24 November 2011

To Live Like You Were Dying...

Today is Thanksgiving Day.  A time to reflect and appreciate the things we are gifted and blessed with.  I am deeply grateful for the immense amount blessings in my life, but most of all, I am thankful for one more day.  Today.

What if you knew you only had one more day to live... What would you do? What is so important to you that you would do it right away? What if you had only a Week? One Month? One Year?

Today is a day to give thanks and I sure have an immense amount of blessings and gifts to be grateful for, but so much contemplation has also brought home to me that most of us never know how much time we have left. So I have been asking myself these questions: Did I kiss my family goodbye this morning? Did I tell them that I love them? Can I find time to call my sister and tell her how proud I am of her or call my best friend to tell her how much I miss living closer to her?

Did I try my very hardest today to be a good wife, mother, friend? Did I unmistakably express to my family and friends that even when I'm gone, I'll have loved them. I'll have cherished how much they've touched me and made a difference in my life in so many ways? What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind? What kind am I actually leaving behind? What can I change? What can I still accomplish?

Am I wasting precious time on things/thoughts/worries that do not really make a difference in the grand scheme of things? How much more time will I waste instead a playing a board game with my youngest? Talking with my oldest? Enjoy just being with all my children? Laughing with my husband?

I want to not only live every day to it's fullest but to inspire my children to do the same because our time is finite. We are only alloted so much and whether the end is near or far it is still the end of this life.

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 is most important to you? Or will you waste it on worry? Anger? Frustration? Things beyond your control? Will you wait to do something important until the time is right? Will you wait until the New Year? The next free weekend?

Just a thought.  Happy Thanksgiving, all!

QOTD: "Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)

18 November 2011

The Holiday Tradition Swap...

I know it is not even Thanksgiving, but I wanted you to get a chance to ruminate on this and perhaps start a new tradition for the holidays, when ever you choose to start your own personal season.  This post will stay at the top of my blog because I love to hear about other people's traditions and hope that you will share yours with me and others. Feel free to steal any of our ideas and post your tradition in the comments or with a back link. Think of it like a cookie swap.... This is my yearly Holiday Tradition swap. :o) Have fun!!!!

Michael, over on the blog The Wonderful World Of Nothing Worthwhile, wrote a post about his feelings about the holiday spirit of Christmas.  In our house we have developed several family traditions regarding Christmas spirit. Both, I think, because there was little money and sometimes, family members were deployed by the military.

14 November 2011

The Only Reason We Buy Video Games...

My husband hunted and gathered for our dinner tonight and brought home KFC.  For dinner and entertainment, we sat with our youngest daughter Erin and commented on daughter Danielle's performance of the video game, Nathan Drake's Uncharted.  A truly wonderful family moment between the chicken leg through the mash potatoes and gravy.  Normally I'd say it was a Kodak moment but the narration reigned supreme.

Erin, "You're supposed to shoot him."
Danielle, "Shut up."
Erin, "You're supposed to kill him with the grenade."
Danielle, "Shut up."
Me, "Huh, what's this game called?"
Danielle, whilst shooting her way through a dungeon, "Nathan Drake's Uncharted.  He's supposed to be a descendant of Sir Francis Drake. Nathan Fillion wants to play him in a movie."
Me, "Really? Does HE know how to shoot that weapon with any accuracy?"
Danielle, "Shut up."
Me, "The shooting doesn't look very realistic."
Erin, "Neither does the blood spatter."
Me, "Neither does the bullet count from that particular weapon, but at least he has his stance right."
Danielle, "Do you want to see what real blood spatter look like?"
Husband, "We should take her to Paris... Island."
Me, "Hey, Danielle.  Do you want to be a marine?"
Danielle, "No,"
Husband, "That's probably best.  You're shooting's not very accurate."
Danielle, "Shut up." 
Husband, "Well at least Justin Timberlake has gone up in my estimation."
Me, "You saw that, too? His Marine Corps Ball post?"
Husband, "Yeah.  Hey Danielle.  The marine corps could show you just how to use that grenade launcher.  You sure you don't want to reconsider your options?"
Danielle, "NO."
Erin, "You're supposed to shoot him.  He's not supposed to shoot you."
Danielle, "You're going to get shown violence up close and personal."
Me, "He's fading out.  Is he feinting? He's feinting.  Is he SUPPOSED to do that?"
Danielle, "Just GIVE me a minute!"
Erin, "You're dead."
Danielle, "So are you if you don't shut up!"
Me, "Well.  This has been entertaining, but it's time to go find something more heart palpitating. Like the Loo."

Plus the added bonus to have blog fodder.  All in all.  Another successful family dinner at casa de Lemon.  Still, I must put a caveat, because the girls give me crap about not having a photographic verbal memory.  Wording is never EXACTLY correct. It's true.  But do you REALLY want me to start recording dinner time conversation? No?  Then life is good!  :)

Parental School Of Selective Properties...

I never took physics in school, but the parental classroom has been a wonderful education all on it's own.  I've learned, for instance, the properties of, including, but not in any way limited to:

liquid on diapers...  the diaper package didn't say 24-50 lbs load...

liquid on diapers...  rate of use rises in direct proportion to the number of diapers you have on hand (fifteen minutes PAST the close of the closest store)...

rate of effect and strength of absorption on long term memory... includes every single word of the things you wish had never passed your lips...

rate of effect and strength of absorption on short term memory... excludes all things associated with what a child was supposed to do for you when the payoff isn't immediate (oh, and get everything in writing. Anything else is apparently affected by the above properties of memory on your own feeble, aged mind to remember anything when it is the least advantageous to you and not advantageous to your teenager)...

rate of effect and strength of absorption on short term memory... includes all things associated with chores...

selective deafness... on children being called to the breakfast table...

selective muteness... to being down to the last three squares of toilet paper on a roll or the last two tablespoons of milk....

selective blindness... to the dirt they are tracking across your just washed floor...

time... it flies when you don't have it ...

time... flies whether you're having fun or not...

teenagers... any value a monetary unit has, will always have been researched (with bibliography) in advance of request... their term paper has not (been researched, that is)...

silence... is NOT golden when you have toddlers...

illness... dying and well on their way to the death... until the school bus pulls away or before a snow day has been called...

perseverance... absent when it involves any kind of activity that looks like it might include work...

perseverance... when one parent doesn't produce the desired results, then try the other parent, or a Grandpa or anyone within the family hierarchic connections...

inclusion... all things within the house and yard belong to the house (not specifically to the parents) and everyone in it.  Hence, it's okay to use, lose, use up, damage, give away or take without specific permission anything you like (I could swear I have bought, looked upon, picked up, washed, fed, heard and/or felt every single thing on our property... this permission of use is not in any way given or implied anywhere that I have been able to find. Must make note to either find a good lawyer or pay for your child's law school.  Don't worry, they can pass the bar without the schooling but that just might look suspicious. Best to keep these things on the up and up.  After all, honesty is the best policy)... 

choices... kids learn early... always have someone else to blame (this would include the homework your child fed to the dog or cat)...

equal opportunity... only if that means someone else pulled the short straw and the opportunity to annoy one's siblings...

selective deafness, blindness and the absence of feeling of touch... absence of ability detect dishes in the sink, clothes in the washer, clothes in the dryer, the full dishwasher, the empty dishwasher, the toilet seat, dirt in any and all of its forms...

properties and effects of soap and water on a teenager... apparently none...

13 November 2011

Emergency Stress Relief Hotline...

This has been an amazingly stressful week and it seems I'm not alone. So I'm reposting something that was born out of the brain of someone who had reached the point of losing her sense of humor, her patience, and most of all, her mind. I hope it'll help as much reading as it did writing.
~ Lemon Stand

It has been so stressful around here that I actually dreamed I was calling someone and instead got something like the following message.  I think my subconscious mind has been hanging out too long with my husband because this truly sounds like something he would put on our answering machine!
You have reached the Emergency Stress Relief Hotline, if the cause of your distress is due to a person other than yourself, please press 1 and you will be connected with persons who have similar concerns about this individual.  They will then assist you in making plans on where to hide the body.
If the cause of your distress is due to your own behavior, please press 2 and you will be connected with a large burly male with a size 18 shoe named Sue who will be delighted to arrange for your emergency attitude adjustment appointment. 

If the cause of your distress is due to an incident beyond your control, please press 3 and you will be connected to your mother, sibling, spouse or best friend for either a sympathetic ear and hug or an appointment at the nearest pub for a few rounds.  Please be advised that your mother would prefer the former, rather than the latter. 

If the cause of your distress is due to an incident you are responsible for, please press 5 and you will be re-enrolled in a Kindergarten class of your choice.  This opportunity is being offered to you since it has been scientifically proven that anything you needed to learn about life, responsibility and getting along with others was learned there and it's obvious that you may need a refresher course.

If the cause of your distress is due to a condition you have no control over, please press 6 and you will be connected with your therapist who will once again go over the concept of acceptance of what you can not change.  You will then be enrolled in a therapeutic art class where you may release your emotions onto canvas and then become an overnight sensation of the art world where people will pay thousands for your 'angsty' accomplishments.

If the cause of your distress is due to a condition you do have control over, please press 7 and you will be connected with your Father so you may receive the benefit of his wisdom.  He will then ask you to explain why you are allowing yourself to feel distress over something you have control over, what are your plans to not only survive the adversity but to thrive on the opportunity, because really, that's what fathers are for.

If the cause of your distress is due to the universe in general and bad karma in particular, please press 8 and you will be connected to an astrologist who will read the heavens and tell you exactly what is distressing you and why.  After obtaining this information, please again call the Emergency Stress Relief Hotline phone number and press the appropriate number for assistance.

If you truly do not know the cause of your distress, please press 9 and you will be connected with a travel agent who will book you a stay on a desert isle for as long as needed in which to contemplate your situation.  Please be advised that the accommodations are single occupancy only for the greatest amount of quiet time in which to ponder your life.  Further, be also advised there is no electricity and therefore any electronic devices are discouraged.  When you have returned to civilization, please again call the Emergency Stress Relief Hotline phone number and press the appropriate number for assistance.

For all other questions please press 0 and a customer service expert in India will be with you shortly.  If possible, please have a translator available for a translation of instructions, otherwise our customer service experts will be more than happy to stay on the line and attempt to communicate with you until you understand or have given up in frustration.

Thank you and have a nice day.

12 November 2011

Santa Clause Might Want To Rethink Stopping At Our House...

There are days when I feel like I'm living in a holiday diorama.  Already. Complete with fake cheer.  Well, I needed some real cheer, a little laughter and a bright light today, all of which Rachel has in spades. This memory is special to me and always gives me chuckle even when I don't want to laugh. This and Pumpkin Cheesecake? I'm set and good to go.  Bring on the wonder:
My conversation with Rachel yesterday...
Rachel, "How does Santa get to everyone's house in one night?" (She already knows the answer, but of course, she is leading me up the primrose path...)

Me, "It's magic."

Rachel, "How does he know what you want? If he knows that much about you, he must be stalking you. Why don't the police ever arrest him for stalking? And how come he never gets arrested for breaking and entering? And for that matter, he doesn't ever seem to get caught for stealing cookies either. Why doesn't he ever have to pay for his crimes?"

Me, "Huh.... You know you really know how to kill the Christmas Spirit?"
Rachel, "Don't worry Mom, it's only November. There's plenty of time to get it back. Still, I think Santa should at least be reported to the SPCA or PETA. Just look at the amount of fur he wears on his clothing and how he forces the reindeer to work more than an eight hour shift. And really... we should sic the fashion police on him. Sheesh, everyone knows that red is NOT a suitable color for a guy that large!"
Guess it's time to cancel Christmas at our house...
QOTD: "After today, I'll bet Santa takes a shovel to the reindeer stalls to fill your stocking." Bill Watterson (1958-) American Author of the comic strip Calvin Hobbs
The memory originally posted 2 October, 2007.


QOTD: My FIL to my husband : "You do not need to know it all, you just need to know someone who knows that small, little part of what you need."

11 November 2011

To Those Who Have Served...

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as "the Great War." Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.A

Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead. Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.Thank You For Your Sacrifices

According to the Department of Defense there are approximately 3 million Military Service Members both Active Duty and Reserve serving today.B  According to the Census Bureau web site there are approximately 310 million people living in the United States.C  Which, if you calculate the percentages... less than 1% of the population protects and defends the freedoms of this nation for the rest of us on a daily basis... 
Copyright © 2009  Paulette Smith All Rights Reserved.

10 November 2011

The Armadillo And Land Navigation...

I read about an The Armadillo And Land Navigation once by blogger Claire Shackelford of Colloquial Soliloquy that it was put on my personal list of lemonade.  It made me laugh, it made me think, but even better... when I sometimes feel a little off course, it sets me straight again.  I hope you take the time to read it.  It's the lemonade being served today at The Lemon Stand.

PS And just had to add this because it WASN'T an alligator...

09 November 2011

How Do You Count Your Blessings...

Last night while I was getting ready to pay homage to my cloud-like pillow (We have a strictly platonic relationship...  If you must know, my husband's pillow and mine have been dating for about three months now. I think they might be really serious about each other. I just love weddings. Don't you?), I discovered I could multitask. I can count sheep and blessings at the same time!  (I still haven't mastered that walk and chew gum thing but that is surely just around the corner? Right?) There I was, waiting for the pain medication to kick in when I suddenly realized my mental list of blessings were being carried away by sheep.  With golden tattoos.  And sometimes a hoof ring. (Or is that foot ring for a sheep?)

I had just laid down and closed my eyes and started to name my blessings in my mind.  My husband and I had recently talked about counting our blessings every day, because it really has been a stressful year.  We really need to work at not looking at the everyday things that can and do go wrong.  Just let 'em go.  Hold on to the little things going right.  Truthfully? Last night I was thinking to myself that this is a list. I hate lists. They' sometimes feel like they're never ending... Not THIS list, of course, because I'm truly grateful for my family and the time that I've been given with them.

So by now you can tell I'm in a pretty serious frame of mind.  You know.  Serious.  Spelled SERIOUS completely in capital letters, bolded, underlined and even italicized kind of serious...  When out of the blue, a huge, happy, contented sheep with a golden number 1 tattooed on his side appeared. The wool had been neatly sheared to show the golden tattoo of the number '1' beneath where the wool would have been.  He led an infinite line of sheep.  All in order. (obviously not my kids) Each one complete with their golden tattoos on their jolly, fat, fluffy sides (just like Charmin!) waiting for their turn (definitely not my kids) to jump over this beautifully, perfectly built, white picket fence.  There were beautifully blooming flowers growing everywhere I looked (obviously, I am NOT the gardener here).  I looked at number one again and I can now see he's got a big, fat ruby nose ring. He jumps over the fence. Numbers 2, 3 & 4 jumping around him and they wandered off to wherever sheep hang out, I guess..  I wanted to ask them who their personal trainer was because I seriously want energy like THAT. Each of them the same and yet different just jumping for joy.

I can't wait to see what the tattoo will look like when it starts to wrap around it's body? The anticipation is really killing me!!!