A Day Of Remembrance…

A Day Of Remembrance…

I was unsure how I would write this blog, or even if I ever would at some point. My mother died. It’s still hard to say that after so many years. She left behind an extremely loving husband (my father), myself and 9 of my siblings, (along with 31 grandchildren). Yes, 10 children. That’s a whole other story I’ll tell you about on a different day. But she was the strongest and most inspirational person I’ve known.

Yesterday was her birthday. She loved having her birthday in the fall, because, like me, we shared a love for autumn, Halloween, and everything about the coming of the holidays. A time to cherish your loved ones and be grateful for everything and everyone in your life. She taught me that, and I continue to carry on that belief and instill it in my children.

Typically, on her birthday I like to be by myself. I usually need to be because it’s still so hard for me to realize that she’s not coming back. I don’t know if any of you have ever thought that way? If you’ve lost a loved one, and even though you know in reality they won’t be returning, there are just some days when it’s almost like you expect them to return and you wonder what is delaying them. Like you expect to see them that day. I suppose it depends on what you believe. I know some people think days like that can be a sign your loved one is with you in spirit and making a connection with you. I like to believe that is true.

So yesterday, October 25th, was her birthday. I went on a long hike.

Just me and my cherished dog, Freesia.
The morning started off a bit cold with an extremely dense fog creeping through the town and up into the mountains where we went.
As we started our trek the fog was beginning to burn off just a little as it’s competition the sun crowded its way in.
I was able to get a few shots of the change in scenery as we climbed up to the top of the trail.

 

A nice little trail
I could definitely feel my mother with us as we made our way through the forest. ♥

 

It seemed as though the birds were following us at times.

 

Freesia’s getting a bit tired

 

Once at the top, the view was amazing! The fog still hovered over the little town and the surrounding fields, but at the top it was blue skies and warm sun that greeted us!

 

Such a wonderful hike to clear my mind of all the daily life chaos and just reflect on her.

Happy Birthday Mama

 

Our Lives In A Cage…

Our Lives In A Cage…

Does everyone live in a cage? A Jar? A fishbowl? To some, the city or neighborhoods and the hustle bustle that may come along with those environments are wonderful. Some people thrive on the energy, be it positive or negative. It can be alluring, the high energy and everything that comes along with it. The sounds. The smells. The people. Some crave the excitement, the noise, and the static. But to me, it’s just that. Static.

I am grateful for the times I have lived in cities and various neighborhoods. That urban life helped mold me to who I am now, and reminded me of my true roots in nature I had as a child.

 

We are all happy with the little farm we live on now, but with neighbors on both sides of me in such close proximity, sometimes I feel like I’m suffocating.

In the early morning when I go out to breathe before anyone else is awake, and for that split-second moment as the cool fog rolls across the fields, I have a sense of peace. I can pretend that I don’t see the neighbor’s home, or hear the soft hum from the vehicles on the highway a distance away. But, I still long for the quiet solitude and calm serenity of the forest. Of nature. Of what is home to me.

When my small farm and the beautiful fields that encompass a portion of it just aren’t enough for me and the vacant noise of lawn mowers trimming the pristine turfs and the ever-continuous echo from the road of people walking their dogs or biking by becomes physically piecing to my soul, I must escape.

The forest is calling.

For some it’s the mountains, others the ocean, or perhaps a beautiful park or hiking trail. To open the door to your cage or the lid to your jar, and physically take yourself to those locations can be so healing. The need to breath clean air and see all that nature has to offer is so important for our own quality of life. To touch our soul. Re-charge our batteries. Grasp what is truly in our heart.

For those of us who cannot for whatever reason reside in such locations, we live for the times that we can go. To go to the isolation. The calm. The alone, but not lonely. For nature does not judge. You can go be you and live in the moment in the sound of silence.

What calls to you, dear readers?

 

“Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark”… Barbara Hall

And The Rain Came Down…

And The Rain Came Down…

With so much damage and chaos from the unfortunate fires we’ve experienced in so many western states recently, we can only sigh with relief and welcome each rain drop as it touches the Earth. The happiness we feel as each drop falls to the ground.

We cannot bring back or replace any of the loved ones who were lost, or repair the damage done to the beautiful forests and homes. But with each drop we have hope that we will continue on with life and growth.

Thank you for the rain…

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe…

I was recently on Facebook looking for a kitten for my daughter. I found an add posted by a woman in a nearby town and contacted her. We began chatting back and forth about cats and kids, and I told her that I had 6 children. She went on to call me “a huge hoe”. Excuse me? I thought it was a misprint on her part, but she clarified that she was indeed calling me a huge whore! Wow!

After the initial shock from her rudeness wore off a bit, I asked her why she would make such a statement to a stranger? She informed me that if anyone had more than 3 children, they were indeed whores. I didn’t feel the need to “explain” the number of my children, but did tell her that three of my kids were biological and a few were adopted. She proclaimed that it was “okay then”. Phew! What a relief it was that this ignorant dip stick was pardoning me from a life of a huge hoe label plastered on my forehead!

 

Seriously? Is that what some people really think? And if they think that, do they think it is their place to judge others? I don’t ask for assistance, I provide for all my children, and raise them to be kind, caring and honest human beings. We don’t live like royalty, but we’re grateful for all we have and worked very hard to achieve. But I also know others who still struggle. Plenty of two parent or single parent families with several children who strive every day to make their world a better place and provide for their own families. Good decent kind people who happen to have more than 3 children. Some have 5, 6, or maybe even 8! No matter how they arrived at their “number”, why do some people think it’s ok to judge them and label the women in the equation as whores?

Talking to some women, they have felt judged by this stereotype and the assumption that if they have multiple children they must all be from multiple different men. That they are probably un-employed and sit around all day watching Jerry Springer and sucking down Big Gulps!

I know quite a few successful women (and men) raising their children with partners or alone with large families. They weren’t handed what they have. They worked hard. Do we call the attorney with 5 children a huge hoe because she put herself though law school while working two jobs but decided she wanted multiple children? Where is the kindness and emotional support from other adults? Where is the love for children?

 

I’m not so naive that I don’t realize that there are indeed some people who do milk certain systems and don’t strive to work hard, don’t have a good work ethic, or even attempt to raise kind human beings. But, does that give us permission to treat them with such disdain? Perhaps they have a back story that we know nothing about. Perhaps there is a legitimate reason that they are where they are. Perhaps… Or maybe not. But to pass judgement on every family who may not fit into the “perfect” mold of having two or three children, is just cruddy.

So, to all my fellow “huge hoes” out there, whether you came about your gaggle of children from your uterus, your heart, or your family ties, drive on! You’re doing great!

And no…. I didn’t get the kitten. 😊

YOU have a baby?… At YOUR Age?

At the age of 45 I was blessed with a wonderful arrival. A sweet tiny infant girl. She was the most precious and innocent thing I had seen in quite a while, and arrived in my life during a time when I really needed inspiration and some goodness. Her sweet little cheeks and warm little clinging fingers were incredible and I was instantly in love.

Fast forward 5 years… I’m still in love, but oh, boy is she a challenge. Not really “her”, but more me. My status. My AGE…

At 45 while basking in the euphoria of becoming a new mom, I hadn’t really noticed that I was an “older mom”. But then I looked around. I noted at the school were my son was attending at the time, that I didn’t quite have the same energy level that most of the other mothers did. At the library, I noticed most of the moms didn’t have the little crow’s feet starting that I did. At baby yoga most of the other mothers didn’t have their knees sounding like popcorn as they got up from their mats. Was I all alone at 45 with a new baby?

Heck no! When I started looking for older moms, I found them! It was as if I was playing some crazy game of “Where’s Waldo” every time I went out. To the super market, the library, the local Home Depot etc. Older moms were there, but they seemed to be flying under the radar. They were right there in the thick of it with all the other moms, but just doing things at perhaps a different pace. A super bonus was discovering so many advanced moms at our current school. Moms were loud and proud and flying their super hero capes just as confidently as the younger moms!

 

 

Yes, we may have little wisps of grey hair here and there. Yes, we may not be slim, sleek and perky where we use to be. But we are moms! We have the same drive, strength, and love that our younger mama partners have. We may just need a little bit more Tylenol than they do.

The great thing is that there are more and more of us now. More of the “average” moms are a bit older. Some women are waiting a bit longer to start their families, or having a second set (like I did) when they are in their 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s! Halle Berry, Kelly Preston, and Hoda Kotb to just name a few. And the small and growing trend of women becoming moms at 50 and older is definitely happening. Whether it be by modern reproductive technology, adoption or whatever, the community of “older moms” is growing.

Are you an older mom? Do you want to be? Perhaps contact your local state foster/adopt agencies or, depending on the route you are envisioning for yourself, talk to your doctor about the medical risks.

If you’re on the fence about adding to your flock of kids or just starting up, jump in! You aren’t getting any younger 😊

Hugs!

 

How Do I Raise Such A Spirited Child?

I was recently talking to my son and discussing what a spirited and, shall we say, “active” child he was when he was younger. He’s now well into his twenties and has been reflecting on life. He actually apologized for being such a handful for me. I assured him that was absolutely not necessary, and that I never viewed his spirited nature as a burden or complication while he was growing up.

I explained to him that my philosophy with child rearing and parenting in general is to always follow the child when you can. If a child seems more spirited or active, or quiet, or passive, I believe that following that individual child is what is important, and not trying to fit him or her into a specific mold that has been set out before us on how to raise our children. In addition, we do not “shame raise” our kids. We don’t tell them that they will disappoint us if they make a mistake or bring home a bad grade from school. To attempt to dent the psyche or the actual soul of a child in that manner is just cruel.

Unfortunately, I have seen parents that rear their children that way. Those children may grow up and appear to be functioning adults, but are they confident? Do they continually seek and need approval from others in their relationships? Are they actually happy with themselves, or do they continue to feel that they may just not be good enough?

I am in no way a perfect parent, but am proud that all my children are strong, ethical, and kind human beings. And yes, some were more spirited than others. Discovering what they need to actually channel that sprit is the adventure. Is it in creativity? It may be in dance, art, theater, or writing. Is the need to find the gateway for success in something like soccer, track, or computer design? They are all individuals and it is up to us, their parents, to unearth their talents or interests through support and following their lead. Not suppressing them with unnecessary shame or teaching them that holding grudges and negativity is healthy.

Sure, my children made mistakes and had consequences to unwise decisions that they may have made. Those consequences were swift, and may not have been fun, but were never in place to make them feel less of themselves. Quite the opposite. They learned cause and effect, right from wrong, and how to not repeat the mistake. They learned. They built from that foundation.

We are all doing the best we can with our children. They don’t come with an instruction booklet. Do we make mistakes with them? Sure. Do we attempt to learn from those mistakes for the future or even with the next kid? Hopefully. And hopefully we don’t totally mess them up along the way. But guiding those with that extra little twinkle in their eyes, aka high spirit, is a gift that can only make you stronger. Or totally deflate you some days. 😊

Are you the parent of a spirited child?

What To Do With The Toxic People In Our Lives…

We all have them. A toxic person. It could be a friend, a family member, a neighbor, spouse, partner, or even an adult child. But what do we do with them? Of course, we continue to care for them and attempt to make that relationship better, but what if nothing works? What if that person is so negative and unhappy in their life that it trickles into the lives of others?

Someone I know recently pondered that maybe we are crazy to keep trying, or maybe we are just good people to continue to give and give positivity with only negativity and harsh treatment in return.

Is that it? Are we just good people and good people will notoriously get dumped on? I think that’s a pretty slippery slope to get on. If we start believing that because we are good, and therefore the negative people in our lives must to be the polar opposite, aka bad, does that in turn mean that we are setting them up for failure or placing a negative label on them? Or is it some type of self-preservation to acquire a belief like that?

Each relationship is going to be different for each person. The level of negativity or toxicity that they deal with will have so many various stages and impacts, that it isn’t fair to group everyone together. However, perhaps we can all find a common ground of how to recognize those toxic people in our lives and make decisions how to move forward by asking ourselves some basic questions.

  1. Who are these people to us? If this person is our adult child or spouse, the decisions we may make to keep them in our lives will most likely be different compared to if they are a neighbor or co-worker.
  2. If they are for example a child or spouse, do we feel loved? Do we feel safe? Or the neighbor or co-worker, do we feel appreciated or respected?
  3. How far are we willing to go with our own happiness at stake? Does this person thrive on taking our happiness? What are we willing to give up or lose?
  4. What have we tried? Do we offer counseling, mediation, neutral ground discussions, etc? Is this person even willing to partake in any of those forums?

The decision to keep a toxic person in your life is going to be a personal one. An important one. A difficult one.

Personally, I found that when I’ve pondered the above questions and depending on the specific relationship and levels of attempts I’ve made, I have unfortunately had to move on with my life without a few toxic people. It was hard, but I never regretted it. But, I’ve also had a couple of extremely negative people in my life, whom after working on specific challenges they had, they successfully dropped a lot of their personal toxins weighting them down, and could mend relationships around them and lose the label of the “toxic person”.

So, is it up to us to change the toxic person? Is it our responsivity to ensure they live a positive life at the expense of our own happiness along the way? Making those individual decisions is just that. An individual decision based on the answers you give yourself to the above questions. You have one life to live. Find your happiness.

 “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”….. Eleanor Roosevelt

Finding Your Inspiration…

What inspires us? Is it nature, other humans, music, the taste of exotic food? I like to think it can be a little of everything, but that each individual craves its own. We desire creativity, we dream, we talk, we think. We search for inspiration even if we don’t always realize what we are searching for.

For me, inspiration can come from a cold dewy morning when I wake up before my children and step outside just to breath in that crisp morning air. Air that is so light, yet so cold that it almost gets caught in your throat as you pull it into your anticipating lungs. You know it’s coming. You know what it will feel like. You crave it, and it’s your inspiration for the day.

Inspiration can also come from other precious things. Like when I watch my little girl playing by herself in her own world. There she will sit, gently singing to her dolls, or dancing to whatever Celtic tune I’ve put on that morning. Her long wavy red hair flowing behind her as she spins and spins. She stops and graces me with her beautiful beaming smile with pride. That’s definitely enough inspiration to get me through several mornings.

Every life is a beautiful life. A precious gift that many don’t cherish enough. If we can find just a little bit of individual inspiration, perhaps we can make our days and the days of the people around us just a little brighter.

What inspires you?

Hugs to all! ♥

My Voice…

Someone recently told me “You have a voice. You have a story. You have something to say…”

I have wanted to start a blog for quite some time now, but just hadn’t attempted to get the words out of my head other than by way of my own personal diaries or notes. I mean, yes, we all talk about what we are thinking if asked, but sometimes we have so much more to say. But do we think others want to hear? I wouldn’t have exactly called myself an inspirational person, but when others kept telling me that my story and some of the experiences I have had helped them or moved them in a certain way, I began thinking of the people I have looked to for inspiration. What if those people at one time thought the way I did and had doubt that they could actually help someone? I’m grateful that they found their voice(s) and got the words out of their heads. I hope that in some way, if just a little, I can be of some help to someone and return the kindness.

 Thank you for being here…