Quote for the Day

"A dream doesn't become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work" -Colin Powell

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Tucked in on a Snowy Day 2019

I feel like this is a confessional. It has been six months since my last blog post. My post in July talked about the ugly Japanese Beetle infestation in our area and other's had experienced in the spring of 2018. Now its a Snowmageddon of such and possible blizzard next weekend.

So many things have occurred in the past six months. To much to try and cover in one post. I pretty much gave up on the blog I think because I felt; who cared. I went back and looked at how long ago I started it and what I had covered in that time period. Ten years! Ten years of opinions, perspectives, skating stories, family stories etc.  I created an Instagram account a couple years ago and have posted pictures of things in my life. Very few selfies but more of a journal.

When I started the blog, social media was not as judgmental as it is now. Let's face it we all are a little judgmental sometimes more than we should be but it is a fact and the only way you can get away from it is to lock yourself inside, not talk to anyone and let your voice be silenced.

On snowy days like we are having we tend to reflect on things because we are being held hostage by Mother Nature. Yes, it is beautiful but after a big storm like this I am ready for the buzzer to sound letting me get back to my somewhat normal daily life.  For now I am getting many projects done that had been on my list for snowy day activities.

Happy 2019. Lets see where this year the journey takes me.







2019 January Snowstorm



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ode to the Japanese Beetle

This past weekend it was a wonderful morning to grab a cup of coffee and sit out on the lounge chair in the backyard. The cardinals were singing and the buzz of various insects signified it was the end of another week. When out of the corner of my eye I see one! It is not your ordinary small bee or fly; its another one of THEM.

I put down my cup of coffee on the small glass table next to the lounge chair and let out a deep, long sigh. I grabbed the other cup next to the coffee cup on the table and slowly but surely I made my way across the yard to the pink hibiscus bush where the vinyl fences meet and my quest would begin.

Pluck, pluck, pluck those pesky flying creatures.  The prickly feel of their legs trying to escape my clutches does nothing to deter me from forging ahead to the next section. Almost each morning and each evening this is where you can find me; in my domain. My concoction of choice is Dawn dish soap and warm water; their final jacuzzi before their demise. They have wrecked havoc on just about every sweet, timid leaf of every type tree, flowering bush and crop in the area. One by one they suck the sweet leaves to a papery thin shell of its former self.  In my feudal attempt I know I have only scratched the surface and hopefully as I have heard they will only be around for a few more weeks. Only to return next year fully ready for the same fight. Probably our best hope is that the next winter will be a really white one with the hope they will kill them off for an extended period.

I wonder if next year is the summer of locusts? I surely hope not. I doubt I would be as bold in my quest for eradicating in the same way.

Oh and the mug. I am sure my friend who I received it from didn't intend for me to use it as a holder for dead beetles but the same little bird that I got this mug from is having the same problem only slightly worse. I don't think she will mind. We have both been there and done it!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Reunions Come and Go But the Memories Remain

The summer months are frequently the time for reunions. Be it family, school or some other group its not hard to find a picnic or fancy banquet for what can be one of the most enjoyable types of get together in a person's life. I looked at attending my school reunions as somewhat of my proms that I didn't attend. I have attend three high school reunions and hard to believe a fourth is coming up next year.  While drafting this post I actually received an invite for a group page for our 40th Reunion planning.  For the last several years my high school has a yearly picnic that includes all the graduation years that is always around June 15th. I have never attended one of them, but often see pictures posted of the event. Updates on that reunion will probably be integrated in post for the year.

After a lifetime of figure skating, the group I skated with had its first reunion in 2001. I flew out to attend and most from that team I was on from 1988-1991 attended. For that reunion it was extremely enjoyable to take a look back at our accomplishments and to know I helped blazed a trail for what synchronized skating is today. Still not an Olympic sport or highly televised sport but apparently if you look on YouTube you might find one of our performances; I have yet to find any, but still searching.

Late last year we got word that one of our founding members had succumbed to pancreatic cancer. I did a blog post shortly after I heard after combing my old scrapbook. Carolyn was a sweet yet precise lady of skating. She along with our first coach Chuck came up with music, costumes and choreography for many of the early numbers. Carolyn provided her expertise until the very end. After hearing about her passing several of the former members decided to try and get as many former members together for another reunion.

Unfortunately, life gets in the way and I was unable to attend. Even with the at your fingertips of almost everything it was not enough advance notice for me to go. Picking up and going places isn't as easy when you have so many other commitments and people depending on you regularly. I guess that can be a good thing sometimes but also difficult as well.

My rooming buddy/hair and makeup stylist Pam and also another member Nikki kept me updated through email and social media contacts. Some of the pictures below are from the pdf  file they put together with the entire history from 1983 when the Fabulous Forties team began to the last competition year in 1998.  As I looked at a couple pictures that were sent the day of the event, only a few of the members during my time were able to attend but I would have known them if I saw them in a crowd.

Since hearing about this reunion I have had many memories come to mind. All the summertime brainstorming to put a new program together, themes, music and practice sessions. Looking back our group of ladies were way ahead of the times. What I would give for a nice cold ice rink in this Midwest humidity!!

My first introduction to team skating was also in a short debut in 1983 before I took a couple year's hiatus to have kids. I remember we were a young, green group for team skating but it wet my appetite for what would later become one of the most enjoyable times in my life of skating.

I may not be directly in the sport today, but I am attempting to keep skating in my life by trying my hand at a short story with skating as a part of the story line.  It is a work in progress, slow but hopefully someday a finished product will be published.

Although, I wasn't at the reunion, I was their in spirit. The real test is for those who know me to pick me out of the pictures. I don't think it will be that hard.

1988 Reno, Nevada Nationals
1989 Rhode Island Nationals
1990 Houston, TX Nationals

Our Official Trophy Pic from 1990 and 1991 Anchorage, AK Nationals Fred and Ginger Program

Thursday, June 21, 2018

68

Many people have lucky numbers in life. Some use them for picking lottery numbers in hopes of a big win, others have certain numbers that remind them of a special event. There are those people who have a mind for numbers and those who can't remember a number to save their life.  So much in life you are expected to remember your personal social security number or those of others in your family. Lets face it we are a world of numbers. How many PIN numbers do you keep?

This year marks the 68th Anniversary of my in-laws. In a nutshell they have seen a lot, been through a lifetime of situations, but have reached 68 years of marriage together. At a time when marriage is like a dinosaur and some couples treat marriage like an old outfit, they have managed to make it. The last several years has been extremely difficult but somehow they have managed to make it through each obstacle the best they can.

They still know what the other is thinking, finish each other's sentences and are each other's best friend. They have seen their families through good times and bad times, heartache and joy. They have been blessed by many grandchildren, great and great,great grandchildren. Too many to count and name and wouldn't begin to attempt.
Pics-Enjoying Jacuzzi in CA, 40th Anniversary in CA and 50th Anniversary in MO.

Long marriages of any kind are hard to find these days.  Lifespans are unknown. People change over the years. Couples think they don't have to be married, a piece of paper doesn't make a marriage. The definition of family has changed over the years. Some except it, others don't.  Everyone has an answer to what a good marriage can and should be.

Each moment they have is a milestone.  May they have many more.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Out of the Nest Before You Know It

Photo caption? Mom I am hungry up here!!

A hawk eye view from robins to the west.

Over the last two spring seasons we have had multiple nest residents at our house.  I am not sure why these last two years have been different that the previous years we have lived here because we never had birds build nests.

 I guess it could be many scenarios if I put my mind to it. We had three trees for many years in the back yard and a trailer park behind our property up until about five or six years ago. The trailer park was cleared out to make way for a future car dealer body shop, and the trees systematically came down over the last several years either due to storms or updating the yard. I guess like anything when multiple things change in the course of a life, change is always the next best thing.

Last year we actually had two sets of robin chicks. Once the robins were done with enlarging their families and fall season appeared we dismantled the nest in our fall cleanup process. This year the resident robin picked one spot early in the spring but due to weather while building, it was taken away by Mother Nature. Resident robin didn't let the situation get her down, she just built another home.

It was much closer to my sliding glass door so I really struggle with the fact that our family might create problems with her family inadvertently.  Now that the eggs have hatched and Mama robin has done a perfect job of feeding and caring for the three or four (not really sure) kids she created I await the morning I go out and the nest is empty. Not sure whether another tenant will appear set to take over the homestead but the evolution of spring leaves nothing to posts on social media.

The robin tale also made me think about this time of year when kids get out of school and wonder what their path will be next.

A friend experienced her daughter completing kindergarten this year with a heavy heart (the kindergartner had an extremely heavy heart).  Mom videoed the event and I am sure she will cherish the video until she graduates from other milestones of her school career.

Another person had a daughter who graduated from elementary school. Our town is such that our schools are broke up for now K-4, Middle School is 5 and 6, Junior High is 7 and 8 and High School is 9-12. Hard to keep up and I am sure it will change once again in the near future. Elementary graduates walk the hall for the last time to goodbyes from the lower grades. Some to tears and some to cheers.

This year I read in the local paper that the graduating senior class at the high school erected a For Sale sign on the front of the high school building as a senior prank. It got a chuckle or too I am sure.

Going away or graduating from college can be just as emotional not only for parents but also the students. I remember when we packed the truck and vehicles to send our kids off. It was just a year away but as we some children they didn't come back to live at the home we made for them as their parents. We raised them to go on and make lives for themselves after finishing school.

Today is much different than it was back then. Kids come back and leave, and come back and leave or never leave home at all. For whatever reason flying away from the nest can be hard sometimes to spread our wings and get off the ground.

Yesterday I saw one of the birds in our nest standing on the edge of the nest. New fluffy feathers quietly waiting for his parent across the yard chirping away.  Life is difficult. Sometimes without realizing parents and those around the kids can make things even more difficult. Society as a whole can be unkind.

As summer knocks on our back door, and kids and parents can enjoy the summer life let us remember, nests are comfortable but get out and spread your wings and enjoy what life has waiting for you.




Saturday, May 12, 2018

The First Official Day to Plant Flowers


It has been said that designating a single celebration day for Mother's, Father's, Grandparents or various others should be omitted from calendars. I know many who prefer not to celebrate for various reasons and those who yell from the rooftops loud and proud. I like to take the middle approach.

As a child I remember making cards in school for Mother's and Father's Day and giving to my parents. Grandparent's Day wasn't celebrated until 1978 according to my Google search.  1978 wasn't a very celebratory year in my family since that was the year my grandpa passed away. Actually, everyday for me growing up was grandparents day since they were such a large part of my life.

Fast forward to my first celebration of Mother's Day as a new Mom. I remember David got me flowers and a special card. I probably still have the card somewhere.  It was special celebrating a new holiday among the many our family had celebrated so far.

Several years later I remember sending a handwritten letter to my birth mom around the time of Mother's Day hoping to connect. It took a while but we were able to write each other but never got to celebrate Mother's Day or any holiday for that matter. Sad; yes but just a part of my interesting and eventful life.

This day for me is a day of reflection, relaxation and flower planting. Several years ago I started the do not plan flowers before Mother's Day rule and for the past several years it has worked rather well. Although this year it is seasonably warm for Mother's Day, I think my choices will progress nicely.


Happy Mother's Day to all.. Celebrate as you wish.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

When You are Doing More Reading than Writing

Even though I have complained about the winter cold; it really hasn't been that bad as in past winter's but the older I get the worse the cold is to me in my mind. When the flu season started I thought I should take as many precautions as I can without getting the flu shot. In the past I had the mindset to get the shot but for several years I have went the opposite and just haven't. Some may think its crazy to roll the dice I seem to dodge the bullet most years. This year all reports indicated that it might be a bad year for the flu.  Washing hands, carrying anti-bacterial products, other than wearing a protective bubble I managed to stay on the well side.

Our youngest grandson had what seemed to be an upper respiratory incident and sure enough he graciously shared the lovely sickness. For a full week plus I hacked and snorted and felt like I was eating Kleenex by the box. I finally survived the major part but as everyone who is older knows it takes sometimes twice and three times as long to recover and back to 100 percent.

I remembered when I was competing competitively forging on while not 100 percent was just part of skating. Several of the competitors during the last Olympics dealt with some injuries/sicknesses but put on their performance faces and moved on.

The one positive out of all of this was I had more than enough time to read a few books and relax and ponder life. I am not sure if it was the over the counter medicine or home remedies or just the right amount of time I had to clear my mind of daily tasks but it was a welcome diversion during an otherwise unproductive several days.
While reading some interesting books, (A full log of recent book is listed on the blog) I also thought once again about doing a better job about blogging and about my own ideas of writing stories. 

One of the author's I did pick up this time was Phaedra Patrick. She has written two charming books: "Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" and "Rise and Shine Benedict Stone". Both stories take you to places that tell great stories of life, and scenarios that leave you thinking. She does have a website: www.phaedra-patrick.com that also has some interesting writing tips if like me your are interested in taking the leap. She is also on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. She was gracious enough to respond to several of my comments so I hope we can start further dialog. She also has some upcoming books which I am sure will be just as wonderful.

Her Writing Tips from A to Z on her website I found to be really helpful and informative. I especially enjoyed :

F-Firsts. Make your first line, paragraph and chapter really count
J-Journey-Make the journey as interesting as possible
T-Time Find the time. Either between cleaning and your shopping.

It is truly funny how we don't always say no when we should. We make time for everything; just about, yet we think when we are sick we don't have time for it. I guess by being sick it made time to reflect on maybe some things I want to do than things I am expected to do.