Thursday, October 30, 2008

I was the 80's - and the late 70's

I think this was 1979. I loved that shirt. I wore it out. It was TERRY CLOTH. We must have run out of chairs for the big crowd, so I was sitting on one of our many lawn chairs. Our basement was covered in wood paneling. (This is my friend Karen's dad in the picture. He died last summer. I remember him like this.)

The reason I wanted you to see this picture:

We had a JUKEBOX. See it with the oddly placed pink balloons? Our jukebox was the 14th one down on the page of the link, if you want to check it out. I loved the jukebox. I remember when my dad bought it. My brother and I went along with him to pick it up. My mom had a fit when we brought it home. It was so dirty, she wouldn't allow it in the house. It sat in the garage and I helped clean it with a toothbrush. Did you see all the grill work on the front? That's how I'm so sure which one we had. I remember.

We saved one of the records that came with it, and as far as I know, that record stayed in the jukebox until the day it was sold to it's next owner. Enjoy with me...stick around for the end.

I got a couple of slots to myself. I remember listening to Blondie's Heart of Glass and some Loverboy too. It was fun to hang out with my friends and listen to my records with that thumpin' jukebox bass.

The jukebox taught me to love the Moody Blues' Nights in White Satin, The Beatles' Twist and Shout, and Willie Nelson singing Blue Skies. I get tears in my eyes just thinking about it. I spent many nights playing with candles, eating peanuts while my parents played cards with their friends, and letting the lyrics take me places.

But I never could like that song Forever in Blue Jeans. Neil Diamond freaked me out.

This was probably still 1979. Happy Birthday to me! Do you love the hair and the orange chairs? Apparently the person with the camera didn't like the cake.

This was before braces. I had a parking space between my two front teeth. I'm surprised there are pictures of me smiling then.

That's probably the best tan I ever had, because my friends and I had summer jobs DETASSELING. The hardest job you'll ever love. Too bad I don't have the picture of me and my friends in our TUBE TOPS and shorts carrying our coolers. We were a sight.

1982. Pretty sure I couldn't stuff myself into one of those anymore. I still have this shirt. That makes Steve sad. I'm kind of a saver.

Yep, I had a MULLET. But just for a few minutes. Rodney Reindeer is falling off our shoulders. I still have a couple of those. Did I mention that I'm a saver?

One of my favorite pictures of me. I was celebrating the end of the 80's.


hosted by Where Are My Angels

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...huh?

Poor pumpkin.

Poor mums.

Poor plastic squirrel.

I had planned to just put this photo up today.
The girls carved pumpkins with friends a couple of weeks ago.
The pumpkins are already caving in on themselves.
They're moldy.
Yesterday there was a nasty swarm of bugs inside and out.
I think the bugs are gone now.

I guess the girls didn't carve too soon.

But I do think the snow came a wee bit early.

WordFUL Wednesday

Calling myself out

I cut the plastic with a squeeze of kitchen scissors and released them to glide through the wrapping. I peeled it from the frozen block and I wondered why the block reminded me of me. I dared myself to touch the raw, knowing I would keep my fingers to the outside as I plunked it in. Too many warnings have given me fear of the raw. Even the frozen raw. I washed my hands and any possibly contaminated area and grinned at my educated superstition.

Thought about touching it and licking my fingers anyway. Didn't.

I used the lid to balance the block just so in order to make it fit in the crock pot just right. I considered what heavy thing could be safely balanced on top of it all so that the lid would keep the heat in and keep the block balanced until it softened. I decided to trust the lid and the heat to do their own work in their own time.

I won't touch the frozen raw, but the touching of the half done doesn't bother me. I'll pull the bag of neck and liver and heart out when there are still ice crystals hidden in the cavity. The outside will be someplace between soft and safe. Somehow, that makes the raw inside less dangerous.

I'll pretend I'm going to leave the bag in there and taste those things my dad called gizzards later. Won't do it, though. I cast those unknowns aside. I throw them away, untasted.

No one here eats neck or liver or heart. We prefer the predictable, mild white in the first meal. Then temper the wild flavor of the dark, hiding it in soup or casserole.

Relaxed, warm, juicy, nourishing, tasty, satisfying.


I dare myself to embrace the frozen, the raw, that's been hidden in the dark places.

I will me to explore the unfinished. To just try it.

I wonder, when will I be done?

Do I want to be done?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Overflow Gratefuls

This week I'm grateful for:

#1, 2, 5.

32. Possibilities.

33. Cam, I Am's talk about jars yesterday.

34. Tonight my jar overflowed with me; not what should overflow. Lessons swiftly and firmly learned.

35. The well is always open.

36. Strangely dim moments when the purple words overtake the others.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Words & Music: Hel­en H. Lem­mel, 1922
in­spired by the Gos­pel tract Fo­cussed, by Lil­i­as Trot­ter

Monday, October 20, 2008


She sat in the kitchen at my mother's Singer and made me into a time traveler.

"Grandma had the perfect color for my dress."

This thread my mother chose so many years ago for this day. Not knowing that she would miss out on hearing her hum at the Singer as she finished it. Unknowing, giving so it would be possible. She became part of it.

That winding through time of cotton polyester blend, and chromosomes stretching through me. Stretching through time from long forgotten ones through my almost forgotten grandfather, through my mother and me to her.

The blue of the thread. The blue of the eyes. The Creator's Masterpiece.


I'm trying to write something but it's going to take a while because it's one of those tin cans that shoots pressurized confetti everywhere when the birthday kid opens it. It's making a big mess and it's not done exploding.

Is this a gift or a gag?

I'm avoiding the the mess.

Here are some pictures from my cell phone.

It's unreadable, I know, but here's the story. El and I were leaving the grocery store this afternoon. She laughed because the pumpkins had stickers labeling them as, well, pumpkins. I was glad to solve that mystery. I sent her back with my phone to take a picture while I drove up to fetch her in the getaway car.

El left me a note on the car this morning. She likes creative writing.

Steve was going to wear these shoes couple of weeks ago. Good thing he noticed them before he left.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Right now gratefuls

This week I'm grateful for:

#1, 2, 5.

26. Almost full moon, wispy cloud, cold wind.

27. Teapots who whistle.

28. Synchronized breathing.

29. Daughters who go out of their way to say goodbye.

30. Daughters' friends who call me mom and let me call them sweety.

31. Right now.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


My mid-life crisis was a time of awakening. A rebirth.

It was painful and lonely. It was scary. It was real. It was dark.

Then it was of all colors. Sweetness and salt. Shouting and song.

An eternity. A moment.

The fruit of those hard
--dare I say--
was an absolute conviction that I am completely accepted.

By God, by Steve, by those I love.

By Me.

Cracks and holes and peeling paint.

Glimpses of sky.


All of me. All accepted. All good.


PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Do something

I saw that this event was coming earlier this week, but I forgot about it until I read this.

I wondered if I have done anything about poverty this year. I almost didn't write, but decided that it was too important to ignore.

I got a Compassion widget for my sidebar and wrote about Albertina and Jithin. What I haven't told you is we got an amazing letter from him a few weeks ago. He wrote it in English. I'm even more excited that we asked for an older child, because it was incredible to read his heart as he wrote it, not as translated. It's not much, but we're fighting poverty by helping Jithin go to school.
Margaret too. She is El's Compassion child in Kenya.

I wrote this. I hope you'll listen to the song I referenced.

I walked for moms and learned that I can help change lives. Michele spoke at our church. I highly recommend her as a speaker and Sisters in Service as an option to help fight poverty.

One more thing. I told a friend of mine I would help her to find blankets to give to the homeless. She goes with her family into Philadelphia once a month to give food, socks and blankets to people. They have built relationships over time, and they are trusted. If you are one of my local lurkers (I know you're here, I just don't know who you are!), see if you have any blankets that you can part with. You can put them in the grocery cart by the church kitchen. Or you can hand them to me and I'll know that you read this.

Have I done anything about poverty this year? Not much. But if a few do a little, a lot will get done.

Do something.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Embrace your local mid-life crisis

Growth outside.

Green thrives inside.

Shimmer, rare vessel.

Shadows reveal dark equal.

Bare limbs eagerly reaching.

Blown glass waves cautious greeting.

Grey frame sluffs paint exposed.

Guards space within, between two windows.

WordFUL Wednesday

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nostalgic Pause

Happy Birthday, Paddington!

When my girls were about this age...

they loved this bear...

Yep, that was during the Big 'Ol Frog Era.

The Gene Kelly version of Singing in the Rain was on recently. Mo told me that she didn't know there was any version besides the Paddington version.

Since it is Paddington's birthday and the Paddington video is long gone, we had to watch on YouTube.

I asked, "So what do you think of Paddington now?"

"I love Paddington!" El said with a bit of a catch in her voice.

I feel a bit teary just now.

"What about you, Mo?"

"He still sort of freaks me out."

I never knew.

Sometime soon, pause to be nostalgic. Write about it and sign Mr. Linky so I can walk down memory lane with you.

Pause to...

The current Pause to... is Nostalgic Pause.

Read on to find out what Pausing is all about.

I love words. I'm a word collector. Sometimes I look up words in the dictionary just for the fun of it. I'm weird that way.

From time to time, I'm going to ask you to Pause -- be sure to look at the noun and verb entries -- with me and consider a particular word. I'll leave a link with the word so you can consider all the definitions and write about how it applies to you. You can write something new, you can rewrite (reduce, reuse, recycle) something old and make it fresh, or you can link something you've already written that applies to the word. Add pictures or video if you want to.

Mostly, I hope you'll have as much fun pausing and writing about the word as everyone else will have reading what you have to say.

Once you've posted your Pause, copy the direct link to that post and paste it into Mr. Linky. Be sure to leave a comment. You can link your post to my blog with this button

by copying what is in this box

and pasting it in your post or in your sidebar.

The real reason for doing this is...

I think I have a crush on Mr. Linky.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Double Stuff

Cam, I Am and I went out for lunch yesterday. It was yummy. After that, we went to the Liberry. Then we had ice cream. It was a Double Stuff Oreo kind of afternoon. Lunch and ice cream were the chocolate cookie outside, but the double filling came in the middle. Half of the creamy center was our conversation. It was ours. It was good. The other half of the creamy middle was a conversation at the Liberry.

Cam, I Am held up a book in the new releases section and said she had been thinking about reading it. The other lady that was there with us said that she had read the book. She spoke highly of the characters, the protagonist, and the plot. I studied her as she talked. Cam, I am says she was prim and proper. She was. Hair fresh from the salon. Nicely made up, wearing a sweet pink sweater, khaki pants and a sparkly necklace. Obama 08 pin on her left side, book folded in left arm, and cane in right hand. She was precious. A perfect pink picture. I interrupted their chatting with a question. Was she a writer or a teacher? Neither one. Just a reader. I asked what's next, pointing to the book she held. Sly smile. Title offered.

A Woman's Guide to Urinary Incontinence.

A woman who reads for pleasure and knowledge, I said. I hoped the earth would swallow me whole. I am so blogging this, I said. She, being pretty and pink and sharper than me left a pearl of wisdom. You know those Kegels? I tell my 50 year old daughter to start now.

Can a girl giggle and Kegel at the same time?

More gratefuls

This week I'm grateful for:

#1, 2.

22. Lunch and much more with my friend.

23. A houseful of giggling girls and the smell of baked goods.

24. Minimal mess and minimal leftovers left by said gigglers.

25. Light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Soccer Rainbow

El has been playing soccer eight years.

Eight years? Where has the time gone?

She started playing in Kindergarten. She was on the Purple team. Their assigned nickname was the Dandelions.

The Purple Dandelions.

The goalies picked a lot of grass. They chased butterflies. The dad behind the goal told them the ball was coming.

They did some cartwheels and somersaults. Sometimes they kicked the ball.

The Purple Dandelions and their opponents bunched and traveled the field as a bouquet. Purple and Yellow, or Orange, or Red.

Once, Coach Brian asked who was tired and needed a sub. El raised her hand.

She had just.

Sideline bunching was exhausting too.

So many seasons. So many colors.

Purple, Orange, Teal, Orange again, Red, Yellow, Maroon, Maroon again, Dark Blue, Light Blue and now...Lilac.



It's WordFUL Wednesday.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tag is exhausting

I was tagged by Melanie at Straight to Your Hart. Her list is much more interesting than mine!

RULES, because you know these tags always have rules . . .

1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay, here are 7 facts about myself:

1. I count things without knowing I am counting. This useless talent applies to monotonous or repetitive sounds only. For example, when someone’s car alarm goes off, I always know how many times it beeped when it quits. I don’t count intentionally, I just know how many there were when whatever it was ends. Sneezes, cycles of a siren as it nears and passes by, dryer and kitchen timer beeps get counted. Also, I unconsciously count how many seconds silences or long noises last. Time between lightning and thunder, or Emergency Broadcast System tones come to mind. Fortunately, I get to forget the number of counted things once I acknowledge said number. I usually keep the number to myself.

2. My favorite candy is Skittles. Original Skittles. I sort my skittles and eat one color at a time. I usually begin with orange or give them to El. Orange is my least favorite flavor. Green and red go somewhere in the middle. I usually end with yellow or purple. Sometimes I give the purple to Mo because they are her favorite. It depends on how good I am at sharing my candy that day.

3. Once I stole a piece of candy. Remember those old Brach’s Pick a Mix bins? I put one piece in my right coat pocket. My mom asked me if I had taken something. I lied. The candy sat in that pocket until the next year as a daily reminder of my sin. I’m pretty sure she knew it was there. She let me live with it. I haven’t enjoyed butterscotch since.

4. In a related incident, one year I opened all my Christmas presents to see what I was getting. The presents were all under the tree about a week before the big day, and I carefully lifted the tape from the edges to peek inside. Then I pushed the tape firmly back into place. It was horrible to know what was in every package. No surprises. A couple of years later when I confessed, my mom told me that she had known. She figured it out when the tape wasn’t sticking on one side of all my packages. She also figured out that she could add nothing to the lesson I learned. She was a wise woman. To this day, I will delay opening a present as long as possible.

5. If I have several things to do, I always want to do the worst one first. This is a problem at work when I am learning something new. It would make more sense to ease my way into the harder task, but I just can’t do the easiest thing first. I like to do the easiest thing last.

6. I don’t fit the typical female stereotypes. I often have fewer words to say than Steve does. I throw out answers to problems when he just wants a sympathetic ear. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but once got I last place in ‘Who’s the Most Romantic’ at a lingerie party. The fact that I even went to a lingerie party is shocking to me. But it was a bunch of married Christian women, so it was sort of tasteful. I believe I collected two points of a possible twenty five, and my prize was a pink feather boa. I forgot to take it home. The upside to this is if Steve participated in the ‘Who’s the Most Romantic’ competition he would win. He’d get the twenty three points that I didn’t.

7. I highly recommend that you get to know what makes you, well, you. One way to do that is by taking Gallup’s Strengths Finder test online and reading the accompanying book. If you buy the book, you get a code to take the test. I know I sound like a commercial, but this tool has been eye-opening and communication inspiring for our family. We even had our kids take the adult test. Now there is a test especially for youth. One of my strengths is INCLUDER, which means that I am going to break the rules of this Tag Game, and declare ALL PLAY. If you read this far, TAG, YOU’RE IT! Grab the button and the rules, and paste them into your post. Let me know if you do, and I’ll link back to you here.

I'm exhausted.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Friends and gratefuls

This week I was grateful for:


17. My mom. I've been remembering her a lot lately. Her birthday is tomorrow, but we won't celebrate with her. I won't see her, call her, buy her a present, or send her a card. In January, it will be 10 years since she died.

18. Seasons. Varying definitions.

19. Youth leaders who love and encourage my kids and spend time with them.

20. Women who love me, encourage me, and spend time with me.

21. Steve's Thursday morning men, and some other guys too. Yep, they love him, encourage him, and spend time with him.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Wrightstown Farmer's Market

I went to the Wrightstown Farmer's Market a couple of weeks ago.

Exciting things were happening.

I watched the lady from Kaleidoscope Farm being interviewed for Jim Coleman's Healthy Flavors. I also bought some heavenly Honeycrisp apples there.

I got some bread from Great Harvest Bread. I bought the last loaf of the kind I wanted, so he gave me the other half of the sample loaf. Thanks!

Community Baptist Church has a garden. What a great idea!

I was introduced to purple hull peas.

And butter beans.

I stayed a long time at Lillies and Lavender. The owner's son and his friend were nice enough to let me take lots of pictures.

I love cosmos. They are so bright and cheery.

I also bought a bunch of basil, so I could make my favorite sandwich for lunch. Tomato, basil and mozzarella. Terrific!

I gave half the basil bunch to my neighbor and put the rest in water. It has sprouted roots, so now I am going to put my basil in dirt to see if it will grow.

Hope you enjoyed my trip to the Farmer's Market.

In looking for links for this post, I found a local blogger who had already visited and written about the Farmer's Market. Maybe My Garden Travels and I will cross paths someday.

Thanks for visiting my photo story, and be sure to go read other stories at:

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek