Thursday, November 11, 2010

Never Give Up....

has become my mantra.....Emma taught me this when she was two years old, and had been put down for her nap....when my daughter checked on her, Emma was lying in bed, wide awake and chanting "Never give up....never give up!"  I have been chanting this on a regular basis myself over the past six months!  `Many days, I have given in to the feelings of anxiety, fear and despair over not being able to find a job.  But many more days have found me chanting!  In my heart, I know that my inability to find a job has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the economy.....but it's difficult to block out the negative thoughts that tell me my success in the past was just a fluke, or that I'll never work again...that's where my mantra comes in.  I am choosing to view this time in my life as a growing period...and believe me, I'm stretching!  I've become willing to consider and to apply for many different types of employment....willing to change locations....willing to give up the known for the unknown.  I never thought that I would be in this place at my age, but the fact is, I am.  I know that I am not alone in this.  And I do have a choice....I can view this as the worst thing that has ever happened to me, or I can "faith it 'till I make it" , whatever that looks like.  Viewed with faith, my future looks bright even though I have no clear picture of what it will be like...kind of adventure!  In the meantime, I am keeping busy not only looking for employment, but also taking the time to notice and to feel all the good that life has to offer.  I am living my life, job or no job, and it feels good!  Thank you, Emma, for teaching me this most important lesson!  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Take Two Granddaughters and Call Me in the Morning....

I haven't been posting because I've been in a deep continues to throw me curve balls....and I've let a few of them hit me in the head!  I am certain that there are so many lessons and messages that I need to learn and to doctor has changed my medication, which will result in my having a few weird days until I adjust to it. but then I expect that I will view the playing field as leveled out once again...I'm looking forward to being better able to roll with the punches....still no jobs in the field of education or anything else, for that matter...I had taken the training course required to become a literacy tutor for the public library my first student two weeks ago....and he has not returned my telephone calls...I'm beginning to be able to laugh about how all of the doors that lead to me being able to teaach...following my dream by quitting my job and going to school full time....are just not opening for takers in takers in the California educational system for any internship positions, or any position for that matter....I've recently discovered a blog new to me-Happy, Joyous and Free...she is dealing with some similar issues, and I am drawing on the strength and wisdom of her particular, her comment on "faith it til you make it" resonated within I am taking baby steps, working myself out of a pit of anxiety and despair, and believing that the answers will come when I am ready for them.  In the meantime, I had the joy of taking care of my two granddaughters in San Diego for a few days last week while my daughter attended a conference...exhausting, yes, but totally felt good to have a sense of purpose!  One step, one day at a time, I believe that this season of my life will pass, and that the experience will have enriched me and helped me to grow in ways that right now I am blind to.  I just hope that this season ends soon!  ox

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sometimes, You Just Have to Think Outside of the Box...

Lately, I haven't know if I've been coming or going...having my plans not work out has filled me with anxiety and I've felt as if I've been drifting at sea without a compass or an anchor... I know it's a cliche, but I finally got sick and tired of being sick and tired...and I started to be able to think outside of the, here's the new direction I'm taking....and it feels good to have choices!

First, I am fixing up my house for either sale or rental...which will depend on the second....I've applied to teach English in Korea!  The first steps on this adventure have been I have to do a short video of myself to submit...practiced today, and although I was shocked by my appearance on the practice video (surely that older woman can't be ME!) , tomorrow will be a better day.  IF When I get a job there, it will be a grand adventure for a year.  I've always had "happy feet" and love to travel....I'll rent my house out and go to Korea, happily teaching English and immersing myself in a new culture....of course, I'll miss my family and friends like crazy (that's what Skype is for), but it is a win-win situation....I'll get to educate, travel, AND by living frugally, pay off a huge portion of my bills....who could ask for more?  

In the meantime, I'm still looking here in California - every day - no school districts are hiring substitutes, as they have a ready-made pool of laid off, I will be taking a training course in a couple of weeks in order to become a reading tutor through the public library system....I WILL teach, no matter where it is!  I am painting, cleaning out closets, and installing new light fixtures....I love my remodeled bathroom, and just have a few touch ups to complete it....finally!  

I'm feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be accomplished...but, one bite at a time, I'm sure I can do it!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Questions and Decisions....

Oh, I am not comfortable at all where I am at the moment....months of job searching have been fruitless...I am currently living on my credit line....this is NOT who I thought that I was...someone who always had a plan accompanied by the drive and the bull-headedness to see my plan through to fruition....well, the cards are being shuffled and I don[t know what the hand I will be dealt will turn out to be....quite the unsettling place to be, I must say!  I still feel that I have some choices, this point, I am not liking any of them,,,my daughter has always said that she and her husband are planning on me eventually living with them...this is NOT an acceptable option for me...I spent a LONG time on the phone with my dearest brother in Colorado tonight...he is all for me coming to Colorado and staying with him and his wife until I figure things out;..I am so grateful for the safety net that he is offering, but it goes against everything that I believe that I am....I am just confused and unsettled...not certain as to what the right thing for ME is...I LOVE my little house and the life that I have carved out here in California....I don't want to upset the equilibrium that I have painstakingly achieved...but life is about changes, right?  Please keep me in your thougjhs and prayers as I work on figuring out what the right course of action for ME should be!  Thanks!  OX

Sunday, August 8, 2010

There's a Good Side to Everything....

I have had "next-door neighbor problems" ever since I bought my home 13 years I live in a cul-de-sac, "my" neighbor problems were everyone's neighbor problems.  Without boring you all with the details, the woman (let's call her Mary) who lived next door to me was mentally ill - very much so.  Although I have an  almost inexhaustable amount of compassion, over the years, I finally had to assert myself with her and establish boundaries that she could not did everyone else in the cul-de-sac...her presence, unfortunately, cast a pall over the neighborhood...we neighbors rarely congregated in the middle of the street, or spoke to each other...because to do so, would alert Mary to come out and join us, causing mayhem and upheaval.  Over the past few months, Mary had become much, much quieter....for example, her front lawn and garden were her pride and joy...she spent hours outside, grooming every leaf and blade of grass....the lawn wasn't being watered, and nature was taking its course with her rose bushes and finally dawned on me that something was not OK with her...and that bothered me....and then her car disappeared for a couple of weeks before I left for Italy...while I was gone, she was very much on my mind...I prayed and pondered over what I could do for her that wouldn't redraw the boundaries that I had established...I decided that I could take care of her prized rose bushes that divided our driveways (they were actually mine, but that is another story...I abdicated them to her because they brought her such joy)...I came home planning to prune and water and feed....but Mary's car still wasn't in its accustomed place in her driveway...I had a really bad feeling about all of this....and my feelings were correct...Mary had not been well, and had passed away after a terrible accidental fall that left her on life support....her family let her go while I was gone...I had a sad day feeling guilty about how I had felt about her, mitigated by the knowledge that there was nothing that I could have done to help her during her lifetime and the fact that I had decided to perform a random act of kindness by caring for her let her know that someone had noticed and cared...although I didn't get to follow through on my act of kindness, I realized that doing these acts of kindness are an important part of my life...and that I will continue to look for opportunities to do putting all of my recyclable bottles into one big bag, and putting them on top of my recycling bin for the people who come and dig through my trash on trash day...or giving up my aisle seat in the plane so that a young couple could sit together during the long flight from Rome to Montreal...these things all say "You are important, and I SEE you"...Mary's passing only helped to cement my attitude toward others, and I will continue to look for opportunities to make a little cul-de-sac has a brand new lease on life...children are playing on their bikes on the street, neighbors are throwing balls for their dogs to catch, and we are all talking and visiting with each other....Mary is at peace with her demons, and the neighborhood is coming to for me, I'm off to water the roses!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back to Reality.....

The Andrea Bocelli concert in Tuscany was outdoor theatre, set in the countryside....I'm still smiling!  Rome was HOT but wonderful....I am still processing all that I saw and did...wonderful, welcoming B&B in Rome....scrambling and just making the train to Florence...driving through the Tuscan countryside where every turn brought a new feast for my eyes...riding horses in Chianti...and rediscovering my "sit bones"...revisiting Michelangelo's "Pieta" in St. Peter's Bascilica.... and his "David" in Florence...lovely B&B in Florence....getting lost at night in the maze of small streets there and taking a cab "home"...putting my toes in the Tyrrhenian Sea...trying new foods and liking most of them (NOT the wild boar...)....My sis is the photographer, and am waiting on receiving her pics in order to share all of the beauty that surrounded us.....Met wonderful people.....ended up having to stay in Montreal for a night as my plane was late....all part of the adventure!  It is good to be daughter and  her family surprised me by coming to stay for this, it's back to business as usual...but I am sifting through and savoring my memories!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Great Day...

spent with my dearest friends!  My life has become SO busy in different ways...the job hunt is taking up most of my time....time that was formerly spent studying and working on school work...which I much prefer...finances are tighter than they've ever been, but I'm still hanging in there...but having no disposable income precludes much in the way of a social life!

Jan and Paul are my rocks...they are more than family to me, and I love them dearly.  We've been friends ever since our daughters met at three years old in the sandbox at preschool.  We have LOTS of history together...the good times, the hilarious adventures, the sad times, the awful times...we raised our daughters together...we lead a Girl Scout troop together...we face Jan's Parkinsons matter what, we are there for each other, and I am blessed to have them in my life!

So, Paul bought us tickets for a bus trip to a casino yesterday...and yes, I went...not to gamble, but to shop at the outlet mall across the street from the casino....a three-hour bus trip both ways, broken up by a five-hour stay at the casino/mall...Jan and I headed to the mall, and my daughter (who lives 20 minutes away) met us there with Emma and Ashlyn.  We plundered the children's stores, and it was OK - different but OK - that I didn't buy anything for the girls...rather than focus on what I didn't have, I focused on what I DID have...and my heart was full.  I played with the girls and kept them occupied while Elizabeth and Jan shopped...Jan bought a darling dress for Emma (pictured above, jumping for joy!) - who is adamant about the fact that she will only wear dresses, skirts and shirts...and a good time was had by all....

On the way home, Paul and I were discussing my job search...he hadn't realized how long and how hard I've been looking....he has a niece who is the operations manager of a quality search firm, and he contacted her last resume is on the way, and she will see that it gets into the right hands....such a blessing!

It was a great day...spent away from the relentless focus of  searching for a job...basking in the love that surrounded me...the comfort that comes from being with friends who fit like a favorite pair of jeans...again, finding that elusive balance that makes me, like my Emma, jump for joy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Balancing Act....

I admit that things are definitely not easy for me right now....I don't do well with uncertainty, and have been dealing with anxiety because of the state of my finances/future/ times like this, I just want to pull the covers over my head and stay cocooned safely in my bed!

But I haven't done that....I've "hit the employment search" every single day...spent time with a beloved mentor who has helped me immensely by teaching me to reframe my perspective on my life...this is simply one chapter...NOT the entire story, by any means!  I've felt overwhelmed when my "life plan" got sidetracked thanks to the state of the California economy...felt anxious when not receiving any responses to resumes sent out, brochures offering tutoring services bringing no responses, and advertising rooms for rent in my home bringing the same zero responses.

I AM an educator...just not credentialed yet...that WILL come in the meantime, something WILL come up that will enable me to continue to pay my bills and live.  I just have to keep up my end of the deal by continuing to do the footwork.

What got me into trouble was focusing ALL of my efforts on employment, and feeling the effects of rejection, which I translate into anxiety...and then became less effective in attaining my objective or accomplishing/enjoying anything else about my life.

Lesson learned:  BALANCE in all things is essential for my emotional well-being and quality of life.  I cannot let just one area overshadow the rest...the result for me is a disaster.

So, I headed down to San Diego for a couple of days to celebrate my daughter's birthday...Emma had her heart set on making Mommy a "house cake"....the results of our efforts are shown at the top of this post...precious moments that I could have missed if I didn't heed the lesson!  I have an interview at the library in a couple of weeks about becoming a volunteer literacy tutor....I WILL teach, regardless of the arena!  I am looking into taking some Spanish courses which will not only help me become more marketable, but will fulfill my need to learn...AND, two weeks from today, I will be busily packing for my two-week sojurn in Italy with my sister...It's all been paid for months ago (before I realized what a "fix" I would be in) except for food...and as my friend says, "LA will still be here when I get back"....and I've earned a break after 4 1/2 years of intense studying!

I think I'm going to find a picture of a tightrope walker and post it on my bathroom mirror to remind me...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Bump in the Road...

So, things in my life aren't going exactly according to my plan...I've been here before, and things have always turned out for the better for me...but, I'm anxious and confused about what my next direction will be...I HAD planned to take a paid internship with the school system in order to be able to afford my teaching credential training....NONE of the school systems in my area are using this program for the next school year...gotta love the California budget problems!  Looking for a job is not panning out well at all...I get up each morning and scour the internet for job leads...tweak my resume and cover letters and responses....I've registered with temp agencies, and have had only a couple of jobs with them....have applied for every job that I thought I was even remotely qualified for, including restocking shelves at responses...I've advertised my two extra bedrooms for funds are running on empty....I have to remind myself that for me, it's always when things seem the most bleak that the right door, I am filling my days with chores around the house - all of the baseboards and moldings in my living room and hallways have been replaced and painted...I've signed up to volunteer at the library to teach reading to adults and children...the rose bushes in my back yard have been ferociously groomed...I'm more tan than I have been in years...working on finishing my bathroom remodel...and reminding myself that this too shall pass...

Monday, May 31, 2010

I Love the Internet...

As suggested by the title of my blog, I do tend to want to "figure things out"....whether it be the direction my life will take, how I see the world, or how things curiosity, coupled with an attitude of "if I try and fail, at least I've learned something" and the wonders of the internet have served me well.

Case in point:  I had a clogged toilet in the second bathroom...very clogged...don't know if the "littles" had a field day with diaper wipes or if my system was just overwhelmed with having ten people staying, I purposefully plunged at intervals for a couple of days, with no positive results.  Having seen the inner workings of the system while the toilet was being reseated, I realized that it really wasn't that complicated....and if the plunging didn't work, something else surely off to the internet I went...and found a solution!

I poured about  a half-cup of dishwashing liquid into the bowl, followed by a teapot full of boiling water....let it sit about 10-15 minutes, and plunged again.  All of my troubles swirled away...thank you, Internet!  Sure beats a plumbing bill, and I feel so accomplished! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Life on the Other Side....

...of graduation!
I can't believe that I seriously considered NOT going through the ceremony....many thanks to all who convinced me to change my mind!  It was a perfect ending to this chapter of my life, and the perfect bridge to the next...

My daughter got to see me realize the first step in my that we had been talking about since she was a little girl...

...and my granddaughters saw that dreams can come true with willingness and hard work!

Then it was time to let my hair down, so it was off to Disneyland for a few days with my sis and her family...

  ...after they got on the plane, I headed down to San Diego to attend Emma's graduation from Puggles (Awanas)...

...Emma was thrilled that she was graduating, just like Grammy.....of course, we all got silly with the ponytails, too...
Now I'm home in my (now) quiet house, basking in all of the wonderful memories while I clean up from the 10 tornadoes that were here....working on my Credential Program application....working on the bathroom...working on finding a job...working on plans for is GOOD!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010


The arrivals begin this Wednesday night, there will be 10 people staying with me in my little house...some camping in the back yard!   Am I ready?  Heck, no!  The big stuff has been the tiling of my bathroom floor and the resetting of the toilets in both bathrooms...whew!  Will I ever tile a floor again?  Don't think much better on walls!  Still work to do in the bathroom....baseboards, paint, etc.....but it's finally functional again, and that's what matters....let the celebrations begin!

Tonight is the Honors Convocation at my university....yes, I am graduating Magna Cum Laude (I know I'm bragging, but it has been well-earned)...Wednesday evening is my actual graduation ceremony....and Thursday morning is my nephew's graduation ceremony....he actually graduated in December, but is flying down to "walk"...

I am looking forward to having my house full of those that I love so dearly...sitting around the firepit outside in the evening...the last time so many of us were gathered together around the fire we were planning my Mom's funeral...bittersweet memories, but I know that she will be smiling down upon us all ....and after all of the graduation hoopla, we're all headed to Disneyland for a couple of days!

I'm gonna need a vacation when everyone goes home.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Heaven on Earth...

Yep, I got to experience a little of this over the past couple of days...headed down to San Diego to celebrate a belated Mothers Day with my daughter and her family...I arrived at the house before they had returned from doing an errand, and Emma and I did a "happy dance" on the front lawn when we greeted each other...then littly Ashlyn joined the fun...Elizabeth had created an incredible t-shirt top for to follow when I get them off the camera....talented doesn't even begin to describe her creative gifts...I also received a gorgeous orchid plant that I will try to keep alive...Emma insisted that we "make my bed" (a pull-out sleeper couch) so that she could be sure that I would be staying and not going home...I sleep with Ashlyn in her room, and she woke me with leaning out of her crib as far as she could and saying "hi" to me over and over...of course, I couldn't resist, and brought her into bed with me to cuddle as we I awoke again, I was surrounded by TWO little ones, crawling all over  me, patting my face, and being called upon to "Grammy wake up"  What a perfect way to start the day...and it only got better from there!  Did errands in the morning and put the girls down for naps while Elizabeth and I tackled prepping her kitchen for paint....Ashlyn wasn't having anything to do with napping, so I sprung her from her crib and we played with the baby dolls, danced, and hung out while Elizabeth painted...Emma woke up just as Ashlyn was giving up the i got to have one on one time with her too...she's decided that Mommy and Daddy need to go on a trip so that Grammy can come and stay and take care of her and Ashlyn...and you know I just hate hearing things like this!  I just feel so BLESSED to have them all in my life...and the fact that we don't have to go out and do special "stuff", but can just stay within the rhythm of a normal day and have the time of our lives!  Elizabeth and I have a wonderful rhythm when we're together....I respect her attitudes and priorities in the raising of her girls, and have no problem in being consistent with the rules that she has for them.  In return, she trusts me with her girls, and we just naturally do what needs to be done to care for them and get other stuff done at the same time...we're a great team!  The joy of seeing what wonderful parents my grandchildren have, what awesome children they are, and the fact that I am welcomed into being a part of all of this is truly a piece of heaven on earth for me!

Friday, May 7, 2010


While I was watering my tomatoes this morning (there's nothing like a still-warm-from-the sun ripe tomato), I started thinking about my Mom.  I started growing them each year because of her.  She just LOVED fresh tomatoes, and I LOVED the fact that I could bring some sunshine into her life by doing this!  Each year, after they were planted, she would ask for daily updates about how they were doing, eagerly anticipating the beginning of the harvest....

Last spring, I was still feeling raw from the loss of Mom...I debated whether or not to plant tomatoes...and decided that I would...caring for the plants, I spent time thinking about her and feeling not only the loss, but, over time, the memories of the good times that we had the first wave of tomatoes ripened, my daughter and family came to visit....two-year old Emma was fascinated by the tomatoes....and wanted to taste them...we picked and washed, and she sat down to feast...her eyes lit up with her first taste of a tomato off the vine, much as my Mom's used was food for my soul, and brought joy to my heart...

So, this year, as I am watering the tomatoes, I not only think of my Mom and the joy that they brought to her, but the joy that they will bring to my now three-year old Emma....she even called me yesterday to see how they were growing!  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Last big test down, just one last final on Saturday to study for....having a hard time focusing....math, of course!  Picked up my cap and gown yesterday....Honors ceremony next week, and graduation the following week!  Need to work on on getting my little shoebox of a house ready for the onslaught of family and friends coming to celebrate with me..some are even going to camp in my back yard so that we can all be looking forward to sitting around the fire pit in the evenings with my nearest and dearest...have to tile my bathroom floor and reset the toilet so that I have two working bathrooms....the list just grows and grows!  But, I need to put my efforts into studying for this statistics/geometry final...this class has really stretched me...enough excuses, off to study!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Best of All Worlds....

Today was a great day....I had to study for a BIG math exam in statistics and geometry....and I did it OUTSIDE...lying on a chaise...feeling the sun's rays on my back and shoulders...yes, I did put on sunscreen, but lying in the sun just feels so good to me...the soft breeze cooling me off...focusing on formulas and proofs....and then I realized that I was at almost eye-level with my grass lawn....WOW!  There is a whole other world going on down there....have you ever taken the time to look?  It was journey began with noticing a ladybug perched on a blade of eyes traveled downward along the blade....and found a world that I had never realized existed....the ladybug was a GIANT compared to the other lawn inhabitants that I observed...some were as small as pencil dots...all scurrying along with their own agenda...the sunlight caught the glimmer of a tiny spider web strung along individual leaves of grass...some insects were black, and others almost translucent...I'm going to have to buy a magnifying was hard to turn my attention form the world beneath me to the required studying....but I did...and once the exam is over, I'm planning to go back to inspect the world beneath my feet...JUST AWESOME!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Long Time, No Blogging

I didn't intend to take a break from blogging....but life has just seemed to get into the way!  Lots of changes to adjust to, last semester of my undergraduate education, getting my house in order (a never-ending job, but I have made some headway), and looking for a job.

The job hunting has been making me CRAZY!  Yes, unemployment is at an all-time high, and yes, I am 58 years old, but damn, I'm still GOOD!  Am putting myself out there each and every day, and am trusting that the right job will happen when the time is right....

Life is good, and I have much to be grateful for.  I spent the last week in San Diego with my daughter's family...little 16-month old Ashlyn was hospitalized in the PICU with pneumonia.  Mom and Dad spent most of their time spelling each other at the hospital, and Emma and I got to hang out at home.  Tough times for a three-year old, but her parents are awesome....they made sure that one of them spent time with her each day, and that she got to speak with her sister on the phone.  The hospital even allowed Emma to come and visit one day when Ashlyn was on the road to recovery...Emma was a trooper and handled it all so well!  We did dishes, played Candyland, "camped out" on the living room floor and watched movies, had reading parties in my other words, did all of our favorite things!  I am so blessed to be a part of this family and to be able to be a support in a time of need...Ashlyn came home on Saturday and is in fine spirits! I came home to rest up myself, and will be headed back down to San Diego tomorrow to help out with the girls so that my daughter can get some rest....never a dull moment!

I've missed you all, and am glad to be back!  OXOX

Monday, February 15, 2010


Change is good.  Sometimes, though, it just takes a little getting used to!  I've taken care of others for my entire life, beginning when I was a child myself.  Helped raise my siblings, had a child, cared for my parents, etc., etc., etc.   My daughter left home to go to college about six years ago, married, and never did come back home to live.  My mom passed away about a year and a half ago.  My pets have passed on, one by one.  My nephew came to live with me about six and a half years ago (long story, with a wonderful ending!)  He graduated from college in December and has moved on with his life (and out of my house)!

So where does that leave me?  Still here, with just one cat to care for.  Feels strange and good, all at the same time.  For the first few days, I found myself sort of walking into walls, trying to figure out what it was that I was feeling....sad that such a large part of who I had been (the caretaker) was no longer needed.....and then, it dawned on me.....I was FREE!

I don't regret the choices that I made earlier in my life....they all contributed to making me the person that I am...but now, I am answerable only to myself, and it feels GREAT!  I enjoy my solitude, and the fact that when I come home and close the door behind me, I can just BE.... do my homework, study, listen to music, read, cook what I like to cook, watch TV, or whatever I want to do without having to consider someone else.  It still feels all new to me, and I'm liking it!

Being on my own has raised the question of choices that I now feel free to make....I'm not making any hasty decisions, but am considering whether or not I want to continue to live in a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house....or if I even want to stay in the Los Angeles area.... I will be finished with my undergraduate degree in May, and can get my teaching credential almost anywhere....My life here is full, busy and rewarding....I have truly "bloomed where I was planted" I have options!  Who knows!    

Friday, January 22, 2010

Things that Make Me Happy

I've been tagged by Christella at Meandering Moody Memories to list 10 things that make me happy.  I recently discovered her blog - she is an extraordinary woman who writes about her life that has been filled with such rich experiences- she is well worth checking out!
I'm finding it difficult to limit myself to only 10 things, as these days I am incredibly blessed and content with a wonderful life...I'm not rich with material things, but am a gazillionaire when it comes to the things that I count as important!  Finding the world of blogging has to be added to my list somewhere, even if it makes my list longer than 10...although I've only been at it a short time, my life has been so enriched by those that I have "met"...sharing and encouraging, laughing and crying...good days and not-so-good's wonderful to share my life with you, and thank you for sharing yours with me!
So here goes:
1.  Sitting on my back steps with a fresh cup of coffee in the morning, watching the sky wake up!
2.  Playing with my watercolors...and watching something come into existence that was previously only held within my mind....
3.  Splashing in rain puddles...I love the fact that part of me is still a little kid...and that I have had plenty of puddles to splash in lately!
4.  Long, hot showers...This is where I do my best thinking....
5.  Working with children and young people...they always teach me so much more than I teach them!
6.  Travel - I'd be hard-pressed to choose which makes me happier - the planning and researching a trip, or actually taking the trip...there is so much out there in the world that excites me and that I want to see the sights, smell the smells, taste the tastes, hear the different languages...right now, I'm planning a trip to Italy next July with my dear sister...her first trip abroad....we've already purchased our tickets to hear Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany!  I hear Paris calling me....maybe I can squeeze in a few days in my favorite city along the way!
7.  My daughter and her family......I could go on and on about this....
8.  Good food, good wine and good friends are a combination that fills my cup!
9.  The ocean...the smell of the air, the feel of the sand and the sound of the waves....never fails to make me smile!
10.  School....I am one of the few people that I know who has had the opportunity to be living their dream! I rather expect that I will be taking classes for as long as I am able...whether or not they lead to a degree....I love to learn!ing
6.  Meandering Moody Memories

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Almost Over.... undergraduate coursework, that is!  Yep, I started my LAST SEMESTER this week....slogged through the rainy days to the classrooms.......AND talked my favorite math professor into allowing me to add to her class (and thereby dropping the mean math professor's class)...I only had to promise to help her grade her homework and tests from a lower-division math course (I was prepared to offer her my next-born grandchild)!  Just May, I'll be one of many "gowned up" for commencement exercises...I wasn't going to participate, and then realized that I had earned, I'll be "walking" with the masses, and enjoying every second of it!  

....then on the the Credential Program...can you tell I'm excited?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Arrgh!  Just when I thought that I was going to escape the flu season unscathed, it hit.  And I'm miserable....I don't do sick well - at all.  I'm in the FOURTH day of this junk, and have had enough!  School starts again for me on Tuesday - I'd better be better by then!  I have to stop and put it into perspective before I go stark raving mad....I know that there is an end to his, and that I could have it much worse.  So I'm stopping the complaining and starting to be grateful that it's JUST the flu and nothing more serious.

On a lighter note, I got some pics from Emma's 3rd birthday party...still haven't found the cable to my camera, but got these from was a lot of work putting it together, but so much fun!  I'm so glad that we get to do these things together!  My daughter has such a creative flair that I am in awe of her....I just show up and do the crafty and cooking things at her instruction...It was a Pink Princess Tea Party to be remembered!  I just wonder how she is going to top it for next year!

The Pink Princess Cake - Strawberry cake, of course!

Pink Macaroni & Cheese


Food table

Front Door

Front Porch

Tea Party Set - One of many!

Back Deck

Driving her Barbie car...thanks Grandpa!

Decorating teapot cookies

Even the boys dressed up for the party!

A good friend even dressed for the occasion and did a story book reading!

And the kids loved it!

The birthday girl...

Baby Sister Ashlyn in matching outfit!

And a good time was had by all!

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Been One of Those Days....

......I learned how to fix my broken only took three trips to the hardware store.

I did laundry......and left the lid off of the liquid detergent when I went to answer the phone.....the cat jumped up on the machine and knocked down the open detergent bottle onto the floor....long story short, my laundry area's floor is so clean that you CAN eat off of it!

I'm working on a birthday project for Emma, who turns 3 next week.  She's a "girly girl" who loves ballet, princesses and the color pink.  I have an old, antique doll crib that I bought when Elizabeth was the same age....I never did get around to doing anything with it.  I dragged it out of the garage, disassembled the pieces, and am in the middle of painting them white.  I am also sewing bed linens for the crib......using the same fabrics that Elizabeth used for Emma's bed.

Am I struggling?  You betcha!  It's been YEARS since I've sewn....and my fingers are not as nimble as they used to be....I've tussled with my sewing machine, and the comforter is almost finished (just a bit of hand sewing to do)!  Next up was the "mattress"....I had the brilliant idea to lay cotton batting over the piece of wood that comprises the bottom of the crib, cover it with fabric and to staple it to the underside of the wood piece.  Good idea in theory, but I got something totally different than I expected when I finished the stapling part.....

I tried to pick it up from the dining room wouldn't move.....(my closest friends will not be surprised by this...) I HAD STAPLED IT TO THE TABLE! ... and although I took pictures, I now can't find the cable to connect to my camera to download them to my computer!

 I don't care what time it is.....I think I'm finished for the day and am going to pour myself a glass of wine!