Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I don't wanna be a chicken I don't wanna be a duck...

Did anyone else read Linda's intro to the Random Dozen questions this week and start singing the words to The Chicken Dance in their head? No?

Well you probably are now. And you're welcome.


I'm sorta kinda taking a bloggy break while I enjoy Easter week with my girls. I did still manage to get in on the Random Dozen and everyone is invited to play along. Answer the questions on your own blog (or in the comments here) and then link up those answers with Lid over at Second Cup of Coffee.



1. How do you feel about the marshmallow Easter Peeps?

There is something aesthetically pleasing about the look of peeps. I want to like them but I really don't.

2. Chickens are notoriously nervous creatures. When you are nervous, what is the best way to calm down?

Pray. I say all the Bible verses I have memorized that relate to worry, fear, and anxiety. I sing hymns in my head, most especially What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

You are welcome to steal my method : )

3. People say, "April showers bring May flowers." Do you enjoy Spring rains?

Well, they have gotten to the point of ridiculous in my neck of the woods. NJ has had severe flooding and more rain is on tap this week. I know come summer we'll be glad the ground was good and saturated but it's getting a teensy bit old at this point.

4. When I was randomly flipping through TV channels this week, I saw a show in which tattoo parlor employees received tattoos of a co-worker's face on their bodies. I can't imagine having a portrait of a colleague tattooed on me. But if someone forced you to receive a portrait tattoo (face only) of anyone, who would it be? Why?

I don't get this at all. If I were getting a tattoo it would not be someones face. That's why Kodak was invented. If you make me choose I guess I'd say my daughters. I can just picture their reaction as I remove my beach cover up and they see their smiling faces looking back at them from my lower back.

5. Would you rather have a tattoo (any kind) or a nose ring?

Neither. A nose ring isn't permanent so that should be my answer but I honestly cannot see myself with a nose ring.

And permanently inking myself is not appealing either. fyi-your skin at 40 something is not the skin you had at 20 something. Just sayin'.

Hubs and I did have one fleeting moment where I suggested we get tiny little Union Jacks tattooed somewhere out of sight as we were leaving the UK but then I remembered I have children who have been strictly instructed NO TATTOOS so we refrained. Gotta lead by example I think.

Plus I'm kind of a chicken.

Ha- did you notice the way I cleverly worked Linda's theme into my answer?

6. Do you have any special plans for Easter?

yes : ) Tune in next week for a recap. I like a little mystery on the blog now and then.

7. Cadbury Eggs or Reese Eggs?

Reese's Eggs. You can never go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter.

8. What was the last thing/person you took a picture of?


I think it was my tapestry which I wrote about Monday. But I'm sure I will overwhelm you next week with Easter picture obnoxiousness.

9. What book are you reading now, or what was the last one?

'Stuff Christians Like' by Jon Acuff. I've been reading his blog since I discovered the blogosphere...he is absolutely hilarious and has just had a book published. Check it out.

And no, he did not pay me for the props.

10. What do you think is the most difficult task when it comes to Spring cleaning?

Normally I'd say washing windows but I've discovered the secret to that one. It's called pay someone. So I'll go with closets. How does so much accumulate in a season?

11. How many pairs of flip-flops do you own?

Maybe 5...I need new flip flops this year. I haven't felt too motivated to go buy any just yet though because did I mention it was 26 degrees last weekend?

12. Which color makes you happiest?

yellow...the color of sunshine and happiness


Wishing you all the blessings of this special holy week!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How many electricians does it take to hang a tapestry?

Okay, first let me just get this out of the way...the VOLS! Heartbreaking! What a game that was....I had to leave the room during the last two minutes because I got so nervous I couldn't sit still. I wonder if its more painful to lose by one point and know it was within your reach or to lose like Kentucky and be able to say the other team played better? Either way, it was an exciting weekend of college basketball in case you don't know what I'm talking about.

Next thing I need to say is this...I knew March was a big tease. We got up early on Saturday because we needed to drop the MG off somewhere for her Spring tuneup. (yes, she is a she) Hubs wanted to know the temperature before we headed out because I guess he was hoping he might be able to put the top down. 26 degrees. Uh, no. Not happening. That would be top up weather. And scarf, gloves and winter coat weather. Sigh. On the bright side there was no snow.

After we dropped off the car we went out to breakfast. Have I told you how much I love to go out to breakfast? We have a couple of really good little breakfast spots in our town so its becoming a regular part of our weekends. You can put this one in the pro column for empty nesting. And fyi, not seeing your children since the Christmas break would be on the con side of that same list. But- (insert happy dance) I will see them tomorrow.

Tomorrow tomorrow, I love ya tomorrow...you're only a day (and a plane ride) away.

Back to Saturday...after breakfast we headed to Loews because Saturday was the day we planned to hang our tapestry. In case you don't read here regularly my hubs bought a beautiful tapestry in Belgium a few weeks ago but we needed some additional bits before we could actually put it up on the wall. And I guess when we talked about all of this I wasn't really thinking about what the actual hanging of said tapestry would involve. I for sure was not thinking we'd need an electrician. And normally you don't but we managed to create some special circumstances.

We planned to hang the tapestry in our foyer and because I have a large chandelier there already I wanted the tapestry rod to coordinate so we had to order one. Plus the tapestry is quite heavy so you want to have a proper rod to hold the weight. We also ordered tassels to drape on the ends of the rod so we had to wait for these items to arrive. I debated mucho over the color of the tassels but ended up going with the gold and am happy because its perfect.


The plan was always to hang the tapestry on the stairwell which is high. Very high. I don't have a brain for this type of thing but from the very beginning hubs said hanging it was going to be a problem...that he didn't have the right kind of ladder to perch precariously on the steps and maybe I should just pay a handyman to hang the tapestry and do a couple of other small projects that also require funky ladders.


In the end we went to Loews and bought a special ladder. Even the saleslady was shocked at the price. She looked at it twice and then at us and said, "Really? For a ladder?" My thoughts exactly.

So we get the ladder set up and hubs puts some boards across the top to stand on and I'd love to show you a picture but I didn't take one. Somebody had to hold the ladder in place ya know! And sweat. And pray a lot. And agree with hubs every time he muttered the words I hope I don't fall. And I didn't take any pictures when he was finished because that's when we realized that for some strange reason the power was out in our master bath which is on the complete other end of the house and so we needed those few moments to panic and wonder why?

Hubs spent the next hour up in the attic checking all the wires and removing the switch plate from the bedroom behind the tapestry wall and in the end we called an electrician because I didn't want an electrical fire behind the wall. He comes this afternoon and even though everything looks fine, and the power came back on as soon as we flipped the fuse, and all lights and fans, etc have been working fine since Saturday morning, we're still going to have him take a look just to be on the safe side. And I'm really hoping there is no need to cut open the bedroom wall. Sigh. Oh, and the tapestry?


It looks beautiful!

Friday, March 26, 2010

In My Easter Bonnet

Okay, so I'm not actually going to be wearing a bonnet on Easter Sunday because I'm not Ma Ingalls but that song popped into my head and I needed to put it somewhere. How do you celebrate Easter in your house? I'm especially looking forward to Easter this year because I will be spending it with my girls and some extended family we haven't seen in a very long time. I haven't seen my girls since Christmas. My heart aches when I think about that fact. And this will be the first Easter we've all been together in a long long time. When my girls were in highschool they spent every Easter away from home on a service project with Young Life.


Those Easters were celebrated in Romania and Bulgaria far far from home but doing something wonderful for people they had never met.


When my oldest went off to college four years ago it didn't make sense to fly her to London for what amounted to a long weekend so she has spent the past few Easters with roommates in Memphis and with her grandparents in Tennessee and last year with my sister and her family in South Carolina.

When my girls were little I carried on with the traditions my mother established as we were growing up. First, there are the clothes...you have to have a new dress for Easter. And it has to be something that makes you think Spring even though most years we end up with very chilly weather, and occasionally even snow.



We used to get some sort of hair accessory or hat for the day too. My girls loved wearing a hat on Easter. Remember when women all wore hats to church on Easter Sunday? Okay, maybe you're too young too remember that but they did.

Then there are the baskets...gotta have an Easter basket. We always set the baskets at their places on the kitchen table so they would see them first thing in the morning. The baskets are filled with peanut butter eggs for daughter2 and coconut eggs for daughter1, and jelly beans and usually a big chocolate rabbit too. There would also be a few little bits and bobs...when my kids were young it was bubbles and hair bows and sunglasses. Now it is Itunes cards, and nail polish, and jewelry. Yeah, fyi...kids get more expensive as they get older.

The eggs....we love to dye Easter eggs. It was a problem in England because all the eggs are brown so this is a tradition we look forward to starting back up this year.


Daughter2 has already asked if we'll be dyeing eggs this year. Of course we'll dye eggs...you are never too old. Plus we'll be celebrating with some young cousins and they'll be excited about that I'm sure. We usually did the egg hunt after baskets were inspected but before church. And I think every year but one it has been inside. Pesky weather.


The food...I normally cook Easter lunch or I helped my mom cook. And its always a ham and of course deviled eggs. We choose the 'ugly' eggs to peel first for lunch. You know there are always a few bad color mixes which leave you with an ugly egg or two. We have asparagus and pineapple stuffing and something coconut for dessert...coconut cake is one of my absolute favorites. This year we will be with my in laws on the day and I think we may be going out to lunch which is also nice. I really don't care because did I tell you I'LL BE SEEING MY GIRLS WHO I HAVE NOT SEEN SINCE CHRISTMAS???? I know.

Church. I love church. I especially love it on Easter Sunday. Most people make a little effort to dress up and I have to say that is something I miss about church most weeks. I know church isn't about the clothes and I wouldn't want people staying away because they feel like they don't have the right thing to wear but sometimes I look around and think, wow, we've really gone to the other extreme. I love lilies on the altar...you know there will be lilies on Easter Sunday. And I love the hymns...I hope there are some hymns....Up from the Grave He Arose, At Calvary, and one of my very favorites,The Old Rugged Cross ...wonderful hymns with wonderful words.



And finally, the reason. Easter is perhaps my favorite day of the year. Easter is a day filled with hope. That word has been tossed around so much recently it makes my head spin. But real hope comes from the fact that Jesus paid the ultimate price for us, that he died on the cross and He rose from the dead. And that is worth celebrating every day.

I'm linking this post to Flashback Friday over at Mocha with Linda...come visit and share your Easter memories too.




Thursday, March 25, 2010

Men are from Mars

And sometimes so are their children.

Last week daughter2 phoned home. She likes to begin most of her phone
conversations in a way that makes my heart beat fast.
Last week she called and said,

'Guess what I just did?'

I know you're thinking that sounds pretty innocuous but you are not the one who has been to the Emergency Room no less than five times with this child.
And each visit followed an incident that could later set up a conversation beginning with the expression, "Guess what I just did?'
Anyway, she tells me she has just been to the firing range with some friends.


Now I know some of you out there live in the country and on ranches and your kids hunt and fire guns from the time they are tiny but that has not been our experience. Plus, have I mentioned that stuff just 'happens' to this child? I really can't explain it but I think it has a little something to do with her enthusiasm for oh, pretty much everything.



And as the words were leaving my mouth I thought, here comes Killjoy.
Sometimes that's me.

'What? Why would you do that? Isn't firing a gun dangerous?'

Oh brother.
Did I actually say that?
Yes. Yes I did.
And don't you just love college girls? Look closely.


Anyway, of course she replied back with,

"Well I wasn't shooting at anybody mom."

Ya know, I knew that.
Even as the words left my mouth I knew that.
But still.
This is my child who managed to break her collarbone in a football game
in which she was not even a participant.

Yeah.

While standing on the sidelines.

This is my child who stepped into a supermarket at age three, caught her foot in a piece of wet cardboard, and managed to trip and crack her head open on the only metal object within fifteen feet of where we were standing.
Like I said, stuff happens with this one.
And I try hard not to let my first thought always run to the
worryworry place...the scaredy-cat place...

I'm not always successful.

Which is why I'm glad to have the hubs in my life.
Sometimes we call hubs the mountain goat.


He likes to get out on the edge of stuff.
And guess who is not far behind?


Guess who reminds them to be careful?

Hubs has a wonderful sense of adventure.
He wants to experience all that life has to offer.
Not that I don't but I like to establish all the parameters
in a situation before I leap.

Which means sometimes I don't leap.

Hubs came home from work and I started to tell him about Daughter2's day and what do you suppose he said?

'Oh wow, I bet that was fun! I'd love to do that! Maybe she and I can go to the firing range. Oh, I used to love to go shooting. Is there a place to do that around here'....etc. etc. etc.

And in this sense he is my opposite.
The Mars to my Venus if you will.
He always leaps first to the place of fun.
And I love that about him.

Well, most of the time.

He pulls me into the place of fun.
So do the daughters.
They take my hand and they say, Come on! We'll do it together.
Because in the world of genetics they got the spirit of adventure gene from dad.

Thank goodness.


We have a little family trip to the mountains coming up soon.
There may be horse back riding.
There for sure will be hiking.
High places.
Rocky ledges.
I can't wait.

I think.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gotta laugh to keep from cryin'

It's been a heavy week courtesy of the US Congress so I thought I'd have some fun with an American Idol recap....does anyone still watch this show besides me? Oh, and just fyi I've had two cups of coffee tonite so look out.

Okay, first things first...what in the world is up with Kara and Simon this season? Has anyone else noticed that she's practically in his lap every week? And she's all flirty and giggly? I can't be the only person who has noticed, can I? Is anyone still watching this show? My hubs must always comment on the fact that Ryan's clothes are a size too small. He's right.

The theme this week is a good one...Billboard #1's-yes! So many great songs to choose from but how much do you want to bet they let me down in the choosing? The 'mentor' is another story altogether-Miley Cyrus. Seriously? I am so not a fan. At all. She's going to give advice on pitch? Maybe I'm showing my age but ick. Hubs is really not a fan and I'm hoping he's not going to talk about the fact that she's a mentor all thru tonite's program.

On to the singing...first up is Lee Dewyze-I like him alot. He's one of my favorites and he's singing The Letter by The Box Tops and I love this song. He changed it up in a good way. He looks much more comfortable this week and he sounds great. The judges like it for the most part. Simon says it didn't show off his recording voice but he sang it well.

Hubs leaves the room to get ready for a conference call. Crazy time zones require crazy timing for conference calls.

Next up is Paige Miles-she's wearing scary high heels and is hoping not to fall. One more thing to worry about. Love the earrings and she is such a pretty girl but she is singing Against All Odds. Why? Why why why? Here we go with the bad song choice. And I have zero pitch but oh my oh my oh my. Really really bad. In fact, hubs came out of his office to see what the noise was. Not good. Judges agree and Kara says maybe the worst vocals of the season. Ouch. But true.

Tim Urban is up next. Singing Queen's Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Tim has nice blue eyes. Akkk-he just did a slide across the stage. On purpose. Kinda like he was reaching for home plate. That will go over well with the judges I'm sure. Very highschool musical for me but he seems like a nice kid.

I missed the judges remarks about Tim because daughter2 phoned. She likes to begin her conversations by saying things like, 'I have something to tell you.' I find myself bracing for some sort of impact. I expect drama but I get funny 99% of the time with her. She is way more entertaining than A. I., especially this season. Anybody else think this season is kind of dull? I ask Daughter2 if she likes Miley and she is also not a fan. Nice to know it's not my age. It's just Miley.

Aaron Kelly belts out some Aerosmith while suffering from tonsillitis...Don't Wanna Miss A Thing. He does a great job even with his throat issues. I like it. I wasn't expecting to but I liked it. And I have to say he takes all the 'kid' remarks well. Ellen joked about him being in third grade. Some teenage boys wouldn't find that funny.

Crystal Bowersox is on stage now. She looks pretty tonite-the hair, the dress...it's definitely working plus she's singing Me and Bobby McGee. Finally a great song choice! I love the Janis Joplin version and the Kris Kristofferson version both. And I love Crystal's version too. The judges all love her and Simon said she sang it as well as Pink. Crystal is my favorite.

Mike Lynche-When A Man Loves a Woman. I liked it. He's the kind of guy you just have to look at and you smile. Lots of warmth. The judges were so so...he sang it well but they thought it was predictable. And he tried too hard. Or as Simon says, "It's like you wanted one scoop of ice cream and got eleven." Yeah. Like that.

Andrew Garcia-poor Andrew. Miley convinces him to leave the guitar off stage. He's singing I Heard it Thru the Grapevine. No. Not working. I want him to do well but no. This was not his night. Again. If Paige hadn't sung completely off key and Tim hadn't done the crazy slide across the stage I'd say Andrew would be going home. I think he's safe only because Paige was so obviously bad tonite.

Katie Stevens-she's adorable. Singing Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry. I love her voice. Love the outfit and the song choice for her. She sounds good. I enjoyed it and am liking her more from week to week. Absolutely beautiful voice.

Sorry, Daughter2 phoned again so I missed some of the judging here. I'm guessing Randy said it wasn't her best performance? Just a guess. It's his phrase du jour.

Casey James is up next. He's singing Power of Love made famous by Huey Lewis. Again with the song choice? Of all the songs he could pick this is what he chooses? He sounds fine and he's a cutie so is absolutely safe but I didn't love this. It was just eh.

Didi Benami-You're No Good by Linda Ronstadt. Hubs cracked himself up saying 'she's no good' throughout the song. I like Didi and didn't think it was that bad but the judges didn't like it. And Simon totally stole hubs line.

Siobhan Magnus is the final performer of the night. She has a gorgeous face...not sure about her hair tonite but I like the outfit. She for sure has the pipes and isn't as 'quirky' this week. I guess the scream is going to be a weekly thing. I'm pretty much over that. The judges love her and call her fearless but Simon points out that not everyone will love that. We can always count on Simon to keep it real.

My favorites tonite-Crystal and Lee

Going Home-it best be Paige.

for more A I recaps visit Boomama

Monday, March 22, 2010

Legacy

There are lots of things I could tell you about my Grandma.

She married at fifteen and she and my Grandpa were married for over 50 years.

She spent most of her life living in the same little house in Albuquerque New Mexico.

She never drove a car.

She fixed iced tea by the glass, carefully portioning out just the right amount of sugar and just the right amount of lemon. It was perfection in a glass.

Her homemade rolls were the best on the planet.

She worked crossword puzzles like a pro.

She used the expression, 'well good gravy' if she goofed.

Mostly though, when I think of my grandma the word that comes to mind is faithful.

She knew the Bible. She knew it because she read it and she studied it and she taught it. You could ask her a deep theological question and she would always preface her answer with , “Well now, I don’t know that much but….’ Right GG. We started calling her GG when my niece was born…it stands for Great Grandmother.

When I was not quite a year old my dad was sent to Okinawa for a year. My pregnant mother along with the three of us children already here all moved in with my grandparents while he was away. My baby sister was what you’d call ‘challenging’ as an infant so I spent lots of time with my grandma. I called her Gaga. Yes, as in Lady. We were obviously ahead of our time.

Anyway, she was special. Very special. When I hear the word prayer warrior I think of my grandma. When she prayed for you, you felt it. I remember once when I was a young mom and was beating myself up about something she sent me some thoughts on grace. I keep it in my bible to this day and when I see it I think of my grandma and her special love for me and how she prayed for me all of my life.

I have a story about my grandma that is one of my favorites and it goes like this...

My grandmother taught a Women’s Sunday School class for fifty years. Seriously. Do you know anyone who does anything for fifty years? She was a gifted teacher too. Anyway, her church honored that faithfulness and they had her come up front to be recognized. Standing in front of a very large congregation she was asked how it was she came to be a Sunday School teacher in the first place. And this is what she said…

She said that one Sunday she saw the pastors wife making a beeline straight for her. We all know that feeling, right? She said she just knew that the pastors wife was going to ask her to do something so she told God then and there that no matter what the pastors wife asked, her answer was going to be a firm NO. And the pastors wife said to my grandma, “Maryjane, is there any reason why you couldn’t teach a women’s Sunday School Class?’

Oh that just makes me smile. God has a sense of humor.

My grandma lived to be 91 years old. Recently I was sharing with my mother (her daughter) a concern I had about one of my kids. And my mom said, ‘You know, last night I woke up in the middle of the night and just felt like I needed to pray for your girl, nothing specific, just a sense that I should pray.” And she did.

And perhaps that is the greatest testament to my grandmother’s faithfulness.

I hope one day my own daughters pray for my future great grandchildren.

I want to leave that kind of legacy for my own children.

One of faithfulness.

Like my Grandma.

This post is part of the One Word Blog Carnival...visit Bridget to read more posts featuring today's word-faithfulness.

Ode to a Spring Weekend

spring sprung
for now
hiking at Highpoint
warm temps and sunny skies
feel the last flakes of snow under our feet


picnic by the lake


soak up the sun
pup seeks shade


amazing views


feel lucky

convertible weather
late afternoon


top down
sip a latte by the lake in our little town


feel content

spring cleaning begun
dead leaves collected


windows wide open
curtains blowing
feel the fresh air

convertible once more
country roads
Rita's Italian Ice


Do you have Ritas?
feel sorry for you

longer days
later sunsets
chops on the grill
seasons go round


feel thankful

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Playing House

Several blogs host a meme each week known as Flashback Friday.
If I'm being honest my whole blog is kinda like one giant flashback.
One of the reasons I blog is to have a place to record some of my memories...
to put into writing some of what has up to this point only been saved in my head.
And in my heart.

This weeks prompt is All Grown Up and the idea is to write about some event in your life that made you say, 'Hey, I'm a grown up'.
Feel free to join in with a post of your own but be sure to link back to
Mylestones so everyone can read along.



When I was a little girl I loved playing house.
My friends and my sister and I would set up houses outdoors, name our
imaginary children, and dress up in my mother's old clothes.
Mortgage payments, home repairs, points, escrow and taxes were never a part of our game.

Innocence.

I've been going thru boxes of photos in recent weeks and I came
across some pictures of our very first house.
When we got married we moved into a two bedroom apartment in Knoxville Tennessee. We'd been married less than a year when my husband took a new job with his current company and we moved to Richmond Virginia.
We had a college friend in Richmond who happened to be a realtor and he found us a townhouse to rent. We spent a year there before making the move into our very first house.
I remember how scary it was to get the mortgage papers and see
it would be 'officially' ours in the year 2016.

Crazy.
I'd be in my fifties then.
Too far away to even contemplate.
And the money.
Oh my word it felt like a fortune.
And to a couple of 20 somethings back in 1986 it was.
I remember going to the closing, carefully pouring over every page
before signing our names forty two times.
We were home owners.
Officially grown up.


We loved that house.
It was a saltbox and the stairs came down into the kitchen which
had two walls of windows. We bought the house from a single man who
had greatly overestimated his green thumb.
Lots of good intentions but not so great at the follow through.
The yard was a mass of brambles and weeds but plunked down throughout was one plum tree, two big apple trees, two peach trees and two apricot trees.
Do you have any idea how many apricots one large tree produces?
Just ask our lawn mower.
I picked and washed and cooked pies and jams and turnovers and cobblers and I gave away by the armful but short of opening my own farm stand there was no way we could have consumed the amount of fruit these trees produced.

We had big plans for that back yard.
We had to pay someone to come in and pull out the brambles with
a machine but after that it was all my husbands baby.
He mowed and weeded and fertilized and aerated and watered and had
that grass looking like a putting green.
No one could believe the end result, most especially the man who had sold us the house.

As it happens that was the first of many green lawns we
would care for and own.
We were in the house only two years when we were transferred to Columbus Ohio.


Brand new house.
Brand new neighborhood still under construction.
No grass.
Lots and lots of mud.
Soon, brand new grass.
And a brand new baby.
One year later, almost to the day, we are transferred.
To North Jersey this time, another house and another yard, this time with
some woods to explore.


There may have been more than a few leaves raked here.
My husband had a brutal commute.
We had another baby.
Five years zoom by.
Transferred to Maryland.
Another house.
In no time at all hubs had the grass looking like Augusta.
We grew impatiens the size of shrubs.


Our cul de sac was lined with Bradford pears that bloomed like snow fairies every spring.


Nine happy years in this sweet little cul de sac and then blink.
Its off to England.
Renters once more.
But the most fantastic garden of any house I've ever lived in.
A dream garden.
And a gardener to take care of it so what's not to love?




2009. Back to NJ.
Closings aren't scary anymore.
Just tell me where to sign.

But I still remember that first house.
We loved fixing it up.
We went to NC and bought our dining room furniture and a big
cherry desk for our office at the showrooms there.
It was the nicest thing we owned.
We loved that furniture.
We still love it.

In that very first house we set up home.
I developed a real love for cooking there.
We got our very first puppy...
a shepherd collie mix that someone had
dumped on the road behind our neighborhood.
Abbey.
She moved three times with us.
She was loyal and protective of me.
She was a good dog.
We hosted a bbq the night before my sister's wedding.
For family and friends.
It was 100 degrees.
Our air conditioner died.
Our first taste of the 'joys' of home ownership.
Still, a happy night.
We had fun neighbors.
It was a small cul de sac and we had lots of friendly get togethers.
We were young.
But we felt like grown ups.
We were.
We had hubs' whole family for Christmas in that house.
How fun it was to decorate for the holidays and pull out all my wedding
china and cook Christmas dinner.

And it was in this house we first heard those magical words-
'You're going to have a baby.'

We're a long way from that little saltbox on a cul de sac in Virginia.
But we remember those days with a smile.
We were truly on our own for the first time in our married life.
No parents nearby.
In hindsight I can see it was making us ready for a lifetime of moving
and living away from family.
We weren't kids playing house.
We were grown ups.

Listen to your mother

Do you watch the news?
Do you follow politics?
Do you try to keep up with all that is happening in our government?
Does your head ever feel like it might explode?

Good. I'm not the only one.

I listen to the news. I have my favorite station like most people but I change it up now and then. I think it's good to see what different sources are reporting. I feel like that's become especially important in recent years because news has somehow morphed into something subjective.

Remember when we got the news without commentary?
Without eighteen talking heads weighing in on everysinglesolitary word that is uttered in Washington?
Have y'all heard about health care reform?

Calm down. I jest.

You might not know this but I first started toying with the idea of blogging sometime around the last Presidential election cycle. I guess I dished out my own commentary often enough for my husband to repeatedly say I should start a blog.

Did you know I have a lot of opinions?

When I started blogging I figured I'd introduce myself and then I'd talk issues. Somehow though I ended up talking about England. And travel. And the empty nest. And a whole lot of random. And I loved it. It was nice. I like nice. Bringing politics into the 'nice' didn't seem like a fit. So I didn't. And I won't. Occasionally a snarky comment slips thru the editor.

Or my head really does feel like it will explode and all the words must go somewhere.

Hello words.
I'm not going to go into a political rant here.
Well, maybe just a little.
Have you heard about health care reform?
Kidding!
Kind of.

Every now and then I hear something and I think to myself, 'I have an opinion and somebody needs to hear it'. Today is one of those days...

I read alot. ALOT people. I listen. I enjoy learning. I try to keep up with what is going on in the world. I'm not unintelligent. Hey, I work crossword puzzles. But, sometimes I feel like I cannot express my point of view eloquently so I keep quiet. Plus I absolutely detest confrontation. I'm the third born child in my family and I'm pretty sure we're all peacemakers aren't we? Oh I can give my husband an earful. He and I are the same shade of political color though so it's kind of like preaching to the choir.

Today I heard a political figure make a remark which I have heard uttered several times by several different people in the past week or so but for some reason today when I heard it for the umpteenth time I kind of wanted to leap thru the car radio and shake someone. And then I remembered I had a blog and it's the perfect platform for scolding don't you think?

And today it is Party A talking trash but tomorrow it could just as easily be Party B and applies no matter if you are red, white or blue.

Dear Mr. Politician,

You are the latest in a long line of people who have uttered the expression 'Well, the 'other party' did it. And they did it more than once!' when you were questioned about the advisability of using reconciliation. You are not the first to say it and I'm fairly certain you won't be the last.

Do you have children Sir? Because when I heard your excuse answer I immediately thought of a five year old child getting caught in something that as a parent I might consider 'ethically questionable'. And if upon questioning my child responded with, 'Well, Susie did it first' I want you to know I would not reply with, 'well alrighty then...I guess that makes it okay.'

My child would be on the naughty step. Or copying verses in longhand from the book of Proverbs. Or something. They for sure would get a 'talking to' and that talking to would be a gentle reminder of a few truths our family holds dear. So for a minute please just think of me as your mother. Or a member of the voting public.

Just because 'everyone else is doing something' or has done it in the past doesn't make it right.
Do I really need to explain this to a grown man?

Remember who you answer to. My child answers to me, and to the God who made her.
Coincidentally so do you.

Act always with the utmost integrity. Do not be swayed by whichever way the wind blows.
Or the latest Gallup poll.

Take personal responsibility for your actions.
For good or bad, actions have consequences.
Stop placing blame and making excuses.

People respect honesty, even people who disagree.
People respect honesty, even people who disagree.

Really Washington...grow up.
The world and my children are watching.

Whew.
I feel better.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

With or Without You....its time for this week's Random Dozen

Top o' the Morning to You! It's Wednesday and since it's also St. Patrick's Day we have a nice little theme happening on this week's Random Dozen....come play along. Answer the questions on your own blog and link your answers here. And be sure to visit our hostess with the mostest Lid (aka Zoe O'Sullivan) over at 2nd Cup of Coffee to see what other blarney random goodness is out there this week.



1. On a scale of 1-10, how superstitious are you, honestly?

I’m going to say a 1. I don’t think I’m superstitious at all.

2. Julius Caesar is quoted as saying, "I came, I saw, I conquered." Which circumstance or experience of yours does this saying best describe?

Daughter2 at 18 months of age…

Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration but it sure felt like a battle for control of the universe. Such sweetness coated in a will of iron. Which ran head long into my own will of iron. We forged ahead (pun intended) and oh the joy and laughter this child has brought into my life. She's nearly all grown up now and is still in possession of that strong will which serves her well as a young adult.

3. If I peeked in on your day like a mischievous little leprechaun, at what time would I most likely find you blogging?



Early morning.

4. Re springing forward for Daylight Saving Time, is there anything you've ever been really early or really late for?

One year we neglected to spring the clocks forward and I remember walking into church thinking 'wow, there's an awful lot of activity this morning'. Turns out it was Sunday School breaking up and people making their way into church. We thought we were arriving in time for Sunday School. Oops.

5. What are you most looking forward to concerning Spring?



More daylight!

6. Shamrocks are the national flower of Ireland and are picked on St. Patrick's Day and worn on the lapel or shoulder. Do you wear green on St. Patty's Day? 



Of course. Don’t want to get pinched now, do I?

7. One of Caesar's assassins, Casca, said, "But, for my own part, it was Greek to me," which of course means he didn't understand something. Probably his own lines in the play. Anyway, what is something that is "Greek to you," something incomprehensible or indecipherable?

Html

My tv remote control

Voting on a bill you haven't read? Approving a bill you haven't voted on?

8. Is March behaving more like a lion or a lamb where you live?

A lion. A cranky lion who has been rousted from a nice long nap and is none too happy about it. We had unbelievable rains over the weekend. I’m in Northern NJ and it was all over the National News. Even today my husband was detoured getting to work due to flooding on one of the roads he takes.

photo credit The Daily Record.com

9. "An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later." -Winston Churchill. If you had one extra hour per day every day, what would you do with it?

Well I’d like to think it would be something productive but I’d probably be blogging.

Wait, that’s productive right?

10. Legend says that every Leprechaun has a pot of gold hidden deep in the Irish countryside. Aside from real gold or money, what material item would be in your dream pot of gold?

A house on the water somewhere down South.

11. "The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you." Robert Louis Stevenson. Look around you right now and tell us about something essential or beautiful very near you that you take for granted every day.

It’s pretty where I live and I think I appreciate that on an almost daily basis. The beauty of a clear blue sky, sunshine, clean white snow, birds in the bird feeder, deer on the lawn,….I think what I take for granted are more the everyday comforts of home I enjoy …heat when it’s cold outside, air conditioning when its hot, plenty of food in the refrigerator, clean water when I turn on the faucet…it's easy to take these things for granted...to forget that in many parts of the world these are luxuries. And non-existent.

12. Just for a bit o' fun, click here (www.blogthings.com/irishnamegenerator/) and then report your Irish name. Mine is "Zoe O'Sullivan." I love it!

Fiona Hennessy.

Now how about something truly Irish to close out this St. Patrick's Day post? A little something from one of my very favorite bands who just happen to be Irish lads....Have a great Day!