Monday, July 30, 2007

How I got my name-LANA MAE BAKER!

People have been asking me lately why my name is different. Well...originally, my mother intended to name me after Lana Turner, the movie star. Either she couldn't spell OR (more likely) she wanted to name me after Lana Turner BUT find a way to make it unique/different. Soooo, she came up with Lona. Then, my middle name was supposed to be Mae because I was born in May(why not just May, then?). Somehow, my mother decided to allow my sisters to add in another name: Tamee. So that meant smooshing my first and middle names together to make room for Tamee-the stripper name! Also, because Marcee and Karlee had ee names, they felt that I should have one too. That made it, Lonamae Tamee. My maiden name is Baker. A heck of a lot easier than Wiedewitsch-and if you ask me, that name is grounds for divorce! Well, when I filed for divorce last summer, my attorney asked me if I wanted to take back my maiden name and I said, "Of course!" Then, she also added that I could also change my name to anything I wanted, even Bozo the clown, at the same time I took my maiden name back.Aha! The opportunity to right the wrongs of the past. You see, people have called me "LowNa"(Lona) or "LahNawMay"(Lonamae) for years and I was sick to death of it! Always correcting the pronunciation or the spelling of your name is exhausting! Annoying, even! I told her I would give it some thought before changing my name forever. I did a little research by looking up my name in various name books. Come to find out, Lona with an O means alone(English meaning), wool(in Portuguese, I think), sheep(proper Spanish I believe), shit...I forget which language that was-Greek or something...anyway, nothing too flattering or desirable there. Then, I looked up Lana with an A. That means fair, beautiful, and light. OK, really-which would you choose? Even when people mispronounce Lana(LayNah) or (LanNah) I still like it better than Lona (LowNah) ! Gads! Who would ever think there would be so much to know about a name? Such far-reaching ramifications! Anyway, there was never any doubt that Tamee had to go! Either that or I was going to have to put a dancing pole in the middle of my living room! Believe me, I'm not that coordinated or flexible...So, after a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to go with Lana Mae Baker. This brings everything back into correct alignment and gives me a name I am proud of while still not altering the original pronounciation or intention that my mother had for me. A lot of people used to misspell my name Lana anyway so now they are right about it-even ahead of their time! So, now I am at peace with my name.I do, however, have the tendency to overthink things sometimes. In further research, I discovered that Lana Turner was married like 7 times, once to a gangster that her young daughter stabbed to death! She was also notorious for having affairs with her leading men. Among those listed: Clark Gable and Sean Connery. Then, one night, it occurred to me that Lana spelled backwards is Anal! Ugh! Well, nothing is perfect.But this is as close as I can get- I am beautiful, light, and fair...LANA MAE BAKER!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spring Arbor Open House 07-23-07

Tyler Jay Wiedewitsch thinks he's too cool for school! But wait....that was BEFORE the open house at Spring Arbor University-Grand Rapids Campus! We spent some time visiting with my dear support staff from SAU-these people made it possible and pleasurable to complete my Bachelors degree in Family Life Education AND it was a great quality education in a very positive environment. So much so that I have chosen to apply for admission there to do my Masters of Arts in Counseling.

Here I am with Pat Caporosi, the admissions coordinator.

The academic coordinator, LeAnne Daglow, took a lot of time to explain the Associate of Arts program to Tyler. He was so impressed that he's decided to check into admission at Spring Arbor as well. When we got home, he told his brother Trevor about it, too. So, we might be making Spring Arbor a family affair! Does that mean we get a group discount? Maybe a Spring Arbor tattoo for the three of us after graduation...SAHWEEET!

Here's our miracle worker-Student Services Coordinator, Diana Klungel. What a gal! Super helpful and knowledgeable about everything Spring Arbor!

Check out the Spring Arbor link under the I likes it, I likes it a lot listing on my sidebar. Just click on it...also, under Blog Buddies on my sidebar, you'll find Diana's blog and some great photos of her latest vacation to Hawaii-among other things!

Meeting Miss Scarlett

Beautiful Miss Scarlett Mae Nykamp!

Scarlett Mae Nykamp born 7/11/07 @ Holland Hospital. Weighing in at 6 lbs. 11oz. and all of 19" tall!

On Saturday, July 21st, I paid a visit to the Nykamps-Dirk, Heather, Jada, and Sam-who welcomed a lovely new addition on July 11th. Scarlett Mae(also my middle name, which I say should entitle me to be the Godmother, doesn't that sound reasonable?) I popped into Holland Hospital after work on July 11th just to check on Heather and see how she was doing. It was around 4pm in the afternoon and Scarlett Mae had just made her appearance less than a half hour before! I was the first person other than the staff at the hospital and Heather and Dirk to see this little angel. Another reason I REALLY should be the Godmother! Sometimes it just pays to be nosy and impulsive! Actually, I hadn't planned to just drop in and crash the party but somehow my car just drove there after work-sort of like automatic writing or something...anyway, I found myself there so I went on in. Thanks Dirk and Heather for letting me share your special time!Heather looked fabulous ALREADY by the way-she probably wore her skinny jeans home!
My visit on the 21st included getting to hold Miss Scarlett for a nice while and getting to talk to and play with big sister Jada and big brother Sam. Very great kids!Way to go and a big CONGRATULATIONS to you Dirk and Heather! God Bless!
Jada, Sam, Scarlett and Lana

Friday, July 13, 2007

Leaf & Bean

Want to have a unique experience? The Leaf & Bean, located at 421 Columbia Ave. in Holland, MI reminds me of one of those cool hippy-dippy chic beatnik kind of places you would have found in the 60's. It's like stepping back in time. This shop is located 4 blocks from Hope College and 1 block from Black River School. They feature all sorts of coffee and tea drinks plus smoothies and Italian Sodas. The have humongous muffins and scones and all sorts of specialty sandwhiches and soups. I dined there this evening in the company of two charming ladies I met during my studies at Spring Arbor University, Sybil Cathey, who is also one of the owners of the Leaf & Bean, and Joyce Moore. My oldest son Tyler also joined us and we had the privilege of meeting Ron Cathey, the lucky guy who married Sybil, and one of the Cathey boys, Gray, who had been helping at a Christian camp that featured horseback riding. This cafe has WIRELESS INTERNET! Very important to us blogger types! Every Thursday night is open mike night for all you talented folks! The Leaf & Bean has an impressive selection of giftables and delectable food items, as well as coffee beans and other interesting things such as yard art, handbags, and incense. Oh, and let's not forget, ICE CREAM!! Ice Cream AND Wireless Internet...are you getting this? We visited for over two hours before Sybil had to close the place and practically throw rocks at us to get us to leave-that's how much we liked this place! I had a fantastic dinner here: Spinach Frittatas and a huge Chai Tea. Tyler had the Portobello Mushroom Panini and an Italian soda. One of those perfect summer evenings. This gets put on our list of things to do AGAIN~SOON!

Leaf & Bean

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Dating Phase II (Subtitle: The reason I love my dogs and cats even MORE now!!

2007 arrived and with it the optimism of a new year and new beginning. I was also feeling that if I wanted things in my life to be different (meaning hopefully better!) I was going to have to take action. Do something different (after all, we do know the meaning of insanity) If it's to be, it's up to me! Embrace...NO! Pursue change! Change is our friend. Change is inevitable. Aw, what the heck! Go for it...So, one Sunday afternoon, in the grips of an all-consuming boredom, a like-minded friend and I persuaded one another to join eHarmony. My friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, had also had a rotten year. We both ended long-term relationships in 2006. We told ourselves that there are still good guys out there. Furthermore, those guys would be damn lucky to snag us! So, we took the personality and compatibility tests that measured us on ALL 29 levels! We worked on our profiles until we had them just perfect! We hit a button, gave our credit card number, and we were off like a herd of turtles! The next day I logged onto my eHarmony account only to find, much to my horror, that about a dozen of my matches had already closed me! Not even 24 hours on this bloody thing and I'm already getting rejection-BUGGER! Come to find out, the majority of them closed the match because I hadn't posted a picture on my profile. Guys are visual (is that code for superficial and shallow?) so that was understandable. A few of them were freaked out by the fact that I'm a massage therapist (aka hooker is what I'm assuming they were thinking when they read that). I did get a few requests for communication, so I was happy to start there. Within a couple days, I was able to get a digital photo added to my profile. Almost immediately six more matches got closed. Well, I thought to myself, if those guys are that unaccepting and unwilling to get to know what a great person I am, I wouldn't want them anyway! They can just kiss my big, fat a...anyway, I let it go...Sooo, as time went by, I did get some interested matches. Slowly but surely I started "getting out there" and dating. Hmm, date #1-this guy said he was 5'6". Not an issue. I'm 5'2" myself and never have been partial to really tall guys so I'm ok with this. When I get to the restaurant, I find out this guy is shorter than me!I'm talking a good 2-3 inches. And I wore flats! Like he thinks I'm not going to notice? And, if he's lying about his height, what else has he not told the truth about? Date #2 used a photo that had to be at least 20 years old! Again, misrepresentation! Date #3 could never keep his word about when he was going to call, so I shouldn't have been surprised when he showed up an hour late with the lame excuse, "I'll be late for my own funeral...HaHaHa!" I'm not waiting around for that! Date #4 was a cheapskate. Date #5 wouldn't leave the waitress a tip-this tells me he's not a generous person in any other area of his life either. I am always thoughtful of those in a service industry since I work in one myself.GONG! Date #6 started talking about himself right after introductions and didn't stop for 3 1/2 hours when I had to excuse myself because of a splitting headache! He asked if he could see me again...not in this lifetime, Sparky!
So, I joined a couple singles groups through churches in the area. This turned out to be a better choice for me. I like doing things in a group and there isn't the pressure of a one-on-one date. I had some good experiences going out to dinner and movies and some other activities.So, I did the biggie-I went to a dance and actually had the moxie to ask a guy if he'd like to dance with me. To which he replied,"I think I'll wait..." Wait for what? A better offer? I reminded him that it wasn't a marriage proposal and quickly moved on...Don't these guys ever look in the mirror? Most of them aren't exactly super-model magnets! I felt like telling this guy, "You don't have any reason to feel like you can be that choosy!" I have decided that while I like the group activities better, it's still all rather weird after being married for almost 25 years!You have to have a thick skin to do this dating gig these days. I guess I'm just not that motivated!
I am not about to give up, but I realize that most of the time I'm pretty happy with my life just the way it is. Maybe that's why I'm being so picky. Apparently, I wasn't picky enough in the past! During a lot of these dates I actually wished I was at home in my jammies watching TV with my dogs and cats! I am blessed. I have my sons, my grandson, my two jobs, my fabulous church, plenty of loving family and friends and my hobbies and educational pursuits. This is a full life for anyone! Not that I wouldn't make time for the right person, because I would. It would take a very special person I'm realizing. I want what I want and I'm not willing to settle for less this time around. I'd rather be single the rest of my life than to get stuck with another guy that makes me miserable!
OK, here's the bottom line: Must be a Christian. Must be willing to treat me and my children/family with love, kindness and respect. Must love my dogs and cats as much as I do! Must be nice to my ex-husband, Lewis. Will consider ages 30-60(I'm not kidding!).Must be nice. Must be fun. Must be willing to try new things and go on adventures. If you're a hottie and/or know how to cook, that would be helpful! If you or anyone you know fits this description, please respond in the comments portion of this blog...So, in the meantime, no more Internet dating for this girl! It's real-life all the way!

Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Underwear Chronicles

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The Underwear Chronicles

I knew that if I came up with some body-part related post title, I'd get more of you perverts out there to read my blog! I'll stop at nothing to boost readership! Actually, this post stems from a conversation I just had with a coworker. I have waxed my own legs for years, which is probably TMI for most of you, but I can't reach the backs of my legs myself, so I have to ask someone for assistance. One day, when I had not anticipated open time in my schedule, I had a no-show. So, I decided to wax my legs. When I got to the backs of my legs, I had a problem because I hadn't anticipated anyone seeing the ugly underwear I was wearing that day. So, I made excuses to Julie as to why my underwear was ratty and she said that she's seen a lot worse in her waxing career and that, as a matter of fact, she owns some that were just as bad or worse. Which led to my explaining to her that I have three drawers of underwear. The first is my absolute worst ones-the ones that need to be thrown out but I've saved them for when Aunt Flo comes to visit. Then there's the middle of the road underwear that I wear everyday. Nothing to write home about but they get the job done. The third drawer doesn't get opened very often, I'm afraid! That's my "might get lucky" drawer of underwear...I don't have near the selection that I used to!! And now, when I open up that drawer, moths fly out!!! I remember that my childhood friend, Joyce, used to call her underwear "seatcovers". I also remember seeing my mom and granny's underwear when I was little and thinking that you could have used them for parachutes if your plane went down! That, and the fact that they kept them pulled up to their armpits. God forbid that anyone should see any part of the prim and proper lady! Every Christmas I try to get the boys some humorous ones. Last Christmas, Trevor got ones that had the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven on them! When I got married some umpteen million gazillion years ago, I got a pair of edible undies at my bridal shower. As I recall, they were horrible-both Lewis and I tried them and decided that anyone who would eat those would eat pooh..well, you get the idea. Also, at that same bridal shower, I got a pair of those crotchless panties from Frederick's of Hollywood. I never wore them but one day, I hadn't done the laundry and I didn't have a choice. I was working in Customer Service at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of OR at the time and had to either wear a skirt and blouse or dress to meet the public. The entire day I was mortified that I would trip and fall somewhere, or there would be a strong wind come along while crossing the street, or worst of all, vinyl seats!! Never wore them again! I haven't had the best of luck at times with underwear! Once, during my thong phase, the little dental floss string that you're supposed to have between your butt cheeks, popped while I was getting stuff at the garden store. I hadn't noticed until the clerk mentioned what an unusual "belt" I had on and that she'd never seen one quite like it! My face was so RED! Another time, when I was the student body president at Paducah Community College, the student government sponsored a blood drive. The school paper, as well as the Paducah Sun, came out to take photos and do a story. Of course, they wanted to get my picture cuz' I was the Prez. So, they had me sit at a table with the nurse, and she was going to take my blood pressure for the picture. When I unbuttoned my shirt sleeve and went to roll it up, there was a pair of my underwear hanging out... obviously, I had forgotten to use Cling-free sheets in the drier!! They all thought that was hilarious. The student body president always carries a "spare" ! Underwear seems to have some inherent funniness about it. We call them "britches" and "drawers" which are sort of funny just on their own... Then there's all the naughty little songs about underwear, like the little ditty that starts out, "There's place in France where the ladies wear no pants..." and the old standby favorite, The old red drawers that Maggie wore. Well, that's about it for my comprehensive knowledge of the subject. I'm wondering if there are any other interesting underwear stories out there just waiting to be told?

07-07-07 A day of completion and perfection

Wow! Seven is the number of completion and perfection. God created the heavens and the earth and rested on the 7th day because His work was complete AND perfect!Woo-hoo! I see on the TV that there are three times the normal amount of weddings today because people are feeling especially LUCKY today. In fact, Las Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City and all of the major gambling centers are overrun this weekend because of the LUCKY number 7! I wonder what the Count off of Sesame Street would have to say about all this! Personally, I have always been quite partial to the number seven myself. Although, I'm glad I didn't have seven of everything-especially kids or husbands! Well, I plan on taking advantage of the day to complete as many things as possible and having as much perfection as possible, too! I started out by sleeping in which is part of the perfection thing...I almost never get the luxury of sleeping that late! I just had a nice conversation with Lewis. Not sure if that's completion...or perfection...LOL! I just signed my FAFSA with my new PIN under my new name (which I dearly love!) and made my corrections so now I'm one step closer to being accepted to the MAC program at Spring would certainly think...Tonight I do have shelter duty-but that's perfect because I need to start earning money again after vacation (tapped out!) and I am able to be in service to others which is both perfection and completion for me! Gads, this is a great day! Tomorrow when I get off of shelter duty-9am-I am going to church with my son, Tyler. Then we are going to pick up Jayden and maybe go to Timbertown again or Oval Beach, Tunnel Park or Holland State Park. Haven't decided.Possibly Ball Park Zoo. Whatever it is, it'll be good. And then there will be more pictures. YAY!! Whatever you're doing today, God Bless You, and enjoy this LUCKY, COMPLETE, PERFECT day!
Lana Mae Baker!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Always a devoted Diana fan, I enjoyed hearing the interview that Matt Lauer conducted with William and Harry. I felt a strong connection with her since we were about the same age and both had two boys. Both of us married men who were quite a bit older than we were and also shared some of the same struggles/issues in our marriages. I followed the events of her life with great interest and great empathy. I believe Princess Diana would be very proud of her boys and pleased at how "normal" they have turned out. She was a fun mom and did a lot of cool things with her kids and I could always relate to that.Being a mom was her top priority and I am in alignment with that core value also. The concert William and Harry put together to honor her life turned out fantastic! Hard to beat Duran Duran and Rod Stewart was still an incredible show-stopper.After all these years, Tom Jones remains the consummate gentleman. Very touching that Diana's sons would come up with this for her. It's hard to believe she has been gone 10 years.

I saw two movies last weekend that I thought were worth the time to watch: Blood Diamond and Casino Royale. I have always loved James Bond movies-have seen them all- and they did this classic justice in the remake! Blood Diamond was disturbing, but then many things that are based on true-life situations are disturbing! I would never have understood what was meant by "conflict diamonds" if I hadn't seen this movie.

I also read a good book last week. It was Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge. This is the first one of his books I've read and now I'm hooked! I love a good surprise ending and this story ended in a way that makes you think about details that occurred earlier in the book.His chapters are short which make it an easy read for me since I can knock out a chapter or two between my appointments at work.Now I'm reading Dark Harbor by Stuart Woods-one of my favorite authors. If you've never read any of his books, they are an engaging but easy read also.

According to the Today show, the five most important qualities for a successful marriage:
  1. Faithfulness.
  2. Satisfying Sex.
  3. Help with household chores.
  4. Adequate income.
  5. Good housing.
I was talking to one of my clients after the weekend. We both were commenting on the fact that it is the simple pleasures in life that make the days feel wonderful to us. It's not having more money or more things, but having the time to spend doing things that bring us joy and time for our relationships with the people we care about.

Another conversation I had with at least 3 other people at multiple times this past week revolved around the difficulty of setting and maintaining healthy boundaries in our relationships. It seems as though the closer the relationship, the tougher this becomes. There is often a dilemma between "killing people off", symbolically of course, by cutting off all communication and contact, or, at the other extreme, lying down and being a doormat to keep a relationship intact at the expense of your own self-worth. Healthy relatedness lies somewhere in the middle. Some people would rather abandon a relationship than to have to be accountable for how they treat others/allow others to treat them. We train people how to treat us by what we are willing to tolerate. Retraining is a real bummer!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Dutch Villiage

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Dutch Villiage 07/01/07

Spent the day with Tyler and Jayden at Dutch Villiage. I had no idea that place was so cool. I've lived here almost 11 years and have never been there before. Had planned to go with Marcee and Jayden over Tulip Time, but it was so crazy busy there that we opted for Meijer Gardens instead. The weather was perfect and we were able to see klompendancers and some nice animals, fun things to play on, Jayden had his first carousel ride and absolutely got obsessed with the street scrubbing thing!! We had a hard time getting him to leave the broom and bucket there! On the way out, we stopped at the Hungry Dutchman cafe that is right on the waterfront. Jayden enjoyed feeding his hot dog bun to the ducks in the pond. It was such a fun, pleasant day! There were many shops and other interesting things to do and see but Jayden was getting tired, so we will get to all of that next time. I ran into Joe Nelis, one of the owners, and also Trevor's employer at The Lost City. Tyler has also worked there in the past. I just had to compliment Joe on the wonderful place he and his family has created in our area. The gardens, the shops, the shows, the animals, the dancing. It was all very neat! Joe has also been a great guy to give my boys jobs and to take a personal interest in their lives and our family. It is quite a compliment to the sort of person Joe is if you see how he works with all the kids he hires at The Lost City. Very much a mentor. I was happy to have such a nice day there....

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