Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thirty Days – For some it is a lifetime.




Days pass, some swiftly as a flowing river while others drag on, the time seemingly endless from dawn to dusk. Other days get collected, like pennies in a piggy bank that will be opened at some future time and counted, stacked and their worth duly recorded. So time is truly relative, yet we each are parceled out the same twenty-four hours each day but the makeup of my day is quite different from yours or especially Jack Bauer's.

I observed little Hal (Haleighana) the other evening and wanted to make a list of all the things she could do now that she couldn't do thirty days ago. So we spoke together in our best version of "baby-speak" and I cajoled her in to performing her act, good practice should we later want to take her show on the road.

In just a matter of minutes she: stretched, cooed, farted, sighed, smiled, sneezed, hiccoughed and squeaked. I should also mention sleep; she does that very well too. In fact there are times when I would swear she is mini-me as she grunts and groans with each little move - there is a point I think when our two universes will collide.

In the meantime enjoy our little Hal as she readies to celebrate her first thirty days – a lifetime in her little book.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Start your week with a smile




The Tooth Fairy is working overtime at Oliver's house, he sure is a happy fellow. Enjoy your week...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hope for Haiti Now





Did you happen to see the telethon that George Clooney organized for Haiti last night? It was star studded, but no names were dropped, the two hours were filled with top entertainers and their music, played low-keyed and respectful of the dire situation in Haiti. Even the chat with donor call-ins, which we were privy to eavesdrop on made one feel like you were listening to two people talk outside a PTA meeting.

At one point during Sting's performance I mentioned, "Gee, they aren't even putting up the names of the performers." My granddaughter was quick to respond, "It isn't about them."

How right she was, the night was about helping Haiti. And last night big unnamed stars became street performers on any corner USA with their hats upturned and their guitar cases opened, offering up their music in return for Hope for Haiti.

It's good we have people like George Clooney who can organize and get these telethons off the ground. He knows from past experiences that in addition to immediate aid that is required on the ground in Haiti at this very moment, it will take lots and lots of dollars and many, many months and years to rebuild the city.

Consider a donation today if you haven't done so yet. Small amounts when added up together become big amounts, so every little bit will help.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Timing is Everything





It has been said, "Timing is everything." More true than not I think. A chef tending his roux knows about timing as does the baker, too much heat for too long will ruin a heap of hard work. They also talk about comedic timing; a stumble or trip timed just right can be hilarious. Jack Benny was the king of comedy in his use of timing in delivering a look or the punch line of his jokes.

Today I got to thinking about Conan O'Brien and his recent jokes (or are they) on running up the bill for his Tonight Show expenses, that along with his 30+ million dollar settlement with NBC. All this in the wake of the hellacious devastation in Haiti, was I thought – ill timed to say the least. I don't know about you, but all this comes across as a little unseemly as you flip the TV tuner from Entertainment News to CNN and see the piles of dead bodies and horror stricken children.

Pardon my candor Mr. O'Brien but I think it is time you grew up. Take your money, after donating a big chunk of it to those who are in such desperate need today and go away quietly into the night.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Happy 19th Birthday, Nathalie



Today is Nat's 19th Birthday - Happy Birthday, kiddo. This fall Nat will be heading to Mizzou, do you think how she was dressed as a toddler had anything to do with her college selection?

Gammie wishes you the best, for today and always. May you dream big and may all your dreams come true. I love you a bunch!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Invictus

A rare treat it was to hear Morgan Freeman recite from memory this poem which was a source of inspiration to Nelson Mandela during his years of captivity:

Invictus

Out of the night the covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
for my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menance of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matter not how strait the gait,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

                      - William Ernest Henley

Be brave fellow travelers and never forget these important words, "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

Never too late to toast the New Year

I was reading my magazine last night and saw this ad from Grey Goose. It was very simple, in design, print and the actual words written on the page, yet those words captured me and made me think. So I pass on this toast to you, my blog followers, my family and my friends and wish you all the very best in this year called Twenty Ten.

A TOAST

TO NEAREST
TO DEAREST
TO THE CREW
TO CAHOOTS
TO THE ONES WHO'VE BEEN THERE
TO THE ONES WHO'LL BE THERE
TO DROPPING EVERYTHING
TO SAYING ANYTHING
TO NO JUDGMENTS
TO NO DOUBTS
TO LOYALTY
TO TRUST
TO THE VAULT
TO FAVORS
TO LIFELONGS
TO BEEN TOO LONG
TO NOTHING'S CHANGED
TO LIFE SAVERS
TO HAVING HISTORY
TO GOING WAY BACK
TO MOVING AWAY
TO NEVER TOO FAR
TO SETTLING DOWN
TO YOUR CLOSEST FRIEND
TO YOUR SECOND FAMILY
TO THE PERFECT GUEST LIST

TO CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS WITH THOSE WHO MATTER MOST

Thank you Grey Goose

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Positive Side of Winter



Winter's Beauty

Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, stop and view the snow. Day before yesterday I glanced out my kitchen door and saw this beautiful snow design on the table on my deck. Wow, I thought, that is really beautiful, so I grabbed my camera.

I'm glad I did because it soon was gone. It's been really cold here in the St. Louis area, not a lot of snow, but what little we have isn't going anywhere if it stays in the teens. I just wanted to take a moment and focus on the postive side of winter, the beauty it can bring to our day - however fleeting.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 - Our Own Rose Queen


Julie

The day after the Rose Parade the kids drove up to Pasadena to view the floats up close and personal. It looks like another beautiful day in Southern California and what fun to get to see the floats up close like that.


Oliver and Dad

Of course the boys would pose in front of a float having to do with football. After all these years I am still amazed at how beautiful these floats are. They have come a long way from the original horse drawn carts decorated with roses.


Oliver and Mom

I grew up just a few miles from the parade route and have actually only seen the parade in person once in my lifetime. You would get a kick out of my Rose Parade photos - they are in black and white. I tried getting away with telling my grandkids that's how the parade was when I was little. They didn't really bite that tall tale for long. One of these years, though, I will take one of those nice packaged tours they have and enjoy the parade in person one more time.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Where in the World is Kendall?


Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Friday, January 1, 2010


Someone said, "Football's a matter of life and death" - but it's more important than that.
   --Bill Shankly                

2010 – Beginnings and Recognitions






Haleighana

Beginnings…

I hope everyone could begin the New Year as I did, though I know many will not. A new baby, great-granddaughter Haleighana, greets the New Year with just two days of baggage on her tiny shoulders, which she bears very well. There is something about the innocence of a new baby that gives you hope for mankind. Tiny yet strong and determined, making her needs known when required and when her needs are met she sleeps, dreaming of all that could be hers one day. She does not know the word no or can't or shouldn't. Her world has no boundaries yet – she inhabits a world in which she is the very center, Princess of her own universe.

It won't be long before walls will be constructed, some built for her safety but so many will come disguised as good intensions but will only work to hold back a natural creative process or curiosity. I hope I can be a positive influence in her life.



Misty and Mollie

Recognitions…

My friend Mollie has been a positive influence in the lives of many kids. Her life has been spent in teaching and coaching; helping kids learn the basics to play a game called volleyball, but really she was helping them learn about the game of life. Learning that you need to be prepared when you step out onto the court, learning that winning doesn't always come easy and as in life, it takes hard work and lot's of practice to become successful.

The Junior Volleyball Association has announced Mollie as one of their 2009 Hall of Fame inductees. I know Mollie is very proud to receive this honor and I am so proud for her. I don't know if I will be able to be in New Orleans when she receives her induction, but I do know I will be there in spirit. This is what the JVA had to say about her:


Mollie Kavanagh

Junior volleyball came of age in the 1980's thanks to the implementation of Title IX, along with
both the U.S. Women's and U.S. Men's National teams capturing Olympic Medals at the 1984
Games held in Los Angeles, playing in front of sellout crowds and national television audiences.
There were many great coaches who came into the sport of volleyball during this time period,
but one of them stood head and shoulders above the rest, winning championship after
championship. Mollie Kavanagh dominated the 1980's as both a coach and club director with
her Ichiban, and later Asics/Tiger teams, appearing in a total of 11 championship matches from
1983-1992, bringing home seven gold medals in the 18 Open and 16 Open divisions. During
this period, she coached many great players including Olympians Keba Phipps, Tee Williams
and beach superstar Misty May.

"Mollie is the reason that I am coaching college volleyball today," said Cristine Martin-Dixon,
who played at Texas Tech University and is currently an assistant coach at SMU. "She instilled
in me a desire and knowledge for the game that so many of today's athletes don't have the
opportunity to receive. She is by far one of the best volleyball coaches in the country because
she has stayed true to her commitment and philosophy of the game. I am honored to have
been coached by Mollie."

Katy Kurt from Cal State Bakersfield stated that, "Mollie didn't just teach volleyball skills, she
taught you skills for life: respect, hard work, discipline, responsibility-all characteristics she
embodies, and that I strive for in my own life."

"Mollie has been instrumental to the development of Volleyball in our country and has dedicated
all of her life to making sure volleyball continues to grow and our young girls continue to be
great role models in our communities," said Santiago Restrepo, head coach at University of
Oklahoma. "I am very proud to have known Mollie for over 28 years and very proud to call her
my 'American Mom.' Thank you to JVA for recognizing her dedication and service to our
volleyball community."