Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sad To See You Go Dad

I have written about my dad a number of times in my blog and sadly last night  at the ripe old age of 96 he passed away.

For the most of those years he had been a pretty healthy guy but three weeks ago he developed pneumonia and had a heart attack and just could not seem to come back from it.

Even  though I am extremely sad to say good bye to him, I want to celebrate his life and who was.

A great son to his parents.
A thoughtful brother to his three sisters.
A loving husband to my mom.
A hard working provider to his family.
An awesome grandfather and great grandfather.
And the most creative corny joke teller ever.

And to me he was the best dad, anyone could have.

Bye Daddy you will be missed.


Mary Ann

Mary Ann

Monday, April 21, 2014

Things That I Learned - Riturals And Rodent Robbery

Yesterday we celebrated Easter.   One of the big rituals of holiday is an Easter egg hunt.  Every year Nana, my grandchildrens other grandmother, painstakingly fills fifty plastic eggs with candy and money.   Usually she has it at her house but this year she gave the bag of surprise filled eggs to my son-in-law Trevor so he could hide them around their house instead.

After making sure that the kids were asleep Trevor crept outside and hid all fifty plus eggs in the yard and the woods directly behind their house.  After church, the next morning, it was time for the Easter egg fun.  Everyone ran outside, baskets in hand to collect the treats.  The kids looked behind trees, in flower pots, in bushes and not one egg could be found.  At first the kids were up for the challenge but after a short while they started to whine, "this is too hard".  What the kids did not know is that their father Trevor had no idea either where they were.  Every egg that he had placed in the yard was gone, disappeared.

He encouraged the kids to move onto the woods.  There had to be eggs there, right?  To the kids disappointment not one egg was found in the woods, only a trail of brightly colored chewed up plastic pieces.   Yikes!  Well, apparently  while the family was at church the squirrels had been hard at work chewing through plastic eggs, helping themselves to all the treats inside.  The only thing left behind was a few one dollar bills which were not as tasty a Skiddle.

So what I have learned is never hide plastic treat filled eggs where a nasty rodent might steal them.  Rodents just don't share.

Mary Ann

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - Q for Quiet Not Me

I am loud!!!!
Even when I think I am whispering everyone around me can hear the secret.  Along with my very loud voice is an even louder laugh.  When I hear something funny I just can't restrain myself and just belt one out.

I am that obnoxious person in the room that is disturbing your nice quiet meal in a restaurant.  I am the one in the back of you laughing loudly at the movies, the one that you want to throw your $5.00 super sized Pepsi at.  In addition to my talking and laughing loudly I am an emotional loud crier.  So in the same movie if a scene goes from funny to sad you will hear me sobbing.

It's not like I want to be disrespectful to others.  Honestly I do try.  I start out with a lower tone but as the conversation continues or something funny is said, before I know it's happening, my voice escalates and out the loudness comes.  I have been yelling, screaming, laughing and crying loudly for so long I am not sure how to keep it down notch or even ten.

So what I have learned is to be more tolerate of others since others have to put up with my big loud non-quiet mouth.

Keep it down

Mary Ann

Friday, April 18, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - P for Portrait In Plaid

When I was in first grade I had trouble reading and complained that I could not see the blackboard.   My mother and father of course researched the best Optimolgist in the area of Queens where we lived and an appointment was made with a very prestigious doctor in Forest Hills.

I do not remember the doctors name but I remember that  his waiting room was dark and a  huge grandfather clock dominated the room.  It ticked, ticked, ticked the time away as we sat waiting to go in to see him.  I was very sacred, having no idea what to expect.  Just as the clock  loudly bonged three times the door flew open and there stood a nice looking  very tall elderly man calling my name, inviting me in.  The doctor it turned out was from Germany and spoke with a thick accent.  I remember how sweet he was to me, sensing my fears and trying to make me feel at ease.

It was determined that I needed glasses and off we went to the store to get my prescription filled.  My mother told me that I could pick whatever frame that I wanted.  I carefully scanned all the choices hanging from a white pegboard on the wall.   There were all different colors, reds, blues, pinks, but for whatever reason I was drawn to a pair of frames that had a plaid design.  Not sure what I was thinking  but my mom let me buy those horrible frames.  I have to say I loved those glasses probably because I was allowed to make the choice all by myself.  I am sure my mother wanted to talk me out of them, but she didn't and told me how nice I looked.

So what I have learned is that sometime we need to let the people around us make their own decisions and choices even though you know it could be a big mistake.  That's how we all learn.  

Judge for yourself how big a mistake my plaid glasses were. Yikes!!!!!

I am sure the bad bangs and big teeth did not help the look

Mary Ann

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - Overwhelmed

Well its the O day of the challenge.  I usually do my blogs first thing but its now close to 8:00 PM and I am just getting around to writing.  Its been busy day.  Lots to do to get ready for my big move next week.  I have previously mentioned that my husband and I have sold our house that we have lived in for over 30 years.   My husband is not well so we have to go to a home with no stairs and a more all around  manageable floor plan for him.  Most of the details of the sale and the move has been on my shoulders and it has been extremely overwhelming.   Its been exhausting but I am seeing that the end is near and I just am so ready to go.  

So what I have learned is that things can seem so daunting but if you keep your eye on the prize it will all be totally worth it.

So I am making this one short and sweet and hopefully have more time for tomorrow's P.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Things That I have Learned - N for Non-Fiction Story Telling

Non-Fiction Story Telling is what Mark Burnett calls Reality TV and I love it.  I first became a fan of Reality TV over 40 years ago as I would sit night after night watching the series The American Family on PBS.  I could not get enough of watching the Loud family's life unfold before me.

My next big Reality TV obsession came when Survivor debuted in 2000 and have been a loyal fan for 28 seasons.  Along the way I have become a fan of many other Realty TV shows.  The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, Big Brother.  Sick and sad you might say but to me it's just plain enjoyable.

Love this show but my big mouth combined with my moo moo like bathing suit would get me voted off day one. 
Although I do love a good reality TV experience I have to say I am picky about the reality I watch.  I have never viewed one single Kardashian anything.  Honey Boo Boo will never be on my list and not a fan of The Housewives of wherever.  I seem to stick with the competitive side of reality TV like Top Chef , Project Runway or the Voice.  I used to love American Idol but it has lost it's luster and I have kind of broken up with my TV boyfriend Ryan Seacrest.  He hosted the Million Second Quiz debacle last year which took me at least 3 shows to figure out what it was all about and by that time I was done and stopped watching.

A Big NO NO to Honey Boo Boo
So what I have learned is that even though people roll there eyes when I tell them that I love Reality TV I will continue to watch, seek and enjoy many new non-reality, reality shows to come.

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Things That I Learned - M for Mish Mash

Since the theme of my A to Z Bloggers Challenge is things that I have learned, I make it a point to scan the internet each day to looking for interesting words starting with the letter of the day.  Today is M and there are a number of enjoyable ones to choose so I decided to write about more the one today.

Myophobia. - fear of mice
I hate mice.  Their beady little eyes, skinny long tale and the way they scurry across the floor.  Yikes!  My toes are curling just thinking about it.  Luckily I have had very few personal encounters with this little furry beasts and I would like to keep it that way.

Multipotent  - having the power to do many things
Well since women always are juggling multiple things at the same time this word describes them to a tee.  I would get myself a pair of tights and a cape for my super power costume but I have fat ankles and big busted ladies, such as myself, can never rock a cape. My tee shirt and jeans will
have to do.

Monopode  - one-footed person with a foot large enough to be a sunshade.
Now in the past I have seen some interesting people roaming around Walmart but never a dude with one giant foot, big enough to prevent sunburn.   Good friend to have at the beach. Wow!!!!

Macrology -  much talk with little to say; redundancy
This describes most conversations that I have with my husband these days.  We are together way too much.

So through this challenge I am learning some new words.   Hopefully while I am being multipotent I will meet a momopode who uses his big foot to help with  my myophobia.  At least that should cure my husband and I of  macrology.

Mary Ann



Monday, April 14, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - L for Letting Go

As I am coming to the mid point of the A to Z Bloogers Challenge I feel myself losing a bit of steam.  L seems like a simple letter, tons of words to choose but even just this morning I was at a loss.   So instead of first thing this morning working on my blog, I decided to clean out closets. My husband and I have sold our home of 30 years and will be moving to a new house in a few wee  It's been quite a journey, lots of emotional highs and lows.  So as I held one of my daughter first crayon drawings I realized that my L would be Letting Go.

We first let go of our mothers hand, taking those first steps toward independence.  We are only babies not knowing what's up ahead but we can't seem to stop ourselves from running forward.  Through our lives we continually have to let go.  We let go of our children  knowing that that's the right thing to do but still sad that they are making a life on their own without us.

Over the last few weeks I have had to let go of tons of things, some I have kept for years, not sure why, those are easy to chuck. Others not as easy, like an old rocker that belonged to my mother, it's in pieces and not at all salvageable and yet I find myself filling up with tears as I throw it in the garbage.

What I have learned is that letting go is hard but in order to embrace new things and a new future I need to take my own steps forward. It is a lesson that we all can learn from.

Mary Ann

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - K for Know It All

Throughout our lives we all come in contact with those people who seem to know it all.  Whatever the conversation is, no matter what you say they always have done it, have it, witnessed it or ate it.  I have come in contact with many people who fit into that mold but there is really one that really stands out to me.

Pam was a Administrative Assistant at one of the places that I worked.  From day one of her employment she would brag about all the things that she had done or could do. She talked about her travels and all the counties where she had lived and the important jobs that she had and the gourmet meals she made every night. YIKES!!!!!  One day a group of us were discussing home repairs, she of course had lots to say and chimed in talking about how she was restoring an old house and all the work that she was doing  herself. It just sounded way over the top. The next day she brought in pictures to support her claims but they looked like something out of architectural magazine so I was somewhat wary of her actually doing this work herself.

This went on for a number of months. I got to the point that if I was involved in a conversation about anything at all, and she came over going about her experience in that area or giving advice, I would usually back away and leave the conversation. She was so irritating and I just really doubted everything she said, until one day my co-workers had an emergency and had to call her brother in Mexico.  The person who had answered her brother's phone spoke only Spanish and she was having a heck of a time understanding.  My co-worker yells out into the office "does anyone speak Spanish".   A voice yells back "I do" and around the corner comes Pam.  What!!!!! now shes an expert on languages too?  She grabs the phone and immediately starts talking fluent Spanish, talking and laughing along with the person on the other end of the phone while interpreting the conversation to my coworker. I was so impressed.  Maybe she really did know everything that she said she knew. I could have been wrong about her, WOW.

Being impressed with her was short lived because she immediately started bragging about all the languages that could speak fluently.  OMG make her stop.

Pam eventually left and went on to another job.  I am sure going to a new audience where she could boast about all her knowledge in every subject known to man or beast.   Life went on in the office without Pam but what I learned is not to take these people so serious.  I can't control the braggers of the world but I can control my attitude about them and not let it irritate me.

Well at least I will try to anyway.

Mary Ann

Friday, April 11, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - J for Not Just Your Average Joe

He was over 6 foot tall
He fought in WWII and received a medal of honor.
He worked two or three jobs during the holidays just so Christmas would be magical.
He could swing me high up into the air and I always felt safe.
He taught me how to ride my bike.
He would always pick me up when I fell.

He is still around, at 96
His over 6 foot frame has receded to a somewhat stooped appearance since he uses a walker to get around.
He still tells me the same corny jokes and makes me laugh
He has a great sense of humor and often brags, how all the widows in assisted living where he lives, are after him.

And I know that he would still pick me up if I fell.

This is no average Joe but my dad.   To others he may look average but to me he will always be my  Superhero.

So what I have learned from my dad is how to be a good person and great parent and to always be there for the ones you love.

Love you dad, you have taught me well.

My Dad Joe

Mary Ann

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - I for Ill Fitted

Some would say having a mother who was a great seamstress was an awesome thing but to me and my sister, not so much.   My mom loved to sew. Everything she made was a work of art. No stitch out of place or  hem crooked so the end result was a thing of beauty. The problem was that my mom liked to make everything big so it would fit us for years.

Dress lengths were always way below the knee, when the style was above the knee.  Jacket sleeves were way too long. So everything was ill fitting. If we complained she would get insulted that we were questioning her masterpiece.  I of course would keep my mouths shut but my sister was the rebel of the household and would never keep quiet.

We both knew my mother meant well but when they were new they were always big and usually by the next season they were too small, so her goal of getting tons of wear out it never seemed to work.

After my sister outgrew, my mother's creations, they were then handed down to me.  Everything was still looked new so I should have been thrilled  but my sister who was 3 years older then me was tall and thin and I was short and chunky. The results were a disaster. My mom took such enjoyment from creating things for my sister and I.  She went on to also make really cute outfits for my children when they were little.

What I have learned is that sometimes it's better to gracefully except the gifts from others even when it's not always what you really wanted.   I miss my mom and if she was alive today I would happily wear whatever she made for me.  Hmmm well maybe not happily.

Even Kim Kardashian wears ill fitted clothing or maybe its just bad taste.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - H for Humiliated

We have all have,had times of humiliation in our lives.  When we are teenagers everything humiliates us.  I remember being totally embarrassed if my mother would kiss me or call me honey in front of friends. Seems ridiculous now that I am older and  would love to give my mom, who has been gone for over twenty years a big hug and a kiss.

The time that I remember my greatest humiliation was when I was a sophomore at Grover Cleveland High. My third period was gym followed by dreaded history. The gym bell usually rang five minutes before the end of the period to allow us to run to our locker and get dressed, so we could get to our next class.  Very quickly I realized that day the five minute bell had failed to ring and this was actually the end of class bell. The next gym class was already rushing into the locker room. I had seconds to get dressed.  I scrambled to take off my gym uniform and get into my blouse and skirt. I grabbed all my stuff from my locker and ran to history.

As I approached my class I could see that everyone was already seated and Mr Goldberg was starting the lesson.  I entered the classroom like a cat burglar, hoping no one would notice my entrance. I was inches from my desk when very loudly Mr Goldberg said "Miss Raber we will all wait for you to get dressed before we proceed with the class". The class roared with laughter as I looked down and saw that in my haste, I had failed to close the zipper of my skirt and my flowered undies were exposed for the world to see.  I went totally red as I fumbled to close my zipper with shaking hands.  I threw my things into the desk, shrunk down in my desk and tried to disappear.

I was mortified for the rest of the day and could not sleep that night, replaying the event over and over in my head.  So the next morning the thought of going to school again was the the last thing I wanted to do but of course off I went.  I was hoping that all would be forgotten and I could just move on from my humiliation..   Luckily the five minute gym bell rang and I hurried to history class wanting to get into my seat early so I did not have to walk past anyone.   I sat with my eyes down sitting quietly waiting for class to begin, averting eye contact with anyone.  The starting bell of class rang and immediately Mr Goldberg's voice boomed over the classroom  "Is anyone missing this?"  As my eyes looked up I saw Mr Goldberg holding up  my white lacy slip that I must have left  behind in the desk the day before.  The entire class turned and looked at me waiting for me to claim the slip.  I sat frozen unable to speak.  There was no way in hell that I was going to admit that slip was mine.  So I just sat like a horrified mute until Mr Goldberg took my slip and threw in the garbage.

The thing that I have learned is this in our lives there are always people who are looking to make themselves feel better by belittling others.  Just because we are made to feel stupid by someone is no reason to play it forward and repeat the offense.

And of course the obvious lesson is do not wear a slip to school on gym days.

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - G for Growing Up

Growing up in Queens was like a kaleidoscope of people, sights, sounds and colors. Weird but I do have a few memories as a baby.  I remember crawling on my grandmothers kitchen floor.  I can still picture the pattern of the linoleum as I made my way through the maze of chairs that where lined up around the table. My other memory, I am standing in my crib, my sister is still asleep, in her bed across the room.  I am leaning out looking down the long hall outside my room.  The front door to our flat was directly ahead of me.  The front door opens and my father who worked nights is coming home from long night of driving a NYC sanitation truck.   I can still hear the clicking of the refrigerator door opening and closing as my mother makes him something to eat.

Each morning during the school year my sister and I would get up each morning and  walk the ten blocks  to Our Lady of Miraculous Medal.  At lunch time we would take the trek home again, eat quickly and walk back to school for the afternoon lessons.  Our playground was the street where we would play baseball and games like red rover with the all the neighborhood kid.  We would play until someone would yell "CAR COMING!" we would immediately all move to the side of the street until the car passed and then like there was no interruption at all would resume our games.

Snowstorms brought school closings and sleigh rides down  Dead Mans Hill which was at the top of my street.  My sister and I  would come home to hot chocolate, sitting in front of our black and white TV, wrapped in a big warm blanket watching Million Dollar Movie.

In the summer we would all congregate on each others front stoops and read the piles of comic books that were collected over the winter.  We would read the same ones over and over until we would decide to pool are pennies and go down to the corner candy store to pick out new ones.  In the evenings, after dinner, parents and kids alike would sit out enjoying the gentle night breezes. Some nights we would get an old mayonnaise jar with holes poked in the top and catch lightening bugs or sit around in a circle listening to Mr Stark tell us ghost stories, that would scare us all but we still stayed to hear more.

I look back at those time and smile at all the fun times I had growing up.  Life was so good back then. So, what I have learned is that I need to bring some of those care free feelings of my youth into my adult life and try not to take life so seriously.

I am certainly not going to run after lightening bugs, hmmm or maybe I will.

Mary Ann

Monday, April 7, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - F for Floricide

Today is the start of a new week in the April A to Z blogger challenge and the letter of the day is F.  This could have been an easy one for me since I could have used my F for two things that are extremely close to me, Friends or Family, but why keep it easy.   So my blogger word for today is  Floricide - The killing of flowers.

I love flowers.  The array of colors and the wonderful smells.  Every spring they represent a new beginning. Winter is over and sun and fun is up ahead.  So every May I go to a nursery and take in their beauty. I roam around up and down each aisle for what seems like hours, finally making my choices. I take them home and lovingly plant them.

In the beginning I am very diligent about watering.  I find myself hymning as I pull each annoying weed that will hurt my little sweet friend.  May becomes June and I am still going pretty strong with my daily routine of watering and weeding.  July I start to slack off a bit and my poor flowers some days are looking rough around the edges.  OK so by them time mid August comes around I am totally done and have killed at least half of the flower crop.  I should feel guilty but I am not.  I do not see myself as a cruel person but by August I am done with the blaring heat and humidity and its every flower for herself at this point.

I admit it I AM A FLOWER KILLER!!!!!!!  My wanted poster should be hung from every nursery in America.  So what I have learned is that a flower killer like myself should always buy artificial to save the poor little plants from imminent destruction, but May is right around the corner. I am thinking spring and flowers and their beauty, hmmmmm maybe this year I will be better.  The poor flowers can only hope anyway.

Mary Ann

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - E for Enjoy!!!!!

The dictionary meaning for the word enjoy is  To receive pleasure or satisfaction from.

Sounds like such a simple task to enjoy, but so many of us do not take the time to enjoy.  In my youth I took such pleasure in the simple things in life, like a bike ride with friends after dinner on a hot summer night, going to a movie matinee with my mom on a day that she played hooky from work,  Christmas morning when under the tree was all the things that I had asked Santa for.  Unfortunately  as time goes on and life unfolds its often hard to take those moments to enjoy.

I feel like in so many ways I have spent my life racing to a finish line, always having so much on my plate and never having enough time to enjoy the things that are going on around me.  I am sure I am not alone.  I see many of us doing the same thing, putting off things that make us happy on the back burner.  We are just way too busy to stop and smell the roses.  

So what I have learned is that life is way too short. I need to take time to enjoy the wonderful things that I have every single day.  I am certainly not there yet but I am trying as hard as I can to get to that place. This finish line is just up ahead and its worth racing to.

Mary Ann

Friday, April 4, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - D for Dancing

As far back as I can remember I wanted to learn to dance.  I remember twirling around the living room, leaping from sofa to chair using my most graceful moves or so I thought at the time.  My mother must have also thought they were pretty darn good because when I was six she started to research dance studios in the area in Queens where we lived.  After going to a number of recitals of different studios my mother decided that Paul's Dance Studio, was the one that would take me to the top.   Top of what I'm not sure but my mom sure did take it seriously.

Well Paul's did not just take anyone, so I had to audition for him.  At the time I do not remember being nervous because I don't think I even knew what an audition meant.  So one Saturday morning my mom, sister and I went to his rehearsal studio (which was different from his dance studio) I twirled around a few times and made such an impression that I was immediately accepted.  I remember Paul turning to my sister and telling her that she also had great potential. What!!!! all she was doing is standing there looking bored.  My mother of course was so proud that my sister had potential, even while looking annoyed and irritated that she was also signed up for dance lessons.  Thinking back I am sure that if a clucking chicken  had wandered  in for an audition with a check in his beak he too, would have had potential according to Paul's standards.

My mother did not drive and my dad worked on Saturday so for five years using buses and a train we would take the 2 hour trek from my home in Middle Village to Woodside for lessons at Paul's dance studio.  Giving up my Saturdays each week did not bother me because I loved to dance so much.  On the other hand my sister and her great potential, complained and moaned every Saturday that she had to go and leave her friends.

I remember vividly the moment that I decided to stop taking lessons.  Every year Paul put on this unbelievable recital production.  There was always a theme and that year it was Around the World In Eighty Days.  Since all our costumes were custom made, (nothing but the best for Paul) we each had to be measured to ensure the perfect fit.  It was my turn to go in, I was eleven at the time and as the lady wrapped the tape measure around my waist she said, "wow you must love your pasta".  I already knew I was chunky but by saying those words to me it totally changed what I thought of myself.  How could I dance if I was heavy, I was totally embarrassed.   I finished out the year but refused to go back the next year, to my sisters delight.

My mother was so disappointed, she tried everything to change my mind but I would not budge. So my dancing career ended at the young age of eleven. I am sure that I would not have gone on to win any awards or had a starring role in a Broadway show but I gave up something I loved because of a few offhanded words that someone said to me.

So what I have learned is not to let others define who you are and what you love with words or actions.  A few years ago a few co workers and I took a dance class.  We could not remember the steps and most of the time we laughed through the lesson but we all had a great time and we all loved every minute of it.  We probably need to take another class soon.

Mary Ann

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - C for Charitable

Very few of us are at the financial level of Donald Trump or Bill Gates who give millions each year to charities.  I for one have limited funds and could never contribute large sums of money to those in need, although it would be really great if I could.  So instead I try and give what I can by sponsoring someone walking or running for a charitable event or giving money to a friend in need.  Being charitable to others can be as simple as helping an elderly lady get something off the top shelf at a super market or extending a few quarters to the person at a parking meter next to you that just ran out of change.  Its just caring about others around you everyday.

Once in awhile a charitable situation comes your way and you are forced (OK wrong word) nudged into giving.  In the fall of 1981 my husband and two children moved to upstate NY.  By Feb I was so homesick and was missing my parents terribly.  I decided that during the winter break the kids and myself would take a visit to my parents on Long Island.  Since I was nervous to drive the 5 hours alone with the kids in downstate traffic, I decided that the bus would be a great alternative.  So on an extremely warm day in Feb my husband drove us to the Albany bus terminal so we could take the 5 hour journey to my parents. When we arrived the bus was not there yet so we sat down and placed our things next to us.  Because it was such a warm day I had laid my brand new mauve pink winter coat ( yes it was mauve, very popular in the 80's) in back of me on the chair.  They announced that our bus had arrived, we quickly grabbed our things, hugged and kissed my husband goodbye and boarded the bus.  As the bus was pulling out I realized too late that I had left my new mauve coat on the seat in the bus terminal.  Since those were days before cell phones there was no way to reach my husband until 5 hours later when we arrived in Long Island.

As soon as I could I called my husband and he promised that he would go back to the bus terminal first thing in the morning to look for my coat.  He assured me not to be concerned, that it probably was turned into lost and found and he would get my coat back for me.  The next morning at my parents the phone rang bright and early and sure enough it was my husband calling me from the bus station.  I found your coat he said.  OMG I was elated.  I am starring at it right now.  OK great, I said take it home.  Not that easy he said I am starring at a homeless man in the bus terminal and he is wearing your mauve pink coat.  WHAT!!!!!  oh no. He informed me that the security guard said that if he offered the homeless man a few dollars he would probably give me back my coat.  With my excitement of finding my coat now deflated, I declined, knowing for sure that the homeless man needed my coat way more then I did.

So the thing that I have learned is that being charitable comes in all shapes and sizes and sometime when we least expect it.  Hope he enjoyed my mauve pink coat.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - B for Baseball

I would have to say I dislike sports in general.  I have never, ever been athletic in any way. When I was little my dad and sister would play catch and I often would beg to join them. To shut me up they would make me monkey in the middle (not sure if anyone even plays that anymore)  They would throw the ball back and forth and my goal was to try and steal the ball as it flew past me high in the air.  Well surprise, surprise, I never was able to steal and after awhile, to my sister and fathers delight I would get bored, walk away and find a doll to play with.

I met my husband many years later, and since I loved sports so much, NOT it was only fitting that he was, and still is obsessed with baseball.  I soon found out that the same man who could not remember to take out the trash or close down the toilet seat could recall a baseball play from years before.

As time went on I was dragged to a baseball game or sucked into watching it on TV.  I really tried to get into it but it was really not my thing.  When my son was born he was schooled early on  baseball players names and stats but did not seem overly interested. As he grew so did his interest in baseball. We as a family spent many years sitting for two to three nights a week all spring and sometimes into summer watching my son play. Although I still did not a enjoy the game I loved rooting for him and watching him enjoy himself. I also loved the social aspects of the games, the feeling of comradery with other parents cheering on the team.  In looking back those years were some of the most enjoyable, sitting out on a beautiful spring evening watching my husband help coach and my son run with full force trying to steal home plate.

My son is now an adult and has his own son.  My grandson will be playing baseball for the first time in a few weeks.  My son has volunteered to be the coach.  So even though I still do not love baseball or sports in general I will be sitting in the front row cheering on my grandson and welling up with pride at what a great dad my son has become.

What I have learned is that spending time with my family and watching them do things that they love makes the experience so much better.  I still do not like baseball but I love that my husband, son and now grandson have bonded over something that they all love and enjoy.

Goofy side of my son and grandson

Mary Ann

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Things That I Have Learned - A for Alphabet

When I decided that I would do this challenge again this year I was hoping that a theme would come to me. Last year not knowing what to expect I  totally flew by the seat of my pants every single day.  Well since I have lived more years then I care to admit I decided to go with the theme of Things That I Have Learned. There has to be tons of things that I can use on that subject,  Right?  Hmmmmm, okay, so not so much.  On day one I was stumped already, until I looked at the name of the challenge.  A to Z, YIKES!!!! of course the alphabet.

From the time we say our first words we are encouraged to learn the alphabet.  It starts with a cute alphabet song that was written a very long time ago, in 1835.  Every child learns it, to the delight of their parents, who usually make them perform it over and over again for friends and family alike.  Little did we know as babies when we learned that sweet simple little song  that each one of those letters combined with other letters would one day open up our world to words and reading and of course who could forget the A to Z April Blogger Challenge.

So in closing, what I have learned is that for all of us no matter where we live or what language we speak the alphabet is in the center of it all.

Day 1 is done, off to create day 2 of the challenge, using the alphabet to create words that hopefully others will read.

Mary Ann

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Close Or Not To Close That Is The Question

In the last few months I have been so encompassed with trying to get my house ready for sale that I find I have not had time to give to my Etsy Shop.  It makes me feel sad because I enjoy all aspects of Etsy but its just been at the bottom of my list lately since I am so overwhelmed with home repairs, cleaning and purging.

In order to get ready I have had to put all my scrapbook paper, paint, glue, etc away since I really do make a mess when I am creating.  My daughter is telling me that I should just close up shop and in my announcement say that I am moving.   Not sure. but I know that my creative process for now has shifted from how to create new things with my paper and Mod Podge to what is on my list today to paint, repair or clean.

So I am still deciding on which way to go.  I guess at some point I will have to close for a bit but hate to close for too long.

Some of the things just waiting for a buyer in my shop.

This enhancer was made from layered specialty printed card stock Swarovski crystals , and some buttons.  Its then treated with Mod Podge so its very durable but extremely lightweight.

My purse key chains I make using the laminate samples that you get in your local Lowes or Home Depot.  I had I bunch of them in a box from a time when I was thinking of doing my countertops over. I knew there had to be something that I could make with them.  So I covered them with specialty printed card stock create a purse and added some Swarovski crystals. I finished it all off with some Mod Podge for durability,beads at the top and it makes a unique one of a kind key chain.

My quilt pictures are one of my favorite things that I create.  I cut out a very intricate patterns out of card stock and then using printed specialty paper I carefully cut pieces by hand to line the back of each section. of the pattern.  Creating a look of a quilt.

I love creating new and different things out of paper and cannot wait until I can get back to what I love to do, design and create.

Hoping for a quick home sale and still not sure whether to close or not.

Mary Ann

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A to Z Blogger Challenge? I Must Be Nuts!!!!!!!

Last year around this time I signed up for the A to Z blogger challenge.  Its blogging everyday in the month of April using a different letter of the alphabet each day.   At the time I thought why not?  I can do that.  Tons of people that were also doing it picked a theme for the month like movie titles or wines which makes it much easier to pick your word or phase for the day.  I of course like to fly by the seat of my pants and picked no theme, just did my usually babbling each day.  After it was over I thought, I will never, ever do this again, but low and behold I just signed up again for another go.

So I am still asking myself, what am I nuts?  Hmmmm when I think about it, I signed up for it again because even though it got harder as the month went by, on the whole I did really enjoy it.  It challenged me to find a something to write about everyday  for each letter of the alphabet.  I also enjoyed visiting others and seeing what they were writing about.

In the end I will be trying to write everyday for the month of April.  I am racking my brain for a theme but have come up with nothing yet, but I still have time and maybe something will pop into my head and make it easier for me this year or maybe I will again do my usual babbling.

I guess time will tell.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Moving Forward, Way Harder Then I Ever Dreamed

Yes again its been over a month since I last blogged but I have a good reason, I have been continuing to work like a maniac to get my house ready for sale.  For anyone who has done this its just so overwhelming. You live with things, the way they are for years, often thinking to fix or change them but the projects just seem so daunting and you just ignore them.  Then a  Realtor enters your world and sees plenty that needs some fixing and the list seem endless.

Some of the things on the list I have had to hire a contractor for and others like painting I have tackled myself with some help from my son.  Its been weeks of messes in my house and I am really tired of living with such upheaval, but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I am hoping in a few weeks I will be home free and it all will be done.

When we bought the house new over 30 years ago there was no family room so after awhile we decided to add one on.  At the time we added on the large 22 by 16 foot room but left the existing door and closed up the window that was over the sink replacing it with and octagon window that could open so I could be part of the room if we had company.  At the time I loved that idea.  Years later I decided I hated it. A few times I had gotten some estimates to remove the wall but I could not face the mess so I never did it.  When we decided to sell I knew one of the first things I had to do is open up that wall to give it more of an modern feel.

This is the wall before we opened it up.  You can see my horrible octagon window,  yikes clueless that I actually thought it was a good decorating decision.

Here is the after.  Way better.  Not sure why I waited to do this.  Now its done for someone else to enjoy when I could have been enjoying it for years.  Crazy!!!!!!!!

Well for my next blog, (hopefully not in a month) I will talk about my bathroom redo.

Mary Ann