Day 230-Free Days-Sunday Happenings

I so hope you have enjoyed the beautiful day this has been! Sunday in our part of the world got up to 80 degrees, and was spent working on the blog, the yard and dinner for family. Now, to be honest, Dave did the yard, I worked in the office and cleaned up after dinner, but hey-it was still a team effort…go team Smyth, lol.

The family, sans Chris, enjoyed thick, juicy Angus beef from Sams, baked potatoes (some of us had sweet) and salad. Unfortunately, Chris opted to go play disc golf with his friends, which is his choice of course, but he missed out for sure! I did try to help him out before he left by preparing him a special foot soak to treat his athletes foot (poor thing has a chronic problem) and dab treatment with specific essential oils. The foot soak had Epsom salts, tea tree oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus and peppermint, along with baking soda in warm water with apple cider vinegar. After he soaked for five minutes, he dried them well and I dabbed them with a cotton ball that had a few drop some of lavender and tea tree oil. These oils are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, and some, like lavender, provide anti-inflammatory benefits. I sure hope it helps, but truthfully, he should do the treatment every day.

Now, everyone is gone and I have the evening breeze flowing through the living room, as I Watch Shades of Blue and compose this blog. A perfect end to a joyful weekend. Join me this week for my regular daily features and to hear the outcome of my appointment with the ENT and kidney doctor, which will hopefully end my doctor chores for the month. See you mañana, on the patio! 😎

Day 146-31 Day Blog Challenge-(Day 24)

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Aww, why they wanna bring us down, right here on Christmas Eve?

I have already talked about the most difficult time in my life recently, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it here today. Besides, I don’t want to feel sad today…that being said, my difficult time, of course was my Mom passing away. And the whole month before that.

I was living in Groves, Tx. still, and came back here to be with her for the last few weeks of her life. She had developed dementia, and was not making any sense, so I couldn’t really talk to her and figure out what she was thinking and feeling. That was hard. She was in a lot of pain the last two weeks and I felt helpless to do anything to help her. Then, the last week, (all of this took place in a nursing facility close to my home now) hospice came in and started giving her morphine and said we couldn’t feed her anymore. Waiting for her to slowly die like that was excruciating, and painful and sad. Her organs had shut down, which is something that happens at the end of the disease she had, once you go off of dialysis. She spent the last few days in sort of a coma like state and when she passed away I felt relief for her that it was over, yet profoundly sad that she was really gone.

Not having her here makes the holidays sad, but I know she is in a better place, pain free and waiting for me in Heaven.

We all deal with difficult times in our life, some way we make it through. I know its sad to talk about but it helps to heal. So, let me hear about yours if you are doing this challenge or if you simply want to comment. Have a wonderful holiday with your family today, hold them close and cherish the ones your with. 🙂

 

Day 115-Ready For Feast and Family

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

I hope you all are busy in the kitchen getting ready for your own feast- I will live vicariously through you this time! Actually, we  still have our oven and microwave, Dave will be warming the ham we bought for the dinner, here in a little while.

What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions and memories?

Photo credit: Getty images Old pride pic from the 60's
Photo credit: Getty images
Old parade pic from the 60’s

I remember as a child being exited to get up and watch the parades. Before they got so commercial and everything has to be about a sponsor, they were actually pretty neat. When we were kids, the joy was in all the brightly colored floats, the super talented marching bands and the cartoon character balloons, featuring our favorites like Bugs Bunny and Mighty Mouse.

The new Humpty Dumpty balloon, followed by a redesigned Olive Oyl holding Swee' Pea, floats down Broadway in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 27, 1986.  (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
The new Humpty Dumpty balloon, followed by a redesigned Olive Oyl holding Swee’ Pea, floats down Broadway in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 27, 1986. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
Woody Woodpecker makes his way down Broadway in the 64th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 23, 1989.  (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
Woody Woodpecker makes his way down Broadway in the 64th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, Thursday, Nov. 23, 1989. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

Another memory is playing football in the backyard, once we let our dinner settle a bit, although, I only remember doing that a couple of times.

My best memories of all though are from the years we traveled to Lucedale, Mississippi, where all my aunts, uncles and cousins lived, to visit my grandparents. They lived smack dab in the middle of a pecan orchard. Grandmother had us kids busy ourselves, picking buckets of pecans, and of course we were happy to, knowing we would earn a dime a bucket and then feast on the pecan pie she eventually made from them. I loved playing with all of my cousins, getting into mischief and hearing all the latest gossip. (this was usually later, after the feast was over) It’s so sad that the older I get, the harder it is to recover my memories, I wish I could be with my cousins today so they can help me out!

Thanks to the magic of Facebook, we at least try to stay in touch with each other. In fact, some of us spoke last night after my cousin Rosa prompted us to remember or state our favorite Thanksgiving memory.

I miss those trips and all the family we lost. Being married and having children, we had to start our own traditions and split time between families. I became known as the dressing maker and we would drop it by my parent’s on the way to David’s Aunt Wanda’s in Wylie, Tx.  One of the best memories I have of those trips is getting iced in one year, and all of us sleeping on the floor in what was then a pretty small house!

I hope you share some of your best memories with me and that you make some new ones, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and I will try to post some pictures from mine later on.

Day 114-Thoughts on Community-NaNoWriMo update

Oxford dictionaries define community as:

  1. A group of people living in the same place or having  a particular characteristic in common (Haltom City’s Vietnamese Community) for example

  2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. (The sense of community that organized religion can provide)

The first definition I relate to say, living in a trailer or rv park. It’s a small community, where all the folks there share a common thing-they live in a trailer or recreational vehicle; i.e.; they can all relate to something. They share a common living space and can congregate, talk about it, share experiences and ideas, help each other out.

The second definition I relate to the blogging world. It is the sense of community with these folks where one can share feelings, help provide a service, commiserate with each other, that makes writers want to stay. We fellowship with each other much like people in church do. Sans the covered dishes and physical hand holding, we still feel a sense of caring from the others in the group. It’s a community I’m proud to be a part of and hope to belong to for a very long time. I enjoy having all of you to talk to and welcome the feedback you provide. Some people provide a service with their blogs, others treat them like a journal and still others provide a friendly space for people to share their experiences, feelings and advice. I’m not sure how my blog helps all of you, I just hope it does in some small way.

I bring all this up because this week is all about family, another community of sorts, where we all gather to eat and give thanks for the blessings we have been bestowed. It’s a time for sharing and caring, a precursor to the magical giving spirit of Christmas. A time for showing our love and appreciation to each other by the cooking and eating of food, a re-creation, if you will, of the first meal in America put on by the Pilgrims.

We used to travel to Mississippi at this time of year for a family reunion and Thanksgiving all rolled into one. I miss those days and the fuzzy feeling I got from my little community of aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. They are distant now, raising their own families, and life is so busy for everyone. It’s sad that all we have is social media to keep us in touch with one another. It seems the only other thing that brings us all together (those who are left) is a death in the family. The last time I saw any of my Miss. family was two years ago or so, when my Mom passed away.  It is sad really, and I’m just as much to blame for not keeping in touch. We traveled there to see my sister in Biloxi, although we didn’t (we ended up visiting my niece) because she (my sister) was in mourning for her “other” mother. Later on, after Mom passed, there was a family reunion on my Dad’s side, and I saw a whole different community of people, some I’d never met before. It felt good and strong, coming together with all these people and we promised to stay in touch. We talk a little more than before-on social media of course, but that’s about all.

So, we gather with those closest to us come Thanksgiving, my dad, brother and two sons that live here in the area, and Dave’s side, Claudette (his mom), his brother and wife, and his sister-in-law and her daughter and hubby.  Our family, our community is shrinking, where one time it seemed it was growing out of hand. Now that some of the other kids are grown and moved away, some of our people are sick and cannot attend, and some have passed on, we truly need to cherish and nurture the ones we are with and cherish the time we all have left together on this earth.

Likewise, we need to nurture our blogging community-share our stories, reach out to each other in times of need, and give out the information that we need to help one another reach success. I hope everyone reading this has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving, I hope you achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself and I hope you are spending quality time with the community you live in.  As for my goals, this month it’s all about the writing because I am woefully short of my promised 50,000 word count. I need to turn and burn today because as of yesterday, my word count was 23,031. Ten more days to the finish line folks- can I make it?  We will just have to see. I have a few assignments that, if I really put my nose to the grindstone, might get me passed the halfway mark. Wish me luck, stay warm and dry, and happy food prep to everyone! We may pop a ham in the oven while we still have one, that will be our contribution along with the afore mentioned relish tray supplies. Whatever else gets accomplished may just have to do some in someone else’s kitchen- seeing as we don’t really have one right now. 😉

What are your thoughts on community?  Where are you in your goals?  Sharing is caring- put your comments in the box and let me hear it people! I’ll be waiting on the patio! 🙂