DH and I went to new to us class this morning. Heard the teacher preach so we had a taste of what it might be like and quite frankly, I knew I would be in over my head. The teacher is a college prof and the class is aimed at the academia world. Big words, big thoughts, huge ideas. Some went right over my head, I will admit but I was overwhelmed, in a good way. A wonderful way.

Took notes like crazy and my mind was on fire. Learned a long time ago, I need to be challenged to keep from going crazy. Haven't been in that Place in a while so this might be exactly where I need to be for a Season.

We all need to stretch and grow. If we aren't and we stay stagnant for too long, we are less likely to keep moving. It is a good thing to be in over our heads, to learn new things, and continue to learn. I had to pay attention the whole time, little time for wandering mind syndrome today. My notebook looks completely different today. Also, not a bad thing.

I need to research the definitions of prove and validate. I need to consider how much of my life is lived in the personal verses in the facts. It is good to remember that I can't explain it all and that when I am in over my head, that isn't drowning that I feel. It is just the feeling of thinking in a different way.

A certain thirst in life makes you go Places you never could imagine. We all need a push Sometimes, in a different direction. Happy I got to go down that road Today...

7th grade boys...

Until now, the only thing I knew about 7th grade boys was through a 7th grade girl's eye. Not all together a negative, that would be done by 7th grade girls leaving an indelible mark on my middle school memory, they were for the most part, normal until they got outside and then they would go crazy. Now I know, boys need recess and lots of it to get all boy energy out.

These days, 7th grade boys are around again. Mine is the best in the world and he is in some pretty good company. These guys are polite, cool and joy to be around. Adolescence is tough, middle school may be the worse. You have feelings you just don't know what to do with. Anger, the beginnings of puberty - thoughts you have never had in your life along with feelings you are desperately trying to control. It will get better in a few years, you wish you could tell them and have them believe you. You still won't understand girls, get use to that now but everything else will start to fall in place. The alpha male will be channeled in a whole new direction with a whole new set of problems. This part of your life, will last the rest of your days.

I know that it is as natural as rain for boys to grow up and start to separate from adults. It is part of the Process. I cherish every Moment you share with me. Learning to stand down but always ready if you need anything. If you need any advice about girls, I will try to explain but no promises...


What does it take to get the emotional wind knocked out of you? Not one to be overwhelmed by nature as often as I would like, is hard to admit. Feel like it is a lack of appreciation for the One who made it, whom I am overwhelming grateful for.

This place does it for me. A friend found it a couple of years ago. WE have taken senior, tea party and family shots in this area. This day it would just be DH and I. After a ride in the country and a stop at one of the local wineries to take some photos of hills, valleys and grapes, we went home the long way to check out the woods.

The water is high but there are some fabulous photos to be had in a few, small places. The light is unbelievable. I could have stood there all day. To catch a few shots with that light, has carried me for a few days now. It is a feeling of being totally overwhelmed. It scares and delights me...

think differently...

Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do...Steve Jobs

Some are lifelong members of this club. Some try to join but figure out, really fast, they are not cut out for it. Some would think that belonging to this club, was about the worse thing one could hope to achieve.

To think different and acknowledge it, is the beginning of acceptance and the end of beating oneself up. Whatever end of the spectrum you find yourself, embrace it and see where it leads. You might be happily surprised...

follow the light...

You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free

Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
and get yourself free
...Paul Simon.

At any given time, we are looking to untangle ourselves from a person, place or thing. A thought, a philosophy or a fear. It might be because of a addictive behavior, it may be low self esteem or it maybe that we don't think we deserve, better.

Whatever demon you are facing, get yourself free today. Whatever that looks like to you. You have been dogpaddling for way too long. Sing the song and head for the light...

pink glove dance...

If it is October, it is Pink Glove Dance Month.

A few years ago, it started with one video and now, two years later the PGD explosion of fun and pink. People have given their time and talents to make something that is not fun, into a celebration. Spend some time on You Tube and watch some of the entries. They will make you smile, tap your feet and probably be singing before it is all over.

There is no better way to say you care, than to dance. Thanks to everyone for making these videos, a wonderful memory of those Near and Far...

melting ice...

Time is like thin ice. Our days are spent living like ants in a mound, collecting our substance to survive the winter; to retire in comfortable plaid pants, blue socks, and golf shoes. All the while, the ice is melting, thin and slick. We don’t notice it until struck with tragedy. We or a friend are mangled in a car wreck, and we reflect on how fragile the whole thing isDonald Miller.

I don't get to say the Pledge of Allegiance much anymore. When you get older, it doesn't play a part in many of the activities we frequent. I look forward to the grand's sports because I know that every time, we start the same way. More often, we are still on the field when the next set of games start and I get to say it again. It is not just saying it but noticing those around me at mostly, their very best. Hats come off and for a few Moments, we are all on the same page. I can only imagine the multitude of thought going through the minds of those whose hand on their hearts may be there to hold in pain. Some know the cost of freedom because they have paid a greater price.

Melting ice. What does it look like in your life? Are you aware of it?

The ice is melting, thin and slick...

Truly hope you have a fabulous day...

nothing but the truth...

It is Something that takes years of experience, working in the background until is is a part of you. The only thing you know is that when you smell it, you instantly know what it is. It is not the scent of one who casually drinks but one who had made alcohol a career. I never know where to expect it and it has shown up at some pretty unlikely places on some pretty unlikely people.

From one in the clergy in a church setting to a family barbeque. You smell it first. Then, you see who it belongs too. It is a skill that no one would ever ask for. It will change you each time, you get a whiff of it and your view of the one to whom it is attached. It will not be a good feeling. There may be a sense of gloom, knowing what it took to someone to get to this place. This is not the beginning, this is much closer to the end.

In the case of the One who has hung his star on Jesus, he has admitted to battling alcohol addiction to the present day. It happened more than 10 years ago in a college chapel setting. It was the last night of a 3 night lecture series. I had heard him speak a few times before and was completely enamored with this man of faith. Lecture was over, I had brought my copy of his favorite book and while not one to care about having an author signature, decided to go for it. He was all by himself as I walked up to him, sitting at the table, looking out toward the window. I smelled it before I was within 3 feet of him. He had no idea. I couldn't speak so I just opened my book and he signed it. No expression, no words. The smell had solidified for both of us. I walked away, stunned. He looked back at the window.

In what will be his last book, he now admits what I already knew. The side of heaven, there are things in our lives that are fluid. Good and bad.

I am not measured by the good I do but by the grace I accept...BManning.

The truth, nothing but the truth...

if loving you is wrong, I don't want to be right...

There are two reasons to look so forward to going to the pumpkin patch - taking pictures of my wonderful family in a beautiful fall setting... and these mini donuts. It was Day 4 of my sugar purge and I honestly totally forgot. I had several of these babies in my mouth when my girl asked me what's up. Like to say I didn't partake of anymore but that would not be the honest truth. Would make for a great Story, one of being brave and honorable. Again, not in the cards.

Almost made the same mistake the following morning, Day 5. Miss M asked me what kind of muffin I wanted - chocolate or poppy seed? Did she even have to ask? I will take chocolate even when that is not one of the choices. Dip in in chocolate chips and get back to me. Not remembering is not as much as sign of senility as it is lack of commitment to said purge.

As I saw thinking about this this morning, all the diets I have been on. Most of them, very successful. Diets are not the problem. You could lose weight eating only Subway sandwiches, like Jared did. I am convinced that 95% of all diets work just like 95% of all people who lose weight, regain it back. The sense of accomplishment is coming from the wrong place and that is why we fail.

So this is what I am thinking now. Day 6. Giving up the 21 day get Sugar out of my body diet. Giving it up today. If I want it, I am going to eat it. If I want a frozen yogurt when I make my Costco run, so be it. I am not on a diet, never will be again. deal with it.

I am saying it here and now, I will never diet again and here is why. If I am interested in being healthy, then I won't eat that yogurt. If I am interested in being with my kids and grandkids, I will watch what I eat. When I get the losing weight thing out of my head and eat differently not for weight loss, or fitting into insertSIZEhere jeans but because I want to hang out a big longer, when my motivation changes, then and only then, will I be successful on an ongoing basis.

This is not going to be an easy thing to do. To change my perception. With each bite, I have to ask why. I have to be honest with myself and tell the truth. From this day forward, I am choosing to take each bite for the health of it. If I choose to stuff M&M's in my face, I am choosing to climb off the wagon for reasons less honorable than a jean size.

There must be a Reason why my 60th birthday is on Black Friday. Quite honestly, one would hope that by this age, most demons would be under some kind of control. I can tell you, that is not the case. They are here forever. How you deal with them is up to you. I don't know how well this new thought process is going to work but I am going to see if I am barking up the right tree. Always the student...

Thank you Mr C...

It has been a while, perhaps Mother's Day since I have been at church.

Not mad about anything. With DH surgery, then ER visit,then the discovery that I love listening to PJ sermons, late in the night. When it is quiet and dark. It seems to be the perfect time to settle in and listen, really listen. The introvert in me doesn't miss the human interaction although I understand the power of being together.

This midnight ritual is my new normal. I knew Something would have to encourage me to get out of my rut. I was in church this morning and it is all because of Bill.

Watched Bill Cunningham New York on Netflix last week. A fascinating documentary about this fashion street photographer that has his won way of doing things and is mostly, revered by everyone. Certainly, the fashion community adores him and at 80 Something, he still photographs and writes for the New York Times.

At the end of the film, they start to ask some personal questions about love and relationships. While admitting that everyone has needs, he eludes the question they are asking him. I think he answers, with no answer. He goes on to say, he goes to church every week. Not something you expected to hear.

Every Sunday

He was raised that way even though he admitted that he spent most of his time, studying woman's hats. Even though, he no longer has to, his parents are long gone but he does, nonetheless.

Every Sunday

I went this morning to find what he is seeing.
I went to church this morning because of Bill.
Thank you Mr C, for your eye. Because of what you see, you encouraged me, to look harder and try to find more...

Not sure I found it this morning, but I will keep looking...

the pumpkin patch...

So, after you have hit the petting zoo, rode a pony, eaten those toDIEfor mini donuts, the biggest deal of the day is finding the perfect pumpkin. The one that says, This is me in all my fall glory.

First you decide where to get off the long hay wagon. You don't want to get off at the first stop because that is where everyone gets off and the pumpkin selection is not at it's best. There are some very nice ones but this is the easiest place to look and you want to be more forward thinking.

Down The Road, you see the perfect jump off stop. How do you know? You spot a white pumpkin, then you see a gourd or two. There is no fixed plan other that to wander around, in no particular pattern, searching for just the right one. Sometimes you think you have found it, but you really haven't. You delay gratification for a bit longer, knowing that deep down inside, it is not time, just yet.

And then, there it is. There is no second guessing, This is the One. Even as you haul it back to the designated home pumpkin base, you never look back. You carry it back onto the hay wagon to be dropped off at the scales. You proudly look on with a bit of spring in your step as the pumpkin attendant weighs your glorious find.

It is yours and yours alone, to carry to the car. From there, this short term relationship is forged and for the next few weeks, you are the best of buds. Ah, nice to know Some Things never change...

day 61...

Fall is finally here, the 90 degree days are gone and leaving a long sleeved Something in the car, because you never know when you might need it. This Saturday is the last day of football for Gage. Except for the weather, I could watch him for forever. This was his first year playing football and no one loves football, more than this kid. He will have to live vicariously calling Kellen Moore's plays for now, and when the BSU football season is over, he will turn to Madden 2 through 12 on the TV, just like he did all summer.

1.A part of a year when something particular happens.

There are also seasons of life, clothes, food. Potato salad doesn't taste the same in winter. A sweater in August would make one feel very uncomfortable. Look at your life - see how it follows the seasons. The more years we have, the more we understand.

Imagine that, smiling, singing and snapping my fingers on Day 61. I really listened to the words to Love is Strange this time, and it suddenly dawned on me that it is natural to want to love, and be loved again, one day. As the song goes "after you've had it, you're in an awful fix". It may seem crazy to even entertain the idea of loving anyone but him again so early in the grief process, but I realized two things at that moment in the shower.

For one, I'll always be grieving for Mikey. I will never be okay with him dying. This is not how our story was supposed to end. We were supposed to grow old together, see our babies off to college and celebrate our silver wedding anniversary.

But he is gone. This is one variable I can't change or control. I must simply accept that it is, and remember that the moments of sadness are unpredictable. There is no handbook for grief, and no two grieving experiences are alike. It is virgin territory for everyone that embarks on this path. So long as I remember that the sad moments often come out of nowhere, and sometimes with a vengeance, then I can keep an open mind about the future.

Then I also realized if a song about love could make me smile uncontrollably, and get me dancing in the shower, then there is hope for my heart. It is meant to love, and have that love returned, again one day.

So, yes, love is strange. And wonderful. And heartbreaking. But without it, life just isn't worth living.

I choose life.

Jennie lost her husband quite unexpectedly now, 65 days ago. She is a food blogger whose words now are intermiggled with this season of her life that she never saw coming. For Jennie and her girls (injenniekitchen.com), this Season is one they wish they never had to experience. Day 61 gives me hope. For Jennie, for all of us...

Whatever the Season looks like you to you now, whether a Season of Song or a Season of Grief - remember it won't last forever. Jump in the leaves if you can and if not, anticpate the days you will be able to again...

the victim card...

Let's be real here. We have all, at one time or another,insert offense here, played the victim card. Will go out on a limb and further pronounce, it might not be our finest moment. Seems like when we get me focused, we always seem to take, a few emotional steps, backwards.

We all have pity parties. Whenever we feel like, woe is me. Either self-inflicted or feeling like we have been wronged. Once we start down that slippery slope. most of us are doomed to at the very least, a few minutes of self-indulgence. Complete with verbal volleyball on the hows and whys. We feel it like we were a six year old, again.

Sometimes, accompanied with a huge pile of snacks. Other times we are too crazed to eat and tantrums and tears are the place we find ourselves. We want someone to carry us, no longer able to face life, on our own two feet.

One would hope, the older you get - the better you get. That the parties are farther and farther apart because you understand the nature of being a victim. You give yourself and others, less and less opportunity to sting your heart. Only cry over Something once, then never again. You may cry over many things but once experienced, cry only once. Learn and grow.

On a 21 day semi-sugar cleanse that I saw on Pinterest. From today until Halloween. This is day 1 and it is not going well. Seeing a party in my future but refuse to have it on the first day, but when I do, will pull out the card and the sugar-free treats, and one time, will let it fly...

grab and go...

It's the middle of the night, you wake up and the fire alarm is going off, this time it isn't the battery. You realize you have a few Moments to get yourself out the door, to safety.

Let's suppose, everyone is out and you have a few minutes to gather some things from the house, what are you going grab?

I imagine we have all had this conversation with ourselves and maybe even have devised some kind of plan but with all of that set aside, what would you really look to save? Used to think I would grab all my photo albums, now I know it would be better to grab the external hard drive with all my photos on it. Always knew that trying to grab my desktop tower would be unrealistic so, my revised plan would be to grab my iPad.

I have never been in a fire and imagine that those who have, could bring better expertise to this table, but perhaps, it may be a good thing to update our mental plan. We can now go to the cloud with our memories and that would free us up and give us time, to grab Something else. Maybe a prepacked suitcase with favorites collected when time was not an issue.

Wouldn't be a bad idea to use the same kind of planning for the things that go on in our head. Not sure I am prepared for that conversation, what stays - what goes. The older I get, the more I see that as a Real Possiblity, but if I do have a choice, I hope I choose well...


We really don't think too much about those who defend our country, until it hits close to home. Those who give their lives so we can continue to enjoy all the freedoms we have come to think of as, our due. A few weeks ago, this soldier from our town, paid the ultimate sacrifice and someone doesn't want us to forget that. Thank you, Mr Dyas.

We defend our spouses, our children. We defend our choices, great and small. Defending is an honorable human quality. It shows that we are loyal, and we care.

Defend - to ward off, to repel, to prevent, to keep, to prohibit, to forbid, to guard.

Associated with humans by humans, for humans. When it comes to God, perhaps defending is not only not appropriate but maybe, very inappropriate.

God doesn't need us defending him, he can speak for himself. He wants our Love, not our protection. When we start to defend him, we are bringing him down to a human level. If you want to honor him, be thankful for what you have. If you want to help him, let him into your life. Leave the defending to those we honor for honor's sake, for those who in this life, are making the ultimate sacrifices. Defend them hard and fierce. God can take a punch and is fully capable of taking care of himself, do him a favor and let him do his thing...

the apple of His eye...

What is Apple, after all?" Jobs mused to Time. "Apple is about people who think 'outside the box

The day after Steve Jobs announced that when it was time to step down, he would, there was a photo of him that showing why. Looking like the shell of a man, he even was in June at his last Apple appearance, you could tell, his days were few. Every morning, with that photo in the back of my mind - I would scour the news. Yesterday was no different. After a coffee date, I cruised a few Places and then, started doing other things. A few hours later when DH got home and asked if I knew, I immediately knew what he was talking about.

I sat stunned for a while, this man had single-handedly invented the way I was made to hear music. A song library of my choosing, adding to it every week. His talent was beyond anything I had ever witnessed. You add Pixar to the mix, and I am pass, wow. A bit later, when I had composed myself, I couldn't help but thinking about Steve meeting Jesus. I have a feeling when Steve came to the realization where this wonderful outside the box mentality came from, he was a changed man. With the Apple days behind him, he can now just be himself. Edison, Ford and Jobs - imagine that roundtable

RIP Steve Jobs, thank you...


My basic nature is not one of a lighthouse. I like to help, even over help and...I am good at it.

There is quite a bit wrong with that one sentence. even I can see that. Even if we are good at Something, doesn't mean we should do it, each and every time. While it comes in handy, it can also be one's undoing.

Using it wisely is a life long battle. Do I want to feel good about myself at the cost of doing harm, maybe even irreparable harm?? It is not only possible, but deep down or eventually, we know it.

Think of the lighthouse. It is an absurd thought to think of a lighthouse, chasing some down. We know it is not possible, and really stupid...yet, we seem to think, it is for us. True, we are not made of thousands of pounds of wood and rock and a lighthouse that moves is impossible to fathom because even somethings are. I want to be a lighthouse, a real one. One that doesn't move, that is my dream.


1950 -- household budget/Per Time magazine

Food 22%
Housing 13%
Clothing 10%
Health care 3%
Financial/Ins 3%


Food 7%
Housing 18%
Clothing 3%
Health Care 16%
Financial/Ins 8%

Naturally, we would expect that life changes. It seems that things are changing faster now than ever before. What happened between 1950 and 2000 is nothing compared to 2011 to now, would be my guess.

Have read a few things about life being better in the 1950's. fAmilies could take vacations, grownups were working 40 hour weeks and most everyone owned a home. You expected to stay with one company for your years and retire in a comfortable manner.

That would not be the expectations of a 30something person today. They are told to expect at least 13 job changes in their lifetime. As you can see from the chart above, right after housing, their biggest expense will be health care. Never saw that coming.

One of the up sides is technology. We have had 3 sleepover in the last three weeks and they all end up, the same way. Just before bedtime, we call mommy and daddy and siblings on the iPad and say, Goodnight. Even the dog gets in on the action. It is a wonderful time of laughter, I love you's and goodnights. Some things change for the better, think I will focus on those...

There are Places I remember...

We all have Places that make us happy, and as with all Places, there are also some that we associate with dark and scary. The key is not to know the difference but to understand that they are just Places and don't give them more power and emotions that will affect and potentially be life changing...unless it would be a wonderful thing to do so.

fluidity, rather than viscidity

Fluidity - the state of being fluid rather than vicsous.
Viscidity - having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid, an adhesive quality/Wiktionary.

This explains quite a bit to me on a personal level. As I have aged, it has been more and more difficult to make friends, my own age. It was at a church ladies retreat, many years ago that a flash-in-the-pan response changed it all.

Gear down 10 years... She told me to find friends that were 10 years younger. On the outside, it may not seem very profound, but it changed my life. Call it immature or refusal to grow up, I have had a very hard time getting along with people my own age. Nothing in common and my basic refusal to gear down or take on the activities that I just can't bring myself to do.

In conversation with a good friend last week, it occured to me that the answer may in in being fluid versus viscous. The definition certainly fits the feelings I have experienced. Maybe more than any other time in our lives, as we age - if we are flexible, pliable and willing to be, we may find outselves - on our own.

Don't do that, leave it for the young people... was told this month while trying to clean up and load the car. I did not comply.

There is going to be a bigger and bigger cost as I buck those who share my season of life. Gearing down was one of the best things I have ever done. As I match on, my banner raised high, waving the in the wind says, This Girl Runs On Fluidity. They may have to go home and dust off the dictionary to explain it but I would gladly teach them how to Google...