Time Goes By

Each year comes and goes unbidden yet we feel relatively the same inside. Each birthday rolls around and the years add on, but we are basically the same person we were when we were 19 or 20, just more mature and hopefully we’ve learned a few things we didn’t know in our younger years. Yet the fact remains, we are still the same kid just trapped in an older body. Well, I am.

 My body may not cooperate with me like it once did, it may not look as good as it did, but inside I am the same person I’ve always been. My heart is the same loving, caring, easily hurt heart it has always been. My mind, however, is older and hopefully a lot wiser than that one of my youth. 

My mom used to say we really only aged every 7 years. Look in the mirror every 7 years then you see a difference. You don’t see the daily changes because they are subtly happening. Why be ashamed of those changes? You earned the right by living your life and being alive.

As an adult, don’t look for the fine lines and wrinkles. They’ll be there soon enough. Think of them as battle scars. We earn them if we are lucky. Don’t think of them as anything less than something to be proud of. In this culture which prides itself on youth and beauty, only men can grow older and own those fine lines and wrinkles without being judged. It’s about time we women stood up to all the hype and  social pressures and said enough is enough. There is no magic cream that will prevent it all. No makeup can hide it forever either. 

Growing older is a privilege not all are afforded. So as you struggle with getting another year older, think of it as a privilege and realize that you have 2 choices. One is to grow older and enjoy every moment and the other is to grow older with resentment at the things you should have done. Enjoy life. Smell the roses. Don’t sweat the little things because no one remembers them in the long term anyway. Remember, each day is a privilege.

And to my dear, dear friend, who is an inspiration to me, happy birthday! You are spectacular at every age!

It’s a Birthday Coffeeshare Weekend!

I celebrated my birthday on Friday and what great friends I truly have. My friends took me out for dinner minus one of my besties who was trying to get her pool closed for the year as well as not feeling great. We had a blast! The 5 of us are out hearts out, fixed all the world’s problems over food and good wine and just had such a good time together it was hard to say goodnight when our evening was over. I am so truly and utterly blessed to have the very best friends in the world. Thanks to my T for managing to throw it all together and make it a memory that will surpass some of the other birthday memories that were not nearly so pleasant. 

Earlier in the day, I was blessed to go pick up my beautiful daughter from school and take her out for lunch at a great diner! What a truly fabulous gastronomic adventure! If you are ever in St. Louis and looking for a superior diner atmosphere to partake of, look no further than the loop. Fitz’s diner is phenomenol! The burger and the fries! Plus homemade sodas and floats that will absolutely bust a gut! We shared, and did not finish, a black forest float made with their black cherry soda and rich chocolate ice cream! Yummy! 

The best part of that was spending time with my girl! I missed her do much! Catching up on everything is so important in the grand scheme of life. A bond between a mother and her children can not be broken. Well, not in my case. My oldest sweet daughter even came home.

I didn’t get to see her until yesterday, but it’s so much fun to hug my girls. I miss them so much. She bought me the cutest clock and it matches my living room colors perfectly! 

I always say I will always love my kids even if I don’t always like what they do. I say this often to my youngest when he is driving Hubs and I crazy in the evenings over the old homework issue. Most of the time it’s been a lot better, but there are those nights when he is just so tired and we have both worked all day. When that happens, homework time leads to a screaming banshee child and it just stinks. Homework generally gets deferred to 6 am the next morning with me and then he’s like a brand new kid. This weekend he’s been terrific though. He even spent the night at his friend’s house and had a wonderful time doing so.

I have been on a baking kick lately. Its all about muffins. Cinnamon apple muffins more precisely. I make them from scratch. Although I prefer larger pieces of apple in mine, the family prefers the pieces to be diced very small. The tops are dipped into butter when the muffins come out of the oven and then into a mixture of cinnamon sugar. My 15 year old have me the greatest compliment ever. He said they were the best thing he had ever eaten. How cool is that for a mom to hear, especially when it’s not heard very often from a picky eater!

So that’s what going on in my neck of the woods. What’s going on in yours? You know I love to hear from you. Today I’ll be making homemade granola and some pumpkin muffins for the family! Family and food. What more could you ask for? Well… Maybe hockey and football…but that’s another story for another day! Take care and have a great day!

Fall Has Arrived

It’s that time of year when school is back in full swing and the weather begins to turn cooler. It’s fall! This is one of my favorite times of year, before it gets too cold. 

I am a lover of warm weather and sunshine, but when the autumn chill hits the air, I love to snuggle under my blanket, grab my cup of coffee, and write. Watching the world around me change each day gives me new life and brings about new things to write about.

Have you ever looked at the leaves on an overcast day? The leaves changing color becoming so vibrant in the coolness of dusk or more vibrant still when it rains softly.  What a beauty to behold!

Fall also brings about Halloween which in our house means festivities and decorations. I used to go all out and then life got in the way. Well my friends, Pinterest and I have become good friends and I have plans for this year! We even hope to have one of our parties since my biggest Halloween fan, my 15 year old, will have practice for a show on Halloween itself. Let the good times roll.

Another thing I’ve always loved about fall is the food. Comfort food. Chili and cornbread. I make the best cornbread. It’s sweet and tastes like heaven. Caramel apples, fruit cobblers, bread puddings. And there’s football and my favorite sport, hockey! God bless my St. Louis Blues! 

So as we begin this fall, take a moment to think about what you are grateful for. I have so much. No, ibdont have everything, but I have the most important things life has to offer. I have my health, my family and my friends. Let’s make this fall a fall to remember. 

A Beautiful Day for Coffee

Such a lovely time of day when the birds begin their song in the wee hours! I wasnt always a morning person. I used to stay up till the wee hours and sleep in when I was younger. Now days, my sleep habits have changed and I have reverted back to my childhood days of early mornings. 

What could be better than having a warm cup of coffee in hand and just relaxing or praying/meditating in those hours when all is quiet in the house and all that can be heard outside is the sound of nature? I love being able to hear the sound of the crickets transform into birdsong as the sun slowly rises. What a joy and miracle to behold. 

Watching the sunrise is another bonus that many don’t enjoy. I can’t say I have the best place to watch it rise, but it is such a wonder that we, as inhabitants of this beautiful planet, get an opportunity to watch this miracle each and every morning, just as we can watch the sun set each evening. 

Yesterday, our family were lucky enough to watch an IMAX movie called Beautiful Planet. Watching this incredible movie I was amazed at the views from the space station and the realization that we really do need to care even more for our planet. We have come a long way, but We take so much for granted in our world. We have been blessed to live here. This is our home and we have a responsibility to care for our home. Let’s make a difference and keep our planet beautiful. 

It’s About Time for Coffee

Good morning all! I’ve enjoyed a relaxing morning so far and am so glad you’ve made it here for coffee. I’ll admit, I started my coffee early this morning, as I seem to be awake very early these days. Hubs thinks I’m crazy to wake up as early as I do but he’s a VERY good sleeper in the early mornings. He doesn’t sleep well at night and needs his sleep. Me? I am out like a light these days. It’s nice for a change.

Coffee gets my motor running in the morning. I don’t need a pot. I just like my 1 or 2 cups unless I have company. Marz, my BFF neighbor, often shares coffee with me once the kids are at school. It’s wonderful. We can share the worries and joys of our world’s as well as solve all of the world’s problems all over a cup of joe. 

Whenever my oldest BFF and I go shopping, we have to have one specialty coffee somewhere. This, again, allows us time to solve all the world’s problems over our special java. Since we’ve known each other nearly 30 years (scary thought) we’ve solved a lot of problems, dried many tears and laughed over many funny stories over coffee. It never gets old.

When I lived up north, I used to share coffee by the potfull. I had a beautiful sister-in-law, Amy. We were well known for spending many hours drinking our cafe with cookies on my old porch or her basement. It was just what we did. We went to a family restaurant to escape the world and drank carafe after carafe. Amy passed away 3 years ago and I miss her still. When I see butterflies, certain flowers and hummingbirds, I think of my dear friend. I miss those hours but treasure the memories deep within my heart. 

Coffee in our American society is a social gathering. It’s a means of friendship and communication. In my Irish family, we drink tea. Many hours were spent with my mom over a cup of tea and cookies or biscuits, as it were. I’m missing my mom and will be thinking about her a great deal over the coming months. 

Thursday. The 15th, would have been mom and dad’s 56th wedding anniversary. It was the first one without her here. We all went to dinner with dad. He said he’s forgotten “that was today”. This week is his birthday and onward we go with birthdays and holidays. 

Family and friends should be cherished. Life is shorter than we think it is for we know not the time or place when this life will end. I’ve learned and relearned, assessed and reassessed things in my life over the last year and the one thing that is clearer than anything is that we truly need to love one another. Treat those people in your life gently and with care. Treasure them and tell them you love them each and every day or as often as you get a chance. Never let the opportunity go by to show them how much you care and appreciate them. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m doing my best. 

It’s Coffee Time

Oh how I love this time with you in the weekend! This weekend let’s sit down for some cookies with our coffee. Fresh, warm cookies just out of the oven. I baked than just for you!

What have you benn up to this week? I had a relatively interesting week myself. It wasn’t too much out of the ordinary until the end of the week, but sometimes those are the best weeks to have. 

Most of this week I’ve been working on homework with the boy. Let me tell you, a 9 year old boy with ADHD and a bunch of homework is not a good mix for harmony in the home. We manage somehow and I’m sure 4th grade will get easier in a few week’s time. At least that is my hope. He is on medication and we are trying to adjust it to his optimal level. He is my work in progress and we will get there as a family but it takes a small suburb to raise this one and get him a good education. 

Work is progressing well. I’m working less at my newer job. I’ve had to relearn everything since returning a couple weeks ago. I do like it but I do miss seeing my little patients very much. I miss the autonomy I had with my old job but I don’t miss the stress or the crazy long hours. Once I know how to do this job well, I will love it. That much is sure.

My week ended in great fashion. A family wedding! What a wonderful celebration of love to be sure. It was simple and elegant. The church ceremony, a Catholic ceremony, was absolutely beautiful. You could see the couple beaming throughout the mass. They even took part as Eucharistic ministers during communion. What a truly lovely touch.

In between the mass and the festivities of the reception, we had 4 hours to kill and 2 college kids who just so happen to go to school down there. They needed a Target run. 

We piled into the minivan, had my dad and brother meet us at a restaurant near campus and had some lunch at Pickleman’s Deli. Yum! Delicicious subs and not too huge either. Well prices too! After lunch, we walked to the kids’ dorm and they checked us in to show grandpa and Uncle James the dorm. What a good time, especially since my dad went to the university in 1955 for his ophthalmalogy residency. Great chats ensued and fun was had as my brother and I reminisced about how easy these kids have it compared to our dorm rooms that didn’t even have air conditioning and were the size of postage stamps! And remember the party lines for the telephones?

We parted as dad and James drive around campus and we went off to Target. Hubs and I stayed in the car. Relaxation time for us. The kids, however, were in the store forever! An hour and a half later they emerged with there loot. Then back to the dorm to drop it all off. Then on to the reception. 

The reception was a blast! So many relatives, so little time! We introduced my daughter’s boyfriend to many of them who all remarked on his great height. He’s 6’5 and that side of the family averages 5’6. He was definitely the tallest one there. The kids and I danced, we visited, we are really well. And there we’re the famous pizelles. My Irish aunt, as we are all Irish, married an Italian and learned to make these delightful cookies. My favorite. I know the girls must have made them. They were scrumptous and even though there was a table full, Hubs and the boyfriend and my daughter’s wanted mine! Can you imagine? Shocking. Stealing one’s pizelles. No way unless I offer you one. Would you like one by the way?

Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee this weekend, I would be so happy since its been so long! I have had a very good week of recouperation since Monday, the day Pablo, my pancreatic drain, was removed. 

Tuesday I went off to see my surgeon with my dad in tow. I figured having my own personal, retired surgeon by my side would be a prudent idea, just in case. Hubs was working Tuesday and dad is great to have gone with me. Dad spoke to my surgeon from one pro to another. 

I am happy to report that with Pablo gone, I am finally able to work on getting my strength back. With walking and swimming, I should get back to my old self fairly soon. That is my hope so I can conquer the w orld, okay, well, go back to work. 

I also wrote a few posts this week as well! This also shows that I am on the road to my fullest recovery. I realize, although I get frustrated, that this is a slow process, but as the saying goes, patience is a virtue, therefore I must be patient with myself. I shall get there. Things are still tiring. 

My wondeful family came to see me from St. Louis yesterday. To see me! My cousin just lost his sweet and fabulous wife to cancer last week, yet here he was with one of his brothers and their mom, visiting me and my family. Tom and Barb were what I would call the perfecT couple. Barb will be missed greatly. She was so much fun to be around at family functions. Its hard to believe Such a bright and gloriously wonderful soul has been taken from us too soon. So, in Tom’s time of sorrow, he decided to visit me, to check on little old me.

So there you have my week in review. What a week of positubes ending in a day of family love and support. What more could a girl ask for! So how was your week?

A Ripple in Time

Life is funny. I was 16 thirty summers ago. Such a carefree time of my life. I had my first job working as a waitress that summer.

I had always loved everyone I met. I was also the most trusting and naive 16 year old thinking that people were naturally good. The people that. I worked with sprayed me with a hose and dumped me in a fountain just for the hell of it because they were bigger and stronger than me. I also had one of these co-workers keep bugging me for a date regardless of me telling him no repeatedly. That got ugly and I complained to my manager who just sort of laughed it off. Needless to say, I didn’t stay there long.

I learned a lot though, all things being said. I learned to be stronger and how to deal with people very, very different from myself. I learned to be independent and to sort of manage money, well a little bit. I was really good at the spending part. 

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Twenty years ago I was a brand new mom. I was married and was so excited to show off my beautiful baby girl to the world, all nearly 9 pounds. I felt like I had everything I could ever dream of having. A great husband, adorable baby, a home, and I would be starting a new job as an RN. How lucky could a girl be? 

 The summer of 1996 was magical indeed! Nothing could take away that kind of magic. I just wanted to keep that magic going. All the firsts out baby would and was performing. The hours of motherhood were tough, but I was tougher. My world was completely turned upside down by my little sweet bundle! 

All the hopes and dreams that come along with becoming a mother for the first time fueled me. We try not to live our own unseen dreams through our children, but it’s hard not to sometimes. You see so many possibilities in this new life but they become their own individual over time.

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Ten years ago this summer, I married my best friend. Together, we can conquer so much. I told Hubs once that I needed him to be my knight in shining armour. He, very casually, agreed. He is my fearless knight. He took on marriage full steam ahead and never looked back. Not only did he take on marriage to me, but he took on being a stepdad to 3 kids. Brave soul!

We added to our newly formed family the following year with our little bundle of joy, our little 8 pound boy.  I talk about Hubs all the time, but truly we have learned through our own trials and tribulations that marriage is work, very hard work. It’s the work that brings us closer though. I know without a doubt that I could never be who I am now without the unending support of my number one fan, my husband. 

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This summer has had it’s own trials and tribulations. My health over the last few months has been nothing short of mind boggling for me. I’m now finally on the upswing! If I didn’t have my husband and my family, I would have been more depressed than ever. My good friends checked in on me and visited. My support has been outstanding. This is all because of the ripples left behind of things I’ve done, people I’ve met, places I’ve seen.

We all leave ripples in our lives. Wee touch the lives of everyone we meet. It can be good or bad, even indifferent. You never know how the ripple will evolve. 

I married that boyfriend from 30 years ago, but not until 10 years ago. The little baby that changed my life 20 years ago is all grown up and living her own life away from home. She has flown from my coop. Little ripples of life that change your destiny? Sometimes, perhaps. I just like to think of it as God’s plan for us. 

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Our host, Kristi, from findingninee.com came up with this week’s sentence about “ripples”.  Go check out the other great posts!

A Brand New Day!

I was thinking of several things to write about over the last hour while the house has been blissfully asleep, but none of those subjects seemed to just flow from my mind or fingertips this morning. First, I will tell you, I’m feeling much better and, at long last, I’m on the road to recovery, barring any other small setbacks. For now though, I’m free! Pablo, my trusty drain, was removed Monday. Although it was certainly uncomfortable coming out due to it’s location, it was a heck of a lot better than going in! Now, at long last, nearly 7 weeks after my surgery, I can start to get stronger and get moving without reatrictioms! Hallelujah!

In other news, well, summer is already half over and it is time for us to look forward to the new school year. Can you believe it? Stores have school supplies and school lists out. I, for one, am not ready to think of summer ending and school starting just yet. Don’t get me wrong, I love the routine of the school year, but I love the lazy days of summer just as much. This year, having been robbed of my summer this far, I’m ready to enjoy my summer at long last. Today is my brand new day! It’s the day I say, “carpe diem”! I have to get stronger, which is my new daily endeavor. I’ve discovered some days I’m still very tired, and other days I’m filled with energy. Today is a sleepy day, unfortunately, but I’ve been busy all week so far. I suppose every third day to rest at this point isn’t bad. One day at a time. I will heal and gain my strength back, one day at a time. 

Summer Is…

Summer is my favorite season. It always has been. With the exception of this summer, it means swimming, playing outside, spending warm summer evenings with friends and kids outside. In essence, it’s a time for renewal and reconnection that we aren’t afforded while we are stuck indoors on cold winter days.

Summer is a time to play in my garden and watch things grow. I love watching things grow.This year, due to my health, I didn’t even get my tomatoes in the garden and my entire garden looks like a den of weeds, as I’ve been unable to tend my beautiful pride and joy. I do miss sitting there in the mornings to have my coffee, but I hope to be able to tend it soon.
Summer is a time to spend with family. When I was growing up, I was very fortunate to be able to go on holidays with my family. We went to my family’s home in Ireland. I learned to work on the farm and I loved every moment. I not only got to meet my cousins far away, I got to have wonderful relationships with them. I have to tell you that family truly is everything to me. Growing up in a town where I had no cousins, I loved and appreciated those holidays to make the special bonds with my cousins more than you could imagine. Probably even more so since I had no sister growing up. I have only the one older brother who means the world to me, but I always longed for a sister. I saw the bonds with my cousins as if I had sisters for those weeks we were together. I know they couldn’t understand that since they all had sisters of their own, but I treasured their “sisterhood” in those summers more than anything you could put a price tag on.

One of my favorite Summertime activities is to play with my son in the back by my garden while having my coffee in the mornings. You see, he’s a secret agent and I’m headquarters. I’m base command with the computer. He’s going to save the world and sniper the bad guys with his stick rifles. Ah, his imagination. Sometimes it’s an alien invasion. It’s how boys think. You can not change that. He wants to protect and serve. I miss that this summer very, very much. I don’t miss the silly game, I miss spending the quality time with the boy I love most, my boy. He, like all boys, grows too fast. He’s my baby boy and he’s the only boy I have. He’s my youngest child. Now, he’s been reduced to getting things for me This summer. He’s been caring for me instead of the other way around. He’s wonderful too, just like his father. 

Summertime is generally healthy time. This year? Well, it’s more of a let’s not succumb to these wretched pancreatic surgery post-op complications summer. It technically is a get healthy summer, although I’m unable to swim and unable to even walk very far. I’m finally on the mend, I think, provided there are no more complications. I was even able to stay up past 9:30 PM last night. Not much longer, but I’m beginning to heal I think. 

Summer will remain my favorite season. I long to take a nice dip in the pool. I’d love to get on the tennis court. After all that I’ve been through this summer, I appreciate summer and life even more. 

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence was “Summer is…” and as usual, our host is the extraordinary, Kristi. Check out everyone else’s posts! It’s always a fun read!