Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Writer's Workshop - Blue Eyes

She fidgeted anxiously as the elevator slowly descended to the ground floor. It seemed to take forever to get to the main lobby.

“Where should I go for lunch? How much money do I have? Do I have to stop at the bank? Is my skirt on straight?” she asked herself. “Ugh! Why is this elevator taking so long?”

“Finally” she sighed, as the doors began to open. On the other side of the elevator doors stood a tall, perfectly chiseled young man in a business suit. She looked up at his steel blue eyes and at the same time he looked at hers. The color of his eyes was like nothing she had ever seen. His eyes were piercing, but his body was relaxed, and almost welcoming. They were both locked in a tracking beam and were focused so intently on each other that not even a bomb would have broken their mutual trances. Everything became dreamlike and in slow-motion.

As she began to exit the elevator, she felt a force pushing her back. She did not want this euphoric feeling to stop. She finally gave it her all and began to exit the elevator. She passed him with her eyes still locked onto his. He was still fixed on hers, and then he began to smile. She returned the smile immediately with a shy, girlish grin. As they passed each other, their hands brushed lightly. She could hear her heart pounding and feel the electricity all the way down to her toes. Turning toward the double glass exit doors, she made her way to the only place that would break this spell, even though it was not what she really wanted.

“Ten more steps” she said to herself, “and I will be free of this tracking beam.” She turned back to see if the elevator had closed yet, and saw that it had, but he was still standing just outside of the doors. He was watching her which caused her knees to turn to jelly. She grabbed on to the door handle to keep from falling to the floor in a puddle of jam.

“Get out right now!” she screamed to herself. With every ounce of energy, she pushed the doors open and stepped out into the warm, bright sun. She felt the sun’s rays wrap around her body from head to toe. She pulled out a pair of sunglasses from her purse and put them on. As she pushed the bridge into place, a quick flash of light was seen out of the corner of her left eye. She adjusted her wedding band and sighed.

“My, my” she laughed. “This is one lunch hour I will never forget!”

Thanks for stopping by! This story is brought to you by the Writer's Workshop with the hostess extraordinaire, Mama Kat. Click on the Writer's Workshop logo and enjoy the great stories of her followers!

Mama's Losin' It

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Friday Fragments, #106 - School Countdown!

As the week began, I calculated the exact amount of days and hours left before I join the ranks of the local middle school! My feelings are mixed; I'm ready to be on a schedule again (it's not like I could have made my own schedule while I was off) and to see some familiar faces. Last year's most obnoxious class was the 7th grade. Guess who will be the trend setters, role models and leaders of the pack? Yup, this year's 8th graders! It should be a non-stop, action-packed and thoroughly fascinating year!

I've been making lists of all the things I didn't get done this summer, and thought if I really busted my butt, I just might get to half of them by the time school starts. NOT! My wonderful temp agency called and offered me a job for next week! Hmmm....clean or make some money....that's a no-brainer, right? So much for my "To Do" list!

Ed has started a new job as a hostess at Olive Garden. I'm very excited for her as it is a considerable step up from the ice cream place where she used to work. She is still in training, but loving every minute of it! The college freshman begins her new journey on August 19th. Katya is looking forward to being a hot-shot high school senior, driving her VW Ghia, and smacking down the incoming freshmen!

Rock (who is really no longer Rock, as the band broke up) has not had much luck finding a job...anywhere...either in his major or otherwise. Welcome to the real world, boy! He has a job waiting for him at our local AMC theater. That really won't be too horrible as family gets in to the movies for free!

Speaking of movies, Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell stopped by yesterday for the St. Louis Premiere of "The Other Guys." I tried to get there early so I could tell Mark that I wanted to have his baby, but of course my chauffeur duties got in the way and I never made it to the show! Oh, well!

Thanks for stopping by to read this week's post, hosted by the incredibly awesome Mrs.4444. Click on her name to get to this week's post. Let her know you were by and do enjoy reading some of the other posts that are listed.

Have a wonderful weekend!

This is a blog hop! You're next!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Weekend Reflections #45 - China's Water City

This is another great shot that my amateur photographer daughter took while on her ambassador trip to China.

Every Friday through Sunday, Newtown Area Photo sponsors a meme where a gazillion photographers, amateur through pro, can showcase their work using a "Reflection" theme. I love to see the different points of view that people have, and the truly amazing pictures that they take.

Thank you Newtown Area Photo for sponsoring this meme every weekend, and allowing me to participate. Please visit James at Newtown Area Photo and be prepared to be "wowed!"

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness - No Satisfaction!

I've been having a little fun with this great meme sponsored by Wednesday Wickedness. Each week, Janera posts quotes from a well-known celebrity, and then poses questions to the reader following the quotes. This week's meme offers quotes from Mick Jagger, of the "undead" Rolling Stones. I'm surprised he can still make coherent statements! Maybe he received a little help from our hostess, Janera!

Here we go!

1. "A good thing never ends," Have you ever had a good thing in your life that never ended?

Mick...isn't the quote, "all good things must come to an end?" Sheesh! What time did you start the IV this morning?

2. "I got nasty habits, I take tea at three." Do you have any nasty habits?

Well, one of them is not attempting to massacre the King's English! If I told you my nasty habits, I would probably lose the bulk of my readers (at least three of the four!)

3. "I'd rather be dead than to be singing "Satisfaction" at 45. He obviously changed his mind. What is something you still do that you thought you'd outgrow?

Yeah, Mick, someones gotta pay the piper! I still dream about becoming famous... or growing up...or something like that.

4. "Lose your dream and lose your mind." Have you lost any of your dreams as time went by?

Yes, I've lost a few, but then I found them, and lost them again. The one that eludes me the most is the one where I'm wearing a size 10.

5. "I haven't had time to return to the scene because I never left it." As you've grown older, in what ways do you still act and think the way you did when you were younger?

I still act like I'm 35 years old...I think that's when my brain started to move south.

6. Patriotism is something that fades when the war starts." How do you react to this quote?

Too many drugs, Mick!

7. "The past is a great place and I don't want to erase it or regret it, but I don't want to be its prisoner either." Is there someone in your life who still treats you as the same person to when you were younger? Do you like it?

Yes, I am treated by some in the same way they treated me when I was younger... like lecturing, etc., and I don't like it. It has, however, made me a stronger person and I can assert myself so that I am taken seriously...sometimes.

8. "It's all right letting yourself go, as long as you pull yourself back." Have you let yourself go in any aspect of your life?

Yes, I let myself go once. The bungee cord broke and I just kept going and going and going... Only a miracle, or a hot fudge sundae could bring me back now!

9. "My mother has always been unhappy with what I do. She would rather I do something nicer, like being a brick layer." How do your parents feel about what you do?

If my parents knew what I was doing, they would roll over in their watery graves! Actually, they would be okay with it, as long as I made the payments on the beach house!

10. "Anarchy is the only slight glimmer of hope." How would you categorize your political point of view?

Now, can you say this? Anarchy could only succeed in my country if I were Queen. However, there are those who are trying to make it work without my help!

Thanks for stopping by today! Please pop over to Wicked and say hello! Just click on the logo for Wednesday Wickedness below!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wedesday Wickedness - Yankee Style

I recently found this great meme sponsored by Wednesday Wickedness. Each week, Janera posts quotes from a well-known celebrity, and then poses questions to the reader following the quotes. This week's meme posts quotes from George Steinbrenner, the former owner of the New York Yankees. Mr. Steinbrenner passed away this week and this is my tribute to a very special icon. Please pop over to Wicked and say hello! Just click on the logo for Wednesday Wickedness below!

Here we go!!!!

1. "But why shouldn't I speak out? Don't you speak out in this country?" Do you speak out as often as you should?

Well, George, I think "speaking out" was one of your most well known attributes! I don't speak out as much as I should, because every time I start to say what's on my mind, God puts his loving hand over my mouth!

2. "I am tough. Sometimes I'm unreasonable. I have to catch myself every once in a while." Are you ever tough and unreasonable?

Of course I am tough and unreasonable! Just ask my kids! I'm so tough that I won't allow fireworks in the house, dance parties with the football team in their bedrooms, or let them take turns wearing the electric fence collar!

3. "I haven't always done a good job, and I haven't always been successful - but I know that I have tried." Do you believe that sometimes you learn more from a failure than a success?

I don't try to fail, but I am very successful at failure! I could write a book on what I've learned from all of my failures!

4. "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next." Do you feel that you always have to win?

Breathing first, Brad Pitt next. I don't feel that I always have to win, but once or twice would be nice!

5. "It is unbelievable to me that the highest-paid team in baseball would start the season in such a deep funk." Do you think money always buys greatness?

Now George, you know that your boys will always rise to the occasion and come from behind to win! Money buys beauty, not greatness. A lot of money buys greatness!

6. "I take my last phone call at home at about 11pm." What time is too late to call you?

Well, it depends on what you want to call me...(ba dump bump). If I've won the Publisher's Clearinghouse $5,000 for life, you can call me anytime. Otherwise, 8pm is my limit. I am rendered unconscious after that!

7. "Don't talk to me about aesthetics or tradition. Talk to me about what sells and what's good right now." Do you think tradition matters?

I think you should ask Zero Mostel that question!

8. "And what the American people like is to think the underdog still has a chance." Do you tend to root for the underdog?

Always, unless the other guy is better-looking!

9. "I don't think I ever could exceed my father's successes. He was a completely satisfied man, he knew what he wanted to accomplish and he accomplished it. I did a lot, though, to try to please him." Do you ever feel that you want to exceed your parents successes?

I feel lucky if I exceed their failures! I personally would not want to, but there are many greedy, selfish, power mongers with low self-esteem, who would love it if they exceeded their parents' successes.

10. "I'm really 95 percent Mr. Rogers, and only 5 percent Oscar the Grouch." In terms of cartoon characters, who are you like?

Come on, George... if you really are 95 percent Mr. Rogers, than I am 95 percent Jessica Rabbit - I can't help it, I'm just drawn that way!

I hope you leave with a chuckle or two! Thanks so much for stopping by. Please check out the answers given by other bloggers like me. Just click on the logo above and you will be magically taken to Wednesday Wickedness! Happy Hump Day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weekend Reflections - Hong Kong Skyline

Every Friday through Sunday, Newtown Area Photo sponsors a meme where a gazillion photographers, amateur through pro, can showcase their work using a "Reflection" theme. I love to see the different points of view that people have, and the truly amazing pictures that they take.

My darling daughter, Princess Katya, recently returned from her trip to China with the People to People Ambassador program. I am shamelessly posting her pictures on as many posts as I can!

This photo was taken while Katya was on the last leg of her trip which ended in Hong Kong. She was attracted to the colorful lights and (like me) got lucky and captured some beautiful reflections, as well!

Thank you, Newtown Area Photo for sponsoring this meme every weekend, and allowing me to participate. Please visit Newtown Daily Photo and prepare to be wowed by some truly incredible artists!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Writer's Workshop: You May Be Surprised to Learn that......

Thank you Lord for Kat over at Mama's Losin It! She hosts a workshop on Wednesdays and challenges bloggers to write about one of her suggested prompts. Since I'm still brain-dead from most weekends, this is a great motivation for me to write without having to come up with my own topic...just free flowing mumbling about the prompt that grabs me the most. Here's the prompt that I chose:

You May Be Surprised to Learn that.....

This topic makes me think of the “get to know you” exercise where someone lists truths and falsehoods and everyone has to guess either the true or false one. Like most of us, I’m slowly peeling off the layers as I travel through my blogging journey, and so I hereby shed yet another layer! Below is a truth that I always include in the exercise, and many people don’t guess it.

Thirty or so years ago, when I lived in Los Angeles, I attended exercise classes at a club called “Anatomy Asylum”. I was attracted to the word “Asylum” and figured this place should be a lot of fun. This club was (and still is, I believe) operated by the well-known celebrity, Richard Simmons. The classes were a riot! I worked my butt off, but there were always laughs and great music with every class. The instructors were wonderful, and, on occasion, I would attend a class taught by Richard, himself. His classes were always crazy and fun!

The business grew and clubs started appearing in outlying areas. Shortly after I had my first child, and still carrying a lot of “baby weight,” I started attending classes at a club close to where I was living at the time. They were looking for instructors and announced that auditions would be held. I tried out, and to my amazement, I was hired!

I loved teaching the classes! As an instructor, I was allowed to choose the music I wanted to play, as well as choreograph the exercise routines. I almost felt as though I was living my long lost dream of becoming a dancer except for the athletic shoes I wore during class. Of course, let’s not forget about the plethora of endorphins associated with exercise! Needless to say, I was rarely cranky in those days!

I’m really chubby, so most people are taken aback when I tell them I used to teach aerobics. One of the things for which I will always be grateful to Richard Simmons, was that he hired overweight instructors to teach his classes. Sometimes heavier people are put off by “thin” instructors because the example they set seems beyond their reach. Richard’s philosophy was to show that overweight individuals could work out safely and be happy while doing so. Hey, it worked for me!

Writing this has inspired me to go work out! I think I’ll head down to the basement and turn on Wii’s “Just Dance!”

Thanks for stopping by! Please visit Mama Kat over at Mama Kat's Losin' It and get some great reads!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Fragments - Episode #99

I started my week out great! I met a girlfriend Monday morning at a coffee shop called "The Grind." We both had things to do, so we said we could only meet for an hour. So we talked, talked, laughed, talked some more, and when we looked up two hours had gone by! Wowser! She had to be someplace, and I had my own set of "honey dos" to do! We both scurried out of there like two little squirrels being chased by a bear!

That afternoon, I saw the doctor about my (pain in the butt) right glut. She couldn't figure it out, so she gave me some stretching exercises and told me to take four Advil every eight hours. Then she said I should go to a podiatrist and get all my calluses removed. Well! Thankyouverymuch!!!!

Tuesday, I worked at a temp job answering seven phone calls in eight hours. The rest of the time, I checked my email, read blogs, made a honey-do list for Wednesday and read some more emails. Katya, who is in China right now, emailed me and said she couldn't get her cell phone to work and would I contact the phone company.

"Oh, brother!" I said to's another one of those 45 minute phone calls where I will probably speak to every single employee in that office! I decided to try to avoid that situation and stopped off at one of the stores of the phone company. The guy at the store made a phone call, and ended up handing it off to me. They got me anyway! We set up the international plan and I was given instructions on how to implement it and get into voicemail. I wrote Katya back that night with all of the instructions. It didn't work. I guess it was just too many steps for her to go through. "I JUST WANT TO TURN ON THE WATER AND HAVE IT COME OUT. I DON'T CARE WHERE IT COMES FROM, I JUST WANT IT TO COME OUT OF THE SPOUT!" Dian Keaton from "Baby Boom."

Katya said she would just email me as often as possible. I'm getting updates on all the drama of the "South Beach" girls. I can't repeat what Katya said, but I was rolling on the floor laughing. I can see a new Reality show brewing!

The best thing that happend this week was when I found out I WON A CONTEST!! I so very rarely win contests. On my other blog (No Excuses), I wrote about a Tooth Fairy incident that happend to my son Rock when he was around 10. Click here to read the story, and click here to visit Supah who was hosting the contest. My story won first place and I am going to receive some wonderful dental items: Tooth Soap (it is not what you think) Tooth Swish and Tooth Brightner. Click on the logo below to find out more about the products from the company that makes them.

To go along with my story, let me show you a picture of Rock around the time he was ten. A real buster, isn't he?? It's the freckles that make him bad! (Notice the clenched fists - he had dirt under his nails!)

Well, there you have it! My second contribution to Fragmented Fridays, hosted by the incredibly awesome Mrs.4444. Click on her name to get to the main page of her blog, and click on the logo, below to get to her post for Friday Fragments #99!

Mommy's Idea

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sundays in My City - Race For The Cure

This was on the front page of today's St. Louis Post Dispatch. Here are some ladies who really know how to party! These lovelies are Breast Cancer Survivors, and they are dancing in the streets to celebrate!

I will be honest and tell you that I did not take these fabulous pictures of our Komen Race for the Cure held yesterday in downtown St. Louis. I wasn't even there, but my spys were. So, if you want to know if anybody famous was there, you can just look for yourself.

My friend, FACS Lady, not only took these pictures, but she ran/walked/shuffled and crawled the race. I'm not much for crowds these days.... especially if they are 71,000 plus!!!! Please enjoy some of the creative apparel that was in attendance.

We had a great morning for the race. It was a little steamy, and probably contributed to a few temper tantrums, crankiness, and super-soaker fights! Then, the participants who were still walking in the afternoon, were treated to Mother Nature's all purpose shower... thunder, lightning, and golf ball size hail!

This was what it looked like at the Finish Line!

Have you heard of Unknown Mami? She has a delightful blog where she shares photos of her city on Sundays. She invites the rest of us to link up with her and share some of our own city's photos. Click on the logo to visit Sundays in My City!

Unknown Mami

I live in St. Louis, Missouri. Welcome to my city!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wednesday Wickedness - Sinatra Style

I just found this great new meme sponsored by Wednesday Wickedness. Since Lid is taking a break from Random Dozen, I was invited to join in with Wicked. This week's meme is about quotes from Frank Sinatra, followed by a question. Pop over to Wicked and say hello! Just click on Wednesday Wickedness above!

Here we go!

1. “I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.” How often do you drink alcohol?

I don't drink alcohol, unless there is chocolate in it. I probably drink maybe three to four times a year, and all of those times are on New Year's Eve.

2. “The best revenge is massive success.” Have you ever gloated or wanted to over success?

Oh, how I've wanted to gloat, but I don't think I've ever had a massive success story to tell... other than giving birth four times! Never thought that would happen!

3. “You gotta love livin', baby, 'cause dyin' is a pain in the [butt].” What do enjoy most about your life?

What I enjoy most about my life are my kids. They provide endless hours of entertainment for me! It is, for me, like watching a movie that takes you through every...single... emotion you could ever experience! I feel joy, happiness, humility, disgust, embarrassment and finally remorse for bringing them into this world.

4. “I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life.... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.” Do you ever overthink a situation in your life?

I'm a mom. What do you think? Always be prepared!

5. “I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family - and I don't think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.” Tell us about your best friend.

I have to be honest when I say that I don't really have one best friend. I am blessed to have four or five best friends who would drop everything in a heartbeat if I needed them. Just knowing that makes me feel very special.

6. “I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn't be a staring contest.” How important is intelligence when picking (or having picked) a s/o to you?

Come on, Frank! You know that you don't really care about intelligence. The only intelligence you care about is body intelligence! Really, I would like to be challenged since I'm not the brightest crayon in the box, but there are other qualities that I might consider over intelligence: height, hair & eye color, muscle tone, ability to give massages at the drop of a hat, a gorgeous, drop-dead face and filthy rich...then maybe intelligence.

7. “I drink to the confusion of our enemies.” What's the closest situation that you've had to dealing with an enemy?

Waking up in the same bed with my H. No, really, I guess the devil would be my enemy as he encourages me to lust after male movie stars. I dreamt once that I was having an affair with a famous movie star, and he asked me to choose between him and my H. God won that one because I chose my H. (Silly me - I could just kick myself!)

8. “Orange is the happiest color.” What's your favorite color?

I used to think Blue was my favorite color. I have several favorites now: black, navy, charcoal grey, burnt-tree brown. They all make me look fabulas!

9. “Dare to wear the foolish clown face.” Are you ever a clown?

Every freaking day of my life! I've lost many a job because of it, but it is just so much darn fun. It keeps me smiling because I know how ridiculous I look!

10. “Don't get even, get mad.” Have you ever tried getting even?

What's the point? They will just try to better your even, then you have to get even with that, and so on and so on... I just keep reminding myself the old saying "what goes around, comes around." If someone has made me mad, I know that they will be in my position some day. I just hope I'm around when it happens!

Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to be a little silly. Please check out Wednesday Wickedness and let them know what you think!

Have a great Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random Dozen - School's Out For Summer!

MY HERO!! He still has most of "it!"

My blogger buddy, Lid, at 2nd Cup of Coffee posts Random Dozen on Tuesdays and invites us to join in by answering 12 random questions and then posting them on our blogs and sites the next day. Just click on the logo and you will be magically transported to a very happy place (one of those happy places that we all try to get to now and then!)

This week's Q & As:

1. Would you rather host party or simply attend a party? I would rather host a party so I could boss everyone around. Also, I would be the center of attention during the party. After, I would make my guests clean up their messes. Actually, I would rather attend a party and people watch while I chill.

2. Tell us about the most memorable party you've been to. A long, long time ago, in a far away place called Buena Park, California, I worked for an amusement park with many wild and crazy individuals. We would have parties with themes and skits. One party’s skit had young employees playing the parts of their managers. Nothing was held back, not even the smallest secret. We laughed our butts off!

3. What is one thing you hope for in the after-life? I hope for my natural hair color to return; I hope for a body weight of 110 pounds and a D-cup; I hope to be reunited with friends and family who have gone on before me;and I hope to be fortunate enough to be in His presence, or the presence of someone close to him.

4. What do you enjoy most about sunshine? The light. It gives me a happy feeling, as if all is well in my little world. I feel motivated to accomplish my “to do” list when the sun is shining. I can usually get one or two items marked off my list: make bed, eat breakfast.

5. When you attend a bridal/baby shower, do you prefer to bring your own gift or chip in with others to buy a larger gift? I prefer to go in on a gift so that a larger item may be purchased that the bride or mother-to-be might not get on her own. I also like to bring my own gift so that I can revel in the “oohs and ahhs” upon opening it. It sort of makes me feel like the center of attention.

6. Would you rather have a FREE week of having your house cleaned or all of your meals cooked for you and your family? May I have both? I hate to clean, and I hate to cook! I suppose having someone cook for the family would be absolutely dee-vine, as long as they did the dishes while I languish in the TV room.

7. What song describes your mood today? My mood today is best described by Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out for Summer.” However, tomorrow’s mood would be best described by “Mr. Sandman” as I have a date with the anesthesiologist in the morning.

8. What is something you received for your own bridal shower/wedding that you still own or use? (If you are not married, feel free to sub a gift you received a long time ago.) I received and still use a crock pot. I also still use many linens I received. I had to hock the silver and china to pay for the kid’s college tuition, but I’m hoping to buy it back when one of them gets a job!

9. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is? My favorite flavor of ice cream is Vanilla because you can add so many things to it, like fudge, whipped cream, cookies, candy, did I say fudge, peanuts, fruit, coffee, root beer and, don’t forget fudge!

10. When was the last time you felt "tested?" The last time I felt tested was about 20 minutes ago. I usually feel tested within minutes of the 18 year old waking up. I am also tested on a daily basis at work by juggling phone, deliveries and humans.

11. "[Fill in the blank] is a food that once I start eating I find really hard to stop." [Anything made with sugar]

12. "-----" is the best motivation. “Money” “Food” “Being the Center of Attention”

Thanks for stopping by! School is out! :( Only 75 more days until it starts! :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oops! Tootsie Did It Again!

I have been MIA for a while. I have been nursing a fracture of the bone in my right middle finger. You know, the one that expresses your feelings in one quick gesture? I was walking Tootsie a few weeks ago when she saw one of her imaginary friends and lunged to show off her "alpha female" side. The leash was over, under and through the fingers on my right hand. My middle finger was bent in a most unnatural way, but I didn't hear anything crack, so I thought it must just be a sprain. Well, two weeks later, it still hurt like heck, so I went to my doctor and had some x-rays taken. They discovered a hairline fracture at the joint (you know, the joints that hurt real bad in rainy weather?) and it was suggested that I wear a splint to help heal the finger.

Have you ever considered how much you use that finger outside of emotional expressions? I type, answer phones, and write for my job. And sometimes I clean my house. Personal hygiene has been a real adventure! I crack myself up every time I have to sign something, because it looks like my first attempt at cursive writing.

Since the injury is in my finger, and I do not use my fingers to walk, I'm participating in a Komen race tomorrow. Our big Komen race is held in June, but I'm not real fond of large crowds so I heard about this short walk/race very close to my house. This is good in case I have to crawl home after crossing the finish line.

I want to honor both the women who are no longer with us, and the women who have survived this ugly beast! I have two surviving women in my family. Then, there is my friend,the prayer warrior survivor who lives in Chicago, and who single handedly brought all of her doctors and nurses closer to God than they had ever been. Rock's preschool teacher, Mrs. Robinson, has gone home to our Lord. I'm sure she knows that I'm walking for her!

I'll post a picture on Unknown Mami's "Sundays in My City" tomorrow after the race...unless I'm in the hospital with my legs and middle finger in traction.

Happy Mothers Day to blogher Moms, everywhere!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Bittersweet Event

You are cordially invited to attend the union of two extraordinary people. The wedding will occur at a place where any die-hard baseball fan would hold the party of his life! Please join us at the home of a most beloved baseball team – Dodger Stadium!

This crazy-in-love couple has one minor difference. The groom is about 15 years older than the bride. “No big deal” you say? No, it isn’t a big deal. Love has no boundaries. We don’t question how or why people fall in love, but only that they love each other with all of their hearts.

The groom was a close friend of the bride’s father. They worked together for a company that makes parts for motorcycles. When the bride graduated from college, she began working for the same company as her father, and in doing so, became close with the future groom. Her parents disapproved of the relationship because of the age difference. As time passed, and the parents saw how happy their little girl was with this gentle, honest and loving man, they fell more in love with him than ever and welcomed him into the family.

As love grew stronger, the groom-to-be discovered that his kidneys didn’t work right. After surgery and learning how to function with one kidney, spirits were lifted high and the couple began to make plans to join their lives. Fate, however, was not on their side, as his one remaining kidney began to fail. Frequent dialysis and medication helped get his life back to a semi-normal state. A search for a transplant began immediately.

Many of the co-workers volunteered to get tested. Even the father of the bride-to-be was tested to see if he was a match. Oddly enough, he was a match! So there you have it, a done deal. The date was set and all parties were very excited about the impending miracle, both the receiving and the giving. During the final testing two days before the surgery, the father of the bride received some devastating news. A large tumor was located in the lower part of his colon. He would not be having any surgery soon…not even his own. In order to safely remove the tumor, the doctors ordered radiation treatments to shrink the mass, as well as chemotherapy to combat the cancer cells which surrounded it. A great doctor, an incredibly strong faith in God, and the combined support of work, family and friends helped to get the dad through the next nine months. At the post-op check-up, the father of the bride was given a clean bill of health! Life was good!

“Come back in three months” said the doctor, “and we’ll make it official!” Three months later, the official news was that a few spots had reappeared close to other organs.

“No problem” said the father, “we beat this once; we will do it again!” This time it was just the chemo used to wipe out the intruder cells. It took the father a little longer to recover from treatments. Things were compounded by pain and nausea. Happy pills were prescribed which helped the father’s disposition. Life was okay! The wedding plans were coming along and everyone was excited about the very special day!

Soon after, the father experienced difficulty breathing. After being taken to the hospital and put on a ventilator, he seemed to settle down. He was sedated most of the time. He started to regain his color, and blood counts were coming back to normal. Then, for no reason, it all turned the other way. Within a week, God took him home.

The family was devastated and in shock. It took a few days for reality to set in. The family all agreed that the father of the bride would want the wedding to go on as planned. He wanted it to be the happiest and most amazing day for his daughter.

So, the wedding day arrived and the crowds (guests) cheered as the couple was pronounced husband and wife. After the wedding party stopped to pose at home plate, they joined the guests in one of the stadium banquet rooms. They all ate, drank and danced the night away! I can visualize my brother proudly watching this blessed event from above, along with my parents, and sporting his trademark smile that extended from his brows down to his chin! She knew he was there…they all knew!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Shower for Grandma-To-Be!

I was part of a wonderful celebration today! The daughter of one of the fabulous preschool ladies with whom I used to work is having her first baby! We gave a shower for the grandma-to-be! Not to take away any of the well-deserved attention owed to the mother-to-be, today we showered our attention on my friend, Jaylo, or Senorita Lopez, as she is affectionately called. (Please click here for movie star name background.)

Hayworth and I (Taylor) started out at a table for two at Bread Co. We knew that we were going to need a bigger table, as there were a dozen rsvps to this surprise shower. We started eyeballing people who were seated at a table for six. Once we shamed them into leaving, we moved all of our stuff and started staring at the people seated close by, so we could add their table to ours. It worked! By the time everyone started arriving, we had room for twelve. A few of the stars in attendance, were Patty Lupone, Debbie Reynolds, Sally Field, Ann Baxter, and Lesley Gore!

What do you get for a “Grandma-to-be?” Well, we put together a basket of goodies that included “Grandma’s” favorite books, a handprint kit, tooth fairy kit, handcrafted onesies, handcrafted cloth diapers, (why didn’t I think of this idea – I could be living on an island right now!) gift cards for Grandma’s projects (fabric and craft stores) and gift cards for Grandma’s love of reading.

We told Hayworth that she should be in the “event planning” business as she puts on the most amazing showers, parties, receptions and intimate get-togethers! Hayworth is our garage sale connection and party-panner. She hits about 20-30 garage sales a week and finds the best deals on nearly new items ranging from home d├ęcor to inspirational books. Then, she gives them as gifts to friends and family. For the shower, she decorated a Burger King crown with little babies, bows and cutie-patootie sayings. Betty Grable, brought a “grandma-to-be” sash. We made Jaylo wear both! The party favors were chocolates inside of miniature Chinese take out boxes. Of course, everything matched the table cloth of brown, blue and green polka dots.

I guess I should get used to the fact that this chapter of my life will include invites to weddings, showers and college graduation parties for children of my friends! That will be long as chocolate is served!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Weekend Reflection #24

Every Friday through Sunday, Newtown Area Photo sponsors a meme where a gazillion photographers, amateur to pro, can showcase their work using a "Reflection" theme. I love to see the different points of view that people have, and the truly beautiful pictures that they take.

I ran out of reflection pictures, so I've been on a mission to find some new ideas. This is a picture of the windows on my van. My house is reflected off of the windows. I thought it was a cool for an amateur like me! I always take a second picture in case the first one is a dud. Here is the second picture, with a slight variation. I hope you enjoy it. I don't know what I did to make it happen, but the side mirror on the other side of the car came through and there is a reflection of a tree from the yard in the side mirror. Would someone like to explain this to me?

I just want to thank Newtown Area Photo for sponsoring this meme every weekend, and allowing me to participate. Please visit here and prepare to be entertained by some truly amazing artists!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sundays in My City - March of the Penguins

Unknown Mami

Have you heard of Unknown Mami? She has a delightful blog where she shares photos of her city on Sundays. She invites the rest of us to link up with her and share some of our own city's photos. Click on the logo to visit Sundays in My City!

I live in St. Louis, MO. Welcome to my city!

What do penguins like to do on a cold winter day? Play outside, of course! When temperatures go below 50 degrees, several king and gentoo penguins that reside indoors will venture outdoors for a burst of winter fun with their keepers. They'll be waddling from the P&P Provisions gift shop to the entrance of Penguin & Puffin Coast for about 30 minutes. Every day, zookeepers offer animals unique activities such as changes in their environment, new smells, opportunities to forage for food, items to investigate and more.

On Sundays at 2 p.m., from December 6, 2009 to February 28, 2010 (weather permitting) our St. Louis Zoo sets the penguins free to mingle with the crowds, while under the supervision of the zookeepers. Please click here to view the YouTube video. (One of these days, I'll figure out how to incorporate the video into my post, thus saving your poor, tired fingers the extra step!)

Our zoo is free to the public (they do charge for parking in their lot) and has always been a fun day for our monkey family! (The four monkeys in the front are mine!)

The Saint Louis Zoo -- Can You Come Out To Play?

Thanks for stopping by!