Friday, January 31, 2014 Mary Hazlett

I have had trouble with my eyebrows.  Seriously, you would not think that it would be so very difficult to have these two hairy things over your eyes.  I think most of us get used to plucking or waxing in early womanhood years and generally we have it down by the time we are adults.  My learning curve is just a little different.

I have had several rare and unique incidents with my eyebrows. Intriguing how an antelope tag, a ski, and a pair of scissors get into this story...

What does an antelope tag have to do with eyebrows, you might ask...  SCOPE...RECOIL...BAM... Not only did I have a nice black shiner, but a perfectly rounded wound outlining my eye and brow.  I still have the son says it is my "grumpy line". (Truly he has NO idea how grumpy!)  Not to mention years later at college I reopened that same scar with the edge of my ski... all because I was doing my very gregarious laugh at some kid going down the moguls... SLIP...BAM... Ski Patrol!

Finally, and my favorite experience is... you know those lazy Sunday afternoons when, as a youngster, you get a little bored and are looking for things to do?  When I was in fourth grade, my brother Mike and I had some wonderful ideas on those days.  Like taking a walk outside, sitting on the deck and drawing, playing board games, and comparing body hair length... What?? You say!  Yep...eyelashes, arm hair, leg hair, and eyebrow hair.

Although it was a fun afternoon idea,  I was having difficulty obtaining a hair from my eyebrow...and so the brilliant idea I had was to take the scissors and trim myself one.  So, with scissors in hand, I cut a sample (of course I was not looking in the mirror when I did this) and upon completion,  looked in my hand and it was a small bushel of hair.  I was so proud because they were long hair pieces and sure to beat Mike's hair.  With a triumphant smile on my face, I presented my prize to him.  Mike was impressed; in fact, so impressed he was speechless with his mouth wide open...YES! Take that you LOSER!  I had won...until Mike mentioned to me that my eyebrow was barely visible.

I can never win! Eyebrows...I am adding you to my four-letter-word list!

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fashion Faux Gina Waite

As I've recently been "livin' on a prayer" and revisiting the 80's through movies, I couldn't help but think back of all the various fashion trends of the decades I've lived in.  I was seven when we rang in the year 1980 and I distinctly remember thinking I was rockin' the Napolen Dynamite inspired side ponytail I fixed myself!  At the time I think I was also sporting some type of favorite gaucho-styled pants that I sincerely hope I laundered more than I'm remembering I did! Out of respect for those who could describe the 70's fashion a little better, I will save that for another day...Today I'm going to be reliving the flashy fashion and faux pas of the 1980's!

I loved this video...this is the Pepsi New Generation's commercial in 1984...smack dab in the middle of the 80's!  This video is the  quintessential "Moonwalk" back in time to the Michael Jackson inpired jackets and peg-legged pants that we ALL aspired to wear!  Notice how those pants, pegged and folded up calf-high, gave the illusion of a flood pant!  ...All that with WHITE socks to boot...I suppose we really wanted to draw attention to our pegged pants, but ONLY if we weren't wearing leg warmers!  Watching this video, I can't help looking at the Jackson clan's jackets and think fondly of those iconic BIG shoulder pads!  

...And what about those 80's belts?  We had really skinny belts, we had really wide belts and we loved them so much sometimes we wore two at once!  Did you notice the double belts on the boy playing the younger Michael in this video?  I remember thinking how cool the two belts at once trend was...and now, I'm just concerned whether I could make it to the bathroom in time!   Before we leave the topic of this iconic commercial...I can't help but point out the sweet ride at 1:16 and just for emphasis again at 1:21...I truly remember riding in one of those cars and sitting in the VERY back seat facing the car driving behind us!  I think it was fashioned that way as a sort of built-in TIME OUT seat...brilliant 80's move! 

Last but certainly not least, I can't leave the topic of 80's fashion and not bring up the sweaters and dancewear!   Those same sweaters are now at thrift shops everywhere being purchased and repurposed for "Ugly Sweater" Contests and Parties!  I remember admiring Bill Cosby wearing them on "The Cosby Show!"  How about the aerobics craze of the early 1980s?  Thanks to Olivia Newton John and her headbands we all watched the classic leotard move from gym wear to the dance floor to everyday wear...even stirrup pants were inspired by the form-fitting look of tights!   Then there was a little show called, "Flashdance" and everyone started adjusting their t-shirts with scissors and a little tug of the fabric...and Voila...80's Couture!

Yep... good times!  The 80's were full of the flashy, bright and BIG!   You may not have enjoyed those years...but I did!  My son tells me I'm reliving them everyday when I do my hair...Stay Tuned for another post on "The 80's Hair"...It needs it's own Nutshell!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The 80's Gina Waite

I guess I must have subconsciously decided life was NOT eventful enough!  Recently, after a quick visit to spend time with my Dad in Boise, I dislocated my knee-cap ( I did it is of little consequence or logic) breaking a bone spur off in the process!  After a brief visit with a remarkable surgeon, my days of couch sitting and movie watching were about to be realized.  Within the week, I was under anesthesia and the knife then back to my house, and recliner, for recovery.  Recovery is not something that's easy for me...I HATE sitting down doing nothing...seriously hate it!  I'm supposing it's because I never witnessed my Mom and Dad practicing the art of  it and it seems like such a wasted activity in what could be a very productive day!  After looking around at cobwebs, paint in desperate need of touching-up and lots and lots of dust bunnies...this old girl decided it was time to take my mind off a house well-lived in and engage myself in an activity I rarely have time to do, but LOVE!  I went to the MOVIES on my couch... not just any movies...the dominant decade of the 1980's!

This was a time, my Mom could get all of us into the movies for less than $50.  That may not seem shocking until I mention there were TEN of us!  Like my younger brother Ryan mentioned in an earlier Nutshell post, my Mom was a Beacon to the Box Office and we were always willing to follow her LIGHT!  I sat on my couch reminiscing about my Mom and family, all while watching these great 80's flicks, realizing the 1980's rocked more than music...these movies were RADICAL (going to be using time-appropriate slang so fasten your seat belts Dudes and Dudettes!)

Go back with me if you will (unless you're too young to remember the 80's and then I may seriously have to analyze our friendship) ....I'm sure you ALL  remember the intensity of the unforgettable opening scene in  "Raiders of the Lost Ark!"  I put myself in Indy's shoes as I cringed and squirmed as he dropped into the dark, snake-filled room containing "The Ark!"  This movie was like TOTALLY awesome!

I realized two things after viewing E.T: #1-Why I was so insistent on getting a bike with a basket (you never know when you'll need to transport an Extra Terrestrial) and #2-why my cravings for Reese's Pieces increased while watching how perfectly they paved an enticing path.  This movie was totally TUBULAR!

I  remember standing in line, for what seemed like an eternity, to get in to see the anticipated ending of the Star Wars saga in the "Return of the Jedi." My little sister, Mary, added special tension-relief as she sang showtunes to the masses that waited in line with retrospect, her performance may have added a heightened quickness to Theater's staff getting our family into the building...Good Job Mary!  I remember the relief I felt at knowing that Luke and Leia were brother and sister not romantically inclined because let's face it...we all liked Han Solo better (can't wait to get the responses from this comment!)  This movie was GNARLY!

After watching "Back to the Future"  I remember seriously wanting a DeLorean, and a date with Michael J. Fox,  and the urge for both increased each of the ten times we saw that movie!  This movie's plot was HEAVY!

As the 80's marched on so did my age and I feel in love with the sappy, big-haired romances found in "Sixteen Candles," "Pretty in Pink," and "Say Anything!"  I have to admit, "Say Anything" was my personal favorite!  I loved the quirky romance between the gorgeous genius, Diane Court and the average, kickboxing romantic, Lloyd Dobler.  I swear this movie must have helped Radio Shack sales in 1989...what with the small personal tape recorder Lloyd carries around in his pocket to catalog his feelings coupled with the bigger-than-Lloyd ghetto blaster he used to play the emotionally-charged "In your Eyes!"   For his time, Lloyd was a technological enthusiast...I have to admit, I always wondered how tired the actor's arms must have been holding that huge thing above his head while standing outside Diane's window in an attempt to win her back!  I know he won me with it...who can forget that scene!  This last week was so fun sitting there remembering, watching, my injured leg elevated, wrapped and packed with ice, whilst crying and hoping (with Lloyd) that all would be well and things would work out in the end...and they did...boy got girl!   This movie was BAD (remember, this is the 80's talk so "Bad" means good!)

So if it's been awhile since you've dusted those movies off, choose one that's not  GRODY TO THE MAX and whether they be VHS or DVD (if you don't own or know what a VHS is, see the previously mentioned status of our friendship) dust them off, pop them in and ENJOY...the 80's did NOT disappoint AAAAAAND..........."THAT'S A WRAP!"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Down in the Jim Terry

Kind of funny how life has it’s ups and downs isn’t it?  …One day you’re up and one day you’re down.  I had the hardest end to any year I have ever experienced this past year.  So as I was thinking about this rollercoaster ride called “LIFE”, I had to ask myself, “what does down in the mouth” mean to me? 

Well for me, since I do work in Dentistry, that literally means I am “down in the mouth.”  But this expression can also elude to the fact that we may be “filled with melancholy and despondency; gloomy; …grim views; …darkening mood; lonely or blue; depressed; dispirited; downcast; …or feeling discouraged and downhearted."  In one word…sometimes life can just “SUCK.” 

It is also interesting to me how certain terms can mean such different things in different areas of the country. How many of you are familiar with the term “ The Mavericks?”  To some this may mean watching a basketball team while sitting court-side in Dallas. Others would consider a “Maverick” to be their favorite restaurant. People who have experienced or lived in the south Floridian culture would definitely know the musical band, “The Mavericks.”  However In “Cali”, especially in Northern California, “The Mavericks” lay claim to some of the biggest surfing waves in the world. 

These waves are generated generally during the winter months.  They are located approximately 2 miles from the shore outside Pillar Point Harbor just north of a little seaside town called Half Moon Bay. These waves can start at heights of 25 feet and top out at over 80 feet high contingent upon the ferocity of the storms, the underwater rock formations in the area and undertows present at the time these waves are created. 

I had the opportunity to take a wonderful hike after work the other day along the Northern California coastline and experience these “Mavericks.”  Being a little “down in the mouth” with “stuff” going on at the moment, I just had to get out to think and be close to nature.  I was amazed to see that some of the waves coming in would not only climb over rocks that were easily 20’-25’ out of the water, but they would totally engulf those same rocks until they decided to retreat back into the depths of the sea.  …And the coastline itself was vibrant, ALIVE and bright with lots of shrubbery and flowers that were in full bloom only to be enhanced by that ever so famous SMELL of the ocean.

 So as I was pondering things and continued on my journey, which lasted over 6 miles, I ended up thinking that I wasn’t as bad off as I thought I was. In light of these big maverick waves of life that come in from time to time and make it hard to stay afloat or to catch a breathe of fresh air like theses rocks I witnessed in the ocean, I realized I still have my health, my family, many wonderful people in my life and many many blessings to be thankful for. 

My advice to you…if you are having one of those “down in the mouth days” and those waves rolling in are feeling big and overwhelming, look to the lighthouse on the shore and remember those who love you, inspire you and count on you. The rest will fall right into place and will work out somehow. 

…Oh and before I forget and since it is my job and all…”Remember to brush and floss!!!”  ;0)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Fairy Mary Hazlett

We all remember the tale of Cinderella.  The poor orphaned child that was left to wait, hand and foot, on her evil step mother and two step sisters.  And then, a wondrous invitation arrives inviting all the eligible girls of the household to a ball.  Yes, this was going to be Cinderella's chance to one up her evil, sneaky step sisters.  But of course, the mother and two sisters end up foiling Cinderella's chance to go to the ball and what was a girl to do... cry...and pray for a miracle.   This miracle does show up in the face of a bubbly fairy godmother that takes this disheveled girl and turns her into a beautiful princess fit for a ball!

Now, I think every girl deserves a fairy godmother.  How would I define a fairy godmother?  Well, someone that performs a miracle against all odds for someone that could not do it for themselves.

 If you have seen the various stories of Cinderella, you know the fairy godmother takes many different shapes from that of a roundish cheery faced women in a blue dress to a hairy old man named Leonardo Da Vinci.  I, for instance, have also shared in many different forms of having a fairy godmother... like my darling mother, who sewed all night long for me to have my Snow White costume...and my very manly husband, who let me get a few hours of beauty sleep after being up with a baby all night...and my sweet sister who coddled and guided me into womanhood.

We, I am speaking of girls, remember those awkward awful years of growing from a little girl into a woman (where your body just does not fit those clothes anymore, where those large round red things start popping up on your face and the over-the-shoulder-boulder holder is not just a backpack anymore).  These years are when my sister, Gina, took the wheel.  She taught me things like, "You have two eyebrows... control-top pantyhose is a girl's best friend... no such thing as too much support... pencils are not just for paper... eyeliner is a must... you probably should shower more than once a week... do NOT sit indian style in a dress".

Gina took me and made me her project. Not because I asked her to, but because she loved me and I really think deep down she knew how much I idealized her perfection.  I remember evenings of her taking the time to meticulously manicure each nail.  I marveled at her attention to detail and her talent of turning anything she touched into beauty! (Which her attention to detail will have to be addressed in a future blog...seriously this girl is ridiculous!)  I am so grateful to my "Joined in January" sister that she did my hair for proms, showed me how to do my makeup, let me dress up in her beautiful dresses, wear her stylish clothes to school, taught me the importance of detail in dressing, and most of all...cheered me in all my accomplishments.

Beautiful Wonderful Gina, Happy Birthday and thank you for being my fairy godmother at a time that I so very much needed it and... What do I do with these black hairs on my chin?

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Burning Light... by Ben Hazlett

"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  

When we hear things like this quote we often tend to think: "yeah, yeah... the glass is half full... look on the bright side... what ever... the person that wrote that was probably sitting in a nice cushy office chair somewhere with no idea what real people deal with." 

In reality, that quote comes from Viktor Frankl.  You might remember that he was a brilliant neurologist/psychologist. So cushy office right?  Maybe, but not until after he endured losing his wife, his parents, and everything he owned and loved to the concentration camps during WWII.  

He also wrote:   "What is to give light must endure burning."

In that light the problems I have in my life seem just fine. Interesting isn't it. Perspective does wonders. In the 80s and 90s watching syfi shows I thought, wouldn't it be great if everyone had a device that let them talk to each other no matter where they were and those tablet readers on Star Trek NG were so amazing. Now we have both.  Even just 200 years ago the richest people in the world would have given fortunes to fly thousands of feet in the air in speeding jets or to listen to a full orchestra perform Beethoven's 5th Symphony on a set of speakers smaller than a single violin. Yet we find ourselves complaining about these "modern conveniences" just as Louis CK points out:

Another story of missed opportunity due to unclear perceptions is told by Dieter F. Uchtdorf: (Full Discourse)

There once was a man whose lifelong dream was to board a cruise ship and sail the Mediterranean Sea. He dreamed of walking the streets of Rome, Athens, and Istanbul. He saved every penny until he had enough for his passage. Since money was tight, he brought an extra suitcase filled with cans of beans, boxes of crackers, and bags of powdered lemonade, and that is what he lived on every day.
He would have loved to take part in the many activities offered on the ship—working out in the gym, playing miniature golf, and swimming in the pool. He envied those who went to movies, shows, and cultural presentations. And, oh, how he yearned for only a taste of the amazing food he saw on the ship—every meal appeared to be a feast! But the man wanted to spend so very little money that he didn’t participate in any of these. He was able to see the cities he had longed to visit, but for the most part of the journey, he stayed in his cabin and ate only his humble food.
On the last day of the cruise, a crew member asked him which of the farewell parties he would be attending. It was then that the man learned that not only the farewell party but almost everything on board the cruise ship—the food, the entertainment, all the activities—had been included in the price of his ticket. Too late the man realized that he had been living far beneath his privileges.
I think about how often I complain about things rather than enjoying them.  Luckily, my kids and wife keep me more focused.  All it takes after a long day at work is my son standing by the window with a basketball in hand waiting to play his latest discovery "PIG" (Or his other one... SHEEP). After that sissy will say "dada, ride!" and we begin the horse rides for the evening.  I hope I will always try to take advantage of every moment to enjoy life.

verse of scripture I like says:

That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. 
And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you;

Finding happiness in the midst of trials and challenges then is not just about looking on the bright side, although a change of perspective can be invaluable.  When the light is on, as I submit it is for all of us, yes there are shadows and at times our vision is limited. But darkness cannot cast out light. If there is any light at all even in the midst of immense darkness, it can be enough to guide us and to "chase darkness from among [us]."  

So I plan to make sure that the next time my phone drops a call or my GPS tells me the restaurant is in the middle of a river, I will smile and thank God for light even if it burns a little! 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Speak in shorter Gina Waite

I have an amazing's almost a super power!  I, Gina Waite, can turn any idea, story or comment into the longest, most elaborate and wordy expression anyone ever thought of taking the time to create (Exhibit A: the sentence you just read.)  I am the Validator of Verbal Vomit and have found a word to describe my Vernacular: 

...which means...the quality of using more words 

than needed; wordiness.

My Tommy (who smartly declined from agreeing or disagreeing with my aforementioned gift) quickly came to terms with my super power not long after we met!  Since then,  we have LAUGHED and LAUGHED in dealing with situations that have risen, due to my diction!

Take for example the time we decided to start family calendering on Sunday evenings with a brief recap of the days activies at the start of the day!  Family calendering was an idea given me from a highly effective book with suggestions for highly effective families.  One morning, while recapping...we tried to rearrange some events given an unforeseen caveat.  Having originally planned our schedule with the luxury of  a two-car household, we realized we were down to one car for the day and needed to coordinate a little differently!  WE could do this...for WE were a highly effective family!  After detailing all the hustle, bustle and busy-ness of the days activities...all whilst using "MY WORDS" hubby's mind turned to mush and my voice "white noise" to his ears.  Through the pupil of his eyes,  I swear I could see the green grass and blue water of the 12th hole at "The Masters" golf tournament that were playing out in his mind.  I recognized the glossed-over "deer in headlights" look and I so I asked Tom if he needed clarification as to the days events.  Confidently, and with a kiss on my cheek, he said, "you worry too much," with that he took our children out to the van to get them buckled in.

As I was grabbing the last of the things I needed before my husband was to taxi all of us to our various destinations, I heard what I thought was the garage door opening...AND CLOSING!  Surely my husband was checking to see if the lasers on the garage door were aligned properly OR perhaps he was testing the tension so as not to trap one of our children underneath the forceful spring of the door...after all, we were a highly effective family!  Much to my surprise, I walked out into the garage to find my husband, children, only vehicle...GONE!  Perhaps he got a call from a neighbor who needed help...was my first thought.  Maybe we ran the gas too low and he wanted to quickly, and effectively, run the van to the gas station to fill up. 

Thoughts of several Dudley Do-Right scenarios went through my mind until I made the decision to call a person located at our first destination.  A person who was counting on my hubby and me to be highly effective in helping her with a previously scheduled field trip that day.  I remember my call to my daughter's amazing preschool teacher..."Hi Mrs. McKellar!  Has Tommy happened to drop our daughter off at pre-school yet?"  I still remember her quick response in saying, "Gina, he's here...but weren't you planning to come with him today so you could...."  I stood there realizing that my husband had completely forgot me and that I would have to admit, in longer sentences than this poor pre-school teacher had ever been subjected to, that our highly effective family was not going to be effective that day!  "Ellen, may I speak with Tommy?"  The conversation went as follows:

Tom: "Hi Gina are you?"

Gina: "I'm well Tommy...I'm well...Ummmm....does the fact that you are speaking with me on the phone instead of talking with me in person conjure up any thoughts at all?"
...........LONG PAUSE..........(a possible mental revisitation of the golf course could be inserted here)
Gina: " you remember what we are suppose to do together today?"
..........LONG PAUSE...........

Speak in shorter's not my favorite thing to do but I learned a lot from my hubby that day.  First, to laugh at what you can't control and second, as long as my family loves me for who I am (and the words I choose to use) I can't help but be highly effective!  Watch what I learned from this life lesson...I'm going to end my hilarious Nutshell by using a condensed phrasing of what I'd really like to say........

"The End!"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Joined in Gina Waite

It was to be my eighth birthday!   The year 1981 may not have seen a more anxious and enthusiastic eight-year-old!  I think I may have plotted and planned my party from the very minute I turned six! To say I was excited for January 25th to come that year, would be a huge understatement!  To say my Mother would be excited would ALSO be a huge the closer it got to the end of January in 1981, the closer it got to the due date and delivery of her eighth child!  Unbeknownst to me, and my Mother, we would not have to wait until January 25th for a very special surprise and gift for us both!

The Big Eight-Year-Old Birthday was quite a rite-of-passage in the Terry household!  Not only a momentous religious celebration but an unspoken crossing-of-the-threshold from child to pre-teen!   I realized I would now be joining the distinguished ranks of my older siblings in the freedom of a later hour of bedtime!  This gift, single-handedly,  conjured up thoughts of joy at the prospects of watching the entire hour of "The Facts of Life" before retiring to bed.   My clever parents made me feel as if  I would soon be counted as one of the best and brightest ... and as my Mother did for everyone of her eight children on their eighth birthday, it was a celebration one would not want to miss!

I'm certain I asked my Dad, the morning of the 22nd, where our Mother was located.  I can't quite remember how I first heard the news of our Mary's birth....but one thing I very clearly remember...being extremely concerned that my day would not be happening!  Despite my excitement to have a new baby sister, I was truly concerned that my Eighth birthday would be overlooked.  My Dad, trying his best to hold the house together, reassured me that my Mom would be home for my birthday party on the 24th and that we would still celebrate as we had all originally planned to do!

My thoughts...."RRRRRiiiiight!  You're telling me that the amazing party with coordinating theme, cake and birthday presents would still be happening with my Mom in the hospital until Saturday morning...just a few hours before the party was to begin?" Visions of friends and family walking into my home with camouflaged balloons and brown bag wrapped presents all while being serenaded to an elk bugle recording entered my self-consumed mind!  The reality that My Eighth Birthday may be remembered but would be "different" than I thought it would be was enough to bring me to tears.  My Dad, realizing my concerns, promised me a phone call to the hospital to speak with my Mom later that evening....

" and I just received a special gift from Heaven!  Now you have a little sister to love and to share all your life with!  I promise you that this gift will be better than anything you've ever received before and you will realize, how important it was that you two girls almost share a birthday!  Your little sister is beautiful and you will love her...she's better than anything we could have ordered out of the Speigel catalog!  Geenie, please don't you worry ...I promise I will be home for your birthday party!"  I will never forget My Mom's words or the calm assurance I felt from what she said to me that day...AND...Saturday, the day my birthday party was scheduled and the day my Mom was to bring home our special little gift from Heaven home, was an experience I'll never forget!

Having been the on-the-ball Mother she was, she had planned for my birthday AND the arrival of our darling little sister way in advance.  Not only had she already taken care of most of my birthday party details she also had painted and decorated a beautiful room for Mary with a large monogrammed "M" wall hanging just above her crib.  "M" for Mary (even without an ultrasound my Mom was inspired she was a girl) named after my Mom's lovely grandmother who died all too soon!  Enlisting the help from my older sisters that day, my Mom's promise to me was delivered in Cecil B. DeMille style and my party was as fantastic as I had imagined it would be.  

You know...I'm not sure at all what gifts I received for my birthday party.  I can't remember the color of nail polish or which flavor of lip gloss I was hoping to receive, but I will NEVER forget watching my Mother, just returning from a sleepless hospital stay, walking into our home with our little Mary swaddled in as close to my Mom's body as possible. This little baby would grow up to be the sunshine of my Mother's life and the bond between Mother and baby was immediate and almost tangible!  

I've reflected, this week, on the wisdom of my Mom's phone conversation with me while she was at the hospital after Mary's delivery.  This first birthday week without my Mom is difficult for me!  Without her presence, I realize WHY I'm so glad to share my birthday week with my sister!  It brings me strength and courage to know we are experiencing our birth and our great loss TOGETHER...and truly, when I look at my sister Mary and all my other siblings...I realize that I will ALWAYS have a piece of my Mother with me because we ALL have a little piece of our Mother in us!  

On that Saturday, January 24, 1981 when my Mom came home from the hospital with baby Mary in her arms, she motioned me to come over, knelt down by my side and tipped Mary up so I could get a better glimpse of her.  She then asked, "would you like to hold her first, birthday girl?"  Did I hold her, you may ask...Well dear readers, my Mom was definitely right...this gift was better than ANYTHING I had EVER received before!  

Happy Birthday, TODAY, to our Magnificent Mary!  I know Mom is SO proud of you and she would want me to say, "can you feel my arms around you?"  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fifty And Other "F" Angie Terry

Fine!!!! Ok I turned Fifty this last year.  It seems just like yesterday that my own Mother turned Fifty and it has been twenty years since she celebrated her Fiftieth birthday.

At that time in her life she was writing for the Shelley Pioneer newspaper and her column was called “Memoirs of the Domestic Goddess.” One of my favorite articles she wrote was entitled, “Fifty and other F words.” I remember reading and laughing my guts out and also couldn’t believe my Mother wrote a article filled with F words. In that article she underlined every F word and my first thought was, “Wow I couldn’t believe my mom is going to swear in writing for the entire world to see.” I was actually excited to see if my God fearing, always teaching her children to live like Jesus Christ, striving for perfection Mother was going to use the “Queen Mother Of All Dirty Words…the ‘F,’ dash, dash dash word.” That is a line from the movie Christmas Story that my family has always loved to use.

I then realized that the F words were Fine, Fabulous, Forever etc…How incredibly smart I thought she was to not use profanity as she continued to talk about the challenges of life and being Fifty.  Towards the end of the article, I remember she was talking about when she would die and she knew her children would just incase her in a glass coffee table and she for eternity would be looking through the glass at the ring marks from the glasses we had set on the table…never to be cleaned.

This funny article never left my mind and last year a few months before my big 5-0 hit, I decided that I wanted to do a half marathon walk and called it the “Fifty and other F words walk.”  I invited many friends to join me and it was held on the fabulous Las Vegas strip. I had many takers at first and one by one for one reason or another they couldn’t make it except two of my girl friends and my boy friend Scott. I worked out hard for the next few months to get in shape for the big walk. I had red shirts made for us with big white letters on the front that read, “FIFTY” and below that were the other F words… “FANCY, FIERY, FLAWLESS and FLIRTATIONS.” On the back of the shirt it read “THE FABULOUS 50 WALK AND OTHER F WORDS, LAS VEGAS March 7, 2013.”

The day of walk had arrived. I got a text early in the morning from my fiends who came with to support me. The text read something like this…“We are all ready for the walk. We have our shirts on and are so excited. We are going to get a little something to eat and since we are in Vegas we will be waiting for you at Bugsy’s Bar playing video poker.

So being all pumped up for this half marathon, Scott and I head to Bugsy’s Bar to meet up with my friends to start our walk.  Surprisingly the “little something” they ate that morning was a few Bloody Marys.  My friends tried to walk with me that morning, which I truly appreciate, but the only walking they did was right back to their room to “sleep it off.”  So in light of the recent event, Scott and I continued to do the half marathon together and by ourselves.  I will always be thankful he was there and walked with me. He even did it with his back hurting just so I wouldn’t be alone. We walked the strip and a few side streets. We even got a picture with the Coca-Cola bear towards the end of our walk. I will never forget the feeling I had when we finished. I said to myself, “I did it” and “I did it without too much pain and feel pretty darn fabulous.”   

After the excitement of that day has faded into a great memory and I have continued into my Fiftieth year, I have come to realize several things.


The “HELLOS”…I had to say “hello” to drier skin than I have ever had. “Hello” to aches and pains I didn’t even know existed. “Hello” to every bathroom everywhere I go. Say “hello” to the night many times because it is impossible to sleep through an entire night without waking up.

The “GOODBYES” …I had to say “goodbye” to no wrinkles on my face. “Goodbye” to not having to go to the bathroom at least twice during the night.  “Goodbye” to being a young mother with my daughter at home. And the hardest “Goodbye” in my life at this point was the one I had to bid to the most Fabulous, Funny, Family oriented, Forever Mother.

It is strange the feeling we go through in life but all in all 50 is really not so bad. …there is lots of Love, Laughter and lots of “F” WORDS!

Monday, January 20, 2014

My Fifteen Minute Mary Hazlett

So, keeping with my New Year's resolutions, I have been exercising.  With two young children, this can be kind of tricky.  I have several exercise dvds that are the pack it in work outs that do it in 25 minutes.  So, when I saw the new Jillian Michaels kickboxing in 20 minutes, I was ecstatic.  In real time that means only 15 minutes if you skip the cool down and some of the chatting... Yes, I can do this!

With my previous workouts, I have struggled to actually workout like the instructor tells me too due to all the interruptions that happen with having two children.  But with only 15 minutes how many disruptions can I have... This is how it went with day one of my 15 minute workout...a diaper change, a booger attack, a small disagreement, and a "Mommy, I am done going potty.  Time to wipe".  Not to mention my son and daughter tackling me while I do the abdominal section... I don't remember the instructor telling me to get a 70 pound weight and put it on my chest. 

So, I maybe got 8 minutes out of the 15 minute workout done.  I tried desperately the rest of the day to make up for the lost workout minutes by pushing my son on a toy tractor in the snow, running up and down the stairs racing my son, and doing some lunges while watching a children's television show with my kids.  My 15 minute workout ended up taking me the whole day to finish...

I wore myself out... and I get to do it again. Tomorrow!  I almost agree with a shirt saying I once saw,  "I would run to lose weight...but why punish my feet for something my mouth did".  As I pulled the covers over me that evening I repeated to myself over and over again, "It is not the finish that is the journey". And so it is with life...Enjoy today, right now, who you are, and who you are with!  

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Friday, January 17, 2014 Mary Hazlett

Perfect for a Friday to talk about laughter.  It is a contagious condition that immediately makes your life and burdens feel lighter.  I was reading on the internet about what laughter does for your health. 

1.  Lowers stress levels.  ( I get this one!)
2.  Lowers blood sugar levels.  (Not sure I get this one...maybe it is the exercise of laughing.)
3.  Creates a connection when you laugh with someone.  (Sure...)

So, as I continued to read, it also stated that the best marriages have a lot of laughter!  That explains itself. Doesn't it?  I mean really two people coming together with completely different upbringings, experiences, and traditions trying to work it out and raise a family.  You are going to need a lot of laughter.

Take for instance, my darling son.  He is my sunshine and also my solar flare and sometimes with just seconds in between. I decided it was time for Benson to have his very own Christmas tree.  (This was last year and he was 3 years old.)  So, we went to a very popular shopping center, in which I have said out loud before,  "Oh, I will never have one of those kids", this is referring to the children that are spinning circles on the floor screaming and crying all at the very same time.  This was going to be  fun and a memory that we would all remember...


Benson carefully picked out his tree and a few ornaments to fit his style. (Trucks, cars, robots, and sports equipment.) Yes, it was going to be a perfect little tree for my little angelic guy.  On the way to  check out,  Benson noticed a fantastic singing Santa.  (This would be the pivotal part of the story.) Benson was so highly amused by the singing Santa and asking me for it that I decided, as any good parent would do, to give him the option of the tree or the Santa...  BAD IDEA!

He was crying and stomping his feet as I stood there waiting for an answer.  It just continued to get worse from there as I tried to explain why he could not have both...."ROAR" was his answer with his fingers in the shape of claws ready to shred anything in his way.  So, I lovingly put both the tree and the Santa back as my child continued to scream with tears rolling down his cheeks.

I placed him in the cart where he proceeded to growl and scratch at everything and everyone that we passed.  I started to get looks from people...the same kind of looks I gave people with my kind of child.  GREAT,  I had one of THOSE kids.  I knew I needed out and I needed it fast.  Soon we reached the parking lot, but not before Benson threw a shoe off, jumped out of the cart, and nearly dumped my little girl out of her car seat.  

With the kids and I strapped into the car,  I began to laugh.  The best kind of laugh where you almost cannot breathe laugh.  I nearly laughed the whole way home and that I night I recalled the experience with my husband and you bet we laughed...Still one of our favorite stories to recount.  

Of course, since it is on the internet it is fact, I was happy to see that laughter lowers blood sugar... because I ate two bags of Snickers after that shopping experience!  I sure hope that I made you laugh and reduced your STRESS today.  After all... it is FRIDAY!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sisters and Forever Friends in Alania Cook (sister of Marlene)

When I recall memories of my wonderful sister Marlene, I remember first our childhood.  We were brought up in  a little pioneer home in Logan, Utah.  We played and played and had many adventures and were involved in many little childhood pranks.  We shared dreams and were the best of friends.  When I was three years old, I had been exposed to the polio virus and contracted a very severe case which  left me paralyzed from the neck down and unable to walk.  At that point, Marlene became a little mother to me and looked after me because she was a wonderful sister and wanted to help our dear mother, Hattie.  Anyone who met Marlene knew what a big heart she had...she was so loving and caring!

As time progressed I was able to walk on my own but Marlene never failed to be at my side and offer her constant support and friendship.  She would skip things she liked to do or time spent with friends, just so she could be there as a support to me.  On one such occasion, Marlene and I were up to our usual mischievous adventures which included disobeying our mother's request to stay away from the river and the wicked "water woman" who lived under the bridge.  We so DESPERATELY wanted to go down to a bird sanctuary to share a package of Twinkies which was guessed it...directly by the river!

We immediately made a plan to make way to the sanctuary by a route that would not offend the "water woman."  The only problem...the route required climbing down a steep embankment which was not a task, with my physical limitations from the polio virus, I was able to accomplish on my own.  I told Marlene I would not be able to climb down and without hesitating she said, "Don't worry Sis...I'll carry you down!"  So that's exactly what she did...she strapped me on her back and climbed down the embankment, past the water woman and directly to the bird sanctuary to share a package of Twinkies.  After this experience we made many trips down to "Twinkieville" to enjoy Twinkies, time together and marveling at all the beauties of God's nature!

As we grew older, Marlene and I got married and moved away from each other.  We both endured trials and raised our families but the love we shared as children was never lost regardless of the miles between us.  Marlene IS a wonderful person, sister and best friend a girl could EVER have!  I will miss her smile, supportive concern and love!  I look forward to the time we will see each other again and share a twinkie down by the river in Twinkieville!

Love you Min!  Thank you for being such a wonderful sister!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Color Gina Waite

I love looking at this picture of my sweet little girl.  This lovely setting can be found in Mink Creek, Idaho where my Mom spent a great deal of time as a young girl.  The beautiful green fields and yellow flowers refresh my vision and purpose to find the beauty and joy in life!  Believe me, I’m trying to take my baby sister Mary’s advice to fully enjoy the “snow" but I can only live in the monochromatic world of winter for a couple of months before I truly miss the colorful world we live in.  My longing for color reminds me of watching, “The Wizard of Oz” for the first time!

Having been brought up with color television, I wasn't used to the grayed out imagery of Dorothy and Toto.  At first glance, I wasn't sure I would like the film due to the lack of color...that being said, the movie was a suggestion from my Mother and as “Specialist of the Silver Screen,” I was not about to argue with her selection!  As the movie started, the dull colors of the movie struck a discord with the energy and tone of Dorothy’s voice and passion for life!  All she wanted was to seek and find a place without trouble...some place that encompassed beauty and joy...perhaps, "somewhere over the rainbow!" 

You remember it don’t you… the time when first you witnessed little Dorothy (after the unexpected lift off and re-entry of her drab Kansas-styled home) opening the front door to her home only to expose the beautiful, Technicolor world beyond her grey house!  The Munchkin Land flowers, bigger than the munchkins themselves, and the plethora of color was truly a joyful and tantalizing treat for my eyes!  The transformation from colorless Kansas to multicolored Munchkin Land was an unexpected experience of joy for all to be enjoyed...especially Dorothy! 

C.S. Lewis once said that “No soul that seriously and consistently seeks joy will ever miss it…for those who seek shall find!”  Now I’m not sure the director of the "Wizard of Oz" intended for a parallel of life to be drawn from the imagery...but in this sometime lackluster and grayed-out world, from a source totally unexpected, we can seek out and find the color and joy of life!  

At least that’s how I’m  feeling on this gray January day…..Now if someone could please explain to me how those Munchkins grew flowers so well…I’ll be over the rainbow with joy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Player Jim Terry

As a kid growing up, it was always nice to come home wasn’t it?  Or I guess I should also say, “Isn’t it”?

I remember many days coming home as a young boy after school and being dropped off by Mrs. Drake, our bus driver. At that time, we were one of only two homes up in the subdivision known as “Rimrock Estates” just outside of Idaho Falls, ID.  And because there were only two homes up in that subdivision at the time, our bus stop was a “mile” away.  …Ok you got me, but with kid steps it felt that way.  It was; however, at least a quarter to a half-mile in real distance. 

Upon my return home and walking through the front door, there were many times that I remember experiencing, first, the warmth, as in temperature, of the home. Eastern Idaho has some BRUTAL winters at times and walking that far from our bus stop in the wind and the snow is even tough for a kid.

The other kind of warmth I felt; however, was created by knowing I was coming home to a well kept home, had loving parents and lots of siblings to play with.   Music also always seemed to be a part of this “warmth.”  There always seemed to be some sort of music being played on the radio, on the intercom system or my Mother playing the piano. 

Which got me thinking about my Grandmother…how many of you have ever experienced a player piano? Or for that matter, “even know what one is?” 

Defined…”player piano (also known as pianola or autopiano) is a self-playing piano, containing a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that operates the piano action via pre-programmed music perforated paper, or in rare instances, metallic rolls. The rise of the player piano grew with the rise of the mass-produced piano for the home in the late 19th and early 20th century.[1]Sales peaked in 1924, then declined as the improvement in phonograph recordings due to electrical recording methods developed in the mid-1920s. The advent of electrical amplification in home music reproduction via radio in the same period helped cause their eventual decline in popularity, and the stock market crash of 1929 virtually wiped out production.”

I was and am always still amazed when my Grandmother would sit down and play the piano.  She can take a regular piano without the “perforated paper” or the “metallic rolls” and just play as if it was a player piano. As the story goes, she learned to play by ear.  ISN’T THAT JUST FRUSTRATING for those of us that can barely plink out chopsticks on a piano? 

My Grandmother, my Father’s Mother, is now 99 years old and is the last of my living grandparents.  I recently heard that she is not doing so well with her health and I wanted to share with the world her talent, her kindness, her smile and her legacy while she is still here with us.   The following is a clip of her playing a piano with her rendition of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”…again very similar to what a player piano would sound like.

Music has always been such a powerful force and has brought back such fun memories, some tears and many times…a “warmth” to be felt in my life.  I am also proud to say that many of those experiences have been because of my association with my Grandmother playing her “player piano.”

“Love you Grandma…You’re the best!”