Friday, November 21, 2014

Helping One Another …

I wouldn't consider myself a preachy kind of person.
I do have beliefs, deep beliefs and as I get older they are becoming more important to me.

I love the world we live in, but I'd love it more if people would step up and help to make the changes we so desperately need.
I'm tired of hearing people say they care, but they don't have time to help.
I'm tired of people blaming every one else for the wrongs in this world, especially when they do nothing to make it any better.
How many times have you walked past a homeless person on a cold day and looked the other way because it's easier than facing them while you hurry on your way, warm and comfortable.
How many times have you looked the other way when you see something bad happening to another human being?
How many times have you said "I"ll keep you in my prayers" and then gotten so busy you forget, or you think to yourself, so many people are praying for them my little prayer wouldn't make a difference.  
Do you rip up the donation envelopes from the cancer society and say, I can't afford it right now, someone else will cover it.
One day you may need that prayer someone asked you for.
You might need a warmer jacket or a pair of gloves.
You might be the person being abused and need a ride to a safe place.
Life changes on a daily basis, 
everything we take for granted can be so quickly taken away.
Stop looking the other way … help change the world, 
it will make a difference.
Pick a cause, any cause will do, there are so many out there to root for and to stand for. It doesn't matter which one you pick, what does matter is that you make your choice. How can anyone stand idly by and do nothing to help your fellow man. Help make changes, don't be afraid to make some noise, let the world know you are out there and you are not Going down without a fight, help make things better for your children and for their children and for all the generations to come. It is inconceivable to think that we as compassionate, loving, caring human beings can live on this earth and ignore what is happening around you on a daily basis. There are so many little things each of us can do that will become the equivalent of many huge things. Imagine if every living human being in this world donated one dollar to a cause. Think of all the cures that could be found for illness and diseases. It's time to stop waiting for someone else to do the right thing, be the example and maybe everyone else will follow. We need to stop fighting one another and take care of the changes we need to see in this world.
In the words of the immortal Dr. Seuss: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not.

Friday, September 19, 2014

It's a Bugs Life After All ...

Oh Lord ...
I have to say that I have never,
seen as many bugs and creepy, crawly things
as I have seen since moving to Southern California.
Upon setting foot in the yard of our house
the evening we arrived  here in Long Beach...
Patrick looked down and saw a snake.
OK,  just a garden snake, but a snake none the less.
Ewww ... 
I yelled and Morgan jumped,
we ran for the door and found safety in the house.
Maybe that little snake was the neighborhood welcoming committee.
Thankfully, we have not seen a snake since that evening.
We quickly found out however that our home was infested with 
creatures of every other kind.
loads and loads of spiders.
Not just little ones, but big, huge spiders.
Just the other evening I went out to the back patio with the dogs,
I looked down and saw a web near the bottom of the house.
Then I saw "IT" ...
the owner of the web.
She was black and on her belly she had a big red spot.
WHAT ... a black widow in my yard at my feet.
Thank God for hard bottomed shoes,
I stepped on her ... over and over again,
even though I knew she was dead, I just had to make sure.
Whew, one less spider to worry about, but not the 1st Black Widow we have seen here.
Then there are the Lizards!
Every size ... and they are fast little buggers.
I watch them safely from inside the family room while they run up and down the brick wall
between our house and the neighbors.
I don't mind them because I hear they eat bugs,
but I don't want them in my house.  Morgan found a baby lizard in her shower one morning,
and very bravely killed that little sucker.
I sure wish they'd eat all those ugly Black Widow spiders.
Centipedes ... Crickets ... Cockroaches
all those "C" bugs.
Where the heck do they come from, and why are there so many of them here?
Cockroaches,  I've never had them in my house in my life, 
 ummm .. until I moved here. 
 I called an exterminator immediately when we figured out what they were.                                            I said "can you get here in half an hour" ... "nope, but I can be there tomorrow" ... "you mean I have to sleep in this house with those bugs here".  We survived the night, not without nightmares though.
The exterminator came out right on time ...
he says to me,                                                                                                         "it's not your house, it's plenty clean, these roaches come up through the drains".
Uggg ... does that mean I might see them again?
Well ... maybe, but probably not for a year or so ... of course it's been a year,
so I guess it's time to spray again.
We literally live right across the street from the river bed, granted it's a cement river bed, but every single strange creature that could exist, does exist in that river bed.
It isn't a very big hike for them to cross the street.
Skunks, Coyotes, Squirrels, Snakes, Rats, Mice, Possums and Bugs                             (including roaches and spiders)                                                                                   and the list goes on and on.
No one told me about the bugs ...
I still would have moved here, but man, I would have thought twice about living near a river bed.
This might explain by the way why I don't go camping,
Bugs and Tania ... we don't mix well.

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's Never As Easy As It Should Be ...

Life that is ... it's never as easy as it should be.
I used to blog about only good things, and about the things that made me happy.
Now it seems whenever I come to my blog to type a new post I am lost.
Lost you say ...
maybe it's just scattered ...
why you might ask ... 
I always have a millions things running through my head.
I typically haven't been sleeping well.
I am usually in pain because of my Achilles Tendon Issues.
This Peri-menopause stuff is CRAP, CRAP, CRAP.
Hot-flashes are the worst!
Money always seems hard to find, while the bills are never ending.
I'm still waiting to hear from my attorney on the status of probate,
which might I add has been open and going on for over 2-1/2 years now.
There are diet's to contend with,
and doctors appointments.
Just when you fix one thing something new comes up.
There are family issues,
kid issues ...
friend issues ... 
it's never ending it seems,
 there are even the occasional relationship issues.
Working on a new relationship can send everyone into a bad place.
It seems we can never make every one happy.
Just when you think you've figured it all out
something new comes up.
What everyone needs to remember is that ... 
WE are only HUMAN.
We are in love ... 
We want a life together.
We want that life to include all of "our" people.
We are not trying to hurt, segregate, or disown anyone,
we want to see all our people happy, 
living the lives that make them the happiest.
When our people are happy, we are happy.
You must allow us to live our lives as well though,
knowing that every day will bring something new and perhaps challenging for us.
Everyone is entitled to a bit of happiness in life,
 it is so hard to find, so when you do,
 you need to grab hold with everything you've got in you and hang on for dear life.
Working on all life's challenges together ...
making the best of the things life throws at us on a daily basis.

Change ...
It can be a good thing, so let it happen and join us for the ride.

Happiness they say, sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Home ... It Builds You

 Once upon a time I lived in a house on a street in Norwich, CT.
I moved into that house when I married Brian.
It was my first home in a marriage, I had always lived in rentals in my previous marriage.
This house was a happy place.
We loved our neighbors, The Sheehan's, and they loved us right back, in fact when we moved they did everything in their power to try and get us to stay.

 When Brian passed away I wondered how I would be able to stay in this home,
our family home.

When it became apparent that I could not stay in the home,  I listed it on the market at what we thought was a fair price, $199,900.   Months later when we had no action, we dropped the price to $179,900.  Still no buyers, so we dropped it again, this time to a price very close to what Brian owed on the mortgage, $159,000.  Nothing and more nothing. 

 It became clear as the months went on that I would need to leave the home, so after weighing the pros and cons I decided to pack it up, clean it out, throw away years of treasures and move to California.  Start over, start fresh and see what life had to offer.  The attorney said, stop paying the mortgage, we'll get a deed in lieu of foreclosure, no penalties for me, I never owned it.

 Done and done, probate approved my handing it back to the bank and that was it.  Brian's house, our home was no longer mine.  The bank went in and fixed it up a bit, and upon my snooping on Zillow the house is finally pending sale, it's going for even less then I was asking.

 New paint, sanded floors, and even new rugs.
More than I could afford to do for it.

The new family will fall in love with it I hope.
They will make it their home, and like Brian be proud to own it.
They will only know how much he loved his home when they meet Mark and Beth, who I know will surely pass on the stories we filled it with.

 They will cook in my kitchen, and perhaps they will hear echoes of me saying how much I hated the ugly brown tile walls, and how I thought it was too small and old fashioned, but will they know how many delicious meals I turned out there.  I hope so.

 It cleaned up nice, but gosh, I hope the new owners eventually strip that tile off the walls and give it a fresh new look.  I still think that tile is ugly.

 Morgan loved her bedroom, she loved the fan and new light fixture we had put in for her, and she loved that her room looked out on the street.  It was her quiet place.  She cried when we left that room for the last time (shh, don't tell her but I cried too).  I'm hoping she'll always remember the good memories there, I know though that she will never forget the ghosts, oh yes, our home was haunted.

 My bedroom, well it never looked like this when I lived there.  A dusky blue rug, with blue trim around the doors and windows.  It was large and comfortable, but I always wished it had been in the front of the house and not the back.  

 I remember when I moved in thinking it was odd that there was a small room off the bedroom with my closet.  I found out quickly it was meant to be a baby nursery.  We left the cow border up the whole 12 years, it always made me smile.

 The spare room, next door to Morgans bedroom, was always called the bunny room.
It had a bunny rabbit border up when I moved in.  The walls were green and it felt meant for a small child.  Morgan loved the room, and when we had "live in" guests like Joe or my mom when she came to visit, they always used this room.  I'll never forget the day Brian fell through the attic eaves into the ceiling of this room, he wasn't hurt, so we had the hole patched and then had a great story to tell to guests.

 The house had a full walk up attic, two rooms, one originally a bedroom though not used as such while we lived there and one for storage.  I like what the bank did with it ... rugs and new walls sure make it seem more comfortable.

Finally, the back enclosed patio.  Beautiful blue stones and a working fireplace.  I spent many a day back there reading and we had many bbq's there as well.
For as much as I complained that I wanted to sell this home and move to a warmer, smaller place, I have many good memories there as well.
It was my home,
It was Brian's home
It was Morgan's home.
I hope and pray a good family will buy it and build wonderful memories there too.

The following pictures were taken in front of our home after we shut the front door and locked it behind us never to enter again.  Morgan put on a brave face but there were plenty of tears shed, because no matter how many times you complain about a place, you cannot erase the good times you had there. May they always be memories we carry within our hearts.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy Birthday Charles Henry ...

Today this man would have been
years old.

Happy Birthday
to my
He was born July 8th, 1924
the 2nd son 
William and Bertha Jane
East St. Louis Illinois.

He married my mother
on August 21, 1954.
They had 3 children

My dad passed away young in 1974
at the age of 50.
He wasn't in my life for long,
but he left me with 
sweet, sweet, memories.
He was a strong, loving, giving,
I sure wish he could have 
met his grandchildren
I miss him 
know that he is 
smiling down from heaven on 
his family
We may not be able to see him,
but he is with us in our thoughts always.

These Things Make Me Smile ...

Unexpected Flowers from my guy!

Trivia Tuesday's at Malarkey's in Long Beach!

Time spent with my silly, funny, Brown Eyed Girl Morgan!

26 Miles across the sea, SANTA CATALINA is waiting for me!

Our Puppy Girl "Raisin".

Southern California Sunsets.

Breakfast at Woody's Diner on the weekends.

Time spent with my guy Patrick!

Monday, May 26, 2014

We Moved You Know ...

Miles Away
From Connecticut
All the way

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to run with it you know!
I chose to run with it ...
Morgan chose to run with it as well ...
and here we are.
I loved my home in Connecticut.
I love my family and miss them every single day.
Morgan misses Connecticut and her family as well.
There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think about our "people" there.
We think about the back roads we used to go for drives on just because.
We think about the crazy weather, hot and cold and muggy and snowy.
We think about our first "Harry's Burger" of the season every year.
We think about our weekends in Maine.
We think about Mystic Village and our favorite shop there.
We think about having breakfasts at "The Shack".
and how could I ever forget 
My favorite chili dogs at Saints.
We think about all the memories we created there.
We think about the people we lost and buried there.
We wonder ever single day if we made the right choice when we moved here to California.
It's different ...
It's never going to be our Connecticut.
We don't expect it to be.
We are looking forward to all the new memories we'll make here in California.
We know it's been hard for our family and friends to have us so far away.
We miss you and we know you miss us too ....
but life throws us curve balls sometimes
and you either stand there and get hit or you run with it.
We will see you all again when we can.
Maybe not today, or tomorrow, or even next month ...
but when we can and we hope you'll all remember we'd love to make new memories
with you here in California when you come to visit us.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Randomness ...

One day in conversation a long time ago, my daughter mentioned that she felt like her dad doesn't know her very well.  I thought about that for a moment and realized she was probably right.  Now in his defense, she hasn't lived with him since she was 3 years old, and then he moved back to Northern Maine, which changed their visiting relationship due to location. Could he have tried harder to know more about her,  probably yes ... who knows though, maybe he thinks he knows quite a bit.  I don't see that relationship changing much however, since she now lives on the opposite coast from him.  I have lived with her since she was born, and I feel like I know her quite well, though I am positive that things change every single day so she keeps me on my toes.
Then I thought to myself,  I wonder how much people know about me.  I like to think I'm semi-private when it comes to "letting people in" or "letting them get close".  It's not that I don't like people, I do, but I have always been a bit shy until I know you well, so people see me as a hard cookie to crack.

Here are some things you might want to know about me for future reference.

1.  I'm the 3rd of 3 girls in my family.
2.  I'm the tallest of my sisters peeking at 5'11".
3.  I was born in Connecticut.
4.  I lived in California for 11 years when I was younger.
5.  I moved back to Connecticut when I was 17 years old.
6.  I have been married 2 times.
7.  I was divorced one time and widowed one time.
8.  I have one daughter.
9.  My favorite color is Green.
10.  I love the ocean.
11.  My favorite food is probably pasta with Italian sausage and spicy sauce.
12.  I am afraid of snakes and birds.
13.  I do not attend church, though I consider myself religious in my beliefs.
14.  I have never smoked a cigarette or "other".
15.  My mom had Alzheimers.
16.  I do not swim well.
17.  My father died when I was very young.
18.  I love Frozen Yogurt, but not ice-cream.
19.  I love to cook and bake.
20.  My favorite flowers are Peonies.
21.  I fear time passing to quickly.
22.  I am deathly afraid of fire.
23.  I don't like roller-coasters.
24.  I have driven across country 3 times in my life so far.
26.  I consider myself pretty liberal.
27.  My favorite state is Maine.
28.  I have never traveled out of the country beyond Canada.
29.  I love Motown music.
30.  When I was little I wanted to become an Architect.
31.  I collect old "Menu's".
32.  I don't care for Seafood.
33.  I love to read.
34.  I used to scrapbook like crazy.
35.  I recently moved back to the West Coast.
36.  I need to find a job.
37.  I wish I had gone to college.
38.  My biggest and best contribution to this world has been my daughter Morgan.
39.  I have a hard time tolerating rude people.
40.  My birthday is WAY to close to Christmas.
41.  I have never used "drugs" other than those prescribed to me by my doctors.
42.  I hate scary movies.

Just me ... hoping you've learned something new and challenging you to share some things about yourself that might surprise people.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Super Powers ... and all that jazz!

Do you have any super powers?
Have you ever wished for something that would set you apart?
Do you wish you could fly when traffic is as thick as mud?
Do you wish you could read the thoughts of others when you believe they are talking about you?
Have you ever wished you could withstand high heat or extreme cold?
Perhaps you would have super strength?
Would you wish to be able to connect to the dead?
I think we all have wished for super powers at some point in our lives.
I think if I could have one power, it would be that of the flash.  
I would want to move so quickly that I could travel back and forth to visit family and friends without it taking hours and or days to get there.
My mom always told me not to wish away my time,
because it goes so quickly on its own.
I never understood that though until I was much older.
As a child, we have no worries, the days go by slowly and we long for days to come, perhaps a trip to the beach, or a family vacation.
I guess we all have a bit of a super power in our memories because we get to relive them over and over again.  
We don't go back in time, but sometimes a quick trip back in our memories is good enough.
I have a few little quirks, or should I say super powers that I've always taken for granted.
I have a super smeller, yup that would be by nose.
I smell everything, good and bad.
Strong smells and weak smells ... it there is a smell you can bet I'll mention it even when others don't smell a thing.  Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's my thing.
I also have a really good memory for faces.
Don't ask me to remember everyones names, but faces I almost never forget.
Recently I ran in to someone from my childhood, someone I hadn't seen in over 35 years.
We came across one another at a farmers market where she was a vendor.
I knew when I saw her that she was familiar to me in some way.
Sure enough, after a bit of conversation we realized we had gone to church together and that our sisters had been good friends.
It's a small world, but you can bet if you are someone I have met or known in my past, I will remember your face.
It can drive me crazy when I can't figure out who someone is, but I'm not shy, so I'll probably ask.
Now those aren't big things, and they probably aren't really super powers, but since they are the closest I'll ever come to being able to claim that I have powers ... and super at that, I'll take them.
It makes me smile to wonder what everyone else's super powers are!
Speaking of using my super powers, my favorite is when I get to smell the amazing chocolate cake my father in law used to bake.  I've only made the recipe once, but I hope to make it again soon.  It's amazing and SMELLS so so good.
Now don't you wish you could smell this cake too?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

On Grieving ...

Saw the following quote on Facebook today... and thought it was perfect for all those who think that I didn't grieve long enough, or hard enough.  Everyone's grief is different, everyone shows it differently as well, some are outwardly grieving while others are very quiet and personal about their grief.  Don't be to quick to judge another's feelings, they are very personal and not so easily understood.  Life continues for the living, you must put one foot in front of the other and keep on keeping on.

Grief never ends,
but it changes.
It is a passage,
not a place to stay.
It is the price of love.

- Author Unknown -

Heaven must be a wonderful place, it's filled with so many people I love and who's love I feel every day even though they are gone.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Friends on Facebook ... are they really my friends?

This is a post that I made to my Facebook page this evening, I thought perhaps it should have been here but since so few people come here, and so many go to Facebook, I shared it there and just copied it here.  It's long but I was feeling pretty grateful tonight and thought I'd share.

How many friends do you have?  I've been asked by people how I could possibly be friends with 172 people because that's how many people I have on my friend list here on Facebook.  Well ... here's the answer.  I know all of the people on my friend list in some way, shape or form.  I have not met all of them ... in fact 28 of them alone are friends I met online through various scrapbooking websites.  I do call them friends and count them among some of my very best friends.  I have met probably 10 or 12 of them in the past.  We felt comfortable enough to meet because of all the interactions we had online.  We shared personal information, secrets, loves, losses, betrayals, illnesses, good news, bad news ... pretty much everything.  When one of my scrappy friends would go off the radar, we would check on one another, we exchanged mailing addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and shared photos through our scrapped pages.  I haven't met all of these people, and sadly may not ever be able to, but occasionally we get the chance.  In moving here to California, I am mere miles from one of those scrappy friends.  Both she and I will meet for the first time this Saturday and even better, we are meeting up with another one of our online friends who is visiting from Utah with her family.  It's going to be so nice and I am very excited.  Michele and Marcie, I truly can't wait.  I am currently rooting for one of my scrappy friends whom I have met as she battles cancer, she's going to beat it though, she's got courage and hope and lots of spirit, if I were cancer I would be sorry I picked her to attack.  Gabi girl ... I love you.  Monica ... is my best friend, and the first time we met I truly thought I wouldn't like her one bit, gosh was I wrong, we hit it off and have built a wonderful friendship over the years, I've even traveled to NC to visit her and stay in her home with her family numerous times.  I hate that we are on opposite coasts now, but she knows she's always in my thoughts and owns a huge piece of my heart.  Patti, Abby and Bernie ... my southern NJ friends ... we've all met as well, and had a blast getting to know each other.  Loved every minute we spent together in Wildwood and then again right near your homes.  Carrie ... my CT. scrappy friend ... we spent lots of time and money together, shopping for supplies and then scrapping together for hours on end, we enjoyed each others families and I was so sad to say goodbye, but you're on the move again soon as well, and I know our paths will cross again.  There are so many I haven't mentioned ... you all know who you are if you scrapped online with me, I hope we get to meet someday as well.  

Some of you are friends met through Brian, teachers he worked with and loved with all his heart, and college friends whom he spoke about until the day he passed away.  

I have a whole bunch of new friends since moving here to California, most of them people I've met through Patrick, we're having lots of fun getting to know one another ... I never thought that these wonderful people who Patrick hung out with and called friends would like me too.  :-)

And then of course there is the family members ... I have lots of them, sisters, my daughter Morgan, her family on her dads side (I still count them as mine, I'm kind of greedy that way), cousins, aunts, uncles, 2nd cousins and there kids and the list goes on and on.  I love them ... and miss them ... and I'm so happy they are in my life.  

Friends ... I love you all, and I'm so happy you're all a part of my life.
Family ... I didn't get to pick you, but I'm a lucky girl to have so many to love and to be loved right back by so many.

Thought I should let you all know, because I'm not sure I express my appreciation nearly enough ... <3!
Thanks for stopping by my friends!!!