Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Seven months prior to this day 27 years ago Arnie proposed to me at the Packing House. Or I should say, attempted to propose to me. We were having a quiet dinner and I saw him reach in his suit jacket (yes he wore a suit) pocket and pull out a ring box. Then I noticed the waitress & hostess heading toward our table. He had a plan. I do not like being in a spotlight, so I very softly said "Don't do this here". He never took the ring out and we finished our dinner and left. He drove across the street to the airplane viewing area and then proposed. I felt a little bad for ruining his plan, but figured if he knew me well enough he would have realized that I am not comfortable in public displays. I'm relieved that there has never been anything plastered on a billboard, displayed on the jumbo tron at a sports event, an ad taken out in newspaper or that we've had to drive like crazy to see the banner being pulled behind an airplane. It's a great gesture to someone who is comfortable in those situations-just not for me.
At the proposal time there was no date set. Just a promise that we would marry. We ended up beginning to plan our wedding in October and pulled everything together by the end of November. When I look back I wonder what we were thinking. The week after Thanksgiving and right before Christmas? His busiest season at work.
Waking up on the morning of our wedding I felt like there were a million things we forgot to do. I never felt dread though. The morning of my first wedding I woke up feeling dread. Worried that I was doing the wrong thing. I remember I cried because I didn't want to go through with it. I felt horrible at the thought of my parents losing out of money for deposits and such. Looking back I think they probably would have been relieved.
There are several things that stick out in my head about our wedding day. He stayed at his brothers house the night before. He called me in the morning to tell me how grossed out he was as they had a portable shower in their basement. He said he had the creeps the entire time he was showering. He forgot his tie but luckily his brother had the same one. I forgot to buy nylons and had to make a trip to the store. We were married in the Courthouse on a Friday early afternoon. My sister in law had stayed with me and was to drive herself, I and our daughters there. Her car wouldn't start. Arnie had my car. Nice guy downstairs gave her a jump. My dad was working at the Police Administration at the time and came to the ceremony in his Police uniform, gun and all, and stood right behind my husband. Beside the goof up in what to do between the wedding and dinner (5 hours) the rest of the day went off without to much confusion. My cake was delivered to the wrong place, but was worked out before it was needed.
The next glitch was after the wedding when I had never made plans for what to do with my kids. Thanks Mom & Dad for thinking of that one. We got to the hotel to find out that the suite he booked was double booked. Didn't really want to share a room with another couple so we took the "free" room they offered for their error and the gift certificate for a future date.
So today marks 27 years of wedded bliss. There have been the usual ups and downs of married life, but still to this day I feel no dread and know I did the right thing. Married a man who has been a good friend, a great father and role model for the kids and has never flown a banner over our house or plastered a note of his love for me on a billboard. For that I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


As I look back on the past year I find once again that I have plenty to be thankful for every day. This day brings the opportunity to step back and really appreciate the little things in life we take for granted.

I'm thankful for the gift of life and for God granting me the parents he did.
I'm thankful for a happy childhood provided by my parents.
I'm thankful for them working hard to provide for their family and urging us to always do the best we could.
I'm thankful they never berated us-but instead instilled good morals and confidence in us.
I'm thankful they didn't take my back talk serious-but instead chalked it up to the teenage years.
I'm thankful for the sperm donor (that's all I got) who along with me gave the gift of life to my children.
I'm thankful for the memories I have of them growing up.
I'm thankful they still keep me busy.
I'm thankful I was able to (with help at times) provide them with a good and safe home.
I'm thankful for my fathers nudge and pep talks about life.
I'm forever thankful for their help when things were low.
I'm thankful for my husband of 27 years. He gets on my nerves at times but I thank God every night for bringing him in to my life.
I'm thankful my husband has been an excellent role model for my children and has raised them as his own.
I'm thankful for 4 beautiful Grandchildren. Each one, in their own little ways have brought joy to my life.
I'm thankful for the smiles, the tears, the long talks, ball games, silliness at Grandmas house, the stories, the tons of laughter, the pictures that hang on my fridge, the cards they make me, and the excitement on their faces when they have a story.
I am thankful that we both get up in the morning and have jobs to go to, a roof over our heads and no creditors banging down our doors.
I'm thankful my mother in law is feisty and strong enough to still be here with us, and for the funny stories she's told me on our long visits.
I'm thankful for my friends. Each and every one of them have brought joy to my life in some way. Every single one of them is special to me.
I'm thankful for my siblings and fortunate enough to share many memories-happy or sad with them. I couldn't have asked for better sibs.
I'm thankful for the memories of have of David. I'm certain that 3 years later not a day goes by that I don't think of him in some way.
I'm thankful for our health and that I still wake up every morning.
I'm thankful that my older brother married the best friend I could ask for and along with her came her wonderful family as well. Really, really thankful.

Oh and the list could go on and on-In general I am a very thankful person for the gift of life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


It's sometimes difficult as a parent to discipline your children and hold to the punishment. I know as a child I thought I had it all figured out on how to drive my parents nuts enough to let me out of a grounding. My dad was a tad bit more stubborn then I, so I tried a different approach. "Never let them see you sweat". I acted like I really didn't care. Sat in my room with a book near by that I could pick up when ever they came to check on me. I wasn't a bad teenager, I just always wanted to have the final say.
As I became a parent I tried to talk sense in to my children. If you lie you will get caught, if you mouth off you will be punished, if you steal anything that doesn't belong to you prepare to sit for a long time, if you come home with bad grades you will spend a lot of time at studying. They were pretty good kids, but there were some groundings along the way. My son would go downstairs and blast his rap music thinking he would drive us crazy and we'd let him out. Fuse boxes are a wonderful thing. I can only think of one time my daughter was grounded, and for good cause. She didn't seem to care (just like me)
As a grandparent it is sometimes difficult to see your grandchildren punished. My parents thought I was to hard on my kids (they softened in their elevated age). In fact if I would yell at my kids in front of my mother she would shush me and give them a cookie or something. She referred to it as their safe haven.
Well, now that we have these 13 going on 18 year old girls living in our home I am getting caught up in the Grandma thing-but still have the instincts of a parent. I was wondering how long it was going to take their father and my daughter to get together and put the brakes on. They were busted out over the weekend for lying and using the old "Mom said it was okay" to their father and vice verse to their mother. But not wise enough to think the parents would talk to each other. This prompted their father to head to the mall and find his girls and take them home. Grounded from phone, computer, sleep overs,facebook, friends and if he had it his way he would be at school during their lunch hour.
This all happened on Sunday. On Monday I picked them up from school and the two girls who usually are constantly on their phones from the time they get in the car were silent. I was supposed to play dumb (daughters request) and asked how their weekend was. Already knowing the entire story I was impressed to hear them both describe in detail the events leading to the grounding. They did not look for sympathy, nor did I offer. I made a comment that if you have to lie about something then you know it is wrong, and you will always get caught. They both nodded and I mentioned that probably all they were taking in from me at the moment was "blah, blah, blah". I was also impressed by the comment "Yeah, we have a lot to learn. We thought we were pretty smart".
I will say, their room is clean, their laundry is done and I think I actually saw one of them with a book. This act will not get by me, and hopefully not their parents.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Never on a Sunday

I made a huge mistake yesterday. I grocery shopped on a Sunday. Knowing that I'd be going I planned to be up and out of the house before 9. Due to my husband working on my truck I was somewhat delayed until after 11. No problem-I figured the hot ham & free rolls people would be between the first and second wave. I needed some things from the deli and while I was standing there waiting for my number to be called I thought of an idea for the hot ham and rolls. Make a separate section. There were so many people who were in line for just that item. They weren't ordering other lunch meats or salads. Maybe dedicate one deli employee to dish out the hot ham. Then if they want something else from the deli make them go wait in line with the other customers who are held up because of the hot hammers.
They also need to reorganize the store entry. Upon entering the store you are right in the produce section. People grab a cart and then stop and sort through their shopping list and coupons, blocking the way for other customers.
As I shopped I found them to be out of several items I had coupons for. When I asked an employee if these items were available I was told "Probably have some in the back but we're short handed and no one has time to restock". I thought that is what the third shift stockers do? After continuing to shop I noticed a lot of semi-empty shelves and wondered if my local PnS was having some issues. The only near competition they have is Walmart. I've grocery shopped at Walmart and find nothing cheap or special about their grocery department.
The plus side of the trip was saving over $52.00 using coupons. Had I made it there on Saturday it could have been an additional $10.00 with the coupon doubling. I shall try to use my noggin next week and have this task done prior to Sunday morning.
I've stupidly shopped on Sunday mornings in the past and found no difference yesterday due to there not being a Packer game. I think it's the hot ham and Sunday paper coupons that sends everyone out in droves.