Tuesday, March 29, 2011


If you are a regular reader of my blog, or have just had plenty of conversations with me, you know one of my least favorite words in the whole wide world is WORRY. 
Worry defined (from dictionary.com):  To torment oneself with or to suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.  (doesn't that little guy look like he's fretting??)
(from dictionary.cambridge.org): to think about problems or unpleasant things that might happen in a way that makes you feel unhappy and afraid.
Enough?  Please don't make me get up and get the actual hard cover to look it up!!

To me, the word WORRY is counter productive.  It serves no purpose.  It provides no outcome. 

However, in a conversation with my little sister, some light was shed on this.  Her take is, when someone is worried about someone else, it's more like something of a gift given to the person being worried over.  Sort of like saying, "You have enough to carry on your plate, let me take the worry from you so that you can concentrate on getting done what needs to get done."   Y'know, I kinda like the way that sounds. 

Keeping THAT in mind, I can see where it's okay when people say they are worried about something or someone.  So today I can say I've embraced a little more serenity in my world.  All because of worry!!

How 'bout you?  What are your thoughts about "worry"??

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top O' The Morning to Yeh!!

Me aunt in the the old country used to pick a handful of clover and send it to us every St. Patrick's Day, with a loovley lahter (lovely letter for those who don't get my brogue) catching up on the events in her family.  She is long past, but this is one of my favorite St. Patrick's Day memories. Somewhere in my "stuff" I have a handful of dried out clover leaves from Ireland. 

Happy St. Paddy's Day to my Blog Friends!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My TV Top Ten

I know...You've been wondering about this for a long time.  I'm going to go so far as to suggest that you've lost sleep whilst you pondered what the list would be.  So without further ado, I give you the top 10 shows I watch most weeks (in no particular order):

Survivor - Buh-Bye Russell
Survivor - Redemption Island

American Idol - lots of talent this season 
Modern Family (can't decide who my fave is on this show.  I love 'em all!)

Big Bang Theory (lovable geeks!!  SO much fun!)

Bones (I just don't want the two of them to get together.  I like the sexual tension!)

American Pickers (I have no doubt a roadtrip to Antique Archaeology in Iowa is in my future). 

Pawn Stars (well, except Chumley...he just annoys the crap outta me!!)

Holmes on Homes (Great TV, watching them fix all the mistakes that others make!  Plus, what's not to love about those Canadian "accents", aye?)

Rules of Engagement (Patrick Warburton is the funniest male chauvinist ever!!)

Amazing Race (although I get a tummy ache when they make tactical errors!)

So there you have it!!  My top ten list of TV shows that I spend time watching.  And when I feel real energetic, I sort pictures or something while I watch!!!

Pictures obtained via google search for images. 

What are YOU watching these days??

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Gratitude Moment

I SO love daylight savings time.  I love that there's still sunlight when I get home from work.  I love watching the garden for signs.  Watching for the tulips to push their way thru the earth, looking for bits of sun. 

Tulip birth - 2009 Garden

I love that the crocuses show up in the middle of grass.  There's something about it that makes me giddy.

I love the idea of working with the earth to create that beauty. 

I love that there are some things that really need very little attention to get the job done.  They know what to do each year, and they do it. 

I love the colors of spring.  I love that they can be bold or pastel. 

Yep!  Filled with gratitude!  Life is Good!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Don't Get It...

I don't get it...they chant "Shame" in Wisconsin when Gov. Walker moves forward with what he was elected to do, but they don't consider it shameful that the Dems in the state don't come in to do their jobs.  I just don't get it.

I don't get the mindset that public sector employees don't have to pay comparable amounts towards their pensions and insurance benefits like private sector employees when the public sector employees are making comparable salaries.  I just don't get it.

I don't get that the protests in Wisconsin are all about union busting when they do still have collective bargaining.  They just don't have it for raises that would go beyond the rate of inflation unless the voters approved it via referendum.  So if they have the support they are professing to have, what's the big issue?  When they want a higher raise next time, let the voters decide.  I just don't get it.

Because the "Fab 14" ran away from their jobs, and because the bills were changed since they weren't at their jobs, there are now concerns that there is no money freed up to go to Medicaid, which would have paid for some health care for their constituents.  I don't get it.  How can they be considered heroes for doing that? 

I don't get how someone can leave their job for nearly a month without requesting a leave from their boss, and get paid when they don't show up.  Can you do that in your job?  I just don't get it.

I've really tried to take in information from both sides on this issue.  I've been on plenty of sites, filtering out the information from the opinions, looking thru a lot of the Wisconsin legislation websites.  And I can honestly say I'm not getting the point that all the protestors are trying to make in Wisconsin.  I'll be the first to admit I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I pride myself in looking at both sides.  And I just don't get it!!

But I will tell you that I am very open to hearing about any points I have missed, anything that has truly not sunk in.  I would love to know what I'm not getting!!!  So if you see this differently, please, I would be honored if you would leave a comment and educate me.  Because I've always fancied myself a lifelong student and I'd love to be educated in this.

And for those who shy away from commenting on "political" issues, I promise you these type of posts won't happen often.  I'm just looking to understand!!  And if you get it, please share!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ava Clare

One year ago, our family was blessed when little Ava Clare joined us. 

Ava finds the toilet paper roll!
She's sweet, she's mellow, she can withstand rough-housing with her brother, she loves, loves, loves her mommy and daddy, and she makes my heart happy!  She's always ready with a smile for her gram & grandpa...and I melt whenever I see her.

Happy Birthday, Ava Clare!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Letting Go

My last post was about my Dad's birthday on March 5.  Here it is, March 9 and I'm finally posting my next one.  I notice that whenever my blog subject is about my Dad, I tend to keep it up there for a few days.  I wonder if subconsciously, I'm feeling like I would dishonor him by replacing it too soon.  You know the feeling...you're going through some old papers and you stop to read notes in their handwriting and the next thing you know it's two hours later.  Where did that time go???

Makes me think about how many things in our life we are reluctant to part with because we're afraid of dishonoring a loved one. 
"Don't want to get rid of that sweater...I got that from my Mom." 
Yeah, 8 years ago and I haven't worn it in 7 years. 
"Yes, I know there's a chip in that vase, but I got that from my sister." 
Even though every time I put flowers in it, I can't help being distracted by it. 
"Yes, I know that he builds something for me every week, but my grandson loves to build things." 
Even though when he leaves here, he totally forgets about it. 
"Yes, I know there is weekly artwork on my fridge, but I want him to know how much I love his art."
Even though he forgets what the artwork was all about within days. 

Steak & Shake Artwork by 3 yr. old budding artist
For many years, I suffered from the "Can't let go" syndrome.  And I really do think it had to do with the idea of either dishonoring or forgetting the one that gave me the gift.  But I read once that it's not the thing, it's the memory you cherish.  So take a picture, scrap it or just put it in an album, and continue to cherish without having an unused item cluttering your home. 

That's the whole idea of my word of the year, SIMPLIFY.  And I've been slowly but surely working at simplifying my surroundings.  But I'll admit that it's not easy.  And sometimes I have to wait to be in the mood.  But once I start, I love the results. 

So, why is it so hard to just keep going??

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday.  Today, he would be 97 years old. So today, I rerun one of my favorite posts.

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 97 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 97 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. 

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Black Cow or Root Beer Float?

I have two sisters and four brothers.  Our family lived in a two story bungalow with a kitchen meant for a family of 4.  So our "kitchen" was actually in the finished basement where there was room for a big kitchen table. 

A family with 7 kids in the 50's & 60's never knew what it was like to get a McDonald's burger and fries.  We never had Jay's potato chips on a regular basis.  Fritos were something my Dad had occasionally, later at night as he sat at the kitchen table upstairs while reading a book.  Most weeknights Dad would work late so he never joined us for dinner.  We weren't allowed to be on the phone until we got the call from Dad that he was on the way home. 

Sunday dinners were always at 2 p.m.  We had roast beef with gravy (no lumps), mashed potatoes (we would peel 10 lbs. each and every Sunday), early june peas, a salad (which consisted of iceberg lettuce and tomato wedges, nothing more), and Pillsbury crescent rolls.  The rest of the family used Imperial margarine, but my Dad refused to use margarine.  He would only eat butter.  And my brothers would pile the peas on top of the mashed potatoes, right before they poured on the gravy.  (Picture "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" potato scene).

Image courtesy of foodbeast.com
Most nights, we didn't have dessert.  The only fruit I remember was canned fruit (probably partially explains my dislike for fruit).  But once in a while we would have a treat that, to this day, puts a big smile on my face. 
We'd have a black cow.  One scoop of vanilla ice cream in a glass and root beer poured over it.  Plenty of foam at the top.  Lick off the foam and add more root beer.  Let it wait a little and when you finally eat the ice cream, it is slightly melted and just so creamy.  
Image courtesy of twoarmparty.com

Now, this is not to be confused with a root beer float.  A root beer float was created in the opposite order.  You poured the root beer in the glass first, dropped the scoop of ice cream in and watched the foam rise.  May seem like an insignificant difference, but it truly was a different taste.
And a black cow should not be confused with a brown cow.  That was made with Pepsi instead of root beer.   At least that's how we knew the difference in the Midwest.  And that just didn't do it for taste. 

I always find it funny when you reflect back on growing up and it's the little things you remember. 

What are you remembering about those days gone by?  What still puts a smile on your face?