I Double-Dog Dare You

Review HappyBeen a tough week filled with federal reviewers checking out our Head Start program.  Lots of stress and tension, every day–all day.  It will all be over by the end of the day on Thursday.  

Today, my team showed off their best work, and it was more than enough to make a great impression on the review team!  When the task of wading through the human resources employee files was done, the reviewer did the Happy Dance with the staff.

Today’s thank you is to Yulen, Andreina, Belinda, Tracy, and most of all Peggy–the supervisor in the team.  You ladies did an amazing job and I’m so lucky to work with you all!!


PS.  I double-dog dare anyone to not be HAPPY when they hear the song!


Pride & Joy, Prized Possessions


I’d like to think that I don’t really put too much value in having “things” as I get older.  Maybe its age, wisdom, or my brush with cancer; or maybe it’s having two cats that run around the house willy-nilly and have broken several of my favorite knickknacks.   Over the years I’ve collected music boxes, rocking chairs, and pieces of my brother-in-law’s beautiful pottery.  I’ve treasured many of these things and had them decorating my homes over the years, but there are not many “things” I’d describe as prized.

Today when I read the writing prompt I thought, there is one thing that if  I could choose only one to keep forever, it would be my engagement ring.  Or as my husband likes to call it, his boat–he was saving ring 1for a boat but bought me a ring instead.  He asked my parents for permission to marry me and showed them the ring a whole week before he popped the question.   

I know, it’s a sweet story.  It’s why I do, and will always, consider it my pride and joyThank you Steve, for giving up your boat to buy me this breathtaking ring.

Bloggers’ Pride and Joy:


40 Word Poem

Both the Weekly Photo Challenge (Letters) and yesterday’s Daily Prompt (It’s My Party) got me thinking about a gift I was given on my 40th birthday. When I turned the big 4-0, I was working as the director of an AmeriCorps program. One of my staff came up with a clever idea to have everyone in the group, more than thirty people, would give me gifts in the amount of…you guessed it, 40.

I got 40 slices of Vermont Country Bread, 40 teabags, 40 Band-Aids (x 3), 40 pony tail holders, 40 post-it notes; you get the idea, I went home with enough stuff to put in my kitchen and bathroom to last me a few months.   One of the particularly crafty members of the group found for me a 40-word poem. She cleverly wrote it out on 40 hearts and placed it little wooden box she’d painted in a bright pink and green.

I’ve kept the box with the poem in it for the last 11 years. I took it out recently to use at a workshop I was leading. I’ve shared it another half-dozen times in the last two weeks and have enjoyed it each time I read it aloud. Please enjoy it for yourself and think of “LT” who so generously gifted it to me at a big moment in my life.

40 Words



In case you can’t read the little hearts, here’s the poem:

Never underestimate the power of emotion, passion.

Never under-estimate the power of energy; vibrant charges; sparks flying everywhere.

Never under-estimate my power as a woman to be free.

Happy, crazed, infused with spices and time, sweet and succulent.

Wendy Sealey

It’s My Party and I Didn’t Have to Lift a Finger

You’re throwing a party — for you! Tell us all about the food, drink, events, and party favors you’ll have for your event of a lifetime. Use any theme you like — it’s *your* party!

I’ve already had the party of a lifetime, a few of them in fact. It’s always fun to celebrate “big” birthdays. I know many women don’t like to, but on my 30th, 40th and 50th, I’ve had good cause to celebrate, and great people who celebrated with me.

When I turned 50, in 2013, it was two years after I’d had surgery and treatment for thyroid cancer. Our grandchildren had gone back to Phoenix to live with their mother, after spending a year and a half living with us. And, we’d completed the process for declaring bankruptcy. My late 40’s had been a rough few years so I was looking forward to a new decade and the big 5-0!

As is the case with my sisters and I, we plan little getaways for our 50th birthdays. For me, we went overnight to Sturbridge, MA. Less than an hour away from home, it was far enough away to feel like a mini vacation. We spent the afternoon taking over a little day spa and getting the royal treatment. I had one of the best massages of my life, amidst quit music and the smell of lavender and vanilla (my favorites) . That evening we had an amazing dinner; I had a pasta and beef ragout and the best glass of red wine–I think it was a Shiraz. We practically had to be rolled out of the restaurant to get to our cars, we were so full from the food and tired from the laughter.

headbandThe following weekend was the “family” party. A cake from La Salle Bakery (best frosting ever!) and all my brothers and sisters, siblings-in-law, nieces, nephews, parents, and my bestie who’s known me since we were 5 years old. Everyone rocked their green clothes, wore shamrocks, and made gifts to some of my favorite charities (I’d asked everyone to forgo gifts I didn’t need, and share a gift with Children’s Friend or the March of Dimes).

I’m grateful for the parties of a lifetime that I’ve already been thrown by my families and friends; so much so, I don’t need to plan one for myself!



If I Had a Hammer; Oh Snap, I do!

If you could learn a trade — say carpentry, electrical work, roofing, landscaping, plumbing, flooring, drywall — you name it — what skill(s) would you love to have in your back pocket?

Yesterday I posted for the Weekly Photo Challenge and didn’t respond to the writing prompt, and since I’m not jazzed by today’s prompt I’ll give you glimpse into my life as a hanger of drywall.

imagesKOVXG1IGNot many people know about it, but in my mid-twenties I learned how to hang sheet rock and actually got paid to do it. A regular customer at my brother’s restaurant was willing to give us a try as general laborers after the restaurant my brother owned closed. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but apparently I could take direction reasonably well and was neat in my work.

drywall toolsI became quite expert with tape, mud, a hawk and trowel, and I’ve used this handy skill at least twice in later years. During my days of unemployment I helped my husband, who was working on a kitchen remodeling job, to hang, tape and mud some pretty intricately cut wall board. He of course, did it better than I, but was impressed with my effort.

Today’s thank you is simple; it’s to that former customer, Dave, for giving all of just jobs when we needed them. And for taking a risk to teach a bunch of newbies a skill that we could use time and again!

Tools of the Trade:




Love Letter from My Granddaughter

The first thing that came to my mind after reading the prompt for this week’s photo challengeLETTERS, was this picture I took of my granddaughter Coco’s letter she sent to us last July.  We’d had no word from the grandchildren since February 2013, so when I saw this envelope in the mailbox, my heart melted.  We got another one from her in October–addressed simply to Grandma and Grandpa with our street address appearing underneath.  I could tell that her older sister had written the address for her; and for that, I am very thankful.

cocoloveletter (2)


Bloggers Who Like Letters:





My Favorite Teen Idol

Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?

This is fun topic for a daily prompt!  I grew up in the ’70s so there are tons of teen idols to choose from: Davy Jones, Erik Estrada, Bobby Sherman, Lief Garret, Andy Gibb…the list goes on!  The best place to find them all, Tiger Beat magazine!

tiger BeatI don’t remember buying Tiger Beat, but I do remember seeing the magazine and others like it as we’d go through the cashier lines in the grocery store.  Pictures of John Travolta, Donny Osmond, Scott Baio and Willie Ames, splashed across the cover and a poster of one of the stars stapled in the center; to be hung later on a bedroom wall.  As an older teen, earning money through multiple babysitting customers and working at chain restaurant in the local mall, I was able to buy my own People magazines.  By the time I went off to college I had a few years worth of the weekly magazines stacked in my bedroom!

Back to the prompt at hand, my all-time favorite teen heart-throb was…are you ready…a blast from the 1970’s past for the all readers of my generation:  David Cassidy!

dcassiidy 1dcassidy shells

That’s it, that’s all, David Cassidy.  It didn’t matter if it was watching the Partridge Family, a performance on the Merv Griffin Show,  or a guest spot on the Love Boat, I enjoyed watching David Cassidy!  Today’s thank you goes out to teen heart-throbs from my childhood, you made me happy!

Teen Idols from the Blogosphere: