Thursday, February 22, 2018

The circle of life

Thursday has become my time to catch up on my blogging.  Today is Thursday.  So, it's that time again.  I wrote a post last Thursday and was a bit surprised that nobody responded about it.  There wasn't a single comment.  I don't know if anyone read it or not, but it was therapeutic to write...and isn't that what blogging is all about?  

So, today... what do I want to post about?

I think today is a day to write about the circle of life.   (Cue "The Lion King" music.)

As you all know I have been spending lots of time with my daughter and her new baby twin boys.  I have written about it here already, and you know that I am already in love with those cute little guys.  We have made it through the first months, when it was all about feeding them as preemies. It was about keeping them alive... and helping them gain weight and grow.    Now they are becoming little people and it's a joy to watch them smile, and to interact with us.  It's just the start.  So many wonderful months and years ahead!

These are my first grandchildren.  I am not particularly young to have just become a grandmother.  Not at all.  I realize that. 

I am blessed to have no major medical issues right now so I can get down on the floor with the boys. I can hold them and rock them, and I can help out as needed.   I hope it continues because I enjoy it very much!  I love being Mimi!

Here's the thing:  I really can't believe I am the age that I am.    Sometimes I wonder: how did I get here?   

In general I'm holding it together pretty well.  But, sometimes it is hard to look in the mirror.  Sagging skin and wrinkles.  My upper arms have loose skin ALL THE TIME.  My skin is dry.  I can't seem to moisturize enough!   My hands are looking old.   And wow - when my roots start to grow out, my hair looks like it's much more gray than any other color.  The texture is different. 

I'm not saying anything prophetic.  Anyone my age or older understands what I am talking about - I know that.  But, dang, sometimes it is hard to face!  Right?

And, I don't want to be vain about my looks.   I know life changes us physically.   I just heard a saying:  the days can go slow, but the years go fast.  It's true.   I love the country song about "don't blink" because you might miss something.  And,  that 'you're gonna miss this' because each stage of life is beautiful, even when you don't always realize it at the moment. 

But, seriously, how did I get this age??? 

Life is wonderful.  Every part of it!   I have a little sign in my bathroom that says "Live your life and forget your age."  I try and be that way.  I try and stay relevant - and I try and stay connected.  I know that thinking and acting old makes a person old.

The outer part may be changing.  I try not to let it bother me too much. 

First I was a daughter.  Then I became a mother.  Now I am a grandmother. 

It's all about enjoying that circle of life. 


Saturday, February 17, 2018

I'm tired of this. Aren't you?

I don't know what it is.  I can't let go of the fact that we had another school mass killing and nothing is happening.   Before I go on, don't worry people... I am not 'obsessed' and I am still living in reality.   I think I am sane and rational.   Some of you may not agree! ha!!

But, I just saw on TV the man who was the principal at Columbine 19 YEARS AGO on that day when two young men went in and terrorized the school and killed innocent teachers and students.   Guess, what?  We were shocked and we cried on that day.  That was 19 years ago.  More people were just killed on Valentine's Day in a Florida school.   Yes, the number is bigger than Columbine.  And, in between then and now we have had mass killings in other schools, in movie theaters, at music concerts, in night clubs, and more.

Here's one thing (of many) that I don't get about it.  When a mass killing happens we ALL feel terribly sad and the news channels cover it non-stop.  For a few days.  I use Facebook a lot and the posts pop up all over it about sending thoughts and prayers out to the victims and their families.  It happens time and time again.

I have tried to think of HOW we can get beyond just that.  HOW we can make schools safer.  HOW we can make living in America safer.   WHAT can I do?   WHAT can we agree on?   Will people sacrifice a bit of their personal freedom for a greater good?  Will America EVER be safer??


*  We will never be like we were 'back then' in simpler days.  We live in a diverse country more than ever and have varying hopes and dreams.  But, we can not go back to the 'good old days'.  There is no back to the past.

*  Our forefathers never envisioned the technology we have now.   They were smart and they started this country off with some amazing 'rights' but they had no clue that we would be this advanced in communication technology and in gun power and warfare.  No idea. 

* Guns are apart of daily life in America.  I mentioned this earlier, but I grew up in a home that did not own a gun.  My parents never talked about needing one for home security.  Their parents were rural people.  If they had guns for protection, I never heard them talk about it and certainly never saw a pistol or rifle. No gun cabinet.  Nothing.   My parents never ever felt I needed to learn to shoot a weapon.

Some of you reading this DID grow up in homes with guns.  So, please keep in mind, it is hard for me to 'get it.'  I don't understand hunting in today's world.  The days of needing to shoot an animal to get food to survive is over.  I actually had a person tell me he hunts to get lean meat. So, he spends money on a rifle, ammo, a hunting license, hunting attire - all to get lean meat.  I think you can buy lean meat in a supermarket.   I don't get how it's a celebration to 'get a kill' and to display the dead animal with blood dripping from it's mouth. 

* Mental health is a huge issue in America!  Again, our complex world - our busy schedules, and our societal stresses may add to it.  But, some mental illness is an affliction just as cancer is.  We must treat it as soon as it is diagnosed.  We must remove the stigma.  We must spend money on treatment just as we do on cancer or any other medical issues.

* Nothing happens overnight.  Change is slow.  Sometimes it takes generations to change.   The desire to 'throw up your hands' and give in is real.  But, then good change will never happen if we don't try.

* A little bit of change is better than no change.  One life saved is worth a little bit of change.

*  Each person CAN make a small change. Each person has a voice.  Each person is unique and important.

* Today's Congress will not help us.  Congress is stuck. Broken.  Paid off.  

In back and forth streams on Facebook, and in face to face discussions, I have heard all kinds of reasons we are where we are with the problems in America.  I have heard illegal guns and drugs are the reason.  I have heard bad parents are at fault.  All those bloody video games!  Kids seeing movies with killings all the time.   Desensitized.   I have heard mental illness is hard to diagnose and even tougher to treat.  I have heard we don't have God in our lives anymore.    Yes. True.  Yes, yes, yes, yes.

So, I go back to this; do we throw up on hands?   Do, we say this is who we are?   Do we then allow the mass killings to keep occurring and then just keep being sad?   Thoughts and prayers...

Little ole me thinks we can work towards safer schools - and really safer communities.  But, it will take some sacrifice from us all. It will take money (everything does) and it will take speaking out, having patience, and a positive attitude about it.   You with me?

Let's tell our leaders ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  They will need to find new employment unless they are not with us on this.   We need to hire more trained mental health and social workers (and pay them properly) and we need to require ALL children in ALL schools to be part of ongoing programs on how to live with others, how to be compassionate, how to meditate and calm the mind in stressful situations.  If children are identified with mental issues we MUST give them more and special care. No more slipping through the cracks.

We must also tell our leaders that our databases and the government agencies MUST get better and work together.   Again, it takes skill and MONEY.   We saw this week in Florida how horrible the effects are when even one person gets lost in the system.  

Now - I bring up guns.   First, I have heard in the past few days from a couple of people that legitimate gun shops sometimes do not really do background checks.  And, of the ones that do - some are practically done within 5 minutes.   Different requirements are state by state.  That is just wrong.  Stupid really.  We must have punishments - licenses taken away from gun store owners.  Jail time.  Whatever it takes.  Do away with all the gun glorification we have in this country.  Remember how it used to be with cigarettes in America?  For decades smoking was cool!   It took a long time to turn around the mindset of the young but we have.   We can do that with guns too.

We can not rely on our hard working police officers to do additional work on enforcing gun laws that are on the books already. We need more people (which is money too of course) for enforcement.   We can have 'gun turn in' days - for money.   Have them every month!  Why not??  I know... oh Marla, so many guns are out there, it won't do any good.   Back to my earlier response: change is slow.  It takes a long time to turn a big ship around. BUT, every single gun turned in is one less out there with the potential to be used to kill someone.

We need to stop fear-mongering.  Oh, it's out there.  If you listen long enough you think that everyone is out to get you.  That there are no good and honest people in our country anymore.  We are told we need a gun just to drive down the street.   Hey people!  It isn't true!!   As Luke Bryan sings "I believe that most people are good."   Good people just need to get together and not fear each other. 

Offer govt tax credit for anyone who puts an alarm system in their home.

This one is easy:  Make the military style automatic weapons illegal to buy!  Duh!  If someone is found with one purchased, both the owner of it and the seller go to jail.  We need tough, scary punishment.

Okay, okay. Right about now (if you are still reading) you are screaming at me "What about my rights???  I live in America!  It's a Constitutional Right!!"   "Don't take MY gun!  I'm responsible. I'm not going to kill anyone.  Dag-nab-it, I am my own person Don't tell me what to do!!"

All that is true.   So, all I can say is - stop thinking only of YOU.  Stop for a minute and think about those who have already been gunned down - the innocent people - good people - just like you.  Stop and think of the children gunned down in schools.  Sandy Hook.  How can we ever forget that?!?!

Remember YOU can sacrifice a little to save children!  You can do the "right" thing.  You can consider the "right to live" instead of the "right to bear arms".

If someone says to me one more time "there's nothing we can do...."  I think I will cry.   Again.



Saturday, February 10, 2018

Hello from here!

Hello from my 'crazy life'...    it certainly seems that way right now! 

Don't worry. It's all good. 

But, I am living these days out of a suitcase.  I am spending half of my weeks at my daughter's home and I am helping out with my precious grand-twins.  They are past their 'preemie start' and are catching up well.  They were born October 29th but were considered 'full term' on December 5th.  So, with the adjusted age, the boys are in their third month.  They have gained weight well, and are focusing on their surroundings, including this Mimi's face!  They smile back!  They have happy times!   They are at the age to finally start training them...  we have moved them into 'nap areas' and they are getting used to a darkened room, and time to take a snooze.   Once awake, its a diaper change and then a bottle... and "tummy" and play time.  Lots of smiles then...and baby cooing.   Two babies still really requires two sets of hands.  The boys are not always on the same schedule, and at times when they are it can be very hectic! 

The other half of my weeks are spent back at home.  I'm getting back into my music hobbies and am making it back to church.   I'm also around to enjoy Friday night date night with my hubby.   It's a tradition for us.

Right now we are having some work done in our home.   So, everything is 'out of place' for a while.  The washer and dryer are sitting in the living room - not connected.  Our master bath has been torn apart down to the studs. We are getting it redone, top to bottom.  New cabinets, new tub, new shower, tile, lighting, etc.   We also had old flooring pulled out of our main hallway and the kitchen area.  New tile is going in there too.    Dust is everywhere.   I'm feeling a little bit like a Chip and Joanna Gaines project!  I just hope our people get it all done as fast as they do on TV! 

The other part of my crazy life right now is the planning of my younger daughter's wedding.   We just found out that Saturday, October 20th is THE busiest day around here in the fall for a wedding!!  I live in a place considered a destination for many weddings.  We have beautiful spots, and weather... and it's a vacation place for many.  So, I have been scrambling and making calls to reserve some things for it.  Thankfully, I kept my older daughter's wedding notebook, filled with all the paperwork and contacts we used in 2015.   Yesterday I secured the DJ for the reception, and the salon that will do the hair and makeup for the bride and bridemaids.  I also booked a block of rooms at the nearby Hampton Inn.     Now.... let's see: we still need to get a florist, and test cake options... and the food - and the liquor...and...    

So, like I said above IT IS ALL GOOD !  

I'm trying to get back into reading again. It was put by the wayside for three months while the twins were so tiny.   I have a few books ready to be cracked open.  But, does anyone have a new favorite to pass along?  I miss my Book Club. I haven't been to a meeting since the boys were born.

I also need to do yard work!  And, yes, I love yard work!  It's February but it's going to be almost 70 degrees today so I plan to spend some time outdoors.  There is debris to pick, some trimming of dead limbs, and I want to blow off the deck and driveway.

* I'm watching the CMT Countdown as I type this morning.  I have missed my country music.   Gee, I guess I need to introduce the boys to some soon!  ha    Actually, I want them to know all kinds of music, as do their parents.  Both parents love music and I know it will be an important part of their growing up.   Yeah!

*  Politics.   Nothing to say except the disdain and disappointment continues.  

*  Younger daughter is almost done with her yoga training and will be certified as a yoga instructor.  It's been a big undertaking and has involved quite a few weekends away at 'school.'   She is also getting into her busy tax time as a CPA.  I think her life is crazier than mine!  And, yes, she is planning a wedding too!   

* Hubby had successful shoulder surgery.  He is in PT now.   The rotator cuff was cleaned up, and a bicep tendon had to re-attached.  He is frustrated not being able to lift anything for awhile, and he is a workout fiend.  No weights.  Certainly no bicep curls!!  He is not a happy camper when he can't get a good sweat going.

* Congrats to the Philadelphia Eagles!  It was a great game, and a wonderful football season!  Yes - I watched.  I did not ban the NFL from my viewing!!  What can I say? I love watching football.  

Which takes me to where I will end this meme.   Let's NOT judge others.  Especially when we have not walked in their shoes.  Or, have been raised as they have. Or, have felt injustices.  Or, have been put down because of a color, or a sexual identity, or for their birthplace.   Give value to their pain.   Don't dismiss it. 

And, on that note...   I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!    Spring is one week closer!