Monday, December 20, 2010

December 2010





Christmas time,  I am ready, but it has been a year of joy and sadness for me.  It is a stranged mixed bag for me the year.  Ryan is gone, and the girls are far far away.   I wondered if i would feel like decorating,  getting everything out of the storage room and dealing with it all on my own.  The wonderful thing is I did feel like doing just that.   It makes me feel happy to see all the Christmas decorations around the house,  the things the girls and Ryan made throughout the years.



I got the outside lights done is very little time. I actually snowed on Dec 4, so everything looks beautiful. It has snowed several times, we have a good 8 inches on the ground still with more snow to come, today, in fact it is snowing now!  and more on Christmas Eve.   I am certainly thankful for a White Christmas.




It was snowing when Steve and I went to get the tree!  It was like magic.  I unfortunately forgot the camera, but the tree is beautiful.  We trudged through the snow pulling a two wheel cart and found the perfect tree. Steve cut it down and we drug it back to pay for it.  












The mantle is hosting the snow people, candles, the nutcrackers and of course the stockings are hung by the chimney with care,  even Ryan's stocking is there, even though he is gone.

So I guess I am ready for Christmas.  Christmas Eve will be a nice evening in front of the fire, with Steve and food of course and the film  It's a Wonderful Life to top it off.







Thursday, October 28, 2010

The best of times the worst of times




It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens   A Tale of Two Cities.


I am particularly drawn to the first paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities this morning.  Something my cousin posted on facebook got me to thinking about this book.   I really love Charles Dickens and soon it will be time to listen  to Patrick Stewart read A Christmas Carol.  I plan to listen to that at least 5 or 6 times before Christmas!

But I  digress, back to the best of times, the worst of times. I have been feeling so uncertain about the time I am living in.  There seems to be even more division in this country in the political climate. There seem to be so many radicals and very few reasonable thinkers.  The upcoming election is full of nothing but negativity. All of the ads are bashing the opponent.  Someone told me it is effective. That makes me feel very sad about the American public.

There is so much more crime on campus this year, that it is frankly just frightening. A young woman getting some cash from an ATM at 7:30pm was accosted by a knife wielding thief. She gave up the money and was  not hurt. I am so not a paranoid person,  I don't worry about being mugged or robbed, but this just makes you stop and think.   I am also fortunate to have an auto and I can drive up to the ATM and never have to get out of the car.

I have also been feeling just not like myself.  Too much sadness and stress in my life I guess. I thank God for all that I have and I believe me  I have a lot, not money, but the things that count, love and family and friendship.

Now for those books, here is a partial list of books I want to read:  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows(the movie is coming out and I want to read the book again just before the film)
The Claddagh Ring
An Echo in the Bone(just need to finish, I am almost there)
A Tale of Two Cities
The rest of the Princess Diaries (just plain fun)
A book on how to get out of debt and financial planning of which i cannot remember the title, but  a friend recommended it and it is sitting on my shelf

This coming weekend, I will sleep in on Saturday, go to workout, sweep the floors, make some soup and then settle in with a good book!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Autumn







"There is a harmony
In Autumn, and a lustre in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!"
Percy Bysshe Shelley




Autumn is absolutely my favorite time of the year.  This morning as I was driving in to work at six o'clock, in the cool crisp autumn air, a full moon was shining brightly in the western sky.  The light was shining through trees at times and I was again awestruck at the beauty of the morning.

I truly enjoy driving to work on nearly deserted streets, in the quiet of a cool dark morning.  Soon we will be turning those clocks back an hour and my drive to work will be more in the light.  So I am planning on enjoying every moment of the drive to work in the dark morning while I can.

So many things to do in the fall.  Like visits to the orchard, with a wagon load of fall mums, just waiting to add a splash of color in your garden  and  




picking apples

carving pumpkins and looking forward to Thanksgiving.


It is a wonderful time of the year.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dublin

"I want to give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book."  James Joyce 


On my last visit to Dublin, with Steve, we suddenly found ourselves at the Wax Museum in Dublin.   After visiting Trinity College to view the Book of Kells, and having an enormous lunch at O'Neills,
(only in Ireland do you get potatoes with your potatoes!) we had time to use before we could check into Barnacles, so we used our discount from the Dublin Hop on Hop Off bus to check out the wax museum.
It was very entertaining.  They start you out in the Writer's Room, where sat James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Peter Kavanaugh, Samuel Beckett and Brendan Behan.
Some of the figures appeared strangely real.  
Now I have been fascinated with Irish writers for awhile.  I picked up Ulysses at the library, but didn't have any time to actually sit down with it and read.  In college we touched on the subject of Joyce and Ulysses.  I have always wanted to actually read the book.   So while walking along a street in Galway, I drug Steve into a bookstore.   I found a paperback of Ulysses for 3 Eruos  and while perusing the store I also bought a biography of a journalist (man) who spent a year living on the Aran Island of Inis Mor.  Now after visting that island, i just had to purchase this book also.  Am I the only person who goes to Ireland  and brings back books?




Our last day in Dublin we were signed up for the Literary Pub Crawl.  Now I am here to say this is well worth the effort.  We stopped in at Davey Byrnes pub for supper and a drink before we checked in at The Duke to begin the pub crawl.   I was going to order a Gorgonzola sandwich, but they were out, so I had a bowl of soup and brown bread.   Now the pub crawl also ends at Davey Byrnes pub (after a stop at O'Neills and the Strand) and we learned that James Joyce frequented  Davey Byrnes, while writing Ulysses, eating a gorgonzola sandwich, he set a scene in Davey Byrnes pub.  

So now I really need to sit down and read the book.  I believe I will have time this fall, when I can sit in front of a fire in the fireplace with a cup of tea and read.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Hockey Night in Urbana!

"Always keep your composure. You can't score from the penalty box; and you need to score to win." Bobby Hull


Wow!  I a can barely believe the Illini Ice Hockey season starts today!  I stopped in at the ice arena and picked up tickets for Friday's game.

The team will be quite different this year, both goalies graduated, and they were awesome.  A lot of players are new.   I am excited to be in the ice arena again, hear the roar of the crowd and see the Illini skate.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thanks to the full moon






Backing out of the drive way this morning I was struck with how beautifully the sun was rising.  The sun was peeking out of the bottom of a cloud and was quite lovely.   Then I headed west and was awestruck.  The full moon was enormous and bright in the western sky.  Living on the prairie has some advantages, such as seeing a large portion of sky. I am fairly certain the autumnal equinox is one of my favorite times of the year.


So, I just returned from a week in Ireland.  A magical, transformative week, and I have been longing to be there still. Having to return to work and get back to normal, not to mention I came home to an empty house, which was terribly difficult, has been a struggle.  The glow from the week in Ireland has been keeping me going.   So when I saw the sun and the moon this morning( I wish the weather had cooperated and stayed cool instead of being terribly warm) I felt very good about being here in Illinois.


It was an amazing week in Dublin, Wicklow, Glendalough, Galway, The Burren ( including a delightful lunch in the town of Doolin) the Cliffs of Moher, and Inis Mor one of the Aran Islands.  The people are delightful, and full of stories, the pubs are amazing, one could spend a lot of nighttime in just about any pub and be perfectly happy.


The beauty of the countryside was truly awesome.  I really could have stayed for several days in each place we visited.


Dublin, while being a big city is fair indeed, like the song says. There is so much to do and see and historic pubs to visit. You can sit in a pub where James Joyce sat eating Gorgonzola sandwhiches and having a few pints (which i did actually) and visit a pub where Michael Collins held meetings. It is just amazing.  Really!


Here is a bit of a tribute to Dublin:



In Dublin's fair city,
where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!"
"Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh",
Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh".
She was a fishmonger,
But sure 'twas no wonder,
For so were her father and mother before,
And they each wheeled their barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!"
(chorus)
She died of a fever,
And no one could save her,
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone.
Now her ghost wheels her barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh




This statue of  the fictional Molly Malone is at the corner of Sussex and Grafton Street and near Trinity College.   The locals call her the "tart with the cart" or the "trollop with the scallop". They love to sing the song to tourist and there is ALWAYS a female tourist getting her photo made with Molly.  It is truly delightful.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Urbana Sweet Corn Festival



"One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love." Sophocles


One might ask, " What does love have to do with the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival?"  Well I will tell you.
Two years ago, the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival began on Friday evening August 22. I met Steve at the Courier Cafe that evening.  I wasn't feeling the best i have ever felt  and he had to go to work at 11:00pm, but that meeting changed my life.  So thank you Urbana Sweet Corn Festival!


 The next weekend on August 31 Steve picked me up and we took off for the Allerton Barn Music Festival to see Pacifica Quartet.  This was the beginning  of the best relationship I have ever had.


Now, two years later we will be at the Urbana Sweet Corn Festival on Saturday to eat some corn, Xinh Xinh will be serving Sweet Corn Egg rolls and Sweet corn Naitaing, and there will be ears of sweet corn and lemon shake ups and snow cones!   Then a chance to hear the Delta Kings.


It will be fun to be on the streets of downtown Urbana eating sweet corn.  I love it that Steve and I met during the Sweet Corn Festival and he use to grow corn.  Sort of corny, but it makes me smile!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My university town


"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."
Martha Washington

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense."  Ralph Waldo Emerson



Recently, I read a blog post, about the town I live in and it painted Urbana-Champaign in a very negative light.

I have been reading this person’s blog, off and on for a few years.  I stopped reading because I just couldn’t take it anymore, all the negativity.

So I began searching for some positive attitude quotations and was delighted to find Martha Washington expressing exactly how I feel about life and happiness.

I have had a tremendous amount of change in my life. I, like Martha, learned from all this change (yes some of if was terribly sad change) that I am responsible for my happiness. I don’t look to the circumstance I am placed in to be happy. I look to myself, and my attitude.

I was also happy to find my dear old friend Ralph Waldo Emerson had something to say about positive attitudes. I can always count on Emerson to have exactly the right words, that I cannot come up with on my own.
My town, Urbana-Champaign, has so much to offer anyone who is willing to make the effort to be happy.

I was at the wine tasting yesterday at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.  This is a free event, you don’t have to spend anything if you don’t want. There were two young
children running around playing while the parents, tried the wine and listened to the music. 

I was happy to see that these parents brought the kids along to be around a variety of people, to hear some good guitar music and to just have the chance to experience something other than the pop culture icons the children of today are bombarded with.

University towns have so much to offer everyone that is fortunate enough to live in them, especially families .

My children are grown, we always lived in university towns, and loved them all. My children were given as many opportunities and experiences we could give them. We did not rely soley on the current pop culture children’s tv and video of the day, or on just play dates. We brought our girls to just about every event we went to and let them have people of all ages to talk to and be around.

So for anyone coming to Urbana-Champaign, welcome and seek to find the best we have to offer.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Falling

"The existing phrasebooks are inadequate. They are well enough as far as they go, but when you fall down and skin your leg they don't tell you what to say."  Mark Twain




Lately I seem to be even more clumsy than normal.  I have now fallen down twice in the last two weeks!
It has been quite awhile since my last fall, which was on the street in Chicago, but twice in two weeks is just crazy!


I know I have been preoccupied, but both times that I have fallen, I was in a pretty good mood, happy even, at least on the conscious level, and those falls seem to have come out of nowhere.


The first fall, i caught my shoe in a crack in the sidewalk going in to work. I went face first, down on the ground, splat. Bruised and slightly embarrassed, okay really.


Yesterday, I worked all day, went to the gym and did cardio for 45 minutes, then lifted weights for about 35 minutes. Feeling energized, and sweaty,  I proceeded to pull the extremely long blades of grass that were hiding my zinnias ( I mean you could probably make a thatched roof out of that grass).  Tired and even more sweaty, I went in and fed the dogs and let them out.   I proceeded to shower. It felt great, washed my hair and everything.   I through on a big tee shirt, hair in towel and started down the now empty hallway to let the dogs in.   When out of nowhere, my still wet foot slipped on the wood floor and down I went, with my knee bent and my lower leg behind, as if I was actually doing quadricep exercises!
Well I lay there in astonishment, for about 10 seconds, that I was actually on the ground again.  I then began to laugh and cry at the same time. Finally, I got up let the dogs in, combed my hair, fixed some nachos and got in bed with an ice pack on my knee!


Did that get me down? No way.  I got up dressed and went to the movies with my dear friend at 9:15pm!


I think maybe I had better keep my mind on just walking and try to actually stay upright for a while.









Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Advice


No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work 
Mother Teresa

The other day I came across this absolutely marvelous quotation from Mother Teresa.  Now I think Mother Teresa is one of the true heroes of our times. She was totally amazing and helped so many people.

This simple little statement made me smile. I guess I have been a person who listens to what people say, but I seem to always do things the way I want them done.  I am quite sure I am different than a lot of other people.

Take my gardens for instance, I love the patch of Queen Ann's Lace that started growning in my front yard. One year I sprinkled some wild flower seeds in a small patch of dirt in the front of the house. For a year nothing came up, then a few Queen Ann's Lace appeared.  Now there is a fine bit of wild flowers just growing.  I will have to thin them out next year if they come back, but I find them totally beautiful!

My other flower gardens are sort of haphazard, and right now are overcome with grasses, which are just too persistent,  which I haven't had time to remove because I have been totally consumed with getting Regena ready for her move to LA  and spending a lot of quality time with her doing fun things.

Now I will have time to attack those grasses.  

So thanks Mother Teresa for such words of wisdom and for all the help you gave people for your life.

Friday, August 6, 2010

My time is definitely changing





I love this song. It was relevant 
when it was written
and it  seems timeless.

   

Come gather 'round people 
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters 
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon 
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin' 
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who 
That it's namin'.
For the loser now Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside 
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows 
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land 
And don't criticize 
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters 
Are beyond your command
Your old road is Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one 
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now Will later be past
The order is Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.
I am not quite sure of the how or why things happen when 
they do, but I think there must be a plan.

2010 so far has been a year of joy and pain and heart ache. 
Having to deal with Ryan's death and both girls moving away 
from home in the same year, is a
tremendous amount for my emotional self to deal with.
Having Steve in my life has been an amazing bit of luck. 
We have already had so much fun and done so many things, 
that it is almost too good to be true.  
We have an upcoming trip to Ireland in September, 
which comes at a perfect time 
for me. 
We have tons of things planned for the fall and winter 
at Krannert.  

I was able to spend a wonderful time with my Dad 
and my sister and my brother and his wife in Ireland.
I enjoyed an impromptu 3 day vacation with my sister 
and niece and great niece.  

I have good friends who I will definitely
 be spending time with.  
I have so much to  look forward to this fall 
and the new year. 

Ryan is with me always, sometimes more than others. 
My mom is with me too.
My girls will be in touch and I will get to visit.

While my time is definitely changing,
I plan to make the most of it.

Friday, July 30, 2010














Last week some time, I checked out the positive quote of the day on the dashboard on my computer. I really liked the quote, so here it is:

"Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance towards the summit keeps the goal in mind but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point." Harold B. Melchart

For some reason that quote struck me as profound. Of course it really is much the same as stop and smell the roses.

I had an impromptu vacation this week. Regena needed to get to Lambert Airport in St. Louis on Monday. She flew out to LA for three days, so she needed to be picked up on Wednesday.
I have quite a few vacations days that I haven't taken, because sometimes, I just work to hard!
So, I took 3 days vacation, dropped Regena off at the airport on Monday morning and headed to my sister's house for a visit. We spent three days together, having fun with Emma and Michelle, we watched some movies, ate some delicious food, splashed in a wave pool, went to the zoo, accomplished shopping for a wedding we are all going to on Sunday, read a book, did some crocheting with Emma, had a couple of Mojitos with Michelle, walked down to the river and spent some time just remembering growing up in Alton. I had just a marvelous time!

I must remember to not get entirely caught up in work, and take my vacations days. Often even the simplest things can be so relaxing.

Of course, I am headed to Ireland again in September and I am totally looking forward to that.

So, have a goal, but don't miss the fun things along the way, is what I have learned this week.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The nearly empty nest


Graduation day is tough for adults. They go to the ceremony as parents. They come home as contemporaries. After twenty-two years of child-rearing, they are unemployed. Erma Bombeck







Well it is just about that time, again. My daughters are off to grad school, very soon. Which, I might add, I am very happy about.

But, I faced empty nest when they were both in college living in a dorm or in an apartment.

Then one came home, until she decided exactly what she wanted to do with her life. It has been very nice having her home. She comes and goes as she pleases, but we have had some quality time the last two years, just hanging out at home.

I will miss her, when she moves in just less than a month.

Her sister, just graduated and will be heading off to Scotland for grad school, which i am very excited for her to be able to do this.

It is very strange going to bed at night knowing that I am alone in the house, with just the dogs and the cat. Knowing that I won't hear them coming in late at night and getting ready for bed. The rooms seem so empty without the girls.

I am very fortunate that I have Steve, who keeps me busy, and all my delightful friends that I do fun things with.

But I have to say it is very difficult adjusting to having no children in the house.
Will I be okay, sure i will, but i will still be a little sad, i cannot help that.



Friday, July 2, 2010

Dreaming


"Dreams are necessary to life." Anais Nin


Dreams are fascinating and sometimes scary. I seem to have some very vivid dreams at times. Of course, I also have been known to have nightmares since I was 16 years old.

Last night I dreamed that I had to get a new cell phone, but I didn't want a new cell phone. I really wanted my green cell phone, I love my green cell phone. When I got the new phone, which was pretty cool, I just wanted to be able to use my green cell phone, but it only played games!

Why in the world would I be dreaming about cell phones and why am I so attached to my current green cell phone?, I asked myself this morning.

So I looked at a dream interpretation site, in the dream dictionary. This is what it had to say:

"to use a cell phone in your dream, indicates that you are being receptive to new information. It also represents your mobility.
To dream that you lost your cell phone, represents a lack of communication. You have lost touch with some aspect of your feelings or your Self. If you find a cell phone, then it symbolizes reconnection and reopened communication."

So much like my personality, I am totally complex. I was both using my cell phone and losing my cell phone. So does that mean I am receptive to new information and ready to go on a trip(Ireland in September?) and that I have lost some aspect of my feelings or my Self. And to top it off I found a cell phone, so I reopened communication?

Who knows but I think maybe my attachment to my green cell phone holds a deeper meaning, somehow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dieting


"Sieze the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waves off the dessert cart. Erma Bombeck




Perhaps I have been seizing too many moments! Once upon a time I lost 25 pounds. I did it fairly easily. I was very good, and only ate healthy food, lots of protein and fewer carbs. I had convinced myself that I had made a real life style change.

Then the unspeakable happened. My beloved son died and suddenly I have no control over my mind. I try and try and do well for a few days, but then I get an uncontrollable urge for potato chips and candy. I seize the moment when i feel like that, but unfortunately I have been feeling like that too often.

I was reading an article today that pointed out the difference between happiness and your pleasure center. I am happy most of the time. I have many things to be happy about. I have a wonderful man who loves me and two very beautiful intelligent daughters who spend time with me.

Come September, things will change again in my life. Both girls will be heading off to grad school, one in California and the other in Scotland. I will be alone in my house again for the first time in 2 years. I am so very excited for both the girls. And I will still have Steve, who keeps me busy and happy!

I still have 15 pounds to lose.

So, I should be able to just say no to those urges when they hit, or at least, only say yes once in a while. Can I do it? Yes I think I can.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Grief

For certain is death for the born
And Certain is birth for the dead;
Therefore over the inevitable
Thou shouldst not gireve
Bhagavad Gita


I feel so out of control. I can't seem to manage my diet or much else in my life. I feel unorganized and just sort of blah most of the time. I manage to have some fun. My friends and family are so good to me. But, the fact of the matter is I am still grieving. I will be grieving for quite a while.

I feel certain I will snap out of this funk at some point. I have so much in my life to be thankful for.

The key point I have just realized is that I feel even more afraid now that something will happen to the people I love the most. Now that it has happened, with my son's death, I feel even more fearful that it will happen again. I think this above all is what is really wrong with me.

How do I get this out of my head? Who knows. I just try to put it on a shelf and live each and enjoy the time I have with the people I love. My rational mind tells me to stop thinking such thing,of which I have no control. My emotional self just worries.

I am getting on a plane headed for Ireland. I will be with my Dad, my sister, my brother and his wife. I am very excited about spending this time with my dad, but I will be worrying about the girls, and the dog. I am excited to see Ireland ( I will be in Killarney and can't help but think about the song Christmas in Killarney, by Bing Crosby). BUT here is the problem, I have to GET ON A PLANE and CROSS THE ATLANTIC to get there. This is a little scary.

So just putting these thoughts out there seems to help. I don't feel hopeless, in fact I am full of hope. I think I just feel sad.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wine and Cheese

"I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food."
W.C. Fields


Wine and cheese what could be a better combination. Today is Thursday and that means a trip to Krannert center for Uncorked!

Thursdays are often my most relaxing day. It doesn't matter what has gone on at work, how harried I have been all day, just knowing that at 4:30pm Steve will retrieve me and off we go to sip wine and eat cheese!

Sometimes there is a bonus, music with wine and cheese and Steve. Now how could I ask for more.

Today has been very satisfying at work. I have actually written most of the report I have had on my desk for weeks. Finishing something that you want to work on but, just can't get to because a hundred other things pop up, is extremely satisfying.

So, come join Steve and I at Krannert for a little wine and a little cheese and a little music by the Pain Killers!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grumpy








Grumpy, tired, not fit to be around. Well, these adjectives so describe me this morning.
For whatever dumb reasons I can come up with I fit this description. Do I want to be grumpy, tired, not fit to be around. The answer is emphatically NO!

So, I read this blog this morning that I think is wonderful, and it started me on a journey to just change my attitude this morning, quit being sorry for myself that I can't have ice cream or potato chips and lose the weight I am trying to lose, that I work so much, when I get home I am exhausted, that i get tired of doing dishes and cleaning the house and taking care of every stupid weed in my endless gardens, that I never have time to just chill with a good book.

Then I shopped in quotations and came up with this marvelous quote by Martha Washington
"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be in; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."

So I thank you Martha Washington and one of my favorite bloggers, for showing me the errors of my ways! I feel so much better now, I can tackle anything with a smile today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What to do with myself now?








So much in my world is changing. I have never been very good at change, even though I realize that change is the only constant a person can count on in this world.

My youngest daughter graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois this May. Not only do I now really feel my age, I feel the winds of change coming my way. I am so proud of my daughter. She worked so diligently for 4 years to maintain the highest standards of education and she achieved her goal, by graduation as a Chancellor scholar and receiving the Bronze Tablet. She will be leaving for St. Andrews University in Scotland to get a Masters Degree in Social Psychology this September. I will miss her.

My other very clever daughter, who took some time off after graduating from U of I, to pick up some baking skills(and boy is she good) will be heading off to USC for graduate school in the Cinema Arts. I am so proud of her and I will really miss her, but I am so excited for her to be following her dream.

My son, passed from this world in March. This is about the biggest change to try to cope with. I still feel like I will pick up the phone and hear his voice, or see his big hearted smile when I open the door and get the biggest best hug from him. But, I know that will never happen here on this earth again. I may look like I am coping with this change to the people around me, but really I am just putting on a good front. My emotions are even more near to the surface than they usually are, and I am a very emotional person. Little stupid things can bring me to tears. A sudden movement or a loud noise can startle me so that I jump practically out of my skin. I carry him in my heart at all times. I think about him in just about everything I do. I am coping, I am grieving, but I will just keep on keeping on.

So, big changes for me come September. I will be alone in the house, really alone. What will I do with myself with all that alone time? It will be so strange at first. I will feel sad, I am sure, but then I will pick up a book from my increasing stack of books, that I can't seem to find the time to read even though I really want to, and a glass of diet pepsi, or a glass of red wine and just kick back and try to be calm. I will talk to Janet in Scotland via Skype. I will talk to Regena on the phone and I will talk to Ryan in my prayers.

I am quite sure Steve will keep me busy with wonderful things and I have a trip to Ireland in September to look forward to that will ease the impending change. I am so thankful for Steve and for all my children and family and friends who keep me grounded.