The first post was about my frustrations during this week. Cabin fever, missing my kids and snow making most of my choices for me. Tomorrow was goign to be a Big Day. Keaton is getting his second citizenship award of the the year at 830 in the morning. I have never missed one of these assemblies - tomorrow will be my first and I am so frustrated. There was a birthday party that Miss M was excited to attend with her girlfriends and we have had tickets to the first day of the Hannah Montana 3D movie and it isn't looking good for us making it there.

So I had my whole post done, hit the Publish Post button and lost the whole thing. I sat there in disbelief - frustration doesn't begin to describe my emotions. An hour later, I came back and tested Blogger to see if it was up and running - and it was.

When it isn't being tragic or wonderful, it seems that frustration is life's tortoise. Seeming not a Big Deal, it sure messes with your mind. Slow and steady - if not kept in check, it can snowball out of control. Friday's plans seem to have gone up in smoke. It is part of life and Sometimes, you have to live a little of it everyday, even if it doesn't go the way you planned...

cabin fever...

Today was a snow day. Tomorrow may also be a snow day, the school district is trying to decide right now. If we get the 4-7 inches of snow forecast for tomorrow - Friday will be snow day #3. Since we only have one snow car, it gives me time to ponder. Maybe more time than I would naturally take because Feeling Groovy and cabin fever aren't always, simpatico.

Last night, I heard a mother whose son is in deep trouble, give this sound advice -The world would be a better place if everyone acted like their mothers were looking over their shoulders. I think she is right. I have seen grown men who were more afraid of their mothers than any law enforcement officer. She may have something there.

Rudy Guiliani and John Edwards dropped out of the GOP today. After Super Tuesday next week - we will know if the Republicans will choose John McCann or Mitt Romney to face Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Barack will be in Boise this weekend - will be interesting to see how he is received. He is obviously in Red State territory but that may be changing too. The state has seen such an influx of people in the last four years - they can't ALL be Republicans! Will be interesting to watch.

Light at the end of the tunnel - I keep reminding myself that it can't snow forever. I will get to see my grandbabies soon and not to be irritated that Walmart already has spring clothing on display. Costco had bathing suits out last week. It may even bother me more than Christmas ornaments in August. Must keep the Big Picture in front of me.

When life hands you cabin fever, be grateful...

there is snow and then...there is snow.

It was suppose to be 1-3 inches. That is what the news said. By noon, it was up to 8 inches. It stopped a bit ago but it has starting again. DH still is not home and he may have to just eat, change and head back to be on time for tomorrow. It is so quiet in the neighborhood. No one is walking down the street and the white is white.

It is on days like this that I think about a certain group of people, the homeless. Actually, I think about them alot. When I am laying in my warm, cozy bed at night with my full tummy and warm pj's, I think about them. I know a little about them - my father was one. My experience was not a pleasant one. I had to deny him room at my home. Not because of space but because of the safety of my own family. There was still guilt involved. Anyone who has had a similar experience knows of what I speak. There is a great part of the homeless population that fall into the same circumstances that my father found himself in.

Now days, there are families and teens who have joined the ranks of the homeless. Many of them have no families to turn to - either out of their choice or someone else's. There are many reasons people find themselves in this situation and however they got there - there is always hope that is it a Season of life and not a lifestyle. My experience tells me that people can be stubborn and often make choices that affect their lives in a negative way. We always have a choice whether we know it or not.

There are those tonight that will have to stay awake all night just to be safe. There will be those who will not have enough food to feed their families. There will also be those who have collected enough money to buy a bottle of beer or a bit of their drug of choice. I know that God loves them all. They belong to Him and my experience also tells me that there is hope.

My father died in the hospital of alcohol poisoning - that is how his death certificate reads. The morning after he died, we went to the last apartment he had been staying in and cleaned it out. When we got into his car, the radio came on and it was tuned to a christian radio station. There was no way that was possible. We were pretty much blown away. No one could have put it there but him. I knew that then that Jesus had been talking to him. I don't know how their last conversation went - I don't need to. The radio was enough for me.

Tonight, I will think of these people. I will grieve for them out in the cold. I will pray for them and I will believe, because I know, they are not alone. There is One who stays with them, His Love is so much greater than ours. I wish I could tell them about hope. Maybe they will find Him and His hope will becomes theirs. I can only pray...

income tax...

Income taxes are a necessary evil. I really wouldn't mind a bit if I thought the monies were going to help people or our country but I have seen too many Fleecings of America segments to know how our money is really used.

The whole ordeal of paying taxes has been a nightmare for years. Today, I can honestly say, I loved it. Turbo Tax and 15 minutes and I was done. Took 5 more minutes to print up all my forms. We are in the season of life where the standard deduction is the larger benefit for us. We are now at the place where the government is not using our money throughout the year. I get a little back from state and owe the feds a little bit. After I pay my efile fees, I am only in the hole for $33.90. That I can live with.

I still am not sure why the government can't come closer to taking our their fair share every payday. Turbo Tax seems to be able to remember all my information from year to year so it doesn't seem to be out of the realm of possibility, even for the IRS.
Maybe the IRS should outsource this whole deal to Turbo Tax? Let them deal with the headaches of who owes what. Punch each person's deductions and credits in a database and let er rip. Give those poor IRS people a break. Let someone else take over the nasty phone calls and big sighs when they see a letter from Turbo Tax.

I KNOW it is not that simple. I remember when it was too much and we had someone else figure it all out for us but I can't say that I wasn't as giddy as a kid in a candy store today when in less than a half hour, I started and finished my responsibilty to the IRS and the State of Idaho and boy, does it feel good...

the nods...

It happens to all of us but not all of us... are so assessable. He is not the first nor will be be the last to nod off at the most inopportune of times. Of course, it was MLK Day but Bill's dance card has been filled up lately and it finally caught up with him at that very moment.

Do you think it has to do with being bored? I always did but now, I am not so sure. We all run ourselves ragged these days - you don't have to be running for president...I mean helping run for president to find yourself headed toward Never, Never Land, anywhere, anytime.

Just like weddings and funerals, we are just glad it is not us. I really can't imagine being the target of the late night boys and the butt of every sleeping pun on all the cable news programs - doing just what comes naturally when we are living an unbalanced life in a crazy world.

I am no Bill Clinton lover but I feel a certain empathy for him. He has done his share of things that leave no room for sympathy but when it comes to the nods - there is not a one of us who hasn't walked in his shoes. It is still a long, long time until November, unfortunate for Bill. Hope it is worth it for him - not so much for me. Could it be possible that I could learn something from Bill Clinton? The miracles just keep on coming...

go away...

Keaton told me he made this sign and put it right outside their bedroom door because Gage had been having trouble sleeping. He is still having issues but pretty sure it is not about monsters. Most nights, he feels more secure sleeping in a little safe place at the foot of his parent's bed.

As a child, I certainly remember being scared. For different reasons, my fears came from within the four walls of my home. It was safer outside than inside and I knew it. I would have be very grateful for a sign outside my bedroom - go away. GO AWAY, I would say over and over again. It never worked. I didn't have a sign.

Now, I am a Big Girl and I know that monsters don't go away. We are reminded everyday of the monsters among us. Natural disasters, disease and people - a sign just doesn't cut it. We live among the monsters - I can take it for me but the thought of it for my kids - it is hard to go there. I can't protect them as much as I want to. If wanting were made true, nothing would ever touch them but that is not the case - for any of us.

The only I know to do is to crawl up at the end of my Father's bed. I have made myself a little safe spot and I know He is watching over me. Whatever the monster in my life at any given time, I know I am safe. I know because He gave me a sign and He put it right where I can see it as I fall asleep at the end of His bed.



I had lunch today with my friend. Brick 29 makes the best Tomato Bisque I have ever had and I look so forward to being with both of them. Maybe it doesn't seem like a big deal but considering I have not been out of house since Saturday, it really was. As I sat waiting for her, I took in my surroundings. I love this place. The colors, the spaciousness and I am ready to paint my ceilings black. As I sat there, sipping my cucumber water, I was trying to decide if it felt good to be out or if I was ready to to run back home. The answer never came. I loved spending time with my friend. We have known each other for a long time and we pick up where we left off the last time we met. Can't think of a better reason to leave the house.

After all, it is January and like it or not, the blues have settled in. I start dreading it November 1. Halloween is over and no matter whether it was mild or mighty, I know it is time to get ready. It is a normal part of the yearly cycle - I would dare say we all get the January blues, different degrees perhaps. I fell them pretty strong. Nothing I can really put my head around. I try to just endure until the calendar rolls around to February 1. That is the magical date. Personally, I think it is colder in February. When I worked, the bathroom always froze up for the first 2 weeks of February. After Valentine's Day, you could almost count on not having to drive across the highway to go potty - but mentally, February turns the corner and heads me to the light.

Even January has to have something going for it. Here's what I have learned this month.

There is alot of alone time that gives you some breathing room. Breathing room to be about others. Time to pray, time to listen and time to take what you know and let it bounce on the provebial trampoline.

I know some absolutely stunning people. Strong in life, passionate about persevering and able to still laugh. I see all His people and I am blown away.

January is 31 days long. It soon will pass. Then it will come again. The ebb and flow of life all crammed into a cold, dreary month. Just like Real Life.

The cucumber water was interesting - two things that I would never have imagined together. You learn something everyday - even in January...


I have finished assembling and have sent off my 2007 layout and photo books to Blurb for publishing. Gone are my days of 4x6 photo albums. Now I save my pictures and layouts by month and at the beginning of every January - get out the 12 folders and start putting them together. Each book is labeled by year so years from now, my ggkids will be able to know exactly what was going on and how old everyone was as they cruise any given book. It is truly a beautiful thing.

There are other things in our life that are also worth preserving, recipes. Cooking seems to be a lost art form these days. Church potlucks are full of deli chicken and salads. Store bought cookies still in their clear, plastic boxes with those floppy tops. We live in a world where taste is a rare commodity. I would get anything to stand in a line for 2 hours for out of this world pizza. The Food Channel tells me there are many such places but around here the tastiest pizza is at Pizza Hut - you get the picture.

Just in case, someone in my family wants to kick it up a notch, I have been thinking seriously that I need to get all those little pieces of paper I have saved over the years and get them in their own book. Last summer, DD had a brand-new Betty Crocker cookbook in the yard sale and I scooped that baby up before someone else did. Mine is covered with butter, chocolate and some unidentifiable stains. she taught me how to make gravy, cream sauces and pudding. There is nothing like hot chocolate pudding. My gkids have never had it. Keaton asked if I had any pudding the other night - he meant the portion-controlled plastic cups kind. We didn't have time to make the real stuff but the next time he is over, we will make time.

I think the recipes I have need their own Blurb cookbook so while I am waiting around for spring, think I will start working on this. Some of the charm of inheriting someone's recipe book, is to look back at their handwriting - it reminds you of the person and memories of the food that you associate with them. In my case, having the handwriting of a serial killer would make trying to recreate any recipe a nightmare. Maybe I put some pictures in it instead, so they can still experience the warm fuzzies.

Chocolate Pudding - I made it last night. Put in in the refrigerator to cool for a few minutes and filled up my bowl. You make it with cocoa and Hershey's now makes a dark chocolate cocoa. It is really dark, almost black and the taste would be worth waiting in line for 2 hours. Luckily, I don't have too. Sitting in the middle of the living room in a sea of recipes sounds like a small price to pay when you think about someone grabbing your recipe book on a cold, dark night and making chocolate pudding for the first time. I'd say it was well worth the time...

home page...

We have a 100 things a day that define us. Some come from our Season of life, some come from choices we make and some are ours, like it or not. At times, we choose the personification we want to put out there, for all to see. If I ask you to pick 25 things that would describe you - what would you pick? What would you leave out? What 25 things would give us an insight into the real You? Would those closest to you pick 90% of the same things as you?

Those would be about the Big Defs - how about your home page on your computer? Presuming that you don't share a computer - what is your home page? What do you want to see when you log on to your internet? How do we define what we want right in front of us, everyday.

Today, I can tell you it is our 401K plan. We are in some kind of twilight period ( the 1-5 years before retirement) and after last week, I can tell you that I am considering making the T Rowe Price site my home page although seeing how fast we are losing money makes me kind of lightheaded. It would also make me focus on what is really, really, in the long run, not that important. We will have what we have and live on that. I learned alot after being downsized out and one of the most important is you can not count on anything when it comes to money.

I have had my home page on several of the new channels so I would always know what is going on but that didn't work very well either. I still use them when I want to know about something but I don't want it to be my focus. I considered once having my online banking as my home page - again, I'll get there when I need it.

I could pick one of my favorite blogs - ok, it would have to be Pioneer Woman and although she does post most days. it is not what I am looking for. I don't know why I feel the need for my home page to be meaningful but I do. Maybe it is because I know that I need to be reminded everyday of the preciousness of life and a home page is a great way to be reminded through out the day.

I will tell you that 90% of the time ER is my default home page. Seeing the visuals of my family over and over again, makes the cares and worries of the day, seem to dissipate. Whatever has me in a tizzy on any given day, melts just a bit when those little faces pop up. It is a friendly face, a familiar jargon and place to be safe in an unsafe world. It defines me and it comforts me. Dorothy was right, There's No Place Like Home...

buzz words...

So mommy goes to the restroom and we have to occupy ourselves for a few minutes. Yes, we could have probably sat there with our hands in our laps , but I had a better idea and they had some of their own when it came to posing. A perfect match for 3 minute investment. Usually, I do mention that we might pick up a refreshment later on and I think we did but mainly, I told them how awesome they were and got big smiles in return. But...make no mistake - the buzz word, "refreshment" was what they heard, loud and clear.

We Big People are not much different. We are attracted to buzz words like bees to honey. We can be listening along, making note of every word being said, and then the buzz word, either positive or negative comes along - and we are no longer able to focus on anything but THAT word. Anything after that is never heard and everything before it, is forgotten. That is why so many celebrity types get themselves in hot water.

Buzz words are also generational. To my FIL's generation, the "n" word was used freely and garnered little attention. It amazes me that people like Isiah Thomas, the black coach who had a harassment suit brought against him would defend himself by saying that black people could use the "n" word but not white people. You don't have to listen to more than a handful of rap songs to see that buzz words are also cultural. There are also religious, political and the ones that affect each of us the most - personal buzz words.

We each have words that put us in a fighting or loving mood in an instant. They trip our triggers and if they are the fighting kind - take us a while to get our emotional equilibrium back. It would probably be best if we lock ourselves in a empty, padded room until we can get some clarity on the whole thing. Not sure we can go to a 12 step program to get over these emotions. They are a part of who we are and where we have been. I can still remember watching my Oma talk about the Holocaust and the look on her face.

For me, when I walk up to my DD door and I hear the kid's voices yelling, nana's here whatever my day has been up to that point, fades away and a big smile comes across my face - and they haven't even opened the door yet.

I have come to an understanding with my fighting buzz words. We both agree they will always be there and we both agree I can react however I choose. They will not stand in my way. They have history and they know it but they also know that I have attitude and am not afraid to use it. Sounds like a fair fight to me...

more and more...

It becomes more and more obvious as each day goes by that the world we woke up in today is not the one our naked little butts first came into. I get so annoyed with Sick Poppa's credit union because they do not have internet bill pay and don't seem to think they need it. Maybe they don't. Maybe the percentage of their customers who want that service is relatively low. I know the few times I have been physically at the facility, the average age of their customer base is close to 80. DH's family has banked there forever and when we got married, we banked there for a while. They knew you and you knew them...but after a while we moved on. Banks became competitive and paying double for a monthly check account didn't make sense, no matter if everyone knew our names.

The average age of Brian William's Nightly News viewership is 64. I wish I knew what the median age of Steve Job's Mac World audience was this week - bet it would almost be cut in half. This is the world we live in, this is the world that we oldsters have to adapted to. I suppose you could decide to dig in your heels and refuse. Many have chosen that path. That is just human nature.

Time will natural change our world. As the oldest generation passes away, the baby boomers will step up to the plate and slowly, you won't even notice the change. It will come as naturally as breathing.

Early December, I was cruising the editorial page of our local paper and saw that they were recruiting new members. At first I didn't think much of it but after a few days of popping in and out of my brain, I took a second look. As I reviewed the questions on the application, I was hooked.

What are three things you would never change your mind about?

What a question! I answered all their questions and sent it off. At the beginning of the week, I was invited to attend a trial meeting today. Of course, everyone was shy but that will get better with time. Not all of us will be invited back. Whether I am invited back or not, I loved the Process. As I sat in that meeting room, I so enjoyed the diversity of hearing bit and pieces of complete strangers Stories. It reminds you that the world is a Big Place and everybody has an opinion. Hopefully as we all move ahead, whether by serving on a community board or visiting with someone as you wait in line at the store - we share this new world with each other and in turn, are a better people for it...

It's finally here...

It didn't come the way I thought it would although in hindsight, I should have guessed who would be able to pull if off. It is a little thing but after the technology I have witnessed in the last 10 years, I started to think, it is just a matter of time...and the time is now.

My electronics hero is Steve Jobs. The man has been the head of Pixar studios and Apple - he more than qualifies. Whenever he has his little techie updates, I am there. With snacks and a drink in hand, I sit in front of my computer and prepare to be dazzled. He never disappoints. There is always a guest singer - yesterday it was Randy Newman from Short People fame. It was cool.

He started with IPhone updates and new free software which made the IPhone people swoon. In the 90 days, Apple has sold 4 million IPhone taking almost 20% market share in their first 90 days of shipping. That is more than Motorola, Nokia and Palm combined. Then on to the ITouch which made me swoon. Looks like I am going to have to get me some update software, real soon. Then he moved on to ITunes. My heart is beating quickly now. Very quickly.

Last week, ITunes sold their 7 billion song.
Christmas Day 2007 - ITunes sold 20 million songs in 24 hours. Unprecedented.
Now, you can rent movies at ITunes.

30 + 24...You have 30 days access to your movie and once you start watching it - you can watch in as many times as you want in a 24 hour period. You can watch in on your computer or your IPod - or both. Start watching it and have to run - take it with you. No more lines, no more waiting for a certain movies - rental on demand. Too bad you can't watch them on your TV...Oh, but you can.

Everyone has tried and no one has succeeded - until now. Any movie, any time on your TV. Within 2 weeks Apple TV will ship a stand alone device that will allow you access ITunes directly. Music, podcasts and you will be able to rent movies on demand. Rental prices range from $2.99-$4.99. This is seriously big and all this for a investment of $229.00.

Can't explain my love for technology. Hope to live to 100 to see what else is coming. I love the Walter Evans Stare quote that I found on Ali Edwards blog yesterday. Life is short. Sccop it up and drink it in. Excuse my techie high but I am living Big right now. Maybe we should put Steve Jobs in charge of curing the common cold - bet he'd have it done in 90 days...

getting down and dirty...

As I watched this little ditty from Nylon TV, I couldn't help thinking about all the things in my life that I am afraid to get dirty, both physical and emotional. Mostly afraid that I will wear out, use up and NOT BE ABLE TO REPLACE said item. I do find myself thinking most often - I LOVE this shirt, wish I could buy 100 so I never run out. Not the best way to live. I am a Down and Dirty kind of girl - what is it with this strange dichotomy?

The lack of value to a lot of change is the only conclusion I can come to. When change is a good idea to me, like my change of home decor form Heritage Reflections to Pottery Barn, I can't make the change fast enough. However this other kind of change seems to be more personal and less appealing.

It also reminds me how much I love Converse tennis shoes - I am still wearing a pair that I got at a friend's yard sale that belonged to her jr high son who is now is a grown man. There I said it. I have confessed. It is time to throw those shoes away and go buy another pair. Black. I will be accountable to get a pair by the end of January. Then... I must find help to get them dirty, really dirty and then plan on buying another pair next January. Sounds simple but I know that it will be quite a challenge.

While it may seem to be about my craziness, it really is about community. It is about sharing yourself with others. It is about new adventure. It is about change. Already I can hear, What have you gone and done now? I answer back - Getting down and dirty, that's where it's at. Start with tennis shoes and see where it leads. Seems to me, the possibilites are endless. Baby Steps. Sometimes, it's just about Baby Steps...

100 calories...

Not only is January a slow, slow month - it is the Diet Month of The Year. It's cold, not much to look forward to and somewhere along the way, we grew out of our underwear. Everything feels tight. Our clothes just don't feel right, our December credit card bills have put us into a space that makes the walls close in and the only thing we have to look forward to are our W-2's.

One of the new shows had a segment about what 100 calories look like. These days, food companies have made it much easier for us to count calories and it seems that you can get Anything in a 100 calorie pack. If nothing else, we truly are a simple people and this one little thing makes most of us, very happy and it is all wrapped up in a nice neat little package.

But for those foods that DON'T come all ready pre-packaged, this show showed us what 100 calories can buy you.

10 whole pickles ( you have GOT to be kidding)
8-10 french fries ( you have GOT to be kidding)
1/2 of a small baked potato
4 slices of chicken breasts
1/2 cup of plain yogurt with a handful of berries
2 Tablespoons of flavored yogurt
6 ounces of orange juice
2 cups of salsa
1 Tablespoon of mayonnaise
7 Tablespoons of ketchup
8 potato chips
18 carrots

Seems to me, it is feast or famine. How in the world are we suppose to remember all this? 10 whole pickles - are you nuts? Two cups of salsa would put me in a permanent acid reflux coma. 8 French fries just primes my eating pump. Doesn't seem to help January's image too much and it has only made me hungry. Thank God, I love black and white or the whole month would be a complete wash...


I knew after downloading Miss M's passionate New Years Eve's photo that my personal theme for 2008 would be passion. It came as natural as breathing does. Dh is always telling me that I feel everything with more feeling and passion that the average person. I am so glad I have him as a reference point. A place to start from, then decide where I want to go from there. I usually - no mostly, always try to reign in those passions. Perhaps scared to feel them completely - I scurry back to the middle in hopes that it is not too late.

So with the theme in place, a few days later while checking out a new store at the mall, Gage and I make our own magic while mommy is shopping. His passion for his air guitar is legendary in our family. He plays with so much passion whether in his school's Christmas program or at Steve and Barry's, he truly lives in the moment and may the poster child for the canvas that hangs in my office.


Truthfully, here we are - Day 14 of the New Year and I haven't mustered the courage to let myself feel it yet. There is one opportunity this week where I will have a chance to exercise that courage. I have a few days to think about it and will tell you the whole Story on Friday. I need to decide how this passion thing is going to go and with over 350 days left - it could get ugly. Or, I could learn how to balance my passion, Or, at least how not to be in fear or it. Just the word passion gets a bad rap sometimes. Im not sure I even like the word but when I look at Gage and Miss M's faces, I think it sure looks like a wonderful thing to experience. Whatever the next 11 1/2 months bring, I hope I am ready. We'll see...

The Bridge...

It is about you and me.
It is about how we got here and where we are going.
It is about the One who gives us life by being The Bridge, our Bridge...


I finished my coffee table book of my digi layouts for 2007 yesterday and now will move on to my photos for the last year. Blurb is my publisher of choice and I find this way of keeping my photos and layouts far easier and cost efficent than a several albums of 4x6 photos in plastic sleeves. I have started to do books that cover a calendar year. My hope is that when my family look at these Down The Road, they will enjoy them more than going thru a trunkful of pictures and trying to guess who is who and when were these taken?

It is a simplier process and I am all about simplifying. Over the last year, I have found my taste changing. Going from a country/primitive look to more of a Pottery Barn feel. I sold alot of things at yard sales last year. Also sold a piece of furniture last fall - have not regretted it yet. More will go in this year's yard sale pile and the old will be replaced by the new.

In one wall of my bedroom, I have 3 evenly spaced Warren Kimble pieces, approzimately 20 x 24, which will be replaced with black frames, white mats and my own photos. Same theory, different look. As I am going thru this change, I am amazed at what I am seeing. Things that I thought I couldn't live without - suddenly, bother me. The process of simplifying is on-going and forever changing. I truly do love the process.

So, January is here and I feel the need to do more. Woke up last week with a burning desire to simplify my kitchen pantry and four trash bags later, I had offerings for the trashmen and my yard sale pile. Found this organzational tool today - The Four Laws of Simplicity.

1. Collect everything in one place.

2. Choose the essential.

3. Eliminate the rest.

4. Organize the remaining stuff neatly and nicely.

I didn't even know that Simplicity had any laws and when I did my pantry, this is how I did it. Usually, I just straighten everything up but this time I even looked at the Buy By Dates on everything. For me, the first one is the key. If I don't have it all together in one place, the other 3 never have a chance of getting completed. Good thing it's January - I got a whole lot of drawers to get to...

Let It Snow...

The weather outside truly is frightful... In anticipation of the next snow storm heading our way and DD needing to work today, I spent last night at their house so we would be prepared. Prepared we were, however, we woke up to no snow...but an hour later, it started. Mommy went off to work to return quite abruptly. Her employer sent her home because there were no customers. At least we were prepared.

So she brought got to bring me home early and the weather was much worse here than at her house. I am glad she got to head home before the work traffic - it is going to be a nightmare.

So we all made it home, safe and sound. I am NOT a snow person. Wet, cold, bright - I don't get it. Of course, never seeing it until I was 17, may have contributed to my less-than-lovely feelings about it. Being raised in California, there was basically one season. A little wind, once in a great while, some rain - that was it and I loved it but here in Idaho, the trade off for winter is fall and for that alone, it is so worth it.

We haven't had much snow for a few years so this is somewhat new to the kids. I would expect there might be a snowman in their yard soon. What kid could resist this white, fluffy stuff? With the anticipation of a school-less snow day - what is not to like? For us Big People, it is about traffic and shoveling - it is more difficult to see past that to the fluffy stuff. So for you Big People who get it, I am envious and proud of you. I will also wait inside by the fire in my jammies and get the hot cocoa ready for you - it's the least I can do. After all, fall is only 9 months away...


Spent some time with Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain today. While technically - travel challenged, I can go to any country for 60 minutes while in my pajamas and really, enjoy myself. He mixes travel with food and humor - a combination I can not deny nor do I even attempt to. I look forward to the foods of the particular places he travels but more specific, I love it when he eats with the people of his temporary homestead.

There is something about eating with people that touches a place in me that is hard to explain. Maybe it has to do with all the times that Jesus broke bread with people and the importance He seem to point to. The only thing that could make me happier that food is a constant.

Same time
Same place
Same families
Same menu

There is no greater pleasure for me. We get together once a year to celebrate three families who had no idea what they were doing but said to God. The kids are almost grown up, in fact next year - we will get to play with a new grandbaby. We were missing one of the kids this year - he is in China but we thought about him so in theory, he was there. Of course the sameness is appealing. There are a few of us who love that we know what to expect and that is what we cherish. This is the first year that we didn't talk about the church and how it has grown so much that we are all blown away and I think that is a good thing. The bigness of the church is not what we are celebrating - some of us wish it could be small again. I think we are finally comfortable in just being. For one night, we rekindle our lives together and laugh as much as possible over spaghetti, Ms D's salad, Ms M's rolls and Best Ever Brownies.

Bourdain can continue his world wide travels - the only time I get a little interested is when he is in Mexico, now that I could get my head and tummy around but the rest of it is a polite diversion. Give me spaghetti in January anyday...

Joy to the World...

We had our solo sleepovers Thursday and Friday nights. Keaton went first and the next night was Gage's turn. They have such different interests so we take turns taking each of them by themselves and doing whatever they want. With Poppa, they picked the same thing - they each had 2 hours of video time, sharing their knowledge with Poppa. My duty during this time is to keep the snacks coming and I am happy to do so. My turn comes the next day, they get to pick 3 or 4 places they want to see and off we go. With Keaton, it is bookstores and shopping for video games. With Gage is is all about going to Cabela's and the bird store.

Saturday, after Cabela's we headed to McDonalds's for lunch. Gage got out all the animals he had purchased and we were turning them on their bellies to read their official animal names. When I read "bullfrog", the same song went thru both of our brains at the same time and about then, it started to come out of mouths.

As we both sang in the middle of the restaurant, I am thinking, When has this kid been listening to Three Dog Night and How Did I miss it? . I was relieved when he said he learned it on Dora The Explorer . Thankfully, there were some changes to the lyrics where there needed to be. As we sang it for the second time, his face broke out in the biggest grin - he could not have been happier. We had a great day.

The preacher talked today about if we have Jesus in our lives, we already have everything we need. We don't have to change our behavior to do or not do a certain thing - He will take us where we need to be. We find ourselves singing His Song and together, we do what we were meant to be. We might even discover a big grin passing across our faces...Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, Joy to you and me.


We passed one of those storage units places today and they were advertising a place to keep all those holiday treasures with a 5' by 5' space for only $9.99 a month. Seems a little expensive and not the way one might want to spend the first few weeks of the new year. My garage is already filling up with garage sale items and I dare not clean out anywhere else till it gets closer to garage sale time. The pantry was on the hit list last week and I acquired 2 large bags to store until much later - the plate rack is at the head of my list of places to thin out in a few months, just need to be able to find my list when the time comes.

The philosophy behind the storage unit phenomenon in our cultures seem somewhat fat to me. IN our town, there seems to be a new storage business pop up once a week. when my sister moved here several years ago, we had to go to another town to find a vacant one and almost missed that one. What do we need so badly that we keep off site from our homes and are willing to pay dearly for the service. Looking at my own garage, I see how it can happen but somewhere we must say, enough is enough.

Not unlike our lives that we fill up with everything known to man. Some good and some, not so good. We often feel like we are going to explode and I can't help but think it may have Something to do with carrying around so much stuff that we just don't use but aren't willing to give up. Unlike our personal property, we don't' have to wait for a particular season or reason. Now is as good a time as any to sort through our emotional space and see what we can dump, what we should dump and what that would look like if we did it.

Ideas that no longer make sense because they have been proven wrong to us.
Hurtful memories that no longer run our lives.
New thoughts that are really new to us and fill us with promise.

If I thought that committing to rent a 5' by 5' emotional storage unit for a year, would make my life easier - I would do it tomorrow but holding on isn't the answer. It is a painstaking process that can only be done by ourselves and in our own time. With the cold weather upon us, now seems as good a time as any to sort through and figure out what to keep and what to get rid off. I think I will be surprised at what I find and what I decide to keep and get rid of - I look forward to the Process and then I can decide what to do with that that $9.99 a month I will be saving...

Comfort and Joy...

I am just not ready to let go of 2007. No particular reason - I have no strong ties or feelings for last year. Nothing coming my way that I am itching to experience. It is just that seven days was not enough time to ease into what the calendar tells me is new and sparkly.

Not a resolution person, I think every morning that I wake up is a new day, full of reasons to do better than the day before. You could not stack the deck against yourself any greater than trying to decide and implement a once-a-year Big Change. I am still in a Comfort and Joy place.

Not a mamby-pamby feel-good place but a Place where what I have, what I know and where I am going is not up to me but is all I really need. I have started reading again - maybe that is part of it. Still keeping up with my 60 + blogs, I have rediscovered the joy of reading. It is all Robert Fulgrum's fault. Mr All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, wrote a new book and I was curious. I received a book as a gift and it seemed I was up and running again. Funny, how it kind of creeps in, you almost wouldn't notice.

So, I am going to continue on with my Comfort and Joy mindset and make the change to 2008 when I am good and ready. I will pay my bills so the lights don't go off but jsut not feeling the need to join the crowd. What me, not joining the crowd? What a shock that is. That reminds me, I hear my fuzzy pajammes calling...

Ode to 2007

The first few days of January 2007 brought the death of a familiar celebrity and I remember thinking, come the end of the year, I will not remember who it was. While trying to review the year, it is only the last four or five months that capture my attention.

Still a great admirer of all things Larry Craig, I look forward to what the new year will bring. Some years seem to have clean breaks, new year - new start. 2007 doesn't feel quite that way. It feels more like it will have to merge with 2008 and that the results will be available, at a date to be named later. How long can a political campaign last? With a year under our belts and a year to go - this is the new world of politics and whoever winds up as our next president, you can be sure Someone will be on the campaign trail at the same time as the new president is being sworn in.

I thought about doing a Favorites for the year - 7 in 2007. I couldn't get my photos or scrapbook pages down to 25, no less 7 so I gave up trying but in the process, took a wonderful, personal stroll down Memory Lane. Things I might have forgotten had I not purposed to remember.

The family of four, a dad and three sons who were killed in a automobile accident - leaving behind a wife and daughter. The image of those four caskets in the parking lot of the church, a reminder to live each day as fully as you possible can.

Being a part of the Extreme Makeover adventure - maybe a cultural thing but I think everyone could learn Something from ABC and Ty.

My family who brings me so much comfort and joy. I ended the year with Miss M and it was just a coincidence that I start the New Year with her. The idea of my yearly theme had not been clear but when I saw this picture, it became clear in an instant. DH is always telling me that I am too passionate about most everything and it gets me into trouble. While I might have to agree with him, I have decided to go with the passion this year instead of constantly trying to hold it back. To be quite honest, it scares me but when I look at Miss M's face, I know I can do it. There is no way I could have captured that picture on purpose. No tripod or wireless remote would have helped. I don't know how it got in my camera but there it is - can't explain it but, there it is. How do you explain Jesus? - maybe something like trying to describe the photo. Not sure what to expect or where it will lead but think I am brave enough to find out.

So, 2007 and 2008 or 2007-8 or whoever you are - I am as ready as I will ever be. Let's get it on....