Archive for December, 2012

I know this sounds boring, but hear me out.  I’ve made my share of these over the course of my life, and most are readily forgotten within weeks or even days.  There is a reason for this.  We resolve to do things we either really don’t want to do and/or we think will be ridiculously difficult.   After all, if these thoughts weren’t in some nether part of our brains, we would have already accomplished everything on our list.  Yep, this is a recipe for certain failure.

One of the few resolutions I ever brought to fruition was starting a blog last year, and it took me until July 4th to do that.  There are so many things I want to do, need to do, and I’ve been wondering, as this year draws to a close, just how motivated I will be if I set these same kinds of goals for myself again?  So how does a person change their life?  Improve it?  Make it more satisfying?  Make it meaningful?   I’m slightly clueless, but willing to explore some different possibilities.

I’m going to begin by sharing what might be some helpful tips that popped randomly into my head:

1.  Make a big list.  If you only focus on one thing, like losing weight or quitting smoking and you fail miserably, you will feel really bad about yourself.  This is too much pressure for anyone.  I think you should have at least ten goals, big and little and of varying difficulty.

2.  Put pen to paper and write your list down.  If you don’t write them down, your chances of success plummet.  Post it prominently on your frig, or your bathroom mirror in case you have goals you would rather not have visitors privy to…like having more sex, for instance.  Hey, not every resolution needs to be as onerous as cleaning the garage, which brings me to my next point.

3.  Have some fun goals.  Your idea of fun is surely far different from mine, so I won’t even presume to make suggestions.  I resolve to play golf again, take a road trip, and publish my book, not necessarily in that order.

4.  About that garage, break it down.  I’m overwhelmed when I look at mine…24′ x 24′ of pure chaos.  I could divide it and clean out 12′ x 12′ a day, but even that might discourage me (it’s not pretty).  I’m thinking I might be able to handle 6′ x 6′ in an afternoon.  Then maybe that corner would inspire me another day.  I can’t guarantee it, but maybe?

5.  Disguise your goals.  I am not motivated to lose weight, but I am very motivated to ride my new bike because it’s fun.  I also am looking forward to joining our new public pool this summer because I love to swim.  If I even remotely think of  these as healthy pastimes, I will probably not enjoy them half as much and could lose interest because my brain is wired to defeat me.  I’m convinced this is true.

6.  A late start is better than no start.  You have all year…365 days of opportunities.

A good beginning is half the task – This bit of wisdom was delivered to me via a fortune cookie, and I had the good sense to save it.  It’s too useful not to pass on…


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Sometimes you just have to laugh.  Love is often tragic, poignant, memorable, revealing, fulfilling and sweet.  But, just once in a while, it is funny.

I was coming back from an appointment today, driving down a busy road, when my eyes were drawn to my side of the road.  There was a sweet little red hen trotting down the shoulder, pecking here and there, but decidedly on a mission.  I looked for her cohorts, but low, she was the only little chicken in sight.  However, she was not alone.  A short distance in front of her was the obvious object of her affection…no measely little rooster, but the largest wild tom turkey I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some big ones.  Oblivious to the traffic and gawkers, he was also pecking his way down the road.

He knew how impressive he was.  And little red hen was completely smitten.  He didn’t seem to mind her company, and I wondered just how far from home she now was?  I hope he is keeping her warm somewhere tonight.


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If you have kids or grandkids or you just love Santa Claus, you need to visit www.northpole.com

I found this site years ago.  Every Christmas it pops into my head and I can’t resist.  I have to go there.  Then I share it with old friends and new .  They are always as thrilled as me to learn of such a great site they feel good about their kids exploring.

Your kids will be enthralled, but there is much to keep an adult occupied as well.  Mrs. Claus has hundreds of wonderful recipes in her kitchen just waiting for you to stop by and find something special.  You and your kids can find gifts in the toy shop.  In the reindeer barn, the kids can find stories to read, or have them read to them…how great is that?  They can even print out the stories along with pages they can color.  The kids can write to Santa, ask questions, check out the weather at the North Pole and track Santa’s journey Christmas Eve with the help of NORAD.

There is so much on this site to keep little ones busy, and there are options for parents and teachers as well.  I’m a big kid, and I love it.  Let’s go see what the elves are doing right now!

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Rife Street 001

It still stands, looking only a little different than this photo.  The front porch rail is gone now as is the wisteria.  It was built in the late 1800’s and remained in my family for over a hundred years.  Even though I had left it behind, it was still difficult, a few years ago, to know it was going to belong to a new family.  I had this fervent wish and dream that it would always be ours, in some fashion – passed down via sales agreement and deeds from one relative to another.  When my mother sold it in the late 1960’s, it was to her brother (who also grew up in the house) and his wife and kids.  Therefore, it was still technically ours.  I could visit it and the family.

My uncle and his wife put it up for sale on the (gasp) open market about six years ago.  He was in poor health and could no longer deal with the second floor bedrooms.  Finally, there was no family member who wanted to buy it.  I wished I had been in a financial position to do this, although it would have been impractical and foolish in so many ways.  Before the closing date, my uncle and aunt asked if I wanted to come visit and say my goodbyes to the house.  I jumped at the chance.

They kindly left me alone to roam through at my leisure, and I lingered in every room, recalling events that had occurred in each and every one of them.  My bedroom was the left front second floor (with the two windows), and it seemed smaller to me just then but no less loved.  It was the bedroom straight up at the top of the staircase.

When I returned to the living room and sat with them, my uncle said, “Do you mind if I ask you a question?”  Taken aback and terribly curious, I answered, “Of course not.”  I was flabbergasted by what followed.  My Uncle Skip said, “When you lived here, did you ever hear footsteps coming up the stairs?”  I almost shrieked, “All the time!”  He visibly sighed with delight and relief.  I practically demanded, “Did you hear it too?  Is it still happening?”   He looked at my Aunt Mary and back to me, explaining that he had heard footsteps on the stairs ever since he had moved back into the house in 1967.  He said neither Mary nor any of his kids had ever heard it, and they told him he was crazy.   There I was, a living breathing witness, to affirm he was most definitely not crazy.  My Aunt Mary was pretty astonished, and I wish I had been a fly on the wall when Skip told my four cousins about our conversation.  Skip told me the spirit(s) had given up climbing the stairs about two years prior.  Neither of us could imagine why, as they had persisted in doing this almost nightly for quite a few decades.  I do wonder which of our relatives it was, and wonder if they are still there, perplexed as to where we all are.  I hope the new family is nice and would love to ask them what they hear in the night.

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Elan Mudrow



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