Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Create

Joining Five Minute Friday before heading out to our camping trip!  This week’s prompt is “create”.  So, here goes:


This weekend I aim to create memories.  I am living a life with my daughter who is on borrowed time and although I certainly hope and pray she lives a long and healthy life with her transplanted heart, I also try to be cognizant of the fact that I have no guarantees.  Now, no one really has any guarantees (see this horrific story about the dad and 11 year old son who lost their lives in the Nice attack yesterday), but my awareness of this is just a bit more acute with my DD.

Many of my favorite memories from childhood are those on the road.  I didn’t always have the most pleasant of experiences at home.  My father was an alcoholic, but for some reason, when we were traveling, he was usually pretty good about staying sober.  I remember my mom reading to me (for some reason, I really remember reading Ishi one year on our way to Wyoming), listening to the AM radio as we drove through darkness on unfamiliar roads, waking up in a new place each morning.  I remember one time in Arizona waking to the braying of a wild donkey (burro?) outside of our van at a rest stop.  I remember going to museums and old ghost towns and zoos in other cities.  We did a lot of things on these trips and they always felt like an adventure.  We didn’t have super specific plans.  There were no cell phones with GPS so we went by maps and stopped at Visitor Centers.  We camped at rest stops and KOA campgrounds and state and national parks.  And all of those trips created fond memories of family.  That is what I want for my daughter.  No one’s life is all good memories.  She will have her share of hospital and medical memories that will not be great, but hopefully we can create some others that will be her true place of comfort and joy.


Five Minute Friday, Thankfulness Challenge, Uncategorized

Five Minute Friday – Table – Thankful Challenge Day 27

I am once again joining Five Minute Friday this week.


Table.  It is a simple furniture item that most of us have in our homes.  But it is also a symbol of togetherness.  I got my parent’s dining room table when my mom passed away this summer.  It is funny how it is the same table, but feels totally different in our house.  We never ate many meals at the table at my parent’s house.  Mostly, we sat on the couch or chairs in the living room.  Especially when it became difficult for my dad to get around.  But even before that.  The table was for special occasions.  But, it was also there to do paperwork.  For my DD to do her art projects when she was visiting.  To hold the myriad of medications – for my dad and then my mom and for my DD when we were visiting.  It was also finished by my dad’s hands.  He did a lot of antique refinishing in his retirement and this table was one of those projects.

It is a bit too big for our space when I put the leaves in (which I did out of desperation to be able to put the extra chairs around the table and have them fit).  So, I will have to take the leaves out and move the extra chairs to the garage, to be pulled out on those special occasions when people are visiting.  But, I will be having family dinners at this table more regularly than we did at my parent’s.  I will be enjoying that table as a family, with meals.  And when I do, I will think of my dad working on it and my mom taking care of it.  I don’t have a ton of things from my parent’s house, but this is one that I will cherish and use with joy.  The family table.

I am thankful…for the table, but more so for the memories attached to it and the ones we will make at it.


Thankfulness Challenge

365 Days of Thankfulness – Day 22

Another day at home.  My DD is not feeling “bad,” but she just wants to be at home.  I think she is a bit under the weather still, but more of it is just wanting to hang out and take it easy, with which I can totally relate.  There is a lot going on tonight – the Advent event at our church and our city’s Christmas Preview, but she said she just wanted to stay home today (and I assume that also means tonight).  So, that is what we’ll do.  I am going to come up with a few advent things of my own (I already planned on doing a Christmas book a day for advent and we can make a paper chain with acts of kindness and bible verses like they did last year at the church advent event).  And maybe she will want to go later on after spending all day at home, but if not, it will be okay.  I’m still feeling a bit under the weather myself, so taking it easy and just watching a bunch of Hallmark Christmas movies sounds like an okay way to spend the day to me.  Currently, I am watching Charming Christmas.


Today, I am thankful for great childhood memories.  Not all of my childhood memories are great, but I have a number of really good ones.  I am thankful to have grown up in a house that was full of laughter.  Today, I found the Carol Burnett show on a cable channel we have and I was so excited because that show just makes me laugh thinking about it.  And it wasn’t even that the show was that funny (although it is a hilarious show – they don’t do humor like that anymore), but that I remember both my mom and dad laughing until they couldn’t breathe when watching that show.  Both of my parents had great laughs too.  My dad’s laugh made me not afraid to laugh out LOUD when things were funny.  And my mom’s laugh was contagious.  I loved watching funny shows with them.  And Carol Burnett was one of their favorites.  Another that came up recently was the Thanksgiving show from WKRP Cincinnati, which was and still is hilarious (I watched it in my living room yesterday and it made me laugh out loud in a very cackling way, much like my dad used to).  Laughter is so important.  And I’m thankful to have had it all during my childhood years. I want to spend lots of time laughing with my DD as well.  I want her to have memories of her mom’s loud and contagious laugh!



Countdown to 2015 – Two! One!

Well, I’ve missed a bit of the countdown.  Yesterday we traveled to my in-laws and I started feeling a bit more sick (I think I mentioned I might be getting sick).  Today I spent most of the day in dental offices with my husband, who needs a root canal.  Ever tried to find a dentist, in network, who can do a root canal two days before New Year’s Day?  Well, don’t try it.  After $115 for x-rays and evaluation at a non-network dentist, we were referred to an in-network dentist, where they worked on his tooth but could not do a root canal because there was no endodontist in town and available.  He is still miserable, so we’ll see whether I spend part of tomorrow back in a dentist office again.  But, yeah, 2014 is going out with a real bang – like a shoot me in the foot bang.  But, let’s fill in the countdown here…

2 countdown

For the 2 days post, I will focus on recalibrating my interests.  As I sit here, coughing and watching the Kennedy Center Honors, I realize how many great things I don’t DO anymore that I used to love doing.  The Kennedy Center Honors is like that though – it is there to remind you of how much the arts really impacts our lives.  Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Sting…and all those who are celebrating them (there were more, but we tuned in late).  They are household names.  They provided me with so many hours of entertainment.  The Police in my youth was a mainstay, playing constantly on my little cassette player that went everywhere with me.  Bruce Springsteen, who is performing in honor of Sting was the first concert I went to at 14 (with my sister at the Oakland Coliseum – and we were in nosebleed seats – and it was awesome).  I loved watching Laugh In reruns with my parents when I was little.  And Nine to Five was one of the best movies ever made.  Bruno Mars singing “So Lonely” makes me want to get up and dance.  Tom Hanks in Big and Forrest Gump truly changed my expectations for movies.  I mean, music, movies, songs…they are life changers whether we want to admit it or not.  And I haven’t seen a movie in the theater in years other than Walking With the Dinosaurs.  I’ve seen so many amazing previews for movies lately.  So, I would like to recalibrate and start watching movies (whether in the theater or at home now – its so much easier than it used to be), listening to more new music (again, so much easier than it used to be), and just enjoying The Arts more.  So, that will be something I work on in the new year.  And I’ll try to share highlights of my experiences here!

one day left

Tomorrow is the last day of 2014.  Although this year has been much better than some of my recent past years, it has still not been great.  My dad passed away in January of 2014.  My mom went through radiation treatments almost immediately following that and has been incredibly depressed at times since then.  But, she’s holding on and sometimes seems to be doing okay.  I’ve had ups and downs throughout the year as well, feeling pretty great at times and totally overwhelmed at other times (this week being one of them, as I’m STILL grading and feel a little lost in where I’m going/should be going next year).  But, I guess that’s life.  I’m hoping for more ups than downs in 2015 and I would love to have an entire year without a catastrophic experience (death in the family, major hospital stay, etc.).  It may be asking for two much, but I can certainly start the year feeling okay about things.  I am lucky, as a woman who went to school with me elementary school through high school is being taken off life support tonight.  I was only in touch with her on Facebook, but it came as quite a shock.  It seems she was unaware of some health problems and went into heart and kidney failure earlier this month, somewhat unexpectedly (she’d had some health problems in the past, but nothing this serious), and now her daughter is having to deal with the decision to take her off of life-support.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as it is a tough way to end/begin a year.  We are young, but not so young we can take life and health for granted.

So, I can’t control much of the catastrophic conditions of others, but I can try to keep myself from dealing with them. So, being healthier is going to be one of my goals for 2015.  Eating better, exercising – nothing crazy.  Just taking care of myself.  First on the agenda is getting in for a physical exam, which I’ve skipped the past couple of years for a myriad of reasons.  Improving my eating and exercise regularity will be first up in that department.  Nothing too extreme as I won’t stick to it.  But, some little changes that will make a difference hopefully.

I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring.  I hope my husband’s tooth feels better.  We’ll be celebrating second Christmas, so there is sure to be some excitement and fun.  It looks like we’ll be staying home at my in-laws (we were going to a bonfire, but the hosts have come down with a horrible flu, so that is a no-go) which is good with my throat and my husband’s tooth.  Maybe we’ll try to find a fun family-friendly movie to watch (in honor of that item above) or maybe we’ll just watch the TV countdowns.

How do you typically spend your New Year’s Eve?  I remember from the time I was about seven until high school I always had a couple of friends come and spend the night.  We would watch the countdown shows on TV waiting for our favorite bands to perform, eating junk food, drinking lots and lots of soda and then banging pans out in my backyard at Midnight!  It was the same every year and we never really tired of it.  My parents were always fine staying home with us (I think my friends’ parents were happy to have someone to send their kids so they didn’t have to find babysitters) and letting us watch what we wanted to and eat what we wanted to and stay up late giggling!  I want to do that for Bean when she is old enough.  But, for now, I need to get her watching TV countdown shows with me, eating junk food and drinking iced tea (since I don’t really drink soda anymore)!  Lots of memories flooding back tonight…