Thursday, March 2, 2017

Winnng the Lottery

His drivers license says he was born on March 2.
His birth certificate says he was born on March 3.
So I am splitting the difference and writing this at almost midnight.
The first time I ever laid eyes on him (other than the facebook stalking and investigating) was during a pretty difficult time in my life. It had been a rough summer for the Winn family. It had been a personally emotionally difficult time.  My Megan had been through one of the toughest experiences to date and was starting a new chapter in her life. She had told me about this guy named Dave. She told me about what an amazing friend he was. She told me that he was so much fun. That he liked to laugh and tease and he had an amazing ability to make anyone in the room feel special. She told me that he was kind to everyone. He went out of his way to talk to the person in the room that seemed alone and needed friendship. She told me that he was so good looking and he had an amazing smile and an infectious giggle.  She said that he unfortunately was only going to be in Provo for that semester and then he was moving to Florida. I could tell that she was impressed and excited about this young man but was being careful to not get hurt. She had actually initially met him when she saw the word "Guatemala" splashed across his back. "Guatemala" was a word that had taken on new meaning in our family. Jack had received a mission call to Guatemala and to say that my anxiety was at an all time high was an understatement.
It was two days before Jack reported to the MTC that I met him.  Probably not the best time to meet someone who is potentially interested in your daughter but it was what it was. Megan vacillated between her excitement to introduce him to us and her fears of being hurt. Add that to us all saying one of the sloppiest hardest goodbyes to her brother ( the Winns are horrible with goodbyes) and you can see what an electrically charged time it was. We were sitting at Kneaders, Jacks favorite place to eat. Megan had invited Dave to eat with us but was unsure if his schedule would permit or if he even wanted to meet us. After all it's a scary thing to say to a guy you hardly know...Hey would you like to meet my parents? It looked as if he was going to be a no show. Megan and I were sitting on a little couch pushed up to the table and she lay her head on my shoulders. "I don't think he is coming...I don't think he likes me enough" she sadly sighed. I was thinking how we didn't need this right now. Megan did not need to get hurt. I did not need to worry about one more thing. I did not want to say goodbye to Jack. This was not good. And to top it all off there was this dude standing there grinning. I was just about to snap and say...what do YOU want! Leave us alone! when I realized who it was. It was Dave. Megan quickly picked her head up off my shoulder and pretended as if all was right with the world. And you know what? It was!
Dave helped make it right.
He came into our family at a time when we needed him. His gentle spirit...his infectious giggle....his love of people and his uncanny ability to make people feel good about themselves was EXACTLY what we needed...right then and right now.
He didn't just show that love and kindness to Megan but to all of us. He treated me like I was special and that my feelings and needs were important to him as well. I am not sure he knew then what that meant to me at that time in my life.
As a mother in law you hope that your child finds someone kind....someone who treats them with dignity and respect....someone who will be their best friend...someone to build an eternal family with.
After all that's all you should really ask for.
You hope that you get as a bonus another child to love and be loved by.
Well.... I won the lottery.
Maybe that's why he has two birth dates.
He deserves them both.
The end
(wait...are there floods on Uranus?)

Monday, February 20, 2017


Today I met Megan and Dave and the kids at our local McDonalds. It was recently renovated and has quickly become one of the best spots to let the kids expend some of the limitless energy they possess while still being able to converse. The Robertsons had already arrived and stationed themselves at out usual table in the playroom. There is a glass wall separating the play area from the lucky patrons enjoying their Big Macs and fries in peace and quiet. Little 2 year old Sam was sitting right up against that wall. I thought it would be fun to sneak up to the glass and see how long it took before he saw me on the other side.  When he finally turned my way it was if he looked right through me. His brain just didn't compute that it was me. His face showed no emotion...then slowly he realized it was me. "GRAMMA!", he yelled through the glass.  Recognition turned to joy and then to horror. His eyes filled with fear and he began to cry out, Gramma...gramma. His chubby little hands were pressed to the glass firmly in an attempt to break through the barrier. He looked desperately left and right for help to free his Grandma from the glass cage she was obviously imprisoned by. His mom and dad both chuckled and then tried to comfort him and point out that there was a way around the glass into the room where I was. All hope was not lost. He just cried even louder. He didn't want any alternatives, he needed the glass to move. His Dad finally lifted him up and set him on the floor where he could be directed to a path to get to me. His older sister Kate who had been on the playground finally looked up and spotted me on the other side of the glass. Of course being the sage veteran of walls and openings, she led the way to where I was in an instant with Sam following her lead. I met them both at the corner of where the two rooms met and he ran into my arms with the tears still glistening in his eyes, his smile a sign of the total relief he felt.  Dave and Megan and I laughed at the scene wondering what goes through the mind of a two year old. I jokingly said that this is what it must be like in heaven when one member of the family makes it to the celestial kingdom while the rest languish in the terrestrial world. As I watched Kate and Sam play, I couldn't stop thinking about it and replaying the scene in my mind. It was sweet and touchingand funny and thought provoking. The photographer/videographer in me would have loved to have captured it on film...or whatever we are calling it these digital days. But short of strapping a go pro to my body 24/7 to capture and freeze all that I want it is impossible.  (Don't think that it hasn't crossed my mind)  What I wouldn't give to know all of the many amazing thoughts Sam must have and what the world is like for him. The wonders and joy...but oh the restrictions of only two years of earthly knowledge.

I wonder if  Heavenly Father is amused by my standing at the McDonald glass of my life willing it to stop being a barrier. My chubby hands pressed to the glass in fear and discouragement, willing it to melt away to get to the next room. He must smile that right next to me is another way. A huge entry into whatever room I should be in next. Not places as separate as life or death necessarily, but progression. I think there are far more entrances than glass walls. I take comfort in believing that He knows that my spiritual knowledge is much like Sams earthly knowledge and there will be time for me to learn and grow. Until then I will just remember the great effort Sam expended today to get to me and follow his lead.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Is it enough?

I haven't blogged in a really long time.  
Reasons? Excuses? I have many. 
Blogging was a fad. No one blogs anymore. 
I take pictures. Those will serve as my legacy. The photos will speak for me. 
My thoughts are insignificant. Who would sit and read them anyway?
There is so much out there written. So many words to read. I already waste enough time on the internet.
I am mediocre at writing. Why do I keep trying things only to find that I am just average. Nothing special or extraordinary.
I'm lazy. That's okay that I am lazy. I am a grandma for pete's sake. I can just sit back on the proverbial rocker of like and watch the next generation rule the net.

That's me in the picture above. The flat shadowy figure watching...documenting a moment that I won't forget....
We have been driving all day. Since 5 o clock that morning Todd, Megan, Dave, 4 year old Kate and 1 year old Sam and myself all cocooned in a red van filled with snacks and toys and laughter sprinkled with mere minutes of sleep and a whole lot of crying. We are on our way to meet with my other children and their families in Colorado. I have rented a cabin midway between the Utah and Houston contingents. I have hopes for 5 days of having all of these precious people in one place...basking in the chaotic sweetness.  But for now we are still trying to get out of Texas. Why in the world did they make this state so big. It literally goes on for miles and I think that it would do us all good to feel as if the hours of endless highway gave way to a border. A tangible marker that we will be able to complete this journey.  Sam who is usually a champion napper has spent the afternoon alternately struggling and screaming to "geete ou" and closing his eyes and falling asleep for 5 minutes, only to dash our hopes that it is going to be longer. We have made frequent stops for the kids to stretch their legs but it is usually in some dirty gas station where we keep blurting out, "Don't touch that!" We needed a real stop. Somewhere that we all could regain hope that we could do this thing. That we would make it out of Texas someday. 
And so on the outskirts of Amarillo in the sea of corn rows, we found our salvation. 
Cadillac Stonehenge.
A row of now just car carcasses that were planted in the ground to resemble Stonehenge. A whimsical spray painted pile of junk. It was perfect.
We watched the sun drop low in the sky while Kate and Sam did what their little bodies had been telling them to do all day. Walk...Run...and play.
We could do this thing.
We would make it across that border to the promised land of Colorado.

I think I did an adequate job documenting through pictures that moment in time. I think you can see the joy in their little bodies and the beauty of the flat never ending corners of a state that I have grown to love and call home.
But what I think I want to accompany those pictures is my words.
For Kate and for Sam. For Megan and for Dave and Todd.
And most importantly for me. I need to remember that in this day of awards and trophies and likes and internet popularity contests that I really write for me.
And that wiping tears from my cheeks as I put into words this moment in time is the reward.
And that is enough.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I'm Nervous

Yesterday was my three year old granddaughter Kate's first dance class.
It was her special reward for being fully potty trained.
(well almost....who is really ever FULLY potty trained)
She was so excited to be a ballerina like Angelina Ballerina.
Her mom dressed her up in pink tights, pink body suit, pink skirt and a pink bow in her carefully braided hair. She asked if her mom would make her face pink as well.
They compromised with a little blush on each cheek.
They came to my house to pick me up and Kate emerged from her car in all her pink glory.
She looked like a little delicious stick of cotton candy.
She came in my house and said that she needed to wait a few minutes.
She asked if she could play in the new little house I had built for her.
I told her that there wasn't enough time to play and that we needed to get to her much anticipated dance class.
She said she needed something to eat.
She already had breakfast her mom told me.
She then said she needed to go to the bathroom.
No one ever tells her no on that one.
Her mom said that was strange since she had just gone before they left their house.
But like I is NEVER a good idea to say no to a bathroom visit.
"Cmon Gramma" she said, "Come with me."
I went into my bedroom bathroom and helped her take off her whole pink ensemble. She sat herself on the toilet and smiled at me like it was a party.
I kept asking her if she was finished to which she would reply...
"In a minute a minute."
She unrolled the toilet paper over and over again.
Now I am no rocket scientist but I know a good stall technique when I see one.
"Kate, I said...are you nervous?"
Kate looked at me with an expression of relief on her face. There was a word for this. All these butterflies in her stomach had a word.
"Yes Grammy...I be nervous."
I told her," Kate, I know you feel nervous since is this is the first time you are going to dance but don't will have a great time. And if you want you can just sit on my lap and watch the other girls dance. You can dance only if you feel like dancing."
She hesitated and thought about the offer and finally nodded her head yes.
She would go to dance class.
When we got there she was the first little girl there. As the dance instructor welcomed her she blurted out..."I am nervous. She was grateful to share the new word she had learned. The instructor assured her that she would have fun and that there would be plenty of other girls that were coming.
She walked over and stared into the room that she would dance in.
She was nervous.
As the other little pink girls started to come in Kate started to let loose of some of the butterflies. She loves other children and calls everyone she meets her size her new friend.
As the teacher led the line of little dancers into the studio I noticed my daughter Megan get up to fall in the line.
"Not you" I whispered...I don't think they want the mothers in there."
The look on Megans face was one I was well acquainted with. It was the same one I had whenever my children were ushered from my side somewhere without me.
Megan was nervous.
I told her...if you think this is bad just wait until the first day of kindergarten.
That thought made Megan even more nervous.
We both stood at the glass window as close as possible watching to see how Kate would do. I of course had my camera out to document this special occasion. Another "first" from a long line of "firsts" yet to come.
Kate loved it. They jumped on trampolines and hopped and played with hula hoops. She even did her very first front roll. Megan and I talked about the future and what classes to sign her up for. She was having the time of her life until they came to the choreography of a dance they would do in front of the moms. I don't know if it was the choreography or the thought of dancing in front of others but Kate decided she needed to go to the bathroom right that instant. Megan brought her back as they were doing another activity...the limbo. Kate squealed with excitement. She was in heaven....until they started more choreography. Now Kate had an urgent need to wash her hands. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
By the time she returned they were ready to preform the much anticipated strawberry shortcake dance they had all been taught for the mothers. Kate had other plans.
She wanted to use her get out jail free card as promised by her gramma and sit on my lap.
Her teacher urged her to try and dance with them. She said there would be a treat and she whispered what it was in Kate's ear. It was enough to make Kate stand on her spot...a rubber circle placed on the floor. Her mark. Her first taste of show business. The teacher cued the music and the room of pink little girls began to dance.
and here it is.
Her first dance captured frame by frame.
She is the little ballerina in the hot pink skirt in the middle.
The one that is not moving.
The one that is studying her fingers and picking at a hangnail.
Although on the last two frames and as soon as the music stopped..she does reach out ever so gracefully and with her two arms extended she ran to sit in her Grammys lap.
A star is born.

Monday, January 12, 2015



Not my favorite word unless you are talking about the coins in your pocket or the bottom of your purse....I love that kind of change.
All the other definitions of the word are usually not as lucrative.
I read a quote in a book this week that really struck me like a lightening bolt. Well I guess that sounds a little dramatic but suffice it to say I am a crusty old dame and don't read much that I don't say...been there...done the t-shirt.....washed shrunk.....threw it away.
It was from a book that my daughter recommended that I read.
I have seen it on multiple lists of high school sheets clutched in the hands of desperate mothers looking for the book that a thousand other kids need for school and so of course is sold out and you would sell your eye tooth to get whatever copy you can because it needs to be read and a paper written on it by tomorrow!
I digress.
The quote was from Alas Babylon by Pat Frank

""She had small fear of death and of man none at all, but the formlessness of what was to come overwhelmed her."

That pretty much sums me up in a nutshell.

Formlessness...the condition of lacking a definite or regular form or shape; shapeless.

It can be pretty overwhelming. Most of us crave boundaries. Try and explain that to my sweet two year old granddaughter and you will find a pretty tough sell,... but if you look closely at her eyes when she is melting down after being stopped at doing something that she really really really wants to do and you will see it....relief. 
Relief from the formlessness.
Change brings with it a strange sensation. No matter how many times I prepare for usually has a way of stirring up the flutters in my mind and body. That slightly uneasy feeling. Shapeless.

Yesterday our ward family was changed. For those who are not familiar with the arrangement of LDS congregations.....a ward is a designated geographic area that combines all of it's members into a group. Your meeting times are assigned and your new ward friends and family are determined by where you live. These wards are then further grouped geographically into stakes. And no not the delicious T-bones and porterhouses kind of steak. These are not constructed of personal choice but of necessity, functionality and spiritual promptings of the leadership of the ward, stakes, and regions and the prophet and apostles of our faith.

In a church with much emphasis on choice and free will it is one of changes that are not always easy or expected. They do not always feel like a choice that you would have made. They can split up friends and extended families. They can seem like just the sort of formlessness you weren't looking for or asking for.
My husband once told me of an experience in first grade where he was assigned a new young teacher...Miss Cates.....fresh out of college. He was so excited to be in her class. She was young and she was pretty. The other teacher in first grade Mrs. Meeker had a different reputation. Word around the playground was that Mrs. Meeker was so mean. If you made a mistake you weren't allowed to erase it. In fact the rumor was that she cut off all of the erasers on the tops of students pencils to prevent them from even sneaking an eraser stroke. And she was old. His 6 year old brain estimated her to be well into her seventies. He was so relieved to have won the first grade teacher lottery.
After about a week in paradise the principal came in to announce that there would be some changes. A few of the students in Miss Cates class would be moved to Mrs. Meekers class to balance out the numbers. Todd sat in fear that his name would be called. My guess is that he clutched his eraser close while the principal read the names on the list.
As each name was read he would breathe a sigh of relief until the last name was called.
Todd Winn
Knowing my husband and his sweet heart and personality I can only imagine what he was feeling as he heard the fateful decision. It makes me want to construct a time machine if only for that moment to go back and scoop his 6 year old sad form and hug him tight and whisper in his's's going to be just fine.
And it was fine. 
Mrs. Meeker did not cut off the tops of his pencil erasers and he found out that she was a good teacher.... that the rumors were exaggerated and that he really was fine.

I will not get to see some of my sweet friends each Sunday. Friends that I have loved and laughed with. Friends that have helped me out during hard times. Friends that have told me what they like about me even when I did not like me. I will miss giving and receiving from Sister Torres a hug and a kiss on her cheek every Sunday. Seeing her family baptized and go to the temple will always be one of my favorite memories of the Sienna Plantation ward. I will miss watching Mike Johnson's dedication to his Sunday school calling each week inspiring me to be better at mine. I will miss my teenagers from my Sunday school class that still come into the library each week to give me a hug. I will miss watching them grow up to be spectacular young men and women. How I treasure those kids. I will miss my blonde bombshell friend Victoria who fills a room with her presence and thinks I am a much smarter person that I really am. I will miss the constant smiles from people like Marianne Smith and Jeff Peterson that remind me that a smile really is a gift to others. I will miss Clarissa calling me Aunt Shelley to her sweet children. I could go on and on. They have been a constant weekly presence in my life and I am grateful for what I learned from each one of them.
What I will miss most of all is the squeal of delight I received every week from my number one fan. I always felt like a celebrity. It made my heart feel full to overflowing.
If there is one thing that I have learned from life and being a mother and a Mormon is that change is the only constant.
Well that and the Lord Jesus Christ.
And that I am not losing anything but am gaining an opportunity to add to my circle of experience and love. That change is hard but it will be what I make of it. Good or is my choice.
And I will remember all the lessons I have learned from my old friends and use them to make some new ones.
I will remember that formlessness always takes shape eventually.
And that I still get to wrap my arms around my sweet little fan and her brother....
How blessed am I?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

You are my favorite.

After an absence of over a year I am back to blogging.
I want to someday tell you about why I think I stopped but for tonight... I want to remind myself why I decided to start writing again.
My grandmother Elgie was one of my favorite people on the earth and for now I think she holds that title in heaven. She was someone who made me feel special. Being a middle child and the second girl had its ups and downs....
I just didn't always feel like I fit in as well as my older siblings.
Unless I was around Grandma Rampton. She had a way of making me feel like I was her favorite.
Looking through the haze of time and youth I can not be sure whether or not I really was her favorite or if she made everyone feel that way,
 but for now until I meet up with her again and ask her,
 I am just going to go with it.
I was her favorite person.
She passed away when I was 16.
She left us earlier than that though.
She had Alzheimers.
She slowly forgot who we were. When my mother would ask her if she recognized her, she would say, "Yes I are one of my people."
Truthfully I do not remember handling this "new" person very well. I was a teenager and typically absorbed in my own life. I was busy with school and friends and well frankly at a loss at what to do with her. She would sit in the rocking chair and wring her hands with a worried look knit into her brow. I know she hated it. I know she must have despised the process of losing her memory. She was a strong woman unaccustomed to having other people care for her. It was such a scary time for her. I would sometimes watch her from my couch as I lay there in all my teenage glory watching TV or reading a magazine. I would try and remember all the love and energy she put into her family. I would remind myself of who she was and how much she meant to me.
I still have dreams of her.
She never speaks but she is there and she loves me.
I am still her favorite.

What I wouldn't give now as I mother and grandmother my own brood.
What was she like as a woman? What were her thoughts and feelings about life and love and family?
I long to know her better.
I want to see in writing what she thought about in a day and what made her laugh.
And of course I would LOVE some proof in her own hand that I truly was as special as she made me feel......
That I was her favorite.

Kate and Sam and all my sweet grandchildren yet to come......
Here I am.
It's Grammy.
And yes. YOU are my favorite.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thoughts on Thanksgiving.

I entered the gas station feeling kind of blah.
It was one of those days where I didn't get as much done as I should have.
I didn't receive the usual injection of liquid sunshine called Kate and Sam.
I hadn't left the house all day
And EVERYONE in Missouri City was in their car driving willy-nilly like I was in a some low budget end of the world...pre apocalyptic frenzy.
Oh yeah Thanksgiving.
I had almost forgot about that. It has never been my favorite holiday. There are no costumes or scary presents are exchanged....there isn't any thanksgiving music unless you count that Over the river and through the woods song that everyone forgets the words to.
I am fortunate to be the daughter of one of the best cooks in the county so no one is going over any woods or through any rivers to beat a path to this grandmas house.
So there are no last minute runs to the grocery store and no far away travel plans for me like there are for every other nut cake weaving and speeding down Highway 6.
Just a need for a 44 ounce drink and some gas and then back home.
I approached the check out counter and exchanged the usual pleasantries...
"How are you doing tonight?" I asked the clerk.
(I come genetically from a long line of people who talk to strangers like they know them.)
"Not sure yet" was her answer.
Figuring that she was talking about the fact that she was working at night in a gas station was the probable cause for her hesitancy I answered her with,
"Oh because you are probably tired of being here and about to get off soon."
"No..." she said thoughtfully, I just got here. This is my second job."
She seemed to actually still be pondering my original question.
"I was able to get some of the cooking done yesterday" she finally concluded as if she were mentally ticking off her checklist of tasks."
"Oh...okay, I muttered sheepishly, I am lucky....I don't have to cook mom still lives close by." I said the word "still" with a little shame and renewed sense of gratitude.
"You are lucky" she pronounced,"My mother passed away when I was 23." Her eyes suddenly brimmed with tears as it looked as if she had just found out....all over again. She quickly looked down at the change in her register.
I was at a loss for big cup of ice and diet coke in my hands.
I stood there for a second and then finally uttered,
"God bless you and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving."
And I meant every word of it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A-ma's Ball

I am pretty simple I guess.
Two things made me happy this weekend.
The first was running into the colorful smiling gourd pictured above.
I am known to collect a few pumpkins from time to time and when I saw him sitting and grinning outside of my local grocery store as I tried to quickly dash between my gas guzzling air conditioned car to the safety of the overly cooled produce section without sweat dripping down my face, I knew that he would be mine. A richly painted reminder of cooler days to come.
I brought him home to an honored spot in my living room in front of my fireplace (which has never yet seen a fire...ah Texas) and sat back and enjoyed.
The second was spending a delicious hour alone playing hooky from the second and third hour of church with my partner in crime.....the girl who can melt any adult resolve I have with just a bat of her big eyes and a thrust of her bottom lip.
When mom is gone I am suppose to take up the role of enforcer.
Which when it comes to safety issues I always do...
But everything else is fair game.
She touches fragile things and opens drawers and begs for delicate objects to be put in her chubby little hands.
And I acquiesce.
"Shhh", just don't tell your mom.
I am at her side at all times as she explores the places in my home that are usually off limits when her mom and I are talking.
It is our little secret.
She made a direct bee line for the newest addition.
She patted the pumpkin and said, "Ball"
"Yes, ball" I said and prided myself for letting her touch my new prized possession.
She went to pick out the heavy piece of pottery by the tiny painted stem as I dashed over to stop her.
"No No No Katie Bug", I said, "we just pat it...we don't pickup Grandma's new pumpkin."
She smiled and patted it gently.
I stood up from the floor to sit down on a chair and she waited until I was seated before she gave her trademark smile as mischievous as the breakable jack o lanterns.
I jumped back up again and gently pried her fingers off of the stem.
No No No, I said again.
On her third attempt there must have been a little more urgency in my voice because with a solemn face replacing the mischievous grin, she patted the pumpkin softly and said in a serious tone.
"A-ma's ball"
And didn't touch it again.
This child is a genius.

 A-mah and Kate shared a popsicle at bath time until Kate decided that two popsicles were better than one and grabbed it from my hand and double fisted it.

 Looking for a little trouble.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Girl In The Poncho

I don't remember having this picture being taken, but I do remember the poncho. It was an orange plaid with an orange tassel trim. It was the perfect.... albeit ugly garment for this period of my life. But fitting.  It was the beginning of the end in some ways and the
beginning of forever.
I believe the year to be 1971 and I am 10 almost 11 years old.
My unkempt hair and the perennial one knee sock halfway down lets you know that I probably didn't look in the mirror much.  I didn't really feel the need. I actually liked who I was. The bulging poncho not yet a problem but soon to be one.
Puberty was setting in and it would not be pretty.
My once thin and limber body was now thick and more sedentary.
My mom was an expert dieter and on the Weight Watcher bandwagon at the time. I saw the horrible frozen cod fish fillets she steamed 5 times a week,
and the chicken liver she tried to gag down once a week.
The smell of that liver and the sugar free Trident spearmint gum still take me back to those days.
It didn't take a rocket scientist to see that with each pound she lost she was happier and lighter both literally and figuratively (no pun intended)
But I also watched my rail thin older brother. 16. Able to pile his plate so high with beautiful fluffy mounds of mashed potatoes and gravy and consume them before I had even gotten started.
I can smell that in my memory as well.
Two divergent paths.
One much simpler than the other.
And so began the journey that to this day I am still trying to hack through the weeds and debris to see my path clearly.
My daughter, my first born, my Jeopardy champion, British loving, amazing girl is chronicling her similar journey and I could not be prouder.
I think that people believe that the best moments with their children come with society based achievements and awards, bumper sticker moments of honor rolls and most points scored.
For me, I have decided that the real pay off as a mother is watching them overcome their own struggles alongside me while I work on my own.
Side by side.
Sisters of the Ponchos.
Check out her blog here....

Love you moonbeam!

Monday, June 10, 2013

All you need is LOVE!

This is a picture of my parents on their wedding day.
They have been married for 59 years.
And today is their anniversary.
Most people never get to celebrate such a milestone.
Either because of poor heath or poor relationships.
It is not an easy road, marriage, even in the best of circumstances.
But through good times and through the bad I always knew one thing for certain.
My parents loved each other.
Not perfectly but completely.
It's hard to imagine a world without that.
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad.
Cuddle on!

Friday, June 7, 2013

To Drink or Not to Drink.....that is the question.

So I have a bit of a drinking problem.
Isn't that the first step to recovery?
Identifying and admitting your issues?
Problem is that I am not quite sure that I want to be cured.
So I probably will get bogged down on one of the 12 steps I would take.
I like carbonated diet drinks.
Not an actual picture of me but a representation of what some people choose to see.

I think I know it's origins.
I didn't like carbonated drinks as a child.
We rarely had access to them since my mom was on a strict budget.
But once in a while they would bring home a jug of root beer from A & W and everyone in the family would be elated.
Except for me.
It hurt my mouth and nose and stomach and I didn't really care for the taste.
So this problem didn't arise from my parents putting diet coke in my bottle or serving it at dinner as a young child.
(I hate to admit it but Diet Coke didn't even exist until I was a young adult. I can hear the guffaws from my children right now as they read this. One time I told them that there was no egg McMuffin until I was an adult and they belly laughed and snorted for a week)
But when I turned 11 or 12 my once skinny frame began to put on the pounds.
My mom who was constantly on a diet would buy Tab as a treat for herself.
This is not an actual image of what Tab looked like when I was a teenager. We didn't have the pull back tab on the lid like this picture shows. we had this....

Yea kids.....yuck it up again about how old I am but you don't know what you missed. This little object could be made into jewelry!! Rings and chains and it was FUN!

In the 70's we were not as worried about the dangers of our food and beverages.
No one told us that it would burn through our insides or give us headaches or ruin the enamel of our teeth.
Back then sugar was the not only gave you cavities but it made you FAT!
So since I was battling the battle of the bulge myself
And had a mouth full of fillings, I saw my path clearly
I was enticed by the fact that Tab only had 1 calorie.....let me say that again 1 CALORIE
Do you know how rare a thing that is??
1 Calorie
That meant that no matter what other enticing food I could not have in copious amounts...
For anyone who has EVER restricted their calorie intake you know what an amazing statement that is.
And so a habit was born and formed and forged in the fires of 1 calorie
Am I addicted?
Maybe not
My baby girl Lauren challenged me to give it up for one month.
So I did.
I did not turn into a grouchy, headachey monster. (since that seems to be my lot, drink or not)
I did not feel withdrawal symptoms.
I felt fine.
But what I did learn was that I was lazy.
Without someone to hand me my beverage filled to the top with Sonic Ice, flavored with just a hint of cranberry every day, I had a problem.
This ban meant that I had to get a cup out of the cabinet, walk over to my refrigerator door, fill my cup with ice that I did not like, then open the said refrigerator door and pull out the pitcher with the 1/2 cup left of flavored water that someone did not replenish the night before, then go to my pantry, rip open another bag of flavoring......well you get the picture.
So after 30 days I went back to Sonic with the smug satisfaction that I was NOT addicted only lazy.
What a proud proud moment.
That is until the manager of my Sonic was so RUDE that I just HAD to boycott them.
No worries I just took my business to my newly opened Murphys gas station who had flavoring and pellet ice and make friends there.
Only problem was that they did not have the right cups.
And so my search began.
For a large enough mug to get me through the day, yet with a large enough opening to fill it to the top with ice, without looking like I was carrying a construction workers playmate cooler.
I found one at the dollar store that I LOVED!
It was beautiful  crystal clear green with a sturdy green handle, and a wide enough mouth to accommodate the flow of ice but not too large to attract attention.
And it was 1 dollar! That is almost as great as 1 calorie!!
I only bought one so that I could take her out on the road and give her a test drive.
It did not disappoint.
I went back the next week to my Dollar Tree ready to purchase 5 or 6 of them.
GONE! They were all gone. And in their place was a small necked jug that sprayed ice all over the gas station. (Yes I tried it, the worker even gave me a paper cone to use but it just got jammed up in the soggy pulpy paper)
But that was okay.
I still had my lean mean green mug.
I would cherish it and keep it clean and glory in the fact that I had the perfect beverage holder.
I came home one night to this.

When Todd empties the dishwasher he puts the things he doesn't know what to do with on the counter.
This was just sitting there on the kitchen counter waiting for me.
I I mean audible gasp.
To which he replied, "What? What's wrong with it. Is that not the way it is suppose to look?"
I think the least he could have done was to give it a proper burial in the trash can outside so that I didn't have to have this image embedded in my brain.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Deep Thoughts.....

I have been really spilling my guts lately.
Important, serious topics.
And anybody who really knows me knows just how serious and deep a person I really am.
So here are some of my really deep thoughts.
If you had to photograph this house for your job and you were all alone and walked up to the door and this is what greeted you, would you feel a wee bit scared?

Do soup and salad and God stories really go well together?

Would you EVER buy a house or a business on Pansy Street if you were a guy?

Why do you want to just reach out and kiss babies toes but can hardly stand to glance at adult feet?

When did we progress as a society from the stick figures to represent the number of people in our family to including their hobbies and how many accidents happen while people are following them and trying to figure out just what is in the fathers hand?

Why are clowns freaky in any format and at any age?

Why does Dad look like a nerd and Mom look like she's 16 and what is wrong with the boy on the end....weight problem?

What DO newborns really think and dream about?

These are just some of my deepest thoughts.
Thanks for listening.