Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Staying in the Moment. . .My Thanksgiving Wish for All...

    This year has taken its toll on me mentally.   I have never faced as much fear, anger, rage and loss of control as I have this past year.  All of that was new and scary to me. I had stockpiled my mind with years and years of less that perfect life choices and unmanageable people.  Instead of facing the problems head on, I compartmentalized my mind and would visit these people, events and mentally relive it all over again.  I would make different decisions in how I should have handled something that no longer needed to be handled. The past can not be changed. That is why it is called  'the past'.  It is gone. Done. The time to change situations is no longer on the table. However, that is the way I thought for most of my life. It is a dangerous way to live mentally.  Sooner or later, what you are dwelling on will come out and slap you in the face at the most unusual time.  I know it happened to me. I ended up in therapy, a place I never ever expected to need.  Honestly, looking back over my life, I needed a therapists years and years ago. I would talk to my best friends. I have been blessed with many who listened.  We tried to help each other and we did. I think everyone needs a best friend outside of their marriage.  I always had one. When Carol died, after we retied, I no longer had the chance or the will to make a best friend. I had Tommy and I thought that was enough. It wasn't.  I needed a female best friend who understands the way women think.  Tommy is an amazing partner however men and women do not think alike. . . or at least we don't.
    That is how I ended up in therapy. I am paying good money for a "best friend" who listens and gives me truthful insight into my life and mind.  The one thing Nancy says over and over, "Stay in the moment. Keep you mind in the here and now."  I call it,"wandering off the reservation." It is a mental challenge every day. I really am not wired that way. I told her that yesterday. She said none of us are. I work on that daily. We have choices in that area. The choices are sneaky. They keep trying to go back to my old way  of thinking. Truthfully, they often succeed.
    Nancy gave me a reading list about "mindfulness", living life in the moment. I purchased six books. I have read half of one book. It is a good, informative book entitled, "Wherever You Go There You Are" written by Jon Kabat- Zinn. It is an easy book to read but reprogramming my mind is so much harder that I thought it would be. And truthfully, it sounded hard to me when I read the list.
    I have returned to painting, it is something I do where I have to stay focused. It helps and I am enjoying one of my old loves again. Writing has been more difficult. The blog I wrote earlier this week was like planting a garden with a three blade push tiller. The harder I pushed, the deeper the dirt. This is the blog that wanted to be written. I didn't want to write it. So my muse and I were at a standstill. In fact, when I sat down to write today, this is not what I intended to write.  However, it was what I needed to say.
    If there is anyone reading this blog that feels overwhelmed with life and loosing control. My recommendations are find a therapists you can talk to, also find a church. I haven't gone to church yet. That is the next thing to do. I am going back to my old church. It is where I should have been going all the time.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy your family and friends. Immerse yourself in the moment of Thanksgiving. Much love to all. Vicky

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I Really Need to get out More Often ...

   I am delighted with our new to us Subaru Outback. I did have to order a manual for it, because this car has more bells and whistles than any car we have ever owned. We have 'fog lights'. . .who knew??
   I have driven 'my' car four times. Since retirement, Tommy and I go everywhere together.  He always drives because he hates the way I drive.  We retired in 2009  and I have been behind the wheel very little.  The other day, I had an appointment and Tommy did not feel like going so I drove myself.  It felt great to be behind the wheel. Everything was great until I tried to get on I-70. This interstate has been taken over by eighteen wheeler's.  I waited for an opening on a ramp, while traffic flew by me at the speed of light.  Finally, I see an opening and I am in there in a flash.  I was doing 70 when I merged onto the highway.  Within a few seconds I was surrounded by three eighteen wheeler's.  One was in front, the second was beside me and the third one was trying hard to jump in my back seat.  We raced along for a few minutes. The guy behind me closed in a little more.  I had nowhere to go. There was no way I could cut off the truck beside me and pass the one in front of me. That is what the trucker behind me wanted but I refused.  As far as I was concerned he could switch lanes and push the other eighteen wheeler and see how far he would get.  My exit was coming up and Mama was staying put. My exit could not get there soon enough. I turned on my exit signal and the trucker blared down on his horn.  I didn't care.  He was off my wazoo and I was on my way to Kingdom City.  I tried to turn off my signal and my windshield wipers came on.  It wasn't raining!! I finally got the wipers off.  I was ready to get off the road for a few minutes.
    I looked at the gas tank and decided to fill up and get a cup of coffee. I pulled in by the pumps, got out to add fuel and there was no gas flap.  I walked around the car and there it was on the right hand side. I had never noticed that. So I pull out and around the tanks.  I get out of the car and there still is no gas tank. So I get back in the car and make a huge loop in the parking lot and came in on the left side of the pumps. I think I got a standing ovation when my car and pump lined up and I began to put in the gas. I felt like an idiot. . .I looked like an idiot. Did I care? Not really! There wasn't one person I knew within sight. They were laughing their wazoo off at my mistakes.  So was I!!  Who cares?  I certainly didn't. I took a bow and got in my car and off  I  drove to have a new adventure.
    I turned on the temperature and had to wrestle with the controls to get the air conditioner off and the heat on.  I didn't do it exactly right. I had heat on my side and in my seat. However, the passenger side was blowing cool air. I need to look that up when I got home. Now I know what to do...I think.  I drove all over the place. I went to Mexico and back to Fulton.  It was a nice day to be out and about. I have a few more things to learn about my car. There a four buttons down low on the left side. I need to find out what they do. I found my cell phone charger and hidden compartments in the back area.  I started to open my sunroof but chickened out. I will try that one at home.  Needless to say I love this car. I need to drive it more so I can get used to it.
    The next time we go to the V.A. I am driving. Tommy will not care for this idea I am sure. That is ok he will get over it especially after they stick needles in his ears for acupuncture. I will be so glad when he is well and really enjoying our life together again. 
   


Monday, October 30, 2017

Happy 16th Birthday Jacy...

 Saturday night at Applebee's  in Warrenton we celebrated Jacy Rayne's 16 birthday. In the photo to the left are Logan her brother, the birthday girl Jacy and her super good friend Morgan. We all had such a good time. 
  Jacy was our first grandchild and was born on Melodi's birthday. She was a delight and answered prayer.  We lived close to them for the first 3 years and we kept Jacy on our days off. She had her own room as did Logan a few years later. She loved playing dress up. Here is one of my favorite photos when she was little. I had some old red material and we made her a princess dress. Fixed her hair in an 'up do' and she was happy all night.
   Now she is doing things on a phone that I will never understand. I look at her homework and wonder who are these teachers and where did they originate! Jacy is learning things I still haven't learned...and that is fine with me.
   Jacy is musically inclined. She plays the viola, the guitar and sings beautifully.  I would love to take credit for something she does but she gets her talents from Tami and Tommy. Did I mention she is a great baker?  That might be my side but I wouldn't swear to it; since I no longer like to cook!
   It has been so much fun to watch Jacy grow up. She is a bit of an introvert. That is Aaron and me for sure. 
   I love to hear her laugh. When she was little I loved to watch her sleep. We have traveled many a mile in our old rocking chair. She was the perfect first grandchild as any proud grandmother would say,  Papa and I love you dearly. We wish only the best for you as you grow up so very fast. Love you, Nonnie


Happy Birthday Melodi ...

   It is hard to believe that my baby girl is 38 years old today. She is a mother and business woman. I love this photo. Melodi and Lacey look so happy as Lacey holds their daughter Rowan, who happens to be a lit stick of dynamite. 
   When Rowan was born she did not cry. She looked the room over, met her Moms and was delighted with what she saw. She has been such a wonderful addition to our lives. Having a new grandchild at 67 is a blessing indeed. When the girls came in for a visit a few weeks ago, they stayed the first few days with us. There was so much laughter and photos made. They left most of Rowan's yogurt and I have just about finished it off. I smile every time I open a yogurt stick and indulge in baby girl's snack.   
   Melodi is a wonderful mother, wife and daughter. I know I can count on her. It is the same way with our other two daughters Lisa, and Tami, and our daughter of our heart Lacey. That means a lot to parents. Just knowing they are there to share their lives or listen as we share our lives. These past three years have been anything but easy for Tommy and me.  Our daughters and grandchildren made life as easy on us as they could. I could never thank God enough for all our blessings our children have brought into our lives.  Happy Birthday Melodi!!!  

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Thank God for Daughters. . .


Tommy and I have been blessed with three wonderful, amazing daughters. Although we do not live close to each other we get together as often as we can. If there is a health emergency one or all three will arrive as soon as possible. Since Tommy has been sick over the past five months, Tami stayed with us at the hospital for nights on end. Sleeping in uncomfortable recliners. It was touch and go for about three weeks. Then Tami had to make the move to Troy to the new home she was buying. It was impossible for her to even try to help. Her plate was running over with everything and anything that could go wrong, trying its best to drive her to the brink of endurance. Someone even tried to steal her backyard from a legal standpoint. That was a new one for all of us. Tami needed rest...if you can call moving rest.
     Enters Lisa!  Lisle drove Lisa to Missouri to help us out. She worked for a neurologist for several years .  She speaks their medical language which is far from the normal language Tommy and I speak. When a new doctor was explaining  a new procedure they were going to try. She understood exactly what they meant. We also became very familiar with sleeping arrangements at the VA and the University. We learned to always have a bag ready and sitting by the back door for ourselves and a bag for all of Tommy's information. The reason for this is sometimes if you are working with three hospitals and a emergency happens in the middle of the night,  information gets lost in the transfer. This is where making friends with the nursing staff is critical. They are there to help and do a great job when needed.  After about three weeks Tommy was stable enough for her to go home.  Like Tami, Lisa was perfect when push came to shove and we were medically over our heads.
                                                        
Finally, things were looking up for Tommy. We could handle the rest. Right now it is more wait and see than anything else. We are still at the VA once or twice a week for tests. I drove the Blazer to town and the transmission blew up in it. I barely made it home. Tommy's truck would no longer change gears. Something was wrong and that left us with nothing to drive and dr. appointments up the wazoo.  Enter Melodi, when I talked to Melodi she had strep throat and was sick as a dog. But she had a plan. Her mother in law, Jamie was going to sell her mothers Subaru Outback and she wanted to know if we would like to buy it. Absolutely we wanted to buy it. The only problem was it was in California. Tommy couldn't make the drive, He gets exhausted going to Columbia and Walmart. I offered to fly out and drive it back. That was voted down before I got the words out of my mouth. So Melodi took a lot of medicine and made the trip. She ran into ice, winds and I think some snow. Probably a good idea I didn't fly out and drive it home. We got everything worked out finally.  I had a nervous rage of crying and emotions I had held in for years. It couldn't stop talking or crying once I finally got started. No one committed me but I am sure it was discussed. Stress brings out the worst in people and I had reached my maximum point. However, as of today, Tommy is driving by himself to check out something for deer season and Logan. I am back to normal or my version of normal. That one could be debated. I have said this many times before. When Tommy and I made Lisa, Tami and Melodi, we made magic.

Thank you girls for all you have done for us, Love you to the moon and back.


    

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Finally After Forty Years, We Find the Zoo

   I have wanted to go to the St. Louis Zoo since 1980. We made several futile attempts to find it, but never did. It is almost unbelievable considering we drove 9,967 miles to Alaska and only made one wrong turn in the Yukon. That drive was exciting and wonderful. Trying to find the zoo nearly caused us to divorce the first time we tried. We were going to surprise the girls and wanted to make sure we knew how to get there.  Every time we tried to find the zoo we were close but not close enough. We didn't have a navigation guide, or Sirri, but we did have me and a map. After going to the zoo on Sunday, I still could not find the zoo again if I had too.   However, I know I could find my way back to Alaska without a problem. Go figure. . .
   We had a wonderful day. Melodi, Lacey, Rowan, Logan, Tami and Jake plus the two of us, simply had good ole family fun. Rowan got to see her elephants.  She was a perfect joy. She loves life with a passion and she is only about 18 months old. The look on her face when she saw the elephants was priceless.  

    I could not wait to see the  Giraffes. They are my favorite wild animal.  Wouldn't you know the giraffes and the elephants were on opposite sides of the zoo.  It was a beautiful trek and we saw all sorts of animals as we walked.  Logan our grandson spent a lot of time with us and that was a pleasure.    


       Since I was a young girl and read my first story about giraffes; I have been fascinated with them.  I have often said, 'God was  showing off  when He created giraffes, because nothing about a giraffe is considered normal.' They are the tallest mammal  in the world.  The male's height ranges from  16 to 20 feet. The female is about 15 feet tall. I thought it was cruel that a giraffe's neck is almost too short to reach the ground. That makes them vulnerable when they spread their legs or kneel to eat or drink water. Usually they only drink water two or three times a week. They get most of their moisture from the plants they eat.
      Giraffes spend most of their time standing up. They even sleep standing up. To me that seems unfair. To make matters worse they also give birth standing up. That is a heck of a wake up call for a newborn giraffe.  I was not disappointed at all when I finally saw the giraffes. I had seen them once before when we went to the zoo with Tami after she was out of basic training in South Carolina.
               

   One of my favorite photos was of Logan after he climbed up a band of rocks.







It was a good day in our part of the world.




Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Letting go of a Memory. . .

  Yesterday we gave my mother's car away. It will be sold at a auction Thursday and the proceeds will go to help autistic children.
  This car and I have a long history. Mama purchased her new car in 1991. It had plush wine for the interior. At times I would get a whiff of Mama's perfume, 'Woman,' when I opened her car door. Tami has caught the odor too.  It pleased us to think that perhaps Mama was paying us a visit. Perhaps she wanted to go shopping with us. Whatever it was, it made for a good day.
   When Mama was hospitalized for Alzheimer's, Daddy parked her car, bought him a truck and saved 'Betty's car'. We knew she would never come home but selling her car was out of the question.  Daddy gave me her car about three years before I took it. I had a good vehicle and I knew Mama hated the gravel road I lived on. I didn't think she would want her car driven daily on such a road. Finally, Daddy told me if I didn't take the car he had a man who wanted to buy it and he was going to sell the car for $5,000.  I decided to take it. 
   My blazer had to be fixed and Mama's car was driven a lot that summer. In fact, I loved driving her. She drove like a new car and I loved her. We took her to California. From there we drove up to Washington and across the old West. When we crossed the "Bridge of the God's" connecting Oregon and Washington. In Oregon we accidentally got in an antique car show line up. That poor car had just driven about 700 miles that day. She was almost as dirty and tired asTommy and I were. To add insult to injury, some old lady yelled, "Well, for heaven's sake, why didn't they wash and polish that pretty car before they got in the parade. PARADE?????  Who knew???. We got out of that line up fast. All we wanted was a room and something to eat.  I wrote a blog about that afternoon but I don't remember the title but I sure do remember the day! Thank God for memories.
  We finally decided to donate Mama's car to a charity. She would be proud of helping Autistic children.  Yesterday, the man showed up and hauled Mama's car to the auction block. It will be sold Thursday.  My eyes misted up a little bit as her car left. We made a lot of memories in that car. I think Mama would approve of our decision. Sometimes we have to let go of a memory. Yesterday was such a day.