Category Archives: Disability

Lifestyle Choice

 My First Car

I get so very irritated at my first-born child over what he chooses to deem his ‘LIFESTYLE CHOICE‘! In this day and age when that term can have a plethora of meanings, for my 32-year-old son the meaning is that he doesn’t drive! He takes the bus to and from his job at DisneyWorld and his wife hauls him around with her wherever else they wanna go. For now, the two of them have the same days off each week even tho he is a Food Service Trainer at Magic Kingdom and she coordinates training at a Disney resort. So it’s working out well for them….but not for me! My son never gets to ‘pop over for a visit’ or to ‘pick up something at the store on the way home’ for me or to ‘run an errand for his handicapped Mama’. Whenever he DOES get a chance to come over, it has to be planned at least a couple of weeks in advance (even tho he lives a mere 4&1/2 miles from me); and then if we go out to eat….I’m the only one doing the inviting and also doing the paying (even tho I’m on a very tight ‘fixed income‘ while they have two salaries). Or if I do need my 6-foot son to clean the ceiling fans, or something else that my 4’10” daughter (with whom I live because I don’t have enough income to live elsewhere) cannot reach, then I need to have a list ready for him plus I actually gotta PAY this child-of-mine for services rendered so that he can have some spending money because his wife gives him an allowance and he probably needs cigarettes! Grrrrr!

When I was young, I lived far out in the country and couldn’t wait to get my driver’s license so that I could drive, drive, drive! The photo is of my 1st car, an ugly pale yellow Ford Galaxy 500. But it got me where I wanted to go and most importantly was that I didn’t have to ride that darned old school bus anymore!!! YAY! Of course there was a catch and that was that I had to wait around after school until football practice was over and bring my younger brother home. I also had Marching Band practice before and/or after school sometimes too so I didn’t mind. Then in the winter I had to wait again after school for my brother to get outa wrestling practice, and then in the spring it was baseball practice. Oh well, Daddy bought my car and put in most of the gas so this was a pretty decent trade-off for all of us since we really did live soooo far out of town away from the High School.

My son and his wife have been living in the same tiny 1-bedroom apartment for a few years. He recently told me that they are about to sign yet another year’s lease. It’s not the nicest apartment but it is where they began their lives as newlyweds and also where they got their dog. I’m sure they’re sentimental. He told me the other day that they’re planning to only stay one more year, as they’re wanting to save money to buy a house in a particular area. They may even have a house built because there are a couple of subdivisions being planned near a new shopping area that we all really like and have been looking into and enjoy a lot. He told me the prices and I do think that it’s too expensive but I won’t say anything because I don’t wanna be that ‘meddling mother-in-law‘ (altho I certainly haven’t any qualms about telling just him my opinion, haha) that so many TV sitcoms depict so badly! IF AND WHEN this does happen, at that point my oldest child will most-definitely need to re-think his ‘LIFESTYLE CHOICE‘ simply because there are no city buses in the Orlando area that have stops in that vicinity! I really don’t foresee him leaving his high-seniority Disney job to go into retail at this point! Hmmmm, here’s a thought: his only other job that he’s ever had prior to Disney was managing a movie theater and THERE IS definitely a very nice movie theater in that shopping center plus it’s the same company that he previously worked for! This Mama sure does miss those free movies!!!

Advertisements

Puppy Duty

IMG_20150201_123541-1

Cute puppy, eh? Ah, yes….the joys of a new little warm cuddly puppy. That is, unless you happen to be the 58-year-old handicapped Mama that gets PUPPY DUTY on the first day of daughter’s new (not necessarily so) delightful little furry friend while she has to go to work!

Anyhow, my daughter had been keeping her eye on these pups for awhile. Last time this particular mama-doggy had a litter, my daughter really, really wanted one but I’d talked her out of it. By the time she decided to get one anyway, it was too late. The pups had all been sold. That was approximately 8 or 9 months ago. This time there were 9 pups and by the time she called about them, there was only 1 male remaining. She didn’t really want a male but she DID want one of these particular puppies. They’re 1/4 Golden Retriever and the rest Great Pyrenee, a mix that we’d agreed upon because I prefer a large dog and she’d wanted a breed that’d be kind and a good companion for me, as well as a good watchdog. For me, it was a big plus that there were no females left….I like males better anyway. Besides, I didn’t really think that she’d want it after all. But I was wrong. We drove the hour there last night to see the dog, of course she wanted him because she’s an animal-lover (to the maximum degree), and I held him on the hour’s drive back, only stopping to introduce him to my son and daughter-in-law. I’d have preferred waiting a couple of days until her next two days off of work, but we were rather sure that somebody else would own him by that time because he’s just THAT GORGEOUS!

This morning I arose much earlier than I normally do, which was at the time my daughter was leaving for work. She’d slept on the couch next to the puppy. He didn’t like either the towel or the blanket that we’d given him. He preferred the cold tile floor right next to the couch. I suppose that’s because he’s used to being outdoors and sleeping on the cement. He’d never been inside a house and probably thought it was rather quiet. He came from a huge yard with goats and ducks and chickens and 5 sisters and 3 brothers and parents. We understand that he’s scared and his new environment will take some getting used to. My daughter is going to get a crate because we believe in crate-training; it’s worked in the past so it’ll be our method again. He will slowly but surely become a part of our family.

But for now, I must somehow get through TODAY. The puppy keeps tugging at my tablecloth so I tuck all 4 corners so that he doesn’t pull it off and break my treasured cakestand that my Aunty gave me. The puppy pulls on my shoestrings so I change to another pair of shoes. Can’t wear slippers either, I can definitely understand why dogs like chewing on those! I took him outside; he pees on the patio on the way to the grass where he’ll make doo-doo. Then we circled the pool a couple of times. As soon as he hears a neighbor’s dog barking, he runs indoors. I find that odd for a dog that’d never been inside a home before last night. I tried unloading the dishwasher but he wanted to lick the silverware so I had to toss those all back into the sink for the next load and close the dishwasher before he discovers that he could actually crawl into it. I try sitting at the table to eat a bit of breakfast, knowing that he’s right under my chair but NOT noticing that he had ahold of the back of my flannel jammie bottoms, so my britches starting falling down as soon I stood up! When I shook him loose, he started chewing on the chair leg that my son had custom-painted just for me, so I have to keep pulling him away from that! Why doesn’t he like the ‘chew-toys’? Then I gotta go potty, so I leave the door open so that he can see that I’m not leaving him alone. Even tho I feel that I’ve hurried, he’s still managed to annihilate a TP roll and I grabbed a pink disposable shaver outa his mouth. Walking through the hallway, I notice a puddle. I get a throw rug to cover it; when I come back, he’s lapping it up! So back outside we go. I see that the pool water level is low so I turn the hose on and put it just over the edge….the puppy finds this curious and keeps going just to the end of the hose but won’t quite take a drink. I’m tempted to spray him but I’ll save that for another day. I sit in my chair and soak up some sun and cannot get the puppy to wanna sit with me in the sunshine. He prefers the shade. Then the wind starts, and he starts trying to bite at the gazebo netting so I grab him and we go back inside, where he promptly makes another puddle, even tho we’ve just been outdoors. I keep having to pull him away from my walker because he also likes to chew on it’s wheels; glad he’s not yet discovered my ultra-expensive powerchair sitting in the corner. Then he starts to howl again (such a cute puppy howl), which means he has to go out and ‘make doo-doo’ again, so back outside we go. I sit in my lounge chair till he finishes. Then I notice him eating a chamomile flower and I don’t think that he likes it because he’s trying to spit it up. He looks at me with a funny look so I stick my finger in his mouth and scoop out the rest of the petals. When we go back inside it is time to take my meds. I need to establish right away that I do NOT want him in my bedroom; so I close my door for approximately 2 minutes while I take my medication and write it down, all the while he is whining incessantly. When I come outa my room….yep, there’s a puddle by my bedroom door! GRRRR! I look at the clock and see that it’s 9:15. Aaahhh, so it’s only been an hour since my daughter left for work! YIKES!

She probably won’t get home tonight until 7:00 or later. Plus I have PUPPY DUTY again tomorrow. Then the next 2 days are her days off, so it’s her turn. Of course, I may have changed residences by then! Where’s the nearest REST HOME???

Closed Off

IMG_20150121_165149

My first blog of the year 2015. I didn’t think that I’d wait this long. Didn’t mean to either. Haven’t been feeling in the mood to put my feelings onto paper. I always felt sorry for those folks that were/are considered ‘shut-ins‘. Suddenly, it was as if a cruel twist of my inner imagination when I have realized that I too am actually considered a ‘shut-in‘, and truly have been for quite a while. Perhaps I didn’t wanna admit it, even to myself. But I have been pretty much CLOSED OFF from most of the things that I used to be able to do and from the places that I liked to go. I’m dependent upon whether or not someone will be kind enough to take me places, and unfortunately, whether or not that person deems it worthy of going there. More often than not, that will not be happening. So whenever I wish to go someplace, I have to ‘plead my case‘, listen to grumbling, and hope for the best. Someone else makes the decision for me about how I spend any of my time outside of this house. Sad, isn’t it? Yet, that is my life now.

Atlantic sunrise

Feeling sorry for myself? Yep! You bet I am! This wasn’t supposed to happen now….at least not for another 30+ years. I feel toooo young to be having to have somebody else decide whether or not I get to go places I wanna go when I wanna go. I also hate not being able to eat whatever I feel like eating because of so very many reasons: interactions with medications, not being able to sleep, causes gas or bloating or other discomfort, allergies, weight gain or loss, too much sugar or salt, intolerance, red dyes, causes cancer, immoral farming or fishing practices, etc. Good grief!

019

Sometimes (MOST of the time, to be quite honest) I wish I had enough money to buy myself an island. It’d be a tropical, well-stocked island full of all my favorite fruit and nut trees. Then I’d plant lotsa berries and veggies, build a long deck where I could have lobster & crab traps underneath and from which I could fish for my supper. I’d hire somebody to build me an efficient little cottage plus another for my guests (you didn’t really think that I’d do my own building, eh? I’m dreaming here, and if’n I have enough money for a tropical island then I reckon I have enough money to hire a builder) and I’d throw away all my meds! Sure, I’d still be CLOSED OFF but I betcha I’d soon get healthy. Ahhh….that’s a nice dream! I’d probably only miss chocolate. But then again, my guests can bring that to me whenever they come for a visit!

Death Fascination

Jill

I accept that I am somewhat old-fashioned at times but I truly do not understand why youth these days have such a DEATH FASCINATION. What makes them flock to movies about zombies and underworldly creatures? Why do they long to be scared and then try so hard to make themselves look like they’re half-dead by using makeup and mutilating their bodies and slashing their clothing? Sure, I like a good vampire movie sometimes, but it doesn’t make me leave the movie theater wanting to seek a victim and sink my canine teeth into them to have a drink!

A young cousin died last week, leaving behind her 7-month-old son motherless for her husband to raise. She was playing with her precious child, her only child, and had a sudden heart attack. A couple of hours later her brother came to her house and found her there, and the screaming baby. This baby boy of hers was her ‘miracle baby‘….the child that the family had prayed for a very long time. She’d had many miscarriages until two years ago she gave birth to a little boy that died on the same day that he was born. So when this baby was born healthy, the family rejoiced! My cousin stayed home with her baby boy and I am so very glad that she posted almost-daily photos of him and often of the the two or three of them on Facebook. As it turns out, she packed a lotta loving into 7 short months and the little boy will have plenty of photos.

I was physically unable to travel to Indiana for the funeral. During the middle of the wake, I got a text from a cousin telling me that the body of our cousin looked terrible and that the makeup job was very bad. In her opinion (she’s a medical professional), the body should not been shown in an open casket because it’d been too long since her death. She also mentioned that this particular funeral home hasn’t done good makeup for the past several years. This concerns me because both of our mothers (sisters) have their funerals planned and prepaid at this same place and I doubt if there’s anything that I will be able to do about it when the time comes. I knew that Mama would’ve also gone to this particular wake so I talked to her that evening. She was nearly in tears as she told me how badly our cousin looked laying there in her coffin, and that even though the room was full of about 100 relatives, nobody was lined up to view the body. That’s so sad. Last night I was chatting on Facebook with another cousin, who told me that she stayed for quite awhile but had to leave when kids started taking ‘selfies‘ of themselves with the body. That is MAXIMUM DISRESPECT. My cousin even told me that she was glad that I wasn’t there to see that! I tell you what….if I were, I would’ve grabbed thosed kids and gotten their cellphones and erased those pictures! I don’t understand why their parents would allow that. Or why the funeral home director would allow that. I just told my youngest son about it and he agreed that it’s horrible but that evidently it’s a ‘FAD‘ now to post a photo of oneself on the Internet with a coffin. To me, this is beyond belief!

The photo I’ve posted above is a ‘prop photo op‘ from Universal StudiosHalloween Horror Nights. I did not like the thought of one of my kids in a casket, even for fun, so I tried to lighten the mood by putting hearts over her face!

I don’t know how long this DEATH FASCINATION craze will last but I hope I live long enough to see it fade away. Nonetheless, I AM handicapped and don’t know if I’ll die young or live a long time; so I’ve left specific instructions to my children to have my body cremated. Of course, this has been my desire for the past 3 decades and all of my family has known this so it’s well thought out. The only person that would’ve contested it was Daddy but he’s already in heaven. Mama is ok with it and so are the kids and the four of them are currently considered my ‘next-of-kin‘; they all understand my reasonings. My final wishes oughta be respected because they are just that: MY FINAL WISHES! I won’t be asking anything more. Just don’t show my dead body please! I’m a happy and friendly person. I don’t know if I will continue to be so as my illness progresses but I wish to be remembered that way!

Hollering “Yahtzee”

IMG_20140803_141240

Sometimes we just have to laugh at ourselves! No, not because nobody else does because I’m rather sure they do….but simply because we often realize that we find ourselves doing the oddest little things as we get older that we never would have considered a bit amusing 2 or 3 decades ago. Unless, of course, we per chance saw some other old stinker doing something similar and then we’d probably be snickering! Simple silly things such as still HOLLERING “YAHTZEE” very loudly and then realizing that I’m home alone playing the game against the computer! But it is most definitely a HABIT that’s become so ingrained into any avid Yahtzee player that it’s quite difficult NOT to shout it out when those 5 little dice come up with the same numbers of dots and my glee is still apparent nonetheless.

Nowadays the youngsters don’t seem to get excited about the games that I like: Yahtzee, Scrabble, Battleship, Solitaire, Chinese Checkers, and Mahjong. My son installed them on my computer for me, plus Bejewelled and Minesweeper, and those cute little furry Chuzzles. It makes me both glad and sad. Glad that I can still play these fun games and sad that now the kiddies think that they don’t have to ‘play games with Mama’ anymore. They’d rather play with the games that exercise their thumbs!

Because of my Neurological disorder, Scrabble and Mahjong are games that my Dr. suggested as a daily activity that’d be good to exercise my brain. Imagine that, playing Scrabble and messing with words to help my disability….gotta love it! I do enjoy Mahjong too. I’d originally learned the basics of the game from some Asian moms when I was a college student in Hawaii, but I could NOT keep up with them AT ALL. They were amazingly fast with those tiles! It was fun just to be able to watch them play and to listen to the tiles quickly making the click-click-click sound until the game finished, and the ladies were fiercely competitive too! Mahjong now helps me with my brain function, especially the with memory. I have a major issue with the ‘scrolling’ of the computer and the ‘back-and-forth’ eye movement because my Vertigo/dizziness often making me nauseous; so this greatly helps in keeping my mind/brain active. Whoever would’ve thought, eh?

When I was a young girl, Mama and I got a big kick outa playing games with my Gramma Pearl. Gramma always won. Not sometimes, not usually, but ALWAYS! Sometimes my brothers would play too. Gramma still won. Sometimes my stepdad and Gramma’s hubby would play. Gramma, of course, would win. We never ever LET her win either. Her specialty was Chinese Checkers and Yahtzee. Nobody could beat her at those games. Her neighbors tried. Her nieces and nephews tried. Her grandbabies and great-babies tried. Nope….Gramma won. Even when my Gramma was 90-years-old and was in the nursing home….she still challenged and was challenged by the nurses and other residents and visitors but my awesome Gramma was good at her game. If she was playing Yahtzee, then you can bet that it was gonna be MY Gramma Pearl that would be the one HOLLERING “YAHTZEE”!! Now that Gramma has moved on to her heavenly home, my own Mama is the family matriarch. I suppose she has ‘pretty much’ taken on the the role of usually winning at Scrabble (she and my stepdad play the game nightly) but we all takes turns at winning the other games! So there’s hope for me yet to be the Family Champ at SOMETHING!!!

Jury Duty

Jury Duty2014 again!

What? How can this be? This is definitely my angry face! My daughter came out of the post office laughing so much that she could barely speak, got into the truck & plopped the stack of mail onto my lap and just kept laughing while driving away. My curiosity was piqued as I quickly fumbled thru the week’s mail & there it was: JURY DUTY!!! Oh no, not again! UGH! I am very upset, angry, and dismayed. After all, how many times within a one-year period can they keep calling on me? Isn’t there some kinda limit to this? Grrrrr! Perhaps it’s because I got ‘excused‘ last autumn because of my disability. It was my understanding that I had been ‘excused for lifetime‘ since my disability is permanent. Maybe the county of Osceola doesn’t take kindly to that and knows that, even though they only compensate with a daily $15 wage, it costs $30 to have the forms filled out by physicians. This is totally unfair for those of us that are on a fixed income!

My daughter-in-law gladly did her ‘civic responsibility‘ and sat on a jury late last summer for a few days so she probably won’t get summoned again for awhile. Several months ago my daughter was actually happy to have finally gotten her 1st jury summons but she didn’t get selected after waiting around the County Courthouse all day until the jurors had been chosen.

Since I was formerly a military wife and moved around a lot, EVERY TIME we got transferred to another base I would receive a Jury Summons in the mail from our previous locale. So I’d never served on a Jury. That’s fine with me because I don’t want to do it anyway.

Following my divorce, the children and I moved to my small Hoosier hometown. Even though we remained there for several years, I didn’t get summoned. Still okay with me! But now that I’ve been in central Florida for 10 years, and 3 years before that in northern Florida….I was beginning to think that I was invisible to the court systems because they never paid any attention to me! But now that I’m handicapped and am totally unable to think rationally until early afternoon, now suddenly I’m getting my 3rd Jury Summons within less than a year! Good grief; what’s up with that?

Last time I got ‘excused’ because of my disability, supposedly forever. So I reckon tomorrow it’s back to my Neuro-Doctor for another excuse! I’m hoping that the County doesn’t make it a ‘habit’ of sending me these JURY DUTY notices now. I don’t think I can afford it!

LAST DOLL

birthday dolls for my 58th

Yesterday my 58th birthday came and left. My daughter bought me a couple of adorable dolls, pictured above. My mind wanders back to my LAST DOLL that my folks had verrryyy reluctantly bought me more than 45 years ago for Christmas when I was probably 12 or 13. I was much too old to PLAY with dolls but I’d gotten it into my mind that I wanted a Raggedy Ann doll! You see, I’d never been a little girl to play with baby-dolls although my Mama and Gramma had bought me plenty over the years. They’d even tried to entice me to play ‘dress-up’ and ‘tea party‘ by sewing little outfits for the dollies but I still wasn’t interested. I did, however, go through a period of playing Barbies with a little girl that lived about a mile away but I think that was just an excuse to get to ride my bike alone down the country road and antagonize the big ugly bull (that was fenced-in) as I passed by! Also, I thought it was fun when it was MaryLou’s turn to come to my house because she many more Barbie dolls and so we’d sneak into my brother’s toybox and get out his G.I. Joe’s to use as ‘boyfriend dolls’ because we had more than enough girl dolls for just the Ken and Alan dolls! My oh my, how annoyed my brother would get when he would catch us! That somehow made it worthwhile. Those dolls had all been stored away or given to charity several years before, so my folks were probably thinking I was silly for asking for a Raggedy Ann doll. I didn’t really wanna PLAY with it; I just wanted it to look pretty on my bed. After all, most of my friends had one from their childhood and that’s when I’d realized that I didn’t have one. So on Christmas morning, one of my gifts was indeed the Raggedy Ann doll. Mama has the photo in her scrapbook of me in my jammies holding the doll and the inscription says “Jeannie’s last doll”. (I’m tthinking that she figured that if she wrote it down, then that’d make it true!)

Ever since my own children were preschool age, we’ve enjoyed numerous trips to DisneyWorld. As an Air Force family we did get to live in Florida a few times, plus Texas, Hawaii, and Georgia. All the times that we lived in Florida or Georgia, we kept Annual passes to the theme parks in the Orlando area. We would visit as often as possible. When the children were very small, of course we were more limited on which attractions that they could ride on. Growth spurts meant excitement because it added more rides in each of the parks that they were tall enough to go on. It got to the point that they didn’t wanna go on some of the old rides that they considered ‘kiddy rides‘….for example, my VERY FAVORITE at Magic Kingdom: ‘It’s a Small World’. Naturally, I told them that they had to go on that because it’s my favorite! It got to the point where it became a joke/battle: “Mama, do we have to go on ‘Small World’ again this trip”? I ALWAYS said, “YES, WE DO”! They’d try to trick me, make me forget about it, etc., etc. but I always won. I simply said that if we didn’t ride that attraction….well, then I’d be singing that song all evening in the motel room! Ten years ago, these same kids of mine and I became Castmembers at ‘The Most Magical Place On Earth’! Still, whenever we go to Magic Kingdom on our days off….the joke remains. Altho now I’m in a wheelchair and one of my darlings is pushing me, while trying to steer clear of Fantasyland hoping that I won’t think of ‘It’s a Small World’, we usually still ride that attraction! The kiddies are now 29, 30, & 32….they still say “Do we have to?” and I still reply “YES WE DO”! It has become our tried-and-true time-honored tradition for them to TRY! After all, I’m old now. I’m disabled. I don’t know how many years I’ll still be able to enjoy it so I wanna ride my favorite!!!

A couple of weeks ago my daughter and I were in the Disney Store in the biggest mall of the area. Normally I don’t go to malls and I cannot even recall the reason that she talked me into it on this particular occasion, but I agreed. I saw a display of ‘Small World’ dolls. She saw it too and quickly turned my wheelchair around….she was hoping I’d not seen it yet but HA! I had! Too late! I told her that I ‘just wanted to look‘ so I was looking at how cute and how BIG they were PLUS they were on sale AND she gets a hefty Disney Castmember discount on top of that. Just as we were about to turn around….that’s when I saw her at the very bottom: the Hawaiian doll! (I’ve been to Hawaii 11 times, have lived there, attended college there, my children have lived there too, many of my friends still live there, it’s my favorite place of all!) She was soooo cute and adorable. I picked her up and pressed her tummy and she sang the chorus to ‘It’s a Small World’. My daughter immediately said “Ohhhh, now that’d get annoying really fast so please don’t even think about it.” I started to put the doll back but when I tapped her tummy the second time, she sang the song in Hawaiian and I WAS IN LOVE!!! My dear daughter said “Nope” and wheeled me outa that store fast! We headed towards the food court, looking at a few kiosks along the way. I ordered my Chinese food and she ordered her vegetarian meal. We talked about our upcoming birthdays. She finished her meal much sooner than I did so I told her to leave me there for awhile. As she hurried away, I thought I heard her muttering “I know I’m gonna regret this”! When she returned, I pretended NOT to notice the Disney Store bag that she slipped onto the back of my wheelchair and tried to contain my smile!

I’d forgotten about the gift until we returned from my birthday supper last night. That’s when my daughter gave me the doll and I suddenly remembered about it; I was so thrilled that I called a couple of people and let the dolly sing into their voice-mail! Yeah, that might’ve been a bit over-the-top but it was fun! She also gave me a little Maleficent doll. Maleficent has always been my favorite Disney villianess and the recent movie of the same name was deliciously delightful. I soooo enjoyed Disney’s re-imagining of the character for this movie plus the casting of Angelina Jolie was a remarkable choice. So I got my 2 cutie little ‘dolls’ for my 58th birthday. Who would’ve ever guessed that? Hmmm, 45 years ago my Mama’s prediction wasn’t exactly correct but will this be my LAST DOLL? I just do not know! What’s this second childhood that I keep hearing about? Am I getting to the approximate age for that yet? Could all these years at Disney have helped that along? We’ll see! Oh, and as for my daughter….I’m sure it comes as NO SURPRISE that she was already tired of hearing ‘It’s a Small World’ shortly after giving me the doll! Awwww….well, her birthday is next week!

Lonely Slippahs

 

ImageIt’s been just 10 weeks ago that my baby boy moved away with his fiancee. He got a better job offer in Pennsylvania at a theater chain that he formerly worked for, so he gladly accepted this chance to be closer to his fiancee’s family for awhile. He left behind lots of things because of only being able to take along anything that could be packed into his small car, so naturally young folks nowadays choose their technology first: games and game systems, DVDs and players, laptop, iPad, and accessories were neatly packed into Rubbermaid tubs and stacked in the trunk and back seat. IF there was any extra leftover space, that was for clothing, soda machine, etc….those items got crammed in between every nook-and-cranny. (so glad they didn’t have a flat tire because the entire trunk would’ve had to have been unpacked on the side of the road just to get to the spare tire!) When he originally had ‘moved back to town’ last year, not only did he claim his sister’s Guest Room, but he pretty much ‘took over’ the Playroom/Library as well. He turned it into an exercise haven/computer room/TV room. When he left, lotsa stuff got left behind because they’d NOT fit into his car. Unfortunately for us, his big TV was the very 1st thing that he put into his car so we didn’t get to keep that! But the walls are still covered in original movie posters and there’s plenty of exercise equipment….hehehe, he left me a strict warning that I am NOT to use it to hang clothes on (but he’s not here, right?). His former computer desk is huge and has a built-in stone top so I added a ‘grow light’ and now am using it as my ‘Indoor Nursery’. Yesterday I decided that I needed to exchange my computer chair so I took the one that he left. That’s when I discovered his LONELY SLIPPAHS there under the desk.

Members of our family can’t wait, upon arriving home, to get out of our shoes and into our ‘slippahs’. For me it began when I was a college student in Hawaii. Nobody wore ‘flip-flops’. We wore ‘slippahs’ or we went barefoot, even to class! This suited me just fine and I hadn’t any trouble adjusting. I’ve always preferred being barefooted, or as close to it as possible anyway! Then when I became a Mama, my children always owned more pairs of slippahs than they did sneakers. When it was time for us to leave Oahu, from a military assignment, the 3 kiddies and I had not put on a pair of shoes for 14 months until we had to fly to Indiana from Honolulu in the middle of February for my Gramma’s 75th birthday celebration. What a shocker! I’d now had to get a size 8W instead of my usual size 7&1/2. Still to this day, even though my children are adults, after a day of working they wanna take off the work boots and slip those tootsies into slippahs!

I knew that I’d miss my baby boy, that goes without saying, but even though he’s 1000 miles away and we can communicate nowadays so much more easily than ever before….there’s still no replacing those hugs! It’s especially difficult when the youngest is the first to move the furthest. I live with my daughter and my oldest son lives with his wife less than 5 miles down the road.I still speak with my own Mama every 2-3 days and with my brothers nearly every week. It’s wonderful to have a close-knit family. Tomorrow I am undergoing Cardiac testing that will take a couple of days. That’s probably the reason that I am thinking about and missing my baby boy sooooo very much. I really wish that all of my kiddies were here with me because I am nervous and anxious about these tests because we’ve got a LOT of heart disease in our family history and it worries me. Praying helps, of course. My daughter will be in the waiting room while I’m having the tests, of course. My sons will be worrying, of course. It’s just not the same as knowing that they’ll all be right nearby just in case I need to get sent to the hospital; or just to have all of my sweeties to hold onto if I need to cry when I get THE NEWS of the test results….whether it be good or bad!

So the LONELY SLIPPAHS can sit next to Mama’s red slippahs. Am I gonna be all sentimental and pick up his slippahs and hug them? Good grief, NO! They’re probably smelly! But I betcha he has left a pillow or a couple of his childhood stuffed animals in his room……

 

Mama's slippahs

 

 

Make Lemonade

basket of lemons

What’s that old saying? Something about about Make lemonade when life gives you lemons’? I think it goes something like that, however, I can certainly think of several variations of the original version. In my own particular life there are oh-so-many different ones that it’d either make me laugh or cry if I decided to sit down and make a list. Or perhaps I could plant my own mini-orchard outa the assortment of fruits and nuts that my so-called LIFE has tossed at me! I’ve learned, mostly from the time-tested ‘trial-and-error method‘, to make all kinds of things from these fruits and nuts: juices, smoothies, jams, jellies, dried fruits, preserves, muffins and other baked goodies, and nut butters!

Of course, that’s just speaking literally. Lessons and growth make my ‘wisdom‘ increase with each passing year. Remembering my teenage years, I thought that my 50-ish Grandparents were OLD, although absolute gems! I enjoyed spending time with them. The little ‘bursts of knowledge’ that our parents liked to cleverly dole out didn’t quite have the same impact as that of sitting on the porch with Gramma (Mama’s Mother) or fishing off the dock in the early summer mornings at the lake cabin with Grandpa (Daddy’s Dad). Even though both of these grandparents lived quite nearby, I was lucky enough to have them as an almost-daily ‘constant’ in more than half my life. Luckily, my 3 children also got to know their Great-Gramma too until they were young teens; they weren’t fortunate enough to have met their Great-Grandpa (my Grandpa) but surely they will someday.

Now I’m the one that’s 50-ish and I haven’t any grandbabies yet. I very often wonder, since I am now disabled and have only been worsening these past few years, if I will be able to pass on any of MY WISDOM to that next generation!!?!? Like many parents, I usually feel that what advice I offer to my darling children is tolerated, but I soooo long for grandbabies to teach. It seems that when the kiddies are at the ‘tween stage’ throughout the younger teen years is a good time for the grandparents to teach them. Often that is the time that the youngsters aren’t feeling ‘understood’ by their own folks so the grandparents’ house is a good place to visit! I wanna be that REFUGE! But, alas, I feel that by that time for me it will have been too late as my illness has taken control more and more of my mind (IF I’m still here).

When I homeschooled my children throughout Middle School and High School, I had a rule that we’d never start the day on a ‘bad note’ or unhappy in any way! I always always ALWAYS found a way to ‘turn around’ a situation, small or large; hence learning to problem-solve. This was important for me to teach my children and wasn’t necessarily something that they would’ve learned in the regular school system. I wish more schools would do this and I wish more parents would do this. Our children oughta be taught to MAKE LEMONADE whenever they’re given lemons long before they allow their small ‘mole hills’ to grow into mountains!

Leftover Oomph

Jill's pool

 

I reckon I still have a little bit of OOMPH left in me….the kids & I were in the pool, didn’t even wanna get out when it started raining BUT when thunderclaps started sounding, we were being cautious. Then when it started lightning, those kids were surprised at HOW FAST THIS OLD MAMA did the backstroke to get outa that pool!!! HA! They didn’t think that I really still knew how to swim….I showed them!

I live with my darling daughter now because I probably ought not be living on my own any longer. Having been Diagnosed with Extreme Vertigo/Imbalance/Severe Dizziness a few years ago has been a rather odd illness to have acquired and one that is somewhat perplexing. Most folks don’t quite understand the depths (by the way, I also haven’t any ‘depth perception’) of this illness so I get some strange looks and raised eyebrows when I tell folks what my ‘handicap’ is. Most people doubt that this is even a true illness. Believe me, I certainly am the 1st to wish that it weren’t! I’ve had to make total adjustments in many areas of my life, including re-learning how to do several things in a totally new way. Add to that the other maladies that have gone wrong in the past couple of years: diabetes, osteoarthritis in both knees, rheumatoid arthritis in a shoulder, tinnitus, sleep apnea, and the latest is the horrid diabetic neuropathy in both hands and feet. All of this has occurred within a few short years so I’ve had to do lotsa research and make adjustments quickly.

Physical Therapy was getting rather expensive so 2 years ago my daughter decided that it was time to quit renting and buy a house! Her credit was excellent but her patience was not….so the realtors and I spent a few months looking at dozens and dozens of homes before presenting her with several to check out. It took many disappointments until we found just the right one because my daughter is just as ‘picky’ as I am, but luckily we had a great husband-and-wife realty team that got to know all of our idiosyncrasies and only showed us properties that they were sure were a ‘good fit’. My precious daughter’s top priority was to have a pool because she wanted to make sure that I could do my physical therapy at home, thus eliminating the thrice-weekly expensive health club visits (she’d attended half of these and was confident that she could assist me adequately). I had serious doubts about finding an in-ground pool in her price range; after all, she’s a full-time theme-park Castmember plus a college student….but we found a house that she loves because of it’s quirkiness AND it’s less than a block to the college!

The only time that I can do ANY type of exercise is while in the pool. I am most comfortable in the water. I cannot do running or jogging or walking or stairs or jumping or anything in which I’m in an upright position; even so I’ve gotta be holding onto something with both hands. This is because of the dizziness; it becomes magnified much more if I would even try. Not only do I become more unbalanced, but I also experience these weird ‘tinglies‘ in my head that feel like teeny insects crawling underneath the skin along the sides and top of my head. However, in the water I FEEL FREE!!! Sure, I’m still dizzy but it doesn’t matter because if I am falling that’s okay because I’ll be floating. I never ever end up in the same spot of the pool that I started out doing my exercises because my dizziness makes me lose track of where exactly I am, but at least I’m able to do them! I sooooo enjoy this feeling of being able to exercise and swim; I’ve always been a good swimmer so it boosts my confidence a bit and just gives me a feeling of well-being! When any of my kids are with me (they insist upon my not swimming alone, naturally!), I am always the one begging to stay in the pool longer….just as they did when they were little kiddies! Second childhood, perhaps? Well, if it involves anything that’ll give me a bit of EXTRA OOMPH….I say to BRING IT ON!