Thank you

This is a thank you to my husband for being so generous with his time, his money, and his kindness toward me.  Recently, my sister lost her husband – today  marks 1 month.  I visited her immediately after it happened and was able to attend his memorial but had to leave only 5 short days after.

She has 3 young kids and was devastated.  Watching her go through this terrible time long distance became too much for me to bare so I asked my husband (and work) if I could go back and offer my continued support to which he (and work) said yes.

I flew in last Monday and am able to stay for a week and 1/2 thanks to both their kindness and understanding.

Truthfully, I didn’t think work would understand and would just tell me, “no” but to my shock and awe they were nothing but supportive.  Especially my new’ish manager who said encouraging and thoughtful words to me which warmed my heart.  It never hurts to “ask” and look what happened to me.  I was amazed at her kindness and support during this extended difficult time.  I am so grateful that she listened to me and actually cared enough to let me go and spend the much needed time with my sister and her boys.

So, here I am back in New Jersey – I may not be able to help her reconstruct her kitchen (which was being made new for her late husband) but I can be an ear to lend and a strong shoulder to lean on.  I cannot deconstruct cabinets or haul off heavy appliances but I can certainly entertain her kids and take her dogs for walks.  I can listen to her try to make sense of a senseless tragedy and offer her hugs and kisses and “I love yous”.  I can sit and listen to her sort the fragments in her mind and gladly so- hoping to ease her burden in some small way.

There are hundreds of calls to make and hundreds of errands to be run- I am happily her co-pilot so she can vent her feelings and not be alone during this lonely time.  I can remind her of what’s important, who is important, and how to stay in her own lane and focus on herself and her three boys.  Nothing else matters at this point.  I can remind her how fragile life is and that she needs to take care of herself, because if mama is not ok, nobody is ok.

I can hold her hand and reassure her that she is not alone.  And even though we have to live so far apart normally – that I’ll always make her a priority and be there for her whenever I possibly can.

So, thank you again to my amazing husband for making this all possible, for me to spend time with my sister when I cannot afford to be off work and thank you to my manager – for having the biggest, kindest, most thoughtful heart and letting me be with her.

I appreciate all that you’ve done for me and love you Scott.

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Love

Love, such a complicated thing – or is it?  Life is short and there are no guarantees.  I say tell the people that you love just how much you love them with all your heart.  Hug them, kiss them, and make sure they know.

hugs

Recently have lost 3 people that I love.  One very recently, hasn’t even been a month and still reeling from its affects.  Watching how it’s hurt those around me is painful.  Watching and knowing all I can do is be a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on to try to make sense of something that makes absolutely no sense at all.

Don’t wait until tomorrow to let those around you know just what they mean to you.  Don’t wait to let someone close to you know what your last wishes are (a will, a WILL people).  Don’t take kind people for granted or think that “you’ll know” when your time is up because nobody really knows.  “That doesn’t happen to me” – that’s what many think until they are touched by the unimaginable.  It does happen.  Happens every minute.

Love.  Just love.  Hold your family tight and your friends even tighter.  Thank them for being them, for adding positivity to your life and lifting you up on a daily basis.  Because in the wink of an eye someone can disappear from your life – and until you meet again in Heaven, they are *poof!* gone.

Love.

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Taking It All In

I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older that we are all so different in so many ways.  Sometimes it’s irritating because people just do not react with an open heart the way I do and I find that hard to swallow, for example; I’d give you the shirt off my back or be there when someone is down but the same cannot be said for someone else at times.  This use to frustrate me to  no end.

heart

They say don’t expect anything from anyone and you’ll never be disappointed so I had adopted this philosophy and it has served me well over the years.  I notice when someone does step up to the plate, I count it as a bonus and a blessing, but certainly was never expecting it.  It’s the icing on the cake of life.

I think basically it’s all about boundaries.  Recently something rather large and unwanted has occurred in our family and the different responses from each family member are astounding to say the least.  It ranges from highly caring all the way to complete indifference but I noticed this time, instead of getting my panties in a twist, I just sat back and observed everyone and everything, absorbing it all and taking it in.

You know why I have not opened my mouth, but rather kept to myself?  Because it’s none of my business how someone else reacts to an event or happening.  It’s all about boundaries.  If I want people to respect mine, I’ve got to respect theirs and although I’m truly disheartened and disappointed, that’s my baggage to carry around for now.

I’ve seen people say the worst of things at a bad time or the most inappropriate behavior, but I think that happens all the time.  It’s all in how we deal with a tragedy.  Some people just escape into their own head and it becomes all about them.  Others weep openly and are there to pass out much needed love and hugs.  Others are cleaning up a storm and preparing meals for the family, some are saying ridiculous unimaginable things, and others are there for moral support.

I’ve finally learned to sit back and take it all in.  Watching the good, the bad, and the ugly and not even sitting in judgement – just watching how everyone is so different and how each of us handles ourselves so differently.

I’m glad and grateful to be good at matters of the heart.  All the degrees in the world cannot teach you that and for this I am grateful.  I just want to be the best version of myself I can be.  Always evolving and growing, opening up more and more, and continuing forward on to bigger and better things in this life.  And, if all I’m good at is matters of the heart, than I’m okay with that.

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KC ZOO

Friday I was fortunate enough to tag along to the zoo with my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter.  We had kinda chilly windy weather, a bit overcast- yet, we still enjoyed looking around and absorbing all the wonderful animals in their habitats.

We enjoyed seeing a variety of snakes, a polar bear, chimpanzee’s, a sleepy tiger, a variety of monkeys, camels, sheep, kangaroos (one of which came up to us on the path and was standing 3 ft. from us; scared the living daylights out of my family and I), birds of all shapes and varieties, goats, toads, frogs, turtles, penguins (so cute, and at feeding time), jellyfish, elephants, and much more.

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Writing Challenge – Weird Quirks

Day 31 – Weird Quirks I have.

There are too many to list, LOL!

I always have to have a drink in hand, calm down folks- I’m not talking alcoholic beverages.  I always have to have a Propel, water, soda, or coffee in hand.  I am constantly drinking.

I have OCD so I have to leave the same time every night for work (9pm) and I have to stop at McDonalds to get an iced tea to drink.  I wake up at 8pm sharp to get ready for my shift start time of 10p.

I arrive to work 1/2 hour before my shift starts.  It’s a bit ridiculous I know, but it makes me feel “in control”.  It gives me plenty of time to get my desk set up and everything arranged “just so”.

I’m a huge procrastinator.  Leaving even the most important things until the last minute.

My house is disorganized.  I am never able to find anything I need.

I set the cruise control on my car even while driving locally; I set it 5 miles over the speed limit to ensure I never get a speeding ticket.  I drive like a grandma, even when I’m driving the hubs Corvette.  As I get older I notice or feel as if my reaction time is not what it use to be so I get nervous in parking lots driving, I’m afraid I’ll hit someone (think Costco parking lot- busy, busy, busy).

When I do clean, I clean so good that you could eat off the floor- I don’t do anything half ass.

I’m a perfectionist at work, down to every little detail – I must try my best to get it right.

I eat a ton of pickles in one week.  I am highly addicted.

I get really bad PMS (I think it’s more like PMDD) and approx. 8 days before my period I’m a beast.  You don’t want to mess with me 🙂

I HATE exercising and don’t do it unless I absolutely have to – that includes only going for walks, taking the dogs for a walk, or gardening.  All that other stuff; the elliptical, the treadmill, weight lifting, running – it’s not for this girl.  I hate to sweat.

I worry a lot about my kids and my family.

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Monthly Writing Challenge ~ Foodies

Day 30.  Favorite comfort food.

I am a “foodie” and love to eat.  Too much so I suppose.  My favorite comfort food has got to be Mexican.  I love anything slathered in salsa and sour cream; from tacos to nachos, to bean and cheese burritos, to fajitas split with my husband out for dinner.  I love chips and queso and salsa too.

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What food do you crave?  What is your ultimate comfort food?

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Mediterranean Salmon Recipe

Recently on vacation, my niece prepared the following for us and it was not only healthy but DELICIOUS.  The recipe can be found at this web address. (Where you can watch a how-to video and easily print off the recipe).

mediterraneansalmon

    • Prep Time: 8 minutes
    • Cook Time: 22 minutes
    Salmon is quick-cooking and full of omega-3 fatty acids. This Mediterranean recipe adds so much flavor to the fish with olives, capers, zucchini and tomatoes.

  • Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 1/2 cup vegetable mixture)

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons capers, undrained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe Kalamata olives, drained

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides of fish. Place fish in a single layer in an 11- x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients in a bowl; spoon mixture over fish. Bake at 425° for 22 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 339
Fat per serving: 18g
Saturated fat per serving: 4g
Monounsaturated fat per serving: 9g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving: 4g
Protein per serving: 37g
Carbohydrate per serving: 5g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Cholesterol per serving: 87mg
Iron per serving: 2mg
Sodium per serving: 424mg
Calcium per serving: 43mg

Believe it or not, I had never had a Kalamata olive or capers before this and LOVE them both.  Both add a zest and a zing to this marvelously healthful recipe.

ENJOY!

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