Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Will I ever learn Wednesday

The ditzometer was running pretty low this week.  That’s a good thing.

But I’m not the only ditzy one in this world, so I’m going to include a few on others, along with myself, in this posting.


As most of you know, I am a “church lady”, working part time in our church office.  So here are a couple of church funnies: 

One afternoon our deacon stopped in, just to chit chat.  I asked him if he had scheduled the Baptism Class yet that I had asked for.  He snapped his fingers and said, “I knew there was a reason I was avoiding you!”

My biggest fear is one day showing up in the Church Bulletin Bloopers.  No matter how hard I try not to, I make lots of mistakes.  Mistakes like, for Catholic Center, I typed Cathaholic Center.  Fortunately, I’ve caught the worst of them (so far…) 

We have one guy who lovesd to point out each and every above mentioned mistake to me.  One Sunday morning, I had my fill of his good intentions.  I calmly took his bulletin from him, crossed through the mistake with my trusty little pen, and handed it back to him and said, “There ya go, it’s fixed”. 

One of our parishioners called me at home.  I answered the phone.  She said (and I quote) “Oh, I didn’t expect you to be there!”  A line from the movie Pretty Woman immediately came to mind:  “Well then stop calling me!”


That’s it for this week!  It is drop dead gorgeous outside today.  Heading out to play in the dirt.  Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I received an email from my friend, Rita the other day.  Since I’d seen it before, I read it, smiled and went on my way.

But now, since I’ve gone back to re-read it three or four time, just so I could smile again, I decided I needed to make you smile too!

It is sunny and supposed to be warm here today.  God is good! Life is good!  So, get out there and enjoy life!!!!

1.  Try everything twice.

On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:

"Tried everything twice - loved it both times!"


2.  Keep only cheerful friends.

The grouches pull you down.

(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)


3. Keep learning:

Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever...

Never let the brain get idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.'

And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.


5. Laugh often, long and loud.

Laugh until you gasp for breath.

And if you have a friend who makes you laugh,

spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.


6. The tears happen:

Endure, grieve, and move on.

The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.

LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love:

Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.

Your home is your refuge.


8. Cherish your health:

If it is good, preserve it.

If it is unstable, improve it.

If it is beyond what you can improve, get help...

9. Don't take guilt trips.

Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county,

to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.


10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

I love you, my special friends.


11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance...

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Remember! Lost time can never be found.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

You can’t build a view? or There’s no place like home?

Many years ago – 20 or so – Maria Von Trapp visited our local High School where hubby was an art teacher. The choir director happened to be a friend of hers. He had invited her to see the school's production of The Sound of Music. The production was based on Maria’s autobiographical book, The Story of the Von Trapp Singers. In visiting with Maria, hubby especially remembers one thing she said.

“You can’t build a view”

You can’t build a view. I don’t know whether she was referring to the breath taking Austrian mountains from where she escaped the Nazi’s during WWII, or the lodge that she eventually built in Vermont. But, those five words have stuck with us throughout our lives. You can’t build a view.


We have a beautiful home, nestled in the middle of 25 acres of woods. It has been home for almost 30 years.

Jim designed the house and, along with one retired builder, built our home. The kids helped. I helped. Over the years brick sidewalks, rock walls, flower beds, and many other very personal touches have been added.

We have barns. We have a separate building for my business. We have memories. Oh my, what memories!

To this day I can’t look at my living room wall without thinking about seeing snow filter through the cracks in the un-caulked walls the year we built our house. We got it under roof just before winter hit. We were all laying on the living room floor on mattresses, too sick to move. The only heat in this unfinished home was the fire place, which was ducted through the house. We were on the living room floor because there were no bedrooms yet. I remember looking at the dying embers of the fireplace, the prone figure of hubby, who also looked like he was dying, my three sick kids, at the snow outside, and then finally at the wall. Realizing I was the only one alive enough to keep the fire going, outside into the snow I went to get wood. Some memories just don’t go away, and I don’t want them to. Things that seemed so difficult at the time are such fond memories today.

I remember Christmases, birthdays, babies crying during the night, children sitting up late doing homework, teenagers coming home late, me coming home late only to find hubby on the roof trying to patch around the chimney where there had been a flu fire just moments before…. This house talks to me. But, yet, it is just a house. The memories will be with me no matter where I am. Right?

I can look at the tall trees and remember Jim’s dad looking up and saying “I’ve never seen such tall trees!” He’s been gone from us for over 13 years now. Or Aunt Madeline looking out the kitchen window at the garage and saying “my you have close neighbors”. And my dear timid mom tiptoeing down the brick sidewalk because it was unconventional and bothered her to walk on the bricks.

I remember love. I remember fights that at the time I wasn’t sure we would recover from. I remember…. I remember so many things!

As I said, our house has undergone many changes over the years, with all sorts of personal touches added, kitchen expansions, rooms changed, buildings added, porches added, and on and on….

The one thing that we’ve never found a way to add, though, is a “water feature”. I’m not talking about water pumped up through pipes and then trickling peacefully over rocks. I’m talking about a WATER FEATURE!


THIS is a water feature! The is the land we looked at yesterday. Acres of land overlooking the Missouri River.


If you look carefully, you can see the railroad box cars chugging along at the base of the trees. Muffled by the cliff above, it was a very peaceful sound.

We walked. And we talked. And we walked some more. The real estate agent let us off at one end of the property and then got into his jeep and drove to the other end to wait for us. He knew the scenery was the selling factor, rather than anything he could say.

Sixty acres of farm land, rented to a farmer who plants corn on it. An acre or so of peach trees. And 30 or so acres of scenery and miscellaneous acreage. What a find!


We drove about five miles up the road to the closest town.


Maybe we could put a dollar or two on the craps table, or play a little Black Jack, and come up with the money needed. Or feed the slots machines….

crab legs

Since we don’t gamble, we did the next best thing. We ate… And talked…

I didn’t think we’d ever find a more perfect piece of land…

But we are so comfortable where we are…

This is just what we’ve been looking for…

It is way too expensive…

Yes, but we can rent part of it. Maybe we could even subdivide it into several parcels…

But then we’d have neighbors…

We’d be closer to where Tessa and Greg and their families live…

But we love St. Andrew’s…

We have so many friends there….

We have so many years invested in building our place…

We could never replace the walkways and rock walls…

We wouldn’t be able to move right away…

Do we really want to go back into debt?…


Then we drove to a lookout point and got a taste of the view we would see each night once the scrub trees were cleared away.

Maria Von Trapp was right, “You can’t build a view”.

But, I think the Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy said it best, “There’s no place like home…”

austin walking to the house

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Will I Ever Learn Wednesday

It’s that time of the week again where I get to tell the world just how ditzy I can be.


First of all, I want to say that in my defense, the stove and refrigerator do sit side by side.

Jim brought a slab of smoked ribs home for supper.  Wonderful, hot smoked ribs.  I could hardly wait to dig into them.  I turned on the oven to keep them warm until supper time.  About 1/2 hour later, Jim went to the fridge to get something to drink… The conversation went something like this:

Jim – Did you mean to put the ribs in the oven?

Me – Yes, why?

Jim – Never mind

He removed the ribs from the refrigerator, put them in the oven, and teased me mercilessly.  He’s not very nice.


Jim needed a haircut and I am his barberess.  So I got the clippers out and began my wifely duties (the haircut one, that is).  Anyway, did I mention that I cannot see anything close up without my glasses?  Well, I can’t.  Halfway through cutting his hair, I asked him if he had seen my glasses.  He about freaked.  What a wimp.


And here is proof that ditziness is hereditary.  This is one on sis from last week.

We stopped for gas.  She got out her credit card to pay.  Almost immediately I heard a shriek, “Oh no!  Do you have a tweezers?!?!”   She had stuck the credit card in the receipt dispenser slot rather than swipe it through the credit card slot.  Yes I had a tweezers.  Yes, she got it out.  And yes, we are definitely related.

That’s it for this week!  Stay safe and have a wonderful rest of the week.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alike and yet so different


Deanna and Kathleen

We were born only a year and a half apart. All of our young life people mistook us as twins. Yet, we were, and still are, very different.

Kathleen has the outgoing, I don’t know a stranger, personality. I’m more the reserved, give me time, type.


I stayed in Missouri, close to where I grew up. Kathleen moved away, first to Maine (her husband was in the service) and then settled in Arizona. That was 35 or so years ago. And that has been how long it has been since we have spent more than an hour or two together, just the two of us.

That changed last week.


This is the resort where we stayed.

We discovered that we wore the same type shoes – hers were black, mine were tan.

019We also discovered that we are both very proud of our families, and talked about them to the point of craziness. Oh, and we wear the same deodorant. And use the same toothpaste. But she wears nightgowns, I wear pj’s.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered she has become a bookworm. Growing up, I was always the one getting lost in the wonder world of books. I told her she needs to check out one of my favorite authors, Maeve Binchy. We were both surprised when we returned to her house a few days later and saw a book she had picked up on a whim the previous week. You guessed it. Maeve Binchy!


Neither of us is overly fond of eating out. In 4 days we ate out only once. This was our idea of eating out.


Watching and listening to the water as we caught up on life.


On day two it was warm enough to test the heated pool and hot tub. Remember, we were in the Sedona mountains. Snow was still on many of the peaks and trails.


We were drawn to the many mountain streams.


Can there possibly be a better picnic lunch view than this?


Kathleen’s favorite hiking trail is Oak Creek Canyon.


We weren’t expecting the paths to be snow covered, though.


This swollen stream abruptly ended our eagerly anticipated many mile hike. According to my expert guide, there were many similar crossings to navigate, assuming we made it across this one without getting wet… which we wouldn’t have.

We got plenty of exercise, though, hiking up hills and rocks to catch the many breath taking views.



Chapel of the Holy Cross – Frank Lloyd Wright


One of the highlights of the trip was this chapel, co-existing with the red Sedona rocks, built by Frank Lloyd Wright, designed by one of his students, Marguerite Brunswig Staude. The experience was breathtaking.


Rather than brave the many cars coming and going from the top, we parked along the road at the bottom of the hillside and hiked up. The view just increased in beauty as we ascended the mountain.


Usually I don’t care for modern designs, but not this time. I fell in love with the peacefulness.


It was easy to get lost in prayer, even though people were all around. The view, and scents from the candles, were intoxicating.


We only wished we had thought to bring a crumpled dollar or two so we could light a candle in memory of our parents. It didn’t matter, though. We could feel them there with us.


Back down, into the town of Sedona, we visited a gallery and walked through some shops.


I took this picture for Iggy. I think there is an OCHA hiding in the spaceship. But I couldn’t get close enough to see for sure.


Some kind soul agreed to take our picture. They were right to focus on the landscape…


More Sedona photos. God was sure in a colorful mood this night.



And I will leave you with this:


A month or so ago Kathleen rescued this marvelous dog from a shelter. I fell in love with Henry. She refused to let me take him home with me. Sigh. She still doesn’t share well at all!

Oh, another way we are different. I love the world of computers. Kathleen doesn’t. Which mean, she probably won’t see this post.

But just in case she does. Love you Kathleen.

Friday, March 19, 2010

More Memphis

This post is long overdue.  I left for a trip to Arizona to visit my sister shortly after our trip to Memphis.  My head is spinning with all of this travel.  I’m looking forward to catching up on everyone’s blogs in the next few days.

Now back to Memphis!  When I saw Uncle Cy, I couldn’t help it. I had to cry.  I hadn’t seen him in quite a few years.

I hadn’t seen my cousins in a long time either. 

Memories came flooding back to me.


I remembered how special I felt the Christmas Uncle Cy gave me my walking doll.  My sis’ godfather, Uncle Tom, gave her one just like it in a blue dress.  We played with those dolls forever.  She still has hers  too.  Mine is minus eyelashes on one eye and is a little cockeyed because the internal rubber band that holds everything together is rotten.  Kathleen says hers is missing two fingers. So, like the rest of us, the dolls are showing the signs of age after all these years.


Thank you Uncle Cy for being the best of everything and giving me such wonderful memories.


My cousin, Linda, is a cancer survivor, like me. So of course we spent a bit  of time comparing  notes.  We came to the conclusion that we are both happy to be alive and are doing great.

I remember Linda as the “cool” older cousin.  She lived in St. Louis when we were growing up.  When we’d visit, I was in awe of her.  She had the most awesome Beetles collection.  I mean…. this was music I wasn’t allowed to listen to!  But there  wasn’t much mom and dad could do about it when we visited Uncle Cy’s place.  That would have been rude.  So, I would lay sprawled out on the floor in Linda’s bed room, listening to her records, pretending I was older and sophisticated like her.  I believe she is all of four or five years older than me, but that just seemed so sophisticated to me!


Lisa is one of my younger cousins.  She mentioned in her comment on my “Conversation With Uncle Cy” post that our many cousins fall into two groups… older and younger.  I always thought of it that way too, only I always thought of us as three groups.  Older, middle,youngest.  Bottom line is that I didn’t know Lisa all that well because I fit into the other age group, but yet I feel like I know her very well. Strange.

Lisa, having grown up in Memphis, has the most delightful southern accent and charm.   Her dad lives with her and her husband and sweet little daughter.


Even though they had plans for the night we visited, she treated us as royal guests, even to the point of driving the royal coach to track us down when we got  lost.  I have no idea how she made it to their event that night, but she made it seem like no big deal.


Uncle Cy reminds me of mom.  He is as high strung as they come, just like mom was.  When he came to greet me, with his hands fluttering through the air, I realized just how much family matters and how alike, yet different, we all are. He took us for a tour of his space, and then outside to see the view.


Then we were introduced to Muse Inspired Fashions.

Lisa owns one of the neatest shops I have ever been in.  It is a high end boutique, located in downtown Memphis, called Muse Inspired Fashions.  Even though she was on a tight schedule, she took time to give us a tour of her boutique.  Wow.


Don’t you just love the colors?


Her mannequins are salvaged castaways.  They add a lot of charm to her shop.


Talk about unique dressing rooms.  Imagine the luxury of a 10 ft. x 10 ft. dressing area, surrounded by velvet curtains.  I couldn’t help imagine sitting in that soft easy chair sipping on a glass of wine, while clothing was brought to me to admire.


Old mixed with new gives this shop the perfect funky look.

I stole this little blurb from her website

Founded in 2003 by Lisa Doss, MUSE, Inspired Fashions has quickly become a staple for Memphians and a destination for tourists. MUSE has been mentioned in Glamour, Southern Living, Air France and Northwest Airlines In-flight magazine. Miss Muse (Lisa Doss) has appeared on B. Smith with Style, MTV's Made, and Ambush Makeover. She has worked with stylist for Martina McBride and Reese Witherspoon and personally assisted Joaquim Phoenix, Buddy Jewel and Isaac Hayes.

MUSE, Inspired Fashions provides unique fashions for the Funky Diva and Metrosexual Male along with great customer support - a combination that can't be beat!
Through our commitment, experience, and expertise, MUSE Inspired Fashions has established a relationship with our customers that combines stylist, friend and personal assistant.

My Memphis family is wonderful and unique!