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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Morning To You!

Every morning since my kids and I have been in the single parent realm, 15 years so far, we have had some interesting mornings.

They generally begin with hugs and smiles, then some scuffling to get to the shower "first", and rustling up breakfast, then, a mad dash for the car to see who sits in the front seat. These next two months will be the last of the three kids all in school together. My oldest daughter graduates June 12th. WOOHOO! Yes, many more of those exuberant shouts will echo as the entire senior class of 2010 walks at Commencement. Then comes....the first car. Oh boy.

She loves VW's, Jeep's, and other such types. Bright colors are best in her estimation, particularly lime green, yellow, or orange. All colors I shy away from. My free spirit is quite the lady, and I do not fear for her well being. However, I do have concerns for her in the way of people taking advantage of her kind and generous nature. Well, we live and learn.

Hopefully, the future still holds, "Good Morning Mama!" for years to come. I had better give George a call...I owe him a good morning.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

What's In It For Me?

I have heard people of the last 3 generations say "this new generation...." and say how good they had it, and how happy they are not to be growing up "now". Well, I believe, I am becoming one of those people.

As positive as I want to be about things, and I am for the most part. I am witnessing the generation coming up with many having the attitude of "what's in it for me"? I have also seen it in many 20 and 30 somethings. What happened to being kind, charitable, and selfless just because it was/is the right thing to do/be? Must there always be a tangible benefit to be gained, or accolades to be given? The narcissistic behavior is soul sucking and demoralizing. It is to the point now that our children here are required to perform community service hours to graduate high school. When did we STOP teaching our youth to do for others without NEEDING validation or attention?

My son wanted to do his by participating in a World Vision sponsored 30 hour fast. I wouldn't sign off on it, and we went round and round. So, I will self impose fasting on my son without supervising it myself, and let him collect money for World Vision and count it as "community service"? NO. You should have seen the liability waiver they wanted signed. Why not actually serve your "community" by growing a garden and donating fresh produce to a food bank? GET INVOLVED locally, and actively. Don't passively sit and fast with a group and call it "community" service. You are basically having a slumber party at a youth center with juice and water and saying "wow....look what we did". Just start giving without expecting and move ahead.

How can we get involved? Some simple ways are:

1. Ask your neighbor if they need help. Talk to your neighbor, be a good neighbor, look out for each other.

2. Put your shopping cart away. Learn to say thank you to the people at the cashier's window instead of expecting the royal treatment.

3. Pick up trash lying around and recycle it or dispose of it.

4. Buy local and fresh. Support your local businesses.

Are these charitable acts? No, not all of them. However, they start the mental mind set of an attitude of gratitude, and open communications with others that lead to knowledge of ways you can help, or make someone smile even. It is a beginning. Let your light shine!

What's in it for me? Who cares? I can go to bed with a clean conscience and look at myself in the mirror without regret.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Never Too Old To Learn...

I just had a customer that is from Mexico. Her language skills are excellent, and we were discussing our children and further education. She is in her early 30's, and stated that in Mexico, she is too old to return to school. In the USA, we have an ever present opportunity to pursue an education, no matter what our age. Many students that come here from other countries are exceptionally bright, however, did not "make" it for whatever reasons to university in their country. The collegiate placement abroad, depending on the country, does not necessarily allow for you to NOT do well on your high school courses.

If you are one of the many young adults who doesn't find their stride until post high school years are attained, you may be out of luck for the education or career path of your choice, unless you are in the USA.

I was contacted yesterday by the University I have applied to. My transcripts are 25 years old. I can get in with them, however, the suggestion was made that I take some summer courses at the community college and transfer them in the fall. At 41, I have this option, and am going to execute it. Not only will it ease me into the collegiate experience, and ready me for the course load, it will give me credits to bring with me to set me off on a solid footing. Never too old to learn.

My great great grandmother was 48 when their 17th child was born. Tragically, he died at age 9 from diphtheria. She decided to focus on a positive instead of wallow in self pity and grief. She taught herself to play the piano. She is quite the role model. Pernella was from Norway, and had a strong and incredible spirit and mind. The stories of "mother" were always warm, tender, and misty when my great great aunts and uncles spoke of her. The waffle breakfasts every Sunday, and NOT only for the 17 kids. The extended cousins as well would come over. What a dynamic legacy of love and laughter.

We are NEVER too old to learn to love, laugh, and live.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What Would You Do If....?

What would you do if......

How many times have you thought or heard that phrase? IF, IF, IF....well, I am here in the now, not the what if. I am now trying to replace the IF with WHEN.

WHEN I.....

When I wake up in the morning sounds SO much better than IF I wake up in the morning. Now that I have thought that through, I think the WHEN is definitely the better term for me. How about you? WHEN you choose, what will you do with your WHEN? Isn't that great? IF is so wishy washy...WHEN is full of hope.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh What A Night....

I had a great weekend. Accomplished things around the house, and launched the youngest into the world of work. It was a joy to see her stomp out the door to the car with a smirk on her face, then come home smelling of grease and fries, with a grin at her "fantastic experience". She was inaugurated into the work force by working at a food stand at the local "fair" for the weekend. So many walks of life to encounter, especially at a food stand. So many times you bite your tongue and learn to shut up and work. The torture at the hands of other people in the "real world" as George always termed it, is a lesson I could never teach her by lecturing. It is one we must all learn from baptism by fire. WOOHOO! I cannot wait to explain the taxes taken out of her check when she receives it. Congratulations kiddo! Welcome to the jungle! Mama Lion is proud of her cub.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Art of Living

Today, I learned another lesson in the art of living. I learned to trust that how I raised my children will not fail when I am not around to reinforce it. I am learning to let go and give them their wings. What an exhilarating feeling!

I am watching my oldest, my nearly 19 year old daughter, gain maturity, poise, and overall growing into a gorgeous, articulate, and incredibly funny young woman. The little girl will always be there running up to me for hugs and cuddles. The statuesque and brilliant woman I see lately is my new companion and house mate. What a FANTASTIC chrysalis! The beauty of it all? I get to sit back, take it all in, and watch my other two achieve their potential as well. Life is a blessing every day. The moments both large and small.

Living is an art for certain, being content and happy is my daily privilege and blessing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Erte and I

I discovered Erte's art last January, 2009. I was with my friend at the Bellevue Square Mall, and we were sitting in an Art Gallery. We sat and chatted for 3 hours with the Gallery Manager, and went all over the rooms, looking at Picasso, Erte, Chagall, and others. Erte has been termed the Father of Art Deco. A fantastic talent, fashion designer, artist, jewelry, costumer, anything you can imagine, he could dream up for you and make it real, it seemed.

I started collecting various prints and framing them via ebay. One I have, Aphrodite, is on the front of this calendar

Every time I see an Erte, I see creativity, possibility, imagination, and joy. That is what I feel Art should make you feel and do; contemplate, associate, think, and feel.

Oh you beautiful doll!

Yes, I have three of them, dolls. Two daughters and one son. Daily we go through our trials, joys, and varied experiences. So far, at the end of the day, we are able to come together as a family, laugh, giggle, josh each other, and go to bed in a peaceful manner. That is, unless one of the natives is restless. You know, squirrelly, ants in your pants, full of pee and vinegar, etc. Those are the nights when someone stirs the pot and the house can't settle down because either we are laughing, all wide awake, or discussing something. We are a family.

My three dolls dress up well, have good manners, compassion, intelligence, and you know they are "good" people. I hesitate to say kids anymore. They are 16, 17. and 18. On the threshold of adulthood. I am the proud parent for certain. We may not be the Waltons, definitely not the Duggars. We get things done, and move forward. When my youngest sees an elderly woman in her walker that she thinks may need assistance and asks me to stop the car so she can help her, I know I did something right.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Humorous Approach to Life

Dad and I are what people here term "corny" at times in our humor. I used to ask my dad "how are you feeling?" when I was a kid, and his pat answer would be "with my fingers". Oh yes, corny. We send emails back and forth with different levels of humor to them, and enjoy the laughs. I received this today. Enjoy!

1. A bicycle can't stand

alone; it is two tired.

2. A will is a dead giveaway.

3. Time flies like an arrow;

fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. A chicken crossing the road:

poultry in motion.

6. When a clock is hungry it goes back

four seconds.

7. The guy who fell onto an upholstery

machine was fully recovered.

8. You are stuck with your debt

if you can't budge it.

9. He broke into song because he

couldn't find the key.

10. A calendar's days are numbered.

11. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

12. He had a photographic memory

which was never developed.

13. The short fortune-teller who escaped

from prison: a small medium at large.

14. Those who get too big for their

britches will be exposed in the end.

15. When you've seen one shopping

centre you've seen a mall.

16. If you jump off a Paris bridge,

you are in Seine.

17. When she saw her first strands of grey

hair, she thought she'd dye.

18. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

19. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

20. Marathon runners with bad shoes

suffer the agony of de feet.

21. The roundest knight at king Arthur's

round table was Sir Cumference.

He acquired his size from too much pi.

22. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan

island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

23. She was only a whisky maker,

but he loved her still.

24. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from

algebra class because it was a weapon

of math disruption.

25. No matter how much you push the envelope,

it'll still be stationery.

26. A dog gave birth to puppies near the

road and was cited for littering.

27. Two silk worms had a race.

They ended up in a tie.

28. A hole has been found in the nudist

camp wall.. The police are looking into it.

29. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

30. I wondered why the baseball

kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

31. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab

centre said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

32. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital.

When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a
nurse said, 'No change yet.'

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Wonder of it All

"Loving you, is easy 'cause you're beautiful...everything that you do, keeps me loving you..."

This is where my kids and I start "La la la la la, la la la la la" and so on. If you ever want to hear cats get tortured in the alley, tune in when we attempt the high note ;)

The wonder of it, is how music can lighten a mood, a situation, or bring back such memories to people or groups. That song brings to mind lighthearted fun as a child myself, and later with my own children. It conveys a positive mood, message and feeling. Nearly an impossible song to hear, and feel down about.

I'm on the path to college. My oldest is as well. We will be entering together. If the youngest goes to Running Start next year, so will she. All that is needed is for brother to join in, and all four of us are in school together. It is a wonder to me, that we have the freedom to choose our course of studies, whether we go or not, and make what we can of ourselves. When I grow up....we shall see what happens;) After all, I am only 41 right now. I have AT LEAST another 40 years to go. 60 if I am lucky. Be well!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oh My Daddy...

Yes, I am George's Daughter. Who else would put up with me, or him? I sold a sofa and loveseat on craigslist, then purchased a sectional that same night on Craigslist. Fantastic set, and it looks terrific. How far did Dad go to pick it up with me? 125 miles round trip. We have always liked out trips and drives. He was in a mood until we got there, I was in one when we returned. Then we both laughed after we finally moved the monstrous sectional into my living room via the front door;)

This week has been challenging to say the least. George has been there this entire time. Today when I phoned, he said "ah, back to normal I see". I asked how he knew. "by the tone in your voice". Yes, I am truly blessed, and so is he. The patience and comeraderie we enjoy is definitely not what I witness often enough with other parent/child relationships. It is developed, not automatic. We have grown into this relationship over the years. It is work to keep it going and communication and understanding is required. I can only hope that I am laying a proper foundation for my kids and I in the future.

Tonight, I attended the parent/student meeting for Running Start. Information abounded, however, answers were rather vague. When I inquired about the mandatory testing for graduation "that's up to the student". We are told "the student is responsible for..." That is fine and dandy, however, we PARENTS are "responsible" for their education and bills until they are 18, or graduated. Too many holes need filling in this story, and you know who is going to be asking a lot of questions :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What a day....

Well, yesterday was FANTASTIC! Today was fraught with tension and seeking solutions. Fortunately, it is nearing its end! I am watching Big Fat Greek Wedding and getting my laugh. Yes, I was raised around Greeks, Russians, and all other varieties of Orthodox Christian. While it does not define me as a person, there are parts of me that will never deviate from the basic foundation it provided me. Discipline, discernment, desire to seek the truth, optimism with realism thrown in, and always a questioning mind. I cherish my memories, and look forward to a bright future.

My chosen degree/major is The Classics. That would be Greek and Latin languages and the history surrounding the cultures and people. I cannot WAIT! My ultimate goal? To live abroad and work as an archivist/translator/historian, etc. Life is GOOD! So, now for the trip I want to take to the UK in June/July......