Monday, July 20, 2009

Happy Anniversary My Love

Thirteen years ago today, my love and I said "I DO."

It was a beautiful July day with all of our family and friends surrounding us we joyfully became Mister and Missus Guthrie.

What a wedding it was! We started the celebration the night before and finally ended it the day after, when we all were just pooped!

Looking back at the past thirteen years, I wouldn't change a thing. We have three beautiful children and each other and all the ups and downs that go along the way. We look at the family and friends that surrounded us then and even that scenario has changed. My Dad, cousin Ben, Jim's Dad and Grandma have all gone on to watch down on us from heaven. The friends around us have come and gone but we are still grateful that they were there to share our joy.

So today, I wish my love a Happy Anniversary, and to all that love us, Thank you for doing so!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Believing in Yourself

It is interesting to observe how someone's death came move so many people. Naturally I am speaking about the passing of Michael Jackson.

Now, I would be fibbing to say that his passing did not touch me in some way. How could it not? His music fall in the "Soundtrack of My Life" catagory. In fact he had recorded so much, I forgot half of what he did and the walk down memory lane was neat.

I will also say that I have watched part of the coverage on him and even the memorial service (that was very touching by the way). I think that now I am done.

We have this "thing" going on in society. It has always been there even from the earliest days. We latch on to our "heroes" and live our lives through them. It is the truest form of escapism, we do not have to live our mundane less fulfilling lives if we revel in the greatness of another's. We have sold ourselves a crappy bill of goods right from the beginning!

In this past week, I have heard words like "icon" and "idol", both which are relating to religious symbols. The church of Michael Jackson? Really? I enjoyed his music but worshiping him? Not so much. Same goes true for Elvis, Princess Diana and even Princess Grace of Monaco. These were folks that lived out their gifts as far as they could. Should they be a kind reminder that the human condition can be successful? Sure. Should they be worshiped? No.

All the people that I used for examples, lived very turbulant lives. We all knew that. Overall they were human. They faced the extremes of the human condition via their gifts and they had a very hard time with it all. Was it because they were selfish and wanted more and more? No I really do not believe that. I believe that it is the world around them that let them down. We let them down.

While we cannot go back and change history, we can learn from it all. It seems a common condition that most successful people are plagued with "Yes Men." Other people around them, telling what they want to hear. Overall it is the failure of these "Yes Men" that causes all the trouble. These people, the ones that only feed the egos of the others they are doing themselves a greater disservice than the "greats." The "yes men" forget or even ignore that they are great themselves, but they might have to work at it a little harder. So they ride on the coattails of the "greats", sucking out whatever they can instead of living their lives and being a supportive human being.

Most in society are all "Yes Men." As long as we call the people with nurtured gifts "Idols" and "Icons" we are feeding the cause. Should we enjoy the fruits of their talents? Absolutely, they are the very expression of what we are here to do. Should we worship them to forget what we are missing in our own lives? No never.

We all have gifts, it is our birthright, from God. They are all special and unique and they all are needed in society. But anyone one person's gift should not be more important than another. Whatever the gift is, we should recognize it and nurture it to it's fullest.

While some might say that they are not a great orator like some, a great entertainer or any other notable profession, there is something special in each and every one of us that the world needs to know. You do not even have to put a name to it. You just have to cultivate yourself and let your self shine for all to see!

So while we should enjoy the demonstration of one person's gift, we should also be nurturing our own and demonstrating it for others. We can support others and they will support us and we can enjoy all of what everyone has to give, not just a chosen few.

At the end of the day we are all people, glorious souls with lights that are made to shine. Light them up people! Light them up!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

20 Words

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to share something cool today. This video is called "20 Words That Can Change Your Life"

It seems so amazing that 20 common words to us, some when we began to read can make such a big impact when you put them into the right context. These are definitely food for thought and something to inspire me in the future!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Doctor replies "Well, then don't do that!"

So this woman walks in to the doctor's office and says "Doctor. It hurts when I do this..."

So my topic on the mind at this moment is why we keep repeating our mis-steps? We know that an action or words said are going to end up right back at us and still we insist on doing it anyways.

And I think the worse is even when we believe we are totally justified in our actions we go ahead and perform the faux pas knowing full well it will turn out badly.

It's our ego you know. I thought I knew a lot about my "friend" Matilda (that is what I call my ego), after all she is part of me, but when she gets awakened in the wrong manner, well I guess that she is uncontrollable.

The upside (using this tongue in cheek) to this is Matilda is in good company. In fact when she encounters more of her ego friends, well their stuff mingles with her stuff and it is a negativity fest to end all negativity fests.

So now my biggest challenge is to remember what an awoken Matilda is like and what she can set off without really trying. I am sure this goes the same for so many people. Matilda is in really good company.

So I am taking this online course called ILD---Intelligent Life Design. I am trying to learn all the tools necessary to put Matilda to sleep, a restful one where she doesn't need to be up for a long, long time. Anyway the first week of the course we are supposed to avoid all news from typical resources, online websites, newspapers, TV and so far I have not been real successful, but I am still trying.

The developer of the course JB Glossinger from Morning Coach has a good point about controlling the ego by picking and choosing our battles, be assertive to make our point when necessary and then leaving it be. We don't have to be right or accepted, we have spoken our point and that is all that needs to be done.

I guess the next time Matilda rears her stubborn, opinionated head, I will have to remind her the punchline of the joke..

the Doctor replies "Well, don't do that!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ahhh.. The Sweet Sound of Success

Good Morning Friends!

I am here to report first hand on the success of this years recital week!

Our daughter Jacki has been dancing since she was 2 1/2. When her first recital arrived at the prime age of 3, she and her group of dancing cohorts dazzled us with a ballet rendition of "I'm A Little Teapot".

Through the years we have seen a tap number, a few ballet numbers and some jazz as well. About three years ago, we had decided that she had outgrown the typical park district one dance a year program and she was ready for something more. The we found the exciting world of competitive dance teams and Stacie the teacher.

Her first season under Stacie, Jacki competed in one dance and took lesson for two so in the recital she was in three dances. The second year, three competition dances, three lessons dances, six in the recital.

This year was the big daddy so far. This season she competed in 5 dances, had 6 lesson dances and filled in for one where a girl was unable to attend the recital for a whopping 12 dances in the recital!

Now aside from Jacki, dancing flirts with our other family members as well. Joey took jazz/tap when he was 5 and appeared in his first recital, the only boy in the group to a tap rendition of one of the popular 60's dance songs that I cannot think of right now. The lights scared him so we put him in some cool shades. He was the only boy in the recital that year and if I must say he, like my other children are just adorable! When the song started and he started to move, he was the hit of the show!

This year we had another family member bitten by the dancing bug. For the recital there was a "Dad's Dance". And my husband the brave soul he is agreed to participate. There were practices both at the studio and with Jacki, but the details of the dance and even the music were top secret. Ohhh.

The music was a mix of "Catwalk, I'm Too Sexy" and "Sexy Back" and the guys did all these moves and stripped off their shirts to reveal t-shirts that were air brushed with muscles on them. They were so good.

For the rest of the recital, I loved watching all the dances and the 12 that Jacki were in was superb! Her ballet dance featured the debut of dancing en pointe which is something that she has just learned this season and has taken to very well!

So after all the weeks of practicing, Thursday night pictures, Friday night full dress rehearsal and finally the recital yesterday, I can declare that this household is pooped, but well satisfied with the family's accomplishments!

So typical with anything in one breath we are glowing about the wonderful season and in the next we are planning for the next year. Jacki will be competing in 7 dances this next season, so that will mean 13 in the recital, Joey has decided to give hip-hop a whirl, Jonathan we are trying to convince that dance would be cool (he always dances at home) and Jim, well he is the remarkable story out of this years recital. He and his fellow dancers loved it so much, they have asked Stacie to organize an every other week men's dance so that they can practice during the whole year!

So that is the wrap of this year's season. We have two weeks off, 8 weeks of summer support classes and in late July the competition team starts it all starts again! It is funny, given Jim's background, we always thought we would be just a car family, but it seems that dance is a permanent resident in our household!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sticks and Stones...

I was thinking about name calling today. You know what we say about people, something derogatory that we say behind someone's back. Sometimes we even say it to their face.

Anyway as a general rule we feel that it really harms no one if we call the driver that just cut us off in traffic a jerk or the clerk is having register problems an idiot once we leave the store. Again, they cannot hear us so no harm no foul right?

And what we call people is a big one as well. It might be jerk, idiot, stupid and hundreds of other terms, some more salty than the others. But they cannot hear it so what does it matter?

The reality is that it does matter. A lot. For one reason is while we are venting our displeasure with that individual, we are not only allowing our ego to make itself superior ("I am a much better driver than that jerk!") but the negative energy that we are spewing into the Universe is accumulating. In you, around you. And suddenly everything just blows up because our ego is so fed with this verbal venom, that everything is tainted.

The other reason we should not call names is it really does hurt people, because it gets back to them somehow.

What made me think of this is I was watching a Michael Jackson interview with Diane Sawyer. He was mentioning being called "Whacko Jacko" and how much it hurt. He asked Diane Sawyer if she wanted to be called whacko?

When we were kids we all had someone that called us a name or said something mean to us. We were upset and any good mother told their child this, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." And in theory that may be true, because if we are confident and have great self-esteem, anyone can say anything about you and it would bounce off the shield that you have. But the fact of the matter is there are sometimes weak spots in our armor or we might call a name back just to one up the person. It is just negative energy perpetuating itself.

So when we run into a situation that we are displeased with we have to let it go. Seriously. It doesn't matter. It can't. There is so much more to be accomplished with moving on from things. If it is a situation that you can address, just do that address it. Say I am unhappy and tell why and let it go. If you are in a situation where you cannot address it that is an even bigger reason to JUST LET IT GO! In the end it hurts you more than the recipient of the momentary anger.

Life is too short my friends, life is too short!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Things I Am Grateful For..

I am grateful that I awoke this morning with the fresh possibility of what life will bring.
I am grateful that I have a family that loves me regardless.
I am grateful that I have a family to love.
I am grateful for the man who is my husband, my mate, my friend.
I am grateful for my beautiful children and all they are as individuals.
I am grateful that there is a roof over our heads and food on our table.
I am grateful that the sun rose this morning and it will set this evening and it will do so tomorrow.
I am grateful that whatever the situation I can pray and that prayer comforts me.
I am grateful that when I pray for others, that it makes a difference.
I am grateful for everything I experience as they are all lessons to learn.
I am grateful that this is my time to be alive, right here, right now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Woman Lived Dream

Today while I was reading my local paper online (yes I am part of the demise of the real print newspaper) there was the headline "Schaumburg Woman Lived Dream of Teaching Special ED". The story was about Miss Lindsay Gillilan 28, who passed away suddenly Sunday. The story tells of her love of her students and teaching and how she aspired to be a teacher, especially in special education since she was young. That was the position she held, a Special Ed teacher in the Lake Zurich school system.

My initial reaction was sadness. I am sad for Miss Gillilan's loved ones, her fellow teachers and her students. I am sad for all of us actually that the world lost someone who really got what life was about!

Special ED Teachers, well all teachers actually are worth their weight in gold. And there is a special place in heaven for the Special Ed teacher. They have this unique ability to go above and beyond. I know that my son prospers today and it is mainly due to all the nurturing and encouragement that he has received from all the special ed staff in our school district.

Aside from the occupation that she picked, the very fact at age 28 she was doing everything that she wanted to be doing in her life should be an example for the rest of us.

Go for it. Do what you love. Life is too short!

There is a theory that when you are feeling lost one should write what they would want their obit to say. I am sure that in essence we all would write that we lived our dreams, whatever they might be.

The reality is are we? Are we doing what we should be doing to fulfill that prophecy? If not, why not? Even the biggest of dreams have the smallest of steps to them. Have we taken those steps?

This is a lot to contemplate but something we all should do. It is our destiny to live and it is our destiny to die. Those are the rules. How we fill in the details is our decision.

Thank you Miss Lindsay Gillilan for showing us how to live. May you rest in peace.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Auld Lang Syne

Today we give a birthday shout out to the late Guy Lombardo who would have been 107 today.

We all know that he was THE bandleader. His orchestra, the Royal Canadians, which was made up of his three brothers and other neighborhood fellas, were world renowned. According to them their music was "The sweetest music this side of Heaven."

I thought it was interesting to find out that Guy was also a hydroplane racer and he won the Gold cup in 1946. He also owned a restaurant in Freeport, Long Island, New york.

Most notably Guy Lombardo was the man who brought "Auld Lang Syne" to New Year's.

Up until very recently I thought that it was "Old Anxie" (like anxiety) and we were singing to wish all the stress of the old year away. Well, I really didn't sing the whole song, just about 7 words and I hummed the rest, very enthusiastically I might add, because who wouldn't want the stuff from the previous year to be gone?

It is sort of interesting to find out the origin of that song is a poem written by Robert Burns in 1788, that was eventually put to music. Auld lang syne can be translated to "old times" or "once upon time". So when we sing "Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?" we are asking should we forget the old times? And of course not because the chorus reminds us "For auld lang syne my dear, for auld lang syne. We'll take the cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne." Meaning why forget the old things when they are still such sweet memories?

So there you have it let's remember the sweet things, cherish them and still go one living!

And since a birthday shout out wouldn't be quite right without a video is Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians with Auld Lang Syne..

Happy Birthday Mr. Lombardo! Thanks for many great memories!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Silly Love Songs

Good Day Everyone!

I hope that everyone is not missing a thing!

Today we are heading straight to our birthday shout out...Sir Paul McCartney who is 67 today.

We all know and love him, I do not think that there is much more I could write about him than that. He is another one who's music is part of the soundtrack of our lives. From Beatles to Wings to his solo career I am willing to bet that everyone has a fond memory somehwere in their minds that includes the touch of Sir Paul.

So while picking out today's clip it was so hard to choose. Do I go with "Jet" or "Band on the Run"? "Maybe I'm Amazed" or even "Live and Let Die." So many choices. But in the end I had to go with "Silly Love Songs". It came out the summer between 5th and 6th grade when I used to go to the YMCA with friends swim and hang out and there was a boy that I had a crush on (though sorry cannot remember his name) and this song was playing the first time I saw him. be so young and impressionable again! lol BTW There is never going to be enough silly love songs and that's okay!

Happy Birthday Sir Paul! Wishing you many more years of filling our lives with song!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What Are We Missing?

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change--until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds...R.D.Laing

This opening quote is from a newsletter that I get monthly and while reading its contents it really stood out to me, like a beacon almost. After reading it a few times, I got this almost sick feeling in my stomach. Do you have any clue how much we are missing?

I do not mean missing in things that we did not do necessarily. I mean missing in just observation alone. What we do not see, we cannot experience or take advantage of. The greatest opportunity of our very lives might be happening at any time and we just might miss it because we were not paying attention.

Yesterday I brought up ROAK Tuesday. You know, say "Hello" to everyone at very least. While that is a great thing there is an added bonus to this. When you say hello, sometimes is starts a conversation that can go anywhere. You never know who you are talking to. I have had some of the best conversations and found out some great info just by talking with strangers.

I guess that is what the whole quote equates to, we are missing things, a lot of things and we don't know better. Well folks this is our wake up call! Let's open up and participate and see what it is all about!

Today is also the birthday of Barry Manilow who is 66. We all know him and love him! So here is my clip for today and oh so appropriate "Day Break"

Join me and let's not miss another thing!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Whole Lotta Tuesday!!!

Hey Everyone!

Today is a Tuesday and it is a big one!!!

First let's talk about ROAK Tuesday. Sadly last week, I did not post about it, but I hope everyone remembered.

ROAK, a Random Act Of Kindness is just something you do for someone else. Doesn't have to cost you anything, a simple "Hello" to a stranger, it is that easy. The outcome is wonderful! It makes their day. You feel good about it. And soon enough you are getting ROAKs yourself!

This morning on Twitter, a tweet pal of mine @DeniseHammock tweeted about her website ReikiOM The website is beautiful, so calm and peaceful. It gives her bio, what services she offers and information about Reiki itself. She has also posted the Reiki Precept which is:
Just for today
I will not be angry
I will not worry
I will be grateful
I will do my work honestly
I will treat everyone/everything with kindness

What beautiful words, truly words to live by! Words that I truly needed to hear right then and there! Thank you Denise!

I said that this is a jammed packed Tuesday and that is so. We cannot forget our birthday shoutout!

Happy birthday Erich Segal who is 72 today.

We all know and love Mr. Segal's work. This is the man that brought us "Love Story". The template for the chic flick. And who doesn't choke up at the very words from the movie, the lesson of it all, "Love means never having to say your sorry." I am getting misty just writing it! lol

Erich Segal also wrote other great books including "Oliver's Story" which was the follow up to "Love Story" that also was made into a movie. He also wrote the screen play to the movie "Yellow Submarine." (But was he the Walrus?

Love Story is iconic and is a must see for anyone. In fact it is #9 on the American Film Institutes' list of all time romances. Here is something interesting, it was originally written as a screen play and shopped as such. When it was picked up, Erich Segal turned it into book form to boost the movies sales in the Valentine's season.

What made that movie so great was the musical score. So perfect, almost haunting in places, the score was a character of the movie itself. Here is a video clip of the song "Where Do I begin" by Andy Williams...

Are you all teary eyed? I am...again!

So Happy Birthday Mr. Segal and Thank You for many hours of heartbreaking enjoyment!

Wow! What a packed Tuesday! I am off to do...things! Have a great day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Breaking Our own personal Rules!

Happy Monday To All!

Every person has their own rules. Things that we make up to keep our standards and ourselves in line. And we try not to break them because well it usually doesn't end well since we broke a rule.

Right now I cannot name all of things that are personal rules to me. We have discussed the whole white shoes what time of year situation. Hard and fast rule, no doubt. Another one that comes to mind right away is making public declarations. I rarely do, at least I try not make any public declarations. Especially for something I am going to do!

Well last week, I threw caution to the wind and declared right here on this very page that I would do a 10 day challenge. 10 new creations in 10 days and post them consistently. What was I thinking?

I originally approached the idea as a great motivator to get more work done. In theory this is perfect, but carried out is a way different matter!

So while I cannot ever say that I won't take part in a challenge, I am just not going to make it so public. Besides, it keeps the surprise element going with the blog!

Today we are honoring the anniversary of the birth of Waylon Jennings. He would have been 72 today.

He had a long and storied career, getting his start with many other greats like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and the rest of old time Nashville. He was touring with Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly and would have been on the plane that fateful day. He was also part of the Highwaymen, a group of singers that included Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Waylon was also a big part of the country singer/outlaw movement.

While he was always a name that I recognized, he was most famous to me for the song "Good Ole Boys" and as the narrator of the Dukes of Hazard TV Show. Additionally one song "Mommas Don't Let Your Babies Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys." it always seemed a little tongue in cheek to me, but then again what good song isn't? Here is the clip..

So Thank You Mr. Jennings for your contribution to the American landscape!

So that is all for now. Off to go do something, but I not saying what it is! lol

Have a great day!

PS. You can have the entries sent to your email when I post. Just sign up at the top right of the page. I know that the YouTube clips do not appear, but i will make note of that and you can always click over to see them. Sign up today!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Willy Wonka

Hello it is Thursday....

It has been sort of an odd week. Cannot put my finger on it, but odd. Now today, this afternoon, I am suffering from a case of the itchies. Do not quite know why. The kids came inside as they were trying to get their hover thing out of the tree and the mus have stepped in an area where the little brown ants are in the grass. Jonathan starts jumping around that he got bit and I killed an ant on his shoes and suddenly I start itching. Nice.

Today I am announcing my challenge. I challenge myself to complete 10 card designs in 10 days. The subject and type of card are up in the air, but I have to complete one a day. once I post them they will be available to purchase if you just love them!

Today we have a fun birthday, Gene Wilder. He is 76. He has been in many movies, a favorite of Mel Brooks and he also partnered with Richard Pryor on a few occasions. My favorite movie of his was "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". Here is a clip from that movie...

I loved the movie even now, though the OompaLoompas are still a bit creepy!

So happy birthday Mr. Wilder, you have given us many hours of entertainment!

Off to take a dose of benedryl, hope that does it!

Have a great day and look for the 1st day of the challenge tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It is a Big Day for Birthdays!!

Welcome one and all to Wednesday!

Today is a super birthday day!

First I would like to say Happy Birthday to my dear cousin Brenda. She is a real gem. A good friend, a good cousin, sister, daughter, aunt and so on. She is loving caring and always there to help when you need her. Brenda may your day be filled with happiness and many, many more lovely birthdays!

Here is Brenda with Allison at her college graduation.

And if this day wasn't filled with enough birthday joy, it is also the anniversary of the birth of Miss Frances Ethel Gumm. We know her as the iconic Judy Garland and today she would have been 87.

We all Judy Garland and love her as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. IF you watched old films you know her in the movies with Andy Rooney, the "Hey kids let's put on a show" movies that were great.

What never was really on my radar was the talent she really was especially after after you take the mentioned movies out of the picture. She was really great. And it is sad really you know that a lot of times when that greatness, that God given gift appears that most are so unable to cope that they end up self destructing from it. I think that there are lessons in everything and our lesson from Ms. Garland's life is love your gifts, embrace them knowing they are yours and no one can take that away from you!

I had a hard time narrowing down what to share with you today. First is a clip from the movie Summer Stock 1960

And because I am a huge fan of all three, her is a clip of Judy with Frank and Dean. No last names needed!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

School Out

It is Thursday and quite a day. It is the last day of school!

Our district does the last "official" day of school, the kids were there for a whole hour and back on the buses and back home. You would think that it costs more in fuel for the transportation than the district makes in state funding for this last day. But hey, what do I know?

So let us compare...Here is a shot of the kids on the first day of school last August.

And here are the kids now..Jacki

And Joey

They certainly have grown and matured in the last 10 months!

Now it is onto a summer of day camp, swimming lessons and of course dance. We might even fit a few day trips in there as well!

It is hard to believe that in two months and 15 days my babies will be in 7th and 4th grade!

So no birthday shout out today. But here is a fun clip. Alice Cooper "school's Out"!

Here is to a fun summer for everyone!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Soundtrack of Our Lives-Happy Birthday Marvin Hamlisch


Today is Tuesday and you know what that means. It's ROAK Day!!!! Hold a door, say hello, let someone in front of you in line. There is a certain amount of joy you will get from the response of the person that you do it for. It is hard to describe. And the best thing of all, you never know when it comes back to you!

Today is also Marvin Hamlisch's birthday. He is 65.

So now this is the time where you start to question the obscurity of my birthday picks. Born on this day were also Justin Long the "I Am A Mac" guy from the commericals, Zachary Quinto Spock from the latest Star Trek movie, Dana Carvey, you know the "Church Lady" from SNL and even Jerry Mathers "Beaver Cleaver." All of these folks would have been just as cool to mention in length and I might some other year, but I picked Marvin Hamlisch because he is part on the soundtrack to our lives. Even you young ones!

You see Marvin Hamlisch scored some of the most important movies and theatre productions in the last 40 years. A Chorus Line, The Way We Were, Ice Castles, The Spy Who Loved Me. It sounds crony to some but seriously, how many dance productions have there been of all or parts of A Chorus Line? How many times have you heard the song "What I Did For Love"? Did you know that it came from that musical as well? And what would the list of classic film romances be without Redford and Striesand in The Way We Were? Or any picture retrospect for that matter without the song "The Way We Were" palying in the background. All Marvin Hamlisch!

And while time marches on and technology makes things easier and more complicated that fact of the matter is it all begins with simple notes on a piano played by one of the greats like Mr. Hamlisch! Thank you and happy birthday!

So today it would be no fun without a clip and here we have another fave. Carly Simon with "Nobody Does It Better." This is from the movie "Spy Who Loved Me."

Have a great day!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

We Miss You Dad

Hello Everyone,

Today is a melancholy day in our family. Today marks the fifth anniversary of my Dad's passing.

His illness was swift and unexpected. His life too short. But he left his impression on this world as a man, husband, father, grandfather and a friend.

Dad had a great sense of humor. One of his favorite jokes was "Mrs. Murphy made a bean soup with 239 beans. If she put in one more bean it would have been too farty." And when he told it, he tried a little of the Irish brogue as well.

One of Dad's favorites was Laurel and Hardy. Here is a clip to enjoy!

We love you and miss you Dad!

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Monday to Celebrate

Today is Memorial Day. A day that marks the beginning of summer and so much more.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, it was enacted in 1868 to commemorate the America lives were lost during service to our country, originally intended for Union soldiers that fought in the Civil War. Subsequently it was extended after World War I to include all members of any military action.

While it is wonderful to see the parades and the other special events, I think we as a country must keep up our gratitude for military services persons and their families every day.

Sometimes we take for granted what we are as a country or what being a citizen of this great country really is. There are people fighting in every corner of the world defending our freedoms. While some might question the validity of the battles, that should not shadow in anyway the brave people that take on that battle just because we are a great country to defend.

A few weeks back there was a citizenship ceremony for people that had passed all the requirements to become US citizens. I am sure that this is an event that ordinarily happens with some regular occurrence. Except this particular one really touched me. This group of people were military service personnel. These were folks that willingly signed up to defend a country and it's citizens that they were not a citizen of themselves. I was awestruck! We take so many things for granted!

People argue that it is frustrating that people from other countries immigrate here to start a new life. And they complain this or that about a particular nationality that is cornering a particular trade or business. And maybe those new people are a little more abrupt than some would like. But we forget, that they chose the United States of America because it is truly a better place, well the best place to be.

So on this day, like we should any day, let's be grateful and say Thank You for the bravery of individuals that enlist their lives to keep this country great and free and the place that people want to come here to live!

Switching gears slightly I'd like to wish my princess Jacqueline a very happy birthday. It is hard to believe that my first born is 12 today. Where has the time gone?

Our baby girl who is intelligent, beautiful and full of sass, is going to experience her last year as a teenager and I can hardly believe.

So my dear, you are another year older and another year wiser and as you fully mature into that wonderful young woman that you are destined to be, always remember how much we love you!

A little something for you!

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, May 22, 2009

'Tis the Season....

Okay so here we are the start of Memorial Day Weekend. The "start" of summer.

Aside from the obvious, looking forward to gardening and bar-be-queing and spending more time outdoors we can say "Yeah!" for the greatest aspect of this time of year. Out come the white shoes!!

Now I have always been told that white shoes season was Memorial Day to Labor Day. That was a rule plain and simple. Even for the stylish senior gentlemen that matched up the white shoes with the white belt as well! Straying from this rule was the same as not mixing bleach and ammonia. Makes you gasp, your eyes water and just a bad decision overall.

Oddly enough no one really knew the origin of the white shoes rule, just that it existed. And the rumors of the social scorning that followed if you should even consider breaking said rule. While no one really knows, I would guess that it has something to do with not keeping shoes clean.

According to this article from the Shine ezine via yahoo, there is no standard about the white shoes when. We can just be foot loose and fancy free with our whites, not matter what the calendar says. This article also suggest that our purse and shoes don't have to match and we can mix silver and gold jewelrey together on a regular basis. What are they thinking?!?!

Now I am not a fashion plate by any means. My usual style is clean and matching hopefully. Somtimes I get sucked in by trendy and love it so much that I am bummed when I cannot find the "trendy" item three years later. lol But somehow breaking the white shoes rule is just too much for even me.

So as of Monday, Memorial Day I will dance around with the white shoes season, enjoying it, flaunting it even and then come Labor Day, I will put them away with my fine summer memories. The way it should be!

And for all of you fashion forward, breaking the basic fashion rules passed down from the ages gals...well have a great summer too!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

End of An Era... Happy Birthday Harold Robbins

Today marked the end of an era in our house. A short one, but an era none-the-less. Today Jonathan was officially finished with 3 year old Preschool!

To mark the occasion the morning and afternoon classes met together, played on the park district grounds, snacked together and after a final song (If You're Happy and You Know It-for the curious), each child was awarded their certificate of completion.

Here is Jonathan with his certificate!
So one year of preschool down, one year closer to college! lol

My other two finish school the first week of June. Stay tuned for the details.

Today's Birthday Shout out is the late great author Harold Robbins. Today is the 93rd anniversary of his birth.

I read my first Harold Robbins novel when I was a teenager. Always a good read, when I was younger I can certainly say that I got quite and education reading his books! lol

I was looking over his list of books and I remember some of them but now I know that I need a Harold Robbins refresher course!

I never knew that the movie "King Creole" starring Elvis was based on the novel "A Stone For Danny Fisher". Sort of cool.

So today I leave you with a clip of commercials from 1977. They are all sort of corny to watch, but at the 6:20 mark, there is a commercial for the Harold Robbins novel "Dreams Die First".

So, hunt your local library, your used book store or someone's book shelves and pick out a Harold Robbins novel, any Harold Robbins novel and enjoy a steamy good read! And please share, what is your favorite Harold Robbins novel? Looking forward to reading it in the comments!

On that note I leave you off to grocery shop. I am tired of the kids asking for more food! lol

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Blinky St. James

Sometimes when we are in our most comfortable stations, life comes by and reminds that there is more than comfort to living. There is loving and caring and being. There is witnessing what else there is out there and acting accordingly. There is just loving people regardless of the fact that you might not even know them.

On twitter I have had the privilege of meeting Elizabeth and Katy Hughes of the south bay area of California. They are a mother and daughter team, Elizabeth is a widow and Katy is a delightful young lady who is insightful, witty and has the potential to be a great artist someday. The most amazing this about these two ladies is their perseverance as that they are homeless.

Elizabeth and Katy lost their husband/father when Katy was 6. Subsequently they have been living on survivor's benefits from social security and a job that Elizabeth held. A while back Elizabeth had lost her job and last year the survivor's benefits got cut in half because Katy turned 16. Now all they get is money for Katy herself monthly. Both ladies have health problems, they cannot afford rent and other expenses. They have had some short term apartments over the last few years, but except when they are blessed with someone donating money for a motel room, they sleep in their car.

I have read their blogs and you know, they are not happy with the situation at all, but somehow they are doing their best to keep their spirits up and I am awed by them.

My Dad used to have a saying, "I was sad because I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet." I cannot think of better fitting words.

So the main reason I am writing today is that it is Katy's birthday. She is 17. Along with sending her my best thought, prayers and birthday wishes, I was hoping that we could all pitch in for her. They are currently staying in a motel through this morning and then they are back in the car. Maybe if we all pitch in we can come up with enough to keep them in the motel for a few more nights that would be a great gift to Katy. Not exactly a new purse or some new clothes, the typical 17 year old gifts, but at least they would not be sleeping in their car.

Okay here are the details. Elizabeth's website is God's Power and Love and Katy's website is Destination Anywhere But Here.

Elizabeth's email address is Paypal donations can be sent to that address.

On twitter Elizabeth is known as @imexhausted and Katy is @blinkystjames. Follow them they are great gals!

Whatever we all can do for them would be great. They just need a hand!

So Happy Birthday Katy! and many many more. And for you a little Michelle Branch.

I hope that we can help them. And Please pass this blog around to other friends, the internet is a great big place and we all can help if we try!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

It's Tuesday! ROAK Day

Good Morning to all!

Just a quick hello for the moment.

I just wanted to remind you that it is ROAK Tuesday. And let's do something fun today. When you get a chance come back and visit after your ROAK and let everyone know in the comments what you did. It is always fun to share!

Have a great day!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Jonathan

This is my youngest Jonathan and somehow to my dismay he turned 4 today. Where did the time go!?!?!

Of our three kids he is the one that has pushed my limits the farthest and made me grow the most as a person. Personality wise, he is so different than my other two, he certainly is the most outspoken!

Happy birthday my darling son! I am so blessed to have you in my life!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

50 Things About Me


Sometime last year, in an email group that I am on, we were asked to post 50 things about us that the group did not know. Since my blog is relatively new, I thought I would post the list here to give you an idea about me. So here goes.
1.My Middle name is Anne as is my Mom's, my daughter's and our dog Pumpkin
2.I have three children 1 daughter and 2 sons
3.Other than last names, everyone in my household share part of their name with another realtive.
4.I have so much trivial knowledge stuck in my head, I think it spills out of my ears sometimes!
5.I have been married for almost 13 years
6.Jim was a blind date, we met 10-30-92 and haven't been apart since!
7.I try to be all things to everyone and sometimes, I just get tired.
8.I am a really good problem solver.
9. Growing up I had few friends, but my books were my best friends.
10.I always thought I wasn't a picky eater, but the list of things I won't eat grows every day.
11.I never met chocolate that I didn't like
12.I have crafted forever
13.My Grandma Tomlin taught me to crochet when I was 8
14.I have problems understanding instructions without diagrams
15.I have a million great ideas, but my execution stinks. lol
16.Every morning and every night I pray for all living beings to find peace and comfort.
17.About once a year I try to be vegan, but it does not last long.
18.Last year briefly, I considered letting my natural color grow out. Briefly
19.I used to be a hairdresser, loved doing the hair, hated finding hair on me at the end of the day.
20.My greatest fear is that something will happen to one of my kids.
21.I cry at everything all the time, always have.
22.I have a paper obsession!
23.First time I saw the Cricut Expression in a print ad and read the description, my heart was pounding!
24.When I am nervous, I laugh which tends to disturb people.
25.My brother broke my nose when I was 18
26.I am one of two children
27.I am a bad house keeper. Better Homes and Garderns will never be at my house for a photo shoot!
28.From 1987 to 1999 I moved 9 times between 2 states
29.Once a year I decide that we have to sell our house and move somewhere else. Usually means I am bored so then I paint or rearrange furniture.
30.I live on 1.5 acres, 20 minutes west of Chicago
31.My Dad and I have identical baby pictures
32.My kids fill my heart further than I thought it could be possible
33.I try hard, but sometimes I think I fail them
34.I won 3rd place in the fish category at a grilling contest for a radio station. I made shark with fruit salsa
35.#34, there were 7 entries! lol
36.My senior picture from high school, I look just like my Mom
37.There is a Christmas picture floating around in my family that I am modeling a gift of rainbow socks on my ears.
38.I make cream puffs from scratch. That is my signature dessert.
39.I have Christmas every year, it is easier on my kids.
40.I did not like dogs until I met my husband and his dog Baron.
41.My first husband didn't want kids. After I got divorced, every guy I met knew up front that kids were a deal breaker.
42.Most times things that bother other people do not phase me, I am oblivious to it all
43.I do not think I can write a short sentence!
44.It has taken me almost 45 years to have a true feeling of who I am and who I want to be
45.My favorite movie is Moonstruck
46.I read about 25 blogs daily
47.I tend to talk back to the TV or computer when I do not agree
48.I could eat shrimp every day
49.I would love to make a living from creating
50.Regardless of how the day went, good or bad, I thank God for everything!

So that is me in a nutshell. This has been fun. It would be cool for you to share somethings about you in the comments!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 11, 2009

ROAK Tuesday~Happy Birthday Steve Winwood

Hello Everyone!!!

Today is Tuesday and I am beginning a new tradition for me. Today is ROAK Tuesday!

Do you remember I asked you last week to do a ROAK (Random Act of Kindness)? I am sure that it gave you a great feeling knowing that you were making someone's day! Okay so let's do it again!!!

Today's birthday shout out is Steve Winwood. He is 61 today.

Stevie, as I always knew him by, is a world class singer/songwriter and plays many instruments, especially the guitar and organ. Along with his chart topping solo career he has been in the Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Blind Faith. He has been paired with the likes of Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Lou Reed, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Joel and many others.

His song writing credits include "Gimmie Some Lovin'" (what would the Blues Brothers be without that song?) "I'm A Man" "All Along the Watchtower" and other songs as well. One of my fave is from the "Traffic" days "Low Spark of High-heeled Boys".

That song was co-written with Jim Capadli. Thought the general premise might have started out different, in an interview Stevie said that it was about the record business.

I have made a card as an inspiration piece. The front features lyrics from the song "If I gave you everything that I owned and asked for nothing in return would you do the same for me as I would do for you?" The front and the inside are hand stamped in a cloud pattern similar to the original album cover that the song was release on. Here is a picture of the album cover:

Now here is my card. It is available for purchase in my etsy shop. You can click on the picture to get to my shop!

Okay so let's wrap this Birthday Shout Out with 2 videos. The first is the "Low Spark of High-heeled Boys" from Traffic.

And the second is "Valerie" a Steve Winwood solo piece.

Happy Birthday Stevie Winwood, we love your music and keep churning them out!

So have a great day and don't forget ROAK Tuesday!

Martha Graham

Happy Monday Everyone!

Today we will get right to our birthday shout out and that is the late Martha Graham. Today she would have celebrated her 115th birthday.

While many might know her, Martha Graham was a important person in my family's make up; being that we have a hardcore dancer in the family. You see Martha Graham was the one of the dancers that broke away from the traditions and techniques of classic ballet to perform "Contemporary" dance. Dancing that contained emotion and free movement. Dancing that allowed the dancers to make good use on gravity instead of the lightness of ballet.

Martha Graham did not herself develop Modern Dance, she surely had a hand in it's development. She danced well into her later years, was the first dancer to perform at the White house and traveled as an ambassador of goodwill. She was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Here is a clip that I found on You Tube. The lead dancer in the long dress with the cape is Martha Graham performing!

As you watch that clip you can even see where hip-hop dancing has grown out of due to dancers like Martha Graham!

So Thank You Ms. Graham for all your contribution to Modern Dance. I know that my daughter sure appreciates the work that you have done!

Have a great day everyone and I will talk with you soon!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to every Mom out there!

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Big Reveal...

Well is is Happy Tuesday!

Happy Cinco De Mayo to all! Let's celebrate just because we can!

First the big reveal...

If you recall, I started out with just materials yesterday

And now today we have this..


Actually this is an inspiration piece as well. Our nephew Levi is graduating from Colorado State next week. I am sending one of these cards to him!

If you have a graduate that you would like to congratulate, this card is in my etsy shop here.

Today's birthday shout out is from Ann B. Davis who is 83 today. Our beloved Alice from the Brady Bunch.

Seriously who didn't love Alice? My favorite "Alice" episode is when she secretly sent Jan the locket because she was a middle child like her. (Actually, Jan was sooo misunderstood. lol). And by the Brady reunion time to know that Alice and Sam the butcher finally tied the knot, well that made the whole thing!

So I could not find a Brady Clip that I like so here is a commercial from the '80s in her Alice character for Shake-n-Bake.

Thank you Ann B. Davis for your very many Brady years. Happy Birthday and many, many more!

One more thing..
My other blog, It's A Fairy World, my topic is kindness today. Would you please carry out at least one ROAK today. For me? Please? Thank you in advance!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn

Howdy Howdy Howdy

It is Monday! Everyone stand up and cheer. This means that all that crap that occured last week has washed away to a beautiful new week! Yea!

So what are we going to do this wonderful new week. Work, explore, take care of business. What ever we stinking want to!

So now that's out of the way.

I am working on graduation cards that will be available tomorrow. Here are all of the materials. I feel like the cooking show, here are all of the ingredients and let's she what she can cook up in just 15 minutes! They should be cool, I can see them in my head. lol

Today is Star Wars Day. "May the 4th be with you!"

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of Ms. Audrey Hepburn. She would have been 80 today.

I do not remember really any of her movies sadly, the clip of My Fair Lady seems familiar. And I know that she made the original movie Sabrina (which the remake is one of my favs). What stands out about Audrey Hepburn to me is class and a great sense of the importance of helping others. She was a world class humanitarian working with UNICEF and she blazed the trail for the likes of actors like Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie to get involved with matters other than Hollywood.

Here is clip from Roman Holiday that is very cute:

I think there is an Audrey Hepburn film festival in our future!

Well every one have a great day and

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day ~ Happy Birthday Kate Smith

Hello To All!

I hope that this post finds you well on this May Day.

So what is May Day other than and distress signal? Actually it is rather interesting.

In the Celtic traditions, pre-Christianity, May Day signified the festival of Beltane. Which was the start of the summer season. The herds of livestock were driven to the fields and a new fire was built that would be kept going all the way til it was time for the next festival.

May Day is also a cross quarter day, marking the half way point between the sun's journey from spring equinox and the summer solstice.

The May Pole was a fixture in many towns and was decorated for this festival to signify to new growth and vitality of Spring. Traditions like hanging flowers on doors of the homes in the villages and picking a May Queen become more prominent in the late 1700's and are of the British and Puritan influence.

In the late 1800's May Day became the symbol of international labor as worker's gathered together to demand better working conditions including the 8 hour work day. This relates to the Haymarket Square affair in 1886 Chicago. After employees decide to strike a machinery plant when fellow workers were killed due to unsafe conditions. This lead to further protest, a bombing in the crowd with a lot of bloodshed and the eventual public hanging of 7 convicted criminals. Ewww

In 1958 President Eisenhower signed a proclamation naming May 1 as Loyalty Day. A day to re-proclaim our loyalty to our country. Some areas of the country celebrate this with parades and festivals.

Which brings us to our Birthday Shout Out which is the late Kate Smith. Today she would have been 92. She was a talented singer that was featured on radio shows in the 1930's and beyond. Her most memorable recording was her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America".

You had a wonderful gift Ms. Smith and we are all grateful for you sharing it.

So we have come full circle celebrating the beginning of the growing season, to the celebration of labor to the very reminder why we as so blessed with the freedoms we have.

Go out and dance around the May Pole or just brings some fresh flowers in your home. Celebrate what a great country we have. And celebrate all of those who fight to keep our country great!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Another Giveaway and Cloris Leachman

Hello to All!

First, I'd like to tell you about another cool giveaway. Another twitter pal @sevidesigns is giving away an adorable handmade buttercup bag. It is in the most delight Lila Tueller fabric and a must have for the complete summer wardrobe! All the deets are on Katherine's blog, Sevi Desings. Make sure you browse the whole blog and her shop too, so many deligtful things!

Today's birthday shout out is to Cloris Leachman. Who is a young 83 today.

This woman is insane! Do you remember her performances on DWTS? She was a riot. And her list of performances on TV, movies and stage is very long according to her wiki entry.

Well, she has been an avid supporter of PETA for years and apparently a devout vegetarian. If that is what it takes to be that vibrant at 83, then I might just be throwing out the hotdogs again!

So happy birthday Ms. Leachman and many, many more!

That is all I have for now. Quite frankly, it is 4:25 am, and I am going back to bed! lol

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ultimate Promo GiveAway Alert!!!

Hello Friends!

I am writing to bring you great news. A favorite Esty seller of mine, Self Production Design is having a give away! Their shop has all of these really cool items that sellers like myself can use to promote their personal endeavors. I think that one of my favorite items is the scratch off card that you can give to customers to encourage future business. I love, love, love clever things and this lands right near the top of the list!

So right now go and visit their blog Self Production Design. They have all of the deets about the contest and so many other cool things that you can use if you are a eager artisan like myself!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reflections on Life

Pictured is my Grandma. She passed away last Tuesday. She was 89.

Grandma was ill for a long time. Throughout my memories I could always remember that there were certain health issues that plagued her and would show up periodically. She also had osteoporosis, that was very advanced making her very fragile and it hampered her getting around some.

To be quite frank these last 15 or so years we were not very close. Large gaps of time would pass and we would not have any contact at all. She had other parts of her life to focus on and so did I. And really that is the way the adult world works after all.

I have some very fond memories of Grandma. Spending time with her, baking apple pies, crocheting and embroidering, and getting candy bars from her secret stash in her closet. Mars bars...but that is a different story for another day.

We had known the end is near for quite a few days and that was the beginning of the tidal wave of emotion that is released when someone in the family passes.

Since I could characterize my relationship with Grandma as love/dislike, I started trudging through all the memories, did my share of finger pointing, picking out the things and situations that I didn't reap from and explaining why I didn't go out of my way for her. Mind you, my family is fairly good sized, so it was not that I was the only grandchild. So I was singling myself out amongst the others that I am sure were doing the very same thing as me.

What made me feel better in going into the wake and the funeral was holding on to those memories, my special ones knowing that no other person in the family had those exact memories and that made them special because they were mine.

Throughout the services Sunday and Monday, I listened to others speak of Grandma. Some of it was things I knew and some of it was things I never heard. Some of it was so outrageous that I was stunned that we were all referring to the same person!

How could she be so different with so many different people? At some point when I got older, did she just decide to be a different person?

I have realized that she was all those things, to all of us. And no matter how well you think you know a person, they are different things to different people.

Then it flashed in my mind, why wasn't she those things to me? Why did I miss out?

I think the best answer is that we are not everything to everyone. Does that make sense? She was the teaching me to make apple pie Grandma to me and she was the make sure that you did your homework after school Grandma to another. And that is okay. I can see that now.

Part of our life is learning lessons. One way is to actually experience situations and the other is by observation. To be honest. I am beginning to believe that the observation part is way more important than the experiencing. Well it has to come first at least.

If I look at my Grandma's life just as an observer, I can objectively pick out the things in her life that I would never want to experience and the things that I look forward to, like the joy of being a grandparent someday.

And while actions in her life would be considered wrong whether it be fact or opinion, I am able to view those and put them somewhere in the back of my mind, for future reference. Later I can call upon them for comparison on situations in my life. Learning lessons.

So Thank you Grandma for the lessons you have taught me even if you didn't mean to.

And Thank you to all of God's creatures for the lessons you have taught me even when you didn't me to.

Also, remember, we are all being taught the lessons, we are teaching each other, every minute of every day. I guess the trick is to take them in and heed them when necessary.

Rest in peace Grandma.