Friday, December 11, 2009

Check out my friend Jennie Helderman's blog. I wrote a guest blog for her over there. Jennie and I have been friends for 10 years since we met in an online writer's group. She has been a source of inspiration to me on more than one occasion. Here's a link. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"There's a place in your heart, and I know that it is love...". Michael Jackson is dead. The world collectively stopped breathing and felt the pain for a trembling moment in time. How could this be? How could he have died before he got a chance to redeem himself, to make his comeback? It isn't fair! But then life isn't fair is it?

I am astounded, but on the other hand too well in touch, with the human nature that caused all of his critics and detractors to peck at him relentlessly when he was down - who are now praising him and proclaiming that his imprint on the world will never be forgotten or washed over by the sands of time.

Michael suffered so much emotional pain in the past several years of his life at the hands of careless humans who got a laugh at his expense. He was betrayed by those he tried to nurture and protect. According to those closest to him, his spirit was gentle and loving and not capable of some of the things opportunists tried to accuse him of. In the end the evidence weighed in his favor, but he was never acquitted in the world of public opinion.

Do you suppose that all of those who are so publicly paying tribute to him now, were there to comfort him when he suffered in the quiet hours of the night? Did they bolster his spirit when he needed it and did they provide a shoulder for him to lean on? I wonder about that.

Why does it take someone's death to snap us all to attention? Why did Michael have to die before the family he left behind was allowed to feel proud of him, and realize the impact we all know he has had on our lives, past, present and future?

Maybe it is time to cultivate a kinder society here in the U.S. Will this be the impetus for us to do that? Does anyone feel a little guilt at all about the way Michael was persecuted and ridiculed? Does anyone wish he could have felt some of the love during his life that is being showered on him now? Maybe it might have actually saved his life.

Will we as humans with souls learn anything from maybe the tiniest shreds of guilt we might feel in this regard? I would like to think so. We need to start a kindness movement here, where even if a person has made a mistake, we can be the first to show some compassion and forgiveness.

I'm not saying Michael did anything, in the cases he was accused of. From the reams of material I've read, it is difficult to believe he has. Sadly, there are others out there who are serving as fodder for some cheap comedian's jokes. How about we stop laughing at that kind of humor? I find myself turning the channel away from it. I also turn the channel on sensationalist journalism that loves to hash and rehash a situation. We don't need all of that negative in any of our daily lives.

So let's think about it, huh? Just a little more kindess and generosity of spirit from now on? It might just "Heal the World"!

(as I quietly step down from my soapbox and stack it in the corner)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today was one of those days when all felt right with the world. Some Mothers Days I have felt like the worst mother in the world. I am a mother wracked with guilt. I don't know if it is the Catholic upbringing or if it is the age I am. It seems more and more I look back at the past and absolutely cringe at some of the ignorant decisions I made as a parent over the years.

My husband would alleviate my angst by saying something like, "You did the best you could with the resources and information you had at the time." I suppose he is right to some degree and I really love his cool logic. However, I do believe my own offspring are smarter than I was at their ages. They seem to have something going for them that I didn't.

Nonetheless it is a great feeling to see your grandkids being raised with so much love and security. I love that for them. As of tomorrow, I will have spent time with all of them within the last couple of weeks. That is one of the reasons I stay in the Midwest, despite the cold, cruelty of winter - to be near those grandkids and to be able to spend quality time with them. That is what makes life worth living!

Today I had a great lunch with my son, his wife and three of the grandkids. I got to hold that little miracle baby who looks like a perfect miniature of his daddy and I got to hug that big brother of his who is already styling with his long scarf and his fashionable jacket. Who told this four year old that scarves are really trendy? No one had to, he just knows it. He is cool to the bone, that guy.

I spent the better part of the weekend with my granddaughter who is so in synch with me that sometimes we don't even have to talk. We just hang out together and chill. This girl is amazingly smart. She can read faster than anyone I know, and she is such good company.

Tomorrow I get to see the oldest granddaughter. It is the last choir concert of her senior year. I am so excited for her to finish high school and put all of those brains and all of that talent to work. She is the whole package that one.

The other two grandkids live on a farm about four hours from here. I got to spend time with the two of them a couple of weeks ago. They are both gorgeous, smart, funny kids. One has beautiful green eyes and the other has blue eyes that would stop you dead in your tracks. They can melt my heart in a moment, both of them. I am over the moon crazy about my grandkids. I am truly blessed and I know it. As far as kids and grandkids go, I won the lottery, big time!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

And here is my baby sister getting her face time with President Obama.  She has always had the gift of gab, that girl.  I'm sure he was absolutely taken with her as most people are.  That's why we call her Ferris!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

This photo was taken at Obama's first campaign rally in Minnesota. I am the one directly over his right shoulder, and my sister Jackie is over his left shoulder. The bearded guy beside Jackie, is my brother in law Ron. We were right up front and got to shake his hand. It was that handshake that gave me really good vibes about this man and his character. Today was a special day in the history of this country. I've got an embossed invitation to the Inauguration. I am definitely going to frame that. I am proud that we were Obama supporters from the beginning. He is gonna be a great president. The anticipation is running high.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

These photos are kind of far off, but if you look closely, you will see the tiny little detached head to the man in the other photo. I believe it had something to do with that alien!!

I have a few Christmas villages that I display on Christmas around the dining room. There is one in particular that I let the kids mess with if they want, and this year they loved doing that. There is nothing in there that is worth more than the fun they have just arranging, rearranging, turning the lights off and on. It is theirs, really. This year however, there is a horrible, strange creature lurking in the village. The poor people are completely unaware, except for the man in the foreground who has obviously lost his head somehow in the bargain. Upon closer inspection in the second photo, the missing head is spotted near a door. Will the little village ever be the same again after invasion by this giant headed woman on some sort of spacecraft? Stay tuned next year, and I will let you know.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

We're going to Disney World! We leave on Monday. Two of our three kids and their kids - the grandkiddies are jetting off to Disney World. I can't wait for some sun and fun. There is no better experience than sitting at Chef Mickeys and watching those little cuties waving their napkins as the characters come dancing through the restaurant and loud music plays. It is a party atmosphere like no other. The faces of those little people are priceless and their reactions to the characters are hilarious.

My hubby and I went to Disney World for the first time in our late 30's. We found from the first time we set foot on Disney soil that it is the one place we can go and just be kids again. The first time we sat down on the monorail and heard that deep, clear reassuring voice say, "Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth!" I felt my heart soar like it hadn't done since I was a small child. I felt absolutely giddy. You just don't find that very often in an average adult life. I was hooked!

As soon as we could manage it, we bought shares at Disney Vacation Club. Since then we have brought our kids and our grandkids, as they have come along, for at least one yearly trip down there. It is a place where we can be together as a family and let our cares float away like the huge balloons that manage to escape the grasp of their little owners and float away into the tranquil blue sky. When I see the balloon vendors on Main Street I am always intrigued about the pull upward that a mess of balloons like that would create against the force of gravity. What would it feel like to have a huge bouquet of balloons like that in your grasp? Maybe I will try it someday. It is on my list of things to do.

Well, time to pack my bags and get my boarding pass printed. Mickey here we come!! Get those Mickey bars and turkey legs ready for us.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Years always puts me in such a contemplative mood. I spend time thinking about the year gone by and the year to come. I try to figure out what I was supposed to learn, and what lessons were wasted on me completely.

The past year was amazing and eye opening in so many ways. Topping my list was the election of Barack Obama. Man, what an exiting time this is for our country. We have elected the first African American man to be president, and what a good man he is indeed. I don't jump on band wagons easily, but in this case, I am glad we made the right choice. I feel hope for the year ahead because he is being inaugurated.

On a personal level, I have started to become more fit. The weight has not fallen off, but I have lost about 10 lbs. and I am feeling healthy, so that is good. I have to continue to work on my eating plan. I don't like to call it a diet.

I have also come to the conclusion this past year that having a big, fat Griswold Christmas is in the past for me. It seems the greater one's expectations for that happiest of all seasons, the more room there is for disappointment and hurt feelings. I am thinking that a beach in Hawaii looks really good for next year. Either that, or a beach in Florida - definitely a beach. I don't care if my midwest loving husband protests every step of the way, I am gonna take Christmas from now on to rest, relax and enjoy the true meaning of the season. I am done with the White Christmas and Holiday Inn scene. Done! Done! Done!

For the coming year, I intend to accomplish some of my personal goals, once and for all. Now that I am on the bottom side of 50, I don't feel like I have a lot of time to waste. Although there is longevity in my family, and my great-grandmother and grandmother lived into their 90's, you just never know. Maybe my sister and I will start a rock band. We can be the rocking grannies, although last night on New Years Eve we were goofing around and practicing some hip hop. We decided you can't really undersand what they are saying in unison anyway, so we could just give recipes, and no one would know the difference! We both wear short, baggy jeans already, so add a jersey, a baseball cap turned sideways, some chains and some high tops, and we've got the look! We can yell and bob and weave as well as any of those guys! Put a little pow wow step in now and again, and by gosh I think we've got it!! Gi-Le and JackRo! Catch us soon, we'll let you know when our first gig is.