Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Quit!

Today I celebrate 14 years of not smoking. Yes, I know that is a huge accomplishment.  It is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life. Even harder than childbirth! Can you believe that? Richard was also a smoker but he quit 16 years before I quit. And the only reason I quit was because we were getting ready to go on a 'long' cruise and I was the only one left in our group that smoked. I didn't want to always have to excuse myself to go away from the group to smoke.
 So my best friend and I decided to quit smoking on November 1, 1999. I smoked my last cigarette on my way to work on Halloween night 1999. I had been planning this for a few months. I weaned myself down. I had a plan. And I also was equipped with Zyban (an antidepressant used in smoking cessation) and nicotine patches. My first step in quitting was I quit smoking in my car. We had just gotten a new car so that was easy to decide that I wasn't going to smoke in it. And that cigarette was the hardest one to give up. Because I got into the car, put the key in the ignition, started the car and lit a cigarette. Everyday since the day I learned to drive. Hard, hard, hard habit to break.
 I was so determined to be successful with quitting that I even had a plan how I was not going to put on the 'normal' 30-50 pound weight gain that most people do when they quit. Every time I craved a cigarette in those weeks leading up to quitting, I made a pact with myself, to walk down to the corner and back before I lit up. Heck, I couldn't breathe by the time I got back so often I didn't want that cigarette.
 Anyway my plan was successful.(My plan to quit smoking that is, I still ended up gaining 40 pounds). It was NOT easy. It was horrible. There are still days that I wished I smoked. There are still times that I want to go right back to it. Do you want to know why I don't? Nope, it's not because my family would disown me (and they would). It's not because it has gotten so much more expensive (and it has). The one and ONLY reason I have not started smoking again is because it STINKS. Like B.A.D. Why didn't anyone ever tell me I smelled like an ashtray? Why didn't anyone ever tell me my kids and all their belongings stunk? Once I quit smoking, I was astounded by how horrible it smelled.
 So that is my story on how and why I quit smoking. 

Happy 'no smoking' anniversary to me!

My Thoughts on This Last 31 Days of A Blogging Adventure

I was so excited to do the 31 Days Challenge that was sponsored by The Nester. After all, she is one of the BIG blogs, so I knew this would be good.(But to be honest, I was kind of disappointed that she never found her way over to visit little ol' me.) I thought and thought about what I wanted to write about. And it soon became apparent to me that what I needed more than anything else was patience in my life. I am not, and never have been, a very patient person. Did my 31 Days of Practicing Patience help me become more patient. Nope! It sure did not. It is a whole lot harder than that. But I did learn quite a few things about blog challenges.

  • I tried to visit as many of the blogs that were listed that I could. That, to me, is what is so great about these challenges : finding new blogging friends. Or at the very least, new, fresh reading material.
  • I visited and commented my way through almost every blog that caught my interest. And that would be well over 100 blogs. 
  • It was hard to follow some of these bloggers 31 Days series, as the links  we were directed to would take us to the very first post and then to find the rest of them you had to wade through the entire blog. Sometimes, I just lost my patience with that and moved on. For future advice to these bloggers: put all your 31 Days post on the first post of the series...the one that you leave in the link. It makes it so much easier to follow your posts.
  • And then there were the blogs that didn't make it past day 10 (if even that far) I wonder if The Nester could have used some help in going through and deleting these links from the link up pages so that people who weren't actually doing the 31 day challenge could be removed. They do that with the A to Z Challenge and it makes it so much easier to make your way through the list.
  • You sure as heck won't get new followers (or even people that  will  leave a comment) from these blog challenges.  Don't expect to grow your blog this way. I had lots of traffic on my blog. But seldom did anyone leave a comment. I try to leave comments everywhere I go. It is not always possible. Especially if I didn't find the blog interesting TO ME. Most of the time I would let them know that I had been there. And on the other side of this is when someone visits your blog and takes the time to leave a comment, then go to their blog and see what it is all about, and leave a comment thanking them for visiting you. COMMON COURTESY.
  • And make it easy to leave comments. Captcha has got to go. It is just annoying. And sometimes when trying to find where the person who commented blogs I would be taken to their Google Plus site and then couldn't find their blog. Make it easier, people. And since I am from blogger, commenting on WordPress blogs was a challenge at times. Isn't there a simpler way to comment on all blogs? If there is, I haven't found it yet. 
  • I did find some new blogs to follow. My Feedly list is growing by leaps and bounds. I try to read all of the blogs that are on that list every single day. I need to clean the list up some. Sometimes people just quit blogging. And I always wonder what became of them. And I know how life can get in the way of blogging. But, really, it only takes a moment to post why you aren't blogging anymore. I sit here in my little world in Kansas and decide that you must of died. So just leave a line to let me know that you didn't. 
 These are just some of my  thoughts on what I think after I have completed one of these challenges. I will still do them. Because I blog for ME mostly. And it doesn't really matter in the long run. But I feel lots better letting my thoughts be known. More patient.....not really.
 But if you are so inclined to want to read all of my posts, go here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Will Not Quit

Today will be my last day of 'Practicing Patience.' Tomorrow I am going to talk about what this blog challenge taught me about blog challenges. What I have learned about practicing patience is that 'things take time.'

So thanks to The Nester for this 31 day blog challenge. If you want to read my other posts head over here.

Become a Peace Blogger

In 2006 a small group of bloggers started the blog for Peace movement. It has grown into a phenomenal adventure. And this year I will join them. You can visit the Blog4Peace website and do your part in finding peace in our world, our country, our hometowns, or even our own homes by making your own peace globe and placing it on your blog, your Facebook, your Twitter...or whatever place you send out your messages.

November 4, 2013

Only 2 More Days Until I am Blogging 30 Days of Thanksgiving 2013

I am blogging my Thanksgiving the entire month of November. Stories of past Thanksgivings, present day Thanksgiving and maybe a 'smidgen' of what I hope for the future. Won't you join me? May it whatever you want. Let's just blog about Thanksgiving for 30 days! We can do it

Monday, October 28, 2013

The One Cardinal Sin

Everyday I think that I cannot possibly find anything more to say about patience. And then I find something that makes me stop to think. Today that is a quote by W.H. Auden, an anglo-American poet who once won the Pulitzer prize.

"Perhaps there is only one cardinal sin: impatience. Because of impatience we were driven out of Paradise, because of impatience we cannot return."

Today is the 29th day of The Nester's 31 day challenge. And it has tested my patience. Read all of my posts on 'Practicing Patience' here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Patience is Hard

Being patient is hard is you have always been an impatient person. I don't really know if one can practice it. I plug away but I find that my patience slips away every single day. All I can do is take life one day at a time. One hour at a time. Sometimes one moment at a time.

Today is day 28 of the 31 Day Challenge from The Nester's Blog. It has not been an easy challenge. Or a particularly happy challenge. I am ready for it to be over. Read my 'Practicing Patience' posts by clicking here

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Waiting for the Sun

Today is day 27 of Practicing Patience!
(Looking forward to November 1)
I am following The Nester's 31 day Challenge.
To see what other brilliant words
I have about patience
click here.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Friday Letters

Fridays seem to come so fast. Wasn't it just Friday. When I worked full time and had a weekend off (every other) it seemed to take forever for Friday to get here. I think this has something to do with me growing older and time seems to fly. Anyhow, here I am once again doing Friday Letters. I will link up with The Sweet Season Blog if she puts up the link...otherwise, I just like the idea of writing little letters each week.

Dear October: You have been so cold this year. What happened to fall? The temperature outside right now is 38* Too cold, I think.

Dear Hoover Steam Cleaner: You kicked my butt yesterday when I cleaned the living room carpet. I ache everywhere this morning. But I plan to put you back to use and steam clean the sofa and love seat.....

Dear Darian and Harley: I cannot believe that you only have half a day of school today. See you soon. Seems like you just walked out the door.

Dear Richard: I am glad that the antibiotic has worked and the UTI is gone. Now, don't get another one. You hear me?

Dear Cousins: Sad that you didn't come. I was so looking forward to adult conversations and etc. Maybe another time. When something silly doesn't get in our way. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Patience and Love

Today is the 25th Day of The Nester's Blogging Challenge.
I am 'Practicing Patience'. Click here for my posts thus far. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Praticing Patience at the Doctor's Office

This is the 24th day of me Practicing Patience. Well at least writing about it. I am part of The Nester's 31 day challenge. The remainder of my posts can be located by clicking here

I don't like going to the doctor. And since we put Richard into Hospice we don't have to make many trips any longer. (I won't tell anyone here how long it has been since I have been to a doctor of any kind. Nurses often make the worst patients). But I still have the kids and they periodically will have an appointment of some kind. Darian has to be seen by the psychiatrist (eye ball to eye ball) at least twice a year for him to continue to write his scripts for ADHD and anxiety. So today was that day.

I often have wondered why they even bother to make appointments in a doctor's office. I think the solution is just to have people come in and take a number and it's your turn when your number comes up. Because we never get in when we have the appointment. Today was no exception. Just as we were nearing the '30 minutes in the waiting room' mark we were called back. The nurse weighed and measured and did all of her vital statistic checks and then we were left in the little room waiting for the doctor. At least we got to keep our clothes on.....hahahaha!


My point in this post is that, believe it or not, I did not get badly IMPATIENT. I might have mentioned once or twice what time our appointment was. But I only mentioned it to Darian, not the whole room. And I never once got out of my chair and approached the receptionist. So maybe, just maybe I really am 'PRACTICING PATIENCE'. 

30 Days of Thanksgiving


Only eight days to go.......I am doing 30 Days of Thanksgiving. Will you join me?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Running on Empty

Today is day 23 of The Nester's Challenge and I am doing a horrible job at "Practicing Patience." I don't know if I will make it until the end of the month. But if you are interested in reading the remainder of my posts then you can click here.

Back on October 9 when I posted, Beloved Husband, I told you about some of the suggestions that I had found from a caregiver's site about patience. Tonight I learned that we are losing our second Hospice nurse. And we have only been with Hospice for 6 months. The first nurse, Janie, Richard loved. And she was a young girl that I had helped to train  from CNA to CMA and all the way to the RN that she now is. Richard adored her. She was so sweet and honest with him. And spent the extra time that both of us needed. Then she took a position with the same Hospice as the  nurse in charge of the office. As happy as we were for her, we were devastated to lose her. She found us Joe, a nurse with more than 30 years of experience. Richard wasn't as crazy about Joe, but he was okay with him. I found Joe to be very through but I never really found him to have "heart", if you know what I mean. He is an older gentleman who has been a nurse long before guys ever went into nursing. And he was quite honest to say that he went into nursing because it paid very well. I won't condemn him for that. Because that is the same reason that I started out as a nurse. That is, until I found my heart. I don't think Joe ever found his. 

I received word this evening that Joe is retiring at the end of this month. What??? That is really short notice. Janie has found us another nurse. But when I told Richard he said, "I don't want another nurse. I don't want to do Hospice anymore." It's not that he is all that upset that Joe is leaving. It is more that he doesn't like changes and this is just another one that he is being forced to deal with. And I don't know if I have the 
PATIENCE to deal with another new nurse. We don't have Hospice do a lot for us, since I am a nurse myself. But each time there is a different one we have to go through the 'getting to know us, getting to know you' syndrome.

Okay, so I am supposed to stop and take 3 deep breaths. BREATHE....BREATHE...BREATHE. Nope, I don't feel any better. 

Count to 10....1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.....nope I am still frustrated.

Remember what I want from this relationship.....It has never been about the nursing care to me. I needed the supplies and the medications and I needed Medicare to pay for these so that I can take care of Richard at home. I have gotten all of this. So maybe I need to look at this in a new light.

What am I going to say about this past 6 months with Hospice when all is said and done? We will always remember Janie with fondness. And we will remember Joe, as well.

Now, I have to think of someone with the patience of a saint and ask myself what would they do......that person would be Kwizgiver from What If This Is As Good As it Gets. I don't really know her personally, but from reading her blog for over 5 years, I think she is a very patient person. She has even told me that she is. What would she say about this situation. I think she would say, "You have to go with the flow. Roll with the punches. Everything will work out."

Look at this through Richard's eyes....maybe this is one I should skip. What he thinks about it tonight is not likely what he will think tomorrow. That is what dementia has done for him. How lucky he is in that. He will be okay with it, if I am okay with it. Right?

Take a break and have some social support......okay I can't take a break right now. Simply not possible. But you guys are my support and I know that you have my back. 

We will get through this too!

Patience With Your Spouse

"Patience gives your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time that they deserve to correct it. It gives you the ability to hold on during the rough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure."

~Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare

This is day 22 of The Nester's 31 day challenge. It has not been easy. But I will make it to the end, somehow. For the rest of my "Practicing Patience" posts click here.

Happy 38!

Happy Birthday Justin

   Thirty-eight years ago I gave birth to this wonderful little guy. He came just one year following the stillbirth of our baby girl. I know now that there was a reason for her going to Heaven...and here is the reason. This boy has given me so much joy and pride that I cannot even begin to say it in just a few words. Now, don't get me wrong, he was in no way a perfect child. Are there any? He was spoiled and bratty. Still is! But he is a son that I wish every mother could have. I love you, son!

with his Brother

In His First car

Love this picture

on Vacation with Trina

before his boxing match in St. Louis

After a marathon run

with Paige at a Daddy-daughter dance

Graduation Day from the Law enforcement Academy

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hold on a Little Longer

Hold On a Little Longer
Good things come to those who wait
Patience is the key to success
Don’t rush God’s plan for you
At times you will get frustrated
But the Lord knows your heart
And His timing is so perfect
Just wait on the Lord
And your strength shall be renewed
    Today is day 21  of The Nester's Challenge. To read more of my posts in my 31 Day's of Practicing Patience go here.
    I do not know the author of this poem. If it is yours let me know so that I can give you credit. 

Hold a little while longer
He will come through
Wait on the Lord He won’t be long
He has a plan where you belong
Wait on Him
Wait on Him
Wait on Him

Hold on a little longer….

Who do you know that needs to be more patience than a fisherman?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Practice what You Preach

Today is day 21  of The Nester's challenge. To read all of my posts on my 31 Day Challenge to Practice Patience go here.

You know that some of the most impatient people on this earth are kids. And we have taught them how to do it so well. We are always telling them to "wait your turn", "wait until you are older". We want our kids to be patient without understanding that developing patience takes times. (I am finding out that it is going to take me a lot longer than 31 Days!)

The very meaning of the word patience: the ability to endure a difficult situation without complaining, means that you need the ability to stay calm and show self-control.

Very small kids have no concept of time. So, if you want them to learn to be patient you have to tell them how things are going to happen in sequence. You cannot tell a kid that he can have a cookie in 30 minutes. You need to let him know that first you have to mix the dough, then bake them in the oven, then let them cool, and then he can have a cookie. As they start to get older they will have a better understanding of time and this tool will no longer be needed.

There are games like chess or puzzles that help kids to pass time while they are waiting for something. This deals with their frustration, which leads to impatience.

We all know how much kids have the "I wants" or the "give me's" but a simple technique to teaching them how to have patience while they wait for the things that they want is to have them make a Wish List and write things down. This really helps my grand kids  And sometimes when they look at the lists later on, they even decide they really didn't want that particular thing anymore.

One of the best activities that I know of to teach kids patience is to have them help with the planting of a garden. They will end up with a reward for their patience. I am the one with the least patience waiting for my garden to grow. But then, again, I am the one who needs to Practice Patience. 

Allowances are known to help kids learn patience. They can save up for the BIG things that they want. And it will also show them how long it takes sometimes to save for something. It teaches them perseverance. Don't give up!

Caregivers should model patience to kids. I know, I know. You are thinking how can I model any behavior if I can't be patient myself. Well, I am not perfect and I am working on it. Remember, Practicing Patience. But I am aware that kids are watching and learning.

I picked up these tips from a little church pamphlet that we were given a few years ago in a class that I took. Obviously the class didn't help me all that much....but I will continue on Practicing Patience. 

These are not MY kids.
No kids were harmed during the writing of this post!

Friday, October 18, 2013

30 Days of Thanksgiving

I have been wondering what I am going to do in November to keep up with my blogging. I need these challenges to make me write everyday. I like writing everyday. So since it is the month of Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) I am going to write about Thanksgiving. I am going to include things from the past, the present, and what I hope for the future. I would be honored to have any of you join me.

Baseball and Dementia

I cannot believe how fast October is flying by. And today, at my house here in Kansas, we had our first snow. What the heck is that all about?? Snow in October! I am still trying to Practice Patience and stay involved in The Nester's 31 Day challenge. I refuse to fail at anything. And all of this talking about patience and researching patience just might help me somehow. Anyway, if you want to read the rest of my posts you can just click here for a list of them.
Until just a little bit ago I had never heard of Chuck Tanner. Have you? He was a left fielder and a manager in major league baseball in the late 1970's. The only reason I know about him now is that I was researching some quotes about being patient and I found this:

   "There are three secrets to managing. The first secret is to have patience.
 The second is to be patient. And the third most important
secret is patience."

Now I think that could fit a lot of different things besides just managing a major league baseball team. In fact, I think it is the answer to why I am trying to learn to be a more patient person. I need to remember those three secrets when I am dealing with my beloved husband and his dementia. And what better way to handle two teenagers than with more patience.


Friday Letters

I love the idea of writing letters. I just don't really want to write them. But here are my little short bursts that will cover this past week. Check out The Sweet Season Blog for other Friday's Letters.

Dear October: It is fall; not winter! We had snowflakes mixed in with rain this morning. Enough of that. You hear....?

Dear Car Mechanic: Thanks for fixing me up. But really it just costs too much. And five days without a car about did me in.

Dear Darian: Broke your glasses? You don't have to be afraid to tell me. I only yell a lot. I don't bite.

Dear Harley: Detention?? Read Darian's letter above...

Dear Richard: Sorry you are now dealing with a urinary tract infection. Hopefully the antibiotic will help soon. I love you!

Dear Whomever mentioned that it was only 10 weeks to Christmas: Thanks! Thanks a lot!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You Can Find PATIENCE on Pinterest

Day 18 of my 31 Days of Practicing Patience. I can't promise you that I am becoming more patient. But I am persevering in this challenge. Find the complete list of blogs that are doing this challenge at The Nester's blog. And find my complete list of posts here

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A Wonderfully Patient Cab Driver.....

This is a true story. I checked it out on I have seen it re-printed in several places over the years. I think that if this cab driver had not displayed the kind of patience that he displayed what would the last days of this woman's life had been like. So on this 17th day of The Nester's challenge where I try like hell to 'Practice Patience' I want to share this story with you. If you want to read the remainder of my posts just click here.

The Last Cab Ride

There was a time in my life twenty years ago when I was driving a cab for a living. It was a cowboy's life, a gambler's life, a life for someone who wanted no boss, constant movement and the thrill of a dice roll every time a new passenger got into the cab.

What I didn't count on when I took the job was that it was also a ministry. Because I drove the night shift, the car became a rolling confessional. Passengers would climb in, sit behind me in total darkness and anonymity, and tell me of their lives. 

We were like strangers on a train, the passengers and I, hurtling through the night, revealing intimacies we would never have dreamed of sharing during the brighter light of day.

In those hours, I encountered people whose lives amazed me, ennobled me, made me laugh, made me weep. And none of those lives touched me more than that of a woman I picked up late on a warm August night.

I was responding to a call from a small brick four-plex in a quiet part of town. I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partyers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or someone going off to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at the address, the building was dark except for a single light in a ground-floor window. Under these circumstances many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a short minute, and then drive away. Too many bad possibilities awaited a driver who went up to a darkened building at two-thirty in the morning.

But I have seen too many people trapped in a life of poverty who depended upon the cab as their only means of transportation. Unless the situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door to try to find the passenger. It might, I reasoned, be someone who needed my assistance. Would I not want a driver to do the same if it was my mother or father who called for a cab?

So I walked to the door and knocked.

"Just a minute," answered a frail and elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.

After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman, somewhere in her eighties, stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a small, pillbox hat, with a veil pinned on it, like you might see in a costume shop, or a Goodwill Store, or a 1940's movie. By her side was a small, nylon suitcase. The sound had been her dragging it across the floor.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. 

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said. "I'd like a few minutes alone. Then if you could come back and help me. I'm not very strong."

I took the suitcase to the cab and then returned to help the woman. She took my arm, and we walked slowly towards the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness.

"It's nothing," I said, "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated."

"Oh, you are such a good boy", she said. He praise and appreciation were almost embarrassing. 

When we got into the cab, she gave me an address, and then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?"

"It's not the shortest way," I answered.

"Oh, I don't mind," she said, "I'm in no hurry. I am on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening.

"I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor said I should go there. He says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
"What route would you like me to go?" I asked.

For the next two hours we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they had first been married. She made me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she would have me slow down in front of a particular building or corner and she would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. 

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a tar driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. Without waiting for me, they opened the door and began assisting the woman. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her: perhaps she had phoned them right before we left.

I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase up to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. 

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse.

"Nothing." I said.

"You have to make a living", she answered.

"There are other passengers," I responded.

Almost, without thinking, I bent over and gave her a hug. She held on to me tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

There was nothing more to say. I squeezed her hand once, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me I could hear the door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I did not pick up anymore passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly , lost in thought. For the remainder of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman would have gotten a driver who was angry or abusive or IMPATIENT to end his shift? What if I had refused to have taken the run or honked once, then driven away? What if I had been in a foul mood and had not engaged the woman in conversation? How many other moments like that had I missed or had failed to grasp?

We are so conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unawares. When that woman hugged me and said that I had brought her a moment of joy, it was possible to believe that I was placed on earth for the sole purpose of providing her that last ride. I do not think that I have done anything in my life that was anymore important.

The author of this piece is Ken Nerburn. This actually happened to him in the 1980's as he drove cab in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. It first appeared in his 1999 book, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.  

Now excuse me, while I try to find a bit of patience to provide my dear husband with a few good memories to carry him over into the next journey; the one he will take without me..........

God Speaks to Me ...

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

To me this means that it is okay to find joy in hoping as long as I am patient in times of trouble and never quit praying.

1 Corinthian 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.

Doesn't that verse say it all? LOVE IS PATIENT.

We are at the half-way mark now with The Nester's challenge. The rest of my posts about practicing patience can be found here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lost Patience with My Car

We are nearing the half-way mark of The Nester's challenge. If you want to read about me Practicing Patience, then you will want to click here.

I own a 2001 Oldsmobile Aurora. We bought it brand new, special ordered, and she arrived with only 3 miles on her when we took possession. This summer she turned over the 100,000 mile mark. She has been a good car and very little work has been done.


Last January I started to find little blobs of grease on the garage floor. My oldest son, who is somewhat of a 'shade tree mechanic', replaced my CV joint boot (whatever the heck that is) and also put new brakes on. Then things went along quite smoothly.

For awhile....

This year I started the year off with putting two new tires on the front. They are a special size so they cost a LOT for just two tires.

Then at the end of August I noticed a puddle of something near the front right wheel. Turned out to be anti-freeze. Was concerned that might be a water pump (not that I know anything about that, but that is what I was told). Turns out that somehow, somewhere, at sometime, the cap on the coolant reservoir was smashed and no longer held a good seal. That meant that when the car got too hot, as it tends to do in August, all the coolant boils out of it. So a trip to the mechanic to get that fixed.

Recently, I started to hear a bit of groaning when turned the corner. Now I want you to know that I have never taken care of a car in my life. That is what husband's are for. Right? And mine took my car in regularly to have stuff done. Now all of this is up to me. And I hate it. I have no PATIENCE for any kind of car problems. After the groaning started I noticed drips of an oily like substance on the driveway. Opened up the hood (after a quick Google search  Thank goodness for the internet) and found that my power steering reservoir was almost empty. Easy enough! I went to the store and bought a bottle of fluid and poured it in and tightened the lid. Once again we are off and running.


I continued to notice the leak. So I poured in a bottle that contained a 'stop-leak' stuff. For all you ladies reading this, kiss your husband now if he is the one that takes care of your car. Go on....I'll wait.  

Okay, now that you are back...that didn't work. So I called the mechanic and he said bring it in.

That was last Thursday. I only own one car. And today it is Tuesday. They have found that the boot for the CV joint has split and sprayed so much 'black mooshy grease' (the mechanic's words, not mine) under the car that they had to wash, wash, wash before they could even locate the leak. Today they told me that they found the leak (a high pressure power steering hose) but they can't locate a part. So now he assures me that it will all be fixed tomorrow. FIVE days without a car. Inside a house with two teens who are very active and a husband with dementia. I am not sure how anyone can Practice Patience when this is going on. 

Am I Mentally Ill?


I am hanging in there with the challenge from The Nester's. Follow all of my posts about Practicing Patience here.

Do you know some of the signs and symptoms of major mental illness?

  • sadness
  • anxiety
  • guilt
  • mood swings
  • self-criticism
  • self-blaming
  • crying spells
  • chronic fatigue
  • lack of energy
  • sleeping too much or too little

And all of these are also the symptoms that a full-time caregiver has. And they are all normal. Why wouldn't I be sad? I am watching the man whom I have loved for more than 30 years waste away before my eyes. And THAT causes me anxiety. I feel guilty because I am IMPATIENT with him. I criticize myself and blame myself all the time. And let's not even get started talking about the crying spells. I NEVER take a shower without crying. Cause that is a good place to cry; where I am uninterrupted. Where no one wants to know 'what is wrong?' I am tired all the time. I have no energy or any desire to do the things that I used to do. I can't clean house like I used to. Although, I do think that because of Richard's illness I cook more than I ever have. And if I am NOT sleeping, I am thinking about sleeping. I nap when I can and as often as I can. When he sleeps (which isn't much) I sleep.

So, no, I am not mentally ill. Yet anyway. But I am a caregiver. And I am practicing patience!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Another Birthday for my Angel Baby

It has now been 39 years since my angel baby went to live in Heaven. I think of her often and wonder what she would have been like. I wonder how my life would have been different had she lived. (If you would like to read her story go here.) I would NEVER wish for life to have been any different. Because to wish that she had lived would mean I would NOT have had my wonderful young son. And he has been the biggest blessing in my life. But I would like to have known her for a bit. I would liked to have held her and felt her little arms around my neck. I would have liked to have heard her voice. To have seen her walk. And I would have loved to have dressed her. I pine for all the beautiful little dresses that never hung in our closet. For all the wonderful little pigtails I never got to make. For the tiny little fingernails that were never graced with the palest of pink nail polish  But I am not sorry that she is gone. She lives with Jesus and how can I ever wish that away from her. Another birthday baby girl. Rest in peace, my angel.

October 14, 1974 

Angel of My Tears

How Do you love a person
Who never got to be,
or try to envision a face
you never got to see?
How do you mourn the death of one
who never got to live?
When there's nothing to feel good about
and nothing to forgive?
I love you, my little baby,
my companion of the night.
Wandering through my lonely hours,
beautiful and bright.
What does it mean to die before
you were ever born,
to live the lovely night of life
and never see the dawn?
Ah! My little baby,
you lived like anyone!
Life's a burst of joy and pain.
And then like yours, it's done.
I love you, my little baby
just as if you'd lived for years.
No more, no less, I think of you,
The Angel of my tears.

~author unknown