Friday, January 30, 2009

25 Random things about me...

I did this on Facebook and got some great responses from other folks. It was more interesting, I thought, than some of those other questionaires we all do...so I thought I'd post it here and if it inspires you to do the same, please send it to me cause I'd love to read it.

1. I have a great deal of faith and it guides me in everything I do in my life
2. My family means everything to me (which includes husband, daughter, son-in-law, parents and granddaughters)
3. I miss Alaska!
4. I have two pet rats Nigel & Malcolm, a big white shepherd Zoey and a diabetic cat that's in remission, Scout
5. I have been married over 22 years and our 'courtship' was writing letters cross country. We had our first date after we got engaged.
6. I have a special place in my heart for special needs kids and use to be a teacher of them. I love little kids in general
7. I use to take care of elderly folks to help them stay in their homes longer
8. I'd rather just blog instead of trying to figure out all these different websites. It takes too much time for me
9. I am so proud of my daughter.She is such a good person and a wonderful wife & mother
10. I love to watch the Vicar of Dibley
11. I love to work outside and get sweaty & dirty. (like mowing the grass)
12. One of my favorite things to do in summer is sitting out on the swing with a fire in the pit and watching the stars with Stephen
13. It's a dream of mine to be able to drive the Alaska highway again
14. I love to scrapbook! That's my ME time and helps clear my head
15.I have some really good friends. Some I've had since I was 4 & 12 years old.
16. I'm married to my best friend!
17. When I was a kid I wanted to be either a undercover cop or a veterinarian. LOL
18.I can speak some German
19.I have only one restaurant in PA that I really enjoy...I miss our favorites places in Germany & Alaska
20.I would really like to see a white sandy beach with palm trees IN PERSON someday.
21. I don't turn the tv on during the day but would rather have music on
22. I live on 10 acres in the middle of secluded woods and LOVE IT
23. My granddaughters were named after me. Jane is my middle name but I know officially granddaughter, Janie is named after MY mother...Aurora (Rori) Kate though is solely mine! Ü Kate has been an endearing nickname from Stephen and some close friends
24. I've had a very happy life
25. I enjoy miniature/little things. Miniature books, little fairy figures, special things that would fit in your pocket and hide.

What a week!

I figured it'd be easier to just blog this rather than rehashing things in emails...
We have nothing to complain about but I am glad that this week is about over. Nothing much has gone as planned. We finally got the clarification at 10am today about my parent's house closing and it's been postponed til next week.(it had been set up for 1 this afternoon) One appraisal letter hasn't been received and it's holding everything up....Yesterday was spent at the house with my dad. The radon people were there doing their thing and the heating people doing theirs (cleaning the old boiler etc) which cost us twice what was anticipated and then of course the people that were coming for the last pieces of furniture. One of which was bigger than they thought so they didn't take that. UGH...Meanwhile dad and I were pacing through an empty house for quite a few hours. I'd taken cards, mags etc, but once the table was picked up it wasn't near as fun.
When I got home I made a quick run to the chiro for a lower back issue so I'd feel better for the company we were to get this weekend. Afterwards although I had relief I was achy.
Then get the call from Stephen's brother (his wife & 5 kids that were to be coming from Ohio this weekend) that they had been without power for 3 days and it had just come back on but they weren't too sure if it was going to stay on, plus there is threat of more stuff coming our way, so they've had to cancel. Not to mention he broke his arm this week as well!!! We are disappointed but after the week we've had, it's ok though. Stephen needed some time off work anyway.
We've also felt the sting of learning of the passing of an old friend that was 91 yrs old in MO, the 12th anniversary of the loss of Stephen's dad, and my mother-in-law's current husband being in congestive heart failure. Hallie has also had an emotional 3 weeks over a little dog that showed up at their house (there's a link to her blog on mine , chronicling the events although she's not been able to write about the latest yet) Of course when your children hurt you hurt too!
It's been quite a week!
So I am hoping for a quieter weekend!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friends for the long haul

I’ve been thinking about my close friends alot lately. I’m not exactly sure why...perhaps because I’ve been having so many introspective moments? Who knows... And by ‘close’ I certainly don’t mean geographically. These are the people that have been in my life for more than a season or two (but let us not forget how important those people were/are as well!!)
I’m talking about the people that are there for the long haul. Most of which have been there for more than a decade and some for more than 4!! (although there are couple newbies of less than a decade) But no matter how often we get to talk or see each other, it’s like we’ve never been apart. We pick up right where we left off. These are friends that you can be yourself with and they are going to love you anyway! And just thinking about our times together makes me smile.
Then I was thinking how awsome it would be if I had tons of money that I could get all my dearest friends together in one room at the same time. Where would it be, what would we eat, what would we talk about?...gosh it would be a hoot beyond hoots! All that comic talent! Ü
Anyway, I was sent an email this morning that really touched me..and I must say seeing all her friends in the room, not only made me jealous Ü, but gave me inspiration to tell my friends what I was thinking....so to Hallie, Brandy, Betsy, Boog, Andrea, Robin and Penny it has been a great privilege and honor to call you my friends. Thank you! And although the video is directed toward ‘girlfriends’ I have to include the very special & exceptional men in my life as well, my dear husband Stephen, Jim and Terry. Here's the link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_4qwVLqt9Q

Thursday, January 8, 2009

so as not to scare you....

...I promise that I'll attempt to make my blogs not nearly as long as the first two...I guess that stuff had just built up in me for so long that I needed to let it spill out. I am purged of it now. LOL...hopefully reading it will help give someone else insights into their own life's questions.

Change can be good if you let it


I got to watch Oprah yesterday. All this week she’s working on the different aspects (health, money, spiritual etc) of having ‘your best life in 2009’..I was curious to see what would be said about the spiritual part. I’m happy to say that I had a couple ‘A-ha’ moments as Oprah calls them...You know, when everything finally clicks in our brains and we have an understanding of something we didn’t quite grasp in that particular way before. For me sometimes it’s a great help figuring out the perfect accurate words to express those feelings.
I’ve struggled with things the past couple years since moving back to where I grew up. My married life of 22 years, even with all the ups & downs that everyone faces, have been my absolute happiest. I thought that moving back to where things were familiar & there was family here would just automatically be an extension of our ‘happy years‘. But it’s been a challenge and a big change. That’s not to say that I (we) haven’t been happy here exactly but well it’s been different. Things aren’t as we expected on many levels...being close to family, the civilian job market, being so far from other loved ones (namely Hallie & her family), and my mother having severe memory issues.
A couple of the issues are as follows...for one it’s not me that has imposed this on myself but rather the reaction by others that have put this doubt, if you will, in my head and made me want to defend myself in some way. Since I was 17, I identified myself as Hallie’s mom...no matter what you did in life be it school, church, work etc, all you had to say was “I have a 2 yr old” or “I have a teenager at home” and people nodded in understanding. No other explanation was needed. My life revolved around my daughter and I loved every minute of it. No one questioned what I ‘did’ in my spare time because with all her and I did together (school, activities etc) there wasn’t much spare time.
Then she married in Alaska and we had to move to Germany a very short time later. For the first time in my adult life I didn’t have my daughter in the house, ya know? Sure I was still a mom but the dynamics had changed drastically. It wasn’t quite as noticeable while in Germany because we had so many other issues that had to be dealt with there and we kinda felt like our lives were in a limbo between worlds. It was difficult to say the least & there wasn’t time to focus as much on the life we use to have, we just wanted to get through this part that we were in. Plus we had the crutch of saying we’re in the military & all that entails...(you get another nod of understanding with a ‘say no more’ more look with that one too, but I won‘t get into that issue here) I think that’s where we thought moving back here would be our refuge. We had pretty high expectations I’m afraid.
I (we) forgot though that all things change. Which is really quite silly on our part being the usually perceptive, intuative people that we are...but that just goes to show you that we can all be caught unaware sometimes. No matter how enlightened we become in our lives we can still be caught off guard.
That’s where the outside has imposed this question on me...People would ask when we moved back, ‘what do you do all day here?’...Ughhh, uummm, good question....I can’t say I have a two year old at home, that satifies their query...What DO I do? Who am I now if not Hallie’s mom? How do I explain to them that having children at home isn’t the be-all end-all of a woman’s/mother’s life? I’m thinking, “My life is still important, darn it!”
I had to learn that even though I can’t be identified as an ‘active, hands on’ mother, if you will, doesn’t mean that my roll as a mother isn’t important. It’s just different now and I get to explore what that is. I have wonderful new changes that have so enriched my life, namely being a grandmother. Being an Oma to Janie and Rori is such a special gift. Even though they are far away I am as active a grandparent as I can possibly be engaging them in conversation and being interested in their thoughts and doings. I strive to be a positive mentor for them in a way that only a grandparent can be.
All things change....
Our extended family too...They had forged a life without us included in it since we’ve lived so far away. It was kind of shock I think on all our parts, to have the others to consider in matters that families deal with. We have spent most of our lives away, relying only on each other. So we have to learn something that people that have always lived closeby family have taken for granted. That these people are here. LOL
All things AND people change....they evolve....
Of course things weren’t the same with my parents when we got back. Pretty early on I realized that my mom’s memory wasn’t what it use to be. I ended up taking over their finances, insurances, etc because it was too confusing and upsetting for her to take care of it anymore. I’ve had to fight anger at this happening to her when we were finally getting back here and also the fear of this same thing maybe happening to me in my later years. I mourn the loss of my mom as I knew her even though she’s still here. I’ve had to become the parent to my parents which has taken me off guard.
But all things change.....
I may not have the other fulfilling jobs outside the home here as I once had either. Being an admissions counselor in a mental health & rehab hospital, working with special needs & at-risk preschoolers, being an in-home caregiver for the elderly to name just a few. I see now that these jobs prepared me for the new jobs I’m having now. To make me better in the way I execute my duties as a daughter..to be more patient, understanding, empathetic.
I am always busy in our home doing the things that need done and also having some time for myself doing whatever gives my spirit a much needed rest from the daily stresses. I am never bored. I actually find joy in doing the most mundane things like laundry and dishes. I can’t explain it really...I do it all for the greater good! LOL
I am learning that it’s ok to give myself permission to feel overwhelmed at times & cry. A spiritual warrior isn’t one that pretends everything is fine all the time. It’s not a weakness to feel ‘weak’ occassionally. WonderWoman only really exists in the movies. We have to remember that we are human and we were built to have a meltdown every once in awhile. A warrior is one that feels deeply & then moves forward and does what they need to do.
Instead of giving up because our lives took a wrong turn we have to rid ourselves of the idea that life is supposed to be a certain way. We can exert so much energy swimming against that current, there’s so much tension in resisting what’s happening that we lose a lot of our power and our inner wisdom to go forward.
It’s ok that I can feel anger over the circumstances with my mom’s condition but I have to recognize there’s a grief hidden beneath that too. Instead of living in fear of what I might be losing I need to ask myself what the experience is trying to teach me. How am I to grow in this? Sometimes I need to cry & grieve the loss of the person she use to be but I can’t let it overshadow that she’s still here & I need to enjoy every moment of it just as it is, with no preconditions.
All things change...and we can roll with it, expand & grow in our life’s journey & find the joy in life or not...we have the choice the make
.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My word is my bond. Is it yours?


My first attempt at blogging (although I've had journals off & on for years) will be nothing more than venting of a pet peeve. I've had the opportunity to witness firsthand the moral decline of people's word. Whatever happened to 'my word is my bond'? Whether or not it has 'I promise' in front of the sentence is inconsequential. (ie. I promise to meet you at 11:30...)
I have been diligently working at selling off things my parents no longer need. The bigger furniture has been left at their old house where there is the room to store it. I've advertised for people to pick it up there of course. This means I drive the 46 miles round trip to meet them there to do so. To make my trips count I schedule all the supposed pickups at the same time...to date I've had one out of four actually show up!
In the past week I've succumbed to one sob story which amounted to my dad & I loading a bed at the old house and bringing it to their new house (remember the 46 miles roundtrip?) where the lady could pick it up the next morning....After getting it up here we set up a time for pick up. "No problem", she says... The next morning, she says 'Can you deliver it?" (which is another 25 miles round trip) "Uh no, I don't think so", I say. A short time later, she says circumstances have changed and she backs out of the deal all together! So much for going out of our way to help someone out. I mean, all this for a $15 bed!
So the next person that wants the bed says "I get paid on Wed. and I'll call with what time I can pick it up"...Great! I say....at this point it's now being stored in the back of dad's truck as they don't have storage room at the new place. The lady knows how it came to be in there and she promises me, "I won't let you down"....Well, Wednesday comes and goes of course with no phone call. 5 days later I email her to see if she still wants it and she briefly explains about a sister being the hospital & she didn't have my number with her blah, blah, blah.....and she'll call on Monday about pickup...I am still waiting on that phone call.
Then there's the people that didn't show up at the old house to pick up the other bed...She says, 'apparantly you didn't get the email stating I was trying to find someone with a truck etc. " Well, it's funny that I've gotten all her other emails except this one. Meanwhile she had my phone number that she could've called BEFORE I made the trip down there!!! SO, I give her the benefit of all doubt and we set up another day & time to meet down there....she's a no show!!!!!!! AGAIN!
The thing is, as human beings there are occassions when we change our minds on a subject. But don't tell me one thing assuring me of your sincerity and then blindsiding me (perhaps me even waiting somewhere for you to show up) just because you didn't have the ethics, the backbone or whatever you'd like to call it, to let me know you changed your mind. I'm thinking that this could quite possibly been born out of pure laziness on their part to follow through. Sure I might be hurt/annoyed/frustrated initially at the change of plans but to leave me standing there wastes my time, energy & gas money as though I don't matter at all. It adds insult to injury!
To me really this kind of behavior is nothing better than just a lie. I think as the words are coming out of their mouths they have no plans of actually following through. How many times has someone said I'll give you a call and you know as they say it that you won't hear from them? And you know one of the worst things about it all?...me being the trusting soul I am believe them and give them the benefit of the doubt!! Shame on me, I know....but I am learning as many people have pointed out that we live by a "higher code" if you will....to me it's a very simple premise though....although we fall short of our own expectations at times we still constantly strive to do our best and to treat others as we would like them to treat us.