Thursday, March 27, 2008

Book Quotes

More quotes about books:

"Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it."

P.J. O'Rourke

"There's nothing to match curling up with a good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house."

Joe Ryan

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Wanted to write about how precious family is to me and maybe talk about the memories of this weekend and get past the nail polish episode.

I started listing people that were there and I realized it didn't matter who it was - what mattered is that we all came together to celebrate the marriage of Kimber and Nick. Seeing Craig walk his daughter down the aisle - sitting with my granddaughter, Olivia, and grandson, Chantz - gave them paper to draw with and Chantz tried to take down everything that was being said - Aden, the 16 yr old grandson, who is so loving and considerate - insisting that he reallllllly wants to dance with me - my other grandson, Caedmon,21 mons. old, lying on the reception area carpet next to me playing with his Legos and toys - my daughters and husbands visiting with everyone - the crazy wonderful dancing - my aunt and uncle dancing together and then my uncle doing "The Worm" with my brother - spinning on their backs with their feet and arms up in the air - just listening to the laughter and the conversations going on around me - what joy to be with people who put aside the hard things of life - and come together to celebrate.

We all went to church Easter Sunday (even the bride and groom were there) and what joy it was to be together in church together on Sunday - and we made it to a 9 AM service after eating ceral and milk in our rooms at the hotel (they were charging $11.95 for breakfast - right!!!) and then we had to leave each other and this parting seemed harder than others - maybe the realization of how precious the time is when we are together really affected me more this time that others -

God has really blessed me with a family that really knows how to come together - that puts aside any hurts or grudges or whatever may be going on in their lives and that can really come together and love each other. I see so many families that carry on feuds for years - brothers and sisters not talking to each other - mothers and fathers and siblings all being held at a distance - no communication - no talking - no love. Life is too short and family is too important to let it go on - shall we all join hands for a chorus of "Kumbaya" now??? Know you know why my girls said I needed my own Blog - I do get carried away!

Terrible Thursday!

Well Thursday was the day my Mom, sister and myself were leaving on our trip to a family wedding in Akron, Ohio and I was suppose to be ready to leave by 12:30 p.m. I had to go into work because I was in charge of the Easter Worship pages which consisted of almost three full pages of advertising and I had to finish them before I could leave.

I got up real early Thursday morning after doing most of my packing the night before (I was determined to be ready!) - colored my hair - got food ready to go on the trip - got myself dressed in my fairly new beige boot cut pants (Kik approves of) and thought I had better touch up my toenail polish because I was wearing sandals - because it was warm here - took the bottle in my hand and shook it several times as I realized something terrible had happened - the top to the nailpolish was broken - came off - and red nail polish was going all over me - my nice pants - my stomach - my arms (didn't have my top on yet)- across my bed comforter (which fortunately is red) - my white nightstand - my white bookcase and books - and of course the light beige rug!!!!! - these are the moments when even at my age you realize once again that you ARE the grown-up and your Mom is not coming to clean it up and you had better figure it out real quick because it was fast drying polish.

The next hour and a half was spent scrubbing the rug mainly - as I live in a rented townhome and didn't want this to ruin my relationship with my landlord - and then everything else. What a mess!!! I had to use nail polish remover as that was all I had - couldn't get it out of my pants though so they are ruined.

Got to work late - had a myriad of problems - didn't leave work until 3:30 PM - didn't get on the road until 4:30 PM - feeling very guilty - with no way of making it better - but we all got through it.

The wedding was wonderful - the weather was c-o-l-d - 22 and 26 degrees - snow on Sat. morning and snow going through the West Virginia mountains yesterday - but it was great seeing family and being with everyone.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ohhhhhhhh - Ohio

These two weeks before Easter and the two weeks before Christmas are just about my busiest times at the newspaper - and this time it is even worse because I am leaving Thursday to go to Akron, Ohio for my niece's wedding. So I have lost two whole days and I am scrambling to get everything done, proofed and released for publication!!! The race is on!!!

I love road trips - with compatible people. This one is with my Mom and my sister and we are going up through the mountains of West Virginia which is really a great ride - I just don't want to do it in the cold weather!!! My sister and myself are doing Weight Watchers - so we will have good healthy snacks this time instead of my all time have-to-have Strawberry Twizzlers, Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and Whoppers - those are just basic road trip supplies. We always have good talks - arguments about the drivers driving ability and choices - listen to books on tapes - and I always have my crocheting with me. I can't read in a moving car but I can crochet - I haven't figured that one out.

When my husband, Alex, and my youngest daughter April and myself were driving in a U-Haul truck in our move from L.I. to Myrtle Beach we had to go through the weigh stations - Alex told me he was worried that we might be too heavy and not pass the "test" - he suggested that the two of us get out and walk around and let April drive through the weigh station - I always love picturing that in my mind! The three of us sat in the cab of the truck with April and I taking turns holding her gerbil in a cage on our laps - memorable!

I'll be back Monday - hope you all have a blessed Easter!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thoughts for the Weekend

Crazy week at work - I am responsible for the church ads that go in for all the Easter events - and that means two full pages of display ads for churches for this Saturday - next Thursday - and then the Saturday before Easter. So the first Sat. is over with until it publishes tomorrow morning and if something is wrong my phone will be blinking when I come in on Monday morning.

I love to go home to my cozy townhouse. I usually come in - put my things down - and sit on the couch and just absorb the quiet - I look around at the artwork on the walls and the things I have around that bring me joy and reconnect with myself. I really tried to simplify this move - but the artwork is slowly climbing back on the walls and little bits of my life are appearing on the tops of bookshelves and tables and I realize they all make me happy.

One time when my grandfather was over at our home - he sat on the couch and looked around and said, "You know being in your living room is like sitting in a scrap book of your life!" - I loved it that he felt that way. He would be happy to know that a copy of one of his paintings is hanging on my wall. Another time when we were living in Pa. I asked a friend to stop by on her way home from work (she was a teacher) and she said, "Oh no, if I do that I'll come in and sit on your comfy couch and these two cozy arms will come out and wrap their arms around me and say-sit stay don't leave - and the next thing I know it's dinner time!!!" I loved it!

I once read a book called Open Home, Open Heart about hospitality and it really struck home with me to be able to have people over and not make them feel sorry they stopped by or that your embarrassed by the mess and then make them feel uncomfortable even more - I want to have my home presentable and a pleasure for those who come by - but more than anything I want everyone to feel welcomed and glad they came to visit even if I have to move some things off the couch so they can sit down.

I just made myself smile because I thought to myself - Blogging is like having people over for coffee and you don't have to worry if the dishes aren't done!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

After The Weekend

I came back Sunday night and even as I write those words I feel homesick for the Emmaus Walk. It was truly an unbelieveable spiritual and emotional experience and I really don't want to talk about it too much in case there is an opportunity for one of you to go on one of these weekends someday.

I arrived on Thursday evening - without my watch or cell phone - and as the weekend progressed it was really amazing to realize how much I looked at my watch and how much I missed my cell phone (my sister had the numbers to call if she needed me in an emergency). As I went through the weekend asking questions the answer would be "Don't anticipate" or "Would you open your Christmas presents ahead of time?" - and you know what - they were right - it really became a time of real peacefulness along with a lot of challenges of learning to let go of all my need to control and accept that I was being taken care of!

There were terrible storms all day Friday and Saturday - fierce winds - pouring rain - and cold - but we all (27 women participants and staff) survived. We were only a block away from the ocean so I got to go on some walks by myself and Sunday was a sunny day!

I came back to work on Monday facing a storm of problems and Tuesday was even worse - but today Wed. was a lot better - I have a huge deadline tomorrow which I am working on - it always feels like a horse race - coming down to the "wire" to get everything done on time. It is never boring here - I used to say I wanted to work in a hospital or airport because something is always happening - well - you can add newspaper to that list.

The clothes never did matter - wish I had brought my sweat pants - Sponge Bob worked out fine but I am going to buy some decent pajamas for the next time or new pajama bottoms and matching T-shirts - no I am not making a trip to Victoria Secret!!! - more like the Sears Men's Dept.!!!

Adjusting to reality after a weekend like this is never easy - and looking for evidence of changes in your life after being confronted with some truths and hoping to change in some way is pointless - my family and friends will be the ones to know if there was a real impact this weekend on my life - I'm just trying to walk it out with God's help now.

And I lost 2.8 lbs. - with tons of snacks around -Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, homemade Apple Strudel - Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - homemade cookies - and delicious meals all weekend - God provided healthy choices - fruit and lots of bottled water!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Weekend Away????

Tonight I am being picked up from work and taken to a retreat called the Seaside Emmaus Retreat. Friends of mine invited me to go to this a couple of months ago and when they suggested it it seemed like such a good idea.

I am going not knowing anyone that is going to be there - and knowing really nothing about the weekend - apparently that is part of it - letting people find out for themselves without any preconceived ideas. Right now it is making me very nervous - I am allowed to take my cell phone - I guess I am making this sound a little scary "Moonieish" and I shouldn't because whenever I tell anyone that has been before they look at me and tell me how this is going to be a wonderful weekend for me - especially after everything that has been happening. So it comes down to just trusting this as another part of God's plan for me and rest and relax in that and try and give up some of the control that I seemed to be clutching onto!!!!

Some of my concerns - totally not spiritual -
- What to wear at night - my Sponge Bob Square Pants pajama bottoms and T-shirt top?
- What to wear during the day? Is everybody going to be wearing "matchy matchy outfits" or jeans, T-shirts and flip flops????
- What are the dressing and undressing situations? - I am not like my daughters and really like my privacy!
-and what about eating? I am doing Weight Watchers and I realllllllly want to stay on program

I will let you all know on Monday how it went - and anybody who wants to can be praying for me!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Two Favorite Quotes

At the worst a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.

Rose Macualay - 1924


I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.

Anna Quidlen - "Enough Bookshelves" NY Times Aug. 7, 1991

Monday, March 3, 2008

End of a busy day

This weekend was a busy one for me.

On Saturday I went to the auction of my mother-in-law's furniture and things. I was really ok with it - but it was sad to see her things - that she was so happy with - just leaning against the wall and being held up to be bid on - and nobody knowing the importance of everything. A mother with children bid on the dining room table with six chairs and I was happy to see her get the set - and at least most of the things were acutally bid on and not just going for $5 or $10. Mary had finally gotten to a place in her life where she had nice new things and was able to decorate in pink to her heart's desire and I am glad that she was able to enjoy her place in Florida and then here as much as she did.

After the auction I went to Kik's home - we ate together, Ken, Kik and myself and then set up the blog - watched a movie (or several at the same time) - and I kept saying I have to go home - but didn't until I guess around 11 - it was just so nice and cozy being there. Their home has a sense of calmness and peacefulness that I always appreciate.

Sunday night I had a funeral to go to of a friend from my church who was only 55. The service was held in the same funeral home that we had my Dad's service in 5 yrs. ago and they also helped when my husband, Alex, died 3 yrs. ago. I left right after the service - but - met a friend outside who ended up coming over to my place for a cup of Orange Mandarin Herbal Tea and a good time of catching up and talking - felt really blessed to end the evening with my friend.

There was a real sadness and poignancy to the weekend and also a sense of closure and being able to "go through and come out the other side."

So today is Monday and I am back at work - and I am really on the other side with really big deadlines hovering on the horizon!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Now it begins. . .

My daughters have been telling me that I should have my own blog so tonight my oldest daughter, Kik, has helped me begin.

Finding the heading or address that would be the best has taken the most time and I finally settled on the "Beauty of Bamboo" - it seems that all the places we have lived we have always found some bamboo growing near us - but the saying really started the morning we were all flying to Puerto Rico for a family vacation - we were flying out of Kennedy and the weather had been beautiful leading up to the day of the flight and I kept saying I wanted it really cold when leaving so I could really enjoy Puerto Rico - we woke up that morning and it had snowed - really snowed - and as we drove past the bamboo growing nearby the snow was heavy and had bowed it all way down and I said (sounding like a wise Yoda), "Look girls, the beauty of bamboo - it bends but it doesn't break."

And so - these are some of my stories of sometimes having to "bend" but never breaking.