Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I have moved

Hello Readers,

My blog has found a new home on WordPress.  You can access it with this link:

Upon a Sunny Day

Please follow me over.  Thanks so much!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Flapjack Friday Faves [05.03]

Happy Flapjack Friday!  I made my family breakfast [well, sort of] this morning, in keeping with our Flapjack Friday tradition.

Today I thought I'd share some highlights of the week.

On Monday, my music lovin' son and I experienced Woodsongs for the first time.  If you're not familiar, Woodsongs is a live, taped program akin to the Grand Ole Opry and Austin City Limits.  It's recorded on Monday nights in the Lyric Theatre.  We heard Lexington's own Ben Sollee as well as Australian Kim Churchill. If you live in Lexington, you need to be a part of Woodsongs, at least once in your life.  If you're visiting Lexington on a Monday, stop in.

Quote of the week:
Hope, no matter how unreasonable, is always more preferable than despair, no matter how justified. ~ Cory Booker
Hope is my word of the year, so I had to include this tidbit.

Out with the old, in with the new.
On Tuesday, our family had the privilege of attending son Jamie's final piano recital.  I say final because I seriously doubt he'll ever play piano in a recital again.  He's headed to college as a dual Music Performance major focusing on classical and jazz guitar.  He won't have much time for piano.  So, he finished big with a number by Debussy, one of his faves.  Incidentally, daughter Allie began her high school athletic career this week, working out with the girls soccer team.  Proving she does not take after her mother, she finished first in the mile run. 

Regarding being creative, this book sounds interesting:

It includes this info:  William Faulkner once wrote 10,000 words between 10:00 a.m. and midnight.
Who knew???

Speaking of being creative.......I love a good trash to treasure story and that's what my self proclaimed video of the week is:

Landfill Harmonic:  The world sends them garbage, they send back music.

And finally, in case you think all kids want to do is eat're wrong.  A wave of vegetarianism is about to sweep this mighty nation.  Okay, maybe nothing quite that dramatic, but one school in New York is completely vegetarian now:
Elementary school goes vegetarian

This afternoon, our family is off to Red River Gorge.  A weekend of camping in scenic Kentucky.

And... I'm extremely ecstatic to dine at Miguel's tonight.  It's a semi-famous pizza place there at the Gorge.  Lot's of rock climbers hang out there.  Mind you, no one in our family is a rock climber, but they do allow folks like us to eat there.  It should be fun.  
Happy weekend.... if you're a betting man or woman, may your horse win the Derby.  If you believe Cinco de Mayo is a major holiday [yes, our family does], make some enchiladas and celebrate big.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

navigators and explorers

When I was a student, I enjoyed hearing the stories about explorers.  Remember?  Columbus, Magellan, Ponce de Leon, Balboa, Cabot, etc. 

This week after school my daughter began participating in high school soccer conditioning. This is a new thing.  She hasn't played organized soccer in years.  Apparently her school's team isn't that great [only what I've offense if you're on the team] and she has a friend or two who are on the team.  She likes to run; she's looking to fill some time.  So, she's decided to give it a try.

Our son has a game plan for the next four years.  College is mapped out.  He knows what he's good at and what he enjoys.  He doesn't need a navigator as much as he previously did.

Daughter Allie is a different story.  She wants to see the world, at least the European part.  She wants to be a foreign exchange student.  She likes to take photographs, she likes fashion, she likes music, reading, and, like I mentioned above, she enjoys running.  She wants to be an explorer.  But at this point, she still needs a navigator. 

I think that's the parents' role when you have a teenager.  Show them the options, the course, the different routes, all the while giving your input. A guide, so to speak.

Some people are geared for sailing.  Metaphorically.  These types want to see the world, experience different stuff.  And chances are, they're ready to [ie now].  That's my daughter.  She's ready to sail on out of the harbor.  Yet she really doesn't have a clue on how to get the ship out of the harbor, and once she got it out, she wouldn't know which way to steer.  Not because she's unintelligent.  Because she is inexperienced. 

I'm finding this season to be one of endings and beginnings.  I suppose when the explorers mentioned above set sail they had to realize they were saying good-bye, possibly forever to how things were.  They were headed for a new world filled with adventures and who knows what.  

All that's great, in respect to the raising a teenager perspective.  While I'm excited to see where my kids end up, I'm saddened to step out into unknown waters.  There's a chance things will forever change.  Actually, it's more than a chance.  They're going to move on and I'm going to stay here.  Unless of course I follow them.  Which is not out of the question.  Doesn't every ship need a navigator?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Flapjack Friday

I make breakfast for my family every Friday.  For the longest time, I made pancakes.  So we began calling the occasion Flapjack Friday.  Then my son said he was growing a bit tired of pancakes and it would be nice to expand my horizons, so to speak.  So, I've started to vary a bit.  Nothing too exciting.  Sometimes French toast.  Sometimes waffles.  Breakfast burritos, maybe.  But generally, it's pancakes.

So, I wish you happy Flapjack Friday!  In the spirit of Friday, the best day of the work week, I've decided to try something new on my blog.  Sort of a Friday Faves type thing.  My husband kindly recommended something of this nature.  So, here goes.

My newest favorite to follow is:


I realize you won't care so much for him if you don't live in Kentucky.  I do, so I do.  He's an amateur Kentucky historian, he sends out witty tweets, plus he seems to be of the same political persuasion as me.  Which I won't go into, because I don't like to go into it.

Highlight of the week:
Beating my son, the classical musician, in a game we greatly enjoy:  Name the Composer.  We end up in the car together every Monday night so we listen to Performance Today on WEKU (one of our local NPR stations).  While listening, if we haven't heard the DJ announce the composer, we guess.  This week, I chose Chopin, and low and behold, it was.  I will preface it by saying Jamie tipped me off to Chopin by telling me Chopin wrote many waltzes.  I knew the song was in 3/4, which if you're not familiar with music.....waltzes are in 3/4.  So, before putting in his guess, he basically gave me the answer.  But I won.  I actually won.  Yeah me.   I'm still waiting for him to present me with a trophy.

Strangest issue facing the church today:
Pastors who can't shut up about their smokin' hot wives
Honestly, I hate the term "hot" as an adjective to describe women.  Please, if you find a woman attractive, call her pretty or lovely or beautiful.  Better yet, if you're a pastor, don't talk about your wife's looks publicly.  It has nothing to do with the spiritual health of your congregation.  You're only trying to help yourself feel more manly.  It's not working....for any of us.  So, just shut up and preach or counsel or do what pastors are supposed to do.

Confession of the week:

I've started eating more tofu.  Does that make me weird?  I don't know, but it does insure I get enough protein.

Book of the week:

I'm reading O Pioneers! by Willa Cather.  It was a free classic Kindle download.  Who needs James Patterson?  Willa's got it going on.

Pinterest quote of the week:

So true.

Difficulty of the week:
My dad, who lives in Oklahoma, had knee surgery on Monday and will hopefully be released from the hospital today.  I wish I was closer so I could visit.  His orthopedic doctor, Dr. Smith, is Ree Drummond's dad [aka The Pioneer Woman], so whether or not it means anything, I feel like he's in good hands.  I honestly think if she knew me, she'd be my friend. 

And finally, here's a prayer for the week regarding our neighbors.  Incidentally, we met one of our new neighbors yesterday.  He seems like a nice guy.  Which is good, because life is always interesting on Loudon Avenue.

Lord, help us to see that our well-being is inextricably bound to the well-being of our neighbor. Our sorrows are shared. Our longings are shared. Our fears are shared. Enable us also to share compassion, patience, and courage today. Amen.

Monday, April 22, 2013

the insanity of motherhood

I suppose there's some truth to it.  We moms are all a bit insane.  But I blame it on the child/children.

Packing lunch.  Who can remember who likes what?  I can for the most part remember which child likes crunchy peanut butter and which prefers creamy.  But at 6:45am it can be difficult to keep things straight.  Remembering to pack a spoon for the yogurt.  Chunks of cheese on the salad as opposed to grated.  On and on.  I estimate at the end of this school year, I'll have packed over 4000 school lunches.  Maybe I'll be presented with a watch.

Calendars, events, mood swings, the daughter gets through adolescence right before you look ahead to menopause......

Their needs and so called needs.  The humorous things referred to as [first world probs] like skinny jeans that fit properly and finding a clean water bottle.  "Can we go to the mall?" asks one.  "I hate the mall!" exclaims the other.  "Please pick up my library book that's in."  "Please copy 75 sheets of music."  "Please get me mascara.  Black/brown.  Not water-proof.  Smudge resistant though."  Do you know how many types of mascara Maybelline alone produces?  "I need deodorant."  "The dog needs food."  "I'm going on a field trip and need $27.50 plus lunch money."

I'm not complaining, as these requests are all part of the job description.  It's what I signed up for when I decided to have children.  But I think it all contributes to the losing of one's sanity.

As does their ever changing vocabulary.  Take the word "hella" for instance.  This is a fairly new one.  And I'm not sure if it's a curse word or not.  It seems to be used as an adjective.  So, when I hear it, I'm confused as to whether I should reprimand my children, as I would if they said, "I'm mad as hell." 

Then there's the music.  When did my daughter possibly have time to memorize the lyrics of every song on the radio?  She can go from Taylor Swift to Bruno Mars to Mumford to Rihanna.  The other night, she sang/rapped the song Heartless while her brother chimed in every so often on bass and back up.  And it was surprisingly decent.  Which makes me thankful she hasn't asked to try out for American Idol. 

Once you have a child, whether the child is an infant or nearly grown, or I imagine, completely grown, you have another person that inhabits your thoughts.  Someone you're responsible for, someone you must provide for.  Even though I share this duty with my husband, my children are still always occupying part of my thought process.  Every decision, nearly every meal planned, every trip even to the grocery store or movie theater involves thinking of them and their perspective.  How they fit into the picture.  And it can make a person a little crazy.

Because it's a struggle for one's mind to be in two places at once.  If I only had myself to think of, the mistakes wouldn't be such a big deal.  Over-commitment?  Much easier to overcome.  Too tired to function?  Not a hassle if alone.  Just crawl under the covers.  But if I need to pick up or drop off or provide a meal?  Well, the old brain has to fire up and tell the body what to do. And after many years of this, the factory gets run down.  Which is another way of saying, one loses it a bit.  The blood vessels running from the heart to the brain to everywhere else, start to deteriorate, like rust on the conveyor belt.  And the finished product isn't quite as sleek and shiny.  But, there is still a product.  Which is all that really matters, I suppose.

I appreciate the Sallinger quote though, in that he said mothers are only slightly insane, not completely.  I've still got a bit of sanity, a little reasoning, an ability to function clearly.  That's encouraging, right?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Records Day

Today is Record Store Day and I wish you a happy one.  Last year I wrote an entry related to the day and I think it's worth revisiting:

Happy Record Store Day 2012!

For reasons unbeknownst to me, my children do not enjoy my stories.  You know, the "when I was a kid...." stories we parents like to tell?  I tell them anyway.  I actually have always enjoyed hearing about my parents' lives pre-marriage.  You get to a point though, when you think you know most of the facts.  Where they grew up, who their friends were, where they went to college, a few details regarding their romantic relationships before they got together.  Well, this past Thanksgiving, during a visit to my mom and dad's, I found out their first date, or at least close to the first, was to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert.  I found that to be very interesting information.  The early 1960s, all that was happening.  Did they just like the music?  How did they fit into the whole scene?
Peter, Paul and Mary [not my parents]
Sometimes I'm not sure if our kids realize that who we are today isn't who we've always been.  In other words, we grow up, mature and change a bit.  While I doubt my parents sat in on any war protests, I wonder what they thought about when they listened to folk music?  Or when they saw MLK Jr. on television?   Perhaps my workmates think I'm a hippie for a reason.......  Although I've never seen any photos or indicators pointing towards my parents as such.  Besides the folk music.  But maybe that's enough.

Last night, while attending our city's quarterly Gallery Hop, I overheard two women talking.  One was sharing about something her mom told her:   There was a war factory in downtown Lexington.  Her mom dropped out of college to work there; only women did.  I guess the men were away fighting.

I've heard of these places.  One of my grandmothers worked in one during WWII.  Yet, I've never heard of one in our town.  It's forgotten history.  The listening woman in the gallery told the storyteller she needs to get her mom to write this stuff down.  I agree.

Maybe along with Record Store Day, we need a Records Day.  A day to make sure we're passing on our stories.  Even if our kids don't care so much.  Someday they might.  And I suppose if I'd spent eight hours a day in a factory in service to my country, I'd want people to at the very least know about it.

I started following this  guy's blog this week:
His entry yesterday is another story about a Native American school most have forgotten.  Yet important, I think.  The students who attended there in 1830 might be happy to be remembered.

Because if we don't remember, it's just all blowin' in the wind.  Get it?  Peter, Paul and Mary/Blowin' In the Wind?  Yes, I'm corny.

Happy Record Store Day!  Make your kids listen to your stories.


Friday, April 19, 2013

stay calm and be a helper

stay calm
mind your own business
live quietly
work with your hands
do your own job

Nothing especially profound.  But words that speak to me this week.  You can find them in 1 Thessalonians 4:11.

Life can be ridiculous.  Tribulation is part of it.  But consider this.  If we all stay calm, if we live in peace and do what we're supposed to do, it will be simpler.  Work with our hands while living a quiet life.  And be a helper.

My friend posted this on Facebook this week:  

Be a helper.  [Kris, if you're reading this, it's YOU!]  

Who doesn't believe the world needs more helpers?  What qualities do helpers have? Generally they're calm, and focused on doing their job.

Mr. Rogers said:
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."

I suppose we also have to remember to help the helpers. But really, if we're all doing what we're supposed to, it will work in a circle.  All of us calm, helping each other.  

"No matter how experienced the helpers, their lives are forever changed by these tragedies.  Thank them.  Pray for them."  ~ Brene Brown 

It's hard at times not to be overcome.  Personal stuff buried inside me.  All the issues my family faces.  College in the fall for our son.  A study abroad possibility for our teenage daughter.  Jobs and school and neighborhood stuff.  Passing grandparents and extended family.  Stories of people getting shot in places I've been ....scary stuff.  News from other places of tragedies.  People doing crazy things.  Realizing we control so very little.

It's good to be reminded to be a helper.  We don't all have to take charge.  We don't all have to be in the front.  But we can all help.  It's also good to be reminded to thank our helpers.  And pray for them.  The first responders.  The people who happened to be at the certain place at the certain time.  The people who go out of their way.  Sometimes it's their job; sometimes it's not.  

stay calm....mind your own your
be a helper