Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's a Family Affair!

My commitment to myself was to get back to blogging so I was startled to say the least when I went to sign in and my blog looked as messy as my house! I couldn't remember how to update anything and I had to even think for  moment what my password was.  There was a time I blogged everyday and a "gang" of us "hung" out each morning "listening" to each other. (That's a lot of air quotes, if you are reading this out aloud!)

I miss those times and I have become nostalgic for a few other times as well. I, no longer have my own business and while I do miss some aspects of having my own business for the most part ...I am happy doing what I am doing now. There are times I miss working with my family very much, mostly because they were  great and are my actual family!

Last week while working an event, I saw a woman I worked with for 10 years, long before we started  our own business and I was moved almost to tears...I know all of the time that I worked there couldn't have been perfect...I was a full time working mother, so I was beyond stressed, busy, tired and guilty! But, there she was reminding me about herself and a group of people who were to me like family.

My Hubby and I have more changes in store for us, some we have chosen and others thrust upon us like a rogue wave at the beach.. I have come to believe that you can remember friends and family, whether it be your actual family, bloggy family, work family or former church family fondly while embracing the new changes...the alternative is a lot of disappointment! That's not how "my family" operates!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That Girl Rocks the Dress too!

Happy Anniversary!! I love the dress and the Groom is cute too!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

33 years ago, this Friday...I Married a Really Cute Guy!

This is my favorite picture ever taken of me, including my wedding day... I frankly, rocked that dress! I love the way my husband looks, I love the expression he is making, our youngest son makes the exact same modest smile. The picture was taken at our daughter's wedding and the next day we flew to California and stayed at the Ritz Carlton to celebrate our anniversary.

That was a pretty good day! I WOULD like to have that day over and over!

I have so many things I NEED to blog about but I haven' odd that I would use such a public forum to maintain my sanity and clearly if you look at the frequency of my current blogging you would wonder about my mental state. Big changes have been made in my life and still bigger ones to come...

I am currently taking my life on a minute by minute basis... I don't think  that means I am doing badly because for a woman who likes to plan her life down to what she will wear two weeks from now...I am making great strides in just "not knowing" what the future holds for me.

All that I know, really know is that man will be with me! Happy Anniversary, honey...see you then!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Accepting...Even Me!

It is funny how accepting you can be of others and then you can be so hard on yourself...I know this seems to be a trait women have although I do know a man who shares this trait with me. I try to be a good friend and I never, EVER judge others on their physical appearance but I have struggled with judging myself and my looks all my life. I think you could safely say I have never been satisfied with my appearance and I usually dislike having my picture taken.Two years ago when I started my blog...I chose the picture I have on my blog, not because I thought I looked good in it but because I was happy when the picture was taken. Today, I discovered a picture that was taken while I was volunteering and it is awful and for awhile it almost took all the happiness away from me that I had felt while working hard for a good cause...shallow, yes that is me!

I saw the picture and all these feelings of unworthiness starting invading my thoughts and suddenly every good feeling I had of serving a very worthwhile organization that helps at risk children were swept away...ALL BECAUSE OF A DUMB PICTURE OF ME. Craziness...

My daughter-in-my-heart listened to me complain about the picture and how awful I looked in it and she reminded me of a book that she had given me, Calm My Anxious Heart by Linda Dillow and a chapter that deals with being content with your body. The chapter is called Content to be Me...Each day I think I have made peace with my body and that we are friends and I accept all of the parts of me and then I will have a moment that makes me believe I have not.

But, it's just a moment and then I remember that I would never judge another person so shallowly and I won't treat myself that way either. So, today was a great day filled with happy moments serving others...and my picture was on the news and I looked....HAPPY!!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Perfect Little Pink Dress...

I have the perfect little pink dress, it is a pale pink with beautiful pink flowers along the hem line and while the tags say $198.00, that is NOT what I paid for it...I paid only $29.99, on sale at Talbot's. It was such a bargain, my perfect little pink dress. The palest of pink, the color my daughter describes as a shade that completely wipes all color from me making me appear corpse-like. The wonderful design of the dress, shows off not one of my  attributes but somehow hangs lifelessly on my body.

I have had the dress for over five years now and each and every time I pull it out of my closet, I marvel at my great find of only $29.99 and I ponder on when and where I might wear this perfect little pink dress...

Then I stop and remind myself , that my daughter, who doesn't lie much to her mother says it is an awful dress and that it is not in fact the perfect little pink dress! 

I have learned that shopping doesn't make you happy...not in the long run! It just really fills your closets with "things" and "things" do not make you happy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

We Are Like Two Peas in a Pod...Only One is a Bean!

Recently I told someone my Hubby was my best friend and he is...that has not always been the case. We started out as friends but as marriages, sometimes do... we got busy and became acquaintances! Working, raising children and even our church would become a distraction that kept us from feeling like friends.

Both of us are very tolerate of other people and each of us have friends who think very differently that we do; it took a long time for us to allow that with each other. It took us even longer to realize that married people don't have to have the same mind ... it's okay to disagree and be different.

I have wonderful friends, in fact if you were to judge me just on my friends alone, I think, I would be judged a success. My friends are varied, Christian, Atheists, Hindus and I think I have one who classifies herself as Pagan but I think she's joking and really  she's agnostic. Some of my friends are conservatives and believe it or not they love me in spite of my liberalism. I have one friend who is a conservative Nudist and while I am neither, I love him just the same and I know he would do anything for me or my family. My husband is probably more accepting than even I am, however, for years we struggled to accept each other for just who we are and remember that we fell in love with each others differences. 

It's funny how we all strive to accept our neighbor but we needle our spouses for their shortcomings! God gave me a patient man who forgives easily...and I am grateful.
That's the great thing about getting older...what's essential is more clear to you everyday!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Less is More...but More of What?

For awhile now my Hubby and I have adopted a "Less is More" philosophy and for the most part we have enjoyed these changes. But, these choices have given us challenges, disappointments and CHANGES to our lives. C.H.A.N.G.E.S to your life does not necessarily result in happiness.

We thought we would be happy because it would be a more simple life which would result in happy!
Those changes did not make us happy nor was it fact sometimes it was just complicated and time consuming.

We had thought " happy" would result from our choice to have one car...One car is less than two cars, so, less is more, more happiness...

I did ride the "smug train" for a year, not literally but metaphorically. I wish Florida did have a commuter train, smug or otherwise as I would ride it and it would be a step up for Florida's public transit! Alas, Florida does not have a "smug train"...

But, we are now on four years of my Hubby and I sharing a car. While I know we have saved on expenses, gas, and have lowered our carbon foot print...these choices while not impossible to make have not resulted in a simple life but rather a complicated set of planning and rethinking of our values and how we live our lives!

It has also resulted in one of us being stranded places for longer than we anticipated, missed appointments, late appointments and the knowledge we as grown ups don't share all that well!

The Less is More philosophy has caused us to make some really hard decisions and that has resulted in us making difficult choices in other parts of our lives, as well. Which did not make us happy! So, not happy in fact we wavered on our decision to keep doing the Less is More. It's really hard, even for grown ups NOT to just go along with the crowd... I used to love having the latest fashion but I am not living that life style anymore...

I know, bigger is not better, brand new is not better...More of more does not make you happy!
So, these days, you will find me wearing last year's dress, sitting in the passenger side of my six year old car and going to a church that feeds the homeless on Sunday mornings!
My happiness is not based on things but rather on how God can use me and that is my ministry...and really most days...I am happy!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Doing the Impossible...

Weddings make me happy, I didn't really realize that until I started my year long Happy Project. I am trying for a year to focus on my happiness, sounds selfish but it's's mindful!

The part of the wedding I enjoy most is hearing the couple recite their vows because while they do I remember mine...

I, Ronda, take you Robert, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.

At the time, I thought, geez  "piece of cake,"... "wedding cake" to be exact. But, I was wrong, it is the hardest job you will ever take on, (the army is wrong) it's not just my marriage, it's's not easy. But, it's not meant to be easy. It's the ultimate challenge and to struggle in your marriage is to grow in faith, to grow in knowledge and to grow in love.

I have not been a perfect wife nor has my husband been a perfect husband but we have grown in love and I honestly didn't realize I could love him more than when I took my vows for the first time!

I love weddings, I love watching a couple, in front of their family and friends promise to do the "impossible" while other "old" couples hold hands and silently agree to continue doing the "impossible."

It was a beautiful wedding!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Being HAPPY!

For awhile now, I haven't been happy. I haven't been unhappy but rather something in the middle of happy and unhappy... is my word, deal with it! I started this blog when I turned 50 and it was my outlet for trying to be not-so-fearful! This year, my start of 52 years on this planet will be my pursuit of "happy"! I understand, that many will tell you that being happy is not what it is all about but this is not their blog nor their life... and I want to be happy.

If you have ever read my blog, you know I like to read and it brings me happiness. So while looking for something to read I found The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It has inspired me to begin a year long HAPPY Project. While I read her book, I realized many of the things that brought her happiness , would not bring me happiness and actually, that is her point. We each have unique ways of finding happiness based upon our personalities and our unique talents.

Ah, talents...I had begun to feel like I hadn't any...
I read somewhere, that if you ask a child...
"Can you sing?" that they would answer enthusiastically "YES"
"Can you dance?" that same child would answer "Yes" again...never doubting their talent or abilities.
As we age, we start believing we can't do some things because we aren't as good as others!
But, we CAN!
Some one recently asked if I could Kayak?
I answered without thinking, "Yes" and then I started to doubt that I still could.
So the Hubby and I went kayaking...
and "I can" and it made me Happy!

I had my HAPPY on and I am going to keep being HAPPY...for a year and maybe longer.
By the way...I have missed blogging and it also, makes me HAPPY!

What makes you HAPPY?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rolling with the Punches...

The saga continues...

So...we (he) made an appointment to have that cracked windshield fixed on our car and literally (not metaphorically) we were rear ended by another vehicle the morning of the appointment.

What I noticed about the incident/accident is that while my husband and I both showed kindness and compassion to the young man who failed to use his brakes at the red light, instead allowing our back bumper to do the job for him; we weren't all that kind or compassionate to each other. We weren't mean but we were nicer to the man who hit us than to one another. Both of us have had car accidents that were our fault when we were younger and I think this allowed us to remember how it felt and gave us compassion for this young man. I am glad as I think he needed it.

Where we failed, was being there for each other. I am not complaining as I am as guilty as the Hubby...we weren't there for each other. To give credit to one another , we didn't realize we needed it. But...why do we married people sometimes show more compassion to a total stranger than to one another?

We kept going...I mean we have this giant TO-DO List..and DO we must!

But, later I felt achy... not from the accident but I think just from being so tense about the experience of the accident.

So, I took a moment to really thank God that no one was hurt, that my husband is a gracious man who can be kind to a young man who makes a mistake and that THIS...thankfully is no big deal! A peace came over me...

My windshield is fixed like brand new...and Monday morning my car goes in for repairs to fix my smashed rear end!

We will keep rolling on and doing our TO-DO List...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cracked Glass...and Other Crack Ups!

My husband picked me up from work for a quick lunch the other day and I noticed the spot where a rock had hit our windshield had become not just a little spot but rather an inch long crack.

"Whoa...How did that happen?" I asked.
He said " I must have hit a bump...and it's spreading! "
"Well, our insurance pays 100% of your front windshield replacement and we should just take care of that! " I commented.

Now, I said we...but I meant he. We nor he has taken care of it. More importantly...I did not take care of it! (There is no "I " in teamwork...wait that's not what it means...) that was a week ago....
it it now about six inches long.

I looked at it yesterday and I have decided that the crack in the windshield is a metaphor for our lives right now...

I am just hoping the windshield doesn't land in our laps!

Our to-do lists keep growing and we don't seem to have enough hours in the day...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter... New Beginnings

Today a young man sang a song in church that moved me to wasn't the words although they were was the way he sang the song. He put everything he had into it, using his gift from God to his fullest potential. I wish I could sing like that...I so... can not! It's not my gift and certainly it wouldn't be from God if I did break out in song.
A yet, a new song is in my heart.

His song did remind me that for awhile, I haven't been using my gifts from God, to my full potential. I haven't any good excuses but rather instead deluded myself in thinking...that either my gifts weren't needed or worse maybe I never really had them to begin with. The trouble with this line of thinking is that while you may not use your gifts...God will make your passion bigger and bigger until you have to use them!

My husband and I have made some changes, for some time now we haven't worshiped at the same church as our children. They have each married wisely and they have each picked churches that were right for their families. While my head has understood all of heart has missed them at every turn. I refer to this as "the ghost of children past". I have spent about 5 years missing my children in the halls of our church! I love our church and consider the people there our family but for the last two years, both my husband and myself quietly thought of leaving. Neither one of us wanted to hurt the other by bringing it up but this heaviness in our hearts persisted.

Our passion for serving the homeless led us to a new church where 200 are fed every Sunday morning, even Easter...or should I say, especially Easter! Their mission statement is simple and easy to remember... Making God's love real. It was our passion that led us to this church and our passion will lead us to serve there.

I will miss our old church family, as I miss worshiping with my children but I do know that we, together will always be a part of God's family!

I welcome new beginnings....Happy Easter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hi...My Name is Ronda and I Use to Blog!

Hi...My name is Ronda and I use to be a blogger, now I am having trouble finding where to type a new post. This struck me as funny as I use to post daily but that was when I owned my own time! I now no longer own my own time or my own business, well I still own it but it's more like... Owning the debt one incurs from owning your own business.

I work for someone else now and I still try to do the other things as well... I am having time management problems. I am having a time management problem right now as I am choosing not do laundry or clean my house on my day off and blog instead! Life is all about choices...just remember there are ALWAYS consequences to the choices we make!

My husband and I have made some painful choices recently and that has taken some of our time. We have chosen to include God in our choices because we have found that in the past where we haven't included God, we didn't like the "road NO ONE would have taken"!

I started this blog almost two years ago, on my 50th birthday and I want to continue on with it! I want to be better about the choices I make, my time is precious and I want to make the most out of it and blogging again is part of that plan.

Have a great Holy week! God is in the house...well, As for me and my house...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Salon, Bloggy Book Club and All Girls Book Club Combo

The Sunday

I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen for this month's Bloggy Book Club and for the first ever...All Girls Book Club, which is a book club that meets once a month. While I have loved blogging for Sunday Salon and for Bloggy Book Club and I love reading the comments of fellow reading enthusiasts on this blog and was very gratifying to hear every one's opinion about this book in "real time"!

Water for Elephants was a great read...I know that I do write that phrase many times ...I am not a critic...I enjoy reading a story and I am led easily into it. I take the story for what it is...

In the Authors Notes in the back of the book, Sara Gruen writes that the idea of this book came about unexpectedly while researching for an entirely different book. The Chicago Tribune ran an article on Edward J Kelty, a photographer who followed traveling circuses around America in the 1920's and 1930's. The photograph that was included fascinated her so much she began researching Circuses and had abandoned her first idea for a book entirely instead deciding to write about the train circuses.

This is a story about a young man and his loss of both his parent's during the Depression and his adventure of running away with the circus. Sara Gruen contrasts the world of a showman's glamor and equestrian pageantry with the senseless cruelty of a sleazy sideshow.
This is also the story of an old man and his aged memories and his real fear of losing control of his mind and his life...and those memories he holds so dear.

The All Girls Book Club met and discussed this book at length and all of us either liked or loved this book very much! It is a great historical fiction and I liked it very much!
We decided that we will all go to the movie that is being made out of this book starring Reese Witherspoon, Sean Penn and Robert Pattinson

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Salon...Read Along

The Sunday

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is a great book that I am re-reading ...The subtitle of this book is How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.
I enjoyed this book when I first read it and reading again at a new place in my life has been rewarding for me. I love to watch people and how they respond to one another...this book will make you see those interchanges in a new light! Change is inevitable but it is human nature for most of us to not respond favorably when we feel it is happening.

Because I like driving myself somewhat crazy and I just plain love to read...I am reading three other books right now...all good!
I am missing a great Sunday School class today because I am working but the book we are reading for that class, and while I am only on the second chapter it has been very interesting! It is by Paul F. Knitter and it is called Without Buddha I could not be a Christian.
It's probably an intriguing title to Christians and to Buddhists but I have found it to be sensitively written and very thought provoking!

I am reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen for Blogging book Club this month and for my brand-new-no-name-yet-in-real-life-thank-God-I-have-it-book-club!
I do like it and I will share more later in the month!

The fourth book I am just finishing up is a must-have for any young woman leaving college or as I am, any woman reentering the work force. It is Cathie Black's Basic Black...this book is terrific and has given me just the pep-talk I needed!

I am off to work today and I am actually happy to as I will be at the Florida Fairgrounds working at a booth for work ...which is fun for me!
Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Bloggy Book late!

When last we left our sweet heroine she said something about reading The Lost Symbol for Bloggy Book Club and that was way back in November...

Well, she ...uh, I did! I just didn't blog about it!

So...Bloggy Book Club for November was The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and I did enjoy it with some small reservations.

From the front cover: When Langdon's beloved mentor, Peter Solomon- a prominent Mason and philanthropist- is brutally kidnapped, Langdon realizes his only hope of saving Peter is to accept this mystical invitation and follow wherever it leads him. Langdon is instantly plunged into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and-never-before-seen-locations- all of which seem to be dragging him toward a single, inconceivable truth.

Sounds good....doesn't it? It was! I enjoyed it because of the interesting, historical and mysterious plot but this is my third time reading about Robert Langdon's experiences and frankly it read a little formula-like and became very predictable for me and that was disappointing. Even though the story is somewhat basically know who the "bad" guy is and what is going to happen, because it is a very similar story line in all three books! This was an interesting storyline about The Masons and I did find that part of it intriguing.

But, the most annoying part for me is that while telling the story Dan Brown chooses to only honor some of Robert Langdon's past...he always has these characters who appear who are old dear friends who weren't mentioned in his past books. You then find recent characters you just read about in the last books aren't mentioned in the new book, which would be fine if he didn't reference events that occurred in the past book. It annoyed me that the author mentioned details from the last books and then doesn't mention anymore about any of the "dear friends" from the other books! It seems odd for his character to have these relationships that don't carry over to the other books.
This may not bother others...just me but it did distract me from an otherwise great storyline!

It is a great historical, fiction who-done-it?

For Bloggy Book Club in January we are reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Join in by blogging Sunday, January 31, 2010... Happy Reading!