Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clickety Clickety FOLLOW

Who is this ghostly spectre?
What made her life so grim?
I will tell you......
if you really want to know.
She took her own life because.......
No one clicked to the right of her blog where the button said....
Nah I'm just teasing.
But it would make me happy to know who you are out there.
It's easy....
Click the button
It's on the left side
Scroll down a little
Your picture would be there and
I will get to see you....
And then I will tell the real reason for her demise.
Cmon....you know you want to.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ladies only please...I am using the word bra

I bought my very sports bra today.
It was as bad as any other bra shopping experience to date with the added pressure 
of jogging in the dressing room to check out that it was capable of doing it's "job".
It was part of my pre-race ritual...
Yes I said the word RACE.
A word that until today in my vocabulary only meant to specify:
a group of persons related by common decent or heredity.
Tonight it will mean something totally different.
It will mean "Onward movement"
It is only 1.1 miles in honor of 11/11/11.
I am not honoring it...the race people are,
But my friend Joy signed me up and said that I could do it.
And it is the shortest one that I have heard about.
It makes my stomach feel funny.
So I have dedicated the day to it.
I don't know how the running "pro's" do it but being such a novice.....
Here is my schedule....
10:00 woke up....slept in for that extra energy or maybe because it's cold outside
10-11 Laid in bed with the covers over my head wondering "WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING"
11:00 Power breakfast of a Life cereal bar since my blender was dirty. I forgot to turn on the dishwasher last night because I was wondering "WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING" and I didn't want to waste any more needed energy.
11-12 Edited photos until I realized that I was getting a crick in my neck....stopped immediately and wondered what the "pros" do about that.
12-1 Went to Wal-Mart to buy jogging clothes and all important jogging bra. Stopped at Sonic for the also all important Route 44 Diet Coke with Cranberry and Extra Ice. Told my Sonic friend Margarita at the drive through window that I was running my first race tonight. The language barrier did not allow me to fully explain it to her and so we just smiled and she said "Be Careful"....good advice, I think.
1-2 Ate Sushi and think about if that is what the "pros" eat.
2-3 Write this post.
3-4 Change in to oddly uncomfortable newly purchased running clothes and think, "WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS I THINKING???"
Every since my children left the nest I have been trying to do things that take me out my comfort zone. I have found that it is the only way to really be happy.
I had gotten so used to being a mother that I forgot what it was like to do something totally new
Totally scary.
Totally crazy.
I guess that's what I was thinking....
Wish me luck
Cuz here I go!
P.S. I love this picture. I was at the Chinese Long Boat Races in Sugar Land and there was this crowd of children ready to give a demonstration of their karate skills. All of the children were wound up  and excited and playing and laughing.
This little girl was so focused, she blocked everything out.
She was going through her routine in her mind.
She was so focused.
I wanna be just like her.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


It's quiet.
I have accomplished what I feel is a day's full of activities
and it is not quite 7 pm.
I jokingly posted this on my facebook wall... 
I slept in, did some work, went to lunch with my mom, cleaned my room, walked 3 miles, made dinner and elfed myself and my siblings and it isn't even 7pm yet. This daylight savings time is really messing with me. I'm going to have to start pacing myself better.
It struck me that years ago I dreamed this life.
All too real memories flood back of waiting for Todd after the darkness of daylight savings time had caused all three children to be back safely in the house and watch the minutes tick by as if they were hours. Each child either hungry, bored, tired or the combination of all three and me trying to fix dinner and mentally counting the minutes till my relief showed up. On bad evenings (and truly there were not that many....flashbacks are always a little exaggerated)  I would mentally count the years until they were all gone.
Figuring that maybe the smarter ones could skip a grade or two.
(To my three amazingly intelligent children reading this.....of course mommy means you)
And therefore take a few years off of my sentence.
I knew that the light at the end of the tunnel would be glorious.
And it is....

I want to skip to another story here before I wrap up this little "deep thought"
(Don't worry I will come back to this one) 

I was in the Salt Lake airport last week waiting for my flight to take me back home.
I had had a wonderful week with my four children.
(Yes Dave you ARE my family)
And I was a little misty at the thought of leaving them.
With the Winns, good-byes are usually pretty ugly.
I was excited to get back to my new home, my sweet husband and my very quiet life
But I still was trying to transition.
I decided my best strategy was to go stand at the missionary portal.
For those of you who are not LDS or from the state of Utah let me explain.
In the Salt Lake airport there is a place that daily has families and friends
Huddled together with balloons and signs and smiles that are the best smiles in the world.
What smile beats the one of a mother about to embrace her son after two years of not doing so?
The only reunions that I have ever seen to equal them are the military reunion videos that I have stopped myself from watching since I end up crying so much I am afraid of short circuiting my keyboard.
The looks on these peoples faces are like a boost...
A legal drug...
Better than a triple rainbow.
They are my favorite thing about flying out of Utah.
I watched for a few minutes and remembered
I could feel the hug that meant so much to me in Guatemala
I knew that when tears were about to form that it was time for me to move through the 
jolting reality of security.
As I approached the woman TSA agent I took one more look behind me to soak up the look on the eager families faces...
A moment in time that they would remember forever.
Uplifted I gave her a big smile and said HI!!
(In fairness I always smile because I don't want to be strip searched, but this one was real, I promise)
I then blurted out,
"You must have the BEST job in the world!"
She scowled.
I mean you get to watch this (and I pointed my arms in the direction of missionary portal) EVERYDAY!
That's when she exploded.
I walked away a little stunned.
I wanted to say something but I didn't...... but remember.....security body cavity search????
I just had to settle on thinking in my mind what I had just experienced.
How two people could see something so differently.
That what made one person weep with emotion...
Would make another person so angry.
I guess it's all about perception.

And so I say to all my friends out there with small children at home who are in the trenches of motherhood. Yes there are some great things to look forward to...
But enjoy every second that you can right now.
There are things to be missed.
And miss them you will.
It is all about perception.

P.S. To all those wondering why I posted that picture with this post....I just liked it.  I like scary things. Todd does not.....perception

Friday, November 4, 2011

A day that will live in infamy.......

No not Pearl Harbor.....
November 4, 1966 to be exact.
Now before you accuse me of being dramatic...remember that to a five year old being bumped out of the coveted place of "baby of the family" is the same act that declares war.
And war it was.
I have but few really detailed memories of the first ten years of my life.
But there is one that stands out with perfect clarity.
On the first anniversary of said date of infamy.
November 4, 1967
My mom and I spent an afternoon together...alone.
Which wasn't that common since I was the third of four children.
I think that she sensed that I needed a little extra attention with the year that I had just lived through.
And so we made a cake together.
I was able to help bake and frost and even decorate.
Which didn't happen too often in my mother's very controlled kitchen.
At the time I thought it the most magnificent of all cakes.
Decorated with a border of animal crackers that I had carefully and artistically placed.
I was overwhelmed with feelings of pride and amazement.
And then it happened...
If there was ever a time when my emotions went from pure joy to sheer terror, this was that day.
The cake that was a symbol of what a mother and daughters love could create was offered up..
On a beautiful white glass pedestal platter.....
To him!
I could not believe my tear filled eyes.
He was actually just given the whole thing to claw and paw at with his little grubby fingers,
while everyone laughed and snapped photos.
The tears flowed freely and my vehement protests fell on deaf ears.
Then the laughter and cameras turned to me to document my torture.
I couldn't bear another minute.
I left the room and found a corner to hide in.
And that is when I first learned that
War truly is hell.
P.S. This is the little cake monster now.
 We have actually mentally signed a peace treaty and declared the war over...
But if he EVER touches a cake of mine again with his grubby little paws...........
Well I cannot be held responsible for what will happen then.
P.S.S. Happy Birthday Baby Davey. You turned out to be one of the few men that I both love and admire. You are the best baby brother that I could have asked for even though I didn't actually realize it at the time. That being said you still owe me a pristine untouched birthday cake with an animal cracker border.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Compliments of the Management

Only the best when the Winn family sets out on their road trips....
We drive in style and comfort in our big ole red van.
We dine in the finest fast food establishments available in places like ...
Comanche, Texline, Gustine, and Nageezi. (actually there is no fast food in Nageezi, there is not even a gas station or a stop sign but I like to say it's name anyway)
And we almost NEVER eat at a fast food that is attached to a gas station.
After all we have our high standards to uphold.
Our nights lodgings are always first class as well.
As evidenced by the gift that was waiting for us in our hotel in New Mexico.
Not only was the management offering us it finest guest towel with their compliments....
But they also made sure we understood the many ways that we could use this great gift.
I am certainly going to appreciate the "guest towels" that we collect in our fine eating establishments as well
now that I know just how many uses there are for something
of this quality.
P.S. Isn't my son just the cutest?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Goodbye my friend...

I said goodbye to a dear friend today.
They say that what doesn't break you....makes you stronger....
But what about what you break?
Does that make you stronger?
I stared at the tile floor this afternoon in shock believing that if I just stared long enough my camera would jump back up in place perched upon the brand new tripod I was testing.
That did NOT just happen.
Well I guess I am getting ahead of myself here....
It all started when I decided to practice my photography skills while showing ya'll my new house and at the same time showing off my excessive Halloween decorations. Multi-tasking....and since I had slept in later this morning than I should it was going to be an atonement of sorts.
I excitedly pulled out my newest toy.
A brand new tripod!
Nothing says professional like a fancy new tripod....
I attached my favorite wide angle lens and aimed it towards my ever increasing stash of Halloween, while contemplating whether or not my home was beginning to look like the shelves at Hobby Lobby.
What joy to be shooting......
(This part was truly like it is in the movie...slow motion....while the sounds of OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO out of mouth were equally slow)
The crashing thud made my stomach flip flop and I hesitated to look down. I stared at the top of the tripod and blinked a couple of times to make sure.
And then I looked down.
It was on the floor
and there were a couple of pieces of broken plastic scattered around it.
I just froze.
Picking it up would mean I would have to face the consequences.
Was it a total loss?
Minutes seemed to pass...
It's funny how the mind sometimes refuses to process what it does not want to process.
I finally bent down and scooped it up.
I turned it on and all of the right lights and numbers appeared.
Could it be that all would be alright?
Were the camera gods smiling down upon me.
I slowly pressed the shutter release button......
My wide angle lens...
My very FIRST lens ever....
was gone.
I post tonight the last picture that it took,
in memory of a wonderful lens.
I will miss you..
P.S. The lens must have taken the force of the fall since the camera is working fine. I took over 500 shots at a middle school football game tonight. Whew.....)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quarter Century...Oh Baby!

25 years ago today I met her.
She made it known immediately that my life would never be the same.
We named her Megan.
which means strong.
And we were right on the money with that decision.
I used to describe her as a 100 watt bulb in a 25 watt socket.
inside and out.
I knew I was in trouble when at 2 she was speaking full sentences that started out with, "Well actually Mom."
Faithful to her family, to her husband, and to the gospel.
She is my FIRST BORN
subject to all the perks and downsides of being my "test case". We had to figure out being a mother and daughter together and she still is the first to enter new frontiers as our relationship develops.
she speaks her mind and believe me her mind is filled to capacity. She amazes me with her ability to remember and to think and to speak.
She loves with all her heart and is always there to help out her family with whatever they need.
she teaches like a seasoned professional and is there for any of her students to help them and guide them in life's tricky teenage journeys.
She is my Megan and I have been honored to share the last 25 years of my life intertwined with hers.
She is my shinin' pride
A quarter of a century of being her mother.
What an honor and privilege.
I love you Meggie Peggie.
Happy Birthday!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Self Portraits at the Tax Office

I was number 48.
They were only on 21 at the Tax Assessor's Office.
They made us sit in pews like we were at a church meeting.
All facing the front like we were being watched.
And we couldn't talk on our cell phones.
Not at all.
So I did the next best thing.
The guy who was sittting next to me slid down to the other end of the pew,
after I took these self portraits.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Don't make me go all "Terms of Endearment" on you.

My Dad had back surgery this morning.
As the nurses and doctors were bustling around preparing him for surgery...
What was I doing?
Taking pictures of course!
I mean why else would I be there?
Actually I can come in handy sometimes for other things as well.
Last night I lay in bed anticipating the 6:00 alarm and staring at the ceiling when my thoughts turned to another surgery my father had about 15 years ago.
He had prostate cancer and decided that the best treatment would surgery. I went with them so that I could sit in the waiting room with my mom who happens to hold the title of "Greatest Worrier in the World".
She has perfected the art of worrying and should teach college level classes at the local university.
There was 5 or 6 other families that were all there waiting for their family members to have the same procedure. We were all told that the nurse would come out when the procedure was begun and then midway through to give us a progress report and then towards the end when they were almost finished. Then the doctor would come out and talk to us about the surgery.
We sat anxiously waiting for the first report as did the other families in the room.
The first report trickled out to each family one by one and we all felt a little relief.
The second report came a couple of hours later like dominoes falling and as each family heard the news they would smile and look a little more comfortable.
That is except Mom and I.
We didn't get out second report.
We waited and waited and waited.
Every time a nurse would come in, we would be hopeful that she was looking for us, only to watch her pass on by.
As the nurses came to the other families to give a final report we were getting downright scared.
Finally a nurse comes up to us and says, "Would you follow me?"
She leads us into a small room that looks like has been set up to resemble someones living room. A tacky one at that.
My eyes scan the room and fall on the box of kleenex and a bible.
This can't be good.
I don't want to say what I am thinking of course because I am there to be the support person.
I am the designated "everything's going to be fine" person.
I try my best to reassure my mother who is at this point looking as frightened as I have ever witnessed.
Both of us are trying to figure out what will come next.
I reassure her again that I am sure that it will be fine.
But I don't know that.
5 minutes pass.
It seems like hours.
I keep saying the same thing over and over to my mother's concerns that my father has passed away.
"We don't know that! Everything will be okay."
Ten minutes pass.
My words are hollow and I have nothing left new to say.
Everytime I look at my mother's face I feel pain and that makes me
After the longest 15 minutes I have ever waited through I decide my mother has suffered enough.
I don't know if you have seen the movie, "Terms of Endearment"

But in a nutshell, Shirley Maclaines daughter is dying of cancer and is in a lot of pain.
When it comes to the time she should have another pain pill the nurses are not responding.
In one of my favorite scenes ever, she goes to the nurses station, pounds her fists on the counter and screams for them to get her daughter a pain pill.
It is all that she can do for this person she loves so much.
Take away her pain.
Well I quickly surveyed our "family room" and saw a door marked,
"Medical personnel only"
I got up and opened the door and came face to face with the big metal swinging door marked Surgery.
At this point there was no stopping me.
I pushed them open as hard as I could
And faced a counter of surprised nurses faces.
Before they could even speak I said something to this effect.
"My sweet mother has been sitting in this horrible room thinking that her husband is dead for over 15 minutes now and I don't care what it takes but somebody is going to go and give her information NOW!"
(I can't remember if I pounded my fists or not but I hope so)
The poor nurses were stunned and it took a moment for it to sink in.
"What's your Dad's name?"
John Lauck.
"Oh he is fine and in recovery. His doctor should have been already. He likes to talk to the family privately instead of in the waiting room."
Well la-ti-da!
Couldn't someone have told us that to begin with?
One of the best pieces of information I have ever been able to deliver was to my sweet mother that everything was fine, better than fine....it was great!
This morning the nurse told us before my dad went in that this doctor will take us into a private room to discuss the surgery.
It's a good thing they told me.
I don't think they want me to go all "Shirley Maclaine" on them.
Nobody wants to see that again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Dilemma

Well I told you I have a dilemma with my new job...right?
Here it is in a nutshell.....
I am sure you are scratching your head and wondering if I belong in a nutshell.
I have spent the past 25 years either listening to Disney soundtracks or giving up control of my car radio to the frantic fingers of my teenagers whose attention spans rarely ever let me hear what I wanted to listen to.
But no more.
I am in my car, well Bill's car, alone with nothing but the real estate signs rattling in the back.
So I turn on the radio.
My music of choice?
Er...well...mmm....okay okay.
I ADMIT IT! I like the current music and I like rap!
And by that I don't mean that I like to appear really cool in front of my kids or their friends by cranking up todays current hits and dancing in a style that they think was invented at the age of dinosaurs.
I mean I "secretly" like it and would rather not anyone know it.
After all I am a mature woman and proud of that fact.
But I am a product of the 70's and the disco beat still runs through my veins....
I wasn't born an old lady you know.
I once "got down" to the likes of the Earth Wind and Fire, the Commodores, Brick and the very infancy of rap music.
And even though the kids of today wouldn't admit it the beat is really still the same.
My problem is that since I have so much time to drive and think.....
I also have time to pay attention to the lyrics.
I mean...I knew some of them were not that great but I started to see a horrible pattern developing. A message woven like an ugly tapestry through the pounding of the mesmerizing beats.
Women are only used for one thing.
Guys should really just push that agenda until they get what they want.
The messages though repugnant to ME don't change my views but strengthen my desire to eradicate them.
I remember the first time I actually listened to the lyrics of "Tonight" by Enrique Iglesias.

I know you want me
I made it obvious that I want you too
So put it on me
Let's remove the space between me and you
Now rock your body
D#$@ I like the way that you move
So give it to me
Cause I already know what you wanna do

Here's the situation
Been to every nation
Nobody’s ever made me feel the way that you do
You know my motivation
Give in my reputation
Please excuse I don't mean to be rude

But tonight I'm loving you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm loving you
Oh you know
That tonight I'm loving you

I couldn't believe that given his "reputation" and knowing his "motivation" that ANY woman would want him. He does say "excuse me and I don't mean to be rude" and all but seriously!!
Enrique!....I don't care if you were the last man on earth and I was twenty years younger and the worlds fate depended on us procreating would I EVER let you come within 10 feet of my you international twerp!
It goes on to say a bunch of more offensive things which I guess are supposed to make a girl swoon.
Is this really how young girls expect to be wooed?
(I know using the word wooed here is a dead give away that I rode a dinosaur to school but it is a perfectly good word and by the sounds of our society needs to be not only brought back but defined!)
Ne-Yo's current song takes it even a step farther with the lyrics...

excuse me
but i might drink a little bit more than i should tonight
and i might take you home with me if i could tonight
and i think you should let me cause i look good tonight
and we might not get tomorrow

grab somebody sexy tell ‘em hey
give me everything tonight
give me everything tonight
give me everything tonight
give me everything tonight

Should I count myself lucky that you started with the word "excuse me" and were honest about the fact that you are drunk and did you REALLY just say that there might not be tomorrow?
Wow someone else used that line in a really popular book.
It's called the BIBLE and his name was Satan.
So thanks but no thanks....(see I have manners too)

And Maroon 5's new one...Moves like Jagger

I don't need try to control you
Look into my eyes and I'll own you

With them the moves like jagger.

It would take a little more than you prancing around like creepy Mick Jagger to control me and you would NEVER even have a shot in you know where to own me.
Now I don't like to get on a soapbox about things like this and  I am past the point where I could be influenced by this pap, but, I still feel guilty.
I teach a Sunday school class of 12 and 13 year old young men and young women that might not exactly know who they really are yet and lyrics like these could really mess somebody up.
I don't want to become a crusader for better music since that rarely ever works.
I still remember a stake fireside when I was a youth were they tried to explain the impact that music was having on our teen age minds.
When they brought up the lyrics to "Momma's got a squeeze box", and said that there was a "double meaning" to it, we actually could not contain our laughter.
Laughed out loud there sitting on the church pews.
We thought that they were just so not with it and we were so impervious to any effects from music.
Now the lyrics to songs are not even encoded with secret messages about sexuality.
They just come out and boldly demand it.
(Well they do say excuse me and I don't mean to be rude)

And so I worry about the young people who are constantly barraged with these messages.
And I wonder what more I can do......
And I wonder if that means I have to stop listening to it too.
P.S. Excuse me Rihanna!! I don't mean to be rude but you are nasty.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New House...New Job....New Me!

So hard to know where to begin after my blogging absence.
There have been so many changes that have happened.
Should I start with the one that I get the most questions about?
........my chunkier highlights?
I'll save that for another day.
Let's talk about my new J O B!
Yes a JOB!
(Not that the last 25 years of raising children, running the house, chauffeuring, volunteer work, church callings, and assorted miscellaneous duties have been all fun and games)
But someone is going to finally compensate me with cash dollars for my time.
p.s. the photography doesn't count until I make enough money to cover the cost of my equipment and therefore make it from the minus to the plus column.
It kinda just fell into my lap.
I was talking to my real estate agent Bill Moore about our house that we are trying to sell
(Did I tell you I have a NEW house.....different post than today though)
He asked me if I knew any young people that could use a part time job as a runner,
I didn't.
But I jokingly said that if he didn't sell my house quickly then I would certainly need him to hire me.
We both chuckled.
And that was the extent of the conversation.
That night as I was thinking about the day, it struck me like in the cartoons where the mouse hits the cat with a frying pan....
I could be a runner!!!
(Now to all those who know me and are snickering at the thought of my job title having the word "runner" in it, I want you to know two things...First I am a new woman regarding exercise....another post for another day AND Bill has upgraded my title to "Courier" in deference to advanced years of maturity)
So I emailed Bill and asked for the job.
It's actually perfect for me right now.
It is very flexible.
I get to take pictures of houses. Love that of course.
And the one part I thought I wouldn't like.....
the driving
is actually turning out to be one of my favorite parts!
Who'd have thunk it!

I get to drive a Scion with Bill's face on it which can sometimes attract some stares.
I get to use my new muscles placing and removing heavy signs from our Houston drought parched soil.
I get to see different parts of the city.
Today I saw a HUMONGOUS cross I never knew existed.
I get to listen to music on the radio.
I never know what my assignment will be or what danger lies ahead.
Kinda like a real estate James Bond.
 This was a fun sign to retrieve.
All in all it has been a really great fit for me.
I only have one dilemma...
And it has to do with the music......
And that my friends will be my next post.
I'm going to need your help on this one.
(Someone asked me if it was embarrassing to drive a  car with advertising and I said, "Heck no! It could always be worse.)
P.S. If you are looking to sell or buy a house and want a great real estate agent call Bill Moore
        Need the number?
        It's right on the car!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Missing you.....

(head nod)
What's new?
(awkward silence)
So..um....yeah......guess it's been awhile.
(head bowed a little, eyes staring towards my feet)
So um...I don't know if you are still interested or whatever...but...
(looking up at little while fidgeting with my keyboard)
I did a few things this summer....
(awkward pause #2)
I mean if you are interested....
Um, that is..... unless you are following some other blogger.
Which I would sooooo totally understand....TOTALLY.
But you know whatever, cause no big deal.....
It's just that I moved unexpectedly, went to Europe, got two new jobs, lost 50 pounds, climbed a mountain, changed my perspectives and decided to go "chunkier" on the highlights on my hair.
But no biggee...
It's just that I had a story or two....
(blushing a little bit)
I missed ya'll.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

You're a TURTLE!

I hope you enjoyed my list of 25 things about me and then 25 more things....
Someone challenged #23....
He shall remain nameless.
I am sure that he would want it that way.
P.S. You can read his writings at boyceinthewilderness.blogspot.com
It is not something that I would claim without a fair amount of certainty....
I can look at a person and tell what animal they would be.
It's a gift.
The very first time was at church.
Sometimes surprisingly enough my mind can wander in the three hours of worship each Sabbath.
I happened to glance at a man sitting across the room listening reverently to the speaker and I knew right away.
easy smeasy.....
But that was when my skills were still young and underdeveloped.
Turtles are easy to pick out.
So are bears.
They are the fundamental ABC's of animal game.
As the years have passed I have sharpened my skill.
Some people are very easy to guess. They resemble an animal close enough as to not even have to think much about it.
Some people take some time to figure out.
Sometimes it has taken me days......
It is not just facial qualities either. It is also the personality of the person. It is their essence.
Don't be jealous...
It's just a gift.
And I will try and use it only for good.....
or when the speaker is droning on in a meeting.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Last 25.....or as my spooky computer says, 1-25

Well I am sure you are all just sitting by your computers....
waiting for the conclusion of the 50 things you might not know about me.
And since I have never been one to want to disappoint.....
For some odd reason my computer changed the numbers that I copied and pasted from 25 to 50 to now saying 1 to 25 again.
I did NOT ask it to make that change.
I find it highly suspicious that it knew how to and made that "executive decision" without my consent.
It is almost spooky...
But that's okay with me as you will read in number 17 which was really suppose to be number 42.
Now I KNOW my laptop is male....only a man would change something you didn't want changed.
Here we go:
1.      I like rap music but feel too guilty about it’s lyrics so I don’t listen to it.
2.      I was a disco dancer in the 70’s.
3.      I love to play Nintendo but only the old school Donkey Kong and Mario World.
4.      I can name at least 25 Pokemon characters.
5.      I know all of the words to The Devil Went Down to Georgia and Convoy.
6.      I liked CB radios when I was a teen and went by the handle “The Dimpled Darlin”
7.      I think cowboys are handsome.
8.      I have been in 46 of the 50 states.
9.     Todd has been trying to take me to Hawaii for 27 years now but we always end up spending any extra money on trips for our whole family.
10. I love turquoise jewelry and silver jewelry.
11. I hate olives
12. I want to like olives so every year I eat one just to make sure things haven’t changed.
13. I make really good candy but I cannot bake.
14. I do not like to follow recipes and so I only cook what I want to put in something.
15. I do not know my right from my left without looking at my hands and seeing which one makes an “L” with my thumb and fingers.
16. I almost failed my drivers test because of that.
17. I LOVE spooky stories and anything Halloween related.
18. I think that graveyards are so amazing and I have a favorite headstone and a favorite graveyard.
19. I am never scared speaking in front of crowds big or small.
20. But I am scared to go to Guatemala.
21. I keep having nightmares that Todd won’t get a good picture of me hugging Jack when I first see him and I want that picture so I can look at it forever.
22. I believe that if you don’t have a picture of something it just might not have happened.
23. I can look at anyone and decide what animal they are most like.
24. My favorite sound in the whole world is when I make one of my family laugh out loud.
25. My Heavenly Father has blessed me with the most amazing parents, brothers and sister, husband, children and friends and I know that I have been blessed beyond belief.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Half of 50 is 25........

I am trying to delete old files on my laptop computer.
I had a virus.
(And not anyone even brought me chicken soup or anything)
I thought that I had totally lost all my pictures and documents because I had to do a complete restore.
Then I realized that the computer is a sneaky little devil.
After I totally added all of the files from a back up location
I realized that everything was still on my computer after all.
Only it was hiding.
And so today I have played hide and go seek with my good friend Mr. Computer.
Yes...he is a guy.
Only a male could be this much trouble.
Anyway long story short
I came across a document that I wrote about a year or so ago.
It was 50 things you might not know about me.
And because I have sensed that you all are waiting patiently for just such a blog post.
I mean who wouldn't.....
I am going to post 25 today
and 25 next time.

So today's installment.........
1.     I am claustrophobic and can really only relax if I sit on the end of a row.
2.     I have a dog and like her but do not like “owning a dog’
3.     When I was little I thought I would grow up to star on a show like the Brady Bunch.
4.     I have known since I was born that God loves me.
5.     I can tie a cherry stem with my mouth.
6.     My favorite body part is my feet.
7.     I can only wear a tee shirt if it is a v neck.
8.     My favorite and lucky number is 8 and I was born on the eighth month and the eighth day.
9.     I am directly related to John Adams and John Quincy Adams.
10. I can pick up a roach with my bare hands
11. But I will scream if a gecko gets anywhere near me.
12. I knew I would marry my husband just a few days after talking to him.
13. I waited for him while he served a mission.
14. I do not like anything with red sauce in it.
15. I thought I hated pizza until I found out I only like it with pesto sauce and only if it is within what I call a pizza window (2 to 7 minutes)
16. Now pizza is one of my favorite foods ever.
17. I do not like spicy foods and believe that people who do have damaged their taste buds.
18. I do not believe there should ever be pain associated with eating.
19. My first car was a bright yellow VW rabbit.
20. I use to collect rabbits. (figurines)
21. I lived in downtown New York when I was five and still remember celebrating my birthday there.
22. I have a soft spot for people who stutter.
23. I feel guilty that I didn’t have more children.
24. I honestly feel that my children are amazing beyond belief.
25. I was bit on the rear end by a German Shepherd when I was 10.

Oh boy wasn't that fun!
I bet you can't wait until the last 25.......

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

All you had to do was ask.........

I got a sweet message from someone special today...
(I won't mention her name, she is much too modest for a shout out)
She requested that I write again
She is the first person to notice my absence.
How did she know that was all I was waiting for.....
Ok well maybe blaming my blogging absence on ya'll is a little unfair.
But Miss L's comment was really the spark that I needed to get me going again.
It has been quite a while since I have written and there are a myriad of reasons why....and I wrote so many wonderful posts at 2 am while lying in my bed that is really is a shame that I didn't write a one down.
But you see I was in a cocoon.
And everybody knows that there are no laptops in a cocoon.
It is no surprise to you I am sure since I warned you that I was joining the ranks of the "empty nesters"
Side note: I hate the term empty nesters and from this time hence it will be banned in my Blogdom. I mean really....just because my children are gone does NOT make my nest empty. HELLO!! Todd and I are still sitting right here....in the nest.....big as day (p.s. working on that).
The nest is not only still occupied.
It's a fine nest.
I mean hey...I can still be a real barrel of monkeys
and as for Todd...... well ever heard of the term "eye candy".
We will henceforth be called the Monkey Eye Candy Party Nest! (don't worry I will work on that one)
End of side note.
I think I have finally exited my chrysalis.
Saved and transformed by a machine.
(oh yea, and the love and support of my family yada yada yada)
My new best friend and saving grace.
My camera.
I am a photographer.
I run my own business...(with a little help from my friends..you know who you are wink wink nudge nudge)
I am reborn.
(My only problem is my boss...she can be a real barrel of monkeys...if you know what I mean)
Thank you for waiting for me
Thank you little Miss L.
Thank you.
I shall not let you down again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Way to go Big Bro...

IHOP's Annual Pancake Day Helps Kids in Need: MyFoxDC.com
This is my big brother John who has been on TV twice this week. Once on CSPAN and this report on a local Washington DC station. The boy in this is hilarious. Just watch what happens when the reporter asks him what he likes to do....he is torn between his own answer and what his mother wanted him to say.
Back when John Lauck was Johnny his nursery leader thought he would grow up to be trouble, always telling my mom her concerns.
Too bad she is not alive to see how well he turned out.
P.S. This is a great charity to give to. A dollar at a time will make a difference for children in need of medical care. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Celebrity at the Gym

Mr. T and I have joined a gym.
With all the time we have freed up from ousting the kids from the nest,
We figured that it was time to do something good for ourselves.
We go every night after he comes home from work.
Now I want it to be fully understood that I HATE to exercise.
I know HATE is a strong word and one that I rarely let my children say but
I HATE exercise.
Just ask the poor little woman who stood in the circle at Curves....
another of my attempts to be healthy.
For those of you not familiar with Curves, it is a big circle of exercise equipment
that you keep rotating on and every 30 seconds or something like that you move to the
next piece of equipment or else you walk in place.
It's a big game of exercise ring around the rosey and I was not happy about playing.
The concept is that the whole thing takes you 20 or so minutes and you work out all the important parts of your body while raising your heart rate.
In the center was a perky young thing in a track suit, encouraging us all on like a Ring around the Rosey Cheerleader.
She was very sweet and very friendly and I was very
She knew my name from the first day and would practically sing a personal Hello to me each day.
I would usually just glare.
Frankly it was my mother's bright idea to join and I was not really convinced of it's benefits.
In the 6 or so months that I attended if my heart rate ever made it over 100 I would have been surprised.
A lot of the women worked out in their regular street clothes.
Plus I was fully able to carry on in depth conversations with my Mom that every one in the circle seemed to be eavesdropping on......including Miss Perky in the middle.
If I think about it too much I get a case of the guilts.
It wasn't her fault.
My heart was just not in it.
This time it is different.
I joined the YMCA last year and tried to smile at everyone there.
I was doing this because I wanted to.
(and it didn't hurt that there was a TV attached to each treadmill)
I loved going with my daughter and spending that time with her each day.
(She is an exercise beast hopefully not inheriting my exercise tendencies.)
Well after she left I upgraded to LA fitness.....no TVs but my with my iphone in my ears and the Black Eyed Peas singing Boom Boom Pow I have been doing pretty well.
Tonight my exercise was enhanced by a celebrity in the gym.
You will never guess who was on the treadmill across from me!.....
I know that it is a little blurry and grainy but you try taking a picture while walking on a treadmill.
Plus it reminds me of the fuzzy Loch Ness Monster or Big Foot pictures...
Can you tell who the celebrity was?
Well then here is a better view.....

It is the ChickfilA cow....
which is fitting I guess since his establishment is responsible for at least some of the extra pounds that I carry.
Exercise IS fun!
But I still HATE it.

Hair by Oscar

And the Oscar for best bed hair goes to........
Watching the academy awards tonight prompted me to try and glam up myself.
I noticed that the hair styles this year were the ones that looked like,
"Hey I am so beautiful I just rolled out of bed and came on over"
The irony I am sure is that it probably took a team of hair stylists 2 or 3 hours
to produce such a look.
Mine you ask?
Well I don't want to brag but it only took a second or two.
I think the reading glasses give me that "intelligient rumpled look"
I never ceased to be amused by Hollywood....
I guess that's why they call it entertainment.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Miracle of the Malibu concluded and a promise.

I am not ever going to do it again....
No Sir!
Every time I say that I am going to write a two part story or explain something later,
I use every excuse in the book not to do it.
I don't know if the part of my brain that writes is a temperamental diva who only writes when the whim hits or a petulant juvenile delinquent refusing to do what they said they would do...
Either way I hate to break a promise.
So here is the conclusion to my Malibu Miracle Story.....
I hope it is worth the wait.
The Malibu was purchased initially for Todd. After stuffing his six foot three frame into subcompact car after subcompact car (all we could afford) we saved up enough money to upgrade just a little bit to the Chevy Malibu where the top of his head did not actually come so close to scraping the roof of the vehicle. It had a V6 engine much more powerful than what he had been driving the 40 miles a day to and from his office, much of it on fast moving freeways.
After just a couple of years of driving it, we inherited my Dad's big bright red Cadillac which he had purchased used and lovingly driven. Megan had turned 15 and was learning to drive and my Dad thought that it would be a good heavy safe car for her. It was definitely heavy but it was huge. It became clear that for the protection of the other drivers on the road that the smaller Malibu would be better to teach her in since staying between the white lines of the road was not an inborn quality.
So Mr. T did the chivalrous thing and let her borrow it for awhile....
It never became his again.
While he was suffering the jokes and snickers of his fellow coworkers for his "sweet caddy ride" , the Malibu was busy teaching, crashing and carrying the Winn kids. It suffered numerous hits from behind and two fairly serious accidents which threatened to "total" it. Because of the rear end accidents, the trunk never closed properly and so whenever it rained it leaked into the trunk giving a distinct odor that earned it's nickname of the Smellabu. Well actually to be fair the distinct smell also could have come from the constant flow of trash, dirty marching clothes, stinky shoes and left over food and drink that became it's fate.
But through all of that it ran.....
And most importantly kept my kids safe.
Even when it was viciously attacked by someone seeking revenge by pouring maple syrup in it's gas tank, it still kept running after much needed repairs.
Once when the check engine light came on when the youngest Lauren had finally inherited it's glory, we explained to her that since the car was getting so old it might just not be worth the money it would take to repair it. She would just have to share my vehicle.
Horrified by the thought, she prayed and prayed,
"Please let the check engine light go off."
And it did.
The very next day.
When Jack left on his mission he said goodbye to the Malibu because he figured for sure that it would not be there when he returned two years later. Jack always said the Malibu liked him best....but then so did Megan and Lauren. Each child has said that the Malibu was special to them...it's expired license plates hanging proudly on their bedroom and dorm room walls.
The Malibu forged on and awaited Jack's return from Guatemala still every bit as useful and stinky.
In fact it lasted all the way until the Christmas holidays when the whole family finally reunited at home for the first time in two and a half years. I think that it was then and only then that it could say it's final goodbye. Fitting since it really had become the kid's car.
And now with them all home and taking a final Sonic run together it gasped it's last breath. Jack said that it barely rolled back onto our street not able to get above 20 miles an hour. When he came to a stop smoke billowed from the tailpipe in a giant white cloud.  It wouldn't even start. It just clicked clicked clicked, the engine never turning over again. It sat in front of the house on the street while we decided how best to get rid of it. The insurance had been taken off so there would be no towing it. We called junk yards but their offers seemed shady at best. Being the holidays we just plain put it out of our minds. Occasionally Todd would go out and try to start the engine.
Even the overhead light and power locks failed to work.
It was completely and utterly dead.
Then last week as I was heading out to a photo shoot I see a police car parked in front of the Malibu and the officer looking at it carefully. I kept loading my car praying that there would be no trouble. The police finally pulled up into the driveway and motioned me over.
He was very nice and even apologetic as he reminded me that the vehicle could not stay parked in the street and that an eventual ticket would be 500 dollars. I told him that I would immediately move it in to the driveway. We chatted some more and I realized that there was NO way I could move it into the driveway.....it would not start.....it was dead.
I then asked the officer if I could have until the next day to get it moved. I figured that Todd and I could push it up together into the driveway that night. He said, "sure".
Relieved that we were not getting a ticket I called Todd and told him that we had to move it that same night.
He said that he didn't think that the two of us could both move and steer it up the slightly uphill driveway. I bet him that we could since I consider myself freakishly strong for a woman..... at least for the short haul. I have been on the other side of plenty of heavy objects holding my own in moving. He still doubted so I made a bet on it. A sonic drink was riding on my ability to get that car up on the driveway without outside help.
Just Todd and I.
I even went outside praying that it would start and I could move it.
I put it into neutral and made a test run by pushing it about three feet by myself.
I was smug and could already taste my diet coke with cranberry and extra extra ice.
Todd came home and we went out in the dark to push. He kept reminding me that he thought that it wouldn't work. He put the Malibu in neutral and held on to the steering wheel pushing from the front door while I pushed from the back.
It would not budge. Not even an inch.
How could this be?
Desperate to go to bed that night without worry of a police officer knocking at my door I came up with the brilliant idea to try and jump start it with the van.
Todd shook his head with more displeasure but knew that it was better to just humor me on this one. I really don't like interaction with the police. (story for another day) ((dang it there I go again))
We hooked up the two vehicles....
Not a single sound....not even the click click click.
We both sat in our respectable vehicles discouraged.
Todd unhooked the cables and closed the hoods of both vehicles. As I sat in the van despondent and aware that I might actually lose the bet,.....
a miracle happened.
The headlights of the Malibu turned on.
By themselves.
Astonished Todd sat down in the drivers seat and turned the key.
The engine started up without a single sputter.
We could not believe our eyes and ears.
I told Todd to hurry and pull the Malibu into the driveway.
He did and as it came to a stop a huge thick white cloud of smoke billowed from it's tail pipe.
It was the Malibu's goodbye.
The final gift of service to the Winn family.
I will never forget it.
Goodbye my four wheeled friend.
You were faithful and true to the end.
From all of us Winn's
We will miss you.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'd Write It in the Sky

This is Mr. T and I married less than a year.
Today is a special day for us because 28 years ago today he asked me to marry him.
There are no pictures of that.
There was no big production number.
It was simple, sweet and private.
Mr. T actually doesn't really like to talk about it.
He has seen the pictures or TV shows where there is an elaborate and unique way that someone was asked to marry......
Flowers, candlelight,
sky writers,
sporting event big screens,
people in costumes,
on live TV,
flash mobs,
choreographed dances....
He often says that he feels bad that it was so simple and he just didn't know that it was suppose to be fancy like that.....
That he thinks I was gypped.
What do I say back to that?
How do you tell someone that.....
who they are and how they treat you
is already like..
fireworks on the fourth of July,
millions of red roses,
a lifetime supply of chocolate,
the finest gourmet meal,
the sweetest poetry,
the finest choreographed dance,
the most melodic love song, and
the winning the largest jackpot of all.
You could not honor me more with anything of monetary value than the way you have treated me from the moment we met.
And if I could afford to hire a plane to write this post in the sky I would.
(Do you think that they charge by the letter?)
Thank you for asking me to marry you Mr. T.
Saying yes to you was the best decision I have ever made.

P.S. This is the first year we have decided to ABSOLUTELY spend NO money on gifts for each other. That really we already have everything that we need.
But I couldn't resist a little

Happy Valentines Day everyone. Sending a little love your way too!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Miracle of The Malibu

 I started this post last week.
I thought that it would be clever in verse form.
A light hearted attempt to say goodbye to a piece of Winn history
trying to not be too attached or sentimental to an inanimate object.
The problem was I kept struggling with it.....
(The post NOT the car)
So okay I am no Emily Dickinson...... but schmaltzy rhyme has always come pretty easy.
I got this far.....

O Malibu, O Malibu...
Is it really time to say adieu?
You been a trusty faithful friend.
Hard to believe the time must end.
Purchased back in 96
You seen your share of driving tricks.
Three teenagers learned  behind your wheel.
To pilot you with an even keel.
They tested you to every limit,
Wrecked 3 times while they were in it.
The other times you were alone
In parking lots by drivers unknown.
Other mishaps you endured
And that is when I realized that I could not get into the groove.
Yikes! Blogger Block!!
Most of my posts flow out like some random leak in a pipe.
I never know exactly what direction it will take or whether it will be a slow leak or a gusher.
This was a complete blockage.
and it is because of what happened last night
This can not be told by a silly rhyming verse.
This can not be just jotted down like a goofy story.
This needs to be written carefully and with the respect it deserves, retold and passed down from one generation to the next...
Perhaps whispered in a fireside circle while you shine a flashlight under your face.
It will also take more than one post to fully appreciate so for the first time this will be a two chapter post my friends.
Chapter One: The history of the beloved "Smellabu"
Chapter Two: The Miracle
I hope that it will come to have as much meaning for you as it did for me dear reader.
Till we meet again.....soon!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Early Bloomer

The early bloomer...
This flower just had to be first.
I come from a long line of people who have to be first.
Not like Olympic medalist or anything like that.
(unless you count my mom who had to be Valedictorian of her high school or else she would have exploded....a definite post for another day.)
But first in line.
And by saying that certain members of my family need to be in the front of the line like other people need oxygen,
I don't mean Mr. T.
Mr. T would have gone down with the Titanic because he would have held the door for everyone running out screaming, saying...."after you"
But I know a couple of people in my extended family that would have been first on the very first life boat.
It's a skill which requires one of two things.
A. You get somewhere really really insanely early
B. You learn the fine art of wheedling your way through a crowd going unnoticed...well mostly.
My father is a champion at both.
Take Option A:
If for instance you need to give him a ride to the airport, which by the way has to be at the very least 2 hours before the scheduled flight, and you ask him what time you need to pick him up, he will say very casually and as if it's no big deal....."Oh I guess 7:00 will give us enough time to get there.
At 6:30 he will start looking out the window.
6:45 he will start pacing around the door area
and by 6:55 he will be in the driveway as you pull up satisfied with your 5 minute cushion with the look that says,
I have learned to just set my watch to JDL standard time and subtract 15 minutes from any aforementioned time.
Option B:
He is by far one of the best wheedlers and darters in a crowd that I have ever had the pleasure of trying to follow. I spent my life hearing my mom say, "Now where is your father?" whilst in large crowds. We would scan the area and worry until minutes later we would see him at the front of the crowd wildly waving his arms in a motion for us to walk past all of the other people to join him in the front. The angry looks as we skulked by were a priceless memory of growing up. It didn't ever bother Dad. He always said that they should of paid more attention and found a place up front like he did.
I really believe that it is in the DNA.
One of my kids who shall remain nameless was a carbon copy. I first noticed her skills while waiting for the school bus with the other neighborhood children. The mothers and kids would all stand at the end of our driveway where the bus made it's pickup for our street. Raar (oops) would be having fun talking and laughing and sweet as you please until the big yellow bus rolled up.
Then it was on.
She would race to the front of the bus as the big doors swung open, knocking anyone out of the way that got in the way,
I would talk to her about it and she would acknowledge it's danger but darn it if the next morning she would forget all our etiquette  discussions and make her way to the front of the line.
As for me?
Well let's just say that Mr. T gets a little frustrated trying to keep up with me sometimes.
I may look slow...
But if their is a line....
Stay out of my way and no one will get hurt.