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?

Straight or Curly hair?

I have had curly hair all my life and ahve been straightening it for about a year now with a flat iron.  I like it but sometimes I think it makes me look old.

When the humidity gets high it is impossible to keep.  So when I saw this picture in my In Style magazine, I thought, I can try this!
Hayden Panettiere medium bob haircut.
I love Hayden's long hair in Nashville, so I wonder whe she took this photo.  Her hair is so natural!  Of course I have to work to get my hair like this, but I'm trying!
Then I took a picture of Patricia Heaton when she was a guest on THE TALK.  I loved her hair and wanted to take it to my hairdresser to cut my hair like hers.  I had to take lots of pictures so that her face would not look all funny.  These are the best.

Next time I will add a picture of me with my hair like this to see what you think!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Easter 2013

We celebrate new life!
Don's peach tree in our back yard
The sun shines through giving us hope.

The sun after a stormy day.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Happiness Diary for Lent

My cousin, Margarita Mooney, Sociology Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill wrote her blog about the Gretchen Rubin’s best-selling book, The Happiness Project,  

Reading the book led her to write a gratitude Journal about her own life, appreciating the good things in life.
I think it would be a great Lenten project.  I like to do positive actions for Lent.  Two years ago, my Lenten project was to always use a seat belt.  it was so hard!  But, I still use the seat belt mostly toda.

I hadn't really decided what to do for Lent this year so this would be great!  Thank you Maggie!  I'll let you know how it goes!

What are you doing for Lent this year?

Gluten Free eating

Last Fall on a trip to St. Simons Island, we listened to the book -Wheat Belly by William Davis.  We were amazed at the facts and statistics about how wheat can be harmful to our health.   We understood just  enough to lead us to make the decision to attempt a gluten free lifestyle.  We don't think that we have Celiac Disease, but we wanted to see if we could be more healthy without wheat. 
Let me explain that we are not white bread eaters, except for Cuban bread.  We have been eating whole wheat pasta and whole grain bread and crackers for years.  (Except that the whole grain saltines are gross!)  We also watch Doctor Oz and decided to do the gluten free lifestyle.

Here is a picture of some cookies that I made yesterday using gluten free flour.

We made the decision, not for a weight loss tool, like many are doing.  We wanted to see if maybe we wouldn't have some of the maladies that we were suffering from.  I myself know that I have an "addiction" to bread and white flour products.  I am constantly looking for something to snack on.  I binge.  When I eat one (cookie, or bread product) I can't stop...   But now now!!

So we have been mostly gluten free since October 25.  I lost 5 pounds right away.  When I went to the doctor's for my yearly checkup, the nurse and the doctor commented on how I weighs less that last year.  I was a victim of the 2+ weight gain each year....
 I admit we ate wheat during several family get togethers but only for one or 2 days.  When I got my best friend's Christmas package of yummy cookies and cakes, I did indulge but most of it went to the freezer.  The kids sure enjoyed us sharing it!  Since I haven't given up sugar, I still gained weight over the holidays, but only 3 pounds, not the usual 6.  I'm almost back to the weight I lost.

In the beginning of our gluten free lifestyle, I was looking for all kinds of substitutes.  I went to the Indian market and bought (white) rice flour, chick pea flour, barley flour, and coconut flour.  We checked out books from the library for gluten free recipes but they were too complicated.   I was totally grossed out by what xanthan gum is made of, but I bought it anyway.   

Why do you have to mix so many different kids of flour?  Of course, the recipes don't call for the flour that I had bought at the Indian market.   I did try .... with almond flour and we stored the extra in a vacuum sealed container which Don didn't reseal.  After 3 days I saw mold growing on it.  Later we read that you have to freeze what you don't eat right away.  That is why gluten free bread is only sold frozen.  

We found a gluten free pizza dough mix and tried it this week and it was good!  It tasted the same as pizza and the package said all whole grain.

It is a process...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby Girl Coming!

Expecting my fifth grandchild - a girl!  But then other nieces and friends are having girls too.  
Being retired, I love spending time with my grandchildren!  I help out as much as I can.  I got inspired and wrote a poem.  Everyone whose read it likes it.  What do you think?  
Should I take out the part on the poop and pee...
Savoring the moment with Isabella
New baby girl’s coming…
She’ll be here any day

We’re ready, we’re waiting

Can we be more prepared

What will she look like

How will she change us

Will I know how to treat her

Will I know how to feed her

What will I call her

How will I dress her

When will I see her first smile,

When will I hear her first word

Will I know that she likes me

When I clean her poop and pee

What will she do when I rock her

How will she feel when I hold her

Will she cry more than sleep

Will I know what she needs

Will she make me feel sad

May I never get mad

Will I know how to please her

Play with her, enjoy her

Will she fuss all the time

Oh, I know she’ll be mine!

What can I give her

All my life I will have her

I know I’ll never leave her

And, Oh how I’ll love her!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New year's Resolutions - Really!

I want to work as "hard" as last year...
I was looking at last year's resolutions and can't believe how much time I spent last year writing about it.  I even called this time "a compulsion".  I think it is because I had just retired and felt that I had to make the best of each moment.  I still feel that way but am much more relaxed about it.  
What are your 2013 goals?

I do like that last year I wrote 2 different types of resolutions but I want to be more specific...

TO BE in 2012:  Working on these personal goals  
Healthy habits 
Sleep well
Awareness when eating
Increase in spirituality

Nourish and develop more loving relationships 
Consider options for my Swim business (

Nancy from Blissed out Grandma wants more energy in the new year.  Me too!

In 2013 I want TO BE:
More healthy: swimming, and get rid of my hip pain
cooking different options, (without processed flours) 
Ignoring "bad" food when not at home
Sleeping without "drugs"
More God aware
More loving

Eat more lobsters!!
TO DO in 2012: 
Playing with the grandkids
Traveling / Visiting family and friends
Fishing / Beach bumming
Writing / Reading
Crafting/ sewing Pictures - using old ones and taking new ones
Making jewelry, beading
Organizing - have to do it...

TO DO in 2013, I want to continue with these same TO DO goals.  I didn't do jewelry making and not much organizing nor traveling, but plenty of playing, fishing and beach bumming, some crafting and sewing.  I wrote alot until October...
Now we have an ipad for pictures and a new camera that fits in my purse, I want to take lots more pictures
Learn about apps, "data plans", and getting an iphone 
Sell lots more Swim with Miss Bea dvd's
Learn to make an ebook about kids Swimming 
Get a ping pong table
And make more blogging friends!  
Organizing - have to do it... 

           I'll strive to live in the present moment 

even if sometimes it's just too hard!!

Infinity Scarves by Angie for sale!

Angie's customer wearing the scarf
 Since I retired, I have been doing more sewing and crafting but am so excited that my daughter has taken up sewing!
She has just recently started making some super light weight, jersey, infinity scarves and is selling them at a great price in all different colors. 

See the pictures and choose the one you like.  She has many colors and can also order one and make it especially for you!  She is setting up an online store but is not ready with that yet.  You can buy them with an invoice that she sends you from paypal and can use your credit card.  If she sells a bunch, I might even help her with some of the sewing (since I don't do anything all day...)

Order from her facebook page: Sew-Blessed

She is also making applique designs and machine embroidered letters.  You can choose the design and even supply the shirt.  I don't have any more pictures of this!

Angie made these!

Angie and her little boy, Durham on his birthday.  She made all the decorations.