Hello 2011...



Looking forward to a New Year with loads of possiblilties for you and me...

Merry Christmas...



Some much running around in my head tonight. Of Christmas 2010 and memories of Christmas past. What a wonderful time of remembering experiences that have been the pleasure to be mine.

I have thought a lot about you guys lately. I wish a wonderful season of Christmas Love with hopes of a New Year filled with much anticipation. Wherever you find yourself this year, may you choose joy and may it spill out to all areas of your life. Christmas Day only last 24 hours, then it is back to Real Life and all that it brings.

I love you all so, Merry Christmas. See you January 2! love zalaine.

my Christmas Carol...



In the last 24 hours, I have lived my own version of Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Looking back, maybe there has been a real resemblance between Ebenezer Scrooge and myself. Not for any particular reason, the season's greetings haven't seemed to sink in the way I would want. Everything just seemed a bit off, a slant that I would not choose but found myself embracing.

It started with the written word. It came in the form of correspondence but as I read it, I knew the writer who weaved a beautiful Story, didn't realize that is was the first of what would come. I went over the words again and again and with tears and amazement, took the words to heart.

The morning brought the next stanza of the Carol with a package that I thought would never come. A necklace charm that had been ordered 6 months and after many, many emails, FB post and Twitter tweets - I had giving up. No responses ever sent back. I even resorted to asking for a refund but got nothing but silence. Today it arrived with a second charm and an apology. Out of the blue. The front of the charm had the word, joy printed on it. That pretty much explains how I was feeling.

Heading down the road a few minutes later, Joy to the World came on the radio and the tears started flowing. I put together the three events and realized Somebody was trying to get through to me.

Happy is involuntary and it is fleeting. It is like trying to live a whole lifetime of marriage on the Mountain-top of honeymoon Love. Joy, on the other hand, is a choice. You must make the choose to be joyful and you might have to do it many times a day. Joyful can be lived out even when you find yourself down in the Valley, if you are willing.

I feel like I was given these three joy-themed experiences for a reason. As I sit here, these random events may not seem to anyone else to be connected and that really is the point, it was for me, at this time and it makes perfect sense.

May you find your joy this Christmas season and as Tiny Tim said, God bless us, every one!

Noah and Lisa...

Was reading Lisa's Story last night and took notice of her son's Story and learned how she was instrumental in bringing Noah's Law to fruition. This young mother felt so passionately about getting a law made in her son's name that would protect mother and child in domestic abuse sitations even though it was too late for her and Noah. I googled Noah's Law and this is their Story.

She was 16 years old and nine months pregnant when a masked man broke into her home and "kicked, beat, and stomped on her," the Idaho Statesman reported. Rushed to the hospital, doctors quickly delivered Smith's son, but Noah had sustained fatal injuries in the attack. The bill, Noah's Law "recognizes that there are two victims -- the mother and her child -- when a pregnant woman is assaulted or killed, and her unborn child is harmed or killed as a result

This was Lisa's Story...

Lisa Janea Smith, 25, died as a result of a house fire at her home in Las Vegas, Nev., on Monday, Dec.13, 2010. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21, at the Friend's Church, 301 Randolph Ave. in Melba. Services will be conducted by her uncle Keith Moore. Internment will follow at the Melba Cemetery.

In her short 25 years, she must have lived a lifetime. She did the work that will help many families for years to come. She went on to Real Estate school and had a three year old daughter. Her funeral is today and her uncle will conduct the services.

According to the Idaho Statesman, Smith said after he was born, that she put a diaper on Noah, combed his hair, and swaddled him in a blanket. "In my baby's whole life," she told the senators, "I spent 20 minutes with him."

She will not be spending Christmas with her daughter, her mother, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles but I have to think that beyond their tears, she and Noah will be together this Christmas. Not just for 20 minutes but for as long as they like... Merry Christmas Noah and Lisa!

looking ahead...



Just starting to think past the holidays. To be thankful for 2010 and with faith, look forward to the new year. While resolutions aren't my thing, the new year does give one pause to decide to add or subtract to what I am doing now. What is working, what is not working. Clean slate to make a few changes...

TV. While it may sound shallow, I think food and TV are related in genre. When I have too much fast food and fast TV, I don't feel so well the next day. Some new shows coming up in January, one is My Special Addiction. The promo shows 3 women, each dealing with a strange disorder. One eats toilet paper, one - laundry detergent and one has to sleep with her hair dryer. Where are the men? At home, doing their thing with their mouths shut!

Daydreaming. I call it that for lack of a better description but I need to spend more time, just thinking. I know this always gets me in trouble but it alos opens up things to pray about, things that I need to change and things I have to add. Where did this post come from? From this kind of time.

The Living in the Moment path is not my default and there is a constant state of learning which I am more than happy to keep following. There is always Something new to learn or to rework. I started the year wanting out of Facebook, now I feel completely differently. We have to progress or we regress.

Retirement. We are headed into DH final year and lots of decisions and choices need to be made. We already know he will need surgery this summer and we wnat to be prepared as much as we can for his Dec 31, 2011 date. It will be a year of focus, and hopefully, we can start 2012 with great expectations.

With Christmas, I can put 2010 into photobooks that will always remind us where we were and what we were doing because we really do, forget so fast...

Story...



Isn't it interesting how the culture of any current generation takes an age old Story and puts it in a way that they can identify with?

The Story doesn't seem to chance. The change comes in the presentation. Stories are told in many different ways. Commercials on TV are just mini Stories. They are hindered but time frames but that makes it vital that they get to the point of getting you to buy whatever it is they are trying to sell. In any Story, there is Something the author is trying to sell. Whether a tangible product or a concept, there is a point to every Story. If there isn't a point, it isn't a Story. Whether you buy or get it, isn't the point but in the best of Stories, you know exactly where to go and what to do when you get there. A good Story will leave you in a pool of emotion, good or bad. Sometimes you get a feeling of uneasiness or profound sadness. Others, put you over the moon. The two main Stories of Christmas may bring both emotions to the forefront and every year, we go through the same feelings.

I grew up on the Story of Santa and could not imagine a better Story. Every Christmas Eve, my sister and I would go to bed at 230 in the afternoon and try to sleep until morning. It was a time of being thrilled to death and the hopes of two little girls who knew the Story better than any other.

Later on, the Story of a baby in the manger would come into being for me and it seemed like such an opposite one from Santa, Rudolph and North Pole one. Not quite as sparkly and definitely a downer. It was tough to have these two co-habitate my brain. One seemed so predicated on being good and getting my heart's desire. The other, seemed distant, sad and didn't involve gifts for me.

We have come a long way and in the 2010, it is the year of Facebook. If FB Nation was a country, it would be the third largest in the world. How do you tell a Story and reach millions of people? Sounds like a win-win to me...

natural light...



This is the last shopping weekend before Christmas and you know what that means. If you choose to go out among the masses, expect everything to take at least twice as long. Twice as long to get where you want to be, twice as long to go potty, get something to eat or wait in line. I firmly believe that it is each of our responsibility to expect and anticipate delays and to be kind to one another in the midst of the hurry up mentality that will be in endless quantities.

Imagine yourself being bathed in natural light. Your soul being replenished by the familiar Christmas carols that will surround you. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Listen to the Hallelujah Chorus before you leave the house, maybe even a few times. Grab a snack and remember to breathe. Enjoy being with each other, make a friend as you stand in line.

If there is only one left, let the other person have it - you can find Something else. Treat yourself to your favorite beverage at some time during the day and put a little Something in a red kettle. Bask in all the Season has to offer, bath yourself in the lights of the Season and behave in the spirit of all that the Season is about. Have a great weekend...

senses...



The scientific explanation for chills is that the emotions evoked by beautiful or meaningful music stimulate the part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls primal drives such as hunger, sex and rage and also involuntary responses like blushing and goosebumps. When the song soars, your body can't help but shiver.MSNBC

We are a complex kind of people. We are not all Lovers Of All Things Guacamole. The smell of gasoline doesn't make everyone happy and for some, songs are not music to our ears.

If I could wish one thing for everyone, it would be that each have a deep love for music. That music, anytime of year would touch them deeply. Then, I would buy each and every one a set of Bose headphones so you could plug in and hear the music with no outside distractions every once in a while.

For me, music takes the anxiety down from 100 to 1. It bring tears to my eyes in an instant. Memories, good and bad come flooding back in seconds. I can soar like an eagle and the world becomes crystal clear in a heartbeat. The pity party is over, all unwanted guests are gone. The world becomes a nicer place and I could, in theory, give everyone a big hug.

Of all the senses - touch, smell, hear, taste and see, we all have those that we tend to pay attention to more. The ones that bring passion to our lives. At Christmas time, I believe they are all on heightened alert. Everything seems so alive and vibrant, one of many reasons that January is hard for most of us. Our taste buds are screaming for more, our ears are looking for something to listen to, we are craving the familiar smells of December, the Christmas textures have long been put away and the visuals of the season are gone and winter white is all that is left.

As we go through these last few days before Christmas, take it all in. Let yourself be in the Moment with each of your senses. Practice not depending on your eyes and let the others have a chance to describe what they see. Then, and this is the good part - take all that practice and your senses into January and see what you can find. You might have to take a big leap of faith, but there will be Something to discover. I am excited about seeing January in a different light and this maybe one way to chase those winter blues away. Worth a try, can't wait to see how it turns out...

blind but now I see...



After the Thanksgiving flu finally wore off, 10 days had pasted without spending one minute on my exercise bike. Quite honestly, I had gotten un-use to it and when the new week came around, I was trying to talk myself out of starting again. There were a few irrational thoughts that were shoving each other trying to get their crazy proposal why we should shelve any and all exercise, to the head of the line. While they were duking it out, I got ready and before they knew what hit them, we were rocking and rolling.

The bike runs on batteries or rather, the electronics run on batteries. Speed, calories, time. It was immediately evident that today's exercise would not rely on speed, calorie and timeless. The bike still worked fine - checked the clock on the wall and off we went. Decided not having batteries wasn't a deal breaker. Forgot to buy batteries on Monday, so Tuesday - same thing. By the time I got to Friday, I realized there would be no batteries - ever again. Not because I am cheap but because I realized how much time I focused on the electronics instead of why I was really doing this. This is week two and the way I exercise now is a complete 360. I go as fast as I can and i have no idea how fast that is. Not having to regulate because of the numbers on the screen, I can concentrate on going as fast as I can on any given day. I am riding blind and I love it.

Another place in my life where less is more. It makes me wonder where else this realization might be useful. There is a difference between sticking your head in the sand to not see and when the opposite works for you. Life, sometimes it just makes me crazy and Sometimes, it makes me so happy...

focus...



I am playing with light these days. Inspired by Tara Whitney and Shannon Lieth, I couldn't quite bring myself to take pictures in the kitchen of my dishes but I most certainly see what they see. I had to start in the living room. The red pillows to be exact.

Aperture is the place most of us get a little giddy. The idea is to have a part of your photo in complete focus and another part, in total obscurity. The choice is ours, which is which. As I took these, you can see - depending on where I focused, either the pillows of the table top was the single focus. It immediately reminded me of life. Depending on what one's sees, that will be their focal point. You could absolutely miss a complete BIG Something and a bunch of little somethings.

It amazes me that the same photo can look so different. I bought the pillows for the rows of texture. I love to feel them and look at them. In the photo where they are not the focus, you can't see any of that wonderful texture. They just look like red, plain pillows.

Kids, it may not seem like a big deal but the more days I get to play with this seeing, focus, light thing - I think it is a bigger deal than we have given it credit for and the older one gets, the bigger a deal it becomes.DH and i went out shooting the same barn, birds and trees yet our photos are so different. We each went where out eyes lead us and never looked back. He is into shadows and with me, it is all about the emotion.There is alot to be said about walking in the other guy's shoes to get a different perspective and you put them all together and maybe, just maybe you will see for miles and miles and miles...

see...



Went out to play with our cameras today and right off the bat, the birds were on the wire. Usually they are in smaller number and very skittish but we went around and tried to get them head on. It worked and I am a very happy girl!

Ran around town, doing a few errands and then out for some more winter shots. Came back into town and needed some fuel badly. DH got out and while he pumped gas, I sang Christmas carols along on the radio. He comes back in a few and gives me that, you missed it look. Apparently I did. our car was pointed in the opposite direction which would explain how I miss the shoplifter that had run away from store employees across the street only to be tackled by the two young gas station employees.

The kid was smiling, he had made it across the busy street and away for the four guys that were chasing him and knew they were being held up by two lanes of traffic. What he didn't see coming was the two attendants. When he did notice them, he loudly proclaimed, Oh Sh*t! They grabbed him and finally the store guys were able to cross and take them back to wait for the police. DH gets back in the car and I am able to get a few shots of the young perpetrator being led back to the store.
I saw the store guys waving and thanking the gas guys. we gave the gas guys a thumbs up as we drove off.

Been thinking about seeing and how much I miss. I sang through this whole ordeal, not a clue that had the kid decided to come my way and open my door, the outcome could have been not so great. Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean it isn't happening. This thought has been going through my mind all weekend - never truer than today.

We see what we want to see.
We choose to not see at times.
And Sometimes, we miss it all together.

Had our little thief seen the Whole Picture, maybe he would have gotten away with it. Run a different direction, or maybe have brought a getaway car, but his language says it all. He thought he saw all he needed to see. He was wrong. What am I missing? Where do I need to look? What is it going to cost me if I miss it?

medium....



I love the idea that God uses all medium and artists. He is not restrained, no matter what we think. All art comes from Him whether the artist acknowledges it or not. No one rides for free. It rains on the just and unjust,that is often a bitter pill to swallow whether it comes to loss, talent, happiness, art and a whole lot of other things.

Imagine that He has great affection for graffiti artists. Their moving gallerie on trains allow them to infamous for seconds at a arms down railroad crossing. Still working on a book of photos of graffiti-covered railroad cars. The talent on these less than legal canvases blows me away. Thinking that they work under very undesirable conditions, not only at night but at times, they must have to work quickly. Very few luxuries available to these artists.

Here I sit in a warm room, with plenty of digital power to keep me company and all the time in the world to think. Neither way is better than the other, we all compliment each other. We revolve around Him, not the other way around. The Christmas season is all about revolving too. You get to choose - can it be all about Santa? Yes it can, I spent the 26 years of my life and it is completely possible and very satisfying. When the Impossible Medium of a Unbelieveable Story crossed my Journey, I was blown away. I keep going back to the one dimension of the way we are able to think and the umfathomable dimension that He has. We couldn't understand it if God started selling it at Hallmark. The Medium of the Master, makes it, Oh Holy Night, indeed...

remember...



Take a deep breathe, often.
Just zone out for a few minutes.
Thank God, without apology for whatever you think you have short-changed Him about, for today.

I have been where you are. Those days that going 90 MPH seems pretty slow. And I know, there will be more to come, soon. Enjoy the cold, enjoy the lights, enjoy the music, enjoy the madness, enjoy those that have been sent to cross your path. Enjoy the hustle and bustle and put Something in the red pot everytime you walk in a store because you can.

When this is all over in a few weeks, what will you want to remember? What will be the most important thing that you can capture from Christmas 2010? It will the memories, is always is. It will be the times we spent with each other. Whatever that looks like to you. There is no right or wrong way to do it

This year, Keaton's Christmas concert is the only music/play/party that the family has. The church doesn't have a children's Christmas program and the school has banned all Christmas parties. I have my own not-very-nice-opinions about both of these but that is for a later post... Got to say that hearing the 6th grade band play, We Wish You A Merry Christmas and the Jazz band perform, Baby, It's Cold Outside was great fun and I made a point, to take it all it.

It is a delicate Dance we do starting the week after Thanksgiving and marching right up to Christmas Day but with a little Common Sense in our back pocket to pull out at any Moment, I think not only is it doable but can be great fun. Remember to breathe and enjoy your Moment...

6th grade



Since my 6th grade choir concert at Ethel M Evans Elementary School where I learned to sing Oh Come All Ye Faithful in Latin, the words remain burned in my mind. It was probably 10 or so years ago that I decided that from now on whenever I heard OCAYF at being sung, I would sing it in my native Latin. So, when shopping the other night at Fred Meyer's when the familiar song came bursting thru loud and clear, I joined in quietly with the bell ringers. The words, fresh in my memory lay there for the taking.

This concert happened over 50 years ago and still fresh in my mind. We often hear that children are resilient, and of all the memories I have banked, these words have taken hold and just won't let go. Just this week, I heard Coach Pete say his players bounced back faster after their fatal loss to Nevada than the coaches did. Bless the little child and sing on people, sing on...


Adeste Fideles
Laeti triumphantes
Venite, venite in Bethlehem
Natum videte
Regem angelorum
Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus
Venite adoremus, Dominum
Cantet nunc io
Chorus angelorum
Cantet nunc aula caelestium

papa dude...



Papa Dude is quite the guy. Motorcycle man, a member of the USPS with a few more years to go. For as long as I can remember he took charge of many cruises. He would put on a little presentation and invite you along. No detail was spared, he had thought of everything. He is just one of those kind of men, who knows what he likes and is willing to put it all on the line.

He did the same thing when he became a grandfather. He put a lot of thought into what he wanted his grandson to call him when J started talking so he decided on Papa Dude. When I heard his grandma tell him to move down a seat, because Papa Dude wanted him too, I rememberedhim telling us this Story. Toward the end of the service, J got tired, snuggled up to his Papa and laid his head against the man in whom he knows he is loved. Unconditionally and often. When we feel love and happy, not much else can shake us. To know where the Love is isn't difficult - we go to where we have experienced that security, over and over and over again.

Not a bad day for a Sunday. Wish we could all have a Papa Dude in our lives. Somewhere we felt safe and loved. Somewhere we could land when we were tired and just needed a rest...Oh yeah, we do. All we have to do is ask...

romance...



Make no mistake, there is a romance to Christmas...

From Wikionary. romance (plural romances)

1.An intimate relationship. a love affair.
2.A strong obsession or attachment for something or someone.
3.Love which is pure or beautiful.


If that is not a perfect definition of the Christmas season, I don't know what is. been trying to wrap my head around this obsession that one way or another, consumes most of our waking Moments for at least a month every year. From music to food, gifts to postage, parties to decorating, and a lot of falalala-ing in between. We are enamoured, seduced and swayed by everything we come in contact with.

And on top of everything else, we tend to be nicer. We share more, give more, care more. Courteous, polite, more forgiving, we turn in to people we don't even recognize in the mirror. If that doesn't describe someone in the throngs of romance, I can't imagine what else it could be.

While the opportunity does come along to lose ourselves during the Season, we can decide when and where. We are not so feeble that we can't control it at least some of the time, same as with romance. The problem is we usually don't - because we don't want to. We like the feeling of the romance and have little desire to make it go away, even if there is a Cost. We are willing to pay it and I don't mean just financially. Just one more present, he would love it or she needs it - This is the Love language dialogue that goes on in my head. It would make them so happy. A round of Norman Rockwell for everyone, is my motto.

Even the baby Jesus can put us over the top on the feeling scale. It is a Story that is hard to take casually. You are all in and it is an incredible Story. One that deserves our whole hearts, without all the romance...

snow day...









The week after Thanksgiving and we have our first Snow Day in two years. I love the almost surprise of such a day. The news told us last night to expect up to 10 inches but we never believe them until we see it for ourselves and by 4am, it was one time the weather-liars hit it right on the head. Keaton called giggling says his mom wanted to know if I wanted to meet them at Costco for lunch. I told him if he had a sleigh to come pick me up. About 5 to 6 inches in my driveway so we kept in contact all day but phone and photos. Not perfect but I got to talk to each one of them and got their take on the day.

Being snowed in isn't the worst thing. Gives you an excuse to do all kinds of things you wouldn't normally get to do. Unexpected time is fun and hopefully when it happens, we take advantage of letting ourselves be kids again. It dawned on me today that maybe if we could be more childlike during the Christmas season, we would enjoy it more. Instead of running around trying to buy gifts for everyone we know, maybe we could delight in the season. What if it was that simple? Wow, if I could feel like a kid every Christmas that I have left, I would be a happy girl!

Thinking that being snowed in might be a mighty good thing, mighty good indeed...

there is no place like home...



For most of us, our time in the snow will be followed with hot cocoa and a warm fire. It is fun, we are usually dressed in layers and it is always voluntary. We consider it fun.

Just saw a Winter Snow Advisory in effect until 9AM tomorrow. For the homeless in my town, pretty bad news. I don't know alot about being homeless except that my father was for a time. For many different reasons, he could not stay our home and had nowhere else to go. He soon found a spot at the Veterans Home where he stayed for a while.

The last couple of years I have thought about the homeless often. Mostly in winter, but winter just adds more complications, being homeless isn't easy anytime of the year. Might sound a bit strange, but several times a week, I imagine I live in a homeless shelter. I am by myself. It is not warm but I have an adequate blanket. I am on a low cot so I can see under a sea of beds. I hear all the noises and smell all the smells. Ah, the fragrance of communal living. If there is as they say, a bit of poet in each of us, this is where mine would be found. By the time you experience it, you have long accepted it. Lights are out at 9PM, and there is lots of time to think. About my life and those around me. How did they get here, how did I. Throughout the night, awakened often by crying babies and the loud, constant snore of one. I know the snore well. I know the nights that he is not there, and I hope he is ok.

I always fall asleep about this time but the experience is always a humble one. To imagine what it must be like to find yourself spending nights with strangers, not caring about much else but being not cold. No real thought into what it takes to run a faculty like this, because by the time you get here, that paradigm has shifted.

Sunday afternoon, a local church that opens its doors to the homeless during the day, was showing a movie and at a break, several of the people went outside for a smoke. Two men got into it and one bit off part of another man's ear. I can only speak of my experience and that experience tells of acceptance.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” May God bless us all...

snow angels...



I believe in them just as if I was related to one...

Had to run to the store today in less than stellar condition but once I got in and among my earthly peeps, it was better. As I wandered around the store, trying to get enough diverse things to get us through the next few days in case that Big Storm does start this afternoon, I tried to be mindful of those around me.

Have got to admit, there were a few who might not fit into any angel category - like the woman with the handicapped sign who was in such a hurry, she came this close to running over an slow, elderly woman but there was an angel there. The elderly woman had one and probably never knew it.

We don't usually think much about angels except at Christmas. Our Christmas music is full of them and for the most part, it is the picture of a naked, chubby baby-like creature that kind of floats around doing good. I have come to believe that is not the case.

I think angels look more like warriors. I think they may even have battle scars although they would never admit it. They do their thing and most of the time, we are totally oblivious and that is fine with them. If we acknowledge them, I think they smile. A warrior-kind of smile.

We are like little kids, going about our business, willy nilly. Then a close call comes. Something that gets our attention, something we escape and are very glad we did. Imagine there may have been an angel close by.

Awareness is a choice. It is not a natural default. The more you practice it, the better you get at it. Might be worth a try, never know what you might be missing...

Cyber Monday...



If you are not the Black Friday type, maybe today's biggest online shopping day of the year might appeal to you a bit more. Still not feeling great, there was no online shopping for me but Black friday was a different Story.

The difference is in your expectations. If you really believe that getting in line hours early to get one of 20 $ 199.00 TV's. you and I are not of the same species. This is the only day of the year, I get good vibes from the hustle and bustle that can only be found at 5am. Not looking for anything in particular but could not turn down winter boots for $25, made my day. That an dwalking around with my grandson checking it all out.

We met up with the rest of the fam and took over a makeshift living room complete with couch and two chairs. I stood in line for almost 40 minutes to get gift certificates for those who spent enough money to qualify and met some great people. The young militiary girl who had her phone stolen the day before. The 18 year old kid called to tell her he had changed her password and she told him there was alot of military information on that phone that he didn't want to be caught with - later that day not only was he caught with the phone but also drugs. Not a great day for him.

Met an IT gentleman and we had a spirited talk about Apple and Microsoft. He said, If you are looking for media, video, photos or music - Apple can't be beat. If you are looking for productivy, go with a pc. The most honest pc person I have ever met.

For me, it is the perfect day. not to hurry. You immediately notice the ones who would mow down their own mothers for a $9.99 sweater and steer clear of them but most everyone is as nice as they can be. Must be the christmas dust that the Mall spreads around before they open the doors.

Hope those of you who shopped today, got the bargains you were hoping for from the comfort of your home. The only you might have gained from a BF experience is some good Stores and that is worth a bit of effort anyday...

perspective...

A few hours after the devastating loss of our beloved BSU, the Thanksgiving flu that had a hold of Keaton, spread to our house. DH had gone to bed early because of an early wake up call for work but never made it. By 4AM, we were well on our way to an horrific rest of the weekend, just starting to settle down Sunday night.

At first, I wondered if it was the shock of our kicker missing 2 field goals but as 2/3 of The Thanksgiving guests came down with the same thing, decided it was not. It is not the loss per se, that bothered me but how we loss.

By now, everyone knows that our kicker missed a 26 yard attempt that put us into overtime and a few minutes later, missed a 29 for the win. When Nevada got the ball, their kicker was successful from a longer vantage point. Even as Coach Pete and Kellen Moore were been so supportive, I couldn't help to think about our kicker and truly, in the midst of a flue coma, I started praying. Later the news would report that the family almost immediately started getting threatening phone calls, While BroncoNation is know for its overwhelming support, that same passion can go the other direction. Yes, he missed 2 field goals that were almost unmissable but let's start from there and help him and his family move on.

I don't know much about football but I know a bit about people. Until this football season is over, this will be in our minds. Woulda, coulda, shoulda, but for this man, it will never go away. Never.

When he is in his thirties, later in his forties and for the rest of his days, he will never forget. He will replay it in his mind over and over and over again. I truly believe it could drive himself crazy if he doesn't get some help. He will need to learn some coping skills that will allow himself to be human. He will have to learn to like himself again,

Gage ran into his room crying with the loss. He was inconsolable, said he hated football. Probably the most healthy response he could have. He had spent Thanksgiving explaining how the BSC was going to shake out in grave detail. On Black Friday. he was so happy when it looked like Alabama was going to pull off an upset.

Someone started a FB page for our kicker, we still love you, being the theme. I hope one day soon, he can say the same thing about himself...

my favorite things...




Just like Oprah's...almost. This is the start to my favorite week of the year. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, everyone already has visions of turkey and dressing dancing in their heads. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and BSU football finish out the week. Throw in a 59th birthday and a 39th anniversary and you have got yourself quite a week. Will start with my favorite youTube video. I cry everytime I see it. Macy's - where Jesus meets Santa. It truly helped me reconcile the two that always seem to leave me feeling like I'm in a Tug o' War. So, here are some of my favorite things in no particular order.



Did you know you can mail anything that will take a stamp and weighs less than 13 ounces without a box?/Apartment Therapy.



Doodle, put your own photo on a personal speaker



Already received an order and loved it!



I think this is gorgeous


Make your own personalized candy bar. Ingredients galore...



Original, Girls Night out, and many more conversation starter cubes



Apple TV, perfection at its best. I think you can guess where to find it!

May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with lots of love. Take lots of pictures, play a game with a child and remember you are Loved...see you next Sunday, love zalaine

hard work...



All of us will spend some time this week reflecting on Thanksgiving's of our pasts.
Of big family gatherings with lots of food and noise or perhaps, memories of a skinny Thanksgiving where nothing was in abundance. Maybe Thanksgiving 2010 is going to be a tough one. Imagine it might be for many considering the many food bank drives around each of us. Sometimes, it may seem that all our hard work doesn't pay off. I imagine that at the first Thanksgiving, they felt much the same way.

Most of us don't so much hard work. The kind that brings a sweat to your brow. If we do, it is in short spurts with lots of ice tea in between. DH had a very physical job. Most days and nights, he is crawling on top of railroad cars in every kind of weather imagineable. When he retires on Dec 31, 2011, he will be 63 and 1/2, too old for a job as tough as this one. Don't know who will replace him, they can't get anyone to help him now. If he was an insurance salesman, he could and would do the job forever but that is not his lot. He will get the job of being with me, that poor man!

Miss M was the epitome of hard work yesterday. She raked her little heart out, not caring that Gage had decided to take a Inside Day. Keaton went out to help and Gage was challenged on his holiday choice so soon everyone was out in the yard but she was almost hurt that two rakes had to be shared among three of them.

That is what hard work is. It is about getting it done. Seeing a job that needs to doing and doing it. Imagine that the first Thanksgiving was much the same way. No going to Costco for ham and dessert. Maybe there wasn't a pumpkin pie. Maybe dessert was dried fruit or worse. Imagine trying to sell that at Thanksgiving 2010!

As you start your week, may gratitude be your beacon. For all that has been and will be in your life. No matter what the landscape of Thanksgiving 2010, you can find Something to be grateful for because it isn't about what you have but about who you are. If you don't like what you see, be grateful that this very minute, you can decide to change what you don't like. Whatever your circumstances, there is always room to be thankful...

wisdom...




For with much wisdom comes great sorrow. the more knowledge, the more grief... Ecclesiastes

I didn't put that together until today. My idea of wisdom was a mix of the up side of growing older with the idea of being a smarter person. Never thought about the downside of a lifetime of experiences.

One would imagine that after a certain experience, or at the very least, after 2 or 3times of the same... we would be doing the experience smarter, better, faster while avoiding each and every pitfall. Still not sure that isn't true but like all things in Life, for every upside, there may be a downside, lurking close by.

For me, it is not so much as downside as being able to be Real about life and all that goes with it. Argumently easier for those who sees the Glass As Half Empty, we don't expect a rainbow in every sky or even as much as we wished, a VW bug in every driveway. Bad things happen to everyone, the rain falls on the just and the unjust. Prayer is not a guarantee against all things BAD and then sometimes, for no apparent reason, everything is perfect.

While it would appear that I abhor All Things Grownup, the idea of being wiser seemed like a nice trade off for getting older. Common sense should have told me, that I was missing Something. I should have seen that just the pure nature of living through many experiences, there would be grief and sorrow. None of us can avoid G&S, so we have to learn how to incorporate them into our lives. How to co-exist and even continue on when we are so filled with sadness has to be where the wisdom comes in and becomes useful to ourselves and others as we share it.

So, I had to decide today whether to keep aiming for wisdom. With this new knowledge in hand, it seemed like a choice had to be made. It didn't take long to figure out that things are going to be coming my way, no matter what and I might as well get all the help I can. The perfect example of wisdom used wisely. Make no mistake, you can live to be old and not have a bit of anything to offer to anyone. My biggest fear is that my wisdom shared, will hurt someone. That may have to be the chance I have to take if I share but hopefully, I will recognize, apologize and course-correct. Maybe Some Good Stuff has sunk in...

pretty good day...



By last night, the iTunes announcement had been cracked and it was all over but the shouting which you would have heard if you were within a mile of my house.

Spent the morning going through every album and listening to songs I haven't heard in age. We have got many of the albums but to hear them remastered is a absolute thrill. Watching some fo the concert footage and the whole visual that iTunes brought, the virtual black out with a bit of color was outstanding. In part of the 1964 concert footage, the announcer said americans found great happiness after great sadness after the assination of JFK with the Beatles coming to America. I remember the Ed Sullivan show like it was just. We all sat around the TV and someone past out from excitement (not me!) Little did we know then what was in store.

Trying to figure out how to explain to Santa that this would worth carrying around in his sled! Maybe I should appeal to his sense of history, of handing the collection down to the generations to come. Will have to work on it.

Speaking of that generation, I hope they get their Moment. I know it won't look like mine but Someday when they are my age, I want them to be able to relive that excitement. Music is a lot like Christmas, you get to be a kid again if only for a short time but a short time is all you need, if you do it right,

best.day.ever.... I actively make it a point to injest this thought everyday because try as I may, being in the Moment doesn't come naturally. It is just that Somedays are better than others. John, Paul, George and Ringo... Steve Jobs and iTunes, thanks you all...

PS. Just a reminder, back up your iTunes library frequently. You just never know.

relationship...



Heard the other day about a woman going through some Big Stuff and the familiar theme of, Why is this happening? What did I do wrong? Why is God mad at me? It is a played out by many who in a time of crisis, forget what they know, who they belong to and let their emotions completely take over. I have been there too but God help me, there has to be more than trusting God when things are ok to excellent and drop off the face of His earth when times get tough. It think it may have Something to do with relationship vs checklist.

Put religion, church and and feelings aside, what is the dance you do with God? How do you two relate? If someone could listen to your prayer time with Jesus, what would they hear?

I have had this particular conversation with fa few closefriends a million times because until you go through it, not sure you know how you will respond. YOu hope you will be strong. Everyday your relationship has the opportunity to grow. Someone once likened it to the phone ringing, you answer and would you recognize Jesus's voice immediately or would you have to ask, who is this? Obviously you would know immediately a voice that you have a good relationship with. Just like in Real Life...well, for everyone but Gage.

Me: Hey Buddy, how you doing? Have you had a good week at school? What was the funniest thing you did? I sure miss you Gage.

Gage: Who is this?

Me: It is your nana

Gage: Oh, you all sound alike.

That is Gage. I'm pretty sure he was just being the comedian that he loves to be. He knows my voice but loves to mess with me.

Forget the checklists or the things you think He wants to here. Just have a relationship with Him. Thank him for the people in your life. Tell him what is going on with you, the good and the bad. Sit on a swing and just hold hands, crawl up into His lap and let Him hold you. The rest will come and it will all fit together...

just say no...



When life(or your granddaughter) gives you lemons, you make lemonade...

She is going through her Don't Take My Picture phase. I now that this too will pass but not loving it now. The thing I do appreciate is her ability to say no. It is a very misunderstood subject, the ability to say no. Either we can't for so many different reasons which leads to a completely new set of problems or we say no at the wrong times, for the wrong reasons. Just say no sounds easy but in reality, is tough to get right.

Some no's are so obvious, you wonder why it was ever a question. Came across one myself last week, leaves you scratching your head in dismay about how much denial a person can be in. Even though it was a no-brainer, the politics of the situation did not leave me the luxury of displaying Miss M's most truthful response. Had to negotiate a response and it actually fell to another to do the deed. Sometimes you just have to follow someone else's lead.

There is a real art to saying no. You have to balance guilt with good, mental health. It doesn't come overnight but if you keep trying, after many attempts and some failures, it will get easier and you will get better at it. The guilt will never go away - it will subside but will rear it's ugly head just when you think you have conquered it. Miss M is off to a good start. It was but a few weeks ago that she was telling me, Nana - take my picture now. Oh, how I long for the good old days...

new direction...



I am going a new direction for Christmas this year. No more worrying about blurring the line between Santa and Jesus, I know what I know and what I know is this...Don't sweat the small Christmas stuff. I can't save the world so I am going to get out of that business. My new focus is gratitude365. No matter the day, whether plain or fancy, I am going to be all about the gratitude.

There is a Dec Daily that alot of the scrapbookers do. The 25 days before Christmas, you take a photo or document a craft and make a nice little book to remember the holidays. I have never done one for a variety of reason but this year, thinking I will. It will be a bit different, as I want to document the gratitude of the 25 days of Christmas. Something I see or remember that reminds me of what a wonderful life I have been given. No more whining about retail, or crazy people. It is Time to move on. To enjoy the holidays with as little thoughts of the have-to-do's and all that goes with it.

Would love to go to a cookie exchange or a my favorite things party. Take the kids out when it is snowing or just to feel the hustle and bustle that the holiday brings. I give up! When the commercials start, I am hooked and want to start decking the halls.

So come ahead Christmas! Jump in front of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Shove school supplies to the side. Put a Santa hat on every product we buy. Play the carols, sing the songs and bring on the smells. Good tiding of comfort and joy, the more the merrier. Don't forget to tell us about your aggressive layaway programs and by all means, fight for my shopping dollar. It is part of it, it is just the way we do business. I am prepared and ready to go. NO FEAR....

women and birthdays...



A group of women, a surprise birthday party, great food and fabulous conversation. We should each experience it at every so often in our lifetime. I imagine that all women talk about the same things at birthday parties. Age,parents, children, husbands, sex. Milestones met and new ones to come.

We sat around the table eating got food and then sharing fondue. One big conversation and at other times, small ones going on around the table. The Birthday Girl is wearing a crown and pink beads, you could pick her out of a crowd.

There is just Something about a group of women sharing that is a little slice of heaven. Ranging in age from 42 to 58, the conversation flows from topic to topic. Sidebars come naturally and often. Over 2 1/2 hours later, we each have gotten our 2000 words out for the day and collectively, go our own ways.

Great way to end the week. A little bit of living in the Moment, with a foot in the Past and in the Future. Loved it!

PS. The conversation about Denzel Washington - you couldn't drag it out of me,
(yummy!)

fool...



Alcohol, at times, made me a fool...George W Bush

Fool/noun...Someone who very much likes something specified.  [quotations ▼]
1975, Foghat, "Fool for the City" (song), Fool for the City (album): I'm a fool for the city.


Like him or not, George Walker Bush, 43, is very an interesting character. Caught his interview with Oprah today and was impressed. Anyone who admits to being a fool can't be all bad and as I learned today, looks like being a fool can go several different ways.

If Wikionary is right, one could be a fool for a good reason. Still not convinced that being a fool for either side is Something to be proud of even though I am a full-fledged card-carrying member of the club. Right now, I have several things that I like very much, going on. Some are physical like MacQuesting and some are theory which are just as strong, some days even stronger.

Can one be a fool in any category and live a healthy, mental life? I have seen what believing in nothing looks like as well as religion, both at less than their very best. Maybe it is alright to be a fool with conditions? Maybe not.

At any given time, we are all excited about Something. Something that we wish everyone would love to learn about and share with the world. What about your fool?

What does that look like for you, today?
Is it a negative or a positive?
How would giving it up, change your life
?

Thinking my fools issues are now in preliminary mode and will either sink or swim, die a natural death or join the ranks of permanent files on my hard drive. Still uncomfortable about the very word, fool but thinking flushing them out and dealing with them, may be the way to go...

inside the actors studio...



Inside the Actors Studio: imagine James Lipton asking you his 10 questions and how you would answer,

1. What is your favorite word? breathe

2. What is your least favorite word? deserve

3. What turns you on? what brings me to tears

4. What turns you off? sci fi

5. What sound do you love? the lawn mower.

6. What sound do you hate? backhoe

7. What is your favorite curse word? everyone else's least favorite

8. What profession other than yours would you like to attempt? U2's back up singer

9. What profession would you not like to do? anything to do with mountain climbing

10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?Well done, good and faithful servant.

No matter who we are, I believe there is a little bit of actor in each of us and i say this, because we are all so full of drama. It may not look like Tom Hanks or Julia Roberts. You may not like being up in front of an audience but some of the time, we all live out the drama we have chosen or that has chosen us, and we put our heart and soul into it. It's not about memorizing a script or having your own dressing trailor but rather what happens when we are on. When we are living it or when the drama is living us. Like it or not, all the world is a stage and we perform on it every single day...

play.laugh.grow.



These words in this order belong to Fisher Price but don't be fooled, they are words to live by, no matter what your age. The older you get, the more you see their significance.

After spending time out and about this weekend, DH listened to me as I lamented about the early onslaught of All Things Holiday and stated as if I had been on a desert island for the last 10 years, Christmas starts the day after Halloween. He is so right.

The fight for our Christmas spending has already begun. There is no waiting until Black Friday. Layaway which was so 1970, made a come back last year and has been paraded in front of us since August. Here it is, I will fully admit it - when the fake snow starts flying and the red Christmas ornaments are everywhere, I start to change. I get the bug. I want all things, merry and bright. I become a kid and all that goes with it. I want, I want - kicks in with a vengeance.

While my usual default for the gratitude season runs from November 1 to Thanksgiving, I am moving it to December. Actually, it will run from November 25 to December 25. I am extending the season of thankfulness for all I have been giving at the toughest time of the year.

The season where Jesus and Santa Claus clash.
The season where everyone gets that one perfect gift, they so long for.
The season where everyone walks away from the table, full and happy.

Play.laugh.grow, that is what I want for each and every one of us but the reality is that won't happen. The reality is people are homeless, hungry and have no money for anything. So where do we start? How do we change our personal realities? It had to come from within and it has to contain the element of gratitude. It is about learning to be grateful, no matter where you find yourself. It is about being happy doing what you can with what you have. Learning new ways, if you have to. Making new traditions and most of all, not living in a world that doesn't belong to us. Yearning for what isn't ours in spite of our best efforts and wanting.

I have been listening to Christmas music for about a month now. Not the Santa Claus is coming to town stuff, but the Real Christmas stuff. The reason I know it is real is that it calms that part of me that wants to smother the world in snow and gifts and wants to see play.laugh.grow flourish in real world. Now that, is heaven in the Real World...

the blond in the t-bird...



Keaton now has a thing for Happy Days. Richie Cunningham and The Fonz are high on his list and as any good nana would do, I need to keep up with his ongoing knowledge of all Things Cool. On Friday, we got into a little discussion about American Graffiti which has one of his favorite actors, Harrison Ford. He couldn't believe it so we started Googling AG. Richie and Shirley were there which later led to Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley but also Richard Dreyfuss who Keaton loved in Jaws. It is at the top of the list for the next sleepover if not sooner.

So, its 2AM and DH and I are going to bed and I start telling him all about this wonderful conversation with our grandson. As I proceed to go through the cast of characters, he says, Oh yeah and Suzanne Somers was the blond in the t-bird. No, I tell him, I don't remember her being in American Graffiti. This movie came out in 1973, the year our girl was born - this is the man who can't always remember my birthday or our anniversary which is the very next day but he remembers the name of an actress in a movie over 37 years ago. I am so sure he is wrong, either because it was very late or very early. I couldn't sleep, finally got up , turned on the iPad and after searching the exhautive cast, found Suzanne Somers, near the end. We had a good laugh and finally were able to get some sleep.

I should not be surprised. There are a few things that we women should never bet against with men. When on a diet with a man, never bet. Never, even if they are prone to cheating. There is Something about their DNA that allows them to kick your butt everytime. Find something else, but never weight loss. The other thing is women. Men have an uncanny knack for remembering things we don't want them to when it comes to blonds in t-birds. Again, can they helpd themselves? I think not. It is better to go with the flow and understand they are who they are and we are not going to change them and learn to buy your own birthday presents...word.

the power of music...



Thanks Mrs D! You made my day! and the beat goes on...

best.day.ever...again

It doesn't stand for what you think...Twitter, Google, IPhone and Facebook. Leonard Sweet.

BC - before cellphones. In 1973, Martin Cooper stood in front of the Hilton Hotel in NYC and made a call from the sidewalk to AT&T. The first cell phone call.
If you were born before 1973, you are an immigrant. Born after 1973, you are a native.

TGIF - this is a culture that sell relationships not products. Don't believe it, try getting out of your cell phone contract.

All this is mixed up with going to the Mac world and leaving the PC world behind. Gotta to say that the iPad has got me thinking so far ahead of what I thought was possible and with the Mac App store coming in January 2011, my pc days are over.

Had an issue with my camera connection for the Ipad which turned out to be a memory card issue but I spent several hours at the Apple Store today trying to figure out what direction to go. Got to pick the brains of a couple of 20 something young men and decided to go for the iMac desktop and use my iPad instead of getting a laptop. Each of them have the same set up and it works perfectly. They have Expert on their business cards, imagine I can't go too wrong with their advice.

As I invested myself in their knowledge, I kept thinking about the TGIF thing. Everywhere in the Apple Store, one is bombarded by images. Fast, striking, big and colorful. I see what I see now. If you are around me, you won't hear anymore about leaving Twitter...I am in for good. I see the benefit and truly, want to see the world through their eyes. They are awesome....

After spending a couple of hours there, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman way older than me - buying an iMac. She didn't look like the Apple type, the times they are a changin. After spending 20 minutes with my last Expert, the best thing ever happened. He offered me a job at the Apple Store. I told him I study Steve Jobs' Keynote speeches like I was going for college credit. Seems like I am headed in the right direction... Now, if I only lived closer to the Mall...

you were put here, for this Moment...


Let's be more amazed that we are forgiven, than that we are right/John Piper.

In the middle of some serious study. My head is whirling and my heart is full. It is about joining the culture of Today, the one God has put me in with the one I was raised it. I live in a world where text has gone from being a noun to a verb. The average 13 year old sends over 3400 text messages a month. I couldn't have imagine the world we live it today. A world that is foreign to what I know yet, I am here for a reason.

To know a culture, you have live with them. Do what they do, become a part of their community. You have to have some credibility and that doesn't happen without involvement. You have to speak their language and when they know that, then you have made a Way. This culture is not about works, they are about images. TGIF... it's not what you imagine, Twitter, Google, IPhone and Facebook. The currency of this culture is images not words/Leonard Sweet.

You and I were put here, for this very Moment, and we need to create some creditability. The only way to do that is too immerse yourself in this generation. Need a starting point? Follow Apple for a while and then go out, spread the Gospel of Jesus in a way that this culture will respect because we cared enough to learn their ways. I could not be more excited. TGIF, from this Moment on.

TGIF...

It doesn't stand for what you think...Twitter, Google, IPhone and Facebook. Leonard Sweet.

BC - before cellphones. 1973 Martin Cooper stood in front of the Hilton Hotel in NYC and made a call from the sidewalk to AT&T. The first cell phone call.
If you were born before 1973, you are an immigrant. Born after 1973, you are a native.

TGIF - this is a culture that sell relationships not products. Don't believe it, try getting out of your cell phone contract.

All this is mixed up with going to the Mac world and leaving the PC world behind. Gotta to say that the iPad has got me thinking so far ahead of what I thought was possible and with the Mac App store coming in January 2011, my pc days are over.

Had an issue with my camera connection for the Ipad which turned out to be a memory card issue but I spent several hours at the Apple Store today trying to figure out what direction to go. Got to pick the brains of a couple of 20 something young men and decided to go for the iMac desktop and use my iPad instead of getting a laptop. Each of them have the same set up and it works perfectly. They have Expert on their business cards, imagine I can't go too wrong with their advice.

As I invested myself in their knowledge, I kept thinking about the TGIF thing. Everywhere in the Apple Store, one is bombarded by images. Fast, striking, big and colorful. I see what I see now. If you are around me, you won't hear anymore about leaving Twitter...I am in for good. I see the benefit and truly, want to see the world through their eyes. They are awesome....

After spending a couple of hours there, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman way older than me - buying an iMac. She didn't look like the Apple type, the times they are a changin. After spending 20 minutes with my last Expert, the best thing ever happened. He offered me a job at the Apple Store. I told him I study Steve Jobs' Keynote speeches like I was going for college credit. Seems like I am headed in the right direction... Now, if I only lived closer to the Mall...

the wear and tear of Real Life...



The phone started ringing at 8am and 12 hours later, I have received a total of 16 political-based calls. It is enough to make one crazy and I told the last caller at 816PM Something to that effect.

Week after week, we all have a personal routine. If you have kids, you know the drill. School, homework, sports, church, whatever it is that has captured your time. Vacation is overrated. You can't wait for the hopes of a getaway or you will never make it. The longer I live, the more I think vacations are for making memories, and using them as a way to distress is a inappropriate use. We have to value and find ways to weather the storms of everyday life, everyday.There are magazines filled with ideas and most of them will work for someone.

We all have to find a way to refresh, in the Moment. Doesn't have to take much time or cost any money. Maybe the most important thing you can do for yourself is smile. Find something that makes you smile. A few minutes of music can make one a new person. I played the Hallelujah chorus on my iPod tonight and I was smiling and soaring in no time. I started listen to Christmas music last week. Not Jingle Bells or It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, but, The Young Messiah. One of my favorite pieces of music that reminds me of the Big Picture. A few minutes in and I was thinking, it's the best.day.ever.

I say this because I am not a natural optimist. I have to relearn it everyday. When you know your strengths and weaknesses and are willing to look them straight in the eye, there are no surprises. Get what you get and don't throw a fit, is a great way to live because it puts life in perspective.

I use to think I could do it all, Now, I know how insane that was and how that thinking that was more dangerous than actually living it. Life after the Garden may be less than ideal but it is doable and that is all any of us can ask for...

What is the difference...



... between trust and faith? Grown son to his stunned mom...

My friend didn't know how to answer him. The dictionary he had consulted said they were virtually, the same. As I listened to her, my immediate response was, No - they aren't. .

As his questions rolled around in my head, I came home and consulted my favorite go to source, Wiktionary.

Trust

confidence
reliance
dependence

Faith

feeling
belief
obligation of loyalty.


None of that helped and I finally figured out what it was that made me feel so strongly and burst out with my original strongly felt, No.

It comes down to this for me - trust happens when something either physical or emotional satisfies you. When it is proven to you, that it is ok to trust based on an experience that makes it Real for you. Faith is the exact opposite. There is no proof,and no manifestation but a sense that in spite of it all, faith is chosen regardless of proof. Trust is proof-realized and faith is proof-less acceptance.

Have my issues with both trust and faith. Have more issues with trust than faith, because trust demands answers and I am ruthless when looking for answers. Not one of life's journey's that I particularly love. Makes sleeping difficult, chasing the elusive conclusions that I am so looking for. Life is not always a puzzle to solve and we all have different ideas, of what we need to know. This is just my Story...

on the road, again...




I never did see his mom and dad. I followed him through Costco to get a glimpse of his Story. He dragged Buttercup down a few aisles and in the end, he was just taking him back to the ranch. Imagine that he dragged the horse to his parents and they said, NO. At least he decided to do the right thing and take Buttercup back to the barn.

Ever grab Something and decide against it and then, don't put it back where you got it from but leave it wherever you are? Not proud to say, I have. In a hurry, don't want to walk clear back across the whole store. There is a host of reasons but the bottom line is, not of them hold much water. I really hate it when someone puts something that requires refrigeration and leaves it out to spoil but that doesn't disregard or lessen, my own negligence.

I don't do it often but I have. I can say that about alot of things in my life. Things I am not proud of but that is part of being human. The good news is we can ll learn to change some of the things about being human that aren't attractive. We can do better, it just takes a bit more effort.

My little friend understood that. He had a special place in his heart for Buttercup whether he was able to take him home or not. It is a little thing but we Big People know that little things lead to Big Things and the sooner we learn that, the better humans we will be...

bullet proof...



If I was going trick or treating this year, I would pick Something with a bullet proof theme. Something like Miss M's pink, SuperGirl costume. Not only does it say something about girls, power and pink but the idea of being a super - hero so appeals to my basic DNA.

All things being equal and if U2 already had a back up girl singer, being bulletproof and fighting evil would most certainly be my second choice. It so fits me and I humbly would add, I would be terrific at it.

There are places in my life where I can and hope I am, bulletproof. Deeply rooted, while I may be shaken and stirred, will pop back up - good as new. There may be places I don't even now about yet that are a steady as the day is long. Hope to see them Someday. For now, I will have to live vicariously through my Pink SuperGirl and collect treats instead of bad buys...At least for one night...

square one...



Sometimes it is not about where you are, have been or are going. It is about where you are this very Moment. Not as you wish or should be but just as you are, warts and all. It is not a step backwards, but actually, the way to going forward. A time to regroup, look around and see where you are and if it is where you need to be.

Being, we are not very good at it. If we are not moving forward, we see it as failure. If you get stuck for a long time maybe then you could walk up that path, but taking time to stop, look both ways and then proceed - sounds like a great plan to me. Moving just to move, can only bring trouble, The kind that can do Real Damage.

So, that is what I did today. Stopped, looked where I was and decided to head just a bit in a different direction. A slight pitch, a small tweek, square one if you will. Not a bit of failure there, and maybe a darn good idea, we'll see...

the Beast...



Inspiration comes from many places. One of my sources is my father. As far back as I can remember my Dad has written poems. I think that it is his true passion but it’s one of those private passions, a secret interest. He only shares them with a few people and I’m lucky enough to be one of them. His poems have never been published probably because he hasn’t had the courage to believe that they were good enough. I believe they are good enough. I believe that you are good enough DAD. So I would like to publish you first poem/Ashton Kutcher


Therapy

The farmers are busy. The woolies are hunkerin in. A hint of smoke in the crisp night air.
Been awhile. The ritual never changes, with the coming of the Beast.

The advantage of outside eyes, the preparatory tasks are amazing.
But then, I was them. In a different time.

We must prepare for the Beast on a daily basis,
But still harvest and share the bountiful gift that was given.

Will I challenge the Beast?
Bring it on MF, I'm a midwest Boy

Life is Good.


I imagine what we all hear when the Beast is read, is a feeling that is quick and direct. Used in this way, we each may relive the Beast that has been in our lives off and on, for as long as we can remember is as real as the gray hairs on my head.

I love Mr Kutcher's poem. Would love to read more. Reminds me of Billy Collins and I adore Billy Collins. Bad words aside, it came to me as a breath of fresh air when I needed one bad. While the beast theme is the first to hit you, the next part is as sweet as they come...

We must prepare for the Beast on a daily basis,
But still harvest and share the bountiful gift that was given.


Truer words were never spoken. The bible says when, not if. We each have Beast thoughts that we pray desperately, never come true. The truth is we hear about our Moments having to be lived out and endured in Real Life through others and that is why we worry, because we know - it could be our turn, next.

We will have to live with the Beast and the Bounty, everyday for the rest of our lives. We have to walk the line between disaster and delight with every step we take. Puts quite a bit of responsability on us, doesn't it? Not exactly a place for it on our everyday to do list. Yet, we would be wise to prepare, harvest and share on a daily basis. It was given to us as a gift, now it is time to us to share what we have with those who have been given to us...

history...



history
1.The aggregate of past events.
History repeats itself if we don’t learn from its mistakes.
Holes in your pant pockets turn your coins into history.

2.The branch of knowledge that studies the past; the assessment of notable events.
He teaches history at the university.
History will not look kindly on these tyrants.
He dreams of an invention that will make history.

3.(computing) A record of previous user events. I visted a great site yesterday but forgot the URL; oh! ... luckily I didn't clear my history.

So many kinds of history not just the one we all learned in high school which we were at the mercy of whoever got to write the textbooks with their personal slant or agenda. I imagine if I read a 6th grade history book on Abraham Lincoln today, it would include much I didn't know and maybe even some stuff that wasn't true. Sounds semi-paranoid but the only history I really trust is the one I know firsthand.

We all have history with people, places and things that affect our everyday lives. From the doctors we go to, to the stores we shop and to the friends and family we visit with. Our daily lives take cues from our personal history and no amount of input from someone else's history will sway us, if we already have our own. If we ask someone about their history with x, y or z, we may go that direction based on their information. If it is a good experience, we will share with other. Ok, we will share with others - NO MATTER WHAT but it will either have a positive or negative theme and then it is packed away in our history minds for total recall whenever deemed necessary.

I admit, I am not terribly interested in most of the world's history. The History Channel only plays on DH's TV, I have mentally blocked it on the other one. I know I am missing a lot that might change my mind but that is a risk I am willing to take and will stay with Grey's Anatomy and Outsourced. There is plenty of history in my everyday life that I have to live with and not room for much more.

Now, Genesis and Job are another matter. There is Some Great Stuff right there. This explains my today life and affects my tomorrow life. The Stories of Adam and Eve is like no other. All of think we could and would have done a better job even our crazy relatives. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? God didn't use big words - just don't do this one thing - who couldn't follow those instructions without using a lot of brain power! Job, on the other hand. had it a bit tougher in many ways. Not only in experience but some pretty, bad advice from friends. Who know what would have happened if he had a empty garden and could have had time to think?

History, a big part of who we are and in turn, who we will be. Pay attention when you can...

cake...




We had a lot going on this weekend. The fall carnival at school on Friday night where our primary responsibility was to man the fishing booth,which we took very seriously until we were relieved by teenagers. In between we tried to see how many tickets we could buy and spend as fast as possible. I kept reminding the kids that the Cakewalk game needed some ticket Love but gave up that dream when I found out that it was only one cupcake per winner. WHAT KIND of cakewalk is that! Thinking of running for PTO president next year, specializing the all things cake!

Saturday was the birthday party scene and we had two of them to go to.. 85 and 18, quite a spread to get your mind around. One knowing that most of her birthdays are behind her and the other, getting ready to party like a rock star.

Both had cake and you got more than a cupcake size. DH got to visit with his aunt and cousins. All the cousins are now of retirement age so the conversations swirled around when and when. Aunt C is the only surviving sibling and while she is as spry as can be, every birthday is a big deal now. Did I mention,there was a lot of cake?Shelbie is just starting out. A rave to celebrate her HIPAA-age. Still a child but privacy is now on her side. She is a premier soccer player and has the college tuition to show it. Heading off to OS next fall, she is ready to go. Good cake and I was offered seconds.

Walked away with some awesome pics, not of faces but of places. Places we have been, seen and are going, I left the documenting up to the families and took the shots that would tell the back story. There were a lot of back Stories this weekend. Some made me laugh, many made me cry. You may imagine I am talking about the one who has lived for 85 years but that would not be the case even though she has a wonderful Story to tell. You can live a lot of life in 18 years. Thank you both of sharing your cake with me - I will never forget it...

PS Dear PTO, I will be available most days to help you fill in the cake blanks... One cupcake, really? Sincerely KGM nana.

the end of fall...



I love me my Fall season and am also very specific about it. Totally all about the first part of fall when the days are warm and the evenings, just border on chilly. It is magical to me. Still California with a hint of Minnesota, on its way. It turns Winter for me far before the calendar makes that leap. Soon, the rain will come and the warm will be gone. Could happen in a week or overnight so I am very aware that my days are numbered...in more ways than one.

I learn to live in the Moment more, every time this year. It will soon be time to fire up the gas logs because the chill will become more than my blanket will be able to handle. My shorts will have to be put away. Right now, go back and forth between long sleeved and short sleeved shirts, the shorts are always the last to go. Shorts and flip flops. This year, I want fall to last longer. Pretty sure I am not going to get my wish, Mother Nature is quite fickle.

Pictures are taking for christmas cards and halloween is a few short weeks away. Having delightful Halloween weather is a crap shoot here. We stay at the house and the kids go to a few houses to trick or treat. No matter what the weather, we will have a great time. The school carnival is tomorrow night, let's hope that the wonderful warm we have had all week, stays for one more day because the weatherman says, change is on its way. Love ya Fall, thanks again for a most wonderful time. You surely have to be one of God's angels - you tell his Story so well...