Friday, December 15, 2017

Sitting to heal

 I had surgery on my foot two days ago.
Charcot these past two months has been kicking my butt.
The hardest part is I can’t feel anything in my feet, so telling me to sit down and heal, when I get up and walk around and nothing feels differently, it’s really hard.
It’s a brain thing. It’s a way of thinking.
Over the past six weeks I’ve progressively gotten better at sitting down, using crutches, using a walker. But it’s still hard.
I think the hardest part is asking, needing help from others.
Running the vacuum, shoveling my sidewalk, grocery shopping.
But I must tell you that I have the most amazing friends, family, and helpers.
A dear friend took off work yesterday to come and make sure that I sat on my butt, and she waited on me hand and foot. She did my dishes, she cleaned my iron skillet and burned her finger in the process, went to four different stores grocery shopping for me, looking for wowbutter. And when she did she bought me two.  She even learned how to make me an espresso.
Another friend came over to sit and chat, to relax, and then ran the vacuum cleaner and did my laundry for me.
I can’t tell you how incredibly blessed I feel.
At the same time I feel a little helpless.
It’s not been a great two years, with mom dying, with husband disappearing for a long period, being away from my granddaughter when all I wanna do is hug her and kiss her and play with her all the time.
 Last year at Christmas time, four months after mommy died, it was sad. But it was weird, new sad. This year as Christmas approaches, I find the sadness settling in deeper. It’s a real thing now, not just a one time event. This is how it’s going to be for the rest of my life. No mommy around to make Christmas cookies with, or share opening stockings Christmas morning after monkey bread and coffee,  being a family.
It’s a weird Christmas. All the family was here Thanksgiving,  but they have other families now. And we are swapping holidays. So this Christmas it’s just me and daddy here.
We may go to the casino. I may make a turkey or we may have a buffet.
We have to figure out what our new normal is. A little emptier.

My girls are fantastic! They are fierce hard-working successful business women! And here I sit. Yes, they are fierce warriors because I raised them really well; because they are amazing woman. I have just been feeling misplaced.
I literally cannot do anything but knit. So I sit here and I knit.
And I binge watch Netflix and HBO.
My oldest took me out to a 10 course, 10th anniversary dinner at uptown kitchen last week.
I wore regular shoes,  I got dressed up for the first time in five weeks, and had an amazing time and amazing conversations with her and our table mates. I’ve never been so proud to have her on my arm. She left the next day. And that’s OK, that’s what life is right now.
She suggested I write. Just let it come out,  Babble on and be productive.
Productivity these days seems quite a ways in the future.
But here I go. This is not how life is supposed to be. This is not where I was supposed to be, what I was supposed to be doing, with no one around me.
And I say no one but I really do have excellent awesome girls and my daddy holding me up and supporting me. And in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis,  in South Bend. Thank you tribe!
So with my minimal decorations for Christmas, which is so very unusual for me,
I sit  and I knit .
I’ve wandered away from God and from prayer from studying His word these past weeks. I know He’s been blessing me, and those I love.
I just haven’t really felt like talking to him.
This makes me cry.
Struggling to find my way back, and I know that all I have to do is open the Bible.
It’s just such a big Bible. Where do I begin?
But I will begin.

Monday, June 19, 2017

What a year it has been!

My youngest got married to a wonderful man.
My oldest had an unexpected baby girl three days before her sisters wedding in a city 1500 miles away.
My mommy decided this life here on earth was too painful and wanted to meet her Savior.
Someone broke my spirit and trust forever.
One relationship healed and is far better than I ever prayed for it to be.

Now as I sit in my cool garden, sprinkler going, all the beautiful perennials blooming, and the smell of something that died in my window air conditioner hidden by the smell of summer, I am trying to figure out where I belong.
I love my home, house, neighborhood, friends, church and history.
But my heart and mind long to be with my precious miracle granddaughter, her mom and aunt.

Circumstances are that I cannot sell my house right now.
Which is a good thing because I simply cannot part with it.
Circumstances also do not allow me, as far as I can see, to afford two households.
Why oh why can I not win the lottery?!

However, I am stagnant where I am.
I work in the yard, make improvements to my house, make and delegate meals for church family members, visit with my daddy and laugh with my best friends.
I feel incomplete.
I feel torn.
I feel sad and disoriented.
Now what?
I'm not a mother, caretaker, grandmother, wife, employee or breadwinner.
I did decide to start taking better care of myself with physical therapy and personal training.
I feel so strong, but progress is slow for this apple standing a top two toothpicks.

Travel between the two cities has its challenges as well.
My 11year old schnauzer likes to be home. Both my daughters have dogs.
Different struggles with each home.
My daddy is alone and although I know I am not responsible for his happiness, I am his only touchstone.
Scrolling through rental adds on zillow are less than encouraging.
I need to paint bedrooms, redo my kitchen and hall floors, and declutter
before I can rent my home  to Notre dame football attendees this fall.

So, I'm putting this prayer out in to His hands:
to calm my mind, make things clear, open or shut doors and give me peace where it is You want me to be, doing whatever it is You want me to do for You.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Garden birds

Watching the birds over the years, feeding in my garden,
I have learned many things.
Most recently, this lesson has been on my mind:

When the chicks don't leave the nest,
Mom and Dad, wither and die without even knowing it.

I noticed this mainly with the grackle families, but all the birds are affected.

Diligently, the parents, build nests,
gathering the best supplies they can for their home.
Once the eggs hatch and before, there is always one parent guarding the nest.
They take turns feeding and protecting their young.
Their needs go second.
When the babies learn to fly, they follow their parents closely.
I have watched them learn where the feeder is,
squawking to be fed.
Eventually, they learn how to gather their own food.
Well, most do.

As I follow their growth, I notice that some birds, continue to squawk and follow their parents.
I see the babies become larger than their parent.
I am annoyed by these birds.
I feel for the tireless parents.
They are only doing what they know to do.
They are being parents.

It is called empty nest for a reason.
The purpose of many hours is no longer there.
A parent does not know how to adjust easily when the children are gone.
Their responsibility shift away from the children back to themselves happens slowly.
But it must happen!
The chicks MUST leave the nest!
Fly and make their own lives.
making their own choices and facing their own consequences.
A parent can only protect their children so long from themselves,
even though the instinct is to continue as long as possible.
But this never helps either.

Now, not knowing birds that well, I don't know if the adult children
ever return to the nest, but I wouldn't think so.

I took empty nest hard.
For a few years.
When my adult children come home, we sometimes fall into the old routines.
And this is hard.
However, over the past year or two, I have come to love my new life.
My life of me and my husband, and my relationships with friends.
I have begun an new and wonderful relationship with God!
I have learned to keep holy silent and let my adult children fend for themselves
with themselves.
For the most part,
I'm doing better!

I am looking at others and feeling so badly for them.
I see the birds' life in so many.
The squawking of adult children throwing the parents into a death spiral.
Praying grace and tough love on all of these!
That's life.
Take this as you will.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

My friends.....

Four days before Christmas.
All the gifts are made and bought, if not yet wrapped.
I go pick up Ronni the day after tomorrow in Chicago,
Terry will be here that afternoon
and Hil will be here that night.
It's been a year since we were all under one roof.
It's been a year of great changes and challenges for my family.
Feeling so blessed to gather again!

However, as I was thinking of my blessings, you came to my mind.
How very grateful I am for our friendship!
Whether I have know you for decades, or only a few years, 
you have truly touched my life.

Knowing that you are a phone call, text, email, or facebook message away,
means the world to me.
We may not communicate often, 
or I may see you every week,
but you are always in the shadows of my thoughts, memories and prayers.

When I receive a heartfelt hug,
not only am I touched by that person, 
but also by the memory of hugs we have shared.

When I laugh at the silliness of conversations,
I am enjoying the moment, as well as the memories of laughs that we shared.

Even eating at a grocery cafeteria, 
can bring memories of school lunch rooms and all the companionship that was formed there.

Sharing bits of ourselves with each other has such great meaning!
Sharing tears, prayers, belly laughs, knowing glances, kicks under the table, holidays, games, 
moments of silence that are comfortable, walks in the rain, parenting struggles and joys,
marriage and relationship ups and downs, times of illness and confusion, and so much more,
with you, has given my life such meaning.

Seeking the truth and the honesty of what makes us friends,
sharing the most intimate pieces of my soul with you, 
over the years,
has made me whole.
The person who I am now.

This year has been difficult with old friends' passing,
the weariness of age creeping upon me,
time and distance and obligations, 
that keep me from reaching out to you as often as I would like, 
or even as often as you enter my thoughts,
has made me realize what a gift I truly have in our friendship.

I am praying that, as you celebrate Christmas this year, 
you take a moment to count your blessings,
through the joys and troubles that are equally important.
To come out the other side of these moments blessed.

Even if we never speak or see one another again, for some reason,
know that you have ment the world to me.
For every kindness,  every moment of understanding of my quirky ways,
every time you were completely honest with me for my own good,
every smile you gave me, 
every prayer you sent up for me.
I thank you.
I love you.
I am blessed by you.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


This is unedited, and there are no pictures, as hubby has my computer.
Will remedy that ASAP!

May 14, 1987
Doc says I am dilated to 4.
Baby could be born any time!

I've waited and hoped for this moment most of my life.
I remember crying many months seeing that red stain.
I remember visiting the doctor for the first time,
There on the island of Galveston TX.
The little stick had turned pink!
I remember hearing that little heartbeat.
Tomatoes made me gag, and I craved powdered sugar donuts and Milky Way candy bars.
I lost 10 pounds at first,
Only gaining 26 overall.

We bought and remodeled a beach house on crystal beach, which was across the ferry from the island.
Doc didn't want us staying that far away,
as after 9pm, the ferry stopped running until morning.
I called my mom, who lived in Dallas, and we moved back to the island
To stay at a friend's one bedroom apartment while she was out of town.
My poor mommy slept on a wicker couch for a month.
We swam in the pool, and packed my bag, went shopping, and walked!

June 12, Terry, Mom and I went out to dinner.
Mom decided to go and stay at the beach house for a while.
We put her on the ferry, waved goodby, and my water broke!

27 years ago, there were no cell phones.
We called our closest neighbor on the beach
and told them to let mom know I was going to the hospital.
She still wasn't even off the ferry in crystal beach yet.

We drove to the hospital, checked in, got all monitered up,
and when the doc came in, he said not long now!
Three hours later, I was being wheeled to the delivery room.
No time for an epidural.
I don't even remember the labor.
I do remember Terry pulling out my IV before getting to the delivery room tho!

At 11:44pm, my sweet daughter Veronica was born!  21" long 9lb3oz
Great big lungs!
The nurse cleaned her up, took her footprints,
and also put them on Daddy's gown,
and placed her in my arms!

My mom had made it back to the hospital on the last ferry.
She was crying when she came into the room after V was born.

I have never or will ever feel so complete again!

She is the love of my life!

These past 27 years have had lots of ups and a few downs, but I would not change a thing.
Her past boyfriends and I never got along, as, in my mind, she deserved so much better.
I believe she has learned this lesson for her life now.

I am so very proud of the young woman she has become.
Her future is so very bright!
She has so much talent, wisdom and heart.
Although, she is my true Yankee child.
She seems cold and distant until she befriends you.
Then she blossoms!
Don't let that exterior fool you though.
She is one of the mist giving, soft hearted people I know.
Fiercely protective of those she loves.

My girl loves the fine things in life!
Food, wine, travel, shoes, the best this big world can offer her.
And she is more than generous with it all!
We are great travel partners.

Today, we both wish we could share brunch together,
Then spend hours pouring over magazines and books at Barnes and nobles.

My baby has grown up and lives far away, but we have never been closer.
We don't talk often, as she works way too much.
But I cry every time I see that pretty face, get that huge hug,
Drift along wherever the road takes us.

Llama and Poodle
Happy birthday baby!
Live this year with open hands, ready to be given the world.
There is no emptiness there, only great possibility!
Love you so,

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New Orleans Food and Drink

A month ago, my oldest surprised me with a trip to New Orleans!
What a wonderful weekend that was!
We do travel so well together, as we both love meandering around,
no plans, and few maps.
Photos, food, sights and getting lost are the best of destinations.
Yes, we are THOSE people who take pictures of nearly everything we eat!
Don't be hatin'!
Enjoy and salivate, my friends!
Blessed beyond measure!
 No caption necessary!

Mid morning pit stop at the Napolean House
I had a bloody mary and V had a Pimms cup...which was quite yummy.
               (I didn't eat the added okra or green beans tho!)
However we did get to go cups!
Fruit, meat and bread for a quick snack while meandering.

Yes, they sat me in a banana tree!
This was so funny that other tourists were taking pics of us under that danged ol banana tree!

My view:
 pretty tired, but these oysters on the half shell were incredible! As was the iced tea!!!!

 Dinner around the corner......OH MY GOODNESS!  We splurged and splurged!  Wonderful!
We always seemed to get to the eateries right before the rush!  EVERY MEAL!!!
 Something with crab....just had to sop up all the juices! And lick our chins and fingers!
Followed by fried seafood!
 The first beer I actually liked!
 Lunch the next day in the Garden District at the Butchery! (Cochon)    YUMMO!
 BBQ oysters!  Sooooo Good!
 All kinds of different meats!  Amazing tastes and textures!

 Had to get a salad in on this trip, just to be healthy... so glad we did!

 My pretty companion!
 Cocktails!  All Done for her, Bill Jones for me.
 Sweet potatoes!
 Mac and Cheese
Rabbit Stew

Best place for breakfast!

 Yes, you can have an alcoholic beverage on the street while waiting for your breakfast!
 Sat at the bar.  Mimosa for her and , bloody mary for me.....hmmmm I never used to like them.
 Shrimp n grits.
 Gotta have biscuits and bacon.
 Bananas Foster French Toast!  Yes!  We shared everything!!!!!

Afternoon stop at Envie to have a white Russian with espresso!

I love this girl so much!

 Breakfast the last morning!  We were two hours early for the bloody mary bar, so we had coffee and a scrumptious baked donut while we sat and talked and waited!

 Oh My Goodness!!!  Bacon, cheese, horseradish.....all the toppings you ever wanted in a bloody mary!
 Love you sweet girl!  Thank you f or yet another time of my life!
 Omelet and grits before the plane home!
She had grits and eggs and crispy pig's feet Benedict....surprisingly great!


What a wonderful adventure!
All because the oldest loves to travel, but after seeing the TV show True Detectives, was afraid to come to NOLA by herself..  I am so lucky!
xo Poo, 



Our "Little Place" in the Garden District, and Other FIne Sights.

One thing you must know about my oldest daughter:
She loves to live high!
I benefit from this a lot of the time!
She treats her mama so well!

On my way to sunnier days!

When she surprised me with a trip to New Orleans recently,
we stayed in the Garden District in a beautiful condo.
When we both arrived at the airport,
the poor cabby did not know how to get to our place.
We actually found it on daughter's GPS and guided him,
turn by turn, to our home away from home.
We arrived at night, so we didn't get the full impact of our place.
It was a shot gun condo.
So beautiful!
As we learned later, the Garden District was built after the Americans took over
 New Orleans from the French.
Of course "we" had to show how wealthy and "extravagant" we were!
 From the front porch.

 The front view.

 From the second floor hallway into the neighborhood.

V's master suite with full beautiful bath!
The beds were so high, I felt small.
The first night we both lay in the master bed watching stupid animal you tubes,
laughing until we hurt! 
In my opinion, the best part of the trip, Poo!

 My room:  When we first got to our place, we explored every part of the home.
When we went into my room, V noticed something on the wall above that door.
It was the largest cockroach I have ever seen!
Now both of us are extremely squeamish about large bugs!
To her credit, V grabbed a pillow from the bed and began throwing up, trying to hit the bug
that was at least twelve feet above our heads.
Well, it flew to the floor, and then proceeded to crawl under the door.
We immediately barricaded the door with all of the decorative pillows, never to see the offending bug again!
 From the top of the scary stairs.
Some perspective
V sure got a workout!
From the bottom of the stairs and laundry
 From the front door through the kitchen past the second bath to the stairs.
 From the other direction towards the entrance.
 Kitchen!  Unused but nice!

Ready to explore!!!


Time for some sight seeing, picture taking!

1997  Jackson Square with Asia, Hil and V  then and now 2014

Somewhere there is a pic of V and Hil sitting near this same statue 17 years ago!

The many strange things you see on balconies!  I love New Orleans!!!!

Love the secret courtyards behind old iron gates!

The trolley we depended on for everything!  The seats fold backward on the return trip. 
Windows that were open on a crowded trolley were very welcome.

Street musicians were everywhere at lunchtime.  In the middle of the streets, playing for tips.  So much talent here!

These two ladies were to very talented!  I could have listened to them, playing classical and contemporary music all day!  We even ran across them while walking down Bourbon street that evening.



Street artists, literally!
Of course there were dogs!!!


We wanted to go on this tour, but missed the time frame.

Nice stop for an iced tea and potty break!


Funny fella reading by the river.



Gotta love Bourbon street
The Casino to use the restroom, play a bit on Pharoh's, and cool off a bit!
Saw this that seemed to be appropriate for a friend!
One thing on our must see list, was Bourbon Street at night.  After a long day of sight seeing, we rested a few hours, then caught the trolley into town.  It was early but things were just beginning to start up!  Oh the sights you see!  So many drunk and drinking people!  We were not afraid, yet.  We saw, we had a margarita, and we left!  Tour accomplished!

Where we got our margaritas!

Apparently this is the place for bridal showers?

Beads in trees:

Beads on me!
I did NOTHING to earn these beads!
They were in a bowl at our condo!

At the airport, waiting to board to come back to snowy South Bend!

Just for memory sake, Terry and I went on our honeymoon in 1985 to New Orleans.
Here is proof:

How young we were.... I was 19 and he was 29.
I got strep throat and had to come home early,
but it was a beautiful city then, and is a beautiful city now.
So very blessed!