Sunday, December 30, 2007

Confession


I absolutely adore the movie " The Sound of Music" and if you don' believe me, just ask my grown sons to sing "Doe, a deer, a female deer......"! Ok, they probably wouldn't sing it for you but I promise you they both know the words and the melody!

It is on tonight, I am watching! Even though I've seen it a million times, doesn't matter, I love it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Friday Morning Ramblings

My car decided he needed some attention during the holiday season and he went to the shop yesterday and had some brake work done. Thank goodness he didn't need shoes but only pads and that saved me a bundle.

My parents went to a doctor's appointment in a nearby bigger town yesterday. When they got home my mother told me she had a surprise for me and to come up there. The day before, after our shopping spree she and I had lunch together. Because I couldn't face the same leftovers we'd eaten for the past few days, I made us what was basically a grilled cheese with some of the ham in it. I told her we were having a panini.

I guess that made her think I'd like to have a panini making machine. So that was my surprise. Alrighty then. (My mother has a weakness for small kitchen appliances and since she has no more room for anymore, she thought I needed it.) It's a cool little machine and I'm sure I'll use it.


I go back to work today after being off three days. I'm working today and the weekend and then have a few more days off. Finally we'll get back to normal after next week. I can't believe it's going to be 2008!

I'm not sure where 2007 went but I'm not sad to say goodbye to it. In a lot of ways it has been a rough year for me, at least emotionally. Turning the big 50 knocked the wind out of me and age usually never bothered me before. Trying to figure out just what I want to do that will make me happier has been a hard thing. So...I'm hoping 2008 will bring changes that will affect me positively. I'm ready for change. So we will see.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

As Promised


Ok, I said last week I had lots to share and here's one thing. I attended our company's year end conference in Atlanta weekend before last. I always dread going to these things for a number of reasons but without fail I usually enjoy them once I go. This time we were surprised by finding out that Randy Jackson of American Idol has designed a line of frames and our company will be selling them exclusively for the first few months they are out. It helps that American Idol will start its new season in January. At our banquet we got another big surprise and that was that Randy was actually there to meet us. He was very gracious and went to each table and shook everyone's hand and talked to each of us for a moment or two. There was probably over 400 people there.

So.....in January, if you are an American Idol fan, pay attention to Randy's glasses because those are the very same frames we are selling. It was all very
exciting.



I also wanted to mention the last meeting we had.

It touched me in ways I could never really explain and for many reasons.


First of all, it was unlike anything I've ever witnessed before. Another reason is that if you knew me well or spent any amount of time around me, you'd know I have a "thing" for the country of Africa. And yet another reason I was blown away is because of the message it brought to me.


We all met up in a big room the last hour and as we filed in, we heard music, drums really. When we entered, up on stage in beautiful African garb were 5 people playing drums. And in each of our seats were beautiful hand carved, traditional African drums, all different in size and design. They were beautiful! As we filed in, the musicians kept right on playing and smiling. As we sat down it was only natural for most of us to start pounding on our own drums.

After we were all seated, the only lady in the group put her drum down and jumped up and started dancing. Before long she was communicating with us only with her hands. Without a word from her this huge group of people followed each beat she gave us in unison and before long we were actually making music.

It is their purpose to show a group of people what can be accomplished if they listen to each other and support one another. If you click here you can read about them and even hear the music we heard when we first saw them.

I really, really wanted to keep one of those drums! Great stress relievers you see and fun too! Not to mention how beautiful each one was.

It was great to meet Randy Jackson but this impressed me so much more. I wish everyone could experience it! I hope maybe I can bring back to my own store some of the energy and unity that this experience gave me.

Afterwards


My mother loves to shop the day after Christmas and since she found out I am off work today, guess who is going with her at this very early hour? Yep, that would be me.

She buys all her Christmas paper and ribbons after Christmas. And since she always insist I use what she has during Christmas, it is the least I can do to go with her. So I'm drinking coffee and eating toast and getting ready to meet her at seven o'clock for what is always an adventure!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Just Wondering

Back in the spring, just before my 50th birthday, a wonderful lady by the name of Linda commented on my blog. She too was feeling some of the things I was feeling about becoming 50. She became a regular reader through out the rest of the spring and summer but early fall she disappeared.

She never had her own blog and so I had no way of checking up on her. I do know that she was from Southern California.

I was just thinking of her and hoping wherever she is,she is fine and having a wonderful Christmas. I miss her.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sometimes in life you can see things so clearly. I think this is the times you give. Other times you need to stop and listen. This is when you learn.

I am in the learning stage at the moment.

Without fail in the past when I have been in this spot someone comes and touches my life and I learn valuable lessons. Someone crosses my path that I may or may not know and shares with me an action or words or maybe just a look. And then suddenly I know answers that I'd forgotten or maybe never even knew.

The tricky part is that I think these people cross my path more often than I know and I miss it. Today I'm going to quit fighting my own pride and open my heart to whatever it is I'm suppose to learn and I am going to remember this lesson could come from the least likely person I come in contact with.

Merry Christmas,
Love,
Robbin

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Just call me Scrooge

My oldest son is home for Christmas, he came in last night and then promptly left to go meet some people he went to school with and left me babysitting his dog Buddy. Buddy has an attachment problem with his father. He never ever settled down. He cried and moaned and paced the whole night. Oh well, at least I didn't have to change diapers, he is potty trained.

I have to work today and tomorrow. Tomorrow we are only opened from nine until three so it won't be such a long day.

Christmas is hard for me sometimes and this year is for sure. Living so far away from my granddaughter is no fun during Christmas. Being single and not having brothers or sisters, I sometimes feel sorry for myself and feel left out of the gift thing. I know Christmas is not suppose to be about the gifts but it's hard to hear people say what their husbands got them or their brothers or sisters. Some people do stockings and I would have to fill my own stocking if I wanted one. My stepfather always asks me to wrap my mother's gifts.

Ok, enough of that! Christmas is hard for lots of people for different reasons. If it's about giving then I've done my part but found no joy much there. Next year I think I will find a place to go where people really need things and maybe I can help them.

Something is missing here and I need to search for the true meaning of this season because I am really and truly lost!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Out of the Mouth of Babes

On the afternoon local news there was a story on how the Sheriff's department sponsors a "Shop with a Cop" for children that are from poor families.

It always amazes me that when someone takes a child Christmas shopping that might not otherwise get anything, there's always one that says, "It's not about me, it's mostly about my family."

He picked out presents for his family first.
We could learn a lot from kids if we'd only take the time to listen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Two Days with my Mother and I live to tell about it!

I have spent the most part of the last two days making Christmas gifts of food with my mother. It's been fun even though she tells me what to do every step of the way and if I venture off to do something my own way it's not a good thing. She and I think so differently that if there's a question about a recipe, we never agree on what the answer is. But anyway, we did good and we got a lot done. And laughed our way through some of those moments where one of us could have gotten our feelings hurt.

Tomorrow our store is having a little Christmas party. I'm off but I will go in for the party. I kept seeing
Rachael Ray make this fudge wreath, so I had to try it and it is what I will be taking to the party. It's enough pure chocolate to kill somebody. I put pecans in it. But it's pretty and it was simple to make. And so...one more little thing to make tomorrow and I'm done with my Christmas gifts.

I have so much to share........

....but not enough time to blog it all right now. So in the meantime, let me show you what I spent my time doing last night. These are gifts for my employees at work. They are a lot of fun to make. My mother has a book with the recipes and it includes the recipe card which you tie to the jars. I hope they will like them. I'd like one!





We had a hard time coming up with enough large mouth jars but we finally did! You can't buy them this time of the year.


All the recipient has to do is add the liquid ingredients and stick in the oven.


I think I'll tell them they have to bring me a taste of whatever they make.


As soon as things slow down I've got lots to say so don't give up on me.
Wishing everyone Happy Holidays! I hope you all get whatever it is your heart desires this year.
Love,
Robbin

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Dentist Visit & a Hair Cut TOO!

Six months ago when I went for my cleaning, my teeth turned against me. I ended up spending nearly all summer having teeth filled, having a root canal and having one pulled.

Today no cavities, thank goodness!

I had my haircut too. I'm not fond of being touched, prodded and poked, so it was a big thing to have a dental appointment and a hair appointment on the same day!

I spend my days in a retail environment, serving customer's needs.
It can be challenging some days to say the least.
SO what computer game am I so into at the moment? A game called Fashion Fits.
I'm running a clothing store and trying hard not to lose my customers. I have to offer gift wrapping, fitting room service, and keep the shelves stocked, all the time hearing customers complain!
I must be nuts!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

An Odd Experience

Sort of an odd thing happened Saturday night when I was spending some time with my best friend's daughter, Robbin. I can't seem to get it out of my head, and of course it could have been just coincidence but things like this always make me wonder.
To explain why it affected me the way it did I first have to tell you about my Grandmother whom I called Granny Jo. She died over twenty years ago and she was very very special to me. I didn't really get to know her well until I was 15 and from that time on I spend a good deal of time with her. Back in the seventies, you may remember a song by Jesse Colter called, "I'm not Lisa". It was sort of a mournful ballad and once you heard it, it was hard to get it out of your brain. My grandmother was not a singer in anyway and I don't even remember her listening to much music at all and so when this happened it stuck in my mind. She and I were in the car going somewhere and she started singing this song. It cracked me up because I'd never heard her do that and so I kidded her about it a lot. She liked the lyrics, even found them sort of funny. And so this is just one of those things I remember in the back of my head about a short moment in our lives. And something I'd not thought about in years.


Now, that said, here's what happened Saturday night with little Robbin. She and I were shopping for a gift for her to give her mom for her birthday when she announced she was hungry. I asked what she wanted and she told me maybe a hot dog. She then proceeded to tell me that close to her daycare is a place where they have great hot dogs. I knew she was talking about the pool hall here in our little town. For years they've sold hot dogs that some people go nuts over. I told her that my Granny Jo used to work in the building next to her daycare a long time ago and she sometimes enjoyed a pool room hot dog too. She sort of giggled and then proceeded to talk about the hot dogs a little more and then out of no where she sang, "I'm not Lisa". I nearly fainted. I looked at her and I said, "Where do you know that song from?" and she just giggled and said she heard it from some of her Daddy's music.

She and I sung that song the rest of our time together that night. I didn't mention to her why I was so surprised to hear those lyrics come out of her mouth during the time we were talking about my grandmother. Coincidence? Maybe, but I prefer to think that somehow the love Robbin and I share and the love my Grandmother and I shared was a catalyst for a tiny little communication between my grandmother and myself. All because of pool hall hot dogs and a really old song. Who knows!

Life....not so simple anymore!

I really like to keep my life simple. It comes from years of raising kids and having to be here and there, do this and that, and so I am somewhat of a hermit now and don't do or go anywhere much I don't really want to do or go.

Since early November, I can't seem to get "simple" back. I can't get caught up with things that really need doing. Things I've wanted to do have become complicated in one way or the other. And then there are things I don't want to do but have no other choice.

I have to go to Atlanta this weekend for a business meeting. I still have to get a haircut, find "cocktail" attire, (shopping for clothes is my least favorite thing in the world to do!) My car needs servicing since it looks like I'm going in my car with a passenger. (I hate driving and especially with a passenger). There's the usual end of the year pressure at work to make budget and of course the company chooses this time of the year to send out projects on new frame pricing and that sort of thing.

Oh well, I suppose I will survive but I can't wait for things to calm down a little.

Today is Steph's 40th birthday. We celebrated it last night. I'd been working on her present for months and it was worth it, she enjoyed it. I found a big hat box with roses on it and filled it with some of her favorite things. It was a hit and then her husband took her out to eat and her daughter and I made her a birthday cake. We had a nice night.

I have to work today but am off tomorrow. I have a dentist appointment just for a cleaning and then I suppose I'd better get some shopping done and get my hair cut. I'm off again on Friday but my mother has asked me to help her prepare for a Christmas Party she is giving. And then I go to Atlanta on Saturday afternoon and will not be back until Monday.

Oh well, "tis the season" as they say! But I'm looking forward to my simple life again.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A Very Productive Morning....Right!

My schedule this week is a little different and I'm closing tonight which means I don't go in to work until 12:30 so I have a little time to do some things I need to do.

I've some jewelry I need to make, but I'm not really in the mood at the moment, so maybe not that.

I need to vacuum the dog hair on the rug but I don't really want to do that either at the moment.

Come to think of it, I don't really want to do anything but sit here and drink coffee. GO Figure!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

In Seventeen Years.......

...a lot can happen. During that span of time your marriage can end and you can face the pain of explaining why it seems two little boys got divorced too. You can survive financial problems which includes garnishment of wages, being evicted, and losing your job. You can completely raise two very young boys to grown men. You can survive teenage rebellion and all that goes with that which might include the dangers of drugs and alcohol. You can lose your pride and slowly gain it back, you can face embarrassment and ridicule from the people that you thought cared about you. You can work three jobs and miss sports events where someone else's parents are cheering your kids on.

You can also experience the joy of having two boys who without doubt love you and survived it all side by side with you. You can stand proud beside those two little boys as men and know without doubt it was all worth it. You can experience the joy of becoming a grandparent and feel the warmth of that child's love and devotion. You take what you've been through and become a different person and you look back at all you learned and realized that it was all ok.

So....why does the person who walked away from our family seventeen years ago need my forgiveness now? And am I a big enough person to tell him I forgave him a long time ago for the pain he caused my children? Is forgiveness really forgiveness if you don't tell the person you forgive him, if you just know it in your heart? And what would he think if I told him his children forgave him a long time ago too and now they really just feel nothing for him? NOTHING is so much worse than anything I can imagine and I don't want to have to tell him that because he should already know that. But I'm sure he doesn't.

We've moved on, the three of us, my sons and myself are not the same people he knew then but he is the same. And that is the sad part. Mostly for him, not us.

Seventeen years is a long time in the span of a lifetime, especially in the life of a child. And you can't just say "I'm sorry" and it be alright. Those years are lost. I wish I could just tell him the best gift he could give to his sons is to leave them alone now. Just like he's done for the past seventeen years. It's a good gift. And it's one he chose to give so don't take it back now.

Tuesday Morning Ramblings

It's Tuesday which means I am up early for Conference Call. UGH!

It is cold here this morning but nothing bad like a lot of the rest of the country is having. (Am I nuts thinking of moving to the Pacific Northwest?)
Most people move to warmer places when they get older, I'm of course doing it backwards. But then I was always a little backwards!

I saw the sunset yesterday and the sunrise this morning and I can't decide which was more beautiful. They were both the kind that look as if the whole sky is on fire. I think it was a toss up.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Three Phone Calls

One I'm ignoring, hoping he'll go away and I'm mad because how can he possibly think anyone wants to hear anything he has to say after all this time! He thinks its ok to turn up every ten years or so but he doesn't know what havoc he plays with two lives. He's too self centered to know that and though for years I've tried to understand it, I am mad now and if you think a mother stops protecting her kids when they are grown you are wrong! It's too late!

The second one coming from my oldest son who once again needs help in the money kind of way. I help as much as I can and the money isn't what bothers me but the hope that this time he will be able to make it on his own is dampened. But its ok.

The third one I wanted and one that makes me smile and the voice on the other end always calms me and makes me know somebody cares for the right reasons. Just because I am me.

Monday, November 26, 2007

We Interrupt this program.....

...for a special presentation going on out my window this morning. There is quite a lot going on. In fact, from my seat here, its like watching a special presentation produced by nature herself!

First of all there's a troop of squirrels gathering nuts furiously from the pecan tree closest to the window. They are like acrobats! It is amazing how they go out all the way to the end of a limb and grab a nut without falling.

At the same time, the wind is blowing and golden leaves are dancing around in a circle, like ballet dancers. As the wind blows the tall Georgia Pines are swaying back and forth in a dance and in perfect unison. In the background for all this activity is the fog that is lingering this morning.

I catch sight of two little birds with bright yellow breasts that are sitting way out on a limb of the pecan tree chattering to the squirrels as they busily gather their nuts.

My goodness! How lucky am I to witness all of this going on all at the same time this morning? SO much better than the TODAY Show!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Catching Up a Little

My blogging, which I love to do, has suffered in the last few weeks. It's been our big Contact Lens Event again at work and it takes a lot out of me. This time with the economy a little weak, we had to work so hard to get what we could and even then we were short of our budget which is disappointing but its over now and we can get on with things. I am glad.

Also I'm working on a few projects for Christmas gifts and so my spare time has been devoted to that.

This morning I'm up early for no particular reason, I certainly could have slept late if I'd wanted but it has become my habit to get up when I wake up and lately that's been early even when I don't have to work.

Thanksgiving was so strange to me this year, first my mother deciding we would go out to eat, me deciding I'd rather not, no big deal to me, I cooked my own Thanksgiving lunch and was perfectly happy but then my mother on Thanksgiving day calls me to say they're not going out to eat after all and she was cooking and to be there by three o'clock. (I had already cooked myself and was not hungry at three o'clock) Whatever! I haven't figured out that whole thing yet, but I went up, picked at some food, visited and came home. The good thing is I've had my own leftovers all week.

So, that's about it for me for now. Hopefully I'll be back to my normal blogging rate soon. Hope everyone's holiday was a nice peaceful one.
Love,
Robbin

Monday, November 19, 2007

Enjoying the Moment


As I experience this journey towards menopause with all the ups and downs, I've mentioned before of the mood swings, the depression, the fogginess of the brain (sounds fun, huh?) but only once or twice have I mentioned the period I go through sometimes of complete and utter calmness. Today was one of those days. As intense as the other things can be, this tide of calmness is just as intense.

It's like nothing could upset me. My heart beats slower, and my mind and body are in sinc and it like utopia. Of course on the downside, it could end as fast as it happens but I've learned to enjoy it while it lasts. There are no tears, no bad thoughts, no anxiety, just peace. I like it. I can't think of what to compare it with except maybe a very calm sea before the storm. UH OH.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Just another Sunday

I was off today, which is good. I like off on Sundays. I slept late, until seven thirty, maybe would have slept longer but I forgot to unset my alarm. It was ok, I was done sleeping anyway.

I did a little housekeeping, had a pot of coffee and watched three movies. None of them very impressive. I slept through one and I'm not interested in it enough to go back and see what I missed.

I'm at the moment cooking brown rice that is suppose to cook in ten minutes in the microwave, we'll see how that goes, and I'm going to have tuna salad with onions in it because, well, I like onions in my tuna salad.

I have a book to read but I'm not in the mood to read.
I have other things to do too but I'm not in the mood.
I am actually sort of, kind of, in the mood to make jewelry. Maybe I will.
Right now I'm going to make my tuna salad and try it with my brown rice.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Spoiled Child

This painting was done by Jean-Baptiste Greuze in 1765 and is commonly known as "The Spoiled Child".

The reason I am posting this work of art is because I am the spoiled child this week. I was really beginning to look forward to Thanksgiving this year and more to the point the meal my mother usually prepares. And then.....she calls me and very cheerfully informs me that this year she is not cooking, we are going out to eat. And to add to my disappointment they've chosen the one place I am not very fond of.

So, I'm pouting and kicking my foot at the dirt. I could cook for myself but that's no fun. So, my Thanksgiving is up in the air!

A Rare Girl's night out!


Steph and little Robbin and I had a night out last night. We ate out, saw a movie and had a very nice time. We hardly ever get to do that and it was fun. We saw Bee Movie and it was great!
Apparently Oprah is filming a show in Macon Georgia today. It is 27 degrees in Macon this morning and there are lots of people standing in line waiting to see the taping which won't be until one o'clock this afternoon. Now, that's saying something for Georgia people, we can't take standing out in cold weather for very long.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Confession


I adore Shirley Temple. I loved her as a child, I love her now. And so.....now that my granddaughter and my little namesake are both old enough finally to appreciate her movies, that is what they are getting from me for Christmas. I've found each of them a Shirley Temple tote bag which I am gathering DVD' s and a few other things with the same theme to fill it with. Isn't it amazing that a little girl that made movies in the 1930's can still capture the full attention of a little girl in 2007? (and a big girl too?)

A Squirrel of a Different Color


I saw a black Squirrel this morning. I wasn't able to get his picture but this is exactly what he looked like. I've never ever seen a black squirrel. He was gathering nuts all alone early this morning. I hope I'll see him again!

Dinner Time

Last night my friend, who is working in New Orleans, ate at a French restaurant and had a Mediterranean Pasta Dish. As he does sometimes, he snapped a picture of his dinner with his phone. Here's what it looked like.



Now, because I had gotten some lovely whole wheat pasta myself and because this sounded so yummy, I made the poor man inspect the dish both with his eyes and his taste buds and tonight I made my version. Here's how it looked.



Now I can't tell you how his tasted but mine was wonderful! Oh, and I had a spinach salad with apples and toasted walnuts with cherry balsamic. It was good too.

Moving Forward

When this year started and I looked out my window at the leafless trees and the brown grass, I was in such turmoil about exactly what I wanted at this time in my life.

When Spring came and the leaves reappeared and flowers bloomed, my birthday neared bringing with it the fear I faced of turning 50. I still struggled with the fact that I was unhappy with where I was both physically and mentally.

Feeling alone and isolated from pretty much everything and everybody I knew I had to understand myself again and get a true answer. My head and my heart argued and fought and went to bed mad at each other many nights!

The leaves are gone again and green has been replaced with gold and brown outside my window and two things have happened. I know I must first take care of me, physically and mentally. And second, sometimes you have to follow your heart and go where it leads and I've decided to do just that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday Ramblings

I've been so out of it for the last few days. I woke up Saturday morning with a cold out of the blue. Sore throat, congestion, fever, the whole works. Not until this morning have I felt human again. Still I'm a little weak and shaky but I'll be fine as the day goes on I think. I took two sick days and I usually do not do that, but I'm glad I did. I don't think I would have made it through the days if I'd tried.
Because it is Tuesday I've had conference call this morning. Same old thing of trying to convince people who don't have money to buy themselves a pair of glasses.
WHATEVER! Its like a broken record to me.
Nothing much new or exciting.
Hope you all have a good week!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

As promised......

...here's the details of the party.
My youngest son left last night and I'm alone again. And a little more settled down from it all.
The party was pretty. It fit my vision pretty well, full of apples and roses. I put some pretty picture frames on the tables with pictures of my mother at different times in her life. As you can see, it was really RED. Most of the guest wore red (the invitation asked them to if they wanted.) That helped too.








We did surprise her. She sort of walked around in shock the rest of the afternoon and she kept saying "I can't believe everybody knew about this except me."
Right after this moment, her husband handed her those dozen roses, I handed her my dozen and our little Robbin handed her four roses. And then her grandsons came in and handed her a dozen roses each, so she ended up with over four dozen roses. Red of course. I'm hoping someone got pictures of this moment. I didn't.
After we let her mingle a little and people ate, I read my list of "70 things you may or may not know about my mother." That was a lot of fun and went over well. And then we had someone bring the cake in. We sung happy birthday and she attempted to blow out the 70 candles, (took two tries) and then she opened her presents.
It couldn't have worked out better, I was proud and it was nice to see family members we'd not seen in a while and get to visit.


This is my mother in the center with her sisters. My Aunt Ellen on the left and my Aunt Betty on the right. Notice how close my mother came to wearing Red herself.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

IF you're thinking.......


......its hard to get good pictures of your little boys now, just wait until they are all grown up and responsible young MEN......




Their ability to make faces reaches a whole new level!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Red Stang!



My son who is visiting from Washington rented a car. He's so good too. Staying with the RED theme of his grandmother's party, he was given a red Mustang. I wish he could leave it here, I'm kind of fond of it.

Doesn't Anybody like Anyone Anymore?

I seem to be drowning in negativity. It is constantly surrounding me. Everyone around me is constantly complaining about someone else. I'm tired of it. I try to always see the positive in everyone. In the last month or so , all I've heard from anybody is negative things about someone else. Not ONE positive thing can I remember. Not "I really like Jim, he's a good person!" Not "Rose is so good at her job!"
MY GOODNESS! Doesn't anyone I know have anything good to say about anyone???
I am overdosed on NEGATIVITY and I've got to separate myself from it somehow. I think I'll run away!

Monday, November 05, 2007

My Daughter In Law...


...wasn't able to come to 0ur party but she sent me a little something for after the party. She's a good girl, I love her.

A Success!


I'm still sort of in a daze, but we made it through, surprised my mother for sure, had a great time with family and friends and I couldn't be more pleased. With the help of my Aunt, Steph(my best friend), and my two wonderful sons, and my stepfather everything was perfect. And I'm so glad it is over!


We're hoping somebody got some good pictures and will send them to us. My camera needs replacing, the pictures I got were grainy and dark and plus, I was sort of in the moment and didn't take too many at all. I got some of the preparations and a good one of the cake which was yummy by the way, and the sign but other than that, nada.


I promise to write more of the details and how it all came down when I settle down some. One of my sons is still here and I'm going to enjoy some time with him because he'll be gone before I know it and I don't want to miss a minute.


For today, I'm taking it easy, visiting with my son and basking in my glory.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Tomorrow's the Big Day


I can't believe the day is almost here. Tonight I should have both my sons sleeping in my house, that alone makes me smile.


As far as I know My mother still hasn't a clue. She is in fact planning on attending a gospel sing tomorrow afternoon. She doesn't know she is not going to get there.


I've got lots of last minutes things to do today and some shopping for a few more things and have to stock my fridge for the boys.


I'm up early to get started and I hope the fact that I just put the coffee on but forgot to add the water isn't a preview of how my day is going to be today.


Happy Friday guys, see you after the party!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My Poor Mother


My Stepfather tells me that my mother has come in contact this past few days with a few people that are coming to the party and of course they say to her "What are you doing for your birthday?" and he says she tells them "Oh, nothing special, we are going to wait until my 75th and have a party. HAHAHA! She says this because I told her that a few weeks ago when I apologized for not being able to have her one.

You see, back in January I asked her if she wanted a party this year or wanted to wait until her 75th and she said, "This year, I may not be here on my 75th." So that was all that was said about it until a few weeks ago when I told her I'd not been able to do it.

Because she is so sharp, and ah, NOSY, lots of people have told John and me that we'd never pull this off, but I do believe we are going to do it. John says she told him last week, "I guess I should have planned my own party!".......HAHAHAH! (She has so little faith in me.)
Anyway, I have two more days and I am ready for this to happen! I'm excited too because my son is coming in tomorrow night.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Good Aunt


I may be 50 years old but when my Aunt Ellen said, "I'd like to take care of most of the food for your mother's party, you take care of decorations and the veggie platter and I'll do the rest", I turned into a little girl and said, "Okay, I love you Aunt Ellen."
And I really and truly do.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thinking Party

I got a few more confirmations of people coming to the party. Funny, I've heard from all the out of town people but none of the local people. Guess they figure they've got time to tell me they are coming. So far, for sure we've got about 30 people. SO that will be respectable. I'm getting a little nervous now that I know people are actually going to come.

I am in no way an experienced party giver and know nothing about being a good host. In fact I've spent my whole life staying away from parties. I'm winging it here and you know, a party is pretty simple, at least one like I'm giving. You provide food, make the place look lively, people show up and there you go, instant party. I hope.

Mostly I just want her to be surprised and totally speechless, which is an unusual thing for my mother, I can assure you.

So, in about a week and a day, I'll report on how it went.
Have a good Friday!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today in History...


....Pablo Picasso was born back in 1881 in Malaga Spain. His mother claimed his first spoken word was pencil (in Spanish of course). Not always my favorite of the great artists, his paintings bother me a little but I've always been interested in his life.
Lots of people do love his art and his paintings rank among some of the most expensive ones sold. For example the one here is called "Dora Maar au Chat" just sold in 2006 for the sum of 95.2 million bucks. WOW! His painting disturb me a little, did I say that already?
Anyway, my friend is going to Barcelona in a month or so and there is a Museum there that has lots of Picasso's early works. I'd HAVE to see that if I were going. Maybe I'll get a full report. Please?
"Happy Birthday Picasso!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

GIRL POWER!



I don't know how I missed this but a friend of mine just informed me that there are two women in charge of things with the space shuttle that took off on Tuesday.

One is flying the shuttle and the other female skipper is already up in space sitting there at the international space station waiting for her arrival. How cool is that? First time ever in 50 years that two women have been in charge up there. Read about it here if you want.

A Good Day

Today on a conference call, a team of two other managers and me had to give our presentation. It went well and I'm glad that is over. Now, I just got to get through this birthday party. I'm getting more and more excited.

Today I heard from an old friend of my mother's that lives in Tennessee and she and her husband are planning to come. This is HUGE because I had to track her down and wasn't even sure she'd get the invitation and with her showing up plus my son, my mother will be totally shocked! That's the thing that makes a surprise birthday party fun is to have some people there that you've not seen in a while and were totally not expecting to see anytime soon.

If I can pull this off as a Surprise I will count it as one of my greatest accomplishments in life. (You'd really understand this if you knew my mother!)
WISH me luck!

Still in the Reading Zone


I am so enjoying reading this book. It's kind of scary how much I can relate to her thoughts, so much sometimes to the point I am shaking my head wondering how she got into my own thoughts.

I don't know when I've read a book of non-fiction that I've enjoyed so much, probably because it reads so much like a novel.

Like Liz, I've been searching for answers to questions I have. I just told a few friends of mine a few weeks ago that I fear I will become so nutty in my older age that I will become a strange women who lives in fear of microwaves and goes totally overboard with trying to save the environment. I'd live in the woods, far away from other people, wear a big floppy hat, long dresses and strings of beads. I'd talk to the animals and grow my own vegetables, and live off the land, growing more and more paranoid of the modern world. Little children would point and laugh at me and I'd give them a look and they'd run off in fear. I even dreamed I was living in the woods and people were trying to get me to come back to the real world.

In this book, she is able to travel and is searching for different things in each of the three countries she goes to. Here's a quote that reminded me of my story above.

" I'm wary of the danger that i f I drift about this world randomly for too long, I may someday become The Family Flake. The divorcee in the muumuu with the dyed orange hair who doesn't eat dairy but smokes menthols, who's always coming back from her astrology cruise or breaking up with her aroma-therapist boyfriend, who reads the Tarot cards of kindergardeners and says things like, "Bring Aunty Liz another wine cooler, baby, and I'll let you wear my mood ring..." "

I'm just getting started with this book but so far I'm loving it.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Morning Ramblings


Yep, conference call this morning. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. It's over now.

The birthday party is less than two weeks away. If we can keep her from planning her own party, I think we will be able to surprise her but not because she is making it easy. The good news is my aunt has volunteered to help me with the food which relieves my stress a bit. I'm thankful for that.

Lots of pressure at my job at the moment because we are in the mist of this big Contact Lens Event we have twice a year and counts for a big part of our sales for the year, and because business is really bad across the board and our big bosses are stressing which in turn causes stress for us managers.

I'm getting really excited about my son from Washington coming for his grandmother's birthday and also about seeing other family members that I've not seen for quite some time.

I've just gotten through a book called "Love in the Time of Cholera" and although a little hard to read, it was well worth it. It was an Oprah pick and though I don't usually read her picks, I was curious about this one. And now I'm reading "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert.

And last but not least the unrest my soul has felt all year is settling down and I'm very close to making a final decision on what I want and how to go about getting there. I can't say its been a journey but more like a dance as I've gone one step forward and two steps back. But I'm thinking the dance is about to end and I can move forward.

Hope everybody has a great week!
Love,
Robbin

Monday, October 22, 2007


Watching people try too hard makes me uncomfortable and causes me pain.

I like it when human beings are true to themselves. It's less confusing and allows the true beauty of their souls to come shining through.

When we try too hard to be someone we aren't, we aren't fooling anyone except maybe ourselves.

Requirements


Sometimes when I'm reading a novel or poetry the words are so that I need to read them out loud. I'm not sure I know why I do this but I do.

If I ever have somebody living along beside me again he has to be willing to read out loud to me. It's a requirement!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

What a Concept!


Last week I saw on the Today Show a segment about a minister in Kansas City, Mo. that had started a campaign within his congregation for a "Complaint Free World" and I've been thinking about it ever since.

The idea was that it takes usually 21 days to form a habit of most things so he gave out purple rubber bracelets for his people to wear and they committed to trying not to complain for 21 days. If you find yourself complaining you switch the bracelet to the other arm and start over. He says the congregation was complaining about trivial things like the songs they were singing and the color of the choir robes. It was his idea that the negativity from this spread throughout and caused problems. So, when they completed 21 consecutive days of not complaining they swap their bracelets for a certificate of happiness.

Seems like his idea has spread across the world and now he's written a book and you can even order the purple bracelets for free (the people in his church are packaging them up from the church basement.) You can also buy them too if you want a bunch of them or you want them in a hurry.

Anyway, I love this idea. Negativity is like a disease and it spreads and gets bigger and bigger and I'm all for a more positive world. (my bracelet is on the way!) I'll let you know how it goes. Which mean I can't complain on my blog anymore either! Not even about Conference Calls. Umm. Well he says stating a fact about something that's wrong is not complaining and Conference calls can be BORING. And that's a fact! We'll see how this goes.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My mother....



...popped in to see me at work today. And I had to tell a big fat lie!

She and I have been going through one of our "distance" phases and even though I live right down from her, sometimes we are both involved in totally different things and don't see each other for weeks at a time. Since I've been working on her party that's been a good thing since I want to surprise her and it would have been hard to not let something slip.

Anyway she came by to see me today and told me that she dreamed both her grandsons came to see her on her birthday and that it was wonderful! (I hope this dream is one that is going to come true, # 2 grandson will be here, #1 grandson, well depends on his mood that day) but anyway when she told me I said " Well that is some dream!" and she says, "Yeah, they don't have time for me anymore!" 'Hee, hee.'

And then I had to tell her that I'd been so bu sy lately that I'd not had time to plan her a birthday party. I apologized and she brushed it off like it wasn't a big deal, but I know my mother and IT is a big deal.

I told her she and my step dad and I could go out to a fancy restaurant or something and I'd plan a big birthday party for her when she turns 75! "Oh, no big deal" she says and then..........THEN, she says, "We could just invite a few people over for supper on the Sunday before my birthday." (I'm planning the party on the Saturday before) and she starts naming people I've invited to her surprise party that she could invite for supper on Sunday I guess she decided if I wasn't going to throw her a party, she'd just throw one for herself.

So we're down to two weeks before the event and I'm so hoping we can pull it off. It's getting a little tricky!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Well Received I'd Say


The box from Grandma! A little help from Hannah Montana didn't hurt.



A girl can never have enough purses, especially in her favorite color.




And a High School Musical Sticker book is a must!




...and as expected Susie the witch was a hit!

(Special thanks to her mom for the pictures.)

I think....


...but I'm not sure that I would like Indian Cuisine. I could be wrong as I've never had the opportunity to try it. But I like hummus, and flat breads. That's a start I'm thinking. The only thing is I can't pronounce the name of the dishes. If I went to a real Indian restraunt, I'd have to point or have someone with me that could order.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences.
All events are blessings given to us to learn from.

Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross

Monday, October 15, 2007

Perfect

I went to the post office this morning to get stamps to mail the invitations to my mother's party and the clerk asked me which stamps I wanted. I didn't really care and I told her it didn't matter but she insisted on showing me what my choices were and then I spotted it. The Jimmy Stewart Stamp. It was perfect! Better than perfect! Jimmy Stewart is my mother's all time favorite actor. She loved him and June Allyson in every movie they made together. So I knew I had to have Jimmy Stewart stamps. Of course nobody will know the significance of it but me but I think it is perfect!

Ready, set, go.....

...and we're off! To the start of a new week that is. I was sort of off yesterday but I worked most of the day on that presentation that got canceled along with our meeting a few weeks ago. Now it seems we still have to present it, except over the phone. Giving a real presentation versus an oral presentation is quite different. The presentation we had planned was going to work well visually but when it was switched to oral it took some work. My day flew by!

I also got the birthday party invitations addressed and they will go out today.
This will be a busy week as well. Lots to take care of at work and a meeting to plan for Friday.

And so goes my life at the moment. Not too exciting. Just work.

Have a good week everybody, see ya!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Unconditional

Yesterday was one of those days when things seemed a little off axis to me. I felt like I was moving faster than my brain was moving or maybe the other way around. People that I know felt unfamiliar to me, distant in a way. My surroundings seemed foreign to me , as if I was visiting.

I moved through the day and survived but was glad to get home to what did feel familiar. To be met at the door by my little dog, "Sweetie" who didn't feel like a stranger to me at all, who loves me no matter what, who doesn't care about my shortcomings or any mistakes I make. She doesn't care.

We human beings expect a lot from each other and most of us come up short of those expectations but with Sweetie, I am absolutely a wonderful person and she adores me no matter what and you know what? I return the sentiments!

How lonely I'd be without her in my life, and what an honor it is for me to be HER "person".

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Confession

I forgot to pay my electric bill when it first came in and guess what?
No lights when I got home from work. A quick call to the after hours number of the power company and a $25 re-connection fee and like magic I have power again.
I knew there was something I was forgetting!
I wish I could say this is the first time this has ever happened to me, but I can't. Sometimes it ain't easy being me!

Brown Rice Tip


I love whole wheat pasta and have converted over quite easily to get the health benefits of it but brown rice is a problem for me. It never comes out right for me, either taste not done enough or too mushy.

I just read an article that says you should always toast it slightly and then cook it like pasta with lots of water and then drain it when it's done. Think I'll try that method and see what happens.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scrambled Memories

It's funny how we seem to associate people or things in our past with a certain food. For example, when I was a little girl my parents and I would sometimes on a Sunday afternoon visit a much older couple that I've no idea how they even knew. It wasn't as if they were neighbors because I remember they lived way out in the country and that the drive out to their place took a long time.

I remember their names were Mr. & Mrs. Cato and on the Sundays we visited they'd have a gaggle of grand kids running around playing and I'd loved them. They were all blond, almost white blond. The younger ones ran around only in shorts, no shirts, and they were all barefooted. These by no means were well off people, in fact I suspect they were quite poor because I even remember an out house instead of indoor plumbing and I'm not so old that was the norm back then, thank you very much!

Anyway, my point is, always during that visit we'd have scrambled egg sandwiches. I think eggs were abundant as they had chickens running around amongst all those grand kids too. The sandwiches were never for a meal, as we'd go after Sunday lunch or dinner as we called it and we'd never stay until supper. It was what she served us for refreshments I guess. And not for just us kids either, for the grown-ups too.

She took white bread, smeared loads of mayonnaise on both sides (it was in the 1960's, we didn't know better) and she'd pile steaming yellow scrambled eggs on one side, and flop the other piece of bread on and squash it down with her hand.

I'm not sure what she did to make those eggs so good, but to this day I've never been able to replicate the taste of Mrs. Cato's egg sandwiches.

Eventually we stopped visiting. Who knows why, and those Sunday afternoons at the Cato's became memories. I can still see the old farm house, the porch with the flapping boards, all those little tow headed barefoot children. And even now I can remember how good those scrambled egg sandwiches were.

I love this.......


What Every Woman Should Know!
BY: Maya Angelou

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
enough money within her control to move out
and rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
something perfect to wear if the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ..
a youth she's content to leave behind....
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to
retelling it in her old age....
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE .....
a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
one friend who always makes her laugh... and one who lets her cry...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ....
a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in her family...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored...
A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ...
a feeling of control over her destiny...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to fall in love without losing herself..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to quit a job,
break up with a lover,
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
when to try harder... and WHEN TO WALK AWAY...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that she can't change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents..
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
that her childhood may not have been perfect...but its over...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she would and wouldn't do for love or more...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
how to live alone... even if she doesn't like it...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..
whom she can trust,
whom she can't,
and why she shouldn't take it personally...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
where to go...
be it to her best friend's kitchen table...
or a charming inn in the woods...
when her soul needs soothing...
EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW...
what she can and can't accomplish in a day...
a month...and a year...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tuesday Morning Ramblings


Usually on Tuesday I complain about my weekly work conference call. This Tuesday is no different, only again today I'm having two! I've just gotten off one, and after I actually go into work at twelve thirty I'll have the second one.

Also, by taking the last few days off, I'll have to pay dearly for them as I've got lots to catch up on and do, so sometimes you wonder if it's worth it.
Yesterday we (my best friend, Steph & I) went shopping for things for the
birthday party. We found some interesting things and I was happy with what we purchased. The red bottles are pretty and will be part of the decorations on the tables. Plus it was good to spend some time with her outside of work again. We seldom get to do that with me being manager and her the assistant manager we aren't ever off the same time. Yesterday was an oddity.

Other than that, I seem to be fighting depression again but when I get back to work it will get better. Seems like when I'm off for more than a day or two I sink into a funk. That's nuts, as badly as I'd like to not have to work, it seems that work lately is what keeps me going. Go figure!

Well, enough said about hardly anything. Happy Tuesday to you all!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Painting the Picture

It's a nice cloudy morning and it looks like it rained during the night. I wouldn't mind if it rained some more. I like a rainy day.

Thoughts again have consumed me this week as to what exactly it is that I want. This has been the year for that and by the end of this year I am determined to decide and to act upon it.
It occurred to me recently that my life at the moment is sort of like a blank palette and I, the artist can paint pretty much any picture I want. A few things are foggy still but I'm getting there.

Actually I'm pretty lucky, there aren't many people who can paint themselves a new life. But here I am at 50, all alone, no real ties here where I've landed for the last eight years, and so ready to move on to something new. And yet, something still keeps me from actually committing to that first stroke of the brush. Most people tell me it is fear. FEAR has never been a problem for me, especially when it comes to changes. But I can't prove them wrong, maybe it is fear.

One little problem is being able to afford the paint I'll need to make the perfect picture of the life I'd like to have but I might can get pretty close. Perfection can come later. And who wants perfection anyway? That would make a pretty dull piece of art I would think. Life shouldn't become a masterpiece until you're all done living. And then, if you're lucky, maybe, just maybe you can leave the painting of your life here on earth so that a few people will cherish it and have it to remember you by.

My goodness I'm quite the philosopher this morning. I need more coffee!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Meet Susie the Witch


I'm preparing a box to send to my granddaughter for Halloween and I wanted to share one of the things she's getting. This little witch is so cute!







But what makes her even cooler is she lights up with fiber optics!



But even better......she sings "
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun".

And I got her from all places AVON! I should have ordered two. I kinda hate to send her off , I've become a little attached to her. Haleigh will love her, I just know it! She's a little ghoul that loves to have fun and this is sure to bring a big smile.