Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weekend Reflections

Today I´m joining some others at Newton Area Photo. James hosts a new meme called Weekend Reflections.

The rules are simple. This is what he wants us to do:

1)Post a reflection photograph.

2)After posting your Weekend Reflections photo, add your name, country and link to MckLinky.

3)Be sure that your link goes directly to your Weekend Reflections post.

4)Comment on other Weekend Reflections participant’s blogs.

Feel free to be creative. Remember this meme is for any type of reflection. This meme runs Friday 11ish am EST through Sunday, so feel free to link your post anytime within that time frame. Join the fun!

These Kissing Flamingos are residents of the San Diego Zoo. Our family took a trip to Southern California last summer to celebrate my father-in-law's 90th birthday. The zoo is one of the places we had the pleasure to visit.

I love how the water is almost covered in pink from all of the flamingos in the pond. Even the foilage can be seen between the pink and the stick legs of the birds. To watch these magnificent creatures play is a treat not only for the eyes, but lifts the spirit, as well.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 30, 2009

This is It - Part Deaux

I just returned from watching this incredible documentary! I didn't have to ask my daughter twice if she wanted to see it with me. It was unbelievable! I forgot that I was watching rehearsals. I felt like I was part of the audience at one of the 50 concerts Michael Jackson had planned.

The film showed every aspect of what goes into the making of a live concert. We were shown the many facets of production...the musicians, the singers, the dancers, the costume people, the makeup people, the technical experts, the documentary film makers, and, of course, the King of Pop. It was wonderful to watch him work!

For a more informative take on the movie, please visit Manic. She goes into great detail about some of the numbers, injects her wonderful sense of humor, and if you have yet to see the movie, you will surely want to after reading her post!

I am saddened by the fact that Michael Jackson is no longer with us. I was saddened that, with all the preparation and manpower by everyone involved with the show, they would not have the privilege to travel the world with Michael and help spread the magic of his incredible musical gifts.

God Bless you Michael! May your soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This Is It!

A mere three words to describe what might have been an historical musical comeback for one of the most talented singers of all time. If his private life, along with human errors, is put aside, you simply must agree that his status as King of Pop is well-deserved.

I regret never attending a concert of his, even though I desperately wanted to be a part of the magic. I hope this event will leave us all with thoughts of who Michael Jackson was as an entertainer and how hard he worked to bring us the best that he had to give.

Rest in peace.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Night of the Living Cutie-Pies!

I love passing out candy on Halloween nights. We don't get nearly the crowds we used to get, but there are still a few diehards out there. There are so many alternative celebrations for kids today, like mall Trick-or-Treating, Tailgating at schools and/or churches (Trick-or-Treating out of the backs of cars), and home parties. We have a local church that sponsors a carnival which draws big crowds with the rides and food, and then still manages to spread their ministry on Halloween night.

Long gone are the days when you went door to door with your pillow case, staying out until it was almost full of candy, and didn't have think twice about someone stealing your bag of goodies. Not so the case today. I always went with a friend. Times change, and we adapt.

In any case, many little goblins, gremlins and princesses are just as cute as they were 50 years ago. Throughout this post, I've shared some of the costumes worn by my little angels. Some were bought, some were made and some were recycled, but all were worn with the excitment and reckless abandon that comes with the characters that they became on All Hallows Eve!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Am Blessed

Six Word Saturday - a great way to get the creative writing juices started on a cool Saturday morning. Click on the icon and visit the author of this very clever blog!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

One Year Milestone!

I'm ordering flowers today for a friend in Chicago. She is having a party to celebrate one year of being free of breast cancer. A few of us cannot be there in person to celebrate with her, so our pink flowers will be there for us.

It seems as though just about everyone knows one or more cancer survivors, whether it is a friend, co-worker, or even themselves. I am truly grateful for the advocates, warriors and loud voices of men, women & children everywhere who remind us to get checked and follow up with the check-ups!

Her story is an amazing one, and I won't tell it here and now without her permission. What I will tell you is the incredible amount of strength and support she has received from family and friends near her home, as well as the plethora of friends she has here in St. Louis. Her faith played a very large part in her treatment and recovery. I can picture her praying with her doctors shortly before going under anesthesia, and then again shortly after coming out of it. The chemo treatments...the nurses, the drivers and the entourage who followed her everywhere... they were honored to be a part of her day and prayers. I can also see her sitting in a doctor's office getting bad news, praying with the doctor, and immediately feeling content and assured that no matter what the outcome, she will have the "Big Guy" walking through it with her...every step of the way.

Well, the "Big Guy" did walk through it with her and she is giving a party, not only for herself, but in gratitude for the heavenly intervention. She has been cancer free for one year, has her life back (along with, I think, a new set - I'm so jealous) and if I know her, she has already become involved in giving back to another who is traveling that same scary road.

Congratulations, girlfriend, and God Bless you!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sundays in My City #3 (on Monday)

We have recently had a lot of rain and gloomy skies in St. Louis. I haven't been able to take any decent pictures of "My City." So, instead, I decided to write about an event held in "My City" that I was privileged to attend this past weekend. I am unable to provide pictures of the event, but found some very cute pictures that resemble the participants.

It has been years since I have attended a fashion show...of any kind. The niece of a good friend was a model in an event called "Catch a Shooting Star Luncheon and Fashion Show." It is an annual event presented by the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis. To learn more about this organization, click here.

The fashion show was delightful. Current pop music played in the background while the models were introduced and walked the runway. One of our local TV personalities emceed the event and read bios of the models as they showed off their fall ensembles from Target. Halfway through the show, the lights went down and the tempo changed as Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was played. The ensembles were now a Halloween theme! All of the guests were given small pen-flashlights, and we were then instructed to shine them on the ceiling. The effect was just as fun for us as it was for the models.

My invite to the show was from the aunt of Maggie, one of the models. Maggie is a college graduate, originally from the Chicago area. She is currently living in an extraordinary planned community called “St. Louis Life.” Please check out their website here.

St. Louis Life is a community-based, residential program for young adults with developmental disabilities. Residents work and live in the community and are allowed to make decisions that affect all aspects of their lives. This independent living program offers single-bedroom apartments, job placement/coaching, social, educational and recreational activities, and many other support services. Maggie loves living at St. Louis Life!

Please visit to the website of this incredible organization. It was very heartwarming for me to learn about St. Louis Life. If you have something like this near you, I’d love to hear about it!

By the way, this is my 100th post! Yesssssss, they haven’t kicked me out yet!

Friday, October 16, 2009

100th Post...Just Around the Corner

September was actually a one year birthday for No Excuses, but it sort of snuck by very quietly. Between this blog and Bizzymissliz, this post will be my 99th. How does one celebrate 100 posts of nonsensical venting, whining, bragging, self-indulgence and a little humor? Am I supposed to host a party...a soiree of some sort...or just invite everyone out for coffee? Personally, I like the coffee idea.

My family is still in tact...a little humiliated maybe...but still able to show their faces in public. I still have my day job, my bffs, and the insane silliness that gives me the courage to write when I don't really have anything to say! What I don't have is all the weight I was going to lose or all the great life changes I wanted to make. The amount of life knowledge I've gained from reading about the experiences, opinions, and stories of the many, many bloggers whom I've discovered by hopping from one blog to another, has indisputably enhanced and improved my life tenfold more than the losing any number of pounds, or the disposing any amount of clutter. Yeah, really!

I still desire to support, lend an ear (or shoulder) to, anyone who asks for it. Even though I am more than a half-century old (aren't antiques 50 years old or more?) I feel that I still have so much life to experience. What I don't know, I go to someone more antiqued than me and ask! I'll cry through just about anything with anybody. I will openly give kudos where it is due. I may disagree with posts that I read, but I am in awe of much of the writing. So many bloggers share their incredible gifts through their blogs. These gifts have made me better writer, a more informed woman, and have taught me to cherish every minute of every day.

Thank you to all who have come into my crazy little world! Now, who wants whipped cream on their mocha?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random Dozen

This is a fun meme that I found at Linda's blog, 2nd Cup of Coffee. Stop by and share a cup with her. She'll be the bright spot of your day!

1. I've always wondered why we were taught both printing and cursive. Do you prefer to print or write cursive? (Keyboard is not a choice.)

Cursive. It just flows better for me. I can read my printing better, but like writing in cursive.

2. Are you a dreamer or a realist?

Mostly I'm a dreamer. Maybe that's why it takes me so long to get things done!

3. Billy Joel or Elton John?

Elton John. I fell in love with my husband listening to his early songs.

4. What is the scariest movie you've ever seen? Not just horror flicks but also ones where the tension or suspense is killer, for example, Flightplan (2005): A bereaved woman and her daughter are flying home from Berlin to America. At 30,000 feet the child vanishes and nobody admits she was ever on that plan.

The Exorcist, Panic Room, The Entity.

5. Now what is the scariest real-life moment you've had?

I let my three year old climb too high on the ladder of a playground structure. I climbed up the ladder to get him and he fell before I could reach him. I caught him by his arm. The guilt is pouring out of me right now. Another moment was when I was driving on a local street and reached down to get something I dropped. When I looked up, I was about 20 feet behind a bus and I was traveling about 40 miles an hour. My first thought was to slam on the brakes, even though I knew we would crash. As I did, there was a force that turned the steering wheel to the right. I missed the bus by inches. I knew I had an angel in the car with me that day.

6. What word do you misspell without fail?

I can't just give one word. Thank goodness for spellcheck!

7. Name something you like to do but are not really talented or good at?

Dance, sew, craft, write....

8. Do you get your emotional/mental batteries recharged by being around people or by having alone time?

Being around people gives me a chance to see how others live their lives. I'm always learning new ways of doing things from others.

9. Have you ever been on TV?

Yes, the first day of school in Fourth Grade, I was on a TV show called The Princess. In my twenties I studied acting and was in a few non-union commercials and movies.

10. Apple or pumpkin pie? (Don't be greedy.)

Apple pie - it's a base for a giant scoop of ice cream!

11. How many magazine subscriptions do you have?

Right now, none. We cut back about a year ago to save money.

12. What lesson do you have to keep re-learning?

When to speak and when to shut up! When to let my teens spread their wings and fly on their own.

Have a great day! Enjoy your coffee!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This Day Just Keeps Getting Better!

This week has been one I'd like to forget! Ed & Katya have recently been dealing with the consequences of some "bad choices." Everything is hush hush...don't let this person know about it, but you can talk with this other person about it. Such drama...I am getting dangerously close to a meltdown!

This past week was also very busy at the high school, with many activities to celebrate Homecoming. It's a lot of fun and the kids love to get involved! There have been "Dress as Your Favorite 80's TV Character," decorating the halls, fun runs, Powder Puff game and plenty of things to do during lunch. Since this is Ed's last Homecoming, I agreed to let her participate in some of the activities.

Some genius brought in one of those jousting tournament games like they had on "Battle of the Network Stars." Ed thought she try it out. She and a partner stood up on these "stool-like" blocks and tried to knock each other off with padded sticks. Ed lost her balance, fell, landing on her midsection on top of the stool. It took the wind out of her for a few seconds, but she's a sport and got right back up. Many of the on-lookers were laughing at her, which just added to the feeling of humiliation that she already had. As she walked back to her lunch table, she knew something wasn't right.

She was very sore, and had trouble sleeping that night, so we propped her up with pillows. That seemed to help some. The next day she still felt very sore and asked if she could see the doctor. The doctor ordered an x-ray and ct scan of her liver. I left work, and kept Ed company at the hospital. So, until we had the results of the tests, those lovely twinges of "what if" were swimming around in my little pin head. She was scheduled to work that night, but I "convinced" her to stay home until we knew if there had been any damage. She found a replacement for work, but needed to pick her up. She and Kat left with the car. It was raining.

About an hour later, the call came..."mom, we just had an accident..." "Okay," I thought. "a little fender-bender - no problem." The only two cars that would get me up to the girls had manual transmissions. I don't drive stick shift cars very well, especially in the rain. A neighbor kindly gave me a ride up to the "party." Everyone involved was okay, but the two cars had obviously disagreed about how to properly say "hello." The front bumper of our chariot was hanging by a thread and the engine was smoking. "This is going to leave a mark," I thought. We exchanged information with the other party, and provided ID to the young, inexperienced and smart-mouthed representative of our city's finest men in blue. Ed & I both spoke at length to our insurance company. Ed's ID was returned, along with a ticket for expired insurance. Our new insurance ID cards were at home on the kitchen counter. The day just kept getting better!

(The above picture is not my car!) The tow trucks came and went, and the parties dispersed. We stood around the parking lot for a few minutes, in 45 degree weather, and realized we had no way home. All at once, the four of us whipped out our cell phones and started calling anyone who owned a car. After an hour went by, three cookies and two cups of coffee from the wonderful people at Regions Bank, our knight in shining armour (Ed's beau) arrived to take us back to our castle.

Once we were at home, the telephone rang. It was Joe from our insurance company. He started his "taped" interview with Ed just as Dad got home from work. Dad stood motionless while she spoke, and I thought his head was going to explode. It didn't, but it was a little pink. We all sat down and had a chat. It was great to get it all out in the open, but I could see the dollar signs coming out of Dad's head as we described the condition of the chariot. We trembled, we cried, and when all was said and done, we went our separate ways to various rooms in the castle and saw no one until the next morning.

The next afternoon, the girls and their friends dolled each other up and they went off in Dad's chariot to the Homecoming dance. After they could no longer move about in their heels, and they were hoarse from screaming for their favorite bff to win Homecoming Queen, they came home. They played board games, and laughed until they were in a Candyland stupor and then fell asleep.

The castle was once again at peace. This day was much better.

Six Word Saturday!


Please stop by ShowMyFace and join in the fun! Just click on the logo or click on ShowMyFace in the previous sentence!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sundays in My City

Unknown Mami
Have you heard of Unknown Mami? She has a delightful blog where she shares photos of her city on Sundays. She invites the rest of us to link up with her and share some of our own city's photos. Click on the logo to visit Sundays in My City!

I live in St. Louis, MO. Welcome to my city!

One of our frequent backyard visitors.

View from the ground to the top of the Arch.

View from the Arch to the ground below.

You never know what you'll see when you go for a Sunday drive!

This is where I work. I think it looks a little like the mantle of the Maitlin's house at the end of "Beetlejuice!"

Our Family's place of worship. From the outside, it looks like a Pringles potato chip. Once inside, one expects Spock to beam down any minute...

This is where I live. Show me your city!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hat Day - Minnie Pearl, Where Are You?

Okay, I wore the hat! Don't I look lovely? As I anticipated, they sneered, pointed fingers, chuckled, or pretended not to notice me. I was a big hit in the office. They actually let me come back to work today and I wasn't called in for an early evaluation! (The Lost and Found sign in back of me is my claim to fame in the office. I am in charge of reporting lost items, as well as, items found and turned in. I write a daily email to the staff notifying them of these items. Sometimes, I write funny stories about my kids - many of the teachers here taught my kids when they were in middle school. I pick out brain teasers from Mensa books just to see if anyone replies. Not everyone reads these emails, but I have fun writing them.)

I felt like Minnie Pearl! For those of you born in the last 20 years or so, Minnie was a regular at the "Oprey" in Nashville, and a television show called "Hee Haw" which featured well known and new acts of country musicians. She always wore hats that still had the price tags on them. (google her) She was a "hoot" and a bright spot everywhere she went.

Back to the YaYa hat... I only wore it when I had to deliver messages to classrooms. I did not wear it while at my desk. It was just too humiliating. Many of the women with whom I work liked the story behind the hat, and encouraged me to wear it all the time. Ha! I know they were just using me for their entertainment!

It was very quiet at work today. As I passed through the classrooms, I noticed that almost every class was missing at least 30-40% due to the flu. Yikes! I got a shot yesterday; I sure hope it helps. At the rate we are going right now, our January flu season will be over by November 1st. Hope all of you are protecting yourselves and your families.

And if you do get sick, get lots of rest and play dress up with some hats!