Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Colorization of Valentine's Day

It is that time of year when I see everything in black and white with only a few shades of gray thrown in. It is cold and the outside world seems really stark. We are smack dab in the middle of winter and all I do is long for spring. Yesterday and the couple of days prior were a teaser of things to come (warm temps and sun) but they were all too fleeting and on their heels is clouds, cold, and what one weather source claimed would be the worst snow/ice storm and cold spell since 2008. Since I don't remember the winter of 2008 right off the top of my head...I don't know for sure just what we are in for, but I am thinking if they are making can't be good. So here I am......cold, black and white with only a shade or two of gray...longing for spring.

Soon though....we will be in February and although often times in the Midwest this is the worst part of also has its positives. The first positive is, it is the last month before we actually start seeing real signs of spring and also the month that leads us into storm season. Storm season is my absolute favorite time of year.....but as usual....I digress. Probably the best thing about February (this year anyway) is.....Valentines Day. To give you my mental visual of Valentines is a cold, stark grayish photo with a colorized heart thrown in the middle. In other words.....Valentines will be the only bright spot in the dead of winter.

Now many cringe at the thought of Valentines. Mostly men who have no idea what to get or do for the woman in their life, and those who aren't currently attached. To them....the date is just a way to exploit their cash flow or make glaringly obvious the fact that they have no one to celebrate the holiday with.

In the last decade....Valentines has meant absolutely nothing to me. I purchased the obligatory small heart shaped boxes of chocolates for my kids, helped them address the age appropriate valentines cards for their classmates and other than that....ignored the holiday all together. Why??? Because when you lose the one who holds your heart also lose your desire to celebrate a holiday in which most people celebrate with a sense of obligation (because the calendar and their significant other say they should) and who have no real understanding or appreciation of what the holiday actually means.

This year though is different for me. Maybe because it has been a decade since last I truly acknowledged the day and it is time to allow a little colorization in or maybe because I have several people in my life who think my 2011 won't be complete unless little candy hearts and visions of romance are oozing from my pores. Whatever the case....Valentine's Day is coming and maybe this year....I don't want to let it (or at least the thought of it) pass me by.

All of this is a actually a moot point as I have no "special" someone to share it with. Back when I was could grab someone the day before the "big" day, announce to the world you were going together and were madly in love.....and there you had a Valentine. Forget the fact that more than likely....the day after you would be broken up. Now though having a real Valentine in my opinion takes a little more commitment than a 48 hour relationship.....and romance has a little different meaning too. Back in the day.....romance was physical attraction with the hopes of ending the date with a fantastic kiss. Now a days though....romance goes a little deeper. Emotional attraction trumps the heck out of pure physical attraction. Granted you still want someone who looks like he showered (at least for your date) and who is acquainted with a toothbrush.....but can he make you laugh? Can you sit down and carry on a conversation about anything from diapers to car parts and kids to hockey and still be interested in each other? Can you look at each other with honest eyes and realize that neither of you is 20 and both of you have lived lives that have brought on gray hair, no hair, hair in places hair shouldn't be, lines on your face, calluses on both your hands and your hearts, body parts that creek, and body parts that have expanded.......and still find things to laugh about? If the answer is yes.....then that my friends is the kind of romance I am looking for. Now don't get me wrong.....I am all for the hand holding, the kissing and the candy and flowers, but without true emotional romance....the rest is just smoke and mirrors.

Now I maybe old(er) but I am not delusional. The romance I speak of takes time to cultivate and with the life I lead.....would take an exceptional kind of guy to sign on for.....and with just about two weeks until the big day, I am thinking Mr. Exceptional is not suddenly going to appear and make up for lost time. Nor do I think that I am going to be bombarded with roses and candy when the 14th rears its red little heart just because many are in love with my charm, personality and the catchy way I write a blog. In fact....I am pretty darn sure that this Valentine's will come and go just as uneventfully as those of the last decade.....with one small exception. This year I actually acknowledge it. This year my heart is starting to open to the possibilities and this year even though the day might not be full of hearts and will be full of hope. Hope for Valentine's days to come.

So this year when I hear others say the words Will you be my Valentine, I don't think I will cringe, throw up in my mouth or worse....... simply just ignore it all. On the contrary.....I think I just might smile.....maybe even laugh...... and just sit back and enjoy..... the colorization of Valentine's Day.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ask Them What They Mean By Choice

A blogger whom I read, St. Blogustine, wrote this: Today NARAL(a pro-choice advocacy group) is having a pro-abortion blog bomb called "Blog for Choice Day," which "boils the blood" of Jill Stanek (pro-life advocate)and MANY OTHERS, including me.  So Jill, a champion of the unborn, has quickly and successfully implemented ASK THEM WHAT THEY MEAN BY CHOICE blog day, on which I am participating with this post.  The pro-abortionists must be corrected in their deceitful choice of words.  Make them say what the so-called CHOICE is all about.  Thank you, Jill.  You do the Lord's work!

After reading this....I knew I had to get involved and throw in my two cents. Now before people start letting their blood pressure creep on this volatile subject, let me say this......I know and love people on both sides of this issue. I and many dear friends have spent many hours as a pro-life advocate trying to educate young women on what abortion truly is and what "choice" really means when paired with abortion. I also have many friends who advocate "choice" who fight both behind and in front of the lines believing they are fighting for women and for what they believe choice to be. I also know many young women who have chosen abortion to end their pregnancies an in most cases....never was their choice an easy one and their reasons for doing this were as complex and varied as the girls themselves. However...knowing theses things and witnessing what I have witnessed in my life and in the lives of others, I have very strong opinions on the subject of abortion and using the word "choice" in a way that somehow makes abortion sound a little more pc and in the eyes of choicers apparently seems to make the end result acceptable. So I love the title Ask Them What They Mean By Choice and here are my thoughts on abortion.

Choice is a word that implies (to most) something positive. If you have a choice then you appear to have a right. Rights are good things....right? And in this country....don't we ALL have rights? And this is where the word "choice" becomes a great big FAIL! Paired with the word abortion....choice is a right only given to the few....(women) and not even ALL women at that. In this country human life is only respected and protected outside the womb. Inside the womb....human life is not acknowledged....therefore those in the womb have absolutely no rights.

Any woman who has ever carried a child inside them knows without a doubt (whether she admits it or not) that she is carrying a human life. She feels that life grow, move, and hiccup each day as her belly expands. That child inside her doesn't simply just come to life as he/she peaks its head into the world. It has been alive since conception. There is a reason that the child responds to music it heard while waiting to be born or why he/she recognizes the voices of parents and siblings who have been the focal point of the child's life while growing in the womb. Yet somehow....this isn't enough for many to admit that this life deserves the same rights as any other human life.

When considering abortion there are always two human lives involved....but only one of those lives has a "choice", a voice, a right (by law) to keep on living. When making that "choice" two human lives go into a clinic, but only one of those humans comes out alive. In our society.....many say....this is an acceptable choice for women....but they aren't even giving ALL women a choice. Think of the number of unborn women who have never had the right to decide their fate. Why? Because "choice" in terms of abortion.....was only a word used by a select few, for a select few with no respect for the rest. What human would "choose" to die by such horrendous means? There is no dignity for human life through abortion. The unborn are not sedated, handled gently or disposed of respectfully. The woman's choice results in pain (especially in late term abortions), some cases chemical burns and other horrendous acts which if done to an already born individual would be considered cruel, sadistic and dare I say....murder. And their final resting place is a trash bag full of waste. Again I ask? Who would choose to die like this?

So going back to the topic Ask Them What They Mean By choice really the right word when linking it with abortion? Is there really a fair choice involved when one humans choice trumps another humans life (an innocent one at that)and sentences them to an unspeakable death?

So here's the deal. I will never agree with abortion and I will always pray for those who find abortion as a solution to a problem in their life. However....if you are going to have an abortion, support abortion, or participate in an abortion....then at least be honest about what you are doing. If you choose abortion.....this is the reality of what you mean by choice: A child was created who was not wanted for whatever reason. This child is a living human being who is in early stages of growth, but very much human and very much alive. Because you don't want this child/can't keep this child/feel like having this child may cause you mental or physical issues, rather than allow this child to have a life even if it is not with are going to have an abortion. An abortion is YOUR choice....NOT and I repeat....NOT the unborn child you carry's  choice. By having this know this child will not be anesthetized during the last horrendous moments of his or her life. You do know that the child will be dissected and torn apart inside you....while still alive. And have full knowledge that this child....a child you created will end up in a garbage bag and taken out with the rest of the trash and disposed of....not with any form of dignity.....but as nothing more than waste! This is what is meant by choice in the case of abortion. Also remember....that if these same acts were imposed on you....they would be considered illegal, unconscionable, unethical, and completely inhuman which would likely carry either a sentencing of life in prison or more likely a death sentence for those involved with the act. However.. do it to an innocent unborn is merely a choice. A choice with no consequences which leaves many to repeat the act over and over again. If this is their idea of choice....I think I will pass.

I know there will be those who vehemently disagree with me and I am okay with that. I just believe that if you are truly going to support a woman's right to choose....then you first need to know what they mean by choice!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Last Night

Last night took me back about 20 plus years. It was just one of the nights that you didn't see coming....and yet I had a blast.

What started out as the same old Saturday was immediately redirected when a friend called and told me she just needed to talk. Being the friend I am......I suggested the bar. (When referencing the bar....I am talking about our little home town bar, where we know everyone, the food is good and you can actually hear yourself talk.) So upon deciding to meet at the bar that evening, my day immediately took an up turn and  gave me something to look forward to. Mind you....I don't get out to town much!

So first I went to church, then I went to the bar (don't judge least I went to church!) Now this friend I met up with is someone I have known more years than I care to admit.....especially when I only care to admit that I am 28. She and I have been through more, seen more and caused more trouble than most people ever dream of. There is a reason my mother didn't  want me to hang out with her. Now a days though....we are a little more responsible and mature.....after all, between us we have 10 kids, 4 dogs, 2 cats, mortgages, student loans, and underwear older than most of the people who inhabit bars these days. Still....if push came to shove and she and I were left unsupervised and to our own devices for very long....I am sure a spark from the old days might show itself. Actually she would spark...I would just smolder and then fizzle, but you know what I mean.

As I said....we went to the little home town bar, where we had dinner and talked. There is nothing like bar food. It is comfort food at its finest and as always we laughed and talked and then laughed a little more. All the while though....a friend of hers whom she goes to school with kept texting her and asking her to go to another bar for a birthday celebration. Finally....she gave in and told me I was going too. I didn't put up much of a fight....because as I said.....I don't get out to town much.

I must admit though, I did feel a twinge of anxiety because even though I only like to admit I am 28....I am a bit older. A BIG bit older and my vision of bars is a bunch of 20 somethings running around, listening to music I don't relate to/and or understand the lyrics too, looking at me like someone just let the dinosaurs in. Still and was an adventure and after chasing kids and cleaning house all day...this girl needed an adventure.

The bar we went to was one that neither of us had ever been to, and as we pulled into the parking lot the first thing we saw was a tattoo parlor. Now most women of our age would have avoided the tattoo parlor and maybe even have avoided the bar too.......being that it was so close to the parlor....but not us. The first thing out of both our mouths was....."Lets get a tattoo!" We were on a mission. We both have virgin maybe the only thing on us that can carry that title....but nary a mark has ever marred that which God gave us. That was all about to change......or so we thought. Both of us were more than ready for the change that a tattoo would bring us even where her thoughts of being presented with divorce papers after wards and my thoughts of being shunned by my children and all polite society.....we simply didn't care. Sadly....they were closing shop as we went in and for whatever reason....they didn't want to stay open and put tattoos on two women old enough to be their mot....errr older sisters. Damn! I was so close to being the bad girl I always knew I was. All that was left for us to do was go drink!

Walking into the brought back memories of the bars we used to go to. It had that same dark, mysterious, you don't know what is going to happen feel about it. We were greeted by my friends school friends, and much to my surprise...the bar was packed and only about a handful were under 30. The rest were our age or older. To make things even better....there was a live band playing, whose band members were also of a certain age and they played 80's rock. Ah yes.....I was home! What was a ahhhhhh surreal moment soon became an OH SH!T! surreal moment when while looking at the drink menu....I suddenly realized that we had walked out of the last bar.....and NOT paid our tab!!! Suddenly the bad girl who wanted the tattoo became the really bad girl who had waited until she was an adult to unwittingly try her first experience at dining and dashing. We both about flipped. Ronnie and Ora Lee....we will be in there Monday to pay our tab in full!!!!!!!!!!

Once we talked each other off the ledge over our new found crime spree.....we actually settled in for a pretty good evening. The music was  good and the people watching was excellent. Some were funny.....some were just fun to watch.....and there were a few who were just down right scary. We did a "little" drinking, a little singing (be glad you weren't there) and a whole lot of laughing. It was just a fun night which ended with no tattoo's, no criminal record (as of yet), and lucky for residual negative side effects the next morning.

All in all.....not a bad night for a girl who started the day doing laundry!

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Woman's Body

Looking in the mirror this morning and realizing that youth was no longer a factor in my life....I began to think about some things. In this "stay young forever" society....we tend to overlook the beauty in age. All the things that we are told make us look less desirable to the world are really quite the opposite if you look at the big picture....and lets face the end.....they are unavoidable for all of us. So here folks is what I have learned about a woman's body!

A woman's hair is going to gray. And each gray hair is earned from some kind of struggle, worry, or loss that we have overcome. Eventually...if we live long enough...gray becomes our natural color showing the world that ours has been a life of won battles and strength. Our reward will eventually be the beautiful soft white hair that comes with age, wisdom and a life well spent.

A woman is going to get lines around her eyes and her lips. These are the signs of laughter and smiles. The more lines..... the more you know that this woman has faced adversity with humor and lifted hearts and lives with her smiles.

A woman's breasts are eventually going to drift south. Youth was not meant to last forever and when those breasts have given both a lifetime of nourishment and pleasure....even they deserve the right to relax and evolve from perky to passive.

A woman's body will soften. What was once taught becomes rounder, curvier and in some cases a bit more to love. After a life of child bearing, putting others needs before her own, and the realization that life is short so why not enjoy some ice cream...the youthful body ages. But with that age comes experience and that body knows how to kiss with passion, touch with gentleness and rock a red hat and purple dress like nobody's business.

Finally....a woman's heart will forever change. What was once a heart filled with thoughts of self,  changes forever with that first kiss, the love of a spouse, watching her children be born and grow, watching those she loves leave this world and finally growing old with the one who still makes her heart skip a beat.

So as I write this....and read my own words....I know the journey I have taken to get here. The gray, the lines and the curves....yeah I have them all and I proudly own each and every one of them. After all.....there is no shame in having....a woman's body!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I Wish I Was a Bear!

So I am sitting here wishing that I was home, snuggled under a warm blanket eating soup, or chili, or maybe a Hot Rod Burger. get the idea. I wish I was at home instead of at work. Why....because it is snowing outside and apparently I am more bear than human. I looooooonnnnnngggggg to hibernate and not show myself until spring is in the air.I have always been so jealous of those darn bears. I wish I was a bear!

Apparently others have had the same tendencies as myself today..... for I have hardly seen a soul. Granted the quiet makes for a peaceful Monday....but it also makes for a very sleepy Monday. Twice today I have caught myself nodding off. One of those times was when my boss was talking to me. If he missed the trickle of drool starting down the side of my mouth, then I think I'm good.....and he may not have realized that I was partially comatose during those last few instructions I was given. Should be interesting to see if all I was told to do....matches up with all I actually did!

It is suppose to continue snowing for a few more hours and then a cold front is suppose to hit....(like having 5 inches of snow on the ground isn't cold front enough.)  I noticed that the wind is starting to whip a bit. Should make for a snuggle down kind of night. Cold wind....cold snow.....but ahhhhhh.....warm house. However....all this bliss will be but a memory when my alarm goes off tomorrow morning. It will be soooooo not fun when I once again have to leave the warmth for the cold.  Would I be wrong to pray for a SNOW DAY? Oh yeah....I am an adult....I don't get snow days anymore. I think I will go back to wishing I was a bear!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Story of Ruth

A life well-lived. Can any of us ask for more than that? And yet some just seem to do it better than others. Ruth Poteete was one such person.

I met Ruth many years ago when we moved to Mulvane and she was our mail lady. She always delivered the mail with a smile and in the spring and summer she would often stop and visit with my mother who spent every waking moment in the yard when the weather allowed.

It wasn't until my sophomore year in high school that I connected Ruth to a very pretty, shy girl in my class named Berty. Berty and I had gone to school together for 3 years but not until I practically attacked her in Foods class asking her about her older brother whom every girl in the school had a crush on, that we actually met. I guess my big mouth and her shyness were the perfect match and from that moment on......we were friends.

Berty came from a large family (12 kids to be exact....6 boys and 6 girls) who were headed up by Ray and Ruth Poteete. Ray by this time was retired military working for the post office and between the post office, working on his passion wood working and his other passion running.....he wasn't often around and when he was, he kept to himself. Ruth on the other hand was around. She ran her home with the efficiency that only a military wife with 12 kids can. Her word was law and even though she was small in stature.....she could be a force to be reckoned with. I was privy to a couple of situations where I witnessed the wrath of Ruth and no one doubted that she meant business.

Ruth's home was a welcoming home with a door leading from the garage to the kitchen that was perpetually open. Along with her own 12 kids a steady stream of extended family and friends came and went through that door over the years....and always they were welcomed by Ruth with an ease that was both inviting and comforting. Looking back though....I suspect that after 12 kids....nothing much surprised her nor rocked her world to any extent.

When I first started going to the Poteete's on a regular was sort of a fantasy land for me. There was constant commotion, laughter, yelling and just plain life going on in that house and most of it taking place in the kitchen. To a girl with one brother who spent a great deal of her time alone.....this was a world I had only dreamed of. My fantasy though was their reality and I am sure they saw their house with different eyes than I did.

I think the thing I liked most about going to the Poteete's was Ruth's reaction to my being there. Her reaction was simply no reaction at all. If I was there.....I was treated like everyone else which meant I might be handed a dish towel and told to dry dishes, or a dust rag and told to go dust something. Often on Sunday's I was put on "Thiry duty," and told to go find Thiry (Berty's younger sister) who would always mysteriously disappear when she was suppose to be helping fry chicken or do dishes. I always found her hiding somewhere trying to sleep. I once even found her in the tub with the shower door shut. Ahhh....good times.

As Thiry got older, she, Berty and I became inseparable. Every Friday and Saturday night (and sometimes Mon.-Friday night too) we were gone. However, Ruth's rule was no one went anywhere on Saturday until the house was clean. This often meant that I was recruited to help in order to speed the process up. Looking back this is rather amusing as my house cleaning skills would never have and I am sure never did pass the careful inspection of Ruth. Even her own daughters were known to have to go back and redo a job more than once on more than one occasion which explained Berty's belief that things were never clean enough for her mom because she obviously had dirt in her eye. Possibly though.....Berty should have expressed this thought when her mother was not within ear shot as I believe her opinion was met with the evil "Poteete look!" If you have seen know the look  I am referring to and Ruth passed that look onto each of her children! Go ahead....tick one off and see what kind of look you get! LOL

Every Sunday the house on Greenwich was alive with people. After Mass everyone gathered for fried chicken and a pot luck of assorted foods in the Poteete kitchen. For years every Sunday I could make it....I was there. My mother would have had a nervous break down having her house full of people, noise and commotion every week, but Ruth took it all in stride. In fact she seemed to thrive on having her family around and she could always be found holding a grandchild and enjoying the company of her children. After dinner when the kitchen was clean and everyone was just sitting around...Ruth would often tell stories of her past growing up in Moline, KS or about adventures she had had in Japan, the Phillipines or many of the other places she and Ray had traveled while he was in the military. My favorite story was of her experience being in the Udal, KS tornado back in the 1950's. The tornado virtually wiped out the whole town and because of the time it hit (night) there was no warning. It was a frightening experience to say the least, but like everything else....Ruth seemed to take it in stride.

Ruth had her onery side too. The Poteete house was always inundated with animals, but they were never allowed in doors. My two favorite animals where Bogart and Dinky. Bogart was weiner dog mix and Dinky was Heinz 57 whose mother was Bogart and whose father could have been any dog. Well one of them (can't remember which one) had puppies. They were so cute but Ruth had no intention of keeping more dogs so they were being given to anyone who would take them. There was one left and she was so cute. She was black and white and I loved anything puppish. Ruth knew it and told me to take the puppy home. I knew taking that dog home was going to ensue the wrath of my mother and I really did not want to go there. I told Ruth I better not, as I fawned over the puppy and then tried to hand her over to Ruth. Ruth was having none of that. She gently handed the puppy back to me and said, "go ahead. Your mother won't mind. Just tell her I said it was okay." Now I knew my mother and I knew it would NOT be okay. But I wanted that puppy so I decided to sneak her home and Ruth being the "generous" lady she was even provided me the box to sneak her home in and food to tide me over until I had found a way to break our new little addition to Mom.

As I knew would mother about busted a kidney when she found out that I smuggled contraband in the form of a puppy into her house. As I stood there watching the vein in my mothers forehead throb as she was telling me not just NO....but HELL NO.....I burst out...."but Mom....Mrs. Poteete said it was okay." Normally telling my mother that someone elses mother had okayed something, thus trying to trump her would have been hazardous to everyone's health involved. But not this time. Mom picked up the puppy, looked it over and said...."She is pretty cute. Fine....we'll keep her." It was a WOW moment.

One of the reasons I liked Ruth so much was because she seemed so different from my own mother. As kids often do when they are less than pleased with their own parents....they compare them to other parents. When I was mad at my mother....I am sure Ruth was thrown in her face on more than one occasion. I always saw them as polar opposites until one evening. I am not sure whether Ruth was looking for a child, picking up a child, or just needed a break and for whatever reason ended up at my house. I know though that it was an unusual occurrence as to my knowledge other than their chats when Ruth was a mail lady and a few necessary chats regarding Berty and I....they had never really talked. Mom invited her in and they sat down in the kitchen and began a conversation that lasted at least a couple of hours. I perched myself on the stairs where I could hear but not be seen and listened as these two women whom had seemed so very different to me, suddenly became more and more alike. Both were brought up small town Catholic girls but that is where I thought the similarities ended. The reality was Mom was a single parent and Ruth often felt like one. Both had to put up with a great deal from the men in their lives and both were suffering through their childrens teen angst. Both also hand younger children at home whom they were trying to sheild from the older ones shenanigans. The way they talked you could tell that in many ways.....they were kindred spirits. Amazingly....Ruth had many nice things to say about me to my mother and she let her know that she was glad that Berty and I had found each other as she felt my "personality" had helped to draw Berty out. Mom of course felt that Berty had a settling effect on me and was so happy that I had a friend such as her. It was a surreal moment....these two so very different seeming women.....suddenly showing themselves to be very much alike. It was also surreal because a moment like that never again happened for these two. They ran into each other from time to time and again had a few obligatory phone conversations....but never again did such a conversation take place between them. Also...never again did I compare the two or throw Ruth in mom's face.

As the years went on.....I was invited into not only Ruth's home but also Ruth's family. She seemed to know that her family filled a void in my life and she told me on more than one occasion that I was around so much....she had decided to make me on honorary Poteete. It was an honor. I was even invited to a Christmas or two....which again was different than the Christmas's I had grown up with. With 12 kids you would go into the poor house trying to buy for everyone so Ruth stuck to the true meaning of Christmas raising her brood and taught them that it was about the giving NOT the receiving. Christmas at Ruth's was celebrated after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Everyone came back to the house where of course....there was food galore and then gifts were open. Ruth's gift to everyone was always.....socks. When I got my first pair of socks.....I almost cried. It truly meant I was part of the family (in my head The kids, who had drawn names the previous Christmas Eve....then presented each other with gifts that they had hand made. I remember a Christmas or two both Berty and Thiry panicking because come Dec. 23rd they had not as yet completed their gifts. It was a beautiful tradition which left a lasting impression on the character of Ruth's  children.

When the last of their children were out of high school, Ray and Ruth decided to leave that wonderful house on Greenwich and move to rural spot in eastern KS, then eventually they moved to Emporia and then Topeka. I missed the Sunday dinners and seeing a house full of Poteete's on a regular basis. But whether I had a wedding, a baby shower, a baby or any other major event in my life....Ruth always seemed to find a way to be present for it. Every Christmas....hers was the card I looked forward to getting and every special Poteete occasion that I could make it to.....I so looked forward to seeing her. She always seemed to be laughing and enjoying this new found stage in her life. I will always picture her with her beautiful white hair, her wonderful laugh and her glasses hanging from a chain around her neck. And her famous words to everything...."oh my!" 

When my husband died....she was there at the funeral. Ruth had never really been a verbally demonstrative person. Her feelings for others were always conveyed through her actions. I remember very little about that day. I remember it was hot, Thiry was pregnant and Berty, Dan (Berty's husband) and all their girls were there. Other than that....I remember little else....except for Ruth. She came up to me with tears in her eyes and hugged me. She said, "Lisa....I wish this hadn't happened to you. I am so sorry. I love you." Those words touched me more than anyone will ever know and like many other things about Ruth....will hold a special place in  my heart.

Later, when my own mother died....Ruth again touched me with her words. She let me know that she was always there for me.....that I was her honorary daughter and that if I ever needed her.....she was only a phone call away. I never dialed that number....but it was always a comfort to know that if I had ....the voice on the other end would have been one of love and compassion. It would have been Ruth.

When I heard Ruth had been diagnosed with Parkinson's I truly was not worried. Maybe it was my lack of knowledge about the disease....or maybe it was just how well I knew Ruth, but I felt Ruth was stronger than any disease. With the proper medical care....I figured this was merely a speed bump in the life of such a strong woman.

I was thrilled beyond words when I heard that Ray and Ruth were moving back to Mulvane. I envisioned getting to spend some good old fashioned Poeete time again with this amazing family. I had hopes of Sunday dinners with lots of noise and chaos and heck.....I might even go help clean on a Saturday for old time sake. The move however coincided with Ruth having med issues and her Parkinson's giving her a run for her money. I was having a garage sale and Ruth had some stuff she wanted me to sell. As I sat there in my garage...I saw an elderly woman pull up and get out of her car. She literally was shuffling very slowly to get across the street. Not until she was half way up my drive did I realize this was Ruth. She sat and talked for awhile and told me her meds were giving her fits. She let me know in no uncertain terms though.....this was merely a set back and as soon as her meds were adjusted, she would be back to her old self. She was right. A few weeks later I rode my bike by her house to find her walking in the yard picking up sticks and much more her old self. I began to make that a regular bike/walk route and would stop and visit anytime she was out.

In April of 2010 it was discovered that Ruth needed a heart valve replacement and a valve repair. She had been tired and not feeling well and her heart valves appeared to be the culprit. It was felt that after the surgery....she would feel tremendously better. This was not to be the case. After her surgery it was one health issue after another. She had trouble with her Parkinson's, she was dizzy, she felt awful and old health issues became present health issues. She was either in the hospital or a rehab most of the time.....being able to spend only a short time at home.

When she was in the hospital she was at the same hospital where my youngest had weekly physical therapy. So on therapy days I would sneak off and go visit Ruth. Several times she was obviously feeling too bad to have I would go in, squeeze her hand, kiss her forehead and leave. She always managed a smile and a "thank you for coming by." One time though, when she was in the ICU.....I caught her on a good day. As I walked in a nurse was with her. Ruth seemed truly happy to see me and introduced me as her "honorary daughter." The nurse then laughed....."with all the daughters you already need an honorary one too?" I laughed too as I had always kind of felt the same way. Ruth however did not laugh. She simply said...."yes!" We proceeded to visit about Berty, Thiry, her grandkids, my kids, Ray, the hospital staff and jello. Every time I would start to leave she would squeeze my hand a little tighter. Finally when I knew my son would be just about done with PT.....I told Ruth I had to leave. She smiled and said..."I know." She then grabbed my hand and said..."I love you Lisa!" Tears rose in both our eyes. They drift down my cheek now as I write this, for what I didn't know then was that was the last conversation we would have....and those were her last words to me.

Ruth continued her trips in and out of the hospital over the next few months. Her body was getting tired and complications from her health issues were taking their toll. On Thanksgiving morning I talked to Berty who told me that the drs. had told them she was not going to get better. Thanksgiving evening Thiry called crying. That is a sound I have only heard a couple of times in 30+ years. Ruth was gone! The reality was processing. I left for the hospital to say goodbye. The whole trip up their I had thoughts of Sunday dinners, Christmas socks and a smiling Ruth with her glasses hanging from her neck. I also had the same sinking broken hearted feeling I had had nearly 8 years before as I drove this same route to the same hospital to say goodbye to my own mother. I also worried that maybe my need to say goodbye to this woman and my presence at such a time might be viewed as intrusive to the family. I hoped though that maybe my being their might offer some kind of solace in all of this sorrow. My fears were alieved when I walked in and Thiry grabbed my hand and said "Thank you for coming," and Berty hugged me with both relief and the understanding that only three decades of friendship can bring. I have no doubt that Ruth had designed it that I could not only come to say goodbye to my surragate mother but also so that I would be there with the two women who meant more to me than anyone else in the world.

At Ruths funeral....Father said: "She survived a Tsunami, a prairie grass fire, a devastating tornado, and an large earthquake." I think I knew all of this but wasn't sure. I did know however that she was a small town girl who married a man who became military. While he served, she was at home raising 12 kids. She had little patience for whining and even though she was small in stature she could put the fear of God in you (i.e. the Poteete look). She loved plants and birds and the outdoors, She laughed often, loved with all her heart and lived her life to the fullest. Yes.....Ruth's life was a life well spent. So Ruth, I thank you for making me one of your own. I thank you for the Sunday dinners, the explorations of your house to find Thiry, the puppy, the Christmas cards, the socks, and most of all...for giving me the two very best friends a person could have. I know you are in heaven sitting at the kitchen table discussing us girls with my mom. Please be kind! lol I love you beyond words and miss you dearly. So dear Ruth until we meet again....R.I.P.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Waiting-Place (Waiting for a Cure!)

Well....I told you there were things that you were going to be hearing more from me about....and here is one of them.

I talked about up and coming non-profit that some friends of mine started. Well today....I would like to elaborate. Sometimes things happen in your life that just seem like a perfect fit. That is what happened when I first heard about Waiting-Place. Angie Daniel a friend of mine who writes the blog and her sister Shelly came up with the idea for this venture. Angie's husband KFDI radio personality Dane Daniel has been battling cancer for years and Angie and Dane have spent many hours in the last decade waiting in drs. waiting rooms, hospital waiting rooms and treatment waiting rooms....all with the hopes of finding the cure that will make waiting rooms a thing of the past in their lives.

It has been all of this waiting that was the catalyst for the idea of Waiting-Place. If you must wait, then why shouldn't some good come of it? Why should all of that waiting just be precious minutes lost from already stressed lives? Waiting-Place will make all that waiting not only be proactive, but possibly find the cure that means someone may no longer have to wait.

The beauty of Waiting-Place is that people who love you, know you, or who just want to find a cure for your particular disease can sponsor you and pledge a dollar amount on each medical visit you have that is part of your disease treatment. Those dollars then all go to research of your disease. In Dane and Angie's world that is soft cell sarcoma.

Most of you by now know that my youngest son is special needs. His official diagnosis is cerebral palsy and with that come many issues including hydrocephalus and seizures. We spend many long hours just as Angie and Dane do, waiting on drs., tests, results and most of all......a cure. Waiting rooms are never fun, but with chronic illness and disease....they are a way of life. If each one of those visits though could possibly be putting us that much closer to a cure....every second there would be worth it.

The minute I heard about Waiting-Place I said....."I'm in!" I pledged to give whatever I could to make this work. The most wonderful part about Waiting-Place is it's ability to help find a cure for not just one illness or disease.....but many.

Everyone of us knows someone who is sick. Everyone of us knows someone who needs to find a cure. That is why I am asking you to support Waiting-Place today. All you have to do is vote! As I said this is brand new on the scene and start up money to support the future of Waiting-Place is an immediate need. Pepsi has the Pepsi Refresh Project which they are donating to the top ten most voted on start up ideas. Waiting-Place is in the running but it needs votes daily until the end of the month. All you have to do is go to  click on the "health" symbol at the top of the page, then click on $50,000, then where it says Vote For pull the drop down menu and pick "near you". Waiting-Place says Creating a tool to let patients raise research money while in treatment. Angie Daniel's name is under it. Then vote. Vote everyday and get all of your family, friends and social networking friends to do it too.

Why is this so important? Because or someone you love.....maybe waiting for a cure!

Stay tuned for updates!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

To Grudge or De-Grudge

With the New Year upon us....I am trying to develop new attitudes (because apparently it has been established that mine is sh!tty), new ways of thinking about old issues, and most of all...letting go of much of what stresses me on a day to day basis. Why? Because that day to day stress is why I am blogging at almost 12:30 a.m. instead of sleeping.

As I said in my New Years only resolution this year was to let God lead, so I am not sure if this new attitude...etc. stuff is happening because I am turning things over to God or if by turning things over to God....this is all happening. Confusing isn't it? Yep....this is what goes through my mind when I should actually be sleeping.

One part of the attitude change (I am sure you will be hearing about more parts later) is the the letting go of past hurts. If you ask me straight out if I held grudges or was mad at anyone.....I would lie through my teeth and say...."no of course not." It wouldn't be a deliberate would simply be a "at the moment" lie....meaning at that moment no grudges or anger would come to mind. However....give me a sleepless night or have someone who at some point in my life I feel has wronged me, turn around and tick me off again.....and believe me...the anger boils and my grudge holding becomes something legends are made of.

Luckily....there are only a handful of people that I can honestly say have offended me in my life to the point of grudge holding and out of those....only a couple of those people do I hold grudges that might be therapy worthy. I can also say that in my past I have held more grudges than I currently do and whether it was because of prayer, disinterest, or just the fact that with the passing of time I simply can't remember what happened or why I was mad.....those grudges are no more and I am at peace with the people they concerned. Sadly though....there are still those that I have as yet not been able to let go of.

Probably the worst grudges I still hold are those involving family.....and one member in particular. This person truly knows so little about who I am now as opposed to many years ago when this whole thing started...and honestly from my adult perspective in the here and now...I could care less what this persons opinion of me is.....until they open their mouth to speak ill of me. Then I care. It makes absolutely no sense and I can go for months and even years and never think about the anger....and then all it takes is one careless word from this individual and my anger shoots to the surface and every past unkind word or action this person ever pushed in my direction feels as raw as if it happened today.

Family are not the only ones who have the hidden wrath of my grudges. There are a few men from my past who have caused me pain and who if they crossed me today might not like the results of those actions. Again....I never dwell on the past.....but in weak moments I can still lie awake at night and plot uncarried out revenge on those who I feel deserving.

Finally one individual I hold a horrible grudge towards is someone who used to be a friend. There are not a lot of people that I have high amounts of respect for or that I look up to. This person I did. One day though, it was as if the world changed and this person unloaded on me, my children and everything about my life. When it happened I confronted the situation head on and was apologized to profusely. Because of the regard I held for this person....I did let it go, but it happened again. Again my child was drug into it as was how I lived my life both physically and spiritually and this time if felt like a total and very personal attack. Again....I dealt with it head on....but I felt as if it fell on deaf ears. To make things worse....I was discussed by this person to many people (not that any of them cared one way or another) but I did. Now....every time I see this person, I want to declare war and have an all out verbal battle in front of the world. Mature....right? I think the reason I have such anger towards this individual is because I thought so highly of this person and believed them to be somebody or something they weren't. Maybe my anger is more at my own naivety than at the actual circumstance.....although the actual circumstance was pretty crappy.

There are a few others who whether they realize it or not (most do) that I hold grudges of varying degrees towards. And what is bad is I feel petty and immature feeling this way....not to mention how I must sound, but it is simply the way I feel. My late husband always used to say, "you are gonna feel the way you feel....until you don't feel that way anymore." In theory this is true, but in reality.....I feel like I need to push the process of NOT feeling this way anymore along.

I am not sure just how to de-grudge myself. I know it has a lot to do with letting go and forgiving. I am just not sure how to do either of those things in these particular situations. I guess this is just something else that I need to allow God to take the lead with....but for me....that is just so much easier said than done. But that doesn't mean I won't give it the old college try. After would be such a nice feeling not to feel anger towards anyone.....even if they did act or say something that was unkind or hurtful.

Yes....forgiveness would be a wonderful thing. But then again.....without my grudges, whatever would I do at night without my revenge to plot???? Oh yeah......sleep!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Excellent Home Remedies

 Got this off another blog which I like to read. Since the blogger got this from another blog she likes to read....I didn't figure she would be to upset if I shared! :)

A sealed envelope - Put in the freezer for a few hours, then slide a knife under the flap. The envelope can then be resealed. (hmmmmmm..) ==========
Use Empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to. I've done this for years, and years, and years!!
For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dish washing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze. (wish I had known this for the last 40 years!)
To remove old wax from a glass candle holder, put it in the freezer for a few hours. Then take the candle holder out and turn it upside down. The wax will fall out.
Crayon marks on walls? This worked wonderfully! A damp rag, dipped in baking soda. Comes off with little effort (elbow grease that is!)..
Permanent marker on appliances/counter tops (like store receipt BLUE!) rubbing alcohol on paper towel.
Whenever I purchase a box of S.O.S Pads, I immediately take a pair of scissors and cut each pad into halves. After years of having to throw away rusted and unused and smelly pads, I finally decided that this would be much more economical. Now a box of S.O.S pads last me indefinitely! In fact, I have noticed that the scissors get 'sharpened'' this way!
Blood stains on clothes? Not to worry! Just pour a little hydrogen peroxide on a cloth and proceed to wipe off every drop of blood. Works every time! (Now, where to put the body?) LOL
Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows.... This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.
Spray a bit of perfume on the (COOL) light bulb in any room to create a lovely light scent in each room when the light is turned on.
Place fabric softener sheets in dresser drawers and your clothes will smell freshly washed for weeks to come. You can also do this with towels and linen.
Candles will last a lot longer if placed in the freezer for at least 3 hours prior to burning.
To clean artificial flowers, pour some salt into a paper bag and add the flowers. Shake vigorously as the salt will absorb all the dust and dirt and leave your artificial flowers looking like new! Works like a charm!
To easily remove burnt on food from your skillet, simply add a drop or two of dish soap and enough water to cover bottom of pan, and bring to a boil on stove top. (They say a dryer sheet works for this too)
Spray your TUPPERWARE with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains.
Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks. This works with cheese too, I do that one!
When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness!
Cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half, and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.
To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.
Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line.. So, get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself.
Use air-freshener to clean mirrors. It does a good job and better still, leaves a lovely smell to the shine.
When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.
Now look what you can do with Alka Seltzer...... Clean a toilet. Drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets, wait twenty minutes, brush and flush. The citric acid and effervescent action clean vitreous China

Clean a vase. To remove a stain from the bottom of a glass vase or cruet, fill with water and drop in two Alka Seltzer tablets.

Polish jewelry. Drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into a glass of water and immerse the jewelry for two minutes.

Clean a thermos bottle. Fill the bottle with water, drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets, and let soak for an hour (or longer, if necessary).

Unclog a drain. Clear the sink drain by dropping three Alka Seltzer tablets down the drain followed by a cup of Heinz White Vinegar.. Wait a few minutes, and then run the hot water.

Do your friends a favor. Pass this timely (and some not-so-timely) information on to a friend! I just did. Makes you wonder about ingesting Alka Seltzer, doesn't it?

The Art of Being Sh!tty or Hopeful Insanity

I have mentioned several times recently both in conversation and with written word, that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again......expecting different results. I think I might also have mentioned that YES.....I am probably very much insane.

I don't have the issue of repeating my negative actions in any area other than with my children. It appears that in all other walks of life (for the most part) I have learned my lesson and try not to repeat my mistakes. However...with my children....time and time again I find myself doing the same thing over again. I won't say that I "expect" different results......but each time......I am hopeful that things may take a better turn than the time before.....and each time.......I am proven to be one insane individual.

I am currently living with yet another attempt at "hopeful insanity." The details yet again I will not bore you with......mostly because this time.....I don't come out looking so good. Anyone who hasn't learned from their repeated attempts of giving second, third and 55th chances not only looks bad to others.....but should also be wearing WELCOME across their forehead! The first step is admitting it......right?!

Okay.....where was I? Oh yeah, anyway.....while in the midst of my hopeful insanity, He Whom I Will Not Name....suggested to me ever so impolitely yesterday that I (me) had a sh!tty attitude. What??? Me???? Having an attitude that is less than pleasant anytime? What the heck was he talking about?  He went on to say that he felt he could not carry on a conversation with me because my attitude was not sunny and glowing all the time. Hmmmm. Really?

Now I know that I have absolutely no need to explain myself or my actions to anyone. Especially not someone who has proclaimed to be a "grown ass man" many times over the years but still cannot manage to pay his own bills or find a ride to work. Still though....he caught me off guard and I began to feel the need to explain why perhaps sunshine was not always illuminating from every orifice of my body. Damn.....immediately by me trying to explain myself he realized I might be feeling guilty about my lack of sunniness and thus he went on to elaborate on how crappy my attitude was....telling me that "everyone has problems" but why is it okay for me to have an attitude about them. Damn again......he was using my own words towards him towards me and taking them out of context. The boy was good.

The whole time he was talking I was trying to think of exact incidents where I had been truly sh!tty recently. I really couldn't think of any. Upon relaying this to him.....his reaction was that of total disbelief followed by....."you really don't remember how sh!tty you have been?" It was about this time that the sarcasm (which I speak fluently) began flying off my tongue. Was I being sh!tty when I gave him a ride because he wrecked his car and now has no transportation, or perhaps it was when I was feeding him because he has no money for anything except for paying fines, or no maybe it was when I "gave" him a cell phone and am paying the bill so that he has some form of communication?! His reaction to all of this? "See....there you go again being sh!tty!" Arrrrrrgggggg

The internal hemorrhaging that I seemed to by pass the other night.....well I think it began last night. What does it mean when your head throbs and you have pain in your chest? Oh means you have KIDS!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Controllable Chaos

Yesterday I did nothing. No.....literally.....I did nothing. Well....actually I watched old episodes of The Nanny....but other than that....nothing! It was peaceful and a much needed break. Today...I went to church, went to Wal-Mart....and then again did nothing. Well...I did take a much needed nap, but other than that....well you know.

I guess that was my reprieve before life began to hit me full force again. Maybe it was God's way of giving me the strength to handle yet another little glitch in Lisaland. Perhaps it when this glitch hit head did not explode, nor did I set my hair on fire and run into the street screaming. Maybe though...and this is probably a more likely scenario....I am just getting tired. Tired of dealing with that which should not have to be dealt with.

I have tried desperately (usually to no avail) to get my kids to understand that life is a tricky thing. There are so many things that happen that we simply have no control over. Some of those things are good, but all too often they are things which are trying, sometimes soul wrenching and many times.....things that test us both as parents and as humans. So with all the unexpected and uncontrollable that is thrown at us....WHY must they (my children) do things that cause "controllable" chaos?

The controllable chaos that I am referring to usually has to do with poor judgment and bad choices which end up causing my natural hair color to become gray and me to begin twitching uncontrollably. It also means that I usually have to end up questioning my parenting skills (which were already questionable at best to begin with) and then there is the whole "trust" issue that I have to deal with (mine not theirs!) At any rate.....we always end up having the same conversation that starts with the word...."WHY?"

I had such hopes for this new year. Well okay....maybe I wasn't naive enough to think that the whole year would go by without chaos, but I did believe we might make it through the first weekend without incident. Silly me!

I won't bore you with the details because 1) it was poor judgment and a bad choice all rolled into one and the child responsible would come out looking REALLY bad.....and 2) I have hashed and rehashed the situation this evening until I can't hash it again. Suffice it to say though....nothing remotely fun or entertaining will be happening in my house for quite sometime to come. It is times like this when I understand fully why my mother grounded me for life on a couple of occasions.

Well...truth be told....this incident too shall most likely pass and I am trying with all my heart to let go and let God. In fact I would have been perfectly happy to have allowed God to step in tonight and do the lecturing and the grounding.....but obviously He left that part up to me. So I did my best to handle it in away which would not require me to have to go to confession next week.

So now....all is quiet in Lisaland once again and my child is very happy that he was allowed to go to bed with all his parts in one piece. I do think he learned from the whole situation  and I was successfully able to handle it all without having an internal hemorrhage. I am sure the whole twitch thing will be gone soon and hopefully now.........we can keep controllable chaos at bay....for at least another day or two!


"What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God"......Mother Teresa.

I went to Mass this morning and Father reminded us of the above words of Mother Teresa. What a profound woman she right she always seemed to be.

These words say so much. For those that know we are created by God...also know what a gift our lives, our health, and our ability to "be" are. And to each of us in varying degrees, God also bestowed talents. Whether they are obvious talents such as singing, cooking, or amazing creativity.....or whether they are less conspicuous such as wisdom, unfailing kindness, or quiet compassion for those and the world around us.....they are there.

Each of us is born a clean slate with the ability to live our lives to the very fullest with the "talents" God has given us. We all have the potential for great good. We also have the potential for great evil. It is merely how we "choose" to use the gifts we are given as to how much we will grow and in what direction we will take those gifts....and I have no doubt will be a deciding factor in where we may end up spending eternity.

We have all known someone with amazing talent who chooses either to use it for selfish and/or self serving reasons or uses that talent to grow in ways that are neither productive, healthy, or in the end soul flourishing. We also have all known someone who seems to have no "real" talents and yet they live their lives joyfully, kindly, and treat each the gift that it is. I can only imagine that it is those who go through life helping when possible, giving when they see need, and laughing and loving as much as they can, that give God great joy and make Him feel as if the gifts He originally bestowed were not in vain.

At any rate....I thought Fathers reminder of Mother Teresa's words today was both necessary and directional....reminding us of what we have been given and nudging us to make positive change in this new year.

We all have been given a great gift in this life. Perhaps this should be the year that I live my life in a way that both honors the gifts I have been given....and maybe..... just start becoming a worthy gift to God.

Happy Sunday and God Bless you all!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011...Bring it on!!!!!

In keeping with all that is "normal" in my life.....2010 did not leave before causing a bit of chaos in my home. David had a couple of mini seizures (one resulting in a black eye)....therefore my plans of going out for New Years Eve....quickly became staying in. Luckily if my last few years have taught me nothing else....they have taught me to be able to change gears quickly and go with the flow. That is just what I did last night. The boys and I ordered in our favorite burgers and we vegged on the couch watching The Twilight Zone marathon....all while I was able to keep my eye on David and make sure we didn't need to make one last run to the ER in 2010. Thankfully....we didn't. I was also able to catch up with friends via text and the phone and all in all....although a bit of a bumpy night....2010 left fairly peacefully.

Since last nights events didn't really allow me to drift off into peaceful slumber until well after 3 a.m., 2011 has started a little later than I like with a little less enthusiasm than I had hoped for. Still and all though....the sun is shining, David appears to be bruised but I guess it is not a bad way to get this new year started.

As I write this I think of all the things I should be doing to prepare my life and my house for the new year.....especially when this next week is going to be a whirlwind both at work and at home, but somehow....I am content for now, just to sit and write.

Looking at my calendar....2011 will be filled with some fairly significant events....not the least being the fact that this year closes out a rather trying decade in my life. It also erases ALL excuses for "bad" behavior and opens the door for new opportunities and much better choices. I hope to take advantage to the fullest of all of it.

The new year also starts some (what I feel) are new and exciting changes at work. I was fortunate enough to get to be brought into the first year of a new store front business. I have been there for about 8 months and now we are expanding and implementing new practices....all which I get to have a hand in. It is really something I am enjoying.

Another new event which I am looking forward to is a participation in a new non-profit being started by some friends of mine. It is called Waiting-Place. It is to benefit many charities having to do with health related issues such as Lymphoma, Lupus, Cerebral Palsy, etc. People donate per a persons medical visits requesting that the money per visit goes to research for that particular disease. An example would be if someone wanted to give to the Cerebral Palsy Foundation for research in David's name. I would put on a calendar all his dr. visits having to do with his CP and someone can donate "x" amount of dollars per dr. visit to CPF. Nothing is worse than waiting in a waiting room to see a dr. for a chronic illness. Waiting-Place though helps to make those waits worth while.

My first love (next to writing) is event planning and I have been asked to help with some events to get  Waiting-Place both recognized and funded and to help put them on the non-profit map. To me this is exciting, ground breaking.....and just tons of fun. Not to mention it will be helping many people get many much needed dollars put into research for their particular health issue. Believe me....I expect you will be hearing much more from me on this part of my life throughout 2011.

So you see....if you add work, my cheesecake making, Waiting-Place and my everyday life at home all appears that 2011 is going to be both busy and exciting. 

I know this is the time of year where everyone starts setting goals and making resolutions for the new year, but the one thing I have learned about myself over the years is.....I am tremendous at making goals and resolution......but lousy at keeping them. So this year....I only have one true resolution. My "real" resolution for 2011 is to turn this year over to God. This is not to sound preachy or "uber" Christian, it is simply this: I have tried to be in control and call the shots for many years now.....and I know how that has worked out for me....(many times....NOT WELL!) So rather than try the same thing this year....expecting different results (also the definition of insanity might I add).....I am going to try something different. I am going to just simply let God lead. When in doubt....I will pray. Catch me at the end of 2011 and I will let you know how it has all worked out.....(like you won't hear about it all year long anyway! lol)

So this is how I am starting my year. No outlandish or unachievable goals, a simple out line of what is coming up calendar wise in my future, and a heart ready to go wherever God chooses to take me.

I guess all that is left to say is.......2011...Bring it on!!!!!