8/27/2014

Laboring over the Hodgepodge


1. As August draws to a close, share what's been your favorite weekend of the entire summer?
The 4th of July weekend.  We spent it in Huntsville with my in-laws, and  CH's uncle & lady friend from Denmark.  

(My MIL & her sweet brother!)
2. Labor Day is marked in the US of A on Monday, September 1st.  What paying job have you held that you've loved the most? Liked the least?
The one I have now.  The least:  Being the Assistant Manager for N. Ga. when I worked for a company that contracted with nursing homes.

3. Does the new school year start before or after Labor Day where you live? When do you think it should begin? There is much discussion now about older students having later start times to their school day...your thoughts?
Geez, we're already a month into school!  Only 5 more weeks until Fall Break!
I don't know that having a later start time would matter...the kids would just stay up later.
4. What's something you've worked at recently that could be deemed a 'labor of love'?
I have no answer for this one!

5.Which of the following work idioms can you most relate to right now...'A woman's work is never done.', 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' 'Many hands make light work.'
A woman's work is never done.  Doesn't it always seem like there's something that needs to be done?

6. Crab or lobster or thanks, but no thanks? Favorite way to have your choice prepared?
I don't think I've ever had crab.  I've had lobster once & loved it.  I have no idea how it was prepared.

7. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, 'Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.' Which of the three do you consider to be the most important? Share one of your own 'rules of work'.
From discord find harmony.  If you can find harmony, everything will fall into place.
Love what you do; if you don't love it, move on.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'm in the middle of Kindergarten Speech/Language Screenings this week...always a fun time!  The kids are keeping us laughing, which means it's not time for me to retire yet!
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8/25/2014

Weekend Wrap-up

I spent a lot of time (or way too much...it depends on how you look at it!) watching The Killing.  I'm just about done with it.
Saturday, somebody had a milestone birthday:
Nope, it wasn't me!  I'm now married to a 50 year old man. To celebrate, we went into the big city and bought a tool cart. Getting there was quite an ordeal:  Google maps took us through a not so nice neighborhood, then told us to go left when we should have gone right.  I tried to put in the name of the store, and CH told me the wrong name.  We went to the wrong one and CH pulled up the email that had a coupon when we were in the store. That's when we realized we were in the wrong tool store. So we went back the same way we originally went (through the neighborhood), took a right instead of a left, and found the right store. We had lunch at Sam & Andy's, which is a well-known burgers & more restaurant in the Knoxville area.  There used to be one near UT's campus, but it closed down. It didn't disappoint.
For dinner, my dad joined us for dinner, along with MS & his GF, and YS & his GF.  OS was the only one missing. He'll be heading south next Saturday! 
Sunday morning, I went to Mass and then went to Daddy's house.  He has been going to the cemetery Sunday mornings, so I've been joining him. He actually let me drive this time! After that, I went home, finished some laundry and did some light housework, then settled in to watch more of The Killing.  I got a couple of blog posts written for my speech blog, and went out to dinner at our usual Mexican spot. Not bad for a weekend, huh?
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8/18/2014

Stages

I hesitated to put my thoughts & feelings down in this post because I know there are plenty of you who have lost a parent (or both of them).  I don't mean to sound like I'm the only person that has been through this.  But then I decided that I needed to write this...for me.
Some of us went to Mama's grave yesterday since it had been 1 month since she died.  In some ways it seems like it was yesterday, and in some ways it seems like it happened forever ago.  The grave marker is now in place, and it is absolutely beautiful.  It is a joint marker for both of my parents; it has dogwood flowers in the bottom corners.  It had to be very sobering for my father to see his name on the marker.  
I didn't think it would feel like this.  I guess I didn't know how it would feel to have that hole in my heart.  I never imagined I would cry when someone told me I look like Mama.  
We all know the 5 stages of grief.  The denial (Stage 1) is still there at times.  I just can't believe Mama is gone.  I can't believe I won't be able to call her up and ask her questions that come up, like the priests' names that were at our parish a few years ago.  She's the first person I think of to ask about things like that.  And then, I remember that I can't.  And so I accept it (Stage 5).  
Stage 2:  Anger.  How can I be angry?  My mother lived a full life:  she & Daddy raised 10 healthy, well adjusted children.  She was able to see most of her grandsons grow into handsome men & her granddaughter grow into a very beautiful, poised young woman.  She even had the joy of seeing a few great-grandchildren.  They got to do some traveling...just the 2 of them.  She left this earth the way she wanted:  quickly, before Daddy, and before her mind was too far gone.  I am so thankful that we didn't have to go through Mama not knowing who we are when we saw her, like some friends and cousins did.  God really spared us and was extremely merciful in that aspect.  As I look back over the past few years, I realize that He actually prepared us for her leaving us:  Daddy had taken over the cooking and cleaning, and we (the kids) had learned not to depend on her quite so much.  We didn't want her worrying, so there were a lot of things we kept from her.  Angry?  Not at all.  And I can't imagine myself going through that stage, either.  Mama isn't worrying, and she isn't hurting any more.  For that, I'm extremely thankful.
Stage 3:  Bargaining.  There's no reason to bargain, for the same reasons I stated about anger.
Stage 4:  Depression.  Mama would kick my butt if I got depressed about her passing away.  There's no doubt that she's in heaven.  Do you remember the song Last Kiss by Pearl Jam? There's a line in it that says, "She's gone to heaven so I've got to be good  So I can see my baby when I leave this world."  That line has been going through my mind since her passing. 
 Stage 5:  Acceptance.  I think I accepted it from the day she passed away.  I know she was tired; she told that to me and at least 1 sister.  She was tired of her back and hip hurting all of the time.  She was tired of being anxious and worrying.  It's hard not to accept it.  It is what it is; we all knew that day would come.  We have no choice but to accept it and take what Mama taught us and live our lives.
During their trip to Australia to visit one of Mama's cousins, she  had the opportunity to visit a school.  She ran across this; it left such an impression that she requested that it be read at her Funeral Mass:
Death is nothing at all.  I have only slipped away into the next room.  Whatever we were to each that we are still.  Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way which you always used.  Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.   Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.  Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.  Let my name be the household word that it always was.  Let it be spoken without effort.  Without the trace of a shadow on it.  Life means all that it ever meant.  It is the same as it ever was.  There is absolutely unbroken continuity.  Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight.  I am but waiting for you for an interval somewhere very near - just around the corner.  All is well.  Nothing is past, all will be as it was before - only better infinitely happier and forever.  We will all be one together with Christ. 
(After googling it, I found that the author is Henry Scott Holland.  The phrases in pink are from the original.)
I can hear Mama saying "Life goes on".  And so it does.

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