Saturday, December 28, 2013

What about the "doer" who is retired?

As I reflect on my goals and achievements being retired, I see that I can’t evaluate my life the in the same way.  Now my goals are not so much in the doing, but in the fun of living and being there for those I love.  It is in our health and our energy and desire to continue on this path.  What is this path?  It involves freedom and relaxation, but of a different kind.  Freedom always meant to me that I could do what I wanted, now I also want a freedom to do what others want of me, some of the time anyway.  I still need a freedom to be who and what I want to be and to become.  I see that I continue to change and become in ways that I never saw for me.  Well, that is not so different from what everyone else wants...

What about relaxation?  By this, I mean, relaxation from stress and conflict.  But, isn’t that also what most people want?  I used to embrace stress and used it to accomplish more.  Now, I hide from stress and get grouchy, when it interferes with my plans.  Before, I used to think of relaxation as the time that I would sit and do nothing - like on the beach or to read a book in the middle of the day.  Now, I want to do everything relaxed - not hurry - or with a deadline.  I used to like the pressure of having to do too much.  Now I’m finally learning that I can relax in my half-finished projects because I don’t have to put a deadline on them and can just let them sit there “para maƱana."  But it's not easy; a part of me still craves to work on them and to be able to finish any one of them now!  I think Yoga has helped me with this because at these times I catch myself breathing deeply :) 

Now, living a RELAXED, STRESS-FREE LIFE does not mean I want to live a SLOW LIFE.  I want my days to be full and busy, I feel lost if I am not focused, or if I just wait to see what the day will bring.  I have always been a doer and want my life to flow.  Maybe I haven’t changed so much, only now that I am retired, I am able to do more, yet not everything - because I know that “everything" will never get done.  I don’t know if that is the same for everyone, it’s not something that people talk about.  Do others have these same conflicts?  

I never did write New Year's Resolutions for 2014…  because that was always just one more thing to plan for and do, so even in April, I say, NOT YET!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My new grandson and Baby Jesus

When I hold my new grandson, Parker, I think of baby Jesus and think they must have been very much alike.  
     Parker gets these intense looks; when he smiles with his eyes closed I just know he is having heavenly thoughts.  He doesn’t just smile with his mouth, even his skin gets soft. 
          Then suddenly, his whole face frowns, or he gets the lower lip and I think that he already knows that not all of life is going to be flowers and blue sky.  
                 When he opens his eyes and looks at me, it’s like he sees right through me, his face lights up and I feel love and love him right back.  

I wonder at his “specialness,” but aren’t all babies special?  I’m sure that Jesus had this same glow, or did he have more?  How special was baby Jesus?  I sure would love to know.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Bella's Fish - Dead or Alive?

I am so excited to share with you my new imovie!  Take one minute to laugh while you watch Bella playing with a dead fish on the beach!  Funny!    
Please share it with your friends...

Hilarious video of my one year old grandchild, Bella, playing with a fish in a tidal pool on St. Simons Island.  

She tries to pick it up and carry it, putting her finger in her mouth.  

My grandson caught the fish and we put it in the water.  I could not believe it when she tried to pick it up.  So glad that I had my ipad with me.  I took 25 minutes of video used the best of it.  I have an extended version.  Email me if you want the link to that one.

 Look for more videos at  

Funny things happen on vacation?  

Be sure that you let me know how you like it!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Do you count your vegetable harvest?

When I told my sister, Tere, that Cristi was counting her mango harvest, she laughed and said that she is counting her eggplant harvest.  Do you count your harvest?  Now Don wishes he were counting the tomatoes; we are having so many!  See pictures of our tomato plants and invading critters below...

My sister has a beautiful mango tree in South Florida that is her baby, she takes such good care of it.  Last year she did not have many mangoes but this year her efforts have produced wonderful mangoes!  She is counting the mangoes as they get them.  The last I heard it was 109, and still counting!
In April, you can see the baby mangoes

Don helped cut down the high ones.

The first garden efforts were the three year old fruit trees that were sprayed this winter as we were told.  We thought we would have peaches this year but worms got into each and every baby peach and not even one reached maturity.
Have you had any luck with growing peaches?
peach tree with many blossoms
Early tomatoes - great future
 Our garden in May.  Tomatoes just starting.  Notice the scarecrow from last Halloween.
Hope to get more grapes this year

Potato harvesting with Andrew

These are the red potatoes.  We has as many brown ones.

Can you see the green bean plants?
Our green beans got eaten 3 times!  We continued to replant.  Thought it was a worm, but finally realized that it was a bunny or chipmunk 
We put fabric around the bottom of the fence...

 This year we had too much rain and most of the onions rotted.  Also, they flowered.  We read to cut the flowers, but some websites said not to cut them.  What is the correct thing to do?  It was so frustrating! 
Onions looking so healthy but such a disappointment!

Our tomato forest now!

Andy pointing to the hornworm.  Can you see it?  We found 3 of them and KILLED them!
Lauren and the hornworn caterpillar!
 Lauren killing the caterpillar!

We got lots of blueberries!

The cucumber plants died already!  Too much rain?

We are still getting lots of produce and enough to give away to neighbors and family.

Today I wore myself picking green beans from the top garden.

Here are some of the tomatoes...

Don is making stewed tomatoes, roasted tomatoes and a delicious tomato soup.  He is in charge of the tomatoes, thank God!

So how is your garden?  Send me a link to your gardening blog posts!  I want to read what my blog friends are gardening!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Horse riding lesson for Caroline - 3 years old

Caroline and I drive by some horses every time I bring her to my house.  I slow down and we count the horses we see and lately she has been telling me that she wants to see the horses.  

This brought back so many memories of my young life in Cuba and my love for horses! I wanted to share it with her.

So, last week I called the number on the sign at the entrance, and set up for a lesson, not knowing how she would do.  She is scared of bugs and dogs.  She likes ladybugs though.

Brittany from TNT Dynamite Stables here in Cumming started the hour lesson with having Caroline get a caddy with brushes and then help with Jesse's grooming:

Caroline helps brush Jesse

Cleaning her hoof

Carrying the reins and bridle

Ready to ride!
Here is a video of her trotting!


As you can tell, she loved her horse Jesse!
Hugging her goodbye!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

90 and with dementia means NO MORE DRIVING!

December 2012, Mom is 90 years old. With all six of us, her daughters

Don and I are the bad guys.

Yesterday while my mother was at physical therapy, we took her car from her garage never to be returned again!
In fear and trembling until she would notice that it was gone, we waited for her outrage.

This morning we were there fixing her outside light and when the car came up she said, oh! I saw that it was gone but since I can't drive yet...
But, I said, you really shouldn't drive any more, you might have an accident and then what?
She said as expected, I have never had an accident, you don't have to go with me, I can do whatever I want...
We were surprised and confused that she didn't get mad and more demanding about where the car was.

But, it happended today; While I was having lunch at my sister's, she called and asked about the car.   My sister said that she was not in charge and she had to talk with me.  So, I could feel my blood pressure rising as I told Mom that we had already told her that we had taken the car to be fixed. She retorted that she is not crazy and that we had not told her anything of the kind and that as soon as the doctor said that she could drive, she would be out there driving because she has always been a safe driver!

Friday she returns to the doctor for a checkup of her 3 month old knee injury of her knee which has prevented her from driving since.  We hope for a letter from the doctor saying that her since her knee does not show signs of recovery, she should not drive any more - or something to that effect.  Hopefully the doctor will write a letter to say that she should not drive.

Her regular doctor just wrote a letter to that effect, referring to her dementia, but we don't want to show it to her since she denies that she has dementia.

We will be returning to Ga in a couple of days and then my sisters, who live here will have to continue to deal with her about this.  They are so good to be taking care of her! 

But we are the bad guys!!

Now I am going over to her house to play dominoes with her.

One week later:

She is giving all the sisters a hard time about her car being gone and that we took it without consulting her.  Of course if we had consulted her, she would not have let us take her car.  

       She hung up on me when I called her yesterday and told her the car was    not fixed yet.
         She went to her doctor who told her not to drive because her injury has not healed.  She still says that she can drive.

So what now?  We should just tell her the truth: that we took her car because we don't want her driving any more...  My sister that is her caregiver because she lives 2 blocks away says to continue as it is.  She is getting advice from her daughter who is a lawyer.

Want to share any advice?