Category Archives: Uncategorized

Momma’s 72nd Birthday – June 9th

So Hi! It’s been a while. I feel like I think/say that often. It is the eve of my mom’s 72nd birthday. Weird right? Understanding the numbers of your parents age. I remember her 40th birthday. Bless her heart. Nathan – my brother and I went to Kmart to buy her a blouse for her birthday. We were BROKE, as a family even, on her 40th birthday. We would have been homeless would it not have been for Dave, best guy ever – apart from my husband. He provided us with a place to stay when we hit rock bottom as a family. I was in 7th grade. – I digress. Sorry. Nate and I went to Kmart, and bought mom a 2XL shirt for her birthday. Anyone that has ever seen my mom, knows she might wear a medium, and only because she has a huge chest. Otherwise, she is 120 pounds on a heavy day, and 5 feet tall on a tall day! She acted surprised, she probably was surprised, and she was happy. She has always been so sweet. She is definitely salty too, but sweet.
She is doing better in general. There are always people around, she is challenged, and interacted with constantly. She is mostly happy. Her nurse said 2 days ago that she is living her life in her mind from maybe 30 years ago. They gave her an updated “expiration date” of maybe 10 years from now. I know, that is just a guess. Pretty good when several months ago, they felt like she might have 3-5 years. This fact seems to irritate my father. I am sorry to air this garbage on here, but it is my outlet. I need to release this trash. He feels like we have “deceived” him. Yep. That is what he said. He feels that we, along with the social worker have tricked him into moving here. He is so angry. I am so angry. Life is so constantly hard. So hard. As you may have surmised, pop and I are not getting along at the moment. He has been awful. Awful to me, to my family, and to my mother. He also is great with her sometimes, but he is wearing me out. Life is already hard enough, you know? He recently tried to shame me…what the hell is that. Told me to shut up and listen to my husband. I nearly came unglued. Many other things were said, all equally ugly, and now our relationship has changed. I treat him professionally, as though he is that asshole co-worker, that I have to work with. I am almost to the place where I just call him by his name vs. dad, or pop. I am nearly there. He plans on taking her to Ft. Myers on Sunday for approximately 2 weeks – which doesn’t mean anything. He left with her for 3 days last time and was gone 6 weeks. She ended up in the hospital after a scary fall. She is happy here. He is miserable. I wish he would just go. I cannot afford to completely sustain her though on my own accord. We just assumed so much additional debt when moving into this house to help house them too. I have one heading to college in the fall (grateful) and a car to buy for the next child in line. This is not a guilt trip or anything else, just irritation that my dad won’t provide for her properly, and is about to do something counter productive to everything else we have just done to get her to this place. She was off on her meds, schedules, dietary, and anything else that required a commitment to a schedule. Anyone that is affected by someone with dementia knows that schedules are key for them. They need to know what to expect. It’s a form of muscle memory when your brain forgets. This is about to set us back so much.
Again, I digress.
So, I was going to take her up in a hot air balloon ride for #72, but $600.00 is out of my league for 4 of us. I’m sure that is a great deal too, but still too much for me. Instead, we are having a dance party! Yassss! Sounds crass and contrite I know, but mom is all about dancing to some Miami music/latin music. We have a handful of teenagers (that love Abue- mom)coming over tomorrow, and a few of mom’s friends, to dance with her, break open a pi√Īata, take selfies with her(they love to do this with her and add all their crazy snap chat filters), and eat some cake! It’ll be fun! That’s the deal.
Besides that, the boy has graduated (how is this possible?), He is going on a month long road trip with his girlfriend beginning June 20th. They are going up the eastern seaboard up to Newfoundland. My middle child is traveling to France with boyfriend and his family in a week (oh my) and we still haven’t finished one bathroom in the old – new – house. I do love it here. Great house. Always a ton to do though. I am ready to stop…and be really quiet – and still. I desire quiet and stillness. In the interim, we shall see. Every major moment is seemingly happening right now, and I am hanging on for dear life. So grateful for the sweetest man in the world. I’m quite positive I do not deserve him – but I am so grateful he is mine. He and the boy (and several man children) are on a canoe trip down the Buffalo River right now. It is a yearly trip, filled with Godly men, that are quite salty (pardon me for saying that twice) as several of them are retired military. They are getting their fill of peace, quiet, nature, and men that love and listen to you with a inordinate amount of farting! Glad they are there, not necessarily due to the farting! Love those boys.
Anyway. Tomorrow we celebrate 72 years of blessings and life. Celebrating a life well lived. Here’s to a life well lived.

Peek a boo April 6, 2017

My mom came out to play for a bit on Tuesday. It was awesome. I think it was almost more exciting to see my dad react. He is in that place where I think he feels like he takes care of her now, but “she” doesn’t ever come out for too long. I think that makes him feel like nothing he does will bring her to the forefront, so he just does what he needs to do. I’m sure I continue to try to engage her because… I’m not sure. I wait for her to re-appear I guess. I want to figure out what makes her re-appear. So on my way home from work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I stop at the Mexican bread store and pick up her favorite breads(elephant ears and conchas). Dads too (guava pastries). This makes her so happy. Dad too. Then we sit and chat a bit. I have been cleaning out my shed, and ran across a box of travel type games that have gone all over the country with me and my growing family. I gave them to my dad to engage with my mom. He initially was irritated as he said they would just keep junking up the house. But on that Tuesday, mom took out on her own a brain teaser, and worked really hard on it on and off for about 30 minutes. She told me Santa brought her all these toys. ( Sweetness) Any way. One of the things in there was conversation starters. If you aren’t familiar with this activity, it is a series of cards – probably 75-100 and they have different topics on them. Example, what is your favorite thing about your physical appearance? Least favorite. What was the most difficult thing that happened in your life and how has it helped you to be who you are? Some questions were easier and talked of a best friend, or a silly experience or a favorite color. She thought and thought about her answers, and on occasion would get a little lost in the responses, but I could see where she was going with her responses. She talked about living far away from her family and how hard that was and how it helped her to be more independent and her favorite thing about her appearance was her eyes. My dad who would normally balk at having to play a game for too long, wanted the game to last as long as possible. It was a sweet moment. I am still mostly Sis to her or Elin, but it is ok. I respond. My aunt is a tough ass (in a good way), and I gladly will respond to her name. Dad is learning how to do her physical therapy routine with her. This is good. The meds have been regulated and are now being taken in a scheduled manner. All in all, life is good. I am blessed.
On an alternate note, my son has decided to attend the University of North Florida in Jacksonville for college in the fall. We were all surprised as we were near positive he would be attending University of Cincinnati in Ohio. He said that after much thought and contemplation, UNF is where he is choosing to attend. His reasons were costs of in state tuition, being closer to home, remaining close to his little sister (who idolizes him and is generally besotted when she thinks about him leaving), a girlfriend that he loves at UNF, and Abue, were his reasons for staying. He wants to be able to stay connected to her. He and my mother are tight. How can any of this be terrible? It isn’t. It is wonderful. Sad often times, but wonderful. She has lived a long full life (still is), doing things her way. I read an article this morning on FB. It was the story of a mom who has recently lost her 4 year old son to childhood cancer. The suffering she is experiencing is unreal, as she will never see her child reach his full potential as an adult. It is a current loss and a loss for the future. This is a tragedy. I can palpably feel her loss, as best as possible without going through it myself. This type of loss is unfair. My Momma has had a good life. A full life. She still is. No complaints here.

Momma’s here April 3, 2017

Well, It has finally happened. Momma is here. It has been quite a journey. They were here, then they left. They were here, then they left again. And then mom fell, and ended up being transported by ambulance to the ER in Ft. Myers. Gratefully, we had amazing social workers that wouldn’t allow my mother to be discharged without long term arrangements, and so my father caved. They have been here for about 3 weeks. Momma is declining quickly. We are now sort of “babysitting” her all day long. I don’t mean that in a derogatory manner. She just can’t be left alone for any reason anymore. She is needing assistance in the restroom, changing her clothes, bathing, with meds, sometimes feeding herself, walking. It is happening quickly. She generally doesn’t know who my father is and he is heartbroken. They have been together and married since 1969. I feel like I have to work just as hard taking care of my father as I do my mother because he is so fragile right now- and so tough at the same time. He cries all the time. A song, a memory, pictures, when she is confused, or really having a tough day. He cries. This is NOT his norm. Never has been. He is sometimes immobilized by his fear or his horror of what is happening. We have to step in a lot. Thank God for an amazing husband and amazing children. My husband took my mom for chocolate milk, a donut and a car ride the other day so that I could have a few hours with just my dad to decompress a bit. It was lovely. She didn’t know who he was that day, and that made her very nervous. It got better though. She mostly knows who I am most of the time. Recently she has been calling my Elin though. Elin is my father’s sister, and I do look like her a bit ( I think). She seems to know (most of the time ) that I am who she knows me to be, but she confuses my name. Yesterday and the day before were really hard days. She is getting a lot of involuntary muscle spasms in her arms, which don’t allow her to then hold a glass, or a pencil, or whatever…feed herself. She is shaking a lot as well. She is at times…more consistently having a tough time with her thoughts, and her words. She generally cannot finish a sentence. She is happy in the cottage we bought her. Life is simple here, and filled with my kids, their friends, my friends too. We have bon fires, and dinner together, and we spend time crafting in the studio, or watching spanish soap operas. She had her first Hispanic party that she attended since she’s been back. She did alright, but was out of it for the most part, and they called me stating that she was ready to go home. She has at home health care coming to her right now which has been a blessing and a Godsend. They have all been amazing and super thorough. My children have stepped up in ways that I couldn’t have imagined. They take her hand and walk her home, help fold her clothes, eat with her, play games with her, talk to her about whatever super random things are coming out of her mouth, dance with her and watch Hispanic tv with her. I see and feel their sadness sometimes, and that just feels so big. This is hard. I am so grateful though.I am aware of how limited our time is together. Today is our first “Momma Monday”. We are trying to get super scheduled and routined so she knows what to expect daily. We are going to paint rocks #delandrocks, and then hide them in town, followed by lunch with my girlfriend and her mother. Off we go. I have reached out to my brother, hoping that he will do the right thing by her, but he still has made little effort to connect with her. With that, I still feel as though I am blessed. I will try and reach out more, as it has been difficult with the constant changes and ups and downs. Big hugs to all of you on all you might be dealing with my friends. We are all fighting our own battles, right? Later.

July 31…really???

How is this possible? Could a month and a half passed since writing you? Crazy! Time flies! Whether you are having fun or not…gratefully, I am mostly having fun! I love summer. I do. I love it. Lack of schedule, lack of mandatory running around (mostly), swimming, the beach, sleeping in late, road trips, hanging out with your kids all the time, sleepovers. I know some parents are excited for the kids to go back to school, and I am too at times, but mostly, I just love this time together. I feel the changes happening, the shifts occurring, and soon my babies are going to move on, as they are supposed to do. I am not trying to be dramatic, but I AM trying to be present. This summer has not been our typical summer. My oldest has been away for 4 weeks this summer- three consecutively. We have been trying to sell our home, lots of cleaning up and lots of showings, as well as preparing to move into our new home. We picked our son up from the course he was taking at Emory University, and then proceeded to do our son’s college tour from there. It was so great having him back and having all of my people in the car with me. Lots of conversation, restaurants, different playlists from different kids, and lots of cool destinations. We have a better handle now on what we are looking for in re:to schools, and re: what won’t serve our son so well. It was a great trip, and we are glad to now be home.
My middle babe turned 15 yesterday. What is that about! It is crazy that this can be true. But it is. She is gorgeous inside and out and I am grateful she is my baby. We had about 15 of her friends over yesterday beginning at 4 to swim, have a cook out, they played giant yard Jenga, had a water balloon fight, made s’mores, and watched an outdoor movie while hanging out in the pool. It was a great evening. Her friends are just as nice as she is…and we are so grateful. They were so thoughtful in their gift giving, it was awesome to see her open up truly thoughtful presents. She is so thoughtful in her gift giving, and it was nice those sentiments returned. This was our first coed party too, mind you. But they truly enjoyed one another. Initially, it was awkward like a middle school dance – boys on one side, girls on the other, but then our pastor and his family arrived, to have their 5 year old little girl give Grace the gift she bought her. That little girl wrangled all those boys up and girls and had them all eating out of her hands at the same time! The boys were sweet to her and were high fiving her and letting her put flash tattoos all over them. By the end of the visit with our pastor and his family, all the boys and girls were swimming together, playing games together, having water balloon fights, etc. It was adoreable! It also really showed the true nature of all of these 15 & 16 year old kids. They were tender and sweet and not too cool to be nice to a couple of adorable little kids.
Mom is still mom. She is consistently loosing things, obsessing about them for a few weeks, and then finding them. She and dad are busy filling their days with movies, and the theatre, and lots of tacos from San Julians in Ft. Myers! We talk nearly daily and she is sweet and funny. My dad has been taking her for trips to get her nails done, her hair done, or a massage. It is making him happy to do this for her and it also buys him a little alone time I think. The other day they called me and she had just come back from getting her hair cut and colored along with a manicure. I asked her to tell me about it and she said she was really happy with everything but they did a terrible job on her toes. She said she was going to go back in tomorrow and have them redo them because they looked terrible. Meanwhile, in the background my dad says” they didn’t do your toes today…they did your hair and your fingernails.” She said…”Oooh, really? Hmm. Well, I am going to go back there and have them fix them up anyway, they look terrible.” Bless her heart. I am not sure where they are still re: the new house. If nothing else, we are providing an option for them. It doesn’t appear as though my dad is on the same page as us, still. We will see. I think this will change, but in the meantime, I will not say anything except that it will be there for them should they need it. We are creating an option.
My brother and I texted recently. That is unusual, but not entirely unpleasant. He let me know through text that he and his family have moved to New Hampshire. Hmm. They needed a change. Ok. He wrote to give me his new number. Near the end of our text exchange, he asked about my mom. Asked how she was. She would feel very betrayed if I were to give up her personal info to someone who she feels has abandoned her so I simply said that she was well, but that life is tougher these days, than in days past. He stated that he has written them countless letters, sent them photos, and his various addresses, but they never get in touch with him. He said he feels they are screening his calls to because he hasn’t been able to reach them.
If my parents knew how to use their phones or technology, I might see his point of view, but my parents went to Mexico in April, and my dad just 3 days ago figured out how to turn off airplane mode!!! Again…bless his heart! They are trying. For this I am grateful. All I could say to my sibling was, I am sorry that you all are in this place. I left it at that. I am done having this discussion. He is too obviously. He said that he is done reaching out to them. I hope his son looks at life with a little more love and humility, and doesn’t do to his parents what my sibling has done to my parents. My parents will never get over the heart ache, I don’t believe. Especially my mom. He was her everything. Having said that, Oh well, not my bed & I won’t be sleeping in it. I will love her through it though, and try not to say anything bad or negative about anyone either. I choose to Love them all right where they are.

Quite a nutshell right? I think this is all my norm. I do not think that things will ever settle, just shift. We shall see. Once again, I am grateful. God is good to me and the people I love and those around me. Please keep us in your prayers to sell this beautiful house so that we can move into the next one with a sense of peace and tranquility. We close on August 31 – a month from today. Hard to believe. Onward and upward!
Peace, Love and Light.

June 1, 2016

Good morning! I am still here. Life is crazy as always. I don’t believe that will ever change! I think when we are done with one particular thing, it just gets replaced with something else. It’s all good. I am not complaining. So, I currently have 3 painters at my current house. I think they are amazing…such ethic and integrity. AAA Master Painting. Anyhow. My house is all kinds of torn up as my daughter’s bedroom, 3 hallways, kitchen, living room, dining room and mud room are stages of being painted. The guys also tore down paper from my bathroom, and are getting ready to paint that. Pretty much all of my stuff is floating in the middle of every room! Landscapers are coming shortly to take a look at our plan again, and we start that this upcoming week. Whomever moves here, is going to be set. Beautiful landscaping, beautiful quality paint, crisp clean spaces, and a beautiful neighborhood. It is so bittersweet. I am now excited and anxious as there is so much to do. Everything costs so much money. At my core, I’m still a poor kid whose parents are struggling to make it. I am not sure that ever changes. I am generally quite frugal. Anyway. We are working towards our closing date of August 31. Our new house is gorgeous and it is turn key. It is not to my taste decor wise, but that is the fun in getting into something new (or old in this matter). We just had our home inspection at the new house. Those poor guys were crawling around in attics and crawl spaces for 8 hours! They were amazing! Overall, it was a good report. There of course is “stuff” we need to deal with as the house is 80 plus years old. But is super manageable.
It is graduation time here. So exciting! Many of our family friends are graduating. We have one more year until my oldest graduates, gratefully. We attended several parties this past weekend and there are still a few more in the near future. I remember this time. Don’t you? Everything seemed so new and fresh. Scary too. So many unknowns…what will you study, where, how will you pay for it all, friends leaving, leaving your home and your family, should you travel first, the status of your current relationships. So much. But it is so exciting too. The world is open to you. Anything and everything is a possibility. Anyway. I digress! ūüôā
So my folks were just here this weekend. My dad was insistent, which is super interesting as my dad never really wants to “visit”. Not often anyway. He said he needed to talk and tell me about was has been happening. He has been on a vacation for one month (post office), and he took my mom to Mexico to visit her family. She described it as so fun, really great, etc. My dad told me stories that I am embarrassed to repeat. My mother acted like a defiant 2 year old. She acted very badly and did some pretty awful things. I can’t help but feel embarrassed, even though I am aware that she has lost her ability to have judgement and logic. I keep thinking she isn’t “bad” yet in re: to her dementia, but it is actually getting pretty bad. It makes me sad for her and my dad. I am sad for me too. She asked me in private the other day, very quietly if the man in the other room was actually my real dad. I said that yes he was. She said that he is very nice to her, and she likes him, but she doesn’t think he is my real dad. She didn’t want me to share this with him. I didn’t. Many times, she thinks he is my brother. She mostly refers to him as my brother. My sweet momma. She misses my brother. He chooses not to have anything to do with any of us at this point. So sad for him. My sister in law contacted my middle daughter recently and let her know that they were moving at the end of this school year again. That is how they communicate with us. Through my middle child – their favorite of my children?!? Weird. Anyway. Enough about things I can’t control, and don’t have time or energy to think about.
I went to the dentist yesterday to have 2 teeth filled. Normal, no big deal. I have a really high pain tolerance – always have. I couldn’t unfurl my hands yesterday, I couldn’t “relax” if you will. Transference is my gift – it is how I am able to get through this crazy life of mine at times, but I could not do it yesterday. My sweet dentist (who has earned my business for life), asked me if I was alright. I said yes, no worries, keep going. He asked me if I was feeling any pain, I said no. No worries, keep going. He asked me again a few minutes later if I was sure I was ok. I told him I was feeling really anxious, He said no worries, he gave me a shot to calm me down, and then after my procedure, he had 2 of his staff bring me home. Isn’t that amazing? I love quality people who truly care about others. I want to be surrounded by people like this. I am actually surrounded by people like this. God is so good to me and my family. I am blessed.
It continues. It all continues. Packing, moving, painting, planting, celebrating the end of the year, the end of sports with friends and teammates, the end of plays with cast members, the end of sweet high school times with friends that are moving on. The end of some semblance of sanity and the beginnings of a life where people take care of you almost solely- speaking of my momma of course. We rejoice though, as there is a time for everything.

sweet Lionessess!
sweet Lionessess!

The next class of IB seniors!
The next class of IB seniors!
Momma and Paigy
Momma and Paigy
BFF's graduation party
BFF’s graduation party
Paigy and her Pop
Paigy and her Pop
"I'm your favorite cousin"
“I’m your favorite cousin”
Nana and Lily
Nana and Lily
Joe's Graduation party
Joe’s Graduation party
Painters paradise
Painters paradise

May 14, 2016

So hi! It’s been a while! Sorry. Life is crazy that way. I’m currently sitting at a nail salon in Naples, Florida having a pedicure. Life is good. I’m down here with my husband only as my kids had “stuff” or didn’t want to come. One of my best friends from high school, Ody(yep, like Garfield), her oldest son is graduating from law school. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? We aren’t old enough! Ugh! His name is Matthew, and he is smart, and personable, and gorgeous! Ody has done such a beautiful job raising her boys. Not bad for a girl that got pregnant at 17, graduated, got married, turned 18, had a baby…while working, going to school, then law school! Yep, law school! In the interim, she lost her house and all her worldly possessions to hurricane Andrew. She is something! I’m so proud of her, and who she is. Her boys are amazing too! Anyway. I haven’t written in a while because I didn’t want to let my secret out of the bag. We under contract to by the house! THE house. Remember the house I told you about, with a bungalow for my folks? Well, we put an offer in nearly a month ago after much thought ( no matter what), my mom is going to need a place to be. They opted to not go for this house as they thought it was too small. The deal is, it is one property, 2 houses, enough bedrooms and bathrooms, it’s fully fenced, & it has an orange grove. How cool is that? We can all be together and still not be on top of each other. It’s a win win. Also, it has a studio already on the property. It has EVERYTHING! We are thrilled this is happening and shocked at the same time. We have NEVER considered moving, as we love our house. But this fits the bill. We’ve all just agreed on terms etc on Thursday. So y’all are pretty quick to know!? My children are excited, my husband is excited/stressed, on all of the various things to do. I’m thrilled and overwhelmed. My folks just found out last night as they are in Mexico visiting my mom’s family. There isn’t a comprehension yet as to why this has all happened. That might be best at this moment. They are having a great time. I’m so glad. Besides that, it’s the last volleyball weekend, school is getting ready to be over, and lots of our friends are getting ready to send their kids off to college, or be sent to college. It’s an exciting time.


Hey friends. ¬†It’s me Tash. I am currently enjoying a small break at Bahamma Breeze in Daytona as I wait for the 6 volleyball players that I just dropped off at their practice. ¬†I have 4 hours u til I need to pick them all up. ¬† Monday’s are my night to drop off and pick up. ¬†I love hearing these girls laugh, sing chit chat about the events of their days and the various people on their lives. ¬†I feel blessed to get a glimpse into their world. ¬†I can’t believe it’s been so long since I was 15, chit chatting with my “girls”. ¬†It is fun to watch how things really, actually never change ! ¬†It’s still fun to show off your dance moves, sing at the top of your lungs, listen to the latest tunes and chat about people that you are interested in, or who annoy you.? ¬†I feel priveleged to ¬†get to watch this right of passage happen to all these amazing young ladies.

Meanwhile, another right of passage is happening, mine I think. I left my kids during their spring break to assist my parents with this next phase of dementia. ¬†My mom is misplacing most of her important ¬†documents and jewelry and pretty much anything else. ¬†She is aware they are bring misplaced, and sometimes she recognizes she misplaced…whatever, but she also feels people are hiding things from her, or stealing from her, or giving her super special, personal items away. ¬†My dad is elevating status wise in my eyes from a fairly narcissistic person to a fairly patient and kind care-giver…I never thought I’d see the day. ¬†I’m so proud of him.

I spent 3 days going through mom’s closets, my old room, the dining room, living room and searching under drawers, lamp base, ¬†under her collection of Baby dolls and whatever else. ¬†In the end, my dad and I found her purse, passports, ID’s, insurances cards, LOTS of Jewelery…some costume, and some fine jewelry. ¬†I threw away hundreds of empty pill bottles, tic tac containers, and various other vessels. ¬†We also met with a social worker and discussed some necessary topics as well as some options. ¬†We adopted some of those recommendations while I was there too. I brought my mom home with me for Easter and I’m grateful, but tired. ¬†My dad is getting some much needed respite-and I’m glad. ¬†He asked me today if I’d watch after her for an additional week, and I kindly declined. ¬†I feel a bit bad about that, but I feel like I have to keep pushing back my own stuff to assist all the various parents. ¬†My mom is full time and I still have 3 kids. Our other thing we have going that we are putting on hold, is an art studio. ¬†We are nearly ready to build. ¬†We have the plans, the surveys the various people in place, and we just stopped ( partly due to the contractor taking liberties with our time) but also because my mom really is declining rapidly, and I think some of this can be slowed down with more interaction with friends and family. ¬†We are considering selling our beautiful home and buying a property that is larger with a 2/1 bungalow on it, so that my mother can live more fully with and near us and her friends, and our nearby Hispanic community. ¬†My dad will have to have some skin in this game, ultimately, this is “their life”. Their existence. ¬†I am able to make things better, but we are going to have to figure out boundaries, and how we are able to support each other. ¬†I’m confused at this minute. ¬†I love my folks. ¬†I adore my mom. ¬†I’m just not sure if this is me still giving too much, or if you just “do” these things for your mom. ¬†I know for a fact she would do this for me, my dad…ehhh, I am positive he wouldn’t. ¬†But this is about my mom. ¬†Hmm? ¬†I’m going to tell you, the house we are looking at is amazing. ¬†It’s a historic home. ¬†5 bedrooms 3 baths. ¬†There is a seperate house on the property that is small ish for my folks, but super doable. ¬†There is an orange grove on the property and it’s fully fenced in…oh yeah, and it has an art studio on the property…I forgot to mention that! ¬†With all of that, I’m still not sure I want to move,or that my dad is as invested as I am. ¬†It just makes me sad to think he wouldn’t be. ¬†Btw, my husband (who’s a Saint) is the one who suggested all of this! ¬†I don’t know how I attracted this Godly man. ¬†I’m grateful I did though. ¬†Thoughts? ¬†I’m a little stuck-ish. ¬†Especially today as I’m a little overwhelmed. ¬†Sigh* ¬† Thanks for listening friends.


March 11, 2016

Good morning! ¬†It is a gorgeous day here in sunny Florida. ¬†I think we are getting into the low 80’s, and it just feels like spring – pollen and all! ¬†My husband and I just returned from New York, celebrating our 20 year wedding anniversary, and the warmth in Florida is much appreciated! ¬†It is so wonderful leaving for just a bit, and then it is even more wonderful coming home! ¬†Don’t you agree? ¬†Even when you know you have a ton of stuff to do when you get back, or you have major stuff in front of you, extracting yourself from your life once in a while is necessary.

It was so tough to leave…so many deadlines, the kids have all kinds of things going on, work is crazy and demanding, but 20 years! ¬†Wow! ¬†That deserves a pause and proper acknowledgment of a life well lived, despite the insane sometimes! ¬†We have been getting away (as often as possible)for our anniversaries since our 7 year anniversary. ¬†It helps us to remember the reasons we decided to be¬†together in the first place, the things we love(d) about one another, and enables us to build new memories together just the 2 of us. ¬†It is nice that we still really want to be together. We are still romantic towards one another, and despite the ways we have physically changed and developed, we are still very physically and sexually attracted to each other. ¬†Its beautiful. ¬†We walked all over the city, rode the Big Red Bus, the subway & the yellow cabs. ¬†We ate & drank our way through New York, experiencing a culinary experience like no other. ¬†The cocktails were exquisite as well. You almost feel as though you are missing out if you opt for a glass of wine, or go for a beer. ¬†We are not into plays, or musicals, or things of this nature, which puts us in the category of “freaks” in NYC! ¬†But that is ok with us. ¬†One of the highlights of our trip was going to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. ¬†It is so majestic. ¬†It takes your breath away and makes you feel so proud that we live in this beautiful country. ¬†I didn’t know I would feel so moved, but it was really touching. ¬†I found both of my grandparents names in the ship manifests when they came over from Sweden back in the early 1900’s. ¬†That was really emotional. ¬†It allowed me to sort of see the world from their eyes, not as my grandparents, but as young adults, making a huge decision about the rest of their lives, and changing everything about their lives. ¬†They met here in this country, but were both from Sweden. ¬†I have work to do now, to figure out more of their story. ¬†They were older grandparents when I was born. ¬†My grandfather was 50 when my father was born, so he was nearly 75 when I was born. ¬†I would like to know more about he and my grandmother as children, young adults, and in their courting relationships.

We are home now and back in the swing of things. I have a renewed sense of purpose, strength, and drive.  I am looking forward to all things that I normally have to do.  Some are still really challenging, namely parenting sometimes & dealing with the failing health of parents.  But, I have had a rest, a break, and I can do all this again.  Life is good.  What a nice thing to be able to say and mean.

February 25, 2016

Hi friends.  I am writing to you today from a place of gratitude and peace.  It is so nice to be able to say that.  Aaah. Sigh*** (good sigh!) As you may have been reading, I have been super duper in search of quiet and peace, internally and externally.

I am currently standing in this place. ¬†I feel as though maybe its a reward for having searched so hard for so long. ¬†I don’t care how long it lasts, I am just so grateful to be here. ¬†I have been reading books, and articles, and blogs that fill me up. ¬†That help me to fill whole. ¬†I may sound like I was really broken, and that may be surprising to those who know me, but I was really feeling broken. ¬†I was functioning, and doing, and driving, and listening. ¬†But I was also drowning in sadness, and grief. ¬†One of the things that my best friend and author, ¬†BreŇĄe Brown says (hehe, She doesn’t know she’s my best friend!- I have never met her!) is that you have to decide on the things that you MUST DO without question, so on the days that you feel you can’t do them, you do them anyway without questioning it. ¬†And often, the things you must do, are the things that are the most difficult to do…working out, eating healthy, praying, getting quiet, etc. I feel like having carried on- despite not always having the energy, and doing the things you MUST DO, you can sometimes be carried by habit and routine to the next place. ¬†That has transpired. ¬†I’m glad to see that works. ¬†funny, it’s like taking meds. ¬†Sometimes, you aren’t sure if they are working, and then you realize you haven’t had a head ache for a few hours or minutes or whatever. ¬†Know what I mean?

Let’s chat highlights. ¬†I am excited to tell you that I just turned 43 years old on the 23rd. It was a great day. ¬†I wanted to mostly be in jammies, I wanted quiet. ¬†I had coffee (in my jammies) with my mil. ¬†It was nice. ¬†She brought me (my husband) my father-in-law’s spelling bee trophy from when he was 16. ¬†I love this beautiful relic. It felt nice to have it at my house. ¬†My neighbor, who I¬†literally never see, came and had coffee with me. ¬†We had decided to meet several nights earlier at the Gratitude party my MIL threw for everyone that was a support to her while she and my father-in-law were going through his health struggles, and then his passing. ¬†We just sat and caught up for several hours. Also, so nice. ¬†I was supposed to have lunch out with my hubby, but as you can see, I was still in my jammies! ¬†He brought home Thai food, and we just chatted and noshed. ¬†It was perfect. ¬†I spent the rest of the day running around a bit (I had to put real clothes on – ugh, the injustice! :)), but I felt at peace doing it. ¬†I also got to sew and paint. ¬†Wow, that felt good! ¬†I have been redoing vignettes in my house, and I am so happy about it. ¬†It feels like me again. ¬†It feels like the best place I want to be. ¬†My new fave place- again. Both the house and me, myself. Nice.

Beautiful, and sweet friends sent me sweet cards, and dropped off thoughtful gifts, and my family sent me Las Ma√Īanitas through social media. ¬†It’s the Mexican version of Happy Birthday. ¬†My grandmother on my mom’s side had always lived in Mexico, and she used to call me on my birthday, and play me las ma√Īanitas first thing. ¬†It was sweet and made me cry (still)after all these years. ¬†My sweet cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents called me, sang to me, and just plain ole’ loved me. ¬†I received my normal check in the mail from my dad… 43 dollars… see what happened there? ¬†Last year, 42 dollars…etc, etc. ¬†It was sweet. ¬†All of this commotion, and yet, meanwhile, I received peace. ¬†Funny how that works out. Last night, we celebrated with a close circle of friends and family. ¬†It was special. ¬†I feel very loved. ¬†Another set of friends is hosting a dinner for me tonight. ¬†I feel overly fussed over, but grateful for the love. ¬†Crazy enough¬†(as everything always is in this family),the good times aren’t over. ¬†Mark and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary together on the 1st of March. ¬†We are flying to New York (first time for both of us) for some down time and R&R. ¬†We are looking forward to it so much. ¬†I am not good at asking for assistance – as I have told you, but my sister in law offered to fly down here and walk in our shoes for several days, which is no small task! ¬†So many meals, practices, laundry, pets, etc. ¬†She not only offered, but insisted. ¬†I am grateful. ¬†My husband is the best person I have ever met. ¬†I still feel that way after 20 years of marriage. ¬†I still think he is gorgeous. ¬†I recognize daily, the blessings I was given in him. ¬†The 21st was one year since his dad passed away. That was such a strange day for everyone – I’m sure, but speaking solely for myself, it affected me so strangely. ¬†I think that there are always so many things at any one given time going on, it is often difficult trying to figure out how I am feeling or what to make of certain things. ¬†There is just no time between one thing and the next 10 things. ¬†I went to yoga in the morning, feeling like I needed the assistance of a slowing down, an unwind, a deep stretch. ¬†I went into it thankful and glad to be there. ¬†I cried all the way through it. ¬†Isn’t that always the damnedest thing. ¬†I didn’t realize what all I was holding back, holding on to. ¬†Put me in a restorative or supportive pose, and the tears just flow. ¬†I left feeling like I did something to really help myself that day. ¬†I teetered all day between happiness, and sadness. ¬†Gratefulness and gloominess. ¬†But then I sewed, and painted and dzjoozjed (not sure how to spell the way it sounds in my head… seems to have z’s in it though) in my house, and got back to peace.

So here I sit.  A balanced peace that I have to keep working to get to, but am thankful I have a say in that at the moment.  Crazy is happening all around me, in my family, in the world, everywhere, but restoration is happening too, and today, I am choosing peace.  I am having to make conscious choices and decisions as to who I let in to my sacred spaces, and what I will let them bring with them and take away. I get to choose that for me too.

On that note, time to head to a sacred space, full of supporting and loving friends, who are my angels on this earth.

Peace friends.


February 9, 2016

Hi. It’s been forever! I come to you today humbly and with a happy heart. I am grateful to be able to say that. It has been a super rough road, and I choose to no longer dwell on that. I can honestly say, I am on purpose, intentionally sitting here today in a good state of mind. So much work has gone into this. Funny really, because as you are going through all kinds of crazy stuff, and then you start mindfully doing whatever it is that seems like the “right” thing for you at that moment, it doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes it seems harsh as you cut things and activities, and people out of your life, because they are no longer doing you good or making you feel good. Often, people around you don’t understand, you may not either…really, it just seems right, and necessary. Looking back though, it is like plotting a map that leads to right here, right now. Wellness. Peace. Space. Time. Health. Wellness. Having said that, I am not 100%, but are we truly ever? I have reduced my drinking, random socializing with people that do not bring me joy, I am more internal, and I am listening to my internal dialog. I have taken a little break from my exercising regiment, and am using that time differently. I am doing more things intentionally that bring me satisfaction and joy. I am enjoying my family so much more.
One day it just sort of clicked. I wanted to rearrange things a bit in my house. Then I started cleaning things out of my various spaces. Closets, drawers, bedrooms, cabinets, garage, etc. I started feeling free, and lighter. You manage all this you know, in between carpools, and making dinner, and in between other tasks. But amazingly, it gets done. I got it done!!! My garage is clean, I can park 2 cars in the garage!!! Woohoo! I made over $1000.00 selling stuff in a 2 day garage sale and on an online selling community. That is huge. I had so much stuff, It made more sense to sell it than to haul it off. I gave tons away too, and if someone couldn’t afford something they needed and I had it to give, I gave it away. I feel such huge relief, and accomplishment. I feel so much lighter too. It is amazing. In doing all these things, I started playing in the dirt again. I have discovered air plants (so much love for these little lovelies). I went on a binge! anything that can be used as a “container” or habitat, I have turned into a air plant habitat. This has brought me simple and sweet joy. In doing this, and clearing out my space of clutter, I have ended up repurposing old things that have “lived” here forever. Things I have loved. Paints and brushes came out. Creativity came out. I have been metamorphosing, and I like what is happening and what I am becoming. I love that. My house is looking more like me again, and I am looking more like me again. I love that TOO! Life is still super busy. But I am accepting of it now. My girls have practices of their individual sports 30 minutes apart on the same day 35 miles from one another…obviously, that is nearly impossible to do and stay sane, and without speeding tickets! I am learning to accept assistance from others (still hard, but necessary), to stop when I need to stop, to be still when I need to be still, to stop caring as much what others think of me, and to find joy in the little things. I am practicing the art of finding “art” in the things I do as a mom. Truly listening – without my cell phone in hand, and trying to ask questions that are relevant, finding happiness and joy in a beautiful healthy meal that I make. I love cooking- and when I start chopping and all the good smells reach my nose, and the colors of all my ingredients become art to my eyes, and the smells of everything meld together, and then taste beautiful and savory, or light and fulfilling…it makes me happy knowing I created that, and that it was beautiful, and I sustained my family. I know this sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s true. It has been tough at times to not feel resentful about not making money, to drive around 6 hours a day at times – and not really “go” anywhere. To sometimes be the dumping ground for all the bad moods, sicknesses, broken hearts, anger, disappointment, etc, to 4 people in my immediate family, and countless others that are important to me. I got lost in all the calamities, and sadness, and anger, and well, I think you know how this goes and what I mean. It is hard. But I started seeing joy again in that my babies still want to talk to me about the things that matter to them, and they were still listening to me. My mom is not doing great mentally, but she is still my mom and is still here. My dad is trying hard to do right by her. He isn’t perfect, but he is trying, and that makes me love him more. I also realize that I can’t do everything, and It is not all mine to do something with/or about. I realize sometimes that I want to do more for my mom and dad, but this is their life. They have created a lot of these things, and circumstances, and it isn’t MINE to fix. On top of which, they still get to decide how they choose to live their lives. I just get to listen sometimes, and try not to say a whole lot, or weigh in. It isn’t my place or my role. They just need someone to listen. That’s the deal. Here is where I am. And it is good. I am going to try harder at writing again. It also brings me joy. Thanks for being on the other side of this. I appreciate you.

Btw, as you look at my pictures, you will be able to see I had access to a small can of gold spray paint…all my kids old toys got “transformed”! ūüėČ A bowling ball too, a cheap cast off camera that was pink and in my daughter’s room got a coat of gray spray paint, and many old action figures came out to play…in the plants! Honestly…True Joy!