Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Women Who Rock Part 3

This week in honor of the General Relief Society Meeting that spoke about our heritage as women in relief society- I am remembering the women who rock in my life- and encourage you to do the same. 

Today I thank the women who influence my life right now.  Today I thank my friends. Today I thank the women who don't even know that they have impacted me.  The women who teach my children, the women who show me daily how to live a little bit better, and the women who somehow, someway, help me smile. 

Today I am grateful for Sister Beck leading the way for the entire Relief Society.  I would love to have lunch with her.  She could function as a CEO, shows us how to follow inspiration, and can do it all in high heels and pearls.  She rocks. 

Today I am grateful for Longmont Stake Relief Society President Janet Jones.  She is grace under pressure.  The spirit flows from her like water from a rocky mountain glacier.  She is funny, articulate, and a pretty dang good golfer.  

Today I am thankful for one of my best friends, who busted out her VISA card and bought items for my daughter's baby, and who smiled all the while.  I am thankful to have friends who truly love my kids like they were theirs.  Not many people can say that.

Today I am thankful for Sherri Schumann, who holds the fort down at my boy's high school.  She is a smart, talented woman who is a principal at a great high school.   She is a classy lady who would not hesitate to jump into hand to hand combat for any one of the students. 

Today I am grateful for the young mommies who are rocking their babies, who are reading to them, who are teaching them that the stove is hot, grass is green and if they pick their nose their heads will cave in.  I am grateful for these mommies living in little houses, apartments, and basements at their parent's house who know the value of what they are doing- and are not afraid to be a "stay at home mom."  Thank you to these women who truly hold the future in their hands.  I am grateful for someone teaching love and compassion to the generation that will chose my nursing home, and will be the compassionate service leaders who will bring rolls and funeral potatoes and ham to my funeral services. 

Thank you to the nice clerk at the grocery store,  the super smiling lady who takes my money at the Wendy's drive-thru window when I get my 2nd (or 3rd) diet coke of the day.   Thank you to the nice lady who actually smiled and waved when I let her cut in front of me in traffic.  

You are the women who rock.  You go out and do little tiny things every day that make a difference in some one's world.  Sometimes, you have no idea who you are touching with your kindness.  Sometimes you make enormous efforts to make a difference and it seems to fall on deaf ears.  Never give up.   Keep fighting the fight.  
Keep being kind, loving and slap that smile on your face every day.....because we can all make a difference, one random woman at a time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Women Who Rock Part 2

As I continue remembering the "women who rock" in my world- today I think of those who made a difference when I was a goof-ball, self absorbed teenager.  We all have these "mentors" in our lives who are able to make a difference and get through to us when our parents wanted to ship us to Switzerland to raise goats with Heidi far on a mountain top away from all civilization.

These women were typically people like teachers, coaches, church leaders and your friends parents.   These people were far cooler than your own parents (who, you were sure, were actually part of some other culture from outer space.) 

For me, most of these women were members of the Boulder 2nd Ward.  As I am now older and wiser, I am pretty sure I am personally responsible for a lot of gray hair, extra pounds, lost sleep, and tears that many of these women spent in my behalf.  In fact, I may actually in some way have kept the chocolate industry a float, as many of these women chose chocolate over alcohol to as a way of coping with me.

The following Sunday after my mom passed away I am pretty sure sacrament meeting went something like this: 

Bishop- "We would like to release with a vote of thanks, Dorothee Werner, for years of being Carrie's Mom. She did an outstanding job with little or no thanks. Those of you who would like to thank her at this time can please show your appreciation for her tireless efforts with a raise of the right hand." (pause for hand raising.) Bishop continues.... " We would like to call the entire Boulder 2nd ward population of adult women to take on this responsibility of trying to raise Carrie and keep her out of Prison as we now believe it is far to difficult of a task for one human to handle. All those in favor..."

Well, you get it...  These gals had their hands full. Today I thank them for all they have done to help me become a pretty decent human being.  Thank you to Joan, Shanna, Teri, Helga, Karen, Doris, Kathy, Madeline, Pat, Jackie, Marilyn, Bonnie, Anita, Marlene, Bitsy, and so many more that I am forgetting along the way.  You have offered the ultimate service, you never gave up.

Today I am grateful for dynamic women of God who rolled up their sleeves and went to work.  You hung in there with a rotten teenager and taught me how to be a woman.  Who knew you were such amazing pioneers, and that your trek of teaching me might surpass the efforts of the Willie and Martin handcart company.   

Who are the dynamic women of God who have touched your life, and help mold you into who you are today?  Do they have a clue how much they touched your life, how grateful you are for them or the difference they made? Maybe it is time to take a second and thank those "women who rock" and who have hand-prints across your heart....and never forget that we truly do make a difference, one random woman at a time. 

Monday, September 28, 2009

Women Who Rock..........

This past weekend was the General Relief Society Meeting.  This is an awesome meeting where the women of the LDS church are taught, inspired and challenged by the general RS presidency and a member of the first presidency.  This meeting spoke of the "great heritage" Relief Society gives women.  I am grateful for the dynamic women in my life- this week, my blogs are dedicated to these awesome women.....women who rock....

Today the woman who rocks is my mom.  She has been gone for 30 years.  She died on my 17th birthday ruining my trip to Elitches with friends and leaving a hole in my heart that will never be replaced. 

She was 5'1" and as wide and she was tall.  I was 5'9" in 7th grade and she could kick my butt with her church shoes on.  You did not mess with Dot.  Her German upbringing made her tough as nails.   She also had the biggest heart in the world.  

Dot died of Cancer.  She fought the battle for years, and it finally won.  But along the way she taught me lessons I tried to forget- but as I get older, these memories become sharper.    

Dot made the best pound cake in Colorado.....  Perhaps this side of the Mississippi....Perhaps in the United States.  She would make this pound cake when someone had a baby, someone had surgery, someone died, or  someone needed cheering up. I believe if she would have felt better she would have baked a few pound cakes for her own funeral.  Often I would come home from school to the smell of pound cake in the kitchen and be thrilled only to find out that they were all going out to "other people who need them."  I tried to explain that I "needed one" too..but often that was met with a little chuckle as she loaded them into our green station wagon to deliver them.  

My mother crocheted, knitted and quilted.  These also wound up in the hands of other people, but sometimes I was the recipient.   I recall an orange, brown and white crocheted vest that I sported with a white button up shirt for one of my school pictures... I thought I looked pretty cool- it was definably very 70's.  She tried to teach me these skills... to which I cried, whined, pouted and screwed things up enough that she sent me outside to jump on the tramp and ride my bike at high rates of speed down big hills with no bike helmet.  

 Mom, if you are listening right now, I would really like to learn how do to that stuff.  

My mom taught me service.  She made dinner for people who were sick when she got home from Chemo.  

My mom taught me respect.  She sewed the curtains at the Table Mesa Chapel because kids swung on them and tore them. You could often find her sitting on the stage with a needle and thread, mending the curtains.  

Mom, I promise, I never swung on the curtains. ( well, if I did, I am pretty sure they didn't rip while I was doing it!) 

My mom knew the Savior.  She would belt out the song, "I know that my Redeemer lives" and would sing off key from a previous throat surgery... I was so embarrassed.  I would ask her to sing more quietly.  She would cry during the song too... Shesh, is just a song.

Mom, I would love to sit next to you and sing that song. Sing as loud as you want....Cry all you want.  That song makes me cry too now...Because I get it.  

I know when you left I was 17, selfish and pretty stupid.  You may not even recognize me.... But you molded me into who I am today.  

Thank you......

I love you..... 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Everything I need to know I learned from Basketball......

I did a fireside a couple of weeks ago- and shared some of the things I learned while spending years in the gym as a high school girls basketball coach- thought  I would pass that along today-

·       It’s amazing what gets accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit
·       Friendship is more important than winning
·       The Wizard of Oz had all the answers:
o     Have courage
o     Have a heart
o     Use your brain
·       Ants have the right idea- if you can’t get there the way you planned and there are obstacles in your way, go around, over, through, whatever…...but get to your goal.
·       Love is more important than winning
·       There is no substitute for hard work
·       Problems are opportunities in work clothes
·       It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. – Sally Kempton
·       You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself- Ethel Barrymore
·       You are not here merely to make a living.  You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply., with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world- and you impoverish the world if you forget the errand.- Woodrow Wilson
·       TEAM-  Together Everyone Achieves More
·       I believe in myself…… I believe in my team
·       Hot tamales and Diet Coke are good for what ails ya

 ·       Hugs….duh
·       A friend is a possession we earn- not a gift- Marvin J Ashton
·       We must let the things we can’t do keep us from doing the things we can do- Richard  L Evans
·       To ensure that people will be there for you in the tough times,  be there for them first
·       If I were a radio- would people turn me on , or off?
·       It’s the daily courtesies more than the occasional grand gestures that show how much you care
·       Don’t talk about someone until you walk a mile in their shoes, that way, when you do talk about them you are a mile away from them and have their shoes
·       Spandex is a privilege- not a right
·       Listen to your parents, talk to your parents.  They love you and are your biggest fans.  Besides, they will get smarter as you get older
·       Remember who you are and who you represent, and every time you come back to our locker room, RETURN WITH HONOR
·       If your cell phone was ringing at the other end of the court, I bet you’d sprint down the court- Gail Hook
·       Love the game.  When you are old and watching it on TV, see the beauty in it, See the Defense, see the screens, see the boxouts, then remember how much you LOVE the game!
·       Pick up after yourself- there is no maid
·       Sprinting down and backs make everything so much clearer
·       Hanging a banner on the gym wall is a great goal.  Hanging a banner in your heart because you are a champion is a greater goal
·       Know your teammates are always there for you. There is a magic that transcends everything when you walk in the gym- they are your best friends- regardless of anything that happens in the halls at school the court creates a bond that can not be broken.  They understand you
·       I hope you dance

Be happy, make a difference- just one random woman at a time! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

one Light blub at a time

One light bulb at a time ...
 A physics teacher in high school, once told the students that while one grasshopper on the railroad tracks wouldn't slow a train very much, a billion of them would . With that thought in mind, read the following, obviously written by a good American.

Good idea . . . One light bulb at a time . . . .

Check this out. I can verify this because I was in Lowe's the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments . They were all made in China. The next day I was in Ace Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there . They were made in USA.

Start looking .
 In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affectssomeone else - even their job. So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track. Let's get behind her!

 My grandson likes Hershey's candy. I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more. My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest .. You have to read the labels on everything.

 This past weekend I was at Kroger. I needed 60W light bulbs and Bounce dryer sheets. I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this - the USA in a company in Cleveland, Ohio.

 So throw out the myth that you cannot find products you use every day that are made right here. So on to another aisle - Bounce Dryer Sheets . . . Yep, you guessed it, Bounce cost more money and is made in Canada. The Everyday Value brand was less money and MADE IN THE USA! I did laundry yesterday and the dryer sheets performed just like the Bounce Free I have been using for years and at almost half the price!

 My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop foreveryday things and see what you can find that is made in the USA - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

This is how we make a difference- one random woman at a time!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Seeing the best- during the worst

Today was the funeral for my friend Holly.  She will be missed.  It was a wonderful day and I enjoyed watching others provide service.  The wonderful group of professionals at Howe Mortuary.  The awesome luncheon that was provided by so many volunteers.  Amazing musical abilities providing peace and comfort.  The entire chapel full of people who took time to pay their respects and celebrate Holly's life.  There was tears, and laughter, hugs and hands held tightly as friends and family leaned on each other during difficult times.  

I love the quote from Elizabeth Kibler-Ross: 

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."

Today the light from within so many, was shining through dark times.  How grateful I am to have witnessed another example of love, support and fellowship.  How honored to be among those who emulate the life of the Savior Jesus Christ in their daily actions.  

Thank you Holly, for allowing the heavens to part for a brief moment, and let us get a glimpse of eternity.  I want to close today's blog with the closing from Holly's email....


"And in the end, the love you take, 
is equal to the love you make!" 
 "The Beatles" 
Tootles, Holly! 
Till we meet again.................

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rest in Peace.....Holly Palmer

Holly Palmer passed away today, September 14th 2009 at 1:35.  She was surrounded by her family, some on this side of the veil and others waiting anxiously for her arrival on the other.  

Tonight my thoughts turn to the words of former President of the LDS Church, Gordon B. Hinckley- 

"May I express my gratitude to you faithful Latter-day Saint women, now numbered in the millions and found across the earth.  Great is your power for good.  Marvelous are your talents and devotion. Tremendous is your faith and your love foe the Lord, his work and for his sons and daughters.  Continue to live the gospel.  Magnify it before all of your associates. Your good works will carry more weight than any words you might speak.  Walk in virtue and truth, with faith and faithfulness.  You are part of an eternal plan, a plan designed by God our Eternal Father.  Each day is a part of that eternity."

These words speak of Holly, and her impact on this world. 

Thank you! 

Many will miss you, but look forward to the day we will see you again. 

Rest in peace.....Holly Palmer.....


Sunday, September 13, 2009

To my Friend

Tonight, my friend Holly is slowly making her way towards eternity. 
She is in her final stages of a valiant battle with cancer.  Soon, she will be surrounded by those who have gone before her and now welcome her "home."  Soon, she will be free of the pain, the suffering and the challenges that this earthly life have offered her.  Soon, she will have peace.  The rest of us left behind will struggle to make sense of her leaving so soon.

I will miss her. 

I don't remember the first time I met Holly.  It was sometime in the late 1970's when we were in high school.  She grew up in Longmont and I grew up in Boulder.  It was church that brought us together.  Holly was a member of Longmont 2nd ward, and I was a member of Boulder 2nd ward.

  There was this group of kids that all hung out together from those two wards and we had some of the most fun together.  

 Not to sound like old people, but we really did have a lot of fun.  We spent nights having  house parties playing games like, "States" and "Winkum."  

States is a strategy game that is not for the weak of heart.   It is played with all the people in chairs placed in a circle, and one person standing in the middle of the circle holding a crudely constructed bat made from newspaper and masking tape.  (Yes, you were going to get hit with that bat)
Each person would pick a "State" that they would respond to, and yell the name of another state before getting the crap smacked out of you with the paper/ tape bat.   We would play this game for hours, making several new bats, depending on how many boys were there and how hard they would actually hit each other.  

Winkum was more of that "flirty" game that gave you the opportunity to grab that favorite guy when he tried to run out of your chair, into the chair of the person winking. 

Most evenings ended up piled into someone's family room watching  "Saturday Night Live."  These were the "good years" of SNL.  Jane Curtain, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi.  We could quote Roseann-rosana-dana.  We knew the lines from Weekly update.  We knew Land Shark, Bleeding Julia Child,  The Nerds...oh, too many to mention.  

I remember Holly hanging out of my 1965 Mustang throwing water balloons at unsuspecting pedestrians in downtown Boulder.  We would pull up, ask if they knew what time it was, and as they looked at their watch, Holly would blast them a water balloon.  We would speed off, laughing so hard we would nearly pee our pants, drive around the block a couple of times and do it again. 

Another adventure that Holly was a part of was TPing.  We were excellent TPers.  If TPing were an Olympic Sport, we would have been gold medalists. If we TP'd you it meant we loved you.  We did not waste time TPing those we did not care about.  If we TP'd you it was a compliment.  ( one I am sure the people appreciated being so loved as they spent their entire Saturday morning cleaning toilet paper off of trees.... chanting the mantra, "the youth love me...the youth love me.")  

We lived by the code, "It's all fun and games till someone calls the cops." 

We spent Friday night at the midnight viewing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"  We danced through that show, singing, throwing toast and squirting water bottles. I did the time warp again.. and again and again.   ( Just a few years ago I thought it would be fun to see that again, so I rented the movie and was HORRIFIED at it....and laughed that we had even drug a couple of YW leaders with us to see "how fun it was.")  Those poor women must have gone home knowing there was not one thing on the face of the earth they could do to help the hellions we were. 

Now before you read this and think we were juvenile delinquents  we weren't.  At least not in the '70s.  Today, yea, I would probably be incarcerated, and Holly would never have been able to play with me... but back then, when we rode bikes without helmets, ate wonder bread, drank from the garden hose, and played for hours without our parents really having a clue where we were, it was just good clean fun. 

There were other times too-

We did road shows, youth conferences, temple trips,  river trips, basketball games, softball games and volleyball games.  There were dances and unending laughing.  Holly was one of the first people I told when Bryan Despain kissed me.  ( he was in her ward and I had the most unexplainable crush on Bryan Despain.)  We crammed a lot of fun in a few short years. 

Her nickname became "Polly Halmer" and although it was dumb- we would laugh about it. 

Holly was there for me when my Mom died.  She, along with so many, helped me through that rough spot.  

Tonight, I think of my friend who is at home surrounded by her family and closest friends.   I will miss this wonderful person. 

I had a chance to sit with Holly the other day.  She tried to share with me some words.  I was unable to understand what she was saying, but it did not matter. Her eyes told my eyes what both our hearts knew.  We were friends.  She had touched my life and I had touched her life.   That was all that mattered.  No words were necessary.  

How grateful am I for that moment.

Tonight I remember:

Holly always has a smile on her face. 

Holly is happy. 

Holly has a beautiful voice.  I am sure they are getting her seat ready for her in the angel choir. 

Holly is kind. 

Holly always gives more of herself than she ever asks for in return. 

Holly is the kind of person that only proves the old adage "Only the good die young" is true....

Tonight I wish the best for my friend who bravely took on this fight with cancer and fought like a lion.  

Tonight I hope for a portion of the ability to be the woman she is.

Tonight, I want her to be released from this earthly life, but want so desperately for her to stay here longer with us. 

Tonight I thank God for the chance to have Holly Palmer in my life. 

Tonight reminds me again, what an impact one person makes on our life.  Tonight, I am grateful for one more random person who is part of my life, whose footprints are know eternally set in my heart and who I will spend the rest of my life trying to emulate some of her qualities.  

I don't know how much longer Holly will be with us.  The Hospice people say days. But I needed to say: 

Thank you Holly...Not only from me, but from so many of us...

You are my friend....and I love you. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Grandma Knows "Some Stuff"

Recent conversation between my daughter, Erin, and my awesome grandson, Bodie.

Bodie says to Erin the other morning while on his way to school in the morning."Mom, do you know right now it is dark in China?" Erin replies that she does, indeed, know that it is dark in China while he is on his way to school in the morning.  He says to her, "You know how I know that?" "No, Bodie," Erin says...."How do you know that?" "Because Grandma told me."  He says. "You should listen to Grandma, she knows lots of stuff."
It has taken years for me to receive any acknowledgment that I, indeed, "know some stuff."  

Now, perhaps, impressing a seven year old with the knowledge that while it is daytime in Longmont, Colorado, it is evening on the other side of the world is not that big of a deal.    I did not share with him how a Russian scientist named Dmitrii Mendeleev came up with the periodic table of elements after asking a few questions. But that does not matter.

Grandma is around to answer such burning questions like:  
What's in a twinkie? 
Where do bees go in the winter?  
What would chairs look like if our legs bent the other way?

Why does Diet Coke and Mentos create explosions? 
 Will my head REALLY cave in if I pick my nose? (Which I hope he believes LONG into adulthood....) 

I walk a little taller today...because I "know some stuff."  That stuff was enough to impress a seven year old into sharing that information with his mother....(where was this kid years ago? When I was trying to convince his mother I knew some stuff.....????)  Mark Twain said it best: 
When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.  ~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Isn't true?  So glad I have gotten the opportunity to get a little smarter in the few years since raising his mom....Aren't we all getting smarter, day by day....just one random woman at a time?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Twittered out

I got up this morning,  and started my daily routine.  I checked my work email, checked my other work email, checked my MSN, Gmail and AOL accounts.  Read a text message that I got after I went to sleep.... Then I went on to Facebook to catch up quickly on what all of my friends did over the long weekend.  Then I went to Twitter, and tried to think of something clever to tweet.  Now I will take a minute to blog....I may seriously be in need of getting a life! 

Did you see the movie, "He's just not that into you?"  While I was pretty much "just not into that movie" It did have a great line in it- 

“I had this guy leave me a voice mail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”
I find myself checking out seven different technologies every day to feel like I am connected to people.   This change in life happened all in the past couple of years since I stopped working at McDonalds as a manager and started working in the recruiting industry, where I spend a lot of time on the computer. 

I think I may actually miss the days of people yelling at me and throwing their Big Mac's back at me. 

I miss the mornings at McDonalds refilling the coffee cups of the group of retired men who came every morning to discuss politics and religion.  After an hour, this group of men pretty much had solved the world's problems.  

I miss the grill ladies laughing at my "spanglish" as I asked how to say certain words in Spanish.  

I may even miss being yelled at and told what an idiot I am.  ( I said, MAY!)

I may sound like my Grandma, but maybe I miss the "good 'ol days" where we spent a little more time talking to each other. 

While I love Facebook- I have reconnected with friends from long ago- and love seeing pictures of friends and family..I need to take time to talk to people.  Face to face... To laugh out loud with the person and not just write LOL ...( ok, I admit it.... I sometimes write LOL when I am NOT laughing out loud...) 

Get out there and talk to a friend.  Go to lunch with someone.  Enjoy someone's real company, see their eyes, reach out and give them a is too short to be stuck on the computer all day- go out and make a difference- one random woman at a time!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Have much fun and laughter

In his book "Stand a little taller" President Gordon B. Hinckley,  past President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said this:
"In all living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

With today being Labor day I share that thought.  Labor day tends to be the "last hurrah" of summer.  The trip to the mountains, the BBQ, the bike ride,  and that last, long, refreshing dip in the pool until next summer all happen this weekend.

Take a look at your life.  Do you have time for much fun and laughter? Are you enjoying life, or just enduring it?  

Enduring life means trudging through.  Enduring life means we really do just "put on our big girl panties and deal with it."  Enduring life means plodding along.  I don't envision that being the plan.  

I know the trials that are out there. I in no way make light of the suffering, pain, troubles and difficulties that we go through.  Some days, just getting out of bed, and breathing means we made it! 

But the big picture challenges us to enjoy and not just endure.

The big picture challenges us to have much fun and laughter. 

Today, let us press forward to enjoy life more, endure life less, and to find ways to have much fun and laughter. 

This morning on my bike ride,  I saw the beautiful blue sky with not a cloud to be seen.   I saw the flowers that were growing so abundantly in the yards all around my neighborhood.  I saw majestic Longs Peak in the background reminding me how wonderful it is to live in Colorado.  

I will see many of my children today, and when wherever there are two or more ADAMS gathered...there WILL be laughter. I have been blessed with amazing, dynamic friends who brighten my life and lift my load.  

And I bet you have been blessed as well with much more than is sometimes first evident. 

So, stop enduring, start enjoying, and have much fun and laughter, one random woman at a time.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Bats in the bellfry

Bats in the belfry- an old English saying describing someone who has gone a little looney... 

Last night at my grandson's birthday party the back door neighbor kids ( who scan the fence like Marines in boot camp) were not allowed to come home after dark over the fence. Rather, their mom, got in her car and drove around the block to pick them up. Why you ask? Because of the "hundreds" of "poisonous" bats that live in the neighbors trees.  

Really? Really? 

There are "hundreds of poisonous bats" living steps away from my back door and I am completely clueless.  

Now quietly telling me that you are sure there are "hundreds of poisonous bats" outside is one thing.  Making that comment in front of my entire family is quite another.  Erin, John, Mike, Christine, Kelly, Levi, TJ and Travis heard it.  So did TJ's friend Austin.  So did others in the room.  There was a long, quiet, pause... then, in true Adams fashion the laughing began.  I am not just talking laughing... I am talking belly laugh, tears rolling down the side of your face, gonna wet my pants, please stop laughing.

Travis then started the quotes.   He began with the "Bee" scene from "Tommy-Boy," 
but it went something like this:  "BATS! BATS! Bats in the house! Bats everywhere! They're huge! They're ripping my flesh away! Run away! Your firearms are useless against them!"

Even though I didn't think it could....the laughter got louder.

Erin added, "Shesh, I read "Twilight" and am all excited for the 2nd movie to open too....but...really?" 

Mike began with an excellent rendition of Sesame Street's "The Count"..... "One Bat in the tree....ahh ahh ahh....TWO bats in the tree...ahh ahh ahh."  

Levi and Kelly were showing their entrepreneurial  side and thinking of marketing a brand of "OFF" for Bats...(Contains no DEET, but plenty of Garlic!)

Yea, you get it... a smart alek convention... right there in my living room.  ( I wonder where these kids get that!?) 

As I drifted off to sleep, I was sure the sounds I was hearing outside were the bats, along with the neighbors, coming over the fence to get me.  But I was ready for them.  Instead of my "oil of olay" night cream, last night I had applied a generous portion of garlic cream around my neck.  No sense in not taking ANY precautions....just one random woman at a time!  


Friday, September 4, 2009

One Random Mood

I am in one of "those" moods! 
This week, for some reason....has been difficult to swallow...I have been a bit pouty, moody and needing a good, swift kick in the pants.

Today, instead of going to Rifle Colorado to go see my son play his first High School Varsity football game... I was in a funk. 

Often, when I get in a funk,  I find my thoughts wandering off....(Not such a good thing for them to do...they are so small and SHOULD NOT be alone!) 

I have been thinking things like: 
  • Why do croutons come in an airtight package? It is already just stale bread.....
  • Why isn't 11 pronounced "onety-one?"
  • Why is a wise man and a wise guy so different?
  • If you mixed orange juice and Vodka and milk of magnesia together would you get a Phillips screwdriver? 
  • When I am driving, why is it people going slower than me are "idiots" and people going faster than me are "Maniacs?" 
  • Why do we say something is "out of whack?"  What is a whack? what is in whack? 
  • Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle? 
  • Why don't they make the plane out of the same material the "little black voice recorder box" out of? 
  • How much deeper would the ocean be if there were not sponges in it? 
  • If a cow laughed out loud, would milk come out its nose? 
I could go on and on... but, I will spare you and stop....... ( I wonder why I can't get a decent night's sleep...look at the thoughts that roam randomly around my poor brain.) 

My random thoughts are also happy that:
  • Today is my grandson's birthday. 
  • Silver Creek won it's first football game of the season- 13-2.
  •  Grandpa Hank took us to dinner- that is always nice..(and he tipped the correct $$!) 
  • Friends are wonderful
  • Pie and ice cream are homopathic remedies for depression
Tonight, the tired, grumpy, teary-eyed, frustrated, sore-knee lady that has been feeling sorry for herself all day will head off to bed.  Things will look better in the morning....they always do.... 

If not, I will wake up wondering: 
  • Should women put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans? 
  • After eating, do Alligators need to wait one hour before getting OUT of the water? 
  • If I wanted to send someone styrofoam, what would I pack it in? 
  • Can fat people go skinny dipping?
It's a rough life.....but we manage to get through it, don't we???? Just one random woman at a time!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"My Damn Friends"

Warren G. Harding once said, "I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends—they're the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!"

Nothing could be more true. 

Today I was reminded of the best way to work with people, and the one true way to have good, solid relationships with them.  

There are two rules:
#1- It is not about you
#2- What can you do to help the other person

The best relationships I have are with the people that I truly forget about myself, and consistently try to do what I can to be a help and a blessing in their life.  

These are also the "damn friends" who keep me walking the floor at night. 

How I love them! 

I love them because I know they are walking the floor for me, wondering how they can help their "damn" friend, Carrie. 

Here's to my "damn friends" 

The ones who:
are sick
are sad 
are out of work
are struggling with children 
are having difficulties in their marriage
are moving 
are hurting and in pain

are working to make the world a better place
are up to their eyeballs in trials
the "sandwich" friends, taking care of parents and children
are confused 
are lonely
are angry 
are tired 
are overworked, under appreciated and unheard 

Yup, you are my "damn friends" and I walk the floor at nights because of you.  How grateful I am to do that.  How grateful am I to be able to offer up prayers on your behalf.   How grateful am I to be able to do a little something to help.  Even if it is as insignificant as bringing you a Diet Coke, or shooting you a text that says, "Luvya!" 

That is the least that I can do for all the times you have walked the floor for me. 

So, "Damn Friends!"  UNITE!  Gather together to do all in our power to strengthen each other, to share a smile, to let someone know how incredibly valuable they are as a woman, and as a daughter of God. 

And remember-
#1- It's not about you
#2- What can you do to help the other person

And we can make a difference, one  (damn) random woman at a time!   :)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lady....Do you know how lucky you are???

It has been one of "those"days. It didn't start out bad- seemed like the stars were aligned and I would actually get everything done that was on my "to do" list. I should know better.

Tonight, as I take a deep breath and try to sort out the events of the day, I am reminded of a morning about six years ago. I was a manager at McDonalds, which was one of the coolest, most annoying, greatest, dumbest careers I have ever had. This particular morning I was running the dayside shift, working normal human hours from 9-6. Part of the dayside manager's responsibility is to take the deposit from the bank the night before, and to make sure there is enough change in the store to get through the day. After wandering around the store, doing my pre-shift checklist, I grabbed an Egg McMuffin, my Diet Coke, the deposit, the change order and my cell phone and was out the door. This would be the last bit of quiet I would have for the rest of the day. I would enjoy those fifteen minutes!

As I pulled out of the parking lot and got to the stoplight I unwrapped my Egg McMuffin. turned on the radio and answered my phone. It was my wonderful friend who lives in Colorado Springs. I took a swig of my Diet Coke, the light changed. I shuffled my phone, my sandwich and my soda and as I was ready to pull out, a car ran the red light, and plowed into the car that was next to me. I hung up the phone and jumped out of my car.

The next few minutes were a blur of directing traffic around the wreck, helping the elderly gentleman who was the driver of the car that was T-boned, checking on the driver who ran the red light, chatting with police about what happened and basic, all around Chaos.

Another driver, who was across the road from me in the accident, was giving his description to the officer of the accident. When he finished, he came over to me and grabbed me by the arm and exclaimed,
"Lady! Do you know how lucky you are?"
My first thought was that I had now gotten out of almost an hour of work while we were standing on the side of the road, but I had a feeling that was not what he was talking about.
"That should have been you- the car that got T-boned. If you had pulled into the intersection when the light changed, he would have hit you! You are one lucky lady!"

My thoughts wandered. I should have been hit. But somehow, because I was talking on the phone, eating an Egg Mcmuffin and drinking a Diet Coke, I was not in a wreck. I was safe because I was distracted, and frankly, being a bad driver. How did that work?

I don't know why the cute little old man was in the wreck and I wasn't. I really don't think the Lord was in any way blessing me for being dumb in the car and trying to multitask. But I was lucky, or call it what you want.

Today, when my son got sick and needed to go to the doctor, when I spent more money than I had planned, when the battery went dead, when the printer called with changes and I found out the brochures are going to cost more than I planned..... I am not at the center of some conspiracy to "get Carrie..." I am just chalking it up to "just one of THOSE days."

But when the dust settles, and I look back at today, I remember my granddaughter in her car seat wearing her princess ball cap drinking out of a sippy cup and I know I have not seen anything so dang cute in the world. When lunch with a friend brings laughter that goes into "snorting" at the resturarant, it is a good day. When there is medicine to help my son feel better, when my grandson jumps on my tramp and his laughter fills my back yard, when my son-in-law comes with tools to fix something, when I see my daughter and know she is carrying another beautiful grandbaby.... I remember that morning years ago... and that man's voice echoes in my heart.....
" you know how lucky you are??"

And tonight, I say, Yes, this random woman knows exactly how lucky she is....and she offers a quiet prayer of thanks. so many women will random woman at a time.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Universe Changing Purchase

Ahhh, fall is in the air. The crisp mornings and small leaves falling to the land are a testament of things to come. I know it is also fall when the shopping list to Walmart included PANTYHOSE...... It is that time of year that the tan legs are going away and will be covered up with the nylon/spandex product we women so love... (Not.....) But this trip to Walmart to purchase pantyhose has forever changed my life. This purchase has made me a new woman. This purchase may be the single most amazing invention since....sliced bread, the washing machine, Bath and Body works ....and Diet Coke.

I found pantyhouse that actually REDUCE THE APPEARANCE OF CELLULITE. I know you are saying,
"Carrie, we don't even joke about cellulite...! Shut your mouth!"

And I agree! Normally, discussing how my once very thin thighs now look like cottage cheese in a zip lock bag makes me uncomfortable. NO MORE!! I will just purchase Leggs SHEER VITALITY panty hose. This has changed my life.

This is an exact Quote from their website:

Sheer Vitality Benefits Anti-Cellulite

The sheerest support from L'eggs. Sheer Vitality Benefits Anti-Cellulite hosiery enhances circulation to help maintain healthy, energetic legs while all-natural cellulite fighting ingredients help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Micro bead contents: Soybean oil, butcher's broom, rutin, horse chestnut, paraguay tea extract, coleus farskholii, gotu kola, grape seed extract. Remains effective through 5 washings.

This is true! The box says" "Tiny Microcapsules containing all-natural ingredients are gradually released to fight cellulite."

and THIS! "64% of the women in consumer testing noticed a reduction in the appearance of cellulite!"

(Clearly, the other 36% are those women who wear size 2 jeans and say things like, "Do these pants make my butt look big?" and they are NOT to be trusted.)

Women! This is cause for celebration!! Stop working out! Buy these pantyhose! Stop dieting!! Buy these pantyhose!

Well, this random woman is off, to Walmart, to by a years supply of these babies before the FDA recalls them, because I am pretty sure that things like "butcher's broom, horse chesnut, and coleus farskholii can not be good for you.... but in the meantime-
I am going to put on my pantyhose and eat a twinkie....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

He Knows Me

Last night I had the chance to go to the Denver LDS Temple with friends from Longmont. It has been a while since I have been to the temple, ( knee surgery etc...but I will save that saga for another day) It was the most amazing feeling I have had in a long time. It also reminded me that although I am just one random woman, the heavens are uniquely aware of me, my concerns, my frustrations, my battles and my victories.

It is easy for us to get wrapped up in the day to day living. Bills to pay, kids to shuttle from school to practice, how to handle this new event with an elderly parent, Coke or Pepsi, Chipotle or Qdoba, you! But in our busy-ness we often forget who we are. I am not talking about the strange phenomena I call "Walzheimers" that happens to me when I go to Super Walmart and for the life of me can never remember where I parked...I am talking about how we forget that we are daughters of God, and that he loves us, knows us and wants more than anything for us to be successful, happy and productive.

The adversary wants nothing more than the women of the earth to be distracted, depressed, and dumb.

So distracted by the details of day to day living, that we forget the important things, like our families, our personal worship time and and our time to improve ourselves.

He wants us depressed. He wants us to think of everything we don't have, the BMW in the garage, the perfect husband, the loaded bank account, the villa in Switzerland, and maybe more importantly, for some of us, just the basics. The job, enough money to keep the lights on and food on the table, and someone to love us. He wants us to be miserable.

He wants us dumb. He wants us to forget the divine nature of a woman, he wants us to blur our values. He would have us think that raising children is something trained monkeys could do, and that it takes no specific gifts, talents or abilities. He wants us to think that things that matter, really don't. He wants us to think that we need to be men to be worth anything.

Today, here is to all of us random women. We are random, different, amazing, and can accomplish anything we want when we put our minds to it. Today let all of us random women make a pact to remind each other how beautiful, dynamic, talented, clever, and awesome we are. Let's make a pact to tell the adversary where to get off.
There is no room in a daughter of God's life for us to distracted, depressed or dumb.
Let us gather together and reach out a hand to our sister who is struggling, pull her up, wrap our arms around her and help her back to seeing who she is.

I can think of nothing more satisfying than annoying the adversary by our good works. I think of the legions of women on the other side of the veil who have passed before us who rally to cheer us on. I see them grabbing their guardian angel laptop computers ( which work at lightning speed and never lose information) and showing cool PowerPoint presentations at their weekly angel meetings on how we are thwarting the efforts of Satan to drag us down. I see angel "high fives" when we succeed, and I feel the prayers of strength and support for when we falter, that we may be strong again.

Rock on random woman...... and never, never forget how truly awesome you are!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Must have been the Velvet Bow Tie.........

Last night the baby of the family stepped on stage, sporting slicked back hair, a baby blue Tux complete with ruffle shirt and bow tie, leaned into a microphone and belted out "The Hand-Jive." He was performing as "Johnny Casino" in the musical "Greese" at the local theater in front of a decent size group of complete strangers.....

I couldn't have been more proud.

While Travis is no stranger to entertaining the family, this was unexpected, even for me. Sure, when I was coaching girls basketball at Skyline High School, a three year old Travis would jump from the stands onto the basketball court during time-outs when the band would play and dance up a mean storm. The crowd would roar in support. One time, in a playoff game, Travis ran to the floor to dance, only to be met by a stern referee who chased him back to the stands. The referee was nearly boo'd out of the gym. Travis was the Falcons good luck dancin' machine.

But as the years have passed, Travis has gotten a little more introverted to the outside world. The family knows he can quote entire episodes of "The Simpsons." We know him as "tech support" for all our computer needs. He is clever and funny, but not a lot of people see that side of him. He is often overshadowed by his 6'5" older brother, whose sporting events take a lot of time and put TJ in the spotlight. Last night on the stage Travis was larger than life.

This morning, as I think my random thoughts, I stand in awe of a loving Heavenly Father who gives us different gifts and talents. How boring life would be if everyone was 6'5" and great at basketball. How dull events would be if every kid who stood on the stage was perfectly on pitch and never missed a beat.

Here's to the talents that are obvious, the musicians, the athletes, the artists.... For how beautiful is our world because of the things they create.

But here's to the gifts and talents that are less obvious. Here's to the people with the ability to make others smile. Here's to the people who have kind hearts, willing hands, and strong shoulders who carry burdens and make trials lighter for those they love. Here's to people who have deep and abiding faith, who are rock-solid friends, who are consistently and totally truthful. Here's to the talents of being able to forgive and forget, to see the best in people, and encourage and lift.

Today I will notice the talents of others. Today I will see the art, hear the music, stand in awe of the physical abilities of those around me. But I will be especially mindful of the talents that often go unnoticed. For thoseare the talents that bless my life daily in so many ways. Today, I will look in the mirror and think of my own talents and gifts that the Lord has seen fit to weave into me...... and see if I am using them as much as I should, for, truly, those gifts and talents are what make each of us unique, special, amazing and awesome.

I am proud to have seen my son in that ruffled shirt and velvet bow tie last night.... Proud to see him stretching, stepping outside his comfort zone and giving something new a try. Proud to see him using a talent he has been given. It was an awesome lesson to his mom to remember to go out and make a difference, to touch other's lives.... one random person at a time

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Gratitude Campaign

Got this website from a friend. It offers a simple, yet beautiful idea on a way to just say thank you to those serving our Country.

Isn't interesting that we need a "campaign" to help us express gratitude?

I know I need a reminder to focus on that which I have, and not dwell on what I do not have. I hope we all can be a little more grateful, not only to those who serve our Country, but to our God, who has given us everything. May we focus on the positive, take a second to count our blessings and truly make gratitude a part of our daily living. Saying "thank you," being grateful..... one random woman at a time!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To the Girls

Today is the day I praise my girlfriends. I will write about them again, maybe even making a monthly tribute to the women who decorate my life with love, laughter, tears, trials and Diet Coke.

Where would I be without my girlfriends? Several thoughts come to mind:

#1) In a maximum security prison serving 5 consecutive life sentences for killing my children. OK, I never really wanted to kill my children, but there were times that I was at my wits end and a dear friend reminded me to look at how much I love my children, adore them, and that my universe revolves around them.

#2) In a mental institution wearing a straight jacket and drooling on myself. This needs no explanation, as we all have felt like this at some time or another.

#3) A bleach blonde (with roots showing) pole dancer with several ill placed, ill chosen tattoo's. Maybe this is a stretch, but here's to the times my girlfriends helped me decide something was a really, really bad idea.

I suppose I could go on and on choosing scenarios that I could be living out without the help of a dear girlfriend at the exact right time. Perhaps some call it fate, and random, but I think each person that steps into our life is there for a purpose. Sometimes they are there to help us, to teach us, and to guide us. Other times, they are in our life to stretch us, try us and make us better people by associating with them. Sometimes we are there to help them, to support them, to love them and to be the shoulder to cry on, the hand to hold, or the one to laugh with until Diet Coke comes out of your nose, and you almost wet your pants.

Sometimes these girlfriends stay in our life forever, some come and go, and some stay for a short season. For each girlfriend who has footprints on my heart, I am eternally grateful for you.

Today I pause to say THANK YOU!

Thank you for:
  • Diet Coke's
  • Picking up my kids
  • Grabbing items for me at the grocery store
  • Buying lunch when I couldn't afford to and never making it a big deal
  • Movie nights
  • Painting parts of my house
  • Making your husband's help around my house
  • Attending my kid's functions
  • Holding my hand when I am afraid
  • Telling me the uncomfortable truth
  • Laughing
  • Remembering my birthday
  • Fixing my mistakes
  • Loving spite of everything you know about me
  • Loving my children as your spite of everything you know about them!
  • Listening
  • Pushing me to be better

The list goes on and on. You know who you are. You are the women in my world. You are my friends. You are the ones who inspire me to be better every day, so I am a little more like you. Yea, I have a few of you. But each of you has a special place in my heart that is forever and ever uniquely dedicated to you.

I can only hope I have given you half as much as you have given me through your friendship.

You are always in my prayers, forever grateful for you- for helping out little 'ol me...... one random woman.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time Flies.......

My two youngest boys went out the door today, together,in the car, to High School. The other three are out on their own, making their own ways in the world. The "little boys" as they have been called for years are now a 6'5" Junior and a not quite so tall freshman. Not so much the "little boys" now, are they?

Where did the time go?

It really was not that long ago that I was hauling 5 kids in a gold mini van all over the universe. The Oldsmobile Silhouette was dubbed "the space shuttle" by the kids. The arguments began way before the key turned in the ignition.
"I called shotgun" would be heard often. The heated argument over how early one can actually call shotgun and it count became a daily ritual.
"When did you call shotgun?" Mike would ask.
"When I was putting on my backpack." Erin would reply.
" That does not count!" Mike would whine. "You have to be on your way to the car, like I just called it for it to count."
"Nope, I called it first....get in the back." Erin would say, and she would win, because she is the oldest.

I missed a lot of this, because I was dragging a brush through Kelly' s hair, trying to put pants on TJ and trying to strap Travis into the car seat. Putting Travis in the car seat was a little like giving a cat a bath. He suddenly had the strength of the offensive line of the Denver Broncos and could bend himself into positions that only top Olympic Gymnasts can actually do.

I lovingly referred to my mini van as "my summer home." I did not have a cottage on lake Geneva, a cabin in Silverthorne, but I had a mini van with lawn chairs for soccer, baseball and softball games. I had a cooler with soda and water in it. I had at least one change of clothes in the car for each child and probably 14 pair of soccer socks. There was 64 various happy meal toys rolling around on the floor and usually a baby bottle with something petrified inside of it. If we had to, we could live out of the van for at least a week.

I remember thinking this would last forever, and I would NEVER have a moment to my self.

Those were the days.

Erin now has two children and one on the way. She will soon have to referee her own battles of "who gets shotgun" and if calling it at the breakfast table is a breech of etiquette. Mike is teaching school. He has an entire room full of interesting little people. Kelly is working full time and enjoying her apartment and her Independence, and me not dragging a brush through her hair, I don't have to make TJ wear pants, but he does ask for money and my car keys all the time. Travis walks out to the car and puts on his own seat belt without anyone wrestling with him. He will be asking to drive the car in a few short months.

My time to myself is here, and I miss the Chaos like crazy.


Today I will take a deep breath. Today I will enjoy the flowers, the way the sun shines on Longs Peak early in the morning and the feel of fall in the air. Although my "to-do" list is long, and must get done, I will relax a little bit and live today. I will call that friend I have been thinking about, and I will send that get well card. I will shoot a text to all my kids ( because I am tech savvy and they like texting) and tell them I love them and I am proud of them.

Time flies by way to fast! I won't wish today away. I hope the mommies in the middle of Chaos enjoy it. I hope they smile more and write down the funny things their kids say and really understand how short that part of life is.

I will enjoy the chaos of the two "little boys" in high school, and love every minute of it. And when I look at those 5 children, who stained the seats of the car by spilling things, broke my mother's china from Germany when playing basketball in the house, gave me stretch marks and wide hips, I will try not to cry with tears of gratitude for them in my life. I will take a second to say a little prayer of thanks for the privilege it is to be their mom, and hope that I have done a decent job. And hope Mommies everywhere remember that we all make a difference, one random woman at a time.