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Tempting

I belong to the local Nextdoor community on Facebook. I check it every day, not because I’m looking for anything specific but because sometimes there is interesting information posted. For example, on Saturday I will be attending a free learn to crochet workshop, at the local library, which was organized by a woman in the group who wanted to learn to crochet. I did crochet years ago but haven’t in maybe fifteen so  I am going.

The other day, I came across a posting that made me chuckle and I figured that the poster didn’t realize that what they posted was funny.

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I was tempted to reply and inquire about the free toddler! I didn’t because I didn’t want them to think I was putting them down in any way. But it did cross my mine and made me chuckle.

The next day I found this:

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I really laughed out loud at this one because someone else had followed through with replying to the post. I figured I wanted to meet this woman. I might, one day. In fact, I will look for her at the crochet workshop in case she attends on Saturday. I also waited to see if the original poster would reply and wondered if she would be angry.

I didn’t have to wait long.

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This one really cracked me up.

Being the grandmother of a toddler, I also found this a tempting post. Maybe we should list Spencer! 😉

I have been pressed to find smiles, or smiles I’ve wanted to write about, i the past few weeks. I’ve been trying to come up with smiles that aren’t grandchild related but I have come to realize that most of my smiles DO come from those grandchildren.

This weekend was not great. I got word that my son was in a car accident but is okay, which is more than can be said about the car. But at least he’s okay. Then the next day came word of the death of their dog, one of their dogs, Bear. Although he was past his life expectancy, it still came as a shock as he’d not been ill. But I will write some “Bear Smiles” later in the week or for next week.

A few days ago, my son-in-law finally came to replace my thermostat which had been sitting here since the baby was born almost six weeks ago. I’ve been dealing with no heat in our very cold winter. Finally, my daughter got after him and he came that night. Spencer came with him when he came to replace the thermostat. So those were the first two smiles, a new thermostat and a grandson visit.

He was sitting watching his dad work on the thermostat and I asked him “How is Maya today?”

He answered right away with an annoyed look. “Bad.”

“Maya is bad? Is she sick or is she a bad girl?” I chuckled thinking it silly that a six week old could be a bad girl.

“Bad girl. Cry, cry, cry. Five times. Crying.” He held up all five fingers on both his hands. “Maya cry five times. Cry. Cry. Cry. Five times. Crying. Maya bad.” He shook his head and grimaced.

That really made me crack up! I told him babies cry because they need something and can’t talk. I told him maybe she was hungry or sleepy when she cried.

“Yes. Hungry. Maya ate baby milk and then no cry.”

Those were my smiles this week. Pretty good ones, I’d say!

The #weeklysmile is a blog link up hosted by Trent at Trent’s World. You should go check it out. Maybe you can share a smile with us!

Down

Good morning. It has been a bit since I wrote a coffee share post or even a post. I’m not in much of a mood to write these days. Come on in and sit an maybe I can explain over a cup of coffee or tea.

Today is the last day of winter but the next ten days in our forecast here in Oregon show we are getting more of the heavy rains we have been having. Already, since October 1, we have outdone ourselves with respect to rain. We have reached our yearly total in just five and a half months. And that was last week. It has rained all week so we’re over our yearly total. It has made it a tough winter. The rain, cold, and wind have kept me indoors most of the winter. No walks out on the trails (they are all mud now). No shopping because I don’t like going in the rain and because there’s no money with which to shop. It’s depressing staying indoors. At one point, recently, I went four weeks without leaving the house. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks our rain will give us some breaks so I can get out.

Then there was the deaths of a couple of friends recently. That has me depressed, too. And I have health problems of my own. I’ve pretty much figured out that the main problem is my diabetes. No insurance equals no doctor equals no medicine. So my fasting sugar is pretty much sky high. I am constantly thirsty. Thirsty as in drinking a 22 ounce glass of water every ten minutes because I am just parched. That’s not good. That much water screws up a lot of things. Then I have problems waking up. I usually have problems sleeping now I have problems waking up. I seem to be able to sleep all day and all night. I can sleep for six to eight hours and then wake up for just a few minutes and then I can’t stay awake again. And the night sweats. When I wake up I am soaked in sweat. All symptoms of diabetes gone awry. There is a free clinic that I can apply to and if they accept me, I can get an appointment. I’m going to try to push myself to apply. I have to get some medical attention. I also have sores that won’t heal and that can also be related to the diabetes but it can also be something else. I need to get a diagnosis. And the depression itself is a symptom of the diabetes, as well. It seems that the main thing to get treated right now is the diabetes. That’s the key. If I can get that treated, then other symptoms can be sorted out.

This all sounds awful and I have not wanted to write about it because it’s so depressing but I figured I kind of owe people an explanation.

I don’t seem to be able to focus on much these days. I’m trying.

Tell me what is new with you. Give me something to concentrate on, even if only for a few minutes. I really need to pull myself up as much as I can because if I don’t, I end up falling back into the not caring about anything or anyone, not even myself. So give me something to think about. Help me pull myself up.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog link up hosted by Emily at Nerd In the Brain. Go check it out!

Peggie

Peggie was my friend. I found her in the summer of 2013. I found her on Etsy. She was a metal smith. She did beautiful work making unique jewelry. I loved her jewelry and was looking for a custom piece for my then future daughter-in-law. One of the things that drew me to her was that she was local so I wouldn’t have to wait or pay for shipping.

My first contact with Peggie was by email. My last contact with Peggie was also by email. During the first contact, I described what I was looking for and she wrote notes then made a few sample pieces using bronze (I think it was bronze). She emailed me pictures and I decided which I wanted. When it was ready, I stopped by her house to pick it up and was invited in. That’s when the friendship really began. We talked for hours. She was from San Jose, as I am. She grew up in the bay area at the same time I did. She was a few years older than I am but we had so much in common. She had also lived in Santa Rosa, as I had. Then her final move was up to Portland, just about fifteen minutes from me. We talked about the bay area, about family, about college (she had attended a community college very near the university I attended), about music, about the 70’s and 80’s. We had a lot in common and that first in person visit lasted over two hours.

After that I would stop by and chat with her for hours. She gave me my first taste of limoncello, which she made at home, and gave me the recipe which is the one I use now. In fact, every time I have a sip of limoncello, I think of Peggie. We became fast friends.

One day in 2015, my daughter told me there was a message up on Peggie’s Etsy shop saying she was putting the shop on hold because of health reasons but would be back in the spring. Concerned, I emailed her to check on her. No response. I continued to check on her by email and through Etsy until I finally got a reply. She explained that she had gotten an open sore on her leg than began to “weep” and would not heal. Finally, no longer able to put up with the pain, she went to the doctor. It turned out to be a septic infection. She was put on bed rest and antibiotic but the wound would not heal. She continued bed rest and the antibiotic was changed and given for a much longer course, three months,  I believe. I offered to go by and sit with her or bring her groceries or anything she needed but she reminded me that she had been receiving home delivery of her groceries from a local grocer for the past ten years. She said she really just stayed upstairs and rarely got down to the computer or the phone downstairs. She just wanted to lay in bed and read and watch TV and not have to worry about entertaining anyone. Her mother had died recently so she no longer had to go take her mother to appointments so she just wanted to be left alone and not have to feel like she had to entertain anyone. We made plans to go out for dinner and a drink when she was finally off of bed rest which she thought would be January 1 of this year. I checked her FB page and Etsy but didn’t find any updates; the shop was still closed.

Today, there was a message posted on her FB pages, personal and business. She died.

My heart aches. She was such a wonderful, vibrant, and creative person. She was a songwriter and singer and had some success in the 80’s and 90’s and lived off of royalties. She never told me what it was she wrote. She has a unique name so I might go looking. But right now, I just feel like curling up and crying. This is the second death of a friend in just nine days. I’m somewhat in shock and I want to curl up and have everything and everyone go away.

 

Holes

Yesterday I lost a friend. He was taken from this earth way too soon. He leaves a hole in many hearts. I have been reading FB posts expressing shock at his death, which came after a sudden illness. It caught so many by surprise. It’s both sad and comforting to read the posts which tell so many wonderful stories about him, many of which I didn’t know.

Many years ago, a year or so after my divorce, I decided that I was going to get out of the house and do something productive other than Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and PTA. Amazingly, the day I expressed this to my shrink, I got a notice inviting me to a meeting of the Stanford Chicano/Latino Alumni Association of Southern California. The meeting was the coming weekend. I decided I was going. I had not been involved with the group previously but I had been on their mailing list for some time. This was my chance to spread my wings. So I went.

That was the start of so much for me. I reconnected with friends and with friends of friends. I not only got involved, as with everything I do, I jumped in with both feet and within the year I was the president of the group. Our monthly meetings were held at my house on weekends. One of the other people in this group was Carl. Carl had been a freshman when I graduated so I hadn’t known him then, although I did recognize him. He became a friend right away. He was supportive, funny, highly intelligent, opinionated but reflective, too. Carl was one who made us all think about a project from different angles. At that time, he drove a very fancy foreign sports car. When he came to our meetings, he was always the first one there and would park his car on the street right in front of my huge front window. My daughter, Tina, was about thirteen or fourteen at the time and she fell in love with that car. She would come to the window and stare at it. During our meetings, we could see her out the window, looking at the car. She was fascinated with it. She asked Carl questions about it. We all got a kick out of it, including Carl. He answered her questions and told her all sorts of information about the car. One day, he smiled at me and looked at my daughter and said that after our meeting, if it was okay with her mom, he would take her for a short ride in the car. She looked at me and asked if it was okay. I agreed, reminding her that she had a couple of things she should finish during our meeting if she wanted to go for that ride. After the meeting and post meeting socializing, she got to go for that ride. They were only gone for about ten minutes but when they returned, Tina was so excited! She talked about it for weeks. I thanked Carl that day and he said it was nothing. He was glad to do it. His eyes sparkled and his goatee smiled a shy, satisfied smile.

That was one of the many things I remember about Carl. He was always there to raise the spirits, support when he could, listen and make suggestions if appropriate. He raised the self-esteem of a young teenage girl when he took her for a ride in a fancy car. He gave substance to her interest in the car and made a dream come true for her with that ride. Carl made the world a better place from his chemical engineering job to his running group; from the alumni group to his Rotary Club. He never forgot where he came from. He never forgot his family, going back to Pueblo whenever he could. He never let anyone down. He gave all that he could.

He leaves the world a better place, although there are many holes left by his death.

Let It Go; Forget It

The first time was after I was assaulted and held at knife point by a couple of teen thugs. My pants were ripped and the buttons torn off of my shirt. I was mauled. I was scared to death. When it was all over, I knew I was okay but the fright and the panic lasted for days and weeks and months. I tried to get past it. I tried. I really did. But it would come rushing back at me at the most unexpected moment. And instead of holding me or comforting me, I was told to forget it.

Then there were the missed miscarriages. Each time I was devastated. Each time I was broken inside. Each time I was barely hanging on for the sake of my other children. Months later, it was better but it would come flooding back and drag me down. Again, I was told to forget it, let it go. It wasn’t easy but I tried.

I really tried. Now I wonder if I had been allowed to grieve and cry and express my outrage and devastation, would I be better now? Or would these memories come flooding over me forty and twenty-eight years later? I know the memories would still come back but I think I might be better. I guess I won’t ever know.

Challenges #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee, we would, once again be indoors and bundled up against the cold and wet. I believe it snowed earlier today but didn’t stick. Tomorrow has a similar forecast. Come on in and get comfy. This isn’t one of the easier posts to write.

I love #WeekendCoffeeShare. I love reading them and writing them. However, this week has been rather strange as things come to a head here. I haven’t written too much about it, at least not here. My daughter and family are going through a particularly difficult financial time. Her husband was working for someone who had been contracted by a major company. So they paid the contractor and he was supposed to pay Chris. It worked okay until he stopped paying him last October. He seems to be having his own financial problems so he has stopped paying, making $50 to $100 payments once in a great while. So this means my daughter’s family is beyond broke. I have helped as much as I can but my regular readers will remember that I have no income right now and am living on the tiny bit of savings I have left which will pay rent for another couple of months then will be gone. So I can’t help them financially. This month, it looks like they won’t make rent. Oregon has a 72 hour eviction time frame. So if they can’t pay the rent by the end of the grace period on the 5th, the eviction process will begin. That means that because they have no place to put it, they will also lose all of their furniture, clothes, all their possessions. It’s tough enough for adults to go through this but there is also an almost 7 year old, a 3 year old and a 2 week old baby. I can almost not function trying to think about what will happen next week.

In the midst of this darkness, I have been reminded that people care. I posted a link to my daughter’s crowd sourcing page on Facebook and people have been sharing it and donating. In fact several of you have donated. It warms my heart to know that you care and that you are trying to help. Thank you to each one of you. It has not gone unnoticed. I’ll keep sharing the link on Facebook in hopes that others will see it and respond by donating and/or sharing on their feed. [I can’t post the link here because this is a free wordpress blog so they will delete it as it violates terms for free blogs.]

It has been a rather quiet week for me. I’ve not been feeling well so I have been mostly in bed. Anderson has come over for school but we do our work then he cuddles up in my bedroom to watch TV (they couldn’t pay the internet bill so they don’t have TV right now). He stays for the rest of the day while I either nap next to him or come to the living room to do some blogging. I haven’t left the house except to go tutor last Thursday. I’m just so exhausted. I know part of it is the stress but I am also physically exhausted from not being well. On Saturday I slept all day…all day. I didn’t actually wake up until almost 7 last night. Today was a little bit better, having slept in only until 11. But now I am feeling like I need to nap or at least rest a bit.

This week I will continue to try to help them figure out how to get the rent money. I am not sure when the crowd sourcing campaign is over but I believe they don’t get any of the money until it is over. Right now they are at half of what they have asked for. Crossing fingers more comes in this week. I will also try to keep up with the blogging. It has brought smiles to my face when I have been able to post and do some reading. Those that I haven’t visited, I will get to you. I might only give a LIKE but I will read your blog (some of you don’t have a LIKE options so that makes it difficult to let you know I’ve been there!).

Not a lot of reading has happened here, at least not besides any blog reading. I did stream a movie last night that I enjoyed. It is called “Papa” and is about Ernest Hemingway in Cuba. I think it was Netflix but could have been Amazon. Sometimes they are all the same to me.

Let me know what you are up to. Any shows or movies to recommend? Books? How’s your weather?

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog link-up hosted by Emily at Nerd In the Brain. Come on over and check it out.

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The best thing this week…holding this little one in my arms.