Sunday, April 13, 2014

Memories of Seasons

Well, Spring has finally sprung in upstate NY, though today feels more like summer! The change in season brought memories of not only Spring but all of the other seasons. My memories stem from growing up at my grandparents' house where there were always people, food, coffee and plenty to do. So though I have millions of great memories from my past, these are the memories that come to mind at every season change.

Spring
“Spring has come, said the bumblebee,
How do you know, said the big old tree?
Because I saw a daffodil,
Dancing with a fairy on a windy hill”
My sister used to skip (or should I say flit) around the house singing this song when she was a little girl. Not sure where she learned it (school?) but it was cute the first time. After the 100th time singing, I was a little tired of hearing it. But! Every Spring, I think of that song.

I also think of the awesome flowers that my mom and grandma always planted. Gram had flower beds and a cute little garden on each side of the sidewalk in front of the porch. Through the years, they developed little plots of “garden” all around the outside of the house; near the bird feeder, in a wheelbarrow, in an old milk can, etc.

Summer
Swimming! We would always have company in the summer so most of my memories are by the pool. One particularly fun game my sister, cousins and our friends would love to play was called “lava” and we did that by piling onto a raft and seeing who could stay on and not fall in!!

Summer memories also consisted of cookouts (especially July 4th!!), bike riding, building forts and hikes down to the creek past the farm.

Fall
My favorite memory is raking leaves and jumping in them!!

Halloween was also fun growing up because my mom would take my sister and I trick-or-treating with our neighbor friends (3 siblings) and their father. We would have a blast walking around the neighborhoods and always came home with full bags of candy.

Winter
Sledding! Before I had a sledding accident when I was about 13 years old (and haven't sled since), I would sled with my family and our friends in the corn field next to my grandparents' house, and also in the back yard. The fun part was sledding down; the not-so-fun part was the long trek back up the hill!!

We also built snowmen and snow forts. I remember one winter we got so much snow, my neighbor (who was also my best friend) and I built snow people on top of the snow banks in front of my grandparents' house. My mom got a kick out of seeing that when she returned from work that day.


I am thankful, and feel blessed, to have had a childhood filled with so many great memories!


Friday, April 4, 2014

My Friday Favorites


I had a pretty hectic week, especially with not sleeping well (no thanks to my fat cat, Simba, who was recently put on a kitty diet) but I found several things to be thankful for and to be happy about.  Here are my favorites from this week!! 


THE CAROUSEL - RICHARD PAUL EVANS 
I finished another Richard Paul Evans book called The Carousel.  I love Evans's writing and have read all of his books to date.  I am anxiously awaiting the last book in The Walk series.

EVENINGS WITH MY HUSBAND  
Joe and I run a home daycare and it's exhausting.  We love the kids but by time they leave at 4:30pm and we walk the dogs and eat dinner, plus my piano lessons a few nights a week, we are spent.  But despite being tired, we manage to sit together a few nights a week, each with our own laptop while watching a movie.  Sometimes we have a glass of wine, sometimes tea or coffee.  Sometimes we don't even talk but we're together.  I love those evenings.

SINGING
I love to sing and haven't been singing a lot in the last few years.  My husband and I were on a worship team at our former church and once had a great team.  Now we attend a different church and my singing has been less frequent.  But recently, I have started singing again, leading worship with my pastor on Wednesday evenings at church before the evening service.  Singing is one of my passions and I'm glad to be doing it again on a regular basis!

SURPRISE FROM MOM
My mom dropped by my house this morning on her way to work to surprise me with a goodie bag full of sewing stuff; thread, pins, fabric, etc.  I was so tired this morning (Friday) and worn out from my hectic week and getting that surprise was awesome!  My mom always does special things for people and seems to know when they need a little pick-me-up.  I'm lucky to have her!



 SEWING
I plan on doing sewing this weekend so ("sew" HA) it's definitely in my five favorites for the week.  I bough a used sewing machine a few months ago but have just recently begun to use it.  My aunt gave me a pattern and material for pajamas so I plan on trying my hand at summer pj's for myself.  The pattern makes me nervous because I haven't used a pattern since high school but I look forward to trying!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!  HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!!!!!




Sunday, March 30, 2014

Opposites Attract

My husband and I are similar in some ways; in ways of thinking and in our humor, what we like, etc. But there are ways we are complete opposites.

 image from gkworld.com

I sometimes think, “I can't believe we've been married for almost 9 years, how do we live together??” I'm sure all couples go through similar differences but sometimes I wonder how we do it.

Hot/Cold

Joe loves the heat; summer is his favorite time of the year and the hotter it is, the happier he is. In the cooler months, he will crank the thermostat to get warm.

In the meantime...I am dying. The hotter it is, the more miserable I am. I can't stand the thermostat being over 62 deg and if the temp outside is over 70, I crumble into a ball of despair. Ok, I'm being dramatic but pretty close.

Loud/Soft

Then there is the issue of noise. I have GOT to have noise (fan, air purifier, etc) while I sleep at night, I cannot sleep with dead silence. Joe, on the other hand, can't sleep with noise. Well, traffic and things like that are ok for him but “white noise” drives him nuts.

He likes to crank the volume while watching movies, I like it so-so. I'm just not a loud noise person, though some would argue that my MOUTH is loud, ha ha.

This and That

Joe loves fireworks. I have no use for them.

Joe loves parades. Yawn.

I am silly, he is serious.

So yeah............opposites definitely attract!! But we make it work!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Frozen

I watched the movie "Frozen" today for the first time.  I've heard so much about it and wanted to see what all the hype was about.

These are my thoughts on said movie.

I thought the movie was very good. I liked it, in fact. I loved the characters, I loved the singing (Idina Menzel, who was the voice of Elsa, has an outstanding voice), I loved the songs, and the story line was pretty neat.

My favorite characters, of course, were Sven (the Reindeer) and Olaf (the talking Snowman).

 image from www.fatmovieguy.com

I cried at the end of the movie, for two reasons.

First because of the awesome bond and love that the sisters shared (reminded me of my sister and myself). I admired the younger sister, Anna, the most. She risked her life to attempt to bring her older sister, Elsa, back to the kingdom. In the end, the younger girl gave her life for her older sister. I know I would give my own life for my sister so I felt connected to Anna.

 image from gentlemenofdisney.tumblr.com

The second reason I cried was because of the singing. Yes, I was brought to tears because of singing. I miss music, I miss singing. I was on the worship team at my former church for years and it was one thing in life I looked forward to the most. I lived for singing. I've also sang at church functions, weddings and even funerals.

My singing, as of late, has been far and few between and I miss it so much it hurts.

So this movie, “Frozen” brought out the best and the worst of me. The fantasy that I can still sing and keep that passion, and discouragement because I haven't been singing.

That's the personal level.

On a lighter note, I have to say (and don't lynch me for this) I like the “Despicable Me” movies better!

 image from disney.wikia.com


Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's Inside

It's very easy to judge someone whether by their looks, actions, their home, their financial status or how their children behave. But we should stop more often to remember....we have no idea what is going inside of that person; inside their heart, behind closed doors, or in their bank account.  I'm as guilty as the next person.  It's easy to do.

You can look at a woman in church or at the grocery store and think “wow, she looks like she has it all together” or look at a man carrying a briefcase walking into his 2 story home with perfect lawn and brand new car and think “wow, I want what he has”.

What you don't see is...............

The woman who was left to care for her elderly mother; who sits in her room crying or screaming or clutching a pillow ready to throw it for the unfairness that is her world.

The parents who are trying so hard to have “perfect” children despite their marriage falling apart.

The man struggling to make ends meet, to find a job and who feels he is no good....at anything.

That girl who wishes her mother and/or father would just give her the time of day.

The person who hides in a closet and cries; cries out to God or anyone who will listen because life isn't how it's supposed to be, it's not what he/she signed up for.

The person who clutches that glass of alcohol like it's their lifeline. Just one more glass.

Children who go to school and smile and act like everything is ok in their life, only to go home to an abusive or alcoholic parent.

The list could go on. I challenge you to go one day without judgment in your heart. I challenge you to look at that group of teenagers dressed in black or wearing pants that hang down below their butt crack and not think “bunch of hoodlums”. I challenge you to look at that woman standing in church, all dressed up and smiling and not think “Gee, she has it all together, I wish I had her life”.....because you don't know what she goes home to. You don't know how those teenagers live or how their parents treat them. You have no idea if someone is smiling to mask their physical or emotional pain.  You know very little about what goes on behind someone's closed doors.

Don't judge a book by it's cover

 image from photobucket.com

Saturday, March 22, 2014

No Regrets

We've all heard the phrase “Life is short” and most of us know that to be true. Life is short even if you live til you're 90. You can't do things over, you can't take back words spoken and you never get to rewind to where you wish you could be, instead of where you are now.

Live and love today as if there will be no more tomorrow. Why should we worry or fret? We don't know what the next minute will hold, let alone the next day. Make your move. Be the first to forgive or call or write.

Here is my story.

I have no regrets in regards to my grandfather, who was more like a father to me and my best friend; nor do I have regrets in regards to Tony, my mother's best friend and a 2nd father to me.

I was very close to my grandfather and we visited often and always had family gathering and tons of laughs. In fact, the week prior to his death, we saw each other every day but one, almost like God was preparing us for what was to come.

The evening before my grandfather died, I visited him with my husband and stepson. My aunt was at the house, visiting from Tennessee, along with my mom and grandma. We had strawberry shortcake for dessert and sat around the kitchen table laughing and chatting about this and that. I had a nice private talk with my grandfather outside while he was deer watching. Before we left, I gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek and told him I loved him, and he did the same to me. Then we made some jokes, said our good-byes and went home. Grandpa died the next morning.

No regrets.

Tony was so kind to my family and loved me, I believe, as a daughter. In fact, he would sign my birthday and Christmas cards “Love, Dad”. Tony died from lung cancer but my visits with him were filled with laughter (especially at the expense of my mother whom he loved to tease) and the last time I saw him I spent a few hours with him having a nice visit and heart to heart chat about everything. He even gave me marital advice, as a father would. We said our good-byes, knowing, somehow, that it would be our last. Tony died shortly after my visit.

No regrets.

Other family members have passed away and I have no regrets. I only hold three regrets. They will haunt me until I die or until the Lord heals me and I forgive myself for waiting.

Shay: My cousin, Shay, whom I was as close to as a sister, passed away unexpectedly when she was 17 years old. I regret not continuing to be as close to her after I was married (ie, calling, writing) but my biggest regret is that I didn't call her back. 4 days before Shay died, she called me. I remember the day vividly. For my own reasons, I didn't call her back that day and the next day I promised myself I'd call her...later. When I got the chance. Then I forgot. And I never got the chance again.

Uncle Gene: I had been, for awhile, closer to my Uncle Gene than I was my own father. We text each other, met for lunch or coffee and had lots of laughs, until a misunderstanding led to no more texts or coffee or laughs. I held on to stubbornness for a long time, as did he, and I found myself – often – saying I needed to call or text him. I never did. He died unexpectedly. I lost my chance to make things right.

Millie: A beautiful, kind-hearted woman named Millie was my grandmother's neighbor and close friend. I loved Millie so much. I visited with her at her home (she made the best chocolate cake!) and chat with her at Christian Women Luncheons and we mailed cards and notes back and forth to each other often. We even talked often about my house which she once lived in! Recently, Grandma and I had been talking about getting together with Millie “soon” and maybe even taking her to Denny's because Millie mentioned wanting to go there with us.

We never went.

I recently found a note scribbled on the back of a scrap piece of paper in my kitchen. The note said “Send card to Millie” as she had been ill. I never sent a card. Millie passed away before I could send the card. I waited too long.

I'm sharing these things to urge you to CALL that someone or WRITE that someone or TEXT that someone.....don't wait because you may never get the chance again. Don't make excuses. Don't let stubbornness get in the way of what could be a re-kindled relationship. Life IS short and you don't know what is around the corner. God instructs us to LOVE so why should we do any less?

Are you holding onto anger or bitterness or resentment towards someone? LET IT GO.

Are you waiting for someone else to make a move? MOVE!

Don't wait until it's too late. JUST DO IT!

That way, you'll be able to look back and say no regrets!
 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Thankful for Legs

I walked today.

Our Jeep isn't working but I wanted fresh air and had to go to the store, so I walked 8 blocks.  May not sound like much to some of you who walk and hike a lot, but it was quite the feat for me.

I feel slightly out of shape, as I haven't walked my dogs much this winter due to the horrendous cold and some snow storms.  Also I attend physical therapy for a hip problem and I was told to keep walking to a minimum for now.

But today I was itching to get out of the house.  I do have a few complaints:

I haven't walked much this winter so I feel near heart attack, my back hurts and I didn't wear my knee brace so OUCH!

It's like 5 degrees out and I forgot to wear a hat and scarf so I'm a bit numb from the neck up (I DID wear gloves though!)

The south side of Herkimer sucks so next time I walk I'm taking my husband or someone with me.

But all in all I have to say the walk was refreshing.  And I feel a great thankfulness in my heart to God that I have working legs and I CAN walk.  I may have a hip and knee problem which causes great pain in my back but I CAN walk.  I may not be in great shape but I CAN walk.  And I am thankful for that.

Therefore, I have decided that even when our Jeep is fixed, I will still walk to the store if I don't need a lot and it's nearby (which I do live nearby several stores).  What's the sense in driving a few blocks when you can walk?

image from  http://decatrimweightlossreviews.com/decatrim-quick-weight-loss/