Saturday, May 31, 2014

Six Word Saturday

Eleven years together, still going strong.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Please Remember Me

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List ten things for which you would like to be remembered.

1) Being kind to everyone.

2) Being a good mother and grandmother.

3) Being open-minded.

4) Being a woman of faith.

5) Being a good wife.

6) Being "me," and not who others expected me to be.

7) Being a poet and writer.

8) Being strong and capable.

9) Being a lifelong learner.

10) Being someone who loved life and lived every moment of it.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

My Hopes And Dreams

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What are your hopes, dreams and plans?

To see all three of my children happy and successful.
To have more grandchildren, and be able to spend lots of time with them.
To spend more quality time with Barry.
To be able to travel on occasion.
To try new restaurants.
To read all the books stacked up on my nightstand.
To stay healthy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

To Know Him Is To Love Him

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What's your favorite quality in your spouse?

My favorite quality of Barry's is tough to choose. I love that he does little things to show me that he loves me. I love that he always seems to know when I'm upset about something, and will try to find ways to cheer me up. I love that he has such a great work ethic. I love that he is such a rock for me during the hard times. I love that he always knows how to make me laugh. I love that we can just sit together on the couch, reading our own books, without feeling like we have to make conversation.

That's really just the tip of the iceberg....I love pretty much EVERYTHING about him.  :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Summer Bucket List

The Liebers

This week's theme: Your summer bucket list

Not sure if I can come up with ten things I want to do this summer, but I'll give it a shot.

1)  Street fair in Yellow Springs, Ohio

2) Block party in Fairborn, Ohio

3) Celebrate my birthday!

4) Johnson/Lambert family reunion, Gallipolis, Ohio

5) Spend time with my grandson.

6) Eat lots of watermelon (to make up for not getting to eat ANY last summer due to chemo).

7) Drink lots of sweet sun tea.

8) Make s'mores whenever possible.

9) Have at least one deep fried Twinkie.

10) Enjoy EVERY day!!!!

I Love My ______

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What is your favorite part of your body and why?

I hate questions like this--I've never been comfortable with my body. Growing up, I always felt that I was too short, and I was told over and over that I was too thin and needed to gain weight. Hard to develop a positive self-image under those conditions, let me tell you!

But I suppose that if I have to choose a favorite part I would say it's my legs. They're not as toned as they used to be, but they still look pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.   :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

You've Got It All Wrong, World!

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What popular notion do you think the world has most wrong?

This is the day I get to climb up on my soapbox and really let it fly, so be prepared. The popular notion I think the world has the most wrong is that everything has to be politically correct.  Everyone wants to walk on eggshells and try to say/do things so that no one's feelings get hurt. And if you voice an opinion that offends someone, you're immediately labeled as a racist, a bigot, or something along those lines. Well, guess what, folks? Just because my opinion is different from yours, that doesn't mean that I hate you or your opinion. And if my opinion offends you?  Walk away and get on with your life. 

Examples of political correctness gone awry:

1) In some schools, you can no longer call the chalkboard a blackboard.

2) Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas  (can't everyone just use whatever greeting applies to whatever holiday they celebrate in December?)

3) A 7 yr old child being called a racist because they asked someone if they are brown because they come from Africa.  (Kids learn through asking questions!!!)

The original intent of "political correctness"--to encourage tact and sensitivity toward other people's feelings regarding issues like gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, etc.--was a good one. In practice, however, people are going so far that now ANY mention of those issues is seen as politically incorrect.  

How can we talk about our differences, and learn from those different than us, if we're afraid of being labeled a "racist," "sexist," or some other sort of bigot? To me, these extreme examples of political correctness are worsening the divide rather than closing it.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

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If you could have dinner with anyone in history, who would it be and what would you eat?

My Guests:  I'm cheating and having two, as they were mother and daughter---Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth Tudor, aka Queen Elizabeth I. They are distant cousins of mine, as my family line goes through Anne's paternal aunt, also named Anne.  I would love to spend a few hours talking about their lives, and comparing the roles of women then vs. now.

My Menu: Fish or chicken, roasted vegetables, bread, and custard for dessert.  And of course, lots of wine and ale.   :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Good and Bad of Parenthood

What's your favorite and least favorite thing about parenthood?

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My favorite thing about parenthood is watching each of my children grow into responsible adults. Sure, there are times when I get frustrated with their behavior or choices, but that's just part of them being individuals rather than clones or robots. I am very proud of who they are, and look forward to seeing who they will become in the future.

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My least favorite thing about parenthood are the moments when I feel like I've failed as a mother. Those are usually moments when one of the children has gotten themselves into a situation that reminds me of something I've been through, and where I know it's bound to end badly, but they are too stubborn to listen (where DO they get that trait, I wonder? LOL)

Friday, May 23, 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

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What's your favorite holiday and why?

Anyone who has known me for very long knows that the answer to this question is always a resounding "CHRISTMAS!" Ever since I was a child, it's been a time of fun and excitement. I do my best to finish my shopping and have my cards ready to mail by Thanksgiving or the Monday after. That way, the entire month of December is free of all that stress, and I can enjoy watching specials and movies, going out to look at Christmas decorations in the neighborhood, listen to Christmas music all day long, bake cookies, and spend time with family and friends. It's the one and only good thing about winter, as far as I'm concerned.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

How I See My Future

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Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Fifteen years?

Five years from now I will be nearly 58. Ten years from now, I'll be almost 63, and fifteen years from now I'll be closing in on 68. To be honest, I don't expect my life to change much over that time. Being retired, and pretty much a homebody, I anticipate continuing to enjoy reading, watching movies, spending time with my children and grandchildren. I hope to still be participating in some sort of Bible study group, as well as continuing to study on my own. I also hope that my health will continue to be good, so that I won't have to stress out over any issues in that regard.  Other than that, I hope to be spontaneous and open to whatever adventures come my way.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Currently 5/21/14

This week's themes:  writing, visiting, learning, wanting, loving

I am writing blog posts on "30 things my kids should know about me."  Some of those posts have been difficult for me to write, requiring some soul searching and some serious honesty. Overall, it's been as much for me as for the kids, but it does give them a more in-depth look at Mom than they may have had up to this point.

The only visiting I've done this week is to a friend's house on Monday night for our weekly Bible study and potluck dinner. We had spaghetti, salad and garlic bread for dinner, and we wrapped up our study based on the movie GOD'S NOT DEAD.

I've been learning more about how to share my faith and my beliefs...not just what I believe, but WHY I believe. With so many debates on Facebook about religion lately, I feel this is something I need to work on and improve.

I am wanting to spend more time with my grandson. He and his parents live about 4 hours away from us, and I haven't seen him since the day after Christmas. I talk to him on the phone several times a week, and my daughter posts a lot of pictures on Facebook, but none of that is as satisfying as having him around in person.

I am loving that I have discovered audiobooks, and that I can get them through my local library. I can listen to them on my laptop while I am writing blog posts or anything else I want to do online, or even while I'm washing dishes, folding laundry, etc.  Since I started this, I'm finishing a book about every other day.

Wednesday Hodgepodge 5/21/14

1. Under what circumstances do you do your best thinking?
Depends....either while I'm out walking, or sometimes in the shower. I just need to be somewhere by myself to do it.

2. Are you a risk taker? What's one big risk you've taken?
Not much of a risk taker at all. The last "big risk" I took was agreeing to meet my now husband in person after nearly a year of an online relationship.

3. Some of the most common phobias according to the National Institute for Mental Health are-fear of spiders (arachnaphobia), snakes (ophidiophobia), heights (acrophobia), fear of spaces from which escape is difficult (agoraphobia), fear of thunder and lightening (astrophobia), fear of dogs (cynophobia), injections (trypanophobia), social situations, flying (pteromerhanophobia) and fear of germs and dirt (mysophobia). True phobias affect only about 10% of adults, but of those listed which would you rate as your greatest fear?
I am ophidiophobic, and have been since I was about five years old. I even used that as my word for "O" when doing the A to Z Challenge last month.

4. Are you settled or do you feel the need to move somewhere new?
I am settled--I hate moving, and unless it becomes absolutely, positively no way around it necessary, I am never doing it again!!!

5. What is something you find annoying when dining in a restaurant?
Children allowed to run around the place and bother other patrons.

6. Daffodil yellow, sunset orange, spring green, or sky blue...your favorite color this time of year?
Spring green....the leaves on the trees and bushes, as well as the grass.

7. If you were going to take a holiday all by yourself, where would you go?
Not really a fan of traveling by myself anywhere.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm having one of those weeks where there's nothing really wrong I can put my finger on, but I just have a general uneasy feeling every so often.  I hate it!!!

Mom, Dad and Me

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Describe your relationship with your parents.

I'm going to break this into two sections, childhood and adulthood.


As a child, I was most definitely a Daddy's girl. If I wanted to do something, I knew that my best bet was to ask Dad, and then let him go to bat for me with Mom. I loved hanging out with him, whether it was for a trip to the library, an outdoor project, or just sitting in the living room reading our own books. When he moved out during my junior year of high school, all of that was gone--and for a while we didn't have more between us than the occasional short phone call.

Mom was my Girl Scout leader, and a room mother at my school, so I spent a lot of good times with her, as well. However, the older I got, the more strained our relationship became. I felt judged and found wanting by her, and belittled for my introverted personality. She didn't understand my love of writing poetry, or how I could be so happy to spend so much time alone in my bedroom.  I always felt that my younger brother was her favorite child, and that I would never be able to measure up.


I haven't seen or spoken to my father since the summer of 1996. After I moved away from my hometown, it was as though I ceased to exist for him. I wrote letters and sent pictures, and got no response. I called, got the answering machine and no return calls. The years I sent him Christmas cards, I got one in return, with a check tucked in it. When I stopped sending cards, I stopped getting them as well. I wish I knew why, but he's never answered that question for me, and I suppose he never will.

On the other hand, things with my mother have gotten much better over the years. I no longer feel constantly judged by her, and we are more like friends than I ever would have thought possible even ten years ago. In the past year, while dealing with my health issues, we've gone from talking to each other once a week to talking three or more times a week. And her visits to us aren't the source of stress they used to be, either. I tend to tell people that she seems to have mellowed with age.  :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Childhood Memories

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Describe three significant memories from your childhood. 

1) A nightmare: 
The first significant memory is a recurring nightmare that I've had since kindergarten, and still have now and then. In it, I am in my kindergarten class, getting ready to leave for home. It is a rainy day, and I can only find one of my rain boots, and I can't find the papers I was supposed to take home that day. (This did actually happen to me in kindergarten, by the way.) I always wake up feeling frantic and ready to cry. I'm sure there's a deep psychological reason why I still have the dream, but I don't really want to know what it is!  :)

2) Running away from school: 
My younger brother was born the year I was in first grade. The day after he was born, my dad took me to school and walked me to my classroom. I was feeling very emotional, and I didn't want to stay at school that day. Shortly after he left, I managed to somehow get out of the classroom--and the school--and run down the block to my paternal grandparents' home, which was 3 houses away from the school. My grandmother called the school, and my dad. Dad came to pick me up, and insisted that I go back to school and stay there for the entire day.

3) Sunday afternoons:
Sunday afternoons were the best part of my week as a child. Those were the times we spent at my maternal grandparents' home, as did my aunts, uncles and cousins. Those were some of the happiest days of my childhood, as were the holidays we spent there, and the sleepovers that were usually more "NON sleep" nights.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Becoming A Parent

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How did you feel the moment you became a parent?

To be perfectly honest, the moment I became a parent, I felt fear---a deep, despairing kind of fear. Brian was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times, and even though they cut it loose the minute his neck cleared the birth canal, he was a very deep purple color when they lifted him up and carried him over to the side of the room. I lay there on the table, squeezing his father's hand, praying that we would hear him make a noise, blaming myself for the situation (I had tripped and fallen right on my stomach a few days prior, and was sure that was what caused it), and trying really hard not to cry. After what seemed forever, but was really less than a minute, we heard the loudest, most beautiful wail from our son, and we both started to cry tears of relief and happiness.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

He Really Loves Me

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What do you think your spouse loves most about you?

I would say that, aside from the physical stuff, Barry loves my mind and my heart. He loves my mind for the way it complements his...we have different areas of expertise, and we also know different types of trivia. We also have some very interested, sometimes heated discussions about politics and religion where we have opposing opinions.

As for my heart, he loves the fact that I am so kind, compassionate and caring--although sometimes he thinks I carry it to an extreme.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Friday 56

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This is hosted by Freda's Voice.  (And I'm a day late...but better late than never, right?)

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
 *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.

I am currently reading God's Not Dead, by Rice Broocks

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So where did evil come from? Did God create it? How could a loving, all powerful God subject us to this kind of a world? The answer is straightforward. God created beings who had the capacity to fail.

I Wish I Were Great At......

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What is the thing you most wish you were great at?

I wish that I were great at dancing, most especially ballroom dancing. I love watching talented ballroom dancers (professional ones, not "celebrities"), and find it very romantic. I'd like to learn the foxtrot and the tango especially. At this point in my life, though, I doubt that it's going to happen anywhere but in my dreams---but then again, one never knows!   :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

My Greatest Accomplishments

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What are your five greatest accomplishments?

1) Graduating from college: I had my ups and downs with a few of my classes, but I made it through and was very proud of myself. I've taken a few other classes since graduating, and am always eager to learn new things.

2) Raising my children: I have three great children who have become talented, responsible, loving adults--and I like to think that I played a large part in that.

3) Publishing a book of my poetry: It was a dream I'd had since I was a teenager--and it was a way of vindicating myself to those who thought my writing was nothing more than a waste of time.

4) Making this blog more of a daily thing than it used to be: I want to leave a part of me behind so that others will have a way of knowing more about me in the future, when I'm no longer around.

5) Leading a seminar on writing as a form of therapy: It was way outside of my comfort zone, but I wound up enjoying it a great deal, and might even be open to doing it again.  :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The One That I Love

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Describe when you knew your spouse was the one for you or how you fell in love.

To be perfectly honest, I couldn't pinpoint one specific moment when I knew that Barry was THE ONE. We met online, on an email group, and I was only expecting us to be friends, seeing as how he was in Arizona and I was in Ohio. I enjoyed our interactions in the group, and after a while we began to have the occasional private chat.

One day, during one of those chats, I made a remark about how he should be spending his time with women closer to home, to find one right for him. His response truly through me for a loop: "Why would I want to do that, when I've already found the one I want?"

From that day, our relationship moved to a new level, and we were even more intent on getting to know each other. It was amazing just how much alike we were (and still are), especially considering our almost 18 year age difference. We'd both been married twice before, and we knew what we DIDN'T want from each other, and we made those opinions known to each other.

It was nine months after we first met online that we finally met face-to-face. After that visit, I couldn't imagine the rest of my life without him, so I suppose that was the moment for me, if I had to choose one.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strengths and Weaknesses

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Describe 5 strengths and 5 weaknesses you have.

1) Determination--Once I set my mind to something, I will stick with it until it is accomplished.

2) Empathy--I can usually understand what others are going through and feeling, and offer advice or encouragement to them.

3) Optimism--I am known for trying to see the bright side of almost everything.

4) Honesty--I believe in speaking the truth at all times, but in doing so with tact and respect.

5) Trust--I take everyone at their word, and trust them until given reason not to do so...and prove myself to be trustworthy as well.

1) Procrastination--I am very bad about putting things off for as long as possible, particularly unpleasant things.

2) Self-doubt--I often let doubt in my own talents and abilities keep me from stepping out of my comfort zone.

3) Fear--Fear, usually of failure or of change, has kept me from trying more than a few things in my life.

4) Impatience--Patience has never been one of my virtues. I want what I want, when I want it.  And I have no patience with ignorance, either.

5) Sensitivity--I am known to be very emotional and sensitive to rejection and perceived slights.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ten Things I Love About My Mom

The Golden Spoons

This week's Tuesday Ten is a list of ten things I love about my mother.

1) I love that she chose to give up her career in cosmetology to stay home with me after my trusted babysitter left us to care for her grandchild.

2) I love that she could always be counted on to attend every party or performance I had in elementary school, and every concert (band and choir) in high school, as well as being a chaperon for every band trip.

3) I love that she is a wonderful seamstress and was able to make clothes for her very short, very skinny daughter so that I didn't have to wear "little girl" clothes in junior high and high school.

4) I love that she graduated from college at age 62 with a degree in early childhood education.

5) I love that she is a woman of great faith who passed her beliefs on to her children.

6) I love that she showed me how to be strong and carry on even after your marriage falls apart.

7) I love that she is such a good cook.

8) I love that she isn't afraid to speak her mind.

9) I love that she taught me how important family can be to you.

10) I love that she still calls me her "baby girl."

Growing Up Is Hard

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What's the hardest part about growing up?

The hardest part about growing up, for me, was realizing that life's not fair and there's nothing I can do about it but keep on living.

  • It's not fair that loving someone sometimes means nothing more than giving them an opportunity to break your heart.
  • It's not fair that some men think supporting their children, or even spending time with them, is optional.
  • It's not fair that good people die, and that some really evil people seem to live far too long.
  • It's not fair that some people see kindness as an excuse to walk all over you.
  • It's not fair that sometimes you can't do anything to make your child feel better.
  • It's not fair that some people judge you by what you wear, or drive, or own, instead of for who you are.
  • It's not fair that people are always so willing to believe the worst about you.

There are tons of other ways life isn't fair, but you get the point. And just remember this: while life may not be fair, it sure beats the alternative!

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Day In The Life

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Describe a typical day in your current life.

These days, a typical day is pretty boring, but I'll run it down for you, anyhow.

Wake up

Go to bathroom and get my meds

Make cappuccino

Take Gandalf  (my cat) outside to survey the backyard, weather permitting.

Open living room curtains and attach Gandalf's perch so he can spend most of the rest of HIS day there.

Drink cappuccino while checking Facebook and email.

Call my mother.

Shower and get dressed.

Wash dishes.

Work on blog posts, while listening to an audiobook.

Do laundry or other household chores.

Eat lunch and watch Days Of Our Lives.

More Facebook, email and blogging, and more audiobook.

Eat dinner with Barry and Amy.

Watch TV or a movie with Barry.

Go to bed, read for 30-45 minutes, then sleep.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

My Pet Peeves

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Describe ten pet peeves you have.

1) Liars: Especially the ones who continue to lie when they know you know the truth.

2) Deadbeat parents: If you're enough of an adult to make a child, then be adult enough to support him/her---financially, emotionally, and any other way.

3) People who are perpetually late: Your time isn't more important than anyone else's. If you are supposed to be somewhere at a specific time, be there unless there is some sort of emergency.

4) People who use "gay" or "retarded" as insults: Buy a thesaurus and/or a dictionary, and expand your vocabulary.

5) Homophobes: What other people do in their bedroom should have NO impact on your life.

6) People who behave as though their religion is the only one that counts, and all others should be ignored: Last time I checked, we still have religious freedom here in the USA, and some people need to learn what "tolerance" means.

7) Racism: We're all part of the human race, and that's all that should matter.

8) Text speak: U and R are letters, not words....B4 is for bingo, not for communication....and if you can type "wuz" why not use the actual spelling "was"?

9) People who STILL drive with a cell phone held to their ear: If you want to risk your own life, that's up to you---but my family and I would prefer NOT to have you crash into us because you're distracted.

10) Empty toilet paper rolls left on the dispenser: It's not rocket science, people....if you use the last of the toilet paper, get out another roll, take the empty roll off the dispenser, through it away, and replace it with the full one. It takes just a few seconds, and it will keep me from ranting about it!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Embarrassing Moment

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Describe your most embarrassing moment.

I can still vividly recall the details of my most embarrassing moment. I was in junior high, and my small group of friends and I had developed a routine of "dressing up" one day a week. This particular week, the day we had chosen was cold, and there was still snow and ice everywhere.

We waited on each other in front of the main building of the school, then walked down the block to the building which housed the band room, to drop off our instruments. Then we decided to take the fire escape down, as it was closer to the junior high building than going back out the front door again.

The fire escape goes across the top of the lower level of the building, and then down to the ground. I was the first one out the door, and saw that the area across the roof seemed to be ice free, so I was walking rather quickly, anxious to be out of the cold as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the steps of the fire escape were not ice free, and that's where things began to go wrong. Two or three stairs down, I slid, lost my footing, and began to slide down the remaining stairs. I closed my eyes and waited to feel my head slam into the concrete. Instead, I felt arms wrap around my waist.

Tentatively I opened my eyes, and looked up into the eyes of my current crush--our band director. At that point, I felt as though it might have been better if I HAD fallen all the way down and hit my head!  He asked me if I were all right, and when I shook my head yes, he offered me his hand and helped me to stand. Then he told my friends to take me inside and make sure I was actually unhurt.

Forty years later, and I still shudder when I remember it! :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

Five Minute Friday

This is my first 5 Minute Friday link up, so I'll explain the premise briefly, although it's pretty self-explanatory. Each week, Lisa-Jo provides a prompt, and then we just write about it for five minutes....whatever comes to mind, just let it come out on the page, then link up and read what others had to say as well.

I have learned to be grateful for everything in my life, and to let others know when I am grateful for them or their actions. Life is short, and we never have the promise of tomorrow.  I never want to left with regrets of things unsaid or unacknowledged.

I am grateful every morning just to have another day. I am grateful for my husband, my children, their spouses/significant others, my grandson. I am grateful for my parents, my brother, my sister-in-law, my nephew.  I am grateful for my Bible study group. I am grateful for my aunts, uncles and cousins. I am grateful for my former mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I am grateful for music, art and books. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful for the doctors who guided me through my cancer journey. I am grateful for my Facebook and blog friends.

Dear Mom

Finish the Sentence Friday

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Dear Mom:
This is a letter to let thank you for the many things you've done for me across the years. I know that we haven't always seen eye to eye on things, and that's caused some strife in our relationship, but I am very thankful that we've been able to get past that and be good friends now.

Thank you for the wonderful childhood I enjoyed. Thank you for allowing (and sometimes demanding) me to spend so many of my days outside with friends from virtually sun up to sun down. Thank you for so many opportunities to spend time with my cousins, developing relationships which have lasted into our adult years. Thank you for choosing NOT to allow me to be double promoted in elementary school, even though I didn't see the logic in that decision at the time.

Thank you for being a chaperon every time a band bus pulled out from the school, so that you could watch each and every one of my performances. Thank you for making my dresses for band concerts, school dances and proms, giving so much of your free time to do something special for me.

Thank you for finally understanding that I needed to be the one to choose my career path, and supporting me in it. Thank you for continuing to love me when I went through a wild, rebellious phase that first year of college. Thank you for being proud of me when I graduated with honors.

Thank you for letting me make my own mistakes, over and over, without ever telling me "I told you so" when I realized they were mistakes. Thank you for still being there for me when my life was such a mess, and letting me be the one to work it out.

Thank you for being a loving, caring grandmother to my children. Thank you for spending so much time with them, and giving them so many good memories to carry with them forever. Thank you for always being there for the important events in their lives, showing them how much they mean to you.

Thank you for being there for me, on the phone and in person, as I went through my battle with cancer. I'm sorry that it took something so terrible to strengthen our relationship, but I'm glad that we now have the kind of friendship that I'd always hoped we could have with each other.

Thank you for loving me, teaching me, supporting me, encouraging me.....and for so many other things. I love you, and I always will.


My mother, Gloria Evans.
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My Inspirations

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List ten people who have inspired you, and describe how.

1) God: My faith has always been a big part of my life, and I've been blessed to witness enough miracles to inspire me to keep believing and to share my faith with others.

2) My maternal grandmother, Freda Johnson: Granny inspired me to stay young at heart, no matter my chronological age. She was an active participant in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren until the last week of her life, when she was 82. She also showed me what a woman of faith looks like, and inspired me to live a life that would make her proud.

3) My mother, Gloria Evans: My mother, who graduated from college at the age of 62, inspires me to keep setting goals for myself no matter my age. She also inspired me to want to be a wife and mother, although our ideas on HOW to do those things differ widely.

4) My father, Richard Danner:  My dad inspired me to be a voracious reader by taking me to the library every Saturday to get a stack of books and by reading books and magazines himself. He was also the parent who encouraged my writing.

5)   My "other mom," Anne Fischer: My high school choir director inspired me to be the kind of teacher who truly cared about her students and what was going on with them outside of school. Without her to talk to, I don't know how I would have gotten through some of the drama of my teen years---and she is still part of my life to this day.

6) My college American Lit teacher, Joanne Daily: She inspired me to explore the "darker" side of writing...without letting myself be immersed in the feelings about what I was writing.

7) My children, Brian, Samantha and Amy: They inspired me to make a better life for myself, so that they could have the life I believe they deserved.

8) My husband, Barry: He is my rock, the strength I draw from when I feel like I just can't go on, and his love inspires me to want to be the best ME that I can be.

9) My grandson Micheal: He inspires me with his laughter,and his four year old view of life. I look forward to watching him grow and seeing who he becomes.

10) My Facebook friend and "big brother" Mike Letostak: He inspires me to keep learning and questioning, and to show the love of God to other people every day, just by being who he is, and by offering me encouragement when I need it.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My Passions

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What are five passions you have? 
(These are in no particular order)

READING: I've been reading since I was 3 1/2 yrs old, and nearly 50 yrs. later, I still can't get enough of it. I've read 33 books already this year, and still have dozens on my list, with more being added all the time. I'm not a choosy reader, either...there's almost no book that I won't read if I can get my hands on it.

CHILDREN: My own, of course....but also others. I believe that every child is a blessing, and has a reason for being conceived and born--and that part of my purpose here on Earth is to give them love in whatever method is available to me in our current situation.

FAITH:  My faith has always been a big part of my life and who I am....but as I've gotten older, I've gotten more comfortable in talking about it,sharing what I believe and sharing the experiences which have made my faith stronger and deeper.

MUSIC:  Music has always been a huge part of my life. As a child, I can remember the radio or stereo playing music my parents enjoyed, and I was so excited when I got my own radio and then my own record player and cassette player. I love singing, and when I was in  school, choir was a favorite part of my school day. I had a love/hate relationship with a trumpet for several years, as well.

WRITING: I love,love, LOVE to write. Whether I'm writing a poem, a blog post, a story, or an entry in my journal, it's a little piece of me. It's the best way for me to express my emotions, to share my thoughts, to let people know who I really am. It's less intimidating than talking about those things, as I don't have to necessarily be in the same room with the person, or watch their reactions to what I have shared.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My Dream Job

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Describe your dream job.

My dream job is easy to describe, as I've lived it for over 28 years now. The things I wanted most to be when I grew up were a wife and mother...any other job I might have had was just filling time or making money. To be a wife and mother, that was what made/still makes my heart full to overflowing.

Everyone I'd grown up around made marriage and motherhood look easy (except for my own parents, who showed me the kind of marriage I DIDN'T want, but ended up experiencing twice). So when I got married, and then we added Brian to our family a short three months later (you know that first babies can come any time in the first year, right?), and I felt stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed, I was sure that I was a huge failure at being a parent.

Over the years, raising three very different children, guiding them through "broken" families and blended ones, bringing them to adulthood and watching them start down their own path, I've had many moments where I've felt as though I wasn't good enough at either being a wife or a mother. But fortunately, those moments have been far outnumbered by the ones where I have been content and happy, surrounded by love.

My wonderful children, and my current husband (who restored my faith in marriage AND in myself)....they are my dream job come to life.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

If Wishes Were Horses

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If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?

1) Health and happiness for all my friends and family.

2) Enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life, and to leave some for my children and grandchildren.

3) Last but mostly assuredly not least, I would wish for world peace.

National Tourist Appreciation Day

The Liebers

"National Tourist Appreciation Day - Ten Tourist Attractions you have seen or would like to see" ! 

Attractions I've Seen
Disney World: I've been there a couple of times. My favorite part of the complex is EPCOT, and all the pavilions from around the world.

Disneyland: I was there the summer I was one year old, so I don't really remember it. I do have a few pictures to prove I was there, however.

Mount Rushmore: Also part of the same trip mentioned above, when we drove cross country from Ohio.

Washington Memorial: This and the next attraction were from a trip to D.C. when I was six years old. I can still remember my father and I taking the stairs all the way to the top of the monument (my mother, who was five months pregnant, waited on us at the bottom).

Smithsonian Museum: This one actually goes on BOTH lists. While I've been there in the past, I can only vaguely remember it---and there are parts I would like to see as an adult.

Attractions I'd Like To See
Eiffel Tower: Paris is a city I'd love to visit, and the Eiffel Tower is just one of several attractions I would like to see there.

Tower of London: So much history there, including a distant cousin of mine being lodged there until she lost her head (Anne Boleyn).

Vietnam War Memorial: This is something I want to do for my husband...I know how much he wants to visit it, and it would mean a lot to visit it with him.

Sydney Opera House: Just one of several attractions I hope to someday visit in Australia.

Hollywood Walk Of Fame: So many celebrities that I would like to have pics of their stars, just for fun. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happiness Is.....

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1) My family: My husband, my kids, my mother and brother---and my large extended family. In spite of busy schedules, health issues, and whatever else may be going on at any given time, we're always there for each other when push comes to shove. They're always the ones I can count on to lift my spirits--especially my husband.

2) Sunny days: My mood is very much influenced by the weather. Dark gloomy days bring on bouts of depression, while warm sunny days bring happiness and contentment. If it's warm enough, I love to sit on the front porch in my glider with a book, soaking up some much needed Vitamin D.

3) My health: I'm feeling really good this spring, and am able to concentrate on life again, rather than medical treatments, hospital stays, etc.

4) Books/Reading: I've read 30 books already this year, and have a long list of others I'm planning to read. I love to immerse myself into a story, whether real or fictional.

5) My many blessings: I am truly blessed, in more ways than I could ever list here. Counting them off to myself is always a sure fire way to bring a smile to my face, and to remind me that even a bad day could be so much worse.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Things I'd Tell My 16 Year Old Self If I Could

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Ten Things I'd Go Back And Tell My 16 Year Old Self If I Could

1) Stop trying to live your life the way others want you to....plan the future YOU want.

2) Don't get too serious about any boy until after you finish college.

3) Keep writing no matter how discouraged you get about it---one day you'll be glad you did.

4) Those kids who make fun of you? In the future, you won't remember their faces or names.

5) One day you will actually have a friendly, more loving relationship with your mother.

6) No one is perfect...learn from your mistakes and move on.

7) Work on your relationship with your younger brother. He's the only sibling you have, after all.

8) Enjoy every minute you have with your a few years you're going to miss those moments.

9) Always take LOTS of'll want to have those memories to look back on when you get older.

10) Most importantly, live every day to the fullest!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Love Sweet Love

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Describe your relationship with your spouse

My relationship with Barry...well, it's about as  close to perfect as anyone can get. We have much the same tastes in books, movies, music, tv shows and the like (with just enough differences to keep things from getting boring). We like most of the same foods (and he's gotten me to eat things I never imagined I would like!). We're both basically shy people who would rather stay at home alone with each other than be out in a large group of people.

Because of all these likenesses, we really seem to "get" each other, in all our quirkiness. He's a little more quirky than I am (or a LOT, depending on who you ask),but he never fails to make me smile.

We think alike on a lot of subjects...but not all. We sometimes have some very spirited debates over the subjects where we don't agree, but they never get heated--and we both know that neither of us will ever change the other's mind.

We don't really fight about anything anymore. We've had some pretty nasty arguments in the past, but once we worked through the issues that caused them, we've stayed pretty much argument free for the last three years or so.

We've seen each other through health issues (his pneumonia and lung cancer, my breast cancer) and come through more in love and more devoted to each other than we had been. I am convinced that, after two other efforts, I have finally found THE ONE, and that the almost 11 years we've been married are just the beginning.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Thanks But No Thanks

Finish the Sentence Friday

"I have absolutely no interest in..."

I have no interest in a great deal of things, but the first thing that came to mind when I read this prompt was sky diving.  I mean, I love to watch videos of others doing it...they look so excited and so "free."  But the thought of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane, and relying on a large piece of cloth to get me safely to the ground?  No thank you!  I'd much rather keep both feet firmly on solid ground, and just use airplanes as a means of transportation from one place to another.

My Fears

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Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and explain how they became fears.

1) Snakes
I have been afraid of snakes since I was five years old.  While we were on vacation in Florida, my parents took me to the zoo in Miami, including the Reptile House. That night, in our hotel, I had nightmares about snakes, and woke up screaming. A few months later, we came home from some outing to discover what, at the time, seemed to me a HUGE black snake, curled up on our front porch. I refused to get out of the car until my father got it off the porch and out of our yard.

My most up close and personal experience with snakes came when I was eight years old. It was summer, and I was walking through a tobacco field with one of my cousins. Her father, my Uncle Bill, came up beside us with a hoe and, before we knew what was happening, he had cut the head off a copperhead that was mere inches from my leg.

Since that time, I've had a completely irrational fear of any and all snakes. I can't even stand to see them on television (which means I cringe several times an episode while watching Survivor!).  I decided to tempt fate by watching Snakes On A Plane with the rest of the family a few years ago....and wound up hallucinating snakes on our living room floor by the time it was over!

2)  Dying
It's not the actual idea of dying that I'm afraid of, so much as the thought of leaving my children without a parent now that both of my former husbands are deceased. None of them have even reached 30 yet, and that's too early to have to face being an orphan. They need their mother around for a VERY long time yet. This became a very real fear last year when I was diagnosed with least now I am considered NED (no evidence of disease), so that eases my mind somewhat.

3) Disappointing those whose opinions matter to me
I have always been a people pleaser, so knowing that I have said or done something which disappoints those I care about has always been difficult for me. Even when I know that what I am doing is the right thing for me, or for my family, it doesn't make it any easier to handle. This became an issue/fear for me from a very early age, as my mother was always extremely vocal about her disappointment.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

20 Random Facts About Me

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  1. I love fruit. Watermelon and oranges are my favorites, but I can't think of very many I DON'T like---except prunes.  Prunes are just gross, and a waste of perfectly tasty plums.
  2. I hate snakes...not as much as I did when I was younger, but they still creep me out.
  3. I whistle "backwards."  I suck air IN instead of blowing it OUT.
  4. My favorite cartoon will ALWAYS be "Pinky and the Brain"
  5. I collect teddy bears,as well as M&M collectibles.
  6. I do not like to exercise....and therefore I don't do it nearly as often as I should.
  7. I enjoy almost all kinds of music, except for rap and hip hop, but my favorite genre will always be country.
  8. I love watching movies, especially horror and romance. My favorite horror movies are the original Nightmare On Elm Street series, and my favorite romance movie is Somewhere In Time.
  9. I've been to a LOT of concerts in my life, but my two favorites--so far--have been Willie Nelson and Neil Diamond. They both know how to put on a great show.
  10. I don't curse, and I don't like to hear it in my home (the only place I can actually control it).  I just believe that there are SO many other ways to express yourself that don't include what I refer to as "ugly" words.
  11. I can't swim.
  12. I can't ride a bicycle.
  13. I don't like to wear makeup or polish my nails, and I prefer a "wash and go" hairstyle. I am definitely not a "girly" girl.
  14. I think part of that comes from being the only girl my age in the neighborhood where I grew up, which meant I spent my childhood playing football, basketball, baseball, and some other "male" based activities.
  15. I'm emotional and sensitive, and have had to learn to develop a thicker skin to keep from getting my feelings hurt.
  16. I am generally a very quiet, very shy person.
  17. My first job, other than babysitting, was working at Wendy's.
  18. Due to poor circulation, my hands and feet are almost always cold, even on the hottest days of summer.
  19. When I am upset, I go into a cleaning frenzy....finding an extremely clean house has always been a warning sign to leave me alone!
  20. I'm obsessed with crime related TV shows: NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles, and Law And Order: Special Victims Unit are my top favorites.
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