Keeping Your Life On Track

June 8, 2019 at 9:14 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Like so many, I have felt like I am in a funk lately. Sometimes you feel like life is just passing you by or you are trying desperately to keep up with the daily demands in life. I am afraid I am there. Sometimes, I feel like I can not cope with the obligations I have and want to run away.

What it is relief for me is that everyone I talk to is going through something. A family issue, health issue, unemployment,  house hunting, being part of the sandwich generation. Summertime is a busy time of year for many. School is out, vacation planning to do, or some just like to stay home and enjoy the backyard pool. I notice some great gardens taking shape as I drive around the ritzy neighborhoods, I come away with some good ideas to incorporate into my backyard retreat.

I know for me, sometimes I do not know why I have a hard time in the summer but I would like to just move on to fall. Summer brings so many wonderful outdoor activities such as swimming, paddle boarding, hiking, riding your bike, or just enjoying catching up on a good book in the park. I have learned how to enjoy summer more. I plan one special activity to look forward to every week. This afternoon, my good friends are taking me to buy a camper trailer. I am getting out for the afternoon, plus spending my downtime with some good company. I would not call myself an introvert, but I can find myself in my backyard listening to the birds or watching the squirrels eating the birdseed in the feeders.

When I look in my closet for something to wear, I laugh because I have more warm weather clothes than cold. I do have to admit I like wearing a nice skirt and pretty top to run errands. I cannot handle the hot, muggy, sticky days, I cannot eat because I feel sick afterward, the house does not cool down until after ten at night, plus, I do not like to fight the crowds at the beach or finding a choice spot by the lake. My home town is rapidly growing and the traffic is getting busier. This is progress though. One has to eventually have to share the best-kept secrete. Many share my love of the mountains, the lakes, and fishing, the hiking, camping by the streams this area has to offer. Who does not love to look in a farmers field and see a herd of elk quietly grazing?

Luckily, my moods do not stay with me for too long. I have some good friends who keep me grounded and moving forward if I get too melancholy. They miss Julie who is always smiling and has a positive attitude towards life. I am truly loving my middle age lifestyle. I did not think I would have had some of the hardships I overcome, but God has helped me to stay focused on what is really important.

I want to thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I hope you will come by again I appreciate your support.

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Let’s Stay Home

May 23, 2019 at 10:03 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

While grocery shopping yesterday, I went looking through some of the summer items for sale. I ran across this little wood sign that said Let’s Stay Home. I have always loved any idea of a stay-cation or being a tourist in your town or unplugging for the weekend. People are starting to adopt the idea of having friends and family over for an informal dinner outdoors or creating a family weekend getaway at home.

It is easier than ever to create a relaxing retreat of your own. Home Shopping Networks have paired with home decorating experts for a few years showing the homeowner tips to create the home of your dreams. There are countless home improvement catalogs and DIY weekend classes helping the beginner from paint techniques, tile setting, and installing an outdoor fire pit. Families are deciding to stay in their home instead of downsizing. The new empty nesters are updating the family home for future grandchildren.

My yard is half completed. Last weekend, good friends of mine came over and helped me plant two shade trees to replace my late son Levi’s twenty-five-foot pine tree that mysteriously died during this last winter. I was sad at first that the tree died, but then I decided to to take the opportunity to update the old backyard. We expanded my patio with brick pavers(my friend is a paint contractor so he will stain the existing patio to match), cut down the old dead pine tree, and plant my Mother’s day gift from one my second son. Mike has been a part of my family since the boys got in trouble in Kindergarten.  I was surprised when I returned home from a great day trip hiking to find a huge waterfall.

I never thought of myself as a Type A personality, I thought of me as easy going….. My yard is partly finished and I am thankful for all the hard work my dear friends have done for me but with work, caring for my aging mom, and the yard almost completed, I am needing to refocus my energies. I Should be outside right now repainting my front porch columns that my friend sanded and primed ready for paint. But as you can see, I am here writing this post. One of us will get it done soon.  My house is coming together and I enjoy my stay-cations, no wait my Let’s Stay Home state of mind.  I love being a tourist in my own town, getting out seeing the new stores coming in, the new coffee shops, seeing how the City wants to build the new downtown area. We are a small City right now growing more every year. I have to say I liked the town small but in time change does come. I just have to get ready for it.

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An Unexpected Gift

May 11, 2019 at 9:45 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I am sitting at my computer wondering what to blog about when I remembered I was given an unexpected gift. When my son Levi was a teen, he worked laying carpet and installing granite countertops. Levi would start working early in the morning and I can remember seeing him heading to his grandma’s house after work. I would laugh because I was running a few errands and Levi was done for the day.

One afternoon, Levi told me his boss had some extra carpet he wanted to get out of his garage. My neighbor also wanted to buy the carpet, Levi told me if I had the money available, he could lay the carpet for me. A few weeks later, my good friend and I were out for a nice drive, (like an hour from home) her husband called her and told her his crew was having a slow day. I could hear some rough words being spoken over the phone when Levi was hammering the nails into the floor. No wonder I had so many squeaks(smirk). My friend and I arrived home in time to see all the carpet installed and the baseboards being put back.

 This is one of my favorite stories because it was a treat to have new carpet and my son install it for me. I remember Levi wanted to continue improving my home for me by adding new door molding. He was working on million dollar homes in the area and wanted me to have a nice place to live. I never got the new countertops he wanted to install or the new flooring he passed away in a tragic car accident before he had the chance to keep updating. The last couple of years, I have had new flooring and carpet installed in my kitchen and dining by Levi’s old boss. I think if Levi could see what I have already done, he would be happy. 

I turned Levi’s old bedroom into my dressing room. I had to do some repainting and taking down of the military-themed bedroom before it became my oasis. Yes, the fifteen-year-old and his friend painted his bedroom the most god awful green you have ever seen. (funny how now the color is in). A good friend of mine gave me some beige paint to repaint the room after my son had passed away. I added a few finishing touches with Victorian shadow boxes and updated his bookshelf. I have many author friends so the bookshelf went back into its corner filled with inspiring reading material. 

Life is full of unexpected surprises, a helping hand, good advice from a loved one or best friend. I hope this Mother’s day finds you surrounded by family and friends and those you love most. Some mothers are expecting or celebrating the first Mother’s day, others are having the kids over, while some moms are hoping their kids are safe abroad and some, like me, lost their son and have wonderful memories of when I was given an unexpected gift one day. 

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Another Month Is Gone.

February 2, 2019 at 1:15 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

January seems like it just flew by and here we are in February already. I think I just took down my christmas decorations and now on to is it Halloween again?  it seems like the older I get, time just passes me by. I was talking to a co-worker the other day and she remarked time is going faster than a speeding bullet. You soon start to feel like there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish what you need to anymore.

We have not had much snow so far this year. some are happy and some just like the four seasons. Two weeks ago, we had a good storm hit us. When I shoveled out my driveway into my street so I could get out to run some errands, I saw the nicest gesture from two young men. I was coming home from the grocery store, an elderly gentleman sat in his warm car where he ran into a snow bank. Tow young men were on their stomaches shoveling this poor man out. It restores my belief in human kind that some will stop and help someone in need without giving it a thought.

My co-worker and I were talking the other evening at work about work ethics. Some co-workers show up on time ready to work while others are always late,do less than expected and are looking at their phones. I think the cell phone is going to be the death of society. I could not imagine having to go one day without looking at the thing if it suddenly have been misplaced. I am blown away by how many people cannot live without a gadget in their hands.  I saw a commercial one day that your new refrigerator can be programmed into your phone to give you a grocery list, it is sad to know that cell phone addiction now treated by your work insurance as a disease.

What ever happened to the good old pay phone, you had to look up someones phone number in the book?, when the street lamps went on you knew it was time to go home, getting dirty never killed me, neither did drinking out of the water hose, chores never hurt anyone, setting the table, clearing the table and doing the dishes were just something you knew you did every night and you did n’t argue about it, seeing the Grandparents was special. I have so many fond memories of growing up. Today’s youth is out of touch with manners, following the rules, respecting their elders, being on the phone and not looking where they are going, then act like it is your fault for almost bumping into them.

I just do not understand where we are as a society anymore. Manners are out the window, kids are rebellious, the elderly and mentally challenged seem to the ones who need the caregivers. It seems like no one wants to work anymore or put less effort into the job. I know the turn around rate in these jobs are sad. Health Care is one of the most in demand career opportunity. The baby boomers aren’t getting younger, autism is on the rise, latch key kids are on the rise due to high day care costs. Life used to be much simpler, slower paced, everyone waved to one another, smiled and said hello, helped each other shovel out the neighborhood on the big storms. I would like to think there is a hope to get back to being communities again where folks took care of one another.

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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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