catch up. Catch up on house work. Catch up on blogging. Catch up on laundry. Nothing like a stomach virus to get you so far behind. Nothing a little "Journey" on the stereo, some shameless singing, a candle lit and an open window can't take care of. Gonna Rip it up today!

"Anyway you want it. That's the way you need it. Anyway you want it."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 41 Freakin Winter 2-15-2011

Starting to really feel better from the stomach virus. That has maybe the worst I have ever felt with yacking. ewe.

Enjoy these quotes. Getting back to business now!

"God made us sisters; Prozac made us friends." -unknown

"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh." -unknown


Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 40 Freakin Winter 2-14-2011

So!!!!! We are at day 40 of my winter project. Sorry for the two day lack of posts. I've been suffering from a nasty stomach bug. I'll go back and give quotes for those two days.

I am so excited. It looks as if I may survive Winter 2010/2011. Feeling very hopeful.

However, we still have some serious challenges that lay ahead. Some of the most difficult parts of winter, the LONG transition into spring. As the snow melts and you start to see all the dead plants that have been covered by the snow, I have been known to get Spring Fever. It is an overwhelming obsessive desire to see green instead of brown grass and dirty melting snow. The absolute need to feel 70 degrees. This may be the point that I really start to lose my mind. It is the tease of spring still restlessly knowing the leaves are not going to burst open from the trees until May.

Well that was f-ing depressing! Sorry

Enjoy the warmth of today. More importantly enjoy the warmth in your heart for those you love this Valentine's Day. Like I have said before I don't really buy into this holiday but.....I guess any day that causes humanity to act a little kinder to one another....can't be a bad thing!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 39 Freakin Winter 2-13-2011

Sicker than a dog that ate five Famous Dave ribs (yes my Cabby did that) today.

Sunday Quotes

"To rejoice in the prosperity of another is to partake in it." -unknown

"I used to be indecisive. But now I am just not sure." -unknown


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 38 Freakin Winter 2-12-2011

Smells like spring outside. Feels almost balmy. Enjoy the day

Saturday Quotes

"Even I don't look like Cindy Crawford when I wake up in the morning." -Cindy Crawford

"The man who is always finding fault seldom finds anything else." -unknown


Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 37 Freakin Winter 2-11-2011

Getting warmer....... Yay! It always a pleasant feeling when you see puddles. Snow is slowly melting. That is good. A fast melt means disaster, flooding. I'll take it!

Something that I have found helps pull me out of the winter blahs is helping someone else.

Seriously nothing puts a smile in my heart than helping a neighbor, a stranger, a friend or my family.

It can be something so simple like offering to babysit the neighbors kids so they can have a long overdue, well deserved night out. Or shoveling some one's driveway. Or letting the person behind you (who has one item) go ahead of you and your full cart in line at the grocery store.

I love seeing the joy on people's face. Every morning Savanah hurriedly gets ready to leave for the bus. Piling on layer after layer of winter gear. I always grab her knit hat and set it on the heater vent. Then slip it on her head just as she walks out the door. She sighs and smiles at me. What a great way to send your child out the door! I love that!

It really is the little things.

What can you do for others? Think about it?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 36 Freakin Winter 2-10-2011 Blog Anniversary

Temp right now at 6:25 am. -20. Dang that is cold!

Warm up on the way for the weekend! Yaaay! So now the forecasters are saying this last week may have been the last of the below 0 temperatures for this winter. big deep breath, gasping, sighing, disbelieving. I am too scared to trust them. If I get my hopes up then a sudden arctic blast rushes down from the arctic, I'll be heartbroken. Do I dare believe in this dream? Skeptically optimistic. Is that an oxymoron?

It was one year ago today I decided to blog regularly. This blog has morphed over time. It continues to change based on my needs.

For instance right now I need something to get me through the remainder of the winter. So this is my therapy.

I have posted 290 times over the last 365. not bad. not bad at all.

Occasionally I get down thinking, "Is anybody out there?" "Anyone at all?" "Am I talking to myself?" Then I get a nice comment from someone I know or someone at the kids school mentions my blog! Then I think.... they are listening. Mostly I remind myself that truly I am doing this, and writing for my own good.


I might be in a padded room drooling. :D

So I just wanted to say thank you! Thank you for listening!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 35 Freakin Winter 2-9-2011 My Pampa

Still brutally cold. Yesterday in my hibernation I decided to paint. Paint walls that is. A boring beige color. It works for the entrance and hallways of my house. I add the color in the rooms. The paint they used when they built this house is awful, Can't clean it, smudges everywhere. Next I will paint Savanah's room. An Incredible turquoise sea foam-ish color. Can't wait!

So today I am giving my arthritic throbbing hands a rest. I am going to finish reading my winter joy book.

Thought you might all enjoy this story!!

I often post things about my Pama (grandmother).

Now it is Pampa's (grandfather) turn. I truly regret not being able to get to know Pampa as an adult. He passed away when I was 15 years old. But I certainly remember him and cherish those memories. I often find myself singing, "Mares eat oats and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy. A kid will eat ivy too. Wouldn't you?"

Pampa made a difference in so many people's lives. He was always helpful and charming. I recently found an article in the El Paso, TX newspaper written about him. Here is what it said.

Dogs Accompany Mail Carrier on Route
by Virginia Strom

Lloyd White Jr., Five Points mail carrier, makes a big hit with the dogs on his route.

They like him so well that from two to six dogs accompany him every day.

"I like dogs." Mr White said. "But I haven't figured out why they are so crazy about me. Sometimes it's a little embarrassing when they get after cats and the animal's owner thinks all the dogs belong to me."

Afternoon greeting.
When Mr White ends his morning route, he takes a street car back to Five Points for lunch. The dogs leave him at the car stop, run home during the lunch hour and greet him with barks of joy when he resumes his work in the afternoon.

Mr. White who lives at 2821 Savannah Street with his wife and small daughter, Barbara, owns a dog of his own. The dog is a cocker spaniel and does not accompany her master on his route.

One is injured.

There is Vickie a little bull dog which belongs to Mrs. George Kissel of 3604 Richmond Street; Kelly, a red Irish setter and Pancho, a dalmatian belonging to Clarence M Walkers at 3419 Richmond Street, and doc, a scottie belonging to Mrs. Tom F Davis of 3412Louisville Street.
Doc was injured when an automobile ran over him recently.

The dogs begin their daily jaunt when Mr. White goes to their house with the mail in the morning.

Get to know the route.
He leaves the dogs at Copia and Altura streets at lunch and the dogs run home. In the afternoon they wait for him at Aurora and Copia streets.

Several of the dogs have accompanied Mr. White three or four years. It was during the fall that their numbers increased.

"The dogs get to know the route quite well" Mr. White said. "One of them has a "I'll-get-that-cat-or-die" attitude." All houses where cats live have been spotted by the dog which looks them up every day and gives chase.

The dogs boisterously precede Mr. White and arrive at each house before he does.

"Residents know when I'm coming five minutes ahead of time." Mr. White said.

This article would have been written in the early 1940's. The article states his young daughter, Barbara. (my mother). She was born in 1940. Seems like a much simpler time doesn't it?

I love this so much. Yes people followed him too! And he was a quiet humble leader.

Miss you Pampa,


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 34 Freakin Winter 2-8-2011 The Sad Heart

First I just gotta say, brrrrr. Right now the temp is -15. Wind chill -31. It is a hibernation day.

Now back to the regularly scheduled post.

It's okay to be sad for a good reason. ( weather can be a reason to be sad, but only to a point) It is even okay to sometimes be sad for no reason at all. However, you really need to do some soul searching when you are sad and you should be happy.

I write this because sometimes I feel this way. I also write this because I see so many teens struggling with this. It seems like almost an epidemic to me. This overall depression effecting our teens. Not all teens. And to tell the truth a lot of them have good reason to be sad.

Now I am talking really sad not just like crabby. I can be happy as can be then suddenly get crabby. Usually I figure out that I am hungry. ;)

Anyways, I just wish there was a way to help them. Now I am no psychologist. But I have dealt with depression myself. Actually you probably always deal with it in one way or another. Mostly I guess I control it so it doesn't control me.

There are still times when I feel sad when I should feel happy. If I really soul search when this happens I find one of a few things are happening. One of these is not living in the moment. Allow me to explain.

1. I am living in the future. WORRY

Oh Worrying can easily over take my life if I let it. Often when I find myself worrying I do a little quick 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. 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 often find I am worrying about things because I have procrastinated and now something is eating away at my soul. Something that I should have done. You know what I am talking about. All those things circling your head as you try to go to sleep. For this I have found a somewhat cure. Write each of these things on a separate piece of paper at the very top. Staple the pieces together. Making somewhat of a worry journal.

Now go back to each individual sheet of paper. Each individual worry. Ponder the worry. What can you do about it? What steps need to be taken to get rid of this worry? Write a timeline/ deadline to complete each step. After you have completed the steps put a big bright smiley face on the page. Feel good about it. Let that worry go. It is done.

2. I am living in the past. DWELLING

I used to do this a lot. In fact I used to spend a lot of energy blaming others for my problems. The fact is they were partially responsible. But I spent all this energy that instead I wish I had just dealt with it. That lesson took a long time to learn. It began with the realization that this is my life and I wasn't willing to let the past continue to take away my happiness. This also took professional therapy. It's okay to ask for help!

My other dwelling would be over mistakes I have made in life. But I have learned to forgive my imperfect self, as I would a child that I loved dearly.

I still deal with these two issues. It is an ongoing battle. It doesn't just go away. You have to make it go away.

Dealing with these two issues (the future and the past) gives you an intense feeling of freedom. Living in the NOW. Being in the moment.

There a few other causes for my sad heart which I will explore in another post. But some of them are.

Not pursuing my passion.
Not being healthy.

For now I relish in the fact that I am present and accounted for.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 33 Freakin Winter 2-7-2011

Temps are dropping today. :( throwing us into a deep freeze lasting until the weekend. But looks like on the weekend we will have a thaw. But until that we have wind chill warning to contend with.

So what to do? Well I read through that book I spoke of before; the one about not folding fitted sheets. Here is my book report.

Life's Too Short To Fold Fitted Sheets by Lisa Quinn

This was a good book until about half way through. Lisa Quinn's purpose in the book is to make you believe perfection is not needed when caring for your home. She gives great examples and inspiration and thought provoking questions. Such as "What if we realized that our value doesn't depend on what other people think?"

"The whole idea of perfectionism is fundamentally flawed. Perfection doesn't even exist. It's purely mental, alienating and unnatural state."

I love these little gems.

Unfortunately half way through the book she slides right back into her former perfectionist self. Telling me I have to have white plates for my perfectly made table and serve sushi rolls at my party. Okay now!! I don't think so! She really did stress me out in the last half of the book. I suddenly felt like I needed to go buy a bunch of stuff to live up to her expectations. The whole point of the book was for the reader to find out what really mattered to them. And stop expecting perfectionism, little tricks to cut corners on housework and really live well.

I felt like I was reading two different books. She really missed the mark on the second half.

So No this book was not my answer. But it gave some good questions. And maybe with the right questions, I will find my own answers.

Today I decided to combat the cold dreary outside, I am painting walls!! I love painting walls! At first I love painting walls. Remember my bathroom that took 3 months to finish!?

Gotta go watch the paint dry.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 32 Freakin Winter 2-6-2011

Another mild day. I hear another deep freeze is coming this week but I'm just gonna enjoy today.

Sunday Quotes:

"He, too, serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers." -unknown

"Anyone who thinks by the inch and talks by the yard ought to be moved by the foot."



Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 31 Freakin Winter 2-5-2011

Woke up to freezing fog. So pretty

Glad I don't have to go anywhere for awhile. It can make things awfully slippery.

Looking forward to enjoying my family this weekend.

Saturday Quotes:

"Above all to thine own self be true." -William Shakespeare

"English is a funny language. A fat chance and a slim chance mean the same thing." -unknown


Friday, February 4, 2011

Just so Sad

I went to visit my Pama. It was not a good day. In my earlier post I mentioned how she has forgotten so many things. But today was a little different.

Occasionally I catch her on a day that her mind is stuck on Darlene (my mother). She does not remember that her daughter has died. It breaks me as I try to change the subject. Sometimes I succeed and she doesn't mention it again. Some days I have to break down and tell her that she died.

Today though she kept asking to go see Darlene. Over and over. Or she asked if I had seen Darlene. I tried hopelessly to change the subject but it always returned. On her 93rd birthday I couldn't bare to tell her that her daughter was dead.

I left sooner than I would have liked but I could no longer take it.

On my way home I succumbed to such grief. It was as if she died yesterday instead of almost two years ago. I just sobbed. A couple of times when Pama said, "After lunch let's go see Darlene" I felt as if I was in a time machine. Or that time had stayed still and maybe she was still alive. I would like to see her.

I think I have some unresolved emotions around the death of my mother. Some things I still need to reconcile. It will happen or it won't.

But days like today are just so difficult and so sad.

Day 30 Freakin Winter 2-4-2011 My Pama

Today the weather is drippy melting and I'll take it!

But most importantly today is my sweet Pama's birthday. I am heading out to see her. 93 today and still full of spirit and vibrancy.

I aspire to be like my Pama. I hope when I am her age I am just like her. Forgetful enough to put the past well behind me. Painful memories forgotten. Remembering enough to enjoy my family. Witty enough to always find humor. Living every moment in the moment.

She always finds the best in people and circumstance. Amazing considering where she came from or maybe it is attributed to where she came from.

Mostly I admire her character.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 29 Freakin Winter 2-3-2011 Find Your Happy

Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I did my normal morning chores and such. Then I jumped in the car determined to find some spring.

My first stop a store called "The Woods." They had some spring decorations. But while I was there I joked with the sales lady. I said, "I'm looking for spring." She answered annoyingly cheerfully, "We are just putting our spring stuff out." I said with a smile but "I'm actually looking for spring. I need it to come." She lowered her voice to a condescending tone, "oh honey it's too early for that. It's a long ways off." I promptly turned around and walked out of the store.

Who the hell do you think you are trying to burst my Groundhog Day bubble? Ruining my good vibe. Messing with my delusions. I don't think so Lady!!!!!

Next I enjoyed Pier One. Now they had quite the impressive display of spring stuff. Too bad it is all way over priced.

Next I ran to Bed Bath & Beyond. I was successful in doing a little birthday shopping for my honey.

Then at last I found my happy. It was at Starbucks hiding in a Grande Mocha Frappuccino. I searched through my favorite kind of books sipping my yummy treat. Ah organization books. I have a bookshelf of them. I always find helpful tidbits in them but haven't quite found the answer. Suppose I have to find the question first.?

As I perused the home reference section suddenly a book caught my attention.

"Life's Too Short To Fold Fitted Sheets" by Lisa Quinn

What?! I repeat what?!?!?!?!? Oh No. I gauge my success and happiness on my fitted sheet folding. If it looks good I am happy that day. What does this mean?? I don't understand. My fitted sheet folds define me. A good homemaker, a good wife, a good mother, a good neighbor, a good hostess. A Good Person for goodness sake!! I am nothing without this measure!

But I am intrigued and terrified as I slowly lifted the book from the shelf. I took a deep breath as I read the rest of the front cover. "Your ultimate guide to domestic liberation." hmmm I think, well now you're talking. I want to know more.

After I skimmed through a couple of sections in the book I decided I really did want to know more. So with a beloved Gift Certificate I have purchased this book.

I'll let you know what I find out. Maybe the question, maybe the answer. Maybe both?

Regardless today I found my spring happy.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 28 Freakin Winter 2-2-2011 Groundhog Day!!

Happy Groundhog Day!!!

I just love this day. I love the idea that a big rodent can predict the weather and give me hope. That is a lot of pressure to put on Phil's shoulders. He can take it.

And the results are in. Phil did not see his shadow!!!!! Spring is near! How near? I don't need to know that. I just need to know that it is coming. And it is.

I have decided going to Punxsutawney PA and seeing Phil predict the future in Gobbler's Knob on February 2nd is on my list (25 things I want to do before I die list).

I looked up some of the history of Groundhog's day and it was very interesting!

Originally hundreds or thousands of years ago it started as the ancient Celtic festival of Imbolc. It was held on Feb 1st which is halfway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. This celebration included a primitive attempt to predict or even control how quickly spring would arrive.

Imbolc was eventually replaced by "Candlemas" a religious holiday and feast celebrating St Brigid. It continued to be a day for forecasting the weather. It was said if it was sunny enough to cast shadows on Candlemas winter was not over. But a cloudy shadow free day meant spring had sprung.

The groundhog prediction started around 1887 with a man named Clymer H Freas an editor at Punxsutawney Spirit a newspaper. He was so enthralled with groundhog folklore that he began writing stories in the paper about the weather predicting ground hog.

I love you Phil!!! Have a very Happy Groundhog Day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Moment to Remember

Every parent has moments of torture when you are faced with a dilemma when you don't have the answers. You just don't know what to do. You are at wits end.

Then you summon all of your knowledge and courage to make a decision. You hold your breath and pray fervently that you have done the right thing. You always leave room for revision because sometimes you will err.

I have found these unbelievable difficult moments become more numerous the older a child gets. I am hoping we hit a plateau soon with the age of 16. I may not survive to 17!

We had a slow steady build of pressure around here over the last few months. Culminating over the last few days with a very dramatic ending to a very dramatic turbulent relationship. During this time I have wracked my brain trying to save my child from pain or at least help him navigate through it. And it isn't over yet. close but not completely.

I found I cannot really protect him. I can help guide him with my advice regardless of if he wants it or not. I can remind him of his morals. I can be there to listen and be a shoulder to lean on. I can PRAY and Pray and pray.

But ultimately he is responsible for his action and reaction.

This never became more prevalent to me then last night when my son and I were talking about all of this upheaval. How hard it is. I was listening. Then he thanked me! I was flabbergasted. He said, "Thank you for letting me go through this. I needed to learn this myself."

Picture me with my jaw on the floor, eyes bulging completely speechless.

Now that I have had time to process this statement I realize this is one of those stunning moments in life where you realized you did the right thing. And I felt so proud of him because he made the right decision and he weathered a pretty rough storm.

We'll make it through all of this and more because we are family. We will always be there for each other.


Day 27 Freakin Winter 2-1-2011

A little change in the blog post format. The forecast portion will no longer be here. I realised retelling the forecast and temperature everyday was well depressing. It was causing me to dwell on winter. It made me sad! And doesn't that completely defeat the entire purpose of this project. So unless something wicked cool or interesting or unusual with the weather is happening I am not going to retell the mundane-ness of winter. You don't need to hear it from me. You already know it!

Now on to our regularly scheduled blog post!

Oh February 1st how I love thee. Why do I love thee? What do you mean to me? Celebration for January is over!! Statistically speaking the coldest month of the year has passed.

I dug my nails in the side of the frozen pit in the depths of hell and climbed out of January.

Now I find myself in the 2nd coldest month of the year. But alas the end of this month the average high is.......drumroll please........ 32 degrees. Oh that sounds lovely. That sounds like water dripping off of my roof! That sounds like the melting of my frozen heart.

February also holds Valentines Day. I don't buy into that holiday completely. I mean it does seem kind of hallmark-ish. My valentine and I exchange cards but not gifts. We eat dinner together as a family. The part I enjoy is the elementary party!

Savanah really enjoys the preparing of Valentine's. In fact hers are already done. She spreads the stuff all over the room. Sets up different stations. One is for writing the names. Then you move on to the folding station. Then the attaching a piece of candy station. Then the closing with a heart sticker station. She loves it. It satisfies her need for organization and accomplishment. So cute! Reminds me of someone? who could it be? hmmm?

Oh Yeah!!! Me

But honestly I Love and am looking forward to Groundhog day!!!! It's the best. It fills me with hope. Although spring is not six weeks away (at least not here in MN) Spring is coming and with every day it is closer! Every wretched snowy below freezing day brings me closer to spring.

So Tomorrow, tomorrow I love you tomorrow. You're only a day away. Tomorrow Tomorrow I love you tomorrow for tomorrow is Groundhog Day!!!!!