Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October Goals

Does anyone else think September flew by? I barely have any memories...and I sure didn't accomplish much in the way of my goals. But, if anything, I am not a quitter and I will just keep posting them until I get them done. How does that sound?

So here we go:

1.organize my home...this is slow going. I have so much to do. So many things to go through. And I haven't painted that bedroom yet. So it is back on the list...paint Darian's room, trim, make headboard and hang light. Although I did get his shelves spray-painted so the month wasn't a total loss.

2. freezer cooking....yippee! I did this. I cooked up big batches of hamburger and chicken and stored them in zip lock bags to be used for quick meals. Sure makes things easier. I will make 2 batches of chicken wraps in October.

3.family budget...I think I have it all figured out. I don't think I will be going back to work. And, with luck, determination, and coupons we will be okay. Now I just have to cut that grocery bill down.

4.use more coupons....see above. I am working on this. Loading them onto my Dillon shopper card and using Retail Me Not app.

5.better utilize the savings account..If you hear me chuckle here, then just laugh along with me. My goal is to STAY out of the savings account as much as possible. It HAS to be there for emergencies.

6.forgive myself...I work on this all the time. I am still harder on myself than anyone else.

7. worry less, love more....working on it. If anyone has tips on how to worry less, I am open to suggestions. I am now raising two teens all alone and this is frightening times. But I will love them more. That is not hard to do...most of the time.

Now tell me how you are doing on your goals.

31 Days Letters to Richard

During the 31 Days of October I am going to link up with Kate Motaung at Heading Home in her twist on The Nester's 31 Day Challenge. The Nester challenges us to write a series on just one topic and each day write something about that topic. Does that make sense? Now, Kate takes it just a step further and encourages us to follow along, but to writes those posts in just five minutes. She is calling it 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes and it closely follows along with Five Minute Friday which she also hosts on her blog. She is providing a list of prompts, which I will be following, as I write letters to my husband Richard. Many of you know that Richard recently died and I am going through the grieving process. Writing these letters to him will help me and maybe somewhere along the way help someone else who may be going through the same process.

The prompts that Kate has provided are:

Wed. Oct. 1 — Day 1 :: Move  
Thurs. Oct. 2 — Day 2 :: View
Fri. Oct. 3 — Day 3 ::New
Sat. Oct. 4 — Day 4 :: Learn
Sun. Oct. 5 — Day 5 :: Stuck
Mon. Oct. 6 — Day 6 :: Know
Tues. Oct. 7 — Day 7 :: Go
Wed. Oct. 8 — Day 8 :: Say
Thurs. Oct. 9 — Day 9 :: Join
Fri. Oct. 10 — Day 10 ::Care
Sat. Oct. 11 — Day 11 :: Teach
Sun. Oct. 12 — Day 12 :: Rest
Mon. Oct. 13 — Day 13 :: Work
Tues. Oct. 14 — Day 14 :: Away
Wed. Oct. 15 — Day 15 :: Life
Thurs. Oct. 16 — Day 16 :: Adjust
Fri. Oct. 17 — LONG
Sat. Oct. 18 — Day 18 :: Taste
Sun. Oct. 19 — Day 19 :: Honor
Mon. Oct. 20 — Day 20 :: Fear
Tues. Oct. 21 — Day 21 :: Second
Wed. Oct. 22 — Day 22 ::Justin's Birthday
Thurs. Oct. 23 — Day 23 :: Look
Fri. Oct. 24 — Dare
Sat. Oct. 25 — Day 25 :: Enjoy
Sun. Oct. 26 — Day 26 :: Visit
Mon. Oct. 27 — Day 27 :: Free
Tues. Oct. 28 — Day 28 :: Wake
Wed. Oct. 29 — Day 29 :: Unite
Thurs. Oct. 30 — Day 30 :: First

Fri. Oct. 31 Day 31 :: TBA


I will link all my posts to a page on my blog so that they will be easy to find. Look here to find them each day. I hope you join the challenge and find new friends to follow throughout the rest of the year. I found several new friends last year through this challenge.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Simple Woman's DayBook-September 29th Edition

And here we arrive at Monday morning. The last Monday of September. Today I am going to combine my usual Monday postings into one post. Instead of writing a separate post for my Monday Menu I am just going to incorporate it into my Simple Woman's Daybook post.

For Today...September 29, 2014

Outside my window...It is late evening, Sunday. We had a nice fall day. Temps in the 80's. Air conditioner still running. Grass still growing. Sun still shining.
I am thinking...How October is just a day away. Ten weeks ago today my beloved soulmate went away. I miss him every moment of every day.
I am thankful...I am thankful for being able to feel a bit less pain. Each day is easier. And I don't know if I am okay with that.


In the kitchen...my menu:
Monday...Mexican Pizza
Tuesday..Pancakes and Sausage
Wednesday..kids at church,salad for me
Thursday...Grilled Ham and Apple Paninis
Friday.. Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Saturday..Meat Loaf, mashed potatoes, cheesy broccoli
Sunday...Sour Cream and Bacon Crockpot Chicken 

I am wearing...yoga shorts, tee shirt, no shoes

I am creating...at the moment I am creating a blog post and a menu for the week.

I am going...I am going to go crazy with these teenage grandchildren. Can't believe I am going through all of this again.

I am wondering...I am wondering how long until we get our first frost. I have a tree outside that I need to bring in before that happens. 

I am reading...Grieving a Soulmate-The Love Story Behind "Till Death do us Part by Robert Orfali

I am hoping...I am hoping to gain some insight into my grief by reading this book.
I am looking forward to...tomorrow...just taking it one day at a time.

I am learning...I am learning about grief bursts and that not everyone grieves a spouse the same way. It depends on whether you are soul mates or not...hmmmmm!

Around the house...I managed to paint the shelves for Darian's room this past week...on to the woodwork perhaps.

I am pondering...I am pondering whether to do my grocery list tonight or not.

A favorite quote for today...

One of my favorite things...Paige is spending the night tonight without her father...we'll hang out some tomorrow. She doesn't have school.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Much the same as always.

A Peek into my day

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Have You Yet Decided?

Almost the end of the month...can you believe it?  Don't I say that every month? I think it must be a sign of advancing age to continue to talk about how fast time is flying by us. Anyway, October 1 will be here soon. Have you decided if you are going to do The Nester's 31 Day Blog Challenge? And/or will you join Kate's Five Minute Friday Free Writes on Heading Home? I think that I will do both. I met so many of you last year during this challenge. And we know that I love to write and share my thoughts with you. I have created my blog button and decided on my theme. Here is a sneak peek:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Let Me Know What you Think

I haven't changed up the blog in a long time. Tell me what you think. Is it hard to read? Easy to read? Kind to our eyes.....

I cannot believe it but I received a jury summons today. Now I don't mind doing my civic duty but this is my 5th time to be called. I have many family and friends that have NEVER been called. Do you think I should give their names out when I appear?

Have you ever been called or served on a jury?

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Life To Remember

Click on the Link A life to Remember. It will take you to the video that we played for Richard's memorial service. It is about 15 minutes long but I wanted to share it with you. I hope it is no longer having a problem playing....let me know

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Today I join with a group of encouraging and courageous women who write for Five minutes on every Friday to the same one word prompt. The awesome Kate Matoung hosts us each week on her blog Heading Home. If you want to join just head over to her place and join Five Minute Friday. Write from your heart, without over-thinking or editing. And go encourage some of the other ladies in their writing.

This week the prompt is Because:


I get up each morning,
They depend upon me now.
Our hearts are breaking.
We are what is left.
You are gone.
We must go on.
We lean on each other.
We miss you intensly
And very immensely.
The center of our life
You were.
We'll see you again
Of that much I'm sure
The Lord made a promise


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday

The year was 1977....Justin is still two years old, but nearing his third birthday. He loved everything 'cowboy' and here he is in his Aunt Lorene's cowboy boots. That skinny, young chick in the Mickey Mouse shirt, sitting is the rocking chair is me! Yep, that's right...it's me! I don't know whether to love or hate old pictures. I can never be young again but I sure could get skinny again....if I just wanted to do the work. Which I don't!

The Double Bind

Last night I stayed up late reading. I had gotten close to the end and I didn't want to quit until I was done. Parts of this book were starting to drag for me. It was getting mundane. I was starting to think to myself, "for God's sake, get on with it." But I am telling you that the ending snuck up on me. It blew me away. I never even saw it coming. If that piques your interest here is what Barnes and Noble's overview says:


When Laurel Estabrook is attacked while riding her bicycle through Vermont’s back roads, her life is forever changed. Formerly outgoing, Laurel withdraws into her photography, spending all her free time at a homeless shelter. There she meets Bobbie Crocker, a man with a history of mental illness and a box of photographs that he won’t let anyone see. When Bobbie dies, Laurel discovers a deeply hidden secret–a story that leads her far from her old life, and into a cat-and-mouse game with pursuers who claim they want to save her. In a tale that travels between the Roaring Twenties and the twenty-first century, between Jay Gatsby’s Long Island and rural New England, bestselling author Chris Bohjalian has written his most extraordinary novel yet.


Monday, September 22, 2014

My Simple Woman's Daybook-September 22 Edition

 Today I promise not to be so down and dreary as I was last week. I feel better after spending a quiet weekend, re-connecting with my granddaughter, Harley. Darian went camping. Justin and Paige didn't come over. Yesterday I quietly observed the 2-month anniversary of Richard's death. And although I miss him terribly and the tears are right there, hiding behind my eyelids, I feel like I will get through this. So here, for this week, is My Simple Woman's Daybook entry. You can join in by going over to The Simple Woman's Blog and linking up your entry.

FOR TODAY September 22, 2014

Outside my window...It is dark and cool. Not as cool as we have been, but you can still taste that fall is in the air. And quiet. It is very quiet. And getting very close to midnight.

I am thinking...Right now I am thinking about what I would like to accomplish this week. My grocery shopping is done. My menu is planned. Maybe, just maybe, I'll pick up a paint brush.

I am thankful...for my family. I know they have my back.
In the kitchen...This weekend I cooked a bag of frozen chicken breasts in the crock pot and shredded up two quart bags for the freezer. And I cooked up 10 pounds of hamburger and put up 4 quarts in the freezer. I am ready for some simple meals.

I am wearing...I am wearing white shorts and a tee shirt. No shoes. 

I am creating...I am creating a fall banner for the mantle (it's in my head right now, but I will soon get going on it.) 

I am going...I am going to buy some ink for my printer and might stop into the craft store to see what they have for fall.

I am wondering...But I am wondering if I would be smarter to just go out into the garage and bring in the fall and Halloween tote and use what I have.

I am reading...I am reading a book recommended by my friend Wendy, The Double Bind written by Chris Bohjalian. So far I am enjoying it. 

I am hoping...I am hoping this hopeful feeling I have today lasts....
I am looking forward to...I can't think of anything right now that I am looking forward to except more good days.

I am learning...I am learning that grief is hard and continuous and painful. But there is hope.

Around the house...Ah, around the house. It never stops and always needs more done. But there are always tomorrows.

I am pondering...I am pondering about this computer of mine. And if I have it fixed. I have gone through a series of self-help fixes and so far, so good. Cross your fingers.

A favorite quote for today...
One of my favorite things...One of my favorite things has always been quotes. Or lyrics. I love words. And what they say. And how they apply to me. To my life.

A few plans for the rest of the week:There are really not many plans this week that are different than last week. But, yay, no dentist appointments. If fact just a mundane week. How wonderful is that?

A peek into my day...This isn't really a peek into MY day. But I love the drama TV show "The Good Wife". And tonight was it's season premier. Looks to be a promising season.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday

September 21-September 28



Sausage and Pankcakes


kids eat at church
salad for granny


kids eat at debate practice
salad for granny



Chicken cordon blue
mashed potatoes/gravy


I am linking up with I'm an Organized Junkie and Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weekend Musings

Weekend! This used to be a time that we would all look forward to with such anticipation. Well only if I happened to have the weekend off, that is. Working as a nurse for so many years I didn't always have weekends off. At the hospital I was off every third weekend. (and well paid for those that I had to work). And then during my nursing home years I worked every other weekend. We usually did something special on weekends. Took little road trips. Shopping trips. Walks in the park. You know, those kinds of things.

Now a weekend to me is just like every other day. Except the kids are home. Darian had a Boy Scout Camp-out this weekend. And it is probably a good thing. He came home from school on Friday with a broken cell phone screen.
Story is that he fell on it. I need more information but before we could get into it his ride came for the campout. Thanks goodness for phone insurance. (I guess) It still is costing me $99 to get a new one shipped to us. He has a lot of leaf raking in his future.

Harley and I went grocery shopping today. After visiting the Verizon store that is. Was a nice shopping trip. Hopefully I got everything I need to the next week. I have found the less I go to the grocery store the better I stick to my budget.

And then after we put the groceries away she and I went out to eat, rented the movie The Other Woman and spent a nice evening at home watching movies. We also watched The Devil Wears Prada. I am turning into a regular movie person after years of saying I wasn't really that into movies. It used to be that I couldn't make it to the middle of a movie without going to sleep. Now, since I can't seem to sleep at all, I make it all the way to the end.

Now I am finishing my evening writing on my blog and listening to Barbara and Blake.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Hold On

It is Friday! Well, almost. But it is time to write for five minutes and then link up with Five Minute Friday at Heading Home. I am so glad that Kate Motaung took up the calling to continue this delightful little writing exercise. We write for 5 minutes on the prompt of her choice. Write straight from the heart without over-thinking, editing, or worrying about mistakes or what someone might think of us. And then we go spread our comment love to the others who are linking up. This week the prompt is:


This is where I admit that I wrote another post. I hit publish. And then I changed my mind. It is too raw and too painful to share. It was all about how I feel God has let me down. And that might offend too many people. So here...listen to this video. I love the song.

I know this pain

Why do lock yourself up in these chains?

No one can change your life except for you

Don't ever let anyone step all over you

Just open your heart and your mind

Is it really fair to feel this way inside?


Some day somebody's gonna make you want to

Turn around and say goodbye

Until then baby are you going to let them

Hold you down and make you cry

Don't you know?

Don't you know things can change

Things'll go your way

If you hold on for one more day

Can you hold on for one more day

Things'll go your way

Hold on for one more day

You could sustain

Or are you comfortable with the pain?

You've got no one to blame for your unhappiness

You got yourself into your own mess

Lettin' your worries pass you by

Don't you think it's worth your time

To change your mind?


I know that there is pain

But you hold on for one more day and

Break free the chains

Yeah I know that there is pain

But you hold on for one more day and you

Break free, break from the chains

Some day somebody's gonna make you want to

Turn around and say goodbye

Until then baby are you going to let them

Hold you down and make you cry

Don't you know?

Don't you know things can change

Things'll go your way

If you hold on for one more day yeah

If you hold on

Don't you know things can change

Things'll go your way

If you hold on for one more day,

If you hold on

Can you hold on

Hold on baby

Won't you tell me now

Hold on for one more day 'Cause

It's gonna go your way

Don't you know things can change

Things'll go your way

If you hold on for one more day

Can't you change it this time

Make up your mind

Hold on

Hold on

Baby hold on

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday

My first baby 1971

I have to tell you that I am extremely annoyed with 'someone'. This was a lengthy post describing my first years of motherhood back in the 1970's and how times have changed and the whole entry just up and disappeared. Except for the comments. So thanks to all that commented. And for those of you who missed it, I'm sorry!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

When My Husband Left Me with Three Kids!

Time for another One Word Wednesday! Lisa at My Sweet Peanut hosts this awesome little writing challenge. Today she said that we had now done 25 weeks of these. WOW...time flies. This week the word is one that speaks to my past care-giving days:


After Richard's stroke in September 2011 (in fact it was three years ago today) I can remember feeling like I had lost my husband. I felt he had left me alone with three kids. Two were the grand-kids and the third was the one he had become. And, since I had to quit my job to take care of him, I also felt like I had lost half the income. Well, in fact I did lose half the income. I became the caretaker of the family. The caretaker of the home. The caretaker of the finances. The caretaker of everything. 

I have worked with older adults for many years. I have seen how childlike they become. But when it was my own husband acting like that....it gave me pause. He had to have his way. And we let him. He was in charge of the TV remote and if someone would say something he would have a tantrum. It got to where he messed the TV up every time he had the remote so I managed the TV for him. It was funny at times. And at times, not so much. He totally became one of the kids. He would argue with them. Spar with them for my attention. Be upset and whiny when he didn't get what he thought he should have. Most of the time I could laugh about it. The kids accepted that part of him much better than I did.

One day, I had gone to the grocery store. I took Darian and left Harley home with Papa. That is usually how it worked. One would go with me and one would stay with him. This particular day I had finished my shopping and was in the check-out line when I received a call from Harley.

Harley: Grandma, Papa won't let go of my ponytail.

Grandma: What? Why?

Harley: I wouldn't give him the TV remote. Just like you told me. He started talking to me really low and I couldn't hear him so I leaned forward towards him and he grabbed my ponytail and won't let go.

Grandma: Oh for God's sake. I can't even go to the store. I'll be home soon. Give him the remote. (and I hung up on her)

In about 15 minutes I walked into the house and looked into the living room. And there was Harley, head in Papa's lap, and his fingers were firmly entwined in her ponytail. And he wasn't going to let go. I had to pry those fingers loose. And he was mad. And it wasn't his fault. He didn't do anything wrong. It was all her fault. See what I mean?


List It Tuesday

Well here we already are. Working on the last half of September. Can you believe it? It will be Christmas before we know it....eek!
I don't really have a post planned for today. But I have a lot of things running around up there in my head. So I'm just going to make it all into a list. And I'm going to call it:
Things I'm Pondering Today
1.How on earth do three people generate so much laundy?
2.What does ISIS stand for? And why Does President Obama call it ISIL? I'll check that out pretty soon and get back to you. It's on the news all the time and I don't really know what they are talking about, except they are some real BAD bastards that are beheading people.(Update* I googled it...Islamic State Iraq and Syria...President Obama does not want to say 'Syria' so he uses ISIl...Islamic State Irag Levant..check it out here if you want)
3.Would it really be so awful if I just pick one day a week and do nothing but sit in my chair (or lie on the couch) and read? I think I'll call it 'reading therapy'. But I'll only read books I like. If it doesn't catch me from the first chapter, then I am going to stop reading and delete it from my Nook. Most of them are freebies anyway.
4.Will I ever get off my butt and into Darian's room and start painting...
5.I am looking forward to the return of The Good Wife...one of my favorite TV shows.
6.Which computer browser do you use? Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox...something else? I am hating google Chrome right now. I switched back to Internet Explorer and it didn't take me long to remember why I didn't like it. So share with me what you all prefer.
7.I have two Google sites, two Pinterest sites, two Facebook sites and a Twitter account. I don't Tweet much. Do you tweet? I am in the process of changing all my Pinterest to one account. Bear with me if you are following and your site is blowing up with all my pins. And I am then going to delete that other Google account and the other Facebook account. Part of cleaning up my life, you might say.
8.Will we soon have a woman president? I am pondering the next election. Wondering who in the heck is the Republican party going to come up with to run.
9.Why on earth are there so many more wildfires in California than there used to be? My gosh, I think I would move out of those hills if they keep buring up like that...it's horrible. And then all the rain and the flooding that is going on in the desert. Do you think God is talking to all of us? Fire and water....
10.I haven't yet decided about the October 31 Days Challenge...have you?

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Simple Woman's DayBook-September 15th Edition

I am going to apologize in advance for how dreary and down my daybook entry may feel today. But it is what it is. Today is my estranged oldest son's 43rd birthday. Although I don't long for a reconciliation (too much to explain today) I do love him and miss him. So Happy Birthday to my son! It is also 8 weeks ago this afternoon that Richard died. And it is not getting easier. If anything I think each day that I wake up and he is not here it is harder. In the beginning I felt like it wasn't real. And now that the reality is settling in, I just can't stand it. Too much. I want to wallow in it. I want to talk to him. I want the world to stop. But it can't...so here we go with My Simple Woman's Daybook Entry. Please go visit The Simple Woman's Blog and link up your entry.
FOR TODAY...September 15, 2014

Outside my window...It is cloudy and dreary. But the temperature is still around 75. So nice. But you can tell that summer is nearly over.

I am thinking...I am thinking that grieving for one's husband is harder than anything we will ever have to do. Ever!

I am thankful...I have probably said this before but I am thankful the years we had him and for all the good memories.

In the kitchen...Right now I hate the kitchen. I was the same way when our oldest son left home. Without the full family here I just can't see any reason to cook. Or eat together at the table. I hope this passes...my grandchildren deserve better.

I am wearing...What I always wear. Black yoga shorts and a royal blue tee shirt. No shoes.

I am creating...Nothing! I haven't the energy or the desire right now.

I am going...to wallow in my grief until I don't want to anymore. I might lose readers and at this point I don't care. I want to write about what this is like. I can't talk about it with others. So it will be right here on these pages. That is your fair warning.

I am wondering...why people offer the platitudes they offer to someone who is grieving. "It will get easier", "He's with God now", "He's no longer suffering." I don't want to hear any of it. It's not getting easier. I am not positive there really is a God. And I'd take him back even with his suffering. Does that make me terrible?

I am reading...James Patterson Crossfire. Probably I'll be reading it for awhile. I just can't get lost in a book at the moment.

I am hoping...that I am not going to feel so sad for the rest of my life. Egads, I might live 20 more years. And who will want to put up with me like this??

I am looking forward to...another time!

I am learning...that no matter what anyone tells you, this is harder than you will ever know. Losing a husband is harder than losing a child, a mother, a father, a grandparent. I have lost all of those and THIS is harder.

Around the house...Thankfully I have Darian and Harley. And they are great at dusting, vacuuming, mowing and even feeding themselves. But I need to get off my butt today and do some laundry.

I am pondering...What really (I mean really) happens to you after you die. We won't know, will we, until it happens to us. I hope there is a place we go where we can meet our loved ones again. But we just don't know......

A favorite quote for today...

One of my favorite things...Looking at Richard's picture and remembering him as I miss him so much.

A few plans for the rest of the week:more of the same..take kids to activities, fix meals, do laundry, mourn

A peek into my day...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Frustrating Days

There are so many things that frustrate me. Today I could name a half dozen or so. It was just one of those days. I don't want to be a widow. I don't want to be a single mother. (Whether it is grand-mother or what) I don't want to do it without a partner. I am sick of all of this. Who do I talk to? Who listens? Who do I bounce ideas off? 

My computer is acting crazy. I don't know why. Richard was never very good with computers. Even though all his work during his career years was done on a computer, he didn't know much about them. Only how to design a part and call the IT department if he had a problem. Everything I know about computers I have taught myself. And Richard listened to a lot of bitching and complaining during those times. And his IT guy, from his old job, was available when I couldn't figure it out. And it was good for both when he and Richard got to re-hash 'the good old days.' But he has retired and moved away. And I am stuck with trying to figure all this out. And it pisses me off. Google has been acting like a spoiled 3 year old today. So I took a break from the computer and went out to mow the grass.

Guess what? The lawn tractor stopped running today. I couldn't even steer it back to the garage. It wouldn't budge. I called my friend's husband (which I hate, hate, hate asking for help) and he came over. Verdict? Broken axel and steering mechanism. Not good! Probably need a new mower. Not good. Anyway the kids came home from school and finished the yard with the push mower and hopefully we won't have to mow again this season.

Back to my computer and I'm still having problems. Ran the virus protector. No virus. Clean out the history and all that stuff. And still Google Chrome is being a butt. 

So I'm going to bed! Cry myself to sleep. Feel sorry for me and tomorrow another day.

And have I mentioned how much I hate all this????

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I wasn't Ready

Tonight I went over to Kate's blog to see what word was going to challenge me this week for my Five Minute Friday writing challenge. When I arrived what I found was Kate talking about the 31 Day Challenge that is hosted every October by The Nester. (You can click here if you are interested in checking out The Nester's 31 Day Challenge from last year.)She hasn't yet posted the details for this year. I wrote for this challenge last year. My topic was Practicing Patience. If you are interested in reading all my posts you can go here. Now Kate is offering a twist to the challenge. It is going to be like a challenge within a challenge. She wants us to write a post everyday in October in just five minutes. And she has a list of prompts that we can follow.It's like having 31 Five Minute Friday writing challenge. I think I can do that! What about you?

Now for today's challenge for Five Minute Friday. The prompt is:


I wasn't ready. But it wasn't up to me. The time had come. His days were getting shorter. We were struggling with keeping him comfortable. It was getting harder for him to breathe. His color faded.  As white as a sheet, as they say.  And was very pale. The oxygen tubing snaked from the tank to his nose and carried with it the very life he needed. His chest rose and fell. But the breathing was shallow. Sometimes I had to get right down close to see if he was still alive. I knew that it would be a matter of hours. Maybe minutes. But I wasn't ready.

I know that it is selfish to want to keep him the way he was. But that is what I wanted. I would even take him back today; just the way he was.  So I could sit at his bedside and hold his hand. And tell him I loved him. Just so I could smell his smell. And wait for him to wake up. And watch that small little smile form on his lips when he saw me. Yes, that is crazy. And that is selfish.

But, I wasn't ready.

We Shall Never Forget

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Richard and I in the early (raising kids) years together

Finish This-Week 36

I like to write. I love to read. I am blessed and happy that I can both read and write. Okay, I know that sounds hokie, but that is who I am. I used to do a little gig on Wednesday that is known as Finish This. The last time I participated was here. So much has happened at our house since then. I am now in, what I hope to be, the final last big changes of my life. So let's get with it and answer this weeks prompts. Then you can go one over to Nicole's Blog at Three 31 and join in the fun. It's good writing practice.

Prompt for WEEK 36 — September 10

I am serious about grieving! Or maybe what I really mean is mourning. I have heard more about grief in the past 7 weeks than I have heard in my entire life. Lots of well-meaning friends and relatives have advice. Or suggestions. Or they are grieving/mourining in their own way. Well, I am going to do it MY WAY! I always have. I loved and lived with this man for almost 36 years. I am not going to get over it in a few weeks, a few months, or maybe even a few years. I will miss him everyday for the rest of my life. Maybe someday it won't be as painful, as it is today, but it will be what it is. Did you know that grief is quite common, especially to women. Three out of four women will outlive their spouse. And the average age of becoming a widow is 56! Shocking facts. More than half of all women living in the United States today will become a widow by the age of 65. And almost 4% of all kids in the United States will lose one of their parents by the age of 15. With all that being said, I am serious about grieving! I plan to do it until I don't need to do it anymore.

I am most relaxed when I am around people I know and in a place that I am comfortable. That probably means: at home with my family. I am not a person who likes parties, crowds, eating out (crazy, huh) staying at other people's houses, or being with a bunch of strangers. I will do all of those things, if I have to. But I am most relaxed at home.

There’s no place like home! I'll bet you saw that coming, didn't you. In past years I have always been excited to go on vacations. We would plan, pack, be excited and enjoy every moment of our time away from home. But the trip home was what I always most looked forward to. I love being home. Where I am most relaxed.

I hope you will participate in Finish This. Or just answer these prompts in the comment section of my blog. I am interested in what you have to say.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

One Word Wednesday

Each Wednesday I look forward to joining  my friend, Lisa, who blogs at My Sweet Peanut, in her writing challenge. She chooses a word and we write what that word means to us. This week the word is:


Many, many years ago I met a man. We did not make a connection. In fact, I really didn't like him all that much. I felt he was self-centered, arrogant, cocky, and way too self-assured for me. He was also my boss. But I worked for him for several summers and spent a little time getting to know him. Slowly over time, and two divorces later, we made a connection. He was a bit older and wiser than me. Eighteen years to be exact. But that didn't make much difference at the time. Our connection was made over the blonde heads of two little boys. He did not have any kids of his own. He loved kids. And I had two young sons. He courted me through my boys. I don't know if that was his initial goal but that is what happened. And he was very good at courting. And all of those things that I had initially thought of him were true. But he was also caring, generous, loving, and lasting.

Our connection developed into a romance. A love story. A connection. And it lasted for almost 36 years. I became the center of his world. He never tired of telling others what I meant to him. He was never ashamed or embarrassed. He freely expressed his love to me and to others. Most importantly he loved my sons. And treated them as if they were his. And he became the center of my world. Standing right there next to the other two guys in the center of my world. 

Yes, ours was a love story. It was a journey. We had a connection. It wasn't always a smooth ride. We had our ups and downs. We had our differences. And we expressed them in our own ways. Me more volatile and he more peaceful, but firm. There were times of anger. Just like any couple with a connection. But there were also times of happiness and peace. And we were aging well together.

And then he became ill. And I started to feel the connection loosen. Just a bit. I hung on tight. He hung on tight. But we knew that day would come. And there would be nothing we could do. It is part of the circle of life. It is the natural ending. 

I wonder now if I am still connected to him. I feel that I am. But he's gone. Can you still feel connected to someone who has died? That is an answer that I don't have. That is a struggle that I am dealing with. I don't have any regrets but I do have a wish or two. I wish I had taken more time, at the very end, to tell him a million more times how much I loved him. I wish I had not hurried to call others to come to his bedside but just taken my time to sit there and hold his hand and feel our connection. I wish I had spent more time with him alone before I was surrounded by all the others who loved him too. I want to feel that connection with him again. I want to believe that we will meet again.

Tell us what the word connection means to you. And link up with One Word Wednesday

Ten on Tuesday

I have been a reader of books for as long as I can remember. Today I have decided to follow along with my friend Kwizgiver at What if this is as Good as it Gets? and do the Ten on Tuesday challenge. This week's challenge is to list 10 Books That have Stayed With Me Long after I have Read Them. I thought I might have to think about this for awhile, but I started to list them and they just came pouring out of me. I think I could have gone on and on but I stopped at 10. And here they are:

1. Along Came a Spider

This is the first book of the Alex Cross series and I have been hooked on James Patterson's books ever since. I love a good mystery.

2. My Sister's Keeper

I have read most of Jodi Picoult's books. This was the first one that I read. It is about a 13 year old girl who was conceived specifically for the purpose of being the perfect bone marrow match for her old sister who is fighting childhood leukemia. It really opened my eyes to what both sides of this issue have to go though to survive.

3.The Clan of the Cave Bear

These are some of the best books I have ever read. They are thick, long, and packed full of information about the dawn of mankind and an amazing female heroine, Ayla. There were a total of 6 books in the series. Clan of the Cave Bear was book one. I could never get enough of these books. It sometimes was years between releases and I'd have to re-read the book before the next one in the series....love, love, love these books.

4. The Grapes of Wrath

 The first time I came into contact with this book was in a high school English class. I can honestly tell you that I was NOT impressed. I don't think I even read it. But made it through the assignments with the help of Cliffnotes. (Do they still make those, I wonder) But years later I picked up a copy at the library and found it to be one of the most fascinating books ever about the early 1930's, the Dust bowl, the Depression and a family named Joad. This is a must read by everyone. 

5.Pelican Brief

This book was my introduction to John Grisham. I love legal thrillers. I think if I had not became a nurse I would have been a detective or a lawyer. I love these kinds of thrillers. I read this book one summer when Richard and I and another couple took a road trip to Las Vegas, to the Grand Canyon, to Chicago and home. Every moment in the car this book captivated my attention. 

6. Oh, the Place You'll Go

"You have brains in your head
You Have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you chose."

Who doesn't love Dr. Seuss. I love them all but this one is the only one I own.It really offers great advice for all happenings in life.

7. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Written by Mark Twain way back in 1872, this was my first adventure book read as a young girl. I was kind of a shy kid (I know people today don't believe that) and I would have loved to have the adventures that Tom had. Such characters, such action, such memories. I love this book!

8. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

This book came as a recommendation from my friend, Kwizgiver. It is a story about a high school boy. It takes place on one day with many flashbacks. It is Leonard Peacock's birthday and the day he decided to kill his former best friend and then kill himself. A story that will stay with you, I promise.

9. Girl Gone 

Another book recommendation. This time by my friend Wendy. One of the most bizarre husband/wife stories I have ever read. The book is full of lies, deceit, bitterness and in appropriate behavior. And being perfectly honest, I wish I would have done some of these things to my ex-husband!

10. Blue 

This was a free Nook-book. It is about a teenage girl and her father. She suffered from leukemia as a young child, and to help her through it, her father and she created a fantasy world  filled with very minute details. Later, when the cancer returns, she and her father struggle with their new relationship until something magical happens. Harley is now reading this book.

I am linking up with Carole Knits, Ten on Tuesday. And then I plan to visit some of the others to see what books made their lists. Care to join us?