A Different Kind of Good-bye

On Feb. 8, 2013 we said goodbye to our little old pick-up.  Today we say good-bye again, but this time it is a little different.  We said good-bye to our Cougar.  To be more specific, Hubby and the Wild Child’s Cougar.  Hubby bought this car when he had quite a commute every day.  It was his baby, and he loved it.  cardamage1xWhen my Dad first came to visit Hubby was going to the airport to pick him up and was hit.  It was heartbreaking!  But we got it fixed up and then he and Wild Child installed a killer sound system in it.  They really bonded over that car.  So much so that when she started to drive he let her drive it.  Then when he realized working from home meant no one was driving it, it slowly became hers.installing_sound_F0006Cass-homecoming-037xCass-in-snow-2xShe cared for it, shoveled the drive for it, and a few more years went by.  But as cars do, it aged.  The Cougar needed work, she didn’t have the money.  So when her grandmother moved back home she realized she shouldn’t drive anymore and gave Wild Child her car.  The Cougar began to just sit in the driveway, and sit, and sit.

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driveway_6773xIn Feb we called and had the little white pick-up taken away by a local charity.  We have done this a few times before.  Having an old car that is broken down hauled off like that is one thing.  But when you have a car that was loved, and shared, like the Cougar was, well that is different.  They had talked about selling it, and advertised a little, but no bites.

Then a few weeks ago I ran across the Purple Heart Foundation where you can donate your cars and all the proceeds go to wounded warriors and their families.  This was perfect.  They came today.  This was so different than all the other cars we have had picked up.  It was more emotional not just because it was a car that had been loved, but because of the good it was still going to do.  It felt so good watching it get hooked up to go away.  But what really impressed me was the care and respect the man had who was hooking it up.  He leaned into the car to wrap the seatbelt around the steering wheel and when he shut the door he patted the top of the car like he was saying “good old boy.”

courgar_leaves_1149My camera died then so I got no shots of them driving down the street, but it is probably better that way.  We say farewell to an old friend.

A Good Day!

Today is a very good day.  I went to the doctor for a check-up.  She was very happy with me.  All the blood work was good, and I had even lost weight.  I went shopping after and even found shoes for my son’s wedding.  I came home and took care of the paperwork on my desk, and even ate lunch before 2pm.  So we are on a roll.

Making a promise to yourself to really, and I mean really, make your life better, is a hard thing to follow through with.  Every year people all over the world will make a New Year’s Resolution to do better with this or that.  Exercise more, quit smoking, eat better or whatever.  We all have good intentions, but life gets busy, things happen, it gets lost in the rush and hubbub of life.  But this time I didn’t just make a resolution on New Year’s Day.  I decided to go much deeper.  What makes me the happiest is to see all the people around me happy.  But we all know that you can’t begin to ‘make’ anyone happy unless you are happy yourself.  So it all has to start with you.  Taking care of you isn’t selfish, but really knowing that is a very hard thing to wrap your head around.  That analogy – in an airplane when the oxygen masks drop and you must put yours on first before you help anyone else.  Your instinct is to take care of your child sitting next to you first.  But if you pass out what good will you be to your child, you must put yours on first.  You must take this to heart and apply it to more parts of your life.  If you want to grow old with your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren you have to take care of you.

So, last year after we were able to move my mother back to her own home I spent the first few months focused on trying to get the family back to normal again.  It was not easy.  I had spent so much time focused on her health and recovery, the family and the stress we were all dealing with; it was a very hard time for everyone.  But slowly everyone started to move forward and find their rhythm again.  Now it was my turn, I needed to find me again.  But as Mom’s do we keep getting side-tracked worrying about our kids, is Hubby ok, are they all happy?  Then in February my dear friend Kay passed away.  A lot stopped in me then.  I put on the brakes and said “NO MORE!”

The first thing I did was make an appointment with my daughter’s dermatologist.  I don’t need to age.  Oh not Botox or anything like that!  I just lived in Arizona for years, and then in Wyoming.  When the kids were young we were outside all the time.  Now I need to take care of my skin as I get older.  Then the podiatrist; with all the issues my mother had with her feet I wanted to be preventive.  I then changed chiropractors.  I didn’t mind the Dr., but the office was not patient friendly.  They put money before the patient, and I just don’t appreciate offices like that.  My new one is celebrating 30 years in the same office with most of the same staff and many of the same patients.  It is a happy place, and makes you feel welcome and cared for.

bookcase_1135Four months later I am now more physically and mentally fit than I have been in a very long time.  Now yesterday at my chiropractor’s appointment he reprimanded me and told me to pace myself.  Over the weekend I painted the new built-in bookcase Hubby built and my upper-back was feeling it.  Muscles yelling at me that hadn’t been worked out that much for a very long time!  This was where he had taken out the wall to put the lift in for Mama when she moved in.  Instead of just putting the wall back he gave me shelves.  It still needs trim across the bottom, but I’m loving it.

So I guess to sum up, the long road that started in April 2010 when I left my job has now turned into a nice adventure with the next leg of the journey ahead.  We have 6 weeks until the house starts filling up with family for the wedding.  We will be busy getting ready, but if it doesn’t all get done it doesn’t really matter.  We will have fun with all the people we love, and most importantly lots of pictures!  My “Photo Cuz” (you know who you are) will be here to catch everything I miss.  Happy Days!

One year of Smokin’

bacon0613_1054Ok, so there comes a time when you have to accept that your husband has a serious addiction.  That time has come.  Oh we have seen it coming.  We have made many jokes along the way.  But now it is official.  Earlier this week he declared himself the “purveyor of fine smoked products.”  Now the fact that this is true isn’t the point.  An addiction is still an addiction.  My house is very obviously the home of a smokin’ man.  It will start with little things like temperature probes drying by the sink, but has now gone to a big new slicer sitting on the kitchen counter.  It just has to be faced!

bacon0613_1091To be honest let us put the blame where it really belongs, Michael Symon.  Yes, the Iron Chef, from “The Chew,” that Michael Symon.  This man wrote a book “Carnivore”; yes he is all about meat.  Many times he has explained the importance of choosing the right cut of meat.  So I started looking at the meat I was buying and found a butcher.  Then I started to explore the best ways to get the most out of the less expensive cuts of meat.  Low and slow.  That is what I kept hearing over and over again.  So, what do I do next?  I buy my husband a smoker for Father’s Day 2012.

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It is Father’s Day 2013.  I had thought about upgrading Hubby’s smoker, but he has spent the last month or so doing some upgrading of his own (bought the slicer etc.).  Then yesterday we did a real push on getting the living room construction work done.  So no smokin’ is planned for this weekend.  Last night he asked me if we had some chicken breasts he could smoke.  You see, he had ordered gasket for the grill, and had just replaced it.  Now he has to test it out, makes sense, right? Sure . . .  These are the signs of a true addict.  I decided to not encourage the behavior, so the kids are making brunch 🙂

Young One is the Trooper

wisdom_teeth_out_1046I can’t really say it has been a busy week, but we have been very occupied.  The youngest and I went and had some wisdom teeth pulled early Monday morning.  I had one lonely tooth left to pull.  So when the dentist said it was time for the youngest to have hers pulled I thought it was as good a time as ever to get that one last one taken out.  You see it had evil roots; they looked like hula dancers all curled around.  So this could be a mother/daughter bonding time, ouch, right.  She had all 4 pulled, she is still swollen and eating mushy things.  I am bruised, and can’t open my mouth all the way, but the French fries I had for dinner last night (in secret) were sure yummy.  She has sure been a trooper, and has spent the whole time watching “Bones” on Netflix from the very beginning, in the other room, on the couch.  While I, who hate to re-watch things, channel surf in the office.

We have been on one of those “codone” pain killer drugs.  I took my last one yesterday morning.  I just can’t stand the loopy way they make me feel.  Hubby and I were going to a Memorial Service for a dear friend of my In-Laws in the evening, and I did not want to embarrass them.  So I took ibuprofen and hoped for the best, and this morning I just didn’t need the stronger pain killer.  I really don’t understand people who take these drugs for recreation.  I want to be in control of myself.  Well as in control as I can be considering how ‘loopy’ I am naturally.  My father was a bit of an absentminded professor type, and I do take after him.  So I come by it honestly.  But as you get older, and find yourself forgetting things, it is nice to be able to blame it on your genes 🙂