Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two very light thoughts/discoveries for this blustery cold and snowy day...

1) As a home school mom, I have decided that when I talk to myself, I am not crazy, I am having a parent-teacher conference.

2) If I don't dust around and under my Nativity scene, can I just say that all that dust is the dirt on the stable floor?

Just sayin'....

Be blessed!
Jeanne

Friday, December 14, 2012

Maggie Memories...

As I mentioned earlier, I am a writer, but I am in no way a poet! So do not hold me to any poetic standard as you read the following "poem" I wrote to be read at my mom's memorial service in 2007. It just came to me (which is weird, because poetry NEVER just comes to me) in a time of intense grief and I felt compelled to jot it down. I know my grammar is even lacking in this piece... sorry :)  My mom was incredibly generous with her time and meager resources. She was always there when we (my brother, sister or I) needed her and she loved her 11 grandbabies dearly.

If there was a meal to be cooked
A baby being born
A need to be filled
She was there...
If there was a house needing cleaned
A toilet needing scrubbed
A wall needing paint
She was there...
If encouragement was needed
If a hurt needed healing
If a story needed to be heard
She was there...
Her heart was filled with compassion and mercy for others.
If you had the pleasure of knowing her, you were truly blessed.
Go forth and be a blessing in honor of her memory.

Be well. Live well.







Monday, December 10, 2012

Who am I?

Hello there!

I have been asked quite a few times as of late, when people find out I am a writer, "do you have a blog?" When I answer in the negative, I receive a strange look and a, "you should start one." So, here I am. I'm a writer, so I should write, right? 

In case you are wondering....

I  am a wife of 28 years, married to my high school sweetheart. I am a mom to three precious blessings from the Lord. My oldest daughter is 23 and she has been a wife since May of this year :). My middle son is 19, and my youngest son is 13. They have all been home schooled by yours truly (gasp!). My youngest son makes up the entirety of our classroom now. He is our last chance to "get it right"  and fix everything we did "wrong" or didn't get to do, with the older two... poor guy! 

Other words/titles that define me are: Occupational Therapist, Health Coach, Freelance Writer, karate student, breast cancer survivor, wanna-be gardener and most importantly, Child of the Risen King, Washed-in-the-blood-of-Jesus, Born Again Believer!

I am a high energy (sounds so much more appealing than Type-A) person most of the time, with ideas streaming into my poor brain faster than I can react to them, so learning balance is definitely a work in progress. I believe everyone should always be reading at least two books (I am presently in the middle of at least five, which I really don't recommend) - one for fun and one for improvement/learning (self, work, spiritual, health, hobby, etc.). Learning should never stop so as to preserve as many precious brain cells as possible. As I approach the big five-oh, I need all the help I can get. 

Family is very important to me. I am more than half Scottish (my mom was from Edinburgh), but I was raised in a large Italian family where food equaled love! Food (and the kitchen) was always the center of all gatherings. One could have a 5000 sq. ft. home (not that any of us ever did) and still, everyone would gather in the kitchen tasting everything as it came out of the oven. To refuse food from an Italian momma was a cardinal sin and was sure to be met with, "what! You don't like my food?"

I'll never forget when my very quiet, non-Italian husband and I were dating, he asked, "why is your family always yelling at each other?" "What are you talking about?" (insert accent) I questioned as only an Italian New Yorker could. Ha! In our family, no one ever stopped talking, if you wanted to say something, you had to jump in and talk louder than the next person. Pretty soon there would be a roomful of people "talking" at unrecognizable decibels.  I am happy to report however, that after 32 years with me, my husband has gotten used to it.... maybe...

Another thing he has gotten used to, bless his sweet heart, is the characteristic Italian good-bye. It goes something like this. Start saying good-bye in the kitchen. "Oh wait, didn't you want to take home some manicotti for Tony?... Sit, I'll get it." New conversation begins about Rose or a neighbor or why Tony couldn't come. Move to the living room and begin good-bye's to people who weren't in the kitchen. "Oh, are you leaving already? OK wait, I'll get your coat. Did I show you the new wallpaper Frank put in the bathroom? It's beautiful! Come, I'll show you. We'll only be a minute (never believe an Italian when they say this)." With coats donned, everyone, and I mean everyone, is in the front hallway saying good-bye. Many new conversations start as the group moves outside. Still, as everyone is walking to and getting in their vehicles, the conversations continue, louder now because of the distance. "OK, alright, I'll call you tomorrow. Be careful! Tell Tony Hi. Don't forget the manicotti is in the trunk - it'll go bad. OK,  call me when you get home so I don't worry." The hosts yell their good-bye's as the cars back out of the driveway and continue until they are out of sight. Time elapsed since the first good-bye? 45 minutes, minimum. After many years of this (no, really, we're leaving) my husband, wisely, doesn't even get off the sofa until I'm in the car. He is currently training my non-Italian son-in-law (he's a quick study) in the way of the "45-minute Italian Good-bye."

That was a little more about family than I anticipated, but it fits with the title of this blog - Bits and Pieces - It's really just Bits and Pieces of life, thoughts, loves... That title is in memory of my mom, Maggie, who suddenly and tragically (for us, not God) went to her heavenly home 4 days before her 68th birthday in August of 2007. It's a Scottish term she used for her "stuff." "Oh, I just have some wee bits and pieces for you to pick up." "Let me just put away my bits and pieces and I'll be over." I always loved the way she said that... more after she was gone. So the term was fitting for this blog. Just wee bits and pieces of me, written to whomever should stop by. I hope you are blessed by my words  in laughter, enlightenment, encouragement, enrichment (didn't intend to use so many "e" words...) or some other way I never even imagined.

Be well. Live well. Love abundantly.

God bless,
Jeanne