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Archive for November, 2010

I heard from Navy Girl the other day, an actual phone call, not just email.  It was a wonderful end to the holiday weekend.  It is that time of year where we look forward to seeing our friends and families.  If you are lucky you get along with most of them, and can tolerate the rest.  And yes that even means your friends.  We have our moments when our friends are just tolerable, and they have those same moments.  The trick is to not have those moments at the same time.   It is amazing what cutting someone some slack will do to a relationship.

The same goes for marriage.  I have said it before and I will say it again.  Being married is hard work.  It is an 80/20 proposition.  But the thing is you never know who is giving the 80 and who is giving the 20.  Like the rest of life it ebbs and flows and sometimes it feels like both of you are giving 80 and getting 20 at the same time.  But if you go into it thinking ‘we are not getting out of this unless one of us dies,’ you can pretty much work anything out.  Dr. Phil has a great line he asks “How’s that working out for you?”  So is constantly fighting over who is going to do the dishes, or how clean is clean, works for you both, more power to you.  But if the fights make you sad . . .  hmmm  . . . maybe it isn’t working for you.  See we all have our standards, and sometimes the other person can’t meet them.  Why? because the fact that when they make the bed and there are wrinkles doesn’t bother them, it only bothers you.  So rather than getting upset about it, make the bed to your standards but don’t complain about the way they make the bed, at least they made an attempt. 

We can’t change who people are, we can only change our response to them.  The people we love know how to push our buttons and vice versa.  And trying not to push some ones buttons is so hard, it is like that cake with the pristine frosting, we all just want to put our fingers in it.  We may not even like the frosting but we must touch it.  So what will your response be? 

Happy thoughts for a happy day!

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Thanksgiving has come and gone, we have so much to be thankful for.  It is amazing the bounty of this country.  I am thankful that I got to see so many of my relatives during this holiday.  I saw all of my siblings and most of nieces and nephews even a cousin or two.  I saw one of my girls and heard from the other two, unfortunately when Navy Girl called, my phone did not ring, (Gee thanks Verizon for that, NOT) and I did not get to talk to her directly.  But she left me a message, which made me cry, and she did end up talking to Army Girl.  Which is good, but it still made me sad!  I miss my children so much.  I am so thankful to have them.

I am so thankful that Hubby was able to be here from Tuesday through Saturday.  I miss him so.  We will see each other at the end of the month.  About three weeks give or take.  He is such a good man, and he puts up with so much.  He is always game to try new things, to help out when needed, to look to see where he is needed.  I just am so unbelievably lucky, really truly I am.  I hope you are all truly blessed too.

Happy thoughts for a happy day!

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More often than not we need an “I am there for you,” not a solution. We just need someone to listen to what we have to say, not a solution to the problem. We already know what the solution is; we just don’t want to face it. We want someone to say yes, I hear you, you are right and it sucks. Especially when we are dealing with loved ones.
We want the best for them, and often when we see problems, they don’t. When we tell others of problems they see meddling. When we are trying to inform, they see exaggerating. When we know that what they heard and what was said are diametrically opposed and we call them on it . . . well then we are the bad guy. What are you supposed to do then?
It isn’t easy. Taking care of others never is, be it children or parents or spouses there is always that resentment that I can do it myself mentality, and for the most part they can. Except when they can’t, and then what do you do? What do you do?

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smoking

I was going to write a blog about how I love this time of year, because all of the Christmas movies are on Hallmark channel. I love Christmas movies; they always have a happy ending. I think we need movies with happy endings because they give us hope. And hope is one of those things that can be in short supply lately.
But something else is on my mind. Smoking, it is such a disgusting habit. It makes you stink, it makes your clothes stink, it makes everyone who is around it stink. It is just gross and so very bad for you. The stuff they put in cigarettes is alarming as hell, tar, formaldehyde, nicotine, all sorts of things that really shouldn’t be anywhere near you until you are dead.
I bring this all up because someone (Gpa) has been smoking in the bathroom. He is an adult, he can do that, it is legal. However he has been sneaking them. I am so frustrated! The man has COPD so bad that he has less than 30% lung capacity, and he has pneumonia! But still he ‘needs’ to smoke and then can’t figure out why he doesn’t get any better. What is it with smokers not getting it? when you are sick with something like pneumonia or a severe cold, wouldn’t you think, hey doing something that will close my lung passages further is probably a stupid idea!?! Now I have to go wash my stuff in bleach and figure out where I can put it that it won’t get covered in tar and other nasty stuff and won’t smell or taste gross (think hairbrush and toothbrush). I hope he is turning his oxygen off when he is smoking because if he blows himself up, well that would just take the cake.

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“Why your life plan might trump your business plan.” I read this headline in passing in one of the many e-zines that I read. I did not read the article because I started thinking . . . do I have a life plan? Now I know when most of you read the ‘I started thinking’ line you all went “Oh god not again!” But bear with me on this one. Do you have a life plan? I don’t think I do, actually I am pretty sure I don’t. Do you think I need one? Do I think I need one? I don’t know.
I have never really been good at planning. Not long term planning anyway. It seems like every time I make long term plans life has another booby trap, obstacle, turn that I just didn’t foresee and my life goes off in a direction I wasn’t expecting. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it has definitely been an interesting life, but thought out and planned? Not a chance.
Maybe that is why I have such a hard time with the “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” question in interviews. I mean really, 5 years ago I was driving a school bus; 3 years ago I was a marketing analyst, now I am working on my MBA and living with my dad. Who would plan that?
Do you have a life plan? Let me know what it is, I would like to hear it. Happy thoughts for a happy day!

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struggle

My days are filled with worry.  I worry about my kids, I worry about my husband, I worry about my lack of a job, but most of all I worry about my dad.  There isn’t anything I can do to about my kids; my worries for them are mostly the “I want them to be happy and have a better life than I do” kind.  I worry about my husband working so hard and being so far away.  The worry about my dad is constant.

I see him struggle everyday just to breathe.  I see him struggle to get up and give himself his breathing treatments 4 times a day, every day.  Lately he has been ill and it has been a struggle to even get dressed.  He had been doing the dishes and going with me on some of the shorter errands.  Not anymore. 

We see the doctor almost every week.  We will see him more often as things progress.  I asked the doctor about physical therapy or exercising and the answer was “No” it will actually be detrimental to his health.  He just does not have the lung capacity to do it or maintain it. 

Seeing the x-ray of his lungs and all of the parts that no longer work was devastating, it really brought home what we are up against. The knowledge that this is as good as it gets now makes me so sad. Live like it is your last day, love like it is your last day, and know you are loved in return.

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Embarrassment – There are very few things in the average person’s life that they can’t get over.  Everyone gets embarrassed over and over and over again.  It is a fact of life.  I bring this subject up today because of a post by one of my many nephews.  It was very concise and to the point, it said and this is a direct quote “Embarrassment sucks!!!!!”  You know what buddy, yes, yes it does.  For about 20 minutes.  Then someone else does something equally dumb or often even dumber and it is their turn. 

We have all done something embarrassing, dropped our tray at lunch, tripped up the stairs, said something, been called up on stage to slurp jello or cluck like a chicken.  It happens to everyone.  And we all know those people who it seems to happen to more often than others.  The lady who always seems to have her dress tucked in her panty hose, the guy who always has the toilet paper stuck to his shoe, the friend who runs into a telephone pole on a bicycle.  Those people who always seem to end up on Funniest Home Videos, or should anyway. 

The thing to remember is, it is fleeting.  There are very few things that you will be remembered for forever.  Like the time I dyed my hair and it turned this amazing orange color.  It wasn’t supposed to but sometimes accidents happen.  Or the time I fell off a motorcycle and broke my leg, there were people gathered around and staring.  It was so embarrassing, now it is a funny story.  So have a sense of humor, next time you do something embarrassing hope they get it on tape so you win some money or at least get up (unless your leg is broken then that hurts to much) and take a bow.  It is harder for people to make fun of you if you beat them to it.

Happy thoughts for a happy day!

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Sometimes doing the right thing for your pocketbook sucks for your emotional life.  Hubby had the chance to work some overtime this weekend.  He was going to come see me at Gpa’s, but we need the money so he is working instead.  Army Girl is going to let him use her computer later so we can Skype.  So we will at least get to see each other.  Not the same as the hugs and kisses I was looking forward too but better than the old days where you had to content yourself with a letter once every 6 months or so.  It still is sad.  But on the bright side I will get to see him at thanksgiving.  Always have to look at that bright side. 

We are saving up money to go see Navy Girl when she comes home.  It will be very cool; they man the rails and everything.  An added perk will be getting to see Air Force Girl at the same time.  Hopefully Army Girl will be able to come with us.  It will be the first time that we have all been together in . . . three or four years.  I had to stop and think, it has been a long time.  We have had different mixes of the girls’ home at a time but not all three together with us for a very long time.  I think we will have to get a picture to commemorate the occasion.

I think I will go to the gym and work off some of this sad funk I am in.  It will make me feel better and if I am going to get a picture taken soon (sometime in the next 2 or 3 months) I want to look good.  ;P

Happy thoughts for a happy day!

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THANK YOU VETERANS!

We have all heard the sayings “freedom isn’t free” and “if you enjoy your freedom thank a veteran” but what do they really mean? There is a cost to every decision we make. That cost includes what we didn’t do, what we could have done and in some cases what we should have done. No one enters the military on a whim. It is a decision that is discussed long and hard. It is a decision that is laughed over and cried over, prayed over and screamed over. It is never an easy decision.

Often the person choosing the military is a little more than a child, a kid 17 or 18 years old. If they are 17 their parents, all of them (mom, dad, stepmom, stepdad) have to sign the papers. We did this for two of the three girls. It is an amazing responsibility, to sign someone up for 4 to 6 years of their lives. It is awe inspiring to know that you have raised someone who at 17 or any age, really, is willing to put their life on the line for you. That is supposed to be you, think about it, all of their life you have been willing to protect them, and now they are standing up to not only protect you but everyone else too.

The costs are giving up your ability to decide where you will live, where you will work, when you will travel, where you will travel, what hours you will work, family time, college, and so much more. But the gains are amazing too.

What you gain when you are in the military, self respect, an amazing education, confidence, respect, adventure, and the thanks of a grateful nation.

I Thank you my darling girls
Thank you Navy Girl
Thank you Army Girl
Thank you Air Force Girl
Thank you Micale
Thank you Chuck
Thank you Keith
Thank you Gpa
Thank you DeWayne
Thank you Ron
Thank you Matt H
Thank you Alex
Thank you Ed
Thank you Josh
Thank you Dan
Thank you Clarence

Thank you all!

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When you are dealing with someone you love’s chronic illness it gets rather wearing.  Often times when you look up information on how the illness progresses they get to a certain point and just stop.  They don’t tell you that at some point you will be making multiple trips to the doctor, they don’t tell you that hospital trips are inevitable, they don’t tell you what to expect.

Gpa has COPD, I have talked about this before and I will talk about it again.  He has been stage 4 for 3 years.  He is getting increasingly weak and it is taking more and more of his energy just to breathe.  It makes me tired just watching him.  I talked with his doctor and he said that Gpa has been surprisingly healthy, most people would have been hospitalized much more often than he has been.  It has been a year or so since the last time.  One rule that everyone has agreed on and kept is no one comes around when they have been sick.  I delayed returning this time because I caught a little cold. 

It makes me sad to watch the progression of this once vital man to one who struggles so.  COPD is an insidious disease that just saps everything out of a person.  Your lungs are your most important organ, they affect everything, when they start to malfunction everything goes.  The less oxygen that gets into your blood the less energy your body has, it is a downward spiral.  We are entering the phase where the coils are closer and closer together.  My hope is when we hit that end point when ever that may be it is quick and painless. 

I say we because it isn’t just Gpa that is affected by this disease, it is all of his children, it is all of his grandchildren, it is all of his brothers, it is all of his in-laws, it is all of nieces and nephews, it is all of his friends, in other words it is all of his family.  I will be writing more about what happens as it occurs.

Happy thoughts for a happy day

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