Jan 20

A Winning 2013

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2012 was a pretty interesting year. We dealt with unemployment, new employment, unemployment, new employment, death and craziness. Through it all we came out unscathed and ready to conquer 2013: which has already proven to be a pretty crazy year. I had one of the best New Year’s Eve this year and it didn’t involve a hangover. We had a family game night with my family: siblings and parents. It was nice to do it because my brother is moving away to California and who knew when we would all get together.
This week was the first time in 3 months that my stress level FINALLY evened out. Between, work, holidays and my parents health it has been insane from mid-October until now. It is the craziest feeling to go from 100 miles per hour back down to the school zone. I am trying to enjoy it while it lasts. At least I finally have time to reflect. Usually January is the slowest and most painful month of the year but this January has gone by very quickly. Maybe the holidays didn’t leave a scar like it usually does.
We only dealt with family members who have been actively involved in our lives and what a difference it made. We didn’t have to pretend and it sure makes things a lot nicer. Part of our growth through 2012 was to do a lot of soul searching. How we got her, what we believe and what we want to achieve. It can be both sad but liberating when you decide to move on and not care.

A couple of things the holidays did teach me.
1. Never take things for granted.
2. Attitude of gratitude.
3. Less is more.
4. If you are going to send an email under the guise of ‘reaching out to say hello’, make sure you have you
facts straight before you go on to give life coaching advice.
5. If you dump a Christmas present in my driveway instead of walking to the front porch, it is more offensive
than no gift at all. Even my paper boy makes it close to the porch.

Dec 25

Merry XMas


As Christmas Day arrived I found myself truly pondering all the gifts in my life.  I pondered Christmas and it’s “meaning’.   I am not a religious person, although I feel there is a power greater than myself, I am not sure that I really know in what form or how that power works.  I know that celebrating Christmas because it is Christ’s birthday is not my reason for the season.  I grew up with that tradition but Christmas no longer holds that meaning for me.  I was feeling like a hypocrite by still putting up a Christmas tree and hanging lights, wrapping presents and giving to charity when I realized that these traditions really have nothing to do with Jesus Christ’s birthday.

Many of our Christmas traditions actually come from pagan origins.  In ancient Babylon, the feast of the Son of Isis (Goddess of Nature) was celebrated on December 25. Raucous partying, gluttonous eating and drinking, and gift-giving were traditions of this feast.  The ringing of bells, for example, is generally thought to have had its origin in the early pagan winter celebration of ringing of bells to drive out evil spirits.  Many Pagan cultures used to cut boughs of evergreen trees in December, move them into the home or temple, and decorate them. This was to recognize the winter solstice — the time of the year that had the shortest daylight hours, and longest night of the year.  Huge Yule logs were burned in honor of the sun. The word Yule itself means “wheel,” the wheel being a pagan symbol for the sun. Mistletoe was considered a sacred plant, and the custom of kissing under the mistletoe began as a fertility ritual. Holly berries were thought to be a food of the gods.

Funny how the religious right loves to run around convincing everyone there is a war on Christmas and the whole time they are getting upset if you tell their small children that Santa does not exist.  Please tell me where does Santa fit into the manger story? Where does consumerism and capitalism fit into the story of Jesus.  Funny how you look at the Facebook pages and not many were telling me of the thankfulness for the ‘savior’s birth.  It was all about the presents they gave and that they received… the food that was eaten.  Yes there were I am thankful remarks for the blessing but I did not see one that said they were thankful for the Lord.  I find it funny how we fuss over keeping the Christ in Christmas all season long, except for Christmas day.

I guess what a non-religious woman would take away from that is “It is okay to celebrate Christmas.”   The traditions that I love most are not those that originated with Christ’s birth.  So non-Christians unite and enjoy Christmas or Xmas if it makes you feel better.

@funnyordie said it best “Merry Christmas! It really is the best: presents, family, food & realizing you don’t have to deal w/ any more holiday bullshit for a year.

Nov 23

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has never been a holiday that has ranked at the top of the list. Not sure why I am so cynical on this silly holiday. It always seemed silly that we actually have to put a day aside to be thankful. What is Thanksgiving? By definition Thanksgiving is a day set aside for the purpose of giving thanks.
I guess when I think of Thanksgiving, I think of the most famous Thanksgiving that was held in 1621 at Plymouth where the Pilgrims shared it with the Native Americans. I always thought this was sort of hypocritical, especially how the Native Americans were treated during the establishing of our country.

But the reality is that there is a real history of Thanksgiving for the United States as well as other countries. The first National Thanksgiving occurred in 1789 and according to the Congressional Record for September 25 of that year (immediately after approving the Bill of Rights) .
Elias Boudinto said he could not think of letting the congressional session pass without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States. Resolved, that a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public Thanksgiving and prayer..

Mr. Roger Sherman justified the practice of Thanksgiving and the resolution was delivered to President George Washington, who agreed with the congressional request. Thanksgiving was proclaimed by the President at the request of Congress and recommended Thursday, 26 November, 1789, to the people of the United States “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.” However, after 1798 the proclamation of a Thanksgiving Day was left to the states, for Southerners were slow to adopt the custom, some objected to the federal government’s involvement in religious observance, and others disliked the partisan speeches and parades that became customary.

Thanksgiving Day became an official holiday once Northerners dominated the federal government. In 1863, after the battle at Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving to be held on August 6. Soon the public began to ask for an annual observance, so in 1867, President Andrew Johnson established the last Thursday in November as the official Thanksgiving Day. Two attempts were made by later presidents to adjust the date: in 1870 Ulysses S. Grant moved it to November 18 and from 1939 to 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt moved it back a week to extend the Christmas shopping season.

This year we had thanksgiving with my family that I grew up with. It was just my mom, dad, sister and brother. I of course had my husband and my brother had his girlfriend and partner of 6 years. My nephew joined us and another nephew and his family stopped by as well. It was actually very fun seeing his 3 children and the little family his has raised. It was probably one of my best Thanksgivings. Mainly because as my parents grow older I am very Thankful for the time I have left to spend with them. So I finally have learned to appreciate Thanksgiving. It also really helped avoiding Gray Thursday and Black Friday.

Jul 15

Memories are a Worthy Collection

I have always been a collector of sorts.  I am not sure where I developed the habit, but during the 2002 SLC Olympics my collecting hit a feverish pitch when I drove up to Park City in a huge snow storm all in the name of the mighty ’75 days to go’.Everyday my parents or I would go through security and stand in line at the Coca Cola tent in the Medal Plaza for a limited edition Coca Cola pin of the day.  I am proud to announce I collected every 2002 Coca Cola Pin that was made the year except for 4 local pins that were handed out to Park City Schools.

 

I wish I could say the value of the collection was really high but I may have passed my window; I could have unloaded my pin of the day collection for $4000 right after the Olympics but decided to hang on to it.  I still have them proudly hanging on the walls.  It may not be worth a lot monetarily but it made the Olympic experience one that I will always remember. 

My latest collection is that of National Park Passport Stamps and hiking medallions.  I am afraid that monetarily it is not worth much either, but the memories that I am collecting along the way are priceless.

Over the last 2 months we have managed to visit 6 National Parks.  With every park visit I am reminded what is possible when our Government works together for the good of the people.  I am reminded of a power higher than myself.  I am reminded how important Earth is to us and the beauty it holds.  It is so diverse but that is what helps add to its beauty.

We just got back from a 4th of July adventure that took us to 3 of them.  We have had a great time over the last couple of years collecting our hiking medallions and pictures along the way as we visit our Nation’s parks and monuments.  For me it was better than any fireworks show because it helped instill in me a love for this country and that is the memory that the 4th of July should be about.

 

Jun 17

HAPPY FATHERS DAY

I guess one of the best things about being a DINK is that on Mothers and Fathers Day you actually get to spend the day truly thinking about your own parents.   I was a true blue daddy’s little girl.  My dad and I did everything when I was growing up.  I will never forget the memories he provided with me as a child on our many fishing trips.  I can’t believe he would always drag me and my friend Michelle along.  Patient is not the virtue that would first come to mind when I think about my dad but looking back it took a lot of patience to take us fishing every opening day.  He took me snow skiing and taught me how to waterski.

Even though he had a temper there are many stories we can look back on and laugh about.  He still managed to put us kids first.  I found that through the years he has become more Clark Kent than Superman, but I guess that is how it is for most daughters.  He is still one of the men in my life that I know I can count on to be there for me.  He was not a perfect man but he came very close to being a perfect dad.

I am grateful that I can spend these years with my dad and probably need to try to do more of it.  I enjoy the times we are able to go walking with just the two of us and it was great taking him to a Jazz game this year.  I do feel bad for those who did not get to grow up with their dad being a large part of their life,  I think that relationship does mold us as people.  So to those fathers out there I would encourage you to make memories with your children, to those adult children I would encourage you to make memories with your parents.   And to those who may feel like they have neither, hopefully you are able to have in-laws that can help in a little way fill some of the void.

Feb 13

Year of The Dragon


I am no longer a religious person by nature.  I may no longer believe that one spirit is up above running the show. But I do believe that the Universe is not a random collision of cosmic forces.  I am a believer that everything happens for a reason and when one door closes another door opens.  I am a strong believer in the Cosmic Law of Cause and Effect – AKA Karma.  The adage that ‘each and every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ is an accepted fact in the realm of Physical Science.  Religions also express this phenomenon in their own ways – ‘karma’ to the Hindus and Buddhists is Christianity’s “as you sow, so shall you reap”, or as Jesus is reported to have said, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. 

Over the previous seven months this belief has been a true exercise.   Last June when Steve came home and sat on the couch and told me he was laid off, my first response is why would you joke with that.  When the reality kicked in, my first thought was not to jump on my knees and beg forgiveness or beat ourselves up because of the assumption that we must have done something wrong.  These were past behaviors that I would tend to use when bad things happened or didn’t go our way.  But now I have learned that sometime “shit happens”.  We had to figure out what was meant to be learned from this.  What was the universe trying to tell us.  We decided that it was definitely trying to tell us that Steve needed to get back to school and get his degree.  Something I had wanted for a long time but Steve, feeling he had hit his groove, felt like he could retire from his previous place of employment.  Suddenly with the lay off came the realization that the groove may have just been a rut.  After 3 months of job searches Steve finally resigned himself to the fact that school is where he needed to be.  He jumped through all the hoops and finally got enrolled.  It was really strange because when January hit and he began his course work there was new life in his job searches.  Interviews and hope came shining through.  Finally a job offer.  I know that it can be attributed to patience and the economy slowly turning around.  But I like to believe that we kept our mind open to what the universe was trying to tell us. 

                The experience also made me realize that I too am not dead yet and I need to watch out for ruts and improve my self as well.  So my goal for the year is to work on Tania .  The Chinese defines 2012 of the year of the Dragon.   Because the Dragon is a Karmic sign. Chung advises the Dragon to remember that he will never receive more than he is giving to the world. “Dragons get excited when it is their year and their pace, but they can become over confident,” chides Chung. He believes the path for the Dragon is clear: “Be good to your body, accept new love, and you will find wealth through routine.”  I may not have been born under the dragon but I am definitely believe this year of the Dragon is our year.  So far it is work out nicely.

Dec 21

Why Are There So Many Songs About Rainbows?

I finally made it to see the “The Muppets”  It was such an awesome movie.  I found myself transported to my youth.  I remember always watching The Muppet Show on television with my dad so I dragged him and my 18 year old nephew.  My nephew didn’t really catch a lot of the references to the past and I don’t think he really understood the complicated relationship of Kermit and Miss Piggy; but he enjoyed it also.  My dad and I however were constantly laughing.  I don’t think we were really laughing at the jokes as much as remembering a time when things seemed a little slower, happier and definitely younger.  All in all I give the show 4-1/2 stars.  Yes it was that good.  It had some great messages about family, friends, love and growing up and letting go.  It was an excellent way to spend the afternoon.

Dec 19

Match-O-Matic

OMG I can believe I actually matched with Ron Paul on one idea. Fun test to see which candidate you actually do believe in. MATCH O METER

Dec 18

Lick a Stamp and Save the USPS

So this year I decided to create my own Chrismas card using photoshop. However, the card wasn’t the standard size of the envelope but it was a nice first try. As I sent out the card I realized that the art of ‘pen pals’ and ‘greeting cards’ in the mail is falling to the way side to ecards. We should do our best to preserve the United States Postal Services by sending a personalized letter once a month.

Dec 17

Where Are You Christmas.. Why can’t I find you.

Where are you Christmas? The holiday is almost here. With Steve unemployed it does make it hard to be in the Christmas spirit No matter how many angels I grab off the Angel Tree it has not helped me find Christmas. My world is changing and I am rearranging but does that mean Christmas changes too.

I will not give up so for the next week I am going to do my darndest to get find Christmas. So to start I have decided to try to share some of the seaon.

The Iraq war finally came to an end this week. I was never for that war and had many arguments and hurt many relationships over my strong feelings about the most idiodic war that was. As it came to an end Stephen Colbert paid tribute and I thought I would share.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Ray Odierno & Stephen Colbert – “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive

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