For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

If You're Happy and You Know It....

At the age of 52 (I think), I have had my share of loss:

bone density
muscle tone

I try to do whatever I can to slow down this aging process.
I take vitamins for my eyes.
I take calcium and vitamin D for my bones.
I do weight training at the gym for my bones and muscle tone
I wish there was something to do about thinning hair because I never had a lot to begin with!

I was sooooo happy when I read an article
the other day about how to increase brainpower!

It's a very simple thing that I can do anywhere, 
although it is much more fun with a partner.

Hand clapping games may be the answer 
to all of us aging baby boomers with failing memories!

A recent study has concluded that
clapping games build brainpower
for children AND ADULTS!

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it,
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands

 So clapping games aren't just child's play anymore.

College students are doing it!
Men and women!

People of ALL ages are doing it!

All over the WORLD!

So hop on the bandwagon!

You might be sorry in a few years if you don't.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When Did you Realize You Were an Adult?

As we are growing up, we look forward to the time when we will be an adult.   In our minds, we picture just when that time will be.  Maybe when we get our driver's license!  Or our first job!  Or .....

I guess it's different for everybody. 

For sure, when you turn 18 you are getting close, right?

I have been thinking about this question lately, and after 52 years of growing, I now know exactly when I realized I was an adult.

It wasn't when I graduated from high school...

I wasn't even close to feeling like an adult back then.

Was it when I graduated from college?

No, but I felt I was getting close!

It wasn't when I got my first apartment...

It wasn't when I met the man I knew I would marry...

It wasn't even when we bought our first house...

You would think I would have felt like an adult when I had children and all the responsibilities that go with that that role...

But no.  I kind of felt like I was playing house.  I wasn't really an adult yet.

I remember wondering when I would stop feeling like a kid. 

When would I finally feel like I was all grown up?

When my mom was at the end of her life after her cancer diagnosis, I still felt like a kid.
My dad was still in charge.

I started to feel growing pains after my mom died. 
I felt like my father needed me. 

For the first time, he wasn't my tower of strength.
For the first time in my life, I felt as if I needed to carry him.
Our roles were reversing.

When my dad had his stroke and was in the hospital, I really felt like my childhood was ending.
It was a scary thing.
My tower of strength, wisdom, and stability had fallen.

But I held onto a glimmer of hope that he would stand tall once again.

But that was not meant to be.

I know the exact moment I realized I was an adult.

It was the moment I was no longer anyone's child.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blessings in Disguise

We pray for blessings all the time.
We ask God to help us do this, or do that.
We ask God to watch over our loved ones
              and take care of them.
We ask God for guidance.
We ask God for wisdom.
We ask God for protection.
We ask God for healing.

If things turn out the way we want, then we thank God for answering our prayers.

What if we don't get the expected result?

I came upon this song last week that really touched me personally.  Take a listen and see what you think.

 When Laura Story wrote this song, her husband had just had surgery to remove a brain tumor.

As I think back on all of prayers I fervently asked God to answer, there were so many that didn't get answered, at least not in the way I expected.

I had a pretty uneventful life until I was in my mid-twenties.   Things had always seemed to come easily to me - school, home, friends, life.

Since then, I have had my share of heartache and loss.

Miscarriage, five years of infertility. five years of unanswered prayer.

Or was it unanswered?

Those 5 years of working, saving money, and desperately wanting children enabled me to be a stay-at-home mom, something that has been such a blessing to me and my children.

My mother passed away of throat cancer a few years ago. 
No answered prayers here.
Well, she always prayed that she would not want
                        to survive my dad.
She was no longer suffering.
I was given the chance to "be there" for my dad
                        in his pain.
I became even closer to my dad.

Two years later, my father had a stroke and other health issues.
I knew what a fighter he was and prayed that he would recover.
He passed away 2 months later.
During those last months of his life,
                                       he showed me real determination.
He gave me courage I didn't think I had.
He touched so many people during that time.
During those months, I got to know my brother
                                                     like I never had before.
My family pulled together to do what was best for my father.

If all of my prayers had been answered the way I expected,
                                 I would not be the person I am today. 
I would not be as strong. 
I would not be as wise.
I would not be as courageous.
I would not be as close to God.

Monday, September 19, 2011


 Blogging is a nice way to keep in touch with friends and family so they can know what is happening in my life.

I look at a stats report pretty frequently so I can see which posts are popular.

Another piece of information given on the report is how people get to my blog. For instance, it tells me how many people enter the site through Facebook (where I always post a link) or if they just type in the blog name directly.

 Another way people find my blog is through a google search. 

Many people just google "gayle tales".

BUT others are obviously not trying to find my blog. These are really interesting to look at, and at times makes me laugh!

I'd like to share some of these googles with you.

1.  "how to create a glee background in photoshop"

There are sooooo many people that want to know how to do this!  Glad I could help!

2.  "happy baby baptism"

This is from the blog I wrote on Annie's birthday.

3.  "minga gumby's sister"

This is Kerry from the blog I wrote on her birthday.

4.  "What eyes look like on crack"

Hahahahah!  This was from the blog on my bloodshot eyes!

5.  "images under the Charter Oak Bridge"

There's Mel! It's from the day we had a photo shoot in Hartford and we took this picture under the Charter Oak Bridge.

6.  "build a city for matchbox cars"

This is from Adam's birthday blog!

 7.   "upside down faces"

This picture is from the blog I wrote about how awful I look with my head upside down!

8.  "cats and dogs together animal big eyes"

 Kerry!   Very funny!

 9.  "Unusual photo session"


10.   "girls eat rabbit"

 11.  "jojo six"  This was a google search from someone in Egypt. 

 I don't know what a jojo is in Egypt, but I'm sure this wasn't what they were looking for!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More Maddie!

It's been a while since you've seen our newest addition to our family, so I would like to let you know a little bit about what Maddie has been up to.

Maddie is going on 9 months old now.

She is a really small cat.

Maddie loves to play in bags.

She also likes to sleep in bags.

Maddie still enjoys playing with toys...

... and leaves

...and toilet paper

...and visiting birds

She enjoys a good stretch...

and a good nap.

Maddie's biggest sources of entertainment continue to be Momo

and Tigger...

much to their dismay!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels

My kids take great pleasure whenever I don't understand the lingo of their world.  Their faces were glowing when I didn't know what MILF meant, and thought it especially funny when I teased them and said I was a MILF!

On another occasion,  I told them to keep some information on the QT.  They had never heard that expression and assumed I meant to say "keep it on the DL" but got the letters wrong.  I had to explain that both expressions mean the same thing. Back in my day "QT" stood for "quiet".

This got me thinking about all of the other expressions that were common in my family when I was growing up.

A little background on my family would probably be helpful before I continue.

My mother grew up in an Irish family with 4 brothers and one sister.  They say the Irish are blessed with the "gift of gab" and storytelling.  I can vouch for that.

My mother had quite a variety of expressions.  Every now and then, I will use one of them without thinking and I surprise myself!

Here are just a few of hers that I remember:

Don't take any wooden nickels              
Be careful, don't fall for anyone's tricks

You lie like a rug                                        
You are a liar

His name will be mud                                
He will have a bad name, bad reputation

I am going to lay him out in lavender        
I am going to give him a piece of my mind

Every Tom, Dick, and Harry will be there 
A lot of people will be there

He doesn't have a pot to piss in                
He doesn't have much money

You will have to pay through the nose      
It will cost you a lot of money

You are up the creek (without the paddle)
You are doomed

The car was coming like a bat out of hell   
The car was coming fast

My uncles also had a very unique way of talking.  Not too many sentences went by without swear words.  Hell, damn, ass, sonofabitch were used in everyday speech and just rolled off their tongues.  I think "shit" was the most used of all, though.  My guess is that they picked a lot of it up when they served in WWII.

It amazes me how we (the kids) would hear these expressions so often, but know we weren't supposed to say them ourselves.

There are endless variations, but I will try to give you the gist of it:

No shit!                                                     
That's unbelievable! I didn't know that!

He was happy as a pig in shit                   
He was very happy

He doesn't know shit from shinola           
He doesn't know anything
(shinola was brown shoe polish!)

He doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground
He doesn't know anything

He doesn't know his ass from his elbow  
He doesn't know anything

The shit will hit the fan
Bad things will happen

Shit or get off the pot
Hurry up

He had a shit-eating grin
He had a big smile

You are in deep shit
You are in a lot of trouble

He was scared shitless
He was extremely afraid

You are on my shit list
I am mad at you

I don't give a shit
I don't care

You are full of shit
You are wrong

That sonofabitch is a hell of a nice guy.
He is a very nice man

It was snowing like a sonofabitch!
It was really coming down!


And they never said Mr. or Mrs.  It was always "old man _____' or "old lady ________".

Not to be confused with "the old boy" which was my grandfather.

In comparison, my father hardly ever swore.  My mother, however, had her moments!

In later years, she and my father would play rummy every night.  Whenever my mom was waiting for my father to discard a particular card that she needed, and he didn't give her anything good to use, she would always say

"Frank, you wouldn't give your shit to the crows!"

That makes me smile!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I have gained weight over the summer.
Eight pounds to be exact.

Enough to make my rings tight.

Then, this past week I have had itchy hives all over.
My hands must have swelled too, because my rings got even tighter.  Tight enough to be uncomfortable.  Very uncomfortable.  Too tight to come off.

Three nights ago I decided I really needed to get them off.

I soaked my hands in ice water in an attempt to reduce the swelling.  Even a little bit would help.

My wedding and engagement rings came off.

The ring on my right hand did not.

I told my husband.  He told me that maybe I should think about getting it cut off.  We talked about how my father had to get his ring cut off his finger  years ago.

I was persistent.  I tried oil.

I pulled and pulled.  Little by little it came over my rather large knuckle.

I was so relieved!

The next day I decided to go through my closet to find things to donate to Goodwill.   Among other things, I pulled out a couple of old pocketbooks that I haven't used in a while and put them in the growing pile.

Yesterday I walked by that pile and decided I had better go through those pocketbooks to make sure I didn't leave anything in them before taking them to Goodwill.

Look what I found.

A man's ring.

My father's ring.

 Look closer.

I don't remember putting it there.

My dad has been gone for more than two years.

I lay in bed thinking last night with my dad's ring next to me on my nightstand.

What is the likelihood that these two events would happen within 24 hours of each other?


I think not.

I'd like to think of it as a gift.

Thanks, Dad.

Monday, September 5, 2011

How Many Friends Can You Have?

People have soooo many FRIENDS these days!

And the number of FRIENDS we have grows larger every day...


The average Facebook user has 130 FRIENDS.

A leading anthropologist, Professor Robin Dunbar claims
the maximum number of FRIENDS a person can have
at one time is 150.  He says our brains can't keep track
of more FRIENDS than that.

Aristotle had much to say about FRIENDS.

 "The desire for FRIENDship comes quickly.
              FRIENDship does not."

"A FRIEND to all is a FRIEND to none."

Aristotle also said there are 3 kinds of FRIENDships:
         FRIENDships based on usefulness,
         FRIENDships based on pleasure,
   and genuine FRIENDships.

The first two last only as long as the person is useful
         or gives us pleasure.
Genuine FRIENDS are those who sit with one another
         across the course of their lives.

FRIENDships take a lot of time. 
I don't think it's possible to be a good FRIEND to more than 5 people at one time.
That's just me.
I can be "FRIENDly" with lot of people though.

What do you think?

How many FRIENDS can YOU have?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone?

It's the first day of school today for Annie. 

It's also the first day she drove to school - by herself!

My baby got her driver's license yesterday.

After posing for our yearly "first day of school" pictures....

She climbed into the driver's seat of Papa's truck, gave us a wave,

and drove away!

It wasn't too long ago that she was the passenger.

It wasn't too long ago that they ALL waited for the bus.

It doesn't SEEM like that long ago...


As the days, months, and years slip by so fast, how can these moments seem like just yesterday?

The human mind is like a time machine.

It can take us WHENever we want to go.

Isn't that nice?