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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fun Monday

Our wonderful hostess this week is Gattina, who is suffering from writer's cramps!! Here is her assignment:


As I am a very curious person, I just want you to show us a picture of your blogging place ! Your room or bed or whatever space(s) or place(s) you have to write your posts.

Thank you for a nice, easy assignment on this holiday weekend!!!


Here is where I used to blog when I first started.....in our computer room. This was fine in the beginning, but once I became hooked on blogging I was spending more and more time here in this room.....but my family was....


...here, in this room, our family room. I would feel guilty being separated from them so I splurged and purchased a laptop. Now you can find me in this room, with my family....


...on this couch blogging away. Now I don't feel too guilty and I am very comfortable and I am in the same room as my family....


...and this is my view from my Blogging Couch!!
All is now well in my world!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

IRL meeting today!!

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting a blogging buddy today!!! Marmite and Tea has been busy vacationing around our beautiful country, and blogging about it!! She is in San Francisco at the moment and since I live very near to the City, we met up today for a cup of coffee.



We had a wonderful visit, she is a lovely person. She is the first blogging buddy I have met IRL and I was very excited to meet her. It is odd though...I felt like I knew her, but I didn't know what she looked like!! Fortunately our meeting place was not crowded and I spotted her immediately.


We talked and laughed and had a wonderful time. Thanks for coming over the bay to meet me today Alix...it is wonderful to put a face to your name now!!! I thoroughly enjoyed our little visit!! I hope the rest of visit here is wonderful.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What is in a Name?

I saw this over at ChrisB's site and just had to play!!!




What Alison Means



You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.



You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.



You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.

You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.

You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.



You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.

You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.

You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.



You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.



You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Old Cemetery, pondering Life


I have always had a fascination with old graveyards. The mystery draws me in and I find myself stepping back in time while walking through the tombstones. I read each grave stone and imagine what their life was like. How did they die? Were they happy in their life? Did people mourn them?


My mind wanders in time and I try to place myself in their world. What kind of woman would I be in 1870? I am pretty outspoken and independent now, would I be then? Is my personality a part of me, or has it been molded through my environment?


I always think life was simpler in the past, before the electronic age and mass transportation. People lived off the land and families were tightly woven. But was it really simpler? The physical labor was intense. People worked from sun up to sun down. Simple conveniences that we take for granted were non existent. Life was hard....were people happy, or were they just too tired to care?


We found this cemetery in the town of Bodega last weekend. The same town The Birds was filmed in. Thankfully my husband knows of my fascination with old cemeteries and indulges my whims. Newer cemeteries don't hold the same power over me....I like the history.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Life Changes



There comes a time in every parent's life when a corner is taken and change comes. The child you whose diaper you changed just the other day enters puberty and overnight you become dumber than dirt.





I find it completely amazing that I am 42 years old, a college graduate, a successful adult.....yet I can be dumber than dirt.





I remember when my daughter was a toddler. She was very independent. I found it very difficult to deal with her level of independence. On the one hand, she obviously needed help most of the time, but on the other hand, I didn't want to crush her spirit. I knew these traits would make her a strong person and a wonderful adult. I walked a fine line trying to balance everything.





Little did I know that we would be doing the same balancing act in the teen years. My daughter is very independent and she has wonderful qualities and traits that will help her become a strong woman. But sometimes....a little help from someone is wise to accept. Again, we are walking the tightrope between independence and dependence.





Fortunately, our trying times are few and far between. We have not fully entered the teen angst years yet. I am not dumber than dirt all the time. My advice and help is occasionally solicited. I am not the ultimate enemy at all times, thankfully.





I hope that day never comes, but I need to prepare myself in case it does. At this moment in time she still listens to me and does not fight me on everything. She does like to have the last word and she will walk off in a huff. I smile to myself during these times. I remember that these traits will make her a strong, independent woman.....after all....isn't that our goal as Mothers?





I remember my teenage years vividly. I was nothing like my daughter. I was the epitome of teenage angst and I paid dearly for those years, as did my parents. I hope Cassie never reaches the levels I did, but if she does, I hope she finds a trusted adult to talk to. Whether that adult is her parents, aunt, godmother, friend....it does not matter, as long as they love her and have her best interest at heart.





Now, for my son.....he is only 8 but we are already seeing changes and so far we like what we are seeing also!!!





Change is in the air and sometimes change is a good thing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fun Monday



Our wonderful Hostesses with the Mostesses this week are the lovely Mama Dramas....and here is there assignment:




What funny trivial fact do you remember that you probably should have forgotten a long time ago?





I thought and thought about this all week and honestly I could not think of anything!!! I know...it is terrible!! So I am going to share with you useless, or useful, pieces of trivia that I just learned last weekend.





Did you know that you can use a snow sled to "sled" down a sand dune?





video


Did you know that your dog should not run next to you when sledding down the sand dune? (he was not hurt, don't worry...he is kind of a baby!!)



video


Did you know that 50 is not too old to sled down a sand dune? (he will actually turn 50 in October!!)




video


For more trivia head on over to the Mama Dramas!! Have a great Monday!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Personality vs. Looks

Conversation that happened in the car yesterday:



Cassie: We have a new kid in our class this year. He is a boy. I saw his name when I was at school last week for the student council meeting. Anna* (not her real name) said that she hopes he is cute.


Michael: Doesn't she know that personality is more important than looks?


I was speechless.....Michael is only 8 years old.



It is times like this that I think we are doing a pretty good job at parenting these children. It is times like this that make up for all the times I think we aren't.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Poetry



Just for you, two more poems written by Cassie:



Prayer of the Duck


I live in a pond.
Where children swim
as I pray for
love from my family and friends
and to live to the end of the world.




Prayer of the Horse


I gallop in fields
where we rest all day,
I pray for protection
from mountain lions
while dandelions blow in the wind.




I promise to tell about our incredible weekend at the beach soon. I have more pictures and videos to share. I am still visiting Fun Monday posts....they are wonderful this week so it is taking me awhile.



Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Public Service Announcement

I am still visiting Fun Mondays.....I will be by soon to visit.....If you haven't visited other FM participants I highly encourage you to do so this week...the posts and comments are hysterical!!!





I loved all the words for my FM post....great job everyone!! It looks like the photo moved you as much as it moved me.





Now I will leave you with the following PSA to ponder while I continue my FM visiting:





Never stand behind a dog while he is searching for the elusive sand crab. Please refer to the following evidence:

(I don't know how to edit it and it is kinda long, you can quit watching it after the first 50 sec. or so)



video

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fun Monday


Our wonderful hostess with the mostess this week is Lisa, who is Chaotic. Here is her assignment:


What is one thing you would like to ask your readers? Come up with a question to pose to your visitors and throw it out there on Monday. As we’re all visiting each other’s Fun Monday posts we should answer the various questions we come across.OR Show & Tell me about a bird, I’m easily made happy.

This was a very hard assignment for me so I am going to break the rules just a eensy, teensy, little bit!!

If you have never visited Lisa's blog, I highly encourage you to...her photography is exemplary. I am not the photographer that she is, by any means, but here is a bird photo I took this morning while walking my dog. It is an egret looking for his morning meal...



There is my obligatory bird picture and now for my question. Here is where I break the rules a bit.....Here is your question....

Look at the photo below and tell me the first word that comes to your mind...one word answer only please...

Now head on over to Lisa's place if you are curious about all us Fun Mondayers!!!

PS...we just came back from a few days at the beach....pictures and posts from our weekend will be up this week....I purposely left my laptop at home (even though our house had WiFi) so I will be back to visiting and commenting this week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Milestones


Today was a milestone in my daughter's life. Her godmother picked her up for a little female bonding time. She took her to her house and showed her how to care for her skin and how to apply makeup. She had all the necessary supplies. Her and I have been friends since we were 10 years old and I remember her using Oil of Olay when we were kids....I had to laugh when I saw Cassie pull Oil of Olay out of her bag!!


Cassie had a wonderful time. She was gone for about an hour or so. She left our house a 13 year old and came home a 16 year old in a 13 year old body.

She walked in the house carrying herself differently. Her shoulders were back, a spring was in her step. She was gorgeous and her eyes were sparkling. She looked older, and acted older.



We had a glimpse into the future tonight. Her father was speechless when he first saw her. I don't think he is quite ready for this yet. We told her she was beautiful, and she is. With or without makeup, she is beautiful from the inside to the outside.


"It takes a village to raise a child". This has always been one of my favorite quotes, it is so true. I feel very blessed to have a village help us raise our children. Cassie is a very fortunate girl and we are very fortunate parents. I don't think Cass will forget this day, I am sure I won't.


Thanks Nina....


I will leave you with another poem of Cassie's


I Love To Sing

I love to sing,
It makes my heart ring.
Like the bells in a church,
Like a bird on a perch.
Any type of song,
I can sing all day long.
I love to sing,
It makes my heart ring.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun Monday



Our wonderful hostess this week is Angela from The Lurchers.....and here is her assignment...





Show me your favourite photograph and tell me why it's your favourite.


As soon as I read the assignment I knew exactly which picture I wanted to use. This picture was taken last summer right before we brought our puppy Baron home. I think of it as the last few precious days when Zack was an "only" dog. To me this picture epitomizes the relationship between a child and a dog. Both Michael and Zack have huge smiles on their faces. They are enjoying a beautiful summer day..running side by side. Since losing Zack in May due to cancer...this picture has become even more special to me.






I am looking forward to seeing all the other favorite pictures this week!!! Thanks for a great assignment Angela.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Boxer Babes

Which one would you choose? Look at this picture of Boxer Beauties and savor their cuteness. Imagine their puppy breath. Imagine their squirmy little bodies in your arms.



Conjure up a memory of holding a new life...the way they relax in your arms. The way they mold their body into yours. The absolute trust they have in you. The warmth of their bodies as they snuggle close to your heart.


Imagine their sweet smelling puppy breath. Their soft tongue licking your face with puppy kisses. The way their eyes lovingly look into yours with complete devotion, trust, and love.


Imagine their wrinkles of excess skin. The size of their paws. The glimpse into the future of the dog they will become.

How can you choose one? How can you resist one?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Healing Words

In my previous post I shared a poem that my daughter wrote. I was unaware that she had a penchant for writing, or that she was so talented. Apparently she has been writing for about a year and just recently shared her poetry with me, and I immediately encouraged her to share them with her father. We were both very impressed. Realistically, I should not have been surprised. She is a very passionate child and she is very intuitive. She has always been able to share her feelings and emotions and she is very aware of her environment. I have always encouraged her to write, especially when she was knee deep in her pre-teen angst.


"Writing will release your emotions", I have told her. "It is very cleansing, you will feel better."


Apparently she was actually listening to me! Whenever she was overcome with emotion and couldn't speak coherently I would hug her and say "write, get it out". She did, unbeknownst to me. She showed me an anthology of poems she has written over the past year, she gave me a reading last month of all her poems. I sat there in awe at her raw talent, her raw emotions in black in white. I cried...and I couldn't help but wonder at her level of maturity. When I was her age I was incapable of this level of intuitiveness. She is only 13, but her soul is so much older.


Some of her poems are fun and light....some are heart wrenching. This past year was a very difficult year for her. She struggled immensely at school socially. She attends a small private school and she is just not like most of the girls in her class. She is not driven by popularity, she is not obsessed with fashion and clothes, she is not passionate about fitting into the mold. She speaks her mind, she is passionate about the environment, she is service minded and loves to help people, she is kind and accepting and has an open mind. I love the way she is, I would not want her to be any other way. I understand how the "system" works with girls though..and my heart broke last year seeing her in so much pain. I wanted her to fit in, but then again I didn't. I wanted her to be accepted, but I didn't want her to devalue herself. It hurt, she hurt....but somewhere along the way a change began.


Cassie began to hold her head up again. Her confidence level grew. Her self esteem was elevated a few notches. Her teachers noticed a change and commented to me the positive changes they saw in the classroom. What precipitated this change? I was not sure at the time - could it be karate? could it be our long talks? our encouragement to her to be true to herself? our desire and suggestion to pull out of the school and home school her 8th grade year? her decision to stay for 8th grade? I didn't know, but I suspected it was a combination of all the above reasons.


I have a different opinion now. While I do think all the above reasons played a pertinent role in her metamorphosis, I now know another reason that I feel played a major role in her change. Her writing. Her poetry. Her feelings and emotions flowing onto the page, flowing out of her soul, her heart becoming music and magic on a blank canvas. The words she could not find, could not orate....the words she found through her fingers, through her pen. Healing words.


Me
Cassie
Kind,
Loving,
Fun,
Wishes to swim with dolphins,
Dreams of becoming a marine mammal biologist,
Wants to make a difference in the world.
Who wonders what it is like in space.
Who fears death.
Who is afraid of war.
Who likes to have a great time.
Who believes in heaven and hell.
Who loves pizza and ice cream.
Who loves karate.
Who loves her family.
Who loves to help people in need.

reprinted with permission from author


I hope she continues to write...she has some tumultuous years ahead of her.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

An Award....and a Meme



My wonderful fairy loving friend Karisma has bestowed upon me this brilliant award!!! Thanks so much my friend...I will wear it proudly!! Along with the award there is the following meme:

A.) attached or single? Attached for the past 25 years

(B.) best friend? Terri, we have been friends for 32 years!!! Her real name is Putt.

(C.) cake or pie? Both

(D.) day of choice? any day is a good day...it is all about your attitude!

(E.) essential item? hand lotion, wearing gloves all day at work does a number on my hands...and on my off days I am in my garden playing in the dirt.

(F. ) favorite color? green, as in the color and as in living green

(G. ) gummy bears or worms? Neither, much prefer chocolate

(H.) hometown? same town I am now living in!

(I. ) favorite indulgence? chocolate
(J. ) January or July? both...I love curling up in winter with a good book in front of the fire, and I love playing outside in the summer

(K. ) kids? 2, a boy and a girl

(L.) life isn't complete without? hugs and kisses and laughter and sunshine and rainy days.

M.) marriage date? April 9, 1988
(N.) number of brothers & sisters? 4 brothers, no sisters....but I now have sister in laws

(O.) oranges or apples? both

(P. ) phobias? claustrophobic, and flying....how am I going to get to England next summer??

(Q.) quotes? Live, Laugh, and Love
(R.) reasons to smile? too many to list....enjoy each day and always look for the silver lining!

(S.) season of choice? all, I love the change in seasons
(T.) tag seven peeps! Hmm...let's see here....how about Stella, ChrisB, Chrys, Melissa, Angela, Marmite and Tea, and Cyndy

(U.) unknown fact about me? what secret can I share?? I don't watch much TV, but I love the shows Jon and Kate plus 8 and Supernanny


(V. ) vegetable? love them....all of them, except eggplant

(W.) worst habits? snacking at night while playing on the 'puter


(X.) x-ray or ultrasound? neither....I take xrays at work regularly..and an ultrasound, in my life, means there is something wrong.

(Y.) your favorite food? chocolate
(Z.) zodiac sign? Gemini, can't you tell by my answers...I am definitely a twin!!

Whew...that was a long one....are you still here??

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

This and That....plus a Bonus at the End

I found more surprises in my mailbox this past week.....I love getting mail that isn't a bill, or junk....getting presents from blogging friends is the best!!!


The first one is from my friend Jan. She is a book lover, like me, and she is very generous. Last month she gave away a number of books and I was fortunate to win one. Here it is.....



Here is the inside flap...the book sounds very interesting and I can't wait to start it. Since I am relaxing now I plan on doing a lot of reading. Thanks Jan...you are so kind and generous!!




The second present came from Swampy, I think she dropped it off when she flew over on her broom. I opened the package and was so excited to see that it was a pair of shoes!!! I love shoes. I couldn't wait to try them on but when I tried to open the box I noticed that it was completely taped shut...odd....most shoe boxes are not taped shut. I ripped through the tape and opened the box and found....



...a note from Swampy. Hmm..what is she talking about...bumper sticker? t-shirt? towel? where are the shoes? Maybe they are under all this other stuff?



Here is the bumper sticker. I started to go outside to put it on my neighbor's car, just like Swampy said to do, but Cassie stopped me. Apparently she thought it was a bad idea, whose kid is she anyway? She decided it would make a good bookmark. It now resides in her current read.



Here is the towel. She said to mop my floors with it....Mop? who has time to mop? Where are the shoes??? still looking...



Here is the t-shirt I will wear with pride. I need to learn to stop opening these gifts in front of my daughter. Guess who appropriated the t-shirt? You guessed correctly.....my dear daughter, of course. I hope she wears it with pride. I think Baron is giving me a look of sympathy. I still haven't found any shoes....

Wait! The box is empty.....Swampy, you forgot to send the shoes!!


Thanks Swampy....I love my gift from your garage....even if you forgot the shoes.



Since my darling daughter stole my bumper sticker that I was going to put on my neighbor's car and the t-shirt I was going to wear with pride, I thought it was only fitting that she give something back. Here is a poem she wrote. She is becoming quite the budding poet and songwriter.





The Wind


The wind blows through as a sign of life.


The wind blows through my hair.


The wind blows through the field as it makes flowers sway from side to side.


I smile when the wind blows because I know


That when the wind is blowing


It is blowing through my soul.


And when it is in my soul,


I know that is where my soul will be


When I expire.


by Cassie

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fun Monday


Our wonderful hostessess this week are the Mothers of Brothers...and their assignment is the following:




This Fun Monday assignment was to choose your favorite words or words. And the trouble is - it’s hard to choose. We bloggers love all words. But luckily, these are words and not people so we don’t have to worry about offending the words we didn’t choose.



My favorite word today is relaxation....that is what I am planning to do for a long time....relax. Relax, relax, relax....that word is wonderful! Yesterday we had a wedding reception at our house for our cousin and her fiance...they are en route to Hawaii as we speak to officially tie the knot on Friday. Since we were not flying to Hawaii, we planned a pre-wedding reception at our house. We have been preparing for this day for months, and months, and months. Every day off, every weekend....getting the house and yard ready.


We had family flying in from New Hampshire and Southern California. It was also a family reunion....we have never been together, all of us, ever...this was the first time. It was a huge occasion....and we had so much fun.



This is actually my husband's family, but I claim them also. I have been in the family for 25 years now, I call them mine. Friday was a whirlwind over here, setting up and getting things ready.

Saturday morning was a blur putting the last minute touches on everything. Luckily we opted to have the food catered, it was delicious.



One of my dear friends is a chef and she created all the fruit art...she is amazing.



Since they were getting married in Hawaii I ordered traditional leis for them. Our neighbors are Hawaiian and they helped me order the leis..they were beautiful.



I love these kids...they are fun, and cute, and kind. I love spending time with them. I was sad to learn that they are planning on moving to Hawaii. He was raised there and they would like to live there while they can....I am happy for them..but sad too.





They did a practice run at cutting the cake...

...and smashing it into each other's faces...


This is the whole gang.....we are actually missing one spouse and 2 grandchildren...not bad though!!



The aftermath....I loved planning it...I loved setting it up....I loved the actual party....

...I hate cleaning up!!!



The party started at 1:00 and the last guest left at 8:30.....what a great day....

I love this picture of Cassie and the bride, Andrya...it epitomizes what an incredible day it was!!

And that is why my favorite word today is Relaxation....now head on over to Mothers to Brothers to see what everyone else's favorite word is...