Posts Tagged ‘life’


This was supposed to be my month to get back to my blog and to nanowrimo but I guess life had other plans for me.

In the last month I have gone through a severe infection in two of my molars then non surgical extraction of the same molars where the dentist basically numbed the area and just yanked on the two molars until they came out. An hour and a half later they were gone and it was very painful. Then while babysitting at my daughter’s house her renter, who is an alcoholic, got drunk and went after my daughter. She physically attacked her and I got in the middle of it to keep her from hitting my daughter so I got hit, too. Not fun. Then the next day at home I tripped in the hallway of my house and broke my arm. My right arm, and dislocated my shoulder and sprained my wrist so for the last 12 or so days I have been in a lot of pain and in a sling for my right arm and a brace for my wrist. Basically, I cannot move my right arm without great pain.

That all leaves me at the mercy of speech-to-text apps which are not great. Currently, I am trying to work with the speech to text feature of the Google keyboard on my Android phone. Not perfect and not exactly convenient but it will have to do.

Somehow, it seems like life always has different plans for me than the ones that I have made. I am trying to read blogs and trying to like where I can but movement of my right hand really hurts so that might not happen and commenting isn’t really easy especially if there’s a lot of people around or if I’m in public where I can’t really use the speech to text, not that I have been leaving the house. I haven’t except to go to the doctor and back but the kids are almost always here and I can’t really be talking with them in the room playing and sometimes arguing and sometimes with the computer on. I’m trying to make do as best I can.

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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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I’ve been sort of quiet lately. At least the last few days and quieter than the past few weeks, anyway. Why? Well, let me whine!

On Thursday night, I lost my balance and took a fall in my living room, breaking my glasses and hurting my wrist. I use a cane to walk these days but I don’t normally use it inside the house so I lost my balance and went down before I could grab onto something. I am legally blind without correction so to function, I had to wear one pair of reader glasses over the other and that was not good enough for reading or typing so that was difficult. My older daughter took me to order new glasses on Friday after work but they won’t be in for two weeks so I am functioning with glued glasses. Crossing my fingers they last until my new glasses come in. And I’m being extra careful not to bump them or drop them or let the baby pull them off of me. So that has thrown me off kilter.

Then on Friday night, reaching for some cold medicine, I bumped into a knife I had carelessly left on the counter and it fell along my leg and grazed the inside of my ankle. Not too bad but it did draw some blood and it hurt quite a bit. It’s not much more than a scratch but now, three days later, it doesn’t look so great. I think it will require a doctor visit tomorrow. IF I can get to the doctor. You see, Mother Nature has decided to grace us with winter’s parting gift, a small snow storm which is over now but they say we’re getting more on Tuesday, most of the day! That means things will probably come to a standstill for a few days.

Wine! No, not. It’s actually not about wine but about booze and it’s more of a whine. I can’t stop thinking about what the dietitian told us at the diabetes class last December. Someone asked if there was anything we could drink or eat or do if our blood sugar was too high and we are not on insulin. She said to drink whiskey. She explained that it makes blood sugar drop and that there isn’t any sugar in it. Well! She must have forgotten that it’s not exactly great for diabetics to drink anything alcoholic. At least that’s what I understand. There was one man that sort of exemplifies what I think is dangerous about saying this to a group of diabetics. He said, “Well isn’t that great?! I had to stop drinking because of my diabetes and now I might have to start drinking again because of my diabetes!” Yup. Not a responsible thing for her to have said to us, and not in the way she said it.

More? I think that little snow storm is going to cause a lot of problems. For me, I am supposed to go to the bank to deposit a check (yay my first social security check arrived!) and I probably won’t get to go before the snow hits and I must pay some bills, like my electric bill so the heat stays on. And I am not really stocked with groceries. I have lots of canned goods so I won’t starve. My class at the hospital is on Tuesday and Thursday nights and it will most assuredly be canceled on Tuesday. If it goes on as scheduled on Thursday, I might still not be able to get to it. My car doesn’t have snow tires and more importantly, I am terrified of snow. I had a very bad experience driving in the snow and getting stranded with no one knowing where I was. So I won’t leave the house when it snows or when there is snow on the road. I know it won’t happen again, not right in town, but I just can’t force myself to do it.

Those are this week’s challenges. Aging and coming to terms with my limitations is a big part of it. Then there’s Mother Nature who likes to play with us every now and then.

Hoping your life is free of these little obstacles!


This is what I had to do to get through Thursday night and Friday.

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It’s Saturday; the weekend. Time to come together for a chat. Today I am drinking coffee from Kauai. I wish I were enjoying it in Kauai but such is life!

What’s here? AUTUMN. I usually hate the switch from summer to autumn but this year has been the longest, hottest, most miserable summer and I am ready for cooler temperatures and some rain. We haven’t had rain since April and for Portland, that’s very unusual. We are supposed to have a BIG rain tomorrow. They are saying more than an inch and a half in twenty-four hours. I hope they are right. It will help with all of the fires in the rain’s path and with our air quality.

Last night I had to run around the house and close all the windows and then this morning it got chilly enough inside to turn on the heater. We are supposed to go to an outdoor movie in the park this evening, the boys and I. I’m hoping the smoke isn’t too bad. I can smell it here as I sit and type (I just opened the window). But perhaps by the time it is movie and park time, it will have dissipated or maybe it will blow in a different direction.

School has started so I have had my second grade grandson here every day (I homeschool him). I am supposed to have another child for two days a week of school but she hasn’t come yet. I think this coming week will be when she joins us.

My daughter is at a vendor event today and tomorrow so I had the boys overnight and all day. Tomorrow I will also have the baby. Let’s see how I do. I still don’t have my strength or stamina back after surgery and am still not supposed to be bending or lifting a 22 pound baby but you know how family is. They forget all of that when they need you and it is really hard for me to say no. So we shall see how we all do.

Spencer began preschool this week. The first day was great and he came home with a smile but the rest of the week he cried when his mommy walked him out to the bus. He likes riding the bus to and from, though. It makes him feel like a big boy!  I am hoping he takes to it soon. It’s so difficult to watch him cry as he leaves and his little head, barely tall enough to peak over the window, is down and I know he’s crying. Awww!

I’ve read some interesting books lately. I think I might review them on the blog later in the week as I need to write my amazon and my goodreads reviews. I will say that I was very impressed with The Designer by Marius Gabriel. It is one of this month’s Kindle First Reads, which are free to Amazon Prime members. One of the perks of having Prime. It won’t be released until October 1 but you can grab it now if you head over to Amazon.

I’m currently reading Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson and it looks quite good (I’m just at 30%). I borrowed it from the library so I have to get busy and finish it.

That’s about all that is going on here. What is your weather like? Has the season changed yet? Have you taken any trips? Read books? Watched a movie? Let me know. I sometimes get ideas for books to read and movies to watch from my readers. Keep the suggestions coming!

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog linkup hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster Blog. I will come back and link when the link is up!


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Why Is It That…

Why is it that a time that should be filled with cheer and laughter; hope and promise; memories and forgiveness; is instead for so many a time of fear and depression; sadness and hopelessness?

I’m kind of in that place right now. I keep looking for things to get better and just as the light begins to show through the end of the tunnel, it disappears and the tunnel lengthens. It’s that kind of time right now. I’m almost scared into hiding from the world but I can’t. I have to move and find some answers.

I know that’s vague but I sort of had to document it here. Sometimes I write things and then I find a way past it. So bear with me and if you get a minute, hold a positive thought for me. I would appreciate it.

If you’re in the mood and have time, here are a couple of links to some of my previous Christmas stories.

Three Strike Christmas

Christmas 1993

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If we were having coffee today, you would notice that it’s the afternoon already! It’s really nice out…currently sunny and 71 degrees with a mild breeze where I am (greater Portland, Oregon). I actually felt like sitting outside to have my coffee and write this but although the front porch is enclosed, I won’t go out there in my pjs and I’m much too comfortable to change before going out so here I am.

Things with the home schooling went a little better at the end of this week. I brought all of his textbooks home with me and emptied out one of those portable plastic file boxes, got different color folders, and just prepped the lessons at home. It makes the actual time with Anderson go much smoother. And I can do one day’s lessons or if I have time, I can do several days ahead, even a week ahead. I also had my daughter set up the scheduler with the online academy for only a four day week. That leaves one day to do fun stuff and maybe do some kind of a learning trip, field trip. That also means that I know that I can use one specific day per week to do my stuff if I have errands to run or appointments to keep. Yay! So I would say that it is slowly working out.

We are a bit stumped with Anderson who has gotten very emotional lately. He cries and yells at us at the drop of a hat. That’s very unlike him because he has always been such an sweet, even tempered boy. I guess it’s partly turning 6 last month, but I think the bigger part of it is that he misses going to school. He misses his friends and playing and he probably feels out of control of his life. He didn’t want to leave school but he was taken out. So I spent some time last night looking for lessons/activities to help him work out his emotions and use words to tell us what is wrong instead of just yelling at us. Hopefully some of those will work. I got quite a few. I’m going to start with the most fun one tomorrow.  Crossing fingers.

I took yesterday off from blogging and from everything to celebrate my one year anniversary of my surgery. I may not have let on last year but I was very scared. I didn’t think I was going to make it out of surgery. In fact I did post about whether I should leave letters written to my children, just in case. I was a little worried that it would become a self-fulfilling thing. I did take the advice of my readers and wrote the letters and left them in my coat pocket to be found by my daughter, along with passwords and account numbers. Luckily, it was never necessary for her to find them so I have them put away. And I have had a whole year of wonderful, priceless moments with my grandchildren. I am looking forward to grandson number three who is due in four weeks (although it looks like he may arrive a bit sooner as he has “dropped” and mama is slightly dilated).

That’s about all I have today. No time for reading lately so I am still on the book I began a month ago! I seem to not even be able to focus on movies so I put on the same movies and TV shows that I’ve seen a gazillion times so it doesn’t matter if I miss something while I blog. I am managing to keep up with my A to Z Challenge posts. I don’t know yet what I will write for my “O” post for tomorrow but I suppose something will come up. I chose a difficult theme, not realizing how tough it would be. Abuse is such a deep, dark subject that it sometimes is very depressing to research my daily posts. The month is halfway done though, so yay!

One last thing…I now know how precious life is and each of our family members, no matter how old or young so I say to each of you…don’t waste time. Life is too short to waste it with worry or stagnation or anger or fear. Go out and find something to smile about…a daisy, a little bird singing, or even the neighbor’s kids playing and making noise. Enjoy it. You are lucky to be here experiencing it!


Weekend Coffee Share is a weekly blog hop hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster. Head over there and check out all the other great posts, make a new friend, write your own post!





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My dad died last May. Today would have been his 86th birthday. The past few weeks have been difficult leading up to this occasion. I’ve been dreading it. I’ve been sad. I’ve been pensive.

Today, I am choosing to smile when I think about my dad. I’m thinking about how our Christmas tree always stayed up until January 6 each year, both for my dad’s birthday as well as for dia de los reyes (Kings Day). I’m thinking about how he used to say that we were both born on different Christmases. One of us on December 25 and the other on January 6, bookending the season with what he used to call Mexican Christmas.

Today I am smiling thinking about how I learned to dance by standing on his feet as he waltzed around the room. I’m smiling because we shared so much. I’m smiling because deep, deep down, he was a good man, a good father, a good person. He just didn’t know how to deal with the challenges life through at him.

In the end, he had daughters that mourned him; grandchildren and great grandchildren that mourned him; and so many others. And after 85 years of life, mistakes, and challenges, to be mourned and missed by so many, is truly something to smile about.

Happy birthday, Dad!


Share a smile with the world…visit Trent’s blog for more info!

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Seven Months

I’m on the road but I wanted to try post about this. Let’s see how posting by phone goes!

Today marks seven months since my surgery. I cannot tell you how much my life has changed since I was wheeled in to the operating room. I can be myself again. I can enjoy my grandchildren. I can leave the house. I’m no longer stared at. But most of all, I feel so much healthier.

However (I bet you were waiting for that however), there also the not knowing how many days this will be true. They say that this kind of cancer rarely returns to another part of the body but there’s still a chance. That has really made me realize that up can’t waste time. Every chance I get I have to grasp and drain every bit if joy from it. Especially where my grandchildren are concerned. Every smile; every laugh; every hug; every time they ask “how many more minutes?”; every single opportunity to love those little boys…I have to grab and enjoy every single moment.

This is a good thing. We can not and should not take anything in life for granted.

Life is precious. Life it’s fleeting. Life is to be lived.

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While reading blogs yesterday, I came across this one in which the blogger wrote about how she always felt she was unlucky when she traveled by air until the one day her luck changed. It’s a nice post. You should go read it.

It reminded me of my air travel story. Well, I have a lot of them but there is one in particular that I will share today. In 2009, my son gifted me with a trip to Australia for Mother’s Day. He had planned on going by himself then on Mother’s Day, he surprised me with a travel guide to Australia, a Cheshire cat smile, and the words “you’re coming with me, Mom”! I was humbled by his thoughtfulness. And I was excited. Australia was one of those places I had always dreamed of visiting but never thought I would get there.

Our flight from San Francisco took us to Los Angeles where we then boarded Qantas headed to Melbourne. It was a 15 hour flight. The seating was better than on a domestic flight but for that long of a flight, not a lot can be comfortable. My son and I had hoped that we would have empty seats next to us or somehow be able to spread out a little bit. I’m short (only 5′) but my son is tall (he’s 6’2″) and needs more leg room. We ended up next to a 70ish couple and we were in the last row of that section so no one behind us. I let my son have the aisle seat that was assigned to me and I sat next to the woman who was teeny tiny. I don’t think they spoke English and if they did, they didn’t say a word to us during the entire flight (they spoke Japanese to each other). About an hour into the flight, the woman took a nap. That was great except for one thing. She had stretched out putting her head in her husband’s lap and her feet in my lap! No matter how much I nudged her feet off of me, she would put them back on my lap. We got through the flight without any problems other than the fact that her feet were on me. I couldn’t sleep but it was a great excuse to have some of Qantas’ complimentary Bundaberg rum…and I did as rum is my favorite boozy drink!

We had a wonderful two week adventure. At the end of the week we flew from Melbourne to Cairns with a stop in Brisbane then a few days later we flew from Cairns to Sydney. I’ve written about the trip on this blog and I think if you search it for “Australia” you will find the posts and lots of pictures. But I’ll get on with the return flight which proved to be different from the flight to Australia.

My son had tried to get us seats together on the way back but had not been able to. This made me nervous because I really don’t like sitting next to strangers and because I often need help when I travel (due to a back injury and to being so short!). I suggested that he ask at check in if there were any way we could switch seats with someone so we could sit together. However, my son has not been raised to rock the boat. He tends to (not as much anymore) accept things as they are given to him. So he didn’t ask. The flight was delayed so we sat waiting and waiting then when the check in crew arrived, I took Tony’s boarding pass along with mine and went up to the desk. Tony said don’t do it. There wasn’t anyway to change the seating, he said. But I told him that it wouldn’t hurt to ask and reminded him of what a long flight it was. Our seats were about three rows away from each other, not even close enough for me to get his attention to help me if I had needed help. So I explained to the agent at the desk that my son and I were traveling together but our seats were three rows apart and asked if there were any seats next to each other, or even aisle seats across from each other. She took the tickets and said in her Aussie accent, “Oh my lord! They didn’t put you together? We can’t have that! I’ll take care of it!” So we waited about five minutes; my son was very nervous. I don’t know what he thought would happen just for asking. Finally, she called me back to the desk and handed me new boarding passes, saying she had changed our seats. When they began to call the rows to board, I noticed that we had been put in a different section of the plane because our section was the first to be called to board. We hurried to board and when we got to our seats, we were amazed! We had been moved to a window row with only two seats. Two big, wide, roomy, comfy, leather seats! We were in business class! Along with the better seats with a lot more legroom came a better meal, more variety in the complimentary drinks, a lavatory for just a few rows, and better service. Tony’s eyes got big! He couldn’t believe it! He enjoyed the flight so much and was even able to sleep for a good portion of it. He looked at me and said, “I guess it never hurts to ask!”

So that was a good lesson for him to learn. He saw that I asked nicely. I wasn’t demanding, at all. I just asked. And they responded with courtesy, understanding, and efficiency!

And I think it might have been our reward for not being rude to the lady with her feet on my lap!

Waiting for our plane to come home

Waiting for our plane to come home

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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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