Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: Life Struggles

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: Life Struggles
Today I woke up with a feeling of heaviness. I couldn't quite figure out why, but I just felt kind of down. I started to think about it and then I realized why....

Life Struggles

Today I woke up with a feeling of heaviness. I couldn't quite figure out why, but I just felt kind of down. I started to think about it and then I realized, all of our bills are due and we can't pay them. It is so frustrating to always be behind. My poor husband is working 7 days a week now and picking up evening side work...and we get further behind. I have increased my hours at work and still it's a constant struggle.

My car was due for a smog check and new tags, we took it in and it didn't pass!! So, $560.00 later my car finally passed. Even though it has been a stressful day right from the beginning, I'm trying to stay positive. My car now runs better, the check engine light is off, and hopefully I will get better gas mileage (that's a big hope!)

We are going to head down to the beach to walk Allie so hopefully, watching the sunset, hearing the crashing calmness of the waves and walking will further brighten our mood. I have been trying this positive attitude thing...trying to be grateful for things I DO HAVE, it usually works, so wish me luck as I head to the beach. My next blog should be a little more cheerful...with some beach pictures!

Here are some pictures from our last walk...makes me happy.

Surf City, USA

Allie At The Beach

Huntington Beach Cliffs

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: A Mother's Day Poem - Through The Eyes Of A Mother

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: A Mother's Day Poem - Through The Eyes Of A Mother

My Latest Photography Pictures

Inspiration is found in the beauty all around you!!

Your dreams are tucked safely inside...
Today is the day you can step out and reach for the sky!

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: Do I Have A Sickness?

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: Do I Have A Sickness?

Do I Have A Sickness?

Last night my husband and I had just returned from walking our dog, when he saw a mouse run across our backyard. Our dog Allie immediately ran outside after it. Before I go any further I need to tell you that my husband has turned our tiny yard/patio into a tropical paradise, all this including a small waterfall.

Allie was going CRAZY trying to sniff out the hiding mouse, as I watched from safely behind our sliding door, laughing at the way she, jumped, pounced, and recoiled as the mouse came towards her. My husband, on the other hand was LIVID, shouting, "SHE'S IN MY PLANTS, STOMPING ON THEM AND KILLING THEM! LOOK NOW SHE'S IN THE WATERFALL DIGGING IT UP AND RUINING IT!!" I couldn't stop laughing and said, "Oh relax, it's just plants, she's not going to hurt them...and you can put the stones back around the waterfall." You can imagine how well that went over! I couldn't stop though, I thought it was funny and he was just being ridiculous. My laughter was the start of a fight of course.

I woke up the next morning to see that Allie had crept outside in the middle of the night to continue her mouse hunt. The liner to the waterfall was completely ripped to shreds, plant leaves were strewn everywhere, rocks were scattered outside the planter, and the wood that surrounded my husbands beautiful creation, was smashing the plants that had not been ripped to shreds during her hunting furry.

Horror...regret....and remorse, were my first feelings as I stood there speechless. My words came back to bite me in the butt!! I went to pick up the broken plants, wanting to hide the evidence from my husband. I'm not very good at saying I'm wrong, but she did everything he said she would, while I stood there laughing and telling him to lighten up and not be so crazy about his yard.

This story leads me to the question, do I have a sickness? Not only did I find that incident funny, I also can't stop laughing if someone falls, trips or gets scared (I love scaring people too!). I just picture how they look when they fall, trip or freeze in a ridiculous position.

One of my most shameful moments came during a sledding trip one winter. While waiting for my kids to slide down the mountain, a girl (on an inner tube) hit a ramp and was launched so high into the air, she looked like a rag doll, flopping around. I was laughing so hard...but when she landed, she didn't move. They had to air lift her off of the mountain, I felt TERRIBLE! I THINK IT MUST BE A SICKNESS!

Does anyone else suffer from what I like to refer to as, "The Laughing Sickness?"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: The Invisible Man

Lisa Petrarca's Blog: The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

Last Saturday my middle son Jullien really upset me when I picked him up. He said some pretty mean things to me, so I dropped him off at the house and just took off for some alone time (I needed to cry a little). I drove through Taco Bell, picked up some food and headed to a store where I was going to buy some crafts to make some Mother's Day gifts. I pulled up in front of the store and parked and just sat there eating.

As I looked around, (feeling a little sorry for myself), I noticed a guy with long tangled silver hair, a short white scraggly beard, an old black leather jacket, and torn blue jeans. He was standing up, leaning with his forehead pressed against the wall. I had some time to just observe while I finished my lunch, (which is very rare for me to have TIME). So I just watched, wondering if anyone would ask him if he was okay. The first couple that went by was probably in their 20's and didn't even glance in the man's direction. A couple of ladies in their thirties also proceeded to walk past the man, (who had not moved or changed positions for about 10 minutes), again not even a look towards him. The same thing happened about six more times. The way everyone just strolled by, made me wonder if the man was a figment of my imagination.

After about 20 minutes I got to the point that I was hoping and praying that someone would just LOOK at the man. With each new person I thought, "Surely they will at least see that he is there and may need help." Finally, a mother, with a short brown bob haircut, tan shorts, and a white floral blouse, and her daughter (about 3 years old), who looked like a miniature cut out version of the mother, went walking right past him. The mom seemed to notice the man only because her young daughter had lagged a little behind and she was concerned for her daughter's
safety. The daughter on the other hand, seemed to notice that something was wrong with the man and stopped to stare at him. The mother quickly grabbed her daughter's hand and dragged her away, while the daughter continued to look back at the man.

Next, a cute, plump, elderly husband and wife in their 80's walked by, they too, both looked directly at the man and then continued to look as they walked by, with a quick glance back before they entered the store. The man had still remained in the same position. About 10 more people in their 20's, 30's and 40's passed the invisible man.

As I finished the last few bites of my burrito, I thought, "Why was the man only visible to the young and the elderly?" Were they the only one's that were not too busy to see another person who may be hurting? How had my generation become so insensitive and self absorbed that they could not even SEE someone who may need them?

I got out of my car, and headed towards the man. I stopped and said, "Is everything okay? Do you need some help?" He looked up from the wall, smiled a toothless grin and said, "I'm just trying to figure a few things out on this cell phone, but thanks anyways." I said, "Good luck, they can be a little tricky in the beginning, have a great day!" He said, "You got that right, thank you, you too!" He seemed so happy that someone had spoken to him. He continued to smile as I headed into the store.

The invisible man did not need my help today, but what if he had? Did it take a lot of effort on my part to look at him and see if he needed some assistance? I hope that we can be like the young children and the elderly....that we will be able to SEE someone directly in our path. You may be the one person who can brighten that persons whole day. It requires only a little effort, concern, and time....but the rewards you will receive from a simple smile on a sad, tired, broken face, is amazing! Go out and notice the invisible men and women standing right in front of you!

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Mother's Day Poem - Through The Eyes Of A Mother

We often ask, why me dear Lord?

Who am I to receive such a reward?

The child you've given is a blessing from above

Sent down from heaven to be showered with love

I am weak, sometimes scared, to make a mistake

I press on with the chose for me to partake

Who am I to receive such a reward?

To raise a child of my own accord

Each step I take I hope is the right direction

As my child follows behind with pure innocent affection

I am a mother, who will offer her lifelong love and protection

Who am I to receive such a reward?

I am a mother...trusted with a life to mold

Until their gifts begin to unfold

Then I will take a step back and behold

My child has become the person I helped to shape

Who am I to receive such a reward?

I am a mother who was given a gift so rare...a life to raise, guide and share

I am a mother........

Does Somebody Need You?

I was driving home after rushing to pick up my son's Tux for his Prom, when all of a sudden all of the cars in front of me started to slam on their brakes and rapidly change lanes. I thought, "Now what? It never fails, when I'm running late something always goes wrong." My husband had already called me three times telling me to make sure I was home on time for our very first class on "Finding Your Life Purpose".

I quickly swerved into the fast lane as I noticed the hazard that was causing all of the commotion. A beat up, old, dark brown van with patches of rust, which made it look as though it had been spray painted with polka dots was directly in my way. I made it safely into the fast lane as I stepped on my brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me . I noticed a man who had torn, dirty jeans, an old, poorly fitted, black suit jacket, and disheveled hair pushing the car from behind. The driver's side door was open and a heavy set woman, in black shorts, a black tank shirt and messy, shoulder length brown hair was also pushing and trying to steer the car across the busy intersection to the side of the road.

I passed them and thought, "Maybe I should help them." Then I remembered I was late, but the thought kept nagging at me as I came up to the next light. I immediately made a u-turn and headed back. As I was making another u-turn to park in front of them I noticed they were arguing, and they both seemed very upset. I parked my car and got out and asked if they needed me to call a tow truck? They said, "No, but do you have a gas can, we're out of gas?" I told them that I didn't but I would go and get them gas and bring it right back. They both looked very relieved and the man tried to hand me a $5.00 bill. I thought...that will only get them one gallon of gas. I said, "Don't worry about it." I was close to my house so I drove home, pulled into the driveway and ran into the garage. I grabbed a gas can and told my husband what had happened and that I felt I needed to help them. He said, "We can't be late for our first class!" I said, "I'll be back in ten minutes and we'll just have to eat dinner after the class." He wasn't too happy but said, "Please HURRY!"

I pulled into the gas station and started to pump the gas when a lady who was getting gas next to me said, "Is everything okay?" I said, "Yeah, there is just a couple down the road that ran out of gas so I'm going to take it to them." She said, "That's awesome...I don't usually do things like that because people are always looking for a handout, but I did one time and it felt pretty good." I told her, "I always try to picture myself in that situation and feeling desperate and would hope that someone would help me or my children." She said, "That's a good idea...I'll need to remember that next time I see someone in need." I just smiled and told her to have a wonderful weekend. I felt sure that she would probably have an opportunity to put her words into action over the weekend.

I finished pumping the gas and ran into the store to take out $20.00 to give to them, knowing that they would need to get more gas than just the two gallons and they obviously didn't have any money. We only had $60.00 to last us the whole weekend and I knew that taking some of our money would leave us really tight, but it was the right thing to do, they had even less than we did.

I jumped in my car and drove back to the spot that they were stranded. The smile and relief on their face told me that they were wondering if I was really going to return. I handed the gas can to the man and he said. "Thank you so much!" He started to put the gas into his tank as the woman walked up to me and I reached into my pocket and gave her the $20.00. Her eyes welled up with tears and she said, "I'm really sweaty, and dirty but would you mind if I gave you a hug?" I said, "Of course not!" As she hugged me she said, "God Bless You!" At that moment I felt like I should tell her what a stranger had told me a couple of weeks before when I was having a really bad day and feeling very down and stressed. So, with tears in my eyes, I said, "Just remember that the Lord loves you." I then got into my car and headed home to attend my first class on "FINDING MY LIFE PURPOSE."

I wanted to share this story with everyone to remind you that there is someone waiting for you to reach out to them every single day. You only have to open your eyes to see the opportunity to be the change in someone's life. Finding your life purpose can be as simple as looking beyond your own personal needs and desires and reaching out to others who NEED YOU!