Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I have a slow leak in my tire. It literally takes a month for it to even look like it is going down and I've taken it in twice to be repaired and they can't find out what is wrong with it. I am pretty sure they think it is my head, but I'm telling you, there is very little in my head lately...and certainly not that!
Anyway, I digress...
Tonight, driving home, I decided it was time to check my bad tire. I pulled into a gas station and up to the air dispenser. I got out of the car and into the pouring rain. Mind you it had been windy and cloudy all day and pretty cold too, so the rain really was no surprise. I stood there looking forlorn, wishing I had stopped to buy a tire gauge.
As I was about to add air to the tire, a young man walked out of the station and towards his car. He glanced over at me asked me if everything was OK. I told him about my tire gauge dilema and the story of the mysteriously leaking tire and he reached in his car and pulled out a tire gauge. I smiled and reached for it and he asked if he minded if he did it. Of course I said that I didn't and he not only checked and filled the tire I was concerned about, he checked and added or removed air on the other three as well!
When I asked if I could do anything for him he said no, that he was happy to be of assistance. I told him how wonderful he was and I really meant it.
I drove away crying over his kindness.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
It will also be open on September 12, 2009 for a reunion of the naval trainees. Those who would like to attend are asked to meet at the Museum at the Brig at 9AM and bring a sack lunch. Donuts and coffee will be served.
Gordon trained there in preparation for service in World War II, so it was a most interesting tour.
Here Gordon signs in at the special registrar for returning personnel.
The map is of the whole park, which is located on Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho.
The museum curators left one of the "cells" as it had been in the past.
This is a model made by local high school students. It depicts the camp as it was when Gordon was there.
This is one of the many displays.
As is this.
This plaque is located outside the museum at the entrance/exit point.
These plaques, next to the commemorative plaque, contain the signatures of all who attended the 2006 reunion. Gordy is standing next to the plaque containing his name!
It was impossible to get a picture that showed the impressiveness of this courtyard, lined with flags of all types.
This is an original firetruck from that era.
As I walked around the exercise yard of the old brig, it was hard not to think of all the men who died during the war that brought this place to life.
This piece of art was sculpted by one of the men who trained at Farragut. A close-up of the head would show that there are hundreds, possibly thousands of heads carved into the massive sculpture.
Thanks, Gordon, for a wonderful afternoon.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It seems I have no time for blogging anymore...no time to write or even more importantly, no time to read your blogs.
I seriously considered shutting down the blog...but hate to do so because it has been a life journal for me and I have LOVED sharing it with all of you.
With that in mind, I have decided to take a hiatus of undetermined length.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Our friend Pat lives in the nursing home. She is a truly wonderful lady and we go to visit her nearly every day. She has an African Grey Parrot named Pepi, who she has had since he was a tiny hatchling. He is very smart and very busy.
Pat loves Pepi and Pepi loves Pat, but Pepi will not let Pat touch him. Every time she tries, he bites her. He also bites everyone else that tries...except for me. I can pet him, stroke him, feed him and kiss him right on the beak and he has never so much as looked like he was going to bite.
Pat has decided that Pepi is in love with me. And by the look of it, he may well be. According to Pat, who is quite the expert, what Pepi is doing in this video is the Parrot Mating Dance. He is also chittering, which is, apparently, part of the ritual.
I may not have had the best luck with men in my life, but I think that this one is a keeper...what do you think?
Friday, May 15, 2009
I'm not really sure who had more fun at these events, the residents or the staff. There was so much giggling and laughing and carrying on that by the time I had to go back to work each day, my face was sore from smiling.
My hips were sore as well, because my little sweet Marilyn thought I should do the Hula on May Flowers Day, which was fine, but I was trying to do it from a rolling chair and it kind of got away from me.
As I've said many a time before...it's all fun and games until someone breaks a hip!
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I'm not going to post a link to the site or add their button thingy to my blog...it has been more than enough of an honor to be nominated.
Have a great day, all...hug your mothers close, OK?
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
One of my many favorite residents is Marilyn. She is a wheelchair-bound woman in her late 50’s. She is developmentally disabled and has a wonderful sense of humor. We all adore her. As usual last night, she was sitting by the nurse’s station listening to music. Also, as usual, I danced for/with her and sang along with the music in my own off-key way.
I danced to “Baby, I Need Your Lovin’” and a couple of other songs that I don’t know very well (not that it ever stops me from trying to sing along). She giggled non-stop the entire time and covered her face in the cutest way whenever I hit a sour note (which was often)…then giggled some more. You have no idea how much I love doing that. I pretended to dance away and then danced backwards into her view again and she laughed so hard she snorted.
This went on for ten minutes or longer and by the end of it, we were both in tears from laughter. When I finally finished, she blew me a kiss and said “I love her” (it’s never I love you or I love him, it’s always I love her). I love it…though today, for some reason, my hips are sore…I guess I may be getting too old to do the twist and the Egyptian (just two of the many dances I attempted to do).
Needless to say, “the dance” is often the highlight of my visit. The nurses always tease me, saying that I have way too much energy.
Visiting the nursing home is such a liberating experience. I can fully embrace my inner child and be as goofy and silly as I want to be and know that no one there is going to wonder if I need psychiatric help (lol).
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Enough fighting, and crying, or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is your awakening. You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter). And that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you, and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect, and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are and it’s OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process a sense of newly found confidence is born of self-approval. You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that not everyone will always be there for you, and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers, and you begin to accept people as they are and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you shouldn't weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry, what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children, or what you owe your parents.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought in to in the beginning, and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.
Then you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable, or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love. And you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms. Just to make you happy. And, you learn that 'alone' does not mean lonely.
And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up." You also stop working so hard at putting feelings aside, smoothing things over, and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK. . . and that it is your right to want things that you want. And that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect and you will not settle for less.
And you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you, to glorify you with his or her touch. And in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect. And you learn that your body really is your temple. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear, so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul, so you take more time to laugh and to play.
You learn that, for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve. And that much of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success, you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.
You also learn that no one can do it all alone and its OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time: FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens, you can handle it, and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms.
You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve, and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego.
You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.
Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself, by yourself, and you try to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live as best as you can.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
- I have a son who can make me laugh on one of the saddest days of my life and
- I needed to find a new place to feed my cat.
He later told me that he just didn't know what to say.
I'd say he did.
Now if he'd just quit calling me Friskies...
Friday, April 17, 2009
The service was beautiful. After weeks of snowing and blowing, the day turned out perfectly clear, and all the snow had melted off the ground. We had the service at the cemetery, which has an incredible view of the mountains daddy loved so much. I’ve never seen the mountains so big…as if they were welcoming him home. There were over 100 people there, including Wolf’s half-sister who came in from Wyoming and people Mike and I went to school with, some I hadn’t seen in decades. It truly was lovely. My best friend Barb played her guitar and sang "Let us Walk in the Light", which is a hauntingly beautiful song and entirely appropriate for the occasion. The service ended with a 21 gun salute, presentation of the flag and taps which nearly brought me to my knees crying, but it was all so beautiful…
I am still going to the nursing home at noon every day. It’s hard, because I expect him to be sitting in the dining room waiting for me, but there are a lot of people that depend on me to cheer them up, feed them and pick things up for them at the store…I can’t let them down. I am not, however, going after work, it’s just too hard because that was when he was wide awake and usually pretty with it and I’m just not ready to go there…so I need to find something to do with my evenings. Last night I spent an hour picking lint off of a sweater while visiting my brother who was making a carrot cake to take to the folks at the nursing home…so at least I’ve got that going for me.
I know I still haven’t answered the questions you asked. I am, doing. Every day is a challenge to get through, mainly because he was such a huge part of my life. Every single day had daddy in it, and I loved it. I try to stay busy; walk a lot, talk on the phone a lot, meditate a lot, and cry a lot.
I know they say time will help, and I’m hoping that it will, though it really didn’t with mom, as I still miss her every single day. Right now I feel empty, alone, orphaned at the age of 52. I know that sounds ridiculous because I have a wonderful son, brother, cousins, and friends. But that’s the way it feels.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Symptoms include lack of focus, inability to sit still for long periods of time and the urge to move ones legs and tap ones fingers to the rhythm of life. Other, not so typical symptoms, but ones that I have noticed in myself, are the desire to drive fast with the sunroof open and stereo turned up loud, the nearly insatiable longing to spend as much time as possible outside despite the still somewhat wintry weather, and the yearning to interact with others on a face-to-face basis.
Yes, folks, I have Blog Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s possible you’ve noticed my lack of comments, posts and participation in just about anything related to cyber-ia. It seems I’ve discovered that real life is more interesting… more fulfilling…more fun! Not that I don’t love you all and enjoy hearing about your lives and passions, because I do. It’s just that living in the present, in the here and now are more important to me right now.
Maybe it’s the hope that spring is on the way, maybe it’s a new way of life for me, I don’t know. I just know that I want and need to interact more with people in real life and one way to do that is to spend less time online.
I want to sing (much to the dismay of those around me), I want to dance (steel-toed boots for everyone), I want to hike, I want to camp, I want to LIVE life to the fullest extent possible while still avoiding jail time! Ha!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I may post once in awhile, I may stop blogging completely. I just don’t know. What I do know is that I will check in on you all from time to time and I’d love to hear from you via email if you feel so inclined.
But for right now, I’ve got B.A.D.D., and it seems I’ve got it BAD.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
...held my cat on my shoulder and watched the deer forage for food in the back yard.
...walked 34 blocks, once again getting brain freeze without benefit of eating ice cream, and would have walked more if time hadn't been an issue.
...watched in awe as a man I have known my whole life was uplifted by his wife in the nursing home as he recoverd from a stroke.
...wondered if I would ever be so blessed as to have a man in my life that would be there for me if I were ever in that position.
...slammed so hard on my brakes to avoid a deer running across the road that the groceries I had placed in the back seat ended up in the front seat.
...gave in when my cat demanded I give her affection, rather than continue with this list.
What did you do today?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...COLUMBUS...ABSAROKEE
920 AM MDT TUE MAR 17 2009
...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM MDT THIS AFTERNOON...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BILLINGS HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT
UNTIL 4 PM MDT THIS AFTERNOON.
SNOW...HEAVY AT TIMES WILL CONTINUE IN BANDS OVER SOUTHERN
PORTIONS OF THE WARNED AREA. THERE WILL BE SOME AREAS THAT SEE A
SIGNIFICANT BREAK IN SNOWFALL...WHILE OTHER AREAS WILL SEE
PERSISTENT HEAVY SNOWFALL FOR SEVERAL HOURS. REPORTS THIS MORNING
ARE THAT AROUND 10 INCHES OF SNOW HAS FALLEN IN SOME LOCATIONS OF
THE WARNED AREA ALREADY...WITH AN ADDITIONAL 3 TO 5 INCHES
EXPECTED BY THIS AFTERNOON WITH THE HEAVIER SNOW BANDS. THE
HEAVIEST SNOWFALL WILL IN THE HIGHER BUTTES OF STILLWATER COUNTY.
SNOW ACCUMULATION WILL MAINLY BE ON GRASS COVERED SURFACES WITH
ROADWAYS REMAINING SLUSH COVERED OR WET.
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW...
SLEET...AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO
POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.
Where I’m going…
Today: A mix of clouds and sun. High 69F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy after midnight. Low 42F. Winds W at 10 to 15 mph.
Tomorrow: Mainly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 62F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Tomorrow night: A few clouds. Slight chance of a shower through the evening. Low 38F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday: Plenty of sun. Highs in the upper 60s and lows in the low 40s.
Friday: Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 40s.
Saturday: Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the low 40s.
Who knows…I might not come back.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
#1. Sharp cheddar cheese and sliced avacodo on double fiber wheat bread does not taste as good as it sounds.
#2. If it is 17F, snowing and blowing and you decide to walk the errands anyway, sacrifice your hairdo and wear your hood. It IS possible to get brain freeze without eating ice cream.
#3. If you are texting to more than one person at a time and send one that says "I love you", be sure that the text goes to your son instead of to a male friend, or they might immediately text back and say "I love you too, hugs, muah".
And that's all I've got folks...aside from these words of wisdom:
“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea." Robert Heinlein
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
~If you pull out directly in front of me as I am driving on the winding two-lane highway that leads to my work, you had best be prepared to eventually reach speeds approximating the posted 60 mph limit.
~If there are 13 cars, 7 pickups, a semi and four mine busses behind you, it may be an indicator that you are traveling too slowly…either pick-up the pace, pull over on a side road or go home and never drive again.
~If you drive like a bat out of blazes, passing cars on blind corners and double yellow lines and find that you arrive at your destination within seconds of the first person you passed, you MIGHT have defeated your own purpose.
~If you meet a car and it has its hazard flashers on, NEWS FLASH—there is a hazard ahead. Now is an appropriate time to put on your brakes.
~If you look on the side of your steering wheel, somewhere there is a “stick”. If you push it down it indicates that you are turning right, if you push it up, it indicates that you are turning left. This is available on all newer models and you really should try it sometime.
~If you are hauling loose items in the back of your “pickup truck”, there is a strong possibility that they may blow out and be broken to bits upon the highway. This is Montana, ya fool; the wind blows here. If you are too stupid to tie things down, buy a topper shell or better yet move to where the wind does not blow.
And finally, last, but most certainly not least as I meet this Einstein every night on my way home from seeing daddy at the nursing home:
~ If you are driving your four-door Dodge Ram 4 X 4 Pickup with the 12 inch lift kit and the fog lamps as bright as the Seattle Airport Beacon, you had best either stay on your own side of the road, or dim your bright lights so that I might be able to see to pick my ditch.
By the way, that’s quite the commuter vehicle you’ve got there, Brainiac.
Thank you for letting me vent. I feel so much better.
Friday, February 20, 2009
What would you do if someone in your family was very, very sick and their family was in denial or just didn't want to take time out of their "busy" lives to do something about it.
Here's the scenario:
N, has surgery for something her brother (and best friend) J had surgery for (and died from), less than a month before. In the course of her recovery, N becomes depressed and increasingly incoherant. Partly because she is grieving for J and partly because she has had to move out of the apartment she has lived in for 25 years and into a residential care facility.
The course of her depression leads her to develop what her caretakers believe to be bulimia or something very similar. The condition goes on for nearly 2 months and N is literally starving to death and getting more and more confused as the days progress. There is nothing else physically wrong with N, she just throws up everything she eats (and has been observed sticking her finger down her throat).
If you were someone who had visited N twice a day during this time and had witnessed her illness progressing, would you contact the immediate family and suggest that they call in psychiatric help?
As you may have guessed, I did that very thing and was told by the family spokeswoman that N was just fine, that her only remaining brother, also N, had been to see her on a regular basis and had said that she was eating and coherant enough to make he own medical decisions. She made it very clear that my input was unwelcome.
To me it seemed that they were willing to just let her die without fighting to help her get well.
It seemed her doctor felt as I did, he saw her this morning and immediately admitted her to the hospital.
So tell me, would you have given the family your 2 cents worth, or would you have kept quiet?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I'm not a big fan of eating meals out...it is expensive and generally high in calories, fat, salt and all of the other things that can be avoided when you cook at home.
Since I moved back, I have been doing most of the cooking. My brother works long days or nights and my day is pretty long as well.
When we get home (him at 6:30 in the morning or evening depending upon whether he is on a 12 hour day or night shift, and me at 8 or 9PM), neither one of us has much interest in putting together a dinner meal, let alone deciding what to make for lunch the next day.
What Mike did in the past, was spend most of one day of the weekend cooking everything he needed for the work week. I have carried on that tradition because it works well and it is kind of fun. I put on my favorite tie-dyed shirt, my purple apron, my pink, purple, black and red (I am such a fashion plate) pajama pants with the penguins on them and my big fuzzy multi-colored slippers and start cooking.
Today's fare included a massive potato salad (with red peppers because my brother bought a Costco bag of them and didn't want any of them to go to waste), a gigantic bowl of beef fajitas with fresh mushrooms, red peppers, onions and a tiny bit of sauteed garlic, country potatoes, again with fresh mushrooms, peppers, onion and to add some zest and protein, country style bacon bought from our local meat packing plant a bowl of steamed, glazed carrots and finally a large tuna salad.
I put fresh carrot slices, grapes and triscuits into baggies (no, not all in the same baggy, that would just be gross) and packaged up oatmeal and blueberries for the morning. I accomplished all of this in just under 5 hours and not once did I set off a smoke detector.
Now if neither Mike nor I have to go to the ER during the week for food poisoning, I will consider my cooking day a success.
So tell me, how do you handle meals and meal planning at your household?