Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Run-run as fast as you can...

"NO! Do not eat my gum drop buttons." ~The Gingerbread Man

Today my students will hear the story of the Gingerbread Boy. I hated that story when I was a kid, but I make it fun for my students. We bounce a large stuffed gingerbread boy on a sheet and we catch a small gingerbread boy that is suspended on a string from the ceiling (hand-eye coordination). Yes, I know it appears as if we have hung the Gingerbread Boy for some dastardly deed, but it is all in fun. The children outline a brown tagboard gingerbread shape with tiny beans. This is hard work for little hands. Then I outline their work in puff paint: equal amounts of glue and shaving cream, and then they sprinkle it with white glitter. These little keepsakes are so cute and make great parent's gifts. I'll post a photo this evening. Meanwhile, dunk a gingerbread cookie in milk and bite off his buttons.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Quiz

A Thanksgiving Quiz with my responses!

What do you do on Thanksgiving after stuffing yourself with dinner at a relative's?
Eat pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Sample a tiny sliver of the pecan.

What do you do the day after Thanksgiving?
Shop at 4:00 P.M.

What do you do the Sunday after Thanksgiving?
Prepare own turkey and repeat #1.

What do you do the Monday after?
Eat cold turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and cranberries for breakfast.

What do you eat for lunch AND dinner the Monday after?
More leftovers. Freeze anything that's leftover, and gag at the thought of turkey.

What do you do the rest of the week at 6:00 a.m.?
Crank up the sound and dance to the oldies like nobody's watching: jitterbug until the house rocks, the pictures shake and your jelly belly shimmies.

Oh the price I pay for over-indulging.
Ahem, I almost forgot, the Christmas cookies are next on my no-no list.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


My dearly departed mother, was five foot two until osteporosis robbed her of a couple inches in her later years. The presence of that tiny little woman looms over me everyday. Sometimes a memory jabs a chuckle out of me, brings a tear to my eye or makes me want to squeeze my eyes shut and ask myself or her, Why?

Mom had a loving heart, a wise cracking mouth, some quirks, problems, issues, secrets (who doesn't?) and a heart of gold. She loved her children, adored her grandchildren and obsessed over her first great-grandchild. She lived down the street from me for a few years. I would call to borrow something.
"Mom, do you have any eggs?"
"No, but I have mayonnaise. Come on down."

Oh, I used to get so upset with her. I knew she didn't want me to use mayonnaise as a substitute. I thought she acted like an attention-seeking child. The two things weren't related. When I would tell her that, we would engage in lengthy conversation.

That was when I was a young mom. Now that I am a grandmother who also feels lonely at times and wishes for a visit from children or grandchildren, I too find ways to entice them. I just don't use mayonnaise.

Readers, please drop by, CLAUDIA MUNDELL's blog and tell her, "Linda is so happy with the book she won from your drawing."

Thinking About Memoir, by Abigail Thomas is a 110 page how-to, fast read, packed with ideas and starting points for journaling life stories. Abigail Thomas is a former editor and literary agent, the author of, A Three Dog Life and several other books. As I read this book I felt like I was listening to a new friend share glimpses of her own life. Thomas teaches fiction writing in the graduate program of The New School in New York. I wish I could take her class. This book is one of the most helpful that I have read. She writes, "My life didn't feel like a novel, it felt like a million moments. My truth doesn't travel in a straight line, it zigzags, detours, doubles back."

She spoke a truth that has hampered me for quite sometime, "Poor little me is not a good motive to write memoir." I have written a skeletal memoir from that perspective. I am now ready to tuck it away and forget the chronological timeline and all of the woe is me stuff, and simply travel the winding road, thanks to Claudia and Abigail.

Thinking About Memoir is the first volume in the "Arts of Living " series from AARP. It should be on your reading list.

Okay, just had to share this. As I clicked off my blog, this advertisement popped up: Remember Your Loved Ones. All I can say to that is, Hi, Mom.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Nostalgia

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it hasn't begun at our house. Old Tom doesn't want to thaw, so it might be tonight or tomorrow when we roast the bird. This year, Bill's daughter invited us over for a delicious meal. We are looking forward, not to another big meal, but LEFTOVERS. I am sure that by mid-week we will be tired of turkey ten ways, but today, we are anticipating those butter whipped mashed potatoes and turkey and dressing ladled with gravy.

I was thinking about a long ago Thanksgiving tradition. When my children were small, and downtown St. Louis was a bustling shopping area, we would pile in the car after the meal; my mom always came along, and we'd head downtown. Everyone would pile out of the car all bundled up and we'd walk a square block stopping to look at the animated characters and working model trains in all of the windows at Famous-Barr(now Macy's) and Stix. It was fantasy land for young and old as we all stood shoulder to shoulder gawking through windows oohing and aahhing. I can visualize my babies young, my mom all giddy to be going along, myself with long hair and head full of dreams.

Downtown is not flourishing in the same sense. There are no animated characters in windows. Times have changed. Now, after Thanksgiving meal, the kids retreat to play video games. I don't know if times were better then, but they were sure simpler.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Shopping

I am doing the happy dance. I received an acceptance from Silver Boomers for a poem I wrote about the children's book, The Poky Little Puppy. My work will now appear in three Silver Boomer books.

I spent a few hours typing and editing my daughter-in-law's memoir. Still have a lot to go, but having time off made a difference. I put up holiday decorations, but not the tree yet. I'll wait a week or so on that. I came across a candle that had been packed away since last Christmas. When I inhaled the gingerbread fragrance, I developed a terrible migrane headache and had to lie down for a couple hours. That candle ended up in the bottom of the trash can. I never get bad headaches, but I sure had a reaction to that fragrance.

I felt better by late afternoon, so hubby and I went shopping. He found two pairs of dress pants for 70% off, and also, he recieved a ten dollar discount at the register. He was happy.

I bought a dressy Jaqueline Smith blouse that I had searched everywhere for last week. Heading to the register, I said, "I think these will be on sale by the weekend." What a surprise, even though they were not listed as on sale, they rang up as 20% off. I saved eight bucks. So, I bought two fleece night gowns for myself as well. We were like two kids going home. My hubby and I are lucky; it doesn't take much to make us happy.

Anyone else get really good deals today?

Oh yeah! It was a good shopping day, and I didn't fight the maddening crowds at all.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I consider my blog buddies a blessing. You don't know how much it means to me to find an inspirational post on your blog, a beautiful picture, a cartoon, an astute observation, a woo-hoo for your publishing accomplishments, or a humorous remark that breaks open my day with a smile.

I hear you when you're lonely, aching, suffering, or hurting for someone else. And, I send up a silent prayer for you. Today I thank you for signing on as a follower, (I'd hoped for 75 followers by Thanksgiving), for your comments, and just for being a reader. Blessings to you.

This year I will roast a turkey so that Bill and I can have leftovers, because what is Thanksgiving week without cold turkey and dressing and cranberries for breakfast the next three days? I am not preparing the family meal, but I did for years. The past few years I have encouraged my children to celebrate in spirit with me and Bill, and in person with their dad and his wife who live in the country. Used to be, all of the kids had to drive miles and miles to visit everyone, rush through a meal and head off to the next house. It was no fun for them or us. Now there are grown grandkids who have to trek around as well. I'll wait until Christmas for my turn. On that day, our house overflows and I am in my glory.

I wrote a couple of poems. One is sentimental. I was reflecting on a Thanksgiving when my parents were alive and we had little babies in the family. The other poem I wrote for a writer's guild open mike and is a bit risque, filled with innuendo. It is harmless. I was afraid that it would bomb when I read it, but the audience laughed loud and long.

Thanksgiving Feast
A mouthful:
Toothless baby grins,
little kids with missing teeth, shoveling it in,
great grandparents nibbling with false teeth.
All of us devouring tastes, textures, smells, sounds and sights.
Me, bowing my head,
grateful, full, content, smiling.
Gobbling up four generations,
wishing this scrumptious moment could last

Tomorrow, I have a date with Tom. His broad chest makes me smile.
I'm going to oil his skin and massage his pecs a while.
I'll get his juices flowing and really make him hot.
Then, I'm going to grab his giblets and cook them in my roasting pot.

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Kids of all ages flock to our own little Disney

You know you've always been a little bit envious that the kids are allowed to play in McDonald's Playland and adults are not. Admit it, you've had a teeny hidden desire to climb through a tunnel and investigate WHY mothers can't get their toddlers to come down out of the little airplane area. Well, I had the opportunity to visit the most fun place in town. Talk about tunnels, hidden nooks and crannies, airplanes, ferris wheels and so much more.

Typical teacher on a field trip exiting the school bus? Where might I be? What is your guess? If you think this was an educational adventure you would be correct. But if you think this is a field trip, you would be wrong.

No, not a school related function. I was at St. Louis City Museum in downtown St. Louis for a grandchild's birthday party. The front end of the bus is suspended off the roof of a ten story building, and yes, visitors are allowed to sit in the driver's seat, open and close the front door which is fenced in. And yes, although I have lived in St. Louis all of my life and have always said, "I'll never do that!" I did.

Then, I ventured further up on the roof where there are platforms and towers and outdoor tunnels which are actually coils and springs. Notice the person climbing through the spiral tunnel?

The praying Manthis looks like it is about to snap my head off. Thirteen stories high, eleven year old Morgan and her birthday guests rode the ferris wheel. No, I did not attempt that.

This place is simply indescribable, although I will try. If you or your children are not ADHD before entering, you all will be by the time you leave. In my opinion, this is not a place to turn toddlers loose or even try to keep track of them, although I saw lots of little ones. This is a kid's playground and I mean kids of all ages, mostly preschool through high school and lots of adults who haven't outgrown childhood, or want to return to that free, explorative time in their lives. The City Museum is a place where a kid (of any age) can be a kid.

Words really don't do it justice; this is something you have to see to believe, and like Disneyland, spending all day is never enough.

This is not a museum of exhibits that children look at, although there are animals and birds on display that have visited the taxidermist. This is not a place where you have to whisper. In fact the noise level is worse than a kindergarten classroom at indoor recess. This building used to be home of The International Shoe Company, a huge warehouse in downtown St. Louis. The fifth floor has residential lofts/condos, but the first three floors have been converted to a giant playland. There is a human hampster wheel to stand and spin in. So many families cooperated to keep the big wooden wheel spinning, and they left there laughing. There is an area where children and adults can sculpt with clay, paint, design, cut, color and paste recycled materials and let their creative juices flow, and then take their creations home. There are demonstrations of glass blowing, and pottery making and a shoestring machine which is always noisily chugging multicolored threads to create three foot long shoestrings. There is a kiddie train for young children, a free aquarium, (also a paid aquarium) an inside and outside ball pit, think huge rubber balls and twenty kids squaring off tossing balls at one another. There is a real bank vault to explore, exhibits to view, some significant architectural pieces rescued from regional and national historic buildings.

The man-made cave is one of the highlights for kids of all ages, but be sure if you go, that you are not too big to fit through the tiny passageways, tunnels and underground crawl spaces. Kids absolutely squeal with delight as they investigate every corner, every stalagmite, stalagtite, lizards painted onto oddly shaped tree branches. This place is a an artist's dream. The entrance or exit, (depends on which way you go in or out of the caves,) is a giant, concrete whale's head/mouth. Visitors can actually tell friends they've been inside a whale.

There is a real circus; the Children's Everyday Circus has several performances, and the acrobats are local children of all ages who have mastered the smae kinds of moves as those of circus performers under famous Big Tops.

I haven't even begun to describe the outdoor jungle gym or the ten story indoor slide which usually has a long line. The outdoor jungle gym is a series of welded spirals, coils, that arch overhead, connect to real airplanes, take you to the roof where you can slide down to the next level. All of this takes place several stories above people who are seated below. Don't be fooled by the image of the tree; you are by no means at ground level, or even tree level; this is a potted tree. A cell phone dropped from a kid's pocket six stories above my head and crashed to the ground beside me. Up on the roof, there is a lily pond where kids walk the footpath of protruding lily pads (stepping stones) and walk under the water streams without getting wet, Yeah right!

This is a paradise for the young or the young at heart. Imagine skating ramps where kids use only their bodies to maneuver the twists and turns, running, slipping and sliding down vertical drops where gravity pulls you down the ramps and slides. Oh my it is hard to describe. Adults have claimed to have played hard at this museum and come away with bruises that are like badges of honor. It is a playground for adults on weekends from 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.

If you go, I will tell you one thing to look for. Check out the bathroom exterior wall on the first floor. It is constructed of thousands of metal lab specimen trays, and by specimen, I mean mice. If you find yourself a floor up at the deli, check out the support posts decorated with thousands of watch bands. Or valances made of mens' ties. The mosaic fl;oor tiles are incredibly detailed. Look high and low and you will be amazed by Bob Casilly's and his crew's creativity. I could keep going, but some things are better seen than said/read.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Rubbing elbows with a best seller

Last evening I attended a St. Louis Writer's Guild event. Guest speaker St. Louisan, and best selling author, EILEEN DREYER who also writes as Kathleen Korbel spoke to us about romance and mystery writing. She said there are three rules, and nobody can agree on what they are. :)

Yes, you too would have enjoyed this personable writer who worked for years at local hositals as a trauma nurse. She said the only way she could make good things happen in her day was to write in her spare time. See, readers, it can be done.

Her web site has a wealth of information. Be sure to check out her travel site too. Eileen is as down to earth as your next door neighbor, and she is spirited, funny and helpful.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Publishing opportunity

Every person has a story. If you are a female memoir writer you may be interested in a publication opportunity, no $ but two free copies of the book and reduced purchase price. Check out ReflectionsFromWomen.com There are three upcoming books that you can contribute to. Best of luck.

Boogie woogie me

A friend sent an email with an video attachment: Take Me Back to the Fifties


Oh my goodness, it is better than a birthday and Christmas present all in one. There are snippets of many old time rock and roll songs that make me want to jump and jive. So now, instead of moping about my laziness and wishing I had more time to exercise, I bee bop right here in front of the computer as MY music moves me to shake rattle and roll. Gotta go.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What did you say?!

This is a fun and exciting week at preschool. I ask the four year and five olds if they can read,and they all say, "NO!" I show them that they can all read their names. They agree. I spell M-O-M and they all tell me what I spelled. They get excited when I tell them I know they can read more words. I hold up a McDonalds logo with the word, and they all shout, "McDonalds!" Then I hold up a Taco Bell bag with the words/logo and they giddily shout, "Taco Bell." So we continue. I have a rebus story. That is, there are symbols or pictures with the words below. They 'read' each picture as I tell the story of a little Native American boy. Some of the symbols are arrow, tree, water, fish, horse, deer, berries. They then draw the symbols on large paper and we wrap it around the tee-pee frame which sits in the middle of the floor. Two children are allowed inside to look at books about Native Americans. I have a large narrow box with two cardboard paddles that serves as a canoe for two children, and I have costumes, beads and coffee-can tom-toms for them to play with. They also have a table where they can play with small manipulative themed toys: stuffed buffalo, horses, dolls, etc. There are an abundance of photos on the walls at eye level for them to look at and discuss. November is a fun month for me as well as them. I get many laughs. Yesterday after we pounded out the syllables in each child's name, I heard a little girl expanding on the lesson. She knelt over a tom-tom and rhythmically sang and pounded the syllables. "Hap-py Birth-day to you...you be-long in a zoo, with the el-e-phants and mon-keys who look just like you." She was so intent on counting the measured beats, all I could do was laugh to myself. Nothing ranks higher though, than the year that I was showing photos of Native Americans and one child said, "My daddy is a NAKED American too." I smiled and nodded. I could never look at her daddy again without visualizing.

I just submitted an essay to AARP. They were seeking essays on Why I Have The Dream Job. If it gets rejected, I will post it on my blog.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Doozy of a dream

I have just begun reading Running With Scissors, a memoir by Augusten Burroughs. Has anyone read this book? Maybe reading about some of the bizzare people, places and things in his life, triggered a crazy dream I had last night. It was so realistic. I feel like I had a starring role in an I Love Lucy episode.

I was in my thirties, seated on stool at a counter in this very long chrome diner watching a little fat man make layer cakes. He dropped this huge, five-layer yellow cake with chocolate frosting, then he tried to retrieve a large square chunk that hadn't shattered, but he couldn't balance it, and was ready to toss it when I shouted, "Hey, that's a perfectly good cake; my kids would eat that."

He told me I could have it if I'd help him clean up the kitchen which was off to the left, no door. I said, "Sure." He ran and looked out the front door and gasped, then he ripped off his apron and took off running and said, "The inspectors are here. Stall them. You have to save my business. It's all up to you."

So, I quickly refrigerated the three dozen warm eggs he had on the counter. I'd plunged my hands (up to my elbows) into a sink filled with soapy water and dirty dishes, just as a tall British inspector walked in with a clipboard and asked for the proprietor. I said, "May I help you?"

He flirted, "Yes, come away with me." I felt embarrassed and babbled about the wonderful cakes served in the establishment. Then I bent down to wipe the filthy floor, and he peered over me and smiled. He started talking gibberish. I reached up to brush my hair back and realized I had pink sponge rollers in my hair. I gasped and apologized and he laughed. My eyes were scanning left and right for that chicken little owner to come save me. I was so uncomfortable. Soon the inspector's gibberish became intelligible and he said he was smitten with me and my antics.

I said, "Here, if you want to be smitten, try this cake." I shoved the milk chocolate frosted cake at him and ran out the door.

HONESTLY! I have to stop reading before bed.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Are you a magnet?

My hubby and I have driven a lot through the U.S. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how large or small the town we stop in, regardless of time of year, every Saturday the shopping center parking lots are nearly full. We were in small town Ohio once when Bill asked what the big draw was, and the clerk said, "Shopping at Wal-Mart is a sport. Everybody across America engages in it every Saturday." We laughed. There is some truth to this.

Yesterday, Big Lots had a grand opening in Fenton in the Wal-Mart plaza. Traffic was as thick as flies on a jelly sandwich, but we finally found a parking place between Gordman's and Big Lots. Hubby went to one store and I went to the other. As I headed to Big Lots to meet up with him, a woman a few paces behind me called, "Hey Miss!" I turned around. She looked like "Mama",and I don't mean Vicki Lawrence from the sit-com, Mama's Family. She looked like Mama from the movie, Throw Mama From The Train. Her voice was gravelly, probably a life-long smoker. But she had a nice approach. Better to be called Miss instead of Ma'am these days.

"You know what a duster looks like?" I looked at her puckered puss and wild gray hair. Puzzled, I tried to figure out if she had lost her car and was looking for an old Plymouth, or maybe she was seeking a feather duster. I really didn't want to stay engaged as the brisk air was nippy.
"Well do you?"
I smiled and said, "No."
"You don't know EITHER?" She screeched. "I asked the woman at K-Mart and the one at Wal-Mart and they never heard of a duster. You know those dresses that snap down the front?" She was irritated, and keeping pace with me.
I nodded, "Oh sure," I said. "I know what you mean. You might try the Dollar General store. I know they carry them."

She stabbed her finger in my direction. "Damned foriegners selling us their junk and you're just like the rest of the dumb Americans, buying it."

I ducked into Big Lots and locked step and arms with my hulking husband.
Watch out if you're out shopping on Saturdays; "they" are out there, and if you have the same magnetism that I do, you might attract a few too.

This afternoon, I am going to the mall. I'll get back to you if my magnetism kicks in again.

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Nation

In honor of Veteran's Day I post this excerpt published in 2007 at Hot-Psychology.


When I worked in a public inner city school, we had a diverse ethnic population. One day, I received a new student from Thailand into my preschool class. I listened to a group of children at the playdough table discussing the new girl. One of the children said, “I think she is Chinese like me.”

“No, she is maybe from my country. Her hair is black like my hair,” said a little girl from Eritrea, Africa. Another child chimed in, “I know! She is Vietnamese; her eyes look like mine.”

I sat quietly and listened as the children continued their debate. It reminded me of times I have been in group situations. I attend educational seminars and I also facilitate at these events. I begin by asking teachers to observe other people in the room for a few minutes, and then I ask them to share what they have discovered. They usually do a head count and tell me how many people are in attendance. Typically, one by one they will begin to dissect the group by ethnicity, gender, age, hair color, even clothing. They seem confused when I smile and remain silent. I do not respond until the last observation is voiced. They are amazed when I make my own observations: “You are all human beings, all or most of you have hair, and you have eyes with which to see my teaching materials. All of you have ears with which to listen intently and learn something that you might impart to others. You are all able to speak, ask questions and share your information with me. Every single one of you have feelings that can be hurt or bolstered by what I say and do as your group leader.” They nod in agreement; most understand that I am trying to demonstrate the profound effect each of us has on others. I ask them to ponder a question: why is it that when we walk into a group, we immediately see our differences? The answer is simple; it is human nature to be a bit egocentric and ethnocentric. I remind them to treat others as they would want to be treated - with respect and compassion.

Nine years ago, I attended my grandson’s preschool graduation. The children pledged allegiance to the flag and sang a patriotic song. A nice gesture, perhaps a policy instituted after 9/11, not necessarily part of a typical preschool curriculum, I thought to myself as the kids sang memorized words. I wondered exactly what the youngsters understood as they belted out unfamiliar phrases: “My Country ‘t is of Thee, sweet land of liberty … let freedom ring.”

I remembered that child in my own classroom who said, “You guys are all wrong! I know what she is; she’s JUST a girl.”

If only we could all see one another as just a boy or girl, just a man or woman. After all, people are people. It’s not skin color, ethnicity or religion that makes one bad or good; it’s their actions.

Now, I completely understand why my grandson’s teacher taught her students the Pledge of Allegiance and that patriotic song. We do live in one nation, under God...

As Americans practice their constitutional rights to freedom of expression we unite on different sides of the immigration issue. Our country - land of the free and home of the brave - stands divided. Our government needs to get some things straightened out. In the meantime, we should all try to treat others as we want to be treated.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Listen carefully!

The adage goes, you have two ears and one mouth. It's good to listen carefully before you speak. Case in point, grandson George, who is thirteen years old and six feet tall, likes his man cave. He is usually hunkered downstairs doing homework to maintain his A average, or he is playing video games. His mom called down to him, "Do you want to go with us?"
"Where?" he shouted back.
"Going to Fro Yogurt" (new ice cream shop)
"No way!" he replied.
The family came back with ice cream and he said, "Hey! Why didn't I get ice cream?"
His mom said, "You said you didn't want to go!"
"I didn't! Where DID you guys go?"
His mom said, "I told you we were going to Fro Yogurt."
"I thought you said, "Going to workout."
So naturally, Grandpa and I drove over to get our little buddy who is not so little anymore, and we bought him an ice cream. Little sister, Morgan tagged along, smiled and said, "Grandpa, this is my fourth time here. But only two today."

What could we do but smile? It's a grandparent's job to sugar them up and send them home.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Too much stuff

STUFF, we all have too much. Is your closet overflowing? Your junk drawer chock full? Do you have duplicate appliances and things you'll never use?

Several blogger friends are having give-aways on their websites. I am sure this benefits everyone, as the blog owner increases followers, and the readers get a little excitement and a bonus if they win.

We should all have give aways. Think of how happy we would make others, how connected we'd feel, and the self-satisfaction we'd derive when we actually witness how our generosity touches others. Many of us give to Goodwill and hand cast-offs to family members. That's not what I mean. I remember receiving a bag of nearly new clothes from a cousin. I loved them, but nothing fit me. I felt sad, upset, how unfair! But when I gave the entire bag of clothes away to another girl and I saw how happy it made her, my heart was filled with satisfaction.

Did you know that the Lakota Sioux women also have give aways? The Wopila is a Lakota Sioux tradition. On birthdays, weddings, funerals or special occasions, the woman gives away items that she has spent months collecting just for the event.

Recently I joined eleven other women in celebrating my friend Tammy's fiftieth birthday. We all presented her with gifts. She beamed at the written words and the lovely presents. It strengthens relationships when we give of ourselves. Giving doesn't have to be monetary, or even a concrete gift. The gift of time or the written or spoken word is just as precious.

Today, be generous in thought, and deeds. Go to your closet and find one thing to give to someone else for no particular reason. Don't expect anything in return. But watch how the giving begins to cascade. Blessings to one and all.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We should all have a hairy attitude

I received this via an email forward and felt the need to post it here. It sure made me stop whining and complaining.


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. "Well," she said, "I think I'll braid my hair today." So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. "Hmmm," she said, "I think I'll part my hair down the middle today."
So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. "Well," she said, "today I'm going to wear my hair in a pony tail."
So she did, and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn't a single hair on her head. "YAY!" she exclaimed, "I don't have to fix my hair today!"

Attitude is everything. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly. Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Word chaser

We have been gone all day. We stopped at a Dollar General store before going to a birthday party for a friend's one year old. I walked in and asked the high school-aged girl behind the counter, "Do you have birthday cards?" She looked at me like I was speaking gibberish. I stood and looked at her and she finally said. "Yes."

I asked, "Where?"

She replied, "With the rest of them."
HONEST! This young lady is one example of many others like her that I have encountered recently who know nothing about customer service.

We spent the entire afternoon outdoors. The weather was beautiful and Daylin, a little red-headed doll baby had a fun birthday. We are known as Nana Banana and Papa Apple, so named by her older sister.

Then, this evening we attended a Halloween party which had been postponed. It was also outdoors and we sat around a bonfire. It was fun to see friends in fantastic costumes. I have a selection of costumes, but just didn't have it in me to don a costume one week after Halloween. So I made impromptu costumes for us. Bill and I each placed a mat from an 8"x10" picture frame over our heads and wore them around our necks. I wrote on Bill's, FRAMED! and on mine, PICTURE PERFECT. They were actually a big hit, at least for creativity. I'm a word chaser, what do you expect?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I couldn't believe it when I saw this squirrel's nest perched on the very end of this tree branch. I wonder what makes one squirrel choose a secure fork in the tree near a supportive trunk, while another, perhaps, more inexperienced squirrel builds its nest on a dangling branch near the edge. It brings to mind a couple of quotes.

Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.~ George Seaton

Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond our control. ~Richard Kline.

Building a nest is sort of like writing and submitting. You do your best, you kiss it goodbye and you hope it's substantial and holds up, but it is really beyond your control.

This evening I'm doing the happy dance. I received a completely unexpected acceptance from well-published author, Linda Dominique Grosvenor from North Carolina. My essay (submitted six months ago) will appear in an upcoming anthology about women who love shoes. There was a time in my life when three girlfriends and I danced the plastic caps off of our high heeled shoes. We referred to that time period during the '80s as the summer of our lives. The book, as yet untitled, will be released in 4/11. As soon as I know, I will announce it.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy birthday baby girl!

Nicole turned three years old the day before Halloween. She is somewhere between "I'm free to be me" and "I am the princess." She is obsessed with Jessie, the cowgirl character in Toy Story. She had a Jessie birthday cake, and had to put on her Jessie Halloween costume.

She's also my little princess. She quickly ditched her Jessie outfit when she received this fairy princess outfit. She makes me smile and laugh out loud. She is so loving. Today I babysat and took her shopping. She saw a Muslim woman with her little girl as we went into the store. The three year olds waved at one another. Nicole passed her by with a big smile, then she dropped my hand and ran back and said, "I've got to hug you!" The two little girls were so cute, a confirmation that prejudice doesn't exist at age three.

She also saw a little person, an elderly midget woman in line in front of us, and she thought she was a child. Nicole held up the new skirt she had selected and said, "You like my skirt? You wear one too?" Thankfully, the lady was nice and talked to her.

Nicole also made me belly laugh in the store. As we perused the toy aisle she kept saying, "Nana! Barbie's butt's broken." I tried to shush her. I thought she meant that she had broken the legs off one of her birthday Barbies. When I rounded the corner she spied Make-up Barbie, a bust with long flowing hair that little girls like to style. She shouted, "See, Nana, Barbie's butt broke off." You've got to love it.