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Showing posts from 2015

Yahtzee...the new Ashley Madison?

My husband and I haven't left the bedroom since Christmas night.  Before you go down the wrong road completely, he and I are enjoying a bout of pneumonia and bronchitis simultaneously and this bedroom looks and sounds like a hospital quarantine zone.  Nothing to see here, folks.

What does that have to do with Yahtzee?  Or dating sites for that matter?  I AM BORED!  My head hurts so I can't concentrate on my normal vices (reading and knitting).  Terry and I have watched entire seasons of Law and Order and Quantico.  Between drug induced sleep (albeit complete with coughing fits that keep the neighbors awake...sorry mom), I am trying to pass the time with my mini entertainment center - remember the Kphone!

I love a good Yahtzee game and have become more involved than I care to admit with the tournaments and opportunities to win "custom" dice, etc.  Sister Nori and I have confessed to spending real money for pretend prizes....seriously, sometimes you need those extra ro…

Christmas time is here!!

Today all Madi and I did (besides a hair cut and laundry) was lay around and recoup from the hours of sleep we missed over the past four days.  We just got back from a whirlwind trip to Kansas City where we enjoyed an early Christmas with our family in Kansas and Missouri.  The time always goes by so quickly but we while we are there, we fill our waking hours with memories that will last us until the next time we are all together!
After arriving WAY LATE on Friday night (let's call it early Saturday morning) we spent our first day with the French side of the family (not nationality - just name).  This was a fun day of playing with the grandsons (Dawson-3 and Colten-5). Actually, at their ages (and energy levels) it is more of a spectator sport.  But I did score freewill hugs and (albeit reluctant) kisses.  My DIL (daughter-in-law) always hosts an amazing day and this year was no different.  We reconnected with son Mike, daughters Marissa, Julie and Megan and of course, little Ave…

Text support

On every website I visit, there is some type of "tech support" hoping to help me complete my order, answer my questions or take my money.  I can do a "live chat" for instant gratification and any mysteries will be solved at that time.  We also have "tech support" for work related issues with our computers.  If a problem crops up, they are only an email (and priority ranking) away from coming to my rescue.

But today I want to talk about "text support".  This is a little known service that I enjoy on a daily basis.  Generally, the service is supplied by a daughter, sister or "know your audience" friend, who is only a text away when the moment of support occurs.

I have several examples of "text support".  Let's say I am in a meeting that appears as if it will last forever, or at least until my next birthday.  What better time then the present to text whoever is available (sometimes you have to send out several texts to diff…

Blinded by equal blind to

As I was driving to work one morning, later than usual, I crested a hill that I take every day.  At that moment, I was suddenly blinded by the sunlight.  It was so overwhelming, for several minutes I could not see to safely get my bearings.  Even though I travel this route daily, I momentarily lost my way. This had not happened before, either because I traveled earlier or later.  It just happened to be this moment in time. Now, I am prepared.  I can leave early and avoid the light; or, I know the spot when to quickly avert my eyes, should I choose to face the light.  This will allow me to safely make my way down a few streets before I turn.

This is not the first time I have been blinded by something.  When I was young (VERY YOUNG), I was blinded by love.  Once that happened, I became blind to the consequences and as a result, I made careless decisions.  There is not a person alive that could have told me any different because once I was blinded by love, my way of looking at life chan…

Virtual strangers aka rock throwers

I was first introduced to Facebook about seven years ago.  Oh, I knew about it before then, but believed (and was encouraged to believe) it was just for teenagers.  Eventually, my daughter Marissa created a page for me.  She said it would be a great way to share pictures with everyone (and I really think she might have been tired of emailing them separate to me).  Okay, fair enough.

I started with just a handful of "friends", family really...and before I knew it, I had people sending requests that I had not heard from since high school!  Soon, there were little "groups" I could belong to and I now had suggestions popping up of who I should be friends with.  Wow!

Chatting was available if I wanted to reach out to someone immediately or I could message them for later.  I quickly became aware of my privacy settings so I could "direct traffic" if you will.  It truly was (and is) fun to see all the pictures, be tagged for something special, etc.  It's a vi…

What are you afraid of?

Is it fear itself?  Fear is a funny thing (and not the kind of thing we laugh about).  Webster says fear is "an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause us pain, or is a threat".  What Webster fails to tell us is that fear is different for all of us.

I am a relatively successful, extremely educated woman.  I have enjoyed a full life combined with a variety of opportunities and experiences, all which add up to who I am.  Yet, I have fears.  Many are unfounded, some are very dated and I even have one or two I have overcome.

The fear of mice is not one I have overcome.  Plural or singular, this is a fear of mine.  I can become completely undone by the very presence of a small, furry rodent in my midst.  Houses lose appeal (to me) should a mouse be spotted (or maybe even a sighting reported). Now, is everyone afraid of mice?  No...of course not.  Is that a rational fear?  Well, again, Webster does not define fear as somethi…

Ask my mother!

When I was young, (let's start with the teenage years first) I believed there were appropriate time lines associated with just about everything we experience in life.  When I would see young married couples in their twenties, just starting a family, I thought they were very mature and grown-up. Worldly, even.  I would imagine my life in just a few short years and how much more "together" I would be.

When my grandmother died when I was 15, I truly believed for awhile that I would never smile again.  I was appalled at those laughing and visiting at the church luncheon put on immediately following the funeral.  Was there no decency or respect left in the world??  Surely, this wasn't appropriate behavior given the circumstances.  I also believed that if I only could have been older (grown-up) when this happened, I would have handled this loss so much easier.

Oh, the fallacies of youth.  Obviously, I have learned since that time that there is NEVER an appropriate age to …

My dad - The Veteran of Blue Light Specials!!

It's true.  Today is Veteran's Day and my Dad was a Veteran.  He proudly served in both the Norwegian Underground and the U.S, Army during World War II.  And I thought it appropriate to mention that today, as we honor all our Vets who have given so much so that we might have so much more.

But then I saw the commercial and we all know that if it is on TV - it is gospel. The Blue Light Special is back.  For those of you  who DON'T know what a Blue Light Special is (and I can't image who that might be)....let me tell you.

Not that I care to date myself, but I recall the Blue Light Special from my days of youth.  Back when K-Mart was the premier variety store of choice and you could get just about anything you needed at your local store.

Growing up, we frequented the one on 29th street (between Adams and Topeka Boulevard).  This was a nice sized store and a quick 15 minute drive from our house.  When the holidays were "just around the corner" you could load up o…

Will it go round in circles??

So this past week I have walked 76,292 steps.  That equals 31.35 miles.  Why, you ask?  Because I can.  Most of the 30 miles have been spent downtown, walking my life away over the lunch hour.  I am amazed at the accumulation of miles in basically a one mile radius.

From my office I am about four minutes away from the State Capital grounds. which is approximately 2.25 acres.  It is a people watching mecca at all times and often there are protests, rally's or some other event for me to skirt around as I walk.

The complex is criss-crossed with sidewalks which I go up and down in a very obsessive compulsive manner.  As I face the north entrance of the capital, it is imperative that I "go west" as I begin my relentless pursuit of steps in time, always then varying my route by slight degrees.  I like to keep things interesting.

All the time I am walking, I am so busy...inside my head.  Often times I wear earphones,  as I like a musical background while I process.  Some da…

What we have here....

Well, it's finally happened.  I really thought I would get by without going through an awkward phase with this particular daughter.  You mothers who have daughters know what I am talking about..when you just can't seem to communicate on the same level that you used to.  Something has changed, although both of you will swear that "it's not me".

Even more shocking is the fact that it's not my 18 year old I am having this failure to communicate with.  It's one of my daughter's who left home YEARS AGO.  The one that claimed to be my "mini me" and that (until now) I have always been "on the same page with".  Even today she said to me, "I just don't understand what you are trying to say to me..." or maybe words to that affect.

WHY did she have to get a SAMSUNG when she knows I have an IPHONE??????  She is the one who introduced me to emoji's
and now almost everything I say (in pictures)  is lost in translation.  It'…

Play it again....

I have become increasingly aware of a problem that exists in many areas of our life.  And it begins when we do something wrong.  Believe it or not, this will happen to all of us at some point in our years on this earth.  And the problem isn't that we have done something wrong.  THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.  I believe the problem is the rarity in which problems are dealt with correctly.

We live in a community that hashes over how we do everything wrong.  Turn on the evening news on any given day and you can hear about mistakes made,dating back several years.  Especially during these political times!  I will use a more recent example.

I am still hearing on the news, radio, etc. about a San Antonio football game that happened weeks ago, where players attacked an official - perhaps at the instigation of their coach.  Okay.  How many times do I need to hear that?  They have replayed the story over and over -  talking about different angles -how it might have happened, what could have lead …

The first thing you read...is the room

There is so much written about just "being yourself" but we all know that isn't really true.  Don't we?  And if you haven't learned that lesson already, you will soon enough.  I would dare to say you are close to 30 (or under) and may still think that everyone wants to know who YOU really are.  And that we all have the RIGHT to be who we REALLY are....at all times and in all places.

Au contraire, mon ami.  For those of you who are not bi-lingual, that means, On the contrary, my friend.

I was sitting on an airplane the other day (minding my own business) but came close to stepping into someone else's,  I chose not to for a couple of reasons.  I was tired, I had heard the words before...and primarily, I didn't have small children with me.  There were two guys sitting directly behind me. They were speaking clearly and quite loudly so I could not help but overhear.  And what I overheard was the f-bomb every other word.  Now, like I said, I have heard the word…

The Lost Years

That is what I call all those years between high school graduation and now.  Because while I can account for them for myself (for the most part) how do you begin to catch up with people you haven't seen since all the tassels were flipped from one side to the other and caps were flying?

Yes, I attended a high school reunion this past weekend and it really is more painful for me to think about how long ago that was than the passing of several "milestone" birthdays.  As I sat there, looking around the room at faces (which for the most part I could still recognize) I pondered at how the only thing that separated us from the friendships we once shared is "time".

Obviously (painfully obviously) this isn't my first rodeo when it comes to attending high school reunions.  We had the obligatory ten year reunion which was fun because we all still were young, many just starting promising marriages, careers and families.  Fast forward to the twenty year reunion and whi…

Watch your language!

I love the English language.  All the nuances and different ways to say and spell all the words we have been given command over,  A word "spoken" can have so many different meanings, depending not only on how it is spelled, but the context in how it is used.  Even our "sayings" can be confusing to those who don't speak English as the first language.  Heck, forget about English being the first language, depending on where you live in the country can "say" a lot about the way (not weigh) you speak.

I remember growing up, when us five kids (and that is how we said it) heard someone reference the Perry Dam, we would begin making nervous eye contact before we began elbowing each other and fighting the inappropriate laughter, surely believing that this person was swearing in mixed company.  And that is how we always referred to ourselves, "us five kids", unless it was Mom or Dad, and then it was "you five kids".  We were our own little …

The culmination of a journey

This morning Madi and I hopped (not literally) on a plane to Dallas for what seems like a very short journey, but in reality, we began this trip ten years ago.

When Madi was eight, I took her to her first concert..,Hannah Montana. Oh yes, we all remember that beautiful, talented girl before she became who she is today. Unrecognizable. But interestingly enough, even though Hannah was the main event, Madi left that night with a heartfelt (literal) interest in the front band...The Jonas Brothers-specifically Nick. That was the tee-shirt she wanted and as she got older, she never lost her interest.
We attended several Jonas Brothers concerts.  We had the obligatory Jonas Brothers themed birthday party. She had more tee shirts with Nick specifically, than Carter's had pills (as the saying goes).  She signed her letters Mrs. Nick Jonas. We are talking. All. In. 
When she was eleven, she broke her leg.  While recovering, she wrote a letter to Nick, telling him about her injuries but fin…

Careful what you wish for!

September 12th was an exciting day for me.  My phone has been ready for an upgrade since May and I have not been in a rush this time.  Around July, when I started thinking I might go ahead and order a new phone, I heard two things that prompted me to wait.  First - after August 13th, Verizon was doing away with contracts.  Well, since I wasn't considering "doing away" with Verizon - all the better to get a new phone without the commitment.  Secondly - being an avid iPhone fan -and only having a 5s - I heard the announcement that a new upgrade to the 6 would be available on September 9th. That was all I needed to know.  And the wait began.

Madi and I made the switch from "flip phones" to "smart phones' as soon as the option became available.  And we never looked back.  In fact, it has been so long ago, I can't even tell you when we last held what we thought at the time was "modern technology".  Not so quickly for Mr. French.

He held on to …

First time college visit - facing Reality with Dad!

So, today we took Madison on her first college visit.  Over the next month we have a couple more scheduled and this particular university, Texas Lutheran, is located about 70 miles away.  Madi is interested in going to a small campus.  Keep in mind her graduating class has 50 students.

First, we went on a campus tour with a student ambassador.  Her name was Jacqui and she is a junior. It was a PARTICULARLY warm day, close to 100 (who's counting humidity) and because my lower back has been acting up, I was wearing one of those nifty heating wraps that direct heat right into the sore area (for 8 hours).   I was in Hour 5!   It probably looked liked I was going through hot flashes...because I WAS.  On a positive note, this walking tour racked up about 5,000 steps towards my goal today.  I didn't leave before I hit 15k.

Next we met with the admissions counselor.  Madi talked with her first.  Then Terry and I were invited in.  Apparently Madi was all talked out because once we got …

Scars are souvenirs you never lose....

One of my favorite lines from the Goo Goo Dolls song, "Name" goes like this...Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far".  Scars are interesting.  Everyone has them and most of us can tell a story about how we got our scars.

I have a scar on my left pointer finger that goes across the width of the finger.  It's faint now (over 50 years old) but
I still remember cutting that ham with a very sharp knife while I held it with my left hand.  I was about 5 or 6 years old and probably wasn't supposed to be doing what I was doing.  From that point forward, I have always cut my meat (and everything else) putting the knife in my left hand.  Isn't that odd?  As if it were my right hand's fault?

The scar above my left eyebrow is all that remains of a cyst that I was born with.  It disappeared for a few years and then came back and stayed,  And stayed.  It was about the size of an egg yolk and at times would have the consistency of same and at other …

Do we recognize privilege when we have it?

I had the "privilege" to attend a luncheon today where the featured speaker, Dr. Jeremy Suri, talked at length about successful leadership.  In the context of his speech, he talked about opportunity, which got me to thinking......

This is always a dangerous thing because at one point in the presentation he even talked about the importance of words and how they told a story.  The story had to be engaging enough to keep the audience (in this case, specifically me) focused and involved so they would not be thinking about other things.  So, with that being said, I really was paying attention.  I took a few notes to remind myself of what I wanted to ponder later, and then... I did!

First of all, I believe opportunity and privilege could be used interchangeably.  And I think many of us focus on these two words often in the context of what we DON'T have.  Perhaps will never have.  And therefore, we may end of feeling "less than", or as if we are missing something.  B…

Does it have to be such a struggle?

Apparently the answer is yes.  I have been following a daily devotional lately by Pastor Phil Ressler and we are studying the Book of James.  On one of the days, Pastor Phil was discussing life's purpose and a particular line resonated with me.  "No matter what, life will be a struggle.  Will you choose the right struggle?"

There is so much truth in those two small sentences.  At what age did life become such hard work?  I would not say that this "work" cannot be rewarding, but it certainly presents a diverse basket of challenges on any given day.  Long before adulthood arrives (and I mean REAL ADULTHOOD - not to be confused with the legal age to vote), the days become littered with decisions to make, different paths to go down, choices that seem small at the time; all of which can impact outcomes. Not only at the end of that given day, but the domino effect of day over day.  And that's if we make the RIGHT choice.

How many times have you heard "I am r…

How Am I Doing? So Glad You Asked!

Go ahead, ask me how I am doing?  I am not the type who wears my "heart on my sleeve", or carries a "chip on my shoulder" but I will take a quick look at my wrist and give you the 411 on what's going on with me!

Let me digress a little.  Although it seems like yesterday, apparently it was on May 17, 2012 when I could first access my information on the IPhone (although I believe I had my first Fitbit for about a year by then).  As you are aware (because of my OCD nature), I am a counter my nature and was counting steps long before it became popular or there were even gadgets available for such frivolity.  I did go from "counting in my head" to the little pedometers we would get every year at the health fair.  I like to have proof of my accomplishments.

So here we are 4+ years later, and I am now the proud owner of a Charge HR!  Believe me, the Fitbit (or Karibit as I call mine) has come a long way since the beginning of its inception.  There have been …

My cake is on fire!

My little grand girl, Averie, had her first birthday on Sunday.  A year has gone by already and as we all know, that first year is filled with...well, many firsts.  And once a "first" happens, it can never be repeated as a first, but can only be refined.

As the only grand girl, Averie has had her fair share of attention.  She has two older adoring (and adorable) brothers, many aunts ready to buy dresses after a season of boys that started 14 years ago (not that there is anything wrong with that), not to mention Mimi and Grandma's.

I started thinking about Averie's big day from her perspective and wondered what her impression must be.  Imagine for a minute, you are again, a small child.  Much beloved and taken care of and you wake up, just like any other day......

It's a regular day except today when my mom picked me up, she said, "It's the Birthday Girl".  Is she talking to me?  Hmmph.  Every time someone sees me, they say "here comes the &quo…

What do YOU do when you have a lost tooth?

It seems to be a reoccurring theme at my house.  I don't know if my daughter plans it this way, but one or the other of my grandsons always seems to arrive with at least one loose tooth when they come to visit.  And I don't just mean for extended stays.  This could even be for an overnight.  Who do I look like?  The Tooth Fairy (don't answer that).

Early on, I acquired the reputation for the official tooth puller (when one needed a little coaxing in coming out.  I just seem to have the gift to get kids to open their mouth so I can just "wiggle" it ...just a little and SNAP - it is out of their mouth before they realize what has happened.  No strings or slamming doors needed.  I magically open my palm and there it lays, in all its bloody glory.  Every once in a while I will hear, "You said you weren't going to pull it", to which I will answer, "It was so loose, it just fell into my hand".  Case closed.

So, it was no surprise to me when Nath…