Friday, November 23, 2012


Many people this month posted on Facebook the things they were thankful in their life.   30 days.  30 things.

I actually tried doing this a few years ago.  Only, it wasn't November and it was in notebook.  I wasn't appreciating my life.  I was feeling sorry for myself.  Only, there was nothing to really feel sorry for, only a little self pity.  Like me telling some kid to get over the fact he didn't make a team.  In the big picture, I was having a pity party. In the little picture, I felt sorry for myself.

And that's okay.  Can't we feel sorry for ourselves, just for a moment?  Big picture - OH, what a wonderful life!! Even better - looking back at the things that made moments not happy, and realizing later they made you a better person.  We have to be thankful for those things too.  The bad things, made us better.

I am thankful for:
  • My health
  • My kids, and other peoples kids too
  • My relatives

****I watched a show the other day (a new network show), it's was actually quite funny.  They invited all their friends, family and relatives over for Thanksgiving.  It was chaotic and stressful.  Then all those whom were related by blood left.  They proclaimed "their family" was left.  After that they decided, "Family is for Thanksgiving.  Relatives are for Christmas".  I thought it was pretty funny.  Family/relatives

  • Friends
  • Safety
  • My house
  • A reliable safe automobile
  • Roses growing up my front walk
  • My education
  • Living in a country where I take my freedom's for granted
  • Pink toenail polish
  • Tomatoes on the vine
  • Public safety
  • Airplanes
  • Credit cards
  • Vineyards
  • Things that shine
  • The Internet
  • Belief
  • Electricity
  • My bike
  • Heartaches - they make the sweet even sweeter. 
  • The dishwasher
  • Washer/Dryers - could you imagine??  UGH
  • Convenience
  • The library
  • Pencils.  I don't really like pens.
  • Love
  • Knowing that no matter what, someone has always believed in me.
The last thing I'm thankful for:

Okay, not really, I'm sure my list should go on and on, but really I would put those things in the middle. This would always be the last thing on my list:

  • Not always getting what I want, when I want it.  I always get what I want.  The universe just makes sure I appreciate it.....

And for this, I'm thankful.  I think.

Monday, November 19, 2012

"The worst moment of his life. Ever"

We all know, I'm not on the parenting band-wagon, of "my poor child".  You can not instill WANT in people.  You cannot instill "determination".  It's either that, or they will they learn it.  Or they won't.

Hockey season is more than under way.  It's full blown.

I battled back and forth if this article should be titled "Perspective" or the one I picked. 


I play the "mom friend" game really well.  I have great incredible friends from all walks of life.  My "mom friends"  - well, we are just outside the "A group".  We are just fine on whom we are with our kids and the role we lead in their lives.  We are also quite comfortable at not playing the "game" of "needing" friends.  We are the group of "non-friends". (more on that later)

My soapbox for a moment:  THIS IS YOUR CHILD'S LIFE:  NOT YOURS"

They are going to fall down.  They are going to have broken hearts.  They are going to fail.  LET THEM.  The biggest injustice we are doing to our kids today is not letting them fail.  You will learn more from failing than you will from succeeding.  It sucks.  We all know it.

Yes, we want to protect our children from that hurt.  When really, we aren't protecting them.  We are hurting them.  They have to learn it.  We can't have them "not learn it".  Then there will be injustice in the world.  The kids think that everything should always go their way.  My, oh, my are they in for a rude awaking in the real world.

UNLESS, of course, they go create it.  If THEY create the next chapter in their life, even if they fail, they will succeed.  They will know more about them.

The conversation that led us to this discussion:

Me:  (to hockey mom from last year):  What team is Bo on this year?

Her:  He didn't make a team.  There were no goalie spots loft.

Me:.  Oh.  I thought you went to another team

Her:  No.  "This has been the worst thing that has ever happened to him."  He's playing stick and puck with with 4th graders.

Me:  Oh

What I wanted to say?  "Then he's had a pretty good life and should consider himself lucky"

I didn't say it.

After she left.  I did turn to the mom sitting next to me.  I asked if it would be wrong of me to say the above statement.  I added, yes, it does suck.  But really?  Would have been wrong of me to say?

The other mom?  It sucks.  (they are friends, so I know she heard what I said). 

Me:  Yes. It sucks.  But really, the "worst thing that has ever happened to him???"

Get real.  Tell your son congratulations.

There are stories after stories about bad things in children's childhood.  I don't believe ONE has ever mentioned not making a team.   Yes it sucks.  When you want something and you can't have it.  Yuck.  That feeling will never change.

Should we review the list:

Divorce (this is a subject for another blog, but only if the parents are acting liking douche's - divorce isn't always a bad thing.  Living with two people whom hate each other, that is a bad thing)
Childhood cancer
Loss of a child/parent
On and on..... there are tons of things out there to make the moment "the worst thing ever"

When your son/daughter doesn't make a team?  Yes, it sucks.  The worst thing that has ever happened to them??? 

Count your blessings......

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Love the one you are with

Be present.  In everything you do.

You know what's annoying?  When you look around a restaurant and people are engaged with their paper or their phones.  Not with the person/people sitting at the table with you.  Yes, sometimes, you do need to answer a call, but really?  Not really.

People aren't present.  Right here and now.

I'm really bad at this - just in the opposite way of everyone else.  When I'm present, I can't imagine ever being any where/place than where I am at that moment.  I don't wish my time away. I want to be right here.  Right now.

Then, of course, I take it too far.  I then imagine I will always be in this place.  HOWEVER, an hour later when the time is over.  I'm on to the next thing - and can never imagine, once again, that I could be any place else.  Not pining for where I was either.  Present in the new place.


My new part-time job.  It was much needed in my life.  I'm distracted.  Happy.  Busy.  What I needed in my life.  My thoughts:  "this job is great.  I'm helping out a lot.  There are shares for me - this is an 18 month project. I could really make some money when this company sells.  I can do this for 18 months."  Hmmmmmm, wonder what I'm going to do about Hawaii next summer?  I guess maybe I can only be gone for two weeks next summer.  I'll need to be here for this job.

Recruiting is going well.  My part-time job is going well.  Boys are doing great.  Hockey season is under way.  Life is flowing along....  We are healthy.  We are loved.  We have a roof over our head and people to care about us.  Who would want for more?


A phone call.

What you say?  Can we trade houses again for the original Hawaii house?  After all our daughter is having a baby.  We want to come for the summer.  Can you stay longer this summer?

Poof.  Just like that.

Gypsy Leasa says:  "We can trade for as long as you want.  Just let us know".


What happened to "only two weeks next summer?"  What happened to "being right where I am?".  Shares?  Stock options?

Oh, what you say???  You want me to come to Hawaii and live in my house again, with the neighbor Joe next door?  

I love this whole wonderful incredible life we've created here in our everyday life.  I also love our summer life.

Thankfully, we don't have to choose one or the other.  We can choose both.  I can love both wholly, fully and in the present.  Together.  Each at their own time.  Loving the one I'm with.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Call me when you get there

From my childhood, in the back-seat of a car, I always heard him tell my mom "call me when you get there".

Even at a young age, I remember actually thinking "we just live a few miles away, why does he want us to call when we get there?".

Years go by.  I learn to drive a car.  I hear it again.  First long road trip.  Back to college.  Across the ocean.  Across the states.  The phrase is heard again and again.

I've always called.  The same phone number.  My whole life.  The same house.  The same people.  Every time I leave the same house, I've always left, I always call and let the sweetest grandparents in the whole world know I've gotten to the next destination.  I'm safe.  I've "journeyed" to the next location. Suddenly a few years ago, I wondered if he wasn't talking about more.  Day to day life, no he wasn't talking about more.  He wanted to know if I got where I was going.  He's a simple man.  And I'm now a woman - I want something to mean more than it really meant. It doesn't.  He truly wants to know when I get there.

A few years ago on Facebook there was a "note" type of "dare" to list 25 random things about yourself and "post".  Several of my friends did this.  In fact, quite a few did this.  I "started" my list.  "25 random things you need to know about me".  This was pre-blog.

I never finished the list.  I started it, and from the drawer, hand-written;

Here is the start:

  • I love to ride my bike.  Still
  • Swimming makes me whole.
  • The color blue is my favorite.  And not because it matches my eyes.
  • I hang on to things too long  (stuff, pieces of paper, people I shouldn't)
  • I love good quotes
  • Stargazer lilies are my favorite flowers and we plant a new bulb every spring in the yard.  I was told to plant your own flowers in life.
  • Friends and family are the backbone of my life.
  • I enjoy being a mom much more than I thought I would.
  • I am a participant.  Not an observer.
  • I don't like peas, but I like split pea soup
  • I don't like coffee or milk, but I like lattes.  *****And now, I can even say, I've picked coffee.  
  • Music makes me smile.
  • Watching random strangers make me smile too
  • I can't stand in-efficiency.
  • I met one of my best friends at the airport.
  • I can hold my breath for a REALLY long time.
That's as far as I got.  A long way from 25.  It was written in 2009 But my last written entry:

  • My Papo (grand-father) told me my whole life to "Call me when you get there".  Every day, I wonder if I'm there. Does he know I made it?  


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ukulele Lessons

I can barely pronounce Ukulele, much less spell it, much less play it....

Nolan wanted a Ukulele for his birthday.  Of course he did - we were in Hawaii.  Whom doesn't want one when you are living there?  It's charming.  It makes you want to want one.  They make you smile.

You see other people playing and well, you really wish you knew how to play. Yes, there are other instruments out there that when we see someone else play them, well, we are a bit envious of their talent.  As with anything talent require practice.

He's taken piano for a couple of years and really enjoys it.  I understood him wanting the Ukulele. 

Just the word makes you smile.  Know what makes you smile even more?  When you tell someone you play the Ukulele.  Or your son is taking Ukulele lessons.  I mean, how can you not smile?

There is an organization in town call Swallow Hill Music - think community college - only it's music lessons.  All ages.  All instruments.  THEY TEACH UKULELE lessons - AND it's one mile from our house. 

He's too old for the "kid class". He is in the everyone over 12 class.  There are seven of them - and this is just Ukulele class on Tuesday nights, there is also one on Wednesday night.  So, on average there are 14 people in DENVER taking Ukulele lessons? How can that not make you smile?  Even better.  There is Nolan, there is a teenage girl and there are 5 men over the age of 50 taking the class - he thinks one might even be "REALLY Old" - like thirty - ha ha, kidding he thinks about "Aunt Jeanette's age"  (75) 

How awesome is that?  There are 5 people over the age of 50 trying something for the very first time.  I'm so inspired.  Good for them.  Trying something new is hard.  It's hard to sign up.  It's hard to walk into a situation and not only not know ANYTHING, not know anyone.  It takes guts to go and try something new. 

It made me so proud.  Not just of my son, but of these strangers.  Pushing themselves to try.

Maybe I will have to try a Ukulele lesson.  Or a _______ lesson.  Something that makes me smile.

After all, it was 10 years ago when a girlfriend suggested we do a "triathlon".  I've done 11 now.  I couldn't pronounce that word either......

Monday, November 5, 2012

100th blog of the year


Today is the 310th day of the year.  Which means, I write a blog every 3.1 days.  Or my "column" is "published" at least twice a week. 

Only this is skewed - I write once or twice a DAY in Hawaii.  Once or twice a month in the real world.  The real point though:  I have written 100 blogs this year.... 

HOLY COW.  Still not sure how this writing thing happened. 

Several people this month are stating one thing they are thankful for a day.  I think this is a noble cause.  Some things are simple to think of why we are thankful.  When you keep going, it's harder and harder to be thankful.  They tend to start out big.  Then towards the end of November, people either have quit or get down to what the lesson is really about.

The small IMPORTANT pieces of life.  First thankful thought is usually:  family.  At the end of 30 days:  the air I breathe.  We take SO much for granted.  We think of the big things first. Really, it should be read in reverse.  Day 1:  I'm thankful I have fresh air to breathe - then build big....

This is sort of like my blog.  I started out big - just ramble and write.  Now at 100 blogs for the year, not counting the 52 blogs LAST YEAR, the blog has taught me about simple things.

Appreciating that I do like to write.  That my writing has improved.  More people read what I write - and that is less important than WHAT I write.

I've also learned more about me.  It's actually fun.  It's endearing to know people want to read. 

I read a great article about the "Great Lost Generation" - not knowing how to communicate with each other.  Not knowing how to speak face to face.  And yes, this next generation is in for ride.  It will be interesting to see their social skills.

HOWEVER, you know what IS happening???   We are reading again.  It might not be in print.  You might not "clip" an article and give it to a friend.  What you can do?  Hey you should read this article.....  and poof it's there.

Yes, I like handing a book to my friends and telling them about the book.  I love my little used bookstore.  What is really important though:  We are reading again.  And, some of us, are learning to write.....

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Carolyn, I'm so sorry

We now know why you had to be friends with me.

You and I have known we were supposed to be friends from many, many years ago.  No, we didn't grow up down the street from each other.  Our parents weren't friends.  We didn't have friends of friends.

Honestly, it was the cliche that brought us together.  "We were sorority sisters"  We joined the same sorority.  Our sophomore years, not freshman.  Then, as we proclaim, "The day the Gods got together" and put us in the same room together at the house our junior year.

You go through "rush" (where you/they decide which "house" where you will belong) and they tell you OVER and OVER again:  "You will know these girls for the rest of your life".  Really?  Didn't believe it for a moment.

Me:  it's a great way to meet people and "belong".  We all want to belong.

Then, we were put in a room together.  There were two others girl there too - in the same room.  We both had the bottom bunks.  We both looked at each other like "okay, what do we do now?".  Want to go to The Chicken?  YES.  A friendship was born.

23 years, a couple trips through Europe, lots of guys, lots of men, lots o stories, a few marriages, a few kids.  We've known for years why we were given each other.

The Yin to my Yang.  Wait, I was the Yin to your Yang.

About 16 years ago, the boys dad and I were living in California (pre-boys).  I remember telling her "Oh, you can't see this rental house, it's so not okay".  Her answer  "I have to see it, I live vicariously through you".

Me:  NO, are you kidding??  I'm the one whom lives vicariously through YOU!"

You see, we are truly very different, but together, we make one.  As we have all learned in life, soul mates arrive in all shapes and sizes and places.  They arrive to teach you about YOU.  They help you become the better person.  I can't imagine my life without you.  You have helped me well, find me - but without YOU, there would be no ME, nor YOU.

This year on Halloween though, we again learned why we are friends.  We once again were shown why we had to know each other.

You see, I was given boys.  Carolyn was given a girl.  However, this "girl" was "NOT THE ONE I ORDERED".  Beautiful, great hair, charming and well, how do we say this "spirited".

She likes dolls.  She likes make-believe.  She likes all things girl.  (the daughter that is).

HOWEVER, she is part Aunt Leasa

She walks on the inside of her feet.  The doctor told Carolyn, "the best thing you can do, is let her run around barefoot - it will correct itself".  Carolyn says, "Her Aunt Leasa will like that".

Every year in March, they come to Colorado for her birthday trip.  A couple of years ago, as she is climbing on to the trampoline, while it is snowing, with no socks or shoes on.  She looks back at us and says, "I'm NEVER going back"  With only the full conviction a 4 year old could muster.

Then, Tuesday, it was Halloween.  For the first time in 15 years, I didn't have a kid in a costume.  Everyone tells us "you will miss these years".  Not me, I enjoy the times as they come.  Halloween though proved me wrong.  There were no costumes this year.  Two years ago when I ran the marathon, it was on Halloween.  Only there is no Halloween in Greece.  It was weird then too.

I miss my "heroes".  I miss my "Woody & Bulls Eye".

Hmmmmm, wonder what Marie is this year.  (BTW, I talk to Carolyn at least twice a week) I don't know why this hasn't come up?  Hmmm..

Then, true to Carolyn's form - I receive a text Halloween night with the picture.

Let's see:

She has been Dorothy, a princess, I think a bumblebee

This year:

Bethany Hamilton

The lead from Soul Surfer - professional surfer whom lost her arm to a shark bite.

She's dressed as Bethany, the professional surfer, with her board shirt and surf board.

It brought tears to my eyes.  Of course it did, it had to do with Hawaii.

I'm sorry Carolyn.  Maybe one of the boys wives/girlfriends will want to go shopping with you.  Or maybe, we might have to teach you to surf too.

Not that we didn't know, but now at least you know the wave you are going to ride with Marie.  Call me anytime - scratch that, you were there, you can handle this.

I'm sorry.  :-) Sorta.