Saturday, December 31, 2005

HAPPY Freakin' NEW YEAR!!! (Dec '05)

This is only for those who need it… those who already have it all together and are already the best you can be – just ignore this entry… but for the rest of US… ;-)

Let’s “ring in the New Year” with a new attitude! For every one of us who has a bad day – we all know there’s nothing wrong with feeling down – but there DOES come a time to snap out of it when it’s time to snap out of it! I'd like to take some inspiration from another nugget of truth I recently read ... don’t let anyone steal the joy which is ONLY YOURS! Don’t focus on the unfortunate parts of the day – instead find MANY reasons to celebrate life every day! For every one of us who has had a “string of bad luck” – pick yourself up by your bra straps or boot straps (or whatever it is you’re wearing) and get over it already!

We are ever so lucky to live in a FREE country, to have a roof over our heads, food on our tables, warm clothing … so revel in the comfort of your Home and in the warm love of your Friends and Family! While they may be all some of us can call our own at least we’ve got them!!! That’s plenty to celebrate… now get about your daily celebrations… and remember what I said about not letting others steal your joy!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Is Re-Gifting OK?! (Dec '05)

It's an age-old question... when is it OK to re-gift? We've come up with our own answer in our household. Answer: On New Year's Eve! So at our annual countdown party we are starting to do a "re-gifting exchange" (white elephant style). (Don't worry Mom - none of your presents will be re-gifted - you did good this year!)

We just love seeing what others' received ... and sitting around and laughing about it all night long while we wait for the "ball to drop"...

I can't wait... to have friends around and laugh and enjoy the evening playing games, sharing stories and stealing others' horrible Christmas presents! I can't wait!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Got Gall Bladder? (Dec '05)

On Wednesday, I found out what I had been fearing... I have multiple gall stones. And then we met with a surgeon on Thursday to discuss having my gall bladder removed in the near future. Apparently hundreds of thousands of people have so far survived without their gall bladders!!!

So, I've never had my gall bladder removed before and not quite sure what to expect. (Yes, I'm still just as spicy as ever!) This will be scheduled for just after the New Year. And I hear the recovery is pretty speedy these days as it's a laparoscopic surgery... so they don't have to make a 6 inch long incision anymore. NICE!

Updates will be posted as they come...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Merry Christmas!!! (Dec '05)

Can I just say how bummed out I am about being politically correct this time of year?! Maybe it's just living in Southern California where we're bombarded with everyone making a big deal about taking the word "Christmas" out of Christmas!!! Even Target is now selling only "Holiday Trees". GIVE ME A FREAKIN' BREAK!!!

If you don't want to celebrate Christmas - then don't! At Halloween I don't buy anything w/ witches or ghouls or zombies on it... but I don't start up with an act of Congress to get witches removed from October 31st! What happened to the diversity this nation was built upon?!

However - some of the Christmas cards I make every year will read "Happy Holidays"... as we rub elbows with people of varied beliefs... buddhist, muslim, jewish, christian, even atheist... and while "Happy Holidays" doesn't EXCLUDE Christmas it welcomes everyone else's beliefs in the same breath. Just don't tell me I have to take CHRIST out of Christmas!


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sure glad I'm flexible!!! (Dec '05)

For the readers of my last entry... "Flexibility"... you'll be happy to know I'm fed a little bit of own medicine from time to time. At times maybe I'm tested to see if I really stand by my own little blog blurbs. This week was a good week to test me! And boy can I tell you - the surprises have been abundant!

It's the Christmas season so of course things are truckin' right along. It's the busiest time of year for my work at the investment firm - as everyone is counting their losses and dumping them so they don't have to pay so much in taxes. Requests into our office have increased substantially for about a month now and we're doing the best we can with all these trade requests - but when you're constantly explaining to the people on the phone that their request is just 1 of the 1,000 other requests sitting on the back of the desk - a little bit of frustration tends to settle in. But, we make it through ... somehow. Every year we've made it through.

Then at home - let's also think about taking down the Fall decorations and dusting off the Christmas decor, finishing up the Christmas shopping (which also involves wrapping and sending since 90% of the family lives out of state), ... oh - and don't forget, we make our own Christmas cards around here! And don't forget about that baking that you want to do so much! Or those poinsettias you bought to share with other families for a little bit of extra cheer!

Throw into the mix a little bit of a medical scare that happened at 1:45 am Wednesday... when I was awoken to THE most excruciating pain I've ever experienced! I clearly remember my first thought being - "If I pass out I want to have on clean undies... but there's no way I'm going to be able to shave my legs with this pain!!!" Somehow I got dressed. And we debated whether or not we should call 911 or if Lee should drive me to the emergency room. While I've not gone through child birth (as the MOTHER figure in the ordeal) I can only imagine this pain ranked right up there with labor. Thankfully, the pain subsided about an hour later. My Doctor has since ordered a gallbladder ultrasound for Dec 22nd... no big deal - I'm not doing anything else that week! (Say that back to yourself - but make sure you say it with just a tad sarcasm!)

THEN - while I'm taking a nap on Wednesday, my husband wakes me to say "Babe - there's a special delivery for you." I understandably snap back "Can you SIGN for it?!" (Thoughts to myself: "Are you KIDDING me?!") And he looks down the hallway and motions this "special delivery" back to the bedroom and I mutter "What the heck?!" Into the bedroom walk my parents!!!

This is just a BIT of surprise as I had just talked to my mom earlier. She SAID they were just flying back into Portland and were on the road home. She filled me in on their week in Dallas (visiting my lil' bro and sis-in-law for an early Christmas along w/ the grandparents). Well, apparently my mother also likes to plan surprises!!!

So it's now Dec 10th... and last night was my company's annual holiday staff party - which turned out to be quite the shin-dig. So Lee and I left Mom and Dad for an evening on their own and enjoyed a Roarin' '20s party - we even got a bit dressed for the part. And had a great time! Today the Christmas tree goes up and Mom & Dad will help w/ the festivities. The holiday tunes are playing in the background. This surprise visit has been just what the doctor ordered - especially since we didn't get to see Mom & Dad for Christmas last year. Thank God for surprises ... and for flexibility!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flexibility (Nov '05) defines "Flexibility" as "1a. Capable of being bent or flexed; pliable. 1b. Capable of being bent repeatedly without injury or damage."

It is an innate belief of mine that remaining flexible throughout life will bring us all just a little more happiness and contentment. In our fast paced and self-absorbed world of "we do it your way", "instant personalization", "made when you order it" mantras it would be rather easy to get wrapped up in the thoughts of 'if I could just tweak it THIS way then I would be happy.' Or 'if I could just make it THAT way then I would finally be content.'

But I think this mentality has served to accomplish the exact opposite. Expectations are then built up that we can have it exactly how we want it ... and when it isn't that simple we get all bent out of shape. Our attitude goes sour and we start taking it out on others.

Flip the coin.... if we weren't raised in a world where "your wish is my command" then our expectations might be a bit different... a little less self-absorbed maybe?! And just MAYBE we'd be a little more willing to be OK with what was presented to us and completely grateful when someone goes out of their way for us ... instead of simply EXPECTING that of others ... Just a tad more appreciative, enthralled, respectful, fun to be around... you know...

Disclaimer to those who know me well: While I often move things off of "today's to do list"... I don't necessarily consider that "flexibility"... that's more like "procrastination"!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Belly Laughs (Nov '05)

There's a typical routine at the Tisdale house on Tuesday nights. It's Girls night (Gilmore Girls)! And the home is usually ringing with laughter... because the home has welcomed Debbie Russell-Graff. First we'll have dinner while getting caught up on each other's weeks, while also talking about family and friend news, then maybe looking at some of my recent pics or talking about work or doing a little stamping/card making and then moving into the living room for the 8 o'clock hour and Gilmore Girls!!!

This past Tuesday night was no exception. Well, maybe one exception. I was so caught by surprise with something Debbie said (not an unusual event) that I simply could not control myself. I had just taken a large swig of my vanilla coke ... and well, I laughed so hard that I sprayed Debbie with that swig!!! Of course the spraying then perpetuated more laughter... and most of the hard work she had spent on stamping was of course thrown in the trash because Debbie, our work table, and even the chairs behind her had been splattered!!!

As I sit back and think about the friends with whom I have shared true belly laughs I am blessed to be reminded of "the good times" and the hysterical moments of laughter (which quite often include embarrassing moments for yours truly). Some more of these moments:
- recently, in Oregon visiting the Childers (friends for over 25 years) where we had both resounding laughter and some painful tears
- while relaxing with friends at the "Cove" (SCC)
- on a road trip with my family as Mom, Loren and I sang to each other at the midnight hour and made Dad so mad he yelled at us
- with my co-worker and soon-to-be "friend" Julia Alter as we realized we were "kindergarten friends" (stealing chunks of chocolate from the cake we were taking back to the office after a retirement party)
- at Fat Ivor's with my girls Stephanie and Betty as they danced on the laminate floor while I karaoked my heart out to "Copacabana" for the first time
- every time I look at the picture of Lee and I (which Eddie snapped) where I am whole-heartedly slapping myself on the butt
- the afternoon Lee and I played with the distortion tool on Photoshop and created a very unique "family portrait" of ourselves ... we laughed so hard I almost pee'd and he almost quit breathing
- making Christmas cards last year with Kellye Wilborn, Lisa Powell and Debbie listening to Christmas music... and all of a sudden cats are meowing to "Jingle Bells"!
- that warm, summer Sunday afternoon with Julia and Lisa Medina-Kunitzer... more importatly later that evening when we went to Chili's and sat in the bar and pretended to be visiting from Texas (even donning the accent, new names and dressed for the part)
- anything that has to do with Loren and the rest of the boys "Beating Eggs"
- most family occasions where the Marshek cousins are present
- late nights of toilet papering with the youth group (even Mom got in on the action) and anything that has to do with Andy Mizerak or Kendra Groves-Hankins
- and with Debbie there are similar countless memories to recall ... that's what happens with roomies!

Belly laughs... good times... making friendships stronger, futures brighter and memories richer!

What would life sound like, look like, feel like without laughter?! All I know is, I don't want to know the answer to that one! Live well... Laugh often... Love much!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fallen leaves... (Nov '05)

It's now November... and the trees have turned colors. And they've started shedding their beautifully adorned branches.

Evidence is the piles of leaves along the side of the road.

Just got back to Southern California from an autumn trip to Salem, Bend and Redmond, Oregon. There's some BREATHTAKING colors in them ther' hills!

How lucky was I... to be walking through Drake Park in Bend one afternoon when a large gust of wind picked up a pile of leaves... they tumbled across at least 100 feet of grass... and that noise (the rustling) just warmed my heart!

Can anyone tell this is my favorite time of year?!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What does Tuesday morning feel like?

On the Tuesdays when I'm doing my USUAL thing... it feels like silver. It's cold... at 4 am when the alarm goes off. But I slip right into the shower, then wisk through the kitchen and into the car w/ the cold leather seat at 5 am ... to hurry up and get on the freeway and dart my way through traffic to get to work. Then it feels like artichoke green... where I walk into the investment firm with carpet the color of money and sit down and do my thing.

BUT TODAY... it feels like blue. It's drizzling outside... and that makes me happy! It's 7:15 am ... and I'm still at home. Here I quietly sit... listening to Norah Jones and drinking my espresso from my favorite porcelain mug from Starbucks (which my dear husband so thoughtfully cleaned for me last night knowing I'd want it first thing this morning).

Today I fly to Oregon to spend a week with my parents, grandparents and lil' brother and sister-in-law. My uncle and his wife will fly in later in the week and we will bake and cook and most likely sing together and laugh like no family has laughed... and reminisce and share our life experiences... and hopefully the girls will all go out and get massages while the boys play tennis... and we'll go for country drives...

And then it will feel orange and rusty. And I can't wait for that feeling!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Katrina victim now a millionaire!

I was highly disturbed this am by the following blurb in the news "Hurricane Katrina evacuee Jacquelyn Sherman won $1.6 million Tuesday playing the slots on whim."

OK - so, great... she's set. Good for her.

But can I ask "WHY WAS SHE PLAYING THE SLOTS?!" She's lost everything! In fact, let me ask another question... "SINCE SHE LOST EVERYTHING, WHERE DID SHE GET THE MONEY TO PLAY THE SLOTS?!" And secondly, "WHY WASN'T SHE SAVING HER MONEY or LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB?!" Oh, I don't know... maybe she could even set the money aside for acquiring things she'd recently lost?

Instead she's gambling ... What kind of sign of false hope is this?! Are people taking their $2,000 debit cards from FEMA and gambling w/ the free cash-ola in hopes of making something of themselves?! Or are they buying a new wardrobe so they can get a new job in their new city? Or buying necessities for their children or family? Or paying for room and board at the places that have so generously opened their doors for them?!

Apparently some feel it's ok to gamble it away... and simply take for granted what's been given to them in their time of devastation and need. This makes me DOWNRIGHT SICK this morning!

But who knows, maybe I'm the only one who is so disturbed by this...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The problem with masks...

From one of the most inspiring authors of my generation...

"We are people of both dignity and depravity. The hurricane blew back more than roofs; it blew the mask off the nature of mankind. The main problem in the world is not Mother Nature, but human nature. Strip away the police barricades, blow down the fences, and the real self is revealed. " - Max Lucado

How ironic... the Mardi Gras being what it is with masks and other traditions. To then read this quote. For now, those masks have been taken away. What has been left? True human nature.

Friday, September 09, 2005

K is for Kindness...

I have to admit... the images on the news and the heart wrenching stories of loss have me angry. I'm mad that our high-tech 21st century communications failed so badly that assistance to the Southeast couldn't have been coordinated for days. But I'm also seething about the bashing of President Bush and our federal government and our aid groups. Every time I turn on the TV I hear our media searching out ways to point the finger in attempts to find someone to blame. Instead of focusing on the hope and the recovery and the good that is now happening in the southeast they point out the negative, the bad, the inhumane...

In fact, the article about how their initial sweep for corpses resulted in way fewer than they thought would be found was such a SMALL article... when the Mayor's initial guesstimate was 10,000... this is GREAT news! Why did it get hidden in the news next to the prediction of which movie would take the box office this weekend?!

Listen... it's not President Bush's fault that Katrina hit. Or that the levees were only built to sustain a category 3 storm didn't hold or that people drowned in their attics. It's not Bush's fault that the city did an emergency response test last year which resulted in enhancement suggestions that were never acted upon. It's not Mayor Ray Nagin's fault that anarchy reigned at the Superdome or that he never formalized the city's "state of emergency" status or that he couldn't coordinate better security at the Superdome or that he's not being the superb leader Guiliani was on 9/11. It's not the residents' fault for not evacuating after the numerous warnings - even though their city is BELOW sea level. It's not Sean Penn's fault that he couldn't rescue more people from their homes because he had so many of his entourage on his boat. It just is. It just is what it is... now let's move on!

How telling have the last fews days been - on both sides. The celebrities coming to the rescue because they felt no one else was. How about the afternoon talk show idol who has always sworn to never get politically involved - she finally has decided to join the crowd by throwing darts at the proverbial Bush dart board. Compare that to the directors of institutions and private business men in San Diego chartering their own planes to rescue evacuees. To the many churches in the New Orleans and Mississippi areas who last month were bickering with each other - who this week are working TOGETHER as ONE body of Christ to help those in need!

NO - it's not at all the media's fault that they have their own agenda or that they don't point out the hope and the grace and the people doing GOOD... instead pointing out who's NOT doing something. It's not Sean Penn's fault that he couldn't rescue more people from their homes because he had so many of his entourage on his boat.

So why are we wasting time pointing out fault and blaming people who aren't truly in control when there's work to be done? Send money, send medical supplies, send people... just send. PRAY and prepare for healing.

While we may not understand how God will bring something good from this disaster - we do know that God is sovereign. And while today we may not understand His master plan... I simply don't think we're supposed to. We should rely on His everlasting grace to restore dignity and humanity and peace and hope to all those in loss. Give to World Vision or Samaritan's Purse or Desire Street or Salvation Army or the American Red Cross or any other humanitarian group you feel is forthright... just don't point any more fingers and suggest that one human doesn't care for another human in their moments of despair.

I'm sick and tired of it.... and I don't think I'm the only one that feels that way...

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

If these walls could talk... (Aug '05)

I live in a quaint little neighborhood made up of homes built anywhere between the late 1800s to 1970 or so. The majority of our OLDER homes were built between 1920 - 1940. These are the homes I want to know more about... specifically mine!

When I fell in love w/ my home I was told it was built in 1940. However, last night I met a man by the name of Wes Boyle who says his grandparents lived in my home in the 1930's!!! No wonder this old house creaks and moans somedays!

I now have yet another project to work on. Who were the Wessels who lived here in the 1930's? What did they do with their lives? What kind of legacy did they leave behind? And do they know anything else about my house? What was the original floor plan and square footage? And when did they do all of these add-ons?

If these walls could talk... I'm sure I might find out way more than I ever wanted to know! Until then, I'm still in love with my 1400 square foot home - 3 bedroom/1 bath with the EXTRA large kitchen. This is the first HOME I ever fell in love with. What I love most is the den at the back of the house looking out over the treetops of Old Escondido! How relaxing it is to work on my photography, watercolor, make cards and do scrapbooking! Now, if I could just keep from looking out into the backyard to see all of the weeds creeping up between our beautiful flowers... which reminds me of yet another project...

Friday, July 29, 2005

Dedicated to all the great Communicators (July '05)

Today I deal with an internal issue which has recently had overwhelmingly outward affects. My own doubts about my communication skills. There was a day when I felt I had quite a bit of knowledge "under the belt" when it came to productive and effective communication (even having led some classes in communication and connecting with others). Today is not one of those strong days. The older I get the more I wonder how much I truly know.

No one has ever known me as an overly tactful, entirely politically correct or even gracious communicator. I'm more of your run-of-the-mill, just say what needs to be said, coincidentally stepping-on-some-toes-along-the-way type. And most of my friends have urged me not to change a thing.

But today is a day I wonder about self-improvement. In what I say, if my pure-hearted intent isn't clearly stated and it doesn't come across right... am I the one who needs to change? When in fact, my intent was misinterpreted by the listener (albeit the message being necessary and at times quite direct) - am I the only one at fault that it stung upon delivery? Am I the one communicating incorrectly? Or do the listening hears have any responsibility in how they interpret or understand the message?

I can remember having this conversation with someone many years ago. At that time I felt strongly that it was mostly the communicator's fault... that they weren't taking the signals that your message wasn't coming across right. Today as the situation is reversed and I'm the "faulty communicator"... I ponder other's responsibility in effective two-way communication.

Do I have an answer to this problem? No... I'm still working on fixing this problem which society has been fumbling through for so long. So stay tuned... I'm sure I'll have it all worked out someday and can solve all of our problems... until then... let's just keep the communication lines open...

Monday, July 04, 2005

"History Forgotten"... or Forbidden? (July '05)

I decided to check email this morning before blogging my 4th of July musings ... and I found this email/article which my Mom forwarded. She often forwards the daily emails which land in her inbox - sometimes I take the time to read them, sometimes I simply skim them and delete without a second thought. (Sorry Mom!) Today's touched me and it expresses better than I could what needed to be said on this day.

I hope Michael Powers from Heart Touchers is ok w/ me blogging his site and quoting today's email/article. If not, he can let me know and I'll remove it... and for the rest of you, if you don't like what the article says I challenge you to go do your own digging and see if this history is 'forgotten' or 'forbidden'?

by Michael T. Powers


This is worth remembering, because it is true. It's familiar territory, but those of you that graduated from school after the early 60's were probably never taught this. Our courts have seen to that!

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of "The Declaration of Independence" were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians?

That they all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention.

It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society, immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation.

Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, "Give me liberty or give me death"; but in current textbooks, the context of these words is omitted.

Here is what he actually said: "An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death."

These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. Was Patrick Henry a Christian?

The following year, 1776, he wrote this: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the front of his well-worn Bible: "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator."

He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.

On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: "It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles ofcivil government with the principles of Christianity."

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."

In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools."

William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963. President Lincoln called him the "Schoolmaster of the Nation."Listen to these words of Mr. McGuffey:

"The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our nation, on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free Institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible, I make no apology."

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636...

In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the Scriptures: "Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies, is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."

Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He bless a Nation that has departed so far from Him?

Most of what you read in this article has been erased from our textbooks.

Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country's Christian roots.

Let you and I share the truth of our nation's history and let it be told.

"The best service that can be rendered to a Country, next to that of giving it liberty, is in diffusing the mental improvement equally essential to the preservation, and the enjoyment of the blessing." --James Madison

"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." --James Madison


Daily e-mail/article by Michael Powers via web-site...

Saturday, July 02, 2005

In memoriam... Posted by Picasa

Memories of my cousin Lonnie (July '05)

Lonnie left many footprints in my life. Even as a 9 year old I could see how highly he regarded the importance of solitude. Lonnie was an artist... we would often find him lost in his drawings. I'm convinced he created his own cartoon character so he could draw himself into the scenes along w/ the other well knowns. Lonnie was a musician... and "becoming one" with that guitar was one of his favorite pastimes. Lonnie was "cool"... he was quiet... he was a thinker... he had a gentle soul... he loved deeply... he dreamt big...

And when he was with us, his younger cousins, he laughed and played and was competitive and was loud and he pushed his luck while pushing the limits and disobeyed and was a bad example. He was a normal kid playing with the other kids and pestering the family dog and ...

These are my sweet memories of Lonnie... I remember a lot of laughter. I remember the games we would play in the upper room at Grampa & Gramma's house... the old-fashioned toys that were once our moms' toys. I remember the jokes he would tell and his excellent laugh. He had a smile that beamed confidence and exuberance. I remember the times he would hide from us simply because he needed some quiet time. I remember that his creativity and his imagination would sometimes surprise me.

And I remember feeling so much loss when I got the news that he was gone. Since he died 10 years ago no one has replaced or can take away what Lonnie left with me in our short time together. Lonnie... as the anniversary of your death is here, and then your birthdate shortly thereafter... we want you to know that your life is still affecting ours. You will always be in our hearts! Thank you for what you taught us in your 20+ years of living with us... we miss you every day!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

"Wanna know the most annoying sound in the world?!"

Yes, for those of you who know the movie "Dumb & Dumber" like you wrote the script yourself... you know where this line comes from... and what noise is made next.

Tonight I whole-heartedly disagree w/ the writers of the movie... for I have found THE MOST annoying noise...

It's the neighbors' german shepherd barking blindly into the night ... in the same repetitive 3-yelp bark. Is she barking at leaves falling off the tree?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Gutsy Gutterpup (June '05)

So, I've often thought myself to have a bit of a morbid imagination... my mother tells me it's just that I'm a creative soul. I've often wondered how I'd react to a horrendous scene in an elevator when the doors open. Well, I can tell you EXACTLY how I would react... now that I've been scared to near heart attack! While it's not really "horrendous"... it was starting to look that way right from the start.

Around 5:45 am everyday I pull into the parking garage at work... and as usual, today I'm the first person to park on the lowest level of our mostly underground parking garage. I call the elevator... and the doors slowly start to open (the doors on this particular lift are slow as molasses)... and there is a body on the floor of the elevator. I jump back out of fear that something is horribly wrong! But as the doors open all the way it appears a transient is curled up in a ball in the fetal position (confirmed by the foul smell slapping me in the face). I cannot keep myself from gasping, stepping backwards and then screaming...

Keep in mind - this is all happening in slow motion... right?! As I scream the body still isn't moving. The doors are slowly closing and for a split second I wonder if the person is even breathing. Then the lifeless body (and my brain) jolts like an earthquake... it rolls over and I see a woman probably in her late 20s or early 30s - who looks much older than that. She is barefoot, wearing grimy jeans and a sweatshirt... with hair that looks like it hasn't been washed in months.

She crawls out of the elevator on her hands and knees, mumbling something unintelligible and I am still walking backwards out of shock. I seem to remember very loudly finding the words "You should probably go somewhere else!" and yelling them at her! She's still mumbling. I think I was a broken record at this point. And because I'm yelling at her she starts walking faster and faster towards me... Of course I'm aware of the fact that there aren't many other people in the garage this early in the morning, that my cell phone doesn't work this far underground, that even IF there WAS a security guard on site he probably wasn't close enough to help me if this person goes ballistic... and I'm certainly not entering the stair well if this is what I find in the elevator!

Back to what's happening w/ the vagrant... she's walking faster and faster towards me... my pace picks up and I decide the best thing to do is to turn around and walk up the three levels of the parking lot. I set out walking straight across the parking lot towards the nearest SAFE exit, looking over my shoulder (I am still yelling at her "You should probably go somewhere else!"). She's yelling back at me! Quite the sight, I'm sure! She followed me up a level and a half (it may have even been two levels) and finally she quit following me. I'm sure she went to hide in another corner of the parking garage... I'm wondering who she alarmed next.

Yes, yes... I reported the problem to my Facilities manager... and even to our Human Resources dept. Apparently she and a male companion have been hanging around in our welcoming garage for the past several weeks.

I have to admit... part of me wanted to hit her... part of me wanted to hug her... part of me wanted to bring food back down to her... part of me wanted to call the police to drag her away for being a public nuisance (what's police talk for "drunk in public"?)... part of me wanted to drive her to a shelter and give her a chance to get a shower and get her hair combed...

Needless to say, if I've made it inside and can post my blog... then I'm safe. And as I lay down to sleep I will have a roof over my head... and I will be wondering where she passes out tonight...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

my crazy thing for the day... (June '05)

seems like i have something crazy happen to me almost daily... then again, maybe it's just the way i look at the world...

today? today it happened while i was sitting at a traffic light around the corner from my office. i noticed that water was flowing rather heavily on the road i was on... taking debris with it and clogging up the gutters, etc.

i look out my passenger window to see where this water is coming from... to my surprise, water is shooting straight up out of the ground. through 3 or 4 cracks in the asphalt... spouts about 8 to 12 inches high! as i sit there waiting for my light to turn green i wonder how safe i am sitting on top of a potential sink hole. luckily my light turned to green within moments.

before even sitting down at my desk at 5:45 am today, i called the City's Public Works Dept and reported what appeared to be a major underground leak.

now, at lunch hour... i look out the window and am sure all of the people sitting in traffic are thrilled that they are still sitting in traffic and late getting back to work from what was until now a leisurely lunch... 4 lanes of their road are completely blocked off. The City of San Diego's Pblic Works Dept has been hard at work since 6 am today... but I got here before they did!

what will happen tomorrow?!

Superhero Lori... signing out...

Monday, June 13, 2005

To have faith or not... (June '05)

This doesn't have anything to do with religion... no, it has to do with our court system.

My question today is "Do I have faith in the United States court system?" I will be working on that answer and get back with my decision.

Regarding Michael Jackson going free on all counts... I do know this, I firmly believe that whether or not he performed these horrendous acts on young children at any point in his life... the man needs prayer.

May God be with Michael Jackson and his future decisions.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Hairy Houdini (June '05)

The OTHER Houdini was Harry Houdini. But Lee and I know a Hairy Houdini... aka the Mouse residing in our kitchen. Read on for a quick recap of the adventure we've experienced in the last 10 days. Mousey escaped capture from two mouse traps, while still scoring the lure. THEN, Mousey escaped capture from two large rat traps, while AGAIN scoring the lure. So, we then purchased the sticky traps.

The sticky traps are basically this... a piece of long cardboard w/ about 1/8 inch thick VERY sticky glue adhered to the top. In theory, the lure is put in the middle of the board and basically the creature can't get away... "IN THEORY" being the operative words here!

BE AWARE: for those not interested in reading semi-gruesome and yet delicately worded animal tales... DO NOT READ ON!

So, Lee and I thought we were pretty smart when we taped two of these sticky traps together (making up approximately an 8 1/2 x 11" sheet of very sticky glue). Placing the lure right in the middle REQUIRES Mousey to walk up onto the sticky stuff... therefore getting stuck. Is it real obvious that there is more to this story?!

I woke up one day this week to see that quite a battle ensued on the surface of that sticky trap. Evidence? Clumps of mouse fur stuck all over the entire surface to show that where he once was... he was no longer! Yes, you are reading this correctly... Hairy Houdini escaped once again. But there's more...

We were even further geniuses when we placed a large rat trap right next to that Ginormous sticky trap convinced that if Mousey somehow got free from the sticky trap it would be completely disoriented and walk right up onto that trap. Well, that almost worked.

Only Hairy's back leg got caught... AND he was still mobile... running from corner to corner of the kitchen trying to yank that rat trap into his little hideout spots... but of course his pathway was obstructed due to the size of the rat trap following closely behind.

I have to admit... I know this sounds a bit cruel. And I really wish he would just wander out the back door of his own volition - leaving our innocent kitchen alone. But when he's stealing my wooden spoons, forcing us to feel like visitors in HIS world, and making me jump with every little noise IN MY OWN HOME... that's when I retaliate. I want this Mouse dead!

Is there more? Of course there is! So, Lee and I were heading out for dinner two nights ago and I ran back inside to get a book to read... as I was walking into the living room I heard a large clatter coming from the kitchen. I glanced over and witnessed Mousey (ONCE AGAIN FREE OF RAT TRAP - how does he do this?!) slowly walking away from his last hiding place towards another corner of the kitchen. It appeared his back leg was broken... as he wasn't using it (yes, it was dragging behind him).

We really are truly at a loss of how to get rid of this guy. We've finally purchased the poison pellets... and have placed them very close to where he is currently hiding out - knowing he probably isn't going to be venturing very far on 3 legs...

The only thing I know for sure... is that once again, yet another house guest will NEVER be the same after staying at our house!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mighty Mouse (June '05)

So, the Mouse Patrol continues. Lee thinks it's a rat... I think it's still up for debate! Still no pictures to prove either of us wrong.

The first set of medium size traps didn't work... somehow the traps sprung and caught NOTHING! We have now purchased the extra large rat traps and will keep our fingers crossed! And you are right to presume we are still grilling in the backyard or stepping out to get something for dinner.

And TODAY... well, today something happened that I am convinced should never happen in someone's kitchen!

Mighty Mouse was clinking around in the kitchen. I peaked in from the living room and witnessed him dragging a wooden spoon across the stove top towards his hiding place! Yes, you read that correctly! He was DRAGGING A WOODEN SPOON ACROSS THE STOVE TOP!

And no, I couldn't grab the camera in time. He dropped the spoon and went running!

We have figured out that he's crawling around in the compartment area of our stove... moving in and out of a small steel flap on the back of the unit. No, he's not INSIDE the oven... just the back paneling of the stove where the electrical components are.

Coincidentally, our power blew at some point yesterday as well... so we COULD have a half-fried mouse on our hands. Which MIGHT explain the extra boost of energy to drag a wooden spoon around...

Until later... wish us luck...

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I'm not disturbed by very many things... (May '05)

But mice? Making themselves at home in my kitchen? THAT freaks me out!

It's been 1 hour and thirty three minutes since I discovered we had another surprise house guest. But instead of it being a dear friend, it's mom's revenge on every time I made fun of her for reacting the same way I just did in the kitchen!

And would you like to know how I've spent the last hour and a half?! Running from store to store to find the appropriate lure, trap, etc... talked to a kind man who is used to living w/ these guys (he lives out in the country and they are his biggest pets - but I think he meant more in quantity than in size)... and a poor mother of one also perusing through the variety of traps commenting on this being a popular reason to visit the store today...

My hero husband has already set up the trap and kindly offered to take it from here...

Me? Sick me has already grabbed the camera to mark this day down in history...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

What does Saturday morning feel like? (April '05)

Breezes carrying scents of orange blossoms mixed with pink jasmine, melancholy tunes of Duncan Sheik, sipping espresso from my oversized mug while wearing an oversized fleece robe, green shade trees happily swaying back and forth, the sounds and sights of the neighborhood slowly waking up...

Today I will attempt my mother's recipe for banana bread again... I will run errands and attempt to conquer the world of clearance shopping while looking for some summer accessories for the home... I will meet with a lovestruck couple about doing their wedding and attempt to conquer the world of "selling" myself as the best photographer for their special day... I will attempt to stop the invasion of ants and the rest of the army they bring with them... I will attempt to find my green thumb while planting some seeds... I will attempt to revive the student in me by picking up that history book I've been wanting to get reaquainted with...

Will I be successful at any of these attempts? Who cares! It's the weekend ... I get to play! And this is how I chose to do so!

What does YOUR Saturday morning feel like?!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Influenza 2005 (April '05)

What has been sustaining me in the last 72 hours? About a dozen gallons of water, two bowls of chicken broth, one tuna sandwich, two spoonfuls of wild rice, one spoonful of green beans, two bites of bacon wrapped pork tenderloin grilled to perfection... and a cup of coffee here and there.

When Lee came down w/ the flu mid-week I thought he was being overly dramatic when he said he'd rather die and that he'd NEVER felt this sick before. And STUPID me... I suggested he was being a hypochondriac...

Did I get what was coming to me?! Sure thing! Next thing I know it, I came down with the evil flu. And I knew what he meant, how he felt and why he'd rather die... I personally NEVER want to feel this way again! Why didn't I listen to him?!

Needless to say - we're a little glad we didn't have any usually-welcome but uninvited guests at the front door this weekend. Face it... it wasn't a pretty sight around our house!

What did I learn this weekend? To NEVER EVER doubt my husband again!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Lee becoming familiar with Maximillian The Mighty! Posted by Hello

Introducing a new member of the Tisdale Family (April '05)

For those of you hoping for Little Tisdales, keep reading... we're simply here to introduce you to Maximillian the Mighty BBQ! (That IS what Tool Time's Tim Taylor named his BBQ - right?!)

Lee has spent the last year saying "Wouldn't it be nice to be able to go outside and grill something up every now and then?!" And all I could think about was messy BBQ sauce dripping off of everything... another mess to clean up! But it would give us even more opportunities to hang around outside with friends on warm evenings!

Well, on Easter Sunday we threw a "welcome-to-the-family" party for Maximillian - our new Char-Broil Commercial Series 40,000 BTU 3 burner propane grill. We commemorated the occasion with some incomparably juicy rib-eye steaks, skewered shrimp, grilled artichoke and a little funky Dave Matthews Live at Red Rock! What a sublime way to ring in the newest chapter of our lives!

See pics of the party at the link below ... click on "slideshow" and it will play automatically...

Friday, March 25, 2005

They say we'll learn something new everyday... (March '05)

And while each day that passes... and each year greets me a little more unexpectedly... this proves to be true over and over again! As a teen I often heard adults say to each other - "The older I get the more I know that I don't know anything at all!" More recently I've found that to be true in my own life. When I was 19 I knew my ideals beyond a shadow of a doubt and I KNEW how my life was going to pan out... HA! When I was 25 the realization hit me that my parents were more right than I thought they'd ever be. And now I'm a few years into my 30's and all I know for sure is that I've got a lot to learn.

Last night while my husband and I were cleaning our office (this only gets done when family comes into town), Lee ran into something his mother sent to him at Christmas time. It is a poem called "Desiderata". While Lee says he remembers this going back decades on the walls in his family's home... this is the first time I've run across it in my readings.

Apparently in it's day it was the poster poem for "make peace, not war"... and while this isn't meant to be any sort of political blog, I like what the poet speaks in the lines "And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

While my "universe" isn't as grand and showy and magnificent as The Milky Way, there are questions I have of my Creator daily ... He most often answers with "Just trust me!" If you haven't yet read this, tuck these words away where they fit into your life and let them speak what they will.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Liberty Bell Posted by Hello

Philadelphia - The History of a Nation (March '05)

The older I get the more interested in history I am... (As I sit here and write my thoughts digress to the possibilities of this being a natural progression through life for some people...)

Apologies to every single one of my history and government teachers! I'm now sorry that I merely MEMORIZED the right answers - instead of really KNOWING the answers. I missed out on a lot because of it! Yeah, yeah... you told me so!

But it's never too late... and the more I see and learn of our nation's history and our leaders the more I want to know! Last summer I bought a history book to read through again... maybe now is the time to go pick it up and read through it finally!

We studied the city map first to see what we wanted to see... here is a little bit on the glory of both the old and the new we stumbled across. Check out our online album:

Some of the other sites we saw...

The Graff House - where Thomas Jefferson lived while he wrote the Declaration of Independence!

We walked through the Liberty Bell Center - which surprisingly had a very emotional affect on me. I stood here and read the signs in the museum about what the Liberty Bell stood for - for liberty for EVERY man... and yet such liberties have not been afforded to every "man" in this country.

We stood in awe in the Franklin Court and Ben's Philosophical Hall. We gazed up at the tall building that houses the new Liberty Bell - within the tower of Independence Hall. We honored a moment of silence at the grave of Betsy Ross - in the courtyard of the Betsy Ross House. Here we found a store pawning off at least a million flags - who would have thought?! Here is also where we unexpectedly experienced the city's St. Patty's Day runners - find those pictures yet?! And right next door was an unassuming house which houses the current MTV's Real World reality show set - still being filmed!

We found Elfreth's Alley - which is one of the nation's oldest residential streets. Strolling along the cobblestone of 18th century homes takes you right back in time. I stood there and imagined the era... (admittedly, what little I know of it...) and wondered how different life was then. These must have been magnificent homes in those days. I could feel the strong sense of community spilling out of the windows and doors!

We found the National Constitution Center and U.S. Mint... but after our long walk that day, we were much too tired to hit those as well. So much to do... taking a nap was now at the top of the list! We're how far away from the hotel? Point my walking shoes in the right direction!

The next day we journeyed out to find the Franklin Institute (which is the home to the Franklin Memorial)... all the while dodging the St. Patty's Day parade crowds. We ventured down side streets and stayed warm by stopping into Starbucks of course.

We found a great restaurant (Jolly's - where we would be "regulars" if we lived in Philly) and a fun piano bar (The Redhead Piano Bar - where we met some great people!) . A historical hotel was suggested to us... The Latham Hotel... where we stayed and were treated like royalty within seconds of pulling the car up to the valet spot. Fantastic service for a beautiful place... we'll stay there again!

We stood where Abraham Lincoln once stood (really we did - find the picture that proves it)... we walked through the building that George Washington and John Adams were inaugurated in... who knows, the seat I took in that one building probably once cushioned the buns of other founding fathers. What an honor!

We ended our stay with a visit to both Pat's and Geno's... the philly cheesesteak war lives on for the rivalry joints which sit across the street from each other on 9th and Passyunk Avenues. Read up on the philly cheesesteak history and you'll read that a taxi cab driver invented the new steak sandwich which included sauteed onions and provolone cheese. Since then many variations have been passed down to new generations, including the addition of cheez whiz at some point. We tried both places ("WIT ONIONS PLEASE")... and the controversy lives on for the Tisdale household. Lee favored Geno's! Lori favored Pat's!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

View from Tram stop Posted by Hello

Alaska (March '05)

Alaska - The Experience of a Lifetime!

Being a photographer, I'm drawn to things which speak to me. Those "things" can either be full of life and emotion or innately simple. Alaska on the other hand - I've been having a hard time putting into words exactly what this trip did for me.

A little background for those of you curious how I ended up in Alaska... I had the opportunity to go with my good friend Stephanie as her "assistant" for the week. What exactly does she do that requires her to have her own "assistant"? In terms for us regular folk to understand, she is an Alaska tour coordinator for Holland America (apologies to Steph if that doesn't quite do justice to what you really do!). She sets up tours in various parts of Alaska - travel agents contact her - and then they sell to their clients. So, to kick off the season she was taking a group of travel agents up to "show off" the beautiful state that is Alaska. Therefore, she needed an "assistant"... or at least a good excuse... to bring her bestest girlfriend with her to the land that is a second HOME for her. (LUCKY ME!!!)

Even though I only had a few hours of sleep to run on, I was invigorated and awe-inspired by the beauty around me. From Day 1 we were off and running. We had 26 giddy travel agents to watch after - and they kept us busy! What fun friendships we made over the week!

While we didn't see any igloos or polar bears... we did catch an eyeful everyday. Day 2 brought us a pair of perched bald eagles wishing us a safe journey through Resurrection Bay in Seward, AK - I now think of this Bay as "God's Country" - absolutely astonishing! In that short journey we saw porpoises, seal harbors, lazy sea otters, endangered sea lions, and even a pod of orca whales (we think maybe 20 - 30 of them)... and to see all of these in their natural element brought tears to my eyes (this isn't Sea World, folks!). It made me feel so small in relation to the rest of creation! Wow...

The rest of the week brought us all laughter, dog sledding, snow angels, slipper skating, moose spotting, a few harmless snow ball fights, more food than anyone should eat in a week - including the largest crab legs I'll ever see, cheering for the Mushers and Dogs racing in the Iditarod, souvenir shopping galore, snow shoeing, skiing, endless jokes and stories by our coach driver-extraordinaire Lyle and even a few naps here and there...

I highly recommend Alaska be moved up on your "List of Places To See Before I Die"... just move it up... directly to the top! You have to see it sooner than later - you really do! And my personal recommendation is to see Alaska by land - more than just cruise ships go to Alaska! Really, just trust me on this one!

So, venture on over to my pictures and see what Alaska looked like through Lori's shutter... click on the link below and then on "slideshow"... you can pause it and resume it... have fun!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Dr. Tisdale's unsolicited advice on Valentine's Day (Feb '05)

Happy Valentine's Day all... Please humor me for a few minutes while I presume you want to know what's going through my brain today. Primarily, please humor my alter-ego (relationship therapist un-Dr. Tisdale) as she takes a few moments to address civilization... While she has studied human relationships on the basis of communication and connecting and honesty and trust and respect - she does NOT hold any sort of psychology degree, does NOT profess to be a "guru" of any sorts - she mostly just enjoys learning about others and what makes them tick. All the while she has made some decisions about how shes wishes to live her life and wants to share those with others.
Understandbly so, on Valentine's Day most everyone feels a large amount of pressure to buy the right present, say the right thing, be the author of profoundly delicate language ... etc. Take it from someone who has been working at relationships for at least 31 years now (as long as I've been alive I've been trying to get along w/ those around me)... while it does take some work - most people make it more difficult than it has to be!

While some may try their darndest to avoid any sort of Valentine's/Hallmark made-up "holiday"... the fact of the matter is, we love the people around us and we want them to know so. So, in keeping with the fun and light-hearted childhood tradition... whether we're "coupled" on this day or not... remember to tell those around you that you love them!

Dr. Tisdale's unsolicited advice (and since it's unsolicited it's FREE!)

To the Guys - even if your significant other tells you not to buy any sort of present - do it anyway! It's the guy who goes the extra mile (and who does it with sincere motives) that we want to have around all the time! Unless your significant other already has an intravenous line dripping chocolate into the veins - flowers really TRULY are the all-purpose gift! (The myth that flowers should only be given as apologies was started by a guy who didn't want to go the extra mile! However, I am feeling the need to point out one last thing - please do not - under ANY circumstance - EVER buy a bouquet of just carnations unless you've been told you that is the flower of choice! Believe me... not many girls would tell you this... but, ICK!!!)

To the Gals - DO NOT be ashamed or afraid or guilty (or whatever it might be) to actually provide some ideas on what you would like for Valentine's Day, anniversary, birthday, etc. While we have this dream that our significant other will know exactly what we want - and that they will have planned ahead and purchased it 3 months prior to the event instead of waiting until the last minute - that only happens in Hollywood. Set realistic expectations for your signifcant other - do not set them up for failure. When they ask for help on what to buy - give it whole-heartedly! They will appreciate it ... you will appreciate it! It's a win-win situation! Yes - it really is that easy!

Guys - if you take anything away from this email - take this: Do not only give on birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day - it's the gift for no reason that is why we love you so much!

Gals - if you take anything away from this email - take this: You can most help your significant other by being honest about your thoughts and feelings and expectations - they cannot read your mind - so use your words!

Most importantly - we should not hesitate to show others that we love them every day of the year! Don't wait around for Valentine's Day to make a special gift, stop off the side of the road for flowers, send cards to those you are thinking of... what does it take but a few moments to show others that their life and influence is precious to you! You never know what could be happening in that person's life - your action of reaching out to them even briefly might just make their entire day!

Signing off,
un-Dr. Lori Tisdale


All images are © Lori Tisdale, 1990-2011 unless otherwise noted. Images are posted for your personal inspiration only and may not be copied/pasted into emails to share with anyone else, posted on other sites, copied for publications, contest submissions, or monetary gain. I'd have to track you down and who knows what would happen then?! Thank you for being considerate.