Monday, July 25, 2011

Splish Splash, I was taking a bath...

I could probably write a book about all the funny things that happen when I’m showing houses.  One day, I might just do that.  I really don’t want to ever embarrass any of my clients.  But usually, the crazy things that happen are things that would just embarrass me!  One of the funniest things that ever happened involved a master bath tub and some scared little girls!

I was showing houses to a family that was looking to move into a bigger house in the same area.  We had seen several houses and were checking out the master bath in a nice home.  Their 2 girls, approximately 11 and 14 (at the time) were with us, and had taken a seat on the edge of the master bath tub while Mom and Dad were checking out the rest of the bathroom.  It had a HUGE walk-in closet in the bathroom, and they were very interested in seeing it.  I flipped the switch to turn on the lights in the closet, and all of the sudden, we heard this loud BOOM!  No lights came on in the closet either! (Blown fuse?)    The noise startled us, but it scared the bejeebers out of the girls. Both screamed, jumped up and looked like they had seen a ghost.  We were all in total shock for a few seconds.  Then… we saw it… both girls turned around to show us their backs.  They were SOAKED!  We thought the sound had scared them.  But apparently, the loud noise was the whirlpool tub coming on.  The switch that was all the way on the OTHER wall near the closet was actually the switch to the whirlpool tub.  When I flipped it, the jets came on (thus the noise), and the water that was remaining in the jets had shot out and hit the girls.  And, not only did it hit them with a great force, it was FREEZING!  
 There was water EVERYWHERE!  We all just stood there with dumb looks on our faces while we assessed the damage.  Praise the lord that it was a tile floor and no damage was done (except to the pride of 2 little girls that looked like cats coming out of a pool!)   

Now, it’s important to note that all of these discoveries happened in less than seconds, but it certainly felt like it was a lot longer than that.  At this point, I didn’t know whether to act cool like this happens all the time, cry, or just burst out laughing.  This was 100% my fault, and I was mortified.  I tried to maintain my professional composure.  After what felt like forever, we all busted out laughing.  I looked around for towels (NONE) and got on my hands and knees soaking up water with the only thing I could find…  toilet paper!   OK…so,  the professional composure went out the window.  Picture this… Dress, heels, toilet paper, hands and knees, water, etc… not really the image of professionalism that I like to maintain. Haha!   But, it would have been worse to leave someone else’s house in a mess!   

Needless to say, two wet children will definitely put a quick end to the evening, that’s for sure.  Thankfully, my clients are amazing people that laughed it off.  After I dropped them off, I called the listing agent to let her know what happened.  She laughed OUT LOUD!  Then she said “I told them they needed to mark that switch! Hahaha! ”    I took “mea culpa” ice cream coupons over to the girls the next day, and we all laughed about it again, and re-enacted the surprised looks on the girls faces a few times for good measure. We made a few jokes about bathing in someone else’s house, etc.    But, the next time I picked them up to see houses,  I had 2 large beach towels sitting in the back seat for the girls, just for grins.  J    

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our Crops are Saved!

It rained at our house a few nights ago.  Now… that may seem like a non-event to you, but we haven’t seen rain in a while at my house.  We’ve seen black clouds all around us, and the adjoining town has gotten a lot of rain.  But, it’s been like there is a dome over our little piece of suburbia and no rain can get through.  Watching the radar has been very frustrating too.  There will be pop up storms all around us, but our little section is clear as a bell.  And, in the morning when I talk to my friends, they mention how bad the storm has been, and all we got was thunder!  

So that night, my daughter came running up the stairs and said “IT’S RAINING!  COME LOOK!”   I jumped out of my chair and ran down the stairs.  The kids were standing there with the front door WIDE open looking at the rain.  It was pitch black outside, but there we were looking like the Beverly Hillbillies staring at the rain.  I yelled “Rain!  Our Crops are Saved!”  and we just laughed and laughed.  Rachel asked us if we dared her to run across the street and touch the Real Estate sign in our neighbor’s yard.  And of course, we dared her!  So she ran down the stairs, across the sidewalk, down the driveway, and across the street to touch the sign.  She looked up and held up her hands in the “TA DA” fashion that she always did as a kid.  And again, we belly laughed.  Who does that?  Who dares someone to run across the street in the rain?   Well, apparently rain deprived people do, because we sure thought it sounded like a good idea.  And we were absolutely giddy because it was raining.  Of course, we also locked her outside on the porch for good measure.  Watching the rain was even funnier when we were inside watching someone else get wet!  Haha!

I found myself going out to the garage several times to just watch the rain.  It was amazing.  My garden had new life the next morning.  The flowers had more color in the yard.  It was like a miracle happened.   Even walking the next morning, my neighbor mentioned that they were in awe at the window watching the rain.  She said that she checked the radar and there was just this small little pop up rain pocket right over us (for once).   You see, the Beverly Hillbillies have nothing on us!  We were enjoying the simple pleasures for a moment.  We felt blessed.     But, last night, we were back to normal…Rain all around us and only thunder at our house!    

Isn’t it funny how you miss the things that you sometime complain about?  We seem to complain about the rain until we don’t have any for a while.  We complain about the heat until it gets so cold that we wish it was warm again.  Then, we complain about the cold.    Why do we do that?   Why is it that we just never seem to be satisfied with the here and now?    Maybe it’s my mid life wisdom coming into play, but I’m really trying to enjoy the moment.  Life is moving fast, and we’ve got to enjoy each day.  So… laugh in the sunshine and dance in the rain.  I dare you! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Backspace Button

My backspace key has stopped working on my keyboard this morning.  It is very weird.  AND very annoying. Everything else works just fine, but I cannot back up.  So, every time I have a typo, I have to cursor over and hit the delete key.  Amazingly, I thought I was an excellent typist.     However, with this new development, I have discovered that I rely very heavily on the backspace key.   In fact, I tried to backspace 3 times in typing the last sentence alone.  I can’t keep my train of thought when I’m typing.  AND, knowing that I cannot backspace just makes me make more mistakes.  How weird is that?

So… of course, this made me start thinking about how this relates to life.  No backing up… no looking back… what does this mean?   There’s an old saying “ You can’t see where you’re going, if you’re looking at where you’ve been.”   True, we need to focus forward.  But, being able to back up a little bit and make a correction would be wonderful.  What if life had a backspace button?  What if every time you said something wrong, or did something wrong, you could backup and redo it?   When you accidentally told your spouse that they looked like they were getting fat, you could hit the backspace button and rephrase it.  Many a relationship could be saved by a backspace button.  Or if your kid did something stupid and you laughed when you were supposed to show concern, you could hit the backspace button and show the proper emotion ( then you could laugh without their knowledge when you retold the story to ALL your friends!)    Wow, life would be great with a backspace button!   Just being able to back up and act like nothing ever happened would be very cool.  

But, thinking some more… how slack would I be if I could just back up and retry every time I made a big mistake?   Would I ever learn anything?  I tend to the type of person that learns a whole lot more from my mistakes than I do from my victories.  And, I tend to look at each mistake as an opportunity to move forward with a little more knowledge.  And… I’m not really all that good at going backwards.  (Emotionally or physically).  
It is a known fact that I CANNOT back up my car to save my life.  I am the worst backer upper I know.  If you see me move the gearshift to R, then get the HECK OUT OF DODGE because it is dangerous.   In my defense, I have a small SUV and cannot see anything out the back that is lower than about 3 feet.  The side mirrors work fine, but I still have a blind spot right in the back.  I NEED a BACKUP camera or a backup alarm, and I have several dead mailboxes and a ding in my daughter’s FRONT bumper to prove it!    Knowing that I can’t  back up has added some stress to my life, but it has also made me concentrate harder, slow down, pay more attention and try to get it right the first time.   So, if life would just give me a back up alarm to warn me (and everyone else)  every time I was moving backwards, that would be great too.    

But, life doesn’t really give you backspace buttons or back up alarms or rewind buttons.  You’re kind of stuck with all the dumb things you do and say.  However,  we do have a replay button!  We can go back and replay all the special times in our lives and enjoy them as many times as we want in our head.  And women are equipped with a special DVR type recall button that lets them replay every mistake their husband ever made (and what she was wearing when it happened!) 

While we can’t always backspace and retry, we can be the kind of people that let other people have that second chance.  What if, every time someone you knew (or didn’t know) was allowed to “backspace” and try again when they messed up?  How peaceful would your life be if you allowed someone to backup and retry and TRULY know that all was forgiven AND forgotten?    WOW!  God shows us that Mercy, but do we do the same for others?   Well… maybe we should fix our backspace key and let others use it!  If  we can use the replay button, surely we can use that backspace button too!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mashed Potatoes... That's Unusual!

I love a funny commercial.  Always have!  And, in my house growing up, we were really bad about repeating the funny lines from a commercial ad nauseum.   We would laugh and laugh, and basically, no one got it but us.   But, hey… who can complain about growing up with corny humor?  Not me, that’s for sure. 

When I was a teenager, there was this one Stove Top Stuffing commercial that came out that was that corny type of humor that we loved.    A man was sitting at the dinner table and his wife was serving food on his plate.  He said “Mashed Potatoes... That’s unusual.”   And the wife gave  him this really mean look and just plopped  the potatoes on the plate.  This commercial made me laugh out loud!  It’s not a very memorable commercial and  I’m not sure why we thought it was funny, but go figure… Some things just hit you funny, and you can’t explain it. 

So… wait… there’s more…  At Thanksgiving that year, we were all sitting at the table with all the bowls of food in the center, family style.   And my dad asked me to pass the potatoes.  So, I couldn’t resist.  I picked a big spoon of potatoes and said “Mashed Potatoes… THAT’s Unusual!”  and flung the potatoes onto his plate.  Only, it was an EPIC FAIL!  I missed his plate!  Potatoes went everywhere!  Some hit Dad, some hit the floor, and some hit the cat that was sitting at Dad’s feet begging for food.  The cat screeched, jumped straight up in the air, and came down hissing up a storm!  Dad just gave me a blank stare, and there was TOTAL silence in the room.  Scott, Chris, Mom and I all just held our breath and stared at each other in disbelief.  Basically, there are two good rules to follow at the dinner table.  One, don’t throw food, and two, NEVER throw food at your DAD!   We didn’t know whether to laugh or RUN!    The silence seemed like hours, but I’m pretty sure it was only seconds.  Then, Dad just busted out laughing!  Whew!  And my Dad has this amazing belly laugh that makes everyone laugh.   We could not contain ourselves at the table.  We were laughing so hard that no noise was coming out.   Dad was laughing about the cat and it was hysterical watching him re-enact the cat’s shock at being covered in potatoes.  We would calm down for a minute, then someone would snicker under their breath, and we would all just start laughing again.   I can’t even remember if we ever really ate.  We couldn’t stop laughing long enough.  

Yes…It’s true that the way someone makes you feel is much more important than what they say.  And, I have so many fond memories growing up in a house full of laughter.  Granted, we fought like normal families, but we laughed even harder.  It’s been about 35 years since this happened.  But, still to this day, when we have mashed potatoes, my Dad will pick up the spoon and say “Mashed Potatoes…. That’s unusual”… And it’s still funny!  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Patti Jo

 My friend Patti Jo is dying.  And, like she did with life, she’s handling death with an amazing Grace that I am very blessed to witness.  

First let me tell you about the bubble of a woman that is Patti Jo.  She is a fellow realtor that I have had the pleasure of working with on several deals over the year.  She goes 100 mph, always smiling, always positive and always helping others.  She LOVES to promote other people’s business.  She is known and loved in Lilburn for all that she does for the city.  And over the past few years, she’s been winding down her real estate business and picking up her camera.  She has taken thousands of pictures of Lilburn residents and shared them in various publications here in our town.   In fact, I heard that when the announcer at the Christmas Parade asked “Raise your hand if you’ve had your picture taken by Patti Jo”,   there were very few people that didn’t raise their hands. 

But Patti Jo has cancer.  She battled valiantly for a while, until it metastasized throughout her body.  At that point, she decided that she really didn’t want to go through her last days with chemo and all the side effects.  Don’t misunderstand, she’s not a quitter!  Quite the opposite.  She’s facing death on her own terms.  And I have absolute, total respect for her decision.

I was blessed to have some time with her this past week.  And before I got the chance to really sit down and talk with her, I would just get sad every time I thought about it.    But, as always, I left her with a smile on my face.  You see, facing death has given her a wisdom that is just amazing.  She said that we all have to die at some point, she’s just dying sooner than she had hoped.  She told me that knowing she is dying is a gift, not a curse.  She’s said everything she wanted to say, she’s put all her affairs in order, cleaned out her house, given away possession of meaning to friends and family, and just generally made time to get her arms around dying.  She is at peace. 

The funny thing is, I really didn’t know what to say to a friend that is dying.  And, I found that she had more wisdom for me than I could ever have for her.  She told me that I needed to remember to find a way to remain calm in every situation.  Hmmmm…  she knows me, and she knows that I am a 100 mph girl too, and calm isn’t one of my strong suits! J  So, I took this advice as a promise to remember to think of Patti Jo every time I thought I might lose my cool. 

She also said that I should always handle everything I do with integrity.  This is something that I already live by.  She told that she respected me for my honesty and integrity.  And, you know what, hearing that from her meant the world to me.

Then she said to always do everything you can to promote other people.  Promote their business, promote their ideas, and just generally help other people succeed.  This is something that she was very good at doing.  I know this personally, because anytime that we worked together, it was always a win/win scenario.  And, while I do try to promote other people that do good jobs for me, I can and should do more of this. 

So, as you can see, a dying woman took the time to remind me to live.  Live life fully, give honestly, give more, and just generally give back.  Patti Jo is amazing, and I am blessed to know her.  And, while I listened to what she said, it’s what she didn’t say that meant the most.  You see, I walked away knowing that I am better for knowing her. And, I realized that more than anything else, that is what I want people to say about me when I die. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

What causes hot flashes?

Considering that I am working my way into menopause and I want to do it gracefully, I thought I would see if I could get to the bottom of some of these annoying symptoms.  Basically, I’m doing just great, and it’s not too bad so far.  However, the hot flashes are a big ole pain in the patootie!   Yep… I’m fine one minute, then I’m totally soaked the next.  I like to call them “my little side trip to the Bahamas”.   But, as fun as that name sounds, it’s not exactly a walk on the beach!  So, I thought I would see if I could figure out what I could do about them.   What I really wanted to know is what happens to your body to make it get hot.  But, I could not articulate how to ask question at first.  

So, I searched “Hot flashes”  and I found out that menopause can cause hot flashes.  NO WAY!  Really?  Who knew?   I also found out that Dengue fever can cause them.  And, since I haven’t been to Africa or South America lately, I’m guessing it’s menopause. 

In my research for the hows and whys  of hot flashes, I went to my all time favorite site – Google and entered “What causes Hot Flashes?”  I found a plethora of information from people in the medical field (mostly men, I’m sure!).  And while it was enlightening, it didn’t really help AT ALL!   Let me share some of the best:  

Better Medicine says -  Hot flashes are short, sudden feelings of heat that can occur across the entire body or in parts of the body.   – Really?  Well, they did not consult with me on this explanation, because some of mine are NOT short!

Mayo ClinicHot flashes that occur at night might interrupt your sleep.   Really???  Who knew?   They also interrupt my husband’s sleep.  I wake up and throw all the covers off me in one swift move.  If it doesn’t scare the heck out of him and wake him up, he wakes up in a few minutes anyway from his own personal heat wave.   

WebMDHot Flashes may accompany other symptoms such as:
  • Sweating -    And just how long have you been a rocket scientist?
  • Changes in mood,  personality or behavior  -  You had better believe that jumping up and fanning myself, then stripping off clothing for no apparent reason IS NOT my normal behavior!  
 WebMD  - Symptom relief – stay cool   WOW…. (Just WOW!) 

34-menopause-symptomsCommon triggers for Hot Flashes:
  • Warm environments And cold environments, and cool environments, and nippy environments,  and Antarctic environments… and just being in an environment.   
  • Hot spicy foods -  OK,  I’ll give you that one because I’ve seen non-menopausal men have hot flashes from this!
  • Over consumption of caffeine, alcohol or sugar -  WHAT?   This is not a trigger, this is a result!   I drink too much caffeine because I wake up 15 times a night stripping off clothes and the covers.  And…  if it weren’t for menopause, I wouldn’t NEED sugar or alcohol! 

Medicine Net  - Anxiety worsens hot flashes!   …. BACKWARDS… hot flashes CAUSE Anxiety,  just like menopause causes drinking!   

Power-Surge -   Thinner women may experience more hot flashes since fat cells convert hormones secreted by the adrenals into estrogen(in other words, it is wise to retain a little extra weight during menopause).      So, basically what you’re saying is that thinner equates to HOTTER!  Duh!  I swear a man wrote this!  

So basically, I really didn’t learn a thing about hot flashes that I hadn’t already figure out for myself.  And, I found out that the medical field doesn’t really know either!  Either that, or they think that trying to explain it to menopausal woman is just a waste of time.   I tried searching on “what causes hot flashes”,  what happens to your body during a hot flash”,  why do I have hot flashes” , “explain hot flashes” and numerous other choices.  After a lot of searching, I found a site that said that losing estrogen messes with the hypothalamus (the body’s thermostat) and tricks it into thinking that you’re cold, so your body reacts by heating up.  Dang… I’ve heard of playing ‘Hide and Seek”,  but “Trick the Hypothalomas?”  Now that’s one game I NEVER thought I would be playing! 

I guess, based on research, I’ve got a few more years of these little side trips or power surges or whatever you want to call them.  So, you’re all just going to have to get used to my “glowing personality”, because it’s here to stay for a little longer. J

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The 5 minute Pity Party

What you need to know about me, is that I am generally a pretty positive person.  But, when I “fall off the wagon”,  it’s best to run for cover instead of trying to cheer me up.  There is nothing that you can say or do to help.  Basically, I don’t want to be cheered up. 

But, I’m not one to dwell in my misery for very long.  I don’t like that at all.  So… when I feel blue, instead of trying to cheer myself up, I just allow 5 minutes to feel sorry for myself.  Crazy?   Why yes it is!  But, it works for me.  I found over the years when I tried to cheer myself up, I just stayed blue a little longer.  So, I decided that the best thing I could do was to just let it all out!  I  have a 5 minute pity party. NO ONE else is invited.  I just have it all by myself.  Why make everyone else miserable, right?  I’m just giving myself permission to validate my mood, accept that I feel sad about something, and then move on. 

The 5 minute pity party has been an integral part of my sanity (I use that term loosely-haha!).    But, let me tell you that being a mom, being a wife, being a business owner, being a sister, going through menopause, etc… all will give you headaches and heartaches sometimes.     And, sometimes, you may even feel sad for no reason that you can figure out.  And, when you dwell on it, you just let it snowball into a huge deal.  So… just give yourself a break, and feel sad for a minute or two, or five.   Then get over it, and move on.  Denying it only causes a huge blow up later on, and dwelling on it just makes everyone else miserable.  It’s no fun trying to cheer someone up that doesn’t want to be cheered up so why on God’s green earth would you expect someone else to do it for you?    It only makes sense to allow yourself a few minutes to accept the mood, deal with it, and move on to phase 2.  And phase 2 is the part where you automatically cheer yourself up because you realize that YOU don’t even buy into any of the stinking thinking that you just allowed to play out.  

Life's way too short to let a bad mood mess with you!  And it's way to short to share your bad mood with everybody else!  You know what?  I’ve found over the years that when I have my own little ‘pity party’, 5 minutes is all I can take of my sad self anyway!  So thank goodness I don't invite anyone else to THAT party!       

Monday, July 4, 2011

A trip down Peachtree...

Today, I turned 50.  And as I have done for my birthday many, many times, I ran the Peachtree Road race.   I started running this race on my 23rd birthday.  I’ve missed a few years for various reasons (babies, travels, laziness).  But, today, I celebrated my 19th Peachtree road race.  And, I have some very fond memories along the way.

The first year I ran, there were only 25,000 participants.  Nope… I’m not among the elite that ran it when there were only several hundred runners.  It was already an event to be attended when I started.  And,  I really didn’t know WHAT to expect. 

I had just started running regularly that year, and completing Peachtree was my goal.  Now, being young and na├»ve, I thought I could definitely make a mark on Peachtree.  I had NO idea!  Tom dropped me off, and planned to meet at the Delta tent when I finished.  However, what we didn’t count on was that it would take a lot longer than one of my normal runs.  It actually only took me about 5 or ten minutes to cross the starting line that year.  But, I was running up Cardiac Hill when I heard the announcement on someone’s radio that the first runner had crossed the finish line.  DANG!  I was just at the halfway point.  I didn’t win!  Hahaha!   But, I was amazed at all the Shepherd Spinal clinic patients that were out there watching, listening to the race, and cheering us on.  

At the five mile mark, I hit the wall, and started to stop and walk.  This older man came by and grabbed my arm.  He said, “Don’t stop now sweetie!  I’m 76 years old, if I can do it, you can do it!”   And… he would not let me stop until we crossed the finish line! 

When I finally made it to the end of the race, Tom was NOWHERE to be found.  I hung out at the Delta tent for a long time, and really didn’t have any idea how I would find him.  Cell phones had not been invented (I KNOW!) , and the crowd was huge.  Finally, he came straggling up.  And, to my major embarrassment, he admitted that he had gotten worried when all the runners kept coming in, so he had gone to the medical tents to make sure I wasn’t there. You see, even he didn’t think I would make it out alive! 

Many years have passed, and many races have followed. This year there were 60,000 runners.   There have been years that I didn’t really train, and Tom would AGAIN worry that he would have to check the medical tents for me.  I have run it pregnant, I have run it injured, I have run it with a group, I have run alone, and I have even trained for it.  But, I have never, after the first race, tried to run it for a personal best.   This is an event!  And, I am not Kenyan! (Surprise!)   

So , this year, my niece ran with me.  She is 25, and I turned 50 today.   I showed her the ins and outs of the race.  We moved from side to side to visit friends holding signs,avoid sprayers, find water tables, find open spaces, etc.    This year, I found myself as the seasoned veteran cheering on the new runner.  I honestly never thought I would still love doing this.  And to think that I was worried about turning 50!

Last year, I didn’t get my number and the amazing people at ATC helped me get it resolved.  I sent the following recap in to Michelle as a Thank You and they published it in the wingfoot magazine:   

Telling the twins’ family how much we missed them at the race – 10 seconds
Stopping to “happy chat” and hug old friends along the course – 120 seconds
Being blessed by a priest – 5 seconds
Having a “5 second dance party” with the steel drum band – 5 seconds
Making sure to tell the volunteers at the water stations thank you – 10 seconds times ???
Greeting all the amazing Shepherd clinic patients along cardiac hill – 30 seconds
Trying to open the freeze pop I received around the 4 mile mark – 10 seconds 
Slowing down to encourage  a runner or walker to keep going – 30 seconds 
Trying to look fresh and smiley at the “finish line”  pictures – 3 seconds
Picking up speed at the finish line when someone yelled “You got this”  -  minus 4 seconds
Crossing the finish line of my 18th Peachtree Road Race running for fun instead of a personal best – PRICELESS! 

Yes, every year is a trip down memory lane for me. It is my birthday present to myself.  And my family drives down to watch because they know it’s what I want to do.  This year, they were standing by the side right at the picture line.  I saw them and turned around to wave.  So… when the pictures were snapped, there was nothing but my backside showing.  I sure hope it gives the race coordinators a chuckle!  Oh well, I guess it will be motivation for next year! 

One year, when I’m a whole lot older, I plan to be a spectator and cheer all the other people on.  But, that will be a long time from now… If that 76 year old man I met my first year can do it, so can I!  

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Puffball looks at Fifty...

At the end of every year, I take stock and see how I’m doing with life in general.  Am I kind enough, have I set goals and kept them, have I taken good care of the body God gave me and the people he put in my life?  But, mostly, I just try to see if I am a little better person at the end of the year than I was at the beginning.  And, any shortcomings that I find become goals at New Years.  HA!  That’s basically a load of crap!  Because, basically, I set the same goals EVERY year, so apparently, I don’t seem to think I’m making any progress.  Yes,  I set goals at the beginning of every year,  then I do a gut check around my birthday, which just happens to be close to half way through the year.   So,  basically, I have a mid-year checkup. 
This year, my mid-year check up just happens to be my mid-life check up too. Yes… I’m turning 50.  So, I think I should share with you some of the things that I have learned along the way:

1.      Every year, I say I’m going to lose 20 lbs.  And every year, I don’t.  But I work hard trying, and I think I’m healthier for it.  Fluff and all!
2.      The Nationwide commercial is right…  Life comes at you fast.  And,  the older you get, the faster it comes. So, unless you can run really fast, you better be prepared for what life brings you NOW! 
3.      I’ve learned that if I didn’t procrastinate, I wouldn’t have anything to do tomorrow!  (Just kidding!)
4.      I’ve learned that you should never suppress a burp.  It just works its way out eventually, and it might not come out the end you want it to, or when you want it to!  (OK, sorry to my prudish friends, but you know you laughed anyway!)
5.      I’ve learned that suppressing a sneeze isn’t really a good thing for a menopausal woman either… But, the makers of Depends have made a fortune over suppressed sneezes.  So, I wonder… are they called Depends because we can Depend on them, or because they can Depend on us? 
6.      I’ve learned that if you are a happy person, the corniest things can make you laugh.  So, if you’re not laughing at the corny stuff, you need to work on getting happy!     
7.      I’ve learned that sometimes, I just think really funny thoughts and laugh out loud for no apparent reason.
8.      I’ve also learned that some of those funny things just should not be shared with others!   
9.      I’ve learned that a chocolate won’t solve your problems.  Neither will Margaritas.  But, as long as you can afford either one, how bad could your problems be, really?   
10.  I’ve learned that I can annoy my kids with simple phrases like “It’s a Christmas Miracle”, or “oohhhh, it touched the Butt’, or “5 second Dance Party”, or “Quit yer yaking”…. The simple phrases that have made it to the “Things my mother is banned from saying list” hold a special place in my heart!
11.    I’ve learned that Average people compare themselves with others, that’s why they are average.  So, run your best race and stop checking to see how you measure up with the average people.
12.  I’ve learned that putting your hand to something and completing it is far more rewarding than paying someone to do it for you.  
13.  I’ve learned that the people that bring you the greatest joy are also the ones that hurt you the most.  So you just have to remember to love them though it all.
14.  I’ve learned that one of the greatest gifts my husband ever gave me is the opportunity to keep my good girlfriends. 
15.  I’ve also learned that God had me on his mind before I was born because he put everything in place to make sure that I found the perfect husband.   
16.  I’ve learned that I have a soft side and a funny side.  And, sometimes, I switch back and forth really fast, and sometimes, I stay on one side longer than I should.
17.  I’ve learned that nothing good lasts forever, and nothing bad lasts forever. So, just roll with it!
18.  I’ve learned that 50 doesn’t even feel old… It feels like I’m just getting started.    At some point, I am going to have to grow up! 

This barely sums up it up, but it’s a good start!  I did a quick gut check and I’m feeling pretty good for the half way mark… I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’ve learned a lot too.   So, I think I’ll spend the next 50 years doing a lot more of the same crazy stuff I’ve always done.  Life’s been good to me so far, so why mess with it?