Thursday, February 28, 2013

The library

As if going to the library isn't glorious enough, it is now even more divine at my local one!

A winter reading program for adults!

Prizes are to be won!  The grand prize being a gift certificate to a local eatery that is pretty sensational.
Why wouldn't you do it!!  To know we have read, we hand in a book review.
Reading 9 books is the real prize!  And I get to choose which ones!!  The genre picks are:

Mystery or Thriller
Book recommended to you
Classic Novel---NO BRAINER--that will be Pride and Prejudice.  Can't wait to reread!!
My Choice
Historical Fiction or Western
Juvenile or Young Adult
Fantasy or Science Fiction

Let the merrymaking begin!!

week 2 of Amazing Race

Another team gets eliminated.  The doctors water plight put them at the end of the pack.  We sat perplexed as we watched their obvious fear of the water.  Amazing how our fears can get the best of us.
Some of us thrive in the water, clearly others don't.  It was, however, inspiring to watch them get through the detour, albeit switching tasks, but getting through it.
The task was to dive down and grab some shells, looking for the two with the red pearl in it.
Easy if you love the water.  Some finished quickly.
The other task was to put on a scuba gear hood of sorts, and find a trunk beneath the water.   In it is a display for a picnic...complete with table cloth, glasses, plates, etc.  The task was to simply set your table under the sea, and then a butler will swim over and present your next clue.
What fun frolicing under the ocean.

From there, off to the next task by jet ski.  I would be happier than a lark right about then!
To be the first to the mat, they had to walk on stilts, "kicking" a coconut across the finish line!

My team, the father and son, were not first!  They made a common mistake early on...they did not read the whole clue.  It put them behind, but managed to get to the mat near the top.  However, running to the mat somehow caused the father to tear something in his leg.  Tremendous pain ensued, and time will tell if they are out of the race.

Lessons I detected on this leg of the race:    1)   fear  2) persevering inspite of those fears.
3) The joy of simply being in the water, God has given us all things for us to enjoy.  He made it for us.
 4) Reading all of the instructions first!
5) Things can happen quickly.  Some things are just out of our control.

Who will be eliminated next?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

an Oscar winning night

The Oscar goes to.....

I must admit that I have no idea who is up for what show, best picture, best actor, etc.
This Hollywood night has never intrigued me enough to watch who wins what.  
Even more so, who is wearing the best and the worst gowns.  

I would say the Oscar goes tonight to the Creator of Heaven and Earth.  I, along with my hubby, just got back from a moonlit ski across the fields outside our back door.  Wow, what a show.  The moon was bright, easily lighting the trail we had blazed a few days ago.  Too many to count, the stars came out lighting the sky twinkling like diamonds.  
We breathed in the cool, calm air of this perfect night.  Sleep will come easy tonight.  Fresh air does that.  
I was a little freaked when we started out, as I saw a creature up the hill, running across the field.  It didn't help that my hubby proceeds to tell me, "just remember I can ski faster than you can!"  NICE.  
Was it a coyote, a fox, or a figment of my imagination?  I know I saw something!  The tracks were there to prove it.
It is on nights like these I am grateful I live here where we can enjoy this season of winter.  A season of such wonder.  The moon, the stars, the snow, animals at play making us guess what they are by leaving clues...their tracks.

Yes, an Oscar kind of night.    


Saturday, February 23, 2013


The word "goal" is a weighty word isn't it?

Losing weight
Getting married
Having children

All areas for using that word...GOAL

"The responsibility for implementing it, though, is all yours.  I cannot do it for you, and you cannot hire anyone else to do it for you.  It is completely up to you."   Tommy Newberry.

OR---my favorite quote from Tommy's book, "Success is not an Accident."....
"If you want to lead an extraordinary life, find out what the ordinary do---and don't do it."

Ralph Waldo Emerson---" Let him learn a prudence of a higher strain.  Let him learn that every thing in nature, even motes and feathers , go by law and not by luck, and that what he sows he reaps."

I want to know where I am going.  I do not want to be a victim or to just drift through life.  Therefore, I will write down my goals, and work to implement them.

I found it interesting as we were watching Escape from Alcatraz last evening.  Yep, I watched that show...not Jane Austen that is for sure.  It was intriguing.  Having been there to tour the grounds this past summer, it had a different perspective for us.  We were there.  We saw the cells.  We saw the bars.  It was a dark place.  A dismal, cold, eschew kind of place.
Clint Eastwood had a goal...getting out.
So, he made a plan and worked it.  He whittled his way through the plaster, day after day, with seemingly great odds against him.  The guards, the inmates, light, darkness.  But he kept on going for days and months and years.  He kept his goal in sight...getting out...and working his plan, he did it.

And so it is with us.  The goal is right there.  Reachable.  In front of us.  We just need to work at by day, week after week, year after year, until finally we are reaping what we have sown.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

There are no words

Again, my heart breaks.

My friend Pamela's son has died.
He was found in his dorm room at Winona State University.

No words.....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Amazing Race

It is true.
I love the Amazing Race!
I think it is the travel.  Some of the places in this world are simply breathtaking, and the lucky contenders of this show get to see some wonders of the world indeed.

This season started last night.
First place they flew to...Bora Bora.  WOW.  The white sands, the blue green waters...simply heavenly.
They get off the plane and are greeted by the locals with beautiful leis.  I remember the intoxicating smell of the lei when we arrived in Hawaii years ago.  What a welcome!

Their first detour was to jump out of a perfectly good helicopter!  Whew!  Glad it is not me!
When that thrill was done, the partner that did not have to jump, had to do the next task.  Bummer for them as there were about 400 sand castles with the next clue under one of them.
The goal was to dig for it, and if you don't find it, you have to make the sand castle over again before going to the next one!
Seems easy enough, until the sun bakes you like a lobster!  Hour after hour the complaining began and the task just got more daunting as more of the teams showed up.  Even more frustrating is when one team is there for hours and the hockey players show up and find the clue quickly!  It is all about luck and not a whole lot of strategy in these tasks.
Anyone can win, and anyone can lose!
You can say all you want that you are going to win, but you never know what is ahead!

There are express passes up for grabs during this leg of the race.  First one to the mat gets not only one express pass, but two.  What a great place to be in to finish first.  The show has twists and turns.
Do you be nice or play the game to win one million dollars?

Lots of different personalities in this season.  I think the show teaches perseverance and patience.  A bit of anger management also!  
It is mindless entertainment!  One hour a week of my time to wonder if I could do this race!
I like it!
My team was going to be the firefighters, but they have been eliminated.
There are hockey players, rednecks, working moms, newlyweds, father and son, dating couple, OBGYN twin brothers, best friends, utube sensations, and country singers.
Hmmmm...I know my boss is going for the hockey players, so won't pick them!
My team will be....
The father and son.

Both have battled cancer.  Just sounds like a story I would like!
Root for the father and son team!!

First to the mat were the dating couple.  Jessica and Jon.  They now are the proud owners of the 2 express passes.
Who will be eliminated next?  Don't you just love Phil?!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Getting a letter

A real letter.  Remember those?

I went to my mailbox.  Not the email box on your computer.  The one at the end of your driveway, or perhaps a post office box.  The semi shaped box with the red flag that is placed in the "up" position to indicate to the postman that "he's got mail,"  to which he puts the flag down to be your indicator that "you've got mail."

I had mail.  The best kind of mail.  The pleasing to the eye kind.  My name composed across the front of the envelope, return address of a far off state letting me know that this was indeed delightful mail.  The mail that makes me hurry to get inside, get settled by the fireplace with some tea and drink in all that this letter was going to tell me.  
Real paper that I could touch, with real ink and real hands taking the time to invest in writing to me...just me.  Not a whole address of people that will get an email with the push of the button.
No work there.  Technology has its place indeed.

I love writing those letters, but I was reminded today of how splendid it really is to be on the receiving end.
I've read the letter now twice enjoying the picture on the front of a location that looks worthy of seeing someday.  More captivating is the way in which the letter was written....on the back of old tickets to Disneyland!!  She is so clever!  Try to do that with email!
This one will stay in my "keep" box.

Go ahead.  Handwrite that letter!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A beautiful day skiing

Cross country skiing in the State Park is much more recreational than in the field across from our home.  These trails are groomed and the scenery is a sight to behold.   I fell just twice!  Kind of scary actually.  Felt like I was downhill skiing at one point! 
I am quite sure we were entertainment for the wildlife!  I can just imagine the squirrels and the deer snickering and pointing to their many wildlife peers stating, "look at the person taking a nosedive, spread eagle on the hill.  I'm pretty sure she didn't try to do that..ha ha." 

We saw many deer, including the one that we saw hobble away with a broken leg.  Sigh.  
I never tire of seeing eagles soar.  Such grace.  What a wing span. 

I, well maybe not so much me...ok my husband, am trying to understand techy stuff.  He has figured out pictures, so that is fun.  Now I can put some on my blog now and then.  Only when he can help me! 

It was a fun afternoon.  A bit chilly, but what can I expect.  It is winter!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Snow is falling.  This may be one for the record books if you believe the weather man.
But, who cares.
We are all safe and these are great days to write!  Days to clean out closets, play board games nestled by the fireplace...aahhh winter.  The trees are creating their own canvas of art with the snow falling gently on their limbs.  I get to watch this work of art in progress from the view inside my front window.
Our yard is covered in a blanket of white, getting thicker by the hour.  My rose bushes are barely visible.  They are asleep for now, but in a few months, they will spring from their winter slumber.
Yesterday we went out cross country skiing.  After falling a few times, I got the hang of it, and remembered what a recreational thing skiing is to do.  We vowed that this will be our entertainment as much as we possibly can go.  It is great exercise as well.

We picked up our son at the bus station at the Mall of America.  No contentment there!  Very alive place!  We scooped him up and got out of the commotion.  No "hello", "nice to see you..."  Nope...first words out of his mouth..."I'm hungry."
His pick was "Bdubs."  Translation=Buffalo Wild Wings.
Ugh...NOT my favorite, but it was about him so that is where we went.  Says he doesn't go there much.  After acquiring the check, we can see why!
For one night, I had both of my kids under one roof...mine!
Today he took the van back up to school, leaving early..thank goodness.  Arrived safely back at his house.
  This mother...CONTENT!

Receiving an email from a favorite author...there are no words, but contentment could be one of them!  Wow.  It is a good weekend.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A chance encounter

Looking around the venue, I internally said to myself, "surely in a crowd this size there must be someone here that I know."
I disregarded the comment and enjoyed the advertisements on the big screeens.
Soon the concert began.  It was all I expected it to be...worshipful, glorifying, and powerful music.  A little on the resounding side, but excellent.

Enter intermission.

There she was.  Out of nowhere.  She had spotted us first.  I instantly recognized her.  We embraced, overjoyed to see each other.  It had been years.  What was it..12-13 years?
She looked the same.  The stunning, hair stylin', dear friend from bygone days.  We spoke, eager to know how the other was and what was new in our lives.
We swapped information, and are desirous to rekindle this friendship.

Still am a bit in disbelief this morning that we saw each other.  Seems imaginary!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Which seems longer?  25,550 days or 70 years?

By far, to me, 70 years seems way longer.
I was reading today and came across this number.  The typical  average life span is 25,550 days.
The number grabbed my attention, and has kept it all day.

25,550 days to use wisely.
A number that weighed on me yet again today as I went over to some friends and gave some food and condolences as they mourn the passing of their father.

He lived to be 74.  

Monday, February 4, 2013


For the first time ever, I blew snow today!
Pathetic isn't it?
I have done it the old fashioned scoop at a time, hurting my back, and making my arms ache after the strenuous work of throwing the snow over my head into a heap away from the driveway.
My husband started the blower and was mowing down the snow that had piled during the night.  Didn't look like much, but when you are actually out there, the snow was quite a mass.

I had taken my time bundling myself to look like an eskimo.  I waddled out to the driveway ready to conquer the front steps with the shovel.  He just laughed and continued making his way down the driveway.
There seems to be a right way to clean off a driveway, including the way one shovels it, and it was apparent I was not meeting the standards!  Imagine my surprise when he asks if I want to snowblow!
Why I got a quick lesson and off I went.  Full speed ahead I went with snow blowing into my face.  Why wasn't this happening to him?
He came to my rescue, much to my dismay.  He gave me the quick lesson...I wanted to do it myself.  The machine was smarter than I, and if this was ever going to get done, I had to lay down my pride and listen to him and figure this out.
Did you know there is a gadget on the blower that shoots the snow from one side to the other?  Ha!  The things I learn!  It matters what side the snow shoots from.  Of course, I was making more work for myself because it was shooting in my face, and not away from the driveway.  Ugh.

By now I looked like the eskimos!  I regrouped, and started to get the hang of it.  It would have gotten done much more rapid if he would have finished, but I think I was good entertainment!

I have a new respect for all those times he did it without me!
Thanks honey!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy birthday brother of mine

He is older than me.
I like reminding him of that.   Not by much though.  We are a mere 11 months apart.

I think it was hard raising us.  We got into trouble more than once!
We were just reminiscing about the time we managed to put the car in gear and ended up hitting a tree  before our dad could come to our rescue.  We were about 3 and 4 years old at the time.
Then there were the times that he just was an older brother.  He was reckless.
 Snapping me with a kitchen towel, shooting me in the toe with a BB gun, breaking the chandelier in our home and blaming it on me, oh the shenanigans!  I survived and now he has 3 boys....You reap what you sow!!

We have been through our share of heartaches, and it is nice to know that he is my brother and will be there for me when I need him.  
Have a Happy Day!