Friday, February 29, 2008

Thoughts of Spring


"Spring is when life's alive in everything." Christina Rossetti 

My thoughts today turn to spring.  It is finally the last day of February. We got an extra one this year!

While I was awaiting the arrival of my dishnetwork installer, I heard news of exhibition baseball games.  If they are exhibiting, the season is well on the way!  I will stick with thoughts of ice however, because tomorrow night the Illini play their first game in the ACHA tournament  and the Stanley Cup playoffs will be happening soon.  So I will welcome the nice spring like weather when it arrives, I will glory in the first shoots of the spring green grass and daffodils, but for now I am thinking hockey!

Tonight I am going to surf, surf, surf, my new channels.  I may even find some hockey!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mom

Thirty years ago today my life changed forever. My mother passed from this earth quite quickly and unexpectedly.  I was about to turn 23 in another month.  I had a 15 month old son, and an alcoholic husband.  I was too young to even imagine life without my mother and now I have spent my entire adult life without her there to comfort and guide me. In one month I will be 5 years older than my mom was when she died.
My sister and I barely functioned after mom died. I had come to stay at my mom and dad's house to help take care of my younger brothers while mom was in hospital.  She was only there for two weeks.  I will never forget how I felt the day I stopped by the hospital on my way home and my mom was in the bathroom, she was throwing up, so I told her roommate I would be back later.  Well, she was never fully aware of anything again.  They took her to a hospital in St. Louis.

I had a 15month old son, my sister had a 10 year old son and an 8 year old daughter.  My mom had three sons at home, one about to turn 18, one 13 and a ten year old.  While my sister and I could barely function, we had to be able to take care of all these children and be there for my dad who had just lost his beloved wife.


My mother gave me so much in the short years that I was so blessed to have her.  She was kind, loving, tolerant and full of fun.  She taught me the things necessary to be a great mom, kindness, tolerance and a great capacity for love. My mother loved Christmas and truly taught us how to keep Christmas in our hearts. When I began having night terrors when I was about 16, my mom would get out of bed and run into my room to try to comfort me, Or to at least wake me up so that I wouldn't be screaming in the middle of the night! But she was always there. Now, I still have night terrors but there is no one there to give me comfort.  She gave me great advice on the art of dating, and I know I probably disappointed her many times during my teenage years, yet she was always there to cry with me when I was sad and to laugh with me when I was happy.
  I can't believe that she has been gone for 30 years. My son, who is now 31, stayed with my mom during the day while I worked and he really has no recollection of her.   I know that I am the person I am today because of the foundation of love, respect and value of family that I received from my mom.   I can still see her beautiful smile, and I still feel the warmth of her heart when I am in need of her.

My sister not only had her own kids to raise, she became for me the person that I could talk to when I was in need of a mother. I treasure her. 

I miss my mother everyday.  

The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children. Elaine Heffner O magazine 2003

 If this be the case my mother was a terrific teacher.




Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Tax time

"To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life.  The money is the gray."  Bette Davis

Last night I sat down with the dreaded tax forms.  I began to fill them out, while I was watching hockey, the Capitals versus the  Wild, while waiting for the Blues game to start. This is not something I love to do filling out tax forms.  I understand the need for taxes, but why do the forms have to be so convoluted? I got to the tuition credit line which is back on the tax form for 2007. Well of course I need another form to even figure out if I can put anything on this line.  And there are, of course, two different places that you can get a credit or deduction for tuition paid and two different forms.  So I neatly placed my stack of paperwork on the table, put the animals to bed, and went to my bedroom to watch the Blues play hockey.

Tonight I will return to the dreaded forms and see if I can make any sense out of them. I generally always pay taxes, as opposed to getting a return, as I have to pay taxes on the alimony, which the courts now call maintenance, but the IRS still calls alimony, that I get because my husband jumped ship! I have to get the blasted thing filled out by this weekend because my daughter needs the information to fill out her FAFSA form, so that she can actually go to school next year.!

I could use some gravy!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Love Letters


"For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation."
Rainer Maria Rilke


This snowy late February morning, I am thinking of a box that sits in the dark corner of my bedroom closet.  The box is an old shoe box and it is full of a lifetime of love letters.
The lifetime of the love that was felt between my husband and me.  That life was over 7 years ago when he walked out of the marriage and broke my heart.

I have been holding on to the last remnant of the love that I thought would last for my lifetime.
I have not been able to destroy the letters and post cards and love poems that, for me, said yes the love that I had for him was real, and for a time the love he had for me was real.

But, lately I am thinking, why am I holding on to that old shoe box of love letters?  I am starting to feel like maybe it is time to build a fire in the fireplace, I have been saving some of the last of the firewood, open a bottle of wine, put on some music and read those letters for the last time and them feed the fire with them. 
 The end of February, my least favorite month, might just be the exactly right time to free myself of those letters and those memories.

I am open to finding new love, I don't know where or how, or when. but I know that I was meant to be in love, I believe in love. I am very good at loving all of my family, my children, my sisters and brothers, my dad,  my friends and I am looking for a very special man to expend some of the love I still have in my heart just for him.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday mornings

 "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
James Thurber

Yes it is Monday morning and I am back to work after a fun-filled weekend.
I am starting work on 4 hours sleep, which means by the end of this long day I will be running on empty as Jackson Browne might say.

Friday and Saturday nights were the last two ice hockey games of the season. While this is sad, as I love ice hockey, it is also glad, as now I can be spontaneous on Friday and Saturday nights until September 26, 2008 when the next season begins. Which leaves me with the big question,  what possibilities are in store for my weekends until next September.

I enjoyed going to the games with Janet. They were exciting games. The Illini have a perfect season at 34-0 now.  Friday night when they came on the ice they didn't play their usual game during the first period.  But they quickly became the team I am used to watching. Saturday night was senior night and we honored and said good-bye to the senior class. Now they will be off to Rochester New York to play in the national tournament.  They will play Saturday night March 1 against Robert Morris (PA).  

Sunday was a pleasant and very long day.  After church we went home, ate breakfast, Janet started laundry and then we went back to church to have our photo taken for the new church directory.  I am anxious to view the portraits next week, as I will probably purchase one for the house and one for each girl.  Then Janet went off to do her thing,  work on the IUB  musical set and Regena and I settled in for an afternoon of Bollywood.  We watched a very sad film and then began a happier one.  I made Irish Beef stew with stout and we spent the day together until I had to take her to work at 6:00pm.  I began watching the Oscars, went to pick Regena up at 9:15 and she came back home, finished  watching the Oscars and then we finished the second film we had started earlier in the day.   Wow, it was after midnight when I took her back to her apartment.  Then by the time I got to bed it was 1:00am.  I am either crazy or....

I treasure all the time I get to spend with my daughters and losing a little sleep is not so bad.

So my big question for today is will I fall asleep at my desk?


Friday, February 22, 2008

Hockey Night in Urbana

It's Hockey night in Urbana Champaign!  
Tonight and tomorrow are the final home games for the Fighting Illini Ice Hockey team.  I have thoroughly enjoyed this hockey season.  I am sad to see the seniors graduate and am excited to see their last two games on The Big Pond.  
I will have to find something else to look forward to on Friday and Saturday nights until next fall when the hockey season begins again.   I am still looking forward to the NHL games left and the Stanley Cup games.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Positive and Negative Energy

"Be Impeccable with your word. " Don Miguel Ruiz

So, lately I have been feeling a lot of negative energy at my work place.  Most of my co-workers are very positive most of the time, but it seems lately some very negative energy is invading. Some people I know just exude positive energy and I love to be around them.
Mike, my dear friend, turned me on to this marvelous book probably two years ago.
When I read it, then listened to it on cd, I started to understand a great deal about people and about how I want to be.
Be impeccable with your word is the first agreement.  It is amazing how difficult it is to be impeccable with your word.  It is something that I have to work on all the time. But, by learning to be impeccable with your word, you suddenly feel  so free, you feel positive energy around.

The second agreement is "Don't take anything personally".  This one is very difficult to achieve.
When negative energy is surrounding you, it is so easy to fall into the trap of taking everything personally.

The third agreement is "Don't make assumptions". Okay you can see how difficult learning to make these agreements with yourself truly are. 

And the fourth agreement is "Always do your best". Wow.  Okay lately I am feeling like maybe I am not doing my best, or my best just isn't good enough.  Maybe the simple fact that I am letting all the negative energy I feel around me invade my sense of self is why it has been affecting  me so.  I usually just shrug it off or just remove myself from the situation if I start to feel  a sense of negativity.  I sure have been in a funk the last couple of days.  It really isn't like me to stay so surly for such a long period of time. I really just want to feel peaceful and happy. I am a glass is half full type of person.  I am usually happy and tolerant and kind. 

I am thinking I will listen to the cd again today.  It usually puts things in perspective for me.

So i think instead of focusing on negative thoughts and words that aren't impeccable, I will try to let those things slip off my back like water off a duck.  

Happy thoughts to everyone.!

Lunar Eclipse and Bollywood



lunar eclipse
nounan eclipse in which the moon appears darkened as it passes into the earth's shadow.
Bollywood |ˈbälēˌwoŏd|nounthe Indian movie industry, based in Bombay.ORIGIN 1970s: blend of Bombay and Hollywood .Lunar eclipse and Bollywood?  What one might ask does either of these things have to do with each other?Well, I would say, "At our house one celebrates the lunar eclipse by watching a Bollywood film that is a remake of the Hollywood film, An Affair to Remember", while enjoying a delicious pizza from Papa Murphy's.Yes it was a delightful evening.  Regena called to see if I would like to watch the film with her and when I mentioned I had not eaten yet, we decided to stop and get the pizza.  We were having a great time when 8:00pm rolled around.Now we were fed and warm and snuggled in, but we wanted to watch the beginning of the lunar eclipse.  We got up to head outside, reluctantly, as the air outside was particularly biting at 8:00pm, when Regena noticed that we had a wonderful view of the moon through the skylight in my family room.  How fabulous was that.  We could stay inside in the warm and watch the entire eclipse.  That was great planning on the part of the person who installed our skylight so many years ago.  A friend at work had e-mailed us reminding us of the eclipse and just as it started another friend rang me on the cell to make sure I knew the lunar eclipse was beginning.  It is a good thing when you have friends, especially when you have a menopausal mind.  But I am proud to say that I did not forget that this special event was taking place and I even knew what time!So we watched more of the movie as the moon passed through the earth's shadow and we did brave the cold night air to see the entire eclipse at 9:00pm.  We were glad that we went out because the sky was so clear and the stars were twinkling so very brightly.  Not a cloud in sight and the eclipsed moon was truly beautiful.Then we returned to the family room and finished watching the dramatic conclusion of Mann. What a nice evening, to share something special with someone special.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Broken Hearted


"Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love." Jane Austen  from Northanger Abbey


A friend of mine has just been dumped.  It brought a lot of thoughts to my mind about hearts and how they get broken and the nature of human love. Thoughts of my own heart breaks are flooding my mind. I know for certain that having really good friends to talk to was the first step in healing those broken hearts. Friends are there for you when you are falling apart.  They hold you up. I am thinking of my dear friend Madeleine who was there for me when my husband announced he was leaving.  She helped me through the entire process from day one.

 Another person that I know has decided not to date the man she met, but has not told him. She is just ignoring his e-mails, phone calls and other mail.  Having been on the receiving end of such actions, I am here to say that is not the way to handle a break up. Now she has not known this guy for long, but lets be adults and tell the person that you really aren't suited to one another. Completely ignoring another human beings feelings is really not nice.

"I cannot think well of a man who sports with any woman's feelings; and there may often be a great deal more suffered than a stander-by can judge of ."  Jane  Austen  from Mansfield Park


I love to read Jane Austen.  She is able to get right at the heart of the human condition.  Her heroines usually always end up happily situated with the man of their dreams. I choose to think that we can all find that person who will love us and stay committed to that love. Even though that has not happened for me.  

I did fall deeply in love, but he left. Obviously, he was not the man for me. After, a long time, I was allowing my self to trust again and to fall in love. He chose to ignore me and not call or answer calls.   Then I got back on the proverbial horse and was getting close to someone.  Not at all sure if love was going to blossom, but the possibility was certainly there.  Well guess what, he too choose to disregard my feelings, not answering calls or e-mails and absolutely, just disappearing.  I want to say to all those who are afraid to face up to the idea that they don't want to see a person any longer, or things just aren't what they expected, to just say it.  It really is much better for the person you are leaving to know how you feel.  Now me, after a week of not answering calls or e-mails,  I just leave that person alone. I think if you have to do it by e-mail that is somewhat cowardly.  If you have been in an involved relationship, be kind and  face the person, it may be uncomfortable for you, but in the end, it is much better for all concerned.

"Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone-but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding."   Bette Davis


I know in my heart that there are men and women out there who can fall in love, grow in love, and last a lifetime.  I have seen them, I know them. It takes some effort on both sides.  For all of us single in our fifties who have suffered broken hearts,  I know if we just keep believing our special someone will find us or we will find them.


Ten more days!


"Time for the weather report. It's cold out folks. Bonecrushing cold. The kind of cold which will wrench the spirit out of a young man or forge it into steel."  Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider Northern Exposure  Lost and Found 1992


Where are great television shows when you need them?  I was so cold this morning I didn't want to get out of bed.  I was looking for something to express how I am feeling, when I came across the line from Northern Exposure.  Maybe if I had a great television show to watch this cold cold winter, I wouldn't feel so depressed about this cold.

I am so tired of bitterly cold weather.  Unlike these penguins, one of my favorite animals, I have no one to snuggle against in the coldest weather.  Now I enjoy having the bed to myself most nights, but especially in the winter, the nice warmth of another person would be so comforting.

When you have lived alone for so long, you start to notice some things that you really miss.
I miss the warmth of another human in cold weather, and when I really want someone to talk to.  I mean I love the animals and little Annie tries her best to talk to me, but somehow it is not the same.

It also seems like I might have a furnace problem.  I turned up the thermostat this morning because it is so cold and extremely windy.  It didn't seem like it was warming up much before I left for work.  So I will have to go home later and check on it and call the repair man if it doesn't get warmer.  

This is another thing I hate about being single.  I want someone to be there to help with stupid problems that arise!  I am totally capable of handling it all, I just hate it.

Well stay warm and think of March,  Only 10 more days of the dreaded February!

Monday, February 18, 2008

To Dish or Not to Dish that is the question

I am not good with making big decisions.  I have been struggling all weekend 
with the thought of changing from cable to dish network.  I am not great with change either,  but  I just feel like I get less and less from cable for more money and my cable provider just sold out to COMCAST.  I don't like the changes so far and I don't like COMCAST.

So after much thought, you know I never like to make mistakes,  I took the plunge today and ordered dish network.  I will actually be paying slightly less than I am paying Comcast now and I get more channels!

Hope this is not a mistake as I signed up for two years!  But the plus is now we can watch the final season of Battlestar Galactica!!

Happiness

"Successful people live well, laugh often and love much. They've filled a niche and accomplished tasks so as to leave the world better than they found it, while looking for the best in others and giving the best they have."  Ralph Waldo Emerson


I happen to be an enormous fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson.  His writings seem to speak to me in a way very few others do.

This last weekend was a very busy one.  I am feeling quite exhausted on this Monday morning.  We had ice hockey on Friday and Saturday.  The game on Friday left me feeling very upbeat.  I woke up Saturday in a cheerful mood, ready to get things done.  I had to balance the checkbook and pay the bills, go to the grocery store and Prairieland Feed to get pet food.  Janet needed a ride someplace and Regena needed a ride to work.  As I was driving around I was noticing how beautfiul the woods look and how lovely the day was. It was rather warm and I was in good spirits.  I accomplished all of my tasks, made a Spanish Tortilla for supper and headed off to get the girls for the game on Saturday night.

Well, the previous game between Lindenwood and Ohio State was headed into overtime as we got to the ice arena.  They said it would be at least 30 minutes more before the Illini game would start.  So we went in to watch the overtime.  It was sudden death overtime, but it went well into 16 minutes before Lindenwood scored a short handed goal to win.  I was not sure who I wanted the Illini to play for the championship, so I really wasn't rooting for either of the teams to win.

All of this meant that the Illini game started well after 8 pm and went past 10:30pm.  It was very exciting and we won, but by this time I was getting tired.  I was also over stimulated so I didn't get to sleep until after 1:00am.  

Got up for church at 8:00am, spent some time with Regena watching a movie after church, then off to a Sunday salon concert at Krannert.  But also listening to the Illini Championship game, which I had so wanted to attend.

This story is leading up to the big finale.  Too much weekend!   I really didn't want to get up for work today.  My cheerful Saturday mood turned into a less cheerful Monday mood.  I lost the garage door closer somewhere between the door and the car!  I spent 10 minutes backtracking trying to find it!~  Turns out it had fallen in my gym bag!    So here's hoping the rest of Monday turns out better than the beginning!    Oh and by the way the Illini  won on Sunday making them undeafeated at 32-0-0  and the champions of the CSCHL!  

Friday, February 15, 2008

Being Thankful

This morning I woke up grumpy and snarly.  After a bit I asked myself why am I feeling grumpy and snarly?  Then I started to think about what I have to be thankful for. There are many things that I have to be thankful for but the one that shot into my thoughts was; I am thankful that my daughters, who are in college, are safe in their beds at this moment.

The horrific news that flashed on the tv screen while I was working out yesterday afternoon, left me horrified and unsettled.  Another shooting on a college campus and this one in Illinois. I am heart sick every time that someone opens fire on a crowd of innocent people. I could not hear what was being said, so I turned on the radio as soon as I got in the car.  I still wasn't getting any information.

I had made plans to visit each of my daughters for a few minutes to give them their Valentine's Day treats.  I told Janet what had happened and she went to look it up on the internet.  The news just got worse, the gunman shot 16 people and 5 of them had died. Then he turned the gun on himself.  I am so angry.

I cannot get out of my head how the families of those victims feel when they get the call that their child is one who died, just because they were intelligent and trying to get a college education to find their place in the world.  I am so angry.

Perhaps this is why I was grumpy and snarly this morning.  There have been 3 shootings in this country involving students in the last week!  You just don't hear of this happening in Canada or Europe.  When  those children go to school you don't have to worry that someone with a gun is going to come in and start shooting.  One of the shootings was and 8th grader in Oxnard California.  How is it right that an 8th graded can procure a gun and shoot a classmate in the back of the head because they have had some disagreement?  How did the teenager in Memphis get a gun into the building to shoot a classmate that he had a disagreement with?  And why do they think that this is the way to settle arguments?


Anyway I guess that is my mood today, one of sadness, and contemplation on how to keep these things from occurring.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine Day


"Where there is great love there are always miracles" 
Willa Cather

Valentine's day has me thinking about love.  Love is a miracle. 
I hold that love should be cherished each and every day, not just on Valentine's day.  

Now I have no romance in my live at present.  But, I have a heart full of love.  My Janet gave me a beautiful and very thoughtful card for Valentine's day.  She gave it to me Tuesday at dinner with instructions to open it on Valentine's day.  So I did just that as soon as I got up this morning. My heart smiled.


I am having lunch with my dear friend Linda and we are going to buy ourselves a little Valentine gift at International Galleries.  It is a tradition we started last year and plan to keep up! 

So Happy Valentine's day to all my friends, who I hold dear to my heart.  You know who you are!   And Happy Valentine's day to everyone!

Oh one last thought,  this photo is a fluorite heart, the Illinois state mineral, and a must for a rock nut like me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Like Life


"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely, miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
Agatha Christie


I can so relate to Agatha Christie.  Firstly, she writes marvelous mysteries. Secondly, she has captured my thoughts and written them in this quote.  I really like living.  


My favorite version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol is actually a musical, Scrooge, with Albert Finney as Ebenezer Scrooge.  I absolutely love the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. In the movie, Scrooge sings I Like Life, after the ghost of Christmas present visits him.  It is one of my favorite songs in the film.


What may you ask, has me feeling so cheerful and turning my thoughts to life?  Well the answer is quite simple.  I went to the doctor to discuss my cholesterol  and when she told me that mine had gone down almost 30 points  to 195 for my total, I was filled joy.  Plain and simple,  all the hard work I have done exercising for 48 weeks has paid off!   She also told me I am not supposed to eat cookies or dessert.  Well, had to laugh at that one!  Oh, I have cut way back and am only allowing myself treats ever so often, but cold turkey on no sweets, No way!


I left the doctor's office feeling happy, went to work out, went back to work and started contemplating all that had happened in 1.5 short hours.  I think I may have actually made a significant lifestyle change.  Even on those days I don't really feel like going to the gym, I make myself go.  I am saying no to donuts!  That one is hard to believe, but true!  


So for now I like life!

Mark Twain and politics

"I think I can say and say with pride, that we have some legislatures that 
bring higher prices than any in the world."  Mark Twain

This just came up on my Quotations of the Day that I keep on my desktop.
Just had to share it.  Makes me want to go home and read more Mark Twain.

Brrrr!

In the bleak midwinter Frosty wind made moan, Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow, In the Bleak mid winter, Long ago. Christina Rossetti

This morning, this poem came to mind. The earth really has turned to stone!  
I am finding it hard staying optimistic in the mornings when I wake up so early and so cold.
I am sorely tired of the cold. 
My hands are so cold when I enter the building at work at 6:30am that I can barely turn the key
in the lock. It takes 15 minutes for them to warm up.

I normally love winter and don't complain much. 
I mean I love snow and we haven't had all that much, and I love ice hockey and 
those two things only happen in winter. Speaking of ice hockey,
I watched the Blues win against LA Kings last night. I am cheering the Blues on to a
playoff spot. They have to work really hard to get one.
The Fighting Illini hockey team takes on Robert Morris College on Friday night
in the CSCHL tournament right here in Urbana Champaign
and we have reserved front row seats!

Okay, I am starting to feel more optimistic and my hands are getting warmer!

Oh yes, and I woke up to the lovely sound of NPR telling me that Obama
now has more delegates than Hillary. But not by much.
Anyway he took all three primaries yesterday. I actually smiled before I got out of bed.
Lets hope he can take some more and rack up a few more super delegates!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lies and Liars

"False words are not only evil in themselves but they infect the soul with evil" Plato

"Repitition does not transfer a lie into a truth" Franklin D. Roosevelt

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it.  I myself deny it." H. L. Mencken

I came a realization this weekend, that someone I trusted had not deserved that trust.  So I have been thinking about lies that men tell women to get what they want from them.

This man, lets call him Allen, seemed like a genuine person.  He was hurt and lonely after having gone through a difficult divorce.  My friend asked me if I would be interested in going out with him and when I approved she paved the way for him to contact me.  

Well we had a nice long phone call and I decided to go out and have coffee with him.  Now I had not been ready to date, as I had a horrible divorce and was just not ready to go out there.  I had tried the popular Match.com and met a man at a restaurant.  I had made the mistake of telling him my last name and he showed up at my house uninvited.  Well that was enough to scare me off for a while.  So Allen went to my church, he had kids, he was a friend of a friend so I felt safe.


Well what followed is a long story.  But the short of it we were quite involved.  Except, he couldn't be open with his girls because they didn't want him to date.  He often showed up at my house very late in the evening.  My daughters accepted him.  After about 8 months he just stopped calling or coming over.  He said he couldn't be what I wanted.   Well all I wanted was not to be treated like a door mat.  Which he often did.  He wanted to take but not give.
So I was heartbroken.    But I got over it!

Not too long ago he showed up at my house with gifts.  A beautiful antique platter and a bottle of carmel liquor.  I let him come in for coffee and a chat.  I wasn't going to be mean to him, but I knew I didn't want to be involved with him again.

Two weeks later he got married!!  Now that was a shock.  It turns out now that he was actually seeing this woman before and during the time he was seeing me.  Now I know that everything he said to me was a lie.  He lied about a lot of things and he is so not the person I thought he was. When I found out about this I felt bad about myself. How could I, single and in my fifties, be so naive?  

Well this is the conclusion that I came to.  I am a trusting soul.  I don't want to be any other way.  I may get heartbroken from time to time but I am still going to trust.   
"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live." Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe

"It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not trust" Samuel Johnson

"It is impossible to through life without trust. That is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself." Graham Greene


Well I just had to get those thoughts out of my head so I can think about much nicer things.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Early Morning snow

I am full of thoughts this morning.  As I pulled out of my driveway early this morning to go to work, I couldn't quite believe how beautiful the snow was on the roadway.  It was dark out and the light reflected on the untouched snow, as no cars had driven down my street, was a sight I don't often see.   The blanket of snow looked like a million sparkling diamonds,  Or billions of tiny twinkling stars.  I don't much care for diamonds, but stars are beautiful.  

It was so blasted cold out that my hands inside my gloves were freezing inside the car.  Poor old Hero just couldn't get warm fast enough to get the heat flowing.  But it was so beautiful out that I could only be amazed by the sight before me!

Scotland


Oh! Ye take the high road and I'll take the low road, 
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye; 
But me and my true love 
Will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.


My daughters and I recently went to see the pipes and drums of the Royal Scots Dragoons and the Band of the Coldstream Guard.  It was and amazing evening of pipes and old Scots songs and men in highland kilts.  

One of the lance corporals was a magnificent vocalist and when he sang the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, it transported me back to that magical land.  I sat and thought about how bonnie the banks of Loch Lomond truly are and could easily imagine what the writer of this rather mournful song could feel about this lovely land.

A lone piper piped Amazing Grace and it brought tears to my eyes.  Then the entire band and the pipes and drums played Robert Burns' Auld Lang Syne.  Robert Burns the poet of Scotland, 1788: 

 Should auld acquaintance be forgot, 
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll take a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.


This beautiful melody brought my thoughts to my favorite movie of all time,  "It's a Wonderful Life"  When George Bailey holding little ZuZu and Mary standing by his side sing this marvelous tune.

I believe it is time for another trip to the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Birthdays


"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes" Frank Lloyd Wright


Today I am taking my friend out for a birthday lunch.  Her birthday is on Sunday. 
She has been a really great friend. Ralph Waldo Emerson said " A friend is one before whom I may think aloud."  Well Brenda certainly is a friend because she lets me just talk and talk about anything and everything.

Brenda's birthday made  me start thinking about my own birthday which will be coming up next month. I will be turning 53!  I still feel like I am 33!  I have some friends who don't really like to celebrate their birthdays.  I love mine!  So I was really happy to come across this quote by Frank Lloyd Wright. 

I really love to celebrate birthdays.  I think they are some truly happy days.  I am certainly glad that my friends were born and I get a chance to celebrate with them

Okay enough of the sappy!   Hey its Friday!  Hooray!  And I am having the girlfriends in for games tonight.  I have been looking forward to this Friday!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Now Voyager


The untold want by life and land ne'er granted, 
Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find.
Walt Whitman


Since the WGA strike started to affect television, I sit aimlessly channel surfing when I am in need of some entertainment.  I have been tuning into the classic movie channels more often.  The other night Now Voyager was on.  I LOVE that movie! Claude Rains was a brilliant character actor and Bette Davis was one of the best.

Like always my mind is running in two directions with this train of thought.

Firstly,  I was struck with two scenes in the film that I seem to remember seeing in a newer film, Titanic.  I wonder if James Cameron loved Now Voyager also.  The first time I saw Titanic I thought when Rose gets out of the automobile and the camera pans in on her as she raises her head and you see her face from under a terrific hat, revealing something of her character, that she looked like Charlotte in Now Voyager and it was a neat tribute to that movie. Then when I was watching Now Voyager recently I noticed that Charlotte and the young mate on the ship are making out in an automobile on board! Of course her mother puts the kabosh on that as he is not socially acceptable for a Vale of Boston!  Guess what Jack and Rose have a similar encounter in an automobile on the Titanic.  I fell asleep before the end of the film, but I have to wonder if there are any other similarities.

Secondly,  I began to think about the poem that the Doctor Jaquith gives to Charlotte in the "rest home".  It is Walt Whitman's The Untold Want from Leaves of Grass.   Now I own that book and I love Walt Whitman.   I just haven't thought about it for a long time.  Now I am inspired to take it off the shelf, dust if off, and dive in!  I can hardly wait for the weekend to do just that!  

I also think that might have some deeper meaning for me at this phase of my life!
 


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Snow Rain Complexities and Silly Stuff


"Unusual weather we're having, ain't it"  Cowardly Lion

Well my mind is full of random thoughts today!  I went to church this morning and when I came out it was misting rain.  Then it really rained. Later in the morning I had to go and sign my will at the lawyer's office and when I went out it was snowing!  I could only think of the Cowardly lion.  It is unusual weather. The snow was absolutely beautiful, big wet flakes falling gently from the sky gathering in my hair and on my coat.

When I finished signing the will, the snowflakes were not as large.  I drove over to the WorkOut 24, jogged for 30 minutes, lifted a few weights and used some machines and when I went back out it was misting rain again.  I would rather have the snow!

My other thoughts as I was driving around had to do with a friends blog that I read this morning.  He had put a link to a fun little thing he found on the web concerning LOST.  It just happened to be about my favorite character, Sawyer!  By answering a few simple questions you could procure a nickname for yourself from Sawyer.  Now, Sawyer's nicknames have been some of my favorite lines from LOST.  So I dived right in and and answered the questions.   As I was going along it occurred to me that I am a complicated person.  I could answer the questions in different ways at different times.  That set me to thinking about who I am.   Well, when I got to the Brain question, I could choose three. When I chose smart, and thoughtful my nickname turned out to be Ferdinand.   When I added logical to the equation it turned out Sand Dab.  Now sometimes my brain isn't logical or thoughtful, it is creative and impulsive. So when I combined smart, creative and impulsvie, Sawyer would call me Stork!   You notice that smart was always a choice!

Well I have always been this way.  I am not totally predictable at anytime and I am not always sure how I will think or act or react to any given situation.

So perhaps this character trait is why I can't get a man to stay.  Maybe men don't like women who are smart, thoughtful at times, creative at times, logical at times and impulsive at times. Who they never know what is going to come out of her mouth!

I spent 17 years trying to be the person my husband wanted and lost myself.  Now that he is gone I can be me again.   Whoever that is!


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Curiouser and Curiouser


Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each.   Henry David Thoreau

Now normally I think that is very sage advice, but I can't quite figure out what season it is here in Illinois!

On Thursday last we had a beautiful 10 inch snowfall.  I was all excited, it really is winter! I had a fire in the fireplace and watched snowy movies.  

Now here it is Tuesday and the snow is gone, replaced by lots of water from a thunderstorm we had overnight!  It was a spring type thunderstorm.   We had the strangest fog all day yesterday. Very eerie. 
 I went to pick Regena up from work last night at 10:00pm.  The fog was so much less than it had been earlier that I decided to take Race street to Curtis. That takes me out of the city and into the farm fields.  Well what a mistake that was!   It is really dark out there with no lights and the fog rolled in.  All I could see was the beam of my headlights  and the occasional brightness due to the lightning!   Yes I said lightning! I rolled down my window to try to see where exactly I was on the road, No painted lines!
The snow was in the fields being illuminated by lightning. Now I know that road like the back of my hand, but I was never so glad to see the lights of Savoy as I neared the stop at First and Curtis.  I felt like I had been in the scene from the Incredible Shrinking Man when he drove through the misty fog.

Then when I returned home the thunderstorm intensified.  I was feeling very lonely and a little bit freaked out, wishing I had another human in the house.  I mean the dogs and cats can't talk.

So I am feeling very confused is it Winter  or Spring?

I must say I am glad that I don't have to gingerly climb over the piled up snow at the curb to get into and out of my car at work.

I think that Ed is predicting snow again tomorrow!   Oy!

Monday, February 4, 2008

In Need of Inspiration


"There are only two ways to liver your life. One as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."   Albert Einstein


It's February.  I woke up this morning feeling very uninspired.  It's Monday.  I don't like having to get out of my comfy bed to get up and get ready for work.   And did I mention it is February?  I am not really a morning person, but I like to get to work early to get the day going and to be alone in my office for a couple of hours before everyone else gets here.  Now I truly love my co-workers, but the quiet of my office in the early morning hours is really  nice.

So I forced myself out of bed, showered,   fed the cats and dogs and fish. Put together my lunch and grabbed a yogurt and fixed my soy milk with flax oil to take with me.  I folded Janet's laundry.  I made sure I had my cell phone and glasses in my bag, I didn't want to forget anything (I have been known to forget my glasses and/or cell phone on occasion). I brought the dogs in from outside and gave them a treat.  I  grabbed the bag Janet's laundry, my bag of workout clothes and sneakers, and my work bag and happily headed out the door. All of this in 45 minutes! I felt like I was ahead of the game. About one and one half blocks from home I remembered I forgot my cup of soy milk.  I left it sitting right next to where I picked up all those bags!  Well  that made me feel even more uninspired.  I am forgetting more and more things and it seems I am always 5 minutes late for everything.  I used to always be early!

So I started looking for inspiration when I got to work.   First I saw this quote by Einstein hanging by my desk,  then I found this photo of  Stirling Scotland with Wallace Monument and a view of the Highlands.   Suddenly, I remembered how truly blessed I have been and should always remember how to live as though everything is a miracle! I am feeling more and more inspired.

Friday, February 1, 2008

SNOW

Since my snow angel made it so easy for me to get out,  I came to work!  I rather like the snow and the University has done an amazing job clearing the sidewalks.  The roads are clear with hardly any snow.   I had a book I had to return to the Urbana Library, hate to pay late fees, and a report I need to finish at work. 

There are a few brave souls here.  So i am sitting here listening to Snow Patrol, writing my report and thinking of going home to re-build the fire, snuggle in with the dogs and cats and watch Dr. Zhivago!

Snow Angels


 I used to love to make snow angels when I was a little girl.  When it snowed
we took every opportunity to play in the snow and go sledding.  Living in Alton there were hills everywhere to sled down.

This morning I woke up at 6:30 turned on the radio and Ed said we had 7.2 inches of snow with 1-3 in. still to come,  so I rolled over snuggled in and slept until 9am.  I got up fed the cats and looked out the window.  Sure enough there was a bunch of snow on the driveway.   I woke up with a tremendous headache and couldn't face shoveling yet so I made some oatmeal and some Highlander Grog coffee, built a fire in the fireplace and settled in with a movie.  At about 10:45 I decided to go and try to shovel some of the driveway.

I opened my garage door and much to my surprise and amazement my driveway was entirely shoveled!   I could hardly believe it,  how could I be so lucky.  My snow angel had come and cleared my drive and the path to the front door.   No my angel did not stop to tell me that he had done this for me.  I felt really grateful because my headache was not any better.


I would love it if my snow angel would disclose himself, so I could with much gratidue thank him.