- It’s the unofficial start of summer. Yeah! My favorite time of year in Wisconsin. Today the weather is perfect.
- We got Arabella TOTALLY moved out this past week. Her room is completely empty which was no small task. I really thought it would take weeks if not months to move all her stuff out, so I am grateful for that.
- I am going to make her bedroom into my office after summer is over. Her carpet is shot, so I am planning on ripping out the carpeting and painting the walls. I’ll put my desk in there and buy a futon couch if we have extra overnight guests.
- There are little kids in Arabella’s apartment building. One little boy, probably 3 or 4 asked if I was the landlord. When I said I wasn’t, he asked what I was doing there. I told him I was moving my daughter in. He had a really concerned look on his face when he asked me who was going to take care of her. What a sweetheart! Made my day.
- Paul and I signed up to do some volunteer work to help families in our community. I’m grateful for the opportunity to help others in need.
- Arabella found a new waitressing job!
- I spent the day Friday going out to eat and shopping with my best friend.
- Angel and Dan got their own cell phone plan. It’s hard to believe the wedding is 4 months away! It’s wonderful that my daughter is 100% independent from us now, has a great job, and is doing well. Plus I’ll save money on our phone plan.
- That being said, I upgraded to a new cell phone from an iPhone 8. I’m still saving money on our plan.
- I started getting WP notifications on my new phone. It’s probably been about a year since I received the last notification.
- We wanted to continue with our landscaping project. However, the quote for the little section we wanted done was $4,000. We decided to do it ourselves. Yesterday my son and some of his buddies removed the old landscaping rocks and took out some shrubs. It’s amazing to see the strength and energy of young men. I’m grateful we are still able to do the project at a fraction of the price.
- As tomorrow is Memorial Day, I’m grateful for the sacrifice of veterans who served and protected our country at all costs.
- I’m grateful for mid-week church services.
Gratitude week 123
- Mother’s Day; I was able to spend most of the day with my mom and all my children and their significant others. Angel made me a lemon cake and bought me a book. Alex brought me flowers and cheesecake. Arabella got me my favorite jelly beans. We played some games and had a bonfire. Paul made some ribs.
- I’m grateful for my husband who did most of the cooking and cleaning on Mother’s Day.
- Spring finally arrived in Wisconsin. It’s the start of my favorite time of year!
- I turned the heat off and took the quilt off my bed.
- I uncovered the pool today for the season.
- I had a really good therapy session.
- Paul had his annual physical and it went well.
- I finished the classic East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It was a remarkable book…there might be a post about it this week…
- Mom and I are going to the spa this week…can’t wait for that.
- Sailing season is starting…we’re planning on taking the boat across the bay this week to its summer home.
- I had another weekend of rummage sales. The big finds were a light blue floral area rug for $22, several snarky t-shirts, several albums specifically one with pipe organ music, colored exterior flood lights, candles and large candle holder, a beach scene picture, and some books. I bought some items for Angel’s house and Arabella’s apartment. I met some of my neighbors.
- This is worth a special mention. At a rummage sale I found a book of questions. I was specifically looking for an item like that for my blog to have more topics to write about when things get slow. I can’t believe I found an obscure item I was looking for at a random rummage sale. The best part is I paid 50 cents for it.
Gratitude week 122
- It’s May!! March and April were difficult months weather wise with cold, windy, and rainy/icy/snowy weather most days. We even had snow a couple days ago. It been a very wet wintry spring, but it might warm up a bit by next weekend…
- I’m pretty much done with my spring cleaning. This past week I washed the windows and put on the screens. Now I’m just waiting for spring.
- I got my 1st birthday video back. It was neat to watch, however a 50 mm film translates into about 3 or 4 minutes of video without audio. I was hoping for something longer with more family in it besides me and a short clip with my mom. Oh well! My grandma had a tradition where bread, a book, and money were placed in front of a baby at their first birthday. I have video proof that I picked the bread which supposedly means I will never go hungry…but my husband said maybe I am smart because I actually picked the only edible object. LOL
- I met my husband’s therapist this week.
- I was able to spend time with all my kids this week.
- My brother Luke called me to vent. He rarely does that, so I am grateful for the call to talk.
- I’m grateful to have our best friends over for Paul’s homemade pizza and swimming.
- The neighborhood had rummage sales going on, so yesterday Paul and I went to check it out. I bought some of my favorite things to buy…clothes, puzzles, books, and candles. Next weekend we are planning on going out rummaging again..
- Clean sheets.
- I was able to work on my book.
- The finale of Ozark is out.
A breath of fresh air
For a few days, we had weather that was nice. By nice I mean temps in the 50’s with no snow, rain, or ice. I’ll take it, I guess. I was able to get some yard work done, raking out beds and picking up sticks. Paul was out chopping wood. It felt nice to get stuff done. But not really as I felt sore and sneezed and sniffled like crazy with allergies. I can’t complain, but sometimes I still do.
I went through all my clothes, summer and winter and everything in between. I got rid of a huge pile, not necessarily to be a minimalist though I do prefer that to clutter. A lot of clothes no longer fit me. I felt sad to part with my favorite shorts and jeans. Clothes that have been favorites for decades from thinner days. I don’t know about you, but I have clothes that are just too good to wear. It’s almost to the level of sacred. I rarely, rarely wear them because they are just so special. Then I lament I don’t wear them enough. I know I will think about it next fall when I pull out the winter clothes that are no longer there.
My mom came over to visit today. We worked on a puzzle. For a while, all has been well. The kids are all okay as far as I know. It’s quiet, lonely, and boring without all the problems I’ve had over the past couple of years. It’s funny because this is all I wanted during the stressful days. But now that I have it, I don’t really want it because I feel stagnant and unmotivated.
What is there to write about? Should I make a post telling you that mom and I worked on a puzzle. To make it more exciting, I will tell you it is a bicentennial puzzle my mom gave me from her house actually from 1976 back when I was two years old. It’s so old it actually might be worth something. LOL! It contains political pins to vote for people I’ve never even heard of before. It really makes me feel rather sad about the passage of time.
Yesterday was my grandma’s birthday. If she was still living she would’ve been 97 years old. She was a beautiful person inside and out, one of the best people I’ve ever known. I wish I could preserve all the cherished memories with her and pass them down to my kids. They barely remember her. I can’t give them the memories of her that I have though. Some day I’m afraid all she will be is a name and a date on a genealogy chart. You see, she wasn’t famous. She was a farmer’s daughter with only an 8th grade education. She never drove a car. She was quiet. We could sit in silence for hours and be at total peace. I’m afraid she will be forgotten.
The rains are starting. It’s going to rain through tomorrow with over an inch of rain expected. Then it is going to be cold and windy as winter again. Maybe we’ll get more snow. What we had on the ground just melted. It was nice to get a breath of fresh air, but I seem to want something more than that.
The old normal, part 7
One of the biggest changes since the start of COVID is having an empty nest. When COVID began, I had four teenagers living in my house. Granted, two of them were foreign exchange students. Back then all my children were in school of some sort…high school, tech school, college. Now I don’t have any children at home or in school. That has been a huge change for me.
For almost 20 years of my life I had children in school. I was involved in their education. When they were little, I volunteered in their classrooms. I attended countless sporting events, field trips, concerts, conferences, and ceremonies. My weekends and a lot of week days were booked with kid stuff. My calendar was full. I was driving the kids all over the place. I was interacting with other parents. Then less than a year ago that abruptly ended. A month ago, my last child who was living with us moved out.
It’s been a big adjustment going from being needed to questioning what my purpose is now as a mother whose children are grown up and gone. It’s a strange experience having to only be responsible for me. Seeing moms wrestle in the grocery store with car seats and unruly kids makes me feel free, yet I miss it. It’s bittersweet. It’s so ingrained in me to want to take care of other people that I don’t know what to do with it now that it’s gone.
My life has changed so much in the last two years. The old normal is gone. I’m not sure where to even start. But it is a new beginning, a new season, a new chapter just waiting for me to explore. That can be exciting and fun.
The old normal, part 1
I’ve experienced a lot a change in the last 5 years. It started with the death of my mother-in-law from cancer back in February of 2017. We went through a period of grief and loss.
Within the last 5 years we went from having three (up to four with the foreign exchange students) teenagers living in our house to being empty nesters last month.
Paul and I went from running a business to selling our business that I worked at for 10 years and he for 20. For a period of time, we were retired. Then Paul started a seasonal business. He also started a new career different from both businesses. So there were several career and job changes within the last 5 years.
With the selling of our business, we experienced a socioeconomic change. We moved into a different house in a different town. Our youngest daughter changed schools. We are attending the third church within five years. New house, new neighborhood, new school, new church.
I went from being a marathon runner to not running at all. I was diagnosed with colitis and started developing health issues. I started to notice aging more than I’ve ever experienced it before in my adult life going from my early 40’s to my late 40’s. My siblings started to develop health issues.
I found out about the crime my dad committed. It tore up my family. Then COVID came into play and tore up whatever family unity was left. My dad will be 75 in a couple weeks and it kills me that our relationship never amounted to anything. Most of my family went from tolerating him to despising him. My mom is teeter tottering back and forth between leaving my dad and staying. She moved in with us for awhile. She is experiencing a tremendous amount of anxiety.
It’s been two years today since my youngest daughter tried to kill herself for the first time. That has been a huge struggle and change in my life, having a daughter go from quirky to being so mentally ill she might die.
Then there are the other little changes, but changes nonetheless. Losing a family pet. Buying a new car after my old car got totaled. Not to mention a global pandemic that changed everyone’s life.
I am struggling with all the change. The new me doesn’t even recognize the old me anymore. What happens now?
What happens when the pandemic ends? Do we pick up the pieces where we left off and start a new old normal?
Gratitude week 111
- It’s Valentine’s Day, I’m grateful for those I love and who love me.
- This past weekend, Paul and I went to a couples retreat. I’m grateful for the time we spent focusing on our relationship. The speaker was insightful. We both were able to look at things in a new and different way. Plus we did a lot of fun activities like ice skating, cross country skiing, tubing, games, fuzzball, painting, and a murder mystery dinner.
- When we got back home, our dehumidifier for the pool stopped working and it was pretty much raining in our house. The good news is that we were able to have someone come out and fix it today before any damage was done.
- New clean sheets. When we bought our bed 5 years ago we got two sheet sets to go with it and one wore out so we bought another.
- Last week I went grocery shopping and a baby, probably a little less than a year old, smiled and waved at me when her mother’s back was turned. It made me feel hope for the future. I can’t even explain why because it was something little. Once COVID started, I realized I haven’t seen a lot of little children out in public anymore. I didn’t realize how much I missed it.
- Last week Angel and Dan invited us over for supper. I’m grateful my daughter is getting settled into her new house. Over the weekend they moved out some of her last remaining items such as a dresser and hutch I gave her.
- I’m grateful at the moment life seems to be settling down a little. Hopefully it stays that way for a while.
- I made an appointment to get my second tattoo next month. I’m grateful l didn’t chicken out.
Gratitude week 110
- January is over! I’m grateful for this because it means no more bad things can happen in January.
- My daughter Angel and her fiancé bought a house. Oh my gosh, my daughter is a home owner. I’m grateful they were able to find something they like and I’m anxious to see what they will do with it.
- So, I’m trying to complain and criticize less. A couple nights ago I decided to start the following day. In the wee morning hours, I had to go to the bathroom and sat down only to find the toilet seat was left up. Sometimes I swear God has a sense of humor. I’m grateful for goals, obtainable or not.
- Arabella got a job! She had an interview at a sports bar. They asked her if she had experience as a server. She does. They asked her when she could work or what her preferred hours were. When she said evenings and weekends, they hired her on the spot and asked her to come in to train that evening. I’m grateful my daughter found a job and I really hope it goes well for her.
- I’m grateful the trade show we had a booth at is over. Kid you not, within the first hour I spilled half my water bottle over our marketing materials. All in all, it was a successful show even though for the most part it was incredibly boring.
- I’m grateful for great TV series on cold winter days. I’m grateful for the ability to watch them whenever we want. Gone are the days of having to wait once a week hoping the VCR was set right to record the show over an old VHS tape if we were gone. I’m really aging myself here. But what I’m really trying to say is I absolutely loved watching the first half of the new season of Ozark. I LOVE that show!
- I’m starting to think about summer. This past week we planned our summer sailing cruise schedule with our sailing club and also picked a date for Angel’s bridal shower. This will help me get through the rest of the winter, hopefully. Paul and I will also have our 25th wedding anniversary this summer so I’m starting to think about that as well.
- Watching the winter Olympics.
- I’m looking forward to unwinding tonight with a stiff drink by a roaring fire in our fireplace while watching a funny movie.
Fortune cookie wisdom #46
You will always have good luck in your personal affairs.
When is this supposed to start again??
Sometimes I wonder if this is all there is. Just me waiting for the other shoe to drop stuck in an endless loop of meaningless tasks. Cleaning the house, just to watch it get dirty again. Why don’t things stay clean and orderly? Why is life so messy?
I have been on edge and out of sorts lately. There has been so much change in my life lately. I wish I could tell you that I embrace change, or like it, but I don’t. I haven’t been sleeping all that well and last night had a nightmare I was watching my cat drown.
In the mornings and at night sometimes, my cat stares out the window. I wonder if he is waiting for our dog to come back. We used to sit their together staring out that window at night waiting for the dog to come in for the night. Today I washed the remaining dog nose smudges off that same sliding glass door. He won’t be coming back. I vacuumed the rest of the pet hair from the rug he entered eternal sleep on.
Yesterday my daughter and her fiancé bought a house. This weekend she will be moving out. It is bittersweet. I got used to her living here for the last year and a half. I know it is time for her to move on with her own life and she is happy. But that somehow doesn’t make it easier right now. I’m not sure what will happen next. This will be the first time my husband and I have been alone since we had kids.
I know I should view this as an opportunity for growth. But it really doesn’t feel like that right now.
So here I’ll be waiting for the good luck….
Gratitude week 109
- My husband is feeling a lot better after being sick. Since he very rarely gets sick, this was really eye opening. Thinking about losing him made me realize how much I love and appreciate him.
- Paul was feeling good enough to go on the annual guys ice fishing trip.
- I’m grateful for the safety of the men who went on the trip. They went fishing on Lake Superior which is always a little scary for me. One year they were up there an ice fishing guide died on Lake Superior, an expert died. A couple days it was bitterly cold. Paul’s 4 wheeler didn’t start and the next day Paul’s step-dad’s truck wouldn’t start because it was 18 below.
- My son and his buddy were able to make the long trip to ice fishing camp in his junker car without breaking down in a remote area with no cell coverage and freezing to death.
- Angel and Dan were supposed to close on their house last week, but Dan ended up having to go to Texas for work. Now they are closing on the house tomorrow. I’m grateful Dan made it back safely this morning after the 18 hour drive from Texas.
- Tomorrow my daughter will be a home owner. It’s hard to believe she will be moving out this week. The house will be a lot quieter without her and I will miss her a lot. But I’m grateful she is getting married and moving on with her life.
- Yesterday I went along with Angel and her bridesmaids to pick out the bridesmaid dresses. It was a lot of fun.
- It’s puzzle time of year again. I just finished a puzzle and am working on another one.
- I spent three days this past week working on my book and I started reading The Bell Jar which was a Christmas gift from Angel.
- Arabella’s boyfriend got a new job and Arabella has a job interview on Wednesday.
- When the guys were gone, Angel and I watched a couple good movies-Requiem of a Dream and The King of Staten Island.
- I went cross-country skiing today for the first time this season. It went better than I thought it would.