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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Halloween has always been a BIG DEAL in this house!

The kids would put a lot of thought into what they would want to be...
and I would make it happen!

I only bought 2 costumes - the baby pumpkin costume and the brown bear.
The rest were hand made, and as the kids got older it was a collaborative effort.

As I look back, it was SOOOOO worth the time it took!

1991 - Adam was solo for only one year...

1992 - Adam was a bear and Kerry was a fat pumpkin (she was too large to fit into
           Adam's pumpkin costume of 1991)

1993 - The year they were obsessed with Disney's 101 Dalmations!

1994 - Winnie the Pooh was their favorite!  
 Adam was Pooh, Kerry was Piglet, and Vance and I were the Hephalumps!

1995 - Annie joined the group!  Annie was a bear.  Adam and Kerry  were really
           into Gumby, so Adam was Gumby and Kerry was Gumby's sister, Minga.

 1996 - Pocahontas was the Disney movie of choice this year.  They knew
            every word to every song in the movie.  Kerry was Pocahontas
            and Adam was Kocoum.

Annie just wanted to be a bunny.  Here she is holding Bun-bun,
her favorite stuffed animal.

 1997 - There was no real theme this year.  Kerry wanted to be a princess
            (and I'm proud to say I actually sewed the dress!)

 Annie was Piglet this year...

Adam was a butterfly...

 I was a cat...

 And Vance was a "woman"...  (He did his own make-up!)

1998 - Adam was obsessed with the Titanic, so I made his a replica costume
            complete with Rose and Jack at the front of the ship!  Kerry was a
            Japanese geisha, and Annie was a princess (she always got the
            hand-me down costumes!)

1999 - Harry Potter was popular this year, so Adam was Harry...
  Annie was a hand-me-down butterfly, and Kerry was a very cute witch!

2000 - Everyone got a new costume this year!  Adam was a pint of Ben&Jerry's
           ice cream, Annie was a leaf pile, and Kerry was a scarecrow.

2001 - Annie was very happy to be a hillbilly, Adam was something American,
           and Kerry was an alien.  Adam and Kerry designed and made their own
           costumes this year!

2002 - Adam and Kerry made their own mummy costumes and I made Annie a
           Spongebob Squarepants costume.  Trick-or-treating ended in tears for Annie
           that year when she tripped and fell, cracking Spongebob (he was made out
           of styrofoam) in pieces!

2003 -  Kerry was an old woman, Adam was and old man, and Annie was a clown.

2004 - The older kids went to friends' houses to get ready, so I only had Annie to
           take pictures of.   She was a Japanese lady.

2005 -  I don't really know what they were!  My job as Halloween costume designer
            was over.  Done.  I was partly relieved, but mostly sad that those fun times
            had come to an end already!

2006 - No kids dressed up (sniff, sniff)

2007 - Annie had a Halloween party to go to, so she got dresses up with her friend, Gigi.
            She was Dorothy, of course!

To my kids, I hope this brings back happy memories for you!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In the Olive Oil Aisle

When I woke up to my alarm this morning, I felt like going back to sleep.
But I couldn't.
I had to be up and dressed for a mattress delivery between 8 and noon.

As I was eating breakfast, I noticed my left eye hurt every time I blinked.
When I examined it in a magnifying mirror, I discovered a little whitehead pimple on my lower eyelid - a stye.  Even though webmd said not to pop it, I have to admit I couldn't resist.
It felt better afterward.

It was one of those cloudy, dreary fall days where the sun never came out from behind the clouds.

The refrigerator was bare, so I thought I should get some groceries.
So I put the dogs in the car and I went to Whole Foods.

It was here I found my sunshine.
Not in the sky, but in the aisle next to the olive oil.

His name was Glen Miller.
I know that because he announced it as I was passing by.
"Hello, my name is Glen Miller!"

He was an older gentleman with a coat and hat on.
He was accompanied by his daughter (I assumed).

I laughed and asked him if he was running for office!
It seemed like just what a politician would do!

Then he did something unexpected.
He sang to me!
He sang a love song of some kind,
a song from days long past when he was a much younger man.

I think he was flirting with me!

His daughter informed me he has dementia and his name really isn't Glen Miller.
It was Glen something, though I don't remember what she said.
I prefer Glen Miller anyways!

As I continued my shopping,  I had a smile on my face.

But by the end of the next aisle, I knew I had to get a picture
with Glen Miller.  After searching a few aisles back, I saw them
at the checkout.

Leaving my cart, I walked over to his daughter and asked if she
could take a picture of me and her dad and told her how much he
had brightened my day.

I don't know if he remembered me, but he was glad to pose
with me for some pictures. 

 First he took one with his hat...
 Then took it off for one more!

Then he sang for me one more time...
(If anyone knows what song this is, please tell me)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blessings in Disguise

"There are no mistakes, no coincidences. 
All events are blessings given to us to learn from. "
                   ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

When things happen in my life,  I trust that there is a reason.
The reason is not always evident at the time, but looking back
I can see the good that came about, the change it may have forced
upon me, or the growth that occurred because of it.

It's the unpleasant events I am referring to now.

After all, we don't usually try to find reasons for the joyful ones.

Perhaps it's just my way of dealing with the difficult ones, like
loss, sadness, disappointment, and despair.

This past month, my family has experienced things that stop and make
you think.

One such event was the hospitalization of my husband, Vance.

Totally healthy one day, and a few days later - not.

After bringing him to the Emergency Room one day a few weeks ago
and coming home alone with no answers to his unbearable headaches
and fever, I lay awake for much of the night with my mind racing.

I thought about all he means to our family.

And  I thought about what our lives would be like without him.

I can't really speak for the kids, but possibly a few of these same
thoughts could have crossed their minds too because Adam and Kerry
came home from college to spend time in the hospital with him.

And I'm sure over the past three weeks that Vance has contemplated
many things too.

We have discovered that Vance has Legionnaire's Disease that
he picked up while at a business conference in Utah earlier in September.
He's recovering - although more slowly than we imagined - but home
from the hospital and doing well.

Is it weird for me to think, even now, that this was a blessing in disguise?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Back in Time

I would never have thought of this today if it wasn't for my son, Adam.
When I woke up this morning and got on Facebook, there was a message
from Adam with a link to a lullabye we used to listen to.
He and his friends were talking about lullabies last night - a likely
conversation for college seniors, I guess!

It started bringing back memories of those days when the nightly
routine included putting a lullabye tape into the Fisher Price tape
player and rocking the youngest child to sleep.

Annie was home sick from school this morning and we began
looking up the old familiar lullabyes on youtube.

I was amazed how easy it was to remember every word -
and both Annie and I sang along to our favorites.

Then I downloaded our two favorite CD's from iTunes so
we will have them in the coming years when there will
once again be a little one to rock to sleep ( I hope).

Until then,  I can look back on our home videos to a time when
Annie was 2 years old and I was still in my 30's.

The sound and video quality is a little fuzzy, but you can get the gist!

Oh, how much I'd love to go back in time and do this once again!

Thursday, October 11, 2012


 I will never forget this baby squirrel that I met back in 2003.

The kids found it on the ground, probably pushed from the nest by its mother.

They tried to put it back on the tree, but it was too weak to climb back up.
When they called me outside to see it, they had put it in a laundry basket
with some soft grass as a cushion.  They were going to save it.

They named it "Lucky".

After examining "Lucky" more closely, I realized it was not an appropriate name.
Under its fur, it was crawling with maggots.  I had to break the news to the kids.

 They didn't want "Lucky" to get attacked by any animals, so they built him a little
 shelter at the base of the tree out of duck tape. 

"Lucky" didn't make it.

Jump forward to 2012 - just last week.

I had just gotten out of the shower when I heard a soft knock on the bathroom door.

It was Kerry and she was holding a little creature in my blue dishtowel.

She had found it on the back porch after our cat Maddie had a little play time with it.

It was cold. wet and shaking. 

 And apparently had escaped any serious injuries.  The fur on its tail had been stripped away, but it would grow back.

We didn't know what it was, but we narrowed it down to either a baby squirrel or a chipmunk.

Kerry found an old shoe box and placed him gently inside.

She added some corn treats and some bird seed.

It wasn't long before it was cracking open sunflower seeds and ravenously eating everything in sight.

It was still shaking and wet, so we put the box on a heating pad.  Over the next hour or so, it stopped shaking and it's fur dried off.  Using google images and the help of our animal-loving neighbor Cindy, we decided he was definitely a chipmunk, and not a baby at all.

Unlike the baby squirrel back in 2003, this chipmunk really was "lucky".

He got to spend some time in a toasty box with lots of food before going back to his chipmunk family and hopefully living a long, happy life!

Thanks to Kerry.