Thursday, December 31, 2009

Time flies. . .
Time flies on wings of lightning;
We cannot call it back.
It comes, then passes forward
Along its onward track.
And if we are not mindful,
The chance will fade away,
For life is quick in passing.
Tis as a single day.
Robert B. Baird
How will you use your time more wisely in 2010?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I Love. . .
Dave, my husband and best friend. . .
my boys Justin, Dave & Travis . . .
My girls. . . Ashley,
Shelby & Laura. . .
Sophie, my dog...
the ocean. . .
and sunshine.
Most everyone has been home for the Holidays,
I have loved that.
I miss Melissa, the ocean and the sunshine.
Melissa will be home one week from today!
I hope the sunshine returns much sooner than that.

Monday, October 12, 2009

CAN I just say....
Our home is really quite modest. The cat stinks up the laundry room. The carpet needs replaced (vacuuming might help) and the various flat surfaces in my home would all benefit from a good dusting cloth. But, none of that matters, because - I love being HOME!
I wish I could be at home more. I work a LOT of hours outside of my home. If I were home more my house would be cleaner and "Homey-er".
I was blessed to be at HOME for all the years when my kids were HOME.
Our HOME is virtually empty now. All six kids have moved on. Dave and I enjoy rattling around inside our now empty home, occasionally bumping into each other. Or the dog. Or the cat. But no kids.
Dinners are very quiet and cozy!
But, despite it's quietness and emptiness there is really nowhere I would rather be. Hawaii? Well... maybe! But, I always (eventually!) love "coming HOME"!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Storms, Sophie and Sedatives...

Listening to the radio as I drove into work this morning I was concerned about the forecast calling for thunderstorms. I immediately thought of my dog.

Sophie is terrified of thunderstorms, fireworks and the sounds of gunshots coming from the distant shooting range. She responds to this stress in very destructive ways. It's not pretty.

I was very concerned that she was home alone facing the impending storms un-sedated and without me there to monitor her behavior. I left work early, just as the rain started to fall. I hurried home, hoping I was not too late.

Sophie had been holed up in her sleeping area, but greeted me happily when I walked in the door. She seemed a little disoriented and stressed and did not want to come upstairs with me. Finally, I was able to persuade her to come up to the kitchen for the "treat" I had for her - two sedative tablets buried deep in a chunk of butter.

It was only a matter of minutes before the thunder started to rumble through the skies and Sophie started to shake and drool. I could tell she was happy not to have to face the storm alone. I gave her another 1/2 tablet for good measure, turned on some peaceful music and we sat it out together. The sedatives did not cure her responses to the stress, but they did keep her from running around the house like a crazy lunatic!

I am glad I was able to come home to be with her this time. I hope the drugs work without me here in the future.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Let the Adventures Begin
Like many of you I saw and enjoyed Meryl Streep's newest movie "Julie & Julia". I have been reading the book "My Life in France," authored by Julia Childs. This book inspired Julie to write the blog that the movie is based on. I am intrigued, as Julie must have been, by the experiences Julia shares about her life in France. I have always wanted to immerse myself in another culture. But, I don't necessarily want to learn to cook French food. I fear I am too health conscious and vain to indulge in the richness of french cooking. And, how does one find all those special ingredients called for in french recipes?
Dave and I have been considering different hobbies we could enjoy together now that all our children have moved on. We used to cook together before the kids came. We still chuckle thinking about the time we made ravioli - did we really spend all that time cutting up those little squares of stuffed pasta? It is a fond memory. So, we have decided to pursue this hobby again. Dave has been the more adventurous cook over the years, I tend to stick with traditional basics. Wanting to be somewhat healthy we scoured the local Barnes & Noble for a cookbook on Mediterranean cooking. The quest was tougher than we imagined, but finally decided on a fish cookbook. The cookbook is made specifically for diabetics, and although we are not diabetic, we felt this was a healthy choice. It's a start, at least.
To go with our new cookbook we invested in a new set of cookware. We have been using pieces we have had for most of our married life and others we have picked up at local thrift stores. It was time to make the change - especially since one of our children took one of our most favorite sized pans off to college!
Dave & I worked together preparing our first meal of our adventure together. It was a dish with Cod (the recipe called for halibut with the bone in, but Cod was all we had at the time!) steamed in a broth white wine & clam juice full of finely chopped carrots, onions, garlic, fresh oregano and basil and celery. It was served with mashed potatoes. I tend to prefer spicy foods, and found this dish quite bland. I think I need to learn to be more exact to give a recipe a fighting chance! But, it was fun to cook and experiment - especially together, without any other distractions. We may need to find some slightly tastier recipes though! What fun is cooking if it doesn't taste divine?
However, I am not one who enjoys following fads. So, I hesitate to write about our cooking adventures because I'm afraid everyone else is going to start writing about their cooking after watching the movie. But, who am I kidding - no one will even know I'm writing about cooking, because no one will be reading my blog! This is more of a journal keeping exercise that Dave and I can look back and reflect on one day as yet another way we enjoyed our lives together.
And, maybe our kids can learn something too as one of them just texted me wanting to know how to cook a potato in the microwave!

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Life
So, this pretty much sums up my life right now:
Get up - 5:00 am
Gym - 5:30 - 6:20 am
Work - 8:00 am - 4:00 pm (in theory)
Go to Bed - 10:00 (on average)
Doesn't that sound fun and fulfilling?
I am hoping the "Gym" eventually helps the "Crash" disappear so I can fill that time with "Living".
I am currently trying to figure that one out. Maybe it just takes time. Hmmm.....
Any ideas?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Empty Nests
Do you know that as baby eagles mature, the parent eagles begin stirring up the nest, making it uncomfortable for the eagle babies so they are more eager to leave the nest and try their own wings?
We now find our nest virtually empty, but I don't remember stirring up the nest. All six of the children are gone, off pursuing their own dreams. There is the occasional visitor - Ashley is here this week dog-sitting while I go to girls camp and next week Shelby will come home for a two-week break from college. But, these are temporary visits. For the most part, the days of children living at home under our roof and our regular on-site influence are over.
Our nest became empty a little earlier than originally anticipated. Our youngest daughter is attending a performing arts high school 300 miles away from home. Not yet 16, she has left the nest about 3 years ahead of schedule. Yes, I will miss her, terribly. However, I choose to focus on the opportunities she will have to do the what she loves, instead of all that will be missing without her around. She has been taught well and proven herself capable and mature enough to take this step. I applaud her courage to do it and pray for her success. I am confident she is going to do great!
It's sobering to see my children move on. But it's also exciting to watch them decide to jump out of the nest and try their own wings. Have I taught them everything they need to know? Probably not, but they will learn and I am
certain they will fly! Even eagles don't fly perfectly the first time they decide to jump out of the nest - but give them a little time and they soar! I expect nothing less from my kids!

Friday, February 20, 2009

"I Used to..."  vs. "I'm Going to..."
I've discovered that for me, one of the hardest things about collecting more birthdays, is the tendency of reflecting more on what used to be, rather than looking towards what is going to be. The farther I get down life's path, my  thoughts tend to be more absorbed  by "Used To's" rather than by "Going To's".  
It sounds depressing (and I guess it is!) but I find real hopes and dreams almost impossible to create.  I have become so cynical and hardened by "reality".
I want to change.  I know it's possible to live life with a "Going to" mindset!  I want to figure out how to really do it - not just give lip service to the idea, which is self-defeating and probably worse in the long run.
I used to be thin, fit and energetic.  I used to be creative. I think I used to be happier and prettier. I definitely had a more idealistic and hopeful view of my world.  And then age - and life - happened!
But today I can still be all those things, and more! It might prove to be a little more challenging than it was before all of  life's experiences, but it's not impossible.
It all depends on what I focus on, doesn't it.
I find inspiration in music.  One of my favorite artists is Cherie Call.  In her song "Believe" she suggests - "You don't have to change the world, you might do it anyway!  Believe!"  
It really is all in how I choose to see my world.
So, I'm going to... look into classes at the University, reclaim my Nikon D90, take a walk after work (as the days are getting a little longer - and warmer!), and fill my world and mind with positives.    
Cherie Call reminds me, "Once you see [your cup's] half full, it overflows every time that you Believe"  
I'm feeling better already!
To constantly look backwards gives you a stiff neck - not to mention all the things you miss while you're not paying attention to the road ahead of you. 
Here's to the future!  It's Going To be Great!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Life is amazing.
Not just the miracle of birth - that's only the beginning.
But the complexities, the twists and turns that life  
Custom designs for each of us.
The determination of overcoming great odds.
Of being knocked down, only to get back up again.
The beauty of lasting love and commitment.
The strength of values passing from one generation to another.
Examples of loving service rendered to those in need.
The journey of life, friends you meet, experiences you share,
And the kindness and compassion experienced along the way.
Yeah, there are bad times, dark times too.
Even desperate moments of unshared tears have their value
In some almost unseen way.
Life is short; too fragile to take for granted,
Too complicated to not share,
Too precious to be misunderstood.
So, smile and see the good
Of all that surrounds you
Feel the sweetness of a child's smile,
The warmth of a friend's embrace.
Life is wonderfully

Friday, February 6, 2009

Where's my Crystal Ball?

Extended warranties... Maybe, maybe not.
Buying appliances makes me wish I could see into the future.  
Last month we purchased a new washer and dryer.  Red, front-loaders. Very pretty, kind of pricey.  I had come to terms with the cost... until Mr. Washerman asked if we wanted to buy an extended warranty too. Whoa!  If these machines are so good, I asked him, why doesn't the company stand behind them longer than one year?  He could give me no reason and continued to push the benefits of an extended warranty.  I was ready to walk out of the store and reconsider things when he, thankfully, backed off.  I am not a gambler, but I don't want to spend money on something I am not going to need.  Or will I...
One year and 2.5 months ago I bought a very nice microwave. It died unexpectedly this week.  It had a 1 year warranty. I called GE service and they arranged for a technician to come. The moment Mr. Repairman stepped into my home I owed GE $69.95.  He wiggled some wires, looked at the circuits and, magically, resurrected my microwave. His visit cost me $166.00! Fortunately, no parts were needed.  That was just for his time. He said he gave me a deal on the labor since he did not have to do very much.   Really?!
I just might take Mr. Washerman up on his suggestion of an extended warranty.  It would pay for itself with one simple service call. Unless, of course, my washing machine or dryer never break down!  
Has anyone seen my crystal ball?