Just….Summer…

51. Appreciate your siblings, especially if you get along with them.

52. Friends are the family you select!

Those are two that should have been included in my previous blog about turning 50 and the things I’ve learned.

That said?

WHEW!!!!

Work has been a whirl-wind and after every week? I spend time in the shade (and sometimes the sun) with my Kindle. I read. A. LOT! As in, I can knock out 3-4 novels per weekend, either hanging in the hammock or chilling in a chair in the shade.

I love to read. Ever since I was a kid with a bedside lamp, I would read when I couldn’t sleep. Laura Ingalls and Betsy, Tacy and Tib were some of my literary besties when I was growing up. Then I got into Judy Blume. I loved all of her tween books, as well as her adult-related novels later in life.

In the past weeks I have discovered the likes of Skye Warren, A. Armitage, Ninie Hammon, Andrew Kaufman, Casey Hill, and many more.

Summer is my reading time; my time to spend outdoors, trying to center myself and live someone else’s wonderful fictional ideas.

I watch little T.V. and spend my time outside. I get some odd looks from people at work when they ask me if I caught thus-and-such on the tube last week and I tell them I’ve not watched much T.V. Fall, winter, and early spring are what HULU and Netflix were made for.

Those of you that are readers and have a Kindle or grab Kindle e-books on the regular? I would highly recommend Kindle Unlimited. For a low monthly fee, (which I won’t quote because I am too damned lazy to go look it up, but it’s under ten US dollars) you can pick from hundreds (maybe thousands) of titles. You can have ten books out at a time, and at 3-4 novels per weekend at roughly four dollars per book, I figure I must be saving money; I’m reading roughly $16.00 worth of books per weekend times four, so do the math. I won’t, because it’s summer and I’m a lazy something or other.

Aside from reading, I’ve blown up my tablet and my cell phone is acting stupid, so I’ve been more unplugged than I am used to and finding that I actually LIKE IT.

I’m writing this from my laptop, which is hard wired to the outside outlet, whilst sitting on the deck this evening. I really had to force myself to bring the laptop out because I needed to see how to turn my wisteria vine into a small tree. Figuring I had a little time on my hands, I wanted to write this to let my blogging friends (Rob, Janie, Skwarl, Ode to Joy, and others) know that I’m still alive. I’m here, but I am lazy as hell.

In other news…The gazebo/structure that we’d hoped to have completed by my birthday has proven to be a lot larger project than we anticipated…

Maybe we'll finish it in our lifetime, LOL...

Maybe we’ll finish it in our lifetime, LOL…

We have the rafters up, and need to put some more 1×4 cross supports up prior to installing the metal roof (help!?) and wiring for ceiling fan and laying down a tinted concrete floor. I miss my tent, which is now covering the work area on the side of the studio housing the miter saw and any extra lumber.

We’ve had quite the little heat wave and it’s done a number on our garden, except for our cantaloupe, which is amazingly sweet and wonderful.

Yet, again, this year, our squash didn’t do as well as we’d hoped, I went light on jalapeno peppers, and the tomatoes are starting to turn red, finally.

I’ve also really found myself getting into infused water, which I will blog about in a future post, as I’m collecting recipes that I try and like and will share them with you. Currently, my favorite is cucumber lemon, and I’ve really acquired a taste for the cucumber. I’ve also done lemon, mint and blueberry, as well as a cilantro citrus, and a killer jalapeno mix, so stay tuned.

I’ve also been crocheting my butt off to get Mattix’s little granny square afghan done (and I’ll show you a picture in an upcoming post, as it isn’t quite done, yet) so that he will have something soft and warm to snuggle under this fall/winter.

All that said, it’s all I’ve got for you, tonight. :)

Until next time…

On Turning Half a Century Old (That’d Be 50…)

This is my office...

This is my office…

Well. Fifty years. Half a century. Ten decades.

Surely those words don’t apply to the young girl that I am, right? Yeah. Right.

I woke up about six-thirty last week (June 30, in case some of you missed it, haha) knowing that SOMETHING was going down in our office. My Admin. Assistant, Cindy, turned 50 several-some years back and I did it up hardCORE, so I knew something was going to happen.

50sux

All those Tootsie Pops made me a happy girl, yo!

At seven a.m. I had a text from the acting dispatcher in my Transport department, apologizing for hitting me up before work, but could I come by their office before getting involved in anything else. I texted my office to let them know I’d be late.

My admin texted me back, asking me where I was. I assured her I was still at home. She sounded more than a little concerned about my whereabouts, so I was convinced, even more, that those wonderful women had something up their sleeves…

And they did. I would have been disappointed had they not, though, LOL…

I went to the Transport office and met with who I needed to talk to, got the skinny and went on about my day, pausing in the old ED hall to call and ask if it was okay to proceed to the Service Center.

Had HOPED those were Pampers; no such luck...

Had HOPED those were Pampers; no such luck…

I was given the go ahead.

So proceed, I did. I even got stopped a few times by people asking me questions about this and that.

Figured that’d be ok…There was plenty of time. Seems I should have taken more time, LOL…

When I got to the office door, I noticed the lights were out. Jennifer told me via sign language to wait a second. Mary and Angela came up behind me and THEY were let in, and I was stuck, outside the doorway.

When they finally let me in? Holy balls, y’all! When I saw what they’d pulled together for my 50th birthday I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry; laugh, because it was all funny as hell, and cry because those ladies had put so much thought and energy into what was in front of me.

This sucker still sits on my shelf!

This sucker still sits on my shelf!

It was an amazing day; it truly was!

I will never, ever (yanno, until senility takes over my mind) forget how much time, effort and love went into making my 50th birthday so memorable it totality overshadowed my 40th!

And in the spirit of my fellow blogger, “There’s a Squirrel in My Blog,” I am going to post fifty things I’ve learned on the half century (gasp!) that I’ve been on earth:

  1. Yup...hot flash zone. Fer Shur.

    Yup…hot flash zone. Fer Shur.

    Treat everyone how you wish to be treated. Not only is this fair? It comes back to you threefold.

  2. Don’t take it personally. It probably isn’t about you, so quit acting as such.
  3. It’s easier to ask forgiveness later than to ask permission beforehand.
  4. Do NOT wear your heart on your sleeve. Show only what you need to show, ESPECIALLY if you happen to be in management.
  5. Be a cheerful giver.
  6. When in a foreign country, be sure to learn the native language to the point where you can ask where the bathroom, the beach, and the nearest restaurant are.
  7. Love your children no matter what. They are still young enough not to realize what kind of pain they can inflict.
  8. There was a bottle of ash beneath this sign and picture, which I'd agreed to pose for the day prior...

    There was a bottle of ash beneath this sign and picture, which I’d agreed to pose for the day prior…

    Do NOT hold grudges; they waste waaaay too much energy and at our age? We need all we can get.

  9. Life is not fair.
  10. Don’t make someone your everything if you were their nothing from the beginning.
  11. Always, ALWAYS keep accurate track of your checkbook.
  12. Never, EVER ignore correspondence from the IRS.
  13. If you start your own business, DO know the principles of accounting and bookkeeping.
  14. Never, EVER disrespect your mother.
  15. Never, EVER disrespect your father.
  16. Don’t ever undermine your children when THEY are the parents and you have the luxury of spoiling your grandkids and then give them back. That shit has a way of coming back to bite you in the ass (this is not something I know first-hand, however).
  17. Tell your children you love them, every chance you get.
  18. Tell your parents you love them, every chance you get.
  19. Be fair in all your business dealings.
  20. Don’t play favorites; both in business and in your personal life.
  21. my new soul mate...

    my new soul mate…

    Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is simply another opportunity to improve your success.

  22. Appreciate Nature. You won’t be sorry.
  23. Visit an ocean if you have the opportunity. Again? You won’t be sorry.
  24. Tell your spouse/significant other that you love them and to be safe when you or he/she walks out the door. You never know what can happen prior to yours or their return.
  25. Do NOT speak ill of the dead.
  26. Love (and I mean REALLY love and care for) one animal during your life. You will reap so many benefits from this.
  27. Dogs are better than most people.
  28. Share your memories of my youth? SRS? ;)

    Share your memories of my youth? SRS? ;)

    Stop seeing color. I mean it. Racism is a passing thing, and if you still think that’s cool? Guess what? You’re wrong. M&M’s come in an array of colors, and if you think the blues taste better than the greens? You’ve just shown your IQ. Get over yourself.

  29. Appreciate who you have in your life right this very moment; you never know when they will cease to be in your life. (I love and miss you, Mike!)
  30. Treat your children equally.
  31. Share your crayons, especially if you have that box of 64 Crayolas with the sharpener in the back.
  32. Make friends with the new kid.
  33. Appreciate your grand (and great-grand)parents; once they’re gone, they’re gone for good, and you can’t bring them back to tell them you love them one more time.
  34. Really. REALLY? SRS?

    Really. REALLY? SRS?

    Same goes for your parents. They sacrificed a lot for you, even if you don’t see it.

  35. Don’t laugh at the kid that asks you if you’re from Germany, even though you know you are Sicilian, and way too blonde, blue eyed, and fair to look the part. You may offend your future bestie. Just saying. (I love you, Allison!)
  36. Travel when you can. Seriously. When the ability to travel is taken away from you, you WILL kick yourself for not seeing more places than you did.
  37. Speaking of travel? See as many of the fifty states as you can, if you’re in the United States. If you’re in Canada, Europe, etc., see what you can.
  38. I've been finding these little f***ers in my home mail, car, and work mail...Love you guys...Really..

    I’ve been finding these little f***ers in my home mail, car, and work mail…Love you guys…Really..

    Go to a tropical island. This is separate from going to the beach; Tropical islands are supposed to have an atmosphere all their own.

  39. Hike some mountains. I’m a beach person, but hiking through forests with some inclines/declines is not only a challenge, but it’s fun!
  40. Watch what you eat.
  41. Exercise regularly.
  42. Regarding exercising regularly, if there is a history of osteoporosis in your family? Consider, seriously, taking up weigh training. It will reduce your risk of bone disease a lot.
  43. Find hobbies you enjoy. What is life if you don’t have any damned fun, right?
  44. Find a belief system. It doesn’t have to be traditional; but find one, nonetheless. It will help you connect with what IS and your higher power. This is an amazing thing.
  45. Reach out to your virtual friends (if you have them). They can be a source of advice, inspiration, and encouragement.
  46. Love yourself. Seriously…it’s harder than it sounds, yo.
  47. If you can afford it? Donate to your favorite charity; adopt from your local animal shelter; save a life as often as you can.
  48. Speaking of saving lives? Be CPR certified if you can. Saving a life is important.
  49. Take as good care of yourself as you do the others in your life. And finally?
  50. Be a good friend. It will pay off in the long run.

The only other thing I can say is that in the first half century of my life, I have been blessed with an amazing husband, wonderful friends, a granddaughter, two grandsons and hopefully, the knowledge that can take me through the next half century.

Live long, be heathy and treat each other well.

Much love!

Until Next Time…

And Amongst All This Division…

…there are two little baby boys that are my grandsons…

Nothing will ever make a middle-aged woman’s eyes leak like holding her grandchildren for the first time…

My middle son’s son was born on June 11th; six weeks early. He was in the NICU for just over a week at a hospital about an hour away before being transferred to our local hospital a week ago.

  I visited as much as I could, but wasn’t allowed to hold him until today.

My step-daughter gave birth to her son this morning, and while we were waiting to see him, I slipped over to the nursery, scrubbed in and held my GrandBoo (my middle son’s son) for the first time. 

He is soooo tiny. He opened his eyes a few times and made some awesome faces while I cuddled, cradled and talked to him. I asked him, “Could you be more perfect?” At which point he wrinkled his nose and appeared to shake his head no. I was no more good. I sat with him for a while, snuggling, cradling, smiling at and talking to him before heading back to my step-daughter’s room.

Once there, I held my other grandson for a bit before handing him over to my husband.

  
I came home, my shirt smelling of babies, my eyes leaking at odd times, and feeling oddly at peace, in spite of the drama that is our country right now.

I wonder what the world will be like when they are our kids’ ages, or even our age.

All I know is that a new life, when held in your arms, will make you forget about the drama du jour and make you focus on what is really fundamentally important…

Until next time…