Monday, September 20, 2010

Lessons Learned....Or...It's All About Me



Today is my birthday. It’s not one of those big birthdays. You know which ones I’m talking about: the ones with a zero on the end. Not this year, though the next one of those is looming on the horizon and since I’m zooming toward the finish line of another decade it got me to thinking about what I’ve learned during my time on Earth and also what I have yet to learn. A person can soak up a whole lot of "stuff" in a lifetime so here, with a few visual aids, are some of my lessons learned.













One of the first, and most important, lessons we all learn is how to walk. I may look a bit tentative here and I’m sure I acquired my share of bumps and bruises, but I don’t think it slowed me down much.  Actually, according to what my mother wrote on the back of the photo, I seem to have mastered the skill of multi-tasking at a young age as well.  In this photo, I'm happily munching olives while taking my first tentative steps.  Even as the age of one, I knew good food should be a priority!









Once you master walking, move on to more challenging
tasks...like driving tractors... (it's a good idea to take along
a friend who can reach the pedals)

...and riding horses. (Not exactly a buckin' bronco but I seem to have the technique down.)  This was also about the same time I learned how to milk a cow…and to not try milking the bulls.  A very valuable lesson! 







I’ve always thought the skill of feeding oneself was highly overrated. Why go to all that work when one has so many willing helpers?



 

I learned at an early age that your fur-friend can be your best friend. I’ve had many over the years and they each hold a special place in my heart, especially the one who woke me this morning with neck nuzzles and ear kisses.  It did wonders for the lovely dream I was having about Hugh Jackman at the time!






You’re never too young to learn the value of a good bargain souvenir! This was also the summer I learned Spanish…and then proceeded to forget it because nobody in my little Midwestern town spoke the language. Lesson learned: use it or lose it!







Ah yes, table dancing: a frequently overlooked skill that comes in handy during the college years...or so I'm told.  Because I would know nothing about that.  Nope.  Not me.  Not a thing.  




I learned the value of a good hairstylist and complimentary colors ~ sadly, too late for the Junior Prom. A little blush would have helped too.





                        Everything’s better with chocolate!



Share your knowledge with the next generation.
"Why yes, it's perfectly acceptable to eat chocolate chip cookie dough!"






                                                              

Expand your horizons!
Venice, Italy




You’re never too old to be a kid.  Laugh at yourself and greet the world with a smile...especially when you're masquerading as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. That’s a lesson I hope I never forget!





                                        
                                               
                      Be willing to fight for what you want.














Hugs are my currency of choice.









Never underestimate the power of a good nap.









Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something
just because you’re a girl.

















Surround yourself with good friends and you will always be rich, no matter your material possessions.







One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that you’re never too old to learn something new. The Romance Dish is evidence of that! 

What lessons have you learned?  What are your special skills?  What would you like to learn?  I'm going to learn something new in the next year and I'm trying to decide what to choose.  Knitting?  A foreign language?  Should I improve my photography skills or maybe take a cooking class?  Toss some ideas my way!

Because it's my birthday and there should always be presents on a birthday, I'll send some goodies from my RWA stash to one randomly chosen commenter.  So, come on!  Let's hear those ideas! :)

~PJ

90 comments:

  1. I get the be the first to say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PJ!! What a wonderful post! I so enjoyed reading it and seeing the photos! What lesson have I learned?--Well, I'd say that laughter truly is the best medicine. If you have someone who can make you laugh until your sides hurt, that's a blessing!

    Wishing you a wonderful birthday, dear PJ. May all your birthday wishes come true!

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  2. I just stopped by to say Happy Birthday. I loved you sharing the photos. I learned birthdays are just a number when I tuned 40. Between my mother and my siblings, I received 40 birthday cards during the month of November. 40 didn't bother me, but it was nice to know they wanted to help me celebrate it.

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  3. Happy Birthday, PJ. Love the pics. I don't have any special skills. My dad is a great cook, but I have yet to master that skill. I need to start watching him and learn a few tricks. I would love to learn a foreign language, maybe French or Japanese.

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  4. Hey, PJ darlin'!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! And those pictures were an absolute delight! Wish I was closer so we could celebrate in person. But I'll raise a glass to your honor tonight and wish you many more happy years!!! And lots more get-togethers with your Aussie fan club!

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  5. Happy Birthday, PJ!! I hope you have a wonderful day and an awesome year!! What wonderful lessons you've learned, too!

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  6. Happy birthday and thanks for the little trip down your memory lane along with some lessons learned.

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  7. Happy Birthday tooo yooooouuuu!!!! Dear PJ!!

    Count me as a card-carrying member of ye olde Aussie fanclub!

    I hope you have a lovely day.

    xxoo

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  8. Thank you, Lila! Glad you enjoyed the post. It was so much fun to write and I had a lovely time strolling down memory lane through all the old photos.

    That's a wonderful lesson to learn and I wholeheartedly agree. Everyone should laugh every single day. I hope to do much of it today! :)

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  9. Thank you, Andrea l. That's a very important lesson to learn. What a fun family to send you all those cards!

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  10. Thank you, Jane! My late husband was a great cook. In fact, much of what I know in the kitchen I learned from him.

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  11. Anna said; But I'll raise a glass to your honor tonight and wish you many more happy years!!! And lots more get-togethers with your Aussie fan club!

    I'll drink to that! Thank you so much for the good wishes, my dear friend. I wish we lived closer too!

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  12. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Daz!

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  13. Thanks, Christine! That fan-club stuff goes both ways, you know. :)

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  14. Happy Birthday! I like the idea of deciding on something new for the coming year of your life. I have always wanted to learn to knit my self so maybe this year will be the one I do it.

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  15. Happy Birthday PJ! What wonderful pictures - dancing on the table top is one of my favorites. And yes, that's what I've learned - act as if you're dancing on a table. All the best for a great year. Sending you lots of hugs.

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  16. Maureen, I'm kind of leaning in the knitting direction too. It seems very soothing.

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  17. Thanks, Marisa! Hugs right back at you!

    You said; And yes, that's what I've learned - act as if you're dancing on a table.

    It's a joyous way to live, isn't it?

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  18. Happy, Happy Birthday, PJ!! What a fantastic blog! Great lessons and your pictures are wonderful! I especially like the table dancing---I wouldn't know a thing about that either. LOL

    I agree with the laughter and having that sense of childlike wonder. It makes everything so much more fun. Of course, it my house, that's pretty easy. With three kids, two dogs, and a cat, there's always something that makes me laugh. Jackson (my 14 year old) always tells me I'm his best audience. *g*

    You could always learn Italian and I'll brush up on mine, and we could head to bella Italia!

    Have a lovely time celebrating your special day!

    Cheers!

    xxoo

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  19. Happy Birthday, PJ!! Have a wonderful day.

    Far too early in the morning to think about what I've learned over the years.

    I would like to take a dance class with my dh. Maybe a sexy salsa class. This year he's taking conversational Italian at the local community college and he loves it. So maybe a language would work for you.

    Again, have a wonderful day!

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  20. Happy birthday to you,
    Happy birthday to you.
    Happy birthday, dear PJ,
    Happy birthday to you!
    (And many mooooooore!)

    I'm so original ... but the sentiment is there!

    You mentioned "use it or lose it". How very true. I'm thinking that whatever you choose for "learning something new", it should be something that you won't "lose".

    For this reason, I'm thinking that knitting, cooking, and a new language are not great possibilities. After all, you spend SO MUCH time doing other things that are so time demanding (hello????), I'm wondering where you'll find the time to practise these new skills.

    So ... I'm leaning toward the photography course or something similar, as you will be practising this skill on blogs (and then WE will reap the rewards)!!!

    Yup. It's YOUR birthday, and I'm always thinking about myself, LOL!

    Have a great day!

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  21. Happy Birthday PJ! The photos you posted were great. I agree with you that it's OK to be a kid now and then - keeps the soul young :)

    I've learned always try and be positive about things. Negativity will do you no good.

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  22. Happy Birthday PJ!!! I love all your pictures, they are great! I just turned 30 this year and I have to say I am still always learning something. Right now the two things I am working on leaning better are writing and cake decorating. The best lessons I have learned from my kids are to take it one day at a time and you can never laugh to much! Hope you have a wonderful day!!!

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  23. Happy B-day!

    Lesson 1: life should be celebrated and b-days are a great reason to do so. Lesson 2: the glass is either half full or half empty - your choice (and half full can often be more enjoyable for you and those around you)

    what ever you decide to do, have fun :)

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  24. Enjoy your day! Eat lot's of cake and ice cream! Indulge!!

    Lessons learned:

    1)Smile - It makes you feel better. You'll be amazed at how many people tell you to have a nice day.
    2) Life's not fair- So accept what you can't change and appreciate what you have
    3)Life's too short- Embrace each day, call your kids , your mom and dad, share your life with others, don't put things off.
    4) Patience- I struggle with this one

    I did learn how to knit!! Now I want to try to learn how to play the guitar and the piano.

    So enjoy your day, your health, your family, your friends!!

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  25. Happy Birthday, PJ!!!!!! I hope you have a wonderful day. I loved all the photos of you throughout the years, and all your bits of wisdom.

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  26. Happy Birthday PJ!!! Should we start the conga line over here? Yes?

    Happy, happy BIRTH-DAY!! WOOHOO! LEt's go ladies....you've had coffee, now shake that thang!

    Snork.

    PJ, what a wonderful, wonderful post. I do love the tidbit about not milking the bulls. SUCH good advice. Grins.

    WOnderful pictures too. So fun. And gotta love those furfriends. So delish.

    I think you don't knead another cooking class...but if you want to teach us all to make turtles....you could TEACH one! :>

    Lessons...hmmmm...Don't believe your brother when he says the BB gun isn't loaded (in fact, don't beleive anyone who says a weapon isn't loaded!); always take your glove to the baseball stadium, you never know when a fly ball will come your way. watch for flying pucks; kiss frogs and princes and enjoy both until you find YOUR frog prince; and always, always say yes to life.

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  27. Oh, and another lesson? Spehlling is overratttted.

    Howevere, I kahn sphell BELIEVE properly, when pushed.

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  28. Happy Birthday PJ! I loved the pics and the lessons learned. Wishing you many, many more happy birthdays and more lessons learned. I thing the photography would be a satisfying experience for you.

    I am two years away from on the real big 0's. Lessons I have learned,

    don't put it off, tomorrow might not come.

    Never go to bed angry at anyone.

    Don't hold grudges, you hurt no one but yourself.

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  29. Happy Birthday, PJ!! :) What a wonderful blog! I have learned many lessons, and I know I have so many more to learn. I've always wanted to learn another language and to be a good photographer.

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  30. Happy Birthday, PJ!!! :) What a lovely blog post, and thank you for shaing those great photos here with us!!!

    I think one lesson I've learned is the importance of friendship. A good group of girlfriends who love and support you can get you through ANYTHING, and I appreciate that and them more than I can say.

    I've also learned that sometimes I need to give myself a break, and not to be afraid to ask for help. I've always had high expectations for myself, but sometimes it's ok if things don't go perfectly right and I don't do as well as I'd hoped, as long as I tried my best.

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  31. This has been one of my favorite blogs :) It made me a bit teary eyed. It's funny that once we get past 30, at least that has been the case for me, we start to think about how much can we squeeze into a life time.

    So far I've learned that-
    Yes, mam and No, sir is still very much appreciated, Family is a precious gift, girlfriends are essential in a gals life, and you can never have too much dessert or coffee :D

    Thanks for sharing! Loved the photos. Happy Birthday, PJ! Wishing ya lots of love, laughter, and hugs.

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  32. Happy Birthday, dear PJ!!! You are a wonderful person and I look forward to meeting you some day in person.

    I learned that chocolate is on MY food pyramid and it really does make you feel better to eat a bite or two of it. :)

    I still have trouble sweating the small stuff, but am learning. I value the time I have with my husband and daughter and my family because they are very precious gifts from the Lord!

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  33. Thank, Gannon! Oh, and thanks to whoever put the HAPPY BIRTHDAY PJ on the site today. What a lovely surprise! :)

    You said; You could always learn Italian and I'll brush up on mine, and we could head to bella Italia!

    It wouldn't take much to tempt me! Okay, it would take money. But, beyond that, I'd be ready! *g*

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  34. Hi Christie! Oh, sexy salsa dancing with your hubby sounds like fun!

    I bought Italian language CDs before heading over there and was surprised how much I was able to learn. I'd love to learn more!

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  35. Hi Laney! Thanks for the song! *g*

    I love photography but there's so much more I could learn. Glad to know you're willing to be my appreciative (you would be appreciative, right?) audience!

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  36. Hi SuzyQ! You said; I've learned always try and be positive about things. Negativity will do you no good.

    That's a lesson I learned at my grandma's knee. I don't understand why people waste so much energy on negativity. As you said, it does you no good.

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  37. Hi alinaduffer! Welcome to the party!

    You said; Right now the two things I am working on learning better are writing and cake decorating.

    I'd love to be better at cake decorating. I'm a good baker but not so great at the decorating. My mom was a terrific cake decorator and my niece is a terrific cake decorator. Maybe that's one of those skills that skips a generation? ;-)

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  38. Hi gamistress66! I love your lessons!

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  39. Hi Laurie! Those are wonderful life lessons!

    Was it hard to learn how to knit?

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  40. Thanks, Trish! Glad you enjoyed the blog!

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  41. Here comes the conga queen!

    PJ, what a wonderful, wonderful post. I do love the tidbit about not milking the bulls. SUCH good advice. Grins

    Thanks, Jeanne! Funny thing about the bull incident. My grandpa about had a heart attack but the bull didn't seem to mind at all! *grin*

    GREAT life lessons!

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  42. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Dianna! Glad you enjoyed my walk down memory lane.

    don't put it off, tomorrow might not come.

    Never go to bed angry at anyone.

    Don't hold grudges, you hurt no one but yourself.


    Very valuable life lessons!

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  43. Hi Trisha! Photography and another language are both wonderful skills to learn. The sky's the limit for you!

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  44. Lisa said; I think one lesson I've learned is the importance of friendship. A good group of girlfriends who love and support you can get you through ANYTHING, and I appreciate that and them more than I can say.

    I agree! Good friends, and especially girlfriends, are one of life's greatest treasures.

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  45. Okie said; This has been one of my favorite blogs :) It made me a bit teary eyed.

    Well, I sure didn't mean to make you cry but I'm glad you enjoyed the blog. It was a joy to write.

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  46. Thanks for the birthday wishes, Deb. I look forward to that day when we finally get to meet in person!

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  47. What a lovely post! *sniffle sniffle* :) Happy Birthday!!! XD

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  48. Happy Birthday, PJ! Thanks for gifting us with a wonderful blog to celebrate. I love your pics! You were beautiful at every age.

    My best advice is contained in the line of an old hymn: "I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift."
    From all I know of you, I think you're following that advice already. Have a wonderful day!

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  49. Happy, Happy Birthday, PJ! I wish you the best for today and always. (((hugs))) Love the blog and pictures! So many great life lessons. I can't wait until the kids get home from school so I can show them the picture of you dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. They will love it!!

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  50. Happy Birthday, PJ!!
    Some wonderful words of wisdom. I still want to learn to knit and take photography classes.
    I think dance classes would be so fun!!
    Hope you have a great day!

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  51. Happy Birthday, PJ!
    I've learned to be happy with what you have because you'll miss it when it's gone.
    I'd like to learn to quilt. I've had some lessons, but I need more. Of course it was more fun taking the lessons with my sister, and with her on the other coast that's not happening right now.
    I'd also like to take better photographs. Usually out of 50, only a couple turn out to be what I wanted.
    I think you should do whatever you think is fun and rewarding, whether you're good at it or not.

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  52. PJ, Happy Birthday! May there be many more!

    The most important lesson for me, which I'm still trying to learn, is that sometimes, you just have to let things go. Stop stewing. Cut your losses and move on--which you have not done if you're still looking at the whatever it was in the rearview mirror. *sigh*

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  53. Happy Birthday! Knitting is something I would love to learn as well. Great TMNT costume, I was a ninja turtle one year too :)

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  54. I loved your post and your pictures PJ! You're right we learn so much in the school of life. I recently posted about looking back on what we've learned so I read this with some nostalgia, too. You seem to really love your life and I think that's the key - to keep on enjoying life no matter what comes your way. Happy birthday and thanks for sharing!

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  55. Happy Birthday PJ, and thanks for the smiles I got from reading your post. Hope you're having a wonderful day.

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  56. Happy Birthday PJ!!

    I've learned that you can nearly always change what you decide to do.

    I love the surround yourself with friends one!

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  57. Great blog, PJ! Loved looking at all the pictures!! And I have to agree with you on everything. Well, everything EXCEPT the table dancing. Nope, never done that one either ;-)

    Hope you are having a wonderful day!

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  58. OH, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PJ!

    There are many lessons we've learned over the years, but one I think girls and women should learn very early on is "men may come and men may go, but a good girlfriend will be there forever!" and that one of the things we need to do is protect those friendships, nurture and coddle them. You never know when you'll need a shoulder to cry on, someone to share a joke with or a good alibi!

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  59. PJ said: Thanks, Jeanne! Funny thing about the bull incident. My grandpa about had a heart attack but the bull didn't seem to mind at all! *grin*

    GREAT life lessons!


    Hahahah! OMGosh, I'm snorking over here. Well, the bull probably DOESN'T mind someone yankin' on his wanker, but...let it happen too often and people start to talk! Snork. I"m sure that's what nearly gave Ol Gradad a heart attack. Really. Grins.

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  60. Thanks, Jenn! I couldn't have a walk down memory lane without you in it! Love you, sweetie.

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  61. Thank you, Janga!

    My best advice is contained in the line of an old hymn: "I would look up, and laugh, and love, and lift."

    What wonderful advice! I do try to live my life that way.

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  62. Thanks, Andrea! Glad the kids enjoyed the TMNT photos! :)

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  63. Hi runner10! I think dance lessons would be great fun too. One of my neighbors keeps trying to talk me into clogging classes but my knees scream in terror at the very thought!

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  64. Barbara E said; I've learned to be happy with what you have because you'll miss it when it's gone.

    So very true!

    I have friends who make beautiful quilts but I've never felt the urge to try it.

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  65. Happy Birthday, PJ!!!!

    Your photos are priceless. How wonderful to see you on a tractor! And I have a feeling we must've gone to the same Prom! That hairstyle looks very familiar. :-)

    Thanks for the wonderful life lessons. I hope your birthday is perfect and I'm lifting my champagne glass your way, wishing you many many more.

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  66. Better late than never......Happy Birthday PJ! Loved the blog and the pictures. I, too, would know nothing about dancing on top of tables (or crawling out from under them;p ) . LOL.
    My most important lessons are to be true to yourself, and to look for the positive. I have found if you actively seek the positive usually you will find it and be happier!

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  67. Happy Happy Birthday! I enjoyed your pictures.
    I would like to relearn how to knit. I haven't knit in many years and I would like to start again.

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  68. Happy Birthday PJ!! I loved reading your post and looking at your pictures. They were great.

    I've learned that life is so much better with a positive outlook!

    I think you should take up jewelry making as a hobby. I started making jewelry a few years ago and LOVE it! Not only do you get to make beautiful things for yourself, but ladies love gifts of jewelry. At least all the ladies in my family and at work. Lol!

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  69. The most important lesson for me, which I'm still trying to learn, is that sometimes, you just have to let things go.

    That's a tough one to learn, Nancy. I had to come to terms with that during the five years I cared for my late husband. It wasn't easy but, once conquered, it really changes your outlook on life...for the better!

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  70. Thanks, throuthehaze! Ninja turtles have fun, don't they? *g*

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  71. You seem to really love your life and I think that's the key - to keep on enjoying life no matter what comes your way.

    Thanks, Kellie! I do love my life and I try to keep a positive outlook. It makes a huge difference when dealing with the obstacles life occasionally throws our way.

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  72. LauraR said; Happy Birthday PJ, and thanks for the smiles I got from reading your post.

    You're welcome! Making you smile makes me smile!

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  73. Hi Cail! Thanks for stopping by!

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  74. Buffie said; Loved looking at all the pictures!! And I have to agree with you on everything. Well, everything EXCEPT the table dancing. Nope, never done that one either ;-)

    ::Snicker::

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  75. I think girls and women should learn very early on is "men may come and men may go, but a good girlfriend will be there forever!" and that one of the things we need to do is protect those friendships, nurture and coddle them.

    Amen!

    Thanks, Suz!

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  76. I have a feeling we must've gone to the same Prom! That hairstyle looks very familiar. :-)

    Horrible, isn't it? lol! Thanks for dropping by, Kate!

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  77. My most important lessons are to be true to yourself, and to look for the positive.

    Excellent lesson, Cyndi!

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  78. Thanks, Suebooks! Knitting seems so popular these days and the knitters I know all enjoy it a lot.

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  79. Monica, what kind of jewelry do you make? Do you get your supplies locally? That's something I think I could have fun with.

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  80. Happy Birthday! Learning new things are what makes us young and vibrant.

    Although I would love to learn a new language or something to fire up the old neurons, I think a new sport (or an old one) would be more suitable for me. I'm thinking of fencing, just with foils to start (and maybe epee if I build up my arms some).

    As for jewelry making, that is fun (did that years ago). I once made a pair of earrings for a young cousin which had her name on one and her phone number on the other (the easier to pick up guys), but she never wore them (too shy).

    cories119[at]yahoo.com

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  81. Happy Birthday, PJ. Hope it was great.
    I'd like to learn to play my dulcimer. I have a beautiful one my husband gave me one year, but haven't taken the time to just sit and try to play it. Maybe once our house is finished and I feel I can take the time to do it, I'll try.

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  82. PJ, dear, this is your best blog ever. I LOVED, adored, loved this look down your memory lane. Your dad was so proud of you, seating you up with him on the tractor and on the horse.

    It's a joy knowing you. Thank you for your friendship. May this year bring you what you most desire.

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  83. Hi Cories! Fencing sounds like great fun! What a cool thing to learn.

    I'm laughing at the earrings you made for your cousin. What a shame she didn't wear them. I can see something like that being a huge hit on high school and college campuses! :)

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  84. Thanks, Pat! Oh, the dulcimer would be a wonderful instrument to be able to play.

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  85. Thank you, Keira. I'm glad you enjoyed walking down my memory lane with me. This truly has been one of my best birthdays ever and it's all due to wonderful friends like you!

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  86. Many, many thanks to all the wonderful people who stopped by here and my facebook page yesterday to help me celebrate my birthday. I loved reading about your life lessons and what you still want to learn. You've given me some great ideas!

    Keep watching the blog for an announcement of my birthday winner!

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  87. PJ said Monica, what kind of jewelry do you make? Do you get your supplies locally? That's something I think I could have fun with.

    PJ,
    I do get my supplies locally and online at Etsy.com or ebay.com. I make the usual, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Right now I am OBSESSED with freshwater pearls. I use sterling silver with pearls, Swarovski crystals or natural gemstones such as amethyst, topaz, onyx, turquoise...

    It's a ton of fun and very rewarding when you make something that's so beautiful you can't wait to wear it or share it! TRY IT! You'd be surprised at what you can make!

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  88. Happy Belated Birthday PJ.
    I hope it was a wonderful day for you .
    I loved seeing the pictures and i agree that a fuzzy pet makes life a whole lot better.

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  89. Thanks, Gigi! I had a wonderful birthday!!

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