The Better Choice

March 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry) (, , , )

 

While catching up on one of my favorite shows the other night, I saw an interesting commercial. The famous actress was pitching a cream that enhanced your natural (mine anyway) redness to the face. To think, I have spent countless dollars from a very famous makeup line to cover up my natural redness! It is funny to me how much we rely on someone we either hold in high regard as knowing what is current, or better yet, don’t trust our own judgment of ourselves. I have decided to trust my instincts and put a tinted moisturizer on my face to help keep the suns effects on my skin. I have been told I have young-looking skin and I would like to keep it that way.

The more I think about my background, I find I was just being me. When I was a senior in school, our History teacher told the class it would be nice if the Seniors would dress up once a month. it would show the underclassmen it did not hurt to come to school looking nice. We did,but here’s the thing, I started being asked my the students why I did not dress up everyday. Well, we are still talking to a teenager so my reaction was “Why should I lived on a ranch yes, but I could also feel pretty for the four classes I attended everyday. I wish I could say my life was forever changed with the suggestion I received but that would be a lie. My thought was( my thought was so funny to me now) “but then everyone would expect this of me everyday”.  I wore my hair long then. I remember how mad my classmates got when I had the very thought and actually did cut my hair six inches. What they did not understand was my hair was very thick and heavy. I was tired of one,no hairdresser would dare touch the length, and two my head sweated in the warmer months. I felt like I had the undercoat of a Pomeranian. Oh those teenage years. I am so glad they are behind me now.

Over the years, I have learned how to shop for clothes. I no longer long for Ger animals for teens and adults. I never had more than one friend I would hang around at a time I was more of a loner. I think when I shopped with a friend, I wanted to pretty shirt a shirt that would coordinated with more than one pant. My friend did not see shopping the way I did though. I was at school for my education,not a fashion show. My makeup was basic, plus I could not afford the current trend in 1978. I think my family felt sorry for me because I was getting brand new clothes my middle class cousin would not wear. I could not believe what she did not like. Funny though, all I had to do was buy the tops to match the nice bottoms. Like adding milk to jello right. I think everyone has a story like mine. Growing pains it what it is called.

Years ago, I went shopping with a good girlfriend in Spokane. I noticed the clothing racks had put together outfits that you mix and matched.  I was well on my way to becoming a modern mom. Being a young widow and a busy mom, I still wanted to look nice.  I dressed Levi in nice jeans and shirts, it really makes a difference in your life. My hair was cut in a nice short cut, I was busy running my household and working, so I decided long ago” it was as easy to keep yourself up as it was to let yourself go.” I think my husband would be proud of the woman I am today. I always tried to dress nice for him even when we went to his treatments twice a week.  My positive attitude brought my though a difficult time after my husband passed away.  I do not know why adults sometimes talk about going back to their childhood. You have to follow the rules of the house again, eat what is put on the table, you could not go out in public dressed how most kids dress today. Ahh, I know, your bills do not exist because cell phones, computers, I Pads  and other updated electronics did not exist yet. No rent,clothes bought for you,no outrageous food bill, and chauffeured everywhere. Gosh how the roles have suddenly changed…now I am taking mom everywhere, helping with her showers and meals, getting her mail for her and taking out her trash. Full circle of life. I feel like I am running two households. Life,isn’t it grand.

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A Sweet Surprise

December 7, 2016 at 9:11 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, positive thinking) (, , , )

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One of the errands I had Saturday, was to pick up my Library book I had on hold. When I got out of my car, I was treated to tiny kids carrying hand-made gingerbread houses. I was impressed by some of the elaborate houses the kids had made. A child of about three or four years old all of a sudden put down her creation on the sidewalk. Three other children gathered around her discussing her master piece. As I was walking into the Library, many other children were carrying out their master pieces as well. What a unexpected treat for the eyes watching all the kids with mom.

So many people do not go to the Library because they think it is filled with just books. your local Library has so much more to offer: They offer beginner computer classes, writing classes, murder mystery book clubs, in the children’s corner reading time is offered, arts and crafts throughout the year. If you are a local Author, you can host a reading of your new book plus and question/answer session afterwards. Your teen has their own section in the Library as well as a space in back complete with chairs and a warm fireplace for those chilly winter afternoons spent reading or doing a crossword puzzle. Local businesses donate their time as well: local nurseries come and teach a class on building your own planter boxes complete with tips on how to keep your new creation of plants alive through the summer heat. Since I am a reforming black thumb gardener, I can use all the tips I can get). Quilting classes are offered, genealogy, scrapbook, and so many more activities are offered to keep one connected to the community.

Last week, my dear friend came over to help put the finishing touches on my Holiday decorating. I like to say I live in a Ranch home full of Victorian charm. Over the years my friend has helped me refresh a few rooms in my house. I bribed her help with a German pastry and a cup of tea. We spent the next couple hours listening to Silver Screen instrumental music on Direct Tv. We both laughed because the same movie score stayed on the screen for two hours but played different songs. I treasure my dear friend. She owned a B&B in Ireland for over 20 years. A few years ago, she came over to my home and gave my bedroom a needed make over. She is so cute,I went to Church that Monday evening so her daughter and son-in law could help her get ready for the Big reveal when I arrived back home. I have kept my bedroom the way she updated it for the last nine years. How can you mess with perfect? I have a beautiful B&B inspired room. She also helped me turn my sons old bedroom into a dressing room after he had passed away in 2007 from a car accident. We created a space where I can go get dressed but also remember the fine young man he had become.

Life is full of twists and turns. Holiday traditions get altered when loved ones pass, but one thing remains constant, the love and support of family and friends. Life is full of violence,hatred sometimes, let’s find a way everyday to love one another and bring brightness to someone today. May God bless you and keep you on this Christmas time.

 

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End Of Summer Bucket List

August 10, 2016 at 8:17 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , )

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The end of summer is almost here. What is still on your bucket list to accomplish? With so many activities around your community it is hard to choose what to do today.

Plan a neighborhood yard party. Everyone gets so busy during the summer Months, this is a great way to host a get together with your neighbors old and welcome the new ones.

Go on a nature hike. Even around your neighborhood. have a contest and see how many animals you see. Dogs and cats are not the only critters lurking around every car. You just might see a squirrel run out from underneath a parked car. I love to hear the birds singing in the trees. Butterflies fluttering around.

Take the kids fishing. many parks have a pond stocked with fish for the kids. A great way to keep them busy and have a fish fry with their catch of the day.

Outdoor concerts in the park. Summer theater, farmers markets, art on the green, a fun afternoon spent by all.

Take a day cruise around the lake. Some have lunch and dinner cruises as well. Take in the beauty of the mountains and watch the boaters water ski.  rent a paddle boat and take the family on an adventure around the lake yourself.

take a scenic drive into the national Forest. You may spot a deer or two,wild turkeys roaming around, stop and pick huckleberries along the road. Take a nature hike in the forest and follow one of many trails in the area. Have a picnic lunch afterwards before heading home.

Let the kids make home-made ice cream and have the grand parents over for a sweet treat made with love.

Go on a family bike ride outside your block. You can get so many home ideas by sight-seeing other neighborhoods. I love to see the beautiful yards of flowers and landscaping ideas.

Host an outdoor movie marathon. Let the kids pick out several movies to watch on a big sheet screen after a pot luck dinner. Great way to catch up with several friends and family members.

 

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The Lazy days Of Summer

July 15, 2016 at 9:32 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, positive thinking) (, , , , )

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I remember making home-made ice cream with the family. The salt rock,cream and all the fixings. I loved when my grandparents would visit us on the farm. We had dinner in the kitchen around a generous sized picnic table and benches. Our living room was huge-we had a slate pool table in the center of the room. friends would come over for saturday afternoon  pool tournaments. My parents hosted opening day hunting season at our house. We could have up to 50 people show up for hunting. Mom made chili and hot dogs to feed so many at once.

I treasure Kern Ville, the many weekend visits with my cousins. We had our own (secret) everyone knew about swimming hole. I never could figure this one out; we brought our camper, but slept in the converted garage. we all lived for whiskey Flat days. The town has not changed since the 1960’s when my family visited. Family came for turkey hunting and quail hunting season. I am from a long line of hunters and fisherman. Now the relitives call my mom and reminisce about the good old days of opening day of hunting and weekend visits Kernville.

I hope you are snapping up every precious moment of summer to be a tourist in your town. so many festivals left to see,summer concerts in the park,farmer’s markets,lake cruises, hiking,biking,library visits. So much to do with the kids. I always take a few minutes everyday to enjoy the beauty around me. I love to see beautiful garden yards and all the love and work put into them. I love to see families going for the after dinner bike ride together or walking the dog down to the bay to swim. I need to get down town more often and enjoy First friday, walk the boardwalk with friends, catch a summer play, drive around some historic homes in my area.  I love that I live in a area that has all four seasons.

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Summer Bucket Lists

July 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , )

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So many things to do during the summer months, so little time to do them. How many on your bucket list did you fulfill? How many are you carrying over to this year as “This year I will..”  I want to take in some more summer concerts the park, shop at the local farmer’s market, take a lake dinner cruise, spend some time this weekend where my son and his cousin spent hours swimming in the bay. Summer all year has changed for me in recent years.

My life was forever changed by two tragic events: my husband and son’s deaths. I am very blessed to still live in the house my husband and I purchased together on our second anniversary. We lived here for four years before Jerry passed away from complications of diabetes. My son Levi died nine years ago from a tragic car accident.he was only 20. I have so many wonderful memories of a lively house of boys(big and small) riding ATVs(Levi on his battery-powered one) and rides on daddy’s motorcycle. Afternoons spent in the park listening to a concert or seeing the local carnival. I loved the rare time Jerry and I took a fide on the motorcycle and had lunch at a cafe around one of our many area lakes.

Growing up,I had always hoped to be a wife and a mother,I lived through good times and prayed through the tougher times, but I am a stronger person for persevering through the storms. I don’t have any grandchildren to share my life with as my son never married. Sometimes our lives take another direction than we expected but when we trust God, we are satisfied where we are. I know this is a story about a bucket list but I think it is important to cherish who is around you and take the time to share a meal, play backyard volleyball with neighbors, sight see your area, unplug, and take the kids in the forest-so much to see beyond the trees. the streams are teaming with jumping fish,the mountains are beautiful, watching the kids float the river. Even if you live in the City,there is always the beach(though crowded) I am sure you have a new Museum you can visit or the aquarium. Get the sand in your toes,don’t swim with the sharks though,look for sea shells and star fish and have a great summer

What is on your summer time bucket list I would love to hear. God Bless.

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Hoopfest 2016

June 24, 2016 at 6:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Single Parent, Survivor) (, , , )

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Hoopfest is the largest 3-on 3 basketball tourney in the Country.

For two days,400 teams come together for one goal: to be the Hoopfest champions.

Hoopfest started out as a fun basketball game in Spokane Washington over ten years ago. Now,teams all over the world come here to compete. Families come to cheer on their favorite teams or stars that come for the two-day event.

When Hoopfest started, downtown Spokane blocked off three blocks for the competitors. Now over 400 teams participate. There are food courts, shopping,not to mention basketball.

So many lives are changed by this event. last year a group calling themselves Blessing under the bridge came to participate. One was living in the Union Gospel Mission, another in his car and one with his parents and pregnant girlfriend. After the game and the story heard the community came together to change lives. Today all the young men have good jobs a nice place to live and feel blessed.

Get out there and have a fun summer. Unplug and and spend time with the family. Some families have been devastated by tragedy. I miss my son very much. I always say hug the kids extra tight today, tell them how much you love them are how proud you are of them. Life can really change in a moment.

 

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Reminanicing The Good Old days

June 3, 2016 at 8:09 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, positive thinking) (, , , )

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A couple of nights ago, my mom and I had enjoyed a nice dinner then retired to the living room and began talking about life on our ranch. I had taken out some old photo albums to look at. It was fun to see my twin brother and I through the many stages of our lives. we were both in the 4-H club together did our smelly chores together as well.(animals stink). 

I came across a poloroid taken of me in my bedroom what a hot mess. I had to chuckle because in high school we were not interior designers plus living on a ranch, I did not have a designers inspired bedroom. (I also remember my friends did not want to help me put it together) hmm. I know so many kids live in the clothes covered bed, I would not have had a stitch to wear. I remember my grandmother gave me her furniture when I was ten years old. I still have it(yes the furniture survived me). 

I am glad I was able to take a trip down memory lane and see how far I have grown in Christ. He didn’t hold my bedroom against me and helped me through some tough years in my life. It can be easy to get stuck in a circumstance in the past and hard to let go. I had to learn how to not envy what others had. Some are really creative, I am good with people. I have always had a job serving otthers- I get great satisfaction from it. Just like we clean our closets, I know for me I need to clean out memories that hurt, and replace them with positive ones.

Some of my feelings are coming from the loss of my son. Nine years ago Levi died in a tragic car accident. He was only 20. I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I get dress there every morning and put on pajamas at night. some of my friends cannot go back into their child’s room for years the door remains closed. It is sad to me but everyone grieves different. I have so many wonderful memories of being a single parent, the struggles and difficulties- Levi and I survived them all. I am proud of the fine young man he had become. 

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May 27, 2016 at 7:16 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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Some weeks we wish for a week of Fridays don’t we?

Undependable co-workers, the unexpected bill, car repairs, inconsiderate drivers… the list goes on.

Some days I breathe a sigh of relief pulling into the driveway never to come out again. Nice plan though, life has a way of needing us. Bill paying, eating occasionally might require some cash flow. It feels like life is so busy anymore. Once a month, I try to get together with a girl friend. have a late lunch or early dinner at the golf course or out-door cafe people watching. Now with the weekly farmer’s markets starting, find time to enjoy an evening.

I have never understood the weed pulling as a way to relax; Instead of looking at my yard through a gardener’s eyes, I see a lot of WORK. My back yard is simple with trees, and a few vignettes for the birds benefit. I use succulents well… because they are harder to kill. (did I fail to mention that  I am becoming a reformed black thumb gardener)? I need simple plants that do not require so much care.My favorite area in the back yard is Levi’s tree. It is a 20 ft. pine tree planted in honor of my son Levi who died in a tragic car accident at the age of 20 in 2007.

I love the annual garden tours. Some are whimsical while others are breathtaking. Some homes, you follow paths to quaint little streams and smaller gardens while others you see deer grazing while touring. It is amazing to see how many recycled ways a tire can be used or your old high heels to make a statement. There are so many elaborate water features and fire pits being incorporated into the out-door spaces. There are not as many formal gardens on the tours now. It is a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon and come away with a few ideas for your sanctuary.

With life’s hustle and bustle, I need to find ways to keep refreshed. I love writing, and I care for my aging mom plus work full-time in a group home for special needs. My life is full,busy and I am satisfied. I know my son smiles down on his mom from Heaven and says “I am so proud of you mom”. It is what keeps e going everyday. I have to learn to enjoy the simple things in life. Staycations are nice, but so is going for an afternoon drive with one of my dear friends and buying a coffee.

Nine years ago, a dear friend came over and helped me freshen up my bedroom. She owned a B&B in Ireland at the time. I had not touched my room after the death of my husband in 1990. It was time. She created a beautiful B&B inspired bedroom to relax in. After my son moved (out before his death,) we repurposed his old bedroom into my dressing room-fresh coat of paint,a new rose inspired bed spread made the room inviting again. I love to get dressed in the morning and put on PJs at night.

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May 18, 2016 at 4:16 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Poetry, positive thinking, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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Today I woke up to sunshine and birds singing. Spring is in the air of course tomorrow promises rain and colder temps., but I am going to enjoy whatever my day brings.

My friend and I are going to have lunch and take a scenic drive in Coeur D Alene. I have lived in the area for the past 35 years. ( no complaints here). I remember living in california as a child driving up to the mountains as a family. Now I live within 20 minutes of the National forest. I get to enjoy the four seasons every year. Yes including snow.

I wanted to touch on overcoming grief. There is so much to be thankful for everyday. Healing takes a life time: some families never recover from the loss of a loved one. I can understand their heartbreak. So many compliment me on a positive outlook on life. I went through the grieving process, heard the well-meaning comments, feeling like I am different now. Both our lives were forever changed in the blink of an eye, with God’s healing touch, letting go of my son, and realizing the death’s of both my husband and my son didn’t mean it was the death of me as well. I can’t change what happened or become bitter about it.

Sometimes getting out and about enjoying an old car show,taking a nature hike, family bike rides, the day at the beach. I like to be a tourist in my own town. I live in a resort area right on Lake Coeur D Alene Idaho. Eating lunch on the only floating golf course is unique.Watching the sail boats and seeing the beauty around me. I truly do live in God’s country as they say.

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Grief can only hold you if you let it. Life sometimes throws a curve ball,but we can always throw it back. Enjoy the beauty in each new day.

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Finding Peace In Your Life

May 13, 2016 at 3:29 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, positive thinking, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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It seems life has gotten busier, people are grouchy, more impatient, constantly on cell phones instead of paying attention. No wonder we want to Calgon the remains of the day away.

BBQ season is here, we are whipping our yards into shape to entertain. Kids have games, school year-end is almost here. graduations, baby showers, weddings, whew. Sometimes it is hard to find peace in our busy lives. I hear some say they need to recover from  their weekends. it is amazing how much we cram into a day sometimes.

Summer is almost here. The kids will be out of school, the summer camps, Art on the Green, sand castle competitions, lazy days spent by the lake, water sports, farmers’ markets, friends and family gathering around the fire pit. We have so much to be thankful for. I find the beauty in each new day.

Life has not been the same since my son Levi is no longer with me. July 2007 changed both our lives forever. I find solace my job in health care, I garden some(actually, I am becoming a reformed black thumb gardener). My trees are alive in the back yard. flowers,well… My front yard is the only one on the block with landscaping so it is my duty to try to keep it looking nice.(It would fall on me). Someone planted a Levi tree nine years ago for my son. The tree is now 25 feet tall pine tree.

We often hide our pain with a smile. I am healing and moving forward in my life. I am blessed to have readers of my blog, the love and support of family and friends, time to write, I read somewhere the perfect words. Create a place for healing. This says it all. We cannot pretend a death didn’t happen,we just have to find the grace to deal with the loss and find a place for healing. I cannot thank everyone enough for your ongoing support. I hope I can empower and inspire people to keep moving forward in loss or in our ever busy lives. Life could be like a glass of lemonade. Take time to savor every drop out of life and don’t miss the important things. God Bless you all.

 

 

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