Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Ok, so today was my birthday.  Tomorrow was my dad's birthday and we always managed to celebrate either on mine or his with a caramel cake.  Mom was the maker of the cake, complete with pecans on top!  It really hits now, when I have mine and I know that Dad is not there to celebrate with on the next day.  He always seemed to like it.  He never made much of a fuss over it, but I could tell from his grin...he was happy.

Later in his life he developed diabetes and then Parkinson's disease. The diabetes meant he shouldn't eat sweets so he grudgingly switched from regular Coke to Diet Coke and from sugar to Splenda.  But on his birthday, he was gonna get some of that cake! Mom didn't like it but doggone it once a year surely ain't gonna hurt him!  He needed absolutely nothing in the way of gifts, so it was hard to buy for him.  He was always thankful for what he got! Later, while unloading the basement before a move, we found drawers full of unused pjs, shirts, socks, underwear....we could have opened a store! My Dad like his old stuff....he had brand new shoes down there too, but he wore the same shirts, pants, coats and shoes until they fell apart.

My father had a very weird sense of humor.  Do you remember Jonathan Winters? Kinda odd funny? That was my dad.  He would be sitting at the table and he would just go into this weird, soundless laugh, mouth open and looking kinda usually calmed down.  He did get really upset when I did something like break my aunts boyfriends glasses - snap, snap- or threw a tonka truck and decked a kid right between the yes, requiring stitches. Those were the things you ran and hid from!

As my dad got older, and especially whe the Parkinson's got worse, he mellowed quite a bit. He spent many a day in his favorite recliner, doing crossword puzzles, reading the paper and carefully clipping some article he thought I should read.  I loved to stop by and sit at the supper table and talk to my dad. He didn't have much time when he worked, but these days things were unhurried!

He loved to go outside and walk the dog, look at the flowers and feed the birds.  That's about the only exercise he got in his later years, but it seemed enough.  When we moved next door he would walk up the hill and have tea!  That was very rare and a treat!

When his Parkinson's got really bad he ended up in bed. He didn't like it and he tried to get out. His brain was affected and at times he thought he was still working with registered mail at the post office! This took some role playing and pretend calling to his boss to tell hi he was retired and 'not to send any more mail for sorting'.  Also sometimes he thought he was in the war again. This was bad.

I wasn't happy about the way things ended for my dad - the Parkinson's taking its tole on his body and mind. I know he felt like he could have treated us all better, been there more for us because he told me.  I sure do miss him.  Happy birthday daddy!

Packing is the pits!

For those of you who have moved, are in the midst of a move, or are helping someone pack to is the pits, eh?

I think the most fun part of moving is when you are helping someone else. You get to go home at night and crash. They, on the other hand, get all the stress and headache of the whole thing. Another good thing about packing someone else's stuff, is that when you go home you look at all YOUR stuff and realize you don't ever want to pack it, so you throw stuff out, donate stuff and look at stuff and wonder 'where the heck did I get this stuff and why the heck am I keeping it?'

Now I realize that if I just don't do anything with my stuff, some day my kids and grand kids will be the ones to get rid of my stuff for me! There will be choice words and lots of mumbling and grumbling, but I won't be there to hear it! HA!! Is this really fair to them though? Yes, I think that it's really the way it is supposed to work. Raised the kids, helped with the grand kids.....this is payback. Plus, it's easier for them to throw it out, as it's once or twice removed stuff that they don't give a hoot and holler about, so it's just easier for the. Big dumpster, moved to the yard and stuff thrown out the window and into the dumpster....then someone comes and hauls it all away.

I'll make sure to leave some money for the dumpster and a case of your favorite beverage in the 'frig.

Now, as to your father's stuff, well that is another story. I found 26 pairs of needle nose pliers in various drawers IN the house. No telling what's in the basement and attic. Better get two dumpsters, is my guess....or maybe 3.

Yes, my packing days for me are over!! Love to my family!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Ok, so I haven't posted in awhile.  I've been so busy with spring cleaning....NOT!  I have come to the realization that spring cleaning is soooo over-rated.  I mean, really, if I get down on my hands and knees and scrub the baseboards with a toothbrush, is anyone really going to know it.  And if they do notice, well then maybe they just aren't really my friend.  A little dirt on the baseboards never hurt me or anyone else.  Now wait, maybe it did hurt me because the very few times I have done it (very few) I realized just how boney my knees really were and how much it killed my back, and for what??? I don't even own that dang house anymore and whoever lives in it now probably never does the baseboards (and I for sure know they don't take care of the garden!) so what good came from it.

I think Jesus had the right idea....if you don't try to possess things, then they can't possess you.  I DO NOT lose sleep over the fact that right now my windows are dirty, with crud from winter lining the outside edge and it would sure be nice to use some window cleaner and make them shine.  So I will.  The next time I open a window, I will clean window at the time....not ALL the windows in one day.  I have 12 so I figure if I clean a window a week they will all be clean by Fall.  You say, yes but by then the first windows will be dirty again. Well, don't get your panties all in a wad....I know this but it's ok, because then it will be almost winter and they will be closed up and get dirty again anyway.  Ya understand?

It's kind of like our little fish pond.  Hubby takes nasty green water down to where he can catch the fish and put them in the smaller pond of clean water that has been dechlorinatin - then he cleans out the filter and cleans the gunk out of the pond and fills it all up with fresh water.  Next day he puts those fish back in with nice, clear water with a cool fountain spray.  And do you know those fish mess it all up again with a couple weeks! And they seem to THRIVE on the green funky water. They have lived through 4 winters, frozen in the bottom of the little fish pond and every spring there they are again, bigger than ever! I keep thinking that one spring they will float to the top and we can finally do away with the fish pond that has been giving us a lovely sound, but is way too much work. But NO! Those little Wal-mart fish were supposed to ge goldfish but they HAVE to be Koi because they just keep growing.  So this summer I am going to do an experiment.  I want to see just how long I can stand to not clean out the fish pond. I want to know what happens when I can no longer see the fish and I want to see just how green that water gets.  I am also going to see how long it is before I just can't stand the nasty windows or baseboards any more!

You just might not want to come visit this summer, unless you are a kid...because kids just don't care whether your baseboards are clean or not!  Happy spring cleaning, y'all.  I'll be sitting on the porch, eatin pistachios.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Retirement !!

February is almost over and I have yet to post this month!

As I get "more senior" I begin to pick up on the word, and watch or listen as people talk about what to do with their aging parents.  It seems to be a big problem that is getting bigger, unless you are very rich.  I watched a show where two sisters go to visit their dad and try to 'talk some sense into him' about going to a very nice 'retirement comunity' where he would have his own apartment, 3 squares and all the socializing he cared to do. Trouble was, he liked where he was (his own home) and he liked to go to a popular watering hole and visit with friends who were of the lifelong kind.  In the end, he won out as he most graciously told his girls NO!

So I began to out!  Life insurance should be just that!  If we pay money for years and years and we are still kicking at the age of, say, 70, the premiums should now convert to 'life care' insurance.  If we die before that, then whomever we have chosen to be the recipient of our life polcy will receive it.  If we make it past 70, (and this would be a lot of premiums, folks) we should have an option to convert to 'life care' insurance and pay for either someone to come and help us, live-in care, or retirement community payments.  If we take this option there would be no one inheriting our insurance policy, but there would also be no worry or guilt, and very possibly no heavy burden on our families as they try to make decisions.  And just in case we are in the throws of senility, we would make this decision early so as to 'be in our right minds' when we do so.

So what is wrong with this idea?? I can't think of a thing, can you?  Opinions please!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's February...but spring is coming!

I said it would write each month this year and this one is almost over!  I am sitting in sunny Florida, while its still cold and possibly snowy in NC.  yes!! Brought a little of the cold stuff with us, but it's really nice now.

I was watching a program on TV with some of the Sowell clan last night. It involved children talking to their father about going into a "retirement" center.  He agreed to go see it so off they went.  It was actually quite a nice place, and he would have had his own apartment and the luxury of having someone clean it for him! And...3 square meals a day that he didn't have to prepare.  Ok, sounds good so far! (I think women understand this better than men because they are usually the ones who do the cleaning and 3 squares in the first place, but I digress.  Ok, the cost was astronomical, but really what more could you want.  Someone would take you shopping if you wanted to go, and it seemed like everyone was having a great old time.  This father, though, would have none of it.  "my friends are where I live".....I don't thinks he wanted to make new ones.  He ate pretty well, sat and watched TV, and each day he went to see his lifelong friends, a table full of other old guys, who sat and drank coffee and laughed and talked and carried on...and then probably went home for a nap and some TV watching as well.  Ok, so he probably needed more exercise.  But there is something to be said about old friends and naps.  And there is something to be said about being I your own home, even if it does have 4 bedrooms that you don't use, because you fall asleep in your easy chair, in front of the TV. He would not allow them to send anyone in to check on him either.  He didn't want 'strangers' in his house.  And really, when you think about it what are they going to do anyway?  If he's dead then there is nothing they could do anyway, except call the family and say, " he's gone". And if he IS alright, then they probably came at his nap time and woke him up!

The closer I get to this time of my life, the more I like what this guy was saying, which is, "I worked my whole life, children of mine, and now I get to do what I want to do when I want to do it!". Selfish? Yes, maybe, but daggone it, I deserve it!!  And when I get to the point in my life where I have decided I need something more, I will let you know.

I'm going to take a nap now.  Love and hugs, nana

Monday, January 21, 2013

A new year and a old idea

Ok, so we are well into January, 2013, and I am going to try to write something at least monthly...we will see how that goes!  First of all, my granddaughter has just passed her one year mark - cancer free!  Like the saying goes, she kicked cancers butt!!  I love you, M.

I have spent a lot of time reading, as the weather has been lousy so going outside is no fun most of the time.  To me, cold, wet winters = more time to read.  My daughter brought me a book when the family visited for Thanksgiving, titled The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society!  I know, the name just invites a look see anyway.  She said that Stephanie Meyers (of Breaking Dawn fame) had suggested it.   I was reading something else at the time but I just kept looking at that name and had to peek at it a bit.  I finally just picked it up and started reading, which meant I was now reading two books at once ( three really but that's another story).  In a nutshell:

It is a "story" told through letters. These letters take you deep into lives lived under the expectation of cruelty or confiscation of homes, lives, livelihoods, etc. on a German occupied small island called Guernsey, in the UK. Only by these letters are you taken down the paths of these individuals lives, as the more you "correspond" with someone, the more you learn about them, a little here and there, always with the ability to eventually feel their personality. Texting and email have sadly taken the place of the one on one, back and forth of letter writing.  They are too hurried and too impersonal. They do not allow the writer the quietness of mind that is needed to convey a true and lasting thought.  

By the way, authors are Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Cleverly devised, it also made me want to go and see this island, which I someday hope to do.  The description of the boat ride to the island, however, made me realize the need for my sea-sickness meds!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Writing the old fashioned way

It's pretty late.  I came into my room to do some reading and found that hubby had left a folded yellow legal pad piece of paper with some familiar handwriting on my bedside table.  It was in my mom's handwriting, and my heart just skipped a beat.  My mom died in 2005, so when we run across something like this it is pretty amazing.  There is just no way that texting, typing, emailing, etc. can take the place of something that someone very dear to you has written 'in their own penmanship'.  Does anyone even know what that is anymore?  Do they still teach it in school?  What she wrote was a little piece about her childhood and a few very important reminders for me, even though she seemed to have been writing out some thoughts she'd planned to present to her church family, as it went through a rough spot.  I don't know if she ever got a chance to speak but knowing my mom, if she did say what she wrote she probably cried while saying it.  The point of this, though, is that we must remember to write notes to each other, leave behind something for our children to find ...personal thoughts and ideas written by hand.  Don't let technology make personal written notes a thing of the past.  One day we may find that our computers, phones, iPods, iPads, and the like, don 't work anymore...and we have no spellcheck and no auto correct.  Trust me on this.  It is important.  I love you mom and I miss you so much.  Thank you for the notes...they couldn't have come at a better time.  I will think of you at Thanksgiving because you loved to cook and so enjoyed having the family come and eat your wonderful dinner!  Happy thanksgiving to all...and remember to be thankful....and practice your writing. Nana