The more art you make, the more you notice. The more you exercise your creativity, the more art you make. For those of you who are naturally creative, you already know this, probably instinctively but for those of us who have learned to find the creativity in ourselves - this must be learned.

I am still amazed everyday at what comes out of me but I am truly understanding Sally Jean's phrase, if I don't make art, I'm going to have a hissy fit. There is Something so therapeutic about the creative process. After an hour of processing a set of photos, there is a surge of serotonin that floods over me and I am as happy as a clam.

Summer certainly makes it easier to find the creativity within for me. The sights, sounds and smells of summer bring back childhood memories of happy, carefree days. The sound of sprinklers going off and the smell of suntan lotion - the coolness of a sweet drink and the taste of a cold popsicle.

Creativity may take some day dreaming, that has been my experience. It doesn't matter what form your own takes. There is a whole section of YouTube devoted to latte art - how fabulous is that? and I don't even like coffee. I hope you each have a place to be creative and that if you don't - please do yourself a favor and find one. You will not be sorry and it just may make all the difference...


Just in case you missed it - there is a turn off button on the music player that you can hit to watch videos. May come in handy, it sure does for me when I am blog hopping...

what do you see?

DD's pastor has gotten around, quite a bit. He knew Corrie Ten Boom. He said they called her Tanta Corrie - I immediately knew they called her aunt. Speaking 90% German until first grade will do that to you. I use to dream in German. Now days, I understand words and partial sentences but no longer paragraphs. I digress.

The pastor said this was during his intellectual times. The crowd he hung around with seemed to think her ways were too simple...for them. They needed thinking of a higher calling. I think he gets it now.

She always carried around a large, heavy bag, filled with props she would be using. One particular time, she pulls out a large tapestry. It a a beautiful piece depicting Da Vinci's, The Last Supper. Beautiful colors and rich detail, she takes it around the room so that each person can see. He hinted that they rolled their eyes, thinking this wasn't what they signed up for. Then she turned the tapestry around. The backside was like all tapestries - loose strings, not so great looking and took it back thru the crowd again, showing each one. She stood up in front of them and said, This side, the beautiful side is how God see you...The backside is how you see you.

His sermon was Why so much bad if God is so good. Romans was his reference. He said that is the biggest concern of believers and non-believers alike. Someday we will understand but for now, all we have to remember is God is good, all powerful and in charge, the rest will come later, I can live with that.

You just need Jesus...

David Letterman asked Eric Clapton who the greatest guitar player in the world was and he answered, Caleb Quaye.

I had the opportunity to hear him this morning at DD's church. The pastor had met him years ago and was invited to a little jam session at a church. He said he thought he was a pretty good until he heard Mr Quaye music, then he decided he couldn't play at all. After he heard EC comment, he felt a little better about himself.

Looking alot like a stocky Eric Clapton, he played with the worship team and just blew me away. In much the same style as Clapton, I closed my eyes and let the music wash over me. Whatever heaven looks like, I am putting it out there right now, this guitar corner is where I am going to hang my hat, for eternity.

He has a great testimony. As a kid, he sang in the choir with Elton John. Traveled with him and is still friends with him today. When asked what is it like to talk Jesus to Sir Elton, he said it was tough. Like a rich man trying to get to heaven. He said it was Only God situation - God will have to directly intervene with Mr John. Imagine that.

While touring with Hall and Oates, he was in a hotel room and heard a Voice. He didn't know who or what it was but wanted to pursue it, someday. He started hanging around with Chester Thompson who played for Genesis and Phil Collins. Having dinner with Chester's family, they would ask him his philosophy of life. Stumbling over his words mixing cultures and creeds, not making much sense, he would ramble for 40 minutes about not much. Chester's standard answer would be four words - that;s it.

You just need Jesus.

He said that same scene - dinner, question and answer played over and over in his head - like the movie, Groundhog Day. It was Easter 1982 and Chester invited him to church and he went. He also heard the Voice again and gave his life to Christ.

You just need Jesus

So simple.
No muss
No fuss.

He is coming back in December and is going to play his entire Christmas album. I am going to pray for Elton John for the next 6 months. That God will go after him, and much like Caleb Quaye, you and me - drive home the simple thought that one just needs Jesus...

class of 2008

It was a day of celebration... and much entertainment. His Batman dance is legendary and you never know when it is going to appear. The graduation ceremonies were just not moving fast enough for him so we were treated to more than a few special moves. There are 337 pictures to prove it. Not all of graduation. There are memories of the luau after the ceremony and then we continued the festivities at Boondocks with miniature golf, go karts and bumper boats.

We don't need much encouragement to celebrate. We celebrate just about everything. The whole day was certainly a big hit. Everyone went home, tired and one had too much fun and she had a hard time letting nana go. Someday, the kids will remember doing fun, family days and I hope it will bring them great joy.

We close out the week on a high note. It has been a good week. Summer is now in full swing. DH will turn 60 on July 3 and the 4 of July is just around the corner. We have both boys' birthdays to celebrate. More cake in our future! More to celebrate. More to be very thankful for...Have a great weekend.


I take lots of pictures of feet. Although I take them all year, I must admit I love summer feet the most. There is just something about bare toes interacting with nature whether in grass or sidewalk or even sitting in a garage during a yard sale.

I'm not sure that we appreciate feet enough. Everyday and multiple times of each of these days, we expect our feet to take us wherever we decide to go. Sometimes planned and sometimes, on the spur of the Moment - we decide and just expect our feet to be on call 24/7.

I realize that you may not like the look of your feet but I have come to love mine. Some days I even consider them - cute. Have always been a flip flop girl and this year I discovered the Crocs brand flip flop and am in little piggy girl footwear heaven. In fact, I need to grab a few more pairs - they have a bit more support than your runofthemill flip flop. They are to die for.

So I have a healthy respect for feet. A photo with feet can be very telling about a person. I love that you don't always need a face to tell a Story. Cute little toes - some with nail polish, some with blades of grass, some with the cutest of shoes, some with dirt, smeared all thru the toes. Standing in a wading pool or in a field of corn. On a playground or in the cereal aisle at Albertson ( this is my next one on my list).

The next best thing after taking us on our neverending journeys is the ability to dance. This would not be possible without these wonderful little creatures. Give it up for feet!

the glass is 1/2 full...

While this is not me, Miss D makes quite the metaphor for what I have discovered about myself. BTW, prayers are with you tomorrow Ms D - Go get em...

A while back I had was talking obout trying to change my ways and see the glass as 1/2 full instead of 1/2 empty in my life. It hit me late last week that I had a distorted idea of what 1/2 full must look like to be there. I had a whole list of things that I thought had to be changed in my personality to acheive this near nirvana state. I found out last week I was wrong, again.

I thought it meant that I loved everybody I met instantly.
I thought it meant I had to stop being sarcastic and cynical.
I thought that if you were prone to depression, you could never, ever see 1/2 full.

I have since learned that my gratitude makes me see the 1/2 full.
It allows me the chance to be joyful.
I have been given much, even if it all ended today.

I will always have my moments - I am human and that won't change this side of heaven but I understand that 1/2 full is my default. Wow, I am truly walking on Sonshine...

Saint Theresa's prayer...

After going thru all the Tim Russert memories with the NBC family last week, I have never wanted to be an Irish/Catholic more. They turned all the things I thought about parochial school on its ear and gave me a wide-eyed view of what it is to be in an Big Catholic family and I was so ready to sign up.

During the memorial service last Wednesday, Maria Kennedy talked about this prayer that she starts each day with. I googled it after the service so I could get it in its entirety. It seemed to me a great prayer to start the day with so I decided that starting this week I would incorporate it into my daily routine as well.

It was a tough weekend and all I can say is that I wish I had started it on Thursday. It might have made all the difference. I got it out last night and read it and re-reread it.This layout is now the wallpaper on my computer. This morning, I read it again and let it slowly sink it. Really sink in. Soon it will be a part of me and it will come from the inside out. Until then, I will soak in all the God is and marvel from from He comes. I truly believe we have no idea of His comings and goings, we are merely to be ready when He shows up.

May Today there be peace within
May you trust God that you are exactly
where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God
let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul
the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of you.


the Real you...

This is what women from all seasons of life - fight everyday. I think most of us don't even realize it but the burden to look a certain way is what we should be striving for and if we just buy Products X,Y and Z - we can attain it.

Deep down, we all want to look nice. We spend billions of dollars every year in all possible markets to prove that. Women have always been and will always be - about how we look. It is in our DNA and it is part of being a girl and with a healthy sense about it, we can have the best of both worlds. It's only when we step over the line of being unreal, that we get in trouble.

When we want to achieve what is unreal, we start to get in trouble. I love this video because it shows the Big Picture. When we start to value the inside more than the outside, now we have got Something. Have you ever been around someone who just makes your day? Most likely, it is because of Something you can't see. An inner beauty that comes from a place that Max Factor couldn't go even if he wanted to.

Go ahead and look your best but spend your time shining elsewhere. In the long run, it will make you a much happier camper and thanks Dove, for helping us to keep it real - we need all the help we can get.

liminal space...

Psychologists call \"liminal space,\" a place where boundaries dissolve a little and we stand there, on the threshold, getting ourselves ready to move across the limits of what we were into what we are to be...

Ever feel like you have been riding a wave? It seems like you have little control and are quite aware of it. Not sure where you are going or which direction you are headed. That has been my week. A lot of it has had to do with the passing of Tim Russert.

About 20 minutes before MSNBC was about to televise his funeral, I was cruising the digi gallery that I frequent often through out the day. There was a simple layout, one that featured a doorway. It caught my eye so I clicked on it to read it's Story. It was about liminal space and the digi girl was a psychologist. What an interesting mix but then again, truly, we are each a psychologist of sorts in our own worlds. I am going to have to research liminal space a bit more but it was exactly what I needed to take with me to Tim's funeral.

It was a perfect funeral, I know, I think all funerals are fabulous. It is the one time, we as humans - stop for just a moment to just be. People of faith sometimes act like we are not. This funeral was not the case. It was a time of tears and laughter. It was 2 1/2 hours of people loving in the most honest possible manner. I am so grateful that I could be a part of it. I can put my finger on it but what I am feeling is something like this liminal space thing.

If you can make time to watch the memorial service in its entirety, it will be well worth your time. Each speaker brings a dichotomy of emotions in their remembrances of their dear friend. It made me want to be a better person. It made me want to live my faith, out loud and most of all, it made me want to live out loud, every day.

It has been quite a week. I am spent after shedding tears for most of yesterday's service. I feel like I have been to church, in a good way. It's not just about one person's life but about each of us. What we are, not even deep down but how we treat each other, day after day. How our faith really plays out in our lives, what we really believe and how it manifests itself. God's puts the wave together and Sometimes all we have to do is hold on and ride it out. Today is a new day and I am ready to get back up on that life boadr and start hanging 10. What a ride!

post secret...

is a odd, little web site... PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. There is an sense that we are a people of very different thinking and feeling. Some are funny, touching and some, just hit too close to home.

The Obama PS rings true on some many levels and I can certainly relate as to parental expectations. It will always amaze me what people will chose to throw themselves on their swords for. This will become less as the older generation dies off. It is a reality that we know is coming - homemade is going to have a whole different meaning in the next 10 years.

I saw the camera PS posted on a photography board. Boy, were those ladies up in arms that they had taken the time to learn how to use their cameras and this person was making a living by not paying the acceptable dues. It just made me laugh - not quite like a 4 year old doing brain surgery but you would not have known that by their outrage.

The last one, makes me smile. This person has captured the essence of Jesus yet I dare say - it would the one least appreciated. Like it or not, I perceive that Jesus would be open to way more people that I am. We each have a predisposition to the kind of people that He would be open too and I dare say, we would all be wrong. This person has more faith than I do. I say that because I don't believe that in that situation, I would be able to believe that about myself. That I would be able to accept the Love of Jesus which is what I believe Mr PS is really saying. It really gives me hope for myself.

I heard an interesting observation today. A political person was talking about Hillary Clinton's former Chief of Staff now going to be the COS for Obama's soon-to-be VP. It was said that obviously, Hillary would be out of the running now because of the breakdown of the friendship between these two ladies and this reporter went on to say, Not so fast - relationships with long histories can be healing in an instant. I like that kind of hope. Hope... isn't that what gets us through each day? Jesus sees all our Post Secrets, knows all our pitfalls and loves us anyway. That is hope enough for me...


My family always, always tells me I go to fast. I have, on occasion, agreed with them and yesterday - was one of those days.

Picked up the mail and received 2 offers of Visa debit cards. One had an actual card the other, just a letter to Call Me. I got my scissors out and started cutting up the card in what I would have considered an artistic manner. When I got finish, I picked up all the little pieces an started to put them in the offender's envelope when Something caught my eye, then my heart sunk.

Thank you for your recent purchase. Here is your Visa debit card equal to your delivery cost. Valid everywhere Visa is accepted... I had just cut up a $59 gift card.

All those warm artistic fuzzies were gone in a flash. I grabbed the nice people's paperwork and called the customer service number. I started off explaining to the CS agent that I would be the dumbest customer that she would encounter today. She listened very politely to me...then transferred me where I would tell my Story, one more time.

The next CS agent was very nice and tried to make me feel better but you just know, you would be the fodder around their dinner table that night and I could live with that, I would have done the same thing.

There is another card on the way and this time, I will pay better attention. Hyperspeed is my default, not sure I see value in putting in the time it would take to see if it is possible to change. It has gotten me into trouble, I will admit but it has also been a wonderful thing. There is an invisible cape and goggles that complete the outfit and we have grown strong, over the years.

Ah, I forgot to tell you that they are asking for the last four numbers of the card and because I intensely dislike ( boarding on hate) puzzles and due to my artistic flair, had a horrible time trying to put this card back together. I was so proud when I could recite those four numbers - almost like I had won the lottery...

RIP Tim Russert...

I don't remember when I became a little curious about politics but I do remember who it was that stirred that little fire and it was Tim Russert. He had an infectious smile and made me think maybe, just maybe, I was wrong about thinking that one had to sell their soul to the devil to get to be president of the United States of America. Maybe.

I feel like I have been part of a Big Family this weekend as first the news came that Tim has collapsed and died Friday afternoon and then the Love... and there is no other word to describe it...that people from every way of life have lavished on Tim and his family. He had flown back from Italy after a celebatory trip with his wife Maureen and son Luke. Luke had just graduated from Boston College and Tim was so proud and looking forward to so much more.

This is a guy who was loved and knew how to love. He loved kids and when asking someone how they were doing, he always asked about their families. He was a Story teller and the Stories that have been told in the last few days need to be bound and made into a book.

Tim so dearly loved his hometown of Buffalo, New York. He sponsored a kids team and they went clear to state. They came home in a blinding snowstorm and because Tim was in town, visiting his dad for the weekend, he met them down at that bus station, in that terrible weather, to congratulate them. So many Stories and in each of them a glimpse into a man's love of faith, family and fellow man. His son Luke told Matt Lauer this morning, There's not a day that goes by that I have not known my father's love...

Luke says that his dad's Meet The Press chair now belongs to him and he will keep it forever. It's my chair now. He has come a long way. Sunday, I saw a clip of Tim talking about his famous white board and how the night after, Luke gave him a call and asked if he could have it. Tim was so touched that his son would want something seemingly so insignificant but laughed out loud when he found out that Luke saw the financial potential of the whiteboard on Ebay.

Bruce Springsteen said that Tim was a lovely presence.. Tom Brokaw and Matt Lauer have broken down in tears. The emotions have been running high at MSNBC. This photo was taken yesterday after the MTP tribute show. There can be more greater tribute to one, who had loved deep and was loved deep. Pal, Go get em ...

wet and wild 2008...

What a difference a year makes! Last year Gage was afraid of the water and stood back 50 ft with his mom and little sister. This year, he couldn't get enough. When our water supply ran out, he was visibly bummed. Of course when They have the fire power of an endless supply of water with huge hoses, we don't stand much of a change but you sure couldn't tell that by the hundreds of kids who showed up with water pistols, ready to take on the numerous water trucks that were coming our way.

The Wet and Wild parade comes at the end of the Real parade. While everyone is dutifully appreciative of all the entrants, they are there for the WW part of the parade. You get plenty of warning - mommies need to get little kids out of the way and then there is still no guarantee that you won't get wet. They all have these massive hoses that spray deep into the crowd. It is like watching all these little David's fighting the Big Goliath. It is great fun to be a part of. Might be the closest thing to childhood summer fun that some of us can remember.

I still can't believe how Gage went from hiding in the bushes to full, blown out - joining in the fight. He went to being a David in an instant. It gives me hope for the rest of us. So technically, in theory - any of us could become a David in some area of our lives, in an instant. We could be totally unaware...until we show up. No matter how old we are, there will always be Goliaths' in our lives to slay and now I know, that I may just have more in me than I think. Understanding that puts a smile on my face and hope in my heart. For now, these photos will remind me again and again of this fine day. What else could anyone ask for?


Randy Pausch is a 47 year old college professor, writer, husband and dad.

He also has terminal pancreatic cancer. You might have seen his Last Lecture speech on YouTube or read his book about going for your childhood dreams. He has taken his disease on this Road Trip, trying to leave a legacy for his three small children who are going to lose their dad very soon.

He is a matter of fact kind of guy. Not terribly charismatic - but with terminal cancer, lets face it, the cancer is pretty much the Star.

The one thing that really struck me about his speech was his three-stage description of an apology. I never thought of an apology has having more than one step. It is tough enough these days for most people to even utter the words, I'm sorry. Some people never learn the fine skill of the apology. It is a shame, there is the potential for so much healing if it was used more.

Professor Pausch's, The Apology.

1. I'm sorry.
2. It was my fault.
3. What can I do to make it right?

Lots of us do the first and stop right there. Sometimes, even if we say we are sorry, it doesn't quite ring sincere. Those forced TELLYOURBROTHERYOUARESORRYRIGHTNOW! times don't inspire much enthusiasm on either side.

It is a Big Thing disguised as a little thing. It might change a relationship - a marriage or a friendship. It may, make a new friend. We don't all have the luxury of knowing our days are numbered. I don't mean to sound crass but there are lots of people who wished they could have said goodbye to someone they loved. Randy Pausch is being able to leave a legacy for his kids, on his terms and we...have been forunate enough to share with them, Thank you Pausch family...

aunt Theresa...

did you realize that it was 35 years and a few hours ago today that you and I were laying on our backs, looking up to the sky and whining about how we had eaten too much. We were at Grandma and Growlers for dinner. I don't remember the meal that she made but certainly do remember the cake. Oh that cake.

Chocolate cake with Mountain Blackberry frosting draped in a melted Hershey bar. You and I have searched for the recipe for years and with little success. I wished I had of thought to ask Aunt Jackie if she knew how that woman made that frosting. I remember thinking, Eat as much as you want - that baby is not due until the Fourth of July. There will be plenty of time to restrain myself, later.

Well, most of that was wrong. I went into labor early the following morning. To this day I still say, it was the meal that made that baby want to be born 3 weeks early. We had the You are having triplets scare but went home with our little bundle of joy. Everyone was very excited. We named her Brandi Theresa, after you instead of Sunshine Theresa. I remember it was close but her daddy liked Brandi and Grandma did not. Shouldn't name a child after liquor, she said. We did it anyway. She learned to get over it. I remember her and Growler coming to see her at Robert and Annie's and watching Growler paying real attention to her. I don't remember him ever caring about kids but old age may have brought him some soften along with the Jesus thing.

She has grow up to be a wonderful girl and now has her hands full. You would enjoy her quick Daniels wit and that sarcastic way about her. She is a chip off the old block and I couldn't be prouder. Yes, Stevie has had his hands full thru the years with both of us but truly, he is a lucky man. Chad and the kids love her to death. She is a lucky woman.

So even though you are in Connecticut and we are here, you get to keep up where we all are. The cool thing is you were here for the beginning and know how it all started. Our little girl is all grown up and living the life we both remember. She requested Mixed Berry Cheesecake for dinner and that is what she will have but I hope Someday we find that frosting recipe and I can let her taste it for herself.

Happy Birthday Brandi Theresa Dille Smith...I so love you to infinity and beyond, love your madre...


Precious (presh'es)
1. of high price or great value.
2. highly esteemed for nonmaterial quality.
3. dear, beloved.

I would dare say and admit that I have used this word incorrectly on more than one occasion. I would also say that I have used it in a reckless manner. I don't think it is a huge Big deal but like most things if I am not paying attention, it doesn't tend to make its own correction.

All I am going to do is watch how I use the word so when I do use it, it means Something. Might even expand my use of other words that I may be using in a reckless manner. There is enough of my life that is lived recklessly, my words - I do have control over.

Something like boundaries. The bounderies we have with each other. Where you stop and I start. I have lived with bad boundaries for many years of my life. Whether words or people, using the wrong skills equals wrong results. To love is not wrong, to love too Just as is the use of the wrong words used at the wrong times. Not only will your point not make sense but could have disasterous results.

After all that, I can say with complete certainly that Miss D is totally and completely precious...especially in His Sight.

not summer yet...

Gage and I had this conversation the other day. After trying to explain the calendar thing to him, he looks at me with complete shock and utter despair that he would have to explain it to me. He said, Look is is summer. He almost had me convinced.

When my good sense came back to me, I check the calendar and we still have 12 days until summer but I got to tell you, the warm weather, the kids riding their bikes around the neighborhood and The Beach Boys singing in the background - made me long for the summers of my imagination.

Those summers you read about it books and see in movies, where families go to a beach house for a month, spending their days and nights doing what everyone should be doing in the summer - next to nothing. Summer should be a season of perpetual nothingness.

We Americans live in a world where we barely notice the change of seasons. Classes, clubs and groups are starting to continue meeting all thru the summer. No break - no rest - no fun. We have lost our summer innocence and we need to reclaim it.

Gage is right, the calendar should not be our point of reference for summer or a few other things. It also reminds me to be more spontaneous which it a bit tough for me. Being spontaneous is reminiscent of being a kid and fighting for moments of life sobriety. Not summer yet, maybe not but in my heart, we have already arrived...

crying wolf...

My engine light and I have been going round and round for a few weeks now. It is not our first time, butting heads. It let me know very soon after we got together that it did not do Albertson's gas and would light up every time I fueled up. To make sure I was understanding correctly, we did the Alberston's Dance 4 times - I am now, convinced.

The last couple weeks, it started again and this time I was pretty sure, it wasn't fuel-related. After several fill ups, the light was still staying on so I bit the bullet and took it in to get plugged into the Big Car Machine and the diagnosis was, it was still a fuel issue. The Car Man reset the engine light and we have been doing fine since then. The thing is the next time the light cries wolf, I will assume that it is none issue and ignore it and perhaps, it may be the Real Thing.

I tend to cry wolf more than I should in my everyday life. It is the first moment of panic that sets me off running and screaming, The Sky Is Falling - The Sky Is Falling. My internal engine light will come on and stay on, until I get a grip on reality again. It is Something that I will probably always fight. The good news is that help is never far.

If I fell in love with You
Would you promise to be true?
And help me, understand.
Because I've been in love before
and I found that Love was more,
than just holding hands...

I heard this old familiar song a few weeks ago and it has turned into my daily prayer. You just never know where help is going to come from and that crying wolf isn't the end but could be, just the beginning of real understanding...

16 months...

Barack Obama reminded me in his speech the other night that it has been 16 months since he threw his hat into the ring. Who could have seen that either a black man or a white woman would emerge as the sole two Democratic candidates for President of the United States of America - surely not me.

The last 16 months have not been a contest as much as a lifestyle. For those of us who are mildly interested and by that I mean, watching from the comfort of my home - it seems like forever and often, with no end in sight. The historians will tell you that this is longest campaign ever - I will tell you, I am afraid it will set the stage for a 2 years run in 2012. I so hope I am wrong or at least, less interested.

Yesterday, Keaton got the Citizenship of the Year award. It was a surprise and he sure was. We were all there to cheer him on and shower him with lots of citizenship Love. There were many different awards given out during the assembly. Computer and library helpers, some kind of history club kids and perfect attendance awards. The academic awards were last.

If you didn't know the back story, you would not have known that Keaton's teacher choice for the academic awards were anything but what they appeared to be but her criteria for academics had a little different spin. She chose two students in the class who were closer to the bottom than the top of the list. Maybe they had made the most progress during the year, I don't know but what I do know is that Mrs G.
gave these two Something they may never have again and might just change their lives.

Our world is changing - it is becoming more and more obvious. In my world, I would much rather have Keaton win the citizenship award that the academic one. You can teach anyone almost anything but being kind and respectful to all, I am not so sure about. I am trying to learn a bit more about that myself and finding it quite a challenge. I am following the lead of a 8 year old - imagine that.

We live in a country where freedom is the front runner. The politics of our country will follow the calendar and will be over by fall. No more 16 month contest for us. As for truth and kindness, they have no expiration date...Praise God.

Looking back...

This week, the firemen set up their Fill The Boot event right by DD house. Gage has a love-love relationship with all things firemen-related. He proudly showed me the sticker the fireman had given him after his donation and later expressed that he wished he had $1000 to give. Quite generous of him. In clearer thinking times, if given $1000 dollars, he would be headed as quickly as possible to ToysRUs.

The boys and I have been talking about inventions lately. What would they like to invent? How do you invent Something? They are interested in the same type of things I was interested in at their age - except at this very minute, most of theirs are Indiana Jones-related. Sometimes they get inventing something mixed up with wanting something. I know what they mean.

The thoughts that go thru your mind at 5 and 8 are childlike and over the top. They talk about stuff that could never happen. It is also too bad we couldn't stay there longer. Wheh you get Big, you have lost this wonderful ability and getting it back - takes work. Lots of work.

So. if I was going to invent anything now, it would be the ability to Look Back now. How cool would that be? Imagine how our lives would change and I could take all that money from my invention and split it between firemen and ToysRUs...

tug of war...

Yesterday was Fun Day at Keaton's school and we had a blast. Gage jumped in like he was part of the 3rd grade. The tug of war event seemed to be mighty popular and everyone gave it their all. There was a girls against boys war, a girl/boy mix and everyone's favorite - kids against parents. We parents went in a little bit too cocky and got our heinies kicked. One of the dad's who makes his living in sports, was dumbfounded at the strength of these third graders.

I haven't been on the end of a tug of war rope in years but in Real Life, I have been fighting the TOW battle all my life. We all have. In so many areas, not just holding on but actively pulling The Rope, my way. My Way, which when you are an anal, Type A personality - basically is always the Right Way. If it wasn't, we wouldn't be involved. Pulling with all my might in every area of my life. Holding on, giving up nothing. Sometimes I have done it when it has nothing to do with me. And if I am really truthful, I will jump in because I like pulling the rope.

Something I never thought about in TOW is that is a team sport. I have never seen a mono on mono TOW. It is always a group sport. There are also so many areas in our lives where we do the team thing. Pulling as a team until the other side fall flat on their faces. You can see examples of that in our everyday lives. The results are not as same as the game.

Maybe it would be better to actually play the game of tug of war more and do it less in our Real Lives. That might be just the thing. Better go to the store and buy a rope - summer and life are here...


There can be no greater way to refresh one's spirit than to have your so-to-be-graduating daughter WANT you to take her senior pictures. There are all kinds of ways to rest and refresh each of us, all applicable at different times.

I have heard people say they wish they had no hours in a day, wish they needed less sleep so they could be more productive. I know exactly why God made us so we would be forced to take daily downtime - because most of us, at one time or another, are not smart enough to do it. What we don't understand is that the more we push it, the less we really get done at a diminished pace with a less than desired result.

When we see that sleep, rest and refreshing oneself's are essential to our everyday, the quality of all we are and do, goes up dramatically. It took me many years to learn that - it is a tough view to get your head around when you are up to your elbows in REAL LIFE with work and family life. Wish I had of learned it sooner.

Other countries have learned what we smart Americans, have not. Whether a daily time of rest or mandatory vacations with pay, we have a long way to go so for now, it is up to us. Whatever works for you, do it everyday. Don't worry about how long or hard you do it, just do it. Refresh yourself daily, it will do you a world of good...

get smart...

As I headed to DD's on Friday - getting ready to turn left, my light is green for 3 to 4 seconds and two cars decide to obviously run the red light from their side. Have a hard time believing that the City, in its infinite wisdom does not have at least a 1 second delay, meaning these two just decided, they were going to go, no matter what.

In my younger years, my driving motto was, if it's green - I'm gone but have mellowed a bit. Let the others who apparently have many life emergencies and very little brain activity, go first. That kind of thinking will save both of our lives.

Speaking of thinking, can you remember anytime in life when you are smarter than when you are a teen? It is that age when you know it all and base all said decisions upon all. They say, that a teenager's brain has not fully developed. Maybe that is why all that wisdom seems like a shame to waste so we have to share with all we know. I come from a family who developmentally, never left their teenage years and those of us born to them - have lived a life of trying to catch up.

We all do dumb things at every stage of life. The trick is to do them at a minimum and not consider it a way of life. There is Something about a teen. They are young, flexible, able to learn and think they can change the world. That is not a bad thing. If they continue on, they will mature and go on to great things. That is what we wish for all of them. If they grow up no further and run every red light in their path, stay clear and try not to get hurt. Don't assume everyone leaves teen hood behind. It is clearly a myth...