Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Girls are like
apples on trees. The best
ones are at the top of the tree.
The boys don't want to reach for
the good ones because they are afraid
of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they
just get the rotten apples from the ground
that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples
at the top think something is wrong with
them, when in reality, they're amazing.
They just have to wait for the right
boy to come along, the one
who's brave enough
to climb
all the way
to the top
of the tree.

What do you think?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sing, Damn You, Sing!

Getting physically older is not fun, nor particularly graceful. As I get ready in the morning I moisturize my dry old skin, perk up my eyes with eye-liner & mascara, cover my age spots with foundation (the oily kind because powder makes your wrinkles stand out). I pluck out the white eyebrow hairs, and the black "boar hairs" and then turn my mirror to magnify so I can pluck out various hairs that grow on my face in weird and frustrating places. I outline in permanent lipstick color where my lips should be, but aren't. I put on my contacts or glasses, and plop a hairpiece on the top of my head (female surgery took care of the hair on my head--half of it has fallen out--but I am hopeful. I see new brave hairs coming back so maybe I can get rid of the "ferret" in a couple of months). Turtle necks are my favorite shirts, and I couldn't live without my orthopedic shoes!

A man dated this gorgeous Opera singer, famous for her beautiful voice. After a wonderful courtship, he married her, and they soon found themselves alone in their honeymoon hotel.

He watched perplexed as she took off her long, beautiful hair. She removed her beautiful blue eyes and put them in their containers. Next came the falsies, a girdle (that made her waist look so small) and of course, off came her makeup. Then he watched in horror as she removed her teeth.

He only had one thing to say to her: "Sing, damn you, sing!"

At least SHE could sing . . . :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blogging is Good for a Woman's Health

Raising children with technology is a bane and a blessing. TV, and later Nintendo, were the interlopers in our life as I was raising my children. You have TV, Nintendo, X-box, home PC's and Macs, and all their attendant helps and hindrances. Doing the Tango with technology, and finding a good balance and appropriateness are your big challenges today. Best of luck. It's like dieting; it's not like you can give up food. The way the world is constructed today, you cannot live without technology i.e., the home computer, and what a blessing . . .

So, just why is blogging good for a mother's health? Because it connects you to the world. I remember being so isolated and alone. And speaking "kid-talk" for hours on end. I would drive my husband nuts when he dared to show his face in the kitchen after work. I would talk and talk and talk--I so craved another adult voice, or a simple adult conversation.

He wanted quiet.

But somehow we would both muddle through it. I would find a way to get my needs met, and he would just hang on hoping for the period that never came--only cascading commas, as I let loose all the "big words" I'd saved up for the end of the day, seemed to flow. John Gray calls women Venusians and men Martians, and explains this very phenomenon very well in his book "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus". (My husband loves that book so much that he gives it out for wedding presents--he has even given out the Spanish version)

So now what can women do about this? Sit down at your computer, click and therapy begins! You can talk with other women, read about other women's difficulties, thoughts, ideas, musings and experiences. And you don't have to leave the house (as if you could sometimes). I marvel at the candor you young women have. You are fearless, you are open, expressing your thoughts candidly through humor, love and yes, even courage. And because of that, the floodgates have been opened. We no longer have to judge "our insides by someone else's outsides". We are all inside now.

When I was a young mom, sadly, when our churches should have been knocking down these walls, they were fortifying them. Unintentionally, you were pitted against perfection, and perfect-seeming people. No one came forth to declare "hey, I did that once" or "my kid did that more times than I can count". No, we hid behind our "can do" personalities, and worked like the devil to appear saintly. I am so glad that times have changed. And if they haven't where you are--they will--or you will just have to go ahead and do it anyway.

There will be thousands of women online ready to cheer you on, to hear you, to teach you, to heal you and show you in many hundreds of tiny ways that you are not alone. We all make mistakes, but as one of my best friends once said, "they have have to do with our growth--not our worth."

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Daughter Turns the Big Three Oh

She was the most beautiful baby. It seemed to her Dad and I that she saw right through us. Also, her soul was somehow not as hidden like in most people--it was perceived and it was old. Old and wise. She has grown into a wise old Pacha Mama now, but not too old to laugh, be adventurous, to create, to explore, to learn, to wonder, to teach, to love, to nurture and well, this list is endless. She is the daughter of dreams born in the heart of a young girl imagining the future and how blessed she would be to someday have a little girl. A little girl that would be named Jennifer, the perfect companion to the little boy that came before.

Feliz CumpleaƱos, mija.
Con mucho cariƱo y mucho amor,
Tu Mama

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama--My President

I can't remember when I have been more excited, more hopeful, more confident in our future as Americans as I have been since the world realized that for the next four years, Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America. I can't count the times I was moved to tears as Obama gave his acceptance speech--and I was equally moved by the final words of John McCain. In fact, I felt that it was McCain's finest hour, and one of the greatest speeches of this election time. He was all McCain, and he went out the true statesman that he is.

This election year, I wasn't concerned about making history. . ."the first Black man, the first female vice-president". I was more interested in getting the best person for the job. Gender and color shouldn't matter--and I think that the world is getting closer and closer to that ideal. The best person for the job was elected--and he happens to be black. I'll tell my Grandson Campbell about this night--and how important it was, but somehow, maybe the world will be so much better, that he won't understand how Americans had to fight and sacrifice to get to a place that future generations will probably take for granted. Hopefully none of the lines that separate us from each other, will be there when Campbell, and yes, Turner too, grow to manhood.

Our family gathered for prayer after the announcement that we had a new president. Terry gave the most beautiful, heartfelt prayer--asking for a blessing on our new President, his cabinet and this nation as well. It just felt right.

God bless America and President Obama, his wife and children.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

In Honor of My Dad

Dear Pops,
I can't believe that it's been two years since we lost you. And yes, sometimes, we have literally been lost without you. You can't believe all the things that have happened since we last saw you: three new great-grandsons, a new Missionary (Dad loved Missionaries, especially his grandson's), grandchildren earning their higher education degrees, and a new Democratic President, who happens to be African-American! There have new jobs for some of us, new church callings, and some of us have even retired, un-retired and retired. Some of us moved into different homes, remarried and had significant medical problems. Some of us have gotten skinnier, and some chubbier. Some of us are fighting battles that may be too difficult to win. But, all in all, Dad, I think that you would be proud of us and all that we've accomplished. There might be "Atta Kids" all around.
We love and Miss you . . .and we will "never give up".

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cheryl & Ryan: The Bouquet

"Okay," I said "Your colors are blue and brown, so what kind of flowers would you like? Can you give me an idea?

"Yes" she said "I want Ivory roses, feathers and birds."



"And birds?"

"Yes, feathers and birds--and roses"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Love and Leg Hair

This morning I got a chance to reflect on my life as a woman who has had to shave her legs for over 43 years. I can't believe that there was a day that I actually looked forward to this lifelong drudgery. Thank heavens, the look after is worth all the trouble. The first pair of nylons that covered my brand-new shaved-for-the-first-time legs were some nylons that my dad found in a barrel at the hardware store where he was buying plumbing supplies. They were such a bargain (there was an entire barrel full to the brim) that he bought several pairs and brought them home for me.

I was dumbstruck.

You see, the reason for the "big sale" was because they had this funny "seam" running right down the back of them.
Never mind it was the 60's and seam nylons went out with WWII. . . and to top it all off, my first occasion to wear my first pair of nylons, with my just-shaved-for-the-first-time legs, was to my great-grandfather's funeral. It was hard enough that you had to put on a polyester"harness" around your hips, where some cotton straps and dangley metals things, clung to your nylons (they only went up mid-thigh) so they wouldn't fall down. Oh, and when that "special time" came around once a month--you had another "harness" that, well, we'll save that for another story.

Everyone at the funeral remarked how much I must have loved my Grandfather (which I did) so much, because I stood by his casket all evening. The real reason was that next to the casket was the only wall which I could stand in front of, hiding the hideous seams behind me that etched up my leg on the back. Yes, I actually "backed" into the room, and I "backed" out of the room. And Dad was very proud that he'd bought me something so special . . .

Fast-forward to the greatest invention of all time--knee socks! Trouser socks! Wonderful contraptions to hide the fact that you didn't have time, one too many times, to shave. Winter can be a boon to too tired hands, and worn-out blades! Just cover it up with a dark sock. . .

Jacey is studying Cosmetology. She did her last semester in aesthetics. In other words--she learned to wax. And she waxes everything. Her brothers, and yes, even her Dad, get regular "nose hair" waxing--and they all swear by them that they actually breathe better. She said, "Mom, grow out your leg hair and I will wax your legs" Okay, that sounds interesting, I'll try it--I really like smooth legs. Well, Jacey has the social calendar of a national leader, and she was getting married to boot. She kept postponing my waxing. You know when I gave up waiting for my wax job? When one morning as I was walking down the stairs, I felt the "wind blow" on my legs. They were actually "blowing in the wind" as I walked! Disgusting. I shaved that day.

Now, with no, or very little estrogen coursing through my body, my leg ha
ir is noticeably softer and less noticeable. Maybe I will become like my mom who never had to shave in her golden years. But I am not there yet.

Today, as I was shaving my legs, my little four-year-old granddaughter, Audrey, stood by me watching. "Nana, why are you cutting that grass?" I fell on the floor.

"Gwamma, what makes the grass grow there?" Fall on the floor again.

I don't know. I just know that today--it was a lot more fun to shave!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Me, Tamra & Paisley's Planet

Tami and I have been working on Tami's dream--her "Gap" year. Tami is my cousin, on my mother's side, and we have been working on her idea of creating a children's book called "Paisley's Planet". Tami will be traveling the world, visiting with children, writing her book and enjoying her life as an independent observer of life, enjoying all this world has to offer. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

It will not come without sacrifice. She has sold or stored most all of her "earthly possessions" while her greatest blessings in life, her children, will be in constant contact with her through the gift of technology. Apartment--gone, car--soon to be gone.

Until she makes this big leap in her life, she will be working on business plans, Paisley's blog, travel arrangements, translators and housing. Many have offered her a home in some wild places . . .but she will always be here, with us her family, in the home that we call our heart.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"The Baby" is Getting Married

Life is pretty much a whirlwind of activity these days as we prepare for the wedding of "our baby". "The baby" is almost 22, has chosen a really good man, and is halfway through her college education. She is getting married in the right place, and it feels like the right time, and with a man that feels right for her.

It seems only yesterday that I saw her name "Jacey", written on a piece of surgical tape, taped at the foot of a NBIC crib for all the world to see. I still have that piece of tape. It meant the world to me at the time because it signified her importance--she wasn't just a little bit 'o nothin', tiny as she was, she was a force to be reckoned with. She had a name. That meant that the doctors had to do everything they could to not only save her life, but make that life as normal, physically, as possible. They did. With the exception of a little problem that most of her friends, and all of her family can attest too--Jacey fluffs. Often and loud.

She has a tender heart, the tenacity of a lion mixed with the compassion of angels. She is loyal and kind, and though sometimes--because she is so young--she takes her time getting to the right place--she always gets there. Always, she is quick to recognize her errors, slow in correcting them (she tortures those she loves) and then quick to make it better. Don't you just love this about her?

Jacey has tried her whole life to do the right thing. She has survived. She has loved--but most of all she has forgiven.

I wouldn't have missed one moment with this child--it has all been worth it. She is precious to me. She is my little girl. . . and she has grown to be such a beautiful, talented, and loving young woman. I must have done something good . . .for God gave her to me to raise. . .

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Uncle Doulou

I have this uncle--he's my mom's brother. He's very special to our family. He has a fabulous wife (my Aunt Sherlene) and together they gave me a whole family full of cousins to love. He is an exceptional granddad. Some of the double-dating stories, with my parents, are for a whole other blog-type! He loved my parents, especially his big sister, Deedy.

I know that you are having a hard time with your heart right now, and I just wanted to say that I was thinking about you, and wishing you well. Thank you for braving the cold on Easter with us, and for all the love and enthusiasm you have for anytime we can get together as a family. You are this family's biggest cheerleader.

I love you.


Oftentimes, while in my room at the hospital, I imagined Merrill and Deedy walking into my room. Mom would come over and give me a kiss on the cheek, and pat my hand. Dad would bend over and give me one of his "bony one-arm hugs" that I miss so much. They both would sit down and start chatting. Mom, of course, would tell me everything she'd read on the subject and make recommendations--and Dad, well, he would listen to my stuff, and then would encourage me to hang in there. . .he probably would have brought me something in a sack that he knew was my favorite.

Dad's death was a shock. I remember how hard it was to answer Dad when he looked at me straight on and asked me, "Am I dying?". I looked at him and simply said, "yes". I knew that he wouldn't want me to get emotional, so I responded as simply as I could. I was able to tell him how much I loved him before he died--even though I didn't feel that I necessarily needed to. He knew it, and I knew it--we'd spent a lifetime making sure. Our mourning was indescribable, until 14 months later.

Mom's passing was such a surprise. She said that she was "trying to check out"--but we really didn't believe it--even when the doctor said so. "Past the point of no return" was something like what he said. Later, we were told it was a heart attack that took her. Her final breaths were taken as all of her five children, and grandchildren, surrounded her bed. We watched peacefully as she drew her last breath and her full and loving heart beat it's last beat. Then we sobbed.

I had my parents for 55 years. Growing up I had one great-grandmother and 3 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers. I was in a five-generation picture until I was 51 years old! Now, they are all gone. They all "checked out".

I was born of goodly parents. Thank you Mom and Dad, for this pain I have in the middle of my chest. It's presence only confirms that I really had quite a life with you both. . .and now, Dad, guess who's at the top of the conveyor belt?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

TAH: Post-Op 3 weeks today . . .

Hey, that's what all the "sisters" say on the "Hyster-Sister" website. . . That's how you are identified, summed up, figured out and explained. . .

TAH stands for "total abdominal hysterectomy". I still don't know quite how to feel--even reading the name. You see, I agonized, as rarely I have before, whether to have this done to me. I had to trust other people (who sometimes weren't all that convincing) that it was the right thing to do. You say I have to have my uterus, cervix, ovaries, etc. out? Why can't I keep my ovaries? I hear that I need them until I die . . .who is telling the truth?

Okay, I forget--it doesn't really matter anymore--they are gone. The house I grew my babies in is gone. The almond-seed-sized laboratories of my libido are gone. All I have left are hopeful words, both spoken and written, that everything will be okay.

Right now, my "swelly-belly" is burning, sensitive to both pajamas and sheets. But I feel okay. I actually feel good. Tired, but better than I imagined. I am sick of "Lifetime" movies--but still look forward to the "Golden Girls" and "Will and Grace" and all the laughter I know that comes with them. I have a love-hate relationship with the TV. Books, my past salvation, are curiously harder to read and enjoy. I take photos of birds--I love birds--from my bed. Terry leaves birdseed out on the deck to draw them in. Jared bought me a book so that I can begin to know their names. I love waiting and watching for them. They have been my salvation.

I love prayer. Earnest prayer. And I love and am thankful for blessings. Blessings really do come true.

Did I tell you I have a "nanny"? I do, and Kelsey watches over me and little Campbell until Nana gets strong enough to watch him all by herself. What a guilty pleasure.

What I Wish My Estrogen Would Do . . .

Menopausal Laser Hair Removal