Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch, Thank You!

I'm sure you're wondering why I have the lovely family photo of Randy Pausch. I heard the news today, and I wanted to thank him.

Dr. Pausch passed away this morning. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006, and wrote one of the most inspiring lectures I have ever heard. It's called "The Last Lecture", and the abridged version "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" (the version he did on Oprah). In April, the book "The Last Lecture" hit the bestseller list that was co-written with Jeffrey Zaslow.

Dr. Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the lecture was written more for his children than for his students, and it has inspired millions.

I've written about Dr. Pausch before, if you scroll through the archives here, you will see I was truly inspired by his positive attitude despite his terminal diagnosis.

My condolences to his family, especially his wife and children. But many thanks to him for showing all of us that it's not important the manner in which you pass from this life. It's what you do with your life when you're here that matters.

Go acheive your childhood dreams. Live the life you dream of, because you never know when it may be gone.

A Phone Call, More Letters & Some Good News

Alex called me on July 14. I know, you're looking at the date wondering why I didn't blog then instead of now. A lot has been happening around here.

First, the phone call. He called me when I was at work, and I have a huge dose of "Mommy Guilt" because I didn't recognize his voice on the phone at first. He sounded good, and a lot of my worries were laid to rest when I heard the tone of his voice. He says boot sucks, of course, but it's not as bad as he thought it was going to be, and he figured out right away that if you do what you're told, do it the way they want it done and keep your mouth shut, you're ok. He said some in his division haven't figured that out yet. He was in great spirits, and it sounded like he's having the time of his life. I know he's going to be great and successful in his Navy career.

Graduation is August 15, and QH and I are going. I would walk in hot asphalt in my bare feet to get there, if I had to, so there will be no stopping me from seeing him graduate. We have our reservations set, and I'm looking forward to seeing him. He'll have liberty that weekend so we can go have some fun. Then he goes to school, which will be there in Great Lakes, so he only has to move across the street.

He's also sent a few letters since then. The latest arrived on Thursday. He said he as 4 weeks of school and then he can come home for a leave. It would be sometime in October. He said he would be home for Christmas. (Yea!)

I can't wait for him to read the latest letter I sent him. I'm sure he's going to laugh. We got some news this week, some good news.

QH called me and asked if I felt "older". No, not really, why? He said he did and I asked why. "I'm going to be a grandpa."


Yep, it's true. His son, Jess and his fiancee, Patrice, are expecting!! I guess in a round about way, that makes me "Grandma"!!

I cried. Of course, I did. Tears of joy. I know I'm only 39, but it doesn't matter. Alex always teased that I would be a Grandma before I hit 40!! He's going to crack up laughing when he finds out.

I'm happy for them and pray the baby is healthy. I told QH that we would spoil the child and send him or her home!! No problem with that!! It's going to be fun, and great practice for when Alex settles down (in about 30 years) and has kids!!

The writing career is well under way, and now I have more motivation to retire early. I'll have a grandbaby to chase around!!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th of July!!

Sometimes I wonder what the hell goes through my head.

I misunderstood QH when we were talking about plans for this weekend. I thought we had nothing going on, so I offered to dogsit for my parents (Molly, the Sheltie), and for my sister, Kelley and her husband (Boney the Bulldog). Well, lets just say things at home have been tense the last few days, and now I am sitting at home blogging while he's up north fishing at Lake Mille Lacs. Sigh.

Don't feel sorry for me, I was the one who agreed to dogsit, not him. I didn't expect him to stay home with me over the weekend being pissed about us having 2 dogs in the house. Serves me right for not clarifying our plans in the first place. I hope he's catching fish, at least, and he's not alone. He's staying up there with our friends, Bob and Connie at their cabin.

Just for the record, this will be the LAST TIME I dogsit. The bulldog has been a pain in the ass. He doesn't listen. He chases anything with wheels. He crapped right outside my deck where QH stepped in it this morning. He took off down the road with Molly running behind him and he wouldn't come back. I thought Molly would be the bigger pain! She's been an angel!!

Anyway, the neighbors have been having a great fireworks show around here. The dogs don't like it though. They both want me to pet them, comfort them, and they both want to sit in my lap while I'm on the computer. The noise has finally settled down, and the show was great! They are still hiding in the corner.

I'm hoping to get some writing work done since I'm alone here in the house. Maybe that's why God gave me the Senior Moment and had me screw up my weekend so I could write, get my stuff done and make some money. I know, it's a stretch, but I'll take it. And I got the day off at the factory, so that's a plus also.

The 4th of July isn't just picnics, parades and fireworks. It's time with your family and friends, the celebration of summer's peak. The corn is knee high (or close to it here). The crops are a little behind this year. The weather today has been fabulous. We have a lot to be grateful for in the United States of America, the greatest country in the world.

If you meet someone who is a veteran, or someone in active military duty, no matter what branch of the service they are in, walk up to them, shake their hand, and THANK THEM. We have the rights we do, and the ability to exercise those rights and we have our military men and women to thank for that. Even if you don't agree with the war in Iraq, our men and women are still serving in a VOLUNTEER military, and we need to support them any way we can. Their families are making the sacrifice as well, and if there is anything you can do to help them out, do it. Make donations to organizations that serve our military families, or veterans. Adopt a soldier through organizations like Operation Minnesota Nice. Even just a card or letter expressing your thanks will mean the world to them.

No call from my son in Navy boot camp. But I'm sure he's celebrating this 4th of July in a manner that he will never forget. And I'm so proud to be his Mom.

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A second letter from Alex

I came home from work tonight and there was another letter from Alex. It was dated Sunday, June 29th. This time, it was an actual 2-page letter, not just 3 lines at the bottom of the last page of a form letter.

He said things are going better than he expected. He isn't sure when he will be able to call, but he's doing everything he can to make that possible. And he needs another phone card. :)

I will update everyone when I get a call. I'm hoping it will be tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday. Keep your fingers crossed, say a prayer, light candle, whatever ritual you want to do, that he can call.

Thanks, and support our troops and remember them and the sacrifices they and their families are making this 4th of July weekend. Without them, we would not be able to celebrate our country's freedoms. Honor them.