An Unexpected Surprise

February 21, 2018 at 8:23 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Going through some old paper work, I ran across an old car registration bill. It reminds me when my son bought his new car and argument that followed.

Son:” mom can you help me with my personalized plate pleeease????(hands in prayer position).

Mom:” are going to help me pay for the nw plate beings I already put the down payment on your new car?”

Son:” I am short on funds(love this response), but the plate is one I have always wanted”.

Mom:” knowing in my heart my son would never see his new plate, I decided not to help him buy it. I knew he would be angry at me, but he would get over it”.

My son had not had much experience with dealing with car insurance, getting the car registered and of course, you can choose your own plate. He was angry with me, but I got over it. The new plate arrived and Levi said some ugly words to this helpless licence plate. I was teasing him about his attitude and told him I have all numbers on mine, and I am not scared for life. In a huff, he walked away. But isn’t it interesting, he needed the car for work later in the morning.

A couple of years ago, I needed to update my old licence plates. While driving through town to get my new tags, I didn’t realize I had to buy new plates. A thought crossed my mind. I remembered a friend of mine was able to keep his Grana old plates and put them on his vehicle. When I asked the clerk this was possible,she told me not only it was possible, but I only had one Month left to request the plate before it was automatically sent out to another customer. I felt blessed because I was able to request his special licence plate, but the numbers suit me just fine. Someone asked me once what am I going to do when I have trade in this plate. Easy, I am going to request the same plate again and again.

Being an empty nester and a middle-aged gal sometimes is not easy. I do not have a boyfriend or husband to help me with the day-to-day paper work. It helps thinking you know what you are doing and local businesses don’t find errors in my banking, bill paying, car insurance renewals, I just need a strong hand in my under achieving garden mishaps and life is all good.Right now, I am trying to kep warm while the cold winter blasts once again. They say are we ready for Spring in a Month? Maybe they better ask Mother nature if she is through with her arctic blasts.  I have learned how to cope with getting older, caring for my aging mom, working, and enjoying hat today has to offer. I am becoming a real homebody. I keep myself busy with little projects I have meaning to get to, trying new recipes, enjoying where I am today. 

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Keep Your Snow Tires On

February 17, 2018 at 8:41 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

The past few weeks have been snow free. The sun was shinning, birds out singing n the trees, squirrels eating from bird feeders and running around the trees chasing each other. But… there lies a danger in assuming Winter is over. When we have a few weeks of unseasonable temperatures with sunny afternoons where people take back up jogging, early Spring yard work, getting the garden tools back out of the shed, we get snow again. I never took much stock in the old ground-hog predictions, but now, I am not so sure he doesn’t know what he is talking about after all-wise with age right?

I love watching the fall leaves change color from the golds, orange, and brown,the farmer’s markets fresh vegetables and fruits,  the County Fair, the last boat ride of the season, making way for the first snow fall. Ice skaters teaching the kids to skate on the frozen pond, watching and listening to the geese , snowmobiling in the mountains, Spring brings new promise that maybe this reforming black thumb gardener(me) will be a success this year. I am learning what dead heading a flower means, what fertilizers to use on what plant, tips on how to keep a lawn green, the older I get, the more I am learning and starting to enjoy what many live for. I still cannot figure out what many call weeding relaxing. It is hard for me to take the time to pull weeds to give my plants a fighting chance to survive; I am also told by friends my flower bed looks cleaner when you weed. The pains and joys of owning a backyard. I like to take walks down by the bay a block from my house. We have a cove swimmers enjoy, watching boaters pulling skiers and boogie boards down the river. I have noticed paddle boards and canoes taking in the beauty around them.

Growing up, my family traveled an hour to play in the snow, we made a day of it. Today, I open my front door and see how many inches we have. We only have three or four more snow storms we have to endure before spring arrives. I can deal with the windy, cold temperatures, watch out for the crazy drivers,  shoveling, enjoying the dogs pulling kids down the street on sleds, it is all part of living here. I love pulling out my sweaters and leggings, the boots, the heavy coats and hats.   I know soon, I will have put them away again and dig out my shorts and peasant blouses. I think I have learned to be a tourist in my town. I enjoy the bounty of what every season has to offer and you know when you live like a local  there is no other place you would rather be. Keep your snow tires on awhile longer, take your time getting there, watch out for the crazy drivers who don’t know how to drive and get together often with friends even if it is just for a coffee at a local coffee-house. or maybe even a walk in the park beside the lake. The beauty is endless.

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Small town Living

February 12, 2018 at 10:39 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

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I have lived in my hometown for the last thirty seven years. I cannot imagine living anywhere else. My family moved when my twin brother and I Graduated High school. My dad was hurt on the job and needed to live in a drier climate. The extra bonus for me was when my beloved Aunt, Uncle and Grandma moved a year earlier. Mom and dad would take vacations to Idaho and see the area. Jeff and I loved it because we were trusted to house set. All the comforts of home without the bills. It was our first taste of being out on our own. I remember thinking I couldn’t believe my brother and I were trusted to stay by ourselves. We both had good jobs, stayed out of trouble, no wild parties, friends came over and played games of pool in our huge living room.  My best girlfriend came and stayed with us for the week. She was happy to get out of her house and stay with us. I laugh at the memory of the good time we had together riding our horses, cooking our meals together, going shopping, working and going to college. Mom and dad found a house so we packed up and moved to our new adventure.I was not ready for the beauty that would soon surround me everyday. Everywhere you look, you see the mountains, (you didn’t have to drive an hour to enjoy the views), you can enjoy The National Forest in minutes, plenty of fishing, boating, camping right on the river, picnic areas, hiking trails, beautiful parks,and wild life.

I love living in my small hometown.  My childhood home was a mini mansion as some used to say, plenty of spaces to ride horses, motor bikes, I had to get used to smaller space. We never had pine trees in the yard, we now had neighbors, (we lived five miles out-of-town in my childhood home), older gentlemen stopped in the middle of the road and talked, box boys carry your groceries out for you, seeing squirrel’s, quail, cats stalking the prey, it was fun seeing deer walking down your neighborhood street. (In California, dad went deer hunting, now they show up on your front lawn). I met and married my husband here. We bought a nice house with great neighbors a block from the river. We enjoyed raising our young son teaching him how to fish, ride his small ATV around the block, daddy/son motorcycle rides close. I thought I had my forever husband and my forever home. My husband died in 1990 from complications of his disease. I laugh now at my friends trying to talk me into selling my home and moving – I needed to buy a house that was my mine(I told them, I have MY home). My son Levi passed away in 2007 in a tragic car accident. He was only 20. I live in my forever home not feeling lonely, or sad, I have plenty of company often, move night in, tea and desert drop in friends, I am very happy in my life. I enjoy staying home when on vacation because friends have helped me through the years with fresh paint, new roof, new furnace, and now an updated back yard. I really cannot imagine living anywhere else but in my forever home.

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Clearing Out The Clutter

February 8, 2018 at 8:25 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , )

Sometimes I feel like a change is needed. This weekend, I am starting my vacation. I am feeling burned out, overwhelmed, and it would be nice to just stay in my pajamas mood lately. I decided it was time to start tackling some of the neglected rooms in my home. My closet has been a major source of contention for a while now. I live in an older home with not as much closet space as I would like. A good friend helped me to create a four seasons closet by adding another closet rod and some shelving. Now, all I have to do is get myself in there, put the clothes I don’t wear anymore in a pile and put the closet back in order. Should be easy…..

I love the use of vacuum storage bags. I have stored my seasonal bath towels and matching bath mat sets for years. I have always looked forward to the new season by trading out my bedspreads. I get a fresh new set of sheets and take out my coordinating accent pillows and have a new look to my room. My living room gets new throw pillows in the Spring, and a good cleaning. It is amazing how much dust nylon lace curtains accumulate. I added new curtains to match the ones in the dining room. Open concept housing you see every room when you walk in. A friend came and refreshed the paint inside my home. The house looks clean, bright, cheery, and inviting once more.

A dear friend came over and refreshed my bedroom ten years ago. I gave her a budget, and a couple of ideas, when I came home from church one evening, the room was ready for the big reveal. (I didn’t redecorate my bedroom for seventeen years, I lost my husband and just didn’t know where to start. My friend told me it was time for a new bedroom make-over). I admire those who have an eye for simple yet elegant design in any style of home.  If you don’t have the time and money to renovate your whole house or raise the roof for more space, you can do a lot with storage solutions. Double duty furniture for example.When my son was a young teen, I bought him a flip chair for sleep- overs. When not in use, folds in three sections and looks like a regular corner chair. Toy boxes are excellent sources of storage. when the child moves out, save it for someday Grandkids or spray paint it for linens and blanket storage.

Spring will be here before we know it, and getting to the clutter can be ho-hum I know. Writing this post was more fun. I am just like you, I do not want to tackle it either. Sometimes I make a yummy lunch and have a friend come help me for a few hours. we get to catch up on our lives and I get some work done as well. All this said, I think it is just as important to take care of your emotional well-being. When it is cold, rainy or snowy out sometimes it is nice to stay indoors and sit by the fire. A nice walk outside in the cool sunny day is a good way to shake the blues. I have to watch myself for getting into a life rut. it is easy to do. I think everything balances out do you enjoy where you live, have good neighbors,  good solid friendships,  a job you enjoy? I have to access this sometimes. Am I really happy or burned out. Getting together with good friends for a game night or snacks and a movie is a much-needed break from reality. Sometimes we think we have boring lives no, it is the hustle and bustle of everyday living catching up.

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Vacation Planing

February 2, 2018 at 9:33 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , , )

 

 

Today is another unseasonably warmer day. I took advantage of the sunny morning by having my moms gardener help me start my backyard makeover. I have been wanting to remove a few sad-looking pine trees for a couple of years. I could not believe the change taking out a couple of trees made – I can almost see a normal backyard again. I am planning on adding butterfly attracting plants where my trees once were, and adding shrubs along the back fence.

I found out the hard way last Winter it is difficult to have a lush planting bed in your front yard when you have a metal roof. Yep, four feet f snow dropped down on by shrubs last year and split them in half.  I planted a Hydrangea bushes last Spring and had a beautiful front garden. I did not however plan for the snowy conditions thumping my poor bushes flat. I am told they will come back, just trim them in the Spring. The older I get, I hope I getting a little wiser about how to care for my yard. I am not a gardener by any means, but I would like to have a simple yard I can enjoy in the warm months.

In a couple of weeks, I will be on my Stay-cation. I decided to put my money into fleshing up my home instead of traveling. My backyard is a good start. I feel good that I have less to worry about later. I can take some time and plan what I would like my outdoor retreat to look like. Even though it is still cold outside, I can look out the sliding glass doors and see the birds flying around the trees, I open the door a crack to hear them chirping to one another. I visit my friend and pass moose eating the neighbors trees. I went out to dinner the other night and a small deer walked across the road in front of me. I would rather stay here at home and enjoy what I have all around me than travel to a city and hear traffic, horns honking, another smoggy day, and maybe a day at the beach. The older I get, I like staying home surrounded by those I love to get together with.

Some of my friends are envious that I own my home. My husband and I found our forever home when I was pregnant with our son. Jerry was able to live in our home four years until he passed away from complications of his disease. I raised our son here until he moved out to help care for his grandma after his grandpa passed away. I was now an empty nester. This took some getting used to. You always dream when your child moves out, he is starving and begging to eat dinner with you. Not the case, I had to visit my mom or my neighbor to see my son. At least I saw him on Taco Tuesday every week. I look back at this time with fondness. My son died in 2007 when he involved in a fatal car accident. he was only 20.

I turned Levis’ old bedroom into my dressing room after he moved out. I love getting dressed in the morning and putting on my pajamas at night. I remember the phases his room went through,from cowboy bedspreads, to Ninja Turtles, Football Fantasy, and finally Military. When Levi was fifteen, he painted his bedroom a hideous shade of green while I was working. I came home that evening, he thought I would be mad at him and his friend. I told him he had to live with his choice not me. He turned the room into a cave with netting on the ceiling, his bed in the closet, and a sickly green color on the walls. he was happy in there. After he moved out, I painted the room a pretty beige color with Victorian accents on the wall. ( I know what you are thinking, he would not want to come home now anyway). This wasn’t my motive. It was a way for me to deal with the fact my son had moved out. All I had home was his cat-who was a great source of company. I think the cat talked more than Levi did.

Seasons come and go in our lives. I try to enjoy each one as it comes along. I enjoy all four season here, I get together with dear friends as much as possible. Sometimes, I stop over to see friends  when the grandkids are having a sleepover.   I have been asked if I was angry with God because I have lost both husband and son and have no grandchild.  I tell them no; I would have a hard time enjoying my grandchild if Levi was not here to share in the joy with me.My life took another direction than I had expected, but, I am able to care for my aging mom, I have a job in health care I love, a good church with plenty of love and support, a house I love to hang out in, and knowing my husband and son looks down from heaven and smiles upon my life gives me the most joy and courage to carry on.

 

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January Recharge

January 26, 2018 at 9:29 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

I cannot believe January is almost gone. The older I get, the faster time seems to flash by. It was just yesterday, I was going through my Christmas decorations deciding to put up. I own a small ranch house with Victorian charm a block from a quaint park by the river. A dear friend of mine helped me decorate my home one year at Christmas. She a gifted decorator who transformed my home into a picture out of a magazine. (today, I am finally taking down my Christmas village). I guess back to January and reality. Sometimes, I would love to just keep my house decorated for the holiday.

I have some vacation time I need to use up before I loose it,so I decided upon a stay-cation. I have always admired couples who have a special place they escape once a year. Maybe on a cruise or the beach or even backpacking in the mountains. I enjoy staying home. I had my home painted three years ago, added a metal roof and a much-needed new furnace put in hence stay-cations. This year, I decided to really enjoy my stay at home.I added a couple throw pillows and new curtains in the living room and a new mattress topper on my bed. I feel like I walk into an exclusive vacation rental already. I am planning a special menu to enjoy, catching a play, and getting some winter cleaning done as well. It is always nice to have a catch up day to clean your closet and utilize it like the walk in closet it is supposed to be.

The older I get, I am becoming a real homebody. After my son moved out, I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed in the morning and putting on my pajamas at night. (Some who haven’t read my blog before might be wondering if he was mad because he doesn’t have a room now. He passed away in a tragic car accident in 2007 at the age of 20). A friend once told me” because I use every room in my house, I don’t need to go anywhere. This is like my stay-cation destination”.   She too, has a Victorian inspired home. She has given me many ideas I used to create a simple Victorian inspired home. I can truly say that I am living so many of my dreams. I had always wanted a small home with vintage charm, with help of dear friends, I have created my dream, I have always wanted to write, I post my stories twice a week, I love my job in health care, I am able to care for my aging mother, snow is right outside my front door, and most of all, I am surrounded by incredible neighbors. This middle-aged life of mine has had its share of heartbreak, also so many wonderful memories I can share with you. Thank you for being part of my life.

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Retro- Mania

January 10, 2018 at 10:40 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , )

I went shopping the other day and went down memory lane  I laughed thinking of shopping back then because of the 1970’s clothes fashions I wouldn’t be caught dead in. today is a different story. It is funny when you buy a pair of flared jeans and pair it with a retro top and you smile at the fact you can’t see why you walked by the rack in high school.

I grew up on a ranch in California. before school, my brother and fed our animals, ate our breakfast, changed clothes for school and headed for the school bus a mile walk away. When my brother began driving, I had a chauffeur. Kids at school wondered why I didn’t dress up for school(back then I guess I didn’t consider the comments a compliment). I had long hair like Marcia Brady, but I wouldn’t think of wearing dresses THAT short to school. My outfits were often mismatched, I had a strict mom so my hair was pulled back so I was often teased. Money was tight at home and my brother and I worked young to help out. Cousins gave me clothes, so I wore what I had. I guess if someone would have helped me put a couple of outfits together I would have appreciated it. I was surprised my Junior year when I was told by my classmates to go out for Home Coming queen. ( I lost by 12 votes).

Clothes aren’t the only items making a comeback.  Vintage Homes are being beautifully restored. Some home owners are totally renovating the home to fit todays open concept design where others are restoring the homes natural beauty. There was something about older homes and beautiful moldings, wainscoting, old tile floors, big front porches, a fireplace, brings a warm and inviting place to live. I live in a ranch Style home with Victorian charm. My husband would have loved to changes I had made to our home. I have some great friends who helped me paint, and refresh my home to feel like a retreat instead of my house. I don’t know what it is about bedrooms being the last place you decorate. I have been told you usually run out of ideas by then or money. One of my dear friends came over and redid my bedroom ten years ago. It is a beautiful B&B inspired room that I love. After my husband died, I left the bedroom as is. it was nice, but needed an update.

I laugh about memories of my childhood when I was teased about my hair being pulled into a pony tail everyday and my mismatched clothes.  I have a short hair style,and like to mix retro tops with my leggings.and boots. All the fashion I hated in the late 1970’s, I am enjoying this time around. They say wait long enough and the era will come back. I wonder when good manners, customer service, respecting your elders, cooperation in the work place, gun control, moral values and a good work ethic are making a comeback. A lot has changed since I was a teen. We didn’t have the gadgets kids and adults  today can’t live without. We grew up with respect, hard work, spankings, getting filthy, drinking from a garden hose and lived, the record player, Sunday drives with the family, instead of a tv in the car to keep us occupied, we played find the red ca game. I am glad I grew up in an era that talked on the front porch to my neighbors and really knew them as good friends. 

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Resolutions???

January 3, 2018 at 1:23 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , )

Every year, I hear outrageous New Years resolutions that after three days, most have abandoned. Getting healthier is a great idea, as is eating normal portions. Taking a nice walk after dinner is a great way to relieve tension, heart healthy, not to mention spending quality time with the family. In snowy climates, family ski day is a fun weekend getaway. There are so many ways to keep that New year, New You desire.

I was talking with a dear friend the other day. We found it interesting that one of the biggest desires for the new year was to get healthy again. Cooking classes are on the rise teaching one how to cut out fat and calories, and get desert too(not all that bad). I know a new trend is meals delivered to your door. All the prep,shopping, measuring, cutting has been done for you. My friend and I agreed, it is more fun to plan your own menu,and prepare the meals yourself. I understand very busy lives, and you can now eat exotic new foods, but our moms were just as busy and had time to make dinner after she worked. We were also talking about pet food delvery, everything your pet needs sent right to your door. Have we really become so busy, that we need thses services? I am mind boggled.

I have never been one to make resolutions. I try to live a healthy life style everyday. I take time out for myself by getting together for movie night once a week with friends. I have a job in health care that I love, and enjoy writing. I do not know what this year holds for me. I know I will continue to miss both my husband and my son like so many other families who have lost loved ones.  Some days, you just want to get through them. I have the love and support of family and friends to get me through the tough moments. We all need each other, we need to get together more often, have family game nights, movie marathon nights, back yard cook outs, staying connect to one another. I know live gets busy, but depression has a less chance to creep in our lives if we stay connected. I appreciate everyone of you who take the time to stop by and read my story or post a comment because I need you also. You give me hope to continue writing .

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A Special day Indeed!

December 28, 2017 at 9:08 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Yesterday, I went on a drive with one of my son Levi’s best friends. It all started on Christmas day when Mike called to wish me A Merry christmas. As we were talking, I asked him if he had plans for the following Wednesday.  We were planning to go out looking at the eagles. This is a record year for them. They gathered in the same location for years.

Wednesday morning, I was feeling really blue because it was Levi’s birthday. He turned 31. Hey, I realize he was having a blow out time celebrating his special day with the angels and his dad; I on the other hand needed some encouragement to get into the shower. I decided to freshen up the color on my hair maybe this would boost my mood. it did for five minutes until I realized just how long overdue I was for a smirk trim(not). So, I went down to the beauty shop where magic is worked and came out looking respectable again.

Mike took me the back roads to somewhere unknown. Along the way,we spotted a herd of elk lying down in the field. When Mike took pictures, it was funny to see thirty ears perked and thirty or more sets of eyes just staring at you. We laughed and continued along our day trip. We ended up in a quaint small town in the mountains. Snow began falling softly as we made our way to a favorite Irish Pub for lunch. We had the best chicken sandwich with criss-cross cut fries topped with Gorgonzola cheese. We celebrated my son with great stories,a good lunch, a beautiful drive in the snowy mountains,and we both commented Levi is smiling down from heaven on enjoying our day with us. He would be glad we both were remembering him in a special way.

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Beautifully Decorated

December 8, 2017 at 9:48 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , )

It doesn’t quite feel like Christmas yet without snow. I know, so many are cheering to the snowy gods that we do not have any this year. For others, it is hard to get into the season. I put on my music, decorated my house in simple Victorian elegance plan for my annual Christmas get together with my dear friend. She is the inspiration for my home looking so festive the past few years. K can take what you already have and working her magic, turns your everyday house into something  fabulous. ( Every year I have her come over and “play” for the afternoon. She loves putting together my Victorian Village). This year, I decided to put the village together myself. I did not realize there are a million ways to set up your display.I probably used every one of them. I did figured out a way not to compete with my K. After about an hour of (playing) with my village, I decide to accept the way it looks and not look at the display too often.

A couple of nights ago, I decided to look at the most beautifully decorated mansions in my area. I bought my annual gingerbread Starbuck’s Latte and drove up to The Highlands. I love touring this exclusive community any time of the year. It looks like a miniature Beverly Hills. My dear friend helps install red christmas lighted trees on the neighborhood lawns. With so many styles of homes on the hill, the trees fit into most of the decorations. Some homes are decorated with a winter wonderland theme. I was listening to trans Siberian orchestra, enjoying my evening. towards another favorite neighborhood. The streets look like a Thomas Kincaid painting year round. My friend has an eye for making her home shine for the holidays. She owns a beautiful Victorian home with Mr. and Mrs. Claus greeting you on the front porch. Other homes are over looking the river and look like a Chalet in Aspen.

As a child, my dad always liked looking at lights after exchanging gifts at my Uncles home. Reseda was a nice area and I remeber most homes held a contest on who had the best one. Back then, people did not go overboard like now. Even a strand of multi-colored old fashioned bulbs around the outside looked pretty. Plastic snowmen were in style, Santa and his reindeer were flying off the roof, huge wooden gingerbread men were popular. Some of the old fashioned decorations are making a comeback. I am impressed at how creative some people are in building a santas village in the yard. I am trying to get my mom out to look at some of the nice homes with me. I think she would really enjoy some of the nice neighborhoods around her. I told her she has a red bathrobe to wear, she is festive. I tried bribing her with desert at Denny’s afterward, I think she told me she will get back to me with this. Some traditions change,parents get older and can’t get around as well anymore. I am glad I have precious memories I can look back on of a time when she enjoyed the nice homes as much as the rest of the family. have a Holiday filled with lasting memories you can look back on for years to come God Bless you all.

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