#5Things – Five things I missed during Lockdown – Updated with pictures

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Dr Tanya over at Salted Caramel has a 5 things Challenge. This is an easy one for me to respond to.

 

 

Five Things I Missed During Lockdown

1) I missed seeing and hugging my family. 

2) I missed going to the garden shop to get more flowers for my garden. 

3) I missed having lunch with dear friends. 

4) I missed going to thrift stores for books and bowling ball decorations. 

The directions for decorating the bowling balls is on this blog post of mine.

https://wordpress.com/post/lssattitudeofgratitude.wordpress.com/1276

My garden:

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5) I miss not feeling safe if/when I have to leave my house.

One Liner Wednesday – Teachers

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Written for Linda’s One Liner Wednesday prompt.

 

“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” –Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

 

 

 

No photo description available.

 

My heart goes out to all the parents and teachers in the current crazy world. I am grateful I retired last year. 

My Pandemic Birthday

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Birthdays have always been a challenge to me for a variety of reasons. As a child we were often in dire financial situations. My mom was raising us alone (most of the time) and often worked two or three jobs. Winter holiday gifts were winter clothes and my birthday gifts were summer clothes. I understood the circumstances and most of the time I was grateful for whatever I got. Of course, most of my friends were in better situations than my family so, I sometimes envied them. I remember the joy at receiving a book in the mail from my aunt in New York. Books were a luxury we couldn’t afford. The highlight of my birthday was getting to choose the dinner of my choice. Being the oddball that I was I often wanted liver or artichokes for my special meal.

I had graduated early from high school and started junior college. Within months I got married. I married as a means of escaping my homelife. (I realized that later, not at the time.)  My, then spouse and I were living in poverty for quite a while. I tried to make the best of the situation. I made my children’s toys and clothes. I attempted to spoil them with the one thing I had, my love. My birthday was still not important to most anyone. I just assumed that was how it was always going to be. It didn’t make me stop wanting to celebrate others as best I could. I enjoyed making cards and gifts for my family.

As my daughter’s grew, they would lovingly make and get me the sweetest gifts. Those birthdays meant the world to me. The care and thought they gave to finding something that would make me happy was wonderful. As teens, they surprised me with a booking to get our pictures taken together at JC Penny’s or Sears. (I don’t remember which.) They hadn’t been willing to do pictures for quite a while, so I was overjoyed. It wasn’t “cool” to have your picture taken with your mom. One of those shots was on a prior blog.

As my girls grew up and moved away birthdays were still so important to me. Just as life experiences change so did the time, they had to spend with me. I did my best to see them for their birthdays when they lived close enough. They were busy, and we would often have to visit on a weekend. I was very grateful for any time we were able to see each other. It did mean that my actual birthday was often spent alone. Being alone made for some melancholy days. I began to expect to feel my birthday was just another day. I looked back at their childhood years with wistful memories of cards they made with love and affection. Boy, the years went by so fast.

As an adult most of my birthdays have felt like just another day of the year. I didn’t exactly feel sad. It was often more of a “What is missing here?” When I can spend my birthday with my grandkids my heart is happy. Being a grandparent is such a precious joy. The two oldest are teens now and I wonder how long they will still have time for their Nana.  

I woke up today half expecting to be sad because of the isolation factor. Instead, I had thoughts of my mom. We had a good relationship in her later years. This morning I kept thinking of how difficult her life was and how she did the best she could raising us, with what she knew. I am grateful she gave me life and taught me so much. I believe my strength and determination are traits she instilled in me. I made a conscious decision to enjoy the day, no matter how different it may look. I thought about how proud she was of all I had accomplished. I found her brownie pan and I made dark chocolate brownies with melted junior mints and chocolate chips as the frosting. It was a special treat for both of us.

This was an extra special day for me. I felt like a life altering change happened. I was joyful and I did not feel alone. I was grateful for what I have instead of what I don’t have. I accept and realize that I am loved, and I love so many wonderful people. To my sheer delight I received birthday messages all day. I feel like I sent out the message to the universe that I was OK with or without people today. Instead of feeling isolated I was gifted with more texts, calls, and Facebook messages than I have ever had on my birthday. I heard from people who have never contacted me for my birthday.

Why this year? Is everyone feeling the need to reach out to others right now?

The first lesson for me today is to reach out when I am thinking of people for whatever reason. A message just might be what they need at the time. The second thing I learned is that even if people don’t reach out to me, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t holding me in their heart. Today was a safe, peaceful, special birthday. Hopefully next year I will be giving hugs away on my birthday.

#5 Things – May 12

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Dr. Tanya at Salted Carmel has come up with another weekly feature. She asks us to make a list of 5 things that make you smile.

I am tweaking it just a bit. I am going to make my list of things that make me happy during this shelter in place. My typical joys are not always available right now.

 

My Answers: 

1. Calls from friends and family make me smile and bring joy to my heart. I feel isolated when I haven’t heard from anyone in a while.

2. Playing fetch with my dog every morning makes me happy. Annie is a funny girl and she makes every day better.

3. Reading and writing blogs makes me smile. I feel connected to the world when I can read blogs any time of the day or night. There is typically something new all the time.

4. Baking makes me happy as it fills my home with wonderful smells. When I have the energy and cravings, I make some yummy desserts. I am practicing self-control by not eating everything at once.

5. Grounding AKA Earthing makes me smile. When I spend time outside barefoot for extended periods of time my energy moves better, and I am a happier person.

 

 

Random Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Yesterday’s writing was so easy and fluid. The SoCS directions are to write using a stream of consciousness. It was easy because I didn’t have to give a lot of thought to what I wanted to say. So today I had a strange day already and random thoughts popped in my mind. I decided I wanted to go with the flow and comment on what today has been like.

1. For some unknown reason I woke at 4:45 AM and could not get back to sleep. The Melatonin has made this habit disappear recently and I was not too happy that it returned. I figured I should just go with the flow and not fight it. I thought of my mom first thing this morning, and though I am sad for missing her, I am glad for the memories I hold dear.

2. (Enter Facebook) I have friends and family in different time zones, and I was gleefully met with Mother’s Day greetings early this morning. This made me smile and brought joy to my heart. I happily responded to all the sweet greetings and returned the sentiment. I tend to think I am an island until caring people reach out and I realize how many people I love. Of course, Facebook posted a reminder picture of the last Mother’s Day I had with my mom. It was a sweet visit and I was thrilled to have spent the weekend with her. I debated reposting the picture. I did so because it felt like such a joyous visit. I had no idea it would be our last Mother’s Day. 

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3. The dog was going crazy out back early this morning, so I went to see what was bugging her. I finally saw a creature stuck in the jacaranda tree. I was leery because we get all sorts of critters in our yard. I cautiously walked up the steps to the balcony and discovered a cat stuck in the tree branches. She/he seemed to not be able to move. I put Annie in the house and locked her in the upstairs bedroom. She could see me in the window and was anything but pleased. I slowly walked over to where the cat was stuck and calmly told her/him it would be OK and that I would help him/her get out. The neighbor’s dogs were going crazy which made my neighbor come outside to see what was going on. My spouse donned a bathrobe and I called for him to come see the cat and asked for assistance. The cat was just out of reach. My spouse went into the garage and got a large pillow to try and allow the cat to move from the tree. He/she seemed either stuck or too scared to move. As my spouse held the pillow near the cat, I gently broke off some smaller branches that the cat’s leg seemed to be trapped between. After removing a few branches, the cat moved its hind leg. I continued to talk to the cat softy and told him/her that she/he was safe to move. A few minutes later the cat stretched both legs and moved from his/her spot. Then he/she cautiously climbed down the tree and ran off. I told her softly to not return for her own safety. I went down the stairs to make sure he/she wasn’t still in the back yard before letting Annie back out. I felt such joy and happiness for the cat being OK. It was obviously why I was awake so early this morning.

4. Yesterday, while I was on the phone talking to my cousin, I saw a long train of vehicles at the high school. From my backyard I can clearly see the parking lot. I told her I thought they were doing graduation in their cars. Today on the district Facebook sight they explained what was happening. Each student, practicing social distancing, could pick up their cap and gown. Then, professional photographers took their photo and they were asked to make a statement. These will be joined for a virtual graduation at the end of the month. I am so proud of my school district for doing what they can for the graduating seniors. Most of the seniors took it upon themselves to take pictures with friends around campus.  Another feel good moment for me. https://www.facebook.com/wvusd/videos/681141422719177/

5. Annie and I had a great time playing outside. It was 72 degrees with a wonderful breeze. She tired herself out so much that she jumped on the swing and wanted to rest instead of wrestle. I am so grateful for having her in my life.

6. I felt like something sweet for my solitary Mother’s Day brunch today. I am a known chocoholic. My spouse purchased the pop and cook cinnamon rolls last week, so I had a starter. I popped the container and tried to add dark chocolate morsels to the precut spirals. It was a classic disaster and I ended up with lumps. It didn’t matter and I laughed at my attempt to upcycle the rolls. Luckily, I only “altered” half of them. After removing the rolls from the toaster oven, I added more chocolate to the four lumps, along with the icing. Now, the normal me would have eaten the four chocolate mounds of cinnamon deliciousness right away.  But, instead, I ate my brunch first and only had room for one. I was delighted with my restraint and the yummy warm lumps.

7. My cousin and I had another marathon call. It is not our norm to talk two days in a row. We both had things to share and she is such an important member of my tribe. There is nothing I cannot talk to her about. She is a furbaby mom and a long-time mother to her inner child. Her spiritual enlightenment is such a gift. I learn something from her every time we speak. It was fun to laugh out loud and joyful to share part of my day with her.

8. While I was listening to Melissa Ethridge’s home concert I decided to make some chocolate cake. I told myself I deserve to pamper myself today. I started getting the ingredients together and I realized I needed to get more butter from the freezer. Low and behold there were many individual brownies packaged and ready to be consumed. No need to make anything else. Portion controlled packages were waiting for me. Chocolate brownies are good for my soul.

9. ME’s wonderful concert reminded me to “dance” to the music. I spent over twenty years in agonizing foot pain before discovering acupuncture. My feet are currently at a 2 or 3 on the pain scale. I was listening to a SARK call the other night and a woman was explaining dance movement as a means of therapeutic release of stress. I have two left feet and was actually asked politely to stop coming to dance classes years ago. (I know I shall never be a dancer in the true sense of the word.) I am now trying to accept dancing, AKA just moving my body about, as a release of stress. I hesitated after one song, then told myself, no one is watching, do it for your own joy. Another win for me today.

10. While still in the kitchen I happily finished the dishes and baked some garlic for the delicious soft garlic I love to use in food. Dishes don’t usually bring me joy, but today they did. I did not feel it was a “should,” just something I felt like doing. My “should” for the day was to bring things in from quarantine in the garage. Some meds had to enter the house because they were needed. Some vegetables had to be washed and put away.

So today I talked with a loved one, I sent love to many, I received love from many, I did my “should,” I played with my dog, I rescued a cat, and I had some chocolate. I count that as a good day, even if it was in isolation.