Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

  Happy Easter and Happy Passover!  I hope you enjoyed a nice day with family and friends.  We had dinner with the sisters and our families.  Our brother and his family stopped by for dessert, after spending the day with his in-laws.
   Easter is one of the easy holidays, because it is more about the people than the gifts.  We had three generations, aging from teenagers to eighty-something.  No matter how often we get together, we never run out of conversation.  We love to discuss and disagree, and tease each other.   We may all think differently about life in general, but today we decide to "live and let live".  We avoid the topic of politics, and only talk religion as it relates to Easter, the holiest day for Catholics.   We wonder about the bunny rabbit, and the eggs and candy, and how it all began....
  Everyone helps out, and we spend six hours together, although the time seems to go quickly.  Our meal is wonderful and we contemplate changing to a less formal brunch next year with some breakfast items.  The teenagers vote for pizza and chicken fingers, but the adults still want shrimp and appetizers, so we still have a lot of work to do.
   We call Matt on our drive home, and he is watching Final Four Basketball, so we keep our chat short.  I'm happy to hear his voice, and glad that he is taking a few hours to relax.  We talked to my Dad earlier in the day, and passed the phone so he could talk to all of us.
    My gratitude list reminds me that I'm pretty lucky. Life is calm, and everyone is doing fairly well.  I have family in my life, and we can spend an entire day together, and really enjoy ourselves.  When I concentrate on what I have,  instead of what I do not have,  I feel blessed.  It's something that I decide to do a lot more often  ...and the beat goes on....the beat goes on......

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Familiar Faces

    I was in the grocery store today, and I bumped into a former co-worker.  I did not recognize her, but I smiled as we passed in the aisle, and she recognized me.   It has been years since I last saw her, and she was with her granddaughter.  They had just come from the movies together.  I know I'm almost sixty years old, but I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that my friends and I are old enough to be grand parents.  I know people who were grand parents in their forties, so I know it's possible.  I am still surprised every once in a while when reality rattles me, and for some reason, this "jarred my preserves".  
    I've learned that the best way for me to get to the bottom of things is to ask myself "why" four or five times.  Why didn't I recognize her?? We have both changed a lot since we worked together, and yet she remembered me.  I wonder how many other times, I've been too preoccupied to notice my surroundings.  I decide to try and stay in the moment more.  If the truth be told, many people look familiar to me.  I cannot be sure if they are parents of Matt's school friends, or if  they work in one of the local businesses. My usual response is to just be friendly and polite to everyone, just in case.  I'd rather be safe, than sorry.  I take a minute to recall the times I've approached an old friend who needed me to refresh their memory.  
    OK then, what is the solution??  What can I take away from this experience??  I rule out that I'm worried that I'm starting to forget names and faces.  By the time we had finished our conversation, I had remembered her name, and her husband's name.  She asked about my Matt, but her oldest son's name is also Matt.   I now can recall the color of her house, and a project we worked on together.  Whew, that's a relief!  I begin to relax a little bit.  I realize that I've had a knot in my stomach all afternoon.   I know that a good memory is a skill, and that it only gets better when it is exercised and maintained.  
   This week, I'll try and remember at least three things about everyone I encounter.  I'll also set three goals that I'll try and accomplish before I turn sixty in December.  Instead of worrying about getting older, I'll relax and focus on the present.  When I take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself...and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.......   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

St Patrick's Day Celebration

   I got back to New Hampshire yesterday from the sisters' weekend in Florida.  We visit our folks in March, and I always promise to bring back some Florida sunshine to my friends and co-workers.  I usually return with a little pep in my step, some color in my cheeks, and my batteries recharged.  This year there were seven women and my Dad all staying under one roof.  There were three generations on June's side, because her daughter and granddaughter were able to visit this year.  We stayed up late, and had lots of laughs.  We enjoyed leisurely mornings, while we took turns getting ready.  We share the cooking, and the clean-up, and try to spoil our folks for a few days.  This time we kept it simple, and I really enjoyed myself!
  The weather was on the cool side, but was warm and sunny for the neighborhood block party.  Seventy people filled the circle for  the annual St. Patrick's day party, which featured a catered dinner, karaoke, and a fire pit.  There were prizes for the best costume, and there were lots of green wigs,,  funny hats and hilarious sayings on tee shirts.  There was even an Irish Jig dance contest !  
   It has been snowing in New Hampshire for almost twenty-four hours, and we have accumulated another foot of snow.  I can officially say that I've had enough of this winter.  We had just begun to see pavement and grass, and the snow piles were melting in our parking lots at work.  We were convinced that the worst was behind us, but Mother Nature always gets her way.  I hope the skiers are happy, and the slopes have great conditions and lots of trails open.
    Tomorrow is the first day of spring 2013,  and I'm looking forward to the warm, sunny days that are promised.  The days are getting  longer each week, and we will celebrate Easter on March 31st.  Let's hope the snow melts in ten days, and we can have some outdoor Easter egg hunts....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on......

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daylight Savings Time Begins

   I hope everyone remembered to change their clocks Saturday night.  There is a jingle to help, "spring ahead and fall back".   This time we lose one hour of sleep, and I believe that this time change takes a few days to get used to it.  Tonight the sun set at 6:45 pm, and will get closer to 7:30 pm by the end of March.  It was only three months ago that it was getting dark at 3:30 in the afternoon.  I am  happy to say that this winter season passed quickly, even though we had several huge storms, and freezing cold temperatures.  Now we can expect temps in the 50's and  a week of melting, which will cause a lot of mud.  It's a small price to pay for the arrival of Spring!
   I will need long days this week because I have lots to do.  I need to finish and file our tax return, then pack and get ready for my trip to visit our folks in Florida.  My husband will enjoy his time with our new puppy.  They have been going to obedience training classes, and it will help to have more daylight to walk and  practice their homework.
   My sisters and I typically go away  for a long weekend and celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Florida in March means the weather is getting warm without any humidity.  I'm hoping for flip-flop and Capri pants weather.  I need a chance to recharge my batteries, drink in the vitamin D provided by the sun, watch a chick flick, stay up late, and act a little silly with the sisters.  This time there will be six women and my Dad, so he will be a little pampered.  I promise to come back with some color in my cheeks and a pep in my step.  I'll fill you in next time...have a good week everyone.....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on....
     I want to remind all the artists to send in a drawing of Muggzy,  as we take another step toward publishing the book.  My March 3rd blog gives all the contest rules and please take a moment to check it out.....and the beat goes on.....the beat goes on....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Muggzy Needs a Facelift

   I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has submitted an entry for the "Muggzy needs a face-lift" contest.  Some have requested more time, and I have decided to extend the deadline for another month.  Entries will be accepted through March, with the deadline now Friday, April 1st, noon EST.  You may submit as many illustrations as you like.  Please follow the instructions below. Good Luck!
DRAW MUGGZY CONTEST! Win a $100 Online Gift Certificate!

Muggzy Needs a Facelift! ILLUSTRATION CONTEST - visit for a Muggzy photo and also visit my uploaded art for more drawings.

2013 is the year we're going to really push to get the Matt & Muggzy series published. Everyone knows that any good storybook needs a fantastic illustrator, and that's where YOU come in!

We're looking for the new face of Muggzy, the lovable star of our story, and a beautiful little pug puppy. The winner will get a $100 gift certificate and the chance to become the illustrator for the new series!*

Using the photo and the current illustrations below, we'd like for you to come up with a new fresh and updated face for Muggzy. We're looking to keep his current charm and appeal, but give him a more current look. Here are the rules and how to enter:

1. Submissions may be in any artistic format: graphic illustration, painting, drawing, vector, print - but must be submitted in digital format via a URL link in the comment section below. You may submit as many entries as you like, provided each has it's own individual url link.

2. Please be sure to link your contest submission here, but you must also send an email with your entry information to The email must include:

-Your name
-Your contact phone and email address
-The URL with your submission

3. You must "LIKE" and be a fan of the Matt & Muggzy Facebook page here: [link]. We encourage you to also post your URL link submission on this page too.

4. Your submission must be 100% your creation and have no copyright infringements or limitations.

5. Your submission MUST be family-friendly. This is a children's storybook series, after all!

6. Submissions must be received by Friday, April 1st at noon, EST.

7. Winner will be announced via blog entry announcement at by Sunday, April 10th.

Questions? Please contact