Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time to turn on the oven!

I think I've mentioned (whined) that I am more sissyfied every winter - it is already way too cold for me in the mornings. So it's time to bake. And bake. And bake. I made 3 loaves of bread this week, each better than the one before. By the end of winter, people will be lining up. Okay, probably not. But I have been wanting to get 'closer' to my food and this is one way to begin. I still need to track down some local flour, but at least I am eating local bread!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - good morning Detroit

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Make a wish

And here she is today -- via her phone from New Orleans!

My baby is 29 today

My youngest child was born on October 21, 1979. She has always had a flair for drama -- for example, this photo of her as a child was not staged or posed -- and she has not chosen an easy life, or maybe an easy life has not chosen her. This year, this birthday, she says she is happy, and that is a real gift for both of us.
How have so many years gone by -- I must say, she has aged a lot better than I have!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - full moon through a pine tree

Happy (Wordless) Wednesday - half way to the weekend!!
Thanks for stopping by.
I'm on my way now to look at more photos --
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Saturday, October 11, 2008

My piggy bank is half full.

Like most of us, I've been watching my 401k bounce around and disappear like spit on a griddle. It's caused me to rethink a conversation I had when things were a bit more stable. I told someone that I wished I had understood the importance of money when I was younger, because then maybe I would have made an effort to make some. I suggested to her that money makes an enormous difference in what we experience in life, and in how well we weather hard times. And she said, 'that's it, isn't it; it all comes down to money.' Now, in retrospect, I think I misled her.

I had a time, long ago, when money would have meant the difference between having, and not having, food and shelter. But those necessities aside, most of the time we talk about money, we are really talking about extra money.

Obviously, extra money can smooth the way, but the whole Wall Street fiasco has forced me to think more about money than I usually do, and to feel more grateful for the things I already have.
Looking back, once the rent, utility and food bills were paid, it's true that money would have made travel and adventure easier for me. But it was fear more often than money that held me back. Fear of letting other people down, fear of being a fool, fear that I would lose my hard won sense of security, fear of not being able to support my children, fear of traveling alone or hurting some one's feelings if I left them behind. There is always an available excuse not to do what you want to do.

Looking ahead, the main reason I would like to have money is to do things for my children and grandchildren, and for the freedom it would give me to take my next job on the basis of (some yet undiscovered) passion rather than just for the paycheck. Shopping last night with my sister, I saw a million things I would have loved to buy, for my kids, my grandchildren, my sister, a baby girl that my nephew's friend finally had after 3 boys -- but I didn't see a single thing I need for me.

Not that I don't appreciate what money can do. The one vacation I took where money was no object was absolutely wonderful. But I've had plenty of good times that didn't cost a penny and, over all, most of my joy and laughter has been priceless, but not costly. And that's a good thing for me to remember, because a foundation of love and thankfulness is a lot more dependable than the value of the dollar.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - morning coffee break in Detroit

Happy Wednesday, it's nice to see you.
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Rebalancing my Life Account

This past year or so, time has begun to move so quickly; it suddenly seems, maybe because my mother died last year, that the hourglass is emptying out. So I've been thinking lately that I should revise my '50 things to do before I die' list. It's something I started after being a confidant to a couple of people who knew they were dying, and hearing from them that they had no regrets, they had done all they wanted. I knew that I could not say that.

I made one when I was much younger, but I've sort of outgrown it. I can't find it, but I recall that I did several things on the old list, and lost interest in others as my priorities shifted. The point, for me, of a 50 things list, was to add joy to my life, and to push me in the direction of creating a more perfect personal 'world.'
Maybe encourage me to take those measured risks that are necessary to most things worth having. Last time I took a scatter-shot approach and didn't prioritize, so it was hit and miss, but it did help push me in the direction of doing some things I'd always wanted. I did some traveling, I took a chance on love, I snorkeled with manatees, took dance lessons, things like that.

This time, I thought I'd use a different method, and decide what should be done first. Fully aware this time that, as with many of my lists, there is the very real possibility that I will find myself stuck on the first item.

Life is made up of changes and choices. I used to think that my perfect world would include a husband, a partner, at least a really good guy friend, someone who would both limit and expand my options, but it doesn't look like that will be part of my karmic balance. I know that no matter where I place the priorities on my To Do list, they are subject to change, and so I reevaluate them from time to time. For every possible choice, there are always going to be the pluses and the minuses.

Any perfect world I can imagine now includes living near my grandchildren, so that tops the list for now. At least until they no longer jump up and down and shout grandmagrandmagrandma when they see me. At least until they stop saying "I really love you," and giving those sweet and freely offered hugs. At least until I am no longer part of silly games and sillier giggles.

And so #1 on the list is still, to sell my house and move (shiver) north -- economy , crashing real estate market, and cold-phobia be danged. The marvel about grandchildren is that they make me wonder, now that I have them, how I could ever have wanted 50 things. Still, I will give it some thought and, no doubt, I will add new things as time goes on.

What about you? What things do you have left to do, things that will make you feel that you have more fully lived? Things that will help you pass on to the next great adventure without regret? Or are you one of those people who has lived with no regrets, and no unfinished business?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - birdwatching at work

Happy Wednesday -- thanks for stopping by! Enjoy more Wordless Wednesdays here, and come back to visit during the week!