04Mar/17
chilling on the porch

Packing Up My Childhood Home

and who will be doing mine….

chilling on the porch

me on the porch of my childhood home

My friends are always a veritable source of blog ideas and chatting with them yesterday about this subject brought back memories of when I packed up my childhood home. Several of my friends have had to do this already and another one is dreading the time that will inevitably be in her future.

Packing up the home you grew up in is not an easy thing to do…ever. Even under the best of circumstances. And I really don’t know that there are any good circumstances….maybe if you are helping your parents downsize to a smaller place and they are both still alive. But even that would have to hold some sad moments for the ones who are never going to see the inside of of that house again. However most of the time that isn’t the case and the children are left to pack up the home and all that belonged to their family.

My daughter and I worked alone for months on my parents house. This was definitely one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in more ways than one. My father had already passed and Mom was in a nursing home with Dementia and was never going to return to the house I grew up in and that she loved so dearly. Mom hadn’t been well for awhile and left things go and the house was in bad shape..it was almost like an edition of “Horders.” When we walked in and looked around we almost turned right around and walked back out….we didn’t know where to start.

The whole situation was unbelievably hard emotionally and physically and also because we were doing it by ourselves… we were just overwhelmed. We finally decided to sell the place “as is” and found a local buyer who did “flips.” That decision saved us from having to get everything out and clean what would be a feat not even Mr. Clean could or would tackle. But, we still wanted to go through as much as we could to make sure there weren’t any “gems” left in the house before we turned it over to the buyer.

Going through my parents things gave me a whole new view on who they were and what they had been before I came along. We found letters from camp written to old boyfriends from Mom and letters from Dad written to Mom while he was serving in the Navy. It brought up so many questions and I really wished I could ask them about some of them. But sadly that was not meant to be…with my Dad gone and Mom having Dementia that was impossible. Not to mention all of my parents siblings had passed as well so there was no one left to ask about the things that were left behind or the people my parents once were.

The letters and items from Mom’s childhood gave me a whole other view as to who this woman was. You never think of your parents as even having a childhood and being young and carefree with hopes and dreams just like us. I wanted to know this person, I wish I could have been friends with her. I think I would have had a lot in common with the young child and person she was before she became my “Mom.”

We found paintings Mom had done upstairs in the storage area. I knew Mom had this talent as I had seen some of her paintings early on in my childhood. But I forgot how good she was at it and would have loved to ask her why she stopped. Why didn’t she continue to paint and what would make her give up this talent? Did she do it for my sister and I? Did she think she wasn’t good enough? I will never know the answers to these questions.

Mom loved to shop and that was never more evident to us as we went through the closets full of clothing, shoes and handbags. This whole shopping addiction has been passed on to me and my daughters. So you see it is not our fault we shop! Going through the stacks and stacks of clothes with tags still on them made me decide I wasn’t going to do this anymore. And I have tried to be better about what I want and what I really need. If I buy one thing I must give up two items. I give away a lot of things to my friends and family too. I would rather give it to them than make a few bucks on it or give it to Goodwill. So I have learned something from this experience.

While going through one of the closets I found something else that totally blew my mind. Something so horrible and vile that it is forever etched in my mind…As I lifted a pile of pants something hard touched my hand. I lifted the item out from between the clothes so I could see what it was. OMG!! It can’t be…it is…it was… a “dildo.” I screamed and dropped the offending thing on the floor. Yes, you read this right… My Mother had a dildo in her closet. Believe me, this is not something I thought my own mother would even remotely know about, let alone me finding one in her closet. I ran in the bathroom and scoured my hands with antibacterial soap for much longer than needed and tried to regain my sanity. My daughter was screaming too so when we finally both calmed down, we got a trash bag and threw the heinous thing inside and sealed the bag tightly so it couldn’t escape and do more damage than it had already done.

This whole “dildo” episode made me think…what will those left behind to pack up my house find….I did call my friend and made her promise to go through things first so nothing would scare my children or whoever is left to do this. I got rid of the most offending items I could think of…however, there may still be a few things I need to lock up in a box and then maybe even swallow the key….

As you can see there are many ways to look at doing this life changing thing of cleaning out your childhood home. There will be a lot of good memories to be found and also some sad ones. But then you might find something that will make you laugh. Almost as though it was left there for just that reason. I know I sure have a good laugh whenever I remember Mom’s “dildo.”

Home Sweet Home

My childhood home

Have you gone through this? Have you packed up your childhood home? What did you find?

“Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

 

 

25Feb/17
eat some ice cream

Best Advice I Ever Got

And who gave it to me…

eat some ice cream

“Just eat ice cream and you’ll feel much better”- me

Advice…what is it? Why do we listen to others and why did our parents bother to even give it to us…were we even listening? Googling advice…here is what comes up.. “Advice, noun….guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative. Not everyone who has given me advice has been knowledgeable or authoritative..well thinking about this, I guess my Mom was authoritative in that she was my Mother.

I am good at giving advice, but not at taking it. And one thing is for sure, I am not good at taking my own advice. Having said that, here is some of the best advice I have received over the years and it has stuck with me to this day.

“Lower your expectations” – A  good friend gave me this advice at least 20 years ago and I have never forgot it. I was always getting hurt by others and telling her that I didn’t understand why this happened. One night she told me that not everyone was as kind or generous as I was and that is why they couldn’t live up to my expectations. And she said, maybe If I lowered mine I wouldn’t be hurt so much. I have tried to live by this and it has helped. Sometimes it still makes me sad that people can’t be kind or do what I would do. But that is just the way it is..

“You should be a writer” – I have been told this several times in my life. Once by a teacher I had in school and often by friends and family members. I never had the time when the kids were growing up. I know its a lame excuse….But I am writing now. Just a blog, but I’m writing. I still have a book or two in me, maybe one day I will let them out.

“Never let a big dog jump on you” – Another good friend’s mother told her this and she shared it with me. I think this is good advice and really a metaphor. I think it means to try not to let something you don’t want to happen to you… happen to you.

“Make sure you always wear clean underwear” – This one is from my mom. She always said you never know when you will have to go to the hospital and you need to have clean underwear on if that happens. I did have to go once and thank goodness my underwear was clean. Thanks Mom!

“Never change who you are for someone” – I don’t remember who told me this but it stuck with me and I never have changed for anyone. I am me, take me as I am.

“If a relationship isn’t right, you can’t fix it. And if it’s good, you can’t mess it up” – An older woman friend of mine told me this once when I was in the beginning stages of a relationship and asked her how I could fix it. She also said you shouldn’t have to fix it at the very beginning, it should be awesome. I never forgot this or her. And it is so very true.

“Never ever stay with someone who gets violently angry wth you for throwing away a dirty napkin” – Advice from another friend…she is no longer with him. Pretty good advice I think. Also never stay with someone that gets angry because you forgot the taco sauce when you made tacos… just a little advice from me..I know it’s important to have taco sauce when you make tacos, however to throw things and scream at someone is not…

“Ice cream, pie and wine can make anything better” – This is from me. I know it can’t fix everything but it sure does help.

“Roll down the windows and turn up the music” – This great advice is from the show on NBC, “This Is Us” Love this show by the way. I think this is awesome advice, so next time you have a bad day or life is kicking your butt… get in the car, head out on a back road…roll down the windows and turn up the music…

“Never go to bed angry” – Again… Mom. She always told me to make up with whoever I was angry with before going to sleep.This is good advice and something we should all adhere to. Life is short, so fix what is broken and tell people you love them. We aren’t guaranteed another day. And if you wake up the next day and the person you were angry at isn’t around anymore, you can never fix it.

“When you are 90 and sitting in your rocker on the front porch, think about this problem, this thing you are upset about, will it be important then?” – Me again..I always ask myself this question or people who come to me with a problem. It works when you ask this, because most of the time we spend worrying over such trivial, insignificant things… Not the things that really matter.

“Never lose your sense of humor” – Actually it’s “Don’t ever lose your sense of humor Dan, don’t EVER lose your sense of humor.” This line is from “About Last Night”, the movie with Jim Belushi and Rob Lowe. Love this line..and so true..we must always keep our sense of humor…it will help us get through this thing called life. Believe me if I didn’t have a sense of humor I don’t know how I would have survived the things I’ve been through.

“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with” – Crosby, Stills and Nash. Well they sang this song but seriously a guy once said this to me…think he had ulterior motives that night. I may or may not have listened to him.

That’s it for now, I have more but I will keep them for another time. If you have a piece of great advice someone once gave you please tell us in the comments. I would love to hear them. What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

“Advice is like snow – the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

 

 

18Feb/17
friends at a birthday party

“You’ve Got A Friend”

Another song from James Taylor…and more.

friends at a birthday party

my birthday party..don’t I look happy..LOL!!

I am the little girl in the middle of all my friends, the one with the non smiling face…in fact I look mad.  I think it was due to the fact that Mom always invited EVERYONE to my birthday parties, not just the friends from school I wanted to invite. I am happy to say I am still friends with some of these kids. Some have moved out of state and one has passed away, but a few of my childhood friends are still in my life and I give thanks every day that they are.

I have lost so many people in the past few years, so the people I have left are very dear to me. If you have one good friend you have everything. I am blessed to have many. I was thinking about this last night after spending the day with some of these friends. I have been going through some stuff lately and then after hearing one of my dear friends lost her father  yesterday, it once again reminded me how precious life is and to savior each and every moment we have.

I spent the entire day yesterday with friends. We had lunch and then after chatting for awhile we went back to one of their houses and had pie and wine. What an amazing thing, what’s not to like about that? Pie and wine…I think that should be a “thing.” Let’s make it a thing…a weekly thing…a daily thing…ok, I’m getting carried away now, but it “was” awesome. And the most awesome part was that we were just sitting around eating, drinking and laughing… telling stories of when we were in high school together and how and when we first met each other.

We couldn’t even believe how quickly the day had slipped away and when we checked it was near dinner time. Hadn’t we just met at noon and where had the day gone? So we said our goodbyes and left only to have me and my friend who drove me back to my car sit in her car for 2 hours and talk some more. The hours slipped by like seconds and we only realized how long we were sitting there when a couple came out of the restaurant we were parked near and got in their car next to us. A couple that had pulled up when we first pulled in the parking lot. I said oh my, they got here, went in, ate and are finished, how long have we been sitting here? It had been 2 hours and she wasn’t tired of hearing me talk.That’s a friend.

We said our goodbyes again and I headed out for my hour drive home. I smiled the whole way home thinking of what a wonderful day I just had talking and sharing our life stories. And in that hour drive home I also thought about what makes these friendships I have now so different. Why do I treasure them so much and when I was younger even though my friends were important to me…I just took them for granted and thought that they would somehow just always be there. We talked about that a little yesterday at my friend’s house and said it is because at our age, and after losing so many in our lives…we now know how precious life is and so we value the friendships and the friends and time spent together even more.

So what makes a friend a good friend? I thought a lot about this on the way home as well and here are a few things I came up with.

A friend is someone who is there for you during the happy times of course, but then they are there for you during the worst times too. They are present for you when you need them most not just when you are having fun or it is convenient to be your friend.

A friend is someone you could call at 1am if you needed to talk. And I have done this.

A friend is someone who would hold your hair if you were throwing up. Yeah this really happened…so I knew she was a keeper.

A friend is someone who walks in the rain with you. Doing a “walk” for a cause with you when you don’t have anyone else to do it with..and it’s raining.

A friend is someone who finds time to spend with you. If you need them they are there. Doesn’t matter how busy their life is… they will still find time for you.

A friend is someone who listens to you, really listens…not just sitting there waiting for you to finish talking so they can talk.

A friend is someone who loves you totally in spite of all your flaws. They “get” you and love you for who you really are. They don’t try to change you and they think your weirdness and craziness are some of the best parts of you. I think this one is very important in a friendship. If someone is constantly pointing out your flaws or trying to change you in even small ways…they aren’t a friend.

A friend is someone who makes being with you a priority not just a “sometime thing” when they don’t have anything better to do.

A friend is someone who comes back in your life after a long time and nothing has changed. You feel like no time has passed…everything is the same and you are able to just pick up where you left off. The craziness, the love…its all still there.

friend is someone who you are connected to in ways you don’t even understand. They just are. You can be thinking about them and they will suddenly call or text.

A friend is someone who “does” for you. They know what you need and they do it when you yourself don’t even know you need it.

A friend is someone who helps you move. More than once. I hate moving and I know moving other people is even worse so a friend that helps you move even one time is a blessing and a real friend.

This is just my short list of what friendship means to me. I hope my friends think I do some of these things for them. I do try hard to be a good friend, but I am going to try even harder. I love the friends I have in my life now but I have also had to let go of some friendships this past year. Losing a child has changed me, I am not the same person I was before. I am truly sorry this has happened and it makes me sad…but it is just the way it has to be for now. I love my tribe of friends and hope we have many more great times to come. One thing I learned yesterday… its fun to have new experiences in your life at the ripe old age of 67…and having wine and pie with good friends is one of them.

What do you think makes a friend a good friend? I’d love to hear your comments.

Friendship isn’t about whom you have known the longest…It’s about who came and never left your side.” ~ Unknown

09Feb/17
funeral in the church

The Unexpected Things I Learned About Myself At A Funeral

You never know when you will have these “light bulb” going off experiences…

funeral in the church

the light went off in the church…not literally

I have been blessed in my life to have three “Mothers”. My Mother who gave birth to me, my godmother Lorraine and my Mother-in-law, Peg(actually she hasn’t been my MIL for many years, since her son and I divorced). My Mother passed away in 2014, I was grateful to still have Lorraine and Peg as my “other Mothers”. Lorraine passed in October of last year and Peg, this past week.

All 3 of these women were so important to me and such big influences in my life. They helped to shape me into the woman I am today. All of them were very different, the one constant being their deep love for me and my love for them. I have written about my Mother several times and have shared how much I miss her every day. I was so grateful to have these other women in my life when she passed. Now they are all 3 gone.

Peg had been in a nursing home for the last several months. The very same one my Mother had been in for 4 years and the exact same wing she was in when we said goodbye to her. So it was very hard to go back there when my MIL was sent there to recuperate from an illness. We thought she would go back to her home and that is what she had hoped for also. But that wasn’t meant to be. We went to visit almost 2 weeks ago and she passed a few days later. We knew most likely when we left that day we would not see her again..on this earth.

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

I had been dreading the thought of her funeral, due to the fact that it seems like all I do lately is go to funerals of people I love. However this particular one was different…and we spoke about it many times when we were together. It was different because my ex husband would be there. A man I had loved dearly, a man who was my first love, the father of my children and a man I thought I would be with forever. Knowing also the funeral would be held in the church we used to go to as a family when we were together and where we got married for the second time(yes, we did..incase you missed this in my previous posts, I did marry him twice). It took me a long time to get over him after our divorce. I thought love was supposed to last forever. I couldn’t believe ours didn’t.

My oldest was out of the country at the time of the funeral but my youngest came home with her 3 boys. We all went to the funeral together and also took my son’s 2 children. All 5 of the kids loved their Nanny and wanted to be there. For those of you reading my blog for the first time, I lost my son in July of last year. The 7 of us walked into the church and immediately memories from the past came flooding back. I though it might be hard but I didn’t expect it to be that hard. Thank goodness for the love and support from my Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law and their whole family including my nieces and nephew who quickly surrounded us and hugged us. With me not being “real” family and knowing how my ex felt about me, I knew I was the odd man(woman) out…but they did everything they could to make me feel like part of their family. Their warmth, love and understanding was truly appreciated and something I will never forget.

Without going into too much detail, lets just say things between my ex and I aren’t exactly good. Things between us aren’t really anything at all since we don’t speak and I haven’t seen or heard from him in over 30 years. He doesn’t have a relationship with his children(our kids together) and he has never met his grandchildren(his choice). So the fact my Mother-in-law and I could keep a relationship through all of this albeit a close one was amazing. We never knew what to call each other, so I would call her Mom and she told people I was her daughter-in-law. We got tired of  saying ex DIL and MIL and explaining it to people so we just settled on that.

I loved my MIL and I was going to the funeral no matter what. I needed to pay my respects to her for all she had done and all she had been to my children and grandchildren, and of course me. I knew my ex wouldn’t be happy about my being there so I didn’t know what to expect when I saw him. What I really didn’t expect were all the feelings that came over me the moment I first saw him walk in. So many mixed emotions and feelings of “what ifs” and what could have been. I was brought right back to that time many many years ago when we were a family and raising our kids together. I guess its normal to feel this way especially when you haven’t seen the person in such a long time. I guess its normal to wonder what might have been and how life would have played out for us if we had stayed together. I guess it is, I’ve never been in this position before so I don’t really know. I just knew I was overloading on memories and freaking out a bit.

My daughter sensed all of this going on and leaned over and hugged me and asked me how I was doing. I told her I wasn’t doing too good. I told her there was so much going on and so many feelings I didn’t expect to feel. While she was hugging me she whispered in my ear, “turn around and look a few pews back.” I turned around and there was someone else from my past seated all alone just smiling back at me. A friend, a good friend that had been around during that time and knew what I was going through. It was a friend I hadn’t seen in a very long time. But somehow just seeing this person there helped. It jolted me right out of my “what ifs” and “what could have beens”. It reminded me of how far I’d come since that time way back then and that I made it to this point in life all on my own. I had raised my kids myself and did a pretty decent job. My son may be gone but he was a good, kind man and he created 2 sweet loving children to carry on his legacy. My girls are both wonderful young women and they are also my friends. My youngest is raising her 3 boys and they are growing up into caring young men. I realized I had done pretty good without him or his help.

Having these 5 grandchildren sitting beside me made me feel so loved. They were worried about me and wanted to protect me. So did my nieces, they sat in the pew with me as well. I don’t think I have ever felt so loved, especially at a time such as this when I wasn’t sure I could even make it through the day. I do know their grandfather will never know that kind of love. And I feel sorry for him. When he stood  at the podium looking out over the church to read what he had written about his mother, there we were… all 7 of us lined up together directly in his view. He couldn’t NOT see us. He has not seen us for 30 years but he saw us that day in the church. The day we came to pay our respects to the woman who raised him. The woman I called Mom.

“No one ever really dies as long as they took the time to leave us with fond memories.” ~ Chris Sorensen

02Feb/17
giraffes

10 Questions That Have No Answers

at least I don’t know the answer…

giraffes

why do we have such long necks, Bob?

There are certainly many unanswered questions out there. For some reason I tend to think of weird things and wonder about many of them while drifting off to sleep. Yes, I know I’m weird. Here are a few of the many questions I have.

  1. Why do giraffes have such long necks? No other animal has a neck this long. I always thought they looked kinda weird and if they weren’t careful they could get tied in a knot. Like if they looked in to many different directions at one time or if they did yoga or something.
  2. Why do they have toilet paper commercials on tv? Seriously, we all need this. Do they really need to advertise it? Do they think we will stop buying it?
  3. Why do we adults have trouble opening child proof bottles, but little kids have no problem? If I can’t get my bottle of aspirin open I always ask my grandson to open it. No problem.
  4. Why is lemonade sometimes made with artificial flavoring, but my dishwashing liquid is made with real lemon juice? This one really gets to me. I don’t understand it at all. I honestly would pay more for my lemonade to have real lemons in it. And wouldn’t artificial lemon juice work just as well in the dishwashing liquid? It’s not like I drink it…but it does smell yummy, so I want to.
  5. Is clear a color? My grandson just told me the color of his hair was clear when he was a baby. I asked don’t you mean blonde, he said no it was clear. I don’t know…maybe clear is a color. White is a color and it really doesn’t have any color… ok, never mind.
  6.  Why when someone works really hard do we say “he worked like a dog”? I don’t get this. Every dog I know lays around all day and sleeps. They might get up and walk around in circles for a bit, but then they lick themselves and lay back down again. Really, did you ever do this when you worked very hard at something?
  7. Why do we say “after dark”? After dark is light and light is before dark. So what does this even mean?  I think this is another one of those riddles our ancestors said to confuse us.
  8. When you die do you have to keep wearing the outfit you had on when you died? Anyone know if this is true…if it is, then I need to dress better every single day….just incase.
  9. Why is there an expiration date on sour cream containers? Ok, isn’t it already spoiled, it is sour..so why can’t we keep it forever and not have it turn bad? My daughter and I had this discussion last week when we made tacos and the sour cream had a date that had passed. We looked at each other and said, “how can it go bad it’s already sour?” So we used it on our tacos. We are still alive. And thank goodness for that cause I wasn’t wearing a very cute outfit that day.
  10. Why are all barns red? I don’t even have a thought on this one…let me think for a bit..Nope.. nada.. nothing.

Well that’s my ten for today. I have a lot more but I will save them for another day. Ok, since you begged me…I have another…why for all that’s holy please tell me why hot dogs come in packs of 8 and hot dog rolls come in packs of 10?? Why?

And here’s one for you to sleep on tonight. The ABC’s are supposedly alphabetically arranged…who made this the way it is and said that is the correct way? Maybe, way back in time it really started with N or Q. And then someone else came along and thought better of it and said I think it should start with “A”. Whoa…I will just leave you to ponder that one. And if you come up with a good answer I will listen to it.

Do you have any questions that have no answers?

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” ~ Charles Chaplin

27Jan/17
a man who can fix things

“It’s So Nice To Have A Man Around The House”

Especially when they can fix things…

a man who can fix things

he really loves to fix things…

Both Dinah Shore and Eartha Kitt sang this song back in the day, but it sure says what I’m feeling this week. And no I don’t have a man living in my house. And I didn’t all the sudden find the man of my dreams(does one such man even exist) What I have found is something better… A good honest man who can fix things and doesn’t charge me an arm and a leg to do so.

I bought my little old 1890’s built house 9 years ago. It is a double house, not a duplex but a house that had another full house attached to the back of the parent house. I wanted a house where I could have my own place and my son and his family could have theirs. We decided to do this together and I would charge them less rent because my son would do all the work on the house and also take care of the yard work and snow removal. He took care of everything from electrical problems to plumbing and everything in between…and I mean everything. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix. It worked out great for us all. If I ever had a problem I told him and it was taken care of. And I was there to help out with the grandkids.

This situation worked great for all of us until my son’s death in July of last year. I was grieving the loss of my son but also I was constantly stressing and worrying about how I was going to take care of this big old house that always, always needed something fixed. As I have mentioned before, I have awesome friends and one of them gave me the name of a man she said was a wonderful handyman should I ever need one. So many things had been happening over the past few months that I put off calling him. I have had a few leaks in the ceiling and lately they had gotten to the point where I couldn’t ignore them anymore. So I finally picked up the phone and called him last week.

His name is Calvin. We talked for a bit and he mentioned my friend had told him about me and that I might be calling him. He told me he would stop by the next day to go over what I needed done. When he arrived he wasn’t what I had expected from our conversation but then no one ever is. I always have a picture in my mind of people and somehow they never turn out looking like what I expect them to look like. Back to Calvin. I showed him around the house and told him all the things I wanted done eventually but what I needed now and what was at the top of my list was the roof fixed and to stop the constant water coming in whenever it rained. He said no problem and would be back the next day to take care of it. Just like that.

Calvin worked 2 days fixing all the leaks and was up on the roof yesterday in gale force winds trying to get everything done so we wouldn’t have to worry about any more water coming in. He found so many spots that needed repair and places that I didn’t even know were leaking. I kept going out to see if he was ok and that he hadn’t blown off the roof. Seriously… I thought he might. When he finally finished up and had loaded up the ladders and his tools he came in to present me with his bill. I was a little concerned because he did buy quite a few supplies and also worked 2 long days. I almost fell over with relief when I looked down at the amount. I won’t go into details here but lets just say I was very very happy with Calvin.

When I told my friend I had called him and how happy I was to have him she said…”Everyone should have a Calvin.” And she is so right. All of this talk about how much I liked Calvin made me think of Brooke Shields and her Calvin Klein ads back in 1980…so to do a little play on her words…”nothing’s going to come between me and my Calvin.”  My whole point is this…. we all need a Calvin. An honest man that fixes things that we can trust. Now, I can fix a broken toilet, put a new faucet on, etc, I have many times. I once lived with a man who couldn’t fix a single solitary thing… so I did. But this house is overwhelming and as I’ve said.. old. It needs a lot of fixin. I am not sure if I will continue to live here or not. There are a lot of happy memories here but then some not so good. But they say not to make a big decision until at least a year after the loved one passes so I am not rushing into anything. We will see how it goes..but in the meantime I have my Calvin.

Do you have a “Calvin” in your life? I hope so.

“Every job is good if you do your best and work hard. A man who works hard stinks only to the ones that have nothing to do but smell.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder     I loved this….

Oh by the way, here is a picture of Calvin..

Brad in Thelma and Louise

Calvin…LOL..just kiddin, it’s Brad in Thelma and Louise.

 

 

20Jan/17
crap

Do We Have Too Much Crap?

well I do and where does it all come from…

crap

yes, I said crap…

Since the weather was so warm this week it tricked me into thinking Spring was here, and because of that I decided to do a little Spring cleaning…Now if you know me at all you also know I hate to clean, so I have to pounce on these moments when they happen. And believe me they don’t happen very often.

For some reason, things in my closet seem to multiply. I really don’t understand this. I was just talking to my friends about this very thing and they agreed it happens to them too. The question is… “How” does this happen? Do little gnomes sneak in while I am sleeping and put stuff there… because I know I couldn’t have purchased all this crap. Ok, it isn’t really crap, some of it is really nice stuff. There is just way too much of it in my teeny closet.

I do feel like I just went through all of this about a year ago. Sorting through clothing, shoes, boots and handbags, getting rid of what no longer made me feel joyful. I have heard this quote on many occasions… “Discard everything that does not spark joy.” ~ Marie Kondo  I am not ever sure I can do that totally… How can I get rid of the washing machine or the stove? Anyway, my point being is it is hard to get rid of some things you may have gotten attached to or maybe thought you would wear to that wonderful event in your head that has never happened.

I decided to start with shoes and boots. I made a brilliant discovery while doing this…if you keep shoes and boots in boxes and can not see what is in those boxes, you will never wear them, And when you open aforementioned boxes, you may be quite surprised to see a pair of boots you bought 3 years ago on sale at the end of the season and have never ever worn. Note: this may or may not have happened to me… I could not believe how many pairs of shoes I had and many I have never even worn. I went through them like a crazy woman, throwing into a pile the ones I will donate and others to people I think might want them only keeping the ones that bring me “joy.”

“If you always add and never subtract, you will eventually bury yourself.”~ Peter Walsh

When I moved to this house 9 years ago I got rid of everything that didn’t make me happy or bring me “joy,” I really purged, I figured what better time to do this and there was no reason to take things I no longer loved to the new house. It was so sparse in the new abode, The basement was clean as a new born babe. I had listened to Peter Walsh’s advice about how we move boxes to new houses and never even look inside to see what we are moving. He also advised that if you had things saved from your family members who were no longer with you, to go through them and keep just one thing from the box, but display it. I thought this was good advice and I did that. It was hard getting rid of my grandmothers dishes but now I have one sitting on my dresser in my bedroom with a candle on it. I can actually see that every night and think of her.

But I digress, back to the task at hand. The shoes, boots and handbags are finished… its on to the clothing. This I’m afraid is taking much longer than the accessories. My underwear drawer alone is a daunting task to be had. There are so many different sizes and so many different types in there it is a little scary. Who is going to wear all this crap? Who did I buy these for? Ok, let’s leave that discussion for another day and maybe a therapist.

Last year I made a decision that if I purchased anything new I would get rid of two things I had. I did this for a few months and it was working. I don’t know what happened to that plan but I have now started doing it again. First of all I want to state right here and now and want you all to hold me to this…I do not now or ever in the next few years need a pair of shoes or boots…well that might be a little over the top, I may need a pair of sneakers…walking sneakers…they do wear out. and I walk a lot. But as far as clothing, styles come and go and we do need new things every now and then to perk us up and make us feel fresh and “in style”… I don’t know about the rest of you but at this age I need all the “perking up” I can get.

I don’t know if this is normal or if others tend to do this,  but I seem to get the same things over and over. If I find a certain type of shoe or sweater I am drawn to buy more of that same kind. I don’t know what that says about me or why I do this. I blame it on my Mom. I told my daughter recently maybe we should just take a picture of something we think is cute instead of buying it, that way we can look at it without the expense. She didn’t seem to like this idea. I just know I can’t keep up with all this “crap”.  I had a rough year last year and maybe all this clutter is a sign of that. I need to clear out the crap and get on with my life. This year will be all about clearing out and “healing”…

I will let you know how the closet cleaning is going and by the way if you don’t hear from me for awhile I may be lost in there and can’t find my way out. Please check on me…

Do you do this? Do you have too much crap? How do you keep it under control? I really hope I’m not the only one, let me know in the comments.

“Collect moments, not things” ~ Unknown

 

 

12Jan/17
questions anyone?

Weird Sayings That Make No Sense

and I mean they make no sense at all…

questions anyone?

Huh??

The other day I heard someone say, “That is cheap at half the price.” Huh? What does that even mean? Ok, I know what it means but why say that? Why not just say, “that’s an excellent price for that top.”  So having heard that got me to thinking about all the other weird sayings I have heard over the years and I have come up with a list. Here are some of the dumbest sayings I can think of.

  1. “I am under the weather” – ok, I know it means you aren’t feeling well but really what does this saying mean….A cloud came down and is pressing on you…snow fell on your head…how do you get “under” the weather?
  2. “Happy as a clam” –  Just how do we know clams are happy? Have you spoken to one lately? Maybe they aren’t happy at all, maybe, just maybe… they don’t like being in that shell.
  3. “He really tied one on last night” – I know it means someone got drunk. But what did they “tie” on to get that way? I may have gotten a little drunk in my day but I don’t think I ever had anything tied on me when I woke up (well at least not that I recall).
  4. “You need that like you need a hole in your head” – Ok, I get this one. You really don’t need that $200 purse..but then just say that. Of course we don’t need a hole in our head. Got it!
  5. “I knew him since he was knee high to a grasshopper” – Do you even know how small that would make someone be? I’m guessing you knew them since they were a fetus. And maybe you did.
  6. “Up Sh*t Creek without a paddle” – First of all i would not be putting my canoe or kayak in a sh*t filled creek. End of story.
  7. “If that don’t beat the band” – I really don’t get this one at all, I have no clue what this means. Who wants to beat a band? Bands do have the “beat” but don’t think that is what it’s about… No clue.
  8. “He made it by the skin of his teeth” – Since we have no skin on our teeth, how did he make it? Guess he didn’t..
  9. “It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack” – Got it, it’s hard to find.. but who put the needle in there in the first place?
  10. “He who laughs last, laughs best” – Why does he laugh best? Maybe he just didn’t get it and laughed anyway.
  11. “I’m off like a dirty shirt” – My daughter always liked this one but I don’t get it. Does it mean you are going somewhere fast… cause I would take a dirty shirt off pretty quickly? I don’t know. Do you?
  12. “Can’t see the forest for the trees” – Huh? The trees are the forest. The forest has trees. Just don’t get it.
  13. “She is dressed to the 9’s” – Does this mean she almost was a 10 and missed it?
  14. “It is what it is” – I absolutely hate this saying. What does this mean? Of course it is what it is. It is totally redundant. I had a boss who used to say this all the time and I really could have smacked her. Did I say I hate this one?
  15. “Six of one, half dozen of the other” – Sometimes you really just need to say this. It means that it is even. So it does make sense. My daughter hates when I say this. So I say it a lot. LOL! My other daughter hates when I ask rhetorical questions. So I do that a lot too!
  16. “Colder than a witches tit” –  How does anyone know this? Who has ever done it? I have to admit I do use this one from time to time. To me it means it is really really cold. I like this one.

I know there are a million more and maybe you have a favorite that you can share in the comments. Do you use any of the ones I have on the list? Do you ever wonder why we say them? I wonder about a lot of things.

“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson  I think this is kind of a weird saying(quote) and to tell you the truth I am not completely sold on this one, Alfred.

04Jan/17
peace, calm and healing

My Word For The Year Is…

well you didn’t think I would just blurt it out now did you?

peace,  calm and healing

Namaste peeps…  

I have chosen a “word of the year” for the last 3 years. Prior to that I would write the endless list of New Years resolutions on New Year’s Day that most times wouldn’t even make it past the first week. I got tired of doing that every year and then I also got tired of  feeling like such a loser when the year ended and I hadn’t accomplished anything on my list.

In 2015 I read about picking a “word of the year.” Just one word. I thought this was a great idea and wanted to give it a shot since I was so over the whole resolution thing. The word you pick should define you and the direction you want to see things go in your life. It should set the tone and focus for your whole year. Resolutions can be broken so easily and make you feel like giving up. But having a “word” for the year is different, If you forget about it for one day or even a week, it is still there waiting and you have the rest of the year to focus on making it work for you.

I decided I needed to give this “word” thing a try and chose the word  “Gratitude” for 2015. I was trying to find things to be grateful for after losing my dream job in February of that year. Every day I wrote things down in a journal that I was grateful for and it made me so aware of what I “did” have and not focus so much on what I had lost.  Last year, my word was “JOY”. I loved the word and tried to find as much of it as I could, and I did. That is.. I did until July when my son died. It was very hard to find any kind of JOY after losing him. But somehow the word kept coming up and I started trying to find more of it. And unbelievably, I did. I had so many friends and family members who showed me love and compassion that it made me believe I could have JOY even in the darkest hours of my life. So you see it works. If I could find JOY at the worst time of my life, then anyone can do this and make it work for them too.

Ok, I have made you wait long enough. Here it is…My word for 2017 is.. drum roll…”Healing”. I picked it due to the obvious fact that I am healing after losing my son…but I picked it for other reasons as well. I honestly just love helping people heal. I make essential oils for my friends and family members to help them with health issues. I love showing them alternative ways to help them heal by using Coconut Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar instead of medicine. I have helped several friends who had severe health issues, so much so that their doctor asked them what they did differently to get these results. When they said they were using Apple Cider Vinegar, their doctors all said keep doing what you’re doing cause it is working. Score!

Another reason I picked “Healing” is I am also looking into taking classes so I can teach Reiki. If you have never heard of this you need to. It is amazing. I looked up the meaning in the dictionary and here is a simple explanation of it. “Reiki is a technique based on the principle that energy can be channeled to the recipient by means of touch, activating the natural healing process and restoring physical and emotional well-being.” Sounds cool, right? Well it is and I want to learn more about it and possibly be a Reiki Master. I want to heal others and also myself.

So you can see how having a “word of the year” can truly define your year and your life. I am excited for what this year holds in store for me and also to see how many ways I can “Heal” or help someone else “Heal”.

I hope I inspire you to pick a word for 2017. A few of my friends already do this. One of my friends picked “Rejuvenate” and another picked “Grateful.” They both helped me to find “Joy” this year so of course, I plan on helping them find ways to be rejuvenated and grateful. Maybe I can also be helpful by “Healing” them in some way.

Well now you know what a “word of the year” is. And you know mine. Have you ever had a “word of the year”? Are you going to pick one for this year? I hope you do! Please comment and tell me what it is.

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

 

 

28Dec/16
new year

Things I Wont Be Doing In 2017

and maybe never again…

new year

off with the old, on with the new…

It always makes me a little sad when a year comes to the end, but not this year. I have never so wanted a year to be over with as I have with this one. I am looking forward to a fresh start and hoping for a year filled with promise, love and healing. And so in this same vein of thinking about the new year before us…here are ten things I won’t be doing next year.

  1. I won’t be wearing a bikini – since I haven’t worn one since I was 15, I don’t really think it will happen next year. Or ever for that matter…
  2. I will not see David Bowie, Prince or Glenn Frey in concert – I am so upset I never got to see any of these greats in concert. So I have Cher and Paul McCartney on my bucket list next time they are touring. I already have tickets for Guns N Roses for August. 2016 taught us to see the people we want whenever we have the chance.
  3. Getting Married – Since I am not seeing anyone and its been sometime since I even had a date, it is fair to say I won’t be getting married next year. But if I do, I want to get married on the beach. And you are all invited.
  4. Work more than 4 days in a row – I tried this right before Christmas and it just about did me in. I got a terrible cold and was exhausted. I am still trying to recuperate from this experience. I know its crazy cause some people actually work 5 or even more days in a row, and at one time a few years ago I did myself. But, 3 days in a row is going to be my limit for 2017.
  5. Iron – Considering I don’t even own an iron, I think its a safe bet I won’t be doing this next year or any time in the future. Actually, this is for a friend who loves to iron…how is that even possible?
  6. Get Organized – Yeah, I read that stupid book. And honestly I did it once and it just didn’t work for me. I am not an organized kind of person. If by chance I get a wild hair and do it, I can not for the life of me, ever find the things I have organized. And really, having a completely organized house is the last thing on my to do list. I have tried…it just isn’t me. I love this quote.. “At the worst, a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.” ~ Rose Macaulay
  7. I will not stop eating ice cream or potato chips – I know this post is supposed to be about things I won’t be doing next year….well ok then..I won’t deny myself foods I love. I know these things are bad for me and I will have to exercise a little more to be able to shut my jeans but it is worth it to me. I have heard stories of people who eat super healthy, exercise and do everything right and they still die. So at least I will have had my favorite foods and not deny myself these simple pleasures before I leave this earth… Oh and pizza…can’t forget pizza. And of course, the occasional glass of wine. I’ve heard tell it is good for you. So there you go.
  8. Stop Shopping – I love to shop. My Mom took my shopping every Friday when I was growing up. I loved it then and love it now. It relaxes me and brings me joy! I love shopping with my daughters and my friends. I have shopped with friends this year that I have never in my life shopped with before and hope to do it more in 2017. I have a friend who I have known for over 40 years and until this year we had never shopped together. We couldn’t think of why we never did it before… but we did it 3 times this year. Maybe a New York shopping trip is in order for 2017.
  9. Stop Writing – I will not stop writing next year or any year after that. I always wanted to write but life, kids, jobs, etc. got in the way, so I am never stopping now that I have started. I love writing. I love hitting the publish button. I love hearing what you have to say about what I have written. But most of all I just love putting my feelings and thoughts out there. I write about my life and it helps to get it out of my head and down on paper so to speak. So I won’t be stopping.
  10. And last but certainly not least.. I will not conform – If you look conform up in the dictionary it means to obey, heed, accept, follow…well sorry but I won’t do that anymore. We are only here for a short time and we should not spend that time doing things we don’t want to do, go places we don’t want to go, or be with people who make us feel things we don’t want to feel…Don’t be afraid to be the person you are. The people in your life who love you will still be there.

This is my list of things I won’t do next year. I just have one thing to add and it’s not something I won’t do… It’s something we all need to do. Make time for those you love. Tell them you love them and hold them close. You never know if you will see them again. If 2016 taught me anything… it’s how true this is.

What won’t you do next year?

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’ ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson (I’m counting on it, Alfred)