My Dad is the BEST!❀

My sister and brothers and I hit the jackpot when it came to our Dad. He is the absolute best Dad we could ever ask for. He is a shining example of what a husband and father should be.

He gave us all a scare seven years ago and then again a few weeks ago. Two heart attacks and two successful surgeries to insert stents to keep the blood flowing freely into his generous heart. I am grateful for the talented surgeons that performed the operations and I am grateful for my Dad’s determination to take care of himself and faithfully attend cardiac rehab. We do a weekly Fitbit challenge and I’m sure he will be back to walking miles around me before too long! πŸ˜€

When my Mom was in the hospital last year, Dad fought all the powers that be in order to be by her side. In the height of Covid, that was some feat! He even arranged for all four of us to be able to go up and see her during her last days. He is a gentle man, but when it comes to his family, my Dad will fight like a Grizzly Bear.

He was Mom’s caretaker even at the expense of his own health. When he said “for better, for worse”, he meant it! My Mom was so fortunate to have him. Men like my Dad are few and far between. ❀

So much of what I am today is because of my Dad. He loves nurturing plants and watching them grow, especially vegetables. He has a bevy of bird feeders that he keeps filled for all the birds (and the squirrels and chipmunksπŸ˜„πŸΏπŸ˜„). He has the corniest sense of humor! In response to the question, “How much longer?!?” when we were on one of our road trips, we would often hear, “Like the monkey said when the train ran over his tail, “It won’t be long now.” ” We would all roll our eyes, but secretly we loved it! 🀣

Another popular zinger was, “I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.” And yet another that never failed to get a groan from my Mom when we had peas as part of a meal, “Eat every potato and pea on your plate.” Definitely a bit juvenile, but you can bet that as kids we thought that was hilarious. 🀣

Dad with all four of us ❀

This Father’s Day, I would like to wish my Dad the very best day possible!

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you and I hope to be blessed with many many more years of listening to those corny jokes! β€πŸ˜„β€

Love, Beth ❀

Posted in Fathers | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Almost There

After a lot of thought, I decided I was ready to dip my toe into the river of online dating. After being told I may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince (not literally πŸ˜„), I decided I might as well put myself out there. This time around I’m going to be very choosy, so after eliminating anyone more than 50 miles away, anyone younger than 46 or older than 58, anyone who smokes and anyone not Christian, I was down to 7 people πŸ˜„.

I wasn’t willing to spend the money to subscribe since I figured the chances of having my limited pool of princes choose me as well was not great. What if none of them thought I looked like I might spark their interest? Spending a significant chunk of change to feel like I did at the high school dances when I sat on the bleachers watching other couples on the floor wasn’t too appealing.

I did set up the free profile, but found that without a subscription, others can see me and message me, but I can’t respond until I put my money where my mouth is. At least I got a message, even though I can’t respond, so there is hope for me yet.πŸ˜„ I think I am almost there. I’m still wishing that someone I know might know someone who knows someone, etc. I have a little prayer box where I put messages to God. I have a request in, but I know that God’s timing is not my timing, so I am trying to be patient.

What makes me happiest about being “almost there” is the fact that a few months ago I couldn’t even entertain the thought of there being someone else for me. Now I know that there could be. I also know that I will be okay whether there is or not. I am enjoying my life as it is and looking forward to what is to come.

This morning I mowed my yard, cleaned up some of the dead branches on the trees and shrubs, and planted two bags of daylilies I thinned out earlier in the week. It gave me great satisfaction seeing how nice the yard looks.

When, or if, I do eventually meet a special someone, I will, in addition to my many other qualities, have a beautiful yard to share with him. ❀

Posted in Dating, moving on | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Miss You Mom

Tomorrow, June 16th, will be one year since my Mom died. It still feels surreal and there are times when I think, “I need to ask Mom about…” and pause to remember I can’t. Well, I can ask, but I won’t get an answer. I do believe that life goes on after death and I do believe that she can still check in on her family and friends. I had a dream shortly after she passed that she was young and full of energy and bopping around the hereafter like she no doubt did in her younger days.

Born August 19, 1948, Mom was 19 when she married my Dad and just 20 years old when she had me. We often celebrated our birthdays together since mine is just a few days after on the 24th. Last night, the thought crossed my mind that there won’t be 20 years between us after my birthday this year. Mom was 72 when she died, so from this year on, the years between us will decrease.

Celebrating our milestone birthdays, “50” and “30”

We didn’t always see eye to eye, but we did have a lot in common. Some of the things Mom loved were:

  • My Dad
  • Her children and grandchildren
  • Her sister and brother
  • Her flowers
  • The cabin that she and my Dad owned in the beautiful Black Hills
  • Silly, cute yard decorations
  • Smiley Faces

Mom also loved holidays and she loved giving gifts. Every time she and my dad went on a trip, they would come back with some kind of gift for all the kids and grandkids. She was very observant and would notice if one of us liked something. Pretty soon, we would be innundated with that object, whether unicorns or owls, or in the case of my brother-in-law, Broncos “stuff”. With Mom, sometimes “too much” was “just enough” πŸ˜‰

Mom loved to travel and see new places and things. I definitely got that gene! She was also a planner and on our family trips, she would have a plethora of places that had to be seen. Sometimes it was a bit much and I recall stopping at many “historical” sights where perhaps a wagon train had once traveled through but currently it was an empty field. I’m sure I did my fair share of complaining, but every now and then I actually found something to appreciate, although it may have been a squirrel or chipmunk and not the detailed plaque describing said historic event πŸ˜‰

Mom’s health declined significantly in her later years. Despite pleading from her family, Mom was stubborn and never one to be told what she should do. She smoked even after her first heart attack at the young age of 49. She finally did quit, but was never a fan of exercise, so eventually was dependent upon my Dad and a scooter to get most places. She did experience a lot in the years she had. She always dreamed of seeing Hawaii and she and my Dad did make it there for their 25th Anniversary and they saw many more places as well.

I get my love of all things cute from Mom. She never saw a smiley face she didn’t love. One year we all received round Smiley Face cutting boards. I use mine almost every day and I often think of Mom when I do πŸ™‚ She enjoyed decorating the great outdoors with gnomes as well as statues, fountains, solar lights, windchimes. I follow her lead, so I’m sure when she checks in on me, she is happy to see that her old yard still contains little gnomes, animal statuary, metal flowers and solar lights.

The last week has been very emotional for me, thinking of all the things Mom won’t be here to celebrate with us. I believe that she can still celebrate milestones with us and cheer us on, but it would be so nice to be able to have one more day to talk with her. She did get to see her great granddaughter on FaceTime shortly before she died and I KNOW she was with all of us celebrating the first birthday of this little sweetie last month ❀

I miss you Mom and look forward to the day you can show me around your heavenly home. I’ll bet it will have a lot of smiley faces! πŸ™‚

❀ Love, Beth

Posted in grieving, relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Don’t Be Afraid To Be Silly

Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.

Horace

My nephew Noah joined me for a Canvas 2 Paint class yesterday. We had a fabulous time creating our ‘Hipster Gnomes”. The very best thing about these classes is getting to see the unique and creative pieces made by all the participants!

Sometimes it is difficult to stop worrying about what it is “supposed to look like”, but doing so is freeing and yields wonderful results!

Posted in accomplishment, creativity, happiness, laughing, Learning, living life to the fullest | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Are My Sunshine

The anniversary of my Mom’s death is approaching soon and I have been thinking about her a lot lately.

“You Are My Sunshine” was my grandparents’ song and as such has become a way to say “I Love You” in our extended family. ❀

That song was played at my Grandma’s funeral and we played and sang that song at the viewing for Mom last June.

I wanted to incorporate that lovely family legacy into my watercolor practice tonight, so I found a wonderful tutorial and created these two pieces in memory of them❀

Posted in feelings, relationships, sadness, watercolor practice | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Bloom

My piggy planter holding Blue Eyes Trailing Fuchsia

As long as we are persistent in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.

Denis Waitley

Posted in Beautiful, gardening, persevere | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

The race is on…

Perseverance is not a long race, it is many short races one after the next.

Walter Eliot
Practicing watercolor flowers

This was last night’s practice with watercolors. I have a long way to go until it comes naturally, but I’ve come a long way in less than 2 months! 😊

The above quote resonates with me because with my watercolors, as with anything in life, a little consistent effort yields big results. I set a goal of practicing at least 2-3 times a week. My long term goal is to be comfortable with the brushstrokes and much more comfortable mixing colors within the upcoming year. The blog is nice for accountability because next year I can check in on myself and see if I have in fact progressed. Hopefully I have!

Posted in accomplishment, completing tasks, Learning, persevere | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

What a Day!!

This morning I woke up much earlier than I normally do on Saturday.  No sleeping in when you have a mountain to climb! Well, maybe not quite a mountain, but a very significant hill out here in the beautiful Black Hills. πŸ˜„

It is the weekend of the Crazy Horse Volksmarch.  In a path that differs from year to year, we made our way to the top where we got an up close look at Crazy Horse Monument.  It is always a good time and a challenge, especially this year with temps near 90! 

I was joined by two of my three kiddos and my good friend Candace.  We all did our share of puffing, panting and sweating, but the view from the top and the feeling of accomplishment was well worth it!

After the hike, we all enjoyed a delicious meal at the Alpine Inn in Hill City and afterwards I found some new treasures for my yard at the most adorable shop, The Farmer’s Daughter.

When I got home, a shower was much needed.  I decided to open the Ocean shower gel from Bath & Body Works.  I had been saving it to give away since it is from their “Men’s Collection”.  I love the scent and have one of the auto air fresheners which makes me inhale deeply whenever I get into my car.  Today I decided that I don’t have to wait to have a “special someone” to enjoy it.  I can savor the scent on my own self πŸ˜„

Posted in accomplishment, Carpe Diem, happiness, living life to the fullest, Love Yourself, Nature, persevere | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Letting go and looking forward

For some reason, tonight I seem to be having a difficult time putting thoughts of the past behind me. I know that there are better things ahead of me than behind me, but some nights just seem so long. I think part of moving on is to deal with and feel all the feelings, so I’m going to let myself feel the sadness and regret tonight. As Keith Urban sings, “Tonight I Wanna Cry.”

Tomorrow is a new day and I will have a new outlook. I have so many possibilities. I may practice my watercolors, draw a new drawing, create a new zentangle, read a book, water my flowers, feed the birds, mow the lawn, listen to some of my favorite tunes or take a walk. Who knows? It is all up to me and it will be great!

Posted in feelings, Just Me, Let it go, moving on, relationships, sadness | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

To find happiness, help others

In my life I’ve learned that true happiness comes from giving. Helping others along the way makes you evaluate who you are. I think that love is what we’re all searching for. I haven’t come across anyone who didn’t become a better person through love.

Marla Gibbs

Michelle and I at the Nutcracker in 2019

One thing that has brought me great joy in the past is being a host Mom to exchange students from other countries. It is so wonderful to welcome them to our country and to have the chance to see our “ordinary” routines and places through new eyes.

I considered hosting again, but even though it is incredibly rewarding, it can be challenging and very time consuming as well. I got on the sites from organizations that I have hosted with before but kept talking myself out of clicking that button. Finally, I decided to leave it and I said to God that if He sent me a sign, I would be open to being a host Mom once again.

Everything good that’s ever happened to me came out of helping others.

Danny Trejo

It didn’t take any longer than two months before I received a forwarded email from my sister with “Interested?” preceding the message. Marta from Spain was looking for a host family and was hoping to be placed with a Catholic family so she could attend Mass on Sundays. I paused for a short time, considered that this would be a big responsibility and my free time would be limited quite a bit. Then, I realized that yes, it is a big responsibility, but one that will give me a renewed purpose and will make me feel needed again. Having less time for myself means I will also have less time to feel sad that I am not “half of a couple”.

I contacted the coordinator, Morgan and told her I was open to hosting if nobody else stepped up. I said that perhaps a home with another teenager would be better, but that I was willing to host her. She said that I could host two students if that was a possibility.

A huge benefit of the new/old house is the fact that it has five bedrooms. It didn’t take much thought for me to decide that God has a plan and that this can be a win-win situation for everyone.

I will have two more people to do things with and to do things for. My two host daughters will have someone to help them get used to life here, to cheer them on in their accomplishments and to help them with challenges like the inevitable homesickness. I know it won’t all be sunshine and roses, but that is not what life is. It will be a new adventure!

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Audrey Hepburn

I may meet new friends as well because of this. I have become very good friends with Michelle’s mom Andrea. I hosted Michelle in the 2018-2019 school year. Andrea was kind enough to host us, feed us and show us all around when we came to visit Germany in December, 2019 We were also able to reconnect with Muriel and Max, two other students we previously hosted. Muriel’s parents hosted us, fed us a delicious dinner and took us to a German market that was so much fun! Max and his wife served us a delicious dinner and we got to see their beautiful baby daughter❀

I am just in the beginning stages and haven’t even connected with my host daughters yet. I have so much to look forward to! Oh the anticipation!!! ❀😊❀

Posted in anticipating good, happiness, Just Me, Learning | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Getting Back to Positivity

To move forward, one sometimes needs to let go of the past. That is easier said than done. My divorce was final March 30th, but I think somewhere in the back of my mind I truly hoped that maybe someday we could reconcile. Feelings can’t just be turned off and we did have so many good memories, or at least I thought we did.

Last week I finally realized that there is no going back. I have to move forward, feel all the feelings and then let them go.

One of the things I had a difficult time letting go of was the dried wedding bouquet from our Key West beach wedding. It was such a wonderful day and will always hold a special place in my heart.

I realized, though, that I have to let it go.

One of the wonderful things I gained with the new/old house is a lovely lilac bush that is in full bloom right now.

The lilacs are so pretty and the scent is a definite spirit booster!

After taking a different vase filled with these scented beauties up to the hospital for my Dad who suffered a heart attack last Monday, I decided I could benefit from a vase of my own in the house. Somehow I didn’t have a vase to hold them. I spied the vase that held my dried bouquet and realized that the moment had come to let it go. (Dad is doing fine after getting a stent put in, by the way!! ❀😊❀)

I disposed of my bouquet and gathered a large group of lilacs and filled the vase.

One of the things I’ve done for myself lately is to take a watercolor class with my nephew. The last class was yesterday, but I want to continue practicing and (hopefully) improving my skills. I did a painting that I titled “Moving On”. I plan to put it in a frame and to hang it on my wall. It is my message to myself that life goes on and that I will be okay.

It may not be today or tomorrow or even a month from now, but one day I know I will wake up in the morning with more hope than regret. Until then, I will keep doing things that bring me closer to that day! These are a few of my favorite things:

Posted in gardening, Just Me, Let it go, Love Yourself, moving on, persevere | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

How can you be positive with “haters”?

Yesterday was a tough day for me.Β  I woke up in great spirits, went to church and was looking forward to meeting up with a friend for a walk/hike.Β  I opened my email and saw I had a blog comment to moderate.Β  Because I have met with mostly positive people in my little blog world, I was looking forward to seeing what this visitor had to say.Β 

When I opened it, I learned this person had nothing nice to say at all.Β  The comment was cruel and hateful, especially coming from someone that has never met me. I do not claim to be perfect and I have as many flaws as anyone else.Β  It hurt me a lot, so the intended purpose was no doubt served.

What can I do to get past this I asked myself yesterday (and last night and today). I decided to let it go and move on. She doesn’t know me and maybe if she did she wouldn’t hate me so much. Or maybe she would. I am not going to worry about it. I decided to change my attitude and I remembered my silly little sticker that is at the top of the page.

I mowed my lawn, planted some bulbs and plants that arrived in the mail and transplanted some plants about the yard. It was good physical work and great for my spirit. 😊

Posted in gardening, Just Me, Learning, Let it go, Love Yourself, persevere | 8 Comments