April 27 — Messy

Messy_4-27-2016Today’s photo challenge is Messy.  I think this picture shows it very well. This was taken about 6 years ago after Ian had enjoyed a messy dinner and then some chocolate cake.  And then he was done for the night, after that sugar high wore off.

Those were the days of high chair messes, and bibs, and clothes that had to be cleaned after each meal. He had fun finger painting with the remnants of this cake. He also really liked the taste of it. Amazing so much time has flown by since this photo was taken.

These days he isn’t messy with his meals, except for spaghetti at times can be difficult.  He now really doesn’t like things on this hands and tries to be neat. Well, as neat as an active and busy boy can be.

Not only have our meals been messy at times, our house is often messy.  I keep working on my piles of stuff but often don’t get to them as quickly as my hubby would like. Laundry is a never-ending project and the car needs to be washed.  Also, the toy room floor is covered with Lego elements in various states of progress.

Life is also messy.  Relationships can be messy at times and the way we often treat each other is messy. We aren’t perfect and do the best we can. I make mistakes, I spill food and liquids both on my clothes and the floor, I am too loud at times, and I run into things. I am messy and fine with admitting it.

I have come to terms with that fact and love that my hubby can put up with my interest piles, my less than stellar cleaning, and meals made with love and many dishes. I am not the slob that I once was but still have some work to do.  A few of my college roommates can attest to that. I am blessed with a hubby who helps around the house.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Messy early morning hair
  • Piles of Ian’s school work and drawings
  • The mess of baking cookies
  • A washer and dryer that are used most days of the week
  • Boxes and boxes of family photos to be scanned
  • Laughs with long-time friends
  • A movie date with my hubby
  • Ian’s creativity with all of his Lego builds
  • Lunches with family and friends
  • Midweek dinners with my parents
  • My amazing and understanding husband
  • My messy yet wonderful life

I wonder if I will always be messy?  I have a feeling that I will, although not as bad as Pig Pen.  I am a continuing work in progress and am trying to be more neat and tidy. What about you?  Are you messy or neat?

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Writing Prompt – Giggle

Giggle.4-18-2016Hi and Happy Monday. I cannot believe that it’s been an entire week since I have written a blog. My week went by so fast. I have been fighting pollen allergies and have been tired and away from the computer more than usual. One writing prompt that I missed last week was Giggle. I have much to say about that.

I love to laugh and to giggle. In fact, when I was a child, I had two dear friends and my sister who loved to giggle. We created our own club — the Giggle Gal Pals — Patti, Tammy, Cindy, and Sonya. We would regularly laugh together and chat about all kinds of things that elementary age children talk about.  We had a blast together. We remain in touch today and still have fond memories of these times together.

I loved that we knew even at a young age the importance of laughter and being with your friends. Now they are finding that laughter has medical benefits.  It is something that people are being encouraged to do each day.  So is spending time with loved ones. We could have told them that. If only someone had asked. Wisdom of the young, right?

Now I love to laugh over an inside joke with a friend or family member, a funny television show or movie, or tickle time. And, I especially like to hear Ian laugh. His laughing/giggling is lovely music that I cherish. When he laughs, I also laugh, and so usually does Kirk.  We then just look at each other and break back into fits of giggles. Before long, we may not even remember what we were laughing at in the first place.

This photo demonstrates our love of laughing and being totally ridiculous. It is of my brother, my sister, and me at Christmas time. My nephew Isaac is the arms of the tree. This photo makes me smile and giggle a bit. These are some of my favorite people to laugh with. We have many inside jokes from a lifetime of amazing moments. I will always cherish them.

A few shows and movies that make me laugh are:

  • “Clue” starring Tim Curry and a wonderful cast.  I laugh the entire way through and especially love to watch this with my brother.
  • “Young Frankenstein” and all movies by Mel Brooks. He can make me laugh like no one else.
  • “Will and Grace” is one of my all-time favorites and truly pushed the boundaries but I cracked up laughing each episode. I miss this show and am thrilled to see it in reruns.
  • “Mike and Molly” is quite funny and won’t be on much longer.  I do like the cast quite a bit.
  • “Designing Women” was and remains one of my all-time favorite funny shows.  I must say that I liked the original four the best — Julia, Suzanne, Charlene, and Mary Jo.
  • “Golden Girls” is a classic.  It is hard to believe that all but one of these great actresses is gone. Although the clothes and makeup are from years ago, the humor lingers on.
  • “Hot in Cleveland.”  This was on for a few years and another favorite. These gals were their own family and always made me laugh. And it was fun to see Betty White.
  • “The Cosby Show” was one of the all-time greats. This was clever and had great family dynamics.
  • “Friends” was another favorite. I grew up with these characters and loved to laugh along with them during their adventures.
  • “Cheers” and then “Frasier” were also great and consistently smart humor.

My list could go on and on. I am quite picky with my comedy and always know exactly what I like.  How about you? What are your favorites?  I would love to hear what makes you laugh or giggle. Please share since there is so much more out there.

A few quotes about laughter and giggles:

  • “Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” — Sharon Draper
  • “A laugh is a great stimulator, a pushful entry into life; and once we can laugh, we can live.” — Sean O’Casey
  • “At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” — Jean Houston
  • “Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.” ~Author Unknown
  • “Laughter is poison to fear.” — George R. R. Martin
  • “To laugh is to live profoundly.” — Milan Kundera
  • “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” ~Irish Proverb
  • “May your day be filled with giggles.” — Unknown

I wonder if I will be able to giggle each day? I already have giggled some this morning and hope to again later, and each day after that!  Hope you have a great week!

April 11 – Newspaper

newspaper.4-11-16Hi and Happy Monday.  Today’s writing prompt is Newspaper. I have loved newspapers for as long as I can remember so this is an easy topic to write about. I still like to read news from an actual paper, not online. I suppose I am still old school in that way.

I like the crinkle of the pages, getting ink on my fingers, and passing sections back and forth. I often skim a few sections and then go back and re-read the items that interest me.

When I was in high school, I wrote a teen column for the city newspaper.  It was a great learning experience for me and lots of fun. My love of writing and journalism grew then. While in college, I was the editor of our student newspaper and enjoyed that as well. My staff and I started a few columns and items of interest. Although it was a lot of work, we had a great time. Each issue was a major accomplishment to finish.

Then, after graduating, I had my first professional job at a newspaper. It was a small town paper started during the Great Depression. It was published once a week and later upped to two issues per week. A lot of people in town didn’t think we had enough news to fill two papers. That struck me as funny and charming.  And, we always managed to fill each issue and have plenty of advertising.

It was the best place for me to learn. I had an amazing beat and met fascinating people. I loved working there, learned about verifying facts, and listened to judges explaining things off the record. Both the newspaper publisher and editor took me under their wings and helped me soar. I can never thank either of them enough for guiding me on my journey.

I lived and breathed the freedom of the press for several years, made amazing contacts, wrote news articles without bias (as much as possible), conducted interviews with the new slate of county commissioners, and went to meetings regarding building a new county jail. I was so very fortunate to learn so much.

People in the community enjoyed talking to me since I was fair and accurate. That meant the world to me. I was a reporter and wrote articles about meetings, trials, and feature pieces. It was the era of clear lines between news and editorial/opinion pieces. These days are long gone but I am glad I learned when this was still the case.

The only problem was the salary was barely enough to live on. I later went on to work as a technical writer and finally in a public relations office. I was fortunate to work for almost 20 years in my field of writing. I know how rare that is and am thankful each day.

When I travel, I always buy a newspaper or two.  I love to find out the uniqueness of each community and its people.  It is a great way to learn about different parts of the country or other countries. My parents traveled recently to Paris and Monaco. They brought back papers from both places for me. Although I cannot read them, I can get the gist of what is being reporting.

A few quotes about newspapers:

  • “A newspaper is not just for reporting the news as it is, but to make people mad enough to do something about it.”– Mark Twain
  • “And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.”– John F. Kennedy
  • “If you don’t hit a newspaper reader between the eyes with your first sentence, there is no need of writing a second one. ”  — Arthur Brisbane

I wonder if I will write again for a newspaper? I would truly enjoying doing so and will have to look into just that.

A few notes: I will try to write more regularly in the coming months. The last few have been extremely busy for me. Hopefully things will soon calm down.  Also, the image is clip art from Power Point. Take care and God Bless!

Each Day is An Amazing Blessing!

1984.Play0002Each April 1st, I wake up and thank God for another year of amazing blessings.  I posted this blog last year and wanted to repost it with a few edits.  You see, back in 1984, I had something happen to me that could have been a very serious accident or worse. This is not a prank or a joke.

On that day, two friends and I were talking after church. We were in the parking lot not realizing what was coming next. The next thing I remember is being dragged on my stomach for what seemed like a long time, being stuck under something, and then being freed. And, I was in a lot of pain — more than I had ever been in before.

I later found out that I was run over and dragged by a car across the parking lot. One friend and I were run over by the car, which moved until it bumped into another car and stopped. The other friend was struck by the car and flew through the air.

At the end of that week I was scheduled to be in a play. This was my first chance at our Junior Playhouse to have multiple lines and a major part. Up until then, I had been in the chorus or had bit parts. This picture was from a publicity shot from that show. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to do it. My sister learned the part in a week and did it for me. She was fantastic.

To this day, I don’t know how two of us ended up between the four tires without more injuries than scrapes and scratches. I also don’t know how my friend who was bumped on her hip didn’t have it shattered or a leg broken. It is truly a miracle. Of that I am convinced.

The worst injury was of a man who was at the church next door to this one and watched all of this happen. I can’t even imagine what it all looked like, nor do I want to. This man fell and broke his hip. Isn’t that amazing?

The car had been racing and when it was put in reverse, it moved very quickly. It didn’t stop until running into another car, also parked in the parking lot. The driver felt awful after this happened. For years I think she lived with the guilt, even thought it wasn’t her fault this happened.

I feel no ill will towards this woman. At the time, many cars were recalled and being repaired for this very problem. I hope and pray that she realized she wasn’t at fault and that all of us were fine. Bumps, bruises and some scars but all in all, not bad.

Clouds_POD_8-15-14I continue to be amazed at the protection and grace of my Savior. I truly felt the presence of a guardian angel that day. I don’t know how else to describe what happened. It could have been so much worse and thankfully it wasn’t.

Do you remember my friend Gordon the paramedic? He is the one who taught me how precious each day is since you never know what will happen. Isn’t that the truth?  When I met him 6 or 7 years after this happened, he told me he remembered that day.

He was working when this happened and helped with taking all of us to the hospital. I was stunned at that. After all, imagine what he’d seen through the years. That particular day, however, was hardly normal for any of us involved.

The most lasting result from this day for me was waiting two years to drive.  At the time this happened, I was 16 years old and taking driver’s ed. After this experience, I was just too scared to drive. Also, I hated parking lots for a very long time. I am still very wary about where I park and think about the safest way into the building.

The other lasting result is knowing that bad things can happen and I will be protected and get through them. Life isn’t easy but the journey can still be a good one. And, I realized how important each and every day is and that my loved ones are who make it all worthwhile. The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to savor each and every day we are given.

Last night, I talked to a friend who I have known since then.  She said she was happy that I survived and had no idea of some of the things I was dealing with. It meant a lot to hear about this from her point of view. I hadn’t really considered how people other than my family were impacted. I have learned as I have gotten older how special each relationship is and to cherish and nurture.

Many wonderful things have happened in my life in the last 32 years. I am so very thankful for each and every one of them. I just wonder if I will keep appreciating all of them and my loved ones as much as I have. I think I will since I give thanks each morning and celebrate each morning. Each day is an amazing blessing.