June 18, 2010...

This will hold me for another year. I love Toy Story in the worst way. There is news and then there is news and this is the best I have heard in a long time. Looking forward to something is almost as good as the Real Thing...plus it makes you feel good for a long time. Mark my calendar for June 18, 2010, you know where I will be.

But before, I must attend to Real Life and this weekend was full of it. The Class of 2009 dominated my emotional and real space. It was a four day stretch of epic proportions. Three graduations and parties, celebrating what has been and what is ahead. Lots of change and the anticipation of said change.

All the proper photo documentation has been taken and documented. The other part is my favorite. The emotional side, the part that makes my heart go pitter patter, without little feet. The celebrating of all things because we are all together at one place.

Who knew that there was a holster for Tabasco sauce? for the love of all things bbq pulled pork, the smile of a child and being with friends. While we celebrate new beginnings, we also celebrate the everyday...

class of 2009...

To the Class of 2009, this is for you...

Never in the history of our young country has the world been more ready for you. You have achieved to soar in the face of adversity, the likes of which have never been seen. You are living at a time when we can't even think Big enough because our world is changing so fast.

You will be known as the Facebook, My Space and Twitter generation.
You have changed the way we think about music.
You have experienced a time in history that many never thought would happen...yet.

The way we get and receive our information, the way we pay bills and shop. You will never remember a time when a laptop wouldn't be the norm.

The Class of 2009 has the choice to be anything they want. You are the stepping stone for the next generation. You will lead them, you will guide them. As you make your way, remember what you already know. Don't give anyone permission to take that away from you. Think Big. About your life, about your God and about what is possible. Be thankful and accept the miracles you will experience. Be bold and adventurous. Don't let what you know get in the way of what you could learn. Do good no matter what anyone else is doing and pick your friends well.

I will be honest - I envy you. The technology you will see in your lifetime is unfathomable right now, to both of us. Remember that most things fall into one of two categories, important or essential and don't mix them up. It could make all the difference in your life.

See the world through the eyes of the One who made you. Work hard and play more. Love when it is tough, and when tough love is needed, do it even when it hurts. Be quick to say you are sorry when you need to and accept help when you need to.

Go out and show em what you have been holding on to. Make mistakes, take your licks and keep on going. I am so proud of all of you and love you to infinity and beyond...

a spare...

Why is it that the only thing we can universally agree on that we need a spare of is a tire? I am a firm believer in living a life with many kinds of spares. At a photo shoot, I want 2 pictures so if one is bad, all is not lost. I feel the same about toothpaste, deodorant and single serve guacamole. Having a back up 20 pack of diet Coke is a given and if there isn't one - get out of the way and SAVE YOURSELF.

The whole idea of a spare is not to be caught in a awkward situation where you really need something. I mean really need. Like a hair dryer.

I have told myself for weeks that it would be a very smart idea to pick one up. Not because there was anything wrong with mine but you never know. I didn't listen to that wise council and this morning when I turned my hair dryer on, it made a funny noise and then blew up. There were a few sparks but mainly were those wise words ringing in my ear. Thank goodness I didn't have to go anywhere and sopping wet hair would just be an inconvenience today instead of a catastrophe. I decided the people at Walmart had seen me in way worse condition than wet hair so all would be good.

You would have thought I would have learned my lesson. Shouldn't I have picked up 2 hair dryers? Have I not learned a thing? Another hair dryer is one the next Big Grocery List. Hopefully this one will last that long - I have the receipt and Walmart's 90 day return policy so I am confident that I am covered.

There are lots of places that we could use a spare in our lives. I am not talking about hoarding or trying to anticipate every little thing that could go wrong but a spare that really could make a change in your day. I am thinking about faith and on those days where it is not about the Big Picture but instead the little picture. you haven't lost your faith but you can't seem to find it because you are overwhelmed, or tired or insert issue here. It is the time you need to see all you have and what you have been given. It is a time to just be, not to feel guilty about where you are not. Just know that your spare faith is just fine and you are in no danger of losing anything.

A spare is a good idea and maybe for more than just our cars...

Love ya Jay, see you soon...

I already am missing him.
He makes me laugh
and Terry Bradshaw walks around
with a piece of my heart.
This Fall when you come back,
you will be my lead in
to Letterman - no Conan for me.
This one always makes me laugh.
Thank you Terry, thank you Jay...


Joy; merriment; mirth; entertainment.

Fox TV's new show is all of these. It is coming this fall but if you have an extra 40some minutes handy, you can catch it at Foxtv.com.

I associate glee with high school and choir. I don't remember having one at my high school nor DD. Maybe it is called something else now.Even the word glee sounds like some emotion that can only be experienced after some sort of chemical infusion. It seems too over the top, like those people you meet who are way over the top.

My personal definition of glee looks something like this,
that first step beyond the boundaries of normal emotion.
a magical feeling that overrides logic and sense
the total mindset of something beyond happy that you are capable of imagining.

Yep, that is glee. You never know where it is going to come from or how long it will last. You can understand how drugs might be attractive to many and how just saying no, doesn't work as well as the advertisers lead us to believe after a gleeful experience.

The thing is we have to balance glee with all our other emotions and not try/expect to live there all the time. To savor the glee in our lives, to live in the Moment and not let it take you away. When you do, it can go horribly wrong...

(CNN) -- Police hunting for a New Zealand couple who allegedly fled the country after a bank mistakenly paid them $NZ10 million ($6 million) believe they traveled to Hong Kong. 1 of 2 New Zealand authorities have sought help from Interpol in locating the couple who disappeared May 7, two days after an employee error at Westpac bank paid them 1,000 times the amount they asked for.

They applied a loan for $6000 to keep their gas station open. They got 6 million. Closed their gas station the same day, moved all the money and took off. They got crazy and made a bad choice. When they are caught and deflated, it will cost them not only their glee but 1000 times more. They tried to make it last forever and now it will cost them everything. It the cost of doing human business. It is messy and tough. It is also fun and rewarding and don't right, imperfectly balanced...


iTunes has changed our lives - not just the music but how we think about it. A greater invention has never been made although those a generation before may have a legitimate argument with toilet paper. Buy before you try...in your own home, I just never saw it coming and with iTunes, came a whole new music experience. When American Idol began, I think you would be hard pressed to find more than 5 people who imagined it would go on for a secend season and look where we are. I woke up yesterday morning and somehow knew it was going to end. I thought about last year's contest when Simon all but out the crown on David Archuleta and America said no, David Cook. America is fickle and this year there were so many ways it could have gone. I read this morning that Chris hoped he didn't win because of the christian vote. Had also read that the thought was since Prez Obama defied all odds that America was ready for a gay Idol. In the end, we all win. I have always said that winning Idol may not be the best thing and I still believe it. I don't think best singers win - America has a bad ear at best and fast fingers and unlimited texting at worse. Last night's show was a treasure trove of music at its best and I hope iTunes has a bunch of stuff to sell me tomorrow. If you like music and you don't have an iPod, please get one. even if you don't love music - download your pastor's sermons or listen to The Shack. I found this video this week and have moved my iTunes library to a thumbdrive. Not only is it safe but I can take it anywhere. I ahve enough room on my computer but if I didn't, this would be ideal. We really don't need all the major conveniences that are thrown at us everyday but this one, fits all. And, can I say that with almost 1 million votes cast for the final Idol, those who counted them did so in less than 24 hours. Seem to me that perhaps our voting system should be outsourced to these people. They certainly have it going on. Have a great Memorial Day weekend. See you Tuesday...love zalaine

Dear Abby...

or Annie's Mailbox as it is here. For just one day, I would love to be the editor of this desk.

In Abby's day, you had to send in your questions by snail mail. I don't know about you but if I am looking for a answer to one of life's big questions, I can't afford to wait a month or two or forever, for an answer. Even in these high tech days, I can't imagine getting an answer back in a timely, useful fashion. By the looks of the content of the questions being answered in print, I can only imagine the ones that didn't make the cut. Those would be the ones I would be holed up in a corner with.

So, because I am pretty sure no one is going to knock on my door and ask me to be a columnist for those in need, I am on my own. For today, I am Annie and here is what's in the mail...

Dear Annie,
I am 23 years old and a virgin. I have never seen a naked man in my life because I believe virginity should be kept until marriage. The other day I went with my sister to watch my nephew's baseball game He plays on a field that is uphill so you can see the backyards of some of the houses across the street. My nephew has heard from one of his friends that one of the men in those yards sits naked in his hot tub. I always assumed this wasn't true.
When I got to the game, I instantly remembered those rumors. I didn't intend to be a Peeping Tom but I looked around and saw a man in a hot tub. I assumed this was the buy so I kept watching. Five minutes later, he got out of the hot tub and really was naked. I instantly got a headache and my eyes burned. I want to do something to prevent children from seeing him, I know he was in his own backyard but you could see him clearly from the field. Would you count that as public nudity? Do you think I should report him? Scarred for Life.

SFL or Aunt Jackie, is that you? You heard I got a new gig and you are messing with me, right? If by any stretch of the imagination, you are not related to me - ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I instantly got a headache reading this. You are nuts and I am more worried about keeping the kids away from you. I hope your sister and nephew have moved and changed their names. You must run to the nearest therapist - this is no time to be picky, anyone will do. Got to get out of here, my eyes are burning.

Can I just say that what she is living really isn't that far from where we are. Really. Insert different situations, beliefs and assorted Superman complexes and you have me...and you. Each of us is a walking example of contradictions. That what it means to be human. It is the part of us that bothers us the most. We all see off and away so much better than in our own backyards. Maybe this isn't my line of work - probably don't have enough empathy but I can see the Big Picture and it isn't pretty...


Sheila's Story from Cross Point Church on Vimeo.

Sometimes...there are no words.


I am being told that tattoos and massages are not feeling the pinch of the present state of our economy. With GM and Chrysler's announcement last week that almost 2000 dealerships will be closing, I believe we are headed into a bit more trouble. Not sure what it will look like but it will affect every community and most likely, every family on some level.

The Class of 2009 has already started to take it's final bows. Senior pictures have changed - I remember what we paid for DD's, complete with a triple fold-out storyboard and it makes me ill. Everyone knows someone with a DSLR and the pictures that we take are making photo labs ask for photographer releases. It's about money and style - the urban shots are in and the black cape studio photos are out. Here are a few other things that are making the recessions hot list,

running shoes
gold coins
tanning products
gardening seeds
Dinty Moore stew
Hormel chili

MSNBC: Profits in the first three months of 2009 at Hershey Co., the nation's second-largest candy maker, surged 20 percent and beat Wall Street's expectations. Kraft Foods Inc. reported double-digit growth in macaroni and cheese dinners — the consummate comfort food.

Gun sales are being driven by concern that the Obama administration will tighten gun laws. But people also are feeling a level of fear and heightened interest in self-reliance as they weather the recession.

"They are looking down the road going `What could happen here?'" Underhill said. "I think a lot of Americans are truly scared. One of the things that tickles is our pioneer ethos, which is, `I feel better with a year's supply of toilet paper' and `Maybe I should start canning and pickling.'"

Would I feel better with a year's worth of toilet paper? Yes I do - not because I have bought that much but one of those huge TP bundles at Costco will last the two of us that long. As for pickling and canning, I am not convinced that it is cheaper with the cost of water and fertilizer added in to say nothing of the labor. May taste better but the Farmer's Market seems a better way to go to me.

They say the recession"s real benefit is driving everyone back to the family hearth. Less money means more family time, like it or not. We have so many distractions and are always thinking of ways to find more. The whole Facebook thing is making me rethink about getting out. I love you all but email may be a better use of my time -the essential vs the important, not as easy as it looks, Wish the good guys would wear capes - would make it so much easier...

defense or offensive...

As I watched the boys play soccer, a few things starting running thru my mind. I noticed that Gage, prefers to guard the goal versus going after the ball. Instead of trying to diffuse the need to protect the goal, trying to kick the ball away and take it down the field and make a goal - he would rather stand by the net, waiting for what he sees is enviable, to happen. I know very little about soccer but a bit more about life and it seems we have a lot in common.

We each have a preference and in life, I think we do choose to live defensively or inoffensively. I would even go further and say the decisions we make about life are determined by which camp we live in. Never thought about it this way before but a couple of hours of soccer every Saturday will do that to you.

Apparently there is a right or wrong in sports - aggressiveness seems to prevail. Again, I see that sports equals serious business and I will never be able to ride that train. In Real Life, there needs to be balance of both. Passion and kindness have to balance each other out or you are going to have problems. Personally, I would rather be drawn in than tackled to the ground.

This morning, I realized that I take turns in my life, sometimes playing defense especially if I get my feeling hurt and other times, I am all over it. Charging aggressively down the field - you almost wouldn't recognize me. Doing either most of the time just doesn't sound like a good way to go. Better pick up some shin guards and cleats - having the right armor is the only way to go...

shame on you...

Every time I hear someone say those words to someone, I want to slap them. I am not kidding. There may be no more shameful thing you could say to anyone. You can just imagine how I felt when someone related said that to my grandson.

SHAME ON YOU for not choosing your words.
SHAME ON YOU for needing to build yourself up by tearing someone apart.
SHAME ON YOU for taking it upon yourself to be God.

From Anne Jackson's blog:

Shame is a sickness…

A disease…

That keeps us hidden.

The remedy for shame is grace.

Grace that requires you to step aside when you know you’re right.

Grace that requires you to consider others better than yourself.

Grace that hurts and is dangerous.

Someone around you needs that grace right now.

Go give it.

And give it freely.

Don't shame on anyone. It's not your job and it's not your place. It is your place to show grace, to be grace, to point the way to grace. That is what your job is. Drop the shame, embrace the grace. We all carry around enough shame, time to let it go and fill the empty space with grace. Imagine how our lives would change and what that would look. I need to go in that direction. heading out now...


Maybe it's just me but sometimes stuff happens and you can't get it out of your head even though it is coming from your heart. It doesn't happen very often and my MO has been to stay with it and ride it out. Be a big, tough girl and let it run all over me. Today I am not feeling like I want to go there. Not a big, fake it until you feel it girl, maybe there is something to choosing a different remedy and at least trying it.

Chair - Have been looking at this chair that was featured on Blurb's blog. I would like to change it a bit to make room for my laptop as well. It looks a lot like the mission chairs we have had in the past. Not sure about the wheel legs but some modifications could be in order. It would certainly fit in with my more modern design that I am loving these days. I just love the light and would have to find a place similar at my house. DH has a few weeks off in June - maybe I should put all other honey-do's aside and go for this. Forget about the paint on the porch that is gone, this makes way more sense.

Words - ever notice that changing one letter of a word can not only make sense but can mean the direct opposite? I just typed honey in the paragraph above but if came out hiney. How about alone and along - isn't that amazing? Sometimes I wonder if we make decisions based on the wrong meaning of a word for a particular situation. How different would it look if we changed one letter in a word before acting on it?

India - NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Around 1.2 million children are believed to be involved in prostitution in India, the country's federal police said Monday.

Ashwani Kumar, who heads the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), told a seminar on human trafficking, that India occupied a "unique position" as what he called a source, transit nation and destination of this trade.

India's home secretary Madhukar Gupta remarked that at least 100 million people were involved in human trafficking in India.

"The number of trafficked persons is difficult to determine due to the secrecy and clandestine nature of the crime.

"However, studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimate that there are about three million prostitutes in the country, of which an estimated 40 percent are children," a CBI statement said.

Now I need a diversion from my diversion. For somethings, there is no diversion...or solution...or cure...or answers. It comes with the territory, it is part of living in this world. It is makes what is going on in my head, seem pretty trivial. It also, once again, defines that life is not fair. So many thoughts swimming around in my head, there seems to be no rhyme or reason. We have to learn to live with the different layers and textures of life and keep our sanity which is easier at some times than others. It gives me a clearer vision to learn to focus. Diversion is ok for a while but focus will get me Down the Road with that sanity in the backpack. Time to hit the road...

welcome to Wonderland...

Over the last week, it has occurred to me that I may have an upside-down life. It started out so bad, so horrible. Hard to imagine a child living through it no less, being somewhat able to function. However, I am thinking this may give me an edge, now. I understand that when one is deprived of a childhood, they will make it up somehow, someway given enough time. Mine came in the form of growing up with my grandchildren. Didn't understand it at first but now, it makes perfect sense. Missing some childhood steps is a big deal - doesn't seem like it would necessarily be but now, I think it is a vital stage that has to be taken, one way or another.

I don't know if this is true but I am starting to believe that because the hard stuff came first, then I got a taste of the good stuff - that when the bad stuff does come, somehow I might be better equipped. When I look back at my life, I am simply amazed. I have always said that God made up for the first 20 years with the second 20 years but it has just gotten better and better the last 17 years. To be able to go back and pick up those life puzzle pieces I missed with three of the greatest little people ever, is something I never saw coming. Welcome to Wonderland, they said. I had no idea...


A very happy day for all of us. Great sermon, wonderful lunch and many hugs and kisses. From here, we head to graduations and Memorial Day and the end of the school year.

It is certainly the circle of life lived out in the familiar. We know what to expect and take much comfort in it. We like knowing what comes next even though intellectually we understand that life doesn't work that way, most of the time. Still we have a Plan if the unexpected doesn't come knocking. So much to think about, to do and to change - some times, big time changes. Not a lot on my plate but that is not factoring in the unexpected. Just like the email I received today:

"HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO YOU MY AMAZING FRIEND!!! I hope you have the best mommy's day yet! Thank you for being there when I was growing up and didn't know which end was up. I remember many heart to heart talks with you and I cherish them all and always will. You made a lasting impression on me. I love you like a second mommy.
Thank you for teaching me how to make the most kick butt salsa known to man and for teaching me by example that its okay to move the furniture around more than two times a year. You make the meanest Shepherds Pie and I wish I had some right now. Thanks for always supporting me and for being my biggest fan. You are a star in my eyes. *
I love you and miss you!!~Tomorrow I will have a coke and some chocolate in your honor.

The things they remember. You don't even think they are paying attention but they are. Even long after they are grown with their own children. Makes you stop and think..and maybe shed a few tears. The unexpected isn't always bad, sometimes it is quite the opposite...


Even though we live less than 5 miles from each other, I had not run into George in over 12 years. The last time I saw him was my last day of work. We instantly picked up where we had left off. George and I spent many, many hours in deep conversation about walking with Christ and what it looked like to each of us. George and I couldn't
t be more different. He was a Romanian immigrant and while we had nothing in common, we could connect on a deeper level. We didn't always agree but always walked away friends. We learned from one another, lessons that could be learned no other way.

I saved George from being fired once. He took home a piece of equipment in total innocence but The Powers That Be, didn't see it that way. The intervention worked so George stayed on and our conversations continued. In his off time, he was a master carpenter. He built a huge house on the side of a hill and offered me a tour when he was done. The staircase was grander than anything I had ever seen. This was over 15 years ago and he said the materials alone cost over $25,000. With what was left over, he also built a beautiful casket...for his mother-in-law. He brought photos of it and he was right, it was gorgeous It was an on-going joke of his that he built this for her and she refused to make use of it. There would come a day when the casket would be needed but not for George's MIL. One of our co-workers would lose his 16 year old daughter in a deadly car accident. George offered the casket to him and his offer was accepted. George said he would build another one.

Several months later, George would need it. Tragically, his teenage daughter would be killed in a car accident. After his daughter's funeral, we all drove up to their home and as George put it, to let her see her home one more time. Imagine that.

He seemed to be doing fine when I saw him. Like me, when the plant was being immobilized again to produce ethanol, he was contacted to see if he would come back to work for the new company. We both said no, again for way different reasons but after all we had been through together, I think neither of us wanted to go back. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything but doing it again was another matter. I wished George well as he did me and we went our separate ways.

You never know when and how you might be transported to a time long ago or how you might react. The old memories come rushing back but with time, you have a change to reflect. Some people never get it...never. George is not one of them and it is my pleasure to know him...

Happy Mother's Day...

There is some much emotion that comes with this particular day of observance along with expectations, regrets, memories, guilt, and the what could have been. For some, it is just a day that can't pass fast enough. There are those who have lost the moms in their lives and it still stings, no matter how many years it has been. For those who never became mothers either by choice or by fate, it must be somewhat of a bittersweet or maybe just a uncomfortable day.

We woman all fall somewhere in between the A and Z of the day. Whether because we are one or had one, it is 24 hours that must be endured or enjoyed, depending on your view.

These days, my MD's are days of joy. To see my girl and her kidlets, gives me the greatest joy. Just to have them in my life makes me so happy - I need nothing else. For so many years, it was a difficult day but those same years have dulled many memories. They have become more like a dull roar compared to the screaming crazies that they have been for many years of my life. These days when it comes to these type of holiday celebration, just to have these people in my life, is gift enough.

Wherever you find yourself this Mother's Day, take sometime for yourself and be as honest as you can...then deal with it. It is what it is and if it is good, let it be very good. If it is bad, let it go. Just let it go, as best you can and keep working on it. Enjoy the day, I love you all...


We have all experienced times when we wanted to know that we were doing the right thing. We wanted concrete evidence of what to do and how to do it. A postcard in the mail or a letter dropping from the sky - whatever just so we get an answer. I imagine there will always be these times and we just have to deal with it.

To live means you will never have all the answers. Even with the answers, we still have the choice to do something else and sometimes, we do. It wouldn't work to be reassured that every move was choreographed by One greater than ourselves - it would be a different kind of living. Had things gone better in the Garden, we wouldn't be here but we are and we just have to deal with it.

I don't need constant reassurance but every once in a while - I would love not to think and just have the answer, ready to go. The rest of the time, I am good with doing the best I can and taking my licks for the rest.

It is what it is. We are what we are and God is who He is. That is enough reassurance for me...


2009 Time World's Most Influential 100...

From Zac Efron to Michelle Obama.
From Richard Phillips to Rick Warren.
and from Rush Limbaugh to Bernie Madoff.

Somehow I got it in my head that being influential was a positive thing. I don't think of someone like Charles Manson or Octomom being influential but if you go by Wiktionary's definition - influence falls from the just and unjust.

I also think there are 2 kinds of influence - world and personal. I have never met Tom Hanks but think he must be a good guy. On the other hand, I don't have to meet Nancy Pelosi to know, we wouldn't hit it off at coffee. The truth is while the world influences are important, the personal ones are essential. The people you hang out with influence us in ways we don't even recognize. Influence has power so who you hang out with, does matter. This definition creeps me out a bit, again I always thought of the good guys as being an influence and the bad guys as people you would naturally, stay away from.

1.The power to affect, control or manipulate something or someone; the ability to change the development of fluctuating things such as conduct, thoughts or decisions.
2.An action exerted by a person or thing with such power on another to cause change.

The truth is we are surrounded by influence everywhere. Marketers, advertisers, people. Even if you never left your home, never met a soul for coffee - you would still be influenced in the most personal of ways.

knock, knock
whose there?
O.J. who
Welcome to the jury pool.

And to top it all off, you are not only a taker but a giver, You are influencing others - do you really want that on your shoulders? Too bad, nothing you can do...but be the best you - you can be and if you are like me, most days I fall pretty short. Are you one of the good guys or bad guys in certain places of your life? - believe me, I am preaching to the choir here. Time for me to do some reflecting...


MERIDIAN -- Parents and students are standing behind a Meridian elementary teacher put on paid administrative leave last month.

A rally was held at Chief Joseph Elementary School today.

The Meridian School District has not given us a clear understanding of what happened and they won't until everyone involved has been interviewed.

But while the school district isn't talking -- parents are.

They say teacher Rob O’Neal was placed on leave after an incident on April 22.

Parents tell us O’Neal was out on the field with his fifth-graders when a second-grade student wandered on the field and O’Neal asked him to leave.

They claim the second-grader swore at O’Neal and told him to "shut up!"

O’Neal then grabbed the student by the arm and walked him off the field where he scolded him holding both arms.

The next day O’Neal was put on administrative leave.

More than 40 parents and students came to school today in T-shirts that read: "Bring Back Mr. O to Chief Jo."

This is Keaton and Gage's school. This is the teacher that kid wants - Keaton has wanted to be in his class since 1st grade, next year was his turn. After having two of the worst teachers I have ever met in over 25 years, I was excited for him.

I am not defending what the teacher may or may not have done. This happened a few weeks ago - lost of the kids were interviewed for information. What I will say is that kids are different now. Some have rotten home lives and potty mouths. I am blown away and my heart goes out to some of these kids - their uphill climb in life, will not be easy. We know the 2nd grader - enough said.

The other thing I know is that you can't touch anyone these days without putting yourself in legal jeopardy. Teacher or not, the rules are pretty cut and dry. DD said the protesters were still there when she went to pick up her kindergartner at noon. I imagine there will be more discussions tonite with the boys.

This isn't a moral issue, it is strictly a legal one. I would trade Keaton's current teacher for this one, in a heartbeat.I can't imagine how challenging it is to be a teacher in 2009. Definitely not for the faint of heart. There are treacherous days we live in, in an dout of school. Whatever happens, the teacher and the student will go on with their lives. I imagine their paths crossing 20 years from now and I also imagine them exchangine words, then shaking hands. Even in a treacherous world, there are miracles to be dreamed of...

crop dusters...

There are few things in the world that will bring me to a complete stop but a low flying crop duster is one of them. For 15 years, I had a five by five foot window right over my desk at work. I also had a field of never ending crops about 50 feet from that window. On those early mornings when that little yellow plane would start buzzing the field, my boss knew he wouldn't be getting much done form his only female employee. It might have been the first time, unknowingly, that I was on my learning to live in the Moment journey.

I am in awe of these pilots. You have to be crazy to be in this line of work. As I would watch the crop duster from afar, on his way in to drop another load of chemicals - you really imagine that he can't do that again. You can't help thinking, he can't always make it. If you think about it, they are a great example of taking chances. They must have a healthy sense of fear but not be overwhelmed by it all the while, enjoying the ride. I imagine that most of us keep our joyriding in check, more ruled by fear than we would ever want to admit.

So imagine my surprise Friday as I was waiting for my car to be repaired and I heard the familiar buzz. The repair shop is surrounded by farmland - and I couldn't get myself outside fast enough. They probably thought I was crazy the way I jumped up and ran outside with my camera. I don't know if the pilots are watching us, watching them. There has to be some showmanship in their blood, it can't be all about a paycheck. This particular show went on for about 10 minutes and then he was gone. While waiting for a new battery for my car seemed like the last thing I wanted to do that day, it turned out to make my day. You never know, do you?

us girls...

For the last 49 hours, it has been about us girls. Morgan and me. Poppa popped in occasionally but for the most part - it was an Estrogen Weekend. Mommy was on a girls weekend and the boys and their dad were doing their own thing.

The beautiful thing about a us girls weekend is that we agree on most everything. When to eat, take pictures, what movies to watch. The boys were thrilled that she was going to nana's so they didn't have to do girl things, I think we girls had an equal mind set. The time just flew by and we had a great time.

The thing I am most proud of is when it was time to her to go back home. History tells us that the physical parting is usually a nightmare. There is a bunch of crying and sobbing and finally, someone has to be ripped out of someone's arms and lead away. I was much better this time - really, my little girl is growing up. We started talking about going home this morning and she was totally against it but when the time came, she was perfect. What a difference a little growing up can do.

Wouldn't have missed this weekend for anything. Sounds like the boys had a great time and betting that the 4 mommies had a great time up at the cabin. The rain has been coming down all weekend but spirits are all sunny and bright, just as it should be...