Thursday, December 31, 2009

365 Days of Blogging

Julie and Julia made me smile. I like food movies. This one brushed up against the edges of the genre. I also really like Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Score. I do not like French cooking, however, and have no desire to follow in the footsteps of the author to prepare what to me would be a plethora of miserable meals. (I am primarily vegetarian, mind you, and somewhat butter-shy).

But, it got me to thinking. IF I were to blog daily for a whole long year (highly unlikely), WHAT would I blog about? It would obviously have to be something of interest to me since no one is reading what I put out into cyberspace (except Dave, bless his heart... one way to stay in touch with his wife while he is on the road). It would have to be something appealing and doable (more likely) that didn't take lots of time, materials and photo editing.

I am, btw, so incredibly proud of my uber talented brother in law who ACTUALLY has nearly completed an awesome set of 365 SHOTS A DAY. You would do well to take a peek (though no one will see this, sorry Pete) and read his witty repartee that accompanies amazing photographs. See them in the galleries at

Anyway. I like words a great deal, so that's what came to my mind regarding 365 Days of Blogging. A Word a Day kind of thing. I know it's been done before and Shutter Sisters has the clever One Word Project (also worth a peek). My word would be different. In fact, it would be a contemplative exercise as I've been pondering the concept. To write in the evenings reflecting on my days and choose a word that represents something that rose to the surface for me. In other words, my awareness tuned in to what God is doing in the world and around and through me. A sort of Lectio Divina, but rather than slowly reading The Word... it would be a Reading of the World with a Word. (can anyone help me with the Latin here?)

I might give it a try. No guarantees. No commitment. Just thoughts. It would increase my awareness of the One True God who is abundantly present and active, if I were to just slow down enough to perceive his quiet words and activity. That would be a good thing all around. He'd like it. I'd grow from it. OK, I'll give it try.

Pseudo New Year's Resolution for the whole wide world (aka know as "readership of one") to see. Abundant Blessings be yours in 2010.

Race Day

When you think of someone who is a "runner", I'm not the typical type. But, today, running a 5k at 35 degrees in the rain and having FUN must have made me "a runner". At least that's what my marathoning husband declared when I called him to tell him race results. (Normally he'd be there with me, but normal is elusive at the moment with his mom in her last hours...)

I've been training for this. My protesting knee has begun to be whipped into shape after the physical therapist gave me permission to tame it with squats and other horrible exercises. It has given up swelling all the time and therefore, I've been further encouraged at my running pursuits, tiny though they are. Don't all good things begin with small steps?

I usually look forward to going to the gym, but that's increased lately with this 5K goal in sight. Truly I think it's paid off since I was able to recover from the race within about 15 minutes. Sure, I felt like throwing up about mile 2.3, but resisted. (good for me). But that wasn't the end of me, so my 50 year old mind is happy that my 50 year old body decided to cooperate.

The last time I ran a 5K was in the dark... a night race lit by luminaries. Nice idea, but it was about 85 out and the humidity was so thick you could put OUT the luminaries with it. I was 25 pounds heavier and was ever so thankful to have made it to the finish line before they took down the clock. I did NOT feel like "a runner". Recovery time was such that I don't even think I wanted post race ice cream fellowship with all the teens who showed me up with their athletic feats and kept their laughter to themselves. I even wrote an entire essay on the event because it was so epic (and not particulary fun) for me.

Yea. Today was different, thank the Lord. I'm lighter, more fit, more ready and Dave has declared me to be "a runner". I will proudly wear that title for the rest of this year, in fact!

It's New Year's Eve.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


One week of family togetherness. After being absent in body, but present in spirit, our daughter has returned home for Christmas break following her first quarter in college. We keep reminding her that she won't have to travel that "first-quarter" way ever again. Meanwhile, I am reminded that there will not be a "first-time-home" ever again. That's good, because I am tired.

Bottled up within me have been many (too many) conversations needing to be had. Parenting from a distance with a hearing disability that keeps me shying away from the phone with my talkswaytoofast daughter has meant all this advice and all these conversations have been waiting in my mind and soul. They are slowly leaking out, thanks to the prayers of my friends that I might be attune to the right moments. But, meanwhile. The additional active parenting has worn me out.

Don't get me wrong... it is DELIGHTFUL to have her home! To have extra estrogen floating in the air from her and her ever present girlfriends is great. And, we've had family dinners regularly which have been well worth cooking for. Nothing satisfies me more than being around the table with people I love. For those occasions, I must be the one cooking however, for there is no place else to go to have dinners around the table with those I love unless I create the moment. Sigh. Middle age. (Would that someone else would gather us up and cook and light the candles... when we have someone creating that food and those spaces for us, we are too young to take delight in the fact that someone ELSE is in charge.) My daughter is having her friends join us pretty much every evening. This is good. They, too, get to experience the joy and love of a family dinner. We are on our best behavior since we know that these three weeks will pass quickly and well, it's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, so no squabbling allowed.

Dinner and shopping. Just say NO to shopping! We are going to get to the fabric store sooner rather than later, but happily NO malls. NO "Save Money. Live Better" visits. NO running to and fro to get the latest. Our shopping has been "hey mom, look at these shoes... skirts...tights" on line. Click. Ordered. I am all about saving time and hassles and letting the UPS runners take care of that. So far, so good. Plus, no retail therapy needed since I'm spending over 30 hours this week as a retail clerk anyway. Fortunately, working at the Outfitter's is different. It just is. And, it's actually fun trying on gloves for guys who are trying to get the right size for their significant other: "Hey, will you try this on for me, your hands look like they're about the right size?" And, "do you think she'll like this coat?" Me: "Oh, of course she will. What does she need a coat for anyway? Riding in the car, sitting at soccer games, running a 5K?" Etc... Etc... Etc... She'd BETTER LIKE IT.

Shopping and sharing cars. I've never done this before, really. But we've never had four drivers and three cars in our family. I've been left car-less a few times and there will be more to come. I am a homebody at heart, so it's a minor inconvenience. (Since it's only three weeks, of course!) Summer time will be a different story. And, today, TODAY with the snow storm slamming the east coast and black ice coating our streets and a teeny bit of snow, we had to put the 1997 mini van to sleep and buy another used car. Son is more excited that I've ever seen him, of course, since this will be the Honda Accord that HE will drive. Daughter gave the car a passing glance en route to go pick up BFF from the airport after a four month absence from one another.

:) I smile because this is what having a daughter and a son at home is like. Stark differences, that's for sure. But glad to be sitting around the dinner table together again if only for a few short weeks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Cheer

After 25+ years of decking the halls, everything feels like it's coming together this year. The tree was up before my Creative Memories Open House. (never before) Which also means that my annual dusting is partially completed. Dust Bunnies be gone! The lights aren't up on the porch and they may not be given the fact that I value my fingers more than holiday lights at the moment (wind chill's a bit too low)...

Putting together some calendars for gifts (just forget I said that if you'll be getting one) I found some of last year's Christmas Cheer shots. Timely to share them on this first snowy day of the season. The House That Will Never Recover (or at least the electric bill that will never recover) was discovered in Alexandria, VA by my sleuthing brother in law who shamelessly loves Christmas lights. It was so over the top, all we could do was laugh, though I'm sure the neighbors were crying en route to the police station to get either a restraining order for the blow up Christmas characters, or a police person to direct traffic.

Enjoy the twinkle all around. These moments are for savoring.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


A narrow view of "before dusting"
I dare you to find my hidden bins during my Creative Memories Open House !

Two spots that shall remain undusted. Just don't look very closely, please.

My Facebook status report was actually a true confession this evening. "Setting up for my open house and decorating for Christmas means that I must engage in my Once A Year Dusting Project". But, there is a hazard associated with having to dust and it's not abundant sneezing. Rather, I have to move the stacks and piles in order to find the counter tops. This is in my office. The living room wasn't quite as bad!

All that to say. I really do not enjoy some aspects of Home Maintenance. I looked at the pile of clothes in the bathroom and declared the same last night. Fortunately I have a similar and supportive husband and have trained two teens accordingly (if they marry your kids, consider yourself warned...) You know the PILE... the one with the clothes you can wear again, but you don't really want to hang them up with the clean ones in your closet or fold them for the drawers. I'm open to other non-piling systems, I guess. But, mine seems to work. It's just not pretty.

And, today, while searching for the flat surfaces to dust, I encountered numerous PILES. This time of papers, important and otherwise and miscellany of all sorts. I tend to keep up with what I call Stack Attacks (if you put papers aside long enough, by the time you get back to them, most of them don't matter any more, a nice side benefit). But, there are always seem to be the Things Without A Home. Make another file? Throw them away? NO! Pile them all into a bin to HIDE while guests visit my Open House. If you're reading this and you come by on Saturday, just pretend you don't know the truth, OK?

My lack of desire to happily keep up with home maintenance fits perfectly well with my personality and desire to just be creative and hope some elves will show up to clean up. I'm OK with my style, actually. It doesn't stress me out and usually we don't stress each other out around home being cut from the same rather messy cloth.

But, woe to me if I don't get back to those hidden bins once I hide them. They are full of Treasures Who Have No Home.


For Thanksgiving I made these little place cards for everyone. For the first time ever I decided upon table seating according to body SIZE, not just social dynamics! The three boys-to-men were in the corner where the food was readily available, but getting up to help was not.