Friday, February 26, 2010

the inevitable

We all know that eventually we will die.

There is no getting around this.

We do what we can to prolong our lives. We eat right, we exercise, we try to follow healthy lifestyles. Most do anyway.

(Some could care less and abuse their lives and bodies. Suicide is there as well.) That's another post!

Some people get lucky and seem to live great long happy lives. We have all seen the many Smucker people that get recognition for their 100th milestone on the Today Show.

That is why it is so strange to me when we are shocked of a death. I think it is more about a person being shocked that "They" will have to adjust to this loved one being out of their physical lives.

We are always surprised when a death is sudden, particularly with a young person. That is the hardest to understand. We are mostly saddened by our loss and the thought of not having the joy of seeing that young person get to experience life.

When a loved one has lived a long and happy life, I feel a sense of happiness. A relief for that person. Oh what a grand life. Imagine what they have seen & been able to experience.

When my Grandma Kitty died, I felt joy that I was Blessed to have had her in my life and for the life she was able to live. She was vibrate and brought joy to all around her. She wasn't terribly old though and I felt she still had so much to give. The pain of knowing I would no longer have insightful conversations with her, have a good belly laugh or to hold her close again was so hard. But, years have pass and she is still very much a part of me. I think of her daily and find myself thinking of what she would say or do if I was having a conversation, asking her opinion and I know I feel her presence.

Last week, my Uncle passed. Actually, he died somewhere between February 16th and 18th. He was 76, had several health issues and we all know it was a matter of time. BUT his cancer was being treated, and we were allude to believe he had several years.

The real problem of Art's death is his wife, my Aunt Nancy. She has been declining in health and has Parkinson's disease as well as Alzheimer's. Art has refused any help in her care and has been her sole health care provider. He seems to have taken good care of her physically. My uncle had alot of ...issues. He was always very controlling and full of alot of hatred. He has always been this way and for this, it was difficult to visit them. Scary to visit.

Concern for the inevitable didn't seem to sink in for him or really for the family. They tried. And I believe that they thought that plans were in place and it would not be quite the way it is.

Last Saturday, (2-4 days following Art's death), my Aunt was found in a crumbled mess at the bottom of the basement stairs. My uncle, deceased in their bed on the second floor. He must have realized that it may be coming. He had their driver's licences, important papers and such laid out on the table. Had been trying to finish their taxes, and left a door unlocked (something this gun happy man has never done before). Unfortunately, he did not make any phone calls to let anyone know he may be dying. We don't know how long Nancy was twisted on those basement stairs or how long he was dead. There is evidence that she was alone for some time prior to the fall. When they found her Saturday, and I saw her, I couldn't believe how she looked. I have never seen such fear in someones eyes. Days later, following her surgery, she is recovery well. She has a difficult time talking and her thought process is difficult (as it has for some time due to the Alzheimer's.) She needed to tell us what she knew. It was difficult for us, particularly her daughters, but she felt such a need to tell the story. Very heartbreaking. How she tried to wake him, tried to get him up. Not knowing what to do. Not remembering how to use a phone, or even go next door for help. It was a terrible scene.

I have been trying to help my cousins (whom all live out of town) get the arrangements made to bury their Father, and find the best care for their Mother. As well as decisions on the estate. Choosing not only a good fit but one that accepts their insurance. She will need to go into Rehab first then some kind of nursing home. When your family lives so far apart, what do you do? Where do you place your Mom? If she stays in Indy, she will have nieces, Brothers, Sisters to look after her. The daughters all live in different states...

Watching all this unfold has been so emotional and sad.

I told my sister & parents we need to sit down not just with a plan but a backup plan as well.

I am getting wordy and have so many ore thoughts in my head... BUT I must end for now as I have so much to do on this day I have taken off in preparation for addition out of town guest, and getting much necessary stuff done. (I also have to find an appropriate outfit for this big ass girl that has outgrown all her clothes!).

Let me end with this. One day you or a loved one will be in a similar situation as we are. What is your plan?
DON'T put it off. It is so emotional and difficult. The funeral home alone can make you feel so guilty in your choices. The rock bottom no thrills 1 hour service for my Uncle tomorrow is costing over $12,000.00.

footnote* The beautiful photo is of National Cemetery in Alexandria Virginia. This photo was taken by Brooke Young Used with permission. Thank you Brooke!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Music Appreciation

I love music.

I am one of those souls that music goes into me and flows like my blood. Like the air I breathe. I like to feel the music, the passion, the pain and the emotions.

I have always loved music of all types. I may be listening to Diane Krall one minute and Eminien the next. I will enjoy a great classical like Beethoven, then can go right into a Martina McBride. An old Aerosmith as well as a new favorite such as Kate Nash.

Music speaks to my soul. Can make me smile and can make me cry.

I can still hear my daughters singing songs throughout their childhoods into today. I rarely catch them now, but every now & then... I am blessed with their voices in song.

The songs in my playlist currently are not for everyone.
The words may be offensive to some, but, music has a way of expression that makes it come across differently. I don't mind it. Sometimes certain words can make the point a little sharper.

These songs actually make me smile too. But remember... these are not for everyone. Click with caution!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Janis' Super Freaky Things

My Blog Friend Pam over at Scottys Place had this posted on her blog. She cracks me up. And although I am not as Freaky as she (lol), I have a few quirks some do not know about. If you want a real laugh go to Pam's Blog... she is way better at this!

Tell 6 things about yourself that your readers don’t know. Apparently they don't have to be strange, but Pam used weird things so I am following along with her!
1. I count everything. Kindof OCD I guess. Everything. Stuff going into the Washing machine, coming out. Steps. Lights. Minutes. I am always counting.
2. I sing, dance and act stupid when Home Alone... My pets fear me when this happens. I get the "look".
3. I freak out when people clip their nails outside of the privacy of their own home or Manicure Salons. It pisses me off at work. Grosses me out..
4. Also get grossed out when people pick their teeth or make weird noises after eating.
5. I choke too easily. On simple stuff like spit, water or air... Today at work, I scared everyone in a choking fit. So embarrassing..
6. I am a big fat chicken most the time, but get strangely brave when it involves trying to rescue or help animals (wild or tame) or children (again wild or tame {jk}) . Something kicks in and I just go for it.

If you want to play along and put your six things on your blog, please do so and leave me a comment so I can check it out.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Post Number 502!

Whoo Hoo!

I have posted my 500th post!
Happy Anniversary to me! I am so excited!
My first post was June 8th, 2007. Two and a half years ago.
I am so grateful Sheri talked me into starting this Blog. My Aunt Linda, and my Bestie Deb, also their words of encouragement. My family have been supportive and understanding, and even choose to read it.
Finally, I have this wonderful network of my Blog World friends. My loyal readers, those silent and those that choose to leave a comment. The ones that "get" me and the ones that don't.
I love reading others blogs as much as writing in my own. I feel so connected to these wonderful writers that have similarities with me.

For this posting I am writing on my new Laptop. It's sooooooo cool! Love it! (Thank you very much Sergio, Emily & Annie!) I also want to celebrate by creating a Blog2Book. A little gift to myself. I am proud of my Blog. How it has grown. And how I have as well.

Forever In Love

The other day as I rushed through a walk on a work break, I saw the sweetest sight.

A couple, well into their 70's. holding hands, laughing as they walked & talked downtown. I could see the love luminate around them. I wondered how long have they been in love?

That is what I hope for Sergio and I.

Years ago, while visiting my Grandparents, I witnessed true love. They were in the middle of a silly argument. I sat there across from them sipping on my coffee, waiting for them to decide who was correct. It was an argument about something unimportant, and Grandpa keep saying, "but Honey, you are wrong...", then in the middle of the argument, my Grandma, noticed something on his face, and tenderly wiped it off, and saying something about you got a little something on you, he asked, "Oh..did you get it?" they switched gears, talked about, what the heck that was and they completely forgot about the argument. They even kissed after she wiped his face.

I said, "that is so what I want for Sergio & I". They looked confused, I said you forgot about who was right or wrong and switched to caring for each other so quickly. Your love for each other is so sweet. I love you for always showing me it is okay to have little spats but to remember whats important.
We laughed and and discussed marriage, expectations and my Grandpa said how happy he was that Sergio & I found each other. He told me how proud he was of me. How grateful he was that I had a man that loved me so much, and he truly felt that I already had "it" with Sergio.

This was one of my final conversations before his death. It makes me so happy to have this memory.

To have a marriage that is give and take, 100% on both sides, and to truly be full of love is a Blessing that I hold very dear.

"Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be"... robert browning

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Just Look Like A Psycho Crazy Lady!

Today I had to get a new license.

I was suppose to get one back in August 2008 when we first moved from New Palestine. To be honest, I didn't know it was such a big deal. It wasn't expired. I happen to move and have a different address, that's all. Then I found out it's a big deal in Indiana. It is apparently an invalid license because the information on it is no longer valid. Hmmm. I still kept putting it off. Again & Again.
This morning I was not going to let anything stop me. I was gonna get that darn thing!

I got to the BMV at 11:00am. I stood in line for 45 minutes to get to the first window. Then had to wait another 45 minutes. then another 15. Which is fine. I knew it would be long, given it's Saturday.

The funny thing about it is this:
In Indiana, we are no longer allowed to smile on our License (Well, you can slightly, but no teeth!). Nothing on the head (scarfs, hats, hoods, sunglasses) Hair has to be out of the face too. It has to do with the new technology in face recognition.

I have been practicing my "SMEYES". You do know what that is, right? You do if you are a "America's Next Top Model". Tyra Banks has introduced the smile with your eyes. Very sexy & cool... When you are under forty!

What the Sam Hell? I look like a crazy lady. A real Psycho Killer! They also give you a paper license kindof a receipt instead of the real mc-coy and will mail me my license in about a week. (That is why it's a black & white mug shot).
Gosh! I miss the old old days when the license were on a piece of paper with no picture! (Okay, I am not that old but my folks had them!)
My neck looks real thick too. what's up with that?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Aaa-Haaah Moment

Tonight I had one of those "Aaa-Haaa" moments. You know, when suddenly something has become clear. Crystal clear.

It is a Betsy(my Therapist), evening. I was rambling on about a relationship that hurts me and I just don't understand. Someone, whom I have loved for 20, no, make that close to 30 years. We were close, had a period of time we drifted. Then brought back together. Close again, then, not.

I have always given my all. Always been there, lovingly and caring. Things happened along the way. I always give the benefit of doubt and have also turned the other cheek.

Each time I was crapped on, I assumed this person didn't do it on person. Why would they?

A few things that happened over the years were icing on the cake. I decided, to keep my distance (& watch my back). Because of circumstances, we will always be connected, through a third party. There is no getting around this. However, I have grown a little spine and have set safe boundaries. Why set myself up for cruelity? Some people are just mean.

Back to my moment... This meanie is making waves again. Tonight, I was asking Betsy, why, I can't accept this and move on? Why do I let it hurt me so much? Why do I care?

After hearing our history. She told me about "Karpman's Triangle".
OMGosh! Thank you for having a term for this! I get it now. This person needed me, then turned to resent me for not being as needy as them.

Anyway, I can accept it now. I won't try to rescue this person anymore (the only rescue I have done lately is defend them). I am perfectly okay with what I have done and how I have always treated them. They are not going to get to me and make me become the Perpetrator. Finally I can see it is okay if they want to blame me, make up stories to make me look bad to the third party, and beat me down. The third party, has made it very clear that they know what kind of person I am, I need not feel I need to prove anything.

How does that saying go we all learned in Kindergarten?...
"Sticks & Stones can break my bones, but names can never harm me!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Being a Temp has been an eye opening experience for me. It is difficult for a person like me that has to have "boundaries". I like knowing I am secure. Grant it no job is completely secure today. It use to be, at least in the job market I am in, unless you screwed up, you were safe. Come in, work, give the employer what is expected of you and you can keep coming back.
Today, because of the economy, sneaky political tactics, or supply & demand, jobs are so much more dispensable. I never thought I would "sign up" for a Temporary position.

I have been a Temp, or as my place of employment prefers to call us, "Contractor", for ten months now.

I have met some pretty amazing people and some pretty flaky people. We come from different backgrounds, we have different expectations. The majority, unlike myself, feel this is just a stepping stone. A job while they finish getting their MBA, or till something better comes along. I completely respect that. Most are young and have the world at their beckon call.

I, on the other hand, have been blessed with some wonderful careers. Have had some great accomplishments. And can happily call myself a Jack of all trades. Today, my expectations for a job are much different than when I was younger. Today, all I ask, is a safe environment, a decent pay with a consistent paycheck. And hours I can live with. Give me this for the next 10 years, and I can happily retire.

Temp friends I hope are anything but temporary friends. Already we have lost a few and sadly although promised, we do not stay in touch. Life goes on. New office friends, etc. Which is fine. I have met a few though, that I would be very disappointed to have lost touch with. (you know who you are!). I have lovingly been dubbed the "Office Mom". Not just because I am old enough to be Mom to several of them. But, because I care. I have a reputation of making sure everyone is okay, needs are meet, advice is given, and hugs are always available.
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to become friends with these co-workers. I know that I have learned through them, and appreciate that they have become a part of my life. To get along and know someone has your back.
Today, being a Temp isn't the same as it was twenty years ago. Temps back then typically worked temporary positions because they enjoyed working for a couple of weeks/months covering a maternity leave or vacationing regular employee. You "wanted" to work, now and then, and not be committed to a "regular" shift kind of job.
For me, I keep hoping my temp position will turn into a permanent one. Or lead me to one in this corporation.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Perfect Day for Pampering!

Yesterday we awoke to a normal dark chilly morning. Within 24 hours we were awaking to 6 inches of a bright blanket of snow. My intentions were to stay home, do laundry and clean the house. My sweet hubby changed my mind rather quickly. Instead he whisked me off to get a Spa Manicure/Pedicure and lunch in Broad Ripple at one of my favorite places.
Ahhh, what a beautiful day!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Collections of who I Am

I am a collector.
I like stuff.
I like things that bring a smile. I like things that reflect parts of me.
I remember my Great Grand Mother, had bright primary dishes when I was young. Many years later I "rediscovered" Fiestaware. It is my dinnerware choice. I can never have enough of the different colors. My table settings are festive and fun. I remember vaguely My Great Grandmother saying she like the variety of bright colors. (I gratefully have a few of her pieces, within my collection). I have China too, but my love goes to the Feistaware.
I love baskets. I am ashamed to say I have more than a few. But, I use every one! They each have a purpose! Especially the ones my cat loves to sleep in! (Rocky is in one now!)
You already know I collect photos... I can't ever seem to have enough of them. I like REAL photographs. Yes, I download and have many only in the computer. But, my true loves sit in albums, photo boxes, picture frames, and those useful Basket.
Books...Books are my friends! How could I not collect them? Yes, I borrow and give away, but some have to be kept. They are re-read, referenced to, loaned out, and a wonderful reminder of stories, facts, and memories.
I have alot of this and that. Fiction and Non.
A bunch of Children's Books in storage that are waiting to be brought back to life with Grandchildren (many years from now!)
You can find books on shelves, tables, counters, in cabinets, and yes, in baskets too. I like to display them along with "stuff".
I have a lot of stuff. Sergio sometimes call it clutter. BUT I see him sometimes looking at an ornament, an art object the girls had made once upon a time. I see him smile at this clutter stuff. And of course photos are tucked within the books & stuff too.
Strange, (nah...make that more interesting) stuff, are my collections like... stuff in jars and vases. I have jars with change, cups, & vases full of pens and colored pencils. I have an interesting jar full of the girls old toys and even ballet slippers. Funny.. I never could part with these items. Part of my desire to hang on to them I think is because I can. I remember when my sister Julie, and her family lost their home to a fire, it was the little things gone that hurt the most. Maybe, in turn, it made me appreciate them more. That and they are just so darn cute!
I have a cylinder vase with 27 beautiful stones. They each represent the young adults that went through my confirmation groups. Each young adult, chose a stone to represent themselves. I cherish these stones. They are a part of me & I hope that I am a part of these kids. Little reminders to pray for each one of these lovely young people. There is also a jar next to the cylinder, of old jewelry. The watch I got at high school graduation, ear rings from Deb's wedding, some of my Mom's & Grandma Kitty's "junk" jewelry, Disney jewelry that the girls wore, my ski pins, Realtor pins, gold chains, and charms. I could never turn the "good stuff" in to GOLD FOR CASH! I like it mixed together in this jar.
I could go on, but this has gotten quite long already. Recently I had a Partylite & Wine party. Several friends stopped by. One work friend, walked around looking at many of my displays and "stuff". she smiled and said, "Janis, I have learned so much about who you are looking around. I can tell God & family are very important to you. I like what I see. I am glad I have gotten to know you more." I said that's good right? She laughed and said, "Oh yeah, that is good!" Thank you M. that and you, made me feel very special.

It's Back!

I thought this was over. Sergio thought it was over.

We started to have warmer days that walks in the neighborhood were delightful.

Look's look we jumped the gun.
Mother Nature wasn't done!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Last Indiana Ice In January

No words on this post. Just three pictures.
Pretty isn't it?

hello little spider

"One lonely spider sipped her tea while gazing at the sky..."
David Kirk, "Miss Spider's Tea Party". This is one of my Annie's favorite childhood books. I read it over and over. Then she read it over and over when she learned to read.

This is "Webster". Annie got him on her 2nd Christmas (she was 14 months old). She pulled him around, his bow tie & antennas wiggled, his legs wobbled. Annie would laugh and laugh. She liked to chase her big sis with it. (Emily didn't like "bug" toys.)
The funny thing is she can't stand spiders now. I always thought she would grow up like her Momma, rescuing them. Capturing the one's that got into the house and releasing them outside. Somewhere down the road, something changed and she, well, she is very frightened by them. (I probably scared her with the toy spiders).
And here we have the spider living in my bathroom. Surprisingly, we have not found many spiders in this house. (The house was empty for over a year, so it is very unusual not to have them). I found this little transparent guy in the laundry room last week. Then he disappeared for a couple of days. Yesterday, he reappeared in my bathroom. That is a pretty long haul for a little spider. As I tried to get his picture, he kindof freaked out. (Camera shy?) I chased him around (VERY FAST LITTLE GUY!) snapping pictures. I finally got this one (please ignore the dirty rug...ugh!). I haven't captured and released because it is too cold outside. I don't think he bites... Gosh I hope not! So until I find a reason to send him on his way, I hope he stays out of Sergio, the dogs & the cats way. They don't share the same love of eight legged creatures that I do!

deep breaths

I am starting to get anxious...
My plate is not overflowing, but I have learned to pick up on my symptoms. My right wrist starts shaking, I sit with crossed legs bouncing them, I get that worried scowl across my forehead...

Certain things do trigger it.

I know that one of the things is the uncertainty of my Temp job. Everyone acts like it is all good... No plans to send any of us away, however, the other building (same corporation) just gave their Temps the 30 day notice and now they are gone.
I did apply to a permanent position yesterday, but so did tons of others, surely many of those Temps that just got sent Bye~Bye. BUT, I have to be optimistic and I am so glad I threw my hat into the ring.

Sergio sold his Snow plow last week. It was bitter sweet. It was not as profitable as we had hoped. Given the years he has had them, we have had record low snow falls.
We knew as soon as we did, a big snow would come. We are expecting 4-8 inches staring tomorrow morning.

One of the Girls is stressing through a situation or two at school. Decisions, decisions. She will get through it, making the right choices I am sure. But she is hard on herself, and overwhelmed. I sat listening to her call the other night, trying to get her to calm down. It was difficult to understand through the tears. She will be fine, she will become stronger through her trials. BUT, I still just wanted to jump in a car and hurry up there to hug her and make everything all right.

Frustrations over another loved one that insist on making things difficult for others. Their need to go on and on with theory and actualizations. Trying to force their opinion onto others and hurt "loved ones" along the way. Speaking of others ill-advised.
"Shit-stirrer". That's what the Hubby says. I am so upset about this person upsetting others, (me included). It is making me sick...

...and that is just part of my anxieties lately.

Worry worry worry...

Why do I do it?

I know better. I know it will not help. It will not change the situations.

It is times like this that the walls feel like they are starting to close in on me. I have to take a little pill that makes me relax and remember to breath again.

I will be fine. I will be strong.