Tag Archives: My Mother

And the Ewww Gross Award Goes To…

28 Oct

A few days ago my daughter, Kathleen, an adventurous 9 month old, decided to do something a little too far outside her abilities and ended up on her head.

Not unusual for this age. It happens almost weekly anymore.

This time, though, she got a little scrape and needed a small round bandage.

Fast forward a few days and Lonnie, baby and I are over at my parents’ house helping them move furniture.

Kathleen is being passed between my mother and myself depending on who’s most needed at the moment.

About the time we’re wrapping up Mom goes down stairs to order a pizza, so I put Kathleen on the floor for a couple minutes and help put clothes in a box while keeping half an eye on her.

It apparently wasn’t the correct half.

I pick her up and notice that she’s rolling something around in her mouth.

Great. :/

As I’m trying to get her mouth open there’s a big, theatrical swallow, and it’s gone.

Then Lonnie points to her head and says…

“Her band-aid’s gone.”

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*** The little bandage passed without incident, by the way. lol ***

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#MirthMusicMon – Blimey Cow …In 20 Years

2 Feb

It’s Monday again!

Yeah. I’ve made it past my 4th annual 28th birthday and I’m still surprised at their frequency. Go figure.
I have also become a mommy this past month. It’s been scary. Mostly because she was in her third hospital before her twelfth hour of life. But I’ll tack that story after the fun stuff for those who want to know what’s been going on and why I was absent last week. 🙂

For this Mirth and Music Monday I found a funny video by Blimey Cow called Messy Mondays:Seven Things that Won’t Be Cool in 20 Years.

Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkYd2TiOw9c

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Then there’s stuff that I think will always be cool, like Herman’s Hermits. 🙂

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Click HERE to see who else is participating this week.

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That’s it for me folks.

Have a Great week!

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Here’s where I tack on my P.S. for baby drama.
Without going into too many technical or icky details I’ll explain.

Last Sunday afternoon, after spending months in the ideal head down position, my daughter decided to flip right before being pushed out and came out breech, and grey. I got to hold her for maybe a minute before the midwives whisked her across the room and started working on her. All her vitals looked good except she had inhaled maconium and wasn’t breathing, or even trying.
The paramedics arrived (like 30 seconds later) and got her responsive. She was making unhappy squawking noises as they all marched out the door, taking her to the hospital for observation.
The ladies at the birthing center got me cleaned up and one of them drove ahead of my husband and I to the hospital. Then began my experience of being wheeled everywhere for several days (Baby girl did not come out gently, the little stinker).
We had been informed that she was doing alright. When we got to the small intensive care unit, however, we were informed that she was not doing well at all and they couldn’t figure out why. Then, after they worked on her for a couple hours, they discovered that she had holes in both lungs. She was shipped to the next hospital.
This one is the big sister of the first, just one town over. Our little one had two ambulance rides before she was half dry.
At this hospital she got even worse. They still had no idea what was wrong and were trying to assess the damage, find the underlying problem, and keep her alive. (Afterwards I learned that the doctor was at the end of a 48 hour shift and refused to leave our baby because she didn’t want to waste time updating someone else. Same thing with the two nurses who were hovering the entire time she was there. We are currently trying to decide what to make for them to say thank you.)
It was decided that she needed more help than even that large hospital could provide, so they started looking into their three options and prepping her for a flight.
Unfortunately everything, including our airport, was fogged in. It was several hours before any fog lifted, and the first option to open up was Salt Lake City. They jumped on it.
Thankfully before they could ship her the morning staff had come in and we now had a lactation consultant and a social worker helping boss certain things around for us. I was shown how to start collecting milk for when baby is strong enough to be fed (and the consultant slipped some other essentials into those bags of supplies, bless her), and the social worker booked me a flight that left an hour after our daughter (and cash for a taxi from the airport to the new hospital! It also covered my food for the next couple days.).
Lonnie drove me to the airport. There was no time for us to get me more clothes than what I had brought and worn to the birthing center. Thankfully I had been a little wishy-washy, so had a couple shirts and extra under things. Unfortunately, no hairbrush, toothbrush, paste, or anything of that sort. Then I had to leave my purse with him because it would count as a carry-on. I came over with my pumping supplies, a rented pump machine, and a carry-on suitcase with as much stuff jammed in as possible from my purse.
I enjoyed take off and landing, and thankfully caught a nap during the half hour flight. Then we landed and I was completely responsible for myself…and technically handicapped. In fact they had arranged to have a wheelchair and assistant waiting for me in the terminal.

So I was in a third hospital, only this time I had no one around me. Until, a new social worker and a new lactation consultant found me. Both lovely women.
My family was constantly calling or texting me, so I never really felt alone. My husband couldn’t come for a couple of days because of paperwork and logistics. He and my parents arrived on the same day. Huge sigh of relief.

On the afternoon of the first day here our daughter’s doctor sat me down and told me what is wrong with her. She has Pulmonary Valve Stenosis. Basically the valve that lets blood go to her lungs is too small. To compensate it has been working way too hard and has gotten too thick as well.
They have a plan for that. Yup. I have met with her cardiologist now, too. They are going to put a little balloon in her heart and blow it up until it makes that valve bigger…and not in the gentlest way, unfortunately.
However, if the procedure goes well, and she heals correctly, it could be several years before they have to actually go in and do a real heart surgery to make the permanent changes necessary for adult life.
Now, a week after her birth, she only has one tiny hole in her right lung. Her oxygen levels are great. They are taking her off a couple of the medications, and lowering the amount that the respirators are helping because she is breathing rather well. If she continues to heal and stays stable they will be able to perform the ‘cathing’, as they have been referring to it, some time on Tuesday. We are very hopeful.
We still have not been able to hold her; she is hooked up to too many machines and bags right now. But we can go in and touch her and talk to her.
This evening she had the hiccups and was making all the crying faces but couldn’t cry because of the tubes down her throat. That’s the first time I cried at her bedside. I couldn’t pick her up and make it better. But I toughed it out, kept my right hand on the top of her head and my left on her thigh and quietly told her that I don’t like the hiccups either, but when she gets older I’d show her how to get rid of them. A few minutes later they went away and she fell asleep. So now I’ve shushed my baby to sleep. Finally. A week after she was born.

By the way, in case any of you are wondering: She was full term and came out 6 pounds 11 ounces, and 20 inches long.

If this post and explanation seem a little scrambled and rambling, please forgive me. I have been running on adrenaline and too little sleep for a week now.
One thing I must say is that everyone at the second and third hospitals have been wonderful. It has been scary, yes, but not as bad as it could have been if the staff had not been as gentle and caring as they are.

I have to give huge thank yous to my Aunt Debbie for hugs, getting me some dinner that first evening, and your travel pack of tissues.
My parents for always, always being there.
My husband for holding my hand all the time, being man enough to hold my purse, and for bringing the right clothes when you drove down.
The rest of my family for calling and texting and staying upbeat, and understanding if I don’t get back with you five minutes later.

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Okay, that’s all for now, folks. I’ll try to keep you updated, but for the most part I’ll still just be concentrating on Mirth and Music Mondays here. I need the laughs. 🙂
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**Edit: To read the next post with a baby update click HERE.**

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#MirthMusicMon – Classical Doesn’t Mean Boring

25 Aug

I know, I know. I said that there would hopefully be another blog post last week.

But I have a good reason…

I blame my husband.

Ha.

You see, about 3 weeks ago my husband started writing what he thought would be a 3-ish page story. He was wrong. At my last reading he has 105 pages. Now, because we need to make money ASAP (you know, with that whole baby on the way thing), and because this pregnancy seems to have robbed my brain of my usual creative flair, I have thrown myself into editing. Editing his novel in the making, my mother’s inspirational historical romance, and a short story my husband finished several months ago.

To be honest, my mom’s book is at the top of my priorities, seeing as how she asked first. After that is my husband’s short story (titled Wolf Town), then his novel (with the working title of When Justice Howls).

Also on the to do list is a website for his writing and steampunk creations, including an online store. I think this part of the plan scares me the most. Knowing how I prioritize my fear (you know, stupidly) it will probably turn out to be the easiest part.

But enough of my excuses.

On to Mirth and Music Monday!

To begin with we have a classical quartet of lovely ladies… having some sort of one-up contest and ending with one of my favorite songs:

Then I found a silly little something that surprised me:

There you have it. The proof that just because it looks or sounds like classical music that doesn’t necessarily mean it will put you to sleep.

You’re welcome.  😀

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If you would like to see who else is playing along with Mirth and Music Monday this week click HERE.

That’s also where you input your link if you should decide to join the ranks of Monday Merriment.

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Have a great week!

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P.S. I apologize for the videos just being links. I am getting used to WordPress’ new post creation format and must not have learned the ‘trick’ yet.

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Video

I Remember This One As ‘Green Glass Beads’

20 Nov

When I was little (and still today) my parents had the most amazing hoard of books. I remember sitting on the floor, or curled up in a corner of a couch reading stories, admiring illustrations, pouring over poetry. I remember us all piled on my parents’ bed as mom read The Secret Garden, doing all the different voices. Accents included. I remember dad reading My Side Of The Mountain to us, a chapter at a time, at bedtime. To this day those two books are still among my favorites.

I also remember mom reading a poem about green glass beads to my sisters and me. A little while later, I went on a hunt to see if I could find the poem hidden inside one of the many books stashed throughout the house. I finally found it. The drawings and the words once again captivated me.

Now, I’m all grown up (reluctantly), and I still search for this poem. This time, on YouTube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04TW5FUNi7s

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Is it any wonder I love reading and writing books and poetry?

It was all around me growing up. Some of our favorite books were those thick books of poems by Shel Silverstein. Especially Where The Sidewalk Ends. Then of course there were the many Calvin and Hobbs books which could take up many hours of a rainy afternoon (so many big words to learn!). Even with all the other books surrounding us, we also found time to simply flip through the pages of random tomes from the encyclopedia collection. All sorts of wonderful things to learn in one of those.

I think most of us four girls memorized a certain poem by our mother. The one I am thinking of was published in a little booklet from her college. It’s about 3 men in a tub…in the sea. It always makes me smile and sometimes even giggle.

Perhaps I’ll ask her to let me put it on here. Although, the more I think about it (and I have been thinking about it for several months) the more I would like to have that poem in the fore matter of my book of bathroom poetry.

Something else to ask her about.  🙂 

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Limited Internet Access = A Cleaner House

18 Apr
My world has been spinning kinda funky without lots of internet time.

My world has been spinning kinda funky without lots of internet time.

It’s not quite that simple, but when it all boils down that’s what it adds up to.

My computer has a little switch on the front that turns on it’s search for wifi. The switch will no longer turn on. Bummer. My poor old computer isn’t really fast when it comes to the internet, but it would struggle along and I could accomplish everything I needed.

However, my husband’s computer (which I am borrowing for an hour or two an afternoon) really does not like Twitter, and Tweetdeck about sends it into a seizure.

So, now that I have several hours a day to kill, I have time to read the book Sink Reflections, by Marla Cilley — The FlyLady.  My mom sent the book home with me last Wednesday after her order of FlyLady cleaning supplies came in, and I got engrossed in the book while helping her put her supplies away.

Over the last several days I have totally cleaned my kitchen sink, set up a small morning routine to keep a couple parts of my house consistently clean, and my husband is being fed breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

Lonnie is going to see if he can bypass the switch and get me internet access again. Here’s hoping that it won’t sweep away my new found housekeeping habits.

Now it’s off to start chicken cooking and to figure out a couple of side dishes. Wish me luck!

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A Late Night Christmas Post

25 Dec
Holly - No, I Wasn't drunk when I drew it!!!

Holly – No, I Wasn’t drunk when I drew it!!!

Here I sit, on my bed, beneath a blanket, and my brand new Laptop Holder with Advanced Cooling System (thanks Mom and Dad!).  In a few minutes I will have to get up and take another dose of cold medication.

I only managed to get to one family Christmas get-together this year, Christmas Eve evening.  My mother’s side of the family has already been passing this cold around, so those who don’t have it now have at least been exposed to it by someone else.  My father’s side of the family, though, decided to do a morning thing.  I already am not good at mornings, add a cold to that, and the fact that my late grandmother’s husband is very susceptible to lung problems, so we (hubby and I) opted to stay home and work on getting me better.

Christmas with my mother’s family is always an adventure.  Even though there are not a million of us, I suppose at times we can come across as though there are.  We all love to talk, laugh, and sing; and about half of us love to argue (some say debate, but since I hate confrontation, it always comes across as arguing).  After the dinner prayer was said by my father, we all took our turn through the kitchen and loaded our plates.  At that point the sounds in the room were compliments to the cooks, the children arguing over who’s plate belonged to whom, and the usual small noises associated with people eating a large, delicious meal.  Mashed Potatoes and Gravy!!!  Yum!

Fast forward half an hour, and we’re all relaxing in the living room, chatting away.  Someone asks, “when are we going to open the presents?”  One of my brothers-in-law puts on a Santa hat and begins handing out colorful bags and boxes.  Paper, ribbons, and tissue paper are flying through the air.  Half a dozen pocket knives come out of nowhere to aid in the opening of boxes and the release of various toys from their specially designed, impossible to open packaging.  Grandma has people listening intently just in case she should make the slightest noise of a want or need (she has rheumatoid arthritis).  The two little ones are soon in a battle of the wills over a new toy keyboard (the poor things were very overstimulated).

My husband received a DVD of Brave, t-shirts, cookies, goodies, etc.  I was given a new skirt, gloves, a book cozy, and a few other things.  We were both given some movie tickets, and a gift certificate to a restaurant we like.

What really made me happy was the way friends of the family, and fringe relatives were unthinkingly absorbed into our group.  No lengthy introductions, no seating them beside someone they might have something in common with.  We just let them come into our lives, tell them to make themselves comfortable, and treat them as though they’ve always been a part of us.  Having been reminded of the way my family treats guests, it’s little wonder at my having so many ‘sisters’: Young women who have been ‘adopted’ by my bio-sisters and I, and who are now just as important in our lives as each of the original four of us.  There have even been a couple who’s home lives were scrambled enough that they took to calling my parents Mom and Dad.

The importance of family and friends is loud and clear in the Christmas season (and Hanukkah :D).  I hope that you took some time to remind your loved ones how important they are to you.  If not, there’s still a few days before the New Year gets here, and the great Money Machine starts gearing up for St. Valentines day.

A Rollercoaster of a Week

17 Dec

Well, Hello again. 

Have you had the kind of week I just experienced?

On Wednesday afternoon I had just decided that the fever was gone and I could resume my regular activities, when an uncle called to tell me that my last Great-grandparent had peacefully passed away at about 12:30pm.

Then there was that horrible shooting in Connecticut a day later, and a couple other sad things relayed to me by my husband that evening.  Cried myself to sleep.

The next day was a niece’s Princess themed birthday party, which I was very late to, because I had to wait for a migraine to subside before going anywhere near excited toddlers.  It was a good party, though.  She had many friends and relatives attend, and received tons of toys, including a pink Schwinn tricycle, and a Cinderella Pez dispenser.  Kind of a toss up as to which one she liked better, really.  One gives you sugar, the other lets you go fast.  Eh, why not both?

Then Sunday morning, as we were sitting in church, the children were called up to help sing a song.  It was so hard not to cry, for oh, so many reasons.  The service was wonderful, though.

So now, I am in something of a stunned, reflective mood.  Not sure what I’m reflecting on.  Perhaps it’s the fact that at least my Great-grandmother was most way through her 90’s.  That I’m glad she had a good life, full of love and family, a quiet passing, and many people who will remember her fondly.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’m glad I have lots of family.  No, I do not have 12 first cousins and 50 second cousins, but compared to some people, I do have many in my life whom I consider to be family, loved ones, friends who are so close they are treated as brothers, sister, spare fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles.  They do not take away from the love I have for my biological family.  If anything, they help magnify the love I have for everyone who makes my life special.

This Christmas will be difficult in some ways.  This year I have lost a grandmother, and a great-grandmother, the World has spent this last year just getting crazier and crazier,  and we are still not financially stable enough for children.

However, this Christmas will be wonderful in many ways: my nephews are now big enough to open their presents with little to no help; we may all be going through tight financial times, but we will still all get together, giving perhaps a few more gifts that are ‘needed’ rather than just ‘wanted’; the loss of loved ones seems to amplify my awareness of the need to love now, to tell the ones I have that they are special, wanted, and thought of; watching the snow fall outside it’s also crystal clear that I am thankful for a warm house, hot food to eat, and a wonderful husband to curl up with on cold nights.

Perhaps it’s the low blood sugar making me sappy, but when I really think about it, I have much to be thankful for in my life.  I realize that the ‘traditional’ time to be thankful was last month, but it’s so very important to see, and acknowledge what you have now.  If you don’t learn to be comfortable with little, then you will never be content with more, no matter how much ‘more’ you acquire.

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I have, unfortunately, done almost no writing this week.

There have been a couple additions to my book ideas folder.  Perhaps an anthology or two, with the help of a few relatives, would be in order.

I have been reading my mother’s romance novel, although admittedly I have been slacking on that project as well.  Not for lack of interest.  Far from it, I can hardly wait to find out who is causing so much trouble and pain, and to see how the main love interests finally get together, and to discover what becomes of all the eligible bachelors who’ve come out of the woodwork.

Perhaps taking my vitamins on a regular basis will help with this lackadaisical feeling.  I should also start taking walks again.  Maybe if I start taking care of myself the way I should some of the fog will lift from my brain, and some of the lead will drop from my…tush.

Doing it will be the only way to find out.  I guess now that I’ve told you it had better start getting done, huh?  Down coat, and ear muffs, here I come!  After I take this multivitamin, that is.

Until Next Time…

So, what has been your overall mood this month, so far?  Have you been looking forward to Christmas?  Or dreading it because of the memories it will dredge up?  A strange mix of the two?

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What is on your Christmas list?  Example: I would like an Amazon gift card, a Wizard 101 cash card, decaffeinated English Breakfast tea, a small jar of Stevia powder, almonds, pepitas, lots of big hugs, my back popped by my youngest sister, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some help putting together a cover for my book of poetry.

November Thankfulness

18 Nov

Tonight I have been thinking of all the little things for which I am thankful.  Do you want to read my list?

Too bad.  Here it is anyway.

My parents: They raised a wonderfully neurotic young woman who can’t seem to go a single day without wondering what would have happened if (insert historically Huge event) had happened slightly differently.  They taught me to love books, singing, my sisters, my country, cars, driving, and target practice.
My sisters: Without them I would not be the fiercely protective person I am today. While I was growing up, if you said anything mean about me, ya I would cry.  If you said anything about my sisters, or worse yet actually pushed one of them around? Duck!

They are now my best friends, my support group, and some of my loudest cheerleaders.

My husband: An amazing man. So glad we got introduced. Yes, he is a couple decades older than me. Don’t let that fool you. He is my rock, my muse, and my constant encourager. I don’t think I would have started writing without his prompting, nudging, nagging, and praise.

My extended family: Wow. They taught me that you don’t have to agree in order to get along (for the most part). We may wander around in our own little worlds for the most part, but when the crap hits the fan they’re your best bet.

My first car: Thank you Daddy, and Aunt Dawn! Aunt Dawn told my father that if we could get the car running, I could have it.  Daddy knew what was wrong with it and sent his daughter off to earn the money to fix it.  I wouldn’t trade that summer of learning for anything.  Those memories of working in the garage are precious.

Back when gas was an inconvenience (not a line item of its self on the budget!) I used to have my sisters pile in the adorable clunker and we would go to the nearest gas station. After exhausting a $20 on gas and junk food we would cruise around the countryside.  Good times.

My first boyfriend: Yes, an odd thing to be thankful for, but hear me out. He taught me that being up on that shining pedestal is a scary place to be. I learned at an early age that you never want to seek a man who will think you’re perfect. You can never truly love someone unless you acknowledge and accept their flaws, as well as their virtues.

Small towns: They are wonderful. If you get one small enough you can walk into the library and check out a book even though you forgot your card. Half the residents know you, the other half know of you, even when you were home-schooled and hadn’t attended a day of school with them.  On summer break the town is small enough you can walk over to the library, the burger joint, and the park. I miss that place.

Amazing authors: Without your books, TV shows, movies and plays to take me to strange and wonderful places I might have turned out to be a very different person. Thank you for writing!

NaNoWriMo: Without the challenge of writing without going back and editing, getting this far in a first draft would have been torture. I have not written nearly as much as I had hoped, but it has been painless. I had thought it was impossible to write without my inner editor demanding that I go back and change things, thus interrupting my creative flow. Now I know that not only can I do it, but I can enjoy doing it.

Well, that’s my short list.

What are you thankful for?  Is there someone in your life who pushes you toward being a better version of yourself?  Was there a strange twist of fate that shaped your future?  Did your second grade teacher illuminate your mind to life’s possibilities?

The Little Things

9 Nov

My Mother has always instilled into my sisters and I the importance of having an eclectic taste in entertainment.  When I was a teenager, and we had moved yet again, the four of us (yes, I have three younger sisters) discovered our parents’ record collection.  I remember washing dishes in the kitchen while Perry Como, Robert Goulet, Michael Jackson, Joan Sutherland, C. W. McCall, or Johnny Horton sang away in the background.

(We also liked to put the record player on the setting for smaller discs and listen to the singers as they sang away, sounding like Munchkins, but that’s beside the point.)

We also learned her love of BBC, and it’s made for T.V. movies, among other things.  A few days ago she sent me home with the first season of Lark Rise To Candleford.  I watched the first episode this evening, sitting cross-legged on my bed.  This series is adapted from Flora Thompson’s memoir of her childhood in rural 19th Century England.  The main character, Laura Timmins, was sent from her home to work for a relative, Dorcas   Lane, who ran the post office in the next town.  When she was shown to her bedroom, silly me expected Laura to turn on the light.  “Duh”, I told myself.  “They don’t have electricity yet.”

It struck me how lightly we take such things.

It was only a few generations ago, in my own family, that they got a house with electricity and other modern perks.  My Mother’s Mother was raised in a house with no toilet inside.  They used an outhouse.  Grandma was married and moved away before Great-Grandma got a job at a local factory because she was determined to buy a manufactured home…with a toilet inside the house.

We so often take the little things, conveniences, pleasures, for granted.  Perhaps, every once in a while, we should look up from our laptops, e-readers, and cell phones, and remember that there is other life out there.

There is that small piece of Good dark chocolate you allow yourself when you’ve been especially stressed, the hug from a friend who knows you’re struggling with something just by looking at you, or that book that made you cry, out of happiness, for your favorite character.

When’s the last time you attended a ‘physical’ book club, met a friend for ice cream, or just stayed in with your family, spending time doing silly things, like watching an old movie or playing a board game.  When’s the last time you thanked God, or your lucky stars, or fate, for allowing you to pay for the book you read for the club?  Did you remember to thank your friend for taking the time to enjoy a sweet treat with you?  Would you be willing to lay aside your stress, and worry, to play with your family?  To laugh honestly?  To really look at them, and truly enjoy the moment?

Every once in a while, I think, it is important to look around ourselves and see what we do have, rather than what we don’t.  There are so many times when we are so busy getting to the next thing, working toward a particular goal, that we forget to watch our lives as they happen.

If I live long enough to know my grandchildren, I want to be able to tell them that I actually lived.  The last thing I want is to look back at my life and wonder how it went by so quickly.  So, with that in mind, I am going to take a couple days to be mindful of what I do have; what I do like; who I do love.

I hope you will at least take a few moments to see all that you have.

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On a less reflective note, I must ashamedly report that I have no progress to boast about on my NaNoWriMo novel.  *Sob*

Also, I have only read the first chapter of Lies, Love, and High Heels.  *Sigh*

But, as my husband says, “Every day above ground is a good one”.  Perhaps I can get some more of those projects done tomorrow.

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Until next time…

What are your favorite ‘little’ things?