Tag Archives: blessings

The Year in Review, Sorta

Well, another year is coming to a close. I have been remiss in blogging due to the holiday and family commitments, none of which involved a mental institution. Well, none so far. After all, the holiday isn’t over yet.

Every year around this time I find myself sighing deeply. It’s not a contented “I ate all the chocolate and feel NO SHAME” sigh, nor is it the “I wish they could stay home longer” sigh. It’s the “What happened ?” sigh. For a while, it seemed this year just dragged on and on, and suddenly–BAM!!!–it’s December 31st and I have no idea how that happened. School band, having a split household, dealing with kids away for the first time, family happenings, all take their toll and can be serious time sucks. And let’s not forget social media. That alone can make the days seem like minutes, especially when a soap opera is unfolding on the social-site-with-faces.

By the way, I started writing this post two days ago.

As usual, with the end of the year come the reflections and the resolutions. Upon reflecting on my year, I found a few truths to be rather self-evident: I am quite lax at writing, technology still escapes me, I don’t laugh at myself as much as I should. I am loathe to write of resolutions because they are lofty goals usually mired in dreams and cotton candy. So this year I resolve not to make any resolutions save one: to be happy with my lot in life, and grateful for all my blessings.

I guess that’s TWO resolutions. But they will be easy to keep.

Hope y’all have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Day, and blessings to y’all in the coming year 😀

Advertisements

Regrets of the Sith

I’ve always held fast to the belief that one should never have regrets. They tend to steep one in melancholy, or make one bitter, and nobody has time for that. That usually applies to big things, like letting go of the love of your life, or throwing away a winning lottery ticket. But little regrets? Sure, plenty of those to mull over a glass of vino.

I regret not ordering the molten lava cake the other night.

I regret not learning to knit.

I regret listening to Air Supply when I was in Junior High.

I regret matching my socks to my shirt.

I regret paying money to see Ishtar.

I regret not saying “goodbye” to my German neighbor.

I regret not keeping in touch with old friends.

I regret dyeing my hair Chocolate Cherry.

Those are but a few of my “pocket regrets”, the ones I keep in my pocket to remind me that things could have been worse. Regrets can choke you and stunt you, but reminding yourself that small ones happen can stimulate you into taking chances instead of holding you back for fear of failure. Can you imagine passing up an opportunity to be in a shark cage?? I didn’t, and I’m grateful my uncle was too chicken to do it alone.

So here’s to the little regrets, and may they always motivate y’all to keep living, and not just existing 😉


On This Independence Day

So much to say, and not nearly eloquent enough to put into words. So I will just ramble along as I am wont to do. It seems to work most of the time.

God bless America

As I have traveled over the world, I have been pleasantly surprised by the respect people have for our holiday. Sure, Germans all thought we had cowboy boots and Stetsons and lived like Dallas, (didn’t help that Hubby did have a Stetson and cowboy boots, either), but they understood how important, and how vital our Revolution was. In Crete, a lady at a local shop sold beautiful handmade rugs, of which several were done in an American motif (not exactly a flag, but rather the colors and the stars). She told me her dream was to visit the US, and I do hope she was able to do so. In Poland, Americans are welcome as long-lost brethren! We were told stories how once The Wall came down, the people began to basically overdose on our Western culture. There is not a single pottery maker who does not fashion his or her own American design, either. You walk into a bar identifying yourself as an American, and the vodka flows. And in Luxembourg… the men and women still thank you for what we did for them, and for what we stand for. As beautiful and as solemn as Normandy in places.

Every year, I am grateful that I have been so blessed as to be born an American citizen. Scores of people all over the world, some of them close friends, are still waiting patiently for the process towards citizenship to begin. I pray every day that the wheels turn a bit faster for them, because they know already what it means to be an American, and are willing to sacrifice for the chance at becoming one.

May y’all have a wonderful Independence Day and please, take some time to appreciate the sacrifices so many made for our country.


Relax, There’s Vodka For That

This is the last week of school, y’all.

I am not looking forward to the summer like most people are. Son is graduating and getting ready for college. And that means my anxiety is growing as the apron strings get cut once again. For someone who has big plans for an empty nest, I sure have issues when the chicks decide to leave it. I admit it was difficult to get used to Eldest’s departure for the military. Now with Son’s impending departure for college, I am left behind with one chick, and she isn’t the most amiable towards my melodramatic angst.

I think her exact words were, “Get over it.”

Sigh….. It will be difficult but I am sure I will get over it eventually. It’s not like I am constantly checking up on Eldest. So what if I know her work schedule and know when she should be in her barracks? I’m her mom, so I can’t be charged with stalking, right? This parenting thing is hard, learn-as-you-go and sometimes thankless, but they never tell you that all you go through is a piece of cake compared to them leaving you. At least Son will be able to come home for some weekends and holidays so the break will be slow, like ripping a bandage or twisting thumbscrews.

I did mention my melodramatic angst, right?

I know my parents are laughing at me. Come to think of it, so is my sister. And most of my friends. I know this isn’t as bad as I make it out to be, and it definitely isn’t the end of the world. It’s a new beginning, and I just hope and pray that each one is ready to face the world alone. My apron strings are being cut and Hubby tells me they can’t be sewed back on.

But there is always Velcro™!! 😀


How I Spent My Week Away From the Internet

Yes, I had a very good reason for being away. Eldest completed her classes and was now PCS’ing from the East Coast to the West Coast.

By minivan.

Which we, her parents, drove out in to pick her up, and to bring her home, and to take her to her next duty station. I have two words for y’all:

Never. Again.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the trip. Most of the trip to the East was very scenic, and some of it was downright wonderful. I got to see the U.S.S. Alabama from the bridge (had no time to stop), Lake Charles’ Hell Bridge (as I like to call it) and the Atchafalaya Basin, and the beautiful Magnolias of Mississippi. The trip out is a favorite of mine as well. I love driving the desolate areas of I-10 in Texas. I really do. New Mexico had awesome signs about watching out for snakes among other animalia as well as plenty of hot air balloons dotting the sky. Arizona had the misfortune of putting up with us experiencing a flat tire, but all in all it was a good drive.

Until I-8. I thought I-10 in Texas was desolate. That strip of highway made I-10 look like a booming metropolis. I asked the tow truck driver how people lived in such a desolate area and he said, “Very carefully.” Not soon enough we waved buh-bye to AZ and greeted California, which went from sand dunes, to rocky mountains to more mountains, to BOOM!!! cities. Seriously, we went around a curve and suddenly there was actual population clustered everywhere. And driving everywhere. For a state that frowns on emissions, it sure had a lot of drivers expelling it. Soon enough we arrived in San Diego….. and found out we were too early to check in. No matter, because we had a good friend waiting for us, none other than XBradTC, who was kind enough to meet us and show us a bit of San Diego before he had to leave for his home. I saw the Midway and enjoyed the views of the bay even though it was 66* F, which in my terms is parka weather, and enjoyed a fabulous dinner overlooking the water and a rather cloudy sunset which didn’t detract from its beauty. Aside from finally meeting XBrad, the best part was the gift he bestowed upon me:

vader kids book

I’m not sure if he is saying I am a princess, or if he is referring to my parenting style. Either way I was very touched to receive it, and I fully admit to laughing out loud while reading it at the coffee shop. Yes, people looked at me funny and I didn’t care. It was a wonderful day spent in a wonderful city and far too short. I can’t wait to visit Eldest again and take some time to see more of the West Coast.

But I will fly out next time 😀


Humming Along Again

This past Sunday, I got the urge to commit some floracide, so Hubby and I headed to the local home improvement and garden store to get some grass seed and some plants willing to sacrifice themselves to the Sith way of gardening. I am partial to calla lilies and petunias for containers but the lilies tend to be pricey, so I was going to settle for marigolds instead. And taking a turn towards them, Hubby discovered a damsel in distress.

hummingbird

Poor wee thing was on the floor by the marigolds, looking exhausted after battling the early morning storm, most likely. First order of business was to gather her up and cradle her to get her warm. So while I chose my sacrificial flora over in the clearance section, he walked around warming her up and rousing the curiosity of customers. Once my victims were chosen and paid for, we then journeyed over to the pet store to get a hummingbird feeder. We needed to replace the one that broke during a previous storm, and also needed snake food. Two birds with one stone (Bada BING!!). After the clerks oohed and ahhed over the hummingbird, we went home and set up some nectar and then ensconced her in the master bathroom with it.

This is where I left the house to go get some stuff at the antique store. This is also when hilarity ensued.

Hubby (via text): The hummingbird is gone.

Me (via panic): *calls home* What?? Define “gone”!!

Hubby: Well, we can’t find her in the bathroom.

Me: Oh, thank goodness. She’s probably hiding in the floral swag over the window.

Hubby: Wait….no, she was behind the toothbrush holder.

Me: I’m on my way home, so don’t lose her again!

Once home, I joined the rescue party going on around my shower stall, where the bird was sipping on her new-found manna from heaven. She was showing signs of recovery as she flitted about, so we left Hubby to catch her so he could release her outside. As he brought her out we noticed her recovery was complete, listening to her annoyed chirps while cradled gently in his hand. Once outside on the patio, he opened his hand slowly to let her get adjusted. She tried out her wings, and flitted around him before taking off over the trees.

It was a wonderful Sunday, and one spent catering to one of the least of us. I hope she is out and about enjoying the day, telling her friends where to find some awesome nectar, and that we puny humans aren’t as bad as they think 😀


Acting My Age

I was watching TV yesterday and there was some commercial about something to which I wasn’t going to pay any attention until I heard a certain phrase: Act your age. It took me a few seconds (I don’t multitask very well when I am eating ice cream) for the phrase to fully sink in.

What exactly does that mean, really?

Who gets to determine what each age should act like? Is there a book somewhere, or a rule? My husband is still fond of playing videogames, and I have been known to wear a tiara while cleaning the bathrooms. I still chase down the ice cream truck (I know the guy and he is no longer afraid of me). We watch old cartoons and rated G movies. I own action figures and still have a Joe Cool Snoopy. And a Hedwig. And some of the stuffed animals I had when I was a toddler. I still color with crayons and use finger paints. Let’s face it: I am far from “acting my age”.

llama in pool

And so are many other people, I’m sure. My personal experience tells me that it is one thing to act like a kid and quite another to act immature. Acting one’s age can lead to boredom, which leads to dissatisfaction, which leads to crankiness, which leads to immaturity. Ergo: you need to play like a kid in order to be a happy mature adult. SCIENCE!!! You’re welcome, world!!

Anyway, time for me to get going. I have my Legos out and need to finish building my castle, complete with moat and archers 😀


And So It Begins at the Post Office

Today I decided it was cold enough to go to the post office to get holiday stamps (Mother and Child, if you are curious), packing tape (because I can never find the spool that will invariably turn up after the holidays), and mail out a package to Eldest. I was excited to send off the package because I can finally send her something, you know? Ironically, I sent her Navy stuff she owned. I still have to wait to find out what she is allowed to have in her quarters. The last thing she needs is to be articled over a bag of Twizzlers™ and a hair straightening iron.

As an aside, forgive my absence from the blogs. My Linux laptop is having connectivity issues, and after crying and sobbing attempting to connect for a week, I figure it’s time to take it in to be checked. I am now using my mini, which is IE, and which is a PITA. So, because it is difficult to use, I will be blogging and commenting a bit less than usual.

Ok, back to the topic. Anyway, I was at the post office, and as I stood in the rather short line, I noticed the patrons all had packages, and all were going overseas. The lady in front of me asked if I was sending to an MPO, because she wasn’t sure she had written the address correctly and was worried the package wouldn’t get there on time. Oddly, the gentleman behind me had the same question. So, I helped them with the addresses, making sure to repeat the addresses on the side of the boxes just in case. After my business is finished, I am walking out of the office and witness a young woman dropping her packages all over the parking lot, so I go help her out, and after setting the packages on the table, I notice another lady with a box wrapped in masking tape, which is not code. So, I give her the spool I had just bought and told her to seal the box as well as she could. And wouldn’t you know it, an older lady pipes up and says, “Looks like we have one of Santa’s elves helping out.” And I replied, “I’m just doing the jobs trolls won’t do.”

Yes, they all laughed. Thank goodness they all had a sense of humor 😉


Embracing the Breaks

Growing up, my mom always told me to be mindful of people’s feelings. It wasn’t just a mean thing to do, but also a shocking breach of etiquette. But it always bothered me how being considerate of people’s feelings jarred against being honest, even when kind. I’m of the opinion that no one has a right to be offended, but also one should never be spiteful. There’s a meme that always rubs me the wrong way about this.

break plate saying

I get what that is trying to say: once you hurt someone, the damage can’t be repaired. But what it misses is that people have to get “damaged” in order to grow and mature. Facing adversity makes people stronger. The world isn’t going to save your feelings all the time. But in damage there can also be beauty.

kintsukuroi

This ancient Japanese tradition is based on the philosophy that things that have been broken can be made to be more beautiful than before. They have overcome adversity, and have a history and scars of what they have overcome. Just because something broke, it shouldn’t be discarded. So it is with people. Some of us are more damaged than others. But just because we are damaged doesn’t mean we are no longer needed or wanted. It is our responsibility to fill our breaks with gold, and become stronger for having been broken. No one else can do that for you.

A flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. — The Emperor, Mulan

When you break, pick up the pieces and make them more beautiful. Show the world that you are no longer the same, but better. And you’ll be stronger for it 🙂


A Little Rain Falling

I received word this afternoon that my uncle had passed away after a long illness. I cried a lot, I prayed a lot, and cried some more. He was a special man in many ways. He was a victim of a hit-and-run accident while he was helping someone stranded on the road. As a result, he was mentally handicapped (he never did like the “challenged” description, so there), but that never stopped him from living Life. And as I grieve, I am remembering how he grabbed Life by the horns, twisted its neck and threw it down yelling, “CHUPATELA!!!*”

Some of you may know of my credo of being happy every day. I’m not happy ALL day, mind you, but I do find something to be happy about every day. I learned that from him. He had a zest for life that made Zorba look like a piker. I remember once his sow lost a few piglets during birth. We were all sad, until he told us he “planted” them snout up, so the tree would grow and give us more piglets. I kid you not. And then there was the time when someone ask him to call them back, so he breathed in the word “hello” (because it was air going in, not out). Oh, and one time he decided that he wanted to sleep under the stars, so he got a photo of Marisol Malaret (the first Puertorican to win the Miss Universe title) and taped it to the ceiling. He was unstoppable.

He wasn’t perfect, but he was an inspiration to all of us. He is preceded by his oldest son, and I know they are both in Heaven, laughing at the rest of us who still have to wait to get to the party.

Because he was the party.

Te quiero mucho, Tio Papo. Esperame, que vengo con chismes y con ron de barrilitos 😀

* The equivalent of saying “SUCK IT!!” And the last sentence: I love you very much, Uncle Papo. Wait for me, because I’m coming with gossip and single barrel rum. 😀