Sunday, January 30, 2011

" The Spelling Bee Incident "

It's been a long, cold winter. I've had plenty of time for thoughts and memories to roam free in mind although I've also had plenty of time for absolutely nothing to roam free in my mind as well.

I have been thinking about my mother quite a lot this winter. It has been just over a year since her passing and this February 20th will be her second birthday since her arrival in heaven.

Most days I feel as though I'm alright with the fact that she isn't here with us anymore but in reality I know better. Her passing is still affecting me in ways that I feel I am not quite aware of.
Last night while I was remembering things about my mother, I remembered a trait, for lack of a better word, of hers that I inherited.
That trait being her hysterical fits of laughter. 

If you've read my blog long enough you may remember me telling of these fits. They come at the drop of a hat, over something meaningless or not so meaningless. They can emerge anywhere at anytime of day. And I have yet to meet anyone who shares this trait more strongly than my mother and I did.
I am speaking of uncontrollable laughter. Rolling on the floor trying not to wet yourself laughter. Tears streaming down your face, sore stomach muscle laughter.

This was something that my mother and I had to keep in check. Especially when together and when in public as all it would take is one word, a glance at each other and we knew.
We knew that we were risking ridicule and stares from strangers.
This could be especially dangerous for us during church services.
 No offense Pastor. Mom loved your sermons.
I'm going back to 1994. We lived in a different house back then, just a few miles from the one we would end up buying. Our present home.
I was pregnant with my Katie who is now 16.
My oldest, my son Frank was 16 at the time and a bit of a quite  person he was. And still is. Frank will only speak if he has something he feels is important to say. He is also very good at one liners.

My oldest daughter, Ginny, was 13 that year and academically brilliant. A vivacious, intelligent girl who went on in life to receive her Bachelors and Masters degrees in journalism.

Here's where my story begins. Ginny had been competing in several spelling bee's and ended up qualifying for the county spelling bee.
An exciting event for our family as you might imagine.

The following photo was taken that very year, it may have even been that very day as my mother was coming along with us to one of the local churches for the spelling bee.

My son Frank (16) now 31. My mother, just a few years older than I am now, 57 years. My daughter Ginny, (13) now 29.

My husband was home at the time and was luckily able to attend this event. Being an over-the-road truck driver he wasn't always able to see milestones in our childrens lives, so this day was a good one.

The spelling bee took place at a church in town that we had never been to. I remember Jake trying to find it and when he did there were so many cars from all of the attending families.

Once inside it was crowded and hot. I was very uncomfortable being pregnant with Katie. None the less we managed to find seating.
I remember Jake sitting on my left. My mother on my right and Frank next to my mom on her right. I was happy that we all were able to sit together, nervous and excited for Ginny who had to take her place on stage with the other contestants.

Now this is the part that I have trouble remembering. I asked Ginny about it but it seems she has trouble remembering too as she was so nervous at the time. 

We can't seem to remember how many words that she spelled correctly before being disqualified. But that doesn't really matter now, what matters is what happened when it came time for her to spell her word.
She came up to the podium. The entire church was silent. Silence is a key factor during a spelling bee. Our family was sitting there nervously awaiting the word to be given to her.

I'm sorry that I don't remember the word as what happened next was just so horribly embarrassing to me and most likely my husband as well.

The word was read. 

My son Frank, the quite one that is good with one liners, 
whispers so that only my mother and I could hear him....

"Could you spell that please?".

My mother looked at me and I at her. And that's all that it took.
We did everything in our power to hide the fact that we had burst into an hysterical fit of laughter.

We covered our mouths with our hands. Tried not to look at each other which was quite difficult to do once one of these fits came over us. Tears were streaming down our faces. Our shoulders were jerking up and down so fearsly that I am sure the people that sat behind us in the audience must have thought us totally rude or crazy. 
Probably both.

I do believe that my husband shook is head at us as he was used to these outbursts.

We tried calming ourselves by not looking at each other and taking deep breaths.

And Frank. Yes Frank. 
He just sat there with a self righteous grin on his face.

Ginny didn't go home that day with a trophy but we were all so proud of her none the less. When I asked her about this incident this morning she said that she didn't remember noticing it happen but remembered us talking about for years after the fact. 

Today I am the only one in the family that these "Incidents" still happen to as mom is gone now.

I can be on the phone with Jake or Frank or Ginny and it only takes a word, no particular word, said in a certain way to set me off.

The really funny thing about this when it happens is that on the other end of the line while I am just shrieking with laughter,
All I hear is silence and the occasional "sigh" as if to say
"There she goes again".

Still it's not nearly as fun as when mom and I would have a fit together.

But at least my family doesn't hang up on me!

Mom with Katie the day she was born. Just a few months after the spelling bee incident!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"January 26, 2011"

Good Morning folks! I awoke very early this morning, 5:30. I had a good nights sleep now that the full moon has passed us. I toss and turn for two weeks before the full moon and than once full I sleep good again. I wonder if I am the only one like that? My son is the same way, poor Dear, he is also stating to get arthritis. I was also in my thirties when mine started. This winter has been a bad one for us.
When I walked the dogs this morning the sky was a deep indigo blue. The sun still hadn't broke through the horizon. This January has been the longest one that I can remember. It feels as though a blanket of gloomy clouds was thrown over our town and forgotten.

We've seen very little sunshine. I can honestly say that if we've had 15 hours of sun this month, I would be very surprised. It is very difficult to feel motivated when there is the absence of sun. Not to mention the cold and snow. I have no right to complain about the snow as many of my friends in the U.S. and Canada have received much more than our small town has. But still we have received much more than is usual for our small town. Our winters are usually mild. One of the things that I do like about living here. I came from Chicago so the mild winters here were almost laughable to me!
Robins nest in our yard from last spring, 2010.
While driving to town yesterday, my husband and I saw a Robin. He took it as a good sign. I hope he is right. 

As I have posted in the past, I have been keeping very busy around here. But I have also had days where I have just laid around and done nothing. Had no desire, you know? I do know that it's just temporary and that sunshine will give us all a little spring back to our step!
Even my dogs have been bored! My Pug Ruby was admiring a piece of pizza I was having for lunch!

See how sleepy she looks? This is how we all have been feeling lately! My whole family has been complaining about the gloomy days and how it makes them feel. My dog Roxy just relaxes through it all...

I have been trying to take advantage of this gloomy weather. I have completed one crochet project and am working on another. I stepped out of my box and started reading a book that I normally wouldn't have chosen. It is called "The Valley of Light" By Terry Kay.
It's a story of a traveling Fisherman. I found it much more interesting than I first suspected and am almost finished with. It has me wondering how it will end!

This little guy informed me during our lunch date last week that he now has a "Big Bed" so I should get back to working on his quilt.
At the rate I'm going, he'll have his drivers license before I finish it!
The weatherman just reported that we will be warming into the 40's for the next few days, but still, no sun.

Oh how I need some sunshine!
I decided to take the day to myself today. Tomorrow I have to go and clean and then I will probably go work at church on Friday or Saturday. I told Katie that she'd have to get a ride to church this week. I have been letting her use my car as her churches hours are different than mine. Well I'm tired of missing my own church services because of it so, she'll have to catch a ride from someone else like she did before she had her license!

If I take her, than I'll be late. If she takes me, her service is about an hour longer than mine. It's not very convenient but I am happy that she DOES NOT want to miss church!!

Well the sun has long since rose since I've started this post and it still is completely covered by that blanket of clouds. Yuck!

Well it is what it is I suppose and there isn't anything that I can do about it! So I suppose I will listen to some good music and clean!
Yes that is my therapy for L.O.S. (lack of sun)!

Here's hoping that the sun is shining down on someone out there today!  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

" Superbowl Bound !"

Well folks the Green Bay Packers did it! They are Superbowl bound.
This makes my husband very happy, me too and our oldest daughter Ginny. She watched the game in North Carolina! 

So hopefully my husband will be able to make it home for the Superbowl which will make him very happy. I'm not a huge football fan but I do enjoy watching it with Jake.
A Blogger friend of mine is having a cute giveaway.
Her name is Rae and you can find her over at
"Weather Vane"

We don't live too far from each other and I love the fact that she's feeling the same as I am about this month of January!

Something else really cute that I found yesterday!
Check this out ladies...

This would look so awesome on my bike!
You can find the pattern here

I don't know that my hands could hold up to this having arthritis and carpel tunnel but I SURE WOULD LIKE TO TRY!!!!
I think that they are really cute.

That's all I've got for today folks, I just wanted to take a moment to share a few thing with you.

My husband will be leaving tomorrow and I will be around then to visit all of you. Until then, have a wonderful evening!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

" Light "

Hi folks! It's currently 27 degrees in my town right now and we are expecting a few to several inches of snow tonight and into tomorrow. I am hoping for a snow day tomorrow. Call me silly, go ahead, I don't mind, but I love when Kate and I are stuck at home together! I'm pretty sure that she doesn't feel the same way but who cares! I just try to enjoy her company while I have it.

I had a lunch date today with a member of the opposite sex and he wasn't my husband. He was the perfect date for me as we both love Chinese food and he had the most perfect manners. Not to mention the great joke that he told. He had me laughing out loud I tell you.
He speaks very well but the joke was in his special language. And while I didn't understand a word of the joke, it was in fact the funniest thing I had ever heard! He is quite handsome. I was so sad that I forgot my camera but it was a spur of the moment date after all!

It's a good thing that his mother came with or I may have had to take him home with me.....

This photo was taken in October 2010.

He is growing into quite the charmer just like my son, his daddy! He is definitely one of the lights of my life!
Tonight while recouping from my housecleaning gig with my feet up sitting in my recliner I was admiring one of my very favorite lamps. This is actually a night light that belonged to my mother. I had always admired it with it's little Hummingbird, and now it belongs to me. However I would love it if mom was still here and it was still at her house.

I think that it's just beautiful.

The next lamp is one that my husband bought for me for one of my birthdays. I had been admiring for weeks and was so pleased to receive it!

I love the bead work on it!

The next one really isn't very unusual but I still love it. Jake and I got it for a steal as it was discounted at Lowes. I think we paid $15.00 for it! It goes great in the dining room.

The next light is actually a string of lights that my daughter Ginny bought me for my birthday one year. They are made out of twigs and are actually meant for outdoors.

I just couldn't bring myself to put them outside only to get weathered, 
so I decided to hang them from the fireplace. They make great mood lighting while watching television.

Last but not least is my most valued lamp. It has been passed down through the family over many years. It belonged to my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother and now me.

I've had it for over twenty years. I only wish that I knew where my great-grandmother got it from. That would be nice to know.

It still works perfectly and is VERY heavy. It is a reverse painted lamp. Jake and I have searched it with a magnifying glass and can't find any markings on it.
I intend on keeping this in the family. I don't know who will get it when I'm gone but someday after Kate is grown I suppose I will find out which child wants it the most. I am guessing that it would be my oldest daughter, Ginny as she has an appreciation for such things. But as I said, Kate isn't grown yet so only time will tell.
That was just a few of my most favorite lights. 

I hope that they brought a bit of light into your life today!

Monday, January 17, 2011

" Bad Blogger Award "

I'm sure that there must be one out there somewhere. After all there's an award for just about everything.
No I didn't really get this award but I probably should as my Blogging habits have been horrible as of late.
The truth is that this month, January, has just left me totally uninspired as far as blogging goes. 
Around here, I've been keeping pretty busy. In between projects I have been Lumping. I know that's not healthy but again, I just don't feel inspired.
I have been working on two crochet projects. I am almost done with those. I can't post a photo as they are a surprise for two individuals.
Today I started working on another project that has been a thorn in my side for nearly twelve years. This house has many little hallways with built in cabinets. One of the things I love about this place.
One of the little halls is right off of the kitchen and has plaster walls that are nearly 50 years old. I've never painted it to match the kitchen and it is missing floor and door trim. 
It also has a little closet, I guess you would call it.

It looks to me that it could have been a broom closet but it has little pieces of wood on the sides that once held shelves?

It's all so mysterious!
Anyway I'm going to repair the walls, paint, cut the trim and put it up.
I have never cut the trim work myself so this should be interesting.

I am also going to cut new shelves for the little closet to use as another pantry. I once used this closet to hide candy from Katie when she was little! 

I just finished reading Glenn Beck's latest book 
"The Christmas Sweater". It is a semi autobiography of Glenn's childhood with a special message that anyone can appreciate. I found it very moving and it touched my heart.
Now comes the hard part. Figuring out what to read next! My daughter Ginny suggested a book written about the love affair that Frank Loyd Wright had with his mistress. I never new that Frank had a mistress! Ginny says it's very good and I love Frank so I thought I might give it a read.

I was fortunate enough to tour a few of Franks homes including his own when I lived in Chicago. Simply amazing I tell you. His own home had a tree growing through it. It left me speechless!

I've also been working on transferring my hand written recipes from one book to another as I STUPIDLY used a pen that was not waterproof when I first wrote them down. How's that for brilliance?! 

That should take a few month's!

And this my dear friends is exactly why I have not posted anything. There is just nothing going on up there in my noggin!

See I told you that I deserved the "Bad Blogger Award"!
No excitement or enlightenment's here.
I suppose as they say "No news, is good news" applies here.

I'll just stick with reading your post's until I can come up with something!

Happy January!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

" Resolutions "

I've been thinking a lot lately about "New Years Resolutions"
as I do every year since I can remember.
I have never made one. Never. 
This fact has lead me to wondering why I never have. I understand the whole concept of a fresh start, a new beginning, a "New Year". But until today I couldn't figure out why I have never made one for myself.
Every person that I have ever known has made at least one resolution at one time or another in their life but not me.

"Is there something wrong with me?", I've wondered. Am I afraid of disappointing myself or someone that I love? Truthfully, nearly every year I've just sort of dismissed it as a silly promise that we try to make to ourselves. And ultimately, we fail.

Today I was thinking about my life. My past, my present. I realized something very important. No matter how hard I have planned for something, ultimately it was up to God weather or not "MY PLAN" came to fruition.

I also realized that my life has been filled with SO many highs and lows that it would be impossible to control no matter how hard that I try. 

If I were the richest woman on earth, would that guarantee that my life, my family or my happiness couldn't be yanked away in an instant?

Of coarse not. Wealth is just what one thinks it is. It could mean money to some, jewels, clothes, whatever.

 And while I am by no monetary means rich, I have what I have been given. I have a wonderful, hard working husband that loves me unconditionally. I have three very intelligent children who have blessed me with their presence. I have two sweet, innocent and adorable grandchildren that love their grandma.

I have a beautiful home, some loving pets, clothes on my back, heat in the winter, cool in the summer and food on the table.

I have love. I didn't PLAN on all of that. I didn't make any resolutions to make it better. Actually it's pretty good the way it is.

In other peoples eyes I am most likely inferior. I've never planned out my life. I am not a career woman. I never graduated from college. I just lived my life day to day. And I still do.

But you know there is something to be said about taking that leap.
Closing your eyes and just letting yourself fall backwards knowing that you WILL be caught.


So have I made a resolution this year? No. 
There is already a plan for me and I want to be surprised.
In the meantime I will continue to be me. God seems to like that. I will continue to do the best that I can in this life that I have been blessed with.

And really, isn't that all that we're supposed to do?

Monday, January 10, 2011

" Lost and Found, I Think...."

I am speaking of my mind. Brain matter. It seems that for the past two weeks or so it has somewhat frozen up if you will.

Imagine a gigantic carrot laying in a recliner. Are you picturing this with me? If you can then you will know how I have felt.
I don't know what happened but there was just nothing up there! Oh sure I made it through my regular routine, but I just felt blank.

My husband came home this past Saturday and we went out to dinner. I don't know if that's what did it but I think the gears started up once again. I can't promise that they will stay running but I'll take what I can get for now!

It seems that just about everyone here in the states is having some sort of nasty weather. It has been mild here in Southern Illinois but we are now expecting snow this evening and tomorrow. I am actually looking forward to it. I hope we have a snow day as Katie is sick again.

So I will tell you a story. O.K.? It's sort of gross, at least to me it was. This morning (Monday) as my husband was getting ready for me to take him to his truck to go back to work, I as I usually do, went to brush my teeth. This being my second brushing for the morning. 

I like to be fresh for the goodbye kiss! 

While I was in mid brushing, I noticed that in my haste, I had Katie's toothbrush in my mouth! How could I be so stupid?! Our brushes are always different colors!!!!!!!!

My first thought was rinse with rubbing alcohol, oh Lord what am I thinking? 

I told you, my mind hasn't been working properly! I came out of the bathroom somewhat freaked out and told my husband the stupid thing that I just did. He suggested that I swish with peroxide. 

So I did. The germs have been banished from my body, I will not be infected, right? Right?

As for my Katie girl, she sure has been maturing. I knew that sixteen was a turning point from observing my two grown children but for some reason I am noticing every little thing with her. I imagine that it is because she is my last child.

Today for example, she was so sick with a fever but insisted on going to school. She looked horrible but said that she had to turn in her homework and had some tests. She made it through the whole day when her dad and I thought she should stay home.

Friday I was not in the mood to cook. We had some leftovers. Katie decided to bake a loaf of bread (from a mix) cook cheeseburgers and fried potatoes. And she cleaned the entire kitchen afterwords!

O.K. I know that she wants to use my car but this is just one of the many little changes that I have been noticing. 

Kate has come a long way from this...

And this...

To this...

Ah crap, all of this reminiscing is starting to make me feel like a stalk of celery with a sore throat! Sniff, sniff....

Alright so I haven't been totally mindless. As I was at the laundromat last week, thumbing through the magazines as my clothes were tumbling round and round in the dryers I found this picture, don't worry I asked permission before I ripped it out of the magazine!

I know, I know, it's only January but a girl can dream can't she? Well, can't she????

This would be perfect in my yard. I have THE perfect spot. I have the chairs, they would need to be repainted but so what, I've got the wagon. The only thing that I don't have is the potting bench.
I think that I could bribe my husband to whip up something similar to it for me. I could probably whip it up myself.

You know that you can do anything with duck tape and a butter knife!
If you have those two things, I'm telling you, you're set.

Spring starts early in Southern Illinois. March. The Forsythia start to bloom in March!

So I am on a mission. I will slowly try to find out what supplies we will need. This won't be easy because my husband really won't want to do this. But I know how to get the info out of him. Yup.

Once I have acquired the supplies, he will have no choice. 
HA!!! He can't say "NO" to me......

I will bribe him with his favorite food. I haven't made it for a long time on purpose. By springtime he will be desperate!!! 

So that's my plan. Then I will have the perfect spot to sit and rest after I get through planting the carrots and celery!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January Blah, 2011

In case you haven't guessed from my blog title, I have the January Blahs! The January Blues. Funny isn't it ? It sounds like a song title. I wonder if anyone has ever written a song about the "January Blues".
Here it is only the 5th of January and I feel as though it should be the 25th at the very least. To me, January feels like the longest month of the year.
I have been keeping myself busy to thwart off these ho hum blahs, but nothing seems to be working. 
I've been reading an excellent book called "The Christmas Sweater" by Glenn Beck.
I've been crocheting but had to stop to give my hands a break. The arthritis is playing havoc with my body, thank you January!
I took all of the Christmas decorations down, packed them up and put my house back to it's previous state. It is clean, nothing else to do!
Yesterday I lit an incense, turned on some Jams on the satellite radio while working on the January, February and March, church calender.
It made me feel like I was transported back to the 70's.
It's been sunny for two days which has been a blessing when suffering from the January blahs, but rain is coming, I feel it.
My oldest daughter Ginny told me all about a new hobby that she and her BF have taken up. It's called Geocaching. All you need is a GPS, car, and some gas if you can afford it. You can read about it here
.  Or you can read about Ginny's experience with it at her new blog  "Ginny Goes Geocaching".

If only I had a GPS, this sounds like fun. I can see a few of my blogging friends doing this, especially you Dee!
My son and his wife spent a couple of days alone in a cabin, they should be home by now. I hope they had a nice relaxing time.
Katie has been driving on and off. So far so good! She must have the January blahs too as her room has been spotless for days!
I have a free day today so I will have to find something to get into!
I have to admit that my mind has already been transported to springtime. Daydreaming. A great January pastime. Don't you think?

Notice how BLAH this post has been? I will have to visit everyone else to see if anyone else has been as BORED as I have been!!!
I hope not, I hope that everyone is out there having fun!
Happy January BLAH, 2011 !