One of those days I have to extra prep for

It’s been 8 years since Brett passed. I’m getting to that place where my memories don’t cause me pain and longing…I can now just remember him with love and thankfulness.

My BFF/sister-in-law, Gena, buried her sweet mom today. Marj spent the last years living with Alzheimer’s disease so her kids had already been mourning the loss of their mother. It was a blessing to view all of the old pictures of the family over the years…..I think having the camera ready and capturing life’s fleeting moments is so important…no matter what you weigh today or how your hair looks!

He and I had a quiet, reflective day…didn’t have the boys because Jax is sick…so we had an opportunity to just be.

Until next time…..

The kitchen remodel

Dear Diary:

5 years ago when we bought this house, we decided that the kitchen needed upgrading…so to get us through, we decided to have the cupboards painted and had a laminate counter top put on to replace the well worn counter top. To make it fit we had to rip out the old back splash…and we didn’t replace it because we knew we would be eventually ripping it all out…so why did I think I had to have a new countertop 🙄. Kind of bummed when we went to Lowe’s and priced cabinets…$$$$ and they were not exactly what we wanted…so I finally called a guy here in Pleasant Hill. He’s retired and does this to keep busy and I liked him and his kitchen ideas and suggestions immediately. So we decided to go for it!

HE is doing the removal! It started with the floor while I was in Vegas.

Today….it begins! We will be living with no kitchen other than the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. Thinking about the process caused me some anxiety…but now that it’s happening, it will just be another adventure and so worth it.

Keurig in the bedroom…hmm…not a bad thing…two sinks for dishwashing…not a big deal….4cats and one old dog thinking…seriously, you didn’t think just moving the couch 6 inches was enough to mess with us ??? 🙀

Until next time…..

Pantyliners for foot pain

I’ve stopped in a sketcher shoe store and purchased new shoes the last two visits to Las Vegas. The obvious reason is that I did not pack wisely for either trip….but I did find pantyliners in a zippered area of my back pack and decided that of course I could use them to pad my shoes if my feet really started hurting. My feet really started hurting but I couldn’t figure out how to stick the adhesive strip side in my sock so the soft side would be against my foot. So I stopped and bought a new pair of shoes. This was before I had an aqua massage.

From the website: Aquamassage is a quick, convenient way to get a full-body massage. Jets of water are used over a protective plastic barrier to give a relaxing massage without the need to remove any clothing, or apply any lotions or oils. No physical touching involved, the entire massage is given by the machine.

You enter this contraption similar to a tanning bed…once they push the button, you are massaged from shoulders to heels. Very, very relaxing. While we were waiting for our turn, we were treated to electronic echo massager…similar to equipment used by the chiropractors office. The Echo Massager is a small hand-held electronic pulse massager device that allows the controlled use of vibrations to ease sore muscles and release tension in the body.

Here we are.

A fun day on the strip….but the best was yet to come….

Donny and Marie at the Flamingo. Voted #1 show on the strip for the last 3 years and they deserve it. High energy and entertaining! ….and it doesn’t hurt that they are both gorgeous! If the duo happen to extend their residency in Vegas for 2019,I hope we all get together and go back next year. This is the perfect group to travel with. I lucked out meeting these strangers…..and they are stranger than that ❤️

Until next time….

When Pam told me to put the Uber app on my phone….I did

Uber was a game changer for the Vegas trip. When traveling, there is always the question of do we rent a car, fight traffic and try to find our way around or do we throw a lot of money at taxi drivers and the hassle that goes with it or are we rather isolated and only journey as far as we can walk…

I think all 5 of us, during the Vegas trip, would say that the Uber drivers’ personalities just added fun to our back and forth on the strip and we actually looked forward to meeting our next puzzle piece. It is soooo different that your typical taxi ride!

We appreciated it even more after the 5 of us, with Pam at the wheel, got lost in a dark lower level parking garage at Fremont Street. Dark, vast spaces with no cars, unclear parking/exit signs and the contagious heart pounding fear spreading through the car because we are all old enough to have collectively watched enough horror and mystery movies!

Obviously we lived…..

Until next time….

Vegas with strangers

My childhood friend, Sue, texted me a few months ago and told me she and 3 high school friends were going to Vegas to see Donny and Marie…did I want to go?

It wasn’t until I was deplaning, that I had that little twinge of anxiety about spending a weekend in the penthouse suite of a resort for 3 days with 3 strangers and Sue! They picked me up at the airport and we were not on the highway before I realized driver, Pam, knew words and knew how to use heavy traffic required verbiage! By the time we reached the resort I had been welcomed into the fold…the class of 1977…all of them 3 years younger than me.

First adventure Fremont Street to see naked people and, quite frankly, freaks along with a long anticipated zip line down Fremont street. Buying tickets early is necessary for a Friday night in Vegas so Julie and I were pretty bummed…but the freaks did not disappoint!

That’s it for now. More later…I’m at the airport struggling to not roll off my chair due to total exhaustion.

Until next time….

Tuesday’s and baths

For the 3rd Tuesday in a row, my facial at Evolve, AKA removing dead skin from the old woman’s face, has had to be rescheduled. Weather, salon flooding, weather. I feel like I’ve given myself permission to eat some dark chocolate at the end of the day and then I can’t get the wrapper off 🍫 so I have to wait until the next day to actually eat it. It has been sleeting all day and I keep checking the temperature but it is pretty much steady at 31 degrees. I’m trying to stay positive but I’m positive I can’t think of any advantage of freezing rain!

I wish I was one of those people who might take today and turn it around by soaking in a warm bubble bath with candles and a good book. But, I don’t like to take baths……for so many reasons. I’ve been struggling with lower back pain the last few days…he suggested I take a warm bath in our jetted tub to ease the discomfort. He suggested it 4 times…I said no, 3 times….finally I started running the water, a couple drops of essential oils, Epson salts and a small squeeze of bubble bath because I had no intentions of taking a normal bath to get clean because I don’t think that it is possible in a bath. Top of my list for why I don’t appreciate a bath. When I’ve been suckered into a nice warm bath before, we found the trick to the right amount of water to just below the front and back jets and then when the body is lowered into the tub, it is perfect. He has to start the timer for me because without the body displacing water, when the jets start there is a hell of a mess. Unfortunately with the roar of the tub and him retiring to the living room for his peace of mind, the bubbles started overtaking me. Think cartoon image…..when I yelled his name to help the sound of my voice was muffled into the bubble and no sound was released until the bubble popped. FINALLY he rescued me before it reached my nostrils and I held my tongue and did not say….SEE, THIS IS WHY I DIDNT WANT TO TAKE A BATH, DAMNIT!

Note to self. When using epson salts and bubble bath, a little dab’ll do ya!

Until next time….

Tripping over the stones

Where I am in my life, tripping over things is okay….the best way I can explain being okay with tripping is it doesn’t hurt as much as falling down or falling over the cliff. I have been on a path of self discovery for many years….mainly because I didn’t like to spend time with myself and my negative thoughts and I knew there was something I didn’t understand about life and living…..I knew that an inner peace was achievable and the journey was not going to be easy. I guess what I didn’t really realize that I would have to take this journey one step at a time rather than trudging up the hill in an hour or a day. It started when I was about 25 and I’m closing in on 62 and every single day I learn a new way of thinking, a new way of being….a new way to live life. It’s like the picture slide projector from the 60s…we would have our pictures developed into little squares with cardboard surround and we would put those in a Kodak projector shining on a white wall or screen and one by one we would view these pictures with a click of a button.

Sometimes a very slow process because if you clicked too fast, the machine would jam. Sometimes we would linger on a certain picture in order to remark about it, reminisce about a memory associated with it or attempt to figure out exactly why we took the picture.

We all start on the road from a different intersection and we meet others at different Crossroads. Sometimes we choose to walk along with them other times we choose to continue alone…..but the bottom line is we must keep moving…up that hill even if we fall down and if we go over the cliff?? Well, it’s a long way back up to where we were but with skinned knees and injured pride, we will know what to watch for as we continue.

Until next time….

Control vs victim mode

Are these the ends of the spectrum? Back when I was a young-youngish woman working a full time very demanding job, raising kids, trying to be everything to everybody I was strong. At least I had the illusion that I was strong and in control. I say illusion because really we don’t control anything in our lives…we make decisions and react to things which come our way. I look back and realize that I needed to always be and feel I was in control was out of fear of the unknown. What you don’t control will getcha! For the most part, I didn’t listen to my more rational inner voice…I heard it, but I seldom had a conversation with it. Fear of the unknown and protecting myself and my family was my rally cry. With that in mind, I also had a confidence that I could and would handle everything…..if I was on a deserted island, I would survive.

The day I retired, I began the soul searching and started tearing down my own personal brick wall. With each brick, I found some inner joy, peacefulness and the ability to act on my compassion for others. Awareness of vulnerability made me uncomfortable….but on the flip side I began accepting love and compassion from others. I actually starting depending on others…..and I’m not overly comfortable with this reality. Sometimes I find myself pulling back with no incentive to step out on my own and make a difference. Perhaps circling the victim mode…things happen to me instead of I happen to things.

It’s hard to find center which is my ultimate goal. A lot of understanding, bandaids and axes find their way to the inner me through meditation. I’ve also noticed that if I skip a few days, I start feeling vulnerable. Without listening and understanding my inner self, I cannot find the balance I need which is Finding my true self…not who I want to be, not who others think I am, but ME

Until next time….

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….