Giving Thanks

I was lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving ‘back home’ with my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and a random of assortment of other family and friends.

Had a chance to visit with cousins i have not seen since before we moved from Missouri in 1986, and catch up with others i see somewhat more often but not nearly often enough.

It reminds me to revisit an old post as part of this one.  i know i say it a lot, but i don’t think it can be said too often.

I ask you now to take a moment and look around you… literally and figuratively… look at the people who are and have been part of your life. The ones who are still there and the ones who are not. The ones who are there, do you make sure they are aware of their importance in your life. Do you thank them for the things they do and tell them you love and/or appreciate them and their presence in your life? Now the ones who are not there… some we obviously can’t do anything about they are beyond our reach, lost to us and there will always be a piece of our heart missing, but some, SOME, we can still reach out to and try to mend that rift and see if there is a way to bring them back into our lives. We might not even be aware of what caused them to pull away, or we might know exactly what it was, we may need to give or ask for forgiveness.

I understand this may need some thought, and i fully understand not all rifts can be mended. It might not be something that can be decided right now, all I ask is that you look around and think about it. Can you really live without that person for the rest of your life, without that forgiving or forgiveness? Think about the part they have played in your life up to now, and what has been missing since they stopped being part of your life. Now imagine you don’t have a chance to make up for lost time.

 

img_2511 img_2477 img_2415 Thanksgiving

It looks gross but it saves lives!

I spent the morning watching Sherlock Holmes, while hooked up to a machine that takes my blood out of one arm and removes the platelets and then send the red cells and plasma, etc.  back in the other arm.  It takes close to 2 hours most times but the results are a bag of platelets that can be used to help a cancer patient, a kid with ITP, and any number of other health needs.

If you aren’t up for that you can always just donate whole blood. It helps people too!

I lost my best friend to cancer when I was 11, and my sister had ITP when she was in elementary school.  I currently have multiple friends who are being treated for cancer or other issues that require transfusions. It is the least I can do to sit in a chair watching a movie for a few hours knowing it can help improve or even save a life.  Think about it.

Weirdest Laundry Phenomenon, EVER.

catching up on some laundry today and i washed a bunch of socks.. everyone knows that is the best way to end up with less socks as they disappear during the washer/dryer process.  however today was a little different.  as i reached in to grab the clothes from the dryer i found this in the last handful…

this is quite improbable

this is quite improbable

clearly there will not be any other socks of the 15 or so pairs i put in that load, the chance that there are any others left alone by the sock monster when he went to the trouble of leaving me a neatly sorted pair is pretty ridiculous.

mending the rift

I will tell you something not a lot of people know…  my big sister and I had a very very big fight a few years before she died, she actually didn’t speak to me unless it was to yell at me for about 6 months, what I did wasn’t really that bad, it was completely necessary, even. In time she realized it, ‘forgave’ me and even thanked me for what I had done that had caused the rift between us.

3 months ago on the morning that she passed away, all I could think of was how glad I was that that rift had been mended and we were again as close as we had been before it happened.  She was again one of my best friends and someone I could count on to be there for me as I would be there for her.

I can’t imagine how much greater the pain of her passing would have been if we hadn’t resumed our regular conversations about absolutely nothing, and absolutely everything…

I ask you now to take a moment and look around you… literally and figuratively… look at the people who are and have been part of your life. The ones who are still there and the ones who are not. The ones who are there, do you make sure they are aware of their importance in your life. Do you thank them for the things they do and tell them you love and/or appreciate them and their presence in your life?  Now the ones who are not there… some we obviously can’t do anything about they are beyond our reach, lost to us and there will always be a piece of our heart missing, but some, SOME, we can still reach out to and try to mend that rift and see if there is a way to bring them back into our lives. We might not even be aware of what caused them to pull away, or we might know exactly what it was, we may need to give or ask for forgiveness.

I understand this may need some thought, and i fully understand not all rifts can be mended. It might not be something that can be decided right now, all I ask is that you look around and think about it. Can you really live without that person for the rest of your life, without that forgiving or forgiveness? Think about the part they have played in your life up to now, and what has been missing since they stopped being part of your life.  Now imagine you don’t have a chance to make up for lost time.

Feel free to share this post if you think others can benefit from it. Family is too precious to let petty grievances keep them apart.

2014 revisited, a more fair review

OK, after a little more thought and not having been blindsided by the loss of another loved one (extended family, but family still).  i have decided to offer 2014 a second chance at a review…

i still conclude that 2014 offered more than its fair share of unpleasantness compared to past years, i lost my last remaining grandparent, Pate,  at the end of March, our doggie, Spot, who was a part of the family for 15 years left us in July. but neither of these were big surprises and i was somewhat prepared for their eventuality, however the death of my big sister, Chrysta,  in November was a sudden and unexpected blow.  i am still reeling from this and expect to for a very long time, perhaps forever.  the strangest things still send me into tears, sometimes just a teary eye, sometimes uncontrollable sobs, it is totally random.

on the other hand, new family members arrived as well, a new great-nephew, a new niece and a new cousin come to mind, and i am sure there were others as well, and of course the opportunities presented to see family that i haven’t seen in years when gathering at my mom’s in March and again in November.

the good will always outweigh the bad as we all continue to live and love and celebrate the friends and family we have loved and lost and still have with us today.  those that know me know that i won’t allow myself to remain in yesterdays state of sad very long, life is too short and unpredictable.

Make every moment count.  Happy New Year.  Enjoy 2015

 

 

The year in review – basically 2014 sucked

i was going to try and write a coherent and thoughtful post about both the good and bad things that happened this year to commemorate my ‘new’ blog but the more i sit here trying to put it together the more i am dwelling on the bad/sad things that i went through this year.  2014 seemed to have more than its normal share of shitty. so i say screw 2014, i will not review you, you son of a bitch.  2015 is coming and will be SO much nicer and cooler than you.  2015 is going to be my new best friend, and you 2014 i am not even sure i will keep you on my friends list…

so there you have it.  out with the old, in with the new…

Happy New Year, my friends.

are we crazy? BIke the Bay – Aug 24th

my husband and i have recently started bike riding again, we have both mountain/trail bikes and hybrid road bikes.  a friend who is a much more active rider talked us into signing up for a 26 mile casual ride in downton san diego called Bike the Bay.  to say we are unprepared for that ride coming up on us this weekend is probably a gross understatement.

 

we will be going anyway, hopefully with another few practice rides between now and then, but it is supposed to be a fun ride, not a race so i think it will be ok.  2014-07-19 09.41.48

Vacation Bible School

Everywhere i turn lately there is someone talking about vacation bible school.  either their kids or grandkids are going, or they are helping run it at their church.

i am not a religious person. if i had to label myself i would probably go with agnostic (agnostic vs. atheist).  but i do fondly remember those wonderful fun filled weeks of VBS as a kid.  the one i went to most often was at Ohlman Church about 4 miles or so down the road from where i lived (according to Google Maps). the couple that ran our local gas station and store were parishioners there and were more than happy to take me along with them to attend VBS even though i didn’t actually go to church there.  There was an entire process involved.  my family lived down a mile long dirt road so to make it easier for Mr & Mrs Fields, i would hop on my trusty motorcycle and head up to their house so they didn’t have to go out of their way to pick me up.

My Honda

My Honda, a main source of transportation from age 8 – 12, i got a bigger motorcycle at 12 🙂

it was just over a mile to their house, just a little past their little store , which is where my other favorite summer activity occured, the BOOK MOBILE 🙂

fields' store

Fields’ Store

i didn’t have to cross the highway and would get to their house with plenty time to spare to change into my church dress  from the t-shirt and jeans i wore to ride the motorcycle and there was often some tangles to get out of my hair. then we would hop into their big old car and head off to bible school.  usually after we got back to their house, i would just tuck my dress up under me and head home, i just didn’t want it to get dirty before church 🙂

Mr & Mrs Fields' house

Mr & Mrs Fields’ house

I can still remember some of the things i made there, one year i made a thing for my dad to hang on the wall, it was a circle cut from a tree trunk and then we used Mod Podge to put a picture on, for my dad i put a picture of a big tom turkey.  i wonder i they still have that thing.. i will have to ask.

Mr and Mrs Fields are gone now, and it has been a very long time since i went to church, but i drive by their old store

Fields at the store

Mr and Mrs Fields tending the store. remember when someone came out to fill your car for you? he even filled my motorcycle tank, and took all the pennies i had scraped up to pay with.

and that church every time i go home to visit, and oh, the memories…. and let me tell you, thinking about VBS actually makes me ponder going 🙂  but i am pretty sure they wouldn’t let me have near as much fun now that i am a grown up.

I went to VBS (and services)   at my aunt’s church many times as well, but that wasn’t as much as an adventure since they lived right next door and it didn’t involve a motorcycle ride through the woods on a dark dirt road 🙂

So, there i was…

standing in the kitchen looking confused, trying to figure out what to have for lunch.  tomato soup was an option as was some chef Boyardee something in a can. (it doesn’t matter which variety, they all taste pretty much the same).  and then as I peeked into the fridge one more time I realized I had all the fixings for the perfect meal. it doesn’t matter if you are making breakfast, lunch or dinner, all you need is an egg and slice of white bread and maybe some butter (bacon grease is better, but we don’t really have that on hand on a regular basis).. and then the masterpiece is born, just take a circle shaped object and use it to cut out a circle from the center of the bread, melt a little butter and toss the bread in the skillet.  crack your egg and throw it in the little circle and a few minutes later flip it all over and wait a little longer and BOOM you’ve got a TOAD IN THE HOLE, bitches!2013-06-25 12.07.41(i definitely forgot to take a before picture 🙂 )

i can’t begin to imagine the number of these delightful little bits of food perfection i have eaten over the years, but most memorable are the ones my Grandma fixed me as a child, mine never seem to be quite as good, but once again, those memories get me every time i make one, if i close my eyes as i eat it, i am sitting on the swing in the trees, or sitting on a stool at the table, listening to the radio and my grandparents and cousins chattering away.  time has a way of pushing those memories to the side, or even the back of your mind, so it is always a pleasure when i find something that brings those memories rushing to the front.

clearly my posts lately are on a full on nostalgia kick, i hope that if you aren’t one of my cousins or sisters so these posts don’t bring back a shared memory, that they at least bring you back to a place when you knew that fun and happiness were just a quick ride to Grama’s house away.

here is a picture  (and recipe) from Allrecipes.com 34393[1]

Memories are odd things…

So i got this great new game for my laptop, Magic Puzzles, it basically allows me to turn my touch screen into a giant jigsaw puzzle.  from 70 pieces to 630, and you can get multiple puzzle packs, from free to $1.49 (that one had 20 puzzles in it)

So anyway! long story a little bit shorter, I was sitting here on the couch doing a puzzle and suddenly had the strongest memory of sitting at my Grandma’s house and doing puzzles on their big hardwood bar.  it seems there was always a puzzle on the bar in some state of completion, as soon as one was done another would be ready to come out of the box.

evenings doing puzzles with the accompaniment of a bowl of ice cream or popcorn, depending on the season and the whim of my grandfather’s snack requirements for the evening, some koolaid to drink, and as often as not some cousins to chat with as we worked on the puzzle.  i feel like we did a lot of puzzles that were well above our ‘age range’ 1000 piece puzzles for small children you say?  of course we learned quickly to sort the edges, and then the colors and next thing you know we were putting them in the right places, i don’t recall anyone ever eating a puzzle piece, but there were a few times one was set aside so the coveted ‘last piece placement’ could be won by a smaller cousin (or sometimes by the one who hid the last piece 🙂 )

Image

anyway, it struck me as funny how a simple video game could pull me back in time like that.

you never know what little thing will trigger a memory, a sight, a sound, a smell. good memories and bad, they are all stored in your mind just awaiting the chance to pop out when you least expect it.

1 2