Sunday, May 27, 2007

Almost 50

Yesterday was my birthday.

I am officially "almost 50". For those of you who don't know what "almost 50" means, it's 47. My age is something I easily remember because as Grandma P. always reminded me - she was born in 1910 and I was born 50 years later in 1960 and since we both were born in a year ending in ten, our birthdays alway's "matched" the calendar. For example --it's 2007, therefore, I'm 47. Next year, I'll be 48 in 2008 the year Olivia is scheduled to graduate from high school - the class of 2020...I will be 60! (Brillo Man and I will be wearing T-shirts to her commencement which read, "We are NOT the Grandparents.")

When I turned "almost 40" (37 for those of you not paying attention), I remember being very depressed that I was getting old and would very soon be 40. ha. What was I thinking?!

Anyway...I had a wonderful day. Olivia had been staying with my mother for the past two days, so that we would have a quiet environment for the banking inspector when he came to audit Brillo Man's business. (You remember that he is a mortgage broker...) Because Olivia wasn't here to crawl into bed with us yesterday morning, we were able to sleep in a little later and just chill.

We got up, ate breakfast and headed out the door to find some bargains at several of the yard sales in the area. There was also a household auction en route to Grandma's house where we bid on and WON a 32 inch wide screen HDTV! I've always wanted one - but didn't want to spend the money. Besides, the 19" TV that we have works perfectly. This, however, was a bargain we simply couldn't resist. Happy Birthday to me!

After retrieving Olivia from Mom's, we stopped at our favorite Amish greenhouse and bought a whole bunch of flowers which will probably sit for weeks before we eventually get them planted in the ground. The flowers are GORGEOUS and inexpensive compared to everywhere else. Again, we couldn't pass them up. And, we found another yard sale having an "everything-you-can-fit-in-a-bag-for-a-buck" sale. My favorite way to collect more junk that I really don't need but somehow feel that I can't live without.

In the evening, Brillo Man went and picked up a cake and some good friends arrived to share cake and ice cream with us. Lots of laughter and lots of fun!

Life is good at "almost 50".

Now please excuse me while I go watch my new TV!

This is the day which the LORD hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it. --Psalm 118:24

ADDENDUM: I just opened up yesterday's mail and received
an invitation to join the AARP! WHAT is up with that?!?!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Childhood Memories

Inspired by Pat's childhood memories, here are a few of my own:

Girl Scouts –camping - camping - camping! Some of my BEST childhood times. A lot of them spent with my Mom - who was my troop leader.

Riding my banana seat bike (to faraway places without asking permission)(oops).

Playing games in the yard with Bobbi Jo.

Seeing how high I could bounce a super ball on the sidewalk.

Summer-long Monopoly games on the porch at Seltzer’s.

Playing with my Barbie dolls.

Sunday School in the “annex”.

Family holiday dinners at Grandma C’s—eating homemade ravioli until you could ravioli me right out the door!

Roller skating –both on the sidewalk and in the rink. My skates were handed down from my Mom and they had cool wooden wheels. I could go much faster than the kids with rubber wheeled skates—at least until one cracked and broke, sending ball bearing scattering all over the rink floor...and me...kersplat!

Marathon games of Canasta with Mom, Dad and Grandma P.

Good times with the church youth group.

CA (Christ Ambassador) conventions every Easter weekend in Harrisburg.

Missionettes –and all the fun times with the girls. With the one exception of swinging on the vine and falling into the ravine....but that’s another blog....

Marathon games of Scrabble with Grandma P. (she usually won –she used words that I had never heard of –like “fez”. What in the world was a fez? Of course, now I know....and use that word all the time when I’m winning against Brillo Man.)

Going to Grandma P’s and always having a batch of brownies waiting for me in the rectangle plastic tupperware-like container on top of the metal cabinet.

Eating Grandma C’s fabulous pies. She made THE BEST pies.

Listening to Dad’s endless tinkling of spoon upon glass as he stirred his bottomless glass of summertime iced tea!

Sitting in the dining room in front of the mirror letting Mom brush my hair with the brushes from the “brush” drawer. I wonder what she’s got in that drawer these days?

Lying in bed listening to the thunderstorms on summer nights.

Saturday nights watching Lawrence Welk with Mom, Dad, Rob and a big bowl of popcorn. (I wanted to BE Ralna!)

Enjoying the rare occasion when Dad would sit down and play and sing –he ALWAYS played MalagueƱa and The Lord’s Prayer.

Enjoying watching my youngest brother and sister climb the pussy willow tree which was planted in honor of my younger sister’s birth.

Watching Timmy B. kill ants in his driveway. His methods were as bizarre as he.

Sitting on the porch on summer nights with family and friends and watching our world.

Stopping at Shirley G’s for coffee and laughs.

Running NON-STOP for four blocks down the hill from my elementary school on my way home for lunch. Then eating a fabulous lunch prepared by Mom and begging a dime to stop at “Tom’s”, the corner store, on the way back to school in the afternoon. In those days, a dime bought a LOT more than it does today. I could buy a Reeses Cup and five pieces of penny candy or a whole 12 oz bottle of Coke, or an ice cream sandwich or TWO popsicles!

Wednesday and Sunday evenings after church, gathered at a restaurant with all my church youth group friends, eating and carrying on and having a grand time!

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
--I Corinthians 13:11

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by tearoom.
I was browsing the recent flickr photos and found this one.
Loved it!
Wanted to share!

Check out the beautiful photos by this photographer! (Click on the photo to be directed to her website.)

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Sock Monster

Today Olivia's preschool class took a field trip to the elementary school to tour the school and see the kindergarten classrooms. When I dropped her off this morning, the kids were SO excited! All anxious to go see their new school.

They all received laminated name tags with frogs on them. Except Olivia. Mrs. Hawthorne somehow overlooked Olivia's name on the list. Fortunately, Miss Lydia was able to make her a nametag with the same frog (only slightly bigger and not laminated) and saved the day because Olivia was about ready to commence pouting.

She donned her newly created nametag and I gave her a hug and walked out the door ---just as I do every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. But this morning, as I walked past that big yellow school bus in the parking lot, I found myself reduced to tears. And it's not even the REAL thing! It's just the 'dry run'.

Time for a distraction. Ah...a 'yard sale' sign... When I picked Olivia up, sitting in her carseat was a purple CareBear that I found at the sale. Today is Friday and Friday is "surprise day". I always have some little thing waiting for her when preschool is over. She was thrilled to see the purple bear and bubbled with enthusiasm as she told me all about her trip to her soon-to-be kindergarten classroom.

We came home and told Brillo Man that Olivia was SO EXCITED when she saw the school bus, knowing she was going to ride the bus to the school. I'm sure he noticed the lump in my throat because he looked at me and said, "On Olivia's first day of school in the fall, I'm going to be no where near the end of the driveway because YOU are going to be a basket case." He's right. I will be.

Last evening I attended a "Getting Ready for Kindergarten" seminar at the school. It was more about getting the parents ready to 'let go' more than anything else - giving us suggestions as to how to make that 'transition' easier for both children and parents. No amount of tips or suggestions is going to make that transition easier for me.

Today, Olivia appeared as "The Sock Monster" --sorting through the basket of clean laundry which I had not yet folded, scattering it all over the floor as she created her 'costume'.

And after her bath tonight, I held her wrapped in her towel, as I often do, and sang "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight." Then we sing it a "silly" way...substituting other words for 'heart' and 'straight'. ...maybe knees and zebras.... trust Him with your knees and He'll fill your path with zebras. She giggles and giggles. And then we sing it the right way again. One day, she'll be too big for me to hold her and sing her songs.

My problem is that I don't want my Sock Monster to grow up. I want to hold her on my lap forever after her bath and sing in her ear. I want every Friday to always be "Surprise Day" But, growing up she is... and it's happening - right in front of my eyes - way too fast.

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?"
--Isaiah 49:15a

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A day in my life....

when I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.... from behind my computer chair I hear,

I chose to laugh....

"God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me."
--Genesis 21:16

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mother's Day

My Mother's Day was wonderful!

Olivia made me a beautiful flower pot filled with candy. She also presented me with an Elmo balloon which she immediately stated should really be hers since she likes Elmo so much. Of course, she got the balloon --and the big lollipop in the center of the flower pot flower!

Brillo Man gave me a gift bag full of some of my favorite goodies and a coupon to redeem for a hanging basket of flowers. (He thought I might like to pick out my own posies.)

I was told it was "my" day and we could do whatever I wanted to do. I chose geocaching, one of my favorite ways to pass the time. After finding a few 'treasures', we went to dinner at a crowded, but worth the wait, restaurant.

The best thing was celebrating God's greatest gift to me --being a Mom to the most precious little munchkin on the planet.

I trust all you Moms had a grand day of your own. How did you celebrate?

Her children arise and call her blessed...
--Proverbs 31:28a

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My 15 Minutes of Fame

So --I listen to the messages on my phone yesterday and hear one from a copy editor at Guideposts Magazine. Check this out --she read my post on Manzanar and wants to feature it in the "Continued" section in an upcoming issue.

I'm thinking that this could be my 15 minutes of fame.

I shared this with Brillo Man --excitedly saying that I couldn't believe that a copy editor from Guideposts actually called me and wants to use something that I've written in their magazine (which by the way, is the ONLY magazine that I read cover to cover every month).

I then shared that if they would mention my blog in their magazine, that I would feel added pressure to write more entertaining and eloquent and profound things because possibly countless millions would be directed to my blog for inspiration and direction. Friends and family who currently don't read my blog (and you know who you are Aunt Carolyn) would be reading regularly, hoping to glean some wisdom. Long lost friends who haven't been in touch, would call and say, "Hey, I saw your picture and blurb in Guideposts and starting reading your blog and now my life is changed forever."

I asked him what he thought.

He said, "you referred to me as 'Brillo Man' in that post."

I said, "so, what's your point?"

Comment left on my earlier blog post from the editor at Guideposts:
(note --Sara, this is not plagiarism because I've assigned due credit.)

Dear Deb,

My name is Jane Doe (name has been changed to protect the innocent). I'm an editor for Guideposts magazine and would love to talk to you about having your article of An Education from Guideposts in our magazine. Since I don't have your contact info, please contact me at 555.555.5555.
Best, Jane

Pretty Cool huh?

This is sorta like... I'm almost gonna be famous because my photo will be in Guideposts Magazine. Similar to being on the cover of the Rolling Stone or something. (ahem)

note: Sara, "on the cover of the Rolling Stone" is not plagiarism --even though it's in some song lyric written and performed by someone I can't remember...because I'm giving due credit.

HOWEVER...I will admit that the above cartoon is copyrighted and used without
permission. So sue me.

He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised. --Deuteronomy 26:19