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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Read-a-thon

This year I have joined Dewey’s Read-a-thon, a 24 hour slot to read! You don’t have to read the entire time, it’s just a day that is dedicated to reading. I’m hoping to get in at least six hours of reading today. It happens that I just yesterday found out about it and I had already told my daughter that I would go with her to take the kids to a Halloween costume giveaway from Gleaners and there’s lunch and crafts involved so that sounds like at least four hours! And who knows what else will happen later. I also intend to do some blogging.

Part of the read-a-thon is to provide occasional updates. I will be doing so on this blog post by updating it throughout the day. So my followers can ignore notifications of this post being published over and over again throughout the day.

It’s one in the morning and I want to get in at least an hour of reading before turning out the lights. I probably will not update until ten or so Pacific time. I’m currently reading an ARC copy of An American Family by Khizr Khan, which is a memoir.

Update 1: I read for an hour and got from 19% of the book to 38% before my eyes were too tired to go on. Then a half hour after I turned out the light, I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep so I read a few blogs online and checked the message boards for NaNoWriMo. I ended up sleeping less than two hours and now I really need to sleep at least another hour. Hopefully another check in in a few hours and more progress to report on my book.

Update 2: This has not been a good day. It started yesterday. My sciatica came back. Not as horrible as in the past but bad enough so that I had to take a pain pill and a couple of muscle relaxants. That means I slept all afternoon. I just woke up around 8:30 this evening. I’ve taken my insulin and had something to eat and now I’m going to give reading another shot. With luck, I won’t fall asleep or have to take any more pain meds.

Update 3: Well, it’s eleven o’clock. I’m at about 51% in my book, which by the way, is a pretty interesting look at a Pakistani family immigrating to the United States in the 1970’s. They arrived so that the husband could attend Harvard Law School but had to spend some time working to be able to afford the tuition. From the first chapter, I know that they ended up staying but so far, from the reading, I don’t know much past their arrival in Houston, Texas. So far, a good read. The plan is to read for a bit more, maybe until midnight then I’ll most likely need another pain pill because things are moving in that direction. I think I’m going to try to read for a substantial part of Sunday to make up for not reading enough on Saturday.

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That’s how long it as been since the Los Angeles Dodgers made it into the World Series! I remember that series. I lived in Los Angeles. I was married to a die hard sports fan and had myself become a Dodger fan since being in Los Angeles back in the mid 70’s. We used to go to games a couple of times a week, at least. I remember the hey days of the Dodgers with Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Rick Monday, Davey Lopes, Steve Yeager, Dusty Baker, and so many more star players. Wow! They were smokin’ hot in those days.

It has been a long, long time since I’ve been to a Dodger game. I think the last time was around 1994 or so. And it has been even longer since they’ve been to the World Series. Twenty-nine years! So it is about time. I hope they win. It has not even been decided who they will play but I hope they win. If not, well, at least they made it there. Maybe this will start a streak.

For those fans who wanted a different team to go to the series this year, I am sorry that you are disappointed. I hope other fans have not been mean to you. I won’t be. I know how it is when someone else’s team wins and then teases the heck out of the fans of the losing team. So I won’t do it.

I’ll just say, “Go Dodgers!”

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Curiosity 

She walked up during a tarot reading. 

With the sweetest of smiles,   “Please read for me. I am curious too.”

How could I say no! 

______

This is my first time joining in on Micro Mondays. Get the scoop here

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California

Some of you may remember that I am from California, though I live in Oregon. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, in San Jose. I lived there until college then moved up the road to Palo Alto. After college I lived in southern California for too many years then found my way back up north to Santa Rosa. I love California. It will always be my home. California, at least a bit of it, lives inside of me.

Santa Rosa. It’s a small town in Sonoma County, about forty-five minutes north of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s in Wine Country. And right now, it’s on fire. There is currently a horrible fire storm in a number of counties in the area. I didn’t keep up with the statistics over the weekend because I took a bit of a break from all the news, most of which is horrible or sad in some way. But I know that as of last Friday it had consumed more than three thousand structures, killed at least thirty-one people, and over six hundred were reported missing. Yeah. A real tragedy that has made me so sad.

As my connection to the Houston hurricane which some of you may remember, this Santa Rosa fire has saddened me greatly. Structures that I am well familiar with were totally lost. The beautiful trees and hills have been charred. And, in this case, one of my aunts lost her home. I am just glad that they weren’t home because she and her husband both take sleeping pills and I’m afraid that if they had been home, they may not have been aware of the fire in time. They lived up on a hill top cul-de-sac, where the only way out is a very narrow road. But they weren’t home which is a blessing in some ways. Because they weren’t home, they didn’t have the opportunity to save anything at all. Everything they had, other than what they had with them in their RV (they were on their way to Wyoming) is gone. Their cars. Their clothing. Her doll collection. His extensive gun collection. Their wall safe with a lot of cash melted. (Don’t believe it when they claim they are fire proof.) Their personal memorabilia. Photographs. Mementos. It’s all gone.

My aunt says they are too old to rebuild that custom home. I’m not sure where they will choose to move to. My aunt has lived in the area her entire life and her husband has too, with the exception of his time in the Navy. Their lives are so closely tied to the Santa Rosa area.

My daughter’s former co-workers and friends, some of them anyway, also lost their homes. These are younger people who might not have been properly insured. This is so devastating for them, as well.

Entire neighborhoods are gone and unlike the popular thought, they are not the fancy neighborhoods like the one my aunt lived in. Many of these are where working class people lived and worked and went to school and played. Many of these people lost not only their homes and everything in them (the fire came through without warning, in the middle of the night and people had just moments to grab keys and run), they’ve also lost the place of employment with so many businesses burned to the ground.

There have been some bright spots. Some incredible kindnesses shown. Perhaps I’ll write about some of those this week.

The fires are still going. It has been an entire week of flames in the area and the smoke continues to blacken the skies. If you’re a praying person, please pray for the area and that the fires are put out as soon as possible. And of course, let’s pray for the firefighters who have been working round the clock, often working three back to back to back shifts with no rest.

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Maya is eight months old and has two big brothers. Anderson is seven and Spencer is four. So when I am talking to her or singing to her, I tell Maya that Spencer is the Little Big Brother and Anderson is the Big Big Brother. They both love their little sister and they try to help with her. Anderson was afraid of her at first and not really bonding with her but once she started to smile and make eye contact and giggle and laugh, at around five months, he came around and loves her. Spencer has loved her bonded right from the start.

Last night, I was babysitting all three of them while their dad worked and their mom made an appearance at a Halloween costume party. The boys were pretty hyper but Maya was fine. She watched them running and jumping and was enjoying it. Then when I got them to calm down and Anderson fell asleep, Maya became over tired and restless and in pain from teething.  She has her two front teeth and is working on a third so she was very uncomfortable. After a couple of hours of not wanting to be in arms, in her swing, in her bouncer, or anywhere else because of her discomfort, as I sang to her I said something about how her teeth were bothering her. I make up songs as I go along and just throw in a whole lot of nonsense so this song was about how she should go to sleep and how I wished I could do something for her pain.

Spencer had taken a long nap in the late afternoon so he was still awake and he heard me. He got up and went into the kitchen and dragging a chair from the dining room. He’s a climber so I was afraid he’d hurt himself and called from the other room asking what he was doing. He answered that he was getting something for Maya. I walked around the corner to check on him and he was on top of the counter getting a box down. I noticed it was the box that his mom and dad keep over the counter medicines. With the crying baby in my arms, I went over and asked him to put it away. He said, “Just a minute. I’m finding something for Maya’s teeth. Mommy has medicine for her in here.” He kept picking up boxes and looking at the labels as if he knew how to read then putting it back when it wasn’t what he wanted. In the end, he didn’t find the right thing so we put the box back and went back to the living room.

It made my heart melt that he wanted to help his sister and knew there was something there that we could use to help and that he decided to take matters into his own hands to find something. He’s a good little big brother!

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Yesterday I wrote about a laundry lesson and my son. That reminded me of another lesson with my son. I went through old posts because I was sure I had written about it previously but I didn’t find it. Of course, maybe I just didn’t look well enough but in any case, I’m writing it up for you today.

In eighth grade, Tony developed a habit of sleeping in late in the mornings. On school mornings. He would stay up way too late and although I kept after him to go to bed, I was not going to put either of us through a routine of standing there until he got in bed and shut off the lights. I gave him more credit than that and trusted him to finish what he was doing and go to bed. If he woke up too late he would end up being late to school. I would not let him stay home just because he had stayed up too late. However, because he would get in trouble, I did call the school and say he hadn’t felt well that morning and had missed first period but I would get him there by second period. Then it happened again. And again.

By the fourth time, I told him the night before that if he didn’t get up in time for school, I was not going to lie for him. I guess he didn’t believe me because he overslept again. And true to my warning, I refused to call in or write him a note. I just took him and dropped him off, waiting at the curb until he walked in the door. That afternoon he was mad at me. He said that all because of me he was going to have to have a week of lunch time detention. I reminded him that it wasn’t because of me. It was because he couldn’t go to bed on time or get up on time. He mumbled something and went in his room.

It turns out that lunch detention was held in one of the classrooms. The kids would take their lunch in there and they had five minutes to eat. No talking. Just eating. Then when they were finished eating, they had to sit perfectly straight, facing forward, with their hands folded in front of them for the rest of the lunch period. He said it was beyond boring. I almost felt bad for him. Almost. But I was trying to teach him to be more responsible. I was afraid he might not learn and we would have to do it all over again.

It seemed to have worked because he didn’t over sleep again. Not for school.

Then, about two or more months later, he said one day, “Mom you know when you made me go to school and tell them I had over slept and I had lunch detention for a week? Well, I hated it at the time and I was mad at you but now I realize that it was the best thing you could have done for me.”

Lesson learned. For both of us.

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I was going to write a post yesterday, Saturday, but that didn’t happen. I’m a bit slow these days. Then I was going to write something early this morning but well, here it is, almost seven in the evening and I am just now getting to it. Oh well!

This is actually not about laundry. Not completely. It’s sort of a laundry list of things going on. It’s the kind of post I might write for a Weekend Coffee Share. I’m really missing those and I’ve lost some of the people that participated in those. I guess I will have to try to go back through all of my Weekend Coffee Share posts and see who commented and find their blogs because I miss them!

I’m not going to say too much about that unthinkable thing that happen in Las Vegas a week ago today but I will mention it because I think it has a lot to do with how I am feeling these days. I’m sure a lot of you have felt the oppression of a world gone crazy this week and of how our politicians in America seem to be ignoring what they shouldn’t and making hay out of what they should ignore. Incredible. But then again, it seems that the incredible is more and more the standard in this world.

I think it is time to bring out my light spectrum light bulbs because I can feel the depression of the seasonal changes coming on. It’s time. And it’s time to take my multivitamins in hopes that my energy level will improve. Time to take my muscle relaxant even if I don’t think I need it because by the time I realize I need it, it’s too late.

Laundy. It’s also time to do laundry because I was lucky yesterday and today, lucky that it was on the cool side and I didn’t have to go out of the house because all that was clean was leggings and a couple of sweaters. Tomorrow there won’t be even that so laundry must be done tonight.

Speaking of laundry, a friend of mine’s Facebook post about how she hates doing laundry reminded me of a laundry story! It happened years ago, when I was the single mom of three kids. The two older ones were in high school and middle school and had to bring their P.E. clothes home to launder each week. I was also working full time and a part time job in the evenings. There was rarely enough time to catch my breath, let alone catch up on laundry. It seems I was always running behind. This one Sunday night, about ten, I had just sat down to put my feet up for a few minutes as the girls had gotten to bed. Then my son came into the room and, with a less than respectful tone, scolded my because I hadn’t washed his P.E. clothes and he needed them for the morning. It was the scolding tone that got to me. I looked at him and told him he was old enough to do his laundry (he was about 15 or 16) and from then on I wasn’t doing his laundry anymore. If he wanted clean clothes he was going to have to wash them himself. He immediately got defensive and said he didn’t know how to do it so I told him to get his laundry and I would meet him in the washroom and would show him this one time. And I did just that. I told him what to do step by step. I didn’t do it for him. I told him what he had to do. Then I told him how to work the machine and after he turned it on, I showed him how to work the dryer. Then I went to bed in protest. I was not going to have him come in later and ask for more help.

After that, he always did his own laundry if I wasn’t doing other laundry and at times, he would say I should just get some rest and he would do all the laundry, not just his. That was when I learned that it is sometimes okay to “let your kids down” to actually help them rise up in the long run.

What’s up in your neck of the woods? Do you have any “laundry” stories? Do tell.

Leaving you with last week’s “laundry picture.”

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