This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Sign of Remembrance….

This morning Mom sent each of us an email.  She and my brother S_______ (who is living with Mom now) were remembering today would have been Dad's 94th birthday.  S______ usually gets the morning newspaper for Mom before he leaves for work.  This morning, as Mom stood on the porch, waiting for S_____ to hand her the paper, they noticed the flag was at half staff.

Mom and my brother thought it was a sign of remembrance…(as if we needed one).  S_______pulled the flag down, fixed it, raised it to the top, and tied it off.  He took a few steps back and saluted the flag.

I cried when I read the email.  I cried because I am so proud of my family and we still enjoy our memories and love for Dad, Mom, one another.  It may not be as easy to get together as often as it once was when we all lived under one roof; because we are now grown, have our own families and live further away from one another…but whenever we do get together, we pick up where we left off and always reminisce, laugh and enjoy one an other's company.

We all have a life time of memories together and are so very Blessed to have one another.  We learned about life from our parents and the interactions of one another growing up in a large family.  Mom and Dad had seven children and one son died very shortly after his birth.  Grant was born after me.  We still remember and celebrate him because he was part of us…

Each of us brings something so special and unique to our family…little seeds from Mom and Dad grown inside each of us to become who we have become.

I can't imagine or relate, but I hear stories from friends about the trouble within their families where so and so doesn't speak or come to family events if so and so will be there….or haven't spoken to a family member in so many years.  I have heard about friends who have lost members of their family in tragic, untimely deaths… Honestly, when I hear such stories, I always say a silent prayer, thanking God for the family we have.

Today, we will celebrate and remember Dad.  He was loving, eccentric, wise, mysterious, inventive, fun, a philosopher, a teacher, a man who loved the feel and smell of good soil and could grow anything anywhere…He told the best imaginary stories and tales of his childhood.  He would welcome any stray pet into our family and would connect with not only all the animals but talked to the plants as well.

We all have memories and stories…I know I have mine and it makes me smile to think about it and see my Dad's smile in my mind's eye.

On my last visit to California Mom and I were talking and she told me she hoped I would find another purpose since I was no longer Dad's Patient Advocate.  I became emotional after she said it, because I knew in my heart it was a labor of love to me and I miss having such a strong sense of purpose…but I will find another, I have no doubt.

So Happy 94th Birthday Dad!  We love you and miss you... knowing your Spirit is everywhere now, but will always be close in our hearts.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Look Who is 3 Months Old!!!

Can you believe it?  My new grand daughter is 3 months old.  She is a happy little giggle monster and our precious little princess.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

9 Months Since Dad's Death…Soaring With Eagles…Updates on my life and Grand kids...

I've really had my Father on my mind so much these past couple of weeks.  I've been waiting and wanting him to come to me in my sleep.  I have had one night where I saw him in my dreams, he was there, but not connecting with me.

Knowing my Dad, the way I do, and knowing after death the soul no longer experiences time; more than likely Dad is exploring.  He was a very curious fellow, loving adventure and exploration.  Not having the confines of Alzheimer's, I know he is soaring with eagles.

I will be patient.  I know he will come….maybe at the year anniversary of his death….maybe my birthday next month…

Meanwhile I will be thinking of him this Memorial weekend, for all he did for our country and for all he was to our family.

Two weeks ago I returned from California helping my daughter after the c-section birth of her second child, her first daughter.  I'd like to share a picture of my precious, first grand daughter, Jordynn.

 4-28-14 10 days old with proud Grandma

 4-28-14 Remember my grand son Jacob?  Here he is with his little sister and I on the day I returned to Nevada.  I had the best time staying with them for two weeks.  Words cannot express how difficult it was for me to leave.  Jacob is now three and a half years old.  He is the sweetest and best big brother to his sister.  I am so very proud of him.

5-17-14 Sleeping beauty….my most recent photo of my grand daughter sent from my daughter.  She is thriving and healthy.  God Bless and protect their family.

A couple days after returning home I threw out my back and spent a week in bed with back spasms and back pain.  I have not been doing any painting or blogging…

My other grand sons are all doing well too.  The almost 12 year old is in an Archery tournament this weekend and did very well.  His brother the 10 year old just did a trumpet solo in band and their little brother, who is now 14 months is climbing and running everywhere…keeping the entire family on their toes…he loves playing with his Labradors and helping his Daddy in the yard…

I am very, very, very Blessed.  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone….

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Updates and What's Been Happening Around Here...

So much has been going on….I just had my sister come visit for a week and we had so much fun painting in our Art Journals, buying supplies at the many art/craft stores with our coupons, yard sailing and searching for bargains in the thrift stores.  It was SO GOOD having that one on one time with her.  I miss my family so much…and she is my only sister.  We have four brothers.

Another huge event, is my youngest daughter is having my first grand daughter mid April.  I will be going to stay with her for a couple, three weeks after she delivers.  She only has almost four months of maternity leave, so I will be taking Izzy my dog, and moving in with them in California to help out with the baby until she is old enough to be placed in Day Care.  I'll probably stay with them through December.

I am praying a reliable, child loving person will come into our lives and help my daughter and son in law feel comfortable in hiring a "stranger" who might become a trusted and extended member of their family…

I am also praying Izzy adjusts to an entirely different environment, people and their two Labradors.  Typically, Izzy has a "Napoleon Complex" barking and carrying on toward larger dogs.  I am hoping her preference to be around me helps her adjust and adapt.  I'd hate to leave her home with my husband, because I am STILL trying to walk off the extra weight she gained from my last three week trip to California in January. According to our Vet, Izzy needs to lose 8 pounds…yikes!

My youngest grandson's first birthday is the end of this month and we will board her while we are gone…so no doubt she will lose a few pounds over the weekend…at least I hope she does.

While I am in California, caring for my grand daughter, my husband will come out monthly for a week or two and stay with us and then return home to hold down the home front.

I am hoping, when my husband comes out, we can check out various properties and see if I can persuade him to move back to California.  I miss my two daughters, my four grand sons and now, soon,  new grand daughter.  I want to be more available for my Mom and I miss my family and friends.

I have been watching the news coverage daily.  My heart aches for all the families, loved one's and friends of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.  I cannot imagine the roller coaster of hope and horror those people are all going through these past two weeks.  I am praying for a miracle….and hopefully, the plane is found.

Last but not least, I am still holding firm with my weight loss and am still deliberating and indecisive about whether to use this blog as my new art blog, or to create a new one.  My painting is more frequent then it was last year, but still no where close to daily, or even weekly….which disappoints me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Retirement Has It's Challenges...

How does one stay organized after Retirement?  I really wanna know!

I admit, I have been very undisciplined and disorganized for some time now.  Last year's frequent, monthly or bi-monthly trips to California really took a toll on pretty much everything in our lives....especially our household, yard work, de-cluttering, production and keeping in touch with friends.

Before that, I had strained my right forearm/elbow and then twisted my ankle, so long periods at the computer came to a quick halt.  I could not stay on the computer as long as I had in the past.  My ankle was so sore I had to elevate it and ice it and despite trying to balance my laptop upon my lap, I was not successful...

Since the beginning of the year I decided to dive into my painting and see if I can make some extra money.  I have going back and forth between my writing (blogging) and my art and my writing has always been the priority, until my girls started having so many kids...

I went from three grand sons to four and now my youngest daughter is having my first grand daughter this April, which will make my fifth grand child!  My husband has six grand kids, so together, we will have ELEVEN!  He has six grown children and I have my two daughters, so again, together, we have EIGHT kids.

I would LOVE to move back to California...but I would have to drag my husband kicking and screaming.  Each trip, he is a non-stop complainer with the traffic getting from one home to the next.  I am grateful it is only a three and a half hour drive; and I am also grateful for Face Time and Skype to visit with the kids when we are here in Nevada...but it is not how I envisioned my life to be with our close family...

I have also promised myself this year to lose weight and I am happy to report I have lost ten pounds.  I am also volunteering one day a week at St. Jude's Thrift Store and joined the Women's Auxiliary.  Getting myself back on a schedule is the key...but it has been so very challenging.  Much more so than I figured.

My Mom's back has really been bothering her and I am very concerned.  I have been doing my best to convince her to come stay with us for awhile, but she insists she has too much to do.

She makes counted cross stitch Christmas stockings for all the great grand kids and her poor arthritic hands are moving as fast as she can to keep up.  Not only my two girls had children, but my brother's daughter and son in Ohio are each having one too.  If she did consent to come stay with us, I would have to bring her big magnifying mirror and all her cross stitch stuff too!

I have so many projects on my list and it seems the list keeps growing rather than getting shorter.

My long range goal is to find a way to incorporate my art, my blogging, my yard work, housework, and visits to California to see our children and grand children and still have time to have a life and spend time with my neighbors and friends.  It's not easy...

Is there anybody else out there having the same challenges?  Anyone have any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Packing up Dad's Things and Remembering. Weekend in Laguna and Visiting Family.

I just returned from an extended trip to California.  I helped Mom with some heavy cleaning around her home and we sorted through all Dad's clothes and things she still had in the garage.  We donated most of it, but I kept three of his handkerchiefs.  I gave one to my sister and I kept two.  Dad ALWAYS carried a handkerchief.  I can still remember his sneeze and the way he blew his nose... Makes me smile just to think of it...

I took some of his shoe-stretchers for my husband, a letter opener and the noisy cow bell Dad used to hang from the front door when he lived at home.  He was so paranoid about someone breaking into the house. He was sure that noisy thing would startle any intruders and would certainly let him know trouble was in progress.

We still have so many of his books in Mom's office.  Dad had made book shelves in the closet to store some of them.  He had old college class books from Cal Poly on Mathematics, Science, Botany, Fertilization, Drafting, Design; books on Chess, Nature, Gold Mining and lots of  How to Fix It type books.

Mom still feels too disrespectful to get rid of them because Dad always held his books with such high regard...

One of the chores I did for Mom was to trim the Pomegranate tree outside her back porch.  I started that tree over fifty years ago when I used to steal the fruit off a neighbors tree, bring it home and sit on the back porch, spitting out the white part of the seeds after I had eaten the juicy red parts.  The tree is huge and produces so much fruit.

Mom sat on the patio and kept me company, often telling me to stop and rest...which I ignored.  I was using one of Dad's old Loppers, which had not been sharpened in several years.  Mom said I grimaced the same way Dad did when he trimmed it.  I told her I felt Dad was with me, helping guide me as to what branches to cut and which to keep.  I really did.

I have fond memories of Dad and I working in the yard together...he would always start by telling me the plants technical name and then it's common name.  He would tell me how much water to give it and how to trim the leaves, as if he were talking about a child I needed to know about when I babysat.  Some how he always made me feel like we were doing something so important and doing it with honor for living things.

He had me talking to the plants and feeling perfectly sane in doing so.  Later, after I moved out into my own apartment, I would leave classical music on for my plants.  I am still convinced it is why they all flourished and grew so big and healthy.

I attended one of my son in law's Mother's Memorial.  She battled cancer for over a year and died early Christmas morning.  It was a wonderful service.  My son in law and one of his dear friends worked on an extremely moving video of her life.  Very emotional.  A young 9 year old girl, unrelated to the family, other than friendship, had adopted Me-Maw (as all the grand kids called her) as her Grandmother-Me-Maw.
She wanted to sing a song in her honor and sang, In the Arms of an Angel.  If the song was not enough, her voice was like an angel, and there was not a dry eye in the entire room!

I spent a couple days with my youngest daughter, son in law and my three year old grandson....who was constantly reminding me of his baby sister residing in his Mother's belly and how she will be here soon to play with him...They had all been sick with the flu after the Memorial and my daughter was due to have her shower for my first grand daughter the day before I was to leave.  I said a prayer to keep me healthy and not to have my back go out as I disregarded all warnings by family members to not go because I might get sick.

I am happy to say, my daughter and son in law were able to get plenty of rest so she was able to attend her shower and I did not get sick or throw out my back.

I also visited my oldest daughter and my three grand sons.  Can you believe the 9 month old is walking already?  Or should I say, running?  And on his tip toes??  He has a rough time cutting teeth and constantly grunts to communicate.... He sounds like a little cave man, or a baby bear or elephant.  Once in a while he lets out a squeal...a laugh...usually when one of his brothers come into the room.  The older brother is 11 and the younger one is 9.  The baby just lights up with both of them and they get the biggest charge out of the little guy.

It was so good seeing everyone...I miss them so much.  I am grateful I am only 3.5 or 4 hours away instead of having to hop on a plane and fly to them.

Mom, my sister Holly, my youngest daughter and I had all planned to spend Martin Luther King weekend in Laguna Beach at the Pacific Edge Hotel.  Since my daughter was still sick, she did not get to join us.  We had a wonderful, relaxing time, but decided to come home one day early because my daughter felt so bad missing the weekend she insisted on still paying her portion.  By leaving early, we paid a little bit less than what our portions would have been if she had come.

My sister and I took a long walk on the beach, taking pictures and walked quite a ways.  There were several people walking their dogs on the beach, but on our way back, I noticed a woman walking a huge, white wolf.  I brought it to the attention of my sister and she did not believe me.  Sure enough, it was a rescued wolf from a sanctuary in Lucerne Valley.

A few months ago, I had been to a Meditation class.  I was particularly focused on wanting to connect with my Dad.  Instead, I got a visit from a big white wolf who guided me through the woods, lush plants and flowers to a clearing on a bluff above the ocean.  I sat with the wolf and enjoyed the view.

I asked the woman if the wolf had a name and she told me his name was Journey.  I got goose pimples thinking of my white wolf vision and the title of my blog being Mystical Journeys... It gave me such a good, peaceful feeling, as if it was destiny.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Memories of Dad and Blog Updates...

I've been cleaning out my garage and the section I used to use for my art studio.  I have been piling stuff on top of my work table and it had gotten way out of hand...

I came across the bin with ALL my Dad's saved letters and cards given to him for birthdays, Father's Day and get well wishes prior to him going into the nursing home.  He saved every one.  It has taken me a couple weeks to go through it with respect.  I tore the covers off some of the cards and put them in my stash for creative inspiration for future paintings...

I cut off stamps and the post marks of some of the older envelopes to save for one of my brothers who collects stamps...I saved all the letters so I can read and determine if a family member would like to have them back for sentimentality of for reference of memories.

I found both my and my youngest daughter's High School announcements.  I found a congratulations card from 1947 when I was born.  I found some cool stuff I plan to keep.

I also found all Dad's ties.  I was going to take it to California for Christmas and do what my son in law suggested and have each of us put on one of Dad's ties and then take a picture...but for some reason, I decided not to...  I also can't part with them... yet.  My oldest daughter suggested I make something from them.  I stored them in my art cupboard for further thought....later.

I found Dad's recorders.  One with a tape in it.  Unfortunately, he had misplaced the power cords....but he had the microphone.  I still have a tape/CD player and plan on listening to them one of these days...maybe when my sister comes to visit in March...

Two of my brothers are working on some tapes my youngest brother ran across just before Dad died.  He had recorded family history questions he posed to both Mom and Dad.  We only listened to Dad''s one night as a family, after Dad died.  I'll see what is on the tapes I found and then give them to my brothers to put on Cd's with the others.

I have a bin of my Dad's journals.  I'll start to read them, but find I get too sad.  It is so apparent he knew he was slipping and was doing his best to record everything...even the most mundane, because I think he struggled so much with routine daily things.

I've made a lot of progress with my Art Studio, whipping it back into shape, taking stock of all my supplies and gathering paintings I have done to upload onto my gallery on the online website.  I have opened a Pay Pal account, but have to call them tomorrow to answer a few questions before I join the online painting website.

I also opened my business account with my business name....but am still deliberating on my decision to use Mystical Journeys as my Art Blog.. with intermittent posts about my thoughts of Dad...or just making a new blog for my art.

I think I am pretty certain, for now, I will keep Mystical Journeys for writing about Dad...and what is going on in my life...and if I feel the need to do an art blog, I will know whether to combine it with this one or do a new one...