My People

I have two close friends that I can share anything with.  They know my deepest, darkest (and brightest) secrets.  They are safe places for me to go and to share my moments, thoughts, that I don’t trust others with.  They are at times brutally honest in their protection of me, what they think I should do to help my life in moments where I am confused.  Trust.  It is the one thing that you have to have in a relationship like I have with these two wonderful ladies.  I know their hearts (beautiful, beautiful, pure hearts) and the advice I get from them will always be in my very best interest.

Everyone should have a safe place to land and share their life with, knowing that there is a bubble surrounding you that will keep you safe.

I’m Getting Older, Too

Retirement.  I wish.  I’ve worked most of my adult life and I am several years away from being able to take the full amount of my social security benefits, but I don’t believe that is going to happen for me, not anytime soon.

When you don’t plan well, or make stupid mistakes, you then have to work past the typical retirement age.  It can be difficult when you hear about friends celebrating early retirement, to know you didn’t draw that lucky stick.  It’s harder now to do the things I could do when I was younger.  I rely on calendars and other tools to help get me through each day.  I notice the changes.

To get through this time of life, the goal then has to shift to vacations.  Having time off doing fun things makes the frustration of being tied to a job less frustrating.  My next real adventure will happen just before summer begins next year.  I am so excited for this journey.  There will be several weekend jaunts around my home state before this big road trip but having something to look forward to is necessary for my survival.

The other joy that sustains me will always, always, include the wonderful blessing of watching my grandkids as often as possible.  I can’t wrap my head around the thought of not spending as much time with my little loves as their parents will allow.  They are the second greatest gift I have ever received.

My advice to young adults starting out – plan.  Make a plan and stick to it.   Don’t spend more than you make.  Avoid debt as much as possible.  Invest.  Do what you need to do so you can celebrate early retirement.  Be smart.

In the Sweet Summertime

Summer arrived.  It took it’s time and those of us who live in the desert southwest were very appreciative of its delay.  The sun is up late which creates an odd feeling when it finally sets and it is quickly time for bed.  Despite the heat of the day, I love the summer!  I have many fond memories as a young girl, learning the ropes of life and navigating through the wonderful days of youth.  Music is always playing in those very vivid summertime memories.  That place between a girl and a woman can be difficult, and oh so very exciting!  Looking back at the first crush, first kiss, first boyfriend, so many firsts in that magical time of life.

Much has gone by since those years.  Many life experiences which have led me to the place I am today, and there will be more to lead me along the way but I believe each beginning of summer will always take me back to those beautiful days of youth.

I’d go anywhere, anywhere…ask me and I’m there…

Blogging. It’s fun to share my thoughts, when I have time to do so. But time has been a precious commodity lately. Tax season is officially over (really, it isn’t, but most people believe after April 15th it is) so now it is time to catch up on the many numerous things that get pushed aside while the government waits for details of its citizens’ income.

I’ve had little time for most things I love. My plants are in dire need of some TLC. A nasty case of gnats in one plant is on my radar. Those little buggers are a real pest!

In the midst of the tax madness my stepdaughter married her darling love. The wedding was perfect; it fit her to a tee. She had a vision and it came to life. I’m so very happy for this beautiful young woman and the very cool man she will spend her life with.

I spent the weekend with my daughter’s children while she had a mini vacation in California. Enjoying time with my grandchildren supersedes any possible plans that I might ever have. I love them all that much. Life is just better when I’m with them (and their parents).

In a few months I will actually be going on a real vacation. Life and all the things that get thrown into my world have prevented me from exploring this amazing beautiful world I so long to see. Other than a trip within my home state I haven’t been anywhere in several years. It kind of pisses me off to think about being stuck as I have been for so long, so I will shift my thinking to what I am about to enjoy – the beauty of the northwest and a little bit of Canada. Excited? Unbelievably so.

Viva!!

I went to Las Vegas recently. I hadn’t been there in 15 years or so…. I can’t say I’ve missed much.

The purpose of the trip was to see the musical legend, Van Morrison. He was appearing at Caesars Palace so I purchased tickets, hotel room and we drove up from Phoenix.

Las Vegas feels, well, fake. It’s almost as if you’re living in a movie scene between the different sorts of people, the noise, the constant ‘something ’going on. Maybe, living in an extremely stressful dream sequence would be a better description.

The cigarette smoke in of itself was a bit much for this old lady. I did encounter a man smoking some pot (weed, for you younger folks) and that smell isn’t offensive but cigarette smell is just yucky. In most cities it is outlawed in a public place but not in Vegas. There is a different set of rules in the Bright Lights city.

As we were walking around, we had another odd encounter – two scantily dressed young women decked out in show attire (barely anything covered, but you get the picture) asked if we wanted a photo taken with them. I was startled by their question and quickly blurted out, “Oh, good lord, NO!” As soon as I said it, I realized I sounded just like my mother. I heard her voice in my response. It was a bit comical.

I remember years ago being able to go to the buffet and eat cheap. The buffet runs about $50, which is also about what you’ll pay for a meal for 2. Las Vegas isn’t cheap.

The show was spectacular! Van Morrison isn’t a personable guy, he doesn’t chat with the audience but the music was phenomenal. His band was sharp and perfect. I loved closing my eyes and hearing “that” voice. It evoked some wonderful memories.

We gambled a little. I lost a few dollars on video poker which he won back at the roulette. I prefer being alone, playing a silly machine rather than being at some sort of table with other people. I am a loner, to some degree. He is not so the tables suit him, thankfully we left Las Vegas with more than we came with, not much, but a little.

I doubt I will go back anytime soon unless there is another show I want to see. James Taylor is coming to Vegas but I will wait until he makes his way to my town. It’s just not my cup of tea.

My Little Forest

I love plants.  I have many.  My son walked into my house and jokingly asked, “Mom, do you think you need more plants?”  My response was, of course I do.  I love each one and when one doesn’t thrive, I take it personally.  When I have to trim off the dead leaves, I am grateful for the time they were green.  I like the oxygen the plants give my home as much, or perhaps more, than the vibe they bring to the room.

If I could, I would build a house in the mountains with great windows so that my entire home would be lit up each day and my plants would be able to be scattered about in each room, a forest inside a home.  As it is now, there are just 3 rooms that can properly accommodate my plants.

I have a new plant (pictured below) that was given to me by my boss for my work anniversary and I will take it home this week.  I have kept it in my office just to be surrounded by more greenery, but I know exactly where I will put this lovely tree once it is home.

I have some re-potting to do soon, time to give them all a little love.

a plant

Black & White

And many shades of grey.

Life looks different from different angles, different views. One size does not fit all.

We are all unique in our visions, opinions, desires….even when they may appear similar.  In contrast, when divided, we are more similar than we choose to believe.  Humans are an interesting breed.  Black & White, but mostly grey.

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Goodbye, Mom

It has been almost 3 weeks since my mother died. We knew the day was coming that she would be free from her illness but as most people know, that comfort does not outweigh the tremendous grief of losing someone you love.

My mom was a hoot! At her funeral it was evident in the things that were said about her that she spent her life with a constant desire to enjoy each day. Mom was the opposite of an introvert. She loved gatherings, talking to strangers, telling her many stories to whomever would listen. An example, on Mom’s last trip to Disneyland we were sitting waiting for a show to begin and within just minutes Mom knew the names of the people sitting within earshot of her and where they were from….and they learned a thing or two about her as well. I envied that about her. I am an introvert. I spend my time trying to avoid anyone who isn’t within my tight group of people. If I am comfortable with you, I will share my world with you but that takes a bit of time to achieve. So, I’m not exactly sure where I got that from since neither of my parents were introverts.

My mother is now resting with my father. As it should be. They were married for 52 years when he passed away so it is only fitting that they will spend forever next to one another. They were the love of each other’s lives.

With each day I cry a little less, the stabbing pain in my heart isn’t as frequent. I am grieving, but I am moving forward. Processing each day; the ebbs and flows, ups and downs…. navigating my way through it all. I have read with great comfort sweet words from my friends and family and the kindness has helped.

I will miss Mom every day of my life.

Side note: As I was typing my comments about being an introvert, I had to chuckle that I do not talk to people in public gatherings, but here I sit, typing my intimate thoughts for anyone to read. Anyone. Ironic.