Thursday, October 29, 2009

A "Confession" of Sorts

I have a confession to make...this isn't easy.  I feel quite isolated in my thoughts.  But I'm just going to come out with it!!  Don't hate me for thinking like this.  I know it's not popular but I feel like I've felt like this my entire life. it goes...
I really, really don't like Halloween. 
Go ahead...lemme hear the collective gasp!!
So maybe it hasn't been my entire life that I've felt like this.  But I can't remember a time I didn't feel this way.  Here's the thing...I think of it as ... "the beggar's holiday".  Well, c'mon...think about it!!  Are kids really all that big on WHAT they're going to be?  For the little ones, it's more of a pain in the butt for the parents to get them in costume.  All to result in your kids going door to door to beg for candy.  Candy that will likely get tossed, eaten by others, or rationed out- one piece a day.   And the older "kids"??  C'mon!!  Most times they don't even dress and many times I have to prompt them to say "trick or treat".  And here's the topper...I even get the adults, pushing a stroller who come to the door to trick or treat for THE BABY!!!!!!!  Do you see what I mean???  I'm not asking if you agree... but do you see what I mean?  Hell, I've seen vans pull up at the end of the block and 10 people unload!!
To make matters worse, when my kids were young, I couldn't even carve a pumpkin with them.  It would make me sick to my stomach to clean out the innards of a pumpkin.  Have you ever seen the pictures of the vomiting carved pumpkin? I gotta tell you, I practically felt like that when I saw the picture.   Picture courtesy of

Well, all that sort of changed when I wanted to carve a pumpkin with my grandson.  (I'd do just about anything for that kid!)  So for the last few years, I've managed to dig out the muck inside, find some interesting things to carve, and had a good time doing it. These are the two I did last year. 
Okay, so now that I've got that out of the way, I've got one more confession.  I don't feel like handing out candy this year.  I'm trying to figure out what I can do to be able to stay home yet not answer the door.  To accomplish that, I'd probably have to leave the house dark.  Hmmmm... I'm gonna have to think about this a bit.  But just consider this fair warning...don't come to my house. 
I'm not answering the door. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Venus vs. Mars

Venus vs. Mars
Women vs. Men
Little displays of affection daily vs. Big displays weekly
Fix it vs. Understand it
I've given a lot of thought lately on why men (generally) don't seem to be as willing or able to deal with hurtful things in their lives.  Recent events have prompted me to give some thought, ask some advice, get some opinions on how things are sometimes, most times, vastly different between the sexes.  Some things I've read in the past pretty much state that men are fixers.  And it's sometimes too darned hard to "fix" the hurtful things in their lives.  What's so amazing to me is that some of the hurt is actually brought on by their actions (or inactions).
At first, I thought it was more isolated in its occurrence.
Not so.  Over and over I hear from Venus that "that's a guy thing!!"  And the more I think about it, I am agreeing. 
Venus (women) complain about their problems because they want to be "heard".  Mars (men) complain about their problems because they want them "fixed".  How many times have you (or the woman in your life, men) said, "I don't want you to fix this.  I just need to vent."? 

A generalized conversation: 
He: "How was work?"
She: "You're not going to believe this.  Do you know what Jane Doe said today?  She said to me, blah, blah, blah."
He:  "Well, did you tell her that she was wrong?  Did you point out to her how many times she's done the same in the past?"
She:  "I'm not telling you in order to find a solution to fix it.  I'm just telling you about my day." 
Sound familiar??  So here's the short version of what I'm saying...
Men -- When she talks, before you offer a solution, ASK if she's looking for a fix.
Women -- Before you talk, TELL him you aren't looking for a fix.  You just need to vent.   
Men -- When she asks for a fix, don't always think you're the one to fix it.
Women -- It's not always easy for him to admit he's not able to fix it.  Give him a little room to realize that he needs to call in the professional. 
Picture (in public domain) obtained from  Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli-1483

Friday, October 23, 2009

Time for a Little Squeeze???

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  No doubt you've seen plenty of pink ribbons in print advertising this month.  Followers of my blog and friends and family already know I am a two-time cancer survivor.  Next month, I celebrate my 1st anniversary of completing my radiation.  Do you remember what it felt like when you graduated from 8th grade or from high school?  That's kinda what it feels like when you "graduate" from radiation therapy.  I got pretty emotional on my last day (Of course I did...I cry at birthday parties).  Hell, I get emotional thinking about it now.  The whole radiation experience was one of those life things that I felt compelled to document with photos, partly to get past the pity parties I occasionally went through.  Haven't scrapped it yet, but when I do, I'll post it on another blog that I'll start eventually.

But I digress...

So, usually my birth month (June) is a signal for me to take care of my health issues, like my annual visit to the doc for my meds, making sure I take care of any annual tests that are needed for someone, mmmmm, over 50, let's say.  Don't ask me why I do it many people do it at the beginning or end of the year. 

But I digress...

After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I vowed that I would send an annual reminder message to all my friends and family to make sure they set up their appointments for their mammograms.  I didn't do that this June (although I mentioned it in an August post about the Relay for Life).  Other health issues took the front seat.  So before I digress again, I'm just going to come out with it.  Have you scheduled your mammo for the year, or have you asked your wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother if they have??  This is important...VERY important. 

You'll note I didn't mention chemo in my treatment.  I feel (this could very well be simplistic thinking) that I didn't need chemo because I caught my BC early enough.  And I strongly believe that's because I go for my annual mammogram.  Whether or not it's true, what matters is that I have been given an opportunity to pester the hell out of those I care about to make sure they get in for their mammograms.  So here I am, pestering you.  Yes, I'm grateful that you visit my blog.  I'm very grateful when you leave comments.  So allow me to be grateful to celebrate your health.  If you haven't already done so, please schedule this year's mammogram. 

Oh, and one more thing...don't forget your BSE!!  It's best to do that on a set day each month.  Pick a day... The first of the month, the first Monday, the first paycheck.  Just pick a day.  What's that???  You don't know what a BSE is??  It's something every woman should know!!  It stands for Breast Self Exam. 

Do your loved ones a favor.  Do yourself a favor.  Get 'em squeezed!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I am taking an online class to help me with my scrapbooking.  I have mounds and mounds of pictures and I tend to take too much time thinking about layouts and embellishments and papers, etc. to really be effective in getting things done.  So I thought this online class at Big Picture Scrapbooking might help me "git'er done".  I'm in week two, and this is my completed intro page. 

What I found interesting was that the homework for week one was to  answer the question:  "If I were gone tomorrow, what would I want people to know?"  So I spent some time looking through old photos and scanning them.  I even sent some to my brothers and sisters, in a quest to find out who really is in the picture.  But I found myself wondering things about my parents and grandparents.  It really makes you realize that unless you sit down with them to get their story, it will be gone.  And I've always said this about scrapbooking...If nothing else, I'm giving my kids, grandkids and great grandkids a history for them to look back on. 
Because I've done some genealogical research, I'm usually the one the family turns to to figure out the relationships in the family, when someone was born or died, etc.  I used to have a whole lot more in my head, but have come to realize that it needs to be documented (and it's slowly getting there with the help of Family Tree Maker). 
My future daughter-in-law, Jamie, loves genealogy.  I'm so glad!  She might very well become the family expert once she gets her hands on the info I've collected.  And many times I think about ways I want to incorporate my genealogy research in with my scrapbooking (let me count the ways, people!!). 
A curious observation:  My daughter and I took a trip to Ireland about five years ago.  When I would ask questions of people who knew some of my grandfather's family, information didn't necessarily "flow".  It was almost as if they would hold on to the stories because it gave them "one up" on others.  (I assumed this had to do with the infamous storytelling that took place in the local pubs).  The sad thing is, when they die, the story dies with them. 
I now have no one in my family to ask questions that I should have asked years ago.  Questions I didn't ask because I never slowed down enough to hear what they would have gladly shared.  That makes me sad.  And at the same time, it motivates me to tell my story, and the stories I do know of my ancestors.  Have you taken the time to ask? 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Adoring Eyes

Two unrelated stories...yet here I go connecting the dots.
1) As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my younger grandson is at the age where he adores his parents.  Even goes so far as telling his mom she's pretty when she gets a little dressed up (y' maybe putting on earrings or a necklace). 
2) In talking with a coworker this week, we were discussing how her son finally "got it" when he realized that "Gee, Mom really DOES know a thing or two about how and why coaches treat players the way they do". 
It brought to mind the thoughts of Mark Twain:  "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he learned in seven years."
Or this piece entitled "The Images of Mother"
Age 4: "My Mommy can do anything!"
Age 8: "My Mom knows a lot! A whole lot!"
Age 12: "My Mom doesn't really know quite everything."
Age 14: "Naturally, Mother doesn't know that, either."
Age 16: "Mother? She's hopelessly old-fashioned."
Age 18: "That old woman? She's way out of date!"
Age 25: "Well, she might know a little bit about it."
Age 35: "Before we decide, let's get Mom's opinion."
Age 45: "Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?"
Age 55: "Wish I could talk it over with Mom."
I know it's part of growing up, but isn't it just a shame that it has to be that way?  I don't think I know anyone who hasn't gone thru that with their kids or grandkids.  And I know it's necessary for kids to develop their independence.  My kids used to roll their eyes.  Now, I notice that they are silent with regard to "my ignorance".  Over the last six months, I've gradually watched my older grandson work his way to thinking that his grandparents really don't know everything.  Won't be long before the eyes begin to roll whenever I open my mouth.  Hmmm..... I liked it better when the look in his eyes melted my heart.  If yours are little, enjoy the adornment in their eyes.  It won't last!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A sweet, very short story

My grandson has been waking up early lately...really early... 4 a.m. early!!  But Mommy and Daddy don't get him up until 5 a.m.  So he spends the first 15 minutes calling "Ris-tene".  When that doesn't work, he spends the next 15 minutes calling "Maaaameeeee".  Today, he slept til 5 a.m. and gave Mommy a big hug when he got up.  This is the conversation that followed:
Mommy:  Did you have nice dreams? 
Cormick:  Yes
M:  What did you dream about?
C:  You.  I dream 'bout you.
M:  Oh, honey, that's so nice.
C:  You my best friend. 
Pretty cool, isn't it?  Mommy's his best friend.  Tomorrow, I'll post related thoughts.  But I just needed to share this story with you today.  Life is good.  I am lucky!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Old Habits, New Habits

This week, I started an online class that will teach me how to develop some new habits, and break away from some old ones.  It's a class about scrapbooking, but it's already got me thinking about other habits.  Like this habit I have of not exercising.  I know...there are some of you who will say, "I see nothing wrong with that habit, Peggy" while others will say, "Yeppers, it's about time, PK!!"  My latest "excuse" to not exercise doesn't really matter.  It's all a matter of me myself.  So now that I've given it some thought, I've decided there's no better way to commit to something than to put it on my blog.  How's that for courage?  I do like how I feel when I exercise...well, not while I'm exercising, but when it's over, I like how I feel.  I did something good for me and "gosh darn it, I'm worth it!!" 
You know how they post on jobs that it's X amount of accident-free days?  I decided I'm going to post on my blog (over to the right) how many days I've stayed on track and gotten some exercise in.  I'm also showing how many times I've used a lame excuse.  This is a bold move for me, folks.  But I'm hoping by doing this, you'll feel free to comment if you see me slacking off!!  We'll see how this goes!!