Archive for the ‘life’ Category

I got a text from my daughter on Wednesday evening. Maya was sick. It didn’t surprise me because Anderson and Spencer had been sick. In fact, my daughter stayed home with them on Monday but couldn’t miss a second day of work so I went over early Tuesday and stayed with the boys (and Maya). I came home that evening and the boys went to school on Wednesday. So I figured Maya would be getting sick but was hoping it would be on the weekend. That didn’t happen. I drove over super early on Thursday (I had to leave at 5:15 am) and stayed with Maya. She was so sick she didn’t wake up until after ten that morning. But she was sick. Fever, runny nose, watery eyes, the whole thing. And while she could actually have gone to day care sick, we didn’t think that was a good idea. There is a measles epidemic where they live and she has not been vaccinated so we didn’t want her to be more susceptible to it or to spread it if in fact it turned out to be measles. She was happy to see me and she cuddled with me all day, except during her four naps! She usually takes only one but that was another sign that she wasn’t well. I stayed with her again on Friday and she was much better. Still sick but much better.

So where’s the smile? I smiled because I was in a position to go take care of her so she would be more comfortable at home and so my daughter would not have to stay home from work a second day in the same week. That’s a pretty neat position to be in. I’m close enough to them and able to help out. And the bonus is that Maya is so attached to me that she cuddles with me when she’s sick but not with anyone else, not even with her mom. She loves her Nana and feels comfortable and loved and special so that’s a pretty neat thing to smile about!

I won’t tell you who is home with a fever and sniffles and sore throat now! But that’s okay. The Maya Snuggles were worth it!

What made you smile this week? Head over to Trent’s blog for his weekly blog hop feature, The #Weekly Smile!


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Yup, that’s right! This week’s smile is going to make YOU smile, too. As many of you are aware, I have been babysitting three of my grandchildren since they moved thirtyish miles away in early September because my daughter had not been able to set up daycare. The babysitting had me driving back and forth between the two cities several times a day then around November it became easier (and cheaper) to go over on Sunday evening and stay until Friday evening, unless I had an appointment back near me. It was exhausting, physically and mentally. Several times she said she was setting up daycare so I would only need to watch the kids for her a couple of days a week. I was looking forward to that then she announced that the woman that was going to watch the kids had decided to go back to work instead so I lost hope!

Then, last week, out of the blue she said she had found a place that might have openings for all three of the kids and she was going to go visit to see what it was like. I had heard it before so I sort of ignored it. That afternoon I got a text message saying all three of the kids were starting day care at the same center on Monday and it would be full time, five days a week. Wow!

I hadn’t expected that. It gave me just one more day of watching them before the weekend and then the Monday they started at the center. I cried. It kind of made me feel like I was no longer wanted or needed. I know it was silly but it just threw me! After the first couple of days, I realized I was being silly. Here I was feeling upset about finally getting a change in the situation that had been exhausting to me for months. So I not only smiled at myself, I laughed at myself.

They started daycare this past Monday and aside from a bit of a rough time getting used to a new schedule (they have to get up about two hours earlier than when I watched them) all three of the kids like it. Right now the boys are only there in the morning until the school bus picks them up because my daughter picks them up about ten minutes after they are dropped off after school but when she begins her new job in three weeks, she will be picking them up later than now because of different work hours and a longer commute. All is fine. This week I’ve actually been over there twice anyway; once because she had an after work appointment and once because it was my daughter’s birthday so we went out to dinner. So I’m still seeing them and still needed (in fact, I am babysitting them tonight so she can go out to celebrate her birthday with friends). Silly me to think I wasn’t needed anymore!

Trent over at Trent’s World hosts a weekly blog hop called The Weekly Smile where he asks us to write about one thing that made us smile during the week. Go check it out!

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The end of last year was good in a lot of ways and brought many smiles. There were new friends as I met some of my daughter’s friends for an evening of making tamales, a Christmas tradition in my family. I was the one that taught the new people how to spread the masa on the corn husk and fill it and roll it. They turned out tasty; a bit different from the usual but still fine. Next year I think I will take over the cooking of the meat again but maybe not. I won’t be around forever so the ones after me have to learn so maybe I should just make sure I am here to supervise when the meat is put on the stove (or in this case the Instant Pot).

I also managed to carve out a little bit of time for me. I had a day of doctors’ appointments the Thursday before Christmas so I went home on Wednesday night. After the appointments, I stayed home so that I could attend a pizza night across town at some friends’ home. It was a lot of fun. We had pizza, birthday cake (for me and for three other women who were there and had December birthdays), yummy drinks, and then a very fun game and a white elephant gift exchange. Those are always fun because the gift you choose can be “stolen” from you!

The BIG smile came on the Friday before Christmas. I think I have mentioned Lularoe clothing in the past. Well, I follow one consultant on Facebook. They are a local husband and wife team (they are actually the ones who hosted the pizza night) and they are very generous. They’ve become friends with their 8800 members, and in a lot of ways the group is more like a family. This year they did a Twelve Days Of Christmas giveaway. Each day there was a question asked and those who participated were entered in a drawing for a shopping spree. The shopping spree time length corresponded to the “day of Christmas” it happened to be. Friday was the ninth day of Christmas so the shopping spree was nine minutes long. The winner had to be online when the name was announced at six in the evening then their time began immediately. Well, I won the ninth day of Christmas and was standing by with my list of items I wanted to claim (there was a specific phrase that had to be typed as a comment to each item claimed). I scored big! I was able to claim nineteen free items! If I totaled the sale price of the items I claimed, it would be well over five hundred dollars! Some of the items I used as gifts and some I kept for myself. It was the icing on the cake that was December.

Christmas was good. It started very low key as I woke up with three of the grandkids and enjoyed watching them open their gifts. My two daughters were there. Then I drove the three hours to Seattle to spend the rest of the day with my son and grandson and daughter-in-law. So for the first time in about five years, I got to see all three of my kids and all four of my grandchildren on Christmas!

These were my many smiles for the last couple of weeks. What did you smile about last week? Check out Trent’s Weekly Smile post and tell us about your smiles!

#theweeklysmile  #weeklysmile

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December 25, 1955

I post this at Christmas every year, nott just for my readers but for me, too. It reminds me of the people that becane my parents and how I began. Merry Christmas!

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

[NOTE: This is the story about the night I was born. The words the mother speaks to the baby at the end are the words I spoke to my daughters at their births. And yes, my parents really are named María and José, although they both use their middle names because they feel their names are too common. I have heard the story over and over again over the past 60 years. My mother swears it was 11:52 PM but my birth certificate says I was born at 11:19 PM. In any case, I was my mom’s Christmas baby!]

María lay in bed exhausted, yet unable to sleep. She’d had an endless day and had just finished putting out the gifts for her four children. Tomorrow would be filled with joy and much activity. The kids were sure to waken by seven, anxious to open their gifts and play with…

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Christmas Snow

This is from last year. A reminder that things work out and that there are angels in this world.

Wasted Days And Wasted Nights

Well, we got our first snow of the season. This morning. It’s not supposed to get over 30 or so degrees so it looks like it will be icy out on the roads. It’s now sleet. That’s why I didn’t want snow until after today. Oh well. It is forcing a slow down. I won’t complain. I had one thing that I wanted to do today that would take me on the roads but I’ve asked the three people in the mobile home park that I can ask, to let me know if they go out and can pick up the one last gift that is ready for pick up. Two of them have snow tires and the right “fixings” to go out in the snow and they are moms so they may be going out. If not, the world will not part.

I’m still in my pajamas at almost…

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Solveig Werner

Operation Santa Claus

By Corina Carrasco

Christmas, for most of us, is a very emotional time of year. It brings back memories, both good and bad; it brings us face to face with the end of the year and failures, both real and perceived. This is true for me, just like it is for everyone else.

This morning, as I sat inside my idling car, waiting for my turn, I was able to catch my breath. That’s when my mind came to terms with what I was waiting for and that’s when the tears started. As I sat in that long line of cars, I thought about all the Christmases behind me. Many of them were very good–the ones in the years when I was married and there was no financial problem. Many of them, considering that I was only married for sixteen of my sixty-two Christmases, were not the…

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Two! #WeeklySmile

Last time I wrote about dog sitting and the wonderful couple that owns the dog. I mentioned that they are finally pregnant after their IVF procedure. Well, she just messaged me. They have finally announced the news to the family. She’s officially there months now. The big news?! Twins! Isn’t that wonderful? I’m so excited for them. I can’t stop smiling!

What made you smile this week? Go on over to Trent’s blog and check out his weekly smile post!

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Warm #WeeklySmile

This week was anything but warm! One morning it was 25 degrees when the boys had to go to the bus stop! Way too cold, especially since they don’t have the kind of outerwear for that temperature!

It was a warm week in that Maya was very happy to see me after I was gone for a few days so she was full of warm hugs and kisses! I think that at twenty-one months she doesn’t understand the concept of time and days so she must have thought I wasn’t coming back!

Well, why did I call this warm? I met a lady through my Buy Nothing group who has a dog named Lance. He’s a very good dog but when he is left alone in the house, he goes crazy and tears everything up so they never leave him alone. She and her husband are going through the IVF process and it requires numerous lengthy appointments so she has me come over and stay with the dog. Lance is very mellow and just sits by the fire place while I am there so I enjoy having time to read or watch a show on TV without the guilt i have at home (because there is so much to do at home). They pay me very well to sit there and enjoy their lovely home. I’ve gone about five times. She is now pregnant! Hooray! Last night they wanted to go to dinner and to see The Nutcracker so I stayed with Lance. When they got home, she paid me and gave me a bag full of paper goods (Tp, paper towels, etc. which I cannot buy with EBT) and a gift bag which she said was for my birthday! Yay! I rarely get any gifts, not even for my birthday (which is coming up). It is beautiful, comfortable, plush bathrobe! Oh yeah, I forgot to mention warm! That’s what made me smile this week! A new bathrobe that will keep me warm! And the thoughtfulness! What a bargain!

What made you smile this week? Head on over to Trent’s blog and check out the Weekly Smile!

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Well, I’ve been missing. It seems that every time I think things will get better, I am wrong. My life these days seems to belong to someone else. I am not able to plan or to relax or think. Instead, I seem to be alive solely to babysit and make things easier for others.

I know that sounds pretty negative, which is unlike me, but it’s true.

And it’s December already.

One thing… one tiny glimmer of light…one rain to smile. She (who shall not be named) says she is taking the kids to a sitter three days a week so that I will only have to watch them two days a week, plus some weekend time. Soon. But soon enough but soon. Now that’s my reason to smile because I know it’s actually happening. In fact, this coming week I’ll only watch them three days.

What has made you smile?

Check out Trent’s blog for #theweeklysmile.

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The Old Ball Game

Some of you know that I am a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers and that this year, for the second consecutive year, they made it to the World Series. And yes, for the second consecutive year, they lost. Some of you may think that isn’t smile worthy but it is indeed the topic of my Weekly Smile.

Why would I smile about such a great loss? It was A record setting game, the longest post-season game at seven hours and twenty minutes and eighteen innings! It was a well fought game by both teams. As soon as one team got ahead, the other would tie! The two teams went through a combined eighteen pitchers! To say that the players showed stamina would be an understatement! Ultimately, the Dodgers did win! Yay Dodgers! It was the only game they won, unfortunately!And so I smile when I think about it!

What made you smile this week? Tell us about it! Take A look at the above link and join in this week’s smile!

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