the bottom line...

I have had a million thoughts about food.
I have had at least that many experiences with food.
I have read a million articles on food.
I have had at least that many conversations about food.

And here is what I think is the bottom line...

You either Live to Eat or Eat to Live.

We live in one of these two camps, every minute of our lives. There is no neutral territory, no safe zone. Every Moment of your life, every single one - you are buried deep in one of these two camps.

In saying that I also believe that you can switch camps, in an instant. Either for short or long periods of time. In less than a nano second, you can go from the philosophy of one camp, directly to the other. Make no mistake, these are two distinct and couldnotbemoredifferent camps. Don't let the word swap fool you. These two camps are diversely opposite, their priorites are different on all fronts. Their values are both compelling, hence the camp jumping.

I have spent 99% of my life in one particular camp. At this very Moment, I am happily hanging out there, now. The older I get, this camp just makes me happy and I find myself, wanting to be happy. I am sitting with my homies, enjoying the fire and roasting marshmellows. We are laughing, telling jokes and passing the graham crackers around. Had a english muffin yesterday, it was heavenly.

Also can report that this week, I spent a bit of time in the other camp. They make so much sense and I enjoyed my time there very much. They are kind, wonderful people and make you feel like you are an important part of their family, what else could a girl want?

Somehow, knowing this makes the whole concept, easier. It may never change anything but understanding where one is in any given Moment explains a lot... Kumbaya.


Trailer: Finding Vivian Maier from John Maloof on Vimeo.

If you laid all my photos from end to end from the last 6 months, you would see a recurring theme. A lack of color, unlikely subjects and a woman who is obsessed.

If you looked at my scrap pages, you would think I have lost my mind. Again, very little color or ornamentation. I would tell you that none of this was by choice. I didn't expect to find or change the way I was doing business but the minute I saw the VM collection, something clicked inside.

I have gone back over the last few years to find, I have been seeing life in this medium, all along. When I didn't think I had a creative bone in my body, I was already doing it, only I was unaware.

Now I understand. I am more comfortable in my skin. The idea that the color and ornamentation might not come back bothers me but I have enough life experience behind me to know, it could be back and that is good enough for now.

At any given time, we are each ahead and behind of where we actually think we are. We are better than we think, we are braver than we think and we know tomorrow could change it all. This whole obsession does not appear to be laving soon but if I wake up tomorrow and it is gone, there will be only thanks...



of life
of calendar
of circumstance
of consequence

one time
in community
by birthday

It dawned on me today that without even looking at a calendar, I think I could tell you by just standing outside for a few minutes, that is was Jun. No the sweltering heat like July and August but warmth with a bit of wind that you can feel, if you are trying.

We each will experience many seasons of winter, fall, spring and summer. Other seasons of our lives do not follow the calendar not is the weather a indicator. We are thrown into seasons of expectations, of change and of sorrow. They come and go with no warning. They are as dependable as the seasons of nature, yet some would say, they never saw it coming.

They only thing all the season have in common is that there is a start and a stop date. If something has a season, it is not forever. It has a time frame, a real sense of non-permanency. Season imply impeding change. It's funny when you think about it, but season and life have the same meaning. We are more forgiving when it comes to season, less when it comes from life.

Right now, I am in a season of summer, season of change in many areas of my life and a season of understanding how it all works together. Would have been useful many years ago but as the old adage goes, better late then never. While your first rodeo is exciting, having a few under your belt makes it a lot easier.

Blogger's photo uploader is on the fritz, another seasonal event but somehow, I am going with the flow. Ebb and flow, is the name of the game...

the Smiths and the Jones...

When we moved 12 years ago, it was a move of less than a mile. Way smaller house, way smaller lot. It was the House of Having a Teen, the best time in life to have a big house, a above ground pool and yes, our own personal soda fountain.

We were the last to the party. The Smiths and Jones, our next door and across the street neighbors, were already there. Never did find out how long but by very few convos, figured out it had been a while. Neither was very talkative. Not just to us but to each other. They could not have been more different. A college professor and a computer guy. The woman had less in common. In the 15 years we lived there, I never saw the women speak to each other. They both had kids but there was little interaction. DH says he say the boys playing once, but i just a few minutes, one got mad and went home.

We drive by our old street everyday and several times a year, go by the old house. We were there just this weekend, yard saling. The Smith and the Jones are still there. Close to 30 years of living not 15 feet away, with virtually no contact. While you don't have to be best buds with your neighbors, shouldn't there be some kind of mankind Love? I think about it with our house now, There is Craig and Suzie, and Neighbor Mike. Because of foreclosures, we have a whole new crop of neighbors that remind me of the Smith and Jones. They are young and transitory. One lives in house that has a for sale sign in front which doesn't evoke the same kind of fear it did just a few years ago, the house will still be for sale, long after they have moved on. Last weekend as Keaton mowed our lawn for Father's Day, he wanted to mow the young neighbor's yard, just because. She usually doesn't answer her door but this day she did. First she said, someone was coming that very day, then she said - he could mow it. He did a beautiful job, swept the sidewalks - it was a masterpiece. She didn't even come out and thank him.

There are many signs that we are slipping as a society but when life is all about us and kindness toward our neighbor is hard to find, that is when I start to worry. When I apologized to Keaton and thank him, he just looked at me with that face, and said. What would Jesus do... Touche, my fabulous boy.

6 months...

Talking with a friend last week about how fast time has gone since Christmas. Even with a long, cold winter - it flew by. I suspected with all the retirement plans, it would drag but that has not been the case.

We are now deep into surgery healing mode, the hard part is done, just sleeping in, hanging out and waiting for DH to heal. By the time he returns to work, he will have 6 months to go. Will it go as fast? Common sense ways no but not sure I agree.

Summer, 4th of July, then Back To School. a 60th birthday and a 40th wedding anniversary. You always hear that time goes faster the older you get. Thinking it is because we see it in a different light. Remember as a kid, waiting for insert activity here? Waiting to get your first driver's license? Time dragged on, seeming to never come fast enough. The one thing I think now is that you will live your life almost exclusively based on your perception, be it good or bad and the results will depend on that perception.

Yesterday was Keaton's last day of Hunter Education. He was positive, he was going to fail the test. He didn't want to study because he knew it wouldn't make any difference. It was a multiple choice test and I tried to encourage him that he didn't have to know every detail, just the basics. Guess what? My phone rang last night, Guess what Nana? I passed!

You are what you believe you are. I am enjoying these lazy, crazy days of summer and healing and am confident that the next 6 months are going to fly by and we will start a new chapter. Am getting excited... finally.


Trailer: Finding Vivian Maier from John Maloof on Vimeo.

If you laid all my photos from end to end from the last 6 months, you would see a recurring theme. A lack of color, unlikely subjects and a woman who is obsessed.

If you looked at my scrap pages, you would think I have lost my mind. Again, very little color or ornamentation. I would tell you that none of this was by choice. I didn't expect to find or change the way I was doing business but the minute I saw the VM collection, something clicked inside.

I have gone back over the last few years to find, I have been seeing life in this medium, all along. When I didn't think I had a creative bone in my body, I was already doing it, only I was unaware.

Now I understand. I am more comfortable in my skin. The idea that the color and ornamentation might not come back bothers me but I have enough life experience behind me to know, it could be back and that is good enough for now.

At any given time, we are each ahead and behind of where we actually think we are. We are better than we think, we are braver than we think and we know tomorrow could change it all. This whole obsession does not appear to be laving soon but if I wake up tomorrow and it is gone, there will be only thanks...


Reading a book about what the average person look like and it is not looking good for me. My definition of average apparently is not based on criteria or at least in the particular authors mind, of what average should look like.

The family home has to be worth between 100,000 and 300,000 dollars. I would have made it in in 2008 before the crash. Now, not so much.

Number of family members would have to be between 3 and 4. Quite a narrow path but with the family shrinking in numbers since 1790, it seems to be a factor. For that reason, most cultural families would not be considered normal because of the size of their families. Interesting.

Average or not, the life I have been given is one I wouldn't trade for any other. The bad, the good - all of it. Making it a priority every morning as soon as I wake up to be thankful for waking up to a new day and for all I have. First thing, before my day gets away from me. One of the reasons I love summer is the unclutter that I protect like a momma bear. Summer is a time for just being. No worries about wearing a coat or most everything. I keep my Other Season activities to a bare minimum. This is the season for going to Sonic at 10 PM, and basically, just flying each day, by the seat of your pants.

If that isn't average, I don't know what is and I am pretty sure, I am not interested in finding out...

summer is officially here.

and guess who is over the top besides me, happy!

she gathered her anger,
the hundreds of pieces that had fallen out of her purse
and very lady-like, put them back in her bag

they lay at the bottom, staying to themselves.
not much on making friends, they usually just stayed alone,
with only the occasional outburst.

she never acknowledges the keys, makeup or wallet.
they got all the attention or so it seemed but the reality was,
she wasn't comfortable unless they were close by.
an emotional blanket, with sharp edges
helped her keep the perspective that soothed her pain

That day she tripped and her purse spilled out,
was a God sent but it was lost on her.
it was meant to be a new start,
but to her, it felt like she had stepped off the edge of a cliff.

once she felt safe and secure again,
she picked up her purse and headed down the street
with the mental assurance that all was well.

It came tumbling out in the middle of the night and I knew if I didn't write it down, I would never remember. Might sound like this was written by a woman in anguish but nothing could be further from the truth. This was written by one who hasn't had a piece of toast, a slice of pizza or a hamburger in over 10 years and who has had all three in the last 7 days. Crazy good...


it is all about you. By the very nature of the beast, you have no choice. You are no longer in control. You are stripped of most everything and covered by virtually nothing. You are at the mercy of those around you, hoping that everyone does the right thing.

DD and DH had surgery 7 days apart. Took care of one and then, the other. Prayed for both of them at the same time. No lover of any thing hospital, I tried to lighten things up for DH. Camera, jokes, nothing was off limits. Had a big issue 24 hours before surgery, was told surgery was canceled and get a new surgeon. Do not know what happened but after 6 hours on the phone, found a contract doc to make the surgery happen. Never had a contract doctor before. Loved him. Also had a contract nurse. At least 6 1/2 feet tall, our age and a southern accent, he came in and had us instantly at ease. Both patients are on their way to recovery now. Summer can officially begin without anyone thinking they have missed out. We have three birthdays and one 4th of July in the next 2 weeks, we need to party.

Birthdays, the same thing. For 24 hours, it is all about you. Most of us aren't comfortable in either setting. At least at birthdays (or most of them), you get to keep your clothes on! You have no control over the amount of candles that are on your cake. Heading toward a milestone birthday has me in a bit of a mental stinky fit but the alternative is nothing one wants to embrace. I will handle it the best way I can, with my grandbabies who remind me of what is important.

I will take a birthday over hospital, anytime. I am better on the other side of the bed, helping and encouraging, than being the patient. I know one can not always dodge the medical bullet, but it won't be for lack of trying.

Get well, my darlings. If you need me, just yell...

Tom Bodett...

Like me, you probably wouldn't recognize his name or face but his voice, you would have had to be living in a non-wifi cave - not to instantly, know.

We'll live the light on...

One day David Fowler, a creative director from The Richards Group advertising agency, was driving down the Dallas Parkway in his pickup truck listening to the public radio station his receiver had been stuck on for months. Suddenly a homey voiced monologue emerged from his dusty dashboard. He heard the name, Tom Bodett, and thought, "Gosh, if I only had an account for a national budget motel brand with a sense of humor and humility, I could make a heck of an advertising campaign with this guy." Enter Motel 6, and the rest, as they say, is history. More than twenty years of award winning advertising later, Tom is still speaking out of America's dusty dashboards and television screens about life as a road warrior, and the merits of Motel 6./Motel 6

I am more of a Motel 6 girl than Red Lion Inn girl. When Tom speaks, I feel like home is just a Motel 6 away. Love the new commercial where he touts that Motel 6 doesn't spend a lot in extras, as burnt toast is seen fallen into a bowl. Simple, steady and to the point, is all that Motel 6 has ever promised. If you want fancy, better head down the road. Don't get me wrong, a $3000 a night room would be awesome to experience but after many years of listening to Mr Bodett promise, my heart belongs to Motel 6...

being brave...

Went yesterday for DH's pre op appointment. We were ushered into Nurse C's office and began the whole pre process. We quickly noticed that we were in the same Season of life and started swapping Stoires. She is a year older than DH doesn't look it. She is the breadwinner of her family, her husband had a recreational injury and can't do much for a long time.

In between an EKG and nothingtoeatordrinkaftermidnight, we talked retirement, health insurance and wanting to do the right thing. Then, she just said this...

You have to be brave.

It hit me like a brick and hasn't left yet. I have been in quite the mental tennis match on what to do and how to do it. The truth is, there is nothing I can do. For the first time in 45 years, when DH retires, we will no longer have health insurance until eligible for Medicare. To purchase a policy with a $10,000 deductable would take 3/4 of our pension.

You have to be brave.

I haven't been very brave lately and it is time. It is time to live with what you can do and not what you wish you could do. When I think of brave, I think to stand tough in the face of being beat up. To not just put on a good face but understand that life has pitfalls that you can not overcome no matter how tough you are. It is about being brave when you wish you could run as fast and far in the opposite direction as you can.

That is how I handled my last surgery. That was over 20 years ago and I had to be sedated before going into surgery. Would like to think I would do better this time but if history is any predictor of future behavior, I would imagine not.

One would think the idea of being brave might come easy and maybe it does for some. Love it in the movies but not so much in Real Life. Looks like I am going to get a second chance, hoping I will do better...

the class of a long, long time ago...

If it is summer, it is the start of high school reunion time. Dh got his invite last week to his 45th reunion of the Class of 1966, The school is less than 2 miles from our house. He didn't go to his 10, 20, 30 or 40th reunions, not sure why they might expect he would now. But, at his age, it is no longer about what do you do? but that you are still around. His sister on the other hand, has been planning for 3 years, is coming from Canada for her 40th in August.

I am with DH. Even if my high school experience had been a positive one, I would be seeing the people I wanted to see. We would have kept in touch, maybe it has more about being an introvert but IMHO, reunions are about not moving on in life. Whether trying to relive the days of being young, or trying to hook up with an old flame, the whole experience seems like a less than desirable one to me.

Do those four years really define us for the rest of our lives? Are you always the cheerleader, the geek, the jock, the brain? It is a natural part of life, why the lifelong commitment to return again and again? I notice this trend in the 2 used cars we have bought in the last 4 years. We are continually invited to get togethers at the dealers. BBQ's, Q&A - an endless barrage and that is just for a 1/2 Buy and Go.

I am sure I am in the minority but the class of a long, long time ago is an experience in my life, one of many. It shaped who I am today in a good way, I learned that it is just four years, either way you slice it. Real Life is out there waiting, go grab it...


I have played Yahtzee for years. Since the iPad, I have played it more in the the last year than in all the years before that, put together.

It is a game of strategy. Much like Real Life, the obvious answer is not so obvious. The great thing about the playing Yahtzee on the iPad is that with every roll, it gives you all the options for that particular combination. For instance, you could have 3 of a kind, a full house, Chance and your sixes, all in the same hand. Doesn't that mirror real life?, sometimes we have a lot of different choices. How we think decides which we choose, which in turn will lead to a win or a loss.

1 1 1 6 6....let's say this is your first roll. You could choose 3 ones (3), three of a kind (15), a full house(25) or Chance (15). Right off the bat, which way do you go? Which one grabs you? Full house gives you the most points but is it the right move? If you choose 3 ones, you only lose 2 potential points - knowing it is highly possible you will roll a couple more full houses during the game. Do you go with a low 3 of a kind or Chance?

No doubt there is risk involved and we each have our own particular level of risk, depending on past experiences. What might seem the logic choice, may not be the best choice. Every time I play this game, that thought runs through my mind. It has affected the way I see Real Life, and the way I make choices. I am watching myself and the way I through an issue. Sometimes, I like what I see. Sometimes, I want to slap myself silly, just like Real Life. Thanks Yahtzee, hope we have a long, happy life together...

the beginning of summer...

Week one - mommy has surgery, stuck inside, might as well get a pedicure...

That is the attitude we like to see, the positive side of a less than desirable week. Tough as it may have seemed, they certainly found more than a few ways to entertain themselves. Miss M was more than generous with manicures and pedicures, complete with gum-smacking conversation that was a bit too Real.

We all found ways to entertain ourselves. I had the pleasure of taking care of my family. I love to cook and having all these people to cook for, put me in heaven. Sounds crazy but I would cook for them every night if I could. Something so satifying about a making a meal - it really is comfort food for the soul.

Next week, mommy will feel better and we will be on the move. Swim and tennis lessons should take care of quite a bit of their free time and on Friday, poppa's surgery will take up all of nana's time.

We are just on the verge. Birthdays are flying all around us and 4th of July is just around the corner. Looking forward to fall but will love all that summer is and brings. Visions of lemonade and watermelon are dancing in my head and that, is just the beginning...


It is not polite to ask a lady's age but we could both agree it is rare to see a woman of her age, in any kind of computer store. I introduced myself and complemented her on her desire to learn about technology. She had two blue notes about shortcuts on either side of her MacBook laptop. She had been looking for a particular photo to finsih her book, they never found it. I asked if she had sent the photo to anyone who might still have it, she thinks she might have.

Apple make it real easy, she said.

Note to Steve Jobs - this is your kind of woman...

She told her about her book, the title impleed that we shared in the Love of Jesus. We chated about her late husband and their travels. The never made it to every place they wanted to but her son, went with her and she got to see it all.

Miss Millie lives in my town, she gave me her number and I will be visiting with her shortly. You never know on any given day who you are going to cross paths with, you just never know...

where the wind blows...

Believe it or not, we go where the winds of life take us. Whether gladly or kicking and screaming, we go where we need to. DD is having surgery early Wednesday morning so I am on the go to hold down the family front.

Going to be in charge of my babes for a few days, need to eat my Wheaties and remember the fine art of negotiations and if that doesn't work - BECAUSE I SAID SO! is good enough for me.

Be back next week. Hope the winds in your life are steady and sure, and that you are headed in the right direction...

high water...

Driving around the lake today, doesn't take much looking to see the water is high. Places that I have never seen water, are covered. Looks like no photos for a while without outfitting everyone with boots.

A dear friend had a scare last week when her husband's boat capsized and he was thrown out. When he didn't return home, she called for help. Thankfully, they found him many hours later and he was alive. Sounds like his life jacket saved his life. In the local news, there was a Story of a father and little girl in a boat with a tragic ending, no life jackets were used.

There is a reason people wear life jackets on boats, helmets when riding a bike or motorcycle - why should Real Life be any different? Perhaps not a physical protection but just an awareness of our surroundings. I know many times I am in my own little world and oblivious to anything not involved in my current task. Those are the times I need to take a step back, a time to be aware of what is going on. Not a fear but just to see the high water all around me. In people, places and our journey's.

DH and I kept trading his camera to take these shots, he wandered in farther than I would but was still in a safe zone. I come from a long line of those who never play it safe, and while I am cautious, I still have my kind of risky behavior. We all do, it is part of who we are. Just make sure that when going through the high waters of life, you have your life jacket on...

the face of love...

Blue Like Jazz's , Donald Miller is in love...finally. Have hoped this guy would find what he was looking for and it looks like Miss Paige, is it. Whether is last for a while or a long while, is yet to be determined.

He is in that lovey dovey state now. It is all good except that people in that state look at life through those lovey dovey eyes and make choices, base important decisions and think a bit more heavenly than they might, otherwise. If he continues Down this path, this love will have to change if it has any hope of making it long term. As the love changes, he will have to change too. While love is constant, its properties change continuously. After almost 40 years of marriage, I can testify that the love has been a roller coaster ride and the times that I have not learned about the ebb and flow, have been the worse. When my expectations were completely unrealistic and rigid. Sometimes you continue to love when the object of that love is gone, whether by a breakup or even death. Death doesn't change love, it may change the action of that love but it is always there.

I wish Mr Miller the best. I sincerely hope that he and his new love, beat the odds and find a lifetime of wonderfulness together. I also hope that he uses that great mind that God gave him to make that happen. When we use the wrong parts of the body to do our thinking for us, disaster is not far behind and what a shame it is to waste what could be a beautiful thing...

dog days of school...

Yesterday was the carnival, today is Miss M's graduation and Keaton's Field Day. Friday is just show up for a few hours and then youcangohome day.

I always love the last week of school. No homework, mostly movies and cleaning out your desk. Gage's teacher is having a baby, literally today. She was dilated to a 4 at the carnival and not sure she would be at school tomorrow. Her class had a swim party scheduled but Mother Nature has changed their minds, they will try again in a few weeks and maybe Mrs D can bring her new baby boy!

Summertime and the living is easy... Whether true or not, it is my icon of summer. School is out, the Beach Boys are on the radio and everything slows hurrying for much of anything but the snow cone shack. As the summer progress and the heat turns itself up, we go even slower but this week, when we are in the midst of the dog days of school - anticipation is at its highest. Anything and everything is possible. While our routines are shaken to their core and we might find ourselves with too much time on our hands, there is a need for some deep, deep rest. Today we will celebrate the end of school - rest will start next week...