Posts Tagged ‘friendship’


Okay, so I lied. I’m not having pie with my coffee. It’s strudel (apple). That’s as close to pie as I will be getting today because it’s cold and rainy and I just don’t feel like going out for pie. But come in anyway. The coffee is really good today. I’m on my second cup!

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been slow due to getting sick after my grandson’s birthday party. I think that’s where the bug came from. The party was on Saturday and we were all sick by Tuesday. So I spent the better part of the week in bed. Thinking. And it made me kind of sad. It actually started on the day I posted some old pictures of me in high school. The post about Journalism earlier this week didn’t help, either. It’s not really being sad about how times have changed. That’s not it. It’s the “happy” part of it. I keep hearing this line in my head over and over again and I think it’s going to be a blog post at some time in the future. It goes like this: “I remember happy.” I do remember it. Happy was good. I remember it. Happy was being me.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that although I don’t have anyone that I can call and say “let’s meet for coffee”, I still have all of you that come visit once a week to share some coffee with me. You’re my coffee buddies and I know I just have to write the post, join the Linky, and you will come. I also love joining you at your place when you invite me to visit your weekend coffee share. I’ve come to depend on it. It’s a way for me to connect with you as a person, not just as a blog I read. I’m so very grateful to have each of you visit and to be able to visit each of you.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that on Wednesday I will be going to help out at my grandson’s Head Start classroom. If it weren’t for him, I might not do it. I’m a little upset at the director over there. When school started, I asked about volunteering in the classroom. There is a form to fill out with background information and other stuff that the state needs to be able to clear people to work with kids. They finally got me the form the first week in October. The form said I could go online and fill out the same information and pay the fee instead of doing it by snail mail. So I did that the same day. A few days later I got the hard copy of the clearance. Then the director said I had to go get a TB test but because I have tested positive in the past (it was a false positive in high school) the doctor at the clinic they sent me to preferred to do a chest x-ray. By October 14, I had my state background clearance, my cleared chest x-ray, and my application in to the director at our center. Then nothing. When I followed up, he just said he was still waiting for the main office to give him the go ahead. I waited. Then followed up again and he said he couldn’t get in touch with the woman who does the volunteer clearances (she’s a volunteer herself and was going through training). So Thanksgiving passed. Christmas was gone. Valentines Day gone too. And I still couldn’t help in the classroom. Finally, it turned out that the director had not turned in my paperwork. He thought he had but all the main office had was the health clearance that the clinic had mailed directly to them. So I went home and scanned everything and emailed it to the director. It took him almost two weeks to check his email for the documents which he then had to print out to take to the main office but the local center was out of ink for their printer and he had to wait a week to get more ink! Then one day he said it was all cleared so when could I come to help? I told him Thursdays would be good. We scheduled for this past Thursday but I was sick so when I called him to tell him I wasn’t coming, he asked if I could do Wednesdays instead because he had given Thursdays to another grandmother! It’s a good thing I could do Wednesdays. So I will finally start on Wednesday. I was beginning to think the whole school year would go by and I would not be cleared. Frustrating.

If we were having coffee, I would ask you how you’re doing. Deb, did you get that security system set up yet? And Trent, I haven’t been able to find any Beatles mugs. I’m thinking I might go thrift store shopping…bet I’ll find one there! Gene, I’m trying to get through the Tolkien posts but being a real dunce about Tolkien, it’s tough. I am trying, though! Oh, and Conny, it’s okay if you don’t have time to share much. I remember being a student and I know time is precious! Diana, I hope you read this post because I want you to know how special these are to me and they provide a sort of community to me and to others that have no “physical community” or RW community. And the rest of you, I’m so glad you stopped by! Thank you for sharing a part of your weekend with me!
To join in the Weekend Coffee Share blog hop, write your post and visit Part Time Monster and add your url to the linky at the end of her post.

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“Memories are who we are, Tul.  In the end that’s all the luggage you take with you.  Love and memories are what last.  That’s why your life flashes before your eyes when you die — you’re picking the memories you want.  It’s like packing.” –lfrom Fly Away by Kristin Hannah

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I was out to dinner with my daughter and family earlier tonight and while we waiting for a table, we sat in a pretty crowded waiting area.  One couple was sitting across from us and started smiling and playing with my eighteen month old grandson.  We all chatted for a bit after that.  Then they left to eat at the bar and another couple with a four-ish year old boy sat in the vacated seats.  Neither the husband nor the wife ever smiled.  The little boy was grumpy.  I looked over and smiled at the little boy because in previous experiences, that causes them to smile back and changes the tone.  Nothing.  No response at all.  Then I smiled at the mother and she turned her head.  No smile.  No eye contact.  Nothing.  I smiled at the father and got the same results.  After a few minutes, when the father looked my way, I smiled again.  Nothing.  I kept trying but I got nothing.

It reminded me that people from different cultures have different boundaries and different ideas of what is acceptable and how they should behave.  Although I had always thought that a smile was the same in any language, I guess maybe I was wrong.

I did hear the father trying to talk to the little boy and it didn’t sound like English, even though I didn’t hear any actual words.  The tone and the phrasing gave me the feeling they may have been French but I’m not really sure why.  I don’t know where they were from.  I just know that they weren’t from a land of warmth and smiles or friendship and acceptance.

I don’t know.  I don’t think it will keep me from smiling at people in the future because I’m just that sort of a person, but it might keep me from smiling a second time if the first smile is not returned or acknowledged.

Sending a big smile out there to each of you!

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The other night I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while.  Her mother just passed away and she has been having some problems processing her death and grieving.  Before I met up with her, I made a journal jar for her.  I am one who has always thought that journaling is a way to work through grief and difficult times in our lives and I felt she might benefit from the journal jar.  When I gave it to her, she thought it was such a thoughtful gift that it made me think of how easy it is to make one and how others might want to make their own journal jar or one for a friend.

A journal jar is a jar that contains strips of paper which each have a writing/journaling prompt.  The jar should have a wide mouth and a lid.  The wide mouth to accommodate ease in getting a prompt out of the jar and the lid to keep the slips of paper in there.  The container doesn’t have to be a jar.  It can be a box or a basket or other container.

For the jars I fill, I like to choose something like a Ball jar, preferably with a wire clamp lid.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or new.  The one I used for my friend’s jar was from a thrift shop.  It was probably meant to be used for storing coffee with the tight seal.  I think I paid 99 cents for it so nothing fancy, just functional.  Then I used swagbucks (my preferred search engine) to search for “journal jar prompts” and found tons of them.  I copied and pasted them to a new document then went through and deleted anything that was a duplicate or just kind of dumb.  I reworded a lot of them so they didn’t say anything like: “Write about something you learned from your mother.”  Instead mine said things like: “Once my mom and I…”, “My favorite thing about my mother is…”, “I will never forget…”, etc.  I wrote a lot of my own prompts so that they were aimed at working through her grief.  Then I formatted them so that each one took just one line of typing straight across the 9×11 page of typing paper (you might have to play with the font size and the margins).  I triple spaced mine so they would have lots of room on top and beneath.  After printing them (I used different colors of computer paper for each page of prompts) I cut them into individual strips and folded them twice.  Then you simply fill the jar with the strips of paper and close the jar.

I stuck my journal jar in a little shopping bag along with a Mead Composition Book (which I got on clearance after back to school last year for about a quarter.  So the entire project cost me $1.24 plus five sheets of typing paper and about two hours of my time.

When I give a journal jar, I let the person know that it’s best to grab a prompt at random and write about that one prompt.  They shouldn’t put it back and grab another if they don’t like the first one.  They should try to stick with the first one and write about that.  Also, in this type of journal jar where someone is working through grief, it’s not a bad idea to ask them to save the prompts they’ve already written about and put them back in the jar periodically because they will most likely feel differently when they pull that same prompt a few months later.  It’s important that they be pulled out at random which is another reason to have them inside of a jar where it’s less convenient for them to go through them to “choose” the one they want to write about.

You can gear the prompts at any age, any topic, or any purpose.  If you save them on your computer, the next time you want to give a jar to a friend, you’ll already have the prompts.  Also, you can add to the prompts at a later date if you know what you already gave them as prompts.

Below is a partial list of some prompts you might want to use.  Keep in mind that these were written for the purpose of my friend working through her grief.

In words, draw a picture of your mother.

In words, draw a picture of your father.

Tell about a special moment in your life that you shared with your mother.

The most important lesson I have learned is …

My father and I used to…

My mother and I used to…

Tell a courtship story about your parents. How did they meet?

Shopping with your mother?   Any particular stories?   What was your favorite store?

On the day that I was born…

When I was a child, my favorite toy was …

When I was growing up, my family used to go to …

Describe a sound from your childhood.  What does it bring to mind?

Write a want ad that describes your mother.

Write a want ad that describes your father.

Right now I feel …

My mother always …

My mother never …

My mother loved …

My mother hated …

I remember when my mom and I …

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