Sunday, April 21, 2013

A lot more good than bad

I actually am going to write a new post. Last week, Don and Shawn and I were in Portland. We spent one day riding the TriMet trains through Downtown Portland.

We love the adventure of it.

At one stop, while waiting for a train, I saw a young mother with two little boys. She was talking to the oldest one about how she expected him to behave when they got on the train. Her youngest son was in a really old beat up umbrella stroller. I was really impressed with how she was with her boys. She sat by us on the train and she was just so good with her little boys it made me smile.

I suddenly had an idea that I wanted to do something nice for her. I quietly pulled my wallet to the top of my purse and looked in it to see how much cash I had on me.

I had 27.00.
Not much really.

But then I thought of my youngest daughter Courtney and how 27.00 to her is a lot. Especially if it's money she wasn't expecting.
So, I took it out of my purse and kind of folded it into the palm of my hand. When we got to the young woman's stop I quickly stopped her and handed her the money and told her it was for her and her sweet little boys.

I know it really took her by surprise but she was extremely gracious and thanked me and was a little choked up. I watched her as we went on by, showing the money to her oldest son and it felt so good to see how happy they were. I've decided that I'm going to try to always have at least 20.00 on me at all times in case I run into someone who needs a little shot of sunshine in their lives. Because, you know, it just felt so good to make a little difference to someone like that.

I know I'm not alone in doing these kinds of things.

After the week we've had, seeing the worst of humanity, but also the very best of it. I have to really agree with the sentiments that have been going around that there is much more good in this world than bad.

I really do believe this.

I think we have an obligation to this world to be nice and kind and to be on the lookout for people who need a little extra happiness in their day.

I don't mean money either.

Just to smile at people and to say kind things to them and have patience with them. Everyone is capable of bringing little bits of happy to those around them.

Sorry, if this sounds preachy. I don't mean it to.

I just want the good people of this world to so completely outnumber the bad. And I would love to hear about whatever you do to make someone's day a little bit brighter.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do I remember 9-11? Of course I do!

I was as affected by 9-11 as every other American, and I realize I'm taking a risk of angering some of my fellow citizens, but when has that ever stopped me.
I am so weary of having the events of 9-11 crammed down my throat by the media.
They tell us what to think, and how to think it, and how we should be feeling and responding to that horrific time 10 years ago.

Today, on Today, they had five of the "children" of that day who had lost a parent. They had been rounded up by the Today Show to put "A Face" to the tragedy of those sad times.

Was it necessary?

Did it help me have more compassion and understanding of what so many went through that day.

No. It did not.

And the reason it didn't is because over the last ten years it has been used by the media, both print and television as one of their top "Go To" stories for those times when there just isn't much happening in the world.

In other words; Fodder for a slow news day.

I can just imagine the giddiness of those news-crews covering such a gut wrenching story as

9-11 Ten Years After

Back to this morning.

There was good old Matt with those children (most of them now in their 20's) who had lost a parent to the horror that was 9-11. Of course the Today Show has been keeping track of them during these last ten years.

And of course, in typical TV journalism fashion, Good old Matt Lauer wanted to know,

How did they FEEL?

Guess what? They were good. They have moved on. They have survived. In fact not only survived but by the sound of it flourished.

And guess what else?

They didn't appreciate all that much being forced to relive that day for the nice Today Show audience.
In so many words a few of them basically told Matt that they prefer to not think about that time. They don't dwell on it. They have;

Moved on.

Has anybody thought about that?

Has it ever occurred to anyone other than me that maybe, just maybe the victims of 9-11 don't really want their entire life defined by that awful tragedy? I'm sure it's occurred to a lot of people actually. I think that maybe someone needs to enlighten the media.

I absolutely believe in the "Never Forget" mentality.

Within reason of course.

One point I would like to make though, is I think what this means is to never forget the mistakes we have made as a people, as a country.
As horrible as 9-11 was it wasn't an event that we caused. I don't really think that any rational person still thinks "Well we brought it on ourselves, hopefully we can learn from our mistakes."

No. Of course not. 9-11 was the result of evil men with evil intentions, wreaking evil on innocent victims.
We have nothing to be ashamed of.

Now, if we really believe in "Never Forget" we need to remember the truly awful things we have done as a people.
The atrocity of slavery. We should also, Never Forget the way Black people were treated after slavery was outlawed. Did we take the chance to repair the evil we had done to the innocent victims of this most horrible chapter in our country's history? Did we engulf these newly freed people in arms of security and prosperity as we should have?
No. We did not.
Instead they were thrown from the frying pan into the fire. the . Segregation, discrimination, horrible Jim Crow laws. Evils that to this day still exist, in part, in certain areas of this country.

We need to Never Forget the forced determent of Japanese citizens during World War 2.
Innocent families rounded up and forced to leave their homes and everything they owned and sent to what were basically concentration camps in THIS country. Most of those victims of US stupidity never got back their homes or property, their jobs, their previous lives.

When was the last time you heard this evil remembered.

The Joseph McCarthy insanity.

Women and Blacks denied the right to vote.

The Trail Of Tears i.e.The deplorable treatment of Native Americans.

There are many wrongdoings that we as a people need to remember and learn from.

9-11 is an event so awful, of such incalculable harm, that yes, we still feel it's effects these ten years later. So of course we will remember.

Erect the monuments.

Engrave the names of the victims.

Grieve for the families who lost loved ones.

That is only natural.

But stop contributing to the media's exploitation of that horrible time and let's all remember in whatever way seems appropriate to each of us.
I will never forget that day, that week, that month, and the years that followed. I will never forget. But, I will claim the right to remember it in

my own way,

on my own terms,

and not the way dictated to me by the media.

I do remember, and I do care, but I refuse to feel any guilt if those early days have become somewhat hazy in my mind.
It doesn't mean I don't care, it just means that I'm human, I have a life, I have my own hardships and I have many happinesses as well.

That's how life is.

That's the power of humanity.

We remember.

But we refuse to let those memories stunt our further growth and development.

We heal and then we move on.

And thank God for that.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Warm nectarines and ice cream

I just had myself a near perfect moment.

I was out running errands, and had brought along a nice, fat, juicy nectarine . . . .

. . . for munchies.

After getting my nails done, and stopping in at Target for necessary Target stuff, I remembered that lovely nectarine.

By now after almost two hours of being in my car in the summer heat, that was one warm and super juicy nectarine.

I took that first bite and it was so dang GOOD.

I immediately started to think how it was too bad I didn't have a nice dish of creamy vanilla ice cream to go with it.

I look across the parking lot and there is a nice friendly little McDonald's.

Oh Boy!!!!!

Five minutes later I'm at the north end of the parking lot eating creamy vanilla soft-serve and a delicious car warmed super juicy nectarine.

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH . . . . . . . SIGH . . . .

And then to make it even better. . . . .

. Satellite by Guster starts to play.

It really was a wonderful, happy, delicious, feel good moment.

And of course it made me think of my poor neglected little blog, and how much I wanted to share.

I did have one other thought at the time. . . .

Would I have enjoyed this as much at 24 or even 44 as I did at 54? I like to think I would have, but I don't know.

It's taken me a while . . . . .

to really grow up . . . . . . .

and set my priorities in order . . . . .

and today I did just that .

Monday, June 27, 2011

Susan's Fashion Flubbery

Another oldie but a goodie. This blogging business really is the closest thing to keeping a journal I have ever done.

It is quarter to six Monday evening and I am home alone.

I like being home alone.

It hardly ever happens.

And the reason I am home alone is because I didn't go to the function I was suppose to go to with Shawn.

Don went instead.

I was going to go to this function and then use it for fodder for my blog. Well obviously that won't happen now. But I just now realized that I can write a blog about not going.


I will explain.

I wonder if any of you know Donna Tracy? I know that Kim and Richard do because apparently she lives by them. Well Donna is one of the sweetest most sincere people you could ever hope to meet.

How do I know her you might ask.

I know her, because she works, as one of the directors, at the ARC. She is the one letting Shawn be a volunteer this summer at Partners and Pals, the ARCs summer camp. Well Donna called me last Tuesday or maybe Wednesday ( I never remember details like that.) She called to tell me about a golf tournament, slash, fund raiser, dinner, being held tonight to benefit the ARC. The Arc has outgrown their current building in Richland and they are planning to build a new one to better serve their needs, and because of this they are doing various fund raising type activities.

Donna didn't tell me about this particular fundraiser because she thought I should be up-dated on the ARC's every move.

No. She told me about it because she wanted Shawn and I to go to it and kinda be spokespeople for the great programs through the Arc that Shawn has participated in and enjoyed so much.
I told her yes of course we could do it.

Then comes the STRESS!

It is being held at the Meadow Springs Country Club from here on known as MSCC. It will be attended by MSCC type people. People that have money to donate to causes such as this. People that are used to fancy dinners. People that know just the right way to dress for occasions like this.

People who are Movers and Shakers.

I am not a Mover or Shaker. I have no desire to be one either. But I do have a desire to help out the ARC because they are such a worthy organization, and they have done so much for Shawn, and for so many other people like Shawn.

So I told Donna yes, and then immediately started to freak out. I had absolutely NO idea what I would wear to something like this. She said she wasn't quite sure either. Something she said, like business casual.

Business casual?????

Even though I can picture what that would be for a man, after all it is a golf tournament. So the men will have on nice casual slacks and nice polo shirts. But I could not picture in my mind what that would translate into for a woman. Donna wasn't really sure either. She said that she was probably going to wear some nice slacks and a nice shirt.


I have nice casual clothes. At this time of the year, I wear mostly Capri pants and nice casual tops. I think I look pretty put together for a stay home mom. But, and this is a big BUT. I see women all the time that work, and look very polished and professional. Also I watch "What Not To Wear" and "How Do I Look. "

I have always wondered how Stacy and Clinton would pick me apart.

I don't have the slightest clue how to look polished and professional. I have always admired women that are, but that is not me. Well I decided to go out and at least try to find something suitable.

I went to Catherine's. The store for Larger Women. Because no two ways about it I am a Larger Woman. Now this doesn't really bother me too much, believe it or not. I'm more comfortable with myself now than I have ever been.

Okay, off to Catherine's.

They have nothing, NOTHING. Everything has a sailor motif with stars and anchors. Or jungle prints. And last, but not least, embroidered flowers. Mind you I don't have a problem with embroidered flowers.


Okay, I tell myself, don't panic. Where have you seen the kind of clothes you have in mind. Hmmm? Gee where do I spend the most time shopping and where do I buy a lot of my clothing?


That's right Walmart and I'm not even embarrassed to admit it. They have a lot of really cute plus size clothes. I can also fit into quite a few of their regular sizes in an extra large.

Yeah, Walmart, good idea.

Well I get to Walmart and start looking around and they suddenly seem like Super Casual Central. There are a few nicer looking, slack type Capri's. The problem is that they have cuffs and they are so long, that instead of looking like nice corporate type Capri's, I will look like I am ready for a flood. So, no, to the nice cuffed slightly corporate looking Capri's. Then I think, wait a minute. In my closet is a pair of very nice looking blue and white plaid Capri's that look really nice on me.


I will wear these. Okay pants problem solved. One less thing. Now what to wear with my nice blue and white plaid Capri's? I usually wear a cute white short sleeve top and I think I look pretty good. But, Usually when I see the women dressed the way I am hoping to dress, they don't have on knit tops. Oh No. Woven. It's almost always some kind of button down woven top. Okay. Okay, I tell myself. Don't panic. How hard can it be to find a nice button down woven top? I go back to the plus size section of Walmart. And there it is. A really cute, sort of young looking, woven, button down, plus size top, that even comes in white. And it looks like the tops I have seen in several other stores, which is good, because even though I do love to buy clothing from Walmart, I didn't really want to walk into the MSCC wearing something that screamed,

Yeah that's right, she bought me at WALMART!!!!

And, as luck would have it, it's even the kind of top that Courtney keeps telling me I should get. Okay, time to try it on. Now I am a little bit nervous because it has puffed sleeves. Puffed sleeves seem to be really popular right now. And even though I don't have a problem per-say with puffed sleeves, I do think that women with a certain arm circumference are best off avoiding puffed sleeves. I suddenly remember that, this is exactly why I haven't let Courtney talk me into buying one of these shirts. Oh well. Oh well. Desperate times and all.

I do end up getting a much bigger size than I need because those sleeves look SO TIGHT.

And as a matter of fact they were tight.

New dilemma.

Do I get the size that fits me all over but is a little squeezy on my arms? Or do I go with the comfortable arms and look like I am drowning in the shirt?

I decide to do what women have done throughout history. Suffer for fashion. I get the size that fits all over but kinda squeezes my arms.

Boy, if I were only in charge of sizing plus size clothing. Of course that is a whole different blog.

Now I have the top. I have the Capri's. What else do I need?

Proper footwear of course.

I have some really cute white slides that are just a little bit dressy without really being dressy. Yes, Yes, those will be good. But then I start to think. I have been wearing these since last summer and maybe they aren't as nice looking as they use to be because they have seen a lot of wear.


Well I finally came up with a solution that was so perfect I really don't know why it took me so long to think of it. Do you want to know what I finally did? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I told Don to take Shawn and go to it instead of me.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shawn's little hobby

I'm into summer reruns right now at Nonlinear Thinking. And since my Shawn posts are some of my favorites I'm going to lead off with one of them.
And remember, if you haven't read it before then it's new to you!

I don't believe that I have ever mentioned Shawn's love of pencil sharpening.

He came by it quite early.

When he was in Elementary School, about the only behavioral problem his teachers ever had with him was his insistence on taking at least a good five minutes to sharpen his pencil.

And then to compound the problem.

He felt that his pencil needed sharpening at least a couple times a day.

His teachers quickly learned to use pencil sharpening as a reward for him.

He would be allowed sharpening time when he had finished whatever work he was being a bit stubborn about at the time.

It worked out really well. He did his work, he got to sharpen pencils.

As he moved through his older years of school, other inducements were discovered, by other teachers, but Shawn has never lost his love of sharpening pencils.

Now here on the Home Front, I have tried to always have some means of sharpening pencils. I don't use pencils a lot, but if I am going to use one I want it to be good and sharp.

For years, at our old house, we had a nice manual pencil sharpener.

The kind that you attach to a flat surface, stick your chosen pencil into the hole and turn the crank until you achieve the right sharpness. It had different sized holes that you could turn it to, and it did a nice adequate job of pencil sharpening.

As can be imagined, Shawn was quite fond of that sharpener.

And the Sorenson household never lacked for sharp pencils.

Eventually, that classic old sharpener, pretty much wore out.

A decision was made, mostly by me, to replace the old manual, with a nice new electric sharpener.

So I did.

Shawn was of course very interested in the new fangled sharpener. The only problem was that this sharpener made noise.

When he was younger, Shawn was very afraid of loud sudden noises.

Unless, of course, he was the one making them.

It was pretty hard for Shawn to cover his ears and sharpen pencils at the same time.

As a consequence, Shawn kind of gave up pencil sharpening for a while.

The thing with Shawn though, is IF he decides he wants to do something badly enough he will usually find a way to do it.

I'm not sure exactly when he did it, but he somehow decided that he wanted to sharpen pencils more than he wanted to cover his ears.

So after a few months, I would hear that new pencil sharpener start sharpening. If it went on longer than a minute or two, I knew that it was Shawn and not a sibling or husband who simply needed a sharp pencil.

Now to cut to the chase.

I'm not really sure what happened to that electric sharpener. I don't even remember if it made the move from our old house to our new one.

All I know is that for quite a while we didn't have a decent pencil sharpener.
My kids had mostly grown up and finished school. Shawn was the last to leave school, since special needs people can stay in school until they age out at 21.

For whatever reason, we had been making due with this little battery
powered clear plastic sharpener, you know those small little sharpeners that always are around for Back to School shopping, one of those.

I'm afraid that for Shawn that wimpy little sharpener was almost as bad as no sharpener at all.

So for a few years he was in a sharpening slump.

Around September, he started telling me that we needed a new pencil sharpener.

I'm pretty sure it was brought on by all those Back to School ads he kept looking through that came in the Sunday paper every week.

I guess he was suddenly reminded of how he had been missing out for so long.

I figured that I might as well go get a new sharpener.

So I did.

This might sound mean, but I bought it on a trip to Walmart, when Shawn was NOT with me.

I had my reasons.

Buying anything with Shawn around is frustrating.

First of all, he has a really hard time deciding just what it is he wants. And if there are more than two options it can take forever.

Plus, for some reason that I have never understood, he will always find the most expensive of whatever it is I am shopping for and insist on it. He will then have a fit if I don't get that one.

There are times when, even three days later, he is still angry that we didn't get the one HE wanted.

So, I went to the store without him and picked out a new sharpener without his in-put.

This is the best way to do these things.

When I come home from any kind of shopping, Shawn is always there looking through all of the bags to see if there is anything in them to interest him.

Kind of like his own little treasure hunt.

So when he went through the shopping bags and found the new pencil sharpener, he was as excited as if he had picked it out himself.

Instead of mad about it because I didn't get the one that he felt we needed.

So you see, I have worked out a pretty good system for Shawn shopping.

A few hours went by, I was downstairs in my living room reading.

All of a sudden I heard this loud electrical buzzing.

It just kept going and going.

What on earth is that?!?

I ran upstairs to see what was going on.

I don't know why I was surprised. It was Shawn of course.

Sharpening pencils.

Lots of pencils.

I enjoy buying school supplies so much that I have at least seven boxes of unopened, unsharpened, pencils.

Shawn had found them.

Well since that day, Shawn has managed to sharpen and resharpen at least half of our pencil supply.

I think he's pacing himself.

Now, when I am anywhere in the house and I hear that distinctive sound, I just smile.

And know that Shawn is happy, doing what he loves best.

Shawn has graciously agreed to let us watch the process.
Here he is about to stick the pencil (notice how sharp it already is) into his sharpener.

Ahh, is there anything more fun or satisfying than sharpening a pencil?

Hmm, it's only been 2 and a half minutes but mom is getting restless. I guess this will do.

Yes, I guess this is good. Not my best work, but I still can take pride in a well sharpened pencil.

A little bit of Shawn's handiwork.

Anyone need a nice sharp pencil?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

From big wows to even BIGGER WOWS

Hey, everyone who cares even a little,

my brother Mike Brinkerhoff
(who btw has his own internet support company "tech services 4 all")
just set me up with my own domain online.

I am now the proud owner of . . . . . .

that's right.

All mine.

It takes you right to my facebook page for my own line of handmade children's clothing.

And how is business you may ask?

Business is great!

At this moment I would like to thank my new friend Esther (she's a friend of Lisa's and noticed some of the dresses I had made for Lex and Lori) And has quickly become my very best customer so far.
Thank You Esther!

If all my friends would like to make me super happy. . . . . .

Of course you won't mind you are all such great people. . . . . .

Then go to and see what happens.
It will take you right to my new little business facebook page that hopefully before too long will be filled with many Sweet Lizzi creations for sale.

And while you are there I would really love it if you would "LIKE" me. To be honest, I'm not even sure how that works but I do know that being "liked" on Facebook for any kind of business is a good thing.

So there you have it. Your very first Non Linear Thinking assignment.

Please please please please please. . . .

Okay, as I gather up what dignity I have left, I can't wait to see my little corner of the .com world fill up with my friends.

Over and Out until next time.

P.S. Silly, silly me, I guess it shows how rusty I have gotten at blogwork, I didn't turn the SweetLizzis into links. Well not to fear I have corrected the problem so click the link to your hearts content.
Thank You!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wow wow wow!

Sorry to have neglected my blog for so long, but I have been too busy.

"Busy doing what?" You might ask.

Well, I'll tell you.

Making dresses!

Dresses, dresses, and more DRESSES!

(Lovely little Lindsay modeling one of my dresses)

I had a show to sell my dresses at and have been sewing round the clock to get ready for it. I was a little nervous how well they would sell, because the last show I did (actually, it was also my first one)

I didn't do so well.

This was only my second time to see if the public would like my creations enough to shell out cold hard cash. And,

guess what?

They liked me! They really liked me!!! (sorry Sally Field I couldn't resist)

I sold so many dresses I lost count.
It is such a rush to have other people value what you create.

I loved interacting with my customers.

I LOVED seeing little girls so excited by all the different dresses.

I absolutely loved, loved, LOVED, watching countless mamas liking one dress and their little daughters wanting a different one.

I couldn't wait to get home and count out how much money I made. Are you ready for how much?



Please. . . . . . .

dadadadadadadadadadadadadadad. . . . . . . .

. . . . . . I made 406 dollars! . . . . .

I was shocked that I made that much. Up til now I have mostly made dresses to give away.

You know? I do have 5 grandaughters after all. And yes I have sold a few here and there, but never like this.

In one fell swoop.

And even better, I found out about another show on July 9th. For those of you who are local, it will be in the parking lot of the Pasco Yokes on Rd 68. At the far end, in fact right in front of where I get my nails done at Hot Spa Nails. (I can't wait to tell Annie, who does my nails and who knows that I make and sell dresses. I know she will be excited for me)

I have never worked a full time job but that's basically what I will be doing now.

So, poor little blog, you will probably be left to your own devices for a while longer. But don't feel bad. I'll come back as soon as I can.

Here are pictures of a few of the dresses I had yesterday.

I still have this little 4th of July one as well as one more that didn't sell. If you are interested in buying them let me know. It's a little snug on Lex but Lorelai wasn't feeling too cooperative that day. It would fit from a size 3 up to a size 5 to 6 the way it's made to grow with the child. I had it priced at
28$ but it's yours for 20 if you want it.

This one sold. I might have to give Lorelai a treat for modeling tee hee

The one Alexandra is wearing sold, and the one Lori is wearing I got two orders for. One a size larger, and one smaller.

This one sold as well, Thanks Lex. She is always happy to model for me!

This one sold

This one too.

Well, nice chatting with ya! I'm off.

Want to guess what I will be doing? tee hee hee hee