Sunday, November 24, 2013

Grateful, Thankful and Blessed

It is amazing what a little good news can do for a person both physically and mentally. Yes...I had my three month CT and the news was good. My lung spots have done nothing so they are stable and they will follow up with another CT in 6 months just to make sure they stay that way. In other words....these spots could be a lot of different things but not likely cancer. The relief I felt on hearing those words was almost immeasurable.The gratefulness for my health was completely off the charts. No amount of money could have given me what that simple CT report did!

Being grateful and knowing that you are blessed in what you have no matter how much or how little that maybe is something very special....especially in the world we live in today. I have come to learn that it is all about perspective. So many people have more than I do and at times it is nice to dream and imagine what life would be like with certain things, but I am not resentful or angry that others have those things and I don't. On the other hand...I have so much more than many do. There are those out there who would be so grateful just to have the basics such as heat in the winter and air in the summer, a comfortable bed, food and very simply.....a place to call home. I have all those things and I know that I am blessed.

I am learning that being satisfied in the here and now and feeling grateful for what you have is an amazing blessings in a persons life. It is emotionally exhausting to constantly want more, desire more and to be jealous of and over things. There is nothing wrong with working hard and working towards goals even if some of those goals are better things.....but in the big scheme of life, there are times when you have to stop wanting and just be grateful for what you have.

Part of the problem with the world today is the fact that many never stop wanting and feel that somehow they deserve anything they want whether they work for it or not. I think many reality tv shows perpetuate this type of thinking especially where our kids are concerned. And quite frankly....the government doesn't help with its giveaways, freebies and handouts to those who could work but don't. But I digress as this is not a political anyway!

There are many who have true needs and there are many whose needs are met, but then their wants mentally become needs and then......both entitlement and anger take over causing them to be dissatisfied with everything. is usually those with the least, with the greatest real needs who are satisfied and grateful for what they have. Funny how that works. Again....perspective.

Today and everyday I am grateful. I am grateful for the basics.......and the extra's from time to time. Most of all though, I am grateful for the things that no amount of money can buy: family, friends, health, peace and those of you who follow along and read my blogs. I guess you can say that I am grateful, thankful and very blessed!

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Day the World Stood Still

I was barely one, when President John F. Kennedy was shot. He was my first president and he was gone before I knew him.

Mom said the moment the shooting was on the news....the world stood still. Not just for her but literally for the world. Work stopped, school stopped and people were glued to their tv's and radios waiting and listening. Catholics around the world hit their knees as this was their president. The first of his kind and although his presidency was still in its infancy and he had already been pushed.....there were great hopes that he was the president that they needed to guide them through the 1960's. No one could believe that in just a few short seconds.....Camelot might have crumbled right before everyones eyes.

As Mom awaited the news of whether this young president, the one that she had jumped parties to vote for would be alright, she paced the floor saying one rosary after another. She looked at me through tear filled eyes and wondered who could do such a thing as to shoot a president? And if there was someone out there that could do this.....what did this mean for her country? What did this mean for my future?

When the announcement was finally made that President John F. Kennedy had in fact died from his wounds....Mom grabbed me and held me with all her might as she shed the tears of the brokenhearted. She was not alone. School children wept and teachers wept. People in offices, factories and even cars all along the highway had all frozen in time waiting to hear the news and when they did, they all cried at the passing of this man. On this day, as on other days in our didn't matter whether you were Republican or Democrat.....all that mattered was that you were an American and as Americans everyone was suffering from the terrible blow that had been dealt. The president had been assassinated and Camelot was gone. 

I heard this story over and over growing up. It was a dark moment in Moms life and the lives of all Americans in 1963. It was a reminder then as now.....all these 50 years later.......that even the greatest nation in the world through evil men.......can be brought to its knees in seconds.

John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am a Weather Whiner

Today I heard.....that our fall which had turned to Indian Summer or at least Indian Spring was about to fizzle away and by weeks end we could be ankle deep in the white stuff! To that I say: "Noooooooooooooooooooo!"

I am what you might call a weather whiner! Seldom am I happy with weather conditions unless it is early fall or mid spring....minus the wind. This happens to be a real problem since I live in Kansas and in Kansas we get just about every kind of weather there is....... except for hurricanes and most of it is accompanied by gale force winds. Sometimes we can even get snow and tornadoes in the same week! Lucky us.

One year we were blessed enough to be in Florida at the first of December. It was beautiful with daytime highs in the 70's and 80's and at night it got down into the 50's. I knew then and there I lived in the wrong state. Moderate temps pretty much year round....whats not to love? Yeah I know....they have their own weather issues but they seldom get snow (if ever) and they don't have a lot of cold weather. Now THATS what I'm talking about!

Snow. I really hate snow! It's only redeeming quality is the fact that "snow days" usually accompany it around here. Other than just makes me crazy. People seem to become total lunatics when we get snow. First they hear the word snow and everyone rushes to the grocery store. They stock up on water, canned goods and toilet paper as if they were preparing for the Apocalypse. Seldom have we had a snow that debilitating.....but they clean the stores out anyway. Then everyone in the state seems to forget how to drive. The first flake hits the ground and people slow down to 20. Then....when the roads are good and slick....they decide to speed up and slide through stop signs, intersections and into other people. I find it much safer to stay at home and avoid the roads which have become nothing but one big demolition derby. Then because there are so many accidents that the police are overwhelmed they implement the Accident Reporting crap, where if you have an accident you exchange insurance information and then report it later. You think that hasn't caused a few fights? It is sheer madness!

So yes, they claim the white stuff is on its way along with an arctic blasts that will keep temps in the 30's and 40's during the day and drop us into the teens and 20's at night. Sounds like a hoot! Yes, I know that winter was bound to happen, I was just hoping that it would wait until February and be over by March. You can't blame a girl for wishing!

Truth be told, I do actually enjoy the first snow of the winter....especially if it is one of those with the big huge soft flakes that gently fall and cover the ground in white. But then,  I am done...finished and over it! I hate the high winds, the sub arctic temps and the solid sheets of ice caused by sleet that regularly come with our snow.

In a perfect world such as would stay in the 60's and 70's until about the week before Christmas, snow Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and jump right into spring for New Years. But alas....not all worlds are as perfect as Lisaland....and apparently we will be seeing snow by weeks end. Bah Humbug!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

AARP, Cher and 50 is the New 30

Today I heard.....that by some standards, I am considered a senior citizen. Dang that was hard to type and even harder to get my mind around! I really don't know why this surprises me as AARP has been courting me since I was 49. Still me it was a WOW moment to realize that once I hit the 50 (and this year it was 50+1) mark, that suddenly I was ushered into a new world of senior discounts and retirement preparation. The media keeps telling us that 40 is the new 30, but who knew that 50 was the new 70?

I am fully aware that age is mostly in your head and that with a good plastic surgeon and a personal trainer, one might be in their 70's and still look like they are in their 30's or 40's. Case in point....Cher! Granted she is only 67 but darned if she isn't a well preserved 67! I watched her on Dancing with the Stars recently and was literally amazed. Now I am sure the woman probably has no original parts left but she still moves like a woman decades younger.....and in heels mind you......and her voice is still just as amazing as ever. I was in awe and jealous, both at the same time. Heck I look closer to 67 than she does! That's just not right!

So what do you do when you seem to be hanging somewhere between adult and senior citizen? At one store I am still viewed as a vital youngish woman.....therefore I pay full price. Thank you for the compliment.....I think! However.....I can go to certain restaurants at 4 p.m. and get a senior discount for my early bird dinner and possibly an escort to my table so I don't fall and break a hip on the way. Did I mention that this is just not right?

Admittedly there are days when both my mind and my body feel as if I should be sitting in a rocker with my trusty cane next to me. However, most days I still feel about 30ish and on a good day.....I might even dip down into my 20's. It is only when I look closely in the mirror and see those fine lines around my eyes and the random gray hairs that have started to come in not in strands but in clumps that I realize that time moves on and is taking my youth with it. Crap!

I guess the key to this new newfangled aging process is to rock how I feel and not worry about what the calendar, the media or AARP try to tell me. It's my life, my rules and I say.... 50 is the new 30 and you just stick around and watch me prove it!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thank You

Today is the day that we honor those who have served and fought for this country since it began. I find it sad that only one day a year is put aside to honor these brave men and women, because of all jobs that one can have in this country....this is the most important. In my opinion serving in the military trumps all other careers including actors (thank you very much Mr. Cruise) and even the presidency. In fact I will even go out on a limb and say that serving ones country is what has definitely made some presidents......greater than others.

To serve your country you  must be willing to say good-bye to all those you love and care about...not knowing if this will truly be your last good-bye. You must be willing to be brought down and trounced on both physically and emotionally so that you can be built up to be soldier strong. You must be prepared to: sleep on a cot, a mat or in the dirt and mud; to eat rations, bugs and sometimes nothing; to be so hot that it feels as if your skin is melting off and so cold that you are verging on frost bite. You have to be willing to be tired, hungry and dirty and still be be alert enough to do your job....and that job can mean the difference between life and death for you and others.  You have to be willing to save your fellow soldier and put your life on the line at a moments notice knowing that you are doing it not just for yourself, your family and your friends......but for complete strangers so that they may continue to live in the land of the free. Oh and did I mention that they must be willing to do all of this on a service man's pay (which looks nothing like an actors or a presidents)?

Our veterans have done this and more and not always come home to a hero's welcome. Often they have been viewed as second class citizens and at times even had their healthcare and benefits threatened by the very government they put their lives on the line for. To be a soldier and fight for this country requires a special kind of person who loves this country and what it stands for and who is willing to stand up not only to defend their rights but the rights of all Americans. So why do we only honor them one day a year? Without them.....we would have nothing!

So today and every day this year I give anyone who reads this a challenge. When you are in the presence of a veteran......shake their hand, look them in the eye and thank them. Visit a military cemetery and remember that each stone marks the grave of a man or woman who willingly gave their life so that you could live yours in freedom. Teach your kids to both honor and respect these individuals and never let them forget that freedom is not free and without the bravery of these soldiers our country would be a very different place.

To my husband, mother, father, aunts, uncles, nephew, cousins and many friends who have served their country, bled for their country and even died for their country......I say thank you from the bottom of my heart......and that doesn't even begin to cover just how grateful I am.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Let's Just Use Amazing and Call it Good!

I am an angry American which is causing me to be an angry human being or maybe vice versa. At least this is what I have been told by several people of late. Yes, there are days when I feel as if my joy has been sucked away by things I cannot control and I am fighting very hard to control what is left. Trust me....trying to control all in your hemisphere does not make you happy. It is exhausting! So I decided to take an inventory of my anger issues and lucky get to go along for the ride! So lets start at the top!

I am very angry about what is going on in our country today. I am angry that we have a president who tells bold face lies and who is taking us swiftly down a path to a country that our forefathers fought to keep us free from. (You had to know that would be in there somewhere!) I am angry that we have  congressman and senators who couldn't or wouldn't agree that it was raining even if they were standing in it, getting wet! I am angry that many of my fellow Americans are okay with all of this and still support our leader of lies and I am even more angry at those who either don't listen to or don't care what is going on in this country. Their lack of regard will have a resounding affect on this country for generations to come.

In all fairness though.....the state of our country is not the extent of my anger issues. I am angry that prices are rising and my income isn't. I am angry that bullying still goes on in schools while teachers and staff look away either too afraid themselves or too disassociated to do anything. I am angry that people twist and manipulate God's words to justify their own agenda. I am angry that sometimes family members are the ones that wield the biggest knives when stabbing you in the back, and I am angry that people choose to rewrite history making themselves blameless of any wrong doing and the victim as well. You can imagine how well I come out looking in these history revisions!

I am angry that cancer has not been eradicated and that children are a target of this disease. I am angry that street drugs are cheaper and easier to obtain than an Rx for heart medication and I am angry that we are told to medicate our emotions rather than to feel them. Perhaps the method in that madness is to avoid having to read blogs like this where someone feels.....ALOT!

I am angry that life isn't always good, fair and easy. I am angry that money is tight and expenses grow. I am angry that my kid had to choose between a class ring and food on the table. I am angry that after one surgery my son has to have another and that he is still not walking. I am angry that I am alone. Most of all though....I am angry at ME! I am angry that I allowed myself to fall prey to the joy snatchers of the world and that I allowed myself to become so angry. 

The truth is....we all have a little a lot of anger inside us. Most of us hide it pretty well and often what we are angry about one minute doesn't necessarily mean we will still be angry about it in an hour. Our anger changes with our life condition and our environment. Negative people can bring out our inner anger just as happy people can bring out our inner joy. We choose our anger battles because if we didn't.....we would explode. Sometimes we do anyway if we shove our feelings down too far with the expectation that they will stay down. Eventually they will be triggered and when they are, look out! That is never a pretty explosion. Sometimes though, a good inventory of what makes us angry and why..... is necessary to get perspective on our anger issues. Honestly, some things we simply can't change and if that is the case then we have the choice to remain angry indefinitely or change how we deal with it. Our government makes me angry. I can't change them but I can give myself a time-out away from news and even fb from time to time. inventory....sometimes when we see our anger issues in black and white, we find that in reality the issue is not nearly as great as we originally perceived it be.

Anger doesn't rule me. I don't have time for it to and all those things I inventoried....they vary. However, I like many do use fb to spout off and I am sure that I do sound like a raging angry woman a lot of times. The fact is that most of my friends on fb know me and know that I am just spouting off (most of the time anyway), but those friends who know me only through fb may be getting a whole different perception of who I am.

The origins of this blog today came from a post I saw on fb yesterday. It was a condescending (in my opinion) little meme about people who complain and are angry all year around and yet the 1st of November they start being grateful daily on fb. In my hodge podge of a brain it got me to thinking that daily life year round can be messy, painful and difficult to get through. Each of us holds anger, negativity and pain inside us and you give us a public forum and yes.....we will spew at times. However those emotions are not just who we are. They are not just who I am. Therefore I ask, why bash those of us who do take these days in November to stop and think that mixed in with the messiness, we have some amazing people, places and things to be grateful for. For some....this month of gratefulness kind of balances the scale with the anger for the other 11 months....and that is a good thing....right? is part of our human make up. Some handle it better than others and some refuse to acknowledge or handle it until it explodes. It only defines us if we allow it to and when we take inventory of it and then add in the good, the wonderful and the amazing....for the most part it all evens out. Yes, I can be angry...but I can also be happy, funny, on occasions smart, ditzy, crazy and your worst nightmare if you mess with my kids. So to those who called me angry.....if you are looking for a word to define me, lets just use amazing and call it good!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Pass Along

Today I heard....that another child and her family became a part of the Frequent Hospital Flyer group. It made me realize that new parents to this life might be interested in a little info. That is why today I am asking my readers to head over to my blog Life With the Incredible Mr. David and read Frequent Hospital Flyers! Please pass it along if you know some Frequent Hospital Flyers!

See you tomorrow!

Monday, November 4, 2013

I am Ambivalent!

Well today I am sort of caught in the middle. This is a love/hate topic for me. Daylight Savings Time! There is both good and bad in my mind about the whole thing. The truth is is just a government mandated ploy to make us feel that for at least 6 months of the year we are somehow getting more out of  24 hours than we are the rest of the year. It is a  head game and nothing more. That being said.....I do sort of like the idea that in the fall I am getting an extra hour to sleep. I am really not, but I am good with the mental perception that I am. Of course this only lasts about a week into the time change and then once my body has adjusted, I am back to feeling somehow cheated of sleep when my alarm goes off. So there you have it....that is what I like about the fall time change.

What I hate about the fall time change is the way we are plunged into darkness at 5 p.m. for the next 5-6 months. It is already getting cold and dreary, must we have extra hours of darkness too? It feels as if our days are cut short and for those who have extra long work hours, they often find themselves both coming and going in darkness. It sucks.

In the spring somehow the time change is a bit more palatable. Yes we are mentally tortured into believing that we are losing a precious hour of sleep, but again, like in the fall....after our bodies adjust it is hardly any different than our usual lack of sleep. The hour loss of sleep though is evened out with daylight until almost 10 p.m. and there is warmth and sunshine included. The trade is usually met with a better response because the trade off of less sleep for more daylight is welcomed.

Okay....I do love a point. I love having to pull on the light jacket or sweater, the turning leaves, the rainy days and that one week of perceived extra sleep. However, once the wind starts howling from the north, the trees are bare and we are plunged into darkness for at least 12 hours a day.....I am no longer a fan. So there you have it folks. As far as Daylight Savings Time goes......I am ambivalent!