Thinking of my Dad

Isn’t it odd how something as simple as a song can bring a rush of memories back to us.  Including the emotions to go along with it.

I left work the other day and needed to stop at the store on the way home.  A song came on the Christian Rock station, that was played at my Dad’s funeral and a flood of tears immediately filled my eyes.

I recalled sitting in the church for his mass remembering all the memories of growing up in that church with him but I was staring at his casket.

Before this particular church was built, we had mass in the basement of the catholic elementary school I attended.  We sat on metal folding chairs in a room that was used for a variety of things for the school, mostly the gym I think.  There was a church area upstairs that was used for a more formal services, but we usually attended the mass in the basement.

The church that my Dad’s funeral was held was built when I was a very young, maybe 10 years old.  Every Sunday we were there for mass.

Eventually my Dad took over the role of custodian and I helped him clean that church.  Then he started a lawn and landscaping business, I didn’t start working for him until my divorce so then I did the mowing at the church.

When I married, he walked me down that aisle.  He was by my side when my kids were baptized there.

At the conclusion of my Dad’s funeral mass, this particular song played while I walked up the aisle out of the church behind his casket.  My heart shattered as I was remembering him walking me down the aisle to be married and now I was following him out of the church to be buried.

And today is Father’s day so my mind and heart are filled with happy memories of tea parties, building sand castles and a ton of other things.

My heart is heavy with missing him but full of joy with the memories.  I know he is with me every single day.

Follow your Dream, and Catch it!

“Don’t just chase your dream, I want you to catch it!”

I heard that line in a movie and it spoke to me the first time I heard it, a year ago. Then I watched the DVD last night and it spoke to me again.

I knew I had to do this!

I knew it because I have been getting messages in other ways too. Okay, I am listening.

And I am acting on it!

I dug out my bin of writing. My folders, notebooks, scribbled notes, my manuscripts of children’s picture book series.

I was inspired to write many years ago after my first grandchild was born; he’s a freshman in high school now, O.M.G.

And I have 3 more grandkids now!

So I started writing. My husband sort of laughed at the idea, was not supportive at all and pretty much poo poo’d it. He told me I’d never get published.

I wrote anyway.

And I didn’t get published.

We then divorced, I moved back to my hometown, I started dating, and both my parents died within a few short months of each other. This all happened in less than a year.

I gave up my dream. I lost my muse. I lost my imagination. I was just lost. So I packed all my writings in a bin, and pushed them to the back of my closet.

Over the years I would occasionally scribble a note on my to-do list to pull out that bin, but I never did. I kept thinking about the discouraging words the ex would say to me. I remembered all the rejection letters.

One letter is still vivid; they told me that my manuscript resembled a movie that was at the time, quite popular. I never saw the movie and had no idea what it was about. I thought that was why everyone else rejected it too.

I really was devastated. I mean, why would a dream be given to me and placed in my heart if it was not to happen.

But lately, I have been getting messages, little pokes and nudges that I need to try again. I pulled the bin out, spread out all my manuscripts and left the inspiration flow through me.

Last night I was snuggled on the sofa and I decided to watch a movie (I’m a homebody and slightly boring). When I watched that DVD last night and heard that line again, I knew.

This is real.

I am going in this with a heart filled with hope. Follow your dreams. And catch it!

Happy New Year!

Well, here we are at the beginning of another year. I cannot believe how quickly time is flying past me!

I am also a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t post as many blogs as I planned, or that I didn’t cook as much as I would have liked!  My days and evenings just seem to get away from me, working a full day usually gets the better of me with the fibro and arthritis that I have. Throw in some time to try to exercise and get my pup some exercise, housework and family, my life just seems to be moving too fast.

And that is something I want to work on!

But what is most important, is that every morning that I am blessed with, I just try to be a better person than I was the day before.

I guess the New Year always brings us thoughts of attempting to make our lives better with resolutions. I am sure I have mentioned before that I don’t usually make resolutions. I set GOALS.

Now I realize that many of you might want to challenge me that resolutions and goals are the same. I beg to differ!! To me a goal is what I strive to accomplish, it’s a “work in progress”. But maybe the REAL reason I choose a goal over a resolution is because of all the failed resolutions I have had in my lifetime.

That being said, I no longer beat myself up if I didn’t do what I really planned to do, yea it might disappoint me but I don’t stress over it.

I know most people want to eat healthier and exercise. But, so many of us fail with the high expectations that we place on ourselves. I have done it myself!

I always strive to live a life that is calm, hopeful, kind and loving. I think that is what most of us try to do isn’t it?

It just gets challenging with all of life’s twists and turns.

This year I am trying something a little different with my goals. I will try to begin each month focusing on one or two things that I want to improve upon. For instance, for January I will concentrate on my health and my family.

Start the month out by writing them down. Write down you plan too.  Sometimes putting our thoughts into words on paper makes it a little easier to follow.

Then at the end of the month, put out the list and see how you did.  If you didn’t quite accomplish your goals, just continue on with the list you made but see if you can tweak the plan to make it work.  Then try again.

I plan to focus on eating healthier, trying to stick to my schedule of swimming 2-3 times a week and instead of spending time watching a Hallmark movie I will read or do meditation and yoga. However I need to fit that in, I will definitely be working on a plan.

I am just not going wake up tomorrow morning and resolve to go to the gym and eliminate certain foods from my diet.  It won’t work, and I know it.

My plan for family is to hopefully get us together for Sunday dinners or a game night. Maybe after each night that I swim I can swing by and visit one of my kids for a little. Anything I can do to spend a little more time with my kids and grandkids.

My daily goal is to be more aware of my faith and spirituality. Concentrate on prayer to get me started in the morning, even if that is 10 minutes of meditation. My goal is to take the time to slow down and be thankful, hopeful, and mindful of my thoughts and my day, all day.

Give it a try, but remember you are human, you will make mistakes. You might slack now and then (who doesn’t), but when you do just recognize that you did and promise yourself that you will try again tomorrow.

Be kind to YOURSELF!!

LOVE yourself!!

Stress is not healthy.

I just want to wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year! And thank you for stopping in to see me! Live well and happy!!

Making a Prayer Book

Years ago a friend of mine embellished a notebook for me as a gift.  I didn’t want to use this beautiful creation just to jot down notes and scribble to-do lists, so I turned it into a prayer book.

I wrote in some prayers but mostly it was filled with friends and family that needed prayers and support.

I remember quite a few friends asking me, after they heard me say “I’ll put you in my prayer book”, what do you mean!!

But now, after many years of praying on the book and praying for every single person carefully written with love, it’s time to start a new book.

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If you would like to make your own prayer book, here are some ideas.

Choose a notebook of your liking.  It does not have to be fancy or expensive.  You can buy a very inexpensive notebook or composition book and cover it with scrapbook paper.  You could even go all out and use a 3 ring binder.  It will be your personal prayer book, be creative , or be a minimalist like me, simple.

This time around I will be using a book that has a covering that I think is called moleskin, and I’m really hoping it is not made from the skin of moles!!!  If it is, please don’t burst my bubble!!  It also has an elastic band that can keep the book closed, holding any slips of paper with prayers or quotes or prayer cards I may find that I decide to tuck inside.

The first page will have a favorite prayer, bible verse or quote, I haven’t decided just yet but I’m leaning to The Lord’s Prayer.  I was raised on that and The Hail Mary.

The remaining pages in the book can be filled however you want.  I just simply list prayers, quotes, bible verses and names of people that I want to pray for, and I write them in pen.  If you want to use pencil and erase them once the prayer has been answered you can, but I leave them in my book.

If you want to create a section with a page for each day of the week, designating that day to pray for something particular such as  Daily for spouse and children, Sunday for family and friends, Monday for school and teachers, Tuesday for world events, etc.

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You could also make sections for Blessings, Bible Verses, Inspiration or Self Improvement.  You might even want a section to hold funeral cards from family members that list their birth and death dates.  We need to continue to pray for our loved ones even after they have passed.

You can embellish each section or page if you want, if you like to draw go ahead and doodle something in your pages.  Use colorful paperclips or flags for sections, be creative if you like.

As we enter into the upcoming holiday season of giving thanks and spending time with those that we love, get a head start and make your prayer book!  Live well friends!

Happy New Year!

May you all be blessed with laughter and joy, peace and love, health and prosperity in the New Year!

If you make resolutions, good luck but do not beat yourself up if you mess up a little, you are human and will make mistakes.  As for me, I gave up resolutions a long time ago, too much pressure!  I just try to be the best person I can be, I try to keep myself grounded & positive, and surround myself with healthy relationships.  I try to keep my body as healthy as possible with good food, yoga and meditation.  I struggle with fibro pain on a daily basis, and believe it or not…dealing with daily pain really keeps life in perspective for me.

I also keep God in my life, my religious and spiritual faith keeps me going.

I hope you are enjoying a new day filled with delicious food and family and friends!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Coming Home From Work….

Gibson: MEOW!  MEOW!  MEOW!  circling my feet trying to trip me “Feed me, feed me, feed me, put my food before me now damn it, feed me!”

 (Gibson is cute but what an attitude!)

Jack: Barking and jumping and wiggly butt “Oh Mom you’re home! I missed you!  Can I have a cookie? I am SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU!”

 

GIBSON:  I set his food dish down and he takes a nibble of his food and glares at me “you and I need to have a little chat about things around here”

Jack: BARK!  He spies the cookie in my hand “Cookie!  What do you want?  Big speak or little speak? My paw? The other paw? A kiss?  Please hurry!  I love those cookies you buy for me! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!”

Jack jumps on my lap and proceeds to wiggle and lick my face:  “I love you so much, I didn’t think you’d ever get home to me! Can we cuddle for a little?” “You are so beautiful and I love you so much!”

Gibson at my feet: MEOW “where’s MY treat bitch? What gives?, you gave him a damn cookie! MEOW!  What about me? I mean really! I do RULE here!!”  MEOW “Oh, by the way, a scratch on MY head would be a nice, but just for a second, got it?” MEOW

As I wander to my bedroom to change, Jack follows with energetic enthusiasm:  “Mom I am so happy to see you! I was so lonely today without you!  Have I told you how beautiful you are?  I don’t think I tell you that enough!”

Gibson follows too, meandering at a slow pace: MEOW “Listen, I want fresh food, and I want it NOW.  MEOW!  The dish you sat before me is leftover from this morning, even though it is that dry crunchy shit you think I like, I do prefer it FRESH from the container.  MEOW!  NO leftovers for me.” MEOW (said with squinty eyes and sarcasm)

Gibson: MEOW “And another thing, because you left me alone with that annoying little sappy DOG all day, I decided to shit outside my litter box.” MEOW

Jack sitting on my bed watching me with those sad puppy eyes: “I’m really sorry Mom but I did a bad thing today.  I had a “cat cookie” that fell out of the “cat-box cookie jar” today.  I know you don’t like me to do that but I had absolutely NO self control whatsoever.  I swear Gibson puts it on the floor on purpose just to tease me and get me in trouble.  I am truly sorry Mom, I will try not to do it again. How about another kiss?”

I pick up Jack from the bed and walk out of the bedroom, Gibson dashes to walk in front of me:  walking a slow KISS MY ASS pace.

Gibson wanders over to his dish, gives me a glaring side glance that would make a mouse fall over dead,  and begins to eat. After two bites he finds his hiding place naps.

Jack, he’s HAPPILY ready for anything I want to do tonight!

Things I Miss in my Life

I miss my…

Mom’s warm smile and loving personality

Dad’s mischievous nature and infectious laugh

Kids as babies

Brother, and everything about him

Nephew and his awesome hugs

 

I miss…

Living less than 10 minutes from the beach

The house I grew up in

Tucking my kids in bed at night and reading to them

Being tucked in by my Mom and Dad

Being able to eat anything and everything and NOT having to worry about fat, calories, cholesterol and weight gain

 

I miss my…

Grandfathers garage full of paint cans

Mammaw’s swing

Mom hamburg bar-b-q

Mom’s family speaking Pennsylvania Dutch

Youth

Grandmothers country farm cooking

 

I miss…

The book swap libraries at the marina’s I used to visit

Sleepovers at my both of my Grandmothers homes

Watching the sunset from the bow of a boat

Holding my Grandmothers hand

Rascal, my husky

 

I miss…

My Dad calming me down after I skinned my knee (but I don’t miss him ripping the band aid off)

Picking on my brother, in our adult years (it got wicked at times)

Having a garden and a patio

Having a tea party with my Dad

Having a back yard picnic with Mammaw

Recess

Naptime

My dolls

Playing a ridiculous card game called “Donkey” with my parents and aunt and uncle (laughed until I cried)

Going to the beach every summer with my family when I was a kid

 The innocence of my childhood and not having a care in the world