I'm Walkin' On Sunshine

What sunshine is to flowers: smiles are to humanity ~ John Addison

First of all, Joan Rivers should not be on TV in any capacity.

And second of all...... Ahhhhhhhhhh!! My whole attitude has changed with the weather. We traveled to Chicago for about 24 hours. What fun. Ben's Friday night Improv Olympic show proved hilarious and he played to a packed house.

Kept the windows down and the radio up during our Saturday errand run. Around 5pm we dropped Jen at work and got Melissa home in time to see "The Movie" with her friends, but she won’t or can’t talk about it because she said it was beyond words.

I still don't know if I can bring myself to see it. I'm a little worried because, as a believer, I'm somewhat afraid it won't affect me enough. I do not want to come away and stay complacent. I don't know. Sometimes I want to change and become "sold out" and yet I like my life the way it is and who I am right now. Who am I kidding? I don't like quite a few things about myself. I'm self-centered, a procrastinator, AND a gossip. I sit on fences and tell myself the glass is half empty. I let the weather dictate my mood and I don't want to see a movie that will turn my life upside down? The Bible says God could vomit when he sees believers being lukewarm. He'd rather us be hot (sold out) or cold (non believer). I could use a swift kick in the pants. I'll go.


Come Fly With Me

Very little is needed to make a happy life ~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

I swear it is the little things in life that make me the happiest...heading out of town on a Friday night makes me smile.

Cheap airfare is my biggest satisfaction right now.

Breakfast with old friends is forever an upper.

I had to wait on a train for the first time in my life on Pontaluna Road. Trains are bittersweet. Depending upon my mood, their whistle can wash me in melancholy and cause a lonely, desolate state of mind.  And yet, it can bring to mind thoughts of home, dreaming in my upstairs dormer and not letting myself dwell on the fact that it was a freight train.

My youthful mind conjured up images of men in top hats eating, drinking, smoking and laughing. Or women in fancy hats going somewhere entertaining or important.  Routinely the dream included a teenage girl heading west on a complete unknown adventure. Or returning east because of lost love or heartache.

I will never forget the look on my kid’s faces when they came downstairs the first year we put a train around the Christmas tree trunk.

My absolute favorite thing about Paris was riding the Metro, watching the Parisians, and listening to the street musicians play "Autumn Leaves" on their accordions.

I could go to Disneyworld for the day, pay the admission price, and just ride around on the monorail until closing. Or as Jen called it when she was 3 or 7 "the Meijerail."

I slept in a caboose once at Springhill. I can still remember the dream...I was the 5th sister in Little Women and I was heading west in a respectable hat to teach pioneer children in a one room schoolhouse.

I dream of seeing Europe by rail and on my list of 100 things to do, see, have, or experience before I die is head to New York by train for Christmas.

The List of 100...maybe I'll make that a journal entry soon. At this time in my life I absolutely WILL relish the journey and quit waiting for the destination or even the next stop.

All these thoughts went through my head while waiting for the graffiti covered boxcars to pass by and I could get home to buy my airline tickets for spring break.

Someday, I'll ride the train anywhere and everywhere, but for now I'll settle for a 2 and 1/2 hour plane ride to Florida.

Maybe I'll buy a proper hat for Easter.


Excitement Mounts

The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend ~ Cali Rae Turner

My sister, Joy, was here for about 24 hours. It's always inspiring and exhilarating to see her and reminisce uninterrupted.

When our kids were younger we constantly longed for extended lazy afternoons spent together and now that we had one we just sat and talked about our kids. It was heartwarming.

We reached the end of the shabby chic Internet highway. And, as always, discussed ways to be in business together.

Excitement for the weekend: Carryout from the Station on Friday, along with a little surfing for cheap spring break tickets. I forced myself to scrapbook last year's spring break on Saturday, then off to Barnes and Noble with a stop at Brann's Steakhouse. Man I can hardly contain myself.

Helped Melissa with her bio for Cinderella, and discussed the possibilities of her going to Africa this summer. There goes my European vacation but how the heck do you say no to a missions minded kid?

I think I'll head to Chicago this week to attend Ben's film festival and help Jen celebrate her 21st birthday. Ben also has a show at Improv Olympic on Friday night.

Once again my "to do" list grows longer and my motivation to start it grows weaker. I have, in fact, discovered an awesome new 30-day miracle diet and so far I've already lost 8 days.


We should always be thankful for those who rekindle the inner spirit~ Albert Schweitzer

A colossal burden is melting away. And the crux of the matter is all I have to do is unbuckle a strap and it will fall off and evaporate, completely.

I still believe that I could write a book. I even have the title: “I Could Write A Book.” I have a fiction piece started because I believe I would step on toes if I wrote non-fiction. I just need to prioritize my time, which will be much easier after I unbuckle the strap.

I got a call from my dad this morning. He's home from Florida for a week and he might come up to Michigan for a snowmobile ride. My dad is closer to his 80's than his 70's and he thinks he needs to get a snowmobile ride in every winter. I'll bet my mom is looking forward to a little peace and quiet.

If I had to name the two people that have influenced me the most in life it would be, without a doubt, those two. I could list for days their character traits and they would be the first to mention their personality flaws. But since I write this journal and they don't here are a few reasons why they deserve all the happiness in the world.

They are faithful, loving, caring, concerned, servants, strong, secure, free from doubts and fears, trustworthy, courageous, moral, kind, and have a work ethic that is off the charts. God bless you, both.


Let The Sunshine In

I believe that children are our future!

Friday evening the sun set in spectacular fashion and not until around 6:30, so yeah, the days are getting longer.

Actually, the sun was my drug of choice all weekend. Crisp, clear, cold, and still lots of snow in case anyone wintering in Florida wants to know. Wanted to go to the basketball game, but wanted to stay home more.

Saturday we provided the Krispy Kremes and spent the day turning the high school stage into Cinderella’s hometown. This is going to be some show! Friday night will be the night most of the family shows up; so if you want tickets, let me know! I won't beg.

One of my new favorite things is diet coke in little half cans. Who thinks of these things? I also have a philosophy on why there is nothing to do in Muskegon. All the talented, humorous, creative, artsy, and fartsy people that are born and raised here feel the need to get the heck out the minute they hear the first chords of pomp and circumstance. That's all fine and good and I'd hate to be the one to discourage anyone from getting a college education, but in the words of Rose from The Titanic, (said in a hoarse whisper) "come baaaaack."

Come back and start a comedy club with improv classes and troupes. Come back and open a non-chain restaurant with festive outdoor seating. Come back and start a mom and pop specialty grocery store. Come back and open a diner with sassy waiters and waitresses. Surely some excellent instrumentalists from all those State champion bands would be interested in starting a blues club or playing some jazz. How about a little hole-in-the-wall flower shop with striped awnings? Come back and operate an art atelier that showcases up and coming new talent. Start a dance studio next to the theatre troupe and give ballroom dancing lessons and put on small productions at the existing venues. Then open another mom and pop restaurant with a dance floor that specializes in ambience and romantic, raspy, Nora Jones type nightclub acts. How about a pizza place that bakes pizza in hearth type ovens? Bistros, cafes, discotheques, cabarets, did I say comedy clubs? How about opening an authentic vintage clothing store or a retro furniture store? For that matter any kind of furniture would work well here. How does a recording studio with your own record label sound? How about: shoot (on location) a SNL type TV show that is actually funny? Or start up a small film production company. And then with all the plays, movies, and music stars, we would need a unique photography studio that could handle all the headshots.

So go... and then come back and bring your talents, gifts, and cherry county playhouse with you.

Break a leg.


Decisions Decisions

It matters not what team you are on, pick one, suit up, and jump in the game ~ That quote is mine and I’m not even going to charge you for that little pearl of wisdom.

Who even knows what teams are in the Superbowl? Tigers and lions and bears, oh my! I have lost all interest in major league sports, except for the Cubs (maybe this is THE year) and the Redwings (just another winning year). Michigan only has a tiny window of opportunity for bragging rights on their sports teams...I think it's late in July for a few days when the Lions are just getting ready for preseason and the Tigers have not mathematically eliminated themselves from the pennant race.

It's all about the almighty dollar. There's no loyalty to playing on the same team your whole career. I just watched the coin toss, and members from both teams are all hugging and patting the opponents on the rear end. C'mon! We know you are all going to get a boatload of $ and a ring the size of a buick while it costs us, the average fan, the same amount of money to attend a sporting event as players used to get for signing bonuses.

Whatever happened to Cinderella stories like "Hoosiers"?

Yup, I think I'm too far gone to rescue...unless of course Barry Sanders returns. Let's call that movie...The Return Of The King. Bring on the "Survivor" All-Stars.

What can I say about the half-time show? Just plain tacky, tasteless, crass, neanderthal, vulgar, raw, unrefined, talentless... so the adjectives are free, as well.

 Josh Groban has left the building.


Crazy Day

The perfect journey is circular ~ ~the joy of departure and the joy of return ~ Dino Basili

The first 10 days of February seem like they lasted about 1/2 hour.

 Jennifer flies back to Chicago via Munich tonight. First leg; 3am-4:30am and then the last leg from 5:30am to 3:15pm Michigan time so say a little prayer for her.

Things are going very slow at work; I need to come up with a creative way to make a part-time paycheck for the next 3 years. My passion is photos and music. I sat here yesterday and went through all our music files looking for "traveling" music.

Any of you who need an idea for Pop Go The Sailors give me a shout. I have a ton of ideas. But keep in mind I'm a member of the "country" club. I need to have Melissa and Mary do a Judd’s song before I die or they graduate.

So I put out a couple of fires at work, met with a rep from the Merchandise Mart, took a couple of measurements for window treatments, headed home, ate supper on the fly, stopped by my gym: aka the high school to walk.

I had just finished one round and the batteries go dead in the CD player, (shoulda downloaded my country onto the ipod). I'm power walking in silence and as I am rounding the back hallway, all of a sudden the lights start dimming, strobe lights begin to flash, all the doors automatically slam shut and an alarm that could wake the dead starts to blare repeatedly for about 20 minutes.

Instant headache, that didn't want to quit when the alarm did. As I left the high school I had to stop by the costume room to pick up a work order for the cast of Cinderella's costumes (say that 10 times fast) and I ran into Melissa in the hall. That made my day. If it were possible to stay in choir and get her G.E.D. she'd do it! I don't know how she's going to make it for another year and 1/2.

I say a little prayer for her.

 OK then that was my day.


Same Old Same Old

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once ~ Albert Einstein

Kind of a laid back sort of weekend. Nice. I couldn't even bring myself to go to the basketball game Friday night. I'm such a poor excuse for a fan.

Mark brought home a couple of movies, Secondhand Lions and Lost In Translation. The acting in Secondhand Lions was all over the place. The storytelling was acceptable, but I could have lived without the back-stories being reenacted. Lost In Translation was worthy of a nomination but not good enough to beat LOTR for the academy award. Neither one was "my kind of movie" but entertaining none the less.

Saturday was spent doing the mundane. The menu was meat loaf, mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli with cheese, applesauce and frosted brownies, but no one was hungry at the same time. So it will remain the menu for the majority of the week.

Did my own laundry.

Got all the IRS papers together. Paid everybody's bills including running out to get a $100. Graphing calculator for the little princess.

I guess she was pretty happy for the guy’s octet at S & E contest. I don't know if happy is the right word, maybe more like jealous. From her description of the judges, director, and audience, there wasn't a dry eye in the place after they sang. Good for them!

The girl’s octet received a 1st rating, also, but I don't know if her heart is in the right place. Teenagers. The excitement builds, doesn’t it? The next weeks are going to start to fly. We will probably spend the rest of February weekends working on the set for Cinderella.

I know most of you are waiting with bated breath to here of some romantic caper for Valentine's Day. Not going to happen. When you are as crazy in love as we are, you don't need all the bling-bling. What?



People will support that which they help create ~ Mary Kay Ash

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs you have nothing on me, except maybe a little extra spending money. I have a living, breathing, live-in tech support guy. I'm not kidding you, Mark is a genius when it comes to computers.

I wasn't going to post this journal on my website until I had complete control, and I could just sit down, type a few lines about my day, preview, and publish with my eyes closed. Almost every weekend since Christmas, I have been reading, studying, previewing and publishing the blog to nowhere.

Finally, on a cold snowy, sunshine less, Saturday, around the end of January, Mark, (Ben) and I win the battle. We reached Mordor. So imagine my surprise on Thursday when I get ready to post and nothing. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr. No big deal, I have Friday off, I will fix it myself.

Once again, I must reiterate that I live with a genius. He gets home from a long day of mindless deliveries, clicks on a couple of keys, cleans a few cache files, zaps a P-RAMM, disks the utilities, defrags the hard drive and voila, I'm back in the blogging business.

What a guy. I am going to have to force quit the mean spirited remarks about him having no life.


What If God Were One Of Us

Perhaps too much of everything is as bad as too little ~ Edna Ferber

I was so pleased to see the sun yesterday that I felt somewhat intoxicated. I literally said out loud, while walking my little dog, "welcome back old friend!!"

I love Michigan more that anything, but c'mon this isn't Alaska, we're in the 40th parallel for crying out loud. January's total sunshine= 24 hours.

Not making plans for spring break is coming back to haunt me.

Life coach. Perhaps that is what I'll be when I grow up. According to the USA today people that need a little fire lit under them are hiring Life Coaches. You pay me $200-$300 per session and I will. for sure, give you a little constructive criticism, some direction for the task at hand, an "atta boy" pat on the back, or even some good old fashioned bobby knight praise.

I am still so angry about the super bowl half time that I have quit wearing a seatbelt. Reality TV has spun out of control. Someone should suggest that Donald Trump go on extreme makeover, or better yet, just have all his apprentice wannabes' hold him down and give him a buzz cut.

Happy Belated Groundhogs Day. Only in America would we keep alive a moronic tradition such as this. Puxatawny Phil. Puxatawny Schmil.

And I wonder why God isn't one of us.


Living Vicariously

I see who I want to be in my daughter's eyes.     ****

Jen is winging her way to Europe for the 3rd time. Tonight as I watch her flight path on the internet, I am playing my favorite European artists...Edith Piaf, Andrea Bocelli, and Frank Sinatra.

We lost power for about an hour. Talk about inconvenience. Can you say spoiled? I was trying to journal here about how much Jennifer means to me and how I wish I were sitting next to her on that plane.

I had actually done an illustrious job of describing her need for independence and adventure. And then bam, everything went black. After stumbling to the kitchen for candles and matches and extracting my hand from the soft butter dish I decide to watch a little TV. After realizing that the TV has a cord running into the electrical outlet in the wall, I gave up and headed to bed.  I'll read a bit until I fall asleep. No light. Unfortunately for me, Melissa needs the flashlight WITH batteries to study for a chemistry test.

Maybe I'll use the solitude to say a little prayer for that Boeing 747 and it's precious cargo.

I don't know what compels her to Paris, I question if it has much to do with the city itself, but everything to do with how she learned to be on her own there and yet totally reliant on God. The flight track says her plane is on schedule to land in about 20 minutes. She has a layover in Frankfurt, Germany and then on to Paris, France. She arrives at 5:30 am on Feb 3. I wonder if I will get much sleep tonight.

Au Revoir