Sunday, December 18, 2005

Moving: A Reason to Clean House!

I moved last Sunday and foolishly thought my home would be in order by today. Silly me! I am a sentimental grandma-wanna-be and continue to move things from pillar to post waiting to share with future generations. I am beginning to realize that everything is getting older, less attractive and sometimes, downright dirty so why am I keeping it?

When I moved, I saw boxes marked with "Children's Toys" and "Stuffed Animals." Keeping in mind that my own "baby" is 25, do I really think I will want to let a grandchild of mine actually touch one of their parent's old toys and potentially put it in their mouth? Of course not! But I cannot bear to part with these pieces of my/their past. I still have a box of "Donna's Old Doll Clothes" which holds precious items made by my grandmother for my little doll Barbara. Barbara bit the dust long ago. There is nothing more pathetic than an old rubber doll that sat in an attic too many years. She got sticky, brittle and even her little eyes looked as though they were afflicted with cataracts!

I helped my grandmother break up housekeeping almost 20 years ago and since that time I have continued to move my grandfather's old garden tools with me. Did I really think I might decorate my home with a scythe or dandelion picker? I also have his old metal hoe and an antique rake. Was I thinking I would turn my den into a Cracker Barrel motif?? I have found a place to hang my grandparent's Chinese Checker board and my uncle's small wooden bat is an heirloom I love.

There are just too many boxes to be sorted and yet I must stay the course! I have to make decisions. How many is ENOUGH candles? Do I think I will ever want to load those old computer programs again?? Why do I need How To manuals on programs that I used at jobs a decade ago? I did not keep the ex so why did I choose to keep that ceramic owl wedding gift?!

Worse yet is my fading optimism that I should keep those smaller sized clothes on the chance I will fit back into them while they are still in style. As I sorted through things this afternoon I recognized I have enough outgrown clothes to start my own thrift store, complete with coordinating shoes, purses and lingerie! Calgon, take me away!!!

There are so many things I had in storage that would have been helpful to the victims of Katrina and Rita. But I realize it is not too late to replenish the stock at any number of benevolent establishments. I am definitely in the mood to lighten my load and if I can just keep that attitude, I may soon be able to stop running the obstacle course each time to the front door. Wish me luck!! Better yet ... does anyone have a blowtorch??

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Stockings are Serious Business

As I mentioned in my last entry, one of the things that makes me happy is filling the Christmas stockings for my kids each year. I have been very fortunate that I have always been with my parents and my children at Christmas every year but one. Sometimes it has been a quick turn around trip but we always seem to be able to work things out. (It helps that the kids' dad's family do their big celebrating on Christmas Eve.)

And now, when my children are 25 and 28, I still make certain they get a specially filled stocking from Santa. In the toe of the stocking is an orange followed by a handful of nuts (in their shells of course). This is a tradition that has continued for four generations. Next I add Hershey's Kisses in the green, red and silver wrappers which have been a tradition for three generations. Absolutely nothing tastes better on Christmas morning when you are opening gifts than that simple bit of chocolate!

After the traditions, I am challenged to be as creative as possible and get as much as I can stuffed into the remaining space. My daughter typically gets a piece of jewelry and my son gets something with an Aggie theme (Texas A&M). There are giftcards from their favorite fast food places, a small book (usually with a religious theme), some form of music, the latest cleaning gadget (the Mr Clean Eraser is this years' pick), something different they would not buy themselves (like citrus flavored toothpaste), a Chick Fil A calendar and a funny stuffed critter coming out the top. I have been known to throw in staples they could use when they were in college, like makeup, contact solution, stamps and vitamins. If I go down the aisles of WalMart in the two weeks prior to Christmas, you can bet I will save my purchases for gifts. That is why I gave the kids batteries one year for their portable CD players. (I don't think they have recovered from that bit of creativity!!)

I have also given them talking picture frames, freeze dried food for camping and disposable cameras. They complained about the calendar so that's history and I have promised my son I will no longer buy Aggie crafts. Not sure why but he did not appreciate the Aggie flashlight I bought one year that was a stick with a match glued on the end. It even had spare batteries (box of matches) glued to the side. He did like the special pen I purchased made from the wood of a tree cut the year the Aggie bonfire fell. That was his sophomore year and it was an especially sentimental gift since he lost two friends in the accident. I am so pleased when I find something special like that!!

The Christmas stocking is also the place where I can place an heirloom being handed down. Like the pair of special scissors I gave my daughter that belonged to her great-grandmother.

You might think these are very large stockings but they aren't. I made them myself and they are 8" wide at the top and about 12 - 15" deep to the heel. My parents have no fireplace so the stockings always "sit" in a chair next to the tree. The calendar use to be what I used to give the stocking some body and keep it from flopping over. Hmmm ... not sure what I'll use this year. Maybe just more nuts!!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Ten Things That Make Me Happy

List ten things that make you happy and then tag five people to do the same.

Jackie, aka upseted, aka has tagged me. I'm in the middle of moving this weekend, but while the computer is still hooked up, I cannot pass up a good meme!

1. Rainbows. I will almost wreck the car if I see one when I am driving.
2. Massage therapy. I do not care what kind... Shiatsu, Swedish, Reflexology ... I love it all.
3. Filling my kids' Christmas stockings. Yes, I know they are grown but Santa still finds us and leaves goodies for Christmas morning.
4. A cold Dr. Pepper.
5. Looking at the stars on a clear night out in the country.
6. Someone playing the piano for me. (This is the one reason I miss the ex. Okay, there is also #2. LOL)
7. Holding hands.
8. Listening to water. A waterfall, crashing ocean waves, a rushing brook, a rainstorm, or even the shower.
9. My crafts. I am really happy when I actually finish a project!
10. The feel of a soft, fleece blanket on a cold night.

Now I am tagging Vivian, Robin (AOL's Guest Editor this week), Jody/dornbrau, Judith and one guy for good measure ... Jon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Do I hear $1 million? Anyone? Anyone?

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The weather is nasty here in the Dallas area so when ice formed on the cars in the parking lot, our boss decided to close the office and we all headed home. Nice to have a little journal time. I was visiting moltenhalo's The Corner and found he had been able to get a personal value on himself showing he was worth over $2.2 million.

I had once been able to determine the value of my old journal but when the bids were finalized on eBay, I found I could not bear to part with it. Little did I know my journal would soon be vandalized and then the property values in my neighborhood went down dramatically. In the end, I had to take the loss and ulitmately I moved to my new "home."

So, running the risk of a repeat devaluation, I still looked into it and learned I am worth $1,964,780 on I guess that is not too bad for this old gal. It is not too late for me to post myself on eBay. I would be a great stocking stuffer, exchange gift at a company party or a Secret Santa goodie . Wadda ya think?? Is there a market for an imitation Mrs. Claus?

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Saturday Six - Episode 86

From Patrick's Weekender

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Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! Enjoy!

1. Is it a "Christmas Tree" or a "Holiday Tree?"

It is a Christmas tree! It's decorated with Christmas ornaments, Christmas lights, and hugged by Christmas gifts.

2. When you purchase a DVD, what of the following are you most interested in watching first: the movie itself, the director's commentary, the deleted scenes, the bloopers or the behind-the-scenes documentary, and why?

The behind-the-scenes documentary is what piques my curiosity first. Why? Because it is so much fun to feel you like you have the "inside track" on what was happening during the filming. A close second is the director's commentary. One of the best was for The Sixth Sense. The director pointed out so many little things I would never have caught myself.

3. What would you most like to accomplish before the year is over?

To move. It happens next week - wheeeee!

4. Take this quiz: After you enter your birthday, you'll be given a lot of facts about your age and astrology: How old are you in dog years?

I took this quiz and learned, among other things, that I am a little over 7 years old in dog years. One thing I learned which I would rather not have known was the on/or about date of my conception. LOL!!! Did I really need to know that? I don't think so.

5. From the same quiz, what does it say your "Life Path Number" is, and do you agree with its description?

My Life Path Number is 9. Much like astrology readings, some fits, some does not.

6. Do you have a piece of jewelry with your birthstone in it? If so, how often do you wear it?

Yes, I have a pair of aquamarine and diamond earrings that I usually only wear in the spring.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

First Annual Dallas Bloggers Holiday Extravaganza!

For the second month in a row the Dallas Bloggers (formerly known as J-landers) got together for fun, food and festivities. This time we gathered at the home of Vivian, Nwanyioma's Journal. Even though our little AOL community has been dealt a blow, we did not let it deter us from coming together and having a wonderful time. I'd say six hours for brunch is more than sufficient, wouldn't you?!

The last time we were gathered Julie, twin sister of Judith at
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, was out of town and unable to join us. This time, Julie was present but Judi, emmapeeldallas, was under the weather and did not make it. We missed you, Judi! It was great to meet you, Julie!!

The food we enjoyed was as eclectic as the participants. Everything was delicious! To avoid indigestion, we kept our grumblings of the AOL ad dibacle to a minimum but all agreed, it was poorly handled and has damaged what was a peaceful, happy little community. We each have handled the situation in our own way and were pleased to know we shall remain friends regardless of where we blog! I suspect we will learn of more bloggers in the Dallas area in our new and various journal homes and our numbers may grow. Vivian was the only one who took pictures this time and, even though she has shared, I'll let her post those on her journal. She has a lovely home which reflects her warm and friendly personality.

I can tell V has been very busy since we were all together yesterday. Check out her
latest journal entry. I am a bit behind but have every intention of catching up soon.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I'm in love!!

It has been a long time since I felt this way! It is difficult to put into words the emotions I have been experiencing in the last 24 hours. My legs are weak ... I can't concentrate ... my eyes flutter open and then close again ... coherent thoughts will not form ... a brief smile floats across my face and then I drift into a peaceful reverie. Ahhh .. yes Christmas has come early to my house.

I am not one normally given to such abandon. Typically, I would remain more discreet and reserved but you are my Internet family and I know I can share this with you. I trust you will respect my feelings, share my happiness and wish me well.





I bought the Homedics, Shiatsu Massaging Cushion from WalMart. I may never get up from this chair.

Isn't he adorable??

Leftovers - Just as good reheated?

How appropriate, after Thanksgiving, to be thinking of re-heating leftovers. (Is that redundant?) So much is happening right now and the best I can do on most days is keep my head above the fray. I am going to focus on adding my old AOL posts to this journal starting back in August so I hope you will enjoy the re-heated entries. Check for “new” August posts.

I enjoyed a nice weekend with my parents and my aunt and uncle in East Texas. My kids had other family members they needed to be with but everyone is coming together at Christmas so we will all be celebrating together then.

I am preparing to move out of my son's house into my own home in just a few short days so decorating for Christmas is a bit hit and miss this year. Christmas is always my most favorite time of year and I have enough decorations to fill a house and three full-size trees. I do not like to over do it so I carefully pick and choose what I set out each year and rotate items to keep from becoming too cluttered. It has been three years since I set up my Christmas Village but it isn't going to see the light of day in 2005 either. And, since I will not be entertaining this year, that means the Christmas dishes, platters, bowls, chip N dip snowmen, etc. will stay packed away. Of course, the outside lights can stay packed as well.

So, what does that leave? Well, for one thing, there is my Santa collection including almost 200 miniature Santas. I promise to post a picture of the little guys as soon as I set them out. I am so silly about my Santas. To be part of my collection they must be full-bodied. Just a Santa head will not do. They cannot be over four inches tall. And, I am partial to the Santas that are unique. I have one little guy who is riding a dolphin, given to me by a friend at work in North Carolina. Another one is Santa taking a bubble bath in a lion claw tub. I must assume he is full-bodied but cannot prove it. LOL Then there is the Santa that is 1/4" tall, the one that is from Russia, and the marzipan Santa. Each one holds a special memory and it just makes me feel good to get them out each year.

Quite by accident I realized one year that I had a large assortment of angel ornaments. I gathered them all together and have enough to decorate a full-size tree. My mother just added two to that collection over the weekend.

I have one large Rubbermaid tub filled with what I have labeled Christmas Critters. In addition to several full-sized Christmas bears, I have a collection of small critters that I perch on each rung of a little ladder leaning on the tree. There is Rodney and Rhonda Reindeer, a polar bear, a fluffy, fat lamb, a donkey, and a teddy bear, just to name a few. They look like they are invading the tree and then a few sit on the branches. Rodney has a half chewed ear from the year of the puppy but he doesn’t mind!

Among my other Christmas goodies are throws, decorative pillows, chair covers, books, pillowcases, games, puzzles, wreaths, CDs, sleighs, baskets, flower arrangements, hat boxes, candles, wall hangings, pictures, Smores, table runners, snow globes, music boxes, frames, a Christmas lamp, stationary, tote bags and the kids’ childhood crafts. The memories!!

Oh, yes. There is also a tree and a few hundred lights and ornaments. It will be interesting to see what gets done this year

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Sunday Seven - Episode 12

Name the top seven stores where you are most likely to do the majority of your Christmas shopping this year. If you can't name seven, name as many up to seven as you can. You can also include online retailers, too.Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment.

1. Dillards
2. Barnes and Noble
3. WalMart
4. Bath & Body Works
5. The Cracker Barrel
6. The Big and Tall Men's Shop
7. Hallmark

Saturday Six - Episode 84

Patrick is continuing this from his new journal home.

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! If you don't have a journal, you can still play, but of course you'll at least need a screen name to be able to leave a comment here. Enjoy!

1. What was the last movie you watched at a theater completely alone? Would you have enjoyed it more or less if you had gone with someone to see it?
I cannot remember the last time I saw a movie alone.

2. What was the last non-sexual thing you did around the house completely naked?
Cleaned my bathroom

3. How well do you know your neighbors? Would you like to know them better or not know them?
The neighbors on one side are very nice and I have enjoyed getting to know them. On the other side, I do not know them as well but from what I see and hear, that is just fine by me. It is never a good sign when you live in a house and can still hear what is happening next door.

4. Take this quiz: How much of a conspiracy nut are you?
You are 25% Conspiracy Nut You are a little bit of a conspiracy nut. You know about the big conspiracies - but it doesn't take up too much of your time. You have accepted that people lie, and get away with everything - so you don't dwell on the loch ness monster too often.

Take this quiz at

5. Of the following "conspiracies" mentioned in that quiz, which single one would you most like the "truth" about and why?

Countries developing deadly diseases to attack others. Why? To have a better understanding of the potential global threats.

6. If you had to create a slogan that defined your life, what would it be?
Bloom where you are planted and always face toward the Son.

(oooo ... I just made this up and I like it!!)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Horton Hears a What?

Fantasia, of “American Idol” fame, has recently revealed she is a functional illiterate who could not even read the lyrics of songs presented to her. She lived with the fear her secret would be discovered and struggled in a world that assumed she could read the contracts placed in front of her. She is currently working with a tutor to help her overcome this obstacle and looks forward to the time when she can read to her young daughter.

I really admire Fantasia’s courage to come forward and tackle what has to be a huge challenge. I cannot imagine a life without the ability to read or write. I take this gift for granted since it has been part of my life for as long as I can recall. My mother read to us children when we were small and I remember being taught Phonics, which unlocked the doors to the quirky English language. No longer did I have to be content with “Fun with Dick and Jane.” I was able to enjoy Dr. Seuss’ “Horton Hears a Who.” And, soon I was introduced to the world of “The Bobbsey Twins” and “Nancy Drew Mysteries.” There was no stopping me. Until now.

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I have recently had a small taste of trying to “fake” my way through words that had no meaning. To look at characters and symbols that lay on the page and did not translate into anything meaningful. To blindly stumble my way through a dense jungle I felt ill equipped to transverse. What dark path has challenged me at every turn? Mastering a blog.

While those around me link and illustrate and enhance their journals, I have lagged behind, trying to figure out how to join the race and not reveal my lack of adequate preparation. I have not remained totally quiet in my ignorance. I have sent emails asking for assistance. I have engaged in IM sessions trying to walk through a task, step by step. But each time I have frustrated myself and at times frustrated the “teacher” as well. They have had to resort to broadcast emails asking for back up. Yikes! They did not know how to help me break through the fog that had so completely surround my brain.

But, I was eventually able to absorb the “Dick and Jane” complexities. I might even give myself enough credit to say I have grasped some of the journal intricacies equivalent to Dr. Seuss’ works. I am learning Blog Phonetics. I feel so good about what I have mastered so far that I am going to do what I can to help others overcome their fears.

So watch this place for future lessons, intended for the novice blogger. I will count on those of you who are far more qualified than me, to catch my mistakes and perfect my “pronunciations.” I want to try and assist others who see the words of instruction but don’t recognize it is a form of English.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

2037 does not seem that far away!

I took this test and, based on my answers, I will probably die of cancer at the age of 84 in 2037. Age 84 seems reasonable to me but funny how 2037 seems too soon. Maybe it is because we are already into the 21st century and I recognize how quickly the days of my life are passing.

I am mentally taking stock of all the things I still want to accomplish and I better get on the stick! (Where did that phrase come from??) I still want to write my script for a Movie of the Week although they do not have Movies of the Week anymore so I guess it will be on the cable channel Lifetime Movie Network. Or, perhaps because of the theme it might be picked up by WE - Women's Entertainment. Who knows? There may be a bidding war over who gets the rights to bring my-life-so-far to the screen with all its wit and pathos and delightfully interesting characters! I certainly know one or two people that would pay to keep it out of public viewing!

In addition to the Movie of the Week, my list is long of things I still want to accomplish.

1. Learn to program the clock on the VCR before it becomes completely obsolete.
2. Visit the remaining United States I have not yet seen. There are only 8 more to go but that includes Alaska and Hawaii.
3. Take an Alaskan cruise.
4. Stay in a chalet overlooking the Swiss Alps.
5. Visit Branson, MO and meet at least three headliners.
6. Kiss John Travolta.
7. Attend the air ballon festival in Albuquerque, NM
8. Plant a garden that does not burn up before it produces.
9. Be able to afford fresh flowers in my house every day.
10. Meet Meryl Streep.
11. Learn to scuba dive.
12. See the fall leaves at their best in Vermont.
13. Take a photography class.
14. Find a hair style I actually like on myself.
15. Get my masters degree in Psychology.
16. Plant an English garden.
17. Get back to my weight in 1992.
18. Learn to design web pages.
19. Take a gondola ride in Venice.
20. See the Sutherland Falls on the Milford Track in New Zealand.
21. See an active volcano.
22. Go to a Yo-Yo Ma concert.
23. Buy another house.
24. Own a Maltese.
25. Ride in a horse-drawn sleigh in the snow. (It is the Currier Ives in me.)
26. Finish all my craft projects.
27. Learn to sculpt.
28. Own a convertible.
29. Take a road trip on a motorcycle.
30. Spoil my grandchildren - when I get some.
31. Win a poker tournament.
32. Follow the Monarch butterfly migration and/or visit El Rosario the Monarch sanctuary in Mexico.
33. Make salt water taffy.
34. Learn to play the harp.
35. Attend a movie premier.

I better get busy!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Mr. Picassohead

I have not felt this artsy since I learned how to use an Etch-A-Sketch. If you have never been to this website you must check it out. The intent is to enable you to create your very own Picasso-like portrait. I got carried away and created three works of art (using that term verrry loosely) in the last two days and learned something about myself in the process. My desire for perfection is in conflict with my inner-Picasso. Each time I would start off great ... adding misshapen forms and oversized features but I could not stop. I wanted my art to resemble reality so I painstakenly reworked each feature. Not that the end result was reminiscent of Michanagelo or DaVinci but I felt better. My palms weren't sweaty, my heart was back to a normal rhythm, my facial tic had subsided but then, we all suffer for our art, right?

I was thrilled when I had company last evening and they commented on the pictures taped on my refrigerator. (wink) I think I'll go to Home Depot today and check on some track lighting for the kitchen.

My three masterpieces are #407466 (My Bad Hair Day), 407485 (Presenting: Successful Surgery), and 407517 (Surprised!)

[Original entry 8/21/05)

Monday, August 15, 2005

Crazy Drivers!!

I live in a large, metropolitan city and the drivers here are crazy at times! I was driving to the store earlier today and somebody in a white sports vehicle was right on my bumper. This always frustrates me and I typically tap on my brake to give the driver the idea to back off but today I didn't because it had recently rained and I was afraid the street might be wet. I was the third car back when we stopped at a traffic light and the very second the light turned green, this jerk behind me tapped on his horn. I couldn't believe it!

I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw the guy's hand on the steering wheel kind of flip up as if to say, "Go!" I flipped my hand in the air in reply with my palm open as if to reply, "What do you want me to do, Butthead? There are cars in front of me!!" As we proceeded down the road, he was still riding way too close on my bumper and I was getting ticked off! But, I behaved myself and did not give him a single digit wave even though I felt he deserved one. The traffic was too heavy to speed up and get out of his way and my turn was coming up anyway. I just muttered under my breath how people were just too impatient and that I was not going to let this single incident get to me.

As I pulled into the turning lane, I looked over my shoulder to try and get a good look at the idiot, and, yes, do some profiling. You know how you have certain mental perceptions of certain drivers? Well, I wanted to see what this guy looked like but I could not get a good view. I was just glad I was turning and he was moving on.

Just then my cell phone rang and as I flipped it open, still steamed by the inconsiderate driver, I hear a voice ask, "Don't you know when you are being followed by your son?!" Aargh! I couldn't believe it! The idiot driver was my own 25 year old! He thought he was just too funny and I had to admit it really was. He said, "I saw you talking to me with your hands!" I told him that I was just glad I had not "said" what I was thinking!!

And, I have got to learn to recognize his new car.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Remembering the power of one cent

Gas was 35 cents a gallon when I started driving. It just does not seem possible that it is now averaging $2.50 a gallon and still on the rise. I won't mention the "I" word but I have been reminiscing about what a single penny could purchase when I was a kid. Today, if a penny is spotted on the ground, many feel it is hardly worth the effort to bend over and retrieve it. I still get excited when I find any amount of money!

I can remember when I could buy three Tootsie Rolls for 1 cent. Or I could get five sugar coated lemon drops, not that I wanted those but that was a lot for one penny. Licorice came in red or black rolls for a penny. There was also the Pixy Stix straw filled with tart flavored sugar for a single cent. (I read somewhere that many of us are probably suffering from Pixy Stix lung because it was so easy to accidently inhale the contents of those straws!) There were little wax bottles filled with a sweet liquid, barrel shaped hard candies that tasted like root beer, or the Atomic Fire Ball - each for only one cent!

But the best bargain of all, for me, was Bazooka Bubble Gum.

For one penny, I could enjoy a piece of delicious gum (scored in the middle in the event I wanted to share or save half til later) wrapped in a comic and my very own fortune! Talk about your market bundling! And, the little tiny print told you how to send off for prizes when you had saved enough comics. Wow!

I never did save enough comics to be worth while but it would have been fun to send off for the prize catalog. Of course, for that, I would have had to justify the use of a five cent stamp.

The Penny

You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc. This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story. I'm not sure who wrote this originally but it gives you something to think about.

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.

As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?

Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She causally mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?

"Look at it." He said. "Read what it says."

She read the words "United States of America."

"No, not that; read further."

"One cent?"

"No, keep reading."

"In God we Trust?"



"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!"

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful!

And, God is patient...Have a blessed day!!

Wish I'd Said That


The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
-Helen Hayes (at 73)-

I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows.
-Janette Barber-

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
-Lily Tomlin-

A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car.
-Carrie Snow-

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry with your girlfriends.
-Laurie Kuslansky-

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.
-Erma Bombeck-

Old age ain't no place for sissies.
-Bette Davis-

Inside every older lady is a younger lady wondering what the hell happened.
-Cora Harvey Armstrong-

A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't.
-Rhonda Hansome-

The phrase "working mother" is redundant.
-Jane Sellman-

Every time I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows.
-Jennifer Unlimited-

Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
-Charlotte Whitton-

Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.
-Caryn Leschen-

I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
-Jennifer Unlimited-

If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing loss. And they called ME slow!
-Kathy Buckley-

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb -- and I'm also not blonde.
-Dolly Parton-

If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing them.
-Sue Grafton-

I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on.
-Roseanne Barr-

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. -Elayne Boosler-

Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.
-Maryon Pearson-

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.
-Margaret Thatcher-

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriageand a career.
-Gloria Steinem-

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.
-Zsa Gabor-

Nobody can make you feel inferior withoutyour permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
-Anais Nin-

Monday, August 08, 2005

Remember test patterns in the middle of the night?

After reading a recent email that took me down Memory Lane, I couldn’t help but recall other bits of nostalgia from my own childhood. My earliest memories are from the black and white television era of the late 50s. Our first television was housed in a large wooden console and, in those days, when you wanted to change to any of the five channels that were offered at the time you had to actually get out of your chair and manually turn the channel selector knob. But our television was more high tech. The channel changer was a rotary dial and you pressed the button of the desired channel and it started to automatically change to each channel until it reached the one you had depressed. Ooo – ahhhh. We kids almost wore it out, pressing buttons and enjoying the wonders of automation. You still had to get off your duff to go press the button but it was worth the effort!
There wasn’t as much programmed viewing in those days and each evening the stations eventually signed off with the recital of the Television Code, the playing of the national anthem and the screen went to an Indian head test pattern with an annoying test tone. I’ve read up a little on this (I love Google!) and learned that the purpose of the test pattern design was to help you adjust your vertical and horizontal linearity. Duh! Who knew? We always did that in the middle of a program.


I am not sure who should get the credit for this wonderful walk down memory lane, but I thank my friend Benny for sharing it with me.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!! First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking. As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because we were always outside playing! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cellphones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chatrooms.......... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And YOU are one of them! CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good and while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the housewith scissors, doesn't it?!?

Because I will never be a standup comedian - that's why!

My daughter came by this evening and I shared both of my new blogs with her. She doesn't get it. She read some of my entries .... put her hands over her face and said something to the effect of , "You have got to get a life!" I have a life and journaling in a blog is now part of it! I may not be very good and I may not be as humorous as I think I am but it is one way of expressing myself that I enjoy. I wish I had kept up with the blog I started 8 months ago. Oh, the stories I would have told! But, having no time for regret, I will move forward with this public blog and the other blog in private. She is too busy with her career and new marriage to have time to stop and read. I enjoy reading - always have. As a child I read the back AND sides of the cereal boxes. I read the instructions that come with appliances. I pause the TIVO and read the vanity card that Chuck Lorrie adds at the end of every episode of Two and A Half Men. (Looks like a Blog entry to me!!) I read the little tiny print of the labels slapped on prescription bottles. (Of course, I have to look over the top of my glasses to read anything that small!) I read the acknowledgements on CD dust covers. (When they were albums they were dust covers. What are they called now when a disc comes in a plastic shell?) I subscribe to several magazines and read them all. I read the news on the internet. And, of course, I read books. I have five bookcases full and am considering cataloging them like the library. [wink] I have loaned too many books that were never returned - usually to former co-workers. By now the book has sat on their shelf long enough they think of it as their own. But one day, when they dust it off and open the cover, they will see my address label and tada! I will be rejoined with my long lost friend. And, it will be nice to hear from the co-worker, too!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

I am directionally challenged - even on Memory Lane

Why is it, when I have a 50 - 50 chance of getting it right, I consistently turn the wrong way? Was I born with an internal compass chip missing? Before I started to drive I never noticed but from the first time I sat behind the wheel, I have never been certain - left or right? Don't even try to tell me something is North or South, East or West!
My dad still shakes his head when we talk about how confused I would get backing out of the driveway. During the time I had my learner's permit, I was allowed to drive the family to church. Now, I had been to the same church building multiple times a week ever since we had moved to this town, but as I put the car in reverse and slowly backed out the driveway, I had to step on the brake, turn to my dad and ask, "Which way?" For a man who traveled for a living, he was not amused.
Luckily, I did not move often after I started to drive so eventually I paid enough attention to be able to get myself back home after a trip to the store. And, since I have lived in larger communities all of my adult life, I can eventually find anything I want in every direction. Yes, I meant to go this way!!
There is a major street near me and, if I can find my way to Josey Lane, I can survive! I have checked and in addition to the police station, the post office, a fire station, a public library, a hospital, dentists, eyecare and every imaginable type of medical doctor, I have access to multiple pharmacies, banks, gas stations, dry cleaners, department stores, and 17 varieties of drive through fast food all on this very special street. It gives me a peaceful feeling that I will not have to make any turns until I have reached my destination.
On Josey, you have your choice of places to live - houses, condos and plenty of apartment complexes. There are several real estate agents to sell you a house, or if you already have one, there are plenty of specialty stores to help you with paint, wallpaper, interior decorating or pool supplies.
Within a seven mile strip there is also a bakery, tailor, florist, locksmith, travel agent, humidor, and vet. I can get my shoes repaired, shop antiques, put my old clothes on consignment, arrange for insurance, get financial counseling, receive check cashing assistance, or put things in storage. I can shop for groceries in at least three different languages. I can enjoy multiple buffets or sit down dining. To meet my personal needs, I can have my hair done, get a manicure, pedicure, facial, tan, exercise, or be tattooed. I can be tutored, take karate lessons, learn to dance, indulge my hobbies or find all my party supplies.
Without turning a corner I can hire a maid or temporarily staff my office, get my vacuum cleaner repaired, upgrade my computer, play pool, sing karaoke, rent videos, or receive physical therapy. I can go to rehab or buy discount shoes, cigarettes, tires and beauty supplies. My car will not lack for attention on Josey Lane since there I can purchase it gas, auto parts, have the oil changed, the brakes checked, as well as have it lubed or inspected. If I am ready for a change I can even replace it with a used car. Yes, I have found nirvana and her name is Josey. But one thing is missing. There is no funeral home on Josey. But then, I do not have to worry about getting lost while trying to find it - someone else will be driving.

I have to write it down before I forget

Blogs are still an internet novelty but from the time I was introduced to my first one (Thank you, Mike Cope), I have been intrigued with the possibilities. I started my own blog several months ago and wrote a couple of test journal entries. Before I got the courage to share the site name with anyone, I was side-tracked and, much to my chagrin, realized later I could not "find myself." How lame is that? This time I am more resolved to stick with it. I keep a spiral notebook handy now and wrote down the name of this Blog. So, if I can just keep track of the spiral, I am all set!