My Mom = My Hero

I know I said in my last post that there would be pictures in my next one, but I inadvertently lied. I am withholding pictures to protect my mom’s privacy.

Mom turns 75 tomorrow, 9/13.

She is my hero.

Mom is brave. Seriously. She is! She kicked breast cancer’s ass not once, but twice. She was there for me during my two breast cancer scares, always lifting me up and being encouraging.

When I was a kid, I had three recurring nightmares; the house burning down, being kidnapped, and my mom dying. All of them were terrifying to a little kid, but the latter was the worst one. I would wake up, run into my parents’ room and feel immediately better, seeing that she was in there and breathing.

When I was little, Mom was a stay at home mom. She was like June Cleaver. Dinner on the table when dad got home, fresh baked cookies after school, and always there to help my my kid sister and me with our homework. (That is, when I bothered to bring mine home…)

I got married stupidly young. And by stupidly, I mean she tried to warn me, but I did it right out of high school, anyway. God love her. She never EVER said, “I told you so.” My kids can’t say that about me. *shrug* They weren’t as lucky as I was. When that marriage hit the skids, she wasn’t overly sympathetic or coddling, but she was there and let me vent.

I remarried. Not sure she was totally on board with that one, but if she really wasn’t? She never let me know that. Again? My kids aren’t so lucky. That relationship was rocky, to say the least. After my folks split up in 92, my mom and kid sister left California and moved to Raleigh, NC. At that time, I was still married to my second ex, who was in the Air Force. Mom and Sis had a little condo, but were in the process of buying her home in 1996, when the ex and I got orders to Seymour Johnson AFB, here in Goldsboro. This was only about an hour’s drive to Raleigh. I was stoked! To have my boys’ grandma so close after having spent so many years almost half a continent away? Awww, hell, yeah!

In March of 96, we arrived in North Carolina, and my mom was gracious enough to let us stay with her and the ex commuted to the base until our housing opened up for us a few weeks later. We moved there, but stayed in close contact with Mom. No matter what happened, she was just a call or a short drive away.

Mom saw me through some domestic abuse, the subsequent divorce, yet another wedding, and my current husband’s situation with spinal stenosis and disability.

This woman has been solid as a rock.

My mom has laughed with me, held my hand while I cried, picked me up when I was at my lowest points, and cheered me when I needed it. Most recently she and I rejoiced in some long awaited seriously good news.

My mom has been there for me through thick and thin. I love her so much that I cannot find words to express this to her.

When I was a teenager we got along like most teen daughters and their moms…like oil and vinegar…they only mix well when the shit is shaken out of them. I am not proud of how I treated my mom during those years, and I always read about moms that hoped their kids had children that would give them threefold what they had given the moms. I don’t recall Mom ever having said that (out loud), but needless to say? I got that and then some. Times three.

Yet, after all the drama I have brought into Mom’s life, her love for me (and my sister, who is a hell of a lot less maintenance than I am) has never, EVER waivered. I am not the mom she was/is and for that I probably need to apologize to my boys.

I have friends that have lost their moms for various reasons, and I am sorry for them, even though I can’t relate. I am blessed, at damned near fifty years old, myself, that I still have mine, and thank my lucky stars every day for this fact.

I think that if one were to look up “unconditional love” somewhere, my own mom’s picture should be there. Daily, I strive to be like her. I’m not there, yet, but I keep trying.

All of that said?

I wish you a very happy 75th birthday, Mommy! I love you and wish many more happy, healthy, active years for you!

Xoxo,

Your eldest,

Julie

Posted in Life’s Little Victories | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Just a Quickie Update

No pix, sorry….there is an explanation, though…

So since I last posted, a LOT has happened.

I fed hummingbirds from a feeder held in my hand. (THAT was frigging amazing! I do have pics, but haven’t pulled them off the card yet, because I have been ridiculously busy!)

I took a week’s stay-cation. That was overdue and much needed. I got my Mac fixed, went to the beach, and started another 12 week fitness challenge. I also worked on my tan and dropped another pound and a half, so there’s that…

I organized the fitness challenge mentioned above with a couple of my weight lifting compadres, which was no small feat. Six of us are supporting a group of over 250 people participating, so just the administration of the group has been a damned adventure. Then we had twelve weeks of “Catching Fire” based challenges to come up with, so that, and the associated questions and answers regarding the challenges weekly and rules, was a serious time-suck, but in a good way.

Oh, and then there is my online class.

I finally sucked it up, took the plunge and enrolled in a class to become a certified personal trainer, so the reading and course videos have been an adventure. If anyone knows a great way to remember that type-1 muscle fibers are SLOW twitch muscle fibers, in spite of the fact that MY mind wants to think type-1 = fast! because fast comes in 1st place, please email me…it is going to hork my exam score if I can’t remember it! Just saying….because that is one of those basic things…

Then, there is the social side of me, and we have hosted right many barbecues over the summer months. So, of course, there has been the eating and drinking that comes with those.

The day job? No problem, except that we are in the window for a Joint Commission inspection, so there is all grades of administrative busy-work associated with that. Blogging from the office hasn’t really been an option.

Because it has still been summertime here in eastern North Carolinaland, my indoor time is at an all-time low, so when I an indoors, I have been studying. And sleeping, because that is how I roll in the summer months.

Sadly, it looks like this year’s pool season is going to come to an all-too-soon end after this weekend, so this girl is going to have to find some kind of new low impact cardio-love, because…oh, yeah…I managed to tear up a ligament in my left foot last week doing Zumba in new shoes, and these things seemingly take forever to frigging heal.

All of that said? I promise my next post will have a pictorial associated with my post.

What have y’all been up to this summer?

Till next time…

Posted in Health, Fitness, & Weight Loss, In the Yard, Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Flashback Friday – A Response to TBT

I couldn’t help myself…I found a Throw Back Thursday post that really took me back and basically incited a flashback. Thanks, Rob, over at Weight To Lose

Those music videos he shared brought back some serious memories for this old girl! The 80’s was my favorite decade, with the 90’s coming in a close second

The 80’s were a time of change for me. In January 1980, I was a freshman in high school. In December 1989, I was married with a five year old, and making a move from Lubbock, Texas to Clovis, New Mexico.

I have been seen wearing jellies shoes, padded shoulders, poofy hair, high waisted jeans (see gallery above), beaded moccasins, head bands, and prairie skirts. When I left home a married woman in February of 1984 and arrived in Lubbock, the first trend I noticed was twister beads. Where did these come from? How didI get my hands on them, and how come I didn’t see these back home? I still have my Minnetonka mocs, and wear them occasionally. The jellies? While comfortable, they made my feet sweat horribly, so I was kind of glad when those went out of style! And yes, I did, in fact, own an Izod alligator polo, because even *I* had a preppy side.

I listened to everything from Journey to The Tubes to the Pretenders to White Snake and Great White. I was a huge fan of new wave music and I loved The Smiths, The Cure, The Motels (remember them?) and Men at Work, although I don’t know if they were considered new wave, LOL.

I began the decade listening to music on a console hi-fi system (no, that really wasn’t a typo – short for high-fidelity), got my first part time job at *ahem* Taco Bell, and worked there long enough to earn enough money to purchase my very own Sanyo boom box before I got fired. It was at that time I found there was an easier way to make a mix tape than holding a tape recorder up to the radio speaker and recording songs through the speaker, hoping like hell the dog didn’t bark or my sister didn’t come in and say something that would require me to stop the recorder and wait for said song to be on the radio again. I ended the decade with a Pioneer component system with an actual 5 CD changer. THAT was something. The first CD I bought was Cheap Trick’s Lap of Luxury:

And technology? Obviously, cell phones were the stuff of sci-fi stories, as was video conferencing, and the Internet wasn’t something many people thought of back then. I don’t think I got cable TV until the mid-to-late 80’s, but we pretty much always had video games.

I remember playing Pong at my parents’ friends’ house back in the 70’s, and my sister scored an Atari 2600 while I was still in high school. I spent hours one weekend scoring a cool million points on PacMan, and walked around with “joystick thumb” for days after! :D When the ex and I got our Nintendo NES we were glued to Mario and friends for hours over the weekends. And then? OMG, Tetris….Need I say more? :D

Speaking of phones, at the beginning of the decade, at Mom & Dad’s house, we had one phone. It was mounted on the wall and had a short coiled cord, and was a rotary dial. Within ten years there was an AT&T 5000 Series cordless phone on my end table. THAT thing was amazing. I would walk outside to call someone just because I could!

Seriously. It WAS as hard as it looked!

Seriously. It WAS as hard as it looked!

Office work was different, then, too. I’d signed up with a temporary agency right after graduation in 1983 and did a gig at a car dealership working the front desk and switchboard and it actually utilized these pull-out plug-things that you had to put into the correct holes. No, reallyI I am so glad it was only for one day, because that was really just too much. Obviously I never really outgrew my inability to operate a multi-line phone system. We have these VOIP phones at work, and for whatever reason, I am only able to put a call on hold and start another call without hanging up on the first line about 50% of the time. And word processing? Not something that was put to use in my world until very early in the 90’s. I worked at the American Cancer Society in ’88 and we were still using IBM Selectrics to get the job done (over and over and over because my boss didn’t allow correction tape or Liquid paper). Yeah…good times.

Cameras have come a long way, too, baby…Back then, if you wanted instant photo gratification you had to get a Polaroid camera and packs of instant film. My parents had one; I think it was my Mom’s, as my dad used a 35mm Ricoh film camera. Since the advent of the digital camera, I have been hooked. No more wasted film or processing money spent on bad shots. :) Yeah, I’m cheap like that. I have a LOT of respect for portrait photographers back then. They didn’t have the ability to see that the entire family blinked at once. Yeah, I am kind of a spoiled thing, photographically speaking. And if you had told me back then that most of us would have little tiny phones that were like mini-computers that fit in our pockets that had cameras in them, too? I would have thought you were mad!

I think back to that decade and smile at the thought of the leg warmers I owned, Cherokee wedge sandals I coveted, and Gunne Sax dresses I was thin enough to pull off, and the ridiculous pastel “Miami Vice” colored clothes that I absolutely loved back then. I had a journal that I wrote in religiously until after I graduated from high school; it was paper, with a cover, and I used a pen to write my thoughts out long-hand. We also got our exercise by getting up to change the channels or adjust the volume on the television. Shortly before I moved away, the folks bought a VHS VCR (during the great Beta/VHS debate), and that sucker had a wired remote that allowed you to play and stop. It may have had a fast forward and rewind function, but honestly? I only really remember the little box with the room-length cord that plugged into the recorder.

Kids these days crack me up when they say that they’re bored and have nothing to do (while surrounded with cable/satellite TV, iPods, tablets, video games, smart phones, and laptops). Yeah, we got bored, too, but we had books and Atari (until joystick thumb kicked in, LOL), but we also had bikes and skates and chalk to make hopscotch and four-square lines on the sidewalks and in the driveways. Does anyone know if there is still such a thing as tether-ball?

I’m betting my kids wonder how we ever made it through, much in the same way I would look at my mom and ask, “How did you even LIVE without television?”

Yeah, I miss the 80’s…Thanks, Rob, for putting them right back out there. I really enjoyed perusing the web looking for images of stuff from the day.

What is your favorite decade and why? Was it the music, the fashion, the technology (or lack thereof), or just where you were in your life at that point?

Until Next Time…

Posted in Random Thoughts | 7 Comments