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.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Then and Now

Last week I began a project that will probably take me 3 months to finish.  Ever since Adam was born, I have kept the negatives for every photograph I've taken until I switched to a digital camera in 2002.  The negatives are all neatly tucked into pockets of a binder.  All of my digital photos are nicely organized into folders on my computer, by year/month/event, but whenever I want a photo of my kids when they were little,  I need to go to photo albums and scan them into the computer.  

I discovered recently that my photo scanner is also capable of scanning negatives, and the negatives scan into a much better digital image than trying to scan printed photos.  So my big job this winter
is to scan my negatives and digitalize those photos that are worth keeping.

As I am scanning the baby pictures,  I am frequently struck by how much my adult kids look like their baby pictures!   I decided it would be fun to pair up a few photos to demonstrate this.  
It is really amazing.
(Sorry, Annie, but I haven't gotten to your baby pictures yet).

Then and now...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Window - February 23, 2016

 This is the view from my front window this week.  The snow melted, but it
is now snowing again.  Spring will be here soon.

"Wherever I am, I always find myself looking out the window, wishing I were somewhere else."  ~Angelina Jolie

This quote from Angelina Jolie makes me sad for her.  She seemingly has it all, but isn't content with all she has.  It is so foreign to my way of thinking.  I am very happy with my life and value all I have.  It's nice. I remember in my younger days, always yearning for something more.  A husband, a house, a family, a bigger house, a bigger family...  All these years later, I have the house and family I love.  I am content.  Life is good.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

My Window - February 16, 2016

 I decided to begin a weekly series featuring the view from
my front window.  Why?  

This is what I see every morning as I eat breakfast.
Each day, it never looks the same as the day before.
Some things remain steady, but these are few.

We find comfort in the steady.
We yearn for variety and change.
We delight in surprise.

And we often take for granted what we see each day.

"I feel that it is healthier to look out at the world
through a window than through a mirror.  
Otherwise, all you see is yourself and whatever
is behind you."  ~Bill Withers

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sisters: Can This Relationship Be Saved?

It is often assumed that everyone in a loving family will learn to get along and accept each other's differences.  Especially sisters. But we all know cases where grudges remain for far too long.  This is how it is in my family between two sisters:  Momo and Maddie.  They are my cats.

Momo is an older cat who just wants to live a peaceful life sleeping in the sun.
She is troubled by anxiety, whether it be an unknown visitor,  quick movements,
or loud noises.  She stays inside almost all day now.  She is very affectionate
to people that she trusts, and purrs loudly when petted.  I am her main person,
although she is affectionate with the whole family .

Four years ago we rescued an adorable little kitten, Maddie. 
Her personality is almost the exact opposite of Momo.  Maddie
doesn't lay around.  She plays.  She thinks.  She's busy - always.

She doesn't seem to have any fears.

From the very beginning of her time with us, 

one of her favorite sources of entertainment has been poor Momo.

Maddie hides and jumps out at Momo all the time.

This happens so often that Momo has even more anxiety.  She is 
constantly on alert for Maddie whenever she rounds a corner, and
her naps are not so peaceful anymore.  She hisses at Maddie
whenever she is within 5 feet of her.

They even fight through the window!

We keep them separate when we're not home to avoid any skirmishes 
that may arise from Maddie's boredom.  When we go away for a weekend
we even put plywood up to divide the house into two separate territories
while we are gone. 

After watching "My Cat From Hell" on Animal Planet, a show where
cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy works to help families with problem
cat situations, I decided to try one of Jackson's techniques when
two cats don't get along.  He gets them to eat near each other.

I started feeding them canned cat food at dinnertime
 and put their bowls very close together.

As one is eating, the other often looks up and sniffs the other.

Maddie even licked Momo one time!

Night after night,  for the past 2 months, they have eaten together.

They even sit near each other as they wait for their food,
sometimes going nose to nose.

And sometimes they look up at the same time too.

I am happy to report that things are beginning to change.
  Here they were both outside on the front step 
with no hissing or fighting.

Here, Momo actually felt comfortable enough 
to turn her back on Maddie.

And just the other day, they were both laying quietly 
on the couch in peace!

Don't get me wrong, there are still many times every day that I hear cat fights
or find Maddie jumping at Momo while she is sleeping.  
Everything is not perfect.  
But I think we are making progress.

Maybe these two sisters will continue to have 
more and more peaceful moments together.  
Over time,  who knows what can happen!
Maybe they will even be able to ...

That would be very nice.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Twenty-One Years of Annie's Smile

On Groundhog's Day in 1995,  my youngest daughter, Annie, was born.
Twenty-one years ago.  When I think of Annie, the one thing that
sticks out in my mind is her big smile that lights up her face!

Today, on her 21st birthday, I picked one picture of Annie 
from each year of her life so far.   Each picture shows
Annie's wonderful smile as her face matures into adulthood!

Annie, your smile lights up my life.
I look forward to thousands more smiles in the years to come!
You are so loved.