Monday, November 30, 2015

The Finish Line!

NaBloPoMo Post #30 

Crossing It, But Still Running 

Well, I did it! I blogged for 30 days straight. It has been quite some time since I have done this much blogging. I've really enjoyed it, and I do believe that I will keep blogging on a regular basis now. I am not going to commit to a post a day, but I think once or twice a week is doable -- possibly more often than that at times.

I do miss the old days before Facebook when blogging, specifically AOL Journals (J-Land), was a big part of my daily routine, but those days are gone. I have been enjoying reading my friends' blogs more regularly once again, and I have begun reading a few new-to-me blogs as well.

I started my series based on letters from my sister, Barbara, which is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I've enjoyed writing about my daughter's animals, and I haven't finished with that. And I've started the food topic series. I will continue with those themes as I go forward.

Now to close out November 2015 and a successful NaBloPoMo. If you did your post-a-day this month, congratulations! I hope it was fun for you. October and November have been strange, stressful months for me this year, with Thomas' injury and being off work. NaBloPoMo has been a nice distraction. He has even enjoyed it, reminding me of an evening to not forget to do my post! I hope things get back to normal in December.

So, until tomorrow --

~ ~ Lori 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

I Almost Forgot!

NaBloPoMo Post #29 

Getting It In Under The Wire 

Yes, I almost forgot to make a post today. And it isn't going to be much of a post.

I haven't been sleeping well lately, and having my regular sleep patterns messed up has really been hard on me. So tonight I took a Melatonin. I have never taken it before, but my daughter does now and then when she's having trouble with insomnia.

I took it about 8 tonight, took my shower and got ready for bed, and just before going off to bed it hit me -- I mean the Melatonin hit me. Those things really work!  I'm glad I had set an alarm to remind me in case I hadn't made a post today because otherwise I'd not be sitting here typing.

Okay, so that's it. I can't think well enough to write anything better. I'm going to go back to bed now, and I'll sleep all the better for knowing I haven't messed up my challenge to myself to blog every day.

Hope everyone has a good night's sleep.

~~ Lori 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

If I Had A Personal Assistant....

NaBloPoMo Post #28

I'd Have Her Make My Bed!

One of the blog writing prompts from this month was "If you had a personal assistant who would do your most dreaded tasks, which items from your to-do list would you assign out?"

I hate making beds. I always have. I love the look of a nicely made bed, but I have never liked the physical exertion of making it. This used to irritate my mother who now, even at 91, makes her beautiful antique iron bed every day!

I think the reason I don't like making beds is my back! I have severe scoliosis. I wore a Milwaukee back brace from the age of 10 to 14. Even before I was diagnosed I can remember having horrible, extreme lower back pain from the age of six. I can remember sitting in my desk in my first-grade class, crying because my back hurt, and my teacher wouldn't let me call my mother to come get me because she thought I was just homesick and wouldn't believe me when I said my back hurt. 

Also, I'm very short, and that, too, makes it harder to make a bed, in my opinion. 

Anyway, I have always hated it. So I change my sheets at least once a week, and I "straighten" the blankets and spread each morning. But why do more, really? I'm just going to mess it up each night.

Actually, if it is just me, I can sleep in a bed and barely mess up the blankets. A little straightening is all I need do when I get up. But Thomas can take a 10 minute nap and the bed looks like a tornado hit it! He will, however, make the bed for me anytime I ask him to, and my kids have had to make their own beds since they were little, so it is a task I don't have to worry about too often. Still, if I had a personal assistant, that would be one of her jobs. (Yes, "her." I don't want a male personal assistant!)

What else would I have my assistant do? I'm not sure. I actually like to do dishes and laundry, even folding and putting away. I enjoy ironing, though I rarely have anything that needs ironing. I love cooking. I don't mind doing the bathroom, except cleaning the tub -- for the same reason I don't like making beds, I guess. The leaning over and reaching and such hurts my back. So that's something else she'd get to do. 

Sweeping, mopping, dusting, I don't mind, although as I get older, mopping hurts my back more. You notice these are all cleaning jobs for my "personal assistant" to do? I guess she would be more of a maid or housekeeper, wouldn't she? I like doing my own clerical and bookkeeping stuff. She'd have to stay away from those things.

Ooh, I know! Running errands and shopping! That's what I'd have her do!

So if you had a PA, what chores would you assign out?

~ ~ Lori

Friday, November 27, 2015

So, Did You Do Black Friday?

NaBloPoMo Post #27

I Did Not

I did go with Eler Beth to Menards so she could get some things that were on a really good sale until noon. I stood in the checkout line and kept her company. We were in line for probably 45 minutes. But that was the extent of it.

She had worked until 10, and I had met her there after she got off work because I had some errands to do and we were going to get lunch together. The parking lot was so full people were parking on the grass between the parking lot and the highway. But I was in time to get a space that someone was leaving, and it was rather close to the doors. Yay!

Four times other customers asked her where something was as if she worked there. She did not have on her Pet Smart shirt; just a t-shirt. We are not sure why they thought she worked there, but it was pretty funny.  We weren't bored in line because the young man in front of us talked dogs and other pets with us all the way to the check out.

So did you shop today. And if you did, did you survive?

~ ~ Lori 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Shout Out To My Vietnam Vet Brother

NaBloPoMo Post #26

Alton ~ ~


I mention my sisters a lot in this blog. There are six of us girls, but we do have one brother. And if you've been a blogger friend for a while, you'll know that my brother is an invalid. He has lived at my Mom's for the past 18 or 19 years, since he suffered a stroke and needed some care in day-to-day life. About two years ago or so he became mostly bedridden; for the past year he has been entirely bedridden.  My sister Barbara is his main caregiver.

Alton was sixteen when I was born. I was told that he was not amused that Mom was pregnant at her age. I guess he was a typical 16-year-old boy. But apparently I grew on him because he and his best buddies called me "Baby" and took me places with them. I don't think I was supposed to draw in the girls, because I think he and his future wife were already dating not long after I was born, but I might be wrong about that.

I was about four years old when he was drafted and sent to Vietnam. I can remember going with Mom and Dad, his wife, and her little sister to Fort Knox to see him graduate from basic training. All I can really recall is standing there watching those rows of uniforms and not knowing which one was Alton. Mom or Viney yelled out, "There he is!" And I kept asking, "Where? Which one?" I never could see which one he was and couldn't figure out how they knew.

I have memories of Mom getting letters from him in envelopes with red, white, and blue stripes around the edges. Sometimes he sent pictures to her, and I remember one of him standing by a tank. Years later he gave me the 35mm camera he used in Nam, and I cherish it.

I know that Vietnam changed him. Well, how could it not? I was too young to know how it changed him at the time. I didn't appreciate until years later the ways it changed him, but I have come to see that my brother was and is a sensitive soul. My son is very much like him. He had little nervous quirks and could get overwhelmed if he had to be around a lot of people for a long time. He is peaceful, doesn't like to be around arguments or fights. He lived in his head a lot. (So do I!) I imagine my son going to that horrid war at the age of 20 and what kind of damage it would do to him, and that is how I can know what Alton must have gone through. 

He never talked much about Nam, not even to our parents. Several years before his stroke he was at Mom's house and China Beach was on the TV.  A certain place in Vietnam was mentioned, and he said, "I was there." And that was the absolute first time I, myself, had ever heard him make even that small a reference to his time overseas. A few years later he apparently started talking about it to one of our sisters. Then he had his stroke.

After the stroke he told some war stories. I have a few of them on tape. And after he started getting worse he would -- and still will -- hallucinate and think he is in Vietnam. 

The three oldest, Dennice, Alton, and Maxine

I'll write more about Alton in a later post. But right now I want to share a video that a friend posted to FB tonight. It's of the performing artist Pink and her father, performing together a song that he wrote about Vietnam; I believe she says that he wrote it while he was there. This video is from 2007, but I had never seen it before. It's nicely written, and I enjoy their harmony.  Perhaps you will like it too.

~ ~ Lori 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

On a Quest....

NaBloPoMo Post #25

For a Song in a Dream


I took a nap this afternoon and slept very heavily for a while. I dreamed very vividly. In my dream I was singing a song to my family. I explained to them that it was a very old song, but I had only learned it recently and had actually forgotten about it. I was very pleased in the dream that it had come back to mind.

I woke up, and the song was gone. I KNOW what song it was. I just can't remember what it is called, how it goes, or any of the words. Have you ever done that? It was a song that I had heard on a TV show I watched a few months ago on Netflix. It was either a BBC, Canadian, or Irish production I think (definitely not American). The song was an old traditional song that has been done by lots of musicians over the years. I really liked this particular recording, and I remember looking it up, learning it, and singing it. 

Now I must go on a quest to find that song. I can't remember the show, but I know I watched it on Netflix and then deleted it from my queue when I'd finished the series. When I find it, I will come back and post about it here. 

Putting on my deerstalker cap and cape now....

~ ~ Lori 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Too Much and Yet Not Enough

NaBloPoMo Post #24

Nothing Inspiring Tonight

It was a gorgeous day today! Tomorrow is going to be nice, too, but after that there is rain in the forecast almost every day for a week at least. There will be some sun and not all-day-long rains every day, but still a lot of rain. I guess that's normal for November, but I've been enjoying these nice days and hate to see them end.

Each year as I get older I dread winter more and more. I get the winter blues worse now than when I was younger. Committing to blogging more may help with that, and getting back into a good writing schedule in general will be good. I'm just going to have to really be disciplined with myself to do that!

I have so much on my mind today that I can't settle down to write. And I know what I want to write about next but don't feel like composing it tonight. Sorry!

Eler Beth came home early from work today feeling bad. I hope she isn't getting the cold that her dad and I had and that everyone seems to have had. Whatever it is, I hope it passes quickly. I hate to see my baby girl feeling bad. I spent most of this afternoon trying to get her to drink juice or hot tea. She just didn't want anything, although she knows staying hydrated is important. She's a bit stubborn that way. :)

Ok, so, that's it for today. Hopefully I'll feel like taking the time to make a proper post tomorrow.

~ ~ Lori