Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Don't touch that dial!"... what dial?

This is one of my favorite things to write about every year!  The annual Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2015 just came out - here's the link with the full list, and the couple paragraphs below are the intro from this year's website/list:

"This year’s entering college class of 2015 was born just as the Internet took everyone onto the information highway and as Amazon began its relentless flow of books and everything else into their lives. Members of this year’s freshman class, most of them born in 1993, are the first generation to grow up taking the word “online” for granted and for whom crossing the digital divide has redefined research, original sources and access to information, changing the central experiences and methods in their lives. They have come of age as women assumed command of U.S. Navy ships, altar girls served routinely at Catholic Mass, and when everything from parents analyzing childhood maladies to their breaking up with boyfriends and girlfriends, sometimes quite publicly, have been accomplished on the Internet.

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, providing a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall. The creation of Beloit’s former Public Affairs Director Ron Nief and Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride, it was originally created as a reminder to faculty to be aware of dated references, and quickly became a catalog of the rapidly changing worldview of each new generation. Mindset List websites at Beloit College and at, the media site webcast and their Facebook page receive more than a million hits annually."

Here are a few of my faves from this year's list:
  1. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could have been their parents. (Unbelievable!  I feel so old!)
  2. River Phoenix, Frank Zappa,  and Andre the Giant have always been dead.
  3. States (and velcro parents) have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.
  4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.
  5. They "swipe" cards, not merchandise.
  6. Their school's "blackboards" have always been getting smarter.
  7. "Don't touch that dial!"... what dial?
  8. Amazon has never been just a river in South America.
  9. Refer to LBJ, and they might assume you're talking about LeBron James.
  10. Life has always been like a box of chocolates.
  11. "Yadda, yadda, yadda" has always come in handy to make long stories short!
  12. Video games have always had ratings.
  13. Women have always been kissing women on television.
  14. Their older siblings have told them about the days when Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera were Mouseketeers.
  15. Grown-ups have always been arguing about health care policy.
  16. They're the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.
  17. They've always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe: Michael Who?
  18. They've often broken up with their significant others via texting, Facebook or MySpace.
  19. Women have never been too old to have children.
  20. Frasier, Sam, Woody and Rebecca have never Cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during primetime.
Love it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jace made the Tribe team!

His dad just texted me, and he has made the baseball team - so proud of him!  Tryouts were over a three week period, and he went to one of the early ones.  He pitched and batted at that one, and his dad felt he did pretty well, but was one of the smaller 13 year-olds, and it was some pretty fierce competition.  Jace wanted to attend the final tryout session this past weekend, and we drove back from Stockton on Saturday so he could do so.

The main guy organizing it came up to me after Saturday's tryout and told me that he was glad Jace had tried out again.  He said that  Jace was much stronger in fielding/throwing the ball than he had been in his first tryout, and that several of the coaches had commented on "the kid in the Orioles jersey"...

He's at the Y Teen program all day today, and I can't wait to see him tonight - he'll be so excited to hear he made the team.  Tonight is also 7th grade orientation for him - a big week.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Showy Way of Going...

When I started uploading pictures for this post, it was 10 o'clock on Friday night, and all of the adults were sitting in the kitchen at my sister's house, while my brothers-in-law read aloud from the Craigslist ads in Stockton and other small towns... some of the descriptions are hilarious, grammatically and otherwise!  This was one of our favorites- this fella is very proud of his roosters!

Gorgeous Young Mottled Houdan Roosters - $5 (Stockton)

"I have several young 3 month old gorgeous showy Mottled Houdan roosters. They are striking looking! They are black and white with the big top hat and have a showy way of going. These photos show them a bit younger.

Pickup after 6 pm to allow them to get to quieted and cooled down and hopefully on their roosts. 7 pm might be better. You will need a good carry crate and cash. These guys have been treated as pets. Thank you. "

Some showy roosters, aren't they?

But back to the beginning of this weekend - Jace and I headed to Stockton Friday morning, to spend the weekend with my sister Susan, her family, and Tara/Luke and Isaac.   Ron and Susan bought a ski boat this spring, and we finally made it up for a weekend with them.   And what a fabulous time we had!  Thank you, Susan, Ron and boys, for a wonderful weekend!

We headed out to the marina Friday morning about 10:30; the sky was somewhat overcast, but the temps were still reasonably nice, in the upper 70s and low 80s.  A far cry from the 103 of last week, and very welcomed!  I forget how beautiful Stockton Lake is - of course I'm a huge fan of Tablerock Lake, but Stockton is even more peaceful - we were one of the only boats out on Friday.

Jace has been looking forward to our visit for the last couple of weeks; his cousin Landon has learned how to ski, and he has been anxious to learn.   The three boys started out on the tube on Friday, and Ron dragged them all over the lake!  


After eating some lunch, the sun came out and it was warm enough for the adults to enjoy the water. Luke, Ron and Susan all got out on their skis. Tara and I were so impressed that one of our siblings had the skills to get out there. We all three had a good chat about it - we think we could have actually been somewhat athletic, but we were never given the opportunity to develop our abilities... with six kids, our parents didn't have the time to haul around to practices, etc. so it just wasn't ever something that was encouraged.


Suz - showin' off her mad skills!
Luke got out as well, for the second time on Friday - he and Ron were out on the lake at 5:30 AM with Ron's boss.
Luke - he also had a showy way of going...

Ron goes out with his boss and others fairly often in the summer, in the mornings, and he was awesome on the skis - up on just one ski:

Ron - I'm so impressed!

Jace got up on skis his first try, with some pre-ski coaching from his uncles;  he did great!   He went again Saturday, and crossed outside the wake a few times as well.  He's hooked, and already asking when we can come back and go out on the boat again.

Our little guy, Ike, had a great time watching everyone get out on the skis and tube - the first time his dad got out on the skis and wiped out, Isaac burst out in tears!  But once he saw Luke was ok, he enjoyed the show.

Naptime - heading home

Me & Tara on the tube
After coming in off the lake, the guys put the boat away and fired up the grill for some burgers, french fries deep-fried zucchini, and more.  For dessert we had an early birthday party for Jace, he's geting ready to be a teenager... hard to believe!  His birthday is at the end of summer every year, and it is always hard to have any kind of party, since he and friends don't stay in touch as much over the summer.

Jace was very surprised, and it was special to celebrate this milestone birthday with our family.   He had a great time with his cousins, playing on the lake, the Wii, XBox, Legos and more- even though we only live an hour apart, we just don't get together as much as we should.

Now it is Sunday morning, and we're relaxing with coffee in Susan and Ron's kitchen, and just enjoying the morning before we all head home and start getting ready for the work week.  One of the best things in my life is my family, and times like these are the ones that the kids, and adults, will remember.  A big THANK YOU to Suz and Ron for everything!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Baby Steps

I set a new record this morning – met my friend Stephanie at 5:45AM for our weekend walk. Of course I’ve been up that early many times on the weekends, but the earliest we ever walk is 6:30 AM. It was still 80 degrees and very muggy this morning, even at that early hour. Steph is starting a new job with the health system where I work, and had to be at orientation by 8:30. So we met early to walk our five miles, and I still have the whole day ahead of me to do all the other weekend things that need to be done.

I’m enjoying my coffee and a little Ray LaMontagne on Pandora, which I just discovered - didn’t even know I had this option on our Blu-Ray DVD player until about two weeks ago… all the music I could ever want! Jace just left to go practice some hitting and fielding with his dad for a hour or so, with junior high baseball tryouts coming up next weekend.

It has, overall, been a good week – a couple of hard days, and some ups and downs in my emotions. I really don’t doubt-logically- that this is the right thing for me, and for us. But it still is hard, when you’ve been with someone for five years. I was accustomed to emailing, texting, talking to Dave at night, even when he was gone during the week. Now there are many nights that I have had a frustrating day at work or I think of something, and then I suddenly realize that I won’t be calling him to tell him about it.

Even with these feelings, I do know that I will get through this, and I will be okay! Although, as a friend of mine said this week – “It is okay to NOT be okay, for awhile.” And I have to remember that. I have a tendency to want to be strong, and be okay NOW – I think what I’m learning, or trying to, is to give myself permission to just feel what I’m feeling… I need to just be “not okay” for awhile, and really work through this, and let myself heal.

“I have a plan for you… Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11

I have this verse taped on my computer monitor at work, as a reminder … No, this absolutely isn’t what I had planned for my life – I didn’t want to be getting divorced again, at 40. When I think about that, it is such a blow – to my pride, to my confidence, and more. But I have to remember that God has a plan for me, and I have to continue to be open to it.

I had a great conversation about this with my friend Laura on the way to and from Kansas City last weekend.  In addition to being lots of fun to spend time with, she also has a very strong faith; we've had some great talks about God, life, etc., over the past couple of years.   We talked last weekend about the "little things" that happen in your life - it is easy to chalk these up to coincidence, but as a Christian, I've slowly realized over the last couple of years that the more I'm open to God working in my life, the more I see little- and big- things that show me He is at work.  

I've been praying, and I know God has been with me over the past several weeks - but I haven't actually been to church since Dave left.  I love the contemporary service at my church, and the music is so often what speaks to me - sometimes it is just what I need to hear, for whatever is going on in my life.  But with everything that has happened, I knew that it would be very hard to go, and that I would be very emotional, and just wasn't ready to do that the last several Sundays.  But I am now, and am looking forward to going tomorrow morning.    That makes me think about one of my favorite movies - "What About Bob?" with Bill Murray... " step onto the elevator... baby step into the elevator... I'm *in* the elevator.... AHHHH!"

I'm taking some "baby steps" here, and it is feeling good.... baby steps...  It is okay to NOT be okay. 

Well, coffee cup is empty and my "To Do" list is beckoning... Heading to the lake tonight for dinner at Fish Tales with Gail and Jace - will be good to catch up with Jana and Chris; and then grilling out with friends tomorrow night.