Sunday, December 28, 2008

Facebook vs Face Time

Over several months I have received the friendly invitation to "check out" my friends facebook....all I have to do is sign up and start my own page so I can see my friends page (I knew there would be a catch). Well, after invite after invite I decided to try Facebook. I designed a page and before I knew it I had 50 some friends. WOW....I'm so popular. Or if we break out in song with Peter Gabriel, "She's so popular". Needless to say I find myself on this Facebook page WAY TOO MUCH. When I think of my college days (early 80's) and how we communicated (going to class and writing on paper). When I think of my dating days with my husband (phone and face to face), when I think of my thank you's to relatives for gifts (Handwritten notes) I'm amazed at how I have relied on modern technology to communicate. My husband got me an ipod and it can do EVERYTHING......why? Remember the walkman? Now that was big back in the day. Why do I need an ipod to remind me of the weather, time, email, GPS, 4,000 songs, etc.....We are definitely in an age of immediate gratification.

For 2009 I will use my modern devices for pleasure but utilize my personal face time by engaging with people which always brings instant gratification.....growing in relationships, serving others and loving family and friends. I want my children to know how to develop and nurture relationships by human touch and not through computer screens and hand held devices. May your 2009 be filled with a lot of FACE TIME!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful only at Thanksgiving

We tend to reflect on what we are thankful for on certain occassions. Thanksgiving, recovering from illness, Christmas, birth, funeral, close call, etc..... We tend to group our thanks around family, health, shelter, transportation, etc. I challenge you to dig deeper. What are you thankful can big and small it can be family and health or it could be your favorite pair of fuzzy slippers or simply put it could be for the fact you woke up and can breath on your own.

Since we are entering a Thanksgiving and reflecting on our blessings, what are yours? What gives you joy? What gives you hope? What gives you pleasure? What gives you life?

Stacey's Reflections:
Jesus dying on the cross for me.
Holy Spirit that lives.
My husband who loves his family dearly.
My children who grace me with their enthusiasm daily over small things.
Plastic monkeys ....that make a family.
Photos spread out over a large area reflecting true blessings over the years.
My children's wishes to what they want to be when they grow older...
SON: transformer man or dinosaur.
DAUGHTER: artist, teacher, librarian, vet.
God showing me my children's gifts already.
Insulin pump and Diet Coke. (a match made in heaven).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Camp Wanna........go home

I know, where is the happy camper smiling in front of the tent or cabin? Where are the beautiful trees, mountains, lakes, campfires and ooeey, gooeey, smores....that is for the camping brochure.

My daughter and her troop (did I mention and I as well) went to the mountains this weekend for a camping trip. What should have been my first clue NOT to sign up...oh, I don't know, perhaps NOVEMBER?!?!?

She had just had a "pretend" sleep over prior to the signing up for an adventure of a lifetime. "Pretend" by the fact that she went to actually sleep over but called me at 11pm to say she missed me and needed I figured I better go with her for a weekend camp trip so I wouldn't get the SOS call in smoke signals..who knew I would need my own SOS call. Unfortunately, we used all our matches to rid of the stench that seeped out of the unworkable toilet and the fog that left my mouth and nostrils when I breathed out the cold air did not lift high enough for my husband to see 100 miles away.

We missed the "How to make your own campfire class" since we are after all Brownies and were only eligible for the CRAFT classes. They figured Brownies are only capable of handling glitter, glue, paper streamers and play-dough. I love crafts but this was a bit over the top.

Our cabin slept 8 girls and 5 moms all trying to work together and share 1 bathroom. The cabin had windows with screens on them and was held up on cinder blocks. The floor was a combination of dirt and wood. I didn't want to imagine the number of dust mites calling the 1 inch mattresses home on the 50 year old metal bunks that had springs ready to ....boing!

I'm thankful for cotton sheets, clean floors, indoor heating, workable plumbing, home cooked food, fluffy pillows, thick quilts, hot showers, disinfectant products and insulated walls, the good lord above to provide scripture to keep me warm all night long.

Just like childbirth....would I do it again, in a heartbeat....why? because I forgot all the details.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear Stacey.....happy birthday to me. I sing so well, wish you could hear me right now (ha, ha)...those who know me, that is a joke.

Tonight my AWESOME family took me out for a very nice dinner. The purpose was to eat "together". However, my meal came COLD....I kid you not. It had to go back. I couldn't stomach it and insisted. My dear husband was waiting for me and I told him his food would be cold so keep eating....I never have seem him eat so slow. My meal came back as everyone took that long.

Once home I was given my wonderful gifts (the love of family is enough), yeah right who are we kidding....but that is what God intended. Thank you Lord. And then I was told to leave the kitchen. Then the lights went out and a special glow luminated the kitchen.....FIRE! Actually just my thousands of candles. They sang to me and I blew out the candles. Pitch dark.....then artificial light. There in front of me was my birthday cake.

I had two say nothing or to let husband know after 13 years of marriage that the secret is out....I do not like German Chocolate Cake and have no desire to even "eat" a bite. By the way, wifey knows that this is HIS favorite cake and MY LEAST favorite cake....he must have lost the second half of that memo.

I truly appreciate what he did for me to make this day special and Oh, how I love him dearly. As I cut into the cake both my kids say, that looks Yucky (they are 4 and 8)...mommy was thinking it asking God for forgiveness. Husband said, everyone get your plate ready......

I asked for such a small slice and took one bite and was ready to pass out. I said, honey I love you so much however, I must be honest, I do not like German Chocolate Cake. I couldn't even pretend. So, those who know me, know I must make light and laughter out of everything. So here is what I said.....or should I say singing...

Wifey doesn't like chocolate cake, doesn't like chocolate icecream, doesn't like solid chocolate, doesn't like chocolate icing, doesn't like chocolate pudding (are we getting the picture here????), la, la....wifey likes vanilla cake, likes vanilla frosting, likes vanilla icecream, likes vanilla pudding (is there a pattern forming here), la, la......

At this point the children are laughing hysterically and Arthur takes out a pen and starts to write this down on his palm. Places tape over it to protect it for the remaining 365 days until next year, this time so he can remember what type of cake I like.

I pray this was a fun way for all involved to have a teachable moment. We as spouses must remember the importance of PAYING ATTENTION!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, I love Vanilla Bean, Happy Birthday to me......

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Only by God's grace can I remain calm when all I want to do is SQUAWK! Have you ever had one of those days when things just go a little haywire? It all started Thursday when I decided to ask my husband, "What can I do for you today?" My intentions were to show him love that expressed gratitude toward him. He replied, "Would you mind getting the oil changed?" All right ladies.....we ARE different human species here, are we not? If your husband said to you, "What can I do for you today?" would you respond? I would say anything that has nothing to do with Car Maintenance...more like romance,time alone to shop, get a message or be alone to read a good book. (not necessarily in that order).

After dropping the children off at school I'm on my way to the oil changing place. I had called ahead to make an appointment. They kindly obliged, however, upon my TIMELY arrival they conversed between each other in my presence to see if they had time for me. You know, like adults can do to a child; oblivious to anyone standing in their presence. I kindly reminded the costumer friendly auto people that I did have an appointment and had not planned staying long. At the same time a gentleman came in the door with a POSTAL look to find the MANAGER. One man bravely came forth and the customer shared his frustration calmly....(I on the other hand was waiting for the gunfire). He told the manager how he drove his vehicle home with a lot of rattling noise. Turns out the mechanic never bolted his engine down to the engine mount...oops, that's a problem, and I'm not a mechanic. Turns out the mechanic who did the work on his car was there and came out to talk with the customer. The mechanic said when they took the engine out of the mount the threads were gone on the nuts and bolts....(wow, that's right, return vehicle the way you found it, makes sense, saves time)...oops again but never offered an apology or even a friendly reminder to the paying customer as he drove off the lot with a run away engine under the hood that there are no bolts holding his engine!!!!......Customer Service 101 is a definite must for their next company retreat outting. I reluctantly handed over my keys.

I found a secluded spot to settle with my book & pray that I will have oil in my car when this is all over. I was amazed that within 30 minutes I was motioned over to the front desk (it's a many of you are singing Barry Manillo's True Blue Miracle?). However, I was not going to be leaving or singing Barry Manillo's mello song that makes the top 10 for every "Please Hold" Company Music.....I was entering the No Bolts Zone (I have been asking God to grant patience to me....okay here we go). Ma'am, we've done a history on you.....excuse me??? and it looks like you need to have some fluids changed and filters replaced. You've never replaced your cabin filter...(my what?!?!?!?!) We highly recommend this. Uh, huh...I reply with sudden urgency to run with or without bolts. Also, Ma'am, it looks as though your tires are wearing unevenly (currently so is my "Christian" patience).

I phone my dear, hardworking husband to explain to him of our new discoveries at Rip-You-Off Auto Care. Of course heavy sigh on his end clogs the airway and I wait after what seems like eternity for his response, wishing for some Please Hold Company Music when he finally states we need the alignment of the tires. I cringe and hope for a miracle......

I ask Auto Man, "Will this be much longer?" and I'm affirmed with a confident "No". This conversation took place at 10:05. At 10:40 he (highly qualified customer relations employee) comes back to my secluded area (where I was deep into my book) to look for another costumer. He said, "Are you Mrs. Nelson?" Keep in mind there have been no other women in this place except for me (I can see why now) and my last name is NOWHERE near Nelson. I said, "No". "Okay, I didn't think so"...(so why did you ask me...patience, patience..(miracle)...pray, pray)......Then as he started his quick pivot turn to leave he stopped dead in his mechanic smirk smile, "we're working on your car" I swear I saw him wink his eye. I said "Thank you?"...Yes, questionably. He vanished behind the wall and once again he replied out, "We're working on that Ms. Winer".....okay, for those of you who know me, my name isn't where near, just as it is not Ms. Nelson either. Since he had to ask if I was Ms. Nelson, did he have an Oprah Lightbulb Moment and remember (or thought he did) what my name is???? Now I got up and walked to him and said AGAIN....thank you and then corrected him on my name.

At 11:15 he returns, Oh goody. I look up happily at him thinking I'm about to finally be dismissed from detention and he said, "Earlier, I had to take your car to the parking lot and look at a Honda we got in, did I give you back your keys?" Have you ever had an out of body experience where you watch your whole face mold into something that you yourself are fearful of and why does Honda get preferential treatment? I said, "no". He said, "Are you sure...(then gingerly points to my purse)...would you mind checking your purse?" Are you David Copperfield?!?!?! Last memory, I wasn't on the Las Vegas Strip at one of your overpriced magician shows at the MGM Grand (I may be accurate with overprice in this case, but that's it)....this is not funny!

POOF......magically my keys are resting at the bottom of my purse. I'm staring in my purse with disbelief.....I was amazed at his magical powers. I raise the keys out of my purse, staring at them with disbelief and with a look of wonderment, how did he do that?.....than horror. Reality sets in and I come back to life as Sybil....."Are you saying my car has been sitting in the parking lot since 10:05"?!?!?!?! Sounding like an interegation officer with accusation. "Well ma'am we had switched out your vehicle to look at the Honda". Okay, Honda is getting too much air play on this station and I want to know why you stated, "we're working on it Ms. Winer" at 10:40. At this point I no longer remember my name, which vehicle I drove in or why I'm even here OR WHO SENT ME.......

At 12:20pm my plane departed from the Vegas airport and magically I appeared in my driveway. Anyone could regret spending 3 hours for an oil change. However, I decided I needed to NOT focus on what I cannot change, but rather what I can change. (Sounds like a 12 step program). I had time to think of my Heavenly father and give Him praise for allowing me a vehicle that needed an oil change. For a husband who works hard and supports his family and allowing 3 hours of my time to show that I appreciate him very much. To focus on my walk with God and be grateful that He is patient with me as I stumble and fall daily and.....

I read 5 chapters out of my book. Now that right there is a great "miracle" and my husband gave me a gift that day without knowing it, time alone in a secluded spot to read a good book and forget about time....sort of. Thank you honey!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wandering EYE

I've seen his kind before. A big man in width with a full head of hair. Eyes set close to each other with a bright smile. The kind of man that shows his "manlyhood" by puffing out his chest when he walks & when he sits. Arms never touching the sides of his body. I often wondered why men do that. In my mind I imagine they all wear a TON of cologne and have hairy chests. This gentleman didn't have a hairy chest and all I could smell was chlorine, but he fit the sterotype I had in my mind.

He was at pool side with his young sons. His oldest son was a mini-me of his dad. Brash, loud, wanting control of the toys and a bit of a bully...yet a little boy quality always at surface. That quality surfaces when there is something the young boy (or man) WANTS from the opposite sex.

Since I'm living in my reality world....Not 21, unable to look AWESOME in the hip bathing suit and staying out of the sun so my already prominent wrinkles don't turn into deep purpose, my job at any swimming pool now a days is to keep order among the children. On this particular day it was with all the testosterone toddler boys. Mamas don't raise their boys to turn out like this...they are BORN like this.

Did any of you ever watch the movie "10" with Bo Derek? Remember the scene where she is in slow motion running along the beach toward Dudly Moore? I kid you not, this happened at my neighborhood pool. I'm in kiddie pool land open to the blazing sun showing every dimple and blemish trying to maintain order with boys who aren't my own when Bo Derek strolls in. Okay, her hair wasn't in cornrows, but it was blonde and beautiful. Men stop, Men stare, Men drool. HELLO!!!!!! Earth to Wandeing Eye, can you control your kids! Once again, I repeat, Mamas don't raise their boys to turn out like this, daddy's teach by example!

Wandering Eye forgot he was a dad. Wandering Eye forgot his youngest couldn't swim. Wandering Eye forgot his bully boy wasn't following the rules and didn't hear his sons LOUD voice. Wandering Eye forgot he isn't 21. Wandering Eye forgot he was married. Thankfully his wife wasn't there, then it would have been Wandering Bloody Eye. I watched Wandering Eye forget all responsibility as he sat poolside ooooozzzzing and schmoooozzzzing with Bo.

Mirror, mirror on the wall.......................

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A new twist to dinner

I have a friend with a cute sense of humor. So if you need an idea for dinner, try the latest "seafood" platter and don't forget the dipping sauce. Possibly Pampered Chef could come up with a cooking tool that could slice tentacles evenly for the authentic look. Keep the ideas coming. I'll let you know if I try it on the family.