Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Christmas season is full upon us, and we wait with bated breath for the lovely day.  As for me, I don't seem to have enough hours in the day to get things accomplished!  I love my new job, and the extra $ it brings.  I'm feeling an extra spring in my step -- kind of like my eyes have been opened to new possibilities.  I've found that my days off (Thursday and Friday) are filled with all manner of catching up, grocery shopping, and squeezing in appts. and other paraphernalia.  I am loving it.  

Belle flies home in frosty air tomorrow and will land at the Canton/Akron Airport at 6 pm.  Can't believe she's halfway through her sophomore year in college.  We realized that she no longer had a winter coat -- only her letterman's jacket, and who wants to wear that when you're out of high school?  On a Christmas trek last week, I picked her up a nice pea coat at Forever 21.  I love that store, and especially their prices. 

Selena got her driving permit last week.  She simply passed a test and we got in the car and drove home!  Fifteen and a half.  Where did all that time go?  She's doing a great job driving to and fro.  I think I'm a bit older and calmer than I was when Belle got her permit 4 1/2 years ago.  Or maybe the two are just different personalities?  I think the latter is true -- Belle never wanted to listed to any of my instruction and Selena just takes it in and keeps going.  Right about now is when I wish Selena and Hunter were a little farther apart in age.  He will be driving before I know it.

I got up with Jack Frost still nipping at my nose this morning.  Five-thirty comes around too quickly.  As I walked out into the living room, and plugged in my Christmas tree I waited just a bit to turn on my computer.  As the tree lit the darkened room with it's softly glowing lights, I was once again reminded of how much I have and what I should be thankful for.  My children are healthy and thriving.  My husband loves me and is working steadily.  I have once again regained who I know I am to be.  God loves us and we are warm.  What else do I need?  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

People, let's celebrate Thanksgiving first!

Am I the only one who gets annoyed at people who put up Christmas lights before Thanksgiving?  Selena and I have discussed it, and are ticked that everyone wants to bypass Thanksgiving!  We love Thanksgiving. Sigh.  We will never win.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Awesome night with the kids

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life you don't take enough time to just spend together.  Well, last night my kids and I remedied that.  We took off about 6 pm to enjoy Boo in the 'Burg out in Millersburg!  We went to the Victorian Mansion first.  All decked out for Halloween, the atmosphere was just what we wanted.  We explored all three upper floors, then headed for the basement.  There was even a gypsy doing palm readings, which we declined to do.  As much as I love spooky stuff I drew the line at that.  Several dark characters waited around corners to give us a fright, one especially in the old hospital room upstairs.  I asked her if I could take a picture, and she replied, "I won't show up..."  Chill down my spine! The history entailed in the mansion is breathtaking.  The picture made up of saved hair wound around wires was a bit eerie.  Those Victorians didn't waste a thing.  Hunter was attempting to check out all areas and all doors that were closed.  He got a surprise when he tried to open a door and it was pushed back in his face!  Not sure if someone was behind that basement door, but it was sure shut hard.  He was slightly freaked.  From there we went to buy tickets for the ghost walk downtown.  They were almost sold out when we got there and felt lucky to get tickets to the last walk.  With time to kill, we meandered around Millersburg and hit all the shops that stayed open for the night.  Our favorite by far was 55 West.  Full of eclectic paraphernalia, the atmosphere was awesome.  We somehow got stuck in another ghost walk that was touring the store for a story, so we got a slice of a tour we hadn't paid for! Theater actors from West Holmes added some drama to the night for a few chills and this story was no different.  As the story was winding down, a planned bang from upstairs occurred making us all jump.  The lights dimmed for effect and the story was done with a flourish.  After everyone started filing out, the shop owner Stefanie told us that the lights had dimmed on their own!  That had not been part of the ghost walk.  Hmmm....wonder who dimmed the lights?  Our ghost walk consisted of walking through the upstairs of the Young Bldg. and we were escorted there by our guide Jack the Ripper.  He was a great guide who made it worthwhile. We learned of a murder/suicide in the upstairs of that building back when it was a restaurant.  The basement of the old jail was so old and creepy and we learned there was a tunnel leading from it to the courthouse.  Such awesome history.  After our walk was over we headed to Wooster to take in a movie, Paranormal Activity 2.  It was very good, and when we arrived back home around 1 am we were worn out and happy with how our evening had gone.  I love my kids and it's so much fun to connect with them and just let loose. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New job, Pumpkin Carving, and Halloween!

What a week this has been.  I've been caught up in a whirlwind and tossed from two different extremes!  I started a new job this week as receptionist at Troyer Cheese in Berlin.  Not the retail store, but the distribution center that sits beside it.  I've always loved office work.  When I was 19 I worked as receptionist at Weaver Leather for a year, and I left there to go with George to Mexico.  Ahh, those were the days being young and free.  My first week went very well, but I think my mind was tired more than my body -- lots of learning and concentrating to do.  I will only be working Monday - Wednesday, so it's not a full time job.  When Thursday came around I was like a whirling dervish getting all sorts of stuff done at home!  I guess it took getting me out of the house to be able to get some stuff done.  It kind of woke me out of a stupor. 

It's Halloween weekend!  It's not that we celebrate Halloween, but it's one of my favorite times of the year.  It's kind of autumn /mybirthday/ Halloween all wrapped up into one month!  I love the crunchy leaves, the glowing Jack o Lanterns, and the chill wind that envelopes you.  We carved pumpkins on Thursday night, and my kids got into it as much as they did when they were little.  There's something about those warm orange orbs, washing them off, then contemplating what they will become.  The knife as it plunges into the thick skin and slowly becomes what you envisioned.  The goopy guts, and firm seeds that I later roasted slowly with salt and lime.  My favorite part is sticking the candle in, lighting it up, and standing in the front yard with the kids and admiring our handiwork.  Maybe it's just being together....

Tonight we're heading out to Millersburg to check out Boo in the 'Burg.  I'm so excited to take a ghost tour of some of the historical buildings downtown.  The Victorian Mansion is also open to take self-guided ghost tours.  I've never been on one, but I'm sooo excited to go.  The kids are calling this a "Mom-Selena-Hunter" night.  I love my kids.  Love the hubby too, but it's just not his thing although he's happy enough to let me enjoy it. I'll post some pics next week of what we encounter.  

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Fragments -- my babies!

I'm not sure when my babies got this old.  I remember them running around in the backyard, rolling on the floor fighting, and sitting there with their heads tilted watching every episode of the Rugrats. They are only 11 months apart.  Now they are old enough to get spiffed up and head off to Homecoming with dates.  Sigh, they are still my babies -- just more grown up looking.  Don't you think? 

Friday, October 8, 2010

on scary movies & tossing your cookies

Oh mylanta, it's almost the middle of October.  Honestly the days zip along and don't really give a rip whether they fly by or not. When October hits, my scary bone starts acting up.  I don't know where I got my love of all things creepy, but I can't remember a time when I didn't have it.  I would pick a horror movie any day over a sappy romance.  I've also paid the price for it.  When the movie "The Blair Witch" project started being advertised (it has to be over ten years ago now) I just had to see it.  George knows better than to argue with me about it, so off we went for a nice dinner and movie.  There we were all settled in with popcorn, a drink, and candy.  I like to get to the theater early (yes, I'm one of those) so we were sitting right in the middle about 3/4 of the way up.  The movie starts.  I realize that the camera is really jerking around, and I'm kinda getting a headache.  This was back when the whole "shaky-camera) thing was new.  The movie is really good but I'm having to look up at the ceiling, or simply close my eyes because of the headache.  It slowly dawns on me what is happening -- I have motion sickness! All that jerky camera action has made me feel like I'm on a boat or the tilt-a-whirl with no way out.

George keeps asking me if I'm ok, and I just nod my head. 

Suddenly,  I knew that if I didn't get out of that theater I wasn't going to make it.  The movie was getting to the good part and all at once I hurl myself out of my seat and into the aisle. You know how dark those theaters are, especially the nice stadium seating ones.  I run down the steps and careen into the bathroom and into a stall. 

And  yes, I did make it -- just in time to toss more cookies than I've ever tossed.  

I finally regained some semblance of order and made my way back into the darkened theater. As I plop in my seat, the movie ends. Sadness.  Those darn movie makers -- don't they know some of us ladies have sensitive issues? 

Sadly, I didn't learn my lesson.  Saving Private Ryan, Cloverfield, and Paranormal Activity have all been graced by my presence.  There's just something about that chill running up your spine...I just can't stay away!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Unspeakable Sorrow

It's a little early, but the second part of George's story is up and posted on the Bargain Hunter website.  This one was hard to write, but what's coming next will be even harder -- pressing on!

The Unspeakable Sorrow

excruciatingly honest post alert

DISCLAIMER:  Just a little warning about my post for today -- it comes from an unstable, unbathed woman who has only had one cup of coffee today.  Keep reading at your own risk! :)

I feel like I've been sitting on the edge of my seat for a very long time.  Anxious, edgy, maybe even a bit snippety?  I can't seem to hold still even when I sit down to write.  My hands fidget and brain is on overdrive.  I just can't pinpoint what's going on with me.  I feel as if I'm on a precipice with barely a thread holding me from plunging down into a black hole.  There have been days I want to go into a room and scream.  I seem to always want to be alone and when someone comes home I just want them to leave again.  Solitude is my angry friend right now.  The husband has noticed it and there have been more than enough heated discussions about it.  The kids are so busy that they barely notice it.  If I'm on hand to pick them up from wherever on earth they are at that moment it's enough for them.  

There are things I seem to be holding onto. There are things I need to let go of.  There are things I need to leave in the past, never to be thought about, discussed, or rehashed again.  Excuses in the form of a thin whine have been leaving my mouth again and again.  Does anyone have a muzzle they could part with for awhile?

I almost feel as if I'm losing a part of myself.  There are so many things I want to accomplish.  So many things I want to do.  They are trapped inside my head not able to blossom and grow.  I sometimes feel that I'm not capable of doing what I need to.  This dark, little voice stops me and chains me to the chair.  Things that seem impossible seem even farther away when I let this voice talk to me.  Don't worry -- I don't really hear voices (cue Dana Carvey a.k.a The Church Lady)  I just feel a chill go over my body and I just feel like giving in.  I'm not depressed -- never have been.  But I struggle with negativity in every pore of my body.  I would like to throw it up and wash the vomit down the drain.  

The husband has so many dreams, and lack of funds or resources never stop him. He just keeps on dreaming and has GOOD ideas.  When he presents a new idea to me I want to respond the way a wife should.  With positivity and energy.  Instead this rush of despair comes over me and I just shoot it down.  I would like to cut this part out of me and throw it out the window.  What causes me to respond this way?
Yesterday, I opened up a book that had been a life line about a year ago.  It's called "Come Away My Beloved".  It's an intimate book with God speaking directly to you.  I felt almost at the end of my rope with all these strange feelings, and when I get this way I just can't pray.  Have you ever just not been able to pray?  I'm just feeling honest here today.  So, I opened the book right in the middle.  The chapter it opened to was titled --  DO NOT LIE DORMANTDormant?  Yes.  That was it.  I've been feeling like I've been dormant for years.  Always with lots of ideas, but never quite doing or achieving them.  I've felt tamped down, held down, told I wasn't doing it right.  Lots of feelings from years  past have been surfacing.  These need to be thrown in the trash.  It says in the book, "Never be dormant.  Do not be slothful, neither let yourself fall asleep."  Well, my friends, I've been dormant.  I've been sleeping. Right now I just want to excuse myself and give you reasons as to why I haven't been dormant -- but that would be a lie.  But the pressure in my chest to reason it away is almost coming out of my mouth as I sit here alone and type.  When the husband says I'm using excuses again I argue with him.  The argument in itself is just another excuse.  He's not perfect, he just likes to get things done in an efficient and non-excusable manner.  "Stop trying to tell me why you aren't doing it, just start doing it!", he'll say.  

"So move out and move on, and you will find greater heights before.  Unknown riches await your discovery and unimagined joys your experience."  I know I've felt like I'm on the edge of something because Satan is keeping me there.  He's dangling me with his ugly cloven hoof.  His hot breath is on my neck because he wants to keep me from falling into God's purposes for me. Plain and simple, I'm feeling the fires of Hell  because I'm afraid.  Afraid to let go of things.  Afraid to just sit and trust.  I fidget because I'm not allowing God's calm hand on my shoulder.  I try so hard to do everything myself, to make everything work.  Then I get upset when someone tells me I'm making excuses.  With God there is nothing to explain away.  If I would just give it to Him and LET HIM KEEP IT, instead of taking it back and carrying it, things might be alot different.
This is a very long post, but it's been slamming me in the chest for months now, maybe even years.  I try to be a positive person, but today I've chosen to let it out and be real.  We all know that a lot of us feel things that are hard to deal with.  My brain is pulsing right out of my skull because I want to be real. I'm not what you would call a "cute" writer -- I'm to the point. I say it how it is. 

Yesterday I finished the second part of George's story.  It's not posted yet, but it was a struggle to get it done.  For years, I've known that God wants me to tell this story.  He's told me so, and told others who have told me. I've fought God, I've fought George, and made excuse after excuse as to why it was just too hard for me to write.  I think Satan is trying to stop me from writing it.  I've gotten enough feedback from just the first part of the story that I know I need to keep pressing on.  I think I've disobeyed God for so long in not writing it that he's allowed all sorts of things to happen to us.  Things that keep poking me in the chest, letting me know I'm being disobedient.  Just for once, if maybe I listen, things might turn around?  If I do His will maybe our lives will be on the path that He wants for us?  Wow, what a marvel idea!  I need to stop feeling like this path will be too hard.  Or that I'll lose myself on it.  

"My hand will be upon you, and My energy will be at your disposal, and you will partake of My joy.  My peace will fortify your thought life, and I shall give health and strength to your bones.  My love shall be your constant portion.  I do not ask you to labor in drudgery, but the work of God is a labor of love, for God is love."

Time to get real, get dirty, and start doing what I'm called.  I can't be afraid.  And even though prayer is powerful, I can't pray myself out of every situation.  It's time to DO


Friday, September 17, 2010

A few futbol pics

Ahh, soccer season ... how I've missed you!  Hopefully tomorrow I'll get some of Hunter -- they've been off almost a week. Heading up to Hudson tomorrow for girls and boys games!

Friday, September 3, 2010

An Overview of George's Story

September, you're such a creeper.  Where did you even come from?   I love fall -- it's my absolute favorite time of year.  The sweatshirts come out of hiding, although mine always need a tumble in the dryer to get rid of that unused smell.  I don't know what lurks on my closet shelves, but I wish there was a button to press to keep all your clothes smelling fresh.  

My latest post on the Bargain Hunter website was the start of a new endeavor for me.  Once a month, I'm going to be writing a new installment on the life of my husband Antonio (a.k.a. George).  And yes, we'll eventually get to the story of why he's called George instead of the much sweeter Antonio!  When I met him, in spurts I got the whole incredible tale and how it unspooled.  From his dad's death, the stepfather from hell and the torturous abuse he suffered at his hands, to being lost on the streets from the ages of six to nine.  Let's not leave out living in Acapulco alone at ten years of age, making his way to the U.S., and becoming an expert at traveling on the underbelly of freight trains.  He's been all over, brushing paths with the cartels and gangs, getting involved with drugs, and finally praying for a way out of it all.  His story is hard to swallow, but for the twenty-two years we've been together, we both know it needed to be told.  I wasn't ready before, and I'm not sure I'm ready now -- all I know is that it's time to write.  My fingers may type truths that are unbelievable, but with the climate that is pervasive in the USA today, his story needs to be told.  His is only one story, but it tells hard truths.  We need to hear these truths instead of going along blindly with what the media feeds us.  

Thanks for embarking on this journey with me.  Hopefully it will lead me to put a book together, which for us, has always been the goal.  After I finished writing the first installment, I read it to George.  As I spoke the last lines, I realized he was crying.  For him, it's still fresh -- almost like yesterday.  Then he thanked me for starting it.  After all, it's from his heart to yours.

Mi Papa

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

...time keeps on ticking...

....Selena my high school sophomore...and Hunter my high school freshman (plus my nephew Zach an 8th grader!)....1st day of school 2010...where did the time go?

Friday, August 20, 2010

What do you guys think?

It's a beautiful Friday morning and it's been four days since Belle flew back to Florida.  Our house has settled back into normalcy after the rush of getting a college kid ready.  My high schoolers are ready to head back to classes next Tuesday.  Life for me will be a blur of soccer games, with my days filled with writing and new projects. I'm ready to hit the ground running with the free time that school in session gives me.  

My most recent Bargain Hunter blog was one that was close to my heart.  It's about letting your kids go.  I'm posting it here today -- take a gander and let me know how you all feel about letting your kids go.

Letting Go

Monday, August 2, 2010

Snapshot of my August

"I bet deep down you still wish your mom would take you clothes shopping every August for the new school year."   ~Bridget Willard

Seems like I just started waxing poetic on summer and all of a sudden it's back to school.  I've just learned to sink deeply in my front porch cushions and enjoy a good book while the kids sleep in.  The days are lazy and with not much direction.  It turns on a dime when the first of August rolls around.  Here is my August in a nutshell:

-- Drive three times a day to Hiland to chauffeur said children to soccer conditioning

-- Come back home and drink three more cups of coffee .... savor.

-- Help my college sophomore choose which t-shirts out of 300 should go back with her to Florida.

-- Remind her that extra baggage is extra money.

-- Hide 100 of her t-shirts that she doesn't even remember that she has. 

-- Make a sandwich for the hubby and chat with him when he comes home for lunch. 

-- Go through high school sophomore and freshmans' clothing with them. 

-- Remind son that even though underwear only has ten holes in it, we do need to buy some more.  

-- Question for the 1000th time where the 20 count package of socks has gone to that I bought him one month ago. 

-- Tell myself it's okay to be glad I have one child that never asks for much of anything new. 

-- Remind myself to tell the other two that I love them anyway even though they want everything. 

-- Chauffeur kids to practice.  The middle child now is having 2-a-days.  

-- Remind myself I love being a soccer mom.

-- Say goodbye to eldest.  Watch her fly away on a big jet plane.  Shed a tear.

-- Text her to tell her I love her and to be good.

-- Attend numerous soccer scrimmages and yell my head off. 

-- Buy school supplies and lots of extras just because "you love us mom!"

-- Drive to school, drop said children off, come home, brew more coffee and crash.

-- Get ready to head to first soccer game. Scream my head off. 

-- Smile and thank God because I love my life.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Days

Hot and humid is pressing on my window panes.  The air feels so heavy that it's as if I'm walking through jello.  College financial prep drug on forever this summer -- FOREVER!  The girl will be returning to Florida on or thereabouts August 16 which is quickly bearing down on us.  The separation this year won't be as hard.  I'll miss her, but am getting used to the stretching and separating that goes along with your kids growing up.  I'm looking forward to helping her get ready to go.  She'll be flying back this time as so many trips to Florida are hard on the pocketbook.  My younger two will be entering their Sophomore and Freshman years this year.  Growing up way too quickly.  I watch them, dark heads bent together, talking and laughing and realize that all too soon they will be gone from me too.  I look to that day with a little bit of apprehension and also little bit of excitement.  Maybe George and I will take off on our adventures then.  Who knows what the future holds.  For now I just enjoy what each day brings me.  I'm enjoying the kids so much right now.  There's hardly any fighting like when they were younger -- either that or I'm just calmer as I get older.  Either way, I'm loving my life right now....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

These found photos speak to me

Friday, July 9, 2010

My name is Missy, and I'm a Facebook-aholic

Not sure if it's the slow down that summer brings or if I'm just lazy.  I simply haven't felt like updating my blog like a good little blogger!  Or maybe it's because there are more people in the house from day to day.  When I write, I need complete silence.  Anything, including the TV, and yes, the ever-pulsating iPod booming from upstairs distracts me.  Maybe I need a Facebook vacation.  I'll admit it right here and now -- I think I have a FB addiction.  I get on it in the morning when I check e-mail, I get on at noon, and just about anytime in-between.  My husband is threatening an intervention -- technology style!  I tell him, isn't your laundry done?  Don't you have a hot meal on the table? Then that insidious itch starts to scratch and I just have to know what everyone is up to, even though I don't talk to everyone everyday.  Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is a genius who is also an evil mastermind underneath.  Facebook is the single most awesome time-sucker in the world.  It  draws me in almost everyday.  Hmmmm....that intervention is starting to look like a good idea!  I love to network, though.  I use FB not only to connect with friends, but I use it to get my writing out there.  It's a good way for people to see me as the writer I want to be.  I also use it to put links and pictures to what my hubby is doing in his painting/texturing business.  If only I got paid for all my creative uses for FB!  Alas not meant to be.  Maybe Twitter is hiring social media jockeys? 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Luscious Summer

"How sweet I roamed from field to field, and tasted all the summer's pride."  ~William Blake

 Summer is heavy upon us.  The days have become lazy and languid, and I'm taking it all in.  The mornings have been hazy and humid and my kids have taken the opportunity to sleep in some.  Not too late though, as we have been immersed in the soccer World Cup these past few weeks and the first games start at 9:30 am.  Their sleepy heads make their way down the steps to join me downstairs for a little futbol.  The vuvuzuelas (the horns they play at soccer games) have woken them up almost every morning.   It's been a time of bonding.  George snuck breaks in his busy work schedule to watch the Mexico and U.S. games.  I think I will go into futbol withdrawal when the final game is played July 11.  Selena will miss that game because she will be taking off to Chicago, IL for a missions trip with the MYF.  They will be working with the homeless, do street missions, work in soup kitchens, and help work on construction.  She's excited, and I am as well -- those are the times you never forget.  Belle will be taking off on a bus to visit some of her friends in New Jersey.  Her boyfriend introduced us to a bus line called the Megabus.  It takes off from Pittsburgh, and for $5, she will be able to travel to New  York -- where her friends will pick her up.  Those golden summer trips, just taking off with a little cash and not a whole lot of plans.  Those are what I wish I could do more of now.  

It's almost the July 4th weekend.  This will plunge us into the heart of summer.  Where watermelons and corn start to ripen to the fullest.  Where you want to trek to the backyard and swing in a hammock, and just watch the fireflies start to dance in the luminous moonlight.  Last night Selena came flying downstairs to run out to the porch.  I followed her, as I have done every summer when she does this.  We stood on the porch and took in the lightning show that was being put on.  The brilliant bursts of electricity looked almost like balls of light in the sky, and for a moment I was blinded.  It would fade away to return seconds later.  When the blindness was gone, I saw that Hunter and George had joined us.  We watched in silence, feeling with every nerve that beautiful summer storm.  It's these moments that I'll tuck away to bring out on a snowy winter day. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Life & Surprise Birthday Parties!

Seems I haven't had time to blog much as of late.  Belle's boyfriend  left today after a two week stay.  We really enjoyed getting to know him.  Kind of sad to see him go. :(  We're immersed in the World Cup being held in South Africa right now.  Three games a day are on and we're taking in as many of them as we can.  Two garage sales are coming up.  One at my Aunt Fern's in Benton, and then one at Jonni's house.  In between running kids to open fields, and everything else, it's been a busy summer so far!  We threw Selena a surprise 15th birthday party on Saturday.  About 25 kids came and we scared her good!  Music, food, and fun was had by all. She so didn't want a party, but I think it's because she's so not about herself.  Sometimes I have to do it for her and make it ABOUT her.  Belle took her out to eat, then brought her back.  All the kids were hiding in the woods and everywhere.  We had a blast.  George turned 43 yesterday on top of everything, but he had to work -- on a Sunday!  We chilled and had pizza when he came home. To him, it was a good birthday.  For Father's Day next Sunday we're definitely going to see a movie and eat out.  He deserves it. 

All for now -- Italy is playing Paraguy and I want to take it in

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer & Houseguests

We have a new friend staying with us for a little while.  Belle's boyfriend from college, Jonathan Pullen, is taking a little road trip this summer and will end up in Copake, New York.  He will be working at a summer camp for kids coaching volleyball.  This is the first time we've met him, and we're all getting along swimmingly!  He grew up in Florida and is the son of Guatamalan missionaries.  He's got quite an interesting story.  For now we're just enjoying getting to know him.  It's made the summer interesting so far. 

He seems to be just as crazy as we are, and that's a good thing! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

... a little romance ...

We're celebrating our anniversary tonight -- 20 maddeningly lovely years.  It's not that I picked George out of a crowd, God led me to him.  I was supposed to do my VS assignment in Phoenix, AZ that winter of 1988.  At the last minute, they changed it to San Antonio, TX.  Where George lived.  God just knows.

"By in love she meant the acuteness of the heart at the sudden sight of a particular person or the way over a couple of years of interested friendship one is suddenly stunned by the lungs' longing for more and more breath in the presence of that friend."  ~Grace Paley

The wine is chilling, steaks and shrimp are marinating, and a variety of veggies to grill are cut and prepared.  French bread is waiting to be torn off as needed, and two lovely pink candles (a anniversary gift from a friend) are waiting to be burned.  We are setting this day aside for us -- because that's what we were first...us.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Not all those who wander are lost. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

You're not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality.  Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.  ~Malcolm X

I'm not a radical.  I grew up in a sleepy town that afforded me certain freedoms city folk just didn't have.  The days of summer were slow, languid and stretched out like a rippling curtain of promise.  Mornings spent eating cereal at a table with a vase of daffodils, packing a lunchbox with baloney sandwiches and hopping on my pink Huffy bike to ride off where the wind blew.  The back alley was a freedom highway for me.  This was before they widened it and built restaurants(The Farmstead), banks, and hotels.  Back then, riding up to Toothpick's house (our Amish neighbors up the road) was the biggest adventure I could have.  I was eventually allowed to go a little further and bike up to Boyd & Wurthmann's grocery store.  I can still see the dark, wide planks of wood that graced the floor of that old place.  Tiny aisles filled with white bread, cans of Campbell's soup, and finally making my way to the candy display.  Mars bars, packs of baseball cards with that hard as cement piece of gum, Reese cups, and Zero bars.  The paraphernalia of my youth, scattered through my memory, for some reason is coming to the surface today.  Alot of days were spent swinging on the tree swing Dad hung for us.  Rhonda and I each had one, and from forenoon til dusky, velvet evening, we were out there swinging in circles around those old trees.  Those trees are gone now, all cut down by the house's new owners. If only they had appreciated the history behind them. The radio would play and I was transported to the made-up places in my mind.  If I got bored with swinging, I would take off for Johnny's woods.  Over the gate I would climb and make the grassy trek through the field to the barb wire fence.  One hop and over would start my walk into the deep beautiful woods.  An old sugar shack stood for a long time deep in those woods, as did the story of an old Indian that supposedly lived there long ago.  I would poke around in the dark, verdant earth looking for arrowheads and any sign that I could find of this mysterious Indian.  Down a little further into the woods you came to a beautiful stream.  The hills were steep around it, and the water rushed over huge rocks.  Barefoot, I would stand in the water letting it flow around me.  Some days, I wish I could go back there just to stand.  Just to feel what I felt as a child before I grew up and the world became known to me. 

Coming from a small community has it's benefits.  People are quick to help when someone is in need.  There is no better cooking than here.  Mashed potatoes dripping with brown butter, Poor Man's steak, homemade strawberry jelly, and the finest bread anywhere.  It's a feast for the senses and the stomach.  I grew up here, I graduated here, and then I left here.  I was gone for a Voluntary Service short term stay in Texas.  This is where my whole world changed.  Some might think it changed because I met George there.  Yes, he changed my whole world in different ways.  He let the light in the almost impenetrable shell that surrounded me.  The shell that is put around you when you grow up in a town, that although wonderful, is somewhat sheltered from the world.  Everyone does everything the same way, and oft times, is never changed and nary a thought is given to it.  You might say, well Missy, you live here and are raising your children here.  Absolutely true.  I wanted my children to go to school here, to be raised here in this wonderful place.  I wanted them to have the same idyllic childhood that I had.  There is only one difference.  They are being raised to know that there are more ways to live, more ways to think, and more ways to love than that just exist here in Holmes County.  When I lived in San Antonio my eyes were opened with a swift blow to the head.  When I lived with George in Mexico for almost a year my head almost exploded.  Why?  Because I realized that there are so many people in the world, so many other ways of doing things, and so many other ways to get from point A to B.  So many times we travel along the well-beaten path, following in the same footsteps as everyone else.  My brother played this sport and so will I.  Well, my dad did too.  You should too because it would make him proud.  We do things, not because we always want to, just to please other people or because everyone else is doing it.  This might not be the case for you, but lately, it's all that's on my mind.  

Have you ever been argued with just because your idea was different? Because you presented another side of an issue?  Lots of people might be surprised to know what I know.  They might be shocked and surprised what we teach our children.  Why do you think they are surprised at this?  Because it's different.  Well, you can't teach a child that....you can't tell him that....you have to hide that from him.  I say no way.  My children are versed in the ways of this world, so they can be ready to enter into it when they leave our little nest.  You can take them to church, and teach them the right way to live, and in the end they will be on their own.  You pray their way through it.  I will not put shame on my kids if they choose a path that lies outside the path I have trod.  This is what I want for them!  I want them to grab this world and take from it what they can to forge their path.  A path that's not well-beaten and holds life's delicious mysteries for them.  

A canopy of lush tropical trees and vines flash by my eyes.  I'm looking up through the sun roof as the moist air rushes onto my face.  I'm driving to Acapulco, George at my side and behind the wheel.  I'm 20 years old and I'm free.  Free to explore this wide world and the unknown in it.  We stop at a roadside stand that sells exotic fruits.  We buy them, partake, and keep driving.  The decision to leave a good-paying job and travel to Mexico with George was a heart-renching decision.  Being raised in a small town makes it hard to leave.  It was a decision that, although not made lightly, was inevitable.  I never regretted it.  Leaving and driving away from home was the hardest thing I have ever done -- but it was also the best.  We came back, got married and raised our kids. We raised them in the same town that I was raised.  It was the right choice.

Our country, to a point, is eating itself alive.  Arguments, barbs, and hatred are pushing us back 60 years to a place America should never go back to.  I'm glad we have raised our children to be strong and never back down.  Sometimes the vitriol comes out stronger than we need it to sound.  I for one, never want to shove my views down anyone's throat.  But I will be heard.  I will never sit around and let someone tell me, just let it go --- that's just how we do it. Don't make a fuss, you don't want to be noticed. I reject that.  Being raised in a small town helped me to define who I was, and in a great way enabled me to become who I needed to be now.  The bible says that there is a time to speak and a time to be silent.  I have had my share of silence -- it's now time to speak.  

There is, inside me, a yearning to still hit that open road.  I envision roads that wind  through misty mountain mornings.  People sleepily coming out of their houses to start their day.  The question is not if we'll ever go back to Mexico, it's when.  People gasp when I say this.  How could  you go to a country so dangerous?  Why would you do that?  They forget that my husband is from there. Born deep in the lushness that is Oaxaca.  He is an Aztec Indian, 100% so. Our children know we yearn for this.  For them, we will wait.  Wait until their schooling is done.  Wait until they know their path.  They want us to go -- maybe they will come with us.  George has lived in this country for 31 years.  Years filled with danger, anguish, and finally love and steadiness.  He is steadfast as a father and husband -- a warrior that's true to his nature.  For him, I will go.  Not only for him, though.  For my fast-beating heart that thrills at the thought of forging a new life.  

"Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thanks, Boho Mom, for the awesome quote!

Playing a little catch up

Back from Miami all, and I'm peeling like a potato.  I don't think I have ever peeled this much in my life. The sun was so intense and lovely down there that you feel as if you could lay in the sun forever.  When you're cavorting in the waves you don't feel it at all.  We stayed in one of the old art deco hotels right on Ocean Drive.  I did alot of searching beforehand for the right hotel and price.  I found this place, for four nights, and paid a song.  The only thing we didn't expect was the valet parking.  They charge you up front for four days of storage.  It was worth it though, because we only took the car out once to cruise through downtown Miami.  The rest of the time we spent walking to the beach, down Ocean Dr., Collins Ave., and Espaniola Way.  After the first day the walking became habit.  My figure benefited from this and I unknowingly lost some weight!  I'm continuing this trend by walking out at our high school track three times a week -- might as well keep going!  None of the hotels on Ocean Dr. have continental breakfast.  Instead,  you head out and snake your way through each hotel's restaurant.  They are all outside and everyday we had beautiful breakfasts with the palm trees and ocean crashing right in front of us.  The nice thing about eating at these restaurants is that they are all in competition with each other.  Everyday, we paid $4.25 for the best food ever.  All the competition drives the prices down, so we ate gourmet food for next to nothing.  My favorite breakfast was the spinach and mushroom omelette with hollandaise sauce, red potatoes with herbs, and cuban coffee.  Delectable.  It was an awesome vacation.  Careful planning and a little saving in advance will do you wonders on vacation.  We have never had money to throw around, but have always taken vacations to various places.  Good research and no plastic is what keeps us under control.  For the past ten years, any travel we have done has been without credit cards.  Mexico, New Jersey, Florida and various places have been traveled to with cash or debit.  It's so freeing knowing you won't have a bill to look forward to when you get home. 

We're now settled back in.  Laundry is finally finished and this is the first time I've been able to set down and share a few thoughts.  Belle is adjusting to being back home and we're are glad to have her.  We just this week bought a router so she can use her laptop at home.  It's a connection to her friends back in college, just like my computer is a pathway to the world.  Traveling can leave you exhausted, but all richer for having experienced it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

Next week I will be laying under this tree.  We're picking up the girl in FL and all I'm packing is some flip-flops.  Can't wait to see her and lay awhile in the sand....

Friday, April 30, 2010

Tomorrow I will have two 14 year olds!

May 1, 1996 -- that was when my baby was born. It was my third c-section and the only one that was scheduled. :)  We didn't know if it was a boy or girl, so when they pulled him out George took one look at him and knew.  He finally had a boy!  He arrived calm as day, with the cutest little mole on his face.  Each one that arrives brings you more love than you ever think you'll have room for.  Esabelle and Selena loved him from the start.  I love my three children so much.  They bring such joy and heartache.  

Tomorrow, we have Hunter's annual birthday bash planned.  Fifty or so kids are coming over to crash my door.  There is a chance of thunderstorms -- please Lord let us be in the "miss zone".  Since the kids have been little we've always done pinatas at their parties.  George being from Mexico, knows how to do 'em up right.  None of this hanging on a tree branch, and dividing all the candy up evenly.   We've witnessed pinatas in Mexico where they were out for blood!  Belle got her glasses stomped and broken once, and came up looking like a dust bunny!  We're not quite that vicious, but George hangs them up high and we blindfold everyone.  The kids love it, even with them all being 14.  

Selena was born June 9, 1995, so every year for one month and 9 days her and Hunter are the same age.  It kind of burns her, but it's all good. Having kids so close together is really like having twins.  Selena used to sit on Hunter's head every chance she got.  We've got so many pictures that just make us roll on the floor laughing.  He's always crying and she's always grinning.  Gotta run, much to do.  Three pinatas are filled to the brim, two Ho-Ho cakes are waiting to be made, and floors are waiting to be mopped.  The backyard is ready to be filled with a herd of vivacious kids.  I love being a mom.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Semi-Wordless Wednesday

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.  ~Stacia Tauscher

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Moments have quick feet and and are fleeting.  Grabbing them might require quick reflexes and no hesitation.  I've been known to be hesitant, but I do have quick reflexes.  When I played volleyball in high school, I remember my coach showing the others my wrist snap.  When you spike or serve the ball, you need to have a good snap to make that ball go low.  I seem to have been blessed with a good snap.  Even now, if I drop something I'm sometimes able to catch it in mid-air.  Ya baby -- still haven't lost it. 

This week two different opportunities came my way.  The first one made me stop and ponder.  There were heated discussions here at home about taking it.  George is a go-getter and knows a good chance when he sees one.  I, on the other hand, need time to process my emotions and everything this opportunity might entail.  After some good thought, we're passing this moment up.  It's just not for us.  The second one came last evening.  Really, it's not even something I have to think about much -- if all the details work out I'm all over it.  It's my passion.  It's interesting, and something I thought of just now, that God would bring two separate opportunities to me in the same week -- both were things I love.  Both were things I'm passionate about.  Only one of them, though, is the direction God has been sending me in.  It's a direction that I've been dragging my feet in.  It's also one, I feel alive when I'm doing.  I know I can only feel peace when I'm going where God wants -- so here I go.