Monday, May 30, 2011

We Must "Earn This"

Let me just say this at the very beginning...
I hate war.
Absolutely hate it. 
I really wish that I could buy the world a coke and, well, you know the rest. 
I know that people who know me will find this statement interesting since I did serve as a member of the military. 
That doesn't make a difference 
I still hate war. 
But I do understand the reality. 
That living on a planet with almost 7 billion people with diverse ideas on how things should be will result in war in some part of the world at any time. 
Not the most favorable of situations. 
But, unfortunately, the reality. 
And as part of that unfortunate reality, people die. 
Some are civilians who find themselves helpless in the middle of a war zone. 
The others are those who go marching into battle. 
Those who fight, and die, perserving ideals and a way of life they cherish. 
On this day, in the United States, we honor those very people. 
Those who fought and died to perserve our way of life. 
Whether we believe in every reason why we, as a country, go to war. 
There is one thing we can agree on. 
The unselfish sacrifice of those who serve and die. 
For us. 

That brings me to the photo above. 
It is a picture of a newspaper editoral that I have pinned on the bulletin board in my craft room. 
I have many things on this board that have touched my heart or made me think. 
And someday I will do a separate blog post about everything that is on this board. 
But for now, I want to write about that editorial. 
It appeared in the Arizona Republic on May 26, 2008. 
As it is the daily editorial from the newspaper, I have no idea who wrote it.
So I am not sure who to credit it too. 
And I wish I could just post the entire article so everyone can read it but I don't want to break any copyright laws.
Also, I can't find any reprints on the internet to provide at least a link. 
So, I'll just have to give you the gist of the editoral. 
And why it touched me so. 
So much that it has remained on my bulletin board for the last three years. 

As you can tell from the title, the editorial addresses the message of the movie Saving Private Ryan. 
I saw Saving Private Ryan when it first came out. 
To say this movie affected me deeply would be an understatement. 
The movie, particularly the first 24 minutes, affected me so much that it was six years before I could watch it again. 
Never had the realities of war been so vividly immortalized. 
And Mr. Spielberg made me think.  About something I had really given little thought to. 
Now I realize that not everyone viewed the movie through the same scope that I did. 
I got that dose of reality shortly after seeing the movie. 
As I sat across the table from a co-worker at lunch. 
She shared with all of us at the lunch table that she found the movie very offensive. 
"I almost got up and walked out of the theatre," she huffed. 
Someone at the table asked her "why". 
I expected her to say that she didn't like war movies. 
Or that she didn't like the gore. 
Both very understandable....this type of movie really is not everybody's cup of tea. 
No, it was neither and her response totally blew me away. 
She said, "Do they think we really need to see this stuff?" 
One of us at the table replied "Yes"  meaning that yes we really needed to see this stuff because we had a tendency to forget. 
I believe her theory was that it is the job of parents to teach this to their children. 
Not Steven Spielberg. 
I started thinking......
I was born 16 years after the end of World War II. 
I barely remember Vietnam as I was just a kid. 
And the only war up to that point that I could remember vividly, lasted, like 10 minutes.  (This was pre 9-11)
How on earth could I convey to my children in a lifetime what Steven Spielberg did so well in 24 minutes. 
I have no idea. 
Which brings me back to the editorial and why it touches me. 
When I first read the editorial I immediately thought of the above incident. 
The editorial says we are all Private Ryan because since the formation of this nation, many have sacrificed their lives for us.
I believe it is the reason we "need to see this stuff". 
At the end when Tom Hanks says to Matt Damon, aka Private Ryan, "Earn this" it was as though we were all being told the same thing.
To Earn This.
Those sacrifices.
That is what Saving Private Ryan is all about.
And in my mind, it is a message that needed to be conveyed....on be remembered for eternity...lest we ever dare to forget.
It is what made me cut out a newspaper article and post it on my bulletin board three years ago. 
So that I will never forget. 
And I will remember to "Earn this."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Organized Confusion and Wonderful Memories

I started this post yesterday.....
And then it suddenly disappeared.
So in my frustration I stepped away from the computer. 
Took a breath and now I'm back! 
Back to share what I have been up to this week. 

Interspersed with exponential equations, laundry, picking up doggie doo, and torturing my husband with passive arm therapy (insert slightly ghoulish snicker).....
I've been organizing.  My scrapbook creations. 
You see I am a person that makes lists like crazy but does nothing in any particular order.
So my scrapbooks are a mass of organized confusion.
And it should come as no surprise that there are photos I have scrapbooked twice.
This led me to the theory that  'willy-nilly ' memory preservation is no longer going to do. 
So I became an organizing fool this week. 
The result was piles of scrapbook pages lying all over my craft room floor. 
This is what I ended up with......

Hmmmm.....yeah.... very scary.
And this is pretty much the way it has stayed.
All these pages waiting for PHASE TWO of operation organization. 
While a daunting task, it was also very fun. 
Fun to look at all those pages (including many I had forgotten about). 
The photos and the words brought more than one smile to my face. 
So much so that I decided to share some of my favorites here on my blog. 
So without further ado......

The photograph in this first one just cracks me up.  The look on my husband's face is priceless.  And I am totally enjoying myself.  Of course, there were one or two adult beverages involved......

And speaking of adult beverages.....Yes! I have a scrapbook page dedicated to a favorite bartender who also happens to be a very good friend.  I've had many a tasty margarita but this gal's are the best, hands down!  When I'm 90 and in an old folks home I fully expect her to sneak one in to me in a sippy cup. 

Next are my kids.  All of them.  The human ones who can't stand to have their pictures taken and the four legged and furry ones who will do anything for a Milkbone.  Hmmmm....Sure wish I could figure out how to make that one work on the human kids!

Me and my favorite companion.  Well, that is, until yesterday when he let me down.  Yes, I don't know how I lived without a laptop (or a cell phone, for that matter!).  It came in handy when we did our cross country trip last year. 

I think this page probably does not need an explanation.  I mean, really, doesn't every parent take a picture of the first time their child is carded.   And then slap that picture in a scrapbook.  I could say it was his first drink, too.  But, yeah, um.....No! 

And yet another fabulous kid moment.  Love this picture!!  Although, if I had to guess I'd say she isn't entirely thrilled with it.  This is once again a situation where my children are not eager to indulge me...not even a little bit.  Even when I beg them.  So I had to catch her off guard.  I believe she had just taken a bite out of a sugar cookie when I snapped this.  It turned out to be my favorite Christmas picture. 

I like this page because it documents one of my favorite places in the world. 

The pictures on this page hold a special place in my heart because for years they were taped on the inside flap of my work clipboard.  Of course, that was before I understood how bad tape was for pictures.  Then, again, I really don't care.  The tape is part of the story of this page as I wrote about how these were my reasons for making it through the shift and making it home, alive and breathing and in one piece.  Reminders of my reasons were always nearby. 

I love this page because I am reminded of what a great night this was and these two very fun girls!!  We were at Angels Stadium in Anaheim.  The Angels were taking on the Sox (I really wish I could type in a Boston accent).  We drove over from Arizona and met up with Lori and Becky there.  It was a great weekend of baseball and wine tasting.  The perfect combination made even more perfect with good friends. 

I guess I should have posted a warning at the beginning. 
I have the "Seinfeld" style of scrapbooking....
Where I scrapbook about everything. 
And nothing at all. 
I like to tell stories. 
And that just flows into my pages. 
I just hope that someday a couple of great great grandchildren might enjoy them too. 
Oh, that's right, I have to have grandchildren first! 

And, with that, I think it's time to sign off.
And get back to organizing.....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Can Fix Him.....We Have The Technology....

We can make him better......

Did I happen to mention that I am married to the Bionic Man?
No kidding. 
He has enough metal in his body to be very attractive to magnets. 
And he is very entertaining at airport security checkpoints.

Well, this week he added to the hardware. 
Shoulder replacement surgery...ouch! 
A lovely little two hour procedure....
That turned into four hours.
Afterwards, the surgeon came out and showed me an xray
of the shoulder. 

No, this is not my husband's x-ray.  It's just something I found on the internet.
But this is pretty close to what it looked like!
My first thought?
Holy Crap! He has a golden spike in his shoulder! 
Well, it actually isn't a golden spike...
But it look like one, doesn't it?
And I went looking for the hardware on the internet and found this....

It actually looks like a silver spike....
A very heavy silver spike! 
Heavy metal collection has a whole different meaning to this guy! 

Anyways, the surgery went well.
And the bionic man got to come home a day early :-)
For now, his days will be filled with ice and rehab exercises. 
And no P90X! 
I just hope I can stay motivated without him!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Who Says I Can't Wear a Miniskirt!?!?!

I always love all those studies and surveys that come up almost daily.
You know what I'm talking about. 
The one's that tell us what we are doing,
How we should feel.
Or what we should be doing. 

It was a survey that from that last area that currently has me shaking my head. 
Last Friday, I was watching TODAY.....
Yeah.  I know.  I watch way too much of the morning show. 
But cut me some slack....
It's where I get some of my best laughs.
And where it's one of the best places to ponder the utter absurdities in the world. 
(Right there with Fox News, MSNBC, and all the Real Housewives). 

Anyways, the absurdity to ponder on Friday the 13th? 
At what age should women stop wearing certain items of clothing. 
Oh, and it also included hair styles (long hair vs. short hair...). 
And who did they survey? 
Women, of course! 
I was curious to know how much it cost to ask women
when women should stop wearing bikinis and miniskirts. 
And I was trying to figure out what magical formula determined that
a bikini should not be worn after age 47,
and a miniskirt should not be worn after the age of 35. 
They went further and determined that high heels are a no-no after 51, no tennis shoes after age 44, and bathing suits of any kind are frowned upon after age 61 ( I guess the "birthday suit" will have to do.)
Oh, and I only have another year of pony tails! 

Now, truth be told, I work out almost everyday but I still would not be caught dead in a bikini. 
And a pair of stilettos? 
Well, that's a sure fire way to end up in the emergency room because I guarantee this....
Me + High Heels = Face Plant.
But there is no one who is going to tell me I can't wear a miniskirt!!! 
So, on Friday, as I prepared for date night
I started to reach for a pair of shorts. 
But then I remembered the TODAY show segment and went right for the miniskirt. 
Of course, I had to take a picture....wet hair and all......

And I looked at the picture and thought....
Hmmmm....not half bad, not bad at all! 
Could use a little color on the legs and a touch of make-up....
But, otherwise, not bad for a 50 year old. 
(And no! I am not fishing for compliments! Please don't go there!) 

The point is.....we should wear what we are comfortable in. 
( long as we are not breaking any laws. )
And shouldn't allow special surveys or studies to rule our thinking
Or how we see ourselves. 
It's a matter of personal preferences. 
Besides....would you tell Demi Moore not to wear a bikini....
I don't think so!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

All the Best Laid Plans.......

Usually start with a dream.
Or a scheme.
Or an idea. 
Whatever the mode, they start somewhere. 

For us, a plan starting taking shape last Thursday.
Cinco de Mayo for all you non-partying folks ;-)
We, meaning my husband and I, were halfway through a tequila and lime concoction
when we start talking about the royal wedding. 
And, more specifically, London. 
I love London. 
Love, love, love it. 
I love the architecture.
I love the pubs.
I love the atmosphere.
I love the diverse culture. 
I love the underground. 
I guess you get the point. 
I love London. 
I pretty much love England in general. 

I told my husband I would love to escape for a year....
And live there. 
In London. 
Or even a village in the English countryside. 
When I was a teenager I often dreamed of this type of scenerio. 
I dreamed of backpacking through Europe. 
I dreamed of living in another country.
I dreamed of shopping for my dinner messages daily. 
Of going to the butcher.
The baker.
The candlestick maker. 

But, I did things I little differently.
I joined the military. 
I got married.
I became a mom. 
And such dreams went on the wayside. 

But, now, here we were. 
Talking about the possibility. 
And I was getting very excited about it. 
What would we need to do? 
Sell the house? 
Or maybe we could rent it out. 
What about our cars? 
Would we need them overseas? 
And what about the dogs? 
Can we take them? 
As these questions went on....
We started thinking that it wouldn't be as easy as we thought. 
By the end of the conversation,
we decided that we would decide
at the same time we put all of our decisions on hold until. 
December 2012. 
We can then re-evaluate the housing market, our finances,
and we will know for sure if that little Mayan calendar thing
comes to fruition ;-) 

Of course, the next day when we came down from our
tequila induced haze we started thinking
of some other obstacles. 
We are fortunate that all four of our parents
are still here with us. 
My hope is that they all live to be 100,
but I know realistically that probably won't happen. 
(but won't it be cool if it does!) 
I would just hate to be so far away if something does happen. 

I will say that my husband and I spoke of this again a couple of days ago. 
We still don't consider this outside the realm of possibility....
It will probably just have to wait a little longer....
The thing is that we view things our dreams much differently
When we are 50 than when we are 16. 
Yes, I know this is not rocket science.
But I really didn't think about how much....
We really do think about when we are making plans. 
It's just that all plans look better with a margarita or two. 

Oh, and note to self.....
I learned something very important in all of this (and this will show you how slow I am...)....
One should never post any indication of one's dreamy plans on Facebook.
Especially when said person is very excited at the moment
And is enjoying a beverage or two. 
My post read like this..
"Busy making plans....maybe a big move in the future..." 
 Based on the responses you would have thought it said....
"We're packing our bags and leaving tomorrow!" 

Yeah...I didn't realize such a vague status would get such a shocking response.
Insert "chuckles" 
And after all those responses, I felt guilty. 
Like I needed to provide some very juicy tidbit
when the fact was it was going to take about three paragraphs
to explain our thought processes. 
A little daunting on Facebook. 

So, here it all is....minus the margaritas!

Friday, May 13, 2011


So for the past 18 hours Blogger has been having some hiccups and whoosh....
My last blog post is gone. 
In case you missed it, it was a lovely post
about our recent California trip.
Oh well, such is life. 
I may recreate it at another time. 
But for now I will leave you with a little glimpse
of my Mother's Day loot. 

If you look closely, you'll see the wine bottle is empty. 
My husband and I enjoyed it last night.
Muy delicioso! 

And the Michael's card has already been put to good use. 
I purchased something that I definitely needed more of.......yarn!!!  ;-) 

Happy Friday the 13th to all!! 
May there be no black cats in your path ;-D

Update:  Well there you go.....the last blog post just magically appeared again.....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Time Flies.....

So I was reading an interview earlier today with a high profile blogger. 
One of her pieces of advice for blog success??
Update least 3 to 4 times a week. 
Hmmmm... well I guess I'm never going to be the uber-blogger....
Oh...but I have an excuse....
I'm old and times flies when you get older. it a good excuse. 
Well, not really...but I'm going to use it every chance I get. 
But really, time has flown the last few weeks. 
I really don't know where it went. 
What have I been up to?? 

Well there was another midterm
A power trip to Northern California.
Lots of homework.
Quadratic equations.
Cinco de Mayo.
A career fair.
A controversy (that's for another blog post). 
The Kentucky Derby. 
Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development.
Mother's Day. 

Where do I start? 
Well in this blog post it I'll start with the California trip. 
We went to see my parents. 
My mother had a little health scare recently. 
So I told my husband that I wanted to head up to see them this summer. 
And then we got the news that my husband would have a much need surgery. 
In May.  Meaning next week. 
We knew he would in no way feel like traveling for a couple of months after the surgery. 
So we literally put together this quick trip. 
A power trip. 
There were so many things that we had planned on doing. 
A Dodger game.
A trip to Paso Robles for wine tasting. 
Sightseeing in Yosemite. 
All those were cut out in the interest of time. 
We had to be back at least a week and a half before the surgery for tests. 
We did manage a little wine tasting along the way and near my parents home.

We visited a couple of wineries in Lodi, CA
Note:  This is what happens when the camera is not on the right setting ;-(

And we also visited this winery near my parents home.
It was once owned by the actress Lillie Langtry.

I don't think these pictures do it justice. 
It was simply beautiful there.
And the wine was excellent too!

And the most important thing.... we had a nice little visit with my parents, my brother, and my niece and nephew (who I have not seen in 10 years!).  It was really great seeing them all! 

We then headed back home by way of Death Valley. 
Yep....Death Valley. 
My husband wanted to see it. 
So off we went. 
And it was nothing like I thought. 
I thought it was going to be completely flat. 
Boy was I wrong! 
It was an "E-ticket" ride down to the flatness. 
Did I ever tell y'all that I am afraid of heights???
Well I am. 
The ride down was winding and narrow. 
Or so it seemed. 
I was very happy to make it to the bottom. 
And this is pretty much what I saw. 

A whole lot of nothing. 
It was an interesting nothing though. 
Hmmm...I wonder if there is any such thing. 

The trip took a week and I felt like I was in the car most of it! 
According to my husband, we logged something like 2500 miles. 
Or something like that....I'm not sure exactly how much. 
He keeps all those stats. 
I just know it was a lot. 

So that's it.....
California in a whirlwind.