George & 2 Oldest Daughters

George & 2 Oldest Daughters
George, Oldest Daughter, and Me, 2nd Daughter 1968.

Caroline and Oldest Daughter

Caroline and Oldest Daughter
Caroline and Oldest Daughter in Photo Booth 1964

Boy George

Boy George
George and younger sister in 1940's

George and his Oldest Daughter

George and his Oldest Daughter
George and His Oldest Daughter 1964 in Photo Booth

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

School is in Session!

Today marks the day that I officially began my journey towards higher education! I am 41, nearing 42. I have always chomped at the bit wanting to go to school, and now that the kids are finally old enough, I am doing it! Life feels fantastic, fresh and new. There is so much ahead yet to be written. I am ready!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


George telephoned me, and we started chatting up a storm. He let me know that my cousin Johnny in Alaska gave him pictures of me he had never seen from my baptism. In the Orthodox Christian faith that I was brought up in "Cradle Orthodox" means you were born into the faith. I am one of those. I do not practice actively, but definitely carry the upbringing around in my heart and head and fall back on it sometimes to calm myself in moments when I need it.

Baptism is a big thing, and especially in the 1960's to my immigrant grandparents. For them to see their grandchildren carrying on the legacy meant a lot to them. Because our small church did not have any heat, and it was a double baptism, Fr. Nicholas had the service at my parent's home. As infants, you are dunked under water three times to represent the Trinity. We used an infant bathtub, not a fancy font :-) Dad insisted today that it was held at the Church. I said "no, it was at the house". "How would you know, don't tell me you REMEMBER your baptism at 3 months of age..." So, to settle it, George fetched the photos. He started chuckling and said, "you're right, the Church doesn't have wallpaper". :-)

Wallpaper is a humorous point for the two of us. My mother is an expert wallpaper hanger and did it everywhere. I hate wallpaper for the most part. So, 42 years later, we are still laughing as the wallpaper proved where the event was held. In future, my kids will look at photos with paint in the background, and will have to remember which color the room was that year ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Do You Ever Get the Feeling...?

Do you ever get the feeling that you are spinning your wheels trying to make something happen that you KNOW should happen, or WANT to happen, but it just doesn't? It is akin to beating your head against a brick wall. The exasperating thing is that no matter how many bruises or concussions you sustain trying to ram the situation to the outcome YOU desire...if the timing is off, it doesn't happen. SO, what do you do?

You WAIT. You move on and to the next situation. I am learning, in my wiser years, to live and let live. Pushing may get some results, but mainly ulcers, headaches, and disappointment. My dad is the perfect teacher of this concept. He is also my Jiminy Crickett...."why do you keep doing the same thing...."? Yes, I know, work SMART. It doesn't mean give up, it means to plan and not react. Follow through and read the signals.

Lesson learned...forward I go. Onward and upward!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Washing Machine-on a budget

Yes, this is the debut of my new washing machine. It is a Whirlpool Cabrio II. It is supposed to use 71% less water, and has more settings than Carter has liver pills! I am trying to set the laundry room up for delivery, so my dining room stuff is in the kitchen, and the laundry room stuff is in the dining room. My bedroom stuff (painting my bedroom too) is in the hallway and living room. Thank goodness for a door off the laundry room to the back yard!

I shopped around, and finally went to a Rent-A-Center and asked about rental returns. These are washing machines that a former client rented and returned before paying it off. They are still under warranty and maintained. Instead of $900, I will pay $465 90 days same as cash :-) So, I will make payments for a week or two to allow for any problems with the washing machine, and then pay it off prior to the three month time frame. Furthermore, I can return it at any time prior to paying it off if I do not wish to keep it....I can deal with this. This will be the first "new" washing machine I have ever had. WOOHOO! Let the laundry begin!!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Local Characters...

This week, the high school my three attend is conducting its yearly tests to show student progress. My sophomore takes all the tests, and the other two go to school later in the day after the testing is finished. This morning, my senior and I dropped off some donations before she went to school. One of our local characters, Ernie, was looking through the donations, and then through the garbage. He had his bags of cans on his 3 wheel Schwinn bicycle, his helmet, and his grimy overcoat. He is a man approaching 60 it seems, but looks to be 80. He makes his money beyond the social security he receives mowing local folks' lawns. He always wears the same coat, and is out in all types of weather, all times of day/night. He was not always at school, and was not shown a great deal of affection it seems growing up.

So, now, there is Ernie, that most people know is Ernie, rather harmless, and sweet, and oh so very alone. He talks to everyone, and then himself. You can smell him distinctly, but his smile can melt your heart. He tells you how "purty" you are. "Gee, you're purty" and chuckles. He then goes about his business and carries on.

How do we carry on? What do we whine about daily? Do we find solutions or create drama around our problems? My oldest daughter and I discussed this as we drove to her school. How do "characters" evolve, and become a part of our landscape? When do we not rescue people and just allow them to live out the existence they are in? Would he be better off if we did "help him" in a way we want to, or would he rather be in the existence he is in? Do we try and change people too much? These were the questions we pondered in our drive of about 12 blocks. It forced us to look inside ourselves and decide if we were truly happy, and if we needed any changing.

I decided I do. I signed up for a ballet class, and filled out my Financial Aide forms online. Here I go!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Where Have You Been?

I recently began asking myself where I disappeared to. Through all the work, raising three children on my own, paying bills, and just living, I lost my way for a while it seems. However...I'm baaaaccckkk.....muahahahaha! Yes, the focused, and adventurous self is finally back, confident and ready to move forward. I started to realize that when I average the age of my family longevity it is 86 years of age, give or take. I turn 42 this year. It is time to live the other half of my life contentedly and fully. Ballet classes (for me) begin on Thursday :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In the Morning

When I was just beginning school, I still had to learn to tie my shoes. My sister is 23 months younger than myself, and learned before me. Mom put shoelaces on a chair rail, and showed us how to make the loops and such. I did not learn that way well. So, George tied my shoes. He tied them nice and tight, and made cool loops. I learned how to tie my shoes from him. I still remember him patiently tying my shoes before we hopped into the truck or car to make the journey to school in Orting. Usually, the Northwest Orient Airlines commercial came on with the gong in the background, and Paul Harvey "The Rest of the Story" came on the radio.

My mornings getting my kids off to school consist of radios or CD's playing in the home, three teens getting out the door to high school, and driving them with their projects and instruments to drop them off in front. Tying their shoes? That was me this time. How do I know? My dad and I make cool loops. We bring the shoelace towards us instead of away from us when making the knot...I generally see people tie the shoelace away instead of towards them. George left me marked for life with that loop...:-)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Humbled in the Parking Lot

Today, I made a run to the store, and while getting ready to exit the parking lot, I slowed as I allowed for the elderly gentleman to cross in front of me. He ended up not doing so. He was putting his shopping cart in the return aisle. He looked to be between 86 and 90 years of age, approximately 6'3" in height, slim, wearing tan slacks and a windbreaker jacket. He was stooped in posture a bit, and when he walked away, it appeared his knee bothered him, as he limped slightly. He had a smile on his face on this gorgeous and sunny day, and I was utterly humbled.

My youngest daughter and discussed him while watching the scene. He returned the cart, did not ask for assistance, use a cane or walker, and walked as uprightly as possible, with a spring in his step, despite his limp. Very rightly, daughter #2 stated "he probably served in WWII". I see so many of my generation and younger that complain about the smallest things, and are far too lazy to even return a cart. Would that more of mine, and the upcoming generation show this type of small, yet excellent example of how simply performing a polite and courteous task can make the world a better place. It shows respect and follow through. Traits I find sorely lacking in 2010.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What a difference a day makes!

Yes, what a difference a day makes! Fresh paint, oil changes, attitude adjustments, a good night's rest, a full day at the office, a workout to alleviate stress, and so much more. Every moment matters, and the older I become, the more aware of this I am.

In September of 2008, my cousin Kathleen was going in for a 16 hour surgery to remove liposarcoma from her abdomen. The evening of the surgery, she and I had our last conversation, laugh, and I love you. She was a kindred spirit, and a confidante. I could go to her and she would listen and understand. Whether she agreed didn't matter. We were likeminded in many ways, and had unconditional love for each other. The next day, she died on the operating table 7 hours into surgery. A day makes all the difference sometimes.

How will you LIVE today? I will welcome life with wonder, love, happiness and joy. Be Well!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Born To Be ALIVE!

So, today ended with bringing home fruit and veggies, and stowing them in the fridge. It began with "mom...can you take me to school?". Every day seemingly has a similar beginning and end. It is the time sandwiched in the middle that makes up the meat of the stories one lives out. The conquests, tragedy, laughable moments, and other such times. You blink, and the day has become a week, week a month, and months a past year. My goal is to be more in the moment "ALIVE" than simply muddling through to make it to the end of the day to repeat the routine. I keep hearing Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller..."Bueller? Bueller?"

Where was Bueller? Living, going a little nuts, yes, but living. Springtime is here, and I am shedding the shell I cocooned in. What moments do you intend to live in the near future? I will definitely LIVE my oldest daughter's graduation in June, the day after I turn 42...SCORE! There is so much to do, experience, and with zest. Let's get out there and do it...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Magic of a Manicure....

Today, I looked at my nails, and en route to make a deposit at the bank, decided to make a side trip to the nail parlor. It is always quite the study on human nature. Besides, my nails were due...

My 16 year old daughter was with me, and I treated her to one as well. My mother always did her own nails. I am without the talent to make mine look like anything other than a kindergarten failed art project.

As daughter and I sat observing everything and everyone, we giggled, made faces at each other, and relaxed. We are both outgoing and like to be athletic and intellectual. The femininity is always there, but understated. Today, we were utterly girly. It was fun!