Sunday, March 31, 2013

I serve a Risen Savior!

And on the third day he rose again, He is Risen!  I have always cherished Easter.  It is always a joyous day, full of hope and promise.  He is Risen!! So that whosoever shall believe in him shall have life everlasting!

I am a Christian, to me that is very important to who I am, to my beliefs.  This year I have been blessed to have watched the entire mini-series "The Bible".  Mark Burnett and Roma Downey have retold this story for our time, it is emotional and moving.  Too real for words and hopefully will bring Christians back together.

I always loved Easter when the kids were little.  I still love it, but it's different now.  Now I simply love it for the reason.  It was just a day like most days for hubby and I.  No colored eggs, no baskets brimming with gifts, just us and our boys. 

I was so proud of my daughter today, with the changes in her life, she wasn't with baby girl this morning, but she sprung into action when she got the call that every mother dreads.  Her baby girl was disappointed and crushed.  While I fumed and got upset for her, she set about making the day perfect for that little angel.

Her pure love showed in all she did today.  She is an amazing, love filled mother.  Sure she has a moment or two of frustration, who doesn't.  But the love that she gives so unselfishly, is something too few have or share in this silly world. 

It is odd to not have the things that used to be part of the holiday.  It is crazy for us to hide eggs for just us, and the boys simply don't get the concept.  Dinner was just the two of us, and while strange, it was good.  We watched the reruns of The Bible, to get ready for tonight's finale for the Resurrection of Christ. 

Different? Yes.  Bad? No.  I am sure there will be years to come where it is not so chaotic and so much going on in everyone's lives.  That we will have egg hunts and goodie baskets for our children and grand children.   But for now... We will rejoice in the fact that He is Risen!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Creating, Rebuilding, Repairing...

Tea Tree and Cedarwood ready to dry
It is a busy weekend here at our house, maybe it is because it finally feels like spring, or we simply got bit by the bug.  Hubby and I are making a serious dent in our to do list and it feels great!

Hubby is downstairs working on the vanity for Ava's new room.  It is an "us" project, but he is getting started, because I am kind of tied up with my projects and glue and wood putty take a while to cure.  Sure would be nice to have it ready to turn over to Mommy and Ava this weekend.  It's gonna look so awesome!  Has me seriously wanting to start going to  yard sales for old furniture to make new again.

In less than 24 hours so much wonderful creation has taken place at our house.  I am on my third batch of soap.  I have a standard recipe that I completely love, it's rich, creamy, easy to make and simply wonderful!  It is not the one I am working on right now.

double, double, toil and trouble... Cocoa Butter Soap
This is the second time I have stepped away from that recipe.  The last time ultimately made an amazing bar of soap, so I am hoping this time will be as good.  The company I buy my lye and essential oils from was having a sale on cocoa butter, pure and unrefined, at a crazy low price.  I have seriously dry skin and cocoa butter is one of my favorite oils, so why not?  We shall see, but so far, it not only smells heavenly, but looks to be making a beautiful soap. 

Setting up to dry...
I am fairly sure I waited almost 18 years to be brave enough to try my hand at making soap, now I can't imagine what it would be like to bathe with a chemical laden bar from the store again.  I haven't made cold process soap yet, not sure I ever will.  I enjoy making it in the crock pot.  I know I can't do all those pretty designs with this method, but it is so easy and quick.  No waiting!  I don't have patience for waiting, I waited too long to begin with.

Batch #4 what will you be???
Just added Ylang Ylang to that cocoa butter soap, oh my goodness it smells heavenly, Ava is going to love it! It filled the mold that hubby made me for Christmas, I was worried at first because it is a rather large mold and I was afraid it would be too big.  It looks to be perfect for this recipe.  I am getting ready to line some cigar boxes for the next batch.  I think it will be eucalyptus, but I am not sure, maybe a combination of eucalyptus and tea tree as those are my favorite.  I also have a cinnamon, I love the smell of cinnamon... decisions, decisions... But I need to make a choice soon, because I want to be finished with soap making by noon. 

Box number one, half way empty
I promised my sister that I would make my nephew a t-shirt quilt for his graduation, she had been saving shirts for a really long time.  Yesterday I finally broke into the boxes and started prepping them.  I am excited to see how it turns out, I think it is going to be amazing, it definitely will tell his life story.  What a great graduation present.

Sleeves anyone?  These are heading to the compost pile...
 In the midst of all of it we've made chicken jerky for the boys and I have beef jerky just finishing up for the biggest boy. 

I love weekends like this, where I can do the things that fill my soul, my sweet hubby helps me (I adore working on projects with him!) and so much is accomplished... What next???

Friday, March 29, 2013

Hijacking my Amygdala

I started to write a post yesterday before I went to work.  It was all sunshine and light, yesterday was my Friday and I was excited to get one more day behind me so that I had time to unwind.  I was just feeling giddy, it'd been a long week, even with the snow day in the middle, and I get really tired by the Wednesday/Thursday of the second week.

I never finished.  It was still sitting on my computer when I got home, too exhausted to finish it and not motivated anyhow.  What stopped me?  The news, they were talking on a national channel about a local columnist, and what they reported about sent me over the top! I try really hard not to be controversial, to always respect that people I love and hold dear or simply others in my sphere of the world hold differing views and ideas that might conflict with mine.  You will find I rarely post things that are polarizing on Facebook or even engaging in debates that draw strong emotions.  That isn't to say that I don't hold strongly to my views, I do.  I have strong beliefs around politics, government, the economy, personal rights and liberties, etc.  I just also happen to believe that we all have our thoughts and feelings for different reasons and me being a jerk to force you to accept my point of view is wrong and ignorant.

Yesterday got my blood pressure up.  And I am afraid that I will need to not watch the news or read it for a few days until this latest flavor of the week is done.  There is a columnist here in St. Louis that simply feels compelled to be inflammatory and who knows maybe he feels it is for the good of creating discussion.  Frankly, it doesn't work in my world, but then again I don't have to read him.  So I don't.

Yesterday though he took on something very close to my heart.  The military.  I never served, at least not as someone that ever received a paycheck.   But I will proudly admit that I am a Military Brat!  I was born, raised and lived the majority of my life moving around this crazy world as part of the incredible military community.  I know the sacrifices made by not only the service member, but their family, all for the benefit of an all too often ungrateful country.

I think the part that infuriated me even more, was that this man has served in the military.  Granted as he pointed out today, he was drafted when he failed out of college so maybe he cannot fully grasp the magnitude of signing your name to a blank check payable to your country up to and including payment with your life.  Even after all these years, being forced to join might have made him less able to comprehend and understand.

And yes, I will also admit that our country is on a sinking ship to nowhere right now, we need to seriously look at our economy and make some really hard choices.  I personally do not think all roads in our economic recovery need to lead to cutting everything for the military.  Some might disagree with me, but I am entitled to my own beliefs.  I personally believe they need to be looking to Washington itself. I believe there are many area's that need to be looked into and there are many cuts that could happen, but we don't want to make the entitled mad (they won't vote and vote often - don't forget I live in Illinois - land of the best politicians money can buy) and no I am not referring to Social Security recipients.  They worked for the benefits they receive.

To suggest that the best way to start attacking our economic issues is to take away military funeral honors and ask our veterans to sacrifice yet again for the good of our country.  Sorry, but no, they have given enough.  Our country has slowly eaten away at things promised our military, and what most people don't realize is that those military for the most part live at or below the poverty level for most of their careers.  It is not an occupation that will allow you to retire wealthy and in most cases even after retirement you will be starting from scratch because each move puts you back at square one.

We as a country provide well for our so called poor, I know this, I live and work in an area that demonstrates it daily.  There are people that come and hang out at my Y daily that have a new car, their hair/nails done in the latest styles, at least an  iPhone (usually several, paid for by our tax dollars),  enough tattoo's that if they don't own the parlor they could have paid for a nice home with the money they have spent, they come and play basketball and lift weights for hours.  Yet they are there with their disability checks or subsidy checks, they don't work and are proud of it.  They are too disabled to work, too disabled to contribute to society, but perfectly healthy to play. 

I am stopping now, because like I said I do not not like controversy and my beliefs are my own.  But leave the military alone.  They and their families have already sacrificed for this country, let some of the other folks step up and fill the void.

Yesterday, I let a glory hound looking for attention to hijack my amygdala.  I let his rhetoric steal the joy of my day and over shadow my feelings. Today, I am stealing it back.  I am still angry at his hatefulness.  But everyone is entitled to believe what they want, and if your belief's do not hurt me and my family I simply don't care.  This idea has the ability to hurt several of those I love, but honestly, I will pay for it myself if it is ever taken away.

Today is a new day, said columnist can spew all he wants, I for one will celebrate Good Friday and focus on the positive.  The sun came up this morning...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Tom & Jerry what a great way to wake up!

Today will be a complete mix of all the parts of my life... one would think it would have me stressed  out, surprisingly I am looking forward to it.  I am excited to face this day, not only does it bring me one day closer to a holy three day weekend, it also lets me blend many of the things I love to balance the few that I detest.

I have spent the morning being a domestic goddess, tidying my incredibly neglected house always brings me back to center.  I don't have time to really dig down into any of the projects, but I do have the time to clean the surfaces and make it feel welcoming.  Laundry is almost done, kitchen doesn't look abandoned, and I even vacuumed.  I know that last one is such a shock!  I hate to vacuum, might be why the majority of my house is not carpeted.  I love carpeting, I hate cleaning it! All of Neeko's recycling has been cleaned up, he is not thrilled about it, he will survive, not to mention create more. And I felt the need for a coffee break before my angel baby arrives!

Neeko stressed out that all his recycling is gone!
I am also going to squeeze in some time to work on preparing the t-shirts for the quilt I will hopefully finish this weekend.   One of my youngest nephews is graduating high school this spring and my sister asked me to make one.  From the number of shirts I have, I am fairly certain this will be a double sided quilt.

So excited that Ava is going to spend a bit of time with me this morning.  Nothing make me smile quicker than spending time with her.  I have no idea what we will do, but some of the time will have to be spent getting ready for work.  My guess is she is going to want to veg out in front of the TV.  Mommy and Ava are currently without TV and she loves a bit of time to watch her silly shows.  And I am really ok with her vegging if that is what makes her happy.  She's on Spring break and should be able to relax a bit.

Even Snug had to tell Ava good morning!

My work day will start off celebrating the St. Louis Police Officers, until a few months ago I employed 5 of them and I want to go and see them.  St. Louis has a bit of a reputation and I promise our officers earn their pay.  I want them to feel appreciated. It is a celebration that I am looking forward to.  Not the bland chicken dinner I am sure they will serve, but the opportunity to appreciate those guys and gals that take such good care of us should never be missed.

The day will probably go downhill for a bit after that, there are some pressing matters at work that I need to deal with.  And frankly I don't want to.  I hate when things get wonky and twisted.  I hate when it's a struggle for peace. It is what it is though, and I will take care of things before dashing off to do one of my favorite things in the whole world...

Paint!  I get to help fix up a space in one of my favorite historic old buildings.  I am excited about that, because that was my favorite part of my old job, I loved being able to paint and repair things.  I love bringing the old stuff back to life, so needless to say, I am very, very excited.

My day will end back at the Y, working through a pile of projects and planning our trivia night, ordering the sewing machines and supplies for the class I am going to be teaching, and trying to do my part to help us raise that remaining $44,000 we need to make goal for the year. The next 13 hours are definitely going to be busy and mostly fun filled, it is going to be a fulfilling day!

And you thought I was gonna talk about mixed drinks didn't you?  How do you mix all of you parts and passions into a whole? 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Dash

Tonight I spent my evening standing in a really long line.  Hubby and I went to the wake of a man we never met, we were there to support one of our Y family as she mourns the loss of her 57 year old baby brother.  He died very suddenly Sunday afternoon, shoveling snow.  The picture of health it seemed.

We stood in line for over 90 minutes, as we left the line appeared to have never gotten any shorter, it was still long and calm.  When we arrived the staff of the funeral home asked us which of the deceased we were there for, when we told him he pointed away from the room down the hall to the back of a very, very long line.  Quietly we took our place and proceeded to wait.

Standing there, listening to the people gathered, quietly observing it all.  It occurred to me that this was quite a testimony to a life well lived.  We hadn't even entered the room of the service, we were simply in the hallway at the funeral home.  I was amazed.  Everyone around was sharing stories, in small little groups, by the time we reached his widow what an incredible life we had been exposed to.

So quickly the smiling laughing man that had married his high school sweetheart had slipped from this earth.  In two days his family and friends had gathered together, had put together a beautiful tribute video and had created a celebration of his life.

I hadn't wanted to go, first off I am not a huge fan of funerals.  The first I ever went to was my beloved Grammie's and I was in my late thirty's then.  And secondly, though I mourned her loss for her, I never feel like this particular person likes me and that was just a scenario I wasn't up for.  But like my sweet hubby always says the wake/funeral isn't for the dead it is for the living, and he was right, it was for the living.

Driving home tonight under that beautiful full rising moon, I reflected on the conversations of the evening.  His beautiful wife, in her grief saying her life was done, because her husband was gone.  The anger in her eyes at him being ripped from her so fast, so unexpectedly. The anger in her voice as she said her perfect love affair couldn't possibly be over that they weren't finished.  Her telling us as she stood barefoot in front of he casket, that she had told him to go straight to Jesus, not to wait for her, that she would be there when it was her time. His older sister looking so worn and distraught, wearily giving a warm hug of thanks for being there for her.  And finally his precious daughters.  All three of them with blood shot eyes, being kind and hugging so many people.

His youngest really struck me, so composed and beautiful, smiling as she thanked us for coming.  So calm, as she spoke to us, total strangers about the loss she was still trying to wrap her brain around.  She didn't speak in complete sentences, she spoke of the things done then of the things that would never be done, all 30 NHL stadiums, how he had been supposed to walk her down the aisle.  The glistening in her eyes as she struggled to explain a loss that she still hadn't been able to comprehend. It was so important to her that we understood what she couldn't yet grasp.  We were simply strangers that could only offer condolences and hugs, and a willing ear to listen to her breaking heart. 

Hugging this young woman child and looking at the endless line of people, all I could think was that he had lived a life worth celebrating. This man I had never met, had touched so many lives. His youngest kept repeating that they thought only a few people would come, there hadn't been warning or time, a
look of sheer love and pride as she surveyed the line of people waiting patiently to pay their respects.

Walk through any cemetery and you will see hundreds of tombstones with a beginning and an end date stamped for all to see.  But that dash in between is what defines us as human beings.  This man with the long line of mourners had lived that dash to the fullest, given and received love, was admired and respected.  And his loss will most definitely be felt. 

When my time on this earth is done, I hope that those I love will remember how I lived my dash, if I touch even a quarter of those lives I will feel that I have accomplished something amazing. I am not ready to leave this life, I am not finished living my dash, but if called home I hope my dash has been enough for a few memories.  How are you living your dash?  Will there be a roomful of people that are sad that your time is gone, or will your passing barely be noticed?  Will your life be celebrated or the fact that you are gone simply be noticed by the few?

Tonight I will pray for peace and comfort for his family, for his passage home and for a healing love to wrap them tight.  Tonight I want to celebrate living your dash.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A Loooonnnnngggg Day!

It’s going to be a long, long day.  Even if Boss Lady decides to close early today and I don’t have to stay until 9:00 pm.  I was up late last night working on notifying everyone that we would open late after talking to the boss.  Waiting until I actually spoke with Dan the Snowman, to make sure my lot would be cleared and ready to go this morning. 

But that isn’t the thing that ruined my sleep.  Something woke me at around 3:30 am this morning and then I got the scare of my life.  My old boy sleeps snuggled between Mommy and Daddy each night, we are his pack and he loves to be close.  I couldn’t feel him breathing, his fur was cold (he’d wiggled out of the blankets) and his nose felt dry.  He wasn’t snoring and even shaking him I could not get a response out of him. I was sure he’d crossed the rainbow bridge.  I was devastated!  He didn’t even respond to me calling his name.  Just then hubby heard me talking and felt me shaking him and moved, that was enough to wake Gator out of a deep, deep sleep.  And boy was he mad at me! He doesn't show his grouchy side to me, this morning he sure did!
Gator surveying all the "white stuff" refusing to leave the deck
After my pulse slowed and I calmed down, I took Neeko outside, and enjoyed the beauty of a late snowy night for a minute.  Got treats for both boys and headed back to bed.  Gator is a total chicken treat junky, so I thought it might make him a bit less grouchy at being woken up. No chance, he growled at me and turned his head.  Wow!  That rarely happens.  At least he was still willing to snuggle, even if he was mad. 

I tried to go back to sleep, knowing that I am scheduled to work until 9:00 pm tonight; I knew I needed to sleep more than four hours.  As I laid there staring out the window at the snow, the more awake I became.  
I finally gave up with the intent of writing my blog and maybe going downstairs to work more on assembling my quilt frame.  I made a pot of coffee and took a few more pictures of the snow. I love the snow and seeing it all just warmed my heart.  I was reveling in the peace and beauty of a fresh snowfall.  Somehow, I drifted back to sleep curled up on the sofa, so needless to say I didn’t get any of that done. 
Gator struggling through chest deep snow
I thought about hanging out at home and having hubby come back and get me, he needed to be at one of the other buildings early today so they could work on a pool lift.  I even considered how awesome those extra few hours of sleep would feel, then the darn responsible side of me kicked in.  What if one of my staff took advantage of the snow and decided not to come in? What if the roads are bad and I was putting Hubby at risk coming back to pick me up?  What if… yep those are definitely the words that were stirring around in my brain.  Rattling around making me feel guilty, making me choose the “right thing”.  

I am sure that I will put those few extra hours to good use, I have a lot of things going on that need more of my attention and losing yesterday kind of put me behind the eight ball where those things are concerned.  

There are still flurries flying around, the beauty of it all is so amazing.  I might find time to go for a stroll today to absorb all the beauty. It will be a busy day, full of discussions that I don’t want to have.  I am not a huge fan of any form of confrontation, which makes being a supervisor a struggle for me occasionally. My girl is going over to take care of my boys since it will be a long day, and I don’t want them alone that long.  

And once again I will spend the day grateful to God for letting Gator stay with us for a little longer.  Hubby and I have both agreed that when it is time for him to run to the rainbow bridge we would really be okay if it was peacefully between us while sleeping at night.  I am not ready for him to run across, to play and frolic with Fred, Amber and Raja, while they wait for us to get there. 
Each time I get frightened and struggle with what I know will ultimately come; I find a bit more peace in it as well. I know when it comes he will go knowing he was loved.  Until then, I have a lot more loving and spoiling to do.  I have a lifetime of memories and happiness to squeeze into each day, not just with the fur babies, but with the humans that I love so much.


Sunday, March 24, 2013


Saturday Morning at 8 am, such a beautiful day!
Forecasters were pretty ominous yesterday. Huge spring snow storm on the way. Predicting 5 to 7 inches of snow.  Way more than we usually get in these parts. Heavy rain all night, by 6 am the roads were not going to be drivable.

Sunday 7:30 am

When I woke up this morning around 7:30 am, it was semi dry and still brown outside. I was pretty furious with those darn newscasters!  I rushed to get my son home last night missing out on a full day I could have spent with him today and driving until past midnight when my bedtime is 9:00 pm.

Sunday 8:30 am - can't tell it's icing
Over the past hour and a half, I have decided I am so glad we made the decision that we did.  I hate losing a day, but I am comfortable knowing that none of us were in danger getting him back home. Over the past thirty minutes alone, we've gone from light sprinkles to seriously huge snowflakes flying around wrapped up in the icy pellets that are coming down.  Not my favorite combination, and I am starting to wonder if maybe they were right about this being a major storm.

It's 9:00 am... still not too bad

On the plus side, I now have a day off to spend with hubby. I am sitting here daydreaming about how I am going to spend the day, sipping my coffee that sweet hubby laced with Bailey's Irish Creme, after all... I have no where to go and no where to be!

9:30 am... it might be starting to mean business...
I think I will sweet talk hubby into helping me put together my quilting frame and maybe, just maybe I will play!  After all I have been waiting all week for the chance to do just that. I guess I could clean the house and do laundry, but I truly feel that can wait.  Don't you?  I have waited ten years for this dream.

In 24 hours we have gone from 52 degrees and sunshine, to swirling snow with a prediction that we will have a total of 5 - 11 inches before morning, you have just got to love springtime in the mid-west.   Thunder snow has started and we already have 3/4" of snow on the front deck.  Should be a fun day! City isn't taking any chances... snow plow has already been down the road.

Thunder and lightening is starting... 10 am
Update:  It is twelve hours later, and it is still snowing!  I have to say, after so many mistakes with calling for snow storms over the past few years they finally have it right.  I have lived here for ten years now and I have to admit this is the most snow we've had during that entire time. 

The boys enjoying a run around 5pm
Neeko coming back from checking the status around 6 pm
We have about 8 inches of snow, it is breathtakingly beautiful and I have loved the silence that comes with a snow fall.  The earth falls silent as the layers pile up.  It's been a wonderful day at home with hubby and the boys.  There was time for a nap, we started building the quilt frame and we've had time to rest and enjoy each others company.  We are wrapping it up with a nice evening watching "The Bible" and relaxing. 

Thank you Lord for such a wonderful treasure as this day has been! 

Night is closing in, the snow is still falling steady around 8 pm

Friday, March 22, 2013

I want to play!

Woke up with this morning with what feels like the start of a head cold. Didn't sleep well at all last night, and I had so much planned for this morning.  It's cold and dreary, Spring completely lied about it's arrival, they are even predicting snow.

I feel like a three year old being told she has to leave her playroom for dinner when she is not hungry.  I just wanna play! Today I want to check out of the grown up world and play with my toys.  I have so many projects that are going on and I simply do not have time or energy to even start playing with them.  This is making me incredibly sad.

I have to go to work later today and normally I would start playing with this many "toys" scattered about waiting for my attention.  Sadly my energy level is a bit low and I might just sleep instead.

All six boxes of my quilting frame have arrived
After waiting almost 3 weeks, my quilt frame boxes have all arrived, I thought about putting it together last night... decided to make Mom's Burritos and Strawberry Daiquiris for the family for dinner instead.  It was a good decision, and I enjoy taking care of my family.  Honestly after that and the long day I had already had, I seriously did not feel like tackling those six boxes.  Pretty sure my instruction following skills were completely turned off at that point.

On the way home from work the girl called to ask us to meet her at Goodwill, she'd discovered several treasures that wouldn't fit in her little car.  That ended up being dangerous, because we discovered the cutest little vanity for the grand baby's room.  Okay, maybe not cute, at least not yet, but I cannot wait to get to work on it, it's gonna be amazing when it's finished. Grampa and I have a new project and about a month to finish it.

Walking down the hall I saw my poor little spinning wheel sitting there looking neglected.  The beautiful multicolored fall yarn I am spinning for a sweater for me, just sitting there looking lost and lonely.

By my chair sits the sweater that I am working on and right inside the front door sits the Martha Washington sewing cabinet hubby got for us to refinish with the box of soap supplies I just ordered still sitting on top of it.

This month has flown by and I haven't had time to get anything finished or started for that matter.  Today is day number five of thirteen, the weekend should start tomorrow... I am working with all these wonderful toys I want to play with waiting at home.  There are projects I want to finish, projects I want to start, things I simply want to do.  This really makes me want to throw myself on the ground and throw a full fledged three year old tantrum! I don't think it would do anything except give me a worse headache, but I really, really wanna!!!

I am debating on taking a nap to let the cold medicine work, you know I don't feel well when I am willing to take cold medicine, as it will be a long night.  Or turning on a radio show and knitting on the sleeve of my sweater.

One thing is sure, I am going to buy a lottery ticket on my way to work, who knows... I have as good a chance as anyone, and that would definitely solve my time problem to tackle all these projects and dreams...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It was one of "those" dAyS..

Direct from Bailey's Chocolate Bar in St. Louis!
Yesterday sure dawned beautiful and bright.  It held so much promise. I guess I should have checked my horoscope, I might have been prepared for the day. Sadly I didn't and the day almost got the better of me. It was rescued by my own knight in shining armor.

I have a challenge with noise and chaos, I cannot function well when there is a lot of it.  I also don't do well when schedules and plans change.  As I've said before my son might take after me a bit with that change stuff. As a result my beautiful, cold spring day changed almost as soon as I walked in the door at work and started on the fast track downhill.

Yesterday was one of those days where everyone needed my time. My phone rang off the hook, I had several projects that were short notice deadlines, one long meeting already scheduled and one surprise meeting planned, members in the lobby were insisting on holding conversations so loud they might have been heard on the fourth floor, emails kept popping up that needed attention immediately if not sooner, the lifeguard was late, the members were mad, files I needed were missing, information I needed to complete projects was not available, staff had left things unfinished and I was left dealing with angry people... and all of it before noon.  That is a lot to put into a morning and for me highly stressful!

Hubby and I had planned to go have lunch together, so I didn't pack anything.  I should know better, because in our world things always come up.  So when I got the text saying he wouldn't be back for lunch immediately after finding out that I had a 1:30 pm meeting that I now had to gather a ton of scattered information for, I was about ready to lose it!  I wasn't sure whether to be relieved because I now had time to get ready for the meeting or sad and hungry because I didn't have a lunch date with Hubby or lunch for that matter.

That is when the day started turning around, while I was trying to get all the chaos surrounding me under control Hubby had replied that he was bringing me lunch and asked what I wanted.  Of course that was right as the lifeguard issue had popped up so I didn't have a chance to reply, which is really okay. Hubby knows what I like and he rarely makes a misstep. Yesterday was no exception.

That small thoughtfulness was enough to reset my day on a different path. Shortly after starting to eat lunch at my desk the 1:30 meeting got pushed back, seems too many of my peers could not make it, lunch ended up being eaten in the break room at a slower pace.

The afternoon was still stressful but a different kind of stress, I wasn't feeling like I was coming unglued any longer, just wanting the day to wrap up. My son is home for a week, my quilting frame was scheduled for delivery... I was trying to wrap up to leave with Hubby at 3:30 pm, it just couldn't happen...

On his way back he called to see if I would be ready to go when he got back, if I wanted him to pick up dinner so I didn't have to cook.  He's thoughtful that way.  I didn't, but jokingly told him no I needed chocolate or ice cream.  Then proceeded to forget about the call while rushing to wrap up the last project on my list.

I wasn't looking up when a single, perfectly formed red rose slid in front of me. That alone was enough to make my world perfect!  What followed took it beyond perfect into nirvana! He told me I needed to come to his office, as I started to follow I was stopped to deal with an issue at the desk.  Which probably only worked to his favor.  Hubby found the most heavenly ice cream from Bailey's Chocolate Bar and he made me the most amazing sundae.  Dinner for me last night ended up being an incredible Bailey's ice cream made with real Bailey's Irish Creme and topped with a decadent chocolate and caramel sauce, fresh made whipped cream, and an assortment of mixed walnuts, pistachios, pecans and cashews sprinkled on top.  All served in peace and quiet at a small work table in his office.  Just what I needed!

Reset complete! Nothing was messing with the mood I was in after that!  Red rose on my desk, yummy sundae in my tummy, and the day was finally over!! Even coming home and finding one of the six boxes for my quilt frame had not arrive did not take away my joy of how the day wrapped up...

I wish everyone could have their own "reset man", someone that loves you enough to make sure "those" days are short, few and far between... because I am blessed to have Hubby, he has spent 10 years making my life amazing even through some really bad stuff and he just keeps surprising me!!  I sure do love that crazy guy!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hello Spring!

Brrr.... Spring is being a bit shy this year, the warm spring breezes and the budding flowers and bushes are hardly noticeable. In fact as I let the boys out this morning there is a distinct Fall nip to the air. 

Spring, the season of beginnings, the start.  In Greek mythology Persephone returns from her six months in Hades, and her mother decorates the world to celebrate her return. Throughout the world, in most cultures Spring is a time for celebration and rebirth.  When the warmth awakens the sleeping beauty that surrounds us. 

If you are a gardener, you know that soon all will be right with your world.  An outside enthusiast will be bursting at the seams knowing that with the coming warmth new opportunities are waiting.  If you are a school child your concentration slowly drifts away from school and closer to the fun things waiting for you just around the corner at schools end. If you are me, Spring Fever is a very real illness that you will fight for several months - longing to be outside and not focused on anything happening inside.

 It is by far my favorite season.  I dislike the heat of Summer, Winter is so dreary after a while but Spring tucked in between them is like a small bit of paradise waiting to be enjoyed.

I love the symbolism of rebirth, the starting of new, the celebration of the gentle shift in life.  Different places I have lived all hold memories of beautiful spring days.  Charleston is one of my favorites, because spring explodes there, it is quick and breathtaking with colors and fragrances that are so vibrant I can still remember them close to 25 years later by closing my eyes.  My gardens in Washington State always took my breath away, I was so thankful to the woman decades before that had planted all those beautiful daffodils, they still remain my favorite spring flower, an absolute field of bright yellow daffodils waving in the warm spring sunshine, stirred by the soft breezes. 

In my life there are many things that are being changed this year, this season of rebirth is so evident.  I am working on my own goals, ironically my quilting frame is scheduled to arrive today. My children are working on changes of their own.  I am enjoying sitting back, watching them grow, seeing them become such wonderful people! 

Last night, after a couple of hours enjoying the birth of a dream with my kids, I was lucky enough to have dinner with them.  It was so fun to sit, talk, laugh and simply enjoy them.  It is such an interesting journey from simply being mom to being friends with your grown children.  It is rewarding and amazing to know that you helped to raise those little ones into wonderful adults that you are able to enjoy so much!

Happy Spring everyone!!  Do you celebrate this wonderful rebirth?  Or is it just a passing season to get you closer to one of your favorites?

Monday, March 18, 2013


I think I brought the drearies home with us...
Brrrrrr... It's so hard to believe that just Friday it was in the high 60's, low 70's. Seems as quickly as spring poked it's head around the corner, it dashed off back to winter. All the rain, sleet and tiny ice balls that pelted us yesterday seem to be trying to stick around again.

Kind a dreary way to start a long work week.  Or maybe it is the perfect way, I won't be daydreaming of being out walking in the sunshine!

This morning is starting to look like it will end up being a morning of shoulda's... I shoulda done this and I shoulda done that, but in reality I am getting very little of it done.  I don't seem to have the motivation.  I know that going into one of the long work weeks I need to plan ahead or I will be so behind when it is over, but I just don't feel it.

I managed to get the laundry all done yesterday, with the exception of my son's, and it is in the dryer right now.  I should go strip the bed and do the bed sheets, but I hate to disturb the old man when it's this damp and dreary.  His old bones ache, I am sure, as my not so old bones ache. I can completely empathize.
I can't force this old guy to move...
I planned to make soap this morning, got a new collection of scents that I want to try, but I just don't feel like climbing up and down the stairs to bring my stuff up. Seems I managed to hurt my hip and stairs today are seriously not my friend.

I should be knitting on my sweater to get it done, as I have an odd quirk about not liking to start a new project when I have projects that I am working on already.  I am not one of those folks with a ton of WIP's, that would drive me crazy!!

I should sweep and mop the house, and tidy the kitchen, but again, I am just not feeling it.

I should start my peat pots and get some seeds started, all too soon it will be time to plant my garden and if I don't get with it I will be starting from seeds - literally!

Wow, reading this list of "shoulda's" I am feeling a bit on the lazy side. What I would really like to do is climb back into that big old bed with the old guy and sleep for a few more hours.  Instead I think I will get my act together and do something.  If nothing else change this shoulda mood all around, 'cause it is surely going to make for a really, really long long week if I don't get it moving in a different direction.

Is it just me?  Is it just Monday? Is anyone else fighting the "I don't wanna's"?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Disclaimer alert... I am not Irish, and I am fairly certain there isn't any Irish in my family tree, but today... I think the world is Irish!  The other dilemma that often arises, is that I am not Catholic, as my Dad often pointed out when we were younger and told us we should not wear green today.  I shall have to check my closet to see if I even have anything green to wear today, it is not a good color for me, so needless to say my clothing selections are quite void of it.

My hubby is a nice healthy mix of Irish and German, if that mix can be healthy.  I am mostly German, English, with a bit of French and Eastern European thrown in for good measure.  Hubby was raised Catholic, and our twins are Catholic, so I feel quite safe in celebrating the good Saint Patrick today.

All that being said, our celebration will be a bit tame, if it exists at all. I don't like crowds, hate them in fact, so we won't be going down the street to the local Irish hot spot, mostly because the majority of several towns have been there since Friday night. Guinness and that many people would send my blood pressure through the roof.  Never mind that we could easily walk down there.  Nope, our celebration will simply be a nice corned beef, potato and cabbage dinner, and if I am feeling a bit more ambitious I might even make a soda bread, but it isn't looking too promising now.

Ireland is on my bucket list of places to visit, I have tried many times, but something always comes along to keep it from happening.  Who knows maybe someday I will go.  For now I will content myself with having a small piece of Ireland that sits on my desk.  Joe, a dear Irish fellow, that I partner at work with went home to visit a bit ago, and brought me the prettiest stone.  It sits on my desk for when I need to day dream. 

Today should find me planting my potatoes, but given the non-stop rain since last night, I am going to say that won't happen. Heck, half my garden looks like a swamp, I am seriously considering an aquaponic garden at this point.

My seed order arrived yesterday, and I would love to start playing, but looks like it will be Easter weekend before I can. Next weekend I have to work, no gardening will take place.  I might go buy the supplies for my potato towers though.  Potato Towers and Living Fence Posts I found this through a series of links the other day, and it holds great promise! Our ground gets pretty solid by fall and it is a bear to dig into with a shovel or pitch fork.

Other than that the day will be filled with the usual weekend chores.  Laundry, chicken jerky (for those spoiled boys of mine), cleaning up the house, and enjoying having my kids around.  My sweet boy is home for the last Spring break, and I want to get to spend some time with him. He will most likely not be coming home for Spring break again and I don't want to miss it! I will squeeze in some work on my sweater and making some jerky for my human boys, and girls, too.

Guess my celebration will be a day of chores and rest, given I start a 13 day week tomorrow, I am going to say that it sounds heavenly!  How are you celebrating?

May there always be work for your hands to do...

 May there always be work for your hands to do
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pampering Pups...

My boys make me laugh.  They are so funny, and with such strong personalities.  The big guy Neeko has developed a rather nasty habit of "marking" his brother.  Every time they go outside poor Gator comes in to a sponge bath, because Neeko has decided to "claim" him as his own. 

I keep telling Gator that it isn't raining on him, but he doesn't seem to notice.  Rather odd, as this old guy won't even go out in the rain. In fact any kind of water is his enemy. Every day Gator gets a sponge bath with a variety of soaps to keep him smelling fresh, not like a toilet, and it irritates him to no end.

Today was simply too much, Neeko decided to completely drench him. I tried to take care of it with a sponge bath but it simply was not to be.  So bath time it was...

Hurry and snap the picture he is HEAVY!

He doesn't fight me, but he doesn't like it.  He won't volunteer for a bath, but he won't fight me on it, once I get him in there.  After picking him up and carrying all 65 pounds of him struggling down the hall it was all easy going.

I don't have as much grief from the boys as Dad does when he baths them, they let me take care of them and move on. I don't shut the door or curtain, I just bathe them. 

Neeko usually has to be coaxed, okay dragged, down the hall for his bath.  So I was absolutely stunned tonight when just as I am rinsing Gator, in stepped Neeko straight into the bathtub.  I don't know if he heard me apologizing to Gator for the indignity he was having to suffer because of Neeko.  Don't know what prompted it, but there he was standing right behind a very wet Gator waiting his turn.

Dad came in and got Gator, while the big guy simply waited, allowing me to wash him and then dry him.  It was quite a shock.  Definitely not the behavior that I ever expect from the big boy.

My boys are both relaxing now. Both of those guys felt they needed not one, or even two treats before they were willing to be sweet again.  Those little buggers demanded three treats, and Gator is insisting on a nice warm nest of towels.

Hmmmm... okay I admit I spoil them, but they are definitely worth it!  The love and laughter that I gain from time with them is priceless. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hang up and enjoy your family!

Entertaining when there is not playroom
This is going to sound like a rant... sorry folks. Hubby and I wanted fish for dinner and the best place in town is also Irish, this is not the weekend to try to have fish there.  We thought we'd go to Chick Fil A... I know, not a fish place, but it was remarkably good.

Hubby and I were sitting there, enjoying our meal and also enjoying one of our favorite pastimes, people watching.  Mostly kid watching if the truth be told.  We both love to watch the little ones, they are so entertaining.  But tonight while observing the room full of kids, my heart broke.  Right across from us was a little one, less than six months to be sure, with her little eye brows all skewed up trying desperately to get her momma's attention, kicking her feet waving her little arms, smiling and frowning, but not able to get her attention.  Mom was busy surfing on her phone.  Her siblings were all playing in the toy room.

At first I was mildly annoyed, I wanted to tell her that precious baby would not be little for long and that she should be enjoying her.  But the more I looked around the room, the more crestfallen I became. 

Everywhere I turned there were parents paying intent attention to a phone or electronic device.  All around them were children, that were babbling to themselves, or their siblings with no adult interaction. Parents oblivious to those precious little ones that are going to grow up so fast, and not remember a mom and dad that laughed at their stories and talked to them.

I am glad I raised my children in a different time.  TV was pretty much the only vice available for them, and we lived in Europe, one channel is not much of a distraction.

I remember long walks in Europe, Colorado, Washington, etc. I remember dinners, and conversations.  I remember questions and ideas. I remember trips and picnic's, camping and biking, I am sure there were times I was distracted by a book or my own thoughts, I hope that I wasn't so wrapped up in non-important stuff, that they did not feel loved.   I hope that I remembered to take enough time just for them.

Looking around tonight, I had an overwhelming desire to scream out at all those parents to put their phones away and play with those precious babies.

As we left that adorable little girl was still trying to get mom's attention and mom had switched to using two phones to keep herself entertained... it broke my heart... How very sad... Snuggle those babies they grow up so fast!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A time for slowing..

take time to smell the roses....

This week has absolutely flown by, I cannot believe tomorrow is already Friday.  I am sure that some of it has to do with the break neck speed at work.  I hardly feel like I have been home and I am so excited for some non-work time this weekend.  One more long day to get through, then... time to recenter my life.

I have been really been wondering a lot this week if I am working to live or living to work.  It's been one of those all consuming weeks.  So much seems to happen and it all seems to happen at the same exact same time, all of it has to be finished yesterday.  I know I am not the only person that has these time conflicts.  I can't be the only one that wonders about this path we are on.

With everything so fast and crazy, I wonder about this path we seem to be on, not just me, but everyone.  My sister shared a post on Facebook today that seriously made me go hmmmmm... I don't care who said it, frankly it's been credited to several folks, and in typical internet fashion who knows... but the words are true!

"The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

And always remember, life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away."

I think I need to re-evaluate, to do a gut check, and be sure that I am living the dash in my life.  And not dashing through my life.  It's definitely time to slow down and think about it all.... Are you living the dash or are you dashing through life? 

By the way thank you Dr. Bob Moorehead or George Carlin or anyone else that has received credit for writing that snippet, and thank you Margie for posting it.  It was perfectly timed for me, how about you?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I am Belynda and I am Selfish!

I think I might be a selfish person, I hate to admit it, but I think it might be true.  I love the time I get to spend with my family.  And I really enjoy that I don't really have to share it, with anyone but Hubby. And when we get quality time with the kids and grand baby... watch out!

Hubby and I will drop everything for them.  We are both the same, our family is our core.  We spend a great deal of our time together, and honestly I couldn't imagine anything else.  We carpool to work, our offices are down the hall from each other, we have lunch together almost daily, and we spend most of our spare time less than 10 feet from each other.  We have a comfortable relationship, and we truly enjoy each other.  Maybe that is what makes it so easy for us to drop it all.

In the past couple of weeks the stars have aligned for us to have a lot of quality Ava time.  We love Ava time.  She is so different when she is with us, I think it's the magic of being Grandparents. Grandparents get to experience life through their eyes, we get to love having our hearts wrapped around those tiny little fingers, and marvel at the miniature versions of our own child.

And as much as I love being a grandparent, I also love being a parent. I am probably a "too" devoted mom, there simply isn't much I won't do for my children. It means the world to me as they are moving into their places in life they still have time for me. 

My girl is going through some pretty big changes in her life, and as a result, I have gotten to spend some serious time with her lately.  I guess I could be worried or stressed for her, but I watch her and I am so amazingly proud of her strength and the determination that she has when facing life.  I hope some of that she learned from me. 

My boy is too busy for much right now, maybe we will have some time to talk in the next week when things are a bit slower than they are right now.  Or maybe it will simply be the Facebook message that will make me smile or giggle.  The fact that he sends these at such random times, reminds me that he is not so far away and that I sometimes cross his mind at the oddest of times.  While he is taking a break from studying or unwinding while he gets ready to call it a day. 

I am glad that my ex settled so far away, that we never really had to do all of that fussing over who got to enjoy them.  I am selfish after all and I don't like to share. Sharing Ava with Hubby is not the same as sharing, that is simply me and my best friend enjoying our precious princess.  Hubby is always so wonderful at knowing when I need spoil time with my kids. He indulges me shamelessly.  But he always manages to make sure they know he loves them too.

I am okay with being selfish, I really truly am.  Some of the greatest gifts in my life are things I have enjoyed because I am.  I love and cherish my family!


The sun is just breaking over the beautiful Smoky Mountains.  Watching it set last night was breathtaking! Tomorrow I will get up and ...