Monday, November 29, 2010

Walking on Clouds

No, I'm not having a super-fantastic happy day.  But I do like my new boots.

I never jumped on the Ugg bandwagon because I thought they were, well Uggly.  But the idea of walking around on shearling?  That got my attention.

Every year during the holiday season Costco sells shearling boots styled  like the classic Uggs.  Since I'm forced to wear flat shoes this winter after breaking my ankle, it seemed to be the perfect excuse to buy a pair.  AAAAAHHHH!  Heaven underfoot. 

And the best part?  Because I bought boots with no label on the back, I saved $140.  I shall wear my label-free boots with pride.  All the way to the bank.

(Bad lighting, but trust me, these are great boots!)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Large Blessings in Small Packages

Twenty-seven years ago today I gave birth to my second daughter.  I feel just as lucky today as I did then. 

Happy Birthday, Jaclyn!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Say What, Martha?

Dang, Martha even has a turkey yard!  (That's a new term to me, but then again, I don't raise poultry.)  She just rattled off the names of  three varieties (breeds? What do you call something you're going to eat?) that she's raising.  I can barely remember the names of my children.  (Well, I can remember the names, just not who they belong to.)

Gardening, cooking, entertaining, decorating, crafting, home maintenance (yes, I've seen her whip out the tools and do some real work), and now I'm learning she raises her own poultry and keeps bees.

I've got to stop watching her show.  It's bad for my self-esteem.

Monday, November 22, 2010

As Long as People Have Birthdays...

...I'll be making cards.

I once had a boss who told me he worked best under pressure.  At the time I didn't understand exactly what that meant.  (Yeah, I was young and stupid.  And the wrong person for that job.)  But now I get it.  Nothing gets done until crunch time.

Here's a card I made for my wonderful brother's birthday.  He's an army vet who happened to be born on November 11th.  But that has nothing to do with the card.  I just wanted to brag about his service and dedication to our country.

Cards for men always stump me.  Luckily, my brother has an alter ego who is a raccoon.  I was flipping through my Cricut cartridge booklets desperately searching for something, when this cute little guy from Give a Hoot jumped out at me.  And the tin can on his head made him look like a real "party animal".  Problem solved!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Explains a Lot

Lately I've been feeling a little lightheaded.  I wasn't sure what was causing my head to swim, and at my age it was really beginning to worry me.  Then I saw this and it all started to make sense...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Favorite Anti-Aging Treatment

After spending most of my retirement funds on anti-aging creams and potions, it seems what I really needed to make me look younger was a week at Disneyworld with my family.

Sure, there were a few meltdowns.  That's typical when you combine kids and large crowds.  But then I regained my composure and started to have a good time.

What proved to be truly effective at making me look (or at least feel) younger was spending time at my favorite place on earth with three of my favorite people. And while it takes several weeks for other treatments to show results, I've found that a smile is an instant facelift.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Very Happy Place

Sometimes life can seem really good.  Little things make all the difference in the world.  My granddaughters are often behind the wheel of the vehicle that drives me over the edge.  But some days they can make me feel like the luckiest woman alive.

Today, for no good reason at all, my 12-year-old granddaughter held my hand.  In a public place.  Well, until she thought someone might see us.  But that was enough to keep a smile on my face for a long, long time.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday Adventures

Today was fun.  I had a mammogram.

First, let me say it was a pleasure just driving there.  Don't ever schedule an appointment of any kind on a holiday. (You can't just say "screw it" and turn around when you find yourself in bumper-to-bumper traffic; you've already made the commitment.) I realize I stayed in bed a little too long this morning, but I had to check the date on my cell phone to be sure I hadn't slept straight through to Black Friday. 

In preparation of standing naked from the waist up and making chit-chat with a total stranger, I had chosen to wear an ill-fitting shirt that gaped open in all the right places. I had a few stops to make before I got to the office, and showing my goodies along the way helped lower my inhibitions.

The imaging center was packed.  Several times one of the employees apologetically announced that they were backed up and she could reschedule anyone for another day if necessary.  Just how far behind must a medical office be when they make an announcement of that kind???  I can honestly say in 52 years I don't recall a single visit to any medical professional that started at the appointed time.  To have someone apologize for the wait made me wonder if this would be an overnight visit.

The wait actually wasn't too long.  Maybe this is the one facility that understands the scheduling process.

When the technician started the procedure, she had those babies squeezed in so tight I thought I might fall to the floor from the pain, but I was pretty sure that would be impossible. We weren't going anywhere. Each time she uncranked them from the vise to change positions, the little things would slip right off and she'd have to gently nudge them back.  I'm sure it wasn't her fault; she had very little to work with.  Well, except for Big Bertha on the left.  She almost fills an A-cup. 

And then it was over.  Not too bad.  I highly recommend it to all women of a "certain age".  Just not on a holiday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

To Those Who Protect Our Freedoms...

...Happy Veterans Day!

You all have my utmost respect and appreciation.  And I'd also like to thank the families who hold down the fort while the soldiers are deployed.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Really Do Craft (Occasionally)

The past few days have been nothing to joke about, and I sure don't feel like crafting anything, so I decided to cheer myself up by bringing out proof that I have actually used some of my supplies (as opposed to just buying and hoarding).

This is a card I made for my husband on our anniversary back in the spring.  I used the Cricut Sweethearts cartridge for the couple and decided not to add the layers because I liked it as a silhouette.  I also used a Martha Stewart border punch to cut the blue strip on the bottom. 

It's a fairly simple card, but mine usually are.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ugly Pictures

You didn't really think I would show them, did you?

I wanted a new profile picture since I've finally managed to lose the weight I'd found over the past few years.  As we were leaving for dinner out last night, and while I was actually wearing makeup and had clean hair, I asked the girls to grab the camera and take a few photos of me (I knew it would take several tries to even hope for a good shot).

There wasn't a decent photo in the bunch.  I've always been unphotogenic.  Always.  (Well, except the one baby picture I could find.  That was cute. Or so I thought.) 

Am I wrong?  I sure thought I was cute.

But then it hit me--could Mama have been wrong?  Or worse, did she lie to me???  Maybe the hard, cold fact is I'M JUST NOT ATTRACTIVE.  All the makeup and good lighting in the world can't change that. 

Is that why there aren't more pictures of me as a child?  Maybe Mama and Daddy didn't want photographic evidence that one of their kids was ugly.  They must have clung to that one good photo like grim death.

Oh, and just how thin do I need to get before I no longer look chubby in pictures?

This is the only glimpse you're getting

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm Gettin' a Dog

No, I don't run a daycare center from my home.  I don't have several toddlers to feed, either.  As a matter of fact, there haven't been any toddlers in my house in a long time (and yes, I have swept since then).  This is what was left behind after my granddaughters had lunch today.  They are 8 and 12. 

Any wonder I hate housework?

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Someone actually told me yesterday that she thought I was maybe 43 or 44 years old.  I was on cloud nine until I looked back and saw her put on her glasses.  Really, really thick glasses.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Anybody there? 

Thought I heard something but I guess it was just the voices in my head.  Again.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Was Pushed!

What a difference another day makes.  (To see how far I've fallen in 24 hours, read yesterday's post filled with foolish optimism and an unhealthy dose of naivete.)

Yesterday I was on top of the world.  Yep, I was looking down on my kingdom, and life was good.  I knew it wouldn't last.  Couldn't last.  After all, I'm raising three kids (two granddaughters and my husband). 

Kids are stupid.  Well, they act stupid.  All three of mine do, anyway.  The oldest grandchild crammed a ring on her finger and couldn't get it off.  The story I heard was that she actually had to use lotion to get it on her finger (stupid act #1).  At some point in the middle of the night she realized her finger was swelling so she tried to remove the ring.  Gotta give her some credit, though--she got up and searched the internet for advice.  How did we survive before the internet?  Forget that we didn't use child safety seats, seatbelts or bike helmets.  We didn't have the world wide web

When morning came and the ring was starting to become one with her finger, she showed it to her grandfather.  He gave her two choices:  let him cut it off (the ring, not her finger) or go to school, ring intact.  Now, understand this is the same man who's gullible enough to let her stay home because she "has a stomachache". But a ring buried in the flesh of her finger???  That's no reason to miss school!  (Stupid act #2, and it's only 7 a.m.  But in his defense, she has missed too much school. And men just don't have the genetic predisposition we mothers have that forces us to worry "what if?" when it comes to children and matters of health.)

Now I must confess that I slept through the morning drama.  I can't sleep at night (any wonder why?), so I sleep when I can.  Usually I fall asleep when the sun is rising and I no longer fear that someone will sneak out of or into my house.  So I guess I'll admit to stupid act #3--being oblivious.

Fast forward to 11 a.m.  Yes, I was up finally.  The phone rang; it was my granddaughter's school calling to inform me that she had a ring embedded in her finger.  They had tried to remove it, but it wasn't budging.  Since the school couldn't risk causing her further injury, they wanted us to pick her up and do the damage ourselves.

Long story short (okay, still too long), we eventually had to cut the ring off and her finger will be just fine.  But my feelings of invincibility from yesterday had been shattered.   That's what family will do--when you fly too close to the sun, they'll sneak up behind you and knock you safely to the ground where you belong.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

I woke up this morning, and just like magic I was happy.  I'm rarely happy.  I'm even looking forward to my upcoming Disney trip, not just because I love Disneyworld, but because I want to spend time with the kids.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I know, I'm shocked, too.

I love my granddaughters with every fiber of my being.  But as anyone who might read my blog knows (all three of you), I'm old, tired and can't deal with kids very well these days.  I focus too much on what I thought my life would be like at this age (yes, that's the only time I seem capable of focusing on anything--adult ADD perhaps?)  And then there's MENOPAUSE.  My brain has been scrambled like an egg, then fried.  (I'm thinking I should do a new Public Service Announcement along the lines of the old "This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs..." Only mine will show your brain on MENOPAUSE--scary, huh?)

Yesterday was my birthday.  For the past several days I've been having a meltdown.  I honestly didn't think it had anything to do with tacking another year onto the 50+.  But maybe I was wrong, and I was dreading a bigger number after all. And now that another birthday has come and gone, I seem to be in a much better frame of mind.  I woke up today and life is good.  Who knows, maybe life is good because I woke up today. 

I knew there would be a point that I would accept that I was old and there was nothing I could do to turn back the clock.  I mean, I see old people walking around every day, some even smiling.  They don't all seem like they're one rice krispy short of a treat.  So I figured they must have learned to accept the fact that they got old.  After all, everyone either gets old or they don't.  No one stays young forever.  Yes, I'm just happy to be alive.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Courage to Change

(When I first sat down to write this entry, I was in a much darker mood.   While I still feel that I'm under a heavy cloud, it doesn't seem quite as ominous.  I should have changed the tone of what's written below, but my lack of motivation is pretty widespread.  Besides, I really just wanted another chance to talk about my wonderful mother.)

As I sit here on the eve of my 52nd birthday contemplating the changes I need to make in my life, my thoughts turn to my mother and what a remarkable woman she was.  I previously wrote about her on her birthday, but even then I don't think I realized just how courageous she had been.

One afternoon when I was in my early 20's, I received an unexpected phone call from my mother.  She was in a nearby town and asked if I could please come down and pick her up.  My mother didn't drive and rarely asked for help, especially if she thought it would inconvenience someone.  But after suffering through an unhappy marriage for more than 20 years, and since her youngest child was nearing adolescence, she had finally decided to file for divorce.  She had actually walked the 10 or so miles to the county seat to file the paperwork, and now as the day wore on she needed a ride back home.  (Looking back, I think she realized she couldn't get back on her own in time to meet my youngest sister when she got home from school.  Otherwise, knowing her, I believe she would have found the energy to make the trip home without asking for help from anyone.)

Most days I can barely find the motivation to drive to the grocery store.  I can't begin to imagine walking 10 miles to a town I'm not familiar with.  And the idea of doing something that would drastically change my life scares me beyond words.  Maybe it was the desperation that pushed Mama forward.  Or perhaps she was simply the bravest woman I'll ever know.

I'm sure my mother thought I would be angry with the decision she made that day.  I wasn't.  As much as I loved my father, I knew the suffering my mother had endured.  I had been wanting her to find happiness, or at least some peace, for many years.  Her childhood alone had been filled with enough difficulty to last a lifetime.  Unfortunately, pain would follow her for the remainder of her life.  But until today, I had never given much thought as to the courage it took for her to wake up and make a choice that would change her life forever.

Mama, I wish you were here to guide me through these difficult days.  You could always make me feel better.  Maybe you wouldn't have an answer for me.  But I'm certain you would give me the strength to find it for myself.