Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stood Up by Snow

Hello All,
Since the Big Snow was a no-show today, here are some pictures from last year. My goodness, our meteorologists (is that spelled right? it looks like someone who 'specializes in meteors')...anyway, the weather specialists were oh so excited today. Disaster & Doom were looming in the form of giant white flakes. We do love our weather around here!
However, I'm not complaining; we got the best of all worlds. Check it out:
1. it was very pretty
2. accumulation was nowhere near the predicted 6-8"
3. it didn't stick on the roads
4. office closed early
5. office opens late Friday

And guess what - we're almost thru January. Spring is just around the corner!

Monday, January 28, 2008

List Time!

Thought I'd do a blog of lists tonight. DISCLAIMER: there is nothing spiritual here & just a little meloncholy. The rest is pure shallow fun.

The meloncholy part: 5 things I miss.
1. My son being a little boy. I've completely enjoyed each year of his life, right up to today. It's fun watching him blossom as his career begins. But if I had to pick a favorite age, it would be the years between 6 & 10. He & his little friends were fun to have around, their imaginations were so vivid. (Maybe I also liked the control factor. Mother of an only son. Poor guy.)
2. Summer vacations. I'm not talking 2 weeks here. I'm talking 3 whole months. Why did they train us to think you don't have to work in summer & then when you grow up you're hit with that shocking reality?
3. My church as it was between '84 & '89, some of the 90's. If you were there, you know what I'm talking about. If you weren't, sorry you missed it.
4. Being a young Christian. It was like a romance. Now there's more responsibility - just like life.
5. Dance classes!

5 things I don't miss:
1. School. I had a great school experience but once was enough.
2. Driving a stick shift
3. All of my jobs prior to this one
4. Used cars. Grew up with unreliable, always needing repaired, used cars. Never again.
5. Going to the laundromat. O dear Lord, I have never ceased to be thankful for my own washer & dryer.

Just for fun: 5 people I'd like to meet but never will.
1. Bono
2. Antonio Banderas
3. Robin Williams
4. Elvis
5. Jackie Kennedy

5 things I haven't done & don't care!1. Read classic literature. I'm an avid reader, but I just really don't care about reading the great authors. Nyeh.
2. Bungee jumped. I'd be open to sky diving but never, never bungee jumping.
3. Learned Spanish. Yes, it would be pratical but French is much prettier.
4. Learned to read music. I have a mental block about this due to a traumatic experience in 2nd grade music class. But now I don't care!
5. Been to South America.
Five things I can't stand:
1. Snobs of any kind. Fashion snobs, food snobs, education snobs, formerly-fat-but-now-thin-snobs, and especially "Word" snobs.
2. Modern day Pharisees. See #1.
3. Seafood.
4. Angry, strife-spreading, spitting, windbag talk radio celebrities. I won't Neil down and Rush to give you any names, though.
5. Thieves. It really makes me mad that someone would steal from others rather than work for their own.
Wow, that last group got me riled. Time for something frivolous. Finally, here is my Bucket List. I know you've been breathlessly waiting for it since 2 posts ago.

5 things I'd like to do/see/accomplish before my final bow.

1. take a cruise

2. have my dream house

3. See U2 in concert.

4. reach my ideal weight

5. be driven around the country sightseeing; kinda like Driving Miss Daisy

So there's my lists. What's on yours?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Random Tales From the Crypt

Title get your attention? Joe always says "everyone has a story". Most people's story continues in the legacy of their children, business, or contribution to society. Some people want to make sure their story goes on - just look at their grave decor! "What Will Your Legacy Be?" could be a blog in itself, but that's not my topic today. I just wanted to upload some recent photos taken in local cemeteries and add a comment or two.

Why was she wandering around the cemetery taking pictures? you ask. My son needed to do some location scouting for a commercial shoot (most of the photo credits here go to him). The assignment: find a cemetery with a cluster of old looking headstones. They needed to be sizable to fill the shot. He knew exactly what to look for, something like Archer Cemetery in Chicago where the director is from and where my son had worked on a film when he was in school. I asked to go along because I think cemeteries are quite interesting. Where I grew up there are some fascinating old, old cemeteries. 

The headstones are huge monuments to the people underneath them. My favorite is a bigger-than-life statue of a man standing between two women who are facing opposite directions. He was the founder of the local upscale department store and, so the story goes, the ladies were his wife and mistress. I don't know if that's true, but it's a local legend memorialized in stone for many years to come.

I found these pictures online but no other information. I've never seen a cemetery like this here, but someone pointed out that this is a young state. Given it's prairie/settler history, who had time or money for elaborate graves? But next time I go back east, I'm going to add cemetery photographing to my bridge photographing list. Such a party girl I am.

This statue really touched my heart. I wonder what the story is behind it? That young father protecting his family...poignant.

I liked the look of the ivy hanging over the arch. But no story here. Just liked the shot.

Ooooohh, I could say so many things here, all of them potentially offensive. And there were several graves decorated like this for the holidays. I was amazed.

When son wanted to go to school in Chicago, I fretted over the details, like, how are we going to pay for this? Plus the idea of him living in the heart of a major city...aack! But one day, as I was thinking (worrying) about it, the Lord spoke to me and said, just take the first step. That's the faith walk summed up in five words.

Life Goes On would be a perfect title for this picture. But alas, it's just a plastic flower laying forgotten amongst the dead leaves in a cemetery. Hmm, maybe it says more than I realized.

There was a whole flock of these guys tramping around on the graves. Two thoughts. First, it's a nice shot. Second, leave it to nature to keep us humble. You might want to consider that if you're planning to have a big ol' statue of yourself put on your grave.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The "Highly Overrated" List - My Top Five

sculpture outside the Kansas City Art Museum

What prompted this particular list-rant? We went to see The Bucket List today. I'm sure hundreds of people will be compiling their own Bucket List after seeing the movie. Heck, I may do one myself and post it later. But I left remembering how I've always thought Jack Nicholson is highly overrated. I've never been a fan but I have to give him credit for this - he created professional celebrityism long before Paris Hilton. The man devised and projected a persona of ultimate cool and everyone bought it! Perception is everything.
So Jack is first on my list. Next up:
2. Caviar. Caviar is high priced fish eggs. Need I say more?
3. Oklahoma Lakes. No offense to the homies, but...
4. Being a Kid. I much prefer calling the shots in my own life. Being a kid is highly overrated.
5. Designer Labels. People, think about this: someone you've never met puts their name or initials on a purse or the seat of a pair of jeans. They charge an outrageous price and get free advertising, too. They should be paying you!

By the way, two words about The Bucket List. Rent it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


So I posted 2 pictures a couple days ago with no explanation, just the title 'Strength'. They're not really beautiful photos per se, yet I saw beauty in them. Both were taken by son during his Christmas visit to Ohio. Both speak of age and strength. The second picture is an old tree root in the woods where I tramped around as a kid. I thought it a perfect accompaniment to the first one. The woman is actually my mom, the strongest woman I've ever known.

When I was breezing thru the picture slide show and this one came up, I actually gasped. It was startling. Jarring. Mom? Her poor hands are so knotted with arthritis and why is she covering her face? It was disturbing. I'm not liking my parents getting older. They are frozen in my mind as youthful, vibrant, bold and brash. Mom and Dad always seemed fearless to me and so brave. Dad was the Dragon Slayer, my protector. But truly, Mom was too. Picture Eowyn in Lord of the Rings, in full armor, bravely confronting the evil witch-king. That would be Phyllis. Not this aged woman with the crooked hands, sitting in a wheelchair.

She was actually goofing off while son took pictures. She's still fun to be around, telling long-ago tales of our family, amazing us with her detailed memory. She tires easily and often is sad. But the fire still burns within and she still confronts life head-on. Two years ago, the evil witch-king tried to kill her and she fought fiercely. She was wounded in that battle and still bears the scars. But she lived to tell about it. The witch-king will never have her.

The bible says that man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. My mom has a lot of heart. God bless her.

Friday, January 4, 2008


photo credit goes to son