Gratitude day even for old boyfriends

I’ve finally pulled out of my two day funk! It’s been dark and lonely. A Zoom “Friday night thing” with two friends last night was what I needed to finish the extraction of my toes completely from the quicksand. We are relatively new friends…relative as far as our age and life experience but we are doing this really cool thing. We are communicating face to face on zoom. Communicating our words and facial expressions and laughter! No distractions other than where we lead each other with our thoughts. Another Corona-bonus (thank you Michael Beckwith for the reference). I’m not sure without these Zoom meetups we would have gotten to know each other quite as well.

In no particular order, I’m feeling gratitude today.

My grandchildren who have taught me what love feels like. My beautiful, strong daughters who have taught me….the list is too long. My husband who taught me how to live with someone for 41 years …. growing, forgiving, loving. My old friends who love me unconditionally and have taught me that I’m worthy of the love I didn’t receive growing up. The new friends I’ve made since we’ve moved from the only life we knew to this one…they took over the daily work from the old friends. I am thankful for my parents….even my mother as she made me grow up faster than probably healthy but I learned how to take care of other people and how to think like a grown up…..and I’m thankful for the heart break and affection of past male relationships in my life who were a little more than friends…You were my test drives for that one lifelong relationships to come.

Oh….and I’m thankful for Andrea Bocelli!


Ice and snow

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine announced that he was taking off for Florida for a few weeks. I had 3 thoughts.

  • He is an integral part of a spirit book class I attend on Thursdays and I thought…bummer.
  • Wow that sounds really fun….this will be the second winter that thoughts of escaping the cold will be foiled because of things happening in my life. O’ POOR ME
  • Why would he want to go in January…why not wait until February…February always sucks!

Today as I sit here watching the snow fall over already ice covered streets I had an “ah ha” moment.

My threefold thought process didn’t occur because of Randy’s trip to Florida in January. It occurred because it triggered me to past life disappointments that were very real, emotions were attached to these disappointments and in all likelihood I had wallowed in them.

  • I will miss his input in group was a genuine feeling.
  • These “things” holding me back from taking off for a week are all in my mind and are only based in fear aka I shouldn’t, I couldn’t, what would, what if.
    He should go in February is nothing but my ego jumping in saying that Randy is wrong and I am right….plain and simple….February is the month to escape…my rules
  • So today on Randy’s birthday that he is spending walking barefoot on a beach in Florida, I’m watching the snow fall, I have an opportunity to spend a day with myself reading, crafting, crocheting and realizing right here, right now that I am content and I am thankful because I am loved and I am blessed!
  • Until next time….
  • Always pack a minimum of one extra pair of undies

    This just came up in a discussion with my daughters awhile back…they were relating in a group text how they always remember to follow the rule that I taught them when packing for family vacations.

    I was in Des Moines Sunday and Monday for dr appointments and an ultrasound Monday. Because I retired from Iowa, I still carry the group health insurance from the county and because any dr appointments or treatments, other than emergency, that I might have in Missouri are out of network, I choose to drive back to Iowa to theoretically save money. So, laying flat on my back on the ultra sound table Monday I kept turning my head to see what was on the screen (and for the record, I have no idea whatsoever interpreting what I’m seeing). When she was finished with me, I sat up on the table and thought…wow….I’m dizzy. But I walked out into the waiting room to wait for my doctor appointment. I wondered if I was dehydrated so I leaned over at the drinking fountain in a main hallway of this large clinic and vertigo hit like a hammer. As I gripped the water fountain I was able to wedge myself between the fountain and the cutout in the wall to remain upright until somebody who looked medical walked by. I was wedged in so tight that everytime I took a breath, the water fountain turned on.

    Finally I was pried out of the cubby, placed in a wheel chair and wheeled into Urgent Care where I received two shots and relaxation that we only dream of. I called my friend, Suzy, who works nearby to rescue me. No way I could drive back to KC. We had a makeshift slumber party. I did a pharmaceutical slumber and she watched over me. Thank you, Suzy. The next morning I was thrilled that I had packed 1 extra pair of undies for my trip! Oh. And nothing serious going on with me…just some leg vein issues from my mostly unhealthy life style when I was young!

    Until next time….

    We are all in this together!!!!

    My friend, Tracy, put this on Facebook this morning.


    The first 3 likes were from people who have had a cancer diagnosis.  This is so true with all joys and pain we go through in life.  When our friends and family step up to say “I’m so happy for you” or I”m so sorry” it helps, it makes us feel loved, it reminds us that we are not in this life alone and love actually does help us to heal!  Whether you believe in prayer to God, or just the energy raised up to the universe, there is healing power!

    Yesterday afternoon, we finally made the decision to have Billy put to sleep.


    The decision ripped at my soul.  It was agony…when he was finally at peace, I went to the parking lot leaned on the truck and let the pain and agony release in my sobs.  If you have ever loved an animal and had to put them down, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The words from friends on Facebook were healing..each was soaked into my soul so the healing can begin.

    But there was a little guilt.  My friend, Tam, just lost her son…she left me a message of how sorry she was for my loss.  I don’t even have words here.  Tam is reaching out to me and has empathy for me for the loss of my kitty compared to the recent loss of her boy….no words.

    ….so today, I must buck up.  I know for awhile I’ll walk into the laundry room and expect to see Billy laying on the dryer turning on his back so I’ll give him some loving.  Every time I walk by the pantry cupboard, I will notice the scratch marks where he would scratch to let us know he was up there and deserved a little belly rub.  I will miss him from the bottom of my heart.  But I will heal and I hope I can send healing energy to someone else in their time of need.  I know it works!

    Until next time….

    Sharing emotional pain is what makes us real….

    I have been building a friendship with someone I have been acquainted with for several years.  This is one of those friendships being built on shared interests and shared experiences.  I have felt connected to her for some time after learning of her struggle and recovery from past emotional pain.  We chatted PM last night for quite some time as we each shared some of our own childhood demons with one another.

    Regurgitating some of my mother crap used to send me back into nightmares of anxiety and depression.  Last night’s discussion did not have that effect…I felt cleansed.  Talking to her had me realizing that my history was nothing in comparison to the crosses a lot of people bare….and, most importantly,  I realized how far I have come in recovery.

    Sometimes our vulnerabilities, lack of trust and fear of being rejected or just that old stubborn pride keep us from taking steps to rid ourselves of what we don’t really like about ourselves.  It’s there.  It’s evident by our internal jealousies and anger…by putting up a huge wall between us and other people…by not being genuine in our relationships for fear of being hurt.  I know that it takes a lot of guts to not just accept but to talk to someone else and slowly start letting it out.  Clinging to the same old pain only makes the pain continue.

    Changing and healing is a process.  The first step is working through our vulnerabilities and fear and sharing a story.  No apologies for our feelings – they are our feelings and as my therapist shared with me….feelings are our feelings – they are like the weather and we cannot change them…until we start changing the things in our heart and our life that are causing those feelings.

    I’m blessed to have those friends in my life who allow me to be me and love me anyway.  It is what makes me real.

    Until next time…..

    Auctions and William Shakespeare…

    Usually when I attend the Icehouse Auction on Friday nights I find something that I want to bid on.

    My new juicer which appears to be almost never used.


    or these 4 Yankee candles which are brand new and I got for the fraction of the retail price.


    But nothing prepared me for the chalk sculpture of William Shakespeare.  It is cool and creepy at the same time and I had to have it!



    My friend, MaryBeth, had me laughing out loud last night when she saw these pictures on Facebook.  Her response was:  This is creeping me out, Nina!  I received several of those remarks between last night and this morning on FB.  Marcy had the best idea…….”I think that needs to be a traveling William. Take him with you on some of your adventures and post pics with him in it.”

    Here’s perspective of how big he really is.


    Now that is creepy!

    So those of you planning a visit to see us…it must include a Friday night for auction night …. even if you don’t know of anything you want to buy, you’ll find something…and if not, the people entertainment is worth the drive.


    Until next time…..

    Under the heading .. 6 degrees of separation

    Several friends and I have talked about my uncanny connection to people through friends of friends of friends.  For whatever reason, I’ve always known I have a quick mind and it has enhanced my ability to draw from my hard drive and put two and two together…I get total pleasure making a friendship with someone and then bring all the pieces together with someone else we have in common.  It may be an only child thing?  I don’t know…other only children may understand.

    I recently built on a connection…the people who bought our house in Newton were known to me from living in Newton for so many years.  She actually is my friend, Gena’s that was fun.  She and I eventually became Facebook friends.  One day I saw a communication between Melonee, the hairstylist, and a Marcy Blenderman Davidson about a painting class – which seems to be very popular now.  My mind shot back 40 years to being in High School shorthand class and one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Blenderman.  I remembered, somehow, that she had mentioned her daughter, Marcy, for whatever reason – probably because she was in the same age group.  I immediately sent Marcy a private message and asked if she was Mrs. Blenderman’s daughter…she friended me on Facebook.  I LOVED it!!!

    This morning, I remembered that there was a yearbook picture of Mrs. Blenderman and I in 1974…


    That’s what I’m thinking about today.

    Until next time…..

    Feeling safe with mature friends….

    I have 58 1/2 years of maturity under my belt.  I’m sure there are those that I know who would definitely challenge my maturity level at times, for instance, my daughters.  We have a message thread between the three of us that is open all of the time.  I love it because if one of us has a thought or wants to share something, the thread is open to just put it out there.  Last night I laughed and giggled and cried over an innocent comment that I made which had a couple of different connotations that they both picked up on.  It was like the pressure valve was opened and this one little comment sent me into hysterical laughing until tears were running down my face.  It was a moment which made me love them and cherish them beyond words…the connection, the shared sense of humor, the shared familiarity and knowing that I would love them as adult women even if I hadn’t given birth to them.

    Then there are the two old best friends.  I have no siblings; but, I have them.  At times, the maturity level of these two could come into question.  I speak of them together but they have never met.  Next to my immediate family, they are the two most important people in my life.  I trust them with my life, obviously, considering they both have keys to my skeleton closet.  With both of them, I can have a conversation leaving out key words and not finish sentences because we are in sync.  We share our life traumas, our insecurities and our joys.  I want to know what is going on in their heads that they aren’t saying and they know how to pick and pick and pick into my psyche to get the actual truth out of me.  They care…they ask questions…they have the same inner timing…..timing is everything!

    This blog post is dedicated to these 4 women in my life.  They need to know that if one of them is damaged, my car does not drive safely.  I’m pretty sure they all know that they have my heart but it doesn’t  hurt to put it into words because we all like to know that we are loved!

    Until next time…..

    “Xanga friends” doesn’t really explain it

    The girls

    He and I spent the weekend in Chicago with the "xanga friends".  I met these awesome women when I was introduced to Xanga in 2007… was the person who put us all in contact with each other… and  We decided to finally meet up together in 2009 in Chicago at embee-kay's (MB)'s home.  It was fun and we all liked each other in person with no keyboard in front of us.  Interestingly enough in under the small world theme,  thelpme (Tracy) had business in Newton, Iowa so we got together 2 or 3 times when she was here on business.  Nobrain-noheadache (Erin) is Tracy's sister and I believe my sister from different parents…also known as the outcasts for our love of Y & R, the Housewives and Oprah…anyway…we met in Chicago again in was even more we brought the men this time…while we didn't have as much good girl talk – we had a wonderful time.  Craig and MB are wonderful hosts….they introduced us to the game of Petanque.
    Here is our Tracy…representing the women

    Chicago 1

    Back to the Xanga friends title…while Xanga is the engine that brought us together, it does not explain the bond we have with each other.  As I explained to him on the way to Chicago, the 4 of us have an incredible connection – we know what is going on in each other's lives nearly everyday.  It's hard to believe that people who have only seen each other face to face 3 times in 6 years could be kindred spirits.

    Oh…and in Chicago I lost my IKEA virginity…I've now been there and can use my old lady judgmental voice to say….Oh, really, you've never been there hmph…

    Oh…and while we were in Chicago, Devil Dog at the basement door…

    Until next time….

    Eye openers….

    So….I had an eye opener, awha moment the other night with Debbie and Karen.  I always think I am pretty good at looking outside the box, but I find the areas where I feel I’ve had to dig my own path by hand, sometimes I just get caught up…I’m mostly speaking here of my maternal upbringing…and my lack of roll models.  In this case, I’m talking about watching my 91 year old mother (91 – today) live like hitting a rubber golf ball in a small room.  She has no desire to be involved in the outside world and just bounces(wheels) around in her big house all by herself…has no friends; yet thinks the people who deliver her groceries and prescriptions should be listed as her friends.  She has a quick tongue yet denies or excuses her behavior…I believe she is truly afraid to die because she only believes in herself and when it is gone…..what.  I’ve never ever met anyone as pathetically alone as my mother and she would have it no other way…as long as she can pay someone to take care of her and expects her only child to be there at her beck and call…she’s happy.  I have been afraid that is what I”m going to be when I grow old.  Not because I think I will follow her path..just that I don’t know any other way as intimately as I know her way.  With all of that being said…Deb and Karen and I were talking the other night, while scrapbooking, about getting old..I listened to them converse about the possibility of getting a big house and have friends all live there together and take care of each other.  If needed pool resources to hire help…Wow…never occured to me that this was a possibility…now I realize this may not be an awha moment for you…but for me, who has dreaded the aging process and had my blinders on to one way the only way, this brought me JOY….pure joy…there are other ways…I don’t have to be my mother…I have choices…I really have choices…I feel like another veil has been removed and I’m thinking clearer about everything…I’m optimistic..this is not all there is….

    Until next time…..