Showing posts from January, 2010

Full Moon Dreamboard - Light

I've done some vision board collaging in my journal before, but this is the first time I have participated in Jamie Ridler's Full Moon Dreamboards . However, I wasn't feeling much like the old magazines/scissors/glue method today. Instead I opted for looking through my photographs to see what stood out to me today. So here is my first Full Moon Dreamboard: From left to right: the sunrise Thursday morning, the sun on a cloudy winter day, and the stained glass windows of a church on New Year's Eve. Light is playing a big part in my life right now, which became even more clear to me as I gravitated to these photos. I'm learning to shine my own inner light without fear and without expectations. To see what others are dreaming about, visit Jamie's post .

Saying Goodbye to Grandpa

Just when I thought I was fitting back into my day-to-day routine, life threw me another whammy. My grandpa died last week. It was a complete shock because he hadn't been having any serious health issues. I'm still stunned and finding it hard to believe he is gone. Grandpa was still really active. He just turned 86, yet he had recently been helping a new neighbor with some home renovations. He had fixed the church organ which hadn't worked in years. The church thought it was a lost cause, but grandpa spent many hours taking it apart and reconstructing it until it played better than ever. He was singing in the church choir and standing at the door to greet the congregation every Sunday. He worked and he gave until the very end. Last Wednesday he was helping my uncle with a project. He was fine one minute and the next minute he sat down on the garage floor saying he wasn't feeling well. My uncle took him to the hospital right away. From there, he was transferre


A week ago today I arrived in Florida 14 hours after the death of my grandpa. The next five days were a whirlwind of activity as the entire family worked together to arrange services and comfort one another. None of us were prepared for this loss. It will take some time to figure out how to go about our daily lives with this void in our hearts. The one thing I'm not sad about is that grandpa got his money's worth out of this life. He remained active, stayed busy, and lent a helping hand until his body gave out and, as he would have said, the Lord called him home. I miss him a lot. I'm also sad for my grandma who is trying to figure out how to be "just me" instead of half of a "we." I wrote about his generosity and his perfect answers on Too Many Toasters- my blog about families. Read it here: Saying Goodbye to Grandpa . Grandpa was and still is an inspiration to me. Now, go hug or call or write to your loved ones. I sent my grandpa a birthday car

Third Grade Journal (Another Working Mother Wednesday... plus some)

It's amazing what you come across when you're cleaning the house. Like really cleaning. My husband and I found my stepson's journal from third grade. One of those black and white marble composition notebooks with a weekly assignment from the teacher. Oh the things we learned! For instance, if my stepson were to be a superhero (circa 2005), it wouldn't have been Superman, Batman, or any of the Justice League figures that adorned his bedroom. It wouldn't have been his current favorite, The Incredible Hulk. He would have been a "huge sgure bunny rabbit thing." We think "sgure" translates to "square." It's a useful thing to be actually. As he explained it, "I could jump relly far. Also I could ram a lot of stuff." So there you have it. What would he have done with $50,000? Buy Toys R Us. Brilliant! This third grade version of my stepson didn't just have a good imagination, he also had good sense. See what I

Answering the Sibling Question

“Do you have any brothers and sisters?” It sounds like an easy enough question. Most people answer it pretty quickly talking about their older brother or how they were the youngest of three. Inside I’m usually answering something like this: “No. Well, maybe. Two, in fact. Yes, two. Or five? It’s complicated. Can you please define brothers and sisters?” Out loud the answer may not be much different. For some reason, this question has come up several times for me recently and I’m always at a loss on how to answer. Saying “I was an only child” is an option, even if I’m not an only child now. Or maybe I am since my siblings aren’t blood relations and I never lived with them. And if you count step-siblings, how do you know which ones to count? Do you include the ones you haven’t met? Maybe you count only the step-siblings you grew up with? Only the ones you’re friends with on Facebook? Let me explain my confusion. I was an only child, right up until I turned 19 and my mom rem

Vocabulary of an English Graduate (lots of monster battling here)

I have a degree in English. I should be prolific and insightful and bordering on snooty. Isn’t that how English graduates are supposed to act? I should use big words like… I don’t know. See my problem? I can’t even think of any. Yet there is this monster that comes up for me every time I read something I feel like I need to look up. This week it was a quote on Havi’s blog from one of her Item! Posts : “I like to… laugh at anything that pokes fun at commercialism, holiday treacle, or extreme reverence.” “Treacle?” “Reverence?” When I read things like this the monster attacks me with “Why don’t you use words like that? You should know what treacle means. You should be able to use it in casual conversation. You are a disgrace to English graduates everywhere!” It’s a mean, mean monster. So when the monster reared his ugly head this week, I didn’t bow to its authority. I talked back. “No, I don’t know what treacle means. In fact, I don’t care. I like the way I talk. I li

Working Mother Wednesday: My Wishes for 2010

Two posts today!  I'm on a roll. My Working Mother Mom Blog got a bit of a break over the last two weeks.  No more!  I'm ready to get back to routine. This week I talked about my wishes for my family in 2010: what I wish for me and my husband, what I wish for me and my stepson, what I wish for all three of us.  It was way more exciting to dream those types of plans than to pretend I'm going to exercise more. Read it here: My Wishes for 2010 .  And, tell me... what do you wish for your family this year?

Changing the Thought

Last night my commute home stretched 40 minutes longer than its usual 2 hours. It was 8:00 p.m. when I pulled into my driveway and all of my built up stress began to boil over when I saw the garbage cans still sitting by the garage. Sometimes I feel my stress turning into anger/sadness/frustration when I don’t even want to be angry/sad/frustrated over the situation. Does that make sense? Do you ever feel that way? You see, it was garbage night- the night when my stepson is supposed to put the cans out by the street for an early morning pick-up. Like the rest of us humans, he resists the work he doesn’t want to do. More than that, he’s 12 which means, unlike adults who begrudgingly do the crappy chores anyway because we have to, he sometimes doesn’t give them a second thought. My mind immediately turned this into something bad that I had to do. Not that I had to take out the garbage, it was that I had to go in after a long day and gripe and push and prod to get a stupid little cho

Rough Holiday Break and Bonus Mom Badge

I was at a complete loss for what to write this week. The holiday break was more difficult than I ever would have imagined. This weekend I had to put my dog to sleep after just a few short days of sudden illness. His kidneys and liver had failed and I suddenly found myself having to say goodbye to this one constant in my adult life. I’m sad, lost, and completely uninterested in returning to the normal grind. With the way 2009 drew to a close and the way 2010 has started, I’m feeling full. During the holiday break alone, the van battery died, my stepson’s allergy to red dye returned with a vengeance, my husband’s “indestructible” tungsten wedding band broke (again), my dog fell ill, and yesterday my car battery died. No more, please. While I’m not a regular church attendee these days, I remember from my childhood that God doesn’t throw you more than you can handle. He and I must disagree about how much I can handle. If everything happens for a reason, I hope I learn this lesson

Changing Words

Last year I chose a word of the year on Christine Kane ’s recommendation. The word I chose was focus . My intention was to use that word to help me focus on one thing at a time, to focus on breaking nervous habits like leg shaking, and focus on where I was spending my attention. I kept that word in the back of my mind, drawing on it for subtle reminders to put down the cell phone or laptop or to spend some time letting my creativity run wild. It seems to have served me well. A few weeks ago, I set out in search of a new word for 2010. I started along the lines of simplicity, be, and enough. Then I thought release. I tried it on for size, rolling it around in my mind for a little while. In my frustration over a dresser drawer that was in disarray, I heard “release” and pulled out clothes to donate that I no longer needed or loved. On a tough day I allowed myself to release past pains and release my fears. Then the battery on the van gave out. Then my husband’s indestructible tu