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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day

When Memorial Day weekend comes around I instantly think of BBQ time.... Maybe a nice long bike ride too, but always for sure a BIG BBQ!

There are so many people who have died for and because of this country but instead of feeling sad, ashamed or reflective in awe of these peoples I like to think about how it's the kind of holiday that brings togetherness. Memorial day brings us to family and friends, to the grave side of a loved one or to the porch of a new friend. Spring weather moving us right into summer allows BBQ time to fix this Nation's problems even for just a day!
I love the smell of charcoal burning just before the ribs or steaks get flip on and the soft music from the radio under the bright blue sky! 
People laughing, drinking and chatting it up! THIS is honoring to all those who died, to all the millions of stories out there THIS is the time to share and enjoy still being alive!
Have a good social weekend and eat some great BBQ too!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Cooking Day

These days have been busy trying to see my mother has been a bit more difficult, I am glad we got out there the other day to cook her a mother's day meal.
It's been a long journey to let go of my parents care, my father will always be uncomfortable around women and will light up over his many stories about his job, I can simply see him in a real honest way. My mother was always the comforter, the quiet calm one when next to my father, while I grew up my mother liked having her own space from us kids so we had much more freedom then when our father watched over us.  As my husband began cooking, I sat with my Mother giving her a manicure just as my Father said to one of my teenaged brothers "I have a job for you." I chuckled because sometimes nothing actually changes over 20 years.
"THIS is REAL food Dad." Davey said with a grin as they dished up the meal, my father laughed. My father and his 3 boys still at home have some trouble in cooking food not from a can. When my husband Tony made steaks and shrimp scampi the place lit up in amazing aromas, I knew shrimp would make my mother very happy, So I peeled them and she ate them up!
I am glad that my mother is doing good, glad she is learning to do more and more on her own. My teenaged brothers have grown over the last 2 years in caring for her also. I am glad that I have stepped back in being around them so much, On this day that I showed up I noticed my brothers scrambled around to make sure the water bowls were full and the pets had eaten so that I wouldn't freak out. IF this is what it takes to teach them how to care for the critters then I am glad to be known for such things!
This is not my home anymore, Understanding the land for what it is now and not how nice it use to be when my Grandpa was alive.
I do hang on to family as I wish they could be, I am very different now when I visit for I learned to let go and just be. I am not so worried, not so emotional and not working so hard anymore at what can not be as well. Understanding everything is how I get through, letting everyone act how they want is also part of being respectful.
My mother is forever changed from her stroke, always going to look for the next best thing to do or go, she will always want comforting foods over healthy foods and she will keep thinking if she could just get back to those places she vacationed when she was normal then she will be happy again.
I will try to help her when I can and be strong when I have to tell her No in her many request, I like to redirect her focus and bring something fun that she CAN do right now. She will always be seeking and searching because she is missing half of herself now.

Sitting outside with my mom, her hair is white and curly, her arm is curled up on her lap with a blanket over her wide shoulders against the evening breeze. She had her cane in her good hand to move outside with my brothers help and sat next to me in that early evening. I know my mother is overweight, her eyes have dark circles that I wonder if she actually sleeps at night anymore or not. How she looks and what she says is a journey for her. As we sat there enjoying the fresh air and summer like world around us, We chatted and I was glad to be there then I said to her "Tony says it's not fair that I can find such great deals in the thrift stores, because no one dresses like me! Yet he can't find that much." My mother burst out laughing and smiling and I thought she looks so beautiful sitting there! 
Then she asked "Can we go to Savers?" and it was my turn to laugh <3

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beer Day

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”_JRR Tolkien

It's also a good idea I think to simply step onto the road knowing you are going out for a beer! A weekly beer time is also very important for self relaxation! I LOVE meeting up with my father-in-law Kelly Shively for a foamy mug at the local pub Table Rock, we laugh, we chat, we drink and we joke some more in those early evenings! For it is some of my favorite events in the whole week!
To not worry about anything, to not thinking about anything and to enjoy everything over a beer!

Happiness can be in your heart no matter what you have to do but to share a beer, to enjoy a conversation and to know where your feet will take ya.....that's a joy only going out for a drink can give!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Last Day

It is amazing how being a Nanny over this past school year went by so fast! and amazing how those kids stayed busy beyond any life style I had ever known! How cooking and cleaning became second hand for me, how so much changed in their home with their parents splitting up and sharing different days with the schedules.

As a Nanny I did all I was told, but fighting over homework getting done was my biggest challenge with the 10 year old. (When I was 10 years old if I said I had already done my homework when asked then was discovered 2 weeks later nothing was done, well my parents would have skinned me alive! Of course I know there's great helpful ways to never lay a finger on a kid in order to teach a lesson about lying or cheating...)
This job taught me how important it is to have such healthy boundaries for children right away, to teach when you can about honest respect towards the truth. 
Being a nanny I noticed such a different life style for these kids, As they kept up on school events, appointments and sport practices I felt rather tired out for them, I couldn't imagine being that busy in my own youth...time flies by anyway so why hurry to grow up? It was never my place to say so but I was glad looking back at my own life knowing how creativity and nature walks saved my adult life from being so stressed out. There is no amount of money that can give back our lives, give us back more time....We can learn from Buster to live for today in joy, in love and in happiness! He made my job meaningful, graceful and beautiful!

    Homemaking, chatting it up with the kids and cooking made being a Nanny so easy, but cuddling with the dog was the best moments in such a huge house. In fact the happiest thoughts, the good laughs and important moments were when Buster and I went on our walks even though I always asked the kids to come with me, but they had other things to do...... 
It's been a learning experience seeing life through Mary Poppins eyes! How grateful I am for learning what is important to me in creating such a magical life!
The soft warm evening light greeted me as I jumped off those huge big rock steps going out the front door of their mansion on my last day as a Nanny, I was left thinking instead of a umbrella I will settle for my car to take me away......for my job is done and I'm meant to move on.....
Yet I will always love that dog Sweet Buster with all of my heart!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Irrigation Day

Yesterday I walked around my backyard to such a dry hard ground, thin weary looking leaves on the trees and hardly no more lilacs....Rather sad I thought. My time being away from home is clearly seen! My poor thirsty neglected land is happy I am staying home today! (In fact I hope to really slow down my jobs to just simply be HOME more this summer)

I am irrigating today, so that magic spark is back!

I love my water days, I love seeing all my beloved trees drink!

I am still planning and not sure yet how I want my rock garden to look.....last summer's water bill was a big surprise but I kept it well soaked and things grew beautifully! yet this year I am thinking of better planning on saving water yet looking great too.....
I just NEED to be home to get these jobs done!

During watering days my chickens complain so much, but my dogs run and splash all around happily ever after in this fun place!
Of course my cats come inside and nap on my messy bedding as I run all around with a shovel to manipulate the water flow

THIS is MY favorite season! THIS is Irrigation Day!   

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Photo Day

When it comes to my family, I like what I have created and choose to make important in my own personal time....My pets! I would think how fun having 4 puppies and 4 kittens to grow up together in my home would be over the last few years and now somehow the events unfolded to have 3 grown cats and 3 grown dogs, They all get along, they all cuddle, trust and like each other....if the cats need time out from one another then in this big home it's easy to separate for a break:-) Over this past mothers day weekend I hung up my new pictures of these creatures who decorate my everyday life! I love them so much!

Oscar and Tinker grew up together, they were the first to our family and so they have this bond, this connection unlike with any other pet. Tinker is my most difficult cat, most spoiled and entitled. She has her own bedroom now simply because she demands her own peaceful space at times (kinda like her "Daddy" too) Oscar and Tinker are both 6 years old right life was made better on the day they arrived!

Sweet little Sidda is one of the most amazing dogs I have! She is extremely smart, sweetly snuggles and loves to keep me in her sight even when she is napping. Lewis also keeps me in his sight as much as possible especially at night he loves to lay right on me for cuddling. He doesn't trust just anyone but when I speak to him, he melts like butter into my arms. If I am not carrying around Sidda then I must be holding a cat....

I think Minnie is the happiest dog in my family pure contentment and gratefulness in each and every moment. She will lay next to any of the cats without a second look, I trust her completely with anyone even crazy kids for she is pure chill, pure happiness and a really good dog!
Jazzy is the newest family member, in such perfect timing she came into my life and melted my heart instantly! She is a 3 year old cat, who wants to be a dog at times and She can make friends with ANYONE almost instantly! 
(I think my black cat Lewis is her "boyfriend" for they look so in-love with each other all the time)
When it comes to my wall of photos, I'm a proud Mama!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day

 When I think over the last decade in my life, I can smile big for having that one of a kind mother-in-law, Jo Ann or as I've call her for the last 14 years "Mom", She is also known as Mama Jojo. I can still remember the very first time I ever met her, she drove up in brand new blue VW bug blaring the radio and swiping off her sun glasses as she entered the fruit stand to hunt down one of her sons working along with me there. She shook my hand very briefly almost not even focused on me as she moved about. I was struck by the fact she was extremely young for having 2 almost grown sons, when she laughed while talking to them it was loud and full of heart. 

She was gone as fast she had stop by there was never a long goodbye with her in fact I learned right away, the very first phone conversation I had with her struck me by surprised when instead of suggesting a goodbye she simply was done and hung up with a fast "Okay bye" I laugh now because I didn't take it personal back then but found it different in how long my own mother took saying goodbye. I admired Jo Anne from the second time we met and she told this huge exciting story while using words like "Asshole and bitch" when I wasn't use to such dialogue yet in really surprised me again! She was young and full of energy unlike most mothers I knew at the time, my future mother-in-law will often say that she grew up WITH my husband her first born son, he was born an old soul and she always knew one day he would be lawyer as well!

 Mama Jojo is the kind of woman who is not afraid to dance in public, not afraid to sing really loudly or include strangers walking by into our debates or discussions. She would be the first one to protest if a woman was being disrespected, if a customer was being rude. Her self confidence and her desire to have fun go hand in hand, from table dancing to pole swinging I have seen her do it all! When I was younger I was in awe of her bravery, her spot on wit and cleverness wondering if I will be like her when I reach her age? Because she is sophisticated, she is both modern and provocative, full of creativity and perfection! I have found such a safe place being with her over the years. Her excitement, her craziness and her over all adventures with life make knowing her all the more interesting and enjoyable.....when we disagree or argue it often feels like nothing is taken wrong, nothing is lost in our open honesty for we have learned over the many years how to communicate better and I really really like that about getting older and sharing life's time in the same family.

My mother-in-law is a fun person, opinionated and classy, she is out going and she is true laughter! I love her for all that she is and shines with! From her perfectly hand crafted valentines to her amazing cocktails, from her quoting Jon Stewart to her thrilling looks as she starts up for a good discussion! Happy Mothers day to such a woman who raised my husband to be so thoughtful, kind, compassionate and aware of EVERY single issue a woman faces in today's world for she did a great job! I'm honored to be in the family and to relax on her patio while she shares the latest in spa treatments or womanly concerns for I truly, deeply love everything about her!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Home Day

This month has me running all day long, I don't like it. 
This working part-time jobs all at once is more of a extra full time job in the end.....again I don't like to be away from home and all my responsibilities. I know it's all temporary, I know how to work hard and be dedicated THAT is not my problem. These jobs are all the same as well in cooking, cleaning and visiting. I have a graceful way in everything I touch to look better then when I found it, so it's not a hard job being a care taker, a cook, a housekeeper, a nanny, a guardian. These things I do every day in my own home, but that is the point I am NOT home, all day long I am gone.
I arrived home with the very same list of chores to do as in each house I had just been working.....
There is such a huge difference when my husband goes to work every morning, then in arriving home later on to sit, to relax over dinner and a movie. He will take off his shoes and socks at the door instantly, simply pour a drink and truly chill out.....Later he will ask "Where did my shoes go I left them on the floor by the door?" I usually reply with a smirk "I know where you left them, I tripped over them by surprise! I am sure those "cleaning fairies" put them back where they go." He will chuckle at my joke and this is everyday life for us to have our own jobs and responsibilities.
My home days are far different in comparison, my time getting off work and arriving home lately has been even more stressful then if I had never left.....
The thing is that it's NOT a new life lesson, my over all experience of working full time since getting married has been double the amount of work and chores. Learning how to handle this, trying to keep from comparing or taking house work on such a personal level like some "badge of honor" because I am really good at it and can't relax when it's not done, even when I worked really hard all day long away from home. I have no desire to make lots of money if it means everything I love struggles.
First is to remember that I have been here before over and over again I have been here and have learned NOT to take it personal. My husband is a very different person then myself, he doesn't see what I see, this is not a bad thing and I know how to handle it usually. I truly love my "home days", were as he is left frustrated at home by himself. Every so often our lives are shaken up to remind us what we love about each other and what we have to figure out in making life work better. For all I have learned and all I keep being reminded of lately is that I won't chase "the golden goose" in the job market, not at the cost of my sanity, my pets and my home!

"I've been trying to setup our budget." My husband Tony sighed annoyingly at me as I kept washing the dishes I replied "Oh good that's smart." He explains "I think you should get a job." I chuckle back "I do have a job." He shakes his head "No, not a nanny job but a REAL job....full time with real pay." I reply "It will work out, steady as we go, it always works out and we don't need to be rich when we are simply happy." I knew that I was saying this to him all year like a broken record so I turn to face him as he explained "We won't be happy getting into debt...." I nodded "Okay, I can work full time, maybe get on at a pet store or garden shop?" He alarmingly replied "Now don't be hasty! maybe you can find a job that is 20 hours a week with Friday, Saturdays and Sundays off?" I choked back my giggles and just shook my head as he waved his hands in the air "A job you don't have work early in the mornings and one that is not at night like maybe you could tell them you want to work 11am to 4pm." As I watched my husband setup all the guidelines for my hypothetical new job, I went back to cleaning the kitchen remembering over the years how my working hours drove him crazy.....Tony finally walked away saying "Budget or not I don't want you to work unless it's THE perfect fit for you...." I laughed out loud now replying over my shoulder as I finished my chores "It WILL work out, it always does!"

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Flower Day

Last night was smelling truly AMAZING against the warm bright early evening sun so I dug into my empty pots!
I also threw the ball around for the dogs, I brushed out each cat and left the door open for those pets to come in or out as they please while I set out potting soil, tools and some new flowers!

The music kept me singing and the warmth of the whole experience brought me such joy in dirty finger tips!

I needed to remember my life isn't so crazy after all, it isn't always out of my hands in what can get done and what will have to wait......I have the power to set up my own personal "Garden date":-D

I LOVE where I live, where there is such room to garden, truly room to grow!  and I really want to bring in more life to all the things I do!

I want to create huge flower gardens for the birds and butterflies, I even have a sunny good spot for my all my herbs and most importantly I realize that all I need is TIME to get it actually planted and set up!
Caring over elderly people lately makes me seek out time with a shooting panic and a understanding how important it is to manage my time wisely!

I am trying to get my panic under control....Like for example; this morning the dogs needed out earlier then usual and so they pushed against my side of the bed and I was startled awake!  This event left my heart bounding over my sudden thoughts as i let them outside and saw what a nice day it will be! I began to think more and more about not having enough time to get all the gardens in! About how busy I am and wondering how can I slow down? It has to be a personal choice to set good priorities and make a plan!

I love how LIFE is living each day and hoping to reach each picture of your mind's eye to complication! 
Nothing helps more then sharing some flowers or getting them into those empty pots when you need to slow down and cheer up a bit!

Thankgoodness for the ever amazing and long lasting marigolds to calm my race against time!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dying Day

Yesterday's protest in Seattle Washington looked unorganized to me as I read about it over my coffee cup in the soft early sun light, for they protested against the police, against the poor working wages, the lack of jobs and also the over national growing fear in really all kinds of things, I can understand them and why they protest yet I felt so sad. 
Then as President Obama declared yesterday a holiday for "loyalty" I smirked to myself for it's not loyalty from the employer that the day represented
We are very unorganized as Americans to stand up for the "working class" in a protest like yesterday. I honestly believe working is over rated in our country, for to work is to brag in this country on a whole other personal level of pride in giving your life over to pay checks and to country.........I can't buy into this message. I see greed, control and power as the drive in America so yesterday's news hung over my heart and mind today.
I can also see some people want to change that mind-set, but just like drinking a can of soda every single day we are unorganized and unhealthy in our old routines to be ready for a real battle.

I set out lunch for the elderly couple at noon on the dot. I sliced my freshly baked corn bread so they could butter it themselves as we talked. They are kind, they are easily confused but I keep note of only one soda per day or else they would have the case gone by dinner. 

Interesting, I think soda is for those who would never dream of tasting alcohol their way of an "escape"...leaving the sugars from soda pop to attack the inner workings of the brain. I can serve and watch over but I am taking note all at the same time, I liked playing a board game with them this afternoon but after 30 minuets I casually wrap it up since they grow weary and more confused. Making new friends like them is easy and delightful, but as I drove away to make it in time for my nanny job to start on the other end of the treasure valley I cried. 
For this song played over the radio as I drove along the freeway and since I've already been sad by the average American worker struggling so much, sad by the average elderly person being in and out of the doctor's office, sad by the kids getting out of school with even more homework to do or some sport practice to attend.....
I embraced THIS SONG;

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day

Today I was thrilled to see May arrive! I've been colder in April then I can ever remember with rainy, windy, even sprinkling snow! I was super busy in April so I hope to be less busy in May....
Life is far more beautiful in May with tulips and daffodils fully bloomed! I love to be outside, love to be home and love to capture each season fully! Yet being blown away in this wind has me SUPER happy that today is May Day, the first of the month getting closer to sweet summer time, summer time!
I am currently making lunch every day for an elderly couple that struggle with Alzheimer's for the next couple of weeks. As I've always been good in cooking and helping out, I really like looking through old photo albums because it brings memories back for them together, not always clear but they do tell good stories. I was bird watching and identifying names with a handbook with the husband and playing dominoes with the wife. A lovely couple living with their grown kid who needed someone to cook them a main meal for lunch. I have been traveling through time to the 1950 or 60's with them over cabbage soup and fresh baked biscuits! 
Changing the calender today to May was a magical picture of tulips that the elderly mother really loved even showed me her own tulips growing outside and I thought of how happy I was to see spring too!
May is the month for really getting into the soil, for more sun light among the flowers and for promising warmer days ahead! I've missed the heat, the sweat and the taste of BBQ.......I've missed my own grandparents lately and truly delight in borrowing someone else! 
Over this past weekend especially I am reminded how fast we can age and how important it is to be strong, to be wise and watchful. 
Today is the time to dance with arms wide open for the earth is waking up and the butterflies want to fly by!