Friday, April 29, 2011

Out On the Edge

I'd like to start off by saying that I hope you don't think I'm whining. I would just like to state a few facts. It all happened when I saw on a blog that Jane Eyre was coming to the theaters. I picked my day and had everything ready. I was going alone because my movie buddy, my daughter, Dawn, informed that she "wouldn't touch that movie with a ten foot pole." Too boring, too historic, too literate? Anyway I feel that way about a lot of shows, so O.,K. I was ready to go alone. I looked at the paper for show times and surprise! there weren't any. Oh, wait, there was one, at an art house theater that was some distance from me. Here is where the non-whining comes in. I know that I could have gone to that movie. I know that someday, it might make it to my regular theater. But I came away from this incident feeling truly old and out of the mainstream.

The last movie I saw was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader near Christmas time. I enjoyed it, but it was no prize winner. The last movie before that was a Valentines movie with lots of young stars. I just quit looking at the movie listings when months went by without anything I wanted to see.

I noticed this out of sync thing going on when we saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding, one of my favorites, but showing at regular theaters way beyond its issue date. Same thing for Lars and the Real Girl which my daughter and I enjoyed. We had to wait until our theater had room for such a "strange" movie as this. Actually, it was very sweet. I think that may be the point.

Whether I see this Jane Eyre or not isn't a big deal. I can order several other versions from Amazon if I want to. It's just that I am so far on the edges of most everything in the media right now. Does anyone else feel even a little bit like that or am I out there farther than I think?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

One More Little Look

Now that my wonderful Easter church service is a glorious memory, I'd like to go back for a brief nostalgic look at my childhood. First of all, we always got to go shopping for an Easter dress. I always wanted a nylon one because they were so colorful and pretty and the "in" thing. My mother didn't care for them for some reason. Finally, one year she gave in and we each could pick out our prettiest dress. When it came down to it, my sisters got nylon dresses, but I fell in love with a grey and pink flowered organdy dress. It was similar and not as scratchy. It turns out that I often seem to be wearing that dress in my favorite pictures. Every other year or so we would get the accessories like a new hat or new white gloves or patten leather shoes. (At the little shoe store, we always stuck our feet in an x-ray machine and saw our green bony feet. This was to see if the shoes were big enough.)

Another thing I loved was our Easter baskets. I can almost smell the chocolate of the bunnies we always received. Mom wasn't big on candy, but on Easter she pretty much let us eat what we liked, within reason. I usually had my bunnies ears off and part of the head before service. We also got lots of jelly beans, shiny turquoise, red, and yellow eggs called duck eggs. I loved these and I'm not sure they make them anymore. They are sort of marshmallowy with a hard candy shell. We also got little pom pom ball chicks with orange feet and cute little hats. I loved these and saved them from year to year.

We also took our yearly pictures out by the garden with my little sister squinting at the sun and me with lots of silly curls in my usually straight hair. Over the years I have made peace with nearly every picture, except one where I obviously had a brand new perm. Ohhh, it was bad.

In some ways, I loved wearing white gloves and Easter hats and doing a lot of this and that for the special day. It sure was a lot of fun. Now, I am glad that, even though I do a little dressing up and candy buying for little ones, the whole day just seems much more focused on the special meaning of the resurrection. I am happy about that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Two Years and Counting - Easter Greeting

April 24 will be my two year blog anniversary. That is a lot of posts. When I started this endeavor, I never dreamed I'd still be doing it two years later. But hurray and hurrah I'm still at it.

I have to admit that it is a struggle for me to keep up, even though I only watch one very sweet little boy three days a week. It just seems that except for a few hours on the weekends, if I'm up, I'm busy, busy, busy. How does that happen?

This year I have learned to do some new things on my post. I have met great people this year. One reason I keep posting is that when I am away from here, I miss my friends. What would I do without them? You have helped me through an illness and been with me through two weddings and the birth of my grandson.

Sometimes I just think I am out of ideas. There is nothing more to say. Then I vacuum or have breakfast and I have to get up and put ideas down because they are flowing like water and I have to catch them. Thank you dear friends for two fabulous years.

When we three girls were little, we slid into the front pew of our church and spread out our dresses. Easter was such a special day. I loved to see our huge wooden cross filled with Lenten boxes, our gifts to the Lord. The day meant a lot to me then, even though I knew little about Jesus and what He did on the cross for me. Now I know and I appreciate the sacrifice so very much and love my Savior. He is everything to me. Have a very Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do I Need That? No, But...

It used to be that when I went antiquing, I had to collect anything that I could find that reminded me of my grandmother and her farmhouse. This was when I was in my country decoration mode. I still love the ceramics and things I got then. After that, I tended to want to buy things from my mom's kitchen in the old first house we had. That is where I got the idea of fruity tablecloths and colorful tiny juice glasses. Finally, I decided I didn't need to buy everything that reminded me of my childhood. I could just see it in the shops and enjoy it and leave it there.

I thought I was doing pretty well until I started seeing books that I had enjoyed as a child. Oh, my, these had a greater hold on me than I would like to admit. I have been able to collect a few of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, before he got into the easy readers, books like Bartholomew Cubbins and the Ooblick, the books by Edward Eager like Half Magic, picture books like Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka. I thought I was through. I had my collection of books that I truly wanted... and then, smack, I got hit by the Golden Book reproduction bug. Now that these books were now in print again, I just had to have The Pokey Little Puppy, Nurse Nancy, The Color Kittens, and The Saggy, Baggy Elephant among others. I am going to read them to my grandson. At nearly 22 months, he already listens to Scuffy the Tugboat. I know he will enjoy many of my books in time, but I got them for me. I am just such a Kiddie Lit fan.

I am now to the point where I have to do like I did with housewares and say, yes you loved that book, but you can be happy you saw it and leave it there. At least, I hope I can do that. Time will tell.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Double Birthdays Again

We have gotten into a habit. I used to do cakes for my daughter's birthday and mine, which was April 10. She always wanted a fun-fetti cake and icing. Then one Christmas, I tried a fake tiramisu and it has become a quick tradition.

Dawn asked me to do one for her birthday so I agreed. I think she forgot about it. How surprised she was when I brought the frosted delight into Red Lobster and put on the table in front of my wonderful family.

My husband had called ahead to see if we could bring in outside food. They were so gracious. Our waiter volunteered to put it in the frig while we ate our dinner. Then, when the time came, he brought out bowls, spoons and even a serving spoon of sorts to help us. That was going above and beyond the call of duty and we thanked and tipped him well for his kindness.

It was a beautiful 82 degrees. We were surrounded before and after by cold, wet, yucky weather. How I rejoiced that our time was special. As this was a Sunday, I had a chance to relax, and do two of my favorite things, sleep and read. And in the evening I had a wonderful surprise, a whole list of birthday greetings from my Facebook friends. That little touch made my day. As for presents, I got sports clothes, an Amazon gift card, and season 1and 2 of Monk, a show that I like very much and even relate to in a few funny ways.

On your next birthday, I hope you have a great tradition, new or old, wonderful weather, friends and family near, greetings from those far away and a few gifts that remind you of the giver.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fun With My ABCs

Have you ever tried to write an ABC book? I did once when I was doing children's stories and it was very difficult. I tried to rhyme verses and just couldn't get very far into the alphabet so I gave up the idea.

I bought my grandson Ty a very cute pop-up ABC book called Alpha Bugs by David A. Carter. He loves it. He is just under two and is very careful not to tear off the pop-ups.

This must have been in my head because one night when I couldn't sleep the first line of an alphabet book came to me. I went on and pretty soon, I had most of the letters. I kept coming back to the vowels which were giving me trouble. Finally I had all but X, and Z. (I was told that to see if you have a good idea for an ABC book, give it the QXZ test. Those are supposed to be the hardest letters to use.) Well, in my book, I got what I thought was a cute Q idea, but X and Z weren't there. I knew that if I left if go for awhile, I'd get some ideas so after that decision, I finally went to sleep.

Later the next day, I decided to try an idea I had and looked up X in the dictionary. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did get a great word that I thought was a clever choice. Then I just looked at the Z list and I found something that fit and worked in with the story line and I was done. Now, all I have to do is decide if I want to try to do some rhyming verses or just let it be simple and say the letter and what it is. I might try to finish this project and send it to a picture book editor. I have ideas for the illustrations, though I don't draw well enough to do them myself.

Someday when you can't sleep, try an ABC book. You will either get so bored you fall asleep, or you will have a great little idea. Just don't forget to give it the QXZ test.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Talent Shows

I was always a bit jealous when our high school put on talent shows. I don't sing and I hadn't had any dance lessons then, I didn't do any instruments and so I was always watching all the fun from the audience.

When I went with my children to the Christian camp called Camp Farthest Out, we were a small group and Wednesdays were always talent night. It was so much fun because we knew everybody. I enjoyed very much watching my friends do their amazing feats.

One of the things we did daily was called creatives. Music was one of these. It so happened that one year, our leader had me help play the little xylophone bells to the tune "Song of Joy" by Beethoven. He decided that we did such a great job, he'd put it in the talent show. So Wed. night, I hit the bells just right and the joy just welled up in me. When the audience clapped, I felt that I had done something spectacular, even though I was just a part.

The next year I remembered how great it was to participate in the talent show instead of just watching. I had had a vivid dream that seemed significant so that night I got up and told the dream. I got a pleasant reaction. A few years later, my daughter and I had taken clogging lessons. This was before Country music was so big and clogging was relatively unknown on the north of Dixie. It's like tap dancing, only to country music and most of the moves aren't as tricky. We decided to do "Cotton Eye Joe" at the CFO show and practiced so that we could be symmetrical, doing the same things on the right and left and meeting in the middle. When we were done, we nodded to each other and I still have chills when I think of the reaction. The place exploded. Maybe it was because Dawn was just a little girl and we had done perfectly, but whatever it was, that was a WOW! We repeated our performance at church at a fundraiser/bake sale and that performance is on tape, though I have never seen it. Dawn was only about 10 and she is 27 now.

The last talent number I did was the most wonderful for me. I had been learning to do worship dancing with ribbons and I asked a friend to join me at CFO, dancing to the beautiful song, "Breath Of God." We wore our long skirts and had sashes and used our ribbons. When I was up there on stage, making a turn and swinging my ribbons, I just got in such a wonderful place that I didn't even notice the audience. It seemed as if angels were dancing with us and God was the receiver of our effort. I don't remember if we got an applause or not. My eldest son was watching and that was a joy for me. People were pleased with what we had done. Even now, I offer it to the Lord. It was for Him.

So now I wonder, have you ever wished to be in a talent show? I learned that there are many different talents. You could write a cute monologue, put on a costume and give a skit. Any writer could do that. And if you still want to do something and you don't write, you could do that old teen standby, lip sinc to a favorite recording. What's old could be new again. Have fun. Nancy

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Peace of the Harbor

I finally got two days at home where I didn't need to go anywhere. It felt wonderful taking a leisurely breakfast at about 9:30 and being able to actually finish my coffee. It was a treat not being in a hurry. I had a few jobs to do, but I enjoy most of that kind of thing. There was laundry and dishes to do. Then I picked up all of my March decorations and put out a few Easter things, but mostly flowers and fresh touches for spring. When I do this kind of thing, I'm in my creativity mode. It's one of my favorite places. As I was arranging my buffet, I couldn't get the look just right. I don't like things perfectly symmetrical, but I like the balanced look where one side is weighted in one way and the other in a different form. A quick prayer for inspiration and a cute idea came of putting a flower basket on top of the buffet. I'm not sure how that helped, but it did.

I finished visiting my blog friends and reworked my sweater chest which had gotten to be a mess during the winter. I did some emails for some missions and figured out some banking things.

When I was done, I still had some time in the day and I watched two of my favorite DVDs. I hadn't had a chance for that in a long time. And to top the day off, I started reading a good book that I had been wanting to read.

The next day I did similar activities. They sound boring to write about, but they were not boring to me. I almost never get bored and never at home. I can always think of something fun to do, even when I don't have huge entertainment options available.

Because these activities were so peaceful, I slept well both nights. It is just so great to have time to enjoy the place where you put so much time and money. I know that ships are built for the ocean and not to stay in the harbor, but I love it there. What about you? Would you rather be home or out on an adventure?