Stress Busters

December 18, 2018 at 11:58 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I went shopping the other day needing a Secrete Santa gift for my work Christmas party. I love the hints people put down as the wanted gift. Last week, the shopping wasn’t to bad yet, at least the shoppers in my small town don’t push and shove you out-of-the-way. I found a nice candle for my co-worker and decided to finish getting some last-minute gifts for some deserving children.

I went looking for some gift bagged popcorn or even the decorated tins of popcorn. Usually I have seen big displays as you entered the store.When I asked someone if they knew where they would be, she looked at me like I lived on another planet. As I walked away I wondered how many people she has helped today. I looked around for someone else to help me find my gift and I guess they all went on break or something. I finally decided on some nice gift boxes filled with a different assortment of candy. Thankfully I do not have many gifts to purchase like so many families. My holidays are spent with my mom and I.

I used to get out the Christmas decorations right after Thanksgiving. Now, it seems like the first week of December comes and goes before I start getting lights, wreaths and the tree out of storage. It was easier when my husband and son were still here. The family used to meet at my brother-in-laws home and have chili and cornbread, then go out in the forest and cut down out trees. It was a fun time spent fighting over the size of the tree and who was cutting it down. My husband always listened to Freedom Rock music not Christmas music; I still laugh at the thought.

Christmas eve was spent at my parents house being pulled around on sleds by my dad and his old jeep. Mom had hot chocolate and chocolate chips cookies on hands when we all came in to thaw out. My parents knew how to throw the best parties. We spent hours playing games, eating snacks and when it was time to go home, friends and family stayed longer. I still love the first snow fall of the season, I think about my son sledding down the small hill in front our house sharing his sled with the neighbor so she could play. I think the holidays are what you make of them. You can be a lemon taster and be angry over a circumstance in your life you had no control over, or you can just enjoy what the holiday has to offer. 

 

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The Changing Season

August 23, 2018 at 3:49 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, Single Parent, Uncategorized) (, , , )

The last couple of years, I have decided to try to enjoy all four seasons. I never really enjoyed summer because of the heat, my allergies, lawn maintenance disasters, crowded parks and no parking. I especially have a really hard time eating with the searing temperatures. We are fortunate with the fact we do get some relief from the hotter days with a couple of cooler ones and sometimes even a day of rain.

We have been dealing with the smokey conditions in my area. With so many fires burning around us, the smoke get pretty thick at times. I’m thankful I do not live in an evacuation zone to where my home could be in danger. The bears, wolves and foxes are starting to invade the rural area now because of the fires. My friend saw one the other roaming around the yard. So much wildlife is effected and have nowhere to escape. One of my favorite places to weekend is effected every fire season. I just stay around my home town and enjoy the summer festivities here. I head to the farmers market to sample wine and home-made cheeses and hear some good music. I usually meet with friends for dinner at an outdoor cafe.

With our ever busy lives, sometimes we have to just unplug, unwind, and take time for ourselves. One day a week, I take the day off from all my obligations and have a me day. I may just go to the falls Park and go for a hike, or I may have lunch with a dear friend. It is easy to get overwhelmed with priorities if we do not save time for ourselves. Some may say it is easier for me because I am single, not so. I have to make time in my week to just have a Julie day or it will never happen. I am not one to get my nails done, buy specialty coffees to often, my roots are done by me every three months, I have someone care for my lawn, there is just something about spending the day doing nothing.

The summer has flown by this year. It will soon be time to put away shorts, sandals, pool floats,and make way for the layers, leggings, boots and sweaters. The air will be cooler, clear, and the leaves starting to change color. Football games, chili cook-offs, and good friends to share it all with. I am learning to accept the seasons I do not prefer and embrace the surrounding beauty of the North West. I can say I am enjoying the cooler evenings listening to the cricket’s chirp and the kids playing outside. 

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A Page in Time

July 5, 2018 at 5:21 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

I was in my dressing room getting ready to start my day. I was looking at some of the family photos on the wall while I was dressing. I was looking at my son Levi. I started to remember the day in the photos… The first tattoo Levi had gotten; He had two arrows crossed across the shoulders. he told me he never really knew why he chose the arrows now. I was teasing him saying”you know Levi, iron sharpens iron.” Teasingly he told me”shut up mom”. The day my son bought his truck. He was laying carpet so he could help his boss carry more product to the job site. The first ride in his new truck. He asked me” hey mom, do you want a coffee?” 

 After my son moved out to help his grandma, I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I knew he would not be coming back just to spend the night or have dinner with me. he told me “I am at the neighbors, come see me there.” Really! Sorting through the pain from the loss of my son, I am blessed with fun stories and memories I can still look back on and chuckle. I think if he could his old house now, he would be surprised at how different it looks today. For one his mom(me) knows the difference between neon green paint and uh olive. I remember when he and his best friend decided to paint his bedroom while I was at work. he thought I would be angry at him but he had to live with the color choice not me. 

 I have been fortunate that Levi had some really great friends,many of them called me mom. I think one the reasons I could continue to carry on and not give up is his friends never stopped calling me mom. I appreciate that I am still called mom by the fine young adults his friends have become. A few have families of thier own now and I am a part of their lives. I tease some Levi’s friends because we live in the same town, but never run into each other- anywhere. Something I am told about schedules or something like that I don’t know.(smile). I feel blessed to part of a special small group of friends who have allow me to continue to part of their lives.

Last night, we had a neighborhood fireworks show. the neighbors have not gotten together since our kids were young. We didn’t want to fight the crows in town, so the whole neighborhood had a fireworks war going on. The night air was cool, not muggy like last year, everyone had the evening off so they could stay and enjoy each others company. I live in a great forever home and have some great neighbors. we were talking about how long we had been neighbors. Thirty-three years of good memories. One neighbor remembered when there weren’t any homes around us just an empty field. His firework shot across the field  and landed just inside the kitchen slider that was slightly ajar. 

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A Much Needed Evening

May 31, 2018 at 8:43 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )


Yesterday afternoon, a friend and I went into town to enjoy the farmers market.  There weren’t as many Venders as  in the previous years. We decided to make our way back to the main street where many quaint shops and outside cafe’s are. My friend spotted a wine tasting booth on the other side of the street so we stopped and sampled the homemade wine.

We had four choices  of wine and tiny crackers to choose from; My friend and I were pleased to learn the wine is made here locally. When we were ready to leave,the lady told us about the great cheese booth next door. We went over and had home-made goat cheese and fresh made artisan bread. We both decided we were going to visit both the small winery and the goat cheese farm. Both businesses are rural and close to home.

My friend and I were on our way to dinner before we stopped for wine and cheese samples. I was in for another surprise; We went into what looked like a simple bar. Outside was getting chilly, so we asked if we could eat inside. I just want to say the staff was very pleasant to talk to and you could tell they liked their job. We ordered our food and was visiting about the weekend ahead. The food took  longer than I expected to arrive My friend assured me this would be worth the wait. I have never seen a bigger french dip sandwich in my life! We both stayed longer than usual trying to eat it all. Afterwards, we waddled to the car. Before going home, we drove around the tree-lined streets in the area,commenting on either older homes were being replaced with new ones or the homeowners decided to add-on to the existing structure.  Most of the homes in the area are well-kept,nice curb appeal and freshly painted. 

I have had a busy two weeks, it was nice to go into town with a dear friend and visit some good people. I need to get away like this more often. I try and have a dinner and movie night with another friend twice a month. We both like Agatha Christie, and Tommy and Tuppence. My friend owned a B&B for years so we enjoy elegant snacks instead of your normal cheese and crackers(smile). I am glad I have dear friends like Katherine and Lavonne who share my same interests. We have so many quaint towns close by to enjoy a day trip. Sometimes I enjoy spending the day-off alone,  writing a post, reading a good book, setting outside listening to the birds chirping, or planning my backyard make-over design. I took today for myself. I planned my meals for the next few days, I put back on my pajamas, having a nice cup of tea right now, I am enjoying the fact that I have nothing to do today. 

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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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A Good Reminder

May 7, 2015 at 5:03 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, Poetry, Single Parent) (, , )

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Friends That Stick With You.

November 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, Uncategorized) (, , , )

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I am thankful for all my family and friends.

I could not have persevered the last several years without them. There have been many times I have cried on your shoulders, you listened and brought me comfort. We have shared many stories about both my husband and son over a cup of coffee. With the love and support of family and friends I am able to keep moving forward in the good things God still has for me.

I have lost both my husband and son, I am healing more everyday. I have fond memories of when my house was alive with laughter,lively conversations, we watched our children  as they played car chases in the living room. My life has changed. yes, the house is quieter now, and I am healing more everyday. There is so much to be thankful for,a warm house, food to eat, mom, a good job, and someone to have Starbucks’s with now and then.

I could have become bitter and angry, but why, I have so much life left to live, books to write,stories to tell,and reflecting on my life as a young wife and mother. I have lived a blessed life, I really have. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, it is up to you to decide what you are going to do with it and ducking does not count. I think it is part of living with the attitude of gratitude, we do not know what tomorrow may bring, maybe bad news, maybe something you needed for that day. I have realized over the years, it sure could have been so much worse. Have a great weekend everyone. Thank you so much for all your continued support.

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For The Love Of Coffee.

September 29, 2014 at 9:43 pm (Poetry, Uncategorized) (, , , )

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 We coffee lovers, have our own special day. Not a day to take lightly. 

As we grind,perk,or get a free cup today, enjoy the taste of our holiday.

We wake up each morning, anticipating the first cup of  and off to work we go.

Pumpkin spice coffee and creamers are out- even more reasons to love our coffee.

My cup of deliciousness was perked in my Victorian inspired kitchen and enjoyed sipped on sipped on my settee. 

Everyday is a lovely day. happy National Coffee day.

 

 

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Squeezing Out Every Drop Of Life

August 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

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The road ahead is paved with uncertainty.

Not knowing where this journey will take us.

Some walk in and out of our lives,leaving a gentle

reminder of how precious life is,to savor each moment.

A reminder of how short life is,for every season must end.

Looking ahead for a bright tomorrow,we forget today’s failures.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Summer Afternoon With Close Friends

July 17, 2014 at 1:28 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

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I was sitting here thinking…

thinking about he great conversations I could have sitting around these chairs sipping cold iced tea,catching up with some old friends. What a great space to have a book of the month club luncheon. The question could arise though, who would I be sharing this special afternoon with? This private space could be the perfect analogy of the park bench thought- if you could sit on this park bench for one hour who would you be talking to?  Well, I have two special people in mind,one being my best friend Robin who died from her disease several years ago, and , my precious Grandma Leigh. We have shared many special moments together when I was a girl. We would have a great afternoon of catching up. 

I can imagine telling my girlfriend about what the past twenty years have been like. She, like I was a young widow. She has joined her husband in heaven several years ago. I would have so much to tell her about my life, my struggles and over coming them to finding happiness again. We would probably laugh at the memories of visiting the Queen mary ship one Sunday afternoon in 1981. The tour was incredible and we tried to envision being one of the passengers aboard this massive ship in the turn of the century. What it must have been like eating lunch in the dinning room, staying in one of the rooms and swimming in the pool or walking the deck and seeing the sparkling water below us. But what a grand conversation it would be. We would reminisce about my first car and all the dinners at the Bob’s Big boy hamburger restaurant. She was truly a dear, dear friend, we spent a lot of time together as teenagers. The sweet thing about God is, when she passed away, I met a new friend who is just as special to my heart.She also shares my love of the Victorian decorating as well. We have great conversations about her lovely house.Who would you share this special place in the garden with. Would you share your thoughts?

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