she, her, me...

This weekend proved to me, once again, how many strong woman are in my life. The woman who gave me this sign because she said, It screamed, you, is also, one. It can't all be me, some are related some are old friends, some share the same blood. Whatever is going on in our lives, at any given moment, is always paired with passion. Strong women are all about passion. Very few of us have any neutral territories in our lives. Even the barren ground has stakes with signs that state the intended use, Coming Soon!

It is like looking in a mirror. Gives you a great sense of yourself and how you come off to others. The worse part is if one is with a few or more of these ladies who are all being passionate at the same time. Just walk away.Especially if you are in the middle of a passion Moment of your own.

You have to remember to breath.
You have to remember, this too shall pass.
And most important of all, you have to remember, you are one of them...

the photographer...

My friend posted an article about if you are a guest at a wedding, please be careful about taking photos. The couple has spent good money for a photographer and videographer and you, Mr and Miss Guest, are in the way.

That train has long left the station. Been to a wedding recently? Everyone has a cellphone and has tweeted, FB or whatever their choice of intenet travel and it is everywhere. Got to say, have seen seen a bride or groom disappointed, to say nothing of mad? No and you won't. If the bride and groom feel that way, they need to give written instructions when guests are invited and that, is not going to happen.

There are even apps now that will link anyone's cell phone to any given wedding, and the bride and groom get a whole set of photos that the wedding photographer could never get. They are only one person.

I have shot weddings and know a bit about them. That said, I will never, ever be a first shooter at a wedding again. At the NFL wedding we just attended, I shot 336 photos, one of the first was my grandson and one of his football idols who came out of a photo booth, grabbed Gage, put on a feather thing and oversized glasses and told me to take a picture. What a night!

Talking to a friend's daughter yesterday and she attended a wedding where the bride and groom gave out prizes for the best Instagram photos during the wedding. It is a new world, my friends.

The photographer at this wedding, knew her stuff. She looked as relaxed as could be. She just kept shooting around all of us. Great respect for her, she had a bit of time after the ceremony to take pictures and a few at the reception but the rest, were on the run. If I was interested in doing wedding photography, I would learn to embrace the technology and figure out how to make it work. This is not going away, ever. Shooting in tandem with wedding guests is the new normal and I for one as a guest, am having a ball...


Heard an interesting tidbit from my SIL the other day... It doesn't matter what time you go to bed, your body resets itself at 5am. Those who wake up before don't get that reset and have a shortened life expectancy. Apparently those who work the 12am shift have a shorted shelf life that those who work day shift.

I am an early riser. More accuartely an early waker - upper. With some help from my doc, it is a bit better now, but I still have to work for it. Most night/mornings, I just get up and start engaging my brain. News, FB, music and well before you know it, it is time for everyone else to get up. I already have 5 hours in under my belt.

Since this new information has come my way, I am trying to learn to stay asleep. This morning was a trial run and unexpectedly, it worked. What was different, what changed? only the inward resolve that try as you may, we aren't going to engage. We are staying in bed, awake if necessary. I went through a few of my rituals but the engagement kept creeping in. Finally, I went to my homeless shelter place. It is where I imagine I am homeless, sleeping on a mattress about 4 inches off the floor. I have a great line of sight under all the cots. I continue to listen to the noises around me, near and far. NO thinking about how I got here, that would be defeating the purpose but just taking it all in. This is a prayer for me, has been over the years. My father was homeless for a time, I iamgine what it must have been like for him.

I awoke a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off. It worked. To purpose to not engage my brain had allowed it to return to sleep. For me, this is a very big deal. 5am is still a wonderful time to be awake. The world is still, still in quiet and in the state of non-doing. While I will not always be successful at being asleep at 5am, I will try this again. Engagement is my default. I hit the florr running everyday. Want to be able to say that you can teach an old day new tricks and be, that dog...

crossing lines...

We each have lines in our lives that we won't cross. It has nothing to do with peer pressure but everything to do with how we are hard wired.

Not talking about obeying rules of a religion or an employer. Talking about the nevers in our lives. REgardless of what everyone else thinks or does, these are not in our sight of vision. Saying no when everyone else is saying yes. We can waver and move nevers from camp to camp but these are usually generational changes that come with age and a big does of, I was wrong. Accelerated from the inside out, not the other way around.

Sometimes we hear of someone's line and think, Really? That is where you draw the line? Remember this isn't about right or wrong, necessarily but by an inward push/pull. I remember when my dad and who would become my stepmother, moved in together. I was horribly embarrassed and lied, saying they were married. When they got married, I had to make up another Story. I was not raised in a house with rules and certainly none having to do with being married, yet that was a deal breaker for me and made up a Story, to make it ok.

Know your lines, understand them.
If they change, change with them.
If it feels wrong, don't start now.
Stand your ground.
If you are wrong, and proven wrong, let yourself off the hook.
Life is too short to not listen to that still, small voice...

manipulation, the good and the bad...

If you sense you're being manipulated, walk away. Don't try to change a manipulator. They'll do it till it stops working.Donald Miller.

If this is news to you, you are about to learn a powerful tool in your life. If you are unclear about when and who has maniputated you, get smart quickly. The thing is, it is always the same MO( method of operation). Once you understand it, it is like a bike - you never forget.

I learned it early growing up. It was part of the Daniels 1.0 guide to learning how to survive and learn it fast. Whether from family or friends, it always starts the same way. The only difference is how you finish it. Keep giving in and they will keep coming back. Refuse to play along and they will find someone new, it is just the nature of the beast but it will not be your problem any more. Would like to say I learned all this overnight, but sadly, I did not.

Remeber the children's story, the Emperor's New Clothes? Subtle and non-existant. Because he couldn't face the truth, he went along with the tailor. Where did it get him? Butt naked, sublte enough for you?

And yet, when my grandchildren do it, and make no mistake, yours do or will also, it is a wonderful thing. They already walk around with your heart, and you have a great opportunity to guide them or just abandon yourself to them, and give them whatever you can. It is the best kind of manipulation because you own it. That is the difference between us and the king. Own it now, own it often and don't let anyone lead you. Lead yourself, pull up your Big Girl panties and be able to lay your head down at night, knowing you did your best. That is all that is ever asked of any of us...

vegan sneakers...

They put their logo on pencil cases and sweatpants. They partnered with Macbeth Footwear, run by Blink 182's Tom DeLonge, to sell vegan sneakers...Time

Vegan sneakers. I must be getting old.

It takes a lot of effort to keep up with what the younger generations are doing and even more, to understand them. Yet I see it everyday. The world is changing, some for the good, some for the not so good.

Keaton passed me in shoe size last year. A few months ago, he surged past me in height. I knew the day was coming but wan't ready for it yet. Much like the vegan sneakers, it has not Real to me yet very Real to the world. Maybe not but it seems like these days are changing faster than any other. What's old is new again. Retro is back big time, makes me with I still had those orange and yellow flowered sheets from the 70's. Could get a pretty penny on Ebay for them now and my orange toilet, don't get me started. yes it was in the living room and yes, it was a planter.

I love the app where you aim your phone at a song while it is playing and it tells you who is singing it. Now, that is putting technology to good use. I stay as current as Twitter allows me. The last few years I have learned more on social media than any other medium. No longer having to wait for anything, nothing says immediate gratification as well as Google. Instant information available 24/7, 365, all for the taking.

Now, if only I could use to slow my grandson from becoming a man. I did see that there are people working on keeping kids little and not growing up. Maybe him growing up isn't so bad but every other week! Keep up Sister, run the race, you can do it...

first responders...

I have said before, I don't believe in heroes. I believe that people do ordinary things in herotic ways.

When you are making a choice as to your life's work, you know the risks of said work. You may choose work where you can help. That is in your nature, risks, be damned. If you choose to be a policeman, firefighter, the military, a doctor or nurse, you know trauma will always be involved. The rest of us become stockbrokers and car salesmans, for reasons all their own.

Even me, the glass half-empty girl, believes that when in a fight or flight situation, most of us are not only willing to help but by instinct, will jump in. Nothing extraordinary, just doing what is needed in the Moment. It comes as naturally as breathing. Those are the Moments that are heralded as herotic, yet are instinct-based.

If I did believe in heros, it would look must different thatn the standard definition. My hero would be flawed severely. There might even be some madness involved. To me, being a hero would be going against what might come naturally and able to forgive themself and try again. The absense of flaws, is not possible in any of us. We have good and bad, we are black and white. Some of us are a big more unbalanced and some, are just off the charts and should not even be asked to participate into this conversation.

Tested out my thoughts on the guy in the grocery right behind me this morning. He said that people called him that when he came back with two bullet holes from WW2. He also said all he was trying to do was get home, get married and have a family. He blames the Rocky movies for the elevation of heros these days.

I appreciate and honor all those who hear the cry for help and run in that direction. We can feel good about what we do. Sometimes, you may find yourself in a battle you didn't sign up for. Imagine that you would kick being a human into high gear and do your best. That is all we ever ask, just do your best. The thing is, it looks different on each one of us and that is Sometimes, hard to remember...

RIP Brennan Manning...

My phone whistled, and the text from my friend said, Brennan Manning has died. I started to cry. It was not just because of losing a trusted mentor. I knew he had been ill with alsohol related brain disorder brought on by his chronic alcoholism. Yes, one who taught me about the love of Jesus because he knew it personally.

The last time I saw him, I already knew. One does not forget that smell. I walked up to him after a series of lectures and I smelled him, long before I got to his table. That smell that you instinctively know. The smell you knew forget. The smell of the habitual intake of alcohol. The smell that last long after the last drink which may have been an hour ago or much longer. I knew before he came clean with his struggle. I nver said anything to anyone. I was in christian shock. How could someone talk about the love of God and have an issue as deadly as the sin of drink? How little I knew then, now I know.

It may not be drink for your and me.
It may be brownies, or shopping or the internet.
We all struggle and those that say they don't, are lying.

Yet, the last couple of weeks have been filled with more than a few deaths. One was very close, and the news of Brennan's death... started the tears and it would be a while before I could contain them. Still feeling a bit weepy, yet I know how his body had given up on him a long time ago and the greatest gift he could get was, death. No more pain, either physical or emotional. He is now with his Abba. All these years of talking about Him, now it is time to experience it first hand.

Richard Francis Xavier Manning, we wish you peace. RIP, we will miss you...

why here, why me?

One of the recurring thoughts in my life is why was I born here?

Why the United States of America? Why not Russia or China or India? I won't know that answer to that in this lifetime. Maybe never, but it doesn't stop me from asking. When you read of the countries who would give their eye teeth for clean drinking water. Forget about big screen TVs and iPad, a full belly would delight them. A delight that I am not capable of understanding.

If I lived in Sri Lanka or England or france, would I be envious or feel like a dodged a bullet at not being born in the USA? I always think every other country would kill to move their familes here but that is not altogether, true. We are a legend in our own minds. There are days, I am ashamed at our behavior or lack of. We have the resources, the intellect and the stamina to make more good choices than bad yet that doesn't seem to be the way it goes.

In the space of 1 hours on Thursday, there were five threat made to 4 local schools. By that evening, three business had also been targeted. Friday, it happened at Keaton's middle school. His text said he had been outside, standing, waiting. He said the admin moved the kids away from the building, with no explanation. Less than an hour later, they got the all clear.

You can not go a day without hearing about a shooting. Schools, mall, movie theaters. It is changing the way we think, and the way we do business. Will admit, have been thinking about taking a concealed weapon class and buying a gun. Never, ever thought I would consider this. Never thought about having to protect myself or my loved ones in this way. Never.

The older I get, while I still feel fortunate to live in this great country, I can see the flaws and fess up. Eyes wide open and with Newtown, firmly in my mind, a waving flag - still gets to me. Pray for our nation, pray for each other. We are in uncharted territory. We are truly learning to live in the Moment. God bless us all...

normal day...

Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you and bless you as you leave. Let me not pass you by in hopes of a perfect tomorrow. Mary Jean Iron.

It doesn't get any easier than this.
It doesn't get any harder than this.

How can that be? Easiest and hardest? Make sense, please.

Are you going to a wedding or a funeral?
Are you home alone or in a meeting in a crowded room?
Can you focus on right where you are or is your mind, off and running?

If we wait for the perfect time to_____ (insert wish list here).
It will never happen.

If we ignore it ______ (insert issue here)
We think it will go away.
It doesn't.
It never will.

Mormal day, let me be aware of the treasure that you are.
Let me learn from you.
Love you.
Bless you are you leave.
Let me not pass you by in hopes of a perfect tomorrow.

Could it real be this uncomplicated?
What do we bring to the table that makes it seem almost impossible at times?

Going to focus a bit more this week, see if I can't make this a daily prayer. The perfect time is now and I am jsut the girl to give it a go...


Today she is eight. How did that happen?

The easy answer is one day at a time. Days still feel like hours to her. She is still at the age where anything is not only possible but life is going to go on, forever. She has no defined concept of time. If she is in want, it is dire and if she is not, life is good. Maybe not a bad way to live. maybe I could learn something.

She doesn't know that yesterday 5 local school had bomb and personal injury threats within one hour's time. Or that her mommy got a text while we were all having her Birthday Lunch that his school had been evacuated and would stand outside for over an half hour before returning to their buildings. She does not not where Newtown is and what occured there. Today she is in birthday bliss and no one can make her shake it off, as it should be.

Happy Birthday Miss M! I hope you have many more carefree birthdays! It is your day and we are following your lead. Sometimes Real Life is overrated. Don't let the bad guys get you down. Define yourself but the good in your life, not the bad. Thank you for being the best, I love you to infinity and beyond...XO nana.


We talked about the Wow factor in bookclub the other night. Help, Thanks, Wow is one of my favorite right now and Annie Lamott makes me smile. Someone asked if the Wow factor lessens as we age. Most of us thought it did not. I agree.

When you are young, you are pretty much your own Wow. You think nothing bad can happen and if it does, it won't affect you. Then comes career, family and kids. You still think you have a little Wow left but it is has grown a bit dull. A few more years, and you are running ragged with no Wow to be seen for miles. While the Wow changes, what is looks like and where you find it, aging gives you the time and clarity to not only see the Wow but look for it more, in places you never imagined.

For me now, Wow can be in the BIG or little things. It can come in an instant and be gone, just as fast. It can come in the form of a glance, or a face. It can be a person, place or thing. Yet no matter what form, it always, always points to the One, who made it. It reminds one that we are little fish in Huge pond, yet we are all loved deeply by the Fisherman. We are not privy to the same Wows, we see what we need to see. We are all given, and it is up to us to, allow ourselves those precious Moments.

I have had a great many Wow Moments, maybe more than my share. Praise Him for those Moments, those times when only a Wow would do. I am seeing them more and more, doesn't get much better than that...

I do...

There are two events that bring us into the Moment, in a real way, real fast. Weddings and funerals. I love them both.

Will save the whole funeral experience for another post but suffice it to say, I do love funerals. DH says I may be the only one. I am good with that.

A wedding will take you back to yours. Or your best friend's or your second cousin. even with all the culture changes, they follow a basic pattern. Get married, and party. The colors are different, there may or not be a tradional cake, and the music may be sweet and romantic or funky and loud. Dpending on how we are attached to said bride or groom, will set the tome for how many people we may know. There may be much catching up to do, or you may find yourself, alone.

We all adapt. At this wedding, I knew few people and was surprisingly, chatty. Made frieds with a sports agent and we were chatting I mentioned a blog post by Donald Miller last week about the twenty-something generation and he immediately, got on his phone and directed his attention to that post. One does experience different conversations in direct preportion to how well you know the crowd. You either find your way or stand aside. This wedding was all about football players. They were a joy to watch, like watching a bunch of jr boys except they were all huge and very, very well-dressed.

But just like my own wedding, there was a bride, groom, cake and people. Mine was much smaller which makes it tough to hide, like one of my DH's friend's and his wife who misread the invitation and showed up the night after the wedding. I do or did, indeed...


At his age, I had no idea of what I wanted to do when I grew up. He does and already has an agent.

He has grown up around the blue turf. He explained all about it to his new agent, Chase. Poppa explained the history of building the stadium and how they used buckets, not huge trucks in to dump concrete. Being a fossil sometimes, helps. I think Chase has Gage;s back now.

We are a mixed of bag of what we like, what we have been through and what we think. Not always in balanced preportions yet we mostly manage to find our way, eventually. Some get a headstart, others of us have to think fast on our feet. Either way, we are built to accomdate both schools of thought. Thank God.

You can take the boy out of the blue but you can never take the Blue out of the Boy...

6 degrees of seperation...

It is not often in this life that you get to go to a special event. It is not often you get to bring such joy, to one you love.

We had the wonderful opportunity of attending a wedding where the groom plays in the NFL and all his buddies are there too. A group of them sat in front of us at the wedding and were what I expected, still acting like little boys. So excited to see each other, high fiving and hugging... the whole nine yards.

At the reception, more trickled in. We sat with two football agents who are already geared up to sign Gage in a few years. Someone even got them so scream, Show me the MONEY! It was a magical night. Not often do you get to see your football heroes, dance the night away.

He has looked forward to this, for months. It did not disappoint. Still on Cloud 9, we will attempt to get through the day. Rock on little dude, rock on. Chase said he will be ready for you. Thank you Shea and Sam for a wonderful time and Congratulations, may God bless you both...


For or against. It comes down to these two camps. Most of the time, we could give you an instant answer when asked on most any subject. Some, take more thought.

It is good to know what one stands for. It is not good, to define oneself but what you are against. Not good for you, not good in community.

Know where you stand. The old adage, if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything, has merit. Those who can never seem to pick a position, are asking for trouble. We each need a basic set of beliefs and then build on those, by what we are for, not against. Go ahead and be against Something but make sure, it does not define you. That it is not your motivater. That is a part, not a whole of who you are.

Today, it may be boys. Tomorrow, who knows. She made each of her brothers Easter cards where she shared what she loved about both of them. She is so for them, just not in her room, right now...

You did not make the iPhone. When the iPhone was being dreamed up, you were in kindergarten. You use the iPhone. And when you post a picture of your vacation, it doesn’t make you a genius, it makes Steve Jobs a genius. Steve Jobs is dead. And he died when he was your parent’s age. You’re alive. He can’t create something new, but you can. The ball is in your court.Donald Miller.

Never thought about the Steve Jobs thing. Apple is now the boss of us and run by 20 somethings but they haven't come up with many original ideas. The path has been set for them, laid out a couple of years ahead. Steve Jobs knew he was dying, others will not get that luxury. Each generation thinks their ideas are better, more hip and each have to some degree, been wrong. Donald Miller's prediction that much, more will be expected, sounds like Word to me.

We are people, humans and that basic nature will never change. You can doll it up or dress it in evil, whatever spin you are trying to create to prove your point but the bar can and has been set higher than at any other time. That doesn't change human behavior. Let's just pray that each generation uses it's powers for good.

You are not more entitled than any generation before you. Even if your parents paid for your education, and you have an iPhone(that your parent’s generation created) and can tell one-thousand people what you ate for lunch, you are not special. You are one in several billion people who God made, and you are equal to each of them, no matter how wealthy they were or how poor they were. In fact, with the tools you have been given, much more is expected of you than of any previous generation, and much more will be expected of your children.