Leslie's Random Thoughts

Life according to Leslie! Daily thoughts, and random stories about real life, and everyday issues, as seen through the eyes of an ordinary person.

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Location: Aurora, Colorado, United States

I have always enjoyed writing, and I used to keep a journal, but now that I have been married for 10 years, and have two kids, I don't have the time to sit down and write. I have come to realize, I have not been getting the outlet I need, so I began sending a random thought to my friends and family each morning. I have discovered new things about myself, my friends, my family, and about life!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pirate Life for Me!

I enjoy people watching.  It's interesting because you just never know what you're going to see and where.  I spent the day yesterday running a few errands, getting my hair cut, going to Sunflower Market, stopping at Wal-Mart.  As we all know Wal-Mart is the most awesome place to people watch, but I am starting to believe that the Dollar Tree is right up there with Wal-Mart.

I was at the Dollar Tree buying fake greenery and flowers for a school project for my youngest.  I had his class paint terra cotta pots for the schools auction, and I thought the fake flowers would add just a touch to them.  As I am browsing the Dollar Tree, checking out the plastic containers, school supplies, and cheaply made toys from China, I keep hearing this awful, flemy, throat clearing sound coming from a few isles over.  No matter where I walked to, I kept hearing it not far from me.  I tried humming so I wouldn't have to hear it.  It was awful...like a 2 pack a day smoker, who has smoked for 50+ years, just constantly clearing their throat and on occasion there was a hacking that followed.  Ugh...just got chills thinking about it.

I stood on my tip toes to look over the isle.  No one there, I craned my neck, no one at the check out.  I hear nothing, so I move to the next isle, just browsing away, and then I hear the wretched throat clearing again.  It was a sound worse than nails on a chalk board.  Worse than an alarm clock or smoke detector.  This sound came from the bowels, and it would seem to linger in your ears after it was over.  Every 30 seconds or so, you'd hear it again.  Again, I stand up on my tip toes, I see the cashier, I see some lady with her kid, but none of these people show the signs of being a flemy throat clearer.

I round the next corner and in front of me is this little old lady, haunched over the gift bags and party supplies, she stands to face me, and she's as wrinkled as sheets that have been on an unmade bed for weeks, her skin is blotchy, partially tan, and worn looking.  As she looks at me, she hung onto her cart and massive purse like her life depended on it, and began to clear her throat again.  Ahhh...YES...I found the source.  I mildly felt bad for the old woman, obviously her later years in life had not been kind to her.  But the most striking thing about this little old woman who could barely see over her Dollar Tree cart, was the fact that she was wearing an eye patch.  Not like an eye patch, I was just at the doctors office and he put eye drops in, but an eye patch like she was Captain Jack Sparrow, an eye patch like she just rolled into port on her pirate ship.  Like she had spent time on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean and loved the props.  It was a leathery, worn, pirates eye patch.  Straight from the movie Goonies, the scene where Mikey lifts One Eyed Willy's eye patch...minus the jewels.  It took all I had not to look at her and yell....ARRGGHHH Me Matey!

I passed her quietly, mumbling excuse me as I squeezed by, my heart racing, holding my breath, my hands getting all sweaty...don't do it...don't say it, don't ask her if she has a pirate ship near by.  I squeeze by her, take my items to the check out and bust out of there as quickly as I can.

You just never know what your day will bring you.  Who knew I'd be at the Dollar Tree and run into Captain Jack Sparrow's mom!  Gotta love people watching! I wonder what tomorrow may bring.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bucket List

Every time I am on Facebook, I keep seeing this ad for Denver's Bucket List, ya know, things to do in Denver before you die, and that got me to thinking about things I want to do.

This could be fun.  Think about it, what would you do if you could?  Let's say money, job, lack of time, none of it matters.  What is on your bucket list?

 I totally want to swim in warm melted chocolate.  I mean really, could there be anything better?  Take the best candy, melt it down, and just back float in it!  Granted, I'd gain a good amount of weight, but it would be worth it!

I've always wanted to box.  Put me in the ring coach!  I'm ready for the action, let me knock a sucker out!  Well, maybe I should just stick to being the girl who holds the round cards.  Do you have to fit into a bikini for that?

May sound crazy, but every time I watch that show on Discovery about Everest, holy cow, I can almost feel the wind wiping around my face, and I keep thinking I would love to just see Mt. Everest.  To feel the mountain beneath my feet!  If I was nutty, I'd totally climb it, but I would settle for being at the base of the mountain, big parka on, escorted by one of those little Tibetan boys and a pack mule.  Ahh...how lovely.

Hot air balloon ride
Stay a month on a private island
Swim with dolphins
Scuba dive
Move my kids into their first apartment
Have coffee in Italy
Hike at Yosemite National Park
Build my own home
Run a half marathon
See the sunset and sunrise in Hawaii
Visit an ashram in India

The list could keep going and going.  I keep thinking of silly things too, like being married long enough to have a 50th Wedding Anniversary, and holding a half dozen puppies at one time.  Learning to make sushi and go on a yoga retreat.  I think I want to wear a mini-skirt and actually look good in it!  Stay in a smoking awesome suite in Las Vegas and live like a high roller!  I think I want to go on tour with that host, Guy Fiere, and hit all the Diners, Drive-In's, and Dives, or whatever it's called, and eat the countries most mouth watering comfort foods out there!

But for now, my list is just a list, and maybe I'll put going to Costco on my Bucket List, and when I go there today and buy dog food, I'll be able to say I crossed something off the list!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Super Star Life of the Unemployed

I've been unemployed since January 3rd.  People say things like, enjoy your time off, what are you going to do with yourself?  Your kids must love that you are home.  Yep,my thoughts exactly...yeah right.

I am living the leisure life of the super star unemployed.  I wake up, take the kids to school, come home, and typically as I stand in the shower I decide do I shave my legs or not today?  They are minorly prickly, I mean they don't irritate me when I try to sleep at night yet, but shaving my legs would burn about 3 minutes out of my morning.  So why not shave.  While I am in the shower I decide to reorganize the toothbrushes, toothpaste, and shampoo.  Ah yes...the leisure life.

I sit each morning in front of the computer, scanning for jobs worthy enough for me to apply for.  Do I apply for the entry level secretary job or do I shoot for the director of financial analysis.  Yep, I'm either over qualified or under qualified.  So I close the laptop and immerse myself in terrible day time TV.  Usually an episode of Say Yes to the Dress, or Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and I just find the Style Network, and they have show called Ruby and Too Fat for Fifteen.  If I am lucky, I catch a four hour run of Roseanne.  Ah yes, the leisure life.

I find myself meandering Wal-Mart for two hours, putting only milk, yogurt, and clearance bread in my cart.  I'm on an unemployed budget, and I can meander Wal-Mart all I want, smelling the different candles, caressing the sheets, and holding jammies up to myself, but buying them is out of the question.

I somehow get pulled into helping out at the boys school.  I mean really, how many mom's show up with hot chocolate and marshmallow's for holiday parties?  Yep, just me.  And I even found time to cut fabric for aprons, and for fun, I cut my finger so I can sit in the ER and visit the people there while I got 5 stitches. Ah the leisure life.

Last week I went to 5 yoga classes in 4 days, cleaned underneath my bed, scrubbed the only toilet we have at least 3 times, vacuumed so much that the tracks are permanent.  All the winter hats and gloves are matched appropriately, all the socks have been matched up, and even the dogs are clean.  I found myself wondering if I could paint the living room while the cookies are baking.  Ah the leisure life.

I found myself mixing a margarita at 10:45am one day....hey, it's 5 o'clock somewhere right?  It was worth it!  Then there are days like today where I stayed in my jammies until 1pm, but all the laundry did get done.  They there are days that I have make-up on and hair done before I drop the kids off at 8am.  I have a project list of things to accomplish.  But I am finding that now I even sit on hold for 2 hours with unemployment, just to hear a human voice.  Ah the leisure life.

I hope I didn't blow the lid off of people's dreams about the life of the unemployed.  It's obviously a very leisurely life.  Pretty soon I will pick up horse back riding lessons, and pottery classes, all while I am interviewing live in nanny's.  I mean really, who can afford to work these days when there are so many pressing issues in the life of the leisure, like do I wipe the shelves of the fridge today, or do I clean the lint trap on the dryer?  Do I re-caulk the tub?  What about taking time to floss twice a day?  Ah the leisure life!

Friday, March 04, 2011


I began yoga about a year and half ago.  I had gone to a few classes a time or two and even own a DVD or two, but hadn't gotten really serious about it until a year or so ago.  I started for the physical benefits, and over time it has transformed itself into much more than that.  I began classes with Yogi Liz at 24 Hour Fitness, and instantly gravitated toward her.  I took two classes a week with her and soon became a full fledged groupie, showing up at her other studios and even a yoga workshop or two.  How times change, at one time it was such a great dream to be a groupie for Poison, Motley Crew, or heck even for Dave Matthews Band, and now I found myself being a yoga groupie.  It's comical how your priorities change with age, two kids, a husband, and laundry duty, and now I dream about working at a job I can wear my yoga pants at all day.

To my dismay, Yogi Liz has recently left for Dubai, to be a yoga-guru on an international level, sigh, and I am partially jealous that I can't pack all I own in a suit case, sling my yoga mat over my shoulder and hit the trail with her, and live my own version of Eat, Pray, Love.  Despite my mild depression over the fact that she has left, I continue on. I keep going to yoga classes, sizing up all the other teachers, comparing them to Liz and feeling horribly deflated by the fact that I can't seem to find one that I like nearly as much!

So there I sat in yoga, seven o'clock at night, trying desperately to quiet my monkey mind and settle into my meditation pose.  And next to me is a much too skinny girl, wearing some sort of polyester pants, shiny, tight pants, smacking and popping her gum.   For heaven sake, the girl hadn't even taken her socks off.  She is obviously not serious about this yoga bit, but at least her outfit is nice. SIGH...just breath.  Obviously this poor girl has no idea that I am soothing a broken heart-chakra, and really need to center myself.  So I breath a bit deeper, close my eyes tighter, and continue to listen the the instructor fail at being Liz, but she's trying.
Downward facing dog, breathing in, breathing out, cat cow, breathing in, breathing out, boat pose, and still the girl next to me is smacking her gum, and she has re-done her pony tail 15 times, flicking overly straightened, overly dyed blond hair onto my mat.  DEEP BREATH...can't this twit tell I am nursing serious wounds over the loss of Yogi Liz?  I struggle through an hour of class next to this girl, wishing I hadn't.

I role up my mat, gather my stuff, and get a glimpse of myself in the mirror, looking depressed, sad, and mopey..BOO...I sling my mat into the car and vow to try again another day. 
Despite the fact that I can hear blondie smacking her gum in my sleep, I won't give up on my yoga.  I get a moment to myself where I can center myself, strengthen myself, push myself, and in the end of class snooze on the floor for the best 5 minutes of my day!
Who knows, maybe I'll get crazy and go to yoga school, and become a guru and have my own groupies!  Ahh...the possibilities!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I realized yesterday morning that fall is setting in. I looked at the calendar numerous times and thought September, really? I’m still mentally in June. The summery dress I was wearing yesterday got covered by a sweater when I got to work, there was that strange fall feeling, and I suddenly felt nearly nude in the dress with no sleeves. Despite the fact that we hit 80 degrees yesterday, it wasn’t summer hot, it was fall hot, which is different. You know the difference in summer vs fall hot if you live in Colorado. Fall hot usually means it was 50 degrees at 8am and you needed the heat on in your car, yet it hits 80 degrees at 3pm and you need your air conditioning on.

Yes fall has set in and I may have to consider putting away my open toe shoes sooner than later, and pulling out my nice boots and dusting them off. I may even have to consider getting someone to come out, clean the vents, and get ready to turn the furnace on! Already? Where has summer gone?

The leaves are starting to fall just a bit, and soon the trees will be alive in fall colors, turning green shimmery leaves into golden gems, then into a dull dreary brown, where they fall to the earth into crispy piles. The smell is autumn, the colors are warm and homey feeling. The pumpkins will be ready for harvest, thoughts of Halloween and Thanksgiving are lingering in the back of my mind. Things settle into a hum of school activities, homework, early evenings, and calmer weekends. The hustle of summer has passed and the feeling of easing back into a regular schedule has come.

With this comes pulling out jeans again and finding the sweaters and jackets. Being ready for whatever nature may bring your way. The stores have started to fill their seasonal isles with fall festive wreaths, table clothes, and favorite football team must-haves. And I noticed an isle or two of Halloween candies and costumes. The coolers, summer time plates, picnic baskets, and pool floats have all be pushed to the clearance isles and hidden away in back rooms for the next summer season.

I love Christmas time, but I think that this change over to fall is one of my favorite times. The crisp smell in the air, the sound of the leaves being blown about, the warmth of the rusty red colors, the cooler mornings, and fall sunsets. Just the warm peace it seems to bring over your soul.

Yes, I must say, makes me want to run out and buy a wreath covered in fall leaves, sunflowers, and plastic pumpkins…..Fall is here!

Moral Compass

Moral Compass……does that lead your life? Maybe I am getting older, more conservative, more spiritual, but I keep finding myself asking this question. Where is the moral compass of the people in this world? It’s no longer pointing the right way, it seems to be spinning out of control.

I was listening to the radio this morning and the DJ’s were going on about how Kate Gosselin turned down an offer to be in Play Boy, and I was saddened that they were chastising her for saying no to $400,000. They kept saying she was holding out for more money. Why would she say no, she’s hot, it wouldn’t hurt her reputation. I’m sorry, at what point is it ok for a mom of 8 small children to show her kids that selling her body is ok? It’s ok to tarnish her reputation with her kids, but not society? Money is not what should lead weather to take off your clothes or not. Your moral compass should. I instantly felt anger against them for her, she had every right to say, no, I’m a mom and I’m not going to tell my kids its ok for me to do this for money. Good for her, her moral compass was finally pointing the right direction.

Not too many years ago this never would have been an issue, but today, it seems that if you make a good moral decision, you are put down, you are made to feel wrong by making the right decision for you. It’s all the time. Look at Miss California, giving her opinions on being gay and she is horribly crucified in the media. Why? That is her moral opinion. We have become a nation of extremes, we have to except everyone for whatever decision they make, we call it being “Free”, but if it strays from a liberal point of view or what is deemed as political correctness, people chastise you. I may not approve of your behavior as a gay, but I don’t love you any less for the person you are.

I see the look on people’s faces when I say my kids go to private Christian schools. There is a moment of uncomfortable silence, like why would I do that? When you say, hey I went to a prayer meeting at my son’s school, they have a twisted look on their face. Yet these are the same people who don’t hesitate to shoot out there anti-God opinions to me and expect me to suck it up, the same people who tell me that prayer doesn’t belong in schools. Yet when I differ from what seems to be the norm, I get the look. You know that look, like what a joke she is, forcing her kids to go to private school, and pray to God? What? Give your kids a dress code, that is ridiculous. I know, I’m ridiculous for having my child have pride in themselves, their bodies, their minds and not what is on their bodies and who texted who. Kids sending naked pictures of themselves to their classmates. Children who have no regard or respect for their parents and grandparents or teachers, and their parents have gone weak to societies pressure to give in to the kids. Where is their moral compass?

I was walking through a grocery store with my youngest son and I watched two adult men kissing, not just a simple kiss either, it was full on, it was embarrassing for me, I flushed in color. But I would have done the same thing if I had seen two tongues mingling on a straight couple. It was a situation where I had no idea what to say to my son. Life is such a trying journey at times, why should I have to explain to my 3 year old what that was, way before his age? When did it become ok to scramble a half-born, baby’s brain, instead of letting it live? Yet when I say, this shouldn’t be happening, I get the plight of the mother speech. Hey, then keep your legs closed, if you can’t do that, did you try birth control or adoption, anything than taking the right to life away from a fully developed fetus. Where is her moral compass? I don’t envy the mom in that situation, I have friends who have been there and I feel nothing by compassion for them. Love the sinner, not the sin.

I think there is such a lack of respect for others, and we allow the government to say what we can and can’t do, instead of relying on our own internal instinct to judge what we deem as appropriate. Instead of relying on God’s word, we rely on our own selfish wants and desires to lead us. Where is the moral compass pointing?

I was talking with my oldest son and he asked me what divorce was. This was not anything he had any experience with, and he became worried that “when” his dad and I got divorced things would be different. And I sat there, realizing that this is the norm for the kids today and for some kids multiple times, and I looked at him and said your dad and I will never get a divorce, God put him and I here on earth to be together forever. And people have chastised me before about that, how can you say never? I can say never. I can look you in the face and say never and know it to my core. The most important first relationship your kids will ever see, is the one between you and your spouse and God, that is what they will base each relationship they ever have off of in the future. I plan on making mine the foundation of their lives, not a circumstance that they have to overcome.

Where is my moral compass? It has swayed, it has spun around in the past, but I can see it clearly now. Pointing straight at the road I need to take. It’s not an easy route, it’s lined with taunts and teases, painful stumbling blocks, by my eyes are focusing straight ahead. Don’t tell me I can’t make it, I know I can, God has opened the path.


I had my yearly physical yesterday, and all went well, but I was shocked to find out that my doctor has breast cancer. I learned that she is scheduled for a mastectomy next week, and that she’s been doing chemo, and she walked in with no hair, very gypsy looking scarf on her head, and I could look into her eyes and see her struggle. It really threw me emotionally, I don’t know why, it just did.

I instantly felt very hollow and saddened. I didn’t know what to say to her. Do you say to someone who is going through that, I’m sorry? Does that really cover what you should say to that person? How do you look at your 40 year old doctor and say, oh, I’m sorry. It’s like saying I’m glad it’s not me, but how are you?

It got me to thinking about how resistant we are to being personal and real with people. I wanted to hug her and tell her to keep fighting, but I didn’t, why didn’t I? As she is checking me out, she asked if I did the triathlon again this year, and yes, I did. And as I’m talking to her I realized that this is a woman who is fighting this disease, a woman who couldn’t run that tri on chemo, a woman who I knew who in some way maybe I helped by running the triathlon.

I began to think of all the little things in life that we take for granted. How we walk through our lives oblivious to those around us, to the simple things around us, to the joy that life brings, if we just stop for a moment and set aside our selfish desires, maybe we’d be happier within ourselves.

So, make a list. What simple things in life do you take for granted? What are some things today that you notice when you stop and look around?

Good friends
Laughter, love, and faith
The smell of brewing coffee
How soft my youngest son’s skin is
How big my oldest son suddenly is and the sounds of him getting his own breakfast
The way painting my nails makes me feel pretty
The smell of damp grass
The feel of the sun on my face first thing in the morning
Knowing each day is a new day
Blue skies
The feel of my husbands fingers on my skin
Clean sheets

Shoes hitting the ground Running!

I am trying to train again for my triathlon in August. So far I have had slow start.

I am focusing on my running, because I am terrible at it, so yesterday, I decide to go for a walk/jog. I walk about two blocks, then begin the jogging. I am not a fan of any sort of jogging or running. I hate it, I’m a “round” girl and all that weight running is a horrible burden for the body to bear.

But there I was, running down the street. Some good music playing in my ears, and I’m jogging, and I pass a quarter mile, and keep going, I get to the half mile point, and I keep going, I look forward the whole time, I keep going, I keep focusing far in front of me, and I can’t believe what I see in front of me…..the end of the street. That’s a mile. What? Is that really the end of the street, I keep running, I think to myself, I can do that. I can run to the end. I keep running, my legs are tight, my chest is burning, my eyes are focused on the end in front of me. I keep running, I just keep moving. I can’t stop at this point, my legs loosen, I think I almost sped up!

I hit the end of the street, at this point I am smiling, and I’m singing out loud, and I am beginning to cry. I get to the end, I cross the street and turn around and keep running, I run down the opposite side of the street, I keep going. I finally had to stop cause the tears in my eyes were causing me not to be able to focus on the road in front of me.

I am laughing, and crying, and cheering. I haven’t done that since probably Jr. High. We are talking nearly 20 years. Yeah, crazy that I am that old, but yeah. Nearly 20 years. I did it. I ran it, I didn’t stop, and I kept focusing ahead of me, no matter the pain, I just kept going. I saw the end and I knew I couldn’t stop.

I am not often proud of myself, and for this one moment, one the side of the road in my neighborhood, I’m crying and laughing, and I am proud of me! Proud of what I did and of what I know I can do!!

Of course, as I am giggling and wiping tears away, I pass an older gentleman with a border collie puppy. I stop, pet this sweet lovely little puppy, giggling the whole time. Poor man, he must of thought I was damaged! How do you explain to a stranger you just ran a mile for the first time in who knows how long, and now you are sobbing like an emotionally damaged bone head?

I walked a few more blocks, and started to jog again. I ran another quarter or mile or so, before the tears blinded my view again and I walked the rest of the way home.

This morning, I can still hear the sound of my breathing in my ears, and sound my shoes made hitting the ground. I can still feel the tension in my calves and feel the motion of my body in my muscles. I will do it again!

Slippery Slope

My mind is distracted and diffused.
My thoughts are lying many miles away…

Just heard those lines in song by Simon and Garfunkel, called Kathy’s Song.

It struck me because I feel very much that way today. Despite the sunny day outside, it seems there is just a cloudy fog over my day. I’m tired, exhausted, and worn out. My job is beating me down lately, and days like today make me wonder what my true purpose really is. Of course I say these things as I put a billion dark chocolate covered cranberries in my mouth, then wash those down with hot tamales….so much for having a good food day. Totally self-sabotaging and I hate that, yet I notice I put aside those thoughts to dig through the bag of chocolates for more.

Hello fat girl? What are you doing to yourself? Do you seriously want to do that, Ms. Pudge? 165 chocolate calories later, and 140 hot tamale calories later, I’m kicking myself and wondering if I should just eat a few more….you already ate that many, may as well go in for total destruction.

I know that food is my shelter, my home, the place I run no matter the weather that I am facing in my life. So if I know this, why can’t I control it? Not sure on the answer to that, but isn’t half the battle admitting you have an issue? Or is that just an excuse to say, hey, I know why I do it, but never really get to the bottom of it and fix it. Or is running to food something I can’t fix? It’s as if I run to it because I’m so afraid of relying on just me to get it resolved, that if I hide in a pound of chocolate, the work stressors and life’s hardships will become easier. How silly is that? No amount of chocolate, or cheese covered French fries will ever take care of the 155 emails in my inbox, or the voicemails that need to be returned. Nor will a bag of chips handle the laundry or clean up dinner….seriously, all it’s doing is filling my stomach and adding fat cells to my butt and obviously my brain, but it’s not addressing the real issues.

Just one mis-step and you’ll slip before you know it. Life is a slippery slope for a fat girl whose fighting not only her weight but herself….and each day I feel as if I am walking on egg shells….hoping the bottom doesn’t give out and I don’t just dive into the biggest vat of heavenly chocolate I can find, then run through fields and forests of cheeseburgers, French fries, hot wings, chips, guacamole, and ding dongs.

Just thinking about those fields of food gives me tingly feelings of elation and uber joy! But the reality is, in the end, I wouldn’t be any more happier than if I had just sat down, knocked out the work, wrote down how I felt and sucked down the water like the Sahara desert during a rain storm.

And I feel that I’m waiting for something….what am I waiting for? What do I really think is going to happen? There is nothing fun about being the fat girl. Oh you do hear a lot about what a great personality you have or how nice you are, or you hair cut looks great, but you don’t often hear someone say, hey nice tight buns you got there. Then I think, do I really give a rats ass about what others think of me? Do I care if I have buns of steel? And even if I don’t want to be superficial, deep down, yeah, I want someone to notice me cause of how good I look once in awhile, and not by how great I can format a spreadsheet or how I can cook a mean meatball.

I am ready, I am ready, ready get set….get set….get set…..ready….get set……GO! Hey Fatty Fat girl…STOP dragging those feet and just GO!

Full Circle

It’s funny how things in life can come full circle, you don’t even see it happening, it just happens.

My grandmother passed away 8 years ago on Monday the 19th and I have seemed to pick up where she left off. I’ll explain that.

She used to make aprons for us. My favorite and the one I wear at least once a week is my Porky Pig apron. It’s a simple bib apron with two pockets. I wear it to clean, to cook, when I am eating and wearing white, whenever I think I need it. For Christmas John bought me a sewing machine. I haven’t touched a sewing machine since High School, and it is coming back to me slowly, and I started by reading the directions, which is key, then stitching up a tear in Joey’s bed skirt, then a tear in John’s pants, then I made an apron.

I bought some fabric on clearance just to practice on, and it’s a cute blue daisy pattern, and as I am holding it up to myself, I thought, hey, I can make this into an apron! So I did just that! I did a simple waste apron, not the full bib style, but with two pockets, and for fun I sewed an old towel to the back of it. The towel has made this apron a full use apron! I can wipe my hands on it, dry off the counter and the dish in my hand all at the same time! What more can you ask for!

It took me a few hours on some Sunday afternoon, but when I was done and I put it on, all I could see in my mind was my grandma and the Porky Pig apron with matching pot holders. Here I was making a full circle back to where I had began, just older and now I am the one creating cute little items from my sewing machine, and ironically full of the same humbleness she had. It’s not very good, she’d say. Ironically, those same words came from my mouth a time or two.

I have come to find some strange joy and peace in turning on that machine and watching the needle go up and down and my mind has become a whirling tornado of grand ideas. Aprons, and curtains, pillows, and blankets, table clothes and napkins, what else is in store for that machine? What can I come up with next! I find myself thinking of fabrics that people I know would like, and if I have the patience and skill to try a quilt! I even went as far has having John order me fabric labels with my name on them that I can stitch to all my creations.

Although my heart fills with brief moments of sadness, because I miss my grandma very much, but I am also filled with a comforting happiness in knowing that maybe, just maybe she left me a bit of herself inside me.

Life has a funny way of coming full circle.

Monday, September 22, 2008

SImpler Life

I got to thinking if every second of my life counts, I sure do waste a lot of seconds…

I circle back around and around to the fact that life is so much more than sitting in a cube doing tasks that mean very little, if nothing in the real world.
I was sitting outside last night, there was a bit of a chill in the air, that fall smell around, and I looked up; the stars were out, covering the night sky, and I longed for the ability to have a simpler life. A life that meant so much more than it does right now. All I am now is a number in a sea of numbers.

How do you make that happen? A simpler life? Work that actually accomplishes something, a life where you can trust your kids are safe outside, where you don’t need to buy the unnecessary, or be tracked on a video camera at every stoplight.. A simpler life that reflects a good life, a quality life. I want to live in a town where traffic is a summer parade. I want to live a life where TV is not a member of the family. I want to live a life that out my window is nature, not the light rail.

We went to South Dakota this summer for a quick weekend trip to Mount Rushmore, and I keep thinking how I could live there. It was so much more laid back and nice. It keeps permeating my mind, filling me with wonder, curiosity, and the possibilities. I close my eyes and I can see it, I can see what that life looks like. The smell of it fills my nostrils, making my head spin at the possibility of it all. Yet, the reality leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The economy is crap, and we’d never get out of our house for what we owe, we’re stuck, just like everyone else. I guess, its not that bad, we have a home, we have many many blessings, but back in my mind is the ache to be away from it all.

So on occasion, I entertain the thought….I look up land prices. I look at job markets in lesser populated areas, I think of what it would take to build a house on a piece of property a millions miles away from it all. So I make poor John buy lotto tickets every week in hopes that we can change our lives to what we keep talking about.

I had to choke the tears back last night, swallow the rock in my throat. Our family is so great, how great things are for us, its good, life if good. But I had to choke back the tears, because each day is precious and I don’t want it to be wasted.

I have warm wonderful friends in my life, I have dedicated and devoted family members, I have a house we have made into a home and all are welcome there. So each day I make it thru to the next, doing the best I can and hoping for the best of what the world has to offer for my kids in their futures.

When I win the lotto on Wednesday, I’ll send you our new address, it will be some fabulous ranch in Montana!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Love is the Greatest

Despite the long holiday weekend, it just seems like I didn’t have enough time off. But it’s beyond that. My soul is a bit sick and saddened.
A co-worker of mine passed away on June 27th. He was a friend of mine, more than a co-worker, a good guy who cared about those around him. We never met face to face, he was in Maryland, but we worked together via phone and email almost every day.

Today I came into work, cleaning up emails and sending out inspection confirmations, and as fate would have it, he was on many of the emails I had to send out. It was so depressing, so saddening, so hard to delete his name from each and every email. Painful almost, like a void was opening up, allowing all the disbelief to poor thru.

You don’t know how things will effect you, I was shocked when I heard, almost numb, now I feel sick. Sick that I have to do this without him, sick that I had to delete his name from my reply emails, sick that my company hasn’t even acknowledged his death, sick that his family is left struggling without him, sick that his friends all over have the same void I do.

Adding to the void is the death of my uncle on the 4th of July. My whole family is gathering in Florida and I’m here. Trying to sort it all out, trying to separate life, emotion, sadness, from work. It’s so hard. I feel for my Aunt, losing her husband, losing part of herself, losing a soul mate.

I keep thinking back on times that we were all together, the things we did, the days on the beach, the days at Water World, the times that you are glad to be together, but you end up taking for granted in the long run. He was that grounding force in the family, a voice of reason, he replaced my grandfather as the stabilizing figure, now he’s gone, leaving all us crazy women to run the place, and I giggle at this, because God has a sense of humor, and His will is His way, and it leads to another path of enlightenment, or insanity, not sure which yet.

I just want to scream, to run away from it all, to just shut it all out and cry until I can’t do it anymore, until all I can do is lie down and pass out.

More than that, it makes you reflect on your life. It makes you realize how quickly your time can be cut off. And then it takes me back again and again to how you use your life. All the struggling, strife, and crap we put up with. When in the end what matters is the love you gave, who you loved, how you loved, and the love you got back from it all.

1 Corinthians 13
Love Is the Greatest

1 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance……..
13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.