August 24, 2019-My Baby’s Birthday!

My baby #3 is 32 today.  She has two babies of her own who just turned 5&11.  Ally decided, 5 years after her first season, to play soccer again.  Pyper wanted to play as soon as she could so both had games today. Pyper’s two games were first, followed by one for Ally.  It was unseasonably warm for Humboldt County today, out at the Redwood Fields in Cutten.

For many years my baby played soccer, not recreational fun soccer, but serious class 1 traveling team soccer.  #3 was a gifted athlete who was good in several sports, but really good at soccer.  If you can believe it, I videotaped almost every single game she ever played. By the time #3 began at age 5 or 6, I can’t quite remember, her older sisters had long since switched from sports to cheerleading.  #1 and #2 daughter were not really gifted athletes though #2 did quite well at a triathlon when she was 10. She finished in the middle, but started out poorly with her swimming.  She did not realize she could swim however she wanted so she fell behind, but once she was biking she caught up well and running was good too.  But #3 was the athlete of the family and we spent so much time and money nurturing this love.  #3 was quite shy, hung out more with the boys playing soccer out in the fields at grammar school.  Being an athlete was a real plus for her.  It brought her built in friends and lots of positive affirmation.

So once again we are up early, packed our portable chairs, drinks and snacks and we head out to the soccer fields to start the process all over again.  The only thing more enjoyable than watching your children play sports is watching your grandchildren!

Day 31 of The Contentment Journal, July 1-3, 2019

Okay I’m having trouble with this.  I have been looking up “humility” and I think part of my issues of not following through, being scattered, all my “issues” could be the way I was raised. I have a hard time considering myself or my own needs at all.  I almost always put everyone else ahead of my needs.  I go out of my way to be friendly and helpful to strangers. Our parents taught us humility and to never build ourselves up, absolutely no bragging.

Sadly my elderly mother was talking about people at her assisted living facility “building themselves up”.  I was horrified.  I mean I know my mother is judgmental, but good grief.  I told her that a lot of people who live at her assisted living facility have led fascinating lives.  Did she ever consider that maybe they are telling the truth?

So I am going to take some time………

In the meantime tomorrow is my youngest daughter’s 13th wedding anniversary! She was a sweet 18 year old girl and now she is a 31 year old mother of my two darling granddaughters. We are going to the Elks Club with the kids for a barbecue.  My husband bought fireworks too!


June 30, 2019, The Contentment Journal

The first 30 days of Rachel Cruze’s The Contentment Journal is done.  I have always been grateful when I actually THINK about it.  Well for the past 30 days I have thought about it every single day.  My family is my priority, no doubt about it.  I am so grateful that my three girls are close, that I have three darling granddaughters and 3 fabulous son-in-laws.  I love my husband and am so lucky to have him and to have found him when I was only 12 years old. He was barely 12. He has stuck by me through the complete change in my life, when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I could no longer be the same person I was before the pain started.

My discontent is mostly from not being able to do what I want.  I want to be able to work hard and not have the limiting pain that I have.  I want to sew all day without pain. I want to stand on my feet in the kitchen as long as it takes to make a bunch of freezer meals and not be sorry at the end of it. I know the only thing I can do is take care of myself.

Trying to be content and grateful when you suffer chronic pain every day of your life, can be a challenge.  I sometimes wallow in self-pity, mostly when my pain is a bit out of control. But then I remember that I will feel better after I rest, or take a pain pill, or sit in my recliner with my heating pad.  I know my husband will cook dinner and clean up if I am unable to do it.  I wallow in wishing I could still work and take some of the stress off my husband that comes with being the sole breadwinner.

I wallow in that I am the only child of my almost 90 year old mother who lives close enough to see her on an almost daily basis.  I wallow because I feel so responsible for her. I feel like it’s my job to make sure she has quality of life.  Yeah I wallow a lot.

But after this 30 days of reflection, I feel strongly I will be wallowing less!


June 29, 2019 The Contentment Journal

Today is another day of reflection….oh wait, the 29th is.  Well I am always a day behind anyway so I am reflecting today on the past week and looking back over the past 30 days.

First day 24: This day was to reflect on vacations the best you ever had.  We have not taken many vacations over our 40 years of marriage.  Our first vacation was when my older girls were 2 and 4.  We went to Santa Cruz and stayed with a friend whose parents had a summer home in Felton, CA near Santa Cruz.  My husband turned 25 on that trip and we had a great time on the beach boardwalk. That was 35 years ago.  We went camping many times, took the girls to Disneyland 3 times and had lots of weekend trips with sports.

The best “vacation” I have experienced was our trip to Hawaii in 2014 for my oldest daughter’s wedding.  We spent a wonderful week with our family.  My middle daughter’s wedding in Las Vegas in 2018 was a close second.  Again, the entire family except the bride and groom at a home in Las Vegas with a pool and a relaxing time.

For our 40th wedding anniversary in September 2018 my husband and I went on a cruise to Alaska. A relaxing time with beautiful scenery.   I will say I am a homebody so vacations do not really interest me as much as spending time with our family together.

Day 25: Prompt-What parts of your job do you like most now? My “job” is wife/mom/grandma/daughter/sister/friend.  I love everything about being a homemaker. Having worked almost my entire adult life I savor the time and the ability to decide what to do each day.  I visit my mom as much as I can since she is in assisted living.  I enjoy my granddaughters, my garden, my sewing room, even cooking.  I like to stay busy.

Day 26: Prompt-Have you ever set a really big goal for yourself and met it? I am in the middle of a big goal, paying our home off in 3 years starting at $99,999.00 on 1/1/2019. I’m pretty sure we can do it with a no spend 3 years (not buying anything we don’t need).  Besides the fact we have spent way more money in our life than we should have!

Day 27: Can you remember a time when generosity really moved you, either doing or receiving-One year I got a very unexpected Christmas Bonus from Mad River Hospital.  It was over $600.  My husband and I went to Target and spent it all on Toys for Tots.  It was so much fun, I absolutely had a great time and it was so moving to see the representatives from The Marine Corp when we took the gifts to them.  I had to fight tears the entire time.  I hope to be able to do that again some day.  We do buy gifts every year, but not $500 worth!!

Day 28 was a bit painful. Thank back to when you were a child and someone set aside time to make you feel special even though they didn’t have to how did it make you feel.  I cannot remember anything as a child.  As a teen (still a child) my husband had a cake made for my 16th birthday and I felt very loved.  It was a white frosting cake with the decor being a lightbulb and it said “you turn me on”.  It was so sweet and I should have seen right there his love language.  Food, preparing food, taking care of people is definitely what his love language is as he has shown over the past 41+ years.

In reflecting over the past week, I have been struggling with my inadequacies in organization.  I am going to spend this day of reflection on being grateful for what I have in my life, my family, my home……….and use that gratitude to do a better job for my family.

I’m ready to move on to Humility!

Day 23, The Contentment Journal, June 24, 2019

Today’s prompt is about friendship.  I have a lot of aquaintances, but only a couple of good friends, one being my older sister who is just under 3 years older than me.  I don’t know if there is anything I wouldn’t tell her.  We have been a strong support for each other over the years, but now we both deal with chronic pain.  I was first with the chronic pain and fibromyalgia diagnosis.  A few years later she started having severe pain in her joints and was  diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. So I don’t know what I will do when I lose my sister.  Hopefully I will go first!

I have a wonderful group of friends I met on the internet many years ago and we have stayed friends over the years.  I have met two of the ladies in person and hope to meet another soon.

Day 22, The Contentment Journal, June 23, 2019

Today is another reflection day.  I was thinking about what I learned this week and it mostly involves gratitude for my husband and how hard he works.  It was very evident to me this week as he was called out of town and I was pretty much forced to help cover as cashier at our car wash.  This involves lots of standing and walking on cement.  Thursday I worked 7 hours and Friday I worked about 8 hours.  Saturday I was in a lot of pain and then again today I feel pretty bad and am hoping I feel good enough tomorrow to do a little housework.

My granddaughters were over today and Pyper (4) finished two 9 patch blocks.  She was so sweet and proud of herself.  She wanted to bake a cake, so we did.  I made frosting and she frosted it herself, then I made a raspberry cheesecake ice cream.  The taste was great, but the cream cheese was clumpy so the texture was off.  I probably did not let the cream cheese come to room temperature.  I had it out for a few hours and thought that would be enough.

So my reflecting, again, is not taking my husband for granted and do as much as I can to make his life easier.  He does a lot because of my fibromyalgia, but I am hoping to use my time wisely when I am feeling good.

I also bought new walking shoes to try to walk Lila more.  I was thrilled they were $30 off.  I decided to get the more expensive pair because they had a thicker sole and just felt better on my bad feet.  I was totally prepared to pay the full price.  We got to checkout and they were only $39.99 instead of $69.99.  Hoping they work out for me.

Day 20 and 21, The Contentment Journal, June 21, 2019

Day 20 prompt is about priority and spending, What top two areas you spend the most money? Well I pulled up my YNAB report for year to date.  It is almost the end of June so it is a pretty accurate picture.

My two highest categories are medical and gas, but I don’t think that represents priorities, it is just the way it is.  The next two are Food and Gifts.  This is not surprising and I am okay with it.  In 2018 the amounts spent on food and gifts was ridiculous so I cut back a lot for 2019, am being much more mindful of spending.  I am also making a lot of gifts, but I am still spending a fair amount on gifts.  I would like to cut it back some.  So far this year I have spent $1351 for gifts, down almost $3000 for the same first half of 2018, absolutely shocking!

Food- Oh My Goodness! We eat very well, but our freezer was so full at the end of 2018, we were actually spilling over into KT’s freezer with turkeys that were ridiculously cheap and 40 pounds of chicken breasts, also super cheap at 99 cents a pound. So I called for a moratorium on all meat purchases to make room in our freezers.  So we are down about $2400 over the first half of 2018.  Again, I want to keep up with this trend.  Somehow our freezers seem kind of full again.  I did an inventory of both our freezer and pantry at the beginning of the month of June. I need to keep up on it and continue to do a good job with as little food waste as possible.

Day 21 prompt is what do you do for fun when it is just you? I sew.  I love to sew and create.  I cannot believe I didn’t do it for so long.  I learned to sew when I was pretty young, then had a semester in 9th grade where Mrs. Puryear made us rip out anything that was not perfect!  I made so many clothes, Ron’s shirts, and then I had the girls.  I just didn’t have time anymore.  I am so glad that I have time now.  I also love to garden.  My two favorite hobbies.  I also like embroidery, knitting and crocheting.  I love to make things for family, friends, and even people I have not met.

My goal is to make quilts for children, military babies, St. Jude’s, Project Linus, whatever I can.  I need to make sure I use my time wisely because I sometimes waste a lot of time.  I’m working hard on this!