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.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Very Asian Thanksgiving

We had visitors for Thanksgiving this year!  Adam invited four of his friends
from Middlebury College to spend the Thanksgiving break with us.  Their
homes are too far away to spend the break with their own families, so they
became part of ours for a few days!

In the back row, left, is Wanning.  She is a freshman whose home is in
Singapore.  Jeff, right, is a senior, originally from Korea.  His family
relocated to Vancouver when he was young.  In the front row, left,
is another freshman named Ying.  Ying's family lives in Malaysia.
Next to Ying is David.  David is a sophomore from Seoul, South Korea.

They were the best kind of house guests - friendly, warm, helpful, appreciative,
considerate, and fun.  They asked a lot of questions about our culture and
traditions and were very willing to answer the many questions we asked
about theirs.

While they were here, they did a lot of studying around the dining room

They also had fun.
They played games...

Rode the carousel in Bushnell Park...

Went bowling...

And took lots of pictures...

I am so very happy they were here to spend some time with us!

They were off to NYC on Saturday morning to spend the day and meet up
with more Middlebury friends.

I saw pictures of their exciting day on Facebook...

I saw these pictures on Facebook because they "friended" me.

It made me happy because I really do consider them my friends too!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sweet Jafar!

I was never a big fan of Disney's Aladdin, but even I am able to recognize Jafar.

Look at the Jafar that Kerry is babysitting for during Thanksgiving break!

Jafar is a Python that belongs to Kerry's friend, Julie.  Julie had to fly home
for the Thanksgiving break and Kerry gladly offered to take care of Jafar!

We have all held Jafar.  He is really very soft and warm  - and friendly.

Jafar really needs very little care.  He just hangs out under his heat
lamp - sometimes stretched out on a log, and sometimes coiled up
under the log.

Jafar only eats once a week!  And Julie was nice enough not to feed him
before his trip so we could have that opportunity while he was staying
with us.

Jafar is fed in a cardboard box - a feeding box.  This is so he recognizes
when it's feeding time an when it's not.

His food of choice is a mouse.  Not alive, though.
We went to Petco and bought a package of frozen white mice.

You must first thaw it out in warm water.

When it's taken out of the water, it does not look furry.

So you need to dry him off with a paper towel to fluff him up.

Jafar was placed in the feeding box

And the mouse was dangled by his tail over the top of the box.

At first, Jafar didn't seem very interested.

But then, in the blink of any eye he had grabbed it and was squeezing
his prey to death.

Here is a short video clip of the moment of the snatching" < />
If you weren't watching closely, you probably missed the moment
of the attack.

Jafar's head was under the coil so it was difficult to see,
but we could see the mouse begin to disappear little by little.

The tail was the last to go down!


Monday, November 12, 2012


Surprises are great!
Whether they are big or small, happy or sad.

Yes, even sad surprises can be good sometimes.

Yesterday, for instance.

I suddenly had a very strong urge to call my mom.

As I sat at my computer,  it was as if the clock had been
turned back to a time when it was normal for me to just pick
up the phone for no particular reason to just chat with my
mom while I was having my lunch or cooking dinner.  She was
always there, it seemed, and we would just pass the time
together for a little while.

I even picked up the phone and dialed her number.


It rang.  I was ready to hang up until I heard the
comforting voice of the operator saying that this
line is no longer in service.

Inside my heart, I cheered!

Nobody has taken my mom's phone number yet.

Then I cried.

It's been a while since Grief has surprised me like this.

Still, I am grateful.  Grateful for that moment yesterday
when I felt connected to my mom.  Grateful that somehow
I was allowed to experience a normal moment that I
have had many thousands of times before.

But most of all, grateful for that precious moment
when I didn't remember.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jesus, Take the Wheel!

This morning my husband took one of our cars in to the Toyota dealership for service.
I picked him up and we went out for breakfast.  We tried a different breakfast spot
on Sullivan Ave in South Windsor.  The Red Cabin.  It was ok.

After breakfast, I had to drop him back off at Toyota to pick up the car,
so I was driving.  But since it wouldn't be ready for another half hour,
I told him I needed to get something at JoAnn's Fabrics.

As we headed down Buckland Road toward JoAnn's,
he asked  "Where you going?"  in a semi-frantic kind of way.

I said "JoAnn's Fabrics, remember?"

He said "Why didn't you turn left?"

I said "Because that's not how you get there.  It's straight."

He said "I thought it was up by Target."

I said "No, it's straight ahead to the right."

So I drove to JoAnn's and parked.
I got what I needed (vinyl to put over the new sofa where the cat scratches it).
We got back in the car.
I was still driving.

Pulling out of the parking lot, I started to turn right to go back out
to Buckland Road, the way we came in.

He said "Where you going?"

I said "To drop you off at Toyota"

He said "You need to go left"

I said "No I don't.  I'm going back out the way I came in."

He said "You can't go out that way!"

I said "Yes you can. I do it all the time."

He said "No you can't"

Instead of arguing, I turned left instead.
I didn't mention that now I would have two extra traffic lights to make it through.

We got to the main intersection and I got in the right lane to turn right.

He said "Where you going?"

I said "To drop you off at Toyota."

He said "Why are you turning. You need to go straight."

This time I didn't answer, but continued to drive the way I wanted to.

Then he realized where I was going.

He said "Oh, you're taking the highway.  It's faster to go through the mall."

I said "I don't really care if I get there faster.  I like to go on the highway."

I DIDN'T question his reasoning.  You see, by going on the highway one
exit, I was avoiding 7 traffic lights on a busy road.  There was no doubt in
my mind it was faster to take the highway.

When I got off the exit, I pre-empted his query by announcing that I planned
to turn left at the end of the ramp.

He said "That's good."

This is why I don't like to drive when my husband is the passenger!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Some Like it Hot (except me)

Ok, I am a late bloomer when it comes to drinking coffee.

For the first 54 years of my life, I NEVER drank coffee.
I hated the taste of it.

I've always loved the aroma of coffee brewing, and I've
always wished I could enjoy a cup of coffee after dinner
with the other adults.

This fall I have made an effort to learn to like coffee.

To begin, I chose coffee from my homeland:

and chocolate from my homeland:

and made a mixture that I could drink.

I admit it was MUCH more chocolate than coffee!

And I put it on ice!


I've since decreased the amount of chocolate, little by little.

And I am proud to say I am now drinking chocolate flavored coffee
instead of coffee flavored chocolate!  I feel so grown up!

Now that the weather has gotten cold, I've experimented with HOT coffee.

I'm having a hard time with the temperature, though.

There seems to be a VERY SHORT window of opportunity to drink it
while it is at a good temperature.

I don't want to burn my tongue, but if I wait too long for it to cool down,
it doesn't taste good either!  I end up throwing half of it away!

Any suggestions?

If I can't figure this out, I think I'll just go back to drinking it cold.

Maybe I'm not grown-up enough to handle it hot!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Breaking English

What is it about the Amish that is so fascinating?

Is it the simplicity of their lives that attracts us?
Do we long for a little more of that in our lives?

Do we try to understand how they can live
the way they do in this modern world?

Or do we love to get glimpses into their minds
to try to understand how they think and feel?

One of my favorite movies of all time is "Witness".
It is the story of what happens when a young Amish
boy traveling with his mother witnesses a murder.
An "English" detective goes undercover at their
Amish home to protect them and ends up falling
in love with the boys mother, the beautiful Rachel Lapp.

This is my favorite scene in the movie...

There is a new TV Series that began this fall called "Breaking Amish".

This reality show follows 5 young Amish/Mennonite  men and women as they leave their plain lifestyle to explore and English way of life in New York City.

My daughter, Kerry, and her friends have been faithfully watching this fall, and the series finale was Sunday night.  They watched it together.

To make the evening fun, they decided to break from their "English" way of dressing and  dress like Amish girls instead!

So they went from this...

to this....

Julie, Kerry, Justy, Molly, Molly, and Maggie...

This is "Amish"  Kerry with her "English" roommates, Sam and Katie...

 Maggie and Molly...

 Justy, Kerry, and Molly...

Julie and Justy...

which reminds me of the American Gothic painting:

Nice job, girls!