Stuck

Being “stuck” in the house because of the below zero windchills has given me cabin fever. Being stuck in the house because I choose not to go outside is much different that living on a country road in Iowa in the middle of winter when I was literally stuck in the house for days because of snow drifts on gravel roads which were the last to be plowed. Say what you will about living in the country during the spring, summer and fall…but winter is Hell. There is no other word for it. As I look out the window today with a couple inches of snow piled on the deck furniture, streets are plowed and I was able to use a broom to remove the dusting of snow from the short sidewalk to the driveway, I should be able to live in the moment and just be thankful for my lifestyle changes. I don’t know why i can’t just let go of the dissatisfaction of the past life and live in peace?

There are different schools of thought…one side says do some talk therapy or figure out why you are really angry….is it the matter at hand or is it dissatisfaction with something else….like your job, etc that you are not dealing with. The other school of thought, the one I attempt, is to be thankful…..just stop living in the past. It takes discipline. It is a completely different way of thinking for me.

So, I continue to work on gratitude. Today, I’m thankful for Baxter who sits on the table with me waiting for a squirrel to run by on the deck

I’m thankful to hear cartoons in the background because Jaxon is here, I’m thankful hearing the sleeping sounds of Jameson sleeping on Papas lap. I’m thankful that there is nothing in my life causing me any stress or pain right now. I’m thankful that I cognitively realize that I have so much to be thankful for and just need to stop with ruminating on the past.

Until next time…..

I have another one of those unbelievable stories

Back in the 60’s my mother was a legal secretary for a law firm in Des Moines.  I was probably about 8 or 9 when Linda came into our lives as a high school girl hired to work part time in this law firm basically under the tutelage of my mother. Linda had a strong connection with my mother and visa versa.  Linda came to our home – mom taught Linda how to make peanut brittle – Linda was part of the conversations I heard at home.  My mother and I went to Linda’s parent’s home…lots of vague memories stored in my memory vault.  Linda got married and left the law firm and my mother, for the most part, lost contact with Linda.

Those of you who know me or have read my blogs know that I had a very difficult childhood and adult relationship with my mother.  Recently I started feeling strong and curious enough to start going through totes of papers, pictures, genealogy research that belonged to her.  Today amongst a lot of very old family letters and pictures, I opened an envelope  with pictures and a letter written by Linda to my mother in 1990.  It was a catch up letter.  I was immediately compelled to google her to see whatever happened to her….she is on FB and for some reason, I didn’t stop there, I friended her on FB and sent her a message on FB messenger introducing myself … which she answered immediately.  She sent me her phone number and another higher power connection was made.  This was a phone call of tears, laughter and incredible healing as I found her soul open, understanding and loving.  My connection with her was immediate!

….and then here is the irony.  When Linda found out where I lived, she mentioned that she was supposed to come to the Kansas City area last week to pick up a shih tzu dog from a breeder as Linda fosters, trains and places dogs with forever homes. But last week, the weather was cold and rainy and fortunately Linda came down with a bad head cold so she had to postpone the trip.  Perhaps the story should read that because our energy had yet to connect, Linda had to postpone the trip until sometime later this month…and the absolute shocking detail  is that the breeder lives 7 minutes from me in this town of 8,000 people.  Now what do you make of that?

Linda and I will meet, I will give her a big hug and I will continue to tear up and feel the love and energy from this totally unexpected, unexplainable connection from our past.

Until next time….

I knew Donald Trump’s twin

Arrogant, blatantly racist, boldly narcissistic, conspiracy theorist, cruel, mean and a bully AND calls himself an evangelical Christian……we had been friends for a long time …. nearly 45 years….until he forced my hand and I just stopped. I kept his secrets a very long time, I listened to him, i humored his bad manners and personality and somehow justified his behavior in my head that he was just damaged and misunderstood…..I had chosen to stick by him until he worked through it.

I have recently realized that he is Trump’s twin!

What scares the hell out of me is the numbers….the numbers of people who continue to worship this malignant tumor leading our country and what continues to concern me is the support he receives from evangelical Christians. Have I been wrong all of these years or being away from the church did I miss the actual moment when this mass of people turned on the road away from the Christian values and their one way leader, Jesus Christ? This has nothing to do with politics and differences of opinion on fiscal matters, abortion, gun control…any of the hot debatable topics we, as Americans, have always debated and has everything to do with who we really are in our hearts and in our souls. What has happened?

My blog…my opinion. I will not entertain any comments from those of you on the Donald Trump side unless those comments include a believable rational for what I call the anti Christian bend of this country. With that being said, I really want to know what is happening so if there is an explanation, please share.

Until next time…..

When the pipes freeze

Lots of Facebook traffic about frozen water pipes during this extremely uncomfortable winter weather. These below zero temps remind me of my lifetime of winters living in Iowa. Weeks of this crap along with lots of snow and blizzard conditions was common so while I wish it would warm up, this Missouri weather is nothing in comparison. I’m in retrospective mood today because 17 years ago this morning, my dad passed. I decided several years ago that sending myself down the rabbit hole of grief on January 2 every year was not the way to celebrate and love my dad. I decided instead to honor him and our life together.

I remember it being every winter, but possibly not, the water pipes froze at the sidewalk junction to our house. As a child, I remember this being an extremely catastrophic event….not because we didn’t have water but because ‘what to do’ upset the rhythm of the household. I realize now that I was a kid and I should have been able to just trust the adults to work this out as they did…but the way they raised me, I felt responsible to help them work it out. Or was it just because I was an overly sensitive child? I may figure this out one day but today I’m going with memories of being a caretaker at an early age.

The one major frozen event occurred when we were visiting Grandma in Muscatine. We were not home to get a stream of water running in the sinks so it was frozen pretty solid through winter. I recall my dad buying heated hose to run from my friend, Lennie’s house next door so we would have water. I also recall that we ….. or my parents….payed their water bill that winter to thank them for helping us.

This post is more of a Documentation of memories for me but while I was typing it, I realized that it was an analogy of life. When our inbound pipes are frozen up with grief or anger or hate, we must work through a solution…sometimes the solution is going within and other times it is being open to the mental or physical help from others.

Until next time….

The Wonder on his face

We spent New Year’s Eve with JJJJ tonight. After a great meal, we played some games then turned on CNN to watch Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper bring in the New Year in New York. Jenny and Justin had talked to Jax about what we were going to watch and what it meant….conceptually, I don’t know what he understood…but watching his little face when the ball dropped brought me so much joy. It was The wonder on his face as he was mesmerized by what he was watching on TV and when we all said Happy New Year and the joy when his dad gave him a hug and held him while singing New York, New York and finally the hug he gave grandma and papa when we left….the hug reserved for only special times….wonder…“a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.”

The experience filled me with love and hope for my grandchildren and for all of us in 2018!

Happy New Year!

On my mind today

  • Where, why and how does mucous generate and is it really just sitting in my sinus waiting for a blow?
  • Why do women discard their bras when they get home. How do you stand going braless?
  • Why does the humidity lower in the house when it is cold outside? It’s still 71 degrees in the house!
  • How can I gain 4 pounds in 2 days but it takes 4 days to take it off?

That’s it!

The stained glass window

Earlier this year I returned home after a girl’s weekend with Sue and Lennie with 2 of these.

While visiting West End Salvage in Des Moines (you may have heard of them from their short run on one of the cable network Home improvement/turn junk into cool stuff shows). I had my eye on a stain glass window and Lennie said her sister who was downsizing and had moved into an assisted living facility had a couple of stained glass windows she was selling and they either had an N or an H on them. I interpreted this to mean that if it was an N, it was meant to be and if H, well, Hmmmmm. The even more exciting thing for me was that her sister got them from her son who took them out of a house in Kansas City when he remodeled. They had to come full circle and return to Kansas City!

Since then, I’ve several times pulled them out of their safe hiding place in the basement to figure out what to do with them. Finally, He and I figured it out…my ideas….his handiwork ability.

A frame to hold button lights….and a beautiful glow on my mantle.

Until next time….

One time he screwed up the pumpkin pie

…..and since then, his pies have been coveted by the family for the pumpkin pie holidays. It was simply the difference between evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk. This year he added to the pie count with a butterscotch with meringue.

Delicious…and I’m not terribly embarrassed to say I ate one full size slice of each in one sitting.

We had the family for Christmas Eve Day Bunch and gift opening on Sunday and the second head cold of the month finally wore me down Sunday night so I didn’t go to the Brown/Faircloth/Callaghan Dinner on Christmas Day and while it just seems like a total bummer to be alone on Christmas, it was a little lonely with a slice of depressing, but doable. I ate brunch leftovers and watched movies for several hours. Remembering with gratitude all of the Christmases before helped me to remain positive seasoned with thankfulness!

Onward and Upward!

Until next time!

This has been my most brutal holiday Season on record

Just seems like a strange thing to feel in light of past Christmases when actually serious things have happened. Interestingly, I haven’t had my one wrenching Christmas cry this year, rather it has been chopped up between a range of emotions that have made the tears slip from my eyes from pure utter delight to all encompassing rage. I was actually sitting on the floor earlier in the week and thought…oh holy crap…maybe I’m just old and it has caught up to me? Then, I’m really not THAT old.

Fast forward to this morning, when I broke down looking at historical pictures of a shopping mall in the town I lived in for 35 years that had closed down in 1994 and the tears started flowing. This is not normal.

…..and then it hit me. This is the first holiday season in 16 years that I haven’t had anti-depressants numbing me. I’m feeling usual holiday cheer with just a little more delight, I’m feeling nostalgic now in my heart rather than just my head, my sorrow of the absence of past friends and family has hurt me in little bursts rather than all at once producing that sobbing Christmas cry.

I don’t know how or why this realization has given me peace of mind but Understanding seems to have made it reasonable and doable.

Until next time……

Being a gramma has helped me work through some guilt

I’m one of those lucky grammas….retired, I live close to my grandkids and get to spend quality time with them several days a week…and through the 4 year old, I’m opening myself up to life..love…acceptance…joy and sadness for what it is…right now…it is what is happening right now at this moment. There is no perfection in crafts, there is no horror about a little paint on the table, there is no hurry, there are no rules.. it just is what it is!

During my child raising years, I turned inward with guilt because I wasn’t building ginger bread houses out of graham crackers, I wasn’t playing Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, and while I was helping force a Barbie leg into a Barbie outfit, I was not engaged in child’s play very often……that’s not to say never. But my girls and I, as children, had Aunt Frances. she was childless and never too tired to play a game, teach us to knit, take us to movies and just mindlessly play with us. We didn’t appreciate it at the time….and these memories are hitting me today because I feel the annual Christmas cry burning my nose.

Parents just don’t have time to be a co sibling or an Aunt Frances no matter what TV or internet posts tell you. Parents are working outside the home, worrying about the money, cooking, cleaning, attending school events, doing laundry, trying desperately to share adult time with their partner and just trying to be an adult. I’ve heard so many times that we wish we would have had our grandchildren first…I understand this. What a joy to see life through my grandchildren’s eyes. To live simply and to love until your heart bursts.

Until next time….