Friday, August 28, 2009

How do I affect you?

I was watching Oprah recently and the topic of her show was, basically, Manners. I was raised in the era of manners. My parents were convinced that elbows on the dinner table would send one directly into the fiery depths. At the time I was learning these little things I felt they were terribly strict, not to mention ridiculous. With the wisdom of age came the realization that I was fortunate to have been taught how to behave, even if it was a bit over the top at times. I can't imagine anyone being offended at someone singing (God forbid) at the dinner table at home, but that was one of the misdeeds that would send us directly from the table to our room to think about how poorly we had behaved. When I had my family it was just a natural part of my parenting to teach the same manners (sans the singing thing) and as my kids get older they voice the fact that so many of their friends have no clue of how to behave in social situations. I have mentioned that I have all boys and I can tell you for sure that they initially react differently to a girl who doesn't use her napkin or talks with her mouth full of food. Maybe more important these days is the way that we are so rude to and inconsiderate of each other. Everyone is in such a hurry. You can be certain that "they" are going somewhere much more important than where you are headed. Don't even get me started on the change in manners since we all became armed with our trusty cell phone. I want to be sure and point out that I include myself in these issues. I guess there are times when I feel positive that I am in a bigger hurry than you are. Here's what I gleaned from Oprah's show:

We never touch people so lightly
That we do not leave a mark.

If we thought about that each time we went out about our daily activities it might change the way we do things. It also made me think about the fact that offensive is offensive. If I smile at you as I step in front of you in line, I have still stepped in front of you in line.

Have a G-R-E-A-T weekend and be nice out there!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The latest in my ATCs. This was done for a swap through Paula's Kit Club. I have been a member since the inception of the club, which is owned by Paula Montgomery of Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers fame. She has an eye for putting together to-die-for kits and each month is like Christmas when the package arrives. A wonderful club member named Zoe has started hosting monthly swaps for members and the cards are fabuloso. This month's theme was "butterflies".

A thought...

What does it mean to be truly kind? To be truly giving? To be truly integritous in our actions and behaviors? I liked this:

True integrity is what we possess and how we behave when no one is looking.
It's not too difficult to do something nice or come from the highest place when there is a kudo or pat on the back on the otherside. I think it all comes back to personal accountability. Do you agree?

Monday, August 24, 2009

A New Idea!

I have spent so much time enjoying the blogs of people I admire, and each time I visit one of them I feel remiss in doing my own blogging. So, I think I have an idea-I will try to write just a snippet each day. I guess I had it in my head that I needed something major or interesting to blog about. But no more, my Friends! To heck with major! Interesting be darned! I read something today that reminded me that "The only way to get to the other side is to walk through the middle. No skipping around the edges" So simple, yet so profound. And why wouldn't we want to skip the middle-the gooey, thick, hard to move middle? Oh, but the sweetness of getting ...THERE!!! And knowing you did it completely. Appreciate the beauty of the journey.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Got the Sweetest Hangover

Here I am, having lived through the first week of my 50s. And they said I wouldn't handle it. HAH! I scoff at that!!! I have to say that this birthday was fabulous. (One quick thing-I promise to stop yammering about my birthday after this post.) If I had to explain why, I would say I just felt so very blessed and loved. I have been married to Mr. Man for almost 13 years and he has always been great at gifting. He is more like a woman in that department-he loves to find the perfect present and he always makes sure they are beautifully wrapped. He also still buys me mushy cards quite often and I am one of only a handful of women I know who still receives flowers. He can rarely go to the grocery or any other store and come home without a bouquet or at least a single posy. I am lucky, I know. He gifted me with many lovelies for this birthday and most importantly, he was here. He had been working out of town and flew in just for the day to be with me. My family took me out for a wonderful dinner and did all the fun birthday things. I had my breath taken away a couple of times and was brought to tears, so I would say they all did their job well.

My oldest son, Jeremy and daughter-in-law, Steph are two of the most thoughtful people ever. Hands down, they always put so much time and thought into anything they do for anyone. They had a cake made for me, the likes of which I have never seen. It was in the form of a desk/craft table that was made of red velvet cake covered in fondant made to look like wood grain. On the top of it was an Ott Lite, a soldering iron, pair of scissors and a couple of items that took the breath away-the artist had re-created on of my recent ATCs in fondant. My son emailed her a copy of my Marie Antoinette card and she "copied" it. There was also a filigree heart locket hanging from a pearl bracelet, every one of these made completely of fondant! What an amazing gift! I kept all the 3D items from the top and I will attempt to preserve at least some of it. I was most touched by the way they know me and know what I love. I mean, a craft table!!! As if that wasn't enough to blow me away, my son learned to do glass etching (with an electric tool, not sandblasting) so that he could make me a commemorative framed piece for the wall. It had 3 pictures of me at different ages, some very loving words, and he had inscribed the glass with HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I can't believe how professional it looks. I asked how long he practiced and he said "just a couple of times". So cool! I am now encouraging him to consider making custom engraved glass pieces as a side business. He did such a great job. I can't describe the feeling in knowing all the effort they both went to to show me their love.

My middle son, Robert, gifted me with a very precious commodity-his time! He is in college, works and has a pretty important social life, so when he said he would be coming home the night before and spending the whole day with me, I was psyched, not to mention honored! He didn't stop there-his gift to me is studio time. No, not tim ein an art studio, but time in a recording studio. He and I have always liked to sing together and every Christmas we joke about making Cd of duets as a gift to our family. We-e-e-e-l-l-l-l-l...he and I are going into the studio! We are in the process of picking out songs and then we will practice and schedule our time. I was shocked!!! I am so looking forward to doing it, but I have to admit to being a little timid now that it will be a reality. I can't help but think about what a treasure the CD will be in the years to come and I will also get the opportunity to spend alot of time with him as we get ready.

All of the wonderful things my family did and that wasn't all. I had cards, gifts and phone calls from so many of my friends and family. It ends up that all the people I went to school with are also turning 50 this year, so many of them took the time to write or call. I have to tell you that after all of this I really did feel like I had a hangover of sorts. I don't drink alcohol most of the time, so I really didn't overindulge, but I surely was full. For those of you in the art world, Art Unraveled was the Saturday after my birthday. I drove to Phoenix to partake of the shopping day and have a drink and visit with my sweet friend Dawn. Earlier in the week I received a package from her via FedEx. It was a box of brownies. NOT!!! It was a box of the best brownies I have ever tasted. Ever!!! And I am FIFTY!! They came from a company called Fairytale Brownies out of Phoenix. I had never heard of them, but you can be sure I will be sending them in the future. TO-DIE-FOR!!! And the attention to detail is unmatched-beautiful packaging and presentation. When I saw Dawn on Saturday she had a bag of goodies-also for my birthday. She is so great a gift-giving, but I have to admit that my favorite thing was getting to spend a little time with her.
So....after all the anxiety about feeling old, all the anticipation of the big day, it went perfectly. And I will CHARGE into the next part of my life with a new enthusiasm, a new passion, a new...but first, a couple of Tylenol. My joints ache.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

49 Down...And counting?

I made myself a promise about a month ago to keep this darn blog more up to date. Well...ya know how life just sorta decides things for you? So, here I am again, making the same promise. I decided today was a momentous one and deserved, at the very least, a blog post. Today I turn FIFTY!!!!! Am I brave to tell the world or what? I think it's so funny when women try to pretend they are younger than they are. I have always felt it is better to have someone think I am younger, rather than say I am 38 and have them do one of those sideways glances and say "Ohhhhhh." So, I say again, I AM FIFTY DAMN YEARS OLD TODAY!!!! And so far, I am just fine. It's funny how in my little brain I still feel like I am, say, 25. Once in awhile I get a little reminder that I am not clicking like a 25 year old. Case in point-I was shopping with my youngest yesterday when he found a pair of shoes he loved and he said "These are sick". Never being one to know when to just nod, I said "they're the shizzle". . .

I know. I shoulda known.

But he's a good kid and only smiled as I asked if that phrase was passe'. You know it made for a few laughs back at his apartment later. I seriously cannot keep up with the language changes. I remember when we went from "cool" to "awesome" Wasn't there a few decades between the two? During this same shopping trip I pointed to a belt and said "is that what an emu kid would wear?" He laughed out loud on that one and said "Emo, mom. But that was cute."

Cute. Honest to God.

I think maybe I'm getting to that age where I am just so far out of it I need to SHUT UP!!! Ha! my next 50 years I am going to do a few things:

This isn't original, but I am going to worry less about appearances. I can't imagine going to the mall in curlers, but I certainly think I could worry less about the dust on my baseboards.

I am going to make sure that I tell people just how fabulous I think they are. I have tried to do this for some time, but can you ever really do too much of it?

I am going to pray daily for acceptance. Acceptance of what is, of what will be and mostly, of myself and my failings.

I am going to break a few rules. I am a rule follower. Sometimes that's not so much fun. Don't think I'll rob any banks, but maybe I'll be a daredevil and leave my cellphone on in the Drs. office.

I solemnly vow to DE-CLUTTER my life!!!!! I started the process very recently and although I have attempted it before, I am serious this time. After all, I am FIFTY. How much more time do I have? And could there be anything worse than to leave this planet with so much clutter that those mourning my departure would be left to say "Boy, she had alot of stuff!"

I will let more of the little petty annoyances roll off my back. I have noticed that this seems to be a natural happening over the past few years, but I could still use some work in this department. After all, when someone else is having a hard day or the dude at Home Depot just can't be pleasant, chances are it's not about me.

Most importantly, I will try my best to remember each day that this is MY LIFE. I don't get to do it again. I am the only person who can live it and it is precious and the single greatest gift I have been given. I liked living so much that I decided to bring life to three more humans!!! I will act accordingly.

Well, I've been Fifty for five minutes now and it's not so bad...
so far.