Sunday, September 28, 2014

Children of the Corn (Maze)

Every September we take a day and we vow to conquer the corn maze.  It's like some type of amnesia hits somewhere between last time and this time.  A renewed hope comes over us, along with a fresh perspective of how much fun the corn maze can be on a crisp fall day.  Today was the day for us.  The weather was gorgeous, everyone was happy and healthy and feeling great about the challenge, once again before us.  Had we forgotten how lost we got last year?  Yes.  Did we forget the freezing cold elements 2 years ago?  What cold?  Yes, we forgot.  Did we let slip from our memories the complaining as we neared hour 3 in the blistering hot sun only 3 years back?  Yes.  We forgot.  What I do recall is the fact that the stars must be aligned, the temperature must be between 67 and 72 degrees with a slight breeze, their bellies must be full, and there has to be something to keep their attention in order to guarantee a somewhat successful several mile hike through the stalks of the corn.

Anyhow.  Back to today.

As you can see it was an absolutely gorgeous, clear day.  The sun was shining and the air was neither cool nor hot - just perfect in every way.  Our attitudes were good and our outlook fresh.  We were ready.  The maze wasn't going to fool us this year.  We had too many years under our belts.  We'd been fooled before - this year would be our year to find all of the clues, all of the codes, and deciper all of the riddles to make our way back to the treasure waiting for us at the farmhouse.

The first few clues were easy.  We were led into a false sense of brilliance and know how.  We collected clues left and right and moved through the maze with ease.  I almost felt bad that it was too easy for our growing boys.  They were moving swiftly from post to post, and every move we made was correct.

Things took a turn at about a half hour in.  The corridor we thought we would remember when we made several right turns was not the same one we thought.  We found ourselves winding our way down the exact same wrong section several times over.  We were becoming weary.  It felt like a scene from National Lampoon's European Vacation.
 "hey kids, Big Ben, Parliament, again." 
At one hour in, we found a bridge.  It took us to another quadrant of wrong turns and repeat mistakes.  The sun grew stronger, the air became hotter, and the patience began to disappear.

"I'm wondering where the fun went."  my six year old said.

"I'm thirsty."  said seven.

So we stopped for a drink of water.  Everyone took a break and felt refreshed from getting hydrated.

My husband the engineer decided that he just knew this way  - (points to the right) would be the right way to go.  We followed.

Youngest was not pleased with the wrong turns.

Right turns turned into wrong turns, dead ends turned maddening - and I could swear I heard children crying not far away.  I overhead parents in other quadrants of the maze starting to crack.  "STOP COMPLAINING, IT'S A NICE DAY AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A GREAT TIME!" She left off the 'dammit' from the end of her sentence.   I winced in agreement to her statement and I turned to humor to salvage the kids' moods.   I began to tell them about the horror movie Children of the Corn.  I told them that kids who got lost in corn mazes ended up with a guy named Malachi as their master and had to sleep out in the fields every night with only field corn to munch on.  Of course then I started to divert my thoughts into who Malachi really looked like and decided he looked like that Olympian Shaun White (Tomato Head - err wait, we can't call him that anymore, right?)

(from, I am not the only one who has had this thought. How I love the internet.
Anyhow, I scared them so badly that they found a new energy to swiftly start collecting more clues to get the hell out of the cornfield were so many children were left behind to work in a sweatshop sewing clothes for scarecrows.   Oh, stop, I didn't scare them that much - they thought it was pretty fun every time I said I thought I heard a child crying from being caught by Malachi.  (There were plenty of kids at the maze crying so that was easy.)

How many thousands of corn stalks can you honestly walk by and say you know where you are going?  No one really knows where the hell they are going in a corn maze unless they have Google maps turned on and use GPS to get out.

We ran into another couple with three young boys and decided to commisserate.  We cheated, okay? We swapped letters and codes as we smiled and nodded to each other in mutual understanding and sympathetic looks.  We had no one to help us but each other.  We had a new hope that we would, in fact, conquer this maze and the riddle and find our way back to the treasure soon.  "PIRATE'S BOOTY" their little boy cried.  "I WANT MY PIRATE'S BOOTY NOWWWW."  We turned and went back down our little quadrant and left the couple to deal with their child.  We couldn't let our kids smell fear and weakness.  We had to press on.

"We're lost in this corn maze.  We're going to be here forever aren't we?"  asked our seven year old.

As we approached hour three, it was official.  No one was actually having anything even remotely close to fun anymore.  We were hot, tired, had to pee from all of the water we drank at the 15, 000 water break stops we made, and it was time to GTFO of the corn maze.  We went to the top of the mini bridge in one of the quadrants and I took a long hard look at where we needed to be and decided if we were going to get out of here without becoming part of another Children of the Corn movie, I had to take the lead.

With (false) confidence, I said "follow me!"

I walked forward, fast and furiously.  The followed quietly.  I made several turns and only had to backtrack once - and boom...THIS.

"NICE JOB?"  is that all you have to say to me?  Pfft.

We made it back to the treasure chest and the boys had a new found energy in anticipation of what their prize for conquering the corn maze might be!  They entered the code found from deciphering the riddle and opened the lock.   They were now proud owners of their very own...wait for it...

Can I get a slow, sarcastic clap?

Kind of reminds me of Ralphie when he gets his decoder pen in the mail only to find an advertisement to Drink His Ovaltine.

That's all for now.  And until next time, here are some tips for a great time on your next adventure through a corn maze!  xoxo ~DG

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sometimes A Picture is Worth A Thousand (Curse) Words

Well hello there - long time no see!  Thanks for coming to visit - it has been a while!  I have been so busy working in real life that I hardly have time to water my blog. I logged on only to find weeds in an overgrown garden.  Anyhow - hope all is well in your world!  I have some funny stuff to share with you today about Picture Day! 
If you've been with me for a while, you know there are few people I admire, adore, and that astonishes me more than the brilliant illustrator Adrienne Hedger of Hedger Humor.  So when a funny popped into my head, inspired by my boys, of course, I had to reach out to her to see if she could make my thoughts come to life.  She did more than that! She made it into this hilarious comic below and it is so easy to relate to I thought I'd get this blog dusted up and running again to share the giggles with you all.  It sparked memories of my own photo day follies - so here we go.  

Part of getting older is looking back at your past and seeing, coming to terms with, admitting, and accepting that you made mistakes.

Some of the biggest mistakes were on Picture Day.  See, there came a point late in grade school when I suddenly thought I knew better than my mom.

My mom was a beautician.  She was a trusted, skilled, schooled master in the art of beauty.  But she was my mom - what did she know about how to make ME beautiful?  She did the best she could to 'highly' advise against some of the things I wore and the way I wore my hair for Picture Day - even though, in the end, I did it my wayyyy.  The problem with Picture Day is that's it - it's done - it's recorded for life.  It may even grace the antique side tables at grandparents' houses, the refrigerator of every aunt, & even the walls of your childhood home in a size to really showoff your teenage pores.  Guests will come over for years to come and admire or in my case, let their jaw drop in horror over the poor choices that were made in that fateful half hour before the bus came to get you to school on the big day.

But wait - let's really go back to the beginning.  Preschool. 

My Preschool pics were lovely - complete with bobby pin in hair and matching dark green Garanimals.  Those were the hot item of the season you know. I still had a full set of baby teeth which really enhanced the cuteness of my smile.

Kindergarten was a decent year for me as well in an -everyone is cute at this age- sort of way.  My mom put me in pigtails with ribbons and some sort of Holly Hobby meets Oktoberfest frock.  Cringe away, but it was adorable at the time.  I had no idea that would be the final year of cuteness in my school photos...even lopsided ponytails and gaping holes where my teeth once were looked somewhat sweet.

My mom chose a Nautical theme for first grade.  I look like a sailor girl.  I have no photo to share, but trust me when I say it wasn't my best.

I think after many therapy sessions, I'm ready to talk about 2nd grade.  This was the year my dear mom decided she would set my hair the night before in pin curls.  Imagine winding up small sections of your hair, securing it to your scalp with 2 bobby pins, and sleeping on it all night only to wake up to hair up to my ears and as wide as the sea. I am posting my photo here for you to laugh at - and I have this - my doppelganger....Alice from Dilbert.

I have no recollection of 3rd grade and I think my survival instincts are to thank for that.

Moving on to 4th grade.

Annie was big that far be it from me to stray from that sort of iconic fashion role model.
I wore a red pinstriped blouse - a blouse - like an 80 year old candy striper would wear, mind you - with a solid white Annie collar and what appears to be a Texas tie gone wrong.

Tone it down, would you Annie?  It's too much for the 9 year old girl to keep up with.

Let me wipe my tears and we'll head into the really bad years.

I can't mention my fourth grade class photos without going down a dark alley of emotional pain and scarring.  So we'll skip 4th.

In 5th grade, collars were worn one way - and one way only...popped upward.  Candy colored stripes and Izods were the thing to wear.  So.  I wore a fuchsia striped Izod with the collar popped...the only big difference between me - and the cute preppy girls in my class?  My big fat Greek moustache.

I need a sip of my calming tea.

There - I'm ready for 6th grade.

Okay so 6th grade is when I started to decide that I knew best and my mom knew nothing.  I mean, she wouldn't let me buy the red leather 1000 zipper Michael Jackson jacket, or the expensive, already ripped, off-the-shoulder, inappropriate for my age Jennifer Beals Flashdance sweatshirt, and she also nixed the Culture Club hat with matching headbands of neon.  So I needed to take matters into my own hands for 5th grade. 

I would channel....
(I need everyone quiet for this please.)


I know you are wondering - which Madonna? There are so many!
I am sad to say, it was the black fishnet top clad, gummy bracelet wearin', huge black bow in hair stylin', large cross earrings - Madonna.

I came out in it only to shock and awe my mom - before shock and awe was even a thing.


We compromised.  I put on a pair of earrings that I can only describe as fishing lures - and put a BLUE izod on UNDER the fishnet top, popped the collar - and my mom shook her head and let me go.

My friends, that outfit didn't look nearly as cool as I thought it did.  In fact it was so bad, that I don't even know if I own a single copy of that photo as they were burned with some notes from an old crush.  Better off burned, I say.

In the mid 80s, I had a choice of which fashion icon to model my photo after.  I had

or Heart...

or Steve Perry...
At least I had the sideburns to really pull this look off.

 In the end I would end up looking like the product of a Steve Perry/Whitney Houston love child gone wrong.  Fast forward to the very bad hair karma of the late 80s and early 90s and you end up with this beauty of a Senior Picture done by a PROFESSIONAL.  Here - hold this grid.  Yes, that is perfect.  Oh and let's have a sharp glass rectangle-type prison shank looking as though it is falling and might impale you for dramatic effect.  The crinkled up paper on the backdrop is very much in style as well.

I give to you - my final wrong doing of my Picture Day follies - the Senior Pic.
Don't mind the glare from my cell phone - that's not the Holy Ghost or anything.  But getting back to the "What's wrong with this photo?" game.  Why would I wear a dolman - did I have 30 inches of arm to cover?  The flat herringbone gold chain screams early 90s, the hair is as hard as a rock, and those are eyebrows, not caterpillars - thankyouverymuch.

Besides Preschool and Kindergarten, there are no photos that I look back on with pride and joy. I am certain, now, at 41 years old, that I have ONLY MYSELF to blame - and I SHOULD'VE LISTENED TO MY MOTHER.  There, I said it.

So I will continue to micromanage my boys on picture day to prevent them from leading a life of photographical regret due to emotional and not-fully thought out decisions on the morning of picture day.  In a nutshell, just to recap,  no my love, you cannot wear your dirty soccer jersey from last night's game. 

Here are two of my boys this morning before they left for picture day.  How did I do?
Not too bad.  Only one bottle of hair gel lost its life in the making.
My babies...with faces like these - I ALMOST let them wear whatever crazy thing they picked out...soon enough, soon enough.

Big hugs - UNTIL NEXT TIME!  Say cheese! Or is it Cheese-y?
Bad Picture Days be damned - we turned out okay.

Check out my dear friend Adrienne and her hilarious comics at  Hedger Humor
on Facebook -
Twitter - @adriennehedger

Monday, July 28, 2014

An Oath to Market Basket

On this, the 28th of July, 2014, I, DG, do solemnly pledge to NEVER...EVER...complain about Market Basket again.  I just left Sam's Club because it was imperative that I shopped for groceries, since I, much like Old Mother Hubbard, had bare cupboards.  Because it was not my beloved Market Basket, I was confused, overwhelmed and found myself purchasing 60 pounds of bacon, at least 4000 waffles, and 25 gallons of Iced Coffee.  I cannot be trusted in these clubs.

 Do you want a profession of my love? You got it.  I love you Market Basket.  I love your hard working dedicated employees, your management, your drivers, your customer service & of course, your low, low prices.  Help me, Market're my only hope.

In return I offer you this pledge to behave better in your store.....

I will not dread, loathe, whine or carry on about having to hit Market Basket on a weekend.  The same goes for midweek, Mondays, Fridays, firsts of the month, holidays, mornings, evenings, and every day and moment in between.

I will not use swear words as I circle the parking lot looking for any available space within three miles of the store.

I will wait my turn to get a cart, even if it means waiting for ten minutes and getting my ankles clipped by other passing carts.

I will not growl and grit my teeth while in the butter and cheese corner as people linger and hmm/haww over the difference between Neufch√Ętel and Cream Cheese.

I will not take offense to someone boxing me out of the yogurt section, or throwing elbows near the bags of chips.

I will make room for others when deciding between chicken or pork for dinner in the meat department.

I will certainly not become agitated by the unpleasant smell of cheese & seafood in the Deli department, nor will I lament over the deli ticket number being at least 24 numbers ahead of mine.

I will stay as far to the right of the aisle I am in, regardless of what other shoppers do.  I will be calm and courteous to the families that walk 5 people wide and block entire aisles at a time.

I will cordially greet every single stock boy with a smile & a hello, even if it means I scrape my shin on their flatbed.

I will be happy while shopping.  I will be nothing but happy.

I promise to honor and respect the frozen food section by not leaving the door open for too long to assess the ice cream selection, thus doing my part to keep the store energy efficient.

I will be careful not to smash into any other shoppers even during rush hour or gridlock in the produce aisle.

I will gladly take any of the 15 checkout lines available to me, and promise not to pull an optic nerve by rolling my eyes at the woman in front of me paying by check and taking thirty minutes to write it out.

I promise, with all of my being, that I will not screw up the Debit transaction like I do every g-d time I'm in there.  I will WAIT until the clerk tells me it's okay to slide and I will, like a good soldier, say - 'DEBIT, EXACT AMOUNT' when I feel the heavy glance of the checkout clerk upon me.

I promise not to succumb to my kids begging me to open the cookies while checking out.

I will graciously help load the bags into my cart, and I will not exhale loudly in exhaustion while waiting for the clerk to highlight my 4% savings and hand me my receipt.  I am ever so grateful for that 4%.

These things, I promise....please just get back to business as usual..and soon.

Yours in groceries, for life...

"We Are Market Basket" set this Go Fund Me page up for the administrative assistants, office clerical workers, truck drivers and warehouse workers.
 Here is the link:

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

What do you need freedom from today? Drama? Heartache? Anger? A Toxic Friendship?

I've been talking a lot lately about my 40's.  Mostly, I've touched on the effort it takes to look nice, to stay young looking, and embrace 40 gracefully.

There's another aspect of being 41, and today, as we celebrate Independence Day, it's a good time to talk about freedom - a different kind of freedom.

I've been through some tough things in my life.  I've weathered storms that even I am not ready to talk about.  Things happen to us in our lifetime - divorce, loss, heartache, friendships lost, misunderstandings.  We navigate our way through one crisis at a time, and with every road that we successfully make it down, the rough patches seem to get a little easier to get through.  My divorce seemed like it would be the toughest thing to process, but during that time, I found a strength within that I really didn't know existed.  I came out stronger, smarter, and had more clarity than I had in years.  Over the past decade, I've faced every joy head on, and used those wins to help me ease through the losses.  I've had situations where what I really wanted to do was scream profanities from the rooftop and cut people off at the knees, but I learned something so valuable through my past mistakes that would be the sure fix every time.  Love. When all else fails, choose love.

When people hurt us, whether intentional or unintentional - something small or something big - our knee-jerk reaction is to be angry.  I'll show them who they're messing with!  I have found a better map to use when navigating through the murky life waters and that is inked in with love love love.  This is the freedom I'm talking about.  Freedom to release yourself from things being personal - it's not about you.  99 times out of 100 it is NOT about you.  Repeat to yourself next time someone hurts you - it's not about me.  Unless you are this horrible person who creates drama everywhere you go and causes damage in your warpath (if it is because of that - you've got to stop) - it probably is not about you.  Give yourself the freedom to find peace in what people do to you.  Walk away.  Let it go.  Say to yourself that you are fine just the way you are.  You are a good person, a good friend, a good daughter or sister.  It doesn't matter how many square feet your home has, what kind of car you drive, how many pairs of shoes you have.  No one cares - and if they do, they aren't the kind of friend you need anyway.  What matters is that you show up to life.  That you are you. That you give someone the benefit of the doubt and smile at them.  Change the vibe you give off - I know it's so much easier to be pissed at someone, but if you put just a little more effort in, and rearrange it in your head - it's not about me - you'll find the freedom of the burden of drama in your life by using love as your shield.

But I deserve an apology.
You do.  But let it go.
But she/he almost ruined me.
But the world is still spinning, and your heart is still beating.
But it wasn't my fault.
It doesn't matter anymore.
But I lost so much time over him/her.
That's why you shouldn't lose any more time over it.

We all have things we've been carrying around for years, months, days, hours, minutes.  The only thing those things do is weigh us down.  Some of us might use them as crutches, as excuses, as reasons why we are who we are, or why we will never be who we want to be.  We've got to let them go.  Be free of those burdens, find a way to start anew without them.  I'm not saying forget - I think there is no way to forget things that have happened in our past, but I strongly believe there is a beautiful life waiting beyond the conflict.

We all have relationships that are waiting to be healed.  In our families, with friends, maybe neighbors - we have conversations waiting in the wings, longing to be freed from lingering over us and weighing us down. Often times challenging things happen in our lives and we are forced to take a long hard look at what is happening and what we need to do to find our peace.  Do you have a relationship that you need to heal?  Swallowing your pride for your own peace of mind isn't as hard as you might think.  Sometimes you have to do what is best for your own healing and if that means extending an olive branch to someone who hurt you, then do it.  Make today your Independence Day. Heal. Love. Laugh. Live. What will really make all the difference in your life is by doing first what you expected someone else should do.
How much are we willing to pay for things that have been done to us? At what point do you decide to stop paying for emotional invoices that should go to someone else?  Only we can answer that.   Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself.  It's a gift that will keep giving all the days of your life, too.  It makes room to enjoy your life without clouding it up with negativity. Whatever has been done to you might never go away, but it can lessen it's grip around your heart and not play a lead role in your daily routine, allowing you to enjoy the simple pleasures again. You can always forgive a person without actually excusing what they did or said.

This message is inspired by  real life events.  I was deeply hurt by someone I care about - but I know it is not about me at the end of the day.  I did what I had to do for my own healing, and my own peace - and I did it with love.  I am not going to say it was easy - but it wasn't nearly as hard as you'd think.  I don't need all of the drama, hoopla and fireworks in my life.  Life is too precious.  If someone wants you in it, then embrace them and be there for them and it will be enough for them for you to just be you.  If someone doesn't want you in your life - it's okay.  Be at peace, give yourself the gift of the freedom to move on.

Cheers & Happy Independence Day - today - and any day you need it.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Love/Hate Relationship with the Water Balloon Machine

Flashback to June, 2013.

Who knew?

Someone knew.  And now that someone is laughing all the way to the bank.

That someone created that brilliant water balloon maker, was it last year they appeared on the shelves?

Suddenly, you couldn't even go to CVS without seeing them everywhere.

Moooom, can we get one of these?

*Envisioning lawn littered with broken balloons*

 No, guys - we don't need water balloons today.

In Bed, Bath and Beyond, I'm returning the wrong size tablecloth, there's a line, and of course, only one person working.  They are strategically placed by check-out, and they are the only thing saving my boys from a wrestling match to stave off boredom.

Mama, pleaaaase, pleaaaaaase, can we get this water balloon machine? Pleaaase?

BB&Beyond has me where they want me.  RIGHT where they want me.  I am the person they thought of when they set up that display.

Marketing Team Leader:  "Let's place them by checkout and bombard children's senses with the brilliantly colored machines filled with a rainbow of balloons."

Marketing Team Member:  "Yes, but that will only work if we schedule only ONE person at checkout that day."Marketing Team Leader: *throws back head and laughs* YES...YESSSSS.  
"Alright, alright , I'll buy the balloon maker but this is the one and only one for the season so you need to take care of it."

I should mention, these are not expensive.  In fact, most are under $10.  They are not built to last by any means.  That, coupled with the kids fighting over it constantly, and the abuse by jamming the pump repeatedly as fast as they can, it's a setup to a huge meltdown when it finally breaks.  I just wanted them to know if I bought it, they had to take care of it and not think they would get another one if it broke.

We bring it home and hit the lake.  When I tell you, it keeps them occupied for hours, I mean hours. I couldn't believe how much they loved it.

At first everything is fun and joyful and they are having a ball.  Then someone lingers at the pump, trying to make an arsenal of balloons.

"Heyyy, he's pumping more than one and that's not fair."

Now add neighbor kids.

"Heyy, he's hogging the pump and that's not fair."

"Heyyyy, he used all the water and didn't fill it."

"Mom?  Mooom?  Mama?  Mommy?  Mom?  Mom? Mom?"

"Can you tie this? "

"This one?"

"Tie this for me, please?"

Tie this.  Tie this.  And another. Another. Another.

"MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM....THE PUMP BROKE..."  Cue the tears and hysteria.  After trying to resuscitate the machine for an hour, we declared its passing at approximately 4:05pm.  Its lifespan was three glorious days, and almost 18 hours of pumping.  That was it for last year.

Fast forward to June, 2014.

This year - the remarkable makers of the water balloon pump created the No-Stress Tie Nozzle so that Moms and Dads everywhere could actually enjoy the day without having to tie an endless assembly line of water balloons.  The instructions on the pump promise "effortless water balloon making and tying in seconds." The thing is I already CAN  effortlessly tie an endless supply  of water balloons with my own 2 hands.  Granted, I break a few nails struggling with a few here and there, but overall, tying balloons is not rocket science.  Using the handy dandy effortless Tie Balloon pump IS, however, rocket science.

Look, I don't claim to be the smartest.  I don't say that I am the most clever of moms.  But I do my best.  I tried to figure this g-d easy peasy water balloon tie nozzle but I broke more balloons in the time that I could've tied 2 dozen and got more aggravated than if I had spent two hours manually tying them.

 You're supposed to wrap the balloon around the nozzle, thread the neck through the slot, and pull the balloon off the device.  I couldn't figure it out, I broke several of them while "pulling" them off the nozzle, thus dousing myself in water, and it became very clear that this was not the simple maneuver it appeared to be.  Okay look, some of you are going to say, you figured it out on the first try - and I say - that is AWESOME.  And some of you are going to judge me for having poor direction reading skills, or sad fine motor skills, but I'm okay with that.  I tried to get it to work, but I failed so I went back to manually tying them - I don't really need nice nails anyways.  

I am going to continue to hand tie these until this year's pump breaks - and I'm at peace with that.  According to past history, I only expect the pump to live another few hours anyways.

In the meantime, I'll be in the yard with the kids, cleaning up the artillery shells strewn all over the lawn.  Perhaps next year, the brilliant balloon maker minds will come up with an easier disposal and clean up system?

Cheers and Happy Water Balloon Tying!

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Real Reason I Love Coffee...

If you've been hanging out with me for a while, you know that I often talk about and post funnies about coffee.  The thing is, I only recently realized what the real draw is to coffee.  Okay besides the actual addiction to caffeine, the smell in the morning when you first wake up, and the way it soothes your soul with the first few sips.  I'm talking a deeper love here.  Stay with me.

The other day - Monday to be specific - was not my best day.  It was officially the first day of the kids summer vacation but I still had to work in the family office because one of our employees was out and I needed to cover the 8-5 shift to keep afloat.  No biggie.  The kids came with me (thank God for family run businesses!) and we showed up bright eyed and ready.  They had lots to do to keep them busy as did I!  I turned on my computer but my computer was not ready to work.  My computer was stricken with a virus.  A case of the Mondays you could say.  No computer, no work.  It took at least an hour to get completely up and running, which set an already busy day back more than I would've liked.  The computer was not the only one with a case of the Mondays; customers, phone conversations, orders, everything and everyone I touched was afflicted with the Monday Touch (see: Opposite of Midas Touch).  Before I knew it, it was 5:00 and I was wiped out.  I was grouchy, irritable, stressed, drained and ready to go home while my boys were just getting warmed up and ready to go.  I tried to make up for the lost day by taking the boys for a swim in the lake, having a great dinner and some decent laughs before bed - but all in all, Monday was gone and that was the only thing good about it.  When my weary head finally hit the pillow, even I was tired of me.

I love this because it's true - coffee is optimism in a cup.  When you drink it, you immediately feel like you can conquer whatever stands in front of you - until it's time for another cup.

As I poured my Tuesday morning coffee, it hit me.  Every morning that I wake up, I get a chance to do things over, to do them better, to do them differently, to try again.  THAT'S when I realized that what I love about my coffee so much is that it represents a new start and new possibilities every single day.  So I had a crappy day Monday - I get a do-over.  The coffee induced an amnesia for yesterday and wiped the slate clean and made way for the new.  It's a beautiful thing.  If we're lucky, we have a large amount of do-overs in our lifetime - it's what we choose to do with them that really matters.  I'm sure you've seen that ecard that says "I'm trying to decide if I should use my coffee powers for good or evil."  It's funny, but it's so true.  If you think of your coffee as a fresh start to the day, then you have to decide is it going to be a good day? Or a bad day?  Are you going to choose good? Or evil?   Are you going to be kind?  Or unkind?  Your day is full of opportunities.  It's full of the option to change what you didn't like about yesterday.  The beautiful thing is that we have the power to decide if we should learn from what we did wrong yesterday should we choose to acknowledge it and say today is a new day and forgive ourselves and others for the things that didn't work out the day before.  I think one of the reasons we all loathe Monday so much is because we put SO much pressure on it to be a fresh start, to start a diet, to begin an exercise program, to get Friday's leftover pile of blown off work done.  Monday carries such a negative connotation because we push all of our hope and effort into Monday and when it doesn't work out - we blame the fact that it's Monday for our failures.  Maybe by looking at our morning coffee as Monday, or as January, or however you want to think of it -we'll start to think of it as a fresh start.

We don't start out the day thinking it's going to be bad (well, maybe some days when we have something daunting on the schedule we do, but for the most part, we don't).  Sometimes there is something waiting in the wings to throw us off our game and mess with our attitude.  It's going to happen.  You're going to have days like that once in a while. You might even have weeks like that.  But what can we do differently today to show that we learned something from doing yesterday wrong?  Could be something so small - could be something huge. We could say maybe we'll react differently or let something roll off of us, or turn the other cheek.  Even better, try NOT to take things personally because 99% of the time it isn't.  As long as we are moving forward every single day as a work in progress, a life in progress, a human being who learns from what to sweat and what not to sweat - that's what matters. It seems the older I get, the less seriously I take the stupid stuff.
I love the simplicity and innocence in this quote!

What's in your cup of coffee today?  It's more than hot, delicious goodness in a cup - it's hopes, dreams, courage, strength, love, and kindness.  So drink up, and go forward today with the strength you need to do anything and face everything that comes your way.  Say it with me, today will be good.  Cheers and Love.

Happy Summer!