Sunday, April 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

As I go about my day to day life it is easy to forget to stop and give thanks for the blessings – large and small – which help me get through each day. Upon waking this morning, I started to think about the many things I am thankful for and why.

  • Friendships that have no expiration date.
  •  Parents who understand that parenting is a lifelong commitment not a job that ends at age 18, 25, or 40.
  • Family
  •  Being a Mother. Motherhood helps me tap into strengths and abilities that I never knew I had. We are Superheroes.
  • Yesterday’s rain.
  •  Instant messaging that allows me to have real time conversations with my long distance friends without running up the phone bill.
  • Crying. My tears tell me that my heart hasn’t been hardened.
  • Laughter. A reminder that there is humor in practically everything.
  • Those who came before who started paving the way for those who come after.
  • Sore muscles. Because it means my body is healthy enough to put in a hard day’s work.
  •  Austin. My son makes me laugh and cry. He gives me a reason to get up in the morning on those days when all I want is to pull the covers over my head. He is the best part of me.
  • My faith. A belief in things unseen. A belief that everything works out in the end. Believing that I am not as alone as I sometimes feel. Believing that despite all of my faults and the mistakes I have made and will make in the future - I am loved by Him.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yummy Goodness

God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown

This year will be the first year that I will officially have a vegetable garden. My neighbor has been helping me til up the area that the other neighbor thinks would be the perfect spot. I listen to him because his garden is HUGE and produces tons of yummy goodness - plus he grew up in my house and his mother grew everything under the sun.

Luckily I have a huge yard and can make my garden as large as my enthusiasm and back will allow. I have radishes, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, peppers, corn, watermelon, and pumpkins. I may be getting a bit carried away but I am so excited. I can't wait to start putting everything in the ground. Tomorrow I will plan out where I want everything and hopefully my garden will not only produce yummy goodness but will also be aesthetically pleasing.

As the planting and growing progress I will be sure to post the pictures.

Friday, April 24, 2009

All I really need to know...

Today as I was outside making bubbles and watching them float across the yard, I remembered how such simple things could bring such pleasure. If I hadn't had other responsibilities I think I would have sat on the porch all day making bubbles.

This evening after dinner I pulled some ready made Toll House chocolate cookie dough out of the refrigerator and made cookies. Did my son eat the cookies? No. Just me. As I sat doing my accounting homework, I ate chocolate chip cookies and realized the stress I normally feel during this time was gone. Alas, I believe eating Toll House cookies improves brain power and information processing.

Both of these activities reminded me of simpler times and a poster I had on my wall as a teenager of Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to KNOW I Learned In Kindergarten.

I thought I would share some of it here and encourage you to check out his website. His insights into the world are truly inspirational.

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum- an excerpt from the book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.

ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don't hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don't take things that aren't yours.
  • Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder.
  • Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living. Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if all - the whole world - had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are - when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

© Robert Fulghum, 1990. Found in Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, Villard Books: New York, 1990, page 6-7.

Excerpt found at

Friday, April 17, 2009

The shelves are empty…go online?

A couple of posts back I wrote about my “possibilities list”. One of the items on my list is love. Just love. Upon further reflection, I realize I do have love in my life. I love my son and he loves me. I love my family and friends and they love me. So love has been crossed of my list and fall in love has taken its place.

I know there are worse things in life than being single but some days those “worse things” are hard to find. Some days the empty half of the bed feels like an ocean of unrumpled sheets and I wonder if it is time to rotate the mattress to make sure it wears evenly. Some days I want to celebrate the little wins in life with someone special and the teenager and dog just don’t cut it. And some days I just want to remember what it feels like to be in love and loved in return. Lately the some days have turned into every day and I have been giving a lot of thought to putting myself out there. By out there I mean online.

I have had some experience with online dating before. None of them have turned out well. The last one was the GPS guy who decided that since he was down in my area he should take the time to find GeoCache’s for his little GeoCaching contest. Yes, we went GeoCaching on our date. This may appeal to some, but not necessarily my cup of tea. I don’t understand the appeal of looking for a box of someone else’s junk or relying solely on the directions given by a little computer on the dashboard.

“Turn left now” says the annoying voice coming from the dashboard.

“Uh really?” I ask, “There is no left!”

“Yes there is. Just wait. My know-it-all computer says so and she has never led me astray,” he says.

“Dude. There is no left. But don’t mind me I just LIVE in this town.”

I digress.

I have to say that my off line experiences haven’t been that wonderful either. There’s the guy who decided he wanted to be with someone else but didn’t want to tell me. Then there’s the alcoholic who thinks that wanting a divorce and being divorced are the same thing. I saw him recently with the wife and baby – not really looking divorced. Then there’s the workaholic I’ve known for ten years and have gone on slightly more than ten dates with during that time span. In my opinion he would be a great catch but I have a feeling he will let himself be caught by someone else.

Bad experiences aside, I honestly don’t feel as though I am going to find my special person online. Maybe the feeling is caused by my reluctance to dive in or someone is trying to tell me something. If it is the latter then I wish it would speak up and tell me where this special person is or maybe even give me a time line.

I know people who have met their special person online and are very happy. The truth is I am a romantic who would like to meet someone in a more traditional way. If a more traditional way even exists any more. I know Mr. Right isn’t going to knock on my door one day and say, “Here I am!” But maybe he will be at the grocery store one day or the service station. Or maybe he is a friend of a friend. Or someone I used to know.

I’ll be giving it some more thought. In the mean time, I am trying to believe that by changing the “possibilities list” and actively taking steps to meet someone, I am set the wheels in motion and there will come a time when I won’t have to worry about making sure the mattress has an even wear pattern.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Proud Parent Moment

I am going to blatantly use my rights as a Mother to say, “My son is AWESOME!”

When my son told me he wanted to audition for the school musical, “Oklahoma”, I just shrugged and said, “Okay. Have fun.” Despite my seemingly lack of indifference, I was kind of nervous for him. I am a shy person and he is outgoing. What I would be hesitant to do, he jumps in with both feet. So I worried. Then his excitement rubbed off on me a little and I started bugging him about when he would find out what role he would be playing.

When he told me that he would be playing Judd Fry, the blank look on my face clearly said, “I haven’t seen this musical before, I have no idea who he is.” When he told me the character was a mean killer I was wondering how my son would pull this one off. My son who gets upset when his friends get teased is going to play a mean guy?

Friday night he more than pulled it off. In my opinion – and that of his dad, stepmom, grandparents, and some random people - he was one of the best actors that night. The audience could understand what he was saying and his singing was better than I thought it would be. I was impressed and proud.

I am proud that he is able to go out and perform in front of an audience like that and do so well. Proud that he isn’t afraid of failing and while I was worried about him trying out, he just did it as if it were nothing. Proud that even though he was – again, in my opinion – the best there was that night, he gave plenty of praise to his fellow cast members. Most of all, I am proud that he is my son.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


In the movie The Bucket List, Morgan Freeman’s character is a middle income terminally ill patient sharing a room in the hospital with Jack Nicholson’s character who is wealthy and “owns” the hospital. Freeman’s character has a “bucket list” of things he wants to do before he dies. Nickelson’s character decides to help him do everything on his list and together they travel around the world and check off items on the list.

In the movie Last Holiday, Queen Latifah’s character is a saleswoman in a department store who is misdiagnosed with a rare brain disease. She has a possibilities book filled with things she would like to do, places she wants to go, pictures of meals she has cooked but doesn’t eat (she sticks with her Lean Cuisine and feeds the neighbor kid the gourmet meals), and people she would like to meet. After her diagnosis, she cashes in the bonds she inherited from her mother and all of her other assets and heads to Europe to turn some of her possibilities into realities.

After watching these movies the message I walked away with was not to wait until it is too late to do the things you want to do, to follow your dreams, or enjoy life.

I have what I call my POSSIBILITIES LIST. It is a combination of a “bucket list” and “possibilities book”. I call it the possibilities list and not a “to do” list because I know I don’t have full control over everything on the list such as getting married. My list is a reminder to take control of my life instead of letting it control me. There are items on the list that are not tangible, they cannot be measured, or held in the hand. They are reminders to laugh, to smile, and to enjoy life more.

The list gives me hope on days when hope is hard to find and direction when I feel lost. Reading the list, adding to it, and crossing things off (making them realities) is a form of therapy for me. I can see where I have been and am reminded of where I am going or want to be.

I try to take out my list at least once a week or whenever I have an idea of something I want to accomplish or do. There are many times when I say “Oh I have always wanted to do that!” It is those times that I pull out the list and add another item.

In the last six months I have turned some of my possibilities into realities and it feels great: getting a laptop, taking my son to Disneyland, and going to Seattle for a wedding (that has happened twice now). There are other items like exercising my second amendment rights and getting a concealed carry permit that need to be completed in steps - last night I took the class with my sister-in-law, the next step is to mail the application.

The point to all of this is that possibilities are endless. It is up to us to make our possibilities realities. Whether it is a bucket list, a possibilities book, a possibilities list, or to do list - whatever you want to call it - the idea is to write them down, remember them, and make them happen.

There is no order to how or when. No time line. They aren’t necessarily goals, but reminders. However you do it, I hope you remember your possibilities and work on making them realities.