Friday, March 11, 2011

Spring is in the Air...

Spring is in the air, and we're almost ready to break out of hibernation and move back outdoors. The days are gradually getting longer and temperatures are pushing into the 80's, at least here in Florida. I love to take my camera when I go on walks...just in case I happen upon something interesting, or beautiful. As my hubby and I were walking last weekend, we spotted a tree that was bursting with gorgeous yellow blossoms. I am posting it and hope it lifts your spirits as it did ours. Nothing is prettier than plush green grass (we're getting there) and colorful flowers in full bloom (I'll be planting this weekend), unless you, unfortunately, have springtime allergies. After months of cabin fever, our little guys are lovin' this weather. Trust me, they need to be outdoors as much as possible, soaking up that Florida sunshine (with sunscreen, of course) and exercising their little bodies.

Maybe you don't like to take walks but, whatever it is that makes you happy, as long as it is wholesome and healthy, "just do it"! Unhappiness and stress takes a toll on our mind and bodies and is just not healthy. Sometimes, we are in unexpected situations that are not by choice but I think a beautiful day outdoors can do wonders for our state of mind. Oh, by the way, my philosophy is "If you don't like what is going on in your life, change it." There! It is that simple. The best way to live a fulfilling life is to make it exactly what you want it to be. You are in control and you are the one that can make it happen.

For those of you who rarely venture out to play, step outside the box. (pun intended) for a little fresh air. Take in the beautiful colors, the birds singing and the gorgeous blue skies. If you enjoy walking or running, grab your IPod, download "Feelin Groovy" by Simon and Garfunkel and head out. (don't forget your camera)   And, don't forget to look up and thank God for all the beauty he has created.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


While babysitting my little guys this afternoon, we had some excitement in their neighborhood. The boys and I were playing in the backyard when we began to smell and see smoke. Next to their home is a wooded area and we could clearly see that is where the smoke was coming from.  When we got to the edge of the brush, we heard a siren coming down the street.  I can't tell you how excited the little guys were to watch first hand the firemen jump off the truck, roll out the hose and run through the wooded area spraying water on the fire.  Actually, the hero's were two female firefighters.  There were several men firefighters that watched and a couple that stayed by the truck.  Yeah, girl power!!  What a great lesson for my little guys!

The sad thing about this story is several young kids were seen running from the woods just before the fire. The firemen said that if it had happened a month or so from now, the brush would be much thicker creating a much larger fire and it would likely have affected some homes. We are very blessed today for the quick response of the firemen and the fact that someone took the time to call 911.
The little guys were full of questions for the firemen
One of the female heros!
A fireman with Meme and the little guys.
The damage
Another picture of the aftermath.
The firemen have just arrived.
This hose weighs 200lbs with the water inside and that is a female firefighter.
My daughter arrived home to find a firetruck in her front yard.
The firetruck arrived.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today's post is in honor of my beautiful Mother's 80th birthday. 

Dear Mom,

     I feel so blessed to be celebrating your 80th birthday today.  Having you for a Mother is the greatest gift I have ever received.  I have given you many birthday gifts over the years but none that can express the extent of appreciation and love I have for you.  These words, from my heart to yours, are all I can give you that even comes close.  And, honestly, there is not enough paper in the world to list all the things I am grateful to you for.   First and foremost, I want to thank you for raising me in a Christian home.  I can't say I was always excited to get up on Sunday mornings for church and Sunday school and Wednesday night prayer meeting but with your gentle nature, you could always make us see the importance.  For that, I am so grateful.  You have been a perfect example for your children and have always shown us unconditional love and support.  I thank you for instilling in me good morals and values that have allowed me to be a productive and positive person. 

     I want to thank you for teaching me patience, kindness and respect for others.  You are the most selfless, thoughtful and generous person I know.  Only after becoming a Mother myself did I realize all the many sacrifices you made for me.  I truly can't thank you enough for that.  I appreciate you providing me with a loving home and making my childhood such a happy one.   I appreciate your advice...everything you have said, and for the times when you said nothing, just listened. I am so grateful for the way in which you disciplined...always calm and patient and always expressing your love.

     You taught me how to be a Mother and Grandmother and you are still teaching me today.  I have immense respect for you and hope you realize what an amazing Mother you are and how grateful I am for your guidance in my life.   I have always heard your Mother is your truest friend and the older I get, the more I realize the truth in that.  I cherish every minute that we spend together and thank you for a lifetime of fun and blessings.  Happy Birthday Mom.  I Love You!

From the bottom of my heart,

Your daughter



My Mother kept a garden,
A garden of the heart.
She planted all the good things
That gave my life its start.

She turned me to the sunshine
And encouraged me to dream,
Fostering and nurturing
The seeds of self-esteem...

Her constant good example
Always taught me right from wrong -
Markers for my pathway
That will last a lifetime long.

I am my Mother's garden.
I am her legacy -
And I hope today she feels the love
reflected back from me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Root Canal.....Seriously???

 I have been dreading an upcoming root canal.  Two weeks ago, after taking two rounds of antibiotics for an gum abscess that led to the need for a root canal, I was ready for my scheduled dental appointment.  I don't know if I was really ready, but I had certainly prayed about the procedure enough that I felt better about it and was ready to get it over with.  You see, when I go in for dental work, I have a few obstacles that can interfere with it being routine.  I am allergic to LATEX, I have a condition called malignant hypothermia, which means I am allergic to anesthesia and, I have a heart murmur, which means I premedicate with a heavy dose of antibiotic an hour before the procedure to protect my heart from bacteria, that gets into the bloodstream. 

A week prior to my appointment, the secretary called to say that the endodontist could no longer get the medication I had used in the past to numb me up.  When I ask why, she said they no longer make it so we would need to try another medication.  Well, I wasn't really thrilled about trying out something they had never used on me, so I called my regular dentist to see if, by chance, he might have any.  BINGO!  See how the power of prayer works!  He said he not only had it but he was still able to get it.  This was wonderful news and I didn't mind the fact it was an hour away, I said I will be right over to get it.  I had overcome my first obstacle.

After that, I headed to the pharmacy to pick up my pre-med to be taken the morning of the root canal.  Now, I just had to remember to take it!  Obstacle two complete!  Well, almost!

I was a little stressed over the third obstacle, the latex issue.  It was clearly marked on my chart "NO LATEX"  however, being in the restaurant business for many years, I know how cross contamination works.  It was not only the latex gloves I was worried about, the "rubber dam" that endodontist use are also made of latex.  I was willing to do the procedure without the rubber dam but I was concerned that the dentist might not be.  I certainly didn't want to wind up in the ER like I had a couple of times before.

 When I arrived at the office, I had my OWN (more about that later) Ipod, I had taken my meds, brought my own anesthesia and I reminded the secretary to remind the dental assistant and dentist about the latex allergy.  When she returned to the lobby area, she informed me that the dentist had purchased a rubber dam that was "latex free" and of course, had both vinyl and latex gloves!  I was so excited but don't know why I was surprised as I had prayed for a perfect procedure.  God is so good. 

The dentist informed me before we started that he would be doing the entire procedure since we have all the "difficulties" to deal with.  Most times, root canals are done in two appointments.  That was just fine with me!  I told him to give me a punch if he needed to ask me anything, I  put my earplugs in, cranked up the volume on my Ipod (to full throttle) and I was "in the zone".  After about seventy minutes, he tapped my shoulder and said "all done"!!  Whew, I had survived another root canal. 

A funny story about my first root canal, 5 years prior to this one.  I realized my IPod battery was dead just before the procedure so I quickly borrowed one from a trusted friend.  He ran through the basic steps in using it and I was out the door.  Knowing he liked country music, I figured I was safe with his choice of music.  When I say I crank up the volume, I actually mean max the volume.  I don't want to hear any of the noises that go on during a root canal.  After a couple of great country songs, there was a series of bootie shaking, hip grinding, rap songs with lyrics that had words that honestly I didn't know could be sold or downloaded.  Talk about embarrassed, that is an understatement!  Remember, the volume was as loud as it gets, the base was pounding in my head and probably vibrating the dental chair.  I could see the dentist and his assistant shaking with laughter and I was positive it had nothing to do with my root canal. If you have ever sat close to anyone with music pounding in their ear, you know that those sitting close by can enjoy the music too.   I had no clue how to turn the volume down or advance the songs without looking at the IPod.  With my mouth propped wide open, a water squirter and sucker upper hanging in my mouth and fingers and elbows all over my face, I decided its best to just go with it. 

After checking out at the desk, I could hear laughter coming from the back room.  I couldn't get out of that office fast enough, nor could I wait to call my friend.  In his defense, he said he had downloaded a series of "free" songs off the internet and had no idea those were on there.  Thanks, but I will be sure if I go back to that office, I will have my own Ipod with a fully charged battery!  Oh, and some good clean music!  Praise God for all of his many blessings :)


Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Traditions make great memories

If you think back to happy and fun times, it probably involves some family memory or tradition you have shared.  I recall a couple traditions from my childhood that bring a smile to my face each time I am reminded of them.  Each New Year's Eve, my sister, cousin and I would spend the night with our grandparents.  We would arrive in time to grocery shop with Nana so we could each pick out our own selection of "junk food".  She would help us make dip for our chips, cookies and anything else we wanted to "whip up".  Nana would sit up with us while we brought in the New Year but Gramps never could make it past 8:00.  She never complained about the mess we made in the kitchen or the numerous blankets and pillows we used to make tents in front of the TV.  The fun memories of those New Years Eves will be with me forever.  Another favorite tradition of my childhood is shooting off fireworks with our neighborhood families each holiday. 

Making memories with children cultivates happiness.  Shared memories can foster a loving, healthy environment for the entire family unit.  Each year for the past five years my family has spent a week together at Hilton Head, S.C.  There are currently nine of us and next year, with our new addition, we are planning on ten.  Once our children graduated from college and began to set up their own households, we decided we needed to begin a tradition that would bring us all together.  We needed a place that was far enough away from home and work that those "workaholics" in the family would not be tempted to check in but close enough that we didn't waste a lot of time traveling.  The first year there, we fell in love with the bike trails, golf courses, ocean, shopping, horse stables, restaurants and many other things about that beautiful island.  Our days are fun filled and our evenings are spent grilling out, playing board games, cards and putting together jigsaw puzzles.  A lot of good conversation at the dining room table!  This year we burned the midnight oil and managed to put together 5 puzzles.  Fun Times!!  

Sharing a moment with hubby on a cold winter day!

The little guys had a blast on the beach with Mommy

What a way to bring in the New Year!!

Our little sand angel!

Hours and hours of bike riding

On my bike and ready to cruise

Lots of exercise helps with early bedtimes for the little guys

Me and my beautiful Mother

A rare moment!

Having a ball in the sand


and more puzzles!!
Making traditional memories and building bonds with my children, their spouses and my grandchildren are extremely important to me.  When we get together, we share stories and memories of our times there and I am sure we will be telling those tales for years to come.  It warms my heart to know that my grandsons are growing up with such treasured memories. Terreckly, Kathy

Challenger Disaster...25 years later

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Challenger Disaster that happened 73 seconds after liftoff and just over an hour from my home.  On a clear cool Florida morning at the Kennedy Space Center off the Cape Canaveral coast, history was about to be made.  It is estimated that over half of America's students were tuned in as the first school teacher, Christa McAuliffe, was being sent into space with 6 seasoned astronauts.  She was a social studies teacher from Concord, N.H. with a husband and children.  She had beat out over 11,000 other adventurous teachers for the opportunity to soar into space for a once in a lifetime experience.  With her husband and children and millions of Americans watching, the unexpected happened.  Just after takeoff, the Challenger blew up in the sky sending metal and bodies into the Atlantic ocean several miles off shore.  

My memories are still very clear of that January morning.  I was working in a dental office and  had headed outside with a couple of coworkers to search the eastern sky where I had watched so many space shuttles blast off.  There is a thrill in seeing the long white line of smoke that trails that shiny silver dot in the sky and then watching for the booster to drop from the sky.  Space shuttle flights had become fairly routine but on that morning, our eyes were opened to the dangers of space travel that nobody likes to talk about and the fragility of life.  5...4...3...2...1...blastoff...The white line began to form in the sky and almost immediately, it was like a fireworks display that had gone bad.  We stood in amazement starring at the sky hoping somehow what unfolded before our eyes was actually not really happening.  Unfortunately, America lost seven lives that day and impacted millions more.  This was not supposed to happen.  This shuttle was different as it was carrying a young hometown Mother and school teacher who's mantra in her classroom might as well  had been "reach for the stars".  It left our country in a state of shock and disbelief that a space shuttle carrying seven vibrant Americans could actually explode in front of millions of people.   The disaster was contributed to design flaws in the O rings on the rocket.

The image of that disaster will forever be in my mind.  I pray this morning for the families of the victims that have had to somehow move on without their loved ones. 

The Challenger explosion
The crew

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dreams For My Grandsons.....

What better time then the beginning of a new year to reevaluate your goals and dreams.   My goals remain "my goals" until they are achieved but my dreams are ever changing, depending on what stage of my life I am in.   Sometimes I dream about things that will probably never happen, like winning the lottery or being a size 6,  but mostly, my dreams are things I hope with all my heart will actually happen.   Life has a way of accelerating as we get older.  Days get shorter, and promises we have made to ourselves gets longer.   Recently, I compiled a list of "hopes and dreams" for my precious little grandsons.  One of the great things about blogging is that I not only have these things in my head, I put them in writing so my loved ones can hopefully, one day read them.  I am sure in the years to come, I can add a few more things to my list, but for now....
Dreams For My Grandsons
That they pray often and depend on God for daily guidance, comfort and strength.
That they know how deeply they are loved by their family
That they love themselves
That they show compassion and kindness to others
That they have respect for themselves and others
That they accept responsibility for their actions
That they have the ability to forgive
That nice really does matter
That they appreciate nature as God's gift to the universe
That they contribute to their church, community and society in a meaningful way
That they work hard but know how to play hard
That they develop a sense of humor and can laugh at themselves
That family, friends and traditions are always worth the effort
That they are honest and always keep their word
That they understand the value of patience
That they never stop listening and learning
That they exercise their body and mind often
That it is okay to cry
That they allow fear and adversity to make them stronger
That they learn from their mistakes
That they set goals and achieve them
That they create a strong bond of love for each other that connects them for a lifetime
That they are blessed with the happiness that a wife and children can bring
That they know, their spirit, their soul is the most enduring part of their being.