Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Wishes for a Healthy,
Happy 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009


Am I the only blogger out there/here not interested in monetizing my blog? Does everything have to be about money?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Acting Like a Teenager

Lots of articles have been written lately about the inner clock of teenagers. It seems most have trouble getting up early for school especially after having stayed up late. I don't remember staying up particularly late as a teen but I do remember rolling out of bed about 20 minutes before I had to leave for school. I walked to high school (almost a mile, up hill both ways) so missing a bus wasn't an issue.

I seem to remember sleeping late on weekends but it's so long ago, I can't say for sure. I think 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. was probably as late as my parents would allow.

Fast forward to the last 15 years. I have not used an alarm clock for at least that long, unless I have to catch an early plane. And then I set two clocks and wake up hourly thinking I've overslept. I might as well not go to bed the night before traveling.

The rest of the time I am up before 6:00 a.m. regardless of what I have to do. Sometimes it's even earlier than that if I wake up and begin thinking about things. I will lay there for a while, not able to go back to sleep and then just give in and get up. I really do like the morning the best anyway; I get more done than any other time of the day.

Yesterday, the Day After Christmas, I slept until 2:00 p.m. And it felt so good! I have been fighting a cold for a week or so. With the holiday and all it's craziness I have just been ignoring it and trudging through. Yesterday I got up with Paul at 6:30 when he left to go hunting with Rosey. After they left, I gave in, took some cold medicine and went back to bed.

I went right back to sleep and woke about 10:00 to Lucy barking and growling. A squirrel in the yard no doubt. I yelled her name and she stopped. At noontime, the same thing, Lucy barking and growling. Again, I yelled her name and she quit. I heard Paul come in around 1 p.m. but I didn't bother to get up for another hour. Finally I thought I better get up since most of the day was gone. I was a little groggy but felt great.

When I came downstairs Paul was huffing and puffing and swearing and I noticed the door to the den was closed. I opened it to peak inside, and there was a bucket sitting there with cleaning stuff. Lucy had apparently pooped and puked all over the den while I slept the day away.

Was that why she was barking? Probably. Poor thing. All while I slept like a teenager. Oh well, these things happen.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Reflections and Anticipation

It’s been a long time in between posts. I’ve missed being here and plan to get back into a routine of writing and reading. I know there have been lots of things going on with my bloggy friends, and I’m going to do my best to catch up.

Today is the Day after Christmas which to me is like New Year’s Day. I’ve never been one to make resolutions but when I woke this morning I spent some time thinking of the year past and the year to come. I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever it is you celebrate and had the opportunity to enjoy family and friends.

The last two weeks are a blur. Christmas was especially nice this year. The kids and grandkids were with us as usual on Christmas Eve, my favorite day of the year. The grandkids are growing up so fast. Next year at this time Katie will be a freshman in college; where did the time go? We had Christmas dinner with Pam and Geoff and extended family and friends. It was a quiet day. It felt like everyone was winding down from the craziness of Christmas.

Yikes, this is beginning to sound like one of those Christmas letters we all make fun of. Another sign that I’m getting old, I guess.

Adopt-a-Family is over for another year. Our hard work I’m sure brought sighs of relief to more than 1,100 parents and excitement to 2,311 children who received gifts of toys and clothes from generous people they don’t and will never know. For me it’s a satisfying feeling. I can’t say enough how wonderful it is to watch this program come together every year and how much I appreciate the work of the volunteers and donors. I know that almost everyone was affected this year by the economy but you wouldn’t know it from the gifts that streamed in and the mail containing donations of money that will ensure our continuation next year. I’m happy that we can help so many needy families but I’m not happy that they need us at all. People often ask if we helped more this year than last. We did but that’s not our goal. I have said many times, I wish there was no need.

My real estate business has slowed over the last few weeks. Not unusual between Thanksgiving and Christmas but I need to get back into that routine and just get back to work. I feel in my bones that 2010 will be a better year, and I don’t want to miss anything.

We’ve got travel plans to look forward to. Paul, Jr., and Martha are talking about bringing the kids to spend some time with us in May at OBX. This will be the first time any of the kids will be able to join us, and we are really looking forward to that.

In July Paul and I will celebrate his birthday cruising the Danube River in central Europe. It’s a trip I’ve always wanted to do. It’s a long way off but it will be here and gone before we know it. Paul gave me a Lonely Planet book for Christmas about the area of Europe we will be visiting so I’ve got studying to do.

He also gave me a macro lens for my new camera, so be prepared for lots of photos of bugs and flowers this year. I need to find a basic camera class to refresh my memory about f-stops and shutter speeds. It’s been a long time since I’ve shot an SLR. I’ve mostly been using my new Canon Rebel in the auto mode which is a waste of its technology.

I recently came across my grandfather’s journals written in the 70’s and 80’s. I’d like to go through those and find some stories to share. And while Christmas shopping for other people, I bought myself a scanner that transfers slides and 35mm negatives to my computer. Once I learn to use it, I’d like to put all my father’s slides from the 50’s into a format that I can enjoy and share.

This does sound like a list of New Year's resolutions after all. I guess that's okay. Even though New Year's Eve is a few days away, let me be the first to wish you a very happy and healthy New Year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Adopt-A-Family Update

I've been somewhat AWOL for a few days. Haven't had much time to blog or visit my peeps.

But I'm not being lazy! Just busy. But it's all going to be worth it.

For some really good news about our Christmas program, visit our blog.

I promise I'll be back in action just as soon as possible. Hope everyone is well.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Snow of the Season

We woke to a Winter Wonderland.

Rosey enjoying her first snow of the season.

Delivering the newspaper.

All dressed up and ready for Christmas.

Guess what this is!

They look like snowy soldiers.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Message for a Lifetime

Last night I had the opportunity to hear Elie Wiesel speak at Bryant University. Brought to the University by the Student Arts and Speaker Series, the lecture was free and open to the public.

It's hard for me to characterize what I think of Professor Wiesel. Admiration seems too small a word. I am definitely in awe of where he has been, what he as seen and what he has and continues to accomplish. That I had the opportunity to see and hear him speak in person is still unbelievable to me. As I expected, the lecture was full.

Professor Wiesel is 81 years old. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he is an author, professor, political activist and Holocaust survivor. His biography is extensive. For that you can go here, and I highly recommend that you do because his life from birth in a small town in what is now Romania until today is extraordinary.

Last night he entered the stage to a standing ovation. Sitting at the front of the stage at a small table with only a microphone, he spoke for nearly an hour during which he held the attention of a rapt audience and then took a handful of questions.

Summarizing what he said during that hour is very difficult. I went in thinking I knew what he was going to talk about but he touched on so many different topics, I don't know where to begin. A professor at Boston University, it felt very much like we were sitting in a lecture class.

He referred to his time in the concentration camps during World War II (read his book "Night"), told stories of meeting with Presidents, speaking at the United Nations, and one particularly fascinating story of a conference in Oslo in 1990 when he took Nelson Mandela and a proponent of apartheid by the arms and put them in a room together with the direction "talk to each other."

He spoke of being a member of an 'endangered generation,' and that he worries that the world is going to forget what happened in World War II. And, of course, the history of the Holocaust must never be forgotten. Professor Wiesel is also a Bible scholar. One statement from last night that will stay with me forever was his suggestion of an 11th Commandment which would be "Thou Shalt Not Stand Idly By."

Shortly after being awarded the Nobel prize, he and his wife, Marion established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. On the website, the foundation's mission is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogues and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.

A message to everyone and something we should all strive for daily.

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