Thursday, July 16, 2015

Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Serenity Turns 19!

On June 7th, my middle child, Serenity "Wren" Singer, turned 19. I couldn't be more proud of her, and I am blessed to be her mother.

Happy birthday, Wren! 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

People I May Know...?

Sometimes, Facebook's "People You May Know" (PIMK) list can be...strange. 

This post started out as "Don't Stop Believin'," after I found this on my "Friends You May Know" list: 

But Facebook wasn't done insisting I know a celebrity or two. For instance...

So now, I will use this post to update you ZPT fans on just how many celebrities and famous folks Facebook believes I am likely to make my BFF.  

For example...

This should be fun...!


I may not know him...but wish I did! He's Dr. Frankenfurter! The butler from "Clue"! Rooster in the only good film version of "Annie"! That guy who ripped off Dan on "Roseanne"! 

Finally, one of the celebrity "friends" makes sense!
After all, we both have MS, and I subscribe to his foundation's website and magazine. It's nice to get one of these PIMKs who really is a person I have something in common with.

And then there's this one...

Not only do I have nothing in common with this particular PIMK...but I am also fairly certain he is dead, which must make it difficult to check one's Facebook. And as a Christian, even a very non-traditional one like myself, he is just not gonna be a bosom buddy...

This next one I am only one degree away from, according to the time-honored rules of Six Degrees of Separation:

99% of you now probably think I smoke so much reefer, the powers-that-be at Facebook has no choice but to believe that Cheech and I just must be friends. Don't lie. I know you did.

It probably doesn't help that I live in Oregon: the first state to decriminalize small personal amounts of marijuana (way back in the early 70's!), one of the first to legalize medical marijuana, and now it's the latest in a handful of states to decriminalize it altogether. 

But I suspect the real reason has to do with a certain "That 70's Show" star I met a few years ago.

No, not that one. This one:

I met Tommy Chong and his lovely wife, Shelby, at an autograph-signing gig at Mary Jane's House of Glass. I was in my scooter, and when it came time to take a photo with Jonathan and the Chongs (band name idea alert!), Tommy offered to come to me, but I assured him I could stand and walk the few steps to him. As I started getting up, Tommy stood up, waved his arms like Vegas magician...

...and loudly proclaimed, "For my next trick, my lovely assistance will arise! ARISE!"

The whole shop erupted with laughter! And I was quite flattered: I can now proudly say that Tommy Chong once created a joke, just for me. 

I then shook the man's hand and said...

ME: I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
TC: Thanks, but...why?
ME: For all the hard work you've done over the years for medical marijuana. Thanks to you and others like you, I have that option if and when I ever need it. Thank you, on behalf of me and my support group. Many of them would be on far worse shape without that option. 
TC: You're welcome, man. It's a cause that's important to me. I've met a lot of great people who need it and don't need to be afraid of getting busted for it. (short pause) Is it ok to ask?

(I knew exactly what he meant and was touched that he both cared & asked if I wanted to share my medical diagnosis rather than just asking what's wrong with me and expecting an answer. Too many people do that, and it's a big pet peeve of mine.)

ME: I have a progressive form of multiple sclerosis.
TC: That's rough, man. You hanging in there?
ME: Every day!
TC: (shaking my hand again) Stay strong!

I immediately added him on Facebook, and have enjoyed his infrequent but enjoyable posts. I prayed for him when he got diagnosed with cancer not long after we met...and I prayed for him when he got yet another cancer diagnosis last week. 

If I could say anything to Tommy Chong, it would be the words he so kindly said to me on the day we met: stay strong!


Yep, there's more PIMK to share with y'all, such as...

Is it just me, or does he look like he's been spending a lot of time in Colorado recently?

Maybe he's just very relaxed. Laid-back.

I don't think that could be said of this next celebrity to show up in my PIMK list:

I must say, I'm pretty impressed that 22 of my friends are also Daniel Trejo's friends!

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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Happy 22nd Birthday, Phoenix!

Today my oldest child, Phoenix, turns 22.

We'll be having dinner with him and girlfriend Olivia tonight. I'm excited! 

          Phoenix & Olivia, last Christmas

It's hard to believe that he's 22. It doesn't seem like all that long ago, when after six hours of labor (four of which I slept through), they placed that sweet little baby in my arms. 

As an added bonus, here's what I saw on Phoenix's Facebook feed this afternoon:

I'm a proud mama, indeed! 

          Phoenix's 21st birthday 

Now lately, there was some question as to whether or not Phoenix is her real name. Rest assured, it is. 

          Jonathan's Phoenix tattoo

He's named after an ancestor of mine, who worked on the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper. And it's a great name, if I do say so myself. 

         Phoenix's 18th birthday tattoo

My birthday wish for Phoenix this year: enjoy your studies, be open to new friends and new experiences, and have dinner with your mother every now and again. ;-)

          Phoenix as Jafar from "Aladdin"!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

RIP, Dad

Today is the fifth anniversary of my dad's death. It still feels so fresh. 

I thought it would be nice to tell a positive story about my father. So, here goes...

My father was an infamous workaholic. A sixty hour work week made him feel "lazy." He loved his work, and long periods of inaction were just intolerable to him. His first attempt to retire lasted only a few months, and we were all surprised it last that long.

Given his penchant for work work work, you'd think he'd be miserable on vacation, but nothing could be further from the truth. 

My dad believed that vacations were a necessity, and cited several co-workers over the years who "burned out" from all work and no play. As far as he was concerned, vacations made you a better, happier and more effective employee. 

Dad was at his best when on holiday. He loved to travel, and loved spending money while doing it. His demeanor was completely opposite of the surly, angry man he was most of the year. On vacations, no one was happier and more fun to be around. Give him a week off and a full tank of gas, and we'd be on our way. 

It's no surprise that most of my favorite memories of Dad involved his beloved road trips. I remember seeing Niagra Falls together and how much he enjoyed the guided tour in the caves behind the falls. The camping trips at Jellystone Campground. The swimming trips to Caeser's Creek. The fun of visiting family in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. His favorite table at Grandma's on the rez. The frequent fun days at Dollywood. Trips to swim and find seashells at Hollywood Beach in Florida, his preferred ocean view. His penchant for trying little out-of-the-way local diners for his Southern vacation favorites like biscuits & gravy and liver & onions. Even the car trip was fun, as he would joyfully point out his favorite landmarks and roadside attractions, and the list was very long indeed! 

But my very favorite vacation destination with my father? Walt Disney World in Florida.

My great-aunt, with whom my dad was exceedingly close, lived in a suburb of WDW called Lake Wales. We'd stay on her farm, then head out for the park. All in all, I went to WDW nine times. Not bad for a kid who lived in Ohio!

"Love" is not a strong enough word for how my dad felt about WDW. It was like he turned into a completely different person, and that person was obsessed with Disney. He knew every ride, every hidden secret, all the best food and the best places to get those important souviners. 

His favorite ride was Magic Mountain, and we always started our Disney day with a Mickey ice cream. And no visit was complete without a photo with the Mouse himself.

Once, we were on It's a Small World and my little sister lost her Minnie Mouse ring in the water. He didn't think twice, he just reached in and grabbed it back. For some reason, that memory is very strong.

The very best of those nine visits was a special occasion indeed: Donald Duck's birthday. His 50th, if memory serves. We got to stay in the park late and see a special fireworks display and have cake. It was so very much fun! 

I remember my dad putting me up on his shoulders and telling me that this was no ordinary Disney day. It was a special occasion I would always remember, and it was important to him to bring us there to share it all together. 

One of the reasons why it was so memorable, was because my dad did only one impression, and did it spot-on guessed it: Donald Duck.

Thanks to him, I am a Disney parks fanatic myself. I read websites, have Pinterest boards and follow YouTubers like Fresh Baked Disney. And I think one of the reasons I've grown to love Disneyland over Disney World is that I know the latter will never be as fun as it was with my father. 

And yet, Disneyland brings back some of those same wonderful memories and feelings that I had with my dad so many years ago in the Magic Kingdom. I hope to take my kids to WDW someday, and see it through the eyes of a parent, as my dad must assuredly did. 

This year we'll be visiting Disneyland during their Diamond Anniversary. A special occasion we'll never forget, one I know I will be glad to share with my family. 

Just like my father would have wanted. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Happy Birthday, William Shatner!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Flu is Back

My whole family has the flu. Fortunately, it's more of a chest ailment than a stomach bug, for which I am most grateful.

I will now return to my previous program of resting, coughing & watching "The Plague" on the History Channel...