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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Serenity ~ Peace

Is the world different today? Is it just me? Does accepting facts comes harder as you age or easier? Letting things go isn't impossible. I've been doing for many years. The Serenity Prayer is my mantra. I live it daily, say it multiple times some days. I DO attempt to change the things I can. I DO accept the things I cannot change and I always ask for wisdom to know the difference. 

Maybe that last part is my hangup right now. Maybe I still think I can change my world. Not the entire thing, but my part of it? Maybe I still believe if I am kinder, less intrusive and more inclusive and make real effort to help someone through something, it will change the world. It will make a difference. Maybe I'm right. Maybe not. 

Does it really matter if I am a nice person? Does it really matter that I did a random act of kindness? It does matter to the people to whom I am nice, I guess, rather than being rude or just ignoring them. Although, maybe their life would be completely the same regardless of my attempts. Does it matter?

Ever thought about how you affect people you genuinely care about? I'm sure you could write a book about how people you love have made your life better, but what would they say about you? How much would their lives change if you just went away? Not died, just went away. Something to consider. Since our move to Florida, I've given this a great deal of thought. If not for FB, I'm sure I would be completely out of touch with many people I used to see or talk with regularly. People I thought would always be important to me. 

On another note...

I feel like many people that I admire are so excited about our new  
President and all he will change and improve while I am fearful of his views on things important to my life and also fearful of some of his choices for cabinet members, DeVos?, yet praying he will lead us upward rather than backward. I am praying his support system has compassion, which he seems to lack; they will have morals, which he also seems to lack. I am praying that I am wrong about so many things concerning him and also trying to accept the things I cannot change. Possibly we actually elected Ivanka and husband and they could have a better platform than the one we are seeing.
Accepting doesn't mean agreeing, it means understanding I cannot remove Trump/Pence from their leadership positions. I am not capable of getting Bernie Sanders in that spot and this is fact. Accepted. Have the wisdom to know the difference. Got that. Now I guess I need to pray for strength to accept my own truth. 

On a daily basis I still try to show kindness where I can. I try to lend a hand where I see or know of a need. I donate to causes I believe need my money to do good for our world. All these are things that show you part of who I am. The other parts of me are not so peaceful and not so tolerant and not so kind. Those parts of me are afraid and I am almost cowering away from what might be my reality. Our future is so much in question right now and I sincerely need peace in my heart. I also pray for that. 

I will continue to pray for the Lord to lead DJT/Pence in the way of the light and best interest of our country. I pray for intelligence to be the word of the day over unprecedented. Presidential is really nothing more than dignity and following protocol. Protocol that has real reasons for being set as the norm. Yes, norm would good, too.

Share your thoughts, if you'd like! As you can see here, my head is full of conflicting and confusing and frightening things. Maybe you have just the message I and many of my friends need to hear.

God bless America.

Jo



Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year 2017

It's fun to wonder what a new year might bring. It's also scary to realize as we age that not everything another trip around the sun brings is going to be awesome. Some things are better left unknown and even unexplored mentally.

Will we be better off on this day next year? Will we be just as healthy? Will we be together? Which of our friends will still be considered part of our life, not just part of our history? Who will we meet this year that will become irreplaceable in our lives?

A new President with a Congress of his party, well, kind of the same party. Not giving DJT a pass on being a Republican, exactly. Most of his ideas are just basically thoughts with no plan to actually implement, but that could change. Or so I am told by his supporters. I can't disagree because his very platform has changed considerably both during and post campaign. Since the election he has softened or adjusted his priorities. Much more middle of the road than the ideas that got the MAGA (make America great again) members excited and drew their votes. But no one seems to care because they won. 

Personally, I plan to just live my life right here in my little corner of the world and try really hard to stay above the water line of financial drowning and maybe even save a little more now that remodeling is over. 

I'm again, going to work on being kinder and less disagreeable. I'm going to work on just taking care of my own business more and other's less. I still hope to be able to lend a hand or two when needed, but just do so without adding my thoughts. Hope my head doesn't explode!

Down the road we go and lucky for us that we are still able to do so. Moving along with reasonable health and mental stability is a gift at this point. I plan to remember that more each year.

Wishing each of you, my friends and readers, a bright and shiny new year in which to grow and prosper and become the best you.

Look out 2017, cuz we are coming to conquer!

Jo

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

AS THIS YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE…



Looking back…

We have been in this house a year and 3 weeks. Wow. How is that possible? 
Our Michigan home


We left Michigan in January 2015 and headed to Ormond Beach and our new home and life. So much was left behind so that we could begin to build the life we had talked about nearly 30 years. A home in a warm climate with no real winter. A place where we could walk outside all year long in relative comfort. Where flowers bloom and grass is greenish all year. The ocean being 3 miles away was a bonus. A wonderful and amazing bonus.






The perfect Florida house

The house we loved was a cozy and beautiful home. We loved everything about that house. It was a typical Florida home with stucco and painted white with a lime green trim all around. The inside was three bedrooms and two baths, a Florida room, living, kitchen and dinette and a fabulous 14 x 39 foot screen porch all across the back with a lovely wooded view. It had fan windows in three rooms, which I loved. It was exactly what we dreamed of.

Within a few months we realized although the house was perfect and we did love it, it was not the neighborhood we needed. We needed friends. We had neighbors who spoke and waved,, but weren't interested in being more. No socialization with one exception. A single gal with two adorable pups who became and remain our Florida family. So glad we met and even gladder that we are still friends and within walking distance yet.

We put our perfect house on the market in August and started looking for our new community. The decision was quickly made that we would go to a 55 and older manufactured home community. Now, which one. There are many here in this general area.  

Located directly north and adjacent to our subdivision was the one we chose. We were going to move a few blocks by foot and a mile or so by car since no road connects the two communities.
The exact house would be determined by what was available when our home sold, which I believed would be soon because, well, it’s perfect.



It sold in October and we closed on Dec. 4 and moved into our new manufactured home on Dec. 4, 2015.

Our forever home (?)

Let me say here that I do not recommend moving twice in one year. It’s not fun. It’s not exciting. It’s not a new adventure. It is, however, exhausting and downsizing a THIRD time in a year is emotionally more than one should attempt.  

Leaving Michigan, we sold and gave away nearly half of our furniture. We moved the three bedrooms we would need and all of Momma’s furniture, our dining table and chairs and our recliners and a couch. We moved all of our end tables to sort here if they weren't all needed.

We got rid of nearly everything from the kitchen and baths that wasn’t going to be needed. Sorted towels by matching ability to new house and tossed or gave away the rest. Tossed, sold  or donated about four comforters with matching sheets etc because I didn’t want to use the limited storage for such things which could be replaced, if needed later. Kitchen utensils…from Momma’s house and ours were divided and cut to what I thought was bare essentials. Knick  Knacks were only moved if they held sentimental value to me. Momma was gone just two months and some things could not be left or given. Some things were needed even if they were not to leave a box once the move was completed. 

Downsizing again 8 months later…really tough. Lots of tears. The couches both had to go. Wouldn't work here. The recliners, wouldn’t work here. One, Momma’s recliner was coming and her wooden rockers, two, were coming. We bought a new couch and chair for this living room.
Tables…we had Momma’s on the porch and ours in the dining room.  Momma’s wouldn't fit here, we needed round. Ours came. Two beds came, Momma’s stayed in the house for new owners daughter. This kind of made me happy and sad all at once. 

Tossing, donating until we had everything here that we needed and what we couldn’t easily store, eventually, got donated, sold or tossed. It simply had to be done. It was draining. 

Other than the couch and chair, we bought virtually no furniture for this house until I figured out a way to fit in some shelves for photo albums. I cannot let go of those.

So here we are a year later…in this year we have made new friends and joined many social activities here at the park. We have some truly lovely people around us and we love this house. We put in a brand new kitchen and guest bath and new flooring in the guest room, bath and kitchen. We would still like to put new flooring in the living and bedroom, but nothing urgent.
We added on to our very small back porch and it is now a beautiful 12 x 20 and we practically live out here. We added vinyl windows so the cooler temps don’t send us inside anymore. It’s the best thing we could possibly have done here. This is our forever home, we hope.

We have made two trips back to Michigan this year. We will be spending July there each year as long as we are able to do so. We have a small travel trailer that we store and then park at Holiday Shores. We have time to visit with everyone who wants to make time for us and all the family did so this year; we hope they will again next year. It’s the perfect set up for us and Miggy.

(Oh, Miggy…our beloved Jake, the rat terrier of our hearts for 15.5 years, passed away in September and we adopted a Chihuahua/rat terrier from the humane society. He chose us right away and has held our hearts every since. Miguel Jose Heroux turned three, we think, on Sept 30 this year and we are so very blessed with this crazy puppy love.)

baby Miggy


And while all of this seems overwhelming…okay, it kind of was…it was all worth it. We had our typical Florida house, now we have our forever house, maybe. One never knows what He has in mind for one’s future so I’m keeping my options open.

New porch, tree, Miggy, Brie and Bella with us


Happy New Year all. Peace and love to all and my dear Lord, please keep a hand on our new President’s mouth and a whisper in his ear from time to time. Guide him to a most successful term, for all of our sakes.

Jo


Friday, November 11, 2016

Veteran's Day 2016

PAYING TRIBUTE TO MY HEROES.

Annually I write something about the brave, selfless women and men who enlisted, or were drafted into, the military and then served their time for us. For us to be who we want to be, here in this country of diversity. For us who have done nothing to protect our shores from invasion or attack.

I write these articles because it is what I am able to do to show, not only how much I appreciate their time, service, their dedication and sacrifice, but also to remind others to show respect. Reminding my fellow Americans to do something that makes a Vet's life a little better or easier. Remind us all to say the thank you that might stay inside our head when seeing a Veteran going about their everyday life. Maybe go ahead and buy that cup of coffee or lunch or dinner, if you have the means to do so. Maybe just walk a few steps out of your way and extend your hand. A smile and mouthing the words "thank you" from a distance, yeah, that works, too.

I think about how much these Vets have given us and how honored they all say they were to be part of their military arm and how much better their branch is than the other branches and I am humbled. Always humbled. 

Do you understand that they have given themselves, body and soul, to our government for the service years? Do you know that once a soldier, sailor, marine, coast guard or air force, ALWAYS being that? It is a life long membership. They deserve to never be in need again. They deserve medical care, the best available, for life. They deserve to never go hungry or homeless. We, American citizenry, have to do better. 

Maybe President-Elect Trump will be able to make strides in this area. Maybe he will do what we've mostly wanted and mostly failed to provide. I pray for that.

So my friends, my enemies and you strangers out there...please take some time today and beyond to  do what you personally can do to show respect, gratitude and honor to the women and men who have served you so proudly and so honorably. We cannot hope to actually equal what they've given us.

May this day find all Veterans a show of support and gratitude for all you have given and continue to contribute to America, our country owes you so much more than we are giving. I hope this continues to get better as we focus on your needs.

Submitted with my highest respect and most humble gratitude,
Jo

Thursday, November 10, 2016

It's Over~Day 2 of President-elect Trump

The election is over. The decision of America is in. Well, the decision of the populous was Hillary, by 300,000 votes, but the electoral, the legal decision is Donald J. Trump by a large margin. Looking at the map, it's very, very red with blue tiny accents. Done deal. It does again open the door to how we make the electoral college really reflect the voters choice. Or possibly amending the constitution to dissolve this antiquated method of vote counting. It won't be the first time in recent history that much talk persists and likely little action will follow. We are a slow country to change anything constitutionally connected. That's a good thing, I believe.

As a pantsuit supporter I was dismayed and maybe more shocked to see all the Red. I was not happy. I was, and remain, concerned about our national security and our image around the world. The future is never obvious, even when we think it is, but in this case, it's just a blur. 

Will President Trump be the man who spoke so perfectly giving his acceptance speech? Will he be the focused and dedicated man the office requires? Will he see that working with Congress is not always easy, but necessary? Will he understand being President isn't a Dictatorship? Will he use those great negotiating skills he's bragged about to get things done or will he try to bully his way through? Will the almost humble man who met with President Obama today, be our new President?

So many more questions. No answers. Only time will tell.

I want him to do well. I want him to govern with dignity, which I now have seen he can show. I want him to lead this country forward not backward. I want better healthcare for all. I want college that's affordable to all who work hard and want it. I want a strong military and I want great support from our generals from whom Trump can learn. I want our country to be safe for immigrants, for LGBT, for blacks, for hispanics and for everyone! I pray this man will embrace these things and do all he is capable of to achieve these goals. I also want financial balance. I believe he can achieve this, if he applies himself. I hope he does.

So I am convinced today, as I am supporting with all my power of prayer, our new President, that his need to succeed and his need to be the best, he will be a good and maybe even a great, the greatest President we've ever had. In his own mind, if not the world. I'm hoping it's the world, though.

Praying for the USA...join me?

Jo


MY FAVORITE VETERAN 2016

Hi Baby Boy,

Yep still. Never gonna change. I gave you life and you are always going to be my baby boy. I couldn't be prouder to say so. You are a man most mothers would never stop talking about, lucky for you I am just such a mom. I'm sure my friends all think you probably have a halo, you don't, but it's okay if they think you do.

This day is always so very special for me for so many reasons and this year as the past two years, I am a bit weepy remembering how much Grama talked about you and worried about you while you were serving. Remembering the trip she and I made to watch you graduate on this very day in 1970. Orlando felt so far away until we arrived and saw that taller, older, so mature young man walk toward us, unrecognized by us, I will add here. When you smiled and we knew you, it was awe inspiring. Unbelievable. Our mutual pride had to be visible. That kid we had sent off two months earlier was indeed a man. I can still see you sitting with us over lunch and pressing the crease in your uniform pants as you spoke. 

A man well on his way to becoming a motivated and capable man of honor.

Today, I am so thankful your time in service wasn't more traumatic than it was. And it was traumatic enough. Your time was filled also with some exciting travel and experiences that you would likely never have had, otherwise. Who gets to hang out in Japan for a year? Who gets to visit Hawaii on the government's dime? I'm grateful you had some good experiences and even more grateful that your "Gulf" time wasn't worse. 

I am so proud of you today and I am still so thankful that you served your country with such honor. I love you.

The Navy part of your history is such a huge part of your today and I can't thank them or you enough.

Walk tall and walk proudly, my handsome son, with all the gratitude I possess.  I am truly a proud Navy Mom.

😍

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Momma's 2nd Angelversary

Two years ago, I said goodnight to Momma as she headed down the hall to bed. I told her I loved her and I'd see her in the morning. She replied in kind. Our final goodnight, love you, see you in the morning.

I, nor she, had any idea.

For two years I've wondered how do I do this? Who am I now? It's all about me.

It used to be all about her.
And then...
My life changed beyond my wildest imagination since that night.  We've lost our teen-aged furbabies. Sadie at 13 passed three months after Momma. Jake at 15 passed 8 months later.

  • JAKE

SADIE

We moved from Michigan to Florida and then moved again 11 months later.


We adopted an adorable little guy from the Humane Society, Miggy a few days after Jake died.
 MIGGY
Miggy & Me

So many changes and so much adjustment. Roomy and I are strong. We are happily settled now and this retirement community is our home. Likely, our last home. The friends we have here are snowbirds, for the most part, but we have one friend from the sub and a couple from our street that stay year round with us. Good friends are a treasure.

Going to bed tonight will be sad. No question. I will stay up past 2, which is when she passed in my arms and next to my heart. I seldom go to bed before 1:30, which is when I retired that night, but not tonight and not very often since.

One thing I now know to be true. All the firsts of the first year of grief are unbelievably difficult.  The second year those days are even more difficult because life did go on without her. Life changed and the good days outnumbered the weeping days, but "those" days are reminders of the finality of it all. Realism sets in. It really is like this now. It will always be like this now. She lives in my heart now. She lives in the choices I make. The life I choose. The love I share. She lives in all those things, all those things she taught me or showed me. I am my mother's daughter is so many ways.
Momma & I

As long as I am walking this earth, I will miss her every day. I hope soon to miss her with more giggles and fewer tears.

The greatest of love breeds the greatest of grief.

Jo