Friday, March 26, 2010

A Surprise Party!!!!

On Sunday, we will celebrate my little brother's birthday.  Age 50!!  This is a celebration beyond anything one can truly imagine.  Why??  Because when he was probably six months old, and when the doctors told my parents that he was mentally retarded and that he wouldn't get past the age of 6 mentally, and that he probably wouldn't live past the age of 30, we took that as fact.  It's nice to know that doctors can be wrong sometimes. 

Although he doesn't speak words like you and I, he communicates pretty darned good.  And he so loves when his brothers and sisters and others he knows get together in one place. 

So, yeah... we're celebrating my kid brother's birthday.  We're celebrating big time!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

U.S. Census 2010

The time has come to stand up and be counted.  I get that.  It's actually a federal constitutional mandate, y'know!!  The first was in 1790 after the American Revolution, and there have been 21 federal census since then.  You are required by law to respond to it. 

So besides them spending money during the Super Bowl to let you know it's coming, I'm sure you received the "It's coming" notification in the mail, and then the "Here it is" mailing (the actual form) and then the "Okay, you got it, now make sure you fill it out and send it back" notification in the mail.  Doesn't that just tick you off at how they can spend your money????

Oh, and in MY neck o' the woods, it comes in TWO languages.  I know they don't do this all over, because I've seen what they send to my daughter, and there's only one language. 

So in my effort to see the positive side of things, I'm just guessing with all this mailing going on, the U.S. Postal Service won't be asking for a raise for their stamp rates anytime soon!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Health Care Reform Bill

Seriously, the bill is 2310 pages long (yes, the geek in me downloaded it!!!), and they were adding things the day before it was voted on.  Do you honestly think that any one of them read the darn thing??? 

For that reason alone, be afraid.  Be very, very afraid!!!

EDIT to post:  Now that the bill is signed, I was able to pull up more info so I want to correct my "rant".  The bill number is H.R. 3590 and the final page count is 906 pages (the working document was 2400+ pages).   Beyond that, I still stand by my comment about being afraid.  You and I both know that no one read the bill before voting on it.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day

Today, I thought about the letters we used to receive from Ireland about a month before "St. Paddy's Day".  My great Aunt Dilly (Dad's aunt) would pull up a handful of "shamrocks," dry them out and send them to us as our annual gift of "Genuine Irish Shamrocks."  Each year, we would look forward to them.  And it was sad when they stopped coming each year.  So, I did the next best thing.  I went out and took a picture of the shamrocks in my yard.  I'm very much looking forward to spring.   Happy St. Paddy's Day to everyone!!!  Think I'll go out for a Shamrock Shake!

Boomerangs, Thoughts and Life

Seems it's going around.  It started here on Leslie's blog.  That kinda grouchy, lazy, weak, and frustrated feeling.  Then it surfaced here, where Leanne talks about being in a "bummer funk".  Almost like a virus.  And I've noticed it hit me, too.  That, "Gee, I really can't think of anything to write about, or I can't think of a cute card to make..." or "yeah, I think I want to sign up for that class, but maybe I'll have too much going on and can't keep up like I'd like to."  Yadi, yadi, on and on.  

And then, someone walks up to your desk at work and hands you a piece of paper with a name on it.  And she tells you to look it up.  And you google the name.  And it reminds you of all the things that bring you joy.  And you read quotes that make you say, "Yeah, that's what energizes me!!"  And it reminds you of your spiritual journey and your "word for 2010".. SERENITY.  And you feel....serene.  

The name:  Florence Scovel Shinn (1871-1940). 
Her game:  Among other things, spiritual leader and metaphysical writer. 
Her quote:  "The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy." 

Have you ever started a sentence with, "I can't stand it when..." or "This week has been such a headache..."  or  "He/She is always so crabby..."  If, under the boomerang thinking, you say things like that and then end up with problems with your feet or knees (you DID say, "I can't stand"), or you do end up with headaches, or your spouse IS often crabby, wouldn't it make sense that your thoughts come back at you??  

Many times I've said, "thoughts become things so choose the good ones."  Whether someone decides that it's true or it's actually confirmation bias, I choose to think the good thoughts.  I choose to think of my blog friends Leanne and Leslie as basking in their creative glory, fulfilling their creative thirsts.  I choose to join them in enjoying the opportunities that are ahead of me.  I've decide to take an online workshop at Big Picture Scrapbooking called Picture Spring.  I hope to share my creative learning with you. 

I know things are pointed in the right direction.  I saw my first robin of spring a few days after my granddaughter was born, my granddaughter is a beautiful, sweet thing that reminds me that all is right with the world, and hey, it's St. Patrick's Day.  I'm taking next week off to care for my daughter and granddaughter and to treat them like princesses (doesn't that make me queen mother???).  I see everything wonderful in front of me.  And as for the creative me, I'll keep you posted.  I promise!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


She's here!!!  Long awaited, highly anticipated, she has arrived!! I'd like to introduce you to my first granddaughter. 

Her name is Ava Clare. 

She joined us at 8:08 a.m. on March 10, 2010, weighing in at 6 lbs. 13 oz., 19.5 inches long.  

So very precious!!  Everything about her is petite, even her little cry.  I'm in love all over again!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

Today, I'm celebrating.  I'm celebrating my outlook on life.  I'm celebrating friendships.  I'm celebrating laughter.  I'm celebrating family.  Today, I'm celebrating my Dad's birthday.  He would have been 96 today.  And although he passed away in 1975, I do celebrate his birthday every year.  Because I strongly believe my love of life, my love of family, my friendships and how dear they are to me, have all been influenced by my Dad.  The way he lived his life serves as a beacon to guide me in the way I live mine.  So today, I celebrate...

I celebrate Dad's love of family. 
He worked as a shipping supervisor for a pharmaceutical company.  You can imagine the pay wasn't that great.  But he managed to proudly support his family of 7 kids with that job.  No handouts from the government.  He was the sole breadwinner for many years.  As I've been digging thru old documents and pictures, I see how he managed it.  I find budget envelopes.  I find bank books with weekly deposits.  Simply amazing to me!!!
I celebrate his love of country. 
Dad proudly served in the Navy during World War II.  Even though he was married with a child on the way, he did what every proud American did back then.  He joined to protect our nation and our rights.

I celebrate his love of life. 

See that twinkle in his eye?  I was lucky enough to experience that most mornings after I graduated high school.  Dad and I were early risers.  So many mornings, we sat at the kitchen table chatting over our first cup of the day.  And I would love to look into his eyes as he talked.  They would twinkle, the same way you would think of a leprechaun's twinkle.  It actually set the tone for the day.  And I honestly can't think of a time it wasn't like that.  He just loved life. 

I celebrate his love of laughter,
whether it was he who laughed, or he who made others laugh. 

When we were lucky enough to have Dad join us for dinner (usually it was only Sundays and holidays), he would always come up with at least one very corny joke.  Of course, I usually laughed my butt off, because I saw the sillier side of Dad.  And, again, watching his face I could tell the punchline was going to be a silly one.  So I was ready for it.  And I think I enjoyed it all the more because of it.  He just loved to make people laugh.  I have no idea what he was trying to say in this picture, but I can tell you it was in the early to mid 40s and clearly he's clowning about being a sheik or something. But I have no doubt he entertained those he was with. 

I celebrate an all around good guy.  

When my Dad worked for Montgomery Wards as a Santa one year, all I could think about was how perfect he was for the job.  After all, we know Santa has a twinkle in his eye, right?  He really enjoyed this gig.  Once again, he just really enjoyed life.

So that gives you a little glimpse of my Dad, who would have been 96 today. 

One final note:  When my Dad passed away, his wake was not a somber event.  I looked around the room at the funeral home and listened to the chatter.  It actually had a party atmosphere to it.  And I remember thinking, This is exactly how Dad would have wanted it.  Celebrating his life, not mourning his death.  The procession of cars from the church to the cemetery was at least 2 miles long.  It really spoke to just how many lives this wonderful man had an effect on.  And I was lucky enough to call him Dad.   

Monday, March 1, 2010

Time for a Change That We Can Live With

This thought has been haunting me since Friday, during a discussion with the "Lunch Bunch", a group of women who just happen to have the same lunchtime and decide to share their thoughts or eat in silence, whatever works for them that day.

We got into a little discussion about the state of Illinois and the state of the nation.  For the most part, we decided that Illinois was high on the list of corrupt states, probably in the top three.  And one comment that was tossed out was, "Well, there's nothing you can do about it."  (Many of you know just how quickly I would jump on that statement). 

No, I said, that's not true.  As long as you have a vote, there's plenty you can do.  You can vote them out.  And vote IN only someone who supports term limits.  It really doesn't matter which party you support.  This nation and all its states need to instill term limits on their house and senate members.  Because by limiting their terms to two, with the senators and representative knowing that they actually need to go out and get a job like the rest of us, they are much more likely to do something that would benefit all of us.  Doesn't that make sense??

Again, I'm not talking about any particular political party here, folks.  This should be a non-partisan effort.  But EFFORT is the key word here.  Too many times people will say, "I'm just one vote" but just remember that shampoo commercial where you tell two friends, and they tell two friends and so on and so on.  We can ALL make a difference.  We just need to be UNITED. 

Here's one more thing to think about.   You know how when they pass bills they have a whole bunch of other stuff tacked onto it?  Also known as "pork".  Why not insist that each and every bill stand on its own?  No pork allowed.  Just some food for thought!

I know it's easy to choose sides in this.  But the bottom line is, we are all Americans.  And when we put someone in office, they should be there to do what would benefit ALL Americans.  Term limits and single purpose bills would be a step in the right direction.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!