"...IF YOU FOLLOW YOUR BLISS, DOORS WILL OPEN FOR YOU THAT WOULDN'T HAVE OPENED FOR ANYONE ELSE." - Joseph Campbell

"SOMETIMES ON THE WAY TO YOUR DREAM, YOU GET LOST AND FIND A BETTER ONE." - Unknown (as seen on River's blog, "Drifting Through Life")

"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault


"IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHO YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN." - George Eliot

"WE DID NOT CHANGE AS WE GREW OLDER. WE JUST BECAME MORE CLEARLY OURSELVES." - Lynn Hall

"GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU HAVE IMAGED." - Henry David Thoreau



Sunday, February 26, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

It's Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday.


I couldn't let Sunday go by without posting a Nostalgic Sunday.


This is my dad with my youngest son, Mark, who was born in October of 1987. I think this was taken around the end of 1988 or early 1989.

I wrote a story about receiving the surprise of my life when I found out I was pregnant with Mark. It was accepted and published in Chicken Soup for the New Mom's Soul, in 2007. I've posted it below:



A Joyous Journey
May 18, 2006 – Mark graduates from high school, and has been accepted to Washington University in St. Louis, College of Arts & Sciences, The January Program.
 Drift back nineteen years ago:
 As I slowly made the turn into our driveway, I saw that the garage door was open and there stood my husband of four years. It was a cold, windy day in March of 1987, and he was wearing a stocking cap. That’s about all I remember. I’m sure he must have had on a coat or jacket, but all I remember is that knitted cap. I rolled to a stop, put my car in park, pulled the emergency brake and just sat there for a moment while his eyes met mine. He looked at me with an inquisitive look, raised his eyebrows, as if to say, “Well? What did you find out?” I picked up the book from the passenger seat, that the doctor had given me during my appointment. I held it up to the windshield with the title side facing him. His expression changed from curious to disbelief to shock in the two or three seconds it took me to begin crying……again! The name of that book was, Pregnant and Lovin’ It.
We had not planned on having a child of our own. We both had been married once before. He had two sons; Ron, Jr. age 20, and Matt age 16. I had one son, Scott, age 14.  For one thing, we were too old, or so it seemed! We were dealing with teenage boys and trying to “semi” blend our sons into a family. (And as I’ve professed many times since then: “Real life is not like the Brady Bunch!!”)
But as it happened, it seemed like there was another “PLAN” for our lives that we weren’t aware of at the time.
Some things were happening to me, or not happening as it were, so I made an appointment with my gynecologist. On March 30, 1987 the doctor uttered in his charming British accent those now infamous words, “My dear, you’re pregnant!” What??? How can this be?? How did this happen?? All those ridiculous, rhetorical questions kept repeating themselves in my head.  I was still deep in thought when I sat in our driveway, gazing at Ron. I don’t believe I will ever forget that image of him. It was as if the outline of the garage was a stage and he was part of the play.
It only took me 24 hours to arrive at the final emotions: Joy & Happiness! I was thrilled with the idea that I was going to have another baby! Did I want another boy? I loved little boys! Or did I want a little girl, since our family was already full of boys? It didn’t matter, as long as the baby was healthy.
After my emotional roller coaster ride, the calendar date showed April 1st. I telephoned all my family and long-distance friends and began the conversation with these words, “This is NOT an April Fool’s Joke. I am pregnant!”
Those months of pregnancy were some of the happiest of my life. I hadn’t felt so healthy and full of energy in a long time and I ate everything in sight! Even though the technology was already available to detect the baby’s sex before it was born, Ron and I decided to be old-fashioned, wait and be surprised.
On October 20, 1987, Mark was born by a scheduled C-Section. Another Boy! We were thrilled! Ron was able to be in the operating room with me and I was so very happy that he was able to share this miracle with me. But, the nurses whisked Mark away, and soon we were told that our baby had some fluid in his lungs and wasn’t breathing properly. He had to be kept in a special area of the nursery, in something similar to an oxygen tank, with tubes attached in various places. It was heartbreaking, not being able to hold and cuddle him. Ron & I would walk down the hallway to see him, to touch his little fingers and toes, but weren’t allowed to hold him or give him a bottle. (I guess it was a blessing in disguise that I had chosen to not breast feed.)
I begged my doctor to let me stay in the hospital until Mark was well enough to come home. But insurance companies have their rules. I was forced, for lack of a better word, to leave the hospital without my newborn son.
After arriving home, all I could do was gaze at Mark’s new crib and caress all his tiny clothes. I said about a million prayers, asking for a miracle, if that’s what it was going to take to bring him home.
Astonishingly, he began to improve immediately, and we were told we could take him home on October 26th, which was only 2 days after my release. Joy set in, but also fear. What if he really wasn’t ready to be released from the hospital? What if he needed the expert care that he could only receive there? The nurses assured both Ron and me that our baby was fine and ready to go home with his adoring, devoted and doting parents! Bringing him home was one of the happiest days of our lives. We would jokingly argue over whose turn it was to hold him, and give him his bottle, even those middle of the night feedings! We both loved him so intensely.
We raised him with love and compassion. We demonstrated our spiritual faith and also displayed our faith in him. We always expressed our belief that he could accomplish anything he truly wanted in his life.
Fast forward back to graduation night:
He’s made us extremely proud and the future can only hold fabulous things for him. What a wonderful gift we received all those years ago!

"Children make you want to start life over." ~Muhammad Ali

Thursday, February 23, 2012

* This is Only a Test *

Which of the following statements are true?

  • Today is The Ronald's birthday.
  • The Ronald has spent the last two days in bed with a terrible cold.
  • When my beloved dog Vern and I were on our walk yesterday afternoon, a dog came out of nowhere and attacked Vern.
  • Today's high temperature was something like 65° Fahrenheit. Tomorrow's high is expected to be 46° and a low of 27°, with possible snow flurries. That's St. Louis weather for ya!
  •  I'll be taking a Week-Long-Blog-a-Vacation, beginning Monday February 27th, and my e-mail correspondence will be minimal, too. See you again around March 5th.
  • (Answers: They're all true. When I return, I'll explain about the dog attack. Thankfully, neither Vern or I or the other dog were hurt. But it sure scared the you-know-what out of me.)

Welcome to my newest followers, Peaches Ledwidge and Protector of Vintage. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!



“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
Mark Twain

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

To Do List is Not Done List

My To Do List is still an out-of-control Not Done List.


I didn't make it to very many blogs over the weekend to do my Comment Like Crazy.

I'm a bit behind in my Month of Letters Challenge.

I 'm trying to get a short story finished in time for a contest deadline of this Saturday.

I'm simultaneously working on three different chapters of my memoir.

My house is a cluttered mess that I just keep looking at and thinking, I really need to take some time to get this straightened up....

(courtesy: google)


But, I know I will get it all done. One step at a time. Take five minutes to straighten up a room. (NO, that won't finish the task, but it's a beginning!)

I'll keep on plugging away at my writing, and it will bring rewards, too.

*Oh, and I will continue Commenting Like Crazy and Writing Letters, as much as I can.*


"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs."
Henry Ford


"When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s work is all that I can permit myself to contemplate."
John Steinbeck



"The first step is to find out what you love – and don’t be practical about it. The second step is to start doing what you love immediately, in any small way possible." Barbara Sher

Sunday, February 19, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday


I'm feeling especially nostalgic today and I know it's because of the poem I posted yesterday. Those memories of prop planes and of being a little girl also pertain to my dad. Some of  you may remember my posts about his years as a college professor at a local aeronautical college - Parks College. 



(Parks has always been part of SLU - St. Louis University. Back in those days, it had its own buildings and wasn't physically connected to SLU.) Whenever I'd be outside playing, it was normal for a prop plane to fly over our neighborhood. If I would've actually known that a student might be the pilot, I may have been a bit scared to be standing there, looking up at it!


This is how I'll always remember my dad.

Those were the happiest years of my childhood. The summer after I finished 2nd Grade, though, we moved to Nebraska because my dad wanted a different job. Maybe those early years are so special because they didn't last very long.....and our family life changed.

What do you think? Do you have vivid childhood memories? Happy or sad?



Welcome to my newest follower, Julie Hedlund. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!



"Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes." ~ Gloria Naylor

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Searching for Bliss

A few days ago I wrote the following. Originally it was going to be a "regular" chapter in my memoir but as I typed, the words felt more like a poem to me. It was one of those special moments when the words just flowed. (If this isn't poetry, please forgive me. It's my very first one.)

Untitled


I strolled along the pavement,
the sound of quiet surrounding me
like a quilt. The stillness was deafening
until I heard the engine of a prop plane
flying overhead. Stopping and shading my eyes,
I squint and watch it putter across
the powder blue sky.
Memories flooded my soul,
immediately tugging my mouth
into a wide grin.


The next day I walk the
same path. A distant cardinal chirps,
most likely believing it's already spring.
Why shouldn't he?
These past few days have been nothing
but glorious.
Only the calendar page declares
it's just early February.
I turn, looking for his brilliant crimson color
among the vast bare branches
but my eyes cannot find him.


I notice the sky is full of "airplane smoke,"
those cloud-like wispy lines also
carry memories for the child within me.
I close my eyes, and for a moment
I'm standing motionless in my front yard again.
I stare up, marveling at the sight above,
taking it all in and thinking as profoundly as
a five-year-old possibly can.


Blinking, I become aware of
my present surroundings and
begin my journey
back home.
Tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow
I'll think back and
reminisce once more.
Sentimental journeys.
Always bittersweet.

©2012 Becky Povich



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Maxine and More

Gotta love Maxine!


She tells it like it is!


I think I need to learn how to have a martini every now and then!




In September of 2010, my blog friend TK Richardson and I got together and started "Comment Like Crazy," a weekly blog feature. We had the best of intentions but I don't think either one of us got very far with it. I know I didn't! (You can read all about it HERE)

I'm not announcing any new attempt at this, just the fact that this weekend, February 18 and 19, I will spend LOTS of time reading and commenting on as many blogs as I can. We all have important and/or entertaining things to say, and pictures to post, and they deserve as much attention as they can get! I can't promise a long and drawn out comment, but I'll do my best!☺  

** Speaking of comments, I'm sure you've all noticed by now the horrendous new verification baloney that Blogger has us doing! Ridiculous! They don't even give anyone a choice..Therefore, I have elected to do away with my verification feature. I have my Comment Setting scheduled for me to check on, and give the okay to, any comments on posts that are older than seven days. That way I will most likely see any spam or inappropriate comments before they are displayed.**


* I'll also be back on Sunday, with my Nostalgic Sunday post. *



"Isn't it a little embarrassing to live in a country started by people who buckled their hats?" - Maxine

"Those one-shoulder tops are great if you're too lazy to shave both armpits." - Maxine

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Snowy Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day!
Yay! We finally had a beautiful snowfall yesterday! So, here's the perfect Valentine, from me to you!

Welcome to my newest follower, Stephen T. McCarthy. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!


And now, one of my favorite quotes from Winnie the Pooh.



Piglet: How do you spell love?
Pooh: You don’t spell it, you feel it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

* Nostalgic Sundays *

Time for Another Nostalgic Sunday


Today's Nostalgic Sunday is about my wedding anniversary which was yesterday, the 11th. Below are two photos from that special day in 1983.



Have I mentioned The Ronald is a foot taller than I am??!! That comes in handy when I need something from the top shelf!


Welcome to my newest follower, Chris I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!


"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage." ~ Martin Luther


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday Night Update

Don't forget my Give-Away ends tomorrow night at 8:00 pm, CST. If you haven't already left a comment on Monday's post, please go check it out.

 * It is now 8:15pm Friday night. I just did Random.org for my give-away, and the winner is........Clarissa Draper!! Congratulations! I'll e-mail you to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who entered!



This Saturday, the 11th, is my wedding anniversary. The Ronald and I will be celebrating 29 YEARS of wedded bliss! Where HAS the time gone? A story I wrote about our happy marriage was accepted and published in "Chicken Soup for the Soul; Love Stories" (2007). The title of it is "Through the Years."



This coming Sunday I plan on having another Nostalgic Sunday post. Last week I didn't get one ready because of the Super Bowl.
 


Two announcements concerning writing:

1) If anyone would like to receive a card or letter from me, just send your mailing address to me via e-mail. I'm having a wonderful time participating in the Month of Letters!

2) This afternoon, in just a short period of time, I wrote over 1,000 WORDS in my memoir! THAT is something to cheer about for me. I usually struggle with just a few words, so today was monumental. I hope I'll keep on going.....


(all courtesy of Clip Art)

* One last thing. I plan to begin replying to your comments by e-mail. That way it's not necessary to check back here to see what's been said. That should save a little time for all of us....and I think we're always looking for ways to do that! *

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” -- Joseph Campbell 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

* This 'n That on a Wednesday *

Yesterday was Coffee & Critique day. Every Tuesday morning from 10:00am to 12:00 noon, a few of us local writers get together for....you guessed it: Coffee (or whatever drink of choice) and Critique. We meet in a cafe and most times stay for lunch as well. This is the only critique group I've ever attended, but from hearing about others, I know it is a quality one. We are an "open" group. No requirements or invitations. We do have some Guidelines. You bring something to read if you want, but you aren't required to. No one gives unkind remarks. We're there to give suggestions and advice. I am positive I have become a much better writer since being part of this wonderful group. And you know how we writers are. We love being around each other, talking about writing. We "get" each other. And boy, do we have fun!

I found The Cutest To-Do List at Jenny at The Modest Peacock. She shared it on her blog. Click on the link:  http://themodestpeacock.blogspot.com/2012/01/thought-id-share.html 



I printed one copy at home and took it to Kinkos and made 10 more. (I didn't want to use up all my color ink.) Each page is one day. I've tried making my own To-Do Lists, but they've never worked. This one just fits me. It even reminds me to drink my 8 glasses of water a day...which is something I've never done!






This is what I saw when I looked out my windows this morning!
 We've had barely an inch of snow all winter, which is so different from the last few winters. The two photos with the plant on the window sill were taken from my kitchen. The other one is in my neighbor's front yard.

My alloted blog time is over now, so on to other tasks! Thanks for stopping by and please don't forget my give-away. (See Monday 2/6 blog post)


"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things." -- Robert Brault (http://www.robertbrault.com/)

Monday, February 6, 2012

* Time for a Give Away! *

It's been WAY too long since I've had a Give-Away. I finally got a few things together and here they are.


 This is a packet of three file folders, still in the package.



 This is a very pretty book mark. The picture doesn't do it justice. It's a very sturdy one, still in its package, too. The colors are hard to describe. I'd say it's brown/burgundy with gold designs, a dark brown tassle, a dab of peach/pink colors, and two little plastic "gems" at the top. The sentiment is:
Dream. Dreams are what make the stars sparkle and the moon shine.

Also, the shabby chic birdie doesn't look as cute as it is, either. It's pale pink and has a glass insert for tea lights.



 These are two hard cover "Tea" books. They're about 5" x 6" and are brand new.




This is the group picture.


All you have to do to win is be a follower and leave a comment. That's it! I'll choose the winner by random.org on Friday night at 8:00pm, CST. Best of luck to everyone, and feel free to mention it on your blog, as well.

* It is now 8:15pm Friday night. I just did Random.org for my give-away, and the winner is........Clarissa Draper!! Congratulations! I'll e-mail you to get your mailing address. Thanks to all who entered!
"A friendship can weather most things and thrive in thin soil; but it needs a little mulch of letters and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often - just to save it from drying out completely." – Pam Brown

Saturday, February 4, 2012

* Hodgepodge *


Tonight's Blog Menu: Hodgepodge!

This Week's Happenings

I entered a local art contest, in the photography catagory. I didn't win anything, but below is one of my entries:



I received (still!) some ideal birthday gifts from a dear friend this week. Below is one of them:

Awww...look at the books, growing in the garden. And the sentiment inside the cup.


I'm doing pretty well in the "Month of Letters Challenge."

(courtesy: Clipart)


I'm writing quite a bit: memoir chapters and/or calls for submissions. (This is an old photo. My desk hasn't looked like this in a LONG time. I've now taken over our dining room table...for a while!)


However your week has been, I hope you've managed to enjoy a few simple things; whether it was watching the Sunset, going for a walk, or drinking from a favorite cup!


 Welcome to my newest followers, The Elephant's Child, Jo's This and That, and Karen W. Berner. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!
 
 
 
“Some people have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.” -- Abraham H. Maslow

Thursday, February 2, 2012

* GROUNDHOG DAY *

(This is a repeat from a 2010 blog post, with just a couple of tweaks. I LOVE this movie and it just seems appropriate to repeat it, repeat it.....ba-dum-dum!)


And now, a few words and photos from one of my favorite movies: "Groundhog Day", starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.








"Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cold out there today."
"Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?"
"I don't think so, but I could check with the kitchen."


"Hey now, don't you tell me you don't remember me 'cause I sure as heckfire remember you."

"NEEDLE-NOSE NED?...NED RYERSON?" ..... "BING!"

"IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL! ..... LET'S LIVE HERE!"


(photos courtesy imdb.com and archive.dailypicture.net)
Welcome to my newest followers, Laura, Jenny and Teresa. I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see. Thank you!


"Love is the answer. Shine on us all. Set us free. Love is the answer." -- EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


(P.S. I know this song isn't used in the movie, but I love the music & lyrics. Bill Murray's character is finally set free, when he realized love was the answer.)