Memory Lane

~ There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you. ~ Maya Angelou

I spent most Friday updating "our" website, and so I guess that means that Saturday will once again be cleaning day. Thanks for all the humorous and constructive feedback. My family, namely Jennifer, wants me to attach a disclaimer to the site. I guess she doesn't appreciate that I call it "our" website, but everything is from "my" viewpoint. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!

At the risk of sounding completely insane, the rest of Friday was typical at best. Looking back, I do feel that it offered a reprise from the ordinary events that model most of our average weekend nights.
I don't know exactly what triggered it, but Mark and I started down memory lane on childhood toys. After a few GI Joe, Remco's Battlewagon, and a life-size Johnny Reb Cannon discussion, the conversation abruptly took a turn for the worse and before you could say, "Barbie and Ken will never get a divorce" we were in a heated argument over board games.

Thank God for the ca-trillion pieces of useless information on the Internet. After a few eBay close calls, we soon discovered that I was correct in my thinking that Ideal's Crazy Clock game, circa 1964 WAS absolutely a copy of Milton Bradley's Mousetrap game, circa 1963, not vice versa. But losing that battle did not discourage Mark in the least. He was soon nodding in approval when he discovered that Battlewagon was almost a yardstick in length, and the main gun turret rotated 360 degrees and the red "safety-tipped" torpedoes had a range of 5-6 feet. But nothing compared to the joy in his eyes when he found actual pictures of the life size Johnny Reb Cannon. His whole demeanor changed.

Unfortunately, for Mark, because of it's life-size cannons that beat the range of the Battlewagons' torpedoes by a good 30 feet, this toy usually ended up confiscated.

After, what seemed to be an entire evening spent on the vintage toy highway; I have come to some major conclusions:
1) Mark's mom deserves sainthood and somehow I believe she and Jeff (his cohort brother) saw all from their heavenly perspective
2) It's amazing those boys did not put each other's eyes out.
3) A few clicks of the keys on a computer can give a 51 year old such joy and fascination from an otherwise disgruntled childhood
So yeah, top that for a Friday night party of 2.
And once again, in my opinion:
a) Survivor looks like a good time
b) We'll tolerate Miss America even without the talent competition
c) Go in peace, Barbara Walters


Just Say No

~ I'm so far behind; I think I'm in first place. ~ Unknown

Oh, so that's how it's going to go now. I'll have the opportunity to post to this journal about once a month, my memoirs maybe once a quarter, and my website about once a year!!! Everything else is going down the toilet, but I did get a Summer of '04 slide show on the web site and I'm working on my memoirs.

Did you know the word "NO" is a complete sentence? You can just say no. You don't have to add anything except maybe a thank-you behind it once in a while. "Mom, do you have some money I can borrow?" NO

 "Would you like desert, Julee?" No thank you! Just started to use "no" for myself and wouldn't ya know George W. comes to town, and so Melissa and I miss the opportunity of a lifetime to see the President of the United States. We did get to watch the transport plane carrying all the campaign buses; SUV's, etc. take off! Oh well, some of her friends that got to shake his hand aren't old enough to vote until '08.

 Because I forget sometimes to say no, I got to hang out in Chicago for a couple of days last weekend. Redecorated Jen's room, and had tea with Susan Branch at my sister's store, Stuff With Style, in E. Dundee.

Melissa and I are going back to the city on Saturday because I couldn't bring myself to say "no" to her and Jennifer seeing Lauryn Hill at the House of Blues.

Camping at Hoffmaster was relaxing (especially sleeping in my own bed) and a couple of earnest conversations always make time with family worthwhile.

The wash is piled high, the black and white kitchen floor resembles a gray shade of, oh, let me just be blunt...dirty. Prioritizing is last on my list, I could not say no to a hideous-summer-crude-flu-cold that came knocking, and I'm having trouble remembering the last time I fed my soul.

 Do I feel defeated? Do I get discouraged at my lack of accountability? Am I going to let the mundane creep in and set up camp? NO


Baby + 18 = Oxymoron

A birthday is the first leg of a 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip! ~ Unknown

Happy Birthday, Melissa!!

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter's eyes
In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
World is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
Strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes
And when she wraps her hand
Around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about
It's hanging' on when your heart
Has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter’s eyes
In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
She made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes
Martina McBride


Sept Morn

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~ Albert Camus

Funny, the day feels of summer yet a sweet tinge of fall begins to spice my world, and I am absolutely freaking out that it's September, AGAIN. What's going on?

Reunion. Mark's uncle and aunt had one and we saw cousins with kids old enough to have their own and newborns that held hope for the family name.
Old friends! We went out to eat with Paul and Teresa (Mark's brother) and two other old friends. Why is life so hard and complicated for some? The next night Bill & Christy, another set of old friends...well, they're not old...Christy used to baby sit for us and then her and I had a daycare together one summer, called to say they were in town for a short visit. Amazing how you don't realize your kids are growing until you see their daughter for the first time in 7-8 years.

Football season, and all that encompasses...marching band shows, happy tailgate hour, and more old friends, has swung into high gear. It's been fun having Jen home for an extended vacation. I believe she is enjoying her time off. If you averaged out her 24/7 summer job, and a semester abroad, besides a spring break trip or two, and her nine-day trip back to Paris, she literally has been working full time since she graduated high school.

Today we welcome the Frey family to PJ Hoffmaster State Park. I am expecting gorgeous weather, PLEASE, ok, thank you. So, yeah...hard-core reminiscing, laughter, and reconnecting. I won't even mention that I have TIVO tuned to the Republican National Convention so I don't wreck a perfectly good post.
I am relieved to be done with my full-time stint at work. Looking forward to a friend-filled, Chicago-visiting, Indian-summer, and memory-making kinda autumn. Happy New Year to you all. Stop by.