Monday, January 18, 2010

Just Imagine

Let me pre-empt what I have to say that my heart is indeed breaking for the people of Haiti. It is a true tragedy that we can only hope we never have to endure. I have been and will continue to pray for the people of Haiti and I will send what contributions I can to help.

I can't help but sit back and think, what if we all looked at and realized the true financial tragedy some people in America are facing right now as we are heading up our relief efforts for the people of Haiti.

What if our government entities, our non-profit networks and the individual people of America dug in to help fix the financial problems of America. What if we made contributions as whole-heartedly to our own homeless, hungry and hurting people right here like we are gearing up to do for Haiti? What if we put that much effort? Can you imagine? Instead of wiping out our food banks to send far away, we gave it to those who are near to us. You know, the ones we try real hard not to notice. The ones we see move out of their homes because they can no longer afford to live in them. The ones we don't bother to ask where they are moving to so that we can keep in touch with them. The ones we don't want to know the truth of what is happening to them.

What about the ones that are now in homeless shelters? You know, that place that we know exists, that we even make a financial contribution to, that place that we cannot stand to go to and get a first hand look at just how desperate and alone these people have become. Are we afraid we might see someone we knew at a better time in their life? Or are we more afraid that we ourselves might be just a couple of paychecks away from that same fate?

Remember how we refused help from other countries in our relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina? I hate to sound so selfish asking why we do so much for other countries, but so little for our own. But. Why do we do so much for others but not our own???

Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Year, New Beginnings

It is what it is. It's a new year. It's time for a fresh start. 2009 is in the books. It's done. It's over.

2009 brought about many changes in my life and in the lives of my kids. Some good. Some not so good. Some great times were had. Some sad times were shared. And some bad times, just best put in the past.

New Year. New Start. Clean slate.

And man is my slate clean. Anything and everything can and might and might not happen. Its quite possible I will have a career change this year. Well, I am hoping at least considering that I am presently unemployed. I am still studying and working toward my appraisal license, but well, business is slow and I am laid off. I am still going to school online through Ball State working on an Associates in Business Management.

Not a lot of jobs out there right now. And honestly, with things in my personal life right now, health and kids and such, I am taking my time looking. Looking for the right thing to pique my interest and utilize my abilities.

A tight budget is what we are living on, but it isn't killing us. In fact, this tight budget has enabled me to be more compassionate and giving to those who are less fortunate. It has opened my eyes and quite frankly made me ashamed of past behavior in times of better fortune. Its a lesson I hope to carry with me and perhaps it is the real Christmas I found in my heart this year. Because, well, the materialistic Christmas of the past went to heck in a handbasket this year. Raw emotion took over and true spirit and meaning were found.

And the new year came. I was numb to it. Honestly I tried to block in mind that it was New Year's Eve and then New Years Day. I pretty much ignored it and chose not to reflect. Not to make resolutions. Resolutions come and go. Living life day by day, well, you have no choice. But you just might change a few things here and there without making a big production of it. Changes that are necessary. No need to broadcast them. No need to put them into the written word. Just do them.

That's what I got. It is what it is.

New Year. Clean slate.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let us not forget...


'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give,and to see just who in this little house lived.

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No Stockings by mantle, just boots filled with sand,On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,A sobering thought came through my mind.

For this house was different, it was dark and dreary, The home of a soldier, I could now see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.

The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,Not how I picture a United States Soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families that I saw this night,owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

Soon round the world, the children would play,and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wondering how many lay alone,on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

The very thought brought a tear to my eye,I dropped to one knee and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,"Santa don't cry, for this life is my choice".

I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,My life is my God, my country, my corps."

The soldier rolled over and drifted to sleep,I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,as we both shivered from the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave, on that cold, dark night,this guardian of honor, so willing to fight.

Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,whispered, "Carry on Santa...., It's Christmas Day...., All is secure.

One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,Merry Christmas my friend.... and to all a Good Night.

~ Author Unknown *~

Friday, December 11, 2009

On life and death...

Dr. Neal Van Ness passed away this week. I am very sad to hear this news. He was my surgeon, he performed three surgeries on me. He was a good man. I had to be one of his most stubborn and contrary patients. He always used lots of patience and understanding with me and I know it was a challenge at times. He put up with the little hissy fits I would have in the hospital and would ultimately direct the staff to let me have my way, but keep me from hurting myself. :)

He would take the time to explain in great detail what was going on and why I was feeling so horrible. Which would lead to me getting dizzy and passing out in his office. It came to a point where they would have a fan, cold wet wash cloth and smelling salts set up for me....finally the day came when he was able to explain it all to me and I didn't pass out and it was a cause for celebration!!!

I think when we discovered I had a triple hernia shortly after my colon resection surgery he was even more upset than I was. he just felt terrible for me and it felt good to have someone like that care. When I had complications afterward and we couldn't figure out what it was, he was straight up honest with me and told me he didn't know what it was, but he would help me find out.

I have had problems recently and called in and found out he was on medical leave. I was sad to hear that and now even sadder. Our community has suffered a great loss in both a surgeon and person.

I have heard so many other sad stories lately also of friends and acquaintances battling with cancer and other illness. There is never a good time for any of this but the holiday season just makes it so much more difficult. My thoughts and prayers are with all of these people as they fight their own personal battles that many of us will never know or understand.

My dear friend Dan wrote on his blog yesterday of a friend of his who took his own life. These are such desperate times for many of us it is so easy to lose faith but faith is exactly what we need the most. Dan shared this man left behind his wife and two young daughters. The despair and pain this family is left with is devastating and breaks my heart in a million pieces. How do you help? What can you say? What can you do? Just wrap them in love in prayers....

And this is where I start digging deep. Digging deep into my own faith and what I believe. I was raised in a home that knows God's love, but was taught religion is from within, its not in the church you attend and how often you attend, it is in the person you are and the life you live. I went to a Catholic high school and was drawn to the Catholic faith and converted in my mid 20s. Shortly after things in my life happened that made me question that choice and fall away from the Catholic church.

A good friend of our family, a good man in life, took his own life. He took it out of despair over recent health developments and facing becoming an invalid and a burden on his family. He was a proud man and unable to accept total dependency on someone else for the very basic needs of his life. I was devastated. And I was more devastated to think that God would banish him to the confines of hell for eternity. I had to believe our God is more just than that and he looks at the picture as a whole, looks at the life the person has led and not one act of total despair... I choose to believe we have a God who will think outside of the box, look at the gray matter and not respond and react in black and white only?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I confess...

I confess my thoughts are turning towards Christmas and I am thinking of starting to sort through the Christmas decorations. I do like to get my decorating done on Thanksgiving weekend and well......folks, that's just a week away!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Living Life in Full Color

I know I have been absent from my blog for a long while.

The reason being, is simple, I have been busy just living life.

Some good, some bad, day by day, incident by incident, moment by moment.

I have been getting a taste of empty nest life in small doses. Thank goodness for my youngest son or I would be a lost soul - that is for sure.

My oldest son now lives with his dad more than he lives with me. I am not going to lie and tell you I am happy about it. I.Hate.It. I miss him a lot. He seems happy with the situation, so I have to accept it, but I don't have to like it.

My daughter moved out on her own a couple of weeks ago. I am also not thrilled about that either. She could live here rent free and come and go as she pleased. Problem was respect. We were arguing all of the time and she had a parade of people coming in at all hours of the morning after being out "chillin".... It was disruptive to me and the boys when they were here. She decided to tackle life out there on her own, and she is doing just that. Our relationship is strained, but maybe somewhat better. I think we are both harboring hurt feelings and trying to work through them as best we can. Again, I have to accept it, but I don't have to like it. I miss her. I really miss our weekend breakfast at Maria's.

My youngest is playing football for Young Tigers Football this year and he is loving it. His practices are twice a week for two hours each time, so I take my books and laptop and try to study while he practices. His games have been on Saturdays and I have to say there has been a positive effect on the entire extended family on both sides through these games. Both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles and siblings and family friends have been showing up for the games and existing peacefully on the same sets of bleachers all for the love of one little guy. Hopefully, this is a positive step in the right direction for all of us for future family events.

Meanwhile back here at the house, I have been studying a lot and working on home improvement projects. I have literally hundreds of flower bulbs to plant yet this fall, some painting projects to do outside before the snow flies, and general home maintenance projects. Through the help of family and friends these projects are all falling into place and life is moving forward live and in full color.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Before School Begins Again

This was my last week this summer to have the boys before school begins. It has been an emotional but wonderful week. In the past week and a half I have been given opportunities to spend quality one on one time with each of my three kids and as a result, I feel closer and more in tune with all of them.

My daughter took a vacation to Florida with some of her friends for a week and I honestly didn't want her to go. But she did. And it all turned out really well with me taking a half day off work and spending some "me" time shopping and then going to Chicago to pick her and her friend up at the airport. It did me a lot of good to get away for awhile.

This week the boys were here for the week and we had to do the school registration thing and all that fun back to school stuff. But it went well.

The youngest and I went and did some shopping and out to eat together and had some great conversation. He is getting excited to play football this fall and I think he is ready to get back to school.

My oldest son and I had a rough week because we had to return to mediation to figure out where he is going to live, with me or his dad. I started off telling the mediator that I truly wanted to come to a workable solution that would keep my son from ultimately having to choose which parent he wanted to live with. I didn't want him to walk out at the end of the day feeling as if he had let one of us down. Surprisingly we were able to come to a good agreement that divides his time between us somewhat evenly and gives him the flexibilty to say at anytime he wants to spend a night with the other parent. Once the decision was made a huge dark cloud disappeared over his head and my head and we had a great rest of the week.

Yesterday morning I took my oldest daughter to Fort Wayne to register for beauty school and we did a little shopping, it was a good trip and we were able to talk without getting mad at each other. Then in the afternoon the kids had friends come over to play on the lake and we had an impromptu cook out in the evening and it was really nice. My parents even joined us!

And now, I must finish this post and go play on the lake with the kids on the jet skis, where else should we be on a day like today????

Monday, July 20, 2009

Oh so very much has been going on....

Life has been busy as of late. Probably too much to post all of it here. But in a nutshell....

My son got his driver's license on July 7. On July 11, his 17th birthday, he had his first wreck. It was a small fender bender and no one was hurt, but there was damage to both vehicles and he was at fault. Birthday Bummer.

We had a cookout here for his birthday. It was nice. I wanted to show off my flower gardens and all my backyard luxuries that have been added this summer. Sadly enough, the flowers back by the pond are not faring so well and two of my hydrangeas are dying a slow death. This saddens me very much because I was so excited to get them. I will post pictures this week of the other two flower beds that are doing beautifully, (once I finish pulling weeds out of them!)

We had a day at my sister's cottage on Wawasee and the kids went tubing. I got sunburned. Not much fun in the days that followed, but the day on the lake was great!
I did finally get my hammock in my backyard too! I will post pictures later this week.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Play Day

Today is play day on the lake. The recent hot weather has undoubtedly warmed the water to a temperature I can tolerate. My youngest and I went swimming down at the lake in my neighborhood Thursday night and it was like bath water - but it was still nice.

Last night we had a campfire in the back yard - we have strung little round paper camp lights between the two trees out by the pond, right over the bird bath and I have put solar light caps on the posts on my deck, and my really pretty four globe solar lights that change colors in my flower bed by the deck. So all of the lighting back there is soft and pretty and the globe lights are like mini gazing balls that change colors - so it is very relaxing to sit out by the fire. The sky was full of stars and somewhere over on Tippy someone was having a party with a live band. We could hear the music. (Bring back memories Danny?) We sat outside til well past midnight just relaxing.

Today, after I get a couple of reports emailed out, we are going to the lake to play on the jet skis and hopefully soak up some sunshine. I am excited! And then tonight is the Tippecanoe Lake Property Owners Fish Fry. Its the best fish ever. Dan's out of Huntington. Which used to be the fish that was at the Mt. Etna fish fries when I was a kid. We are all going over to my sister's for the fish fry tonight, probably she and I will go over to Camp Crosley (where the fish fry is) and pick up the carry out.

Tonight my daughter has to work and my oldest son will probably go to the Tippy Dance Hall.

If all goes well, tomorrow should be a repeat day on the lake!

Summer is truly here.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Boy. A Lawnmower. And A Pond.

My 16 yr old son got a new lawnmower on Thursday. He has been wanting this new mower for over a year now and has been saving his money. His present lawnmower just hasn't been doing as good of a job as we would like for all of the jobs he now has. So my parents decided to loan him the money to get the new mower.

They went to Kokomo on Thursday to get it. On Friday he mowed the lawns he is contracted to mow over by the lake. On Saturday he finally got to mow our yard. It is the standing joke with our neighbor whenever Kyal comes over to see him its because his mower is in the pond. When they saw his new mower they wondered out loud how long it would be before it went in the pond.
Well you guessed it. First lap around the yard......

He went marching right over to the neighbor and he came over to help. I was on camera duty, I was greatly amused by this. Kyal was not so happy, he said he rode it right down the bank, he was going to go in with it if it went all the way in, and I am sure that he would have too! And being the good mom that I am, well, I took lots of pictures!

So there you go. A Boy. A Lawnmower. And A Pond.

Friday, June 19, 2009