Wednesday, November 26, 2008

100 Things That Make, Me Happy, Joyful and Thankful!

I was challenged by a fellow blogger and so this morning I have had so much fun thinking about these things... I am sure there are hundreds more but this will get you started! I wish each of you my readers a blessed Thanksgiving day. What makes you happy,joyful and thankful?

1. The sounds of birds in the backyard
2. The smell of fresh coffee
3. The feel of sand beneath my feet
4. The crunch of leaves in the fall
5. That picture of sun rays coming through the leaves on the trees with dust particles dancing on the rays.
6. The donkeys in the field near our home
7. The taste of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches that my mom used to make for me.
8. Seeing my grown kids laughing with each other
9. Having my husband spoil me the way he does
10. The sound of the tea pot whistle
11. The look from students when they ‘get it’!
12. Talking with good friends
13. Starbucks, grande skinny green tea latte, iced, with extra ice on the side please, and with a shot of espresso sometimes
14. Starbucks, grande skinny vanilla latte
15. Singing at church
16. Watching my grand kids ride in the wagon with G-pa
17. Reading a good book that I can’t put down
18. Staying in my pajamas on a day when I am not sick
19. The smell of clean laundry fresh out of the dryer
20. The smell of burning leaves in the neighborhood
21. The sound of the surf hitting the beach
22. Watching the waves roll in on a stormy day
23. The feeling of pride in a job well done!
24. Clean bathrooms
25. Fresh crispy sheets on my bed
26. Riding in the car on the back roads with my husband
27. Looking at the Rockies as you approach from Kansas
28. Seeing the Grand Canyon
29. Waiting for ‘Ole Faithful to erupt
30. The amazing joy of seeing each of my five children brought into the world healthy and the sound of that first cry
31. Seeing my old high school after forty years
32. The ‘discovering my roots’ tour with Sandy Hay
33. Listening to my mom laugh and talk when she was still alive
34. Spending the time right after work with my husband, having coffee, watching the news each evening.
35. The feeling that a fire in the fireplace gives me
36. Seeing historical sights and markers anywhere
37. Reading about the history of the places I have lived
38. Giving God the glory for my recovery from Guillian-Barre over 30 years ago
39. The memories of going to the mission field in Anguilla,St. Martin, Mexico City, and Puerto Rico
40. The joy of watching my kids travel to other mission fields
41. White fluffy terrycloth bathrobes
42. My amazing new bookcases, lovingly handcrafted by my amazing husband
43. Seeing each of my girls get married in amazing weddings each of their own design and personality
44. Remembering times at the alter in Bible college
45. Remembering all the people who took my kids and I in when we were on our own!
46. The joy of purchasing new furniture for the first time EVER last year!
47. The joy of signing papers on our 1st EVER home purchase last year!
48. The amazing story of how our kids surprised us with an extreme home make over before we moved in!
49. The feeling I get every time I drive up to my house!
50. Remembering the awesome trip home from Florida with my friend Carole- reading Lisa Samson’s book Women’s Intuition –aloud to each other all the way!
51. Remembering the trip by myself driving my 1987 pick-up truck all the way to Florida taking back roads and finding places I had lived as a child and discovering St. Simon’s for the first time. Incredible!
52. Staying overnight in Theime’s funeral home in 1971 being scared to death by the guys living there. Sleeping on sheets from the morgue! Ah!!
53. The miracle of wireless Internet, digital photography and the whole cell phone thing
54. The way my classroom smells after I clean it and put in new air fresheners
55. Decorating my classroom
56. The joy of owning special 1st editions of special authors and missionary books!
57. The taste of the first hamburger of the season from the grill
58. Meeting up with Carol Miller and Debby Kitts after 35 years and spending three days talking and laughing!
59. The thrill of knowing I have the whole summer off from school!
60. The joy of doing our taxes and getting a tax refund!
61. The fun of learning our way around a new town and a new culture!
62. The way a new baby snuggles and how a clean baby smells.
63. Knowing what Christ did for me!
64. Seeing my old teachers at the 40th reunion
65. Seeing Jo Daughtery my old high school youth group leader from church!
66. Seeing my high school friend Robin at the reunion
67. Listening to Garey play the piano
68. Listening to Garey play the drums
69. Getting my teeth fixed!
70. The feel of getting a manicure and pedicure
71. The feeling of walking out of the hair salon with a new cut and highlights
72. Traveling with Leslie and the Buoy Babes to Hilton Head
73. Seeing the whole family at the Christmas House!
74. The day I graduated with my Master’s Degree in 2007!
75. The day I FINALLY finished my Bachelor’s degree in 2005
76. The day Garey and I were married
77. Going to ‘Nana Camp’ at the beach with the grand kids!
78. Pecan pie
79. Watching parades – especially the bagpipers
80. Occasional football games
81. Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, Texting (are those words?)
82. The smell of bacon frying
83. The excitement of our school accreditation visit going extremely well!
84. The joy of knowing I did a good job creating the Curriculum guides for the whole school, for every subject!
85. Surprises!
86. Fresh flowers
87. The thrill I used to feel whenever the yearbook made deadline.. and even more exciting when the books won awards!
88. The feeling of a good work out at the gym!
89. The way I used to feel riding horses across the fields in California
90. My old stuffed animal Starvel
91. Many of our pets through the years.. happy and sad
92. The way the house looks when it is especially clean!
93. The way house looks decorated for Christmas!
94. Remembering my Nana..
95. Knowing that getting older is a joyful thing!
96. My kitchen – even though I don’t really like to cook!
97. The pride I feel in each one of my children, Stephanie, Jennifer, Amanda, Jaime and Daniel!
98. The love I feel in my heart for each of my children, their spouses, my grandchildren and for my husband.
99. God’s grace on my life
100. Looking forward to Heaven – in about 32 + years!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Procrastinators's dream...

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
- William James

One of the things that keeps me from blogging as regularly as I would like to is that I procrastinate! Yes, it is true... I stall at getting started. And why after 58 years should this come as revelation? It is not revelation at all... I am the one who came within 3 credit hours of earning a degree in 1972 and then did not complete it for 33 years! But then I finished my master's degree in just under two years, so go figure! I am the one who purchased 50 yards of quilted material about 35 years ago to make place mats for everyone I knew and then made one set; gave out IOU's for the rest and proceeded to carry that 50 yards of material around the country with me for the next 30 years or so until I gave up and gave the whole shootin' match to someone else to finish. I am the one who learned to "hook" rugs from a kit, and after making one 12x12 square thought that I would hook rugs for the world and so purchased little rug kits for many, many people ... and well you get the picture. I purchased and gave "empty" scrap books to my children several Christmases ago with the promise of putting the pictures of their lives onto the pages and so far I have moved the scrapbooks (still empty) to two different states. I mean, I am the parent who has a barely - started baby book for child number 1, an empty book for child number 2, and no book at all for children 3,4, and 5 (although I think I did have calendars with stickers to show when they took their first steps etc.) . I buy cards for sick friends and fret over what to write so I can say the perfect thing and then do not send it until it is too late and they have already passed away! (This has really happened.. and just to show my friend Anne that I was thinking of her mother, I finally sent the cards.. years after her mother's death!)

Now in fairness to me there have been some mitigating circumstances... 5 children... total paralysis...(not the mental kind either) ... many moves...multiple jobs... oh and did I mention 5 children? But in reality procrastination seems to have come in my gene pool with a side order of perfectionism. There they are - the destructive fraternal twins... procrastination ism and perfectionism. Why even start something if it is not going to be perfect? I started this blog with the very notion that it indeed did not need to be perfect and then all it took was one off-handed quasi-critical comment about my bad spelling and grammar and since then fear has kept me from sitting down and blogging very often. Now the truth is that I know that my brain runs much faster than my fingers and so in my haste to spill the words onto the page, I often make mistakes. I tend to write like I speak-- in bits and pieces. But another part of my brain says... If you aren't going to make it perfect then don't even try! There has always been a war within me about things like this.

When getting ready to go on a trip I will procrastinate until about 9pm on the night before and then start cleaning like a woman possessed. I usually begin in the bathroom with the grout.. because, you see, if I die while on vacation and someone has to come into my house -- heaven forbid they should find dirty grout around the tub... next is the oven... then the mattress pads and clean sheets. I try to wash, dry and fold every piece of fabric in the house. I empty the trash and wash the trash can out. I vacuum and dust. Run the dishwasher, clean out the refrigerator and somewhere around 3 in the morning I decide to pack! My poor husband learned long ago that if he is going to get any sleep at all (he wisely goes to bed at 9:00pm) then he needs to make sure I take all luggage and clothing out of our room and into the living room where I can go through my OCD pre-travel ritual. All so that in the event of my demise... people might find my house "perfect"? Am I nuts? These would be the same people who already know that I am far from perfect! Now my husband will awake in the morning (@4:30 like always) refreshed from a good night of sleep, he will shower and pack his gym bag with about three days worth of clothes, turn off his computer and he is ready to go! (This took him about an hour-including his shower,coffee and breakfast). While I am still running around on about 2 hours of sleep, unplugging EVERYTHING, plugging in light timers, in an ridiculous attempt to make the house look occupied even though the WHOLE neighborhood knows we will be gone. This is why I don't travel very much.
I could write for days about how I procrastinate grading papers and writing lesson plans, but we can save this for another day.

So what on earth am I trying to say here? I don't think I will ever get over the procrastination/perfectionism dilemma. This blog will never be perfect.. it will still be sporadic because I of course still want it to be perfect and so will not write down half of what I would like to. Does any of this make sense to you? I have run spell check about four times so far. So do I publish this or not? Should I take a chance and run the risk of public criticism? You decide.... oh yea.. I will have to publish for this to happen.... hmmmmm I will re-read this a few times and think about it and then decide.

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
- William James

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Post Election Let Down Syndrome

Now that the election is over and we have a new bevy of elected politicians and a new president- elect, I believe I am experiencing post election let down syndrome. For almost two years we watched with interest as a parade of would be nominees made their way across our states and our television screens. For months we watched and taped the primary debates with a cast of characters on both sides of the aisle. We watched the conventions of each party as they selected their nominee. We listened to pundits rattle off endless issues and non issues. In the last months of the campaign we were inundated with more commercials than I thought even possible. We saw the mud being slung, character assassinated, and a liberal media crown their heir apparent. We watched a number of firsts; glass ceilings were cracked (whatever that means), racial barriers were torn asunder, and we saw enough money spent on advertising to run a small nation for a long time!
And then just like that - it was over. The candidates commercials stopped, the signs disappeared from the yards, the "news" went back to talking about Madonna or some other non news-news. It is all over for another election cycle. No more will we hear Kay Hagan say "I will let you know". There is no more talk of expensive wardrobes or haircuts, no more late night comedy gigs using the word "also" way to much!
I find myself channeling surfing more than usual. I am struggling to make conversation about... well anything. Everyone I voted for lost and I am sad for them. I am sad for me. I have been alive through several presidencies; Truman- I was a baby and he had already dropped the bomb on Japan. Eisenhower - former famous General, wife Mamie. Kennedy- a terrible tragedy, November 22, 1963- I was in the 8th grade. LBJ- never a favorite, but one of his daughters got married at the White House and so it all evened out. Nixon- oh the shame still burns on my face when I think about it. Gerald Ford- golfer, bad golfer. Carter- gas lines, a crazy brother who urinated in public. Reagan- now there was a president! George H W Bush- 1st desert storm one term wonder. Clinton- "He did NOT have ... "well you know the rest.
George Bush the current president- 9/11, Afganistan, Iraq,the Tsunami, Katrina, economic crisis, brought honor and integrity to the office, many would argue. So I have seen good, bad and horrible presidencies, 11 in all. But part of what makes this a great nation is that we still have a great nation oft times in spite of our ourselves. So we give each new guy a chance. We pray for him and wish him well and then we wait and see. .... In the mean time you will find me emerging from my post election stupor, battle weary, but still proud to be an American!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You have got to be kidding right? In defense of books!

So recently I have been following the newest gizmo being offered for sale on . Now I am all for gizmos and gadgets. I mean I have an ipod,a laptop and a desktop computer,a cell phone, and a digital camera. But the lastest gizmo I think just might be the biggest bamboozal ever sold to a gullible people!( All political races aside) The gadget of which I speak is the "Kindle" offered by Amazon for the price of $359.00. The makers tout the product as;

Kindle: Amazon's Wireless Reading Device

"This is the future of book reading. It will be everywhere." Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and Liar's Poker.

A wireless reading device... hmmm ... I might be going out on a limb here but is not a book a wireless reading device? All of my books are wireless! In fact that is one thing I love about them. I know, I know, the product is capable of downloading multiple books into the the little device, but it further promotes itself in this manner...

• Revolutionary electronic-paper display provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper.
• Simple to use: no computer, no cables, no syncing.

Am I crazy or is a book not the same thing? Looks and feels like and IS real paper!
A book is simple to use and has no cables or wires either!
A book does not cost $359.00 dollars before the cost of downloads! Ahhhhhhhhhh

I was recently blessed with the most amazing set of hand crafted bookcases, lovingly built by my dear husband. Bookcases for BOOKS! Lots and lots of books! Now if he knew that a little device like the Kindle could replace the need for the bookcases he could have saved a good deal of money and a great deal of space... he just might have bought me the Kindle! But then where would I have put my dear books?

Now one day I might be forced into buying a Kindle in order to get a book and then perhaps the feel of paper will be a thing of the past! But until then I will visit the Library, go to the book stores, and lovingly take books from my new bookshelves and read their sweet pages. All without wires! I have the original Kindle... wireless reading is called a BOOK!