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If we were having coffee, I would be out of sorts and once we got settled and comfy, I would probably start telling you about my favorite aunt, Joy.

When I was little, around four, my uncle who lived with us, got a new girlfriend that lived down the street from us. He met her when my mom sent him to Maio’s Market, on the corner, for a dinner ingredient. When we walked by the house where Joy lived, she was outside. That was the beginning of a year sixty year marriage. He brought her to the house to meet us and to meet my mom. My mom was ten years older than my uncle and had practically raised him as she cared for him when my grandmother was at work. So she was very protective of her little brother. Aunt Joy and my mom didn’t get along at first and even once they came to appreciate each other and truly care for one another, there were some rough times, mostly due to “boundaries” perceived and real.

I felt a special bond with her, even in the early days. My middle name is Joy and when I found out that her real name was not Joy, I asked her why she used that as her name. She answered that she hated her given name, Jovita. And one day, while washing dishes as part of her chores, she looked at the bottle of dish washing liquid and decided she would from then on be called Joy, like the soap.

I really liked Aunt Joy. I would go visit her, even before they were married. And I kind of shadowed her when she came to visit my uncle. Later, she took very good care of us, driving across town when my mother was in the hospital and I was having a lot of pain. She helped me and brought medicine and stayed until I felt better and my brothers were home from school.

When I went to college and my parents moved from San Jose in California to Orange County, I spent a lot of time with my aunt. They lived about a half hour from Palo Alto where I attended college. I spent weekends with them and holidays. That’s when she taught me one of the most important things in my life. Volunteering. I went along with her to deliver cupcakes or cookies to my cousins’ classrooms for their parties. I learned about Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts and going on field trips with the kids’ classes. I went along with her to help at church craft fairs and other fundraisers. I asked her once why she did all of that. My mom hadn’t done any of that so it seemed different to me. She explained that we always have a duty to help out whenever we can, especially with schools and youth groups and churches because they don’t have a lot of money or a lot of help. That stayed with me and when I became a mom, I started volunteering as soon as my kids got to pre-school. I never stopped. Class mom, field trip chaperone, den mother for Cub Scouts, troop leader for Girl Scouts. Fundraising chair at the elementary school. PTA president. Foundation President. I still volunteer (well not since the pandemic shut everything and everyone down last March) at the grandkids’ schools.

She taught me so much. She was like a second mom. I’ve always thought of her as one of the five most influential people in my life.

She died yesterday.

I am deeply saddened. I cannot be there to honor her or memorialize her as I am very high risk and not vaccinated yet. It would be too big of a risk. And then there is the money involved. So I can’t. Instead, I will share with others, as I’ve shared here with you. I’ll continue to sip my tea and think about her and just talk to her spirit.

For more #weekendcoffeeshare posts, please visit Natalie the Explorer and, if you are so inclined, please write your own coffee share post and link up here.

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She had been beyond thrilled to receive the beautiful bouquet of roses from her husband. She had told him repeatedly throughout their twenty years together. Her favorite flower was the rose. Each occasion that might have prompted flowers, she anticipated the roses. They never came. Until now. She was ecstatic. She called him at work to thank him. When his secretary answered, she had asked if Mona had liked the roses she had picked out for her. Her heart sank. She should have know she wasn’t important enough for him to pick them out for her. She should have known.

100 words

last-rose-dale.

This post is in answer to the prompt post by Rochelle in Friday Fictioneers.  Visit Rochelle here.

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Dirty — #WeeklySmile

It has been a long week and I was having trouble finding a smile to share. Then yesterday, as I drive to pickup some items from my Buy Nothing group, it but me!

As I drove around, I came across lots of snow. It wasn’t the pretty white snow we see in pictures. It was the kind that has been sitting around and shoveled and pushed aside. The ugly, dirty snow.

That’s not what made me smile. It was a memory. My oldest grandchild, Anderson, is almost 11. When he was just shy of 4, we had a big snow storm. It was the first time he got to go out and play in it. He loved it. When it all melted, he was sad and asked to get it back. He didn’t write understand why we couldn’t deliver in that wish.

One day, after roads were cleared, I took him to the store with me. There was as mountain of dirty snow in the parking lot where they had pulled it up to clear parking spaces. He didn’t recognize it as snow. It was that dirty. When I told him it was snow that was all dirty, he got so excited and asked me, “Can we take it home and wash it so I can play in it?!”

That’s what made me smile when I saw mountains of dirty snow!

Visit Trent to read more weekly smiles and maybe you will want to share one.

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If we were having coffee, it would have to be decaf because it’s after 6 in the evening! I’m running late and for no good reason.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about how yesterday turned out to be a stay in and do nothing day. I streamed Army Wives all day. I’ve seen the whole series several times but I’m currently binging on it again.

It was a day to just forget everything and pamper myself. I don’t do that often enough. So I did it yesterday.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I debated whether to write this post it a Weekly Smile post. I’m running to get back into a habit of doing both so I decided to write this one and try to write the other in a couple of hours.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that this week I ordered tea steepers so I can enjoy my loose teas. Somehow I ended up with none so I had to get more. I found some cute ones on Amazon that are silicone tea bags. They look just like a tea bag but they open up and you can put in your loose tea then steep it. Those will be good for starters because it’s a set of six and they were very inexpensive. Later I’ll get something different. But these will do for now. And with 6, It’s okay if I lose one!

If we were having coffee, I think I would cut it short so I can get to another post. I’m slow with the WordPress interface. It’s very different from when I was blogging regularly and it takes me awhile to actually post it once it’s finished!

Until next time, I’m steeping tea and trying to get this posted!

This post is part of the weekend coffee share hosted by Natalie. Visit the inlinkz page to find more weekend coffee share posts!

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Next?

Now that the storm is over, it’s time to go home. That prospect is not one I look forward to. Once I get home, I have to deal with driving through the mobile home park all the way go the back where my house is and none of it is plowed. Then I have go deal with emptying the fridge and dumping the food that spoiled as the power was out there. Of course, I had just filled the fridge and freezer the day before the storm. Then I have to see about getting some food. I don’t go to stores because of Covid. And, I only have EBT and stores are currently taking only cash because many functions are still down. Much of the area is still without power and I hear gas stations are still not able to use their pumps. While my house does have power, it’s mighty cold in there. I have only space heaters and they don’t come back Kim after a power outage still they have been out for about five days.

This will be made even more interesting by the fact that I have great difficulty moving about, even with my quad tip cane. None of these issues is insurmountable. They will just be difficulty and require time, patience, and pain pills. I’m lucky. Some in that area have not had heat, electricity, or running water for four days with a rest oral date estimate of next week!

And there’s another storm developing for late next week.

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If we were having coffee, we would be at my daughter’s home in Vancouver, Washington. I came here before the weather turned so I wouldn’t be alone at home in Oregon when the series of storms arrived. I don’t do well during storms, all alone. I feel cutoff from everyone and everything. And if the power goes out, I would have no heat (I only have electric space heaters), no source of food or water or toilets! We are on well water here but the pump that brings up the water is electric so when the electricity goes out, we have no water. I don’t have snow tires or chains. And I live in a mobile home park that is private property and not plowed so we get truly cut off with no one able to come in or go out.

If we were having coffee, we would have a great view of the snow, either in the front of the house or the back, as there are lots of windows here. We currently have about 12 inches, at least. I haven’t been out in it because I don’t have any appropriate shoes or clothing so I am enjoying it from the warm indoors.

If we were having coffee, we would probably be seeing the grandkids loving being able to play outside in it. It’s a treat because we don’t get it often or even much.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it was a good call to come here. Where I live, just 25 miles away, they have gotten ice and freezing rain more than snow. The power has been out there since Friday (it is Sunday as I type this) and trees are coming down all over. Many roads are blocked and the roads are extremely icy. So, good call!

If we were having coffee, you probably wouldn’t want to leave. It’s cold out there (about 24 degrees F or -4 degrees C). We are also under further storm warning until Monday afternoon. And then the melt will start, with a strong possibility of flooding where I live. It just doesn’t end, does it?

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I have been enjoying the grandkids. Maya just turned 4 on the 9th and she is a Nana’s Girl. She doesn’t leave my side or my lap for very long. She even sleeps on top of my at night. The boys are 10 and 7 so they entertain themselves. Spencer, the younger one, comes to talk to me or show me things. Anderson stays to himself, outside or on his iPad. I’m going to try to engage them in a movie a little later. They’ll be home and out of school for a few more days, I’m sure.

If we were having coffee, I would be regretting not having brought my Fireball whiskey from home. It makes that coffee warmer and more delicious! Have you ever had Fireball? I hadn’t until about 8 years ago. Friends on Facebook were discussing it and how great it was. I asked my daughter what it was and if she had tried it. She filled me in and a couple of weeks later, she surprised me with a bottle of it. Now I try to have it on hand always but the last couple of years I only have it as a treat when I can save up the money for it!

It’s not a very interesting coffee share this week but it is what it is.

This was written as part of the blog linkup hosted by Natalie. You can find her post here and the linkup here if you choose to participate!

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We don’t get snow in Portland, Oregon very often and when we do it either doesn’t stick or lasts only a few hours. But every once in awhile, we get “snow events” that are first welcomed but cursed by the time their over.

Well, it looks like we just may be getting one of the latter types. I think the most they say we will get is 2 get over a 2 to 3 day period. This area isn’t used to that and therefore not prepared. Everything shuts down and road become impassable with 2 inches. Just wait and see what happens if we get 2 feet! Additionally, it will be extremely cold and windy. They are warning of electrical failures.

Of course, it might not happen. We may end up with freezing rain instead. But in the off chance that we do get a good amount of snow, my daughter has invited me to come up there so we can be together and stay warm if the power goes out. We sucked up on firewood and there are plenty of blankets there. So I’m heading over there (Vancouver, WA).

Everybody stay safe and warm!

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The Pose

You know the one. Actually, there’s more than one. Take a look at just about any picture with women in it and you’ll see it. The pose with a hand on the hip and the head tilted up a bit. Or the one where the woman stands sideways from the camera and her head is turned to face the camera. And there’s the one with the woman standing with both hands on hips and looking over her shoulder at the camera. There are so many of those “stock” poses.

My question is, where do they learn this? Who teaches them? Are they born with this ability? Whatever it is, I never got it. All my pictures are just plain old standing facing the camera straight ahead, hands at my sides. Pretty boring. But I just never got the memo on how to pose!

Makes me wonder what else I missed!

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Mistakes

All I have to say today is that while we all make plenty of mistakes during the course of our lives, few of us make the kind that end up being very public.

Oh, and if this is representative of 40 year old teachers in Louisiana, I’m glad I’ve never been anywhere near there.

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Home

Where is home? Is it a physical place? Is it where you live?

Home seems to conjure up so many feelings in each of us. Earlier today, I came across a post in Daily Musings that got me to thinking about “home”.

It’s a lot of different things to me. It’s where I live, physically, in my home. But home is not always just a house. To me, home is family. Family is home. I once noticed that to me, home was wherever my mom lived, even if I had never actually lived there myself. Mom equaled home. Whenever I get to go back to that house, if I ever do, I know it won’t be home. My mom isn’t there anymore. She’s gone. My sister lives there so I guess that it’s still home in the way that family is home but I don’t think I’ll feel that.

Home is where my kids are or even where we all are together even if it isn’t anyone’s domicile. It’s home because family is there.

In another way, home is also California where I was born and grew up. I love going back to California and it still feels like home. The house where I grew up in San Jose also brings back feelings of home, as does San Jose. I lived there for so long. When I go to San Jose I am home, even though I’m no longer familiar with everything there or how to get from one place to the other. It’s still home and when I leave San Jose, I have a sad feeling in my heart.

I guess home is many things to many of us. Where is home to YOU?

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