Monday, April 4, 2016

The Silence Was Deafening

The congregation started singing an Easter Sunday favorite and my heart was ready, open and expectant. The first verse finished and the refrain began, "Up from the grave he arose,..." I leaned over to my mother with a little smile and whispered, (he arose). She returned my smile with a knowing look.

The song continued through the rest of the refrain and into the next verse.  As the refrain started for the second time, "Up from the grave he arose" the tears burned in my eyes as the deafening silence boomed in my ears, my head and my heart.

My tears spilled over onto my cheeks. I tried to inconspicuously swipe them away but with each verse the silence boomed louder and louder screaming a reminder that my father's strong, deep voice would never again sing the echoing (he arose) in this joyful Easter song.

I tried to maintain a normal expression on my face as my heart screamed and protested at the silent reminder. I missed my dad so badly my whole body hurt.

As I contemplated why I put myself through this pain and considered the possibility of staying home next time, it hit me.  He arose!  These words should bring joy, not pain.  Jesus rose from the dead giving us the promise of life ever after.  A life where I will see my dad again. For me, this promise eases the pain and fills the silence with joy.

Hallelujah, he arose!      

Monday, February 15, 2016

Quiz: What Is Love?

I need your help.  My daughter has asked me to speak at her wedding in June on the subject of love, and while I have my thoughts on the topic, I am certainly no expert. I'd like to approach it with fresh eyes, thus I'm reaching out around the world for your input. Please send me your ideas and thoughts either as a comment here or on Facebook. If you'd like to send them directly to me,  just let me know and I'll give you my email address.

Perhaps these questions will help get you started:  


  • When do you feel loved?
  • How do you show love?
  • What emotions are part of love?
  • How is self love connected to love for others?
  • Why do we need love?
  • Don't stop here - share whatever is on your heart/mind.



Monday, January 11, 2016

The Common Thread

I sought out Nikko Restaurant for two reasons. 1) I thought sushi sounded good for dinner.  2) I had eaten there with Harry and I liked the memory of having a really nice evening with him. 

Located on Amsterdam at 123rd Street, it is dimly lit and they have good food. The wait staff is very attentive and the customers at the hibachi tables in the next room sound like they are having fun. Most voices melted in to the background and I was secretly thrilled when the young lady with the intrusive voice finished her meal and left. 

I've become very comfortable dining alone over the past couple years. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I surf the web or catch up on Facebook. Tonight I was tired after an eleven hour day at work so I texted with Harry, read my Kindle and relaxed. I enjoy this time to reflect. 

If I listen closely I can distinguish at least three languages being spoken. I appreciate other languages and cultures. I truly love the diversity...all connected by a common thread.  

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sweet Smiles and Salty Tears

Sweet Smiles and Salty Tears
I'm feeling a mixture of emotions this Christmas.  I guess that's normal, but it seems to be more pronounced this year.  

This Christmas season we were able to spend time with all of our adult children. It's such a joy seeing them flourish and bloom. Sweet!

We just hit the one year mark since Harry's mother died and last month it was two years since my dad passed away.  The empty hole left by their absence seems much larger during holidays.  Salty.

Our GRANDS are growing in number and height. They bring joy on so many levels. Sweet!

The question mark around my job brings pangs of uncertainty.  Salty.   

I love Christmas music!  Christmas Eve worship!  The celebration of Jesus' birth!  Sweet!

I am married to the most understanding, loving and patient man I have ever met.  Sweet!

At the end of the day, sweet smiles and salty tears are essential to a chockful and bursting life.  

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

IN IT FOR A LIFETIME



 circa 2005
On this day in 2006, feeling terrific after a 50 pound weight loss, I hit "Lifetime" status at Weight Watchers.  It felt terrific!  Here we are 9 years later and I'm close to that mark...only 5 pounds over it.
It was important to me as I lost weight to think of it as a LIFESTYLE change - not a diet - and as I sit here now, I can say that it truly was.  My food choices are most often healthy and I get exercise on a regular basis.

As I made small changes one at a time, I'd ask myself, "Patti, is this something you can continue doing (most days) for the rest of your life?"  If the answer was yes, I made the change.  If not, I didn't.


Thinking back the biggest changes were:
  • I cut out soda and replaced it with water.  (Both regular and diet soda. I used to drink a lot of diet soda.)
  • I eliminated most processed foods.
  • I now eat mostly fruits, veggies, lean meats, low fat/fat free dairy, whole grains.
  • I move more.  I didn't used to get much exercise, now the minimum I do is a 30 minute walk.  Many days I run, ride bike, or go to the gym. My goal is 30 minutes/day for MOST days.
My regimen isn't perfect, that's for certain, but I listen to my body and I feel good.

I guess it boils down to what you do MOST days because I'm in this for a lifetime.  


Thursday, November 5, 2015

DO YOU LIVE IN THE FRONT ROW OR THE THIRD ROW?

This photo floated around Facebook a year or so ago and yesterday it crossed my feed once again.  I immediately felt like I could identify with the gleeful gals in the front row.  Having fun.  Embracing life.  Up for an adventure.  Filled with joy on the journey.

However I've been pondering the gals in the third row and would like to know their story. They don't look scared.  I'd say they look deep in thought, preoccupied, bored, or even sad. Perhaps one of them just found out heart breaking news. Perhaps they ride every day and it's no longer exciting for them.  Could it be that they are in a meditative mindset?  Do they see something the others have missed? Maybe they laughed so hard on the previous turn that they peed their pants and now they are embarrassed. Without knowing them, we just don't know.
  
Granted, while I would choose to live in the front row and I'm a firm believer in attitude being a choice, I think we've all been in both the front row and the third row at different times in our lives.

I guess it just depends when the snapshot is taken.    

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Gesundheit!



Maggie, our 2 year old black lab, is the kind of dog they make movies about.  She's infuriating one minute then cute and funny the next.

Magnolia Rae is a southern girl.  She was born in Alabama on May 13, 2013, the 13th puppy and the runt of the litter.

I think when she was a puppy she developed a complex because of all the people who commented on how large her feet were.  We told her not to worry about what other people say, but we can tell. She's sensitive about her foot size.

Any time we sneeze she is immediately on high alert and comes running to make sure we're okay.  She's sound asleep in the other room and we sneeze?  She's there in a flash.  Playing out on the porch?  Yep, she's there immediately. It has gotten to the point where I sneezed last week while traveling in NYC and I looked around half expecting her to come bounding in to check on me.  I even had this visual in my mind of her leaping and bounding over the map covering the 1020 mile distance in 3.2 seconds and crashing over the skyscrapers to check on me.

She's a hoot.  She's drives us crazy.  She's our Mags and we love her.    


Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Teal Pumpkin Project - Trick or Treat!


What a great idea!  I just read about The Teal Pumpkin Project and what a great idea!

It's all about raising awareness during Halloween around food allergies and promoting safety, inclusiveness and empathy for those who have a food allergy. A non food treat option benefits children with food allergies, as well as those with diabetes and other conditions. 

It easy to join in.

  • Display the sign or a teal pumpkin on your porch, door or easy to see spot letting trick or treaters know that a non-food treat is available at your home.  
  • Purchase a non-food option (need ideas?  click here for suggestions) and be sure to keep your bowl of non-food treats separate from any candy, to ensure that the non-food items stay safe.  
  • When the little ghosts and goblins come knocking simply ask which they would prefer. The non food items are very popular with everyone! 


What a great idea!  Happy Trick or Treat friends!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Home Movies

My mom and I are both big fans of popcorn and home movies, so when I spent the night at her house Tuesday night it wasn't hard to decide on the entertainment for the evening.  We decided to watch a video my aunt filmed of the week surrounding my grandfather's funeral 15 years ago.  What fun! (Well, not the funeral part, but lots of other parts.)  

Here are the top things that jumped out at me while we watched.


  1. It was great to hear my dad's voice and see him alive and laughing.
  2. My children were so young!  They would have been 16, 15 and 12 then. 
  3. There is a strong resemblance among my cousins.
  4. I had brown hair.....for REAL!
  5. The sweaters my daughters had on are now in my dresser not theirs. 
  6. The footage my aunt took of the outside of Antigo Bakery, the Hoffman House and the Armory looked exactly the same as it did when we drove by the next morning.  
Be it a happy occasion like a wedding or a sad occasion like a funeral, when you watch it for home movie night 15 years later, there is a joyful feeling re-living the experience seeing loved ones from a time gone by.   



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This week's crazy find

You know how you see things all the time and don't think twice about them?  Then one day you see it in a new light and think, "woah!"  That was me with brussel sprouts at the Farmers Market on Saturday.  (Yes, I know I told you it was a rainy day, but we were able to go!)  We walked past this crazy looking plant and I did a double take.  Sure enough.  Brussel sprouts.  I'd knew them to come from a plastic bag in the freezer section or be these cute little balls in the produce department.  I've never considered what they look like in plant form.  I guess I thought they must be like little heads of lettuce growing in tiny little rows in the field, but NO! Just look at that monstrosity!

Next step - venture out and actually find them in a field.  Woah! Let the crazy continue!