Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cormick is 2!!

My grandson turns 2 on Monday. True to form on most everything this little boy does, he's ahead of schedule to get to the "terrible twos". He's already exercising his "independence" by telling Mommy that he doesn't WANT to do things. Or he'll whine (albeit mildly) when he DOES want something. We were looking at the tomato plants in his garden, and I asked if I could pick THIS tomato. "No, it not ready" (complete with hand gestures) was the response. Okay Little Man, take charge of your world!!
Being a grandma is one of the most fun jobs I've ever had. My grandsons have given me a perspective on life I never would have imagined possible. I know there are some women who just aren't ready to be called "Grandma", feeling like having the title will somehow make them old. I'm not one of them, and couldn't be farther from the truth. My grandsons energize me and this is truly the best time of my life!! I'm a GRANDMA!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


When my grandson was about 6, we talked about how there would come a time when he wouldn't want to hug me. "Grandma, I don't think that'll happen," he said. Sure ' happened. I used to tell him that when you hug, you give all the love that's inside you to the person you're hugging. And all the love they have inside them then comes to you. So you are never without being full of love. Today I had to ask the now 11-year-old for a hug, and I asked him if he remembered our discussion when he was younger. He remembered it, but said, "Grandma, if you hug me, then I go and hug Grandpa, I'm giving him your love." No, I said, you are giving him YOUR love, because as my love fills you up, it becomes your love - YOU are the owner of that love. But not giving it away to someone leaves no room for you to receive someone else's love. Simplistic? Sure. But I think about how it really makes sense. Have you ever met someone who was so into themselves that they couldn't hold a conversation about anything else? And if the topic ever veered away from talk about them, they always managed to steer it back somehow? Maybe they just never bothered to give away their love to make room to receive love. Who will you give your love to today? (Picture courtesy of

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Living the Life of your Dreams

I received an email from (daily inspirations in their "Notes from the Universe") with a really neat analogy about living the life of your dreams. It's..."a lot like sailing. You pick your destination, hoist your sail, make minor adjustments while the journey is underway, and let the wind do all the hard work." Many who have known me a while know that I always use the phrase, "Think, Feel, Be". If you think about what you want in life, imagine (feel) what the end result will be, and move toward it, making any adjustments as you go, you'll get there. It's not that you can imagine it and POOF, it happens. You still have to work toward your goal. And yes, some days the waters will be rough, or you won't have wind for the sails. But that doesn't mean the journey was a mistake. It just means you have to wait for the waters to calm or the wind to pick up. Don't try to control the "how" it happens. Just focus on the end result and you'll get there. And remember what Thomas Edison said. "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." How's that for a positive spin on "Keep on keepin' on"?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let your Heart Dance

Today, let your heart dance.
You will find no shortage of dance partners, as your feet join in.
And your eyes.
And your smile.
And every part of your body and your feelings.
Let your heart dance all day long.
Author Unknown

Thursday, August 13, 2009


On New Year's Eve my blogging/scrapbook buddy, Leanne, suggested finding my "word" for 2009. She emailed this thought to her sister and me when she saw the idea on Ali Edwards' blog. Ali said that the idea of a single word allows you to focus on what you want in your life for that year. It "...can be a powerful thing. It can be a ripple in a pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow." It really didn't take me long to decide my word for 2009 would be gratitude.

I have no intention of getting deep here, but I feel like I've been on a spiritual quest for at least half my life. And when you think about it, expressing gratitude is no different than praying to God. I think that so many people my age were brought up to fear God that they have turned away from the religion they were raised in. I have found that I have more peace in my life when I express gratitude.
Driving to work, with the beautiful sunrise in front of me, or driving over Mannheim bridge and looking over to the Chicago Skyline on a clear day. Such beauty! Sitting in the yard watching a butterfly or bee move from flower to flower. Watching each day as a rosebud unfolds, opening itself up for whatever the world holds for it. It's all so beautiful, and I'm so grateful to be able to appreciate it. Even when you have an absolutely crappy day, there's something to be grateful for. And I believe you'll find more peace in your life if, at the end of the day you reflect on it and quietly say "thank you" for the opportunity given to you to experience it. (Visit to view the latest in handmade word necklaces).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"I hope you smile today!"

I received some sunflowers from my son, soon-to-be daughter-in-law (I really call her my 2nd daughter), grandson and grandpuppy. The card read "I hope you smile today! The world needs to see it!" It caught me on a particularly emotional day so, of course, I briefly wept - with joy. (Although it's not completely true, some that know me are convinced I cry at birthday parties).
But it made me think about smiles. You can comb the internet and find all kinds of quotes about smiles. One of my favorites is one of my daughter-in-law's favorites. Not sure who to credit it to, but it was in a compilation book titled P.S. I Love You by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.: "Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day." Smiles are gifts you give to others that don't cost you a thing. Yet when you take the time to think about it, you get the same feeling of satisfaction as you would if you gave them a nicely wrapped gift. Hmmm... so easy to do!! Who will you give a smile to today?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guilt - a "Not Nice" word

Growing up, if I didn't want to finish everything on my plate, I got the "There are starving children in China who would love to have what you plan on throwing away" comment from my mother. Ah....guilt!! Isn't it amazing how we have all been subjected to it in one form or another? Why is it so effective? Sometimes it's self-induced. Sometimes others try (and succeed) to "guiltify" us. Now if I go back to the things I've read, I'll realize that ALL guilt is self-induced. Whether it's because we don't want to disappoint others or we don't want to disappoint ourselves, almost all of us are subject to feelings of guilt. (Many of you know my feelings about the word "disappoint". But that's a subject of another blog entry). But why is guilt so controlling? I will never forget the time when my daughter turned to me and said, "All my life, I have tried to do what pleases either you or Dad. It's time I did what pleases me." She meant no disrepect. In fact, what she was telling me was that she respected me, but she also wanted to respect herself by honoring what her true wants were. And shouldn't we all just want that for the ones we love - to follow and do what their true wants are? I'm proud that she "stood up" for what was important to her. And it's made me much more aware of not laying down guilt trips. When your little ones start to practice words that they hear from others, there are times you have to tell them that a word they just repeated was a "not nice" word. Maybe the word "guilt" should be one of 'em.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Amazing World of Microtechnology

Well, it's been two weeks since I had surgery on my back. It's been about 22 years since the last time I had surgery on my back. What an amazing difference!! You gotta love microtechnology!! Two weeks ago, it was in by 11, out by 5. Can't say the same for 22 years ago.
But for those who ask, I am doing well. I started physical therapy. How is it those little bitty exercises wear you out so quickly? Started back to work, half days. Things are starting to ramp up for the start of school. Sometimes, normal is good. Actually, MOST times normal is

A YouTube that'll put a Smile on your Face.

Because I was registered as a survivor for the Relay for Life, I received a CD with some songs of hope, songs of inspiration. A couple of the songs were by Matt Wessel, an artist whose work I had not heard before. So, of course, I googled his name and came across not only a website for him, but a YouTube video of him and his bride singing this song at their reception. I can't get this tune out of my head, and I challenge you to watch this video and not have this tune in your head all day.

Relay for Life

Our local Relay for Life was held on Friday, July 31. Due to some recent surgery, I was only able to walk two laps. But what an emotional two laps it was. My nephew was part of the color guard. One of my coworkers sang the National Anthem like I've never heard sung before. My brother in law (with the scouts) made sure he kept his eye on me to make sure I didn't fall on my face (thanks, Joe). My sister in the stands cheering on the survivors. And the love of my life, walking with me for the 2nd lap, the caregiver lap. I wish I could explain what comes over me when I talk about beating cancer. I know there are so many people who are much more eloquent, who draw deep into their emotions and put words to that. I feel I come up short. But I will tell you this. I have beaten cancer twice. I have been incredibly lucky to have caught it early enough both times that I didn't need chemo. And I want to spread my luck. I would love to know that each woman reading this has gone for her mammogram this year, and each man has made sure the women in their life (mother, sister, wife) have gone for their mammograms. Because it's the annual mammogram that gives each of us a fighting chance to beat this ugly disease down!