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Sunday, July 28, 2013


Many of my friends are now at an age where they are considering their mortality. Not exactly facing it, but considering it. I find it a subject not acceptable for discussion when I try to share thoughts about the final arrangements, the financial planning, the medical and financial power of attorney documents, living wills and anything that might indicate we are going to die.

G I A N T   N E W S    F L A S H   F R I E N D S 

We  are  all  going  to  die, not preparing doesn't stop it from happening!

So I therefore, suggest you talk with your family about what THEY would like because they are the ones who have to deal with your loss and with your wishes. Why do you have wishes anyway? You will be gone to your reward and the funeral and other businesses of dying are left to them. If you have music you enjoyed while you were among us, fine! Request that at your service, if your family would like a service. Yes, I said, IF because some people do not. The services are for those who are left to mourn. The decision about how long, how formal, open casket or closed or no casket, should be theirs to make. In the case of cremation, you can still have a brief showing, if they need one. You can rent a casket, you can do whatever makes it easiest for your family or friends. You will not be there. 

We have made all of our arrangements, arranged payment for the same and notified the kids of where all the documents are. We have purchased burial plots because our daughter needs to have us buried even though we are being cremated. I don't care. She needs a place to visit, so she shall have that. They wanted a brief visitation for friends, they think we have some, bless their hearts, so I arranged for that. They will be disappointed at the attendance, I imagine, but they asked for it.  The music, big surprise, will be Elvis for me and Neil Diamond for Roomy. The theme songs for each of his Detroit Teams may also be heard! UGH.
We're all behind our baseball team, go get 'em Detroit Tigers, Go Get 'Em Tigers! 

We have each others power of attorney for medical and financial affairs and one child has been given back-up poa in case it is needed. Everyone has been given our medical wishes, no machines etc. and no extraordinary measures speech and know exactly what to do and when to do it. Financially, the will is quite clear and there is a copy for each. 

The only thing left to do is buy the marker for the grave site and of course, die. I am taking care of the marker soon, the rest I hope waits a good while.

I may be unique in that I don't mind talking about my own death, but I do think we all need to relieve our families and friends or the state of the responsibility of our remains. It's the least and the last gift we can give to those we love or a state who probably can't afford to dispose of us anyway. 

Wanna know a secret? Since all these things have been taken care of and paid for, I feel so much better. I don't have to think about my own funeral or my husband's anymore. They are just hanging out in file drawers and causing no harm and no stress to anyone. I am so happy to have all this morbid and depressing stuff done and filed away!  

Death is coming for all of us, but at least, we made a plan.  And the plan has no expiration date, unlike us.


Serendipity and Faith

Last week was too busy to get any kind of cohesive thought organized, so this week I shall make a big effort to combine two topics which I believe go well together. Serendipity meaning happiness by accident and then faith meaning complete trust and confidence, seem to my mind to go hand in hand. Should not be difficult to create this piece, I am thinking as I begin this free write. (seat of the pants style).

Finding happiness by accident is pretty much an everyday occurrence, if you are open to it. Having faith is much more challenging for some. Believing and trusting without real and tangible proof is not an easy task for everyone; for me? Well, for me finding serendipity is my life and having faith is how I have survived without being arrested for murder or being murdered, I think.  

The simplest acts of my everyday life cause me enormous happiness. The feeding of my beloved hummingbirds comes to mind. The picture of one or all of my grand-kids while walking through a room catches my eye comes to mind. Making eye contact with either or both of our furbabies and having a spontaneous wink between us comes to mind. Sitting on the deck with coffee in hand and noticing a bunny racing across the back of the property comes to mind. So many mundane everyday things makes me ridiculously happy and all by accident. Planning on any of those things would still make me smile, but the serendipity aspect makes me giggly and keeps a certain spring in my step.

A rainbow, comes to mind.

 I have lived some very wonderful days in my life. I have lived through some very painful days in my life. Most of you can say the same. There are memories filed away that will still bring an instant tear if I dwell for more than a second. Other memories will bring a giggle in the same brief period. Those days combined make my faith not only important to me, but make my life based on my faith, essential. I am convinced beyond anyone’s definition of reasonable, that my God always has me in his hands. I know that I will always be cared for and given what I need in this earthly life because I have always been given what I need and more. I have always been able to find comfort by asking for it and believing I will get it. My faith makes no sense to many and perfect sense to many. It doesn’t matter one iota to me which you are or if you are somewhere in the middle. It is MY faith and MY life and the serendipity moments come to me because I have faith that they always will and that I will always recognize them and cherish them. 

When I pray, which is often, I pray for wisdom, guidance, strength and unyielding faith. I sometimes ask for myself and more often ask for someone else. Earthly life is not promised to be easy; not promised to be as we want; it is promised to be as He will have it. I only ask to know His will for me and then to have strength to move through it with Him. 

FAITH, comes first.  SERENDIPITY might be one of the bazillions of rewards for having it.


Thursday, July 18, 2013


Lately it seems every where I look, I see women talking about their bodies. They are aging and it sucks. They aren't smooth and soft and that sucks. The bulges are not easily hidden in clothes anymore and that sucks. Their faces aren't perfect and that sucks. Ankles or tankles? and that sucks. You name the body part and someone doesn't like the one they have. *sigh*

I'm so sorry that we have created this in our lives. Yes, WE have created it. We judge our own bodies by photos that have been airbrushed, by models who barely eat and by ridiculous standards. We want it all and we want to be perfect. We want to be pretty and thin and sexy and we never feel like we are. *sigh*

Women are entirely too demanding and entirely too fixated on looks. We get what our genes gave us. Learn to live with it. Sure, you can watch your diet and eat healthy foods. You can take care of yourself, and you should, but you will never be perfect and even if you are, you'll never believe you are because we have created a world where any tiny conceived flaw is disastrous. Beauty is so multidimensional. There are millions of kinds of beauty. All of them begin with a beautiful heart. If you are not a good person inside, your outer looks will never maintain beauty. Those in your life will see the mask, but they will also see the lack of warmth or honesty or selflessness and those are not pretty.

I'd like to purpose that we all take a new and different look at our bodies.

I'll start and then maybe you could do the same or share this with someone who needs to reevaluate her own body image.

 1)I have ears that don't hear as well as they once did, but they still hear someone say they love me.

 2)I have eyes that require glasses, but they still see the beauty of my children and their children and the man who shares my life. They still see my Momma smile when I open her door.

 3)My hair is good but graying and it no longer cares how I want to wear it; it decides daily where to go and where to curl, but it covers my head and a lot of my face.

 4)My arms are wiggly and hang like turkey necks, but they still hug and hold loved ones. They still direct my hands on the keyboard and those old and veined hands still work very well.

 5)My boobs are no longer any where near where they used to be, but they hold my shirts out and give me some semblance of femininity. They may be at my waist when I am braless, but they can still be corralled into a well fitted bra for public display and I still have 2 of them. Many don't.

 6)My belly isn't flat anymore, but my butt is. Two babies grew in there and I've not really had a flat tummy since that, but I sure wouldn't trade either of them for a rock hard gut at 62.

 7)As wiggly as my upper arms are, my thighs are much worse. Once muscled and hard from running, now just jiggly and dimpled and fat.Without them, I wouldn't be as tall as I am.  They do a fine job of supporting me as I make my way through each day and they seldom give me any pain. They work.

 8)My knees have always been a bit weak since high school hurdles tackled me, but they still bend and they still allow me to walk unencumbered. They are a little pudgy now, but capri pants cover them nicely!

 9)Calfs...they're okay for an old gal. (My grandma had great legs her whole 85 years, she told us so often.)

10)Feet, well they are little and they somehow keep me upright so I guess they're okay. The best part about my feet is that they almost never hurt!  I love that and I love that walking is easy for me and enjoyable.

11)My smile is good. My teeth are perfect. I paid good money to make sure they were and even though they are removable, I am happy when I see my smile. I smile a lot. Who cares if they're store bought, they never hurt, either!

My point? I can find something in every body part that is not optimal. Not perfect nor even kind of attractive, but all my body parts work. I can walk, talk, kiss, hug, hear, see and my innards all work well.  I am healthy and mobile. And you know something?  That's good enough.

I love to swim and I will put on a bathing suit and jump in the pool at every opportunity and never once will I care that I am no longer a bathing beauty. I did once have a pretty good body, but no more and that will never keep me out of a pool. I'm sorry other people have to look at my wrinkles and my sagginess, but not sorry enough to stay clothed!

Am I sexy? In my mind, not so much anymore, but in Roomy's mind, oh hell yeah! For an old broad, I guess I still got something he wants. Thank goodness!

This is the body I have and to be honest, I am so grateful that everything still works that I am not going to be ashamed or hide or worry about what anyone else thinks of how I dress or how I look. I am happy with who I am and I am happy with how I look and I wish every other woman I know would feel this freedom.

Yes, bashing your body is the WRONG WAY, PLEASE GO BACK!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

New Chapter

A very long time ago in a tiny village there lived a woman with two children. She was fortunate enough to have a neighbor with a very responsible teenaged daughter who loved babysitting. The woman's job paid very little, but was located near home and her benevolent boss allowed her to work 2 shifts punching two different time cards.  This way she didn't have to coordinate this job with another and attendance was bound to be dependable. Oh, he also didn't have to pay overtime because the cards and records indicated two separate people. She, however, did have to pay taxes on all the money because the social security number belonged to her on both time cards.  Her biggest advantage, the real reason she agreed to this nonsense, was that he was a family man who understood her need to mother her kids and freely allowed, without pay, days or half days as needed at home.  She also scheduled herself in both positions so she could be home with the kids for dinner every night.

This mattered to her, more than the long hours and exhaustion.  She loved being with them at dinner and bath time and for 2 years, that was her life. Work, kids, bills and fighting her way through a divorce that involved custody and thereby, home visits from the court staff.  It all worked out as it was meant to, eventually.  This chapter in their lives would one day be seen as the test of strength and durability as well as the time they learned that love really is the most important thing to a family.

One day an old friend casually mentioned to her that he was moving the location of and growing his business. He explained his plans and in the weeks following, mentioned that they would be hiring one person to learn their business. It would be their first outside-of-the-family employee. The position was being offered to her. The pay would equal a tad bit more than she was making in her present 78 hour position and it would be 40 hours except during the peak season. At that time, he said, some evening hours and late Saturday hours would be necessary with time and a half pay.

The New Chapter.  She accepted the job.  Her life changed dramatically.  She loved learning to engrave trophies, expensive silver platters, plaques that would hang in public buildings for years after she was gone and jewelry and all kinds of personal silver gift items.  The engraving was her specialty in short order. She took to it, fish to water type attraction.  The work was good, creative and dependable.

On the home front, the babysitter stayed on and got to go home after or before dinner. The mom was home within a few minutes of the same time daily and was done working!  The family had a schedule they could pretty much count on and enough money to pay bills, buy food and gas and for a real treat even take a vacation. The babysitter came along because otherwise, she wasn't getting a vacation either!  It was wonderful.  Life was not easy yet, but it was at least, a mom actually raising her kids
while still earning enough to provide necessities.

In only a little over a year, she had put enough money away to start looking for a home to buy. Yes, buy.  She moved from the mobile home they had rented into a much less expensive apartment and began the search. It was a 5 month search that resulted in purchasing an 1800 sq foot home in need of a LOT of clean-up and fix-up.  It was a government repo and she bought it for the balance of the mortgage, $18,000.  Payment was $125 a month and that did not include taxes or insurance, but was an installment loan.  So, $125 for 12 months for 12 years.  No penalties for paying ahead and no interest on the $18,000.  The catch was $1000 down for processing and that had to be cash at closing. It was a gift to them, really a gift.  Her new boss even signed a guarantee to the Farm Home office for her loan.  It's like co-signing, except he had no claim on the property.

That was the best life she could offer her kids at the time and she had done so on her own. She
had earned this house and all home ownership entailed.  Pride, sure she felt that, but mostly relief.
Her family was in a home they could grow in. A home they could stay in and everyone should have a home, she thought.

There were many more chapters to this little families story, but here is just one new one that brought many happy years.  She lived in this home for 22 years before moving into a smaller one where she and her Prince Charming could reside until they were ready to hit the road!