Friday, December 12, 2014


I’ve been a mom for 34 years.  By far my most often wish was for my children to be happy.  I don’t mean the fa la la la la la la la la kind of happy.  But the kind of happy that is sustaining during life’s grind and grit; an inner feeling of joy or contentment.

Recently our youngest, Vincent, made a commitment to go to school at Rutgers University.  Once the decision was made he couldn’t wait for the adventure to begin.   He was voted in as class president, has worked hard for his class and made great grades. 

Aryah charged forward and paused a few times and now is on track to finish an undergraduate program at ISU in the Spring of 2016 even though she is also a wife, a mother and working full-time. 

Courtney finished her degree at IU years ago.  She’s independent and driven. She has been creative in sourcing income while working hard on an exciting career so she can live in NYC.    

Aryah, Courtney and Vincent I know you work very hard and are accomplishing much. I really do believe you are happy but want you to often ask that question of yourself, "am I happy?"   For the record, I’m happy for you, I'm happy to be your mother and also very proud of you too!  

Thursday, November 13, 2014


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.”  St. Augustine


This quote is a favorite of mine.  It hangs on our refrigerator at home. I love it because I love to travel.  I love immersing myself in another culture, meeting new people and learning about their lives. This quote is also tied to another favorite pastime, reading. When I read I travel to far away places. 


Recently I picked up Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With The Wind”.  I watched the movie years ago but never read the book.  For 3 plus weeks I read about the civil war, strong characters, southern customs, misguided actions and heartache.


Early on this book was irritating me.  It was a slow read.   I felt Ms. Mitchell could have made a greater impact by saying less.  And don’t get me started on Scarlett O’Hara.  Anyway, I finished that book yesterday and I could not make it to the library drop box fast enough.  Why, because I couldn't wait to be done with this book. 

Which leads me to point out an obsession of mine.  Finish reading any book I start.  It's not all together healthy.  But it forces me to experience the whole story, whether I like it or not.  I try to apply the same philosophy with any journey I take.  And my mother I can thank for that lesson.  She always said, "complete what you start."  Thanks Mom and thanks St. Augustine for sharing your wisdom! 

Monday, September 29, 2014


Has anyone noticed lately our media is constantly using of the word “outrage?"  I have heard or read it in all formats and it’s starting to outrage me.  Well, maybe the latter is an overstatement.

Vince and I have been talking about this word’s use and so I googled it recently.  Is my premise supported?  Do your own search or keep your eyes and ears open and I think you will agree.  So what’s up with this? Is this the outrage decade?  Are people really this ticked off? 

My dictionary says outrage is “a viciously violent or grossly offensive act.” These acts are certainly happening everywhere, at home and abroad.  However, what kind of irks me is this term suggests that “the people” are outraged.  I know 2 or more persons make people :) but making headlines seems to imply that “the people” represents us…you, me and many others… 

Another over used media term is the phrase “critics worry.”  To them I would suggest they find another profession.  Worry is a waste of time even though they might be paid handsomely to worry. 
However, on a gentler side I would be grateful to see another “out” word used more often.  Outreach.  I believe you and I can be a part of a more positive act if only we reach out!  I am chewing over some ideas now.  Who are you reaching out to?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


It’s been too long since I’ve made a blog entry.  I’ve not been stagnant.  I’ve been accomplishing a lot because I have crumpled up old lists to prove it. However, in an attempt to fill empty space here and cross one more task off my list I decided to enter my current to-dos.  Yep, I’m a List Nerd. It’s a critical guide for each day, so here goes…    

Change the oil in my car buy 10 golf club grips clean grass around the front porch deadhead all flowers fix roof shingle  pick up NY NJ OH PN maps from AAA pull weeds at entrance to golf course open savings account for grandchildren total May April June July Sales Tax call Rita at Uncle Bill’s church about Thanksgiving buy earring backs reorganize spare room deliver vanity to mom and dad’s apartment create phone list for mom hang hole-in-one plaques on the wall order golf course t-shirts check out jetpack from Verizon check out UMW Phoebe Circle for mom pick up prescriptions from pharmacy deliver receipts and credit card to church make bank deposit write blog entry.      

Sometimes the tasks in life run all together without any one standing out over the others. Sometimes a task will never be completed on its original list. It just moves to the next list.  However, regardless of format or age of a task a list helps keep me focused.  I’m grateful for all the lists I’ve made in my life.  I'm thankful I don't have to get this all done in one day. And I’m very happy when even one task is accomplished.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Inquiring Minds

I have been listening for days to a bird’s beautiful song.  I’ve asked customers if they know anything about birds, most said no.  I’ve asked if they could hear the song and many thought I’d lost my mind. So I did the next best thing, I searched the internet, my Audubon Society Field Guide, and I tried to find the bird through my binoculars.  Sadly, there was too much information to digest.  AND I discovered I get dizzy while looking through binoculars.

In the old days I would have contacted the library and talked with a reference librarian.  Instead, I decided to contact the local newspaper. Gratefully the H-T Outdoor Section Manager referred me to the local President of the Audubon Society.  Over e-mail and phone he directed my focus to...indigo buntings, warbling vireos and orioles.  With still no definitive match he came to the golf course to help me solve the mystery. 
Unfortunately, the bird wasn’t singing when he arrived.  So he played bird songs on his phone (which was a hoot) and I did my best rendition of the bird’s fancy song which I described as a “showtune”, which solved nothing (double hoot).  Fortunately, as he was attempting to leave, he heard what he thought was my bird.  With his binoculars and an explanation that birds put their own spin on the notes from time to time, he is almost certain that my bird is an oriole.
In case you are now curious, the song goes like this, “Do do do do do do do do doot.  Doot.   Do do do do do do do do doot.  Doot.”  I know its kind of hard to appreciate its beauty without the notes.  But I hope someday I can get it recorded. 
A birder I may never be, I'm just enjoying a sweet melodic mystery adventure. Now class, go out there and be curious!
Postscript.  After this writing my birder authority heard a bird over the weekend and he wrote me this e-mail message I heard a couple of singing Orchard orioles on Saturday and thought, "that could be a showtune!"    (Triple Hoot!)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Let's Twist

I am not fond of dentists.  I don’t suppose I am alone.  Given the gift of bad teeth, unlike my siblings, I have a mouth full of crooked, silver filled choppers, almost all in disrepair. I have had many bad experiences while sitting in the dentist’s chair and recently, we lost our dentist to retirement.  He referred us on, Vince connected with the sweet, young Dr. Parker and I made an appointment because one bad tooth broke off months ago and an infection had settled in.  
My options were a root canal (nope, that’s a bad memory) combined with a very expensive cap (double nope). Or I could have it pulled.  I chose the latter.  In addition, she offered to pull it (double yes). I didn’t want to face another oral surgeon’s eye rolling after discovering I had to be sedated just to have one tooth pulled. 

Monday was the day.  I told her to not take it personally if I shed a tear or two.  She accepted the challenge and after sufficient numbing she starts pulling and pushing and twisting the tooth while telling me “all those popping sounds are a good thing”.  Just then I diverted my ear to the song on the intercom: Chubby Checkers, singing “Come on baby, let’s do the twist.”  Well, that brought back memories so I start humming along and the delightful Dr. Parker honored me with her laughter while simultaneous extracting the tooth.

Thank you Dr. Parker for a pleasant experience and for a trip down memory lane given your excellent choice in music!  For the record, I didn’t shed one tear and by the way I was a pretty good twister back in the day.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Jamaica 2014

Before we flew off to a week of summer amidst a snowy winter, I wrote down in my to do list, "I need to defrag."  It just came to me one day and although it is a term typically used in the IT world, it made sense to me.  My operating system needed everything to realign so my brain and my heart could function more effectively.  Actually there was one item on that list that made that happen. 

I set out to do daily devotionals with my friend Christine.   It happened and it set the tone for each day. On Wednesday evening of vacation in front of witnesses I declared that I was indeed defraged. 

It's been 8 days since vacation and I still feel defraged.  Below are remembrances of the sun filled days and how they filled me with joy!

We were on a road trip, stopped to stretch our legs (and drink a Red Stripe) and this man grabbed my hand and said he loved me.  In case you are wondering.  Vince was right there. :)
Mountainous terrain on the north coast.
Christine's new grandson.  And now my new grandson, so she says.
 Bamboo Avenue.  Yes, bamboo as far as the eye can see!
 Christine and one of her many delicious meals.
Christine buying fruits and vegetables from the mobile market. 
 The beach bench before we fixed the foot rest.
A missionary group from the U.S. were being entertained on our beach by a local church's lovely children.
 Christine's daughter Rene, helping her family with the laundry. 

Christine's Mama Pearl and sister Angela who welcomed us into their home.

 Christine showing us her mother's beautiful flowers.
Gifts from Bloomington for Christine, her family, local school children and the needy.

Christine's home in the hills, called Spicy Hill.  Her "veranda" on the left and older home on the right. 
 The beach bench after we fixed the foot rest.  A small legacy left. 
One of many roads we traveled to seek a better view of this island and the places they call home.
 One of many vistas on our travels.
And our beautiful home in Jamaica.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

You Are What You Read

I’ve always been a reader.  I like to chew over stories and their characters.  I read more in the winter than I do other months. Winter reading also feeds me while I hibernate and allows me to travel without going anywhere. 

Even though my tastes haven’t changed over time I’ve noticed this particular winter what I’ve been reading has been affecting me more.  Lots of snow, a polar vortex, and more shades of grey than I can ever remember have been major factors.  Combining that with a daily serving of grief over the absence of my sister has tipped the scales.   

Aside from the 20th installment by the milky but humorous Janet Evanovich and a light kitchen/recipe novel that I wrote about in my last blog, this winter's reading has been like chewing a tough cut of beef:  Jackdaws, (WWII espionage); The Invisible Wall, (WWII love story); and The Book Thief, (another WWII novel).  The latter’s narrator is…death.  See a theme?  See the problem?  

Like mounds of carbohydrates, reality hit me in the stomach this morning.  No wonder I’m sad and in a funk! Look what I’m feeding myself.  What do I do? I’m resolving it.  I’m changing my reading diet.   First, I’ll be placing more emphasis on my first meal of the day, morning devotionals. Second, I’m going to the library to find a lighter assortment of books to digest which should provide for healthier days.  I'll keep you posted...