Archive | November, 2016

Computers

30 Nov

When is the last time you have gone an entire day without interacting with a computer in some way? I think I was still in high school. After the day I’ve had today, I have decided I want to be a computer in my next life. We all know that computers are going to take over the world. Or least run everything. Oh, wait, they already do!

Today I have been on Facebook, checked my email, read articles, googled stuff, called computers looking for a person, called a person looking for a computer and looked for that sounds that was so satisfying. The handset of a telephone slamming down when you hang up.

I am trying to keep track of my time spent each day on business stuff and personal stuff and have come to the realization that it’s intermingled. How many of you check email or play a game while on hold? Or write a business email while listening to Pandora? Used a GPS while making deliveries? Or any other assorted things throughout the day.

With computers in our daily lives, we are able to get so much stuff done every day. We’ve become a world of multi-taskers. But, what happens when the power goes out? The computers quit working. How many have tried to do cash transactions lately? Most transactions have become plastic. And trying to get someone who can count change back to you without the computers telling them how much is impossible. I’m surprised it doesn’t list which denominations of paper and coinage to hand out.(you need a $10 bill, a $5 bills, 2 quarters, a dime, a nickel,and a penny.) Heaven forbid you ask for extra quarters for the bus!

  • Today I’m grateful I grew up in a time before computers so I can think without relying on one. I’m grateful to be alive to see all the advancements computers have made. And I’m grateful to use computers to make my life interesting. Even when I want to slam the phone down because that computer has crappy customer service.

Night all. LOVES

Advertisements

Being like Ellen

29 Nov

Ellen received the President’s Medal of Freedom this month and I feel its very well deserved. And not just because we share a name. She has worked very hard and she is so kind to everyone who meets her. So I’m going to talk about 2 of the things I always think about when Ellen comes to mind.

The first is JUST KEEP SWIMMING. No matter what comes at you in life, just keep moving. It’s like a shark. If a shark quits moving, the water is rushing through his gills. He’s not getting oxygen and he dies. Sharks even move when they’re sleeping. I think I have a couple of relatives related to sharks. No matter how tough my life is. Or what stumbling blocks are thrown in my way, as long as I keep going and don’t give up, eventually I’ll come out the other side. I’ve been through some crazy stuff and I’m still here!

The other thing that I have learned from Ellen is to PAY IT FORWARD. Someone has helped you at least once in your life. If you say nobody has ever helped you, you are lying! Sometimes it’s been when you didn’t know who it was. There has been more than one Christmas that there were things under the tree because of the generosity of others. If you ask my kids, they will tell you that in Oregon, Mrs. Santa drives a blue Ford Taurus as Santa dives in the back seat. They saw it happen.

I’m trying to pay it forward as I can. I’ll give someone sitting on the sidewalk something to eat or a bottle of water. Sometimes, it’s really lean for me too and I’ll just say hi and smile. A few times I’ve paid too much for something on purpose so the person behind me gets a discount. I have never yet let anyone in my home go hungry. Even if I did.

Some times I think about winning the lottery and what I would do with the winnings. Not gonna happen because I don’t really play. And I always come back to what do I really want and what do I really need? It makes my heart hurt as I watch the scenes from stores over the weekend of people scrambling over each other, fighting, kicking, yelling and trashing everything just to get that THING that they probably don’t need anyway.

I challenge you as we come into the month of December and everyone is thinking about “gimme, gimme”, think about what do you really NEED? And what do you really WANT ?

  • Today I’m grateful that all our needs are met. I’m starting to get next month’s billing statements and I can cover them and have a little extra. I’m grateful that Carson and I are feeling better today. Whatever we had this morning has dissipated. I think both of us getting up and taking a shower probably helped. Today I’m grateful to be laying here on the couch as I write this and think about being grateful for everything I have and everyone who touches me in some way. Even those I only know through the media.

Still going to bed early so we don’t have a relapse. Night all. LOVES

Roast pork

28 Nov

Carson and I are having an feeling icky day. We’ve both spent most of the day in bed. He’s sneezing and I’m achy and have a stuffy nose.

So I decided to do a recipe today. Take one 2 pound pork shoulder roast out of the freezer the night before because contrary to most days, I actually planned dinner. It usually happens near the end of the month when the cupboards and freezer are mostly bare. In an oven safe pan, put a quartered onion, about 3-4 apples, cut in chunks and a couple of halved oranges with your roast. Tent with aluminum foil. Place in a 350°F oven for 60-70 minutes. I served it with some broken whole wheat spaghetti that I added some finely diced(don’t have a grater) cheddar and about 1/8th a cup of parmesan(Yes, the green can stuff. It’s the end of the month, remember!) Using a little of the pasta water I saved before draining to smooth it out. Season with garlic powder and pepper.

It went over reasonably well considering we both don’t feel good. I know my child is really sick because he hasn’t eaten ALL DAY(anyone have a teenager who doesn’t eat?) and he only ate about half his dinner before going back up to bed.

  • Today I am grateful that there was something in my cupboards. There are many who don’t. Today I’m grateful to be inside, warm and dry as we’re getting sick. It’s raining lots tonight! I’m grateful I found a website that has a traffic camera aimed near the town I grew up in. And they got snow today!

Now I think I’m going back to bed and hope we feel better bu morning. Night all. LOVES

 

Grandchildren are wonderful and exhausting

27 Nov

I’ve figured out one of the drawbacks of a daily blog. Actually writing a daily blog. Some days it’s a chore to just get up and get dressed, let alone thinking of something to say that might be of interest to others. So I guess it’s just going to be about what happened today.

My grandkids came to visit this evening. I know now why you have kids when you’re young. Chasing a one year old while juggling a 4 month old is hard work. I had the neighbor’s daughter come hang out for the evening. They are both sleeping now although I don’t think the parents will be happy the boys are asleep so early.

  • Today I am grateful to remember how to rock kids asleep. Without using a real rock. Grateful to have a 10-year-old in the complex who loves babies and was willing to come play. Grateful to get 1 load of laundry done before the boys got here.

That’s all I got today. Night all. LOVES

Breathing

26 Nov

I have lived through another Black Friday successfully. My idea of a perfect black Friday is to not go anywhere, not do anything constructive, and most definitely not buy anything. I don’t go anywhere because large crowds make my anxious. I don’t do anything constructive because usually everything is closed unless it’s shopping related. I don’t buy anything because I’m usually broke and shopping makes me anxious. Add anxious to anxious and you get a high probability of a panic attack. So it’s easier to just stay home and breathe.

This year, I also got to deal with a child who thinks staying up until o’dark thirty is a good thing as long as mom is asleep and doesn’t know. When I woke up and found him STILL awake and on his phone, my first thought was to ground him for life. But I took a breath and realized that wasn’t feasible. So I took his phone away. I was going to take it away for the weekend, but after taking a breath, I knew that wasn’t feasible either. I’d give in by then. So he lost his TV time instead for a day. Much better consequence. He not happy and I’m not happy, but we’re both okay. I call it good.

I learned a long time ago that if you’re doing something hard or frustrating, ‘take a breath’ and I’ve used it ever since. On of the things I learned in rehab was to take a breath before doing anything I questioned whether or not I should be doing, saying, being at or thinking about. And usually if I stop and breathe, the reality of the situation is much more clear and I will make a better decision.

I’m in a meditation group every week and we start every meditation by breathing and concentrating on our breaths. In and out. Slow and steady. It is another way of taking a breath to change your outlook on a situation.

As I have watched all the protesting this fall, I have to stop and take a breath lots. There is so much going on that I don’t understand, can’t begin to understand, and have no idea how to help or fix the problem. But when I stop and breathe, I can usually think of someone to ask questions or something that I can feasibly do to help. Or at least help MY understanding. It won’t always help the people or problem, but it WILL help my reaction to it.

  • Today I’m grateful for pie. Did you not see yesterday? Pie solves everything. Today I’m grateful to remember to stop and breathe when I’m frustrated, angry or upset. Today I’m grateful that breathing can keep me alive and present when situations are out of my control.

Remember to always stop and breathe. Night all. LOVES

Pie

25 Nov

Today is a holiday for giving thanks. But I feel you should be thankful all year and not just on one special day. And what about those who are homeless, or alone, or feel that this day is an affront to their ancestors? Do they get to be less thankful? I’ve noticed lots of people are having “Friendsgiving” where they invite their friends and family that they’ve created, and not just born into, over for a day of eating and togetherness. I think it’s a great idea. And the best part, everyone usually brings a different pie! Where Christmas has cookies and eggnog, Thanksgiving has pie and whipped cream. Two of the most perfect friends that go great together.

Most of my favorite memories of this time of year involved pie. There was the time my mother and her sisters were fighting over the last piece of pie and they just grabbed a fork and ended up sharing it. Someone has a picture somewhere. Or the year my cousin almost let my husband wear a piece of pie because of something he said. He got to be on the losing football team instead. The very first thing my eldest son ate that wasn’t milk was whipped cream from a banana cream pie.(there might have been a banana in there too!) I remember the year my friend taught me to make a chocolate pecan pie so I would never have to buy one again. There was the pie my middle son learned to make with pudding and whipped cream when he was little. And my memories of youngest son, who I can always count on to save me the last piece of pumpkin pie. He doesn’t like it. I have no idea where THAT gene came from. I remember my mom making my dad a banana cream pie every year, even the year they decided they couldn’t live in the same house anymore.

Today I have more pie memories to file away. My grandson having a fit because he wasn’t ready to wake up from his nap yet. It was solved with a bite of grandma’s pie. My son’s father-in-law saying that pie calories don’t count and dinner isn’t done until there’s pie.

I know that pie will be prominent in lots of future memories too because it’s pie! Duh!

  • Today I’m grateful to spend it with my son and the family that he has created. I’m grateful to learn a new tradition for family gatherings. And I am SO grateful to have a whole pumpkin pie covered in whipped cream in the bottom of the fridge. And because it’s Thanksgiving and everyone is saying what they are thankful for, I’m thankful to GO to someone else’s house for dinner. Leftovers and NO DISHES! It can’t get any better than that.

Night all. LOVES

Parenting

24 Nov

My son, Carson and I went to therapy today to talk about the scary stuff that happened earlier this week. It wasn’t very fun but we came up with a good safety plan if it happens again. Let’s knock on wood that it doesn’t.

After therapy, we ALWAYS go to Taco Bell.(Yeah me! My favorite! NOT!) I always use it as a learning experience for him. He gets to talk to strangers as he orders his food. He figures out if he has enough money in the budget and how much he should get back. He also gets to be the one to go back to the counter if anything is wrong or missing. It covers lots of skills that someone needs to know if they are going to navigate through life as a responsible adult. He usually does a really good job.

This week I’ve been given many chances to see how exemplary my son is becoming. He handled the crisis well. Today at dinner, I was able to see him through the eyes of someone besides his mother. You know that person is always tell kids to pick up their room, take a shower, don’t do that, do this, quit ignoring me, or would you please move faster. I was sitting at our table while he was at the counter waiting for our order when I noticed a group of boys across the room. It struck me that they appeared to be younger than my son and I had that moment of guilt that I don’t let him do many things without a responsible person there with him. Then these boys started to be loud and obnoxious, making a mess and slapping at each other. They got their food before us and had made a huge mess before they had even sat down. Then I got to watch MY son as he noticed them. He started to stand up straight and tall. He had a quiet calm about him. He said please and thank you to the other customers in the restaurant. There was definitely a difference in attitudes between the two. After we ate and were leaving the restaurant, I asked him what he was thinking when he saw those boys. He says, “They weren’t being very nice and kinda rude.” I told him how proud I was of him that he was a polite young man and that’s why I’m usually bugging him about how to act. Because I don’t want some other person to see him and think ‘what a little jerk that kid is being’. He looks at me and says, “Oh. Okay.” And that was that. But I know I have planted the seed in him. And I’ll continue to nourish that seed as he grows into that fine man I know he can be.

  • Today I’m grateful to my parents for teaching me manners so that I can teach my sons. I’m grateful my son has another adult/therapist to listen and guide him on his journey to adulthood. Grateful to see my eldest for 15 minutes as he passed through town on his way to somewhere else(in-laws for the holidays).

I hope as I keep doing this, I’ll get better. My grandmother was an amazing storyteller and I hope to follow in her footsteps. Night all. LOVES