31 October 2010

The Woulda', Coulda', Shoulda' List...

The Woulda', Coulda', Shoulda' List is what we make when we stop charting our course in life and simply let everyday worries helm the wheel.  Jimmy Dean once said, "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

So will you live like life is a never ending series of events or will you live like you were dying? Will you seize the day and use the gift of tomorrow, if it should come, to accomplish what it most important to you?

QOTD: "Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive.  And then go and do that.  Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~ Harold Whitman

30 October 2010

My Name Is Inigo Montoya. Prepare To Die...

Today is The Princess Bride Quotation Day... I bet you didn't know that.  Probably because I just dubbed it as such, but the wealth of material to work with here is perfect for that one day when you have trouble decorating your daily blog post with the written word.  So, I decided that 'today' is the day to celebrate the caliber of quotations to be found in both the book and the movie, 'The Princess Bride'

I think the most popular quote is, "My name is Inigo Montoya. Prepare to die!"  I mean really.  Every time a large group of people have to all wear name tags, there is always at least one person who has to carry on the tradition of being the person who uses this alias.  (And that person either has a great sense of humor or is a really weird egghead nerd.  So if you can't pull off the sense of humor thing really well, forgo the temptation, because as I said, there truly is only two ways to look at someone who does this and do you really want to be dubbed the latter?)

That quote is closely followed by: [Vizzini] "He didn't fall? Inconceivable!" [Inigo] "You keep saying that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means."  Let's face it, Inigo had all the most memorable lines from that movie.

Still, there were some other gems, like:

Grandpa: “When I was your age, television was called books.”

Grandson: "Is this a kissing book?"
Grandpa: "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles."

Vizzini: "Am I going mad, or did the word 'think' just escape your lips?”

Fezik to Inigo: “You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.”

Wesley: "If you're in such a hurry, you could lower a rope, or a tree branch, or find something useful to do."
Inigo: "I could do that. I have got some rope up here. But I do not think that you would accept my help, since I am only waiting around to kill you."
Wesley: "That does put a damper on our relationship.”

Inigo Montoya: "You seem a decent fellow, I hate to kill you."
Westley: "You seem a decent fellow, I hate to die."

Wesley to Fezik: “You mean, you'll put down your rock and I'll put down my sword and we'll try and kill each other like civilized people?”

Wesley to Fezik: “In the meantime, rest well and dream of large women.”

"The battle of wits has begun," said the man in black. "It ends when you decide and we drink and find out who is right and who is dead."
Vizzini: "Ha-ha, you fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia," but only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line!"  He was quite cheery until the iocane powder took effect.

Wesley: "Life is pain, Highness! Anyone who says otherwise is selling something."

Buttercup: "That's the fire swamp! We'll never survive!"
Wesley: "Nonsense! You're only saying that because no one ever has.”

Count Rugen: "Surrender!"
Westley: "You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well, I accept.”

Wesley: "We are men of action; lies do not become us."

Prince Humperdinck: "Tyrone, you know how much I love watching you work. But I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped!"
Count Rugen: "Get some rest. If you haven't got your health, you haven't got anything."

Minister: "Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togwetha today."

Count Rugen to Inigo Montoya: "Have you been chasing me your whole life only to fail now? I think that's the worst thing I ever heard...how marvelous."

Count Rugen to Inigo Montoya: "Good heavens, are you still trying to win? You've got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance, that's going to get you in trouble someday."

"Bye bye boys."
"Have fun storming the castle."
(Aside) "Think it'll work?"
"It'll take a miracle."

29 October 2010

Promises And Lemonade...

I made a vow to myself to make lemonade every day.  Not just some days.  Every day.  Today almost defeated me until I had a two minute conversation about nothing special with my best friend, Kelly.  Two minutes to just check in.  Since I couldn't even remember if I had posted today, I got online long enough to find out.  Nope.  No post.  Then this post just seemed to write itself and is pretty self-explanatory...  I can no longer consider today an even slightly bad day, because I have been reminded about the importance and blessing of friends and best friends in particular:

~ God made us best friends because he knew that our moms couldn’t handle us as sisters

~ A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

~ A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half cracked.

~ A best friend can tell you things you don’t want to tell yourself.

~ A friend will come bail you out of jail but, your best friend will be sitting next to you saying… “Wow that was fun!”

~ We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere. 

~ A friend will hand you an umbrella in the rain, a really good friend takes yours umbrella,and joins you while screaming, "Run, Girl, Run!"

~ Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints on our hearts. And we are never, ever the same. 

~ A friend will call you an idiot, but a best friend will not only call you one but act like one with you.

~ An honest answer is the sign of true friendship.
~ A Friend Asks For Food While A Best Friend Raids The Fridge.

~ True friends are very difficult to find, hard to leave, and impossible to forget. How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to. 

28 October 2010

To Be Shot, Or Not To Be Shot, That Is Not The Question...

For me, the flu sure gives new meaning to the sentiment of "shoot me now".  Every flu season my goose is always cooked.  If I get the flu shot, I get the flu. If I don't get the flu shot, I get the flu.  In the latter scenario, however, the "shoot me now" moment comes at some point during my adventures in the land of third-degree, black-belted, ninja-microbes.

The worst part, as far as I'm concerned?  Even though I've just had the flu, I'll still have to get the flu shot because those third-degree, black-belted, ninja-microbes?  Yeah, they have family.  All of whom are clearly competing to win that title of third-degree, black-belted, ninja-microbe of the year.  Have I mentioned they all have type 'A' personalities?

Meanwhile, lest I somehow am incompetent enough to forget the misery the flu wreaks, I always can rely on my conscience to remind me ad nauseum to pull up my big girl panties and just get the darn shot:

In a quite cheerful tone of voice...  "Hey, do you want to be really violently ill for a few days?  It's a great way to get a short vacation...  on the floor...  in front of the toilet.  Just imagine listening to the veritable orchestra of unimaginable music.  The soothing, dulcet sounds of running water.  Why, you could close your eyes (that's assuming you could pry them open in the first place) and have a real "Calgon, take me away" moment...  You could be front row and center!  Or even better?  The main attraction!"
By the way, if you do not know what 'Calgon' is or what this description refers to, please do not tell me.  I already know I have more life-experience than you...  but worry not...  your time will come and I'm laughing already...
QOTD: "I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, Damn. I am less nurturing than a desert." ~ Demetri Martin, New York Magazine, October 3, 2005

27 October 2010

Some Days You Just Have To Work With What You Have...

Lemonade Made Daily... even when I have the flu...
Positive thoughts I've had today:

I may look calm, but in my head, I've killed you three times.

I don't like making plans for the day, because then the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.

Dear Lord, please give me the strength to not slap an idiot today... Amen.
"My mother told me to never speak ill of people. So let me just say you are a marvelously articulate chimp."
 I can't remember where I found some of this and I know I've posted this positive message before but I am feeling too sick to research it, so just work with me here.  OK?
QOTD: "Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives." ~ William Dement, in Newsweek, 1959

26 October 2010

Tuesday, Full Moon Or A Tanker Load Of Lemonade?

This really was not my lemonade for the day.  Really.  It really was not.  I had something special planned but I needed to take one of those old "Pause For Station Identification" breaks (If you don't know what those actually are (or were) then just understand that according to my offspring, I'm older than dirt.  Apparently I grew up, in their minds, with dinosaurs and other prehistoric lifeforms living in my backyard... but that is a post for another day...) to try wrapping my brain around try to understand the mystery that is internet source code.

Normally I don't give a rat's patootie about blog statistics.  I'm pretty laid back about it because I'm not writing for popularity nor income.  That said, I've been investing most of my extremely limited copious amounts of free time researching technical web source code translations for the internet-challenged stuff (most of which might as well be written in Martian or possibly the Venusian language... although I'm not ruling out communication used on Pluto even if the rest of the astrological world has picked on downgraded the planet to dwarf status).

So it was, while searching for something else (which I never did find, by the way) I happened to noticed almost every Tuesday or Wednesday (or there about, due to time zone differences I think) someone searched (and found The Lemon Stand) using an assortment of variations to find "After Tuesday Even The Week Says WTF".  Morbid curiosity led me to look at where all these poor souls were living and hoping they weren't all living in my neck of the woods.  

Now maybe it was the full moon (at least where I live) or perhaps because the financial or political climate looks pretty grim but after looking at the number searchers and the numbers of different states AND countries... the thought crossed my mind that I might want to think about making a Tanker Load of Lemonade on Tuesdays or Wednesdays (or maybe both) from now on!  Because the number of people needing some comic relief seems to be growing and it looks like it's pretty much global.  Really. 

I'm not sure what this says about my character, because it actually made me happy...  I'm not alone.  The stressful angst of a normal week of the average homo sapien is not much different from mine.  Although maybe it might also hold true for those life forms from Mars, Venus and Pluto (Don't worry Pluto... I still think of you as an important, full-sized planet and I even think you are not inhabited by dwarf Plutonians.  Rest easy.  I have your back.) but here on planet Earth it seems to be a universal sentiment.  Wow.  Am I really so shallow?  Huh.  I guess so...

25 October 2010

Blog Fodder Revenge...

Rachel was supposed to make lasagna for dinner one night and admittedly, it was not going to happen.  Our family was going to end up eating leftovers anyway. When their father gets stuck at the base for whatever reason, 'dinner' at our house is just not the same as when he's there.  So sometimes interest in the cooking endeavor doesn't always rise high enough to make a big effort if other sustenance is available.  So although I wasn't upset when I had this very interesting text conversation with our daughter, Nina, I surely do know how to take advantage of every opportunity that happens to knock so blatantly on my door:
Text from Nina (sent 6:42pm): Rachel came with us to the movies so she might make lasagna when we get home. [my emphasis]

Me: Huh.  She has left me to the wolves? I now have to go hunt and gather in the land of leftovers?  I have to forage in the fridge?  Tell her I can feel the love from here...

Me: It's ok. You can also tell her that I'm using her as blog fodder...
QOTD:  Well, remember what you said, because in a day or two, I'll have a witty and blistering retort! You'll be devastated THEN! ~ Bill Watterson's fictional character of Calvin from his comic series 'Calvin & Hobbes'

24 October 2010

Survival In The Wilderness of the Internet...

You see before you another post.  Yep.  It's back to lemonade every day.  Were you here with me today, you would have seen me doing the Happy Snoopy Dance in my pajamas.  No, my world is actually pretty stressful with worries at the moment, but here is my daily glass of lemonade (while I hide take a small vacation from my Domestic Goddess duties):

Today, I have bravely forayed into the wilderness of the internet.  

I have now come to the conclusion that internet programmers, web designers and social network engineers with degrees, should all have their diplomas revoked.  They all need to go back and study, in great depth and detail, the subject of communication.  Which really is a conundrum, because, in their case, in addition to their education in communication, they desperately need to grasp the proper use of the English language... so they can actually communicate... in order to learn how to communicate.  Do you see the problem here?  

Now, correct me if I'm wrong (honey, that was meant to be rhetorical... oh, and you might want to put on your kevlar before you come home tonight...), but wasn't the internet created as a means of communication? Haven't these people ever been acquainted with Merriam-Webster?  American Heritage?  Heck, even the Oxford English Dictionary would do.  What?  Were they trying to solve incalculable mathematical problems in their heads when this reference book and the concept of communication was introduced to them?  If so, I would love to, at the very least, elucidate for them, the definition of communication:  it is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.  You know... a technique for expressing ideas effectively?  Folks, someone did not pass on the memo.  

Now that I have had time to ponder this problem, I have come to the realization that I am possibly in error.  Perhaps instead, these individuals of extraordinary educated intellect should be taking English as a second language, because it is glaringly indisputable that English is no longer their 'mother tongue'.

Oh, I know there are internet programmers, web designers and social network engineers inhabiting the width and breadth of the globe, but I'm also absolutely certain this epidemic transcends all the language barriers of the planet's population.  So if you are French, please read the above and lather, rinse, repeat.  If you are Scandinavian, Germanic, from the near east, far east or alien from Mars... please read the above and lather, rinse, repeat because the descriptions written on any internet related subject is not written in a form of communication that any of your countrymen (or women - I'm not gender discriminate... although I do believe that women were created second as an improvement to the flawed model that came before... but that is a post for another day) can understand. 

So, one more time with feeling: communication is suppose to be the exchange of information between a communicator and a communicatee.  This way, when one person illuminates another with their infinite wisdom, the recipient is actually enlightened.  Do you see now how this is supposed to work?

In other words, attempting to discover mysteries of the source code behind the blog is not for the faint of heart. (and believe me, Google has not been my friend) My blog needs a makeover and researching how to make these changes I want has finally made it incredibly, irresistibly compelling for me to think about cheerfully discovering what the capacity of my car's trunk space truly is... using the dead bodies unit of measure...
QOTD: “...And now I give it [the book] to you. What you do with it will be of more than passing interest to us all." ~ William Goldman, introduction to his version of the book, 'The Princess Bride'

23 October 2010

Mountains, Oceans, Scotch And Meadow Muffins...

Since lemonade is once again being made here daily...
"Is your glass half-empty or half-full?"  
Haven't you ever wondered if this question should really be:
"Is your glass vacationing at the summit of picturesque Mount Everest or at the bottom of the Mariana Trench's abysmal depths?"  
or possibly:  
"Is your glass half-full or half-empty of water, scotch or excrement (or perhaps the more polite description of 'meadow muffins')?"

QOTD: “"The battle of wits has begun," said the man in black.  ~ from the movie, 'The Princess Bride'

22 October 2010

Taking The Long Road Home...

Sometimes you just have to take the long road home.   I drive on the same roads all the time but rarely stop to take the time to really look.  I just take for granted that it will all be there tomorrow and that I'll have the time to stop some other time to look...  
Instead, yesterday, I took the long road home...

21 October 2010

Changes Coming To A Lemon Stand Near You...

Lately I have had readers using my comments to ask me to add them to my blog roll because they have added me to theirs.  I know there are a lot of bloggers out there who blog because they want a large following.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Having someone who felt your post was worthy of the time it takes to write a comment on your blog feels pretty great.  Knowing that you've made someone think, laugh, or connect with something you have written is inspiring.  So don't think I don't appreciate the written feedback.  I do. 

My blog, however, was never started, nor has it changed, in my reasoning for creating it.  I do this for me.  Changing lemons into lemonade is really not one of my strengths. I really have to work hard at it. My posts require that I look for something positive in my life every day so that I have something to write about.  It keeps me focused on actually looking for the silver lining.

To touch another person's life is such a special thing and I am grateful that some of my lemonade has made it to someone else's cup of life.  That they might have left my blog with a smile, laugh, insight or thought to ponder.  My blog is public for that reason but the bottom line is that I write as therapy for myself to help me get through my day.  Sometimes, through the next five minutes.

Any one who has read my blog with any kind of regularity knows that I have a large family so the time I have available for 'me' is very limited.  There are so many other blogs that I love to read because they have touched me with their writing.  I don't have nearly enough time to read their blogs daily so I often play catchup by reading all the posts I've missed since last I visited.  Adding new blogs to read is not within the realm of my ability.  I do go wandering when I get a few extra minutes but a blog really has to connect with me for me to wander there again because I can not add any more hours to a day.

So if you are adding me to your blog roll simply for me to reciprocate, I hope you will understand and respect my decision to politely decline.  When I find the time, my blog will be changing so that it loads faster (many in my family have blackberrys) and has a much reduced blog roll.  It is not because any of my current list is not worth visiting.  They are.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to give all of them the time they surely deserve and I have come to realize my own limitations in this.  

I want to be able to post every day.  I need that.  Especially during stressful times.   The Lemon Stand has helped me stayed grounded and if, along the way, I post something that someone else can relate to then that is icing on the cake.  I've thought long and hard about this.  I do not want to make this a private blog for that reason.  So please do not ask me to put you on my blog roll when commenting, because I'm not looking for quantity in readership.  I'm just trying to keep my small piece of the universe a little brighter.

The Poop Has Hit The...

Overheard conversation:

"I can't go poop in a public restroom.  I have to wait until I get home.  It's like I get stage fright.  Someone might hear it 'plop'."

"I hate the Phantom Pee.  You know?  When you have to go but you can't?"


18 October 2010

Before The Season Of Impatience, Irritation and Going Broke Gets Started... A Survival Guide...

Has anyone else seen the Christmas paraphernalia along with the Halloween merchandise being displayed in 'Wallyworld' and 'Tarjay'?  Is it just me or is this happening earlier and earlier every year? A strange thought just crossed my mind, (it is a common affliction for me) the displays I've seen so far, figuratively, look like human sized mousetraps camouflaged to look like an enticing visual smorgasbord that screams, BUY ME. It seems like the bait is already being set to subconsciously make everyone think about the holidays or more specifically, the purchasing of gifts, earlier this year. I have to admit that the cheese in one mousetrap recently was compelling enough for me to twitch my whiskers and go take a closer look at it but I really like my cheese to not be of the variety that will come back to bite me in the butt (and I rather like having a tail end (pun intended) thank you very much).  I also prefer my Mouse Traps to be more of the game board variety.

I know there are families of mice out there like us who are really struggling on the financial hamster wheel.  Added to that is the outside influence by marketers and advertising agencies who want to make you feel like you are somehow lacking if you don't buy gifts for everyone. They work hard to reinforce that concept and sometimes it's hard not to pay attention to them (consciously or unconsciously).  They have learned their business well.

I know and agree that the current economy needs conspicuous consumers to buy new hamster wheels and in doing so, create new jobs and that's fine if you are lucky enough to be able to afford it, but I think it's wrong that we have built a social atmosphere in which the belief that any holiday or celebratory event will be ruined horribly for yourself, your family and/or your friends if you don't spend money you really don't have on things you (or they) really don't need.

Fostering a climate that creates compulsion to buy gifts to show the depth of your love and devotion and the need to receive, in return, the same regard just does not make sense to me. If you are on the turning hamster wheel of this kind of holiday spending and you don't want to get off, then I think you might need to admit to yourself that your hamster is already dead. You can't buy true love and friendship no matter how much money you spend and those friends that require it of you are not friends

As one of the aforementioned mice who are being surprised by the setting of these early traps, (even though Christmas is still more than two months away!) I am already finding it necessary to start limiting my adventures into the Land of Retail until after the insanity runs it's course.

My mother-in-law was Queen of the 'improvise, adapt, overcome' style of problem solving. She was the most clever and generous woman I've ever had the blessing of having known. She and my father-in-law raised seven kids in a very small four bedroom home that had neither an attic nor a basement and I'm pretty sure that if you asked any of the family members about their memories of this time of the year, they would have to laugh. If there was one thing that wasn't in short supply in that family, it was humor. 

They created family traditions that encouraged and celebrated ingenuity and effort, not quantity and cost. Their positive perspective and attitude added to the giving of the gift of time and humor yielded familial memories more precious and valuable than any gift that could be bought with coins of the realm.

Before all the retail mousetraps have been set for the upcoming holidays (and perhaps some clarification is needed on the definition of 'upcoming'! For those in the retail world.  'Upcoming' means 'not right now'!  At the very least I wish they would wait for one holiday to end before they start decorating for the next), and since our family of mice are already being targeted for fleecing, I figure it's time to break out the big guns of reminders to protect my sanity, sense of humor and wallet. If your hamster is not yet dead, perhaps you might want to try putting things into perspective by turning a stressful time of year back into a special time of year.   

Although I have written of our family's traditions before, I am dragging out this lemonade recipe early and dusting it off for what is left of this year.  It sure looks like I'm going to need it.

The Christmas List - This tradition was started in my husband's family.  As I mentioned above, there were seven kids and obviously not a lot of money for Christmas. So here is how they gave the gift of laughter and memories that will last longer than any of the other gifts received that have long been (or will be) forgotten:

Everyone in our family is required to write out a Wish List that is at least one page long (both sides of a lined paper sheet) with wishes. Those that do not provide enough wishes are 'given' wishes. These would include things that you really don't want such as a jock strap... if you are a daughter or in my husband's case, perhaps a G string, whatever will provide the most entertainment for the rest of us when it comes time to open presents. I'm sure you get the idea.

The rules of the list are always the same. You can put anything on the list and encouragement is given to include things as small as paper clips and as large as a house or Lamborghini.

The fun part about this for everyone involved is that you can translate any given 'list item' however you want... so if you are not very specific... well let me give you an example:

Say you ask for a book but do not specify a particular one, then anything in the shape or likeness of a book is fair game.  Such as book ends that look like books or made out of books, a picture of a book, wooden letters that consist of the letters BOOK... etc.

Believe me,  it becomes very difficult to decide just how to word your list when everyone is trying to give you what you listed without 'giving what you listed'. Obviously we do not do this for every item on a list as that would not be any fun at all, but just enough to make it interesting.

One year, when my husband was a teenager, he asked for a scope for his rifle... he got a bottle of Scope mouthwash. His father once asked for a Blonde... and got a Barbie. One of our daughters asked for nail polish, and got nail polish painted nails of the hardware variety. Last year I asked for World Peace and got World Piece(s).  Believe me, you can get quite creative.

This tradition has somehow misguidedly migrated to my side of the family. A few years ago my husband decided to get a level for my sister Suzanne who is definitely has ADD and can't sit still for longer than about five minutes. If you want to talk with her, you have to keep up with her as she re-roofs her house, builds an addition, tears out and rebuilds a door she got bored with. Anyway, this was not just a small level... it was about 4 feet long or thereabouts. He carefully taped off the windows and painted the rest of it a brilliant pink. He told her when she opened it that he just wanted to remind her that she was a girl.

Meanwhile my sister had decided to get my husband a tool belt that she spray painted pink. When he opened his present she told him she had wanted him to get in touch with his feminine side.

What makes this especially memorable is that the two of them, on the same day, asked me what I thought of the present they had decided to give each other. I had the hardest time of my life not giving either of them away.  When it came time for the two of them to open presents, I made them open these particular gifts at the same time!  We laughed so hard that Christmas that we were in danger of asphyxiation.

The Pickle Ornament - Each of our children have a pickle ornament that is put on or around the tree after they go to bed on Christmas Eve. My husband and I 'hide' them. The child on Christmas morning that finds 'their' pickle first, gets a special gift. The rest get a different gift IF they can find their pickle.  We do not make this easy by leaving them undisguised.

Stockings - Believe it or not, stockings at our house are looked forward to more than even the presents.  (Probably because there is no telling what you may find inside) There might be an origami made out of a five dollar bill, a sushi thumb drive (the sushi was actually a fake plastic cube my husband adapted and glued onto the end of a thumb drive). A CD containing a playlist of music created for one particular family member. (Comedy routines also work) A paper clip, pencil, pen or hair barrette decorated with something pretty, funky, or funny (or any combination thereof).  A unique screen saver, ring tone or background for computer or phone on CD.  A 'Get Out of Jail Free' card good for playing hookey from school for a mother/daughter or father/daughter day (and yes there are stipulations with that one).

All of this takes time to think of and create so our family usually starts thinking about what to put (or not put) on our lists right about this time of year. 

Since the appearance of seasonal merchandise is already starting to pop up in places, counteracting it's pull will also have to start early.  So here is a heartfelt warning as the retail world starts to set their mouse traps, remember to use caution when tasting the cheese...

QOTD: "Hold on to family traditions that instill love and joy into the hearts of your loved ones. Create traditions that bind with love, respect and laughter. Quietly and peacefully put to rest those traditions who's time has gone." ~ Lemon Stand

11 October 2010

A Shoebox In The Guggenheim And The Little Green Monster...

Rachel had to do a school project that included having to create a diorama in a shoebox. Like so many other things of an artistic nature, she just 'threw it together'. After the project had been graded, her shoebox came home and ended up on the back of one of our benches in the kitchen.

My husband was looking at it this morning and disgustedly said, "I always hated those teachers who made you make things like dioramas and 3D islands. But I REALLY hated the artistic classmates who could effortlessly throw those projects together and they'd look realistic."

He nodded towards Rachel's creation and said, "Mine was never identifiable and it always looked like a two year old had made it after hours of excruciatingly hard work, while Rachel works on her projects for a couple of minutes and it looks like it should be in the Guggenheim."

I had to laugh and thought to myself that at least my husband knew what the Guggenheim WAS. He clearly was hiding a little green monster called, 'Envy'.   :o)

10 October 2010

Carpe Diem...

There are times in life where everything else takes a back seat.  At least it does for me.  My family comes first.  Period.  Full stop.  Sometimes they need something and you just know you are the one who can help, so that's what you do.  I have had to learn over the years to ask for help when 'I' need it, although I must admit that I'm still not so great about doing so immediately.  I am a procrastinator by nature and I always seem to put my needs last.  I don't necessarily do this consciously.  I do this because my family is more important to me than anything, but it is the cold hard truth that I have to try harder to take care of myself because if I don't... Well let's do the math... 1 (person needs help) - 1 (person who didn't take care of themselves) = (can help) 0 (a big fat zero).

So although blogging is something I do for me, life sometimes conspires against me.  There have been a lot of major changes going on in the Lemon Stand household and I'm having trouble finding my 'groove'.  But fear not.  I have been writing little notes of treasure for future posts.  Most of which, I will enjoy writing because my family and life in general always seems to come up with the most bizarre conversations and events and life is too short not to laugh.  So I may do a couple of posts in one day and then pause for a few days to take time for the truly important things in my life.  Then it's back to my 'me' time. 

If you NEVER take anything ELSE away with you when you read my posts, take away the truth that life is too short to waste the small wonders around you.  They are always there, but most of the time we pass them by unnoticed because you've got to do this or that or you are too tired or you will take the time tomorrow.  Most miracles only take seconds or short minutes to see/hear and not only inspire you but to ease the load of responsibilities most people carry these days.  Allow them, give them permission, to color your world. 

I once wrote a post that told how I had come to learn this lesson and I sometimes have to go back and remind myself... Truthfully? I have to go back A LOT because let's face it, life can sometimes suck dirty, sweaty, gym socks.  So as a reminder, the following is just a short snippet from 'Celebration Of The Little Things':
If you want to know how this lesson solidified in my mind…the moment that I truly learned this lesson… it was the first time my husband was in the mid-east. He would send the kids and I pictures of grass. Yes, you read that right. There was this one spot where everyone threw out their wash water and eventually a straggly excuse for grass started growing. My husband had a picture of himself taken sitting in this 3 ft by 3ft patch of grass. He was cross legged and his eyes were closed. His hands were in the position of someone meditating and saying 'ooooohhhhmmm, ooooohhhhmmmm.' (Man that man cracks me up!)

He also would pick these small flowers that he would find among the rocks. Proof that life will survive in the most unlikeliest and most inhospitable places on earth. They do not stop growing because of the war being waged. Their ability to exist with such beauty is a testament to life.
QOTD: "Carpe Diem" [Seize The Day (opportunity)], Horace (65-8 BC) Roman Poet

01 October 2010

The Funeral Of The Purple Cast...

So I had a lovely visit with the orthopedic hand surgeon today.  In fact, we had such a lovely and long visit that we are now BFFs!  No.  Really!  In fact, I think we'll name our next child after her.

Apparently the MRI from H E double hockey sticks (deserving of it's own post) showed no broken bones. That was such great news that I wept.  Really.

So, after they cut my stylish purple cast off (By the way, note to self... bring lye soap and a really good scrub brush with me the next time.   Either that or a nose plug.  Or at the very least a biological weapons expert because I really thought the stench of my unwashed arm/hand should have been setting off Homeland Defense alarms everywhere!  If they could have bottled that aromatic fragrance for military use we definitely could fend off hoards of angry terrorists with just a tiny, microscopic whiff) so as I was saying, before I so rudely interrupted myself, I am now the proud owner of far less chic arm/hand attire.  It does have Velcro so it can't be all that bad...  and they do say that black goes with everything, so how can I go wrong?

I also got a nifty new kind of ice bag that can actually be wrapped around my wrist, but since it is well past Labor Day, I don't think I could wear it as a fashion accessory (since it is white).  Still, no one but the husband, five daughters and four cats would see my fashion faux pas.  Particularly because I have no plans to leave this house until my excruciating, migraine wracked head and agonizing swollen wrist/hand do not look like they belong on Quasimodo instead of on my dainty, feminine form.

See?  Whining can be raised to an art form.  OK.  I'm done sniveling.  I can remove my ad to sell the kids on eBay and they can be 'fairly' sure I won't rip their head's off.  (As long as they can behave like the well-mannered offspring that I often have delusional  hallucinations about...  or I don't see or hear from them for the next twelve hours...  otherwise, all bets are off...)

Can you tell the pain medication is kicking in?  Thank you for the diversion this post provided.  I was sufficiently distracted so that I really didn't seriously entertain the thought of chewing my arm off sans anesthetic or trying to rip out my brain through my nostrils.  I'm sure I'll appreciate being fully intact on the morrow.

We now return you to your regular Friday night programming...

Notes for the unfortunate readers of this misery:

First off, this appointment was a week ago (as in LAST Friday) and I am feeling much better.  The swelling has gone down and the pain only comes from the nerves in my wrist that will take a little longer to heal.  I only mention this because posts are being typed one handed... or rather one finger at a time so I am trying to pace myself...  hence the length of time it took me to get this posted.

For those people not in the 'X' generation and who need translation of the term BFFs (welcome to my life, by the way...  I had to ask one of my teenagers) - Best Friends Forever

Anyone who recognizes the movie line I blatantly stole... no doubt you'll know I may have watched 'The Mummy' a few too many times.

As for life in general at the moment... It's just Ducky!  Thanks for asking.   (somehow I have misplaced that ad for eBay and my index finger is developing a callus so the kids are momentarily safe...)

And lastly, to Air Force Wife...  I guess I am susceptible to a double dog dare after all...