Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dusting Off My Skates...

I was up late again last night.

These late nights and I are going to have to part ways, and this weekend when the Vancouver Olympics come to an end!

I love the Olympics. Doesn't matter if it's the summer games or the winter games. It doesn't really even matter what sport it is (well, okay, I am not that into weight lifting!). I am captivated by the talents and abilities of athletes across the globe. And the stories behind these champions are nothing short of amazing and often heart wrenching.

Although I will watch most any Olympic sport, I have a few favorites of the winter games -- skiing, snow boarding, and figure skating.
It never fails that when I watch figure skating and hear the voice of Peggy Fleming doing commentary on performing skaters, I remember that she is the first ice skater that I ever saw. I saw her in the 1968 Olympics which means I would have been 5 years old. I also had a book about an ice skater; a story about a little girl taking ice skating lessons. Oh how I wanted to be that little girl and learn to skate!

Watching ice skating always reminds me of being a young girl and receiving a pair of bright white ice skates one Christmas. Oh, I loved those skates! I remember making HUGE pompoms to go on them so they would look even more beautiful when I wore them. :) Near our house was a small pond that belonged to a couple who built a small house a stone's throw from the pond and they only came to that house in the summer time. The gave us permission to skate on their pond in the winter so it was there I would go to practice skating and dream that I was performing in front of a screaming crowd who cheered me on and gave me perfect scores!

Then came Dorothy Hamill who captured my heart all over again in the 1976 Winter Olympics. I had just turned 14 and, along with all the other young girls who were ice skater wannabees, I got the Dorothy Hamill haircut to be just like her! I even had the Dorothy Hamill doll that wore a red skating outfit just like Dorothy did at the Olympics and the doll sported a replica of the gold medal she had won. If you can believe it, I still have the doll!

So I will be up late for a few more nights before I put my memories away for another 4 years. I look forward to dusting them off once again when they will come and play in Sochi, Russia in 2014. See you then! :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Step Back in Time...

Today found me engulfed in memories as I looked through some things that I brought home from my parent's home in New York last November.
I didn't plan to step back in time but as I went through things that were long over due for my attention, I found a folder of papers that my mother had kept that belonged to my brother, Mark.
Mark would be turning 51 this coming April 1st. I say would be because he is no longer living. Tragically he took his own life in June of 1993 at the age of 34.
Mark was a guy that was the life of any party. He made everyone around him laugh, and it seemed that everyone liked him. He had a charisma that charmed many. But all that personality and charisma didn't save him from conflict. He was no stranger to strife -- strife that he brought on himself with his choices. He was in and out of jail for many years before the tragic ending of his life.

So today as I thumbed through a folder of memories, I found among the faded and aged papers something that I had written years ago and sent to Mark during a time that he was once again incarcerated for yet another bad choice.

I wrote:

The dolls and dress up clothes are all put away now

And I am too old to play "Army" and hide and go seek

But I'm not too old to re-live the childhood happiness in my days of make believe
Nor am I too old to find pleasure again in falling leaves and "puff balls" hiding in the grass waiting to be discovered by laughing eyes

Nor am I too old to stand in the brisk evening air looking back to the past with wet cheeks and a saddened heart because those days are gone

Nor am I too old to smile through those tears and sadness to thank my brothers for allowing me to be a part of them as we journeyed through those childhood years and for cherished memories created on Autumn days

Thank you for the happy times.

I love you,
(Yes, that's me. I was always called Lori by my family members and still am by some of them.)

I will tuck the folder of delicate memories away once again and go on being a grown up again but feeling a whisper of longing to experience over again a few of those autumn days.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Epic Proportions....

Today is a day of epic proportions! It is the day of is the day that our youngest son, Jacob turns 16!! He made it to 16 and so did we!!! :)

Jacob celebrated by having some friends over, eating pizza rolls, chips and soda, and having cupcakes. (yes, that is what he wanted!).

We love you!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snowy Snow Days....

Surely by now it is no secret how much I love the winter.

I love the excitement of winter and the secrets it holds of the unknown.

I love the anticipation, the waiting, the watching and the wondering. I don't mind the cold and I would rather see white covering the ground in frigid temperatures than see brown, dormant grass.

This week we had three snow days off from school! It's not that we got that much snow (about 5") that keeps us out of school but rather the uncleared, twisting, rural roads that were still snow and ice covered due to the strong winds that created drifting and slick roads. The rural roads are narrow and tree covered so the snow and ice don't melt off as readily as it does in open areas. It's humorous to think that 5" of snow can result in so many days out of school...unless you happen to live on those rural roads or have to drive a school bus on them!

In spite of the complaints of most everyone around me, (our immediate family excluded), I still love the winter and believe I always will.

And because I love the winter I share a few favorite winter photos with you....


Monday, February 15, 2010

My Secret Is Out.....

This is the sign that I want for my kitchen!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy St. Valenta's Day...

In our home February 14th is known as St. Valenta's Day. Yup, it's our holiday. Not many can claim their own holiday, although we do know a wonderful family in Canada with the last name of Christmas! Now that's a great last name if I ever heard one! But our's runs a close second! :D

Last year on Valenta's Day, Mr. Valenta was under the weather. We were laying low as he was on week 3 of his 7 weeks of radiation. As he began to feel worse and worse it made it impossible for us to attend our annual stake Valentine's, uh, I mean, Valenta's Dinner.

What a difference a year makes.

This year we were able to attend, just like normal, just like always.

Eating is quite a different experience for Tim than it used to be and we now practice B.Y.O.B. -- bring your own bottle... of milk and of water. It took a full quart of milk to wash down what food he could eat but at least he is eating, and being a part of social activities again. That is the part that feels so good -- to have him attend, simply being there. Just like normal, just like always.

So this Valenta's Day is particularly a sweet one.

Mr. Valenta gave be beautiful tulips, wonderful chocolate covered strawberries and pink haired pony for my farm on Farmville and a tribute made out of hay bales that reads "Tim + Loretta". :)

And I gave him macadamia nuts (still his favorite), made him homemade strawberry mousse with hand piped meringue hearts and all of my love with a promise of forever. :) I love you Mr. Valenta...just like normal, just like always.

P.S. *I made the Love You picture frame with scrabble letters and Annah made the envelope for her class valentines. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Farmville or Nicholasville?

I've been on Facebook for a while now. I've lived a perfectly contented life on Facebook. I have a fair amount of friends, update my status every now and then (whether people care or not) and I contribute meaningless stuff periodically... just like everyone else.

We are a Facebook family. All of us are on Facebook. Yes, even though the youngest two in the family who are not 13. (Yes, that means we fabricated their birth year).

A few months ago my girls were telling me about a Facebook game called Farmville. They showed me their "neighbor's farms" (who happened to be adults that I knew) and my comment was, "These people need to get a life!" (ever heard of "famous last words"?) I shook my head wondering what was up with people who "play" games like that. Certainly they must not have anything better to do!

Several weeks later my girls squealed and said, "Mom! President Lindmark has a farm!" President Lindmark is our stake president....what could I say? Tell our local church leader to get a life? I'm thinkin' no.... We all had a good laugh.

Several days later it was the same local church leader who sent me an invitation to Farmville! I laughed and checked it out and yes, actually started farming!

Then it was Tim's turn to look at me like I needed to get a life! But in time I successfully made a farmer out of him too! And even my friend Patty, and her husband Tim are farming now. I guess I can be very persuasive...or at least Farmville can! :)

So I am a farmer now. I have been accused by some (Patty!) of neglecting my blog to do farming. She even challenged me to stop farming for a week and blog every day instead. I told her I wasn't sure I could do that because what would I blog about? Farmville? :)

Well, here is proof that I can farm and blog too so there is no need for me to take a week off from farming!
Come to think if it, I wonder if she suggested that so that she could surpass my current level 36! Hummm.... I think she had motives behind her suggestion! I get it now....get me away from the farm and while I am blogging she farms like a mad-woman and I won't know what hit me! Nice try! :)

Well, I must be in a Farmville state of mind because in my everyday life I started seeing Farmville all around me. But I don't live in Farmville, I live in Nicholasville! I never knew how similar they were! Take a look..... (beginning with the tractor at the top of this post)

There is the barn and fencing....

There is the weathered barn....

Large wood pile and even tall grass!

So I am farming and blogging and enjoying the slower pace of life these days. Life is good when thoughts of cancer fade somewhat into the background and are not the dominating focus of each day.

Life is good when I can be a virtual farmer, an occassional blogger and a full time snow lover.